Week of September 1, 2015

Welcome (or welcome back) students and parents! 

Today MLWGS students should pick up their student packet containing information for students and parents.  While everything is important, the pink PTSA volunteer form is time-sensitive. Please look for and fill out the personalized pink PTSA volunteer sheets, one for each parent.  This information currently resides in the secure PTSA database that will be used to publish the school directory.  Please identify the volunteer opportunities of interest and also check the data to make sure the school directory will be as accurate as possible. 

Please send these forms back to school (marked box at the Bluestone entrance), scan and email them to mlwgsptsadirectory@gmail.com, or mail to the address at the bottom of the form. The Parent Volunteer Form is available under "Links" on the right side of your Smoke and Scales. In order to provide a directory to each student at Back-to-School night, September 24, completed and/or corrected forms need to be returned by Friday, September 11. 

Save the Date for Fall Festival 2015! 

Friday, October 9, 4-8 p.m.
(Rain date October 16)

Come one, come all to the nineteenth-annual MLWGS Fall Festival! It is the one event of the year sponsored by the PTSA to directly showcase and support MLWGS student organizations! Held on the front steps and lawn of the school, facing Lombardy Street, the Fall Festival offers a wide variety of activities, entertainment, and food.

The Festival is open to all: current students, their families, younger siblings, former students and families, neighborhood residents and friends of the school!

There is no admittance charged for the festival and all the entertainment, provided by our very talented students, is free! Tickets are sold to purchase all items for sale, which include crafts, games, entrees, desserts and drinks. 

Be sure to “Like” the Fall Festival Page on Facebook to get the latest information about what is planned and what volunteer opportunities exist (www.facebook.com/MLWGSFallFestival).

The Festival relies on volunteers to help with the many jobs, including set up, booth support, PTSA drink sales, crowd control, ticket sales and counting, and tear down. Parent support is critical to the success of the Festival and students can earn community service hours. Parent volunteers will be needed on October 9 starting at 9 a.m. before the Festival for setup, during the Festival, and afterwards for clean up. The PTSA also needs to borrow some items to help keep the cost down. More information about volunteering and donating items will be posted on the Facebook Page and in future editions of Smoke and Scales

Exciting Announcements for THE DRAGON’s LAIR

The Dragon’s Lair has some exciting news!  First, in addition to being open Tuesdays and Fridays during the lunch hour, the Dragon’s Lair will also be open on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 8 a.m. - 9 a.m.  We hope this new morning time slot will provide more flexibility in visiting the school store.  The Dragon’s Laird is also excited to announce that it’s moving from handwritten to electronic transactions, and will now be accepting credit and debit cards all the time. 

If you have any questions, comments, or are interested in volunteering during special events, please contact Shannon Adee at 804-714-7499

Costa Rica International/Interdisciplinary Trip
Enrollment Deadline approaching

The deadline for the spring international/interdisciplinary trip to Costa Rica is Wednesday September 30, 2015. An informational meeting is scheduled for Monday September 21 at 6:00 p.m. in Room 153. MLWGS students interested in the trip but unable to attend the meeting can contact Mr. David Barnes dbarnes@gsgis.k12.va.us, or 354-6800 ex 3060 with any questions. More information is also available at http://www.eftours.com/1713827WP .

MLWGS students have an exciting opportunity to participate in the international/interdisciplinary trip to Costa Rica during Spring Break 2016. MLWGS has chosen to offer this opportunity because of Costa Rica’s unique history, vibrant culture, and robust ecological diversity. Students will spend 9 days exploring the ecology, geology, history, and culture of Costa Rica. In Tortuguero students will discover 11 different habitats, including nesting ground for sea turtles. Then students will enjoy a unique perspective of the rainforest while whitewater rafting and zip-lining in Sarapiqui. The next stop will be the Arenal region, where students will study volcanic geology. The Arenal volcano serves as a watershed for the lake, powers the hot springs, and supports the majestic La Fortuna waterfall. The final destination is Guanacaste, where students can explore Pacific beaches. They will also visit a cloud forest and snorkel in a marine ecosystem. Of course, they will also have some free time to experience local culture.

MLWGS has chosen to work with Education First (EF), an accredited international travel company, because they are a leader in international education, with more than 45 years of experience in 50 countries. EF will provide transportation, accommodations, food, insurance, and an experienced tour guide. The tentative cost of the trip is $2705 plus $80 for tips.


Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, Smoke and Scales will not be using Constant Contact to blast your email inbox every Tuesday morning in the wee hours. Don’t worry though! You can still receive Smoke and Scales every Tuesday by subscribing to the newsletter by email. How? At the top of this page on the right-hand side is a “Follow by Email” subscription option. Simply enter your email address, hit submit, and you’re subscribed! Smoke and Scales’s goal this year is to transition the entire readership to subscribe via email. Please get us started on that goal, and subscribe today!

Thank you from your Smoke and Scales editors and the MLWGS PTSA!