Hornet Happenings - September 13, 2019



September 13, 2019




Halley’s Back to School Night (BTSN) is Tuesday, September 17, 2019 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. Please join us to hear more about our plans for the year and how we can partner to support your student.   We have lots of important information to share, so please come!  

We are pleased to share that Karen Corbett Sanders, Our School Board Representative, will join us to meet and greet Halley families. She is looking forward to engaging with our community.

 For parents of more than one student, we are offering two sessions, so parents may attend presentations for more than one grade level.

BTSN schedule is noted below:

Specialists (Lower Lobby)

5:50pm – 6:15pm & 6:50pm – 7:10pm


1st Classroom Session PreK – 6:

6:15pm – 7:00pm


2nd Classroom Session PreK – 6:

7:10pm – 7:50pm


The PTO will be in the lobby to invite you to join. They will be on hand to help answer questions about the exciting events and opportunities for our families this year. Please consider joining the PTO!



Halley's 2019-2020 Events Calendar – At A Glance

Linked below, we are super excited to share our yearlong school calendar! It highlights activities and school events from September to June!   We want students and families to be in the loop and connected to all things Halley! We hope to see you at each occasion as we nurture a caring school culture! Events and Dates are subject to shift or change; so please stay tuned to the Hornet Happenings for updates. Hard copies of the Halley Events Calendar will be made available.


WHES 2019-2020  At A Glance Events Calendar


Principal Coffee


Please join us for our first Principal Coffee Talk of the 19-20 school year. This will take place on Wednesday, September 25th from 10:00 – 11:00 in the Halley Library.

Jennifer Buchko, our School Based Technology Specialist will share Internet safety tips. We will also have a meet and greet and a short general question/answer forum. All are welcomed to join us for an informal gathering with school leaders.


We hope you will come. Please sign-up HERE!



Birthday Celebration and Treat Policy


Halley Elementary School recognize that birthdays are a special day for our students. Additionally, our school recognizes the importance of wellness, good nutrition and an active lifestyle in the overall health of our students.

Due to parent feedback, a number of food allergies among our students, and to promote healthy lifestyle choices Parents should please use the following guidelines when providing birthday treats for classmates:

Each student may bring a treat to share with all classmates in celebration of his/her birthday once during the school year

1.    Treats MUST be store bought with ingredients labeled. No home baked goods will be permitted to be shared with other students. Please, no products containing nuts.

2.    Treats should be single small sized servings - please no colossal donuts or giant, large cupcakes.   No sugary drinks.

3.    Treats will be shared at lunch time in the cafeteria.

We have provided a list below of other choices for honoring your child on their special day:

  • Donate a book to the school library or classroom in honor of your child’s birthday with his/her name inside.
  • Donate a classroom gift to be enjoyed all year, such as: indoor games, pencils, erasers, etc.
  • Donate a ball or jump rope to the school playground for recess.
  • Provide each student in class with a colorful pencil or eraser to be distributed before the bell rings.

We appreciate your support and understanding as we continue to reflect on how to provide all students with a healthy environment.


Beginning-of-the-Year Forms

If you have not already done so, please be sure to complete, sign and return your student's beginning-of-the year forms to Halley (Emergency Care, Health Information, Digital Citizenship, etc.). These were sent home in the back to school folder at the beginning of school.  Many thanks to those who have returned all forms!



Universal Screener in Elementary Schools


The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) School Board adopted a universal screener assessment for use with all elementary school students in kindergarten through grade 6. The universal screener assessment includes a reading test and a mathematics test. Students in kindergarten will receive screening for reading only. Students in grades 1-6 will receive screening for both mathematics and reading.

The purpose of this assessment is to identify students who may have gaps in foundational literacy and mathematics skills. Based on universal screener results, some students may require an additional assessment to further diagnose the specific learning areas that may need support. The universal screener reading test, together with any necessary follow-up diagnostic assessments, also fulfills state testing expectations for primary students.

The universal screener and any necessary follow-up assessments will be given at the beginning of the school year. Depending on grade level and previous screener performance, students may receive screening again in the winter and/or in the spring. Schools set the specific dates for testing in each class. For the expected dates when your child will test, please contact your child’s teacher.

Additional information, including a short video, about the universal screener in FCPS can be found at this webpage. If you have further questions about this assessment, please contact our school test coordinator, Jennifer Buchko.



Is it Challenging to pay for Child Care?

The Child Care Assistance Referral program may be able to help you with your child care expenses. If you live in Fairfax County, City of Fairfax or Falls Church and are working, attending school, attending training or participate in other Department of Family Services assistance programs, you may quality. For more information and to request an application, visit one of our locations. 



Mental Health and Wellness Conference to Be Held October 5 at Fairfax High School

The sixth annual FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference will be held on Saturday, October 5, at Fairfax High School from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m, sponsored by Inova. The morning session will focus on social and emotional learning, with a keynote address given by Dr. Marc Brackett, founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. A special session for high school students, the Our Minds Matter Teen Summit, will take place in the morning as well.

Attendees are encouraged to stay for Inova’s Act on Addiction Summit, which will be held from 12:30 to 4 p.m. 

Participants in this conference will be able to choose from a wide variety of breakout sessions, and there will be many resource tables available, representing public and private offices and agencies providing services within our schools and community. Lunch will be provided courtesy of Inova.

More information is available at the Mental Health and Wellness Conference webpage




Don't Be Alarmed

We are required to practice many different safety drills here at school. 

Fire Drill: every week until October and then once a month for the rest of the year

Lock Down Drill: two in the first month of school, one in January and one in the spring 

Bus Safety Drills: two times a year, once within first 30 instructional days of first semester and another within first 30 instructional days of second semester

Tornado Drills: two times a year, fall and spring


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Upcoming Halley Events:

September 17 - Back to School Night K-6 - 6pm – 8pm

September 25 - Principal Coffee – 10am – 11am

September 27 - PTO Meeting and Family Bingo Night – 6:15pm


PTO in the Know


Save the Date Events!


1) Back to School Night

September 17th from 6-8 PM!   Please come join us at the PTO table!

     2) Family Bingo Night

Friday, September 27th! Details as follows:

Pizza served at 6:15 PM

Brief PTO meeting at 6:30 PM

Let’s play Bingo at 7 PM!

     Please return the form and payment (cash or check) with your child in their folder or place the form and payment in the PTO’s mailbox located in the main office by September 25, 2019! Unfortunately, we cannot accept orders after the deadline.

Volunteers are always needed at this annual family event. Contact PTO President Maida Piggee (president@halleypto.com) with any questions. Visit www.halleypto.com for the signup genius link if you can help. Thank you!


Pep Rally – Monday, October 21, 2019

Boosterthon- Wednesday, Oct 30, 2019

Get Excited! Mark your calendars, Boosterthon is coming! Kids will experience Boosterthon’s pep rally during PE! This is our LARGEST fundraiser for the year. More info to come!



  1. CHESS CLUB Our registration and payment policies are below.Or if you prefer, please mail your check for $115.00 payable to Snow’s Chess Academy with the registration information below to:      P.O. Box 489, Herndon, VA 20172-0489 Please remember the deadline is 9/21/19.
  2.      If paying by paypal, peter@snowschessacademy.com. Please fill out the information needed below and return it via email to peter@snowschessacademy.com
  3. Payment of $115.00 per student will be due via paypal/credit card which can be used in paypal if not a member to peter@snowschessacademy.com
  4. Registration deadline is 9/21/19. This deadline is firm, sorry no walk-ins accepted. Do not wait until the last minute since we are accepting a maximum of just 20 students per class.
  5. Details: Grades 1-6; professional chess coaches; teaches responsibility, discipline, critical thinking and problem-solving skills; Thursdays from 9/26-12/5 (10 sessions) ;Cost is $115
  1. Student’s Name
  2. Grade
  3. Parent’s Name
  4. Parent’s email
  5. Daytime Phone #’s
  6. Any special needs for your student (Walker? SACC? Medical? Other)
  7. Emergency contact name and phone number


The Halley PTO is proud to offer RunFit Kidz this fall on THURSDAYS Afterschool. RunFit Kidz is unlike any other running program as our certified professional coaches understand the unique needs of young runners. We believe an early foundation of fitness will lead to a lifetime of healthy habits. Class size is limited so register early. Registration open now! Grades 2nd – 6th (Have an interested 1st grader? email corky@runfitkidz.com); Registration Fee: $95 per participant (this includes the 5K); Sept. 26th – Nov. 14th, 4:15 – 5:30PM (Thursdays- 8 classes)   Please visit www.runfitkidz.com to register!

3)Life Champ Martial Arts- $25 per child for 5 sessions

What is the Life Champ Martial Arts After School Character Enrichment Program all about? This unique course known as the ACE Program is a 5-session character development program that incorporates physical exercise with life skill lessons. This innovative series of classes is designed to not only introduce your child to basic martial arts but to also improve concentration, listening skills, cooperation and courtesy. It will benefit your child at home, at school and in team sports. The black belt instructors from Life Champ Martial Arts have volunteered their time to teach the program at dozens of area schools during the past several years. ALL PROCEEDS BACK TO THE SCHOOL!   REGISTRATION FORMS WILL BE IN THE THURSDAY FOLDERS! Limit of 20 children so sign up soon!

Classes will be held after school on the following dates:

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 @ 4:15pm – 5:15pm

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 @ 4:15pm – 5:15pm

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 @ 4:15pm – 5:15pm

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 @ 4:15pm – 5:15pm

Friday, October 11, 2019 at Life Champ Martial Arts @ 7:00pm



 Did you know that you can help William Halley Elementary in your everyday shopping? Join Amazon Smile and see William Halley Elementary School get rewarded! Consider your elementary school when shopping at Amazon Smile!

Amazon Smile:

  1. Visit  https://smile.amazon.com/
  2. Log into your Amazon account or create an account
  3. You will be prompted to select a charitable organization
  4. Search for “William Halley PTO”

Every item available for purchase on Amazon.com is also available on Amazon Smile, and the Amazon Foundation will donate .5% of the purchase of eligible products to the PTO. Be sure to use ID: William Halley PTO. Happy Shopping!


Have a question, suggestion or other information to share with the PTO Executive Board? We’d LOVE to hear from you!

President:  Maida Piggee, president@halleyPTO.com

1st Vice President:  Steve Reggio, 1stVP@halleyPTO.com

2nd Vice President:  Elizabeth Cobb, 2ndVP@halleyPTO.com

Secretary:  Masha Lempel, secretary@halleypto.com

Treasurer: Aileen Truong, treasurer@halleypto.com