• Panther-Pedia
    (Explanations for terms you may hear at school)


    After School Family Classes -  These classes are taught by our teachers and select outside organizations for 1 hour after school 1 day a week.  Each class series lasts for 6 weeks.  Classes are offered in the Fall, Winter, and Spring and are open to Hamilton Elementary School students and their families.


    Assembly -  All of the students gather to watch a special educational performance paid for by the PTA.  There are generally 3-4 assemblies per year. Parents are invited to attend most assemblies.


    Bedtime Stories – In celebration of Read Across America week, at this free event, Hamilton teachers stationed throughout the school read stories to students and their families.  Students are invited to come dressed in pajamas.  A schedule of stories/readers will be provided.


    Box Tops -  Box Tops for Education are on hundreds of products.  Each Box Top is worth 10 cents for our school.  Please clip them out and send them into school with your student.  Classes with the most box tops sent in each quarter will get a special reward, so please include your student's teacher when you send them in. 


    BYOT – Bring Your Own Technology encourages students to bring their personal technology tools to school for learning.  As students utilize their personal technology devices in school, they can learn new ways to use them for collaborating and interacting with their teachers and each other to research information, solve complex problems, create products, and publish their work.  LCPS began implementing BYOT to support One to the World.


    CLG Grant - Certified Local Government Grant. As part of our advocacy efforts, Hamilton Elementary along with 6 other historic elementary schools have received money from the State of Virginia, Department of Historic Resources to study the preservation of our schools and the impact our schools have on our local surrounding community. 


    DARE -  Drug Abuse Resistance Education. D.A.R.E. is a police officer-led series of classroom lessons that teaches children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives A police officer teaches the students effective peer resistance and refusal skills so that adolescents can say “no” to drugs and their friends who may want them to use drugs.


    DRA Develomental Reading Assessment. Administered in Oct. by our teachers to students in grades 1-5, this assessment identifies student’s independent reading level, reading fluency and reading comprehension. Students in grades 2-5 also provide a written response to a story. Students are given a reading level number (1-80) that helps teachers select “just-right” books for each student.


    Dreambox -  Is an online math learning system, that delivers "learning units" where students learn and practice important mathematical concepts. Students visit different worlds (fairies, adventures, pirates etc) where they practice math concepts that are customized based on their previous answers.


    Family Engagement -  Encourages parents to take an active role in their student's education to help students succeed academically.  PTAs play an important role in creating a vibrant school community that creates opportunities for parents to participate in the education of their children either at home, in school through volunteering or at special PTA /school sponsored events whose purpose is help children and parents be excited - together - about their school and learning.  


    Guided Reading -  An instructional approach that involves a teacher working with a small group of students who demonstrate similar reading behaviors and can all read similar levels of texts. The small group model allows children to be taught in a way that is intended to be more focused on their specific needs, accelerating their progress.


    Hall of Fame – A timed math quiz, or “mad minute” that generally has 20 “math facts” (addition/subtraction problems) to be completed in 1 minute.


    LEF - Loudoun Education Foundation - Is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that raises private funds to enhance the quality of education in LCPS. The foundation provides teacher grants, assists families with summer school tuition, sponsors Ethics in Leadership Days (at high schools), sponsors Social Studies, History and Science Fairs, helps cover travel expenses for students in national competitions and awards scholarships. 


    LEAP - Loudoun Education Alliance of Parents - Meets on the 2nd Wednesday monthly from 7-9 pm. Representatives from each PTA or PTO are invited to serve in the LEAP, an independent voice that promotes interaction between parents, teachers, School Board members and members of the Loudoun County Public Schools Administrative Team. Each two-hour program features a panel discussion on topics of interest to parents and members of the community at large, followed by a Question and Answer session and an update from LCPS Superintendent Dr. Eric Williams.



    MSAAC - Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee - Meets on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 7pm at the Administration building.  This committee supports School Board, staff and parent initiatives to encourage development of school cultures where every minority student is afforded the opportunity to achieve his or her full potential, feels welcome and is a part of the student body.


    One to the World –  Is an instructional initiative that address what an LCPS graduate should know and be able to do.  One to the World (OTTW) is a way to teach significant content through an authentic challenging problem and has a public product.  OTTW also has students connecting with an audience beyond the teacher.  When appropriate, students use technology to make these connections with the world


    PTA - Parent Teacher Association. The National PTA is more than 100 years old and is the largest child advocacy association in the United States. The PTA’s nationwide network provides parents with the forum and tools to collectively influence the decisions that affect children not only at their schools, but also throughout their districts, within their states, and across the nation. Visit "What is the PTA" for more information.


    PALS – Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening. A screening provided by the state of Virginia and administered by our teachers in Sept. and Oct. to students in grades K-3. It measures knowledge of letter sounds, spelling, word recognition and oral reading.


    Panther Paw – A blue certificate awarded to a student for showing good behavior.


    Panther Time –Each morning, students in grades 1-5 participate in a Responsive Instruction (RI) program that provides either focused learning time with the student’s teacher (intervention), or an extension lesson.


    PBISPositive Behavioral Intervention and Supports. A school-wide initiative to teach and encourage positive behavior throughout the school. At the end of each quarter, there is a school-wide reward.


    Project Based Learning – Involves an advanced set of practices that build on the One to the World framework to provide rich experience for students.  Gold standard PBL has seven design elements- challenging problem or question, sustained inquiry, authenticity, student voice and choice, reflection, critique and revision and public product.  Gold standard PBL teaches students the important content standards that are fundamental to academic disciplines.  In good projects, students learn how to apply knowledge to the real world, and use it to solve problems, answer complex questions, and create high-quality products. 


    Reflections -  A National PTA sponsored program that invites students across the country to create original works of art (visual arts, literature, photography, music composition, dance choreography, film production) based on a common theme. The 2017 theme is “Within Reach”.  Past themes have been: “The World would be a better place if ..." or "Let Your Imagination Fly…".  Students are judged by local artists and then winners move on to participate in the state and then national reflections contest. Reflections entries are generally due in early November. 


    RAZ Kids - Is an interactive reading tool for our students to practice reading fluency and comprehension. Their teacher can log-in to monitor their progress.


    SEAC - Special Education Advisory Committee - Meetings are 3rd Tuesday of each month (Sept-May) from 7-9pm in room 102 at the Administration Building. Provides an opportunity to share successful educational experiences and express general concerns regarding educational issues for students with disabilities. 


    SLANT – Acronym for Sit up straight, Listen, Ask questions, Nod, Track.


    Sockhop -  A 1950's themed dance for the entire family.  Get dressed-up or come as you are.  We will learn to swing dance together and enjoy a classic car show.


    SOLsStandards of Learning. Establishes minimum expectations of what each student in Virginia should know at the end of each grade in each subject. SOL Tests provide information on individual student achievement and are administered to students in grades 3-5 in April and May.


    Spirit Nights –Local businesses agree to give our PTA a portion of the proceeds from sales at their business on a specific night if you mention you are there to support Hamilton Elementary School.  Occasionally Spirit Night may also involve discounted ticket to area events/shows.



    S.T.E.A.M. -  Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math.  S.T.E.A.M. family night allows students and their parents to participate in a variety of fun hands-on experiments.


    Store Rewards - Stores such as Giant, Harris Teeter award our school money based on the spending by shoppers who have linked their frequent shopper card to our school.  This is a large fundraiser for our school! Please take a few minutes to link your frequent shopper card to Hamilton Elementary.   


    Teacher Appreciation Week – A week in late-April/early-May dedicated to thanking our teachers, staff and bus drivers.


    Vision 20/20 – Is a strategic plan framework adopted by the LCPS School Board, which includes a mission statement, core beliefs and strategic goals.


    Watch D.O.G.S. Dads Of Great Students. Fathers, grandfathers, uncles and cousins who volunteer on one full or one half-a-day on Thursdays to provide a positive male role model in the school, as well as enhance school security and reduce bullying. Watch D.O.G.S. may also participate in the program by assisting at a PTA event.


    Water Day – A 4th quarter PBIS reward held for half a day during the last week of school that is like a field day with only water games. The Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department helps celebrate. Students change in/out of wet clothes and shoes at school. Parents are invited to volunteer.


    WHAM – A daily TV show run by the 5th grade that provides daily announcements.