Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday, October 12th

Happy Friday, Sharks!

We have a new method of posting the Friday Message, now known as Shark Mail. To view today's message, follow this link. Thanks!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Parent Conference Information

Dear Parents,

We will be hosting Parent Conferences this year on Thursday, October 4 and Tuesday, October 9 from 4:30 – 8:00 pm.  These conferences are intended to be “check-ins” with your student’s teachers.  They are scheduled for six minutes each. If you feel like you need a more in depth conversation regarding your student’s needs, we ask that you call the counseling department and schedule a longer parent conference at another time.  Below is list of links to Sign-Up Genius organized by teacher last name.  Please click on the appropriate links to schedule a conference with your student’s teachers at a time that is convenient for you. 

Last Names

Also, Mr. Stow and I will be hosting parent forums to solicit feedback regarding your experiences at Sutherland Middle School.  We will host forums on three separate evenings: September 18, October 4, and October 9. The forums will be structured conversations to guide our discussion surrounding the needs of our school and students.  They will be 30 minutes long and limited to a total of 25 spaces to help promote equity of voice.  Below is a list of Sign Up Genius links for the parent forums. Please select a forum time that is convenient for you.

Session Times


We look forward to seeing you at these upcoming events!

Take care,
Megan Wood, Principal  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Friday Message 9/7

Friday Message 9/7/18

From Mrs. Wood…

Although this week was only a 4 day week, I feel like we have accomplished enough for it to count as a 5 day week!  We successfully conducted our first lock down drill of the year, our second fire drill, and our bus evacuations.  6th graders heard from the school counselors during their Language Arts classes to learn more about the counseling department. In addition, we hosted our first PTO meeting and Back to School Night.

One of the things I have noticed about this year for me is even though it’s my seventeenth year in education, it doesn’t feel like it at all.  The overwhelming support and welcome I have felt this year from staff, students, and parents is incredible and humbling.  I was talking to someone the other day and mentioned how much fun this year has been because it is a whole new year of firsts for me.  Change can be stressful but I think one of the benefits of change that can often be overlooked is the new perspective it can bring.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and gets an opportunity to relax!

Coming Up @ Sutherland...
Monday, September 10th: Black Day
7:00 PM: Band Boosters Meeting
Tuesday, September 11th: Teal Day

Wednesday, September 12th: Black Day
Thursday, September 13th: Teal Day
Friday, September 14th: Black Day

ELT 8 class field trip to Richmond
4:00 – 6:00 PM: Dance!

(A lot of) Announcements...* Note from Mr. Guy...I try to highlight topics in bold so you can find those that pertain to you. Sorry for the length!
  1. Parents and Guardians, please make sure you take a moment to sign on to ParentPortal to complete the student verification process. Our ability to reach you by phone or by e-mail depends on updated information.
  2. Sutherland PTO will be selling Attraction coupon books again this year to raise funds to support our teachers and school.  Envelopes should be coming home sure to ask your student for the envelope and send your orders in or order online at Make sure to use the Sutherland code 6652 so SMS gets credit for the sale.  Each book is $25 and can save your family an average of $373.60.  The sale will end on Friday, November 2nd.Orders will be filled weekly with books being placed in teacher’s mailboxes on Monday mornings. If you prefer that your purchased book be left at the office for you to pick up, please contact Karla at or 434-882-0854.  Questions or concerns.....just contact Karla.  If your purchased book doesn’t come home on Monday, please be sure to ask your student. Many a books have been found in lockers weeks later. Thank you in advance for your support!
  3. Please Save Items for the SMS PTO Yard Sale in Mid-November! We know lots of folks clean out their closets to get a fresh start for the school year, and we ask that you hold onto those items a bit longer! All items not sold at the yard sale will be donated to AmVets and the holiday book drive, so you can help all three worthy organizations! We will accept gently used clothing, books, household items, toys and games, furniture, sports equipment, electronics, yard items, and more. Thank you!
  1. Sutherland’s Book Fair needs you! The book fair is the only library fundraiser for the year. We have a variety of volunteering opportunities from September 26th-October 4th, including setting up, restocking, and selling. If you’ve never done this before, please do not worry. There’s a very easy cash register that you can learn in about 10 minutes. It’s fun to see the kids aglow with books in their hands.  This year, sign-up will be through SignUp Genius: If you’re not comfortable creating an account or signing up through the SignUp Genius web page, you can email with the shift(s) you’d like and I’ll be happy to sign you up.
  2. 8th Grade Parent: Busch Gardens update: The 8th grade teachers would like to thank our parents for their promptness in returning the blue permission forms during the past few weeks! We are finalizing our head count to ensure that we have bus seats for everyone going on the trip. If you were not able to get the form in today, please email Mrs. Rainey so that she can secure a seat for your student. Please note that the money is not due until September 27th.
    We understand that family finances may be tight during the current economy and may prevent some students from attending the trip. We urge parents with this concern to consider requesting a scholarship for their student by filling in the bottom of the form. These students will bring home the information related to the scholarships next Monday, September 10th. Please contact Mrs. Rainey if you have any questions regarding this process. (975-0599 ext#310, or
  1. Students who have signed up for the Debate Club will be meeting on Mondays after school (room TBD) from 4:10 to 5:15.  The first meeting is this coming Monday, September 10th.  Please plan to pick up your child at 5:15 out in front of the school.
  2. Chess Club will also be starting next week on Thursday, September 13th.  This club will meet every Thursday before school from 8:00 to 8:57.  There is no sign-up sheet or previous experience required.  Upon arrival, interested students will sign in at the front office and then head down to room D-2.    The club will be run by a second-year volunteer, Brandon Adams.  If you have any questions about either of these activities (Debate or Chess), please contact Mrs. McCullough at
  3. Dance help needed! The 7th grade team is looking for a few parents to help chaperone our first dance of the year on Friday, September 14th. If interested, please follow the link…
  4. SUTHERLAND PARKS AND REC SPORTS info:Students who have already signed up for boys basketball are reminded that practice begins Monday Sept 10th after school until 5:45. Girls basketball begins on Tuesday Sept 11th until 5:45.   Physicals for basketball must be turned in before the first practice in order to participate.

    Students who have signed up for tennis are reminded that tennis begins Monday Sept 10th and please bring a water bottle.   Tennis rackets and equipment will be provide for students.   Pick up time for tennis is 5:30 at the picnic tables.

    Cross County members will meet on Monday and Thursday after school in Mr. Collier's room, B4 to start.  Pick up time 5:45.  Please bring a water bottle.

    For all programs, if your child walks home from practice-please send a note to the coach giving permission to walk home each day.
  1. We are still looking for a few 7th grade girls who may be interested in joining YWLP (Young Woman Leaders Program). If interested, please contact Mrs. Lisa Wright in Guidance.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Friday Message: 8/31

Friday Message 8/31/18

From Ms. Wood…
Our first full week of the 2018 -2019 school year has been completed!  It was a great week with a lot classroom visits, fun with students, and engaging conversations with staff members.  Mr. Stow and I were invited into Mx. Holmes and Mr. Wamsley’s classes to test out the design and functionality of student created cardboard chairs.  We were highly impressed by their creative designs and functionality! Our SCA leadership team also visited the office this week to discuss their ideas for upcoming events at Sutherland. It was a great conversation and made me look forward all the exciting opportunities that our students will have throughout the year to give back to our community. The service oriented component of our Student Council is admirable and makes me proud of them.

We held two of our “Meet and Greets” this week and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know more of our parents and the conversations.  We consider ourselves very lucky to be part of the Sutherland community and want to thank everyone for how welcoming you have been to us both. We look forward to a busy week next week by hosting another “Meet and Greet” on the Wednesday, September 5 before our first PTO meeting.  In addition, we will be hosting Back to School Night on Thursday, September 6. Please be on the lookout for a separate communication regarding Back to School Night information.

Coming Up @ Sutherland...
Monday, September 3rd: Labor Day (Schools are closed)
Tuesday, September 4th: Black Day
     8:15 AM: Morning Study Hall begins in the cafeteria
Wednesday, September 5th: Teal Day
     8:00 AM: Jazz Band Auditions   
     6th grade introduction to counselors through Language Arts classes
     6:15 – 7:00 PM: Come out and meet the new administration team!
7:00 – 8:30 PM: PTO meeting
Thursday, September 6th: Black Day
     6:30 – 8:30 PM: Back to School Night
Friday, September 7th: Teal Day

A reminder that all schools are closed on MondayThroughout next week, we will be practicing our various drills (fire, lockdown, bus evacuations). Teachers and staff will review the procedures with students prior to each drill. 

Parents and Guardians, please make sure you take a moment to sign on to ParentPortal to complete the student verification process. Our ability to reach you by phone or by e-mail depends on updated information.

Hello SMS Parents, The Sutherland Debate Team will begin meeting on Monday, September 10.  We are lucky enough to have UVA students that are members of the Charlottesville Debate League work with our team.  This is a club open to all Sutherland students.  Your child will develop skills in research, writing, public speaking, teamwork, and argumentation.  Debate builds confidence and promotes a passion for learning and commitment to civic engagement.  Students will meet weekly on Mondays after school and will be invited to several debate tournaments held throughout the year.  I hope your child decides to participate.

The location is yet to be determined as I’m not sure how many students will want to attend.  Therefore, I am asking students to stop by room E-1 and add their name to the sign-up sheet that is located on a desk outside of the room.  If your child comes home and tells you they couldn’t find the room, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

The deadline for signing up is Friday, September 7.  Please send any questions you may have to

Back to School Night is on Thursday, September 6th from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. Mrs. McCullough will meet with parents from 6:00 - 6:30 PM for those with students receiving gifted services. More information to come regarding Thursday evening’s schedule! 

We are excited to invite you to share a free opportunity with K-8 girls and their parents to join the upcoming 2018 ESTEAM for Girls Summit. This Saturday program planned and presented by a diverse group of women and community partners is designed to help build a better future for our girls and young women interested in Entrepreneurship, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.  K-8 girls join the Summit on Saturday, September 22, 2018!  Come to Albemarle High School from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm (K thru 4 students and their parents) and 9am to 2:30 pm (5-8 with lunch included). Visit our website, to register, and check out last year’s highlight!

NEW this year for Professional Women! Join us for “ShESTEAM Meet and Greet” Friday, Sept. 21st, 6:00pm-7:30pm Featuring the Discussion “Mentoring and Leadership at the Intersection” Get involved with this year's activities with a financial contribution; facilitate a session; volunteer; and/or showcase your organization in our exhibit area.

     Contact us! Please visit our website, to register, check out last year’s highlights, or email us at estemforgirls@gmail.comMany thanks, and we look forward to your support and participation!  Youth Alexis Mason, Heather Arquitt, Zoë Padrón, Joyce Ivory, and Sara Nitcher

     FRENCH FOOD and GAMES? Oui, Oui! Come learn French in a fun and exciting atmosphere at SMS! Students will “Build a French City”, exploring le marché while purchasing their veggies and fruits with Euros, eating in a café français, playing Pétanque in le parc, staying in l’hôtel, buying bread and pastries at la boulangerie, sending letters from la poste, and more! Thursday mornings in the Art Room, from 8-8:55. Cost is $15/class, with all fees included. Must enroll for all 10 classes. Checks payable to SMS for $150 - turn in to the office by Friday, Sept. 7th. Classes begin Thursday, Sept. 12th. No French experience required. If you are already taking French at SMS, this is a fun way to learn more and to practice! Classes will be taught by Michelle Katstra, director of School Programs for the Alliance Française of C'ville and a mom of 3 kids who all attended SMS! Questions? Forms can be found in the Main Office and on the Parks and Rec. table near the cafeteria.

Friday, August 17, 2018

First Week Bell Schedule

Dear Parents,

It was so great to see everyone last night at Open House and meet so many people!  I want to thank you 
for your patience as we wrap up the final stages of our renovations.  I am looking forward to greeting our students next Wednesday on the first day of school.  I am always excited about all the possibilities each new school year brings.

As we start this new year together, we will be running a different bell schedule for the first three days.  All students will report to their homeroom (CHOMP) at the beginning of the day rather than their first period each morning next week. We will use CHOMP as a time to hand out first day packets, conduct orientation regarding laptop usage, and begin the essential process of creating a supportive school community.

Please click here to view the first week's bell schedule.

Starting, Monday, August 27, 2018, we will operate on a regular bell schedule.  Please click here to access our regular bell schedule.

Have a great weekend!

Ms. Megan Wood

Friday, August 10, 2018

You're Invited to a Meet and Greet!

Dear Sutherland Community,

August is here and we are fast approaching the beginning of the school year!   This week, our new teachers start their work with us and ParentPortal will open on August 10th; returning teachers report back on the 13th; Open House is the 16th from 3 pm - 5 pm; and students report for the first day of school on Wednesday the 22nd!

Both Art and I are looking forward to meeting you all and we want to invite you to a meet and greet.  We will be hosting three meet and greets during the first couple of weeks of school.  They will be held in the library and are intended to be casual.  We will do a brief introduction of ourselves, provide some light refreshments for us to gather, talk, and get to know each other.  We hope you can come in for a few minutes to meet with us.  Dates for the meet and greets are listed below;  
  • Meet and Greet #1: August 28, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
  • Meet and Greet #2: August 30, 9:15 am - 10:15 am
  • Meet and Greet #3: September 5, 6:30 pm  - 7:00 pm
In addition, we will be hosting parent forums.  Please be on the lookout for another communication regarding these events soon.

On another note - please take a look at our website for a new elective offering for our seventh grade students. 

Take care and have a great rest of the summer!

Ms. Megan Wood 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Members of our Sutherland Community:

hope you are enjoying the summer break and looking forward to the 2018 – 2019 school year.  I cannot express how excited both Art Stow and I are to be joining the Sutherland community. Personally, I am so excited to be returning to middle school. It is such a unique time for our students and one filled with so many possibilities.  There is an energy in a middle school that cannot be replicated anywhere, and I can think of no better place to be!

We have already had the opportunity to meet with many wonderful staff members and have learned so much about the Sutherland community. It has been apparent to both Art and I how committed our teachers are to our students’ success.  We are thrilled to be joining a community of learners that is engaged in practices that support learning for all of our students, and works hard to ensure that our learning experiences are meaningful.

We are looking forward to meeting and learning more about our students and their families as the school year begins in August. In the next couple of weeks, we will be sending out invitations for meet and greet opportunities to engage in conversations so that we may get to know you and your families.  

couple of informational items you may find of importance included on our website is the 2018 - 2019 School Supply List, Middle School Vaccination requirements, and the link to sign up for our digital newsletter “Sutherland Matters”.  Please note: if your child is a sixth grader or new to Albemarle County Public schools and does not have the proper vaccinations before August 22, 2018, they may not begin school.

Thank you for all you do to support our learning community.  Please feel free to reach out to us any time. We look forward to getting to know you, the school, and the community throughout this year and to continue the wonderful work that is happening at Sutherland Middle School. 

Enjoy the rest of of your summer!


Ms. Megan J. Wood