It's Elementary - DES Newsletter
Dates to Remember
January 4 - Classes Resume
January 18 - No School/Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
January 28 - End of the Second Quarter
February 5 - Honor Roll
Dr. Heidi's Happenings
As we approach the end of 2020, I am taking time to reflect on the many reasons to be grateful. I am so thankful for our families and the trust they put in us in educating their children. Thank you! We take that trust very seriously. I am also grateful for health, and the fidelity with which our students follow our health and safety measures. We ask the children to wear masks, even when playing outside in the hot Florida weather, and they do so without complaint! We have been very fortunate to have a low number of cases of COVID in Deaf Elementary School, in large part because of the health and safety measures our students and staff implement every day. It is clear that families are discussing the importance of these measures, and we thank you for that as it makes our job much easier! Finally, as I was writing this, I had a teacher enter my office and share a story with me. He shared about a student, the successes he has been seeing with that student, and how happy he was to be able to share those stories with the student's family. As this teacher stood in my doorway, sharing his joy with me, I was reminded of how thankful I am to have such a kind, empathetic, and student-centered staff. Our staff members go above and beyond each and every day, and are genuinely committed to student success. I couldn't ask for a better team.
I hope you are able to take some time during the vacation from school to reflect on what you are are grateful for. Research shows that people who practice gratitude are happier and healthier than those who do not, and I have found that when I practice gratitude, I find more reasons to be grateful! Please enjoy your holidays, stay safe and healthy, and find reasons to give thanks.
A Note From Deaf Department Principal Angela Saunders
Holiday Message from FSDB President Tracie C. Snow
Hello FSDB students, staff, families, alumni and community members.
Every morning I wake up thankful for the blessing I have to serve as the President for the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. This is an amazing school with incredible students, staff, families, alumni and stakeholders.
The holiday season is a time to be with family and friends and to be thankful for the gifts we have in our lives. I am thankful to be part of an extraordinary community that promotes a caring and giving environment. It is my hope, especially this year, that you will take the time to relax and reflect on your gifts.
The first half of the 2020-2021 school year has been unprecedented. I want to thank you for the dedication and hard work that has made our many successes possible. Every member of the FSDB team should be proud of what we have accomplished. I know we will face challenges in 2021, however, I also know that with everyone working together, we will also have triumphs.
I want to wish you all a happy, healthy, peaceful and rejuvenating holiday season. Please take care of yourselves, your family and friends.
From my family to yours, all my best for the New Year.
Tracie C. Snow
Updates from Vaill Hall
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: All of the beautifully decorated Christmas classroom doors!!
First Grade: First grade has seen students working hard to improve their reading levels and getting to paint flowers on our reading growth wall.
Second Grade: Students have been busy learning about the states of matter, adding and subtracting 2-digit numbers and comparing and contrasting!
Third Grade: An unlikely pairing playing together at recess. They were running around doing different exercises and investigating how the clovers smell...they didn't like it! But they did agree the bees like it though!
Fourth Grade: Students becoming confident using various strategies to solve division problems.
Fifth Grade: One student helped another student clean out her desk - cooperation and kindness!!!
Learning Lab: Students willingly give up bikes during recess so that other students can have a turn.
Favorite Moments From Each Grade Level
Every month we ask grade level teams to share a favorite moment. Here are their responses!
Kindergarten: All of my students reaching their goal of reading 100 books!
First Grade: First grade made their annual winter ASL story. Look out for the video to be shared on Facebook!
Second Grade: Learning about how Christmas is celebrated in different countries, so much fun!
Third Grade: One of our 3rd graders was in the hospital recently, but was able to send a video to the class to explain what was going on and reassure everyone that she was ok. Then we all made cards to help her feel better. ❤️
Fourth Grade: Students learning about and observing different types of rocks and minerals.
Fifth Grade: A student found out her class won a Reading Contest from Achieve 3000 and will be getting a pre-paid $25 Visa gift card. The class was told to be thinking about what to get to celebrate. One of the students suggested getting food for homeless people.
Learning Lab: Students using their resources/books to answer assessment questions.
Title I Information
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.
Problem of the Week and Fluency Challenge
Things to Say to Your Child
- I believe you.
- You are worth it.
- Don’t be afraid to be yourself.
- It’s good to be curious.
- We all make mistakes, it’s OK.
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!
Parent Engagement Workshop
The third Parent Engagement Workshop (PEW) for the 2020-21 school year will be held on Jan. 15 at 10 a.m. via Zoom.
- "President Pop In" with Tracie C. Snow, FSDB President
- "Standards and Assessments" by Scott Trejbal, Administrator of Instructional Services
- "Love and Logic: Choices" by Rhonda McCahill, FSDB School Counselor
To join the meeting, visit: https://bit.ly/3ic2mb1
Future workshops will be held on Feb. 12 and April 23. Be sure to add these dates to your calendar!
ASL Classes in January
FSDB Parent University is hosting two virtual sign language classes for FSDB families starting in January and continuing weekly through March. Beginner (ASL I) and intermediate (ASL II) classes are available via Zoom. Please contact the teacher if you are interested in attending.
Beginner Class (ASL I)
Day: Thursday, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Dates: Jan. 7, 14, 21, 28 | Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25 | Mar. 4, 11
For more information, contact Janelle Berry via email at email@example.com
Intermediate Class (ASL II)
Day: Monday, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Dates: Jan. 4, 11, 25 | Feb. 1, 8, 22 | Mar. 1, 8
For more information, contact Sonia Garcia-DeKnight via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ways to Keep Things Festive and Fun at Home
The holiday season is a time when families gather to celebrate. Many families may feel a disruption to traditions due to continued safety precautions and social distancing. More than ever it is important to have family chats. Talking with your children will help them better understand their emotions and will give you an opportunity to model a positive response.
Here are some ways to keep things festive and fun at home!
- Have a cookie decorating contest and gather votes through social media.
- Take turns with family or friends hosting mini virtual celebrations: caroling, storytelling, and holiday movie watch parties.
- Go crazy with decorations both inside and out.
- Act out favorite movie scenes.
Dr. Heidi's Virtual Office
Health Care Center
Vaill Hall (Dorm)