DMS Newsletter

November 9-13, 2020

Dates to Remember

Dec. 2nd- Title I Parent Meeting for Deaf Middle School families

Dec. 4th- Parent Engagement Workshop

Hello, FSDB Families!

View in ASL
Greetings from the President in ASL - Nov. 13, 2020
View in Spoken English
Greetings from the President in Spoken English - Nov. 13, 2020

Hello FSDB Families!

My name is Tracie Snow and I am the President of FSDB. I wanted to take a few minutes to share some information and updates with you.

Tropical Storm Eta
Wow! Just when you thought hurricane season was over, we had tropical storm Eta! The FSDB leadership team participated in multiple weather briefings from the National Weather Service and reviewed weather advisory notices throughout the week. I am so very grateful for the amazing and caring FSDB staff who are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our students.

Thank you for your patience and understanding through this past week. We hope the Skylerts, texts, phone calls, and emails as well as posts to social media and our website were timely and informative.

Staying Engaged

Since FSDB serves students from around the state, we know the unique challenge many parents may have in staying connected with FSDB. For many of you, FSDB is miles away from your home.

I wanted to share with you some of the ways you can stay engaged by visiting our FSDB website and following us on Social Media.

Alert Banner

The FSDB website will use our home page to announce any urgent information we want shared like weather alerts. You may have noticed the red alert banner being used this week with information related to Tropical Storm Eta. We also added a button which will take you directly to the archived alerts.

FSDB Web Pages
A great way to know what is happening at FSDB and staying engaged is to check out the various pages on our website. We have information specific to your child’s school, academics, parent services, student life, outreach, news, COVID-19, re-opening, the innovative learning environment, and admissions.

Leadership Page
Recently we added a new page to the website - FSDB Leadership. Here you will find the President’s welcome and announcements in English, ASL and Spanish as well as photos and information about the Administrative Team.

Social Media

If you are a social media user you can follow The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Each school also has their own Facebook Group you can join so you can see pictures, announcements, and happenings specific to your child’s school.

Staying Safe and Healthy

Our students and staff have been doing a wonderful job following our reopening plan. They have been staying socially distant, wearing face coverings, cleaning, washing their hands, and staying home when they feel sick. We ask that you continue to monitor your child’s health and if at any time they are feeling sick, please have them stay home. For more information, please check out our COVID-19 webpage.

Our Thanks

I would like to extend a heart-felt thanks from our entire FSDB school community to you and your family for choosing and trusting us to educate your child. We wish you all a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.

From the principals banner

Ms. Newton's Notes

Hello DMS Families!

Thank you for your flexibility as FSDB works hard to keep all students and families safe during situations such as Tropical Storm Eta.

Next week, we will have an evacuation drill. To avoid large crowds, students will be shown a situational video and participate in small group discussions.

Student participated in Holocaust Education activities.

Title I handbooks, report cards and other important information was mailed home this week. Be on the look out.

REMINDER: Title I Parent Meeting

You will receive the Title I handbook. Please read it, sign the last page, and turn just that last page back in. As part of Title I, parent involvement is very important for success. Our next meeting will be December 2nd at 12:00. Here is the link to join. Please email me if you plan to join

Karen Newton

Assistant Principal

A Message from the Principal

The second quarter of the school year started this week and we are one week away from our Fall Break for Thanksgiving. There is no school November 23rd-27th.

November’s PBS theme of the month is citizenship. As our students are learning to be respectful, responsible citizens, we also want to recognize those who have served in our armed forces to secure our freedoms and rights as citizens. We thank you!

It was also Florida’s Holocaust Awareness Week. Did you know that instruction on the Holocaust is one of our required instructional topics written into state statute? Teachers across departments have been implementing instruction and activities this week so that we and our children never forget the lessons learned from this dark time in history. Time Holden illustrated the importance of continuing to remember the Holocaust and its lessons in the following quote “The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping on a society. It forces us to examine the responsibilities of citizenship and confront the powerful ramifications of indifference and inaction.” We are growing our future here at FSDB. We are providing our students the instruction and tools to be caring, respectful citizens, upholding the values and skills necessary to be productive, responsible members of society.

We hope that your family has a restful, safe week together during this break.


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Boarding Update


It will be having cooler weather happening here in Saint Augustine, please send your child to school with some warm clothes. Students are getting low on their personal items, so after Thanksgiving break, I would encourage you to please send back some personal hygiene products with your child. I do hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Mel Botterbusch-Goodall

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Congratulations to our students who made the sports teams!

Middle School Boys’ Basketball Roster

Tyler Bosket

Daren Cason- player/manager

Henry Essex

Robert Essex

Angel Guillen

Amado Luhouse

LaSean Nagle

Antonio Riggins

Je’Morien Scott

Jackson Swartzlander

**A few more will try out.

Middle School Girls' Basketball Roster

Hannah Alford

Skylar Bergman

Kayla Debrow

Mariska Dize

Ivabella Essex

Brenna Freeman

Priscilla Lefors

Amorita Nazario

Dionni Quinzy

Vanessa Waldhof

Varsity Basketball

Congratulations to Kayla Debrow and Ivabella Essex for making Girl's Basketball on the Varsity team!

Student Spotlight

National Bus Safety Week

The Transportation Department participated in National Bus Safety Week which was held October 26-30, 2020. This national program gives the department an opportunity to highlight our transportation objectives and provide teachable moments to our students regarding the importance of school bus safety.

The centerpiece of National School Bus Safety Week is the poster contest. Students in each school had the opportunity to create a poster that depicts school bus safety-related themes and encourages and promotes school bus safety. The winning posters are used to promote safer school transportation for everyone. Judges from school and administrative departments selected winners from each school.

The theme for this year’s program was “Keep on Rolling….#Safety Starts with You.” Staff T-Shirts were designed and produced by a D&B Designs and were proudly worn by both the Day and SHOW Bus Staff.

This is the fifth year that the Transportation Department has participated in this national program and staff members were very excited to share our mission with our students and other stakeholders. Arabella Hooten, Blind Elementary/Middle School, was the Overall Winner for this year’s program.

Deaf Middle School Winners

1st Place – Vanessa Waldhof

2nd Place – Brenna Freeman

3rd Place – Gabe Kramer

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Opt-in for Skyward Text Alerts

Want to Stay Informed? FSDB uses Skyward to send text messages about important school information and emergency alerts. It's very easy to begin receiving text messages: Text the word "Yes" to 67587 to opt in.

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Parent Services banner

Parent Engagement Workshop

Please join us for our next virtual Parent Engagement Workshop on December 4th at 10am.

Parent Engagement Workshops (PEW) are learning opportunities open to ALL FSDB parents, guardians and caregivers. During PEW, we discuss current and relevant information about our school, parenting strategies, helpful resources and so much more. Please join us for these educational events, have a fabulous lunch on us, and meet other FSDB families.

Be sure to visit the FSDB Facebook page to view the agenda.

Virtual Parent Sign Language Classes

FSDB Parent University is hosting two virtual sign language classes for FSDB families, which are continuing weekly through the end of October. Beginner and intermediate classes are available, both from 4-5 p.m. No advance registration is required and classes will be held via Zoom. Click the picture below for dates and more details.

Contact Us

DMS Office

PH: 904-827-2530

VP: 904-201-4600

Health Care Center

PH: 904-827-2410

VP: 904-201-3910


PH: 800-992-8747

Gregg Hall (Girls Dorm)

PH: 904-827-2628

VP: 904-201-4506

McLane Hall (Boys Dorm)

PH: 904-827-2624

VP: 904-201-4562

Parent Services

PH: 904-827-2212

VP: 904-201-4527

Campus Police

PH: 904-827-2315