Thoreau Matters - January 10th Issue

Message from Mr. Azimi

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Dear Thoreau Community: 

Happy New Year 2019!  I would like to extend a warm welcome back to school after what I hope was a relaxing two-week winter break for all of you.  I hope that this new year brings you good health, happiness and prosperity.  With the onset of a new year, I want to seize the opportunity to thank the Thoreau community for your caring support and partnership thus far in working together with the Thoreau staff for the well-being and education of our students/your children.  This is a perfect time for all Thoreau students to self-assess how their school year has been progressing to date and what tweaks need to be made going forward.  In just a few short weeks, the first semester will come to an end and we will slide into the second semester.  As such, I would encourage you to take the opportunity to celebrate any personal achievements your child has made thus far and set any necessary goals going forward.  If you need any support or need information regarding your child at school, please reach out to your child's counselor or his/her teacher(s).  Once again, have a wonderful and prosperous 2019.


Yusef Azimi

Upcoming Important Dates

  • Friday, January 18th:  3-hour early release; student dismissal at 11:15 AM (no after-school activities or late buses)
  • Monday, January 21st:  Martin Luther King Holiday
  • Thursday, January 24th:  2nd quarter ends
  • Friday, January 25th:  Student holiday/teacher workday

Principal's bulletin board

Art Extentions students Michael Allen, Ashley Niesen, EJ Nelson, Taiki Stephon, and Richard Pham met with Principal Yusef Azimi before winter break. He shared his appreciation for their Thoreau Eagles art projects that are now displayed in his office.

Capital One Coders Middle School Initiative

The Thoreau after-school program is partnering with Capital One again this spring to bring an exciting enrichment opportunity to our students.  The initiative is a 10-week program designed to teach middle school-aged students introductory software development skills in a fun and engaging environment.  Most excitingly, students create working mobile apps that they can share with their friends and family!

This activity will meet on Thursdays from February 21st - May 2nd (with the exception of Thursday, April 18th).  The program will run from 2:25 PM - 4:05 PM.  Students will be able to take a late bus home.  The program will conclude with a celebration event and App Challenge at Capital One headquarters in McLean on Thursday, May 16th at 6:00 PM.  Due to the popularity of this program and limited spaces, a lottery system will be used to determine the students who will participate.  Applications of students who can commit to attending all 10 sessions will be given priority.  Students who previously participated in this program are not eligible to participate again.  Applications will be available in the school's main office and on the Thoreau activities site on Blackboard (FCPS 24/7) beginning on Monday, January 14th.  Students should complete the application and return it to the school's main office or Thoreau after-school specialist Shannon Campbell no later than Friday, February 1st.  Students will receive notification of acceptance on Monday, February 11th.

After-School Activities Calendar

For planning purposes, there will be no after-school activities on the following dates.  All students will depart at the 2:15 PM bell on these dates:

  • Thursday, February 7th
  • Friday, February 15th
  • Friday, April 12th
  • Friday, May 24th

Last day for after-school programs and late buses for the 2018-2019 school year is Thursday, May 30th.

Shuttle Bus Survey to Vienna Teen Center's Club Phoenix

Thoreau's after-school program partners with Vienna Teen Center's Club Phoenix to offer programming at Thoreau.  One service that we are looking at potentially offering is a shuttle bus that would transport students from Thoreau to the Teen Center at the end of the afternoon, two days a week.  Only students who participate in Thoreau's after-school program and are registered with Club Phoenix would be able to use this service.  The students would then be able to participate in Club Phoenix activities until the center closes at 6:30 PM.  Club Phoenix is a drop-in program, and participants may only sign-out once daily.  Students will need a mode of transportation home from the center.  The registration form is available at the Teen Center or you can email Teen Center program manager Natalie Duncan at  Please fill out this survey so we can gauge parent/student interest in this service.  There would be limited space on the shuttle so students would need to register in advance.  The survey will close on Friday, January 18th.  Survey results will be used to determine a schedule.  Note that the shuttle would only run on days in which the after-school program convenes.

Updates from Student Services

For your planning purposes, please make note of the following registration events in preparation for the 2019-2020 school year:

Rising 9th Grade Academic Advising and Course Registration Information

Madison HS Curriculum Night:  Thursday, January 10th, 6:30 PM at Madison HS.  Details about the event can be found here.

Marshall HS Curriculum Night:  Monday, February 11th, 5:00 PM at Marshall HS.  Details to follow.

Oakton HS Curriculum Night:  The event took place on Wednesday, January 9th, and was advertised by Oakton HS to rising 9th grade families via an email message.

In addition to these school-sponsored events, high school counselors from Madison, Marshall and Oakton will be meeting with our 8th grade students on Tuesday, January 15th and Wednesday, January 16th within the school day during our Eagle Time block.  Students will bring home course selection sheets and will meet with Thoreau counselors to discuss course registrations during the months of January and February.

Rising 8th Grade Academic Advising and Course Registration Information

Thoreau counselors will conduct course presentations in mid-February, and will continue to work with our rising 8th grade students and families through mid-March to complete this process.

Rising 7th Grade Academic Advising and Course Registration Information

Thoreau Activities Fair for rising 7th grade students is Tuesday, February 5th and Wednesday, February 6th from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM.  Students are transported to Thoreau from our feeder elementary schools for this event.

Thoreau Curriculum Night & Family Open House for our rising 7th grade families is Thursday, February 7th from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM.

Mdme Locke

French teacher Madame Locke works with Thomas Carpio Galan and her 6th period class to learn a Happy New Year greeting.

Thoreau Travels to France

The fabulous 9-day trip to Paris, Provence, and the southern coast of France is gaining momentum!  We are into the double-digits in terms of participants, but we have room for more.  Educational Tours has extended the $100 discount for anyone who signs up by Sunday, January 20th!!  The tour is open to all Thoreau students, so come join us for some early summer French culture.  The tentative departure date is Wednesday, June 19th.  You can access additional details here, just search Paris and the Riviera.  Interested?  Contact Thoreau French teacher Noelle Locke at

New Thoreau Attendance Email Address

Thoreau's new attendance email is  This is a result of FCPS standardizing the attendance phone numbers and email addresses for all schools across the district.  Maintaining consistent contact information between school websites and the new eNotify system will ensure more accurate reporting and tracking of attendance.  The attendance phone number for Thoreau will remain 703-846-8080. 

2018-2019 Thoreau Yearbook

More QR clips of students in action than ever before!

More teacher interviews than ever before!

More pictures of students than ever before!

Don't wait.  Purchase the 2018-2019 Thoreau yearbook today! 

A generic version of the yearbook can be purchased at

To purchase an individualized version, go to

Distribution will take place the last week of school in June.  Questions? Please contact Thoreau yearbook sponsor Ms. Galeet BenZion at  

News from the Health and Physical Education Department

If you would like to purchase an additional physical education uniform, you can do so at this time.  Uniforms can be purchased online at

Shrek the Musical Jr. Comes to Thoreau

Shrek Jr

Auditions are in full swing for Shrek the Musical!  Thank you to everyone who is trying out.  Auditions began Monday, January 7th and will continue until the end of the day on Thursday, January 10th.  On Friday, January 11th, some actors will be notified to attend callbacks after school.  The cast list will be posted here no later than 8:00 PM on Saturday, January 12th.  Congratulations to all the students who participated!

PTA News and Announcements

January Evening PTA Meeting

The next PTA meeting will be Wednesday, January 16th at 6:30 PM.  The meeting will be held at the Vienna Community Center's Club Phoenix at 120 Cherry Street SE, Vienna, Virginia  22180.  Following the meeting at 7:00 PM, Club Phoenix will sponsor a program called Video Game Rage.  A licensed psychotherapist from Total Health Concepts will facilitate alongside an employee from GameStop.  Please plan to join us!

Spirit Wear Sale

Distribution of spirit wear that was purchased before winter break will begin on Thursday, January 10th.  Items will be available for pick-up in the school store unless a family chose to have them shipped directly.

Spelling Bee

The Thoreau Spelling Bee registration will open soon.  More information will be available on the PTA website and PTA e-news.

Dining for Dollars

The PTA will hold a Dining for Dollars event at Church Street Pizza on Monday, January 14th, from 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM.  Come join us and support the PTA!

Help the PTA

Please join the PTA and consider making a donation to our no-fuss fundraiser.

Other easy ways you can earn money for Thoreau are:

  • register your Giant card to support Thoreau with the A+ School Rewards, group ID# 02131
  • register your Harris Teeter VIC card with school code 3258
  • designate Thoreau for your Amazon Smile charity
  • keep collecting and sending in your Box Tops


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.

Ms. Bittle

English teacher Kelsie Bittle's 6th period English 8 honors students are analyzing images, text, and video to help determine different ways to identify tone.