Dear D.J. Montague Mustang Families,
Welcome to the 2016 – 2017 school year! We are off to a great start, and I am excited to begin a new school year. I hope the transition back to school has gone smoothly for your family, particularly those of you who are sending a child to school for the first time. The students seem to have adjusted well and are learning classroom and school procedures and routines. We are looking forward to a successful year!
For your safety and the safety of our students and staff, please adhere to the one way flow of traffic in the parking lot. New arrows have been painted as a reminder. This is particularly important during the morning drop off and the afternoon pickup. Additionally, please watch your speed in the parking lot. Thank you.
For students in first – fifth grade, homework will look different from “traditional” homework. While your child will still be expected to read nightly, review notes/flashcards and study for tests, you will not see worksheets. Instead, you will receive a monthly calendar of activities that you may choose to engage in with your child. The activities will connect things learned in school with the real life environment. Some teachers will be sending home similar types of activities! While some activities require only listing, counting or matching, others are designed to encourage higher level thinking and require a great deal of thought and some research. Ideally, your child can chose one activity a night each week. We understand that things will come up and that a night or two will be skipped. That is fine! There is no need to write down or turn in anything. We are hoping that this change will relieve some of the evening stress and demands on “family” time and provide more opportunities for children to play and participate in other activities and for you to be more involved in your child’s education. “School” work may be sent home if your child was not able to complete it at school or was absent. I am attaching the September and October calendars. The calendars can also be found on the school website. Kindergarten teachers will send “Home Fun” each week.
In accordance with the Code of Virginia and Accreditation Standards, one fire drill will be held each week for the first month of school and one each month for the remainder of the school year. Additionally, public schools are now required to conduct two lockdown drills during the first twenty days of school and two during the second semester, one of which must be held in January. The first drill will be held on Thursday, September 15th. Remaining drills will not be announced and will be conducted by members of the James City Police Department. During this and any other drills, parents and visitors will not be permitted to enter the building.
The drill will commence with an announcement over the PA system stating that it is necessary to begin a school wide lockdown. Teachers will check to make sure that classroom door(s) are locked, turn off the lights, cover the window on their classroom door, close the classroom blinds and move students to a space in the room away from the windows and doors. Staff members will check to make sure the building is secured and that the students are not visible from outside the classroom. Although this drill can be frightening, it is necessary that it be held. I am sharing this information with you so you can also speak to your child about the drill and allay any fears he/she may have.
Our PTA is actively engaged in supporting instruction and providing opportunities for families to be engaged in our school. I encourage you to join the PTA and consider serving on a PTA committee.
Back to School Night will be held on Thursday, September 29th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about the curriculum and the daily activities that take place in your child’s class. The evening will begin in the gym with an informational meeting followed by three classroom visitation rotations. The center teachers and resource teachers will be available to meet with you that night.
Mark your calendar . . .
- 18th PTA Mom’s Night Out – J. Crew (4:00 – 8:00 PM)
- 27th Spirit Night – Chick-fil-A – Mooretown Road
- 29th Back to School Night (6:00 – 8:00 PM)
- 10th PTA Meeting – Media Center (4:00 PM)
- 14th Deadline for Reflections entries
- 17th Spirit Night – Chipotle
- 20th Great Shake Out – Earthquake Drill
- 21st Early release – 12:40 Dismissal
It is important that we work together to make this school year a successful one for your child and your family. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or 757-258-3022.