Thoreau Matters 9/16/2022

Thoreau Matters

September 16, 2022

Dear Thoreau Families,

We have had a wonderful week of learning at Thoreau! Our peer helpers led welcome activities for 7th grade students new to FCPS, as well as a separate event to welcome 8th graders new to Thoreau this year. We played games in the courtyard, shared positive experiences and of course, enjoyed some yummy donuts. Thank you to our counseling team for partnering with our peer helpers to help our new students form relationships and feel welcome in our school community!

Thank you to all of the families who were able to join the administration for our virtual Back to School Night. The recording and slides were sent via email yesterday, as well as directions to access your child’s teacher’s videos on Schoology. Now that all of our beginning of the year events are finished, please take a few moments to take this brief survey about New Parent Orientation, Open House and Back to School Night.

We have our second PTA meeting of the year on Tuesday, September 20. Please submit questions for me to address so that I know what topics are on your mind.

Have a great weekend!

Teresa Khuluki


Important Dates

9/19: First day of after-school program; late buses available

9/26: Student Holiday/Teacher Work Day: Religious Observance - Rosh Hashanah 


After-School activities and clubs are finally starting this Monday September 19th! Students & staff are coming up with some really creative clubs so far this year. After-School clubs & late buses occur on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between the hours of 2:25pm - 4:45pm.

NO After-School Activities or Late Bus Transportation on the dates below:


NEW CLUB ALERT! Culture Club hosted by Ms. Wharton & Ms. Alexander-Romeo on Mondays 1st session in room A207

Students now have an icon for After-School Club Sign-In(Attendance) on their FCPS laptop desktops.


How can students participate in After-School Activities?

  1. Registration: All students wanting to participate in any after-school program, must complete the After-School Registration Form to participate in any activity, club, or stay for academic help with a teacher during After-School hours. This is a general acknowledgement and parent permission form - it is not a club or specific activity registration.
  2. After-School Schoology Folder: Students should check this folder weekly as this is where the weekly After-School clubs schedule will be posted as well as important announcements:

Schoology > Courses > All School Courses > After-School Program Folder

  1. Clubs & Activities Sign-In: Most activities are drop in (no-commitment) and your child’s participation may vary, depending upon activity capacities and sponsorship (teachers willing to supervise a club). Students should plan ahead each day there is After-School and check the weekly club schedule on Schoology to coordinate what clubs they plan on attending. If a club is highlighted in blue and has as strike through it, that means that the club will not be meeting on that day. Once students are in the room where the club is taking place during the After-School hours, they must sign-in for attendance purposes using the After-School Club Sign-In form mentioned above. This is not optional and helps us respond to parent inquiries and locate students quickly and accurately. The sign-in form is only accessible when already logged into a student FCPS Google account.



    Week of September 19th – 23rd   


How can students get home from After-School?

Late Bus Transportation is provided on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays following After-School dismissal at 4:30pm. Students can find out what late bus they ride by going to the Late Bus Routes document within the After-School folder on Schoology or asking the front office. Students may be picked up by caregivers/designees any time before 4:30pm and will be picked-up at the Kiss N Ride area by door 12. All students are expected to be picked-up on time (no later than 5pm) or access transportation provided. Students are not permitted to leave school grounds and return for or during After-School hours. Students are allowed to use their cellphones during After-School. Staff will continue to monitor appropriate usage of cellphones and if students do not comply, they will be asked to put their phone away. If students do not have a cellphone and need to communicate to a parent/guardian, there are phones in the Main Office students may use.

How can students start a new club if there is not one currently being offered that they wish to join?

Thoreau’s After-School Program is student-centered & student club creativity is encouraged! We need your voice and participation! We are open to club suggestions and feedback. If a student wishes to create a club and it is permissible, there is multiple student interest (minimum of 10 students interested) and there is a sponsor is available, students should fill out the After-School New Club Proposal Form. Ms. Taylor will check the submissions weekly and coordinate with the student on approving the new club.


Email Ms. Colleen Taylor at or call 703.846.8089.


Daily Absences

It is extremely important for Parents and Guardians to contact the school to report a child’s absence as well as the reason for the absence. Parents may call the Attendance Line at 703-846-8080, use the online attendance form or email Excessive Unexcused absences will trigger attendance protocols within the school setting as well as conferences with school counselors and administrators to create an individualized attendance plan.

Please visit our website for detailed information related to attendance policies and procedures.

Pre-Arranged Absences

If your child will be absent from school for 3 or more days you are required to complete the Pre-Arranged Absence form linked on our website and also available in our Main Office. Utilizing this form, students will communicate their absence to each of their teachers and understand their responsibility for any missed work or assignments.

Sign and Return the Student Rights & Responsibilities Booklet


FCPS’ updated Student Rights & Responsibility booklet is available online and in the ParentVue section of the Student Information System (SIS). The SR&R booklet explains expectations for student behavior, and adult responses to enhance school safety and to create a fair, equitable, and supportive school environment. 

Each year, we ask parents to review, sign, and return the SR&R to their child’s school. In ParentVue, you may now download and digitally sign the SR&R. Every parent/caregiver with a ParentVUE account will see the SR&R upon login to ParentVUE until the SR&R acknowledgement has been completed.

Your name in the digital signature box must match the parent/caregiver’s first and last name in SIS exactly before the signature will be accepted. Please take a moment to log into ParentVue in your child’s SIS account to access the SR&R. Signatures are due by September 30.

Contact your school’s front office if you are having difficulty accessing the booklet. Visit the SIS Parentvue Account Overview page for help logging in to your account. 

State Testing Information

We have been sharing some of the beginning of year assessments occurring in classrooms. Please note that middle school students also participate in required state testing throughout the year. State assessments measure the extent to which students have learned the content and skills reflected in state standards and may also be used to measure growth in learning state standards. The format and timing of state assessments vary by grade level and content area, as noted in the table below. These include: 

  •           Fall and winter Virginia Growth Assessments (VGA) standardized tests in reading and mathematics. More information is available on the VGA webpage (; 
  •           Spring Standards of Learning (SOL) standardized tests in reading, mathematics, and science. More information is available on the SOL assessments webpage (; 
  •           Ongoing local alternative assessments (LAAs) including performance-based assessments (PBAs) completed as part of classroom instruction in science, writing, and social studies; More information is available on the LAA and PBA webpage ( 
  • * VGA tests are not available for students enrolled in a high school credit-bearing math course, such as Algebra 1.

    Students at TMS will be taking the fall VGA tests on the following dates:


Students do not need to prepare for these tests as they are used to determine current understanding of content. However, we do ask that you remind your students of the test dates and be sure they come to school with a fully charged laptop.

If you have any questions regarding testing, please contact Thoreau’s school test coordinator, Erin Lynch (703.846.8058 or

Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) Fall Screening

For students NEW to FCPS since January 2022

Parents or guardians of seventh grade students may initiate the full-time AAP Level IV screening process by completing and submitting an Advanced Academic Programs Level IV Referral Form and any optional screening materials to their child’s school counselor no later than Friday, October 14, 2022.

AAP Level IV services are available to students in grades 3-8. Students may be found eligible for full-time placement in AAP Level IV Center classes through a central selection process where multiple criteria are reviewed by a central selection committee to determine eligibility for all FCPS advanced academic services. More information about the screening process as well as an overview of AAP services available at the middle school level may be found here.

If you have any questions about this process please reach out to your child’s counselor or Thoreau’s Advanced Academics Resource Teacher, Hannah Converse, at

The Credit Exam for World Language

Are you fluent in a language other than English?  

If you are, you may be able to earn up to three high school credits by taking the World Language Credit Exam.

  • November 3rd, 2022 - Centreville High School Cafeteria - 4:00 - 7:45 p.m.
  • November 9th, 2022 - West Springfield High School Cafeteria - 4:00 - 7:45 p.m.
  • See your counselor to register for this exam
  • Assess students’ native language proficiency 
  • Enable students to earn up to 3 credits toward fulfilling the world languages requirement for the Advanced Studies Diploma
  • This exam is offered in 30 different languages
  • Registration opens on Tuesday, 9/6 and closes on Thursday, 10/6

Upcoming Service Project Opportunity

The Thoreau Students will have any opportunity to participate in a upcoming service project. During the first week of October, students will be helping to create Halloween Mummy Candles. The mummies are part of the “Mummies for Mouths” Service Project created by former Thoreau Student, Jude Adler.  We are in need of the following supplies. 

  • Masking Tape
  • Googly Eyes- medium to large sizes
  • Brown Shoe Polish
  • Old Socks (will get ruined)
  • Non latex rubber gloves
  • Battery Operated Votive Candles

These supplies can be dropped off in Student Services or in the main office.

Thank you!

The TMS “Mummies for Mouths” Committee (Missy Galus, Jill Gallagher, and Kerrie Turner)


PTA News

Join the Thoreau PTA and support Thoreau and your student! Please consider making an additional donation to help fund PTA sponsored activities.

Attend our next PTA online meeting on September 20th at 7:00. Meeting link will be posted on the PTA Website the day of the meeting. 

Mark your calendar for our Dining for Dollars event on September 28th from 4-8pm at Noodles and Co. Food, friends, and fundraising!

We love our volunteers! If you are part of the Oakton HS or Marshall HS pyramids, and would like to volunteer as a liaison to help ensure our PTA gets information from these High Schools, please email Melanie Nunez at