The Weekly Roar!

 

Weekly roarLong Branch Elementary School

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Check us out online! On the Long Branch website, we have links to possible resources/activities that are updated regularly. If you do not follow us on social media, now might be a good time to start! I have started recording morning messages for students on Twitter and Facebook, so swing by and check them out!  I update the Twitter feed and Facebook site with interesting links/activities for families to do.  Please also be sure to keep up with new developments on the Arlington COVID-19 site.

APS iPad troubleshooting – We have had some well meaning families try to troubleshoot iPad issues by doing “factory resets.” Please do not try and attempt to fix your iPad by erasing and resetting your iPad.  Doing so will result in an inoperable iPad that may not be able to connect to APS applications and settings. If the iPad asks if you want to delete all media and data and reset all settings click cancel.  Please do not do this. APS may not be able to assist with restoring the iPad.

Spring Break is next week – please note that next week is Spring Break, so teachers are on vacation next week. They will respond to all email inquiries on April 13th, when they return to work.

APS Go Survey is still active – Click here to complete it. 

2020 Census – everyone counts, so please make sure you submit your census numbers so that you count too!

Standards of Learning tests – SOLs (for elementary schools grades 3-5) have been canceled for this school year.

Food (breakfast and lunch) – APS is serving free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch for children ages 2-18 at Drew, Barrett, Campbell, Randolph elementary schools and Kenmore Middle School. Meals are served from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Monday – Friday.

Food over Spring Break – On the Friday before Spring Break, April 3, APS will provide a week’s worth of meals to families who come to one of the sites to ensure they have food during Spring Break.

Reaching out – As we continue to stumble our way through this pandemic and figure what it means for everyone, please know that the LB staff is here for you so please do not hesitate to reach out. Blandine and I will be working next week, so we are available. Please email us with any questions you may have. Blandine LiGuidi (blandine.liguidi@aspva.us) or Jessica DaSilva (jessica.dasilva@apsva.us).

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Favorite moment this week – while I was filling the little free library in front of Long Branch with books on Tuesday, I was able to see one of our Kindergarten lions (and her parents). It was so great seeing them! (Don’t worry, we kept our social distance). I definitely miss all the faces of Long Branch…

APS added food grab and go sites – click here for more information. Barrett is currently the closest APS food grab and go site to Long Branch.

What is the plan? I have heard from teachers, students, staff with the main question of, “What is the plan?” APS is currently working on expectations/guidelines/”a plan” for post Spring Break. Prior to Spring Break, elementary schools were tasked with providing resources/activities. No new instruction is to take place before Spring Break. Long Branch teachers are currently working on coming together to learn different media platforms that we could potentially use moving forward (Zoom is not APS approved, so no teachers should be using this to communicate). Thank you for your patience and support as we rally together as a staff to ensure that whatever the plan from APS is, we are ready for it!

Check us out online! On the Long Branch website, we have links to possible resources/activities that are updated regularly. If you do not follow us on social media, now might be a good time to start! I have started recording morning messages for students on Twitter and Facebook, so swing by and check them out!  I update the Twitter feed and Facebook site with interesting links/activities for families to do.

Resources/Activities – How amazing is the staff of Long Branch?! I have had so many supportive and appreciative emails from parents regarding how communicative and helpful the LB staff has been thus far. I have also heard that we have provided A LOT of resources. Please remember, we are not expecting you to TEACH your child(ren) at home. These resources/activities are meant for your child to do (if you want them to do them) to maintain the learning they have had so far in their schooling.

APS Go Survey is still active – please do not forget to complete it.

2020 Census – everyone counts, so please make sure you submit your census numbers so that you count too!

Reaching out – please do not hesitate to reach out. With the news that schools will be closed the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, things are unsettled and gray right now. I know the kids may be struggling, families may be struggling, and staff may be struggling to make sense of what is going on in the world around us right now. I encourage more of an emphasis right now on time spent with kids on social-emotional skills, connecting with the family, and/or setting up virtual playdates so that kids can see their friends or extended family members. The LB staff is here for you, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Good morning,

Just wanted to check in and make sure things are going well at home. I know it is not easy for many of us to telework and work with our children, so thank you for all you are doing for your child(ren) at home. I do not know about you–but the social distancing piece is making this even harder for my kids (and me)!

Please continue to monitor the APS website for the most recent COVID-19 updates in regards to APS functions.This is an unprecedented situation we are experiencing, so I have really appreciated all of the support and kind words that have been shared with teachers and me. This is an ever changing event, so it is amazing to hear and see the flexibility you as parents have had with us as a school and as a school system – thank you!

On the Long Branch website, we have links to possible resources/activities that are updated regularly. If you do not follow us on social media, now might be a good time to start! I update the Twitter feed and Facebook site with interesting links/activities for families to do.

If your child is using Seesaw or Canvas, please remind them to follow the Acceptable Use Policy of APS. We have started to see some kids use these as a social media lounge, which is not the purpose of these applications. We know it is challenging for kids to be away from their friends for so long, and yet we need to make sure that kids are using the applications appropriately.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions. We are here for you! As you may know, the office is closed, so for parents who have been calling, there is no one at school to answer your phone call. Please use email to reach out to staff. I am going to send another email soon with more information in it – it will not fit with the character limit in this email.

Sincerely,

Jessica

Thursday, March 12, 2020

My favorite moment this week – I was hanging out in a Kindergarten classroom, and the class was practicing “l blends.” Once they finished, the teacher went to move on to the next activity, and one kid said, “Awww, I wanted to do r blends!” I love that kids are able to articulate their phonics language!

Jennifer Chacon is retiring – she has decided after much thought, to retire at the end of this school year. She has served Long Branch for 34 years, first as a classroom teacher, then a RTG, and finally as our school librarian. She has been an inspiration to many students, staff, and families over the years. We wish her all the best and hope she enjoys her retirement – she deserves it!

Please welcome Katie Mendoza – our new health room aide. She begins on Monday, March 16.

Congrats to Emily Beisler – VCO Orthodontics has a monthly contest where children could nominate their favorite teacher, and Ms. Beisler was nominated and won! Her class received a bin of school supplies and each student received a swag bag of oral hygiene. Thanks to the student who nominated her!

Science Night is coming March 19 – Come join us for Science Night at Long Branch on Thursday, March 19 from 6:00 – 7:30pm! All families, students, and friends are invited to the gym to investigate scientific mysteries, experiments, and activities. Science Night is a great opportunity for families, students, and Long Branch teachers to explore different science together. All the fifth grade teachers will be there! – SCIENCE NIGHT ON THURSDAY, MARCH 19 HAS BEEN CANCELED! 🙁

Please complete the APS Go! Survey – APS Go! is a part of the school district’s efforts to proactively assess and address the transportation needs of the APS community, respond to growth and demand, and develop forward-thinking transportation programs.

Important Dates

  • March 19 – Science Night at Long Branch – CANCELED
  • April 6 – 10 – Spring Break (no school for students)
  • No PTA Meeting in April
  • April 13 – No School for Students (grade prep day)
  • April 17 – Principal Chat and Chew 8:30 – 9:15 in the library
  • April 29 – Reach for Reading 7:00 – 8:15 in the library
Thursday, March 5, 2020

My favorite moment from this week: I saw a student at school this past Sunday and she asked me, “Ms. DaSilva, why are you at school on the weekends?” Good question!

Keeping Long Branch as healthy as possible – please continue to keep your child(ren) home if they are sick. I know it is hard, but it makes a difference!

Things we have been doing at Long Branch specifically → I paid the custodians overtime this past weekend to come in and clean. We have placed posters into bathrooms to remind students to wash their hands when they are done in the bathroom. We have a video that is on a loop in the cafeteria/school during lunches to remind them to wash their hands and cough into their elbows. We are having children wash their hands as they enter the classroom in the morning and before they leave the room for the end of the day in addition to before lunch. Soap dispensers are filled immediately when notified they are empty. Teachers are continuing to remind students how to wash their hands. We are installing more soap dispensers stations and hand sanitizer stations throughout the building and in classrooms.

APS is following the developments related to Coronavirus very closely, and we are planning ahead for all possible scenarios. APS is working closely with the Arlington County Department of Public Health and following the guidance of health officials.

The March PTA meeting has been rescheduled for March 10. Hope to see you on the 10th!

Science Night is coming March 19 – Come join us for Science Night at Long Branch on Thursday, March 19 from 6:00 – 7:30 PM! All families, students, and friends are invited to the gym to investigate scientific mysteries, experiments, and activities. Science Night is a great opportunity for families, students, and Long Branch teachers to explore different science together. All the fifth grade teachers will be there!

APS Go! Survey opens this week – more information about this survey will come from APS. APS Go! is a part of the school district’s efforts to proactively assess and address the transportation needs of the APS community, respond to growth and demand, and develop forward-thinking transportation programs.

Important Dates

  • March 5 – early release at 12:51 PM, no enrichment classes today (parent/teacher conferences)
  • March 6 – no school for students (parent/teacher conferences)
  • March 10 – PTA meeting 6 PM in the library (pizza and child care available)
  • March 11 – Early Release at 12:51 PM
  • March 11 – Reach for Reading at 7:00 PM in the Library​​​​​​​
  • March 19 – Science Night at Long Branch
  • April 6 – 10 – Spring Break (no school for students)
  • April 13 – No School for Students (grade prep day)
Thursday, February 27, 2020

My most favorite moment this week was when I received an email from a parent about an interaction she had with her child. Before I finish–I need to prep you. Once a month I take a “Woot Woot” cart filled with goodies and soda/fizzy water around to all of the staff to show my appreciation for all they do. Well, this parent emailed me that when she was giving her child a bath, her child informed her that he “wanted to be a teacher because some days teachers get special snacks and drinks like candy and he wants to have that.” I love this anecdote!

Silent Auction this past weekend – thank you to everyone who came out on Saturday night to raise money for Long Branch. We had a great time and are so thankful for all of the support that was shown that night.

Your Voice Matters – Last chance to participate in this survey. The survey closes this Friday. APS would like at least a 30% response rate from families. Long Branch is at 21%, so please take a few minutes to complete the Your Voice Matters survey. If you cannot find the original link, please email support+arlingtonva@panoramaed.com.

Chaperones & Field Trips – Some grade levels are ramping up their field trips. Please make sure that you have completed your RAPTOR training prior to chaperoning field trips. If you are unsure if you have completed the required training, please contact Karen Woolley (karen.woolley@apsva.us). If you have not completed the training, you will not be allowed to chaperone field trips per APS policy.

March 3 no school for students – APS has decided to close schools for students on March 3. Please click here for more details.

The March PTA meeting has been rescheduled from March 3 to March 10 at 6 pm. Hope to see you there on the 10th!

Lost and Found being donated next week – we reminded students this week on the news about Lost and Found being donated and teachers have been walking students by the lost and found. We will be donating the clothing to Clothesline.

APS Go! Survey opens next week – more information about this survey will come from APS. APS Go! is a part of the school district’s efforts to proactively assess and address the transportation needs of the APS community, respond to growth and demand, and develop forward-thinking transportation programs.

Important Dates

  • March 3 – No school for students
  • March 5 – early release at 12:51 (parent/teacher conferences)
  • March 6 – no school for students (parent/teacher conferences)
  • March 10 – PTA meeting 6 pm in the library (pizza and child care available) (new date!)
  • ​​​​​​​March 11 – Early Release at 12:51
  • April 6 – 10 – Spring Break (no school for students)
  • April 13 – No School for Students (grade prep day)
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Introducing Susan Birnie – Susan has joined the LB Staff as an additional Math Coach for the remainder of the year. She will be here two days a week. Here is a little bit about her:

Susan Birnie served Alexandria City Public Schools in a variety of roles and most recently worked as a Math Solutions Consultant.  In both of these roles, she engaged in math coaching, both as a supervisor and as an on-site math coach in the northeast region of the US.  Overall, she implemented a coaching model to improve student learning and achievement through improving teacher practice. The goal of instructional coaching was to cultivate teachers’ academic habits of reasoning and discourse associated with mathematics. She worked with staff to model and demonstrate skills for appropriate instructional strategies. She co-authored a chapter for a new NCTM book, The Elementary Mathematics Specialist’s Handbook. The chapter focused on how a coach can assist teachers in differentiating mathematics instruction for special populations such as English Language Learners and gifted students.  Most recently, Susan was a Math Consultant for the University of Virginia and worked at Jefferson Houston Pre-K to 8 School in Alexandria as a math coach. This past year, for the first time in 21 years, the school attained accreditation from the state.

Parent/Teacher conferences – by now your child’s teacher should have reached out to schedule Spring parent/teacher conferences. The APS days for conferences are March 5th and 6th.

Your Voice Matters – APS would like at least a 30% response rate from families. Long Branch is at almost 17%, so please take a few minutes to complete the Your Voice Matters survey. If you cannot find the original link, please email support+arlingtonva@panoramaed.com. Only one survey can be completed per family, so I believe the survey was only sent to one parent email address.

Lost and Found being donated soon – check Facebook for a video of current Lost and Found items. At the beginning of the third quarter, we will donate items in the Lost and Found, so please be sure to check out the video or stop by the cafeteria to check to see if anything belongs to your family.

Important Dates

  • February 22 – Silent Auction this weekend -starting at 6 pm at the NRECA Building.  For more information and to purchase tickets, please use this link.
  • March 3 – PTA meeting 7 pm in the library (pizza and child care available)
  • March 5 – early release at 12:51 (parent/teacher conferences)
  • March 6 – no school for students (parent/teacher conferences)
Thursday, February 13, 2020

Thank you to everyone who came out last night to our Reach for Reading event! We had a great time making stamp characters and then practicing the 5 W questions when reading books.

Well, I think I may have to call it–I am not sure we are going to get any snow this winter, which I am a little bit sad about!!! We have had indoor recess many of the last 2 weeks worth of school days, so please be sure to be extra kind to your child’s teacher–indoor recess can take a toll on everyone!

Calendar for next school year was confirmed – Students are to report back on August 31. The link to the 2020-2021 calendar specifics is here. If you have already made plans and your child(ren) will not be here for part of that week or for the entire week, please reach out to me prior to the first week of school to let me know. These absences will be excused as long as you reach out to me before August 31.

Progress Reports – they will be available online on February 19. Paper copies will be provided, but after they are available online.

Your Voice Matters – Please take a few minutes to complete the Your Voice Matters survey. If you cannot find the original link, please email support+arlingtonva@panoramaed.com. Only one survey can be completed per family, so I believe the survey was only sent to one parent email address. If you have completed the survey via paper and sent it back with your child’s teacher, please let the teacher know so they can look for it in their backpack.

Lost and Found being donated soon – check Facebook for a video of current Lost and Found items. At the beginning of the third quarter, we will donate items in the Lost and Found, so please be sure to check out the video or stop by the cafeteria to check to see if anything belongs to your family.

Important Dates

  • February 17 – No school – Presidents’ Day
  • February 22 – Silent Auction – 6:00 -10:00 PM at the NRECA Building in Ballston (4301 Wilson Blvd.)
Thursday, February 6, 2020

I don’t know about you, but January seemed especially long this year and where is all of our snow?! Thank you to everyone who came out to the PTA meeting this past Tuesday night. We had a great presentation by two groups – “Wait Until 8th” and then a presentation about the Student Support Process by Kristin Shymoniak. This is a lengthy Weekly Roar, so I will send out the Weekly Roar in Spanish in another email (I have a character limit for these emails).

This week is National School Counselor Week, so I would like to thank Stephanie Martin and Christine Fitzgerald for all they do for the Long Branch students and community!

Your Voice Matters – Please take a few minutes to complete the Your Voice Matters survey. If you cannot find the original link, please email support+arlingtonva@panoramaed.com. Only one survey can be completed per family, so I believe the survey was only sent to one parent email address.

Lost and Found being donated soon – check Facebook for a video of current Lost and Found items. At the beginning of the third quarter, we will donate items in the Lost and Found, so please be sure to check out the video or stop by the cafeteria to check to see if anything belongs to your family.

The Long Branch PTA Annual Spring Auction is just two weeks away!  This adults-only event is Saturday, February 22 from 6-10pm at the NRECA Building in Ballston (4301 Wilson Ave.), so book your sitters now!  In addition to being the PTA’s biggest fundraiser, this is also a special community-building evening for our school. Food and drinks are complimentary, and entry is just a suggested donation of $10 per person.  Advance tickets can be purchased at https://longbranchauction.schoolauction.net/auction2020/homepages/show.

The Auction Committee still needs help from our parents to pull off the event.  If you have a donation to contribute, please email the auction chairs at longbranchauction@gmail.com.  They are especially looking for big-ticket items, such as sports tickets or vacation homes! They will also need parents to help with set up and clean up on the day of the event, so please keep an eye out for a Signup Genius in the near future.

We hope to see you all there!

Important Dates

  • February 7 – Principal Chat and Chew 8:30 – 9:15 AM Library
  • February 12 – Early Release at 12:51 PM (APS Learning afternoon for staff)
  • February 17 – No school – Presidents’ Day
  • February 22 – Silent Auction – 6:00 -10:00 PM at the NRECA Building in Ballston (4301 Wilson Blvd.)
Thursday, January 30, 2020

Blandine and I had a great time at Kindergarten Information night this past Monday night. We met many nice families that will be joining our pride in the fall.

It is that time of the year again–sickness season! I know it is hard and yet it is so important that if your child is sick (fever of over 100.4, has stomach issues, etc.) please keep your child home. Your child should be (medicine free) symptom free for 24 hours before returning to school. Thank you for helping keep the germs down as much as we can!

Online Family Directory – The PTA is working on an online directory this year. If you opted out in the beginning of the year this would mean your information will not be included in the directory. You may go back and change your preferences through ParentVUE if you would like to be opted-in to the directory.

Lost and Found being donated soon – check Facebook for a video of current Lost and Found items. At the beginning of the third quarter, we will donate items in the Lost and Found, so please be sure to check out the video or stop by the cafeteria to check to see if anything belongs to your family.

Your Voice Matters – Please take a few minutes to complete the Your Voice Matters survey. If you cannot find the original link, please email support+arlingtonva@panoramaed.com. Only one survey can be completed per family, so I believe the survey was only sent to one parent email address.

Important Dates

  • January 31 – Grade Prep Day – No School for Students
  • February 4 – PTA Meeting 6 pm in the library (child care and pizza available)
  • February 7 – Principal Chat and Chew 8:30 – 9:15 Library
  • February 12 – Early Release at 12:51 (APS Learning afternoon for staff)
  • February 17 – No school – Presidents’ Day
  • February 22 – Silent Auction
Thursday, January 23, 2020

The February 4th PTA meeting topic will be around APS’ Student Support Process. Kristin Shymoniak, Long Branch’s Special Education Coordinator will be present to dialogue about what the process looks like and will be available for questions surrounding this process.

Your Voice MattersPlease take a few minutes to complete the Your Voice Matters survey. The Your Voice Matters survey provides insight from APS families, students in grades 4-12, staff, and teachers. Topics include safety (school and community climate), health and well-being, voice, and engagement. APS and the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families (APCYF) partner on the survey to gather information on areas of mutual importance and to deepen understanding of youth and family well-being.

 The Arlington School Board is seeking community input through an online survey to help shape search criteria for the next superintendent. The survey is now open on the APS Engage webpage. To participate, select one of the languages below:

Join Arlington Public Schools and the Arlington County Council of PTAs (CCPTA) for the annual Summer Activities Fair on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020 (Snow Date: Feb. 14) from 6 – 8 p.m. at Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Rd.). The summer fair is free to attend and features close to 100 summer activity program exhibitors, including Arlington Aquatics and the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). https://www.apsva.us/post/annual-summer-activities-fair-set-for-feb-7/

Important Dates

  • January 27 – Kindergarten Information Night at W-L, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
  • January 31 – Grade Prep Day – no school for students
  • February 4 – PTA Meeting, 6:00 PM in the library (child care and pizza available)
  • February 7 – Principal Chat and Chew, 8:30 – 9:15 in the Library
  • February 22 – Silent Auction
Thursday, January 16, 2020

Your Voice Matters – Please take a few minutes to complete the Your Voice Matters survey. The Your Voice Matters survey provides insight from APS families, students in grades 4-12, staff, and teachers. Topics include safety (school and community climate), health and well-being, voice, and engagement. APS and the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families (APCYF) partner on the survey to gather information on areas of mutual importance and to deepen understanding of youth and family well-being. The survey administration process is managed by Panorama Education, an independent educational survey research company. The results are used to inform work across both the school division and the County. The data also provides APS with new benchmarks for measuring progress with stakeholders on the 2018-24 Strategic Plan.

Playground update – I have confirmation that APS will give us a new playground over the summer of 2021. Now, the only caveat to this would be–you guessed it–money! They have promised that we are first on the list for having our playground redone, but the soonest they can put it into the budget is for the summer 2021.

New School Resource Officer – Ashley Perez is our new SRO. She is split between five elementary schools. We are excited to have her as part of our staff!

Nominations for Outstanding Crossing Guard – please click here to nominate a crossing guard for Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guard award.

Important Dates

  • January 20 – MLK, Jr Holiday – no school for students/staff
  • January 27 – Kindergarten Information Night at W-L, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
  • January 31 – Grade Prep Day – no school for students
  • February 4 – PTA Meeting, 6:00 PM in the library (child care and pizza available)
  • February 7 – Principal Chat and Chew, 8:30 – 9:15 in the Library
  • February 22 – Silent Auction
Thursday, January 9, 2020

Welcome to the New Year! I hope everyone was able to take some time to relax and celebrate the holidays with family and/or friends.

What a week we have had! With the early release on Tuesday and the delay on Wednesday, now is a great time to make sure you have signed up for weather alerts from APS. In case you have not, please text, “YES,” to 67587 to enroll in this service. Standard messaging rates apply.

I also will try to update the Long Branch Facebook site and Twitter feed with announcements. I will also try to send texts with updates. I wanted to say a quick farewell to Gladys Arguello, the school health aide. She retired this past Monday and we wish her all the best! She has been a part of the Long Branch community for the past few years working in the health room. We are currently looking for a full time person to staff the health room. I will let you know when we have someone new. For now, we have a substitute filling in the vacancy.

PTA Meeting next week – Zac Pope will be here to talk about school safety. If you have any specific questions/concerns you would like him to address, please email me by Monday so that I can forward them on to him to ensure that he has answers ready. Thank you.

Dates to Remember

  • January 15
    • 12:51 PM – Early dismissal for students
    • 6:00 PM – PTA meeting
    • 7:00 PM – Reach for Reading
  • January 20 – MLK, Jr Holiday, no school for students/staff
  • January 27 – Kindergarten Information Night at W-L 7:00 -9:00 PM
  • January 31 – Grade Prep Day, no school for students
  • February 22 – Silent Auction
Thursday, December 19, 2019

I wanted to start off the last Weekly Roar of 2019 by saying a special farewell to Bharti Temkin, a long time employee at Long Branch. She was the Math Coach here for many years here. She has decided to move to part-time teaching at HB Woodlawn. We wish her well!

I hope everyone enjoys the next two weeks with their friends and families.  Here are a few helpful tips about “surviving” the next two weeks!

Try to keep the bedtime routines as normal as possible. It will make transitioning back into the school days in January that much easier. Limit the screen time as much as you feel you can. Get the kids outside and playing!

Read, read, read! Let your child(ren) pick out their own books to read to themselves or have them read them to you. Talk to your child(ren) about what they are reading, or what you are reading. Visit your local library to get more books over the break.

Build something! Building is a great way for a child to use their imagination and help them think creatively.

Do something fun. There is a lot of learning that happens when kids are having fun. Play has so many benefits for the brain, no matter the age!

Here are some more ideas from Scholastic.

Happy New Year and see you in January!

Dates to Remember

  • Winter Break – December 21 – January 5 (no school)
  • January 6 – first day of school in 2020!
  • January 15 – early dismissal for students at 12:51 AND PTA meeting at 6 AND Reach for Reading at 7
  • February 22 – Silent Auction
Thursday, December 12, 2019

It is hard to believe that Winter Break is almost here. I don’t know about you, but I am a little bit excited that we are starting to get some winter weather!

Winter Enrichment Matter Sessions – registration begins Friday 12/13 at 6:00 am. Detailed information about registration and a full list of classes may be found on the Enrichment Matters site (Long Branch Enrichment).  American Triathlon Club that will be offered once again at Long Branch this winter/spring, but will handle its own registration atwww.triathlonfamilyusa.com.

DC Divas are coming to Long Branch! For our next assembly on 12/20, we will have a few DC Divas coming to talk about who they are and following their passions. They may also do a few football drills! Why the Divas? I used to play for them and they are a great community team with a great message and history.

Lost and Found – the Lost and Found is in the cafeteria and is overflowing with jackets and coats. If you have Facebook, I have put a video of the Lost and Found on Facebook so you can (from the comfort of your home) see if there are any items you recognize.

PTA Meeting – January 15th at 6 in the library. We will have Zac Pope from the Office of Safety and Security and a School Resource Officer present to answer questions you may have around safety and security in Arlington Public Schools. Please email me topics you would like them to address. Child care and pizza will be provided.

Winter Weather procedures – please make sure you are aware of the new winter weather procedures as the potential for winter weather approaches.

Dates to Remember

  • Winter Break – December 21 – January 5 (no school)
  • January 6 – first day of school in 2020
  • January 15 – PTA meeting at 6 and Reach for Reading at 7
  • February 22 – Silent Auction
Thursday, December 5, 2019

I hope everyone enjoyed a few days of vacation with your family. I know I did!

Letters for Ms. Bato – we need to submit letters of recommendation for Ms. Bato as Long Branch’s teacher of the year. Please email me your letters ASAP if you would like to contribute. If you would like more information about what could go in the letters, please email me.

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.

Helping Hands – Blandine is working on organizing a time for parents to come in to volunteer to make copies, laminate, and do other small jobs for teachers. Please email her if you are able to help out with this.

Please label your child’s clothing and personal items – please label your child’s clothing/lunch boxes/water bottles so they can be returned to the owner if they become separated from the owner.

Lost and Found – the Lost and Found is in the cafeteria and is overflowing with jackets and coats. If you have Facebook, I have put a video of the Lost and Found on Facebook so you can (from the comfort of your home) see if there are any items you recognize.

PTA Meeting – January 15th at 6 in the library. We will have Zac Pope from the Office of Safety and Security and a School Resource Officer present to answer questions you may have around safety and security in Arlington Public Schools. Please email me topics you would like them to address. Child care and pizza will be provided.

Dates to Remember

  • Wednesday, December 11 – Early Release for students at 12:51 (this is a professional learning afternoon for staff)
  • Winter Break – December 21 – January 5 (no school)
Thursday, November 21, 2019

As we are in the holiday season, I want to thank everyone in the Long Branch community for your support and for what you do for your child(ren) every day. I encourage you to share your gratitude for Long Branch staff by clicking here and completing the quick form. I will share with teachers what you are thankful for. If you prefer to email them personally, I am sure they will appreciate that too!

Please label your child’s clothing and personal items – please label your child’s clothing/lunch boxes/water bottles so they can be returned to the owner if they become separated from the owner.

Lost and Found – the Lost and Found is in the cafeteria and is overflowing with jackets and coats. If you have Facebook, I have put a video of the Lost and Found on Facebook so you can (from the comfort of your home) see if there are any items you recognize.

Thanksgiving Break is next week – If your family is going to be absent Monday and/or Tuesday of next week (the week of Thanksgiving), please let our office know now.

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. If you have a child with an IEP in grades 1-5, progress reports will also be available online, paper copies will not be sent home.

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.

Dates to Remember

  • Friday, November 22: Report Cards Available Online via ParentVUE
  • Friday, November 22: Last day to fill out the Community Survey on the Proposed School Year 2020-21 Calendar
  • Sunday, November 24: Last day to fill out the Community Questionnaire on Elementary School Planning for 2021
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