April 15, 2015

Post date: Apr 15, 2016 5:39:51 PM

Dear Parents,

We have had a very busy and productive week at DES. It seems as we move through the year, the end of the school year becomes a stress-laden and fast ride. I am sure you are beginning to feel this pressure at home as well. I know with our household the baseball practices along with all the other parental responsibilities make for a tired family at the end of the day. Please take some time to just breathe as we move forward through the school year and remember that children feel stress as well. With our upcoming SBAC testing after we return from vacation, I expect stress levels to rise some. If you recognize any of that in your own children, please feel free to contact us so we can all work together.

Thank you to all of you for processing with your child(ren) following our lockdown drill yesterday. From all accounts, it was a good learning process for us. As I am sure many of you heard, the students had an opportunity to learn from their classroom teachers what the expectations are during a lockdown. As we move forward, we will continue to hold lockdown drills and we will once again place fire drills into the rotation to ensure for a quick and organized evacuation for the building in the event of an emergency. I do know based on information received from the Dunbarton Police Department (DPD) that the exterior of the building looked good during our lockdown drill in that all shades were drawn and lights were off. I can't thank the DPD enough for their support during the drills and for their partnership as we continue to learn more about the process. They are a great group to work with!

As we move forward in the process of reviewing our math programming for next year, a group of our educators and administrators have started visiting other schools that are currently using the programs we are looking at. This past week we visited Franklin Middle School and the Paul Smith Elementary School to meet with 3rd, 4th and 6th grade teachers who are teaching with Go Math. Following our spring break, we are hoping to visit Webster Elementary School to learn more about the Envisions math program. The last program we will be investigating is Eureka Math. As I have said all along, I will keep you in the loop as we continue our search.

Look in your child's backpack for a notice going home today concerning the start of the transition process for the next school year. I will be meeting with teaching teams next week to begin the conversations with them about developing class lists for the 2016-2017 school year. This is a lengthy process and sincerely takes a significant amount of time and thought for each student. If you would like to write a letter about your child as a learner, please have that to me by Friday, April 22nd. If you have any further questions about the process, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Just a reminder: There is no school from April 25 to April 29 for spring break. The students could certainly use the time off before we begin our final push. I also wanted to let you know of what has become an annual tradition at DES. We will all be anxiously tracking the performance of Mrs.Campbell as she runs in her fourth Boston Marathon on Monday. I know you join us in well wishes for her continued success in beating her personal best. I wish all of you a restful and relaxing weekend. I hope you all have a chance to get outside and enjoy the weather as it looks like it is going to be amazing.


Owen Harrington