November 6, 2015

Post date: Nov 6, 2015 6:16:33 PM

November 6, 2015

Dear Parents,

In my humble opinion, we are entering into one of the best times of the year in New England. We are closing in on the Thanksgiving holiday and nearing the holiday season. The weather is "kind of" turning colder and winter is on the horizon. I know, talk to me in a couple months and my positive outlook may be skewed in a different direction with the weather, but for now it is fun to be a New Englander. There is a certain excitement within the school as well as the students are entering into this vibe themselves. Along this same vein, we have an exciting fall event coming up this weekend that I hope many, if not all of you, are able to attend on Saturday.

The Harvest Moon Supper takes place this Saturday night from 4:30-6:30 pm. There will be plenty of kids' activities as well as a yummy home-cooked turkey dinner and raffle baskets. The PTO will even serve you to-go containers. A vegetarian option will be provided as well! I can say from personal experience, this is an event not to be missed. The PTO spares no stops and certainly creates a welcoming, friendly, and community focused event that supports your children. Remember, the Harvest Moon Supper is a major PTO fundraiser, and provides funding for the Artist-in-Residence Program this Spring as well as many other PTO-driven programs and activities which benefit our school. Not to mention,it is fun! Thank you to the PTO for the countless hours it takes for them to provide this event. They always make it look so easy. Thank you to everyone who donated to the Harvest Moon Supper baskets as well as to the 6th grade food drive.I know this is a lot all at once,and you didn't hesitate to contribute. This is also a great time to check out the lost and found bin in the community center for those sweatshirts and fleeces that tend to go missing this time of year.

For those of you interested in using Pickup Patrol (PUP) on your smart phones, please go to the internet on your device and head to: This will lead you to a phone-sized PUP screen. The creators promise that a true PUP App is in the works for the next school year. Thank you to everyone who has been utilizing PUP as it certainly streamlines dismissal in the DES office.

I was witness to a great school board meeting this past Wednesday. The school board was engaged in the normal school board business, but also provided an audience for 13 of our DES students. The students presented their experiences with the new Lucy Calkins Writing program and shared their thoughts and feelings. The students were also given the opportunity to share a portion of each of their writing. I am very comfortable in saying the students represented the collective DES experience well and,more importantly, felt confident in their experience. Thank you to the parents and school board members for their support in this endeavor. It was a great experience for our students and I know they were proud of their work.

On Tuesday we will have our annual Veterans Day presentation for students and local veterans in attendance. The most senior of the veterans who attends each year served in World War II. It is wonderful we are able to share this with him. I am always moved by this assembly as it speaks to what we do as educators: provide opportunities for students to grow and learn to become successful stewards of the future as well as acknowledging the sacrifices our veterans made. Since last year, we provide the veterans with a breakfast to give them the opportunity to just sit and be with one another as well as to know they are appreciated. There will be some students in attendance to aid in the serving and ushering of the veterans. Following the breakfast,we have a short flag assembly and speak to what Veterans Day is about. Most importantly, each student shakes the hand of every veteran in attendance. Being a part of a small school has many advantages and this is one. I feel it is important to note, the handshaking started in a very organic manner three years ago when it just seemed to work and every teacher and student followed suit and shook each veteran's hand. This speaks volumes to the Dunbarton community as a whole. Should you have any questions about the ceremony, please feel free to contact us.

Just a reminder, if you have not signed up for a parent/teacher conference, please contact your child's teacher. We have no school on Monday for parent/teacher conferences and we have a half day on Tuesday for the same. Parent/teacher conferences are extremely important to the success of your child and also sends the message that school is important. I also wanted to remind you we do not have school on Wednesday in honor of Veterans Day.

I wish all of you a great weekend.

Owen Harrington