Dragon Digest

Volume 1 Issue 4

Principal's Letter

Dear DeSana Parents,


If you believe in the old saying that “time flies when you’re having fun” . . . and I do . . . then these past 6 weeks have been an absolute blast and a blur as we launched DeSana in fine fashion and involved our students and staff in a myriad of memorable and wonderful activities and events! For it seems like just a few days ago we were greeting ALL of our young Dragons at our Walkabouts and Open House, and shortly thereafter parading down to the football field to take our first ever DeSana whole school photograph, as we formed a DeSana D. That is why it’s so hard to believe that in just a few short weeks (7 days to be exact . . . not counting the upcoming Fall Break!) we will be at the mid-semester --- or nine week --- juncture. And with the semester midway point on October 12th that means Parent-Teacher Conference Days are soon to follow. Wednesday, October 19th and Thursday, October 20th are our school system’s two fall conference days, with middle school students attending school on these two days for half a day and being released at 1:30. This is an excellent time for parents and teachers to devote specific time to talk about your young Dragon and how he/she is progressing in his/her academic work thus far. Conferences are a time to celebrate successes and growth as well as examine areas that may need improvement. And for some conferences, or part of the conference, it may be quite appropriate to have your young man/woman join in . . . after all, this conference time is about his/her education and how he/she is doing in school up to this point!


Team teachers will send out conference notices about available conference times beginning Thursday, October 6th. While parent-teacher conferences are not a “have-to”, we do want to honor all parent requests for a conference. Many of you keep up-to-date with your child’s academic progress daily through Parent Portal. Some of you may just feel the need to “touch base” with your child’s teacher(s) through an email or phone call. Any and all of these ways are quite fine to stay connected to DeSana and to keep on top of your child’s academic progress. So if you feel that you are very much “in the know” about how your child is performing this year, then you may not desire a face-to-face conference at this time. However, for those who wish to have a conference we will be happy to schedule one for you.


In order to accommodate as many parents as we can during the conference day afternoons, teachers are scheduling 20-minute time slots. We know that time does go by quickly during these conferences, and that it is hard for parents and teachers to discuss everything. Therefore, we encourage you to prioritize the items you would like to discuss. Our teachers will do the same. Should you leave the conference with unresolved concerns or questions, or you think of something else after you leave, please do not hesitate to let the teacher(s) know so that they may arrange some more time to discuss these with you.


As we hope you know, home-school communication and keeping our parents in the loop are two things we value very highly here at DeSana. Parent-student-teacher conferences --- in whatever format you choose and whenever you desire to have one --- are an important piece of our home-school communication. We do appreciate your support in teaming with us to provide the best education possible for your young Dragon!


With warmest regards,

Terri A. North

Principal

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Greetings from the PTSA!

Please mark your calendars for pick up of all fundraising products! Please make arrangements to pick up your fundraising products on Wednesday, October 5th between 3:00 pm and 7:30 pm in the DeSana cafeteria. It is very important that you pick up your products during that time frame as there will be frozen products. We will have very limited freezer space for anyone that does not pick up their product.


We need your help! Please sign up for picture day. We need 2 volunteers in 3 different shifts on Friday, October 7th. http://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0c4daaa82ca64-desana1


We also need your culinary skills! Please sign up to bring a dish for the Staff Appreciation Meal during early release on Wednesday, October 19th.

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090445abaf29a75-desana


DeSana Day of Good Deeds (D3 Day): Please be on the lookout for an email about volunteering for committees for D3 Day. We are also actively looking for both corporate and family financial sponsors. Please contact dawn@bourgs.com if you feel you can step up to lead a committee or can donate.


Thank you!

Dawn Bourg

DeSana PTSA President

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Academics

Grade Level eNewsletters Coming Your Way Right After Fall Break!

The October edition of each grade level’s eNewsletter will be coming your way the week of October 3rd, so be on the lookout for this informative newsletter, full of what is going in each of your child’s 4 core (or 5 for 8th graders taking Spanish!) academic courses.

End of the FIRST Nine Weeks & Beginning of the SECOND Nine Weeks!

It is hard to believe we are almost at the start of the second nine weeks of this school year! The second nine weeks officially begins on Wednesday, October 12th. All students will receive new schedules on that morning during Dragon Time as Connections classes will change for most students, as well as Literacy classes changing for most 6th and 7th grade students for the second quarter. While you may have looked ahead in Parent Portal and seen Connections classes for your child for the second, third and fourth nine weeks, please understand that these Connections classes are not actually finalized until the first day of the new nine weeks. Many changes will be made in order to balance class sizes. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Sharon Epperson, our Assistant Principal in charge of scheduling.

Nine Week Progress Reports Coming Your Way!

With the nine week juncture soon to be upon us, that means the Nine Week Progress Reports will be coming home with students on Tuesday, October 18th. This report will give you and your middle schooler some excellent information about how he/she is doing in all of his/her classes at this half-way mark for the first semester. Please remember: This report will tell how your child is progressing in his/her Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, Literacy, and eighth grade Spanish I class thus far. It is not a final grade. The final grade for the first semester comes at the 18 week mark. This Nine Week Progress Report will also give you/your young Dragon his/her final grade for the first nine weeks’ Connections classes.


The format for this Nine Week Progress Report will look quite different from the Progress Reports you received at 4 ½ weeks (and from what you will receive at 13 ½ weeks). This Progress Report will show your child’s formative average, summative average, and his/her present course average thus far for each academic course. It will also show your young Dragon’s absences for each course.


Another feature for DeSana students and parents on this Nine Week Progress Report (and it will also be included on the Semester Report Card) is an assessment of your student’s work habits in the areas of Assignment Completion, Participation, Responsibility, and Interpersonal Skills. These are all behaviors that have the potential to impact academic achievement in significant ways. Thus, we want to report to you and your young Dragon how he/she is doing in each of these areas. A “2” is the standard for each of these areas, so you will hope to see a “2” for your child in each category, in each class. That means he/she is meeting the standard in these work habits.


Hopefully, the format for this Nine Week Progress Report (and first semester Report Card) will give you valuable information to better inform you and your student as to exactly where he/she stands in mastering the standards for the first semester. As always, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your young Dragon’s teacher(s)!

Counselors' Corner

Our REACH scholar, Majd K., signed his scholarship this Tuesday. The counselors are preparing for Red Ribbon Week that starts on October 23 and ends October 31. Stay tuned as we announce the events for Red Ribbon Week! We are getting ready to finish Directionality guidance for 6th and 7th grade, then will move to 8th grade for Cyber Safety guidance!

The Counseling Department is starting DeSana's first mentoring program and we need your support! We are looking for adults who would like to work with students at DeSana and serve as their mentor. As a mentor, you would serve as a supporter, a role model, and a trusted companion to your mentee. If you are interested, please contact Carolyn Moore at 770-667-2591 x491007 or at cmoore29@forsyth.k12.ga.us or Andrea Bell at 770-667-2591 x491005 or at abell90@forsyth.k12.ga.us) in the Counseling department.

Coffee and Conversation Meetings for Parents

Perhaps you and your family just moved into our school district over the summer. Or maybe this past winter and spring your schedule was jam-packed and you did not have an opportunity to attend any of Ms. North’s General Information About DeSana meetings, and/or the 6th grade parent night meeting – All About Dragon Days & Dragon Lore. Or maybe you just feel like you still need to understand a little better The DeSana Way. If any of these are the case, Ms. North will be hosting eight Coffee & Conversation Meetings during September and October, with each being grade level specific. During these hour long events, Ms. North will share with parents some of the same information she shared in her parent meetings last winter and spring, along with some events/activities/happenings to be in the know about during this first semester. Meeting dates are listed below, with all meetings being held in the media center from 6:30 – 7:30 PM. And coffee will be served!


· Tuesday October 4th 7th Grade Make up Session

· Thursday October 6th For Parents of 8D Team Students

· Monday October 10th For Parents of 8D Team Students

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Athletics

Dragon Football Draws to a Close

The Dragons ended their season on Tuesday with a hard-fought game against the number one team in the league. The team fought hard all year and never gave up. All the coaches were pleased with the boys this year and are excited for what the future holds! Thank you to all of our fans this year for the support! We could not have made it through the season without you!

Dragon Basketball Begins!

The Lady Dragons Basketball Teams will hold open gym sessions on October 3rd, 5th, 10th and 12th from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Players must have the 8-page packet completed, including the physical completed by a physician, turned into Coach Fogg in room 1117 before participating in any open gym session or tryouts. Physical forms are available in the front office or click here to go to the form on the web site. Tryouts for the Lady Dragons basketball team will be on October 17th and 18th from 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm with results posted by 8:30pm on the Lady Dragons Basketball tab under the Athletics page on the DeSana School website. For any questions please contact Coach Fogg at sfogg@forsyth.k12.ga.us.

The Boys Basketball Team will hold open gym sessions on October 4th, 6th, 11th and 13th from 7:30 pm to 8:30 am. Players must have the 8-page packet completed, including the physical completed by a physician, turned into Coach Riddle in room 2128 before participating in any open gym session or tryouts. Physical forms are available in the front office or click here to go to the form on the web site. Tryouts for the Boys basketball team will be on October 19th and 20th from 7:00 am - 8:30 am with results posted on the Boys Basketball tab under the Athletics page on the DeSana School website. For any questions please contact Coach Riddle at triddle@forsyth.k12.ga.us.

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THE ARTS

Band News

We are very excited about our band program this year at DeSana! We have about 160 students with about 90 coming from the 6th grade beginning class. Since we are a new school, we have depended upon the kindness of other band programs for help in meeting our needs as far as instruments to open our program. Our Forsyth County School System purchased several instruments for our band, but others came from several other areas. Thanks to South Forsyth Band and their donation of a timpani, and other percussion instruments. Forsyth Central High donated xylophones and marimbas, as well as some other smaller percussion equipment. A couple of my ex-students from several years ago donated many clarinets, trumpets and flutes for our program. We are very fortunate to have such a support system in this county!


Please check the website for a go-fund-me type page to help the band with purchasing music and other equipment that is needed throughout the year. Any donation will be appreciated and will help us grow and become the best band program in this area.

Also, look for the dates on the school website for concerts and other events information. We look forward to seeing you at our performances!

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Activities

Picture Day Coming Soon!

DeSana Middle School's first picture day is scheduled for Friday, October 7th. We will send home order forms on Monday, October 3rd. Please complete and return with the payment of your package choice OR you can make it really easy on yourself by ordering on line ahead of time! Simply go to cadykids.com to see all your options for beautiful pictures from Cady Studios.

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Calling All Bird Houses & Bird Feeders!

So remember those bird houses and bird feeders some of you purchased last spring? Well . . . we have not forgotten about them! It is time to bring them to DeSana --- decoratively painted, of course --- and turn them in to the front office. Then, mark your calendars for Saturday, October 15th, in the morning from 9:00 – 12:00, to come to DeSana and help us hang all the bird houses and feeders on the trees in our woodlands! Please bring a ladder if you can, and of course, a hammer! So you didn’t get to purchase a bird house or bird feeder last spring, you say? No worries! Simply take a trip to a Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, or any other store that sells them, purchase one to paint, and then bring it in to DeSana. We look forward to making our woodlands come alive with the color of these bird houses and feeders, and providing warmth and food for our fine feathered friends!

Altruistic Endeavors

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 chairitable endeavors, and our first DeSana Day of Good Deeds (or D3Day 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 feel 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!

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Other Important Information

FALL BREAK For Students & Staff!

All Forsyth County Schools' students and staff will enjoy a Fall Break the week of September 26th! Our DeSana office will be closed throughout the week. We hope all of our Dragon Nation has a relaxing . . . fun . . . and safe week off!! We look forward to seeing all of our young Dragons back at the Lair on Monday, October 3rd . . . energized and excited about continuing their learning for the semester! Do take care and very safe travels!

Health Screenings in October for 7th & 8th Graders

On Friday, October 14th, 7th and 8th grade students will have a scoliosis screening. There will be a letter that your child brings home after fall break that explains the scoliosis screening and a section that you can choose for your child to opt out of the screening. This letter will also be posted on DeSana’s school webpage starting on 9/23. Look for reminders on all of DeSana’s social media outlets too. We must have this form if you decide to opt your child out of the scoliosis screening. In addition to the scoliosis screening, 8th grade students will also have a hearing and vision screening completed. Please contact Mr. Feuerbach at 770-667-2591 x491507 or dfeuerbach@forysthk.12.ga.us. if you have any questions.

WOOF WOOF WEDNESDAYS!

In case you do not know, Ms. North is an avid dog lover! She loves all kinds of dogs . . . all breeds and all shapes and sizes . . . but is especially partial to her beagle named Brady, and is growing VERY fond of our Desana service dog, Frosty! So on every Wednesday, DeSana celebrate ALL of our Dragon Dogs by hosting Woof Woof Wedensdays in the morning carpool line. From 8:30 – 9:00 AM, on these Woof Woof Wednesdays, Ms. North, or another Desana staff member, will be giving away doggie treats to every friendly Dragon Dog that comes through the line as parents drop off their young Dragon for school. So tell your four-legged furry friend(s) that he/she gets to go for a ride every Wednesday morning and get a treat! What better way to start out the morning for your best furry friend!!

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THANKS TO OUR BUSINESS PARTNERS

All American Specialties

Arctec

Browns Bridge Church

Chick-Fil-A @The Collection

Dr. Hom Pediatric Dentistry & Alpharetta Comprehensive Dentistry

Dunkin' Donuts @ Highway 9 & McFarland

North Georgia Promotions

OMEGA LEARNING

RBM of Alpharetta

Tauro Rhythm Art & Great Advancement Business Networking