October 21, 2016

Post date: Oct 21, 2016 3:19:39 PM

Dear Parents,

It has been an eventful and exciting week at DES. We had a very exciting enrichment activity for our students on Wednesday. This was centered around STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Many of you are aware of STEM, which stands for all the above, except Art. The students were very receptive to the program, so much so that we are interested in booking them for next year and having them for a whole day so students are able to experience more depth in the information. Many thanks to the parent volunteers who helped to facilitate this enrichment program!

As we continue to dive deeper into enVisionmath2.0, it is becoming more and more clear that we will need to host a parent night to ensure for better communication all around. As part of this, I have put together a survey for parents to complete in order for us to tailor the evening to parent needs as opposed to what we think you need. Please take the time to complete the two-question survey even if you will not be able to attend.I can guarantee you that you will not be the only person with the questions you have, and we will tailor the evening to fit your needs based on that survey. My goal will be to have this evening in conjunction with a PTO meeting here at DES. I will let you know when we'll be having the event. Please complete the survey by next Wednesday the 26th so I am able to work on the information. The survey can be found here enVisionmath2.0 Parent Survey .

We continue to lead the votes in the Merrimack County Savings Bank "What’s not to like" healthy grant. Our concern is that the grant voting is open until November 18th. I would encourage you to share the link with friends and family in order for them to vote for the Dunbarton grant, which is the first grant listed. If we win the voting, we will receive a grant to install water fountains that double as water bottle filling stations. Not only is this healthy for individuals, but it is an environmentally conscious product as well. The link to the grant is here .

We are very close to the annual DES Harvest Moon Supper on November 5 from 4:30-6:30 pm. The proceeds from this event benefit our Artist in Residence program. Not only is this a great event to foster the creativity of our students, but it is also a great opportunity to have a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings and a night out on the town with your family. If you are sharing any basket donations, those need to be delivered by November 3rd in the DES office. A link to purchase HMS tickets in advance is here .

As part of our assessment systems at DES, we will soon be conducting our first round of STAR testing for students. This is to take the place of our NWEA assessments. We made the switch to STAR for three different reasons. One, we are able to use STAR in all grades (K-6) in order to determine where students are at that point in time in reading and math. Our second reason is that we are able to use STAR multiple times throughout the year, which will be a very useful tool for our reading and math interventionists to determine where their students are throughout the year. This will provide an "apples to apples" view as opposed to using multiple testing instruments. Our third reason is that this is the same system BMS uses when assessing their students and they will have a better grasp on determining student needs as they arrive to BMS from DES.

In closing, I was fortunate enough to attend the annual NH Partners in Education event this past Tuesday. This event is held every year to celebrate the volunteer hours in schools across NH. Congratulations to our school and the Dunbarton PTO for receiving the NHPIE’s Blue Ribbon Award for excellence in volunteerism again this year! At this year’s event, the keynote speaker was Monte Selby (More of Monte Selby’s music in iTunes or visit www.monteselby.com ) who is a former principal as well as a Grammy winning singer/songwriter. One of the songs he shared with us is titled “Completely Full”. Long story short, this song is about the long to-do list we each have when raising children. I can honestly say this song spoke to me and I felt it would be good to share with all of you. If you are so inclined, give it a listen. I hope you enjoy it and are able to reflect on all the good you are currently doing for your own children and DES as a whole. The mp3 can be found here: Completely Full .

I wish you all a great weekend and, as always, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher(s) or any of us in the office if you have any questions or concerns.


Owen Harrington