January 24, 2019 Family Newsletter

January 24, 2019 - Family Newsletter

It was another short week of school though the learning and fun continued. It is hard to believe it is the end of the 2nd quarter and we are halfway through this school year. This week brought some of our favorites to Union Mill - baseball clinics in PE by our community and the 4th grade strings concert.

When I came to Union Mill 8 years ago, I was approached by a parent and asked if SYA baseball could come in and run a baseball clinic through physical education classes. I am so happy I said yes because every year our students and staff look forward to these days. I believe the SYA coaches also enjoy their time here or I don't think they would keep coming back. Thank you to Brian Colella, Mike Gambone, Bob Nassar, Ramon Palacios, Brandon Vickers, Ben Lorigo, Jonas Guarino, Tony Felt, and Aaron Rosenberg for giving up your time to share your skills and talents with our students. Please click on the picture below to see some of the fun.


Our 4th grade strings students showed off how much they have learned so far this year. They played songs by plucking their strings (pizzicato), showed us how they learned to hold their bow, and played their instruments with the bow. That is a lot of learning in a very short period of time. Our kindergarten and 1st grade students were very impressed with the concert. We can't wait to hear them again at the end of the year. Please click on the picture below to see more from the concert.


Since curriculum nights were canceled last week, both Liberty and Robinson Middle Schools will be holding their curriculum nights this evening, January 24, for  rising 7th grade students. Classroom teachers have shared specific information on course sign-ups through emails. If you did not receive that information, please contact your child's homeroom teacher. If you have questions on the process, please reach out to Kimberly Shoemaker, our school counselor for 6th grade students. All course selections are due on Monday, January 28. Details about tonight's sessions are included below.

Although it is practical for students to wear their boots to school, please pay attention to the PE schedule as snow boots and the gym are not a good combination. Have your child bring their tennis shoes in their backpack on days they have PE.

Even though it was a short week, we loved having our Watch D.O.G.S. in the building. Thank you to Mr. Montgomery, Mr. Resnick, Mr. Martinez, Mr. Thompson, and Mr. Basta. Remember, if you want to volunteer as a Watch D.O.G., you must wear the Watch D.O.G.S. shirt so students and staff know you are a Watch D.O.G. If you have any questions about our Watch D.O.G program or want to sign up to volunteer, please contact Megan Bennett in our front office. Click on the picture below to see some of the D.O.G.S. from this week.

Watch Dogs

Students spent time this week learning about the character strength of Prudence through The Positivity Project. According to Jeff Bryan from The Positivity Project, Prudence means that you plan for the future and achieve your goals by making careful everyday choices. Prudence is the ability to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason. It's a future-oriented way of thinking that helps a person set goals, make plans, and have the discipline to accomplish them. It is cognitive – more a strength of the head than of the heart. Prudence is not simply being excessively cautious or self-restrained. And, while it is often exemplified through individual financial savings, prudence applies to all parts of life. Prudence supports effective individual self-management. Whether aspiring for an athletic record, or academic grade, foresight and planning are necessary. However, long-term goals – even with a plan – can only be obtained by overcoming those impulses and desires that steer you away from your goals. Prudence provides the wisdom to know which character strength to leverage, at which time, to achieve your desired end state.

Students will revisit the #OtherPeopleMatter mindset next week, especially as it relates to supporting others when they are struggling.

Our 4th grade families showed that #OtherPeopleMatter by participating in their Feed the Need service learning activity this week. Thank you to all of our parents that sent in food and volunteered during the Power Pack assembly. Please click on the picture to see how students at work.

Feed the Need

As a reminder, the first bell rings at 8:35 and students need to be in their classrooms by the second bell which is 8:45. Students that arrive after that time are considered tardy and parents must walk tardy students into the office. You may not drop off your child and have them walk in alone if the arrive after 8:50.

Have a great weekend and we look forward to a great second half of the year.


Robinson Rising 7th Grade Student and Parent Curriculum Night - Thursday, January 24

5:15-6:00 Meeting for parents of students enrolled in the following programs: English Speakers of Other Languages, Special Education, and Spanish Immersion. Students are invited to attend this session.

6:00-6:40 Parent Program in the Russell Theatre

                 Student Elective showcase begins in the Gold Cafeteria.

6:45-8:00 Parent Elective Breakout Sessions (Various Classrooms)

                   Student program in the Russell Theatre

Curriculum Night at Liberty Middle School

Curriculum Night will be held at Liberty on Thursday, January 24, at 6:30 PM. This is a great opportunity to learn about the 7th and 8th grade curriculum and elective options for your student as they begin to select classes for the 2019-2020 school year. We will also have information sessions starting at 6:00pm for parents of ESOL students and parents of special education students.  Hope to see you on January 17th!

Rising 7th Grade parents: 6:30-7:20 pm—General Session—Cafeteria 7:25-8:25 pm—Course Information Fair—Gym      

Rising 8th Grade parents: 7:25-8:25 pm—Course Information Fair—Gym

Community Flyer Distribution - Friday, February 15

If you or your organization would like to participate in Union Mill's 2nd semester community flyer distribution, mark February 1, on your calendar. Non-profit organizations are welcome to participate. All flyers must be approved before they are distributed. One flyer must be submitted to the Union Mill office by Friday, February 1. After approval, copies must be made and delivered to the school office by Wednesday, February 13. Please call the office at 703-322-8500 for additional information.

Participation in Speak Up Survey

Fairfax County Public schools is participating in the SpeakUp Survey again this year. The information collected will help policy makers at the local, state, and national levels, as well as the business community, contribute to the national dialogue about science and technology, and preparing students for the 21st century workforce. FCPS will be participating in the survey through January 31, 2019. The online survey is open to parents, students in K-12, teachers, and staff. It is an optional survey and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. All responses are confidential.

Please consider participating in this survey. Please visit this link to take the survey. For more information about the survey, visit https://www.fcps.edu/node/35424.

Magnet School Application and Lottery Information

The Magnet Program registration window will be open from March 5, 2019 through April 4, 2019. To learn more about the programs and the registration process, visit the webpage - https://www.fcps.edu/registration/elementary-magnet-school-lottery and plan to attend one of the Parent Informational Nights:

  • Hunters Woods Elementary, Cafeteria, February 7, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.
    • Snow date: February 11 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Bailey’s Primary, Cafeteria, February 5, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.
    • Snow date: February 12 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Bailey’s Upper, Cafeteria, February 6, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.
    • Snow date: February 13 at 6:00 p.m.

A one-time pupil placement application fee applies for students accessing special programs outside of their base school for World Language Immersion or Magnet School Programs. This $100 fee must be paid upon acceptance to the program. For more information, please visit the Magnet Lottery Fees - Frequently Asked Questions webpage. Families wanting to apply for the Magnet Lottery will be required to have a SIS account. 

Stay up-to-date on the FCPS budget process: FY 2020 FCPS Budget

Upcoming Events

Monday, January 28 - Family Fitness for a Cause - 4:00 - 5:00 PM

Tuesday, January 29 - 5th and 6th Grade Strings Concert - 7:00 PM

Thursday, January 31 - 5th Grade Band Concert - 7:00 PM

Monday, February 4 - No School - Staff Development Day for Teachers

Tuesday, February 5 - PTA Meeting - 7:00 PM

Wednesday, February 6 - Moveable Monday