December 4,2015

Post date: Dec 4, 2015 8:52:34 PM

Dear Parents,

It has been a while since I last reached out. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and were able to enjoy time with family and friends. I know we had a great time at our house. DES is certainly abuzz with the magic of the season. Students and staff alike are excited looking forward to the upcoming holidays and the festivities that accompany them.

As we are moving towards colder weather, I wanted to remind parents of our recess expectations for clothing. We would ask that students are appropriately dressed in jackets, gloves/mittens and hats as needed depending on the weather. We still have some students coming to school without jackets and 20 minutes is a long time to be outside without appropriate clothing. Should you have any questions about the dress code, it can be found here on page 24: . On another note, should the weather turn colder soon, we do have indoor recess when it reaches below 20 degrees fahrenheit.

Our lost and found box continues to be overflowing, so much so that we have moved the items to a table in the common area of the building. Should your child be missing an item, please try to come in before the holiday break as all remaining items will be donated to charity at that time.

If your child is going to be tardy or is sick, please remember to call in to the office at 774-3181 to inform us. We also need to know if your child has a fever of or over 100 degrees fahrenheit with coughing and/or sore throat as Mrs. Hast needs to keep track of this information for the state as she is tracking for influenza like illness.

Should you and your child be interested, the PTO is hosting a holiday shop for your child to purchase low cost items as holiday gifts. Students are able to shop during their snack break all next week. If you are interested in bringing your child to a family shopping event, the PTO is hosting a family night of the holiday shop on Thursday, December 10th from 5:30 to 7:30.

The Dunbarton Community Holiday Concert starring Danny Van Kalken and many students from Dunbarton Elementary School who will be singing and playing musical instruments is this Sunday, December 6 at 4:00 pm at the Dunbarton Congregational Church. Free childcare is provided for the youngest. This is always a great event that is sure to put the biggest Scrooge into the holiday spirit.

Along the same lines, The Silver Birch 4H Club is hosting a cookie swap at the Dunbarton Congregational Church Vestry on December 12, from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm. These homemade cookies are $5/lb, and containers are provided.

Your child’s first report card of the 2015/2016 school year will be coming home today. Please take the time to review it and feel free to contact your child’s teacher should you have any questions. We also ask that you sign and return the envelope. We will reuse this envelope throughout the year.

Going over your child’s report card with him or her is a great opportunity for you to stress the importance of his or her education. Each report card will share your child’s successes and opportunities for improvement or further learning. I would encourage you to take a few minutes to do so and have a conversation with your child about school and his or her experience. Although there may be some areas of improvement that need to be stressed, please remember to also take stock in the successes.

This time of year is exciting in many ways.Professionally, I find it exciting since we are deep in the budgeting process and it provides me the opportunity to reflect on all that has been done through the previous budgeting cycle. Thanks to the support of the town of Dunbarton, we did a lot this year! Each teacher and many of the other professionals in the building have new laptops. We installed new flooring and furniture in two classrooms. The lower grades bathrooms are new and still look great! We have Lucy Calkins Writing, which has absolutely streamlined and improved our writing instruction! We have also incorporated Fundations in grades K and 1 to ensure for a more solid phonics program in our lower elementary. Thank you.

This budgeting cycle is equally exciting and challenging. It is always a difficult balance between being fiscally responsible and ensuring for consistent growth as an organization. Perhaps most exciting this year is a committee has been formed to determine the feasibility of All Day Kindergarten at Dunbarton Elementary School. This committee has met multiple times and is comprised of a wonderfully balanced subset of the town of Dunbarton. You all received a request to complete a census form in order for us to have a greater idea of how many students we will have in future years at DES. Although this is not solely a deciding factor in the All Day K debate, it is certainly a factor. I would ask that even though the deadline has passed, you please encourage anyone who has yet to complete the form to do so. We still have some extras here at DES should anyone need one.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and are able to find some time to relax.


Owen Harrington