Caroline County adopts a new K-8 writing program

Caroline Public Schools is very excited to implement a new writing program in grades kindergarten through grade 8 in its 2017-18 school year. Teachers met at the end of the school year to review several writing programs and chose the Lucy Calkins: Units of Study in Writing program to implement as a part of the balanced literacy program. During the summer, K-8 English-Language Arts teachers participated in professional develop led by highly qualified nationally certified presenters from the Teacher’s College of Columbia University.

The Lucy Calkins, Units of Study Writing program was developed through more than three decades of research and work by Lucy Calkins and her colleagues and is used with success in numerous Virginia school districts, as well as divisions across the country. Units of Study provides a thorough curriculum to help teach opinion, information, and narrative writing with increasing complexity to meet and exceed Virginia’s Standards of Learning in writing. The program fosters high level thinking and includes regular opportunities to synthesize, analyze, and critique writing. It offers tools to conduct strategic writing performance assessment to help monitor student progress and differentiate instruction. Units of Study provides exemplar texts that model writing objectives in all grades and encourages teachers to support students’ independence and fluency in writing while conferring with students individually to provide on-going feedback.

Students are getting acclimated to the program as they work in their K-8 writing folders donated by Caroline County business partners: Grand Canyon University, Best Promotional Products and Apparel, and Horace Mann. Students “publish” and share their work on a regular basis and are motivated to read the work of their peers in hallways all over their schools. If you have an elementary or middle school student attending a Caroline County Public School, there is no doubt that you will read and be impressed with his/her writing during your parent teacher conference.

Teachers are excited about the structure of the program and how it is organized to guide writing instruction from teacher to teacher and year to year. Mrs. Tamara Feggans, a teacher at Bowling Green Elementary School stated, “I appreciate that CCPS chose a program that will serve students from kindergarten through grade 8 so that each grade builds on learned skills as opposed to several different programs with no continuity.” She also shared, “Lucy Calkins Units of Study really taps into the student’s inner writer and gets them excited about writing every day!”

Dr. Joanne Jones, Director of Curriculum and Instruction emphasizes that Lucy Calkins Units of Study provides teachers with direct and explicit structures for teaching writing. “We are eager to implement this program because we know that our students will become better writers which will also promote better readers and learners to encourage college and career readiness. The CCPS Instructional Team is committed to making this program successful by providing on-going professional development and guiding our teachers and administrators through the process of learning and implementing best practices in writing that this program fosters.

Two students writing

Teacher and students in a classroom

Virginia Region 3 Teacher of the Year Named – Sarah Adamson-Mair

Sarah Adamson-Mair
Region 3 Teacher of the Year

Caroline County Public Schools announced Ms. Sarah Adamson-Mair as Virginia’s Region 3 Teacher of the Year at a surprise school-wide assembly at Lewis and Clark Elementary School, on September 11, 2017. Ms. Adamson-Mair was one of eight teachers across the state that learned of their selection as a 2018 Regional Teacher of the Year.
The teachers were selected from among candidates nominated by every Virginia school division in each of the eight superintendent regions in the commonwealth. Mrs. Adamson-Mair submitted a portfolio highlighting her accomplishments, educational philosophy, and community activities. She was selected from seventeen Teachers of the Year representing Region 3 counties and towns: Caroline, Essex, Gloucester, King George, King William, King and Queen, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northumberland, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Westmoreland, Colonial Beach, Fredericksburg, and West Point.
Sarah Adamson-Mair is a kindergarten teacher at Lewis and Clark Elementary School. She has served on the county’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee, Principal Advisory Committee, and the Kindergarten Assessment Development Team. Ms. Adamson-Mair has also shared her passion for education as a teacher mentor and Math Lead Teacher.
A panel, including classroom teachers, representatives of professional and educational associations, the business community and the 2017 Virginia Teacher of the Year, reviewed the portfolios and selected eight regional teachers of the year. This month, the same panel will interview each of the eight regional teachers to select the 2018 Virginia Teacher of the Year. The decision will be announced on September 18, 2018 during a ceremony at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
“Ms. Adamson-Mair is an exceptional instructional leader who sets a high standard of performance for her students. We value effective instruction and a commitment to meeting the individual needs of students in Caroline County. Ms. Adamson-Mair has distinguished herself among her peers for these and many other qualities. I feel confident that she will represent our school division and region well at the state level. Everyone in Caroline is rooting for her,” says Caroline County Superintendent, Dr. George Parker.
School Board Chair, Nancy Carson stated, “Mrs. Adamson-Mair is a well-kept secret. We are so proud of her. If you go into her classroom it would inspire you to be a teacher.”
At the assembly were several members of the Caroline County School Board, central office administrators, Lewis and Clark faculty and student body, and the VDOE Secretary of Education, Dr. Dietra Trent and Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Operations, Mr. Kent Dickey.

CHS Beta Club Animal Rescue Efforts for Harvey, Texas

The CHS Beta Club is teaming up with Champion Saddlery to support their animal rescue efforts in Harvey, Texas. The group would like medical supplies for horses, dogs and cats, as well as halters, leashes, lead ropes, cat and dog collars, cat and dog food, as well as all stock feed. Any items can be turned in to Mrs. Kelly or Mrs. Kline through Sept 12th. The Beta Club will make certain that all donated items get onto the truck sponsored by Champion.

CHS donations for those in Texas and Louisiana

CHS is spearheading a drive for those in Texas and Louisiana affected by the flooding from Hurricane Harvey. FEMA has asked for limited items, so if you would like to donate, please provide the following only:
• Diapers
• Baby Wipes
• Adult Depends
• Hygiene Products
• Household Cleaning Items
These items can be dropped off at Caroline High School’s front office from 7:00-3:00. October 11th is the last day to drop off these items. Thank you in advance for your support!

Required Parent Notifications

At the start of each school year, there are many notifications that schools are required to make. Some of these are included in the Student Code of Conduct, student handbooks, and other documents. If you would prefer to have a paper copy of any of the information or notification documents, one will be provided upon your request by contacting your child’s school or the School Board Office (804-633-5088).

Solar Eclipse – Monday, August 21, 2017

Dear Parent(s) or Guardian(s) of CCPS Students:

On Monday, August 21, 2017, the moon will pass between the earth and the sun for the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse since 1918. Millions of Americans in 12 states will be able to watch this solar spectacle that will turn day into night for a few brief minutes. Virginia is among the 12 states that have been declared to be a “best place” to experience this rare phenomenon. Because prime visibility will occur in the Richmond area between the school hours of 1:00-4:00 p.m., Caroline County Public Schools will implement the following schedule modifications and educational opportunities to ensure the safety of our students and staff:

On Monday, August 21:

  • All students will report to school/class at their normally scheduled time.
  • Outdoor recess for elementary students will occur prior to 1:00 p.m.
  • Elementary students will dismiss at 4:10 p.m. to ensure safe travel after the completion of the solar eclipse.
  • Middle and high school students will dismiss at their normal times. Safety tips related to the solar eclipse will be provided to all secondary students prior to departure.
  • Should a parent be concerned about his/her teenage driver being distracted by the eclipse while behind the wheel, a written excuse to depart at 12:00 p.m. must be submitted to the CHS office.
  • All after school activities will remain inside until 4:10 p.m. Please note, the evening activity bus may be delayed by 10-15 minutes due to the altered elementary departure time.
  • While CCPS has instituted appropriate precautionary measures, should a parent elect to keep his/her child home for the day an excused absence will be granted with a parent note. DOWNLOAD: CCPS Solar Eclipse Opt-Out of Viewing Form (PDF)

Schools have planned activities surrounding this “once-in-a-lifetime” educational opportunity. The level of participation will vary by campus. Classroom activities may include integrated instructional activities, watching the live NASA broadcast, and/or viewing the eclipse using school provided official eyewear. Solar eclipse glasses brought from home will not be permitted. Schools selecting to view the eclipse will be sending home a parent permission form.

NASA and The American Astronomical Society have outlined safety measures for viewing the 2017 solar eclipse. Please go to the link provided for additional information:

As always the safety of our students is in the forefront of every decision. Thank you for helping us make the 2017 solar eclipse a safe and memorable educational opportunity for Caroline County Public Schools’ students.

Thank you,

CCPS Instructional Department