Thoreau Matters 3/17/2023

Thoreau Matters

March 17, 2023

Dear Thoreau Families,

It was a wonderful week at Thoreau and I am writing to share exciting news about our performing ensembles and our Crosstown Hoops basketball teams. In case you have not heard, all four of our Crosstown Hoops basketball teams have emerged victorious against Kilmer Middle School in every game played. Our students have showcased remarkable skills, teamwork, and dedication, and we are incredibly proud of their achievements.

We would like to acknowledge and thank our coaches (Ms. Galus, Mr. Piddington, Ms. LeFave, Mr. Zanellato, and Mr. Loehle), staff, and families for their support and encouragement throughout the season. Once again, congratulations to our Crosstown Hoops basketball teams. Below are some photos of the teams and from the games showing our awesome school spirit!


All three top performing ensembles (Band/Choir/Orchestra) have achieved Superior Ratings giving Thoreau MS the VMEA Blue Ribbon Award for Music. The VMEA Blue Ribbon Award is the highest award given to schools music programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia and recognizes achieved excellence in Band, Orchestra, and Choral Performance. We want to express our heartfelt appreciation to our music teachers, staff, and families for their continuous support and encouragement throughout the year. We strongly believe that music education is a critical component of a well-rounded education, and we take immense pride in the achievements of our music program. Our students' outstanding performances in the Virginia state assessment are a testament to the quality of our music education and the dedication of our music teachers. Thank you to Ms. Yacovissi, Mr. Smith and Mr. McNamara!


Have a great weekend,

Teresa Khuluki


Upcoming Dates:

March 22nd – Spring SEL Screener

9th Grade Activities Fair

Our 8th graders will be going to Madison, Marshall and Oakton High Schools on Friday, March 24th, for their annual activity fair. Almost all 8th grade teachers and counselors will be assigned as chaperones for the trip. Students will be bused over to the high schools around 9:30am. Madison (around 350 students) and Oakton (around 210 students) students will return to Thoreau around 11:45am, eat lunch, and then be sent to 9th period. Marshall students (around 40 students) will return around 12:45pm and will be sent directly to their 9th period class because they will have already eaten lunch while visiting Marshall. All of this information & more can be found on the student field trip permission slips that will begin to be handed out to students this week (March 6th) in their science classes. Parents/guardians please be on the lookout for these permission slips because they are due back to your child’s science teacher no later than Friday March 17th. If a student fails to hand in their signed permission slip, they will not be allowed to attend the field trip.

Spring SEL Screener

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) commits to supporting all students’ mental wellness and social and emotional learning (SEL). The School Board has approved a screener to review students’ skills and experiences in these areas. FCPS staff will use the screener to identify strengths and needs for students in grades K-12. The screener provides information regarding students’ experiences and how staff can support their needs. 

All students in grades K-12 will participate in the screener twice a year, in the fall and spring. Students in grades 3-12 will reflect and report on their own skills and experiences. Screener data will only be accessible to teachers, administrators, and staff with legitimate educational interests. Results will be maintained in secure files and databases accessible only to these individuals. Screener results will be used with other data to inform practices for SEL skill development and mental wellness. Screener data will also help staff plan interventions for students with identified needs. Parents and guardians will receive an individualized report regarding their student’s screener results following each assessment window in SIS ParentVUE. School staff will be available to discuss results with families on planned support. As shared previously, there is also a family guide for parents/guardians to use with their children.

Thoreau MS students will take the spring SEL Screener on Wednesday, March 22nd during third period. If you do not want your student to take part in the SEL screener, please complete the opt-out via your SIS ParentVUE account by Friday, March 17th. If you opted your student out in the fall, you do not need to submit this request again.

More information, including a short video about the SEL screener in FCPS and the screener questions, can be found on the SEL Screener webpage ( Please contact your student's school counselor or Thoreau’s Test Coordinator, Erin Lynch ( or 703-846-8058) with questions.

Thoreau After-School Program

After-School has been amazing for our staff & students! 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.

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


Week of March 20th - March 24th



Email Ms. Colleen Taylor at or call 703.846.8089.

Green Expo and the Student Creativity Contest

To celebrate Earth Day, the Town of Vienna Conservation and Sustainability Commission (CSC) is excited to announce its third annual Environmental Student Creativity Contest! This competition is an opportunity for students to express thoughts on the environment and share imagination and art/writing skills. All students within the Madison Pyramid are invited to participate. The selected winners will receive a prize and have their essay/artwork featured at this year’s Green Expo.

Please click here for the attached flyer, requirements, and artwork/essay release form for additional details on this contest. This information is also posted for download at the Town's CSC web page. All questions and entries can be sent to Entries are due by 5 PM on Friday, March 31, 2023. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.

Parents and students are also invited to the Town’s Green Expo, which will be held at the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St SE, on Thursday, April 20 from 7-9 PM. Come visit with local exhibitors offering information on sustainable practices, such as clean water, native plants, local wildlife, green landscaping, recycling, composting, zero waste and green living, and energy efficiency, citizen science, and other volunteer opportunities, sustainable businesses in Vienna, and much more. There will be an opportunity to enter a raffle to win a free rain barrel or composter. Kids can grab a passport and visit exhibitors, learn about the environment, and earn a prize.

Kilometers for Kindness 5K

Grab some friends and mark your calendars for Sunday, April 23 8am! Vienna Elementary School is hosting a 1 mile Fun Run/Walk and 5k "Kilometers for Kindness" event right down the road from Thoreau. All information can be found here: Register before March 31 to guarantee a student-designed t-shirt!  If you are not free Sunday, April 23 in the morning - no worries! We have virtual options listed. This event is being held in support of the ONE kind act campaign in the Vienna Community.


Madison Warhawks 2023 FROSH Football

An introductory meeting for family & players interested in Warhawk Frosh Football will be held April 11 at 6:30 pm in the Madison Weight Room (back of the building across from the tennis courts & baseball outfield).  Whether able to attend this meeting or not, all prospective players should provide the information requested at:; this ensures receipt of all future communications.

Eight graders planning to play football are invited to our after-school lifting program starting April 12. These voluntary sessions will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays through the end of the school year and will last approximately 90 minutes.  Students must submit completed Emergency Care Forms & weight room waivers to Coach Michael Ginley; blank forms will be provided at the meeting or can be found in the Activities Office (Room 131).  No student may participate until these steps have been completed

See on registration for Fall athletics.  Madison hosts an Activities Fair for 8th graders on 3/24 (during the day in conjunction with the Middle Schools); all are invited to stop at the Football table.

Team Goals:1. Teach class and character; 2. Practice & play safely; 3. Teach the Warhawk approach to football; 4. Have fun; 5. Keep Academics first

Summer lifting sessions will be offered 4 mornings & 2 evenings a week (voluntary)

Summer Camp for rising Frosh Football players is scheduled at Waters Field from June 19 through June 22nd, likely 10:30am to 1pm. This is a voluntary, non contact camp open to all rising frosh. 

Practices (required) start the first Monday in August, 6:30 am to noon, with a Saturday morning intra-squad scrimmage.   PLEASE SCHEDULE PLAYER VACATIONS BEFORE AUGUST, as these two a-day practices are essential for individual & team development, especially for players new to football. Once school starts most practices are after school and most games are played Thursdays at 5:30 pm.  Coaches are flexible working with athletes who play other sports.  All who follow team rules & attend practices make the team.  Every effort is made to play each player in each game.  Helmets & shoulder pads are provided by Madison.  Players provide their own footwear and football girdles.

Please feel free to share this information with any interested parties.  Contact me at any time with questions.  Thanks for your interest,

Coach Michael Ginley, Madison Frosh Football, 703-204-1967 (home), 703-789-6221 (cell)

Activities Office Contact Information John Kenny, DSA 703-319-2499 (; Andrew Baird, ADSA 703-319-2362 (; Polly Colwell, Admin Assistant 703-319-2360


PTA News

PTA Meeting: Tuesday, March 21st (7 PM)

Questions to submit? Please email PTA President Melanie Nunez ( 

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


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