Coates Family Newsletter for 6-17

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Coates Families,

It’s been about a week since the last day of school, and I want to express appreciation and provide some guidance on summer and the (more-normal) school year ahead.

First, thanks to all of you for your work as co-teachers at home this year.  I’ve written a lot about this in the past, but it cannot be overstated.  I also commend our amazing staff, whether they taught virtually or in-person (or some mix of the two).  Everyone stepped up and turned lemons into lemonade.   Somehow, even with the massive challenges and constantly-changing landscape, we managed to give life to our Home-School Compact.  I’m proud be part of a community where the partnership between parents and teachers is real and so positive!

On a related note, thanks to the parents and teachers of our (former) 6th graders.  We LOVED the 6th grade promotion ceremony last week, and we were pleased to offer a concurrent ceremony and have so many kids and parents come in-person to our live event.  It was a beautiful program, and it was a pleasure to maintain this annual, special event that honors our oldest stars!  That big tent was pretty cool too!

I imagine you’re wondering what to expect next school year and what you might do to prepare your child, so here goes:  Next year, expect 5 days of in-person school with all subjects being taught each day.  The bell schedule returns to our normal, 9:00-4:00.  Will there be safety measures in place at school?  I expect there will be, and Coates will tightly implement them once FCPS and the health department determine the appropriate ones for fall.  I further expect that our staff will be ready to differentiate instruction in each classroom so that we can teach the grade level curriculum and more (we continue to have so many students in need of enrichment) and to work closely with students on skills that need to more teaching. 

If you’re worried about how the wide range of academic levels in each class impacts your child’s learning, let me say this:  Our teachers have always been skilled at managing different groups of students.  Coates has always had AAP students, English learners, special needs students, etc. sharing the same space.  There are social and academic benefits to having heterogeneous classes – it’s shaped the accepting culture at Coates for years.  Our staff is well-versed in using a workshop model that moves the grade level curricula forward each day and incorporates regular, small group instruction on each child’s level.  We’ve got this!

Expect that we’ll focus a lot on rebuilding social skills.  Communication skills is a major trait on the Coates Mission, and our teachers embrace teaching this life skill.  We expect that many students will need opportunities to practice after coming back to in-person school, and we’ll have lots of activities to accomplish this.

We’re also committed to promoting social-emotional learning and nurturing the wellness of all our kids as we get back to normal.  Expect regular lessons on managing stress, healthy self-concept, and opportunities to connect with classmates in positive ways.

It’ll be an interesting year with lots to teach and reteach, and it may take a little longer than usual to set the stage, but we’ll get it done.  The good news is that teaching works, and we have the best teachers.

 So, what can you do to prepare your child for next school year?  I propose the following:

  1. READ all the time. Make sure your kids read.  You read to them.  We have a terrific, specific system for you on the Coates website so you can do this well at home.  Click here.
  2. As August 23 approaches, say things to get your children excited about school. You may need to promote and sell the idea of school more than ever if your child has been off-site for a long time.  This can help minimize the separation anxiety that we may see in August.
  3. Get your kids out of the house. Be active so they get exercise.  Be social so that any isolation they’ve been experiencing is lessened.  This will mentally prepare them for joining a new class of more than 20 students two months from now.

You could do a hundred other things as well.  But I’m keeping this list small on purpose because your kids need a summer too.  Enjoy it with them!

Sincerely,

Jesse Kraft, Proud Principal

 

Below are some other important announcements. 

Summer Office Hours

The main office continues to be open, but our hours are reduced, and some services are limited.  We are open Monday-Friday from 9:00-2:00 or by appointment.  Call the Coates office at 703-713-3000.

Registration for New Students

If you have new friends or neighbors who’ve moved into the Coates boundary, we need them to come to school to register.  The first step is to go to this page and get started.  Then Mrs. Marney will be in contact to set up an appointment to complete paperwork.

It’s important that new parents register ASAP.  Last-minute registrations suggest to FCPS that our enrollment is low and could result in the de-staffing of teachers.  Please spread the word and encourage registration!

New Kindergartners Playdates

Our new kindergartners are invited to the following events to see the school and make friends:

July 14                   Playdate on the Playground, 6-7:00 PM

July 21                   Playdate on the Playground, 6-7:00 PM

Aug. 11                 Read Aloud in the Library, 10-10:45

On a related note, we ask that new Kindergarten parents mark their calendars for the following:

August 19            Back to School Night for Kindergarten & 1st Grade Parents, 6-7:30

August 23            First Day of School

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
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Power Out at Coates ES

GovDelivery 2 weeks 2 days ago

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Coates Parents,

This is to inform you that electric power is out at Coates.  The problem is being addressed, but we have teachers working in the school who may not be able to access our internet connection to teach online.  If your child logs in and the teacher is not present, please log off and check again later.  We appreciate your patience.

 

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
Report Absence Online  |  Attendance Phone: 703.713.3030
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Coates Family Newsletter for 6/4

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Coates Families,

First, THANKS to Coates PTA for putting together one of our best events in the five years I’ve been at Coates.  Tonight’s Popsicle Party (what a simple concept!) was a blast (see Coates social media for pics)!  So many families showed up to see friends, ride bikes, enjoy music, and remember what a great time we have together at Coates.  Loved seeing everyone’s smiling faces!

Now onto less joyful business.  At the end of each school year, we say farewell to some staff members.  Some retire.  Some move away.  Some transfer to other schools for new opportunities or to work closer to home.   We support our staff if they move on to new adventures, but we’re sad to say goodbye.  If you have had the pleasure of knowing or working with any of these stars, please extend your appreciation and best wishes.  Their email addresses can be found here.

Farewell and congratulations to the following retirees: Mrs. Joan Fotopoulos, ESOL teacher; Mrs. Marianne Pendlebury, speech teacher; Mrs. Carole Puckett, reading specialist; Sharon Satyshur, kindergarten assistant.

We wish all the best to Mrs. Suz Eisenbach, autism teacher (moving to new school), Mrs. Theresa Geissler, special education teacher (moving to middle school), Mrs. Josie Mani, advanced academics teacher (moving to a school closer to home), Mrs. Taylor McMahon, 2nd grade (moving out of state), Mr. Travis Smith, 3rd grade (moving to LCPS, closer to home).

We have been working hard to hire new teachers to fill in behind these great teachers, and I’m confident that the new faces on our staff in 2021-22 will fit our hard-working and caring school culture!

The final week is upon us!  Finish Strong.

Jesse Kraft, Principal

Jessica King, Ass’t Principal

Mark Your Calendars

June 7                   Final Monday Meetups (optional for students)

June 8                   Election Day, No In-Person Classes – All classes virtual

June 9                   6th Grade Promotion Ceremony, 2-3:00

June 11                 Final Day of School, Dismissal at 2:15

June 11                 Return Laptops & Chargers, 2:30-6:00

Library Books

Please return all library books to school ASAP.  We need to inventory our collection before closing school for the summer!

Returning Laptops & Chargers

On June 11, teachers of in-person students will collect their FCPS laptops and chargers.  Parents of virtual students must bring their child’s laptop & charger to school between 2:30-6:00 PM on June 11.  We expect that the laptop will have some wear-and-tear.  Please do not clean the laptop unless you have safe cleaning supplies that will not damage the device (when in doubt, do not clean).

Our laptop collection event will be a drive-though process with no appointment needed.  Use the Kiss & Ride parking lot.

If you are a virtual parent, and you cannot make it to school on June 11, we can give you an alternate appointment.  Please contact our tech specialist, Mr. Lucero at maluceroangu@fcps.edu .

Final Monday Meetups

Our staff will host our final virtual Monday Meetups for interested students on June 7.  Same schedule always!  Say goodbye to friends, share contact info, and have some social time!

 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th from 11 to 11:30   /   K, 1st, & 2nd from 11:30 to 12

Same links as always.  Teachers will share via Talking Points this weekend.

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
Report Absence Online  |  Attendance Phone: 703.713.3030
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Coates Family Newsletter for 5/28

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Coates Families,

The teachers know that I don’t like “countdowns” to the last day of school.  I think it puts a little too much celebration into school being over for the summer.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s only human for our hard-working teachers to look forward to a break from work and for kids to look forward to a break from school, but I also know that our staff will miss our kids, and kids will miss their classmates & teachers and the everyday structure and safety that school provides.  It’s always bittersweet, especially for our 6th graders, who have outgrown the place and are moving on to middle school and beyond.  We’re preparing ourselves to miss them.

Like it or not, we’re entering the final two weeks of school, with only 7 of them being in-person school days (remember that election day on 6/8 is virtual for all students).  Time is flying!

Please note the following important announcements.  Let us know if you have any questions.  Mentally prepare for the final days of school and a summer of more normal possibilities!

Jesse Kraft, Proud Principal (jkraft@fcps.edu )

Jessica King, Ass’t Principal (jaking@fcps.edu)

 

Mark Your Calendars

May 28                 Final Day to Checkout Library Books

May 31                 Memorial Day Holiday – No Classes

June 4                   PTA Popsicle Party – ALL are Welcome!  6-7:00

June 7                   Final Monday Meetups (optional for students)

June 8                   Election Day, No In-Person Classes – All classes virtual

June 9                   6th Grade Promotion Ceremony, 2-3:00

June 11                 Final Day of School, Dismissal at 2:15

June 11                 Return Laptops & Chargers, 2:30-6:00

Reminder: Parent Input (Optional) Form Due Today

Each year, we invite parents to provide input on their children’s placement for the following school year.  At Coates, the administration works with all teachers at the grade level to talk about each child and propose positive peer groups (academic & social) and consider the many other factors that go into class creation (teacher match, boy/girl mix, no isolation by race, religion, culture, separation from friends who distract, parent input, etc.).  Please feel free to provide your input on this form by May 28.

Returning Laptops & Chargers

On June 11, teachers of in-person students will collect their FCPS laptops and chargers.  Parents of virtual students must bring their child’s laptop & charger to school between 2:30-6:00 PM on June 11.  We expect that the laptop will have some wear-and-tear.  Please do not clean the laptop unless you have safe cleaning supplies that will not damage the device (when in doubt, do not clean).

Our laptop collection event will be a drive-though process with no appointment needed. 

If you are a virtual parent, and you cannot make it to school on June 11, we can give you an alternate appointment.  Please contact our tech specialist, Mr. Lucero at maluceroangu@fcps.edu .

Library Books

Today is the final day that students may check-out or place “holds” on Coates library books in the Destiny system.  It’s imperative that books be returned by June 4 so that we may inventory the entire collection before the school year ends.  

FCPS Summer Practice Books

In June, FCPS will be sending Summer Practice books to all families.  Most will receive them by US mail.  Some will receive links to them through email.  Completion of these Language Arts & Math books is optional, but I recommend that your children do at least some of the activities throughout the long summer.  We want to keep their skills sharp!

If you want more information on summer practice books, go here

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
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For Coates Families - About SOL Testing

GovDelivery 4 weeks 2 days ago

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Coates Families,

A Note About SOL Testing

As you know, state testing requirements in grades 3-6 were in-effect across all public elementary schools in Virginia this year.  Thanks to the many virtual students who came on-site to participate (on Mondays, usually), and thanks to our staff for administering the SOL tests to all students in accordance with the many rules and conditions required for test security.  It’s a bigger undertaking and more complex logistical challenge than people realize, especially this year.

But there’s a few things I’d like all parents to know about SOL testing:

  1. This year, the state will NOT use SOL test scores to determine state accreditation for schools.  We were required to administer the tests, but they’re not being used the same way as in the past.  So why did they require schools to give the test (remember that testing was waived last year)?  The VA Dept of Education says it was to measure learning loss.  I’m not sure if and how they’ll report schoolwide SOL pass rates this year, and I’m not actively concerning myself with it.  See why below.
  2. Our normal, good conditions for teaching and learning were nonexistent for most of the school year for all students.  I believe that the Coates staff did a tremendous job with virtual, hybrid, concurrent and in-person (with mitigation measures) programming, but nothing compares with “the real thing.”  I also thank parents for the sheer volume of teaching they needed to do from home despite your own busy schedules.  You did a great job too, but managing your child’s participation in live lessons and completion of assignments is a full-time commitment (and an unreasonable expectation).
  3. We scheduled testing earlier than we have in previous years.  Scheduling both in-person & virtual students in available spaces made our testing calendar span a longer timeframe.  When you test earlier, you lose instruction time leading up to the test.
  4. SOL test scores have never translated into grades on students’ progress reports in elementary school.  They certainly will not do so this year either.

I hope that SOL scores do not cause stress for any student or parent.  As a parent myself, I really tried to downplay SOL tests this year with my own children.  However, since we tend to train our kids to take “big tests” very seriously, I know that some students experienced notable anxiety while taking SOLs and that some will feel it when they see results.  Please join me in minimizing the importance of these tests.

Please know that I am not anti-standardized testing.  Many of you know that I’ve taken pride in Coates students’ rising tests scores over the years.  I look forward to getting back to normal schooling next year and re-engaging in our normal process of teaching and assessing in more normal conditions.

Final note: the staff and I know that there are skill areas to address with our students next school year due to the pandemic.  We’ve done our own assessments all year, and we’ll be ready to continue to fill gaps and keep moving forward.  Having all students onsite, physically in front of their teachers, receiving the social and academic benefits of 5-days/week of school will be tremendous for all of us.

Proud of your kids & their teachers (Coates teachers and you),

Jesse Kraft, Principal

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
Report Absence Online  |  Attendance Phone: 703.713.3030
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Coates Family Newsletter 5/13/2021

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Coates Families,
Lots going on! Thanks for all your efforts to stay connected. Please read below and let us know if you have any questions.

Jesse Kraft, Principal (jkraft@fcps.edu )

Jessica King, Ass’t Principal (jaking@fcps.edu )

PTA Spirit Night & Fundraiser

Join us this Monday, May 17 at Chick-Fil-A, Chantilly Air & Space (3454 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly 20151). Drive-thru or outdoor dining. A percentage of sales from 4-8:00 PM will go to the Coates PTA (which means it’s ultimately going to students). Be sure to mention Coates spirit night when making your order. You can also use the app and type in Coates spirit night with your order.

Virtual Program Enrollment.

Information on the Virtual Program enrollment process for the 2021-2022 School Year

Parents who are interested in applying for their children to be in FCPS’s virtual school program next year should read the information on this site (link), including links to enroll.  This will be a small program, and only students who have documented medical needs that meet the criteria will qualify.  Since the creation of this district-run virtual program requires teachers to staff it, enrollment applications are due very soon (May 17-28 is the enrollment window). 

We expect that the vast majority of FCPS students will be in-person, 5-days-per week students next year.  If that is your plan for your child, there is no need to use the link above.

Parent Input – Class Placements for 2020-21

Each year, we invite parents to provide input on their children’s placement for the following school year.  At Coates, the administration works with all teachers at the grade level to talk about each child and propose positive peer groups (academic & social) and consider the many other factors that go into class creation (teacher match, boy/girl mix, no isolation by race, religion, culture, separation from friends who distract, parent input, etc.).  Please feel free to provide your input on this form by May 28.

Mark Your Calendars

May 17 PTA Spirit Night – Chick-Fil-A, Chantilly Air & Space, 4-8:00 PM

May 24  Kindergarten Orientation, 6-7:00 PM (virtual meeting, link)

June 4   PTA Popsicle Party (Front Parking Lot), 6-7:00 PM

June 8   Election Day – No In-Person Classes; All Classes Virtual

June 9   6th Grade Promotion Ceremony, 2-3:00 on Blacktop (In-Person & Virtual)

June 11 Final Day of School; Dismissal at 2:15;  All Virtual Families Return Laptops to School, 2:30-6:30

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
Report Absence Online  |  Attendance Phone: 703.713.3030
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Power Back On

GovDelivery 1 month 1 week ago

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Coates Families,

Electric power was restored fully at about 12:30.  We operated on our regular schedules at school, lunch was served as usual, and most (but not all) concurrent virtual classes were able to connect this morning.  Thanks to the kids and teachers for adapting so easily.  So you know, emergency (back-up) power was maintained this morning so there was low lighting in hallway bathrooms, the lobby and other key places.

Expect a normal afternoon in all classrooms, virtual and in-person.  The phone lines in the main office are operational again.

Thank you,

Jesse Kraft, Principal

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
Report Absence Online  |  Attendance Phone: 703.713.3030
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Power Out at Coates

GovDelivery 1 month 1 week ago

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Coates Families,

This is to inform you that the electric power is out at Coates and the surrounding area.  Dominion Power has technicians onsite working to restore power, and we hope to have it back soon.  All kids are safe and in-person classes are starting as planned.

This power issue is affecting our internet connection at school.  Virtual classes that have in-person teachers may not have a synchronous lesson to start their day because the teacher cannot connect.  I ask that students attempt to join their class on BBCU.  If there is no teacher, please go to Google Classroom and begin asynchronous (independent) work assignments. 

When power is restored, we will send another message.  

Thanks for your patience.

 

Jesse Kraft, Principal

 

 

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
Report Absence Online  |  Attendance Phone: 703.713.3030
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Coates Family Newsletter for 5/6

GovDelivery 1 month 2 weeks ago

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Coates Families,

We are finishing up Teacher Appreciation Week, and we want to thank you and your kids for the many gestures of thanks you’ve directed toward our awesome staff!  It’s not too late to write your teacher a note (drop off paper notes at school or email if you’re virtual), chalk the sidewalk in front of the school with a thank you message, or otherwise show appreciation.  If you want to “go big” and post a public recognition of a Coates star, use the FCPS Cares page (link).  We love to see our staff’s names there!

Special THANKS to the Coates PTA & also Open Door Presbyterian Church for feeding our staff this week!

Important announcements below.  Take care!

Jesse Kraft, Proud Principal of The Best Teachers & Staff in FCPS & Beyond

Applying for FCPS Virtual Program in 2021-22

Please check your inbox for emails from FCPS and Principal Kraft explaining the small, very limited plan for virtual school for qualifying students next year.  The majority of FCPS students will report to in-person school 5 days per week starting August 23.  Some students with documented medical conditions may qualify for a district-run virtual program.  The email includes a link to an “intent to apply” form (due this week) plus the eligibility form.  If you did not receive it, please contact the office at 703-713-3000.  Deadlines are quickly approaching.

PTA Spirit Night & Fundraiser

Consider eating out on Monday, May 17 at Chick-Fil-A, Chantilly Air & Space (3454 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly 20151).  A percentage of sales from 4-8:00 PM will go to the Coates PTA (which means it’s ultimately going to students).

Be sure to mention Coates spirit night when making your order. You can also use the app and type in Coates spirit night with your order. Show your school pride and wear our school colors showing our school spirit. 

Other PTA News

Executive Board Elections – in a typical year, spring would be a time to nominate and elect new PTA officers.  Since we were not able to run our many family events this year and we’ve had less opportunity for parents to come together at school, the current PTA board members will maintain their offices through the summer.  Elections will be held early in the fall.  If you have questions or would like to learn more, please contact Mrs. Bowman, our president (coatesptapresident@gmail.com ) or Mrs. Kelly, our VP (coatesptavpfundraising@gmail.com ).

Free Popsicle Party on June 4 from 6-7:00 - Just a simple outdoor gathering with music, chalk drawing, and popsicles provided to all kids by PTA.  The parking lot will be blocked off so bring your bike and come hang out with your friends!  Outdoor event but masks still required at this time.

Laptop Returns

On June 11 (final day of school), all students will return their FCPS laptops to school.  In-person students will have their laptops & power cords collected by their teachers during the day.  Parents of virtual students must bring their laptops, power cords, & mifi devices (if applicable) to Coates between 2:30-6:30 PM.  We must begin our inventory and repair process.

If you cannot return your child’s laptop and power cord on June 11, please contact our office so that we can set an appointment for you to return it.

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
Report Absence Online  |  Attendance Phone: 703.713.3030
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Sad News

GovDelivery 1 month 3 weeks ago

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Coates Families,

Yesterday, we learned that Mrs. Kelsey Burch, our band teacher for 5th & 6th grades, passed away after her yearlong battle with cancer.

Mrs. Burch served as the band teacher at Coates for the last 4 years while also teaching band at other elementary schools in FCPS including Sunrise Valley ES & Vienna ES.  She led the band program at Sunrise Valley ES in Reston for the last decade.  She is a product of FCPS herself, having attending Sunrise Valley, Langston Hughes MS, & South Lakes HS as a student.  She was widely respected by colleagues and loved by her students.  At Sunrise Valley ES, the band room will be named in her honor, and they are developing a band-inspired mural.

At Coates, our school counselors will be in contact with each student of Mrs. Burch this week to explain the event and offer support if needed.  

As a Coates community, we extend our thoughts and prayers to Mrs. Burch and her family.

With Sympathy,

Jesse Kraft, Principal

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
Report Absence Online  |  Attendance Phone: 703.713.3030
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Coates Family Newsletter for 4/30

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Coates Families,

I have lots of important announcements this week.  But first, our most important one:  Next week, May 3-7 is Teacher Appreciation Week!  Here’s how you can encourage your children to celebrate:

In addition, let’s do the following:

Teachers are heroes so on Tuesday, we encourage all kids to wear something superhero-themed!

If you live nearby, we will have sidewalk chalk available after school.  We invite you to write messages that say THANK YOU to teachers in front of the school.  Doors 1 & 2 are the most common entrances for the staff, and it would be great if they could see some messages as they come to work each day.

The flyer asks for notes and messages from students.  If you’re a virtual family, you can certainly send appreciation messages virtually. You may also drop off paper notes in the “mailbox” we’ll have in front of the school next week.

FYI:  Coates PTA, church partner Open Door, & our office team are doing little things to appreciate teachers all week too.  But the best appreciation comes from kids.  Please encourage your child to participate in the activities on the flyer!

Positivity Project & Combating Bias & Racism

During this week’s focus on PURPOSE and next week’s focus on LEADERSHIP, Coates teachers will continue our habit of promoting these character strengths and connecting them appropriately to current events.  We are having discussions in class on racism, social injustice, and how to combat them.  See Coates social media for one example of how we address these critical topics and affirm the experiences and awesomeness of all students.  More to come.

Interim Progress Reports

Students in need of improvement will receive an interim report on Thursday.  Parents should watch their emails since we cannot easily send interims via Talking Points texts.  Interims are not official grade reports.  They are informal, mid-quarter reports that are intended to help students make improvements before the end of the quarter.  You may always leverage the interim to request a conference with your teacher.

June 8 – No In-Person School in FCPS

Tuesday, June 8 is Election Day, and 165 schools in FCPS will be polling locations (including Coates).  For this reason, there will be no in-person class on that day.  All classes will be virtual and follow their regular schedule.

SOL Testing in Grades 3-6

Coates is administering SOL tests.  The schedule was sent out in previous messages, but it is also on our website.  Testing always disrupts our schedule of regular lessons.  Sorry for this inconvenience.

The 2021-22 School Year

Please be on the lookout for information regarding FCPS’s plan for school next year.  Dr. Brabrand, our superintendent, has made it clear that FCPS will have 5 days of in-person school for students beginning in August.  We look forward to getting back to a new normal.  There may be limited opportunities for virtual school for students with documented medical needs.  Once formal, detailed plans for 2021-22 are published, our administration will offer meetings where parents may learn more and we will complement the district’s messaging to ensure that we all are informed.

Mark Your Calendars

May 3-7    Teacher Appreciation Week!

May 6       Interim Reports for Some Students

May 24     Virtual Kindergarten Orientation, 6-7:00 PM

June 8      State Elections; No In-Person School.  All Classes Virtual.

June 9      6th Grade Promotion Ceremony, 2-3:00 PM

June 11   Final Day of School, Dismissal at 2:15 ; Progress Reports Sent Home

June 11   Virtual Students to return FCPS laptops to school, 2:30-7:00

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
Report Absence Online  |  Attendance Phone: 703.713.3030
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Coates Family Newsletter for 4/22

GovDelivery 2 months ago

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Coates Families,

As Dr. Brabrand shared in his message this week, we are all still processing the verdict from the Derek Chauvin trial.  We know this is compounded by ongoing societal issues like recent hate crimes against Asian Americans, recent mass shootings, and the continued dialogue around social injustices to name a few.  These are all significant events that carry emotional weight.

As a school community, we must unite in the ongoing work that needs to be done to broaden our perspectives and work actively against racism.  I’m always proud of the equity work the Coates staff has done and how it has positively impacted their work with our students and families.  We are far from perfect, and we’re not done working on ourselves.  Bias against others can be hard to detect.  We strive to form a habit of vigilant self-awareness, constant empathy for others, and fair & candid talk about racism and bias.

We’ll never be able to do this without insights from you and constant work from our staff. 

With this in mind, I share the following plans:

  1. Look for a flyer on Coates social media inviting families and staff to process current events and share stories and ideas. The more we learn about what our families experience, the better we can advocate for our kids.  You may recall our African American Parent Panel from last August and our Home-School Compact work from last year.   These meetings made us a better, more understanding school community.  Virtual meeting date TBA soon.
  2. Coates teachers will be using our class meeting times in the next two weeks to address current events and talk about bias, racism, and examples of social injustice (in an age-appropriate way). We have done this periodically throughout the year.  Our Positivity Project character strengths are PURPOSE next week and LEADERSHIP starting May 3.  Both traits lend themselves to teaching kids how to detect and self-detect bias and to stand up for what’s right.

If you have any questions about these plans, let me know.  If you ever have insights to share that would help us with the work outlined above, you do not need to wait for a formal meeting.  Let us know.

We appreciate you.

Jesse Kraft, Proud Principal (jkraft@fcps.edu )

Jessica King, Proud Ass’t Principal (jaking@fcps.edu )

Congratulations to Mr. Chierichella!

As you’ve seen on Coates Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, 5th grade teacher Mr. C was awarded the First Class Award at the FCPS Special Education Conference this past weekend.  He earns this distinction for amazing teamwork with colleagues and his inclusive approach to teaching and holding ALL kids to high standards.  We’re proud of him (but not surprised that he’s been recognized for this)!

Office Assistants Appreciation Week

We’re so thankful for our fabulous office team – Mrs. Fran Peckham (admin assistant), Mrs. Amy Marney (registrar), & Mrs. Pat Schools, Mrs. Doris Velez, & Mrs. Ashya Otero (office assistants).  Working with Mrs. Solangie McPherson (parent liaison), they are the nerve center of the school, the front line for parents, and the workforce behind most operations.  For most of the pandemic, they’ve been onsite full-time, serving our community, and keeping us afloat – staying positive the whole time!  Feel free to send them note of appreciation!

Kindergarten Orientation

A virtual Kindergarten Orientation will take place on May 24 from 6-7:00 PM.  Rising Kindergarten parents will learn about Coates, the Kindergarten experience, and other important information.  The link to this virtual meeting will be transmitted via News You Choose email closer to the date.  New kindergarten parents must come to school to register, but they can get started here

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
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Coates Family Newsletter - 4/16/2021

GovDelivery 2 months 1 week ago

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Coates Families,

I hope you’re having a great week.   We sure are!  I’ve seen great examples of learning in our virtual classes and we’ve seen lots of kids doing a great job on campus.  As you know, we hhave been able to invite many students to 4 days of in-person instruction.  We know that we have not done enough, and I regret that in some grade levels, we have less capacity to invite students than in others.  I appreciate your understanding.  If circumstances change, we will invite even more students to four days of in-person school. 

Please read on for important information.  As always, ask any questions.  Thanks for all that you do.

Jesse Kraft, Proud Principal

Student Intention Form

Every year, all schools in FCPS conduct a student intention survey to help us allocate personnel, equipment, and other resources for the following year.

Please complete the following google survey by May 28.   Link to Survey.  It’s important that ALL parents complete this survey.

6th Grade Promotion Ceremony

6th grade parents, we are planning our promotion ceremony.  Specific details are being worked out, but for now, please mark your calendars for the afternoon of Wednesday, June 9 (exact time TBD).  The ceremony will be virtual and in-person (with limited seating for parents of in-person students).

Kindergarten Orientation

We have been accepting registrations for our 2021-22 kindergarten classes.  We will also be offering a virtual Kindergarten Orientation on May 24 from 6-7:00 PM.  Rising Kindergarten parents will learn about Coates, the Kindergarten experience, and other important information.  The link to this virtual meeting will be transmitted via News You Choose email closer to the date.  If you have friends and neighbors in the Coates boundary who have a child who will turn 5 by September 30, please encourage them to call the Coates office at (703) 713-3000 to make an appointment to register and tell them to come to our orientation.  They can also get started here

When You Contact the Office or Principals…

We appreciate when our parents call or email the principals (Mr. Kraft & Mrs. King) and any of our office assistants to ask questions, share information, or get help.  If you contact us, please state your child’s name, grade level, and teacher.  This can help us better address your question or concern.

Message for Kiss & Ride Parents

With more students attending in-person school, our Kiss & Ride traffic is growing.  If you use our K&R to pick up your children at dismissal, please follow the staff member’s directions and pull your car up as far as possible when picking up (go all the way to the sign past the benches if you can).  Pulling up allows more cars in the back of the line to move from River Birch Road into our lot, freeing up traffic.  Thank you!

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
Report Absence Online  |  Attendance Phone: 703.713.3030
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Coates Families - Message for In-Person Program Families

GovDelivery 2 months 2 weeks ago

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Coates Families,

Welcome back from spring break!  I’m sure that many of you have seen the e-Notify email from Superintended Brabrand (sent yesterday around 3:50) regarding the updated CDC guidelines and how it affects in-person students’ experience at school.  This message is intended to explain how that applies to Coates.  Much of my message below is repeating what I wrote in my News You Choose email message from March 26, when we were anticipating applying these reductions in social distancing.

We are now free to reduce our distance between students in class from 6 feet to 3 feet, but we must maintain at least 6 feet between them when their masks are removed.  Since most of our classes continue to have their lunch time in their classroom (and lunch is an obvious mask break), we continue to have our desks 6 feet apart in most spaces.

We have been using the Coates cafeteria for lunch since Return to School started, but we could only accommodate 2 classes at a time without distancing practices (previously 10 feet).  We have reduced the spacing to 6 feet in the cafeteria, and this allows us to fit 3 classes there simultaneously.  That is still not enough to host all classes with the same lunch time.  Therefore, most classes are on a rotation schedule – some days having lunch in their classroom and some days in the cafeteria.  For context: pre-pandemic, we would routinely fit 2 grade levels into the cafeteria for lunch at the same time – usually 8 classes.  The timeframe for lunch for K-6th grades is from 11:30-2:40 already so we are not able to spread it out further.

I share this so that you realize that there are conditions that make a 4-day program for all in-person students challenging, and we cannot, at this time, offer 4 days onsite to all in-person students.

We are, of course, committed to filling seats and maximizing our capacity for in-person school.  This week, we have been analyzing student academic needs and will be inviting in-person students to 4 days per week of school based on that.  There is no parent application process, but, as always, I invite parents to email me and Mrs. King whenever they have requests of any kind.  Please bear in mind, that we may not be able to accommodate all requests.  The deadline has passed for virtual parents to request in-person, but we maintain our waitlist of parents who requested before March 26.

Thanks for your understanding.

Jesse Kraft, Principal (jkraft@fcps.edu)

Jessica King, Ass’t Principal (jaking@fcps.edu )

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
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Information on Advanced Academics Programs

GovDelivery 2 months 4 weeks ago

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SPRING SCHOOL-BASED AAP SERVICES NEWSLETTER ARTICLE

 

ADVANCED ACADEMIC PROGRAMS (AAP)

SCREENING FOR SCHOOL-BASED (LEVEL II-III) SERVICES

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) offers a continuum of advanced academic services for all students in grades K-8.  Learning experiences are designed to develop higher-level thinking through enrichment, acceleration, and extensions of the Program of Studies (POS).  Teachers, administrators, and advanced academic resource teachers (AARTs) work together to provide the following levels of school-based services in each elementary school:

 

  • Critical and Creative Thinking Lessons, Grades K-6 (Level I)

All students in kindergarten through grade six receive level I services which consist of model lessons that are designed to teach critical and creative thinking skills.  The lessons are modeled in all classrooms by AARTs and the thinking strategies are then used throughout the year by classroom teachers and other teachers who work with students. Student responses to these model lessons are used as part of the identification process for AAP services.  Parents may also practice the thinking strategies during family conversations and activities.  A description of the nine critical and creative thinking strategies can be found at https://www.fcps.edu/academics/elementary-school-academics-k-6/advanced-academics/critical-and-creative-thinking

  • Differentiated Lessons in Areas of Academic Strength, Grades K-6 (Level II)

The AART collaborates with classroom teachers to provide additional challenge through lessons and resources that extend and enrich the POS.  Level II services are part of a talent development pool.  Students are rescreened annually to make decisions about the need for this level of service.

  • Part-Time Advanced Academic Programs, Grades 3-6 (Level III)

Students identified by a local school screening committee for part-time advanced academic services are challenged through models and strategies designed to extend and enrich the POS in the four core subject areas.  Students receive direct instruction from the AART at the local school using curriculum from the AAP Curriculum and Resources to Support the Differentiated Framework.  Students identified for Level III services continue to receive level III services through grade 6.

 

Screening for school-based services can happen at any time during the school year but is done schoolwide in spring to determine services for the next school year.  Parents or guardians may initiate the screening for school-based (level II and III) services by submitting the AAP School-Based Services (Level II-III) Referral Form (available at https://www.fcps.edu/registration/advanced-academics-identification-and-placement/elementary-school/current-fcps at the bottom of the page in Forms) to the AART at Coates prior to spring screening by April 15, 2021.   Multiple criteria are used to screen students for all levels of AAP services.  Parents or guardians who submit a referral will be notified by Coates ES of their student’s eligibility status by June 4, 2021.

If a parent or guardian wishes to appeal an ineligible decision, they may submit an appeal with new data for consideration by the local school screening committee.  This new information should be submitted to Ms. Josie Mani (jtmani@fcps.edu )

If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Mani.

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
Report Absence Online  |  Attendance Phone: 703.713.3030
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Coates Family Newsletter for 3/26

GovDelivery 2 months 4 weeks ago

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Coates Families,

As we finish the third quarter and get ready for Spring Break, I want to express my thanks for all that you have done to support Coates over the past year since our operations were compromised by the pandemic.  As we come into the final quarter, we are committed to finishing strong!

This means that student participation is more important than ever.  If your child is in our virtual program, please continue to make sure s/he is online on time for lessons and be especially vigilant about small groups or one-on-one times with the teacher.  Not sure when your teacher has your child scheduled for these?  Ask them via Talking Points.  We want to make the most out of these final 10 weeks of school, especially in reading.

We are also planning and scheduling our end of the year and summer programs.  Please continue to follow News You Choose emails and Talking Points texts from teachers to stay up to date.  There are many traditional end-of-the-year events that we cannot do (Field Day, traditional yearbooks, etc.), but there are other events that remain, including SOL testing, 6th Grade Promotion Ceremony, Kindergarten Orientation, class projects, etc.  Watch for more information on these.

Today is the deadline for parents to request a change from virtual school to in-person for their children.  As you know from my previous messages, we have accommodated parent requests where there has been space.  Moving forward, I hope to have direction from FCPS leadership to invite some in-person students to come to school more than 2 days per week where we have space and staffing.  There is no parent application process for this.  Principals would invite students based on significant learning needs.

As you may have heard, the CDC has revised guidance on social distancing in schools (3 ft between desks is allowable in class; 6 ft at lunch).  This is overall good news, and it allows our in-person staff to make some learning spaces better for kids.  We will take advantage of this allowance where practicable, but I want our in-person parents to know that we are committed to going beyond the minimum spacing requirements with our classroom seating arrangements.  Where classes are using their classroom for lunch, we must continue to keep their desks 6 feet apart since lunch is a mask break.  On a related note, I’m pleased with how vigilant the staff and students have been with maintaining good safety procedures.  I’ve observed it myself and the outside inspection teams that visit us (all schools get unannounced visits from teams that inspect and report on our enforcement of mitigation measures) have consistently given us high ratings and good feedback.

I hope that you enjoy Spring Break with your children.  There are no asynchronous work assignments from teachers until we get back to school on Tuesday, April 6.  But we always recommend daily reading and all students have access to our online resources like myOn, Imagine Learning, & ST Math.  These resources are there if you want them.  Or, take a break!

Have a great day!

Jesse Kraft, Proud Principal

Important Dates

Mar. 26                 Early Dismissal (2:15); 3rd Quarter Ends

Mar. 29-Apr. 2       Spring Break (School Closed)

Apr. 5                    Teacher Workday (Student Holiday)

Apr. 15                  Quarter 3 Progress Reports Sent Home

Apr. 20                  AAP Parent Orientation Session (virtual meeting only for parents of students found eligible for level 4 services)

May 31                 Memorial Day Holiday

June 9                   6th Grade Promotion Ceremony (time & format TBD)

June 11                 Early Dismissal (2:15); Last Day of School

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
Report Absence Online  |  Attendance Phone: 703.713.3030
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Coates Family Newsletter - 3/18/21

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Coates Families,

Another great week for us!  We welcomed back 3rd-6th graders to in-person school, and I was very pleased with how their “first days” went.  I was especially happy with how both students and staff engaged in teaching and learning while still being vigilant about safety and mitigation measures.

If you’re curious, we now have 370 students participating in our in-person, 2 days per week hybrid program and 366 students participating in our 100% virtual program (which continues to have great attendance).  That’s roughly a 50/50 split. 

We have 20 classroom teachers working in-person (their classes include hybrid and all-virtual students, depending on the grade level or program) & 13 leading all-virtual classes.  All of our specials teachers (PE, Art, music, etc.) teach both in-person & virtual classes, and we have a number of specialists and assistants teaching kids in both programs.  Across the entire school division, we’ve seen more than 109,000 students and staff return for in-person learning!

As always, I appreciate our partnership with you, and I encourage you reach out to me and/or the teachers whenever you have a question, concern, or idea to make Coates even better.

😊

Jesse Kraft, Proud Principal (jkraft@fcps.edu )

Thank You, PTA!

On Tuesday, our in-person staff walked into the teachers’ lounge to find an amazing snack setup, courtesy of our awesome Parent Teachers Association (PTA).  Thank you for taking care of us as usual!

Important Dates

Mar. 23-24            Human Growth & Development Lessons for 4th-6th grades

Mar. 26                 Early Dismissal (2:15); 3rd Quarter Ends

Mar. 29-Apr. 2      Spring Break (School Closed)

Apr. 5                    Teacher Workday (Student Holiday)

May 31                 Memorial Day Holiday

June 11                 Early Dismissal (2:15); Last Day of School

Next Year in FCPS (2021-22)

At this week’s school board meeting, Superintendent Brabrand committed FCPS to five days a week of in-person learning in the fall.  Full details will follow in the coming months.  We’re excited that the in-person option for 2021-22 will be expanded beyond the hybrid model that we are currently using.

Requests to Change Programs (This Year)

This is a reminder that on March 26, FCPS will no longer allow any changes from virtual to in-person program.  Parents must make requests in writing to the principal, not to their child’s teacher.

Also, on March 26, students who have not yet appeared for in-person school will lose their space in the class and be switched to a virtual class.  We will continue to approve parent requests to change from in-person to 100% virtual classes after March 26. 

Kindergarten Registration for 2021-22

The Coates office is accepting registration paperwork from families of rising kindergartners.  If you have friends and neighbors in the Coates boundary who have a child who is turning 5 years old by September 30, please encourage them to register.  All of the info they need is on the Coates website.  

Be on the lookout for a virtual Kindergarten Orientation this spring!

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
Report Absence Online  |  Attendance Phone: 703.713.3030
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Coates Family Newsletter for 3/11

GovDelivery 3 months 1 week ago

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Coates Families,

I hope you’re having a great week.  We are!  We welcomed 1st & 2nd graders to in-person school to join Kindergarten, and we’re looking forward to seeing 3rd-6th beginning next week.  Our 100% virtual classes continue to operate smoothly, and it’s been both challenging and fun to run both programs simultaneously.  We appreciate your patience as our staff adjusts to teaching concurrently – we’ve had some minor growing pains, but we’re improving every day!

As always, important announcements are below.  If you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at jkraft@fcps.edu or jaking@fcps.edu  or call the school office at (703) 713-3000.

Important Dates

Mar. 16                 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th Grades Return to In-Person School

Mar. 22-26            Human Growth & Development Lessons for 4th-6th grades

Mar. 26                 Early Dismissal (2:15); 3rd Quarter Ends

Mar. 29-Apr. 2      Spring Break (School Closed)

Apr. 5                   Teacher Workday (School Closed)

May 31                 Memorial Day Holiday

June 11                 Early Dismissal (2:15); Last Day of School

How Is Your Child Getting Home (for In-Person Students)

At dismissal time, our teachers are sending your child home according to what our school records show as his/her way for getting home. Typically, if your child arrived a school on the bus, we send them home on the bus unless you clearly tell the teacher or the office otherwise.  If you dropped your child off at Kiss & Ride in the morning, we’re sending him/her to Kiss & Ride at dismissal unless you clearly tell the school staff otherwise.

We’ve had instances this week where parents told their children to go home a certain way but did not inform the teacher.  This caused great confusion at dismissal time, and in some cases, required us to delay the buses from leaving on time.    

Please tell us if you want your child to go home a certain way.  Please do so as early as possible.  Schools are active places and we may not see requests that come to us after 4:00.

Requests to Change Programs

As you know, we have been taking requests from parents to change their students from virtual to in-person school, and we have approved many of these requests depending on space in classrooms.   On March 26, we, along with all schools in FCPS will no longer allow any changes from virtual to in-person program. 

Also, on March 26, students who have not yet appeared for in-person school will lose their space in the class and be switched to a virtual class.

We will continue to approve parent requests to change from in-person to 100% virtual classes after March 26. 

Kindergarten Registration for 2021-22

No matter what school looks like next year, we will have a new Kindergarten class!  The Coates office is already accepting registration paperwork from families of rising kindergartners.  If you have friends and neighbors in the Coates boundary who have a child is turning 5 years old by September 30, please encourage them to register.  All of the info they need is on the Coates website

We will hold a Kindergarten Orientation Event for parents this spring, but the date is TBD.

Monday Meetups

Our staff will continue to offer Monday Meetups to any interested students until the first week of June.  Links will be sent via Talking Points by your child’s teacher.  As always, this a great way to connect with friends, and – with parent permission – exchange contact information to maintain friendships outside of school. 

Our schedule is always:

 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th from 11 to 11:30   /   K, 1st, & 2nd from 11:30 to 12

2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171  |  Main Phone: 703.713.3000 
Report Absence Online  |  Attendance Phone: 703.713.3030
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39 minutes 25 seconds ago
Coates Elementary School News and announcements
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