Principal’s Message

November Principal’s Message: Turf, Report Cards, School Plan!

Dear Families,

We hope that the Thanksgiving break was a good one for your family, and that it afforded lots of rest, relaxation, and family time.

There is much news to share on the front of our turf installation. Crews have been working to dig out for the base materials and haul away the dirt. The long task of working on drainage, and then laying the base materials down begins in earnest shortly. Two layers of safety fencing have been installed around the work are to keep curious little hands away from big machinery. The big machines are quite a sight during recess however! We have found that the playground equipment and side fields are sufficient for play for two grades during recess. On very muddy days, we do have to call for indoor recess, but as of now, I am told that the work is expected to be completed by winter break. The great news is that the turf, like the blacktop, is expected to be completely usable in wet conditions, expanding our usable play area for outdoor recess!

Report cards for grades 1-5 (PK and K receive report cards at the semester mark) will be sent home on Wednesday, November 28. Remember to review these with your student(s) and praise areas of strength and growth from last year, and focus on areas for improvement. A growth mindset doesn’t look at lower than expected grades and see failure, it sees opportunities for growth, sets goals and develops strategies to achieve those goals. We want our students to see learning as a state of constant improvement over time – with repeated reflection and goal-setting as integral parts of the process. In the report card folders, Special Education Case Carriers will send home progress updates, and gifted students will receive the “Differentiation Forms” that share information regarding extensions that were done in class. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher(s) if you have questions about the report cards or progress updates.

Finally, we will be sharing information regarding our school plan at the December PTA meeting, and posting it on our website. Our plan continues to focus on enhancing teachers’ skills with Tier One instruction (the grade level curriculum provided for all students, regardless of any label) to ensure students have time and opportunity for mastery. The plan incorporates requirements from the Virginia Department of Education as well as federal Title One regulations under ESSA (the Every Student Succeeds Act). We look forward to sharing this information with you.

We remain grateful for you and your support as we move into December and look forward to seeing you at Bingo Night!


Queridas familias,

Esperamos que el feriado de Acción de Gracias fue un buen tiempo para su familia, y que les haya regalado mucho descanso, relajación y tiempo en familia.

Hay muchas noticias para compartir con respecto a la instalación del césped. Un equipo ha estado trabajando para excavar en busca de los materiales de base y remover la suciedad. La larga tarea de trabajar en el drenaje y luego colocar los materiales de base comienza realmente pronto. Se han instalado dos capas de cercas de seguridad alrededor del trabajo para mantener las pequeñas manos curiosas lejos de la maquinaria grande. Sin embargo, las máquinas grandes son todo un espectáculo durante el recreo. Hemos encontrado que el equipo del patio de recreo y los campos laterales son suficientes para que jueguen dos grados durante el recreo. En días muy turbios, tenemos que pedir que el recreo se haga dentro, pero a partir de ahora, me dicen que se espera que el trabajo se complete para las vacaciones de invierno. La buena noticia es que se espera que el césped, como el patio negro, sea completamente utilizables en condiciones de humedad, ¡expandiendo así el área de juegos utilizable para recreo al aire libre!

Reportes de calificaciones para los grados del 1-5 (PK y K recibirán los reportes de calificaciones al cumplirse el semestre) serán enviados el miércoles, 28 de noviembre. Recuerda el revisar esto con tu estudiante(s) y elogiar las áreas de fortaleza y crecimiento desde el año pasado, y enfocarse en las áreas en las que tiene que mejorar. Una mente de crecimiento no se enfoca en las calificaciones que están más bajas de lo que se esperaba o en las fallas, se ven las oportunidades de crecimiento, planea metas y desarrolla estrategias para desarrollar esas metas. Queremos que nuestros estudiantes vean el aprendizaje como un estado de constante mejora durante el tiempo – con reflecciones repetidas y el establecimiento de metas como partes integrales del proceso. En el reporte de calificaciones, los portadores de casos de educación especial enviarán actualizaciones de progreso a casa, y los estudiantes dotados recibirán los “Formularios de diferenciación” que comparten información sobre las extensiones que se realizaron en clase. No dude en comunicarse con los maestros de su hijo/a si tiene alguna pregunta sobre las calificaciones o las actualizaciones de progreso.

Finalmente, estaremos compartiendo información acerca del plan escolar en la reunión de la PTA en diciembre y posteando esto en nuestra página web. Nuestro plan continúa enfocándose en realzar las habilidades de los maestros con la instrucción de Tier One (el currículo de nivel de grado que se provee a todos los estudiantes, independientemente de cualquier etiqueta) para asegurar que los estudiantes tengan el tiempo y la oportunidad para dominar los temas. El plan incorpora los requisitos del Departamento de Educación en Virginia también como las regulaciones federales de Title One bajo ESSA (the Every Student Succeeds Act – el acto de todos los estudiantes pueden ser exitosos). Esperamos poder compartir esta información con ustedes.

Nos mantenemos agradecidos por ustedes y por su apoyo mientras nos movemos a diciembre y esperamos verlos en la Noche de Bingo!


Dan Redding


October Updates

Dear Families,

La traducción al español está al final. October was Bullying Prevention Month. During this month, students received two counseling lessons related to bullying, based on their grade level:

  • Kindergarten: Friendships: Sweet and Sour Friends and Being Kind and Unkind
  • First: Standing up to bullying and being included
  • Second: What is bullying, what it isn’t and what to do about it; and Standing up to bullying
  • Third: What is bullying, what it isn’t and what to do about it and Being an Upstander
  • Fourth: What is bullying, what it isn’t and what to do about it and How bullying feels on the inside
  • Fifth: What is bullying, what it isn’t and what to do about it and Three part series on all perspectives of bullying

Students learned about the definition of bullying and the difference between behaviors that are mean or rude versus bullying:

• Rude: Unintentionally doing or saying something that hurts someone else
• Mean: Intentionally doing or saying something that hurts many
• Bullying: Intentionally doing or saying something that hurts a specific person repeatedly and plays on an imbalance of social power

Finally, students learned how to address bullying when they experience it or witness others being bullied:

• Use a confident voice and say things like:

Leave me alone. Cut it out. That’s mean, don’t say that. Don’t talk to me like that.

• Walk away:

Walk away to a group of other students or near a teacher

• Get Help: It’s not tattling. It’s reporting.

• Tattling is trying to get someone in trouble

• Reporting is keeping someone safe and getting help

All of these messages were reinforced during daily Tiger TV broadcasts, with the messages being repeated by students. Please talk with your students about the difference between bullying and mean or rude behavior, and encourage them to stand up for others by reporting. These messages will be reinforced all year long. Ms. Sohr, Ms. Vellente, and I are always available if you are concerned about something your student is sharing with you at home.

Barrett and all APS schools are offering no-cost flu shots for students. Full information is available online. Forms are available at that link and can be turned in right up to the day of the shots, November 29, 2018.

We were sad to learn that Ms. Megan Pearcy has chosen to resign from Barrett and leave the teaching profession for personal reasons. Fourth grade families in Ms. Pearcy’s class have been notified. Currently, we have a strong substitute in place who is receiving direct support from our lead teachers and coaches to ensure continuity of instruction and learning for children. We have begun the process of advertising for and hopefully hiring an excellent replacement. We are grateful to Ms. Pearcy for her hard work during first quarter. She will complete her report cards and ensure that everything is closed up from first quarter prior to her leaving. Her last day is November 8th.

We have finally received updates on our turf installation project! The tree in the middle of the installation area has been cut (rest assured that APS Facilities will be planting two trees to replace it). The bench that the fifth grade class of 2013 purchased was preserved and will be reinstalled in an appropriate area upon project completion. Very soon, a fence will be installed to demark the work area and keep students and families safe from the construction. That fence, as I shared in a recent SchoolTalk email, is projected to encompass the blacktop as well as the gates, restricting access from Park Drive to the playground and school. Because of the safety concerns related to entry along George Mason Drive, we want families who walk to school from Arlington Forest to turn right on North 3rd Street and then turn left on North Henderson Road to access the main entrance. We apologize for this inconvenience, but believe that this is a safer way so that students remain on the sidewalk. Our crossing guard who is posted at North Park Drive will relocate to the intersection of North 3rd Street and Park Drive to cross families at that intersection during this part of installation.

As we approach the end of the first quarter, students are reflecting on their work so far this year and will be setting goals for the second quarter. Please be sure to review their work and ask what they did well on and what goals they have for second quarter. Discuss plans for ways to meet those goals.


Queridas Familias,

Octubre fue el Mes de la Prevención contra el Bullying. Durante este mes, los estudiantes recibieron dos lecciones de consejería relacionadas al bullying, basados en su nivel de grado:

  • Kindergarten: amistades: Dulces y Amargas amistades y ser amable y cruel
  • Primero: Parándose en contra del bullying y ser incluido
  • Segundo: Qué es el bullying, qué no es y qué hacer acerca de esto; y parándose en contra del bullying
  • Tercero: Qué es el bullying, qué no es y qué hacer acerca de esto y ser una persona que se levanta en contra del bullying
  • Cuarto: Qué es el bullying, qué no es y qué hacer acerca de esto y cómo se siente el bullying dentro de nosotros.
  • Quinto: Qué es el bullying, qué no es y qué hacer acerca de esto y una serie de Tres partes sobre todas las perspectivas del bullying

Los estudiantes aprendieron acerca de la definición del bullying y las diferencias entre los comportamientos que son malos o groseros versus el bullying:

• Grosero: hacer o decir algo a alguien sin la intención de herirlos
• Malo: hacer o decir algo a muchos con la intención de herirlos
• Bullying: hacer o decir algo a una persona en específico repetidamente con la intención de herirlo y juega un desequilibrio en el poder social.

Finalmente, los estudiantes aprendieron cómo abordar el bullying cuando ellos lo experimentan o cuando son testigos de otros que están siendo bullied:

• Usar una voz segura y decir cosas como:

Déjame en paz. Para aquí. Eso es malo, no digas eso. No me hables así.

• Irse:

Irse hacia otro grupo o hacia un maestro que se encuentre cerca

• Pide ayuda: No es chismear (tattling). Es reportar.

• Chismear (tattling) es tratar de meter a alguien en problemas

• Reportar es mantener a alguien seguro y buscar ayuda

Todos estos mensajes fueron reforzados diariamente durante el tiempo de Tiger TV, con los mensajes repetidos por los estudiantes. Por favor hable con su estudiante acerca de la diferencia entre bullying y comportamiento malo o grosero y anímalo a pararse por otros para reportarlos. Estos mensajes serán reforzados durante todo el transcurso del año. La Sra. Sohr, la Sra. Vellente, y yo siempre estamos disponibles si usted tiene alguna preocupación de algo que su estudiante está compartiendo con usted en la casa.

Nos entristecimos con la noticia de que la Sra. Megan Pearcy ha decidido renunciar de Barrett y dejar la profesión de maestra por razones personales. La clase de cuarto grado en el salón de la Sra. Pearcy han sido notificados. Actualmente, tenemos un sustituto fuerte que tomará su lugar quien está recibiendo apoyo directo de los maestros líderes y de los entrenadores para asegurar continuidad en la instrucción y en el aprendizaje de los niños/as. Comenzamos el proceso de publicidad y esperamos emplear a un excelente reemplazo. Estamos muy agradecidos con la Sra. Pearcy por su arduo trabajo durante el primer periodo. Ella completará sus reportes de calificaciones y se asegurará que todo esté terminado con respecto al primer periodo antes de que se vaya. Su último día será el 8 de noviembre.

Barrett y todas las escuelas de APS están ofreciendo vacunas contra la gripe sin costo para los estudiantes. La información completa está disponible online. Los formularios están disponibles en ese enlace y se pueden entregar hasta el día de las vacunas, 29 de noviembre de 2018.

¡Finalmente hemos recibido actualizaciones sobre nuestro proyecto de instalación de césped! Se cortó el árbol del medio del área de instalación (tenga la seguridad de que las instalaciones de APS plantarán dos árboles para reemplazarlo). El banco que compró la clase de quinto grado de 2013 se conservó y se reinstalará en un área apropiada al finalizar el proyecto. Muy pronto, se instalará una cerca para demarcar el área de trabajo y mantener a los estudiantes y las familias a salvo de la construcción. Esa cerca, como compartí en un correo electrónico reciente de SchoolTalk, se proyecta que abarque el asfalto y las puertas, restringiendo el acceso desde Park Drive al patio de recreo y la escuela. Debido a las preocupaciones de seguridad relacionadas con la entrada a lo largo de George Mason Drive, queremos que las familias que caminan a la escuela desde Arlington Forest giren a la derecha en North 3rd Street y luego a la izquierda en North Henderson Road para acceder a la entrada principal. Pedimos disculpas por este inconveniente, pero creemos que esta es una forma más segura para que los estudiantes permanezcan en la acera. Nuestro guardia de cruce que se encuentra en North Park Drive se trasladará a la intersección de North 3rd Street y Park Drive para cruzar a las familias en esa intersección durante esta parte de la instalación.

Mientras nos acercamos al final del primer periodo, los estudiantes están reflexionando acerca de su trabajo hasta ahora y van a estar creando metas para el segundo periodo. Por favor asegúrese de revisar su trabajo y preguntarles acerca de lo que hicieron bien y qué metas tienen para el segundo periodo. Discutan los planes para lograr estas metas.

September Principal’s Blog Post

Dear Families,

We are so pleased with the start of the new school year! It’s wonderful to have the children back in the school and have the hallways and playground full of joy and laughter.

This year we experienced a number of changes, and I’ve previously written about a number of staff new to Barrett. There was one last change during the final week of August. Late in the summer, just prior to teacher pre-service week, Ms. Afton Cordoba, school counselor, learned that her husband’s job would be moving him out of the area. She was already planning on being on leave due to the baby they were expecting, and decided that under the circumstances, it was best to leave Arlington Public Schools and allow Barrett to bring a new counselor on board prior to the beginning of the school year. As such we are excited to welcome Ms. Claire Vellente to the team. Ms. Vellente has been a long-term sub for elementary counselors in APS and is well-versed in the counseling curriculum resources. She has already hit the ground running and has been working in classes with students on the goal setting, academic planning, bullying prevention, and other aspects of the counseling curriculum.

Additionally, as you may be aware, we had a surge in enrollment at the fifth grade level in late August and were allocated an additional homeroom teacher position to reduce the class sizes. Ms. Percis Maddela joined our team, moving here from Chicago where she has taught fifth and sixth grade. Ms. Maddela dug right in and is working closely with her team, the reading teachers, math coach, and resource teacher for gifted in order to plan and deliver instruction. She is building strong classroom routines and community.

As school started, we were experiencing warmer than normal temperatures outside, and along with that concerns about temperatures inside the building. The fifth grade wing and part of the first grade/PreK wing have been unusually warm, and after investigation, it was determined that several parts needed to be ordered to repair the system in that part of the building. Most of those parts are in place, and cooling improved, but we will continue to monitor the situation. LIkewise there were issues with one air conditioning unit in the trailer, and those continue to be worked on. Fortunately, this impacts the bathrooms and hallway, not the classrooms.

With the extreme heat and very high heat indexes (the combination of temperature and humidity that register a higher temperature on your body) earlier in September of over 100 degrees, we had to make a decision to shorten outdoor recess on those days. Once the heat index got close to 100, we moved to “first 15 minutes inside, second fifteen minutes outside.” We want the children to be outside and get fresh air unless the air quality is unhealthy due to heat. By moving to a split time, we were able to play for the full thirty minutes of recess and get some fresh air before settling into lunch. If high temperatures continue, we will continue to use this model so that children can have their full recess time, but in a safe manner. Likewise, during the heavy rains that were remnants of hurricane Florence, we had to move to indoor recess schedule. Under new APS guidelines, all students in grades Pre-K through 5 are receiving 30 minutes of recess daily. We will continue a practice of 15 in/15 out when temperatures are cold, but not dangerous, and reduced outdoor time is indicated.

A few words in general about the school year. Please be sure to be on time every day. Even five minutes of tardiness can leave your student out of sorts and trying to catch up for the rest of the day. Please refer to the school handbook for procedures related to absences, and what constitutes an excused versus unexcused absence, and how to handle returning to school after an illness.

Please know that our doors are always open to discuss any questions. We’re excited that students have internalized school routines and are focused on learning the grade level standards. We’re off to an amazing start and look forward to an awesome year!


Queridas Familias,

Estamos muy entusiasmados con el comienzo del año escolar! Es maravilloso tener a los niños/as de vuelta en la escuela y tener los corredores y el parque llenos de alegrías y risas.

Este año experimentamos un gran número de cambios, y anteriormente escribí acerca de los nuevos empleados que tenemos en Barrett. Hubo un último cambio durante la semana final de agosto. Al final del verano, la semana anterior al servicio previo de los maestros, la Sra. Afton Cordoba, Consejera Escolar, se enteró que el trabajo de su esposo les pedía mudarse para otra área. Ella estaba planeando salir en licencia de maternidad por el bebé que están esperando y decidió que por esas circunstancias, era mejor dejar su posición en Barrett y permitirnos tener una nueva consejera que estuviera a bordo desde el principio del año escolar. Por eso estamos muy emocionados de darle la bienvenida a nuestro equipo a la Sra. Claire Vellente. La Sra. Vellente ha sido sub a largo plazo para consejeros de primaria en APS y está bien versada en los recursos del currículo de consejería. Ella ya ha comenzado a trabajar y ha estado trabajando en clases con los estudiantes sobre el establecimiento de metas, la planificación académica, la prevención de la intimidación y otros aspectos del plan de estudios de asesoramiento.

Adicionalmente, como debe saber, tuvimos un aumento en la inscripción del quinto grado a fines de agosto y se asignó un puesto de maestro adicional para reducir el tamaño de las clases. La Sra. Percis Maddela se unió a nuestro equipo, se mudó aquí desde Chicago, donde enseñó quinto y sexto grado. La Sra. Maddela trabajó directamente con su equipo, los maestros de lectura, el entrenador de matemáticas y el maestro de recursos para superdotados para planificar y brindar instrucción. Ella está construyendo fuertes rutinas de aula y comunidad.

Mientras comienza la escuela, estuvimos experimentando temperaturas más calientes de lo normal y algunas preocupaciones por las temperaturas dentro del edificio. El ala del quinto grado y parte del ala de primer grado/PreK han estado inusualmente cálidos, y después de la investigación, se determinó que era necesario pedir varias piezas para reparar el sistema en esa parte del edificio. La mayoría de esas piezas están en su lugar, y la refrigeración mejoró, pero seguiremos monitoreando la situación. Del mismo modo, hubo problemas con una unidad de aire acondicionado en el remolque (trailers), y seguiremos trabajando en eso. Afortunadamente, esto afecta los baños y el pasillo, no las aulas.

Con el calor extremo y los índices de calor tan altos (la combinación de temperatura y humedad que registra una temperatura más alta en su cuerpo) de más de 100 grados, tuvimos que tomar una decisión para acortar el recreo al aire libre en esos días. Una vez que el índice de calor se acercó a 100, cambiamos los “primeros 15 minutos adentro, y los segundos 15 minutos afuera”. Queremos que los niños estén afuera y reciban aire fresco a menos que la calidad del aire no sea saludable debido al calor. Dividiendo así el tiempo, pudimos jugar los treinta minutos completos de recreo y tomar un poco de aire fresco antes de prepararnos para el almuerzo. Si continúan las altas temperaturas, seguiremos usando este modelo para que los niños/as puedan tener su tiempo de recreo completo, pero de manera segura. Del mismo modo, durante las fuertes lluvias que fueron los restos del huracán Florence, tuvimos que pasar al horario de recreo en el interior. Bajo las nuevas pautas de APS, todos los estudiantes en los grados de Pre-K a 5 reciben 30 minutos de receso diariamente.

Unas pocas palabras generales acerca del año escolar. Por favor asegúrese de llegar a tiempo diariamente. Hasta 5 minutos de tardanza pueden dejar a su estudiante de mal humor y tratando de entender lo que pasa durante el resto del día. Por favor refiérase al manual de la escuela para los procedimientos relacionados con las ausencias y qué constituye una excusa versus una ausencia no excusada y cómo manejar el regreso a la escuela después de una enfermedad.

Por favor tenga en cuenta que nuestras puertas siempre están abiertas para discutir cualquier pregunta. Estamos muy entusiasmados de que los estudiantes ya han internalizado las rutinas escolares y están enfocados en aprender los estándares de su nivel de grado. ¡Hemos tenido un comienzo increíble y esperamos un año increíble!

APS Elementary School Boundary Process

Dear Families-

Due to enrollment growth across the county, APS will be undergoing a boundary process for elementary schools in 2018 and again in 2020.  Barrett is not currently slated to be part of the 2018 boundary process, but is expected to be part of the 2020 process.  Families will want to stay up-to-date with the Engage with APS! page to keep up with meetings and discussions at various steps of the process.  We also have a school ambassador who can provide you with updated information.  Ms. Jennifer Wardian serves as our parent liaison with the APS Planning and Evaluation team.  Ms. Wardian often provides updates at PTA meetings regarding these planning processes.

In all of these processes, APS is committed to ensuring that every transition is positive and that students and families are informed and supported.  We will keep you updated here on our blog, and we encourage you to review the Engage! webpage frequently to be aware of how the boundary process is progressing.


Dan Redding


Welcome to our Open House!

Dear Families,

I want to welcome everyone back to school for the 2018-2019 school year!  By now you should have received the welcome back letter from us with teacher assignments for students in pre-K and grades one through five.  Kindergarten students have been assigned to classes, and class lists will be posted in the halls on Wednesday afternoon.


Our annual Open House is this Thursday, August 30th, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.  Students (and families!) will be able to meet their teachers and see who is in their classes.  Students new to Barrett will get to walk the halls and find out where their specials classes are.  We hope to see you this Thursday!

As a reminder, school starts on Tuesday, September 4th for all students in grades K-5.  Pre-K students have received start dates from the teacher during home visits.

See you soon!


Dan Redding


Gearing Up for the New School Year!

Dear Families,

We are so excited to be getting ready for the new year! There are many exciting things happening as we prepare to welcome new staff and welcome all of our students back!

We are all extremely excited about the work to improve our playground area!  There have been engineers working on and testing drainage on the playground during summer school, and permits have been submitted for approval to begin work.  The actual turf material is scheduled to be delivered on August 17th, with installation to begin thereafter.  Once the installation is complete, other improvements, including improved walkways around the playground, and work to stop the runoff onto the sidewalk on Park Drive will commence.  We are hoping the work moves ahead quickly so that everything is ready for the first day of school!

We have added new bike racks to the front of the building, and are seeing new trash and recycling receptacles installed on the playground and in the front of the school.  We have also been visited several times this summer by the Arlington Tree Stewards, who have done a fantastic job pruning trees and help us keep the grounds in great condition.

Another important change for the coming school year is that a camera phone was installed on the trailer, allowing staff and students to “Buzz In” to the trailer.  This will support students who need to travel in and out of the building to the trailers and ensure timely re-entry to the trailer.

You should have received SOL exam scores for your child, if she or he took them in May or June this year.  If you have any questions regarding the score reports, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Within the next week, you will receive our welcome back letter, which will include class and teacher assignments for students entering grades 1-5.  Kindergarten students will be assigned to classes when the teachers return, and may come to our open house on August 30 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. to find out their teacher assignment, see the classroom, and meet their classmates.  We hope to see you on the 30th!

We are watching the status of the Lubber Run Community Center construction project.  You can follow it on the Arlington County government website.  We are permitted to use the parking lot for events until the construction fencing and “no parking” signage goes up.  Once that occurs, we will have to move to street parking for all events, as on-site parking is extremely limited.  We have created this map that shows where there is free, unlimited parking around the school.  Watch the signs to be sure you are not parking in a permitted/restricted area.

Map of Parking around Barrett Elementary School

Since my last post, we have learned that several members of our team have moved on to other opportunities, and I hope you will join me in congratulating them and wishing them well in their next steps:

Ms. Jenny Shirley has accepted a position at McKinley Elementary in APS for the coming year.  As a result we have hired Ms. Amanda Thiel, who has taught vocal music at Oakridge Elementary in APS for the past four years, and she will teach vocal music for us four days per week.  Also, Ms. Amy Schildge has decided to return to Barrett for one day per week and continue her work with our band students!  We are so thrilled with her decision to continue with our band students!

Ms. Megan Pearcy joins us to teach fourth grade.  Ms. Pearcy is coming to us after teaching fourth grade in Florida.  She and her husband recently relocated to Arlington, and we are thrilled to welcome her to the team!

Mr. Mark Head joins the Barrett team to teach third grade.  Mr. Head comes to us after 20 years with Fairfax County Public Schools as an elementary teacher and administrator.  He is well versed in Responsive Classroom and is excited to join our team!

Barrett staffing was reviewed and we were provided a position that restores an ESOL/HILT teacher to our staff.  As a result, we will welcome Ms. Karli Boothe from Thomas Jefferson Middle School.  Ms. Boothe has been with APS since 2007 when she started teaching English to adults in the REEP program.  She also taught HILT at Science Focus ES before moving to TJ for the past four years.

We are excited to welcome back Mr. Nate Giles, who is returning to us as an assistant in the MIPA program.  Mr. Giles was a Kindergarten assistant at Long Branch ES for the past year, and is excited to rejoin team Barrett!

We are also welcoming someone well-known to us – Ms. Adela Jaldin is joining the team as a preschool assistant.  Ms. Jaldin has been a Barrett parent and volunteer for the past seven years, and extremely active in the Friday Volunteer group.  We are excited to welcome her to this new role!

We welcome Mr. Raul Parra as a special education assistant.  He has been an extended day assistant with APS for two and a half years, and is exciting to be working in this new role.

Our team is fully staffed and ready to welcome everyone back!  We hope you enjoy the last few weeks of summer – stay cool and keep reading and practicing math facts, and enjoy time with family and friends!  We look forward to seeing you at the Open House!


Dan Redding,


Staffing updates and changes – July 2018

Dear Families –

Summer is well underway, we are preparing to open summer school, and we are working to get things ready for the fall and re-opening of school. I want to share updates related to our staffing for the fall with you now.

Please join me in sending best wishes to Jen Manley, as she is relocating to Pennsylvania to be closer to her family. Jen found a position in fifth grade in a school close to the one she attended as a child. Please join me in wishing her the very best after her five great years at Barrett.

Courtney Hines has taken a position as a special education teacher at Swanson Middle School. She is excited about working with students and families she knew here at Barrett. Please join me in thanking her for her 11 years of service to Barrett and wishing her the best in her new school.

Beth Nalker will actually change positions – she originally decided to move to third grade this fall, but with a special education opening now at the fifth grade level, she will move into that position. She has experience with the fifth grade curriculum and taught special education for us previously, and is exciting about returning to this role!

We want to welcome John Alan Perry to our fifth grade team. John taught third through fifth grade in North Carolina previously, and for the past four years has taught third grade at Carlin Springs Elementary here in Arlington. John impressed the interview team with his positive energy and enthusiasm for teaching and learning. He is dedicated to making each day matter for students and ensuring mastery of content. Welcome John!

We also want to welcome Brittany Gillen to the fifth grade team. Brittany recently taught fourth grade at Randolph Elementary in Arlington, and has served as math and social studies lead teacher for the school. Brittany has good experience with Responsive Classroom and the workshop model in reading, writing and math. Welcome Brittany!

Welcome Kate Carlisle as our Resource Teacher for Gifted. Most recently, Kate served as the Advanced Academics Resource Teacher at Cunningham Park Elementary in Fairfax. Kate is well versed in all of our resources for advanced curricula and has strong experience with supporting teachers in providing differentiated instruction as well as working to nourish academic potential in underrepresented populations.

At this time we have open positions in third and fourth grade, and teachers from those teams are helping us interview for the positions. We will update you as those positions are filled.

Facilities has been working with the APS finance office regarding the business side of the turf installation, completing contracts and Arlington County permitting requirements, in advance of the installation start date. We will blog about the installation so you can see the progress throughout this process.

I want to give a big shout out to the Arlington Tree Stewards who have graciously volunteered to help maintain and enhance the beauty of our grounds by providing tree pruning this summer – they will work to clear low-hanging and dead branches and clear some brush at the ground level across the property. We sincerely appreciate their assistance!

We hope that your summer is full of wonderful family time and you are able to share wonderful stories, spend time with family and friends, and get outdoors when able! Please don’t forget to come see us at the Barrett Book Blast every Friday at 3 p.m. at the Gates of Ballston Community Center!


Dan Redding


June 2018 – What a Year it Was!

Dear Families,

We hope your summer is off to an amazing start! We’ve completed another great year at Barrett in which we saw full implementation of the Reading and Writing Workshop, increased and enhanced differentiation for all students, and beginning steps towards school-wide Responsive Classroom implementation. We’re very excited, and believe we have closed the year on high notes with strong instruction and highly engaged learners.

I want to take a moment first of all to thank our Friday Volunteers for the beautiful work they did decorating the gym, hallway, and lobby for promotion. Every year, it feels like they outdo themselves, and this year was no different. There were so many great opportunities for families to take photographs of their new middle schooler in front of “Class of 2018” or within a photo frame, and it made the evening even more festive. Thank you so much for your dedication to your children and your school community.

I also want to thank the fourth grade parents who volunteered to provide traffic control and support the reception following the ceremony. Your assistance ensured that excited, hungry, and thirsty rising sixth graders had cake and refreshment and supported the orderly operation of the evening. Thank you for continuing the tradition of fourth grade parents running the evening.

We have bid farewell to some amazing people who have been part of our community – some for a short time, and some whose roots in our community go deep. We said goodbye to:

T.M. Nagle – who taught third grade most recently at Barrett, but has more than twenty years of experience in our school. Ms. Nagle and her husband are planning to relocate and enjoy “life on the lake.” We are grateful for her dedication to students and strong instruction, ensuring that all students leave her class proficient.

Connie Quinzio – she has also most recently been teaching third grade at Barrett and has more than twenty years of teaching experience. Ms. Quinzio has grandchildren on the way and looks forward to being able to visit with them and travel with her husband. We are grateful for her dedication to great instruction, and her enthusiasm for learning new instructional approaches and adapting them for her students.

Pamela Nunley – she has been with us only three years, but Ms. Nunley fit in beautifully on the team and used her reading specialist background to effectively teach reading and writing to our third graders. She is retiring after 28 years in education in Virginia to spend more time with her family. We are grateful for her bringing her expertise to our Barrett students.

Allyson Greene – she surprised me on the evening of promotion by sharing that she was accepting a transfer to Glebe, where she could teach science all day long to fifth graders. As many know, Ms. Greene’s true love in teaching is science, and this allows her to focus on her passion. We wish her the very best in this new assignment and school community, and we will miss her at Barrett.

Bonnie Watson – Ms. Watson surprised me on the last day of school by sharing that she was going to accept a transfer to Carlin Springs. As many know, Ms. Watson lives in Maryland and has a long commute. If she can leave at 3 p.m., her commute is much shorter than when she leaves at 4 or 430. Carlin Springs is an early school, so this helps her achieve that goal. We are truly grateful for her contributions to Barrett students and families and wish her the best in this new assignment.

Amy Schildge – Ms. Schildge had her third child and has chosen not to return. She has been a part time vocal music and band teacher at Barrett for a number of years, and has definitely helped us develop a strong band and chorus program. She also provided a lot of stability through a transition of several full-time music teachers. We are grateful for Ms. Schildge’s service and wish her and her family the best.

Stacey Beller – Ms. Beller came to Barrett this year, and for family and personal reasons will be relocating to Pennsylvania. She came into second grade and fit right into the team, collaborating with Ms. Rente and Ms. McGonigle to support her students. She also contributed strongly to the school’s implementation of Responsive Classroom, given her strong background with the program. We wish her the best in her move and new home!

Debbie Diaz – Ms. Diaz served as our librarian for two years and will be moving to Virginia Beach to be closer to her family. She has done a fabulous job updating the Barrett collection and teaching students how to search and find what they want independently, and coordinated fantastic author visits. We wish her the best and hope her new place has extra room for beach visitors! 🙂

Catherine Hwang – Ms. Hwang served as our Resource Teacher for Gifted for two years. She completed her administrative endorsement and sought assistant principal positions, and the lucky team at Hoffman-Boston picked her up for their opening. Throughout her two years at Barrett, she demonstrated leadership and drive to continuously raise the level of student learning. Please join me in wishing her the very best in her new position!

Teri Adkins – Dr. Adkins is returning to the Department of Teaching and Learning and will take a new role as the Secondary Specialist, working with teachers at the middle and high school level across the division. We are so grateful for all of her work since she came in March, and wish the the very best in her new position.

Lauren Wilson – Ms. Wilson came to us as a substitute first and then accepted a position as an instructional assistant. She has been with us for a year and a half and has built excellent relationships with students and colleagues. She will be leaving us to teach English overseas. Please join me in wishing her the very best!

Some changes for next year:

We do have some staff taking on new roles in the building for next year:

Susan Garman is moving to Pre-School in the Virginia PreSchool Initiative program. Barrett receives a third section of this program, and Ms. Garman will be changing to room 129 to teach the class.

Heather Weir will be moving to PreSchool Special Education, working as a push-in teacher with Ms. Garman all day. She is excited to provide intervention for our youngest learners and nurture their learning in an inclusive setting. Gabby Guadamuz will be joining her as one of the two assistants in the classroom.

Beth Nalker asked several weeks ago to move to the a third grade opening. She is excited about moving to the third grade team!

Ginny Hutcheson will take a third grade classroom position. She has provided instructional support for the past three years as a HILT teacher in third grade, and this year she will take on the whole instructional program.

John Stewart will move to the K-2 self-contained special education class and Mary Kenny will teach the 3-5 self-contained special education class.

New hires

At this time, we have been able to make several new hires:

Ms. Lauren Winter is joining us as a kindergarten teacher. She is coming to us from Montgomery County, Maryland where she has taught kindergarten for the past two years. She is so excited to join the Barrett community that she also came to the Rising Kindergarten Orientation night at the beginning of June! Welcome Lauren!

Ms. Kathryn Marchesini is joining us at third grade. She is coming from Fairfax Villa Elementary School, where she taught third grade for five years. She brings a wealth of experience working with both the “AAP” (gifted) program and inclusion program in Fairfax County Schools. Welcome Kathryn!

Ms. Ashley Giglio is joining us at second grade. Many of you know Ms. Giglio as a Barrett parent and neighbor, and she is resuming her teaching career with us at Barrett! She has also been providing small group intervention at Barrett in reading and math for the past several years, as well as serving as a long-term substitute. Welcome Ashley!

Ms. Sol Hernandez-Puente is joining us as our librarian. She has served as librarian at Mason Crest ES in Fairfax for the past year and worked in Fairfax schools previously as a kindergarten assistant while working on her librarian license. She is passionate about connecting students to texts they will love and has run after school book clubs in the past! Welcome Sol!

Ms. Meghan Carrick is joining us as our part-time music teacher after returning to the classroom after pursuing an additional degree at UVA. She has tremendous experience with the elementary vocal music program. As she will work exclusively with vocal music, Ms. Jenny Shirley will take on the band program in the coming year.

And as you already know, we are welcoming Ms. Ragan Sohr as our new assistant principal! Ms. Sohr has been an elementary school teacher, special education teacher, intervention specialist, testing coordinator and special education coordinator. She bring tremendous expertise with academic support for students, and we are really looking forward to working with her in the coming year.

As additional hires are made, we will keep you informed.

As many of you are aware, third, fourth and fifth grade classes will not “departmentalize” or switch mid-day. Our schedules have become more complex and we have lost several instructional support positions over the past year, and as such, we need the flexibility provided by synchronous schedules where each grade teaches reading at the same time and students can be pulled across homerooms for additional support. While we support the idea of teachers specializing in one or two subject areas and building deep content knowledge and rich units of study, there is also a body of research coming out that suggests that it may not be appropriate until later grades, possibly even later in middle school. One study that impacted my thinking on this topic is available at this link. It’s important for us to consider how to best meet the needs of all of our students.

As you recall, we no longer print and provide the math packets to families in the report cards. Links to the summer reviews are available here. Students should submit the review to their new homeroom teacher when they return to school in September.

Watch this space for updates all summer on what’s happening at Barrett!

As always, thank you for your support and your faith in us as we work together to educate some wonderful young people!

Dan Redding


Family Life Education

Dear Families –

Vamos a traducer en espanol despues de ingles.

As you may be aware, as the year draws to a close, we address part of the curriculum known as “Family Life Education.”  This is a Virginia curriculum that focuses on healthy development.

The Family Life Education program will assist students to:

  • Develop positive self-concepts and respect for others,
  • Form and maintain strong relationships with family and community,
  • Develop self-esteem, self confidence, and responsibility,
  • Understand the importance of abstaining from sexual activity,
  • Manage stress and resist peer pressure,
  • Develop awareness and knowledge of mental health issues,
  • Prevent sexual assault and dating violence and recognize abusive relationships, and
  • Develop into responsible, productive and well-adjusted adults.

Objectives are delivered in age- and developmentally- appropriate ways, and only some topics are introduced at the elementary level.  Families have the right to opt out to some or all of these objectives.  Full information regarding the objectives, and forms to support opting out are available on the APS Health and Physical Education Department website here.

If you wish to opt your student out, please either print and complete a form, and bring it to your teacher, or come to the main office where we have forms available for you to complete.  If you’d like to discuss the objectives, please reach out to your child’s teacher, or to me, so we may answer your questions.


Dan Redding


Queridas Familias –

Como es de su conocimiento, a medida que el año llega a su fin, abordamos parte del plan de estudios conocido como “Educación para la vida familiar”. Este es un currículo de Virginia que se enfoca en el desarrollo saludable. El programa de Educación para la vida familiar, asistirá a los estudiantes para:

•         Desarrollar auto-conceptos positivos y respeto por los demás,

•         Formar y mantener relaciones sólidas con la familia y la comunidad,

•         Desarrollar la autoestima, la autoconfianza y la responsabilidad,

•         Comprender la importancia de abstenerse de la actividad sexual,

•         Manejar el estrés y resistir la presión de grupo,

•         Desarrollar conciencia y conocimiento de los problemas de salud mental,

•         Prevenir el asalto sexual y la violencia de pareja y reconocer relaciones abusivas, y

•         Desarrollar adultos responsables, productivos y bien ajustados.

Los objetivos se brindan en formas apropiadas según la edad y el desarrollo, y solo algunos temas se presentan para el nivel elementario. Las familias tienen el derecho de optar por no tomar algunos o todos los objetivos. La información completa sobre los objetivos y los formularios para no hacer parte de esto  está disponible en la página web del Departamento de APS de Salud y Educación física (Health and Physical Education Department) .

Si desea excluir a su estudiante, imprima y complete un formulario, y llévelo a su maestro, o venga a la oficina principal donde tenemos formularios disponibles para que complete. Si desea analizar los objetivos, comuníquese con el maestro de su hijo/a o conmigo, para que podamos responder sus preguntas.


Dan Redding


April Principal’s Message

Dear Families,

Mensaje en espanol despues de ingles! We hope that as warmer spring weather approaches you are making time to enjoy the outdoors and take advantage of all that our region has to offer, from museums and events in DC to trips to Mount Vernon, the Manassas Battlefield Park and the many historical sites around the area.  Remember that safety is paramount, and to stay visible and vigilant as you enjoy the warmer weather!

I want to update everyone that plans for the installation of turf on our playground is proceeding, but has changed somewhat, and we expect this work to begin as soon as school lets out for the summer.  The trailer complex, which holds our third grade classrooms, will not be moved during the summer. As facilities worked through the plans, they realized that placement of the trailer on the blacktop would eliminate the hard surface for basketball, and looked at other relocation options.  The only other area to move it would be right in front of the first grade classrooms, and that area is not optimal for recess play and supervision, and would require removal of a tree, relocation of a large storm drain, and possibly destroy the bench donated by the families of the fifth grade class of 2013.  As a result, we have decided to keep the trailer complex where it is, and instead turf the large open dirt area and the area near the backstop. The artificial turf solution was chosen because multiple attempts to seed and grow grass on the playground have failed. Turf provides us a long-term option that provides a safe durable surface that is still permeable for water drainage and runoff but also manages wear and tear from recess and community use.  Part of the plan will also take a section of the blacktop to develop additional staff parking. Every day a number of staff park at the Lubber Run facility. Once demolition there begins, we will require additional parking in order to accommodate staff and families. A full project plan is being rapidly developed and should be ready for work to begin as soon as school lets out in June. As more information becomes available, we will share it with you!

As you know by know, Ms. Jessica Kingsley, our assistant principal for the past three years, will be leaving us when she goes out on maternity leave.  She has chosen to move to a school psychologist position as her family adjusts to the addition of their second child. She has shared that she has loved being part of the Barrett community for the past three years, and I was happy to learn that she will seek administrative opportunities in the future, but that at this time, this is the right decision for her and her family.  Please join me as we wish her the very best.

Third quarter report cards have come out, and we are in the home stretch! Soon we will be able to share information regarding end of year testing (SOL exams), including dates.  Please be sure to focus with your student on areas where she or he is showing growth as well as areas that could serve as goals for fourth quarter.

Thank you for your support with our new arrival and dismissal procedures.  We appreciate your understanding as we request students to walk by themselves to breakfast and class.  We want to alert you that we will begin taking additional steps to ensure the security of the building and playground.  Recently we have seen individuals using our playground during our school day and after dismissal but while extended day is still on the playground.  These individuals, who do politely leave upon request, are not Barrett families. For the security of our school community, we will begin to chain and lock the gates to the playground area beginning at 8:30 a.m. daily, opening them again shortly before 3:00, and then re-chaining them at 3:20 until extended day closes at 6 p.m.  During times when school is in session (including hours of extended day operation) no one else should be on the playground. Please know that we will remove the chains to allow for evening and weekend use. This will also apply during the summer school time period, and we will continue this into the Fall, given the substantial amount of construction occurring at the Lubber Run Community Center. The chains will operate with a combination lock, and all staff will have the combination to the gates. We realize this may pose some inconvenience, and we apologize, but we believe that this is in the best interest of student safety.  This practice will begin the week of May 7, 2018.In my next blog post you will hear about the schedule for SOL testing as well as end of year preparations and news about the coming year.

Thank you for all that you do for our school and community! Keep making Barrett amazing!


Dan Redding


Queridas Familias,

Esperamos que a medida que se acerca el clima primaveral más cálido, usted esté haciendo tiempo para disfrutar del aire libre y aprovechar todo lo que nuestra región tiene para ofrecer, desde museos y eventos en DC hasta viajes a Mount Vernon, el Manassas Battlefield Park y los muchos sitios históricos alrededor de la zona. Recuerde que la seguridad es primordial, y por eso debe mantenerse visible y vigilante mientras disfruta del clima más cálido.

Quiero informarles a todos que los planes para la instalación de césped en nuestro patio de recreo continúan, pero han cambiado un poco, y esperamos que este trabajo comience tan pronto como la escuela salga al verano. El complejo de remolques (trailers), en donde están nuestras clases de tercer grado, no se moverá durante el verano. A medida que las instalaciones trabajaron en los planes, se dieron cuenta de que la colocación de los trailers en el asfalto (blacktop) eliminaría la superficie dura del baloncesto, y consideraron otras opciones de reubicación. La única otra área donde se podría mover estaría justo en frente de los salones de primer grado, y esa área no es óptima para la supervisión del recreo, y requeriría la remoción de un árbol, la reubicación de una gran alcantarilla y posiblemente la destrucción del banco donado por las familias de la clase de quinto grado en el  2013. Como resultado, hemos decidido mantener el complejo de remolques (trailers) donde está, y en su lugar cubrir el área grande de tierra abierta y el área cercana al blacktop. La solución del césped artificial se eligió por los múltiples intentos fallidos de sembrar y cultivar césped en el patio de recreo.Turf nos brinda una opción a largo plazo que proporciona una superficie duradera y segura que aún es permeable para el drenaje y la escorrentía del agua, pero también controla el desgaste del recreo y el uso comunitario. Parte del plan también tomará una sección del asfalto (blacktop) para desarrollar un parqueadero adicional para el personal. Todos los días, un número de personal se estaciona en las instalaciones de Lubber Run. Una vez que comienza la demolición, necesitaremos estacionamiento adicional para acomodar al personal y a las familias. Un plan del proyecto completo se está desarrollando rápidamente y debería estar listo para que el trabajo comience tan pronto como se termine la escuela en junio. ¡A medida que haya más información disponible, la compartiremos con usted!

Como usted sabe, la Sra. Jessica Kingsley, nuestra subdirectora durante los últimos tres años, nos dejará cuando salga de su licencia de maternidad. Ella decidió regresar al puesto de psicóloga escolar mientras su familia se adapta a la llegada de su segundo hijo. También ella nos compartió que ha disfrutado mucho de ser parte de la comunidad de Barrett durante los últimos tres años, y me alegra saber que buscará oportunidades administrativas en el futuro, pero que en este momento, esta es la decisión correcta para ella y para su familia. Por favor, unámonos a desearle lo mejor.

¡Hemos enviado los reportes de calificaciones del tercer periodo y estamos en la recta final! Pronto podremos compartir información sobre las pruebas de fin de año (exámenes SOL), incluyendo las fechas. Por favor, asegúrese de enfocarse con su estudiante en las áreas en las que él o ella muestra crecimiento, así como en las áreas que podrían servir como objetivos para el cuarto periodo.

Muchas gracias por su apoyo con nuestros nuevos procedimientos de llegada y salida. Agradecemos su comprensión mientras les pedimos a los estudiantes que caminen solos hacia el desayuno y la clase. Queremos avisarles que comenzaremos a tomar medidas adicionales para garantizar la seguridad del edificio y el patio de recreo. Recientemente hemos visto personas que usan nuestro parque durante el día escolar y después de la salida, pero mientras el Día Extendido (Extended Day) todavía está usándolo. Estas personas, que cortésmente se van por petición, no son familias de Barrett. Para la seguridad de nuestra comunidad escolar, comenzaremos a encadenar y a cerrar las puertas del área de juegos a partir de las 8:30 a.m. todos los días y las abriremos nuevamente poco antes de las 3:00, y después las volveremos a encadenar a las 3:20 hasta que termine el Día Extendido a las 6 p.m. Durante los tiempos en que la escuela está en sesión (incluidas las horas de programación del Día Extendido), nadie más debería estar en el patio de recreo. Por favor sepa que quitaremos las cadenas para permitir el uso del parque durante las tardes y en los fines de semana. Esto también se llevará a cabo durante la escuela de verano, y continuaremos esto hasta el otoño, dada la cantidad sustancial de construcción que ocurre en el Centro Comunitario de Lubber Run. Las cadenas funcionarán con una cerradura de combinación, y todo el personal tendrá la combinación de las puertas. Nos damos cuenta de que esto puede presentar algunos inconvenientes, y nos disculpamos, pero creemos que esto es lo mejor para la seguridad de los estudiantes. Esto comenzará durante la semana del 7 de mayo de 2018.

En mi próxima publicación de este blog, conocerán el cronograma de pruebas de SOL, así como los preparativos de fin de año y las noticias sobre el próximo año. ¡Gracias por todo lo que hacen por nuestra escuela y comunidad! ¡Sigan haciendo de Barrett un lugar increíble!


Dan Redding


March Message

Dear Families –

Thank you for supporting our new arrival and dismissal procedures.  We are continuing to meet as a staff to review and improve our procedures.  We will continue to communicate with you regarding updates to the procedures as we move forward.  Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns related to school security of the procedures.

We also want to thank our families for their flexibility with the canceled conference day and the rescheduling of conferences.  We know it was a shocker, but its best to err on the side of safety, and we continue to try to meet with families who request a Spring Conference.  Be sure to reach out to your teacher if you have not been able to get a conference and you wish to have one.

I wanted to share information regarding the arrival of a new staff member, Dr. Teri Adkins.  Dr. Adkins has been with APS for 4 and a half years, most recently as Supervisor of Minority Achievement and previously as English Language Arts Specialist.  Dr. Adkins will be taking Ms. Kingsley’s place when Ms. Kingsley goes on leave. She is getting this “overlap” time to learn the role. Dr. Adkins will be coming to PTA and Friday Volunteers meetings to meet families, as she is getting to know the staff and students.

For second grade families, the Naglieri Non-verbal Abilities Test (NNAT) scores were sent home a few weeks ago, and then we learned that the reports had not been re-scored to meet the newly revised norms.  New reports have arrived at Barrett and we are sending them out shortly. We apologize for the confusion this has caused – we were not aware that the reports we had were not accurately scored.

As we approach the end of the third quarter, there are a number of important reminders I want to share:

  1. Parents always have the right at any time to refer their child (at any grade level) for evaluation for eligibility for gifted services.  To learn about the ways all students are provided opportunities to access advanced content, talk with your child’s teacher. Being found eligible for gifted services ensures placement in a “gifted cluster” in a homeroom for the next year, ensuring ongoing access to academic peers for class work.  That being said, all staff plan as a team and work with the Resource Teacher for Gifted to enrich lessons for students who demonstrate readiness, regardless of label.
  2. Daylight savings time has made it dark in the morning again – have a conversation about safe travel to and from school and the bus stop with your child, including discussions about crossing streets and ways to address strangers (if scared, remember NO, GO, YELL, TELL).
  3. We thank the 15 families who came to our “Parenting in the Digital Age” night where we talked about social media, and things we are seeing with students in grades 3-5.  Great resources for families include Common Sense Media, the Family Online Safety Institute, and Netsmartz kids. Check with your internet service provider regarding safety/parental controls that you can use on your home wifi, as well as parental control on any devices your children are allowed to use.  We will repeat this information for the Friday Volunteers group, and this is a session we will offer again in the future. If you have questions regarding the information shared during the session, please reach out to our counselor Ms. Cordoba, Ms. Kingsley, or me.

We hope you have an amazing Spring Break, and look forward to the final week of the third quarter and the fourth quarter!


Dan Redding


Queridas Familias –

Gracias por apoyar nuestros nuevos procedimientos de llegada y salida. Continuaremos reuniéndonos como personal para revisar y mejorar nuestros procedimientos. Seguiremos comunicándonos con usted sobre las actualizaciones de los procedimientos a medida que avancemos. No dude en comunicarse conmigo si tiene alguna pregunta o inquietud relacionada con los procedimientos de la seguridad escolar.

También queremos agradecer a nuestras familias por su flexibilidad con la cancelación del día de conferencias y la reprogramación de las conferencias. Sabemos que fue una sorpresa, pero es mejor errar cuando se trata de la seguridad, y también seguiremos tratando de reunirnos con las familias que solicitaron una Conferencia en la primavera. Asegúrese de comunicarse con su maestro si no ha podido obtener una conferencia y desea tener una.

Quería también, compartir información con respecto a la llegada de una nueva miembra al personal, la Dra. Teri Adkins. La Dra. Adkins ha estado con APS durante 4 años, más recientemente como Supervisora de Logro de Minorías y anteriormente como Especialista en Artes del Lenguaje en Inglés. La Dra. Adkins tomará el lugar de la Sra. Kingsley cuando la Sra. Kingsley se vaya. Ella está recibiendo este tiempo de “superposición” para aprender acerca del rol. La Dra. Adkins asistirá a las reuniones de la PTA y a las reuniones de las Voluntarias de los Viernes para conocer a las familias, mientras conoce al personal y a los estudiantes.

Para las familias de segundo grado, los puntajes de la prueba de habilidades no verbales de Naglieri (NNAT) fueron enviados a casa hace unas semanas, y luego nos enteramos de que los informes no habían sido calificados bajo las normas recientemente revisadas. Nuevos informes han llegado a Barrett y los enviaremos en breve. Nos disculpamos por la confusión que esto ha causado, no sabíamos que los informes que teníamos no se calificaron con precisión.

A medida que nos acercamos al final del tercer periodo, hay varios recordatorios importantes que quiero compartir:

  1. Los padres siempre tienen el derecho en cualquier momento de referir a su hijo (en cualquier nivel de grado) para la evaluación de elegibilidad para los servicios de superdotados. Para conocer la manera en que todos los estudiantes se les brindan oportunidades para acceder a contenido avanzado, hablen con el maestro de su hijo. El hecho de ser elegible para los servicios de superdotados garantiza la ubicación en un “grupo de superdotados” con un salón específico para el próximo año, asegurando el acceso continuo a compañeros académicos para el trabajo en clase. Una vez dicho esto, todo el personal planifica como equipo y trabaja con el maestro de recursos para superdotados para enriquecer las lecciones de los estudiantes que demuestran estar listos, independientemente de la etiqueta.
  2. El cambio del horario para el verano ha hecho que las mañanas sean nuevamente oscuras – por eso hable con su hijo sobre los viajes seguros hacia y desde la escuela y acerca de la parada del bus, en estas discusiones incluya el cruce de calles y las formas de dirigirse a extraños (si tienen miedo, recuerden NO, CORRAN (GO), GRITEN (YELL), CUENTEN (TELL)).
  3. Agradecemos a las 15 familias que asistieron a nuestra noche de “Ser Padres en la era digital” donde hablamos sobre las redes sociales y las cosas que estamos viendo con los estudiantes en los grados del 3ro a 5to. Grandes recursos para las familias incluyen Common Sense Media (sentido común de la media), the Family Online Safety Institute (el instituto de seguridad familiar en la internet) y Netsmartz kids. Verifique los controles de seguridad con su proveedor de servicios de internet para que pueda usar el wifi en su hogar, y también refiérase al control parental de cualquier dispositivo que sus hijos usen. Repetiremos esta información para el grupo Voluntarias de los Viernes, y este es un taller que ofreceremos nuevamente en el futuro. Si tiene preguntas con respecto a la información compartida durante la sesión, comuníquese con nuestra consejera la Sra. Cordoba, la Sra. Kingsley o conmigo.

Esperamos que tenga unas maravillosas vacaciones de primavera y estamos a la espera de la última semana del tercer periodo y de nuestro cuarto periodo!


Dan Redding


November 2017

Dear Families –

Vamos a traducer en espanol despues de ingles.

The first quarter has ended, and students are well into their second quarter learning.

At Barrett we are working on instilling a “Growth Mindset” in our entire community.  Growth mindset deals with the belief that mistakes are for learning and we grow when we reflect on errors to learn something new.  It comes from trial and error, and perseverance.  As part of this work, a staff team has worked to reframe the Honor Roll in terms of a Growth Mindset.  As a result we will not be doing the honor roll board in the front hallway as we have done in the past.

Ms. Kingsley and I filmed a short video that teachers in grades 3-5 will be showing in their homerooms, and asked students to reflect on one source of pride over the last quarter, and one goal they will focus on for second quarter.  The intent here is to point out that even students who make straight-As have areas in which they can grow academically (challenge themselves to read more, learn something new, take on a challenge project, etc), and students who may not have made a traditional honor roll can still celebrate growth in specific areas as well as set goals to continue improving.

We hope that you will reinforce these messages and celebrate your students’ successes so far this year!Barrett staff continue to implement elements of the Responsive Classroom approach to climate and community-building in class.  Every classroom has a daily morning meeting that features greetings, a share, an activity, and a message.  The process allows every student to be the center of attention and be celebrated by peers, as well as well as establish routines and build connections and highlight commonalities.  We have also now held our first School-wide Morning Meetings (separated into a PK-2 and a 3-5 session), building relationships across grades.  Ask your students how they feel about morning meeting and what they’ve been able to share.

We are thankful for your ongoing support, and the strong sense of community you contribute to at Barrett.  As we move into second quarter, we continue to focus on implementing a strong workshop approach in reading, writing, and math instruction, in order to meet individual student needs on a daily basis and move students forward in their learning.  The workshop approach pairs well with the growth mindset – students continue to set goals and work on specific strategies to reach those goals.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season full of plenty of great time with your families!


Dan Redding


Back To School Night for 2017-2018

Dear Families –

We are excited to welcome you to Back-to-School Night!

This year, back to school night occurs Wednesday, September 13, beginning at 7 pm.  The schedule for the evening is as follows:

7:05 -7:15 Administration and PTA welcome video in your first classroom

7:15-7:45 First session in the classroom runs

7:45-8:00 Transition to second session

8:00 – 8:30 Second session

Specials teachers (Art, Music, PE, and Spanish), Exemplary Project staff, and non-classroom based staff (speech, reading, math coach, gifted, etc) will be located in the library beginning at 7 p.m. and will be available until 8:30.  If you only attend one session, you may visit with them during the first or second session.  If you will attend both sessions, you may use the transition time to get questions answered.

As in previous years, we remind you that this is the one evening when we ask you not to bring your children, as we will be crowded and there is no childcare provided.

Parking will be extraordinarily tough this evening, and we ask families to carpool and walk whenever possible.

We look forward to seeing you!

Dan Redding


Queridas Familias –

Estamos muy emocionados de tenerlos en la Noche de Regreso a la Escuela! Este año, la Noche de Regreso a la Escuela será el miércoles, 13 de septiembre, comenzando a las 7 pm.  El horario para la noche será el siguiente:

7:05 -7:15 Video de bienvenida de la Administración y la PTA en su primera clase.

7:15-7:45 Primera sesión que correrá en su salón de clases

7:45-8:00 Transición para la segunda sesión

8:00 – 8:30 Segunda sesión

Maestros de especiales (Arte, Música, PE y Español), el personal del Proyecto ejemplar, y el personal que no está dentro de las clases (Lenguaje, Lectura, Entrenador de Matemáticas, Dotado, etc) estarán en la biblioteca a partir de las 7 pm y disponibles hasta las 8:30.

Si solo asiste a una sesión, puede visitarla durante la primera o segunda sesión. Si va a asistir a ambas sesiones, puede usar el tiempo de transición para obtener respuestas a sus preguntas.Como en los años previos, le recordamos que esta es una noche donde les pedimos que no traiga a sus hijos/as, porque vamos a estar llenos de personas y no habrá cuidado para los niños/as. Paquear va a ser extraordinariamente difícil en esta noche, entonces les pedimos a las familias que vayan con otros en sus carros o que caminen si les es posible.  Esperamos verlos!

Dan Redding


Welcome Back to School for the 2017-2018 School Year!

Staff Photo


Dear Families –

Vamos a traducer en espanol despues de ingles.

We are so excited to welcome everyone back for the new school year!  School for students in K-5 begins on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.  Students who eat breakfast at school may come as early as 7:30 a.m.  All students may proceed to their homeroom classes at 8:00 a.m.  Kindergarten students will gather in the cafeteria and be met by teachers and assistants at 8:00 a.m., and proceed to class at 8:30 a.m.  Kindergarten parents are welcome to a presentation in the library at 8:30 about kindergarten.  Pre-K students will hear directly from the teacher about the first days of school.

Barrett is welcoming a number of new staff this year.  As you may be aware, we have added a pre-school autism classroom as part of the APS MIPA program.  We are welcoming Ms. Heidi Stultz as the teacher of this class.  Ms. Stultz taught pre-school in Colorado for several years prior to relocating to the Arlington area.  Ms. Gail Chambers and Ms. Emily Hoovler are the assistants in the classroom.  Ms. Chambers was a substitute and then assistant at Barrett previously, and Ms. Hoovler was a paraprofessional in Loudoun County last year.  All three bring tremendous experience to the MIPA class.

In first grade, Barrett’s own Ms. Nancy Hensley has joined the teaching staff.  Ms. Hensley taught in North Carolina for several years before coming to Arlington, and has been an assistant at Barrett for several years.  She has reactivated her teaching license and we are excited to welcome her to this new role, where she will replace Ms. Flores, who has moved to the pre-kindergarten classroom.  We have also hired Ms. Kate Delenick, who taught for several years in Pennsylvania, to another first grade opening.  Ms. Delenick replaces Ms. Kristie Kirk, who relocated this summer to Florida.  We welcome Ms. Mary Kenny as a special education teacher, replacing Ms. Wendy Duncan on the Kindergarten and first grade teams.

In second grade, Ms. Stacy Beller has joined the Barrett team.  Ms. Beller taught in Fairfax County at Annandale Terrace Elementary School.  Ms. Beller replaces Ms. Huneck, who has moved to a position in private industry.

In fourth grade, Ms. Catherine Maness has joined the team.  Ms. Maness taught fourth grade at Annandale Terrace in Fairfax County for the past several years.  She will be part of the “departmentalized” model, sharing students with Mr. Carmack.  Ms. Maness replaces Ms. Sensibaugh who moved to California over the summer.

In fifth grade, Ms. Michelle Tercero joins the team.  Ms. Tercero most recently taught in Howard County, Maryland.  She recently completed a masters’ degree in reading, which fits well with her teaching language arts in the fifth grade!  She will share students with Ms. Greene. Ms. Maness replaces Ms. Davidson, who relocated to Georgia this summer. Ms. Beth Nalker also transitions to a new role with the team in fifth grade. She was previously a special education teacher at Barrett, but is now moving into this new role teaching math, science, and social studies. She replaces Ms. Sanders, who relocated to Texas this summer, and Ms. Nalker will be sharing students with Ms. Watson.

Ms. Victoria Krieger has joined Team Barrett as a part time art teacher and part time Project Interaction teacher, replacing Ms. Renee Shaw who this summer took a position at Hoffman-Boston Elementary School.  Ms. Krieger graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with her degree in art education and in the Spring completed a long-term substitute assignment at Claremont Elementary in Arlington.  She is excited to both teach art and explore digital ways to communicate through video and animation.

Ms. Janet O’Grady has joined the Barrett team in the pre-school special education class as an assistant.  She replaces Mr. McAlonan, who left to take a position with the federal government.  Mr. Tony Duran has joined our team as an ESOL/HILT assistant, replacing Ms. Jen Webster who took a position at Yorktown High School.

Mr. Cory Adams, APS substitute, has joined the team as an assistant, and will work primarily in first grade.  Finally, Ms. Ariel Jones will be joining Ms. Cunningham’s MIPA class as an instructional assistant—she was previously a special education assistant at Barrett working primarily with 5th grade.

These are exciting additions to the team, and we are looking forward to a fantastic year for students!  Please join me in welcoming them!

This year the Barrett staff will undertake two major initiatives related to instruction and climate.  The first is that a critical mass of staff have formally undertaken Responsive Classroom training.  This program focuses on community building, clarity of communication, and effective instructional routines as the cornerstone of classroom and school climate.  One key is the morning meeting, a daily routine of about fifteen minutes that emphasizes student voice and expression, and being part of your classroom community.  All staff are receiving training and incorporating morning meeting into daily routines.  We will continue to share more information about this with families as we delve deeper into the philosophy.  The other initiative is the Growth Mindset.  This complements our work with responsive classroom and focuses it around academic achievement.  It is based on the bedrock belief that mistakes are for learning and that only through mistakes and strategies and practice does one become “good” at something – that we set goals and find strategies to achieve them.  As a staff we are “unpacking” this work and determining how to best incorporate it into students’ classroom lives.  As a parent, I find myself focusing with my teenage son around specific praise, changing “You are so athletic and great at sports!” to “You were very focused in that face off and aggressively went for the ball, …” This shift in language is critical to helping children identify goals for growth.

Last year you heard me address the issue of the mud and dirt on the playground.  The School Board allocated funding for turf work on the playground, but in conversations since May we have determined that a slower approach is wiser.  We are reviewing a potential move for the relocatable classrooms that would allow us to create a larger playing field area so that soccer and football games have plenty of safe, open space for children.  Please stay tuned as we will share progress with families as we know more.  I feel it is best to delay this project so that we have a comprehensive solution to the entire area, that will create a better, more open play area for students.

Please remember that Thursday, August 31 from 9-11 a.m. is our open house for families.  Students and parents may come and meet their teachers and find out who their classmates are!  We look forward to seeing you on the 31st, and we look forward to another great year of learning beginning on September 5!


Dan Redding


Queridas familias –

La escuela para los estudiantes de K-5 comienza el martes 5 de septiembre, 2017. Los estudiantes que desayunan en la escuela pueden entrar desde las 7:30 a.m.  Todos los estudiantes pueden proceder a sus salones de clases desde las 8:00 a.m. Los estudiantes de Kindergarten se reunirán en la cafetería y se encontrarán con sus maestros/as y asistentes a las 8:00 a.m., después procederán a sus clases a las 8:30 a.m.  Los padres de Kindergarten son bienvenidos a una presentación en la Biblioteca a las 8:30 acerca de kindergarten.  Los estudiantes de Pre-K escucharán directamente del maestro acerca de los primeros días en la escuela.

Barrett le está dando la bienvenida a un buen número de nuevos empleados este año. Como usted podría ya saber, agregamos una clase de autismo preescolar como parte del programa de MIPA de APS.  Demos la bienvenida a la Sra. Heidi Stultz como la maestra de esta clase. La Sra. Stultz enseñó preescolar en Colorado durante varios años antes de mudarse al área de Arlington. La Sra. Gail Chambers y la Sra. Emily Hoovler son las asistentes en el salón. La Sra. Chambers era una sustituta y luego una asistente en Barrett en el pasado, y la Sra. Hoovler era un paraprofesional en el condado de Loudoun el año pasado. Las tres aportan una tremenda experiencia en la clase MIPA.

En el primer grado, la propia Sra. Nancy Hensley de Barrett se ha unido al personal docente. La Sra. Hensley enseñó en Carolina del Norte durante varios años antes de venir a Arlington, y ha sido asistente en Barrett durante varios años. Ella ha reactivado su licencia de enseñanza y estamos muy contentos de darle la bienvenida en esta nueva función, donde reemplazará a la Sra. Flores, que se ha mudado al aula de pre-kindergarten. También hemos contratado a la Sra. Kate Delenick, que enseñó durante varios años en Pensilvania, para inaugurar otro primer grado. La Sra. Delenick reemplaza a la Sra. Kristie Kirk, quien se mudó este verano a Florida. Damos la bienvenida a la Sra. Mary Kenny como maestra de educación especial, reemplazando a la Sra. Wendy Duncan en los grupos de Kindergarten y primer grado.

En segundo grado, Stacy Beller se ha unido al equipo de Barrett. La Sra. Beller enseñó en el Condado de Fairfax en la Escuela Primaria Annandale Terrace. La Sra. Beller reemplaza a la Sra. Huneck, que se ha trasladado a una posición en la industria privada.

En el cuarto grado, la Sra. Catherine Maness se ha unido al equipo. La Sra. Maness enseñó cuarto grado en Annandale Terrace en el Condado de Fairfax durante los últimos años. Ella formará parte del modelo “departamental”, compartiendo estudiantes con el Sr. Carmack. La Sra. Maness reemplaza a la Sra. Sensibaugh que se mudó a California durante el verano.

En el quinto grado, la Sra. Michelle Tercero se une al equipo. La Sra. Tercero recientemente enseñó en el Condado de Howard, Maryland. Recientemente terminó una maestría en lectura, que encaja bien con su enseñanza de las artes del lenguaje en el quinto grado! Ella compartirá estudiantes con la Sra. Greene. La Sra. Maness reemplaza a la Sra. Davidson, quien se mudó a Georgia este verano. La Sra. Beth Nalker también comienza transiciones a un nuevo papel con el equipo en quinto grado. Anteriormente fue profesora de educación especial en Barrett, pero ahora se está moviendo hacia este nuevo rol enseñando matemáticas, ciencias y estudios sociales. Ella reemplaza a la Sra. Sanders, quien se trasladó a Texas este verano, y la Sra. Nalker compartirá estudiantes con la Sra. Watson.

La Sra. Victoria Krieger se ha unido al Equipo Barrett como profesora de arte por medio tiempo y maestra de Interacción con el Proyecto también por medio tiempo, reemplazando a la Sra. Renee Shaw que este verano asumió una posición en la Escuela Primaria Hoffman-Boston. La Sra. Krieger se graduó de Virginia Commonwealth University con su título en educación artística y en la primavera completó una asignación de sustituto a largo plazo en Claremont Elementary en Arlington. Ella está emocionada de enseñar arte y explorar formas digitales de comunicarse a través de video y animación.

La Sra. Janet O’Grady se ha unido al equipo de Barrett en la clase de educación especial de preescolar como asistente. Ella reemplaza al Sr. McAlonan, que se fue a tomar una posición con el gobierno federal. El Sr. Tony Duran se ha unido a nuestro equipo como asistente de ESOL / HILT, reemplazando a la Sra. Jen Webster quien tomó un puesto en la Escuela Secundaria Yorktown.

El Sr. Cory Adams, sustituto de APS, se ha unido al equipo como asistente y trabajará principalmente en el primer grado. Por último, la Sra. Ariel Jones se unirá a la clase de MIPA de la Sra. Cunningham como asistente de instrucción. Anteriormente, fue asistente de educación especial en Barrett y trabajó principalmente con 5to grado.

Estas son las adiciones emocionantes para los grupos, y estamos esperando un año fantástico para los estudiantes! Por favor, únase a mí en darles la bienvenida!

Este año el personal de Barrett llevará a cabo dos iniciativas importantes relacionadas con la instrucción y el clima. La primera es que una masa crítica de personal ha llevado a cabo formalmente la capacitación de Aula Responsiva. Este programa se centra en la construcción de la comunidad, la claridad de la comunicación y las rutinas de instrucción eficaces como la piedra angular del clima escolar. Una de las claves es la reunión de la mañana, una rutina diaria de unos quince minutos que enfatiza la voz y la expresión de los estudiantes y forma parte de la comunidad de su clase. Todo el personal está recibiendo entrenamiento e incorporando la reunión de la mañana en rutinas diarias. Continuaremos compartiendo más información sobre esto con las familias mientras profundizamos en la filosofía. La otra iniciativa es la mentalidad de crecimiento. Esto complementa nuestro trabajo con un salón de clases receptivo y lo enfoca alrededor del logro académico. Se basa en la creencia fundamental de que los errores son para el aprendizaje y que sólo a través de errores y estrategias y la práctica uno se convierte en “bueno” en algo – que nos fijamos metas y encontramos estrategias para lograrlos. Como personal estamos “desempaquetando” este trabajo y determinando cómo mejor incorporarlo en las vidas de los estudiantes en el aula. Como padre, me encuentro enfocado en mi hijo adolescente alrededor de oraciones específicas, cambiando “¡Eres tan atlético y genial en los deportes!” A “Estabas muy concentrado en ese enfrentamiento y agresivamente fuiste por la pelota, …” Este cambio en el lenguaje es fundamental para ayudar a los niños a identificar metas de crecimiento.

El año pasado hablé del problema del barro y la suciedad en el patio de recreo. La Junta Escolar asignó fondos para el trabajo del césped en el patio de recreo, pero en conversaciones desde mayo hemos determinado que un enfoque más lento es más sabio. Estamos revisando un movimiento potencial para los salones reubicables que nos permitirían crear un área de juego más grande para que los juegos de fútbol y fútbol americano tengan mucho espacio abierto y seguro para los niños. Por favor, permanezca atento ya que compartiremos el progreso con las familias mientras no informamos más. Creo que lo mejor es retrasar este proyecto para que tengamos una solución integral en toda la zona, que creará un área de juego mejor y más abierta para los estudiantes.

Por favor recuerde que el jueves, 31 de agosto de 9-11 a.m. es nuestra casa abierta para las familias. ¡Estudiantes y padres pueden venir a conocer a sus maestros y descubrir quiénes son sus compañeros de clase! Esperamos verlos el día 31 y esperamos otro gran año de aprendizaje a partir del 5 de septiembre.


Dan Redding


Welcome Back Students 2017

August, 2017

Dear Barrett Families:

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! It has been a full and exciting summer,with the Barrett Book Blast, Innovation Academy, and many great events! We look forward to welcoming everyone back at the Open House on Thursday, August 31, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Kindergarten through fifth grade students begin school on Tuesday, September 5th; four-year old VPI (preschool) students will be phased in starting on September 5th or 6th – please see specific instructions from your teacher. Attached to this letter is a letter from Dan Wendell, our PTA President, with news and information about the PTA. For students in grades 1-5, an information sheet is also attached letting you know who your student’s homeroom teacher is. Kindergarten students will need to wait until the open house to find out their classroom assignment. Please note that careful planning went into class groupings and assignments, and at this point we are not able to honor requests for changes. Remember that in grades three, four and five, students will “departmentalize” or switch classrooms and have one teacher for English Language Arts and another for Math/Science and Social Studies. These students will have a team and may also work with other teachers at this grade.

Barrett will host many activities for students and parents this year. Please watch for flyers that your children will bring home and post the Family Activities Calendar that you will receive in your First Day Packet in a handy place. Be sure to mark Parent Back-To-School Night on Wednesday evening, September 13th on your calendars. This is an evening for parents to learn about classroom routines and expectations for grade level work.

At the beginning of last school year, all classes worked on developing a set of school-wide expectations for behavior and conduct. The final product of this work was the student-generated “Barrett 3 R’s” – please review these with your child as these will be frequently referred to throughout this year.

  • Respect Myself
  • Be safe inside and outside the classroom
  • Believe in yourself and try your best
  • Respect Others
  • Be safe and kind to others
  • Listen and be ready to learn
  • Respect Our School Space
  • Keep your class and school clean
  • Take good care of our school books, supplies, and equipment

Here is some information to help you plan the transition from summer vacation to school:

Hours: School begins at 8:25 a.m. Students will be admitted to the school to go directly to their classrooms at 8:00 a.m. Our breakfast program begins serving at 7:30. Only children eating in the school breakfast program or in the Extended Day Program will be admitted prior to 8:00 a.m. There is no general supervision for students prior to 8:00 a.m. Playing on school property, including the playground and blacktop is prohibited prior to 8 a.m.

Bus Riders: If you are eligible for bus transportation, you will receive information from the Transportation office regarding route assignment and schedules. Please note that drivers are being instructed to return children age 9 and younger to school if there is no adult or older sibling to meet the children at the bus stop. At that point, it is the family’s responsibility to arrange pickup. Drivers will only release children age 9 and younger to adults they recognize. Other adults will require signed permission from the family to take the child at the bus stop. The sticker in this envelope is for your child on the first day – she/he should wear it so we know how she/he gets home!

Meal Prices: Lunch costs $2.80 and breakfast costs $1.60, milk costs 75¢. If you qualified for free or reduced meals last year, you are eligible for them again this year until new applications are due. Families must apply and qualify for free/reduced price meals annually. Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 8:10 a.m. We do close the kitchen at 8:10 to ensure students are in class on time. Exceptions are made when buses arrive late.

Class Assignments and Supply Lists: Your class assignment is on the sheet attached to this letter. Please check information to be sure we have current contact information. You are invited to an open house on Thursday morning, August 31, between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Class lists will be posted in the main hallway of the school. Supply lists for your child’s grade level are attached to this letter. The school store will be open every morning the first week of school from 7:50 to 8:30 a.m. You will be able to buy Barrett assignment notebooks, recorders, headphones, and specialty items like t-shirts and sweatshirts.

The Barrett staff is looking forward to working with your family. Best wishes for a great school year for both you and your child. If you need additional information or if we can answer any questions, please call us at 703-228-6288. See you soon!


Dan Redding


Jessica Kingsley

Assistant Principal

Summer Math Reviews

Dear Families –

I am writing to let you know about something we are doing in order to conserve paper.  Traditionally we have printed a math packet for each student and stuffed it into the report card.  Instead of doing that, we are providing you with the links to the math reviews online so you can work through them with your student.  Should you be unable to print the math review, you are most welcome to visit the school at any point during the summer and we will provide you with a copy of the packet for the grade your child just completed.  As a reminder, choose the grade level that matches the grade your child just completed. Link to Summer Math Reviews

Also, please bear in mind that EVERY Friday at 4:30 is the Barrett Book Blast, at the Gates of Ballston Community Center, in partnership with the Arlington Public Library.  We would love to have record turnout this summer!  Students may borrow books, listen to a story, and see their teachers and friends.  We are also hopeful that some of our staff new to Barrett will sign up to be there for some sessions this summer., so come meet them! For more details, follow the Book Blast on Twitter at this link! We wish you a safe, restful summer with your families!


Dan Redding


Accomplishments and Goodbyes

Dear Families – I cannot believe another year has flown past us!  As an educator completing his 24th year, I do realize that time does speed up, and as a parent, I have learned to cherish each year because they start to go very fast – with my son finishing 10th grade, I’m realizing how little time I have left to enjoy lacrosse games in the rain and endless sports banquet programs.  Cherish these years, they go fast!

Staff at Barrett accomplished a great deal over the course of this school year.  Our K-2 teachers led APS in implementation of the Reading Workshop model, the resource being adopted for reading instruction for the coming school year.  We implemented common assessments in mathematics, with a goal of ensuring that every student mastered the identified “Power Standards” in math for the grade level, ensuring students have the baseline knowledge and skills required to continue to progress in math.  Barrett staff were deployed as trainers across the county, because of our expertise with the new writing adoption.  They shared their experience and insight with teachers across APS.  Many Barrett staff implemented Responsive Classroom procedures in their classrooms, building strong classroom communities and focusing students on intrinsic motivation and stronger communication skills and relationships with each other.  Despite unexpected transition within our music team, we performed one of the best musicals I have seen an elementary school perform, Willy Wonka Kids!  We moved from a model of pullout differentiation for identified gifted students to one in which teachers implemented differentiated resources in class and used pre-assessments to determine which students needed which parts of the official “scope and sequence” of lessons and provided additional challenge to all students who demonstrated readiness, regardless of label. We continued to improve student outcomes on statewide assessments, while also ensuring that students had access to art, music, pe, Spanish, instrumental music, and recess.  I continue to be impressed by what Team Barrett accomplishes and provides to students every day.  I hope you share this excitement.  Over the course of the summer and into the fall, groups of staff are expanding their learning related to Responsive Classroom, engaging in a book club discussion related to Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset and how it applies to supporting students, and beginning to explore project and problem-based learning.  A number of staff have signed up for professional learning sessions this summer related to some of our resources for advanced learners such as Project M-squared and M-cubed for math, and the William and Mary Units in language arts.  I cannot wait to see what next year will hold for our learners!

This is the time of year when we learn that some of our colleagues are making moves and changing course, and leaving Team Barrett.  I want to let everyone know about the following staff members who will change in the coming year:

Wendy Duncan (Ratcliffe) – Ms. Duncan taught Kindergarten at Barrett for many years, and has taught special education for the past three.  She will move to Discovery Elementary next year, where she will continue to work with students with disabilities.  We are grateful for her many years of hard work, differentiation, and contributions to Barrett students and families.

Megan Huneck – Ms. Huneck taught preschool for three years, and then moved to second grade for three years.  She has served as our math lead teacher and has led the implementation of initiatives such as math workshop, incorporating choice for students, and helping coach our math dice teams.  Ms. Huneck is moving to an educational consulting company focused on personalized learning, and we wish her the very best in this new role.

Erin Sensibaugh – Ms. Sensibaugh has taught fourth grade for the past two years, and is moving to San Diego.  While I know she will miss her team and the Barrett community, I don’t think she will miss our winters!  We appreciate her tremendous work with classroom community, and her approach to the fourth grade curriculum – she leaves many great ideas behind as far as Virginia Studies, and will be missed!

Kristin Davidson – Ms. Davidson is relocating to Georgia.  She has contributed not just to the fifth grade team, but also lent us her musical accompaniment expertise for our concerts, and joyfully joined in performances.  She spent her first years teaching with us, and we know she will carry her talents with teaching in the workshop model forward in her new district in Georgia!

Jean Sanders– Ms. Sanders is relocating to Texas.  She has focused on developing a math workshop in her classroom to promote differentiation – the right challenge for every student.  She has involved herself in a variety of Barrett events and committees over her three years with us, and we wish her the best as she relocates to be closer to her family!

Renee Shaw – Ms. Shaw has accepted a position at Hoffman-Boston as the full-time Exemplary Project teacher for their Project Edison program – focusing on video production and integration.  As you recall, in the budget for last year, our exemplary project positions were reduced (we have historically had more than any other school), and Ms. Shaw had to take on a part-time art position to remain full-time at Barrett.  She has engaged her students in wonderful digital and traditional art instruction this year, but wants to remain focused on the video production with students, and this position offers her that opportunity.  We thank her for shepherding Tiger TV at Barrett over the course of her time at Barrett, and her innovative video production that has allowed students to express creativity as well as content learning!

Nate Giles – many families knew Mr. Giles already when he was hired at Barrett in 2014 as a special education assistant, because of his years of work at Lubber Run Community Center, and his past as a former student at Barrett.  Because of some staffing reductions at Barrett, Mr. Giles position was surplus, but he has found a position as a Kindergarten Assistant at Long Branch, very close by.  He already asked me if he would still be able to volunteer at Barrett, and we hope he will do so and visit us often!

Over the past week, staff worked hard to conduct our annual “cluster grouping” work to effectively group students rising into grades one through five for the coming year.  A cluster is a group of 5-8 students at similar academic levels put together in a class grouping to ensure that students have academic peers for small group instruction and discussion and sharing of ideas.  Clustering students together like this ensures that teachers can effectively differentiate lessons to meet students needs without having to address too many levels or too wide a range.  Each classroom typically has three cluster groups/levels.  We never cluster students who are identified as gifted with those who are high achieving but not identified gifted at grades two and above.  Research shows that separating gifted students benefits the non-identified students, as they have the opportunity to rise to the top of the class and have their voices heard more, and some do go on to be identified as gifted.  These clustering ensure that no student is overlooked or falls through the cracks – but rather all students have their needs addressed.  This is not “tracking” as we have heard the word in the past, as these groups are quite fluid, and students often move between groupings over the course of a year.  Regardless of the cluster in which a child is placed, they have access to all materials and resources as they show readiness for them – whether they are enriching and advanced materials or intervention materials to close any learning gaps.

I plan to provide information regarding some of our new hires and staffing changes as we move into the summer.  As every summer, families can look forward to receiving a letter toward the end of the summer informing them of class assignments.  Please remember that we do not take specific teacher requests, but if you want to share with us the specific attributes of a teacher to which your child responds best, we are happy to receive a letter or talk with you about that. We wish you a safe and happy summer.  Be sure to read, practice your math facts, and enjoy wonderful times with your loved ones.  We look forward to seeing you in August at the open house, as we gear up for a great new year!

Queridas familias –

¡No puedo creer que otro año haya pasado tan pronto!!  Como un educador completando sus 24 años, me doy cuenta que el tiempo pasa rápidamente, y como padre, he aprendido a apreciar cada año porque se empiezan a ir rápidamente – con mi hijo terminando el décimo grado, me he dado cuenta del poco tiempo que he tenido para disfrutar los juegos de Lacrosse en la lluvia y programas de deportes sin fin. Disfruten estos años, porque se van rápido!

El personal de Barrett logró mucho durante el curso de este año escolar. Nuestros maestros de K-2 lideraron a APS a la implementación del modelo de taller de lectura, éste recurso se está adoptando para la instrucción de lectura para el próximo año escolar. Implementamos evaluaciones comunes en matemáticas, con el objetivo de asegurar que cada estudiante domine los “Power Standards” identificados en matemáticas para el nivel de grado, asegurando que los estudiantes tengan el conocimiento básico y las habilidades requeridas para continuar progresando en matemáticas.  El personal de Barrett fue desplegado como entrenadores en todo el condado, debido a nuestra experiencia con la adopción de la nueva escritura. Ellos compartieron su experiencia y conocimiento con maestros a través de APS. Muchos empleados de Barrett implementaron procedimientos de Aula Responsiva en sus aulas, construyendo comunidades fuertes en el aula y enfocando a los estudiantes en motivación intrínseca y habilidades de comunicación y relaciones más fuertes entre ellos.  A pesar de la inesperada transición dentro de nuestro equipo de música, realizamos uno de los mejores musicales que he visto realizarse una escuela primaria, Willy Wonka Kids! Pasamos de un modelo de diferenciación de retiro para los estudiantes dotados identificados a uno en el que los maestros implementaron recursos diferenciados en clase y usaron pre-evaluaciones para determinar qué estudiantes necesitaban qué partes del “alcance y secuencia” oficial de las lecciones y proporcionaban desafío adicional a todos Estudiantes que demostraron estar preparados, independientemente de la etiqueta. Continuamos mejorando los resultados de los estudiantes en las evaluaciones a nivel estatal, al mismo tiempo que aseguramos que los estudiantes tengan acceso al arte, la música, el PE, el español, la música instrumental y el recreo. Sigo impresionado por lo que el equipo Barrett logra y proporciona a los estudiantes todos los días. Espero que compartas esta emoción. Durante el verano y en el otoño, grupos de personal están expandiendo su aprendizaje relacionado con el Aula Responsable, participando en una discusión del club de lectura relacionada con la mentalidad de crecimiento de Carol Dweck y cómo se aplica al apoyo a los estudiantes y comenzando a explorar el proyecto y el problema basado en el aprendizaje. Varios miembros del personal se han inscrito para sesiones de aprendizaje profesional este verano relacionadas con algunos de nuestros recursos para estudiantes avanzados como el Proyecto M-cuadrado y M-cubed para matemáticas y las Unidades William y Mary en artes del lenguaje. Estoy muy emocionado de ver lo que el próximo año se celebrará para nuestros estudiantes!

Esta es la época del año cuando nos enteramos de que algunos de nuestros colegas están haciendo movimientos y cambiando de rumbo, y dejando al equipo de Barrett. Quiero que todos sepan acerca de las siguientes personas del personal que cambiarán en el próximo año:

Wendy Duncan (Ratcliffe) – La Sra. Duncan enseñó Kindergarten en Barrett por muchos años y enseñó educación especial por los últimos 3 años. Ella estará trabajando el próximo año en  Discovery Elementaria, donde continuará trabajando con estudiantes con discapacidades. Estamos muy agradecidos por sus muchos años de trabajo duro, diferenciación y contribuciones para los estudiantes y familias en Barrett.

Megan Huneck – La Sra. Huneck enseñó pre escolar por tres años y después se movió al segundo grado por tres años. Ella ha servido como nuestra maestra líder de matemáticas y ha liderado la implementación de iniciativas como los talleres de matemáticas, incorporando elecciones para los estudiantes y ayudando a entrenar a nuestros equipos de dados de matemáticas. La Sra. Huneck se estará trasladando a una empresa de consultoría educativa centrada en el aprendizaje personalizado, y le deseamos lo mejor en este nuevo papel.

Erin Sensibaugh – La Sra. Sensibaugh ha enseñado el cuarto grado por los pasados dos años y se trasladará a  San Diego. Aunque sé que va a extrañar a su equipo y la comunidad de Barrett, no creo que ella se pierda nuestros inviernos! Apreciamos su tremendo trabajo con la comunidad del salón de clases, y su acercamiento al currículo del cuarto grado – ella deja muchas ideas estupendas atrás en cuanto a los Estudios de Virginia, y la extrañaremos!

Kristin Davidson – La Sra. Davidson se está trasladando a Georgia.  Ella ha contribuido no solo con el equipo de quinto grado, pero también nos prestó su experiencia de acompañamiento musical en nuestros conciertos, y alegremente se unió en actuaciones.  Ella pasó sus primeros años enseñando con nosotros, y sabemos que ella llevará su talento en la enseñanza del modelo de taller a su nuevo distrito en Georgia!

Jean Sanders – La Sra. Sanders se trasladará a Texas.  Ella se ha enfocado en desarrollar un taller de matemáticas en su salón de clases para promover las diferenciaciones – el verdadero reto para cada estudiante. Ella se ha involucrado en una variedad de eventos y comités de Barrett durante sus tres años con nosotros, y le deseamos lo mejor mientras se reubica para estar más cerca de su familia!

Renee Shaw – La Sra. Shaw ha aceptado una posición en Hoffman-Boston como la maestra del Proyecto Ejemplar de tiempo completo para su programa del Proyecto de Edison – centrándose en la producción y la integración de video. Como recuerdan, en el presupuesto del año pasado, nuestras posiciones de proyectos ejemplares se redujeron (históricamente hemos tenido más que cualquier otra escuela), y Shaw tuvo que asumir una posición de arte a tiempo parcial para permanecer a tiempo completo en Barrett . Ella ha comprometido a sus estudiantes en la maravillosa instrucción del arte digital y tradicional este año, pero quiere permanecer enfocada en la producción de video con los estudiantes, y esta posición le ofrece esa oportunidad. Le agradecemos por organizar el Tiger TV en Barrett en el transcurso de su tiempo aquí, y por su innovadora producción de video que ha permitido a los estudiantes expresar creatividad, así como el aprendizaje del contenido!

Nate Giles – Muchas familias ya conocían al Sr. Giles cuando fue contratado en Barrett en 2014 como ayudante de educación especial, debido a sus años de trabajo en el Centro Comunitario Lubber Run y su pasado como ex estudiante en Barrett. Debido a algunas reducciones de personal en Barrett, la posición de Sr. Giles era excedente, pero él ha encontrado una posición como Ayudante de la Kindergarten en Long Branch, muy cerca de aquí. Él ya me preguntó si todavía podría ser voluntario en Barrett, y esperamos que lo haga y nos visite a menudo!

Durante la semana pasada, el personal trabajó duro para llevar a cabo nuestro trabajo anual de “agrupación de clusters” para agrupar de manera efectiva a los estudiantes en los grados de uno a cinco para el próximo año. Un cluster es un grupo de 5 a 8 estudiantes en niveles académicos similares reunidos en un grupo de clases para asegurar que los estudiantes tengan compañeros académicos con la instrucción de grupos pequeños y para la discusión y el intercambio de ideas. Agrupar a los estudiantes de esta manera asegura que los maestros puedan diferenciar las lecciones de manera efectiva para satisfacer las necesidades de los estudiantes sin tener que abordar demasiados niveles o un rango demasiado amplio. Cada aula normalmente tiene tres clusters/niveles. Nunca agrupamos a estudiantes que son identificados como dotados con aquellos que son de alto rendimiento pero no identificados con talento, en los grados dos o más. La investigación muestra que la separación de los estudiantes dotados beneficia a los estudiantes no identificados, ya que tienen la oportunidad de subir a la cima de la clase y tener sus voces escuchadas más, y algunos pasan a ser identificados como dotados. Estos agrupamientos aseguran que ningún estudiante pase por alto o caiga a través de las grietas – pero más bien todos los estudiantes tienen sus necesidades abordadas. Esto no es “seguimiento” como hemos escuchado la palabra en el pasado, ya que estos grupos son muy fluidos, y los estudiantes a menudo se mueven entre agrupaciones en el transcurso de un año. Independientemente del grupo en el que se coloque un niño/a, tienen acceso a todos los materiales y recursos, ya que muestran preparación para ellos, ya sean materiales enriquecidos y avanzados o materiales de intervención para cerrar las brechas de aprendizaje.

Planeo brindar información sobre algunos de nuestros nuevos empleados y cambios de personal mientras comenzamos verano. Como cada verano, las familias pueden esperar recibir una carta hacia el final del verano informándoles de las asignaciones de clases. Recuerde que no tomamos solicitudes específicas de los maestros, pero si desea compartir con nosotros los atributos específicos de un maestro a los cuales su hijo/a responde mejor, estamos felices de recibir una carta o hablar con usted sobre eso. Le deseamos un verano seguro y feliz. Asegúrese de leer, practicar sus factores de matemáticas y disfrutar momentos maravillosos con sus seres queridos. ¡Esperamos verlos en agosto en la Jornada de Puertas Abiertas, mientras nos preparamos para un maravilloso año nuevo!

Barrett APS Go report

APS Go! is a division-wide Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan to increase student safety and reduce congestion around our schools by encouraging parents, students and staff to reduce the number of single occupant or single family vehicle trips to and from school. APS Go! encourages sustainable transportation of all kinds: walking, biking, car/vanpooling, school busses and public transportation.  (insert link to APS Go! Plan  The individual APS Go! report for your school provides data on travel patterns from the surveys that conducted in fall 2016. The report can be used to develop strategies to increase sustainable transportation at your school.

February 2017 – Message From The Principal

Dear Families,

En espanol despues de ingles!

We now have the third marking period in full swing with second quarter report cards are being sent home on February 23rd and conferences coming up on March 2nd and 3rd.  We look forward to seeing you in the building and discussing your student’s progress at that time.

While we are still focused on this year’s learning, the School Board and APS leadership are focused on planning for next year and beyond.  The Superintendent’s proposed budget has been released and the Board has several public work sessions regarding the budget schedule.  Full information is available here.  There is also a process in place to discuss the process for determining a focus for the new high school proposed to seat 1,300 students by 2022.  Additionally, there is discussion regarding the enrollment and transfer policy governing how families can apply to countywide programs and choice schools, with a revision scheduled to be complete by the end of this school year.  These three issues, along with any other discussions that relate to the future of the school system, can be reviewed and public comment submitted at the Engage with APS section of the website.  Note that in the budget, substantial work on the Barrett grounds is proposed to repair areas near the playground where grass has not been able to grow and provide a suitable playing surface.

We recently shared with you in a letter that Ms. Kyser announced her retirement from Arlington Public Schools on Tuesday, February 21.  We are working with long-term substitutes pending finding a more permanent replacement.  In the meantime, we appreciate Ms. Amy Schildge’s leadership in supporting the musical moving forward, and in laying out plans for the substitutes.

Summer School Registration begins March 1st.  The catalog is now online.  The make-up and strengthening program is geared towards students who are working below grade level in order to focus on core academic skills.  Students who are solidly on or above grade level in their academics should consider enrichment programs, including Global Village, Summer Laureate, the Outdoor Lab program, or the Math Academy programs.

We are working on enhancing dropoff and pickup safety for students brought to school by personal car.  Please remember that you can always access the parking lot at Lubber Run and students can use the crossing guard to enter the school via the playground and blacktop.  If parents choose to drop off in the main lot, please remember that it is kiss-and-drop ONLY from 8:00 a.m. to 8:25 a.m.  At pickup, we are developing a plan to improve safety which we will announce shortly.  We believe this will prevent accidents or disagreements as students are picked up safely.  Please be aware that the police are ticketing illegally parked cars in the Barrett lot and in the neighborhood around the school.  At the end of the day, these rules are for the safety of children and families, and we ask everyone to keep safety as their primary focus.

Thank you families for all that you do to support the school program, and we look forward to connecting with you at conferences!


Dan Redding,


Queridas familias,

Ahora tenemos el tercer período de calificaciones en pleno apogeo con el reporte de calificaciones del segundo trimestre que se envían a casa el 23 de febrero y con las conferencias que se avecinan el 2 y 3 de marzo.  Esperamos verlos en el edificio para discutir el progreso de su estudiante en este momento.

Mientras aun estamos enfocados en el año de aprendizaje, El Consejo Escolar y los líderes de APS están enfocados en planear el próximo año y los que vienen.  El presupuesto propuesto por el Superintendente ha sido expuesto y la Junta tiene varias sesiones de trabajo público con respecto al calendario del presupuesto. Toda la información está disponible aquí (here).  Además hay un proceso que se está llevando a cabo (a process in place) para discutir el proceso y determinar un enfoque para la nueva escuela secundaria que propone asentar a 1.300 estudiantes para el 2022. Adicionalmente, hay una discusión con respecto a las políticas de inscripciones y transferencias (discussion regarding the enrollment and transfer policy) que gobierna cómo las familias pueden aplicar a los programas del condado y a las escuelas de elección, con una revisión programada para ser completada al final de este año escolar. Estos tres problemas, junto con otras discusiones que se asemejan a el futuro del sistema escolar, pueden ser revisadas y comentadas en público en la sección de la página web (the Engage with APS ).  Tenga en cuenta que en el presupuesto, un trabajo sustancial en los terrenos de Barrett se propone para reparar las áreas cercanas al patio donde la hierba no ha sido capaz de crecer y proporcionar una superficie de juego adecuada.

Recientemente compartimos con usted una carta donde la Sra. Kyser anunció su retiro de las Escuelas Publicas de Arlington el martes, 21 de febrero.  Estamos trabajando con sustitutos a largo plazo mientras encontramos a un reemplazo permanente. Mientras tanto, apreciamos que la Sra. Amy Schildge’s tomo el liderazgo para apoyando el musical de ahora en adelante y en establecer planes para los sustitutos.

La inscripción para Escuela de Verano comienza el 1ro de marzo. El catálogo esta en línea ahora (now online).  El programa de recuperación y fortalecimiento está dirigido a los estudiantes que están trabajando por debajo del nivel del grado para centrarse en las habilidades académicas básicas. Los estudiantes que estan sólidos o más arriba de su nivel de grado en sus notas acádemicas deben considerar los programas de enriquecimiento, incluyendo Global Village, Summer Laureate, el programa del Laboratorio al Aire Libre, o los programas de las Academias Matemáticas (Math Academy).

Estamos trabajando en mejorar la seguridad de la dejada (dropoff) y la recogida (pickup) para los estudiantes traidos a la escuela en carro personal. Por favor recuerde que usted siempre puede acceder al parqueadero de Lubber Run y los estudiantes pueden usar el guardia de cruce para ingresar a la escuela por el parque y el asfalto (blacktop).  Si los padres escogen dejarlos en el lote principal (main lot), por favor recuerde que es SOLO un beso y te dejo (kiss-and-drop) desde las 8:00 a.m. hasta las 8:25 a.m.  Para recogerlos estamos desarrollando un plan para mejorar la seguridad que anunciaremos muy pronto. Creemos que esto prevendrá accidentes o desacuerdos mientas que los estudiantes son recogidos de manera segura. Por favor tenga en cuenta que la polícia esta entregando tiquetes a los carros que están parqueados ilegalmente en el parqueadero de Barrett y en el barrio alrededor de la escuela. Al final del día, estas reglas son para la seguridad de los niño/as y las familias y les pedimos a todos mantener la seguridad como nuestro foco primordial.

Gracias a las familias por todo lo que hacen para ayudar al programa escolar y esperamos conectarnos con ustedes en las conferencias!


Dan Redding,


From the Principal: January 2017

Dear Families,

Traduccion en espanol despues de ingles.

We are almost at the halfway point in the school year!  Much has been happening at Barrett – and I want to update you on where we are:

In November, MIPA teacher Ms. Deborah Cox resigned, citing personal reasons.  We have since hired Ms. Kellie Osborn to take over the class beginning right after the winter break, and she, along with Ms. Tonique Mason, Mr. Matthew Adams, and the students are off to a great start as a team!

In December, Mr. Brendan Crowley shared that he was resigning as of the winter break for personal reasons.  After discussing the opening with the team, we will move forward with hiring two assistants in place of the teacher position for the rest of this year only, allowing us to make an early hire of a special ed teacher for the Fall.  We will share more information with you when available.

Students have been engaged in the Great Kindness Challenge for the month of January!  They were provided a checklist of everyday activities that demonstrate kindness that they could complete to earn a prize (a Be Kind wristband) that will be distributed in early February.  We will continue to encourage the development of kindness and inclusivity as character traits throughout the school year.  Ask your students how they are doing on the challenge!

We saw a significant uptick in student illness right before winter break, which seems to have settled back down.  A few reminders regarding illnesses:

Students should stay home if they have a fever, have vomited, or have diarrhea.  They should remain out of school for 24 hours in order to allow their bodies to fully fight off the infections and prevent the spread of illness.  We will call you to pick up your child in these cases, and we ask that you go ahead and call your child in sick until 24 hours have passed since the last recorded fever or episode of vomiting or diarrhea.  We want to curtail any outbreak before it becomes a major issue.

Handwashing is the single most important way to stop the spread of germs.  We reinforce it at school, and it’s important that students see school and parents on the same page.  Using soap and warm water, washing before and after eating, playing, and washing hands several times a day is critical to stopping the spread of illness.

We are rolling out ST Math – our new math reasoning software – to begin use as homework for some students.  Students may be allowed to take iPads home in order to utilize their ST Math account to continue working on some of the visual-spatial reasoning problems in order to develop those skills and apply them in regular math instruction.  If you are interested in the ST Math program and would like to know more, you can read more at

Some fourth graders are now participating in a new partnership we have with with Educational Theater Company to write and produce a play about Jamestown!  They are meeting twice a week after school, and we expect to see the play performed in March – stay tuned for more details!

Due to constraints on the planning committee’s time, we have had to move our February Library Night in honor of African-American history from February 7 to February 28.  More information about the program and the new date and time will come home via Friday folders.

Families are encouraged to respond to the Superintendent’s Draft Calendar survey, with information available at this link.  The survey is available until February 6th, 2017.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or want to know more about what is happening in your students’ classes or the school.  We hope to see you at the February PTA meeting, where the PTA has invited School Board member Barbara Kanninen to share information and answer your questions!


Dan Redding, Principal

Queridas familias,

Ya casi nos acercamos al punto medio en el año escolar! Muchas cosas han estado sucediendo en Barrett y quiero actualizarlos acerca de donde estamos:

En noviembre, la profesora de MIPA, Sra. Deborah Cox renuncio, citando razones personales. Desde entonces contratamos a la Sra. Kellie Osborn para que se encargara de las clases después de las vacaciones de invierno, y ella, junto a la Sra. Tonique Mason, el Sr. Matthew Adams, y los estudiantes emprendieron un nuevo comienzo como un equipo!

En diciembre, el Sr. Brendan Crowley compartió que renunciaba a partir de las vacaciones de invierno por razones personales. Después de discutir la posición con el equipo de trabajo, decidimos que avanzaremos a contratar dos asistentes en lugar de la posición como maestro solo por el resto de este ano, lo que nos permite hacer una contratación temprana de un maestro de Educación Especial para el otoño. Compartiremos más información con usted cuando esté disponible.

Los estudiantes han estado muy comprometidos con el Gran Desafio de la Amabilidad por el mes de enero! A ellos se les entrego una lista de las actividades diarias que demuestran la amabilidad que ellos pueden realizar para ganarse un premio (una pulsera de “Be Kind”) que sera distribuida al comienzo de febrero. Continuaremos fomentando el desarrollo de la amabilidad e inclusividad como Rasgos de carácter durante todo el año escolar. Pregúntele a sus estudiantes cómo les está yendo en el desafío!

Vimos un aumento significativo en la enfermedad de los estudiantes justo antes de las vacaciones de invierno, lo cual parece haberse restablecido. Algunos recordatorios sobre las enfermedades: Los estudiantes se deben quedar en la casa si tienen fiebre, han vomitado o tienen diarrea. Ellos deben permanecer fuera de la escuela por 24 horas  para que sus cuerpos puedan luchar contra las infecciones y prevenir la propagación de la enfermedad. Nosotros lo llamaremos para que recoja a su hijo en estos casos, y le pedimos que usted  continué con su hijo enfermo en casa hasta que hayan transcurrido 24 horas desde la última fiebre registrada o episodio de vómito o diarrea. Queremos reducir cualquier brote antes de que se convierta en un problema importante. El lavado de manos es la forma más importante de detener la propagación de gérmenes. Lo reforzamos en la escuela, y es importante que los estudiantes vean a la escuela y a los padres en la misma página. El uso de jabón y agua tibia, lavar antes y después de comer, jugar y lavarse las manos varias veces al día es fundamental para detener la propagación de la enfermedad.

Estamos implementando ST Math – nuestro nuevo software de razonamiento matemático – para comenzar a usarlo como tarea para algunos estudiantes. A los estudiantes se les puede permitir llevar a casa iPads con el fin de utilizar su cuenta de matemáticas de ST para seguir trabajando en algunos de los problemas de razonamiento visual-espacial, con el fin de desarrollar esas habilidades y aplicarlos en la instrucción de las matemáticas regulares. Si está interesado en el programa de matemáticas ST y le gustaría saber más, puede leer más en

Algunos estudiantes de cuarto grado están participando ahora en una nueva asociación que tenemos con Educational Theatre Company para escribir y producir una obra sobre Jamestown! Se reúnen dos veces por semana después de la escuela, y esperamos ver la obra finalizada en marzo – ¡Continúe atento para más detalles!

Debido a las limitaciones en el tiempo del comité de planificación, tuvimos que mover nuestra Noche de Biblioteca en Febrero (February Library Night) en honor a la historia afroamericana del 7 de febrero al 28 de febrero. Más información sobre el programa y la nueva fecha y hora irán a casa en las carpetas de los viernes.

Se anima a las familias a que respondan a la encuesta del Calendario preliminar del Superintendente (Superintendent’s Draft Calendar survey), con la información disponible en este enlace. La encuesta está disponible hasta el 6 de febrero de 2017.

Por favor, no dude en ponerse en contacto conmigo si tiene preguntas o desea saber más sobre lo que está sucediendo en las clases de sus estudiantes o en la escuela. Esperamos verlos en la reunión de la PTA de febrero, donde la PTA ha invitado a la miembro del Consejo Escolar Barbara Kanninen a compartir información y responder a sus preguntas!


Dan Redding, Director

  • Posted by Dan Redding at 1/28/2016Dear Families – 

    Por favor, esperar que la traducción se hará la próxima semana.


    Winter has certainly arrived!  Arlington is still digging out from the craziness of this storm, but Barrett is ready to go.  I want everyone to take a moment to thank our amazing custodial team, led by Moises Herrera, including Jose Vasquez, Blanca Castillo, and Rodolfo Rivas.  They have worked extremely hard to clear the sidewalks around Barrett on three sides, all the walkways within school grounds, and clear the blacktop so that students would have the opportunity for outdoor recess when they come back to school!  They’ve done an amazing job, and we are all extremely grateful for their dedication to students.


    Teachers spent time during this break working on our professional learning focus for the school year – differentiation of instruction to ensure challenge and support for students.  We’ve obtained access to online video archives of effective teaching, and teachers selected videos to review based on strategies they want to learn and implement within their classrooms.  They are working within their teams to implement lessons based on these strategies and provide ideas to each other about improving instruction.  It fits in with our focus on providing challenge and support for every child, every day.


    I’m very excited to announce that during the unexpected snow break, we were able to recommend and complete the process of hiring a new second grade teacher to finish the year in place of Ms. Rigert.  Please join me in welcoming Ms. Cara Doherty to Barrett.  Ms. Doherty graduated from High Point University in North Carolina with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education.  She taught fifth grade outside of Charlotte, NC for one year, and then took a position teaching third grade in a private school in Maryland.  Due to changes in enrollment, they moved her to a middle school position, and she sought to return to elementary school with us at Barrett.  We are very excited to welcome her to the team.  Her first day with students will be Tuesday, February 2nd, but she has been here since offices reopened, getting acquainted with her classroom, the curriculum, and her team.  Ms. Markowitz, who subbed after Ms. Rigert left, will overlap with Ms. Doherty for a day and a half.


    Monday, February 1st remains a teacher grade preparation day, and there is no school for students that day.  Students will return to school on Frebruary 2nd.  We are currently working to reschedule the Winter Concert, which we missed due to the closings, and will inform families through backpack mail, twitter, and website announcements.  Stay tuned for more information.  We are also re-scheduling ACCESS testing for our English Language Learners, which began shortly before the snow, and mid-year assessments.  We will of course provide the students with a few days to readjust to school routines and “get back in the groove” prior to administering assessments.


    All of us at Barrett hope you have stayed safe and warm during the storm and aftermath, enjoyed plenty of family time, and hopefully got a chance to sled and play in the snow! We look forward to seeing everyone on February 2nd!

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  • Posted by Dan Redding at 12/7/2015Dear Families,Vamos a traducer en Espanol despues de Ingles.  The weather is changing and it really feels like winter now.  Please be sure to dress students in layers as they come to school so that they can be prepared for whatever the weather is during the day.  We go outside for recess every on colder days, and will limit the time outside during the worst of the cold, so be sure to provide jackets, hats, gloves, sweatshirts and whatever is needed to protect from the elements.

    We have welcomed a new assistant principal to the Barrett family, Ms. Jessica Kingsley.  Ms. Kingsley brings tremendous experience with her background as a school psychologist, especially a focus on effective learning strategies, an understanding of special education, her work on reducing the over-representation of minority students and English Language Learners in special education programs, and eight years overall in Arlington Public Schools.  She has fit right in, and has been visiting classrooms and working with students.  We are thrilled to have her as part of our team.

    You may have noticed a change when you call the school.  The phone system now provides a menu when you call, asking you first to choose a language and then providing you with options to go directly to the person you need.  We put the menu system in place to help families who try to contact us before and after hours and ensure that families can get straight to the attendance line or extended day when they need it.  It is two simple selections to get to someone in the main office.  We will always work to keep it simple for you to reach the assistance you need when you call.

    I want to share information about Barrett’s management plan for this school year.  We saw an increase in pass rates for reading and math for all students and in almost all subgroups last year.  This year the benchmarks we have to pass rise, and we need to continue to demonstrate rising achievement.  We have put the following programs in place to support and enhance learning for all students:

    1. We have implemented Leveled Literacy Intervention to support reading achievement at grades 3-5 for students who are working below grade level.
    2. We continue to enhance math instruction across all grades by providing teachers with training and guidance using tools such as Soar to Success Math and Moby Max to provide additional instruction to students who require additional time to ensure mastery of strategies. Teachers are using these tools during math rotations in the classroom and during the before school 8-8:20 time.
    3. We are integrating the School Board and Superintendent’s focus on the Whole Child this year by reviewing feedback the students gave at the end of last year. In May and June of 2015 our counselors surveyed students to see what topics they were concerned about and the topic that rose to the top was bullying. As a result, our counseling team, along with Ms. Kingsley, are working to plan training for staff on bullying (ensuring we recognize and respond to it) and also plan in-class guidance lessons for students regarding bullying.  We want to integrate this into our core practices, ensuring that we listen to students, understand their concerns, and are responsive to their needs.

    The first quarter virtual honor assembly will soon be posted online – watch for the tweet with the link to it!  We’re off to a great start this year and looking forward to an amazing 2016!  As we head into the two week winter break, from all of us at Barrett, we wish you a restful break filled with love and family, and we will see you in January!


    Estimadas Familias,

    El clima está cambiando y realmente se siente como invierno. Por favor, asegúrese de vestir a sus niños con ropa adecuada para el clima cuando vienen a la escuela.  Salimos afuera todos los días para recreo pero limitaremos el tiempo afuera durante los días muy fríos. Así que asegúrese de proporcionar abrigos, gorras, guantes, sudaderas y todo lo que sea necesario para protégelos del clima.

    Hemos recibido a una nueva Subdirectora a la familia Barrett, la Sra. Jessica Kingsley.  La Sra. Kingsley aporta una enorme experiencia con sus antecedentes como psicóloga de la escuela, sobre todo en las estrategias efectivas del aprendizaje, comprensión de la educación especial, su trabajo en la reducción de la sobre-representación de los estudiantes de minorías y los estudiantes que están aprendiendo el idioma inglés en los programas de educación especial, y ocho años de servicios en las escuelas públicas de Arlington. Ella se adaptado muy bien, ha estado visitando los salones de clases y trabaja con los estudiantes. Estamos encantados de tenerla como parte de nuestro equipo.

    Usted puede haber notado un cambio al llamar a la escuela. El sistema telefónico ahora ofrece un menú al llamar, pidiendo que en primer lugar escoja un idioma y luego le ofrece opciones para ir directamente a la persona que usted necesita. Ponemos este sistema telefónico para ayudar a las familias que intentan comunicarse con nosotros antes y después de las clases. Queremos que las familias puedan comunicarse directamente con la línea de asistencia o el programa de Extended Day cuando lo necesitan. Las personas que llamen tienen que elegir dos simple opciones para comunicarse con alguien en la oficina.

    Quiero compartir información acerca del plan de gestión de Barrett para este año escolar.  Hemos visto un aumento en el porcentaje de niños que pasaron los exámenes de lectura y matemáticas. Este año el nivel esperado para pasar ha aumentado, y tenemos que seguir aumentando nuestros logros. Hemos puesto los siguientes programas para apoyar y mejorar el aprendizaje para todos los estudiantes:

    1. Hemos puesto en práctica la Intervención de la Lectura Nivelado para apoyar a la lectura en los grados 3-5, para los estudiantes que están debajo del nivel de su grado.
    2. Continuamos mejorando matemáticas para todos los grados. Estamos entrenando a los maestros en cómo utilizar herramientas como Soar to Success Math y Moby Max para ofrecer instrucción adicional a los estudiantes que requieren un tiempo adicional. Los maestros utilizan estas herramientas durante las rotaciones de matemáticas en el salón y durante el tiempo extra antes de la escuela 8-8:20.
    3. Estamos revisando los comentarios que los niños dieron el año pasado para integrar el enfoque del niño completo del Consejo Escolar y del Superintendente. En mayo y junio del 2015 nuestros consejeros le dieron una encuesta a nuestros estudiantes para ver qué temas les preocupaba más y el tema que sobre salió fue bullying (la Intimidación). Como resultado, nuestro equipo de consejería, junto con la Sra. Kingsley, están trabajando para un plan de capacitación para el personal sobre bullying (asegurándose de reconocer y responder a esto) y también planificar lecciones de orientación en su clase para los estudiantes con respecto a la intimidación.  Queremos integrar esto en nuestras prácticas, asegurando de escuchar a los estudiantes, entender sus preocupaciones y responder a sus necesidades.

    Pronto anunciaremos la primera Asamblea de Honor Virtual del semestre que se puede ver en YouTube – Espera un Tweet con el anuncio! Empezamos con un buen comienzo este año escolar y esperamos un 2016 increíble! Pronto estaremos en las vacaciones de invierno. De parte de todo el personal de Barrett, les deseamos unas felices fiestas al lado de sus familiares. Los vemos en Enero!

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  • Posted by Dan Redding at 11/1/2015Dear Families -As the title indicates, we truly have reached the end of an era.  Thanks to all of the families who contributed to making Ms. Smingler’s last two months at Barrett memorable and special for her.  We surprised with her the “Clap Out” (traditionally done on the last day of school for our soon to be sixth graders) and it was wonderful to see the hugs exchanged with students, staff, and families who were here that day.  The Halloween Parade was one of Ms. Smingler’s favorite events at Barrett, and she dressed up and paraded with students and familes through the neighborhood.  It has been a wonderful time honoring her and her twenty years of contributions to Barrett as an ESOL/HILT teacher, testing coordinator, and assistant principal.

    Central Office staff are supporting Barrett through this process, and are working with me to identify a strong candidate for the assistant principal position.  As soon as the Board approves an appointment, I will make an announcement via Twitter, email and blog post. In the meantime, I am fortunate to work with a great team at Barrett that is full of staff who are truly leaders and who are helping to ensure the ongoing smooth operation of the school for students.  Stay tuned!

    Our current enrollment is at 538 students in grades PK-5.  We continue to monitor the new building in our neighborhood, and I have been in touch with the resident manager of the building, who will work with us as the summer approaches and resident applications are accepted.  Our hope is that this will help provide accurate projections to APS Facilities and Finance offices to facilitate smooth opening in the fall of 2016.  I will continue to provide updates via the blog and PTA meetings as the year continues.

    So much has happened over the past month!  I want to sincerely thank our PTA on behalf of the staff for an amazing lunch during Parent-Teacher conferences.  I know the entire staff team felt appreciated and enjoyed the home made treats that were part of the table (I still need the espresso cupcake recipe – who can ever get enough of chocolate and coffee??????)!

    We are welcoming several new staff to Barrett at the beginning of November, including three MIPA Assistants: Tonique Mason and Matthew Adams, both formerly of Extended Day and Barrett’s cafeteria, and Ms. Jennifer Alston, most recently of Alexandria City Public Schools.  We also welcome back Ms. Lillian Wallace as a cafeteria aide.

    Remember that there is no school for students on November 3rd (Professional Learning Day for all staff) and November 11th (Grade Prep Day for teachers and Training for Assistants).  The Thanksgiving break is only three weeks away – Students report to school on Monday and Tuesday November 23rd and 24th, and then celebrate and relax with family on the 25th – 27th.

    As always, thank you Barrett families for all of your support and for sending us the best students each and every day!

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  • Posted by Dan Redding at 8/20/2015Dear Families, 

    The summer has gone very quickly and many great things have been happening at Barrett!  Not only did we host summer school for students from Glebe, Long Branch, and Barrett, as well as an Arlington Parks and Recreation camp program, but we also built a new classroom upstairs on the corner of the 4th and 5th grade hallway!  Barrett staff have been participating in training related to core instructional strategies, especially related to technology integration and differentiation of instruction to provide support and challenge.


    There have been a few changes that have occurred since I last wrote.  We are saying goodbye to some staff members:

    Ms. Rachel Moretti – Life Skills Assistant.  Ms. Moretti informed me when we hired her that she was pursuing licensure as a teacher and I was certain that some lucky principal would hire her if I didn’t have an opening – sure enough, she is moving on to teach in Fairfax County this Fall.

    We were scheduled to have elementary MIPA (countywide autism program) teacher Mr. David Groh come to Barrett from Abingdon this year.  Mr. Groh accepted a teaching position at Barcroft Elementary and has already begun teaching there.  We wish him the best of luck there this year!

    Ms. Ingrid Flores, Kindergarten assistant with Ms. Lewis, has relocated to North Carolina.  We were sad to see her go, but we are certain she will be a tremendous asset to any school lucky enough to hire her there!

    Ms. Mercedes Lazo, our clinic aide, will be working at McKinley Elementary School during the coming school year.


    We are welcoming some new team members here this fall:

    Ms. Pamela Nunley is joining the third grade team as the language arts teacher, paired with Ms. Quinzio.  Ms. Nunley is a certified reading specialist coming to us from Fairfax County.  She has tremendous experience with the Teacher’s College Writing Workshop model that we have been using for the past year, and is excited about teaching language arts to third graders all day!

    Ms. Christina Torres isn’t really new to Barrett, as she joined us partway through last year, but she will start her first full year teaching second grade this fall!

    Ms. Virginia Hutcheson is coming to Barrett from Arlington Science Focus School, where she taught second grade for several years.  She will be teaching third grade ESOL/HILT.

    Ms. Jeanne Landgraf is returning to Barrett on a part-time basis.  She will provide reading support to the second grade team in the afternoons.

    Ms. Christine Cunningham is joining Barrett as a MIPA teacher.  She taught in the MIPA program at Abingdon last year, and will work with our students in grades K-2 this year.

    Ms. Jeanne Terrill is also joining the MIPA program at Barrett this year.  Ms. Terrill previously taught Pre-K and primary special education in APS before going to graduate school at GWU to pursue an advanced degree in special education.  Last year she worked as a school-based sub at Hoffman-Boston.  She is very excited to return to the classroom.

    Ms. Valerie Koch is joining Barrett as the Project Interaction – Family Engagement Coordinator.  Ms. Koch previously taught ESOL/HILT at Gunston as well as in Fairfax County.  She has shared many great ideas about the program, and also attended the Barrett Book Blast this summer!

    Ms. Yesenia Martinez will be joining us as our Bilingual Family Resource Assistant.  Ms. Martinez most recently worked with the Even Start program at Barcroft, where she worked with families and helped them access school and county resources.  Ms. Martinez is very excited to join us and work with the Pre-K though 5th grade population.

    Ms. Olga Garcia-Paz is joining us as our clinic aide.  Ms. Garcia-Paz was most recently the clinic aide at McKinley Elementary.

    Ms. Hiba Elhag is joining us as a Functional Life Skills assistant.  Ms. Elhag was most recently an Extended Day Aide here at Barrett.

    Ms. Maria Blanco is joining us as an assistant in the MIPA program.  Ms. Blanco is well-known as a Barrett volunteer and a lunchroom attendant during the past year.  She will work with the K-2 class.

    Ms. Jennifer Buckley is joining Barrett as a MIPA assistant.  Ms. Buckley is currently enrolling in a degree program leading to certification as a special education teacher and is getting her feet wet with this experience in the grades 3-5 class!

    Ms. Terry El-Nakeeb is joining Barrett as a MIPA assistant.  Ms. El-Nakeeb is coming to us from CARDS academy and previously worked with Alexandria City Public Schools. She will work with students in the 3-5 class.


    The main office team is hard at work – over the next few days we are going to be stuffing envelopes with the welcome back letters, including the class assignments for students!  We expect that by the end of the day Monday, August 24, we will mail the class assignment, Barrett and PTA Welcome letters, and class supply list to families.  They should start showing up in your homes on the 26th!  Please note that incoming Kindergarten students will not receive letters until the following week, as we will  be forming those classes after the teachers come back on the 27th.

    Mark your calendar for the annual Open House on Thursday, September 3, from 9-11.  All Barrett families are welcome to come with their students to meet the teacher and see the classroom.

    We are looking forward to seeing everyone soon – best wishes for wonderful family time during the last few weeks of summer!

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  • Posted by Dan Redding at 6/15/2015Dear Families –
    What an amazing year!  I feel we ended on a high note with an incredible promotion ceremony that recognized our students.  Barrett traditionally has opted not to do a more formal ceremony in a large auditorium in favor of remaining at Barrett, where the students started elementary school, and having an informal, kid-focused promotion, that truly celebrates our children as they close one chapter and prepare to start the next.  My most sincere thanks go to our fifth grade team (Mr. Carmack, Ms. Davidson, Ms. Sanders, Ms. Watson, Mr. Stewart, Ms. Hines, Mr. Littman, Ms. Cassedy, Mr. Ramirez, Mr. Giles), and tremendous thanks to Ms. Schildge and Mr. Fitch for the musical support and Ms. Shaw for A/V support and the fifth grade films! Gratitude as always to the Friday Volunteers from the PTA, and to Ms. Janet Pence, who led the PTA volunteer efforts to make the entire promotion happen.  We could not celebrate these amazing students without everyone’s support!
    Parents of rising sixth graders received a letter along with the report card, sharing the APS Math Office’s recommended sixth grade math course for your child.  Information about the math course pathways is available here.   Recommendations were based on preliminary SOL scores as well as the score on the math placement test, given on June 9.  Staff at Barrett had minimal input into the recommendation, unlike previous years.  Please remember that families are encouraged to share their input with staff at the middle schools, using the contact information on the letter.  We are happy also to discuss the recommendations with you.
    We bid farewell to some of our amazing team-mates this summer, as they move on to other opportunities for the coming year:
    Dr. Rosa Briceno – Dr. Briceno has been promoted to be the Family and Community Engagement (FACE) specialist working with all Arlington schools – taking the excellent model developed at Barrett and applying it to school across APS.  We are currently working with a committee that includes teachers and parents to interview prospective replacements.  Dr. Briceno will not be far away and plans to visit Barrett often, probably with leaders from other schools as she teaches them about the essential elements of a family engagement program.
    Ms. Deborah Chu – Ms. Chu has taken a position teaching Middle School English at a school in China!  This was something she has wanted to pursue, and the perfect opportunity presented itself to her this Spring.  We hope to keep in touch via twitter and can hopefully make great use of her as an instructional resource for second and fifth grade social studies over the course of the next two years!!!  We wish her the very best!
    Dr. Judy Concha – Judy was recently named the assistant principal at the new Discovery Elementary School in Arlington (if they are going to steal the name of Dr. Sullivan’s project, then at least they should have someone from Barrett leading the school!!!).  Dr. Concha has demonstrated strong leadership in literacy instruction at Barrett, and we know she will do amazing things there, and hopefully we can foster some collaboration between the schools moving forward.
    Mr. Ryan Fitch – Mr. Fitch has accepted a middle school music teacher position in Beaverton, Oregon, and plans to relocate there over the summer.  Mr. Fitch has done so much to promote a love of music and performance at Barrett and we are grateful for his hard work with the Barrett Singing Tigers!  We wish him the best as he moves on to a new chapter!
    Ms. Pamela Rodriguez – Ms. Rodriguez let me know last week that her husband was taking a promotion that would require less travel.  I told her that was amazing and great for her family, and she filled me in on the rest – the promotion required less travel because it requires them to relocate to Kansas City.  Awful for Barrett, but great for her family.  We wish her the best in this next chapter in her life.
    Ms. Sarah Spicer– Ms. Spicer taught PE part-time with us this year, and has accepted a full-time position at Washington-Lee for next year.  When she told the students, almost all of whom will likely be at Washington-Lee in a few years, they were so excited to know that they will see a familiar face Freshman year!
    Ms. Molly Toussant –  Ms. Toussant has basically worked two jobs over the last two years as she teaches at Barrett during the day and attends graduate school at night to pursue certification as a school principal.  She has accepted a position as a principal for next year at a charter school in Ohio, and will relocate there to be close to her family.   We know she will do great and thank her for her years of service to Barrett students and families.
    Ms. Julie Westcott – When I interviewed Julie, she told me that she had a goal of teaching PE at the middle school level. We took the risk because we knew that Julie would raise the level of PE instruction in our school, and that she has.  She has accepted a position at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, and we know she will do great there.
    Ms. Lauren Wisely – Ms. Wisely is relocating to Richmond, VA with her fiancee this summer.  Noting that commuting on 95 is not a particularly fun thing, she sought a position in the area, and will be teaching second grade next year in Henrico County.  I knew when she finished her math specialist program that we wouldn’t have her in fourth grade for much longer, and I know she will soon be leading math instruction in Henrico!
    There are several changes taking place at Barrett due to these departures!  Due to shrinking numbers in fifth grade, we will only have three homeroom classes – Ms. Bonnie Watson requested earlier in the year to go part-time, and I honored that request for the fall.
    With the vacancies in fourth grade and shrinking numbers in second, Mr. Zach Porter has agreed to move from second to fourth grade for next year.  He has taught fifth grade previously, so has experience in the upper grades and will also know the children, as he taught many of them!  Ms. Elizabeth Rente Sullivan completed her masters in reading several years ago and will move to a reading team position for next year.  She demonstrates expert level understanding of reading development and will be a great addition to the team.  She plans to train in Reading Recovery, adding to our cadre of interventionists for first grade readers.  Ms. Natalie Rigert will move from third grade to second grade next year.  She taught kindergarten and first in Illinois, and after a year in third, she feels she will be landing right at home in second.
    We have hired several new staff for our team next year at this point!  Ms. Erin Sensibaugh is joining us as a fourth grade teacher.  She taught fourth grade for several years in Fairfax County at Westgate Elementary.
    Ms. Jessica Idol will return to Barrett, teaching third grade math/science/social studies, partnering with Ms. Nagle.
    Ms. Karen Sible will join us, teaching part-time PE in the mornings every day.
    Mr. Rob McLaughlin will return to Barrett after a one-year hiatus to obtain a Masters’ Degree.
    Ms. Dawn Kyser, currently teaching music and art at Stratford, and previously teaching music at Taylor and Drew, will join us as our full-time music teacher.  During the interview, one of the things that impressed Ms. Schildge and I was that Ms. Kyser, like Mr. Fitch, has a strong background in teaching voice and vocal performance.  Ms. Kyser expressed excitement at carrying on Barrett traditions like the Spring musical and the Kindergarten musical performance.
    We continue to interview for a Family Engagement Project teacher, a third grade language arts teacher, and a Bilingual Family Resource Assistant.  We have also juggled some resources to advertise for a full-time HILT teacher to provide additional support to English Language Learners.  Our plan is to increase early support to ensure that all students are reading on grade level.  We expect to be able to have a full-time HILT teacher at K, 1, 2, and 3, and then have a full-time and part-time HILT teacher support 4th and 5th grade.  We will keep families posted via this blog as we recommend individuals for hire.
    We wish you a safe and amazing summer filled with great family time!  We hope you will visit us and share your amazing adventures!
    Dan Redding,
    PrincipalComments (0)
  • Posted by Dan Redding at 5/17/2015This week we begin the end-of-year SOL testing for grades 3-5 and benchmark testing for grades K-2.  The SOL testing schedule is in my previous blog post here, and that will be followed by end-of-year testing for K-2 students in reading and math.
    Fifth graders will also take the Sixth grade math placement test.  This exam covers sixth grade math objectives to see whether students are eligible for advanced math work in sixth grade.  The results, along with SOL test results and teacher recommendation are used to place students in math courses for sixth grade.
    Barrett is now offering “Grab N Go” breakfasts in the morning, from 7:30-8:10 every day.  Students can use their SchoolBucks accounts to pay the $1.55 charge for a breakfast, usually consisting of Orange Juice, yogurt, and banana bread or a bagel.  These meals may be taken to the homeroom and eaten there, with all waste sealed in the bag and thrown away.  Students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch will receive the breakfast free of charge.  Check these out – they make a great breakfast alternative!
    As we wind the year down, you may have already received a calendar of end of year activities.  The PTA has sent a list out over email, and we will continue to provide these updates so you can be aware of activities.
    Today is the 75th anniversary of Kate Waller Barrett Elementary  celebration.  I want to sincerely thank our PTA members who have worked so hard to put the festival today together, and especially Jennifer Sauter-Price, who set up a beautiful display in the hallway using artifacts we have in the library and old yearbooks that were donated by Barrett alumni.  We hope to see you there!Esta semana comenzaránlos exámenes de fin de año.  Los alumnosen 3ro-5to grado tomarán los Exámenes SOL, y los alumnos de Kínder-2do gradotomarán los exámenes de fin de año.  Elhorario para los Exámenes SOL lo encontrarán en mi blog anterior aquí, y luego comenzarán los exámenes de lectura y matemáticas de finde año para los alumnos en Kínder-2do grado.

    Alumnos en quinto gradotambién tomarán el examen de matemáticas de sexto grado.  Este examen cubre los objetivos dematemáticas de sexto grado para determinar si los alumnos son elegibles paratomar la clase avanzada de matemáticas en sexto grado.  Los resultados de este examen, junto con losresultados del Examen SOL de matemáticas y la recomendación del maestro/a, seusarán para determinar qué curso de matemáticas los alumnos tomarán en sextogrado.

    La Escuela Barrett ahoraestá ofreciendo desayuno Grab-N-Gotodas las mañanas, de 7:30-8:10am.  Losalumnos pueden usar sus cuentas de almuerzo para pagar su desayuno($1.55).  Normalmente el desayuno incluyejugo de naranja, yogur, y pan de plátano o un bagel.  Los alumnos podránllevar su desayuno a clase y, después de comer, podrán usar la misma bolsa paraponer todo en la basura.  Aquellosalumnos que califican para el almuerzo gratis o a precio reducido recibirán eldesayuno gratis.  ¡Este programa es unaexcelente alternativa para el desayuno!

    Al finalizar el añoescolar, probablemente ya recibieron el calendario para las actividades de finde año.  La PTA envió una lista de lasfechas y actividades por correo electrónico, y continuaremos mandandoactualizaciones para que ustedes estén informados sobre estas actividades.

    Hoy celebraremos elAniversario de 75 Años de la Escuela Kate Waller Barrett.  Quiero agradecer a los miembros de la PTAquienes trabajaron durísimo para realizar este festival, y especialmente aJennifer Sauter-Price, que armó una bella exhibición en el pasillo principalusando artefactos de la biblioteca y antiguos anuarios donados por ex-alumnosde Barrett.  ¡Espero verlos ahí!

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  • Posted by Dan Redding at 4/8/2015As Barrett enters the fourth quarter, we arelooking ahead to the end of year SOL testing. Students in 3rdthrough 5th grades will participate in the state-mandated SOL teststo assess their knowledge of skills and information taught this year. Weappreciate your attention to these dates when considering when to scheduleappointments or go out of town. (Note that there will be no testing on theFriday and Tuesday on either side of Memorial Day weekend.) 

    The window for SOL testing is May 18 – June 11. As we do every year, we are scheduling our testing towards the end of the window.  Each grade level will test on four different days, with the 3rd gradereading test and all math tests taking place over two days. Make-up sessionswill be scheduled as needed during the testing window. The exact dates are:


    3rd Grade

    Wednesday, May 27 – Reading I

    Monday, June 1 – Reading II

    Wednesday, June 3 – Math I

    Monday, June 8 – Math II


    4th Grade

    Tuesday, May 19 – Reading

    Thursday, May 28 – Math I

    Tuesday, June 2 – Math II

    Tuesday, June 9 – Virginia Studies


    5th Grade

    Monday, May 18 – Science

    Friday, May 29 – Reading

    Thursday, June 4 – Math I

    Friday, June 5 – Math II


    In addition to the SOLs listed above, all 5thgraders will take the math diagnostic test for middle school math placement inthe afternoons of Monday, June 8 and Tuesday, June 9.


    All SOL tests will begin at 8:30 am, so pleaseplan to have your children well-rested, well-fed, and at school on time onthose days. We very much appreciate your help in ensuring that all of ourstudents are present, ready, and focused on testing days.


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  • Posted by Dan Redding at 1/8/2015Dear Families -Cold weather has arrived!  I want to use this message as a time to remind families that students should come to school prepared for the weather with layers of clothing so they are ready for outdoor recess and activities.  Because we follow a philosophy of active learning, students were outside in the cold and snow on Tuesday (January 6th) during the snow, learning about measurement.

    On cold weather days, we use APS’ Weather Guidelines and Operations During Air Quality Alerts to inform decisions regarding recess and outdoor activity.  A snapshot of the chart will help clarify procedures for recess decisions:
    Child Care Weather Watch

    Temperature-Wind Chill Chart
    In the green zone, children may play outside as long as they are appropriately dressed and adults and attending to their conditions and safety.  When the temperature plus wind speed puts us into the yellow zone, we shorten outdoor recess and are more vigilant to students’ needs and whether they are appropriately dressed.  On days when the wind chill puts us into the red zone, we stay inside for the duration of recess and ask grade level staff to design appropriate activities for students so they have the brain break and movement opportunities they need to be ready for learning.

    I hope this information helps to clarify Barrett’s procedures for determining the status of recess and outdoor learning opportunities.

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  • Posted by Dan Redding at 12/15/2014Dear Barrett Families,
    I am so pleased to announce that we are moving forward with a new hire at Barrett!  Ms. Maria-Cristina Santos-Torres will be joining our team as a second grade teacher, starting this week to overlap with Ms. Landgraf!  Ms. Torres is no stranger to the Barrett community, as she has had several long-term substitute positions with us over the years.  Her aunt is also one of our Kindergarten teachers!  Ms. Torres was originally slated to be Ms. Landgraf’s long-term substitute during her leave.
    Ms. Torres has recently graduated from Marymount University with a Masters in Education and completed her student teaching in Fairfax County schools.  She has met the requirements to be fully licensed to teach elementary school in Virginia.  She is familiar with reading and writing workshop and with accelerated math curricula, and we have full confidence in her ability to hit the ground running with our second grade team.
    Please join me in welcoming Ms. Torres to the Barrett team!Comments (0)
  • Posted by Dan Redding at 12/9/2014 4:00:00 PMDear Families –
    As I look back on my messages, I notice that I always start by noting how quickly time is passing.
    I want to take a moment to express gratitude for our amazing Barrett Community.  The parent support here is unbelievable.  On behalf of the staff, I want to express appreciation for your support of our 5-year Literacy Initiative.  We see this as critical – the PTA funding to help us purchase large classroom libraries ensures that each child has a range of books at their independent level and that will motivate and excite them to read.  This allows the teachers to further individualize instruction.
    I am so grateful to work with such an amazing team here – this team strives to meet the needs of each child.   As we do every year, we seek staff input to nominate one teacher and one support staff member for the APS Employee of the Year recognition.  This year the Barrett staff has chosen to recognize Ms. Jennifer Flores as our nominee for Teacher of the Year, and Ms. Nancy Hensley as our nominee for Support Employee of the Year!  I am thrilled to send these two well-deserving colleagues’ names forward for recognition at the County level.
    For families who wish to do so, we are accepting letters of support focusing on Ms Flores’ and Ms. Hensley’s qualifications for the county award.  Letters of support can focus on their contributions in the classroom to instruction, to the whole child, and to the Barrett community at large.  If you wish to provide a letter of support, I ask that you bring it to Ms. Stephanie Shoemaker no later than Tuesday, January 6, 2015.  We must turn the packets in at the end of that week and would like to have everything together.
    I also write with very sad news.  I sent a letter home with second grade students in Ms. Landgraf’s class today regarding her upcoming leave.  Ms. Landgraf has made a difficult decision to spend the remainder of the school year at home with her child.  We certainly support her in this decision, and will miss her expert teaching and positive, can-do approach to everything.  We are working with the Human Resources office regarding a recommendation for a replacement and hope to have news to you soon.  We l keep the families in her class informed throughout this process.
    We also want to let families know that Ms. Betty Bravo, Clinic Aide at Barrett, will be retiring at the end of December.  We wish Betty well and thank her for her many years of service to School Health and Barrett families!
    Arlington Public Schools is working through the budget process and the School Board has at this time discussed budget direction with the Superintendent (more information here).  There will be a number of community informational meetings and feedback opportunities.  More information is available here.  I encourage families to stay informed and involved in this process.
    As we head into wintery weather, please remember these important tips:
    1. Dress students in layers every day to ensure that they are warm at school during class and outside at recess.  We go outside every single day we can!
    2. Watch the APS website, the APS Twitter account, the Barrett PTA Twitter account, and my Twitter account for information about closings and delays.
    Thank you again for all you do to support the Barrett community.  We wish you a safe and warm holiday season with plenty of time with your loved ones!