Deretchin Digest

September 2021 Edition

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A Note From Mrs. Oliver

September has finally arrived! Our school year is off to a great start, and we are very excited to be back at school! Although we are continuing to face challenges at the beginning of this school year, it is wonderful to see our students and teachers doing an incredible job jumping back into the "swing of things" while delving into their curriculum with amazing learning!

Providing our students with a safe and stimulating learning environment that inspires them to be successful students is what we strive for each and every day. We appreciate the amazing support of our wonderful Deretchin families, and we look forward to a great year with you!

It is a privilege to serve as your principal. If you have any questions or need anything, feel free to contact me at 832-592-8700 or by email at


Tina Oliver

CISD Covid Safety Alert Level

Because we are currently on a CISD Safety Alert Level Four, we will not be allowed to have any visitors in the building at this time. This includes parents joining their students for lunch in the cafeteria. We will notify you when this restriction should change.

A Few Important Reminders

Photo ID Required- If you are planning to pick up your child either during or after school, you are required to have a photo identification card. A picture of your ID on your phone is not sufficient. Please know that this is a requirement for the safety of our students.

Afternoon Car Rider Line-Our car rider line ending time is continuing to improve every day. If you enter the driveway, and the car rider team is cleaning up and heading inside, please plan to park and come inside to pick up your child. We suggest planning to get into the line by 3:25 PM since we are currently ending around that time.

We appreciate your help!

Upcoming on the Deretchin Calendar

September 6- Labor Day-Holiday

September 17- Spotlight on Respect

September 21- Science Common Formative Assessment, 2nd, 3rd, 6th

September 22- PTO lunch for staff

September 24-PTO Meeting, 12:00 PM at Terramont Park, Johnny Appleseed Day in Kindergarten

October 1- Academic Conference with Dr. Null, 10:40

October 5- Math Common Formative Assessment, 3rd-6th

October 6- Science Common Formative Assessment, 4th-5th

October 8 - Student Holiday

October 11- Holiday

October 19- Late night conferences, 4:00-6:00 (Zoom)

From the Registrar


Attendance is taken at 9:00 a.m. Attendance is the number one indicator of a student’s success in school.

In the event a student is absent, please contact the school. Please remember absences are documented as "Unexcused". If you would like to change your child's unexcused to an Excused, please do one of the procedures below. Please note that this is not removing the absence, it is simply changing the title of the absence. When reporting an absence, make sure you provide the child's first and last name, grade, homeroom teacher and the reason for the absence.

Ways to report an absence:

-Report an Absence by phone: Please call the Front Office at 832.592.8700.

-Report an absence by handwritten note or a doctor's letterhead: Give to student, and they can give to the teacher, or drop it off with the Front Office.

-Report an absence by email: Cory at and/or the student's homeroom teacher.

-Report an absence by fax: 832.592.8780

CISD Parent-Access/Canvas

Parent Access Center is a free program available to all CISD parent/guardians that allows viewing of helpful information regarding student attendance, report cards, progress reports, daily grades, state test results, Students Achieving Excellence (SAE), submit a Teacher Achieving Excellence (TAE),discipline and available lunch money. 48 hours after registering your email with Parent Access you will be able to log on to Canvas to view your child's teacher websites. If you need help registering for PAC or Canvas please visit the Deretchin website and click on the red Registration tab, then scroll down and click on the Parent Access/Canvas tab.

This is a valuable tool for our parents. You can request to be sent an email to notify you if your child’s grade drops below a specified standard that you establish.

Bus Riders

Bus transportation is only provided to students who live a mile or further away from the school. You must register for the bus with the registrar if you are new to the school or it is your first time riding the bus. After you have registered with the registrar you will need to re-register your child every year in August for the bus so that transportation can get an accurate count of students riding the bus. All students that rode the bus last year will need to re-register for the bus this year. Please visit the transportation website at Buses will drop off and pick up students at the back of the school. If you have concerns regarding transportation we recommend you contact the transportation department at 832-592-8800. Be prepared to communicate specific information such as route number, and pick up and drop off times.

Riding the bus with a friend - you must get permission by asking for a “Transportation Emergency Request form from the front office. You child must be eligible to ride the bus in order to grant the request. Request may be denied due to not enough seats on the bus.


PPCD classes are off to a great start this school year! Students are already showing progress with following classroom rules and routines. Our focus in September will be on following one-step directions and completing tasks with independence. One of the read alouds in Mrs. Palm's class this month will be Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Ms. Heide's class will be reading Dog's Colorful Day. We are hoping to have a truck from The Woodlands Fire Department visit us at the end of this month.

Pre-K News

What a great start to this school year! We are in full swing learning lots of new things!

Reminders for parents:

1. Please place a change of clothes in your child's backpack in case of accidents.

2. Please practice dressing skills with your child (buttoning pants, zippers, belts, etc)

3. Please send a refillable water bottle in your child’s backpack

4. Remember to read with your child every night!

Thanks for helping our year get off to a great start!

Kindergarten News

Happy September! We will kick off the month by studying all things Fall (apples, Johnny Appleseed, to name a few). In science, we will study our five senses and matter. In math, we will explore and compare numbers 0-5. In language arts, we will be teaching the building blocks of reading. At home, please have your child practice their pencil grasp, writing their name with one capital letter, packing their own backpack and opening and closing their own water container. Reading at home with your child every day is a great way to promote early literacy, vocabulary, and comprehension.


It is Hispanic Heritage Month. It goes from September 15-October 15.

**Upcoming events-**

September 6- No School

September 17-Spotlight on Respect

September 24-Johnny Appleseed Day in Kindergarten

First Grade News

First Grade Dragons are ready to grow. They are doing a tremendous job learning our routines and procedures. Thank you for all your help setting them up for success. Our students are creating class goals and learning about citizenship while demonstrating Dragon Character Traits each day. We’ve all had great fun taking the “Tools Tour” as our scientists were able to explore different types of science tools. Our unit of study will continue to focus on the properties of matter in science. Your children are marvelous writers as they are learning to create small moment stories based on events from their own lives. Reader’s Workshop is a favorite part of our day as students practice reading strategies and tips to build comprehension and stamina. Please encourage your first grader to read every night. Our mathematicians are busy building and counting objects to 20 and learning the math talk that accompanies this exploration. You can help at home by counting sets of objects and counting forward and backwards. We will work hard the next few weeks strengthening our place value skills, number sense skills, comparison math talk, and work on basic addition and subtraction facts. It’s sure to be a fabulous time in first grade.

Second Grade News

Second Grade Dragons have had a fantastic start to the school year! We have been busy writing our class contracts, meeting new friends, and reading new books!

We look forward to learning about matter in science, and citizenship in social studies. We are writing small moment stories using our idea notebooks for inspiration! In math we are reviewing place value, and addition and subtraction.

Keep up the daily reading at home! We give you a HUGE thank you all for your support!

Third Grade News

Welcome Back to School!

We started Math off with data analysis also referred to as graphing, however this will be taught all year. Our first unit is place value. This includes reading and writing numbers in different ways, comparing numbers, rounding and counting money.

In science, we will have been learning about Science tools and safety. We will be starting on the Properties of Matter, which is spread out over several weeks.

In social studies we are learning about Citizenship. That’s a big unit that starts with classroom community and civic responsibility.

In Reader's Workshop, students will explore the structure and elements of fiction text to

monitor comprehension and make predictions. They will understand

new vocabulary using context clues.

In Writer's Workshop, students will write about important personal experiences using the

elements of the writing process. Grammar will focus on capitalizing proper nouns, using apostrophes for contractions and possessives, and begin editing correct comma usage in dialogue and addresses as well as using correct quotation marks in dialogue.

Thank you to our terrific third grade families!

Fourth Grade News

Hello Fourth Grade Families,

We are enjoying getting to know our fabulous 4th graders while building and strengthening our classroom communities of lifelong learners! Your kids are amazing!! We are so excited for this year!

In our first writing unit, the students are using their own experiences to jump start their thinking to come up with ideas for realistic fiction narratives. Students are using the components of characters, setting, and plot to write engaging narratives. We are seeing some great story writers in the making!

We are beginning the year with a review of nouns: singular, plural, common and proper. Students are asked to apply the rules of different kinds of nouns in their writing.

Our first unit in reading has the students focusing on reading intensely to grow ideas about characters as well as the plot of the story. Research tells us that for kids to improve in their reading, they must read daily in school and at home. Our students have independent reading time each day in the classroom. Our expectation is that our students read at home every evening for at least 20 minutes. This is their reading homework . We appreciate your support and encouragement of this learning requirement.

We have hit the ground running in math. We spent a week learning how to take surveys and organize our data into frequency tables, dot plots and stem and leaf graphs. We are currently in our place value unit where we are reviewing how to read and write whole numbers, compare and order numbers, round numbers and write numbers in expanded form and notation. We will then take all of these skills and apply them to decimal numbers. We will also relate decimals to money and fractions.

Science has started with a bang! We have already conducted an experiment testing the density of water and oil by creating fun and colorful Lava Bottles! We are currently learning about the various properties of matter and using science tools to test and measure these properties. We have tested the magnetism and buoyancy of classroom objects and measured volume and mass using graduated cylinders and triple beam balances. We are looking forward to many for science investigations!

In 4th grade social studies, we will learn all about Texas History! We have already looked at various types of maps and discussed the features of maps and how to read them. We are currently learning about Texas's natural resources and climate and will soon head into learning about the early exploration of Texas.



These first few weeks of school have been going great in math! We are enjoying hearing all the students share ideas and talk about math. In math we are close to finishing Unit 1: Place Value with Decimals. In the next week we will be starting Unit 2: Multiplying Whole Numbers and Decimals. As we are continuing through the units we are introducing Guided Math to the students. Guided Math is where the teacher teaches lessons in small groups as the students work through/practice concepts already learned at different station activities. As for that we are super blessed to have your students in our classes and cannot wait for Guided Math to be in full swing soon!


The first days of school have been a HUGE success in English Language Arts! We have just finished launching both the Reading and Writing Workshops as well as our first trip to the library. We are now moving onto genre based content in reading, starting with Fiction, while Analyzing Themes in Interpretation Book Clubs until mid September. For writing, we will also be discussing Fiction through the use of Reader’s Response into early September. We have had a fantastic start to the year and can’t wait to continue working with your amazing kids.


We have had a GREAT first few weeks in science and social studies! So far in science, we have been covering lab safety and classifying the Properties of Matter. We will continue to expand on the properties of matter over the coming weeks and move into our Mixtures and Solutions unit towards the middle of September. In Social Studies this year we are focusing on US History. We have already covered geography and are beginning our Explorers unit. We will begin to discuss the early colonies and various colonial regions into the month of September. We are very excited for this year and are so thankful to have your kids in the classroom.


Sixth Grade Scoop

We are off to a great start in sixth grade! Our students all seem so happy to be back at school and we have settled into our daily routine really nicely. Everyone is hard at work growing their learning. In language arts, we are currently focused on the elements of plot, characterization and getting all of the beginning of the year assessments completed. Our math classes have been concentrating on multiplying and dividing decimals. Science has been all about the Periodic Table, and we’ve been brushing up on our geography skills in social studies. We will also be having a live look at democracy in action as we hold our own elections for Student Council. Sixth graders have so many outstanding opportunities to participate in various community service committees here at Deretchin. Ask your student if they signed up for one.

Art News

Ms. Klatt and I are so happy to be teaching your children Art this year. This is my 9th year teaching Art at Deretchin, and Ms. Klatt is new to our campus this year, and she previously taught Art for Magnolia ISD. Although we teach every grade level, we strive to make sure the projects are age appropriate. We grade on following directions and effort, not on who is the best artist. We want our students to enjoy the process and understand that making mistakes is part of the learning process. Thank you for sharing your child with us. Have a colorful day!

Mrs. Gibson-Roberts and Ms. Klatt

Music News

We are so excited for another year of making music! In grades PreK-4, we make music by learning songs and games that help us gain rhythm- and melody-reading skills. Our Deretchin Band, Choir and Orchestra are gearing up for another wonderful year of music as well!

This month, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade will focus on three melody sounds- so, la and mi. They will also work with the rhythms quarter note, eighth note, rest, half note and sixteenth note. First graders will focus on quarter note, eighth note and rest. Pre-K and kindergarteners will focus on identifying different voices and high and low sounds.

Band has gotten off to a great start this year! We have 5th graders beginning on their instruments and 6th graders getting back in the swing of it!

Our 5th graders are learning how to apply all they learned in their elementary music classes in band as well as the basics and fundamentals of their specific instruments. 6th graders are moving quick into work on scales and music for a McCullough football game and an upcoming honor band audition.

The orchestra is in full swing with new 5th grade students and 6th grade returning string players.

The first few weeks of school have been spent working on our fundamentals with the 6th graders and learning how the string instruments work for our 5th grade beginners.

During this time we also work especially hard with the 5th graders in getting them to understand how to hold the instrument properly and many of the other basic building blocks of music.

This is a lot to take in and please be patient with your youngster and encourage them to work slowly on getting these foundational building blocks as good habits!

The 6th grade Honor Orchestra auditions will be on November, 9th.

This is an opportunity for our older kids to practice on a separate set of music with an eye towards being selected for this very prestigious ensemble.

More information will be forthcoming on this opportunity.

Choir has begun working on ensemble skills, proper vocal warm-ups, and even beginner piano skills. Choir members are excited to learn music for concerts and contests, including a solo contest and a feeder zone concert with Deretchin, Tough, Mitchell, and McCullough JH choirs!

Thank you,

Melody Childs-Music/Choir

Ali Celia-Music/Band

Cameron Price-Music/Band

Russ Blanchard-Music/Orchestra

PE News

It is such a pleasure to welcome all the wonderful students back to school! Coach C and Coach Parra are looking forward to getting to know your children and having them in P.E. this year. Each class will attend P.E. daily.

The goal of Physical Education at Deretchin is to teach students to develop healthy living habits that will last a lifetime. We accomplish that by having students participate in a wide variety of activities, sports, and challenges that will increase their physical, social, and mental abilities, as well as teamwork and cooperation skills. We hope to provide a safe, fun, and motivating class that will encourage all students to want to participate, have fun and try their best. Focused fitness activities, health, nutrition, muscular strength, and cardio endurance are implemented into P.E. class, as well as Core subject areas such as math and spelling.

Here are some things that will help make P.E. as fun and SAFE as possible this year:

1. Everyone must wear athletic style sneakers. Flip flops, Crocs, boots, slippers, open-toed shoes and shoes with high heels should not be worn.

2. Girls should wear shorts under dresses and skirts.

3. If a student has a medical condition or injury, please send a note/medical excuse.

We are looking forward to a great year here at Deretchin! If you ever have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at school or via email.

Coach C (Mary Chernitsky) and Coach Parra (Tammy Parra)

Computer News

Please visit our Parent Technology Help Videos page for help getting onto Parent Access and Canvas!

Virtual Learners: You may check out a Chromebook from the school for your student if needed. Please contact Mariana Woodul for assistance with this.

Library News

My name is Cristofer W. Mattern, and I so excited to be given the opportunity to serve as the librarian here at Deretchin Elementary School. I feel so very blessed to share my passions for reading, learning, and teaching with every single student and teacher here at the school. In the library, we do lots of fun things including: listening to stories, talking about books, learning about authors and illustrators, and exploring different resources for research. I typically LOVE to have volunteers in the library. Unfortunately, that is not possible at this time. But, stay tuned for that. Also, if all goes to plan we will have an in-person book fair in November and an author visit in December. This is the breakdown of the number of books students are able to check out: Kindergarten/1st grade- 1 book, 2nd grade- 2 books, 3rd grade- 3 books, 4th grade- 4 books, 5th grade- 5 books, 6th grade-6 books. If you have any questions feel free to email me at or call me at my direct line, 832-592-8778.


Cristofer Mattern

Library Media Specialist

Clinic News

COVID Information

As nurse on campus, I wanted to share some of the common signs and symptoms students are experiencing when testing positive for COVID-19. The symptoms that students have experienced have been mild and very few students have experienced a fever as an initial symptoms. The items listed below are in order of most to least common sign/symptom.

  1. Congestion/Runny Nose
  2. Headache
  3. Sore Throat
  4. Nausea
  5. Cough

If your student is experiencing any one or a combination of these symptoms, please keep them home and have them evaluated by a physician or tested prior to returning to campus. In addition to keeping your student home please contact the campus or your student's teacher via email to make sure we have the appropriate documentation supporting the absence.

Thank you,

Nurse Bruner


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Ragweed season is upon us in Texas. With symptoms of COVID can closely mimic allergy symptoms please be sure to begin treating your students with known allergies.

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Counselor's Corner

Character Counts at Deretchin!

At Deretchin we strive to teach and enrich the “whole” child, not only through academics, but also through character education, social/emotional skills, and opportunities for developing habits of leadership and citizenship. We believe strongly that “Academics + Character = SUCCESS”, and our counseling program is designed to support this goal. Each month we will focus on one of our nine “Pillars of Character”. The 9 pillars are Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Generosity, Integrity, Kindness, Self-Discipline, Resilience, and Citizenship. Each pillar is represented by a specific color that helps students remember what that character trait means (i.e. Respect pillar is yellow which stands for the “golden rule”). Within each Pillar are embedded specific “Habits” that teach students what that character trait “sounds like”, “looks like”, and “feels like”. The entire school community builds upon these traits and habits through modeling and reinforcing positive behaviors using “Yellow Tickets”. Teachers will do weekly drawings of tickets which are tied to non-tangible rewards. Each month one student per home base will be chosen by their teacher to be honored at our “Spotlight” program, which parents are invited. Our daily Morning Meetings provide an intentional place for students to make connections with others, and address critical social/emotional health.

There are many other opportunities for Deretchin students to grow in leadership skills including the Ambassador program, 5thand 6th grade Student Council and committees, just to name a few. The counselors and teachers work together to support student learning and character, and are available to students and parents at any time to be more successful.

Character Lunches

I am excited to offer a new opportunity within our Character Education program to our First through 3rd grade students. Character Lunches will Begin the week of September 6 . I will invite 1-2 students from each home base classroom to come and eat lunch in the Counseling Center with me. Lunch discussions and activities will be centered around the Deretchin Character Pillars. My hope is to build relationships and to continue to instill the character Pillars in our students in a smaller setting. I will be working to give this opportunity to all students by December 2021.

Jenna Hendon, PK-3rd Counselor


Spotlight on Respect

Our Pillar this month is RESPECT. At Deretchin, respect is at the heart of everything we do. We want our kids to learn to respect themselves, respect others, and respect their learning environment. The Respect pillar is yellow because it reminds us of the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated."

Our Habits of the Week for Respect are:

Treat other people the way you want to be

Notice people.

Say hello to others and use their name.

Listen to understand.

Use your manners: say please, thank you, and excuse me.


Do things the first time you are asked.

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PTO News

A huge shout out to all the wonderful Deretchin families who have already joined the PTO! Thank you for contributing to our organization to help support our school and teachers! The PTO was able to kick off the school year with a gift to every teacher and staff member to help them get ready to start the year! If you would still like to join the PTO, you can do so through PayPal on our website, $15 per family and includes a free Deretchin car decal.

Be sure to support our first Spirit Event and visit Sapporo Japanese Steakhouse (30420 Hufsmith Conroe Rd) throughout the month of September. Dine in or take out!! Mention Deretchin and they will give a percentage back to our school!

Please take note the dates for the Direct Investment Fund, our school’s main fundraiser, have changed to October 12- October 22. More information to come early next month.

Don't miss out! Order your 2021-2022 Deretchin Yearbook at the lowest price of the year. Sale ends September 17th.

Mark your calendar for September 24th at 12pm!! Our first PTO meeting combined with our volunteer information meeting. It will be held at Terramont Park (8500 Terramont Dr), a local park about 2 miles from the school. You won’t want to miss it, as we will be introducing the committees and their volunteer opportunities for the school year. Plan on sticking around to put your name on some volunteer lists and get to know other Deretchin parents. You can also visit the “volunteer” section on and see all the ways you can help! Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Upcoming Dates

September 6 – School Holiday

September 22 – Staff Appreciation Lunch (donated by the PTO)

September 24 – PTO Meeting 12pm Follow us @ and keep up to date on our website,

The Conroe Independent School District (District) as an equal opportunity educational provider and employer does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, or disability in educational programs or activities that it operates or in employment matters. The District is required by Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as Board policy not to discriminate in such a manner.

For information about Title IX rights or Section 504/ADA rights, contact the Title IX Coordinator or the Section 504/ADA coordinator at 3205 W. Davis, Conroe, TX 77304; (936) 709-7752.