Open Committee Chair Positions

The PTA has a number of open committee chair positions for next year. This is a great way to get involved and there are slots to fit every schedule. Don’t be intimidated – the PTA board is here to help you every step of the way and it’s a great way to get to know people in the school. Please let Laurie Murtaugh know if you have any questions about any of the positions and if you’re intimidated to do it on your own, feel free to ask a friend to co-chair it with you. The more the merrier!

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Upcoming DES Events

We’re working to get the newsletter out with all the important news about DES, but in the meantime, I wanted to make sure that everyone has the many upcoming events on their calendars. Here is a quick list of what’s coming up during the last few months of school. More information will be coming home as we get closer to each event.

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DES 2014-15 Yearbook is in Progress

yearbookPlease send us your photos of the DES 2014-15 school year. We are looking for your photos of school events, playground fun, Jump Rope for Heart, classroom events, Halloween parade, Valentine parties, field trips, bus stop shots, Movie Night, Bingo Night, Band and Chorus concerts, etc.

Ken likes to include as many candid photos of as many children in the yearbook as possible! Especially for the fifth grade – we’d love to have at least one candid of each fifth grader.

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Read-a-Thon Results

I wanted to update everyone on the tremendous success of the first Damascus Elementary School Read-A-Thon. When we were planning this event, we weren’t sure how many minutes our 315 students would be able and willing to read. We created fun rewards for the school if we achieved certain benchmarks. For 25,000 minutes, students received a pajama day, which they achieved within three days of the program starting! For 50,000 minutes, the students had fun duct-taping Mr. Wainwright to the wall where he read us all a story. For reading 75,000 minutes, Mr. Collins became a student for the day and spent time in all the classrooms and even rode the Frog bus home! For reading 100,000 minutes, Mr. Collins agreed to dust off his camping gear and spend a night on the roof of the school. While we were hoping that the program would be successful, we thought the 100,000 benchmark would be a difficult goal to achieve. Were we ever wrong! Our students totally embraced the Read-A-Thon and as a school, we not only met the 100,000 benchmark to get Mr. Collins to sleep on the roof, we exceeded that goal by more than 28,000 minutes! Our 315 students read 128,222 minutes in 14 days. That is beyond amazing! To reward the school community for the wonderful support, we are going to plan an outdoor movie night for the evening Mr. Collins camps out on the roof so we can all be part of the fun and wish him a good night personally.

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Damascus Elementary PTA READ-A-THON

Dear DES Families,

The Damascus Elementary School PTA is very proud to announce our first Read-A-Thon for our students. We all want our kids to share a love of reading and this Read-A-Thon supports that goal as well as raises money for the PTA without your child having to sell anything or the school having to split the profits with another organization. Will you please join us in asking at least 5 friends and family to sponsor your child as he/she pledges to read at least 15 minutes a day for 14 days?

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A Message from Board of Education President Patricia O’Neill: Moving Forward

There has been a lot of information in the news lately about changes within MCPS that will affect our students in the future.  Below is a message from the Board of Education about the process to find a new Superintendent to replace Dr. Star.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  The change in bell times has also raised a lot of questions within the community and Mr. Collins will discuss that more in his newsletter which will be coming home in backpacks soon.

Take care and have a great Thursday!


Laurie Murtaugh
PTA President

Read Ms. O’Neill’s Message

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Come Up…Up…and Away…With the Damascus Elementary School PTA!

balloonGet Connected –
Find out about important school events and issues through PTA meetings, emails, and newsletters!

Support DES teachers and staff –
The PTA provides funding for classroom resources and staff appreciation events to support our teachers and staff!

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New Staff for 2014-2015

Please help us in welcoming new members of our Damascus family – we are thrilled that they are joining us!

Bree Barrick – Third Grade Teacher
Jenny Blakely – Third Grade Teacher
Brad Warner – Fifth Grade Teacher
Robb Wainwright – Reading Specialist
Marcella Williams – General Education Paraeducator
Kathleen Drosdzal – School Community Based Paraeducator

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Hello Damascus Elementary School Families!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful, relaxing summer. I know that school is the farthest thing from everyone’s minds right now. Believe me, I’m right with you, but I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and the PTA board and share a little bit about ourselves. My name is Laurie Murtaugh and this is my second year as PTA president. I have a 5th grader and 1st grader at DES and a 7th grader at Baker Middle School.

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