Dragon Digest

Volume 1 Issue 6

Principal's Letter

Dear DeSana Parents,


The foundation on which we have established our overall program for our students at DeSana Middle School was built upon five tenets, or the five As: Academics (first & foremost, always!), The Arts, Athletics, Activities, and Altruistic Endeavors. Since Spring 2016 the faculty and staff of DeSana have worked long and hard to lay a solid foundation in each of these areas, for we believe they are the cornerstones of a great middle school. It is within each of these areas that we continually strive to create quality opportunities for our students to explore and seize in order to kindle their passions and illuminate their potential.


And so it is with the launching of our inaugural DeSana Day of Good Deeds, or D3 Day, for short, on May 22, 2017 that we seek to take a giant step forward in this, our first year as a school, to expand and enrich the Altruistic Endeavors component of our overall educational program. We believe that engaging in community service creates wonderful opportunities for our students to better understand what it means to give of themselves . . . their time, their talents, and their hearts . . . to help the greater good.

On Monday, May 22, 2017, a little over 690 students and 65 faculty and staff from DeSana, along with 100 parent and community volunteers will spend the morning participating in service projects both on campus and off campus for 15+ charitable and non-profit organizations throughout Forsyth County and the surrounding north Fulton area. Our inaugural D3 Day event will give every student and staff member an up-close and personal, hands-on experience in what it means to serve our community. We are sooooo VERY excited about this day of GOOD DEEDS for all of our young Dragons!!

DeSana’s Day of Good Deeds is an extraordinary and huge undertaking in our first year as a school. But it is one that is so worth the effort! And as you might guess, there is much work to be done to pull this together for around 855 students, staff and parent and community volunteers! This entire endeavor is being led by a dynamic duo of a team - - - parent volunteers extraordinaire, Dawn Bourg and Jennifer Harris. Together, they are leading our D3 Day Steering Committee. While we have several of the needed committee chairs filled, we are still in need of others to head up particular parts of this event, and help us plan, organize and carry out the work of each of these committees so that this wonderful day of community service can come to fruition in fine fashion! There are a variety of committees that need YOUR special talents. Please contact Jennifer Harris at jharris@campharris.org or Dawn Bourg at dawn@bourgs.com to let them know how you can help and what you would like to volunteer for.


Parents, I do hope you will get involved and help us plan and carry out this DeSana Day of Good Deeds, for in my book . . . having middle schoolers work side-by-side with their parents, neighbors, teachers and other volunteers, all to help make our Forsyth community a little better place, is an exciting and extraordinary experience that can have such a profound ripple effect for many years to come! So parents, if you want to take a few hours off of work or from your usual Monday routine (8:30 – 1:00ish) to join in this morning of service with your son or daughter - - - we hope you will! Mark your calendar in blue and circle several times in lime green the date of Monday, May 22, 2017 now, and dedicate that morning (or the whole day! ) to model for our young Dragons what it means to give back to our great community! We will have more information in the near future about how and where you may sign up to help on this day!


Stay tuned for more updates as we move along in the planning and organizing for this great venture! And talk it up with your kids! Share with them why you think giving back to the community is such a worthwhile endeavor, and share with them how you have given back to the community. Or better yet, start planning family time on a monthly basis (it doesn’t have to be more than an hour or two!) to do some community service. What a fabulous way to spend some quality family time together!


As many of you know, I am a lover of quotes! There is one particular quote that comes to my mind . . . one that I discovered when I was the age of our young Dragons, in Junior High School . . . that struck a deep chord with me then, and pretty much sums up now what I believe about helping to instill within our young adolescents the value and importance of helping others by giving of yourself. It is Helen Keller who penned these wise words:


I am one.

But still, I am one.

I cannot do everything,

But still, I can do something.

And because I cannot do everything,

I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

I do hope that we all will reflect upon these thoughtful words by Helen Keller as we work together - - - doing the something that we can do - - - as we plan our very first DeSana Day of Good Deeds and help our young Dragons understand the true meaning of “giving of themselves” to help the greater good.

With warmest regards,

Terri A. North

Principal

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PTSA

Thank you again so very much for supporting the school through the fundraiser. The kids had a very exciting 2 days with the Glow Dodge ball party and the Limo ride for those who qualified. Thank you so much for the volunteers who helped to run these events!


Update on teacher mini grants. The PTSA has started awarding teacher mini-grants and is very excited to update our members on the progress. Mini-grants have been awarded to the Choral Department, the Art Department, 7th grade Social Studies, and the Media Center. This is only the beginning of the teacher grants. Thank you members of the PTSA for your membership and fundraising help which has made these mini-grants possible.

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Academics

Additional Opportunity to Learn Time --- AOL Time

Now that nine week Progress Reports have been sent home and/or parents and students have had an opportunity to conference with teachers, if your young Dragon is not making the most of every chance he/she has to receive help from his/her teachers, parents, now is the time to have serious conversations with your child about how they are using their AOL time each week. This additional opportunity to learn time happens every Thursday for the rest of this semester. And during some weeks, it occurs two times a week, with the second day being on the Wednesday. During AOL time, students may select any teacher they have (the 4 core subjects + Spanish in 8th grade) that they need to go to for extra help OR to prepare better for an upcoming assessment. Parents, you can help tremendously by marking on your calendar the dates listed below when we will be having AOL time each week, AND asking your student the night before who he/she will be going to during AOL time for extra help. If your young Dragon is struggling academically, insist that he/she goes for this extra help and make it the first topic of conversation that you discuss when you see your child in the evening.



Here are the dates for AOL Time for the rest of this first semester: Wednesday 10/26; Thursday 10/27; Thursday 11/3; Wednesday 11/9; Thursday 11/10; Thursday 11/17; Thursday 12/1; Wednesday 12/7; Thursday 12/8; and Thursday 12/15.

Counselor's Corner

We are continuing with cyber security tips every Friday on the morning announcements! We have gone over the importance of passwords, posting appropriate pictures, and writing appropriate things online! Next we will discuss cyberbullying! We will be seeing our 8th graders again with a video about cyber security before we leave for winter break.

Teachers’ Extra Help Sessions Throughout the Year - - - Do You Know When They Are?

Did you know that every teacher at DeSana has at least one help session each and every week? They are asked to do so, and some are available more than one time a week to help struggling young Dragons. Teachers have published their help session times to students and on their itslearning pages. If you cannot find it and/or your student cannot tell you when their teachers’ help session is each week, please do not hesitate to email the teacher(s) and ask. If your young Dragon is struggling with a concept the class is studying and needs a little extra help, then this is a great solution (along with AOL Time!) to help get your child over this hurdle. Make your plans now with your middle schooler to come in early or stay late for the extra help he/she needs.

Nine Week PROGRESS REPORTS Were Sent Home With Students on Wednesday, October 19th

Have you seen your young Dragon’s nine week Progress Report yet? They were sent home with ALL students on this past Wednesday, October 19th. This Progress Report gives you and your middle schooler some excellent information about how he/she is doing in all of his/her classes at the halfway juncture of this first semester. This report tells you how your child is progressing in his/her Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies, Literacy, and eighth grade Spanish I classes thus far. While it is not a final grade - - - except for your child’s first quarter Connections classes - - - this Progress Report will let you know if your child is struggling in a particular course . . . what his/her work habits are like in the areas of Assignment Completion, Participation, Responsibility, and Interpersonal Skills . . . what his/her formative grades are (they count 20% of their final grade) and what his/her summative grades are (they count 80% of their final grade) . . . and his/her present course average in each class thus far. If you have not seen this Progress Report yet, please ask your child for it. If he/she cannot produce it for you, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s Dragon Time teacher and ask for another copy. We will gladly send one your way however you would like! It is important to us that you “are in the know” about your child’s academic progress at all times!

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Athletics

Girls Basketball

Congratulations to the girls who made the 7th and 8th grade Lady Dragons basketball team. Practices begin October 24th and we have a mandatory parent informational meeting on October 24th at 6:30. Our first game will be against Piney Grove here in the Dragon Lair on November 11 starting at 5:00.

Basketball Cheerleading

Congratulations to the following 2016-2017 DeSana Middle School Basketball Cheerleaders:

Ashley B.

Leslie I.

Arely R.

Noelani V.

Melina Y.

Looking forward to a great season! Our first practice is Monday Oct. 24th from 4:30-6:30. We will have a short parent meeting at 6:30 to disperse more information about the season.

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The Arts

6TH GRADE SOCIAL

The DeSana Middle School Fine Arts Department is sponsoring a social for 6th grade DeSana students on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. The social will begin at 4:15 p.m. and end at 6:00 p.m. and will be held in the cafeteria. Admission is $5.00 per person. Students may purchase refreshments at the concession stand. Teachers, parents, and administrators will chaperone this event. We are looking forward to a very special, fun-filled afternoon!

Activities

Halloween Hat Day

What’s scarier than goblins, ghosts, and witches? - - -A DeSana Middle School student without a hat on Halloween Hat Day! That’s right Dragons, Halloween is coming and so is your chance to wear a hat. Sixth grade will be sponsoring a Hat Day on Halloween, Monday, October 31st for only $1. Find your spookiest, silliest hat and show your Halloween Dragon spirit on Monday, October 31st.

Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week is almost here! During the week of October 24th through October 28th, students will participate in activities for Red Ribbon Week as we all pledge to be drug free! On Monday, students will be creative in their Dragon Times as we launch our Door Decorating Contest! Tuesday is "Be a Team Player, Don't do Drugs!" and students and staff will wear their favorite jersey to school that day! We will have students "Pledge to be Drug Free" by signing a banner hanging outside of the cafeteria on their way to lunch on Wednesday. Thursday is our "Drugs are Tacky" Day and students and staff will wear their tackiest outfit! On Friday we will all wear red and the administration will judge all the wonderful doors that have been decorated throughout the week! The winning Dragon Time will get a pizza party!

from the media center

FUNDRAISER CONTINUES AT www.funds4books.com

We would like to thank those families who have already generously donated to our Funds4Books fundraiser. We are excited about our growing collection and the students get so excited when they see new books that have arrived. We are asking parents, grandparents, and friends to donate any amount they can, but if every family donated just 10 dollars, we would blast right through our goal and be able to add even more books. With your help, we can continue to build our collection and assure that students have current, topical, and desired resources available to them during their years at DeSana. To donate, simply click this link or go to www.funds4books.com to make your contribution online with a credit or debit card using our campaign code D6E5. All contributions will come with an e-mailed receipt.


EACH FAMILY DONATING 20 DOLLARS OR MORE WILL BE RECOGNIZED WITH A DECORATIVE LABEL HONORING YOUR STUDENT INSIDE ONE OF OUR NEW BOOKS!

AHOY MATEYS! BOOK FAIR DATES ARRRRRRE HERE!


Mark your calendars, mateys! The Scholastic book fair will be here December 12-16th! More details are coming soon. Interested in helping out with the book fair? Send a quick e-mail to pstrickland@forsyth.k12.ga.us and we will add you to the crew!

Altruistic Endeavors

The DeSana Day of Good Deeds (D3 Day) Committee would like to announce the 1st D3 Day T-shirt contest! You can find entry forms in the front office, in Ms. Petit's Art Room, or you can find the link on the DeSana website under the PTSA link. Please carefully follow the instructions on the entry form for size of the piece and the medium that you need to use. All entries are due Wednesday, November 16th at 4:30 pm to the front office. We are excited to see what you can do with our awesome Dragon mascot serving our community! The winner will have the honor of their design gracing 800 or so T-shirts on D3 Day and get a free t-shirt and gift card!

D3 is also seeking corporate sponsors and family sponsorships. We are also in need of volunteers to help on various committees. Please email dawn@bourgs.com or jharris@campharris.org if you are interested in either opportunity.

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other important information

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Forsyth County drug summit

The Forsyth County Drug Summit will provide informational materials and resources for parents to support their families if they suspect drug use. This is a collaborative effort between our Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department, the Forsyth County Drug Awareness Council, and several community members. There will also be a panel discussion with community members representing the medical field, law enforcement, the judicial system, our school system, and trained counselors and interventionists who will answer parent questions. This is an informational session for parents and community members.

Calling All Birdhouses & Bird Feeders!

By now you may have seen the colorfully decorated birdhouses and bird feeders that dot the front of our school and on the outskirts of our beautiful wooded area! They are ready for our feathered friends to come visit and settle in as the weather turns colder (sooner or later!) and food becomes more scarce to find. If you still have the birdhouse or bird feeder that you purchased last spring, we would loooove for you to paint it (if you have not done so already!) and bring/send it in so that we may hang it up with the others. Or if you did not purchase one last spring from us, take a trip to Walmart or Target or some other store and pick one up . . . decorate it as you wish . . . and bring/send it in and we will hang it up! Just imagine how colorful and beautiful our school grounds and woodlands would look with hundreds of birdhouses and bird feeders! And just think how many more feathered friends will come our way and stay fed and sheltered for the winter once the word gets out on bird social media that DeSana MS is THE place to come!! J

411 - HELPFUL LINKS FOR YOU!

Thanks to Our Business Partners

*All American Specialties

*Arctec

*BROWNS BRIDGE CHURCH

*CHICK-FIL-A @THE COLLECTION

*DR. HOM PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY & ALPHARETTA COMPREHENSIVE DENTISTRY

*DUNKIN' DONUTS @HIGHWAY 9 & MCFARLAND

*MILTON DENTAL SPECIALISTS

*NORTH GEORGIA PROMOTIONS

*OMEGA LEARNING

*RBM OF ALPHARETTA