Dragon Digest

Volume 2, Issue 6 / October 20, 2017


Dear DeSana Parents,

On Friday morning, November 10th DeSana students and staff will host our first Veterans Day Celebration as we pay tribute to veterans and service men and women still serving in our armed forces today. We want to invite any and all veterans of past wars, and men and women still serving our country today, who are a part of our DeSana community to a special breakfast in their honor, to be followed by a school wide assembly at which we will pay tribute to their great sacrifice and love of country. It might be a father or a mother of one of our students . . . a brother or sister . . . a grandfather . . . a cousin . . . an uncle or an aunt . . . a neighbor down the street . . . or a member of our DeSana community that you know. Whoever they are, we would love to have them and their family members join us for the morning - - - a breakfast in their honor from 9:00 – 9:40 and then our school wide Veterans Day Celebration from 10:00 – 11:00.

If you are a veteran or a service man or woman still serving our country today OR if you have a family relative who is a veteran or a service man or woman still serving in our armed forces OR if you know a veteran or a present day service man or woman who lives in our community, we would love for you to send us their name and either their mailing address or email address so that we may send them an invitation to our Veterans Day Celebration on Friday, November 10th. Please send this information to Holly Pearson, one of our wonderful DeSana secretaries, at hpearson@forsyth.k12.ga.us, and she will send them an invitation to join us, with the times and other important information.

We also want to create a Gallery of Honor for the day of our Veterans Day Celebration, filled with photos of our veterans and service men and women still serving in our armed forces. We could use your help with this as well! If you could bring to the school or send by your young Dragon a photo of the veteran(s) in your family and/or a photo of any service men or women in your family or neighborhood still serving today, we promise to take good care of the photo and will display it on November 10th for all or our students, staff and visitors to see throughout this day. Photos should be sent to Holly Pearson, DeSana school secretary, no later than Friday, November 3rd by 4:30.

We are quite excited as we make plans for our first Veterans Day Celebration! A committee of volunteer staff members are working expediently to bring this day of tribute to life for the veterans and service men and women in our community, and for our young Dragons. We hope that this is just the beginning of many more Veterans Day Celebrations to come!

Maya Angelou once said: “How important it is to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” In our world today, it oftentimes seems that we do not take the time to pause and reflect upon the invaluable contributions of our country’s service men and women, and pay tribute to them for their patriotism . . . love of country . . . and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the greater good. For they have made sacrifices that most of us . . . that many of our young Dragons . . . cannot even begin to imagine. Those who have served our nation in uniform are the best people our society has to offer. We owe them our full support, but most of all . . . . . we owe them our heartfelt thanks.

Here’s hoping you can help us make November 10th a wonderful day of celebration and paying tribute to the many veterans and service men and women still serving in our armed forces today, who are a part of our DeSana community, by sending us their names! And please . . . whether or not you have a veteran or service man or woman in your family, come join us for the morning and help us honor our heroes and she-roes!

With warmest regards,

Terri A. North



Students brought home their Progress Report on Tuesday, October 17th. This report gives you and your middle schooler some excellent information about how he/she is doing in all of his/her classes at this half-way mark for the first semester. Please remember: This report shows how your child is progressing in his/her Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, Literacy, and 8th grade Spanish class thus far. It is not a final grade. The final grade for the first semester comes at the 18-week juncture. This Nine Week Progress Report also gives you/your young Dragon his/her final grade for the first nine weeks’ Connections classes.

The format for this Nine Week Progress Report looks quite different from the Progress Reports you received at 4 ½ weeks (and different from what you will receive at 13 ½ weeks). The nine week juncture of this semester of the school year arrived on last Wednesday, October 11th. This Progress Report shows your child’s formative average, summative average and his/her present course average thus far for each academic course. It also shows your young Dragon’s absences for each course.

Another feature for DeSana students and parents on this Nine Week Progress Report (and it will also be included on the Semester Report Card) is an assessment of your student’s work habits in the areas of Assignment Completion, Participation, Responsibility, and Interpersonal Skills. These are all behaviors that have the potential to impact academic achievement in significant ways. Thus, we want to report to you and your young Dragon how he/she is doing in each of these areas. A “2” is the standard for each of these areas, so you will hope to see a “2” for your child in each category, in each class. That means he/she is meeting the standard in these work habits.

Hopefully, the format for this Nine Week Progress Report (and the first semester Report Card) gives you valuable information to better inform you and your student as to exactly where he/she stands in mastering the standards for the first semester. As always, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your young Dragon’s teacher(s)!


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The D3 Day T-shirt design contest has begun! Your young Dragon should have received an entry form in Dragon Time. Please start designing what you think will be a perfect representation of D3 Day on our shirts. Please follow the rules laid out on the entry form and return it to the front office by November 16th. Extra copies of the form can be found in Ms. Petit's Art room and in the front office. Three to four finalists will be selected by the D3 Day committee and voted on by the school in December. Your design will not be returned so please make a copy of it before turning it in. Your design could be on over 1,000 T-shirts, so get your entries in before the deadline!

D3 Day has begun our annual collection of magazines, plastic grocery bags, and old towels and blankets. The magazines are packed in our Treat the Troops boxes, the bags are used to make mats for the homeless, and the old towels and blankets will be donated to several animal shelters. The collection boxes will be in The Commons area in front of the main staircase. Start sending in these items!

Sponsorship: If you own a business or know someone who owns a business, we would love to talk to you about sponsorship of D3 Day! The donation is tax deductible and your business will be a part of something big and important...planting the seeds of altruism in our young Dragons! Contact dawn@bourgs.com if you are interested in looking at our Sponsorship Packet.


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On Monday, October 30th at 9:30 AM our DeSana faculty, staff and administration will host our PRIDE Award Celebration for the first quarter of this school year. Thirty-five sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students, who are selected by their teachers, will be honored at this formal occasion for exemplifying the following wonderful attributes and characteristics:

Practices Random Acts of Kindness

Ready and Willing to Work Hard

Integrity Coupled with Responsible Behavior

Demonstrates Outstanding and Honest Efforts

Exceeds Expectations

Parents and family members of the honored students are invited to attend this celebration, and join with DeSana teachers and administrators in honoring our young Dragons as they each receive a PRIDE Award certificate, generously donated by our awesome Business Partner, Omega Learning on Peachtree Parkway, a Dragon PRIDE pin, and a personalized plaque, made expressly for our DeSana PRIDE Award recipients by our fabulous and very generous Business Partner, All-American Specialties. A huge shout out and thank you to Keith Williams of All-American Specialties for designing and donating the individualized plaques for each PRIDE Award honoree, and to Rosemary Albright of Omega Learning for her very generous donation of each PRIDE Award certificate!!

Also joining us for this event will be Ms. Fonda Harrison, the Associate Superintendent of Teaching & Learning for Forsyth County Schools, who will share a few pearls of wisdom with our students and their parents. At each PRIDE Award Celebration we invite a Forsyth County Schools or community business leader to come and share with our PRIDE Award recipients.

We look forward once again to honoring some extraordinary students, as we toast the pride of DeSana!


Dragon Academy is an opportunity we offer students on a couple of Fridays per month,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 gurgling stomachs! Any necessary school supplies will be provided 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:

· October 27

· November 10 &17

· December 1 & 15

· January 26

· February 9 & 23

· March 9 (Early Release Day so it will be 1:30 – 4:00), 16 & 30

· April 27

· May 4 & 18


Itslearning is an online learning management system 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, itslearning will also be utilized during any days missed due to unscheduled school closures (ex. inclement weather). Itslearning is also a communication tool for administrators, teachers, students, and parents.

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 Classlink (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 Mr. Crowder, the DeSana Instructional Technology Specialist, in his 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.

I 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. Mr. Crowder has made this video you can watch by clicking here on itslearning basics. You may also call or email Mr. Crowder 770-667-2591 Ext. 491590 ncrowder@forsyth.k12.ga.us. He will try to answer your questions or set an individual meeting with you.



On this past Monday, the Dragon football players and cheerleaders celebrated a great season at their banquet. The coaches spoke about the season and how wonderful each student athlete was and thanked them for their participation this year. Parents were also recognized and thanked for their help with the season. The football players were honored with a couple of awards and the award winners are listed below.

Student Athlete Award- Turner D.

Most Improved 7th Grader-Sagni N.

Most Improved 8th Grader-Liam B.

Offensive MVP-Treston J.

Defensive MVP-Hayden F.

Team MVP-Colin S.

Thank you to everyone who came out and supported our teams!

Go Dragons!


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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 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!


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Halloween Hat Day will be sponsored by the ESOL Department on Tuesday, Oct. 31. For $1 you get to be your Halloweeny you!

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The Scholastic Book Fair is coming to DeSana! Students will be visiting the fair the week of October 30 - November 3 with their Language Arts classes. Parents, please mark your calendar for our Family Night, Thursday, November 2, when the fair will stay open until 7:00pm. There will be something for everyone in your family, and we hope to see you then!

New this year: Beginning October 23, you may also shop our fair ONLINE. All orders are shipped to the school free of charge!

Click here to preview the fair and (beginning 10/23) shop!


The registration for the Forsyth County Technology Fair is now open!! The Fair will be held at Whitlow Elementary School on December 2. Last year, DeSana had more participants than any other Middle School, which made Ms. North very proud. AND to encourage participation, SHE HAS PAID YOUR REGISTRATION FOR THIS YEAR'S FAIR!!!

Students are sure to find an interesting area in which to compete it, most of which will tie into a career pathway that is taught in Forsyth County high schools, as well as various college majors. Plus, the Tech Fair is a lot of fun!!

The areas of competition are:

3D Modeling


Audio Production

Device Modification

Digital Photo Production

Video Production

Graphic Design

Internet Applications

Mobile Apps

Multimedia Applications

Productivity Design

Project Programming


Technology Literacy Challenge

Tech Programming Challenge


QUESTIONS? Email Mr. Crowder, ITS, at DeSana Middle School at ncrowder@forsyth.k12.ga.us


There are still times available for the Desana HOSA sponsored blood drive on November 6 from 9AM until 2PM.

To make an appointment, please visit www.RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor keyword: DeSanaMS; OR call 1-800-Red-Cross.

Please eat iron rich foods, drink plenty of non-caffeinated fluids and get a good night's rest before donating blood.


Most appointments will take approximately 30 minutes to complete, please be aware that there are Power Red times. In order to be eligible for a Power Red donation you must meet separate criteria. If you are unsure if you are eligible to donate, please visit the Red Cross website at:


We are very excited about being able to give back to the community in this way and to be working with the Red Cross. We thank you in advance for your time and donation towards this life saving event.

Drive Details:

Site: DeSana Middle School

Address: 625 James Road, Alpharetta, GA, 30004

Room Name: Media Center

Date: Monday Nov 6, 2017

Time: 09:00 AM - 02:00 PM

Coordinator Name: Jessica Strader

Coordinator Phone Number: 770-667-2591 ext. 492207


There are still available spots for the 7th grade Overnight Field trip taking place on March 9-10, 2018. Space is limited. If you are interested in your 7th grader taking part on the trip please send a form with payment to Jessica Strader, room 2207 on the 8th grade hallway as soon as possible.


We would like to congratulate the Engineering and Technology Club on a very successful competition day last week in Perry, ga at the Georgia National Fair. Two projects placed in the top 10 in the state, with a great showing by all our members. The Architectural Design Project built by Sakthipriya R. placed 9th in the state, among middle and high schools. The Alternative Energy Wind Generator designed by Jamie S, Arya N, and Annie C placed 7th in the state, also among middle and high school students.


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Cady Studios will be here. If your child was absent on September 14, or started here after that day, we want them to have their picture taken! On October 11th students received their fall proofs. Cady Studios wants you to know if you are unhappy with your fall photos for any reason, you may have your photo retaken on October 26th. We will also have Club Photos taken on this day for our yearbook. So make sure you look marvelous as you head to school on October 26th! The camera will capture our wonderful DeSana Dragons!


We will begin celebrating Red Ribbon Week next week October 23rd-27th. The theme of this year’s Red Ribbon Week is “Your Future is Key, Stay Drug Free.” There will be different activities each day of the week for students, including signing a drug free pledge, receiving Red Ribbon Week bracelets from D3 Day, and a door decorating contest. Students will wear RED on Friday to end our Red Ribbon Week celebrations. We want to make sure our young dragons understand the importance of making healthy choices and staying drug and alcohol free. Parents please join us in celebrating Red Ribbon Week by speaking with your child about staying drug and alcohol free!


Don’t miss out on the best memory book created by the BEST yearbook staff.

Go to: balfour.com and click: shop your school. Students may also bring cash or check to Mrs. West on the 7th grade hall.

The price is $35 and will go up after March 31, 2018. On-line sales will END March 31st.


Want to purchase an 8th grade Yearbook ad for your child? You must purchase a Yearbook first (balfour.com)- cost is $35. Please click here for instructions for submitting ads. 8th grade ads are 1/8 of a page, cost $15, and are due by January 31, 2018.


Your student’s safety is the number one priority of DeSana’s Administration. As a school, we practice fire drills, severe weather drills, and code yellow lockdown drills in order for your student to know what to do in case an emergency should arise at DeSana Middle School. There are a few aspects of a code red lockdown that we do not practice during a code yellow lockdown drill. We do not practice gathering students in classrooms with the lights off, what to do if you are in the bathroom, what to do if you are in the cafeteria, what to do if you are in the hallway, what do you do if you are outside, etc. Our teachers do a wonderful job with discussing these with the students, but the students are not able see it in action. The Forsyth County School Safety Department has provided a fantastic video for students to watch in order to better prepare them for situations that we do not practice at school. We encourage you to view the video with your student. Click here to watch it.



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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.