Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.Principal's Message Greetings Tiger Families!
This past Wednesday evening we celebrated our 1st Annual Mark Twain Middle School International Night. We packed our cafeteria with student created visual displays and delicious food and enjoyed a beautiful fashion show and inspiring talent show. It was truly an amazing evening that showcased the great diversity of our Twain community. I was particularly impressed with the courage and pride shown by our students to represent themselves, their families, and their various heritages in front of peers, families, and staff. Our student government, led by Mr. Murphy and Mr. Pfadenhauer, planned and executed this event and were immediately talking about ideas for next year’s event. At a school that already has a number of fantastic traditions, I look forward to seeing how this new tradition evolves in the coming years.
Have a wonderful weekend.
MattTwain’s Weekly Schedule
Monday, December 11: Anchor Day Schedule
Tuesday, December 12: Odd Day Schedule
Wednesday, December 13: Even Day Schedule; Math VGA – altered Bell Schedule: 4th, 8th, 6th, 2nd
Thursday, December 14: Odd Day Schedule
Friday, December 15: Even Day ScheduleWinter Break Spirit Week Schedule
Monday, December 11 to Friday, December 15
FCPS Outstanding Award Winners
On Tuesday at our monthly faculty and staff work session, we announced the Twain winners of our FCPS Outstanding employee awards. Our winners were:
- Andrew Orenstein (Outstanding Leader)
- Brandon Henry (Outstanding Support Employee)
- Marie Danosos (Outstanding Professional Employee)
- Reid McLean (Outstanding New Teacher)
- Laura Nikander (Outstanding Teacher)
Thank you to all who nominated someone for these awards.
Math VGA, December 13
On Wednesday, December 13, all students in Math 7, Math 7H, or Pre-Algebra will complete the Math Virginia Growth Assessment through their 4th period Learning Seminar classes. Please be aware that on that day, the bell schedule will be 4th, 8th, 6th, 2nd so it’s important that students arrive to school on time. Please ensure your student is able to get a good night’s sleep Tuesday night and arrives to Twain on Wednesday morning with a fully charged laptop. If you have any questions about the Math VGA, please reach out to our Testing Coordinator, Sara Joy Lebowitz, [email protected].Recess Equipment Donations
We are attempting to secure basic sports equipment to utilize during recess so that our students can effectively and safely utilize recess and meet its purpose of providing a brief physical and social outlet during the school day. If you have any lightly used sports equipment that may be sitting around in your garage or basement, please consider donating it to Twain. If you choose to donate, please deliver your donations to the main office and we will add to our supply. family engagement center in the main office suite. We are especially looking for soccer balls, basketballs, footballs, kickballs, jump ropes, and sidewalk chalk. Thank you for your consideration.PTA Updates Staff Holiday Luncheon Donations
The holidays are fast approaching and what better way to recognize all of the hard working and dedicated staff at Twain MS than by donating food for them. The PTA will be providing a delicious lunch for the staff on Friday, Dec 15 during the lunch periods. We need volunteers to donate a few food items- finger-food holiday desserts, fruit, and cheese/cracker trays. Please sign-up by visiting this LINK
Donations will be collected on Thursday, December 14th and Friday, December 15th. Please drop them off in the office no later than 9am on December 15th.Panera Bread Spirit Night
Mark your calendar for our next Spirit Night at Panera Bread in Kingstowne on December 12th from 4:00-8-00 PM. Panera Bread will donate 25% of the sales to Twain PTA. Use code FUND4U at online checkout, in the Panera App or at the kiosk in-café. Eat good food and support the PTA.Staff Member of the Month
Congratulations to Mr. Aizaga, Math/AVID Teacher, for being named the Staff Member of the Month for December. Mr. Aizaga was awarded a gift card to a local restaurant, a reserved parking spot, and a trophy. Thank you, Mr. Aizaga for making a difference at Twain.PTA Membership
Did you know? PTA Membership is valid for one year. If you joined the PTA for the 2022-23 school year, please renew your membership for the 2023-24 school year. PTA dues provide for many of the events and programs, including teacher mini-grants, Tiger Night, and staff appreciation events.
Mental Health, Coping & Addiction
One in four Americans suffer from a mental illness. Almost 3 in 5 people with mental health challenges will not receive treatment or medication. In 2019, an estimated 19% of adults in the United States (47.6 million) dealt with a mental health challenge, but only 43% received any kind of mental health care (Johns Hopkins). People often turn to alternative methods to cope with issues that are uncomfortable topics to speak about. These reasons include turning to drugs, alcohol, food, etc. Coping mechanisms are habits formed over time that serve to help a person manage difficult situations or high stress levels. These mind-altering substances are sometimes used as coping mechanisms for stress, difficult emotions, physical ailments, focusing, and other issues. Drugs and alcohol can provide a temporary moment away from the reality of everyday life. Substances can enhance the feelings of pleasure, decrease feelings of anxiety and restraint. Substance use can be an unhealthy coping mechanism. Not all coping mechanisms are destructive or fail to provide appropriate or adequate adjustment to the environment or situation; however, addiction is both.
Before using drugs as a coping strategy here are some recommendations for a healthier mindset. The main goal is to identify the “void” or issue and work towards healing. In the meantime, experts recommend diet and exercise as great places to start. Schedule a visit to your Primary Care Physician and a Professional Counselor if needed. Quality sleep is also a major factor in the stabilization of a healthy mind. Surround yourself with people who are supportive and good examples. Keep in mind that finding balance in life is an ongoing process. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
For general questions about the FCPS Substance Abuse Prevention Program, please contact the Office of Student Safety & Wellness at: (571) 423-4270.
For further information & support
Shawn Elliott, BS, QMHP-C
Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist
Food insecurity impacts more than 60,000 Fairfax County residents. There are many resources available to support those who need food assistance. Find out how to receive or offer support on the Fairfax County website, or view their Human Services Resource Guide for assistance with food, clothing, housing, and other services.