Announcements and Upcoming Events

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Principal's Message Greetings Tiger Families!

Today we completed our 8th grade science SOL exam, which brings our three Virginia Department of Education required exams to a close. We will continue to engage in make-up and retake exams over the next two weeks as we bring “testing season” to its conclusion. I have characterized these exams as “Celebrations of Learning,” and although I am confident that most of our students do not exactly view them that way, I do believe that our students’ collective and individual successes on these exams are more than worthy of celebration. The hard work it takes for teachers to plan and execute lessons, the diligence it takes for students to consistently engage in their learning while also grappling with the myriad of challenges they face in adolescence, and the dedication it takes families to provide encouragement and support all blend together to form any academic success we see on a test report. Every test score, whether passing or not, has an individual story behind it filled with triumphs and challenges that are unique to each student.

I look forward to examining Twain’s “story” as the data comes in and using it to inform our planning for next school year. But, before we bring the 2023-24 school year to its culmination, we are committed to a strong finish for all of our students – especially our 8th graders who will be moving on to high school next year.

Have a wonderful weekend Tigers.

Sincerely,

Matt

Weekly Schedule

Monday, May 20: Anchor Day Schedule

Tuesday, May 21: Odd Day Schedule

Wednesday, May 22: Even Day Schedule

Thursday, May 23: Odd Day Schedule

Friday, May 24: Even Day Schedule

Monday, May 27: Memorial Day – School Closed

Buy your Twain yearbook today!

Go to yearbookordercenter.com

Use our code #: 8606

Today is the last day to preorder - May 17!

Twain Talent Show

Everyone at Mark Twain Middle School has the chance to show off their talent! Auditions for the talent show are on May 29th after school in the chorus room. If you want to show off your comedy, singing, dancing, or puzzle solving skills, fill out the google form here: Talent Show Sign Ups

Rehearsals for the show will be June 4th and 5th..The Talent Show is Thursday, June 6th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

PTA Updates Twain Community Night Thank You

Thanks to all those who volunteered to help with Twain Community Night on May 16.  It was a fun night with lots of great activities provided by the Twain Staff. A special thank you to Heather Viehl for chairing this event and her work with soliciting the donations for the Pick-a-Prize Raffle.  A very successful night!  Go Tigers!

PTA Meeting

Our next PTA meeting will be held on May 29th at 7:00 PM in the Twain Library.  A zoom option will be available closer to the meeting.  The main item of business is to vote in the new Twain PTA Board.  The Slate of Officers are:

Robin Christman- President

Brent Collier: Vice President

Natalie Justice: Secretary

The Twain Nominating Committee is still looking to fill two positions on the PTA board: Treasurer and Membership/Volunteer Coordinator. Applicants can fill out the application form here. Join a great team and work together to support the Twain Staff and Students!

8th Grade Dance

Mark your calendars for the much anticipated 8th Grade Dance on June 7th from 6:30-8:30 PM. The theme of the dance is The Pacific Voyage and the dress will be formal.  Tickets go on sale during the lunch period the week of the dance for $5. Price of the ticket includes, admission to the dance, all the yummy refreshments, a party favor, and a keepsake photo with a 360-photo booth.  Tickets will NOT be sold at the door, so plan ahead to get your ticket during lunch. Songs can be requested by filling out this form.

Upcoming Community Conversations with Dr. Reid

Dr. Michelle Reid has been hosting Community Conversations and Employee Conversations  throughout the division since the fall of this school year. She is committed to getting to know our school communities. 

The dates for the final two Community Conversations are below. These events provide a great opportunity for parents and caregivers to connect with Dr. Reid, share concerns and ideas. She is there to listen and answer your questions. Your voice is important.

We invite you to register for one of the last two community conversations of the school year. Please register for a time and place that is convenient for you. Pre-registration is not required, but does help us plan.

Upcoming Community Conversations:

Childcare and language interpretation services will be provided.

For more information please visit our website.

We look forward to seeing you at one of the last two Superintendent Community Conversations of the year.

Special Education Teacher Job Fair

A virtual hiring event will be held for those interested in becoming special education teachers on Wednesday, May 22, 6-8 p.m. Attendees will have an opportunity to network and interview with representatives from various Fairfax County public schools. Employment offers may be extended during the fair! View our special education career opportunities page to learn more.

Change Gears on Your Career at a Bus Driver Job Fair and Open House

The Office of Transportation Services will host an open house on Wednesday, May 22, 4:30-7:30 p.m., at Johnson Middle School. Interested individuals can meet with hiring staff regarding school bus driver, van driver, and school bus attendant openings. 

If you are not able to attend the open house, join our Transportation Job Fair on Thursday, May 23, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Stonecroft Transportation Center.

Driving for FCPS is a great opportunity for stay-at-home parents, retirees, college students, and career switchers to earn income with benefits. No preregistration is needed for either event. Apply today! Call 571-423-3000 or email [email protected] with questions.

 

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
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Announcements and Upcoming Events

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Principal's Message Greetings Tiger Families!

As our staff appreciation week comes to a close I would like to thank all the generous families who contributed their time, creativity and financial resources towards gift cards, candy, desserts, and a delicious staff lunch this week. It is our privilege to educate your students and we are grateful for the generosity and gratitude shown this week.

On Wednesday our students completed their Reading Standards of Learning (SOL) exam. Next Wednesday they will take their Math SOL exam and next Friday our 8th graders will take their Science SOL exam (7th graders will take a practice exam). Thank you for taking the time to highlight the importance of not only the academic preparation for these exams, but also the physical preparation as well. Students arriving on-time to school and well-rested and fed on these exam days genuinely does make a difference in decreasing their stress and increasing their focus. Their success truly is a team effort!  

We have seen great progress with our students throughout the school year and look forward to continuing that positive momentum with a strong finish to the school year. Like our Twain track and field student athletes, we want to complete the final meters of the “race” that is the 2023-24 school year with a strong and focused finish. Our expectations for attendance, behavior and academics remain high through our last day on June 12th and we are appreciative of those high expectations being emphasized at home as well.

Have a wonderful weekend, Tigers.

Sincerely,

Matt

Twain’s Weekly Schedule

Monday, May 13: Anchor Day Schedule

Tuesday, May 14: Odd Day Schedule

Wednesday, May 15: Modified Even Day Schedule – Math SOL

          Schedule: 4, 8, 6, 2 with lunch during 8th period.

Thursday, May 16: Odd Day Schedule

Friday, May 17: Modified Even Day Schedule – Science SOL

         Schedule: 4, 8, 2, 6 with lunch during 2nd period

Schedule changes can be found on the Twain Website on our Bell Schedule page under Important Dates: Schedule Changes.

Spring SOL Schedule

Spring SOLs are here and Twain’s testing schedule is below.  Please ensure students are in school on testing days and do not have appointments and commitments that would require them to be pulled out of their test.  Please be aware that for all these dates, 4th period will be first which is the testing period.  Students should come to school on time, well rested, and with a fully charged laptop.  If you have any questions about spring SOLs, please contact our Testing Coordinator, Sara Joy Lebowitz, [email protected]

Math SOL – May 15

  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 8, 6, 2 with lunch during 8th

Science SOL* - May 17

  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 8, 2, 6 with lunch during 2nd

*Only 8th graders take this SOL, however, we will be administering a practice SOL to 7th graders on this day.

These schedule changes can be found on the Twain Website on our Bell Schedule page under Important Dates: Schedule Changes.

PTA Updates Staff Appreciation Week Thank You

The Twain Community is the BEST!!!  Thank you for the wonderful and generous response to our call for monetary donations so that the PTA could spoil the Twain Staff this week during Staff Appreciation Week.  Through your donations, we were able to provide $25 gift cards to all the Staff Members during the Gift Card Giveaway, and treat them to a dessert bar.  The rest of the donations helped to cover the cost of the catered luncheon from Baja Fresh!  THANK YOU, TWAIN PARENTS AND GUARDIANS!!!  The PTA would also like to recognize Katy Olsen and Kirsten Little for serving as our PTA Staff Appreciation Co-Chairs.  Way to go!!!

Spirit Night at Olympians

Order food from Olympians Family Restaurant at 6430 Landsdowne Centre on May 14 & 15 ALL DAY and support Twain PTA.  Dine in or Carryout.  Tell them you’re supporting Twain PTA and proceeds will be donated to the PTA.  When ordering online, remember to write in the notes that you are support Twain. Eat good food and help a good cause.

Twain Community Night

Join us for the annual Twain Community Night on Thursday, May 16 from 6-8 pm. This is a family-fun event open to the community. Invitations will be distributed to Twain’s feeder elementary schools and we are hoping for a big crowd.  The PTA will be selling pizza, other concessions and SPIRIT WEAR.  All Twain departments will be represented.  Don’t miss the PICK A PRIZE Raffle. Prizes include Washington Nationals Baseball Tickets, LEGO Discovery, Total Wine, Fairfax County Park Foundation, Natalie Dicks Photography, Crumbl Cookie, and more. 

Please sign-up to help with set-up, concessions sales, and spirit wear sales.  Use this sign-up genius link to volunteer.

FCPS 2025 Budget — What’s Happening Next

The next steps in FCPS’ budget process are: Tuesday, May 14: School Board holds a public hearing on the budget. Register to speak by 6:30 p.m., on Monday, May 13.

  • Wednesday, May 15: Second day of School Board public hearings, if needed.
  • Tuesday, May 21: School Board budget work session.
  • Thursday, May 23: School Board adopts FCPS’ approved budget.

For more details on our budget, view FCPS budget documents.

Enjoy Learning, Fun, and Helpful Information at the Extravaganza! 

Stop by Woodson High School on Saturday, June 1, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., for the FCPS Summer Extravaganza! Families are invited to take part in engaging educational activities designed to spark curiosity and inspire growth. In addition to learning activities, enjoy tips and helpful information for families. Enjoy face painting, food, music, a moon bounce, a petting zoo, storytime, and student performances — all at no cost!

Visit the Summer Extravaganza webpage for more details and register to attend. Registration is not required, but it's helpful for planning purposes.

Buy your Twain yearbook today!

Go to yearbookordercenter.com

Use our code #: 8606

Last day to pre order has been extended to May 17!

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
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Midweek Updates

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Reading SOL

The Reading SOL for all students is tomorrow, Wednesday, May 8.  Please ensure students arrive to school on time, well rested, with a fully charged laptop, and their charger.  Please be aware that 4th period will be first which is the testing period, then 6th period (lunch), then 2nd period, and finally 8th period.  If you have any questions about spring SOLs, please contact our Testing Coordinator, Sara Joy Lebowitz, [email protected]

After School Program Fundraiser

Are you interested in helping the Twain Middle School After School Program and eating Chipotle at the same time?!

  • Please come out to Kingstowne Chipotle on Wednesday, May 8th from 4 pm – 8 pm.  The address is 5955 Kingstowne Towne Center Alexandria, VA 22315.  
  • 25% of all proceeds will go back to the Twain After School Program.  
  • Amato will be giving out free candy with every purchase.
  • The code for an online order to help with the fundraiser is - X4AM2B3

Thank you in advance for your support and we hope to see all our Twain and future Twain students and families Wednesday night!

Mr. Dominic Amato

After School Specialist

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
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Announcements and Upcoming Events

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Principal's Message Greetings Tiger Families!

“The human mind is an incredible thing. It can conceive of the magnificence of the heavens and the intricacies of the basic components of matter. Yet for each mind to achieve its full potential, it needs a spark. The spark of enquiry and wonder. Often that spark comes from a teacher… If you look behind every exceptional person there is an exceptional teacher. When each of us thinks about what we can do in life, chances are we can do it because of a teacher.” — Stephen Hawking

Next week we will celebrate our Twain Middle School Staff Appreciation Week, which aligns with National Teacher Appreciation Week. Twain has partnered with our generous PTA and our talented student government for various gifts, meals, and acknowledgements throughout the week. We are excited about this celebration – especially as we move into a busy and pivotal part of the school year. At Twain we are fortunate to have a dedicated faculty and staff who work each day to be the spark that Mr. Hawking mentioned in the quote above. As educators, the question never is whether or not we will have an impact on our students, but rather exactly what that impact will be. It is our privilege to serve our students and our joy to spark whatever talents and interests exist within each and every Twain Tiger.

Thank you also to all the educators that reside within our Twain community for the impact you have on your own students each and every day!

Have a wonderful weekend, Tigers.

Sincerely,

Matt

Twain’s Weekly Schedule

Monday, May 6:  Anchor Day 

Tuesday, May 7: Odd Day 

Wednesday, May 8: Modified Even Day – Reading SOL -

   Schedule: 4, 6, 2, 8 with lunch during 6th period

Thursday, May 9: Odd Day

Friday, May 10: Even Day 

Schedule changes can be found on the Twain Website on our Bell Schedule page under Important Dates: Schedule Changes.

PTA Updates *** Staff Appreciation Week****

May 6-10 is Staff Appreciation Week. The PTA would like to help the Twain Community say thank you to the amazing teachers and staff at Twain MS. Please consider making a monetary donation that will go directly towards the purchase of gift cards for the Gift Card Giveaway on May 8th. ***We hope to raise enough money to give each teacher and staff member at $25 gift card. With 136 staff members, we need your help to make this happen*** Any additions funds collected will go towards the desserts and catered luncheon planned during Staff Appreciation Week. Make your donation by clicking here. Please make your donations no later than today, Friday, May 3, so we have time to purchase the gift cards for May 8th.  If you tried to use the QR code on the flyer and had trouble, please try again or click this link.  The QR code was getting overloaded. 

Spirit Night at Olympians

Order food from Olympians Family Restaurant at 6430 Landsdowne Centre on May 14 & 15 ALL DAY and support Twain PTA.  Dine in or Carryout.  Tell them your supporting MTMS PTA and proceeds will be donated to the PTA.  When ordering online, remember to write in the notes that you are support Twain. Eat good food and help a good cause.

Twain Community Night

Join us for the annual Twain Community Night on Thursday, May 16 from 6-8 pm This is a family-fun event open to the community. Invitations will be distributed to Twain’s feeder elementary schools and we are hoping for a big crowd.  The PTA will be selling pizza, other concessions and SPIRIT WEAR.  All Twain departments will be represented.  Don’t miss the PICK A PRIZE Raffle. Prizes include Washington Nationals Baseball Tickets, LEGO Discovery, Total Wine, Fairfax County Park Foundation, Natalie Dicks Photography, Crumbl Cookie, and more.  Help spread the word.

Please sign-up to help with set-up, concessions sales, and spirit wear sales.  Use this sign-up genius link to volunteer.

8th Grade Dance

Mark your calendars for the much anticipated 8th Grade Dance on June 7th from 6:30-8:30 PM. The theme of the dance is The Pacific Voyage and the dress will be formal.  Tickets go on sale during the lunch period the week of the dance for $5. Price of the ticket includes, admission to the dance, all the yummy refreshments, a party favor, and a keepsake photo with a 360-photo booth.  Tickets will NOT be sold at the door, so plan ahead to get your ticket during lunch.

Spring SOL Schedule

Spring SOLs are approaching and Twain’s testing schedule is below.  Please ensure students are in school on testing days and do not have appointments and commitments that would require them to be pulled out of their test.  Please be aware that for all these dates, 4th period will be first which is the testing period.  Students should come to school on time, well rested, and with a fully charged laptop.  If you have any questions about spring SOLs, please contact our Testing Coordinator, Sara Joy Lebowitz, [email protected]

Reading SOL - May 8
  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 6, 2, 8 with lunch during 6th
Math SOL – May 15
  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 8, 6, 2 with lunch during 8th
Science SOL* - May 17
  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 8, 2, 6 with lunch during 2nd

*Only 8th graders take this SOL, however, we will be administering a practice SOL to 7th graders on this day.

These schedule changes can be found on the Twain Website on our Bell Schedule page under Important Dates: Schedule Changes.

Fairfax VIP Summer Camp

Are you looking for an affordable FCPS summer camp? The Eastern Fairfax V.I.P Summer camp may be for your child. The camp is only for rising 7th and rising 8th graders who attend Mark Twain, Hayfield, Whitman, Key or Sandburg.  The camp will be at Sandburg Middle School and will run from July 1st – August 1st from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. Transportation will be provided for all students in need. Students will participate daily in sports activities, computer lab, game room and a cooking component as well as 5 field trips.

The registration form is located on the Mark Twain website and will stay open until June 1st. Please register soon as spots will fill up.

Thank you and please reach out to Dominic Amato – After School Specialist @ Twain – [email protected]

May Webinars and Events for Families

The Family Resource Center (FRC) offers free webinars for adults to support the success of all students, including those with learning challenges, special needs, and disabilities. Upcoming events include:

Click the linked titles above to register. Learn more about FRC webinars and events.

Let’s Finish the School Year Strong!

Student attendance at school is important all year long, up to the last day of school. Attendance has an effect on student performance and on school accreditation. See how to:

  • Check your child’s attendance record.
  • Help your student stay engaged at school.
  • Report future absences.
  • Understand the FCPS school calendar.

Learn more about attendance resources.

Share Your Thoughts on Middle School Start Times

FCPS invites the public to be part of the process of exploring options for adjusting middle school start times. Attend a forum to hear about adolescent sleep research from an expert, learn about the ongoing middle school start times study, and participate in small group discussions. 

All forums will deliver the same presentation and provide the same feedback opportunities. Breakout sessions will be held for middle school students to share their voices. Students are encouraged to attend! 

Register for a forum by clicking on one of the following dates: 

While registration is not required, it does help with planning. Language interpretation and childcare will be provided. Learn more about the project exploring middle school start times.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

People with ancestral roots in Asia and the islands of the Pacific have been integral to the story of America. In 1992, May was designated Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to celebrate their heritage and contributions.

Jewish American Heritage Month

May is designated Jewish American Heritage Month to recognize the history of Jewish contributions to American culture and acknowledge the diverse achievements of the Jewish community in the U.S. Learn more about the heritage months, celebrations, and traditions celebrated in FCPS.

Yearbook

Buy your Twain yearbook today!

Go to yearbookordercenter.com

Use our code #: 8606

Last day to pre order has been extended to May 17!

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
Web | Twitter | YouTube

PTA Updates

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Staff Appreciation Week

May 6-10 is Staff Appreciation Week. The PTA would like to help the Twain Community say thank you to the amazing teachers and staff at Twain MS. Please consider making a monetary donation that will go directly towards the purchase of gift cards for the Gift Card Giveaway on May 8th. We hope to raise enough money to give each teacher and staff member at $25 gift card. With 136 staff members, we need your help to make this happen. Any additions funds collected will go towards the desserts and catered luncheon planned during Staff Appreciation Week. Make your donation by clicking here. Please make your donations no later than Friday, May 3, so we have time to purchase the gift cards for May 8th.

Spirit Night at Olympians

Order food from Olympians Family Restaurant at 6430 Landsdowne Centre on May 14 & 15 ALL DAY and support Twain PTA.  Dine in or Carryout.  Tell them your supporting Twain PTA and proceeds will be donated to the PTA.  When ordering online, remember to write in the notes that you are support Twain. Eat good food and help a good cause.

Twain Community Night

Join us for the annual Twain Community Night on Thursday, May 16 from 6-8 pm This is a family-fun event open to the community. Invitations will be distributed to Twain’s feeder elementary schools and we are hoping for a big crowd.  The PTA will be selling pizza, other concessions and SPIRIT WEAR.  All Twain departments will be represented.  Don’t miss the PICK A PRIZE Raffle. Prizes include Washington Nationals Baseball Tickets, LEGO Discovery, Total Wine, Fairfax County Park Foundation, Natalie Dicks Photography, and more. 

Are you a small business owner and would like to donate a good or service to the Pick a Prize Raffle?  All supporters will be recognized at this community event and your donation is tax deductible.  Please email Linda Pinkney at [email protected], if you would like to be a supporter.

2024-2025 PTA Officers 

Twain PTA is seeking a volunteer to serve as Treasurer for the next school year. Applicants can fill out the application form here.  Join a great team and work together to support the Twain Staff and Students!  Please contact Corea Smith at [email protected] with any questions or for a description of the Treasurer’s duties.  

8th Grade Dance Save the Date

Mark your calendars for the much anticipated 8th Grade Dance on June 7th from 6:30-8:30 PM. This is a new date to accommodate the performing arts spring trip. The theme of the dance is The Pacific Voyage and the dress will be formal.  Tickets go on sale during the lunch period the week of the dance for $5. Price of the ticket includes, admission to the dance, all the yummy refreshments, a party favor, and a keepsake photo with a 360-photo booth.  Tickets will NOT be sold at the door, so plan ahead to get your ticket during lunch.

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
Web | Twitter | YouTube

Announcements and Upcoming Events

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Principal's Message Greetings Tiger Families!

April is Autism Acceptance Month - one in 44 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in the United States, according to the CDC. At Twain, our faculty and staff play a vital role in creating and ensuring inclusive environments that accommodate and affirm autistic students. In mid-March, FCPS celebrated Neurodiversity Affirmation Week as a time to recognize, appreciate and honor the diverse neurological differences that exist among our student body and our community. This of course includes our students with autism, who are an important facet of our Twain learning community. Each and every day our goal is to celebrate the diverse strengths and attributes of all of our students that make Twain great.

The Fairfax County Public Schools Family Resource Center has a variety of resources for families, including for families of students on the autism spectrum. There are a number of organizations and resources available to families in supporting a thriving autistic community including The Arc Northern Virginia and Parents of Autistic Children of Northern Virginia.

Have a wonderful weekend, Tigers.

Sincerely,

Matt

Twain’s Weekly Schedule

Monday, April 29: Even Day Schedule

Tuesday, April 30: Odd Day Schedule

Wednesday, May 1: Even Day Schedule

Thursday, May 2: Odd Day Schedule

Friday, May 3: Student Holiday / Teacher Workday

These schedule changes can be found on the Twain Website on our Bell Schedule page under Important Dates: Schedule Changes.

Thank You Twain Administrative Professionals!

Wednesday, April 24, was Administrative Professionals Day. Thank you to Ms. Mejia, Ms. Rodney, Ms. Rogers, Ms. Frederick, Ms. Santos and Ms. Spencer for all the things big and small, noticed and unnoticed, that you do to make Twain run each and every day!

Safely Dispose Medication on National Drug Take Back Day

Take advantage of free, convenient, confidential, and safe disposal of unused and/or expired medications on Drug Take Back Day, Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Safe disposal of medications prevents substance abuse, accidental poisonings, and protects the environment. Learn more and see which drop-off site is most convenient for you.

Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!

As we approach the end of the school year, it’s important for students to stay engaged, attend school, and finish strong! Visit our website for attendance resources.

Spring SOL Schedule

Spring SOLs are approaching and Twain’s testing schedule is below.  Please ensure students are in school on testing days and do not have appointments and commitments that would require them to be pulled out of their test.  Please be aware that for all these dates, 4th period will be first which is the testing period.  Students should come to school on time, well rested, and with a fully charged laptop.  If you have any questions about spring SOLs, please contact our Testing Coordinator, Sara Joy Lebowitz, [email protected]

Reading SOL – May 8
  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 6, 2, 8 with lunch during 6th
Math SOL – May 15
  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 8, 6, 2 with lunch during 8th
Science SOL* - May 17
  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 8, 2, 6 with lunch during 2nd

*Only 8th graders take this SOL, however, we will be administering a practice SOL to 7th graders on this day.

These schedule changes can be found on the Twain Website on our Bell Schedule page under Important Dates: Schedule Changes.

Edison HS Jumpstart Program

Your student's transition to high school is very important to us! This year we will be offering an optional Jump Start program to our rising 9th grade students. Students will be able to register to attend one of the two-day sessions.

  • August 7 from 9:00AM - 1:00 PM
  • August 9 from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Students will have an opportunity to meet staff members (administrators, counselors, and some teachers), tour the building, get a couple high school tips for success, hear about our many sports/club programs offered, and more.  Lunch is included in the program. Transportation will be provided at limited locations.

Save the Date: Registration will open on May 30th and a link will be located on the Edison website for those interested in our Jumpstart program. Please contact please contact Greg Dombrowski: [email protected] for further information.

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
Web | Twitter | YouTube

Announcements and Upcoming Events

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Principal's Message Greetings Tiger Families!

Ten years ago, FCPS embarked on a journey to highlight transferable and durable skills for our students to apply and reflect upon in the classroom, their daily lives, and in preparation for the jobs of the future. The adoption of Portrait of a Graduate (POG) has led to a renewed emphasis on students developing their skills as communicators, collaborators, creative and critical thinkers, ethical and global citizens, and goal-directed and resilient individuals.

As an International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program, an emphasis on these big picture, life-long skills, in addition to the subject-specific content taught to our students is embedded within what we do each and every day at Twain. Our IB Approaches to Learning (ATLs) (for example: self-management skills) serve as a marriage between Portrait of a Graduate skills (for example: goal directed and resilient individuals) and the framework of what we do in the classroom as an IB school.

At this week’s FCPS Approaches to Learning Presentations of Learning Conference, our very own Ms. Goetz (Chinese Teacher) and Ms. Ramacci (Advanced Academics Resource Teacher & IB Coordinator) shared Twain’s journey. Thank you, Ms. Goetz and Ms. Ramacci for the work to support our Tigers’ development and for representing Twain so positively!

You can learn more about POG & IB at the links below:

Sincerely,

Matt

Twain’s Weekly Schedule

Monday, April 22: Anchor Day Schedule

Tuesday, April 23: Even Day Schedule

Wednesday, April 24: Odd Day Schedule

Thursday, April 25: Even Day Schedule

Friday, April 26: Odd Day Schedule

Monday, April 29: Even Day Schedule

Tuesday, April 30: Odd Day Schedule

Wednesday, May 1: Even Day Schedule

Thursday, May 2: Odd Day Schedule

Friday, May 3: Student Holiday / Teacher Workday

These schedule changes can be found on the Twain Website on our Bell Schedule page under Important Dates: Schedule Changes.

Earth Day Festival

Fairfax County Park Authority's Earth Day Festival will be held Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Sully Historic Site. The festival will include earth and nature-focused programs, scavenger hunts, and other activities.

Immigrant Family Reunification Class

A class will be held online in Spanish for immigrant families looking to reunite during challenging transitions. Saturday classes will be available April 13, 20, or 27, from 9-11:30 a.m. Register online. For more information, please contact your school’s family liaison or Sussy Tomer at [email protected]

Buy your Twain yearbook today!

Go to yearbookordercenter.com

Use our code #: 8606

Last day to pre order has been extended to May 17!

PTA Updates 2024-2025 PTA Officers

Twain PTA is seeking a volunteer to serve as Treasurer for the next school year. Applicants can fill out the application form here.  Join a great team and work together to support the MTMS Staff and Students!  Please contact Corea Smith at [email protected] with any questions or for a description of the Treasurer’s duties.  

Staff Appreciation Week

Staff Appreciation Week is coming soon!! The PTA will host a gift card giveaway, a dessert bar, and a catered luncheon.  You can help express your appreciation for your student’s teachers with a monetary donation by clicking here. Any amount will be appreciated. Donations will go to supply gift cards to every staff member at Twain and purchase desserts for the dessert bar.  Deadline for donations is May 3rd.

Spirit Night at Olympians

Order food from Olympians Family Restaurant at 6430 Landsdowne Centre on May 14 & 15 all day and support Twain PTA.  Dine in or Carryout.  Tell them you’re supporting Twain PTA and proceeds will be donated to the PTA.  When ordering online, remember to write in the notes that you are support Twain. Eat good food and help a good cause.

Twain Community Night

Join us for the annual Twain Community Night on Thursday, May 16 from 6-8 pm.  This is a family-fun event open to the community. Invitations will be distributed to Twain’s feeder elementary schools and we are hoping for a big crowd.  The PTA will be selling pizza, other concessions and Spirit Wear.  All Twain departments will be represented.  Don’t miss the Pick A Prize Raffle. Prizes include Washington Nationals Baseball Tickets, LEGO Discovery, Total Wine, Fairfax County Park Foundation, Natalie Dicks Photography, and more. 

Are you a small business owner and would like to donate a good or service to the Pick a Prize Raffle?  All supporters will be recognized at this community event and your donation is tax deductible.  Please email Linda Pinkney at [email protected], if you would like to be a supporter.

8th Grade Dance Save the Date

Mark your calendars for the much anticipated 8th Grade Dance on June 7th from 6:30-8:30 PM. This is a new date to accommodate the performing arts spring trip. The theme of the dance is The Pacific Voyage and the dress will be formal.  Tickets go on sale during the lunch period the week of the dance for $5. Price of the ticket includes admission to the dance, all the yummy refreshments, a party favor, and a keepsake photo with a 360-photo booth.  Tickets will NOT be sold at the door, so plan ahead to get your ticket during lunch.

Mathspace Mastery: Optional Standards of Learning (SOL) Prep and Review

Students in middle and high schools who have access to Mathspace have been assigned an optional task named “Course Name SOL Review (Optional).” Questions have been selected to emphasize the key standards for students to review in preparation for the end-of-year SOL test. Students are encouraged to work through the review activity at their own pace.

For more information on Mathspace Mastery, visit FCPS’ Digital Resources webpage and click on Mathematics under the High School heading.

Spring SOL Schedule

Spring SOLs are approaching and Twain’s testing schedule is below.  Please ensure students are in school on testing days and do not have appointments and commitments that would require them to be pulled out of their test.  Please be aware that for all these dates, 4th period will be first which is the testing period.  Students should come to school on time, well rested, and with a fully charged laptop.  If you have any questions about spring SOLs, please contact our Testing Coordinator, Sara Joy Lebowitz, [email protected]

Integrated Reading and Writing SOL* – April 25
  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 2, 6, 8 with lunch during 6th period.
Reading SOL – May 8
  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 6, 2, 8 with lunch during 6th period.
Math SOL – May 15
  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 8, 6, 2 with lunch during 8th period.
Science SOL* - May 17
  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 8, 2, 6 with lunch during 2nd period.

*Only 8th graders take these SOLs, however, we will be administering a practice SOL to 7th graders on these days.

These schedule changes can be found on the Twain Website on our Bell Schedule page under Important Dates: Schedule Changes.

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
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Announcements and Upcoming Events

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Principal's Message Greetings Tiger Families!

April is the Month of the Military Child, and Twain Middle School, like all of Fairfax County Public Schools, takes this opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate our military connected students. Twain has over 75 students identified as military connected youth and last year we joined 69 other FCPS schools by earning the designation of a “Virginia Distinguished Purple Star School” for our work in supporting military connected students. This is a recognition we are very proud of as we understand the importance of helping our military connected Tigers thrive during middle school. 

In 2011, the University of New Hampshire 4-H started the “Purple Up! For Military Kids initiative and it is now celebrated nationwide. On Wednesday, April 17th we encourage all Tigers to keep our Twain green in our closets and drawers and wear something purple to symbolize our support for our military connected students. Purple symbolizes all branches of the military as a combination of Army green; Marine Corps red; and Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, and Space Force blue.

The dandelion is the official flower of military-connected children and was chosen as such because dandelions, like our military connected Tigers, put down roots anywhere, bloom where they are planted, and are incredibly resilient.

Thank you, to all of our military connected students and families for being an essential part of the Twain community.

Sincerely,

Matt

Twain’s Weekly Schedule for April

Monday, April 15: Anchor Day Schedule

Tuesday, April 16: Odd Day Schedule

Wednesday, April 17: Even Day Schedule

Thursday, April 18: Odd Day Schedule

Friday, April 19: Even Day Schedule

Please note the upcoming changes to our weekly schedule:

Monday, April 22: Anchor Day Schedule

Tuesday, April 23: Even Day Schedule

Wednesday, April 24: Odd Day Schedule

Thursday, April 25: Even Day Schedule

Friday, April 26: Odd Day Schedule

Monday, April 29: Even Day Schedule

Tuesday, April 30: Odd Day Schedule

Wednesday, May 1: Even Day Schedule

Thursday, May 2: Odd Day Schedule

Friday, May 3: Student Holiday / Teacher Workday

These schedule changes can be found on the Twain Website on our Bell Schedule page under Important Dates: Schedule Changes.

Twain Theatre Presents

Twain MS is bringing Frozen to life! Come see Anna, Olaf, Elsa, Kristoff and Sven April 18th, 19th, and 20th. Each show starts at 7:00 PM, and on Saturday we also have a 2:00 pm performance. You can buy tickets online at https://www.etix.com/ticket/v/15615/mark-twain-middle-school-theatre. Hope to see you there!

Hello High School

All 8th grade students should have received and returned permission slips for the Hello High School field trip. This event will be hosted by Edison on Tuesday, April 23rd. Students will go for the morning and return for lunch at Twain.

If you did not see a permission slip come home, please check your email and/or Talking Points and respond as soon as possible!

Science Support for 8th Grade

We are excited to offer an additional support opportunity for our 8th-grade students as they prepare for the Science Standards of Learning (SOL) test. Starting next Wednesday, we will be holding weekly SOL review sessions for the next three weeks (4/17, 4/24, & 5/1). These review sessions will be held every Wednesday from 2:30 to 3:30. Our experienced teachers will cover key concepts, review important material, and provide practice questions to help students feel confident and prepared for the upcoming SOL test.

We encourage all 8th-grade students who are interested to take advantage of this valuable opportunity. Please register your student using this Google Form (https://bit.ly/3vLakoD) so that we can ensure that we have sufficient materials for students who attend. There are after-school late buses to support students getting home after participating in the opportunity. We appreciate your support in helping our students succeed academically. If you have any questions or need further information, please get in touch with Mrs. Tammy Stickler, Assistant Principal, @ 703-313-3723 or email her at [email protected].

Buy your Twain yearbook today!

Go to yearbookordercenter.com

Use our code #: 8606

Last day to pre order has been extended to May 17!

PTA Updates 2024-2025 PTA Officers

Twain PTA needs you!  We need to fill several officer positions for the next school year, 2024-2025.  The Twain PTA Nominating Committee is now accepting applications.  The officer positions include President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary.  Applications are also being taken for the Membership/Volunteer Coordinator, who serves as a non-elected board position. These officers make up the executive board and conduct the business of running the PTA. Applicants can fill out the application form here.  Join a great team and work together to support the Twain Staff and Students!  Please contact Corea Smith at [email protected] with any questions or for a description of PTA officer duties.  A slate of officers will be announced on April 17th at the next Twain PTA Meeting, so get your applications in soon. 

Parent Strategy Session and PTA Meeting

Join us for our next Parent Strategy Session on April 17th at 7:00 PM in the Twain Library.  Following some brief PTA business, we’ll hear from Mr. Shawn Elliot, Edison Pyramid Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist (SAPS), on substance abuse topics that can help equip parents in supporting healthy choices for our Twain students.  See you there!

Staff Appreciation Week

Staff Appreciation Week is coming soon!!  Join the PTA in honoring our amazing staff members at Twain.  The PTA will host a gift card giveaway, a dessert bar, and a catered luncheon.  You can help express your appreciation for your student’s teachers with a monetary donation by clicking here. Any amount will be appreciated.  Deadline for donations is May 3rd.

Twain Community Night

Join us for the annual Twain Community Night on Thursday, May 16 from 6-8 pm.  This is a family-fun event open to the community. Invitations will be distributed to Twain’s feeder elementary schools and we are hoping for a big crowd.  The PTA will be selling pizza, other concessions and Spirit Wear.  All Twain departments will be represented.  Don’t miss the Pick A Prize Raffle. Prizes include Washington Nationals Baseball Tickets, LEGO Discovery, Total Wine, Fairfax County Park Foundation, Natalie Dicks Photography, and more. 

Are you a small business owner and would like to donate a good or service to the Pick a Prize Raffle?  All supporters will be recognized at this community event and your donation is tax deductible.  Please email Linda Pinkney at [email protected], if you would like to be a supporter.

8th Grade Dance Save The Date

Mark your calendars for the much anticipated 8th Grade Dance on June 7th from 6:30-8:30 PM. This is a new date to accommodate the performing arts spring trip. The theme of the dance is The Pacific Voyage and the dress will be formal.  Tickets go on sale during the lunch period the week of the dance for $5. Price of the ticket includes admission to the dance, all the yummy refreshments, a party favor, and a keepsake photo with a 360-photo booth.  Tickets will not be sold at the door, so plan ahead to get your ticket during lunch.

Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) School Health Services Internal Survey

The FCHD employs school health aides and public health nurses who provide school health services to the students in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). To determine the quality of these services, a survey has been developed by the FCHD and will be shared with all parents or guardians of FCPS students. Parents/guardians will be asked for feedback on the level of satisfaction with School Health services provided to the school community. The survey will be distributed electronically via the “FCPS This Week” email. The survey window is April 15 - April 26, 2024. You also can access the survey at the link below.

Survey link: www.redcap.link/FCHDSchoolHealthSurvey.

Survey results will provide a basis for quality improvement of School Health services. The data-driven process is in alignment with the FCPS Strategic planning process, and the survey results will contribute positively to the FCPS Strategic Plan that reflects a shared consensus among stakeholders.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener Results Coming Soon

Students in grades 3-12 took the SEL Screener at the end of February, providing updated information on their SEL skills like achieving goals, understanding and managing emotions, establishing and maintaining relationships, and making responsible decisions. The screener also asks students how well their school community makes them feel valued, included, and supported.

In late April, individual student SEL Screener results will be available to families in the Documents section of SIS ParentVUE. For families who do not have an active ParentVUE account, results will be sent via postal mail.  If you would like to activate your SIS ParentVue account, please contact Twain’s Testing Coordinator, Sara Joy Lebowitz, at [email protected].

For more information about the screener please visit the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener webpage. For support in understanding your individual student’s results or for ideas on how to support them at home, please review the Family Guide or contact your student’s school. 

Edison Theatre Company Presents

Come see Edison Theatre Company at their creepiest and kookiest!   We have a special deal for Middle School Students!  Tickets go on sale April 12 at 8 am for the spring musical The Addams Family (School Edition) running May 1st, 2nd and 4th in the Edison Auditorium. Tickets are available in advance by following the link below; tickets are also sold at the door.

https://www.etix.com/ticket/v/15633/thomas-edison-high-school-theatre

If you enter "FutureEagle" in the promotion field, you will get 50% off for up to 6 tickets for the May 1st or May 2nd, 7pm performances.

Spring SOL Schedule

Spring SOLs are approaching and Twain’s testing schedule is below.  Please ensure students are in school on testing days and do not have appointments and commitments that would require them to be pulled out of their test.  Please be aware that for all these dates, 4th period will be first which is the testing period.  Students should come to school on time, well rested, and with a fully charged laptop.  If you have any questions about spring SOLs, please contact our Testing Coordinator, Sara Joy Lebowitz, [email protected]

Integrated Reading and Writing SOL* – April 25

  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 2, 6, 8 with lunch during 6th

Reading SOL – May 8

  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 6, 2, 8 with lunch during 6th

Math SOL – May 15

  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 8, 6, 2 with lunch during 8th

Science SOL* - May 17

  • The Bell Schedule for this day is 4, 8, 2, 6 with lunch during 2nd

*Only 8th grade students take these SOLs, however, we will be administering a practice SOL to 7th graders on these days.

These schedule changes can be found on the Twain Website on our Bell Schedule page under Important Dates: Schedule Changes.

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
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Principal's Message Greetings Tiger Families!

We have enjoyed welcoming back our Tigers to school following spring break and starting the 4th quarter. It has been a rainy, but exciting week and I have appreciated starting the school day with a rising sun during arrival instead of the darkness of winter.

Throughout the month there are a number of opportunities to celebrate holidays and heritage or appreciation events. April is both Arab-American and Muslim American Heritage Months. Arab Americans hail from one of the world’s 22 Arab nations stretching from Northern Africa to Western Asia. Along with common linguistic and cultural elements, there are rich and diverse histories in all of these countries, many of which are represented here at Twain. April 10th is a school holiday to celebrate the end of Ramadan with the festival of Eid-al-Fitr. Muslim Americans, and their history, contributions and culture are an essential part of our local and national fabric.

I look forward to seeing the shift from Twain green to purple as we celebrate our military-connected students on Purple Up Day – April 17th! Our military connected students are an important part of the Twain community and the reason we are a Purple Star School. April also is National Autism Acceptance Month. This is a time to highlight the unique strengths of all learners and create connections within the Autism community.

April contains National Library Week and National Assistant Principal Week. We are so fortunate to have Ms. Howard in our library and a talented crew of assistant principals supporting our Tigers.

In summary, we are grateful for the diverse members of our Twain community and the contributions of the talented individuals who support our students and families each and every day. Regardless of the month, it is always a great time to be a Tiger!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Sincerely,

Matt

Twain’s Weekly Schedule

Monday, April 8: Even Day Schedule

Tuesday, April 9: Odd Day Schedule

Wednesday, April 10: Eid – School Closed

Thursday, April 11: Odd Day Schedule

Friday, April 12: Even Day Schedule

PTA Updates 2024-2025 PTA Officers

Twain PTA needs you!  We need to fill several officer positions for the next school year, 2024-2025.  The MTMS PTA Nominating Committee is now accepting applications.  The officer positions include President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary.  Applications are also being taken for the Membership/Volunteer Coordinator, who serves as a non-elected board position. These officers make up the executive board and conduct the business of running the PTA. Applicants can fill out the application form here.  Join a great team and work together to support the MTMS Staff and Students!  Please contact Corea Smith at [email protected] with any questions or for a description of PTA officer duties.  A slate of officers will be announced on April 17th at the next MTMS PTA Meeting, so get your applications in soon. 

8th Grade Dance Committee Members

Are you interested in helping with the 8th Grade Dance? The PTA is looking for interested parents/guardians to help with the planning of the dance.  There are still many opportunities to help with this specular event for the 8th grade students. Please contact Linda Pinkney at [email protected]

Parent Strategy Session and PTA Meeting

Join us for our next Parent Strategy Session on April 17th at 7:00 PM in the Twain Library.  Following some brief PTA business, we’ll hear from Mr. Shawn Elliot, Edison Pyramid Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist (SAPS), on substance abuse topics that can help equip parents in supporting healthy choices for our Twain students.  See you there!

Join the PTA

The PTA is primarily funded through our membership dues, so every person who joins provided valuable support to help the PTA help the students and staff.  Join now at https://mtms.memberhub.com/store?limit=21&live=true It’s never too late to join and your support is vital!!

Spring SOL Schedule

Spring SOLs are approaching and Twain’s testing schedule is below.  Please ensure students are in school on testing days and do not have appointments and commitments that would require them to be pulled out of their test.  Please be aware that for all these dates, 4th period will be first which is the testing period.  Students should come to school on time, well rested, and with a fully charged laptop.  If you have any questions about spring SOLs, please contact our Testing Coordinator, Sara Joy Lebowitz at  [email protected]

Integrated Reading and Writing SOL* – April 25

Reading SOL – May 8

Math SOL – May 15

Science SOL* - May 17

*Only 8th grade students take these SOLs, however, we will administer a practice SOL to 7th grade students on these days.

Lexia Parent Night: Helping Children Learn to Read

Lexia is a computer-based program that supplements classroom instruction to help students develop literacy skills. It also provides teachers with data to identify students who need additional support and the ability to know which specific concepts and skills to prioritize.

Attend a virtual information night to learn about Lexia on Tuesday, April 9, at 6:30 p.m. Integrating Lexia into the literacy curriculum aligns with the Virginia Literacy Act, FCPS’ Equitable Access to Literacy, and FCPS’ 2023-30 Strategic Plan Goal 3, which aims to have all students reading on grade level by the end of third grade.

Solar Eclipse on Monday, April 8th

A solar eclipse is happening on Monday, April 8, 2024. It's a rare and exciting astronomical phenomenon, and one that requires important safety reminders.

Looking directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, can permanently damage your eyes.

Here are some important reminders:

  • Don't look at the sun without approved eyewear. This applies to students, staff and families. We encourage you to reinforce this necessity at home. 
  • Regular sunglasses are not good enough. We will be providing eyewear that has been approved for viewing to students as they exit school on Monday.
  • Eclipse timing: The eclipse starts around 2:04 p.m., peaks at 3:20 p.m. and ends around 4:32 p.m. If you have concerns about your child walking or riding the bus home, please arrange for alternative transportation.

For more details, visit the FCPS Solar Eclipse webpage.

Formal Dress Shop Opportunity

With our 8th grade dance rapidly approaching (May 31st) we want to alert families to an opportunity to obtain discounted dresses that has been organized by Centreville High School and the Fair Oaks Classroom on the Mall program. The annual Prom Dress Shop for the prom season will open on Friday, April 5, at Centreville High School. Any area student — not just those from Fairfax County Public Schools — who do not have the funds to purchase a prom dress may choose from hundreds of new dresses donated by Macy’s. Learn more and see shop hours.

Opportunities for Required Athletic Physicals in our Community

Athletic physicals are required for middle and high school student-athletes.  Beginning May 1, 2024, FCPS high schools will offer athletic pre-participation physical exams for students interested in middle school sports during the 2024-25 school year.   These events serve as the primary fundraiser for our high school athletic training programs and each exam costs $50.  Rising middle school students are eligible to receive a physical at no cost although donations to the HS athletic training program are welcomed.

Pre-registration is highly encouraged; walk-in appointments may not be available.  You can register here: Student registration.  Once your registration is received, the school’s athletic trainer will contact you to confirm your appointment time.  Athletic physical exams must be completed on this form: FCPS Middle School Sports Athletic Participation/Parental Consent/Physical Examination Form (PPE).

If you are a medical professional (MD, DO, NP, PA, ATC, PT, EMT, etc.) interested in volunteering your time in support of these events, please register to help out: Volunteer registration.

 

Community Forums on Middle School Start Times

FCPS is exploring options for adjusting middle school start times and invites the public to be part of the process. All forums will deliver the same presentation and provide the same feedback opportunities. Please attend the event that works best for your schedule: 

Click the date of the event to register. Registration is not required but does help with planning. Language interpretation and childcare will be provided. Learn more about the project exploring middle school start times

The Dr. Lawrence Bussey Memorial Equity Award

Nominations are open for the 2024 Dr. Lawrence Bussey Memorial Equity Award.  The Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee (MSAOC) sponsors this award to honor the legacy of Dr. Bussey, a founding member of the MSAOC and a longtime advocate for students and families.  

This award recognizes staff or community members who have demonstrated significant and impactful efforts to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of students from groups who are marginalized or underserved.

Any FCPS employee, student, or community member can nominate an individual or group for the award. All nomination materials must be submitted by Wednesday, May 1, 2024.  The winner will be recognized at the FCPS Equity Symposium.

Full details and the nomination information form can be found at the Dr. Lawrence Bussey Memorial Equity Award website

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
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Announcements and Upcoming Events

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Principal’s Message Greetings Tiger Families!

Last month, we partnered with the FCPS Family Engagement office to conduct a Family Engagement Walk Through. The feedback shared with school leadership from participants included areas we can celebrate as well as areas to focus on for improvement. For example, families highlighted that our front office staff is friendly and helpful and that our weekly News You Choose newsletter is well organized and timely. They also identified that we could provide more opportunities for families to connect with each other and that it can be challenging to find information on our website. One of our Twain Collective Commitments is to “Embrace a growth mindset as lifelong learners.” In the spirit of continual growth and improvement, please take the time, if you haven’t already, to participate in the FCPS Family Engagement Survey, as well as the FCPS Principal Evaluation Parent/Guardian Feedback Form (sent to your inbox from “FCPS Surveys”). You should have received individual emails regarding both these feedback opportunities over the past two weeks. We genuinely wish to receive this feedback from our families so that we can leverage our existing strengths and identify and address our areas where improvement is needed. Thank you for taking your valuable time to partner in these efforts.

Please have a safe, restful, and enjoyable spring break. We look forward to welcoming our Tigers back on Wednesday, April 3rd.

Sincerely,

Matt

Twain MS Office Closed During Spring Break

Our office will be closed during spring break and will reopen on April 1st. As a reminder, spring break is March 25th through March 29th and students also have holidays on April 1st (FCPS Teacher Workday) and April 2nd (FCPS Staff Development Day).

Twain’s Weekly Schedule

March 25 – 29 is Spring Break.  Twain’s main office will be closed.

Upon returning from Spring Break, the school week will be:

Monday, April 1: Student Holiday – Teacher Workday

Tuesday, April 2: Student Holiday – Staff Development Day

Wednesday, April 3: Anchor Day Schedule

Thursday, April 4: Odd Day Schedule

Friday, April 5: Even Day Schedule

Buy your Twain yearbook today!

Go to yearbookordercenter.com

Use our code #: 8606

Last day to order: April 19th

Spring Track

Spring Track practice begins April 4th. If you have not already registered your Twain student, please do so ASAP. Please remember that registration, sports physicals, and emergency care cards must be turned in before your child can participate in practice. Please see our Twain Athletics page for links and contact information: https://twainms.fcps.edu/activities/middle-school-athletics

PTA Updates Tiger Night Thank You

A huge Thank You to the many volunteers who stepped up and made Tiger Night a success last Friday night. Thank you for answering the call for more volunteers.  We had roughly 250 Twain students attend this student social and enjoy the many activities available.  We are grateful to the Edison HS students who also came and helped out with the basketball tournament, improv, and DJing our dance.  A special shout out to our Tiger Night Co-Chairs, Stefani Steelman and Sarah Rodgers for making it all happen.  Spring Tiger Night 2024 is a wrap!

8th Grade Dance Committee Members

Are you interested in helping with the 8th Grade Dance? The PTA is looking for interested parents/guardians to help with the planning of the dance.  Please contact Linda Pinkney at [email protected]

PTA Nominating Committee

The PTA would like to thank the following PTA members for serving on the Nominating Committee- Nathan Olsen, Corea Smith, and Cortney Beltz.  The Nominating Committee is now accepting applications for 2024-2025 Officers.  The current vacant officer positions include President, Vice President, Secretary, and Membership/Volunteer Coordinator.  These officers, along with the Treasurer, make up the Executive Board and conduct the PTA business and run the organization. Please send an email to [email protected] if you are interested in serving in one of these positions or for more information.

Join the PTA

The PTA is primarily funded through our membership dues, so every person who joins provided valuable support to help the PTA help the students and staff.  Join now at https://mtms.memberhub.com/store?limit=21&live=true It’s never too late to join and your support is vital!!

Neurodiversity Celebration Week – March 18 to 22

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
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Principal's Message Greetings Tiger Families!

Over the past few weeks our Twain music program (band, orchestra and choir) participated in their respective assessments, which occur each spring and hold significance comparable to the SOL exam for our music programs. This assessment process caps off months of hard work and dedication through class, co-curricular rehearsals, and practice time at home. To receive a Superior Rating, not only does the ensemble need to demonstrate flawless technique and musicianship to highly regarded and knowledgeable judges, but they need to show the ability to work and collaborate as young musicians to bring a piece of music to life.

The Intermediate Band received a rating of Excellent and the Advanced Band received a rating of Superior. The Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestra ensembles received the highest mark of Superior. Finally, Twain’s Choirs performed the several difficult pieces they have been working on at Tuesday’s District X Choral Assessment and all singers received straight Superior ratings on stage and in sight-reading! We are so very proud of all of our musicians’ hard work!

If you have a Twain musician in your home, thank you for supporting their passion and talent. If you know a Twain musician, please congratulate them on their wonderful achievements!

Thank you to our band director, Mr. Kluttz, our orchestra director, Mr. Garfield-Levine, and our choir director, Ms. Tolpa for the tireless work you to do foster our young musicians! In addition to being a desirable co-curricular activity for so many of our students, research strongly suggests that music education has a significant positive impact both on student cognitive function and well-being. You can learn more about that connection by reading this article from the University of Southern California.

You can learn more about fine and performing arts programming on the FCPS website as well as our Twain website.

Sincerely,

Matt

Twain’s Weekly Schedule

Monday, March 18: Anchor Day Schedule

Tuesday, March 19: Odd Day Schedule

Wednesday, March 20: Even Day Schedule  

Thursday, March 21: Odd Day Schedule

Friday, March 22: Even Day Schedule

Monday, March 25 through Friday, March 29: Spring Break / School Closed

Monday, April 1: Teacher Workday / Student Holiday

Tuesday, April 2: Staff Development Day / Student Holiday

Twain MS Office Closed During Spring Break

Our office will be closed during spring break and will reopen on April 1st. As a reminder, spring break is March 25th through March 29th and students also have holidays on April 1st (FCPS Staff Development Day) and April 2nd (FCPS Teacher Workday).

FCPS Principal Evaluation Parent/Guardian Feedback Form Opens March 18th

On Monday, March 18, Twain parents/guardians will be sent an email containing a link to complete the online FCPS Principal Evaluation Parent/Guardian Feedback Form. This questionnaire is part of the VDOE-mandated Performance Evaluation Program for principals and offers parents/guardians an opportunity to provide anonymous input about various topics related to our school. These topics include how the principal demonstrates/impacts instructional leadership, school climate, management, communication and community relations, culturally responsive and equitable leadership, and professionalism within the school.

The questionnaire will be administered between March 18 and April 5. When you receive an email from FCPS Surveys, please take a few minutes to complete the questionnaire. Your feedback matters!

Please note, this survey is different from the FCPS Engagement Survey that was sent out on March 3rd. The FCPS Principal Evaluation Parent/Guardian Feedback Form is specifically geared towards Twain Middle School, and ultimately, Principal Mough. Your participation in the survey is greatly appreciated as we constantly strive to maintain the areas where we are already thriving and improve in the areas where it is necessary.

PTA Updates Tiger Night

Tiger Night is here.  All Twain students are invited to attend tonight, March 15th from 6-8 PM.  Tickets are available at the door for $5.  Concession will be on sale including pizza, chip, soda, and slushies.  This very popular Twain student social has something for everyone! Activities include a glow dance, basketball tournament, Improv, karaoke, board games, video game, and minute-to-win-it games. 

8th Grade Dance Interest Zoom Meeting

Are you interested in helping with the 8th Grade Dance?  The PTA is looking for interested volunteers to join the 8th Grade Dance Committee.  We’ll hold a zoom meeting on March 19th at 7:00 pm.  Email Linda Pinkney at [email protected] for the zoom link.

PTA Nominating Committee

The PTA Board is looking for ONE more PTA members to serve on the nominating committee. This committee's responsible is take nominations from eligible persons for each vacant office on the PTA Board for the 2024-2025 school year.  The committee will be voted in at the PTA on meeting on March 20th.  Please contact Linda Pinkney at [email protected], if you are willing to serve on the nominating committee

PTA Meeting in March

Our next PTA meeting will take place on March 20th at 7:00 PM.  We’ll hold this meeting via zoom only.  There is no in--person meeting in the library this month.  Contact Linda Pinkney at [email protected] for the zoom link.  No Parent Strategy Session this month.

Join the PTA

The PTA is primarily funded through our membership dues, so every person who joins provided valuable support to help the PTA help the students and staff.  Join now at https://mtms.memberhub.com/store?limit=21&live=true It’s never too late to join and your support is vital!!

Join a Community Conversation on Fentanyl and Other Drugs

A community conversation addressing the opioid crisis within Northern Virginia and Fairfax County Public Schools will be held Monday, March 18, 6:30-8 p.m., in the auditorium at Lake Braddock Secondary School. Please enter through Door #14. 

All attendees will receive a free REVIVE! Narcan training during the event and learn about support services currently available within FCPS and Fairfax County.   

This discussion will provide families, staff, and students with valuable knowledge about the dangers of drugs and deadly fentanyl. The material discussed is suitable for students in grade 6 and higher. Together, as a community, we aim to explore collaborative strategies to minimize the impact of these harmful and sometimes fatal substances.

Language interpretation services are available as well as American Sign Language accommodation. Childcare and transportation will also be provided, as needed. Learn more about the event and register online.

TJ Techstravaganza 2024

Tomorrow’s Women in Science and Technology (TWIST), a student organization at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) is promoting STEM through our annual flagship outreach event, Techstravaganza, and we would like to invite Twain’s students to attend! Techstravaganza is a free, public, hands-on STEM activity fair for elementary and middle school students in Northern Virginia. In previous years, we've hosted more than 4,500 students and 70 labs presenting STEM activities. Our exhibitors range from TJHSST clubs and our own TWIST volunteers to organizations like NASA SCaN, Art of Problem Solving, George Mason University, American Society of Naval Engineers, and the National Air and Space Museum. This year, we will be holding the 20th annual Techstravaganza on Saturday, May 18, 2024 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at TJHSST. Admission is free and food will be for sale. Here is the registration link: https://tinyurl.com/techstrav24. More information about the event can be found on this website at TJTechstrav.org.

Girls Basketball Camp

The John R. Lewis HS Girls Basketball Camp is BACK this summer! 

The Lady Lancers will be hosting their summer camp this year from July 15th-July 19th, 2024. Some highlights of last year's camp included:

  • Daily scrimmages
  • Individualized skill work based on athlete need/development
  • Working with current Varsity HS athletes
  • Daily team bonding activities
  • Daily prizes
  • New Lewis HS t-shirts!

If you would like to attend this year's camp, please secure your spot by clicking here to complete the Google Form.

Buy your Twain yearbook today!

Go to yearbookordercenter.com

Use our code #: 8606

Last day to order: April 19th

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
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Principal's Message Greetings Tiger Families!

As part of our commitment to creating a safe and focused learning environment for our students, 16 teachers at Twain have been piloting a classroom management tool called Lightspeed for the past month. This past week at our monthly staff work session, we shared our findings from this pilot with our full faculty and have embarked upon a schoolwide adoption of this tool. This tool will provide teachers with a number of helpful features:

  • Easily view student screens in real time from the teacher console to see which students may need guidance or support.
  • Focus student attention on a particular website on their device to minimize distractions.
  • Pause student access to the internet to focus on other classroom tasks.

Some positive feedback from our pilot members include how the program has allowed them to recognize when a student is participating in off-task behavior like video gaming during class, block Internet access to the entire class when having students engage in non-digital learning opportunities, and identify patterns of what sites may be causing the largest distractions for our students. Instructionally, teachers noted that it has been helpful while students were working independently to see if there was a common part of an assignment where students were “stuck” which informed the teacher on how to modify his teaching. Teachers can also quickly push out a link to all students at one time, helping them efficiently access a resource as the teacher adjusts her lesson for the day. In summary, we are hopeful that it will provide both classroom management as well as instructional benefits as we explore it further.

Please note that student devices will not be monitored outside of school hours. The regular filters remain in place on school devices, but once they are home, teachers cannot monitor students. As parents, we would like to encourage you to sign up for your own Lightspeed reports, which will allow you to see how your child is spending time on the computer during and after school hours.

Together, we can leverage the educational technology available to us to maximize student engagement and academic success.

Sincerely,

Matt

Twain’s Weekly Schedule

Monday, March 11: Anchor Day Schedule

Tuesday, March 12: Odd Day Schedule

Wednesday, March 13: Even Day Schedule  

Thursday, March 14: Odd Day Schedule

Friday, March 15: Even Day Schedule

Daylight Savings Time Begins

Sunday, March 10 – Spring Ahead

Move your clocks ahead one hour.

FCPS Principal Evaluation Parent/Guardian Feedback Form Opens March 18th

On Monday, March 18, Twain parents/guardians will be sent an email containing a link to complete the online FCPS Principal Evaluation Parent/Guardian Feedback Form. This questionnaire is part of the VDOE-mandated Performance Evaluation Program for principals and offers parents/guardians an opportunity to provide anonymous input about various topics related to our school. These topics include how the principal demonstrates/impacts instructional leadership, school climate, management, communication and community relations, culturally responsive and equitable leadership, and professionalism within the school.

The questionnaire will be administered between March 18 and April 5. When you receive an email from FCPS Surveys, please take a few minutes to complete the questionnaire. Your feedback matters!

Please note, this survey is different from the FCPS Engagement Survey that was sent out on March 3rd. The FCPS Principal Evaluation Parent/Guardian Feedback Form is specifically geared towards Twain Middle School, and ultimately, Principal Mough. Your participation in the survey is greatly appreciated as we constantly strive to maintain the areas where we are already thriving and improve in the areas where it is necessary.

Attendance Information

Next week, Twain Middle School’s Attendance team will be sending emails to all parents/guardians to inform families about the number of days students have been absent this school year. Moving forward, this will be a routine part of our communications so that we can inform parents how many days a child has been absent. Receiving this email does not necessarily signal that there are any problems with your child’s attendance, and please know that all students will be receiving the exact same communication regardless of how many days a student is absent. 

First Full Day of Ramadan

This year, the first full day of Ramadan is Monday, March 11. In Islam, Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food and drink from dawn to sunset each day while striving to increase their spirituality, through prayers, charity, and good deeds. Read more about Ramadan in National Geographic Kids.

March 11 is a religious and cultural observance day. The school calendar recognizes many religious and cultural observances during the school year. There is school on observance days, however, tests, quizzes, field trips, graduation, homecoming, or FCPS-scheduled athletic events will not be scheduled. See the school year calendar.

PTA Updates Urgent Needs for Tiger Night

Volunteers and donation are still needed for Tiger Night on March 15th.  We especially need volunteers to help run the events and work the concession table. Please use this sign-up genius link to offer your support. Donations can be dropped off at the main office starting Wednesday, March 13 and ending Friday, March 15 by 3:00 PM.

Tiger Night

Tiger Night is coming on March 15th from 6-8 PM.  This very popular Twain student social has something for everyone! Activities include a dance, basketball tournament, Improv, karaoke, board games, video game, and minute-to-win-it games.  Concession will be on sale including pizza, chip, soda, and slushies.  Advance tickets will be on sale during lunches March 13-15 for $3 and at the door for $5 on March 15th.  All Twain students are invited!!!

Spirit Night at Honeygrow

Eat to support Mark Twain PTA on March 12th from 10:30 AM to 10:00 PM at HONEYGROW, 7698 Richmond Hwy.  Use promo code GIVE149 on the honeygrow app, at honegrow.com or in-store at the kiosk before checking out.  MTMS PTA will get 20% of all order placed by Twain supporters.

Staff Member of the Month

Congratulation to Mr. Prokos, a new History and Social Studies Teacher at Twain for being named the PTA Staff Member of the Month for March. Mr. Prokos received a gift card to a local restaurant, a trophy, and a sweet parking space in front of the school for the month.  Thank you, Mr. Prokos for making a lasting impact on the  students you teach and interact with at Twain!

8th Grade Dance Interest Zoom Meeting

Are you interested in helping with the 8th Grade Dance?  The PTA is looking for interested volunteers to join the 8th Grade Dance Committee.  We’ll hold a zoom meeting on March 19th at 7:00 pm.  Email Linda Pinkney at [email protected] for the zoom link.

Join the PTA

The PTA is primarily funded through our membership dues, so every person who joins provided valuable support to help the PTA help the students and staff.  Join now at https://mtms.memberhub.com/store?limit=21&live=true It’s never too late to join and your support is vital!!

Institute for the Arts Summer Opportunity

Students in all FCPS secondary schools can enroll in the Institute for the Arts. IFTA is a two- or three-week summer Arts enrichment program for students in rising 7th through 12th grades. Students create their own schedules in Art, Music, Theatre, and Dance from nearly 60 courses offered. Transportation is provided from around the county. Tuition assistance is available for students who qualify. Check out the Institute for the Arts website for more information or email [email protected].

The Rose Hill Players present “The Claw”

Join us ‘The Rose Hill Players’, from Rose Hill Elementary School, for our production of “The Claw.”  

Welcome to the Rose Hill Bowling Alley, specifically inside a Claw Machine that has not been turned on in a long time. Our narrator, Claw, introduces us to two best friends: a cow plush named Dot and a stuffed dragon named Aiden. While Aiden wishes they could leave the game, Dot loves being stuck inside, where things never change. Suddenly, all the toys are tossed around inside the machine, as the Claw game springs to life for the first time in ages! Aiden is thrilled and determined to leave the game today. Dot, meanwhile, is terrified of facing the unknown. A trio of Beanie Elders, eccentric Flair Bears and tough Mighty Mutant Power Turtles teach them how to embrace change and conquer the unknown, but is Dot ready? With things changing so quickly, can they manage to stay together? Or will they be separated forever?! Come join us and find out. 

Performances will be held at:

Thomas A. Edison High School

5801 Franconia Rd. Alexandria

Saturday, April 6

1pm and 6pm

Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for children, $1 for children at the matinee.

Safely View the Total Solar Eclipse on April 8

A total solar eclipse will occur on Monday, April 8, and will be viewable, depending on weather, in Fairfax County. The eclipse will begin in our area around 2:04 p.m. and end around 4:32 p.m., with the maximum eclipse occurring around 3:20 p.m.  

Although this event occurs primarily during and after dismissal, we wish to reiterate to students and families the importance of safe viewing practices. FCPS safety guidelines do not permit direct viewing of the sun even with protective eyewear and encourage the use of indirect (projection) viewing devices, including solar boxes and pinhole projectors. We wish to share the Solar Eclipse Resources with our community to access safe viewing practices. We hope everyone takes the opportunity to learn more about this extraordinary natural phenomenon while prioritizing safe solar viewing.

Buy your Twain yearbook today!

Go to yearbookordercenter.com

Use our code #: 8606

Last day to order: April 19

 

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
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Principal’s Message

Greetings Tiger Families!

Next Friday, March 8th, we are excited to travel south to Hayfield for the 4th Annual Kingstowne Cup Basketball Games. Our girls and boys teams have been training hard to compete with our cross town rival Hawks. The girls tip off at 5:45 and the boys at 7:15. We are also having a spirit week next week culminating in a pep rally on Friday afternoon during last block. Go Tigers!

Not only are these events an exciting way to showcase our Tigers’ talents but they help us continue to build upon a sense of Twain community and school spirit. Possibly the most important facet of extracurricular activities for our students is how positively it impacts student achievement and attendance. Jim Patterson, in his article “Extracurricular Participation and Academic Success,” found on the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) website, writes “Participation in extracurricular activities can boost schools in key areas—academic performance, behavior, attendance, student and parent satisfaction—even in things like the levels of curiosity among students or the likelihood that students will get excited about STEM careers.”

You can learn more about extracurricular activities and attendance on the FCPS websites below.

As a reminder, on Tuesday, school is closed for primary election day. As a result, we have shifted Monday to be an Odd Day (periods 1,3,5,7) rather than an Anchor Day.

Sincerely,

Matt

Twain’s Weekly Schedule

Monday, March 4: Odd Day Schedule

Tuesday, March 5: Student Holiday – Staff Development Day

Wednesday, March 6: Even Day Schedule  

Thursday, March 7: Odd Day Schedule

Friday, March 8: Even Day Modified Schedule – Periods 2, 8, 6, 4

2024 Twain Yearbook

Buy your Twain yearbook today!

Go to: yearbookordercenter.com

Use our school’s code#: 8606

PTA Updates Tiger Night

Tiger Night is coming on March 15th from 6-8 PM.  This very popular Twain student social has something for everyone! Activities include a dance, basketball tournament, Improv, karaoke, board games, video game, and minute-to-win-it games.  Concession will be on sale including pizza, chip, soda, and slushies.  Advance tickets will be on sale during lunches March 13-15 for $3 and at the door for $5 on March 15th. 

Volunteers and donations are needed!  Please use this sign-up genius link to offer your support. Donations can be dropped off at the main office starting Wednesday, March 13 and ending Friday, March 15 by 3:00 PM.

Spirit Night at Honeygrow

Eat to support Mark Twain PTA on March 12th from 10:30 AM to 10:00 PM at HONEYGROW, 7698 Richmond Hwy.  Use promo code GIVE149 on the honeygrow app, at honegrow.com or in-store at the kiosk before checking out.  Twain PTA will get 20% of all order placed by Twain supporters.

Nominations for Staff Member of the Month

Each month, the PTA names a deserving Twain Staff Member the honor of being the STAFF MEMBER OF THE MONTH. Parent and students are welcome to nominate their favorite teacher or staff member by filling out this form.  You can also email your nominations to [email protected]

PTA Nominating Committee

The PTA Board is looking for three PTA members to serve on the nominating committee. This committee's responsible is take nominations from eligible persons for each vacant office on the PTA Board for the 2024-2025 school year.  Please contact Linda Pinkney at [email protected], if you are interested in serving on the nominating committee or more information about serving on the PTA Board next year.

Join the PTA

The PTA is primarily funded through our membership dues, so every person who joins provided valuable support to help the PTA help the students and staff.  Join now at https://mtms.memberhub.com/store?limit=21&live=true It’s never too late to join and your support is vital!!

Family Engagement Survey

Look for the FCPS Family Engagement Survey This Sunday Parents/caregivers will receive the FCPS’ Family Engagement Survey Sunday, March 3, from independent research firm K12 Insight. Please participate — your feedback is critical in helping to inform and improve practices to best support our students. Taking this survey will also help strengthen the partnership between your family and our school. When that partnership is strong, students can experience a range of benefits including improved school readiness, higher student achievement, better social skills and behavior, and an increased likelihood of graduating high school. The survey will take about 10-15 minutes to complete and will be available in 10 languages. Please visit the Family Engagement Survey webpage for more information. Your voice matters!

Join a Community Conversation on Fentanyl and Other Drugs

A community conversation addressing the opioid crisis within Northern Virginia and Fairfax County Public Schools will be held Wednesday, March 18, 6:30-8 p.m., in the auditorium at Lake Braddock Secondary School. Please enter through Door #14. 

All attendees will receive a free REVIVE! Narcan training during the event and learn about support services currently available within FCPS and Fairfax County.   

This discussion will provide families, staff, and students with valuable knowledge about the dangers of drugs and deadly fentanyl. The material discussed is suitable for students in grades 6-12. Together as a community, we aim to explore collaborative strategies to minimize the impact of these harmful and too-often fatal substances.

Language interpretation services are available as well as American Sign Language accommodation. Childcare and transportation will also be provided, as needed. Learn more about the event and register online.

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
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Principal's Message Greetings Tiger Families!

Did you know that although the 2024-25 school year does not start until August 19th, which is a short 178 days away, we are actively engaged in the recruiting and hiring process for next year’s faculty and staff? FCPS in general, and Twain Middle School specifically, is committed to hiring and supporting a diverse, dedicated, and talented workforce to serve our amazing students and supportive community.

Tomorrow, February 24th, FCPS is holding an instructional job fair at Lake Braddock Secondary School, from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. Twain will be represented at the job fair, looking to identify talented and creative teachers and instructional assistants to help positively impact next year’s pack of Tigers! You can network and take advantage of interview opportunities with representatives from various FCPS schools. If you are interested in attending the job fair, you can register for the fair HERE. Employment offers may be extended on the spot during the fair.

You can learn more about the many instructional and operational job opportunities that FCPS has to offer on the Career Page of the FCPS website.

Please feel free to share these exciting opportunities with anyone you believe may be interested. Have a wonderful final weekend of February! 

Sincerely,

Matt

Twain’s Weekly Schedule

Monday, February 26: Anchor Day Schedule

Tuesday, February 27: Odd Day Schedule

Wednesday, February 28: Even Day Schedule  

Thursday, February 29: Odd Day Schedule

Friday, March 1: Even Day Schedule

Parent/Guardian Only Presentation on Trends in the Drug Culture - February 29, 2024 

Many challenges and responsibilities come with being a parent and having to address a difficult topic with your child, such as drug culture, trends and identifying signs of substance use, can be stressful. Drugs and drug paraphernalia is now being disguised as common everyday items out in plain sight, to go unrecognized by parents or other adults.  Substance Abuse Prevention Program want to provide you with information so you will be able to recognize drugs and drug paraphernalia and also the signs of drug use to equip you to have real and meaningful dialog with your child concerning these issues. 

Join us on February 29, 2024 at 6:00pm at Edison High School where we will be hosting a parent presentation to provide information on the trends in drug culture. After the presentation there will be time to ask questions or to receive more information. The trends in drug culture have created innovative ways to hook your child and we are here to arm you by providing information concerning these topics that will assist in effective communication with your child.  Also, a Narcan Training with be provided by a member of the Community Services Board.

Shawn Elliott, BS, QMHP-C

Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist

[email protected]

PTA Updates Tiger Night

Tiger Night is coming on March 15th from 6-8 PM.  This very popular Twain student social has something for everyone! Activities include a dance, basketball tournament, Improv, karaoke, board games, video game, and minute-to-win-it games.  Concession will be on sale including pizza, chip, soda, and slushies.  Advance tickets will be on sale during lunches March 13-15 for $3 and at the door for $5 on March 15th. 

Volunteers and donations are needed!  Please use this sign-up genius link to offer your support. Donations can be dropped off at the main office starting Wednesday, March 13 and ending Friday, March 15 by 3:00 PM.

PTA Meeting and Parent Strategy Session

Our next PTA meeting will be February 28th at 7:00 pm in the Twain Library.  All are welcome.  A zoom link will be made available prior to the meeting.  Also, that evening, the PTA will host a Parent Strategy Session and we are pleased to hear from Mollis Cottingham, Edison's Career Center Specialist, who will explain how the Career Center provides a framework of career awareness, career exploration, and career preparation activities to help students understand options for careers upon graduation.  Ms Cottingham will also provide an overview of education tracks available at Edison, including technical, college and military preparation.  Learn more about The Career Center at Edison HS at https://edisonhs.fcps.edu/student-services/college-and-career-center

PTA Nominating Committee

The PTA Board is looking for three PTA members to serve on the nominating committee. This committee's responsible is take nominations from eligible persons for each vacant office on the PTA Board for the 2024-2025 school year.  Please contact Linda Pinkney at [email protected], if you are interested in serving on the nominating committee or more information about serving on the PTA Board next year.

Join the PTA

The PTA is primarily funded through our membership dues, so every person who joins provided valuable support to help the PTA help the students and staff.  Join now at https://mtms.memberhub.com/store?limit=21&live=true It’s never too late to join and your support is vital!!

Edison HS Mulch Sale

Spring is nearly here and so is the Edison High School All Night Grad Party (ANGP) Mulch Sale!  The ANGP has been a long-standing tradition and your support keeps it going each year. Your purchase helps us provide a safe and incredibly fun night for our graduating seniors. Order online at edisonangp.com/mulch-sale.  Delivery is available with the purchase of 20+ bags. Thank you and happy gardening! Additional information can be found in this attached flyer

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
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Principal's Message Greetings Tiger Families!

Yesterday, February 15th, was National School Resource Officer (SRO) Day. Every day we are fortunate to have a dedicated and skilled SRO, Officer Ahmed, at Twain Middle School. Officer Ahmed not only helps with the overall safety of our building, but among other less public tasks, he serves as a mentor to our students and a bridge between our school, the Fairfax County Police Department and our community. There is nothing more important than making sure our students and staff are safe each day, and that our students’ parents can send their children to our school with confidence each morning. Thank you, Officer Ahmed, for all the work you do for our school.

You can learn more about the work FCPS SROs do at this link.

Don’t forget that Monday is a student and staff holiday to celebrate Presidents’ Day and we will return to school on Tuesday with an Odd Day (periods 1,3,5,7).

Sincerely,

Matt

Twain’s Weekly Schedule

Monday, February 19: Presidents Day – School Closed

Tuesday, February 20: Odd Day Schedule

Wednesday, February 21: Even Day Schedule  

Thursday, February 22: Odd Day Schedule

Friday, February 23: Even Day Schedule

Eating Disorders - Parent/Guardian Information

In 2013, Virginia passed a law requiring every school system to provide information to parents annually about eating disorders with parents/guardians of students in the fifth through twelfth grades.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA 2023),

Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental and physical illnesses that can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights. In the United States, 28.8 million Americans will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives.

There is no single cause of an eating disorder. Rather, it is a complex combination of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors that converge and set off an individual’s predisposed genetic vulnerability.

In collaboration with the Fairfax County Health Department, FCPS has developed a web page with detailed information and resources about eating disorders.  To find out more, please visit the FCPS Eating Disorders website.

In addition to the information on the FCPS website, the National Eating Disorders Association has a toll free, confidential Helpline, 1-800-931-2237.

PTA Updates Spirit Night at Paisanos

Hungry for some pizza?  Join us for a fundraising event for Twain PTA on February 20th and 21st from 11 AM to 9 PM at Paisano's Pizza, located at 6937 Telegraph Rd.  Show the attached flyer or mention Twain MS when ordering and 20% of your total will be donated to MTMS PTA.  Valid for Dine-in, Carry-out, and Delivery.

Tiger Night

Tiger Night is coming on March 15th from 6-8 PM.  This very popular Twain student social has something for everyone! Activities include a dance, basketball tournament, Improv, karaoke, board games, video game, and minute-to-win-it games.  Concession will be on sale including pizza, chip, soda, and slushies.  Advance tickets will be on sale during lunches March 12-15 for $3 and at the door for $5 on March 15th. 

Keep a look out for a sign-up genius coming soon.  Parent support is needed!!!

PTA Nominating Committee

The PTA Board is looking for three PTA members to serve on the nominating committee. This committee's responsible is take nominations from eligible persons for each vacant office on the PTA Board for the 2024-2025 school year.  Please contact Linda Pinkney at [email protected], if you are interested in serving on the nominating committee or more information about serving on the PTA Board next year.

PTA Meeting and Parent Strategy Session

Our next PTA meeting will be February 28th at 7:00 PM in the Twain Library.  All are welcome.  A zoom link will be made available prior to the meeting.  Also, that evening, the PTA will host a Parent Strategy Session and we are pleased to hear from Mollis Cottingham, Edison's Career Center Specialist, who will explain how the Career Center provides a framework of career awareness, career exploration, and career preparation activities to help students understand options for careers upon graduation.  Ms. Cottingham will also provide an overview of education tracks available at Edison, including technical, college and military preparation.  Learn more about The Career Center at Edison HS here.

Join the PTA

The PTA is primarily funded through our membership dues, so every person who joins provided valuable support to help the PTA help the students and staff.  Join now at https://mtms.memberhub.com/store?limit=21&live=true It’s never too late to join and your support is vital!!

Buy your Twain yearbook today!

Go to: yearbookordercenter.com

Use our school’s code#: 8606

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
Web | Twitter | YouTube

Announcements and Upcoming Events

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Principal's Message Greetings Tiger Families!

This week has been National School Counseling Week, which focuses our attention on the unique and important contributions of school counselors across the United States, and specifically here at Mark Twain Middle School. Our professional school counselors – Ms. Pilotti, Ms. Clinton, Ms. Danosos and Ms. Baldwin – support the social-emotional growth, effective and safe decision making, and academic success of our Tigers each and every day. Since December we have been deeply engaged in supporting the transition to Twain for our rising 7th graders and away from Twain for our rising 9th graders. Our counselors, and our entire student services team, are central to the planning and execution of this work so that our students can find success at all stages of their educational careers and beyond. I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank our school counselors, and our entire student services team (pictured below), for their dedication, care, and talent in supporting our students at Twain.

If you’d like to learn more about the great work school counselors do, please check out the resources linked below.

FCPS School Counseling Services Website

American School Counselor Association Website

Sincerely,

Matt

Twain’s Weekly Schedule

Monday, February 12: Anchor Day Schedule

Tuesday, February 13: Odd Day Schedule

Wednesday, February 14: Even Day Schedule  

Thursday, February 15: Odd Day Schedule

Friday, February 16: Even Day Schedule

Lunch Procedures

We have started to see an increase in the number of students who upon learning of the cafeteria lunch selection for the day, are contacting family members to bring them an alternative lunch. Unfortunately, this has resulted in students then receiving their lunch after their assigned lunch period has passed and subsequently missing class time in order to retrieve and eat this lunch. Additionally, it has created additional unnecessary traffic in the main office during an already busy time of day. We support parents dropping off lunches for students when necessary and ask that this only occur if it is during the student’s assigned lunch period, so they can eat in the cafeteria and do not miss valuable instructional time. To help plan ahead, please take a look at the FCPS Lunch Menu Schedule to ensure students know what is available each day and can make decisions on whether they would like to purchase or pack their lunch.  Parents can also review our Bell Schedule on Twain’s website to see what time each lunch is each day.  Be sure to talk to your child about which lunch period they are assigned to as they may have different lunch times depending on the day of the week. Thank you for helping us maximize our learning time and operational efficiency!

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

For the safety and security of all students and in support of Twain’s arrival and dismissal procedures, we ask that all parents safely utilize the Kiss and Ride line for drop off and pick up.  We understand this line can be long at its busies time, but dropping students off across the street in the neighborhood, in the staff parking lot, in the bus loop, or illegally pulling over to the side of Franconia Road causes safety issues for students, faculty, and other commuters.  If an option, utilizing the FCPS provided school bus as often as possible will lessen the impact on the Kiss and Ride line.  If you need information on your child’s school bus number and route, please check SIS StudentVue and SIS ParentVue.  As a reminder, after school buses for our students taking part in our after-school program depart at approximately 4:50 pm and these bus numbers and drop off locations may be different, but the information is also available in SIS StudentVue and SIS ParentVue.

Taking Pride in Black History Month

The Stomping Eagles of Edison High School take extreme pride in not only their step routines but also in being the best representation of the students of Fairfax County Public Schools. This video of their routine, filmed last year for Black History Month, has quickly climbed the ranks to become FCPS’ most-liked video on YouTube! I bet you can spot some former Twain Tigers in this video!

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by Black Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Learn more about Black History Month and other heritage months, celebrations, and traditions celebrated in FCPS.

 

SEL Screener

Hello families,

The Spring Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener will be administered to Twain’s students during the week of March 4Students use the SEL Screener twice a year to share their perspectives on how well their school and community help them develop skills they need to succeed. The screener works by asking questions or presenting statements that students can think about and respond to. More information is available about the SEL Screener by accessing this link: 

https://www.fcps.edu/student-tests-and-assessments/student-assessment-details/social-emotional-screener  

If you have any questions please reach out to our SEL Screener Lead, Sara Joy Lebowitz, at [email protected].

PTA Updates Spirit Night at Paisanos

Hungry for some pizza?  Join us for a fundraising event for MTMS PTA on February 20th and 21st from 11 AM to 9 PM at Paisano's Pizza, located at 6937 Telegraph Rd.  Show the attached flyer or mention Twain MS when ordering and 20% of your total will be donated to MTMS PTA.  Valid for Dine-in, Carry-out, and Delivery.

PTA Staff Member of the Month

Congratulations to Ms. Angelee DeHaven, AAP and Honors Civics Teacher, for being named the PTA Staff Member of the month of February.  Ms. DeHaven was awarded a gift card to a local restaurant, a reserved parking spot at the front of the school, and a trophy.  Her nomination included this comment, "My daughter raves about Ms. DeHaven and how interesting she makes learning for her students. It is my daughter’s favorite class. Ms. DeHaven goes out of her way to provide real life experiences for her students with the “money system” and with oral debates. We appreciate her creativity and investment in making learning fun for her students."  Thanks Ms. DeHaven for making a difference for our Twain students!

PTA Nominating Committee

The PTA Board is looking for three PTA members to serve on the nominating committee. This committee's responsible is take nominations from eligible persons for each vacant office on the PTA Board for the 2024-2025 school year.  Please contact Linda Pinkney at [email protected], if you are interested in serving on the nominating committee.

PTA Meeting and Parent Strategy Session

Our next PTA meeting will be February 28th at 7:00 PM in the Twain Library.  All are welcome.  A zoom link will be made available prior to the meeting.  Also, that evening, the PTA will host a Parent Strategy Session and we are pleased to hear from Mollis Cottingham, Edison's Career Center Specialist, who will explain how the Career Center provides a framework of career awareness, career exploration, and career preparation activities to help students understand options for careers upon graduation.  Mollis will also provide an overview of education tracks available at Edison, including technical, college and military preparation.  Learn more about The Career Center at Edison HS at https://edisonhs.fcps.edu/student-services/college-and-career-center

Join the PTA

The PTA is primarily funded through our membership dues, so every person who joins provided valuable support to help the PTA help the students and staff.  Join now at https://mtms.memberhub.com/store?limit=21&live=true It’s never too late to join and your support is vital!!

 

Go to: yearbookordercenter.com

Use Twain’s Code: 8606

 

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
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Announcements and Upcoming Events

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Principal's Message Greetings Tiger Families!

Thursday marked the start of February, and the beginning of Black History Month. Black history, like the history of all members of our rich and vibrant community, is not separate from American history, but rather an essential facet of American history. This month is a time to highlight and initiate sustainable and meaningful opportunities for our students, and ourselves, to learn about the Black and African American experiences and contributions.

Personally, I have been inspired by the words of the trailblazing and brilliant astronaut, engineer, and doctor – Dr. Mae Jemison. She said, “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” Clearly, she has lived by this ideal as the first African American female to travel to space, a scientist, an academic, and an author. I believe all of us, and especially our young Tigers, can benefit from adopting this courageous and determined mindset.

You can explore more about Dr. Jemison as well as others at the links below.

Brief video about Dr. Mae Jemison

Google Arts and Culture page for Black History Month

Sincerely,

Matt

Twain’s Weekly Schedule

Monday, February 5: Anchor Day Schedule

Tuesday, February 6: Odd Day Schedule

Wednesday, February 7: Even Day Schedule  

Thursday, February 8: Odd Day Schedule

Friday, February 9: Even Day Schedule

Parent Lightspeed Report and Portal

There is an online service that is free to FCPS parents who are interested in knowing more about their child’s internet activity on an FCPS device. Parents can sign up to receive a weekly Parent Report from Lightspeed, our internet content filtering service, which will provide a list of the top sites the child visited that week. 

Additionally, if parents wish to get more detailed information, the weekly Parent Report offers parents the ability to self-sign-up to the free Internet Use Parent Portal. Parents who sign up for the Internet Use Parent Portal can log-in any time to see a little more detail about their child’s internet browsing. The portal also offers the parent added ability to “pause” access to the internet during non-school hours on the FCPS device.  

Please explore the information and resources on the Lightspeed Parent Report Request FCPS website.  Interested parents can submit a request directly via the Technology Support for Families page for weekly Parent Reports. FCPS will validate the enrolling parent’s email in SIS, and once processed, the parent will receive a weekly report over each weekend. The weekend report will come from our internet content filtering service, Lightspeed.

2nd Quarter Report Cards

Today, we distributed 2nd quarter report cards to students during 8th period and we hope it serves as a good conversation starter at home about how the second quarter of the school year went. We hope your student has experienced many successes through these 9 weeks of school and hope they can build on that momentum going forward. If you and your student see areas where improvement is needed, consider having them stay after school to work with a teacher, use their agenda to write down important assignments and dates, and create a home/school calendar to better manage their time.  

Grades are available through ParentVUE (there are temporary blackouts around grading periods), so please take advantage of this tool to help monitor how your child is doing in school. Here are some ways to make sure you are connected:

The Student Information System (SIS) Parent Account Access allows parents access to teacher grade books, attendance information, course history and other useful information.

New Users

Please use the parent account registration page to register your account. You will need an activation key to log in for the first time. Please contact the school if you need a new activation key or are having issues logging onto your ParentVUE Account. Please include your name, email address, student's name, students ID number and a short description of what the issue is.

Returning Users

Please go to https://sisparent.fcps.edu to log in to your ParentVUE Account.

Trouble logging in?

If you are unable to log into ParentVUE, contact the school to verify that your correct email has been added into SIS:

If you have never logged into ParentVUE: 1. Call the school to add your email into SIS – it takes at least 24 hours to update in SIS. 2. Once added into SIS, the school can send out an activation key to the email you have provided. This activation key will include your username, password, and directions for how to log in.

If you forgot your username: 1. Contact the school to verify what your username is. 

If you forgot your password: 1. Reset your password using the “Forgot Password” button on the ParentVUE login screen

Rising 9th Grade Transition Corner

***Please consider subscribing to your base high school’s News You Choose messages for the most up-to-date information about the transition to high school – you can do that here. Unsure what school your child will attend in 9th grade? Click here to access the FCPS boundary locator.***

 Lewis High School

Lewis-bound students were instructed how to enter their course requests in SIS during the overview presentation on January 5th. Course selections entries in SIS AND paper course sheets are due to Ms. Pilotti in Student Services by Friday, February 9. If your child has lost their form, they can find another copy on Lewis’ Academic Advising site or get a hard copy from Ms. Pilotti. All information about Lewis Course Selection for the 24-25 school year can be found on the Lewis Academic Advising site

Edison High School

Edison is hosting their Rising 9th Curriculum Night on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, from 6-8PM. Visit the Edison website for more information.

All 8th graders will participate in a rising 9th grade course offering overview on Monday, February 5, 2024 through their Health & PE class. Edison counselors will be at Twain that Tuesday, February 6, and Wednesday, February 7 for individual academic advising and to help students make course selections, also through Health & PE.  

 Hayfield Secondary School

Hayfield High School counselors will be at Twain on Friday, January 19, 2024 to present 9th grade course options to current Hayfield-bound 8th grade students. During this presentation, students will learn about required courses and elective options, as well as other information about freshman year at Hayfield. Students will be instructed in how to select courses and follow-up information about that process will be sent home for parents/guardians. General academic advising  information can be found here:https://hayfieldss.fcps.edu/student-services/hs-academic-advising-and-course-selection.

For any questions about transition to 9th grade, please contact Twain counselor Leslie Pilotti at [email protected].  

4700 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA 22310  |  Main: 703.313.3700
Attendance: 703.313.3737 | After-School Program: 703.313.3711
Web | Twitter | YouTube

32 minutes 18 seconds ago
Twain Middle School News and announcements
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