Henley Happenings: January 17

Dear Henley Families,

This is not the email sharing a weather update or school closure, although I can say that our hallways were “abuzz” about the predicted snow!

I wanted to share a couple of things as we move into the week and the end of the 1st semester:

  • The first semester, or second nine weeks, ends Friday. Teachers have a workday on Monday, 1/22, to finalize grades and plan for the second semester. We are waiting to see what tomorrow’s weather brings before we publish due dates for grades, so please be on the lookout for those.
  • Our Advisory lessons on social media and technology have started. One thing I would like to bring to your attention is a new app/tool called Sarahah. Sarahah is a social networking service for providing anonymous feedback. I bring it to your attention because some of our students have reported that unkind posts have been shared anonymously. While the intended use is to post nice or helpful feedback, the anonymous nature of the tool allows for cyberbullying to occur easily. Here is the Common Sense I am sure many use it as intended, but please reinforce with your child(ren) that their negative posts can be harmful and have a negative lasting impact. Used the wrong way, Sarahah could bring out the worst in our children as they struggle to navigate their way through the digital world.
  • To that end, Henley Middle School is teaming with Western Albemarle to host a Social Media Forum. While we have not set a date, we are looking at an early February evening. We want to share information with you, bring in experts and professionals who can help with best practices, and strategies for helping and supporting your child. Please join us. I will have the date to you as soon as it is set.
  • Beginning second semester we will make our Morning Announcements accessible via our website. If you or your child ever wants to check the announcements, they will be available on our homepage
  • Lose something? Our Henley Lost and Found is growing. Please have your child look for lost articles of clothing, water bottles, and lunch boxes if they have misplaced something. We will donate clothes to charity and dispose of lunch boxes at the end of January, so have them look before then.
  • EXPO Night for our 8th grade students and families is January 25th from 5:00-6:30. The change resulted from the team’s desire to make EXPO Night more authentic. 6th and 7th grade EXPO will occur on its original date-March 28th.
  • A HUGE thank you to all of our families who donated food or money to host a holiday luncheon for our teachers. We really appreciate all you do for us!
  • We did not have enough interest in our Modernization Bus Tour of other middle and high schools; however, I will be sure to share more information as we continue with our planning for next year and beyond.
  • Should we have some weather this evening and tomorrow, please be safe! As always, if you have concerns or feedback, please contact me directly.



Beth Costa, principal

Henley Happenings 2018

Dear Henley Families,
Happy New Year! I trust you all had a fabulous break. The students came back on Wednesday full of energy and ready to start the new calendar year. It was great to be back with them!
A couple of informational items as we get started again:

  • This month’s ADVISORY theme is “My Digital World.” We will explore the role of technology and social media in our lives and discuss issues such as digital citizenship and cyber bullying. In my overall assessment, we don’t have a lot of technology/social media issues during school, but often an issue that arises overnight will spill into the school day. We want students to have some time to think about technology in their lives and how they use it.
  • We will add some resources to our PARENTS page on the Henley website. We are adapting lessons from Common Sense and hoping to use what students bring to the conversation as entry points for deeper learning.
  • My new year’s resolution is to spend more time updating the principal’s blog. I think it will be helpful in communicating more of what happens at Henley, in addition to helping families understand our school goals and priorities. A link to my blog is also on the PARENTS page. It says principal’s blog, but I imagine having my admin team, staff, and students contribute.
  • The end of the semester is January 19. We will send an email when grades have been stored. Please encourage your child to finish strong and ask for help if he/she needs it.
  • Are you interested in taking a “Day Tour” of some of the schools that have had modernization and security updates? On January 22 from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. we will travel to Walton and Jouett Middle Schools and WAHS to take a look at their new classrooms and spaces. Please join us! I have reserved a bus or you can always drive and meet us. Interested? Please RSVP HERE
  • And lastly, everyone’s favorite topic…the Henley parking lot. In an ongoing effort to make pick up and drop off safer, we are implementing another safety measure for pick up at the end of the day. First, just a couple of review points:
    • As you know, we have asked for drivers to heed to the NO PARKING signs that have been posted to avoid blockage and congestion.
    •  We ask that you do not block other cars in any lot.
    • Maintain an appropriate speed and be mindful of students crossing and walking.
    • Communicate an area with your child for pick up to maintain his/her safety
    • Spill over parking should occur in the Brownsville lot.
  • Starting Monday, we will block off the upper exit of the Brownsville parking lot. From 4:05-4:20 all cars must exit from the bottom of the lot by the pine trees/baseball field. Mr. Crutchfield at BES will communicate with his families so that they are aware of the change. Our purpose in doing this is to create fewer lines of cars trying to exit both lots. If you have been one of these cars, you know that significant delays can occur when three or more lines of cars are attempting to exit at once. We think this will help with time. As always, we will monitor and adjust. Thank you for your cooperation as we implement this change.

OK, I think that’s it! Please feel free to email with any suggestions or feedback. I enjoy hearing from you.

Happy New Year!

I woke up with the most amazing feeling! All of a sudden four months of Henley events, community celebrations, students successes, and our collective challenges synthesized into a new year. I look back at what we have accomplished as a school community and I believe we are the right track to provide high quality learning experiences for each and every child who walks through our doors each day.

With the advent of a new year, we can recommit to our goals for the school year and add resolutions for the coming of 2018. I feel a renewed energy to connect with students, for them to know that I care for their social, emotional, and academic well being. I want them to feel safe and connected to adults in our building. I want them to feel visible. If they do, we are on the right track and students are thriving.