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Kristen Rucinski - Principal Ebony Opie - Assistant Principal
Gunston Gazette is Available in Multiple Languages
If you would like to read this newsletter in your home language, please use the link below.
Dear Gunston Family,
I hope this message finds you well. Our school year has been filled with excitement and enthusiasm as we began the 2023-2024 school year. As we continue to embark on this journey together, I want to share some beginning of the year routines and expectations we have been putting in place for a successful school year. Our first weeks have been dedicated to building a strong sense of community within our school. Our students and staff have been engaged in various activities to foster connections, from energizers to collaborative projects. Together, we are creating an inclusive and supportive environment where every student belongs and is valued.
At Gunston, we believe that setting clear expectations is the foundation of success. Our teachers have been diligently working with students to establish classroom agreements and expectations that promote kindness, safety, responsibility and respect throughout our building. We know that when expectations are reinforced, our students rise to meet them. We appreciate your collaboration in reinforcing these expectations.
It has been truly inspiring to witness the dedication and enthusiasm of our students as they embrace their learning journeys. Whether it’s in the classroom, at recess, or in our outdoor learning space, our eagles are already soaring to success. We continue to use AVID strategies on a daily basis, as we are focusing on organization skills as we begin the school year. We’re proud of their achievements and look forward to celebrating many more throughout the year.
As we look ahead, we can feel the excitement in the air. We have a calendar filled with enriching experiences, educational opportunities, and memorable events that will continue to strengthen our Gunston community. I encourage you to stay engaged and involved as we make this a year to remember. We hope you can join our PTA who is already planning our first event of the year, our Community Day on September 30th. We appreciate their dedication and support to make this and every event so special for our families and eagles.
We will welcome Mrs. Opie back on Monday morning! She is excited to return and is ready for an amazing year ahead. I want to express my sincere gratitude to our dedicated staff and parents, for their unwavering support. Together, we are shaping the future for our students. Thank you for entrusting us with your child’s future. Here’s to a fantastic year ahead!
Library Volunteers Wanted!
- Back to School Night
- Library Volunteers Wanted
- STEAMOLOGY STEM Fest
- Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Opt-Out and Other forms
- Parental Permission to use Digital Resources
- AAP Fall Newsletter & Parent Information Session
- Gunston's Preschool to Welcome Community Peers
- Girls on the Run
Eagle Families, we need your help in the library - shelving books and helping students check out! Please review the available time slots at the SignUpGenius link below and sign up if you are able to help. This is a YEAR-LONG commitment for your chosen time/day. There will be a required volunteer training prior to beginning. Thank you!
STEAMOLOGY STEM Fest Offers Hands-On Activities for Students
Students are invited to participate in STEM FEST on Saturday, October 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at South County High School. Students in kindergarten through eighth grade can participate in robotics demonstrations, coding experiments, and more. High school students are invited to volunteer. Visit the STEAMOLOGY website for more information.
2023 Student Rights & Responsibilities
FCPS’ Student Rights and Responsibilities document (SR&R) explains expectations for student behavior and adult responses to enhance school safety and to create a fair, equitable, and supportive school environment. In late June, the School Board approved changes to the SR&R for the 2023-24 school year. Updates include a revision of dress code expectations, bystander expectations for students witnessing harmful or unsafe behaviors, bullying, and substance abuse responses. Read Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid’s letter to families regarding the SR&R.
Parents/caregivers should talk to their child(ren) about expectations for this school year. Also, parents using SIS ParentVUE will be prompted to sign the document when they log in to that platform. A printable version of the signature sheet can be printed, signed and returned to your child’s school by Friday, September 29.
Important: Opt-out and Other Forms
This year, several forms that we normally send home are online. Please take the time to click on the links below and fill out these forms. If you have more than one student at Gunston ES, a form needs to be filled out for each student.
If you would like a paper form, please contact the Main Office at 703-541-3600 and let them know which paper form(s) to send home with one of your students.
Links to forms to fill out for each student:
Annual Notice of Survey, Records, Curriculum, Privacy – information and opt-out forms
Students Rights & Responsibilities (SR&R) – information and Parent/Guardian Signature Sheet
Family Life Education (FLE) – information by grade and opt-out forms
Parental Permission to Use Digital Resources
If you have not already done so, please provide digital consent for your child. Digital consent allows your child to access various digital tools during instruction. These tools will be used throughout the year to assist them with their learning. Below are various resources to learn about the FCPS digital consent policies along with information on how to provide digital consent.
- Digital Resources - Parent Consent
- Digital Consent Parent Directions
Parent Digital Consent Application (Direct link to provide digital consent)
- Digital Privacy in FCPS
Thank you for your help and support.
AAP Fall Newsletter
English & Spanish versions found here.
Below please find information on our upcoming AAP Parent Information Session, as well as more general information about the FCPS Advanced Academic Program Elementary Continuum of Services.
ADVANCED ACADEMIC PROGRAMS (AAP) PARENT INFORMATION SESSION
A parent information session will be held at Gunston Elementary School on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 from 6pm-7pm. An overview of the levels of AAP services and the identification & screening for Full-Time (previously Level IV) services will be shared.
For recent updates regarding testing and due dates, please visit: AAP Level IV Screening for 2023-24 school year. Copies of the Full-Time AAP parent referral form can be found at: AAP FORMS
Please note for families (grades 3-6) new to FCPS boundaries as of January 1, 2023, the Fall 2023 parent referral due date is October 15, 2023.
For FCPS families in grades 2-6 enrolled before January 1, 2023, the parent referral due date is December 15, 2023.
Any questions? Please contact Kevin Fahy, Advanced Academic Resource Teacher at [email protected].
Gunston's Preschool Program to Welcome Community Peers
Gunston is pleased to announce that we will have community peers in our preschool program. The early childhood special education staff members have been investigating the possible opportunities for our students to participate in integration activities with typically developing peers. This will involve teaching preschoolers with delays and without delays in the same classroom. It can provide young children with a more stimulating environment, teach skills for coping with different situations, and provide the opportunity to learn appropriate social skills.
Our program will invite a limited number of community preschoolers (1-2 per class), who are of age 3 ½ -5 years, to participate in our daily preschool activities. The children from the community will have the opportunity to make new friends and share experiences with current early childhood special education students. Our students will, in turn, benefit from being with community peers who can model appropriate language, motor, and social skills.
The community children will attend either a morning or afternoon session. Sessions are 8:25 am-12:00 pm or 12:00 pm-3:20 pm, Monday through Friday. Classes are staffed by an early childhood special education teacher and a full-time instructional assistant. Community peer models must be at least 3 and ½ years old by September 30 of the school year they are entering and be completely toilet trained. They must reside within Fairfax County. Lunch can be purchased, however, free and reduced lunch will not be available through the school system. Transportation will not be available through the school system.
All children learn through their play. Intellectual growth occurs in a social context, influenced strongly by the quality of social interactions. The goal of this program is to encourage active learning and promote social interaction and acceptance through shared experiences between the community children and our preschoolers with special needs. Feel free to contact the school for further explanation of our program. We welcome your thoughts or suggestions, as we are all partners in this effort.
If you are interested in more information about the community peer preschool project, please click and fill out the google doc below:
Girls on the Run is coming to Gunston!
Our first practice is this coming Tuesday! GOTR is a physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade. The program teaches life skills through dynamic interactive lessons and running games. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment, while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness. Our program has been adapted to ensure physical distancing and safety. In-person practices include safety, sanitizing, and physical distancing precautions and modifications. Starting the week of September 11th, the team will meet every Tuesday from Thursday (3:20-4:30). The program culminates in a celebratory 5K at the end of the season! The standard program fee is $185 and includes 20 lessons/practices, a t-shirt, GOTR giveaway, entry into the 5K, a 5K medal, and more. Financial assistance is available for anyone who needs it, with the lowest program registration cost being $22 for the season. Register at www.gotrnova.org. Late registration will be open for 1 more week.
Dining Room Assistant Needed!
Join our eagle staff as our next Dining Room Assistant. We are looking for someone who enjoys working with children, is friendly and energetic, and can manage student behavior in the cafeteria. The Dining Room Assistant will work about three hours a day.
Dining Room Assistant Job Description:
- Assist students during lunch time.
- Supervise student clean up, keep order, and dismiss students to their teachers.
If interested, please contact, Cassandra Baltimore, 703-541-3600.
Fall Picture Day
Wednesday, October 4
Tuesday, September 12 - Back to School Night
Friday, September 15 - SpiritWear Orders Due
Monday, September 25 - Yom Kippur - No School
Wednesday, September 27 - AAP Parent Information Session
Saturday, September 30 - Gunston Community Day
Wednesday, October 4 - Fall Picture Day
Be Informed, Stay Involved!
- 2023-2024 School Year Calendar
- Visit the Gunston ES Website
Report your Child's Absence
- Monitor your student's academics with a SIS Parent Account
- Recognize a FCPS Employee at FCPS CARES . The FCPS CARES Program is an opportunity for families, staff, and community members to recognize FCPS employees for going above and beyond to help others and show they care. We invite you to submit your story, so we can all acknowledge the good work of FCPS employees at Garfield Elementary School. We love our staff members; let's tell them how we feel!
PTA News & Information
Join the Gunston PTA Today!
We hope that your student(s) had a wonderful first week of school! The Gunston Elementary PTA is now accepting members for the 2023-2024 school year! Membership is $10 and helps enable our PTA to put on fun events and to support our school and our teachers.
You can join through our website (processing fees apply) by visiting the Form & Payment section and completing this year’s membership form or stop by the PTA table at one of the upcoming school events!
Spiritwear Orders Due - September 15th!
10100 Gunston Road, Lorton VA 22079 | Main Phone: 703.541.3600
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