DMS Newsletter

Oct. 13-16, 2020

Dates to Remember

Oct. 19 - Virtual ASL class (click picture in Parent Services section)

Oct. 19-21 - BAM picture days!

Oct. 29 - Wear Orange for Unity Day

Oct. 29-30 - FSDB President interviews and board meetings

From the principals banner

Ms. Newton's Notes

Hello DMS Families!

We had another great week in the building. I had the opportunity to observe teachers this week and WOW are we so lucky with the talent we have in Deaf Middle School. I saw a bird beak, adaptation lab. I saw students excited to talk about math. I saw teachers conferencing with students and setting math goals. I saw beautiful exit tickets and so much more. I love seeing what our teachers prepare and how actively engaged the students are each day. Keep up the great work.

Please note that picture day is this coming week! Please make sure your student dresses to impress!

Karen Newton

Assistant Principal

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A Note from Angela Saunders

We are quickly approaching the end of the first quarter. With two weeks left, this is a good time for families to check their child’s progress through our Skyward Family Access Portal. There, you can see grades, attendance, leave messages and connect with teachers. We encourage every family to check Skyward on a weekly basis to stay involved and up to date with your child’s progress. The last day of our quarter is Friday, Oct. 30. Report cards will be processed and sent home the second week in November, but grades can be checked at any time in Skyward.

Our PBiS theme for this month has been respect. An important component of this is our bullying prevention program. Our schools are working on teaching students about respect, acceptance of differences, reacting peacefully, and understanding other points of view. At FSDB we have a thorough investigative process to address potential incidents of bullying and to ensure that our students have access to a safe environment both physically, socially, and emotionally. On Oct. 29, we will celebrate our unity by asking our students and staff to wear orange in recognition that we stand against bullying. Here, we truly care about our students and are teaching our students the importance of caring for one another, regardless of differences. FSDB cares.

Poster contest for National School Bus Safety Week

National Bus Safety Week is quickly approaching - Oct. 26-30, 2020. This year's slogan is - Keep On Rolling - #safetystartswithyou. The centerpiece of National School Bus Safety Week is the poster contest. Students in grades K-12 can select artwork that depicts school bus safety-related themes and encourages and promotes school bus safety. The winning posters are used to promote safer school transportation for everyone.

Poster Contest Rules:

National Bus Safety Week is quickly approaching - Oct. 26-30, 2020. This year's slogan is - Keep On Rolling - #safetystartswithyou. The centerpiece of National School Bus Safety Week is the poster contest. Students in grades K-12 can select artwork that depicts school bus safety-related themes and encourages and promotes school bus safety. The winning posters are used to promote safer school transportation for everyone.

Poster Contest Rules:

  • For brick and mortar students: poster designs should be made only on the 11x17 paper provided by the Transportation Department.
  • For ILE students: please e-mail your submissions to
  • Designs made may be drawn vertically or horizontally using crayon, felt pens, markers or colored pencils.
  • Poster designs may not incorporate any copyrighted characters or images (e.g., comic and television characters), photographs, and newspaper or magazine illustrations.
  • All participants must write their name (first and last), school, and grade on the back of the poster they are submitting.
  • Illustrations must be drawn in a positive approach, demonstrating proper school bus safety behaviors.

Entry deadline is Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 by noon.

All posters must be turned into the school’s office or sent electronically (ILE students) by the posted deadline. Transportation Staff will pick-up all submissions.

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Student Spotlight

This month, Vanessa Waldhof worked on her submission for the Florida Hispanic Heritage Month student essay contest. The theme was “Untold Stories of Hispanic Heritage” and Vanessa chose to write about her mother, who is from El Salvador. Since mid-September, Vanessa worked on interviewing her mother, drafting an essay, and working tirelessly through the revising and editing process with her teachers Maddy Brady (ELA) and Terri Samson (History) to submit her final essay before the contest deadline. The contest was open to all students in Florida, and one winner from the middle school level will be selected to win a four-year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation. We wish Vanessa luck in the contest!
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Boarding Update

The character trait for the month of October is respect and staff integrated the subject of respect into their curriculum lesson. The McLane Hall boys learned about respecting personal space and the meaning of respect for themselves and others. When the weather is good, they will go outside and enjoy the fresh air and work on their basketball skills. Another new student joined us recently and the other boys have done a great job of teaching the rules and being friendly with him. We still have tie dye left over from our event last week and the boys want to make more wearable art. Next week we will have another tie-dye day. Parents, if you like, you can send any white T-shirts or other white wearable items to be tie dyed with creative flair; staff will handle the rest.

Every day after school, half of the Gregg Hall girls go to volleyball, swim or cheer practice while the rest play outside or engage in some fun activity in the dorm like taking turns playing the Wii. Gregg Hall girls had a celebration for those with September birthdays. Every month we have one big birthday celebration with cake and ice cream for the students who have a birthday during that month. Staff recognized two students per floor for the PBIS reward for being the most responsible students of September in the dorm. We gave them a big blanket, a certificate and dragon tickets. We told every student how proud we were for being patient, cooperative and responsible all month in the dorm during this crazy time of the year.

Also, Gregg Hall and McLane Hall had a PBIS kickoff celebration outside. Students really enjoyed it. They had pizza, hotdogs, cookies and ice cream. When they finished eating, they had their masks and shirts tie-dyed. They came out really cool and colorful!

Important Note

If your child is a boarding student and you are planning on coming to school to pick them up on homegoing days, that may fall on a Thursday or a Friday so please call the director of student life (DSL) office the day before to notify us of your plans so we can make all the necessary arrangements with the other offices on campus. Also, if you are planning for your child to be picked up by someone else, please call the DSL office to make those arrangements as well. We prefer to have advanced notice so we can let everyone know of this change. Please see the Parent-Student Handbook General Boarding Program Policies and Procedures on page 65. If you have any questions, please call or text 904-827-2600.
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Try-Outs for Winter Sports

As we are wrapping-up our fall sports conditioning program, we look forward to winter sports! Basketball and soccer will play a full schedule as normal with the exception of no tournaments.

Girls soccer try-outs/practice will begin Oct. 19.
Girls basketball try-outs/practice will begin Oct. 26.
Boys basketball try-outs/practice will begin Nov. 2.
Wrestling will begin a conditioning program on Nov. 9.

If your child is interested in participating in soccer, basketball or wrestling, his/her paperwork (sports physical and parent consent forms) must be completed and turned in BEFORE the above dates.

Encourage your child to come to Pope 214 for the necessary forms or you may download them by clicking here.
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FSDB Presidential Interviews and Public Board Meetings

The FSDB Board of Trustees will interview presidential finalists on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, followed by committee, workshop and regular meetings on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. Agenda topics focus on matters pertaining to FSDB. All events take place in Moore Hall Center for Learning and Development, are open to the public and live streamed on the FSDB Board Meetings webpage. American Sign Language interpreters will be provided.

Members of the public are invited to address the board for up to three minutes per person. All public comments are limited to 45 minutes total. Public comment registration cards must be turned in no later than the start of each event. Important: Moore Hall CLD and second floor overflow seating is limited; face masks shall be worn when social distancing is not feasible. Individuals who do not plan to make public comment are strongly encouraged to view the above events via live stream.

For more information and links to view the livestream, visit the FSDB Board of Trustees Meetings webpage.

Parent Engagement Workshop

The second Parent Engagement Workshop (PEW) for the 2020-21 school year will be held on Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. via Zoom! We hope you can participate in this event. To join the meeting, visit:

Future workshops will be held on Dec. 4, Jan. 15, Feb. 12 and April 23. Be sure to add these dates to your calendar!

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.

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Virtual Parent Sign Language Classes

FSDB Parent University is hosting two virtual sign language classes for FSDB families, which are continuing weekly through the end of October. Beginner and intermediate classes are available, both from 4-5 p.m. No advance registration is required and classes will be held via Zoom. Click the picture below for dates and more details.

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Contact Us

DMS Office

PH: 904-827-2530

VP: 904-201-4600

Health Care Center

PH: 904-827-2410

VP: 904-201-3910


PH: 800-992-8747

Gregg Hall (Girls Dorm)

PH: 904-827-2628

VP: 904-201-4506

McLane Hall (Boys Dorm)

PH: 904-827-2624

VP: 904-201-4562

Parent Services

PH: 904-827-2212

VP: 904-201-4527

Campus Police

PH: 904-827-2315