Dragon Digest

VOLUME 5, ISSUE 4 - DECEMBER 2020

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DECEMBER CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Friday, December 4 - Dragon Academy @ 4:15 - 6:15 PM

Saturday, December 5 - Competition Cheer Squad at Cherokee Bluff HS Competition - 9:30 - 10:00 AM

Saturday, December 5 - 1st Round Band All-State Tryouts

Monday, December 7 - DeSana Spelling Bee @ 9:15 in the Cafeteria

Wednesday, December 9 - Just One Africa Holiday Store in Commons @ 8:00-9:00 AM

Wednesday, December 9 - AOL Time in the morning

Wednesday, December 9 - Denmark Community Family Connect Night - No Homework Tonight!

Thursday, December 10 - Just One Africa Holiday Store in Commons @ 8:00-9:00 AM

Thursday, December 10 - AOL Time in the morning

Thursday, December 10 - Dragon Basketball (7th & 8th Boys) vs. Otwell @ DeSana @ 5:00 PM

Thursday, December 10 - Lady Dragons Basketball (7th & 8th) vs. Otwell @ Otwell @ 5:00 PM

Friday, December 11 - Local School Council Meeting @ 7:30 - 9:00 AM in the Media Center

Friday, December 11 - Sucker Sale in the morning in the Commons

Friday, December 11 - Dragon Academy @ 4:15 - 6:15 PM

Tuesday, December 15 - Dragon Basketball (7th & 8th Boys) vs. Vickery Creek @ DeSana @ 5:00 PM

Tuesday, December 15 - Lady Dragons Basketball (7th & 8th) vs. Vickery Creek @ Vickery Creek @ 5:00 PM

Wednesday, December 16 - Schoolwide Student & Staff BINGO during Morning Activity Time @ 9:00 AM. Prizes for Winners!!

Wednesday, December 16 - Band Winter Concert - 6th Grade Band, Concert Band & Symphonic Band starting @ 6:30 PM in the Gym

Thursday, December 17 - Holiday Hat & Scarf Day for Staff & Students!

Thursday, December 17 - AOL Time in the morning

Thursday, December 17 - Dragon Basketball (7th & 8th Boys) vs. Piney Grove @ Piney Grove @ 5:00 PM

Thursday, December 17 - Lady Dragons Basketball (7th & 8th) vs. Piney Grove @ DeSana @ 5:00 PM

Friday, December 18 - Dragon Academy @ 4:15 - 6:15 PM

Saturday, December 19 - Competition Cheer Squad @ North Gwinnett HS

Tuesday, December 22 - Last Day of Classes Before Winter Break Begins

Tuesday, December 22 - End of First Semester

Wednesday, December 23 - Tuesday, January 5 - Winter Break - No School - DeSana Office Closed

Monday, January 4 and Tuesday, January 5 - Transition Activities for 6th/7th/8th Grade students changing from Virtual to Face-to-Face Classes for Semester 2 AND students changing from Face-to-Face to Virtual Classes for Semester 2. More info to come!

Wednesday, January 6 - New 3rd Quarter Connections & Enrichment Classes Begin

Wednesday, January 6 - Second Semester Begins for Virtual and Face-to-Face Classes

Thursday, January 7 - Dragon Basketball (7th & 8th Boys) vs. Little Mill @ DeSana @ 5:00 PM

Thursday, January 7 - Lady Dragons Basketball (7th & 8th) vs. Little Mill @ Little Mill @ 5:00 PM

Friday, January 8 - Local School Council Meeting @ 7:30 - 9:00 AM in the Media Center

Friday, January 8 - January Dragon Digest Goes Online

Friday, January 8 - 1st Semester Report Cards available for viewing in Parent Portal

Saturday, January 9 - 2nd Round Band All-State Tryouts

Saturday, January 9 - FCS Spelling Bee @ Denmark Auditorium @ 9:00 AM

PRINCIPAL'S LETTER

Dear DeSana Parents,


The U.S. writer, Ralph Marston, once said:

“Happiness is a choice... not a result. Nothing will make you happy...

until you choose to be happy.”


As December begins and 2020 nears its end, I challenge you to take a few moments to reflect on the positive things that have happened this year… things that we typically have always taken for granted. We can celebrate the approximately 130 million new births that have occurred around the world this year. The USA Today’s Life staff tells us that during 2020, “Restaurants shared their secret recipes so we could make them at home. We came up with creative ways to celebrate big milestones like drive-by birthdays and Zoom parties. We learned that homeschooling is hard and finally recognized teachers for the heroes that they are.” We also recognize that the Forsyth County Schools’ 2020 graduation rate was 96.14%, which is the highest graduation rate in the history of the school district and highest among metro-Atlanta and large school districts in Georgia. Although 2020 has brought many new challenges to us and our world, let us not lose focus on the advantages and privileges that we do have each and every day. Do not allow the negativity brought before us through the news and social media to impact our social emotional well-being; but instead, always remember this famous quote… “At the end of the day, you control your own happiness.”


This school year continues to bring new opportunities to DeSana and to education, in general, many of which have proven positive and sustainable for directly influencing students' well-being and achievement. DeSana Middle School fosters a safe learning environment in which students and staff feel comfortable in our new normal of how we “do” school. The virtual learning environment has also opened some new doors that meet in a different way some students’ social emotional well-being and provide them with quality instruction that all of our students deserve. Our world has become obsessed with data and statistics related to COVID-19, but during this time, I encourage you to look elsewhere and find joy and happiness in the people around you. There is encouraging news swirling around regarding a possible vaccine for this dreadful disease, but there are constant blessings surrounding you all the time. Take time to recognize and be thankful for the roof over your head, the heat that warms your home, the genuine smile (even under a mask) or in the eyes of a stranger, and the many other privileges that we continuously overlook. Some of us have given into fear and anxiety to overrun our lives at times during 2020, but as one quote says, “Don’t let your happiness be controlled by something you can’t control.” Take the time to acknowledge your blessings and show kindness and appreciation to those you encounter and love... because we can all use a little grace and compassion as we close out 2020.


Sincerely,


Ashley Starr

Assistant Principal

ACADEMICS

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FINISH STRONG!

With this first semester quickly winding down, we are continually encouraging our young men and women to finish out the semester in very strong fashion. Finish Strong! is our mantra over these final few weeks . . . both academically and how our young Dragons conduct themselves! We want all of our young Dragons to finish on a high note, feeling good about what they have accomplished these past 18 weeks and feeling successful and confident going into the second semester. Parents, we can definitely use your support with this! Talk to your young adolescent at home and ask him/her what needs to be done in order to Finish Strong! Help your child make a plan to get all of his/her work done and turned in; make sure he/she has made up any test needed and/or taken a retest when the summative assessment grade was not what your young Dragon had hoped for; and make sure he/she studies his/her best for each remaining assessment of this semester. Remind your young Dragon each and every day to make good and wise choices, and to be his/her own person . . . don’t let others dictate how he/she acts or what he/she does. Remind your young teen to stop and think before acting. And above all else, encourage him/her to be kind to others each and every day! We are thanking you in advance, parents, for supporting us and reiterating this mantra at home with your young Dragon these last twelve days of this 1st semester. We cannot do it without your support! And your young Dragon needs your support as well in order to Finish Strong!

HELPING OUR STUDENTS TRANSITION SMOOTHLY INTO THE 2ND SEMESTER!

On Monday, January 4th and Tuesday, January 5th, the DeSana Counseling Department is offering transition sessions for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students who are starting face-to-face classes for the first time this second semester AND for students changing to virtual learning for the second semester. These sessions are designed to help prepare students for their new learning environment and to help them adjust quickly to the different way they will do school during the second semester. At these sessions, the following topics are just some that will be discussed with those students who are beginning face-to-face classes for the first time this year:

  • Block schedule and Bell schedule
  • Lockers and locker breaks
  • Hallway transitions
  • Masks and social distancing
  • Itslearning
  • How to get extra help from teachers if you are struggling

Students attending one of these sessions will also receive their class schedule for the second semester, get their locker and practice opening it, as well as tour the building to see where all their classes are located.


Parents of students who are changing to face-to-face classes for this second semester will also have an opportunity at these sessions to set up a lunch and/or Parent Portal account, purchase an agenda, pay for their locker, purchase a PE uniform and/or DeSana spirit wear, receive bus information, and take care of any other pertinent back-to-school business that is needed. This will take place in an isolated area, away from the students, with masks required and social distancing expected.


During the sessions for students who are beginning virtual classes for the first time this year, the following topics will be discussed:

  • How virtual learning works and the daily schedule
  • How to access itslearning
  • How to turn in assignments electronically
  • How to get extra help from teachers if you are struggling
  • Expectations for attendance
  • Expectations for turning in work


Parents of these students will be allowed to accompany their middle schooler to their session as there are much fewer students making this change in their educational setting. We want and need parents to attend so that they will learn how learning takes place in a middle school virtual setting and the expectations we have for our virtual learners, so that parents will know how to assist their young Dragon as their learning coach. We will be able to easily socially distance each parent/student pair. Masks will be required of both the student and the parent.


Parents of DeSana students transitioning to a new learning environment for this second semester will receive an email from our Counseling Team the week of December 7th with a link to register for one session. We hope our parents with a student who is learning in a different educational setting this next semester will make it a priority to register their child for a session AND accompany him/her to participate in the ways we have outlined above.


Should you have any further questions about these transition sessions, please contact our counselors.


Thank you and we look forward to working with you and your student!


Michelle Manos (6th grade) - f39340@forsyth.k12.ga.us

Trish Morriss (7th grade) - TLMorriss@forsyth.k12.ga.us

Carolyn Moore (8th grade) - CMoore29@forsyth.k12.ga.us

FINISHING THIS FIRST SEMESTER OF THIS SCHOOL YEAR, FIRST SEMESTER REPORT CARDS & WINTER BREAK

Tuesday, December 22nd is the last day of this first semester. It is hard to believe that the first 18 weeks of this school year are almost over. Academic work from all students should be turned in before the 22nd. Teachers are letting students know when the last day is for turning in all work/retaking assessments for this first semester, as teachers will be finishing up last minute grading and preparing grades before they leave for Winter Break.


First semester Report Cards will be available on Parent Portal on Friday, January 8th. 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’ Enrichment classes will also be on this semester Report Card. Parents, please log on to Parent Portal on January 8th or after to access your student’s final grades for the first semester. We 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.


Winter Break for FCS students will begin on Wednesday, December 23rd, with students coming back to school to begin the second semester on Wednesday, January 6th. Our DeSana office will be closed throughout the Winter Break. Students attending DeSana face to face for the second semester will receive their schedules for the third quarter when they arrive back at school on January 6th, as we rotate our master schedule once again. New Connections classes for all grade levels and new Enrichment classes for 6th and 7th graders will also begin on Wednesday, January 6th. For our students attending school virtually, they will be able to see their schedule for the second semester in Parent Portal on Monday, January 4th.

itslearning

What is itsLearning?

ItsLearning is a learning management system (online platform) that allows teachers to have an online component alongside their traditional instruction. Not only can teachers post classroom content but they may also have students participate in online discussions, submit assignments, complete assessments, and create content. In addition to being a vital component for everyday teaching and learning for both virtual and face-to-face classes, itsLearning will also be utilized during any days missed due to unscheduled school closures (ex. inclement weather) or extended online learning, should that happen for ALL of our students at some time this year. ItsLearning is also a communication tool for administrators, teachers, students, and parents. Additionally, teachers can utilize the recommendation engine to provide students with either remediation or enrichment on course standards.


What can I do as a parent?

In all courses, parents can monitor content assigned to their children through itsLearning. Parents can log-in with the same credentials they use to get in Parent Portal or by using their child’s log in information. Here at DeSana we recommend using your child’s log-in information. This will give you a little more access to things when you are trying to assist your child. Be sure to ask your child for their username and password. In both instances, parents can check the Lesson Planner section for the class lesson presented that day, see posted homework or posted ‘no homework’, see class resources used, class activities, and any information about upcoming tests, projects, and quizzes. Using the student log-in will allow parents to find bulletins or reminders in individual courses. Parents can also find links to valuable resources that students may need throughout the year. This can include on-line text books and more.


How do I get there?

There are 2 easy ways to get there: 1. Go to https://forsyth.itslearning.com. Use your child’s username and password to log-in. 2. Visit our DeSana Middle School web site and use the quick link at the top right to access itslearning. Again, use your child’s username and password. If your child does not know their information, they can ask one of their teachers or go see Mrs. Gooch, the DeSana Instructional Technology Specialist in her office located in the Media Center. This information cannot be emailed or given out over the phone. Having this information and checking it regularly are vital for helping your child succeed to the fullest at DeSana.


Still need help?

Visiting the DeSana Webpage will be your first step. On the right side under Quick Links is a link to valuable resources. These resources include print and video resources about using and navigating itsLearning for both parents and students. You can also access these resources through the link here. Please feel free to call or email Mrs. Gooch if you have any questions or need assistance. She is happy to either talk you through it or set-up a time to meet to better assist you. Mrs. Gooch’s contact information is 770-667-2591 ext. 491590 and lgooch@forsyth.k12.ga.us.

REVISED 2020-2021 SCHOOL CALENDAR

At the October 20th FCS School Board Meeting, the BOE unanimously approved a revised calendar as recommended. January 4th and 5th, 2021 will now be professional development/transition days. Students will have two additional days for Winter Break. Here is the link to the revised calendar: School Calendar.

additional opportunity to learn (aol) time

Some students simply need the gift of time to master some of the concepts they learn in school. They can master them . . . they just need a little more time. And for some students, coming to school early for a morning help session with their teacher is just not possible. That is why we created AOL Time here at DeSana - - - An Additional Opportunity to Learn time. AOL is a 45 minute block of time that will happen first thing in the morning on Thursdays, and on some Wednesdays (9:05 – 9:50). During this block of time, students have the opportunity to receive re-teaching from their teachers should they need it. If your child is struggling in a class, or if they have a big summative assessment coming up that their teacher is offering a review session for, or if they have received a low score on a summative assessment and need to relearn some concepts before they re-take the summative, please encourage them to take advantage of AOL time! Ask your young Dragon each Wednesday evening/Thursday morning where he/she is going for AOL time on Thursday. Then ask your young Dragon Thursday evening what teacher he/she went to that day for extra help. Truly, taking advantage of our AOL time can make a BIG difference in a child’s success in school. Thanking you in advance for your help in making sure our young Dragons take advantage of this learning opportunity during AOL time!

dragon academy for the 2020-2021 school year - - - an opportunity for additional learning & assessment time for students!

Dragon Academy is an opportunity we began offering students on Friday, August 28th from 4:15 – 6:15 for completing, taking or re-taking formative and/or summative assessments (i.e. unit tests, projects, essays, quizzes. etc.). Dragon Academy will happen at least two times a month --- on Fridays --- 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 about 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 grumbling stomachs! Any necessary school supplies will be provided for students to use to complete their work, as needed, or they may bring their own.


Please mark your calendars now for these Dragon Academy dates (all are on a Friday) for the rest of the school year:

December 4

December 11

December 18

January 22

February 5

February 19

March 5

March 19

April 16

April 30

May 7

May 14

Free Meals for All Children in Forsyth County!

The United States Department of Agriculture, the administrative agency of the School Nutrition Program, has approved a waiver that will allow schools to provide free meals to all students in Forsyth County. This waiver will last through our last school day in May or until federal funds expire. Below are details for on-campus learners and virtual learners.


On-Campus Students:

  • All students currently attending classes on campus can enjoy a free breakfast and lunch at school starting on Wednesday, September 16.
  • Families do not need to do anything to take advantage of this waiver. All students will receive meals at no cost through December 22 or until federal funds expire.
  • A lunch meal consists of an entrée choice, fruit, vegetable, and choice of milk and a breakfast meal consists of an entrée choice, fruit or vegetable, and milk.
  • Snacks, bottled water, drinks, and additional meal components may be purchased at regular a la carte prices.

Virtual Students:
  • Meal service for our virtual learners will begin on Monday, September 28 as a curbside meal service. Families may not enter school.
  • Families may pick-up curbside at any one of our 10 schools listed below each day school is in session.
    • Big Creek Elementary 11:00-12:00 - Carpool Lane in front of the school
    • DeSana Middle 11:30-12:30 - Main entrance in front of the school
    • Lakeside Middle 11:30-12:30 - Car Rider Line in front of the school
    • Matt Elementary 9:30-10:30 - Back Parking Lot
    • North Forsyth Middle 10:00-11:00 - Car Rider lane in front of the school
    • Otwell Middle 9:45-10:45 - Car Rider Line at end of the 6th-grade hallway
    • Piney Grove Middle 11:00-12:00 - Front entrance of the school
    • Sawnee Elementary 10:00-11:00 - Front of the building
    • Settles Bridge Elementary 11:30-12:30 - Car Rider Line in front of the school
    • Vickery Creek Elementary 9:30-10:30 - In front of Cafe
  • Families picking up a meal at school do not need to do anything to take advantage of this waiver.
  • Lunch and breakfast for the following day will be available for pick-up. Since hot meals will also be served, food safety and reheating instructions are available at pick-up.
  • Curbside meal pick-up at the schools listed above is available for all children ages 0-18.


Families that qualify for meal benefits should still complete free and reduced-price meal applications to avoid a lapse in meal benefits once the waiver has ended. Meal applications are not required to receive free meals during the time the waiver is active. If you have questions about free and reduced-price meal applications please contact Sandra McKinzie at smckinzie@forsyth.k12.ga.us.


If you need further information regarding the free meal waiver, please direct your questions to April Cox at acox@forsyth.k12.ga.us.

GRADE LEVEL NEWSLETTERS

We know that when it comes to sharing information with parents about what is happening in their classes at DeSana, many middle schoolers are not the best conduit of information about what is happening in all of their different courses. Itslearning is a BIG help in reminding students about assignments and what they are studying in class, as well as providing a wealth of information for parents. But we want to make doubly sure that our parents are definitely in the know about their young Dragon’s academic endeavors, so that is why we publish our digital, monthly, Grade Level eNewsletters at the beginning of each month. These eNewsletters are nothing fancy --- just the facts --- and are designed to give you a brief synopsis of what is happening in the four main content areas . . . Math, ELA, Science and Social Studies (five for 8th graders, which includes Spanish) . . . on a monthly basis. Each Grade level eNewsletter (eNews, for short) may contain information about standards/topics/concepts being studied throughout the month, formative and/or summative assessments coming up, project assignments, and/or reminders about other upcoming activities or events. Grade level eNewsletters will be sent out to parents at the start of each month. So stay tuned to your email in-box on the Friday of the first of each new month to get your electronic copy of our eNews.

Alliance Academy of Innovation

The Alliance Academy of Innovation will open their Out Of District application December 1st through January 4th. Any 8th graders interested in Alliance Academy should fill out an application quickly. If students have any questions about Alliance Academy or the application process, please see Carolyn Moore in the counseling office.


AAI Virtual Info Night Flyer:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NP1vrd7JzUWBc5Kp25gHGFlwj9UKFr6l/view?usp=sharing


AAI Application and Timeline:

https://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/Page/49744

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YES! VIRTUAL STUDENTS MAY CHECK OUT BOOKS FROM OUR MEDIA CENTER!

Our DeSana Media Center has recently added some amazing new books to the collection, and ALL students have access. If your virtual student would like to check out a book, they simply go to the Destiny catalog through Classlink, find a book they’d like, and click “HOLD.” This month’s highlighted titles are shown on the top row (Hispanic Heritage Month titles are featured now), and there are also “collections” of books for various interests. Once a virtual student places a book on hold, the book will be labeled with the student’s name and put in the pickup area of the front office by the end of the day. Students may keep the books for 2 weeks before returning them.


Unfortunately, if your student still has books checked out from last year, he/she will not be able to check out physical books until they are returned. There are, however, many eBooks in the catalog that students can check out and read on any device. If your student would like to check out a book AND return some from last year, they certainly may. Happy reading!

SEAD at DeSana

Our SEAD theme in December is Strengthen Your Community, which is all about social awareness. When looking at social awareness, we focus on understanding the perspectives of others, having compassion for others, and empathizing with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and contexts. In our lesson we might perform activities that have us taking another’s perspective, recognizing strengths in others, demonstrating empathy and compassion, showing concern for the feelings of others, understanding and expressing gratitude, and identifying ways in which we can benefit our community.


Our SEAD lesson this month was on December 2nd. Part of being able to see another’s perspective and empathize is being grateful for what you already have. Students participated in Alphabet Gratitude where they listed the letters of the alphabet (yes, all 26!) and had to identify something for which they were grateful that begins with that letter. Some Dragon Times had a competition to see who could list something for each letter, while others shared the craziest thing they were grateful for on their list. Even others tried to see how many items in common were on the lists.


This month we are also challenging students to perform acts of kindness. We have a SEAD-themed bulletin board “We can light up the world with kindness!” There are 100 examples of acts of kindness on the board (75 toward others and 25 toward oneself) along with Bingo cards. Students are encouraged to grab a Bingo card and write down an act of kindness in each square on the board that they have performed. Once completed, they are able to take the card to the office for a sweet treat! Our SEAD reminder this month is: “The world is full of kind people. If you can’t find one, be one!”

Spelling Bee

The ELA Department is excited to be hosting our DeSana Spelling Bee on Monday, December 7th at 9:00 AM in the cafeteria. We have 38 excited students, ready to go! All students had an opportunity to compete at the class level, providing a winner from each section (both virtual and face-to-face). Sixth and seventh grades have 14 class winners each and eighth grade will be represented by 10 students. All 38 students will compete to be our School Champion. This individual will go on to represent DeSana Middle School at the county level. Due to the current climate, students participating are unable to invite guests. We are so sorry but due to the pandemic and the school system guidelines for visitors in schools, parents will not be able to attend this Spelling Bee like they have in years past.

ATHLETICS

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Hello to all you Dragon fans! We are in the middle of our Winter athletic season and our teams are off and running! All of our student athletes have been working very hard for the last couple of months and it has really shown in their performances. We still have several opportunities for you to come out and support our basketball players and cheerleaders. Below are the remaining games for the basketball season and competitions for the cheer season.


This year, Forsyth County Middle Schools have decided to make all ticket purchasing digital. We are using a website/app called “GoFan” to sell tickets to all home and away games. If you go to https://gofan.co/app/school/GA73074 , you can purchase tickets to any of our games (home or away) and it will email you a ticket. If you would like to download the app on your phone, you can search for “GoFan”, download the app called “GoFan-High School Tickets”. Once you download the app, you can search for DeSana and all of our games will show up. Unfortunately, no tickets will be sold at the ticket gate this year, so please make sure you have purchased a ticket before going to the game or be prepared to purchase one online at the school.


There is also a change in pricing as well and now all tickets (adults and students) are $5. GoFan does charge a $1 convenience fee for each ticket. Students may stay after school for the home games as long as they have a parent permission slip signed (they can pick these forms up in the front office) for each game. Students who stay after school may have the option of purchasing a ticket using cash if they were not able to purchase a ticket electronically.


This year, Forsyth County has also put into place a restriction on the amount of people we are allowed in the gym for these games. Our capacity will be limited to 60% and we will be blocking off every other row in the bleachers. All fans must wear a mask when they enter the building for any competition and we are highly encouraging all fans to social distance. Families are encouraged to sit together, but unnecessary movement from your seat is discouraged. All fans must do temperature checks prior to leaving home and anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher should not come to the games. Sanitizer will be available throughout the gym.


If you have any questions, please contact Athletic Director Patrick Coffield (pcoffield@forsyth.k12.ga.us )


We hope to see you at our games, supporting our Basketball players and Cheerleaders!


Competition Cheer Schedule

December 5th Cherokee Bluff High School - The team will take the floor at 9:40 AM

December 19th North Gwinnett High School - Time TBA


Basketball Schedule (7th Grade Plays at 5:00 PM and 8th Grade Plays at 6:15 PM)

December 10th vs Otwell - Girls @ Otwell Gym/Boys @ DeSana Gym

December 15th vs Vickery Creek - Girls @ Vickery Creek Gym/Boys @ DeSana Gym

December 17th vs Piney Grove - Girls @ DeSana Gym/Boys @ Piney Grove Gym

January 7th vs Little Mill - Girls @ Little Mill Gym/Boys @ DeSana Gym

January 13th vs South Forsyth - Girls @ DeSana Gym/Boys @ South Forsyth Gym

Spiritwear

We are gearing up for the cold weather and are selling some spirit wear just in time for the holidays. Please click here to visit our online spirit store. Act fast as the shop closes December 9th so that all purchases will be delivered to the school in time for us to hand them out before Winter Break starts. We look forward to seeing everyone in their favorite DeSana gear!

ACTIVITIES

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Student & Staff Bingo Game

We will have an extended Dragon Time on Wednesday, December 16th for our young Dragons to have an opportunity for a little fun here at DeSana! Every student will receive a *FREE* Bingo card during Dragon Time. Students may purchase additional cards in the Commons that morning.


$2 = 1 additional card

$3 = 2 additional cards


Each card has three boards and 9 rounds of play giving students 27 opportunities to win. There will be *PRIZES*!!


Thus, make sure you are here ready for some Bingo fun on December 16th as we host our first school wide healthy competition.

Math Club

The Math Club will be meeting virtually and face-to-face this year. All students who are interested in participating must attend an in-person tryout after school on December 10th from 4:30 - 5:30 PM. The tryouts will take place in the cafeteria to allow for proper social distancing. If your student is interested in trying out for Math Club, please fill out and submit the google form https://forms.gle/VeGHMJWy7jqi3mKaA. Please contact Mrs. Carter (LCarter@forsyth.k12.ga.us) or Mr. Praskovich (DPraskovich@forsyth.k12.ga.us) if you have any questions or concerns.

Sucker Sale

Do you like lollipops? Do you enjoy having candy at school? Do you love to support your school? If so, we will be selling lollipops for $1 on December 11th before school in the Commons. These lollipops are very delicious and we have several flavors available to choose from, so bring in your money and purchase one for yourself, a friend or even your favorite teacher!

JUST ONE AFRICA SALES

Does anyone have any holiday shopping to complete? If so, please plan to shop at the Just One Africa pop-up store coming to DeSana on Wednesday, December 9th and Thursday, December 10th! The store will be open before school from 8:00-9:00 in the Hex and club members will be helping to sell a wide variety of items including (but not limited to) beaded jewelry, ornaments, key chains, greeting cards, bags, stuffed animals, and t-shirts. Most items range from $1 to $30. In addition, this year’s store is available online at shop.justoneafrica.org; use code DMSCARES at checkout for free shipping when you spend over $50. This is a wonderful opportunity to make a purchase that will not only bring a smile to the face of the recipient, but also help to bring sustainable clean water – in the form of water filters – to needy communities in Kenya.

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SO THANKFUL FOR ALL OF DESANA’S AWESOME BUSINESS PARTNERS!

The students and staff at DeSana are so VERY fortunate to have some fabulous community Business Partners, who support us in so many different ways! They make it possible to honor and recognize our students through a myriad of programs and initiatives, and to support, uplift, and say “thank you” to our teachers and staff! We are truly grateful to them! Here is how our Business Partners have supported us throughout this first semester:


  • All American Specialties --- Sponsor of our PRIDE Award Celebration, providing awesome-looking plaques for each honored student.
  • Browns Bridge Church --- Donated snacks for students attending our Friday afternoon Dragon Academies.
  • Chick-Fil-A @ The Collection --- Donated chicken biscuits to our staff during Pre-Planning week.
  • City Church --- Sponsor of our monthly Coffee Cart for all staff. Our staff look forward to this surprise day each month.
  • Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry --- Sponsor of our DeSana Spelling Bee, providing trophies and a monetary prize for the winner and runner-up. Also donated a gift card to DeSana’s Teacher of the Year, Lacey Gooch.
  • Maynard Realty (Tim Rose – Realtor) --- Co-sponsor of our student Kindness Matters! celebrations that happens every-other-month, where 6th/7th/8th grade students nominated by their teacher for carrying out acts of kindness are recognized and honored with a pizza luncheon, a certificate and a DeSana Kindness Matters pin. They also donate several $10 gift cards for faculty and staff at our monthly faculty meetings for our “drawing for door prizes” give-away.
  • Omega Learning --- Donated a gift to our DeSana Teacher of the year, Lacey Gooch.
  • RBM of Alpharetta --- Sponsor of our PRIDE Award Celebration, providing the wonderful certificates and Pride pins each honored student receives. Co-sponsor of our student Kindness Matters! celebrations that happens every-other-month, where 6th/7th/8th grade students nominated by their teacher for carrying out acts of kindness are recognized and honored with a pizza luncheon, a certificate and a DeSana Kindness Matters pin. Sponsor of our faculty and staff Treat Trolley that rolls through the hallways for a mid-afternoon snack for our DeSana staff every other month. Sponsor of a continental breakfast for staff t at our monthly faculty meetings. Providing a holiday luncheon for our faculty and staff.


As you can see from the list above, our DeSana Business Partners have been quite generous as they have touched and supported many facets of our overall program at DeSana! And they will continue to support our students and staff throughout the second semester in many of the same endeavors, as well as some new ones. We will keep you posted! I hope that if you do business with any of our partners, you will take the time to tell them how much you appreciate their support for DeSana in the awesome manner that they do! For we could not have these programs /initiatives without their wonderful generosity.

YEARBOOKS ON SALE!

The 2020-2021 DeSana Yearbook is on sale! Please visit: balfour.com to order or see Mrs. West on the 7th grade hall with cash or check. Price is $45. Don't miss out on this memory book of a year to remember!

FAMILY CONNECT NIGHTS

The Denmark Community of Schools is made up of Denmark High School, Piney Grove Middle School, DeSana Middle School, Shiloh Point Elementary School, Brandywine Elementary School, Midway Elementary School, and Big Creek Elementary School. This group works together to meet the needs of the students and families in our community. As part of the Denmark Community of Schools, DeSana supports the Family Connect Nights. These monthly homework-free evenings provide families time to reconnect with one another without technology, promoting a fun family evening! Please support this initiative by unplugging from technology and designating time to spend together by the pool, playing outside, or even with a boardgame. The Family Connect Nights are for everyone in the Denmark Community of Schools, including our virtual kiddos and families too! As a member of the Denmark Community of Schools, let’s encourage one another to take advantage of these nights to connect and spend time together as a family.


Here are the dates for the Denmark Community of Schools’ Family Connect Nights for 2020-2021:

December 9th

January 27th

February 24th

March 17th

April 21st

May 12th

Altruistic Endeavors

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HOLIDAY HOUSE

DeSana is partnering with Forsyth’s Holiday House to support local families in need during the holiday season. The Holiday House, sponsored by The Place of Forsyth, provides families in need with toys, wrapping paper, and food, so they can have a happy, stress-free holiday season.


This year our DeSana teachers will collect money (cash or checks made out to DeSana Middle School) from 6th, 7th and 8th grade students during Dragon Time to purchase toys to donate to the Holiday House. We will collect money from November 30th thru December 7th. All money collected will be used to purchase toys online for the Holiday House. 6th grade students who donate money will have the chance (via a raffle) to shop online for the toys.


We hope you will consider donating money to help families throughout our community have a wonderful holiday season!

Egg Carton Collection

We are collecting empty, one-dozen egg cartons for The Place of Forsyth. They need 400 cartons a week to distribute out large pallets of eggs to families in our community. Any carton (plastic or cardboard) is fine. Students may drop off empty cartons in the media center any time through December 22nd. Mrs. Gooch will give students a piece of candy for each egg carton they bring in. Please help us in this easy way of assisting those in need in our community.

Other Important Information

December 4, 2020 COVID-19 Update

Based on recently released guidance from the CDC and the Department of Public Health (DPH), Forsyth County Schools (FCS) is modifying the quarantine period for asymptomatic students that have had direct exposure effective Monday, December 7, 2020. There is NO change to the quarantine period for students that test positive.


The three quarantine options for students that have had direct exposure include:


1. Quarantine at home for 7 consecutive days. If asymptomatic on or after the 5th day, the student may take a PCR test (not the rapid test). If the PCR test is negative, parents/guardians must provide the test result to the school. After approval is received from the school, the student may return to school and activities on the 8th day.


OR


2. Quarantine at home for 10 consecutive days. If asymptomatic, the student may return to school and activities on the 11th day.


OR


3. Quarantine at home for 14 consecutive days. If asymptomatic, the student may return to school and activities on the 15th day.


If you select option 1, we will be notified when you provide the negative PCR test result. If you select option 2 or 3, please notify your school.


If your child is currently quarantined due to a direct exposure and are asymptomatic, please follow the options and notification process listed above.

DESANA LOCAL SCHOOL COUNCIL

DeSana’s 2020-2021 Local School Council (LSC) will hold its December meeting on Friday, December 11th at 7:30 AM in the Media Center.

See Something, Say Something (P3 Campus)

The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office and Forsyth County Schools work together to provide P3 Campus Reporting, which provides an avenue for all members of the community to submit anonymous tips about non-urgent illegal activities such as unsolved cases, vandalism, theft, the sale and distribution of drugs, possession of weapons or information about crimes that are being planned on their schools' campus.


Students are encouraged to report information about dangerous or harmful situations to the principal, an assistant principal, a teacher, or another trusted adult. Anonymous TIPS can also be reported to the Forsyth County Schools P3 Campus Anonymous Reporting in one of three ways.

1. Download the App from Apple Store or Google Play

2. ANONYMOUS Web tip at https://www.p3campus.com

3. Call the ANONYMOUS tip line at 770-888-3466 ext. 1 or 3.


Anonymous reports can also be made by calling the State of Georgia School Safety Hotline Number, 1-877-SAY-STOP (1-877-729-7867).


Callers will not be asked to reveal their identity.

PARENT FACT SHEET For COVID-19

We encourage all parents to click on the link below and take a few minutes to read this COVID Fact Sheet for Families. It has some important and good information in it. Please share with a friend!


https://forsythk12org-my.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/personal/ldgomez_forsythk12_org/EWU1JRmAOv1MicQd7Q8DsRYB3qDYkWvqaC0ZwtYU5hP4aQ?e=YVXxyc

PARENT 411 - HELPFUL LINKS FOR YOU

MANY THANKS TO OUR FANTASTIC BUSINESS PARTNERS!

*ALL AMERICAN SPECIALTIES

*BROWNS BRIDGE CHURCH

*CHICK-FIL-A @ THE COLLECTION

*CITY CHURCH

*GEORGIA ORTHODONTICS AND CHILDREN'S DENTISTRY

*MAYNARD REALTY (TIM ROSE - REALTOR)

*NORTH GEORGIA PROMOTIONS

*OMEGA LEARNING

*RBM OF ALPHARETTA

Forsyth County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or gender in employment decisions or educational programs and activities.