Thoreau Matters - September 27th Issue

Message from Mr. Azimi

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Dear Thoreau Community:

My purpose in writing this message is to ensure that our parents know about SIS Parent Accounts.  SIS stands for Student Information System and it is FCPS’ secure solution for a parent to access all sorts of information about his/her child’s grades, attendance, etc.  One of the benefits of having a SIS Parent Account (the mobile version is called SIS ParentVUE) is the ability to receive electronic weekly progress reports.  The progress reports will provide a summary of grades at that moment in time.   A parent that has registered for a SIS Parent Account, and has a child in grades 7-12, will receive these progress reports.  Any parent who has more than one child in middle and/or high school will have all of their children’s information in one email so as not to be inundated with multiple messages.  (FCPS elementary schools do not use the SIS gradebook so they will not be included in these reports.)  Located in each parent account is a tab called “My Account.”  Parents have the option within this tab to choose which day of the week they wish to receive the progress report emails.  They also have the capability to opt-out of the service entirely or designate a threshold for notification.  For example, a parent can request an email only when his/her child’s grade drops below 75%.  Parents can always seek additional information by logging into their SIS Parent Accounts.  If even further clarification is required, parents should contact the appropriate classroom teacher.   Any Thoreau parent who needs help with his/her SIS Parent Account should call the Thoreau front office so that our staff can provide assistance.  


Yusef Azimi

Upcoming Important Dates

  • Monday, October 8th:  Columbus Day (student holiday/teacher workday)

Mr. Barry's technology education class

Mr. Barry's technology education class was tasked with designing and building  paper roller coasters using the Engineering Design Process.

Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) Level IV Referrals

Parents or guardians of seventh grade students may initiate the full-time AAP Level IV screening process by completing and submitting an Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form to their child's school counselor no later than Thursday, October 11th.  No late referrals will be accepted.

AAP Level IV services are available to students in grades 3-8. Students may be found eligible for full-time placement in AAP Level IV Center classes through a central selection process and receive a highly challenging instructional program in science, social studies and English.

Multiple criteria are reviewed by a central selection committee to determine eligibility for all FCPS advanced academic services. More information about AAP services available at the middle school level may be found here.

If you have any questions, you should contact your child’s counselor or Thoreau director of student services Rebecca Aguilar at

Grade 8 Wellness Screening

As originally communicated in our back-to-school packet, Thoreau Student Services will be conducting a wellness screening for our 8th graders this fall.  The dates are Tuesday, October 16th and Wednesday, October 17th, and the screening will take place through our 8th grade health & physical education classes. 

In order to ensure this is a meaningful learning opportunity for our students, we must closely partner with our parent community. To that end, an informational parent portal is supported and maintained by a nationally recognized organization, Screening for Mental Health, Inc.  This portal will not only allow you an opportunity to review the materials and topics the counselors will cover in our screening, but will also connect you with resources and educational materials related to adolescent mental health issues.  

This information is available to all Thoreau parents. Please know that if you have opted your 8th grader out of the wellness screening, we will ensure he/she has plans for an alternate location on our screening dates. Regardless of participation, we remain committed to the well-being of your child and consider this to be valuable information for you to have access to in the comfort of your own home.

Parent Login Information:

Username: thoreau-par

Password: thoreauSOS

If you have any questions, please contact Thoreau director of student services Rebecca Aguilar at 703-846-8012 or

FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference

FCPS will host the 5th annual Mental Health and Wellness Conference on Saturday, September 29th, from 8:00 AM - 1:30 PM.  The event will take place at Fairfax High School, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax, Virginia 22030.  This flyer provides information about the keynote speaker and details about the conference. Teens, parents, coaches, educators, mental health providers, and community and faith-based organizations that work with teens are invited to participate.  Registration for the event can be found here

After-School Programs and Late Buses

After-school programs and buses are up and running.  Please make sure your child has a plan for his/her after-school activities and that he/she has communicated those plans with you.  Program information is available via our website, FCPS 24-7 (Blackboard), the PTA newsletter, and Eagle News (our morning news show).

student art 1

"What is Art?" by student Elizabeth Viwrquez, produced in Ms. Eshbaugh's art class

student art 2

"What is Art?" by student Kara Fisher, produced in Ms. Eshbaugh's art class

World Language Credit Exam

The 2018 Credit Exam for World Languages is designed to assess students' native language proficiency and enable them to earn one or two credits toward fulfilling the world language requirement for the Advanced Studies Diploma.  The exam will be administered on Tuesday, November 6th, Wednesday, November 7th and Thursday, November 8th at various FCPS High Schools. Twenty-nine languages are included in this exam.  Students should meet with their school counselor prior to Wednesday, October 10th at 4:00 PM to register.  Late registrations will not be accepted.  Credit exam information can be accessed here.

Thomas Jefferson HS Science and Technology (TJHSST)

The application window for TJHSST is open now and will close on Friday, September 28th at 4:00 PM.  The entrance test day is Saturday, November 10th.  Information about the application process can also be found here.

Navy Federal Credit Union 5K Run/Walk

Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) will hold its 9th Annual 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, September 29th, promoting the wellness of its employees, as well as members and residents of our local community. NFCU supports our community by donating the proceeds to local charities like The Committee for Helping Others.  Register at this link and select the drop-down at the top of the page for Vienna.  As a side note, NFCU has been Thoreau's loyal business partner for over 28 years now.

Thoreau Health Room Volunteer Training Opportunity

There is a one-time training provided by the Fairfax County Health Department that is required for anyone volunteering in the Thoreau school health room.  The training is Wednesday, October 17th, from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, at the Annandale District Office, Heritage Building. The location is 7611 Little River Turnpike, Suite 400E, Annandale, VA 22003.  No pre-registration is required.

Ms. Yacovissi's orchestra class

Students in Ms. Yacovissi's orchestra class tuning up their instruments

Thoreau Theatre Department News 

Auditions for Game of Tiaras Are Coming Soon!

When the aging king of a Magical Kingdom (England) decides to split his empire between his three daughters, Cinderella, Belle, and the Snow Queen (who in no way resembles a copyrighted character), terrible tragedy ensues, terrible, hilarious tragedy. 

Combining the gut-wrenching plot twists of Game of Thrones and the soul-numbing despair of Shakespearean tragedy, this adaptation of King Lear will leave you dying with laughter as the body count mounts.

Auditions will be held after-school on Tuesday, October 2nd, Wednesday, October 3rd and Thursday, October 4th. (This is open only to Thespian Society members.)  See for more information.

2018-2019 Thoreau Yearbook

Our yearbook is on sale now. There are two places to purchase a copy:

  • A generic version can be purchased for $30.00 on
  • A customized version can be purchased at  This site will show the customized prices and options. 

Yearbook prices increase October 1st and again January 1st.  To date we have sold almost 50% of our 850 copies.   

Questions? Please contact Thoreau yearbook sponsor Ms. Galeet BenZion at  

PTA News and Announcements

Thanks to all who attended our first PTA meeting last week.  We had a great turnout and it was wonderful to meet so many new parents.  Please continue to check out the PTA’s Facebook group and website for updates, including information about what was covered at the meeting.  If you haven’t yet, please be sure to join the PTA and support our programs with a donation to our no-fuss fundraiser. The Thoreau PTA won't ask you to run a 5K, sell wrapping paper, or participate in something that ends in "-thon." We know you're busy and appreciate easy and no-nonsense, so we do our fundraising through direct donations. 

Spirit Wear Order Pick-Up
Spirit wear orders placed during our fall campaign are almost ready and will be arriving at school this week. Once orders can be sorted and tagged, they will be available beginning the week of Monday, October 1st for pick-up at the Thoreau School Store in the cafeteria. The store is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM. Please have your child stop by the store at lunchtime to pick-up your order, or parents may come by if they wish to pick-up their orders personally.
Box Tops Collection
Continue clipping Box Tops from your purchases! Thank you for saving those Box Tops (please check expiration dates) and sending them into the school office with your child. Thursday, November 1st is the next deadline for the PTA's submission of all our collected Box Tops which help us raise money for the school. Contact parent Megan Pauley ( with any questions.

Upcoming Dates
Monday, October 15th: Dining for Dollars at Foster's Grille, 138-A West Maple Ave, Vienna, VA, 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Thursday, October 25th: PTA Meeting, 9:30 AM


Emily Korff, Thoreau PTA President 


Thoreau Food Program

In partnership with the PTA, Thoreau Student Services will be packaging and sending home weekend food bags for families in need.  We are looking for donations of non-perishable food items as identified on this Amazon shopping list. For your convenience, these items may be ordered from Amazon and delivered directly to the school. Donations may also be purchased and dropped off in the Thoreau front office to the attention of Director of Student Services Rebecca Aguilar.  Gift cards are also greatly appreciated.