Matoaka Elementary Named 2018-20 National PTA Schools of Excellence

The School Board congratulated two WJCC schools and their PTA organizations for being named 2018-20 National PTA Schools of Excellence. Schools receiving this distinction are known for their commitment to build strong family-school partnerships. The recognition is awarded when a PTA and school have achieved high levels of family engagement or when a PTA and school have made substantive, positive improvement in families’ perceptions by the end of the school year.

Pictured: Matoaka Principal Andy Jacobs and PTA President Ally Younica accepted the recognition for Matoaka Elementary.

WJCC Stategic Plan –> Elevate!!!

Matoaka’s Back to School Night Schedule

Hello Matoaka Families!!!

We look forward to seeing everyone Thursday, September 20th at our annual Back to School Night!!!

Our Schedule:

6:00-6:30 – PTA Meeting in our Cafeteria (No access to classrooms at this time)

6:30-7:05 – First Session in Classrooms

7:10-7:45 – Second Session in Classrooms

7:45-8:00 – Flex Time to Visit Other Teachers

**If you are planning to your bring your child(ren), please be prepared to keep your child(ren) with you at all times during our Back to School event.

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Parents, recently you should have received some notification from the Superintendent (Dr. Olwen Herron) regarding  changes to the Division Wellness Policy.  Below, I am providing you with additional information about this policy change.  PLEASE NOTE THAT CUPCAKES AND OTHER SWEET TREATS ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO BE A PART OF ANY SCHOOL-BASED CELEBRATIONS (BIRTHDAYS, HOLIDAY PARTIES, ETC.).

Changes to Wellness Policy: If you read or listened to Dr. Herron’s message in its entirety recently, what I am about to share is not new to you.  However, clarification may be needed.  This past summer, the WJCC School Board approved changes to the division’s Wellness Policy that will impact practices at our school.  While you can read the Student Wellness Policy JHCF ((http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/wjcc/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=98CJXD4F04FC) and supporting Regulation JHCF-R (https://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/wjcc/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=98CK2Q4F74D0) for a full understanding, the biggest change relates to nutrition.  The policy and its supporting regulation are designed to promote eating habits that contribute to students’ long-term health and reduce potential food allergy exposures.  All food available or provided to students during the school day must meet federal Smart Snacks in Schools nutrition standards (for a complete look, please go to: https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/tools-schools-focusing-smart-snacks).  As noted in WJCC’s Frequently Asked Questions (https://wjccschools.org/our-schools/ship/parent-resources/wellness-policy-faqs/#toggle-id-11), cupcakes, cookies, cakes, candy, etc. that do not meet the Smart Snacks guidelines are among items that may no longer be provided to students at school.  To qualify as a compliant Smart Snack food item, a snack or a la carte entrée must first meet the general nutrition standards:

 General Standards
  • Be a grain product that contains 50 percent or more whole grains by weight (have a whole grain as the first ingredient); or
  • Have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product, or a protein food; or
  • Be a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup of fruit and/or vegetable

 

The food must also meet the nutrient standards for calories, sodium, sugar, and fats:

 Nutrient Standards Snack Entree
   Calories 200 calories or less 350 calories or less
   Sodium 200 mg or less 480 mg or less
Total Fat 35% of calories or less 35% of calories or less
Saturated Fat Less than 10% of calories Less than 10% of calories
Trans Fat 0 g 0 g
   Sugar 35% by weight or less 35% by weight or less

 

Here are some important notes regarding this change:

* This only pertains to activities during the school day and not events such as concessions at games, carnivals, festivals, etc. that occur outside of school hours.
* This does not impact what you send with your individual child(ren) for lunch.  While we strongly encourage you to send healthy food and drink options in your child’s lunch, we will not be monitoring individual lunches.
* You may still bring in outside food to feed your child at lunch (i.e. some parents bring McDonald’s or Chick-Fil-A every once in a while for their child).
* You may not send in food that does not meet the smart snacks guidelines to share with other students.  This will most likely impact you, our students, and our teachers in the way we handle classroom celebrations (such as Valentine’s Day, winter break, and fall celebrations) and that of celebrating individual student birthdays.  Parents can no longer bring in the cupcakes and other sugary items that were frequently given out to students in the cafeteria to celebrate birthdays.  As noted in the FAQs, there are opportunities to celebrate birthdays and achievements that do not include food.  Perhaps your child would like the class to have ten minutes of extra recess for his/her birthday, or maybe they would like a family member to come in as a mystery reader for the class.  Some like to give out pencils, erasers, or stickers in place of food.  Examples of these and other ideas are posted for families on the school division website.  School cafeterias will have for sale cupcakes that meet the nutrition regulations and are nut free if you would prefer to stick with this option.   We ask that you communicate with your child’s teacher regarding any birthday celebration to take place in school at least three days in advance as well.  Thank you for helping our school comply with the school division’s Wellness Policy.

2018-19 Back to School Night

Mrs. Miller’s Fifth Grade Code Breakers!

We had to practice our skills for 5th grade success to solve to codes to break out! Great job with your Breakout!

Let’s Stay Safe with Ident-a-kid Visitor Management System

This year at Matoaka Elementary School, we will begin using the Ident-a-kid Visitor Management System.  This electronic management system is located in our front office and is intended to effectively check in and account for all visitors, volunteers, student tardies, student early release/returning to school.

WE WILL BEGIN USING THIS SYSTEM THIS WEEK AND OUR FRONT OFFICE STAFF WILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO ASSIST YOU AS WE ALL BECOME ACCUSTOMED TO THIS NEW SYSTEM.  Because of our consistently very busy end of the day parent pickup time, we will NOT use the Ident-a-kid system – rather continue to use our “non-electronic” process already in place.

If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at school.

https://www.facebook.com/IdentakidSA

Matoaka PTA Appreciates Our Bus Drivers!

Matoaka PTA had a busy first week of school making sure children, teachers, and our WJCC bus drivers were ready for the school year. This morning, PTA Moms boarded each school bus to show their appreciation with special goodie bags. The PTA Moms were so fast that the picture couldn’t focus on them for a clear picture. Thank you Matoaka Bus Drivers!!!

Above and beyond…It’s not just about teaching!

The first week of school has been long, humid, and very hot. Our teachers and students have been troopers and working very hard all week. Andrea Turner is a kindergarten teacher who continues to nurture our new Cardinals even during bus duty. This little kindergarten friend was exhausted and falling asleep while standing up.

Mrs. Turner didn’t hesitate to cradle him so he could be comforted and rest while waiting for his bus. Thank you Matoaka teachers!