August 31, 2105

Post date: Aug 31, 2015 7:18:12 PM

August 31, 2015

Dear Parents,

It is with great anticipation for a successful 2015-2016 school year that I write to you today. The first day of school at DES has been going well. As I write this, we have our first lunch and recess under our belts and I have had the opportunity to check in with all the classrooms. The students and teachers are in great spirits. It is clear they were all ready for the start of school. We have some exciting initiatives that we are putting in place for the current school year. Some are school wide initiatives and some are grade level specific. All are game changers for DES that allow for us to address specific goals.

This year, sixth grade students will each have the use of their own Chromebook. There are multiple reasons for this initiative. By giving students access to this learning tool, they will have information literally at their fingertips. 6th graders will also be able to access their Google Drive while at school and home so they will always have access to their work. Perhaps the most practical rationale for the Chromebooks is students in Bow receive Chromebooks at Bow Memorial School in fifth grade. We at DES want to ensure Dunbarton Elementary Students are not at a technological disadvantage as they become Bow Memorial School students.

Perhaps what I find most exciting about this year is the Lucy Calkins Writing Program initiative. Our training in the program on August 28th was wonderful! Classroom teachers, specials teachers, paraprofessionals, special education teachers, and administrators alike all took part in the training. In doing so, we created a level playing field for students in that the educational professionals are all on the same page in how writing instruction will be completed at Dunbarton Elementary School. Every grade level will have specific “Units of Study” that will build upon each other as the students go from grade to grade. Each student will have a writing partner in order to provide assistance in revision and editing. Students will also be working with the teacher in a one to one basis in order to conduct writing conferences. If you would like to know more about the units of study and how they build upon each other,please feel free to view them here:

I can’t wait to see the effect of a streamlined approach to the instruction of writing.

Just a reminder, the PTO will hold a meeting Wednesday, September 9th at 7:00 pm in the school library. All are welcome to attend. This is a great opportunity for families new to town to learn more about the school and meet new people. The school board will be holding a meeting on Wednesday, September 2nd in the library at 6:30.

We are continuing to update the school website. Some parents noticed some discrepancies on the student tab . We have corrected those and updated the September menu and uploaded the correct handbook. If you see anything like that, please feel free to let us know. As you may have noticed, the website design is new and I am sure you will find easier to navigate.

Just a gentle reminder to please let us know of any change of afternoon dismissal plans to the office by 2:00 as the office becomes a very hectic area during dismissal times. We want to make sure all students get to where they are supposed to go safely.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us in the office.


Owen Harrington