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December 8, 2017

posted Dec 8, 2017, 10:04 AM by Owen Harrington

Dear Parents,

I have what I think is an exciting, informational email for you today. As I mentioned in my previous email to you, I attended the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference recently and one of the exciting innovations that is making its way into classrooms is Virtual Reality. What is most exciting about Virtual Reality is the doors it can open for students. Imagine if you were a student learning about Australia and instead of using a textbook or a video, you were able to put on some VR goggles and be immersed in the subject. Students are literally able to move their heads and get a 360° view of the areas being described. Google Expeditions is the most known and utilized of these apps right now. I have included an introductory video in this email and I really think the boy in the video is similar to some of our students here in Dunbarton. Google Expeditions . When I watch this video, I think of students at DES going on trips to places they have not been before and may never get the chance to visit in their lifetime.

Another exciting video can be found here: Google Expeditions AR . This video is more of an “augmented reality” example where students have subjects come to life in their classroom. Again, students are immersed in the subject and can interact with it in a way we never were able to as students.

Opening this door for students is an exciting prospect. My one concern is cost. Within the budget, I am not able to purchase the various devices, goggles, carts and such to make this an easy possibility. I would like to do this in a frugal and efficient manner. My thought is if we were able to get some donated, used smartphones or other devices that parents or relatives may have and no longer have a use for, we could get off the ground. I will happily purchase the goggles from our budget and I do have access to an iPad that an educator can use to guide these “trips” or augmented reality expeditions.

I do agree that a VR trip or augmented reality experience is a hook to a lesson and the true learning occurs with what students do with the information in the trip/experience. With that said, this medium will speak to many of our students and may provide that extra hook they need to jump into their own learning. If you have any questions about this medium or would be interested in donating a used, factory-reset device, please feel free to contact me.

The building project process is moving forward. You may notice there is an invitation to bid posted on the website. Feel free to review the bid and/or let any of your friends or relatives who are in the business know about the posting.

With that said, voting for the school district budget will be held on  Saturday, March 10th at 1:00 ppm.his is a change in time compared to the most recent years, the thought being this meeting will most likely be a longer than normal one. Babysitting will be provided. 

It is imperative for Dunbarton community members to attend and vote in order for their voices to be heard. I would encourage you to speak to friends and neighbors about the school district meeting process as many are not aware that in order for their vote to count, they must be present. Many towns use the voting day as their opportunity to vote with a ballot. Dunbarton  does not. You must be present at the school district meeting to vote on our upcoming budget for the 2018-2019 school year.

Keep an eye out for “School Bells” (a publication from the Dunbarton School Board) as that will spell out the budget. The February school board meeting (February 7th at 6:00) will be the date of the Budget Hearing in which the school board will present the budget and the floor will be open for clarifying questions and statements. We also have a page on the DES website devoted to the building project which will be a major part of this year’s budget process. That page can be found here: DES Building Project .

The DES winter concert is coming! There will be a change this year. There will only be one date for the concert and it will be held on Thursday, January 25th at 6:30. Only the lower elementary (K-3) choral group, strings and band students will perform. The upper elementary (4-6) choral students will perform at the spring concert.

On Wednesday, December 13th we will be running a reverse evacuation drill during our recess blocks. This will allow us to practice emergency protocol should there be a situation in which we need vacate the playground for the school building. The teachers will discuss the drill with their students during morning meeting. We will also discuss students’ responsibilities with them during the evacuation. It will be a good exercise for all involved.

This time of year can be hard for many. Children are no exception. If you are finding your child is experiencing stressors that are affecting him or her at home, please let us know as those stressors will most likely manifest at school as well. It is our goal to be a part of your child’s team for success and we will do all we can to work with you to achieve this success.

Finally, report cards will be coming home today. Please remember to sign your child’s report card envelope and send it back with him or her for school on Monday. Should you have any questions or concerns about your child’s report card, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher.

Wishing you all a great weekend.


Owen Harrington