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Discovery Elementary

5241 N 36th Street

Arlington VA 22207




Learning Logs are updated every Thursday:

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

Art | Music | Health & Phys Ed | World Languages | Coaches Corner

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

February 16, 2018

Dear Discovery Families,

Our hearts are with the families and staff of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and all residents of the Parkland community. I have had several conversations with parents these past days, and I appreciate each and every one of these conversations. It is clear that our community is caring, responsive, and vigilant. I want to reassure you that safety is our number one priority at Discovery, and we will continue do all we can to maintain security in our building.


All of our exterior doors are locked during the day, and at 9:00 AM when the bell rings our front door is closed and locked, as well. Those of you who have visited the building know that we have a routine and required sign-in process for visitors and that we require all visitors to wear a visitor badge for the duration of their visit. This information is captured in a database and monitored. Our front office staff is great about recognizing visitors who have valid reasons for entering the building, and question visitors whom they do not recognize.


We practice safety drills regularly throughout the year, including Lockdown, Secure the Building, Fire, and Tornado drills. In the unlikely event that we need to put these drill procedures in place, staff and students have practiced what to do multiple times. Each school also has a School Resource Officer (SRO) who is shared among a few schools. Corporal Brent Olson is our SRO and visits Discovery frequently, has attended school assemblies and events, and is recognized by staff and students. He works to ensure that our safety procedures are in place and assists if anything needs to be done. He is a member of the Arlington County Police Department.


As a strong community, we can learn and grow from the recent and devastating news. Please respect our safety procedures. Please check in at the main office when you enter the building, and take the time to use the check-in system. Also, please refrain from entering a door when students exit. Please understand how seriously we take the safety of our students and work to keep them focused on what’s important here at school; that is, their academic growth and kindness toward one another.

Please join us on Tuesday, February 27th at 7PM at Discovery for a community meeting. Corporal Olson and Dr. Russo will review DIscovery’s safety procedures and respond to questions you may have about how to best partner to keep our students safe. In addition, a Discovery parent and member of Be Smart will share tips on keeping children safe outside of the school day.

Many parents have expressed concern on how to talk to their children. This link provides information on ways for parents to talk to children about violent acts. With around the clock news coverage on the incident, it might feel good to turn off the television, assure your children they are safe, and enjoy the 3-day weekend doing something fun. Please know we, along with and our school counselors, are available to help answer any questions you might have.


Erin and Judy

Saying Goodbye

Dear Families,

It has been a true honor and privilege to be a part of Discovery Elementary, and I have had so much fun!  With much thought and counsel, I have decided to pursue another course in my life, and I will be joining the United States Coast Guard. In every season of life, I like to “Enjoy the Journey” and I have truly enjoyed my time at Discovery with everyone who I have come into contact with. The many friends that I have had the privilege to effect never ceases to amaze me with their kindness, intelligence, and humor! They always know how to put a smile on my face.  With that said, I am excited to take on my next journey moving forward and I will miss you all so much!

Mr. McClain, Kindergarten Assistant

Book order due date - extended to Tuesday Feb 20

Safety Patrol Camp

Attention parents of rising 4th and 5th grade students! The Arlington County Police Department School Resource Officer Unit is currently accepting applications to its 2018 Summer Safety Patrol Camp. This is a week long summer program in which ACPD officers teach students various responsibilities of being an effective safety patrol member. The cost of each session is $95 per student. To access the application, click here. For specifics on Discovery’s safety patrol program, please visit the “Patrols” page under the “Students” section of the DES website or click here. The DES safety patrol program is only available to rising 5th grade students and the application process will begin in the early spring. For questions, contact John Duffy, DES PE Teacher and Patrol Sponsor at john.duffy@apsva.us.

Parent Teacher Conferences: Encore

Please contact your child’s Art, Music, P.E., and Spanish teachers if you’d like to schedule a conference.

Our First World Heritage Night is Around the Corner

We're counting down to our first World Heritage Night and would like your help to ensure its success! Please sign up and give 15-30 minutes of your time for set up or clean up. Also, there is still time to sign up to share your favorite dish at the potluck. Finally, please feel free to attend World Heritage Night in the national dress of your choice! We sincerely appreciate your assistance and are excited to welcome you at the event of the season!  

Community Connections

Black History Month: Hero of the Day

This week’s featured hero for Black History Month (timed perfectly for the Olympics) is Wilma Rudolph. Born prematurely on June 23, 1940, in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee, Wilma Rudolph was a sickly child who had to wear a brace on her left leg. She overcame her disabilities through physical therapy and hard work, and she went on to become a gifted runner. Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals at a single Olympics at the 1960 Summer Games in Rome. She later worked as a teacher and track coach.

Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year, celebrated by roughly one-sixth of the world’s population, begins this Friday, February 16, 2018. Depending on the country, these celebrations can last anywhere from three days to two weeks and are family-centered celebrations filled with honoring ancestors and deities, firecrackers, gift-giving (red envelopes filled with money or hongbao throughout China), and an abundance of delicious food. To read more about the Lunar New Year for yourself and to learn a little bit more about what the Year of the Dog means (hint: It’s not as lucky as some of the years that preceded this one!), check out this link. And to read more about Lunar New Year with your explorer, check out the following titles:

Members of our Discovery community will celebrate the Lunar New Year in a variety of ways, based on country of origin, family tradition, and other factors. Continue reading to hear from a couple of our Discovery families!

In Mongolia, “Lunar New Year” or “White Moon”  is one of the oldest and biggest celebration. Not only Mongolians, many Asian countries celebrate Lunar New year including China, Korea, Singapore and so on. The date of the celebration is determined according to Lunar Calendar every year and people start to prepare many days before the actual celebration day. Every family prepares thousands of dumplings called “buuz” and freeze them for the guests. During the festivity, people wear Mongolian traditional costume called “deel” and visit the elders in the family first and exchange gifts.

Urangoo Bat-Erdene (mother to a K/Montessori)

The beauty of being a multi-cultural family is that we form our own traditions, blending the new and old. For the Korean Lunar New Year, we will be eating the traditional dduk guk (soup with glutinous rice cakes that symbolize prosperity), just like my mom used to make, and we will honor our ancestors and give gifts of money in crisp new bills to the boys. We will also be making lucky mandu (dumplings). (Sharing some recipes, in case you want to celebrate in your family!)

Lisa Harper Chang (mother to a 2nd grader and a Pre-K 4/Montessori)

Random Acts of Kindness-Ms. Stoker’s Class

Did you know that acts of kindness are happening at Discovery?  In Mrs. Stoker’s classroom, students took on the challenge of knitting hats for babies born in February. Mrs. Stoker read an article about the Heart Foundation’s program called Little Hats, Big Hearts. She asked her students if they wanted to participate and make some hats. Her students responded happily with a big, “YES!” Their parents generously donated all of the supplies. Students worked cooperatively and made more than 10 hats. They enjoyed learning this new hobby so much, that some of them have started to make hats for themselves and other friends and family. Here is what the students had to say about this wonderful service learning project.

Students Celebrated the 100th Day of School on February 15th

And we are gearing up for Discovery’s 500th DAY!


Discovery In the News

News Channel 4 Doug Kammerer spoke to fourth graders about his love for weather and the amazing work he does as a meteorologist. Students asked questions and interacted with real time weather models. Students number one question was: “Are we going to get a snow day?” This educational opportunity stemmed from staff modeling kindness to each other. Ms. Upshur arranged the visit after learning about her colleague’s love for all things weather. Mr. Timke was surprised to see his favorite meteorologist walk into our Discovery library!

Upcoming Events

19 Feb. - Presidents Day, Holiday

20 Feb. - SignUp Genius for Parent Teacher Conferences goes live (6PM)

22 Feb. - World Heritage Night (Dining Commons, 6-8PM)

27 Feb - Discovery Community Meeting on School Security (7PM, Dining Commons)

1-2 March - Parent-Teacher Conferences

2 March- Staff Appreciation Lunch

10 March - Discovery Auction Night

14 March - Early Release

26-30 March - Spring Break

February 9, 2018

Dear Discovery Families,

We hope you will join us tonight for a DJ Dance Glow Party. Students in all grades have been practicing their moves in Physical Education and are excited to share their love for the groove! What might be a rainy afternoon, offers a wonderful opportunity, to teach your children that they can make a difference for others: Our Share the Love: Community Service Project. Our third through fifth graders are invited to prepare and bag meals for A-SPAN’s Homeless Bagged Meal Program. Our younger students can create and decorate Valentine’s Day cards that we will deliver to the children at Inova Children’s Hospital in Falls Church. Please RSVP here. We will host both events on Sunday in the Dining Commons from 3-5 PM.

Thanks to Gifts That Give Hope and all community members who supported the event. The organization donated over $600 to our Functional Life Skills Program. Our appreciative teachers will use the funds to enhance classroom instruction.

Please join us in congratulating Mason Mirabile and Peyton Johnson. Mason’s music entry, “Within Reach”, earned first place and Peyton’s art entry, “The Masterpiece of Trash” earned second place in the Northern Virginia PTA District. Mason entry will now represent Discovery in the state competition. Well done, Mason and Peyton!

Valentine’s Day is next week, and teachers are in the midst of planning many classroom activities to show kindness, such as writing thoughtful cards and poetry. Please refrain from sending food to school with your child, including candy.

Lastly, thank you to those who participated in our recent Principal Chat on Building Resilience. The PTA has short survey for you to complete that asks about your preferences in regards to topics, times, and communication. Please take a minute to complete the survey.

We look forward to dancing with you this evening at 7PM. Bring your dancing shoes!


Erin and Judy

Mason and Peyton: District PTA Reflection Winners

Parent Teacher Conferences March 1 and 2nd (March 1st is an Early Release)

Our SignUp Genius will go live on Tuesday, February 20th at 6PM. You can access it via our website. Spring conferences are a great time to discuss summer school options. Please inquire with your child’s teacher.

Our First World Heritage Night is Around the Corner

Dear Discovery Community,

We're counting down to our first World Heritage Night and would like your help to ensure its success! Please sign up and give 15-30 minutes of your time for set up or clean up. Also, there is still time to sign up to share your favorite dish at the potluck. Finally, please feel free to attend World Heritage Night in the national dress of your choice!

We sincerely appreciate your assistance and are excited to welcome you at the event of the season!  

Thank you,

Rasha Al-Ali and Tulsi MehtaC:\Users\Griff\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Zachariah-OHora.jpg

Book Order forms due Thursday Feb 15th

Author/Illustrator Zachariah Ohora 

Don’t wait until the last minute. There are only 6 more days! You can find the 20% off book order form here and in Peach Jar. The online form also includes active links to his website and his online videos and book trailers, such as the Read the Book Lemmings book trailer

Community Connections

Black History Hero of the Day

Keep an eye out for our featured Black/African American Hero of the Day! Today, we are featuring Madam CJ Walker, one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire by creating specialized hair products. Please feel free to share other Black/African American Heros by sending information to diversityinclustionpta@gmail.com. We’ll be sure to add them to the rotation! For more resources and extended posts, please visit Discovery PTA’s Diversity and Inclusion Website.

Representation Matters

By Lisa Harper Chang (mother to 2nd grade and Montessori Explorers)

As a parent of two multi-racial children (half Korean and half white (Scots-Irish-German)), I struggle to find protagonists of television, film, and books that look like my boys. Two current examples come to mind: the brothers in Big Hero 6 and the sisters in Andi Mack, both produced by Disney. It is easier to find more diverse representation in children and young adult literature. I am sure I am overlooking some books, and I am always open to hearing about others. Why does seeing ourselves reflected in media, specifically positively portrayed, matter? Media representation helps broaden our horizons, introduces us to people and experiences outside of our own, and redefines what is normal, acceptable, and admired. This week, I challenge you to think of a specific race/culture or combination of races/cultures, and think of FIVE mainstream media examples of when that race/culture was a positively portrayed protagonist without browsing the web. If you are interested in learning more or thinking more about this topic, please check out the following links:

Who Gets to Be the Hero? by Embrace Race blogger Taliah Mirmalek


Black Panther, Wonder Woman, and the Power of Representation by Alan Jenkins, Ebony, July 15, 2018


Martins and Harrison; Racial and Gender Differences in the Relationship Between Children’s Television Use and Self-Esteem: A Longitudinal Panel Study; Communications Research, March 16, 2011.

Please keep the conversation going with us by emailing diversityinclusionpta@gmail.com.

Please check out the Diversity and Inclusion new web page.

Earth Day Celebrations UnderWay

Our launch of Earth Month Initiative from March 23rd to April 22nd will arrive before we know it. During these weeks, Explorers will make a Transportation Pledge and attend a school-wide assembly with surprise guests. We are reaching out to the community to identify any biking or walking pools that exist in our community. Please email us the street location and timeframe in which the students meet to bike or walk. We plan to announce these locations to encourage more biking and walking on warm spring days. If any parents are interested in volunteering to chaperone students as they bike or walk to school, please contact Maria Burke.

Discovery Auction.

Get early-bird tickets through February 18th! Only 29 days until the BIG Night!

Upcoming Events

9 Feb. - Family Dance Glow Party (Gym, 7-9PM)

11 Feb. - Share the Love Community Service (Dining Commons, 3-5PM)

14 Feb. - Early Release

15 Feb. - 100th Day of School

16 Feb. - Play Before Your Day (North Playground, 8:40-8:50AM)

16 Feb. - Student Success Chat: Organization (Blue Sky Studio, 9-10AM)

19 Feb. - Presidents Day, Holiday

20 Feb. - SignUp Genius for Parent Teacher Conferences goes live (6PM)

22 Feb. - World Heritage Night (Dining Commons, 6-8PM)

1-2 March - Parent-Teacher Conferences

2 March- Staff Appreciation Lunch

10 March - Discovery Auction Night

14 March - Early Release

26-30 March - Spring Break

February 2, 2018

Dear Discovery Families,

The groundhog saw his shadow, so please send students with appropriate outdoor clothing. We follow the APS guidelines and students will go outside on most days. Remember to label hats and gloves and to check the lost and found (located under the grand staircase) for missing items. This week Discovery planned exciting activities to celebrate our 100th day of school on February 15th, as well as our 500th day as a school! Please join us for our February PTA meeting to hear our exciting Responsive Classroom news. In late January, a Responsive Classroom consultant visited and walked through our classrooms and common spaces. We are excited to share her data and her recommended next steps at our February PTA meeting. In addition, we will share some of the ways Discovery teachers incorporate Responsive Classroom strategies in academics and social emotional lessons. We hope leave the meeting understanding why the Responsive Classroom approach thrives in so many APS schools.


Erin and Judy


If you are able to help hang a school project on our Dining Common’s glass on February 14th, please email Dr. Russo.

Book Order forms due Thursday Feb 15thC:\Users\Griff\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.Word\Zachariah-OHora.jpg

Author/Illustrator Zachariah Ohora 

You can find the book order form here. 

The online form also includes active links to his website and his online videos and book trailers.

Read the Book Lemmings book trailer

Ame & Zach read Read the Book Lemmings  video

Wolfie the Bunny book trailer

Horrible Bear book trailer

Ame & Zach read Wolfie the Bunny video

Zach teaches how to draw Wolfie the Bunny video

Stop Snoring Bernard book trailer

Community Connection: Diversity & Inclusion Feature

Each week, Discovery News will feature information, experiences, resources, and opportunities to help us learn more about ourselves, our community, and our world.

We extend a special thanks to last week's author, Tia Alfred, mother of Maddox in grade 4 and Mathias in Kindergarten. This week’s author, Renita Upshur, grade 4 classroom teacher, writes about two, up-coming opportunities. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee is highlighting Black History Month in our Discovery community during February and will continue to highlight black heritage in Arlington throughout the school year.

Black History Month

February is nationally celebrated as Black History Month. We will have a wide variety of book options available in the library for students and teachers to check out. We have included a list of book titles that you can check out from the public library and read at home. Additionally, the Discovery News Crew will showcase well-known and lesser-known African Americans who have changed the way we all live today. Please encourage your students to not only read about different historical people, but try fictional books that have more diverse lead characters.

African American Book Options:

100 African Americans Who Shaped American History

Bedtime Inspirational Stories:50 Amazing Black People Who Changed the World

1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Black History

Black Pioneers of Science and Invention

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Duke Ellington was not a Street

The Big Bed

Other Opportunities

Is there a part of your culture you would like to share with our Discovery community? Classroom teachers invite parents and community members to enhance students' education by sharing personal expertise, cultural heritages (e.g. Diwali, Lunar New Year, Dia de los Muertos, Passover, Easter), and/or work experiences related to diversity and inclusion We are building a family and community resource that teachers can access to bring different perspectives, experiences, and knowledge into their classrooms. Please fill out this form to share your knowledge. We know our community has much to offer. Please take a moment to think how you can contribute.

We are also looking for guest writers! Each week, Discovery News will feature experiences, perspectives, stories, resources, and opportunities intended to help increase awareness of the rich diversity of our school and to build a more inclusive community. Potential guest writers are encouraged to contact the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at diversityinclusionpta@gmail.com.

Reading Parent Academy

If you attended out Parent Academy and want another look at shared resources, please click here. The files contain all the slides used during both sessions.

Share the Love Community Service Event

We invite you to join us for a fun afternoon of service on Sunday, February 11th from 3-5 PM. Teach your child the power of kindness, community, and care. The Discovery PTA will be in the Dining Commons to make bagged meals that A-SPAN will distribute to Arlington's homeless.  They will also make Valentine's Day cards for children at INOVA Fairfax Hospital. This is a great opportunity to give back to our community! Let's show our neighbors just how much Discovery C.A.R.E.S. and let's SHARE the LOVE!  Stay tuned for more details & Sign Up Genius links via room parent emails!

Seat Design Challenge

As we prepare to create an amazing learning space in our woods, check out our trail cam that caught local wildlife in action.

Parent Teacher Conferences

The SignUp Genius for March Parent/Teacher Conferences will be live on our website at 6PM Tuesday, February 20th. Conferences will be held in the afternoon of March 1st and on Friday, March 2nd.

Upcoming Events

6 Feb. - PTA Meeting (Dining Commons, 7PM)

9 Feb. - Discovery Family Dance Glow Party (Gym, 6:30-8:30PM)

11 Feb. - Share the Love Community Service (Dining Commons, 3-5PM)

14 Feb. - Early Release

15 Feb. - 100th Day of School

16 Feb. - Play Before Your Day (North Playground, 8:30AM)

16 Feb. - Student Success Chat (Blue Sky Studio, 9AM)

19 Feb. - Presidents Day, Holiday

20 Feb. - SignUp Genius for Parent Teacher Conferences will go live at 6PM

22 Feb. - World Heritage Night (Dining Commons, 6-8PM)

1-2 March - Parent-Teacher Conferences

2 March- Staff Appreciation Lunch

10 March - Discovery Auction Night

14 March - Early Release

26-30 March - Spring Break

January 26, 2018

Dear Discovery Families,

There are only 43 more days until the Discovery Auction. Creative and inspiring items are rolling in! Mark your calendar for March 10th and get your early bird tickets!

Happy end of quarter two! Time is flying and students are growing in their knowledge and skills. This week second graders spent time with Technology Coach, Mr. Reeves, and talked about digital citizenship. Second graders also continued expanding their knowledge of famous Americans. In pre-school, students danced and sang during Spanish class, while first graders practice their dance moves in Physical Education. Discovery is an active place!

Lastly, we are pleased to introduce Coaches Corner, a great way to connect with our coaches and support your student at home. Coaches Corner can be found on our website along the top, under Teams and then under Coaches Team. Just scroll to the bottom. A link is also available at the top of this newsletter. Coaches Corner will be updated bi-monthly, and we’ll always feature it in Parent News. We hope you find it useful.

As we have reached the half-way mark, take some time to set some individual learning goals with your child. Goal-setting is a research-based way to improve achievement.

Enjoy the warm weather,

Erin and Judy

Diversity & Inclusion Committee

The purpose of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee is to grow diversity awareness and inclusion within our Discovery community. Our goal is to build cultural competence through a variety of events and activities that will take place throughout the school year. So far this school year, we've viewed, HIdden Figures, at Movie Night, and we supported our Day of Service on Martin Luther King Jr Day. We look forward to celebrating Black History Month and World Heritage Night in February.

We will continue dialogue among Discovery parents, staff, and administration to make our community an inclusive place. One way to accomplish this goal is to participate in the Kindness Challenge. We will continue to help students think of concrete ways that they can show kindness, such as playing with another student at recess whom they may not play with on a regular basis. We will continue to teach students to interact and engage with each other to promote a community of respect that honors diversity and trumpets inclusion.

Here's a link from our Diversity and Inclusion Committee. We know our community has much to offer. Please take a moment to think how you can contribute. We are also looking for guest writers. Each week, Parent News will feature a thought, story, or resource intended to increase diversity awareness and inclusion. Guest writers are encouraged to contact Lisa Harper Chang.  

by Tia Alfred, mother to Maddox (4th grade) and Mathias (Kindergarten)

Eco-Action Meeting

Alexis Dickerson of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation met with our Eco-Action Green Leaders on Thursday morning. Students learned about our watersheds and how pollution impacts the water cycle. Green Leaders participated in a hands-on activity entitled, “Who Polluted the Potomac?” They listened to a story about the Potomac River and the pollutants that enter the water cycle, thereby contaminating the watershed. They also learned about The Clean Water Act. Our Green Leaders left the Eco-Action meeting wanting to make an impact on our environment.

Families Tour The Phillips Collection Art Museum

Discovery families joined Ms. Burke and Ms. Williams at The Phillips Collection to view art.

Parent Reading Academy

Thanks you to the PTA for two successful reading academies. We received positive feedback from parents. The goal was to provide a window into the teaching of reading across the grade levels and to provide ideas to support your child’s reading development at home. We will share the slides in Discovery News this next week.

PTA Reflections Award Ceremony

A sincere thank you to April Maddox and Teresa O’Connell for making our PTA Reflections Ceremony a memorable event. We had many Explorers in all grades participate, and we celebrate their creativity and talent.

Upcoming Events

6 Feb. -PTA Meeting (Dining Commons, 7PM)

9 Feb. -Discovery Family Dance Glow Party

14 Feb. -Early Release

16 Feb. -Play Before Your Day (North Playground, 8:30AM)

16 Feb. -Student Success Chat (Blue Sky Studio, 9AM)

19 Feb. - Presidents Day, Holiday

22 Feb. - World Heritage Night (Dining Commons, 6-8PM)

1-2 March - Parent-Teacher Conferences

10 March - Discovery Auction Night

14 March - Early Release

26-30 March - Spring Break

January 19, 2018

Dear Discovery Families,

This week we were treated to a music concert featuring fifth-grade instrumental and band students and fourth-grader Mathew Meinert. Thank you Mr. Glasner and all music students. Our students enjoyed the concert during the day and families attended the evening concert. We also celebrated our Explorers who auditioned and were selected to be members of the Junior Honors Band: Jamie Hardie on trumpet, Madeline Kamholz on clarinet, and Margaret Morris on trumpet. The APS county-wide concert will be on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 7:00 PM at Kenmore Middle School. Kate Sullivan will also perform as a member of the Junior Honors Chorus.

Colin Demir was recognized Thursday night by the School Board for his Friend Wheel designed for the Martin Luther King Visual and Literary Arts competition.

We have patiently waited and are thrilled to share video of our Explorer’s hard work in the PTA Reflections Contest. We will air the video next Monday at the reception and throughout the week on our morning news show, as well as on our common screens. All students who participated in the Reflection contest, and their families, are invited to attend a reception Monday morning at 8AM in our library.

Last Friday, the Diversity and Inclusion Working group met and discussed many great ideas to celebrate diversity  at Discovery. Many ideas will help teachers expose students to diversity through books, lunch bunches, and other planned activities. We are excited for our first World Heritage Night in February!

Thank you to those who attended our noon Principal Chat on Building Resiliency with WMS counselor Johanna Boyers. Ms. Boyers shared eye opening statistics and from a recent Site-Based Survey, such as 73% of students feel stressed at school and 20% reported feeling sad or hopeless in the past year. Ms. Boyers shared research from Kathy Caprino’s 7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors and Lulie Lythcott-Haimes’ How to Raise An Adult. Parents who attended the session shared their own successes and struggles. You can view this informative session on Twitter @RussoErin. We will share a link to the Powerpoint presentation soon. Thank you Ms. Boyers and all those who attended virtually.

Lastly, it’s that time of year...to start thinking about NEXT school year! Please encourage families of rising Kindergarten students to come to Kindergarten Information Night on Monday, January 22 at 7PM at Washington-Lee High School.

Parent Reading Academy

Please join us for Discovery’s first Parent Reading Academy! This PTA sponsored event will focus on “Getting To Know our Readers.” Teams of teachers will engage parents in building and strengthening their understanding of the sophisticated work readers do in order to make meaning from text. Teachers will share instructional components of reading workshop that engage and support all readers. Parents will actively participant in our breakout sessions.  We hope you can join us!

K-2 Reading Academy: January 23, 2018 (Blue Sky Studio & Cloud Commons, 6:30-7:30 PM,)

3-5 Reading Academy: January 24, 2018 (Blue Sky Studio & Cloud Commons, 6:30-7:30 PM,)

Upcoming Events

22 Jan. - PTA Reflections Ceremony (Library, 8AM)

22 Jan. - Kindergarten Information Night (Washington-Lee HS, 7PM)

23 Jan. - Reading Parent Academy (K-2) (Cloud Commons, 6:30-7:30PM)

24 Jan. - Reading Parent Academy (3-5) (Blue Sky Studio, 6:30-7:30PM)

25 Jan. - Eco-Action Meeting (Art Room, Music Room, 8:50-9:35AM, )

26 Jan. - Student Holiday

2 Feb. - PTA Meeting (Dining Commons, 7PM)

9 Feb. - Discovery Family Dance Glow Party

14 Feb. - Early Release

19 Feb. - Presidents Day

22 Feb. - World Heritage Night

1-2 March - Parent-Teacher Conferences

10 March - Discovery Auction Night

14 March - Early Release

26-30 March - Spring Break

January 12, 2018

Dear Discovery Families,

Happy strangely warm day! We took advantage of the weather and practiced our fire drill on Thursday. We also completed a Lock Down drill on Tuesday. Students responded appropriately to both drills and we are proud of their attention to safety. On Sunday, join us at Wakefield from 5-6:30PM for a Martin Luther King Celebration. Discovery second grader, Colin Demir, earned second place in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Literary and Visual Arts. Several Explorers were recognized on Tuesday at the PTA Reflections Ceremony. We will celebrate and view their works on January 22 at 8AM in our library. Please join us here at Discovery on Monday, January 15th, for our MLK Day of Service. We will sort donated items (e.g., clothing, toys, books) for the Borromeo House.

Thanks to everyone who came out on a cold Movie Night! Also, special thanks to our PTA for making the Staff After Holiday Party memorable.


Erin and Judy

New Recess and Lunch Schedule

Our new schedule is working well. Here it is.

APS School Talk Messages through School Messenger

Did you miss receiving yesterday’s text message about the 2-hour delay? If so, there’s an easy fix. As long as your cell number is already in the school's database, just text the word YES to 67587. This will verify that you can receive text messages to that phone. If you think the school does not have your cell number, please call Discovery to verify.

Matching Day Photo

Spirit Days in 2018

February 16: Jersey/Sports Team Day (Friday before Presidents’ Day Weekend)

March 23: Hat Day (Friday before Spring Break)

April 20: Eco-Action/Green Day (Friday before Earth Day)

May 25: Red, White, and Blue Day (Friday before Memorial Day Weekend)

10 Questions to Develop a Growth Mindset in Children

  1. What did you do today that made you think hard?
  2. What happened today that made you keep on going?
  3. What can you learn from this?
  4. What mistake did you make that taught you something?
  5. What did you try hard at today?
  6. What strategy are you going to try now?
  7. What will you do to challenge yourself today?
  8. What will you to improve your work?
  9. What will you do to improve your talent?
  10. What will you do to solve this problem?

Upcoming Events

12 Jan. - Diversity and Inclusion Working Group Meeting (Blue Sky Studio, 4:15PM)

15 Jan. - Holiday, Martin Luther King Day of Service (Discovery, 11AM-1PM)

17 Jan. - Instrumental Music Concert (Gym, 7PM)

19 Jan. - Student Success Chat: Special Education Process (Blue Sky Studio, 9-10AM)

19 Jan. - Principal Chat: WMS School Counselor (Blue Sky Studio, 12PM)

23 Jan. - Reading Parent Academy (K-2) (Cloud Commons, 6:30-7:30PM)

24 Jan. - Reading Parent Academy (3-5) (Blue Sky Studio, 6:30-7:30PM)

25 Jan. - End of Quarter 2

January 5, 2017

Dear Discovery Families,

With the cold weather, please ensure your child wears his/her hats and gloves. APS policy required indoor recess on two days this week. We will have outdoor recess weather permitting. Also, please understand that when it is this cold, safety patrols are not outside to help with arrival and dismissal. Despite the cold, our first-graders visited the Planetarium.

In this New Year, Discovery selected the following staff members for Employee of the year: Kristen Zarkowsky (Grade 5 Classroom Teacher), Lidia Gomez (Head Custodian), and Sandra Amores (Administrative Assistant). We strongly urge you to write letters of support if any of these talented and dedicated Discovery staff members have impacted your child’s school life.

Wishing you a Happy 2018!

Erin and Judy

MLK Day of Service- January 15th 11-1PM

Come celebrate Martin Luther King’s Day of Service on January 15th at Discovery from 11AM to 1PM. Please join us to sort and pack donated items which will help Borromeo House families. Thank you to all the families who donated items. On January 15th, families will hear an Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (ASPAN) speak about making a difference for others in the community.

Helping Children Build Resiliency

In today’s highly competitive world (especially in Northern Virginia), and in the ever-changing world of technology, we find our middle school students more and more stressed, and less equipped with the coping skills needed to manage social and academic concerns. The good news is that you as parents can take specific steps now to help your child build the resiliency they will need to meet these demands. Johana Boyers, Counselor at WMS, will present to parents at noon on Friday, January 19th. This Principal Chat will be streamed live using Periscope and recorded on Twitter@RussoErin. Join us in Blue Sky Studio!

New Recess and Lunch Schedule

We will start a new recess and lunch schedule to ensure safety and maximize time on Monday, January 8th. Here are the new times below lunch times:

Upcoming Events

5 Jan. - Diversity and Inclusion Working Group Meeting (Blue Sky Studio, 4:15PM)

5 Jan. - Movie Night (Gym 7-9 PM, Running Time 1 Hour, 49 Minutes)

10 Jan. - Early Release Day (1:26PM)

15 Jan. - Holiday, Martin Luther King’s Day of Service (Discovery 11AM-1PM)

17 Jan. - Instrumental Music Concert (7PM, Gym)

19 Jan. - Student Success Chat: Special Education Process (Blue Sky Studio, 9-10AM)

19 Jan. - Parent Principal Chat with WMS School Counselor (Blue Sky Studio, 12 Noon)

23 Jan. - Reading Parent Academy (K-2) 6:30-7:30PM

24 Jan. - Reading Parent Academy (3-5) 6:30-7:30PM

25 Jan. - End of Quarter 2

Dear Discovery Families,

We wish everyone a wonderful restful winter break! It’s been a busy week with Explorer Lunches. The students shared thoughtful insights into the highs and lows of life at Discovery. We thank them for the conversations and look forward to more Explorer Lunches in the new year. Please join me in congratulating second grader, Colin Demir, for earning second place in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Literary and Visual Arts contest. Today we announced Cars 3 will be shown on Movie Night! We also approved the new traffic pattern of exiting Discovery. The trial is over and starting in the new year you will always be able to exit Discovery’s front parking lot by turning right or left. This has relieved much of the backup on 36th street. Thanks everyone for driving cautiously.

The entire Discovery staff thanks you for all your support and partnership. Thank you PTA and all the amazing bakers! Staff enjoyed the Cookie Exchange!!! Looking forward to 2018!


Erin and Judy

Temporary Crosswalk Closures

Starting after Winter Break in January 2018, Arlington County will be installing a “Green Street” rain garden in the median of Williamsburg Boulevard between N. Edison and N. Harrison Streets. The green street will collect stormwater runoff from the street and remove pollutants from the runoff before it flows into the storm sewer. Construction is expected to be largely completed by March 2018.

County staff want us to know that this project will result in some temporary crosswalk closures, which may affect some Williamsburg students’ routes to school this winter. Specifically, the east crosswalk for Williamsburg Boulevard will be closed for the duration of the construction. The sidewalk on the North side of Williamsburg Boulevard between N. Harrison Street and N. Emerson Street will also be closed intermittently. The contractor will post signage with a detour for any sidewalk closures.

If you have any questions or need more information about this project, please contact Watershed Outreach Program Manager Aileen Winquist at awinquist@arlingtonva.us or visit https://projects.arlingtonva.us/projects/williamsburg-boulevard-green-street/

Hour of Code

The Hour of Code is a global movement to introduce students to the basics of computer programming.  While Hour of Code is usually celebrated for an hour on one day in December, we are celebrating coding and computer science throughout the month of December and will continue to integrate coding activities throughout the year.  

Did you know that coding doesn’t always have to be on a device?  Ms. Blake first introduced our students to “Un-plugged” activities-- learning about directional commands, loops, and partner programming.  Then, she added code.org and robotic activities.  We have been using code.org for both plugged and un-plugged activities as well as robots.  Here are just some of our activities:

Grade 1:

As part of an un-plugged lesson, students worked on coding a re-telling of the story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Students used directional commands on a grid and used pictures of the story to code their way through a retelling of this story.

After reading, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, students created their own bus routes and coded the bus stops using Ozobot robots.

Grades 2 & 3:

Students learned about: algorithms, programs, and loops through a series of un-plugged lessons.  They practiced programming in pairs to find the mystery images and created their own codes with partners.

Students navigated a series of challenges of Minecraft: Hero’s Journey by writing lines of code on their devices.

Students in Grade 2 coded pathways with 5 key elements of code patterns based on familiar texts as a story extensions using the Ozobot robots.  Students in Grade 3 coded food webs, reinforcing science vocabulary using the Ozobots.

Many classrooms throughout the school have been doing additional coding activities as well.  HERE is a link where you can explore code with your Explorer at home.

Discovery Voices Spreading Joy

This week 5th grade members of the Discovery Voices visited the Walter Reed Adult Day Health Care Center here in Arlington to perform their winter concert program. The students beautifully sang and enjoyed visiting with several of the residents after performing. We are proud to say that this is the start of a new friendship with Walter Reed and we look forward to continuing this new tradition in years to come.

Upcoming Events

22 Dec- 1 Jan- Winter Break

5 Jan.- Movie Night

10 Jan.- World Heritage Night (deadline to sign up)

18 Jan- Family Fitness Night (April 10)

19 Jan.- Principal Chat: Helping Children Navigate Difficult Times (12PM, Blue Sky)

23 Jan.- Parent Reading Academy K-2 (6:30-7:30PM)

24 Jan.- Parent Reading Academy 3- 5 (6:30-7:30PM)

December 15, 2017

Dear Discovery Families,

Thank you so much for driving with caution, in and out of Discovery, as we all become comfortable with the trial traffic pattern of the option to turn right out of the Discovery driveway. Our initial data suggests that the traffic plan is working.

We had our second whole school assembly on Wednesday. Our focus was Eco-Action and Green Flag Pathways and hearing our Choir Perform. The 4th and 5th grade Discovery Voices worked hard to put on a wonderful performance. Our surprise for the assembly was bringing our mascot - Eco Explorer to life. Students loved our Eco Explorer! The Discovery Voices performed again to a packed house on Wednesday evening. Thank you, Ms. Krupa and Ms. Walker for leading our student in song.

Explorers Take First Place

Check out our two Discovery Explorers who took first place in their categories/divisions at the county level Reflections contest and are moving onto the district level competition. Congrats to Peyton Johnson and Mason Mirabile!

Peyton Johnson - Primary Division - Visual Art

Mason Mirabile - Primary Division - Music Composition

This is Peyton’s statement:  

I went on a walk around my neighborhood and noticed a lot of trash. Me and my mom and my dad picked up all the trash. When we got home, I made a hand out of trash. I can't believe how much people litter. My goal is to make our world a cleaner place. If everybody does their part, my goal is within reach!!!!

Peyton’s piece is entitled Masterpiece of Trash

This is Mason’s statement:  

I am 7 and have taken piano for 2 years. I divided my music into 3 sections: sad, medium, and happy, to show how I feel when I reach a goal. On sad sections, I used minor chords and slow drums. On the happy sections, I used major chords and fast drums. I made up the tune for the bass and piano and played it to match the chords. I have written a whole lot of music and I like this one the best!

Mason's piece is entitled "Within Reach”. (Use the link to hear the music!)

Eco-Action Team

Eco-Action Explorers had a full week! Several Eco-Action Green Leaders presented the pathways to sustainability to the entire school along with a grand introduction of our new Discovery mascot…Eco-Explorer!  

During this month Eco-Action meeting, K-2nd grade Green Leaders studied the climate change pathway and participated in the climate change audit. 3rd-5th grade Green Leaders studied the water pathway of sustainability, the importance of water conservation and how our Discovery rain barrels benefit our school and gardens. The  Leaders then designed ideas for how we could paint our Discovery Rain barrels with an environmental theme. Students will vote on the top two designs and paint them in the spring. A team of 4th graders participated in a water audit of Discovery and investigated several classrooms and bathrooms. These audits play an important role in us maintaining our Green Flag status at Discovery.


Parent Reading Academy: Getting to Know Our Readers

Please join us for Discovery’s first Parent Reading Academy! This PTA sponsored event will focus on “Getting To Know our Readers.” Teams of teachers will engage parents in building and strengthening their understanding of the sophisticated work readers do in order to make meaning from text.  Teachers will share instructional components of reading workshop that engage and support all readers.  Parents/guardians will be active participants throughout our breakout sessions.  We hope you can join us!

K-2 Reading Academy will be held on January 23, 2018 from 6:30-7:30pm.

3-5 Reading Academy will be held on January 24, 2018 from 6:30-7:30pm.

MLK Day of Service Collection

The Community Service Committee plans to collect new and gently used clothing, toys, and books and gather on MLK to sort and distribute to the Borromeo House.

With winter break quickly approaching and many families cleaning out closets, we'd like to start immediately collecting items for donation.  Please consider contributing to the box in the main office and join us on Martin Luther King Jr.

Discovery has earned EPA’s Energy Star certification with a score of 100 (out of 100).

Strengthening Families Program

Want to improve children’s behavior and strengthen family bonds?

Strengthening Families Program at Campbell ES - Free program for Arlington County 1st-3rd graders and their families to work together over 14 weeks on communication skills and stress management. Parents gain techniques in effective discipline, giving clear directions, and organizing the family. Students learn to resist peer pressure, understand consequences, and solve problems constructively. Sessions are highly interactive and include role-playing, discussions, learning games, and family projects.

Class for 1st-3rd grade children and their parents is on Thursday nights from Feb. 1 – May 17 from 6:00-8:15 pm at Campbell ES. Dinner and childcare are included. Classes are in English and Spanish.

Register: Online or at www.StrengtheningFamiliesArlington.com, or contact Lainie Morgan (SFP Coordinator) LMorgan@arlingtonva.us or 703-228-1529


Student Success Chat

Thank you Ms. Stuver for hosting today’s Student Success Chat. We are sharing this resource as part of our continuing conversation on building a strong home school connection to raise resilient and kind children. This resource offers advice on how to talk to your child about feelings. We will continue to share common language to support children.

Upcoming Events

9 Dec.- Gifts that Give Hope Alternative Gift Fair (10AM-2PM)

11 Dec.- Lost and Found items donated

13 Dec.- Winter Concert (Gym, 7PM)

15 Dec.- PTA Gift Card Donation

19 Dec.- Staff Holiday Cookie Exchange

21 Dec.- Spirit Day Pajama Day

22 Dec- 1 Jan- Winter Break

5 Jan- Movie Night

10 Jan- World Heritage Night

18 Jan- Family Fitness Night (April 10)

December 8, 2017

Dear Discovery Families,

Snow might be headed our way. We wish you a warm weekend. This week we practiced another fire drill and everyone exited in 1:10 seconds. Second graders enjoyed their field trip. We also have had much traffic through our Book Fair. We are excited to know that Discovery Explorers read books for fun and enjoyment.


Erin and Judy

Trial Traffic Pattern

There have been ongoing concerns with the traffic backup on 36th Street during drop-off and dismissal. For this reason, Discovery is piloting a new trial traffic pattern beginning Monday, December 11th.


On Monday morning, cars will be able turn left or RIGHT when exiting the Discovery parking lot at arrival and dismissal. We ask all drivers to use caution, as westbound cars will be turning left into Discovery’s parking lot. This trial will occur for the two weeks before the winter break, December 11-21. Please be aware that 36th Street and Kensington is a four way stop.


Safety is our number one priority.

Arlington County police will be on site to ensure safety. APS staff will monitor the traffic during this trial period. Again, we ask for your cooperation and patience during drop-off and pick-up to ensure community safety.  We will update parents and the neighborhood on results before the return to school on January 2.

Grade 2 Naglieri (NNAT3) News

After receiving numerous reports from schools and divisions regarding what appeared to be erroneous scoring, Pearson looked into the scoring issue and will update the norms of the NNAT3 test. Pearson will rescore students’ tests and new score reports and APS will send out in January. APS apologizes for this delay in receiving accurate scores. Discovery will send the reports home to families as soon as we receive them.

Girls On The Run

It was fantastic fall season for our Discovery Girls on the Run teams! Twice a week, girls in grades 3rd through 5th grade have learned about their “star power,” what makes a good friend, how to communicate their feelings, empathy, cooperation and compromise, that “words matter,” and much, much more. They have also discovered how strong and able they are by training for a 5k. After a lot of hard work, their season culminated this past Sunday with the 5k race in Sterling, Virginia. Each one of them made their coaches, teammates, families, and friends very proud as they enthusiastically ran on a very early and chilly winter morning. Congratulations to them all!


Morning Team:

Clara Amundson

Ari Bhatt

Ava Check

Eliza Conway

Alexandra Gomez

Edith Labriola

Maren Leonard

Natalie Leung

Bridget Lohmeyer

Raika Louis

Olivia Manney

Anna Mohanty

Marely Neff

Alexa Newman

Julie Piedrahita

Lena O’Geen

Nora Read

Taylor Reardon

Mackenzie Smith



Kathy Martin

Ashley Leonard

Melissa Jurgens

Rasdy Louis

Ginny Gomez

Afternoon Team:

Kendall Amori

Alexis Chou

Shira Dorf

Audrey Gagnier

Grace Gagnier

Claire Higgins

Ginger Lewis

Ciara Monteverde

Gianna Pearson

Kate Sullivan

Lauren Upadhyaya

Allie Urdanick

Maya Umerov-Todoroki

Coaches: Ms. Coulouris

World Heritage Night

We are very excited to announce our first annual World Heritage Night on February 22, 2018 from 6 to 8 PM. We look forward to a fun filled night of cultural performances, delicious international cuisine, and beautiful displays created by our students and their families. The purpose of this event is to celebrate the diversity within our school. We all have our own traditions and we believe this will be a wonderful opportunity to share our individual cultures and to learn from each other. World Heritage Night will a great opportunity to strengthen our community and we look forward to your participation.

Building Community

Thank you for an engaging PTA meeting last Tuesday. Many great ideas were generated on how we can continue to build a stronger community and use common language to support our children when they encounter meanness and/or partake in misbehavior. We are planning more parent sessions and will share that information soon. In addition, we will begin featuring examples of how we model and talk to students when poor choices are made in Discovery News.

Gifts That Give Hope

If APS closes tomorrow, due to weather, the Gifts That Give Hope’s alternative gift fair will take place on Sunday, December 10th from 1-4PM. Our PTA Book Fair will also be Sunday 1-4PM. Hope to see you there!

If APS is open Saturday, Gifts That Give Hope and the Book Fair will be open 10AM-2PM. Be sure to checkout the teacher classroom wish lists posted on the glass outside of the library.

Upcoming Events

9 Dec.- Gifts that Give Hope Alternative Gift Fair (10AM-2PM)

11 Dec.- Lost and Found items donated

13 Dec.- Winter Concert (Gym, 7PM)

15 Dec.- PTA Gift Card Donation

19 Dec.- Staff Holiday Cookie Exchange

21 Dec.- Spirit Day Pajama Day

22 Dec- 1 Jan- Winter Break

5 Jan- Movie Night

10 Jan- World Heritage Night

18 Jan- Family Fitness Night

Dear Discovery Families,

It was an exciting week with warmer weather and many outdoor activities. We took advantage of today’s weather and completed our December Fire Drill. Students quickly and quietly exited the building. We also began classroom discussions on empathy. We will continue to teach and practice empathy through December as part of our CARES program. We teach that empathy means thinking of other people’s feelings. We have books on empathy in our library. Please encourage your child to check them out and read them. A few titles include Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper, Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine, and Just Grace by Charise Mericle Harper.

Battle of the Books

We started the day with all third, fourth, and fifth graders in the gym for the much anticipated reading celebration! Fourth and fifth grade teams decked out in team costumes. Team names included Rusk’s Raccoons, Zarkowsky’s Zillionaires, Bridge’s Butlers, Ahler’s Airlines, Olmsted’s Outcasts, Mini Timkes, Frankin-Steins, Vincent’s VIPs, Upshur’s Unstopables, and Appaiah’s Adventures. Students answered tough questions, and teachers helped in the second round of questions. Third graders judged team chants and everyone celebrated their knowledge of the books. Mr. Re unveiled the next book badging challenge. We look forward to sharing more details with you soon. Congratulations to Bridge’s Butlers for earning the most points and to Ahler’s Airlines for best cheer!

Eco Action Team

Grade 3-5 Eco-Action Green Leaders learned about alternative energy sources with Jim Egenrieder from the Qualcomm Virginia Tech Thinkabit Lab. The leaders learned about Discovery’s alternative energy sources of geothermal wells and solar panels, as well as how they function. Students observed a real biogas machine and solar passive systems built by the Thinkabit Lab. One thing that really stuck with our Green Leaders is that we need to move away from thinking of our waste as “yucky” and utilize its potential energy and nutrients. We are planning for Mr. Egenrieder to return to continue working on building passive solar systems with our Green Leaders.

Kindergarten and Grades 1-2 Eco-Action Green Leaders met with Arlington for a Cleaner Environment and participated in energy sources and conservation activities from NEED (National Energy Education Development).

Biogas machine

Biogas instruction                                        

Solar Passive machine/instruction

Discovery in the News

The following links feature Discovery. A Brighter Future and Education Week.

Upcoming Events

4-9 Dec. Book Fair - browse days Mon and Tues - Buying Wed to Sat.

5 Dec.- PTA meeting (come early and shop at the book fair 4-7:30 PM)

9 Dec.- Gifts that Give Hope Alternative Gift Fair (10AM-2PM)

11 Dec.- Lost and Found items donated

15 Dec.- PTA Gift Card Donation

19 Dec.- Staff Holiday Cookie Exchange

November 17, 2017

This week teachers in K, 1st, and 3rd grade teachers participated in powerful learning on the teaching of reading. Thank you PTA! Hannah Kolb from Teacher’s College worked with teachers for three solid days on a variety of subjects, including meaningful strategy groups for struggling readers, as well as, ways to grow comprehension strategies with above level readers.  

This morning we had another well attended Play Before the Day and Student Success Chat. Angela Torpy, our math coach, and Kristen Zarkowsky, our math lead teacher, facilitated an engaging session on growing math mindsets, the math instructional framework at Discovery and in APS, and ways to support mathematical learning at home.

With no newsletter last week, we want to make sure we say a heartfelt thank you to all our Veterans. Many of our students shared their family members’ experiences and showed gratitude for all those who serve our country. In addition, we would like to thank those who participated in our Discovery Clean Up. First, second, third graders came out on a cold, cold day. We are planning our next clean-up day for Earth Day, April 22nd.

Movie Night is this evening. We are showing Hidden Figures (rating PG) at 7PM. Also, Dr. Barb Gruber, Supervisor of School Programs at the National Air and Space Museum, will lead students in a hands-on activity to demonstrate how the Apollo program’s guidance computers were coded. Pizza will be available for sale. Join us at 6 PM for this fun activity, and stay until 7PM for Hidden Figures.

Progress reports are finished. Let’s make second quarter even better. Please reflect with your child and set goals for growing content skills and processing, as well as social-emotional growth C.A.R.E.S. You will receive a progress report in your child’s backpack on Tuesday, November 28th.

As we keep the safety of our students in the forefront of our minds, please know that we will ask “How may I help you?” prior to your entry into our building. We may ask you to state your name, your child’s name, and/or the reason for your visit.


We want to say BRAVO to all our talented students who took a risk and shared their art in the PTA Reflections. We will celebrate our talented Explorers on Monday, January 22, at 8AM. Please join us in congratulating the following artists:

Peyton Johnson, Sajni Desai, Leah Kamholz, Lucy Dean, Natalie Anderson, Sophie Chang, Hayden Schultz, Maxwell LaBonte, Gavin Kline, Addison Smith, Austin Humes, Caitlyn Loke, Edith Labriola, Clara Shriner, Aidan O’Connell, Kayla Johnson, Owen Atkins, Maya Umerov-Todoroki, Cara Van Gieson, Skye Van Gieson, Gavin Haughery, Aryana Bhatt, Alexander LaBonte, Alexandra Gomez, Claire O’Sullivan, Georgina Newell, Parker Schultz, Paul Gulick, Ever Rose D’Addio, Lauren Upadhyaya, Jonah Treitler, Blake Arden Thorsen, Lauren Arnold, Morgan Flood, Ben Gulick, Will O’Sullivan, Charlie Dantzker, Julie Piedrahita, Amelia Warlick, Ada Zanni, Marian Gutierrez, Elliana Romero Rainey, Lena O’Geen, and Mason Mirabile,

Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation's Annual 5k and Family Fun Day

Please join us this Sunday, November 18th, for the family fun event. Come out to support Discovery's Lawson family while raising funds to assist Arlington's most vulnerable expectant mothers and children through their partnership with Virginia Hospital Center and Arlington Pediatric Center.

PTA Directory Information

Discovery PTA is switching from AtoZ online directory to Membership Toolkit. In order to have your child listed in the directory and receive communications from room parents and the PTA, you MUST register here. Unlike in previous years, data from APS first day packets will NOT be automatically uploaded in the online directory (but it will be used for our paper directory that will be distributed to all parents). So, if you would like your child to be in this year's online directory, you must register here.

All PTA members now have access to the online directory via the PTA website and the Membership Toolkit App (found in your app store).

Update On Nagleri (NNAT3) Scores

We are waiting to hear more information about the NNAT3 score reports from the Office of Planning and Evaluation and the Office of Gifted Services. Thank you for your patience.

Upcoming Events

17 Nov.- Movie Night (6PM,  Dr. Gruber in Dining Commons, 7PM, Hidden Figures, Gym)

18 Nov.- Jennifer Bush-Lawson Foundation’s Annual 5K and Family Fun Day

22 -24 Nov.- Student Thanksgiving Holiday

5 Dec.- PTA Meeting (7PM, Dining Commons)

5-9 Dec.- Book Fair (Library)

9 Dec.- Gift That Gifts Hope (Dining Commons)

11 Dec.- Donation of Lost & Found items

November 3, 2017

Dear Discovery Parents,

We hope you found the Gifted Playground and Math Parent Academy sessions engaging and informative. Thanks for all your participation and feedback. Students are beginning to celebrate their published pieces and are setting new writing goals. We continue to work on stamina and description at all grade levels. Check out Learning Logs to learn more.

It's sign-up time for Odyssey of the Mind! In this program, teams of 5-7 students apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. If your child is interested in joining a team that will meet weekly from December to March, contact Karen Harned at kharned89@gmail.com before Nov. 21.

We are hoping for a gorgeous day Sunday for the Outdoor Lab Open House. Come check out
  the 200-acre outdoor education facility in Fauquier County, Virginia, that is owned by the Arlington Outdoor Education Association and used by APS during the school year to run education programs for its students. This is a chance for Discovery families to explore it together! Fish, canoe, hike, and roast marshmallows, too!

Peter Pan Jr. auditions kicked off! The first rehearsals were fantastic! We love that so many students want participate in the performance. The show will be in March, and we guarantee it will be a showcase of talent!


Erin and Judy

Spirit Wear- Last Chance

This is your last chance to order Discovery Spirit Wear for the 2017-18 school year! Orders are due on Sunday, November 5th. No exceptions. Order here. Don’t miss out!

Tree Lovers

Please join us NEXT Friday, November 10th from 9-11AM. Our trees need your help. We welcome shovels, gloves, and loppers. We are counting on a beautiful fall day to care for our trees. We also welcome mulch bag donations. We need standard shredded hardwood- not colored mulch in bags. For more information, please contact Gretchen Davis at 202-531-0011. We will meet on the Solar Plaza. The PTA will provide hot coffee and donuts.

Picture Retakes

Make-up day this year for students and staff members who missed having their picture taken is on Tuesday, Nov 14th from 9:30-11am. Remember, only students and staff who had pictures taken will be included in the yearbook.  

Students who would like a retake must bring their original portrait packages with them to the camera on Make-Up Day. Retake order forms are in the front office for new students or anyone who missed picture day and would like to order pictures. An announcement will be made when the photographer is ready and students/staff can make their way to the Cloud Commons.

If you or any of your students had a picture taken on picture day but did not receive anything on Tuesday, please email: pictures@discoverypta.org


Transportation Initiatives

We continue promote and increase participation in our transportation initiatives of students walking, biking, carpooling, and bus riding to school. Next week, our Eco-Action Team will distribute stickers to students in the morning to stick on their bikes when they arrive at school on their bikes. These stickers will increase the accuracy of our data gathering process, as we continue to upload data to our Discovery Dashboard. The stickers match the grade specific themes of Backyard, Forest, Ocean, Atmosphere, Solar System, and Galaxy.

If you bike and/or walk to school and are interested in connecting with other families who also bike and/or walk to school, please contact Ms. Burke and Ms. Krupa, our Eco-Action Team Coordinators. Our Eco-Action Team wants to connect families to facilitate neighborhood walking and biking ‘carpools’. Let’s hope for more amazingly warm days like we had this past week so our Explorers continue to walk and bike in November and December.

Upcoming Events


11/5 Merchandise Sale ENDS

11/7 NO SCHOOL: Restaurant Day at Joe's Pizza and Pasta Place

11/8 PTA Meeting (7PM- Wednesday Evening)

11/9  Twice Exceptional Students (7-8:30 PM, Syphax Education Center)

11/10 NO SCHOOL-Veterans Day

11/10 Discovery Fall Clean Up

11/14 Picture Retakes

11/17 Play Before Your Day (8:30AM)

11/17 Student Success Chat: Math Workshop & Resources (9AM)

11/17 Movie Night: Hidden Figures

11/18 JBLF 5K & Family Fun Day

October 27, 2017

Dear Discovery Families,

Many thanks to the PTA and the numerous volunteers who made Pumpkinfest a huge success! We had many families participate in the Parade, Pumpkin Carving, Day of Play, Cake Walk, Bake Sale, and Games. Great weather, great costumes, and great times!

At our Kindness Assembly students celebrated the many ways we show kindness. Students did an awesome job with their audience expectations and participation. We launched our Kindness Challenge. The intent of the challenge is to model for students how to demonstrate kindness, as well as inspire them to show kindness at school and at home.

We had students and their families from Germany visit Discovery on Wednesday morning. They attended our Kindness Assembly and then toured the school. Discovery has the highest number of families participating in the exchange. We loved sharing our school with our visitors.


Erin and Judy

Share Your Knowledge With Discovery Teachers and Students

Help Discovery teachers include more guest speakers by filling out this Google Form. If you knowledge or experience and are willing to share, we would love to hear from you.

Upcoming Events

30 Oct. - Gifted Playground (2-5) (6:30-7:30PM, Library)

1 Nov. - Math Academy for K-2 Families (6-7 PM, Cloud Commons)

2 Nov. - Math Academy for 3-5 Families (6-7 PM, Cloud Commons)

7 Nov.- No School For Students, Grade Preparation Day

9 Nov. - Twice Exceptional Students (7-8:30 PM, Syphax Education Center,

8 Nov. - PTA Meeting (7 PM, Dining Commons)

10 Nov.- No School, Veterans Day

October 20

Dear Discovery Families,

It’s almost time for PUMPKINFEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Looking forward to our third annual AWESOME community event. Parade kick off at 11:30!

It’s been a busy, but wonderful fall week at Discovery. We had many parents and teachers join us for the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group meeting. We brainstormed many different ideas and had thoughtful conversation with people committed to help educate and celebrate all aspects of diversity.

The warm fall weather drew a crowd for Play Before the Day. We had our highest attendance to date. We also had a full house in Blue Sky Studio for our Student Success Chat. Susan Clark and Katherine DeCrosta shared information and answered questions on how we support learners with ADHD.

The excitement in kindergarten was palpable. Parents helped our learners make predictions, collect data, and practice counting.

We hope to see many families taking advantage of the rare opportunity to visit Langley. On October 21, 2017  the NASA gates will open to the public for their Centennial Celebration Open House. For more information about the NASA Langley Centennial, see: openhouse.larc.nasa.gov. Discovery will screen Hidden Figures on Friday evening, November 17th.

Thank you for your support in keeping Discovery students safe. We saw a drastic reduction in students arriving before 8:45AM. Please remind your child to bring a book for morning reading.

Calling All Tree Lovers

Please join us Friday, November 10th from 9-11AM. Our trees need your help. We welcome shovels, gloves, and loppers. We are counting on a beautiful fall day to care for our trees. We also welcome mulch bag donations. We need standard bagged shredded hardwood- not colored mulch. For more information please contact Gretchen Davis at 202-531-0011. We will meet on the Solar Plaza. The PTA will provide hot coffee and donuts.

Eco-Action Team: Green Leaders

Our Green Leaders met with a sustainable farmer and discussed gardening. Students learned about seasonable growing and completed the Discovery Sustainable Food Audit.

Upcoming Events

22 Oct. - Pumpkinfest (11:30AM-3PM, Discovery)

25 Oct. - Early Release (1:26 PM)

25 Oct. - Challenging Racism: Learning How Through Stories and Conversations

26 & 27 Oct. - Parent/Teacher Conferences

30 Oct. - Gifted Playground (Grades 2-5) (6:30-7:30PM, Library)

October 13

Dear Discovery Families,

If your child is a car rider or walker, please plan for an 8:45 AM arrival and entry into school at this time. We have noticed children arriving prior to 8:45 AM. Please know that our hallways are unsupervised until 8:45 AM. When students arrive, we expect them to bring a book, not a device, to read or look at from 8:45 to until teachers invite them into the classroom and greet them. If you need to have your child arrive prior to 8:45AM, please sign up for Extended Day. The Extended Day number is 703-228-2699.

Please join us at our World Heritage Planning meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 17th at 4:15PM in Blue Sky Studio.

Explorers celebrated Spirit Day by wearing all kinds of Discovery gear. We are looking forward to new spirit wear being released by the PTA soon. As we experienced a dip in temperature and the jackets came out, please remember to put names on all student items. Wonderful volunteers work hard to return items from our Lost and Found located under the grand staircase.

Want to see picture from the Outdoor Lab trip? Which Explorers worked on strategies such as say it, slide it, hear it, write it, use snap words, and listen for little words inside? Who is learning about the Neolithic Age? What musical will star Explorers? And did you know that your kindergartener is gearing up for pattern work? Please check out Discovery Learning Logs to hear more about classroom lessons.


Erin and Judy


Thank you PTA and Mr. Duffy for an exhilarating night of Bingo. Our first ever Bingo Family Night was filled with music, cheers, and great camaraderie. Everyone left a winner. We look forward to more game nights!

No Frills Fundraiser

If you enjoyed Bingo Night, keep in mind that our PTA is an active organization supporting teacher learning, community events, and student success. Consider donating today. No Frills ends next Sunday at Pumpkinfest. The average family donation was $125 last year, but the PTA would greatly appreciate a donation in any amount. Our main goal this year is for 100% family participation. Our Explorer’s have benefitted from some amazing programs and services and we would love to be able to continue that tradition.

Anthony Horowitz

World renowned author, Anthony Horowitz, captivated students today with his powerful messaging, engaging storytelling, and tantalizing words. Explorers heard a new Alex Rider passage and asked honest questions. Thank you Mr. Horowitz for inspiring teachers and students! Thanks Mr. Re for bringing him to us, and thank you PTA (and No Frills donors) for bringing us Zachariah Ohora in the spring!

Upcoming Events

17 Oct. - Gifted Playground (K-1) (6:30-7:30PM, Library)

20 Oct. - Play Before Your Day (8:30AM, North Playground)

20 Oct. - Student Success Chat (9:15, Blue Sky Studio)

22 Oct. - Pumpkinfest (11:30AM, Discovery)

25 Oct. - Early Release (1:26)

25 Oct. - Challenging Racism: Learning How Through Stories and Conversations

26 & 27 - Parent Teacher Conferences

30 Oct. - Gifted Playground (2-5) (6:30-7:30PM, Library)

October 6

Dear Discovery Families,

Please click on the links above to see what your child learned this week. Our Learning Logs are updated every Thursday. They are great way to engage in conversation with your child. We are looking forward to Parent Teacher Conferences. Please use a Sign-Up Genius to schedule your conferences. The Parent Teacher Conference Sign-Up Genius will go live on Tuesday, October 10th at 6 PM. You can access the Sign-Up from our website. We will also send a School Talk reminder.

S is for Walk and Bike To School Day success! It was a great way to get our heart rates up at the start of our day. We thanked Fire Truck 106 for helping us with our traditional picture. We officially recorded 308 bikers and 150 walkers.

Two Wheel Tuesday is a Discovery campaign to increase bike ridership throughout the school year. We want our Explorers to ride on all days, and choose Tuesdays as the day to promote and celebrate biking to school. Our safety patrols will begin to count the number of Discovery bikes locked to our bike racks each and everyday, including Tuesdays. Then, the patrols will upload these data to our Energy Dashboard. Teachers will distribute Discovery stickers to students this next week and help students place them on their bikes. These stickers will assist our patrols in counting Discovery bikes, as opposed to WMS bikes.

We hope everyone enjoys the three day weekend. It might be a great time to encourage your child’s creativity and to submit an entry to the PTA Reflections Within Reach contest. The deadline for entries is November 3rd. Find more information here. We also have entry forms in the main hallway.


Erin and Judy

October is Bully Awareness Month

Ms. Kenney presented at the PTA meeting on Discovery’s plan to increase kindness. Ms. Kenney and Ms.Gaeta will visit all classrooms and deliver a variety of lessons themed around kindness. The book Wonder by R.J. Palacio and its ultimate message of ‘Choose Kind’ will serve as a visual connection and students will create a banner that will hang in the Dining Commons. We will continue to give students strategies to recognize, refuse, and report bullying behavior. As an additional reporting strategy for students and parents, we have added an anonymous bullying report form to the Counseling web page. In November, student lessons will include access to this reporting form. You will hear more about Discovery kindness practices as the year goes on, as we have decided to make it a focus of our School Management Plan.

PTA 10/3/17

If you missed this week’s PTA meeting, you can view the presentation. It is attached to the APS School Talk. We also had grade level teachers explain what reading workshop model looks like at the different grades. Teachers also explained how parents can support reading skills at home. The Google Slides are attached here.

Don’t forget to sign up at Harris Teeter with code 2977. You must relink this number every year. It only takes a minute, but your effort really makes a difference. No Frills, the PTA Membership Drive, and the count down to PumpkinFest is on! Please join the PTA today. Jennifer Taylor is our Ambassador. Should you have any questions about Engage APS, please contact her at jktaylor074@gmail.com

When does my child have library?

Mondays - Spierto, Barnas, Klanderman and sometimes all 5th grade.

Tuesday - Wright, Gray, Coulouris, Stein, Clark

Wednesday - Hughes, Richard, Vincent, Stoker

Thursday - Harmon, Nesmith, Kuleski, Appaiah, Alverson, Timke

Friday - Duncan, Little, Oby, Upshur, Scopellite

5th grade -  sometimes Mondays and sometimes spread out Monday to Friday

Upcoming Events

11 Oct. - Challenging Racism: Learning How Through Stories and Conversations

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

13 Oct. - Spirit Day (wear your grade level t-shirt)

13 Oct. - Anthony Horowitz visits Discovery

17 Oct. - Gifted Playground (K-1) (6:30-7:30PM, Library)

20 Oct. - Play Before Your Day (8:30AM, North Playground)

20 Oct. - Student Success Chat (9:15, Blue Sky Studio)

22 Oct. - Pumpkinfest (11:30AM, Discovery)

25 Oct. - Early Release (1:26)

25 Oct. - Challenging Racism: Learning How Through Stories and Conversations

26 & 27 - Parent Teacher Conferences

30 Oct. - Gifted Playground (2-5) (6:30-7:30PM, Library)

Dear Discovery Families,

We kicked off our morning with a fabulous Play Before Your Day. The weather was great for getting up and getting involved in community play. In addition, Counselor Kenney and parents discussed how to grow with your students and help develop a growth mindset.

We had a wonderful fourth week to our school year. Teachers are busy building community in their classrooms and across the school with our Buddy Classrooms. This year all grade levels have a buddy teacher/grade level so we can further get to know one another across grade levels. Teachers also visited one another’s classrooms this week for Responsive Classroom Closing Meetings. Teachers shared tips and tools to enhance Closing Meetings which allow the students to reflect on the day’s learning.

We are excited to share that the Baldrige Foundation will be visiting Discovery on October 3rd, as part as the county’s application process. They are interested in how we get high educational outcomes through our collaborative teaching cohorts and how our work connects to the Strategic Plan. They will visit several different schools while in Arlington.

Our Eco-Action students met for the first time this year. Green Leaders kicked the year off by participating in a presentation with Bike Arlington and the Arlington Transportation Partners.

This week our Girls on The Run teams were up and running! It’s great to see so many girls and great to have many new faces. We hope they continue to have some beautiful fall weather.

Walk and Bike to School

Wednesday, October 4 is Walk and Bike to School! Students are encouraged to walk, bike, or even ride a scooter to school. Discovery will be celebrating the day by having students meet their teachers on the field and will be able to walk laps, dance to music provided by our music teachers, and even have their bikes checked out on location by Phoenix Bikes! And everyone will receive walker or biker tokens, Walk/Bike stickers, and a chance to win a variety of giveaways!

Last Chance to Register for MCM Healthy Kids Fun Run

This is the last weekend and register for the Marine Corps Marathon Healthy Kids Fun Run! The Fun Run will take place on Saturday, October 21 at 11:40 am and is intended for children ages 5-12. Register you child by by clicking on the following link: https://mcmregistration.com/Register/Reservation.aspx?event=39310 Use reservation code DES2017. Registration closes on October 4 at 5:00 pm.

Front Office News

September 29, 2017

I have news to share! I am leaving my job here at Discovery Monday, October 2nd. Though I will miss working with you all here at the school I am excited to be starting a new position with Prince Williams County Schools ten minutes from my home. I have sincerely appreciate having had this wonderful opportunity to work with you all. I am looking forward to this new challenge.

This is not a goodbye, only a “hasta luego” or see you later.

Thanks again for everything,

We wish Christine the best!


Erin and Judy

Upcoming Events

3 Oct. - PTA Meeting (7PM, Dining Commons) Topic: Units of Reading

4 Oct. - Walk and Bike to School Celebration

6 Oct. - Principal Coffee: Reading Interventions (9:15-10AM, Blue Sky Studio)

6 Oct. - Picture Day

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

13 Oct. - Spirit Day (wear your grade level t-shirt)

13 Oct. - Anthony Horowitz visits Discovery

17 Oct. - Gifted Playground (K-1) (6:30-7:30PM, Library)

30 Oct. - Gifted Playground (2-5) (6:30-7:30PM, Library)

September 22, 2017

Dear Discovery Families,

This week we practiced our first Lock Down Drill with Officer Olson. Students remained quiet and the drill was over in less than three minutes. We will practice another one soon. Check out Learning Logs to find out more information on classroom learning. Teachers update Learning Logs on Thursday afternoon. Engage with your child’s nightly reading, by asking them to summarize for you.

Many classes used the Equinox as a time to learn how our Solar Plaza works. Other classes are waiting until it connects to until learning. Although we had a cloudy start to the day, we were still able to capture the sun’s movement and a video is coming soon.

Picture Day is coming up on October 6th. We changed our first Spirit Day to Friday, October 13th. Have your child wear their grade level t-shirt.

We’ve added two night events where parents can come and experience differentiated instructional strategies.

Gifted Playground (K-1) will take place Tuesday, October 17 from 6:30 – 7:30 PM in the Library.

Gifted Playground (2-5) will take place Monday, October 30 from 6:30 – 7:30 PM in the Library.

These are information nights regarding APS Gifted Services at Discovery Elementary, where the first portion of the meeting will be an overview of Gifted Services, the process, and samples of grade-level specific activities. The rest of the meeting will be a playground of Gifted Services activities and resources to go-deeper and understand the differentiated curriculum, where parents are encouraged to play, make, and take.

We are excited our Weather Station has been installed. Check out the incredible data we can use in instruction! A huge thank you to our PTA!

Discovery was featured in the latest blog entry by the Green Schools National Network.


Erin and Judy

Marine Corps Marathon Healthy Kids Fun Run

This year's Healthy Kids Fun Run will take place on Saturday, October 21 - one day prior to the Marine Corps Marathon! This a one-mile, closed course run located in the Pentagon North parking lot in Arlington and is for children ages 5 to 12. The Discovery group reservation time is set for 11:40 am*. (*Registered runners using the DES reservation code will NOT be able to run during any other time slot.)

Discovery students participated for the first in this event last year and we had over 80 students run! We are looking to get over 100 students to participate this year!

Registration is $8 and each registered runner receives a t-shirt, medal, and snacks at the finish line. The MCM Kids Run also features Camp Miles, a free activity area with interactive health and fitness exhibits, games, and giveaways. Registrants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Register HERE 

Enter reservation code:  DES2017

Should you have any registration questions, please contact DES PE teacher John Duffy.

Upcoming Events

27 Sept. - Naglieri testing for some students.

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

29 Sept. - Play Before Your Day (8:30-8:50AM, North Playground)

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

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

4 Oct. - Walk and Bike to School Celebration

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

6 Oct. - Picture Day

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

13 Oct. - Spirit Day (wear your grade level t-shirt)

13 Oct. - Anthony Horowitz visits Discovery

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)