Cardinal Connection

Duncan Creek Elementary

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December 1, 2014

Principal's Message

Dear DCES Families,

It’s hard to believe that December is here. We have already had a taste of the cold winter ahead. These months are packed with many different exciting events and activities for our Duncan Creek students, staff, and families.

The results of our PTA Fundraiser have been outstanding! Through the efforts of our PTA and with your support, we have raised over $48,000. I am so thankful for our PTA and the support of all of our families. In general terms, the funds will go towards technology, instructional resources, and updating our media center. Thank you, to all of you.

Gwinnett County Public Schools participates yearly in a program called “Principal for A Day”. Through this program business and civic leaders have an opportunity to shadow an elementary, middle or high school principal for a day. Our Principal for A Day was Scott Spooner. Mr. Spooner is an attorney in Suwanee. It was a pleasure having him in our school and being able to show him firsthand what great things are going on here.

I hope you had the opportunity to attend the 5th Grade Musical on November 20th. The songs were very entertaining and related to our 5th grade curriculum. Our 5th grader students and teachers rose to the occasion and delivered an amazing performance. We are very grateful for the hard work and talents of Mr. Cypert and Mrs. Cook.

I hope the PTA Fall Bingo was enjoyed by one and all. I know the students were pretty excited about some of the silent auction items. Many thanks to our PTA folks for organizing this event.

In a previous newsletter, I mentioned that each year the school system conducts Parent Surveys to gather your input as to how you think we are doing in Gwinnett County Public Schools and specifically at Duncan Creek Elementary. The surveys are available on-line through the Parent Portal from September 24th through December 12th. The results of this survey are considered as a part of our school and principal’s evaluations. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. We value your feedback!

I am thankful for the fantastic students, staff, parents, and community of Duncan Creek Elementary. I hope you will be able to join us for our Holiday Luncheons on December 9th (grades 1, 3, & 5) and December 11th (grades K, 2, & 4). Have a wonderful winter break and holiday season!


Carrie Yougel


PTA News

Checkout the new look to the PTA webpage(!pta/cfvg) for the most up to date information and forms for any upcoming events and PTA meetings.

*Thank you for supporting this year’s SUPER Fun Run. With your help and donations, we raised over $48,000! The teachers, whose class raised the most funds in each grade, received 15% of those funds toward educational materials for their classroom. All other teachers received 10% of their class funds.

The classes that had the most donations were: K – Lawrence, 1st – Baker, 2nd – Soucy, 3rd – Wilderspin, 4th – Voss, 5th – Maschas

*Spirit Night – Help support local businesses and your school by joining us for Spirit Night at Buffalos (Dec 2), Firehouse Subs(Dec 8th), Revolution Fitness(Dec 5th), and Chick-Fil-A(Jan 20th).

*Reminder for Yearbook Orders. Price increases January 6th, 2015.

*Reminder for FINAL 2014-2015 SCHOOL YEAR Spirit Wear Orders. Last day to order your Spirit Wear is December 1st, 2014. No new orders will be placed after this deadline. Any remaining inventory will still be available for purchase.

*Reflections reception (Jan) - We look forward to celebrating our Reflections participants on January 15th. Invitations to this event will go home soon! CONGRATULATIONS to the 8 DCES students who took first place at the Gwinnett County level for their Reflections entries. They now advance to the State level. Ryleigh B – Music(K)/Owen D – Dance(K)/Macy K – Dance(2nd grade)/Allie H – Dance(3rd grade)/Chloe H – Dance(4th grade)/Susan R – Film(K)/Audrey H – Visual Arts(2nd grade)/Zack D – Literature(K) These participants will also be recognized at our ceremony in January! THANK YOU to everyone that used their creativity and entered this year’s Reflections contest. There were some amazing creations from our students. Duncan Creek was well represented at the county level and it is exciting to have so many entries moving on to the state level.

*Save the Date for the Mother/Son Bowling Outing! Bowling will be held on January 29th, 2015 from 6-8pm at Stars and Strikes. Each paid person will get 2 hours of bowling, laser tag, a $10 game card, pizza and soda. Look for the flyer the week of Jan. 6th

*Join us before the Chorus Concert on the evening of December 18th for our General membership PTA meeting.

News From the Media Center

It’s almost time for the Book Fair! Our Scholastic Book Fair sales days are December 9th – 11th. Holiday Lunches will take place on December 9th and 11th, so please plan to visit the book fair with your child after you eat lunch. There will be many great choices for holiday gifts, too! Thanks for supporting our holiday book fair this year.

Accelerated Reader is in full swing at Duncan Creek! We are excited to be able to offer you the AR Book Finder link in the Student section of our school webpage. Simply type in the title of a book that your child would like to take a test on to see if we have the test available. We also hope you have had a chance to check your child’s progress through AR Home Connect.

Second through Fifth grade students are working hard to reach their mid-year Accelerated Reader goals. We are planning a mid-year Accelerated Reader celebration for students who reach half of their grade level goal before our winter holiday break. Please encourage your students to keep reading and taking tests and be sure to check out the AR display outside of the media center which recognizes class achievement in AR.

Counseling Corner

It is important in an age of technology to balance the benefits of having instant communication and information with the risks involved. As parents, it can be a difficult task to determine when a child should start using a cell phone or have access to social networking sites. We want our children to be able to explore the internet but also want to ensure they are safe while doing it.

We, as educators, are also concerned with keeping children safe. The counselors provide internet safety tips, along with information on cyberbullying to students in grades 3-5 during our yearly bullying and personal safety lessons. We want our students to understand that they messages they send and post can be forwarded and viewed by others almost instantaneously, even when the message is later deleted. Because of this, students need to be cautious about what they post and send out to others. Here are some of the guidelines we teach:

· Be positive – don’t post or send any messages that you wouldn’t say to someone directly.

· Don’t give out personal information about yourself to anyone online (name, phone number, address, school, etc.)

· Only “friend” people online that you actually know. (Sometimes people are not who they claim to be.)

· Don’t send a message or post anything while you are angry. Calm down first to think things through.

· Don’t forward mean or hurtful messages to others.

· Always report any unwanted or inappropriate messages you receive to your parents. Don’t delete the message without showing it to your parents first.

Providing an open line of communication with your child about using technology is an important

step in keeping him/her safe. The websites below can be useful tools in discussing internet safety and cyberbullying with your child. These sites share parenting resources along with games and activities for children to explore.

Please let us know if you have a safety concern with your child, or if there is another way we can help support you. We are always here to help.

Christy Armstrong (K, 2nd & 4th) Jennifer Little (1st, 3rd & 5th)

From STEM Specials

Congratulations! All students (Grades 1-5) have finished an “Hour of Code” during STEM specials this month! If you are interested, you may continue to use your login information from home. Login information was sent home this week. This is not a requirement, but it is available to you. Please remember to access your account by visiting:, click on “Special Areas”, then click on “STEM”. Click your grade level, and then you can enter your login information. Happy coding!

Super Heroes of the Month


Corrigan - Averie E

Findley - Wynn S

Harriman - Elizabeth A

Jackson - Alexandra A

Lawrence - Rodolfo E

Rogers - Brooks A

Wilbanks - Suphitsara N

Ona -


Argo - Abigail

Baker - Sydney E

Britt - Ava

Milton - Kendall H

Newman - Carissa H

Russell -

Logan - Ava S


Athon - Nolan M

Duncan - Brayden J

Gomez - Elijah S

Newsom - Kaz O

Soucy -

Young - Emma M


Harris - Annabelle M

Law - Gigi T

Jarrard - Hawa T

Myers - Bethany S

Parlier -

Sawyer -

Wilderspin - Gavin L

Phucas - Jonny P

Harper - Brandon


Bailey - Ryan T

Garner - Bailey N

Hamrick - Briggs G

Hayes - Sarah B

Hendry - Valeria T

Reed - Sara C

Voss - Kennedi C

Wyatt - Colby H


Abreu -

Covey - Ava J

Dietz - Aiden G

Ashe - Maddie H

Maschas - Logan B

Mayfield - Emily L

O'Neill - Evelyn T

Sever -

Padgett - Jasmine H