Dragon Digest

Volume 1 Issue 20 / May 12, 2017

principal's letter

As these last two weeks of the school year wind down (Where did this year go??!), there will be no shortage of special activities and events for our young Dragons to participate in and enjoy (check out our school calendar on the DeSana webpage for the many activities and events). It is a good way to finish up what has been an absolutely wonderful school year on every front! This incredible adventure that we all embarked upon on August 4, 2016 has been a most excellent adventure from my vantage point! One that has been filled with all kinds of fabulous firsts . . . exciting explorations . . . daring possibilities . . . and the launching of many a new opportunity for our young Dragons to embrace! I have been extremely proud of our young Dragons on many occasions because of how they have seized the moment during this new adventure and acclimated to their new surroundings, working diligently to build a school culture that exemplifies kindness, respect, helpfulness, and finding the courage to get out of their comfort zone and try new things.


Our students and staff have started many a new tradition this year . . . ones that will last for a long time and serve DeSana well. And there will be even more new traditions to initiate next school year. The one tradition that our students are well on their way to defining here at DeSana is our hallmark of excellence. President Lyndon Johnson once said, “The noblest search is the search for excellence.” From the start, our students and staff have pursued excellence, for that will always be our goal at DeSana in everything we do. And so we will continue to pursue and define excellence in our own terms in the year to come.


As this school year draws to a close, we have another new tradition that we are looking forward to the last week of school. It is one that will help define even more so who we are and what we are all about here at DeSana. That is our DeSana Day of Good Deeds, or D3 Day, for short. On May 22nd ALL of our students, staff and many of you --- parent volunteers --- will join together in a morning of “doing good deeds” that will serve 25+ charitable and non-profit organizations in our wonderful community. This day will be a terrific opportunity for our students to understand what it means to give of themselves --- their time, their talents and their hearts --- to help a common and greater good. More importantly, the day will be about people . . . helping people . . . and the acts of kindness . . . compassion . . . helpfulness . . . and the infinite power of kids and adults coming together - - - all working side-by-side to make a difference in our community and in this world. This Day of Good Deeds is an extraordinary and huge undertaking in our first year as a school. But it is one that is so worth the effort! With our enthusiastic volunteers, committed students and staff, and supportive sponsors, it is certainly a day that will create long-lasting memories and hopefully kindle a passion for helping others in many a young Dragon. And that is a tradition we plan to carry forward for a very long time!


Thank you, parents, for putting your trust in me and all of our teachers and staff this year as we began this new adventure . . . the DeSana adventure. Thank you for your continuous support throughout this year, even when we did not always get it right. And most of all, thank you for allowing us the privilege and the pleasure of working with your young Dragons throughout this school year. They are wonderfully awesome young people and they have captured our hearts!


Here’s wishing you and your family a most fabulous summer break!! Take care and stay safe!


With warmest regards,

Terri A. North

Principal

Desana day of good deeds

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8th Graders heading out for D3 Day

Our DeSana Day of Good Deeds is just a little over a week away! Eighth graders will be heading out into the community to help spread pine straw, play BINGO with seniors and more. Permission slips for 8th graders will be coming home on Monday, May 15 and are due on Wednesday, May 17. Please click here if you need a permission slip. Please be sure your student wears sneakers, sunscreen and clothes appropriate for working. All students will receive a D3 T-shirt on the morning of May 22.

Volunteer Training

All volunteers must attend one of two mandatory training sessions to be held prior to D3 Day: Monday, May 15th in the cafeteria from 6PM-7PM or Thursday, May 18 in the media center from 8AM-9AM. Please plan to attend to receive your t-shirt to be worn on D3 Day May 22, and to receive instruction about your volunteer assignment for that day.

still need a few more volunteers!

We still need volunteers for D3 Day. PLEASE click here to sign up. This is how we are registering volunteers. If you volunteered on the t-shirt form, please still take a minute to sign up on the form linked above. You will be able to sign up for a training time on the form. If you don't sign up on the form and attend a training session, you will not be able to volunteer.

COOKIES FOR THE TROOPS

THANK YOU to all the great people whoever have already volunteered to bake cookies! We still have slots available for you to sign up to bake cookies for our D3 Day Treat the Troops project! Please sign up here to help us with this effort. The cookies will be packaged by the kids and sent to active duty military personnel.

WE STILL NEED:

1. Old towels and blankets for the animal shelters

2. Magazines and Newspapers

PTSA/PTO

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we can't do it without YOU!

This past year, your PTSA volunteered at Open House, Curriculum Night, at Academic Achievement Awards and more! The PTSA is a major supporter of DeSana Day of Good Deeds. Funds raised by the PTSA supported staff and students for field trip scholarships, refreshments at the Academic Achievement Awards and academic competitions, supported the 8th grade dance and picnic and provided $9,000 in grants for classroom materials. There are still critical roles to be filled for the 2017-2018 school year. The new PTO needs a President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary. A fundraising and membership chair are also needed for next year. If these roles are not filled, the PTO may not be able continue to support at the same level as this year. Please volunteer by clicking here to fill out the form. You can also nominate another parent.

PTSA Meeting May 16

A General Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 16 in the gym at 7PM prior to the band concert. We will be voting to dissolve the PTSA and convert to a PTO as well as electing new officers. Please plan to attend!

academics

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Looking Ahead to the 2017 – 2018 School Year & Putting These Important Dates On Your Calendar

For those of you who are advanced planners you will want to mark your calendars now for these dates of important events that will help us kick-off our new school year here at DeSana in very fine fashion.


· Saturday, July 29th --- Dragon Camp for our Rising 6th Graders. 9:00 – 12:15 in our Cafeteria to start.


· Saturday, July 29th --- 6th/7th/8th Grade Walkabouts. 2:00 – 7:00 throughout the building. 7th and 8th Graders may come walk the building and purchase/decorate their locker. 6th Graders may come decorate their locker and spend more time looking around DeSana.


· Monday, July 31st --- Open House for All Young Dragons. 4:00 – 6:30 throughout the building.


· Thursday, August 3rd --- First Day of School for the 2017-2018 School Year.

Check throughout the summer our DeSana website and/or Facebook page and/or Twitter account for more information and specific details to come about these back-to-school events. You definitely don’t want to miss these important events!

Finishing Up This Academic School Year

Friday, May 26th is the last day of school for your young Dragons, and thus the end of the second semester. Report cards will be mailed home to students on Friday, June 2nd.

PRIDE Award Celebration for the Fourth Quarter

On Tuesday, May 23rd, the DeSana faculty, staff and administration will host our second PRIDE Award Celebration at 9:30 in the our DeSana cafeteria. Thirty-one sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students, who are selected by their teachers, will be honored at this formal occasion for exemplifying the following wonderful attributes and characteristics:


Practices Random Acts of Kindness

Ready and Willing to Work Hard

Integrity Coupled with Responsible Behavior

Demonstrates Outstanding and Honest Efforts

Exceeds Expectations


Parents and family members of the honored students are invited to attend this celebration, and join with DeSana teachers and administrators in honoring our young Dragons as they each receive a PRIDE Award certificate, generously donated by our awesome Business partner, Omega Learning on Peachtree Parkway, a Dragon PRIDE pin, and a personalized plaque, made expressly for our DeSana PRIDE Award recipients by our fabulous and very generous Business Partner, All-American Specialties. A huge shout out and thank you to Keith Williams of All-American Specialties for designing and donating the individualized plaques for each PRIDE Award honoree, and to Rosemary Albright of Omega Learning for her very generous donation of each PRIDE Award certificate!!


Also joining us for this event will be Mr. Joey Pirkle, the Deputy Superintendent of Forsyth County Schools, who will share a few pearls of wisdom with our students and their parents. At each PRIDE Award Celebration we invite a Forsyth County Schools or community business leader to come and share with our PRIDE Award recipients.


We look forward once again to honoring some extraordinary students, as we toast the pride of DeSana!

Math League Winner

A very BIG congratulations goes out to Navya P., a 6th grader here at DeSana. Navya P. competed on Saturday, May 6th at the Math League State finals. Competing at the state level competition on Saturday was a huge accomplishment, but Navya didn’t stop there—based on her scores from Saturday, she has been selected to compete this summer at the national Math League tournament in Texas. Way to go Navya!

ADVANCED STUDIES COURSES INFORMATION MEETINGS FOR RISING 6TH GRADE STUDENTS & THEIR PARENTS

Help us spread the word to any rising 6th grade student and their parents, who will be attending DeSana next year, about our upcoming Information Meetings on 6th Grade Advanced Studies Courses here at DeSana. They won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear DeSana administrators talk about the academic courses rising 6th graders may choose to take to challenge themselves with more rigor. Encourage them to attend one of these meetings! Click here to see the flyer for all the meeting dates/times. Click here for the flyer in Spanish.

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN (AOL) TIME

Has your young Dragon learned everything in their life the first time it was presented to them? Does your student like to come in for early morning help sessions? Does your child really like to stay after school for help sessions? If the answer to any of these questions is “no” then Additional Opportunity to Learn (AOL) time might be just the thing for your middle schooler! AOL Time is a 50 minute block of time (9:00 – 9:50) that happens first thing in the morning on Thursdays, with a second AOL Time happening on some Wednesdays throughout the year.


During AOL Time, students may select any teacher they have (for the four core subjects + Spanish in 8th grade) that they need to go to for extra help OR to prepare even more so for an upcoming assessment. Students have the opportunity for “the gift of time” to receive re-teaching from their teachers during this block of time.


So if your young Dragon is struggling in a particular class or if he/she has received a low score on a summative assessment, please encourage your student to take advantage ofAOL Time. Ask your child the night before which teacher he/she will be going to for some extra help during AOL Time, and then make it the first topic of conversation that you discuss with your child in the afternoon/evening of the day on which AOL occurs.


Here are the dates for AOL Time for the rest of this school year:

WEDNESDAY: 5/17

THURSDAY: 5/18

DRAGON ACADEMY - - - AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ADDITIONAL LEARNING & ASSESSMENT TIME FOR STUDENTS!

Dragon Academy is an opportunity we will start up once again for students who need to complete, take or re-take 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, January 20th, 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:

May 12, 19

the arts

Band news

This has been a great year with terrific results! For a first year school band program we wowed the crowds at all of our concerts. The most impressive came from our LGPE Festival Performance in March where we received Straight Superiors (the highest ratings) from all adjudicators. It was a great feeling and a wonderful and exciting time for all our kids. The most humbling comment came as the band was leaving the performance site and a judge made the comment “it’s hard to believe that this is a first year band”. What a great compliment to a great group of kids!


In late April, 28 of our students performed a solo at the annual GMEA Solo and Ensemble Festival. 26 of the 28 earned the top rating of SUPERIOR. This was the first time that any of our band students have ever attended this event and they performed at the highest level and did our school and program proud.


Our final concert will be on May 16 and the beginners and 7th and 8th grade bands. Come join us for a fabulous final event. You will be amazed at how they have progressed over the year!


Now we are working on getting more kids involved with the band program through recruiting from the 5th grade class. We have had several meetings with those wonderful students and the future looks promising for our program. We hope to have at least 100 new students to our band in the 2017-2018 school year. If you know of anyone who is interested in band, please click here to sign up for band.


Thank all of you again for your support of our program.

Chorus News

Want to join chorus for next year? Of course you do! Chorus is so much fun! Click here to fill out the form.


The Chorus Super Spring Showcase will be Tuesday, May 23 at 7PM in the gym. Come out and support our talented performers!

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 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 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!

activities

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Yearbook Information:

Dragons!! We have a limited amount of extra 2016-2017 DeSana Yearbooks for sale. They will be on sale NEXT week only starting Monday, May 15th. Mrs. West on the 7th grade hall will collect money starting Monday and will stop collecting money once the extras are gone! Please bring $42 cash or check (made out to DeSana M.S.) to Mrs. West. DO NOT give the money to the office or your Dragon Time teacher. ALL money needs to be brought to Mrs. West. ALL copies of the yearbook will be distributed to students the last week of school.

Hat Day!

6th grade Science will be sponsoring a hat day on Friday, May 19th. Wear your favorite hat all day for just $1! Proceeds support science labs and activities.

6th grade end of year activities

6th grade has a very fun last week of school planned! We will have a variety of indoor and outdoor activities to culminate our fantastic first year in middle school.


Monday, May 15 – 6th Grade Field Trip to Tellus Science Museum

Monday, May 22 – D3 Day

Tuesday, May 23 – 9:30-11: Soccer Tournament; Initial locker cleanout during literacy; 12:45-2:30 Game Room Rotation (board games, Bingo, etc. with various teachers hosting)

Wednesday, May 24- 9:15-11 Game Room Rotation (board games, Bingo, etc. with various teachers hosting)

Thursday, May 25 – Final locker cleanout and yearbook signing during literacy

Friday, May 26 – 9:15-11 Field Day; Yearbook signing in literacy; 12:45-2:30 movie; Kona Ice will be available from 10-12

7th grade End of Year Activities

Ø May 22nd- D3 Day!


Ø May 23rd- last “typical” day for our awesome 7th graders


Ø May 24th- We will have a morning (9:30am-12:30) filled with field events! Students are encouraged to bring cash for Kona Ice ($3, $4, 0r $5) and our Dunk Booth- featuring Mr. Jones and Coach Riddle as the victims! ($1- one throw, $3- 5 throws, $5- 7 throws). Students will have an opportunity to engage in “field day” type activities. Please encourage your child to put on sunscreen, bring a hat/sunglasses, a towel to sit on, and a water bottle- it will be hot! We will also be eating outside and we will encourage students to pack a sack lunch. In the afternoon, students will have an opportunity to have their yearbooks signed and will also clean out their lockers.


Ø May 25th- In the morning, we will have an awards ceremony (for students only) and students will be making a “Guide to 7th Grade” for our rising 7th graders for next year. In the afternoon we will watch the movie: Monsters University and students will also finish cleaning out their lockers.


Ø May 26th- Students will participate in a dodgeball tournament! We will be signing up for teams and will have a bracket system. A concession stand will be open for refreshments during the dodgeball tournament. Students do not need anything on the last day of school.

8th Grade End of Year Activities

Thank you for making our first year at DeSana terrific! Eighth graders will have several fun activities to end the year.

Friday, May 19th – Semi-formal dance in the cafeteria – 7:00pm to 9:30pm

Monday, May 22nd – D3 Day

Tuesday, May 23rd – Spanish final part 1

Wednesday, May 24th – Spanish final part 2; locker clean-out

Thursday, May 25th – Field day; Any donations of water would be appreciated.

Friday, May 26th – Awards day in the cafeteria – 9:30am

6TH GRADE FIELD TRIP

6th grade will go on a field trip to the TELLUS Science Museum on Monday, May 15th. It is a great way for students to observe and interact with everything they have learned throughout this year in their science class…all under one roof! We will see minerals from all over the world, stand under massive fossils, see a capsule that has been to space, interact and learn about renewable energy, pan for gems and dig up fossils, and experience a show at the planetarium! It is sure to be a “not-to-miss” and exciting day!! We will leave DeSana Middle School at approximately 9 a.m. and return between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Permission slips have gone home so please check with your student to ensure it has been signed and returned.

other important information

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lost and found

Attention Dragons! We have a large collection of items that do not want to be left here alone over the summer--


Please take a moment to check out our Lost and Found table (Located in the hex) for any items that may belong to YOU!


All items that remain unclaimed at the end of the school year will be donated to charity.


Parents are welcome to check in at the front office and receive a visitor’s pass to look for items that their student may be missing.

Notes from the nurse

State law requires that all children entering the seventh grade have a second MMR (mumps, measles, and rubella), a second varicella (chicken pox) vaccine, one dose Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), and one dose MCV (meningococcal conjugate vaccine). Students who are not current on these immunizations received a letter from Nurse McWalters. She must receive documentation of these vaccinations for all rising 7th graders. Students will not be assigned a class schedule until this immunization certificate is complete and received by the school.


All medication in the clinic must be picked up by a parent no later than Friday, May 19th. Any medication not picked up by this date will be thrown out.

FROM THE MEDIA CENTER

Parents, please be aware that MAY 16th is the final due date for all books checked out from our media center this year. Notices have been sent to home e-mail addresses if books need to be returned or if there are any fines on your child’s account. Please help your student locate and return all books and have them settle all fines as soon as possible. We greatly appreciate your help!

RISING 6TH TRANSITION ACTIVITIES

We are so excited for our rising 6th grade transition activities to begin and to bring into the Lair our newest group of Young Dragons! Here are some important dates to know about during this busy time of year. The first transition activity is having our current 6th grade Peer Ambassadors visit our feeder elementary schools to talk about life as a 6th grader. We will be visiting Midway Elementary on Tuesday, May 2nd, Brandywine Elementary on Wednesday, May 3rd and Big Creek Elementary also on May 3rd. Current 5th graders will later come to tour DeSana to get to know their “Dragon Lair” for the next three years. Big Creek Elementary will tour DeSana on Friday, May 12th; Brandywine Elementary will tour DeSana on Tuesday, May 16th; and Midway Elementary will tour DeSana on Thursday, May 18th. DeSana administrators will host Advanced Studies meetings during the month of May for incoming 6th graders and their parents interested in taking any advanced studies classes next year. Please check the DeSana Website for a list of the many dates available to attend a meeting. The firm due date for turning in advanced studies registration forms is Friday, June 2nd by 6:00 PM. Any student who wants to take an Advanced Studies Course next year MUST register for the course(s).


Other important dates for incoming 6th graders are: Wednesday, May 17th Rising 6th grade Parent Night…All about Dragon Days and Dragon Lore from 6:30-8:00 PM. Dragon Camp is Saturday, July 29th from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. More information on Dragon Camp to follow!


If you have any questions about 5th-6th transition activities please contact Ms. Bell (last names A-L) ABell90@forsyth.k12.ga.us or Mrs. Moore (last names M-Z) CMoore29@forsyth.k12.ga.us

DRAGON CAFÉ NEWS

The Dragon Café has enjoyed serving all of our students and staff members this year. As we prepare for the end of another school year, Forsyth County Food Services will no longer allow Negative charges to student accounts effective after meal service on Monday, May 1, 2017.


To ensure your child can continue to enjoy school meals or to clear your student’s account of any negative balances, please send a payment, (cash or check) to the school, or visit www.MyPaymentsPlus.com, to make a payment online. This website is a convenient way to make payments and monitor your child's account balance.


If your child does not have breakfast or lunch money, we offer a Courtesy Meal. For breakfast we offer a bowl of cereal and a milk. For lunch we offer a Cheese Sandwich and a milk. If you have any questions, please contact the Cafeteria Manager at 770-667-2591, Extension 491560, or by email: ckbrooks@forsyth.k12.ga.us.

ARE YOU AN RN OR LPN?

Would you like to work a few days a week; the same time your children are in school?


FCS is looking for licensed nurses to be substitute nurses in our school clinics.


If interested, please contact Connie Trent 770-887-2461 ext. 202336 or ctrent@forsyth.k12.ga.us

ASAPP (Alcohol and Substance Use Prevention Project) Community Survey

In order to better serve our community, Forsyth County Schools’ Alcohol and Substance Use Prevention Project is surveying community members about their attitudes concerning underage drinking. This survey is designed to measure community attitudes related to teenage alcohol use. The results will be used to help us plan community-wide prevention efforts in our county. This survey is anonymous, and it is important that we receive responses from all members of the community, parents and non-parents alike. Participation in the survey is voluntary, but we do ask that you complete the survey, even if you have completed a similar survey in past years. The survey should take 5-10 minutes to complete. Thank you for your contribution.


To participate in the 2017 Forsyth Community Survey, please follow this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2017ForsythCommunitySurvey

thanks to our business partners

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*ALL AMERICAN SPECIALTIES

*BROWNS BRIDGE CHURCH

*CHICK-FIL-A @ THE COLLECTION

*DR. HOM PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY & ALPHARETTA COMPREHENSIVE DENTISTRY

*MILTON DENTAL SPECIALISTS

*NORTH GEORGIA PROMOTIONS

*OMEGA LEARNING

*RBM OF ALPHARETTA

*THE JOINT CHIROPRACTIC @ THE COLLECTION

Forsyth County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or gender in employment decisions or educational programs and activities.