4401 N. Henderson Rd.
Arlington, VA 22203
Fax: 703-228-8544
Friday, August 22, 2014

Principal's Message

  • The Last Few Minutes of Summer

    Posted by Dan Redding at 8/21/2014
    Dear Families -
    Here we are in the last minutes of summer!  We hope you are enjoying the amazing weather - very unusually mild and wonderful for getting outside!
    We have completed our hiring for the school year!  We welcome Ms. Bonnie Watson as the fourth homeroom teacher on our fifth grade team.  Ms. Watson previously taught in Montgomery County, MD at the elementary and middle school level.  The whole team has already met and is making plans for the year.  This Fall, fifth grade will "Departmentalize," meaning that the teachers are pairing up to provide instruction.  For the first two hours of the day, two homeroom class will learn English Language Arts (Reading, Writing, Word Study) and the other two will focus on math and alternate science and social studies units.  Then the students will change teachers for the second half of the day.  Fifth grade students will have FLES and Specials in the middle of the day.
    We also welcome Mr. Richard Russey as our part-time art teacher on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Mr. Russey taught and supervised the fine arts in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and has most recently worked at non-profit agencies in DC, including several years each at the Kennedy Center's Very Special Arts program and an agency supporting early head start.
    Ms. Jennifer Webster is joining our team as an instructional assistant.  Ms. Webster will be working with small groups across all grade levels, reinforcing math concepts.  She will work closely with Ms. Che Abdeljawad, our math coach.
    We are preparing the letters for mailing and expect to have 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade letters in the mail today!  We hope to get 4th grade letters sent Friday and the Kindergarten letters on Monday the 25th.  We have a slight delay as we wait for some information to be clarified around the personalized device pilot our fourth grade students will be working with this year.  We expect that information to come soon.
    We hope all families will join us for the Open House on Thursday, August 28th, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  This will be a great time to meet the teachers and see the classrooms ready for the children on September 2nd!
    Enjoy the remainder of the summer!!!
    Dan Redding 
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  • August Updates

    Posted by Dan Redding at 8/1/2014
    Dear Barrett families,
    Unfortunately, we have learned that Ms. Koch is unable to accept the APS offer of employment due to family reasons.  We have advertised the fifth grade vacancy and are moving quickly to interview and fill the position.  I know many families met Ms. Koch during the summer reading clubs, and we were looking forward to having her as part of our Barrett family.  We wish her the best.
    I am pleased to announce that Mr. Brendan Crowley from Syracuse New York is joining us as a special education teacher, working with third grade.  Mr. Crowley completed a year-long internship working with adults transitioning from K-12 to a vocational setting while also completing his Masters' degree in Reading.  In the past he has played and coached lacrosse, and he joined us this week for some training with writing workshop and joined us for the summer book clubs Wednesday, where some families got to meet him.
    We expect to be prepared to send welcome back letters to families in the middle of August, containing information about teacher assignment, the open house, and the first day of school.  K letters will come slightly later, as the teachers will meet later in August to finalize class lists.
    HVAC work has progressed wonderfully, and most of the new infrastructure and equipment is installed and ready for testing and "balancing."  We are expecting to have the main office back inside the building on August 18th.
    Don't forget to complete the summer reading and math challenge to be entered for chances to win Barnes and Noble gift cards!  Students who attended all four summer book club sessions will be recognized at the reading assembly in the fall.  
    I will make one more summer blog post with additional news and announcements.  We hope you are enjoying the unusually mild summer weather and making lots of family time.  We look forward to seeing you soon!
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  • What's Happening This Summer @ Barrett ??!!

    Posted by Dan Redding at 7/11/2014
    Greetings Barrett Families!
    We hope that you are enjoying an amazing summer, focused on family, fun, and continued learning.  Please visit the APS Summer Learning Page for ideas on how to integrate learning activities into your summer fun plans.
    I want to share that we have been busy entering student information into the Synergy system to assign students to classes so that we can mail letters to 1st through 5th grade parents with class assignments.  We have been busy completing hiring for the fall and would like to announce the following new members:
    Ms. Angela Settles- PreSchool Montessori - Ms. Settles returns to APS after a two-year break, replacing Ms. Noemi Carmack, who has decided to teach the older Montessori children at Drew in the 6-9 classroom.  Ms. Settles taught Montessori Pre-K at the Robert Goddard Montessori School in PG County, MD last year, and is excited to return to APS!
    Mr. Jake Ramsay - VPI Pre-K - Mr. Ramsay has been teaching int he VPI preschool program at Patrick Henry Elementary School for the past few years and is excited to join us at Barrett.  He is focused on family involvement in the Pre-K program and has delivered workshops for APS pre-K teachers for the past few years.  He replaces Ms. Launa Hall who has moved to Hoffman-Boston to teach Kindergarten.
    Ms. Emily Sonenshine - VPI Pre-K - Ms. Sonenshine has taught primary grades in private schools for the past few years and is excited to bring her background in early childhood and literacy development to the Barrett Pre-K program!  She replaces Ms. Megan Huneck, who has moved to second grade at Barrett.
    Ms. Morgan Welsh - Kindergarten - Ms. Welsh comes to us as a recent graduate from Penn State, who completed a year-long internship in a Kindergarten classroom in Pennsylvania.  Her student teaching supervisor and cooperating teacher both speak highly of her successful takeover of the classroom and ability to teach for understanding and extend learning.  She is extremely knowledgeable about reading development, and we are excited that she will begin her career with us!  She takes over for Ms. Wendy (Ratcliffe) Duncan, who has asked to take on the Special Education position at Barrett that works with K-1 students.
    Ms. Natalie Rigert - Third Grade - Ms. Rigert opens our fourth grade three classroom this year.  She is a recent graduate from the University of Iowa, with a very strong foundation in reading development, and taught Kindergarten and first grade in Illinois before moving to Arlington. She has extensive experience integrating technology into instruction and differentiating instruction for English language learners, gifted students, and special education students. 
    Ms. Erin Cassedy - HILT - Ms. Cassedy comes to us from Alexandria City where she has taught ESOL for several years at the middle and elementary school level.  She has experience integrating reading instruction into science and has participated in NASA PD similar to our own NASA Explorer School program.  She is taking the position previously held by Mr. Spencer Reisinger, who has transferred to Campbell Elementary.
    Mr. Patrick Carmack - Fifth grade - Mr. Carmack has taught fourth and fifth grade at two schools in Fairfax County for the past few years.  He has extensive experience working with upper elementary students, building classroom community, and differentiating instruction for students who are ready for additional challenges and advanced content.  He is no relation to Ms. Carmack, though they enjoyed meeting each other.  He is taking Mr. Morse's place, as Mr. Morse has transferred to Abingdon Elementary.
    Ms. Kristin Davidson - Fifth grade - Ms. Davidson is a career switcher, having left the US Marine Corps.  She worked as an assistant in the fifth grade classes at Patrick Henry Elementary last year and is familiar with the fifth grade curriculum.  She is excited to begin her teaching career at Barrett.  She is taking Ms. White's place, as Ms. White has transferred to Ashlawn Elementary.
    Ms. Jean Sanders - Fifth grade - Ms. Sanders comes to us from Texas, moving to Northern Virginia as her spouse's work changed.  She taught third and fifth grade in Texas for thirteen years, and brings great experience with differentiating instruction for gifted students as well as English Language Learners.  She also has advanced coursework in reading instruction, and comes with excellent recommendations from her principals.  Ms. Sanders is taking Ms. Harvey's place, as Ms. Harvey has transferred to Drew Elementary.
    Ms. Sarah Koch - Fifth grade - Ms. Koch comes to us from Prince William County schools, where she has taught third grade for two years, and also Charlotte, NC where she taught fourth grade in a STEM magnet school.  Ms. Koch also demonstrates excellent experience with differentiation for all students, and impressed the interview committee with her knowledge of reading development in older students.  She is taking Ms. Lombardi's place, as Ms. Lombardi has transferred to Drew Elementary.
    Ms. Julie Westcott - Physical Education - Ms. Westcott comes to us after 10 years teaching elementary PE in Alexandria City.  She has worked on overall student wellness and integrated technology into her instruction.  She takes the position Mr. "Coach" McLaughlin held, as he has already started graduate school!
    Ms. Sarah Spicer - part-time Physical Education - Ms. Spicer comes from Loudoun County, where she has taught secondary school PE for several years.  She will also work part-time at Wakefield High School.  She takes the position Mr. Giesen held last year, as he has gone full-time at another location.
    Ms. Lauren Janzen - Testing Coordinator/HILT lead - Ms. Janzen returns to Barrett ES after a few years away.  She will take over the testing coordinator position held by Sudie McGahuey as well as the leadership of the HILT program, managing data collection on student growth and supporting general education teachers in differentiating instruction for English Language Learners. 
    Mr. Nate Giles - Assistant - Mr. Giles replaces Ms. Maria Lowell who retired at the end of the school year.  Mr. Giles is very familiar with Barrett, as he has volunteered with us in the past and works with the Arlington County Parks and Recreation Department at Lubber Run.  Mr. Giles will work with Mr. Stewart's class.
    We are still interviewing for special education teachers, to fill a position to work with third grade.  We will provide information regarding our new hire once the process is complete.
    Please don't forget to visit our summer book clubs!  K-1 students meet on Tuesdays in July from 4-5 pm, 2-3 students meet on Wednesdays in July from 4-5 pm, and 4-5 students meet on Thursdays in July from 4-5 pm.  We look forward to seeing you!
    Have a great summer! 
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  • Sailing into the Summer!

    Posted by Dan Redding at 6/16/2014
    Dear Barrett Families,
    First off, I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this being an amazing year.  Last week we recognized our volunteers at the Volunteer Tea.  On behalf of the staff, thanks to everyone who spends their time and energy helping to make Barrett a great place.  We recognized our families who were sending their last fifth grader to middle school, and we honor them for all they have done.
    We have the most supportive and incredible PTA in the world!  The Board and parent community bring so much positive energy into the school and give freely of their time and talent to organize amazing activities such as Reading Fun Day, Field Day, Bingo Night, the Family Valentine Party, the amazing work of the Friday Volunteers, the Book Fair, Picture Days, Edukit, and so much more.  We could not be the great school that Barrett is without you.
     On Friday, children will bring home their report cards.  Inside the package parents will find information about the summer reading challenge and the summer math review.  You can always return to the Barrett website to download new copies, should you need them over the summer.  We would love to have you participate in the summer book clubs!
    Beginning Monday, June 23, the building will be a construction site!  Facilities and Operations has designated Barrett for a major HVAC overhaul this summer, impacting more than 25 rooms!  As such, there will be significant construction in many hallways and classrooms, and the main office will have to relocate to the trailers.  Should you need to do any business with the school, please come to the trailer.  The main office will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday all summer to handle registrations, withdrawals, and answer questions.  Our regular phone numbers and e-mail addresses will still work.
    On behalf of the entire Barrett team, have an amazing summer!  We look forward to connecting with you at the Summer Book Clubs or at other events, and we cannot wait to hear about all of your summer adventures!  

    Estimadas Familias de Barrett,






    Antes que nada, quiero agradecer a todos los que contribuyeron para que éste sea un maravilloso año escolar.  La semana pasada reconocimos a nuestros voluntarios en el Te de Voluntarios.  En nombre del personal escolar, quiero agradecer a aquellas personas que ayudaron, ofreciendo su tiempo y energía, para que Barrett sea un estupendo lugar.  Reconocimos a nuestras familias que están por enviar a sus hijos en 5to grado a la escuela media, y apreciamos todo lo que han hecho.






    ¡Tenemos la mejor Asociación de Padres y Maestros (PTA) y la que más apoya a su escuela!  La Directiva y la comunidad de padres de la PTA dieron energía positiva a nuestra escuela, ofreciendo su tiempo y sus talentos para organizar increíbles actividades como las siguientes: Día de Lectura y Diversión, Noche de Bingo, Fiesta del Día de San Valentín, el maravilloso trabajo de las Voluntarias del Viernes, Día de Fotos, útiles escolares EduKit, y mucho más.  Barrett no sería la gran escuela que es sin ustedes. 






    Este viernes, los niños llevarán a casa sus libretas de calificación.  Dentro del sobre también encontrarán información sobre el desafío de lectura y tarea de matemáticas del verano.  Podrán encontrar copias adicionales en el sitio web de Barrett.  ¡Nos encantaría que participen en el Club de Lectura del Verano también!   






    ¡Desde el lunes, 23 de junio, el edificio se convertirá en un sitio de construcción!  ¡La Oficina de Instalaciones y Operaciones hará una gran reparación del sistema HVAC (calefacción, ventilación y aire acondicionado) en Barrett este verano, y esto impactará 25 de las aulas!  Por lo tanto, estarán en construcción muchos de los pasillos y aulas, y la oficina principal será trasladada a las aulas de afuera en la parte de atrás de la escuela.  Si necesitan algo de la oficina, por favor vayan a las aulas de atrás.  La oficina estará abierta todo el verano, de lunes a viernes y de 8:00am a 4:00pm, para matrículas y retiros de la escuela, y para contestar preguntas.  Se mantendrán los actuales números de teléfono y correos electrónicos.    






    ¡En nombre del equipo de Barrett, les deseamos un lindo verano!  ¡Esperamos verlos este verano en las sesiones del Club de Lectura y en otros eventos!  ¡Estamos ansiosos de escuchar todo sobre sus aventuras del verano!  




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  • May Message

    Posted by Dan Redding at 5/1/2014
    Dear families,
    As we enter May, we are busy preparing students for the testing season.  Starting May 20th, Barrett students in grades 3-5 will take the Standards of Learning exams.  The schedule is as follows:
     May 19  
     May 20
    all day - Grade 4 Reading 
     May 21
    all day - Grade 4 Reading 
    May 22
    all day - Grade 5 Reading 
    May 23
     May 26
     May 27
    no testing 
     May 28
    p.m. Grade 3 Reading Part I 
     May 29
    a.m. Grade 5 Science
    p.m. Grade 3 Reading Part II 
     May 30 a.m.Grade 4 Math Part I
     June 2
    a.m. Grade 4 Math Part 2
    p.m. Grade 3 Science 
     June 3 
    a.m. Grade 5 Math
    p.m. Gr3ade 3 Math part I 
     June 4
    p.m. Grade 3 Math part II 
     June 5
    a.m. Grade 4 Va History
    p.m. Grade 3 History 
     June 6
    a.m. Grade 4 Va History 
     June 9
    a.m. Grade 4 Math Group 2 Part I
     June 10
    a.m. Grade 4 math Group 2 Part II 
     June 11
    make ups 
     June 12
    make ups 
     June 13
    Finalize and complete testing 
    Please note that unforeseen circumstances may cause a change in the schedule.  These may include occurrences such as power outages, school closings, network connectivity failure, among others. 
    In order to do their very best, please be sure that your students get plenty of sleep the night before a test and have a healthy breakfast that morning.  All grade levels have links on their pages to review sites and practice tests.  Teachers and students have been working hard all year to prepare for the tests, and we have confidence in their ability to shine on these assessments! 
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  • April Message

    Posted by Dan Redding at 4/8/2014
    Dear Barrett Families,
    We are excited about the beginning of the fourth quarter!  Students are hard at work learning the remainder of the grade level curriculum, and reviewing any areas they did not master earlier in the year.  The Standards of Learning tests will begin towards the end of May.  We will send home more information in May regarding the actual scheduling of tests for specific classes.
    Recently, concerns have arisen at the school regarding children who are using Instagram, Facebook, and other social media tools.  These services expressly state that users must be 13 years and older.  This came to our attention because of some inappropriate comments students made on another student's pictures.  As you know, these tools present very specific dangers to children, as one can never know for sure that one's "friends" and "followers" are really children or peers at the school.  There is no foolproof way to protect photos from copying and unauthorized use on the internet.  There seem to be new tools every day that present dangers to children.  We urge you to have conversations with your children about the dangers these tools present and what your expectations are regarding their use.  When situations end up coming to school and creating a disruption, then it becomes a disciplinary issue at school.  Our procedures at Barrett are to involve our counselors and School Resource Officer when cyber-bullying occurs.  I have shared these concerns with staff and spoken to the fifth grade students about the dangers of using social media at their age as well as guidelines for appropriate behavior.
    During the break time, I hope all of our families will rest and relax, enjoy time with family near and far, and be sure to read some good books, keep a journal of the fun activities in which you engage over the break, and practice math facts to improve speed and accuracy! I have issued a challenge to the students, and they will come home Friday with a stamped postcard, addressed to Barrett.  I am asking every student to share with us about a book they read over the break.  For our emerging readers, I hope they will draw a picture of what they read, and share a sentence about the book (as well as the title and author).  For our transitional and fluent readers, I want them to write briefly about the book they read, telling us what they loved about the book.  Be sure that students write the title and author of the book on the card!  We will display these at the school.  I have agreed to purchase books for the classrooms that have students returning these cards:
    For 1 card returned:  1 book for the classroom library.
    For 25% of students returning cards: 2 books
    For 50% of students returning cards: 4 books
    For 75% of students returning cards: 6 books
    For 90% of students returning cards: 7 books
    For 100% of students returning cards: 10 books
    Watch for the postcard coming home!  I hope to buy hundreds of books after the break!
    We continue to remind students to be safe as the weather (finally!) warms up and set goals for the fourth quarter, based on the report cards they are bringing home on Friday.  Our students have made excellent progress this year, and we expect to end the year strong! 
    Have an excellent break - we will see you in a week! 

    Estimadas Familias de Barrett,

    ¡Estamos muy emocionados sobre el comienzo del cuarto trimestre!  Los alumnos están trabajando intensamente, aprendiendo y enfocándose en el resto del currículo de su grado, y repasando las áreas que no llegaron a dominar previamente durante el año.  Los exámenes Normas de Aprendizaje comenzarán a finales de mayo.  Recibirán más información en mayo sobre las fechas, específicas por grado, de estos exámenes.   



    Últimamente, algunas preocupaciones han surgido en la escuela respecto a niños que están usando medios de comunicación social (redes sociales) por Internet, como Instagram, Facebook, y otros.  Estos servicios explícitamente declaran que los usuarios deben tener por lo menos 13 años de edad.  Nos enteramos sobre esta situación como resultado de comentarios inapropiados que algunos alumnos hicieron de fotografías de un alumno/a.  Como es de su conocimiento, estas redes sociales presentan peligros específicos para niños, ya que uno nunca puede estar seguro que los “amigos” y “seguidores” realmente son otros niños o compañeros de la escuela.  En el Internet no existe una verdadera manera de proteger y evitar que las fotografías sean copiadas o usadas sin autorización.  Cada día que pasa, parecen surgir nuevas herramientas que presentan peligros para los niños.  Recomendamos que hablen con sus hijos sobre los peligros que presentan estas redes sociales, y sobre cuáles son sus expectativas respecto a su uso.  Cuando este tipo de situación llega a la escuela y resulta en una alteración, entonces se convierte en un tema disciplinario en nuestra escuela.  Al ocurrir una situación de ciberacoso (cyberbullying en inglés), el procedimiento en Barrett es involucrar a los consejeros y al Oficial de Recursos Escolares (policía asignado a nuestra escuela).  He compartido estas preocupaciones con nuestro personal escolar.  También he hablado con los alumnos de quinto grado sobre los peligros de usar redes sociales a su edad, y sobre pautas de comportamiento apropiado también.



    ¡Durante las vacaciones, espero que nuestras familias descansen y disfruten su tiempo con sus familias, y asegúrense de leer buenos libros, mantener un diario de sus divertidas actividades, y practiquen las operaciones matemáticas para saberlas de memoria (rápida y automáticamente)!  Estoy desafiando a los alumnos durante esta vacación, y este viernes llevarán a casa una postal (franqueo pagado y dirigida a Barrett).  Estoy pidiendo a cada alumno que comparta, con nosotros, sobre algún libro que hayan leído durante la vacación.  Espero que nuestros lectores principiantes hagan un dibujo y escriban una oración/frase sobre el libro que hayan leído (deben incluir el título del libro y el nombre del autor/a).  Nuestros lectores de nivel intermedio, y aquellos que ya dominan la lectura, deben escribir un poco sobre el libro que leyeron, indicando qué es lo que les encantó del libro.  ¡Asegúrense que los niños incluyan en la postal el título del libro y el nombre del autor/a!  Las postales serán exhibidas en la escuela.  Me he comprometido comprar libros para las clases cuyos alumnos hayan enviado sus postales:



    1 postal recibida: 1 libro para la biblioteca de la clase.



    Postales recibidas de 25% de la clase: 2 libros



    Postales recibidas de 50% de la clase: 4 libros



    Postales recibidas de 75% de la clase: 6 libros



    Postales recibidas de 90% de la clase: 7 libros



    Postales recibidas de 100% de la clase: 10 libros



    ¡Estén atentos a las postales que se enviarán a casa!  ¡Espero tener que comprar cientos de libros después de las vacaciones!



    Continuamos recordándoles a los niños que tengan cuidado mientras el tiempo se calienta (finalmente), y que establezcan metas para el cuarto trimestre basándose en las libretas de calificación que llevarán a casa el viernes.  ¡El progreso de nuestros alumnos ha sido excelente este año, y esperamos tener un sólido fin de año escolar! 



    ¡Qué tengan una linda vacación – nos vemos en una semana! 

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  • March 2014 at Barrett

    Posted by Dan Redding at 3/24/2014
    Dear Barrett Families,
    En Espanol despues de Ingles.
    We have had an amazing month!  
    First of all, thank you for the positive feedback to the pickup and dropoff changes.  We appreciate your cooperation, and things are running smoothly.  Several parents have contacted me with concerns about Park Dr., where the volume of traffic is hazardous while crossing the street.  I have been in touch with our School Resource Officer and the crossing guard supervisor regarding additional enforcement behind the school.  We ask that families be extremely cautious, especially when there are numerous cars parked along the road.  Be sure, even if parking for only a few moments, to obey the no parking signs and zones so that drivers can see pedestrians as they enter the crosswalk.
    Thanks to the families who helped with the duct taping experience on Friday the 21st.  I appreciate the humor throughout the event - the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and Ms. Smingler and I did too!  The event raised more than $725!  What an incredible start to the silent auction fundraiser for the Literacy Initiative!
    I cannot express the gratitude the staff feel toward the Barrett community for the support shown at the silent auction!  The turnout was amazing, and everyone seemed to have a great time.  The financial support that is being provided to purchase classroom libraries awes me.  A group will meet soon to plan specific purchases.  I plan to set aside professional development funding for next year to focus on independent reading and conferring with children about the books they are reading.  I think we have a very exciting year in store.  In addition to working on reading, we will also focus on writing, and using the books in our new libraries as "Mentor Texts" to help us use strategies published authors use to engage their readers in their writing.  Some of our funds will also send five members of the Barrett staff for summer training at Teachers College at Columbia University for specialized training in literacy development, and those staff members will begin guiding our journey.  We are very excited to move forward with this work!
    Thank you again for all of your support! 

    Estimadas Familias de Barrett,






    ¡Hemos tenido un mes espectacular!




    Antes que nada, quiero agradecerles por sus comentarios positivos sobre los cambios que se han realizado en el procedimiento de dejar y recoger a sus hijos.  Agradecemos su cooperación y quiero informarles que todo ha funcionado sin problemas.  Varios padres se han comunicado conmigo para expresar su preocupación sobre el volumen de tráfico de la calle Park Dr., y lo peligroso que es cruzarla.  He estado en comunicación con nuestro Oficial de Recursos Escolares (policía asignado a nuestra escuela), y también con el guardia supervisor de cruce escolar, sobre refuerzos adicionales detrás de la escuela.  Pedimos que las familias tengan mucho cuidado, especialmente cuando haya una gran cantidad de autos estacionados a lo largo de la calle.  Aunque estacionen por pocos minutos, asegúrense de obedecer la señalización y las áreas de “no estacionar”, para que los conductores puedan ver a aquellas personas cruzando en el paso de peatones.    






    También quisiera agradecer a las familias que ayudaron en el evento de cintas adhesivas, el viernes, 21 de marzo.  Me encantó el humor de este evento - ¡los alumnos la pasaron muy bien, y la Sra. Smingler y yo también!  ¡Recaudamos más de $725!  ¡Qué buena manera de inaugurar la subasta silenciosa para recaudar fondos para nuestra Iniciativa de Lectura y Escritura! 






    ¡No puedo expresar la gratitud que nuestro personal escolar siente hacia la comunidad de Barrett por su apoyo en la subasta silenciosa!  La asistencia fue estupenda, y todos parecieron pasarla muy bien.  Me he quedado asombrado con el apoyo financiero que hemos recibido para la compra de las bibliotecas en las aulas.  Un grupo se reunirá pronto para planificar compras específicas.  El próximo año, pienso destinar parte de los fondos para nuestro desarrollo profesional, el cual se enfocará en la lectura independiente y en reuniones con los niños para hablar sobre los libros que estén leyendo.  Me parece que nos espera increíble año.  Además de la lectura, también nos enfocaremos en la escritura y usaremos los libros de nuestras nuevas bibliotecas como “Textos de Ayuda”.  Esto lo haremos para poder usar las mismas estrategias que usan los autores para atraer a sus lectores.  Parte de nuestros fondos también se usarán para que cinco miembros de nuestro personal escolar puedan ir a un entrenamiento de verano en la universidad Teachers College at Columbia University, donde participarán en un entrenamiento que se especializará en el desarrollo de la lectura y escritura.  Los maestros participantes luego guiarán a los demás en este trayecto.  ¡Nos alegra mucho que este trabajo pueda avanzar!   






    ¡Nuevamente, muchas gracias por su apoyo! 



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  • Safety at Dropoff and Pickup

    Posted by Dan Redding at 3/11/2014
    Dear Families -
    Traducimos en Espanol despues de Ingles.  
    I sending the letter below home in the backpacks on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.  Please note that we will enforce changes beginning 3/17/14 and the Arlington County Police have already started ticketing cars on the streets and in our parking lot.

    Dear Barrett Families,

    I am writing this letter with great concern for our families’ safety.  I have observed over recent months the increasing number of parents double-parking or parking along yellow curbs in our parking lot.  I am concerned first of all because during the wintery weather, we have slick areas and it can be hard to safely navigate our parking lot.  Second, we need to be vigilant for our children running between cars.  Third, in the rush of trying to drop off children and get to work, drivers are not always cautious about backing up or pulling around other vehicles.

    Double parking and parking along curbs will be strictly prohibited beginning Monday, March 17, 2014.  We will post a staff member in the back area to monitor cars that stop there, and we request that families comply with the directions of our staff.  Our School Resource Officer will be ticketing cars that disregard the signs.  Additionally, because of concerns expressed by families that walk and drive on North Park Drive, the Arlington County Police will be increasing their presence along the road at dropoff and pickup time.

    We will no longer allow parents to get out of the cars in the drop-off lane - rather, we will have it as a “Kiss and Drop” area - your child will quickly and safely exit the car and go into the building.  Cars will not be allowed to stop and wait for extended periods along the curb.

    Families driving to school that wish to walk their children into the building will be need to park on the street on the back side of the school, along North Park Drive, and enter the building by the playground.

    In the interest of everyone’s safety, we also want to remind families how unsafe it is for the driver to exit on the driver’s side of the car along N. Henderson Rd - the volume of traffic through this street continues to increase.  Dropping children off along the bus loop lane is extremely unsafe, and staff on duty will ask families to continue down N. Henderson Rd, turn right at N. 3rd St, and then make another right on N. Park Drive.  Many of you saw the tragic news about an accident last week in Arlington.

    These changes are being made in the interest of everyone’s safety, our students, our families, and our staff.  We thank you for your patience, and for continuing to be courteous to all drivers and pedestrians in our community.

    11 de marzo de 2014

    Estimadas Familias de Barrett,

    Esta carta la escribo con gran preocupación por la seguridad de nuestras familias.  Durante los últimos meses, he observado que en el estacionamiento escolar un creciente número de padres han estado estacionando en doble fila o al lado del borde de la acera (borde color amarillo).  En primer lugar, me preocupa que nuestro estacionamiento tenga áreas resbaladizas durante la época invernal (nieve, lluvia, bajas temperaturas), y por esta razón resulta difícil manejar de una manera segura.  Segundo, tenemos que vigilar a los niños que están corriendo y metiéndose entre los vehículos.  Tercero, mientras los padres, que están deprisa, tratan de dejar a sus hijos en la escuela y de llegar a sus trabajos, no siempre tienen cuidado al retroceder o cuando intentan pasar otros vehículos.

    Desde el lunes, 17 de marzo de 2014, estará estrictamente prohibido estacionar en doble fila y al lado del borde de la acera.  Habrá alguien del personal escolar detrás de la escuela quien se encargará de monitorear aquellos vehículos que se hayan detenido, y pedimos que todas las familias respeten las instrucciones de nuestro personal.  Nuestro Oficial de Recursos Escolares (policía asignado a nuestra escuela) dará multas a aquellos vehículos que no respeten la señalización.  Algunas familias que caminan y manejan sobre la calle North Park Drive también han expresado su preocupación, y como resultado la Policía del Condado de Arlington estará presente con más frecuencia en esta calle durante el horario de llegada y salida escolar.

    Los padres ya no estarán permitidos bajarse de sus vehículos en el carril donde dejan a sus hijos – más bien, este carril será nuestra zona “Kiss and Drop” donde deben despedirse de sus hijos con un beso.  Los niños deben bajarse del vehículo rápidamente y con mucho cuidado, y luego deben ingresar al edificio.  Estará prohibido que los vehículos se detengan al lado del borde de la acera y se queden esperando durante un tiempo prolongado.

    Aquellas familias que manejen a la escuela y que quieran ingresar al edificio con sus hijos, tendrán que estacionar sobre la calle North Park Drive (detrás de la escuela) e ingresar al edificio por la entrada que da al área de recreo.

    Para mantener la seguridad de todos, también queremos recordar a las familias lo peligroso que es detenerse en la calle N. Henderson Rd. y bajarse por el lado del conductor del vehículo – la cantidad de tráfico en esta calle continúa aumentando.  Dejar que los niños se bajen de sus vehículos mientras estén en el carril de autobuses es extremadamente peligroso también, y nuestro personal pedirá a las familias que continúen manejando sobre la calle N. Henderson Rd., que doblen a la derecha en la calle N. 3rd St., y luego doblen una vez más a la derecha en la calle N. Park Drive.  Seguro que muchos de ustedes vieron la trágica noticia la semana pasada sobre un accidente que ocurrió en Arlington.

    Estos cambios se están haciendo para mantener la seguridad de todos: de nuestros alumnos, familias, y de nuestro personal escolar.  Les agradecemos por su paciencia y también por continuar siendo corteses con todos los conductores y peatones de nuestra comunidad.
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  • Wild Weather and Mid-Year Happenings!

    Posted by Dan Redding at 3/1/2014
    Dear Barrett Families,
    With the crazy weather it feels as though we have barely had a full week of school since Thanksgiving! There has been minimal impact on the Barrett schedule so far - we have lost the March 31st Grade Preparation Day, so that will be a full school day for students.  There is some wintery weather approaching as I write this, so watch the forecasts and the APS website for updates on school operations.
    In two weeks, our fifth graders take their first SOL test:  the fifth grade writing test.  There is an exam and an open writing response and it is given on the computer. Fifth grade parents, be sure students get good rest and a healthy breakfast both days!  Right now, the tests are scheduled for March 13th and 14th. Teachers are providing intensive preparation for the tests including frequent writing prompts and sample test items.  All remaining tests are scheduled in May and June, and more information will come as the time approaches. 
    What a great turnout we had for Science Discovery Night - 315 students and their families - 56% of the Barrett population!  We are grateful for your support during the event - especially families that supported children completing science project displays!  APS is lucky to have the regional science fair occurring on Sunday March 2 at Wakefield High School - I encourage you and your young scientists to attend to build on the momentum from our science night!
    I want to share a word about safety, especially in light of the tragic incident near Nottingham Elementary last week.  Please be a courteous and mindful driver if you drop your students off in the morning.  It is imperative that we watch for children and other drivers - please do not pull around cars in the dropoff lane in an effort to get ahead.  We will no longer permit cars to double park along the parking lot, as this creates significant safety hazards, and we are asking the School Resource Officers to help patrol our parking lot and maintain a calm traffic pattern.  Should families wish to walk students in to the school in the morning, we ask that they park at Lubber Run so that the parking lot remains a safe place for all.  Traffic coming through the parking lot may not park, may only "Kiss and Drop."  We will enforce the same regulations at pickup.  We want to be proactive about safety in this, and all other matters.
    Stay warm and safe, and while we are still in this odd weather pattern, remember to send children to school dressed in layers.  Daylight Savings kicks in at 2:00 a.m. on March 9, which means students in after-school activities may be heading home at dusk hours for a while, so remind them of walking safely and watch for student pedestrians!

    Estimadas Familias de Barrett,






    ¡Con este tiempo tan loco, parece que apenas hemos tenido una semana completa de clases desde las vacaciones del Día de Acción de Gracias!  Hasta la fecha el impacto al calendario de Barrett ha sido mínimo – hemos perdido el 31 de marzo (día de preparación de las libretas de calificaciones), y ahora este día será un día completo para los alumnos.  Mientras escribo esta nota, se ha pronosticado nieve, por lo tanto vean las noticias meteorológicas y vayan a la página web de las Escuelas de Arlington para ver las últimas noticias sobre las operaciones escolares.






    En dos semanas los alumnos de quinto grado tomarán su primer examen SOL: el examen de escritura.  Este examen tiene dos partes, una donde los alumnos contestan preguntas y la otra donde deben escribir sobre un tema específico en la computadora.  ¡Padres de quinto grado, asegúrense que sus hijos descansen y que desayunen algo saludable durante ambos días!  Actualmente, estos  exámenes SOL de escritura están programados para el 13 y 14 de marzo.  Las maestras están ofreciendo una preparación intensiva para este examen, donde los alumnos están haciendo varias redacciones y viendo ejemplos de ítems de los exámenes también.  El resto de los exámenes SOL están programados para mayo y junio, y recibirán más información a medida que las fechas se vayan acercando. 






    ¡Qué buena asistencia que tuvimos la Noche de Ciencias y Descubrimiento – 315 alumnos y sus familias – 56% de la matrícula en Barrett! ¡Les agradecemos por su apoyo durante este evento – especialmente a las familias que apoyaron a sus hijos con sus proyectos! Estamos afortunados, las Escuelas de Arlington, de que la feria regional de ciencias se realizará el domingo, 2 de marzo en la Escuela Secundaria Wakefield – los animo a ustedes y a sus pequeños científicos a asistir para continuar este entusiasmo que logramos durante nuestra noche de ciencias! 



    Quisiera compartir alguna información sobre la seguridad escolar, particularmente teniendo en cuenta el trágico incidente que ocurrió cerca de la Escuela Primaria Nottingham la semana pasada.  Por favor sean conductores atentos y conscientes si dejan a sus hijos en la escuela en las mañanas.  Es imprescindible que estemos atentos de los niños y otros conductores – por favor no pasen a otros autos en el carril donde se bajan los niños delante de la escuela.  Ya no se permitirá estacionar en doble fila en el lote de estacionamiento, ya que esto resulta en significantes riesgos de seguridad.  También hemos pedido a nuestros Oficiales Escolares que ayuden a vigilar nuestra zona de estacionamiento para que no haya problemas con nuestro tráfico vehicular.  Si las familias desean entrar a la escuela con sus hijos en las mañanas, les pedimos que estacionen en el parque Lubber Run para que nuestro estacionamiento permanezca seguro para todos.  Vehículos que entren a nuestro estacionamiento no podrán estacionar, solamente podrán despedirse de sus hijos con un “besito”.  Estas mismas reglas se deben cumplir durante la hora de recoger a los niños.  Queremos ser proactivos respecto a la seguridad y en otras áreas también.   





    Cuídense, manténganse abrigados y, mientras continúa este tiempo raro, no se olviden mandar a sus hijos a la escuela vestidos en capas.  Este 9 de marzo, a las 2:00am, comienza el horario de verano.  Esto significa que por un tiempo aquellos alumnos que participan en actividades después del horario escolar se irán a casa cuando esté por anochecer.  ¡Por esta razón les pedimos que estén atentos de alumnos que estén caminando y que les hagan recuerdo a sus hijos de caminar con cuidado!

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  • Second Quarter Comes to a Close

    Posted by Dan Redding at 1/22/2014
    Dear Barrett Families,
    Traduccion en espanol despues del ingles.
    Well, second quarter has come to a close in an unexpected way - snow, wind, freezing temperatures!  Today, January 22, 2014 counts as our fourth snow day.  According to the APS calendar narrative available here, schools like Barrett with "limited early release," will not be required to make up the first four snow days. Page three of that document addresses procedures for making up time beyond four days.  Should there be a need to make up time, announcements will be made via APS School Talk, the APS Website, the APS Twitter and Facebook accounts, and via the Friday Folders.  It has shaped up to be an interesting winter!
    Hopefully families are staying warm and reading great books.  Ms. Frick, Barrett's librarian, gave an excellent presentation regarding using the online library tools, especially e-books, to keep on reading at home - take advantage of these!  Also, I encourage students to take a look at the books I am posting about in my video blogs to find some great selections - please feel free to help your students to comment on the videos and/or recommend books for me to review!  I love to stay current on children's literature, and sometimes I miss good ones out there.   
    Report cards are scheduled to come home on February 6.  As always, families are encouraged to contact staff with any questions regarding students' grades.
    Students who are English Language Learners have begun testing using the ACCESS English Language Proficiency test.  This test is required by the state to assess growth in English Language Proficiency, and students are required to take the test until they are fully exited from ESOL/HILT services.  The assessment will continue into February.
    APS has scheduled budget information sessions on January 29, 2014 at Wakefield HS and February 3 at the Education Center.  A make-up session for tonight's canceled one will be announced.  Families are encouraged to attend to learn more about the evolving budget and share their thoughts on APS priorities.
    Don't forget that we have our Family Party on February 7 - we hope to see everyone there!! 
    Stay warm and grab a great book to share as a family!

    Estimadas Familias de Barrett,



    ¡Bueno, el segundo periodo de evaluación concluyó inesperadamente – nieve, viento, temperaturas bajo cero!  Hoy, 22 de enero de 2014, es el cuarto día que la escuela está cerrada como resultado de la nieve.  De acuerdo a la información del calendario de las Escuelas Públicas de Arlington (APS, por sus siglas en inglés), que podrán encontrar aquí, aquellas escuelas como Barrett que tienen una limitada cantidad de “días de salida temprana” no necesitan recuperar los primeros cuatro días que se hayan cerrado las escuelas por nieve.  En caso de necesitar recuperar días, el anuncio se hará a través de APS School Talk, la página web de APS, las cuentas Twitter y Facebook de APS, y a través de las Carpetas del Viernes de los niños.  ¡Ha resultado ser un invierno muy interesante!



    Esperamos que las familias estén manteniéndose abrigados y que estén leyendo buenos libros.  La Sra. Frick, bibliotecaria de Barrett, dio una excelente presentación sobre cómo usar los recursos de Internet de la biblioteca, especialmente libros electrónicos, para seguir leyendo en casa - ¡aprovechen de estos recursos!  También recomiendo que los alumnos echen un vistazo a los libros que menciono en mi galería de videos (video blogs).  He publicado esta galería de videos para que se enteren de excelentes selecciones de libros – ¡no duden en ayudarles a sus hijos a comentar sobre los videos y/o recomendar libros para que yo haga una reseña!  Me encanta estar al día de la literatura infantil, y a veces se me escapan buenos libros.   



    Las libretas de calificación se enviarán a casa el 6 de febrero.  Como de costumbre, recomendamos que las familias se comuniquen con el personal escolar si tuvieran cualquier pregunta respecto a las calificaciones de los alumnos.



    Aquellos Alumnos Aprendices del Inglés (ELL, por sus siglas en inglés) han empezado a tomar el examen ACCESS que evalúa el dominio del inglés.  El estado requiere que se administre este examen para evaluar el dominio del inglés, y los alumnos están obligados a tomar el examen hasta que hayan sido egresados completamente del programa ESOL/HILT.  Los exámenes se administrarán hasta febrero.

    Las Escuelas Públicas de Arlington han programado sesiones informativas sobre el presupuesto, y éstas se realizarán el 29 de enero en la Escuela Secundaria Wakefield y el 3 de febrero en el Centro de Educación.  Habrá un anuncio sobre la nueva fecha para la sesión de esta noche que fue cancelada.  Recomendamos que las familias vayan a estas reuniones para que se informen sobre cambios del presupuesto y para compartir sus opiniones sobre las prioridades de las Escuelas de Públicas de Arlington.    



    No se olviden que el 7 de febrero tendremos nuestra Fiesta y Baile Familiar- ¡esperamos ver a todos!   



    !Manténganse abrigados y lean y compartan en familia un buen libro!

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