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Discovery Elementary

5241 N 36th Street

Arlington VA 22207




Learning Logs are updated every Thursday:

Kindergarten | Montessori | Pre-Kindergarten | Grade 1 | Grade 2 | Grade 3 | Grade 4 | Grade 5

Art | Music | Health & Phys Ed | World Languages

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

September 15, 2017

Dear Discovery Families,

We so enjoyed Back To School Night. We hope you enjoyed an overview of this current school year. Please reach out if you have any questions. This week we conducted our second fire drill and students did a terrific job exiting the building quickly and quietly. Classroom teachers continued setting up workshops and we started beginning of the year assessments in math and reading. Teachers will use the data to inform their instruction. This week culminated with a celebration of Dot Day. Needless to say, Discovery was dot-astic!


Erin and Judy

New School BLPC

We are looking for two volunteers to be on the Building Level Planning Committee for the new school at the Reed site. If you are interested, please email Erin ASAP.

Project overview:

·             Included as part of the School Board adopted FY 2017-2026 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)

·             Expansion to the Reed School at 1644 N McKinley Road to create a new elementary school with at least 725 seats, to be completed for the 2021-22 school year, at a maximum cost of $49.0 million.

·             Preliminary schedule:

o   Initial design phases: October 2017 to August 2018

o   Design documentation and permitting: September 2018 to September 2019

o   Construction: October 2019 to July 2021

o   School Opening – September 2021!


About the BLPC:

·             School Board appointed committee representing a variety of stakeholder groups directly impacted by the project

·             General responsibilities include:

o   Attendance at committee meetings, usually twice monthly during the initial design phases

o   Assist APS staff in reviewing building location and massing, site amenities, community use of the building and site, and impact of project on the surrounding community

o   Distribute project updates to constituency groups

o   Solicit comments from constituency groups and share with BLPC

o   Coordinate with members of the County Board appointed Public Facility Review Committee (PFRC), possibly at joint meetings

·             Additional detail is provided in School Board Policy Implementation Procedure (PIP) 50-1.2


Draft BLPC Stakeholder Groups:

·             PTA/Parents

o   Tuckahoe

o   McKinley

o   Glebe

o   Nottingham

o   Ashlawn

o   Discovery

·             Civic Associations

o   Highland Park Overlee Knolls

o   Westover Village

o   Tara – Leeway Heights

·             Other

o   Facility Advisory Council (FAC)

o   Student Advisory Board (SAB)

o   Public Facilities Review Committee (PFRC)

o   School Board Liaison

o   Arlington County Library

·             APS Staff

o   Elementary School Administration and Staff

o   Department of Instruction

o   Department of Facilities & Operations


Author Anthony Horowitz  will visit Discovery

Engage with APS!

Saturday, September 23rd, 10AM-2PM at Kenmore Middle School. Come and learn more about APS initiatives. You can find more information at www.apsva.us/engage.

Eco-Action Application

Late applications will be accepted through Monday, September 18th. We are excited for our Green Leaders to gather. For more information please contact Ms. Burke and Ms. Krupa.

Jean-Claude Brizard

Last spring Brizard visited Discovery. A former Superintendent of Chicago Public Schools and Rochester City Schools, he was interested in the teaching and learning at Discovery. He wrote this article for the Green Schools Quarterly Catalyst. Jennifer Seydel and her staff from the Green Schools National Network will be working with us to help align sustainability standards to our Virginia standards and help teachers plan engaging lessons.

Meet Our School Resource Officer

Detective Brent Olson Bolson@arlingtonva.us (703) 228-5451 Williamsburg/ Discovery

Upcoming Events

22 Sept. - Principal Coffee for New Families: Eco-Action (9:15-10AM, Blue Sky Studio)

28 Sept. - 1st Eco-Action Meeting (9-9:45 AM; K-2 in 124; 3-5 in 216)

29 Sept. - Play Before your Day (8:30AM, North Playground)

29 Sept. - Mindset Book Club (9AM, Blue Sky Studio)

3 Oct. - PTA Meeting (7PM, Dining Commons)

6 Oct.- Principal Coffee for New Families: Standard-Based Assessment (9:15-10AM, Blue Sky Studio) New Topic: Reading Interventions

12 Oct.- Bingo Night (6:30PM, Dining Commons)

September 8, 2017

Dear Discovery Families,

It has been wonderful having your children back in the building! We have had a stellar week. Students have set Hopes and Dreams, learned new things about their new classmates, and started to explore math manipulatives. Ask your child about “Which one doesn’t belong?” As the year progresses, you will learn more about the powerful effect of establishing a daily number sense routine. Discovery teachers have worked hard to make the transition back to school a smooth one for your child.

What’s new at Discovery?  We are sad to say goodbye to nurse Sandy Barrett, who has been promoted to Public Health Nurse Supervisor. She will transition to her new position in the next few weeks. We welcome Inna Whelan to our clinic.  In addition, we say goodbye to Mardi Moorman, and wish her well in her new 12-month position at Nottingham. Please join us in welcoming Sandra Del Cid to the front office team. Mardi and Sandra have worked together over the last weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

We practiced our first fire drill on Thursday afternoon. All of our Explores exited the building in under a minute and a half. We will continue to conduct practice fire drills once a week for the next three weeks. We will also practice two lockdown drills in September.

We thank you for your patience as Transportation continues to modify bus routes. Both Discovery staff and patrols have been instrumental in helping our Explorers get on and off the buses. Our Kindergarteners have really enjoyed getting to know the patrols on the bus loop.

We had great weather for our first Ice Cream Social and PTA meeting. Please join our PTA! Teachers have committed to be active participants this year, and we were thrilled that many teachers attended last night’s meeting. PTA reminds us to relink Harris Teeter cards using the number 2977. We must relink every year. Please consider doing this soon, as it is a serious source of PTA revenue.

One week from today, we will celebrate Dot Day! Dot Day is inspired by the book THE DOT by Peter Reynolds. We encourage students to make their mark and wear dots on Friday.

We are excited to invite you to Back To School Night! Each 20-minute session is the same. We encourage you to visit both classroom and encore teachers (FLES, PE, Music, Art).

Parent Teacher Conferences will be here before we know it. They are scheduled for October 26th and 27th.

Please know that we value communication. We want to answer all your questions and listen to your feedback. Our main office team has access to our calendars and will schedule a meeting or phone call upon your request. We especially want to hear from our new families.

Enjoy a beautiful fall weekend,

Erin and Judy

Upcoming Events

13 Sept. - Back to School Night (7PM, Classrooms)

15 Sept. - Dot Day

22 Sept. - Principal Coffee for New Families: Eco-Action (9:15-10AM, Blue Sky Studio)

28 Sept. - Eco-Action (9-9:45 AM; K-2 in 124; 3-5 in 216)

6 Oct.- Principal Coffee for New Families: Standard-Based Assessment (9:15-10AM, Blue Sky Studio)

June 23, 2017

Dear Discovery Families,

For those of you who were not in attendance, we said goodbye to our fifth graders Wednesday night at a wonderful Promotion celebration. Each class treated us to a musical accompaniment and a video of what they “discovered” as an Explorer. They are ready for 6th grade! After the ceremony they danced the night away (or played soccer and football outside) while parents mingled on the Veranda.

We also welcomed our fourth graders into the top dog spot and let them know we are counting on their leadership next year.

We hope to see you at Kindergarten playdates and at Westover Library reads. We will be at Westover on July 31st, August 14th, and August 21st. Keep Flat Explorer alive and read, read,
read! Enjoy your real world learning this summer as you travel with Flat Explorer. Be sure to ask you student to write an adventure story with Flat Explorer to share in the Fall.

Tag, you are it! Enjoy the next two months with your darlings.

Happy last day of school!


Erin and Kathy

Friendly Reminder from the Clinic

Happy last-day-of-school!  We want to remind you to please pick up your child’s medication(s) in the school clinic.  You can pick up these medications anytime between now and 3 p.m. on Friday, June 23rd.  Unfortunately, we can not send medications home with students.

Additionally, the clinic staff will be available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28th; feel free to pick-up your child’s medication(s) then if you are unable to do so by the last day of school.  Any medications that have not been picked up by that time will be discarded.

If your child is attending summer school in any of Arlington’s public schools and needs to take this medication, you are responsible for delivering the medication to the school clinic where your child will attend. The doctor’s order will cover the summer school period if: 1) the end date for the medication order is after the last day of the summer school session; or 2) “End of School Year” is entered as the end date on the medication order.  Otherwise, a new doctor’s order must be obtained for summer school.


Please remember that your child will need a new medication form for the 2017-2018 school year.  Here is the link for these forms:  https://health.arlingtonva.us/public-health/school-health/

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact us.


Sandy Barrett, RN                                      Vonetta Brown

Public Health Nurse                                   School Health Aide


Discovery Elementary School Clinic

         Phone: (703) 228-2695

         Fax:  (703) 237-6269

Want to read and listen to FREE ebooks this summer on your phone or iPad while traveling or at the pool?

Arlington Student Film Festival

Last week Discovery students were honored for their film-making.

Nate Levin, Tres Monteverde, Jonah Treitler Saving John Award of Distinction Comedy & PSA, Thomas O'Connor Golf Stereotypes Official Selection.Nate and Madeleine Wilson.


June 16

This week the school was abuzz with awe as the 5th grade students built the new seat for Discovery in the top of slide area on the 2nd floor. Students have moved through researching, sketching, rendering in 3D Google Sketchup, MAKING a 3D prototype, and now building a life size seat incorporating a hybrid of student designs. This week we welcomed Alex Gilliam from Public Workshop, Ben Lawson and Ellison Turpin of VMDO, along with Dina Sorenson, the mastermind from VMDO behind this collaborative project. Ben and Ellison are leading the 3D printing and Alex is leading the building. The project caught the attention of Superintendent, Dr. Murphy, Assistant Superintendent, John Chadwick, and Arts Director, Pam Farrell. Other grades engaged in Make, Explore, Blast Off projects of their own. When asked if she was having fun, one third grader replied, “Sometimes it’s frustrating because it’s hard and challenging, but other times I think, why can’t we do this all the time!”

Hopefully you enjoyed some ice-cream and rock climbing on Explorer Night. We welcomed so many new families to Discovery and look forward to exciting new school year.


Erin and Kathy

Welcome Back Judy Concha

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Concha back to Discovery as her interim position at Barcroft ends as of July 1st. She is eager to return and will head up summer school. We are indebted to Mrs. Olmsted for her leadership and service over the last six months. She will continue to contribute as an instructional leader and as an advocate for students and teachers.

Ipad Collection

Per the Department of Instruction, Ipads will not be going home this summer. They need to be turned in to classroom teachers (with power cord) by Tuesday, June 20th. They will be updated over the summer and returned to students in September.

Summer Reading and Math

Help prevent summer slide by engaging in summer math reviews and engaging with our summer reading challenges. Join us at Westover July 31, August 14 and 21st when Discovery staff will share their favorite stories. Battle book conversations will happen too.

We invite you to read Mindsets for Parenting: Strategies to Encourage Growth Mindsets in Kids by Margaret Lee and Mary Kcayricci. Our staff will be reading Mindsets in the Classroom and we will engage in year long conversations about encouraging growth mindsets at Discovery. We will have copies available for check out in the main office this summer. We will discuss the first half of the book at our first Student Success Chat on September 30th at 9am. Yes, it will be here before we know it.

Harris Teeter

Thank you to all the parents who signed up for the Discovery Harris Teeter program. Your shopping matters. Harris Teeter presented us with a check for $4400. Thanks everyone!

The Return of Flat Explorer

With so many fun summer adventures planned we remind you to think of Flat Explorer. You can download him and track his sighting here. Tweet him with #FlatDESExplorer! Or just admire his travels!!

Upcoming Events

June 9, 2017

Dear Discovery Families,

Field Day I.JPG

We have had a tremendous Field Day! Thank you Mr. Duffy and Team. Students enjoyed the day outside. The stations were fun and well organized, thanks to our many volunteers. It is safe to say our day was out of this world fun!

Our Discovery Seat Challenge is off to a great start, 5th grade students enjoyed collaborating with Designer Jonathan Pidwell. Students each made an individual imaginative chair with recycled material for one of the challenges. Next week, students will use google sketchup to draw their imaginative chair on the computer which will then be printed on a 3-D printer for the student to keep. The Designers will pick the winning collaborative design to build. Alex Gilliam will be building the chair on our Veranda. If you have time next week drop by and see it while it is happening.

We started our week with a third Grade Publishing party. Parents came in to hear students writing on the Adaptive Fairy Tale Unit. The Public Librarian came in to visit with our classes to kick off the Summer Reading Program. Students enjoyed hearing about all the new books available for check out.

We hope you have a great weekend!


Erin and Kathy

Explorer Night

Yearbooks and Discovery merchandise will be available at Explorer Night. SWAP out your grade level t-shirt for next year’s theme. Students are proud of the risks and challenges they have taken. Come celebrate this year’s learning with Discovery teachers and students.

What is your child’s summer reading plan?Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 2.45.53 PM.png

Well we have options for you...

1 – The Arlington Public Library - Summer Reading Program - Build A Better World

2 - The Discovery Elementary Personalized Summer Reading Program

We have two options:

3 - Read ebooks! Students still have access to over 5,000 ebooks and eAudio books.

4 - Checkout  Battle Books from a cart in the Discovery Elementary office.

As of today all Library Books are due back to the library - thank you for checking at home.

If you have an overdue notice and think a book has already been returned, we can double check the shelves.


Discovery has its very own historic championship on the line! And the winner is the Marjorie Hughes Fund helping kids with medical needs and insufficient resources in Arlington.  Come cheer on the 5th grade Explorers as they take on the 5th grade Nottingham Knights on Friday night June 16th at Williamsburg Middle School.  Doors open at 6:30 and activities start at 7 pm.  

$5 per ticket (5th grade players do not need a ticket but parents and siblings do!)

Cash or check made out to Marjorie Hughes Fund.

Please have your student purchase tickets if you do drop off.

Schedule for ticket sales:

5th grade only: Friday, June 9th Discovery Front Entrance (before and after school)

4th and 5th grade: Monday, June 12th, Discovery Front Entrance (before and after school)

All grades Tuesday through Thursday: Discovery Front Entrance (before and after school)

Ticket sales will be available at the door....but it is expected to sell out.

And please sign up to help the night of the event so the event runs smoothly:

See you at the game!

Discovery Makes - Explore. Make Blast Off!

Please consider sending in items for our creative upcycling. Check here to see what is needed.

June 2, 2017

Dear Discovery Families,

We hope you enjoyed the long weekend and the short week. We are finishing up our large group SOL testing this week. All students have taken the SOL’s except for students who were absent. Make ups will be this coming week. Kindergarten went on a fun field to Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria. Students were treated to an outdoor classroom where students learned about plants and wildlife through activities and games.

Our Chair Challenge is getting exciting! On Thursday, Jonathan Pidwell, a designer from Germany,  will be here to meet with 5th grade students. Every hour 5th grade will cycle through several locations in the building to work with a teacher. Each student will build a design in SketchUP. The winners of the design contest will work with Jonathan to figure out how to create a low cost prototype. The following week students will be building with materials the winning design.

This week our friends in the Atmosphere studied patterns, cycles, and change in science. Gifted Coach, Ms. Blake, worked with teachers and students to create their own Stop Motion video to demonstrate their understanding of a unique cycle. Some students are exceeding expectations by turning their work into iMovies to create a video short. Other students created a BrainPop inspired video to teach their learning.

Arlington Transportation awarded Discovery the Silver Level Champion for all of our efforts around Bike and Walk to School Day. With the warm weather we love to see our community staying healthy by walking, biking, and scooting to school! Safety always comes first. Please use crosswalks and look both ways when crossing streets. Discovery is looking into more parking lot signage to help visitors understand our pick-up and drop-off procedures.

Blast off to 2017

As part of Responsive Classroom Discovery wants to partner with you to set up your child for success next year. If your child is returning to Discovery, please take a moment to fill out this Google form. Information will be shared with next year’s teacher.

4th and 5th Community Build

Alex Gilliam is a visiting artist, sponsored by the VMDO Architects firm. He will be working with the 5th grade classes to build a new seat at Discovery. 4th graders (rising 5th graders) will participate in doing research on this seat next year 2017-18. On the early release Wednesday June 14th, Alex will be holding a Community Build event on the Veranda at Discovery from 1:30-3:30pm. Transportation home is NOT provided. http://publicworkshop.us/ There is a 15 student limit—first come first serve basis, application form.

Explorer Night

Yearbooks and Discovery merchandise will be available at Explorer Night. SWAP out your grade level t-shirt for next year’s theme. Students are proud of the risks and challenges they have taken. Come celebrate this year’s learning with Discovery teachers and students.


May 26, 2017

Dear Discovery Families,

We started the week with a CARES Assembly where students danced and sang in Spanish. Our Kindergarten friends showed off how grown up they have become by modeling and leading the school through a greeting and morning message. We also started the day with a Play Before the Day morning, and a Student Success Chat “All Things Math”. We ended the week with Visiting Author, Chris Grabenstein for the Upper Grades, 3-5. He was very entertaining for the students as he used his Improv voice to keep students tuned in.

Jonathan Pidwell, an Industrial Designer and Product Design expert, who leads furniture design research and development for school and workplace environments in Germany, skyped the 5th grade on Monday morning. This was the kickoff to their Discovery Makes: Explore! Make! Blastoff! —Seat Design Challenge sponsored by the Discovery architecture firm, VMDO. Students learned about the chairs we sit in, desks we work at and places we inhabit that are designed by experts who study trends in health, comfort, well being and productivity. Students got a deeper awareness of the everyday objects in and around their school and thought about their previous research looking at the furniture and shared spaces in their school. Jonathan will work with the 5th grade class in person on June 8th and 9th, as they work through their seat design process of transforming sketches into prototypes. Students will pitch their ideas as class teams and vote on a new seat design for Discovery that they will build. For a complete schedule of events, see Seat Design Challenge.


All of our students in grades K-2 were tested in reading using PALS.  Only students who were identified in the Fall or students we wanted more info on were tested in grades 3-5.  A PALS reading report will be coming home in the progress report for all K-2 students along with a handful of 3-5 students.

We hope you enjoy the long weekend with your amazing Explorers!!


Erin and Kathy                                           

Northern Virginia Writing Project                                                

The Student Summer Institute is an enrichment opportunity for students who enjoy writing and are excited about the opportunity to share their writing with others and who would like to explore different forms of writing. Please check out the NVWP website for more information.        


Explorer Night!        

Please join us for ice cream on the Veranda on Thursday, June 15th at 6PM. From 6:30-7:30PM, we encourage you to tour classrooms. In your child’s classroom work they are proud of will be displayed. It’s also a great time to meet next year’s teachers and engage in fun activitites in Encore classrooms. Invite your new neighbors!

Upcoming Events

May 19, 2017

Dear Discovery Families,

Thank you for the efforts to get children to school on time. A smooth morning is helpful for Standards of Learning testing. This afternoon students were treated to the Amazing Teacher assembly. The interactive show emphasized that you need to read to succeed and celebrated student effort, along with magic, song, and dance. Kindergartens enjoyed learning about constellations at the Planetarium and we chatted with third grade parents about summer reading. Speaking of summer, we are putting together a variety of materials for check-out from our front office during the summer months- Battle books, Gifted games, and math activities.

Thank you to everyone for supporting and being apart of our first ever A-SPAN Walk to End Homelessness! Discovery students donated over $2250 in our first attempt! It’s not too late to still donate using the following link: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/aspan  A-SPAN is looking forward to partnering with us in a myriad of ways next year. We thank you and your children for helping to end homelessness.

This week we also attended the Superintendent's book chat on James Rickbaugh’s Tapping the Power of Personalized Learning: A Roadmap for School Leaders. We engaged with other school leaders on the power of student choice, standards-guided learning, and personal learning goals. Please check out the county’s updated website on Personalized Learning.


Erin and Kathy

Field Day Help Needed

Get ready to “Blast Off!” for this year's Field Day! Mark your calendar for Friday, June 9 and for an “Out of this World!” event! We are very excited to be offering over 15 different Field Day activities related to Outer Space, both in the gym and outside on the soccer field.

Field Day will start with an Opening Ceremonies at 9:00am and a Closing Ceremonies at 2:35pm. The station activities will be divided into an morning block for grades 3-5 (9:45-11:45) and an afternoon block for grades K-2 (12:30-2:30).  

We need parent volunteers to assist at each specific station as well as setup help before school and assisting in setting up of a volunteer lounge for refreshments before or after shifts for the volunteers.  

Responsibilities at your assigned station are to reset the station after each group and briefly review the activity rules with each student group. Volunteers will receive an email prior to Field Day with specifics on their duties prior to June 9.

If you would like to volunteer for Field Day, please use the following Sign-up Genius link: www.SignUpGenius.com/go/4090D4BABA928A0FB6-field1

Questions? Please contact John Duffy at john.duffy@apsva.us. Thank you very much for your help! We look forward to a fun and “cosmic” day!

Upcoming Events

May 12, 2017

Dear Discovery Families,

Thanks you to all the families who made Bike and Walk to School Day a success. Bike racks overflowed and car traffic was minimal. A-SPAN came to visit both for an assembly and to help us with our walk. All students enjoyed our walk around our building and helped to end homelessness. We had a wonderful Spring Concert, thank you band and strings students and Mr. Glasner. Next, week, Grades 3,4,5 begin SOL testing. Please ensure students go to bed early and eat a good breakfast. Most importantly, please help children arrive to school on time. Congratulations, to our 5th Grade Math Dice Team; Callan Marshall, Mason Yuh, Rajan Foster, Michael Discenza, Bailey Small, Carter Billings for winning the Math Dice Tournament.

Thank you for all the wonderful gifts, food, flowers and cards of appreciation that you have showered on our teachers and staff. It has been a wonderful week. The classroom doors look amazing and teachers are a glow in your appreciation.


Erin and Kathy

Library NewsScreen Shot 2017-05-12 at 6.18.25 AM.png

Please note two changes in red.

There is lots happening next week be sure to check out the calendar:

Dear Discovery Families,

Please see the many highlights of this week below. In addition, second graders were treated to a discussion on animals that live Under the Sea by Marine Biologist Andrew Wilson who brought live animals and creatures for the second graders to touch and explore. Please come out and cheer our fifth grade Math Dice students at the competition here tomorrow! Go Algebros!


Erin and Kathy

Discovery Awards

It’s been quite the week for Discovery. First, the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA awarded us the Green Flag. This internationally acclaimed program provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainability principles throughout their school and curriculum. Students completed several sustainable audits and the there are many standards and practices the school must achieve in order to qualify. We will receive our flag shortly and will celebrate at an end of year assembly.

In addition, the National Wildlife Federation certified our grounds as a Wildlife Habitat. Using the vegetable and butterfly gardens were key to earning this recognition.

Lastly, we were overjoyed to be recognized as a 2017 US Department of Education Green Ribbon School Honoree. Only two schools in Virginia were chosen. Thank you to the over thirty people who helped write the application. Also, a huge thank you to all the teachers and parents who contribute to a sustainable education at Discovery. Growing green leaders is a worthy cause!

2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees Announced

The U.S. Department of Education today released the names of the 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees. Across the country, 45 schools, nine districts, and nine postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. A state education official was also honored for her efforts to advance school sustainability in the state of Georgia.

“I commend each school, district, and institution of higher education for their efforts to create a healthy learning environment for students, faculty and staff,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.  “These schools have done exemplary work to help prepare the rising generation for the careers and challenges of the 21st Century.”

The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 28 states and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. The selectees include 39 public schools, including five magnet schools and one charter school, as well as six nonpublic schools. Forty-four percent of the 2017 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body and 14 percent are rural. The postsecondary honorees include three career and technical and community colleges.

The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 63 honorees can be found here. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to move toward the three Pillars can be found here.

Battle of the Books

Fourth and Fifth grade students had a fabulous time this morning, showing what they know about the 20 book titles that were read. There was lots of class spirit with costumes, cheers and posters. The winners of the slam were the Rudman Rebbles! Great job to all. Start your summer reading the next Battle of the Books. Thank you, Mr. Re for another fabulous battle.

Poetry Slam

I am sure our neighbors heard the cheering from our Poetry Slam. We had some amazing poets. Thank you to National Poetry Slam finalist and HBO Def Poetry Jam Star Regie CabicoOur teachers even participate in a pre-slam poetry share. Congratulations to the winners,

Ms. Rudman’s class was represented by Marin McCormack, Quinn Belt, Lauren Upadhyaya and Madeline Kamholz. Ms. Spear’s class was represented by Ryan Schimenti, Pearl Martin, Audrey Gagnier and Mary Frances Dempsey. Mr. Stein’s class was represented by George Papantoniou, Julia Litton, Elle Oliver and Brayden Zee. Mr. Timke’s class was represented by Laney Reiser, Kasey Anderson, Stella Moran, and Caroline Hoppe. Ms. Upshur’s class was represented by Abby Iger, Caroline Klauder, Larson Grant and Emily Johnson.


All sixteen poets performed bravely and awesomely. The crowed booed less than perfect scores and in the end, Lauren Upadhyaya got first place, Madeline Kamholz got second place, Pearl Marin and Caroline Clauder tied for third. Fantastic work!

Principal & Assistant Principal For Day

We had a great Administrative Team for the day. Thank you Nora & Jesse Read and Devin O’Leary for the terrific job you did managing our school. The Admin Team read to Kindergarten and first grade classes, managed a fire drill, used walkie talkies to run errands throughout the building and helped make important decisions about our students. They helped plan outside eating on the Veranda and even traveled across the street to thank a neighbor for making a wildlife picture book for Discovery students.

Thank You Scouts

We had Tiger Cub Scouts from Nottingham and Discovery weed at Discovery. Our gardens look beautiful we really appreciate all the hard work. We look forward to having future collaborative work with all scouts.

Diversity and Inclusion Working Group

We are building a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group comprised of passionate parents, teachers, and staff who are interested in building opportunities  to prepare our Explorers to successfully navigate an increasingly diverse world. To that end, we will be convening at least two organizing meetings for interested parties to learn more, generate and share ideas, and begin planning for implementation of existing ideas, e.g., World Heritage Festival in the fall. Meeting time is Saturday, May 6th, at 9:00 a.m. at Discovery in room 138. For more information, please contact co-chairs Lisa Harper Chang and Rebecca Toni Hjelm.

Safety Patrol Camp

Have you started looking for summer camp opportunities for your children? Consider ACPD's Summer Safety Patrol Camp! The camp is open to Arlington County students in the 4th and 5th grade who are interested in participating in safety patrols for the upcoming school year. In addition to receiving instructions on their patrol responsibilities, students will participate in fun activities such as K9 demonstrations, trips to the movies, and much more! Camps are instructed by School Resource Officers and will be held at Carlin Spring Elementary School.

To learn more about this opportunity and to complete the application, please see here.

There is lots happening next week be sure to check out the calendar:

April 28th

Dear Discovery Families,

Science Night was a huge success! Thank you, Ms. Upshur, the PTA, and the Children’s Science Center Lab in Fair Oaks. There was lots of science to try from the messy finger printing table to making airplanes and flying them through an obstacle course. Students had a lot of fun figuring out the science activities. We also had a Summer Reading Coffee for Second Grade this week and a Parent Media Academy morning. Students and families also got out early before school during today’s gorgeous weather to Play Before the Day. Fifth graders enjoyed a beautiful and educational day at The National History Museum.

Next week, Progress Reports go home on Thursday, May 4th, please watch your student’s Friday Folder or backpack. Please note that our language in the Progress Report is changing instead of seeing a 4 you now read Exceeds, a 3 will be Meets, and a 2 is Developing. Join us Tuesday, May 2, for the PTA meeting. We will address summer reading and unveil the Summer Reading Challenge.

It’s been super busy, and SOL testing is around the corner. We are thrilled to have a BREAK. Mrs. Olmsted and Dr. Russo will be handing over the Discovery keys to Nora and Jesse Read on Thursday, May 4th. They will run Discovery as acting Principal, assisted by none other than their right hand man, Devin O'Leary, Assistant Principal. Go Team!


Erin and Kathy

A-SPAN Walk for the Homeless

On the morning of Wednesday, May 10, students, teachers, and staff will be participating in the A-SPAN walk for the homeless. The partnership between A-SPAN and Discovery is intended to help to end homelessness in Arlington. The school wide walkathon will raise awareness and funds to help conquer homelessness and provide much needed resources to secure permanent housing and provide life-sustaining services for Arlington’s most vulnerable individuals.


All students are encouraged (but not required) to register via the link below. Click on the $20.00 button for Discovery OR choose a separated donation amount. Regardless of registration status, all students will receive a purple or blue A-SPAN gym bag upon completion of the walk!


Please note that the A-SPAN walk coincides with Bike/Walk to School day but is a separate event. Students should plan to wear their grade level shirts as well.


A-SPAN registration link: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/aspan

Summer School


Registration deadline for:

• Pre-K and Kindergarten Programs

• Elementary Enrichment Programs (excluding Outdoor Lab)

• Elementary Math and Language Arts Program

• Elementary Self-Contained and Countywide Special Education Programs

• Elementary ESOL/HILT Program

• Elementary Spanish Immersion Program

Library News

Author Chris Grabenstein will be visiting the afternoon of Thursday of May 25th

He will be speaking to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in the Dining Commons around 2:15 ish

http://chrisgrabenstein.com/ This is a free author visit from the folks at  Barstons Child’s Play

 Book order forms are due Wed. May 3 – forms are in the library, Peachjar or here

Discovery in the News

Discovery Elementary is featured in National Geographic along with other green schools.

Extended Day Presentation

Extended Day Supervisor Karla Harris attended & presented at the National Afterschool Association Conference in Dallas, TX. She presented with Lisa Lambert (Taylor Extended Day Supervisor) called WHO C.A.R.E.S.? Their presentation shared how to adapt the Responsive classroom approach to out of school time programing. They were also joined by Jazmine Delgado the Randolph Extended Day Supervisor.


Fidgets...Tool or Toy?  

There is no shortage of student crazes to keep up with these days.  From the water bottle flip challenge to now the spinner fidgets your student may have already asked you for.  What was created as a tool to help individuals display energy that might otherwise distract them from the task at hand, the spinner fidgets have now become a craze wide spread beyond even the United States.  There are even YouTube videos dedicated to trick and challenges.

What is the goal of a fidget then?  The goal is to provide support to individuals who either need more sensory support for regulation in order to focus or calming tool for anxious energy.  This is what we would call a “tool” students would use when needed, just the same as some students may need to use a calculator more than others.  When a fidget ceases to work as a tool, it becomes a toy.  Teachers and staff may remind students of the goal of the fidget so the student has an opportunity to fix how they are using their fidget or choose a different tool in order to refocus.  When purchasing and sending in fidgets in with students, this is a great conversation to have at home as well.  Some fidgets, for example the new fidget cubes, make more noise and therefore are more appropriate for home or independent time away from peers.  Whether it is for calming or focus, each tool may work better for different students and in different environments.  We continue to encourage and help students try to make the best choice of using different tools, such as the spinner fidget, purposefully and only when it is serving its intended goal.

Break The Rules

 Some crazy things went down last weekend when a bunch of Explorers had free reign of Discovery Elementary. We hear they painted, played instruments, ransacked the gym and above all had FUN! Ruling breaking hasn’t been this great since Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! Ok, maybe there wasn’t a parade, but I’m sure the neighbors can attest to some rather funny loud speaker announcements. Since pizza and gooey candy is never shared at Discovery, we are sure there was some of that too. Thanks to all for our annual favorite day!

There is lots happening next week be sure to check out the calendar:

April 21

Dear Families,

Thank you to all the parent volunteers, Health and Wellness Committee, and Our PE teachers for a Family Fitness Night to remember. It was an energizing evening with Yoga classes, obstacle courses, giant jenga, relay races and a giveaway every 15 minutes. Families had fun checking out the vendors and working out together.

We will be celebrating our Volunteers next week! Please come into school and see all the wonderful notes that our teachers and students are writing to show appreciation for your time.

We shared our school with visitors from South Korea this week. They loved seeing outdoor learning activities and were impressed by kindergarten’s knowledge on our butterfly garden.

Happy Earth Day Discovery!  Thank you to all of you who participated in the no-single use plastic pledge! Thank you to our Eco-Action Team for leading the way! We are having an assembly today to celebrate our  “Wave of Change”. Students will be given a tree to bring home and plant in your yard! Please check your student’s backpack for a tree as they are fragile and won’t live long if not refrigerated and watered.

A Date Change

Field Day will now be held on June 9th instead of May 12th.

Eco-Action Team

Colin Bailey, Jamie Hardy, Abby Iger, Madeline Kamholz and Sam Watchman represented the Eco-Action team and were honored by Arlingtonians For A Cleaner Environment for our green leader work. The Eco-Action team was a Green Patriot Award nominee. The Eco-Action team also met this morning and learned about honey bees. Chef Chris from Wolf Trap brought his bees and students learned amazing facts and about the importance of bees to our environment.

Teacher Published

Sally Donnelly, 3rd grade teacher, is currently a guest blogger on the National Association for the Education of the Young Child’s blog site. Click to read Part One and Part Two of her four-part series on her reactions to being a part of the Discovery ES first annual Maker Faire last June.

Article Part 1

Article Part 2

Our Maker Team is in the planning phase for our second annual Maker Challenge. Details will soon follow.

Second Grade Parent Coffee

Please join us on April 25th at 8:45 AM, Second Grade parents are invited to come in and talk about Summer Reading. We will discuss strategies and resources to keep our youngest readers reading! We will be holding similar coffees for 3rd Grade, May 19th and 4th Grade June 13th.

There is lots happening next week be sure to check out the calendar:

April 7

Happy Spring Break!

We wish you all a wonderful week. Remember to take Flat Explorer with you. (Even if you are camping in your backyard!)


Erin and Kathy

Library News

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Garden Looks Great!

Thank you to everyone who helped. Mr. Re and students will start growing sun flowers after spring break!

Join Diversity and Inclusion Working Group

Discovery is excited to form a Diversity and Inclusion Working Group comprised of passionate parents, teachers, and staff who are interested in building opportunities  to prepare our Explorers to successfully navigate an increasingly diverse world. To that end, we will be convening at least two organizing meetings for interested parties to learn more, generate and share ideas, and begin planning for implementation of existing ideas, e.g., World Heritage Festival in the fall. Meeting times will be May 2nd from 9:15-10:15AM. and Saturday, May 6th, at 9:00AM locations TBD. For more information, please contact co-chairs Lisa Harper Chang (lharperchang@gmail.com) and Rebecca Toni Hjelm (rebecca.toni.hjelm@gmail.com).

Technology Lessons


Mr. Reeves has been visiting second and third grade classrooms to teach students about Google Classroom and how it works with their teachers and their learning, as well as about the Discovery Energy Dashboard (read more below!), which provides real-time data about our school’s energy consumption and production, among many other things! Using authentic data from our school gives us a real look at data, statistics, and the functions of our various Net-Zero Energy systems. Students can explore various skills across the curricula, using genuine information from and about Discovery Parent Media Academy

The latest face-to-face session of the Parent Media Academy was held on Tuesday evening. Mr. Reeves presented on the nature of the APS 1:1 iPad program, and how those devices are used in school. The session was recorded, and the video is available here for your review. As always, if you have any questions about educational technology at Discovery, you are welcome to contact Mr. Reeves at keith.reeves@apsva.us.

Art Family Day at the National Building Museum

Join the Art Department for a day at the National Building Museum! We are hosting an interactive field trip for students and parents to experience together.

April 17, 2017 10 am-12 pm. This is the last day of spring break and a great way to get back into learning! Meet at the registration desk in the lobby at 10 am for a workshop.

Two workshops K-2 City by Design (SOLD OUT) and 3-5 Architecture 101 (11 spots left). The cost is FREE thanks to the generosity of our PTA!!

Sign up here!

Second Grade Parent Coffee

On April 25th at 8:45 AM, Second Grade parents are invited to come in and talk about Summer Reading. We will discuss strategies and resources to keep our youngest readers reading!

Flat Explorer

You’ve surely heard of Flat Stanley. Well now you can join the fun with your very own Flat Explorer!

On the School Website, under “Technology” on the right, you’ll now find “Flat Explorer Sightings,” a shared Google Map that will help us visualize our travels as Explorers around the state, the country, and the world! Share where you’ve been and your stories!

In order to keep the map safe and appropriate, you’ll need to ask Mr. Reeves to join as a collaborator, but everybody in the Discovery community is welcome to contribute! Head over to the Flat Explorer Sightings page!

Energy Dashboard Coding Partnership

As we continue to work on expanding and improving our Energy Dashboard, Discovery is partnering with the Arlington Career Center. Mr. Jeff Elkner, an accomplished teacher of computer science at the ACC, is working with his students on building modern code that will power several sections of the Energy Dashboard. Expected to be fully launched at the beginning of next year, Discovery students will be able to use the work of their older Arlington peers whenever they access this exciting platform, which is available anywhere, anytime. See the Energy Dashboard for yourself at http://discovery.apsva.us/dashboard.

Gifted Grant Winner

Heather Blake won a Wonder Workshop Educator Starter Pack for Discovery! She applied to the contest and she was one of five winners. Congratulations, Ms. Blake and Discovery. We now will have a set of six Wonder Bots. Student will have an opportunity to learn to code using Dash and Dot, little robots, that will bring STEM lessons to life.

March 31

Come see what all the buzz is about! Opening night of Aladdin Kids was fantastic! A huge thanks to Ms. Krupa and Ms. Walker. Our fifth graders demonstrated every aspect of CARES as they worked together on this exciting production. Students in all grade levels also had the chance to show their artwork off to their parents. If you missed A Night To Discover, wonder our halls and marvel at the artistic creations, the art week will remain up until the end of next week.

This week we met with first grade parents, teachers, and reading specialists to discuss how to support summer reading. There was great conversation including Discovery’s summer read aloud plans, suggested book series, and the difference in text complexity between different bands of texts. The bottom line, continue to read to your child daily! We will host a parent coffee to continue the discussion on summer reading with upper grade levels in the near future. Another topic of conversation was starting summer book clubs with students. This PBS resource has some good pointers.

Giant squids are a plenty as we gear up for a visit from Candace Fleming next Tuesday. We are thrilled to have her share her expertise with Explorers. Candace offers something for everyone from science to historical picture books, as well as, novels, stories, and biographies.

We had beautiful weather for the Friendship 5K. For some, this was their first 5K. Congrats to all! Before Tuesday’s PTA meeting, we are hosting our next Parent Media Academy and the topic is how iPads are used at Discovery. Join us at 6PM and then stay for the PTA meeting.


Erin and Kathy

Powerful Professional Development

Hannah Kolbo, a professional developer from Teacher’s College spent her final two days with Discovery teachers in second through fifth grade. Hannah worked teachers through conferring strategies and how to more effectively deliver the Units of Study in Reading. She worked our teachers hard. Frequently, she modeled a strategy with students, then had our teachers teach the same strategy while coaching teachers through instruction. Discovery teacher’s received feedback and reflected on the experience. Thanks to this powerful form of PD, Discovery teachers grew leaps and bounds in interactive read alouds, strategy groups, and supporting book clubs. We will continue to grow our capacity by having different grade levels share their learning. Thank you to the PTA for providing this learning experience.


We welcomed two teachers, Sarah Sabano and Phoebe Lubango, from Uganda and shared all the great work that is going on at Discovery. In addition, founders of the Arlington Academy of Hope, John Wanda and his wife, Joyce, toured our school. Learn more about the Arlington Academy of Hope. We look forward to finding ways to support a partnership between both schools in the future. Our next visitors are coming from South Korea!

AAH Visitors - Sarah Sabano (on right) & Phoebe Lubango (on left)AAH Headteacher Sarah & Secondary Coordinator Phoebe.jpg

March 24

Dear Discovery Families,

Lace up your tennis shoes and get moving for a good cause! Tomorrow morning is our joint fun run with Nottingham. Tickets are still available for purchase. Runners and walkers need fans too, just come and cheer on the racers. We are looking forward to a warm beautiful day.

The countdown is on for our inaugural musical. We hope you will join us next weekend, for one of three, (or all three) productions of Aladdin Jr. our talented Explorers have been working hard. Thank you to Ms. Walker and Ms. Krupa and all parent volunteers for making this production a reality.


Erin and Kathy

Things Went Ka Boom

Thank you PTA for today’s fun Mad Science assembly. Chemicals were mixed, crazy rainbows appeared, and keys talked. Sounds and colors wowed students as they learned about different chemical reactions. Several Explorers had the chance to help with demonstrations leaving the whole audience on the edge of their seats!

No Single Use Plastics Pledge

Explorers have pledged to make a difference! From now until Earth Day, students are being mindful of their plastics use. Many families joined us for Plastic Oceans and realized the toll our pollution takes on animals and the environment. In addition to our constant recycling efforts, Explorers are contributing plastics to our art sculptures that will be displayed at the Earth Day Gallery Walk. Ways students can make a difference: Go for a walk and with gloves, help plastics make it to the recycle bin, bring your cloth bags to the store, and/or challenge yourself to pack a trashless lunch.

Block Scheduling at Williamsburg

Since many Explorers will attend WMS, Acting principal, Ms. Constance Skelton, requested that the WMS community of parents, including parents of rising fourth and fifth graders, email her their views about the proposed block schedule, under which students would generally attend each class three times per week for approximately 80 minutes per class.  She hopes to take these views under consideration in deciding whether to pursue block scheduling for next year, or not pursue block scheduling at any time in the immediate future.  Ideally, she would like to receive such comments before the March 27th. She asked that such comments be sent to constance.skelton@apsva.us. 

Student Success Chat

March 31st at 9:15AM in Blue Sky Studio we will be discussing the the IEP process. We hope to bring clarity to the process and answer any parent questions. Join us!

First Grade Coffee/Assembly

March 30th at 8:30 in Blue Sky Studio First Grade parents are invited to come in and talk about Summer Reading. We will discuss strategies and resources to keep our youngest readers reading! After the coffee, you are invited to stay for our CARES assembly hosted by our First Grade students.

Art Field Trip Day at the National Building Museum

Join the Art Department for a day at the National Building Museum sponsored by the PTA! We are hosting an interactive field trip for students and parents to experience together.

April 17, 2017 10 am-12 pm. This is the last day of spring break and a great way to get back into learning! Meet at the registration desk in the lobby at 10 am for a workshop.

Two workshops K-2 City by Design (20 spots) and 3-5 Architecture 101 (20 spots).

National Building Museum

401 F Street NW

Washington, D.C. 20001

Date: 04/17/2017 (Mon.)

Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm EDT

RSVP on signup genius

Upcoming Events

Dear Discovery Families,

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Lot’s of green floating around Discovery as well as wacky, tacky, crazy socks! Our Kindergartener’s practiced their reading and rhymes as they searched for Lucky the Leprechaun. Other grades celebrated through math and writing challenges.

We hope you had as much fun at the Double Down as we did. Teachers are thrilled to spend time with students in a variety of fun activities. We are looking forward to Breaking the Rules with a few lucky students. Even more so, we are excited to turn over the Discovery keys and let our Principal and Assistant Principal of the Day take over! It was a fun filled evening and great to see our community celebrate Discovery together.

Last night we had over 100 Explorers join us for A Plastic Ocean. Discussion with Marine Biologist Bonnie Monteleone highlighted ways families limit single use plastics. Throughout the week Explorer’s have been signing the No Single Use Plastic Pledge and committing to limiting their use of one-time plastics in an effort to help green our environment. If you missed the film, contact Ms. Burke, you check out the DVD for a limited time. Students will get an opportunity to see video clips during art classes.

IMPORTANT! Carpool information. Please follow our procedures for drop-off and pick-up. Here is the link. Mr. Duffy has also created some reminders for you to read. (Link updated at 2:32 PM.)

If you are picking up your student at the end of the day for an appointment, please remember to arrive before (3:15 PM) pick-up or you will have to wait until after pick-up begins. We recommend that you come early for afternoon appointments or park on the street outside the pick up area.

Looking ahead to next week, we are offering our own Sharing Wisdom session in Blue Sky Studio at 9AM on March 23rd, and will end the week with a Mad Science Assembly, and ask that you join us for Play Before the Day on Friday. The snow and ice hasn’t helped our 5K practice runs, but we will see you next Saturday to run the Friendship 5K with our Nottingham buds.

Two Date Changes

Thanks to Mother Nature, Pi Day will now be celebrated on March 28th. Support Discovery by dining in, or out, at Pie-tanza. Also, the information session for Rising Kindergarteners will be March 23rd at 12:45 in the library. During this session, Dr. Russo and Ms. Olmsted, will take parents through a day in the life of a Kindergartener, answer questions, tour K classrooms, and tour Discovery. Please encourage friends and neighbors to register with Ms. Amores in the front office.

Safety First

Please slow down in and around the Discovery and Williamsburg neighborhoods. Watch for students at crosswalks and encourage your children to keep to crosswalks. There has been an uptick in close calls throughout both neighborhoods. We are in communication with our School Resource Officer, Paul Guevara, and want to remind everyone to obey traffic signs. Please be mindful that several times a day there are students walking, biking, and crossing streets within the vicinity of Discovery and WIlliamsburg.

Mad Scientist Assembly

Thank you to the PTA for hosting the upcoming Mad Scientist Assemblies on Friday March 24th. We will have two assemblies on March 24th. 3 - 5 will have an assembly at 9:30, while K - 2 will have an assembly at 10:30. The show will run for 45 minutes and will be held in the gym. We are going to be seeing the Things that Go Boom show! Below is a description.

Discover the science behind sound and vibration! See amazing color changing chemical reactions, explore sublimation, radical reactions, and more. Our super Mad Science bubble experiment will even show kids the super science fun way to wash their hands.

Play Before Your Day

Please join Discovery’s Health and Wellness Committee (including our PE teachers!) for 20 minutes of physical activity before school on Friday, March 31st!


This is a family-oriented opportunity for our students to get in some extra play and start their day off with some physical activity before school on the playground* between DES and Williamsburg Middle School. Adults, plan to bring a cup of your favorite morning beverage!


Our “morning of play” will take place from 8:30-8:50AM and is intended to be a family event. Therefore, parents/guardians are required to attend (this is an optional event for teachers).


*In the event that there is inclement weather, we will move the play inside of DES’s gymnasium.

Upcoming Events

March 10, 2017

Dear Discovery Families,

Tomorrow is the big night! If you don’t have your tickets, it is not too late! As our traditions grow, the Double Down Auction remains an important community event. Thank you to the the teachers who offered imaginative auction items to the countless volunteers it take to pull off a night worthy of the Vegas name. Don’t let “normal” March weather keep you from one of our biggest fundraisers.

This week we welcomed singer and song writer Apsen Black to meet with our 2nd and 3rd graders as part of the Discovery Musician in Residence program. Students were super excited to learn about songwriting we are looking forward to our future sessions.


Erin and Kathy

Call For Eco-Action Helpers

Eco-Action Parents: As we discussed in our last Eco-Action meeting, we will be starting a pledge here at Discovery to avoid single-use plastics (inspired by the Plastic Oceans group). Starting next week, we will be raising money and will need a few parent volunteers to stop by every Thursday to collect the Pledge Jars from each grade level and count the money that has been collected (the jars are then returned to the classroom teachers). This information will be given to Ms. Upshur (4th grade teacher and Science Liaison), and will be reported each week on the Friday morning news. At the end of the drive (April 20th), all the money that has been raised will be donated to the Plastic Oceans group.  If you are interested in volunteering in this capacity or have any questions, please contact renita.upshur@apsva.us. We appreciate your involvement in promoting this important cause!

APS Engage

APS launched a community feedback form to gather information on those options that are most important to parents when determining the school their child will attend.  This feedback is going to be used as we continue to plan for new schools and instructional options as outlined in the APS 3-5 Year Action Plan and beyond.  Additional details can be found on the Engage with APS! page.

Musician in Residence

We are so excited to share that our Musician in Residence will be working your kids this year and she will be here this Friday! PTA has been extremely gracious in extending the experience to both 2nd and 3rd grade. Aspen Black is a singer/songwriter and will be taking the students through the songwriting process. Each class will be creating their own song. Today Aspen introduced songwriting. This session was an introduction to songwriting, which will allow us more creative time for each class when she comes back in April (the week before spring break). We are super excited for this unique learning experience.

Week of Sharing Wisdom

The week of March 18-26, 2017 has been designated the "Week of Sharing Wisdom" in Arlington. Please join us on March 23rd, 9AM in Blue Sky Studio for an intentional conversation about parenting, focused on how we, as parents, best prepare our children for being good citizens in an increasingly diverse world. This conversation to open to all interested families in our community, in order to share wisdom, connect and build a greater community of support with other parents. Please note these are discussions facilitated by parents for parents, this is not a presentation of information but an opportunity to share and create community.

If you are unable to attend our parent chat on March 23rd please visit: https://apcyf.arlingtonva.us/parent-chats/ to learn about additional parent chats occurring or for information about how to host your own.

Parent Media Academy

Join us to learn more about technology and education...great resources can be found here.

Parent Media Academy Pre-PTA Session

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 6:00 PM, Dining Commons

Presenter: Keith David Reeves, Educational Technology Administrator

Topic: iPads at Discovery

Parent Media Academy Morning Coffee

Monday, April 24, 2017, 9:00 AM, Blue Sky Studio

Presenter: Keith David Reeves, Educational Technology Administrator

Topic: iPads at Discovery

Parent Media Academy Morning Coffee

Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 9:00 AM, Blue Sky Studio

Presenter: TBD

Topic: TBD

Upcoming Events

March 3, 2017

Dear Discovery Families,

Thank you for coming in to partner in your child’s education with us. It was nice to walk through the building and see all of you huddle around the table discussing student challenges and successes during conferences. Staff enjoyed having the District Taco lunch provided by the PTA along with all the goodies that you dropped off.

The third grade publishing party was exciting to watch. Our third graders persuaded us in many ways. Topics included recess, lunch, recycling, ocean pollution, air pollution, and even how to create a more fun school where we play videos and go down the slide for 30  minutes at a time. Kudos third graders, you should be proud of your hard work!

March is a busy a month for Discovery!! We will have our monthly PTA meeting on Tuesday night where we will discuss our upcoming Parent Media Academy. Our Instructional Technology Coach, Keith Reeves and parent, Leslie Hume, will have a brief presentation about students and technology usage. It will be followed up by two Parent Media Academy mornings; Monday, April 24th at 9AM, Tuesday, May 9th at 9AM. March 11th is the Discovery Doubledown, we look forward to see you there. March 16th is our A Plastic Ocean screening. March has many opportunities for us all to build community.


Odyssey of the Mind

The Odyssey of the Mind regional tournament is tomorrow. This creativity competition has challenged each of Discovery's five teams to think outside the box to create an 8-minute play and solve wacky problems. If you see someone on one of Discovery's teams, please congratulate them on their hard work and wish them good luck. Discovery Explorers who are participating are: Morgan Beller, Sebastian Chipman, Aubrey Harned, William Harned, Alexa Ross, Sam Watchman, Madison Hornyak, Noah Kinsler, Peyton Lynch, Liam Harper-Chang, Micah Wegner, Sam Gray, Julie Piedrahita, William Hjelm, Michael Kuoh, Melis Mollamustafaoglu, Alexandra Gomez, Nora Reed, Lauren Beller, Henry Snyder, Luke Understein, Allie Urdanick, Jackson Weber, Alden Marin, Caroline Hoppe, Maya Mollamustafaoglu, Hannah Urdanick, Elizabeth Schneider, Madison Mastrangelo, Katherine Snyder, Kara Atkins, Francesca Pereira, and Isabel Pereira.

Library News

Only 1 more week to

Be brave - be quick - get your

award winning

Giant Squid

and other Candace Fleming titles


 Book Order Forms Due Friday March 10th


20% discount on all books from local bookstore - Barstons Child’s Play

pick up order form in library, office, Peachjar or email john.re@apsva.us

Candace will be at Discovery Tuesday April 4th

Date Change

Please note that Family Fitness Night changed from April 6th to April 18th.

Upcoming Events

Dear Discovery Families,

Hopefully, by now you have found your students Progress Report that was sent home yesterday. Please be sure to share the report with your student and have a conversation about the success and challenges. Here is a link to more information on the Standard Based Progress Report.

Bus issues seem to be smoothing out. We now have a driver for 621 and two busses (514 and 619) combined to one bus for the both the morning and afternoon. The afternoon is running smoother. As we are sustainable school and the weather is getting nicer each day think about walking or riding bikes to school.

This morning Ms. Kenney joined parents in a Student Success Chat to talk about stress and anxiety. Topics included rethinking our perspective on stress and what the differences between stress and anxiety are. What does the science say about stress? Check out this TedTalk by Kelly McGonigal to find out more. Highlighted was the power of connection and mindset to help ourselves and our students approach the challenges that may come.

This week we saw an increase in the number of classes going outside with the beautiful weather we have enjoyed. We are excited for next week’s Read Across America celebrations! Wear Discovery red Monday and show off your synonym.


Erin and Kathy

Parent Teacher Conferences - March 2nd and 3rd.

We are looking forward to see you in the hallways this coming Thursday and Friday for parent teacher conferences. If you haven’t used the Sign up Genius to signed up yet, it is not too late.

Visiting Author

“A Plastic Ocean” Movie Screening

Today more than 8 million tons of plastic enter our oceans each year. Learn how we can change this! Discovery is hosting a screening of "A Plastic Ocean" on March 16th at 6:30PM in the Discovery gym, followed by a FaceTime Q&A with the Executive Director of A Plastic Ocean Project, Director of Science, Research and Academic Partnerships (Wilmington, NC) and accomplished artist, Bonnie Monteleone.

In school, Explorers will pledge to participate in a no-single use plastic initiative from March 16-April 22 (Earth Day). A grade level penny challenge will be held to benefit the Plastic Ocean Project, Inc. to support the scientific research and cleanup of our oceans. The Science and Art teams have collaborated to create a sustainable art lesson that will be presented at an Earth Day Gallery Walk on Wednesday, April 19th at 7PM. Please join us in our mission to make an impact on our world!


This educational movie is not rated, so we are asking parents to review the consent and RSVP here.

Read Across America Week

Next week is Discovery’s second annual “For the Love of Reading Spirit” week. On Monday we kick off Read Across America week by wearing red. Students will pair up with a friend and be a synonym twin! Tuesday students will use book titles to create a poem. Wednesday is share a book with a friend day. Williamsburg students will be coming over to read to our Pre-K to 3rd grade classes. Grades 4 & 5 will share a favorite book with a classmate or another class. On Thursday, students will write a reading goal on a superhero template.

New Maker Challenge -

Can you make something inspired by a Candace Fleming book out of recycled materials?


Need an idea? a giant squid, clever Jack and his cake, a mechanical fish, Katje and her boxes, the Oh No! tiger, Amelia and a plane, Imogene…

Go to www.CandaceFleming.com for information of all her 30+ books and inspiration.


  • Help yourself to cardboard and other recyclable material in the mobile maker space material carts in the library.
  • Please strive to make your item no taller or wider than 20 inches.
  • Turn in your creation with your name and grade on it - to the library by Friday March 31st.
  • They will be on display in the library windows, and on top of the hedge.
  • The top creation for K-2 & 3-5 will earn a squid hat.


Discovery – now home to one Giant Squid and many little squids

Did you know a giant squid has three hearts?

Upcoming Events

  • March 2 & 3- Parent Teacher Conferences
  • March 3 - CRF Forms Due to 5th Grade Teachers
  • March 11 - Discovery Auction (Knight’s of Columbus, 6:30PM)
  • March 14 - Kindergarten Information Session (Library,12:45PM)
  • March 14 - Pi Day at Pie-tanza
  • March 16 - Screening of “A Plastic Ocean” (Gym, 6:30PM)
  • March 17 - Spirit Day- Crazy Sock Day
  • March 24 - Play Before the Day (North Playground, 8:30AM)
  • March 25 - Friendship 5K
  • March 30 - Whole School Assembly CARES (9:30AM)
  • March 30 - A Night to Discover Art Show (6-7PM)
  • March 30, 31, April 1 - 5th Grade Musical “Aladdin, Jr.”
  • April 4 - Author Candace Fleming visits
  • April 4- Family Fitness Night (7PM, Gym)
  • April 7 - Spirit Day- Hat Day
  • April 17 - Building Museum Elective Field Trip (10AM-12PM)
  • April 19 - Earth Day Gallery Walk (6:30PM)
  • April 28 - Play Before the Day (North Playground, 8:30AM)
  • May 5 - Battle of the Books for 4th and 5th grade (Gym)
  • May 9- A-SPAN Assembly (3PM, Gym)
  • May 10- Bike and Walk Day and A-SPAN Walk-A-Thon
  • May 12- Field Day
  • May 26 - Spirit Day- Hawaiian Day
  • May 26 - Play Before the Day (North Playground, 8:30AM)
  • June 21- 5th Grade Promotion and Family Dance (7PM, Gym and Dining Commons)
  • June 22, 2036 - Discovery Time Capsule Opening (Time TBA)