The Weekly Roar!

Weekly roarLong Branch Elementary School

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The winter weather months are approaching quickly! Please make sure you are signed up for the text alerts from APS. There are two steps to signing up for the alerts. Please check this website for how to sign up to receive the alerts.

Start making 2 hour delay/snow day plans now – (from APS) We urge all families to make alternative plans now for the care of their students when school schedules change. Families can explore options with their neighbors and PTA members, form community childcare teams to support each other, or identify qualified teen babysitters in your neighborhood.

Report Cards are online this year – parents will be able to access your child’s report cards through ParentVUE on November 22. Paper copies of report cards will not be sent home. If you would like a paper copy, you may come in to school and we can show you how to print it off.

School Psychology Awareness Week is November 11–15, 2019 and is intended to highlight the important work school psychologists and other educators do to help all students thrive. Thank you Ms. Silver, Long Branch School Psychologist, for all you do to help LBES students and their families!

Principal Chat and Chew – The next one is set for December 6 from 9:15 – 10 in the library. This is a time for parents to come and build community with each other and have face time with the administration. We will answer any questions you may have and share any school news we may have.

Spirit Night at The Simple Greek is tonight! From 5:30 – 7:30 bring your family to the Simple Greek for dinner.

Parent/Staff Working Committee – interested in coming together with other parents and staff to work together on topics of the committee’s choosing? Please email me and let me know. Jessica.DaSilva@apsva.us

Dates to Remember

  • November 14: The Simple Greek School Spirit Night 5:30 – 7:30
  • November 20: Reach for Reading program in the library from 7:00 – 8:15
  • November 27-29: Thanksgiving Holidays (no school)
Thursday, November 7, 2019

I hope everyone has caught up on their sleep from last week’s exciting events (Nats winning the World Series, Halloween, and International Night). Thank you to everyone who came out to International Night last Friday night and who helped support it with volunteering. If you have any suggestions or ideas about this event for next year, please let me know.

Report Cards – Arlington County has gone to electronic report cards this year. All report cards will be available through ParentVUE. APS sent a message out regarding this shift yesterday. Report cards will not be printed this year. Report Cards will be available November 22.  ParentVUE Login Help

Support Your Child with Reading at Home – This will be the topic of the reading team’s presentation at our November PTA meeting Wednesday, November 12, 2019 at 6:00pm.  The reading team will present a brief summary of the benefits of reading at home, county guidelines, and tips and suggestions to make your home literacy experiences a success.

School Year Calendar – tomorrow a survey is coming out for the community to vote on next year’s school calendar. You should receive an email from APS regarding this survey.

Teacher of the Year Nominations – we are still accepting nominations through tomorrow. I will let the staff and community know who the Long Branch Teacher of the Year is soon.

Dates to Remember

  • November 11: Veteran’s Day, No School
  • November 12: PTA meeting 6 – 7 in the library
  • November 14: The Simple Greek School Spirit Night 5:30 – 7:30 (1731 Wilson Boulevard – between Rosslyn and Courthouse)
  • November 20: Reach for Reading program in the library from 7:00 – 8:15
Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy (almost) November! I don’t know if you stayed up last night to watch the game, but I did–what a great performance by a team that did not give up, no matter what. What a great message to kids (well, to everyone!) about perseverance and resilience.

If your family will be trick-or-treating tonight, please see the attached flyer from the Arlington County Police Department with safety tips.ACPD Halloween Flyer.pdf

Welcome to Blanca Rodriguez – Blanca is our new part time FLES teacher. She starts this coming Monday. Blanca is a Bilingual teacher from Bogota, Colombia. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Bilingual Education with a specialization in English Teaching, and she is delighted to be part of this amazing community. She wanted me to share that, “If you need anything,  I will be happy to support you. Bienvenidos a la Clase de Español!”

Teacher of the Year Nominations – It is time to nominate a Teacher of the Year from Long Branch Elementary School! Please click on this link to nominate a teacher. Voting ends November 8th. The drop down list contains only staff eligible for the nomination.

Support Your Child with Reading at Home – This will be the topic of the reading team’s presentation at our November PTA meeting Wednesday, November 12, 2019 at 6:00pm.  The reading team will present a brief summary of the benefits of reading at home, county guidelines, and tips and suggestions to make your home literacy experiences a success.

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour this weekend!

Dates to Remember

  • November 1: International Night at Long Branch 6-8
  • November 4: High School Information Night at Washington-Liberty HS from 7-9 pm
  • November 5: Grade Prep Day (no school for students)
  • November 8: Grade 1 Field Trip
  • November 11: Veteran’s Day, No School
  • November 12: PTA meeting 6-7 in the library
  • November 14: The Simple Greek School Spirit Night 5:30 – 7:30 (1731 Wilson Boulevard – between Rosslyn and Courthouse)
Thursday, October 24, 2019

The end of the quarter is quickly approaching and it is hard to believe that we have been in school long enough for an entire quarter to pass by! Yesterday we held our first pep rally for the year where we celebrated our hard work over the past quarter and likened the work we have done together to how the Nats have come together. It doesn’t matter where we start, but where we finish! There is a lot of news today, I will send a separate email that has this translated into Spanish.

Staff Kudos – Every Friday I share kudos with the staff. Do you have a staff member that has done something above and beyond that you would like them to be recognized for? Please email me to let me know and I will share!

Support Your Child with Reading at Home – This will be the topic of the reading team’s presentation at our November PTA meeting Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 6:00pm.  The reading team will present a brief summary of the benefits of reading at home, county guidelines, and tips and suggestions to make your home literacy experiences a success.

Online Parent Verification – Please log into ParentVUE if you have not yet done the online verification process. Please log on to a web browser (the internet app on phones does not work well), and click “I am Parent” and complete the online verification. You will find this is located in the right hand corner. If you have any questions, please call the school at 703.228.4220. You will be able to do this before/after your parent teacher conferences on October 24th and 25th using the school’s computer lab. The deadline for this is October 31.

Teacher of the Year Nominations – It is time to nominate a Teacher of the Year from Long Branch Elementary School! Please click on this link to nominate a teacher. Voting ends by November 8th.

International Night is coming! Come travel the world with us at our Annual International Night!  This year, International Night will be held on FRIDAY evening, November 1 from 6pm-8pm.  We will be honoring Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, India and Ireland. New this year – our very first International Night Runway!  Come in your native dress and participate in a fashion show featuring clothing from a variety of different countries. Activities, food, music and fun will be enjoyed by all!

News Broadcast – In case you missed it, here are links to the clips of our celebrations yesterday.

Reflections Contest – Is Your Child An Artist?  Submit an Entry to the PTA National (and State and Local) Reflections Contest!  This year’s theme is: Look Within. Student submissions are due to the front office by Monday, November 5th. You can submit your child’s entry using a paper form or the online submission form—both available here. Full contest instructions are also available here. For any questions or concerns, please contact Celeste Boyd at longbranchreflections@gmail.com.

Dates to Remember

  • October 24: early dismissal at 12:51 (no enrichment classes)
  • October 25: no school for students (parent-teacher conferences)
  • November 5: no school for students (grade prep day)
  • November 12: PTA meeting with Reading team – This is a change from the original posted date!
Thursday, October 17, 2019

We are halfway through October–how is this possible?! The end of the first quarter is quickly approaching. I hope you have been able to set up a conference with your child’s teacher to dialogue about their progress so far this year.

Welcome to Sandy Arriaga (starts 10/21) and Brenda Castellano. Sandy will be working as an assistant with the special education staff and Brenda will be working as an assistant in the first grade classrooms.

Parent-Teacher Conferences – if you have not yet scheduled a time to meet with your child’s teacher, please reach out to them. Parent-Teacher conferences are a great time to continue to build community between school and home. If you need an interpreter, please reach out to Meryluz Molina at Meryluz.Molina@apsva.us.

Online Parent Verification – Please log into ParentVUE if you have not yet done the online verification process. Please log on to a web browser (the internet app on phones does not work well), and click “I am Parent” and complete the online verification. You will find this is located in the right hand corner. If you have any questions, please call the school at 703.228.4220. You will be able to do this before/after your parent teacher conferences on October 24th and 25th using the school’s computer lab. The deadline for this is October 31.

Principal Chat and Chew – October 25th at 9:00 a.m. (Please note the time change). This opportunity to come together is designed as another opportunity to build community among and with parents. There will be interpreters for Spanish, Arabic, Amharic, and Mongolian speaking parents available.

International Night – Come travel the world with us at our Annual International Night!  This year, International Night will be held on FRIDAY evening, November 1 from 6pm-8pm.  We will be honoring Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, India and Ireland.

Dates to Remember:

  • October 18 – Picture Day!
  • TUESDAY!! October 22 – Wear Orange in support of bullying prevention – NEW DATE!!
  • November 1 – International Night 6-8 pm
Thursday, October 10, 2019

I don’t know about you, but I am happy the weather finally feels like Fall weather!

Parent-Teacher Conferences – if you have not yet scheduled a time to meet with your child’s teacher, please reach out to them. Parent-Teacher conferences are a great time to continue to build community between school and home. If you need an interpreter, please reach out to Meryluz Molina at Meryluz.Molina@apsva.us.

Online Parent Verification – Please log into ParentVUE if you have not yet done the online verification process. If you have any questions, please call the school at 703.228.4220. You will be able to do this before/after your parent teacher conferences on October 24th and 25th using the school’s computer lab.

Principal Chat and Chew – October 25th at 8:30 a.m. This opportunity to come together is designed as another opportunity to build community among and with parents. I will put out the full list of dates for the year soon. There will be interpreters for Spanish, Arabic, Amharic, and Mongolian speaking parents available.

Is it rudeness, meanness or the “b-word” (bullying):  Now that students are settled into daily school life, we are seeing more instances of peer conflict.  Many times parents will call us classifying this behavior as “bullying”, but there is a real distinction between mean behavior and actual bullying.  I recently read an article that does a great job explaining the difference. https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=20215

  • Rude: inadvertently saying or doing something that hurts someone else.
  • Mean: purposefully saying or doing something to hurt someone once (or maybe twice).
  • Bullying: intentionally aggressive behavior, repeated over time, that involves an imbalance of power…. Kids who bully say or do something intentionally hurtful to others and they keep doing it, with no sense of regret or remorse — even when targets of bullying show or express their hurt or tell the aggressors to stop.

Don’t forget – Monday is a holiday for students as this is an Arlington Professional Development day for teachers. Wednesday is an early release; we begin dismissal at 12:51.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Happy October! I don’t know about you, but I am ready for some cooler weather. Thank you to everyone who came out to the PTA meeting on Tuesday night. If you couldn’t make it–please mark your calendars for the next one–November 5th from 6-7 in the library.

Johnnette Garris – the new RTG (Resource Teacher for the Gifted) presented at the PTA meeting on Tuesday. Her contact information is Johnnette.Garris@apsva.us. Please reach out to her with questions.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month – All this month students will be learning about what bullying is and what we can do to help prevent bullying through their classroom counseling lessons. On October 23 we will celebrate Unity Day, a day where we urge all staff and students to wear orange to send the message that bullying is not acceptable in our community. Here is an article that I shared earlier in the year that is old, and still relevant.

Parent-Teacher Conferences – if you have not yet scheduled a time to meet with your child’s teacher, please reach out to them. Parent-Teacher conferences are a great time to continue to build community between school and home. If you need an interpreter, please reach out to Meryluz Molina at Meryluz.Molina@apsva.us.

Principal Chat and Chew – October 25th at 8:30 a.m. This opportunity to come together is designed as another opportunity to build community among and with parents. I will put out the full list of dates for the year soon.

Parent/Teacher Working Committee – There are certain APS procedures/policies that I am required to follow. If you are interested in being part of a small committee of parents, teachers, and admin to dialogue about these–please let me know.

Goodbye to Marietta Ruiz – Marietta Ruiz is one of the Spanish FLES teachers at Long Branch. Her family is moving, so she is leaving us. Her last day with us is October 11th, we wish her and her family all the best!

Welcome to Viviana Bolgiano – she is currently our part time Spanish FLES teacher, but will be moving into Ms. Ruiz’s full time position here at Long Branch. We are interviewing for a part time Spanish FLES teacher.

Welcome to Julie Carson – she is one of our new first grade Instructional Assistants; she begins with us on Monday, October 7th.

Dates to Remember:

  • October 14 – No school for students
  • October 16 – Early Release (12:51)
  • October 18 – Picture Day
Thursday, September 26, 2019

I hope you have been able to stop by the Book Fair this week. Thank you to all the parent volunteers that have set up and helped run the Book Fair, and from what I have seen and heard–it has been a big success!

Staff Kudos – Every Friday I share kudos with the staff. Do you have a staff member that has done something above and beyond that you would like them to be recognized for? Please email me to let me know and I will share!

Recess/Lunch Times – The teams have tweaked the recess/lunch times for their respective grade levels. They will send out the new times in their weekly newsletters. This will begin on Monday, September 30.

PTA Meeting – this coming Tuesday is the next PTA meeting. It is from 6 – 7 in the library. Johnnette Garris, the new RTG (Resource Teacher for the Gifted) will be presenting. Childcare will be provided.

Now Hiring – We were granted two first grade Instructional Assistant positions and a Special Education Instructional Assistant position. We are currently interviewing applicants and we will share information about who is hired once they are hired officially.

Principal Chat and Chew – October 25th at 8:30 a.m. This opportunity to come together is designed to welcome and build community among parents, introduce parents to key staff members, inform parents about opportunities to participate at school, and for parents, caregivers, and school leaders to meet as thought partners to learn from each other and exchange ideas. I will put out the full list of dates for the year soon. Please put our first one on your calendar now!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Book Fair is coming! The Book Fair runs September 23 – 27. Read more about it here.

Reach for Reading We had our first Reach for Reading program last night with a great turnout! Read more about what this program is here.

High Schooler Need Service Hours? Do you know of any high school students in need of service hours? We need volunteers to watch children during PTA meetings. Please let me know if you have anyone interested.

Want to eat lunch with your child? Come on in! Don’t forget to bring your ID with you to sign in up front. The first time you sign in, the process takes a few minutes, but then you are good for 2 years and the sign in process is a quick click, scan, and print.

How do I get in touch with my child’s teacher? Arrival and dismissal times are busy times for staff, so if you would like to meet with your child’s teacher, please send them an email to set up a time to meet. The best way to reach teachers is through email. APS policy is for teachers to respond within 2 business days for general inquiries and within 1 business day for higher priority inquiries.

Mindful Mornings and Lion Pride Parents have asked why these two practices have changed this year. Based on staff input, it was determined that staff would prefer to have the morning time before school available to collaborate and plan with colleagues. The collective staff also decided that they would like to look into alternative ways to build the social-emotional learning that happened during Lion Pride. We are looking at other ways to meet students’ social-emotional needs throughout the school day on a more consistent basis.

Volunteer Opportunity – There are certain APS procedures/policies that I am required to follow. If you are interested in being part of a small committee of parents, teachers, and admin to dialogue about these–please let me know.

Have questions still circling in your head? Please find me outside during arrival or dismissal, email, call, or come in to see me to chat. I hope you have a great rest of the day!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

What a great second week of school we have had! The third grade students visited the Outdoor Lab this past week so if you have a 3rd grader at home, I hope they shared what a great time they had! Ms. Liguidi and I have been in classrooms and have seen great things happening already. We are excited to see the learning continue as the year goes on.

A huge thank you to the PTA for providing dinner for the staff last night before Back to School Night–it was a delicious feast!

Back to School Night was a success! Thank you to all the families that were able to attend. If you were unable to attend, please reach out to your child’s teacher to ask any questions you may have. Ms. Liguidi and I were so happy to hear from all the parents who spoke with us share how wonderful these first two weeks of school have been for their child(ren).

I did have a few questions from one parent last night that I wanted to share with you (in case anyone else had the same questions)!

What is the buddy system? The buddy system is implemented in schools to ensure student safety when traversing through the hallways. Having a “buddy” when going to the bathroom, the library, the health room, etc. ensures that if a student were to need help on the way to or back from where they were going (for example if they were to trip, fall, and injure themselves or have a medical emergency), the buddy would be able to go get help.

Why assigned seats in the cafeteria for the first few weeks of school? This is a very common Responsive Classroom practice. It eliminates a great deal of anxiety and competition around the issue of who sits next to whom and it gives children an opportunity to get to know all of their classmates. As always, please reach out to me about anything. Here’s to a continued great year!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

What a great first week back it has been! Ms. Liguidi and I have been impressed with all the first week learning that we have seen taking place.

As always, parents are welcome to join their child during lunch or offer to your child’s teacher to volunteer in the classroom. All visitors that plan to go into the school building to eat with their child or volunteer need to check in at the office using a government issued ID. All volunteers will need to go through the volunteer application process. I sent this information out in an earlier email, if you need the information again, please email me.

Volunteering: A few parents at the PTA meeting mentioned they were having difficulty working through the new APS volunteer application process. We have reached out to the people in charge to let them know that parents were having difficulty, and are waiting to hear back from them. I do have a field trip volunteer form that I can email you if you need one. Please let me know.

Back to School Night – September 11th 6:00 – 7:50 pm

This is an evening where parents may come and learn a little more about your child(ren)’s teacher, as well as have a general overview of the grade level curriculum.

  • Child Care is available for school age children in the gym.
  • 6:00 – 6:30 Meet the Specialists in the Library
  • 6:35 – 6:45 Greeting from Long Branch administration and PTA in your first session’s classroom
  • 6:45 – 7:15 First session
  • 7:20 – 7:50 Second session
    • Both sessions will present the same information

Mark your Calendars for upcoming PTA meetings: They are held in the library from 6:00 -7:00 PM. Pizza is served and there is child care available.

PTA Meeting Dates are scheduled for: October 1, November 5, January 15, February 4, March 3, May 5, June 2

Have APS high school students that need service hours (or just want to volunteer)? We are looking for volunteers to help with childcare during PTA meetings. Please email me if you have high schoolers that would like to volunteer

Long Branch Elementary School  |  703-228-4220  |  longbranch.apsva.us