SLES Renovation History

November 17, 2017

Dolphin Digger  November 2017

We received some exciting news this morning! Our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders will be moving into the main building and our K and 1st grades will be shifting into their permanent locations towards the front of the building. We anticipate that the move will happen on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 22nd. Our teachers will work their hardest to ensure that there is minimal disruption to the instructional days next week as they prepare their rooms for the move. Our teachers may be reaching out to parents to assist with student stations in order to allow them to work with the packers or to organize for the movers. Many of you have volunteered to move our classrooms and we are thankful for this offer, but our construction budget covers professional movers for this very task. We will let you know the new room numbers in the coming days. Our teachers plan to show students their new spaces once our final inspection is complete early next week.

Our fifth grade classrooms and general music classrooms are set to move into the building by late January. Ms. Deaton, Ms. Edwards, Ms. McDonald and Ms. Hardin will shift their rooms over Thanksgiving break to quads 1-4 so their quad can be promptly delivered to a neighboring school under construction. This will give us back a large space of our field in the coming weeks.

We feel quite fortunate that everything is finally coming together with great success. I know you join me in the thrill of our entire school eventually being under one roof. Thank you for your ongoing support.


Dolphin Digger - October/November 2017

We have been told that part of our back hallway will be closed this week.  This is especially challenging for first graders who are used to walking down this hallway to go to classes.  We have various adults stationed in the hallway and at entrances to assist students.  Please remind your child to ask an adult if they forget the way to their classroom.  We believe that part of the back hallway will be closed on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week.  This means if you come in through door 6, students will need to go straight out to the preschool playground and take a right back into the school.  We are working on signs for this building detour as well.

All of the closures are due to roofing work.  This week, starting October 31st, you will see a construction crew on our roof during school hours.  Roofing must be done during daylight hours, and we are approaching the final stages of construction.  Two roofing technical inspectors are also here to monitor foot traffic around the school.  The roofing tanker holding the asphalt will contain DeScent, an additive used for controlling fume and odors from the asphalt.  You may see additional fencing where contractors need to be due to the roofing project.  We ask for your patience during these various disruptions.  As always, student and staff safety is our number one concern and we are working closely with the contractors so that we have everything covered.

Construction is moving forward in our interior hallways.  Large construction crews come in nightly and work from 4:00pm until well after midnight.  This is why we have cancelled clubs and after school activities for the first half of the year.  The front hallway, our new first grade rooms, SACC room, adult bathrooms, teacher workroom, and professional meeting room should be ready in early December.  We are hoping to move our 2nd and 3rd graders in from the Modular Unit by winter break.  Our 4th and 5th grade rooms are set to follow close behind as these are the final two hallways that involved classrooms.  The last stage of the project are the music rooms and a mechanical room which will likely finish in early spring.

We have been working to purchase new furniture and equipment for the school with our bond money allocation.  As you may know, bond money must be spent on items expected to last a minimum of 25 years.  We have purchased new student tables, student chairs, small group tables, teacher tables, cafeteria tables, band/strings chairs, art tables and stools, risers, laminator, racks of portable chairs, library furniture and office furniture with these funds.  All furniture has an expected delivery date of early January 2018 (hopefully over winter break).  The one exception to the bond clause is technology so we have been able to purchase new projectors to go with the whiteboards in every classroom.  This allows for one stand-alone unit above the board in all new classrooms, library, and cafeteria.  Our front sign will also be replaced as part of the educational specifications set for the school.

Slowly, it is all coming together.  I have the great fortune of meeting almost weekly with members from Design and Construction to discuss project momentum and any issues that arise.  Some of you have asked about the trees/bushes that have already died out front, all of the dead greenery is under warranty and will be replaced by the landscape contractor.

Dolphin Digger - July 2017

Our renovation team is in full swing working on the cafeteria, gym, and hallway.  This is a busy summer as much needs to get done in eight short weeks.  Please remind your children that the school grounds are shut down due to construction to include all outside areas and playgrounds.  As always, dogs are not to be walked on school grounds.  Thank you for your patience as we undergo an incredible makeover! 

Dolphin Digger - June 2017

Our beautiful and bright two-story addition opened! Our 6th grade students and our art classes moved into the new space this morning. In the fall, pre-K, kindergarten, first and sixth grade will be housed in the two-story addition while construction occurs on all other spaces in the building. Second and third grade classes will be housed in the modular and fourth and fifth grades will be in the quads. We anticipate ALL classrooms moving back inside the building and the mod and quads being removed from the property in spring 2018.


Thank you for your continued patience and optimism as we successfully work through our renovation process!


Dolphin Digger - March 2017

TEMPORARY FENCE: Starting Wednesday, 3/8/17, you will notice fencing on the side of the building (by the cafeteria) bumped out several feet.  The bump out fencing will be in place for up to two weeks in order for work to occur on that side of the building.  A temporary side walk has been clearly marked for students and parents to walk. 

The Kiss and Ride path has been shortened in this area.  The fence will be removed when all work in this area is completed.  Thank you for your flexibility.


Dolphin Digger - February 2017

The Smell of Progress (week of February 13th)

You may smell a slight tar scent over the next week. This means there is great progress on our roofs,  Contractors use an additive in the tar while it is hot to make the scent less pungent.  Sealed roofs now means indoor work will soon follow. The lack of snow has been terrific for outdoor work.  Thanks for your continued patience with our makeover.


Our additions are almost completely covered with brick and about 50% of our windows have been put into place.  The mild winter has been helpful to the contractors as they move inside to complete HVAC and plumbing.  The front addition (office and library) will likely be complete in late spring, followed by the two-story addition. As we get closer to the finish date, we will have more information about the classrooms that will move for the 2017-18 school year.  Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility as we work through our renovation.

Recent moves:

Ms. Keane and Mrs. Kasparek have relocated due to the construction of a new bathroom area off the main hallway. Ms. Keane is in M5 and can be reached at 703-619-3618. She now shares her office with Ms. Walton, our social worker. Ms. Kasparek  is sharing her new office with Ms. Williams, our psychologist. Ms. Kasparek can be reached at 703-619-3617.

Outdoor Science Learning Center If you ever saw Field of Dreams you know the saying, If you build it, they will come! This is where we are headed with our outdoor learning center. When the modular unit is taken away in 2018, there will be a large slab of concrete that the builders need to spend $25,000 digging up and throwing away. I think that is an ENORMOUS waste of money, especially with another $50,000 (or so), we can BUILD on top of the concrete an OUTDOOR LEARNING CENTER. Our vision is that this learning center can hold up to the number of children at our largest grade level plus parents. The possibilities are endless.  Our staff and students have begun to think of ways that an outdoor learning center could be an enormous asset to our school.   I feel very confident that our school community can raise additional funds for this project and I would like to hear from you!  Please email me and let me know your thoughts on our proposed Outdoor Science Learning Center. 

Here is our wish list so far:

  • Covered pavilion
  • Running water access
  • Use for project based learning, family events, science experiments, art projects, concerts, special events, and so much more...



Dolphin Digger - Winter 2016-2017

Renovation Updates

Our renovation is on track!  For families who are new to Stratford Landing, take a look at our renovation overview from last year, accessible here.  We are entering into the final months of phase one in the renovation.  Over the past few months you have seen the most unsightly part of the renovation, particularly in the front of our school.  In the coming weeks you will see windows come into the additions and from what I am told, progress happens quickly once the building is no longer exposed to the outside elements.  Both the front addition (office suite, entrance, and library) and the side two-story addition (18 classrooms, 2 art rooms, bathrooms, resource spaces, etc…) are set to turn over in late spring/early summer.  Stay tuned as we are seriously exploring an outdoor science center on the space that is currently occupied by the modular.  I will be sending out my vision for our science center and solicit family input for our beautiful outdoor space in the coming weeks.