POTOMAC PANTHER NEWSLETTER 3130 Panther Pride Drive Dumfries, VA 22026 (703) 221-4995 “Staff, Students, and Parents Working Together as One” Volume II,No. IV Spring 2008 Greetings to the Potomac School Community: We need all parents, students, and staff to work together as one during this critical time of the year. I bring you greetings from the staff at Potomac Middle School and solicit your help in getting our students prepared for the upcoming Standards of Learning. As you may know, these assessments are used by the State of Virginia to determine our accreditation and whether we reach the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates. These assessments also put a lot of pressure on both students and staff. As you may know, Potomac Middle School was fully accredited its first year. We now need to make all of our NCLB mandates. Our students’ difficult area is math and we need your help to put our students over the top. We need your continued support by having your child come to school prepared and with the homework completed. These two things are very important to your child’s success. Be sure to have your child attend tutorials, to give them an extra boost of knowledge. The staff is working very hard to raise the achievement of every child in this building and preparation goes a very long way in the process. In this newsletter you will find the schedule for tests and for incentives, field days, and other exciting activities that will happen for our students at the end of the year. I need for you to review with your child the PWCS Code of Behavior and Discipline Plan for Potomac Middle School. It is very important that our young people understand that school is for learning and misconduct infringes on the learning of others as well as themselves. Our students have made remarkable strides in the areas of conduct, and I am committed to providing an orderly and safe atmosphere of learning for each and every child. Please support the staff in emphasizing the importance of maintaining an appropriate atmosphere for learning. I would like to close with a very important note. Please know that the staff enjoys working with the students here at Potomac Middle and go out of our way to prepare for them. Feel free to contact your child’s teacher to discuss any concerns you may have. You will find that the staff is open and ready to work with you concerning your child. It is my goal that a trusting relationship develops between school and home that will make a difference in the life of your child. We are here to teach and to help during this changing time of life. Sincerely, Benita M. Stephens The Library Corner This is the time of year when the air gets warm and our energy level rises. This is the time of year to encourage your children to clean out closets, clean out from under their beds, clean out their recreation areas, and look for lost library books. Currently we have 250 books unaccounted for that includes lost and overdue books. The library is preparing for the end of the school year and is asking for the parents’ assistance in locating lost books. Please ask your students about their library books. With all of the budget concerns for next year, we need to retrieve all the books possible. Summer reading is coming soon! Please look out for summer reading guidelines to be distributed toward the end of May through your child’s Language Arts class. Students are encouraged to participate in Potomac Middle’s summer reading program or the Summer Quest reading program at the public library. Students who participate by reading two books and providing the author, title, publishing information, and an explanation of the general topic or plot of the book along with a parent or guardian statement that the student has completed the reading will receive an extra A (100) for each book completed for a total of two. Extra credit will count 10% of the student’s grade in the affected marking period. Mrs. Hodge and I would like to thank all of the students, teachers, and parents for your support of the library this year. We have enjoyed building a warm, welcoming environment that the students and teachers have visited frequently. We averaged 1800 books a month for checkout and accommodated three to five classes a day. We also enjoyed an average of 25 student visitors each morning before school. The library hosted two Book Fairs this year that brought in extra money for the purchase of books and library supplies. With Dr. Stephens’ generosity and the proceeds from the Book Fair, we purchased over 400 new books for the library this year. We look forward to serving our learning community in even bigger ways next year! Happy Reading! Lisa Manikas, Librarian Panther Pride Yearbook INTERIM AND REPORT CARD The 2008 Panther Pride yearbook is still available to purchase for $45. The price Interims Report Cards will raise after June 1 to $50. Avoid extra cost….buy your yearbook today. Get a form March 11 April 18 from the front office and return it to your May 21 June 20 (mailed) homeroom teacher with a check or cash. Yearbooks will be delivered in June. CRITERIA FOR THE SCHOOL-WIDE INCENTIVE TRIP ☺C or better in all classes ☺No more than 1 unexcused absence for the year ☺No U’s in conduct ☺No U’s in effort ☺No more than 1 referral ☺No more than 5 excused absences (unless medically given) PTSO Corner Thank you for your continued support with membership. Membership is only $5 per family and we truly need your support in order to assist with funding extra curricular activities and events. You may download a membership form from our school’s website on the PTSO page or return the form on the back of this newsletter. Remember, it’s never too late to become a member. We also encourage parents to participate in volunteer opportunities, such as event ticket sales, honor roll receptions, student recognition events, teacher appreciation, movie nights, and spring sports concession assistance. These are all great ways that you can stay connected with your child. Our monthly PTSO meetings are usually attended by the Executive Council members, but they are open to everyone. Please contact Mrs. Hodge (PTSO President) or Mrs. Tucker (PTSO Vice President) if you have any questions. Finally, please visit the PTSO website at least twice a month to find out about upcoming events. Thank you for your continued support and dedication to the students at Potomac Middle School LOST AND FOUND Lost and Found is located in the rear of Clinic Corner the building in room 1425. If any Parents remember to have student has lost an article of clothing or student’s Health Treatment school equipment than they should see Mr. Hoffman in the front office to Plans completed prior to the retrieve missing items. Any jewelry, beginning of the 2008-09 glasses, cell phones, accessories or items school year, but after May 1, that are breakable or of value they will 2008. Any questions, please not be in Lost and Found they will be held by Mr. Hoffman. Students are not call the School Nurse. to wait in the front office for Mr. Hoffman to retrieve their missing items, If he is not available than they need to leave their name with Mr. Hoffman and he will assist them as soon as he gets a chance. Students that are missing P.E. uniforms need to first check with their P.E. Teachers before seeing Mr. Hoffman. Items will be disposed of at the beginning of each new grading period. Important Parent Information! For the safety of your child, we must require that any parent who would like to pick up a child during the school day present a picture identification. In order to minimize disruption, our front office staff will give messages to students at the appropriate times and not call them out of class; please arrange all your planning before school. If your child is staying in any after-school activity, please know who your child is staying with, we will be unable to call students over the public address system as it interrupts other after-school activities and meetings. The school is also secured shortly after school begins; entrance into the building should only be through the front door located near the main office. Students have been directed not to open any outside door during the day. We are requesting that students be picked up for early dismissal by 2:30pm. After that time the building will be secured to ensure that we are ready for dismissal. We will not be able to release students after 2:30pm. Also, no messages will be given to students after 2:30pm. In the case of early dismissal before 2:30pm, a note that can be delivered to the front office will ensure that your child is ready when you arrive. Please realize that it will take time to get your child if a note has not been written in advance. Thank you for making a difference by keeping our students safe and secure at Potomac Middle School. Hoops for Heart Thanks to all the students and parents that attended our second annual Hoops for SPRING SPORTS Heart Game on April 1st here at Potomac Middle. The event was kicked off with a playing of the National Anthem by Mr. Hearn and the orchestra. The female faculty continued their winning streak by defeating the girls’ basketball. The male faculty 2008 also remains victorious with another win over the boys’ basketball team. At intermission, the students were quizzed on heart health and earned prizes for answering correctly. The event was a huge success which raised over $900.00 for The American Heart Association! A big shout out goes to Jonae Guest for raising $300.00 and being the top participant for a second year in a row. As a school, we are joining in the fight against our Nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers-cardiovascular diseases and stroke. If you haven’t done so already, check out our Nutrition/Fitness Webpage and learn healthy tips for proper nutrition and fitness. There are also several links posted for getting you started in taking steps to wellness. Cheerleaders The PTMS cheerleaders finished their season with a 1st Place win at the Garfield Cheer and Dance Competition in February. The girls did a fabulous job cheering for basketball and wrestling. Stay Tune for 2008-2009 tryouts! Volleyball Try-outs will begin the first week of school for the 2008-2009 School year. Any girls wishing to Panther Dancers participate needs to have a Sports Physical dated May 1, 2008 or later to The Panther Dancer team had an be turned in the first day of try-outs. extremely successful season. Hard work, dedication, and determination Please do not wait until the last minute. have driven the team to earn 2 first Other helpful items for practice would place trophies at Winter Fest Dance be sneakers, knee pads and a “willing to competition, held at Potomac High School . All Dancers should have work hard” attitude. Have a great their uniform turned in by Friday summer and try to play as much April 25th. The end of the year celebration volleyball as you can! will be held April 25th from 3-5 to Questions please contact Coach celebrate our successes. Heindrichs at firstname.lastname@example.org Tryouts will be held in the fall for next year’s team. From the Clinic The grass is growing, flowers are blooming, and seasonal allergies are flourishing! Many children are miserable with itchy, watery red eyes, runny nose, sneezing and sometimes with an associated itchy, sore throat. These seasonal allergy symptoms caused by pollen and mold spores are commonly known as Hayfever. Symptoms may vary from person to person, but Hayfever often runs in families and is also related to the incidence of asthma and eczema. For most people, over-the-counter remedies are their primary coping mechanism. Antihistamine medicines reduce the effect of one of the main chemicals released by the allergic response. Nasal sprays and eye drops may reduce local inflammatory responses. Occasionally, your doctor may consider prescription medication for allergy relief. There are other things you can do to lessen seasonal allergy symptoms: Teachers, please avoid opening your classroom windows to the outside; you may have students suffering from mild to severe allergies. The pollen openly seen settling on cars is being ingested into nasal passages and airways also. Consider staying inside between 5pm and 7pm, when pollen counts are usually the highest. Keep windows and doors closed, especially at these times and when sleeping. After spending time outdoors, wash hands and face to remove pollen. Pollen sticks to the eyelashes causing irritation. Wash your hair before going to sleep and frequently change your pillow cases as allergens stick to your hair. Damp dust and vacuum your home regularly to minimize the presence of pollen and dust. Also, wash your bed linens in hot water weekly. Consider an air purifier or air filter. Removing pollen and other allergens from the air will help you reduce your symptoms. Drink plenty of fluids to keep secretions thin and reduce thirst and dryness sometimes associated with antihistamines. Be aware of the pollen count. The pollen count is usually broadcast along with the weather. Avoid areas of high pollen concentration like long grass, lawn clippings and trees. If your child is in need of a Health Treatment Plan for a specific medical condition, please contact the school nurse for the appropriate forms to be completed by the doctor. STAY HEALTHY!!! Art Department News Winning Youth Art Month Flag Design by Victoria Castleberry The Art department is excited to announce that Victoria Castleberry's Youth Art Month Flag Design is the second place winner (STATE WIDE!) for the Middle School division of the Youth Art Month Competition held by VAEA. Victoria's design will be posted on the VAEA Youth Art Month flag site. The following students Art work is currently on display at the Dumfries Library: Alex Rodriguez, Danielle Ferguson, Maxine Askew, Shon Cagungun, Bryana Coleman, Yelitza Alvarenga, Misael Zalaya, Edgar Ventura, Elmer Sorto, Thret Griffith, Michael Flatequal, Gela Maravilla, Sonyi Omadjela, Deidre Henry, and Ilsia Salguero. The Annual Fine Arts festival was a great success this year at Woodbridge School of Fine and Performing Arts on Saturday March 29th. The students’ Art looked wonderful and students and their families were in attendance. Dr. Stephens came and lent her support and made it more fun. Kelly Redmond’s Art work was chosen to represent our school in the Administrative Complex at Independent Hill. There is a great Art Enrichment program this summer from July 7th -25th at Marsteller and Godwin Middle Schools. There is an information packet available in the guidance office or from Mrs. Paige in the Art Department. P POTOMAC MIDDLE SPRING SPORTS SCHEDULE 2008 TENNIS POTOMAC @ Woodbridge Thurs., April 24th Lake Ridge @ POTOMAC Tues., May 6th Rippon @ POTOMAC Thurs., May 8th Woodbridge @ POTOMAC Mon., May 12th POTOMAC @ Lake Ridge Tues., May 20th POTOMAC @ Rippon Thurs., May 22th A MIDSPRPO CH DULE 2008P BASEBALL Date SOFTBALL Godwin @ POTOMAC Mon., April 21st POTOMAC @ Godwin Woodbridge @ POTOMAC Thurs., April 24th POTOMAC @ Woodbridge POTOMAC @ Graham Park Mon., April 28th Graham Park @ POTOMAC Rippon @ POTOMAC Thurs., May1st POTOMAC @ Rippon POTOMAC @ Fred Lynn Mon., May 5th Fred Lynn @ POTOMAC POTOMAC @ Godwin Thurs., May 8th Godwin @ POTOMAC POTOMAC @ Woodbridge Mon., May 12th Woodbridge @ POTOMAC Graham Park @ POTOMAC Thurs., May 15th POTOMAC @ Graham Park POTOMAC @ Rippon Mon., May 19th Rippon @ POTOMAC Fred Lynn @ POTOMAC Thurs., May 22nd POTOMAC @ Fred Lynn OTOMAC MIDDLE SPRING SPORTS SCHEDULE 2008 POTOMAC MIDDLE SPRING SPORTS SCHEDULE 2008 GIRLS SOCCER Godwin @ POTOMAC Mon., April 21 Woodbridge @ POTOMAC Thurs., April 24 POTOMAC @ Graham PARK Mon., April 28 Rippon @ POTOMAC Thurs., May 1 POTOMAC @ F.Lynn Mon., May 5 POTOMAC @ Godwin Thurs., May 8 POTOMAC @ Woodbridge Mon., May 12 Graham Park @ POTOMAC Thurs., May 15 POTOMAC @ Rippon Mon., May 19 F.Lynn @ POTOMAC Thurs., May 22 BOYS TRACK 2008 POTOMAC @ WOODBRIDGE Wed., April 23 Graham Park @ POTOMAC Wed., April 30 Rippon @ POTOMAC Fri., May 2 POTOMAC @ Fred Lynn Wed., May 7 POTOMAC @ Godwin Wed., May 14 REGIONAL MEET @ RIPPON /SITE TBA Wed., May 21 TBA PE DEPARTMENT NEWS Spring is here and we are in outdoor mode. We will be jumping into games like Capture the Flag, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Kickball, Tennis and other large group activities. Please make sure your child has a sweatshirt or sweatpants if they tend to get cold easily. We are going to be going out everyday as long as the weather is at 55 degrees and it is not raining. It will be good to get outside and get some fresh air after being stuck in- side all winter! Mr. Anthes 8th grade classes will be going into the Health classroom for the last marking period. Students in his classes should clean out their lockers at the end of the 3rd marking period. We will be continuing with Fitness Testing. Everyone will also be tested in the mile run. Students will be eligible for the Friday drawings by earning a 7:30 minute mile for boys and an 8:30 minute mile for girls. Get out there and get moving! Potomac Middle School Steppers The Potomac Middle School closed out their season at the final home basketball game versus Fred Lynn. The steppers of Potomac Middle School had an outstanding season, stepping and stomping their ways into the memory books of Potomac Middle School. Not only did the team turn it out at the girl’s and boy’s basketball games, they “stepped it up” in the community as well. By invitation only, the Step Team showed up and showed out at the Annual Black History Celebration at the Quantico Marine Base. Stepping to the theme and ideas of Dr. Carter G. Woodson and Multiculturalism; the team was featured on the front page of the Quantico Sentry. The team also performed at Potomac High School’s Step Competition as an exhibition act. The coaches would like to recognize and thank the team captains and team members for an outstanding season. We also would like to thank all the faculty and staff for their assistance over the year: Dr. Benita Stephens: Principal and Advisor Mrs. Danielle Hodge: Team Photographer Mr. Williams: Athletic Director Mrs. Debbie White Bookkeeper Briana Alston Joy Amo Eiante Archer Alexus Deal Chelsea Dubose Khadijah Eason Alvia Evans Lindsey Foster-Captain Tayzie Gibson Ashley Miley-Captain Santeeka Saahir Jasmine Wilson Try-outs for the 2008-2009 will be held in the fall, hope to see you there. Ms. Ashley Catlett: Coach and Choreographer Ms. Kimberly Harper: Coach and Business Manager The Prince William County Public School Division does not discriminate in employment or in its education programs and activities against qualified individuals on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, age, veteran status, or disability. April Newsletter – Music March was national Music in Our Schools Month and though we celebrate music everyday at Potomac Middle School, March is extra special because of District Festival Performances. Our Band, Choir, and Orchestra each went to District Festival and represented Potomac Middle School very well. The Festival Band earned an Excellent rating at their district festival while the 8th grade Choir and the Festival Orchestra brought home Superior ratings. We are all very proud of these young musicians. April and May also brings Solo & Ensemble Festival for our Band and Orchestra students. The Band S&E Festival will be held on Saturday, May 12th at Manassas Park High School. The Orchestra S&E festival will be held at Potomac Middle School on Thursday, April 17th. Students interested in participating or who need more information should contact their ensemble director. Our Band and Choir programs are currently preparing for a trip to Williamsburg, VA to perform in the Musicale Music Festival on Saturday, May 3rd. The Festival Band, 8th grade Choir, and Festival Orchestra will be competing against ensembles from across the East Coast. After their performances, students will spend the rest of their day at Busch Gardens with an awards ceremony in the park. Information for this trip was distributed to students by their ensemble director and payments have started to be collected. If you have questions, please contact the Music Department. The Spring Concert schedule has been announced and will be as follows: Wednesday, May 21st – 6th Grade Concert Thursday, May 29th – 7th Grade Concert Thursday, June 5th – 8th Grade Concert All Concerts are held in the Potomac MS Gymnasium, start at 7 PM, and are free and open to the public. Also, on Wednesday, May 28th at 7:30 PM, the 8th grade Band will be traveling to Potomac High School to perform with the Potomac HS Bands on their Spring Concert. Finally the music department would like to thank everyone for their support and participation in the Virginia Diner Fund raiser. Please check the Music page of the Potomac MS Website for details when orders can be picked up. Your support will help our music department and music students continue to grow and develop. As always, if you have questions or concerns about any music department activities, please contact Mr. Bud Hearne, Music Dept. Chair at 703.221.4996 ext.321 OR at email@example.com. 8th Grade History Classes to Visit National Gallery of Art (Parent Chaperones Needed!) The Pioneer and Trailblazer Teams World History classes of Mr. Anderson, Mr. Roach and Mrs. Catlett will journey to Washington, D.C. to the National Gallery of Art. Mr. Anderson's trip will occur on May 12th and Mr. Roach's and Mrs. Catlett's will be on May 14th. The trip will be part of our study of the art and artists of the Italian Renaissance Period. We will attend a slide lecture and then tour the Gallery’s Italian Renaissance collections. Among the art we will observe is the only painting of Leonardo da Vinci’s currently on display in North and South America. We also plan on eating lunch in the museum cafeteria. The cost for students, including lunch, will be $5.00. The very low cost for this rewarding trip is possible because our school will pay for half of the cost of lunch. We cannot make this trip without parent chaperones. On our past trips, we have been very fortunate to have at least 20 parents who have volunteered to accompany us each day. This allows us to group the students in groups of six so that we may spread them out as we tour the museum. Please consider setting this day aside to come with us to view the art of the Renaissance. We plan on leaving at 9:00 a.m. and will return at approximately 1:00-1:30 p.m. More information will be available as the trip approaches. Language Arts - Pioneers / Trailblazers As 8th graders enter into the last nine weeks, they look forward to high school. To prepare our students for the "dreaded" research paper, we will do a short unit on the research process complete with a brief written paper. During the month of May students will do concentrated review of reading strategies, skills, and sample tests before the SOL to be administered late in May. Robotics Club: Members of the 8th Grade Pantherbots designed and built two robots and entered both in a Middle School Competition on March 29, 2008. Team T-Vex 1 and Team T-Vex 2 took on over 37 opponents. Team members had some impressive matches and proved their robotic design could accomplish its task. Team members will continue to work on programming and design as they prepare to teach the rising 7th graders about the Vex system. Team members include: Molly Helverson, Courtney Wright, Darla Denham, Nanzhu Chen, Oscar McCullough, Tao Ly. Coaches include: Mrs Rheinlander, Mr Dishman, and parent coach, Mr Helverson. Reminder to 8Th Graders Please be sure to check your immunization records to see if you have a current Tetanus shot before you enter high school. If it has been nearly ten years since you had your last DTP, Td, or Dtap shot you will need to have an update. If you have already received a Tetanus or Tdap booster please provide the school nurse with a copy of the record so that your file can be updated. SIGNET Signet is coming to an end for the 2007- 2008 school year. Our last class dates will be Lion's Team May 6,7,8 respectively. You should be receiving a copy of completed DSP forms The Lion's Team wants to remind shortly. These are new forms for PWC and students now that it is spring to will need to be signed and returned. You will stay focused and continue also receive a copy for your records. learning. Students need to be Currently, 6th grade students are currently preparing for their SOL tests, working on a Marine Biology unit. During which are fast approaching. New this unit, students will learn about coral material is still being taught in reefs, tide pulls, and marine life. Activities class and CMS tests are still will include a Marine Life picture book and being given. Students need to dissection of a shark pup. make sure that they bring all 7th grade students are making a video supplies to class and are presentation to introduce Potomac Middle completing their nightly School to our new 6th grade students next homework. Homework is very year. important in the retention of 8th grade will finish their home designs classroom information. Please and study the aerodynamics of Mousetrap keep a look at for the Lion's Team race cars. monthly newsletter for subject This has been a great year for SIGNET! specifics. Have a great rest of the year! & Good luck on your SOL exams! Panther Pals Panther Pals continue to meet on a monthly basis and all who participate in the program enjoy the activities. We are currently taking applications from 6th grade SIGNET students to participate for the rest of the year as well as the 2008-2009 school term. Interested SIGNET students should see Mrs. Tucker for an application. Sensitivity training will occur Wednesday April 23rd. from 3-4 pm POTOMAC MIDDLE SCHOOL GUIDANCE DEPARMENT Career Day The 8th Grade Career Day was a tremendous success! This event was held on Thursday, April 10, 2008 here at Potomac Middle. Over 30 professionals came to share their career experiences with our students. Our guests included but were not limited to dentists, FBI agents, accountants, photographers, advertising executives, engineers, and law enforcement officials. The students were dressed for success and came with some great questions for our presenters. Our guests were extremely impressed with the professional manner in which the students conducted themselves during this event. The students were equally impressed by the presenters which was evident from their discussions about Career Day after it was over. We would like to thank all of the staff, students, parents, and guests for making this a memorable learning experience for our 8th grade students. Summer School Program Middle Summer School offers students enrolled in grades 6-8 opportunities to improve basic skills through remediation activities using individual and small group instruction. The program is further designed to address skills needed to pass the statewide standards of learning assessments. Placement is determined by the grade in which the student is enrolled during the 2007-2008 school year. The instructional program for rising 9th grade students (current 8th grade students) is designed for students who have been identified as requiring further remediation prior to entry into the 9th grade. The program will serve as a bridge between summer and fall and will focus on reading, math and social skills. Dates: Monday, July 7, 2008 to Friday, July 25, 2008 7:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. For more information on the PWCS Summer School Program including locations, tuition and transportation please visit: http://www.pwcs.edu/Departments/OSMAP/?summer.html Summer Suggestions – 2008 The Prince William County Office on Youth (703-792-6095) and Youth Services Board have compiled and published a listing of summer activities for Prince William area youth and families. This brochure is now available in the Guidance Department and online at www.pwcgov.org Bereavement Camp Welcomes Kids and Teens Comfort Zone Camp provides help to children ages 7-12 and 13-17 who have experienced deaths of parents, grandparents, siblings or caregivers. Hosted in Richmond, Virginia, CZC is open to kids nationwide at no cost. Travel scholarships are also available for campers and a parent or guardian who must accompany them. For more information visit the CZC website at www.comfortzonecamp.org or call 804-377-3430.
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