Parent FOCUSed Bobcat Beat

Highlights for the week of September 23-27, 2019

First Quarter Highlights

As we move through the midway point of the First Quarter, we want to thank you for continuing to stay involved in your student's progress! Progress Reports were sent home last Monday, and I know many of you were already closely monitoring your student's FOCUS account, so these reports were just another method of communication. If you do not have FOCUS access, please complete the online registration. I have attached a PDF help sheet below, as well as a button link to the DCPS parent section online that may provide some guidance. In addition, our Parent Liaison, Ms. Anne Coe, is on campus every day from 9 am - 2 pm to assist with any connection concerns.

Charleston Wrap - Fundraiser

Our Charleston Wrap fundraiser is coming to a close. Orders were due last Friday, September 20th. However, if you still have envelopes at home with orders, we will continue to accept them through this week. Please return them ASAP!

As a friendly reminder, students with 15 or more orders will be invited to ride in the Chicken Limo with Ms. Gray to lunch. Thank you to those of you that have participated. Your support is truly appreciated!

Early Dismissal is this Wednesday, September 25th.

Growth Mindset for Parents

Blended Learning

Our students have several Blended Learning platforms to support their work. Each of these programs allow your child to work on individual skills that are designed specifically for him/her based upon his/her current level of progress. Your child can access all of these programs from anywhere online. We have included some general information below about each program:

  • i-Ready - for both reading and math. Students are expected to log 45 minutes each week and maintain at least a 70% completion rate for both subject areas. As students struggle with a concept or skill, the program will adjust and provide additional lessons on that particular concept or skill. Side Note: Many of our 4th and 5th graders do not 'like' completing their reading lessons on this platform and share it can be boring (or juvenile) for them. Please continue to encourage their work on this platform to provide them with additional work in their identified areas of reading skills.
  • Achieve 3000 - for reading only, while content covers many content areas. Students are expected to complete 2 articles per week at a 75% or higher completion rate. Our work with this program shows that students who meet this weekly expectation show consistent academic growth each month and ultimately exceed their yearly academic goals. Over the past several years utilizing this program, almost every third grade student who consistently met this weekly completion rate independently earned a passing score of a Level 2 or higher on their ELA FSA. Their is a direct correlation between how students perform in Achieve3000 and how they will perform on their ELA FSA in the Spring.
  • Penda - for 5th grade Science. Fifth Grade students are expected to complete lessons weekly. Don Brewer Elementary was awarded the #1 spot as a "Power School" for our use of this amazing blended learning platform last year and anticipate the same results with this group of 5th grade scientists.

Our staff is always available to assist with any needs regarding the use of our blended learning platforms. These resources are designed to enhance the instruction your student is receiving each and every day. Any and all time provided outside the school day with these programs will only improve your student's overall success and achievement.

DCPS Calendar (updated)

The district has identified two weather "make-up" days to address the days students missed from school due to Hurricane Dorian. The days are:

  • Monday, October 21, 2019
  • Friday, January 17, 2020

Background Information: The 2019-2020 calendar approved by the DCPS Board last school year included 5 weather days. These days were identified as make-up days in the event severe weather prevented students from attending school and days were required to be made up.

Hurricane Dorian results in three lost days. Only two days - Oct. 21 and Jan. 17 - were identified as needed make-up days. The updated calendar will have sufficient time to meet the total instructional minutes required by the state without using a third make-up day.

School Advisory Council (SAC) Meeting

Our next SAC Meeting is next Monday, September 30th at 3:15 pm in our Media Center. An email to those who indicated an interest in participating was sent last week by Ms. Gray. If you are willing and interested in serving on the council for the 19-20 school year, we would welcome your support and participation! Please reach out to Ms. Gray through the front office to indicate your desire.

VOLUNTEER - Click Here!

Your partnership and support is an integral part of our success. We need YOU! Please complete the required volunteer application and reach out to Ms. Gray to find out what you can do to continue making Don Brewer and your student so successful!


Your student's attendance is important to us, as every minute counts, every day. If we can assist with any issues that may be interfering with your student getting to school on time and staying in class until the last minute of the day, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team. Our Guidance Counselor, Ms. Jennifer Poliseo, as well as our entire Leadership Team is available to assist in any way we can. There are many family resource that support our work in the Arlington Community, if we are aware of a need. Reach out and let us work with you to ensure your student has every chance to be successful each and every day.

Big picture

Parent Workshop - The FUNdamentals of Reading

Our next Parent Workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 8th at 6:00 pm. This course is designed to share FUN strategies that can effectively assist a struggling reader in becoming more fluent and confident in their reading abilities.

One of our school-wide goals this year is to increase parent engagement, and our monthly parent workshops are designed to support that goal. We have created monthly opportunities to support our work together in ensuring your student meets his/her academic learning goals. We hope that you will join us in this partnership and look forward to seeing you at our next workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 8th.

We have included an event notice below and encourage you to RSVP, if you are able, to assist us with materials preparations. RSVPs are not required, but are encouraged.

The FUNdamentals of Reading

Tuesday, Oct. 8th, 6pm

3385 Hartsfield Road

Jacksonville, FL

This course is designed to share FUN strategies that can effectively assist a struggling reader in becoming more fluent and confident in their reading abilities.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.