Dragon Digest

A Communication Tool for The Dragon Family and Community

August 23, 2019

A message from Mrs. Reeves, Principal at Deretchin

https://youtu.be/ESw0Bo5NgmI
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Dear Parents,


On behalf of the Deretchin Family, I want to congratulate you and your children! Our school was recently recognized as a 2018 - 2019 Educational Results Partnership (ERP) Honor Roll School for our high achievement in student success. The ERP Honor Roll program, sponsored by the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE), is part of a national effort to identify higher-performing schools and districts that are improving student outcomes. Deretchin is one of 1,834 public schools in Texas to be recognized.


The 2018 - 2019 ERP Honor Roll utilizes public school student achievement data to identify successful schools and districts. Our school stands above others in the state because of our demonstrated ability to get students to grade-level achievement and beyond.

Schools that receive the ERP Honor Roll distinction have demonstrated consistent high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time and a reduction in achievement gaps among student populations.


Here a few important facts about the ERP Honor Roll:

· It’s the only award given in collaboration with business leaders.

· It includes graduation and dropout rate data.

· It establishes a higher bar of performance than any other award.

· It is conducted by Educational Results Partnership, a nonprofit organization that maintains the nation’s largest database on student achievement.


We did not apply for this award. Our results led them to us! Because of our accomplishment, we will be featured on the ERP Honor Roll website at www.edresults.org and a banner has been designed for us to hang proudly at our school.


We are thankful for the hard work of our students and teachers here at Deretchin. This recognition is a testament to the sustained focus on academic results and commitment to student success that our school and parent community have shown over the years.


Again, congratulations and let’s keep up the great work!


Sincerely,


Alicia Reeves

Principal

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29 -- Lockdown drill (Closed Campus)
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2 -- No School - Labor Day

4 - PTO Presidents and Principals meeting in Conroe

5 - Ambassador Training Gr 2-3 8:15-10:00, Gr 4-6 1:00-2:50

10 - Check Writing Campaign Starts

17 - Parent Information Night Gr K-3

18 - Read For a Better Life

19 - Parent Information Night Gr 4-6

20 - Last Day of Check Writing Campaign

20 - Football Readers on campus from TWHS to read to Kinder - second grade classrooms

24 - PTO executive board meeting 9:30

26 - Fall Pictures

26 - PTO meeting 2:00

27 - Spotlight Ceremony at 2:00

LOCK DOWN DRILL - NEW DATE -- AUGUST 29th -- CLOSED CAMPUS

Parents/Guardians,

On Thursday, August 29th, we are going to have two drills that occur in the morning. These are drills we conduct each semester and therefore, our staff is well versed in how the procedures work, and how to best address this with our students to ensure they understand the plan as well.

The first drill will be a lockout drill. This is a drill where we bring any potential students or staff that are outside for physical education or recess into the building and secure the outside doors. Since all of our outside and classroom doors are locked every day, this is not a disruptive endeavor. Schools, including ours, use a lockout drill when there is potentially someone outside in the community you would want to keep out. Class continues inside the building during this time and students are free to move around the building as necessary.

Our second drill will be a lockdown drill. This scenario is where staff members prepare for keeping anyone from entering interior doors of the school. Procedures for this were reviewed with teachers prior to the start of the school year. As we get closer to the drill taking place, teachers will be sharing with the students that we practice lockout and lockdown just like we do fire drills to ensure that "all students are able to get quiet and be ready for directions in case of an emergency.". We encourage you to discuss this with your child prior to August 29th and reassure them that the Deretchin staff will be guiding them through this drill. As always, when we hold this drill, it will be done in a kid-friendly kind of way.

If you have any questions, please contact the front office. Due to this drill, we will be closed to all visitors on August 29th. If you need to pick your child up early, please be aware that if the drill is in process, we will ask you to wait outside until the drill is complete. Thank you for your patience as we ensure the safety of the Dragon Family.

Newsletters Grades K-4/Canvas Pages Gr. 5-6

Grades K-4 will be sharing a weekly newsletter with you on Tuesday afternoons. This will be sent via email and also posted on our Deretchin Website. Grade 5 and 6 will continue to use the Canvas courses to share their weekly schedule, content, and upcoming events. There is a link to the teachers' canvas pages on the Deretchin Website as well. We encourage you to visit this site weekly as it will keep you informed of the curriculum and important information that is specific to your child's grade level. Please contact your child's teacher if you have any questions.

Active Start

The Foundations/Safety Team is a team made up of one grade level teacher, our school nurse, school administrators, campus coaches, and counselor that meets monthly or as needed to discuss safety/security procedures, school-wide rules and policies, and behavior incentives and consequences. Today, the foundations team covered the following in their meeting:

  • Celebrations
  • Soft start/active start
  • Dismissal updates.


The team celebrated the great start to the school year. Students are arriving on time and cafeteria procedures are in place and running smoothly. Students are able to navigate the hallways in a safe and orderly fashion, which minimizes time out of the classrooms and away from instruction.


We will begin active start on Monday, August 25th. Students arriving between 7:30 - 7:45, will go outside to play on the playgrounds. Students in grades K-2 will report to the Dragon playground. Students in grades 3-4 will report to the Web playground. Students in Grades 5 and 6 will report to the Gaga Ball/Map playground. We will have grade level teachers and staff in the hallway to help direct the children on where they need to go.


Dismissal is going well and will move to 3:10 next week as reported to you at the beginning of the year. Our students are transitioning properly inside the building and our buses are arriving as expected. Thank you for your patience as we worked through training our students, new families, and community on how our dismissal systems work.


We appreciate the hard work that this team does each time we meet and want recognize the following staff members -- Johonna Stanley (K), Leslie Ross (1), Jill Winters (2), Davelyn Mills (3), Robyn White (4), Mariana Woodul (5), Megan Roznovsky (6), Jodie Chacon (Instructional Coach), Jenn Gonzales (Instructional Coach), Candace Colschen (Fine Arts/PE), Robby Bruner (nurse), Libby Smith (AP Gr. 4-6), Kris Smith (AP Gr K-3), and Alicia Reeves (Principal). Thank you for all you do to make Deretchin run smoothly.

Parent Access Center

Parents, We highly recommend you register for CISD's Parent Access Center. It is a free program available to all CISD parent/guardians that allows viewing of helpful information regarding student attendance, report cards, progress reports, daily grades, state test results, Students Achieving Excellence (SAE), discipline and available lunch money. Parents may also sign up to receive an email alert when an assignment score is inputted or updated.

How to register:


  1. Go to CISD homepage https://www.conroeisd.net/
  2. Click on Parent/Student Tab
  3. Click on Parent Access Center
  4. Click on 'register' if you do not have an account. If you previously registered for an account, you do not need to register again. All you need to do is click on the login button.


Severe Weather Dismissal

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Thank you for your patience as we worked through our first severe weather dismissal today! This decision is difficult, because our Texas weather changes very quickly.

Severe Weather Dismissals are used when there is a severe weather threat in the area as determined by the weather service or if there is lighting and thunder in the area. The call is made between 2:45 and 2:50 each day after reviewing the local weather. Once the call is made, we submit a call out to the School Messenger system. Messages are sent via email and text for timely matters that may impact our campus or the immediate surrounding area. If you did not receive the text message about the weather and would like to receive messages of that type, please text Y to 67587. Conroe ISD is transitioning to a new mass communications platform that requires recipients to opt-in to receive text messaging.


We highly encourage Bikers and Walkers to use either the car line or bus service if it is available to your residence. If you choose to pick your child up from the school as a walker, you must present your driver's license for us to release your child. Our number one priority is to ensure that students are released to the correct family. The process of picking your child up through the front office will take your patience, and understanding as we move as quickly as possible to get your child to you.

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At Deretchin, our teachers participate in weekly collaborative meetings each Thursday. During this time, teachers work together to review data about students, research, reflect on their teaching practices, share ideas with other teachers, learn from district level coaches or campus administrators and other teacher leaders, and plan for the upcoming weeks. Our campus has prearranged several of these days throughout the school year, in addition to the weekly Thursday meetings, and we plan to share this information with you so you can see all of the extra training the Deretchin teachers participate in to maintain the high levels of rigor in the classroom.



September 10 - District Language Arts coach on campus to collaborate with Language Arts teachers

September 12 - Foundations Team meets to discuss Safety and Procedures

September 13 - District English as a Second Language Coaches come to Deretchin

September 16 & 17 - Teachers participate in Learning Walks during their planning time (Collaboration meetings)

September 18 - New Teachers meet with campus administration and coaches

September 19 - 6th grade teachers attend Social Studies World Cultures and Technology collaboration meeting

September 25 - Math teachers meet with campus and district Math coaches

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Professional Learning Community (PLC)

Deretchin Elementary functions as a Professional Learning Community. It is not uncommon to hear that teachers are going on learning walks during their conference time. Learning walks are guided observations for groups of teachers to visit another classroom to learn from a teacher who has mastered a skill that impacts student success. All teachers are expected to go on at least two learning walks throughout the school year, but many choose to do several more. Additionally, our teachers are expected to meet every Thursday during their planning time to disaggregate data, discuss student progress, and participate in training sessions.


As a professional learning community, it is not uncommon to hear a student state that they were in a different teacher's classroom today than they were yesterday. This is a practice called flexible grouping. Through the data disaggregation, our teachers determine teacher strengths and student needs. Students are then broken into smaller groups during our intervention block (D3) to learn from the teacher that had the highest success rate on the skill the child is struggling with. These groups are fluid and change frequently. With this in mind, we want you to know that our students consider all of the teachers in the grade level to be their teacher during the school year. If you have specific questions on this process, please contact your child's homeroom teacher.

PTO and Parent Involvement

We are SO grateful for the amount of parent support we have each year on campus. We absolutely could not do the work that we do without your help. There are many ways that you can get involved at the school. One way is to join our PTO. We have an incredible PTO president, Shari Janke. Shari has served on the executive board and is now moving into the President position. Shari is excited to help connect you with the school, the teachers, and the community. Attending our PTO meetings will give you great insight on what our campus is focusing on, how you can help us, and strategies for helping your child with their school work. The PTO has also been a HUGE asset to our campus by helping raise money for supplies that are used in the classroom and around the school. This past year, the PTO donated just over $30,000 to our school. Through these funds, our campus was able to purchase the items that are pictured below. Each of these items help enhance the learning environment for our students. Our PTO surveyed the school community a couple years ago and found that our parents did not enjoy selling items for fundraisers. At that time, we moved to a check writing campaign, which has taken the pressure off of families asking their friends and neighbors to buy items they don't use. We will be sending you more information regarding the check writing campaign in the near future, and we want to thank you in advance for supporting not only your child's education, but all of the Dragon Family through this process.


The teachers and staff at Deretchin are very fortunate to have such a wonderful and active PTO. They help our school by:

  • Volunteering at our many different school activities
  • Organizing fund raisers that support the purchase of many instructional materials
  • Organizing family events such as the Deretchin Rodeo
  • Supporting teachers at events
  • Creating our annual yearbook
  • Supporting teachers and students in the classroom
  • Assisting with textbook distribution and collection
  • Keeping our grounds beautiful
  • Updating our school marquee weekly
  • Assisting with the organization of our book fairs
  • Selling t-shirts and maintaining logo inventory
  • Distributing school supplies

If you would like to learn more about the PTO, please feel free to contact Shari Janke at president@deretchinpto.org. Look for more information to come home in your child’s Tuesday folder.

We are also very excited to continue the official Deretchin Elementary PTO website. The website will keep you informed of important PTO information throughout the school year. Please visit the site at www.deretchinpto.org to learn more about our wonderful PTO.

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Annonymous Alerts

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Our campus will be utilizing the Anonymous Alerts app designed to allow students, or anyone, inform our campus administration of any safety concern during the 2019-2020 school year. This app will allow any completely anonymous upstander and an administrator to engage in completely anonymous two-way confidential ongoing communication regarding an issue. The app can be downloaded either at the Google Play store for Android or Apple store for iOS.

Note the important following information to use when utilizing the app:

· Login/Password– conroeisd

For a complete overview of Anonymous Alerts and how it works, please view the following video on YouTube-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksC8TIJCwjc&feature=youtu.be

Please be aware 1-888-KIDCHAT will still be available. Anonymous Alerts is preferable as the app allows two-way anonymous exchange of tip information.

Lastly, we will reiterate to students constantly the importance and availability to come directly to an administrator with any concerns. Your assistance in reiterating this is much appreciated.

Deretchin Elementary School Shirts

We will be selling school shirts at Meet the Teacher and Kindergarten Orientation. There are several different designs to choose from. We encourage all students to purchase either the Blue Mountain shirt for the girls or the Grey Mountain shirt for the boys. These are the official Friday shirts for the 2019-2020 school year! The other shirt options can be worn on other days during the week. We LOVE showing off our school spirit! Don't miss out!

TWHS Feeder Zone Shirts

This year, TWHS is selling a feeder zone shirt. Please visit the link if you would like to purchase one for your child. These are great shirts to wear to The Woodlands High School Football games.

https://conroeisd.schoolcashonline.com/Fee/Details/11828/195/False/True

We are asking that ALL parents attend our Parent Information Night this school year! As our curriculum is changing and our systems reflect ways that we can communicate with you throughout the school year, we want you to know that this night will be DIFFERENT than it has been in the past. Teachers will be sharing important information on how you can best support your child throughout Deretchin Elementary. Please MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW!! You won't want to miss your child's night!

Parent Information Night Dates

Kindergarten to Third Grade - September 17, 2019 5:30-7:00


Fourth Grade to Sixth - September 19, 2019 5:30-7:00

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Deretchin Parent Book Study

“The 7 Healthy Habits of Highly Effective Families” Parent Book Study

This year, our parent book study is from the NY Times bestseller, Stephen R. Covey, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families”. This book is for all of us who are commited to creating a strong family culture in the world we face today. The book presents the same 7 principles he introduced in his previous book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and applies them to families today. These principles are applicable for families in any stage of life! We hope you will join us!

We will meet on the following dates:

Session 1: October 1 - 9:30am

Session 2: November 6- 9:30am

Session 3: January 16 - 9:30am

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Pickup and Dropoff at School and Registration for Bus Services

Registration for Bus Services


Conroe ISD provides bus service for students who live more than one mile from the school. If you would like more information on the bus system, please visit http://www.conroeisd.net/transportation/#register for bus registration and routes. Remember, that it is difficult to predict pick-up and drop-off times especially at the beginning of the school year. Until each driver has an opportunity to gauge how many students on their route will ride the bus, times may vary. We appreciate your support and patience.



Arrival Procedures: (See Map)


Children may enter the front of the building at 7:30 a.m. Supervision is not available before this time. If you need to be at work prior to this time, we highly encourage you to check with one of our local Day Care Facilities or partner with a neighborhood friend so that your child is not left unattended.

For our Bike Rack A riders, the bike racks are located in the front of the school. Students may enter the building through the main front doors. Our Bike Rack B riders (students that live to the south of the school), will use the racks located beside the bus ramp, which allows bike riders to enter through the biker B doors. Although our official school day begins at 8:00 a.m. We ask that children be in their classrooms NO LATER THAN 7:55 a.m. to hear the announcements and have a great start to their school day. Children arriving after 8:00 a.m. will be considered tardy and a parent must park their car and walk their child into the school.

Car riders will enter the front of the building upon arrival to school in the morning. Bus riders will enter through the commons area. For the safety of our students, car traffic is not allowed in the bus area. If your child is a car rider, please enter the school from Terramont. Due to the high volume of students being dropped off in the morning, we close down our front parking lot until all of the cars have cleared the car line. As the cars are cleared, we will open the front parking lot again for parents who have parked to exit the school premises. We appreciate your understanding in knowing that this system is the best way to keep all of our children safe while parents are dropping their children off to school.


Dismissal


Dismissal will begin at 3:00 p.m. on the first day of school. After the first week students will begin dismissal at 3:10 p.m. For the safety of the children, all transportation changes need to be sent to your child’s teacher in writing. Teachers will not allow your child to go home a different route without a signed note from their parent. Please do not email your child’s teacher during the day to change your child’s transportation. Teachers will not check email during instruction and may not get the message.

Transportation changes must be made before 2:40 p.m.

Bikers and walkers will be dismissed prior to car riders and bus riders to make sure they are on the bike paths prior to the traffic flow. Older children will be dismissed ahead of the younger children. Our older children tend to walk a little faster than the younger children. This gives them time to exit the building safely, and also allows the older siblings the opportunity to stand and wait for their younger brother or sister. We strongly recommend students wear helmets while riding a bicycle, scooter, rip stick, etc. Biker/Walker A students will exit through the 2nd grade hallway

(next to the bike racks). Biker/Walker B students will exit the back of the building by the bus ramp and a teacher will escort students to Merit Oaks. Parents meeting their children who are walkers can greet their child at the end of the sidewalk at Merit Oaks after bikers have been dismissed.

Kindergarten students will not be allowed to walk home without an adult signing them out with the teacher on duty.

Car Riders will meet in the Kindergarten and 1st grade hallways alphabetically based on their last name and exit the building through the side door after the bikers and walkers have cleared the hallways. We will have plenty of adults in the hallways helping your child find their way the first few weeks of school. For the safety of all of our children, please make sure you are not parked in the “No Parking” zones on Merit Oaks Drive. Please do not park in the neighborhoods during arrival and dismissal as we want to respect those neighbors who live so close to the school. Signs provided by the school must be displayed in the car’s front window. Please use a thick black marker to write your child’s first and last name on the sign so it can be read easily from a distance. The sign also ensures that we are placing each child in the car of the person authorized to pick him/her up from school, and will help to speed up the car rider line.

Please refrain from using your cell phone while in the car rider line. Laws regarding cell phone use in school zones took effect on September 1, 2009.

Day care riders will be dismissed from their classroom and picked up in the bus loop. If your child is absent or not riding day care transportation, please notify the day care of the change. Day care drivers must account for all children before leaving the school.

By following these procedures arrival and dismissal will flow quickly. Please remember to be patient the first 2 weeks of school with the length of time dismissal takes. It will get better as students and parents learn the routines.