The Dot

QUICK AND TO THE POINT... UPDATES FROM DPS #61

August 2020 | Volume 1 | Issue 1
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Welcome to The Dot!

Decatur Public Schools is releasing a monthly newsletter to keep you up-to-date on all things District #61-related. The Dot provides you a quick snapshot of the latest news!
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Return to Learn | School Information for Fall 2020

The decisions on how students will return to school for Fall 2020 have been difficult and much-debated. However, based on the current health crisis we are all experiencing, we have put forth the best and safest plan for our community to move forward. Here are the quick points you need to know:


  • PreK-12 students will participate in 100% virtual learning for the first quarter of the 2020-2021 school year. The first quarter ends October 9, 2020.

  • The first day of student instruction will be pushed back to Monday, August 17, 2020.


For up to date information, we encourage you to frequently check our Return to Learn website at www.dps61.org/returntolearn.
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Summer Construction Projects 2020

August 2020: Here are a few quick updates on building projects happening at DPS #61.


Designed by BLDD and Completed by O' Shea Builders

  • Montessori Academy for Peace moved in

  • Johns Hill Magnet School construction of the new building has begun

  • Parsons Elementary School gym and new classrooms in progress (to be completed by Spring 2021)


Completed by DPS #61 Building and Grounds Staff
  • American Dreamer STEM Academy moved to former Enterprise building on South Taylor Road

  • Dennis Lab School Mosaic campus office moved with new secured entrance + A/C installation

  • Dennis Kaleidoscope A/C installation

  • SDMS new flooring and refinished pit are completed

  • New Montessori playground, wiring for internet, phones, surveillance cameras, classroom TVs

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Boundary Changes for South Shores and Dennis Effective In 2020-21 School Year

August 2020: Dennis Lab School becomes a dual campus school to allow more families who live within the Dennis school district boundaries to attend; South Shores new boundary also takes effect for 2020-21 school year.


  • Dennis’ current building has been named the Mosaic Campus and houses grades 2-3 and 6-7-8.
  • The old Mary W. French building is now Dennis’ Kaleidoscope Campus, housing PreK, Kindergarten-1 and grades 4-5.
  • South Shores boundary changed as well for 2020-21 school year.


To look up your home school by your home address, CLICK HERE.

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We Welcome New Administrators to the DPS Family!

August 2020: Please join us in welcoming the newest administrators and faculty to DPS #61.


  • Dr. Judith Campbell, P-12 Director of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Mary Brady, Principal at Baum Elementary
  • Mary Anderson, Principal at Montessori Academy for Peace
  • Ann Mathieson, Assistant Principal at Montessori Academy for Peace
  • Kelley Morrison, Campus Principal at Harris Learning Academy
  • Paul Ranstead, Assistant Principal at Harris Learning Academy
  • Tasia Burks, Principal at Hope Academy
  • Kamie Meador, Assistant Principal at Hope Academy
  • Eldon Conn, Principal at Stephen Decatur Middle School
  • Nathaniel Tallent, Assistant Principal at Stephen Decatur Middle School
  • Matt Fraas, Principal at South Shores Elementary STEAM School
  • Kristi Mullinix, Assistant Principal at Dennis Lab School
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Upcoming Dates to Watch for DPS #61

  • Monday, August 10 | FIRST DAY FOR STAFF
  • Monday, August 17 | FIRST DAY OF VIRTUAL LEARNING FOR STUDENTS
  • Monday, September 7 | Labor Day Holiday: NO SCHOOL and District offices closed
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Please Continue to Monitor Your Family for COVID-19 Symptoms

August 2020: Continue to monitor your family for symptoms of COVID-19 and contact your doctor if you or your student experience any of the following:


  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea