Dragon News – February 2019

In this issue:

PTA President’s Message

As we begin the third marking period, it is hard to believe that we are already half way through the school year. December and January were very successful months, and I want to thank everyone for their hard work and support. In December, we hosted our annual holiday shop. It was a wonderful opportunity for students to shop for friends and family, and we had tremendous participation. During holiday shop, the PTA also earned a small percentage of the total sales, resulting in $600 in funds for our school. In December, the PTA also helped to host a retirement celebration for Mrs. Watkins.

In January we had our first indoor movie night. We had a fun pajama night as we snuggled in to enjoy the show with snacks from the fifth grade celebration committee. Also in January, we hosted a successful Scholastic Book Fair. Students had the opportunity to buy new books to encourage their love of reading. We also earned enough money to buy almost $1,000 in books for our media center, teacher classroom libraries, and individual students. In addition, we earned another $1,000 in profits that can be used to support other programs at our school. I want to recognize the winners of our coloring contest and share their beautiful creations showing what DESsi Dragon found when he arrived at the Enchanted Forest.

Our PTA directories were recently distributed to PTA members. If you have not had an opportunity to join our PTA, there is still time. Our membership form can be found on our PTA website. Also on the website is an opportunity for you to join our e-mail list to receive information about upcoming events.

In February and March, be on the lookout for the following PTA events: (More information is available about each event on our website.)

February 5 – PTA meeting in the media center at 7 p.m.

February 5 – Spirit Night at Chipolte

February 7 – Classroom visits to share information about registering for our March 7 Science Fair

February 8 – Sports Rally Dance and Annual Silent Auction (we are seeking SSL helpers)

February 11-15 – Bus Driver Appreciation Week

February 14 – Classroom Valentine’s Day Parties

February 15 – Parents Helping Teachers

March 5 – PTA Meeting in the media center at 7 p.m.

March 7 – Science Fair

As always, thank you for all that you do to make our school amazing!

~ Christine Derby, DES PTA President

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Restaurant Spirit Night

Our next restaurant Spirit Night is Tuesday, February 5 at Chipotle in Damascus (learn more). We are looking forward to seeing everyone there! Stay tuned for upcoming Spirit Night details. Thank you for your continued support!

~ Ashley LeFave, Chair

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Sports Rally Dance and Silent Auction

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PTA Communications

This year the DES-PTA has been focused on transitioning to a more digital presence and we want you to be part of that transition!

E-MAIL: We’ve changed things up a bit this year and the DES-PTA email announcements, reminders, and volunteering opportunities (for adults AND older MoCo student’s looking for SSL hours!) are now going through Mailchimp – if you haven’t signed up yet please do so at:


SOCIAL: DES-PTA is on FACEBOOK! If you haven’t checked out our FB page yet, go to https://www.facebook.com/damascusPTA/ and “LIKE” us! Our Facebook page will keep you up to date with DES-PTA events, meetings and fundraisers. And if you are interested in the different areas the DES-PTA is involved in take a look at the ‘Services’ section on the left hand menu of our Facebook home page!

DES ONLINE SPIRITWEAR SHOP: Don’t forget DES-Spirit Wear is now available all year around! Order online at:


The DES Spirit Wear Store on Zazzle allows you to choose your favorite DES design and then pick the T-Shirt, sweatshirt, or tank-top style you want. Each style comes in a variety of colors for you to choose from too! Just click on the design you like and you’ll see all of the options on the right hand side.

Purchasing DES Spirit Wear through Zazzle helps the DES-PTA support the DES school community with field trips, educational programs, books, supplies, staff appreciation and more. See the PTA website or Facebook page for more information about the DES-PTA programs.

We are looking for a creative soul to help us design new items for the DES-PTA Zazzle shop. Please email KKlosterGrady@gmail.com if your interested in helping.

~ Kristen Kloster-Grady, Vice-President

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Staff Appreciation

Thank you to all who provided cookies for the staff cookie exchange in December. The teachers were delighted to take home a variety of delicious cookies. The Staff Appreciation Committee also provided gift wrap and tape to help our staff prepare for the holidays.

The staff will receive the makings for “Snowman Soup” and will be receiving some Valentine treats in February.

~ Staff Appreciation Committee: Kristen Kloster-Grady, Jenny Clevenger, Dawn Schwab, Donna Schwab, and Wendy King

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Science Fair is Coming!

Mark your calendars now for the evening of Thursday, March 7 when our young scientists will present their findings. The PTA will be visiting classrooms on Thursday, February 7 to explain the science fair and distribute registration packets. For a sneak peek, check out the science fair packet.

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Volunteer Corner

Happy Snow! I am now collecting December and January 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 Montgomery 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 December and January.

  • Thank you to Kristen, Wendy, Jenny, Dawn, and Donna for their work on the Staff Appreciation committee to for hosting a cookie exchange and distributing gift wrap to thank our staff.
  • Thank you to Leanne for her work arranging our upcoming cultural arts assembly.
  • Thank you to all who have been able to help with the Parents Helping Teachers workgroup. Thank you to Kerry, Linda, Dawn, Donna, Theresa, Beenish, Demetria, Kristen, Wendy, and Christine. We have accomplished an amazing amount preparing classroom materials for our teachers.
  • Thank you to Beth, Theresa, Karen, and all of our other media center helpers.
  • Thank you to Melody, all of our room parents, and room helpers for their hard work planning Valentine parties.
  • Thank you to Kerry, Trish, Jill, Victoria, and Ashley for their work on our Reading Incentive Program.
  • 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.
  • Thank you to Josh, Christine, and Kristen, and the fifth grade celebration committee: Melody, Kelly, Sheila, Bethany, and Stacey for making movie night a success.
  • Thank you to Suzie, Christine, Kristen, Theresa, Kerry, Karen, and Kim for making our daytime holiday shop a success.
  • Thank you to Suzie, Christine, Jen, Veronique and Karen, and to our SSL helpers: Katherine, David, Lucas, Henry, Hayden, Joshua, and Bo for making our holiday shop evening event a big hit.
  • Thank you to Kristen, Wendy, Kristin, Christine, Nora, Kerry, Karen, Theresa, Adam, Josh, Brad, Laurie, Tamara, Suzie, and Sherry for helping bring our Book Fair to life. Thank you also to our SSL helpers: Tyler, Samantha, Katherine, Megan, Jazmin, Henry, Hayden, Jenny, Jahsey, Alexander, Yadhira, Lucas, and Daniel for their help with set up and family fun night.
  • Thank you to Theresa and Christine for their help with Vision and Hearing Screening.
  • Thank you to Nora for organizing our box tops.
  • Thank you to Diane for our beautiful birthday board.
  • Thank you to Tara and Melissa for their work on our upcoming dance.
  • Thank you to Beth, Kristen, and Christine for their work on our upcoming silent auction.
  • Thank you to Christi for her work on the upcoming science fair.
  • Thank you to Laurie and the Read-A-Thon team who are already preparing for our upcoming Read-A-Thon.
  • Thank you to Kristen and Diane who are keeping our digital communication up to date.

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, DES 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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