Electronic Friday Folder -- December 11, 2020

Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming ASFS Dates
  • Friday, December 18th - ASFS Family Holiday Traditions Celebration Video (during morning announcements)
  • Monday, December 20th - Friday, January 1st - NO SCHOOL (Winter Break)
  • Monday, January 4th - School Resumes
  • Tuesday, January 12th - January ASFS PTA Meeting, 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom)

Please visit the ASFS Master Calendar for all 2020-21 school year dates.


Greetings from the ASFS PTA

With Winter Break coming up soon, we are looking forward to celebrating virtually at ASFS! Remember to send your photos for our ASFS Holiday Traditions Celebrations Video by this Monday, December 14th to Courtney Davison (details below) to be shown on Friday, December 18th during the morning announcements.

Take a moment to say thank you to ASFS Teachers & Staff this holiday season for all they have done for our students so far this school year! See more info on the ASFS Staff Wish Lists below, and look for the Red Mailbox outside ASFS to drop off cards and small gifts.

New Elementary School Updates: New this week, we have added a new section at the bottom of the eFF for the latest announcements for the new school at the Key site. We will include any updates each week, so make sure to scroll down to the bottom of the newsletter. Thank you!

Principal Notes from Ms. Begley

With Winter Break coming up beginning December 19th through January 3rd, and the first instructional day of 2021 on Monday, January 4th, 2021, please keep these reminders in mind:

Staying Engaged during the Holidays
During the holiday season, we want to encourage pleasurable reading each and every day.  The way we all become more proficient readers is by reading. As people purchase books from the book fair or make book selections for holiday gifts, we want to encourage the love of reading as a lifelong skill for success. Take 20 minutes each day and have a family reading time. When children see those they love reading, it encourages them to read more as they see you as their model. Thank you for encouraging at home reading for pleasure.

Supervision Guidelines

  • 8 years and under : Should not be left alone for any period of time. This includes leaving children unattended in cars, playgrounds and yards.
  • 9 to 10 years : Should not be left alone for more than 1 ½ hours and only during daylight and early evening hours.
  • 11 to 12 years : May be left alone for up to 3 hours, but not late at night or in circumstances requiring adult supervision.
  • 13 to 15 years : May be left unsupervised, but not overnight.
  • 16 to 17 years : May be left unsupervised for up to two consecutive overnight periods.

Looking to Donate to ASFS in 2020?

If you are interested in making a cash donation to ASFS in 2020, you can use this as a write off for 2020 taxes.  Please drop your checks off at ASFS, or you can contact Kristi Tsiopanas. All donations are welcome and appreciated.

Thank you, 

Mary E. Begley, ASFS Principal

Announcements and Changes to ASFS Staff

Even in a pandemic, we continue to be green and growing. Changes in staffing that will occur over winter break are a big move to Brazil for Ms. Brittani Burrows in our EL department as her husband takes on a new job opportunity, and we will welcome Ms. Elle Roberts to this position. You may remember Ms. Roberts was Ms. Kiel’s long term substitute.
In our office, after being with us for our entire 25 years, Ms. Fuentes has accepted a promotion at Jamestown and will begin her new position on January 4.  For many of you, Ms. Fuentes is the first person you talk to or see when you register your child. Loren is the pleasant face you meet as you enter the office. Mr. Bosley, Ms. Vasques Randolph, Ms. Hawthorne, and myself have been with Loren since ASFS began. Before that time, they were together at Key West.   While we will miss Ms. Fuentes VERY much, we know that this is a new opportunity for her to grow and share her kindness with the Jamestown community. Please join me in wishing Ms. Fuentes farewell and great success in her new position.
Ms. Stacia Griffin in our office will move into the registrar’s position and will be the new first face you see when you enter. In Ms. Griffin’s spot will be one of our own staff members from Extended Day, Ms. Olga Hill. This will diversify our languages to Spanish, Ukraine, Russian, and Mongolian which will help in speaking with students and parents. We welcome Ms. Hill and look forward to her increased time with ASFS.

--Mary E. Begley, ASFS Principal


Send Your Photos by MONDAY, 12/14: ASFS Family Holiday Traditions Celebration Video

Since we are unable to get together in person this year, we will celebrate virtually with an ASFS Family Holiday Traditions Celebration Video on Friday, December 18th during the morning announcements! Similar to the virtual ASFS Halloween parade we all enjoyed, we'd love photos of your favorite family holiday traditions to share with our school community. Ideas might include holiday decorations, customs, cooking/baking, festive attire, or any other ways your family celebrates the holiday season.

If you'd like, send a photo of your child(ren) enjoying a favorite holiday tradition to Courtney Davison by Monday, December 14th, and feel free to include grade level(s) in your email. Thanks to Ms. Hall, we'll put together a virtual celebration video for our entire community to enjoy. (Note: We'll be posting the video link on social media, so sending your photo confirms your permission to share online.) 


Thank Our ASFS Teachers & Staff - Holiday Wish Lists


This holiday season thanking educators for their service is more important than ever. Overnight, the pandemic imposed radical changes, including the major shift to remote learning. With the support of our school system, parents, teachers, and students have been able to carry on. Hats off to all!

The pandemic made us realize just how much our teachers do. Seeing that teaching involves more than a list of day to day activities, we watch them go above and beyond the call of duty.  If you are considering a gift for your teacher and ASFS staff this holiday season, take a look at what is on their WISH LISTS! ​​​​​

    Feel free to send a gift directly to your teacher via email. Something as simple as an e-card would be appreciated too. Gifts do not need to be expensive, and participation is not mandatory.

    • For contact information for ASFS Teachers and Staff, visit the ASFS Staff Directory.
    • Make sure to keep the APS Gifts to Employees Policy in mind.
    • The wish list will be updated weekly.
    • If you do not see your teacher on the list, Amazon, Target, VISA, and Starbucks seems to be a good idea for a gift card! 


    Look for the RED HOLIDAY MAILBOX outside the main entrance at ASFS. Every weekday through Friday, December 18th between 8am-4pm, students could drop their little homemade gifts, cards, or other little gifts. Please label clearly who the gift or card is for. Let's spread the holiday cheer! Happy Holidays to all!

    If you have any questions, feel free to contact Rabia Oubenadi. --Rabia Ismail Oubenadi, ASFS Teacher & Staff Appreciation Chair​​​​​


    ASFS Virtual Book Fair Wrap-up & Reminders ​​​​​​

    Many thanks to everyone that supported the ASFS Virtual Book Fair, our first event in partnership with Read Early And Daily (READ). A special thanks to Ms. A'Hearn and Pajama Mama, aka Jennifer Sauter-Price, for hosting our students Monday evening at the Pajama Read-Aloud!

    Raffle Drawing Winner: Congratulations to the Horbaly family! As promised, names of everyone who placed an order by Wednesday at midnight were entered into a raffle drawing for a free book of choice. The Horbaly family (with Carter in 3rd Grade and Landon in Kindergarten) was selected as the lucky winner!

    Delivery Reminders: Be on the lookout for a text or email from Jennifer Sauter-Price (aka PajamaMama) to sign up for a delivery time when your books are ready. Please sign up for a delivery as soon as you can. 

    Questions? Email ASFS Book Fair Leads, Michelle Brydges and Amelia Gay. Thank you!

    December ASFS PTA Meeting Follow-up


    Thanks to everyone who attended our December ASFS PTA Meeting on Tuesday evening. For those who were unable to attend or would like more details, you may find the complete meeting materials here: ASFS PTA Meeting Materials (12/8/20), including the draft meeting minutes. Also, our ASFS PTA membership voted to approve the November ASFS PTA Meeting minutes via electronic voting - thanks for your support!

    Thank you to Mr. Villacrusis for providing an overview of Gifted Services at ASFS, including a fun PMI (Plus-Minus-Interesting) activity for our community. Click below for his presentation, and contact Mr. Villacrusis with any questions.

    ASFS Gifted Services Overview Presentation (12/8/20)


    ASFS Yearbook 2020-21 Update - Submit Your Virtual Learning Photos

    Great news! We have confirmed that even though we are not in school together so far this year, we will still have an ASFS Yearbook for the 2020-21 school year. Stay tuned for details on pre-ordering your yearbook in early 2021, with distribution targeted by the end of the school year, pending the state of delivery from Lifetouch. School picture plans are still tentative, and we will keep you posted as we have more information.  

    In the meantime, we need your help to submit your virtual learning photos! Thanks to this year's ASFS Yearbook Lead, Michelle Shine, send pictures of your students learning at home and participating virtually in school activities for use in the 2020-21 yearbook. Please be mindful of the following when submitting a photo:

    • Photos should only be of current ASFS students
    • Photos should focus on ASFS Distance Learning or other School Activities (no non-school related events)
    • Photos should relate to the ASFS Curriculum, Specials, Band/Orchestra, School Events, or other ASFS Activities and Groups
    • Photos submitted should be centered around one student. If you have multiple children at ASFS, then you will need to submit a separate form for each child. You may submit as many forms as you'd like. We will be collecting photos until mid March 2021.
    • Submitting photos does not guarantee that all will be used in the yearbook.

    Click the link below to submit your yearbook photos, and email Ms. Shine-Flaus with any questions. Thank you!

    2020-21 ASFS Yearbook Photo Submission Form

    ASFS Hour of Code - Through Today (Friday, 12/11)

    Helana Bales, ASFS Computer Science Teacher

    Hour of Code

    Students around the globe are participating in the Hour of Code in an effort to get as many kids coding as possible! Here at ASFS, we're making history by teaching computer science to our students, a class only taught in approximately 45% of high schools, let alone elementary schools. Our students are participating in the Hour of Code by choosing between several coding choices available on the ASFS Computer Science App/Website during Computer Science with Mrs. Bales. Check out hourofcode.com for more ways that your student can continue to code after class. Happy Coding!

    APS Virtual Hour of Code: APS encourages and supports the integration of computer science throughout the entire school year, and we dedicate the month of December to celebrating the fun of coding! Join us for our 2020 Computer Science Education Week (through today, Friday, 12/11) which provides an opportunity to participate in the worldwide celebration of the “Hour of Code!” (more info: www.hourofcode.com) Our week of activities will offer a variety of coding and programming activities for students in grades PreK-8th grade and their families. For additional details, visit: 2020 Computer Science Education Week – APS Hour of Code 

    ASFS Social-Emotional Resources for Families

    Ms. Hawthorne and Ms. Proietti, ASFS Counselors

    Thanks to our ASFS Counselors, Ms. Hawthorne and Ms. Proietti, the ASFS website Social Emotional Learning page has been updated with new home links connected to our November Emotion Management unit. Visit https://asfs.apsva.us/counseling/social-emotional-learning/ for details, including links for each grade level.

    If you have any questions about the Emotion Management Unit or the Second Step program, please contact Ms. Proietti and Ms. Hawthorne. Thank you for helping us make our school a safe, respectful place where everyone can learn.


    Last Day to Donate -- ASFS Winter Clothing Drive for The Clothesline

    The Clothesline

    Today (Friday, December 11th) is the last day we are collecting winter clothing donations to support ASFS families and Arlington kids! Drop off your everyday WINTER school/home clothes in sizes 4T-Adult (teen styles) in excellent condition in the marked bin at ASFS for donation to The Clothesline for Arlington Kids​​

    • Only winter clothing is accepted at this time
    • Everyday school/home clothes in EXCELLENT condition (free of stains, free of damage, free of pet hair)
    • Size 4T – Adult (Teen Styles Only)
    • Coats, jogger pants and bras are particularly needed
    • Clean sneakers in excellent condition (currently unable to accept other types of shoes)
    • NO used underwear or socks
    • NO Baby/toddler clothes (0-3)
    • NO Toys, books, hangers, uniforms, promo/event T’s

    If interested in helping with sorting, labeling, and delivering ASFS donations to The Clothesline, email ASFS PTA VP Community Service, Kristen Jeffreys, to help out.

    You may also donate funds to support The Clothesline: Your monetary donation helps purchase new underwear and socks as well as cover the regular expenses of our volunteer-run non-profit. Importantly, a recurring donation helps us to plan for future growth in services. Click here to support The Clothesline.

    The Clothesline helps low-income families keep their kids warm - free of charge. This fall and winter, The Clothesline expects to provide assistance to over 500 kids, including Arlington Science Focus School families. However, we need your support to make this happen! Families that need clothing can complete an online form in English or in Spanish.​​​​


    December Volunteers Needed: ASFS Gardening Help

    We are seeking volunteers to keep the ASFS gardens beautiful! Click below to sign up for a week at a time to weed the front gardens. Come anytime during your assigned week as it fits into your schedule! A great way to spend time outside and support our school, and all instructions and supplies will be provided.

    ASFS Gardening Volunteer Sign-Up

    Please contact Rebecca Ferree with any questions.

    Support Our Community: Food and Book Donations

    Donate Food to the Food Pantry: Drop off canned goods to support the Food Pantry at Key ES in the bin outside ASFS from 8:00am-4:00pm Monday through Friday. Canned Items in Demand include: Vegetables, Protein (mostly beans), Fruit, Whole Meals (i.e. Chef Boyardee, canned pasta). 

    Donate Books to the ASFS Book Cabinet: Drop off your Kindergarten-5th Grade level books in the bin outside the front doors at ASFS, so that we can continue to provide books for students to read this school year.


    LAST WEEK TO SHOP the 2020 Gifts That Give Hope Online Fair!

    Support Arlington's 10th Annual Gifts That Give Hope Alternative Giving Fair! Visit ARLGivesHope.org to support charitable giving for 18 deserving nonprofit organizations by donating gift items on behalf of a loved one. This year you can choose a digital download to print or email, or receive a card in the mail to personalize and send. Make sure to visit the online Kids Fair as well, to teach children the importance of giving. 

    Remember to follow us on Twitter (@novagiveshope) & Instagram, like us on Facebook! Visit us at ARLGivesHope.org to learn more, and spread the word to your friends & family! Thank you for your generosity and giving gifts of hope this holiday season! 

    2020 Gifts That Give Hope Online Fair Flyer


    MLK Virtual Literary and Visual Arts Contest

    Now Accepting Entries for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Virtual Literary and Visual Arts Contest

    Does your student have a creative side or love to write? We are now seeking entries for the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Virtual Literary and Visual Arts Contest. The contest is an opportunity for students to describe in writing or through visual arts how they are contributing to their community and how they can make a difference through acts of kindness in the spirit if Dr. King’s vision. Entries are due by Dec.16. Learn more.


    APS Elementary School Boundaries for 2021-22

    The Arlington School Board voted to approve the the elementary school boundaries for the 2021-22 school year. Details can be found in the Fall 2020 Elementary School Boundary Process Presentation (12/3/20), and additional information on the APS Engage Fall 2020 Elementary Boundaries page.

    For ASFS families, the following planning units are reassigned as follows:

    • ASFS to Taylor: 24010, 24011, 24020
    • ASFS to the new school at Key: 24050, 24051, 24060, 24070, 24071, 24130, 24031, 24030, 24033, 24032, 24090, 24040, 24041, 24042, 24043, 24081, 24082
    • Please feel free to reach out to our ASFS leads with any questions.

    APS 2021-22 School Year Calendar Approved

    The School Board approved the calendar for the 2021-22 school year. The school year will start on Aug. 30, 2021 and ends on June 17, 2022 and will include four additional cultural/religious holidays. To see a list of dates and more, visit our website. Click to see the full 2021-22 School Year Calendar.

    APS & Arlington County Seeking Feedback on Race & Equity Through Community Questionnaire

    Arlington Public Schools, in partnership with Arlington County and Challenging Racism, is requesting students and families complete the Perspectives on Race and Equity in Arlington Community Questionnaire. The community questionnaire is part of Arlington County’s new Dialogues on Race & Equity (DRE) Initiative and broader commitment to improve racial equity in Arlington.

    Students and families are encouraged to complete the community questionnaire to provide feedback on the systemic race and equity issues in the Arlington community based on their individual experiences, backgrounds, insights, opinions, and beliefs about race and equity. The community questionnaire is available online until Thursday, December 31. If you are interested in completing the questionnaire, please visit the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/G9YWWP9

    Additional information on the Perspectives on Race and Equity in Arlington Community Questionnaire and DRE community conversations is available on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion webpage under the community engagement tab. 


    Take and Make Bags through the Arlington Public Library

    Take a Craft to Make at Home!

    Our Take and Make bags contain all of the supplies, materials and instructions (if you choose to use them) to complete a craft. Note: some crafts may require scissors or glue.  Good for Pre-school, Elementary, and Middle school students. A different craft will be offered each week.

    How to sign up:  Click here to sign up
    Registration required. Only one per child, please!

    Where to pick up a Take and Make bag:  Bags will be available at Central Library on Mondays, from 12-2 p.m., at the Quincy Street entrance.

    The Arlington Public Library has several free events and activities for children in the upcoming weeks.  Click here for more information.  


    APS News & Updates

    Leigh Rex, VP External Affairs

    Here are a few key APS links relevant to ASFS families. For the latest updates, bookmark the ASFS PTA APS Updates page.

    APS Initiatives and Items to Watch

    Some Useful Sites to Bookmark and Follow:

    Ways to Engage: 


    New Elementary School Updates

    ​Thanks to Claire Peters for providing updates on the new elementary school at the Key site during our ASFS PTA Meeting this week.  Click below for her presentation to learn more:

    ​​​​​​ New Elementary School Updates (12/8/20)

    Learn more by visiting the newly launched website for the new school: https://newelementaryschool.apsva.us, or contact Claire Peters with any questions.


    Share Your Feedback: Instructional Vision for the New School

    Claire Peters, Principal at the New Elementary School

    ​​I am so excited to welcome students and families to the new elementary school at the Key site in the fall of 2021. As part of the collaborative process of developing our instructional vision, I am asking for your feedback. Please help as we consider possibilities by answering a few questions. Thank you for your valuable input!

    Instructional Visioning Feedback for New ES

    Submit Your Interest by Today (Friday, 12/11): New ES Naming Committee

    The APS School Board will be seeking input on the naming of the New Elementary School at the Key Site via a Naming Committee. This committee will be comprised of representatives from civic associations, the community, and any school that has had its boundary redrawn to create the new attendance zone. One spot on the naming committee is reserved for a parent from each school whose boundaries are redrawn to create the new attendance zone. You can click on these links for more information about the School Board policy for naming facilities and the policy implementation procedure for naming facilities.
    One parent representative will be selected to represent the ASFS community. They will need to attend three virtual night meetings over the course of three months (December-February). In between each meeting, they will be required to gather feedback on the work of the naming committee. The naming committee meetings are open to the public to view. The first meeting is planned for Wednesday, December 16th. The naming committee will make recommendations to the School Board, who will decide on a name for the New Elementary School. If you have any questions about the process, please feel free to reach out to Claire Peters.

    Submit Your Interest by Friday, December 11th: The ASFS PTA Executive Board is seeking a parent to represent the ASFS community as part of the APS Naming Committee for the New Elementary School at the Key Site. If you are zoned for the new school and plan to attend in the fall of 2021, all interested parents are encouraged to send a brief write-up to Dena Porter by Friday, December 11th explaining your interest and how you would be able to represent the community. The ASFS PTA Executive Board will select one ASFS parent by Monday, December 14th to serve on the APS Naming Committee, with the first meeting planned for Wednesday, December 16th. Please email Dena Porter with any questions. Thank you!

    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Please send all eFF submissions to Puja Valiyil by EOD Wednesdays. All content will be subject to approval by ASFS administration and the ASFS PTA.