Friday Message

Just about done with another great week here at Sutherland! Last week, we had our first dance. The students brought a LOT of energy to the table and I am sure were still wound up afterwards. A big thank you to our parent volunteers who came out and assisted in selling concessions or helped chaperone. Our first interim period came to an end last Friday as well, so grades should be rolling in through ParentPortal. We have our first ICA schedule today, so classes are shortened to make room for an extended recess from 3:00 – 4:00 PM. Students will be spread out all over our campus as they participate in kickball, nature hikes, crafts, and other assorted activities. A few items for your radar coming up:

  1. Monday, September 29th: No school for students. This is a teacher work day, so the staff will be here, but your kids get to sleep in.
  2. Tuesday, September 30th will be a Teal day when students return.
  3. Thursday, October 2nd:
    1. All-County Orchestra trip for selected students…see Ms. Finnegan for details
    2. 4:30 – 8:00 PM Parent-Teacher Conferences. There are still a few spots available on the Sign-Up Genius

The next two weeks are busy one, Sharks, so keep an eye on the SMS homepage for more news about upcoming events. Have a great weekend!

Chess Club Help

Hello Parents:

A few students at the school have expressed interest in beginning a Chess Club here at Sutherland.  Students would meet before or after school for about an hour once a week.

I am seeking a parent volunteer to run this club and to give the students instruction on how to improve their chess playing skills.  We could arrange a mini chess tournament towards the end of the year.

If you are interested in helping us out or have any questions, please contact me so we can meet and discuss.

Thank you!

Diana McCullough

Gifted Resource

Sutherland Middle School

434-975-0599 x53110

PTO Student Directory


The student directory is typed and ready to be printed. If you want your contact info included, please email Summer White with:

Name of student




Phone #

You do not need to include all of the above info, only what you want listed in the directory.

All replies need to be received by Wednesday, 23 Sep.

Thank you!

Writer’s Eye information

Dear Parents,

The Writer’s Eye fieldtrip will be on October 9th.  Any student interested in creative writing is encouraged to participate in this event.

For those of you that may be new to our area, every year the UVA Art Museum holds a writing competition open to students and adults.  They pre-select works of art from their current exhibit and provide tours for interested participants.  Students participating in the fieldtrip will go on one of these docent led tours.  Then the students select a particular work of art as inspiration for a story or poem.  Guidelines are given to the students for how to go about this during the tour. Your child turns their writing entry into me, and I will make sure these entries get to the museum by the deadline, November 21st.  For more information please see

If your child is interested in participating in this event, they need to stop by room A-10 and pick up an application form.  The form and bus fee are due to me by October 3th.

Thank you,

Diana McCullough

Gifted Resource

Sutherland Middle School


Change in Dismissal Notices

Good Morning SMS Parents and Guardians –


We wanted to give you a bit more information on a new check-out procedure that Sutherland is starting this year. If you know your child is leaving school early, please continue to have your child bring a note to the Main Office or Guidance Office for a pass at the start of the school day. We will write them an early dismissal note so that your child is ready at the appropriate time. The new part of this plan addresses changes in dismissal during the school day.

If you call the school to let us know of a change in dismissal, Ms. Saulle will write the message on a note for your child and post it in the Guidance Office window. We will train our students to look on the window periodically during the day. If they miss the note, we will have student helpers deliver the notes at 3:45 PM to any student who has not yet received notice. We hope this will cut down on the number of times we interrupt a teacher’s lesson during class.  Also, If your child is going to be absent or late, please leave a message on the attendance phone line. Thank you for your help during this process. 

Friday Message

Happy Friday, Shark Family –

We have had a very busy week here at Sutherland. Day of Caring, Constitution Day and the end of the first interim period have kept your children busy throughout the week. This morning, the students are coming into the building very excited about our first dance of the school year. Just a reminder, today’s dance runs from 4:00 – 6:00 PM. Students need a ride at 6:00 PM after the dance. Mr. Vrhovac sent out a message yesterday with a few important announcements. In case you missed it, the highlights include:

  • A parent/guardian climate survey located on the SMS website. Please take a few moments to fill this out. Your feedback is important to us.
  • Sign-up sheets for Parent/Teacher Conferences can be found on the SMS website as well for October 2nd and October 7th.
  • A new method for student notification regarding change of dismissal.

Starting today, a new method for ICA student-sign up will begin. ICA happens every six weeks and gives students the chance to sign-up for a club or activity from 3:00 – 4:00 PM during an extended recess-like period. Our first ICA day will take place on Friday, September 26th. Classes will run on a shortened schedule to allow for the extended recess period. Students can now sign up for their ICA activity online through the school’s website. This replaces the paper/pencil method that has traditionally taken place during their lunch. To access the sign-up page, please visit the SMS website. The sign-up page can be found on the STUDENT section or by clicking here:

Two notes regarding ICA sign-ups:

  • Students will need a passcode to use the site since we want to protect student names. The passcode is 2801.
  • Students will have a chance to sign up here at school next week using a school computer, so a weekend sign in is not required.

A few general announcements for this upcoming week:

  • Wednesday’s after-school Art Club will not meet this upcoming week, but Thursday’s session will run as scheduled.
  • From Mr. Bredder and Ms. Schneider: Students at Sutherland are working together to utilize locations within the school as community work and creative spaces. If you could help us in creating a more unique and comfortable Sutherland and have any of these things lying around, we would greatly appreciate it:

Finally, today marks the end of the first interim period. Student grades for their progress reports will be available next Friday (September 26th) on ParentPortal. We look forward to seeing a few of you at tonight’s dance. Hope you have a great weekend, Sharks!

Mr. Guy

Friday French Class


Sutherland PTO Fall, 2014

This is a perfect opportunity to immerse your child in French language and culture, right here in Charlottesville! The Alliance Française will continue to offer before-school classes at SMS for another session starting this Fall. This may be your child’s first introduction to French or perhaps an enhancement to what he/she is already studying! Each class costs just $12 and will be filled with tons of speaking, games, and activities to stimulate middle school minds.

“Studies have shown repeatedly that foreign language learning increases critical thinking skills, creativity, and flexibility of mind in young children. Students who are learning a foreign language out-score their non-foreign language learning peers in the verbal and, surprisingly to some, the math sections of standardized tests. This relationship between foreign language study and increased mathematical skill development, particularly in the area of problem solving, points once again to the fact that second language learning is more of a cognitivethan linguistic activity.” – Therese Sullivan Caccavale, president of the National Network for Early Language Learning (NNELL)- See more at:



Please return the attached form with full payment to the PTO (Attn: Michelle Katstra) to the front office by Wednesday, Sept. 24th to guarantee your child’s place in class. Late enrollments will be accepted pending availability.


Contact Michelle Katstra at or Nathalie Pincham at

SMS PTO Fall Session, 2014

STUDENTʼS NAME: _________________________

2014–2015 GRADE LEVEL / FRENCH EXPERIENCE (no prior knowledge of French necessary) ________________/____________________

FRIDAYS from 8 a.m. – 9 a.m.
Class dates are: Sept. 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17, 31, Nov. 7, 14, 21.

Note: No class on Oct. 24th due to teacher workday.

Please make checks out to SMS PTO for $96 for the “French Fall Session”.
Please turn this registration form in with your checkDUE  Wed., Sept. 24th to guarantee a spot.

PARENTS’ NAMES: __________________________________________ 

PARENTS’ NAMES/EMAIL(S): _________________________________
PARENTS’ PHONES: _________________________________________
EMERGENCY CONTACT and PHONE: ___________________________________________________________

Do you give us permission to seek medical treatment if the need arises? YES NO If yes, which hospital? ________________________

We periodically serve or prepare food. Does your child have any food allergies or dietary restrictions? YES or NO


SIGNATURE AND DATE: _____________________________


FEED THE SHARKS Cash Campaign Update: 

SMS PTO would like to thank those parents who have thus far contributed to the cash donation campaign “Feed the Sharks”. To date, we have raised $3,200 through this campaign!

Our goal is to raise $5,000 this year in order to continue to assist the administration with improvement projects this year. If you have not contributed to the campaign but would like to do so, please send in your donation made payable to “SMS PTO” with “Feed the Sharks” in the memo of your check. Donation forms can be found on the PTO website: FEED THE SHARKS


We have redesigned our spirit wear this year! Pre-orders being accepted through 9/17/14. Limited additional quantities of all sizes and colors will be in stock and available on a first-come, first-served basis with the initial order. Questions? Contact Summer White:

Friday Message 9/5/14

Happy Friday, Shark Families!

As educators, we often find that a short school week is a busy school week. That was certainly the case after the Labor Day holiday. On Thursday, we hosted our Back-to-School Night and had a terrific turn out. The most important take away from this week has been what a great job our students have done settling in to school. Already, projects are coming in, quizzes and tests are being administered, and assignments are being (re)done.

Our 7th and 8th grade classes have been working on their MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) tests this week. We administer the MAP tests each year to determine your child’s instructional level and to measure growth in Math and Language Arts from Fall to Spring. 6th grade will start their testing next week. Also, stay tuned next week for more information regarding the sign-up process for Parent/Teacher Conferences on October 2nd and October 7th. We are going paperless in many areas this year, so this year’s sign-up will be online through the SMS website. We hope you have a terrific weekend, Sharks!

This Coming Week at SMS:

Monday, September 8th (Black Day schedule):

  1. 8:15 – 9:00 AM: Siorcanna Singers (girls) auditions
  2. MAP Testing – 6th grade

Tuesday, September 9th (Teal Day schedule):

  1. MAP Testing – 6th grade

Wednesday, September 10th (Black Day schedule):

  1. 8:15 – 9:00 AM: Siorcanna Singers (girls) auditions
  2. MAP Testing – Make-up tests

Thursday, September 11th (Teal Day schedule):

  1. 8:15 – 9:00 AM: Siorcanna Singers (girls) auditions

Friday, September 12th (Black Day schedule):

  1. 2:30 – 4:00 PM: Spirit Activities