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In This Issue

Opening The staff enjoyed meeting students and parents at the Open House. Excitement filled the air as the children explored their classrooms and met old friends and new. It made for a smooth opening of school the next day.

The Department of Social Services of the Commonwealth of Virginia: Preschool

It is required that when food is brought from home, “The food container shall be sealed and clearly dated and labeled in a way that identifies the owner.” In other words, you must be certain your child comes with his/her lunch clearly marked with name and date to be in compliance with the state standard. This is true whether you send lunch in a lunch box or bag. Some suggestions to do this include: writing name and date on masking tape, stickers, napkin inside lunch, etc. We know you will be creative.

Parent Handbooks

Please read the Parent Handbook carefully. It has valuable information and can also be viewed on our website.

Professional Development

Nysmith teachers were very busy this summer planning for the new school year. Many attended workshops or courses for teachers that will directly impact the work they are doing with their students this year. Many teachers read Carol Dweck’s Mindset. We have had some great discussions so far and we highly recommend it to parents. Teachers returned filled with energy and new ideas.

Ann Dolin Hosts SSAT talk

On September 25th, Ann Dolin of Educational Connections will speak with parents about the SSAT- the test used by private schools for high school admissions. Parents of 7th and 8th graders are strongly encouraged to attend and parents of younger students are invited to attend. Please RSVP to the front office by Sept 21. We will meet in the cafeteria at 8:30 AM .

Back to School Parent Nights

Please plan to attend the Back to School Nights. It is the best time to hear directly from each teacher about their goals for the year and feel their enthusiasm for their subjects and their students.


Nysmith teachers and staff want to communicate with you. We have biweekly folders that go out the first and third Wednesdays of every month, this newsletter which goes out electronically the first Wednesday of the month, Snap Shots sent by email each Monday, Back to School Nights, and Conference Days. We answer also emails and voicemails many times each day. Please let us know if you need us! If you need to meet with a teacher or administrator, the front office can help you find a time that is convenient for you. We do ask that you do not drop in on teachers during homeroom or at dismissal. They are busy helping students and many have duties directly with students. If you send an email and do not get a response the next day, please either try again or call and make sure you have the correct spelling.

Class Friends

The Nysmith team considers many factors when creating classes. We want every student to be excited about returning to school and we understand that having friends in their classroom is a very important part of that excitement. However, we also know that children develop social skills and learn to make friends through experience. Each year, we place students where they can grow academically and socially by moving groups around all while trying to honor at least one request. One of our 8th graders last year wrote a beautiful essay about the confidence she gained in 6th grade when she started out with one friend and ended the year with a class full of new ones!

Open Gradebooks

Fifth through eighth grade parents and students will be able to access their grades for each class in real time. Your password will work to let you see what teachers are recording in real time. We hope that this additional tool will be helpful to you.

8th Grade Parents

Applications to Loudoun’s Academy of Science are now available on their website. There is an informational Open House on September 21st from 9AM until noon. Part I of their application is due on September 25th. Please visit their website- the whole process is on line. Please stay informed through their web site

High School Information

Representatives of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology will be here for an informational meeting on October 1st at 2:00. This session is for 7th and 8th grade students but interested parents are also invited. The Nysmith High School Fair is October 10th. Representatives from many area high schools will be in the Atrium and Multi-Purpose room to talk with 8th graders and their parents at 2:00 and 7th graders and other parents at 2:30.

Organizing Space and Time

As you establish your routines for Back to School, please think about technology and safety. As students spend more time on computers gathering information and using them to create projects, we urge you to keep them in a public space. There are many safety concerns-physical and psychological-and parents should monitor their children’s use. More anonymous websites (most recently target young teens, encouraging them to make damaging comments about friends and classmates. Please be vigilant! Nysmith students who fall into

this trap and who misuse media to harm others are not showing the character and ethics expected in our community.


Winston (5th) and Victoria (3rd) Matthews qualified over the summer for the US Kids World Championship at Pinehurst next summer. Both students won Tour Player of the Year for the summer season. Both placed second in the Middle Atlantic Regional Round of Augusta National’s Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. Winston is also ranked in the top 20 tennis players for his age in the Mid-Atlantic. Congratulations!

Help the Homeless Walk

Did you know that more than 1,500 of our neighbors do not have a place they can call home, accounting for more than half of all the homeless in the Northern Virginia area? Nysmith 7th and 8th graders will be sponsoring our second annual Help the Homeless Walk in conjunction with Cornerstones (formerly Reston Interfaith) and Fannie Mae. Our Nysmith event is scheduled for Wednesday October 9th from 2 pm to 3pm on the track. Cornerstones is a partner in Fairfax County’s 10 Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. Our participation in the Help the Homeless Program directly impacts their ability to make this plan a reality. Every step we take matters, join us to raise awareness and funds for our programs to prevent homelessness and provide affordable housing in our community! More information to come.

NysKids Care about Community Service Throughout the school year, students engage in meaningful, fun, and creative service projects to help serve the needs of the local and world community. Thank you for your support of the students’ worthwhile efforts. September Service Project Third grade students sponsor a BOOK DRIVE, Monday, Sept. 30, to Friday, Oct. 4. The third grade team is proud to sponsor a BOOK DRIVE, beginning Monday, September 30, through Friday, October 4, to promote literacy and excitement for reading. Please bring your outgrown and gently read books to donate to deserving children and adults. These books will be provided to and distributed by Books for America, a nonprofit organization serving the Washington, DC/mid-Atlantic region. The books are distributed to youth and adult literacy programs, youth centers, homeless shelters, hospitals, inner-city and rural schools, and other organizations in need. The entire Nysmith community is invited to participate in this worthwhile effort and share the magic of books!

PTO Notes September 2013 Upcoming PTO Events at a Glance · Tuesday, September 10, 8:30 am: September PTO Meeting, Nysmith Cafeteria · Thursday, September 19 starting at 8:30 am: Helping Hands, in front of Purple Pod Computer Lab · Friday, September 27, 8:30 am: Parent Education Event (Neuropsychology for Parents),

Nysmith Cafeteria · Monday, October 7-Friday, October 11, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm: PTO Book Fair · Friday, October 18: PTO Ice Cream Social New! PTO Volunteer Sign Up Cards The Nysmith PTO has developed a convenient new sign-up card for parents who wish to request more information about specific PTO activities and events held throughout the school year. These vanilla-colored cardstock cards are available at the Front Office and will also be sent home in take-home folders. By requesting information about PTO events including, but not limited to, Community Service opportunities, the fall and spring Book Fairs, International Day, Helping Hands, Lunchroom Volunteers, and winter and endof year Teacher Appreciation events, you will receive email updates and planning information from the PTO chairpersons organizing the events. Simply send the card back to school in your child’s folder or drop it off in the PTO Mailbox at the Front Office, and you will automatically be kept up-to-date. PTO Meeting Tuesday, September 10 The kick-off PTO Meeting for the 2013-2014 school year will be held on Tuesday, September 10 at 8:30AM in the Cafeteria. Please join fellow parents, PTO Officers, and school Directors to hear and participate in discussions on PTO events. These meetings are held on the second Tuesday of every month. Coffee, tea and light snacks will be available. Chuck E Cheese Back to School Social On August 27, following the Open House, the PTO hosted the annual Back to School Social. Families gathered at the nearby Chuck E Cheese to play, meet new friends, and catch up with old ones. The turnout was terrific. A portion of the proceeds went to the PTO. Thank you for your support! Helping Hands Please join us on Thursday, September 19, immediately after drop-off, for this year’s first fun and productive morning of Helping Hands. We will be meeting in the Purple Pod in front of the computer lab. Help provide an invaluable service to hardworking Nymsith teachers by working on small projects such as cutting, tracing, and collating while chatting and enjoying time with other parent volunteers. There is no need to RSVP. Just sign in at the office and come on over! Helping Hands is a great way to get plugged in to the Nysmith community and meet other parents (while doing a good deed or two). If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Lily Attaran at Parent Education Event Please join us for the first Parent Education Event of the 2013-2014 school year on Friday, September 27 from 8:30 until 10:00AM in the Cafeteria. Dr. Ida Sue Baron will be discussing Neuropsychology for Parents. Enjoy an informal but informative interactive session about neuropsychological testing, its methods, purposes and implications, and how it can help you better understand your gifted child. Dr. Baron is an internationally known expert in the field with a remarkable wealth of experience. Do not miss this unique opportunity! No pre-registration is required. Please contact Karin Varblow at drkarin@hotmail. com for additional information. The PTO Fall Book Fair Arrives Early This Year! Join us between Monday, October 7 and Friday, October 11 for the annual Fall Book Fair.

You will find wonderful books for the young and the young-at-heart, fantastic fiction for all ages, super science books, and games for fun, family, and developing thinking skills. Book report selections for some grades will also be available. All proceeds directly benefit the library. Last year our school librarian ordered over 400 new books using the Book Fair proceeds! Please contact Val Kreider, Michele Triantos, Christine Krause, or Kerry Villella at with any questions. Thank you, parents and teachers, for supporting the fair! Do You Love That New Book Smell? Become a PTO Book Fair volunteer! Join us for set-up on Friday, October 4, for sales week October 7-11, or for pack-up on Tuesday, October 15. Volunteer sign-up is now open. To volunteer, or for more information, please go to or, or contact Val, Michele, Christine, and Kerry at The School Library Needs Your Help! Become a volunteer in the Library and help with tasks such as organizing shelves, mending books, and researching. For more information or to volunteer, please contact the school librarian, Peggy Ferrin at or stop by the library. PTO Ice Cream Social The annual Ice Cream Social will take place on Friday, October 18. A drop-box is available in the Front Office through mid-September to receive students’ Summer Reading forms. All students should submit their forms, as a full count of all the books read by Nysmith students will be made. If you have misplaced the original, you can pick up additional copies in the Front Office. Please direct questions to Janice Host and Amy Secrist To volunteer your time at the Ice Cream Social please sign up at: Land’s End School Rewards Program Code is 900058140 The PTO receives 3% of every sale when parents shop at Land’s End using our School Rewards Program Code 900058140. Please consider using Land’s End for purchases of uniform attire, such as dress code pants, skirts, shirts, and sweaters (including monogrammed shirts and fleeces). The PTO uses that 3% to enhance our activities and special events! Room Parent Action Committee (RAC) Join the party…be a room parent! Please take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to volunteer in your child’s classroom! The Room Parent Action Committee (RAC) is seeking enthusiastic moms and dads to act as Room Coordinators, Room Treasurers, and Room Parents. To volunteer, please sign up online at Volunteer Spot using the following link: Use the link above to join the RAC as a Room Parent. When you join, you will be kept upto-date on RAC meetings, upcoming party news, and reminders. At the end of the signup process, you will be asked if you are also interested in volunteering to be either a Room Coordinator or Room Treasurer for your child’s class. • Room Coordinator - Coordinates all 4 class parties; assigns room parents and parent

volunteers for class parties; and facilitates communications with teachers and class parents on class activities, PTO events, and volunteer opportunities. • Room Treasurer - Manages class treasury funds for the 4 class parties.-00 School will provide party funds for each class through RAC. If you have questions, lease contact the RAC chairs (Jackie Becker, Mary Chapin, Trish Kaczmarskyj) at “The School Library Needs Your Help”: You can also volunteer by visiting

September 2013 nysnews draft