June 18, 2021 Weekly Roar!

Friday, June 18, 2021. Have a great summer

We made it! What a year it was. Thank you for your continued support throughout this past year, it was invaluable. I hope everyone is able to continue to stay safe, yet begin to return to normal – camps, hanging with friends outside, seeing family they have not seen in a long time. I wish everyone a very happy and restful summer with time to reflect on just what this past year was/meant. I think it is important to process this past year so that we can work through our feelings around it and begin to heal/move on. This is the last Weekly Roar of the 20 – 21 school year, but please be sure to watch for emails from me over the summer. We are going to try to host a few events this summer:

  • Rising Kindergarten Popsicles with Principals playdate
  • Orientation/school visit for rising first graders who were 100% virtual this year
  • Open house for all students prior to the first day of school

Important Date – August 30, 2021 First day of school!!!

Summer Long Branch Office Hours – it is always best to call first (703.228.4220), but you can come by the school anytime from 8:30 – 2:30. If you need to schedule a different time, please call and we can work something out.

Long Branch Virtual Art Show – check it out! We have some talented artists! This will be showcased on the LB website for the summer. Thank you to Ms. Guiffre and Ms. Diaz for inspiring such great work and putting this together.

LB Staff Thank You from the students of LB – Marina McCarthy Turner (the incoming PTA president) and Mary Mullan put together this wonderful video for the LB staff. Thank you, thank you. The East Coast Creamery Truck shared with me that he may be near Long Branch around 1:00 today for any families in the area.

Counselor’s Corner – Hi Long Branch Community! This month we closed out our counseling lessons for the school year. Students in grades K-4 talked about some personal safety tips to prepare us for summer. Students in grades K-2 reviewed the check first rule which says they will always check first with their trusted adult before they go anywhere, take anything, or get in a car with anyone. Grades 3-4 reviewed the rule that says they can say no to any touch that makes them feel uncomfortable. Students in grades 5 talked about mental health and how to check in on our friends if we notice that something is going on. I hope that everyone has a good and relaxing summer. I wish all families moving on to other schools and rising 6th grade family’s good luck on your journeys. We will miss you here at The Branch and hope you all will stay in touch. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at stephanie.martin@apsva.us.

Library books – Please return all library books to school. A book cart will be outside of school each day for returns. If you find them over the summer, bring them by school – we will still take them!

From the PTA – 

  • School Supplies for next year – if you are interested in purchasing a school supply kit for your child, please click here. It is not necessary to order through Edukits. For families with Kindergarten students, you can order Kindergarten supplies through this site as well. If you prefer to purchase your own supplies, you can find the list of supplies here. If buying school supplies may be financially difficult for your family, please reach out to me.
  • Would you like to be a part of the Long Branch PTA listserv? Please email the PTA President, president@lbpta.org. Belonging to this listserv ensures you receive PTA news, links to the PTA Zoom meetings, and other important information the PTA sends out.

Summer Math Packets – these are available here. We will print these out for hybrid students and we will have copies outside in the supply bin for pickup starting the last week of school.

Do you have a child who will turn 5 by September 30, 2021?  We are ready for you to register your child for kindergarten! (Students currently enrolled in an APS preschool program do not need to re-register). Click here for registration information. Please spread the word to your neighbors who may not receive this email. Feel free to pass this link along, or have current or new neighbors with rising kindergarteners (or any K-5 aged child) call the office at 703.228.4220. If preferred, you may request a mailed packet of registration forms by calling the office or emailing our registrar.

Need to reach me? Please call the school or email me (Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us). If you reply to this email, I will not get the email.


Friday, June 11, 2021

lion on island

To celebrate the hard work and showcase the creativity of our amazing artists this year, we will be having an end of year Virtual Art Show! It will be coming out Thursday June 17th. Participation is optional. Students in 3rd-5th are designing their showcase in class. Students in PK-2nd may submit their artwork(s) to Ms. Guiffré All artwork must be submitted by 3:30pm on Friday June 11th. Please reach out with any questions. Ms. Guiffré.

Library books – Please return all library books to school. A book cart will be outside of school each day for returns.

Important Dates Coming Up

  • June 14 – The office will be closed after 1 pm, it will reopen at 8 on Tuesday, June 15
  • June 18 – Last day of school for students, early release for students at 12:51
    • Report cards will be available through ParentVUE
    • DIBELS/PALS reports will be emailed to parents

From the PTA – 

  • School Supplies for next year – if you are interested in purchasing a school supply kit for your child, please click here. It is not necessary to order through Edukits. For families with Kindergarten students, you can order Kindergarten supplies through this site as well. If you prefer to purchase your own supplies, you can find the list of supplies here. If buying school supplies may be financially difficult for your family, please reach out to me.
  • Would you like to be a part of the Long Branch PTA listserv? Please email the PTA President, Jinder Gill – president@lbpta.org. Belonging to this listserv ensures you receive PTA news, links to the PTA Zoom meetings, and other important information the PTA sends out.
  • EOY Grade Level celebrations:
    • 5th Grade – Friday, June 18 at Rocky Run 1 – 3 pm
    • 4th Grade – Friday, June18th 2 – 4 p.m. Lyon Park ice cream and laser tag
    • 3rd grade – Wednesday, June 16 2 – 4p.m at Lyon Park
    • 2nd grade – Thursday, June  17 2 – 4p.m Popsicles and Play at Long Branch
    • 1st grade – Friday, June 18 from 3:30 – 6 p.m. at Butler Holmes Park (101 S. Barton St.).
    • Kindergarten – Thursday, June 17th 2 – 4 p.m. Lyon Park ice cream/play

Retirement News – 

  • Mary Ann Hazel-Jackson – Her daughters (Kailyn Diaz and Kylah Jackson-Lott) are throwing her a drive by retirement celebration.  If you would like to leave Mrs. Jackson a farewell message you may do so on her kudoboard site. Kudo Board Link
  • Michelle Jenkins – please add to her Kudoboard here.

Arlington Public Library (APL) Summer Reading Program – The APL summer reading program website is live! Their theme this year is Food for Thought; you can support the Arlington Food Assistance Center while you read, zest up your summer with our menu of refreshing programs, and qualify to win tasteful prizes! Click here for more information. Read more about it here.

Summer Math Packets – these are available here. There are copies located outside of Long Branch if you would like to pick one up there.

Do you have a child who will turn 5 by September 30, 2021?  We are ready for you to register your child for kindergarten! (Students currently enrolled in an APS preschool program do not need to re-register). Click here for registration information. Please spread the word to your neighbors who may not receive this email. Feel free to pass this link along, or have current or new neighbors with rising kindergarteners (or any K-5 aged child) call the office at 703.228.4220. If preferred, you may request a mailed packet of registration forms by calling the office or emailing our registrar.

Need to reach me? Please call the school or email me (Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us). If you reply to this email, I will not get the email.


Friday, June 4, 2021 Lion in Sunglasses

As the new executive board of the PTA was voted in this past Tuesday, I would like to thank the outgoing executive board of the PTA. I appreciate your support throughout the years and your work for the staff and school community.

  • Harjinder Gill – PTA president
  • Sarah Abuisi – PTA Treasurer
  • Kathryn Sanford – VP Assets/Family Events/Programs
  • Will Karrell – Secretary

I also want to welcome the new executive board, I look forward to working with you in the coming year –

  • Marina Turner – PTA President
  • Rachel Johnston – PTA Treasurer
  • Stacey Tuneski – Vice President for Programs
  • Lisa DeMarchi Sleigh – Vice Pres. for County Council for PTAs (CCPTA) – she is continuing in this role
  • Trish Gomes – Secretary

Library books – Please return all library books to school. A book cart will be outside of school each day for returns.

Last chance for spirit wear this year! Featuring our new mascot. Please click here to order your very own Long Branch gear. The window for purchasing closes on Sunday, June 6. The PTA fundraiser directly supports the Long Branch students, teachers and staff.  The PTA Provide teachers with stipends to purchase classroom supplies, summer school and enrichment scholarships, books for the school library, and community-building events like Book Fair, Spring Fling and lunches for teachers during parent/teacher conferences.

Important Dates Coming Up

  • June 9 – Early Release for students at 12:51
  • June 14 – The office will be closed after 1 pm, it will reopen at 8 on Tuesday, June 15
  • June 18 – Last day of school for students, early release for students at 12:51
    • Report cards will be available through ParentVUE
    • DIBELS/PALS reports will be emailed to parents

From the PTA – 

  • School Supplies for next year – if you are interested in purchasing a school supply kit for your child, please click here. It is not necessary to order through Edukits. For families with Kindergarten students, you can order Kindergarten supplies through this site as well. If you prefer to purchase your own supplies, you can find the list of supplies here. If buying school supplies may be financially difficult for your family, please reach out to me.
  • Would you like to be a part of the Long Branch PTA listserv? Please email the PTA President, Jinder Gill – president@lbpta.org. Belonging to this listserv ensures you receive PTA news, links to the PTA Zoom meetings, and other important information the PTA sends out.

Retirement News – After many years supervising the Extended Day program at “The Branch”, Mrs. Jackson will be retiring this year.  Her daughters (Kailyn Diaz and Kylah Jackson-Lott) are throwing her a drive by retirement celebration.  Please feel free to share the flyer with any previous LB families and staff.  If you would like to leave Mrs. Jackson a farewell message you may do so on her kudoboard site. Kudo Board Link

Arlington Public Library (APL) Summer Reading Program – The APL summer reading program website is live! Their theme this year is Food for Thought; you can support the Arlington Food Assistance Center while you read, zest up your summer with our menu of refreshing programs, and qualify to win tasteful prizes! Click here for more information. Read more about it here.

Summer Math Packets – these are available here. We will print these out for hybrid students and we will have copies outside in the supply bin for pickup starting the last week of school.

Do you have a child who will turn 5 by September 30, 2021?  We are ready for you to register your child for kindergarten! (Students currently enrolled in an APS preschool program do not need to re-register). Click here for registration information. Please spread the word to your neighbors who may not receive this email. Feel free to pass this link along, or have current or new neighbors with rising kindergarteners (or any K-5 aged child) call the office at 703.228.4220. If preferred, you may request a mailed packet of registration forms by calling the office or emailing our registrar.

Need to reach me? Please call the school or email me (Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us). If you reply to this email, I will not get the email.


Friday, May 28, 2021 lion sunbathing

I hope everyone has a safe and happy three day weekend. It is hard to believe it is June next week – this year has felt quick and like the longest year ever, it has been a strange journey. I appreciate all your support as we finish up this home stretch of this hybrid/virtual year.

Counselor’s Corner – Hi Long Branch Community! This month we have been doing career exploration in grades K-5. We have talked about what careers are and career clusters. Students in K-2 shared what are some of the things they want to be when they grow up. In grades 3-5, students took an interest survey to see what are some careers that match up with their interests. Students have one more counseling lesson in June for this school year. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at stephanie.martin@apsva.us.

Arlington Public Library (APL) Summer Reading Program – The APL summer reading program website is live! Their theme this year is Food for Thought; you can support the Arlington Food Assistance Center while you read, zest up your summer with our menu of refreshing programs, and qualify to win tasteful prizes! Click here for more information. Read more about it here.

Important Dates Coming Up

  • SOL Schedule for grades 3 – 5 students
  • May 31 – Memorial Day (Holiday for students/staff) no asynchronous work provided
  • June 1 – PTA meeting begins at 6. This is the last one of the year! Our PTA President, Jinder Gill, will send the meeting link closer to the PTA meeting.
  • June 2 – Early Release for students at 12:51
  • June 9 – Early Release for students at 12:51
  • June 18 – Last day of school for students, early release for students at 12:51
    • Report cards will be available through ParentVUE
    • DIBELS/PALS reports will be emailed to parents

From the PTA – 

  • School Supplies for next year – if you are interested in purchasing a school supply kit for your child, please click here. It is not necessary to order through Edukits. For families with Kindergarten students, you can order Kindergarten supplies through this site as well. If you prefer to purchase your own supplies, you can find the list of supplies here. If buying school supplies may be financially difficult for your family, please reach out to me.
  • Would you like to be a part of the Long Branch PTA listserv? Please email the PTA President, Jinder Gill – president@lbpta.org. Belonging to this listserv ensures you receive PTA news, links to the PTA Zoom meetings, and other important information the PTA sends out.
  • Spirit wear is here featuring our new mascot! Please click here to order your very own Long Branch gear. The window for purchasing closes on Sunday, June 6. The PTA fundraiser directly supports the Long Branch students, teachers and staff.  The PTA Provide teachers with stipends to purchase classroom supplies, summer school and enrichment scholarships, books for the school library, and community-building events like Book Fair, Spring Fling and lunches for teachers during parent/teacher conferences. Please reach out to the PTA with any questions you may have about ordering.

Retirement News – After many years supervising the Extended Day program at “The Branch”, Mrs. Jackson will be retiring this year.  Her daughters (Kailyn Diaz and Kylah Jackson-Lott) are throwing her a drive by retirement celebration.  Please feel free to share the flyerwith any previous LB families and staff.  If you would like to leave Mrs. Jackson a farewell message you may do so on her kudoboard site. Kudo Board Link

Summer Math Packets – these are available here. We will print these out for hybrid students and we will have copies outside in the supply bin for pickup starting the last week of school.

Do you have a child who will turn 5 by September 30, 2021?  We are ready for you to register your child for kindergarten! (Students currently enrolled in an APS preschool program do not need to re-register). Click here for registration information. Please spread the word to your neighbors who may not receive this email. Feel free to pass this link along, or have current or new neighbors with rising kindergarteners (or any K-5 aged child) call the office at 703.228.4220. If preferred, you may request a mailed packet of registration forms by calling the office or emailing our registrar.


Friday, May 21, 2021 Lion reading a book

Thank you, thank you for all the love and support you have shown staff this week (again)! We had a great time celebrating with the staff again this week! If you didn’t get a chance to submit a quick “thank you” please do so here.

Free & Reduced Price CampsHere is a link to the Department of Parks and Recreation fee reduction page. Families can apply online to access reduced rates in camp programs.

Extended Day Registration for Next Year Opens May 25 – please click the link for more information.

5th Grade Promotion – we are continuing to plan the events around the 5th grade promotion considering everyone’s safety and current instructional choices/reasons for those choices. Elementary school principals and fifth grade teachers have put a lot of thought and effort into the current plans, so even though guidelines are loosening up – the events we had planned will not change due to the loosening of the distancing/mask guidelines.

Important Dates Coming Up

From the PTA – 

  • School Supplies for next year – if you are interested in purchasing a school supply kit for your child, please click here. It is not necessary to order through Edukits. For families with Kindergarten students, you can order Kindergarten supplies through this site as well. If you prefer to purchase your own supplies, you can find the list of supplies here. If buying school supplies may be financially difficult for your family, please reach out to me.
  • Would you like to be a part of the Long Branch PTA listserv? Please email the PTA President, Jinder Gill – president@lbpta.org. Belonging to this listserv ensures you receive PTA news, links to the PTA Zoom meetings, and other important information the PTA sends out.

Do you have a child who will turn 5 by September 30, 2021?  We are ready for you to register your child for kindergarten! (Students currently enrolled in an APS preschool program do not need to re-register). Click here for registration information. Please spread the word to your neighbors who may not receive this email. Feel free to pass this link along, or have current or new neighbors with rising kindergarteners (or any K-5 aged child) call the office at 703.228.4220. If preferred, you may request a mailed packet of registration forms by calling the office or emailing our registrar.

No cost COVID19 testing – Sites do not require insurance, ID, or a doctor’s referral. Arlington County operates free, walk-in clinics. Click here or call 703-912-7999 for information.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families.


Friday, May 14, 2021 cute lion

Buddy Family Sign Up – Did you know we enroll over 20 new families to Long Branch each year (not including new Kindergarten families)? Would you be willing to be a “Buddy Family” to a new family? If so, please sign up here. Thank you for considering and thank you to the families who have already signed up.

Do you have a child who will turn 5 by September 30, 2021?  We are ready for you to register your child for kindergarten! (Students currently enrolled in an APS preschool program do not need to re-register). Click here for registration information. Please spread the word to your neighbors who may not receive this email. Feel free to pass this link along, or have neighbors with rising kindergarteners (or any K-5 aged child) call the office at 703.228.4220. If preferred, you may request a mailed packet of registration forms by calling the office or emailing our registrar.

Class placements for next year – I sent out an email on 4.19.21 with details about how to share your thoughts concerning classroom environments for your rising K-5 child(ren). You may submit your thoughts to me by May 14 (today!) at jessica.dasilva@apsva.us. We do not take specific teacher requests. Please include your child’s name and grade they will be in next year. Thank you!

Important Dates Coming Up

  • SOL Schedule for grades 3 – 5 students
  • May 28 – The last day for curbside pick up of books as well as holds being delivered to the classrooms.
  • June 1 – PTA meeting begins at 6. This is the last one of the year! Our PTA President, Jinder Gill, will send the meeting link closer to the PTA meeting.
  • June 2 – Early Release for students at 12:51
  • June 9 – Early Release for students at 12:51
  • June 18 – Last day of school for students, early release for students at 12:51

Possible Resources for parents:

  • Notes from the Backpack: A PTA Podcast is designed to support busy parents and PTA leaders who have a lot to keep up with at home and throughout the school year. Each 30-minute podcast episode offers unique perspectives from experts, parents and educator guests who will give you real-life advice and ideas you can use on timely topics including what to expect when school reopens.
  • Our Children Magazine supports busy parents navigating the adventure of raising a child, offering parenting, education, wellness and family fun tips and advice to help children excel at school and in life.

Attendance – Please be sure to use the attendance email or the attendance phone line (703.228.4222) when reporting your child in absent. Using these two methods helps keep the phone lines clear for other needs.

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

No cost COVID19 testing – Sites do not require insurance, ID, or a doctor’s referral. Arlington County operates a free, walk-in clinic M-F 12 – 5 p.m. at Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie St.). Aurora Hills Community Center and Tucker Field at Barcroft Park sites offer electronic results within 72 hours. Click here or call 703-912-7999 for information.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200.

Need to reach me? Please call the school or email me (Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us). If you respond to this email, I will not get the email.


Friday, May 7, 2021 LB Mascot

Playground news – It’s happening this summer!! Check out the plans here. Playground design  Follow us on Twitter/Facebook for picture updates throughout the summer.

Parental Controls on the iPads – Some families have been taking advantage of the parental controls available in the iPad’s Screen Time setting. Using these controls is fine most of the school year, but they interfere with the device’s ability to take the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests. During the SOL testing window, these controls must be removed. To ensure all students can test, we have removed these settings from the student’s iPads through the remainder of the school year. Families may re-enable these controls after the last day of school.

Do you have a child who will turn 5 by September 30, 2021?  You need to register your child for kindergarten.  Click here for registration information. Please spread the word to your neighbors who don’t already have a child at Long Branch. Feel free to pass this link along, or have neighbors with rising kindergarteners (or any K-5 aged child) call the office at 703.228.4220. If preferred, you may request a mailed packet of registration forms by calling the office or emailing our registrar.

Summer School and/or ESY questions? Please email Blandine.LiGuidi@apsva.us as she is coordinating summer school for Long Branch students.

Parents with children in grades 3-5 – Parents, this year due to COVID the Virginia Dept. of Education has provided a unique option to opt-out of SOLs because of COVID concerns. Opting out of your student participating in the SOL this year does not impact or limit their future course selections. Students who are opted-out will not participate in SOLS this year only, and will continue on their academic trajectory going into next year.  Please email Blandine.LiGuidi@apsva.us if you wish to opt your child out of the test. SOL test dates can be found here. If the SOL schedule changes, you will be notified by Ms. LiGuidi.

Class placements for next year – I sent out an email on 4.19.21 with details about how to share your thoughts concerning classroom environments for your rising K-5 child(ren). You may submit your thoughts to me by May 14 at Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us. We do not take specific teacher requests. Please include your child’s name and grade they will be in next year. Thank you!

Symptoms Return to School Algorithm – important information about when your child can/should return to in-person activities here.

No cost COVID19 testing – Sites do not require insurance, ID, or a doctor’s referral. Arlington County operates a free, walk-in clinic M-F 12 – 5 p.m. at Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie St.). Aurora Hills Community Center and Tucker Field at Barcroft Park sites offer electronic results within 72 hours. Click here or call 703-912-7999 for information.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200.

Need to reach me? Please call the school or email me (Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us). If you respond to this email, I will not get the email.


Friday, April 30, 2021 lion with computer

Teacher Appreciation Week is next week! Please take a few minutes to send a note to your child’s teachers. They have been working incredibly long hours and showing such flexibility and grace throughout this year. They love your kids. Please show them a way to say thank you for all their hard work this year.

Parent Survey regarding instructional model choice for next year – please keep in mind that if you select full virtual, you will probably not have a Long Branch teacher assigned to your child as their teacher (only if a LB teacher applies for a virtual teacher spot). Some parents thought that the model would be similar to this year where you would have a Long Branch teacher if you were virtual. This more than likely will not be the case. If that changes your decision, please go back into ParentVue and update your instructional model choice (Monday, May 3 is the last day).

Book Fair – Long Branch PTA will be holding a virtual and in person book fair. The virtual Long Branch book fair will open on May 3rd and closes on May 7th. The link to the book fair will go live on Monday, May 3rd.

  •  The pop- up book fair will be one day only on Monday, May 3rd from 1-4 outside at Lyon Park. We hope to see you all there!

Summer School and/or ESY questions? Please email Blandine.LiGuidi@apsva.us as she is coordinating summer school for Long Branch students.

Parents with children in grades 3-5 – Parents, this year due to COVID the Virginia Dept. of Education has provided a unique option to opt-out of SOLs because of COVID concerns. Opting out of your student participating in the SOL this year does not impact or limit their future course selections. Students who are opted-out will not participate in SOLS this year only, and will continue on their academic trajectory going into next year.  Please email Blandine.LiGuidi@apsva.us if you wish to opt your child out of the test. SOL test dates can be found  If the SOL schedule changes, you will be notified by Ms. LiGuidi.

Class placements for next year – I sent out an email on Monday (4.19.21) with details about how to share your thoughts concerning classroom environments for your rising K-5 child(ren). You may submit your thoughts to me by May 14 at Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us. We do not take specific teacher requests. Please include your child’s name and grade they will be in next year. Thank you!

Counselor’s Corner – Hi Long Branch Community! The end of this month we continued to talk about celebrating diversity. In grades K-2 we read a story called The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler and talked about our own identities. Students created their own self-portraits during our Beautiful Me activity. In grades 3-5, we talked about diversity in the media. We looked at our favorite TV shows, movies, and books and thought about if it is a mirror (a story we can see ourselves in) or a window (a story where we can see a story by someone who is different from us). We talked about how people can identify themselves in many ways, such as race, ethnicity, gender, disability.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at stephanie.martin@apsva.us.

Important Dates Coming Up

  • Teachers are Superheroes! (Teacher Appreciation Week)  May 3rd – 7th
  • PTA Meeting May 4 6pm (Jinder, the PTA president, will send the link closer to the meeting)

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200.

Need to reach me? Please call the school or email me (Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us). If you respond to this email, I will not get the email.


Friday, April 23, 2021 LB Mascot

This past Wednesday was Administrative Assistants Appreciation Day. I want to take just a minute to thank Ivonne Villarroel, Flor Williams, and Karen Woolley for ALL their hard work and dedication to Long Branch. We truly appreciate them and could not do what we do without them. Please take a minute to thank them next time you see or speak with them!

Parent Survey regarding instructional model choice for next year – please keep in mind that if you select full virtual, you will probably not have a Long Branch teacher assigned to your child as their teacher (only if a LB teacher applies for a virtual teacher spot). Some parents thought that the model would be similar to this year where you would have a Long Branch teacher if you were virtual. This more than likely will not be the case. If that changes your decision, please go back into ParentVue and update your instructional model choice by April 30.

Do you have a child who will turn 5 by September 30, 2021?  You need to register your child for kindergarten.  Click here for registration information.

Please spread the word to your neighbors who don’t already have a child at Long Branch. Feel free to pass this link along, or have neighbors with rising kindergarteners (or any K-5 aged child) call the office at 703.228.4220. If preferred, you may request a mailed packet of registration forms by calling the office or emailing our registrar.

Book Fair– Long Branch will be holding a virtual and in person book fair soon.  The virtual Long Branch book fair will open on May 3rd and closes on May 7th. The  pop- up book fair will be one day only on Monday, May 3rd from 1-4 at Lyon Park. The company we have gone with is R.E.A.D– a local Arlington  business. Keep an eye out for more information and the  link to the Long Branch book fair website!

Summer School and/or ESY questions? Please email Blandine.LiGuidi@apsva.us as she is coordinating summer school for Long Branch students.

Parents with children in grades 3-5:  Parents, this year due to COVID the Virginia Dept. of Education has provided a unique option to opt-out of SOLs because of COVID concerns. Opting out of your student participating in the SOL this year does not impact or limit their future course selections. Students who are opted-out will not participate in SOLS this year only, and will continue on their academic trajectory going into next year.  Please email Blandine.LiGuidi@apsva.us if you wish to opt your child out of the test. SOL test dates can be found here. If the SOL schedule changes, you will be notified by Ms. LiGuidi.

Class placements for next year – I sent out an email on Monday (4.19.21) with details about how to share your thoughts concerning classroom environments for your rising K-5 child(ren). You may submit your thoughts to me by May 14 at Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us. We do not take specific teacher requests. Please include your child’s name and grade they will be in next year. Thank you!

Picking up your child early?  Please be sure you come with an ID. In order to ensure student safety, we will check IDs for whomever is picking up the student early. If it is not a parent picking up, please ensure whomever is picking up your child is listed on the emergency care list in ParentVUE. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding around this safety measure.

Don’t forget to “follow” us on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Attendance – Please be sure to use the attendance email or the attendance phone line (703.228.4222) when reporting your child in absent. Using these two methods helps keep the phone lines clear for other needs.

Important Dates Coming Up

  • Teachers are Superheroes! (Teacher Appreciation Week)  May 3rd – 7th
  • PTA Meeting May 4 6pm (Jinder, the PTA president, will send the link closer to the meeting)

Need to reach me? Please call the school or email me (Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us). If you respond to this email, I will not get the email.


Friday, April 16, 2021 Lion reading a book

Congratulations – to the 5th grade Odyssey of the Mind team! They placed 3rd in the state over this past weekend.  The competition was fully virtual this year and the kids did a great job.  They met outside and masked all year (there were some cold days!). They solved the humor/performance problem which included building a cliff and figuring out how to make one of their characters fly.  Here are the students who participated on the team: Peter Li, Liam Eberly, Emmy Milam, Addie Schimmel, Annie DeFilippi, George Durta, and Charlie Kunze. Congratulations! Congratulations

Summer School and/or ESY questions? Please email Blandine.LiGuidi@apsva.us as she is coordinating summer school for Long Branch students.

Increasing capacity in classrooms at Long Branch – with the new three foot distancing, we were able to combine the two classroom Kindergarten classroom model into one classroom, so the teacher and assistant are with the students all day instead of being split between two rooms. We are currently at the maximum capacity for Kindergarten students, but we do not have a waiting list for any students at this point. We have been able to meet everyone’s request to switch instructional models.

April is Autism Awareness month – in recognition, here are some resources:

  • Understanding Autism in Girls with Dr. Donna Henderson Part 1Dr. Donna Henderson talks about the autism diagnosis and how it has shifted over the years. She talks about the benefits of diagnosis and when diagnoses can be helpful. She teaches how nuanced autism is, how it presents differently between males and females, and why girls are so often misdiagnosed. Click Here to Listen
  • Understanding Autism in Girls with Dr. Donna Henderson Part 2In this continuing conversation with Dr. Donna Henderson, hear about the validation that families can feel from receiving a diagnosis, a framework for helping families to understand a diagnosis, and an in depth conversation about “context blindness” and context impacts our entire understanding of the world. Click Here to Listen

Don’t forget to “follow” us on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Month of the Military Child Family Day at Fort Hunt Park – April 26th from 2-4, registration is required.

Counselor’s Corner – Hi Long Branch Community! This month we started a new until during our counseling lessons. In grades K-4 we started to talk about diversity and inclusion! In grades K-2 we read the story It’s Okay to be Different by Todd Parr and shared what are some things that make us special and unique. In grades 3-4 we read the story No English by Jacqueline Jules. Some students shared with their peers what it feels like to be surrounded by people who are speaking a different language and we talked about what we can do to help new students to Long Branch and our community feel welcomed. Students in grade 5 had a special presenter, Ms. Sexton, our substance abuse counselor. She talked about how to combat peer pressure and what substances can do to our bodies.

The coping strategy I will be highlighting this week is practicing gratitude. Research has shown how practicing gratitude can help to improve our psychological health, reduce toxic emotions and increase empathy. Students can take some time to jot down some things they are thankful for. The things they write down can be about anything, including the weather, friends, favorite hobbies. One thing people might find impactful is putting all the ideas into a jar so that they can see all of the things they are grateful for.

Just a reminder that Ms. Silver (school psychologist) and I are hosting virtual lunch for virtual students in grades 3-5 during their lunch blocks. We host lunches on the following days of the week: 3rd grade – Tuesday, 5th grade – Wednesday, and 4th grade – Thursday. The links are on the Counseling Canvas course and are shared via Canvas announcement. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at stephanie.martin@apsva.us.

Attendance – Please be sure to use the attendance email or the attendance phone line (703.228.4222) when reporting your child in absent. Using these two methods helps keep the phone lines clear for other needs.

Important Dates Coming Up

  • Month of the Military Connected Child Spirit Week : April 19 – 23
  • April 21 – Purple Up! Day (wear purple to show our support to military connected students)
  • April 22 – Virtual STEM Night  from 6 – 7 (more information in teacher’s weekly newsletters)

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

No cost COVID19 testing – Sites do not require insurance, ID, or a doctor’s referral. Arlington County operates a free, walk-in clinic M-F 12 – 5 p.m. at Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie St.). Aurora Hills Community Center and Tucker Field at Barcroft Park sites offer electronic results within 72 hours. Click here or call 703-912-7999 for information.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200


The office will be closed on April 12. Food distribution will occur during regular distribution  hours. Happy Lion clip art

Welcome to Kenywn Schaffner, a retired APS principal, who will be helping Long Branch (and Alice W. Fleet) with gifted screening for the remainder of this year; we are glad to have her!

Welcome to Verity Brown who is taking over as our Social Worker for the remainder of the year as Laura Weil has retired.

It was National Library Week this past week – Thank you to our librarian, Mary Lou Rubé.

It was National Assistant Principal Week this past week – Thank you to our AP, Blandine LiGuidi.

There’s still time – to show your appreciation to APS staff. Read more here. Submit your thanks here.

Monday Asynchronous Work – you may see the look and/or feel of Monday asynchronous work change. Some grade levels will be asking students to complete a STEM activity on Mondays instead of work that has been traditionally assigned or in addition to some work traditionally assigned. Students are always encouraged to round out their Monday work with Lexia, RAZ kids, Dreambox, and/or Reflex Math in addition to work provided by teachers.

Long Branch Virtual Family STEM Night – Join us on Thursday, April 22 from 6 – 7pm for a virtual family STEM night. Families will be able to participate in at-home activities, view recorded experiments, and learn from scientists live! All events will occur through Microsoft Teams. Directions will be shared next week. Hope to see you there!

Change of instructional model – if you are interested in having your child switch instructional models, please contact me. There is currently no one on the “waitlist” at Long Branch as we have been able to switch everyone who has asked. I cannot guarantee that your child will be able to make the switch, but can place them on a waitlist in case a spot becomes available.

Extended Day Registration for next year is open.

Attendance – Please be sure to use the attendance email or the attendance phone line (703.228.4222) when reporting your child in absent. Using these two methods helps keep the phone lines clear for other needs.

Important Dates Coming Up

  • April 12 – no school for students (Teacher Grade Prep Day), office closed
  • April 12 – Virtual Office Hours with Jessica 11:00 – 11:45 (Teams link will be sent separately)
  • We will be conducting a lockdown drill Tuesday, next week. Please click here for the formal announcement.
  • Month of the Military Connected Child Spirit Week : April 19 – 23
  • April 21 – Purple Up! Day (wear purple to show our support to military connected students)
  • April 22 – Virtual STEM Night from 6 – 7 (more information to come in teacher’s weekly newsletters)

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

No cost COVID19 testing – Sites do not require insurance, ID, or a doctor’s referral. Arlington County operates a free, walk-in clinic M-F 12 – 5 p.m. at Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie St.). Aurora Hills Community Center and Tucker Field at Barcroft Park sites offer electronic results within 72 hours. Click here or call 703-912-7999 for information.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200.


Friday, March 26, 2021 Enjoy your spring break!

The office will be closed during Spring Break next week and the “Roar” will take next week off too. I hope everyone has a safe and restful Spring Break. 

Join APS in saying thank you to teachers, counselors, psychologists, social workers, related services staff, ITCs, Extended Day staff, front office staff, assistants, and school administrators. They are food service workers, custodians, and bus drivers! As we wrap up this school year, please help us honor them for the work they continuously do to make a difference, and take a moment to share your personal story about an APS teacher or support employee. Click here to learn more and submit your thanks.

Don’t forget to “follow” us on Twitter and/or Facebook. I try to keep these social media sites updated with current information, pictures, and announcements.

Evin Rodriguez – is our Bilingual (Spanish) Family Liaison. Her number is 703.969.2633 if you need to get in touch with her for any reason.

Attendance – Please be sure to use the attendance email or the attendance phone line (703.228.4222) when reporting your child in absent. Using these two methods helps keep the phone lines clear for other needs.

Important Dates Coming Up

  • March 29 – April 2 – Spring Break (The office will be closed this week)
  • April 5 – synchronous day for all students
    • School wide lunch/recess: 11:05 – 12:05
    • School wide field trip: 12:10 – 1:10 (Link will be posted on teacher’s Canvas course)
    • School wide assembly: 1:15 – 1:45 (same link as the field trip)
  • April 12 – Open Office Hours with Jessica 11:00 – 11:45 (Teams link will be sent closer to the date)

Parent Resources

  • Lexia – your child should be working on Lexia weekly. You can set goals with your child about completing units within the Lexia program. There is a lot of anecdotal data throughout the County that shows that students that consistently use Lexia are showing growth in their reading skills
  • Reflex Math – Reflex is an adaptive and individualized program that helps students develop fluency once they understand the concepts behind the operations.
  • Dreambox – DreamBox Learning is a digital based mathematics program for grades K-8 students. DreamBox lessons are personalized to your child, based on their strategies and understanding.
  • Dreambox and Reflex Math – more information about these two programs can be found on the LBES math website

Virtual STEM Night – Calling all STEM enthusiasts! Do you have an interest in science, technology, engineering, or math? Help make Long Branch’s first virtual STEM night a success! We are looking for anyone willing to present or share expertise in a particular area – it does not have to be your profession! If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please fill out thisGoogle form.  Our virtual STEM night is scheduled for Thursday, April 22 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Gifted Referrals – Ms. Garris has moved on to another opportunity outside of APS. Please send all gifted referrals to me (Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us). If you have sent one to Ms. Garris after January 1, please resend it to me. Thank you. We will conduct our screenings in mid to late May. A DTL message to families included a section on Gifted Services Referral information and information on screening.  If you are seeking to refer your child for gifted services, the application deadline is April 5th. Other Helpful Links: Eligibility  & Screening Documents Bundle

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

No cost COVID19 testing – Sites do not require insurance, ID, or a doctor’s referral. Arlington County operates a free, walk-in clinic M-F 12 – 5 p.m. at Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie St.). Aurora Hills Community Center and Tucker Field at Barcroft Park sites offer electronic results within 72 hours. Click here or call 703-912-7999 for information.

All Virginians 16+ can now pre – register for vaccination against COVID 19. Sign up at vaccinate.virginia.gov. Contact Vaccinate Virginia: 877. 829.4682.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200.


Friday, March 19, 2021

Thank you parents – thank you for your continued support of teachers and students as they adjust to the new virtual, concurrent, and hybrid transition. Please keep in mind we have teachers in grades K-2 continuing to get to know kids that are new on their rosters, and that takes time to build those open, trusting relationships.

Mondays – the teachers work hard to put together asynchronous work for Mondays. It is incredibly challenging to hit the mark exactly on how long it will take students to complete the work assigned. If your child finishes early, there are apps  (Lexia, Dreambox, Reflex Math, RAZ kids) they can use to continue their learning. Please be sure your child is completing work by 3:00 in order to be marked attended for the school day.

Qualtrics Health Screener – you do not need to complete the health screener over the weekend. However, if your child becomes COVID positive or a close contact over the weekend, please complete the weekend screener; that gets the ball rolling with what the school needs to do with cases like this. If you accidentally answered a question wrong, please reach out to the front office, they know how to fix the mistake. All students have access to their “green check” through their Canvas course. If you are not receiving any texts or emails, please call the front office and they can troubleshoot.

Fourth/Fifth Grade parents – we have been given permission to allow students in these two grade levels to arrive at school without an adult. Please have your child take a picture of the “green check” with their iPad so that we can continue to keep the arrival process efficient and smooth (or be ready to show their Canvas course inbox screen that shows the approval email).

Attendance – Please be sure to use the attendance email or the attendance phone line (703.228.4222) when reporting your child in absent. Using these two methods helps keep the phone lines clear for other needs.

Important Dates Coming Up

  • March 29 – April 2 – Spring Break (The office will be closed this week)
  • April 5 – synchronous day for all students
    • School wide lunch/recess: 11:05 – 12:05
    • School wide field trip: 12:10 – 1:10
    • School wide assembly: 1:15 – 1:45

Virtual STEM Night – Calling all STEM enthusiasts! Do you have an interest in science, technology, engineering, or math? Help make Long Branch’s first virtual STEM night a success! We are looking for anyone willing to present or share expertise in a particular area – it does not have to be your profession! If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please fill out this Google form.  Our virtual STEM night is scheduled for Thursday, April 22 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Gifted Referrals – Ms. Garris has moved on to another opportunity outside of APS. Please send all gifted referrals to me (Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us). If you have sent one to Ms. Garris after January, please resend it to me. Thank you. We will conduct our screenings in mid to late May. All referrals are due by April 5. A DTL message to families included a section on Gifted Services Referral information and information on screening.  If you are seeking to refer your child for gifted services, the application deadline is typically April 1st, but has been moved to April 5th this year because of Spring Break. Other Helpful Links: Eligibility  & Screening Documents Bundle

ADHD Parenting Series Mondays – April 12 – May 10: 6:30pm – 8:30pm Register here

No cost COVID19 testing – Sites do not require insurance, ID, or a doctor’s referral. Arlington County operates a free, walk-in clinic M-F 12 – 5 p.m. at Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie St.). Aurora Hills Community Center and Tucker Field at Barcroft Park sites offer electronic results within 72 hours. Click here or call 703-912-7999 for information.

All Virginians 16+ can now pre – register for vaccination against COVID 19. Sign up at vaccinate.virginia.gov. Contact Vaccinate Virginia: 877. 829.4682.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200


Friday, March 12, 2021

What a great two weeks it has been! Thank you to hybrid parents for being prepared with “the green checks.” It has been great having kids (and staff) in the building again.

Happy School Social Work Week! This week we acknowledge and celebrate APS’ School Social Workers, who provide vital support to students and families in APS. Thank you to Laura Weil, Long Branch’s Social Worker for all she does for our families. Read more

New Long Branch Mascot – Congratulations to 5th grade Megan Kovachy who won the mascot drawing contest. Click new mascot.jpg to see our new lion mascot. Stay tuned for ways to buy school merchandise that sports the new mascot!

Don’t forget to “follow” us on Twitter and/or Facebook. I try to keep these social media sites updated with current information, pictures, and announcements.

Qualtrics Health Screener – you do not need to complete the health screener over the weekend. However, if your child becomes COVID positive or a close contact over the weekend, please complete the weekend screener; that gets the ball rolling with what the school needs to do with cases like this. If you accidentally answered a question wrong, please reach out to the front office, they know how to fix the mistake. All students have access to their “green check” through their Canvas course.

Fourth/Fifth Grade parents – we have been given permission to allow students in these two grade levels to arrive at school without an adult. Please have your child take a picture of the “green check” with their iPad so that we can continue to keep the arrival process efficient and smooth (or be ready to show their Canvas course screen that shows the approval email).

Attendance – Please be sure to use the attendance email or the attendance phone line (703.228.4222) when reporting your child in absent. Using these two methods helps keep the phone lines clear for other needs.

Counselor’s Corner – Hi Long Branch Community! It is hard to believe we are almost nearing the one-year mark of when our schools closed down for COVID. With all the changes students have gone through this past year and with some students changing classes and coming into the building, for our lessons we cycled back to emotion management in grades K-5. The last time we talked about how we feel feelings in our bodies. Now students started to talk about strategies they can use to help them calm down, for example, breathing, counting, and positive self-talk/affirmations. Attached you will find the Homelinks. Lesson 11 Homelinks – Eng.pdf Lesson 11 Homelinks – Spa.pdf

The coping strategy I am highlighting this week is to help students identify a hobby that can be used as a coping mechanism. Playing is said to be a natural stress reliever for students. As students learned during lessons, when we are having a strong feeling, the amygdala in our brain reacts. We need to calm down so that our prefrontal cortex can take over, since it is the thinking part of our brain. Finding a hobby your student enjoys can be useful when they need to calm down. Students have shared with me some of the things they enjoy doing when they are stressed is reading, knitting, cooking, and writing music. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at stephanie.martin@apsva.us.

Important Dates Coming Up

  • March 29 – April 2 – Spring Break
  • April 5 – synchronous day for all students (we are working on a special schedule with some special events for this day – more to come soon)!

Virtual STEM Night – Calling all STEM enthusiasts! Do you have an interest in science, technology, engineering, or math? Help make Long Branch’s first virtual STEM night a success! We are looking for anyone willing to present or share expertise in a particular area – it does not have to be your profession! If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please fill out this Google form.  Our virtual STEM night is scheduled for Thursday, April 22 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Gifted Referral – please send all gifted referrals to me (Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us). If you have sent one to Ms. Garris after January, please resend it to me. Thank you.

ADHD Parenting Series Mondays – April 12 – May 10: 6:30pm – 8:30pm Register here

No cost COVID19 testing – Sites do not require insurance, ID, or a doctor’s referral. Arlington County operates a free, walk-in clinic M-F 12 – 5 p.m. at Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie St.). Aurora Hills Community Center and Tucker Field at Barcroft Park sites offer electronic results within 72 hours. Click here or call 703-912-7999 for information.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families.Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200


Friday, March 5, 2021Cute lion

We are excited to have our hybrid 3rd – 5th grade students join our PreK – 2 students next week!

Leveled Books – please return if you see books in your libraries at home. We are missing quite a few books from the Spring that we handed out to students and teachers are looking for them to use with their current students. You can send them into school with your hybrid student, or return them to the school out front during regular school hours.Back of LBES book room books.jpg  LBES stamp for books.jpg

Hybrid dismissal – If you are picking your child up, please be at school, out front, by 1:45. There will be Long Branch staff outside, wearing green vests if you need to find us. It may be fun to make a sign for your child for them to find you at the end of the day! Consider decorating it together while talking about transitioning back into the school building.

It is vital that your child’s classroom teacher knows how your child is going home each hybrid day. It is imperative that we know how each child is going home. Please work with your child’s teacher about dismissal procedures and ensure they have the correct information on how the child is going home. Transportation will not allow playdates. We will not accommodate changes to dismissal routines made during the day.

Don’t forget to “follow” us on Twitter and/or Facebook. I try to keep these social media sites updated with current information, pictures, and announcements.

Medication Drop Off for Hybrid Students – If you have medication that needs to be in the building for your hybrid child, please call the school to arrange a time to drop the medication off with the health room folks. 703.228.8067 (Health Room number)

Breakfasts and Lunches – Great news – all breakfasts and lunches for the remainder of the school year are free to all students! Please use the menu here to determine if your child will get the lunch for the day. Lunches will still be available for virtual students (with the same procedure as is in place now).

Students walking home – Arlington’s policy is that all students in first grade (or younger grades) do need to have an adult with them when going home from school or the bus stop. I was asked this question, so I wanted to provide everyone with the answer.

Important Dates Coming Up

  • March 9th and 10th – Hybrid 3rd and 5th grade students join Prek and 1st grade students in the building
  • March 11th and 12 – Hybrid 4th grade students join Kindergarten and 2nd grade students in the building
  • March 11 – Simple Greek Fundraiser Please see The Simple Greek Takeout Night Benefiting LBES PTA_March 11.pdf for more details
  • March 29 – April 2 – Spring Break

Virtual STEM Night – Calling all STEM enthusiasts! Do you have an interest in science, technology, engineering, or math? Help make Long Branch’s first virtual STEM night a success! We are looking for anyone willing to present or share expertise in a particular area – it does not have to be your profession! If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please fill out thisGoogle form.  Our virtual STEM night is scheduled for Thursday, April 22 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

No cost COVID19 testing – Sites do not require insurance, ID, or a doctor’s referral. Arlington County operates a free, walk-in clinic M-F 12 – 5 p.m. at Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie St.). Aurora Hills Community Center and Tucker Field at Barcroft Park sites offer electronic results within 72 hours. Click here or call 703-912-7999 for information.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200.


Friday, February 26, 2021 cute lion 2

We are excited to welcome back our hybrid PreK – 2nd grade students next week!

As always, I will send more specific information about new hybrid procedures in a separate email.

Class rosters and schedules – the new bell schedule (with our normal school hours) and class rosters will change next week on Tuesday, March 2nd. You can find your child’s new teacher in ParentVUE starting later this afternoon. PreK and third through fifth grade teachers will not change. If you do not yet know who your child’s new teacher will be, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, the front office, or your child’s current teacher.

Expanded Walk Zones and Bus Routes – please click here for a map of Long Branch’s expanded walk zone. All hybrid students eligible for riding APS transportation will have bus routes loaded into ParentVUE on 2/26/2021.

Kindergarten hybrid video – Mr. Tien put together this video for our Kindergarten hybrid students, though it may be fun for anyone to watch!

Hybrid dismissal – If you are picking your child up, please be at school, out front, by 1:45. There will be Long Branch staff outside, wearing green vests if you need to find us. It may be fun to make a sign for your child for them to find you at the end of the day! Consider decorating it together while talking about transitioning back into the school building.

It is vital that your child’s classroom teacher knows how your child is going home each hybrid day. It is imperative that we know how each child is going home. Please work with your child’s teacher about dismissal procedures and ensure they have the correct information on how the child is going home. Transportation will not allow playdates. We will not accommodate changes to dismissal routines made during the day.

Medication Drop Off for Hybrid Students – If you have medication that needs to be in the building for your hybrid child, please call the school to arrange a time to drop the medication off with the health room folks. 703.228.8067 (Health Room number)

Counselor’s Corner – Hi Long Branch Community! For our lessons, students in grades K-4 finished our unit on bullying prevention. We continued to talk about the 3 R’s: Recognize, Report, and Refuse. We also talked about what to do if we are bystanders to mean behavior or bullying. Bystanders see or know bullying is happening. As bystanders, we can do things to help stop the mean or bullying behavior such as: report, stand up, include the person being left out, and be nice and kind. Attached you will find the Homelinks. In 5th grade, we started to talk about middle school. Each student watched their middle school videos to learn about their classes.

The coping strategy I am highlighting this week is make a plan. Once students understand what is and is not in their control, they can start to create a plan to help them problem solve. During our lessons, we have talked about using STEP to problem solve: Say the problem, think of solutions, explore consequences, and pick the best solution. So if a student says that the problem is they miss their friend, we can help them think of ways to solve the problem. For example, set up a video call, send them a letter, or play an online game together. Then the student can think about the positives and negatives of each of these ideas. Lastly, they can pick the best solution. The great thing is if one solution doesn’t work, they just came up with a whole list of ideas they can try! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at stephanie.martin@apsva.usL10 Homelinks – Eng.pdf

Breakfasts and Lunches – Great news – all breakfasts and lunches for the remainder of the school year are free to all students! Please use the menu here to determine if your child will get the lunch for the day. Lunches will still be available for virtual students (with the same procedure as is in place now).Students walking home – Arlington’s policy is that all students in first grade (or younger grades) do need to have an adult with them when going home from school or the bus stop. I was asked this question, so I wanted to provide everyone with the answer.

Important Dates Coming Up

  • February 26 – Parent/Teacher conferences, no school and no asynchronous work for students
  • March 2nd – PTA meeting 6 pm (Zoom link will be shared closer to the meeting)
  • March 2nd and 3rd – Hybrid PreK and hybrid 1st grade students return to the building (Tues/Wed)
  • March 4th and 5th – Hybrid Kindergarten and Hybrid 2nd grade students return to the building (Thurs/Fri)
  • March 5th – no school for students in grades 3-5 (no asynchronous work will be provided)
  • March 9th and 10th – Hybrid 3rd and 5th grade students join Prek and 1st grade students in the building
  • March 11th and 12 – Hybrid 4th grade students join Kindergarten and 2nd grade students in the building

Virtual STEM Night – Calling all STEM enthusiasts! Do you have an interest in science, technology, engineering, or math? Help make Long Branch’s first virtual STEM night a success! We are looking for anyone willing to present or share expertise in a particular area – it does not have to be your profession! If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please fill out this Google form.  Our virtual STEM night is scheduled for Thursday, April 22 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.


Friday, February 19, 2021 cute lion

I will send more specific procedures for returning to the building in a separate email that goes only to parents of Long Branch enrolled children. As always, if you have any questions about returning to the building, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Library News – Due to parent conferences next week book pick up has been moved to Wednesday, February 24th from 11-3. Holds will need to be placed by Tuesday, February 23rd at 3pm.

Class rosters and schedules – the new bell schedule (with our normal school hours) and class rosters will begin on March 2nd. This gives time on the Parent/Teacher Conference work days for the front office staff to make necessary changes within ParentVUE. You will find your child’s new teacher in ParentVUE starting Friday, February 26th in the afternoon. PreKindergarten and third through fifth grade teachers will not change. If you do not yet know who your child’s new teacher will be, please do not hesitate to reach out to me, the school, or your child’s current teacher.

Medication Drop Off for Hybrid Students – If you have medication that needs to be in the building for your hybrid child, please call the school to arrange a time to drop the medication off with the health room folks. 703.228.8067 (Health Room number)

Breakfasts and Lunches – Great news – all breakfasts and lunches for the remainder of the school year are free to all students! Please use the menu here to determine if your child will get the lunch for the day. Lunches will still be available for virtual students (with the same procedure as is in place now).

February is Black History Month – The National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) has shared the following resources for families:

Important Dates Coming Up

  • February 25 – Early release for parent/teacher conferences, students do not return after lunch, no asynchronous for the afternoon will be provided
  • February 26 – Parent/Teacher conferences, no school and no asynchronous work for students
  • March 2nd – PTA meeting 6 pm (Zoom link will be shared closer to the meeting)
  • March 2nd and 3rd – Hybrid PreK and hybrid 1st grade students return to the building (Tues/Wed)
  • March 4th and 5th – Hybrid Kindergarten and Hybrid 2nd grade students return to the building (Thurs/Fri)
  • March 9th and 10th – Hybrid 3rd and 5th grade students join Prek and 1st grade students in the building
  • March 11th and 12 – Hybrid 4th grade students join Kindergarten and 2nd grade students in the building

Virtual STEM Night – Calling all STEM enthusiasts! Do you have an interest in science, technology, engineering, or math? Help make Long Branch’s first virtual STEM night a success! We are looking for anyone willing to present or share expertise in a particular area – it does not have to be your profession! If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please fill out thisGoogle form.  Our virtual STEM night is scheduled for Thursday, April 22 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200.


Friday, February 12, 2021 Baby Lion

Class rosters and schedules – the new bell schedule (with our normal school hours) and class rosters will change on March 2nd. This gives time on the Parent/Teacher Conference work days for the front office staff to make necessary changes within Synergy. You will find your child’s new teacher in Synergy starting Friday, February 26th in the afternoon. PreK and third through fifth grade teachers will not change. We will not be sending letters out to parents with the new teacher assignments. Schedules were shared before and can be found again here. PreK.pdf  Kinder.pdf   First.pdf  Second.pdf  Third.pdf  Fourth.pdf   Fifth.pdf

If your family choice matches the teacher assignment, they will not change teachers. The following teachers are virtual:

  • Kindergarten: Ms. Jackson-Lott
  • First Grade: Ms. Cook and Ms. Tipton
  • Second Grade: Ms Bato and Ms. Strohl

Hybrid Life – I will send a follow up email with Zoom details for an open office hour on Tuesday, 2/16 from 6:30 – 7:30 to address any questions you may have. I will also send out information with where classrooms will be located and what arrival/dismissal will look like for Long Branch families.

Two check-in questions – Parents, here is a way to start a dialogue with your children at home. I would love to know their responses to these questions:

  • During the pandemic, what are things you feel like you have lost?
  • During the pandemic, what are the ways that you have seen yourself grow or learn new things?

February is Black History Month – The National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) has shared the following resources for families:

Long Branch Lions Mascot Drawing Contest – Calling all 5th grade amazing artists! We are having a mascot drawing contest for our Long Branch lion. We invite our 5th grade students to participate and submit their original hand-drawn artwork for the contest. The winner’s artwork, chosen by a panel from the Long Branch community, will be used by the school for school spirit-wear, social media and the school website. Please see the entry form for contest rules and more details. The deadline for this contest is Monday February 15th. Please reach out to Ms. Guiffré lauren.guiffre@apsva.us with any questions. LB Mascot Contest Entry Form.doc

Important Dates Coming Up

  • February 15 – Holiday for all students and staff (no asynchronous work will be provided)
  • February 17 – Progress Reports are available in ParentVUE for parents to see
  • February 25 – Early release for parent/teacher conferences, students do not return after lunch, no asynchronous for the afternoon will be provided
  • February 26 – Parent/Teacher conferences, no school and no asynchronous work for students
  • March 2nd – PTA meeting 6 pm (Zoom link will be shared closer to the meeting)
  • March 2nd and 3rd – Hybrid PreK and hybrid 1st grade students return to the building (Tues/Wed)
  • March 4th and 5th – Hybrid Kindergarten and Hybrid 2nd grade students return to the building (Thurs/Fri)
  • March 9th and 10th – Hybrid 3rd and 5th grade students join Prek and 1st grade students in the building
  • March 11th and 12 – Hybrid 4th grade students join Kindergarten and 2nd grade students in the building

Virtual STEM Night – Calling all STEM enthusiasts! Do you have an interest in science, technology, engineering, or math? Help make Long Branch’s first virtual STEM night a success! We are looking for anyone willing to present or share expertise in a particular area – it does not have to be your profession! If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please fill out thisGoogle form.  Our virtual STEM night is scheduled for Thursday, April 22 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200


Friday, February 5, 2021Lion Reading

Spirit Week Next Week – be sure to Tweet at Long Branch or post your spirit wear on Facebook! Spirit Week – February.pdf

Hard copy work for PreK-2 students – If you are interested in hard copy packets of some extra work for your child, please swing by the school and pick one up from the bin outside. This work is being provided for parents that want something extra and non-screen related work. We can also make hard copies of the packets that were created in the Spring last year. As those packets are quite large (and in an effort to save paper), please reach out to the front office to ask them to make you a copy before you come and pick that up from the office staff.

Long Branch Lions Mascot Drawing Contest – Calling all 5th grade amazing artists! We are having a mascot drawing contest for our Long Branch lion. We invite our 5th grade students to participate and submit their original hand-drawn artwork for the contest. The winner’s artwork, chosen by a panel from the Long Branch community, will be used by the school for school spirit-wear, social media and the school website. Please see the entry form for contest rules and more details. The deadline for this contest is Monday February 15th. Please reach out to Ms. Guiffré lauren.guiffre@apsva.us with any questions. LB Mascot Contest Entry Form.doc

Important Dates Coming Up

  • February 11 – Long Branch Kindergarten Information night for next year’s Kindergarten class 7- 8 pm
  • February 15 – Holiday for all students and staff (no asynchronous work will be provided)
  • February 17 – Progress Reports are available in ParentVUE for parents to see

Virtual STEM Night – Calling all STEM enthusiasts! Do you have an interest in science, technology, engineering, or math? Help make Long Branch’s first virtual STEM night a success! We are looking for anyone willing to present or share expertise in a particular area – it does not have to be your profession! If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please fill out this Google form.  Our virtual STEM night is scheduled for Thursday, April 22 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

For our military connected families – Check out this great resource → Military Parent Advocate Volunteer Facebook page.  We are looking to become a Purple Star school, stay tuned for more information about this!

Don’t forget to

  • link your rewards card and Amazon Smiles account to Long Branch
  • follow us on Twitter
  • like us on Facebook 

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200


Friday, January 29, 2021lion dog

Happy School Counselor Appreciation Week – Next week is School Counselor Appreciation week and we could not be more thankful for Ms. Stephanie Martin, our school counselor. She is such an asset to the LB community with her knowledge, approachability, and compassion for students.

Long Branch Lions Mascot Drawing Contest – Calling all 5th grade amazing artists! We are having a mascot drawing contest for our Long Branch lion. We invite our 5th grade students to participate and submit their original hand-drawn artwork for the contest. The winner’s artwork, chosen by a panel from the Long Branch community, will be used by the school for school spirit-wear, social media and the school website. Please see the entry form for contest rules and more details. The deadline for this contest is Monday February 15th. Please reach out to Ms. Guiffré lauren.guiffre@apsva.uswith any questions. LB Mascot Contest Entry Form.doc

Hybrid Grade Level Schedules – on Tuesday this week, I sent out the hybrid schedules for each grade. All grades will shift to the hybrid schedule once Level 2 begins returning to the building. Until that date, we will continue using the schedule we have been using since the beginning of the school year this year.

Counselor’s Corner -Hi Long Branch Community! During our counseling SEL (social and emotional learning) block, we started to talk about managing strong emotions. Grades K-1 talked about how we feel feelings in our bodies. In Grades 2-5, we talked about what happens in our brains and bodies when we are having a strong feeling. Attached, you will find the Homelinks to continue practicing some of the skills we worked on at home.  Lesson 8 HomeLinks Eng.pdf I have had some families reach out to me about how to help support students at home when they are experiencing strong feelings, especially during COVID times. I will start sharing some coping skills that you can try at home with them. The first one is to help them label their feelings. Help students to recognize their feelings and understand that some days may be better than others. Our feelings can change throughout the day as well and not everyone reacts the same way to what is happening. When one is able to recognize and label how they are feeling, it becomes easier to manage and control their emotions. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at stephanie.martin@apsva.us.

Thank you, thank you! This past week was Principal’s Appreciation Week – I appreciate the emails and shout outs I received from the community! I couldn’t do what I do, without you!

Important Dates Coming Up

  • February 1 – Teacher Workday/Student Holiday (no asynchronous work will be provided)
  • February 2 – PTA meeting tonight starting at 6 (Jinder Gill, the PTA president will send a Zoom link closer to the meeting)
  • February 5 – Early Release for students – students do not return to school after lunch/recess (no asynchronous work)
  • February 11 – Long Branch Kindergarten Information night for next year’s Kindergarten class 7- 8 pm
  • February 15 – Holiday for all students and staff (no asynchronous work will be provided)
  • February 17 – Progress Reports are available in ParentVUE for parents to see

Virtual STEM Night – Calling all STEM enthusiasts! Do you have an interest in science, technology, engineering, or math? Help make Long Branch’s first virtual STEM night a success! We are looking for anyone willing to present or share expertise in a particular area – it does not have to be your profession! If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please fill out this Google form.  Our virtual STEM night is scheduled for Thursday, April 22 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Talking with Kids about Race and Discrimination – Tuesday, February 2nd: 6:30pm – 8:00pm Register here – In this timely and free workshop, Dr. Ricia Weiner, Ms. Eleanor Lewis and Ms. Veronica Valdes, APS School Psychologists, will offer parents/caregivers developmentally appropriate ideas and strategies for talking with children (PreK through high school) about race, diversity and discrimination.

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200.


Friday, January 22, 2021Happy Lion sitting

January 15 – Lean into Literacy event – We had a great time handing out books and seeing students! If you were not able to meet us at a bus stop, please feel free to come to the school Monday – Friday from 9-2 to pick up a free bookmark and book for your child.

We had a GREAT time with the author Hena Khan last week too.  If you would like to purchase a book from this author, you may do so here. She is autographing each book purchased through this website.

Long Branch Lions Mascot Drawing Contest – Calling all 5th grade amazing artists! We are having a mascot drawing contest for our Long Branch lion. We invite our 5th grade students to participate and submit their original hand-drawn artwork for the contest. The winner’s artwork, chosen by a panel from the Long Branch community, will be used by the school for school spirit-wear, social media and the school website. Please see the entry form for contest rules and more details. The deadline for this contest is Monday February 15th. Please reach out to Ms. Guiffré lauren.guiffre@apsva.us with any questions. LB Mascot Contest Entry Form.doc

Important Change to the Long Branch Instructional Day Times– in order to prepare for Level 2 students returning to the school building, we will need to shift our instructional day back to the original Long Branch bell schedule time. This shift is required for us to do in order for Transportation to be able to get students to our building.So – starting February 2, our school day will begin at 8:25 and go until 1:45. We are still working on shifting the schedule on our end and hope to have specifics to you as soon as possible.

Important Dates Coming Up

  • January 25 – APS Kindergarten Information Night – for parents of incoming Kindergarteners from 7 – 8:00 p.m.  This will be a virtual event.
  • January 26 – Office Hours with Ms. DaSilva from 6:30 – 7:30 for grades 3-5 regarding the concurrent instructional model
  • February 1 – Teacher Workday/Student Holiday (no asynchronous work will be provided)
  • February 2 – Long Branch begins the school day at 8:25 and ends at 1:45 for the remainder of the school year
  • February 2 – PTA meeting tonight starting at 6 (Jinder Gill, the PTA president will send a Zoom link closer to the meeting)
  • February 5 – Early Release for students – students do not return to school once they leave for lunch (teaches involved in professional development activities).

Virtual STEM Night – Calling all STEM enthusiasts! Do you have an interest in science, technology, engineering, or math? Help make Long Branch’s first virtual STEM night a success! We are looking for anyone willing to present or share expertise in a particular area – it does not have to be your profession! If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please fill out this Google form.

For our military connected families – Check out this great resource → Military Parent Advocate Volunteer Facebook page.  We are looking to become a Purple Star school, stay tuned for more information about this!

Arlington County Libraries offer “Make and Take” bundles – check it out!

Talking with Kids about Race and Discrimination – Tuesday, February 2nd: 6:30pm – 8:00pm Register here – In this timely and free workshop, Dr. Ricia Weiner, Ms. Eleanor Lewis and Ms. Veronica Valdes, APS School Psychologists, will offer parents/caregivers developmentally appropriate ideas and strategies for talking with children (PreK through high school) about race, diversity and discrimination. Case studies and scenarios will be presented and participants will have the opportunity to practice newly learned skills. Participants will leave this workshop with child-focused, anti-racist strategies for addressing racism and discrimination. Discussions will address:

  • When should you talk to kids about race?
  • Overall approach to talking with children about race
  • Key points to remember when talking about

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200.


Friday, January 15, 2021

Today is the book bus tour day!! Lions reading a book

Please be sure to be out at a bus stop closest to you to grab your free book (wearing masks of course). Your child has access to a document that has the bus stops/times on it. I will send the bus stop locations and times in a separate email.

Thank you (again) to the Kiwanis Club – Through their generous donation to Long Branch we have been able to purchase a book for every student at Long Branch. These are the books we are giving out today on the book bus tour.

January 15 – Lean into Literacy event – Happening today! Author Hena Khan is conducting two assemblies (PreK-2 and 3-5) today.. Your child’s teacher shared a document that will allow them to access the assemblies. If you would like to purchase a book from this author, you may do so here. She will autograph the book purchased through this website!

Long Branch Lions Mascot Drawing Contest – Calling all 5th grade amazing artists! We are having a mascot drawing contest for our Long Branch lion. We invite our 5th grade students to participate and submit their original hand-drawn artwork for the contest. The winner’s artwork, chosen by a panel from the Long Branch community, will be used by the school for school spirit-wear, social media and the school website. Please see the entry form for contest rules and more details. The deadline for this contest is Monday February 15th. Please reach out to Ms. Guiffré lauren.guiffre@apsva.us with any questions. Insert attachment

Important Change to the Long Branch Instructional Day Times – in order to prepare for Level 2 students returning to the school building, we will need to shift our instructional day back to the original Long Branch bell schedule time. This shift is required for us to do in order for Transportation to be able to get students to our building.

So – starting February 2, our school day will begin at 8:25 and go until 1:45. We are still working on shifting the schedule on our end and hope to have specifics to you as soon as possible.

Important Dates Coming Up

  • January 15 – Lean into Literacy Afternoon with a Book Bus – once students are dismissed to lunch, the rest of the afternoon will be dedicated to an author visit and a variety of literacy activities for students to participate in. Regular classes will not be held
  • January 18 – MLK Holiday – No school for students (no asynchronous work will be provided)
  • January 20 – Inauguration Day – No school for students (no asynchronous work will be provided)
  • January 25 – APS Kindergarten Information Night – for parents of incoming Kindergarteners from 7 – 8:00 p.m.  This will be a virtual event.
  • February 1 – Teacher Workday/Student Holiday (no asynchronous work will be provided)
  • February 2 – Long Branch begins the school day at 8:25 and ends at 1:45 for the remainder of the school year

Counselor’s Corner – Hi Long Branch Community! To start off our school counseling lessons for 2021, we have been talking about trusted adults in grades K-5. Trusted adults are adults who we know will listen to us, help us with any problems we might have, and keep us safe. We can have different types of trusted adults, like ones in our family, in our neighborhood, at school, or in our community. Students then did an activity at the end of our lessons where they named trusted adults in their lives. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at stephanie.martin@apsva.us.  -Mrs. Martin

Virtual STEM Night – Calling all STEM enthusiasts! Do you have an interest in science, technology, engineering, or math? Help make Long Branch’s first virtual STEM night a success! We are looking for anyone willing to present or share expertise in a particular area – it does not have to be your profession! If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please fill out thisGoogle form.

For our military connected families – Check out this great resource → Military Parent Advocate Volunteer Facebook page.  We are looking to become a Purple Star school, stay tuned for more information about this!

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200


Friday, January 8, 2021lion reading

Thank you to the Kiwanis Club – The Kiwanis Club generously donated $1000 to Long Branch to purchase books for students. Thank you, thank you for your generosity! With this incredibly generous donation, we have been able to purchase a book for every student at Long Branch. In order to get the books into students’ hands, we will hold a “book bus” tour that will be traveling (and stopping) throughout the Long Branch neighborhoods at stops on the afternoon of January 15. Please stay tuned for details about where we will be stopping and what time – this is going to be fun!

January 15 – Lean into Literacy event – I am excited to announce that we will have author Hena Khan conducting two assemblies (PreK-2 and 3-5) on January 15. Your child’s teacher will share with students a document that will allow them to access the assemblies. If you would like to purchase a book from this author, you may do so here.

Important Change to the Long Branch Instructional Day Times – in order to prepare for Level 2 students returning to the school building, we will need to shift our instructional day back to the original Long Branch bell schedule time. This shift is required for us to do in order for Transportation to be able to get students to our building. So – starting February 2, our school day will begin at 8:25 and go until 1:45. We are still working on shifting the schedule on our end and hope to have specifics by the end of the week next week.

Important Dates Coming Up

  • January 15 – Lean into Literacy Afternoon with a Book Bus – once students are dismissed to lunch, the rest of the afternoon will be dedicated to an author visit and a variety of literacy activities for students to participate in. Regular classes will not be held
  • January 18 – MLK Holiday – No school for students (no asynchronous work will be provided)
  • January 20 – Inauguration Day – No school for students (no asynchronous work will be provided)
  • January 25 – APS Kindergarten Information Night – for parents of incoming Kindergarteners from 7 – 8:00 p.m.  This will be a virtual event.
  • February 1 – Teacher Workday/Student Holiday (no asynchronous work will be provided)
  • February 2 – Long Branch begins the school day at 8:25 and ends at 1:45 for the remainder of the school year

Virtual STEM Night – Calling all STEM enthusiasts! Do you have an interest in science, technology, engineering, or math? Help make Long Branch’s first virtual STEM night a success! We are looking for anyone willing to present or share expertise in a particular area – it does not have to be your profession! If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please fill out thisGoogle form.

For our military connected families – Check out this great resource → Military Parent Advocate Volunteer Facebook page. We are looking to become a Purple Star school, stay tuned for more information about this!

Don’t forget to – 

  • link your rewards card and Amazon Smiles account to Long Branch
  • follow us on Twitter
  • like us on Facebook 

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200.


Friday, December 18, 2020lion santa

Well, as we wrap up the strangest year we may have ever experienced, I can say that I have never been more thankful to work with such a supportive community and staff. I appreciate all of you. I wish nothing but the best for you and your family this holiday season. I look forward to the new year and all it will bring. I wish everyone a very happy holiday season. May you stay safe and healthy as we finish out 2020 and move into 2021. This will be the last Weekly Roar of 2020.

The school office will be closed throughout the break.Winter Break Meal Services: 

  • Friday, Dec. 18: Three days of meals for Friday, Saturday and Monday available at all current locations
  • Tuesday, Dec. 22: Five days of meals for Tuesday – Saturday will be available at the following locations:
    • Barcroft, Barrett, Campbell, Drew, Gunston, Hoffman Boston, Kenmore, Key, Randolph, Swanson, Wakefield, W-L and Yorktown

For our military connected families – Check out this great resource → Military Parent Advocate Volunteer Facebook page.  We are looking to become a Purple Star school, stay tuned for more information about this!

Don’t forget to – 

  • link your rewards card and Amazon Smiles account to Long Branch
  • follow us on Twitter
  • like us on Facebook 

Early Childhood Academy –  Course open from January 16 – February 21, 2021  Learn more and register here

Ins and Outs of IEP’s | January 21 at 11:30 AM. This presentation will help prepare parents of what to expect in the IEP meeting and to have a productive student focused meeting. From pre-planning before the meeting to working together afterwards, this presentation will build relationships and self-advocacy skills of the parents while focusing on the needs of the student.

Transition University –  A free, parent-friendly 5-week self-paced online transition courseWinter 2021: February 6 to March 26  Learn more and register here

PEATC Latino – GRUPO DE APOYO Grupo de Chat para Padres: Unete a nuestro nuevo GRUPO DE CHAT mediante la aplicación de WhatsApp y podras mantenerte al tanto de todo lo que PEATC Latino esta haciendo. Entra al GRUPO: https://bit.ly/2VoU2vw

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Arlington Parent Support Groups – Now Meeting Virtually – These groups are geared to parents whose child is experiencing symptoms of a mental illness, including: depression, anxiety, eating disorders, mood disorders and more. No diagnosis is required to participate. Participants are given the opportunity to share their story, experience support, and glean guidance (as desired) from group members regarding both community and school resources. Confidentiality is respected.

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200


Friday, December 11, 2020 lion reading

“Chat and Chew” with the Principal – I am bringing these back! Last year I started hosting monthly “Chat and Chews” for any families to come and ask questions of me, begin to build community with other LB families, and just enjoy each other’s company.

  • I will again be hosting these opportunities with me (just as I did last year). I will alternate between evenings, mornings, and afternoons to allow parents with a variety of schedules to attend. The morning and afternoon sessions will most likely be on Mondays, so that parents may use their child’s iPads to attend.
    • These will be Microsoft Teams meetings.
    • Our first “Chat and Chew” will be this Monday, December 14 from 9:00 – 9:30 a.m.
    • Ms. Evin Rodriguez, our bilingual family liaison, will be present for Spanish translation.
      • I will send the Teams link out later today

Annual Martin Luther King, Jr Contest has begun! Please click here for more details. There is a labeled bin outside of Long Branch for students to drop their entries.

December Read Alouds – staff have posted a Google doc on their Canvas sites where students can listen to various LB staff members read books to them. Be sure to encourage your child to check it out. (Students will need to access it with their APS email account).

Counselor’s Corner

Hi Long Branch Community! These past few weeks we did our Child Protection Unit lessons in grades K-5. In kindergarten we talked about the always ask first rule and the different types of touches (safe, unsafe, and unwanted). In grades 1-5 we talked about the different types of touches and the touching rule. Attached to this Weekly Roar, you will find the SecondStep Homelinks to continue practicing some of the skills we worked on during the lessons.

You will notice there are signature spots on each page, you can disregard that. Homelinks are just for you all to have as reference and do not need to be returned to the school. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at stephanie.martin@apsva.us. This will be our last Counselor’s Corner for 2020, so I hope you and your family have a wonderful and safe winter break.  -Mrs. Martin

Library News – All library books can be returned to the library cart which is outside of school from 9-3 Monday-Friday. A reminder that our final curbside pickup opportunity before Winter Break will be on Friday, December 18th from 11-3pm.  PreK-2nd grade families we have this Google form for you to fill out and we will choose the books for you child. All holds must be placed by Wednesday, December 16th at noon.

The Lyon Park Citizens Association has partnered with Dialogues on Race and Equity, an initiative run by the county and the Challenging Racism organization. As a partner, they will be holding two virtual conversations in December and would like to invite all members of the Long Branch community. These are two-hour, facilitated conversations that explore topics such as privilege and bias and how they operate within our community. We will also learn about how race has historically functioned within Arlington County. The goal of these conversations is to provide a safe place for neighbors to explore topics relating to race, to learn without judgement, and to process without fear. Groups are limited to ten people and participant information will be confidential.

Please e-mail christalpca@gmail.com if you would like to participate. Conversations are scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 15, 10 AM -12 PM and Thursday, Dec. 17th, 7 – 9 PM.

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200.


Friday, December 4, 2020lion reading

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break. We hit the ground running this week with students returning from break. I hope everyone is safe and healthy as we head into the winter months.

Annual Martin Luther King, Jr Contest has begun! Please click here for more details. There is a labeled bin outside of Long Branch for students to drop their entries.

December Read Alouds – staff will post a Google doc on their Canvas sites where students can listen to various LB staff members read books to them. Be sure to encourage your child to check it out.

Progress Reports – Don’t forget to check your child’s progress report in ParentVUE. Remember, it is under the “Documents” tab. (Here are the directions in English and Spanish for accessing the report).  General ParentVUE questions/support.

  • Throughout the first marking period teachers have spent time establishing community, routines, and acclimating to technology use in full distance learning. While teachers are instructing new content and formatively assessing students, they have not had the opportunity to gather sufficient data to support defined letters grades of A, B, C, D or E in Grades 3-5 at this time.
  • On the Quarter 1 report card, achievement in Grades 3-5 will be reported as: “P”-  Making Expected Progress or “N”- Not Making Expected Progress, just as it is on the existing report cards for Grades 1 and 2. We plan to return to reporting letter grades (A-E) in future marking periods for Grades 3-5 once we have been able to administer additional assessments and have more data to inform these designations for academic progress.
  • Printed copies are available upon request, please call the office if you would like a printed copy (703.228.4220).

“Chat and Chew” with the Principal – I am bringing these back! Last year I started hosting monthly “Chat and Chews” for any families to come and ask questions of me, begin to build community with other LB families, and just enjoy each other’s company.

  • I will again be hosting these opportunities with me (just as I did last year). I will alternate between evenings, mornings, and afternoons to allow parents with a variety of schedules to attend. The morning and afternoon sessions will most likely be on Mondays, so that parents may use their child’s iPads to attend.
    • These will be Microsoft Teams meetings.
    • Our first “Chat and Chew” will be Monday, December 14 from 9:00 – 9:30 a.m.
    • Ms. Evin Rodriguez, our bilingual family liaison, will be present for Spanish translation.
      • I will send the Teams link out closer to the meeting.
  • Please join us with your own “chew,” I know I will probably be sipping a coffee!

Arlington SEPTA’s Annual Superintendent Chat – Wednesday, December 9, 2020: 6:30pm – 9:00pm  Join Arlington Special Education PTA (SEPTA) for its annual “Super Chat” with Superintendent Durán and the Office of Special Education to discuss topics relevant to special education in Arlington Public Schools. Online via Zoom Webinar: Register here

  • All SEPTA meetings are open to everyone. American Sign Language interpreters will be available for this meeting.

PTA Meeting Topics – Ms. Martin presented about the lessons she is facilitating during the month of December (Child Protection Unit). Please reach out to her with any questions you may have regarding those lessons. Stephanie.Martin@apsva.us. Ms. LiGuidi presented about No Place for Hate and Family Life Education. Please email her for questions regarding these two topics. Blandine.LiGuidi@apsva.us.

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. Free flu shots – call Arlington Public Health to schedule an appointment – 703.228.1200.


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!Lion and turkey

In the spirit of the holidays this week, I want to say how thankful I am for the Long Branch community.  I think back to last year at this time, Ms. LiGuidi and I were outside of LB giving out mints and appreciation cards to all families that drove up or walked to school and now I think of what this Thanksgiving will look like. It is a stark comparison, that is for sure.

I continue to receive emails from parents sharing how appreciative they are with all of the efforts of the teachers and staff of Long Branch. These are challenging times for sure, but knowing that our community cares so much for each other, does make this pandemic that much easier to move through.

Thank you for your all support, thank you for the kind words, and thank you for being YOU!

APS Food Distribution for today and next week: Meals will be served today, Tue, Nov. 24. Today’s service will include 5 meals for Tuesday-Saturday. Remember, anyone can come and pick up meals for their APS student(s).

Mark your calendar for the December PTA meeting – December 1. Our PTA President, Jinder Gill, sent out the Zoom link last night.

Interesting Article – I sent this article to staff today In a Time of Calamity, What Do Children Need From Us?

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families


Friday, November 20, 2020lion with computer

Goodbye to Bidkar Jimenez – Mr. Jimenez, who works in the front office, has decided to move on from Long Branch. We are currently in the process of interviewing to fill the vacancy. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

Art/Music Supplies – If you did not get a chance to come by the school during the week to pick up your supplies, please swing by the school on Monday –  Fridays between 8-3. (Thanksgiving week next week, the building is closed Wednesday starting at noon, Thursday, and Friday).

Gentle Reminder – Next week is Thanksgiving Break! Monday is a normal, asynchronous day for students, but Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday there is no school (no asynchronous work for students will be provided).

APS Food Distribution for today and next week: Meals will be served on Fri, Nov. 20 and Tue, Nov. 24. Families will receive meals for Friday, Saturday and Monday on Nov. 20. Tuesday’s service will include 5 meals for Tuesday-Saturday. Remember, anyone can come and pick up meals for their APS student(s).

Mark your calendar for the December PTA meeting – December 1. Our PTA President, Jinder Gill, will send out the Zoom link.

Counselor’s Corner – Hi Long Branch Community! The last few weeks we spent our counseling lesson time talking more about feelings and empathy. In grades K-1, we talked about people having the same and different feelings about the same situation. In grades 2-3, we talked about conflicting feelings. Finally, in grades 4-5 we talked about predicting feelings. In all grade levels we continued to focus on the importance of looking for clues to how someone is feeling. Attached, you will find SecondStep Homelinks to continue practicing some of these skills at home.Lesson 5 Homelinks.pdf Our mindful minute pose for this week was the Cat. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at stephanie.martin@apsva.us.

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families.


Friday, November 13, 2020 lion with computer

Art/Music Supplies – If you did not get a chance to come by the school during the week to pick up your supplies, please contact the school to arrange a time on Monday –  Fridays between 8-3 (703.228.4220).

November 18 – Chipotle Fundraiser:  4pm – 8pm at the Ballston location (4300 Wilson).  Eat out and LB PTA will receive 33% of the sales.  You must mention that the order is to support Long Branch PTA and you can also order online and pick using Promo Code:  3FYBKBH.

Library News – All library books can be returned to the library cart which is outside of school from 9-3 Monday-Friday. A reminder that our final curbside pickup opportunity before Thanksgiving Break will be on Friday, November 20th from 11-3pm. PreK-2nd grade families we have this google form for you to fill out and we will choose the books for you child. All holds must be placed by Wednesday at noon.

Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide – This “Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide” provided by the Office of Educational Technology will inform you, as a parent or caregiver, as you monitor your child’s progress as your child accesses and uses technology for learning. This guide aims to help all parents and caregivers, including those who have limited experience with digital tools, those who are expert with these tools, and anywhere in between.  FIND IT HERE: https://bit.ly/3l5Sn9

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. 

Parenting in a Pandemic: Virtual Parent Support Group Tuesdays: 5:30pm-6:30pm

Register here for the November 24th meeting Developmental Support Associates (DSA) is offering a virtual family support group for local families who care for children, youths, and young adults with developmental and/or behavioral challenges. The immediate goal is to help families collaborate with professionals and with each other in order to break out of isolation and share experiences, thought, feelings, and novel strategies for promoting personal and social growth. Meetings are free, but pre-registration is required. Login information for the Zoom Meeting will be sent to registrants prior to the date of the meeting.  For questions about the support group meetings,  email allan@developmentalsupport.com or dmonnig@thearcofnova.org. Sponsored by the Arc of Northern Virginia and Developmental Support Associates

Organized Chaos: Executive Functioning Strategies for Learning in a Variety of Environments

Wednesday, November 18: 7:30-9:00 pm  Register Here

Presenter: Courtney Heldman, MS, OTR/L, Director of Occupational Therapy, The Lab School of Washington.  Whether learning virtually, in person, or through a combination, executive functioning skills and strategies are necessary to manage daily workload, homework, and maintain organization. This lecture will address key strategies and tips for all students, from elementary to high school, and will target such topics as time management, physical and digital organization of workspace, ergonomics, planning, and more. Sponsored by The Lab School of Washington

Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence (VCU-ACE) Lunch and Learn Series

  • Transition from School to Work –  Thursday, November 12th: 12:00 – 1:00 pm Register on Zoom
  • Supporting Communication & Social Skills for Early Learners –  November 19, 2020: 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET Register on Zoom

Friday, November 6, 2020lion with computer

Happy School Psychologists Week next week to Sammy Silver!!! We are so glad that she is our psych, she is amazing!

Art/Music Supplies – If you did not get a chance to come by the school during the week to pick up your supplies, please contact the school to arrange a time between 8-3 (703.228.4220).

November 11 – Veteran’s Day Holiday (no school for staff/students). So there is no asynchronous work this day for students.

November 18 – Chipotle Fundraiser:  4pm – 8pm at the Ballston location (4300 Wilson).  Eat out and LB PTA will receive 33% of the sales.  You must mention that the order is to support Long Branch PTA and you can also order online and pick using Promo Code:  3FYBKBH.

Counselor’s Corner – Hi Long Branch Community! These last few weeks during counseling lessons, I have been talking with the students about feelings. In grades K-3 we have been talking about identifying feelings and how important it is to look for clues on people’s faces, body, and think about the situation. In grades 4-5, we have been talking about having and understanding complex feelings. Attached to this Weekly Roar, you will find our Homelinks from SecondStep so you can continue practicing some of these skills at home. Our mindful minute pose for this week was the Standing Mountain. Also, thank you for participating in the first Growth Mindset Spirit Week! It was such a blast to see everyone who participated. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at stephanie.martin@apsva.usLesson 4 Homelinks.pdf

Virginia Department of HealthVDH Algorithm for Evaluating a Child with COVID-19 Symptoms or Exposure 

Arlington SEPTA Monthly Meeting: Internet Safety During Distant Learning – Thursday, November 12, 2020: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. (7-7:30 p.m. will be for Updates and PTA business) Online via Zoom Webinar: Register and Submit Questions

Join Arlington Special Education PTA for its November monthly meeting focusing on Internet Safety during this time of distance learning. With children of all ages online more than ever, parents are facing increasing concern over online safety and digital well-being. But how can you be more vigilant when it feels like there are more demands on your time? Marita Rodriguez, Executive Director of Strategic Advancement and Partnership for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), will help us navigate how to reduce online dangers for our children. Among other things we will discuss:

  • internet safety basics,
  • ways that predators engage children online,
  • behaviors that might indicate that your child is in trouble, and
  • steps to take to ensure your children are learning or gaming safely online.

You can submit questions for Marita in advance on the registration form until Monday, November 9th at 10:00 p.m. or ask questions in the chat which will be answered as time allows. All SEPTA meetings are open to everyone. Membership is not needed to join the meeting.

Apply for Free/Reduced Meals at this website. It’s not too late to apply.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families.


Friday, October 30, 2020lion with computer

Normally I would write a Halloween message in this Weekly Roar because Halloween is tomorrow, but with COVID still rearing it’s ugly head, Halloween this year just doesn’t have the same feel, does it?

ARL Now released this statement about Halloween activities in Arlington. Please be safe and cautious whatever you decide to do about Halloween this year. My kids and I will be in our house, doing the Monster Mash!

Annual Online Verification Process (AOVP) – this is due today! If you have not, please log on and verify your information today. It is very important that we have the most updated information for each student (contact information, emergency contact information, etc.)  Please visit ParentVUE to make changes. Please see this website with more information, videos, etc. in both English and Spanish. Please call the school if you need help accessing your ParentVUE account. 703.228.4220.

Library News: Curbside book up is now available every Friday for all grades from 11am-3pm outside the front door of Long Branch. Holds must be placed by 12 pm (noon) on Wednesday. Students can check out five books.  Don’t forget to come by school to pick up your books on Friday! Please let me know what questions you have –  Ms. Rube (marylou.rube@apsva.us)

  •  Families can fill out this Google Form and we will choose books for you OR you may place a hold in our library catalog  like grades 3-5.

 Growth Mindset Spirit Week – is next week! See the flyer Growth Mindset Spirit Week.pdf.   Tweet or FB us with pictures of your child participating!

The “Headphones Lady” raised enough money to buy headphones for many APS students. We have received a donation, so if your child is in need of headphones, please call the school to request headphones. We will also be offering headphones to students who need them during the art/music supply bag pick-up next week.

Mark your calendars – Art and Music supply pickup from Long Branch will happen on 11/3 from 8:30 – 10:00 and 11/4 from 2:00 – 3:30. I will send more information out closer to the date (spoiler alert – it will be the same process as the Spring pickup and Fall pickup).

November 2 – PTA meeting at 6. Jinder sent the link out already, I will send it out again later today.

November 3 – Is Election Day and Grade Prep Day so there is no school for kids this day (no asynchronous work). Be sure to get out and vote!

November 11 – Veteran’s Day Holiday (no school for staff/students). So there is no asynchronous work this day for students.

The “At-Home Learning with WETA” activities for the week of October 26-30,which includes WETA PBS and WETA PBS Kids television shows, books, learning activities and PBS Kids online games that families can do together, are now posted online. Check out PBS Kids for Parents for tips on how to create virtual learning routines to lessen the stress for your family. This resource also has related articles that can help you tackle this school year as a caretaker.

PBS Learning Media ​is another place to find educational resources for your child. There are weekly “Learn Along” bingo packets for preschool through second grades. The bingo sheets are available in both Spanish and English and include themes like building, being kind, and fall time. Other resources on this site include videos, lessons and printables for different subjects for grades pre-k through 12th grade.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families.


Friday, October 23, 2020lion with computer

The learning model survey is due today! Please log into ParentVUE and make the choice between hybrid and distance learning. (There are videos in English and Spanish on the ParentVUE website with how to access ParentVUE).

You can learn more about the two models here. If you have not made a selectionat all in ParentVUE, you will default to hybrid (which is the in-person 2 day a week model).  Here are two videos with how to make the selection in ParentVUE in English orEspanol.

You can make a selection through today 5 pm. Please call the school (703.228.4220) between 8 – 3 if you need help accessing your ParentVUE account.

My plan is to continue to keep students with their current teachers as long as possible before making any necessary changes to class rosters. I appreciate your support over these last few weeks, the kind emails and phone calls have meant a lot to the teaching staff and me. Please continue to stay informed by visiting the APS website about the return to the school building plans. There are FAQ that are updated regularly. Questions can be submitted to engage@apsva.us.

There had been talk of an “Option 3” on the learning model survey, asking families if they would “follow their teacher” no matter what the learning model was. If you would like to choose “Option 3” with your child’s current teacher, please email me today by 5 p.m. (Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us). Please be sure to include your child’s name and teacher’s name. I cannot guarantee that I can meet your request, but I will do my best!

October 27/28 – Just a gentle reminder that these two days will be asynchronous learning days, similar to Mondays. Teachers will provide asynchronous work for students to complete. Students will need to complete at least one of the activities to be marked “present” for the school day. Teachers will use these two days to begin to prepare for a shift to the hybrid learning model.

PTA meeting info – Due to Election Day on November 3, we will have our November meeting on Monday, November 2. The PTA President, Jinder Gill, will send the Zoom link out closer to the date.

Mark your calendars – Art and Music supply pickup from Long Branch will happen on 11/3 from 8:30 – 10:00 and 11/4 from 2:00 – 3:30. I will send more information out closer to the date (spoiler alert – it will be the same process as the Spring pickup and Fall pickup)!

November 3 – Election Day and Grade Prep Day so there is no school for kids this day (no asynchronous work).

November 11 – Veteran’s Day Holiday (no school for staff/students). So there is no asynchronous work this day for students.

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families


Friday, October 16, 2020lion with computer

Thank you, thank you to the parents who have started cleaning up the area around the front bus loop to prepare it for some outdoor space for a class to use when we return to the building. It looks so good out there already!

Answers to the questions I received about the hybrid model are at the bottom of this email. Please do not forget to read the FAQ on Arlington’s website, it is updated regularly.

Town Hall with Dr. Durán today! – Dr. Durán will be hosting a community virtual Town Hall today, Friday, October 16, from 5-6 p.m., to address the Return to School Plan. More information about it here.

Making a selection for virtual/distance learning in ParentVUE – Need to know how to select your learning model? You can watch this video for how to do it. English:  https://youtu.be/HTN9ymyHCCA  Spanish:  https://youtu.be/Zf7o0H_6_bs. Please call the school if you do not remember your ParentVUE information. Parents/guardians need to update or complete their return to school preference by October 21. If no choice is made, the default is whatever you selected over the summer. If you make no selection, the default is hybrid.

Parent/Teacher Conferences – If they have not already, your child’s teacher will reach out to you with sign-up days/times for conferences this year. October 22 is an early release day, so teachers will be ending the day at 12:51. There will not be any asynchronous work provided for the afternoon of 10/22 or for the day on 10/23. Students may always access their learning apps on their iPads if they wish to practice math or reading skills.

FREE, NO APPOINTMENT COVID19 testing this Saturday in Green Valley – please see the attachment 1 Day Testing Site in Green Valley_Oct 17.pdf .

Counselor’s Corner – Hi Long Branch Community! These last few weeks during our counseling lessons, Ms. Silver and I have continued to talk about growth mindset. In grades K and 1, we talked about how our brain is growing, amazing, unique, and flexible! In grades 2 and 3, we talked about how our brain is similar to a traffic signal and sends signals to our body. We also talked about the difference between a growth and fixed mindset. Lastly, in grades 4 and 5, we also talked about the difference between a growth and fixed mindset and discussed examples of growth mindsets. We continued to practice mindfulness and this week we practiced “sitting mountain.” If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!   -Mrs. Martin (stephanie.martin@apsva.us)

Flip It – All parents face day to day challenges communicating with their children, now more than ever. FLIP IT!® is a weekly 1-hour virtual series that meets for 7 weeks to provide tools for parents to increase communication with their children and their families. Please see the flyer here. FLIP IT Series Flyer English.pdf

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. 

Questions submitted about the hybrid model:

Will students attending the hybrid model have the opportunity to get some paper materials and paper books? My child enjoys math, but gets frustrated doing it on Seesaw. Would it be possible to get some math worksheets to do in person or on at home days and then have the children take a picture and upload them on Seesaw?

  • Students are always welcome to do their math (or any curriculum) on paper and take a picture of it to upload to SeeSaw. For students in hybrid, there may be occasions where the teacher will hand out paper copies, following all guidelines for safety of course.

For students attending school under the hybrid model, what will recess look like on days when the weather doesn’t permit outdoor recess? Will they have some kind of physically active indoor recess?

  • We are still in the planning phases on what recess will look like when there is inclement weather. Recess is required by law, so we will still provide some kind of recess break for students.

Will students in the virtual and hybrid models receive any mixed instruction? For example, will the virtual students sign in to the live classrooms or will the two groups be kept completely separate?

  • Hybrid and virtual classrooms will remain separate for instruction.

During distance learning, the kids have had opportunities throughout the day for movement breaks. I understand the kids won’t be permitted to move about the classrooms for obvious reasons, but will there still be movement breaks throughout the day for in-person students? What will these movement breaks look like/where will they be located?

  • I fully expect teachers will continue with movement breaks as normal just as they do during a regular school day.

When will the in-person students be outside of their classroom and for how long each day? Will there be recess and/or PE outside the classroom?

  • We are still in the planning phases for PE/Recess, but we anticipate holding both of these outside as often as possible, weather permitting. PE is 30 minutes as well as recess is 30 minutes. Otherwise, beyond going to the bathroom and possibly getting lunch from the cafeteria, students will remain in their classrooms.

Will the virtual student experience be the same as it currently is, with synchronous lessons the entire school day? Or will there be asynchronous learning time mixed into the Tuesday through Friday schedule?

  • Teachers will facilitate learning opportunities that incorporate both whole group learning and independent work time for students.

What is the maximum number of children per classroom in the hybrid model?

  • My current understanding is that we will continue to follow class sizes guidelines that were set by the School Board through the budget process last year. VDOE class sizes are higher.

The APS site has a metric for Covid testing of staff and students. What does this mean in practice? Will testing be required and how often? And how is the testing enforced?

  • Please refer to the APS website here, for specific information regarding health and safety measures.

When will I find out the preference of my child’s teacher?  I want to align my learning model choice to what the teacher wants.

  • I am so happy to hear that students have bonded so much with their current teachers, even from a distance! As soon as APS gives us guidance about how to share this information (and when I have information to share), I will share it as APS allows. The teacher survey closes this Friday at 5.

Friday, October 9, 2020Happy Lion

Columbus Day – is a holiday for students, so teachers will not be providing asynchronous work on this day, we hope you enjoy your three day weekend!

PTA meeting – thank you to everyone who was able to make the PTA this past Tuesday evening. Please see the PTA 10.6.2020.pdf for the slides I shared. It has information about the proposed boundary change that affects Long Branch students, how to log into ParentVUE, and pictures of classrooms set up for hybrid learning. Jinder sent the link of the PTA meeting recording, if you did not receive it, I can send that to you (Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us).  With APS modifying it’s hybrid plans, please be sure to read through APS’ Frequently Asked Questions. As the plan has so recently changed, we are working at LB on what this will now look like, and most of your questions have probably been answered on the APS FAQ website. If you cannot find answers to your questions, please submit your questions here and I will send out the questions with the answers next week.

There were three questions from Tuesday night that I needed to double check the answers to –

  1. Can anyone walk hybrid students to the building in the morning? The adult that walks/rides bikes with the child needs to be on the emergency care list if they are not a parent/guardian in the system. We need to be able to release the child to the adult if they do not pass their health screening prior to entry into the building.
  2. Will there be penalties for parents who send COVID positive students or COVID test results pending students to the building? Our hope is that families and students will answer the health screening questions truthfully.
  3. If I learn that a student in my child’s hybrid class does not have to wear a mask due to a medical exemption, can I change to virtual? Once you make the choice for the year, your child will remain in that method of instructional delivery choice for the remainder of the year.

Making a selection for virtual/distance learning in ParentVUE – if you do not want to watch the PTA meeting video that Jinder recorded, you can watch this video for how to do it. English:  https://youtu.be/HTN9ymyHCCA  Espanol:  https://youtu.be/Zf7o0H_6_bs. Please call the school if you do not remember your ParentVUE information. Parents/guardians need to update or complete their return to school preference by October 21. If no choice is made, the default is whatever you selected over the summer. If you make no selection, the default is hybrid.

Parent/Teacher Conferences – If they have not already, your child’s teacher will reach out to you with sign-up days/times for conferences this year. October 22 is an early release day, so teachers will be ending the day at 12:51. There will not be any asynchronous work provided for the afternoon of 10/22 or for the day on 10/23. Students may always access their learning apps on their iPads if they wish to practice math or reading skills.

Attendance – Please call the school 703.228.4222 (this is our attendance line phone number)  if your child will be absent from school that day. If you have internet connection issues, please call by 11:00 a.m to let us know you cannot connect. If it is easier for you to email your child’s absence, please email longbranchattendance@apsva.us.

2020 Census – It is not too late to complete your 2020 Census form online, by mail, or by phone at 1-844-330-2020 (en español 1-844-468-2020).

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families


Friday, October 2, 2020lion with computer

Long Branch is now a food distribution site! – APS’s FREE grab-and-go meal service is for ALL students 18 and under throughout Arlington. There was an extension of the Summer Meal Program by the USDA through December 31. LBES is now a school meal site, although families may to pick up meals at any location most convenient and closest to them, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 11 AM-1 PM. Student ID is not required, and parents can pick up meals for their students without students being present. Please visit the APS Meal Services page for a complete list of school meal sites and delivery/drop-off locations and other details. APS Food Services Department wants to encourage EVERYONE to come and pick up meals at one of their sites. Every meal they serve helps them preserve jobs in Arlington.

PTA meeting – Tuesday, October 6 at 6:00 p.m. Our PTA president will send out the Zoom link closer to the meeting date. Claire Peters, the new principal of the new Key community school will be present. I will also be talking about the Return to School plans (hybrid vs. distance learning). Please submit questions you have for me prior to the meeting here. I will send the Zoom link for the PTA meeting in a separate email. There will be a Spanish interpreter for the principal’s portion of the evening.

Looking for your voice – Join the team! We are looking for two community members to join our Long Branch equity team. We would love to have other voices on the team. Please don’t hesitate, we are a great group working together to achieve one goal. We are learning about ourselves and how we can support our amazing Long Branch. Don’t be shy!  Please complete this form if you are interested. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Blandine LiGuidi (Blandine.LiGuidi@apsva.us).

  • Here is some information about what an equity team is:
    • Equity teams are groups of engaged and committed stakeholders who “collaborate around equity issues, potential equity issues, or proactive ways to engage stakeholders about future challenges arising from inequities. (Equity Leadership Team Protocol, Education Northwest)
  • Equity teams function to:
    • Eliminate inequities and disparities in student achievement
    • Foster a safe and healthy school climate
    • Promote an inclusive culture that engages and draws on assets of students, families, staff, and community members
    • Foster leadership development
    • Encourage conversations about equity and social justice

Supply Kits – we had many families pick up the supplies that APS purchased for all PreK-8th grade students, thanks for coming out – it was great to see many of you! If you were not able to make it this week, please call the school to arrange a time to come and pick up the supplies. Art/music supplies were not a part of this distribution, those items are expected to be delivered in late October.

Counselor’s Corner – Hello everyone! These last few weeks, Ms. Silver (our school psychologist) and I (Mrs. Martin) have enjoyed going to the classrooms to start our unit on growth mindset. In grades K and 1, we talked about what it means to grow and what is needed for growth. In grades 2 and 3, we talked about how our brains can grow and how it is strong. Lastly, in grades 4 and 5, we talked about different parts of the brain and how neurons work. We introduced mindfulness to all grades and have been doing mindful minutes halfway through the lesson to give our minds (and eyes) a little break. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Attendance – Please call the school 703.228.4222 (this is our new attendance line phone number)  if your child will be absent from school that day. If you have internet connection issues, please call by 11:00 a.m to let us know you cannot connect. We now have an attendance email address! If it is easier, please email longbranchattendance@apsva.us to let us know that your child will be absent from school.

2020 Census – It is not too late to complete your 2020 Census form online, by mail, or by phone at 1-844-330-2020 (en español 1-844-468-2020).

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. 

APS Plan to Begin Transition to Hybrid, In-Person Model – Family Selection Process for Level 2 Students Open Until Tuesday, October 13 – At the September 24 School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Durán presented the APS plan to begin having select groups of students return to school for hybrid, in-person learning, based on their student grouping level. Families will be able to decide if they would prefer for their child to return to school to receive in-person hybrid learning, or if they would like to continue receiving full-time distance learning when school buildings reopen for students.

Families will have from Tuesday, September 29 to Tuesday, October 13 @ 5 PM to choose an instructional delivery method or update the selections they made in July in ParentVUE. If families do not select one of the two options during this selection window, their selection will remain the same or will automatically default to the hybrid instructional delivery model if they did not make a selection in July. Additional information on the transition is available on the Transition to Hybrid/In-Person Model webpage.​​​​​​​

APS Transportation Changes – Expanded Walk Zone for Long Branch – Due to the physical distancing guidelines, APS school buses will only be able to transport approximately 11 students each. To reduce the demand on the bus system and allow buses to focus on trips farther from schools, APS has expanded walk zones in areas close to schools for 16 elementary schools – including Long Branch (a map can be found here). APS will not provide regular bus service to students residing in these expanded walk zones. This change is in addition to the option school hub stops announced in the summer. Only students who are assigned to a bus/bus route will be allowed to ride the bus for health and safety reasons. APS is highly encouraging families to walk or bike to school from the expanded zones. APS is preparing route maps to help families find their way and is developing resources for school communities that may wish to form a walking school bus or bike train. APS is also working with the County to provide crossing support in the expanded walk zones with major crossings. Additional details are available under FAQs on the APS website.

Boundary events coming up:

  • Mon. Oct. 5 Community Questionnaire on Elementary Boundary Process opens. Closes on Oct. 20 at 11:59 p.m.
  • W. Oct. 7 Virtual Community Meeting 1 for Elementary Boundary Process 7 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Th. Oct. 8 School Board Meeting: Superintendent presents School Year 2020-21 Update. Hispanic Heritage Month Student Recognition 7:00 p.m.
    • Watch School Board meetings live online or on Comcast Channel 70 or Verizon Channel 41.
  • Fri. Oct. 9 Facebook Live videos on Elementary Boundary Process (in English and Spanish)
  • Tu. Oct.13 Virtual Community Meeting 2 for Elementary Boundary Process 7 – 8:30 p.m
  • Fri. Oct. 16 Virtual Staff Office Hours for Elementary Boundary Process 12 – 1:00 p.m.
  • Sat. Oct. 17 Virtual Staff Office Hours for Elementary Boundary Process 9 – 10:00 a.m.
  • Tu. Oct. 20 Virtual Staff Office Hours for Elementary Boundary Process 7 – 8:00 p.m.
  • Tu. Oct. 20 Community Questionnaire on Elementary Boundary Process closes at 11:59 p.m.
  • Fr. Nov. 6 Facebook Live videos on Elementary Boundary Process (in English and Spanish) 12:00 p.m.

Friday, September 25, 2020

APS materials kits – APS is providing all PreK – 8 students with materials they can use at home to supplement their learning. Material pickup will be during the week of September 28. Pickup of these materials will be similar to pickup of student supplies in the Spring:

Tuesday 9/29

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Wednesday 9/30

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Thursday 10/1

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

 

 

 

 

Procedures for Contactless Pick-up of APS Materials Next Week – 

  • If you are walking to the building, please go to the front door.
  • If you are driving, please drive through the alleyway. Please view the map here. Please have a sign in your front window dashboard that has your child’s first name, last name, and teacher’s name.
  • ONE adult per family may come to retrieve the bag of materials (children should not accompany the adult retrieving items, please have them stay in the car).
  • The playgrounds are CLOSED.
  • The building will NOT be open for entry for ANY reason.
  • If you cannot come to Long Branch during the scheduled times next week,  your child’s bag of materials will be available for pickup beginning October 5. Please contact the office 703.228.4220 to schedule a time to pick up the materials for your child.

Requesting teachers to post Monday work before Monday – We have had parents request teachers to post Monday asynchronous work earlier than Monday 9 a.m. Bridget Loft from the Department of Teaching and Learning has shared that: “We are finding that it is taking significant time and energy for our  teachers to learn how to navigate delivering synchronous and asynchronous instruction via distance learning while also focusing on building relationships with students and troubleshooting technology issues. For now, they need time to convert learning materials and resources they may have used during in-person instruction to be accessed by their students via a digital format. Therefore, I have permitted teachers to take as much time as they need to develop the asynchronous learning activities with which their students will engage on Mondays. For the time being, these resources will be available to students on Monday mornings. I appreciate your patience and support as we all learn to adapt to this new way of learning.”

Your child’s name on display in Teams – If a student wishes to use a name other than their legal name on their birth certificate, the student or parent should let me know (Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us) or 703.228.4220. I will authorize the change, which will be implemented in Synergy by the school registrar. Once the name is changed in Synergy, it will take 24-48 hours for the change to appear in our core systems such as Canvas and Office 365. Microsoft Teams ‘caches’ contact information on devices. This caching causes a delay in the change appearing in Microsoft Teams. Because the cache is unique for each device, classmates and even the teacher may see different names for the same student. Information Services is working with Microsoft on how to resolve the issue so the change is reflected promptly in Teams.

PTA meeting – Tuesday, October 6 at 6:00 p.m. Our PTA president will send out the Zoom link closer to the meeting date. Claire Peters, the principal of the new Key community school will be present.

Tech issues? Please go to the LB webpage first. Mr. Tien has been busy putting together all kinds of problem solving videos on the website. If you continue to need help, please email LBRtechhelp@apsva.us. Please be specific in your email as to what is the problem you are experiencing with the APS issued iPad.

Internet Access – If you do not have an internet router in your home, please reach out to Blandine LiGuidi (Blandine.LiGuidi@apsva.us) or call the school to speak with her (703.228.4220).

Annual Online Verification Process (AVOP) – It is time to verify your online information. We need every family to verify the information we have is up to date and accurate. This will require you to log in to ParentVue. Please call the school 703.228.4220 if you need help with your ParentVue account. More information about the verification process is here including videos and letters in English and Spanish. Please do this as soon as you can, it is so important that we have the most recent contact information for you in the system. We will reach out to families who have not completed this process in the next few weeks.

Attendance – Please call the school 703.228.4222 if your child will be absent from school that day. If you have internet connection issues, please call by 11:00 a.m to let us know you cannot connect. We now have an attendance email address! If it is easier, please email longbranchattendance@apsva.us to let us know that your child will be absent from school.

2020 Census – It is not too late to complete your 2020 Census form online, by mail, or by phone at 1-844-330-2020 (en español 1-844-468-2020).

Arlington Community Resources – Arlington County offers food, financial and medical assistance resources. For food, call 703-228-1300. SCAN of Northern Virginia shares Covid-19 resources for families. 

Easy ways to support Long Branch:

  • Link Your VIC Card (Harris Teeter)
    • If you are in the store, simply give the cashier your red VIC card and the school’s Together in Education number during checkout. Our school number is #3887                                                           or
    • Visit www.harristeeter.com online and click on the Together in Education logo. Our school number is #3887
      •  That is it. This one time sign-up process must take place each school year. The school of your choice is linked to your VIC card until May 31st each year.
  •  Link your Giant card to the Giant A+ School Rewards Program
    • Visit www.giantfood.com/aplus and select register your card, which is located in the red box on the right for customers. Follow the prompts to complete your registration. You will need your 12-digit Giant Card number.                                                             

or

  • Call the A+ Hotline at 1-877-Ask-Aplus (1-877-275-2758) they can register your card for you. You will need your 12-digit Giant Card number.
    •  If you do not know your Giant card number call 1-877-366-2668 Option #1

Friday, September 18, 2020

Well, we finished a full week of distance learning. Congratulations! I know it is not easy, I live it with my nine and three year old children. Thank you also for coming out to the PTA meeting and Back to School Night. If you were not able to attend Back to School Night, please click here to see the grade level slides.

Just a gentle reminder that Mondays are school days and students are expected to complete the assignments their teachers post for them. We do take attendance on Mondays!

APS materials kits – APS is providing all PreK – 8 students with materials they can use at home to supplement their learning. Material pickup will be during the week of September 28. I will put out more specific information about how the pickup will work next week.

New to Long Branch PTA (or just haven’t joined the PTA listserv)? All families and staff are members of the Long Branch PTA. To be added to the PTA listserv to receive emails from the PTA, please email our PTA President, Jinder Gill, at president@lbpta.org.  The PTA unites parents and teachers in creating a community that develops and educates each child to his/her highest potential.

From the Library – To learn how to checkout a book/place a hold for curbside pickup please click here.    Book Checkout .png

  • When: Every other Thursday starting Thursday, 9/24 from 11:00-3:30 for Grades 3-5. Stay tuned for PreK-2 start date.
  • Where: In front of the school. Look for tables with bags on them.
  • Don’t Forget to: Put holds on your account by Monday at 10am Check your account to see if you have books under “checkouts” before you come to school.
  • Please:  bring back any checked out books from last year- no fines!

Breakfast with your classmates – don’t forget that your child can log on Tuesday – Friday at 8:25 to their class link to eat breakfast and chat with their classmates. An APS staff member will be present to monitor the chats during this time.

Tech issues? Please go to the LB webpage first. Mr. Tien has been busy putting together all kinds of problem solving videos on the website. If you continue to need help, please email LBRtechhelp@apsva.us. Please be specific in your email as to what is the problem you are experiencing with the APS issued iPad.

Internet Access – If you do not have an internet router in your home, please reach out to Blandine LiGuidi (Blandine.LiGuidi@apsva.us).

Annual Online Verification Process (AVOP) – It is also time to verify your online information. We need every family to verify the information we have is up to date and accurate. This will require you to log in to ParentVue. Please call the school 703.228.4220 if you need help with your ParentVue account. More information about the verification process is here including videos and letters in English and Spanish! Please do this as soon as you can, we will reach out to families who have not completed this process in the next few weeks.

Attendance – Please call the school 703.228.4222 (this is our new attendance line phone number)  if your child will be absent from school that day. If you have internet connection issues, please call by 11:00 a.m to let us know you cannot connect. We now have an attendance email address! If it is easier, please email longbranchattendance@apsva.us to let us know that your child will be absent from school.

Counselor’s CornerWelcome to the 20-21 school year! My name is Stephanie Martin and I am the Long Branch School Counselor. This is my 6th year here and I work with grades K-5. On a biweekly basis, I will be sharing what we are covering during our counseling lessons. Our first lesson covered the role of the school counselor and school psychologist. Students are able to find information from my lesson on the School Counseling Canvas page. You can find my welcome letter along with SecondStep information attached to this Weekly Roar. Counseling Welcome Letter.pdf


Friday, September 11, 2020

Well, it was a first week back for the history books! I cannot thank you enough for your patience and grace as APS, teachers, and kids continue to work out the kinks of virtual learning. I have popped into all the classrooms this week and seen a lot of great things happening. A lot of community building, teaching how to access the learning, read alouds, and lots of teaching/learning of curriculum as well. As time goes by, we will continue to get better at this! I only have a few updates for you this week. I hope you have a fabulous weekend this weekend!

-Jessica

PTA meeting – This Tuesday (9/15) at 6. The PTA President, Harjinder Gill, will send out a Zoom link for our first PTA meeting next week. I hope to see you there!

Virtual Back to School Night – September 16. Teachers will post the link to the virtual evening in their Canvas courses. I will also send the link out if you would prefer to not use your child’s iPad to access the BTSN meetings. The information that will be shared during this event has already been communicated to families that have children in our VPI and MIPA programs. The schedule is here:

  • 5:00 – 5:35 Kindergarten
  • 5:35 – 6:10 First Grade
  • 6:10 – 6:45 Second Grade
  • 6:45 – 7:20 Third Grade
  • 7:20 – 7:55 Fourth Grade
  • 7:55 – 8:30 Fifth Grade

Tech issues? Please go to the LB webpage first. Mr. Tien has been busy putting together all kinds of problem solving videos on the website. If you continue to need help, please email LBRtechhelp@apsva.us. Please be specific in your email as to what is the problem you are experiencing with the APS issued iPad.

Call the Family Technology Call Center at 703-228-2570 for technical support (English and Spanish assistance).

  • 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday
  • 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Friday

Breakfast with your classmates – starts on Tuesday! Every Tuesday – Friday, students will be able to log on at 8:25 to their teacher’s morning meeting and chat with your classmates. There will be a staff member present to monitor the breakfast. Even if you are not hungry, it is a great way to get some time to just hang out with your friends.

Meals Updates – All students under 18 will continue to receive free meals at the distribution sites through December 31. Please complete the paperwork for Free and Reduced Fees so that when this program ends, the paperwork will be in place. Applications are in both English and Spanish. APS has mobile meal delivery sites – please click here to see where these sites are located.

Internet Access – If you do not have an internet router in your home, please reach out to Blandine LiGuidi (Blandine.LiGuidi@apsva.us) or call the school and they will take a message for her (if she is not available when you call). 703.228.4220.

APS has put out a Distance Learning Guide for parents in English, Spanish, Mongolian, Arabic , and Amharic.

Annual Online Verification Process (AVOP) – It is also time to verify your online information. We need every family to verify the information we have is up to date and accurate. This will require you to log in to ParentVue. Please call the school 703.228.4220 if you need help with your ParentVue account. More information about the verification process is here including videos and letters in English and Spanish! Please do this as soon as you can, we will reach out to families who have not completed this process in the next few weeks.

Attendance – Please call the school 703.228.4220 if your child will be absent from school that day. If you have internet connection issues, please call the school by 11:00 a.m to let us know you cannot connect.

Gifted questions? Ms. Garris has created this video that provides information about gifted services at Long Branch.


Friday, September 4, 2020

Welcome to the first Weekly Roar of the year and welcome to the Branch for the 20 – 21 school year!!!!

I am very excited to kick off another school year (even though it is all virtual to start and we would all rather be in person). I will continue to send out weekly emails to the community, but I am shifting my emails to go out on Fridays this year.

I hope you were able to connect with your child’s teacher this past week. Virtual school starts on Tuesday! Students should be in their virtual classrooms in their Canvas app by 8:55 to be ready for Morning Meetings beginning at 9:00 a.m. During the first few weeks of school, teachers will be working hard to build community within their classroom, teach children how to access their daily schedule, as well as build norms and working agreements within their classrooms. We will be working on building student’s stamina to stay focused for live, synchronous learning throughout the day.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher if you have any questions about day-to-day procedures, routines, or expectations. Our school motto this year is #LBStrong, Stronger Together. We are stronger together! So please feel free to reach out to the Assistant Principal, Blandine LiGuidi (Blandine.LiGuidi@apsva.us) or me, Jessica DaSilva (Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us) if you need anything.

Internet Access – If you do not have an internet router in your home, please reach out to Blandine LiGuidi (Blandine.LiGuidi@apsva.us).

Get to know the LB Staff – Many of us have recorded a Flipgrid video about who we are, so check us out!

APS has put out a Distance Learning Guide for parents in English, Spanish, Mongolian, and Arabic (Amharic is coming soon)!

Annual Online Verification Process (AVOP) – It is also time to verify your online information. We need every family to verify the information we have is up to date and accurate. This will require you to log in to ParentVue. Please call the school 703.228.4220 if you need help with your ParentVue account. More information about the verification process is here including videos and letters in English and Spanish! Please do this as soon as you can, we will reach out to families who have not completed this process in the next few weeks.

Attendance – Please call the school 703.228.4220 if your child will be absent from school that day. If you have internet connection issues, please call the school by 11:00 a.m.

Tech issues? Please go to the LB webpage first. Mr. Tien has been busy putting together all kinds of problem solving videos on the website. Please email LBRtechhelp@apsva.us.

Virtual Lab at Long Branch – On Mondays, students will have the option to choose one asynchronous lesson (‘Virtual Lab’) from either Art, Music, or PE to complete.  Each of these lessons will be an extension of content already covered in weekly specials classes.  Students will only be expected to ‘turn in’ one weekly Virtual Lab lesson of their choice; however, they are welcome to do as many of the three weekly lessons as they like.

Free Reading Program for Qualifying  Arlington Families to Enhance Literacy Skills and Support Academic Achievement – Arlington Public Library has launched a free reading initiative for Arlington Public School students in kindergarten through second grade whose households participate in one of the following programs:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Medicaid
  • Free and Reduced Meals (FARM)
  • WIC
  • Head Start

Please see the attached flyers in English flyer_MyBook-3.pdf  and Spanish flyer_MyBook_spanish-2.pdf .

State Superintendent Announces Second Season of “VA TV Classroom” – Virginia public media stations will broadcast “VA TV Classroom” Monday-Friday beginning Monday, September 14 and concluding on Friday, October 23. The WETA on-air schedule is as follows:

  • “Learn to Grow,” 11 a.m.-12 p.m. — Instruction for students in grades K-3
  • “Continue to Know,” 12-1 p.m. — Instruction for students in grades 4-7