November 2020
« Jan    


Happy New Year!

Welcome back and happy new year! I hope everyone had a relaxing break and got to spend lots of quality time with their family. We have a lot of fun things planned for January.

January 8thJohn Rolfe and Elko come to visit 5th grade

January 17thIn school SCA meeting at 7:40

January 21st After school SCA meeting

January 24th Channel 6 Meteorologist visits whole school

January 27th-31stGreat Kindness Challenge


The Great Kindness Challenge

January 27th through the 31st we will be celebrating the Great Kindness Challenge. This week is dedicated to creating a culture of kindness in the school. Students will be given a checklist of 50 kind acts to try and complete. Students who turn in a full checklist will receive some cool prizes!

We will also be celebrating with a spirit week! The spirit days are as followed:

Monday January 27th –  Wild about Kindness: Dress like an animal or wear animal print!

Tuesday January 28th – Dream of Kindness: Wear your favorite Pajamas!

Wednesday January 29th – Peace, Love, and Kindness: Wear tie dye or hippie attire day!

Thursday January 30th – Kindness Rocks: Dress like a Rockstar!

Friday January 31st – Powered by Kindness: Dress as your favorite Super Hero! (Please do not wear anything that covers your face.)


Hello Varina Family!

We have a few fun things planned for the month of December.

VCU Children’s Hospital Change Collection

Starting December 9th, we will be collecting change for the VCU Children’s Foundation. This organization allows individuals to support patients at the VCU Children’s Hospital, as well as their families. Our school goal is to collect $500. If we meet our goal, Mr. Tyler will allow the students to duck tape him to the wall! I know we can do this!

College and Career Readiness

Image result for college and career readiness clip art

The last week in December, we will be celebrating College and Career Week. The purpose of this week is to share information to students in order to build awareness about higher education and career readiness opportunities. We introduce students to college and career vocabulary, teachers talk about their own experiences going to college (campus vs. commuter, activities they participated in while in college, mascots, etc.), and students are given an opportunity to really start thinking about their futures.


Holiday Spirit Week

This week will also be a spirit week for the students! We want to celebrate the holidays as we move towards our 2 week holiday break. Students will be able to participate with our staff with these fun dress up days.

Monday 12/16: Wear your favorite holiday shirt!
Tuesday 12/17: Wear your favorite holiday hat, headband, elf ears, etc.
Wednesday 12/18: Don’t be a Grinch! Dr. Seuss Dress Up Day or wear green!
Thursday 12/19: Wear your tackiest holiday sweater!
Friday 12/20: Wear PJ’s!

Henrico Christmas Mother


This month, we are collecting canned goods for Henrico Christmas Mother. Henrico Christmas Mother is an organization that helps community members in need by providing food, clothing, toys, books, hats, gloves, and other necessary items.

Last year, Varina collected over 575 cans. This year, our goal to 650. In order to help fuel a little competition and to encourage bringing in more canned goods, we are having a class competition and a grade level competition. The grade level that brings in the most cans will be able to listen to music during their lunch that Friday! The class that wins will earn popsicles during lunch! Let’s show Henrico how kind and compassionate we are!

Mix It Up Day

Last Tuesday, we celebrated Mix It Up Day! Mix It Up Day is a national campaign that allows kids to identify, question, and cross social boundaries. It gives students an opportunity to talk to students they may not always talk to and to make new friends. It is one of my favorite events to put on as a school counselor.

It was a HUGE success. We danced and held raffles. The kids really enjoyed themselves. We also had a couple visitors from the Henrico County School Board Office. We were so grateful to have them and glad we got to share the fun with them.

Here are some pictures from the day!

Welcome Back!

Hello and welcome back!

I don’t know about you, but I am super excited to get this year started. I have really missed the students and know that we are going to have a lot of fun while learning this year!

A couple of things to note as we start the year:

-SCA Timeline 2019-2020
September 11th – SCA Rep Apps due
September 13th – Class Rep elections
September 20th – Officer Apps due
September 23rd – Posters due
September 23d-27th -Campaigning
September 27th – Election Assembly

All students interested in running for SCA are encouraged to talk to their teacher or Mrs. Phelps.

-Gifted Referral Info

I have already received questioned about referring their child for gifted identification. Please know that we do not have the dates just yet, but the referral window is in October. I will post the new timeline under the Gifted Identification as soon as I get the dates.

-Attendance Awareness Month

September is attendance is awareness month. We want to take this month to emphasize how important it is for your child to come to school. There is a link between attendance and achievement, therefore it is extremely important that your student comes to school every day, on time. Missing just 2 days of school a month means a child misses 10% of the school year. Absences add up! Don’t let your student fall behind.

John Rolfe Middle School Tribe Camp

JRMS Tribe Camp for rising 6th grade students will be Tuesday, August 22, 2019 from 9:00-12:00. Pre-registration is required. Please return the JRMS Tribe Camp Letter to either myself or to the JRMS Counseling Department. You can download the JRMS Tribe Camp Letter here. You can also register online here.

This is an important event for our rising 6th graders and it is highly recommended that every rising 6th grader attends. Students will receive a tour of the school and meet the faculty. Parents will be able to hear from the staff, PTA, and county resources. The parents will also be provided a parent laptop training, which is a requirement for your student to receive a laptop during the 2019-2020 school year.

The registration deadline is Tuesday, August 13, 2019. Please make sure you register!

Testing Time

Hello and happy May!

Image result for state testing funny

This month our students are beginning to take their SOL state test. This can be a very stressful time for students. There are ways to help ease stress during this time.

Image result for five finger breathing

  1. Practice mindfulness – it may sound difficult but it doesn’t have to be! Teaching kids ways to breath is a simple mindful excersice that can help in any situation, including testing. My favorite is five finger breathing. Here is a picture to help you teach it to your child. This one is a great strategy to teach because you can take your hand anywhere!
  2. Positive affirmations – Positive affirmations are thoughts we have about ourselves that help us overcome challenges and negative thoughts.Saying and repeating them often can help to change our mindset about challenges and about ourselves.


Remember that during testing, you should make sure your child gets a good nights sleep and a good breakfast. Be sure to take away/turn off electronic devices to ensure your child goes to sleep at an appropriate time. The morning time can be hectic and sometimes we forget/don’t have time to grab breakfast. Your students is always welcome to grab breakfast at school, if they don’t already. We want our students to have full bellies during testing. It is easy to become distracted when your stomach is grumbling!

Happy April!

Hello Varina Families!

I hope eveyone had a fun and restful Spring Break. We are coming to the end of the year and SOL season is upon us. We have several events coming up over the next month of two so be sure to pay close attention to important dates!

April 17: SOL night – I will be discussing test anxiety with parents. We will talk about signs of test anxiety and ways to help students stay calm and be successful on this stressful test!

April 19: Early release day – Students will get out at 11:05!

April 22: No school!

April 23: All A’s Ice Cream party – Students who recieved all A’s on the 3rd nine weeks will join us in the cafeteria around 1 to get some yummy ice cream thanks to C&F bank!

April 29th: Character Breakfast 7:20-8:00 – Students who recieved the character award for the months of Feburary (confidence) and March (curiosity) will be able to come get a delicious breakfast and be recognized for their awesome achievement. If your student was chosen, you will receive a letter informing you of the breakfast. If you plan on coming, please return the sheet to school with the checkbox marked at the bottom! This allows us to make sure we are properly prepared for the number of people.

May 3: Hawks Nest Fest/SOL Pep Rally – We have some fun things in store for our students as we prepare for SOL’s. We want to keep student motivated and for them to know that they can do their best!


For the month of April, we are celebrating perseverance. Perseverance means to not give up, even when things become difficult or challenging. This is a perfect character trait to encourage during testing season and closing out the end of the year. We want students to push through and give their best effort on everything they do, and to believe that they can achieve whatever they set their minds to!

Career Day

Can you believe it is alread they middle of March?! The year seems to be FLYING by.

On March 1st, we celebrated our Career Day. I would like to first start out by saying thank you to all our wonderful volunteers! We could not have done this without you! This day went smoothly and all of the students really enjoyed it. This is one of my favorite events to plan. It is a fun day, and allows the students to see careers they may not know about, or learn more about careers they may have heard of before.

We will continue to explore careers during my classroom lessons. Students will use their curiosity to take an interest survey and explore careers that match their interest. We will be using the program Virginia Career View. This is a great website you can use at home as well if your students would like to continue to explore careers when they are at home.

The Great Kindness Challenge

Next week our school will be participating in The Great Kindness Challenge. This is a nationwide event that is dedicated to cultivating a culture of kindness on school campuses. Normally, students are given a checklist of 50 kind acts. Our school is custamizing this list into a bingo board. The goal is for students to fill up their entire bingo board. Students will have a chance to earn to rewards/incentives: one when they get bingo and another when they fill the entire board.

We will also be celebrating this week with dress up days!

Kindness Week
January 28th – February 1st

Tuesday the 29th – Team kindness- Wear your favorite sports team shirt or jersey!
Wednesday the 30th – Crazy about Kindness – Wear crazy sock and hair!
Thursday  the 31st– Match up with a buddy – twin day!
Friday the 1st– Kindness through the decades!

This should be a fun week and I am excited to continue celebrating kindness!