September 30, 2016

Post date: Sep 30, 2016 2:58:34 PM

Dear Parents,

The fall weather is here! I have to admit I find this time of year to be invigorating and exciting. I know… talk to me in a few months when we are slogging through snow and frigid weather. For now, I am going to live in the moment of the crisp autumn air. With that said, the PTO Autumn Festival is this Saturday from 3:00 to 6:00. If you would like more information on the event, it can be found here: Autumn Festival .

We have had a lively week at DES. As I indicated in my last email to you, we were really starting to take flight into the 2016-2017 school year. Well, we are there. DES is abuzz with activity. Today the kindergarten students took their annual trip to Carter Hill Orchards for apple picking. The students always come back excited with their experience.

The PTO thanks all of the volunteers who made the Fall Scholastic Book Fair a great success, and sends thanks to all of you parents and guardians who helped us to reach a final tally of over $3,800 in book sales. That means that we have earned $1,800 in book credit so that teachers and the library can restock their shelves. Thanks!

We are very fortunate today. Jack Rich, a senior at Bow High School, has created a senior project around bullying prevention and simply being kind. As part of his project he raised funds to purchase Friendship Benches for Bow Elementary School and Dunbarton Elementary School. In conjunction with the benches, Jack will be presenting the benches to both schools as well as hosting an assembly by the group Tiny Girl Big Dream with the young lady Acacia as the speaker. If you would like more information, you can find it here: Tiny Girl Big Dream . It would be wonderful if you could take some time today to speak with your child(ren) about this assembly as it has the potential to be very powerful. The follow up at home would be stellar.

Along with the Friendship Bench, Mrs. Brightman (retired DES teacher) earmarked funds that would have been given towards her retirement gift to provide a Buddy Bench for the DES playground. The thought behind both of these benches is to provide an opportunity for students who are feeling lonely at recess to sit at the bench as an indicator to others that he or she is feeling lonely and would like to talk to someone.

Believe it or not, the Pat’s Peak Ski program will be up and running soon. You will see registration brochures coming home on Monday, and at that time, you can also register online. There is no registration deadline, but if you register after November 14th, there is a $25.00 fee late fee. The ski program will take place Wednesdays on January 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th and February 1st. Students will leave DES at 12:00 and lessons will begin at 1:30. The username for registration is "DUNBARTON" and the password is "winter". Again, you will receive all of this information in the form of a brochure on Monday.

If you have children in upper elementary (4-6) you may have heard about some lunch behavior concerns. Unfortunately, behavior at lunch has not been as positive as we would like. In an effort to work on this, we used some Responsive Classroom strategies to solve the problem. As a group we practiced appropriate volume level, paying attention when prompted, lining up in an orderly fashion to leave and simply being respectful of others. The students did a great job in response and showed they could truly do it. I have high expectations. If the students should need another reteaching opportunity, that is okay too.

Today marks the reboot of student council at DES. I am truly excited and proud of all the students and adults who have a part in this program. The posters all look great and it is clear the students are excited to participate. Unfortunately, not all students will be elected to be in the student council. Clearly this could be a source of frustration for some students.

Should your child express concern with not being elected, I would suggest focusing on the positives in the situation. Your child wanted to be part of the decision making process at their school. Even though he or she may not be elected, he or she can still participate by working with their elected "representative" and being an active constituent. And assure them that they can run again next year, when only students who have not served on Student Council can run.

Should your child present as though he or she is overly concerned with the result, please let us know so we can work with him or her at school. I have always said that one of my favorite and most anxiety producing jobs early on in my career was that of basketball coach. Cutting athletes from the team was hard on both the athletes and me. We "get it" and want the best for your child and will work with you to make that happen.

I hope all of you have a great weekend.


Owen Harrington