Spring Hill ES Panther Press

A Note from Principal Eck

First Grade

Dear Spring Hill Families,

It's hard to believe that we have reached the half-way point in the school year! Our staff and students have been working hard every day as learners and as a community to make school a fun and welcoming place to learn.

Shout out to Ms. Rudd, Ms. Harwood and our fabulous first grade students for their amazing grade level music performance on Wednesday. We have very talented first graders. This year our music teachers collaborated to put together K-3rd grade level performances. We are looking forward to our kindergarten and third grade upcoming performances in February and March respectively.  

Have a great weekend!

Counselor Corner – February 2023

We all experience conflicts in our lives.  Many of the conflicts involve another person.  We can also have conflicts within ourselves.  Students in 1st and 2nd grade learned about conflict resolution during weekly Wellness Workshop lessons with Ms. Rinker and Dr. Trigiani.  The topic was also reviewed with students in the upper grades by both school counselors. 

The focus of the lessons pertained to conflicts with others.  Small conflicts or problems typically involve situations that do not require adult help.  For example, Timmy cut in line or Suzie excluded Janie at recess.  Small problems can be solved by students if they have the tools in their toolkit.  Sometimes conflicts or problems are bigger and require adult support.  Big problems are usually emergencies like someone is physically hurt.  Sometimes a small problem can become a big problem if a student tries to solve it themselves, but the situation continues.  In Wellness Workshop, we focused on resolving small problems. 

We are not born knowing how to solve conflict.  Instead, problem solving skills must be explicitly taught.  One such skill taught to students during the lessons was how to use an I-Message.  I-Messages allow us to speak up for ourselves in a respectful way that can lead to productive conversations and win-win solutions.  The opposite of an I-Message is a You Message.  A You Message is when individuals share their feelings in a defensive way that will most likely cause the other person to respond in a similar tone or to simply ignore what is being said.

Wellness Workshop lessons began with teaching students the three steps of an I-Message:

  1. Share how to you feel or felt about the other person’s behavior.
    1. I felt sad…
    2. I feel lonely…
  2. Identify the behavior.
    1. When you…
  3. Define how you want the behavior to change.
    1. Can you please…

With practice, students will find that using I-Messages comes naturally.  It may seem silly at first, but advocating for oneself is an important skill to learn.  It is also helpful for students to see the adults at home modeling the use of I-Messages.  When reading a story with your child or watching a television show and a conflict arises amongst the characters, ask your child to use an I-Message as if they were one of the characters.  This helps with building empathy and understanding the perspective of others as well. 

As a reminder, it takes practice for children to develop communication skills involving feelings.  Therefore, prompting your child to use an I-Message when struggling with strong emotions not only teaches them how to share those feelings, but reminds them that talking it out is a healthy coping strategy.  

Dranesville Strategic Planning Community Forum- February 4

Please join Elaine Tholen for the Dranesville District in-person Strategic Planning Community Forum. Help shape the division’s future for the next few years!

WHEN: Saturday, February 4, 2023 from 9- 10:30a.m.

WHERE: Spring Hill Elementary School Cafeteria

Please register here. (link:https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc1VbzKvC6JIK_aT4ZAMaOBwt8HoaOKsws9ctu23yKL5X19uQ/viewform) Child care and language interpretation will be provided at this event, and sign up is through the registration link above.

These Community Forums  (link: https://www.fcps.edu/strategicplanning-communityforums) provide families, students, staff, and community members with an opportunity to participate in and influence the direction of FCPS’ new Strategic Plan. The goal is to have the final strategic plan by June 2023. Learn more about our strategic planning process here. (link: https://www.fcps.edu/strategicplanning) If you can’t join the Dranesville Forum, please check out the schedule of Community Forums, including several virtual options, and register for one that is most convenient for you.

What Happens at a Strategic Planning Community Forum?

  • Community Forums will provide families, students, staff, and community members with an opportunity to review student achievement, access, and perception data and identify both strengths and challenges within the data.
  • Working in small groups, participants will use research-based goals as a framework to transition their observations into recommended goals for the strategic plan that are focused on our desired future state for students.
  • As a culminating activity, participants will identify the one guarantee they would like FCPS to make regarding our students’ education.
  • The data from the Community Forums will be synthesized and that information will be shared with the Core Planning Team to incorporate those recommendations into finalized strategic plan goals.

What Can I Do to Prepare?

It's not necessary to do anything in advance. We want you to bring your thoughts and experiences to the discussion. If you'd like to review in advance, the data reports shared at the Community Forums are available on the Strategic Planning website.

 Link: https://www.fcps.edu/about-fcps/strategic-planning-process-2022-23/data-reports

Kindergarten and New Student Registrations for 2023-24 Now Underway

We are now accepting kindergarten registrations! Students must be 5 years old by September 30th, 2023. 

If you know anyone who has a rising kindergartener (or 1st-6th student who will attend Spring Hill Elementary), please encourage them to begin registration as soon as possible. Notifying our office of your intent to register or complete registration helps our school secure staffing for the upcoming school year.

If you would like to register your child, begin your Kindergarten and New Student Registration today or contact our Student Information Assistant (SIA), Ms. Kim at 703-506-3400 to schedule an appointment.

Attention All Student Artists


Draw, Paint, or Sketch a piece of art for the 2022-2023 Yearbook Cover Contest

We are looking for two designs for the front and back cover of the 22-23 yearbook.  Students are asked to draw, paint or sketch a picture that captures the spirit of Spring Hill. 

  • This contest is open to ALL current Spring Hill ES Students
  • Artwork must be on a 8.5x11 piece of paper (copier or printer paper is acceptable, but cardstock is preferred)
  • Artwork must be positioned in portrait, not landscape format, to fit the yearbook cover.
  • All Artwork must be submitted by, Thursday, February 2, 2023, in the front office.
  • We must have, Student’s Name, Grade and Teacher on the back of the artwork.
  • Only one submission per student.

Family Nutrition Tip of the Week: Include Alliums

Alliums are edible flowering plants that not only add robust flavor but are surprisingly good for you. Cook with these allium vegetables to make meals tastier and potentially reap the following health benefits.

  • Onions: reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, antibacterial, reduce risk of cancer
  • Garlic: lowers blood pressure, reduces risk of neurological disease, reduces toxins
  • Leeks: stabilize blood sugar, improve digestion, good source of vitamins and minerals
  • Chives: good source of vitamin K for bone health and blood clotting

Yearbook Picture Collection

To contribute pictures to our yearbook, please visit https://community.lifetouch.com/invite?code=SHES-YEARBOOK-23 and enter your email to begin uploading pictures. Please TAG your pictures with the tags provided. By tagging your pictures with your students' grade and teacher name, we can be sure that pictures end up on the correct final pages in the yearbook. Thank you in advance for your contributions! Please contact Kate Allen (ksallen@fcps.edu) if you have any questions.

A Message from PTO

Bids for Kids - Event Tickets ON SALE NOW! 

Join us on Saturday, February 4, for an evening of fun, food, and fundraising at Spring Hill PTO's Bid from the Heart event! Tickets are for sale now through February 1. Get yours today! 

Each ticket allows entry into our Bid from the Heart fundraiser, complete with catered bites, cocktails, deejayed music, a wine pull, paddle raise, and a live auction! This is a party you will definitely want to attend! 

Visit our auction website for more information on our online auction, which is taking place from January 29 through February 4. New and exciting items are added daily!

Volunteers are still needed to help this event run smoothly. If you are interested in being of service before, day of, or during the event - thank you! Please email Anna at springhillptosecretary@gmail.com. .

FCPS Parent Resource Center

Meet the Author Series All Cats are on the Autism Spectrum by Kathy Hoopmann

Cats take a playful look at the world of autism, and these fun feline friends will strike a chord with all those who are familiar with children on the Autism Spectrum. Join Kathy Hoopmann as she celebrates the diversity within this neurodiverse community by reading from her book and answering audience questions.

Thursday, February 9, 2023, 7 - 8 p.m.

Register for Meet the Author Series All Cats are on the Autism Spectrum by Kathy Hoopmann

View the individual event page if you would like to share this event with others.

Neurodiversity at Elementary Schools

How can families partner with schools?

  • Strategies to set your child up for success
  • How to advocate for your child
  • Tools for collaborating with your child's school

February 10, 2023, 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Presented by Kristen Haynor, FCPS Neurodiversity Specialist

Register for Neurdoversity at Elementary Schools

View the individual event page if you would like to share this event with others.

Supporting Mental Health Through Play

Join us for a 2-part interactive session designed for parents, caregivers, and educators to discover how incorporating more unstructured play & sensory foundational activities to support all young children’s development, including children with special needs and mental health concerns. 

Session #1 Highlights: View the individual event page if you would like to share this event with others.

  • The power of unstructured play in creating opportunities to build executive functioning skills
  • Differences in play experiences over the past 30-40 years
  • Benefits and Ways of incorporating  unstructured play into a child’s day

Session #2 Highlights: View the individual event page if you would like to share this event with others.

  • Angie Voss’ “power sensations” (movement & touch) 
  • Reflecting on our own temperaments, including sensory preferences, in order to provide a “goodness of fit” for our child or student
  • Creating an environment where all young children can thrive

This webinar is presented by Early Childhood Special Education Assistant Director, Amber Gant, with George Mason’s Training and Technical Assistance Center. 

Session 1: February 17, 2023, 10-11:30 a.m.

Session 2: February 24, 2023, 10-11:30 a.m.

Register for Supporting Mental Health Through Play

Important Dates

January 31 - Parents/Principal Book Club (6:30 PM)

February 4 - Rise Against Hunger Event

February 10 - Bingo Night

February 20 - George Washington’s Birthday and Presidents’ Day 

March 2 - Two-Hour Early Release

March 3 - Student Holiday/Professional Workday

March 18 - Fun Fair 

March 30 - Staff Basketball Game