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Discovery Elementary

5241 N 36th Street

Arlington VA 22207

703.228.2685

http://discovery.apsva.us

http://twitter.com/DiscoveryAPS


Click here to see the latest messages and pictures on Twitter from @DiscoveryAPS!

Explorers learn, collaborate, and innovate with the world in mind.

Dear Discovery Families,

We enjoyed welcoming students back into the building after the Thanksgiving break, and are excited for the next 3 weeks of teaching and learning. We have made a few changes to the school master schedule to accommodate for indoor lunch on cold and windy days. Please continue to send students to school with coats, hats, and gloves for outdoor recess.

Warmly,

Erin and Judy

Hour of Code Celebration

Discovery will take part in the world wide Hour of Code celebration the week of December 6-10! This means our young Computer Scientists will spend an hour that week in Art coding on Code.org, Scratch Jr, Scratch, or with one of the selected robots. All students have access to these resources in the “Art 21-22” Canvas page under their grade level “Hour of Code” module.  Questions about coding and/or accessing these activities please emailVirginia Fisher. Happy Coding!

Have you checked out the Online Book & Game Fair? Shop & Support the PTA

Social-Emotional Resources & Events

December

8- Early Release

10- PTA Coat Drive Ends

17- Spirit Day-PJ Day

17-31- Winter Break

November 22, 2021

Dear Discovery Families,

Tomorrow is Mismatch Day. Explorers are encouraged to dress in their craziest, most fun, mismatched outfits! As a reminder, tomorrow is the last day of school before Thanksgiving break. We hope you and your children enjoy the holiday. We very much appreciate your support of teachers and staff. We look forward to welcoming students back to school on Monday, November 29th.

Warmly,

Erin and Judy

World Heritage Night- Thank You!

The Diversity & Inclusion Committee is so thankful for all of the families who contributed to a fantastic virtual World Heritage Night! About 30 staff members contributed to the event, and we had around 40 people in each live channel! Each showcase and virtual museum exhibit brought joy to our students and strengthened our school community.

We would also like to extend our appreciation to Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do for their showcase, and who generously gifted gear, pens, and even free classes to some lucky participants of their channel! Thank you for your support of Discovery!

Thanksgiving + Native American Heritage Month

As we are approaching Thanksgiving, and in recognition of Native American Heritage Month, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee wants to raise awareness of the following:

In an effort to help teachers build understanding of Native American culture with their students beyond the association with Thanksgiving, each classroom teacher received one of the following books in their mailbox by Wednesday from the Diversity & Inclusion Committee:

            PreK/K/LifeSkills           1st                       2nd                    3rd/4th                 5th

Online Book & Game Fair - Shop & Support the PTA

November

23 -Spirit Day- Mismatch Day

24-26- No School-Thanksgiving Break

December

8- Early Release

10- PTA Coat Drive Ends

17- Spirit Day PJ Day

17-31-Winter Break

_____

Dear Discovery Families,

Please plan for outdoor lunch to continue up until WInter Break. On cold days, please send your student to school dressed for cold weather. Our World Heritage Night is THIS Thursday! Keep reading for details about this exciting (virtual) event. Finally, we all enjoyed the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps performance. We appreciate everyone’s attendance, especially our military families.

Warmly,

Erin and Judy

World Heritage NIght

Traditionally, World Heritage Night has been an opportunity to gather in person to learn from one another about our cultures and heritage. Last spring, we pivoted to a virtual model and found great success! All members of our Explorer families joined, and so this year we wanted to continue to make this event accessible to all!

There are two main components to World Heritage Night:

LIVE events on Thursday, November 18, from 6-7:30pm

Log on to your Explorer's Microsoft Teams account to access cooking demonstrations, read alouds, and more!

Asynchronous Virtual Museum

We hope you'll join this event that brings our community together.

Veterans Day Celebration

​Photo Submissions Wanted

The yearbook team invites students and parents to submit photos for the yearbook. If you have great photos of school and community events or of you and your friends having fun, please share them. Help us get as many photos as possible to create a terrific yearbook.

SUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS ONLINE

LOG ON TO: images.jostens.com

Enter Login ID:  416925999

November

10- Restaurant Night at Taqueria El Poblano

10 - Online Book and Game Fair Starts

11- No School- Veterans Day

18- World Heritage Night

23 -Spirit Day- Mismatch Day!

24-26- No School-Thanksgiving

December

8- Early Release

10- PTA Coat Drive Ends

17- Spirit Day PJ Day

17-31-Winter Break

_____

Dear Discovery Families,

We are thrilled to have the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps perform for our Discovery community tomorrow. We hope you will join us on the field! As a reminder, Thursday is a holiday for students and staff in honor of Veteran’s Day. As we begin quarter 2, please continue to support your student at home. We greatly appreciate your support, as does our staff. Our PTA winter coat drive started today. Please consider making a donation.

Warmly,

Erin and Judy

Covid Updates

As you are aware, we’ve had several positive cases. We are all practicing social distancing to the maximum extent possible. We’ve decided to stop allowing games at lunch for now. We are spreading students out more when they are physically eating. We will continue to follow all APS safety mitigations. We appreciate you keeping students with symptoms home. Please know that students can test positive even without symptoms. You can opt-in to weekly testing here.

World Heritage Night

The LIVE event will run on Microsoft Teams from 6-7:30PM on Thursday, November 18th. Feel free to stay for the whole time, or just for a bit! We will send a detailed lineup of events and logon information next week. Last year, we had live sessions on Indian dance, Nigerian culture, and even a Greek cooking demonstration!

Submissions to the virtual museum that will debut on November 18th are due Sunday, November 15th to Ms. Coulouris at angelique.coulouris@apsva.us.  

The success of this event depends on the collective participation of families and staff! To learn more about World Heritage Night, click here!

Marine Drum and Bugle Corps Performance - Tuesday @ 2:45

Thanks to the PTA, we are excited to welcome the very prestigious Marine Drum and Bugle Corps for a whole-school assembly that will take place outside! We will honor members and veterans of the U.S. military with this performance, and families are welcome to come. The performance is expected to last approximately 20 minutes with a possible meet and greet with the performers. MASKS ARE REQUIRED. All students will return to the classroom to dismiss at the end of teh day.

Discovery Online Book & Game Fair starts Nov. 10th

SEL Presentation

If you missed the school counselors’ presentation about social-emotional learning during the PTA meeting on 11/1, you can view it here: SEL Presentation.

November

10- Restaurant Night at Taqueria El Poblano

10 - Online Book and Game Fair Starts

11- No School- Veterans Day

18- World Heritage Night

23 -Spirit Day- Mismatch Day!

24-26- No School-Thanksgiving

Dear Discovery Families,

Welcome to November. Please join us this evening for our PTA meeting on Zoom. Thank you to the PTA and especially all the volunteers who helped make Bike and Boo a huge success. Explorers safely biked to spooky music and bubbles as well as enjoyed the tunes of the Yorktown marching band. Beautiful weather and creative pumpkins topped off the day!

Teachers engaged in professional learning last week during the Early Release Day. They worked on small group math plans. Our teachers are using data to plan effective instruction tailored to what each student needs.

Warmly,

Erin and Judy

Diversity and Inclusion Committee

DES Diversity and Inclusion Committee would like to make mention of an upcoming holiday - Diwali.  It is celebrated culturally in several countries and by multiple faiths, and even non-religious people observe it as well.

Diwali is a public holiday for the general population of India and almost the entire country has the main day off.  The official public holiday may take place on different days depending on the region, but most take off the entire week to be with their families.  Preparations for the holiday can start weeks in advance with Diwali fairs and markets opening up to sell decorations and sweets for the celebration.

It is a five-day celebration that traditionally marks the biggest holiday of the year.  The celebration includes special candles and lamps, colored sand, fireworks, and traditional sweets and food.  Firecrackers and diyas are lit to signify the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.”  People also decorate with rangolis, intricate patterns made from colored powder, rice or flowers on the floor (typically the main entrance) of their homes.

The date for Diwali is determined by India’s calendar and changes every year, but it is celebrated during the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika (mid-October to mid-November).  

Diwali, “The Festival of Lights,” which is one of the major festivals celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists (notably Newar Buddhists) peaks on the third day with the main celebration on Thursday, November 4, 2021, this year.  Additionally, this school year APS will actually have the day off from school in observation of this great celebration.

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee has purchased and distributed books to all classroom libraries in recognition of Diwali.  We hope you enjoy them as we continue to promote diversity in our DES community!!

Tia Alfred, Diversity and Inclusion Co-chair (Mom of Mathias, 4th grader) 11/01/2021

Restaurant Night at Taqueria El Poblano 11/10

Save the date: Wednesday, November 10 is Restaurant Night at Taqueria El Poblano!

20% of all checks from lunch and dinner will be donated to Discovery.

Visiting Scientist

This week our school scientist began visiting fourth grade classrooms. Dr. Jessup studied ocean engineering and marine propellers at the M.A. Institute of Technology. He explained what propellers and showed students propellers he helped design. With the fourth grade just finishing their space unit, Dr. Jessup was able to connect his knowledge of propellers and teach students how they work. He used a rubber powered helicopter that he created and tested it with students in air and water.

Discovery Online Book & Game Fair coming soon!

It starts Wednesday Nov. 10 and will be ongoing all year. Link will shared next week here, on the Discovery website, the PTA website and the Discovery library webpage.

Middle School Information Night

Attention 5th grade families! If you missed Middle School Information Night on 10/25, a recording of the session is now available to view. Families of students entering middle school in the fall of 2022 will learn about APS middle schools, school options and neighborhood transfers, application deadlines and procedures, school-based information sessions, available student resources, and more.

Hydroponic Update

Thanks to the help of Discovery staff, Fresh Impact Farms, and Eco Action students, the hydroponic systems are up and running again! We are in the process of growing 3 different kinds of lettuce, cucumbers, cilantro, and dill. So if all goes well, it should be ready for harvest before winter break. More information to come!

November

1- PTA Meeting (Zoom, 7-8PM)

2- Grade Prep Day- No School for Students

4- No School- Diwali

8- Gifted Information Session (Teams, 9AM)

10- Restaurant Night at Taqueria El Poblano

10 - Online Book and Game Fair Starts

11- No School- Veterans Day

18- World Heritage Night

24-26- No School-Thanksgiving

Dear Discovery Families,

We hope conferences included engaging conversation and you came away with a clear picture of skills teachers will be teaching and reinforcing over the course of the next semester. Please remember that Judy and I have an open door practice and we are available to meet with you as well. A strong home school connection is best for students.

We are still in need of volunteers for our first ever Bike and Boo. Yorktown Dance Team and Band will be joining the festivities. Please bring painted, carved, and decorated pumpkins to the event. We encourage costumes and bike and scooter decorations. There will be music and fun! Everyone who attends must remain masked.

Four new picnic tables were delivered from APS to support outdoor lunches. They are located outside the gym. Thank you APS! Also, thank you PTA for collecting games to support lunch activities as well.

Warmly,

Erin and Judy

Thank You For Participating In Unity Day!

   

DiscoverEEK Bike and Boo

Enter the Pumpkin Decorating Contest!

 

Sign up here to submit a pumpkin to the Bike and Boo Pumpkin Decorating Contest!

 

Pumpkins may be designed however your Explorer would like: carved, painted, decorated with other materials, etc...get as creative as you want!

 

Categories are:

Each winner will receive a $40 gift card to Child's Play Toys and Books. Details can be found on the Sign Up Genius.

Diversity and Inclusion

Being Mindful of Halloween Costumes

The Diversity & Inclusion Committee encourages those partaking in the tradition of Halloween to be mindful of the choices you are making regarding costumes.  While costumes are meant to be playful, some costumes have the potential to reinforce harmful stereotypes of cultures and of people who have been historically marginalized in our country.  Please keep this in mind and have fun while celebrating the holiday without potentially offending others in the process.

If you're interested in exploring this idea more with yourself or with your explorers, here are a few resources to get you started:

Gifted Services Information Meeting

Would you like to learn about APS Gifted Services for students at Discovery Elementary School? We will focus on: the identification process, the delivery of services, the role of the Gifted Coach (RTG), and explore resources that are being used.

Join us on November 8th on Microsoft Teams at 9AM at this link (link will also be posted on the Discovery Webpage)

Child Protection Lessons

Over the next month, the counseling lesson for all grade levels will focus on the Child Protection Unit, which teaches important personal safety rules and skills to keep children safe from dangerous or abusive situations. Please read the following letter about the Child Protection lesson and what information will be covered: CPU Parent Letter. If you would like a copy of the letter in Spanish, Arabic, Mongolian, or Amharic, please reach out to Claire Nawojchik or Carol Halvorson. See also the following book list which supports the topic: 9 children’s books about body boundaries.

Social-Emotional Resources & Events

Upcoming Events

October

27- Early Release Day/ Green Day (1:26PM)

31- DiscoverEEK Bike and Boo (10AM-1PM)

November

1- PTA Meeting (Zoom, 7-8PM)

2- Grade Prep Day- No School for Students, Telework Option

4- No School- Diwali

8- Gifted Services Information session (Microsoft Teams, 9AM)

11- No School- Veterans Day

18- World Heritage Night

24-26 -No School- Thanksgiving Break

Dear Discovery Families,

We look forward to Virtual Parent Teacher Conferences this Thursday and Friday. You can still sign up here. Please remember that students will be released Thursday at 1:26 and they do not have school on Friday. This Thursday is the deadline for the PTA Reflections submission. Please encourage your Explorer to participate. We love the creativity we’ve seen expressed in past submissions.

Warmly,

Erin and Judy

Volunteers Needed

We still need volunteers for DiscovEEK Bike and Boo. Please sign up here.

Opt-In COVID Testing

There is still an opportunity to opt-in to weekly COVID testing. It’s a mid-nasal swab. Sign up here.

The Office of Student Services

This monthly newsletter covers topics around Social-Emotional Learning, mental health support, and other relevant topics and resources.

Unity Day This Wednesday!

This Wednesday, October 20th, wear and share orange to show unity for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion, and to send a visible message that no one should ever experience bullying.

Why orange? As Unity Day is held during October, orange is a color commonly identified with the month and the autumn season. It is also a color that is associated with safety and visibility, and its vibrancy makes an impactful statement.

No orange shirt at home? No problem! You can wear orange socks, shoelaces, hair accessories, etc. and/or create your own orange wristband, badge, or decoration out of paper. Get creative, and we look forward to seeing your orange on Wednesday! :)

Second Step Bullying Prevention Unit

School counselors across Arlington Public Schools utilize the Second Step social-emotional learning curriculum, which teaches children important skills for getting along with others and doing well in school.

Throughout October, Ms. Nawojchik and Ms. Halvorson have been teaching classroom counseling lessons from the Second Step Bullying Prevention Unit. Lessons introduce different concepts in each grade level, and teach specific skills to help stop bullying. Students learn how to: Recognize when bullying is happening (including the definition of bullying), Report bullying to a caring adult, Refuse to let bullying happen to themselves or others by using assertive words and actions, and be UPstanders - Bystanders who stand up and are part of the solution to bullying. Upper grade students also learn about the different types of bullying, including ways to respond to cyberbullying.

The Second Step program provides helpful online resources for families, including “Home Links,” which describe the information being covered in classroom lessons and provide activities for parents to do with their children to support the topics being covered. The online portal also provides book lists on each topic and other resources.

To access Second Step parent materials for the Bullying Prevention Unit, please go online to SecondStep.org where you can create a free account and access all materials using the activation keys below:

Diversity and Inclusion (Updated 10/19/21)

DES Diversity and Inclusion Committee would like to mention that Indigenous Peoples’ Day was observed on Monday, October 11, 2021.  This day is typically on the second Monday in October and is to honor and celebrate Native Americans.

This day was said to have been instituted in Berkeley, CA in 1992 when an organized group convinced the city council to declare October 12 as a “Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People” and also named it the “Year of Indigenous People.”  They have celebrated it ever since.  Over the years other local governments and institutions have joined in the recognition and celebration of the history and culture.

On Friday, October 8, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden signed a presidential proclamation and formally recognized this day as a holiday.  This is a milestone in our history.

We continue in our efforts to promote and support growth and to be inclusive of all.

We hope you enjoyed your day off!!

Tia Alfred, Diversity and Inclusion Co-chair (Mom of Mathias, 4th grader) 10/11/2021

Food Bus

We have 2 more slots open. Please sign-up to deliver donated food to AFAC. Here’s the link to the Sign-up Genius.

Middle School Information Night

Attention 5th grade families! Middle School Information Night is set for Monday, October 25th at 7 p.m. The event will be virtual this year and families will be able to watch the event on Livestream. Families unable to watch the event live will be able to view a recording afterward. Families of students entering middle school in the fall of 2022 will learn about APS middle schools, school options, application deadlines and procedures, school-based information sessions, available student resources, and more.

Social-Emotional Resources & Events

Gifted Services Information Meeting

Would you like to learn about APS Gifted Services for students at Discovery Elementary School? We will focus on: the identification process, the delivery of services, the role of the Gifted Coach (RTG), and explore resources that are being used.

Join us at November 8th at 9AM (link will be posted on the Discovery Webpage)

Upcoming Events

October

20- Unity Day (Wear Orange)

21- Early Release- Parent Teacher Conferences (1:26PM)

22- No School for Students- Parent Teacher Conferences

25- Middle School Information Night (7PM)

27- Early Release Day/ Green Day (1:26PM)

31- DiscoverEEK Bike and Boo (10AM-1PM)

November

1- PTA Meeting (Zoom, 7-8PM)

2- Grade Prep Day- No School for Students, Telework Option

4- No School- Diwali

8- Gifted Services Information session (Microsoft Teams, 9AM)

11- No School- Veterans Day

18- World Heritage Night

24-26 -No School- Thanksgiving Break

Dear Discovery Families,

Our Explorers had a fun time during Bike, Walk, and Roll Day. All students and staff made the “r” in Discovery on the field and our firefighters from Fire Station 6 took our annual photo. Thank you for joining last week’s PTA meeting. Our November PTA meeting will feature Claire Nawojchik and Carol Halvorson, Discovery’s counselors. They will address Social Emotional Learning at Discovery and offer parent resources. See you on November 1st! This week we have the PTA sponsored Bingo on the Veranda at 5PM on Wednesday.

Warmly,

Erin and Judy

Safety Drills

We practice a variety of drills at Discovery. We practice fire, lockdown, tornado, and earthquake drills. You may arrive at Discovery and see a sign on the front door that indicates we are practicing a drill. You will have to wait until the drill is complete before being greeted. Our drills are about 5-10 minutes.

We practice lockdown drills at Discovery. Every school facility in Arlington Public Schools has in place crisis management and emergency preparedness plans, designed with the help of the school system’s security planning staff, local law enforcement, and emergency management officials. Plans are regularly reviewed and updated. The plans include procedures to respond to critical incidents, like fire and tornadoes.

 

A lockdown is a well-established procedure designed to protect students and staff members in a case in which there might be threats of violence in a school. During a lockdown, students remain in their classrooms or are escorted to classrooms if they are in the halls, and all interior and exterior doors are closed and locked. Once the facility is rendered safe and students are accounted for, the school is returned to normal operation.

While we have no reason to believe that any threat of violence will arise, it is always best to be prepared. It is important to train students and staff members so that we can effectively implement a lockdown in the event one becomes necessary. Training helps ensure a calmer, more effective lockdown.

 

PTA Announcement

Calling all families. Please sign-up to receive communications from your child(ren)'s room parents about class activities, teacher appreciation, and more. Teachers cannot share class contact information with room parents, so this is the only way to ensure that you are on the room parents' email list!

Weekend Garden Volunteers

Discovery's Eco Action Team is in need of some Garden Volunteers! This involves selecting a weekend to tend to both of our outdoor garden spaces by picking up trash, weeding and pruning plants, watering, and taking home any ripe fruits or veggies! Click HERE to sign up. Any questions regarding the garden spaces please contact Ms. Fisher at virginia.fisher@apsva.us.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Conferences will be virtual. The Sign Up Genius will go live at 6PM Oct 14th*. Human Resources and Dr. Duran are allowing teachers to conduct conferences from home. For that reason, not every teacher will offer the same conference times. There will be fluctuation in time offerings to account for teachers who have a longer commute to get home or for those who have family responsibilities outside of contract hours. However, each teacher will offer enough slots for their class between Thursday and Friday. We will send the Sign Up Genius (SUG) in an APS School Talk and post the SUG link on our website.

* This date was incorrectly listed previously. We apologize for the inconvenience.

APS will post beginning of the year assessment data in ParentVue. We will share the exact date of posting when established. Conferences are a great opportunity for you to share what you know about your learner(s) and for teachers to share what they are observing.

Bike/Scooter Rider Safety

Please remind your student(s) of bike/scooter safety, particularly during arrival and dismissal times in which many families and students are walking on the sidewalks. Bikes and scooters must be walked on the sidewalks while on school grounds. We’ve noticed in recent weeks that many riders have nearly hit both adults and students as they arrive in the morning and head home in the afternoon. Students will also be reminded of these important safety tips during their PE class this week.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month (Re-post)

Founded by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center in 2006, National Bullying Prevention Month is a campaign intended to unite individuals and organizations around the world against bullying, promote dialogue addressing bullying prevention, and inspire kind acts, acceptance, and inclusion. This month’s counseling lessons with Ms. Nawojchik and Ms. Halvorson will focus on bullying prevention skills for all grade levels, using the Second Step bullying prevention curriculum from Committee for Children .

How can your family participate in Bullying Prevention Month?

  1. Discuss and sign the Kids Against Bullying Pledge! (This will also be a classroom activity)
  1. PDF Version
  2. Online Version (also shows the number of students who have completed the online pledge throughout the world)

  1. Participate in Unity Day on Wednesday, October 20th by wearing and sharing ORANGE!
  1. Optional: Order this year’s official Unity Day t-shirt by TODAY ($12)
  2. Have a family discussion about the word, “Unity” and what it means. Consider reflecting on the statement, “When we stand together, no one stands alone.”

  1. See below for optional bullying prevention activities for children:
  1. Kids Against Bullying website
  2. Use this “Kindness Catcher” to complete random acts of kindness throughout the month (or create your own!)
  3. Work together to complete these bullying prevention quiz questions
  4. Captain Compassion: Comics & activities about being an “upstander”

  1. See below for bullying prevention resources for parents:
  1. Arlington Public Schools Bully Prevention
  2. Committee for Children: Bullying Prevention Resources
  3. National Bullying Prevention Center: Resources & Publications
  4. stopbullying.gov

Upcoming Events

October

13- Bingo and Pizza Night (Veranda, 5-6:30PM)

14- School Picture Day (Postponed, New Date TBD)

20- Unity Day (Wear Orange)

21- Early Release- Parent Teacher Conferences (1:26PM)

22- No School for Students- Parent Teacher Conferences

27- Early Release Day/ Green Day (1:26PM)

31- DiscoverEEK Bike and Boo (10AM-1PM)

November

1- PTA Meeting (Zoom, 7-8PM)

2- Grade Prep Day- No School for Students, Telework Option

4- No School- Diwali

11- No School- Veterans Day

18- World Heritage Night

24-26 -No School- Thanksgiving Break

Discovery Families,

As we begin this second month of school, we have visited most K-5 classrooms to teach Cooperation in the hallways, in the lunch line, on the playground, on the slide, as well as on the solar plaza and veranda during lunch. Please have your student bring a towel and a reusable bag from home each. Students will sit on the towels when at lunch and will use the bag to carry their school lunch from the Dining Commons to the veranda or solar plaza. This week we will begin gathering food donations for AFAC. Students may donate any uneat food items.

Also, if your student rides bus 627 in the afternoon, they will arrive approximately 15-minutes late to the drop-off locations. Thanks in advance for your patience and flexibility.

Please join us tonight for our first PTA meeting at 7PM on Zoom.

Warmly,

Erin and Judy

Walk, Bike, & Roll to School Day

Wednesday, October 6 is Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day! In an effort to increase participation, we ask every student who can, to walk, bike, or roll to school that day, even if it means driving and parking a block away. Additionally, APS is hoping that this will be the start of many families establishing a new routine of walking, biking, or rolling to school EVERY day and not just on this day of celebration.

In order to celebrate, ALL students will meet their teachers on the soccer field closest to the Discovery main parking lot beginning at 8:45 am. Extended Day students will be released at their normal time to meet their teacher and bus students will walk to the field to meet their teacher.

All students MUST check-in with their teachers (for attendance purposes) and then walk or run laps around cones laid out onto the field. Students will check-in with the PE team under a tent on the field to obtain a participation sticker, and students/staff will culminate the celebration with a whole-school picture, taken with the aid of Fire Station 6’s ladder truck!

Sneakers for PE

As a reminder, students are expected to wear athletic footwear for their PE class. A number of students are wearing inappropriate shoes to school on their PE days which can create an unsafe environment. Please checkout the PE section of the website for more information on the types of shoes to wear for PE. Here is the rotation schedule for each class and their PE day:

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

Founded by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center in 2006, National Bullying Prevention Month is a campaign intended to unite individuals and organizations around the world against bullying, promote dialogue addressing bullying prevention, and inspire kind acts, acceptance, and inclusion. This month’s counseling lessons with Ms. Nawojchik and Ms. Halvorson will focus on bullying prevention skills for all grade levels, using the Second Step bullying prevention curriculum from Committee for Children .

How can your family participate in Bullying Prevention Month?

  1. Discuss and sign the Kids Against Bullying Pledge! (This will also be a classroom activity)
  1. PDF Version
  2. Online Version (also shows the number of students who have completed the online pledge throughout the world)

  1. Participate in Unity Day on Wednesday, October 20th by wearing and sharing ORANGE!
  1. Optional: Order this year’s official Unity Day t-shirt by 10/11 ($12)
  2. Have a family discussion about the word, “Unity” and what it means. Consider reflecting on the statement, “When we stand together, no one stands alone.”

  1. See below for optional bullying prevention activities for children:
  1. Kids Against Bullying website & Bullying 101 Guide
  2. Use this “Kindness Catcher” to complete random acts of kindness throughout the month (or create your own!)
  3. Work together to complete these bullying prevention quiz questions
  4. Captain Compassion: Comics & activities about being an “upstander”

  1. See below for bullying prevention resources for parents:
  1. Arlington Public Schools Bully Prevention
  2. Committee for Children: Bullying Prevention Resources
  3. National Bullying Prevention Center: Resources & Publications
  4. stopbullying.gov

Social-Emotional Resources & Events

5th and 6th graders are invited to learn the real facts about e-cigarettes and vaping with the CATCH My Breath program. Students will participate in activities to build awareness and practice resistance. The course is 4 weekly sessions, 5:45-6:30 PM on Thursdays, starting October 13. REGISTER HERE for CATCH My Breath. 

Sponsored by PEATC, in collaboration with Virginia Institute of Autism

During this interactive workshop, we will define what cyberbullying is, explore the types of cyberbullying, the motivations behind cyberbullying, and the warning signs to look out for. We will also learn tips and strategies to protect vulnerable individuals from being cyberbullied.

TikTok Challenges

Mr. Reeves would like families to be aware of a recent trend on social media. A social media “challenge,” in this context, is a prompt from trolls to encourage others to do inappropriate or unpleasant things to others or others’ things, usually couched as a “prank.” The most recent was the “Devious Licks” challenge circulating on social media, which encouraged vandalization of school restrooms, and may be related to the recent uptick in vandalizations in APS, including at Discovery. We have seen recent dispensing of toilet paper unnecessarily and students locking stalls from the inside, both of which can be done quickly and surreptitiously. These actions make the safe, private, appropriate use of the bathroom by students who need to do so more difficult, and do not represent our C.A.R.E.S. values. The superintendent has released a statement that includes a list of the upcoming social media “challenges” of which local school divisions are currently aware. We encourage you to be vigilant and to reinforce positive behaviors at school, as well as being informed about this unpleasant phenomenon.

Diversity and Inclusion

Our very own DES Diversity and Inclusion Committee Co-Chair, Tia Alfred, is a lifetime resident of the Halls Hill/High View Park community and wanted to share some of Arlington’s Black History with you - Langston Boulevard!

The North Arlington stretch of Lee Highway was officially renamed to Langston Boulevard in July 2021.  The new name is after John Mercer Langston.  He contributed to a very significant part of the state of Virginia’s history.  He was an American abolitionist, attorney, educator, activist, diplomat and politician.  He was the first president of what is now known as Virginia State University, a historically black college.  He was the first dean of Howard Law School.  He was also the first Black man to serve as a U.S. Representative to Washington, D.C.  He accomplished all of this in times where it was unheard of for a Black man to even be taken seriously - he was born in 1829 and died in 1897.  

Here in Arlington, our very own Langston-Brown Community Center is in Hall’s Hill.  This was originally “The Langston School,” and was named for him.  It opened in 1925 to provide quality education for Black children who were getting left behind academically in Virginia.  This building served as a school until 1971.  It is now a combined school building that houses two special High School programs and a community center under one roof.

Since Langston-Brown Community Center actually sits on the corner of Langston Boulevard (formerly Lee Highway) and N. Culpeper Street, it is so fitting that the Arlington County Board adopted this as the new name to represent a new era.

On Friday, October 1, 2021, there was a big celebration of the renaming of Arlington’s Langston Boulevard.  It was held at the corner of Langston Boulevard and N. Edison Street.  There was the revealing of a mural of the iconic John M. Langston on one side of the street and a celebration with local and state officials on the other side.  This was done to commemorate the impact and legacy of him.  Additionally, there was a tour of a limited time art exhibition that is currently being housed inside of Dominion Lighting that is here only for the month of October.  This art exhibit displays works from artists depicting Hall’s Hill in a variety of ways.  There is of course a display of John M. Langston, but also displays many others from our Hall’s Hill community as well.  This includes the four Black students who integrated schools here, and the woman who led the charge.  She’s also recently had a school named after her - Dorothy Hamm Middle School here in Arlington.  She’s also my cousin’s grandmother.  So there’s a truly personal connection and appreciation that I had to share all of this with my DES family.  

I wanted to extend the offer for everyone to feel free to go and view the art exhibit currently being displayed in Dominion Lighting (during their business hours) for yourselves - remember it is only here for a month!  Also, please go take a look at the mural of John Mercer Langston.  The mural is on the side of the building located at 5010 Langston Boulevard and the art exhibition is inside of 5053 Langston Boulevard.  

I hope you’ll take the time before the month is over to take your family to go take a peek at these art displays.  Enjoy!!!  

#LangstonBlvdZine

Tia Alfred, Diversity and Inclusion Co-chair (Mom of Mathias, 4th grader)

PTA Meeting Slides on Bullying

Please see the definition of bullying and examples from tonight’s meeting.

Upcoming Events

October

4- First PTA Meeting (Zoom, 7-8PM)

6- Bike, Walk, and Roll to School Day

11- No School for Students- Professional Learning Day for Teachers

13- Bingo and Pizza Night (Veranda, 5:00PM)

14- School Picture Day

20- Unity Day (Wear Orange!)

31- Bike and Boo (10AM-1PM, Discovery Bus Loop)

November

1- PTA Meeting (Zoom, 7-8PM)

4- Diwali: No School

11-Veterans Day: No School

18- World Heritage Night

24-26- Thanksgiving Holiday: No School

________

Dear Discovery Families,

We LOVED seeing so many of our Explorers in their grade level t-shirts last Friday. We will continue our focus on Cooperation as part of our C.A.R.E.S. program during the month of October. Ask your child what cooperation looks like and sounds like at home.

Warmly,

Erin and Judy

Bike, Walk, and Roll to School

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, October 6th. Details coming soon.

Resource Path

One fifth of our student body has opted into COVID testing. You will not receive any information from Resource Path unless there is a positive test. No news is good news!

Innovation Block

You may have heard your Explorer talk about Innovation Block. This is a scheduling strategy that we use to support our school goals. Students will spend time with a variety of teachers and administrators learning about different things. For the next two weeks, students will meet with Dr. Russo and Dr. Seeber to review C.A.R.E.S. and common space expectations. At other times, students will learn about sustainability and critical thinking strategies, as well as participate in social emotional lessons.

Attendance Reminders

Regular school attendance is important for academic success. In Virginia, school attendance is required as part of Virginia’s Compulsory School Attendance Law. Schools will monitor and record the absences of all students. Parents/guardians are expected to notify the school, as early as possible of absences. School staff will address excessive absences (elementary school student-more than 5 days consecutively or 20 days cumulative) and develop an improvement plan.

Diversity and Inclusion Committee

To honor Hispanic Heritage Month that is celebrated September 15th through October 15th, Discovery’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee purchased a variety of grade-level appropriate books to build diverse classroom libraries. In addition, we selected these books because they align with state standards for the individual grade levels. Our efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the Discovery community will vary throughout the school year.

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources & Events

Sustainability Instructional Changes

The Eco Action Teacher Leaders are excited to announce that we will expand our work beyond the after school program to make it more accessible to Discovery students. Through the “Innovation Block” rotation students will participate in an hour of instruction inspired by The National WildLife Federation’s “Sustainable Pathways,” once every 3-4 weeks. More specifically, Explorers will engage in growing food in our vegetable, pollinator, and hydroponic gardens. So although Eco Action will not take place outside of school this year, Discovery’s young Green Leaders will have plenty of opportunities to share their knowledge. If you are interested in volunteering to help with this work, please reach out to Molly Fisher at virginia.fisher@apsva.us.

September

29- Early Release

October

4- First PTA Meeting (Zoom, 7-8PM)

6- Bike, Walk, and Roll Day

11- No School for Students Professional Learning Day

13- Bingo and Pizza Night (Veranda, 5:00PM)

14- School Picture Day

31- Bike and Boo (10AM-1PM, Discovery Bus Loop)

November

1- PTA Meeting

4- No School Diwali

11- No School Veterans Day

18- World Heritage Night

24-26- Thanksgiving Holiday

_______

Dear Discovery Families,

It was so great to chat with many of you on Friday at the PTA Ice Cream Social. Thank you PTA for providing such a treat and to everyone for spreading out across our campus. Many children were excited to introduce new friends to their parents. The Ice Cream Social built upon the Kindergarten Coffee the PTA hosted. Together we are stronger! Looking forward to seeing Explorers in their grade level t-shirt this Friday!

Warmly,

Erin and Judy

Drills

Each week we practice a Fire Drill. Be proud of your Explorer. Students exit the building quickly and quietly. We also practiced our first Lock Down Drill. All Explorers listened to teachers and remained quiet as we ran the drill. Discovery is committed to safety and drill practice is an important element.

Discovery Music

Dear Discovery Parents!

 

We are thrilled to be back in the classroom teaching music to your Explorers! Mrs. Hutto and I are ecstatic to bring to you a quality music program filled with fun and....drumroll please....PERFORMANCES!  A few changes are being made in the music curriculum in how we deliver our programs to give more performance opportunities for our entire community.  We also wanted to bring to your attention that because of the new guidelines for more ELA instruction, we are unable to provide choir as a separate group this year.  Instead, we will be incorporating choral arts into our classroom instruction.  

 

While we eagerly await APS guidance on what is appropriate as well as what is safe for your children regarding logistics surrounding audience members and performance locations (most likely outdoors), we tentatively want you to mark your calendars for the following performance dates:

 

Finally, if you have any questions regarding the music program, please feel free to reach out to us via email to your respective grade's music teacher.

We look forward to a wonderful year together making music!

 

Warm regards,

 

Mrs. Hutto (Grades K, 2, 4, Life Skills)

allison.hutto@apsva.us

 

Mr. Z (Grades Montessori, 1, 3, 5)

zachary.rush@apsva.us

Social-Emotional Resources & Events

Recognizing that we all may be a little more anxious than usual, the Safe Community Coalition is proud to offer an online panel discussion moderated by Dr. Melissa Sporn and featuring local mental health professionals Jennifer Weaver, Mimi Weisberg, and Robyne Davis on Tuesday, September 21 at 7 p.m. The panel will discuss Back to School Anxiety and offer concrete ways you can help get the school year off to a great start. There will be a Q&A at the end. The link to the FREE webinar can be found on the SCC website. The webinar will be recorded and linked on the website as well.

September

24- Spirit Day Wear Grade Level Tshirt

29- Early Release (1:26, PD at 2PM)

October

4- First PTA Meeting

11- No School Professional Learning Day

13- Bingo and Pizza Night (Veranda, 5:00PM)

14- School Picture Day

31- Bike and Boo

November

1- PTA Meeting

4- No School Diwali

11- No School Veterans Day

18- World Heritage Night

24-26- Thanksgiving Holiday

Dear Discovery Families,

As we enter the third week of school, we hope your child is coming home and sharing fun school stories. We are still working on our outdoor lunch processes. We get better every week. It would be helpful if students getting a school lunch bring a reusable bag. This would eliminate the need for a plastic bag. Help us be green! Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15. We celebrate generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively enriched our schools, culture and society.

Lastly, be proud of your Explorer. Many students did their first COVID test today! The process is quick and easy.

Warmly,

Erin and Judy

Diversity and Inclusion

Hello Discovery Explorers,

As we launch a new and exciting school year, we’d like to take this opportunity to introduce one of the committees that we have here at DES - the Diversity & Inclusion Committee!!

The Diversity & Inclusion Committee is Discovery’s longest-running equity-related group, and is a collaborative networking, planning, and awareness-building working group. We promote an academically enhancing and supportive climate that allows all members of its community to thrive and succeed.

 

We believe that at Discovery Elementary School, everyone belongs!

 

We strive to align our work with the following values:

 

We strive to be a truly inclusive school for ALL and we treat each other with respect and dignity!

Some of our past events and efforts to support our mission include:

 

We value the diverse lived experiences of our Discovery community. We are looking to continue our efforts this school year, and encourage the support of our families and caregivers. If you are interested in contributing to the work of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, please contact Tia Alfred, at Tia4Diversity@gmail.com. Opportunities for involvement will be shared often through the school and PTA newsletters.  

Sincerely,

D & I Committee Co-chairs (Tia Alfred and Angelique Coulouris)

Student Arrival and Dismissal Reminders

Now that we’re a few days into the school year, it’s worth reminding everyone of important safety guidelines during morning arrival and afternoon dismissal times.

Kiss and Ride Loop:

Walkers:

2 days until - Dot Day - Wed Sept. 15 - are you ready?

PTA Reflections

Through the Reflections program, Explorers are encouraged to create and virtually submit an original work of art in response to the student-selected theme 'I Will Change the World By...' in one or all the following arts categories:

Student submissions and entry forms must be uploaded to the Reflections GoogleDrive by Friday, October 22 to be considered. More information can be found on the Discovery PTA Reflections website.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to reflections@discoverypta.org with any questions.

Thank you so much for your continued support of the program and the arts!

Best,

Amy Weinberg

2021-22 Discovery PTA Reflections Chair

Social-Emotional Resources & Events

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Understanding the issues concerning suicide and mental health is an important way to support our students and take part in suicide prevention. Here are resources for educators and parents to better understand the warning signs of suicide:

Upcoming Events

September

15- Dot Day

16- No School Yom Kippur

17- PTA Ice Cream Social (Veranda, 6:30PM)

24- Spirit Day Wear Grade Level Tshirt

29- Early Release (1:26, PD at 2PM)

October

4- First PTA Meeting

11- No School Professional Learning Day

13- Bingo and Pizza Night (Veranda, 5:00PM)

14- School Picture Day

31- Bike and Boo

November

1- PTA Meeting

4- No School Diwali

11- No School Veterans Day

18- World Heritage Night

24-26- Thanksgiving Holiday

Dear Discovery Families,

The positive vibe we experienced at Open House could only be matched by the bright eyes (we know there were smiles under those masks) of today. Teachers and students practiced names, greeted one another, and began an important journey- the creation of a caring classroom environment. Many students are new to our community and many students haven’t been in the building for a long time. The hum of the first day of school permeated every inch of our school. Please partner with us. This is the year to THRIVE!

Warmly,

Erin and Judy

Virtual Back To School Night: Sept. 9th 6:30-7:30PM

Please join us! Grade level teams will share highlights of the school year, and then parents will have the opportunity to ask questions. This will be followed by a whole school Town Hall hosted by Erin and Judy.

Session 1- 6:30-6:40

Q&A- 6:40-6:50

Session 2- 6:50-7:00

Q&A- 7:00-7:10

Town Hall- 7:10

You will be asked to attend the Town Hall using your child’s iPad logging in as your child. More information will follow. The silver lining to virtual events is that the event will be recorded and posted online for future viewing.

From Your School Counselors

Welcome back, Explorers & families! Discovery’s mental health team has some new faces this year: Carol Halvorson, a former Discovery 5th grade teacher, has transitioned into the part-time school counselor role and will be working predominantly with first and second grade students on her three days in the building (Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday). We also welcome Anna Tush from Alexandria City Public Schools as our new school psychologist. I (Claire Nawojchik) continue to work predominantly with Kindergarten, third, fourth, and fifth graders as the full-time school counselor, and Ali Versaggi continues to serve as our school social worker.

The beginning of a new school year can bring up a lot of mixed emotions for students, parents, and teachers alike, especially a school year like this one! Some of our students might be overjoyed and eager to begin a 5-day, in-person school week, and some of our students... Well, not so much. We are here to support your children no matter what mood they’re in when they roll out of bed on the first day of school, and cannot wait to greet both veteran and brand new Explorers! 🚀 Looking for a tool to help ease anxiety and prep your child(ren) for the back-to-school transition? Check out the following resource: When I Feel Worried About School

Social-Emotional Resources & Events

Beginning of Year Routines

Your children might have embraced today’s opportunities with excitement or reservation. Either emotion can be draining. Sleep is important for academic success and this week you may experience very tired Explorers. Establishing consistent routines is helpful. Fuel is too! This year breakfast is available free of charge to all students. Students choosing to eat breakfast at Discovery should plan to head directly to the DIning Commons upon arrival. Breakfast will be eaten outside and then students will report to their classrooms by 9AM.

Volunteer in the Library

If you are interested in helping in the library weekly or biweekly, please contact our wonderful library assistant Jeannie Sklar for details at Jeannie.Sklar@apsva.us Thanks!

Turning in - Summer Reading Plan Reflection Forms

Students can turn in their “Create Your Own Summer Reading Plan” reflection form to their homeroom teacher.  If you need another copy, you can find it here.

Students can also answer the two reflection questions on their own paper.

  1. How did you make your mark as a reader this summer?
  2. How do you hope to make your mark as a reader in the new school year?

Dot Day Wednesday September 15

We will be celebrating Dot Day on September 15th.

How will you make your mark this school year?

Upcoming Events

August

30- First Day of School

30- Parent Coffee (Veranda, 9-9:45AM)

September

9- Virtual Back To School Night (6:30-7:30PM)

15- Dot Day

17- PTA Ice Cream Social (Veranda, 6:30PM)

October

4- First PTA Meeting