Principal's Post Parent Edition
October 2, 2023: Vol. 8
From the Principal's Desk:
As we approach the fall season, we have accomplished quite a bit with our students already! Each classroom that I walk into, I hear student conversations and academic language that impresses me. Our teachers are making great strides in working with students to clearly and coherently state their thoughts and communicate on so many different topics. From learning to read, working on STEM/PBL projects, to learning their multiplication facts, our teachers and students are immersed in deep teaching and learning!
We have completed MAP testing. Teachers are currently reviewing scores, analyzing data, and developing a plan to differentiate instruction for all learners. At this time, we are unable to send home the official score reports until the district has verified all scores. However, teachers may discuss and review scores with you in parent/teacher conferences. Along with the MAP assessment, the ISIP (Istation's Indicators of Progress) assessment from Istation, will be given the first week of every month at school. From this assessment, teachers will be able to determine students' strengths and weaknesses, address learning loss, and close the gaps in learning. For gifted and high-achieving students, teachers are working to increase the rigor and accelerate the learning process so that students are engaged at the highest cognitive levels. In addition to ISIP, students in grades K-3 took a RAN (Rapid Automatized Naming) assessment over the past two weeks. This assessment includes the newly adopted Dyslexia screener in the DeKalb County School District. Through the use of data, teachers are better equipped to determine the appropriate learning levels to match students' readiness and skill levels.
This month is packed with lots of fun activities, learning tasks, and parent engagement opportunities! Please see the details below and plan to join us for Walk To School Day, Passport to the World, Vocabulary Hat Parade, and other classroom festivities! We can't wait to see you!
As always, we welcome your voice, your energy, and your talents in our ongoing efforts to ensure every student has the opportunity for a premier learning experience at Vanderlyn. We are stronger together, and your presence and involvement in our school is both requested and welcomed as we share the tremendous responsibility of nurturing the next generation of responsible and contributing global citizens. Through our collaborative efforts, Vanderlyn students will have the opportunity to decide how they want to make their mark on our global society. Thank you for your continued support.
Your 3D Leader,
Vanderlyn Walk to School Day is Wednesday, October 4th!
The weather is too nice to sit in a car or bus- join us as Vanderlyn participates in Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 4th! If it is too far to walk from your house, St.Luke’s Presbyterian Church is kindly allowing parents to park in their upper parking lot off of Manhasset Dr.
Please DO NOT park in the lower parking lot, as those are reserved parking spots for Dunwoody HS students. So grab your friends, grab your neighbors and let’s get walking!!!
We need donations of water and snacks for our walkers!
Donations should be delivered to the front office on Tuesday, October 3rd.
Teacher of the Year (TOTY): And the winner is... Kim Weatherly!
Education Support Person of the Year (ESPOTY): And the winner is... Sumi Jayaraman
Celebrating Our Heroes!
Our 3D Focus of the Week: Deep Discovery
Deep Discovery is an inquiry-based learning method that takes a constructivist approach to education, where students are encouraged to construct their own knowledge through guided discovery, project-based learning, simulation-based learning, outdoor learning, and experiential learning.
SPOTLIGHT ON PBL
Go West 5th Grade!
The "Going West" PBL (project-based learning) for 5th grade social studies is designed to immerse students in the life changes in America at the turn of the century, in alignment with the standard SS5H1: describe how life changed in America at the turn of the century. In Mrs. Zaman's room, students craft their own cowboy vests, delving into the significance of the cowboy culture and its role in westward expansion. In the outdoor classroom, students are introduced to the Gold Rush era, where they participate in a mock gold-digging activity, emphasizing its influence on the American economy and societal shifts. In Ms. Kaye's class, the focus is on homesteading, with students learning about the Homestead Act. They design a blueprint of a 160-acre land, applying area and perimeter calculations. Ms. Brunson's class offers a narrative approach, with students either crafting a short cowboy/cowgirl story and designing a corresponding "WANTED" poster or undertaking a museum walkthrough, where they curate descriptions for pictures from the period. After completing all stations, students come together for a reflective discussion, weaving together their hands-on experiences to understand the multifaceted changes in America during the turn of the century.
Safe Schools Audit - 100!
I am proud to announce that on our recent Safe Schools Audit, Vanderlyn received a score of 100!
The Safe Schools Audit includes the following:
- Student supervision during transitions.
- Security throughout the building and classrooms.
- Evaluate emergency evacuation kits.
- Assess student behavior according to the DCSD Code of Student Conduct.
- Assess the school’s staff for understanding of procedures during a crisis.
During each visit, the Safe Schools Audit process will last between 35 to 60 minutes. The audit will be used to evaluate the integrity of our school's safety plan, detect strengths and weaknesses, and identify areas in need of improvement.
Thank you for your assistance in achieving a safe, orderly, and positive learning environment.
Bus Driver Appreciation Week (Oct. 16-20)
During this week, also known as “School Bus Driver Appreciation Week”, it is customary to recognize School Bus Drivers for keeping our students safe. Parents are encouraged to use this week to show your appreciation by doing something special for your bus drivers. Our bus drivers are amazing and deserve this special recognition!
Passport to the World
International Night - Passport to the World!
October 19, 2023
The Vanderlyn PTO will once again be hosting Vanderlyn's annual International Night entitled Passport to the World this fall on October 19, 2023!!
What is Passport to the World?
It's an afterschool event where families are invited to come to Vanderlyn and tour the different tables showcasing various countries from around the world. Our goal is for the Vanderlyn travelers to be able to see the flag and location of the country, learn a little about the history, customs, and people there, and possibly have a small taste of traditional food.
If you've never been to Passport to the World then please enjoy this video of our wonderful event from previous years.
Vanderlyn Vocabulary Hat Parade: Save the Date
On Friday, October 27th, Vanderlyn will be hosting our annual “Vocabulary Hat Parade!” This will be an exciting event to showcase the vocabulary we have learned so far this school year. Each student and staff member will select a word and create a hat representing that word and its meaning. Each student is expected to present their hat and a sentence using the word on October 27th during the parade.
Please see the detailed link below and video below from our previous parade to see some examples of ideas!
Happy Halloween, BUT No Costumes at School, Please
As we approach Halloween, please remind parents in advance that we do not celebrate Halloween in school due to various personal, cultural and religious reasons.
We all love to celebrate different holidays and events here at VES, but to ensure a high-quality instructional day, we will not be allowing students to wear Halloween costumes on Tuesday, October 31st. All students are expected to adhere to the DCSD dress code policy.
Student Code of Conduct
SAFETY AND SECURITY
School Safety is our top priority. Our staff will review and refine our procedures to ensure we are ready if an emergency arises.
Every precaution will be taken to ensure the safety of our students and staff 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. 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 for emergency exits are posted in each room of the building. Our number one priority continues to be 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. The front office staff will assist all visitors from this point.
- If a visitor does not have an appointment with staff, is not checking out a student, or is not receiving assistance from the front office, they will not be allowed inside the school.
- Students are monitored by staff members in all areas of the building and on the playgrounds.
- 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, clinic, or front office.
- Every classroom is equipped with a telephone, two-way radio, emergency call button, and emergency alert system. 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 and emergency personnel that they are in need of help.
- For afternoon dismissal, students are staggered by mode of transportation.
- Staff is strategically stationed all around our building and campus to ensure students arrive and depart safely from school.
- Our school resource officer makes periodic rounds throughout the school day and walks the campus to conduct safety checks.
In the event of an emergency, we will communicate with all parents via School Messenger. 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.
Vanderlyn Viking Views: https://vanderlynpto.membershiptoolkit.com/newsletter/00190-20230714000617-093290000-2131713166
Vanderlyn Elementary Website: https://www.vanderlynes.dekalb.k12.ga.usvander
NOT RECEIVING MESSAGES?
OPT-IN TO SCHOOL MESSENGER
School-Home communication is very important. Please stay connected to the school by ensuring you have signed up for School Messenger. To receive timely emails and text messages from the school and district, please opt-in to school messenger!
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/
Dance Classes Return To Vanderlyn!
Chess Club Returns
2023-2024 Bus Routes
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. Inform the teacher that these items are in your child's bookbag and we will be sure the nurse receives them. You may also drop them off in the front office.
If you have questions, please contact our clinic assistant: Sumati Jayaraman at:
If you have any questions or concerns before the first day of school and/or throughout the school year, please do not hesitate to contact the school. Please follow our protocol on who to contact and in what order. Skipping a step will actually slow down the process of getting help for your child, as the person you contact will have to back-track and gather additional information. By starting with the person who spends the most time with your child – the teacher – you are most likely to get the information you need and reach a solution more quickly.
To best help you & your child and get to a solution/answer promptly, please reach out to school personnel in this order:
2. Assistant Principal Griffin Nichols
3. Principal - Mrs. Tracey Crenshaw
Please review and save the list below so you are aware who to contact when questions arise.
- PTO Membership Toolkit - PTO Co-Presidents: Marcy Ames or Whitney Gaines: vanderlynelemPTO@gmail.com
- Family ID Hang tags (carpool or walkers) - Andrea Gillett: email@example.com
- Reporting your child's absence from school - Email your child's homeroom teacher AND our school registrar, Ms. Andrea Gillett: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Student illness, medicine requests, medical forms: Ms. Sumi: email@example.com
- Changes in transportation/dismissal - email your child's homeroom teacher AND our front office secretary, Andrea Gillett:firstname.lastname@example.org. This must be done by 12pm!
- Bus Transportation Concerns: Vernell Jackson at email@example.com
- Questions about school breakfast/lunch: Cafeteria Manager, Catalina Moreno-Ortega at firstname.lastname@example.org
- School library resources, Chrome Book Questions: Gail Pansini: email@example.com
- General questions pertaining to your child's class - email your child's homeroom teacher
- Questions regarding gifted eligibility - Gifted Liaison, Julia Weiss: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Questions pertaining to ASEPD (After School Extended Day Program) - Co-directors Julia Weiss or Audrey Brunson: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
- Questions pertaining to class schedules, progress reports, grades, and report cards - Assistant Principal, Griffin Nichols: email@example.com
- Questions pertaining to districtwide assessments (MAP, CogAT, GA Milestones, ACCESS) - School Test Coordinator/Assistant Principal, Griffin Nichols: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Questions regarding counseling, social, emotional/behavioral concerns, bullying: Counselors: Grades 3rd-5th Jessica Lee: Jessica_j_lee@dekalbschoolsga.org or Grades Pre-K-2nd: Dr. Candice Norris-Brown: email@example.com
- Questions pertaining to schoolwide operations - email Principal Tracey Crenshaw: firstname.lastname@example.org