Volume 1 Issue 10
Dear DeSana Parents & Students,
I truly cannot believe that we are two days away from closing out this first semester of the school year. I believe this has been the fastest 18 weeks of my life! It seems like only a few days ago that we were inviting you in for our Walkabouts and preparing for our first Open House, all the while trying to move in and get set up, as the builders finished the last few details of construction of our beautiful new facility! As busy and as long as those days were back in late July and early August, I don’t believe I have had a more exhilarating time in my professional career. Opening DeSana has been a fabulous adventure thus far, in my book! And while there is still much to do and much to improve upon, it certainly has been a most wonderful start here!
I also want you to know that I cannot say enough good and positive things about our young Dragons! They have been awesome!! I know for some of them this was not an easy move or new start, but they have been such troopers and have acclimated quite well to their new surroundings and how we do things here. They have worked hard . . . challenged themselves . . . and I do believe most of our students are really striving to finish strong this first semester.
I also could not be any prouder of a group of professional educators than I am of our wonderful faculty and staff! They have been inspiring to me! They have been working long and hard since last Spring to make sure our kids had an awesome start to this brand new adventure. Their caring ways for our young Dragons and the engaging and rigorous work they are providing our students in their classrooms is truly quite fabulous! They have definitely risen to the challenge of launching DeSana in fine fashion!
As we all go into this long-awaited and much-deserved Winter Break, here’s wishing you a wonderful and merry Holiday!! I hope that you take some time to rest, relax, and recharge with family & friends. And may the magic and the wonder of the holiday season stay with you throughout the coming year. Please stay safe in your travels . . . whether they be near or far. We look forward to seeing all of our young Dragons back with us . . . safe and sound, and re-energized . . . to begin the second semester in a very strong way!
Thank you, parents, for allowing us the pleasure and the privilege to work with your young Dragons each and every day!
Wishing You the Happiest of Holidays!
Terri A. North
Winding Up This First Semester of the School Year & Winter Break!
Tuesday, December 20th is the last day of this first semester. It’s hard to believe that the first 18 weeks of this school year have come and gone! Work from all students should be turned in by the 20th, as teachers will be finishing up last minute grading and preparing grades when they come back to school on January 4th for their Teacher Work Day.
Winter Break for students of Forsyth County will begin on Wednesday, December 21st, with students coming back to start the second semester on Thursday, January 5th. Our DeSana office will be closed throughout the Winter Break. Students will receive their schedules for the third quarter when they arrive back on the 5th, as we rotate our master schedule one more time. New Connections classes and new Literacy classes for 6th and 7th graders will begin on January 5th.
All students will receive a printed Report Card for the first semester on Friday, January 13th to take home. This Report Card will show students’ final semester averages for their yearlong courses, that include the core subjects of Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Spanish (8th graders only). Grades for each quarter’s Connections classes and students’ Literacy classes will also be on this semester Report Card.
Parents, be on the look-out for your child’s Report Card coming home on January 13th! I hope you and your young Dragon will sit down together and take a look at his/her grades and discuss whether or not he/she is working up to his/her full potential thus far, this year.
THE HOUR OF CODE
Last week, December 5-9, students all over the world took part in an initiative to introduce students to the field of computer science called The Hour of Code. The Hour of Code is designed to introduce computer science to students of all walks of life. Last week at DeSana, 487 students participated in an hour (or more) of code, completing lessons that teach the fundamentals that are essential to anyone who works in the computer science field. If your family wants to continue beyond an hour of code, visit www.code.org and continue learning about computer science with a variety of different activities. Try it! Anyone can learn computer programming.
Students that continue to work in the computer science field face a bright future. Every Forsyth County high school offers computer science classes that are taken as elective courses, including Advanced Placement (AP) computer science courses. Computer science is offered as a major at the University of North Georgia, The University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw and most colleges. The United States Department of Labor forecasts the jobs of a computer science major to grow faster than average and have median salaries over $100,000.
Discuss the experience of The Hour of Code with your child. This introductory hour could be the beginning of a rewarding career for your young Dragon!
ANNOUNCING DRAGON ACADEMY - - - A NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR ADDITIONAL LEARNING & ASSESSMENT TIME FOR STUDENTS!
Dragon Academy is a new opportunity we will begin offering students for completing, taking or re-taking 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, December 2nd, 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:
January 20, 27
February 10, 24
March 3, 17, 31
April 21, 28
May 5, 12, 19
The Forsyth County Technology Fair registration is now open! The Tech Fair will be at Whitlow Elementary School on Saturday January 21st and registration is NOW OPEN!
Registration opens November 14st and closes January 10th.
All students in grades 3-12 who are schooled within Forsyth County may participate in the Tech Fair. This includes all public, private and home schooled students. Grade level divisions are as follows:
- Grades 3-4
- Grades 5-6
- Grades 7-8
- Grades 9-10
- Grades 11-12
- Note: Multimedia category divisions are 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
You may have up to 2 people on a team but teams and individuals will compete against each other within each grade grouping.
More information about registration: http://techfair.forsyth.k12.ga.us/reg.html
Great news!! DeSana has paid $200 which will cover the registration fee for as many students as want to participate so our first year can be a great one at the Forsyth Tech Fair!
More information about the categories and the rubrics for each category can be found by clicking the links above. You may also , visit http://gatechfair.org/categories
All Tech Fair information can be found at our web site: http://techfair.forsyth.k12.ga.us
IT’S YOU BE THE CHEMIST CHALLENGE® TIME OF YEAR!
The You Be The Chemist Challenge ® is an interactive academic contest that focuses on learning chemistry concepts and uses the thrill of competition to excite grade 5–8 students about science. The Challenge was created by the Chemical Educational Foundation ® (CEF), a national non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing and encouraging the science education of our youth. Participating schools and students have an opportunity to compete in local & state competitions, and receive national recognition, scholarships, and prizes.
It is time to begin preparing for the first ever DeSana Middle School You be the Chemist Qualifier. If you are interested in taking the qualifying exam, please see Mrs. Strader in the 8th grade hallway, room 2207, or email her at email@example.com. The qualifier will be given on January 27th in the morning before school. Study materials can be found online at the following link.
Students at any grade level may participate, but you must contact Mrs. Strader before the qualifier to receive a pass. The top 10 participants will then go on to compete at the Atlanta Metro Local Challenge that will be held on March 11 at 10AM, located at the Georgia Aquarium.
There are no costs or fees to enter the challenge.
If interested, please contact Mrs. Strader before December 21st about your interest.
UPDATE ON 8TH GRADE SAVANNAH TRIP
The final and last payment for the Savannah trip is due by February 3, 2017. The amount due for the final payment is $100.00. More information and reminders will be sent out after the winter break. Also in February, we will be working on roommate choices. Be watching for information to come home on medications and medical insurance information in February as well. If you have any questions about the trip, please contact Mrs. Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-667-2591 extension 492216.
YEARBOOKS ON SALE
2016-2017 DeSana Middle School Yearbooks are now on sale! Please visit: balfour.com. Click “shop your school” and search for DeSana. Yearbooks are $32 and the sale ends January 31, 2017. Don’t miss out on the first DeSana Yearbook!!
THE IMPORTANCE OF 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
LOST AND FOUND
Attention Students and Parents!
We will be clearing away unclaimed items from the Lost and Found on January 6, just after the Winter Break. Please be sure to take the time to check for any items that may have been misplaced—Odds are, we have it!
Among those “Found Items” are: lunch boxes, water bottles, umbrellas, sweaters and coats, school supplies, gym uniforms and even some homework!!
The Lost and Found is currently located in the Hex; so please stop by to take a look!