January 12, 2015

Post date: Jan 12, 2015 3:09:05 PM

Dear Parents,

I apologize for the delay in getting the first email of the new year out to you. It has certainly been a busy return from the holiday break at DES. Students came back to school ready to learn and all the staff came back ready to facilitate the students’ learning. It is a great thing to see!

It has also been a very frigid start to the school year. Although we have had limited opportunities to get outside, please remember to dress your child in layers for the colder weather. Hats and gloves/mittens are a definite must and ski pants and winter boots are recommended if your child would like to play in the snow. Please note if the “real feel” temperature is below 20, we will not be going outside.

It is a busy week for DES parents. There are multiple opportunities to get out and about to support the school and your childrens’ school/community experience. On Wednesday, there will be a PTO meeting. The meeting will start at 6:45 in the library. I would encourage all that can attend to do so since it is a direct tie to your child’s school, plus it is a good opportunity to get together with people you have not met or have not seen in a while. The annual winter concert will be on Thursday at at 6:30 in the community center. All students are able to participate. Should you attend, please plan on staying for the whole concert so all the students can support one another. They have all worked very hard and this is their opportunity to shine.The PTO movie night will be held on Friday, January 16th at 6:30 in the community center. The movie will be the Lego Movie. It is sure to be “awesome”. Admission to the movie is free and popcorn will be provided. There will be drinks available.

Thank you to Constantly Pizza and the PTO for their “dough raiser”. During the weekend of January 23rd through the 25th, 20% of the proceeds, excluding tax and tip, will go towards the Dunbarton PTO. Coupons for this event will be coming home soon. Feel free to go to the following url for more information: http://dunbartonpto.com/2013/11/05/nov-15-17-pizza-for-pto-weekend/ .

We are in the beginning stages of taking an exciting technological turn. Very soon we will be receiving shipment of 40 Chromebooks and a cart to hold them. The decision to go with Chromebooks is two-fold. When our students enter Bow Memorial School, they will be in a one-to-one environment. This means that each student will have their own Chromebook. We do not want any Dunbarton students to be at a disadvantage due to not having any experience with Chromebooks. The other reason behind Chromebooks is the flexibility in accessing student work. As long as a student has internet access, he or she will be able to access his or her school work anywhere. Not to mention,we are able to stretch our dollars much further with Chromebooks as opposed to a traditional laptop. With this move, we have increased the amount of laptops we have available by 50%.

Once this shipment comes in, we will have roughly 80 laptops in the building. That is roughly enough laptops for 40% of the students to be using a laptop at any point in time. Although technology is simply a learning tool, it has become a necessity to learning and we want to ensure that Dunbarton students have the learning tools they need to succeed in today’s technology-rich world.

It is also important to note that purchasing these Chromebooks provides more flexibility when we give the Smarter Balanced assessment. Chromebooks meet the required specifications for the Smarter Balanced assessment and the more laptops we can employ at one time, the better.

As we move through the month of January, safety drills are still on my mind. This month we will practice a reverse evacuation drill. The basic premise of a reverse evacuation is to have all students and staff who are outside to come back into the building in a rapid, yet organized manner. The most obvious opportunity to do so will be during a recess block. At some point this month, we will practice a reverse evacuation. The students will come into the building and congregate in the common area. They will all line up by class and attendance will be taken to ensure that all students are present. A reverse evacuation would be employed if there was an issue outside, such as an animal in the recess area. Should you have any questions, please feel free to email or call.

We are very close to sending out our winter activities information. For those students who will not be going to Pat’s Peak, we do have some exciting activities in store. We will still have mini sports, bowling, snowshoeing, archery and other activities. This year, we are also looking at bringing cross country skiing into the mix. Should you be interested in cross country skiing, each child will need to supply their own skis and poles and transportation would need to be arranged by the parent as skiing will be held at White Farm in Concord. More information is soon to follow.

I wish you all the best and should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email or call.


Owen Harrington, Principal