Stephen Decatur News

January 11, 2016

Email Communications

In an ongoing effort to be greener and reach out to our parents in a greater capacity, we have been working diligently to gather email addresseson all of our primary guardians. The first email newsletter from Mr. Kehrein went out on December 18th after school. It shared community information about the Goodwin Center pet spay/neuter program, the DCHS Science Night, and our spirit wear program. These emails give us the ability to attach flyers, hyperlinks, and much more. It also allows parents to pull up the information at any time through their email and double check dates and times, etc. Our goal is to have these emails go out on a weekly basis on Fridays. Please make sure to have rkehrein@msddecatur.k12.in.us approved to go to your inbox and not spam. He is going to be sending out weekly emails that will give an update into the following week's activities. The monthly newsletter will also be distributed through this format. These emails will still be in addition to classroom communications from the teachers. Our hope is to have an email for every family so that we can share school related information quickly and efficiently. As technology finds a greater niche in our society, we will continue to evolve and utilize new means to communicate with our families.
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Spirit and Pride Fundraiser

Stephen Decatur is having a spirit wear fundraiser that will run from Jan 8 - Jan 20. Order forms came home with students on Friday. Orders can be placed with the form or online at http://www.spiritandpride.com using school ID #177598. If you order online, there are additional items available, including backpacks, blankets, and more combo purchases. We are looking forward to using this new company and receiving some really great looking merchandise, including a glow in the dark shirt! Support Stephen Decatur by ordering and wearing some new stylish spirit wear!

2015-2016 Yearbook Pre-Orders

Order forms for the 2015-2016 yearbooks will be coming home with students next week. The yearbooks will be $15 and you can send cash or check in with the order form to pre-order a yearbook. There is also an option to order a yearbook online and pay by credit/debit card if you visit www.inter-state.com/yearbook and enter the school code 04658R. The pre-order window will start when the order forms come home this week and will run until Friday, February 26th. Yearbooks usually arrive by the end of April, and we do order a few extra, which will then be available on a first come, first serve basis.

Attention parents of 2nd and 5th graders!

The MSD of Decatur Township High Ability Committee is getting ready to begin this year’s identification process to determine which students will qualify for the High Ability Program for the 2016-17 school year. Beginning this week, all students in grades 2 and 5 throughout the district will be taking the CogAT Screener online. The CogAT is a measure of potential focusing on general thinking skills and problem-solving skills. The top 20% of each grade level district-wide will also take the IOWA Test of Basic Skills reading and math portions for achievement data points. Using the data from both assessments, the High Ability Committee will determine which students qualify for the program. If you have questions or concerns about the process, you are welcome to contact the school or the district office.

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Winter Compassion Carnival

Our annual winter carnival is having a makeover! In an effort to promote our character traits, we have tied this event with our compassion trait. In coordination with one of our former students and Mary’s Movement, Inc., Stephen Decatur students will enjoy a fun carnival night while also working together with special needs students to complete activities and games in order to promote a more tolerant generation of students. The carnival will still include games and prizes, the Scholastic Book Fair, and dinner in the cafeteria, and it will also have some new concepts. The event is Thursday, February 25th from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. As the event date nears, more details will be sent home. We will also have a volunteer sign up for assistance with the games, food, and other events. We are looking forward to making this one of the best carnivals yet!

Decatur Skate Night

Decatur Township is hosting its 3rd skate night of the year on Tuesday, January 19th from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Students and families from all the Decatur schools are invited to roller skate. The cost to get in is only $4.00, and skate rental is included. Non skating adults are free. Bring the family out and enjoy some indoor roller skating during the cold weather outside.

6th Grade SLC Selections for Decatur Middle School

Our 6th grade students are going to start learning about the options available for when they start middle school next year. Representatives from each SLC (small learning community) at DMS will be visiting our 6th graders this week to explain what each community is focused on. Within the next month, students will need to prioritize a list of which community they would most like to be enrolled in. Forms will go home with students that will require student information and a parent signature that approves which selections the student is interested in. When the paperwork comes home, please work with your child to select a good fit for your student. You can research the SLC’s on the DMS website by clicking here http://www.decaturproud.org/decatur-middle/Small-Learning-Communities.cfm You can also find videos and activities from each community on Facebook by searching for DMS Explorations, DMS Imagine, DMS Global Learning SLC, and Apex Community at Decatur Middle School.

SD Parent Teacher Council

The Parent Teacher Council will be holding its next meeting on Wednesday, February 10th at 5:00 p.m. This date and time has changed from when it was originally scheduled, so please make sure to update your calendars with the new date and time. We will be discussing the upcoming winter carnival.

4th Annual Family Science Night

Looking for something fun to do during January? Join the DCHS science students in the DCHS cafeteria on Thursday, January 28th from 6-8 p.m. for Science Night. There will be a chemistry stage show, a glowing pickle, crime scene evidence collection, oobleck, lessons on forces, and so much more. There will be a passport to get stamped and refreshments will be offered.

Colder Weather, Delays and Closures

As it gets colder, please make sure to dress your child appropriately. Students will go outside for recess as long as the temperature is above 20° with wind chill factored in. Please make sure that the student has a winter coat, hat, gloves, and appropriate clothing for this time of year.


In the event that the weather causes us to have a 2 hour delay or closure, a Skylert message would go out to the primary phone number to alert parents. It would also be advertised on all of the local news stations that scroll local schools and businesses that close. We would be listed as MSD Decatur Township or Decatur Township. Please note that we are not listed as Decatur County Schools or Decatur Community Schools. Those are located in Decatur County, not Marion County. We also try to update the district's web page with the most current information on school changes.


A 2 hour delay means that Stephen Decatur would start at 9:45 a.m. instead of 7:45 a.m. Buses will run exactly 2 hours behind their normal schedule for pickup times. We would still dismiss at 2:40 p.m. in the event of a 2 hour delay.

Transportation

Students who need daily transportation will be assigned to one bus. Due to bus capacities and routing efficiencies, students will not be able to use multiple bus stops or ride alternate buses. This includes riding to a friend or family member’s house just for the afternoon. Any daily changes in transportation from car to bus, bus to car, or AYS changes need to be in writing to the teacher in the morning. This ensures that the information is received and that the student is sent in the right direction at dismissal. Phone calls to the office are not guaranteed to reach the student in a timely manner, and teachers may not be available to receive messages during classroom learning time.

School Hours

School opens at 7:45 every morning. We are not equipped to watch children prior to 7:45. Door 10N will be staffed from 7:45-8:00 for all car riders. At 8:00, students will be considered tardy and will need to enter through the front office and check in. School dismissal is at 2:40. Car riders are to be picked up at door 10N at dismissal time. If there are any difficulties conforming to our drop off and pick up times, AYS is an independent before and after care service that is located in our building. Information about that program can be obtained at http://www.ayskids.org or by calling 317-283-3817.

Attendance

In order to comply with Indiana State Law, the school and district are monitoring attendance. Administrators are required to report all chronic attendance occurrences, including excessive tardies, absences, and early dismissals. Parents are to report their student absent by telephone within one hour after school starts. Excused absences include doctor, dentist, or counseling appointments, a death in the immediate family, court subpoena, and major religious holidays. These will remain unexcused until proper documentation is provided to the school. Students are expected to be seated in the classroom, unpacked, and ready for learning at 8:00 a.m., or they will be considered tardy.

Student Textbook Rental

Please make sure that your child’s account is up to date. We rely on these fees to provide necessary items to your child for their daily learning needs. If you have a formal payment plan in place for this year, your minimum monthly payment was due on Tuesday, January 5th. If you did not have a payment plan in place, your entire balance was due prior to fall break. Payments can be made by cash, check, money order, or debit/credit card in the office. Book rental and fee statements will be coming home again in the next few days. Please be on the lookout for the statement and make the necessary payment to bring the account up to date. Any balances that are still on the statement are current. These balances are after any free/reduced book rental has been credited. Families are responsible for these fees.

Volunteering

Parents and family members wishing to volunteer in the classrooms attend field trips, or help with class parties need to be registered with our volunteer coordinator. Registering on the volunteer hub needs to be completed annually. If you anticipate that you will be helping or going on a field trip, please register early. Applications take 48 hours to process, so last minute applications may not be approved in time. To register, please visit the following link https://docs.google.com/forms/d/16saMYiObU8saHfeNGCPpMe-0WONduTIr4Vep1Mdo2aU/viewform and complete the form or visit our district homepage at www.decaturproud.org and select volunteer hub from the community tab. You may complete the online application, or you may print off a paper version and turn it in to the office.

AYS

AYS, Inc. and MSD of Decatur Township are working together to provide an activities program before and after school. This program provides creative, recreational and physical activities, as well as enrichment and homework opportunities. For more information, please visit http://www.ayskids.org or call 317-283-3817.

Decatur Proud License Plates

Support Decatur Township by purchasing a metal “Decatur Proud” license plate for the front of your vehicle. The cost is $10 (cash only) and the profits from the plates sold help the students in our building.

Kroger Community Rewards

Every time you use your Kroger Rewards card to purchase groceries, you can also help Stephen Decatur. Register your card number at http://www.kroger.com/communityrewards and a portion of your total sales will be donated to Stephen Decatur. Any questions, please contact Bev O'Toole at mailto:botoole@msddecatur.k12.in.us.

Marsh Fresh Ideas for Education

Sign your Marsh Fresh Ideas savings card up to help Stephen Decatur. You may enroll your card at http://www.freshideasforeducation.com/. Any questions, please contact Bev O'Toole at mailto:botoole@msddecatur.k12.in.us.
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Community Dinner

Second Helpings and MSD of Decatur Township have joined together to provide free community dinners every Tuesday at Stephen Decatur. The dinners are from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. in the cafeteria, and guests may enter through door 4 South. This dinner is open to anyone in the community and is not limited to Stephen Decatur families.

Calendar of Events

Stephen Decatur Spirit Wear Fundraiser

Friday, Jan. 8th, 2:30pm to Wednesday, Jan. 20th, 2:30pm

3425 South Foltz Street

Indianapolis, IN

Martin Luther King Day – NO SCHOOL

Monday, Jan. 18th, 7:45am-2:45pm

3425 South Foltz Street

Indianapolis, IN

Decatur Township Skating Party

Tuesday, Jan. 19th, 6:30-8:30pm

175 Southern Plaza Drive

Indianapolis, IN

DCHS Science Night

Thursday, Jan. 28th, 6-8pm

5251 Kentucky Avenue

Indianapolis, IN

Success Time

Friday, Jan. 29th, 8:15-9am

3425 South Foltz Street

Indianapolis, IN

SD Parent Teacher Council Meeting

Wednesday, Feb. 10th, 5-6pm

3425 South Foltz Street

Indianapolis, IN

Winter Compassion Carnival

Thursday, Feb. 25th, 5:30-8pm

3425 South Foltz Street

Indianapolis, IN

Success Time

Friday, Feb. 26th, 8:15-9am

3425 South Foltz Street

Indianapolis, IN

Decatur Township Statement

It is the Board’s commitment to provide a safe, positive, productive and nurturing educational environment for all of its students. Any individual who believes a student has been or is the victim of discrimination, bullying, or harassment should report the situation to the building principal or designee or complete the School District’s Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying report form, which is available online at http://www.msddecatur.k12.in.us.