Thoreau Matters - April 4th Issue


Message from Mr. Azimi

Thursday, April 4th, 2019

Dear Thoreau Community,

With the final quarter of the school year quickly approaching, I would like to once again share a few helpful suggestions for students to aid them in wrapping up this quarter successfully and preparing to transition into the fourth quarter.  These are points that I shared back in the fall during the first semester.  Teachers and counselors will be helping students as needed with these tasks during times of the day like Eagle Time and parents can be supporting their children by doing the same tasks at home. 

  1. Academic Progress:  Be sure to check StudentVUE and ParentVUE to keep yourself up to speed with the teachers’ gradebooks.   Make sure that work is completed and turned in to the appropriate teacher.  Pay attention to any outstanding assignments that still need to be finished.   Be sure to be mindful of the retake policy and late work policy. 
  2. Backpacks:  Each student should open up his/her backpack.  Take out those binders and notebooks.  Find a home for those loose papers.  Do pens/pencils/markers need to be replenished?  Have teachers given permission to purge any papers?  Any food in backpacks that need to be thrown away? 
  3. Lockers: Each student should open up his/her locker.  Is it organized and can items be found easily?  Does anything need to be thrown out from lockers that is no longer needed?  Also, do not forget about gym lockers.  Students should bring home any unwashed physical education uniforms to be cleaned or utilize the towel service that we offer here at school. 

In addition, spring break is just a little over a week away from now.  As has been the traditional practice of the Madison pyramid, I have reminded our faculty to not assign work to be specifically done over the break.  While students may have long-term assignments that span over the break, our teachers know not to assign work exclusively for the break.  There are three times of the year where we believe everyone needs to take a full respite from schoolwork in order to be rejuvenated and those times are Thanksgiving, winter break and spring break. 

With that said, I wish all of our students a successful final quarter of the 2018-2019 school year and I hope that spring break is a safe, relaxing and enjoyable week for our entire community. 


Yusef Azimi

Upcoming Important Dates

  • Thursday, April 4th:  Crosstown Hoops basketball game at Marshall High School; doors open at 5:30 PM
  • Friday, April 5th:  Teacher workday/student holiday
  • Tuesday, April 9th:  Rising 7th grade parent Meet and Greet in the library, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Friday, April 12th:  No after-school activities, All students depart at the 2:15 PM bell.
  • Monday, April 15th - Friday, April 19th:  Spring Break, school office hours 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM


8th grade students Rami Harb (l) and Leighton Daley (r) demonstrate their skills making pizza in Mrs. Taylor's 7th period family and consumer sciences (FACS) class. 

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 for rising 7th grade parents to meet the administration and learn a little more about Thoreau.

FCPS Family Engagement Survey

The FCPS Family Engagement Survey is currently being administered to all parents through Friday, April 12th.  FCPS sent an email to parents directly about the survey which can be completed electronically on most devices including smartphones.  We encourage families to use the link sent to their email account first, where able.  There is access to a laptop during the school day in the main office for parents who stop into the school.  Eight language translations of the survey are available including Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.  Families that do not have an email address, or who sign-up at school events, may access the survey here.  Paper copies are also available to families who need them.  Family input in a child's education is critical to their success.  Your participation is appreciated.

Upcoming After-School Events

  • Rising 7th grade parents who would like to learn more about Thoreau's after-school program are invited to attend an informational meeting on Tuesday, April 9th in Thoreau's cafeteria from 5:45 PM - 6:45 PM.
  • Velocity Dance Co-Ed HipHop workshop will be held in Thoreau's gym 1 on Wednesday, April 10th during 1st session (2:25 PM - 3:10 PM).  All skill levels are welcome to attend!
  • Madison HS field hockey clinic will be held in Thoreau's gym 1 on Thursday, April 11th during 2nd session (3:20 PM - 4:05 PM).  All girls who are interested in learning about Madison's field hockey program should plan on attending.  Bring shin guards if you have them. (If not, equipment will be provided.)

Theatre Department Updates


Shrek the Musical Jr.

Follow the adventures of Shrek, his sidekick Donkey, Princess Fiona, Lord Farquaad and everybody's favorite fairy-tale creatures.  With an original new score, this show proves there's more to the story than meets the eye...

Dates and Times:  Thursday, May 9th - Saturday, May 11th at 7:00 PM and Saturday, May 11th at 2:00 PM

Tickets:  Tickets may be purchased by either visiting this link beginning Friday, April 26th or at the door when you arrive.  Cash and major credit cards will be accepted.

Institute For The Arts (IFTA)

IFTA is an FCPS arts enrichment and academic program for students currently in grades 6-11.  Students select four classes from a course list of 80 including dance, music, theatre, visual art, and fashion.  Students entering grade 9 may take the online Health & PE (HPE9) course and students entering grades 9-12 may take the self-directed Economics and Personal Finance (EPF) course as one of their four class choices.

This flyer lists FAQs for Shrek the Musical Jr., as well as details about the Institute For the Arts.

Follow TMS Theatre for a look behind the scenes and upcoming productions here or on Instagram @tmstheatre.

Spring SOL Testing Calendar

Thoreau 7th and 8th graders will be taking the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests from Tuesday, May 7th - Thursday, May 23rd with make-up testing and expedited retakes continuing into the month of June.  These tests are required of all Virginia students in grades three through twelve.  SOL tests measure the extent to which students have learned the content and skills specified in the Virginia Standards of Learning.  Most Thoreau students will be tested with their grade level team according to this schedule.  Please note that some students will be testing on alternate days in order to meet individualized student needs.

Please assist your child in doing well on these test days by making sure he/she is well-rested and eats a good breakfast on his/her testing days.  Also, if possible, avoid scheduling appointments on days your child will be tested.


Students from Thoreau's Work Awareness and Transition program (WAT), along with Thoreau staff and employees of Caffe Amouri, partner in business and education.  In the month of March, the WAT program began a coffee cart service for the Thoreau staff called Golden Eagle Coffee.  The students learned more about the process the coffee beans go through before the coffee is donated from Caffe Amouri to Thoreau.  Mr. Amouri taught the students how to roast and brew coffee. 

Madison HS Girls Lacrosse Clinic

Madison Warhawks are hosting a girl's youth lacrosse clinic on Friday, April 5th.  The clinic is open to girls in grades one through eight at any skill level.  This flyer gives more details and how to register for the clinic.

Madison HS Athletic Summer Camps

Madison is offering baseball, basketball, field hockey, softball, volleyball and wrestling summer camps.  This flyer gives dates, times, costs, grade requirement, and contact information for coaches of each sport.  This is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door at Madison before the school year begins.

Vienna's Club Phoenix Offers Shuttle from Thoreau

Thoreau's after-school program is partnering with Vienna Teen Center's Club Phoenix to offer shuttle transportation from Thoreau to the teen center. The shuttle will operate on Friday afternoons beginning Friday, April 26th and running through Friday, May 17th.  This date and time was chosen based on the data received from a parent survey done earlier this year.  Details about the shuttle program can be found here.

Spring Break Trips Through Vienna's Club Phoenix

The Vienna Teen Center's Club Phoenix is offering a variety of fun day trips during the week of spring break, Monday, April 15th through Friday, April 19th.  The details about the spring break trips can be found here.

Left Brain Right Brain

Thoreau's portable art gallery helps students think about left side vs. right side brain activities.  The exhibit is titled "This is Your Brain on Creativity!"

2018-2019 Thoreau Yearbook

The Thoreau yearbook is at the publisher!  The yearbook committee is thrilled to now focus on marketing our product.  The school yearbook documents school events, activities, opportunities and experiences that your child was a part of this year.  During the last week of school, students who purchased a copy of the yearbook have an opportunity to get classmate signatures and good-bye memory notes.

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.

Last Call for Physical Education (PE) Uniforms

Last call!  If you would like to purchase an additional PE uniform, you can do so now through Friday, April 12th when the order window closes.   

Uniforms can be purchased online at

PTA News and Announcements

Crosstown Hoops

The Thoreau community gathers TONIGHT at Marshall High School for the annual Thoreau vs. Kilmer Crosstown Hoops basketball event.  This is a fun and friendly spirited basketball competition between our 7th and 8th grade girls and boys teams and Kilmer's teams.  The doors open at 5:30 PM and games begin at 6:00 PM.  Tickets are $5.00 per person and every attendee needs a ticket.

Volunteers are still needed to make this event a success.  This link will allow you to sign-up to volunteer. 

For further details, see this flyer.

Upcoming PTA Dates

Tuesday, April 9th:  Dining for Dollars at Ledo Pizza, 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Thursday, April 25th:  PTA meeting, Eagle Hall, 9:30 AM

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.