Liberty Newsletter-January 22, 2020

Important Dates

January 22 and 23-Musical Auditions

January 27-Teacher workday/student holiday

January 27- INOVA Blood Drive

January 28-Staff Development day/student holiday

Musical Auditions

Liberty Middle School will present the Young Performers Edition of 42ND STREET this spring and will be holding auditions after school on January 22 and 23. Students must sign up and take a packet outside of E105 or they may go to If you have any questions, please email Ms. Faraldi (

homework tips

Tips for Helping Your Child Get the Most Out of Homework


What does homework time look like in your household? How do you handle homework and how can you help make it a less stressful affair? During a recent episode of Notes from the Backpack: A PTA Podcast, Steve Sheldon, a professor at John Hopkins School of Education offered three insights on the role homework plays in the learning process and how you can help your children.

Tip 1: Encourage effective time management.

Sheldon shared that time management is the biggest challenge. As parents, we are constantly negotiating and setting limits. He often tells his children, “You can watch YouTube for five or 10 more minutes, but then we need to sit down and get your work done.”  “If when you come home from work, one of the first questions you ask is, ‘Hi, is your homework done?’ day in and day out, and your child knows that that question is coming, it reinforces that this is something that I want you to value,” said Sheldon.

Tip 2: Look at homework as a way to learn more about your child and about what your child is learning at school.

Sheldon looks at homework time as an opportunity to help his children practice concepts and other lessons and see where they excel or struggle.  “I can see that one of my children might be struggling with multiplication, in math, or maybe it’s something about writing,” said Sheldon. “And what I think they need is a little bit more practice or some kind of structured way to help them think through it.”

Tip 3: Take advantage of the “That’s not how the teacher did it!” situation.

When you try to assist your child with homework, it’s not uncommon to hear an outburst that you’re doing it differently than how they learned in the class-room. Sheldon says, this is the time to step back and say, “Can you teach it to me?”  “If your child can explain to you how they’re doing math in this new way, the act of teaching to somebody else is a powerful way of learning,” said Sheldon. ~Adapted from an article by Rebecca Bauer in the national PTA January 6, 2020 National PTA Newsletter

INOVA Blood Mobile Coming to Liberty 

Looking for Blood Donors, Monday, January 27, at Liberty 10 AM – 2 PM

Liberty Middle School is in need of more donors for the upcoming blood drive on Monday, January 27. The INOVA blood mobile will be here at Liberty Middle School from 10 AM to 2 PM in the front parking lot.  Sign-in and complimentary refreshments will be in the cafeteria.  Donors will also receive a free t-shirt. Please sign up on the link below to give the gift of life to someone in our community.  If you have any questions, please contact Natalie Lissy, Assistant Principal, at or 703-988-8100. Thank you for sharing the gift of life!

Click here to make your life-saving appointment!

Your Health Matters

We are continuing to talk about Mindfulness!  Did you try the deep breathing for 3 seconds?  Did you like it?  A big part of practicing mindfulness centers around being nonjudgmental in our thoughts.  We are often hard on ourselves when we feel we made a mistake or when we are concerned as to what may happen and how to respond.  Would you be as hard on someone else, or would you be more forgiving?  When moving towards being nonjudgmental in our thoughts in the moment, we need to become more flexible.  Our minds are constantly generating thoughts, and we are not always aware of our brains constant chatter.  The first step is becoming more aware.

When you have a thought, your brain begins to work to make sense of it.  Maybe it can be related to a past feeling or situation?  For example, if you experienced a poor test grade in a class, the next time you go to take a test in that class you may be more anxious and concerned that you will fail than normal.  When you become more mindful of where your thoughts are coming from, you can begin to pay less attention to disturbing thoughts, and your emotions will become calmer.  

Learning that you can train your brain to choose what you will pay attention to is important.  You can learn to disengage from your disturbing thoughts and instead become an observer of your thoughts, so that you can make more sense of them using a nonjudgmental approach.  Thoughts can settle and become clearer with time and patience in practicing mindful nonjudgmental approaches to them.  How do you practice observing your thoughts and putting them to the side for the moment?  By practicing your breathing and saying to yourself…. just thinking, just remembering, just planning.  Try using the breathing technique again with paying attention to your thoughts and see if you feel calmer.

Breathe in for 3 seconds while expanding your chest and then out for 3 seconds for 5 rounds 3 times per day.  When thoughts arise, say to yourself, just thinking, just remembering, just planning…. 

Your main focus should be on your breathing. 

PTA logo


Mark your calendars for these exciting PTA Events! February is turning out to be a super fun month for our students and staff!!


January 23 - February 13:  February Teacher Treats

Help us show our teachers and staff just how much we appreciate them!! We will be collecting bags of individually wrapped candy starting Thursday, January 23rd! Information about this special event can be found here: Volunteers are needed!

February 3 - March 3:  Book Drive - PTA Service Project

If you have gently loved books collecting dust on your bookshelves we would love to take them off your hands! Many of our Lion Time classroom libraries are in dire need of upper elementary and middle school level books. The book drive will begin February 3rd and run through March 3rd. March is National Reading Month and we'd love to see just how many books we can add to these classroom libraries which are used by every single student at Liberty!! Books can be dropped off on the cart labeled PTA Book Drive located at the entrance to the library. Thank you for your help!!

February 4 - 14:  Valentine's Day Candy Grams

PTA is excited to sponsor this year's Valentine's Day Candy Grams! Candy grams can be purchased for $1.00 each during lunches on the following dates: February 4, 5, 6, 11 & 12. These notes will be wrapped around a full-sized Hershey chocolate bar and distributed on Valentine's Day! A perfect way for students to sweeten someone's day! Volunteers are needed to collect payment on these dates. Volunteers are also needed to wrap the candy bars on Thursday, February 13 and to help distribute them during Lion Time on Valentine's Day. Click here to see all the information about this event and to sign up: 

February 7:  Liberty Middle vs Stone Middle Basketball Blowout

It's that time again!! Join us for this fun family event Friday, February 7th. PTA will be selling tickets at the door from 6:15 - 7:00. (No entry after 7:00.) Concessions will be available for purchase in the cafeteria. Volunteers are needed for ticket and concession sales and several adults are needed to monitor entry/exit. Check out this link for more information & to see how you can help! 

February 11 7:00 pm:  Next PTA Meeting

Lions Chat

If an idea comes to you about a school program or policy or you have a question about a broader issue or topic, consider using our Lions Chat link

Social worker Resources

Click here to find some additional resources and announcements from our school social worker.  These resources can also be found on the Liberty MS Website