Cardinal Connection

Duncan Creek Elementary

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February 2016

Principal's Message

Dear Duncan Creek Parents,

We have had a wild month of high and low temperatures, snow flurries, and icy weather. I am thankful we have been able to continue having school and maintaining our regular schedule.

We continue to focus on safety each year. ALL visitors to Duncan Creek show a picture ID. This includes volunteers, lunch guests, etc. If you know someone will be coming to eat lunch with your child, such as grandparents from out of town, please send a note with the visitors’ names to your child’s teacher. The teacher will send the note to the lobby desk. If you need to update your contact list on who may check out or have access to your child, please stop by the front office to update this in person. We will be checking visitor names against this list. It is also very important that ALL visitors sign out at the end of their visit. Should we have to evacuate the building in an emergency, it is extremely important we know who is in the building for accountability purposes. Also as a reminder, please do not open side doors for anyone at any time. Staff members have keys for access. All others should enter the building through the front doors. Please wear your visitor sticker in a place that is easily seen. Our staff is trained to stop anyone without a GCPS name badge or a DCES visitor sticker.

***No car riders should enter the front parking lot between 8:20am-8:50am or 3:15pm-3:45pm. This includes parking and walking students to the building. This has increasingly become a problem especially in the mornings. Parents should only park and walk students into the building after 8:50am to sign students in due to a tardy arrival. Thank you for your cooperation in student safety.

Early Release Parent – Teacher conferences were held the week of February 22nd. Early Release days were Wednesday, February 24th and Thursday, February 25th. Students were dismissed at 12:45 on these two days. We appreciate the great attendance of our DCES parents at conferences. This is a crucial time for teachers to share information concerning your child’s academic progress, strengths and areas of growth.

Thank you for your continuing support of the Duncan Creek Faculty & Staff.


Carrie Yougel



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Have you visited your child's eClass C&I webpage lately? If not, please take this opportunity to log in and see important information from your child's teacher! Class schedules, weekly newsletters, as well as educational links are all posted on this page! Many of our teachers even post daily homework! All you need is your child's username and password. Click here for a short video and other resources explaining how to access this important resource!

From our AP's

Dear Parents,

It’s spring and you may have noticed some physical changes beginning in your 5th grader. Along with those physical changes naturally come the emotional and possibly subtle behavioral changes as well. I wanted to share this article from

Hang on!

Erline V. Jackson

Assistant Principal Grade 2/5

5th Grade Social Changes: What To Expect

Kids of this age are seeking more privacy and independence, but they still need their parents to be involved and to set boundaries.

by Patti Ghezzi for

Slam! The sound of the door to your child’s bedroom closing may become all too familiar as he enters 5th grade.

Don’t be surprised if you come to regard the door slam as a form of parent-child communication. Was it loud? Must be mad about something that happened at school. A betrayal by a friend, maybe. Or, less likely, a low grade on a test. Was it a medium-loud slam? Must be in hurry to grab a basketball or video game before dashing back out to play with his friends. Was it an extra-quiet door closing? Uh-oh, what’s he up to in there?

Fifth-graders crave independence. They want to be with their friends. They often get upset when their longtime pals form new allegiances or if they feel they are not part of the crowd. Your child’s social life may be constantly changing—today’s best friend is tomorrow’s enemy. Other 5th graders will cling so tightly to a best buddy that you fear they’re missing the chance to make new friends. They develop crushes. They get their hearts broken.

Perhaps the hardest thing for parents is knowing when to intervene and when to step back. “They’re trying to grow up quickly,” says Kim Bearden, a veteran educator and cofounder of the Ron Clark Academy, a private school and teacher training center in Atlanta. “Parents need to be very involved. A 5th grader is still a child.”

Bearden recommends allowing children of this age a small amount of privacy, such as a diary. But most of the 5th grader’s life should be conducted in plain view of Mom and Dad. “It gets harder and harder, the older the child gets, to know all your child’s friends,” she says. “It’s important to get together with your child’s friend’s parents.”

I’m not Friending You on Facebook, Mom!

The social lives of today’s 5th graders play out largely on the Internet. This can be scary for parents who find the online world shadowy and unfamiliar. Bearden and other experts strongly recommend placing the home computer in the family room and not allowing your child to use the Internet while in her room. This has become more difficult in the days of laptop computers, full-service cell phones, and other supposedly convenient ways of accessing cyberspace.

Let your child have an email account, but insist on knowing the password, Bearden suggests. If your child has a Facebook page, insist that she only accept friend requests from people she knows personally. “You want to get them to make good choices, but they still need the supervision,” she says.

Parents should familiarize themselves with their child’s online world. Set up a Facebook page of your own even if your child groans with embarrassment. Figure out how to work the privacy settings and require your child to make her page visible only to her friends.

Keep up with online trends. Do your child’s friends talk more about InstaGram, a social networking site similar to Facebook? Then learn to navigate that world. Are they talking about sites you’ve never heard of? Go online and find out what these sites are all about.

The most important thing about allowing your child supervised Internet access is communication. What is she looking at? Why is she looking at it? Who is she talking to? Suggest surfing the Internet together to pick a new recipe or to find out about the latest fashion trends. Let your child know you aren’t trying to lock her out of cyberspace but you are concerned with keeping her safe.

My Child Did What?

At this age, faced with increased freedom, peer pressure, and opportunities to make choices, most children will get into a bit of trouble. It’s tempting to jump in and defend your child against any accusation of misbehavior, but it’s important for parents to accept the reality that all kids mess up.

“Even really great kids will make bad choices,” Bearden says. “Even really good parents,...their kids still make mistakes.”

Luckily, it’s often easy to find an appropriate punishment for a 5th grader. Taking away a video game, restricting telephone or Internet usage, or forbidding a child to attend a social event she has anticipated will drive home the message that you won’t accept bad behavior. After communicating a child’s punishment, remind her that you love her, and don’t be hurt if she says she doesn’t believe you.

Continue rewarding your child for good behavior, often by giving her a little more freedom. If you see you’ve given her more freedom than she can handle, pull back a little. Let your child know you are always available to listen to whatever’s going on in her life, but realize you can’t force her to share all the details. As time goes on, your child will open up more.

Until then, you always have the bedroom door.

3rd-5th Grades- GA Milestones Practice (Go Far State site)


Please notify the front office if you would be willing to work as a substitute cafeteria monitor or ice cream worker. We are in need of substitutes to support our students in the cafeteria when one of our monitors is out. Thank you for helping DCES!

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PTA News

Click here to visit the PTA page on the DCES website.


*YEARBOOKS Order yours today! Visit the PTA page on the DCES Website to find the Yearbook order form or use the Yearbook Order link to order your Yearbook online at

*SPIRIT WEAR – All spirit wear orders are being filled with our current stock. Please email for available styles & sizes.

*SPRING CARNIVAL - Our Spring Carnival is approaching and we are preparing for the silent auction baskets. Your room mom will be contacting you with the theme for your class basket. We will post a picture of the baskets on our DCES Facebook page a week prior to the carnival. In addition to the regular silent auction baskets, we will also have a few baskets up for raffle this year. We look forward to a successful carnival, and we appreciate your support!


2016-2017 PTA EXECUTIVE BOARD INTEREST – If you are interested in serving on the PTA Executive Board for the 2016-2017 school year, please attend the February 12th and March 4th PTA monthly meetings for more information and nomination form. Visit the PTA page on the DCES website for dates and times of all upcoming meetings.

March is Exceptional Children’s month at Duncan Creek. If you want to be involved in thanking teachers, honoring students and helping with a “Unique” campaign, contact Denise Mann

Did your child earn a book light from the Fun Run that it isn't working? If so, please contact Ann Marie Barry at to arrange a replacement.

The PTA is seeking donations in order to purchase an additional defibrillator for the school, as an additional safety measure from our school community. Donor names will be displayed! Thank you in advance for your donations!

A huge THANK YOU for making the playground updates possible!!


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Corrigan –

Findley – Evan N

Harriman – Oliver P

Lawrence – Dylan T

Ona -

Robinson - Piper B

Rogers – Kerrigan H

Wiggins – Cody C


Argo – Presley

Britt – Conner

Duncan -

Harper - Aaron A

Logan - Bella C

Milton –

Newman – Genesis P

Russell –


Athon – Hannah B

Baker -

Blake - Sydney T

Gomez – Nicholas L

Newsom – Scout R

Phucas -

Soucy – Philip

Young – Leilani C


Chandler - Daniel P

Harris – Jannah H

Law – Marina

Myers – Addison H

Parlier –

Voss - Shamiah

Wilderspin – Ava B


Garner –

Hamrick –

Hardigree - Rebecca S

Hayes – Ella H

Hendry – Travis

Moore -

Reed – Juan C


Wyatt – Reagan D


Abreu –

Ashe -

Covey –

Crane –

Jarrard – Jessica C

Maschas – Kelsey W

Mayfield – Chloe H

Sever –