Dragon Digest

Volume 1 Issue 9


December 2, 2017

Dear DeSana Parents,

As we head down the home stretch of this first semester (Where did these past four months go??) - - - with just a little over two weeks remaining - - - we are encouraging ALL of our young Dragons to Finish Strong! That will be the message we say to them daily as we want all of our students to finish strong . . . both in their academics and with their self-discipline! Throughout these last two weeks and two days of this first semester we will encourage and insist that every student works hard . . . that they do their work . . . and that they do their absolute best during these last several weeks. Every student needs to make sure that he/she has not only mastered the standards taught throughout this first semester, but that he/she also has proven his/her mastery of these concepts and standards on assessments, through writing assignments, and with their work on projects. Indeed, we want every young Dragon to finish strong this first semester!

Parents, I ask that as a partner with DeSana in your child’s education, you also carry forth this mantra of finish strong with your young Dragon. Ask your young Dragon if he has completed all of his assignments and turned them in for this semester. See if there are any summative assessments your student needs to retake to show mastery of the content and then insist that she make arrangements to do so . . . but first arrange for a reteach/relearn time with the teacher so your child makes sure she has a good grasp of the concepts before re-assessing. Ask if your young Dragon needs to come in for an extra tutoring session or two with a teacher so he can ace his last assessment. Help your middle schooler review vocabulary with flashcards. Help her study for an upcoming test. Make sure he has completed his final project in a class.

And lastly, even though it is an incredibly busy and wonderful time of the year with many special family times and activities and events happening, let your young Dragon know that you expect his/her education to still take a top priority, and that you expect him/her to finish strong! Once again, take this opportunity to let your middle schooler know that you are there to support and encourage him/her with his/her academic pursuits, and that you believe in your young Dragon’s ability to do well in school. Nothing is more powerful or has a greater influence with your young adolescent than your voice and your expectations . . . even when he/she acts like what you say does not matter.

Thank you so much for partnering with us during this first semester here at DeSana! It has truly been an awesome beginning to this new adventure! And thank you for partnering with us these last two weeks to help ALL of our young Dragons finish strong!

With warmest regards,

Terri A. North


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Publix key fobs have arrived!

Feel free to pick one up in front office! They will also be handed out during carpool on Friday, December 2nd. Publix Super Markets has a great program that will enable our school to make money every time we shop at Publix. It’s simple: You only need to present your Publix Partners card when you shop and Publix will handle everything else. For every eligible $37,500* our supporters spend at Publix, $250 will be given to our school at the quarter’s end. If we haven’t reached the $37,500 mark by the end of a quarter, our balance will carry over to the next quarter. So, be sure to carry your card with you and remember:

1) Let the cashier know you have a Publix Partners card at the BEGINNING of your transaction.

2) Your card is good at participating Publix stores in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Thank you for joining us in supporting this valuable program!

book fair volunteers needed

The Scholastic book fair is coming to DeSana! Students will be visiting the fair the week of December 12-16 with their classes. Parents, please mark your calendar for our Family Night, December 13th, when the fair will stay open until 7:30pm. There will be something for everyone on your holiday shopping list, and we hope to see you then!

Clothing Drive THIS WEEK!

DeSana PTSA is participating in a clothing donation drive to benefit the Hope House for Domestic Violence. You have a choice of either Wednesday, December 7th or Saturday, December 10th to put your donation out at your house and trucks will be sent out to pick up your donation. DeSana can receive a $5,000 grant if we can muster up 1000 houses to participate in the drive. It is VERY important that we have 100% DeSana family participation. I am sure everyone can find a bag of items around their house to donate. You can ask anyone in the area, they do not have to be in the DeSana district. Put the info on your neighborhood Facebook page, ask your parents and friends...anyone! Think about it...if each of our DeSana students gets 5 additional families to participate we could EASILY reach our goal. Also, the drive will take clothing, furniture, blankets, all household items, and if you are decorating for Christmas and have decorations you no longer want, put that in there too! So, here is how you sign up. Either print out the form linked to this document and turn it in to the PTSA mailbox OR send an email to desanadonations@gmail.com with the following information:

Pick the date: Wednesday, December 7th or Saturday, December 10th for pick up



Phone Number

Email Address

Click here for the form you can submit.

Also, our teachers are in a little competition for a classroom grant. Write your favorite teacher's name on your submission so they can get credit for your house!

Let's make participation by 100% of our DeSana families happen!

Dawn Bourg

DeSana PTSA President


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CONGRATULATIONS To DeSana 8th Grade Student, Grace W.!!

The Young Georgia Authors Competition is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education annually for students all across the state. As a seventh grader last year at Piney Grove Middle School, Grace W. was named the state’s seventh grade winner. Yesterday, in a very nice program honoring Excellence in Achievement, hosted by State Superintendent, Mr. Richard Woods, Grace W. was recognized for her writing and winning essay in the Young Georgia Authors Competition. Join us in congratulating Grace for her exceptional writing!!


Dragon Academy is a new opportunity we will begin offering students for completing, taking or re-taking formative and/or summative assessments (i.e. unit tests, projects, essays, quizzes. etc.). Dragon Academy will happen most Fridays --- at least two times a month --- from 4:15 – 6:30, beginning Friday, December 2nd, 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 attend Dragon 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 a little over 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! School supplies will be available 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:

December 2, 9, 16

January 20, 27

February 10, 24

March 3, 17, 31

April 21, 28

May 5, 12, 19


The Forsyth County Technology Fair registration is now open! The Tech Fair will be at Whitlow Elementary School on Saturday January 21st and registration is NOW OPEN!

Registration Information:

Registration opens November 14st and closes January 10th.

All students in grades 3-12 who are schooled within Forsyth County may participate in the Tech Fair. This includes all public, private and home schooled students. Grade level divisions are as follows:

  • Grades 3-4
  • Grades 5-6
  • Grades 7-8
  • Grades 9-10
  • Grades 11-12
  • Note: Multimedia category divisions are 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

You may have up to 2 people on a team but teams and individuals will compete against each other within each grade grouping.

More information about registration: http://techfair.forsyth.k12.ga.us/reg.html

Great news!! DeSana has paid $200 which will cover the registration fee for as many students as want to participate so our first year can be a great one at the Forsyth Tech Fair!


3D modeling

Animated Graphic Design

Case Modifications

Digital Photography

Digital Video Production

Game Design



Mobile Apps

Multimedia Applications

Non-Animated Graphic Design

Non-Multimedia Applications

Project Programming


Technology Literacy Challenge

Web 2.0 Application

More information about the categories and the rubrics for each category can be found by clicking the links above. You may also , visit http://gatechfair.org/categories

All Tech Fair information can be found at our web site: http://techfair.forsyth.k12.ga.us


The You Be The Chemist Challenge ® is an interactive academic contest that focuses on learning chemistry concepts and uses the thrill of competition to excite grade 5–8 students about science. The Challenge was created by the Chemical Educational Foundation ® (CEF), a national non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing and encouraging the science education of our youth. Participating schools and students have an opportunity to compete in local & state competitions, and receive national recognition, scholarships, and prizes.

It is time to begin preparing for the first ever DeSana Middle School You be the Chemist Qualifier. If you are interested in taking the qualifying exam, please see Mrs. Strader in the 8th grade hallway, room 2207, or email her at jstrader@forsyth.k12.ga.us. The qualifier will be given on January 27th in the morning before school. Study materials can be found online at the following link.


Students at any grade level may participate, but you must contact Mrs. Strader before the qualifier to receive a pass. The top 10 participants will then go on to compete at the Atlanta Metro Local Challenge that will be held on March 11 at 10AM, located at the Georgia Aquarium.

There are no costs or fees to enter the challenge.

If interested, please contact Mrs. Strader before December 21st about your interest.


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Advanced Art Class Offered

DeSana will now offer a quarter long Advanced 8th Grade Art Course for 3rd and 4th quarters. This class is designed for students who have excelled in all aspects of the general connections art course and have demonstrated their interest and ability to meet the challenge of a more intensive art curriculum. For more information on how to apply please see Mrs. Petit in the Connections Hallway, Room 1240. Deadline to apply is December 9th at midnight.


Dedication Ceremony Honoring the Legacy of Jim & Jeanne DeSana

Jim and Jeanne DeSana, for whom our school is named, were wonderful Forsyth community members for over 30 years. They gave freely of their time . . . their talents . . . and their monies to aid and enrich our Forsyth County Schools and the young people who attended them. Their legacy is extraordinary, and is one that provides a shining example for our young Dragons to take note of. You are invited to join us on next Wednesday, December 7th at 2:00 for a Dedication Ceremony Honoring the Legacy of the DeSanas in the main front hallway of our school. We hope you will join us!

Update on 8th Grade Savannah Trip

The final and last payment for the Savannah trip is due by February 3, 2017. The amount due for the final payment is $100.00. More information and reminders will be sent out after the winter break. Also in February, we will be working on roommate choices. Be watching for information to come home on medications and medical insurance information in February as well. If you have any questions about the trip, please contact Mrs. Wood at erinwood@forsyth.k12.ga.us or 770-667-2591 extension 492216.


Do you love wearing your pajamas to school? How about those fun pajamas that that have hoodies and tails? How about those awesome holiday jammies you got last year and never have a chance to wear them? Now is your chance! Support the 8th grade and wear your holiday or furry friend pajamas on Friday, December 9 for $2.00. Students can pay in the atrium on the morning of the December 9. Thanks for your support!


Mark your calendars, mateys! The Scholastic Book Fair will be at DeSana on December 12th-16th! Parents, please mark your calendar for our Family Night, December 13th, when the fair will stay open until 7:30pm. There will be something for everyone on your holiday shopping list, and we hope to see you then!

Follow the DeSana media center on Instagram! For a peek into what goes on inside our media center during the school day, follow @desanamediacenter on Instagram. We hope you “like” what you see!


FUNDRAISER CONTINUES AT www.funds4books.com

We would like to thank those families who have already generously donated to our Funds4Books fundraiser. We are excited about our growing collection and the students get so excited when they see new books that have arrived. We are asking parents, grandparents, and friends to donate any amount they can, but if every family donated just 10 dollars, we would blast right through our goal and be able to add even more books. With your help, we can continue to build our collection and assure that students have current, topical, and desired resources available to them during their years at DeSana. To donate, simply click this link or go to www.funds4books.com to make your contribution online with a credit or debit card using our campaign code D6E5. All contributions will come with an e-mailed receipt.



Holiday House Update

The students at DeSana have been working hard to collect money and toys for the Holiday House! The 6th grade class collected $471 and went on a shopping trip to Walmart to buy gifts for middle schoolers to donate to the Holiday House. Our 7th and 8th grade classes donated toys for the Holiday House. We are so thankful for our students and their families for being so generous during the holiday season.


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 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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2016-2017 DeSana Middle School Yearbooks are now on sale! Please visit: balfour.com.Click “shop your school” and search for DeSana. Yearbooks are $32 and the sale ends January 31, 2017. Don’t miss out on the first DeSana Yearbook!!

411 - helpful links for you


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