Destination Imagination Application Information

Hello Parents,
We are forming Destination Imagination teams here at Sutherland.  If your child is interested in being on a team, they need to stop by room D3 in the main hallway to pick up an application.  Applications are due back to me by next Thursday, September 5th.   Students are being given this information via morning announcements and posters.
DI is a creative, problem solving, team building competition.  Students love it, as well as some adults who continue to volunteer year after year.  In short, students work on a team using creativity and problem solving skills to accomplish a challenge.  They are given several challenges to choose from and the team decides which one they want to do.  They spend a good deal of time working between now and the competition (February 22nd) to prepare their solution for the judges.  It very often involves a skit or some type of improvisation.  It is a very exciting activity for kids of all ages.
At Sutherland, I try to find interested students early in the year so we can work on forming teams.  A team is limited to 7 members and it depends on how many interested students we have as to how many teams form and who is in each team.  This is a serious time commitment.  Students meet before or after school hours usually at school or a team member’s home.  The coach is a parent volunteer who has had DI coach training.  For some students and coaches alike, DI is a serious commitment. 
To learn more, visit either of the following websites. 
Please keep in mind that teams form early in order to begin work on their challenge.  Some independent teams actually begin work in the summer.  Therefore, the decision regarding participation needs to be made fairly quickly.  I hope to have the team(s) formed by September 12th.  Please turn in applications by September 5th to enable me to do this.
If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to call me at 975-0599 or email me at <>. 
Diana McCullough
Sutherland Middle School
Gifted Resource Teacher

Update on Parks and Rec After-school Offerings

The Sutherland Parks and Rec Boys basketball registration had filled up as of Tuesday afternoon.

The girls basketball registration is still open.   Any girls still interested in basketball can pick up a registration form on the table by the cafeteria or print one off the Albemarle County Parks and Rec webpage.   Basketball practices begin next week for registered players  – Tuesday for girls and Wednesday for boys.  Pick up time is 5:45.

Tennis registration for boys and girls is still open and forms can be found in the same location.  Tennis begins on 9/9. Pick up time is 5:30.

A Message from the PTO: Attractions Dining Guide Sale

Hi Everyone,

The Sutherland PTO is once again selling the Attractions Dining Guide as a fundraiser.  Each book costs $25.00 and our school will get to keep between $10.00 and $12.50 per book.  These books are loaded with valuable coupons (please see the list below) and can easily pay for themselves after just a few uses.  They are wonderful to keep in your car, office or home and include coupons for places that we all patronize on a regular basis.

To purchase one, you may either complete the form below including your child’s name, grade and homeroom and drop in the Attractions Dining box in the office along with a check ( SMS PTO) or go to and pay via the EZ pay system using the username SUTHERLAND (we will be notified of your payment).  The coupon book will be sent home with your child via their backpack within a few days.  If you wish to take advantage of the buy 5 get one free promotion, they must be paid for via the EZ pay.

Please contact Melissa MacKnight at if you have any questions.  I encourage you to help us make a difference in our school by providing some extras for the students and staff!

Thanks so much,

Melissa MacKnight

Sutherland PTO, President



Name of student ____________________________________________________________

1st block teacher/grade ______________________________________________________

Numbers of books ordered ___________________________________________________

Check number ____________________
Check amount_____________________
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Seeking Parents for SMS School Improvement Plan and Review

Dear Sutherland Parents,

Each year, Sutherland creates a school improvement plan with target goals to focus our efforts based upon our successes and needs.  We will be holding two information and strategy sessions on September 5 and September 11to review our work from last year and to set new goals and strategies for this school year.  Both meetings will be identical in content and process, so you would only need to attend one of them.

We would love to have parent members on our team. We will meet in the Media Center from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. each day.  You are invited to help us review our performance and through your questions and suggestions to help us determine strategies for evaluating our school performance.  This often includes adopting new approaches to our work.

County-wide areas for goal-setting and evaluation are Student Learning, Digital Integration and Lifelong Learning Skills, and School Culture and Climate.

Coming to either of these meetings will not automatically commit you to being a member of our school improvement team, but we will ask that you consider it.  We hope to have at least one parent member for each grade level.

Thanks for considering this and we hope several of you will join us on September 5 or 11!


Dave Rogers

Diagnostic Testing in Math and Language Arts Begins August 28

Dear Parents,
Your child will be taking an assessment in Language Arts and Mathematics class called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) beginning August 28.  We administer the MAP tests to determine your child’s instructional level  and to measure growth in these areas from fall to spring.  These tests are all computer based and are conducted during your child’s regular class time for math and language arts.
MAP tests are unique in that they adapt to your child’s level of learning.  As a result, each student has the same opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude toward testing.  We are able to gather detailed, accurate information about your child’s growth in each of these areas.
We will begin testing on Wednesday, August 28 and finish by September 16. Your student’s teacher will inform each class about the specific schedule for testing. No preparation for these assessments is necessary except a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast before school.
The MAP results tell us how your child compares with other students across the nation who are in the same grade and took the same test via a national percentile.  Another facet of the MAP scores is that they are aligned to the Virginia state standards.  Using a strand analysis, we are able to target intervention or support for students based upon areas of strength or weakness.
If you would like to see  your child’s test results, please contact  your child’s Language Arts and/or Math teacher, or the Guidance Office beginning the last week of September.  Results will be available by that time.
Dave Rogers

Special Olympics Fall Sports

August 2013

Special Olympics Soccer starts on Sunday, September 8, 2013 at the Charlottesville Catholic School,
which is located at 1205 Pen Park Road. Practice will be from 3:30PM to 5:00 PM and will be every Sunday through October 27th. There will be both skills play and team play. There is no charge to athletes.
Practice dates are: SEPTEMBER 8, 15, 22, 29 OCTOBER 6, 13, 20, 27

David Zentmyer (434-825-1866) is our head team coach. We are looking for a skills coach this year –
please let us know if you are able to fill this position. We are in need of committed volunteers. At the time you drop off your athlete, please come to the field and see if assistance is needed. Be sure to bring water with you!

Special Olympics Golf starts on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, at Birdwood Golf Course. Practice will be from 5:15 to 6:30 PM and will be every Wednesday through October 30th. Birdwood is on U.S. Route 250 (Ivy Road) just west of Charlottesville. The entrance is just past the bypass on the left. There is no charge to athletes.

Practice dates are: SEPTEMBER 11, 18, 25 OCTOBER 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Martin Winters is our head coach once again. We are looking for committed volunteers. At the time you drop off your athlete, please come to the course and see if assistance is needed. Team players will coordinate with their partners for 9-hole practice play; however, you are welcome to attend the skills practices on Wednesdays.
Be sure to bring water with you!

Special Olympics Volleyball starts on Sunday, September 8, 2013 at the Charlottesville Catholic School, which is located at 1205 Pen Park Road. Practice will be from 1:30 to 3:00 and will be every Sunday through October 27th. There will be both skills play and team play. There is no charge to athletes.

Practice dates are: SEPTEMBER 8, 15, 22, 29 OCTOBER 6, 13, 20, 27

Marty Block is our head coach. We are looking for committed volunteers. At the time you drop off your athlete, please come into the gym and see if assistance is needed.

PLEASE NOTE: We are always in need of volunteers. Please do not be a “drop off parent”. Please
check with the coaches to see if your assistance is required. If they do not need you that week, they
will let you know and you can be on your way. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in giving
our athletes the best training possible.

In case of inclement weather, contact our HOTLINE at 434-326-5000 and you will have the ability to listen to the recording, please note, you will not be able to leave a message.


Rose Ann Gamma
Area 3 Coordinator

Created by the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation

Authorized and Accredited by Special Olympics, International for the Benefit of Citizens with Intellectual Disability

News from our Nurse: Information on Eating Disorders & Scoliosis

Dear Sutherland Parents,

The attached links contain important health information on eating disorders and scoliosis for parents.  I have updated the Required Notifications web page ( to include the Eating Disorders parent information sheet.

Regarding scoliosis, would you like me to link to the 2007 scoliosis information you have posted on the School Health Services site (

Please contact our nurse, Mrs. Croonquist, if you have any questions or would like more information.

Parks and Recreation Sports Opportunities for Fall

Sutherland Parks and Rec after school basketball and tennis registration forms are available on the table by the cafeteria for any interested students to pick up during the school day.  Forms can also be downloaded off the Albemarle County Parks and Rec website:

The deadline for boys and girls basketball registration is this Friday, 8/30,  and practices begin next week.
The deadline for co-ed tennis is 9/5 and begins the week of September 9th.
Please review the forms for more information on practice days, times, etc.
Forms can be turned in to the main office at Sutherland marked for Ms. Davis.


Art Club Information

Students interested in joining Art Club should come by the Art room and pick up an application from Ms. Schneider. This year, Art Club will be held in three eleven-week sessions, limited to 25 participants, so get your applications in soon! Detailed information in on the application.
The first official meeting of Art Club will be next Tuesday, September 3rd. Membership will be open throughout the year, if space allows.
Art Club will meet Tuesday afternoons until about 5:15.

Please contact me if you have any questions:

Choral Tryouts for Girls and Boys!

Ms. Rife is starting a new choral group this year – for boys only. If you are interested in trying out for the Boys’ Choral group, please sign up at the choir room and pick up the tryout information. Tryouts will be held on Wednesday, September 4 and Thursday, September 5.  This group is open to ALL grade levels.
Tryouts for the SMS Ladies’ choral group, the Siorcanna Singers, will be held Sept. 9, 11, and 12. You may pick up more information and to sign up for an audition at the choir room.  This group is open to ALL grade levels.
Please contact Ms. Rife at if you have questions.