September 15, 2017

Post date: Sep 15, 2017 5:51:38 PM

​Dear Parents,

We have just completed our first full week of school for the 2017-2018 school year. So far, this has been a very strong start to the school year. I know I already alluded to that last week, but this week was an extension of that feeling. I truly feel this is attributable to the hard work the staff has put into utilizing Responsive Classroom techniques while working with students. We are going to continue with this commitment in the area of professional development for staff as we have scheduled a training for them later in the year and many staff members will be taking the level one training. Furthermore, Laura Landry (Special Education Coordinator) and I will be attending a Responsive Classroom leadership conference in November to further support the school goals. It is definitely an exciting time to be a staff member at DES. From what I can gather, there is a similar sense of underlying excitement among the students. Recess is certainly a much smoother operation and lunch seems to have been smoothed out so one is able to digest his or her food in a calm manner.

Our next step in this process will begin next week. Two representatives will be chosen from each classroom (by the classroom) to represent them as we start the process of writing school wide goals. There will be four reps from each grade level. At each grade level we will discuss the classroom rules and distill those down to grade level rules. From there those four will choose two grade level representatives to form a school wide council of sorts to develop school wide goals. Each grade level will have been represented in this process. From there, the two grade level reps from each grade will meet with the other grade level representatives to create school goals. This is a student-driven process. The final step in the school rules development is the presentation of the rules to the student body. My hope is that at this presentation adults will introduce the presentation, but the students will then lead the presentation of the goals to further establish the concept of it being student driven. I can’t wait.

Believe it or not, we are already planning for Winter Activities. As such, Dr. Harrison and Mrs. Virta have already been in touch with Pat’s Peak to discuss when we will be skiing and the process for registering your child. My understanding is you will be receiving some information as early as next week. The deadline to register is looming in that it is November 14th. Although that sounds like it is far away, it will be here before you know it. If you have questions about the program, more information can be found here.

We had our first all school fire drill today. All of the classrooms practiced their drill routine in order to be on autopilot for future drills. As this was our first one, it was announced to students so they could review the procedure quickly with their teacher before we began. It went well and students and staff did a wonderful job staying organized and efficient while exiting the building. We all made it out and all were accounted for in 4 and a half minutes. This is a great time for our first drill. Our next drill will be unannounced so it will be more of a real time drill.

Just a reminder the annual Scholastic Book Fair is starting up next Tuesday, September 19th. The family shopping night will be held on Thursday, September 21st at 6:00 pm. The book fair is a great opportunity to purchase popular titles at a discounted price. Not to mention, many of the proceeds come back to the school in the form of books for teacher's classroom libraries. This is important as we have been steadily implementing the Daily 5 in reading and one of the 5 strategies of teaching reading is "sustained silent reading." As the school year goes on each classroom challenges students to improve upon and increase their sustained silent reading time and comprehension strategies. A great way to support this is to have high interest books in classroom libraries. The Scholastic Book Fair is a great resource for said titles.

Pickup time for the DES PTO Fall Playground Mum Fundraiser is this Saturday the 16th at the gym entrance of DES. They will be there from 11:30 am until 1 pm. They are also raffling off a 12" multi-colored mum at the pickup. Tickets are $1.00 for one ticket or $5.00 for an arms length. Drawing will be at 2:00 PM and the PTO will deliver it to the winner on Saturday.

Attached is the NH State Fire Marshal's September 2017 Safety Educator newsletter. This monthly newsletter is in its 5th year of distribution and is geared towards PreK-Grade 8 families throughout the State. The information provided is intended to bring awareness, and create conversations, on fire and life safety.

The Dunbarton Transfer Station reminds all residents that the annual Hazardous Waste Disposal Day will be Saturday, October 7 at the Bow Community Center.

The Goffstown Truck Center is looking for bus drivers. If you are interested, please call 497-3111 to apply.

I wish all of you a great weekend and thank you for all of your support in ensuring for a smooth start to this school year.


Owen Harrington