Principal's Newsletter

December 7, 2015

As time continues to fly by, we have entered a very busy time of year. In the past few weeks, Davis has had a variety of activities occurring, including Turkey Trot just before Thanksgiving and Book Fair last week. We are so thankful for the many volunteers who helped to make these events a great success!


Last Friday we celebrated our school wide International Day. Students in each grade level participated in activities unique to their designated continent: K- Asia, 1st- Australia, 2nd- Africa, 3rd- South America, 4th- Europe, 5th- North America. A walk through the hallways gave a sense of a trip around the world, with each classroom door displaying information about different countries within the continent. The events of the day ended with a school wide assembly, where everyone enjoyed listening to 4th grade students sing songs from each continent, hearing from student ambassadors about their international learning, and seeing our PreK students put together a model of the world.


As you all know, we have been working to find the perfect person to fill our new half-time Assistant Principal position. We have completed the hiring process and are thrilled to announce that April Morley will be joining our staff in this position. Ms. Morley is coming to us from Spicewood Elementary in Round Rock ISD, where she has served as teacher and Assistant Principal. She is eager to join the Davis community and plans to spend some time at Davis before her first official day on January 4.


Students in grades 3, 4 and 5 have started benchmark testing. These are district created tests that assess student mastery of grade level curriculum objectives. Teachers will use this data, along with information they have gathered in the classroom, to guide their instructional planning and ensure that each student is appropriately challenged. Students in third grade will take reading and math benchmark tests. Fourth grade students will take reading, writing, math, and science tests. Fifth grade students will take reading, math, and science tests.


With student safety a priority at Davis, we have been working to fine tune our arrival and dismissal procedures. The most recent change is the placement of orange cones at the exit of the east drive. When leaving the parking lot after dropping off or picking up students, cars must turn right to exit. There is a sign that states ‘right turn only’ at the exit. Over the past few months, we have noticed many cars turning left out of the parking lot, which creates a safety hazard with all the traffic during these times. With the cones guiding every car to turn right, this creates a much safer situation for students who may be walking/cycling as well as drivers who are turning into the east drive.


With our increase in enrollment this year, we have had to use every bit of available space, and still have a need for more. You may have noticed the many items stored in hallways, and the fact that every classroom and closet is in use. In order to provide some storage relief, the district will be providing us with two storage sheds, one to replace a defective shed and the other for additional storage. These will be placed near the blacktop area, next to the current sheds. In addition, we have now outgrown our office space, and as a result, will need to make some changes in the office area. Over the last couple of weeks, we have been working with district facilities staff to plan for additional office space. The plan includes converting the existing office workroom into an additional office. The copier, laminator, and other workroom supplies will be moved to the staff lounge, which will have a new ‘nook’ area dedicated to the copier and most supplies. In order to minimize the disruption of daily work, the plan is to have most of this work occur over winter break.


Soon after the break, we will host our annual Parent & Teacher Collaboration Night and Family Fitness Night. Parent & Teacher Collaboration Night will be held on Thursday, January 14, 6:00-7:30pm. This is an evening for parents to meet with their child’s teacher to hear information about grade level curriculum expectations, receive performance data for their child, and learn specific activities to do at home to promote their child’s learning. This is an adult event, so we ask that parents make arrangements for childcare. We will have limited childcare spots available at Davis for parents who need assistance with this. The very next week, the evening of Tuesday, January 19, Family Fitness Night will take place. This family event promises to be great fun for children and adults. Many teachers will be leading fitness activities, and it is a great opportunity to promote health and fitness for the whole family!


With only two weeks remaining before winter break, the upcoming days will be full of great teaching and learning inside classrooms, along with other activities outside the classroom. This Thursday evening, our 4th grade Junior Master Maestros will treat us to the Snowflake Journeys winter concert. We also look forward to seeing many special visitors for our fall Grandparents Luncheon this Friday. Murchison Middle School band and choir students will be visiting to perform for our 5th grade students later this week. Our Chipotle fundraiser, benefiting gardens at Davis, will take place this Saturday at the Arbor Walk location.


I wish you all the best for the holiday season. Thank you for being a part of Davis!


Sincerely,


Jenny Daniels

Principal, Davis Elementary