Dragon News – October 2018


In this issue:


    • PTA President’s Message

      Happy Fall! As we settle into the school year, I would like to welcome everyone back. First, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to return the green back to school folders which contained so much important information for the school year. We also appreciate everyone who chose to join the PTA, sent a donation, and/or have offered to help volunteer this year.

      This year the PTA is working to communicate more digitally. Along with the paper flyers that go home in backpacks, our website (https://www.damascuspta.com/) provides valuable information about upcoming events at our school. If you are on Facebook, you can also follow Damascus Elementary PTA (https://www.facebook.com/damascusPTA/). We are currently in process of updating our email communication as well.

      We are off to a fun start to the school year with Fall Fest and Pastries with Parents. Check out this edition of Dragon News for more information about the Reading Incentive Program, Dashing Dragons, Spirit Nights, and much more. I look forward to continuing to meet all of you as the year goes on, and I hope you will be able to join us for our activities.

      ~ Christine Derby, DES PTA President

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      Email Communication

      The PTA has had a few road blocks in our email communications, between aging lists that didn’t include new members and a complicated double opt-in that left a number of people out of the loop. We’ve decided to move our list to MailChimp, which will give us much more flexibility and makes signing up MUCH easier for our DES community.

      If you have already signed up for the DES PTA list, we have added you to the new system. If you have not, there is still time to join. Sign up for the new MailChimp system at: http://eepurl.com/dFyRHH

      ~ Kristen Kloster-Grady, Chair

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      Staff Appreciation

      We started the 2018-19 school year out right with a light pastry and coffee breakfast for the DES staff on the first day of school. The second week, to keep the energy going and give our amazing staff a bit of pep, the DES PTA gave the teachers and staff little goodie bags filled with treats and Starbucks gift cards. We then rounded the month off with a pasta dinner on Back to School Night, so our DES teachers and staff could relax a bit on one of their longest days of the year!

      Plans are in the works for more staff appreciation events and we’re looking for a few extra helpers. We will be reaching out for help baking and cooking in the coming months, so DES bakers keep an eye out for requests!

      ~ Kristen Kloster-Grady, Wendy King, and Jenny Clevenger – Staff Appreciation Committee

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      DES Spirit Wear

      We are super excited for the shop to be up and running! If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, go to https://www.zazzle.com/des_pta_spiritwear and take a look. Every purchase helps the PTA support a DES event, field trip or in-school event. Also, don’t forget once you click on a design style, on that specific product page you can pick other shirt/sweatshirt styles and colors!

      ~ Kristen Kloster-Grady, Chair

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      Restaurant Spirit Night

      We will continue to hold fundraising nights at local restaurants during the school year. During these events, mention you are supporting DES and a portion of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to the school. Our first Spirit Night will be hosted by Maggi’s on Tuesday, October 2 from 4-8 p.m. (download the flier) and our second will be hosted by The Hornet’s Nest Grille on Tuesday, November 13. More information about future restaurant fundraisers will be out soon. These Spirit Nights are a great way to raise money for the school and to not have to worry about what is for dinner! Thank you for your support.

      ~ Ashley LeFave, Chair

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      Volunteer Corner

      Happy Fall! I am now collecting September hours. We appreciate all of your time and effort. Remember that DES is required to submit volunteer hours to the Montgomery County’s central office each month. So if you volunteer in the classroom, on a committee, at an event, or in any other way that benefits our school, please let me know (Christine at derbyjc@bellatlantic.net), so it can be included in our total hours that are submitted to the county each month. I also wanted to take this opportunity to recognize some of the people who have given time and resources during the months of August and September.

      • Thank you to Kristen and Christine for your work on welcoming families during the Meet and Greet and Kristen, Beth, and Christine during Kindergarten Back-to-School night.
      • Thank you to Theresa, Kerry, and Christine for your help in kindergarten the first week of school. It was such a tremendous help as our new kindergarteners learned about going to school.
      • Thank you Kristen for all of her work on spirit wear for our school.
      • Thank to Melissa for all of her work setting up Fall Fest.
      • Thank you to Kristen, Wendy, and Jenny for their work on the Staff Appreciation committee to welcome back our teachers and host our Back to School night dinner.
      • Thank you to all who have been able to help with the Parents Helping Teachers work group. Thank you to Doni, Linda, Dawn, Donna, Theresa, Beenish, and Christine. We have accomplished an amazing amount preparing classroom materials for our teachers.
      • Thank you to Ashley for her work organizing Spirit Nights for our school. It is a fun way to raise money for all of our important programs.
      • Finally, thank you to all who help in the classroom with individual teachers, represent our school, and contribute their time in ways that may not have been mentioned. We appreciate you and all that you contribute!

      Thank you so much for all that you do to make our school a special place. It makes a huge difference!

      ~ Christine Derby, PTA President

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      Volunteer Training Requirement

      Please remember that if you are planning to help at school this year (this includes field trips), you will need to bring a photo ID to come into the building. However, Montgomery County has a volunteer requirement that they feel will help to keep our children safe. The online training on Child Abuse and Neglect is designed to help volunteers be aware of signs of potential abuse and neglect and how to handle situations where you might suspect abuse and neglect. This training is required for adults who would like to volunteer within the school building or attend field trips. The same training is required for any Montgomery County school including Baker MS and Damascus HS. Montgomery County has decided that the training will be good for three years. So if you took it last year, you do not need to retake it this year.

      The training is available online at: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/childabuseandneglect/

      It takes roughly 25 minutes to complete. At the end you will be provided with a confirmation number and the system will send you an email showing that you have completed the training. You will need to show this email to the office when you come to volunteer. If you have any questions or concerns, including the need for computer access, please contact Christine at derbyjc@bellatlantic.net.

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      Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

      Parents Helping Teachers: Fridays, October 12, October 26, and November 3 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. This is a drop in opportunity where we help make copies and educational materials to help teachers. Please meet us in the main office if you can. No experience necessary.

      Media Center helpers: We are seeking parents who are able to help in the media center during the school day. If you are interested, please contact Ms. Sennewald at Kelly_A_Sennewald@mcpsmd.org.

      Mobile Science Lab: We need school day helpers for the Mobile Science Lab that is visiting DES October 1-5 . For more information and to sign up go to https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0a44aeab2ba4f49-mobile.

      Green Team: We need adult helpers, gardening supplies, and assistance with grant writing. For more information, please contact Ms. Head at Kristen_M_Head@mcpsmd.org.

      Halloween Parties: Planning for class Halloween parties is starting soon. If you haven’t had a chance to sign up, let your classroom teacher know that you are interested in helping.

      Bingo Night: Wednesday, November 7 from 7-8 p.m. This will be a SSL opportunity worth one SSL hour. SSL students will help check bingo cards, assist the caller, and monitor prizes. Look for an e-mail coming soon!

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      October Events

      10/2: PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m. in the Media Center
      10/2: Restaurant Spirit Night at Maggi’s Pizza and Deli, 4-8 p.m.
      10/4: Fall Fun Fest – Char-Lene Farm
      10/5: Early Release
      10/8: Parent Observation Day
      10/8: Pastries With Parents, 8:45 – 9:30 a.m.
      10/12: Parents Helping Teachers Group, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
      10/26: Parents Helping Teachers Group, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
      10/31: Halloween Classroom Parties

      View a complete list of upcoming events

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      Dashing Dragons

      The PTA will again sponsor this five week 5K training program held before school on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. beginning October 3 through November 7. Please drop your child off at the blacktop behind the school by 8:00 a.m. Dashing Dragons will not meet on Monday, October 8 because of Pastries with Parents.

      The fee is ONLY $25 per student ($20 for each additional sibling) and includes race training, a post season party, and a Dashing Dragons T‐Shirt for your student! Instructors are Jennifer Marcano, Anna Egan, Christine Derby and Melissa North.

      Learn to run, get exercise, boost self‐esteem, make healthy choices, and have fun – no experience needed! All grades are invited but space is limited.

      This exciting program will have you ready to run or walk a 5K by November 10. We will be running the Educate Girls Superhero 5K in Frederick. Learn more about the race at http://racinemultisports.com/educate-girls-superhero-5k/.

      Your child will need a buddy runner for the race and a race fee of $30 per participant will be paid directly to the Educate Girls Superhero 5K.
      For more information, please contact Christine Derby at derbyjc@bellatlantic.net or Jennifer Marcano at marcano.jen@gmail.com.

      Unfortunately, we do not have use of the gym. If it is raining, we let you know via e‐mail by 7:00 a.m. if practice is cancelled. We will not make up missed practices.

      Download the registration form

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      Science Fair

      The Science Fair will be held in the spring, but it’s never too early to start thinking of an experiment. Ready to try one? Download this example experiment.

      ~ Christi Hayes, Chair

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Continue Reading

Read to a Dog!

Who: School-age children, especially beginners learning to read, English-learners, readers with special needs, and all those who just want to improve their confidence in reading skills.

What: Practice reading aloud in 10-15 minute semi-private sessions with rescued greyhound Luna, a calm and patient certified therapy dog.

Why: Improve reading skills, gain confidence, and discover that reading is fun!

When: Wednesdays from 4:30-5:20 p.m., September 12-December 19, 2018.*

(*Luna will not be available on 10/3; 10/10; 10/31; 11/21)

Where: Damascus Library, 9701 Main Street, Damascus MD, 20872.

How: First-come, first-served. No registration required; no younger siblings, please. FREE. Call 240-773-9444 for more information.

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DES PTA Read-a-Thon

The DES Read-a-Thon will be held in April 2019. Watch for more details in the spring.

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