Jamestown, Arlington, Virginia 2015 Field Day

News and Events

First Week Packets
Tues., Sept. 4- Deadline to Include Content
Fri., Sept. 7, 9:00 am- Volunteers Needed to Assemble
If you have a flyer that should be included in the Back-to-School First Week Packet, it must be emailed to Ms. McCarthy for approval by Tuesday, September 4. Upon approval, 610 copies must be left in the office by end of day Thursday, September 6.

Volunteers Needed: First Week Packets will be sent home in backpack mail on Friday, September 7. We need help assembling the packets on Friday, September 7 at 9:00 am. Sign-up here to volunteer. This typically takes no more than an hour if we have enough help. Contact Shannon Haynes internal-relations@jamestownpta.org with questions.

Kindergarten Popsicle Stay & Play Playdate
Fri., Sept. 7, 3:36pm
Let’s celebrate the first week of school with popsicles for our new Kindergarteners at the Jamestown Playground immediately upon pick- up. If your child is a bus rider, send a note to your teacher that you plan to pick up your child for the stay & play playdate. Please sign-up here or email kplaydates@jamestownpta.org.

Science Olympiad for Grades 3-5
Sat., Sept. 8, Registration Deadline
If you’re child loves learning about the life of a glacier, comets traveling through the solar system, or the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay, consider joining the Jamestown’s Science Olympiad Team. An email with more information was sent Aug. 22, but please see quick links for more information.
Event Descriptions
Parent Volunteer Options
Registration Link

Back-to-School Nights
Wed., Sept. 12, 7:00 pm 1st through 5th Grades
Mon., Sept. 17, 7:00 pm Kindergarten, Montessori, MIIPA, and Pre-K
Begin the evening with a short meeting in the Multi-Purpose Room followed by time to get to know your child’s classroom and teachers. If you need childcare options, in Community Events below.

Ice Cream Social
Thurs., Sept. 13, 6:00 – 7:00 pm
If ice cream, sprinkles, and chocolate syrup sound like a great way to end a week, join us for Jamestown’s annual back-to-school Ice Cream Social near the playground. All Jamestown students and their families are welcome. Come to meet up with old friends and make new ones.

Volunteers needed: Sign-up here to volunteer. Contact Karyn Corneretto or Whitney Aaronson at ice-cream-social@jamestownpta.org

Movie Night
Fri., Oct. 12, 6:45 pm
Celebrate the beautiful DC fall weather with Movie Night on the Jamestown front field (between the playground and baseball field). Title to come soon. Any questions or those interested in volunteering can be directed to social@jamestownpta.org.

Grade Level Parent Socials
Various Dates Below
Why should our kids have all the fun? Our first ever Grade Level Socials are for parents only, so schedule that sitter and come mingle with your Jamestown friends. More information announced in the coming weeks.
Kindergarten: September 11, 7:30 at Ireland’s Four Courts
1st Grade: September 27, Time/ Location TBD
2nd Grade: September 25, Time/ Location TBD
3rd Grade: October 2, Time/ Location
4th Grade: September 20, Time/ Location TBD
5th Grade: September 12, 8:00 (after Back to School Night) at Tyson’s Lebanese Taverna

 

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Sign Up for Fall & Winter Enrichment Classes

Registration will start on Monday September 11th at 0700. We will continue to offer enrichment classes both before and after school starting in early October. There are a variety of classes including art, sports, music, and STEM curriculum. You can preview classes online at:  
Registration for both fall and winter session will start on Monday September 11th at 0700 until September 19th at midnight. Classes are filled on a first come, first served basis.  Some of our providers are coming to open house on Friday September 1st to meet the parents. If you have any questions, contact Chin Hee and Soyong at after-school-activities@jamestownpta.org

Open PTA Positions for 2017-2018

It is that time of year again!  We are very fortunate to have an active and dedicated community but we still have a few PTA positions that are open.  Only one of these positions requires regular attendance at PTA meetings, so please consider volunteering if you can. The positions are:

Treasurer:  This is the only position that requires regular attendance at our monthly meetings but, really, what can be more important than tracking and safeguarding our generously donated funds? The Treasurer also has 3-4 people to help him/her.

Communications:  We have several important, and flexible, needs in this area. Take a bunch of classroom candids? Help with social media or the yearbook! Have some time in between things at home? Help with the Newsletter! Are you organized and only available late summer/early school year? Help with the Directory! If you can help in any capacity PLEASE let us know.

New Families Coordinator:  This is a great way to meet new families and introduce them to our community. This position matches incoming families with current Jamestown families that mentor our new faces. Mingle events can be planned as well. This position is completely what you make of it.

After School Enrichment Co-Coordinator:  The After School Enrichment program is the activities that we offer after school for our students. Again, we use a contractor AND we have one co-coordinator but we need another person to help coordinate the contractor and the Jamestown teachers and staff to ensure a smooth program.

Payments Coordinator:  We need a volunteer to process payments. This position can happen entirely at home.

Finally, several of our most active positions and committees began because someone had an idea. Our Wellness Committee, Safety Committee and Social positions are all fairly new and were started by parents with an interested or who saw a need.  If you have an idea PLEASE don’t hesitate to let us know! We welcome your thoughts and ideas! Please contact Jen Leonard at internal-relations@jamestownpta.org.

At our PTA meeting held on January 3, W&L student Matthew Herrity, founder of Students for Diversity, spoke about efforts to promote high school diversity in upcoming APS redistricting decisions.

In case you are interested in seeing that presentation, the PowerPoint that Matthew Herrity shared can be found here.

The presentation emphasizes data relevant to Jamestown, but it also provides information about Arlington’s middle and high schools. Matthew compared schools within the county as they stand now, as they will stand once the recent boundary changes are made, and shared examples of models that are used in other locations in the country.

If you have questions regarding the content, please feel free to reach out to our PTA president, Tom Jensen at president@jamestownpta.org.

PTA Members Approve Four Budget Changes

The PTA membership voted overwhelmingly (95-4) to approve budget amendments to allocate funding for four time-sensitive items:

  • $5000 to complete acquisition of in-classroom libraries
  • $1000 to assist the transition of students and families coming to Jamestown from Taylor Elementary
  • 14% of the Spring Fair proceeds (estimated at about $1000) as a donation to the newly formed Discovery Elementary PTA
  • $1500 to address urgently needed improvements to school playground areas impacted by the harsh winter weather

The PTA board thanks all the members who took time to vote on the budget amendments.

Mark Your Calendar! Winter Social on February 20

Mark Your Calendar! Winter Social on February 20

Lights, Camera, Auction!  Learn more about the Winter Social, Jamestown PTA’s biggest fundraiser!  Buy tickets or donate an item for our auction.

Funds are raised for many of the things that make Jamestown special, such as the wellness efforts, technology like iPads and computers, as well as events such as artists and authors in residence.

The whole community is counted on to come, have fun and buy lots of great auction items!  Please join us!

Jamestown Community CIP Survey Results

The PTA conducted a survey of the Jamestown community’s thoughts on the benefits and challenges of two of the options being considered by the School Board to bring more middle school seats online in 2019: the Wilson site and the Stratford site. We had 77 responses. The results can be found here.

In addition, at October’s PTA meeting, the Jamestown PTA voted to endorse the School Bond Referendum on the November ballot. The Bond will include money for studying the sites available for new middle school seats in 2019. The PTA resolution emphasizes the importance of new middle school construction and near-term measures to avoid overcrowding at Williamsburg. For more on the PTA resolution please click here.

APS Capital Improvement Program – Update for Early September

Last Thursday the School Board met to discuss several issues, including the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to address overcrowding in Arlington Public Schools. Jamestown’s PTA and several Jamestown parents delivered comments to the Board regarding the pressing need for new middle school capacity, particularly to relieve current and future overcrowding at Williamsburg Middle School.

Earlier this summer, the Arlington County Board approved the 2014 CIP that provides funding for County projects – including APS facilities – for the next 10 years.  Unfortunately, the 2014 CIP did not include any money for building a new middle school serving North Arlington.  This means that the next time funding will be considered by the School Board and County Board will be in 2016.  Because it takes at least two years (or longer) to build a new school, North Arlington will not have new middle school capacity until at least 2019, several years after the middle schools in North Arlington are expected to be well over-capacity.  By 2018, Williamsburg’s enrollment is expected to be 132.9% over capacity.

The School Board is evaluating three options for more seats in 2019: 1) Build a new middle school on the Wilson site in Rosslyn; 2) Renovate the Stratford site and move the HB Woodlawn Program to the Reed School; and 3) Renovate and/or create new space at 4 or 5 middle schools.  Regardless of the final decision on how or where to add new seats, the School Board indicated on Thursday that there will be boundary changes, and those boundary changes will come sooner rather than later.

While the School Board has tried to assure parents that they have a budget and a deadline (2019) for providing more seats, the only money that has been allocated for more middle school seats at this point is the money in this year’s CIP:  $4 million for planning only.  The CIP anticipates seeking voter approval for construction funding in 2016, and using the 2014-2016 period to complete site selection, program choices and facility design.  The PTA, working with concerned Jamestown parents, has been pressing APS to move forward aggressively to make the siting and other decisions needed to be ready to bring a solid middle school construction funding plan forward in 2016.

How does this issue impact the Jamestown Community?

1)         Jamestown’s students heading to middle school need more seats now: Projections show that Williamsburg will be at 125.5% in 2017, 120.3% in 2016, and 111.6% next year.  The School Board and APS staff have been silent on plans to address current overcrowding.   Because a new school can’t be built before the 2018 school year, several years after middle school crowding is forecast to become a serious problem, we have urged the School Board and APS staff to find and share with the community creative solutions for addressing the seat shortage between now and when new capacity can be provided.   Some of the possibilities that have been mentioned include increasing enrollment at HB next year, creating a 6th Grade Academy at Madison Community Center, or using the Reed School if it is not part of the 2019 solution.  While these ideas have been floated, there is no evidence that any are under serious study.  The PTA does not yet have a position on these proposed options (none has been formally proposed by APS), but we do think that the School Board and APS staff need to start analyzing and socializing these and other possible options now so that parents can prepare for – and influence– what may come.  We encourage parents to let the PTA know what options are preferable so that we can advocate for the right solution for our community. Regardless of the choices that emerge for new capacity in the near- and long-term, the PTA intends to urge APS to reveal and invite discussion on redistricting plans as soon as possible.

2)         We Need 1300 Seats (or more) by 2019 and it will be hard to get them: We need to continue to advocate before the School Board and APS staff to ensure that the drive to build new seats by 2019 stays on schedule.  The School Board is focused on securing 1300 new seats, but the School Board’s own analysis shows that 1300 may not be enough. Williamsburg had to add an unanticipated additional sixth grade team (44 kids) this year and Jamestown added a fifth kindergarten class at the eleventh hour.  We can’t afford to fall short of 1300, but it is a real risk.

Even with the money allocated for planning in this year’s CIP, there is no guarantee that the 2016 CIP will allocate funds for a new middle school. Getting the minimum 1300 seats in place by 2019 is far from a sure thing.  Each new middle school option faces opposition from sectors of the community.  None will be a shoe-in.  The fallback alternative of renovating and expanding four or five existing schools seems even more problematic, as campuses are already crowded, construction on occupied buildings is more complicated and more expensive, and each project is also likely to face community opposition.  Project opponents tend to organize most aggressively and push the hardest.  It would be a serious mistake to allow through inaction APS to hear only from those opposing project to increase middle school seats.  We need to continue to raise our voices so that the School Board and APS staff know how important it is to the Jamestown community that the middle school construction program stays on track and on schedule.

How can you be involved?

Let the PTA know your thoughts on these issues. The PTA has been invited by APS to serve on a committee of neighborhood and school leaders tasked with advising APS on implementation of the CIP, with our first meeting set for September 15.

Get involved in the APS Community Engagement Activities. The School Board is planning a series of Community Engagement activities on these issues throughout to the Fall.  A calendar of events can be found here: http://www.apsva.us/cms/lib2/VA01000586/Centricity/Domain/110/Tentative_Calendar_09-04-2014.pdf. The first open community meeting will be on October 2, 2014 and we urge the Jametown community to turn out to let the School Board know that we need to continue to work on the issues of overcrowding.

If you have thoughts or concerns on the boundary changes, please let your voice be heard.  You can also always contact the School Board at School.Board@apsva.us and moreseats@apsva.us.

Check out www.moreseats.com for additional information and chances to activate.

Come to the PTA meetings! The next PTA meeting will be held at Jamestown at 7:30 p.m. on October 7, 2014.  We welcome everyone.

For further information at any time, please contact the PTA’s CIP Liaison, Courtney Barton, at moreseats@jamestownpta.org or PTA President Tom Jensen at president@jamestownpta.org.

CIP Update: Middle School Capacity – Band-aids or Buildings?

The APS board met Thursday evening and received an update from APS staff on the school system’s Capital Improvement Planning (CIP) process. Jamestown’s PTA and several Jamestown parents addressed the Board regarding the pressing need for middle school capacity, particularly to relieve overcrowding at Williamsburg Middle School.

Why is this important?
Projections show that Williamsburg will be at 111.6% of capacity next year, 120.3% in 2016, 125.5% in 2017, and 132.9% in 2018. Swanson Middle School faces even more acute overcrowding during the same period. Read more