Kristen McKinney-Nash Widewater Elementary School
Principal 101 Den Rich Road
Stafford, Va. 22554
540 658-6380 Fax 540 658-6378
WORD OF THE MONTH
From the Principals
What a pleasure it is to welcome you to October‘s edition of our PAWS newsletter. Yet another way that we can increase
communication and keep you informed of important school happenings.
September is always a very demanding month for all of us. Thank you for your support in establishing a positive routine for our
children last month. Now is the time to teach our children and students how to be successful and responsible individuals. Arriving
ontime, respecting others, and using manners are learned behaviors that last a lifetime. Communicate your concerns and praises to
the teachers and staff members in the lives of your children. Take time to review your child‘s work and ask about the learning that
is taking place throughout the day. Make time to volunteer for school and community related activities. Your involvement will lead
to a lifetime of successful endeavors for your children and we are proud to be a part of these accomplishments!
Now that school is in full swing, it‘s fun to watch our students learn responsibility and independence. All of our students have done
an outstanding job of maintaining a positive atmosphere throughout the building and some changes in our cafeteria have created an
enjoyable atmosphere for students to eat lunch. Most of our positive atmosphere is being taught through a program called
Responsive Classroom. This program introduces the classroom as a community and all the rights and responsiblities of being apart
of a community, to include what many of our teachers are incorporating ‗The Morning Meeting‘ You may also hear your children
talking about working on computers during the school day. Teachers have been utilizing the computer lab as part of our daily A/B
specials rotation to reinforce typing skills, research project topics, perform writing activities, and utilize the software program called
Study Island, a practice tool for students to become more familiar with the types of questions used on the SOL‘s. Our A/B specials
schedule also allows for research studies in our library. We will be continuing our WOW sticker promotion throughout this year for
both students and parents so be ready to recite the Widewater Way at our next school event in order to earn a WOW sticker for
your child‘s class. Review these WOW words with your children (K-2-author, illustrator, character and symbol and for 3-5– the
pre– fix meanings for ex-, re-, pre– and inter-) and remember to READ, READ, READ. Watch for more growth in the near future
as we make every effort to provide our students with the tools to succeed in this ever-changing world.
I look forward to seeing each of you and your families on Oct. 23rd for our PTO sponsored Octoberfest!
Let‘s continue to make this the best school year ever!
Mrs. McKinney-Nash and Mrs. Wardlow
―Most of the world‘s heroes are unsung. It‘s heroic to dare to make a difference in the world, whether you‘re defending your
country, fighting fires, or teaching children to read.‖ - Captain Scott O‘Grady in Return With Honor (Captain O‘Grady was the
Air Force F-16 pilot that was shot down in enemy territory for six days in June 1995)
October 2009 – Calendar of Events
October 5th Open House 6:00—7:30pm
October 6th CiCi‘s Spirit Night 5-8pm
October 8th Early Release 1:00pm
October 11th Teacher Workday (no school for students)
October 22nd Picture Day
October 23rd Octoberfest Carnival
October 26th Read Around the World Night
Family Book Fair Night
October 27th Chick fil A Spirit Night 5—8pm
The mission of Widewater Elementary School is to challenge each
student to reach his or her potential, instill a love for life-long
learning, and prepare him or her to be a productive citizen of the
We welcome visitors to our school. We do ask volunteers, parents, and other visitors to report to
the front office immediately upon entering the building. You will be asked to leave a picture ID, and you
will receive a badge to wear during your visit. This is a practice that was instituted for the protection of
our students. Signs are posted at each door informing visitors of this practice.
If you wish to schedule a classroom visit, call or email the teacher to make prior arrangements.
Please do not drop in for an impromptu visit or to talk to the teacher “for just a minute.” An unexpected
visitor distracts both the children and the teacher, thus interrupting the flow of the lesson. We
appreciate your efforts in following these guidelines to help us maintain a safe learning environment.
If it becomes necessary for you to pick up your child during the school day, please report to the
office to sign him/her out in the log book. Your child will be called to meet you in the office. For the
safety of all students, children will not be released to parents at the classroom door. When
custody papers or special situations exist, the office should be informed and a copy of any official
documents should be provided for our files
Attendance at WES
At Widewater, we believe that a child’s attendance at school greatly impacts his/her achievements
in school. Children who come to school on a regular basis tend to be happy at school, are able to keep
up with their daily assignments, and are successful students. When a child is frequently absent or tardy,
he/she misses out on valuable lessons, activities, and discussions. Your child’s academic success
depends on his/her being in school to benefit from the information and learning experiences that are
Virginia Attendance Law
Please read the Code of Conduct book carefully. It details the attendance policy of Stafford
It is important for every child to attend school every day. Absences should occur only for the
reasons outlined in this policy.
If your child is absent from school, you must send a written excuse. Unexcused absences
will be referred to counselors and attendance officers.
Please note that absences for family trips are unexcused unless approved in advance by the
From the School Nurse
Stafford County Schools conducts a vision and hearing screening on kindergarten, new
students, and third grade students. This screening is done each year to identify children who
may have vision or hearing problems. This year the screening will take place on Thursday
November 9, 2010
Guidelines for Sending Students Home:
1. Nurses judgment or parent discretion
2. Fever of over 100 degrees orally
3. Active vomiting
4. Continuing diarrhea
5. Swollen or painful joints from injury
6. Severe earaches
7. Suspected contagious disease
Chickenpox-return in 7 days after eruption
Conjunctivitis – associated with purulent drainage/ return after
Pediculosis- return after treatment and nit removal
Scabies- return after treatment
8. Any injury or illness requiring further immediate treatment
9. Suspected substance abuse
1) Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
When you are sick, keep your distance from others
to protect them from getting sick.
2) Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
You will help prevent others from catching your
3) Please use a tissue to cover your mouth and
nose when you sneeze, cough or blow your nose.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
4) Please throw the tissue away in the trash
immediately after you use it.
5) Please wash your hands after coughing,
sneezing or blowing your nose. Wash your hands
with soap and hot water for 15-20 seconds, drying
your hands completely with a paper towel. You
can also use the alcohol-based hand gels.
Alternate Bus Assignment
Not having the appropriate forms submitted is often the cause of our overloaded buses. The
Transportation Department Route Coordinators do not know the location of every private daycare facility.
If a daycare provider has students without forms submitted, we are transporting students that have not
been assigned or authorized to ride an alternate bus. Parents often change daycare providers, which poses
the opportunity to lose track of students. Substitute drivers often experience difficulty due to an inaccurate
route sheet because the “Alternate Bus Assignment” form was not submitted, or an updated form was not
submitted. An updated form should be submitted each time a daycare provider or individual
transportation arrangement changes.
Thank you for your cooperation with this matter. Only with your assistance can the Transportation
Department continue to provide safe and efficient transportation for all students.
Occasionally, a child may want to ride the bus home with a friend for the night, or for a party, etc. When
this is to occur, we require a note from BOTH sets of parents granting permission. Please include the
teacher’s last name, both students’ names (first and last), a daytime telephone number at which a parent/
guardian can be reached, and the bus number the child will be riding.
AM Car Ramp Procedures
Doors for Am Car Riders will open at 8:35 am and close at 9:00 am.
Drive around the circle in a single file line. Wait for the cars in front of you
to move before you move. Absolutely NO PASSING.
Please stay in your cars. Teachers are there to assist your child in getting out
if needed and to make sure they get into the building safely. Try to have
notes and checks ready before entering the car rider line.
Please be patient, especially at the beginning of the school year. We also
have preschoolers who get dropped off here so we need to be extra patient
If your child is an everyday car rider, please send a note to the office, (good for the entire year), stating that he/
she will be picked up on a daily basis. If you have not done so, fill out an everyday car rider form.
If your child normally rides a bus but is occasionally a car rider, you will need to send a note on those days.
You will not need to come into the office to sign your child out. You may wait in the car rider lane on the right
side of the building until your child is dismissed to you.
When you forget to send a note, call the school. We can put your child on the “car rider” list. Or, come early
enough to park in the car rider line, come into the office, sign your child out, and then go back to your car. Your
child will be dismissed with the car riders at 3:30.
Please make note that there is NO OFFICE PICK UP after 3:15pm.
Congratulations to our September Students of the Month
Kindergarten Third Grade
Tessa Craig Adrianna Nesbit
McKayla Williams Taylor Buckles
Aston “Kate” Wilson Annabelle Ramirez
Madisyn Paris Jessie Mai
Ashley Romero Samyra Willis
First Grade Fourth Grade
Shane O’Brien Malika Khan
Isabella Samsel Kaija Robinson
Tamia Davis Emiliano Gutierrez
Diego Haynesworth Dillon Taylor
Second Grade Fifth Grade
Nadirah Villareal Brook Roubison
Zahra Sajjadi Karina Arizaga
Sydney Morefield Paige Emmer
Amberly Lovette Shae Carro
Matthew Allen Benton King
The Reading Center is proud to announce the opening of
the Bargain Bookstore. It will be open on Wednesdays and
Fridays from 8:35-9:00. Students can buy books for .25,
.50. or $1.00. The bookstore will be located outside the
Our wildcat artists are creating wonderful masterpieces in the art room!
Kindergarten is working on a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Collage, first grade
is making a Birds in Flight Collage, second grade is drawing a Leaf
Compositions, third grade is painting Modigliani Self-Portraits, fourth grade is
practicing Color Theory, & fifth grade is developing Native American
Art Plea - Some students are still without art shirts. If your child doesn’t have
one please send one in with them. Please have the shirt labeled with their
name. The shirt doesn’t have to be anything fancy just an old T-shirt or button
down shirt will do. We do a lot of painting during the year & I wouldn’t want
any child’s clothing to get stained.
Also the art room is in need of cardboad egg cartons & empty toilet paper
rolls. I would like to make birds with fourth grade students and really could
reuse these supplies.
Art Club will be starting October 20th for fourth & fifth grade students!
Forms will be available on the schoolfusion website or students can come &
get a form from me. I’m very excited about this year!
Thank you for your support.
Mrs.Snyder – email@example.com
Boo te !!!
O ur Vo
October 18-October 29
October 26th Family Night 4:00-8:00
From the Librarian
Steve Somers, "The Amazing Teacher" will be
performing for our students on 7 October to promote
our Accelerated Reader Program. We will be having a
mystery theme this year and Mr. Somers has a great
program titled, "Top Secret" that takes young readers
on an amazing mission solving clues that lead to tons
of learning and fun in the library. Students will discover
cryptic messages (Dewey Decimal numbers) that help
them interpret maps, charts and photographs as they
explore the world around them.
Kindergarten News Flash
We have just successfully completed the first month of Kindergarten!
And, oh my, has it been a busy one! The children have learned so many
things already and are practicing them regularly. During the month of
October Kindergarten students will be participating in Fall PALS
testing. In order for your child to perform at his/her best, please
continue to enforce a consistent bedtime each evening. The letters and
sounds we will be learning are T, P ,A and C. Sight word we will be
learning are: The, I, Like, Am.
We will also be working with rhyming. We will learn about Sink and
Float, Map Skills, Directional Terms and fall. In Math we will be
learning many things with counting to 30. We will also be going on our
exciting field trip to the Pumpkin Patch on October 13th.
FIRST GRADE OCTOBER NEWS……..
October brings about an exciting month for first grade. As we
enter the fall season, our science unit about Seasonal
Changes is a perfect fit. We will investigate how the changes
in temperature, light, and precipitation bring about changes in
plants and animals each season. With Columbus Day
approaching, students will learn about Christopher Columbus
in our social studies unit about American Leaders and their
contributions. As the month comes to an end, we will get an
introduction into our Past and Present social studies unit by
taking a field trip to Ferry Farm on October 26th to learn
about colonial times and get hands-on experience with some
colonial games and activities. What fun our first graders are in
In October we are looking forward to learning about
Citizenship, Government and Magnets. We are also really
excited to look ahead at Seasons with our field trip to the
Friends of the Rappahannock. We can’t wait to start our
math centers and word study as well! As always we are
working hard on our fluency and comprehension.
Third Grade Tidbits
Third Graders are busy this month. We are continuing to
learn about the narrative elements in Reading. Word Study
will begin this month. Be sure to look for words coming
home to sort and study. We are beginning to practice
addition and subtraction facts. Inexpensive flash cards can
be purchased at most dollar stores for at home practice. In
Social Studies, we are exploring map skills for our
geography unit. Ask your students “where in the world they
are”. We will be looking at soil types and layers in Science.
Things are really “falling” into place in the fourth grade wing! Students are
beginning their school day with a Morning Message and a Morning Meeting. In
addition, Responsive Classroom practices are being implemented throughout the
school day. In each of the fourth grade classrooms, communities of learners are
being formed!!! We are excited about our new Social Studies textbook, and
students have already begin to learn about the geography of Virginia. In the weeks
and months ahead, regions, industries, products and rivers will be covered. In the
are of science, students are reviewing and using the steps of the Scientific Method.
Fourth graders are also busy working on editing their writing samples as we work
through the steps of the writing process. Look for some of these samples to be on
display for Back to School Night –October 5th!
Fifth Graders are Fabulous!
Welcome Back to all Fifth Grade Wildcats! We are looking forward to a great year!
Be prepared to journey through Native Americans regions, early American
settlements, and through two wars! In science we will discover Matter, our Earth's
layers. and so much more! Sounds like an exciting year!
DARE: In January we will begin our DARE program where we learn how to handle
peer pressure and learn about the dangers of drugs. We also participate in a DARE
Day in June!
Open House: On October 5 Widewater we be hosting our Open House. Be sure to
stop by the the Fifth Grade wing and see all the exciting learning that is taking
October PTO Sponsored Events
6th CiCi‘s Spirit Night 5pm-8pm
8th Spirit Wear Sale Ends
12th Fall Fundraiser Ends
20th Cavalier Skate Night 6pm-8pm
23rd Octoberfest 10am—12pm
25th PTO Meeting 10am
27th Chick fil A Costume Party 5pm-8pm
PTO is always in need of volunteers. Please contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org to help with upcoming
PTO Board Members for 2010-2011
President - Kelly Posey (email@example.com)
Vice-President - Becky Lusby
Secretary - Melissa Purdham
Treasurer - Lisa Henslee
FOCUS on Excellence
I hope that everyone has had a relaxing and enjoyable summer and is ready to have a wonderful
year in FOCUS!
This year I will be at Widewater on Mondays and Wednesdays. I will also be at
Widewater on Fridays, as needed.
I am now located in the 4th grade wing in room 16.
I can easily be contacted through e-mail, which I check regularly at both schools.
Please check the FOCUS link on WES school fusion page for updated information on the
FOCUS program, enrichment activities at WES, parent information and forms
This year’s FOCUS Forum will be held at H.H.Poole Middle School 10/7/10
From 6:30-8:00. Parents are invited to attend a variety of information sessions related to
gifted education in Stafford County.
FOCUS Enrichment Activities at Widewater Elementary: 2010-2011
WES Chess Club will be held during lunchtime on Mondays, for all interested 4th and 5th grade
students again this year. Please check WES school fusion FOCUS page for updated
information. Starts 9/27/10.
WES Engineering Club will be held before school on Wednesdays for two six week sessions,
one in the fall and one in the spring. This is open to all interested 4th and 5th grade students.
Club size is limited to 20 students, please check WES school fusion website.
National Geographic Geography Bee will be open to all interested 4th and 5th Grade students
at WES. This year’s Geobee will be held on 12/3/10.
Scripps Spelling Bee will be open to all interested 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students at WES.
This year’s Spelling Bee will be held on 1/7/11.
WordMasters Challenge, a national analogy competition will be open to those students
who are submitted for participation by their classroom teachers. There will be three
challenges during the school year and packets will be coming home in October.
Destination Imagination is a national problem solving competition. An information
meeting will be held at Back to School Night on 10/5/10 for all interested students
and parents. If there is a parent interested in forming and coaching a team, please
contact me. Check WES Focus school fusion page for the link to this competition
website. Details of the meeting in September will be posted nearer the time.
Math Problem Solving competitions for all 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students nominated by
FOCUS pull-out classes at WES:
Start the second week of school. Classes are 45 minutes in length, and all students need to
bring a three ring binder to keep FOCUS paperwork separate from other school paperwork.
3rd Grade FOCUS will be on Wednesday
4th Grade FOCUS will be on Wednesday
5th Grade FOCUS will be on Wednesday
If you would like to schedule a conference to discuss the Focus program in Stafford or the
identification process for FOCUS, please e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
FOCUS Resource Teacher
Park Ridge Elementary