Principal's Post Parent Edition
September 17, 2023: Vol. 7
Vanderlyn Receives Top Literacy Leader Award!
On Friday, September, 15th, State School Superintendent Richard Woods honored schools across the state that demonstrated high achievement in Reading on the Spring 2023 Georgia Milestones Assessment. This award is presented to administrative literacy leaders who have recognized the importance of building a culture of literacy within a school by offering literacy professional development, instructional resource support, and/or developing specific literacy programs to build capacity and increase student literacy achievement.
Vanderlyn was recognized as the top performing school in the DCSD with 96% achievement rate on the 3rd grade Georgia Milestones in Reading! State Superintendent Woods presented Vanderlyn with the prestigious Literacy Leader Award Banner for outstanding achievement in reading. Kudos to our amazing 3rd grade team, Mrs. Hamilton, Ms. Kaye, and Ms. Garcia (Spring 23) who exceeded the bar in literacy instruction!
A Message from Dr. Norris Brown, Counselor
Dear VES Families,
School Counselors understand the importance of your child's success in school, and that goes beyond just excelling in academics. Alongside excelling in academics, it is crucial for children to have the necessary skills to manage learning challenges, make sound decisions, manage their emotions effectively, and foster positive relationships with others.
Next week, I will visit Kindergarten through Second grades to facilitate the Second Step program. This research-based social-emotional learning program is designed to enhance your child's social-emotional skills and can be applied both in and out of school.
We strongly believe in working together to ensure the success of our scholars. Let's collaborate to support your child's journey towards achievement!
The Student Success Mobile Center: A STEMtastic Experience
On September 1st, 2023, our fifth-grade students had the incredible opportunity to explore the extraordinary Student Success Mobile Center. The Student Success Mobile Center is a state-of-the-art bus with cutting-edge gadgets, interactive college virtual tours, gaming systems, sound recording systems, and laptops. It's a hands-on learning experience that sparks creativity and empowers students to envision exciting careers in STEM. The Student Success Bus allowed learners to design, build, and perform tasks that would otherwise be difficult for them to do without access to the technological tools.This out of class engagement truly STEMulated our learners!
Kudos to Counselor Dr. Norris-Brown for bringing this awesome learning experience to our scholars!
Check out the video!
Parent -Teacher Conferences: September 28, 2023 (3-5pm)
FALL MAP TESTING INFORMATION
The DeKalb County School District (DCSD) utilizes the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) which is administered three times a year - Fall, Winter, and Spring.
The Assessment Administration Department for the DeKalb County School District has set the Fall MAP testing window to open on Monday, August 7, 2023, and close on Friday, September 29, 2023. If you would like to know the specific dates and times that your child's class will be testing, please contact your child's teacher.
MAP Growth tests from NWEA® are unique in that they are adaptive tests taken on a computer or tablet. This means the test questions will become more difficult when your child answers a question correctly and easier when your child answers a question incorrectly. The information presented on the test is aligned with the Georgia Department of Education curriculum and is the same information that your child should have already been exposed to in school.
If, based on your child’s IEP, 504-IAP, or EL-TPC plan, there are standard allowable accommodations that your child may receive on the Fall MAP assessment they will be provided as outlined in their plans.
In addition to being a valuable instructional tool for teachers, the Fall MAP test administration window is utilized for Magnet and Gifted eligibility screening for grades K – 10. In addition to the Fall window, the Winter window is utilized for Magnet and Gifted eligibility for grades K – 2.
For more information about MAP Growth, visit: NWEA.org/Parent-Toolkit.
If you have questions pertaining to MAP testing, please email our Assistant Principal/School Testing Coordinator - Griffin Nichols at firstname.lastname@example.org
DROPPING OFF ITEMS FOR YOUR CHILD
This greatly interrupts instructional time and negatively impacts the teaching and learning process. Students should bring all items they need to school when they arrive each day.
We understand there will be times when students forget items, but please know that if students forget their water bottles at home, water is provided at school. If they forget their lunch, a school lunch will be provided. We want to instill responsibility and independence in all of our students.
In the event of an emergency or a medical need, parents are always welcomed to bring medications to the school nurse. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Birthday Celebrations: Expectations
Birthdays: Please be advised that individual birthday parties for students are not permitted in the school. Parents may NOT send food, cupcakes, or any other food. Make sure that you communicate this to parents in advance. See below:
Suggestions for Parents:
▪ Wrap a book for your child to open that can be donated to the classroom.
▪ Volunteer to lead some instructional activity in your child’s classroom.
▪ Your teacher will also provide age-appropriate ways to recognize your child during the day.
Other Special Occasions:
There will be special occasions during the year when teachers will lead an activity or celebration that includes food. As we strive to foster the best learning environment, we ask that you do not send in snacks that are high in fat or sugar. Many children are faced with dietary restrictions that prohibit them from sharing processed snacks. We ask that you work with your child’s teacher to support a healthy and inclusive environment.
Student Code of Conduct
Parent's Right To Know
In compliance with the requirements of the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA), Vanderlyn Elementary would like to inform you that you may request information about the professional qualifications of your student’s teacher(s) and/ or paraprofessional(s). The following information may be requested.
Whether the student’s teacher—
- has met State qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction;
- is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which State qualification or licensing criteria have been waived; and
- is teaching in the field of discipline of the certification of the teacher.
- Whether the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.
If you wish to request information concerning your child’s teacher’s and/or paraprofessional’s qualifications, please contact Mr. Nichols, Assistant Principal at 678-874-9002
There are two morning carpool lanes at Vanderlyn Elementary School. Carpool Lane #1 is on the Dunwoody High School side of the building and Carpool Lane #2 is located at the bus turn-around on the modular side of the building.
● No left turns into Carpool Lane #1 from Vanderlyn Drive. This is a major problem that causes congestion entering and exiting the carpool lane. Therefore, when traveling west on Vanderlyn Drive (travelling from Meadowlake), do not bypass Carpool Lane # 2 in order to use Carpool Lane #1.
● No right turns into Carpool Lane #2 from Vanderlyn Drive (traveling from DHS). Again, do not bypass one carpool lane to get to the next.
● Single file out of each of the carpool lanes when possible.
● Parents are asked to stay in the car and allow our staff to assist your students as they exit the vehicle. Do not allow your child to exit the car without a carpool assistant.
● PLEASE refrain from cell phone use in the carpool lanes.
● Do NOT drop students in front of the school on Vanderlyn Drive or side streets. This is a very dangerous practice.
● Do NOT park across from the school on Vanderlyn Drive as this is ILLEGAL and subject to traffic tickets. Please respect our neighbors.
● At any time of the day, you MAY park on Vanderlyn Drive using the designated spaces on the Vanderlyn side of the street to visit the school.
● NO PARKING on Trumbull Dr. from Meadowlake Dr. to Vanderlyn Dr. – Please keep this a safe walk zone. You are subject to ticketing in “no parking” zones.
● No parking in the “Reserved Parking” spaces. These are designated for staff members.
A few reminders to help with efficiency:
● Be kind to the carpool volunteers who are charged with keeping all children safe. Follow all traffic laws and other directives by our staff in an effort to keep our students safe.
● Be patient. You may arrive for drop-off as early as 7:15 a.m. We will have teachers on duty at 7:15 a.m. to unload cars. This applies to Carpool Lane #1 on the Dunwoody High School side only.
● Carpool Lane #2 in the bus turn-around will not open until 7:20 a.m. due to priority bus drop-off.
● Be prepared to have your child to exit the car quickly. Backpacks and school items should be in the car with your child. It takes a bit of time to get these items out of the trunk or rear hatch.
● Be safe. Please watch for pedestrians, especially our staff on duty! We are moving people and cars in “chunks” so there are fewer interruptions in the flow of cars and the flow of walkers.
● Ride the bus. We have staff available to receive bus riders at 7:00 a.m., so please have your child ride the bus. We start school at 7:45 a.m. and this is a good way to ensure they are on time.
● Due to safety of our staff, teachers are not authorized to direct street or carpool traffic. They are available to assist with sidewalk/pedestrian traffic only.
THANK YOU FOR HELPING US TO KEEP OUR SCHOOL AND CHILDREN SAFE!
Please be advised of potential bus delays and route adjustments during the first few weeks of school. The VES staff will make every effort to minimize issues related to transportation and will do our best to ensure the safe ridership of our students. Should there be a need to request additional buses, we will move quickly to do so. In the event that a bus is overcrowded on the first day, we will request that a second route be made, which will result in a delay in the time your child may arrive home. In this case, please wait for your child at your designated stop rather than calling the school. Any changes, other than the above mentioned, will be communicated to parents quickly via School Messenger. Our priority is to get students home safely rather than quickly, so please be aware of this potential issue and remain flexible as we work through it.
We have a very comprehensive dismissal plan designed for student safety. Each student has a dismissal card with the mode of dismissal listed daily. Please make sure that you have communicated your child’s dismissal plan to the teacher. Each parent should have filled out a Dismissal Agreement Form during registration stating how your child will go home. Any unexpected changes in dismissal must be communicated in writing and should be confirmed by the teacher. If you have not received a confirmation by noon, please contact the front office at (678) 874-9002 to make sure the school is aware of the change. Waiting until the last minute to communicate an unexpected change in dismissal increases the likelihood of failed communication and could result in a student being sent home the wrong way.
DO YOU HAVE YOUR FAMILY ID HANGTAG?
All walkers are dismissed through the front doors (near the clinic) of the building. Parents are required to wait outside as students are dismissed. All walkers were issued an ID number on Registration Day. If you did not receive a number, we will issue one to you when you come to pick up your child. If you had a number from last year, you will continue to use the same number. If your child will be an independent walker (they will walk home without adult supervision), you must send a signed written note to the homeroom teacher. This is to protect the integrity of our Safe School Dismissal Plan.
If you are picking up your child in the afternoon carpool, you must have a carpool number and official carpool tag with the Vanderlyn logo properly displayed on the rearview mirror of your car. Failure to adhere to this safety guideline will result in a staff member asking to verify your identity. This measure keeps children safe and ensures that the person picking your child up is authorized to do so. Therefore, it is imperative that you list all authorized individuals on your emergency card in the front office. New family carpool tags were issued during registration, so if you have not received a 2023-24 carpool tag, we will be happy to issue one to you during carpool during the first 2 weeks of school. If you had a number from last year, you will continue to use the same number. This safety measure is in place to protect students; therefore, we will not release students to unauthorized individuals under any circumstances without written consent from the parent or legal guardian.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
School Safety is our top priority. Our staff will review and refine our procedures to ensure we are ready if an emergency arises.
Every precaution will be taken to ensure the safety of our students and staff during school hours. One safety measure practiced are safety drills (fire, tornado, intruder), which are conducted throughout the school year. Fire drills are held once every month. Tornado drills are held twice a semester. Intruder (Lockdown) drills are held three times a semester. These important drills to keep our students and staff safe in the event of an emergency. The administrative team and all staff members will be in position to aid in a safe, quick evacuation. Routes for emergency exits are posted in each room of the building. Our number one priority continues to be the safety and security of our students and staff.
During the school day, we ensure the following safety measures are taken:
- All classroom doors remain closed and locked at all times.
- Exterior doors remain locked at all times and are not propped open for any reason.
- Exterior doors will not be opened for visitors.
- All visitors must come to the front of the school to receive assistance.
- All visitors must press the entry button outside the front door. The front office staff will assist all visitors from this point.
- If a visitor does not have an appointment with staff, is not checking out a student, or is not receiving assistance from the front office, they will not be allowed inside the school.
- Students are monitored by staff members in all areas of the building and on the playgrounds.
- Outside of traveling with their class to other parts of the building, students will travel in pairs when leaving their class independently to go to the restroom, clinic, or front office.
- Every classroom is equipped with a telephone, two-way radio, emergency call button, and emergency alert system. NEW THIS YEAR: Every staff member will have a crisis alert badge that they wear daily. In the event of an emergency, staff will press a button on this badge to alert administration and emergency personnel that they are in need of help.
- For afternoon dismissal, students are staggered by mode of transportation.
- Staff is strategically stationed all around our building and campus to ensure students arrive and depart safely from school.
- Our school resource officer makes periodic rounds throughout the school day and walks the campus to conduct safety checks.
In the event of an emergency, we will communicate with all parents via School Messenger. Please ensure you are connected and signed up for both on your mobile phone. It is important that parents read all text messages from the school thoroughly and follow next steps as outlined.
Safety will always remain our top priority. We appreciate your partnership and collaboration as we work together to maintain a safe learning environment for all students and staff.
Vanderlyn Viking Views: https://vanderlynpto.membershiptoolkit.com/newsletter/00190-20230714000617-093290000-2131713166
Vanderlyn Elementary Website: https://www.vanderlynes.dekalb.k12.ga.usvander
NOT RECEIVING MESSAGES?
OPT-IN TO SCHOOL MESSENGER
School-Home communication is very important. Please stay connected to the school by ensuring you have signed up for School Messenger. To receive timely emails and text messages from the school and district, please opt-in to school messenger!
School Supply Lists - Click the Image Below
Breakfast and lunch are served each day of school. Please review the flyer below for more information.
Information about meal applications and meal payments can be found at the link below.
Breakfast and lunch menus can always be found on this website: https://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/school-nutrition/menus/
Dance Classes Return To Vanderlyn!
Chess Club Returns
2023-2024 Bus Routes
If your child needs to have medication administered at school, please download the form below and have your physician to complete it. On the first day of school, please place the form and medication in a ziploc bag clearly labeled with your child's first/last name. Inform the teacher that these items are in your child's bookbag and we will be sure the nurse receives them. You may also drop them off in the front office.
If you have questions, please contact our clinic assistant: Sumati Jayaraman at:
If you have any questions or concerns before the first day of school and/or throughout the school year, please do not hesitate to contact the school. Please follow our protocol on who to contact and in what order. Skipping a step will actually slow down the process of getting help for your child, as the person you contact will have to back-track and gather additional information. By starting with the person who spends the most time with your child – the teacher – you are most likely to get the information you need and reach a solution more quickly.
To best help you & your child and get to a solution/answer promptly, please reach out to school personnel in this order:
2. Assistant Principal Griffin Nichols
3. Principal - Mrs. Tracey Crenshaw
Please review and save the list below so you are aware who to contact when questions arise.
- PTO Membership Toolkit - PTO Co-Presidents: Marcy Ames or Whitney Gaines: vanderlynelemPTO@gmail.com
- Family ID Hang tags (carpool or walkers) - Andrea Gillett: email@example.com
- Reporting your child's absence from school - Email your child's homeroom teacher AND our school registrar, Ms. Andrea Gillett: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Student illness, medicine requests, medical forms: Ms. Sumi: email@example.com
- Changes in transportation/dismissal - email your child's homeroom teacher AND our front office secretary, Andrea Gillett:firstname.lastname@example.org. This must be done by 12pm!
- Bus Transportation Concerns: Vernell Jackson at email@example.com
- Questions about school breakfast/lunch: Cafeteria Manager, Catalina Moreno-Ortega at firstname.lastname@example.org
- School library resources, Chrome Book Questions: Gail Pansini: email@example.com
- General questions pertaining to your child's class - email your child's homeroom teacher
- Questions regarding gifted eligibility - Gifted Liaison, Julia Weiss: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Questions pertaining to ASEPD (After School Extended Day Program) - Co-directors Julia Weiss or Audrey Brunson: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
- Questions pertaining to class schedules, progress reports, grades, and report cards - Assistant Principal, Griffin Nichols: email@example.com
- Questions pertaining to districtwide assessments (MAP, CogAT, GA Milestones, ACCESS) - School Test Coordinator/Assistant Principal, Griffin Nichols: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Questions regarding counseling, social, emotional/behavioral concerns, bullying: Counselors: Grades 3rd-5th Jessica Lee: Jessica_j_lee@dekalbschoolsga.org or Grades Pre-K-2nd: Dr. Candice Norris-Brown: email@example.com
- Questions pertaining to schoolwide operations - email Principal Tracey Crenshaw: firstname.lastname@example.org