Dragon Digest

Volume 1 Issue 7

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ptsa news

Charity night at Charming Charlie's

Please join the DeSana PTSA for a fun night of jewelry shopping at Charming Charlie's at The Collection! The DeSana Charity Shopping night will be on Thursday, December 1st from 4-8 pm. This is an open house event; you can drop in at any time during the 4-8 pm time slot. It is the perfect time to purchase all of your Christmas baubles and New Year's accessories! Charming Charlie's will donate up to 20% of the proceeds from the night to the PTSA. Just go to the register during that time and say you are with DeSana and you will get a wristband, shop till you drop, and then checkout. Super easy and fun!

clothing drive

Save the dates: Wednesday December 7th and Saturday December 10th. Please start saving clothing and other household items (even unwanted Christmas decorations as you start pulling them out for Christmas). The DeSana PTSA is partnering with Hope for Domestic Violence. The process is easy. Stay tuned and we will send home a form to fill out with your address. The Hope House will pick up your items on either Dec. 7th or the 10th at your residence, The Hope House will grant the PTSA $5 per household for all items collected up to $5,000 (even more per household that donates large items). It is a win-win, you get unwanted items picked up from your house and the PTSA gains a grant to spend on the school!

We still need a few volunteers for the 6th grade social on Tuesday!

The PTSA is requesting parent volunteers for the 6th Grade social. Please sign up if you can spare a few hours. Thanks!

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0C4DAAA82CA64-desana3

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Academics

13 ½ Week Progress Reports Coming Your Way!

Mark your calendars now . . . next Friday, November 11th is when all DeSana students will receive their 13 ½ week Progress Reports to inform students and their parents how they are progressing in the classes with just 4 ½ weeks to go in this first semester. While parents (and students, we hope!) may check their child’s grades daily/weekly via Parent Portal . . . and we highly encourage you to do so . . . we will be sending home with students a paper copy Progress Report for each of their seven classes on next Friday, the 11th. This includes a Progress Report for each core class --- Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Literacy, and Spanish for 8th graders --- as well as for their two Connections classes. Each Progress Report will show your student’s class average thus far and how he/she has done on each formative and summative assessment, as well as any missing assignments.


We hope all of our parents and students will take a few minutes to sit down and discuss how your child is doing in school at this time --- near the end of the first semester. At this juncture only 4 ½ weeks remain in this semester. So now is the time discuss any questions or concerns about your middle schooler’s progress thus far with not only your middle school child, but also with his/her teacher(s), and together decide upon a plan of action to help your child reach his/her true academic potential.

Chad Crews Educational Entertainer, Author, and Speaker

In starting the traditionat DeSana of bringing special presenters to our school, we have arranged for Chad Crews to come to DeSana on November 14th to share his program Authors of Mystery and Horror with our 8th grade students.


As a former middle and high school teacher, Chad’s program encourages students to read the classics of literature in rather mysterious and entertaining ways. In this presentation, Authors of Mystery and Horror, students will learn about the life and literary works of Edgar Allan Poe, as well as other classic authors that students will become familiar with during our “Tales of the Creepy” unit. We are very excited to have Chad Crews with us during the spookiest time of year.


Due to a budget that is still low in funds, we are asking our 8th grade students for $2 to help defray the cost of this year’s event. We will happily accept larger donations. Payments will be collected by 8th grade language arts teachers now through November 14th. Students will attend the performance regardless of their ability to pay. For further information about Chad Crews and his program, visit www.chadcrewsmagic.com.

It’s You Be The Chemist Challenge® time of year!

The You Be The Chemist Challenge ® is an interactive academic contest that focuses on learning chemistry concepts and uses the thrill of competition to excite grade 5–8 students about science. The Challenge was created by the Chemical Educational Foundation ® (CEF), a national non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing and encouraging the science education of our youth. Participating schools and students have an opportunity to compete in local & state competitions, and receive national recognition, scholarships, and prizes.


It is time to begin preparing for the first ever DeSana Middle School You be the Chemist Qualifier. If you are interested in taking the qualifying exam, please see Mrs. Strader in the 8th grade hallway, room 2207, or email her at jstrader@forsyth.k12.ga.us. The qualifier will be given on January 27th in the morning before school. Study materials can be found online at the following link.


http://www.chemed.org/programs/challenge/study-materials/


Students at any grade level may participate, but you must contact Mrs. Strader before the qualifier to receive a pass. The top 10 participants will then go on to compete at the Atlanta Metro Local Challenge that will be held on March 11 at 10AM, located at the Georgia Aquarium.


There are no costs or fees to enter the challenge.


If interested, please contact Mrs. Strader before December 21st about your interest.

New Principal for the Day at DeSana on Next Wednesday, November 9th!

We are extremely fortunate and blessed in Forsyth County to have so many business and community leaders who take a genuine interest in our schools and our kids! For the past several years, Forsyth County Schools has teamed up with our Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce to host the Principal for the Day Program. This program allows business and community leaders throughout our Forsyth community to sign up to shadow the principal for a day at one of our schools in the system, and to get an up-close and personal view of just what a principal does all day. So on next Wednesday, November 9th, we will welcome Dr. Vishal Amin, a chiropractor at The Joint, located in The Collection. Mr. Amin has a full day on tap for his visit as he will attend some teacher planning meetings early in the morning and later on in the afternoon, help give out doggy treats in the carpool line for Woof! Woof! Wednesday, visit many classrooms to see what our kids are learning and all the good work they are doing, meet with our assistant principals to discuss their roles in the school, learn more about how DeSana operates and about our school improvement plan, and help in whatever ways needed as the usual dilemmas crop up throughout the day. We look forward to having Dr. Amin join us for the day and plan to put him to very good use!

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN TIME --- AOL TIME

Now that nine week Progress Reports have been sent home and/or parents and students have had an opportunity to conference with teachers, if your young Dragon is not making the most of every chance he/she has to receive help from his/her teachers, parents, now is the time to have serious conversations with your child about how they are using their AOL time each week. This additional opportunity to learn time happens every Thursday for the rest of this semester. And during some weeks, it occurs two times a week, with the second day being on the Wednesday. During AOL time, students may select any teacher they have (the 4 core subjects + Spanish in 8th grade) that they need to go to for extra help OR to prepare better for an upcoming assessment. Parents, you can help tremendously by marking on your calendar the dates listed below when we will be having AOL time each week, AND asking your student the night before who he/she will be going to during AOL time for extra help. If your young Dragon is struggling academically, insist that he/she goes for this extra help and make it the first topic of conversation that you discuss when you see your child in the evening.

Here are the dates for AOL Time for the rest of this first semester: Wednesday 11/9; Thursday 11/10; Thursday 11/17; Thursday 12/1; Wednesday 12/7; Thursday 12/8; and Thursday 12/15.

TEACHERS’ EXTRA HELP SESSIONS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR - - - DO YOU KNOW WHEN THEY ARE?

Did you know that every teacher at DeSana has at least one help session each and every week? They are asked to do so, and some are available more than one time a week to help struggling young Dragons. Teachers have published their help session times to students and on their itslearning pages. If you cannot find it and/or your student cannot tell you when their teachers’ help session is each week, please do not hesitate to email the teacher(s) and ask. If your young Dragon is struggling with a concept the class is studying and needs a little extra help, then this is a great solution (along with AOL Time!) to help get your child over this hurdle. Make your plans now with your middle schooler to come in early or stay late for the extra help he/she needs.

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Athletics

Basketball season starts soon !

Basketball Season starts Tuesday, November 15 with our 7th and 8th Grade Lady Dragons taking on the Riverwatch Panthers at home, and our 7th & 8th Grade Boys' Dragons Basketball Teams playing Riverwatch away. The first games start at 5:00 PM at both locations. Admission is $3.00 for students and $5.00 for adults and concessions will be available. Please click here for a student permission form to stay after for the games and come out to support our teams! The full schedule of games is on the DeSana web site. Click here to see the calendar.

Please support the Lady Dragons on November 11th in the car rider line by purchasing a Chick Fil A biscuit for only $4.00.

Basketball pictures will be taken on Wednesday, November 9 at 4:30 PM.

Thanks for a great football season!

The Football Team and Cheerleaders concluded their season with their first annual end of the year banquet on October 18. Ms. North started the banquet off with an inspiring recap of the season that praised all of the student athletes. Coach Schuster then recognized all of the cheerleaders and all the hard work they put in during the season. Coach Coffield finished the night off with a recap of the football season and handed out several awards to some of the players. The following students received awards Ben C. (Student Athlete Award), Bryan B.(Most Improved 7th Grader), Mason H. (Most Improved 8th Grader), Colin S. (Defensive MVP), Treston J.(Offensive MVP) and Elijah M. (Team MVP). Thank you to all players, cheerleaders, parents and faculty members that helped make our first season a memorable one! GO DRAGONS!!!!!

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The Arts

8TH GRADE ADVANCED ART

DeSana will now offer an advanced 8th grade art course for 3rd and 4th quarter. This class is designed for students who have excelled in all aspects of the general connections art course and have demonstrated their interest and ability to meet the challenge of a more intensive art curriculum. For more information on how to apply please see Mrs. Petit in the Connections hallway, Room 1240. Deadline to apply is December 9th at midnight.

6TH GRADE SOCIAL

The DeSana Middle School Fine Arts Department is sponsoring a social for 6th grade DeSana students on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. The social will begin at 4:15 p.m. and end at 6:00 p.m. and will be held in the cafeteria. Admission is $5.00 per person. Students may purchase refreshments at the concession stand. Teachers, parents, and administrators will chaperone this event. We are looking forward to a very special, fun-filled afternoon!

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Activities

PJ Day for United Way

That’s right Dragons…this coming Tuesday, November 8th, is the first Pajama Day at DeSana! Our goal is to support our United Way Campaign as students contribute $3 to wear their comfortable and nice pajamas to school that day. Of course, all pajamas must meet FCS dress code. Join your friends, enjoy a cozy day, and help the UNITED WAY!

Boy Scouts Visit 6th Grade

On November 14th, our 6th grade classes will hear from representatives from the Boy Scouts of America. They have asked to speak briefly with our young men about becoming part of an incredible brotherhood. They will then follow up on Wednesday evening, November 16th, in a meeting in our cafeteria with parents and their child at 7:00 PM. Please take the time to ask your son about this opportunity. They received a flyer today in Dragon Time.

Chick-Fil-A Spirit Night

On November 16th, please plan on joining us between 5-8 pm for a school spirit night at Chick-Fil-A located at the Collection! This special evening will be hosted by the DeSana ELA department, and Chick-Fil-A has generously offered a percentage of the evening’s sales to our school. Bring your family, friends, and neighbors for an opportunity to socialize and dine with other students and teachers from DeSana. We look forward to seeing you there!

CALLING ALL BIRD HOUSES AND BIRD FEEDERS!

By now you may have seen the colorfully decorated birdhouses and bird feeders that dot the front of our school and on the outskirts of our beautiful wooded area! They are ready for our feathered friends to come visit and settle in as the weather turns colder (sooner or later!) and food becomes more scarce to find. If you still have the birdhouse or bird feeder that you purchased last spring, we would loooove for you to paint it (if you have not done so already!) and bring/send it in so that we may hang it up with the others. Or if you did not purchase one last spring from us, take a trip to Walmart or Target or some other store and pick one up . . . decorate it as you wish . . . and bring/send it in and we will hang it up! Just imagine how colorful and beautiful our school grounds and woodlands would look with hundreds of birdhouses and bird feeders! And just think how many more feathered friends will come our way and stay fed and sheltered for the winter once the word gets out on bird social media that DeSana MS is THE place to come!!

FROM THE MEDIA CENTER

FUNDRAISER CONTINUES AT www.funds4books.com

We would like to thank those families who have already generously donated to our Funds4Books fundraiser. We are excited about our growing collection and the students get so excited when they see new books that have arrived. We are asking parents, grandparents, and friends to donate any amount they can, but if every family donated just 10 dollars, we would blast right through our goal and be able to add even more books. With your help, we can continue to build our collection and assure that students have current, topical, and desired resources available to them during their years at DeSana. To donate, simply click this link or go to www.funds4books.com to make your contribution online with a credit or debit card using our campaign code D6E5. All contributions will come with an e-mailed receipt.

EACH FAMILY DONATING 20 DOLLARS OR MORE WILL BE RECOGNIZED WITH A DECORATIVE LABEL HONORING YOUR STUDENT INSIDE ONE OF OUR NEW BOOKS!

AHOY MATEYS! BOOK FAIR DATES ARRRRRRE HERE!

Mark your calendars, mateys! The Scholastic Book Fair will be at DeSana on December 12th-16th! More details are coming soon. Interested in helping out with the Book Fair? Send a quick e-mail to pstrickland@forsyth.k12.ga.us and we will add you to the crew!

Follow the DeSana media center on Instagram! For a peek into what goes on inside our media center during the school day, follow @desanamediacenter on Instagram. We hope you “like” what you see!

Altruistic Endeavors

The DeSana Day of Good Deeds (D3 Day) T-shirt contest is in full swing. Please turn in all of your entries to the front office before the November 16th deadline at 4:30pm. The steering committee will then narrow the field to 3-4 entries and the student body will vote on the winning design to appear on over 800 t-shirts on our May 22nd DeSana Day of Good Deeds. Thank you for participating!


The D3 Day committee is still in need of volunteers to work with the committee chairs. We are in particular need of volunteers to call on businesses for donations. D3 Day is an expensive endeavor and we need several people to call on businesses for us. Please email dawn@bourgs.com if you think you can help out with this committee. Also, if you own a business and would like to support our DeSana Day of Good Deeds, please contact us.

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Other Important Information

Picture Day Photos have arrived

Today our students received their photos from our picture day. Please check your child’s envelope and if you did not order there is still time to place your order. Did you miss picture day? November 17th is make-up picture day! Mark your calendars for November 17th! Parents, if you are not satisfied with your child’s photo please email Ms. Epperson at sepperson@forsyth.k12.ga.us and she will make sure they are scheduled on November 17th for a retake.

Thanksgiving Break Is Upon Us!

Thanksgiving is coming early this year, and so the annual week-long Thanksgiving Break for all Forsyth County Schools students and staff will be the week of November 21st. DeSana’s office will be closed throughout this week, with all faculty and staff getting a well-deserved break as well. Students and staff will return to the Dragon’s Lair on Monday, November 28th!

Dragon Café nutrition news:

For the month of November, Strong4Life is promoting "drink more water" and" limit sugary drinks." Drinking enough H2O helps to maintain the body’s fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients in the body.


Sugar may be sweet, but the health effects of sugar consumption are not. Drinking large amounts of sugary drinks can lead to serious health problems. Sugary beverage intake is significantly associated with weight gain, developing Type 2 diabetes*, and heart disease.


So help put the sugary stuff to the side and make water the number one drink of choice. The benefits really are endless.

yEARBOOKS ON SALE

2016-2017 DeSana Middle School Yearbooks are now on sale! Please visit: balfour.com. Click “shop your school” and search for DeSana. Yearbooks are $32 and the sale ends January 31, 2017. Don’t miss out on the first DeSana Yearbook!!

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Treat the Troops

Bring in any leftover Halloween candy to donate to Treat the Troops until Veteran's Day on November 11th. Simply drop off at the front office any time and we will be sure it gets to men and women serving in our armed forces,

YOUR INPUT NEEDED

The Georgia Department of Education has announced an online survey to get the public’s feedback on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In addition to the survey, eight feedback sessions are being held throughout the state to allow all citizens to give input on Georgia’s ESSA plan. Click here for the online survey. Learn more about the Every Student Succeeds Act and the development of Georgia’s state plan here. Click here to view a one page overview. Click here to view the original press release with additional details.

411-Helpful links for You

thanks to our business partners

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*All AMERICAN SPECIALTIES

*ARCTEC

*BROWNS BRIDGE CHURCH

*CHIcK-FIL-A@THE COLLECTION

*DR. HOM PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY & ALPHARETTA COMPREHENSIVE DENTISTRY

*DUNKIN' DONUTS @ HIGHWAY 9 & MCFARLAND

*MILTON DENTAL SPECIALISTS

*NORTH GEORGIA PROMOTIONS

*OMEGA LEARNING

*RBM OF ALPHARETTA