Thoreau Matters Newsletter- September 24th, 2021

Thoreau Matters

September 24, 2021

Dear Thoreau Families,

I enjoyed several opportunities this week to visit classrooms and meet with teams of teachers as they plan engaging instruction for their students. Also, the cooler weather this week has enabled students to enjoy increased opportunities to learn outdoors in our various courtyards and outdoor classrooms.

We are still practicing routines and discussing behavior expectations, especially in larger settings such as the hallways, cafeteria and Eagle Hall. We are continuing to focus our efforts on taking care of our school and taking care of each other and this includes proper mask wearing, not touching other student’s masks, etc. I appreciate your continued support with this important dialogue at home as we are frequently redirecting students in our care. The key to keeping our COVID numbers low lies in the students taking our mitigation strategies seriously.

Another important topic that I need to address with you is regarding student behavior on busses. FCPS bus transportation is an extension of the school day, and the same student behavior standards that apply in the classroom apply on the bus and at the bus stop. Riders are expected to respect the driver’s authority, remain in their seats, keep their hands to themselves and their voices low, and generally behave in a way that contributes to a safe, pleasant trip to and from school. Please remind your children that masks are required at all times when on an FCPS bus, that all busses are equipped with cameras and that students may be disciplined for violations of the Student Rights & Responsibilities while riding a bus.

Thoreau staff believe strongly in the partnership between school and parents and we count on your support to discuss school-wide responsibilities with your children.

Today our students had the opportunity to participate in a virtual assembly to kick off our annual partnership with Navy Federal Credit Union. Did you know that Thoreau Middle School and Navy Federal Credit Union have worked together for 32 years? The partnership’s programs are many and varied, all with the same goal, to build our sense of community and support our students and families. Today, representatives from NFCU took the opportunity to teach our students about the partnership activities and concluded by presenting me with a $5,000 check. Thank you NFCU!

The weather is beautiful and I hope you get to enjoy a wonderful weekend!

 

Sincerely,

Teresa Khuluki


UPCOMING DATES:

 

October 11 - Student Holiday - Indigenous Peoples’ Day

October 29 - End of 1st QTR - 2 Hour Early Release

November 1 & 2 - Student Holiday - Teacher Workdays

November 11 - Veterans Day - 2 Hour Early Release

November 24 - 26 - Schools and Office Closed - Thanksgiving


Parent and/or Guardian Signature Sheet

Parent/Guardians can acknowledge receipt of the SR&R in ParentVue in your child’s SIS account or sign the Parent Signature Sheet to acknowledge that you have received this document. Please e-sign through ParentVue or return the signed signature sheet to your child's school by October 29, 2021.


Student Health Information Form

While not a required form, the Health Information Form is important to complete annually to share with us any health conditions that may affect your child during the school day. Please take a moment to fill out this form and return it to our front office to ensure we have the most up-to-date information to support your child.


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Mask Reminders

Parents:

                As you know, the country is currently taking measures to respond to COVID-19. We have seen an influx of students not wearing their masks properly or coming into the school without a mask. Please ensure that your child comes to school with a mask and stress the importance of wearing a mask properly (covering both the nose and mouth). While we understand that a student will forget to bring a mask occasionally, and we will help in that situation, it is not our responsibility to provide a new mask on a daily basis.


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Vaccination Reminders

Vax Up! Vaccination is the key to moving us all out of the pandemic and reducing the need for pauses in in-person learning. If you haven’t done so already, get vaccinated today.

 


FCPS Virtual Mental Health and Wellness Conference Starts September 27

The 8th Annual FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference and Inova Act on Addiction presents Strategies for Today and Beyond. The conference will be virtual this year September 27-October 1. The conference will kick off on Monday September 27, with a panel of esteemed guests, moderated by Jummy Olabanji from NBC4. 

On Tuesday, September 28, keynote speaker, Dr. Dan Siegel, will present The Resilient Brain: Cultivating Courage and Curiosity to Expand a Child’s Capacity to Build Inner Strength. Dr. Stacey Hardy-Chandler will be the featured keynote speaker. She will discuss how to embrace our strengths as a means of coping during uncertain times.

Our Minds Matter will host a student session on Tuesday, September 28. Students learn how to use journaling as a method to support their mental health and well-being. 

Registration information and the complete schedule and list of speakers are now available online.


Schoology Student Contact Tracing Responsibilities

 

Fairfax County Public Schools is responsible for…

  • Notifying the Health Department of positive cases and providing potential close contacts and their contact information
  • Sending pause letters to potential close contacts as directed by the Health Department
  • Communicating with families after the Health Department has determined a student’s return status

Fairfax County Health Department is responsible for…

  • Conducting case investigation and contact tracing (determining close contacts and providing quarantine or isolation guidance as appropriate)
  • Reviewing documentation submitted including COVID testing and Vaccination Verification Surveys
  • Determining when students can resume normal activities (e.g. school) and providing clearance letters to families
  • Communicating student return dates to families and designated FCPS staff

Families are responsible for…

  • Notifying the school if their child tests positive for or is diagnosed with COVID-19 or is directed to quarantine or isolate by the Health Department, child’s physician, or other medical provider
  • Completing the Health Department Vaccination Verification Survey to expedite the return of asymptomatic students on pause or quarantine, if applicable

World Language Credit Exam

Is your child fluent in a language other than English?  If your child is able to speak, read and write in a language other than English, your child may be able to earn a high school credit by taking the World Language Credit Exam.  Additional information about this opportunity may be found here.

 

All students must register for the exam through their school counselor. Registration is now open and will close on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 4 p.m. Late registrations will not be accepted.

Credit Exam Dates, Times, & Testing Sites

  • November 16, 2021 - Robinson Secondary School (Blue) Cafeteria - 4:00 - 7:45 p.m.
  • November 17, 2021 - Centreville High School Cafeteria - 4:00 - 7:45 p.m.
  • November 18, 2021 - Edison High School Cafeteria - 4:00 - 7:45 p.m.

gMultilingual Parent Podcasts: Connecting Parents and School with Schoology

Listen and subscribe to an FCPS multilingual family podcast to hear timely, important information related to school news. The podcasts are produced in conjunction with the Office for ESOL Services and the Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement.

In this week’s episode, hear Manuel Gomez Portillo, an FCPS ESOL resource teacher, answer questions about Schoology (pronounced SKOO-luh-jee). Schoology is the new FCPS learning management system. This system promotes communication, collaboration, and personalized learning for students. 

Parents who use Schoology can stay connected to their child’s schoolwork and participate in specialized groups like PTA, sports, and band. Teachers use Schoology to post their classroom materials online; provide a safe forum for students to discuss their ideas and collaborate on projects online; and to assign and collect homework electronically. It helps students stay organized and it keeps the class connected.

Listen and subscribe:

Spanish podcast.

Arabic podcast.

Korean podcast.


Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) Fall Screening

For students NEW to FCPS since January 2021

Parents or guardians of seventh grade students may initiate the full-time AAP Level IV screening process by completing and submitting an Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form and any optional screening materials to their child’s school counselor no later than Thursday, October 7, 2021.

AAP Level IV services are available to students in grades 3-8. Students may be found eligible for full-time placement in AAP Level IV Center classes through a central selection process where multiple criteria are reviewed by a central selection committee to determine eligibility for all FCPS advanced academic services. More information about AAP services available at the middle school level may be found here.

If you have any questions, you should contact your child’s counselor or Thoreau Director of Student Services, Rebecca Aguilar, at @email.


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luFree/Reduced-Meal Applications - Please Read!

While every student in FCPS is receiving free meals this year, the application for Free/Reduced Meals will still need to be completed if you require reduced/waived fees for course fees, instrument rentals, field trips, etc. Parents/guardians must also complete the Consent to Share form.  These forms can be found here.


TJHSST Freshman Application Process

Is your 8th grader interested in applying to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology? If so, please click here for more information. Applications will be available on Monday, October 25 at 4:00 PM and will close on Friday, November 19. Please contact your student’s counselor for more information.


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4PTA Update: 

As part of Thoreau's expansion a few years back, we made plans for an outdoor sitting area and walkways (who knew COVID would make this project so relevant?!). The PTA launched a BRICK FUNDRAISER for parents to recognize their Thoreau student, welcome a new student, honor a teacher, or recognize a staff member. For a limited time, we are re-opening brick orders. Bricks are $50 apiece and are customizable up to 60 characters! Orders can be placed on MemberHub. Installation is schedule during the 2021-2022 school year, so please order by Wednesday, November 17, 2021. Questions? Email PTA Secretary Chris Torregrossa.


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