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Principal’s Message

Principal’s Principles, MARCH 2019

Dear Colonial Trail Parents:

Winter has been very busy with testing at Colonial Trail.

1) Students in grades 2-5 completed benchmark tests in reading and math.  These serve as a cumulative review of first semester content; teachers use benchmark data to identify areas to remediate as needed to support success on end-of-year SOL and HAT tests.

2) K-2 students completed midyear PALS to measure growth in reading fluency and to identify specific areas for further instructional focus.

3) All kindergarten students were individually assessed in reading using the Fountas and Pinnell (F&P) comprehension assessment.

4) ESL students are completing ACCESS testing, a measure of leveled English language acquisition that determines ongoing ESL needs and support.

That seems like a lot of testing when viewed as a whole school/county effort, yet it is important to put in the proper perspective.  We view standardized tests as a guide to instruction, not as an end goal of instruction.  The data testing provides assists us in differentiating individual student and programmatic instructional needs in terms of remediation and enrichment of learning.

Instruction must always be about learning, not teaching to a test.  While standardized test scores determine school accreditation and local property values, both extremely important, they do not (and cannot) measure the qualitative human factor of what goes into a high quality education.  Great teachers teach children, not content.  They develop relationships, strong character, good work habits, personal responsibility, social skills, compassion, empathy, and strong self- esteem.  They make learning personally relevant, empowering, interconnected, challenging, and fun.   They meet children where they are, academically and developmentally, and build within them their mastery of content.

Great teaching is an art, and data is just part of the pallet.  At Colonial Trail, our teachers are artists, indeed.  How appropriate that March is MUSIC AND ART IN OUR SCHOOLS MONTH!

In March, we also enjoy celebrating DR. SEUSS WEEK!

Other important dates in March:

March 15th —  Spring photos.

March 21st — 2nd grade performance and Art Show. More details to come!

March 29th – Half day for students.

Your teachers and I look forward to spring and to nurturing the continued growth of your children. Thank you for your continued partnership and trust.


Kirk Eggleston, Principal


Principal’s Principles, February 2019

Dear Colonial Trail Parents:

In February, our students look forward to Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14th.  What a wonderful tradition that gives every child the opportunity to communicate caring for others. The simple act of giving (and receiving) a Valentine is a powerful way for all students to feel they are a contributing and integral part of a learning community.  Your child’s teacher will provide individual classroom guidelines this month for Valentine‘s Day.

Other important events in February:

* Week of Feb. 5th. Parent/Teacher Conferences.  Sign up through your teacher’s blog if you would like a teacher conference.

* Black History Month.  Students will be learning about the historical contributions of Black Americans.

* Report Cards.  Second quarter report cards will go home Monday, February 11th.

* February 18th Staff Development half day HAS BEEN CANCELLED.  Now a regular full day for students.

* February 21st, 6:30-7:30 PM.  MULTICULTURAL MUSEUM NIGHT!  Students are currently working on a schoolwide writing prompt at each grade level.  They are following the writing process (Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Editing, Publishing) about something that is unique and special to their family.  Our goal is that students are writing for an authentic audience (classmates and parents). Sharing their writing will highlight and celebrate the rich diversity of CTES.  We also want to showcase the progression of writing skills, K-5, as part of our instructional focus.  Below are details of the evening and the project.

6:30 PM.  PTA General Meeting in the gym and First Grade Performance to kick off the night.

6:45-7:30 PM.  Open House!  Take a tour around the school to read our students’ amazing writing.

Here are some links that K-5 teachers are using to guide our writing instruction.

There will also be multicultural foods to sample in the cafeteria. We encourage you to bring something to share—a sampling of a recipe that is special to your family.  It can be something from your own culture/heritage, or an ethnic dish of your choice!  This will not be a dinner, but simply a sampling of food for people to enjoy.  Make as many portions as you’d like (appetizer-sized portions are ideal) and they can be sweet OR savory dishes. Please keep in mind that many have allergies, so please, NO NUTS and have your dishes labeled with a list of all ingredients, as well as your family name.  This is great time to get your kids in the kitchen and pass down those old family recipes! If you are interested in participating, please click on the SignUp genius link below and comment with the type of dish you plan to make.  If you are not sure what you’d like to bring, you can still sign up to show interest and just put ‘undecided’ in the comments.

We are also in need of a few volunteers to help serve/clean that evening so if there are any siblings that need volunteer hours, this is a great opportunity for them to earn a quick hour or two. Please email, subject line – Multicultural Night.

Thank you so much for your participation and for helping take CTES families (and their tastebuds) on a trip around the world!


As we continue to weather the winter, we are focused deeply with our students on learning.  John Hattie, PhD., is a renowned educational researcher who has measured relative effect sizes of Visible Learning.  The top three (among many learning strategies) are integral to our program at Colonial Trail Elementary:

  1. HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR ALL LEARNERS. There is no such thing in this world as “those kids”.  All children will learn and will exceed our expectations if we believe in their ability and hold them accountable to meet new challenges.
  2. COLLECTIVE EFFICACY. We all hold high expectations for students in our community.  We all believe in every child.   We all work together with the same educational mind-frames of relevance, relationships, and rigor.
  3. REGULAR FEEDBACK. Praise is important to students, but it does not challenge them to reach higher, dig deeper, and learn what they don’t already know.  Differentiated instruction with regular feedback helps to meet students where they are and lead them to where they need to go.

We know our students can go far.  Thank you, as always, for your continued partnership in taking them to the next level.

Have a great February!


Kirk Eggleston, Principal


Principal’s Principles

January’s Principal’s Principles


Greetings Colonial Trail families!

Happy New Year 2019! We all hope that you and your family had a restful winter break and created many family memories as you celebrated the season.  January brings us a sense of renewal for we have all had an opportunity to rest, focus on our families, and are now recharged to move forward on educating our students.

Throughout the month of January there are many happenings here at Colonial Trail.  We are busy planning our Multicultural Museum Night on Thursday, February 21. To prepare, starting in January all students will take part in a schoolwide writing prompt for an authentic audience of museum-goers.  The students will be writing in school about a person, place, thing, feeling, or idea that is important to their family.   This could be anything that is meaningful to them, such as pizza on Friday nights, your religion, a tradition, a grandparent, a significant family story, a piece of furniture, a family recipe, whatever!  They will draw or take a photograph of the family artifact chosen.  Our students will go through the entire writing process—Prewriting, Drafting, Revising, Refining, Publishing.  All student work will be on display this evening for all to see how rich and diverse our culture is at Colonial Trail K-5.  We all have a story to tell!  First graders will also perform this night.  Again, this is an in-school project.  More information will be sent out at the beginning of January.


I am happy to share with you the first edition of Safety Matters: Family Edition, a newsletter designed by the HCPS School Safety Office specifically for parents. Hope you find the information useful and informative.


Parent referrals for gifted identification will be accepted in October for the following grade levels:

  • Students in grades K, 1, and 2 can be referred beginning Jan 3-18, 2019

Submit referrals in writing (email is acceptable) to the Resource Teacher, Corbin Franklin, at during the appropriate referral period.  Subject line of email should state Gifted Referral and the email should include student’s first and last name, grade level, teacher and area of referral (English, Math or Both English and Math).   An email confirmation will be sent by the following day.  If you do not receive an email confirmation, please call the school.

For information about Henrico County’s gifted identification process and school programs, visit

Important links about the Gifted Identification/Placement Process include:



Just few reminders:

  • As our school grows in enrollment, seating space in our cafeteria diminishes which is why we have an overflow table. This space is reserved for classes that do not have enough seating at their assigned tables.  Therefore, the space is limited for our guests.  We ask that if you come join your child for lunch, your child may only invite 1 friend to join as they eat with you.  Thanks for your understanding. Lunchtime is an opportunity for your child to eat with their classmates and be social.
  • Lost a coat, jacket, hat, or gloves? Our lost and found is overflowing!  Please have your child retrieve their lost item as soon as possible.  After January 4, items will be donated to an organization that provides clothing to needy families.  Teachers and students have been reminded often to check out the lost and found.


As we move through January, always let us know if we can be of assistance to you and/or your child.  Together we work to educate your child and help them become global citizen prepared for the 21st Century.  With our school-wide focus on Communication this year, we encourage everyone to communicate both verbally, in writing, and digitally so that we can all continue to grow and develop.



Nevin Hartman

Associate Principal



Thurs., Jan. 3 – students return to school – we look forward to seeing you!

Fri., Jan. 11 – 5th graders who will be attending Short Pump Middle for the 2019/2020 schoolyear will visit the SPMS today. Permission slips have already been sent home. Students that attend other middle schools will take part in STEAM lesson here at school.

Fri., Jan. 18 – Safety drill

Mon., Jan. 21- student holiday – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Fri., Jan.25 – end of 9 weeks

Mon., Jan. 28 – no school for students – clerical day for teachers


MAPS testing: **NOTE: dates are subject to change.  See the teachers’ blogs for up to date information.

Tuesday, Jan. 15 – 3rd grade Reading

Wed., Jan. 16 – 3rd grade Math


HCPS Semester Benchmarks:  **NOTE: dates are subject to change.  See the teachers’ blogs for up to date information.

Tues., Jan. 22 – 4th Reading, part 1

Wed., Jan. 23 – 4th Reading, part 2   and 5th Reading, part 1

Thurs., Jan. 24 – 5th Reading, part 2   and 4th Math, part 1

Fri., Jan. 25 – 4th Math, part 2

Tues., Jan. 29 – 2nd Math, part 1

Wed., Jan. 30 – 2nd Math, part 2

Thurs., Jan. 31 – 2nd Reading, part 1    and 5th Math, part 1

Fri., Feb. 1 – 5th Math, part 2

Tues., Feb. 5 – 3rd Reading, part 1

Wed., Feb. 6 – 3rd Reading, part 2

Thurs., Feb. 7 – Math, part 1    and 5th Science

Fri., Feb. 8 – 3rd Math, part 2



December 2018


Dear Colonial Trail Parents:


Happy Holidays!  The spirit of the season is upon us, and I wish all of you joy and peace this December. May your own family and religious traditions provide you with a sense of renewal for the coming new year.


I am very proud of our Student Council Association (SCA) and Cubs In Action (CIA) students who have initiated community service drives during the holidays.  SCA just completed a canned food drive; together we collected over 3,200 cans of food for the Christmas Mother.  CIA is now collecting BLANKETS, SOCKS, and COATS for homeless children.  Over 8,000 students in Virginia are homeless—please support our school’s effort to help these children stay warm this winter.


The holidays are always busy and often hectic, and for some it can be more rush than reward.  But it is important to remember that the primary aim of our extraordinary efforts during the holidays is for and about our children.  So make it fun, and please help us to keep student safety paramount at all times.


A few things to remember:


  1. Please stop at the crosswalk in front of the school. 


  1. If you are parking, please walk your children across the crosswalk.  


  1. Please don’t speed in front of the school, or do U-turns in the front lane.


  1. During the school day parents and visitors must always report first to the office.  Please never go directly to your child’s classroom or to the cafeteria.  A Visitor’s Badge is always required while at school.


  1. If you pick up your child in the afternoon, make sure you have your pick-up number in your car window or on your person. Please always connect with one of the teachers or administrators on duty before taking your child.


These and other safety and security procedures we have in place are proven effective, even if they may compromise some personal convenience.  We appreciate your patience, help and cooperation in the effort to keep our children safe (especially in the carpool line).


This month we will be having a fire drill and a restricted movement drill.  These drills are conducted for emergency preparedness of all students and staff.  For more information on school safety, please refer to the HCPS website here.


A reminder that December 7th is CUBS NIGHT IN.  This is an opportunity for our students AND YOU to have a fun evening together.  Forms and payment are due by December 4th.  A huge thanks to all of our teacher volunteers who are making this happen.


We also look forward to Winter Break, December 20-January 1.  Have a wonderful time with your children!




Kirk Eggleston, Principal


Principal’s Principles, November 2018

Happy November!  We hope you and your kids had a fun Halloween.  As a new month begins, we want to share a few important upcoming dates.

November 2, 7:30-8:00 Donuts with Dads!  Fathers/father figures welcome to congregate with your kids in the cafeteria/gym.  Donuts were prepaid from our original date.  Please park in the rear of the school.  At 8:00, we will have a speaker on Internet Safety in the cafeteria if you are able to stay.

November 5, 3:30-6:00.  Parent/Teacher conferences.  Sign up through your teacher’s blog.

November 6.  Student Holiday (Election Day).  Parent/Teacher Conferences. Sign up through your teacher’s blog.

November 12, 9:00 A.M.  Veteran’s Day Assembly.  Please bring a veteran friend or relative. Let us know who you’d like to bring and honor on this special day by contacting Mrs. Nguyen (

November 20.  First Quarter report cards go home. We are very proud of our students!

November 21-23.  Thanksgiving Break (school closed.)

As we move onto the second marking period, we want to make sure all of our new families are aware of school protocols.  If you have enrolled since September 4th…,

  1. Please partner with us to help your child be prepared to learn, be respectful of others, and understand the classroom and school rules.  Let your child now that our school’s #1 goal is for him/her to be successful.
  2. Please contact the teacher or an administrator if your child is not enjoying school, is not making friends, or is struggling academically.  We are here to help.  We will respond by phone or email within 24 hours.
  3. Please make sure you have submitted a signed HCPS Code of Conduct to the classroom teacher. All students and parents are expected to sign/return the Code of Conduct.
  4. Please make sure your child’s emergency/authorization to pick-up form is continually updated in case of weather-related early dismissals, or school emergency.
  5. Students should maintain the necessary supplies for use in school throughout the year. Please advise the classroom teacher or our counselor if the purchase of supplies is a financial burden. Throughout the school year, the teachers distribute the supplies from the classroom sets on an as-needed basis.
  6. Each child who rides the bus to and from school is assigned to a certain school bus number/bus color.  This bus assignment must be adhered to–students cannot switch buses when riding to or from school.  This is not only for safety purposes in keeping track of all students assigned to a particular bus, but bus assignments are made based on address and capacity of the bus.
  7. Please make sure to check your teacher’s blog for day-to-day information, updates, and homework expectations.
  8. Please make sure to check your child’s backpack and the take-home folder daily–homework is sent home in the take-home folder, as well as notes from the teacher, behavior forms, field trip forms, and special notices.
  9. Please make sure to notify the school of an absence due to an illness–a parent needs to call the school at the beginning of the school day.
  10. Please make sure to sign in your child for a late arrival and to sign him/her out for an early dismissal.  We don’t do early dismissals after 2:15 PM.
  11. Please make sure to get your child to school on time.  Students should be in their classes by the time the bell rings (8:10) to get started with instruction. If you drive your children, we encourage you to get here by 8:00 a.m.  We encourage students to ride their assigned bus, which is usually on time.
  12. Extended absences (more than 3 days) require principal approval to excuse.  Please send a note to the principal at least two weeks prior.
  13. Extended absences of more than 15 days require us to withdraw your child from school on the first day of absence.  You will need to reenroll your child upon your return.
  14. Attendance is very important to your child’s academic success.  We highly discourage extended absences during the school year.  More than 5 days of unexcused absences require us to inform the county attorney under the Virginia compulsory attendance law.
  15. We hope you will consent to send your child on field trips.  Field trips are secure, safe activities that broaden the student’s understanding and knowledge of a particular subject/content area.  To attend a field trip, the child must have a signed permission form. Parents are expected to pay any field trip fees and understand whether a bag lunch is required.  If you have concerns about field trip fees, please contact the principal or counselor. We can provide assistance if needed.
  16. Please keep your child’s lunch account consistently funded.  You can pay directly to our cafeteria manager or set up an account and pay online here. Inquiries about the federal free/reduced meal program should be made in the front office.
  17. Should your family ever need to move/transfer out of CTE, (to another HCPS school, out of our area, or out of the country), make sure to notify the teacher and office as soon as you know your date. We want to make sure we have your child’s forms ready for transfer and so we can help to support your child to make the transition.
  18. ​​​​​​​With respect to gifted identification–Colonial Trail will provide you with information on this process.
  19. As teachers have a tight schedule, please be on time for parent/teacher conferences.  If the conference needs to be rescheduled, please contact the classroom teacher.​​​​​​
  20. Please join the PTA in order to support the school’s mission of providing enrichment, cultural, and community engagement activities year-round. Go to our PTA Website.
  21. Parents should stay informed of school events and the latest news from the school by reading the principal’s monthly newsletter (this is it) and reading the school’s Cub Chronicle e-mailed to all families by the PTA on Friday evenings. Sign up on the PTA website to receive these emails.
  22. That’s a lot!  If you have additional questions, please see Student/Parent Handbookor call the school for assistance.  We are here to help!

Have a happy November!

Kirk Eggleston, Principal


Principal’s Principles  October 2018

Dear Colonial Trail families,

It’s hard to believe that that fall has arrived and it’s October!  These first 4 weeks have flown by and the students are in routines and engaged in many varied learning opportunities each day.

Teachers have been busy completing reading assessments (Fountas & Pinnell) with all students and PALS (Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening) with 1st through 3rd grade students new to VA.  KG will begin administering PALS mid-month. It’s important that the teachers are knowledgeable of each child’s reading skills in regards to decoding, fluency, spelling, comprehension, writing, and phonetic skills so that they best plan lessons to meet individual needs.  Reading is an incredible life skill – one must read daily not only to practice skills learned in school and at home. We strive to expose students to new genres, types of texts, such as magazines, graphic novels, maps, food labels, brochures, and more. Reading can take one to places they dreamed of, expose them to new ideas, and spark an interest in a new topic. K-5 teachers are focusing this year on writing as we strive to create students who can fluently express themselves in written form.  To do so, teachers are receiving training through the school year on 6+1 Writing Traits strategies and implementing them into weekly writing lessons.  Come look in the classrooms and hallways – you can see some of their work displayed!

In the month of September, the staff and students have practiced several safety drills – fire, Lockdown, and Signal Blue Hide & Lock.  Students are taught what to do in each of these situations so that if a real emergency were to occur, they know exactly how to react and what the expectations are.  In October, we are required to have the following drills: fire, tornado, and earthquake.  When we practice these drills, we inform the students that it is a drill. We do take each and every one very seriously.


Henrico County Public Schools has identified qualities and attributes to target as we educate and prepare our students from K through 12 to be life ready and possess 21st Century Skills.  As teachers plan lessons within their units of study, they are focusing on and embedding these traits: quality character, global citizen, communicator, collaborator, creative thinker, and critical thinker.  Go to this link to learn more:  Another aspect of developing our students is through Deeper Learning with the incorporation of STEAM classes – this implementation will take place over three years as HCPS adds STEAM classrooms to selected schools each year. To learn more, visit:


Upcoming events:

Oct. 4 – Gifted Parent Information meeting  6:00-7:00

Oct. 9 – PTA School spirit night at Chipotle near Short Pump Town Center  4:00 – 9:00

Oct. 12 Donuts with Dad  7:30-8:00  8-8:30 Speaker in Internet Safety following in the cafeteria.  See flyer.

Oct. 12 Individual Picture Day

Oct. 24 – Robotics assembly for the students during the school day – sponsored by the PTA

Oct. 26 – PTA Fall Family Movie Night

Nov. 5 PM Parent Conferences – teachers will send out a Signup Genius to register

Nov. 6 – AM Parent Conferences – teachers will send out a Signup Genius to register; no school for  students today


As always, we enjoy your participation, support, and dedication as we work together to educate our students.  As Marva Collins, an American educator, stated “Success doesn’t come to you, you go get it!”


Thanks for all that you do in support of our children. Happy Fall!


Nevin Hartman

Associate Principal







Dear Colonial Trail Families:

Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year–we had a wonderful first day!  We are excited to have your family as part of our community.  We are a diverse, vibrant, and high achieving school with outstanding parents, teachers, and students.  CT is a great place to be!

Our school theme this year is C.T.E.S. CUBS CLIMB TO NEW HEIGHTS!  When students have strong self-esteem and a consistent sense of belonging, they will reach and exceed our expectations. Indeed, our goal at CTES is to support and challenge every child. Your child’s teacher this year is excited to work with him/her to make learning relevant, rigorous, and fun. Below is some very important information regarding the 2018-2019 school year.

FORMS (Parent Homework):  Forms came home in your child’s folder.  All forms on the “Return To School” side of the folder should be completed and returned to school (unless you completed them on Rycor).

STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT.  Please make sure to review and sign. All families must sign.

LUNCH VISITS—Please see new policy for  LUNCH VISITORS (1).pdf . In order to have any relative/grandparent, etc. join your child for lunch, the visitor must be on the parent pick up form.

VOLUNTEERING—We encourage parent volunteering.  We require you complete a Parent Volunteer Form . Print, sign, and send in if you want to volunteer soon.  We will be following up with a different online form soon with a required volunteer video for you to watch. Please see Volunteer guidelines revised August 2018 (2).pdf .

CTES PTA.  Please join!  Our Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is an essential partner in educating your child.  PTA supports our school through fundraising, parent outreach, family events, teacher appreciation, student recognition, technology support–the list goes on.   We strive for 100% family membership.  Please see the CTES PTA website at to join and stay informed of CTES PTA community events.

PTA PRINCIPAL’S COFFEE FOR NEW CTES FAMILIES.  Friday, September 14, 8:30 AM in the cafeteria.  This is an opportunity to meet our administration, ask questions, and get involved.  Our PTA President, Mei Johnson, will also be there to welcome you.  Please come!

PTA BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20th, 6:15-8:00p.m.  We will meet in the gym and then have two classroom sessions to learn about curriculum and teacher expectations.

PARENT HANDBOOK.  Please review the handbook online at  This document provides specific HCPS and CTES policies and guidelines.

PARENT PORTAL.  You can access grade 2-5 gradebook information via Powerschool at

CLASSROOM BLOGS.  All of our teachers will have classroom blogs to keep you informed.  These will be introduced and available for your use at Back To School Night.

STUDENT ATTENDANCEHaving your student at school every day is essential to support his/her academic success.  For this reason, we highly discourage long term absences during the school year.  Please again note that HCPS policy is to immediately withdraw students from enrollment upon the first day of any planned absence of 15 days or more.  No schoolwork can be provided to students on vacation or if withdrawn.  We also caution that extended absences affect academic mastery and place your child at risk of non-promotion.  Virginia compulsory attendance laws require us to report chronic absenteeism (5 or more unexcused absences) to the county attorney.  As we understand family situations or emergencies occur that require your child to be absent, please arrange for principal approval of any extended absence.  That said, please make every effort to plan family vacations during the winter or summer holidays.  We appreciate your support of consistent attendance.

TARDIES.  Just a reminder that the tardy bell rings at 8:10. Students should be in their classrooms at that time. We encourage you to have your children ride the bus or to get them to school by 8:00 am.

SCHOOL OFFICE HOURS are 7:30 am to 4:00 pm.  Please stop by, email or call 364-0055 if you have any questions or concerns.  My email is

Thank you as always for your support, enthusiasm, partnership, and trust.  We look forward to a great school year!


Kirk Eggleston



AugustPP 2018

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