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: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0B4FAFAA2C7-smsholiday 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: https://sites.google.com/a/k12albemarle.org/sutherland-middle-school-choir-and-drama/home

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 sutherlandcheer@gmail.com 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 http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014/ .    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 kdavis2@k12albemarle.org) 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 (https://sites.google.com/a/k12albemarle.org/sms-counseling-department/8th-to-9th-grade-registration).
  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


Speak Up Survey

Dear Sutherland Parents & Guardians:

You have a unique opportunity to provide input for Albemarle County Public Schools’ technology plan.  Since 2003, data from over 2.6 million SpeakUp surveys have been shared with local, state, and national leaders. Staff, student, & parent opinions are used each year to help make decisions about how to improve education at schools around the country.  The division will use the data to inform and measure our work related to our educational technology plan as well as professional development programming.  Our staff members are taking the survey, and your child is having an opportunity to take this survey as well.

We want you to share your input, too. This brief survey, which takes about 20 minutes, will inform our school division on topics of technology availability and use in Sutherland households. Your participation in the survey would be greatly appreciated.

The link to the survey is http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014/ .    Our “secret word” is acps2014.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this helpful survey.  The survey closes on December 12th.


Susan Washko, Library Media Specialist

SCAvanger Hunt

SCA will be hosting the 3rd Annual Scavenger Hunt in December.  Collection of items will begin the week of December 8-12, 2014, before school near the flag pole.  This activity is used to creatively collect items for community and national organizations.  This year items that will be collected will help out the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Salvation Army, SPCA, Blue Ridge Food Pantry, PTO, and Sutherland Middle School.  The Scavenger items include the following:  6 Quarters dated before the 90’s or 6 State Quarters (substitution:  $1.50 in change dated before the 90’s), 1 box of cereal, 1 box of tissues, 1 dozen #2 pencils or pens, 10 box tops, 1 can of vegetables or soup 26 ounces or greater (substitution:  2 cans that add up to 26 ounces or greater), 1 box of macaroni & cheese, packet of noodles or rice mix, 10 soda can tops, 1 new or gently used book, 1 SPCA item (blanket, toy, food), 1 gently worn pair of child or adult shoes, 1 hand sanitizer (any size), 1 hat, scarf or pair of gloves, and 20 points in Labels for Education.  Students will earn prizes for turning in items.  Prizes include: a ring pop, skittles, a chocolate bar, and an ice cream coupon.  As your child turns in more than 12 items, he/she will begin to earn raffle tickets for the following:  Laser Tag certificate, Movie Theater certificate, and 4 UVA Men’s Basketball Tickets. 


Big Tuesday Message

Good morning, Sharks –

We have several important pieces of information to share out today as the week we return is a very busy week. This will take a bit as there is a lot of information here, but I have tried to Bold Face the key words for those that scan.

First, we wanted to inform you about a new tutoring program that Sutherland will start right after Thanksgiving Break on Thursday, December 4th. We will provide tutoring in all four core subjects – math, history, science and Language Arts. Tutoring will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays both before and after school. Our before school tutoring hours will be from 8:15 – 9:00 AM and after school hours will be from 4:15 – 5:00 PM. Students will need to have a ride home promptly at 5:00 PM.

In order to participate, students must sign up for tutoring each week. Parents may sign up a child by calling Mrs. Saulle in Guidance at 434-975-0599 before the day of tutoring. Students may also self-register in Guidance the day before tutoring. Tutoring is open to all grade levels. Students should make sure they come to tutoring with something to work on. It is fine to bring homework from the prior night, notes from class they did not understand, or an in-class assignment they need extra support in. Students that come with no work will be directed to the morning study hall that takes place in the cafeteria. Tutoring will not run if we have an early release or a delayed opening due to weather.

The following schedule can be used as a guide to help you know what options are available:

  • Tuesdays from 8:15 – 9:00 AM
  • Tuesdays from 4:15 – 5:00 PM
  • Thursdays from 8:15 – 9:00 AM:
  • Thursdays from 4:15 – 5:00 PM

Second, we have multiple events happening the week we return for parents to note for your calendars as things will move quickly before Winter Break.

  1. Monday, December 1st: 6:30 PMPTO Meeting. The PTO has two speakers at this meeting that you should be aware of. From 6:30-7:00pm, Deputy District Attorney Darby Lowe will be discussing cell phones (sexting/texting), technology awareness for parents and cyber bullying. From 7:00 to 7:30pm, SMS guidance counselors Lisa Wright & Cabell Guy will be discuss taking the right classes in middle school and addressing any questions and concerns that parents may have regarding the upcoming scheduling window and how to help your student plan for high school. This talk will focus on all 3 years at Sutherland, and will not be limited to high school registration. Starting at 7:30 PM, the general PTO meeting will take place.
  2. Wednesday, December 3rd 6:00 – 7:00 PM: 8th grade parent meeting regarding the transition to AHS. This parent meeting is open to both 8th grade students and parents. The focus will be on the registration process for 9th grade classes at AHS. We will have a 30 minute presentation from Mrs. Wright and Mr. Guy in the Gathering Area about the transition process, course offerings, and class registration. From 6:30 – 7:00 PM, representatives will be at Sutherland from the AHS Counseling Department, MESA, Health and Medical Science Academy, and the AHS Gifted Services and Special Education departments to answer questions parents and students may have. We encourage all parents to look at the SMS Counseling Website for information on the registration window for this year: https://sites.google.com/a/k12albemarle.org/sms-counseling-department/
  3. The Grand Canyon deadline has been extended to 12/12/2014. We will send home flyers regarding the trip with interested students as soon as we return from break.

Sorry for the length, but a lot of events happen that first week in December when we return. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Guy at cguy@k12albemarle.org or Lisa Wright at lwright@k12albemarle.org. Thanks and have a great vacation!