dragon digest

Volume 1 Issue 14 / February 16, 2017

principal's letter

Here's wishing all of young Dragons and their families a FUN and wonderful long weekend!


Terri A. North


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Oratorical Results

DeSana Middle School held their inaugural Optimist Oratorical Contest on February 8th to determine the finalists for the county-wide competition to be held on Thursday, March 2nd.

The students spoke on the topic What the World Gains from Optimism. First place winners were Elizabeth G. and Ameya J. Runners-up were Shirin D. and Humza F. Other school finalists included Sheena D., Billi L., Aiden R., and Krish W.

Serving as the coordinators for the school’s competition were Stacey Pelletier, Roxana Perez, and Mary Lowie. The competition is sponsored by the Forsyth-Cumming and Sawnee-Cumming Optimist Clubs, with support from the United Way and Northside Hospital Forsyth. Special thanks to our fabulous business partner, Omega Learning, for providing the trophies and prizes, as well as judging!

Math Club Scores!

Congratulations to the DeSana Math Club! A team of 6th graders, consisting of David L., Eeshawn M., Shrirag T., and Anish V., placed 3rd at the mathleague.org tournament on February 16, 2017. This impressive victory has scored DeSana Middle School its first ever trophy. Again, a big congratulations to these students for their hard-earned victory at the math tournament!


We want our 8th Grade students and parents to have the smoothest transition to high school as possible. The following link has valuable information for you and your child for upcoming 8th to 9th grade transition events, hosted by their future high school: West Forsyth High School OR South Forsyth High School. Unsure of which high school your student will be attending? Click here to use the interactive map and find out.


Has your young Dragon learned everything in their life the first time it was presented to them? Does your student like to come in for early morning help sessions? Does your child really like to stay after school for help sessions? If the answer to any of these questions is “no” then Additional Opportunity to Learn (AOL) time might be just the thing for your middle schooler! AOL Time is a 50 minute block of time (9:00 – 9:50) that happens first thing in the morning on Thursdays, with a second AOL Time happening on some Wednesdays throughout the year.

During AOL Time, students may select any teacher they have (for the four core subjects + Spanish in 8th grade) that they need to go to for extra help OR to prepare even more so for an upcoming assessment. Students have the opportunity for “the gift of time” to receive re-teaching from their teachers during this block of time.

So if your young Dragon is struggling in a particular class or if he/she has received a low score on a summative assessment, please encourage your student to take advantage ofAOL Time. Ask your child the night before which teacher he/she will be going to for some extra help during AOL Time, and then make it the first topic of conversation that you discuss with your child in the afternoon/evening of the day on which AOL occurs.

Here are the dates for AOL Time for the rest of this school year:

WEDNESDAYS: 3/8, 3/29, 5/17

THURSDAYS: 2/16, 2/23, 3/2, 3/9, 3/16, 3/23, 3/30, 5/4, 5/11, 5/18

**April 3 – 7 is Spring Break

***April 12 – 28 is GA Milestones EOG Testing --- No AOL Time during these weeks


Dragon Academy is an opportunity we will start up once again for students who need to complete, take or re-take formative and/or summative assessments (i.e. unit tests, projects, essays, quizzes. etc.). Dragon Academy will happen most Fridays --- at least two times a month --- from 4:15 – 6:30, beginning Friday, January 20th, with teachers and an administrator supervising each session. It is a fantastic opportunity for students to drastically improve both their learning and their grades. Students will be invited by their teachers . . . or they may invite themselves . . . to attend Dragon Academy if they are missing work or need to re-take an assessment to show better mastery of the standards or complete a project. Although students will have a little over two hours to complete their work, once they complete all that they came to accomplish, students will be able to call their parent to come pick them up. Snacks and drinks will be sold for a very reasonable cost so students may focus on their work, not on their gurgling stomachs! School supplies will be available for students to use to complete their work, as needed.

Please mark your calendars now for these Dragon Academy dates for the rest of the school year:

February 24

March 3, 17, 31

April 21, 28

May 5, 12, 19


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Parents of 7th grade students attending the overnight field trip:

The Field Trip is fast approaching! We are very excited about this opportunity for our students! Payment #3 of $30 is due on Feb. 16th and the 4th and final payment of $40.00 is due on March 2nd. Please be advised your child will be bringing home next week important forms to be filled out. The deadline for the forms is March 2nd. It is very important that we receive these so we can be sure your child is all set for the field trip. We will be having a meeting for the students in the next couple of weeks so they will know what to bring and expectations for the field trip. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Mrs. Roveri at: groveri@forsyth.k12.ga.us or by phone at: 770-667-2591 Ext. 492124.

altruistic endeavors


Altruistic Endeavors is one of the five key facets of our overall program. It is one of our core values, so to speak. We want our young Dragons to not only know what it is like to give back to their wonderful community and others, but to also experience it firsthand. Through many different DeSana service clubs, school wide charitable endeavors, and our first DeSana Day of Good Deeds (or D3 Day for short!) in the spring, we will work to provide our students with a variety of community service opportunities throughout the school year, in our local community, and in different parts of our country and the world.

So why encourage our young Dragons to get involved in community service? Well, first and foremost, it is the right thing to do; to learn to give freely and happily of one's time and talents and heart to help others, expecting nothing in return! But here are a few other reasons to consider encouraging your child to get involved in community service:

· To help someone in need.

· Those who give of themselves and their resources and help others, say they feel they receive a great feeling in return.

· Helping others can expand your world and help you better understand what is happening in your community.

· Meet new people and make new friends.

· To improve our world by caring for the environment.

· Giving back to one's community and others is an "added value" on your college resume.

Please check out opportunities for serving and helping others right here in the Dragon Digest and for students, on morning announcements!

other important information

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From the School Nurse

Parents, if your student has been confirmed for either the flu or strep throat, please inform our school nurse Rebecca McWalters with a quick email to rmcwalters@forsyth.k12.ga.us. Thank you!

From the Media Center

The media center would like to send out a huge THANK YOU to those who have been encouraging their children to return overdue library books and pay their fines. Be on the lookout this weekend for an e-mail from us if your child still has overdue books or fines that are not paid. Remember, books are checked out for a period of 2 school weeks (weekend days and holidays are not included) and may be renewed with a quick visit to the media center. Overdue fines are only 5 cents per day, but they do add up if the book is overdue by several weeks or months. Thank you!


Students and staff will enjoy several days off this long weekend as they enjoy an extra-long weekend and time spent away from DeSana on Friday, February 17th and Monday, February 20th. Our DeSana office will be closed on these two days. On Tuesday, February 21st, our staff will be back in pocket for a Professional Learning Day, but students will enjoy one more day off from school. Our office will resume normal business hours on this Tuesday, from 8:15 – 5:00. School will resume for our students on Wednesday, February 21st. We hope our young Dragons and their families have a most enjoyable and safe February Break!


In case you do not know, Ms. North is an avid dog lover! She loves all kinds of dogs . . . all breeds and all shapes and sizes . . . but is especially partial to her beagle named Brady, and is VERY fond of our Desana service dog, Frosty! So on every Wednesday, even throughout the winter months, DeSana celebrate ALL of our Dragon Dogs by hosting Woof Woof Wednesdays in the morning carpool line. From 8:30 – 9:00 AM, on these Woof Woof Wednesdays, Ms. North, or another Desana staff member, will be giving away doggie treats to every friendly Dragon Dog that comes through the line as parents drop off their young Dragon for school. So tell your four-legged furry friend(s) that he/she gets to go for a ride every Wednesday morning and get a treat! What better way to start out the morning for your best furry friend!!


One of the top New Year’s resolutions is to be more organized. Has your student lost his or her agenda? Or maybe it would just be nice to begin with a nice new agenda for 2017? Your student can purchase a new agenda for just $5 in the front office. Checks should be made out to DeSana Middle School.


thanks to our business partners

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