Friday Message

Happy Friday, Sharks!

One hour until break! A whirlwind of a week as we progressed through a number of field trips, wacky schedules, a pep rally, and assorted other items. Despite the intensity of the week, it has been outstanding to see so many folks doing great things. I got a chance to see several seventh graders making persuasive arguments/debates to their classmates. We got to see a number of our Band students perform in front of the entire school at yesterday’s pep rally. We got a chance to see first-hand how great our girls’ volleyball team is as they dominated the teachers in the student/faculty game. Our students practiced a number of drills this week as the weather finally remembered that winter was technically over. Our 6th grade science students braved the wackiest week of temperatures yet as they paddled in the rain, the cold, and then the heat. 8th graders ventured to Jump for their PE trips and also to AHS to see what life is like in high school. Our Jazz Band went to JMU and performed very well. SOLs wrapped up for those who missed their tests last week. Last, but certainly not least, we had the volleyball tournament where our Sharks made it to the championship game, but fell to Henley in a hard-fought game.

Now, our students are finishing their final work as the marking period ends and Spring Break begins. When we get back on Monday, April 9th, it will be a Teal Day. The week of the 9th, we do have a few things to keep up with. The middle school choral assessment is on Wednesday, April 11th as well as a PTO meeting that evening. The Drama 8 students are on a trip on Thursday, April 12th. On Friday, April 13th the 5th graders come for a visit and we finish off the week with a dance (the last whole-school dance for the year) from 4 – 6 PM.

We hope you have a great break and enjoy the time together. A few blurbs from the news desk before I go. Enjoy!

News from SMS:

  1. SCA is sponsoring the last dance of the school year Friday, April 13th. We need your help to chaperone the dance from 4-6. If you can volunteer an hour or two to help with the dance please email Andrea Walkup at
  2. Albemarle High School’s MESA Bridge Camp for this summer: The camp is scheduled for June 11-15, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Albemarle High School. Electronic applications will be available on April 16th at the Mesa Bridge Camp website, The camp is for rising 7th- and 8th-grade girls who might have an interest in STEM. The campers learn about engineering and physics, and work with each other and MESA program mentors to apply what they learn in a series of hands-on activities. These activities culminate with the building of a pedestrian footbridge at the end of the week. (The Bridge Camp website is a good source of information for interested students.)

8th Grade Dance

Below, please find the SUG for the April 28 8th Grade Celebration. Here is the invitation for our students.

8th Grade Parents – we really need your help to make this a fun and successful evening for our 8th graders so please check out the link below and sign up wherever you are able to help.  We welcome help from our 7th grade parents too!  Please contact Lynette Sanford ( or Erin Swansiger ( with any questions.


Tomorrow is the Last Day to donate food for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Food Drive.

Please have your student bring canned food, pasta, cans of tuna, or any other food donation tomorrow.

Thank you!

Friday Message

Happy Friday, Sharks!

Well, an interesting week to say the least. Students got a weekend in the middle of the week as the spring snow that came and went. A few things had to be pushed back or dropped due to the closures. Still, we were able to get in one of the Volleyball games as our teams took on the students from The Peabody School. By far, some of the best volleyball of the year. Great job to all who got to play. Tuesday, our eighth graders took the Writing SOL multiple-choice test. We will do make-up testing next week as the 8th grade takes the second part of the test, the writing prompt, today. Looking ahead to next week, a crazy 4.5 days as we head to Spring Break. Eighth graders will hardly see the building next week with all of their field trips. Mr. Wamsley’s ELT classes go to JPJ on Monday, Tuesday the whole 8th grade goes to AHS for a tour, and Wednesday/Thursday are the 8th grade trips to JUMP through the PE Department.

Not to be outdone, the 6th grade science classes are taking the canoes down to Chris Greene Lake and poking around the water and mud next week. The Jazz Band has a trip to JMU on Thursday. Today, we have two trips underway. A few of our Fine Arts 8th graders ventured to DC this morning by train where they are making a weekend of music, shows, and art. Mr. Collier’s 6th grade science just returned from a day out on the lake today due to Wednesday’s closure. Don’t forget, Friday is a ½ day, so students will roll out of Sutherland at 1:00 PM to start their Spring Break.  Big week next week. Spring Break is in sight. Hopefully, you enjoy weekend!

Next Week @ SMS:
Monday, March 26th: Black Day
Make up SOL tests
ELT class trip to JPJ
6th grade trip to Chris Greene Lake
AHS speaker at 8th grade lunch

Tuesday, March 27th: Teal Day
8th grade trip to AHS
Volleyball Tournament

Wednesday, March 28th: Black Day
8th grade Black Day PE students to JUMP
6th grade trip to Chris Greene Lake

Thursday, March 29th: Teal Day
Countries Day theme: dress in your favorite country’s colors.
8th grade TEAL Day PE students to JUMP
6th grade trip to Chris Greene Lake
Jazz Band to JMU
ICA Schedule – Faculty/Student Volleyball

Friday, March 30th: Black Day
End of 3rd Quarter
1:00 Dismissal

News from SMS:

Eighth grade students will be visiting AHS on Tuesday morning. In addition to hearing about various activities and opportunities they will have in high school, students will also get a tour and eat lunch in Albemarle’s cafeteria. If you would like to opt-out your student, please contact the School Counselors directly.

Food Drive – EXTENDED TIL TUESDAY! PLEASE help us fill our bins and donate food for the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank!

8th graders interested in being part of AHS’ Student Council Association must sign up for an interview.  Reps from AHS’ SCA will come to interview interested students.  This is a great way to be involved in activities in high school.  If you are interested, sign up in the Counseling Office by April 20 to guarantee your interview slot.  The interviews will be held at SMS on April 24.

From Mrs. McCullough: Hello Parents of 6th Graders, we missed our FLL Robotics meeting for this week, but will try again next week.  Our meeting will be on Thursday, March 29th, after school in room A-4 until 5:00.  If your child is interested, they merely need to show up.  If they are interested but unable to make the Thursday meeting, please have them come and talk with me. Let me know if you have questions at

Attention students: Do not forget the yearbook superlative voting is online on the SMS homepage under students. Voting ends before Spring Break.

6th Grade Robotics

To Parents of Sixth Graders,

If your child is interested in participating on a Sutherland FLL Robotics team, please have them attend a meeting in room A-4 this Thursday after school from 4:00-5:00.  After this initial meeting, we will meet weekly so students can learn how to build and program a competition robot.  No previous experience is required, just interest.  If you want to know more about FLL, visit the following site:

If you have any questions, email me at  I look forward to working with the students!

Diana McCullough

Gifted Resource

Friday Message

Happy Friday, Sharks!

And happy Dance Day, as well. A terrific Friday here at SMS that finally reminds us that Spring is almost here. Students are heading down to the Red Carpet Dance this afternoon complete with its own basketball tournament. We have had an action-packed week here at SMS. Two nights of Volleyball for our girls started the week. All of our team did a terrific job. 7th graders had the yearly Career Expo trip on Tuesday, which required the whole grade to journey over to UVA. We were finally able to celebrate the February birthdays on Wednesday, and can now look ahead to the March birthdays to schedule a date. All in all, a very productive week. Coming up, the busy agendas continue as we get one week closer to Spring Break. Our 8th grade class will be busy next week as we have the Writing SOLs on Tuesday and Wednesday. Come Friday, a small number of our 8th graders head to Washington DC for the Fine Arts Trip. Our girls also have two volleyball games again next week. Lots to look forward to! On with the announcements…

Next Week @ SMS:

Monday, March 19th: Teal Day
5:00 – 8:00 PM: Volleyball @ SMS
Tuesday, March 20th: Black Day
1st and 2nd Blocks: 8th Grade Writing SOL (multiple choice test)
Wednesday, March 21st: Teal Day
1st and 2nd Blocks: 8th Grade Writing SOL (prompt)
Middle School Choral Assessment @ Burley
Thursday, March 22nd: Black Day
SOL make-up tests
Friday, March 23rd: Teal Day
Fine Arts trip to DC (all weekend)
Junior Regional Orchestra
SOL Make-up tests

News from SMS:

Sutherland will be participating in the Neighbors-4-Neighbors School Food Drive starting March 5 through March 23. Please send in canned foods, peanut butter, cereal, pasta, baby food or any other boxed food. We appreciate your support.

SCA is promoting certain days next week for food. The days are the following:

Macaroni Monday (or any pasta)
Taco Tuesday (canned or boxed items used for making tacos)
Wheaties Wednesday (or any other cereal)
Tuna Thursday
Canned Food Friday

Donut Day is Friday, March 23rd, and the PTO is in need a few items. Please check out the included SUG. Thank you!

Sutherland Parks and Rec Track Information – Sutherland track registration forms are available at Sutherland on the table by the cafeteria or on the Albemarle County Parks and Rec website below.   The forms are due in by Tuesday March 27th and practice begins on the Monday after Spring break.   Please see the registration form for more details.

Friday Message

Happy Friday, Sharks!

What a whirlwind of a week here. Lots of activities both this week and coming up next week as well. Last night, our seventh grade Band students ventured north to Madison County for a terrific concert. Today, the 8th grade Band has a trip over to Burley Middle School. Wednesday saw a few of our students compete in the Piedmont Regional Science Fair. Five of our Sharks got honorable mentions and two students from Sutherland won first place in Computer Sciences. Way to go Alan and Logan, as well as Reilly, Katie, Sophia, Sam, and Alden! Wednesday morning was also the Hoops for Heart event down in the gym where a number of our students participated. Today, we have the Talent Show from 2 PM – 4PM and a modified class schedule to accommodate this fantastic event. Lots of students will be on stage showcasing their many talents, so I am sure it will be a great time. Just a reminder that dismissal for early pick-ups will take longer during the last two hours due to the show.

Coming up next week, we have a flurry of activity (and a chance of snow). Both Monday night and Tuesday night from 5 – 8 PM, we have volleyball games here at SMS. The whole 7th grade is also on a field trip Tuesday to the annual Career Expo. Friday night, we have a dance from 4 – 6 PM to help support the Fine Arts trip coming up soon. Busy busy.

Coming home with students today will be a letter regarding the National School Walk-Out that takes place this coming Wednesday at 10:00. For those who may have missed the county announcements, this is a 17-minute walk-out where students across the nation have been encouraged to walk out of their schools to show their support for ending gun violence. It is important for you to know that teachers and administrators will neither encourage nor discourage participation in these protests, nor will our staff participate, other than to provide supervision.  Our goal is to keep students safe. We would ask each of you to review the letter that comes home with your child today and have a discussion to see your child’s feelings regarding the walk out. Please know that we will not prevent any child from participating in the event. There is no consequence for those who choose to walk out unless students leave school grounds. Several of our SCA students have an event planned for those who choose to walk outside. Class will continue as normal for those who choose to stay inside. After you review the letter, should you have any questions, please contact us on either Monday or Tuesday.

Lots of reading! That’s all for me for the day. Off to the Talent Show. Have a terrific weekend and hopefully, we will see you Monday (0 inches – 8 inches of snow…seriously?)

Next Week @ SMS: 

Monday, March 12th: Black Day
5:00 – 8:00 PM: Volleyball
Tuesday, March 13th: Teal Day
Morning: 7th grade field trip to the Career Expo
5:00 – 8:00 PM: Volleyball
Wednesday, March 14th: Black Day
Thursday, March 15th: Teal Day
Friday, March 16th: Black Day
4:00 – 6:00 PM: Dance!

News from SMS:

Hello Parents with Daughters here at SMS, The Village School in Charlottesville hosts a GEMS (Girls Excelling in Math) tournament every year.  This year the date is Saturday, April 21 from 1:30 to 6:00 PM.  Parents will be responsible for transportation and there is a nominal fee (tbd) that covers a T-shirt and snacks.  Girls work in teams of 4 to solve fun and challenging math problems and activities.  It is open to grades 6-8. If your daughter would like to participate, please email me by next Wednesday, March 14th.  Space is often limited so I will take names in the order I receive them.

My email address is . Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks, Diana McCullough

Sutherland will be participating in the Neighbors-4-Neighbors School Food Drive starting March 5 through March 23. Please send in canned foods, peanut butter, cereal, pasta, baby food or any other boxed food. We appreciate your support.

Friday Message

Happy Wind-Day, Sharks!

For those without power, and I am sure there are many of you, I hope it is restored soon. Due to today’s closure, I am sure more announcements will come in Monday once staff returns, though we do have a few I will include below. Girls’ volleyball is now underway and won their first games last night here against Walton Middle School. We had an 8th grade Band trip scheduled for today that has tentatively been rescheduled for next Friday. Stay tuned for confirmation there. A reminder that HS Academy acceptances (MESA, HMSA, ESA) are slated to go out this afternoon after 4 PM. I believe that is still planned despite today’s closure. We have a very busy week ahead in terms of events, so I will jump into the schedule and what few announcements I have for now. Enjoy the long weekend, stay warm, hold on to your hats, and see you soon!

Next Week @ SMS:

Monday, March 5th: Teal Day
Tuesday, March 6th: Black Day
  6:30 – 7:30 PM: Band Boosters meeting
Wednesday, March 7th: Teal Day
  Science Fair trip w/ Mrs. McCullough
Jump Rope for Heart
7:00 PM: PTO meeting
Thursday, March 8th: Black Day
  7th grade Band to Wetsel Middle School (Madison County)
Friday, March 9th: Teal Day
  2:00 – 4:00 PM: Talent Show (be advised, all classes shortened)

News from SMS:

Sutherland will be participating in the Neighbors-4-Neighbors School Food Drive starting March 5 through March 23. Please send in canned foods, peanut butter, cereal, pasta, baby food or any other boxed food. We appreciate your support.

All seventh graders will attend the annual Career Expo on Tuesday March 13th.  The Expo will be held at UVA Newcomb Hall.  We will leave school around 10:15 and return at 12:45.  If you do not give permission for your child to attend this activity, please contact the school’s counselors.

Monday News Items

As promised, 2 items for your Monday morning:

  1. Hello 8th Grade Parents!!  The date for the 8th Grade Dance has been set for Saturday April 28th from 5:30-8 pm. Set-up for the dance will take place Friday April 27th from 4 pm until complete.  We would love to have as many parents involved as possible in order to make this a wonderful celebration for our 8th grade children.  Many hands make for light work!  Our plan is to make this a simple, fun evening for our children where they can eat a delicious meal and just have fun hanging out together. It is our hope that moving the dance back to Saturday evening will enable more parents to be involved in the dance preparations on Friday night and will permit all 8th grade parents to spend time with their children prior to the dance on Saturday! We will meet at Timberwood Grill this Friday, March 2nd from 4-6pm to get some input and make some decisions on theme/decorations/food/gift etc.  All 8th grade parents are welcome!!  PLEASE drop by to see how you can help us make the dance a success for our 8th graders. If you cannot attend but wish to help please email Lynette Sanford at or Erin Swansiger at Many thanks!!

2. On behalf of the student body and myself, I would like to thanks the Sutherland teachers and staff, the AHS Honor Society students, and our parents, who together made the 24th annual carnival a success! We greatly appreciate everyone’s efforts to ensure a memorable night of fun for all.  Thank you. Gayle Rainey, Carnival Chairperson