Friday Message

Happy New Year, Sharks!

2015 has rolled on in and our students have (mostly) adjusted to waking up early once again for school. The cold weather came this week. When things get this cold, we don’t take kids outside for break or for PE. Because of that, we had a lot of time indoors this week as winter finally made itself known! Classes are going strong, despite the two weeks off, gearing up for the semester change. This coming week marks the end of the first semester, so be aware of the schedule changes that come with electives or core classes on January 21st. Our morning/afternoon tutoring sessions continue to be popular. Please remember to call Mrs. Saulle in Guidance to schedule a time for your child if interested. This morning, several of our Sharks participated in the Geography Bee in our Media Center. Needless to say, our students’ knowledge in all things geographical far outweighs my own. Kudos to all of those who participated!

8th grade parents, today is the last day for the ParentPortal window for course selection at AHS to be completed at home. If you missed the window – no worries! We sent home letters with the students on Thursday before break about our upcoming 8th grade meetings. At these meetings, we can change, add, edit or create course sections for high school. Please make sure that your child looks through the Program of Studies prior to their meeting so they have an idea about electives and back-up choices. If you are uncertain of your child’s meeting time (backpack express is not always reliable), call the Guidance Office and we can help.

This Coming Week at SMS:

Monday, January 12th: Teal Day

  • 4:15 – 6:00 PM: 7th Grade Black Day Drama Classes Rehearsal

Tuesday, January 13th: Black Day

  • 4:15 – 6:00 PM: 7th Grade Teal Day Classes Rehearsal

Wednesday, January 14th: Teal Day

  • 9:00 AM – 12 PM: SMS Spelling Bee
  • 1:15 – 1:45: AHS AVID recruitment meeting for interested 8th grade students

Thursday, January 15th: Black Day

  • 7:00 – 9:00 PM: 7th Grade Drama performance in the Gathering Area

Friday, January 16th: Teal Day

  • End of the Second Nine-Weeks / Semester 1

News for This Week:

  1. SUTHERLAND GIRLS VOLLEYBALL REGISTRATION: Girls volleyball registration forms are available on the table by the gathering area at Sutherland or on the Albemarle County Parks and Rec website: Spots are limited and it fills up fast so all girls interested in playing Sutherland Volleyball after school and competing with the other middle schools should turn in a form to the main office for Ms. Davis as soon as possible. See the registration form for more details.
  2. There will be an informational meeting about Reflections, the Governor’s School summer program for art next Tuesday, January 13th in the art room at 5:45. Students interested in applying and their parents are encouraged to attend. Examples of portfolios and program work will be shown. The meeting will take about 45 minutes.
  3. There will be an AVID Interest Meeting on Wednesday of this coming week for interested 8th grade students. We should have the AVID applications available soon. If your child has looked through the Program of Studies and is interested in the AVID program, please tell them to attend. We also just posted the AHS Leadership application on the SMS Counseling Website under the 8th grade information as well. As a reminder, all 8th grade applications (AVID, MESA, HMSA, ESA, and Leadership) are due January 30th.

Have a great weekend, Sharks!

A few announcements

Happy 2015, Sharks!

Since there was no Friday message last week, I wanted to make sure we got this information to you all sooner rather than later.

1. The AHS Leadership class application is now available for 8th graders:

2. Attention Siorcanna Singers: The rehearsals for Winter Songs are to be held on Wednesday and Thursday after school this week – not Tuesday and Wednesday as indicated on the letter. I apologize for the confusion and I look forward to working with your students!

3. Attention all first semester 7th grade drama students and families! Please remember: Performance Expectations: Part of the expectations of a student in the drama program is that the student will participate in performances in some capacity.  Performance is an important part of the overall development of the drama student. Therefore, students are REQUIRED to participate in performances.

Rehearsal and Performance Schedule:

Monday, January 12: 7th Grade Drama Black Day Dress Rehearsal – Gathering Area 4:15 – 6:00 pm
Tuesday, January 13: 7th Grade Drama Teal Day Dress Rehearsal – Gathering Area 4:15 – 6:00 pm
Thursday, January 15: Performance – Gathering Area – 7:00 pm

4. Spring Sutherland Mechatronics and Applied Sciences Class:

Starting second semester, Sutherland will be offering a morning Mechatronics and Applied Sciences class for all middle school students.  The Sutherland Mechatronics and Applied Sciences class is an exciting opportunity for students to actively engage in Science and Engineering.  Students in this class will be receiving instruction on specific skills (Physics and Engineering Concepts, 3D Printing, Laser Cutting, Programming, etc) while applying the knowledge on open-ended projects.  Projects in the class will be student led, while focusing on craftsmanship and problem-solving practices.  The Sutherland Mechatronics and Applied Sciences Class will meet for the first time on Tuesday, January 27 at 8:00-8:45 AM and again that Thursday, January 29.  Grading for the class will be pass/fail based on student participation and quality of projects.  If you have any questions, please email Robbie Munsey and Eric Bredder at Students need to fill out a short application based on their own creativity and ability to express themselves through projects and problem-solving skills, not strictly academic means. Link to the application due on Monday, January 19:





Friday Message

Good afternoon, Sharks –

A day early, but here is just a brief message for this week. All ACPS schools will start Winter Vacation on Saturday. We return January 5th, 2015. We will resume school on a Black Day upon our return.

Over break, 8th grade students should review the Program of Studies (found here: and start thinking about THREE electives they might want to take in High School. All 8th grade recommendations will be available by 4:00 PM tomorrow on Parent Portal. Parents and 8th grade students have until January 9th to select courses for 9th grade year. Mrs. Wright and I were in all the 8th grade classrooms this week to review this information, but it is also available online here: The window closes on January 9th, so make sure you select classes at some point over the next 3 weeks. Again, only 8th grade at this point. 6th and 7th grade registration will begin in February. 8th Grade parents, please also note that all students in grade 8 should come home with a letter today with the date and time of their 30 minute Guidance meeting in either January or February. We sent this home in 4th block today, so if it does not come home, please call after Winter Break for your date and time.

If you get a chance, come on out to SMS tonight for the Choir Concert from 7:00 – 9:00 PM in the Gathering Area. Students have done a lot of work to prepare and it looks to be an amazing show.

No notes for next week since we will be on vacation. That said, we here at Sutherland hope you and yours have a wonderful break. Our sharks have worked very hard through the first half of this year, so the rest and relaxation is well earned. For those who travel, we wish you a safe journey. For those that stay close to home, we hope you enjoy this time with family and friends. We will see you in 2015 and I am sure a message will come out early the week of the 5th to update you on all the happenings here at Sutherland Middle School.


Mr. Guy

8th Grade Correction

Attention 8th grade parents, I got my Fridays mixed up. The Program of Studies for AHS course selection is actually next Friday, not today. Sorry for the confusion. I will send a link to the site as soon as gets approved and published. Sorry!

Mr. Guy

Friday message

Good morning, Sharks –

Another week down and one more to go before Winter Break! This week, we had a lot of fun events at Sutherland. The Winter Band Concert last night was an amazing performance from our students. It is always impressive to see how far our students come from grade 6 to grade 8 with their music talents. This week, AHS also hosted their Curriculum Expo for 8th grade students to see the elective choices at the high school. Sutherland hosted an evening session for current 5th grade parents about the transition to middle school. Today after school, we have our big PE Black Light Dance from 4-6 PM. Please make sure your child has a ride at 6:00 if they plan on staying.

A few items:

1. Attention 8th graders and parents of 8th graders: The ACPS Program of Studies will be (should be) available later today. I will post the link to the SMS Website as soon as it is available online. This book contains everything you need to know about courses offered at AHS. Please, please, please look through this book so you can learn more about electives and core classes at AHS as the window for course selection opens next week for rising 9th graders. If there is a delay in the publication (computer gremlins), I will post that on the website before the end of the day as well. Please refer to the SMS Counseling Site on the main SMS homepage for more details about PowerSchool Course Selection.

2. SCA will collect items on Monday morning for the scavenger hunt.  Please send in any of the following items:  6 quarters, shoes, cereal, mac & cheese, rice packet, canned goods, SPCA item, 10 box tops, 20 labels for Education, tissues, hand sanitizer, pens or pencils, box, and hat, scarf or gloves.  Thank you to those who have sent in items.  Prizes include: ring pop, skittles, Hershey’s bar, raffle ticket to Laser Tag, raffle ticket for Movie Tickets, raffle ticket for tickets to the UVA men’s and women’s basketball games.  SCA will sell candy grams Monday through Wednesday during lunches for $1.  Candy grams will be delivered Thursday.  Have a great holiday!

3. Parents, on Thursday, December 18th, the PTO is sponsoring a Holiday goodie day for teachers, staff and bus drivers.  The PTO will provide bagels, coffee and juice, but is looking for parents to contribute some of their favorite Holiday treats as well.  Please consider signing up through the following link: This is a great opportunity to show our appreciation to the wonderful team of Sutherland teachers, staff and bus drivers.

Kindest regards, SMS PTO Hospitality Committee

4. Attention Siorcanna Singers: We have an amazing opportunity ahead of us on January 17, 2015. We will be participating in: “Winter Songs” – a concert of Sisterhood, Song and Healing. Please make sure that you pick up the information letter at rehearsal and turn it in by Wednesday, December 17. You may also find the letter in the “Forms and Docs” link on the left column of the choir/drama page:

The following link has information about the fund raiser associated with this event:

5. On Thursday, December 18th, Sutherland will run on an ICA schedule to allow students a chance to work on the Cultural Celebration that takes place on February 11th. Each grade level is handling this a bit differently, but the overall goal is to have students learn more about countries from around the world and create a project about that country. Students will work in groups over the course of the next two months and the school will provide supplies for posters and flags to help students along. This coming Thursday will allow students to sign up for groups and for the group’s country of interest.


6. The Golden Apple Award information is available on the SMS website. The Golden Apple Award is a means of selecting and honoring some of our outstanding teachers. Teachers are most important in nurturing our children’s inquisitive minds and preparing them for the challenges of the future. One winner will be selected from each school. Award recipients receive a Golden Apple, as well as gift certificates from local businesses. As a “Golden Apple” teacher, each recipient is eligible to receive a $1,000 Golden Apple Grant. Grants are awarded to eight candidates: three elementary, two middle, and two high school candidates, and one from the schools that are members of the VAIS. The grant award is used for classroom materials or to support the recipient’s continued professional development. Golden Apple Award recipients will be announced in May.


The Week Ahead:

Monday, December 15th: Teal Day

4:15 – 6:00 PM: Choir dress rehearsal


Tuesday, December 16th: Black Day

Guy/Wright in 8th grade math classes to discuss AHS class selection


Wednesday, December 17th: Teal Day

Guy/Wright in 8th grade math classes to discuss AHS class selection


Thursday, December 18th: Black Day

8:00 – 9:00 AM: Faculty Meeting

7:00 – 9:00 PM: Choir Concert


Friday, December 19th: Teal Day

8th grade ParentPortal opens for AHS class selection at 4:00 PM


Final Information:

We will post this on the website as well, but there has been interest in an updated list regarding before and after-school clubs and activities. These are the current groups that meet:

  Mondays Tuesdays Wednesdays Thursdays Fridays
Mornings AM Tutoring – Math 7th Grade Film Club AM Tutoring – English & Science 7th Grade Film Club
National History Day Chess Club
Afternoons PM Tutoring – Math Art Club PM Tutoring – English & Science 8th Grade Film Club
Math Counts Young Women Leaders Program Art Club
Interactive Mural Club App Club

Tutoring Change

Good afternoon, folks –

Due to popular demand of the tutoring program, we do need to let everyone know of a slight change. We need to limit the space for each session to just 6 students. When we have 20 students per session, the tutoring is no longer effective. If space fills up one week, Mrs. Saulle will put you at the top of the list for the next available session. This also means that parents will no longer be able to sign students up for multiple sessions at a time as we need to give everyone equal access. Please call Mrs. Saulle in Guidance at the start of each school week to sign up for a session.

We also need to make sure that if you sign your child up for a tutoring session, they come with something to work on. Our tutors have been instructed to send students to the large study hall if they come with no materials to work with.

From here until Winter Break, this is the schedule:

Tuesday 8:15 – 9:00 AM: Math with Ms. Fisher
Tuesday 4:15 – 5:00 PM: Math with Ms. Fisher
Thursday 8:15 – 9:00 AM: Language Arts with Ms. Parmiter & Science with Mr. Munsey
Thursday 4:15 – 5:00 PM: Language Arts with Ms. Arico & Science with Mr. Munsey

There will be no tutoring session on Thursday, December 18th.

This is a new program for us, so we have to adjust and fine-tune things as they come up. Thank you for your understanding.

Mr. Guy


2 items

1. Tomorrow morning from 8:00-9:00 we will have our first meeting for National History Day.  Any student who is interested should attend.  We will be meeting each Tuesday, so if a student misses the first meeting, they can join us on the following Tuesdays.

National History Day is like a science fair for social studies.  Students research a topic of their choice related to a theme and then work to create a paper, exhibit, documentary, website, or performance.  This is a great activity for a student who loves social studies and wants to dig deeper into a topic of interest.  They will be presenting their project at NHD which takes place at James Madison University in the spring.

Please note, National History Day is more in depth than a typical school project.  Students will be coming up with a thesis and defending their thesis via their project.    We are getting started early to allow time to complete the work.

If your child is interested, please have them attend.  I look forward to working with them!

Ms. McCullough

2. The PE Department needs about 10 volunteers to help at their dance this Friday, December 12.  Please use the sign-up genius link below or email to volunteer.

PE Department

Thank you!

Big Friday Message

Good morning, Sharks –

As we work our way from Thanksgiving Break to Winter Break, we have a LOT of happenings here at Sutherland. This week has been no exception. Thus, we also have another long e-mail, so key words are in bold. Throughout the week, we have had a Spanish Field Trip, the 8th grade Transition Meeting for parents, an amazing Strings concert at AHS and A PTO meeting focusing on internet safety and also selecting the right courses in Middle School. This morning, we celebrate our Honor Roll students. Our Sharks have risen to the occasion and have a lot to be proud of!  All three grades will recognize their peers and we will post a few pictures to our Twitter Feed.

Multiple announcements for this coming week:

  1. Just a reminder that before and after school tutoring began this week. If you are interested in having your child attend a tutoring session, please contact Mrs. Saulle in Guidance to schedule a date and session.
  2. The notes from both parent programs this week – Selecting the Right Classes in Middle School & 8th Grade Transition are also available on the SMS website under ANNOUNCEMENTS .
  3. Grades are due today for the second interim period, so please check Parent Portal after 4:00 PM for updated class grades as we have already hit the mid-way point of the quarter. This year is flying by!
  4. Parents, please take the 20-minute SpeakUp Survey to provide input for Albemarle County Public Schools’ technology plan and to inform our school division on topics of technology availability and use in Sutherland households. Your participation in the survey by December 12 would be greatly appreciated.  The link to the survey is .    Our “secret word” is acps2014.
  5. Next Friday, 12/12, is the PE Black Light Dance after school until 6:00 PM.   Students should bring a white t-shirt and a yellow highlighter to write on the t- shirt and students will glow under the black lights.   We will also have dance contests with PRIZES!   We’ll have basketball too and of course and pizza and drinks for sale. It cost $5 at the door and snacks and drinks will be $1 each. Parent volunteers are needed (e-mail so thanks in advance if you can volunteer to help out at the dance next Friday.
  6. On Tuesday, December 11th, the high school specialty programs will be here at 10:50 AM to talk with 8th grade students about MESA, the Health and Medical Studies Academy, AVID, and the Environmental Studies Academy. These programs are open to rising 9th grade students and require an application. Those applications are now available online. Please check our SMS Counseling website for more information (
  7. Last one, folks: two events the evening of Wednesday, December 10th:
    1. Here at Sutherland from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Parent meeting for rising 6th grade students about moving from 5th to 6th grade. Those of you with children in 5th grade should think about attending for information on registering for courses.
    2. At Albemarle High School from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM: AHS Curriculum Fair. Any of you with a current 8th grade student should try your best to attend as this is where they can learn more about the 50 different electives open to 9th grade students. Also, there is a MESA Open House starting at 6:30. There is a parent meeting for rising 9th graders as well from 6:00 – 6:30 PM prior to the Curriculum Expo in the AHS Auditorium.

Next week shapes up about the same with lots of during and after school activities. Here is the run down followed by one final announcement on registration:

Monday, December 8th: Black Day

Tuesday, December 9th: Teal Day

Wednesday, December 10th: Black Day
6:00 – 7:00 PM @ SMS: Rising 6th Grade Parent Meeting
6:00 – 8:00 PM @ AHS: 8th Grade Parent Meeting/Curriculum Expo / MESA Open House

Thursday, December 11th: Teal Day
10:50 AM: 8th Grade meeting regarding High School Academies
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Winter Band Concert

Friday, December 12th: Black Day
4:00 – 6:00 PM: Black Light Dance

One final portion for this e-mail: Registering for the 2015/2016 school year (course selection)

We have posted a bunch of information on the SMS Counseling Website in regards to directions, time tables, course offerings, etc. Please refer to that website for specifics. We will register all students through Parent Portal.

8th grade students start online registration in 2 weeks on December 18th – January 9th.

Current 6th and 7th graders will register online from January 26th – February 6th.

Current 5th grade students will register online for electives from January 26th – February 6th and for core classes from February 27th to March 6th.

Phew, my fingers are tired! That’s all from me today, folks. Have a great weekend Sharks!!!

Mr. Guy

Math Counts

Hello Parents,

Our first official MathCounts meeting will be next Tuesday, the 9th, from 4:10-5:30 in room A-10.  If your child is interested in being on the Sutherland team, they should plan to attend this meeting.

MathCounts is a nationwide middle school math competition.  In January we will hold a school level competition.  The top 10 students will then advance to the regional competition in February.   The regional competition will be an all day event on Saturday, February 14th

The problems range in difficulty from easy to extremely challenging.  No 2 problems are ever the same.  While there are some basic skills that can be taught, the best way to learn is to practice solving different problems.

 This year we are fortunate enough to have 2 high school students helping out.   They are both former Sutherland MathCounts students.

 If you have any questions, please let me know.


Diana McCullough

Gifted Resource

Sutherland Middle School