November 24, 2020 Weekly Roar Thanksgiving Edition!

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