November 2013: Celebrating the World Around Us
Picture Re-Takes and Make-Ups on Nov. 15If you did not have your child's picture taken in October or you are not pleased with the pictures you received, you may have your child's picture retaken on Nov. 15. Flyers are going home this week with all families whose children did not receive pictures during the first round. If you did not receive a flyer and would like one, please contact the office. Pictures are pre-paid.
Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon, Nov. 19
Come enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving lunch with your child on Nov. 19. We are taking orders for adult meals through next Thursday, Nov. 14. Please see theattached flyer and order form. You can print and return it or email the nutrition department directly at Venable.Kitchen@charlottesvilleschools.org with the number of adult meals ($3 each) that you would like to reserve that day. We hope you can join us!
PTO Meeting, Nov. 19, 5:30-6:30pm
Please join us in the school library. Childcare and pizza for children will be provided in the cafeteria.
International Education WeekThe week of Nov. 18-22 is International Education Week. During this week we will have opportunities for families to share their heritage and for students to learn a little more about the diversity of our community and the world around us. Please check your child's Thursday folder and teacher newsletter for information about how you can be involved in International Education Week.
Walking Wednesdays Coming Up
We will hold Walking Wednesdays for the following Wednesdays: Nov. 6, Nov. 20, Dec. 4 and Dec. 18. Buses will drop off at Gordon Ave. library and students will walk to school with staff supervision. Car riders are encouraged to join us for the walk. Inclement weather cancels the Walking Wednesday.
Thank You, Parents for Teacher Conference Day Treats!
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, we were treated to a breakfast feast to get us started for a full day of parent-teacher conferences. Thank you, Nina Barnes and Saranell Hartman for organizing the breakfast for the Venable staff. We feel very loved!
Thank You For An Awesome Walk-A-Thon!
Thank you to Tabitha Enoch, Traci Martin, and the many volunteers who helped with our annual Walk-A-Thon. It was a beautiful day and the event was so well organized that we couldn't help but have a great time. Students ran and walked together, helping to earn money for important PTO initiatives at school. At last count, we had collected about $9000, which is so close to our goal of $10,000. Keep sending in your contributions!
We did not quite make our goal of 200 pledge forms returned, but we got close at 195. The following students were our grade level winners for the most laps completed :
Grit: A Key to Student Success
This past month, we have been talking with students about a character trait that is critical for success as a student and beyond: Grit. Researcher Angela Duckworth calls Grit one of the most important character traits that is correlated with success in school, college and beyond. In a TED talk, she indicates that as a teacher, she noted that intelligence was not the only factor that distinguished students who were successful on academic tasks from those who were not. She indicates that Grit was every bit as much of a factor in whether students mastered material.
Students who show grit finish whatever they begin. They try very hard, even if they experience failure at first, and they work independently with focus. Grit is correlated with our beginning of the year conversation with students about their Hopes and Dreams for the year and for their lives: keeping their eye on those goals helps them to accomplish the smaller tasks it takes to meet those goals, even if they are difficult. One of our teachers defines the word "fail" in a way that supports this idea: FAIL = First Attempt In Learning. While our goal is not to have students experience failure on a regular basis, we do want students to recognize all serious attempts as fruitful and a stepping stone toward an important end goal.
One way that you can help your child strengthen his or her "grit" is to praise a strong effort. Ask your child what he or she can do now that didn't seem possible before that effort. Celebrate approximations of success--getting closer and closer. Tell stories about a time that you had to persevere and may not have been successful after multiple attempts, but you learned something you could apply later. Some books our faculty recommended for discussing Grit include Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and Salt In His Shoes.
Activity Bus Schedule Modified
The Venable Activity Bus runs on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, taking students home from clubs. Because we have different clubs running each day, the students who ride and the stops that are necessary change according to the day. The transportation department has adjusted the stops and the order that they will be made, effective this week. Students in clubs were given a paper copy of the adjusted route week before last, but we are adding them to this website as well. The driver's name is Katie Jarrell. She is scheduled to pick up students at Venable at 4:30pm. Please note that while we attempt to anticipate which stops are needed each day (see the route document), drop-off times will vary according to which students are on the bus each day.