Dear Families -
As the title indicates, we truly have reached the end of an era. Thanks to all of the families who contributed to making Ms. Smingler's last two months at Barrett memorable and special for her. We surprised with her the "Clap Out" (traditionally done on the last day of school for our soon to be sixth graders) and it was wonderful to see the hugs exchanged with students, staff, and families who were here that day. The Halloween Parade was one of Ms. Smingler's favorite events at Barrett, and she dressed up and paraded with students and familes through the neighborhood. It has been a wonderful time honoring her and her twenty years of contributions to Barrett as an ESOL/HILT teacher, testing coordinator, and assistant principal.
Central Office staff are supporting Barrett through this process, and are working with me to identify a strong candidate for the assistant principal position. As soon as the Board approves an appointment, I will make an announcement via Twitter, email and blog post. In the meantime, I am fortunate to work with a great team at Barrett that is full of staff who are truly leaders and who are helping to ensure the ongoing smooth operation of the school for students. Stay tuned!
Our current enrollment is at 538 students in grades PK-5. We continue to monitor the new building in our neighborhood, and I have been in touch with the resident manager of the building, who will work with us as the summer approaches and resident applications are accepted. Our hope is that this will help provide accurate projections to APS Facilities and Finance offices to facilitate smooth opening in the fall of 2016. I will continue to provide updates via the blog and PTA meetings as the year continues.
So much has happened over the past month! I want to sincerely thank our PTA on behalf of the staff for an amazing lunch during Parent-Teacher conferences. I know the entire staff team felt appreciated and enjoyed the home made treats that were part of the table (I still need the espresso cupcake recipe - who can ever get enough of chocolate and coffee??????)!
We are welcoming several new staff to Barrett at the beginning of November, including three MIPA Assistants: Tonique Mason and Matthew Adams, both formerly of Extended Day and Barrett's cafeteria, and Ms. Jennifer Alston, most recently of Alexandria City Public Schools. We also welcome back Ms. Lillian Wallace as a cafeteria aide.
Remember that there is no school for students on November 3rd (Professional Learning Day for all staff) and November 11th (Grade Prep Day for teachers and Training for Assistants). The Thanksgiving break is only three weeks away - Students report to school on Monday and Tuesday November 23rd and 24th, and then celebrate and relax with family on the 25th - 27th.
As always, thank you Barrett families for all of your support and for sending us the best students each and every day!
The summer has gone very quickly and many great things have been happening at Barrett! Not only did we host summer school for students from Glebe, Long Branch, and Barrett, as well as an Arlington Parks and Recreation camp program, but we also built a new classroom upstairs on the corner of the 4th and 5th grade hallway! Barrett staff have been participating in training related to core instructional strategies, especially related to technology integration and differentiation of instruction to provide support and challenge.
There have been a few changes that have occurred since I last wrote. We are saying goodbye to some staff members:
Ms. Rachel Moretti - Life Skills Assistant. Ms. Moretti informed me when we hired her that she was pursuing licensure as a teacher and I was certain that some lucky principal would hire her if I didn't have an opening - sure enough, she is moving on to teach in Fairfax County this Fall.
We were scheduled to have elementary MIPA (countywide autism program) teacher Mr. David Groh come to Barrett from Abingdon this year. Mr. Groh accepted a teaching position at Barcroft Elementary and has already begun teaching there. We wish him the best of luck there this year!
Ms. Ingrid Flores, Kindergarten assistant with Ms. Lewis, has relocated to North Carolina. We were sad to see her go, but we are certain she will be a tremendous asset to any school lucky enough to hire her there!
Ms. Mercedes Lazo, our clinic aide, will be working at McKinley Elementary School during the coming school year.
We are welcoming some new team members here this fall:
Ms. Pamela Nunley is joining the third grade team as the language arts teacher, paired with Ms. Quinzio. Ms. Nunley is a certified reading specialist coming to us from Fairfax County. She has tremendous experience with the Teacher's College Writing Workshop model that we have been using for the past year, and is excited about teaching language arts to third graders all day!
Ms. Christina Torres isn't really new to Barrett, as she joined us partway through last year, but she will start her first full year teaching second grade this fall!
Ms. Virginia Hutcheson is coming to Barrett from Arlington Science Focus School, where she taught second grade for several years. She will be teaching third grade ESOL/HILT.
Ms. Jeanne Landgraf is returning to Barrett on a part-time basis. She will provide reading support to the second grade team in the afternoons.
Ms. Christine Cunningham is joining Barrett as a MIPA teacher. She taught in the MIPA program at Abingdon last year, and will work with our students in grades K-2 this year.
Ms. Jeanne Terrill is also joining the MIPA program at Barrett this year. Ms. Terrill previously taught Pre-K and primary special education in APS before going to graduate school at GWU to pursue an advanced degree in special education. Last year she worked as a school-based sub at Hoffman-Boston. She is very excited to return to the classroom.
Ms. Valerie Koch is joining Barrett as the Project Interaction - Family Engagement Coordinator. Ms. Koch previously taught ESOL/HILT at Gunston as well as in Fairfax County. She has shared many great ideas about the program, and also attended the Barrett Book Blast this summer!
Ms. Yesenia Martinez will be joining us as our Bilingual Family Resource Assistant. Ms. Martinez most recently worked with the Even Start program at Barcroft, where she worked with families and helped them access school and county resources. Ms. Martinez is very excited to join us and work with the Pre-K though 5th grade population.
Ms. Olga Garcia-Paz is joining us as our clinic aide. Ms. Garcia-Paz was most recently the clinic aide at McKinley Elementary.
Ms. Hiba Elhag is joining us as a Functional Life Skills assistant. Ms. Elhag was most recently an Extended Day Aide here at Barrett.
Ms. Maria Blanco is joining us as an assistant in the MIPA program. Ms. Blanco is well-known as a Barrett volunteer and a lunchroom attendant during the past year. She will work with the K-2 class.
Ms. Jennifer Buckley is joining Barrett as a MIPA assistant. Ms. Buckley is currently enrolling in a degree program leading to certification as a special education teacher and is getting her feet wet with this experience in the grades 3-5 class!
Ms. Terry El-Nakeeb is joining Barrett as a MIPA assistant. Ms. El-Nakeeb is coming to us from CARDS academy and previously worked with Alexandria City Public Schools. She will work with students in the 3-5 class.
The main office team is hard at work - over the next few days we are going to be stuffing envelopes with the welcome back letters, including the class assignments for students! We expect that by the end of the day Monday, August 24, we will mail the class assignment, Barrett and PTA Welcome letters, and class supply list to families. They should start showing up in your homes on the 26th! Please note that incoming Kindergarten students will not receive letters until the following week, as we will be forming those classes after the teachers come back on the 27th.
Mark your calendar for the annual Open House on Thursday, September 3, from 9-11. All Barrett families are welcome to come with their students to meet the teacher and see the classroom.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone soon - best wishes for wonderful family time during the last few weeks of summer!
Esta semana comenzarán los exámenes de fin de año. Los alumnos en 3ro-5to grado tomarán los Exámenes SOL, y los alumnos de Kínder-2do grado tomarán los exámenes de fin de año. El horario para los Exámenes SOL lo encontrarán en mi blog anterior aquí, y luego comenzarán los exámenes de lectura y matemáticas de fin de año para los alumnos en Kínder-2do grado.
Alumnos en quinto grado también tomarán el examen de matemáticas de sexto grado. Este examen cubre los objetivos de matemáticas de sexto grado para determinar si los alumnos son elegibles para tomar la clase avanzada de matemáticas en sexto grado. Los resultados de este examen, junto con los resultados del Examen SOL de matemáticas y la recomendación del maestro/a, se usarán para determinar qué curso de matemáticas los alumnos tomarán en sexto grado.
La Escuela Barrett ahora está ofreciendo desayuno Grab-N-Go todas las mañanas, de 7:30-8:10am. Los alumnos pueden usar sus cuentas de almuerzo para pagar su desayuno ($1.55). Normalmente el desayuno incluye jugo de naranja, yogur, y pan de plátano o un bagel. Los alumnos podrán llevar su desayuno a clase y, después de comer, podrán usar la misma bolsa para poner todo en la basura. Aquellos alumnos que califican para el almuerzo gratis o a precio reducido recibirán el desayuno gratis. ¡Este programa es una excelente alternativa para el desayuno!
Al finalizar el año escolar, probablemente ya recibieron el calendario para las actividades de fin de año. La PTA envió una lista de las fechas y actividades por correo electrónico, y continuaremos mandando actualizaciones para que ustedes estén informados sobre estas actividades.
Hoy celebraremos el Aniversario de 75 Años de la Escuela Kate Waller Barrett. Quiero agradecer a los miembros de la PTA quienes trabajaron durísimo para realizar este festival, y especialmente a Jennifer Sauter-Price, que armó una bella exhibición en el pasillo principal usando artefactos de la biblioteca y antiguos anuarios donados por ex-alumnos de Barrett. ¡Espero verlos ahí!
As Barrett enters the fourth quarter, we are looking ahead to the end of year SOL testing. Students in 3rd through 5th grades will participate in the state-mandated SOL tests to assess their knowledge of skills and information taught this year. We appreciate your attention to these dates when considering when to schedule appointments or go out of town. (Note that there will be no testing on the Friday and Tuesday on either side of Memorial Day weekend.)
The window for SOL testing is May 18 – June 11. As we do every year, we are scheduling our testing towards the end of the window. Each grade level will test on four different days, with the 3rd grade reading test and all math tests taking place over two days. Make-up sessions will be scheduled as needed during the testing window. The exact dates are:
Wednesday, May 27 – Reading I
Monday, June 1 – Reading II
Wednesday, June 3 – Math I
Monday, June 8 – Math II
Tuesday, May 19 – Reading
Thursday, May 28 – Math I
Tuesday, June 2 – Math II
Tuesday, June 9 – Virginia Studies
Monday, May 18 – Science
Friday, May 29 – Reading
Thursday, June 4 – Math I
Friday, June 5 – Math II
In addition to the SOLs listed above, all 5th graders will take the math diagnostic test for middle school math placement in the afternoons of Monday, June 8 and Tuesday, June 9.
All SOL tests will begin at 8:30 am, so please plan to have your children well-rested, well-fed, and at school on time on those days. We very much appreciate your help in ensuring that all of our students are present, ready, and focused on testing days.