Kingsley KES Principal Newsletter

August 7, 2022

"Building the Leader Within Me"

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Summer Fun at KES

"Keeping Kids First"

Principal "Welcome Back" Message

Greetings Kingsley Families,

Welcome to our 2022-2023 school year! I hope you had a relaxing, fun, and wonderful summer. The staff and I are excited about this school year, and I am so delighted that you are part of our KES amazing learning community. I welcome and value your positive energy and dedication to excellence in education, and I look forward to working with you and your children.

Our theme this school year is “Building the Leader Within Me!We believe that everyone can be a leader. Our goal this year is to provide leadership opportunities for all students and to create a culture of student empowerment. I am extremely excited that we will be introducing new instructional resources to students in the areas of reading and math that will deepen their understanding and thinking. Our goal is for students to continue to show growth in all academic areas as well as socially and emotionally.

Our summer has been busy. The KES staff spent last week preparing for the school new year. The Admin Team and the Kingsley Leadership Team met during the summer to plan and prepare for our students. Our office team assisted with registration of new families, ordered needed materials, and updated student files. Our hard working and conscientious custodians have spent the entire summer thoroughly cleaning the facility. The Kingsley community came together to work on KES Campus Beatification. And, our much-appreciated Kingsley PTO have been gearing up to welcome families, provide volunteer opportunities, and offer other exciting events and programs. We are a caring community with the common goals of nurturing responsible, caring students and promoting high-level learning.

Here are a few highlights as we begin the 2022-2023 school year!

  • K-5th grade students will be participate in Early Learning Time (ELT) for enrichment or remediation.
  • We are excited to continue with our STEAM program and clubs this school year.
  • Our ASEDP (After School Enrichment Program) will resume on the first day of school.
  • Our doors are open for volunteers! We are so excited to work closely with our school community and partners. Please be on the look out for volunteer opportunities.
  • School field trips are back on for all students. 😊
  • All students PreK - 5th grade will receive a device (Chromebook or tablet) this year.
  • Kingsley Elementary is celebrating 50 years! ❤️ 💙

As we prepare to return to school, this newsletter provides all the back to school information you need to start the year smoothly. The first day of school is Monday, August 8th. Please make sure your child is at school on time between 7:10 AM - 7:40 AM. The first weeks of school are always busy so we ask for your patience with the front office, dismissal, buses, car pool, and walkers.

Parents may walk their child to class the first week of school only. Tomorrow, August 8th, parents are allowed to walk their child to class between 7:10 AM - 7:40 AM. Parents will need to use the front door entrance to enter the building. Students will report to the cafeteria or gym starting Tuesday, August 9th, and will be released to their classrooms at 7:30 AM. Starting August 15th, students should be prepared to be independent by walking to class by themselves. Staff will be stationed throughout the building to assist. If you are parking to walk your child/children in during the first week of school, please be mindful of where you are parking in the neighborhood. We do not want to block the driveways of our neighbors.

We look forward to seeing and serving our families! Our staff is here to support you and our students academically, socially, and emotionally. I am looking forward to a very successful year! Please stay connected to the school by ensuring you have signed up for School Messenger (flyer below) and Class Dojo (you will receive this information from your child's teacher). You can expect to receive communication from me weekly through my Principal's Newsletter that I send out each week. I also send out messages in Class Dojo and through School Messenger emails/texts to ensure I reach all parents.

I appreciate your continued support and partnership as we begin a new, rewarding 2022-2023 school year.

Leading with a grateful heart,

Dr. Harris-Thompson


I would like to thank our amazing staff for a very successful 2022 Open House. It was great seeing all our students and parents. Thank you to Corners Outreach and the Dunwoody High School Cheerleaders (organized by Ms. Rebecca Briggs) for assisting us with the different stations during Open House. I would also like to give a big shout out to our amazing PTO!! They provided breakfast for our staff Monday and lunch for the staff Wednesday. Everything was yummy ❤️ !

Thank you, Kingswood Church!

Kingsley Elementary loves our community partners and volunteers. We will be hosting a partners and volunteer breakfast soon!

Kingswood Church has been our school community partner for years! It truly takes a village!! Thank you for your generous back to school supplies to our staff ❤️ .

Community & School Partnership 2022
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Principal Advisory Councils bring parents, school employees, students, and the community together to share ideas regarding school climate, facilities, increasing student achievement, and community partnerships. If you are interested in being a part of our school's Principal Advisory Council, the candidate declaration window will be open through Friday, September 2, 2022. For more information:

What is the role of the Principal Advisory Council?

  • Act as a link between the school and the community
  • Encourage the engagement of parents and other stakeholders within the school community
  • Work to increase student achievement through transparent operations and shared best practices
  • Review the Continuous School Improvement Plan and monitor progress toward goals
  • Participate in the selection of the school principal

Complete the relevant form below to run for a position on your school’s Council.

If you declare your name, please email Dr. Harris-Thompson at with your bio and picture. Thank you!

New Staff - Welcome to Kingsley!

Each year brings positive change. This includes a few additions to our staff. We are delighted to welcome our newest Kingsley Comets. I cannot wait for everyone to meet them! Please read their bios below to get to know them.

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School Safety

With the recent tragedies that have occurred across our country in the last few months, much reflection, thought, and care has taken place to ensure our school remains a safe and nurturing environment for all students and staff.

School Safety is top of mind for me and I know for you as well. My team and I have reviewed and refined our procedures to ensure we are ready if an emergency arises.

Every precaution will be taken to ensure the safety of your child during school hours. One safety measure practiced are safety drills (fire, tornado, intruder), which are conducted throughout the school year. Fire drills are held once every month. Tornado drills are held twice a semester. Intruder (Lockdown) drills are held three times a semester. Schedules, exits, and procedures are a part of these important drills to keep our students and staff safe in the event of an emergency. The administrative team and all staff members will be in position to aid in a safe, quick evacuation. Routes of exit are posted in each room of the building. Our number one priority is the safety and security of our students and staff.

During the school day, we ensure the following safety measures are taken:

  • All classroom doors remain closed and locked at all times.
  • Exterior doors remain locked at all times and are not propped open for any reason.
  • Exterior doors will not be opened for visitors.
  • All visitors must come to the front of the school to receive assistance.
  • All visitors must press the entry button outside the front door and show photo identification. The front office staff will assist all visitors from this point.
  • If a visitor does not have an appointment with staff, is not checking out a student, or is not receiving assistance from the front office, they will not be allowed inside the school.
  • If parents would like to drop off items for their child, they will utilize the black cart outside the front door and complete a drop off slip. Front office staff will retrieve the items off the cart and ensure your child receives the item.
  • Students are monitored by staff members in all areas of the building and during recess.
  • Outside of traveling with their class to other parts of the building, students will travel in pairs when leaving their class independently to go to the restroom, nurse, or front office.
  • Every classroom is equipped with a telephone and a call button in the event of an emergency.
  • During recess, each grade level has a walkie talkie.
  • For afternoon dismissal (Silent Dismissal) , students are only dismissed from class when their name appears on the dismissal spreadsheets and/or their bus is called.
  • Staff are strategically stationed all around our building and campus to ensure students arrive and depart safely from school.

Our school resource officer does stop by the school on a consistent basis. He walks the building and walk the grounds to ensure we are safe and order is maintained.

In the event of an emergency, we will communicate with all parents via School Messenger and Class Dojo. Please ensure you are connected and signed up for both on your mobile phone. It is important that parents read all text messages from the school thoroughly and follow next steps as outlined.

Safety will always remain our top priority. We appreciate your partnership and collaboration as we work together to maintain a safe learning environment for all students and staff.

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A comprehensive student/parent handbook is attached below that outlines our school policies and procedures.

***Please download the handbook using the attachment below and save it to refer to throughout the school year.

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2022-2023 BUS ROUTES

Bus routes can be found on the district website. and on the attachment below.

Each bus is associated with a color (red, yellow, green, purple, or blue). Please check the attachment below for specific bus colors and the routes each bus is connected to.

Route 733 - Blue

Route 734 - Yellow

Route 735 - Green

Route 736 - Orange

Route 737 - Red

Route 738 - Purple

*The times you see listed on the bus routes are for the morning only. The bus runs in the reverse order (route) taking students back home each afternoon. Buses generally leave the school by 2:35 PM.

Similar to last year, the district's Transportation team is short staffed. This is a continued issue across the state and nation. Throughout the year, I will communicate ASAP when this issue effects our school. Please know that we have some drivers that will be picking up more than one route. This means there might be delays the first week of school.

Please plan to check your email each morning and afternoon for any possible updates.

Thank you for your support and understanding as the transportation department works diligently to make the best plan amidst the current situation.

If you have any questions related to DCSD school buses, please contact Mrs. Johnson or Mr. Morrison .


Car Riders/Walker:

Family ID hangtags are required to be visible in your car (carpool) or hand (walkers) during dismissal.

If you are in need of a family ID hangtag, you may pick it up any weekday 8:00 AM - 1:30 PM from the school. Please email Mrs. Bari or Mrs. Alicea .

Carpool Guidelines

Parents are encouraged to use carpool when dropping off their child for school. Parents should not drop off students on Brendon Drive in the morning.

  • Get in the carpool line by 7:05 AM (morning) and 2:05 PM (afternoon) to ensure that you get through the line quickly.
  • The carpool line closes at 7:35 AM to prepare for morning announcements and instruction. Parents may drive around to the front of the building (bus lane) to drop off their child/children between 7:35 AM - 7:40 AM. Parents do not need to escort or check their children in until 7:41 AM.
  • The doors open for carpool at 7:10 AM - 7:35 AM for morning arrival. Afternoon dismissal for carpool starts at 2:20 PM - 2:35 PM.
  • Be kind to the carpool staff that are taking their time to keep all children safe.
  • Do not park on the opposite side of the street and send your child across the street alone.
  • Do not drop off your child in front of the school during morning arrival.
  • When ENTERING the side parking lot- please DO NOT turn left into the parking lot. Please go around the neighborhood and turn RIGHT to enter the parking lot. (Brendon Drive is considered a one-way during arrival and departure times)
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We will continue with our Silent Dismissal System. An Inside Look into Afternoon Dismissal - Students are all dismissed directly from their classroom. We started our dismissal system in March of 2021 when students returned back for face-to-face learning. The dismissal system ensures a safe exit for all. We use a live spreadsheets on all classroom Promethean boards. We have staff members stationed all over the school grounds working on the spreadsheets to dismiss students and ensuring students stay distanced and get to the right location. Once students see their name pop up on the spreadsheet, they exit the class. Bus riders are dismissed using the silent dismissal system. We have improved our dismissal system and will continue to make the process better. Thank you so much for your patience as we dismiss students safely from our school into your care.

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We encourage all students to wear school uniforms Monday - Thursday.

Fridays are designated as Spirit Days. Students may wear a Kingsley Elementary t-shirt or the color red or blue, with denim bottoms.

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If your child needs to have medication administered at school, please download the form below and have your physician to complete it. On the first day of school, please place the form and medication in a ziploc bag clearly labeled with your child's first/last name. Inform the teacher that these items are in your child's bookbag and we will be sure the front office receives it. Please note that we do not have a school nurse at this time. However, the front office staff will assist with medication.

If you have questions, please contact our front office staff: Mrs. Alicea and Mrs. Johnson .

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Please review and save the list below so you are aware who to contact when questions arise.

Direct questions regarding the following items to the people below.

IMPORTANT: Report Covid Positive Cases and Exposures directly to Dr. Harris-Thompson


The school calendar is set by the Dekalb County School District. Please click the link below to view the 2022-2023 school calendar.

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School Meals

Breakfast and lunch are served each day of school. Please review the flyer below for more information.

****Please note: Breakfast and Lunch are not free this school year.

Information about meal applications and meal payments can be found at the link below.

Breakfast and lunch menus can always be found on this website:

Please contact our Cafeteria Manager if you have questions: Mrs. Catalina Moreno-Ortega, .

USDA has not granted school districts the ability to extend the “meals at no cost” waiver for the 2022-23 school year. As a result, families must either pay for meals or be determined eligible to receive free or reduced-price meal benefits.

An online application for SY 22-23 is available on the DCSD website. Unless your family has received a letter indicating you are already qualified, you must complete a free or reduced-price application. Please apply if you think your family may qualify.

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Sign up and/or Opt-in to School Messenger to stay informed with Kingsley ES and DCSD news and updates.

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Popsicles with the Principal

We had a great time with our popsicle social! It was great meeting our new family members ❤️ and catching up with returning KES families ❤️. Guess what?? It was all you could eat popsicles, and we played on the playground. You don't want to miss our next event!
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Stay Connected

We are Kingsley Elementary School where our staff and students strive for the best and never accept anything less.