It's Elementary - DES Newsletter

March 2021

Dates to Remember

March 11 - Students leave for Spring Break

March 22 - Classes Resume

April 5 - No School/Boarding Students Return

April 9 - End of Third Quarter

May 10 - No School/Boarding Students Return

Big picture
Please review this important information! FSA testing is scheduled for grades 3 - 5. This testing is one measure that is used to determine how students have mastered grade level content. Please help your child do his or her best on the test by being mindful of the dates, coming to school well-rested and having had a healthy brain-food breakfast, and using allowable accommodations on the test. Your child's teacher will also review these strategies (and more!) with your child as we approach the testing dates.

April 7 FSA ELA Reading (Gr. 3)

April 7 FSA ELA Writing (Gr. 4-5)

April 8 FSA ELA Reading (Gr. 3)

May 11 Grade 5 Science

May 12 Grade 5 Science

May 17 FSA ELA Reading (Gr. 4-5)

May 18 FSA ELA Reading (Gr. 4-5)

May 19 FSA Mathematics (Gr. 3-5)

May 20 FSA Mathematics (Gr. 3-5)

Hello, FSDB Families!

Watch the latest video from FSDB President Tracie C. Snow in ASL or Spoken English. Topics include "A Year to Celebrate" and "Accreditation Review Results."

Transcripts in English and Spanish provided below videos.

Hello, FSDB Families! – March 11, 2021 (ASL)
Hello, FSDB Families – March 11, 2021 (Spoken English)

Dr. Heidi's Happenings


Did you know that Deaf History Month starts on March 13 and is celebrated until April 15? Do you know why these two dates are important in Deaf History? We will be learning this and much more when we return to school after Spring Break!

In the meantime, because it is also Women's History Month, we thought you might like a little fun trivia quiz. How much do you know about famous Deaf women in history? Check out your knowledge here!

This month, we had two exciting clubs start! Our fifth grade book club began their weekly meetings and a week later, our fourth grade book club began weekly meetings! These meetings allow students to discuss the books they have read, talk about their favorite parts, get clarification on parts they didn't understand, and practice turn taking and attending to the person sharing. So far, the students have read "Dragons in a Bag," "Olga and the Smelly Thing From Nowhere," and "Strongheart." The book selections all come from SSYRA (Sunshine State Young Readers Award) and are generously provided by Title I funds. They have proven to be very popular books with both the readers and the club sponsors (and ME! Even though I got a little teary-eyed at the beginning of "Strongheart').

Have a happy and healthy Spring Break! We will see you back in school on March 22 (boarding students to return on March 21) to finish out the end of the school year strong!

Big picture

A Note From Deaf Department Principal Angela Saunders

Happy Friday dearest Families,

As part of our second semester review, we have completed a midyear review and updates to our 20-21 Parent-Student handbook. On page 77, you can find a list of our updates that have been made. Our handbook is an important resource for you and your child. Inside, you can find our school policies and procedures, our calendar and a list of important contacts. Please take a moment to look over the handbook. Once you have done so, please complete the following acknowledgement form. If you prefer a print copy of the acknowledgement to sign, please contact the school.

Parent-Student Handbook- English

Parent-Student Handbook- Spanish

Parent-Student Handbook- Accessible

Please click and complete this form to acknowledge receipt: Acknowledgement Form

Have a great weekend!

Angela Saunders

Updates from Vaill Hall

Spring is in the air!! We have been busy decorating our dorm for Spring; we are in competition with middle school boys and girls and high school boys and girls to see which dorm has the best decorations, the DSL administrators are the judges. Just to let you know our decorations are the best!

February was a busy month; the whole month was Valentine’s celebration! The Character trait for the month of February is “COMPASSION”, be kind and caring, be compassionate and show you care. One of our staff members has been out ill and her girls wanted to let her know that they cared about her; we’re happy to say she is back to work.

Reminders: We are sending home your child’s personal linens, to be laundry. Also, please send your child some snacks, the kind of snacks they can grab and go! If your child has brought home masks, that you didn’t buy, please send the masks back with them (clean), chances are, they are the masks the staff has made them. Enjoy your time you have to spend with your children over Spring break!!!

Spotted in Each Grade Level

Every month we ask grade level teams to tell us something special they spotted in Gore Hall. Here are their responses!

Kindergarten: Students working on vocabulary words related to our weekly story.

First Grade: First grade celebrated Read Across America week with Dr. Seuss themed days. The students had such a great time wearing hats and dressing up as what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Second Grade: Students celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday during Read Across America Week.

Third Grade: A student used classroom resources to independently complete a vocabulary assignment!

Fourth Grade: Two friends who had a disagreement sincerely discussing their feelings and apologizing to one another #compassion

Fifth Grade: A safety patrol student holding the door for others to exit the building and another 5th grader assuming a leadership role and organizing Karate workouts at recess. This 5th grader also organized basketball and made sure all that wanted to participate took turns shooting.

Learning Lab: A student helping a classmate read sight words during a vocabulary game, even though that meant the student would pass her on the game board.

Favorite Moments From Each Grade Level

Every month we ask grade level teams to share a favorite moment. Here are their responses!

Kindergarten: A kindergarten student comforting another kindergartener after she fell outside at recess time.

First Grade: Every student in first grade met their MAP growth goal in at least one subject and was able to put a flower on the flower wall.

Second Grade: Second grade is working so hard in math! Our new student Amilah got 100% on her recent math test! Way to go!

Third Grade: Third Grade girls sharing their art supplies on the playground!

Fourth Grade: Students in 4th grade have been tackling Novel Studies by pairing up to read, analyze, and discuss books together

Fifth Grade: Seeing students apply what they have learned to the real world. They are becoming more aware of their surroundings and able to connect learned materials across subject areas and to their everyday lives.

Learning Lab: Brick and mortar students playing Kerplunk with their ILE classmate - so nice to see students taking the initiative to reach out to one another.

Help Needed! Lost & Found is Overflowing!

The weather in St. Augustine is tricky! It can be chilly in the morning, but by afternoon, the sun is shining and recess gets hot! Students often take off their jackets and sweaters, and more often than not, leave them on the playground. You can help us by making sure your child's name, or even initials, are written somewhere inside the garment. We usually check the tag to see if we can identify the owner of a lost article of clothing, so it would be a great kindness if you could put a name there for us! THANK YOU!

Deaf Department students and families, March 12 is the last day to purchase the La Coquina yearbook at the discounted rate of $40. You can order them online at:

School Code: 096663

Families are spending more time than ever before home together. Take a moment to review the booklist and decide which item your family would have the most fun with!

Funding for this project is through our Title I Parent Services Budget. Items will be provided on a first come first served basis until funds are depleted. If you’d like to learn more about either of these grants please contact FSDB Parent Liaison, Misty Porter, or your Assistant Principal.

Deaf Elementary Named a PBIS Model School!

The FSDB Deaf Elementary School celebrates being named a Model School from the Florida Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBiS) project.

This model school award is given for implementation of positive school outcomes and exemplifies the achievements of teachers,

staff and students.

Check out the video of our celebration here!

Big picture
Did you know that we have a new DES Facebook group? In order to enhance digital security for our students and their families, we are transitioning our school Facebook page to a private group, which affords us better screening and monitoring measures. If you would like to join the group, please click this link: Our goal is to post pictures and/or updates daily.

Title I Information

You should have received your Title One Handbook. Please take some time to review the Handbook and then sign and return the last page. We are so thankful for our Title I funding.

You should have also received an ASL dictionary and ASL flashcards provided by Title I funding. Please enjoy these materials during your family time, and help bridge ASL and English.

Title I, Part A is a component of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that provides supplemental funds to approved schools to meet educational goals, support professional development of staff and support parent engagement programs.

Parent Sign Language Classes!

FSDB Parents, we want to hear from you! Complete the survey if you are interested in signing up for ASL classes.

Things to Say to Your Child

Here are a few things you can say to your child to encourage discussion. Source:

  1. It’s your decision.
  2. If you really believe in something, it’s important.
  3. Don’t give up.
  4. I could never stop loving you.
  5. You can try again tomorrow.
Big picture

Opt-in for Skyward Text Alerts

FSDB encourages parents/legal guardians of enrolled students to regularly log onto the Skyward Family/Student Access portal to keep their contact information up-to-date.

Skylert (School Messenger) is the system that FSDB uses to send out automated phone calls, text messages and email notifications families for general purposes ann case of emergencies.

Opting in for automated Skylert text notifications makes it possible for FSDB to quickly inform families about situations that may impact their child/family (e.g., weather, safety and bus alerts) as well as other school-related information. To opt-in, text "Y" to 67587.

Cutie Patootie Picture of the Month!

Big picture
Want to contribute a Cutie Patootie Picture of the Month submission? Join, like, and share our FSDB Deaf Elementary School Facebook Group and let us know! But also know the competition is pretty tough because DES is FULL of Cutie Patooties!

Dr. Heidi's Virtual Office



Fifth Graders Made a Model of the Solar System. It's BIG!

FSDB Welcome Back 2020

Contact Us

DES Office

PH: 904-827-2520

VP: 904-201-4505

Health Care Center

PH: 904-827-2410

VP: 904-201-3910


PH: 800-992-8747

Vaill Hall (Dorm)

PH: 904-827-2806

VP: 904-201-4461

Parent Services

PH: 904-827-2212

VP: 904-201-4527

Campus Police

PH: 904-827-2315