Principal's Page

Welcome to the Dunbarton Elementary School (DES) Principal’s Page. It is my goal to periodically update this page to keep parents and the community at large informed about the various happenings at DES.

Sincerely,

Owen Harrington

Principal

October 13, 2017

posted Oct 13, 2017, 11:12 AM by Owen Harrington

Dear Parents,


We are in the middle of one of the more exciting times of year in an elementary school. Our wheels are up and it is smooth flying. When I am walking through classrooms and conversing with students and teachers, it is clear we are full steam ahead with learning. This will be the case all the way to our Thanksgiving break. As teachers and educators, we love these opportunities for uninterrupted learning.


Today the third and fourth grades will be hosting senior members of the Dunbarton community who also attended Dunbarton schools. As you may remember from earlier emails, we are looking to revamp our mission and vision statements and we are committed to honoring the Dunbarton ideals that have been fostered throughout the years. We felt a good way to to do so was to have elder Dunbarton statesmen and women share their experiences with students and have those students create reports. The students will then share their reports with community members who are interested in attending an informational meeting later this month or early November. I will keep you updated as those dates are solidified.


Next week I will meet with the group of students who created school level rules to plan out our presentation of school rules to the whole school. I am excited to get this moving and wrap up this project so we can use these rules as our foundation for success at DES. As we have discussed, these rules will be our (students and staff) guide as to how we work together to create avenues for success for all. This is an exciting prospect for sure.


I would encourage you to mark your calendars for the October 30th presentation by the Dunbarton School District Capital Improvements Committee (CIC). The CIC will be presenting the most current status of the Dunbarton Elementary School building project. I cannot state enough how beneficial a project this would be for student learning. The CIC has commissioned the planning of a fiscally responsible, yet highly effective project that would bolster student learning. Furthermore, this project would also provide marked improvements to the building envelope as well as the mechanical functions of the building. The CIC will present at 6:30 on October 30th in the DES library.


I wanted to remind everyone of some PTO/DES events coming up in the near and somewhat distant future. Tomorrow the DES PTO will be hosting its first Bingo for Books event. This is sure to be a great event in which students and grownups will have the opportunity to play some bingo and win some books. Bingo for Books will be happening from 5:30 to 7:30. You can find more information here. The annual Dunbarton Elementary School Halloween parade and parties will be taking place on October 31st starting at 1:45. A little further in the future the annual Harvest Moon Supper will take place on November 4th from 4:30 to 6:30.


Dunbarton Rec. Basketball signups will be held in the school library on October 23 from 6-8 pm and October 25 from 7-8:30 pm. Watch for more information coming home with your child next week.


Also coming home in their backpacks next week is the 6th Grade Yankee Candle Fundraiser. The Class of 2018 is raising funds for their overnight trip to the Boston Museum of Science  in June.


As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or any of us in the office.


Sincerely,


Owen Harrington



September 29, 2017

posted Sep 29, 2017, 12:47 PM by Owen Harrington

Dear Parents,


It is hard to believe this will be the last email for September 2017. As it always happens, time is moving quickly. Thank you to all of you who supported the DES Scholastic Book Fair. From what I understand, this was a record year and due to this, there will be many new titles being donated to DES teacher’s classrooms. Clearly, this is a direct benefit to DES students. Thank you to the Dunbarton PTO and Mrs. Westenberg for organizing and supporting this yearly event.


At this point in time the DES Building Project is still in its planning stages, but it is starting to take a more concrete shape. I will leave it to the Dunbarton School Board to inform you further, but I wanted to ensure you that from my vantage point, some exciting work is being done. I would encourage you to stay informed of this process as the plans continue to take shape. I will keep you informed as the school board releases information. 


Another way for you to stay informed is to attend information sessions as they are scheduled as well as to attend Dunbarton School Board meetings. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 4th at 6:00 PM in the DES library. In my humble opinion, we are at an important point in the continued growth of DES and it is important for you to stay as informed as possible so you are able to make a decision you are comfortable with in March at the Annual School District Meeting, when you will vote on the budget for the coming school year. .


On the DES rules development front, we had our meeting at Bow High School yesterday. We had two representatives each from grades 1 - 6 participating. It was an honor to be a part of this as the adults (Mrs. Routhier and I) really let go of the reins and allowed the students to discover a process to create rules. I was impressed with their steadfast approach in creating meaningful rules that not only benefit themselves and their immediate peer groups but also the school as an institution of learning. They really understood and respected their task and it was a joy as both a parent and an educator to observe. Once the rules are revealed to the student body, I will share those with you. Our next step is to plan out a ratification meeting with the whole school, and this group is already working on some fun ideas to make it a meaningful meeting.


We have been hard at work trying to find a replacement for our former music teacher Mrs. Sullivan. We think we have found one and are in the final stages of the hiring process. Once this person is officially hired, I will introduce her to you via email. I can tell you we are excited about her as a teacher and look forward to completing the hiring process.


The Bow/ Dunbarton school staff softball team will play against Bow town office staff on October 13th at 5:30 on the ball field between Bow Middle School and the tennis courts. There will be concessions and a 50/50 raffle, all in support of the Special Olympics. This will be a fun night out for the family and a chance for students to watch some of their teachers play softball!


The SAU Wellness Committee is sponsoring a "Get Out and Walk Day" on Sunday, November 5th. I would mark your calendars as this looks to be a fun event. I have attached the flier here for further review.


I also wanted to remind you we do not have school on Friday, October 6th or Monday, October 9th. There is no school on Friday due to NEA day and no school on Monday in honor of Columbus Day. I hope you are all able to take some time this weekend to enjoy the fall weather we have in store. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your child's teacher or any of us in the office.



Sincerely,



Owen Harrington

Attachments area

September 15, 2017

posted Sep 15, 2017, 10:51 AM by Owen Harrington

​Dear Parents,


We have just completed our first full week of school for the 2017-2018 school year. So far, this has been a very strong start to the school year. I know I already alluded to that last week, but this week was an extension of that feeling. I truly feel this is attributable to the hard work the staff has put into utilizing Responsive Classroom techniques while working with students. We are going to continue with this commitment in the area of professional development for staff as we have scheduled a training for them later in the year and many staff members will be taking the level one training. Furthermore, Laura Landry (Special Education Coordinator) and I will be attending a Responsive Classroom leadership conference in November to further support the school goals. It is definitely an exciting time to be a staff member at DES. From what I can gather, there is a similar sense of underlying excitement among the students. Recess is certainly a much smoother operation and lunch seems to have been smoothed out so one is able to digest his or her food in a calm manner.


Our next step in this process will begin next week. Two representatives will be chosen from each classroom (by the classroom) to represent them as we start the process of writing school wide goals. There will be four reps from each grade level. At each grade level we will discuss the classroom rules and distill those down to grade level rules. From there those four will choose two grade level representatives to form a school wide council of sorts to develop school wide goals. Each grade level will have been represented in this process. From there, the two grade level reps from each grade will meet with the other grade level representatives  to create school goals. This is a student-driven process. The final step in the school rules development is the presentation of the rules to the student body. My hope is that at this presentation adults will introduce the presentation, but the students will then lead the presentation of the goals to further establish the concept of it being student driven. I can’t wait.


Believe it or not, we are already planning for Winter Activities. As such, Dr. Harrison and Mrs. Virta have already been in touch with Pat’s Peak to discuss when we will be skiing and the process for registering your child. My understanding is you will be receiving some information as early as next week. The deadline to register is looming in that it is November 14th. Although that sounds like it is far away, it will be here before you know it. If you have questions about the program, more information can be found here.  


We had our first all school fire drill today. All of the classrooms practiced their drill routine in order to be on autopilot for future drills. As this was our first one, it was announced to students so they could review the procedure quickly with their teacher before we began. It went well and students and staff did a wonderful job staying organized and efficient while exiting the building. We all made it out and all were accounted for in 4 and a half minutes. This is a great time for our first drill. Our next drill will be unannounced so it will be more of a real time drill.


Just a reminder the annual Scholastic Book Fair is starting up next Tuesday, September 19th. The family shopping night will be held on Thursday, September 21st at 6:00 pm. The book fair is a great opportunity to purchase popular titles at a discounted price. Not to mention, many of the proceeds come back to the school in the form of books for teacher's classroom libraries. This is important as we have been steadily implementing the Daily 5 in reading and one of the 5 strategies of teaching reading is "sustained silent reading." As the school year goes on each classroom challenges students to improve upon and increase their sustained silent reading time and comprehension strategies. A great way to support this is to have high interest books in classroom libraries. The Scholastic Book Fair is a great resource for said titles.


Pickup time for the DES PTO  Fall Playground Mum Fundraiser is this Saturday the 16th at the gym entrance of DES. They will be there from 11:30 am until 1 pm. They are also raffling off a 12" multi-colored mum at the pickup. Tickets are $1.00 for one ticket or $5.00 for an arms length.  Drawing will be at 2:00 PM and the PTO will deliver it to the winner on Saturday.


Attached is the NH State Fire Marshal's September 2017 Safety Educator newsletter. This monthly newsletter is in its 5th year of distribution and is geared towards PreK-Grade 8 families throughout the State.  The information provided is intended to bring awareness, and create conversations, on fire and life safety.


The Dunbarton Transfer Station reminds all residents that the annual Hazardous Waste Disposal Day will be Saturday, October 7 at the Bow Community Center.


The Goffstown Truck Center is looking for bus drivers. If you are interested, please call 497-3111 to apply.


I wish all of you a great weekend and thank you for all of your support in ensuring for a smooth start to this school year.



Fondly,



Owen Harrington

September 8, 2017

posted Sep 8, 2017, 8:03 AM by Owen Harrington

Dear Parents,


Thank you to all of you who have completed the form explaining in one word what education means to you. We are using this as we are taking a look at our mission and vision and hoping to revamp it to be more in line with or goals for students in the 21st Century. It is exciting work. More importantly, it is work that brings together the stakeholders in each child’s education. I am looking forward to the progression of this as we get closer to crafting the two statements.


I wanted to remind everyone that we are using morning meetings to jump start our academic days. As such, we are hoping students are able to arrive to school at 7:50 so they are able to participate in a complete morning meeting. These are an integral part of the day as they foster a child’s social/emotional growth, which is honestly as important as their academic growth. As we have learned in the past decade, we have no idea what our children will be doing for careers, so their ability to work with and understand others is integral to their success. Morning meetings are certainly a method of providing opportunities for success in these areas.


With that said, I also understand that bus routes are still being solidified and drivers are still perfecting their timing. I would encourage you to contact us in the office or Maureen Ellingwood at the Goffstown Truck Center at (603) 497-3111 if you have any questions or concerns about buses or your child’s experience on the bus. For many students this is how they start and end their school days, so having a good experience is important to all involved. On the flip side, if your child is having a great experience, let the driver or Maureen know. They would love the feedback.


At SAU 67, a school year is often compared to taking a flight. Right now, I would say we are in the process of taking off. Many years this can be a bumpy takeoff or it could seem as though we are taxying on the runway for a very extended period of time. As I am reviewing how things are going this year, it seems like we are taking off in a very calm and seamless manner. I think this is due in large part to the strong ethos of community that has been established between parents, teachers, students and the school system at large. I thank all involved for this as education isn’t something that happens in isolation. Done well, it is a very intricate and well intertwined experience for students so they realize education doesn’t start and end at the school doors.


Just a reminder that picture day is next Wednesday, September 13th. Forms went home with your children. Please don’t return those until the 13th. Again, we have switched to Clix and have found them to be very customer service oriented. Should you have any questions or concerns about their services, feel free to contact us or them directly.


I also wanted to let you know we will be having our first all school fire drill on Friday, September 16th. Students have been practicing in their classrooms and all know what to expect and where to go. It should be a seamless process.


The DES PTO Fall Mums Fundraiser is still going on until September 10. Please put your order in for delivery on September 16 at the school. This fundraiser will help support playground renovations here at DES! http://dunbartonpto.com/shop/.


Dunbarton Elementary School is conducting pre-Registration for next year's Kindergarten class. Please call Shelley Westenberg at 774-3181, extension 201, to pre-register your child for the 2018-19 school year. The deadline is November 1.


Volunteers are still needed to set up and break down the Fall Scholastic Book Fair running September 19-26. Email your PTO Volunteer Coordinator, Nicole Ledoux, at desptovolunteers@gmail.com to sign up for a shift, and receive $10 worth of free book fair merchandise per shift worked.


As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or any of us in the office. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend and thanks for all your support.


Owen Harrington

Principal



August 31, 2017

posted Sep 8, 2017, 8:02 AM by Owen Harrington

Dear Parents,


Gaga is the word of the week! No worries, I am not referring to a famous musician who may or may not be appropriate depending on your tastes. More on that later.


I feel a strong sense of pride this morning as I am writing this email to you. I am proud of Dunbarton Elementary School for its unwavering support of what is right and best for students. I say this because as I reviewed my opening emails to you in past years I am always explaining to you what we are doing that is new for students and staff. What is exciting and overwhelming about this is we have not shied away from taking on big “investments” for our school. Some examples in past years have been Lucy Calkins Writing, Fundations (phonics program), enVisionmath 2.0, writing of competencies, introducing 1:1 Chromebooks for students, and the hiring of new positions to best meet the needs of all students. With this said, we have added another philosophy to our repertoire that will be the glue that holds all this together. Responsive Classroom is actually not a new philosophy at DES, but it is certainly one that needed a revival of sorts.


We have some veteran staff who were part of the initial wave of its emergence at DES, but that was many years ago. This past May and August, 12 staff members were either trained in level 1 or 2 of Responsive Classroom. The basic foundation of the philosophy is every student matters and we need to make it possible for every student to have voice and choice in their learning. Although this sounds obvious, the everyday hustle and bustle of education and life in general can take over and the most obvious things can unintentionally be taken for granted. Using the Responsive Classroom philosophy allows us to take stock in the here and now and allowing for students to own their learning, but also clearly understand specific expectations and necessities for each student. This lifts the mystique that can so often surround expectations and general classroom management.


Right now students are experiencing many instances of “interactive modeling” as well as writing down their hopes and dreams. Interactive modeling is very precise modeling of expectations from something as simple as using a pencil to something more intricate like how to work in a group and ensure for all group members having a voice. Again, this creates a classroom environment in which students know and understand what is expected. Students are currently sharing their hopes and dreams as the initial step of creating classroom rules. We discuss hopes and dreams when creating classroom rules so we can acknowledge everyone has those and we need to work together to allow for each other to achieve their respective goals. Simple, but very deep. We will scaffold this experience to then have representatives from each class meet as a whole to create whole-school rules using a similar process. I can’t wait! The general rules still apply, but the rules created by the students for the students hold tremendous weight as they meet their needs at a core level.


Another aspect of Responsive Classroom that is occurring now is Morning Meeting. Each class has set aside time for Morning Meeting, which has four distinct components: greeting, sharing, group activity, and morning message. The greeting is composed of students greeting each other by name accompanied with some other type of activity like a handshake, clapping, singing or some other activity. Clearly this changes as the grade levels increase. The sharing component is an opportunity for students to share something interesting about themselves with the class. The group activity is a short activity aimed at creating community within the classroom. Finally, the morning message is  a message the teacher will create for the students that will jumpstart the academics for the day. Very often this is an interactive message written on a large posterboard that students will also write on in response to the teacher. All of these activities are created to build cohesion as well as to meet each child where he or she is at.


When you get a chance this weekend, ask your children about their hopes and dreams, how the classroom rules are going and/or how morning meeting is going. This is a fun and challenging adventure for us and we are really looking forward to the progression of Responsive Classroom as we continue to build upon its progress.


We have gone with a new photographer for school pictures this year. Clix is a New England based company and is very excited to become our new school photographer. School Pictures are September 13. Check your child's backpack for the order form. Keep it with you and have your child bring it with them to hand to their teacher on the 13th. Optional retakes will be October 20. Keep in mind that if you want retakes done, you will have to turn in your original packet to the photographer.


Thank you for your patience to all parents whose children are riding the bus. Bus routes have changed some this year and the drivers are still getting used to their routes. Buses may be arriving a little late or early, but this will even out with time. Just a reminder we will not have school on Monday in observance of Labor Day.


Finally, in the spirit of Responsive Classroom, we have changed our recess routine. We used to have three adults out as recess monitor. We now have five with three of the adults being the same each day. This creates consistency in approach and expectations for all involved. We have gone over the boundaries at recess and have interactively modeled the use of all equipment. Each adult at recess has a specific area he or she is covering and each grade reports to the same person at the end of recess to be escorted down to lunch.


We are also providing an organized game at each recess for those students who would like it. Our newly installed Gaga Pit (thank you DES PTO, the PTO volunteers, and Morin Contracting Services for all your efforts) is the organized game for this week. I can easily say this has been a popular destination for students and we are having upwards of 20-30 students gladly playing at a time. It is fun to see. By instituting these changes, it is our hope that recess is a much more relaxed and inviting atmosphere for students.


As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or any of us in the office.


Fondly,


Owen Harrington

Principal


June 16, 2017

posted Jun 16, 2017, 10:47 AM by Owen Harrington

Dear Parents,

 
To begin, I wanted to remind all of you of the DES Field Day and Spring Fling that will be taking place on Wednesday, June 21st. If you have any gently used plush animals, DVDs, books, games, video games and age-appropriate toys that you are willing to part with, Mrs. Spill is looking for them for the Spring Fling White Elephant table. Please send your offerings in with your child before next Wednesday, or drop them off in the school office.
 
I also wanted to say thank you to all of the parents of promoting 6th graders who are the youngest in their family. These parents will be attending their last DES event (6th Grade Promotion) on June 20th at 6:30 pm and I wanted to thank them for their dedication to their children and DES as a whole. Your kind and supportive natures will be missed, and we wish nothing but the best for you and your children as they continue on their journey through life. 
 
In order for you to start planning for the next school year, I have included the 2017-2018 school calendar
 
In an effort to capture the year as a whole, I would like to recap the year. We had some great initiatives this year that I wanted to review.
 

enVisionmath 2.0
We instituted a new math program this year - enVisionmath 2.0. It has been very clear to us this year that this program is a program of merit. Students have worked hard on their problem-solving skills and it is abundantly clear that this program is full of grit. Students need to stick with problems in order to solve them. They have worked hard in solving problems and need to ensure for multiple methods of thinking in order to approach each problem. From kindergarten all the way through 6th grade, the students are experiencing this phenomenon. More importantly, the students are meeting with success. In my opinion, this is due to a three-pronged approach: students are up to the challenge, the teachers are preparing them well and parents have been supportive of the endeavor. Thank you. Just as important, when instituting a new program, very often standardized test scores will go down. Early indications for the math portion of the SBAC are strong. This is a key indicator to the success of the program and may hint at increasing success with time. We will continue to provide teachers with professional development at the start of the 2017-2018 school year to further hone our understanding of the program.
 

Summer Professional Development
A strong improvement to our approach this year was the use of summer professional development. During the summer of 2016 we had teachers in the building working on a mentoring plan, the implementation of Wilson Language, establishing our partnership with Constellations, providing time for new teams to work together to develop curriculum, ensure for consistent delivery of the Fundations program and to set a solid foundation for the implementation of all-day kindergarten. We used Title Two funds to pay for this work and will continue to do so during the summer of 2017 as it was hugely successful.
 
Continued Increase in Technology Access
This year all 4th graders had access to Chromebooks. In doing so we were able to push the remaining Chromebooks into the lower elementary (1-3)  classrooms. This allowed for "pods" of Chromebooks for the lower elementary classrooms. In doing so, all students had increased access to research, writing, better access to accommodations in all subjects and all around improved educational opportunities. We were also able to put all o four iPads in the kindergarten classrooms. As is always the case, technology in a school setting is simply an educational tool and used ineffectively is simply not helpful. I can say without reservation we have put tremendous thought into how we are using Chromebooks and other technologies.  Furthermore, we will be fully transitioned to SAU 67 with Bow taking over the technology supervision aspect of DES. This will create a seamless transition for students, but also improve our access to technology and create a scenario in which we will have increased opportunities for improvement in our technology program. It is an exciting development.
 
New Phone System
As the year progressed last year, it became increasingly clear that we needed to address our aging phone system. We were able to do so and have seen a marked improvement in parents' ability to contact us and, therefore, further improve our communication.
 
Continued Classroom Renovations
We have continued with our systematic classroom renovations from year to year and this year was no different. We were able to install new carpeting and improve the overall aesthetic qualities of both a kindergarten and first-grade classroom this school year. We are continuing in this manner this summer and are hoping to finish up the kindergarten, first, and second-grade classrooms. 
 
Improved 504 Oversight
We were able to increase our guidance time slightly this year to improve our 504 management/oversight. In doing so we were better able to meet the needs of our students with 504s as well as better meeting the needs of their families. This was a great opportunity for us as it only improved the educational opportunities of those students.
 
All Day Kindergarten
Although this is a bittersweet item for me, I cannot discuss the improvements this school year without mentioning All Day Kindergarten. I feel this program was a huge win for kindergarten students as well as the school as a whole. The kindergarten students were given a greatly improved and much more thorough curriculum. Not to mention, these students are now much better equipped to enter first grade from both a systematic and academic point of view. Furthermore, their presence alone enriched our school. I will miss seeing them all day, every day. wise.
 
Architectural Designs
I am greatly looking forward to the work that will be developing from now until next March. The Dunbarton School District Capital Improvements Committee took the step of recommending the Dunbarton School Board to hire Warren Street Architects as the architectural firm that will be developing plans for two proposed additions to DES. By taking this step, the Dunbarton School Board has committed to creating a vision for the future of DES. This is exciting work in that should it come to fruition, it will most certainly open more doors to learning for all of our students. I commend the board and the Dunbarton community for taking this leap forward.  
 
In closing, happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s reading this email. 
 
Fondly,
 
Owen Harrington

June 9, 2017

posted Jun 9, 2017, 11:42 AM by Owen Harrington

Dear Parents,

 

It is hard to believe we are entering into the last full week of school. As of today all the SBAC tests are finally complete. We are starting to wrap up the other end of year assessments and the weather is showing signs of summer. It has been a long week and we are due for more of the same the next two weeks. Our list of activities/events is as follows:

 

Saturday, June 10th

  • Bow High School Graduation

 

        Monday,June 12th

  • Assembly to Celebrate all the completed “Caught Being Kind” forms

 

Wednesday, June 14th

  • Grade 3 Field Trip to Seacoast Science Center 8:15

  • PTO Reading Contest Ice Cream Reward Party Grade 5, 1:35 pm

  • DARE Graduation 1:15 pm

 

Friday, June 16th

  • Grade 5 to the Polar Caves 8:15

  • PTO Reading Contest Ice Cream Reward Parties K-4, 1:45 pm

 

Tuesday, June 20th

  • 6th Grade to BMS for Move-Over Day 8:15 am

  • 6th Grade Promotion Ceremony 6:30 pm

 

Wednesday, June 21st

  • Field Day (AM)

  • Spring Fling 12-2 (contact PTO or office to volunteer for Spring Fling)

 

Thursday, June 22nd

  • Last Day of School/Step-Up Day/Early Release 12:15 (with no After School Program)

 

This always seems to be a hectic and frenetic time of year. I know, based on personal experience, with all the baseball and lacrosse practices we are attending, I am looking forward to things slowing down as well. I wish you all the best as we move through this time of year and, as always, please contact us if you need anything.

 

Sincerely,

 

Owen Harrington


June 2, 2017

posted Jun 2, 2017, 10:40 AM by Owen Harrington

Dear Parents,


I hope everyone is enjoying this newfound weather. I didn’t think we were going to see the sun again! I wanted to remind and inform everyone of the special election occurring this upcoming Tuesday, June 6th. If you normally drop your child off at school, this will change things for you. On that day you will need to drop your child off at the back entrance by the playground. You would enter the drop-off area per normal, then go up the service road and drop off from there. Mrs. Hast and Chief Sklut will be there to escort your child into the school. Since there is the potential for multiple people being in the community center on that day, students will be eating lunch in the classroom as well as having physical education in the classroom. The door from the community center to the school will also be locked.


On Wednesday, the 7th, we will have a Full Evacuation practice for the whole school at 9 am. During this exercise, our students will be led by the staff and Dunbarton Police across the ball field and to the Town Offices, the rallying point for emergencies. When your children get home, feel free to ask them about the practice and how it went. We are looking at this as a walkthrough so students and staff know what to do in the event of an emergency. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.


For those of you that are interested, we still have a limited number of DES yearbooks for sale in the office. Each yearbook is $9.00. The Silver Birch 4-H Club is holding a plant sale on the Dunbarton Town Common this Saturday from 8:00 to 12:00. Sounds like a great opportunity to get a head start on your gardens. Just a reminder, the last day of school is Thursday, June 22nd and this will be an early release day. After “Step-Up”, during which time they will meet their teacher for next year, students will be released at 12:15. It will be here before you know it!


We are very close to the end of testing for 5th and 6th graders. The initial results are starting to come in for the 3rd and 4th grades. As a whole, they are looking quite good. Again, this is only one test in each child’s life, so we take everything with a grain of salt with the understanding that an SBAC score does not solely define the successes and areas for growth for each child.


6th graders will be going on their annual overnight field trip to the Boston Museum of Science this upcoming Thursday and Friday, June 8th and 9th. This is always a great opportunity for students to learn more about their regional history as well as to take in some sights and learn some great science. It is certainly an exciting and valuable experience for our 6th graders.


I hope you all have a great weekend.


Owen Harrington


May 19, 2017

posted May 19, 2017, 6:36 AM by Owen Harrington

Dear Parents,


Thank you to all of you who braved the hot community center last night for the annual DES Spring Concert. All of the students, Mrs. Campbell, Mr. Jenkins, and Mr. Hodges did a great job. Performing in front of others is hard work. The students took it all in stride and were wonderful.


If you have a vehicle in need of washing, the 6th grade is hosting its annual car wash today from 2:00 to 6:00 in the back parking lot adjacent to the police and fire stations. This is a donation only event. All proceeds go towards the 6th grade overnight field trip to the Boston Museum of Science.


As I have been walking through the halls and classrooms as of late, there is an annual phenomena occurring. Certain areas of the school are much quieter due to testing. As an education professional, this is a bittersweet occurrence in that there is not the normal hubbub inherent to the hustle and bustle of an elementary school. The plus side of testing is this is an opportunity for students to see where they are at in their schooling. This is always an opportunity for celebration in that there is always growth in some areas. Testing also shares where improvement can be found. This is where true learning and growth occur when we are given an opportunity to improve. The trick is finding the area and creating that sense of sticktoitiveness needed to improve. In a word: Grit.


As we are getting closer to the end of May, we will hold our annual Memorial Day observance on Friday, May 26th. This year’s observance is taking an interesting turn in that the Dunbarton Historical Awareness Committee is in partnership with us and will be providing information and materials to make our observance a bit more Dunbarton-centric. It should be a great learning opportunity for children and adults alike. For more information concerning the information that will be shared, please refer to the latest Teacher Tidbit Sheet shared by the Dunbarton Historical Awareness Committee.


The Dunbarton School District Capital Improvements Committee is well on their way in moving forward in their efforts to create a solid plan for the growth of Dunbarton Elementary. They interviewed a group of architects yesterday. The architectural firm they choose will be creating plans to address multiple areas of improvement for DES. This is an exciting development and I expect you will be hearing more information as soon as it is available.


On a final note, the town of Dunbarton has asked that I include this survey concerning a possible alternative in internet service providers. If you are interested in completing the survey, please click on the following link. Should you have any questions about the survey, feel free to call the town or go to the town website for more information.


I hope all of you are able to enjoy your weekend. It looks like it is going to be a great one.


Fondly,


Owen Harrington

April 12, 2017

posted May 12, 2017, 12:18 PM by Owen Harrington

Dear Parents,


I had the true honor today to introduce Chief Sklut to the NH School Administrator’s Association as the Southwestern NH Champion for Children. This was a wonderful event and it was truly enlightening to hear all of the good that is happening in NH thanks to the efforts of some truly dedicated folks.


I trust that you heard about our assembly with Monte Selby yesterday. If not, I have to say it was a wonderful time had by all. Mr. Selby shared some of his previous songs he created with other schools as well as some he wrote for his CDs. When he moved on to the songs written by our students, it was a great experience. Our students created some wonderful metaphors and imagery that really translated well into song. It was clear to me the students enjoyed the assembly and the 2017 DES Artist in Residence program was successful. If you are interested in purchasing a CD from the grammy award winning Monte Selby, you can download the order form here.


The PTO Reading Challenge continues for the next 2 weeks. The Reading Slip can be accessed here


I wanted to remind all of you about our school wide Spring Concert on Thursday, May 18th at 6:00. I hope you all have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing as many of you as are able on the 18th. I also wanted to wish all the mothers who are receiving this email a Happy Mother's Day on Sunday. It is well deserved.

Owen Harrington

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