The Panther Press

DMS October 2019 Newsletter

Principal's Corner

Panther Families,

It is hard to believe that we will be finishing our first 9-week term this Friday! Fall break starts Monday, October 7th. Check your child’s grades in INow. Please encourage your child to complete any make-up work and missing assignments. Our grading period closes this Friday, October 4. Report cards will go home on October 21st.

I want to remind all parents to sign and return Impact Aid forms as soon as possible. We must have a form on file for every student. Impact Aid is money the federal government pays in lieu of taxes to schools that educate the children of federal workers. Simply working on federal property, like on Redstone Arsenal, will qualify the district for this money.

With Panther Pride,

Kim Stewart

Discovery Middle School: A place for innovation, excellence and discovery.

Upcoming Events

October 4: End of the first nine weeks.

October 7-11: Fall Break

October 14: New School Hours - 8:15 a.m. - 3:20 p.m.

October 14-17: DMS Soccer Tryouts 3:30 - 5:15 p.m.

October 21: Report Cards will be sent home with students.

October 22-24: DMS Softball Tryouts 3:30 - 5:30 p.m

October 24 & 26: DMS Boys Basketball Tip-Off Tournament @ Scottsboro

October 24 & 26: DMS Girls Basketball Tip-Off Tournament @ Scottsboro

Veteran's Day Event

Discovery Middle School will honor veterans in a school-wide “Tribute to Heroes” community assembly on Friday, November 8th. This annual veteran’s tribute at DMS is a day in which veterans are invited to a special school breakfast and then treated to a patriotic "Thank You" ceremony in the gym.

If you would like to invite a family member or friend who is a veteran to attend, please share the following link with them so that we may honor them at this special program.

The program is hosted by students in the JS2S service club. All RSVP's for Breakfast are needed by October 19th. For any questions, please email

Program Schedule:

Assembly 1 - 8:30 a.m. in the DMS Gym

Breakfast - 9:00 a.m. in the DMS Library

Assembly 2 - 9:45 a.m. in the DMS Gym

We hope to see you there!

New School Hours

Beginning Monday, October 14 when we return from Fall Break, DMS will be on a new schedule with school beginning at 8:15 a.m. and ending at 3:20 p.m. This time change only applies to the middle schools. Morning drop-off time will remain the same--7:30 a.m.

As per Mr. Parker, this change is driven by our transportation department needing a little more time on elementary routes to avoid tardiness on their middle school routes. Our staggered school starts enable drivers to run their elementary route, then their secondary routes. Bus drivers are experiencing increasing delays due to heavy traffic. A domino effect of lateness occurs when earlier routes get pushed behind.

We heard your concerns and felt your frustrations and are trying everything we can to address them. We've added new routes and hired additional drivers using a new pay scale. We will soon roll out a GPS bus locator service to enhance our route planning and enable you to track your child's bus.

Once the new schedule is in place, if it is determined adjustments are needed to some pickup times. the transportation department will notify the school of those changes and parents, in turn, will be notified via messenger.

Big picture

Native American Heritage Art Contest

The Native American Heritage Art Contest is going on now.

ALL DMS students are invited to participate.

Please see Mrs. Bagwell for more information.

Entries are due to Mrs. Bagwell, room 517, by October 16th.

PTA Reflections Art Contest

Calling all artists! Literature, Dance, Film, Music, Visual Art, and Photography art works are welcome.

For all rules, forms, and details, please reference the Reflections website at

Entries are due at the DMS front office by October 14, 2019.

DMS Band: Cobwebs and Cocoa

Come to the October PTA meeting on 10/29 and stay afterward for the Concert Band's special Halloween concert performance!

Have some hot cocoa and Halloween themed dessert and see the Concert Band perform in their Halloween costumes. You'll hear favorites like Ghostbusters, Scooby Doo and some fun Halloween rock. The performance will follow immediately after a brief PTA meeting in the DMS cafeteria. It is a free performance; all are welcome to attend!

Halloween Dance

The DMS Halloween Dance this year will be held Thursday, October 24 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. in the DMS Gym.

We will have pre-sale tickets available in the front office after Monday 10/14 or students may purchase tickets at the door on the day of the event. Students may wear a costume if they choose; we will have a costume contest, live D.J., "Haunted Hallway", a fantastic concession stand and more!

DMS Basketball Schedule 2019 -2020

Come out and support the DMS Panther Basketball Teams!

Game Schedule:

10/21 (Away) @Hampton Cove

10/ 24 & 10/26 Boys tip-off tourney (Away) @Scottsboro

10/24 & 10/26 Girls tip-off tourney (Away) @Guntersville

11/ 7 (Home) Sparkman

11/ 14 (Home) Monrovia

11/18 (Home) Buckhorn

11/ 21 (Home) Meridianville

12/ 2 (Away) @Athens

12/ 5 (Home) Liberty

12/ 9 (Away) @Monrovia

12/ 12 (Away) @Liberty

12/ 16 (Away) @Meridianville

12/17 – 12/20 Girls Christmas Tourney (Away) @Guntersville

12/ 19 (Home) Athens

1/ 9 (Away) @Sparkman

1/ 13 (Away) @Buckhorn

County Tournament 1/ 20 – 1/24 (Away) @Sparkman

DMS Advisory

When learning about the DMS Advisory program, many people ask What is Advisory? Advisory provides each student a teacher mentor along with the opportunity to bond with a small cohort of students over the school year.

What is the purpose of Advisory? The Advisory program aims to improve school climate by enhancing both student-to-student connectivity and student-to-teacher connectivity along with providing students a more personalized and supported educational experience.

Discovery and Liberty Middle Schools are focusing their Advisory theme this year on the mindset that "Other People Matter". The Positivity Project is based on the idea that positive relationships are the cornerstone of health, happiness, and resilience.

Advisory groups are comprised of a teacher and an assigned group of students. The key is for the teacher to create a positive relationship with the students and inspire students to build positive relationships among themselves. By utilizing the building blocks for healthy social interactions with others, students will have the tools to create a more positive and inclusive environment in our school.

The "Other People Matter" mindset is based on four basic tenets:

* Identifying and appreciating the good in others.

* Knowing that my words and actions effect others.

* Being present and giving others my attention.

* Cheering others' successes.

* Supporting others when they are struggling.

Parent's Corner: Social Media Safety

Young people today have more access to technology and are more social media savvy than ever before. Over 80% of students use some form of social media, and they're sharing more information about themselves on social networks than they have in the past.

While growing up with technology has its benefits, it also poses new risks. Between cyber-bullying, oversharing, and giving in to peer pressure, a young person's misuse of a social network can turn into a serious problem.

For many parents, navigating their child's social media presence is not only worrisome, but also challenging. However, with the right approach, parents can set positive examples for their students and teach them how to use social media responsibly and respectfully.

Here are six tips to help you keep your kids safe on social media.

1. Educate yourself about social media.

It is recommended that parents take time to research and learn about the different social networks their children are using. Familiarizing yourself with popular social platforms will give you a better understanding of how each service works.

Here some popular social networks kids are actively using:







2. Establish an age limit.

When deciding at what age you will allow your student(s) to use social media, keep in mind that most social networks require users to be 13 years old or older to create an account. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) prevents companies from collecting personal information about children under the age of 13 without their parents' permission.

3. Talk to your kids about the dangers and consequences of social media.

Most young people do not fully realize the consequences that come with using social media. They tend to underestimate how easily accessible their information is, and can forget that others are watching their online activity. By being proactive and talking to your children about the dangers of social media, they will more likely think twice before posting a photo or sharing personal information with others online.

4. Keep technology (computers, tablets, cell phones) in a common area of your home.

Keep your online devices in a centralized and open location in your house. This way, you can easily keep an eye on your student’s social media usage. Young people are less likely to engage in inappropriate behavior when they know their parents can look over their shoulder at any time.

5. Set guidelines or rules.

Establishing a set of guidelines or rules is a wonderful way to instill positive social media habits in your child. Set time limits for how long your student can spend on social media during the week.

6. Check your child's privacy settings regularly.

Be sure to check your student's privacy settings on each social network consistently. Social networks are constantly updating and changing their sites and apps, so you'll want to make sure your child's profile is as secure as possible.

* Keep in mind, the key to keeping your student safe on social media is to properly supervise their activities and use of social media!