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September 2019 E-Newsletter
Directors Note

We are so excited to kick off another exciting school year at The Katherine Thomas School! To all of our returning families, welcome back, and to our new families, we are honored that you are joining our active and involved community. The Katherine Thomas School continues to grow not only as a   Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)-based school, but as a peace-certified school by The Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation, and we are looking forward to a positive, peaceful, and kind 2019-2020 school year full of growth and progress. This year’s school theme is “Filling our Buckets with Success at KTS.” Staff and students will work together to “fill our buckets” with kindness, encouragement and positive learning experiences while reducing “bucket dipping” (negativity) so that our students may have the best school year yet. Be on the lookout for lots of “bucket-filling” activities this year at the school. Stay tuned for all of our wonderful events and accomplishments coming your way.
Rhona Schwartz, Director,
High School Program

Nicole Abera, PhD,  
Director, Lower and Middle
School Programs
New Faces: Dr. Lisa DeJarnette, KTHS Education Director,
Jennifer Connerton, KTHS Curriculum Coordinator
Dr. Lisa DeJarnette has over 20 years of experience in education. She earned a B. A. in English from Longwood College (now Longwood University), an M. Ed. in Special Education, an M. Ed. in Educational Leadership, and an Ed. D. in Leadership Studies, all from Lynchburg College (now University of Lynchburg).

In 2000, Dr. DeJarnette joined the faculty of New Vistas School as a language arts and reading teacher. Prior to coming to NVS, she taught in both public schools and in a residential facility. In 2006, Dr. DeJarnette became Assistant Head of School and served three years as Head of School.  During her tenure at NVS, Dr. DeJarnette worked to strengthen the school’s writing curriculum, build partnerships with community organizations, and increase awareness of the school’s mission and program.

Dr. DeJarnette has also served as an adjunct faculty member in the education departments of University of Lynchburg, Randolph College, and Sweet Briar College. She has presented workshops for the Virginia Association of Independent Schools on working with students with anxiety disorders, the specific needs of teenage girls with learning differences, and serving as the head of school for a special education school. Additionally, Dr. DeJarnette served as the Chair of the Virginia Association of Independent Schools Southwest Region Heads of School and as Board Secretary for the New Covenant School Board of Trustees. 
Jennifer Connerton is looking forward to an incredible 2019-2020 school year at the Katherine Thomas School!

Jennifer grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, and moved to the United States to pursue her
post-secondary education. She earned a BA in Public Health from the University of Richmond, a
MAT in Special Education from Trinity Washington University, and recently an EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration from the George Washington University.

In 2012, Jennifer joined the faculty of the Kingsbury Day School as a high school science teacher. After four years of teaching, Jennifer became an Instructional Coach because she wanted to work more closely with other teachers. This role allowed her to guide teachers in improving instructional practices, through ongoing coaching and professional development sessions. In 2017, Jennifer was appointed as the high school Special Education Coordinator, which allowed her to oversee the development of IEPs, monitor compliance, lead multidisciplinary team meetings, and maintain positive communications with internal and external

Jennifer loves to inspire and encourage students and faculty to be the best they can be in and
out of the classroom, and she is very excited to be a part of a new community of learners and
KTS Parent Association

Want to help our wonderful school? Consider joining the KTS Parent Association (PA). What does this important association do you ask? By joining the PA, you help us meet our school's needs that are outside the scope of their budget. When you go a step further and volunteer to help with events—or join our board— you set a fine example for our students to follow, and greatly encourage our teachers and staff. The PA helps our school purchase technology, programs and materials that are not in the budget. 

Staff, families and local businesses work together to accomplish these goals by:
  • Spring Auction
  • Sunflower Bakery
  • Eating out at our Community Dinners (Restaurant nights)
  • Fall Fundraiser (Mixed Bags)
  • Spring Flower Sale
  • Saving and bringing in Box Tops for Education
  • Direct Donations

Interested in learning more or joining? Call (301) 738-9691
New KTS/TLC Website

Please take a couple of minutes out of your day to check out the newly redesigned Katherine Thomas School and TLC website. We hope you utilize the new website as a valuable KTS resource. The school calendar is located on this website, and will be updated regularly.

On the TLC portion of the website, be aware that we will be actively blogging in the new TLC Blog where TLC clinicians will post articles of interest. We also have a resource section if you ever need that for anything special needs and/or disabilities.

Happy web surfing!
Summer Renovations
Summer was a big time of renovations and improvements for KTS! We completed Phase 2 of our new roof and are now entering the finish line of our Raise the Roof Campaign. Thanks to all of the parents who contributed. We would love 100% participation, there is still time to donate, click here. We also replaced the lintels above the lower-middle school windows. In addition, the sheds outside of the school were remodeled and waterproofed. 18 offices throughout the lower-middle school, along with the library and gym, got a fresh coat of new paint, adding to the cheery, bright atmosphere. And we have new water fountains! Not just your average water fountains, but filtered fountains, along with refill stations for water bottles. The renovations and upgrades continue as we move into the school year, and we will keep you posted!
KTS Team Building
Before the halls were filled with students, teachers were together building memories...
2019-2020 KTS Calendar
Note: this will change, check the KTS website regularly for updates
2019 TLC/KTS Fall Programs

Sign up for one of our great programs at KTS and/or TLC! Check out some of the options:

ArtStream Broadway Song and Dance
  • Grades 6-12
  • Dates: Mondays - 10/14/19 to 12/9/19
(no class 11/11/19)
  • Time: 3:45 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
  • Cost: $280 for 8 weeks
  • Location: The Katherine Thomas School
  • Sign up: Click Here or Call Lisa Torvik 301.424.5200 x306

  • Ages: 2.5-6
  • Day/Times: Groups will be Tuesday/Thursday morning 8:45-11:15 and Wednesday 1:00-3:30
  • Sign up: Call Lisa Torvik 301.424.5200 x306

  • Date: Wednesdays
  • Ages: Elementary to Early Middle School
  • Time: 5:30 to 6:30 pm
  • Location: Gaither Rd. office
  • Sign up:, 301.424.5200, ext. 226

  • Call 301.424.5200, ext. 159

  • Call 301.424.5200, ext. 159

  • Call 301.424.5200, ext. 226

  • Call 301.424.5200, ext. 306

  • Call 301.424.5200, ext. 306
Welcome back to school!
The Katherine Thomas School |301.738.9691 | Email KTS |
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