It's Elementary - DES Newsletter

April 2022

Dates to Remember

April 15-18 NO SCHOOL

April 22 - 3rd Quarter Awards


May 26 - Field Day

May 30 - NO SCHOOL

June 1 - End of the Year Awards

June 3 - LAST DAY OF SCHOOL (for students)

Testing is coming...

4/19-4/29 MAP testing

5/2 and 5/3 FSA Math (Gr. 3) and FSA ELA Reading (Gr. 4)

5/4 and 5/5 FSA ELA Reading (Gr. 5)

5/10 and 5/11 FSA Math (Gr. 4) and FSA Math (Gr. 5)

5/12 and 5/13 FSA Science (Gr. 5)

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FSDB School Climate Survey for Parents

View in ASL

Dear Parents/Guardians,

At FSDB, we strive to do more, be more, and achieve more – as part of our continuous improvement journey. Your feedback is important to us. The information you share helps us understand what we are doing well and points out opportunities for improvement. Each year, we reach out to parents/guardians, staff members and students as our valued partners.

Our annual FSDB School Climate Survey for Parents will take about 15 minutes of your time. We know how important confidentiality is to you. I want to assure you that your survey responses will be fully protected. FSDB will not use your names or related identifying information as part of our data collection and analysis process.

Please complete the FSDB School Climate Survey for Parents using the link below by Friday, April 29, 2022. If you have more than one child attending FSDB, please complete a separate survey for each child.

I appreciate your time in completing the survey and for sharing your feedback. Your thoughts and opinions are especially important to me and to the school. I thank you for choosing FSDB to educate your child(ren). I thank you for partnering with us to ensure the FSDB experience is a positive one for all students.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Julia Mintzer, Administrator of Business Services at 904-827-2301 or via email at You may also reach out to me at 904-827-2210, 904-342-1213 videophone, or via email at


Tracie C. Snow
FSDB President

Teresa's Tidbits

Many students have started testing and more is to come...but don't worry families, we are still having FUN!

We have been very busy learning and growing as you will see below.

As the end of the year is approaching more activities are being planned. If you have any questions please reach out to your child's teacher or the office.

A Note From Deaf Department Principal Angela Saunders

This past week, we had our Counsel of Administrators for Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD) on campus. The team was extremely impressed with the programs, staff, parents, and students. They have recommended full accredit without reservations and gave many commendations to our programs. I want to take a moment to thank you for your support and trust in FSDB and entrusting our program with your children. You and they are the reason we are here.
Have a safe and happy 4 day weekend!


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Spotted in Each Grade Level

Every month we ask grade level teams to tell us something special they spotted in Gore Hall. Here are their responses!

Kindergarten: One student signing their abc's while using the sensory walk in the hallway.

First Grade: First Graders are learning turn-taking skills and how to ask questions. These two young ladies learned how to play "Guess Who?" and asked appropriate yes-no questions to figure out who the mystery people were!

Second Grade: 2nd grade wrapped up Unit 4 in reading with a published personal narrative. Students will have their work displayed in the 2nd grade hallway. Our unit 5 focus in writing will be a How to passage. In math are learning about measurement and identifying numbers on number lines.

Third Grade: 3rd graders working together to blow up playground balls.

Fourth Grade: Students researching famous Deaf people in honor of Deaf History Month.

Fifth Grade: Students completed 5th grade FSA writing and did a great job!

Lab: A student gracefully dancing her way through the halls.

Favorite Moments From Each Grade Level

Every month we ask grade level teams to share a favorite moment. Here are their responses!

Kindergarten: Two kindergarten students walking hand in hand to the bus.

First Grade: The students arrived on Monday morning and were SO excited that their plants had started to sprout! The students made self-watering planters with Ms. Maggie and learned about what plants need to grow.

Second Grade: In SS we're learning about international trade and after that, we will be learning about animal life cycles and interdependency.

Third Grade: Attending Dance Troupe practice of the play West Side Story.

Fourth Grade: Learning how to sign our names in LSF (French Sign Language) and BSL (British Sign Language).

Fifth Grade: Students celebrating Deaf History month and learning that ASL is from French sign language. Students had so much fun practicing and researching more about the 1st school for the Deaf.

Lab: ​Kindergarten students reading and discussing books.

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2nd grade's Wax Museum presentation of historical individuals went well. Students presented to at least 25 different students and staff, who were all impressed.

Teacher Appreciation Activities

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POW rewards

A dozen DES students earned games in March for submitting their fifth solution to a Problem of the Week (POW) Challenge. This week the final challenges of the 2021-2022 school year are posted and active in FlipGrid.

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Updates from Vaill Hall

Vaill Hall 4th and 5th-grade girls visited the Anastasia Baptist Church Quilting Guild, and each was shown how to use a machine that binds the quilts. On this trip, our students had a short lesson about budgeting when we went out for a meal afterward. Our students had many good questions and were inspired by the service the guild provides to the local community. The entire Vaill Hall Dorm went to visit the Alligator Farm on Wednesday 4/13 and has a private 3-hour educational tour of the facility. As we near the end of the year we continue to work on and learn about character traits Fairness and Courage. Some of our students are learning to make entire meals. Our dorm students will also be working on a project to thank our Academic and Support staff for all their work with our students this year. Students do not know yet, but we will begin this project when we return from the long weekend.

As we approach the end of the school year, we will be sending many students belongings home in preparation and to avoid sending too much home at one time. Please remember suitcases cannot weigh more than 40 pounds. Please send an additional bag for private bedding to be sent home to be laundered. Students are running low on their personal hygiene items in the dorm. Please check with your child and send them back with some supplies.

Just to remind everyone Long-weekend is coming up soon. No school on Friday the 17th and the boarding students return on April 18th. As we come to the end of our third quarter 2021-2022 school year, we want to thank you for your collaborative efforts for helping us to keep our children happy and healthy. We wouldn’t be able to do this without your help.

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From the Bilingual Specialist!

Check out these resources for reading with your Deaf child! Please remember to read every day!

Fifteen Principles for Reading with Deaf Children (ASL version)

Fifteen Principles for Reading with Deaf Children (English version)


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Lost and Found!

The weather in St. Augustine is tricky! It can be chilly in the morning, but by afternoon, the sun is shining and recess gets hot! Students often take off their jackets and sweaters, and more often than not, leave them on the playground. You can help us by making sure your child's name, or even initials, are written somewhere inside the garment. We usually check the tag to see if we can identify the owner of a lost article of clothing, so it would be a great kindness if you could put a name there for us! THANK YOU!
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Did you know that we have a private DES Facebook group? In order to enhance digital security for our students and their families, we transitioned our school Facebook page to a private group, which affords us better screening and monitoring measures. If you would like to join the group, please click this link: Our goal is to post pictures and/or updates daily.
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Parent Engagement Workshops

2022 Workshop Dates: 4/22/22

Face to Face and Virtual Travel Reimbursement is available

CONTACT: Misty Porter, Parent Liaison PH: 904-827-2988 EMAIL:


Parent Engagement Workshops (PEW) are learning opportunities open to ALL FSDB parents, guardians, and caregivers. During PEW, we discuss current and relevant information about our school, parenting strategies, helpful resources and more

Friday with FDLRS Parent Webinar Series

2021-2022 Friday with FDLRS Parent Webinar Series

The FDLRS Administration Project and Associate Centers Network are proud to offer a series of parent webinars to take place virtually over the 2021-2022 school year.

Each 90-minute webinar will be conducted monthly during lunch hours from 11:30am-1:00pm, EST, on designated Fridays. All session will be recorded and posted to our Recorded Webinars page for access throughout the year.

These webinars are free of charge and open to all parents, families, and professionals working with children with disabilities or those with unique learning needs. Please register today for one or all the upcoming Friday with FDLRS Parent Webinars.

Summer Activities and Resources for Parents and Families (May 13, 2022)

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Cutie Patootie Picture of the Month!

We love to see our students GROW!

Want to contribute a Cutie Patootie Picture of the Month submission? Join, like, and share our FSDB Deaf Elementary School Facebook Group and let us know! But also know the competition is pretty tough because DES is FULL of Cutie Patooties!
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Opt-in for Skyward Text Alerts

FSDB encourages parents/legal guardians of enrolled students to regularly log onto the Skyward Family/Student Access portal to keep their contact information up-to-date.

Skylert (School Messenger) is the system that FSDB uses to send out automated phone calls, text messages and email notifications families for general purposes ann case of emergencies.

Opting in for automated Skylert text notifications makes it possible for FSDB to quickly inform families about situations that may impact their child/family (e.g., weather, safety and bus alerts) as well as other school-related information. To opt-in, text "Y" to 67587.

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Contact Us

DES Office

PH: 904-827-2520

VP: 904-201-4505

Health Care Center

PH: 904-827-2410

VP: 904-201-3910


PH: 800-992-8747

Vaill Hall (Dorm)

PH: 904-827-2806

VP: 904-201-4461

Parent Services

PH: 904-827-2212

VP: 904-201-4527

Campus Police

PH: 904-827-2315