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May 11, 2022

Piney Branch ES - Kind, caring, courageous cardinals who soar.

A note from Mr. Thorne and Ms. Sobers . . .

Parents and Guardians,

Spring may have officially sprung! This week we’ve welcomed great weather and began SOL testing in grades 3, 4, and 5. We are so proud of our students’ hard work and perseverance during these first two days of testing. Please remain consistent with bedtime routines and healthy breakfasts as testing continues for two more weeks.  We also commend all our students for being kind, caring, and respectful cardinals in the hallways.

The next 24 days are full of excitement and events, so please be sure to see the dates below, and mark your calendars!

Warm regards,

Steve Thorne and Monica Sobers

Other Important Information

Field Day Frisbee Lunch On Field Day, if your child is opting to get lunch from the cafeteria, it will be served on a frisbee.  Please place your order with your child’s classroom teacher.  See flyer for menu.

Mental Health Awareness Month May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Visit The Mental Health Information Page for resources and look for features throughout the month on how PWCS is supporting mental health and well-being.

Spring SOLs – Grades 3-5 Our Piney Branch 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students will begin SOL testing next week. Our testing dates are:

3rd Grade: Math: May 17-18 4th Grade: Math: May 18-19, VA Studies: May 23 5th Grade: Math: May 17, Science: May 24

We held a parent information session about the 2022 Spring SOLs on April 20. Click here to view the recording of that session

Once testing is complete, information about your student’s performance will be shared with you. Scores for Spring SOLs will be posted to ParentVUE in June. Paper score reports will not be mailed to families.  If you have general questions about SOL testing, please visit the PWCS Testing Website

Expedited Retakes June 1-8. Students who score 375-399 are eligible to retake the SOL with parent consent. We are sending home retake consent forms to all families this week and ask that you read carefully, and sign and return to your child’s teacher. If your child is eligible to retake his/her SOL(s), we will contact you.

KG Registration 2022-2023 The online registration process for the 2022-23 school year is now open.  Once the registration is processed the registrar will reach out with any missing documentation that is needed and/or an in-person verification appointment.  Proceed to the Registration Process Information webpage to register for the 2022-23 school year. 

Class Requests for 2022-2023 While we remain focused on closing out the school year successfully, we also start to look ahead and plan for the coming 2022-2023 school year.  While we do not accept or honor parent requests for specific teachers, we happily accommodate requests for the characteristics of a teacher your child would most benefit from, as well as students to pair and separate your student with. Please [mailto:Steven%20C.%20Thorne%20%[email protected]%3e]email Mr. Thorne these requests directly.

5th Grade Promotion Save the date for our 5th grade promotion ceremony for June 13, 2022 at 10:30am.  The event will occur in-person, and we will make a virtual stream available.

The end of year brings many amazing events to celebrate our 5th graders’ time here at Piney Branch and we want you to save the dates!  We also want to start several new traditions at Piney Branch including throwing a 5th grade celebration following our promotion ceremony.  We look forward to celebrating your students.  More information will follow as we near the events.  We will also live-stream promotion for family members to attend virtually.

Summer School Registration The online summer school registration is open now until June 15, 2022.  This program provides opportunities to improve necessary skills through interactive and engaging activities. Current 2021-22 students Grades K-5 are eligible to attend. Students will receive instruction in language arts, mathematics, and social skills. 

Ms. Monique Harrell-Watford will be the Summer School Principal.  She currently is the Administrative Intern at Chris Yung.  Instructional registration videos have been made in English and Spanish to assist parents and guardians with registration.

PWCS Virtual Arts Festival The PWCS Virtual Arts Festival is open for viewing. With the link below you can view artwork from any school in the county, including several of our Piney Branch cardinals. Mrs. Noland will be sending home certificates with the students who have had artwork selected for the show. 

Camp Invention Camp Invention is returning to Piney Branch this summer! We are excited to bring this opportunity back to our community; last year’s camp was a HUGE success!

Camp Invention will be June 27th to July 1st at Piney Branch Elementary School in Bristow VA. 

During this program, young innovators (aka campers in grades K-6) will:

  • Dive into cutting-edge ocean research as they create a habitat for their robotic fish, including a newly designed and patented aquatic plant, and then make a splash with unique bio-inspired innovations!
  • Combine Art and STEM to paint an immersive experience in NIHF’s The Attic where children experiment with chemistry, materials science, and a robotic artist to inspire creativity and innovation.
  • Go on a vacation beyond Earth’s atmosphere to engage in science-rich activities inspired by the latest discoveries on distant planets, asteroids, and moons.
  • Zigzag through physics, engineering, and gaming know-how to build a mega marble machine that shows how math, motion, and mass can turn science into a marb-elous experience.

The Spring into Summer Discount, code SUM25, of $25 ends on March 31st, which is just around the corner!  See flyer for more information.

Only at Camp Invention can children find inspiration from inventors, including National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees, whose inventions have changed the world! We expect to have a full camp very shortly and I don’t want any of our interested families to miss out.

PWCS Summer Art/Music Enrichment Information PWCS will be offering a Summer Art Enrichment Program “Creativity in Action” from July 11th-July 22nd from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Pattie Elementary School.  See flyers for more information, including tuition and transportation. 

PWCS Summer Art Enrichment  PWCS Summer Performing Arts Enrichment 

End of Year Assessments

Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) Assessment Piney Branch Elementary School will be administering the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) to all Kindergarten students from April 25th- May 20th. This assessment measures readiness skills in the areas of literacy (PALS), mathematics (EMAS), and social-emotional skills (CBRS). Approximate testing windows are listed below:

· EMAS: April 25th-May 6th · PALS: May 9th-May 20th · CBRS: April 25th-May 20th · Make-up testing will continue throughout the testing window as needed.

A letter will be sent home with your child to explain testing in more detail. For more information, visit the VKRP website at and click on the tab “For Families”. Please feel free to contact Karisa Marcy, Piney Branch Reading Specialist, at [email protected] or 571-261-5300 if you have any questions about VKRP testing or procedures.

Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) Assessment Piney Branch Elementary School will be administering the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) beginning April 25th through May 20th to all 1st and 2nd students and 3rd grade students who were identified in the fall. Approximate testing windows are listed below:

· 2nd grade: April 25th-April 29th · 1st grade: April 27th-May 6th · 3rd grade: May 16th-May 20th · Make-up testing will continue throughout the testing window as needed.

Mark Your Calendar/Upcoming Events

  • May 18th – 2022-2023 Kindergarten Welcome Party
  • May 24th – Outdoor Classroom Grand Opening and Science Fair – 5:00pm
  • May 24th – Chorus Concert – 6:30pm
  • **Updated** May 26th – Piney Branch Alumni Graduate Walk 3:00pm
  • May 27th – K-2 Field Day
  • May 30th – Schools Closed (Memorial Day)
  • May 31st – 2022-2023 Kindergarten Welcome Party
  • June 1st – Kindergarten Cookie Social
  • June 3rd – 3-5 Field Day
  • June 3rd – Magic Night
  • June 13th – 5th Grade Promotion – 10:30am

PTO Events

Order Your Yearbooks! Get your Piney Branch Yearbook today!  Yearbooks are available for presale and will be mailed directly to your home upon completion.  The pricing is as follows:

Softcover:  27.00  Hardcover: 37.00

You are able to purchase an additional 4 pages for you to personalize for $5.00.  To order your yearbook today, please visit the yearbook website.

Should you have any questions, please contact: [email protected]

Magic Night Magic Night with Jay Mattioli is rescheduled for June 3rd. Please see the flyer for information on ticket sales!

PTO Meeting Our last PTO Meeting of the year will be held on May 18th at 6:30 pm.  We are happy to announce that we will meet in person in the library.  We hope you will join us.  Please see the link below and send any questions to [email protected]

PBES PTO is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Topic: May PTO MeetingTime: May 18, 2022 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 879 3233 4869 Passcode: 070943

We are currently searching for PTO committee leads for the 2022/23 school year! Please email the PTO at [email protected] if you’re interested!  


The Piney Branch Advisory Council meets monthly through the school year. 

The Piney Branch Advisory Council is made up of representatives from each neighborhood in the Piney Branch School boundary.  All parents are invited to attend, but voting rights are reserved for the community representatives.  The team will review the school vision and mission and provide input and guidance to administration and continuous improvement planning team.

Next PBAC Meeting: May 19th @ 6:30pm

Join Zoom Meeting    Meeting ID: 530 418 1380 Passcode: N8ww3C