Sept. 15: Back to School Night and Welcome Back Potluck
Save the date for a new and exciting format for these two popular events! This year we are combining these two events, and both are for everyone! The changes are designed to make Back to School Night more interactive and to involve your child in the process. You will receive a more detailed letter in the next week or two, but here's a sneak preview:
5:20--families arrive, drop off food on the blacktop (pot luck will be set up by our specialists)
5:35--overview of the evening, updates on important school matters with Mrs. Kershner and PTO in the auditorium
5:50-6:30--students and parents travel together to classrooms where STUDENTS will lead an orientation of their classroom and the work they've already begun.
6:30-7:30--potluck on blacktop and clothing swap in gym
First Student of the Week Assembly, grades 3-4, 8:05am
Labor Day Holiday (school is closed)
New doorbell system goes into effect (front door locked during day)
EBL (Extending the Bridges of Literacy) begins, 2:30-4pm
4th grade to Camp Albemarle
Harvest of the Month snack
2nd Lockdown Drill of the Year
Visiting artist Pacifique Niyonsenga performs for grades 2-4
Kindergarten to Carter Mountain
Minds in Motion begins
Family Garden Workday, 9-12
United Way Day of Caring
Professional Learning Day for Staff (no school)
Walk to School Day/Walk-A-Thon
Want More Dates?
Access the Venable Parent Calendar at the Charlottesvilleschools.org website with the most up-to-date information about what's going on.
New After School Reading Program Begins Sept. 6
Charlottesville City Schools received a grant from the state to extend our school day for a select group of students. The program is called EBL, or Extending the Bridges of Literacy. The purpose of this program is to extend many of the literacy fundamentals taught in the regular instructional day through real life applications and projects. Two teachers will be working with up to 12 students in grades 1-4 to provide fun and engaging activities that aim promote a love of reading. Most students will be taught by their classroom teachers in this small group setting using a new curriculum resource, Making Meaning, provided by the school division. Students also will receive a snack and recess or movement break during the after-school program. The program runs Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons through the end of April.
After school clubs are taking a hiatus at Venable for at least the first semester of this school year. Two-thirds of our classroom teachers, Mrs. Paige, and Mrs. Martin are all involved in the EBL program three days a week until 4pm, and we have staff meetings on Mondays. Because this is a new program with an academic focus, we feel the need to focus our energy and attention on making EBL work to its fullest potential. We will re-evaluate our ability to provide clubs second semester after we have launched EBL and can better determine how the two after school programs may work together.
Reminders About After School Transportation Changes
Please send a note to your child's teacher in the morning if there will be a change to your child's regular afternoon transportation plans. If you send an email, please send it to both the teacher and to Ms. Lawson (email@example.com). Ms. Lawson will confirm that your email was received. Please avoid calling after 1:30pm to change the plans. Calling late means that your message has to travel to the teacher outside of our normally established procedures, which elevates our risk for error.
School-Wide Morning Meetings: A New Community-Building Activity
Our classrooms hold morning meetings every morning where students greet one another, participate in a fun activity, and review a message from the teacher. This is a wonderful way to build community, teach greetings, and help students focus on a social or academic goal for the day.
Last week we held our first school-wide morning meeting. All of our kindergarten through fourth grade students gathered on the black top to greet one another in four languages, sing happy birthday to those celebrating over the weekend, participate in a whole-group activity, and hear a "hot read." (You will see a picture of Ms. Tatel dressed as a chef in the slide show. Her "hot read," hidden in the grill, was Yo! Yes! It is available for check-out in our library.) We also recognized all our new Super Star Crew Members. Through music, celebration, and humor, we started our day in a fun, positive way all together. Our goal is to host one school-wide morning meeting per month.
Meet our new Venable Staff Members
Top Row: Stella Kleinschmidt, 1st grade IA; Colleen Martin, 1st grade teacher; D. Weekly, 1st grade IA.
Middle Row: Damonia Lee, nurse's assistant; Teresa Amasia, iSTEM teacher; Jenny Lowe, special education teacher
Bottom Row: Dré Harris, 1:1 IA, kindergarten; Devin Gentry, kindergarten IA; Susan Northington, 3rd grade teacher