Thoreau Matters - September 15, 2023

Thoreau Matters

September 15, 2023

Dear Thoreau Families,

We had an exciting week at Thoreau which concluded in welcoming our new seventh grade science teacher, Darren Robinson! Additionally we welcomed back art teacher, Lori Eshbaugh. In other staffing news, I wanted to share with you that Hilda Gomez in our main office will be leaving Thoreau for a promotion in another school. We will be advertising to hire a full-time office assistant and the hours will be 6:30 AM-2:30 PM. If you are interested, or know someone who may be interested, please encourage them to apply through the FCPS website from 9/20-9/26. We are also finding ourselves short-staffed with substitutes. Learn more about becoming a substitute teacher at a virtual information session on Wednesday, September 20, from 2:00-3:00 PM Register for this session.

Please make sure that you marked your calendar for our Back to School Night on Thursday, September 21 from 5:00-7:00 PM. We will send more details next week and your child will be directed to write down their schedule on Tuesday to bring home to you. Alternately, you can find your child’s schedule on ParentVue.

This week we opened up our Eagle Mart for students who were the recipients of our RISE card drawings! See the picture below. As a reminder we are recognizing students for demonstrating respect, integrity, service and engagement and I am so proud of all of our students earning cards from staff members.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Teresa Khuluki



Family Life Education Parent Preview Session

There will be a Family Life Education (FLE) parent session on Thursday, September 21st, at 4:30pm in Gym 1.

Human Growth and Development (HGD) and Emotional and Social Health (ESH) lessons will be presented beginning in December through Health & Physical Education (HPE) classes. Parents may review the materials through our Schoology All Parents Course and detailed grade-level program descriptions are available online here. See below for reference on where to access the preview in Schoology:


FCPS provides a comprehensive, sequential FLE program for students in grades K-12. Instruction is seen as a partnership among parents and guardians, the school, and the community in supporting the learning essential to the development of strong families, positive relationships, and a healthy community.

Parents/guardians may choose to opt their child out of all or part of the FLE program. Students who are opted out are provided with age-appropriate alternative health instruction, and every effort is made to foster respect for family choices. If you wish to opt your child out of all or part of FLE for this school year, please complete the opt-out form found here and return it to your child’s HPE teacher as soon as possible.

For Questions, Please Contact:

  • School Administration

7th Grade Wellness Screening

On Monday, October 2nd and Tuesday, October 3rd members of the Thoreau Middle School clinical team will be conducting a wellness screening for all 7th grade students through our Health & Physical Education classes. This screening is required by the FCPS School Board in grades 7, 9 and 11.

Our screening will begin with a lesson where we will introduce the concept of Acknowledge Care Tell (ACT) for all students as a strategy to handle concerns for themselves or a friend struggling with thoughts related to depression and in some cases suicide. After the lesson students will complete a brief and confidential questionnaire allowing our team to follow-up individually with any students in need of additional adult support.

A letter describing the screening process has been sent home to all 7th grade families.  This letter also includes the process for opting a student out of this screening, which every parents/guardian has the right to do.

We will be offering an opportunity for parents to preview the lesson before our Back to School Night on Thursday, September 21st.  This will take place at 4:00 PM in the Thoreau Cafeteria.

Finally, there is a Parent Portal available through Mindwise Innovations with information about the screening as well as valuable resources related to mental health.

VGA Assessments

Students 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. 

How can parents/guardians help?

  • Ensure your student is present and on time.
  • Ensure your student gets a good night’s sleep and eats a healthy breakfast in the morning.
  • If your student has an audio accommodation for testing, be sure they bring headphones to school.
  • Remind your student to have their cell phone off and away in their backpack.
  • Verify your student’s laptop is in working order.
    • Computer issues should be reported immediately to Student IT Support.
    • Fully charge their laptop every night.
    • Pack their charger in their backpack (if your student lost their charger, please purchase a replacement via MySchoolBucks).  

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

Thoreau After-School Program

After-School is an amazing opportunity for our staff & students to connect! Students & staff are coming up with some really creative clubs to kick off this exciting school year. After-School clubs & late buses occur on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between the hours of 2:25pm - 4:45pm for the remainder of the school year!

NO After-School Activities or Late Bus Transportation on: Thursday September 21st (Back to School Night)

NEW CLUB ALERT! Check out all of the after-school clubs being offered this year on the After-School page on Schoology. New clubs are being added each week as they are created!


Week of September 18th - September 22nd



Email Ms. Colleen Myers at or call 703.846.8089.

Scoliosis Fact Sheet

Please find more information about Scoliosis by visiting this site.  On this site you will find information on: 

  • What is scoliosis? 
  • When should my child be screened for scoliosis?  
  • What causes scoliosis? 
  • How is scoliosis treated? 
  • What are the signs of scoliosis? 

In addition, you will find this information translated into many different languages.  


2023 Student Rights and Responsibilities  

 FCPS’ Student Rights and Responsibilities document (SR&R) explains expectations for student behavior and adult responses to enhance school safety and to create a fair, equitable, and supportive school environment. In late June, the School Board approved changes to the SR&R for the 2023-24 school year. Updates include a revision of dress code expectations, bystander expectations for students witnessing harmful or unsafe behaviors, bullying, and substance abuse responses. Read Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid’s letter to families regarding the SR&RParents/caregivers should talk to their child(ren) about expectations for this school year. Also, please log in to SIS ParentVUE and sign to acknowledge your review of the SR&R, or sign and return the signature sheet to your child’s school by Friday, September 29.

World Language Credit Exam

The World Language Credit Exam assesses reading and writing language proficiency in languages other than English. Students who take the exam may earn up to three World Languages credits for levels one, two, and three for the language of the exam. The credits may fulfill the World Languages requirements for the Advanced Studies Diploma. The FCPS World Languages Credit Exam is also an approved assessment for awarding the Virginia Department of Education’s Seal of Biliteracy.

The exam is offered one time per school year. Additional information about the exam is located here.  Students should see their Thoreau MS counselor to register for this opportunity.