December 31, 2013

Post date: Mar 31, 2014 6:55:17 PM

I apologize for the delay in getting back into the swing of things with updating the DES Principal's Page. As we are heading into 2014, I cannot stress enough how important this time of year is for a student's learning. We have a long stretch of basically uninterrupted time for teaching and learning. For the next seven weeks, students will not have any extended breaks and, as such, will have an optimal opportunity for solid learning to occur. I would ask that you, as parents, support this as much as possible. Help your child with his or her homework, stay in contact with your child's teacher if you have any questions or concerns and simply stay involved with your child's learning. Engage him or her in conversations about school, celebrate the successes and lend support with the struggles. As always, should any concerns arise, I would ask that you please stay in touch with the classroom teacher or feel free to contact me. It is our ultimate goal to be in a partnership with families to ensure for student success.

As the days are starting to get colder, please remember to send your child to school with the appropriate winter gear. Should your child wish to play in the snow during recess, it is imperative that he or she have full winter gear including snow pants. We have had a few parent requests to change the temperature at which we call indoor recess. Currently it is called at 20 degrees actual or wind chill. In response to the requests I did email out to other NH principals requesting what their recess temperatures were and received over 60 responses. Half of these responses were right at the 20 degree mark. 35% of the respondents call indoor recess at 15 degrees or less. Given these numbers, Mrs. Hast did inquire with the district physician who feels as though 20 degrees is an appropriate number and encouraged us to continue with this practice. I sincerely appreciated the inquiry from the parents, but feel it is appropriate to continue with our current practice given the advice of our district physician.

Immediately upon our return to school on Thursday we will begin our winter activities. Please remember to send your child in with the appropriate materials. I look forward to seeing these activities first hand. I am encouraged to see such whole child activities such as Legoes, knitting, archery, sports, skiing and etc. Although they are not traditional learning activities, there is indeed learning going on in each and every activity. Students will learn about team work, challenging themselves, problem solving, going outside of their own comfort zones and just simply enjoying themselves. All of these are relevant and important to a child's well being. Should you have any questions about your child's specific winter activity, please feel free to contact us.

I wish you all the best in the new year and I am sincerely excited to see all the students and staff as they return on Thursday, January 2nd.

Owen Harrington,