Dragon Digest

Volume 1 Issue 19 / May 2, 2017

Desana day of good deeds

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D3 Day is approaching quickly. Please read this entire article as it contains information on everything that we need for D3 Day.


We need 60 parents to bake 3 dozen cookies a piece! 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.


1. Old towels and blankets for the animal shelters

2. Magazines and Newspapers

3. FOOD DRIVE for April: Pasta sauce (any kind, canned or jarred)


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.

Any questions, please email Dawn Bourg or Jennifer Harris (dawn@bourgs.com or jharris@campharris.org)


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The PTA is currently taking nominations for President, a Vice President position and a Treasurer position on the to-be-formed PTO for the 2017-2018 school year. Please consider working with us to continue to support the staff and students at DeSana MS. Click here for the nomination form or pick one up in the front office.


Please consider volunteering your time and talent to make the 8th grade dance a huge success. We are especially looking for 6th and 7th grade parents, but 8th grade parents are very welcome as well. Please contact Samantha Thomas at sammert@comcast.net.

General meeting to dissolve PTA and form PTO and elect new officers:

Tuesday, May 16th at 7PM during the first 10 minutes of the Band concert.


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8th Grade Physical Science GA Milestones End of Course Assessment On Monday, May 8th

On the morning of Monday, May 8th, ALL 8th Grade students will take the Physical Science End of Course (EOC) Assessment. This assessment counts 20% of an 8th graders’ grade in their Physical Science course for the year. All students who pass their Physical Science course with a 70 average or above will receive one High School credit to take with them to high school, counting towards their graduation requirement of accruing 23 high credits. Eighth graders will want to come to school well-rested and well-fed the morning of May 8th, and ready to do their absolute best on this test. Make ups for this EOC will be Tuesday, May 9th. Any student going on the Savannah Trip, leaving Wednesday morning, or on the In-town field trip on Wednesday to Stone Mountain will not be allowed to go on either of these trips if they have not taken the Physical Science EOC. Completing this assessment is a top priority for our 8th grade students. Students have been preparing all year for this Physical Science EOC and we are confident that they are prepared to do their very best.

Celebrating Our FABULOUS DeSana Staff!

During last week, this week and next week we have been/will be busy honoring and celebrating the wonderful, top-notch staff we have here at DeSana! Last week we celebrated Administrative Assistant Professionals Week and School Nurses Week as we recognized the amazing talents and skills of our school secretaries --- Therese Batson, Holly Pearson, Lisa Garcia and Sue Klein --- and our fantastic school nurse and therapy dog --- Rebecca McWalters & Frosty. We can’t even begin to imagine running our school without these fine ladies and furry friend!! We can’t thank them enough!!

This week is Educator & Staff Appreciation Week so it is hats off and many a “thank you” to all of our fantastic and truly professional teachers and support staff here at DeSana!! They absolutely ROCK!!!

And next week, is National School Nutrition Employee Week, and what better time to give a BIG “shout out” to our VERY fine cafeteria crew --- Carol Brooks, cafeteria manager, Brenda Samples, Ann Allen, Kathi Freet, Ashley Turner, Clarisa Quianot, and Virginia Perez. What a wonderful group of ladies who make so many students’ and staff’s day while they serve breakfast and lunch here at DeSana! We so appreciate all that they do!!

We have much to celebrate here at DeSana when it comes to our staff . . . and many people to thank for the amazing job they do, day in and day out, for all of our young Dragons!!

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.


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 of AOL 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:


THURSDAYS: 5/4, 5/11, 5/18


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 5, 12, 19


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Track crosses the Finish line

The 2017 DeSana Middle School Track and Field team just completed its inaugural season. Both the girls and boys teams worked really hard over the course of the last two and a half months. The boys finished fourth in the county overall while the girls finished ninth. Jalen B. set the county record for the 400m and won the 200m respectively. Asia G. placed second in the long jump. The boys 4x400 team which included Jalen B., Anthony C., Isaac O., and Gary Y. finished 3rd at the county meet. Please help us celebrate this wonderful season by telling track team members great job!

Jalen B. went on to compete at the Georgia Middle School state track meet where he came in 4th place in the 400 meter race for the entire state. His time was a new county record! Congrats to Jalen for representing DeSana in fine fashion.

the arts

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Festival of Arts

Come support the arts and check out the fantastic artwork by 20 of our DeSana Dragons at the Cumming Festival of Arts.

Dates: April 23rd – May 7th

Address: Cumming First United Methodist Church

770 Canton Highway

Cumming, GA 30040

festival of arts winner!

Congratulations to 8th Grader Sarah M. for winning the CFUMC Award as well as an Honorable Mention at the Festival of Arts! Her painting, Dawn to Dusk, was selected for two awards out of over 200 pieces of artwork from all over the county. What an amazing accomplishment!

Band News

The end of the year brings a lot of excitement for our band program. On April 22nd at Riverwatch Middle School, 28 of our students participated in the Georgia Music Educators Association District 9 Solo and Ensemble Festival. 26 of our students earned the top rating of SUPERIOR and two earned second division ratings of EXCELLENT. None of our students had ever participated in this event previously and all worked very hard to make their individual performance a huge success. Congratulations to the following students:

6th Grade

Carrington U. Tuba SUPERIOR

Ryan C. Clarinet SUPERIOR

Saahil G. Clarinet SUPERIOR

Palumi L. Bassoon SUPERIOR

Kelis K. Flute SUPERIOR

Christopher K. Alto Saxophone SUPERIOR

Druvitha L. Flute SUPERIOR

Aarohi S. Flute SUPERIOR

Caroline B. Euphonium SUPERIOR

Selena C. Clarinet SUPERIOR

Navya P. Clarinet SUPERIOR

Ishita T. Clarinet SUPERIOR

Emy N. Clarinet EXCELLENT

Kanishka P. Flute SUPERIOR

Kyle G. Euphonium SUPERIOR

Zac. B. Tenor Saxophone SUPERIOR

Raya G. Alton Saxophone SUPERIOR

Treya H. Trumpet SUPERIOR

Kunal T. Trumpet SUPERIOR

Shanmathi G. Flute SUPERIOR

7th Grade

Ryan M. Bari Saxophone EXCELLENT

Anna S. Flute SUPERIOR

Ameya J. Alton Saxophone SUPERIOR

Krish W. Trombone SUPERIOR

8th Grade

Haley M. Flute SUPERIOR

Grace W. Trumpet SUPERIOR

David E. Marimba SUPERIOR

More exciting news, our 7th and 8th Grade combined band performed at the GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluation and earned STRAIGHT SUPERIORS! This is the top rating that is given and they definitely earned that rating! They wowed the judges and parents in attendance. One judge made the comment that “it’s hard to believe that this is a first year school”. WHAT A GREAT COMMENT! It has been a great year with great results!

Our final band concert will be held in the DeSana Gymnasium on May 16th at 7pm. The 7th and 8th grade combined bands and the beginning 6th grade band will be performing. The students have worked very hard and are excited to be performing for our community. We hope that we have a huge crowd for the final concert of the year.

Also, thank you all for your support of our program. The DeSana PTA was instrumental in helping us secure a sound system for our band and for that we give our sincere appreciation to this wonderful support group of DeSana.

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!


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Dashing Dragons

On Saturday, April 22nd, the Dashing Dragons competed in Johns Creek's Finest 5K. This annual race is sponsored by the Johns Creek Police Department and raises money to support the Special Olympics of Georgia. The Dashing Dragons are a group of 6th-8th grade girls who have met weekly during the Spring semester to build self-confidence through group discussions and running. Each time they met, the girls ran a little faster and a little farther. All of their hard work paid off at the race where Courtney E. (8th grade) came in 2nd place, Erin D, (6th grade) came in 5th place, and Lizi V. (6th grade) came in 7th place in their age categories. Running with the girls were sponsors Andrea Bell, Carolyn Moore, and Amanda Stavropoulos (with Nurse Rebecca and Frosty in spirit), along with our art teacher, Angela Petit, and academic coach, Matt Crawford. Also, the girls each had a parent run with them during the race as a show of support. The Dashing Dragons would like to send a special thank you to Dr. Black and Dr. Anna Elmers for sponsoring their t-shirts!

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.

In-town 8th grade field trips

If Savannah is not your thing, then join our In-town field trips. 8th grade students, who are not participating in the Savannah trip this year, will have the opportunity to attend various educational field trips around the Metro Atlanta area. Our adventure will start on Wednesday, May 10th, at Stone Mountain Park to participate in their history program and enjoy one attraction at History Square. On Thursday, May 11th, we will travel to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History to explore a walk through time in Georgia, and enjoy the 3D giant screen movie: Extreme Weather. Friday, May 12th, it’s movie time! We will travel to the AMC theater at The Collection at Forsyth to enjoy Disneynature’s new movie Born in China. The cost for all activities, including transportation by school bus and admission to each experience, is $40.00.


We are only one week away from our exciting 3 day trip! Now is the time to be connected with Mrs. Wood to make sure you are in the know about the trip. Please sign up for text reminds from Mrs. Wood by sending the code @dmssav to the number 81010. All students should join this text remind thread and parents are welcome to join as well. Mrs. Wood will be using this texting app before and throughout the entire trip.

We are in need of donations of several items to take on the trip with us, if you can provide any of the following items, please email Mrs. Wood at erinwood@forsyth.k12.ga.us

Bottles of Water – small or large size

Brown masking tape

If you have any questions about the trip, please contact Mrs. Wood at erinwood@forsyth.k12.ga.us or 770-667-2591 extension 492216.

For 6th grade last week of school

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

other important information

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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

Yearbook Information

Yearbooks will be distributed the week of May 22nd to all students who purchased a 2016-2017 DeSana Yearbook.

Did not order one? Extras have been ordered and students will have an opportunity to buy a yearbook the week of May 15th for $42. Students can bring cash or check to Mrs. West on the 7th grade hall- first come basis! Announcements will be made prior to this week to remind students.

From the Media Center:

Parents, please be aware that MAY 12th 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!

From Nurse McWalters . . .

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.


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

411 - helpful links for parents

thanks to our business partners

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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.