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,