The Knightly News Telling the Thomas Dale Story Thu, 28 Jan 2021 15:30:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 K News Conversations: masks Thu, 28 Jan 2021 14:10:52 +0000 0 Are There Really No More Asynchronous Wednesdays? Tue, 26 Jan 2021 16:51:52 +0000 “Taking away Wednesday is a mental beating,” said Devin Drakes-Herring, a senior of Thomas Dale. “We use that day to rest our heads and catch up on work because online school is more draining and exhausting than regular school.” 

Asynchronous Wednesdays were originally set to allow a cleaning day between the two hybrid learning groups when hybrid was first an option. When the cleaning protocol was  developed, with the cleaning of the school everyday, it was soon known that the free Wednesdays were no longer needed.

It was then decided to keep the asynchronous Wednesdays that benefited so many students.

“For the students who were using Wednesdays in the way it was designed , it was  an extremely beneficial and powerful day. On the other side of that same coin, there were students who weren’t using it for what it was intended,” said Dr. Jones, Thomas Dale Principal.

The lack of some students involvement on the asynchronous day waved the decision of the school board to withdraw the asynchronous Wednesdays.

How can you take away something that benefited not only the students but the teachers as well without getting any student input or involvement?”  said A’najai Carter, Thomas Dale senior. “We should have a voice too because we are the students going through this everyday.” 

“The advantage on the adult side is that we get to do the things that we don’t have time to do during the school day…[on that Wednesday],” said Dr. Jones.

While not all students  agree with the school board’s decision, including most teachers, Dr. Jones is working to adjust. He’s acquiring feedback from students, teachers, and parents to develop a plan that gives the same benefits of the asynchronous Wednesday on a regular Wednesday. 

It’s clear that this decision has affected both groups, students and teachers, but with the determination of Dr. Jones to give his students and staff an effective  learning experience, asynchronous Wednesdays won’t be a thing of the past.


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Time Management Fri, 11 Dec 2020 19:34:48 +0000 0 What Dale football is doing in the midst of COVID-19 Fri, 11 Dec 2020 14:58:03 +0000 Dale football won’t be the same in the time of COVID.  

For starters, fans will have fewer games to cheer for in the now winter season and according to Coach Kevin Tucker, the VHSL has reduced the number of games this season by 60 percent.

“That means only six regular season games, and then you have a possibility of going to the playoffs,”  he said. “If you don’t make the playoffs, then you get to go to a bowl game. So every team is guaranteed seven games.”

In addition to fewer games played in January and February, players will be practicing without the kind of physical contact that defines football. Maintaining social distance between their players is what coaches will be forced to do. 

“In a normal football practice,” he said, “where we’re tackling, form tackling, blocking, there are long periods of person-to-person contact.”

“This year, you’ll see us go more into using bags, using shields, tackle wheels, things that don’t require human to human contact, and these are also items that we can wipe down easily,” he said.  “That’s one big change you will see.”

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K news conversations Thu, 05 Nov 2020 15:15:15 +0000 The First Knightly News video of the year!

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What’s Happening at Dale? Week of 10.26-10.30 Wed, 28 Oct 2020 19:56:22 +0000 Week of 10.26-10.30

     The end of the first marking period is this Friday, October 30. Deadlines for work may vary by class. 

     Early bird pricing for the Senior Ads in this year’s yearbook ends on November 1, 2020. Use the Yearbook Order Center to purchase an ad and this year’s yearbook. 

     There is no school this coming Monday and Tuesday, November 2 and 3rd. Monday is a teacher/parent conference day and Tuesday is Election Day. There will be no synchronous or asynchronous meetings on either day. 

     Seniors! More cap and gown order appointments have been added for November 4 and 5. The sign up information can be found at this link

     Payment for AP exams is due November 9th. Payments can be made on the school’s Online School Payments portal payments. Any payments made after November 9th will have an additional $40 late fee per exam.

     November 9th is the first day cohort 4 (high schools) will re enter the building physically. Plan accordingly and please be aware of the following: masks and social distancing will be required at all times on school property, including buses. 

     Teachers will instruct virtual and in person students through the Google Meet classroom, meaning in person students will log on to their Google Meet classroom to receive instruction. 

     The schedule is as follows (based on last names):

Monday/Tuesday = A-K in the building; L-Z virtual

Wednesday = everyone virtual w/ academic support from 100:am – 1:00pm and 12:00 pm – 

12:15 seminar

Thursday/Friday = L-Z (last names) in the building; A-K virtual


Helpful Links:

New School Website

Virtual Bell Schedule

Still having issues with your chromebook? Check out the Chromebook Basics

Are you confused about Chesterfield County’s COVID-19 Plan? Do you have questions? Visit the Coronavirus Information Resources webpage. 

Updated Positive Cases in CCPS

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How Covid Has Affected Teachers and Students Mental Health Wed, 28 Oct 2020 19:55:35 +0000 There is no doubt that this pandemic has been an appalling and stressful time for some people. For students and teachers alike, there are both positives and negatives. 

“The virus has affected me in a way where I could connect with family and learn more about past pandemics,” says Deep Run High School student Aaron Jamaledine. 

Like other students, Aaron has faced some challenges during this pandemic.

“The challenges I had to face were to social distance myself from people, which is hard to do because I love talking to people around and getting to know more about their lives,” he said. 

However, Aaron has been able to adjust well enough to this pandemic.

“I’m getting used to wearing a mask every time I step foot outside like walking the dog, going to the grocery store, and at the end of my soccer practice,” he said.  

With local businesses and schools reopening, Aaron continues to wear a mask and take caution. Students are not the only ones experiencing ups and downs during these strange times.

Teachers have also been struggling with the pandemic, but are finding hope and goodness. Sheila Pope is a school social worker for Thomas Dale High School,  and has been coping well during the pandemic.

“I am very happy to be back working in the building. The biggest impact for me has been missing the students,” she said. “I have a private space to work and I am comfortable with wearing a mask and the janitorial staff have been doing an outstanding job, so I am not concerned at all about my safety.” 

A crucial part of Sheila Pope’s job is participating on the Child Safety Team.

Normally Sheila conducts meetings for the Child Safety Team in person, but has had to move these meetings to the virtual setting.

“Now I have to interview parents over the phone. It’s generally quicker that way, but more fun in person,” she said.

Sheila is helping by bringing together students and families with needed support from the community. 

The loss of income due to the pandemic has caused some families to “struggle to afford basic necessities like food, clothing, heat, water, and electricity.”

Sheila helps make the connection between churches and community organizations that want to provide support to those that need it.

“I make multiple calls a day to families because children need these basic necessities to be able to focus and learn.”

COVID-19 has caused many people like Pope to experience highs and lows. “In some ways I was grateful that the world slowed down so that we could catch our breath and focus on very important things, like being kind to one another and taking care of our health,”she said.  

Sheila was concerned about her college aged children and whether they would be able to go on campus.

“Life on campus is different, which is unfortunate,” she said.

Like all seniors that were part of  the Class of 2020, many students couldn’t celebrate their ceremonies or graduation due to the uprising virus. Sheila has a son, who was a senior last year. 

“For him, it was his senior lacrosse season, prom, and graduation, but it was great how the school did everything that could possibly be done to make it special, ” she said. 

     Sheila feels blessed however expressing, “I feel fortunate that no one I know has been seriously impacted by the disease and I feel fortunate that my job makes it possible for me to help others.”  

All teachers and students have been through some highs and lows throughout this pandemic. However, if we stay strong and help each other we can get through this pandemic and hopefully return to the normal world we used to know and love.

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Thomas Dale’s long distance education fiesta Wed, 28 Oct 2020 14:32:07 +0000 We’re living in an unprecedented time not only as Americans but as an entire race of humans across the planet. Coronavirus, otherwise formally known across the globe as COVID-19, has placed societies around the world into drastically incomparable lifestyles that most of us, if not all of us, have never seen before. 

Around the United States, everyday lives have been taken off course and shut down completely. Lockdowns and decrees of isolation have been put into place across the entire country for the last nine months as the cases have continually grown larger and larger as time goes by. 

Now, with the primary election for the next President of the United States coming rapidly, a new political concern within the coronavirus outbreak has been outlined with whoever will win the presidency. With whoever gets elected, what will they do in regards to schools around the country that are functioning virtually?

If we look specifically at our home state of Virginia, there are different situations in place for all of the separate counties. However, if we look at Chesterfield, they’ve opted to put into place a new plan that allows for the entrance of high school students to come back to school with a hybrid plan by early November.

The hybrid plan itself involves students physically coming back to their schools for two days out of the week, with Wednesdays being “clean-up days” and the other two days will be strictly for virtual learning. 

However, the focal point of this plan is that not all students will be coming physically at the same time. Instead, half of the student population will be coming in based on alphabetical order, while the other half stays home for virtual learning. 

With this plan, there was no doubt going to be mixed reviews and turned heads. Controversial to some and perfect for others. On the other hand, students will still have the choice to stay virtual or go through with the hybrid plan, and the student population certainly gave their opinions on virtual schooling.

“I was upset,” said Thomas Dale senior Yasmeen Ramadan when asked about her initial emotions about virtual schooling. 

“I worried about struggling and keeping my grades up. I had assumed that being at home would make me care less about school work, but the complete opposite happened. I prefer it and have caught a liking to it,” she said. 

Another senior, Gavin Carraway, simply put, “virtual learning has been nice, and I love being able to go downstairs to cook some eggs after my second period.” 

Many students at Thomas Dale shared the same mindset with Ramadan, finding that virtual schooling eventually became second nature, and they learned to adapt to their new environment. However, not everybody is feeling as optimistic. 

“I hate it because of my ADHD,” said sophomore Samantha Ramsey, who is on the complete opposite side of the spectrum when it comes to online schooling. “I have too many distractions going on as opposed to just being in a classroom.” 

Even with a vast majority of students learning to function and coexist with their new routes of education, many are missing the everyday hospitalities of going to school in person.

“I just miss being with my friends and doing normal activities in high school,” said senior Shane Chaudle. “I’m not excited about how strict it’s going to be going back to school as well.” 

Junior Keymira Hendricks feels the same way, “You don’t have to deal with people on an everyday basis anymore, but it’s lonely because you looked forward to seeing those friends and having those social activities at school.”

For some students, a central focus point of virtual schooling has been the pace they have been able to complete their work, and nearly everybody works at a different speed in correlation to themselves and how they learn. 

“I like virtual learning not only because it’s safer, but I also get to get my work done by going at my own pace.” said sophomore Isaiah Childress. 

Yet, on the other hand, you have another sophomore, Christopher Skelton, that said, “I don’t like how unexplained the work is and how fast it is overall, and I feel like we’re getting more work just because we’re at home.” 

The thoughts and opinions of how students felt about physically going back to school so early in November were the most important of all. The hybrid format, how you would navigate the school itself, how you would get help from teachers, what the guidelines would be, and everything else.

“I do like that we’re going back to school, but they need to make sure we’re all going to be safe there,” said junior Edgar Greer. “Space us out and make sure the classrooms are clean.”

Sophomore Landon Connor added, “I don’t like the hybrid plan at all, partly because of the safety concerns, but also I won’t be able to see my friends because of the alphabetical order. So no, I won’t be going back to school.” 

Knowing how complicated and messy COVID-19 has been for the entire world, it was never a doubt how intricate and complex it would be to bottle down a plan moving forward for just one county. The mixed reviews, the conflicted emotions, and the handling of virtual schooling for students across Chester were going to be chaotic. 

However, moving forward to the due date of the incorporation of physical schooling back into our lives in a few weeks, all we can hope for as a county, as a student body and faculty, and as human beings, is that all goes well. We need it to go well. 

It has been exhausting and ruthless the past nine months for everybody affected by this pandemic. If we can come together and make things work for the betterment of society as a whole, even if that means just doing your part as a single body, then we need to make it happen. 




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¨I say leaving a legacy…¨ Sun, 25 Oct 2020 19:15:23 +0000 When asked, what drives you in life, Peyton Day  replied, ¨I say leaving a legacy…showing people who look like me and have been through the same struggles as me, [they] can do it as well.¨

Born in Fairfax, Virginia, and raised in Chester,  Peyton lives by the words ¨Be different and be yourself.¨

Peyton Day and Mom, Ronique Day (Photo by: Ronique Day)

¨I’m not a follower,” he said. “I want to stand up for what I believe in and not what anyone else tells me to.”

Peyton’s journey to open his eyes to the world wasn’t always milk and honey. Dealing with the struggle of depression, Peyton didn’t let it define him.

For those struggling with depression, he said¨It’s all temporary and, even though it seems like it’ll never get better, it’s a valley, and it has its peaks … don’t be scared to talk it out.¨

In five years Peyton wishes to see himself as a Biomedical Engineer or an Allergist Doctor.

¨I feel like that’s the best way to leave an impact on the world that’s positive,” he said. “And because there’s not a lot of African American doctors, and I feel if I can do it, anyone can.

Peyton would tell his past self, ¨stop looking backwards so much. The windshield mirror is larger than the rear view mirror for a reason.¨

Everyone has a story, but what sets Peyton apart from the rest is motivation.

“I’m motivated to set myself apart from the rest because that’s what makes the world great … a collection of different people striving to make the world a better place,” he said.

As inspiring as Peyton is, he also is inspired by someone.

¨My mother inspires me because I feel she beats all the odds and that inspires me to beat all the odds too,” Peyton  said.

¨Live by faith and not by sight,” he said. “You might not see it but if you believe in it you can achieve it.”


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What’s Happening At Thomas Dale This Week? (10.19-10.23) Wed, 21 Oct 2020 12:42:24 +0000      Payment for AP exams has opened (Oct 1) and is due November 9th. Payments can be made on the school’s Online School Payments portal payments. Any payments made after November 9th will have an additional $40 late fee per exam.

     Seniors! Herff-Jones Cap and Gown and Graduation announcements orders will take place November 4 and 5 from 3-7 pm at Thomas Dale main campus. Orders are made by appointment only. To select an appointment time visit this link.

     The due date for senior portraits to be submitted to the yearbook to be included is this Friday, October 23. 

     Those who took pictures with Candid Color and selected their preferred image do not need to do anything else. If you need to select your preferred image through Candid Color, visit the Candid Color portal

     However, if you took pictures with an outside photographer, you must submit your preferred photo to the yearbook staff. 

     Additionally, early bird pricing for the Senior Ads in this year’s yearbook ends on November 1, 2020. Use the Yearbook Order Center to purchase an ad and this year’s yearbook. 

     The return to school Hybrid Learning model has officially been announced. Monday, November 9th is the first day back in the building for those in the A-K group and Thursday, October 12 is the first day back in the building for the L-Z group. 

     Please note, Masks and Social Distancing are required on school property (buildings and buses). The schedule is as follows (based on last names):


Monday/Tuesday = A-K in the building; L-Z virtual

Wednesday = everyone virtual w/ academic support from 100:am – 1:00pm and 12:00 pm – 

12:15 seminar

Thursday/Friday = L-Z (last names) in the building; A-K virtual


     Class Officers have been announced: 


Sponsors: Ms. Kiku and Ms. Powell

President: Allison Miller

Vice President: Rhea Malla 

Treasurer: Madison Traylor

Secretary: Shawnay James

Historian: Lizzie Rusnak


Sponsors: Open

President: Andrea Farag

Vice President: Isabella Wallen

Treasurer: Christina Zappa

Secretary: N/A

Historian: N/A


Sponsor: Ms. Comrie

President: Rowanna Salem

Vice President: Luren Vasquez

Treasurer: Emma Jennings Baker

Secretary: Alexander Trias

Historian: N/A


Sponsor: Ms. Mirabiollio

President: Angie Castro

Vice President: Luren Vasquez

Treasurer: Beckett Rash

Secretary: KiAsia Pam

Historian: N/A

     SCA Officers have also been announced:

Sponsor: Mr. Thompson

President: Mia McGovern

Vice President: Brain Rogers

Secretary: Dustyn Shepard


Helpful Links:

New School Website

Virtual Bell Schedule

Still having issues with your chromebook? Check out the Chromebook Basics

Are you confused about Chesterfield County’s COVID-19 Plan? Do you have questions? Visit the Coronavirus Information Resources webpage. 

Updated Positive Cases in CCPS

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