Dear Families -
Por favor, esperar que la traducción se hará la próxima semana.
Winter has certainly arrived! Arlington is still digging out from the craziness of this storm, but Barrett is ready to go. I want everyone to take a moment to thank our amazing custodial team, led by Moises Herrera, including Jose Vasquez, Blanca Castillo, and Rodolfo Rivas. They have worked extremely hard to clear the sidewalks around Barrett on three sides, all the walkways within school grounds, and clear the blacktop so that students would have the opportunity for outdoor recess when they come back to school! They've done an amazing job, and we are all extremely grateful for their dedication to students.
Teachers spent time during this break working on our professional learning focus for the school year - differentiation of instruction to ensure challenge and support for students. We've obtained access to online video archives of effective teaching, and teachers selected videos to review based on strategies they want to learn and implement within their classrooms. They are working within their teams to implement lessons based on these strategies and provide ideas to each other about improving instruction. It fits in with our focus on providing challenge and support for every child, every day.
I'm very excited to announce that during the unexpected snow break, we were able to recommend and complete the process of hiring a new second grade teacher to finish the year in place of Ms. Rigert. Please join me in welcoming Ms. Cara Doherty to Barrett. Ms. Doherty graduated from High Point University in North Carolina with a Bachelor's degree in elementary education. She taught fifth grade outside of Charlotte, NC for one year, and then took a position teaching third grade in a private school in Maryland. Due to changes in enrollment, they moved her to a middle school position, and she sought to return to elementary school with us at Barrett. We are very excited to welcome her to the team. Her first day with students will be Tuesday, February 2nd, but she has been here since offices reopened, getting acquainted with her classroom, the curriculum, and her team. Ms. Markowitz, who subbed after Ms. Rigert left, will overlap with Ms. Doherty for a day and a half.
Monday, February 1st remains a teacher grade preparation day, and there is no school for students that day. Students will return to school on Frebruary 2nd. We are currently working to reschedule the Winter Concert, which we missed due to the closings, and will inform families through backpack mail, twitter, and website announcements. Stay tuned for more information. We are also re-scheduling ACCESS testing for our English Language Learners, which began shortly before the snow, and mid-year assessments. We will of course provide the students with a few days to readjust to school routines and "get back in the groove" prior to administering assessments.
All of us at Barrett hope you have stayed safe and warm during the storm and aftermath, enjoyed plenty of family time, and hopefully got a chance to sled and play in the snow! We look forward to seeing everyone on February 2nd!
Vamos a traducer en Espanol despues de Ingles. The weather is changing and it really feels like winter now. Please be sure to dress students in layers as they come to school so that they can be prepared for whatever the weather is during the day. We go outside for recess every on colder days, and will limit the time outside during the worst of the cold, so be sure to provide jackets, hats, gloves, sweatshirts and whatever is needed to protect from the elements.
We have welcomed a new assistant principal to the Barrett family, Ms. Jessica Kingsley. Ms. Kingsley brings tremendous experience with her background as a school psychologist, especially a focus on effective learning strategies, an understanding of special education, her work on reducing the over-representation of minority students and English Language Learners in special education programs, and eight years overall in Arlington Public Schools. She has fit right in, and has been visiting classrooms and working with students. We are thrilled to have her as part of our team.
You may have noticed a change when you call the school. The phone system now provides a menu when you call, asking you first to choose a language and then providing you with options to go directly to the person you need. We put the menu system in place to help families who try to contact us before and after hours and ensure that families can get straight to the attendance line or extended day when they need it. It is two simple selections to get to someone in the main office. We will always work to keep it simple for you to reach the assistance you need when you call.
I want to share information about Barrett’s management plan for this school year. We saw an increase in pass rates for reading and math for all students and in almost all subgroups last year. This year the benchmarks we have to pass rise, and we need to continue to demonstrate rising achievement. We have put the following programs in place to support and enhance learning for all students:
The first quarter virtual honor assembly will soon be posted online - watch for the tweet with the link to it! We’re off to a great start this year and looking forward to an amazing 2016! As we head into the two week winter break, from all of us at Barrett, we wish you a restful break filled with love and family, and we will see you in January!
El clima está cambiando y realmente se siente como invierno. Por favor, asegúrese de vestir a sus niños con ropa adecuada para el clima cuando vienen a la escuela. Salimos afuera todos los días para recreo pero limitaremos el tiempo afuera durante los días muy fríos. Así que asegúrese de proporcionar abrigos, gorras, guantes, sudaderas y todo lo que sea necesario para protégelos del clima.
Hemos recibido a una nueva Subdirectora a la familia Barrett, la Sra. Jessica Kingsley. La Sra. Kingsley aporta una enorme experiencia con sus antecedentes como psicóloga de la escuela, sobre todo en las estrategias efectivas del aprendizaje, comprensión de la educación especial, su trabajo en la reducción de la sobre-representación de los estudiantes de minorías y los estudiantes que están aprendiendo el idioma inglés en los programas de educación especial, y ocho años de servicios en las escuelas públicas de Arlington. Ella se adaptado muy bien, ha estado visitando los salones de clases y trabaja con los estudiantes. Estamos encantados de tenerla como parte de nuestro equipo.
Usted puede haber notado un cambio al llamar a la escuela. El sistema telefónico ahora ofrece un menú al llamar, pidiendo que en primer lugar escoja un idioma y luego le ofrece opciones para ir directamente a la persona que usted necesita. Ponemos este sistema telefónico para ayudar a las familias que intentan comunicarse con nosotros antes y después de las clases. Queremos que las familias puedan comunicarse directamente con la línea de asistencia o el programa de Extended Day cuando lo necesitan. Las personas que llamen tienen que elegir dos simple opciones para comunicarse con alguien en la oficina.
Quiero compartir información acerca del plan de gestión de Barrett para este año escolar. Hemos visto un aumento en el porcentaje de niños que pasaron los exámenes de lectura y matemáticas. Este año el nivel esperado para pasar ha aumentado, y tenemos que seguir aumentando nuestros logros. Hemos puesto los siguientes programas para apoyar y mejorar el aprendizaje para todos los estudiantes:
Pronto anunciaremos la primera Asamblea de Honor Virtual del semestre que se puede ver en YouTube – Espera un Tweet con el anuncio! Empezamos con un buen comienzo este año escolar y esperamos un 2016 increíble! Pronto estaremos en las vacaciones de invierno. De parte de todo el personal de Barrett, les deseamos unas felices fiestas al lado de sus familiares. Los vemos en Enero!
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.