DRAGON DIGEST

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 3 / SEPTEMBER 8, 2017

PRINCIPAL'S LETTER

Dear DeSana Parents & Students,

As a faculty and staff, we believe that one of our greatest strengths at DeSana is our diverse student body and staff. Any way you choose to look at us - - - cultural backgrounds, socio-economic status, racial heritage, and/or academic achievement levels - - - we are quite diverse and represent a microcosm of society today in the United States. We embrace our diversity and encourage our students to do so daily. We continually strive to help our young Dragons see, understand and embrace the fact that we have many more similarities than we have differences. And we advocate to our students each and every day to live a life that shows respect, tolerance and inclusion to all people, but especially to members of our DeSana Family.


So it is with this thought in mind - - - that we are a family here at DeSana - - - and only being in our second year together, we feel that it is important that we get to know one another a little better. That is what this Saturday’s first DeSana Family Fun Festival (and hopefully, an annual event!) is all about. Tomorrow (Saturday) evening at around 6:30, we invite all of our DeSana families to gather on our football field for a night of enjoying dinner together, playing games, having rich conversations, watching a movie outside on a giant screen, and having a great time simply getting to know one another a little bit better. And the best part about it is that it is FREE!


Bring some of your favorite foods and drinks to enjoy (no alcohol, please) and a blanket or two to spread out to sit on (think picnic!), or chairs. Kona Ice will have a truck here for those who want to grab a cup (there is a charge for the Kona Ice) and our PTO is sponsoring a raffle. We will have a DJ playing some of your favorite tunes, fun games to play, and just enjoy being outside on what promises to be a gorgeous Fall-like evening as a DeSana Family. Then . . . when it grows dark (around 8:00ish), we will all settle in and watch the movie Zootopia, a little over an hour long (PG rated) animated Disney film set in a world of walking, talking, clothed animals that live peacefully together, having gotten past the laws of the jungle of predator vs. prey. Reviews of this movie highlight the great messages it delivers about courage, empathy, tolerance, teamwork, and the dangers of reducing others to stereotypes.


We do hope to see many of our DeSana Family members gathered tomorrow evening for a laid-back evening of family fun and the opportunity to get to know one another on a more personal level. Come join us!!


With warmest regards,

Terri A. North

Principal

desana day of good deeds

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Important Business and Family Donation opportunity!

If you own a business and want to be an integral part of D3 Day, please consider making a donation to support D3 Day. You will be joining companies like United Way and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (who supported us last year and have signed up again this year). Please see the attachment for ways to support and how you will be advertised at DeSana.

Families can also make a donation to D3 Day and support the planting of seeds of altruism in our students. A Family Donation of $50 will get your family name on the D3 Day t-shirts (and will include the t-shirts for the student and any family member volunteering on D3 Day!). Click here the Family donation is also on the Sponsor Form.

Please contact dawn@bourgs.com or jharris@campharris.org if you would like to talk about making a donation. Thank you!

pto news

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Fundraising update

This year we have partnered with Read-A-Thon for our PTO fundraiser which kicks off September 8th and ends on September 22nd. We are asking our kids commit to seven, 30-minute reading sessions, a few of which will take place during school hours but most will be completed at home. Check out the great video some of the kids created to announce the fundraiser!

https://youtu.be/-x6EXr9sebk


Your child was sent home with a parent letter and instructions to set up their online donation site specifically created for your child by Read-A-Thon this past Wednesday, September 6th. If you have not yet seen that, please ask them to show it to you. Please know that the confidentiality of your child’s personal information is also of great importance to us, therefore, all students’ websites show only their first name and last initial and you control who you send the link to (friends and family members). Read-A-Thon will purge their system of the sites once the fundraiser comes to an end.


The PTO will raise funds by asking for a flat donation for time spent reading. We know everyone is inundated in the fall with magazines, chocolates, and popcorn sales requests so we hope this approach provides a bit of a break for you and the kids, and it encourages and promotes a love of reading! The PTO also gets to keep 75% of the funds raised, which is very exciting as it will allow us to do so much more for the school and our students! We hope you will join your child(ren) for some family reading time and encourage them in this endeavor! A Samsung Tablet will be awarded to the student in each grade level who raises the most funds, and the class who raises the most funds will receive a Chick-fil-A and Kona Ice party! In addition, they get to choose their own prizes provided by Read-A-Thon from the website based on how much they have raised. Please click here for our letter on the website for a full copy of the parent letter and feel free to email us at desanadragonspto@gmail.com with any questions!

academics

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Individual Student Report End-of-Grade (EOG) Assessments for Spring 2017

Your child’s Individual Student Report (ISR) for last year's Georgia Milestones/EOGs was sent home on September 1, 2017. There is a plethora of information on the score report. Some of the information can be confusing, so we want to help you better understand your student’s report.


On the 1st page, you will see 3 sections: Content Area, Achievement Level, and Scale Score. Your student will have data for English Language Arts and Mathematics. This is due to your student only taking the English Language Art and Mathematics portion of the Georgia Milestone Test. You will also see a section for Achievement Levels. There are four different levels which includes an explanation for each level. The way to identify your student’s level is by looking at the black bars in the Achievement Level section. The Achievement Level is indicated by the number of bars that are colored black. If your child has all four bars colored black, he/she is at a Level 4 for their Academic Achievement Level.


The 2nd page provides you with a general summary of skills and knowledge that a student performs on at a Beginning Learner, Developing Learner, Proficient Learner, and a Distinguished Learner. The two different sections that are discussed are English Language Arts and Mathematics.


The 3rd page provides you with a detailed performance on your student’s performance for English Language Arts. You will see the Achievement Level again along with a description of the particular Achievement Level your child is performing on at the end of the 16-17 school year. You will also see the Domain summary. There will be two Domains listed: Reading/Vocabulary and Writing/Language. These are the only two domains that your student was tested on. You will also be able to view a comparison of your students score to DeSana Middle School, Forsyth County School System, the State of Georgia, and a National Sample of Students. When viewing your student’s Percentile, keep in mind the number is a percentile and not a percent. For example, if your child has a 95, this means that your student performed at or better than 95% of students in reading on a national level. You will also see your child’s Lexile score including the Lexile Range. The Lexile Range is a range of where your child should be reading and will help guide them when choosing books to read. The state offers suggestions of books for your child to read for leisure and books that will challenge them.


The 4th page provides you with a detailed report on your student’s performance for Mathematics. You will find the same information that you viewed on page 3 except for a few changes. You will not find a Lexile Range nor recommended books to read. You will find more Domains. Your student was tested on 5 different Domains: Ratios and Proportional Relationships, The Number System, Expression and Equations, Geometry, and Statistics.


If you have any questions regarding your child's ISR, please do not hesitate to contact DeSana's Testing Coordinator, Assistant Principal David Feuerbach at dfeuerbach@forsyth.k12.ga.us or at ext. 491507.

DRAGON ACADEMY FOR THE 2017-2018 SCHOOL YEAR - - - AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ADDITIONAL LEARNING & ASSESSMENT TIME FOR STUDENTS!

Dragon Academy is an opportunity we will begin offering students on August 25th from 4:15 – 6:15 for completing, taking or re-taking formative and/or summative assessments (i.e. unit tests, projects, essays, quizzes. etc.). Dragon Academy will happen at least two times a month --- on Fridays with teachers and an administrator supervising each session. It is a fantastic opportunity for students to drastically improve both their learning and their grades. Students will be invited by their teachers . . . or they may invite themselves . . . to attendDragon Academy if they are missing work or need to re-take an assessment to show better mastery of the standards or complete a project. Although students will have about two hours to complete their work, once they complete all that they came to accomplish, students will be able to call their parent to come pick them up. Snacks and drinks will be sold for a very reasonable cost so students may focus on their work, not on their gurgling stomachs! Any necessary school supplies will be provided for students to use to complete their work, as needed.


Please mark your calendars now for these Dragon Academy dates for the rest of the school year:


· September 8 &15

· October 6, 18 (Early Release Day so it will be 1:30 – 4:00) & 27

· November 10 &17

· December 1 & 15

· January 26

· February 9 & 23

· March 9 (Early Release Day so it will be 1:30 – 4:00), 16 & 30

· April 27

· May 4 & 18

What is itslearning?

Itslearning is an online learning management system that allows teachers to have an online component alongside their traditional instruction. Not only can teachers post classroom content, but they may also have students participate in online discussions, submit assignments, complete assessments, and create content. In addition to being a vital component for everyday teaching and learning, itslearning will also be utilized during any days missed due to unscheduled school closures (ex. inclement weather). Itslearning is also a communication tool for administrators, teachers, students, and parents.


What can I do as a parent? In all courses, parents can monitor content assigned to their children through itslearning. Parents can log-in with the same credentials they use to get in Parent Portal or by using their child’s log-in information. Here at DeSana we recommend using your child’s log-in information. This will give you a little more access to things when you are trying to assist your child. Be sure to ask your child for their username and password. In both instances, parents can check the Lesson Planner section for the class lesson presented that day, see posted homework or posted ‘no homework’, see class resources used, class activities, and any information about upcoming tests, projects, and quizzes. Using the student log-in will allow parents to find bulletins or reminders in individual courses. Parents can also find links to valuable resources that students may need throughout the year. This can include on-line text books and more. How do I get there? There are 2 easy ways to get there: 1. Go to https://forsyth.itslearning.com. Use your child’s username and password to log-in. 2. Visit our DeSana Middle School web site and use the quick link at the top right to access Classlink (itslearning.) Again, use your child’s username and password. If your child does not know their information, they can ask one of their teachers or go see Mr. Crowder, the DeSana Instructional Technology Specialist, in his office located in the Media Center. This information cannot be emailed or given out over the phone. Having this information and checking it regularly are vital for helping your child succeed to the fullest at DeSana.


I still need help! Visiting the DeSana Webpage will be your first step. On the right side under Quick Links is a link to valuable resources. These resources include print and video resources about using and navigating itslearning for both parents and students. Mr. Crowder has made this video you can watch by clicking here on itslearning basics. You may also call or email Mr. Crowder 770-667-2591 Ext. 491590 ncrowder@forsyth.k12.ga.us. He will try to answer your questions or set an individual meeting with you.

athletics

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Basketball

Be on the lookout for information regarding basketball tryouts for both boys and girls coming up in October. We will also hold tryouts for the basketball cheerleaders in October as well. All students wishing to participate, must have a valid physical on file.

Are You Ready for Some Football!?

The 2017 Fall athletic season is winding down. The Dragon football team is on a two game winning streak and will look to continue that against Riverwatch on Tuesday, September 12 at 6:30pm at Lambert High School. Come out and support the team and the cheerleaders as they look to continue their winning way!


Here is the Dragon Football Schedule for the rest of the 2017 Season:


  • Wednesday Sept. 13 vs. Riverwatch at Lambert 6:30
  • Tuesday Sept. 19 vs. Vickery at DeSana 5:30


Here is the Dragon JV Football Schedule for this 2017 Season:


· Saturday August 19 vs. North at DeSana 9:00

· Saturday Sept. 9 vs. South at SFMS 9:00

· Saturday Sept. 16 vs. Piney Grove at DeSana 9:00

· Thursday Sept. 21 vs. Lakeside at DeSana 5:30

The Arts

High Museum Pop-Up Art Show

Attention all middle school artists! Now is your chance to showcase your work at the High Museum AND gain free entry. The High Museum is hosting a youth pop up show for the month of October! Bring one 2D artwork to the high museum on September 30 from 10 am and 1 pm and pick up October 29 from 12 noon to 3 pm. Museum admission is free for you and your family on September 30 and October 29! The show is open to students in grades Pre-K through 12.

A huge congratulations to 8th grade Dragon Shauna D., who will have a piece of artwork exhibited at an art auction at Rathbun’s on the beltline. All proceeds from the auction will go towards bringing sustainable healthcare in rural Ghana. What an amazing accomplishment and great way to represent DeSana Middle School!

activities

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In the Mood for a Sweet Treat? Support the Media Center Buy a Sucker—or two!

Friday, September 15th is the next Sucker Day at DeSana Middle School! Students may purchase a sucker for $1 in the Commons area before school, so save your pennies, quarters, or dollars! All proceeds will be used to purchase items to create a makerspace in the media center. Thanks for your support!

DeSana Family Fun Day

DeSana Middle School is very excited to start a new family tradition this year . . . The DeSana Family Fun Festival on Saturday, September 9 at 6:30 PM! We want ALL of our students' families to join us on the football field to celebrate our DeSana Family . . . an education family that includes people from all over the world! This fun evening begins at 6:30. Bring a blanket, chairs, food and drinks for your family to enjoy for dinner. Kona Ice will have a truck for you to buy a sweet frozen treat! We will have cornhole games and bocce ball games set up for everyone to enjoy, and please bring your soccer ball, football, Frisbees or whatever fun outdoor games you want to enjoy playing with your DeSana Family. A DJ will be playing all sorts of fun music to add to the enjoyment of the evening. Once it gets dark, settle back as we all enjoy a movie under the stars . . . Zootopia! We hope your family will plan on joining the DeSana Family for this celebration with fun, games, food, music and a movie together. If you have questions, email Nick Crowder at ncrowder@forsyth.k12.ga.us or Bridget Bryson atbbryson@forsyth.k12.ga.us See you all September 9, 2017 at 6:30 for the DeSana Family Fun Festival!!

altruistic endeavors

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The Importance of Altruistic Endeavors

Altruistic Endeavors is one of the five key facets of our overall program. It is one of our core values, so to speak. We want our young Dragons to not only know what it is like to give back to their wonderful community and others, but to also experience it firsthand. Through many different DeSana service clubs, school wide charitable endeavors, and our first DeSana Day of Good Deeds (or D3 Day for short!) in the spring, we will work to provide our students with a variety of community service opportunities throughout the school year, in our local community, and in different parts of our country and the world.


So why encourage our young Dragons to get involved in community service? Well, first and foremost, it is the right thing to do; to learn to give freely and happily of one's time and talents and heart to help others, expecting nothing in return! But here are a few other reasons to consider encouraging your child to get involved in community service:


· To help someone in need.

· Those who give of themselves and their resources and help others, say they receive a great feeling in return.

· Helping others can expand your world and help you better understand what is happening in your community.

· Meet new people and make new friends.

· To improve our world by caring for the environment.

· Giving back to one's community and others is an "added value" on your college resume.


Please check out opportunities for serving and helping others right here in the Dragon Digest and for students, on morning announcements!

other important information

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PICTURE DAY SEPTEMBER 14TH!

Cady Studios will be here on 9/14/17 to take every students school picture. The order forms were distributed to students on Wednesday this week. Please complete this form with your package choice and return with the payment on 9/14/17 – or – save $10 by placing your order online prior to picture day. Simply go to cadykids.com to see all your options and pay for beautiful pictures from Cady Studios.

Special Education Parent Workshops

Parents, please click here for a list of fantastic workshops provided by the Forsyth County Special Education Department. No registration is required.


Session Highlight

How to Help Struggling Math Students presented by the Dyslexia Network of Forsyth on September 12 at the Forsyth County Board of Education in Room 380 from 7:00-8:30 pm. Presenter Daniel R. Vaccaro is a college instructor, math tutor, and high school math teacher who specializes in working with students with Dyslexia and Dyscalculia.

DeSana’s Local School Council (LSC)

DeSana’s Local School Council has organized and held its very first meeting on Wednesday, September 6th. The LSC will meet monthly (except for the month of December) at 7:30 AM on the following dates:


· October 6, 2017

· November 3, 2017

· January 12, 2018

· February 9, 2018

· March 2, 2018

· April 13, 2018

· May 4, 2018


Members of the DeSana LSC, serving at least a two-year term are:

· Barry Herrin Parent Rep & Chairperson

· Vic Williams Parent Rep & Vice Chairperson

· Chris Naffky Parent Rep

· Michael Smith Parent Rep

· Bridget Bryson Teacher Rep

· Laureen Krawiec Teacher Rep & Secretary

· Terri North Principal


The LSC will tackle writing the bylaws for this council, along with giving feedback to the superintendent and Board of Education members on a variety of topics, when solicited. Members of the DeSana LSC will also learn more about DeSana and the educational opportunities offered to our students and parents and provide feedback and recommendations to the DeSana administration for continued school improvement.

Want to own a 2017-2018 DeSana Yearbook?

Don’t miss out on the best memory book created by the BEST yearbook staff!


Go to: balfour.com and click: shop your school. Students may also bring cash or check to Mrs. West on the 7th grade hall.


The price is $35 and will go up after March 31, 2018. On-line sales will END March 31st.

School Safety Video

Your student’s safety is the number one priority of DeSana’s Administration. As a school, we practice fire drills, severe weather drills, and code yellow lockdown drills in order for your student to know what to do in case an emergency should arise at DeSana Middle School. There are a few aspects of a code red lockdown that we do not practice during a code yellow lockdown drill. We do not practice gathering students in classrooms with the lights off, what to do if you are in the bathroom, what to do if you are in the cafeteria, what to do if you are in the hallway, what do you do if you are outside, etc. Our teachers do a wonderful job with discussing these with the students, but the students are not able see it in action. The Forsyth County School Safety Department has provided a fantastic video for students to watch in order to better prepare them for situations that we do not practice at school. We encourage you to view the video with your student. Click here to watch it.

Important Reminder About Free & Reduced Meal Applications

Parents, we encourage you to complete a Free and Reduced-Priced meal application on-line, if you have the need, at http://schoolmealapp.forsyth.k12.ga.us. The application is easy to complete and can be processed quickly, with results usually in one day. On-line applications also help cut down on meal charges because paper applications can take as long as 10 days to process. A NEW Free & Reduced meal application must be completed each year prior to September 15th. If you have any questions, please call Joe Sanders at 770-888-3473 extension 202427 or email at jsanders@forsyth.k12.ga.us.

411 - helfpful links for you

thanks to our business partners

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*ALL AMERICAN SPECIALTIES

*ARCTEC

*BROWNS BRIDGE CHURCH

*CHICK-FIL-A @ THE COLLECTION

*DR. HOM PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY & ALPHARETTA COMPREHENSIVE DENTISTRY

*MARVEL SOCCER

*MILTON DENTAL SPECIALISTS

*MONDO ITALIAN KITCHEN

*NORTH GEORGIA PROMOTIONS

*OMEGA LEARNING

*RBM OF ALPHARETTA

*RISPA

*THE JOINT CHIROPRACTIC @ THE COLLECTION


Forsyth County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or gender in employment decisions or educational programs and activities.