Thoreau Matters - March 8th Issue


Message from Mr. Azimi

Friday, March 8, 2019

Dear Thoreau Community,

Our 8th grade students will take the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) writing test next week, from Tuesday, March 12th through Thursday, March 14th.  The parent letter for the writing SOL can be found here.  If you have any questions about SOL testing, please contact Thoreau testing coordinator Sunnie Chung at

  • Tuesday, March 12th, 7:30 AM:  Super Sloths, writing
  • Tuesday, March 12th, 11:45 AM:  Falcons, multiple choice
  • Wednesday, March 13th, 7:30 AM:  Falcons, writing
  • Wednesday, March 13th, 11:45 AM:  Wombats, multiple choice
  • Thursday, March 14th, 7:30 AM:  Wombats, writing
  • Thursday, March 14th, 11:45 AM:  Super Sloths, multiple choice

I would like to remind our students that no electronic devices or backpacks will be allowed in testing locations.  These items should be left at home or secured in student lockers during testing.  Students should check with the main office or student services prior to Tuesday, March 12th if they are unable to open their locker or need a reminder of the locker combination.  I would like to wish all of our 8th graders much success next week.


Yusef Azimi

Upcoming Important Dates

  • Monday, March 11th:  3-hour early release; student dismissal at 11:15 AM (no after-school activities or buses)
  • Monday, March 11th:  Thoreau's front office will close at 12:00 PM for staff development
  • Thursday, March 21st:  7th grade family dinner, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Fencing Gear Students

7th grade student Erika Gumagay (second from left), 8th grade student Michelle Lee (third from left), and 7th grade student Yedda Lee (far right) joined by a non-Thoreau student (far left), competed in the American Cup in Cleveland, Ohio last weekend.  The American Cup is one of eight national tournaments hosted by USA Fencing each season.  Congratulations to the team for taking the gold medal in the Y14 Women's Epee!

Rising 7th Grade Parent Meet and Greet

The final rising 7th grade parent Meet and Greet will be held on Tuesday, April 9th, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM.  This is an opportunity to meet the administration and learn a little more about Thoreau.

Kiss and Ride

Thoreau's Kiss and Ride program provides a safer alternative for the drop-off/pick-up of your child.  The safety of our students, staff, visitors and surrounding community members is essential. See this link for a Kiss and Ride map, brochure and fact sheet.

Please note that the Church for All Nations is not available as a drop-off/pick-up location for Thoreau students.  This is not FCPS property and drop-offs/pick-ups in their parking lot are actually considered by them to be trespassing. 

Rising 9th Grade Activities Fair

Madison and Marshall High Schools will hold their respective activities fair on Friday, March 29th.  Our rising 9th graders will go on a field trip that day to participate in their future high school's activities fair.  Students can expect to receive important information about extracurricular activities and learn more about their upcoming transition to high school.  Students who will be attending Oakton HS will remain at Thoreau as there will be representatives from Oakton at Thoreau to review transition information with those students.  If your child will be attending a school other than Madison, Marshall, or Oakton, please have him/her see Assistant Principal Buck Condill, After-School Specialist Shannon Campbell, or his/her counselor.

Permission slips will be coming home soon!

  • Madison-bound students will depart Thoreau on buses around 9:30 AM and will return at approximately 11:45 AM.  These students should bring a bagged lunch or money to purchase lunch from Thoreau's cafeteria.
  • Marshall-bound students will depart Thoreau on buses and will return at approximately 12:45 PM.  These students will eat lunch at Marshall so they need to bring a bagged lunch or $3.25 to purchase lunch from Marshall's cafeteria.  (Our students' lunch PINS will not work until they are actually in high school.)

School Health Services Survey

The Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) employs school health nurses who provide school health services to our schools.  To determine the quality of these services, a survey has been developed by the FCHD to be shared with all parents or guardians who interact with the school health rooms.  Please take a moment to complete the survey.

School Health Services Survey - English speakers

School Health Services Survey - Spanish speakers

Technology competition

On Saturday, February 23rd, 8th grade students Bethany Riddle and John Kronzer competed in the regional Technology Student Association (TSA) competition.  They challenged their intellect in the field of design and engineering to compete with over 400 students.  They displayed their knowledge within the practice of Computer Aided Design (CAD),with Bethany taking 4th place and John taking 7th place.  We congratulate them on their solid performances at the regional TSA event.

College Partnership Program (CPP)

The College Partnership Program (CPP) is now accepting applications for new members.  CPP is actively recruiting current 8th - 11th grade students who are motivated and will benefit from the support of this program.

For more information about CPP, contact Thoreau counselor Kerrie Turner at or visit the CPP website.

The application deadline is Wednesday, March 13th.  Students can apply online or via paper applications.  Paper applications are available in English, Arabic, Korean, and Spanish.

Apply online using your FCPS Google Apps for Education account here.

FCPS Family Engagement Survey

FCPS will be conducting a survey to gather information about family engagement in our schools.  Relationships are important to us, and your opinion is critical to help us support your engagement in your child's education.  Your feedback will also help us determine how well we are reaching the goals for Caring Culture we have set in our Strategic Plan.  Survey translations will be available, and the survey can be taken on electronic devices, including smartphones. 

Survey administration is scheduled for Sunday, March 24th - Friday, April 12th.  You will receive more information about how to take the survey in the near future.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Spelling Bee

Congratulations to 7th grade student Simon Wong,and 8th grade students EJ Nelson and Nathan Moldavsky as winners of the 2018-2019 Thoreau Spelling Bee held on Tuesday, February 19th.

2018-2019 Thoreau Yearbook

Hurry!  Hurry!  The Yearbook Committee is wrapping up its yearbook production and it is almost on its way to the publisher.  Hundreds of pictures have been taken as well as videos and interviews.  Make sure your child has this lovely keepsake for years to come!

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  

To check if you already ordered a copy, go to or or check your email as both sites email confirmation of your purchase.

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

PTA News and Announcements

Rescheduled 7th Grade Family Dinner and Volunteer Opportunity

The rescheduled 7th grade family dinner will be held on Thursday, March 21st from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM in the cafeteria at Thoreau.  Previously purchased tickets will be available when checking in at the event.  Anyone still needing tickets may purchase them at a cost of $12 per person through Pay4SchoolStuff.  Please note that no tickets will be sold at the door.  The PTA's planning committee is seeking volunteers, either adults or students 8th grade and above, who may wish to fulfill service hours.  Volunteers assist with set-up/clean-up, registration, and serving food.  To make this event a success, please sign-up here.  A delicious dinner from Maggios Skorpis will be served.  Additionally, there will be a DJ, photo booth, and other fun activities.  As a family event, parents join their children and siblings are welcome too!  This flyer gives additional details.

Thoreau Store Volunteers Needed

The Thoreau Store needs volunteers to ensure our March schedule is fully staffed.  The store is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM in the cafeteria.  Working at the PTA's store is a chance to connect with your child during the school day, meet their friends, and help raise money for the school.  Please volunteer to help by signing up here.

Nomination Committee Needed

The PTA is currently forming its Nominating Committee which will communicate with our Thoreau community to determine who is interested in serving on the PTA board in 2019-2020.  Thank you to Thoreau parents Missy Dixon and Karyn Patino who have joined the Nominating Committee.  One additional volunteer is needed to complete the committee.  If you can assist, please contact current PTA president Emily Korff at

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.

Speak Easy

Since 2013, 7th grade students at Thoreau have had the opportunity to delve deeper into the Roaring 1920s.  Through the 1920s Project and Speakeasy Day Presentation, students research what life was like at that turbulent and exciting time in America's history.  Students create replicas of the changing technology of the 1920s, produce representations of the experience of African Americans and the Harlem Renaissance and play music from the time period.  Last week, Eagle Hall was abuzz with music, colorful paintings, and students showcasing their learning.  7th grade student Ayla Condill displays her recreation of a 1920's victrola while math teacher Sarah Sliter looks on in the background.