The Stingray Sentinel

News for the Families of Duval Charter School at Southside

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Happy Summer!

Dear Families,

I hope each of you is having a wonderful summer! We so appreciate all the hard work you put in this school year in partnering with us for your students. A truly great and successful school is one that both parents and faculty work together on a team for student success - and that's what we have at DCSS. Thank you!

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Did You Hear the Great News?

DCSS is a "B" for the 16-17 school year! School grades were just recently released this week, and we are thrilled to share this good news with you!

  • DCSS had some of the highest growth from 15-16 to 16-17 of all the Duval County Schools!
  • DCSS was the ONLY school in our area of Jacksonville that did not decrease in a single category (of which there are 9 different criteria).
  • DCSS was one of only 2 schools in our area that INCREASED a grade level from last year to this!

All of this is from the hard work of you the parents, our staff and teachers, and your students! It takes a team, and we thank you!

Want to help us spread the word? On social media, share that we're a B! Tell friends and family any of the bullet points from above. Let's get the word out about how wonderful our school is!

Upcoming Events

  • 7/17-7/28: Step up to 3rd Grade Camp at DCSS, 8:30-12:30 (invite only)
  • 7/22: Used Uniform Sale - cafe, 9a-12p, cash only, while supplies last
  • 7/26: YMCA Last Day of Camp
  • 8/1: Kindergarten Family Orientation 5:30pm
  • 8/2: New Family Orientation 5:30pm
  • 8/3: Returning Family Orientation 1st-3rd 5:30pm
  • 8/9: Returning Family Orientation 4th-8th 5:30pm
  • 8/11: Open House 11a-1p (open drop-in time)
  • 8/14: 1st Day of School!

Used Uniform Sale

Great News!!! We are having a used uniform sale on July 22nd @ 9am - 12pm in the cafeteria. All sales are on a first-come, first-served basis!

Uniform pieces will be sold for $5.

Jackets will be sold for $10.



A Note from Ms. Brinkman, Assistant Principal

Dear DCSS Stingrays,

It is with mixed emotions to inform you all that I will be relocating to Melbourne, Florida this summer to be closer to my family. Believe me when I say, it was NOT an easy decision. It has truly been a pleasure to serve our Southside families, students, staff and teachers over the past three years. I have enjoyed my time at DCSS and will treasure the memories always.

I am excited about the growth our school has made during our time together and wish you all continued success in academic and character excellence. Remain dedicated and active in your child/children’s educational experience.

Thank you again! Hugs and love to you all!

~Jody Brinkman

Please Welcome our New Assistant Principal, Ms. Rebekah Papke!

Dear Southside Families,

My name is Rebekah Papke, and I am excited to continue my educational journey at DCSS! I am entering my 6th year with Charter Schools USA, and I'm loving every minute of it. I have taught various grades in elementary, performed as a literacy interventionist, served as a Curriculum Coach for K-8 teachers and students, and most recently served as the Assistant Principal of our sister school, Clay Charter Academy. Education, especially putting students first, is my passion. In my free time, I enjoy the pool/beach, Disney, and cooking/baking. I look forward to getting to know each of you this year!

Congratulations Ms. LaKisha Palmore!

Please join me in congratulating Ms. Lakisha Palmore who was recently promoted as our Dean of Students! Ms. Palmore has been with us since we opened, first as a middle school history teacher, then as a Director of Student Culture, and now promoted to our Administrative team as Dean of Students. Please read a message from Ms. Palmore below:

To My DCSS Family,

I am LaKisha Palmore - the new Dean at DCSS. I am originally from Lakeland, FL where I taught first and second grades at Lewis Anna Woodbury Elementary for 8 years. I am a graduate of the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL and Concordia University – Irvine, where I received my Master’s Degree. I have been with DCSS since the doors opened in 2014 and taught 6th grade World History for two years. This past school year, I was the Teacher on Task Assignment for Student Culture. I am deeply invested in the students and their success. I have a 13-year-old son who I enjoy watching play baseball. I’m also an avid basketball and football fan. I am very excited for the 2017-2018 school year! Thank you all for your continued support!

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Prevent Summer Slide!

Did you know your students can still access Reading Plus and Think Through Math (now called Imagine Math) throughout the summer? If you're looking to hold off the "summer slide", then make sure your rising 4th-8th grade students are logging into these effective software programs throughout the summer!

Have a K-3rd student? I highly recommend ABC Mouse Learning Academy! I use this with my own child, and it is great to keep reading and math skills fresh through throughout the summer months.

Or, kick it old school by simply making sure your child is reading, reading, reading over the summer! This could be them reading independently, or you reading to them! Every little bit helps.

Looking for more? Many stores have workbooks you can purchase to keep skills sharp - Target, Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, Amazon - most stores have these simple workbooks to help keep skills fresh.

Article: CLICK HERE for "How to Prevent Summer Slide"

Click for an article written for parents with 10 steps on how to prevent summer slide!


When will I get my student's report card?

  • K-5 Report Cards were sent home the last day of school. If your child was not at school the last day, they are being mailed home. You may also pick them up at the office, M-F 9a-3p (closed 7/4)
  • Middle School report cards were waiting for state assessment to finalize. They will be mailed home next week, once we receive the score reports from the state.

How did my 3rd-8th grade student perform on the state assessment?

  • All state score reports are scheduled to be sent to schools by the end of next week. Our office staff will then work diligently to get them mailed home as soon as they are received.

Who will my child have as a teacher next year? What will be my middle schooler's schedule?

  • All teacher assignments and middle school schedules will be available to parents at your orientation. Please see above for orientation dates.

How do I sign my child up for aftercare or any of the after school programs?

  • During orientation and open house, you will have a chance to sign up for any of our after school programs offered by outside vendors. You will also be able to register for our in-house before and after care services.

Where can I find the 17-18 school supplies lists?

  • We are getting the 17-18 school supplies lists uploaded to our website: Please expect to see them uploaded to the site no later than by the end of next week. Thank you!

Will I need to purchase a planner for my student?

  • Planners are required for 2nd-8th grade students. For Kindergarten and 1st grade students, planners are optional. We will be selling school-logo K-8 planners the nights of orientation, but you can also purchase your own.

I ordered yearbook, but didn't receive it. When can I expect the yearbooks?

  • We are deeply sorry that the yearbooks did not arrive by the last day of school as planned. As luck would have it, they arrived the Monday after the last day of school! If you ordered a yearbook, and didn't receive it, you can pick it up any time during the day, Mon-Fri 9a-3p, during the Used Uniform Sale on 7/22, or during orientations or open house. Again, we extend our deepest apologies that these did not arrive in the time we had hoped.

What will I learn or get from the orientations?

  • Principal address of any changes or improvements for the 17-18 school year
  • Teacher assignments or middle school schedules
  • Arrival & dismissal procedures
  • School Culture and Discipline expectations
  • Software expectations from parents and students
  • Pick-up/dismissal tags (updated for 17-18)
  • Registration for after school clubs from vendors: Happy Feet, Play Ball, Pro-Martial Arts, Dance Studio, Art Club (all K-5; middle school clubs run in-house - more information provided to students during the first week of school)
  • Report Cards and Score Reports if you didn't not receive them
  • Drop off school supplies
  • Purchase planners (required 2nd-8th)
  • Purchase spirit shirts (optional for students to wear on Fridays)
  • NOTE: This is not a meet-the-teacher night or a chance to see your polished classrooms; please keep in mind that teachers return the week before school, and while your child's teacher(s) may be assisting the night of orientations, their room may or may not be available.

What is the purpose of the Open House on the Friday before school?

  • The open house (11a-1p) is a great time to walk through the classrooms and meet the teacher. This is an optional and open time that is highly recommended for younger students, and families new to DCSS. This is also recommended for 6th grade students who will be switching classes for the first time - students and parents can walk through the schedule to make sure all are comfortable with the flow.
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Next Issue

Stay tuned for the next issue where we'll share:

  • School Supplies Lists and local deals and sales
  • After school lists of outside organizations coming to DCSS next year
  • And more!