Kingsley ES Principal Newsletter
"Positive Energy, Positive Minds, Positive Results"
Week of September 18th
Donuts with Grown-Ups! September 20th
Bring your child to school and enjoy a donut with them in the cafeteria before class begins. Starting at 7:10 AM, we'll have an assortment of donuts available for everyone, and an adorable donut-themed photo station for you and your child to commemorate the fun!
Dear Kingsley Community,
It is with extremely heavy hearts that I inform you of the untimely passing of our beloved former paraprofessional, Mrs. Catherina Teshoma-Belay, fondly known as "Mrs. Cat" by students and staff. Mrs. Cat was a treasured member of our school community for over 4 years, before beginning a new role as co-teacher at John Lewis Elementary this past July. This news leaves us all profoundly saddened.
During her time here, Mrs. Cat embodied dedication, care and compassion in her work with our execeptional education students each and every day. She had a special talent for bonding with all learners and bringing out the best in them. Her gentle spirit and unwavering belief in every child made an incredible impact. Mrs. Cat was also known for greeting everyone with a warm smile. She handled even the most difficult situations with wisdom, grace, and understanding.
While nothing can fill the void left by Mrs. Cat's passing, we hope we can find some comfort in reminiscing about the many lives she touched with her immense kindness and selflessness. Her legacy will live on through the children she inspired.
Mrs. Cat's family held a memorial service for her on Friday. Members of Kingsley Elementary and John Lewis Elementary attended the service. Please keep Mrs. Catherina's family in your thoughts and prayers. She will remain in our hearts always.
With deepest sympathy,
Here's Our Week-At-A-Glance
*September is Attendance Awareness Month and Hispanic Heritage Month*
9/15 - 10/15 Hispanic Heritage Month Begins
9/18 - Derby Day Pep Rally 9:10 AM (Cafeteria)
9/19 - National Instructional Technology (IT) Professional Day
9/19 - 9/29 PAC Elections
9/20 - Donuts with Grown Ups & PTO Board Meeting
9/22 - Individual Picture Day
*9/25 - The Energy Bus Song Challenge
❤️💙Great Things Are Happening at KES❤️💙
Special Shout Out Time!!
- A Big Shout Out to the Dunwoody Cheerleaders for helping us celebrate our first Walking Wednesday of the school year. Thank you, Dr. Hamilton and Mrs. Smith for coordinating KES's Walking Wednesday. Thank you to all the parents that helped our students walk to KES safely ❤️💙.
- Thank you staff for your flexibility and assistance during "Goodies with Grands". A very special thank you to my prep team for your assistance: Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Alicea, Dr. Hamilton, Dr. Ingram, Mr. Don, Mrs. Cornelius, Ms. Bishop, Ms. Ashley, Ms. Martin, Mr. Higgins, Mr. Morrison, and Tiffani Thompson. It truly takes a village! ❤️💙
- Shout out to Ms. Rocky and our morning student announcers for our daily KES Morning News! Thank you for keeping us informed.❤️💙
❤️💙Congratulations to our 2023-2024 TOY, ESPOTY I, and ESPOTY II❤️💙!
We are incredibly proud to announce our 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year, Ms. Heather Phillips, Educational Support Professional of the Year I, Mr. Donald Averiett, and Educational Support Professional of the Year II, Ms. Shayna Bishop! Your dedication and passion for teaching and serving others have made an outstanding impact on the lives of our students, staff, and the community. Congratulations and thank you for hard work and commitment to KES ❤️💙. Please help me congratulate our staff members!! We are so proud of each of you!!!
Annual Title 1 Meeting, PTO Meeting, & Curriculum Night Introduction
One School, One Book Program
KES Staff Update
I want to take this opportunity to update you on the current status of our staff openings:
- We will be adding an additional kindergarten teacher to our team soon.
- I have recommended two candidates for our MID/MoID positions (preschool and 1st/2nd grade MID/MoID teachers).
- Kingsley will have an in-person speech therapist very soon.
We are still seeking highly qualified teacher candidates for the 3rd-5th grade MID/MoID position.
- We are still in need of one school nutrition assistant and one star substitute.
We understand the importance of having dedicated educators who can cater to the unique needs of our children. While the hiring process has been ongoing, we want to assure you that your child's education remains our top priority. In order to ensure a smooth continuation of their learning journey, we have enlisted the help of some dedicated substitute teachers. Our substitute teachers have worked with all our students previously and are committed to maintaining the high standards of education and care that you expect from us.
We genuinely appreciate your patience and understanding during this transition period. Your support is invaluable to us, and we remain committed to providing a safe, nurturing, and enriching environment for your child. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Thank you for entrusting us with your child's education. We look forward to the opportunity to introduce your child to their new permanent teacher soon.
❤️💙 Message from our PTO ❤️💙
Reminder - Student Activity Fees
Please don't forget to pay your Student Activity Fees on our website or return the paper form that you received in your students' STAR folder with payment to their homeroom teacher as soon as possible.
The student activity fees that we collect allow us to provide enrichment activities and benefits to the school and community that would not otherwise be funded. This includes:
- $10/student field trip stipends
- teacher and specials stipends that are used to purchase classroom and instructional materials as well as supplies for our art, music, PE and STEAM programs
- special school-wide assemblies
- parent engagement events such as our New Parent breakfast
- hosting family events such as Donuts with Grownups, STEAM night and movie nights
Kingsley PTO spends approximately $100 for each student in our school every year and we need the student activity fees to make this happen!
While paying the student activity fee qualifies you as an active PTO member, it does NOT obligate you to volunteer - but we'd be happy to have you!
If you plan to volunteer as a reading buddy, field trip chaperone, help in the media center this school year, you will need to be approved by public safety.
Level III volunteers must be approved by Public Safety AND the local school principal prior to the volunteer participation in activities involving direct, unsupervised interaction with students. Examples of Level III volunteers include chaperones on overnight field trips, chaperones or volunteers for local school events, volunteer tutors, office/media center volunteers, or any other volunteers who will have any unsupervised interaction with students. Level III volunteers shall be fingerprinted by the district and have GBI/FBI criminal background checks on file prior to rendering volunteer services.
You may view Board Policy IFCD: School Volunteers by clicking below.
Thanks for your interest in becoming a Volunteer for the DeKalb County School District. Don't hesitate to contact Demone Gunter via email @ DCSDvolunteer@dekalbschoolsga.org if you have any questions or concerns.
- Complete the Volunteer Application And Release Form:
- Complete the DCSD Volunteer Code of Conduct:
Please view and complete the Mandated Reporter Video/Quiz before attending a training session.
Steps for Mandated Reporter Video and Quiz: https://www.prosolutionstraining.com/store/product/index.cfm?tDisplayAdd=1&tProductVersion_id
- Create an account (no cost)
- Choose State: GA
- Click Child Abuse and Neglect Course: Mandated Reporter
- Click Start Course
- Complete Quiz
- Save or print your certificate. Send a Copy of your certificate to DCSDvolunteer@dekalbschoolsga.org
Weekly Face-to-Face Volunteer Training is available at the IMPACT HUB every Thursday at 1:00 PM. 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard Stone Mountain, GA 30083. The Department of Family and Community Empowerment offers virtual training on Zoom as outlined below. https://dekalbschoolsga-org.zoom.us/j/85757845773
Topic: DCSD Volunteer Training
- August 23, 2023, 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM
- August 30, 2023, 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM
- September 13, 2023, 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM
- September 20, 2023, 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM
- September 27, 2023, 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM
- October 4, 2023, 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM
- October 11, 2023, 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM
- October 18, 2023, 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM
- October 25, 2023, 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM
FALL 2023 PRINCIPAL ADVISORY COUNCIL (PAC) ELECTIONS
The candidate declaration window for Fall 2023 Principal Advisory Council (PAC) elections will be open through 5:00pm, August 25, 2023. Complete the appropriate candidate declaration form using the links below to run for a position on your school's PAC.
Voting is September 19 – September 26, 2023
Complete the form below to run for a position on your school’s Council.
PARENT REGISTRATION: https://www.bigpulse.com/179344/register
PARENT REGISTRATION (ADDITIONAL LANGUAGES): https://form.jotform.com/230888535249165
Principal Advisory Councils (PACs) bring parents, school employees, students and community members together to create a better understanding of and mutual respect for each other's perspectives and share ideas for increasing student achievement and performance.
What is the role of the Principal Advisory Council (PAC)?
- Act as a link between the school and the community
- Encourage the engagement of parents and other stakeholders within the school community
- Work to increase student achievement through transparent operations and shared best practices
- Review the Continuous School Improvement Plan and monitor progress toward goals
- Participate in the selection of the school principal
If you declare your name, please email Dr. Harris-Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org with your bio and picture. Thank you!
To learn more about the work of Principal Advisory Councils, visit: http://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/principal-advisory-councils.
2023-2024 Title I Parent Right to Know
In accordance with Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, all LEAs are required to notify parents at the beginning of each school year of their ‘Right to Know’ the professional qualifications of their student’s classroom teachers and paraprofessionals.
Requirements for Content of the Notification: Notifications MUST use the language of the law.
In compliance with the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act, parents may request the following information: Whether the student’s teacher—has met State qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction; is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which State qualification or licensing criteria have been waived; and, is teaching in the field of discipline of the certification of the teacher. Whether the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.
In Georgia, notifications must occur within 30 calendar days from the start of school or upon enrollment.
For verification purposes, notifications must contain the month/year of dissemination or, if included in another document, the primary document must contain a date.
For verification purposes, the name of the LEA and/ or school must be included.
In Georgia, districts are required to notify parents in ALL schools or programs.
Responses to requests must be provided in a timely manner.
Maintain records of annual notification(s) from ALL schools or programs.
Best Practices for the Notification:
- ESSA does not prescribe the exact method of dissemination for notifications. In Georgia, the following are considered best practices when notifying parents:
- Develop written procedures for compliance, which include a timeline and person, by position, responsible for verifying notification content, verifying dissemination of notification, and maintaining notification documentation.
- Notify parents in multiple formats in order to ensure that all parents have the opportunity to receive the information. This may include, school handbook, a letter mailed home, a newsletter or brochure, posting on a website, and/or a school-wide email.
- Notify parents, to the extent practicable, in a language that they may understand.
- Ensure the notification includes school/program/LEA name and a point of contact by position.
Dr. Harris-Thompson, Principal
NEW Transportation Changes
For the safety and security of all students, It is important to keep afternoon transportation consistent. If a change of transportation is necessary, parents are asked to email a note to email@example.com AND send a message to your child’s teacher that includes the child’s name, the date of the change, and phone number in the event there is a question. For your child’s safety, transportation changes are not taken over the phone. All changes must be made by 1:00 PM. Please do not ask us to make exceptions that compromise our security and your child’s safety.
- You can begin eating lunch with your child on Tuesday, September 5th.
- Birthdays can only be celebrated during lunch. No balloons, stuffed animals, gift bags, etc. please. Only store bought items can be provided.
Parent Visitors and Volunteers
We encourage parents to visit the school, but for the protection of all children, parents and visitors must follow these procedures.
- For the safety of our students, ALL visitors who enter any DeKalb County Public School must report to the front office/lobby to sign in.
- It is important that you bring your driver's license if you are wanting to volunteer or eat lunch with your child.
- You must wear a visitor sticker at all times while on school property. Teachers have been instructed to monitor our visitors and to contact the office if there is anyone without a badge.
- To help provide you with our undivided attention, parents and visitors should make an appointment in order to meet with teachers, administrators, counselors, or to visit classrooms.
- When leaving the school, return to the front office to sign out.
- Please have your assigned Silent Dismissal car tag visible on your dashboard during afternoon dismissal.
- If you need a replacement dismissal car tag please email Mrs. Bari firstname.lastname@example.org
- We ask that you have your child seated on the passenger side whenever possible so that he/she can easily load or unload using the doors of your car that are closest to our curb.
Parents are encouraged to use carpool when dropping off their child for school. Parents should not drop off students on Brendon Drive in the morning.
- Get in the carpool line by 7:05 AM (morning) and 2:05 PM (afternoon) to ensure that you get through the line quickly.
- The carpool line closes at 7:35 AM to prepare for morning announcements and instruction. Parents may drive around to the front of the building (bus lane) to drop off their child/children between 7:35 AM - 7:40 AM. Parents do not need to escort or check their children in until 7:41 AM.
- The doors open for carpool at 7:10 AM - 7:35 AM for morning arrival. Afternoon dismissal for carpool starts at 2:20 PM - 2:35 PM.
- Be kind to the carpool staff that are taking their time to keep all children safe.
- Do not park on the opposite side of the street and send your child across the street alone.
- Do not drop off your child in front of the school during morning arrival.
- When ENTERING the side parking lot- please DO NOT turn left into the parking lot. Please go around the neighborhood and turn RIGHT to enter the parking lot. (Brendon Drive is considered a one-way during arrival and departure times)
SILENT DISMISSAL SYSTEM
We will continue with our Silent Dismissal System. An Inside Look into Afternoon Dismissal - Students are all dismissed directly from their classroom. We started our dismissal system in March of 2021 when students returned back for face-to-face learning. The dismissal system ensures a safe exit for all. We use a live spreadsheets on all classroom Promethean boards. We have staff members stationed all over the school grounds working on the spreadsheets to dismiss students and ensuring students stay distanced and get to the right location. Once students see their name pop up on the spreadsheet, they exit the class. Bus riders are dismissed using the silent dismissal system. We have improved our dismissal system and will continue to make the process better. Thank you so much for your patience as we dismiss students safely from our school into your care.
School Safety remains top of mind for me, the staff, and I know for you as well.
Every precaution will be taken to ensure the safety of your child during school hours. One safety measure practiced are safety drills (fire, tornado, intruder), which are conducted throughout the school year. Fire drills are held once every month. Tornado drills are held twice a semester. Intruder (Lockdown) drills are held three times a semester. Schedules, exits, and procedures are a part of these important drills to keep our students and staff safe in the event of an emergency. The administrative team and all staff members will be in position to aid in a safe, quick evacuation. Routes of exit are posted in each room of the building. Our number one priority is the safety and security of our students and staff.
During the school day, we ensure the following safety measures are taken:
- All classroom doors remain closed and locked at all times.
- Exterior doors remain locked at all times and are not propped open for any reason.
- Exterior doors will not be opened for visitors.
- All visitors must come to the front of the school to receive assistance.
- All visitors must press the entry button outside the front door and show photo identification. The front office staff will assist all visitors from this point.
- If a visitor does not have an appointment with staff, volunteering, is not checking out a student, or is not receiving assistance from the front office, they will not be allowed inside the school.
- If parents would like to drop off items for their child, they will utilize the black cart outside the front door and complete a drop off slip. Front office staff will retrieve the items off the cart and ensure your child receives the item.
- Students are monitored by staff members in all areas of the building and on the recess field.
- Outside of traveling with their class to other parts of the building, students will travel in pairs when leaving their class independently to go to the restroom, nurse, or front office.
- Every classroom is equipped with a telephone and panic button in the event of an emergency.
- For afternoon dismissal, students are only dismissed from class when their name appears on the dismissal spreadsheets and/or their bus is called.
- Staff are strategically stationed all around our building and campus to ensure students arrive and depart safely from school.
- NEW THIS YEAR: every staff member will have a crisis alert badge that they wear daily. In the event of an emergency, staff will press a button on this badge to alert administration that they are in need of help.
Our school resource officer does stop by the school on a consistent basis and walk the grounds to ensure order is maintained.
In the event of an emergency, we will communicate with all parents via School Messenger and Class Dojo. Please ensure you are connected and signed up for both on your mobile phone. It is important that parents read all text messages from the school thoroughly and follow next steps as outlined.
Safety will always remain our top priority. We appreciate your partnership and collaboration as we work together to maintain a safe learning environment for all students and staff.
The priority of the DeKalb County School District is the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and community partners. As we approach the 2023-24 school year, we want to make sure you know about our recent investments in two safety enhancements that help us provide more secure and nurturing learning environments.
These two cutting-edge safety and security initiatives are the CENTEGIX Crisis-Alert and EVOLV Express® security solutions. These safety systems are designed to empower and protect, to help ensure our educational campuses remain safe havens for learning.
The first system, the CENTEGIX Crisis-Alert, is a safety and security system that will be deployed across all DCSD schools. Crisis-Alert allows staff and security professionals to request assistance and implement emergency protocols from anywhere on campus, allowing for rapid response and resolution to potential threats. The safety of our students and staff is just a "push button" away with this state-of-the-art system.
EVOLV Express is the second system in all DCSD middle and high schools. Unlike traditional metal detectors, EVOLV Express utilizes advanced artificial intelligence and sensor technology to distinguish potential weapons and components of weapons from personal items or harmless objects. This non-invasive system respects students' privacy and allows them to walk through the equipment without slowing down or stopping, removing coats or backpacks, or empty pockets. With image-aided alarms, EVOLV Express pinpoints the location of potential threats on the student or their belongings, thus improving the overall security of our schools.
It is important to note that EVOLV Express does not use facial recognition or collect any personal data, ensuring the privacy of our students is safeguarded. Additionally, the system is designed to focus solely on identifying potential threats rather than individuals, thus reducing possible biases.
The implementation of EVOLV Express will significantly reduce screening times, allowing up to 1,000 students to be screened in about 15 minutes, so that students can move freely while feeling safe and secure on campus.
At DCSD, we are pleased to share these latest security enhancements that will provide real-time information, detection, and alerts to make our schools much safer. Even with these new measures, we still rely on our longstanding, supportive DeKalb County community partners to work with us to provide the best educational experiences.
If you have any questions regarding these security systems, please contact your school administrators or our Department of Public Safety.
Thank you for your trust and continued support.
Important Information and Documents
DeKalb County School District | 2023-2024 CALENDAR
2023-2024 PreK - 5th Grade Supply Lists
2023-2024 PARENT/STUDENT HANDBOOK
A comprehensive student/parent handbook is attached below that outlines our school policies and procedures.
In addition to everything included in the parent/student handbook, I want to point out several updates for this school year.
- Parents should try to avoid dropping off items late to the school (i.e. lunch boxes, instruments, homework, projects, water bottles, etc). This greatly interrupts instructional time, teachers teaching, and students learning. Students should bring all items they need to school when they arrive each day. We understand there will be times when students forget items, but please know that if students forget their water bottles at home, water is provided at school. If they forget their lunch, a school lunch will be provided. We want to instill responsibility and independence in all of our students. In the event of an emergency or a medical need, parents are free to bring medications to the school nurse.
- No outside vendor/fast foods or deliveries can be brought in for students (i.e - Chick Fil-A, McDonalds, etc). Students should bring in a lunch packed from home if they are not eating school lunch. If students forget their lunch, we have a very nutritious lunch being provided daily in the cafeteria. Our goal is to always support our school lunch program.
- Parents are not able to eat lunch with their students at this time. During the first few weeks of school our students will be learning the rituals and routines for their classrooms, library, hallways, bathrooms, cafeteria, playground, etc. Parents will be able to eat with their child after Labor Day.
***Please download the handbook using the attachment below and save it to refer to throughout the school year.
Thank you for continuing to partner with us in ensuring our school year runs smoothly!
KES Student/Parent Handbook 2023-2024
SCHOOL UNIFORMS ARE HIGHLY ENCOURAGED FOR STUDENTS
We encourage all students to wear school uniforms Monday - Thursday.
Fridays are designated as Spirit Days. Students may wear a Kingsley Elementary t-shirt or the color red or blue, with denim bottoms.
Please review and save the list below so you are aware who to contact when questions arise.
Direct questions regarding the following items to the people below.
- Membership Toolkit - Mrs. Erin Nusnbaum & Mrs. Kelly Edge: email@example.com
- Kingsley's PTO Website https://kingsleypto.membershiptoolkit.com/
- School Spirit Wear - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Family ID Hang tags - Mrs. Marian Bari : email@example.com
- Reporting your child's absence from school - email your child's homeroom teacher AND our school registrar, Mrs. Regina Alicea: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Changes in transportation - email your child's homeroom teacher AND our school secretary, Mrs. Alicea: email@example.com . This must be done by 10am!
- Questions about school lunch - email our cafeteria manager, Mrs. Catalina Moreno-Ortega: firstname.lastname@example.org
- General questions pertaining to your child's class - email your child's homeroom teacher
- Questions regarding gifted eligibility - email our gifted teacher, Mrs. Bari: email@example.com
- Questions related to school counseling - email our school counselor: Dr. Marilyn Hamilton: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Questions pertaining to After School Program - please contact our director Mrs. Pamela Jones: email@example.com
- Questions pertaining to our after school tutorial program - email Ms. Phyllis Ingram firstname.lastname@example.org
- Questions pertaining to grades - email our Assistant Principal, Ms. Shayna Bishop email@example.com
- Questions pertaining to class schedules, progress reports, and report cards - email our Assistant Principal, Ms. Bishop firstname.lastname@example.org
- Questions pertaining to districtwide assessments (MAP, CogAT, GA Milestones, ACCESS) - email our School Test Coordinator/Assistant Principal, Ms. Bishop email@example.com
- Questions pertaining to School Wide operations - email Dr. Harris-Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org
If your child needs to have medication administered at school, please download the form below and have your physician to complete it. On the first day of school, please place the form and medication in a ziploc bag clearly labeled with your child's first/last name. Bring these items into the school to hand deliver to the school nurse. If you are not able to do so, inform the teacher that these items are in your child's bookbag and we will be sure the nurse receives them.
If you have questions, please contact our school nurse: Nurse Nobles: email@example.com
Breakfast and lunch are served each day of school. Please review the flyer below for more information.
Information about meal applications and meal payments can be found at the link below.
Breakfast and lunch menus can always be found on this website: https://www.dekalbschoolsga.org/school-nutrition/menus/
Please contact our Cafeteria Manager if you have questions: Mrs. Catalina Moreno-Ortega, firstname.lastname@example.org .
***PLEASE NOTE: No outside vendor/fast foods or deliveries can be brought in for students (i.e - Chick Fil-A, McDonalds, etc). Students should bring in a lunch packed from home if they are not eating school lunch.
OPT-IN TO SCHOOL MESSENGER
School/Home communication is very important. To receive timely emails and text messages from Dr. Harris-Thompson and the district, please opt-in to school messenger!