March 23, 2018

Post date: Mar 25, 2018 12:54:39 PM

Dear Parents,

I hope everyone is enjoying the start of Spring. Although there is still plenty of snow on the ground, the temperature is certainly becoming more spring like. So much so that we were able to have a surprise fire drill this morning. If you are so inclined, ask your child how it went. I also wanted to let you know construction is in its first stages. Some equipment is on site and there has been some snow cleared to make room for building to begin. The Morin Construction Company also volunteered their service to aid in the removal of some playground equipment to make way for the new road construction. The DES Student Council along with school board member Clem Madden are reviewing new playground equipment pieces to purchase with a grant provided to us by Allstate Insurance. I will keep you updated as I know more information.

Next week things will begin to move very quickly. The side parking lot accessed by the police department entrance will no longer be available to staff and visitors during the school day. If there is no available guest parking in front of the building, people will need to park down by the community center. This is a minor inconvenience for a major improvement to DES. I, for one, can’t wait to see progress and am looking forward to parking down below in anticipation of the DES upgrades.

Your child will soon be participating in the NH Statewide Assessment System (NHSAS) testing. This is a new acronym for the previous version called SBAC. It is a very similar system as it is created by the same company that created SBAC. There are some improvements in the amount of time students will spend testing. Teachers in Grades 3-6 will be meeting with Dr. Gage (SAU 67 Director of Curriculum and Assessment) in the coming days to work on the final touches of the testing preparation. Your children will also have the opportunity to do some practice testing on NHSAS modules before jumping into the fray. Perhaps the most noticeable change comes with the Science NECAP. Traditionally this has been a 4th grade paper and pencil test. It has transitioned to a computer based test in the 5th grade and the testing time has been significantly reduced to only two hours.

The testing schedule as it stands now is as follows:

Grade 3 - April 10, 13, and 17th

Grade 4: April 19, May 1, May 4

Grade 5: May 8, May 10, May 15, and May 17 (Science NECAP)

Grade 6: May 22, May 29, June 1.

June 4th through the 8th will be reserved for any makeups we need to complete. All scheduled testing sessions will be done in the morning. Interspersed through this testing schedule, your children will also be taking their final round of STAR math and ELA. These are much quicker assessments and are local assessments. Although standardized testing can be burdensome, it is valuable to the teacher and student as it shows progress, areas of growth, and areas in need of improvement in both teaching and learning.

For all of you that are interested, the annual Easter Bunny Brunch will be held this Sunday with a start time of 11:00. The cost for the brunch is $5.00 per person. Following the brunch at 12:30, the fun continues with an Easter egg hunt. This Easter egg hunt is free, just don’t forget your basket. For more information, feel free to follow this link . The Scholastic Book Fair will be running all week. Feel free to send your child in with money to purchase books. If you are so inclined, you may also buy books during the Easter Bunny Brunch. It is also time to start thinking about the annual PTO sponsored Sweetheart Dance. The dance will be held on Saturday, April 14th at from 5:00 to 7:00. This is an event for girls and their chaperones. For more information, follow this link:

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call your child’s teacher or any of us in the office.

Have a great weekend.

Owen Harrington