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  • January 19, 2011 Reminders:Wed., January 19Intramural Committee Meeting  (6pm, Library)  Note new time!Thurs., January 20School Board Meeting  (7:30pm, School Board Meeting Room, 2000 N. Beauregard St.) - Vote on ...
    Posted Jan 26, 2011, 3:08 AM by Chris Miller
  • September 27, 2010 Reminders:Thurs., September 30 Deadline for Innisbrook ordersWed., October 6 (7pm, Library) and Thurs., October 7 (4pm, Library)Middle School Intramural Sports and Club Planning Meeting (see below for ...
    Posted Sep 29, 2010, 3:17 AM by Chris Miller
  • September 13, 2010 Innisbrook Giftwrap Sales:   The GWPTA has a new giftwrap company.  Take a look at the catalog to see all the new and exciting products it has to offer.  Please support ...
    Posted Sep 14, 2010, 5:56 PM by Chris Miller
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January 19, 2011

posted Jan 26, 2011, 3:06 AM by Chris Miller


Wed., January 19
Intramural Committee Meeting  (6pm, Library)  Note new time!

Thurs., January 20
School Board Meeting  (7:30pm, School Board Meeting Room, 2000 N. Beauregard St.) - Vote on Application for Waiver for Earlier Start Date.  (See attached documents  for more information.)

Fri., January 21
GW2 - 6th grade awards ceremony  (8:30am - 9:30am)
PTA Luncheon for rising 6th grade parents  (11:15am - 1pm, Library)

Sat., January 22
Memorial Service for Dr. Michael Vitez  (2pm, GWMS auditorium)

Tues., January 25
8th grade Choir sings National Anthem at Wizards game  (7pm, Verizon Center)

Wed., January 26
ACPS District Science Fair - Public viewing of projects.  (6pm - 6:45pm, TC Williams Commons)
Parent Leadership Chat Group  (7pm - 8:30pm, home of Beth and Tim Lovain)

Fri., January 28
End of 2nd quarter

Mon., January 31
Teacher Work Day - No school

Thurs., February 3
Early release  (1:15pm)
Parent conferences

Fri., February 4
Early Release  (1:15pm)

Tues., February 8
PTA Meeting  (7pm, Library)

Wed., February 16
Dining-out fundraiser at Noodles & Co.  (3105 Duke St.)

Intramural/Co-curricular Meeting - Tonight, 6pm:  Note the time change!  This committee will meet tonight, 1/19, at 6pm, in the GWMS Library.  Our new Director of Middle Schools, Dr. Greg Hutchings, will be overseeing this committee. To be sensitive to a previously scheduled meeting tonight, we need to move this meeting to 6pm.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

School Board Meeting - 1/20:  At tomorrow's School Board meeting, the Alexandria City School Board will vote on an amended proposal to extend the 2011-2012 school year by two additional days and begin school on Mon., 8/29.  The original proposal was discussed at the 1/13 School Board meeting and public hearing.  This amended proposal will not include the previously proposed extended day.  Attached are the agenda for tomorrow's meeting and a draft of the application for waiver for an earlier start date.  Please see yesterday's GW Town Crier Special Notice for further information about the proposed 8/29 school start date.

Lunch and Open House for Prospective Parents - 1/21:  Remind your friends who are prospective GW parents about the open house this Fri., 1/21, from 11:15am - 1pm, in the library.  Parents are invited to have lunch and a tour of the school, and will learn about GW, the middle school curriculum and after-school activities.  

Memorial Service for Dr. Vitez - 1/22:  On Sat., 1/22, at 2pm, in the GW auditorium, there will be a Celebration of Life for Dr. Michael Vitez.  Everyone is invited to pay tribute to this special math teacher and tennis coach.  Dr. Vitez was also known for organizing an annual trip to NY City, to take students to see many wonderful Broadway shows.   Any student attending must be accompanied by a parent.  After the celebration, a reception will be held in the library.  If you would like to donate finger foods, juice/water, or paper goods, please contact Dorothy McKenzie ( or Georgeann Coote (   Donations to the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, in memory of Dr. Vitez, may be mailed to Susan Yowell, Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, 3330 King St., Alexandria,VA  22302.  Please note that the gift is in memory of Dr. Vitez.  Donations may also be made by credit card at or by calling 703-824-6730. 

Tickets still available for Wizards game - 1/25:  Tickets are still available for the Tues., 1/25 Wizards vs. Denver Nugget basketball game, where the 8th grade Choir will sing the National Anthem.  This is a fundraiser for the Choir.  GWMS only gets credit for a ticket sale, if the buyer goes through the following link:  You must enter the discount code "GWMS".  If parents want better seats than what are offered on discount, they should contact Wizard representative Sara Plietz (pronounced PLEETS) at 202-266-2246  or  See the attached flier for further information.  Thanks for your support.  The students are looking forward to the game, although they are somewhat nervous. 

Parent Leadership Chat Group - 1/26:  Join other GW parents for an open dialogue about preventing alcohol and drug use among our kids.  Sponsored by the GWMS PTA and the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria, this important discussion will be held at the home of Beth and Tim Lovain, from 7pm - 8:30pm.  Please RSVP to Beth at or 703-549-1441.

Parent Conferences - 2/3:  Sign-up forms for parent conferences are attached, in both English and Spanish.   Ask your child to bring the form, ASAP, to the teachers with whom you wish to meet.  Teachers will fill in an available time.

Snow Make-up Day - 3/18:  Mark your calendars.  This will be the make-up day for yesterday's day off from school, due to the icy conditions. 

Staff Spotlight Award:  The PTA wants to recognize GW staff who do a great job communicating with the families of GW students.   Twice a year, the PTA identifies up to 4 individuals who have made a special effort in reaching out to families in the interest of their students' success at school.  The award winners will be recognized at a faculty meeting, by the school principal, and will receive a gift card, with a letter of appreciation from the PTA.   Nominations from parents or staff colleagues should be sent to Aileen LaGanza at  Winners will be announced in late January.  

Winter Clothing Drive:  The Red Cross Builders Club is sponsoring a winter clothing drive.  They are accepting donations of new and gently used coats, scarves, gloves, hats and blankets.  Please bring any donations to Room A215 by Fri., 1/21.  They are starting a community closet to support the families of GWMS, and will also be making donations to local homeless shelters.                                            

School Directory:  Hopefully, everyone received a copy of the Directory, brought home by students last Friday.  Many thanks to Donna Pettit for her work in putting together this invaluable resource, and for Melynda Wilcox for organizing the distribution of it!

On Twitter?:  Follow PTA President Melynda Wilcox, as she tweets about GW, ACPS, and more at

To subscribe or unsubscribe to the GW Town Crier:  Send a message to

September 27, 2010

posted Sep 29, 2010, 3:12 AM by Chris Miller


Thurs., September 30 
Deadline for Innisbrook orders

Wed., October 6 (7pm, Library) and 
Thurs., October 7 (4pm, Library)
Middle School Intramural Sports and Club Planning Meeting (see below for more info.)

Tues., October 12 
PTA meeting (7pm, library)
Guest speaker:  Steve Colantuoni, Athletic Director at T.C. Williams HS, who will answer your questions about middle school students' participation in TC athletics

Thurs., October 21
Volunteer Interest meeting for after school tutors

Fri., October 22
Reflections entries due

Tues., October 26      
Community of Concern dinner (see below for more info.)

Thurs., October 28
Training for school day tutors  (7pm - 8pm)

Innisbrook Giftwrap Fundraiser:  This is the last week to support the PTA in this very important fundraiser.  Money raised through this program goes toward PTA Education Grants, which are used by teachers  to provide enrichment programs for GWMS students.  If you ever wonder if all this fundraising matters, it really does!  Besides giftwrap, Innisbrook offers chocolates, nuts, baking mixes, magazines, makeup and more!  All orders must be submitted online by Thurs., 9/30.  Log onto and click on the parent EZ order entry box.  Enter our school #101700 and follow the step-by-step instructions.  Print your receipt and return it to your school office, with payment, by Fri. 10/1.   If you do not have internet access, send in your order form and payment to school, by 9/30, and we will enter it for you.  All orders will be delivered to school on 11/5.  If you have questions, please contact Donna Gerade at

Middle School Intramural Sports and Club Planning Meeting:  This will be held on two different dates and times, next week, to allow more people to attend:  Wed. 10/6 (7pm) and Thurs. 10/7 (4pm), in the GW library.  Come to whichever meeting is more convenient for you.  Both students and parents are invited to come share their ideas, visions, connections and talents, so we can create a Middle School Intramural Sports and Club Program that will be high quality, engaging and fun for all.  Donations and sponsorships are also welcome.  Some suggestions for sports are:  flag football, basketball, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, track, and Girls on the Run.  Suggestions for clubs are:  leadership, debate, art, drama, science, technology, and film.   We have Superintendent Sherman's support and commitment to build this program, so let's make it happen!  For further information, contact Linda Whitfield (703-706-4518,, Vaughn Jordan MacKay ( or Jane Richardson (703-209-1599,

Bring Your Parent to School Day:  Parents, of GW1 students, who would like to attend, should contact one of the school counselors:  Ms. Russo, if your child's last name begins with A - L, or Ms. de Castro, if your child's last name begins with M - Z.  Sign up for one of the following slots:  8:30am - 10:32am (1st & 2nd periods), 10:36am - 1:10pm (3rd, 4th periods & lunch), 1:14pm - 3:15pm (5th & 6th periods).   Contact Ms. Russo at 703-706-4524 or  Contact Ms. de Castro at 703-706-4525 or

Volunteer Tutors Needed:  Tutors are needed both during the school day and after school.   If you would like to help as a tutor or a mentor after school hours, please contact Ms. Thomas at  A Volunteer Interest meeting will be held, for these after school tutors,  on Thurs., 10/21.   If you would like to tutor during school hours, please contact Donna Gold at 703-684-6006 or  Tutoring will begin at the end of October.  A training for school day tutors will be held on Thurs., 10/28, 7pm - 8pm.  

Community of Concern Dinner:  The GW PTA, GW Administrators and the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria (SAPCA) are co-sponsooring a Community of Concern Dinner on Tues., 10/26, at GW.  The free program and dinner will be an opportunity for students and parents to learn about and discuss alcohol's effect on the adolescent brain.  Dinner will be sponsored by the PTA and Tempo Restaurant, so you know that the food will be great!  Space is limited, so preference will be given to 8th grade students.  For more information, contact Beth Lovain at or 703-549-1441.

Election Day Bake Sale:  More volunteers are needed to bake goods for this Election Day fundraiser, on 11/2, in the morning.  Salespersons are also needed.  Contact Aileen LaGanza at

Volunteers needed to co-chair student dances:  We are looking for 2 adults with children in 7th grade and 2 adults with children in 8th grade to co-chair this year's student dances, to be held in spring 2011.   Contact Terry Davis at, if interested.

September 13, 2010

posted Sep 14, 2010, 5:53 PM by Chris Miller

Innisbrook Giftwrap Sales:   
The GWPTA has a new giftwrap company.  Take a look at the catalog to see all the new and exciting products it has to offer.  Please support the GWPTA by selling to your friends and family.  The Innisbrook Giftwrap Sale starts this Wednesday, September 15th and runs through Thursday, September 30th.  Catalogs will be passed out during last period on Wednesday.  Delivery is scheduled for Friday, November 5th.  If you  have any questions, please contact Donna Gerade at 703-739-2948 or  The Innisbrook committee this year is Donna Gerade, Debbie Beck at  and Carlene Bahler   

Volunteers Needed:  Please email Terry Davis if you would like to get involved in GW1 or GW2 this year.  We are looking for volunteers to help during, or after, school hours on a regular, or one-time, basis.  Current needs include:  room parents, tutors (1 hour per week), and helping with Art  on the Avenue on 10/2.  Thanks!  Please email:  if you are interested.

Art on the Avenue:  The GW PTA is looking for both adults and middle-schoolers, interested in helping at our booth at Art on the Avenue on Sat., 10/2. You will be helping kids make self-portraits that will create a community collage along this year's Reflections theme, "Together We Can".  No artistic ability necessary!   We need volunteers in 2-hour shifts, from 9:30am - 6pm, and also to help us set up and break down.  If you can help, contact, Terry Davis at

GW Buddy Program:  New to GW or ACPS?  Want to be matched with a veteran parent to touch base with?  The GW PTA has begun a new program this year, which will partner parents who are new to GW with someone who knows the ropes already.   A "buddy" is someone to check in with, when things don't make sense, or you're not sure who to contact about a certain issue.  To be matched up with a "buddy", contact Donna Gold at or 703-684-6006.   We're all in this middle school thing together!

GW Garden:  Are you interested in the GW Garden?  It is a beautiful and bountiful planting of vegetables, herbs and flowers growing on the GW school grounds. We are looking for people interested in gardening, harvesting the produce, making flower arrangements, or cooking for GW staff and students. We want to establish a regular planting and harvest day, possibly every other Friday. Come join your friends and neighbors for fun, chatting and good eating.  Recipes are welcome!  Contact Rachel Newhouse at or

Election Day Bake Sale:  Volunteers needed to bake goods for and/or sell on Election Day morning, 11/2. Contact Aileen at

Middle School Students to Complete Intramural Survey by 9/14: To help with planning after-school programs, ACPS middle-school students will complete a survey about what activity clubs and intramural sports they want to join.  Students received the survey during physical education classes last week.  They should return the completed surveys to their phys. ed. teachers by Tues., 9/14.  The Intramural Committee would appreciate any encouragement that parents can provide.  For more information, contact GWMS Physical Education teacher Mr. Sonoda  If you have any questions or suggestions for the Intramural Committee, contact Vaughn MacKay, the PTA's representative, who would be happy to bring them up at its 9/22 meeting.  You can reach Vaughn

TC Grads discuss their experiences with Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery (9/30):  Join the "Voices for Recovery" on Thursday, September 30 from 6pm - 8:30pm at the George Washington Middle School.  Featured guests are Tony "Da Beast" Suggs (boxing) and Tracey 
"Unstoppable" Fells (football), who will talk about the journey they took to sobriety.  Free admission and refreshments.  For more information, contact Noraine Buttar at or 703-746-3670.

Blackboard:  To request a parent Blackboard observeaccount, go to:

September 6, 2010

posted Sep 7, 2010, 6:00 PM by Chris Miller

Welcome to the 2010-2011 school year!  Hope everyone had a good summer break and is ready to dive back into a new school year.

Message from Dr. Sherman:

Good afternoon,

I received two or three questions about how middle school student schedules will be handled tomorrow morning.

Margee Walsh is out and about the schools, as are many of the principals and teachers.

For the middle schools:

-all students who were registered as of last week are scheduled

-students received letters last week which indicated where they are to report on Tuesday morning

-after the students go to the cafeteria, library, or gyms (regular routine for coming to school before classes start), they will go to the class as noted on the letters

-in that class they will receive their schedules, locker assignments, and other important information to start the day

Please let me know if there are any questions.

All is in order and ready to welcome over 2300 middle school students tomorrow morning.

Morton Sherman, Ed.D.
ACPS Superintendent of Schools
2000 N. Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA    22311

PTA Meeting:  September 7 - We'll be voting on the 2010-2011 budget.  Our guest speaker is ACPS Superintendent Morton Sherman, who will describe the changes that we'll see at GW this year, as a result of the TC Transformation Plan for grades 6 through 12.  He'll also answer any questions that you may have.

PTA Membership:  Interested in joining the GWMS PTA?  You can sign up at the parents' breakfast or the PTA meeting tomorrow.  The fee this year has been reduced to $5 per person.  If you can't get to either of those events, please contact the membership chair, Karin Fitzgerald Purugganan at or 703-548-2183.

Art on the Avenue:  The GWPTA is looking for adults and middle schoolers who would be interested in helping at our booth at Art on the Avenue on Saturday, October 2.  This is a great event with a huge crowd where we can mingle with the community and show them some of the great things going on at our school.  No artistic ability necessary!  You will be helping kids make self-portraits that will create a community collage along this year’s Reflections theme, “Together We Can.”  We need adult volunteers in two-hour shifts starting at 9:30 am to come to the GW booth (on the baseball field next to Mount Vernon Rec Center).  We need volunteers all day from 9:30 to 6, and also to help set up and break down. If you can help, please email Terry Davis  Feel free to bring your middle school student--we want students there as well.

Reflections: It’s not too early for GW students to begin thinking about their entries for the 2010-2011 PTA Reflections Art Program. This year’s theme is “Together We Can!”.  Students can explore the theme through Visual Arts, Photography, Dance, Musical Composition, Literature and Film Production. Rules are available at . Entry forms will be available at the school in September and the deadline will be during the month of October. For more information, contact Reflections Chairs Lisa Pastore at or Jeanne Dagradi at

Thank you to these volunteers:  Amy Zang and Aly Katz would like to thank the following volunteers for their contributions and help in making the Teachers' Welcome Back Breakfast a huge success:  Elizabeth Schneider, Andy Cook, Barbara Glomb, Aileen LaGanza, Lisa Jacobs, Amy Fortney Parks, Laura Miles, Pam Cericola, Marianne Bailey and Sara Waskowicz.  All of the teachers thoroughly enjoyed the food and their break.

Another way to stay current on happenings at GW: Starting Sept. 7, follow PTA president Melynda Wilcox’s updates on Twitter at

Town Crier Deadline:  The deadline for future weekly editions of the Town Crier will be Sundays at midnight.  Thanks.

August 21, 2010

posted Sep 7, 2010, 5:51 PM by Chris Miller   [ updated Sep 7, 2010, 6:00 PM ]

Welcome letters from each principal are attached: They were mailed to each GW family this week along with student course selections.  Schedules and locker assignments will be mailed the week before school starts. 

Teachers' Breakfast:  The teachers' breakfast will be held on Sept. 1, at 8am.  We need volunteers to pick up the coffee urn at St. Elmo's (7:30am) and bagels, and help with set up and clean up.  Also, we need donations of donuts (a few dozen), muffins, breakfast treats (pastries), yogurt (6 dozen small ones), granola (2-3 large boxes), fruit, cream cheese (small individual packs or 4 large tubs), butter (3 tubs), cream for the coffee and juice (4-6 gallons of an assortment).  Please contact Alyson Katz at  or 571-276-4797. 

Reflections: It’s not too early for GW students to begin thinking about their entries for the 2010-2011 PTA Reflections Art Program. This year’s theme is “Together We Can!” Students can explore the theme through Visual Arts, Photography, Dance, Musical Composition, Literature and Film Production. Rules are available at . Entry forms will be available at the school in September and the deadline will be during the month of October. For more information, contact Reflections Chairs Lisa Pastore at or Jeanne Dagradi at

Another way to stay current on happenings at GW: Starting Sept. 7, follow PTA president Melynda Wilcox’s updates on Twitter at

For parents of TC students: Attached is a welcome letter from Catherine Clinger, president of the TC Williams PTSA.  (If you no longer have a student at GW and wish to unsubscribe from the Town Crier, please send your request to  Also, let us know if you want your e-mail address passed on to the Minnie Howard list.)

Commonwealth After-School Program:  C.A.P. is an after-school program for middle school students at an affordable rate.  This brand new program, run by a GW parent, will start in Sept. for the 2010-2011 school year.  C.A.P. is non-sectarian and hosted by Commonwealth Baptist Church, within walking distance of GWMS.  A staff member is available to escort students.  The program will be held M-F from 3:30-6pm.  Space is limited.  For more information, visit their website at or call Toni Boswell at 571-438-8640.

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