Wednesday Word - 3/22/23




  • Friday, 3/24 - Deadline to order Yearbooks
  • Monday, 27-Friday, 3/31 - Music in Our Schools Spirit Week
  • Monday, 4/3-Friday 4/7- Spring Break, No School
  • Thursday, 4/13 - End of Third Quarter - 2-hour Early Release
  • Friday 4/14 - Student Holiday - Orthodox Good Friday
  • Wednesday, 4/19 - Kindergarten Orientation 5:30pm-6:30pm
  • Friday, 4/21 -  Holiday - Eid al Fitr




Celebrating Music In Our Schools Month!

Music in Our Schools Month engages music educators, students and
communities from around the country in promoting the efforts of high
quality music education programs in our schools. Franconia Elementary
believes in the power of music and its positive effects on our children. By
giving our students an outlet for creativity, we give them an opportunity
to relate and share memorable experiences with their peers. Those
memories will carry them on their journey to adulthood and beyond.
Music is beneficial in so many ways and we are lucky to be able to expose
our community to all we have to offer!


~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~    ~  



We will be celebrating Music in Our Schools Month with a special spirit next week: March 27th - March 31st.


Monday 3/27: Monday Blues - Wear Blue!
Tuesday 3/28: Broadway Tuesday - Think Hamilton, The Lion King,
Annie and more!
Wednesday 3/29: Dress as a Piano Keyboard - Wear black and white!
Thursday 3/30: Favorite Music Genre Day! Think: Country, Rock, Pop,
Reggae, Jazz, R&B, Techno, and more!
Friday3/31: Music ties us together! Wear a tie to celebrate how music
brings together people of all cultures and and backgrounds

(Please make sure all outfit choices are school appropriate)




Last Chance to Order Yearbooks!

Deadline to order is FRIDAY


Don’t miss out on the chance to get your child a yearbook. 2022-23 Yearbooks are $18.00 and the deadline to order is March 24th. No yearbook orders will be taken after that date. So, make plans to order yours today!

Yearbooks are only sold/purchased online. Start your purchase by going  to:, typing in 21927 or searching for Franconia Elementary, Alexandria VA, will take you to our ordering site.




World Showcase Day Fun

Thank you so much to all of the families who joined us for Franconia's first annual World Showcase event!  We hoped you enjoyed it as much as we did.  We are already planning for next year's event, and we hope you will consider participating when the time comes!  

Check out these videos of World Showcase activities that took place during the school day.  Here are links to view the Lion King performers, the fashion show, and the door/hallway decorations. 






Honor Band Accolades

for Four FES Students and Mr. Jakes



Tuesday night  four Franconia students performed on the stage of John Lewis High School as members of the 2023 Greater Springfield-Franconia Area Honor Band!  These students had been preparing this concert with other schools in the Edison pyramid since early January.  We are extremely proud of their excellent musical performance and representation of Franconia!






Spring Spirit Wear

Last day to order is March 27th!


All shirts are available in YOUTH and ADULT sizes.

FREE bulk shipping to the school or choose to pay for shipping to home.

If you choose free bulk shipping please include your student's NAME and TEACHER in the "Supporter Information" section.

Example: Allie Adams (Ethan Adams- Allen)








PE News

Field Day Shirts!

While we don’t yet have a specific date for field day, the PE team is well into planning the event! We have decided on a ‘Super Franconia World’ / video game theme! Below you can find the link to order shirts for field day! The order will not close until April 21st and the shirts will arrive around the end of April/beginning of May. Plan for field day in May or June and we’re excited to get out more details once we have them!

-Miss Borsos and Mr. Harris






Musical Circuits Club!

Franconia ES (sponsored by the PTA)

This club will now meet Tuesdays, May 2-May 30, as below.


Mr Nawrot will be offering a 5-week club on Tuesdays, 3:35-4:35.

CLASS DATES: 5/2, 5/9, 5/16, 5/23, 5/30

The club will take place at school, is open to students Grades 4-6, at a total cost of $60/student.


REGISTER HERE by March 27th:


Contact Matt at with questions.


Students grades 4 through 6 will explore the history and science behind electronic music through the creation of their own instrument. Each member will construct a breadboard theremin, the original electric instrument, utilizing Microkits.  Additionally, students will explore conductivity with a synthesizer and even try to jam out with an electric guitar.  Best of all, the inventor of Microkits, Mr David Levi, will be our guest one of the days to assist with our build.  Parents are encouraged to read the Microkit theremin instruction manual with their child prior to signing up to see if they are comfortable with the build.  Please note that students will need to bring in found conductive materials and that the club fees reflect the cost of purchasing the Microkits.




How Do YOU Practice Wellness?

Sign up to share on the morning news


Penguins, we want to know how you practice wellness in your life. Use the link below to sign up for a Wednesday to share a video showing your wellness journey with your fellow Franconia Penguins. Videos should be 3 minutes or less. Be sure to include yourself talking about why the wellness practice is important to you, and how it helps you. (if you need to include 2 shorter videos, one showing the activity and one of the student discussing the activity, that is fine and I can combine them for you. They should be no more than 3 minutes when combined.) 


You can show yourself practicing wellness by:

- a sport you play (for example soccer, gymnastics, martial arts training, etc)

- practicing a skill you're learning (for example dance, playing an instrument, or any other artistic/creative expessions)

- showing activities your family enjoys together (for example, taking walks together, cooking meals together, family game time, etc)

- showing activities you enjoy doing when enjoying alone time (for example reading or drawing)


Use this link to sign up:


Ms. Octaviano will contact you the week before your video will air on the morning news with additional information about how to submit your video.


If you have any questions, please email Ms. Octaviano at:




Project LIFT at Franconia Elementary School!

Project LIFT is a program for students to have access to 6 new books to read over the summer.  The cost of the program is $34.  Additionally, families will have the option to send in a donation to support other students in the school to also participate.  Forms for Project LIFT are in this week’s Wednesday Folder.  The deadline to send in money to participate is Friday, March 31st.




Mindfulness Lab Update

At Franconia, we have the unique opportunity of creating a mindfulness lab using our wellness ESSER funds.

Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment. In the lab, we have created opportunities for students to be in the present moment by developing mindfulness centers. Students can explore different mindfulness centers such as reading, breathing, art, affirmations, games and mindful movement.

This space has provided an opportunity for student wellness by causing students to relax mentally, emotionally and physically. Take a look at one of our spotlighted classes in the mindfulness lab: Ms.Octaviano! She practices yoga with her students weekly in the mindfulness lab.




Penguin Performers News

We have our LIGHTS and our MICS! Thank you to all who donated during our drive!!! We can’t wait for you to see these in action during our musical this spring!

Speaking of the musical…

Mark your calendars for The Lion King Kids musical April 27th and 28th at 6:30 pm.




Counselor's Corner

March guidance topics


Resolving Conflicts with Peers ( Grades K -2- By Using I-Messages) ( Grade 3- By Using STEP)

4th-5th grade: Students will review social emotional strategies taught in guidance throughout the year

6th grade- What is Sexual Harassment Part 1 and 2- Parent opt out letters were sent home in order for students to participate


 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Character Trait for the Month


March's Character Trait:

Patience- to wait calmly without complaining.

February's Character Trait was empathy- A feeling or understanding of what someone else is feeling.  Check out this video with our student highlights for empathy:




 A Note From Our K Team

Do you have a child who will be 5 years of age by September 30, 2023, and do you plan on sending them to kindergarten at Franconia for the 2023-2024 school year?

We are in the process of preparing for our kindergarten registration and orientation.  If your child is ready for kindergarten, call the school at 703-822-2200 so we may add you to our list of rising kindergarten students.

Please consider joining us at the school with your future kindergartener for our Kindergarten Orientation on Wednesday, April 19, from 5:30-6:30pm.  During this presentation, we will provide information about the kindergarten program at Franconia Elementary, while the future kindergarteners get to explore the classroom, participate in fun kindergarten activities, and take a ride on a school bus around the neighborhood. 

❤ Kindergarten Team



SoCo Summer Strings Camp

Exciting news! SoCo Summer Strings (formally Stallion Summer Strings) is returning this summer! The camp will be hosted at South County Middle School from July 10th-21st from 8:30am-12:30pm, weekdays only. 

Camp is open to all rising 5th-9th grade students with at least one year of experience on the violin, viola, cello, or bass. Students will participate in two large ensemble rehearsals, an instrument-specific technique class, and a sectional each day.

         You can find more information and registration for camp at Early registration is from March 1st-June 9th so sign up soon!




Hayfield Craft Fair and Auction

Save the date!


On 15 April 2023, from 9am-3pm, the Hayfield All Night Grad Party will be hosting a Craft Fair at Hayfield Secondary School (7530 Telegraph Road, Alexandria, VA 22315).  There will be over 100 vendors selling goods, an amazing silent auction, Kidcreate studio, facepainting and more! 

Proceeds go to help support the Hayfield Class of 2023 All Night Grad Party event.  

There is no cost to attend the event.  Please come out and support the local vendors and also the Hayfield class of 2023! 




Help Needed in the Library

Do you have a spare moment in the day to lend Mrs. Vandersande a hand?

The library needs volunteers to help scan in returns and shelve books any time during the school day.


Calendar Reminder


Upcoming Calendar Reminders


March 22 - April 21 - Ramadan

This year, the first day of Ramadan is March 22. Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year, a time for spiritual discipline for Muslims, who believe it was during this month that God revealed the first verses of the Quran to Mohammed. Read more about Ramadan in National Geographic Kids.

April 3-7 - Spring Break

As a reminder, April 3-7 is spring break. Schools and school offices will be closed. We wish our students and teachers a happy and restful Spring Break! Students will return to school on Monday, April 10, 2023.

See the complete 2022-23 school year calendar.




Find Free COVID-19 Testing in Your Community

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a COVID-19 Testing Locator website, which can help families find no-cost COVID-19 testing sites.  Testing is available at pharmacies and other locations and is provided at no cost to individuals with or without health insurance. Results are typically provided within 24-48 hours. 




Please remember to notify the school office of any of the following changes that come up for your child.

Notification should be made by 9:00am on the day of the change.

  • Absence
  • Late arrival
  • Planned early pick-up or mid-day appointment (pick-up and return)
    • If your child needs to be picked up unexpectedly, please call the office (703-822-2200) in advance of your arrival
    • This allows the office to contact your child’s teacher to prepare your child for their departure
    • For early pick-ups after 3:00pm, please park on Kathmoor as the school buses start to arrive for dismissal at that time and the front parking lot will be off limits
  • Changes in dismissal mode (

Below are the 3 options by which to notify the school office (choose one option):

Please do this IN ADDITION to contacting your child's teacher.  There could be times when the teacher is absent and, by also contacting the office, the information will be properly noted.

To email your child’s teacher, click HERE.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.





Recognize FCPS Employees

FCPS Cares is an opportunity for parents, staff, and community members to recognize FCPS employees for going above and beyond to help others and show they care.

The start of the school year is a great time to acknowledge someone who has helped to make your child's return to school amazing.

Learn how you can acknowledge an FCPS employee for their great work.


FCPS Parent Resource Center

Dunn Loring Center for Parent Services

2334 Gallows Road, Entrance 1, Room 105

Dunn Loring, VA


The FCPS Parent Resource Center (PRC) offers a welcoming and engaging environment for families, educators, and community members.




Phone: 703-204-3941


Twitter: @prc_fcps






  • The PRC offers free, confidential in-person, videoconference, and phone consultations for families and FCPS staff.
  • Appointments are highly encouraged.
  • They can brainstorm strategies and possible solutions to help you address your concerns by drawing upon resources and support from FCPS, as well as community, state, and national centers.


  • The PRC maintains a list of current FCPS employees who hold a valid and current teaching license in VA and want to tutor after their contracted school day.
  • Contact the PRC at 703-204-3941 or for more information.


  • Come explore the library for families and staff, 8:00am-4:00pm
  • The library contains over 10,000 books, eBooks, DVDs, and CDs on topics related to parenting and educating all children, including those with learning challenges, special needs, and disabilities.
  • Check out up to 6 items and keep them for 3 weeks.  Renewals are easy - just call or email us.
  • Find library resources to support your child with help from the Parent Resource Center staff.
  • Call us and we can have library materials ready for you to pick up.
  • Return library materials to us 24/7 in our book return or use the FCPS inter-office mail.  Contact us for details.



  • Register here -
  • Watch recorded webinars - https://bit.ly3rpPl3Q
    1. To turn videos into preferred languages, open a video - choose any video on YouTube and follow these directions to have closed-captioning in your preferred language:
    2. Click the CC button - make sure it is underlined in red.
    3. Click the settings button - it looks like a gear.
    4. Click subtitles.
    5. Click auto-translate.
    6. Choose a language.



Penguin Points

Click on a link for information

Franconia Elementary School website