November 1, 2013

Post date: Mar 31, 2014 6:50:29 PM

As I sit here on the evening of November 1st and type this principal’s report, I can’t help but stop and reflect on the fact that two whole months have passed since the start of school. Already the students at DES are two months into the 2013 – 2014 school year and are fully engrained into their new grade. It is truly amazing how fast time goes by.

The staff and I spent the day today in professional development. We used the day to learn more about how the brain learns and the various strategies a teacher must use in order to activate a student’s dendrites. We also discussed the absolute necessity of prior knowledge and making connections with that prior knowledge in order to activate dendrite growth. As we discussed and learned more about what we already do and what we could improve upon as educators, it dawned on us that it is important that we, as educators, know and understand the significance of the science of the brain in learning, but wouldn't it make sense for the students themselves to also know? With this in mind, one of our key takeaways is we need to ensure that students understand how their brain learns just as much as their teachers understand. Students having this knowledge will only strengthen their ability to learn and understand the learning process.

We also discussed Response to Intervention (RtI) at Dunbarton Elementary School. RtI is a system in which a teacher can seek the advice or aid of his or her colleagues to further instruct a student who is having difficulty in a specific subject area. RtI is certainly not a new concept, but one that we at DES needed to revisit and reinvigorate. The staff at DES is certainly ready and able to meet the students’ needs and we are looking forward to bringing that added level of instruction should it be needed. Should you have any questions concerning RtI, I would encourage you to contact me and I would be happy to give you more information about the process.

I had the distinct pleasure of being a part of the annual DES Halloween parade yesterday. I would like to thank all the parent volunteers who participated and ensured for the safety of all the children as well as ensured for the students' gastrointestinal satisfaction with the room treats and water. It was truly wonderful to see how much fun the students had walking through the center of the town and seeing all the locals coming out to support the children in their costumed glory. It’s been a while since I have participated in something like that since I have been at the middle school level for so long and I must admit, I missed it.

In closing, I would encourage all of you that can to participate in the Harvest Moon Supper on November 9th. If you would like to volunteer, you can contact the PTO at . The supper will be from 5:30 to 7:30 and tickets can be purchased at the door for $9.00 for adults, $8.00 for seniors and $5.00 for children under 12. All proceeds from this event go directly back to the students in the form of the artist in residence program. The artist in residence program is a wonderful venue for our students to express their creativity and, many times, leave permanent artwork within the school. The Harvest Moon Supper is a definite win/win for all. Thank you to the PTO and all the volunteers for their continued support.

I wish you all the best and hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Owen Harrington