The Falcon 
Valley Forge Elementary School's PTO Newsletter 
Issue 1 
September 4, 2015   
Back to School Greetings from Mrs. Wills
Dear Valley Forge Elementary School Families,
Welcome to the 2015-16 school year, and a special welcome to families who recently moved to the area! The start of a new school year always brings excitement and anticipation. We are fortunate to have a community that supports our schools, parents who are involved with their children and caring, talented staff members who work diligently and are dedicated to helping develop our most precious resource, our children. Best of all, we have a great group of kids!
 
We see parents as true partners in the education of their children. Working together we can make this the best school year ever. The staff at VFES spent time this summer reenergizing and gearing up to enter the new school year refreshed and with a renewed dedication to the academic achievement of our students and to promoting a nurturing and caring environment. Recognizing our students' emotional, social and physical needs, we promote their growth by helping them become critical thinkers, problem solvers, effective communicators and caring individuals. This is accomplished through a meaningful curriculum, excellence in instruction and continuous communication among parents, teachers and students.
 
During professional development days in June, the teachers enhanced a variety of curricular programs and revised instructional activities. Teachers worked with their grade level colleagues both across the District and within their building teams to plan for the 15-16 school year.
 
Last year students did an excellent job with our building theme, "VFES Superheroes." We learned that Superheroes are trustworthy, responsible, caring, respectful, fair and good citizens. VFES Superhero Students helped make Valley Forge a great place to grow and learn with kind words and actions. This year we are going to continue the "Superhero" theme with a focus on manners. Everyone can continue to be a "VFES Superhero" by using their manners, being a good listener, cooperating, being considerate, forgiving and including others. These manners will be emphasized throughout the year with planned activities related to this theme.
 
We are excited that school has begun and look forward to the educational opportunities that lie ahead. Know that everyone at VFES is committed to working with you to support your child's journey. Best wishes for a wonderful school year!
 
Sincerely,
 
Rebecca Wills
Principal
Message from the PTO President 
Dear Valley Forge Families, Faculty and Staff,
  
A very warm welcome to our continuing and new families! For our new families, let me begin by introducing myself. I am Rujuta Mandelia, your new PTO President for this school year. I have two children at VFES - Aarushi (an incoming 4th grader) and Vedant (an incoming Kindergartener). I hope you had a pleasant, relaxing and productive summer. Our summer was relaxing with hours of talking and lying around in the sun.
 
In the newsletter, you will find information on the on-going activities in school, after school activities and community-centered information. The newsletter is the best way in getting latest news about the school and our children's activities. I encourage you to read the newsletter and contribute as well!
 
Please welcome our new Falcon editor for the year, Amy Wallace. Amy has an incoming kindergartener and works full-time. I thank her for volunteering her time to editing the newsletter. Without the editor's meticulous attention to details and hours of work, the newsletter would not be fun, accessible, functional and well-formatted. So, thank you, Amy!
 
It is rewarding to be at a school that prioritizes our children's social and academic well-being. I thank Mrs. Wills, our principal, who has an open-door policy, our teachers who never hesitate in answering our questions, our staff and custodians who are ever ready to help, and of course, you, our parents/volunteers, who make our PTO run so smoothly. It is well-known that when parents get involved in their children's school, children thrive socially, academically and overall become very excited about school.
 
I am also writing to you to consider volunteering for the PTO. I have volunteered to be on many different positions from being a classroom parent to Falcon editor to chairing Spring Fair. I loved hanging out with my friends, chatting about how we are going to make the event happen and teaming up for an event our children are so proud of. Please consider volunteering for positions that would work with your schedule. You can check out volunteering opportunities right here.
 
If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, please email me at ptopres@vfespto.org.
 
I look forward to hearing from you!
 
 
Rujuta Mandelia
VFES PTO President
  
Parent Pick-up and Drop-off Procedures:
ARRIVAL
  • School starts at 8:45 a.m.
  • As you enter the school driveway from Walker Road, please form a single line in the far right side of the driveway and proceed to the front entrance of the school. 
  • Do not enter the bus circle area.  The bus circle is for buses only.  Please wait in a single line until you can safely drop off students at the front entrance. Even if the buses appear to have already arrived, please do not enter the bus circle area.
  • Pull all the way forward to the sidewalk at the front entrance in a single line and discharge passengers from the right side of your vehicle on the sidewalk.  At no time should children be in the driveway.  Several cars can pull to the curb in a single file.  
  • Please pull forward and do not park in front of the school or leave your vehicle.
 DISMISSAL
  • School is dismissed at 3:20 p.m.  As you enter the driveway from Walker Road please form a single line in the far right side of the driveway.  Students are dismissed from the Second Grade Lobby but please pull forward to the front entrance to allow room for several cars.     
  • If your child is not at the pick-up area and there are other parents waiting behind you, pull forward and we will call for your child.    
  • On the first day of school, your child will receive copies of a Valley Forge carpool ID tag in his/her red folder. Please place this carpool ID tag in your front window to facilitate picking up your child. For those parents who come to the door to pick up their children at the 2nd grade lobby, we ask that you wait outside the lobby and carry the ID tag with you. School personnel will record the names and inform other personnel to send out the appropriate child. If you do not have the designated ID tag and you are not recognized by the staff member on duty, you will be asked to park and report to the main office. Once admitted to the main office you will be asked to show ID if you are not recognized by office staff. If the ID matches the appropriate paperwork on file, your child will be released. Additional copies of the carpool ID tags can be requested in the main office.
  • After your passengers have boarded, check that they have their seat belts fastened and proceed carefully (10 mph in the parking lot and 15 mph in the school zone on Walker Road).
  • Parents who walk and pick their children up at the Parent Pick-up door are asked to retrieve their children quickly and move away from the door and sidewalk area so that dismissal of students to cars is less crowded.
Tredyffrin & Easttown Care           
T&E Care School Meal Assistance Program
  
Tredyffrin & Easttown Care is a local non-profit that helps families in our community in a variety of ways. Because effective learning is best done on a full stomach, T&E Care supports families in the T/E School District with a school meal assistance program. This assistance is available to families meeting certain income criteria. Families who are approved for free or reduced lunch assistance are not eligible to apply for our program as well.  More details on the acceptance criteria can be found on the short application.
 
If your family could use a little extra help with breakfast and/or lunch assistance and you feel you might fit the criteria explained in the application, please contact your child's counselor for a copy of the application. You can also go to T&E Care's website to download the application (address below).   There is no deadline to apply - your child can join this program at any time during the school year. Assistance of $30/mo/student for elementary students, and $40/mo/student for middle and high school students was offered by T&E Care last year. It is expected that similar amounts will be available again in 2014/2015.
 
Any community members interested in helping to fund this important initiative, please go to T&E Care's website (www.tecare.org) for more details on how to get involved.
 
 
  
District Information on Papal Visit     
As many of you know, the entire Philadelphia area is preparing for the historic visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia during the weekend of September 26.  Events related to the visit involving large numbers of people are being scheduled, including a possible event at Valley Forge National Park, on Friday, September 25.  Local authorities are preparing for a significant influx of visitors to our area.  Heavy volume at nearby hotels is expected.  Because the Paoli train station is one of two open R5 stations that will allow SEPTA access to the city, our District may be particularly affected.  Among the questions being considered by local emergency preparedness authorities include the potential for high congestion or gridlock conditions on roads such as Rt. 202, Rt. 30, and Rt. 252, the ability to access Paoli hospital during emergencies, parking overflow, and the deployment of extra services to meet any need that may arise.  Potential closures of roads into the city such as I-76 may increase the impact on surrounding areas.  We have been in regular communications with the local police to receive updated information.
 
As a result, all school activities and facilities use will be canceled between student dismissal on Friday, September 25 through the evening of Sunday, September 27.  The varsity football game against Haverford scheduled for Friday evening has been rescheduled for Thursday, September 24 at 7PM at Teamer Field.  Of primary concern is the ability for an emergency response team to be able to access medical facilities quickly if a person is in need.  We will continue to monitor the event details in cooperation with local authorities to determine if further action is necessary, including the possibility of an early dismissal on Friday, a delayed opening on Monday or even school closures.  Adjustments to the school day will be communicated through the same methods we use for weather emergencies, and the District website will be updated as appropriate.
Wellness News     
Food Allergies
  
Dear Elementary School Parents and Guardians:
 
Our District, consistent with national trends, continues to see an increase in the prevalence of students with life threatening food allergies. The focus of our allergy management continues to be prevention, education, awareness, communication and emergency response.
 
As you may know, our District continues to review and update our Allergy Policy and Regulation (5403) and the Wellness Policy and Regulation (5402) to assure that they appropriately provide for the safety of our children. A copy of these District policies and the regulations are available on the District's website (www.tesd.net).
 
The District uses this opportunity to remind you that the following food practices are observed in all elementary classrooms and schools.
 
Read More about Food Allergies
School News 
VFES School Store
 
Grand Opening for the 2015-2016 School Year:
Friday September 11, 2015
  
The School Store is open every Friday during morning recess. All items range from $0.25 - $4.00. The store supplies great variety of pencils, cool erasers and lots of other fun items. 
  
Volunteer Opportunities
 
There are some remaining Chairperson positions and many General Volunteer/Committee opportunities available for the new school year.  Signups are also now open for all classroom Homeroom & Library Parents. 
Visit www.vfespto.org and click on "Get Involved" and look for "Open Positions and Sign Up" and "HR and Library Parents" to sign up.  Any questions, please email Amanda Ivory at vpvolunteer@vfespto.org .
Gratitude Corner     
Many thanks to Amanda Ivory  for coordinating and chairing back to school luncheon for the staff.
 
A big thank you to Anna Coombs and Beth Stanfield for chairing New Families Tours and making them feel special and welcomed.
 
Special thank you to our fourth graders who provided school tours to our new students. They did an amazing job and made some new friends along the way.
 
A warm welcome to our Website coordinator Ekta Sinha and Falcon editor Amy Wallace for putting in their time and effort to bring us updated information.
 
  

In This Issue
Welcome from Principal Wills
Message from the PTO President
Arrival/Dismissal Procedures
Tredyffrin & Easttown Care

Upcoming Events 
  
  
9/15- Gr. 1 & 2 Curriculum Night
  
9/18- Back to School Night with Kona Ice
 
9/23- No School

9/24- Gr. 3&4 Curriculum Night
  
9/25- Picture Day

 

Useful Links

Add/Change Email
  
  
2014-2015 Falcon Publication Dates 

 

 

Valley Forge Elementary School                          

99 Walker Road, Wayne, PA 19087                       

(610) 240-1600                               

Fax (610) 240-1615                                

Absentee Calling # (610) 240-1600 ext 5