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GW Town Crier - October 16, 2023



Upcoming Dates

  • October 16: Minnie Howard Redevelopment Update, online, 6:30pm

  • October 16: ACPS Community Budget Forum, 6:30pm

  • October 17: PTA Meeting - GW Media Room/Library, 7pm

  • October 18: Healthy Conversations Program, 6-8pm

  • October 19: Hispanic Heritage Month GW celebration, 5-7pm

  • October 20: Spirit Wear Orders Due

  • October 20: PBIS Store

  • October 25: Fairlington Pizza Dine Out Fundraiser, 11am to 9pm

  • October 26: High School Project Meeting, online, 6:30pm

  • October 27: Harvest Festival

  • October 27: Picture Retake Day (sign-up in ParentSquare in advance)

  • October 30: Teacher Work Day (No School)

  • November 1: Open House for Families of Students with Disabilities, 8:30am

  • October: Bullying Prevention Month

  • October: Learning Disabilities Awareness Month

 

A Message from the President:

I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend and is ready for the week ahead! As you can see, October continues to provide lots of opportunities to be involved. Our October PTA meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening, 7pm. We’ll have light refreshments and one lucky member will win a Starbucks gift card for attending. Come meet others from our GW community, share ideas, ask questions! More information is below. Our September dine out at Los Tios was a huge success, raising $400! Thank you to our families, staff, teachers and administration for supporting GW PTA and Los Tios with dinner out. I hope families were able to meet new friends, see familiar faces and enjoy some good food all at once. Thank you to our PTA VP of Fundraising, Pam Townsend, for organizing and squaring away the details. It paid off, (literally)! Greta Gordon GWMS PTA President 2023-2024 Please allow 24 hours for a response to your email. Thank you! http://gwmspta.org/

 

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

October 17th is the annual World Day of Bullying Prevention, and October 18th, 2023, is Unity Day. To learn what activities and discussions are planned, see the Bullying Prevention Month Calendar of events from our Director of Counseling and our Student Support Team.

 

October PTA Meeting

As mentioned, the next PTA meeting is this Tuesday, October 17th at 7pm. This time IN PERSON at GW in the Media Room/Library. (Enter through Door 1.) Get ready for a demonstration by GW Robotics! Our principal Mrs. Vision will provide an update, and Mr. William Porter, GW’s data and testing coordinator, will discuss student MAP and VA Growth assessment reports, (to be sent home with report cards at the end of the quarter). We will also vote on our proposed 2023-24 budget and approve September Minutes. Spanish interpretation will be provided. Meeting will also be streamed on Facebook Live. Light refreshments will be served. PTA members who attend the meeting will be entered for a drawing for a Starbucks gift card. (You can join now or at the meeting!) Members can check in at our membership/spiritwear table to receive a raffle ticket for the drawing. Speaking of the spiritwear table, we will have spiritwear flyers and can take your orders with cash or check. You can order online too. Meetings will alternate between virtual and in-person throughout the year. The meeting dates can be found on the GWMS PTA calendar. (note: no meeting in December)

 

Minnie Howard Redevelopment - The High School Project

The new Minnie Howard building at Alexandria City High School is scheduled to open in 2024! In addition to a new building, the High School Project includes a proposal for a new program of studies. Learn more at the upcoming ACPS community meetings: October 16th at 6:30pm on Zoom. October 26th at 6:30pm on Zoom You can also preview the new program of studies that will be presented to the School Board on October 19th. School board is scheduled to vote on November 2nd.

 

Harris Teeter’s Together in Education Program

Link your Harris Teeter VIC card to start earning money for GWMS every time you shop! You can link up to 5 schools so you can still support your elementary and/or high schools too. Last year, GWMS earned $452 through Harris Teeter’s Together in Education (TIE) program. You must re-link your card every year, so please take a moment to link your VIC card again this year.

 

LAST CALL for SPIRIT WEAR!

Last day to order spirit wear is this Friday, October 20th. Order online with credit card: gwmspta.org/spiritwear. To pay by check or cash, bring your order form to the PTA meeting on Tuesday!

  • Short Sleeve T-shirts $10

  • Long Sleeve T-shirts $15

  • Sweatshirts $25

  • Hoodies $25

Orders will be available for pick up starting on November 7th at GW (Election Day/No School). Email gwptafunds@gmail.com with any questions.

 

Fairlington Pizza Dine Out, October 25th

Thanks to Fairlington Pizza (1715 Centre Plaza) for hosting our October dine out fundraiser! GWMS PTA will get 20% of the net proceeds from our sales on October 25th all day (11am - 9pm).

  • Must mention GW middle school when ordering

  • Dine-in or pick up orders. (Delivery NOT included)

  • Order in person or online through Fairlington Pizza’s website (Grub Hub, Uber Eats, etc. NOT included)

 

Healthy Conversation (FACE Program) at GWMS, October 18th, 6-8pm

Talk about making healthy choices during adolescence! Parents can come with their middle schooler to learn strategies and methods to:

  • Build a solid foundation for your relationship with your middle schooler;

  • Show love and support;

  • Address difficult topics such as vaping, marijuana, alcohol, and dating


 

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, October 19th, 5:30-7pm

Please join us at GWMS on October 19th from 5:30-7pm for our Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration. There will be music performances and light snacks.

 

PBIS

The PBIS store continues! This is GWMS’ positive behavior incentive program, in which students cash in their “Prexie” bucks for a special snack or drink! Sign up to help manage the store during grade-level lunches every other Friday! Parents and 8th grade store managers help students cash in their bucks and make their selections. Volunteer here. Volunteers needed for upcoming store hours on October 20th and November 3rd.

 

Harvest Festival, October 27th

Come help with the school's outdoor Harvest Festival! You are invited to volunteer your time to help with this student (only) in-school event. Each grade visits the outdoor space during their electives, starting at 9 AM with the 8th grade, followed by 7th grade and then 6th grade. We are still in need of 1-2 volunteers for 7th and 8th grade. Volunteers are needed to help oversee the activities; ZERO experience required. Students will self-select a variety of activities from dodgeball, football, an obstacle course, and more! Volunteers and faculty will "chaperone" the field activities, so extra eyes are helpful so everyone has a safe and fun time! We ask all volunteers to arrive 15 minutes early to get checked in with security, and report to the field for an assigned area.

 

Parent Engagement Survey

The GW Parent Engagement Survey is an anonymous survey to help the GW Administration Team learn more about what parent needs are so that we can plan events to support their interests. Thank you to parents who have already completed the survey during parent-teacher conferences.


 

ACPS Community Budget Forum

Also on October 16th, ACPS will host a community budget forum at 6:30pm at Alexandria City High School - King Street Campus Rotunda. You can also participate via Zoom. Interpretation services will be available on Zoom. This is an opportunity to learn about the School Board’s budget priorities, the budget process and timeline, and get answers to questions. This session will also include information about how community members can participate in the budget planning process. All ACPS stakeholders are invited to join the Community Budget Forum in person or through Zoom. For more information on the budget, visit the ACPS Budget webpage.

 

VOLUNTEER!

We have had quite a few folks step up to serve in a PTA role. Thank you to everyone who has contacted the PTA about volunteering! Thank you to some of our new additions: Arthur Smith, Anna Kiss, Marisa Branch! We are still looking for a few more volunteers. If you are interested in learning more about any of these open roles, have questions or suggestions, please email Greta Gordon: gwmspta@gmail.com.

  • 7th Grade Social/Events - Volunteers from each grade plan an end-of-year event for each class. Chair will lead the volunteers in planning!

  • GW Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee - work with the GW PTA DEI rep, other parents, caregivers, the PTA Executive Committee, teachers and staff to foster an inclusive and equitable environment, focusing on family engagement in our school community.

  • Business Partners / Sponsorships - Do you have great connections with local businesses? Sign up to help us partner with our business partners to help them find ways to make a big impact at GWMS. Great for co-chairs!

  • PTAC Special Education Committee - GW PTA is looking for a Special Education Committee representative to ensure that the perspective of families and students receiving Special Education and 504 services are addressed within PTA.

 

Virginia Tech STEM & College Fair, October 28th

The Virginia Tech STEM and College Fair is a collaboration between Alfred Street Baptist Church, the Virginia Tech College Access Collaborative, Virginia Tech Innovation Campus and the Virginia Tech Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity. The purpose of the event is to inspire, motivate, and prepare students for their K-12 and postsecondary endeavors, introduce STEM in a hands-on engaging way and inform parents about VT college application process, pre-college programs, and scholarship opportunities. Register Today


 


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