DDMS Student Support Services

Summer Newsletter

Character Trait quotes for the summer months

June is Wisdom

July is Caring

August is Fairness

Wisdom - The quality of having experience, knowledge, and sound decision making.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step." - Lao Tzu

Caring - Showing understanding of others by treating them with kindness, compassion, generosity and a forgiving spirit.

Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world.

For, indeed, that's all who ever have." - Margaret Mead

Fairness - Practicing justice, equity, and equality. Cooperating with one another. Recognizing the uniqueness and value of each individual within our diverse society.

"Fairness isn't giving every child the same thing,

it means giving every child what they need." - Rick Lavoie

End of the School Year!!!!!

Greetings Panther Parents! As another school year is complete we look forward to the transitions ahead and some summer fun. Summer is an opportunity to reflect and regroup for the coming year as well as a time for preparation, enrichment, relaxation, and family time. Enclosed in this newsletter are important dates, grade level happenings, information from the Student Support Services department, and tips for parents. Enjoy!

Rising 6th Grade Happenings

First, I want to give a huge welcome to all of the incoming 6th grade DDMS Panthers!! Can you believe that you're finished with elementary school? You're finally ready to step into the big world of middle school, so let's make sure you're prepared for August 28th!

Please make sure you attend Panther Pride Camp on Wednesday, August 23rd. At PPC, you'll be able to pick up your class schedule, meet your teachers, walk the school (so you won't get lost those first few days), purchase locks/agendas/spirit wear, meet other incoming 6th graders and MUCH MUCH MORE!! This is a fantastic opportunity to feel even better about starting middle school.

Once you get your school supply lists, please make sure you buy all the necessary supplies but don't go overboard! I know you're excited, but more than likely, you will need basic supplies for the first few days/week of school.

Purchase a combination lock over the summer because you will need one for your locker in the locker room when you dress out for gym. This will also provide you with lots of great practice with working a combination lock so if you choose to have a locker on the 6th grade hall, you'll be able to navigate the combination lock without any issues. Practice makes progress!

Try to relax this summer and have lots of fun! School will start before you know it and I'm looking forward to working with all of you throughout your middle school experience.


Ms. Everitt

6th Grade Counselor


Rising 7th Grade Happenings

What an amazing year! It was be so great to get to know all of my 6th graders this year. Our sixth graders have done an amazing job and I could not have asked for a better group of students. Please take time to unplug this summer and enjoy family and friends.

This summer look to explore areas of interest, relax, read, reflect, and regroup. I will be moving to 7th grade with you guys and I look forward to supporting you throughout a 7th grade year full of challenges and successes. Have a great summer!


Mr. Nilsen

7th Grade Counselor


Rising 8th Grade Happenings

Congratulations! You successfully made it through 7th grade, which I think can be the most challenging year of middle school. Now that summer is here, please take the time to rest, relax, and have fun.

Come back ready to make an IMPACT! Others will be looking up to you so set a good example now.

When school starts back in August, keep a watchful eye on our Student Services website as will post information pertaining to 8th graders and the high school transition throughout the school year that will be time sensitive.

Have a fun and safe summer! Make good choices and always be kind.


Mrs. Young

8th Grade Counselor

From our school nurse

Reminder for parents of Rising 7th graders:

Your child will need additional vaccines before the start school in August. North Carolina now requires Tdap and Meningococcal vaccines for entry into 7th grade. Please mail updated vaccine records to us a soon as possible or drop them off in the main office over the summer.

Summer Offerings

Summer is a time for relaxation but also enrichment and remediation. Here is a link to many of the summer opportunities available in our area.

Important Dates and Events

August 23rd: Panther Pride Camp & Schedule Pick-up

August 28th: First Day of School 2017-2018

October 14th: DDMS Fun Run

DDMS Calendar

Helpful website for parenting in this technological world

Common Sense Media is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. They empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives. Check it out here!

Tips for Parents - Help kids overcome fears, anxiety and perfectionism

Help kids overcome fears, anxiety and perfectionism


Perhaps the most exciting news in the parenting area over the last decade is the discovery of brain plasticity. That is, the brain is always growing and developing as opposed to it developing and plateauing at a certain age; and then it’s all downhill from there. It’s exciting to know that your child’s talent and smarts are not fixed. Their brains can always learn more, continue to grow and be stretched. This doesn’t mean that your child doesn’t have a propensity to be smart in certain areas such as maths or language learning or that all talent is created equal. Genetics gifts us with certain abilities that are either developed or they’re not. Instead, your child’s abilities and talents, just like yours, are evolving over time.

So as parents it seems smart that you should be developing a growth mindset in your child. A fixed mindset is limiting, even debilitating for kids. You want them to believe that with effort and practice they can develop their skills and abilities in whatever area or interest they want.

Science is on their side – their brains will continue to grow and stretch however a fixed mindset will let them down. If they believe that intelligence and talent is fixed then those beliefs will become self-fulfilling prophecies. Once again, it all comes down to attitude!

Carol Dweck, author of “The New Psychology of Success” believes that a growth mindset is the quality that separates those who succeed from those who don’t. Her research reveals how the use of language when praising kids can have a profound impact on their attitudes. Subtle differences in tone, wording and phrasing can lead even a child at two and half to have self-limiting beliefs when he or she started school a few years later.

Don’t overpraise

The problem with praising intelligence and ability is that it leads to fixed mindset development. Kids believe that their success is reliant on their ability or talent, rather than their effort or attitude. So to be respected and recognized as successful they become risk-adverse. Far better to achieve some success no matter how meagre, than risk failure and being seen as dumb, stupid or a failure.

So how can a parent develop a growth mindset in children? Well, it does come down to language and a few other strategies as well. Here are three simple ideas to get you started:

1. Praise effort, strategy and action, not results

Focus more on the processes of what kids do rather than results to develop a growth mindset. Kids need to hear comments such as “You worked hard to get that right!”(effort), “That was a smart idea to tackle the hardest task while you were fresh!”(strategy) and “You recognized the first few steps were the most important but then after that you were right.”(action). This type of praise and encouragement helps kids develop the belief that success has more to do with what they do than innate smarts and talents.

2. Look for opportunities to stretch your child’s capabilities

Encourage kids to stretch their capabilities by adding depth and breadth to their list of activities. Boys, in particular, often go deep investing all their time into areas such as sport or online gaming to develop their talents over time. Encourage them to stretch their capabilities across a range of areas rather than a few. Conversely, encourage a child who dabbles in many areas or interests without specialising in any area, to go deeper in one area.

3. Give honest feedback

Providing your child with honest feedback about their performance not only helps them improve, but also promotes a growth mindset. We often shy away from giving feedback for fear of harming children’s self-esteem. Confidence can be maintained by being sensitive to how we provide feedback. For instance, focusing on two or three things kids do well before giving constructive feedback is one way you can keep a young learner’s head up while giving pointers about better performance.

Having brain plasticity means that we can continue to acquire new skills, learn new things and embed new habits across our lifespan. It is important then that we help children develop a growth mindset so that they can reap the benefits of brain plasticity over their lifetime rather than be limited by their belief systems.

Full excerpt can be found at parentingideas.com

Student Support Services Team

Terri Dingess: Student Services Assistant x. 22071

Helen Everitt: School Counselor 6th grade x. 22069

Scott Nilsen: School Counselor 7th grade x. 22067

Michelle Young: School Counselor 8th grade x. 22068

Caroline Yates: School Counselor All grades x. 22066

Sara Davis: School Social Worker x. 22058

Kathy Vitiello: School Psychologist (919)387-2130 x. 21989