Daniels Run ES - December 9, 2022

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Principal's Message 

Dear Families,

Our Family Engagement Survey results are now available on our webpage.  A few highlights:

  • 95 percent responded "I feel welcome at my child’s school."
  • 95 percent responded "the school welcomes families of different backgrounds and cultures."
  • 95 percent responded "my child feels safe at school."

As a reminder, winter break for students and teachers will be held December 19, 2022, to January 2, 2023. To help make sure school-based staff and students have a restful break, no homework will be assigned during this time. Teachers may assign long-range assignments in the weeks ahead of the break, allowing students to practice time management skills, but no assignments should be due immediately following the break. Classes will resume on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.  Our school office will also be closed December 19-Janaury 2.  If there is an urgent matter during that time period email Chris Smith cmsmith@fcps.edu.   

If you have any questions or concerns you can contact our main office at 703-279-8400 or contact me directly at cmsmith@fcps.edu

Enjoy your weekend,

Chris Smith 

DRES Principal 

Spirit Days 

Wednesday (12/14) - Crazy Sweater/Winter Spirit Day 

Thursday (12/15) - Positivity Project Spirit Day - Wear Green or Gray

Friday - (12/16) - Pajama Day

Reminder:  Window for AAP Full-Time (level IV) Referrals Ends December 15, 2022

Parents/guardians of students in Grades 2-7 who would like their student to be considered for full-time advanced academic programs (level IV AAP services) may submit the AAP Level IV Referral Form to  Elyssa McKinnon eamckinnon@fcps.edu  no later than December 15

The window to submit an AAP Level IV Referral Form is the first day of school through December 15, annually.  Forms for full-time and part-time referrals are available on the AAP Forms Page. No late referrals for Level IV services can be accepted. 

Submitting a referral form for AAP Level IV will initiate a process that begins at the local school and is then completed at the central office level. Our school will put together a portfolio that includes multiple data which are considered holistically. At the central office level, a committee of professionals from various schools review materials to determine eligibility for level IV placement.  Eligibility decisions are communicated by early April. Parents may request a copy of the portfolio that was submitted after they have been turned in for central selection by emailing Elyssa McKinnon eamckinnon@fcps.edu. 

Referrals for AAP Levels II-III (part-time services) are screened at the local school. 

For more information, there are parent presentations available on the FCPS AAP website (under “Presentations”) that contain information similar to our fall parent information meetings at Daniels Run.

ESSER III Community Conversation on December 13

A Community Conversation on ESSER will be hosted on Tuesday, December 13, at 6:30 p.m. The event will be hybrid, offered both on Zoom or in-person at the Gatehouse Administration Building in the café. All are welcome. Please register to attend. 

Learn more about the ESSER III grant.



Students have unlimited access to 24/7, on-demand, online tutoring support services through Tutor.com at no cost to families.  Students can connect online any time, any place, and in most K-12 subjects for however long they need. Tutoring may be on-demand and/or scheduled at a time convenient for the student and/or family.  https://www.fcps.edu/resources/online-tutoring-services

Tutoring is focused instruction provided to students in a one-on-one format (voice and/or text chat). Tutors will focus on developing student’s strengths and capabilities in reading, mathematics, or other specified subjects. 

Learn more on FCPS’ Tutor.com webpage.

FCPS Strategic Plan 

Beginning in late January 2023, FCPS will host a series of community forums as part of our strategic planning process. View the schedule on our Strategic Planning website. We will add more details as they become available.

Parent Advocacy Handbook

The Parent Advocacy Handbook is for parents and guardians -- a child’s first teacher and advocate. It is believed that parents and guardians should advocate and support their children’s academic, social, and emotional growth from preschool through high school, and beyond.

Information and resources within the handbook are designed to help parents and guardians:

  • Learn about their rights and responsibilities as an FCPS parent or guardian.
  • Learn more about what is going on in the student's school.
  • Gain skills to advocate for your student at school.
  • Learn more how to monitor and help your student at home.
  • Find extra help and resources.

The handbook contains answers to the many questions parents may have about the school system and how they can best advocate for their student at the various stages of their school experience.

Be an advocate for your child. Know what is happening at school. Ask questions. Express your ideas, comments, and concerns. Check to see that promises made are kept.


          A Note from the Music Department


Music News:  

🎵 The December Musician of the Month is the a cappella vocal ensemble: Sweet Honey in the RockClick here to learn about this fantastic group.  

🎵 All School Song:  Winter Walk: Ask your class to sing our new all school song for you.  The whole school will sing this at our Chorus Winter Concert next month.  Click here to sing-along.  

Positivity Project (P2)

Dear Families,

This week our school community will be focusing on the character strength of Self-Control. Self-control means you can control your emotions and behaviors. You think before you act.

Self-control is the act of managing behavior in a way that positively influences goal attainment and living up to standards. Possessing this strength protects people from destabilizing emotional extremes. Those with self-control can limit impulsive behavior. They are able to experience and navigate difficulty while remaining poised. Self-control does not mean a lack of thoughts, feelings, or impulses; it just means you have command over them.

A group’s ability to demonstrate self-control often appears in the form of “self-monitoring.” This means the individuals demonstrate honesty with one another about successful group practices. When things are unsuccessful, group members can adjust roles in the interest of overall group success. 

To practice and encourage the character strength of self-control with your child, please visit the Positivity Project’s P2 for Families (password: P2), where together you will watch a video, read a quote, and talk about the answers to three questions.

Have a wonderful week!

Mental Health, Coping & Addiction

One in four Americans suffer from a mental illness. Almost 3 in 5 people with mental illness will receive no treatment or medication. In 2019, an estimated 47.6 million adults (19% of the country) had a mental illness, but only 43% received any kind of mental health care (Johns Hopkins). There are many reasons why a person may turn to drugs or alcohol initially, including using these mind-altering substances as a coping mechanism for stress, difficult emotions, physical ailments, and other issues. Drugs and alcohol can provide a temporary respite from reality and everyday life. They can enhance pleasure and decrease inhibitions and anxiety.  Drug use can be an unhealthy coping mechanism. Coping mechanisms are habits formed over time that serve to help a person manage situations or stress levels. Not all coping mechanisms are maladaptive or destructive; however, addiction is both.

Before using drugs as a coping strategy here are some recommendations for a healthier mindset. The goal is to identify the “void” or issue and work towards healing. In the meantime, experts recommend diet and exercise as great places to start. See your Primary Care Physician and a therapist if needed. Quality sleep is also a major factor in a healthy mind. Surround yourself with good people and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.


Substance Use Disorder info

FCPS Social Work

For general questions about the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Program, please contact the Office of Student Safety & Wellness at: (571) 423-4270 and be sure to follow us on Twitter at @FCPSSAPS.

For further Information & support:

De’Ja Ruffin (McNeil)

Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist


Important Dates 

December 15 - Chorus Concert, 6:30pm

December 19-January 2-Winter Break Holiday

January 3 - Students return to school 

January 16-Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

January 25-2 Hour Early Release (1:45 dismissal)

January 26-Student Holiday/Teacher Workday

January 27-Student Holiday/Teacher Workday