August 25, 2017
Employee of the Week:
Please join in recognizing Mrs. Lisa Parker, Administrative Assistant at Gretna
High School, on her selection as Employee of the Week for Pittsylvania County
Schools. Please click on the following link to find out what employees do to
make this A Great Place to Learn and Work!
A first grade teacher caught me last week and
told me that she was working on beginning sounds with her students. When she
asked one young student with what sound does the word cat begin, the student
- The last year a total solar eclipse swept
the entire United States – 1918
- The width of the total eclipse path – 60 to
- The last solar eclipse in the U.S. was
experienced in Hawaii in 1991
- The next total solar eclipse will be in 2019
south of the Equator in Chile and Argentina
- The next total solar eclipse in the
continental U.S. will occur on April 8, 2024
- Two more total solar eclipses will occur
over the continental U.S. before 2050, one on August 23, 2044 and one on
August 12, 2045
- An eclipse happens about every 12-18 months
somewhere around the globe
The Virginia Department of Education has been selected to receive funding under
the State Personnel Development Grants Program (84.323A). This grant will be in
the amount of $1,524,000.00 for the first budget period (10/01/2017 through
09/30/2018). It is anticipated that the grant will be for a total of 5 years.
The project will increase achievement for students with disabilities by
providing high quality professional development in evidence-based practices that
are integrated and aligned into tiered systems of supports. It will also improve
the fidelity of Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports (VTSS) implementation in the
25 new and 25 currently participating local educational agencies (LEAs) by
increasing the knowledge, skills, and abilities of VTSS systems coaches and LEA
coaches to provide coaching support. Finally, the project will increase
academic, emotional, and social success of students with disabilities by
developing the capacity of LEAs to develop and sustain aligned and integrated
tiered systems of supports through ongoing coaching and learning.
School Board News:
The School Board of Pittsylvania County recognized Mrs. Paige Hines at its
August 8, 2017 meeting for earning the distinction as the School Division’s
Educator of the Year. She was presented an “Educator of the Year” watch which
was donated by Herff Jones.
Standards of Learning Perfect Scores:
The school division had two hundred and forty-two (242) perfect scores
earned by students on the Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments administered
Students taking the Virginia Studies SOL test in grade 4 earned the most perfect
scores with 54 scoring 100%. Grade 4 students also earned the highest number
(75) of perfect scores on the assessments. Across the grades, students earned
the most perfect scores in social studies (70) with reading coming second with
46 perfect scores earned. Congratulations to our students and staff.
CyberCamp Participants Visit Virginia Tech:
Pittsylvania County students participating in the Cyber Camp visited
Virginia Tech on Saturday, August 19, 2017. They were introduced to a new game
programming platform, Game Changineer, which was a hit with the students. Dr.
Michael Hsiao, the game developer, explained the game and taught the students
this simple programming language. Dr. Asiao offered to schedule a visit for him
to train teachers on this programming platform. STEM Academy teachers are
considering introducing the Game Changineer programming to sixth grade students
during their STEM visit.
Middle School FFA State Convention:
Members of the Tunstall Middle School FFA chapter attended and competed at
the 91st Virginia FFA State Convention from June 26-29. In the Agricultural
Mechanics contest, Luke Mills placed second and received a plaque, medallion and
ribbon. The team of Chaz Nickens, Bryer Kaimon, Luke Mills, and Austin Scearce
placed eighth. In the Plant Science contest, Enming Song placed sixth and Eben
Leigh placed ninth. The team of Chaz Nickens, Bryer Kaimon, Enming Song, and
Eben Leigh placed fourth. In the Small Animal Care contest, Anna Ballenger
placed eleventh. The team of Anna Ballenger, Madi Higgins, and Haley Gates
placed eighth. Congratulations to all competitors on a job well done.
Educator Appreciation Day:
The Conservators Center, a wildlife conservancy located in Mebane, NC, has
invited educators to an inaugural Educator Appreciation Day on September 22,
2017, from 6:00 pm - 8:00 p.m. This event takes place in the late evening hours
when visitors can best experience roaring lions, howling wolves, and some unique
animals many never knew existed!
Participants will learn about the Center’s education resources -- including
popular field trip programs aligned with grade-level science curricula -- and
will participate in an amazing tour of the park which is home to over 80
individual animals. The Center offers field trip tours for all age groups and
can accommodate elementary, middle, high school, and college level curricula if
requested when a tour is scheduled.
Educator Appreciation Day is FREE for licensed teachers and administrators in
any public, private, or home school with a valid school ID.
Educators can register by email at
The deadline to register is September 9, 2017. If
you have questions, you may contact, Michelle McKay, at email@example.com.
Incredible Years (IY) Training:
Pittsylvania County Schools will provide specialized training in the Incredible
Years (IY) Teacher Classroom Management (TCM) program for the 2017-2018 school
year. All division teachers in grades Pre-K - 2nd will participate. The workshop
schedule is as follows:
Each of the 6 workshops will run from 8:30 a.m. -
3:30 p.m. in the ECC Training Lab at the Pittsylvania County School Board
Office. Lunch will be on your own. An e-mail with additional information was
sent to participants. Please contact Ms. Robin Haymore if you should have a
question relating to this program.
Incredible Years for Parents: Attentive Parenting:
The Attentive Parenting® program is a 6-session group-based “universal”
parenting program. It can be offered to ALL parents to promote their children’s
emotional regulation, social competence, problem solving, reading and school
A target group of 15 parents will meet in 6 weekly 2-hour sessions with a
trained leader at Gretna Elementary School. Parents may enroll by completing an
enrollment form and returning it to Gretna Elementary School by September 20,
2017. Classes will meet for six consecutive Mondays from 5:15 p.m. until 7:15
p.m. Dinner and child care will be provided. Dinner will be served beginning at
5:00 p.m.; however, participants who cannot arrive that early may eat during the
Chatham and Gretna Area Schools to Participate in Electricity Demand Response
The second round of our energy management plan for the schools in the Chatham
and Gretna areas will take place next week. To assist in times of high demand,
the schools could be asked to turn down power usage.
On Thursday, August 31 from 2:15 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. the school division will
be running an audit of the identified schools below to determine how well the
schools can perform. (This is only for August 31, 2017, and the schools will be
back on regular schedule starting on September 1, 2017.) The audit will be used
to set the amount of the school system's payment for participating in the
program. Last year, Pittsylvania County Schools received approximately $35,000.
This money was used to pay for projects around all of the schools.
On Thursday, August 31, the air conditioning will be set to nighttime set points
at 2:15 p.m. Only the air conditioning in office areas will come back on after
4:00 p.m. unless there is a specific need in other areas. Please notify Mr. Mike
Hutson, Director of Maintenance & Facilities, if you should need air
conditioning in other areas of your building after 4:00 p.m. on August 31.
Your participation and cooperation is greatly appreciated. The schools being
audited are listed below.
Thursday, August 31, 2:15 - 4:00 PM EDT
Pittsylvania Schools – Gretna High School
Pittsylvania Schools – Chatham Middle School
Pittsylvania Schools – Gretna Middle School
Pittsylvania Schools – Chatham High School
Pittsylvania Schools – Gretna Elementary School
reminded that this is a one-time event and will not happen again this school
year unless there is an emergency (very high demand on the power company).
During the five years of school division participation in this program, there
have only been two emergency shutdowns.
for Tomorrow Student Perform Puppet and Book Show:
The Pittsylvania Career and Technical Center is proud to showcase the class of
Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow students. The students in this class come from
all four (4) Pittsylvania County High Schools, and the course is taught by Mrs.
Donna Hutson. The course is designed to introduce students to the career of
teaching through lesson planning, classroom shadowing while emphasizing the
value of teaching every student every day.
The Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow class at the Career and Tech Center has been
studying the topic of self- esteem. For their final project for the unit, the
students worked in groups and created puppet shows or Big Books with the theme
of self-esteem. The future teachers went to Chatham Middle School on August 24
to present the shows and enjoy treat bags. All students involved thoroughly
enjoyed the show.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
CyberCamp – STEM Academy, Saturday, August 26, 2017
School Board Agenda Planning Meeting – School Board Office, Thursday, August
Progress Reports Sent Home – Friday, September 1, 2017
HAPPENED THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:
August 20, 1911 – The first telegram was sent around the world in just 16.5
August 21, 1959 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation
admitting Hawaii to the Union as the 50th state.
August 22, 1902 – Cadillac Motor Company began in Detroit.
August 24-25, 1814 – During the War of 1812, Washington, DC, was invaded by
British forces that burned the White House.
August 25, 1944 – Paris was liberated.
Please send media requests to:
This may be (1) to request media presence on site to cover an upcoming event or
(2) to request media coverage (without media on site) of an upcoming event or
(3) to report news from a past event. Thank you for identifying the great things
happening in the schools!