Dartmouth Public Schools
iInspire, You Matter, Kindness Matters
Dr. Bonny Gifford
The countdown to Thanksgiving is officially on and like many of you I am eagerly looking forward to spending time with family. The holiday is a perfect excuse to hang around the house, watch football and the Macy’s parade and sample a variety of home cooked dishes. Thanksgiving is also the time to express gratitude for our blessings and show appreciation for people who love and support us; we reap the benefits of experiencing gratitude ourselves or receiving it from another. Feelings of gratitude lead to increased empathy and a kind heart and it is said that grateful people are happy people and happy people are grateful.
Olivia Rosewood, author of Gratitude Soup, tells us “there is scientific evidence showing that gratitude dramatically changes brain chemistry, leading to a peaceful mind and healthy body. In a study performed at UC Davis those who experienced a daily gratitude activity had more positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy. Gratitude can lead to fewer physical ailments and an enhanced feeling of well-being.” Recognizing the importance of living a life filled with gratitude, Rosewood wrote a story about Violet the Purple Fairy learning to make Gratitude Soup by remembering everything and everyone in her life that she is grateful for; all were added to her soup pot.
Inspirational speaker, Omaid Homayun shares a personal story of how he began to live a life of gratitude after facing some tremendous adversity. Despondent and searching for some kind of sign, he came across a book called A Simple Act of Gratitude by John Kralik. Homayun writes: “I read the first 10 pages and it hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s about, John Kralik, whose life was a disaster.” Homayun read how Kralik one day decided he needed to find a way to overcome his adversity so he pledged to write one thank you note each day for the entire year. This simple act helped him find something to be grateful for each day. Not surprisingly, Kralik found writing thank you notes reminded him to value all the good in his life and maintain a positive mindset. In Kralik’s words, “Gratitude presses outwards and that creates good feeling in the universe. A lot comes back to you eventually.”
In the words of Edmund Wilson, “gratitude is one of those rare things you get more of by giving it away.” As I journey to be with family on this Thanksgiving holiday, I will be thinking about focusing on gratitude and ways to give it away!
Some updates on the Winter Sports Season
Finished the season 7-9
Did not qualify for the playoffs.
Justin Debortoli represented DHS in the individual tournament.
Finished the reg season 14-3-1.
Lost to Barnstable in the state tournament 2-0
Finished the reg season 12-4-2.
Defeated Falmouth 2-0 in a first round game.
Finished the regular season 9-8-1.
Defeated #5 Canton 1-0
Finished the regular season 16-3.
Girls finished the season 4-2, while the Boys were 3-3.
Participated in the MSTCA State Invitational race. Top 50 (Medals) 10th Girls Race 29th Mia Clark 22:27.30 49th Kaitlyn daSilva 23:14:20 11th Girls Race 6th Emma Sousa 21:10.80 12th Girls Race 10th Phoebe Cousens 21:35.40 12th Boys Race 10th Ben Rioux 17:18.20 42nd Noah Derrick 18:08.70
Science Inquiry Projects
DMS students are creepy! -- or at least their narratives are!
This year, more than 150 students entered the www.youngwritersusa.com "Stranger Sagas" 100 word creative writing contest. Our more verbose students kept writing up to two pages of spine tingling narrative to enter into the DMS Annual Scary Story Contest.
Top honors in the school's contest were awarded to 6th Grader Steven Wei, 7th grader Caiden Demanche, and 8th garder Madyn Waskiewicz. Sixth graders Adriana Neria and Amiah Aguiar, 7th graders Josh Abreu and Silas Dussault, and 8th graders Connor Murphy and Tayla Wood also received honorable mentions for their disturbing tales of terror. Congrats to all of our aspiring Edgar Allen Poes!
The Stanger Sagas winner will be announced at a later date by the review committee at youngwritersusa.com.
Assessment Development Committee (ADC)
School Nutrition Association of MA
STAR Updates coming soon!
The Renaissance Star Assessment that is used in grades K-8 is about to get better. Renaissance’s new growth platform will have a fresh new look designed for easier navigation, updated, easy-to-read reports, and exciting capabilities and features, leading to greater student growth. The update is scheduled for January 28, 2018 and will take 24-48 hours. DPS data will not be accessible during this time. This is a major upgrade to our current Star Platform.
One change you need to be aware of is passwords will change. After our upgrade, all passwords were converted to lower case, and are now case sensitive!
Please use the resources below to get acclimated to the new upgrade.
Dartmouth Middle School Happenings!
Locked Boxes: Breakout of Math! Students in Ms. Keene's class worked in teams to solve math problems leading to codes for locks on a box that held a prize. Once you solved your problems- you won the prize! Donors Choose funded Ms. Keene's project. (student quote) "Last week we used the locks and boxes. They were super fun to use and I really enjoyed that day. One thing I liked is that they are an unusual way of learning....real life skill... and I enjoy solving puzzles and problems." -Madyn
True Grit Breakfast: Persistence and Perseverance- Students in 7th and 8th grade that earned 90% growth on the 2018 MCAS were treated to a True Grit Breakfast and given certificates of merit.
Demello School recently celebrated Kindness Day! Students started their day by writing acts of kindness on leaves and then decorated trees with their kindness. Kindness is spreading sunshine into other people's lives regardless of the weather.
DESE PDP REQUIREMENTS
Professional Development Points (PDPs): As of July 1, 2016, the required distribution of Professional Development Points (PDPs) has changed for all academic educators who renew a primary area:
Educators must earn 150 PDPs, which include:
(a) At least 15 PDPs related to Sheltered English Immersion or English as a Second Language;
(b) At least 15 PDPs related to training in strategies for effective schooling for students with disabilities and the instruction of students with diverse learning styles;
(c) At least 90 PDPs in content/pedagogy, with no less than 60 PDPs in or related to the content area of the educator's primary area; and
(d) The remaining required 30 PDPs may be earned through either “elective” activities that address other educational issues and topics that improve student learning, or additional content, and/or pedagogy.
Dartmouth Public Schools ERD (Early Release Day) Strands offer sessions for teachers to earn required PDP's. Also, SMEC (Southeasten Massachusetts Educational Collaborative) is offering two classes to meet your PDP requirements in ELL and SPED.
Blended and Personalized Learning PD at DHS
Dartmouth High School and the Highlander Institute are partnering to provide job-embedded professional development that supports the design and delivery of high quality, blended and personalized instruction in alignment with the District and School Improvement Plans. The work is central to the school's focus of providing students with instruction that meets the needs of all learners while preparing them for college and career success in the 21st Century. Utilizing a Lesson Study model, teams of teachers from four departments (English, Math, Social Studies and Business & Computer Science) plan with a Highlander Institute Coach and Building Administration, to design a lesson, deliver and observe the lesson and finally to reflect upon the lesson with the goal of adjusting practice to improve future instruction.
Southeast Regional Reading Council Meeting
Thursday, Dec. 6th, 4:30pm
90 Paramount Drive
DHS After Prom - Tropical Smoothie Fundraiser
Wednesday, Dec. 5th, 11:30am-4:30pm
Tropical Smooth Cafe - Faunce Corner Road
Thanksgiving Day Football Game
Thursday, Nov. 22nd, 10am
Memorial Stadium 400 Slocum Road
Staff Spotlight - Will Higgins
Name: Will Higgins
School/Position: DHS/English Teacher
Hometown: Dartmouth, MA
Education: HS in NJ, Rutgers University - BA, College of New Jersey - MAT
Role model or someone who has had a great impact on my life: Tom Aungst - I’ve known him as a teacher and friend since I was 16. I became a teacher because of him.
If I could travel anywhere in the world it would be: Germany/Switzerland/Austria
If I could eat dinner with someone famous, dead or alive, it would be: Teddy Roosevelt - my favorite president. He did it all: author, explorer, politician, military man, family man, scientist. How did he have time for all of this? Took a bullet in the chest before giving a speech from an assassin, then spoke for 90 minutes before going to the hospital.
Favorite leisure time activity: Rowing, Reading, Watching Soccer.
Favorite movie: The Big Lebowski or Cider House Rules or Interstellar.
I think the world’s greatest invention is: Double IPA
My favorite motto or saying: Fandango
Why I chose DPS to work at: I came for friends and stayed because Dartmouth is a great place to raise a family.