Dutch Fork Elementary

Academy of Environmental Sciences

Welcome back from our Superintendent


August 1, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that you are having a great summer! As the final days of summer break wind down, I am sure that you - like me - are looking forward to the beginning of a new and exciting school year. Last year, we had many great successes. These successes were made possible because of your extraordinary work.

Please know that your excellent work is valued, appreciated, and respected.

But, we cannot rest on our successes in the past. As Babe Ruth famously said, "Yesterday's home runs don't win today's games." Our challenge is to continue to get better every day. We have all the ingredients for the greatest accomplishments ever in 2014-2015.

We will celebrate last year's successes and prepare for the coming school year with our annual Back to School Kick-Off on Wednesday, August 13 at Irmo High School. The event will start at 7:30 a.m. with a light breakfast and the program will begin at 8:30 a.m . Each school will be given instructions on transportation to the kick-off.

Please enjoy the remaining days of summer break. Best wishes to each of you for your very best year

ever in 2014-2015!

Sincerely yours,

Stephen W. Hefner,


August 12

Tuesday, Aug. 12th, 7:45am-12pm

5605 Bush River Rd

Columbia, SC

We believe that adults live and learn in the same manner that students live and learn in the classroom. As you all may be aware we have developed a partnership with the staff of Saluda Shoals to support our magnet school efforts. Each grade level will have scheduled field studies and touch stone experiences that will allow our students to think like scientists, use the language of scientists, and work like scientists.

The staff and rangers at Saluda Shoals have designed a program for us (DFES) to experience life as scientists ourselves. It will give us insight into how Saluda Shoals will partner with us to enhance the learning experience for our students. So we will meet at the Red Bud Shelter (Saluda Shoals Campus) on our first day back. Please be sure to dress comfortably for the occasion.

PTO will provide a catered breakfast for us beginning at 7:45 a.m. Our time together will begin promptly at 8:15 a.m. Enjoy the reminder of your summer vacation and look forward to seeing each of you in a couple of weeks.

An Invitation to a 24-hour Inquiry

"...the criterion for judging the success of any educational process must be its effect on the actual life of the student; its ultimate value depends on its assimilation into the very marrow of personality" (Louise Rosenblatt)

To begin, think about something you would like to learn to do or know about, and talk with a friend or your family about this topic.

Next, commit to one 24-hour period in which you spend as much time as you can learning about your topic.

(This means that some people will have a lot of time in their 24 hours while others will have only a little. This is understood and expected. What matters is not how much time each person has to give to this endeavor, but that each person uses the time well.)

On August 12, we will share knowledge-in-process! Please bring any artifacts/photographs/notes you uncover or create (if this is part of your inquiry).

New Faculty and Staff

We are delighted about the new additions to our faculty and staff. We are excited about their passion as learners and the value they will add to our school community.

Calendar information for the Week of August 12

Tuesday, August 12

  • (7:45 am-12:00 pm) Saluda Shoals
  • (12:00 pm -1:20 pm) lunch on your own
  • (1:30 pm) Work in rooms for remainder of the day

Wednesday, August 13

  • (am) Superintendent/District Kickoff Meet at DFES at 7:00am to ride the bus.
  • (pm) Lunch on your own/Work in your room
  • Info Expo 4:00-7:00 p.m. All faculty and staff expected to attend. More information to follow.

Thursday, August 14

  • District PD day
  • (8:00 am - 12:00 pm) District Sessions
  • (12:00 pm - 1:20 pm) lunch on your own
  • (1:30 pm - 3:30 pm) District Developed PD at home school

Friday, August 15

  • School directed activities. More details to come.

Monday, August 18

  • Teacher unencumbered work day. All faculty and staff will meet at 2:30 pm in the mini theater.