Here comes Fall!

Chamberlayne’s Gamechangers are cool every day of course, but Fall is about to make us all even cooler… BRR! During the month of October, our monthly character focus school-wide will be RESPECT. Talk about this character trait at home to help your child make connections. What rules do you have for showing respect at home? What about at stores or restaurants? Why is respect important to you as a family?

We have TONS of fun activities coming up this month to build school community and learn about respecting ourselves and others:

  • Walk to School Day Wednesday 10/4
  • First Friday assembly Friday 10/6
  • Red Ribbon Week with daily Spirit Days 10/23-10/27
  • Fall Festival Friday 10/27
  • Mix It Up Day Tuesday 10/31
  • College & Career Awareness Week 10/30-1/3

…not to mention – picture day, a student half-day, and the kickoff to our Fall fundraiser! Keep checking your student’s Friday folder for more information on these events.

We will also host a district parent information session for Gifted Programs at Chamberlayne 6:30-8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 4th. That is geared towards families of students already identified as Gifted in HCPS as well as families who are interested in the identification/referral process. One last thing – families of 5th graders, don’t forget IB applications are available now (due back November 6th)!

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Happy New Year!

We are getting so excited about the new school year here at Chamberlayne! One of my “new year’s resolutions” this school year is to update my blog more frequently. Last year I did not post as much as I intended to, and I know I can do better!

Our staff is also now using the Remind app to communicate with parents. Remind is a free phone app that allows teachers to send messages to students’ parents through the app or by text, either individually or as a whole class (such as “Don’t forget – field trip money is due tomorrow!). I will be exploring how to best use this app as well, and if you’d like to sign up for School Counseling messages from me, here’s the link: https://www.remind.com/join/48eb99 The types of things I may send messages about are upcoming spirit weeks, career day, community events, or deadline reminders for things like middle school IB applications or gifted identification referrals. Your child’s teacher will have a separate link/code to get messages from him/her. That link will be available at Open House!

Speaking of Open House… put it on your calendar! Open House is this Thursday, August 31st! PreK orientation is 9:00-10:00, Kindergarten orientation is 3:00-4:00, and Open House for 1st-5th grades is 4:00-6:00. Save the date for Back to School Night, too, which will be Thursday, September 14th starting at 6:30. We can’t wait to hear about your summer!

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The Great Kindness Challenge is here!

great kindness challenge

Chamberlayne is participating in The Great Kindness Challenge this week, January 23-27, 2017. This is a national event that reminds students and educators that being kind leads to a better school culture, fostering greater academic growth and enjoyment of school for everyone! On Monday, students in grades K-5 will be given a list of “random acts of kindness” for them to complete. Students who complete every act on their sheet and turn it in to their teachers by the end of the day Thursday will get to participate in a fun reward activity at the end of the week (or next Tuesday, depending on the student’s grade level schedule). Stay tuned for pictures and remind your Chamberlayne student that KINDNESS MATTERS!

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5th Grade Families: Important Dates!

If you have a 5th grade student at Chamberlayne, be sure to check tomorrow’s Friday Folder! Tomorrow a middle school information packet will be enclosed. This packet will give you helpful information about how to plan your student’s 6th grade courseload and electives, which actually must be done later this month (believe it or not!).

Our feeder middle schools, Brookland and Wilder, will host rising 6th grade orientation and information nights on Tuesday, January 17th (at Wilder) and Thursday, January 26th (at Brookland). Both events are 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Please plan to attend if you can!

**Remember that Wilder CRC applications are also due tomorrow, Friday, January 13th. If you have questions about this or any other middle school related question, please reach out – I am here to help!

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Gifted referrals are now being accepted for K, 1st, and 2nd graders!

If you would like your student screened to see if they can be identified as Gifted, the Gifted referral window is now open for students in Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade. Per HCPS policy, referrals must be in writing and sent to me between January 2-January 20, 2017. You can refer a student by emailing me, using the “contact” link above (which sends me an email), or sending a note in to me through your child’s teacher. After we receive a Gifted referral, the Gifted Identification Committee gathers data from you, the student’s teacher, and the student’s cumulative file. In most cases, the student does not need to take any additional tests to go through the screening process. A student can be identified as gifted in Math (“Specific Aptitude”), English/Reading (“Specific Aptitude”), or both (“General Aptitude”).

What does being identified as Gifted do for your student? Students identified as Gifted in HCPS receive clustered enrichment and differentiated instruction from their regular classroom teacher in elementary school, but they also receive weekly instruction from our Gifted Resource Teacher (Ms. Burriesci). In middle and high school, being identified as Gifted might expand elective options and of course looks great on specialty center and college applications! Questions? Check out the HCPS Gifted Services Page here: http://henricoschools.us/gifted/

*Please note that we are not allowed to accept any referrals outside of the referral windows set by HCPS. Please reach out if you have any questions!

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5th graders: time to think about middle school!

Believe it or not, the time for 5th graders to start planning for middle school is already here! Most Chamberlayne students are zoned to attend either Brookland Middle or Wilder Middle, although students who attend the I.B. program will attend Fairfield Middle. We have several middle school-related visits set up already:

  • Wednesday, January 4th: Brookland Middle counselors will be here
  • Friday, January 13th: Wilder Middle counselors will be here
  • Wednesday, January 18th: Wilder College Readiness Center (CRC) counselor will be here to meet with applicants*

*Wilder CRC applications are now available! Although the funding for next year’s CRC 6th grade program is not fully in place, they are hopeful that it will come through soon. The CRC website is http://blogs.henrico.k12.va.us/collegereadinesscenter, or click here to see a video of current CRC students putting on this year’s college fair as part of their program!

Soon, HCPS planning guides and information will be sent home about middle school course and elective options. In January, fifth grade teachers will enter course recommendations for each student into the computer, and then January 30th-February 6th, parents will log in to actually select their student’s courses for next year. Although course selections are not available for parents yet, you can get ready now by making sure you have registered on the PowerSchool parent portal (the same thing you use to view your student’s interim grades). More information will be coming home in January about this process, but don’t hesitate to reach out to me or your child’s teacher if you have questions!

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October, November, and December – oh my!

Time is flying by here at Chamberlayne Elementary! In October, our character trait of the month was Responsibility. In November, we focused on Teamwork & Cooperation. Tomorrow, our December character trait of the month (Open-Mindedness & Appreciating Diversity) will be introduced at our monthly First Friday assembly with all students grades PreK-5th!

Students are learning about why these character traits are important as well as how to demonstrate them appropriately both in and out of the school setting. At the end of each classroom lesson, I try to tie in students’ career goals with how they will use these traits to succeed in their chosen career fields. I love hearing about what the students dream of becoming one day! So far I’ve heard everything from NBA player to lawyer to movie director. Whatever students choose to do for work as adults, they will surely need to use every one of these personal and social skills in addition to their academic skills in order to succeed to their full potential. Thanks for reinforcing the importance of these positive character traits at home!

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College & Career Awareness Week

We are celebrating College & Career Awareness Week at Chamberlayne this week! Today, students and staff wore shirts from our favorite colleges. We created a big graph to show the wide variety of colleges and universities attended by our teachers, and that is posted in the cafeteria where all students can see it (and use it to learn more about graphing!). Every day this week, Mr. VanRossum reads a college and/or career related trivia question on the morning announcements. Students try to find the answer during the day, and he announces the answer on the afternoon announcements. So far, the trivia questions have been about interesting first jobs that teachers had before beginning their teaching careers! Stay tuned for more information about our annual Career Day, which will be Friday, April 7th (the day before Spring Break)!

Here are some pictures from this week’s celebrations.

Some of our staff who participated in College Shirt Day:

staff college shirts

One of the cafeteria banners, sports-themed to go along with our #gamechangers theme of the year:

college goal

Our staff colleges graph with logos from every college that’s represented:

college graph

The banners and graph are a little hard to see in the pictures since they were hard to capture due to their size. Come on in and see them for yourself! 🙂

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Red Ribbon Week

RedRibbonLogoPMS

October 24-28 is national Red Ribbon Week. At Chamberlayne, we will celebrate making healthy, responsible choices for our bodies by posting “drug free is the way to be” pledge ribbons in our cafeteria and wearing red on Friday, 10/28, to spread awareness of this important prevention topic. It is never too early to start talking to your children about the dangers of substance abuse! One of the fastest growing drug problems in the U.S., especially among teenagers, is abuse of prescription drugs. Become informed! Find conversation starters, fact sheets, and parent resources here: RedRibbon.org or LockYourMeds.org.

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Gifted referrals are now being accepted for 3rd, 4th, & 5th graders!

If you would like your student screened to see if they can be identified as Gifted, the Gifted referral window is now open for students in grades 3, 4, and 5. Per HCPS policy, referrals must be in writing and sent to me between October 10-October 28, 2016. You can refer a student by emailing me, using the “contact” link above (which sends me an email), or sending a note in to me through your child’s teacher. After we receive a Gifted referral, the Gifted Identification Committee gathers data from you, the student’s teacher, and the student’s cumulative file. In most cases, the student does not need to take any additional tests to go through the screening process. A student can be identified as gifted in Math (“Specific Aptitude”), English/Reading (“Specific Aptitude”), or both (“General Aptitude”).

What does being identified as Gifted do for your student? Students identified as Gifted in HCPS receive clustered enrichment and differentiated instruction from their regular classroom teacher in elementary school, but they also receive weekly instruction from our Gifted Resource Teacher (Ms. Burriesci). In 5th grade, they may also have the option of Early Bird (5/6) math. In middle and high school, being identified as Gifted might expand elective options and of course looks great on specialty center and college applications! Questions? Ask the experts! HCPS Gifted Services is hosting a parent info session for schools in the Fairfield District (that’s us!) on October 27th from 6:30-8:00 pm at Harvie Elementary.

*Please note that we are not allowed to accept any referrals outside of the referral windows set by HCPS. If you would like to refer a 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade student, please do so by October 28, 2016. If you have a Kindergartner, 1st grader, or 2nd grader, that referral window will be January 2-20, 2017. Please reach out if you have any questions!

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