From Our Principal
Principal Jennifer Pittman Sanders
It seems that the end of school is within eye sight once March approaches! While we've accomplished much, we still have lots left to do! I would appreciate everyone's feedback on the School Council survey coming out this week. I already know there are things that need improving for next year, but in order to be our best, we need your input!
I am happy to announce that we will work on becoming a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) State certified school over the next two years. The process requires that we have all components in place prior to asking the state to conduct a site visit. The state requires sustainable change so they want to view our progress over a two year period. Next year, we will look for ways to integrate engineering and technology into our existing curriculum. Science will expand with more use of the outdoor classrooms, Science Lab, organic gardens, and indigenous animal habitats.
I invite you to attend the Principal's Coffee on Tuesday, March 19 at 7:50am to learn more about the STEM initiative. After the STEM presentation, I will be glad to answer your questions about next year. I may not have all the answers, but I will certainly do my best to lessen your anxiety.
We have had several students who have achieved great success! Kennedy Kellam won second place at the District Level Science competition. Her project focused on the effects of Saccharin. Parker Apple and Curtis Holloway will participate in the DeKalb County Visual Art Department's Annual Student/Faculty Art Exhibit March 29-May 11. Our own Mrs. Fleury-Bell will also participate.
Teachers have voted to honor our former Science Lab Teacher, Mrs. Evans, by dedicating the Science Lab. We will be placing a plaque outside the door in her honor.
Mrs. Raquel Kirkley is a long-term substitute who is filling the Science Lab position until the end of the year. Mrs. Kirkley is a certified teacher and has experience teaching Science. We are so grateful for her help, and she is doing an outstanding job!
Thank you to all the parents who attended the Story Character Parade in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday. It was a fun day, and the students did a great job with their costumes! Also, thank you to Maria Jacobs for a great STEM night event. We had a wonderful turn-out and the activities were fun for the students.
As we move toward the end of school, please remember that we have Kindergarten Round-up on Tuesday, April 2. It is important to complete a preliminary registration for your child. Please remember to bring copies of your registration materials!
Also, we will post a Confidential Placement Form and a Teacher Feedback Form on our school website in May. The Confidential Placement Form is designed to give us an idea of the needs of your child as we make plans for next year. You may not request a teacher, but you can tell us about your child's learning style. You can also request that your child not be placed in a class with another child. We appreciate any feedback you can provide regarding your child's special needs. The ONLY way we take your requests into consideration is if you fill out the form and turn it in to the box in the front office. Emails and conference will not take the place of the form.
The Teacher Feedback Form will allow you the opportunity to comment on your experience this school year. Administration only will view the forms and take your concerns into consideration as we plan for next year.
Please, NO parent conferences the last two weeks of school. Teachers and administrators are trying to take care of closing business, and can not give you the time and attention you deserve. If you must have a conference, plan ahead and do it early!
We are looking forward to a wonderful spring at DES! Thank you for being a wonderful, supportive community!
Jennifer P. Sanders
Thursday, 24 January 2013 10:57
Greetings and Happy New Year to all our Dunwoody families! Our students and teachers have returned to school well rested and ready to tackle new academic challenges!
Recently, we held our school Spelling Bee with 16 contestants - Hannah Brett, Sam Wassell, Mansi Gupta, Cole James, Catalina Martinez, Devin Ruben, Rachel Park, Kristin Crespo, Khalil Becoat, Sophia Edwards, Claire Chen, Jaimee Murphy, Andrew Hudson, Nandini Ahuja, Cate Pickering, and Ameya Kulkarni. The students all demonstrated excellent sportsmanship and a real mastery of spelling! Our school winner is Claire Chen and the first runner-up is Andrew Hudson. Both students represented their fifth grade classrooms well, and Claire will continue to the district Bee in February.
The Dunwoody Staff sends a huge thank you to our supportive PTO! Each staff member enjoyed the $100 provided at the holiday. With all the budget cuts and furlough days, the money expressed a huge message of gratitude and support that was heartfelt by all.
Each teacher also finalized the spending of $150 per person for classroom instructional supplies. Since so many of our teachers spend hundreds of dollars out of pocket to support their students, the PTO money is a nice way to acknowledge and support both the teacher and the students.
Our PTO has also been very supportive in the area of professional development. Our teachers returned on Monday, January 7 to an inspiring conference with keynote speaker, Ron Clark. The PTO provided part of the funding for the Ron Clark conference as well as funding for our teachers to attend other local area conferences. During the first semester, we were able to send teachers to the Georgia Technology Conference, the Media Conference, a PE and Health Conference, and a BER Math Conference. Teachers return from the conferences feeling energized and inspired.
Second semester also offers new opportunities for our students. Mrs. Katy Grubbs, ESOL teacher, has agreed to serve as the site coordinator for Girls on the Run, and we have had several teachers attend training. Girls in grades 3-5 may learn more and register to participate by going on-line to www.girlsontherunatlanta.org. One of the program goals is for the girls to complete a 5K race on April 27.
Mrs. Grubbs is also sponsoring our Student Council which begins meeting this semester. Our students are excited about their new leadership roles and are eager to leave a lasting footprint at Dunwoody Elementary!
Students in fifth grade may see an increase in expectations for the second semester. Our fifth grade teachers met with Peachtree Middle School sixth grade teachers to get the "scoop" on academic and work habit expectations. Our teachers want to give our students an advantage in sixth grade by helping them understand the level of independence and self-discipline required for a middle school student.
Our CogAT and ITBS scores are back for students in grades 1, 3, and 5. The scores are used to determine Gifted eligibility. The score report for ITBS was sent home with the report card, but you will need to request the CogAT scores via email from your child's homeroom teacher. Thank you to those parents who were able to attend the Principal's Coffee to learn more about our eligibility process.
As a final note for January, I do have exciting personal news. My husband and I are expecting our first child in April. I will begin a leave of absence following Mrs. McCoy's return, and a former DeKalb County Principal will fulfill my end of year duties through June. I will be able to return to work during the summer allowing me to prepare for the opening of school. Arrangements will be made so that the last month of school is as smooth as possible. Dunwoody Elementary is my heart and my priority. I assure you that your students will continue to receive the "best" in my absence, and I look forward to continuing our great programs next year.
Jennifer P. Sanders
Dunwoody Elementary School
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 11:05
It's hard to believe that November has flown past, and it was definitely a busy month at DES! It is my pleasure to share all the wonderful activities and events that have made DES a great place to learn!
We began our month with a focus on the election. Our students in grades 3-5 participated in a mock election organized by our Social Studies Committee. Patriotic decorations surrounded the voting booths and voter registration tables managed by our parent volunteers. Students received a sticker after voting so that they could proudly support being a contributing US citizen!
Our students further shared their patriotic spirit with the celebration of Veteran's Day. Students involved with the local scouting organizations wore their uniforms to school and proudly represented their troops by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance over the morning broadcast. At lunch, students in uniform received a small token of appreciate from our area scout masters.
Two grade levels participated in enriching field trips this month. Fifth grade students participated in the fine arts trip to the High Museum of Art. The trip is arranged by the arts department and is one of the highlights of the school year. Our kindergarten students celebrated their Community Helper Day with an onsite field trip from the police, local firefighters, the canine unit, the Marines, and other community heroes. The students had a great time crawling through the cars and getting an up close and personal experience.
Other enriching opportunities included the DeKalb County Elementary Honor Chorus Festival which is an event where chorus students get together to sing several songs culminating in a group performance. Only two boys and two girls are selected from each school. The students who participated this year were Emily Cota, Abby Sim, Hunter Olive and Ritesh Manugula.
Also, Kathy Forte, parent volunteer, has worked hard to get our organic gardening program off the ground. The first harvest was this month, and our parent volunteers gathered children at recess to reap the benefits of their work. Students eagerly ran to the table to have a taste of lettuce from their garden!
The DES teachers have been enriching their skills as well through professional development opportunities. Mr. Unger and Mrs. Mattison attended the Technology Conference to acquire the latest and greatest technology advancements for schools. Mrs. Reynolds attended the Physical Education Conference in Savannah where she also accepted a Jump Rope for Heart award for DES. Our first grade teachers visited a local area school to observe master teachers and gain new insights for teaching our Fountas and Pinnell reading program.
Other highlights of the month include our staff kickball game where the teachers of students in grades 3-5 demonstrated that they are the rulers of the kickball field! We appreciate all the parents and students who came out to support their teachers!
Our PTO has also been quite busy! Thank you to Robert Apple for organizing the All Pro Dads event. This month we had a record breaking 104 participants! Thanks to Tommy McNeese for hosting a productive and fun Grounds Day. Thanks to Julie Cole for setting up a beautiful refreshment table for our Dunwoody Cluster Parent Council meeting. Finally, a BIG thank you to the PTO for serving a delicious Thanksgiving Feast to the DES staff members!
Thank you to all our volunteers, parents, teachers and great students for making DES the best!
Sunday, 04 November 2012 09:47
As October comes to a close, so does our testing! We have completed testing our students in grades 1, 3, and 5 with the ITBS and CogAT. Those results should be returned to the school in approximately 6 weeks. Additionally, all grades have completed the first county wide benchmark assessment. The benchmark assessment was our first attempt at computerized testing, and the teachers have decided that the students seem to try a little harder with a paper and pencil test. Nonetheless, the assessment provided some very useful information for our teachers to use in planning instruction.
The students were also awarded with their first Positive Paw 9-week celebration. On October 15, students had a little extra recess time which they used to enjoy an 18 foot slide on the playground. All classes that earned 6 Big Paws were eligible to participate, and the students had a great time. Even the teachers enjoyed themselves!
We are celebrating Ms. Nelson's class ranking 8th in the nation using the ScootPad website. Students throughout our school are using this website to practice reading and math problems. Each problem answered correctly earns points for their class. Other software our students will be using this year include IXL for math practice and Reading Eggs for reading practice.
Thank you to those parents who have sent water bottles to school with their children. Being in the cafeteria on a regular basis, I find that many of our children need more to drink, and a juice box or carton of milk is just not enough. We are working with Coca-Cola to have bottles of water available for purchase on our cafeteria line, but students will still need additional fluid.
I also want to thank parents who are letting their young children walk to class on their own. As we near the end of first semester, it is important that students gain a sense of independence by walking to class without parent support. Students who are independent take more risks in the classroom and feel more confident about their own natural abilities.
Remember that school begins at 7:45am. Students who arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the start of school are more settled and better prepared to take on the day. Instruction starts at 7:45am, so students arriving at 7:45 or later do not have time to unpack, sharpen pencils, or begin morning work. The morning rituals are so important, please plan to get your child to school earlier than 7:45am so they can be the best they can be!
Next month, our PE teachers have coordinated with Children's Healthcare to provide the Strong for Life program to our students. The program kicks off with a pep rally in our gym. All students will get a free water bottle and learn a little about healthy habits. Their focus is to teach children to drink water, eat veggies and fruits, limit screen time, and be active. The team from Strong for Life will visit the students throughout the year and culminate the program in May with a fun run.
Also, students in grades 3-5 will participate in a mock election. They will learn about candidate platforms during morning Broadcast, and then participate in an election for Candidate A or Candidate B. We will not host our mock election for the current Presidential candidates so that we avoid any heated discussions or arguments. Our purpose is to help children understand the election process and know a little more about what their parents will be doing on November 6.
Thanks to all the parents who supported the school during the past month. The Fall Dinner, Book Fair, Canned Food Drive, Grounds Day, and Tour de Dunwoody where all successful events thanks to many hands on deck and great leaders. Our school can not stand apart from the community! It takes a little help from everyone for us to be the best school in Dunwoody!
Jennifer P. Sanders
Sunday, 30 September 2012 09:25
September was a busy month for Dunwoody Elementary! We interviewed and
hired three new staff members. Two familiar faces to the DES community, Tara Sinigalli and Michael Thomas, were hired to serve as Pre-K paraprofessionals, and Mr. David Bellknapp was hired as our new Interrelated Special Education Teacher. Additionally, we moved Ms. Sherrell Glenn, Pre-K teacher, to a new kindergarten class. We are currently interviewing to fill the vacancy left by Ms. Glenn.
The most recent accolades for Dunwoody Elementary School belong to our Health Department and our Cafeteria. Mrs. Jeanne Johnson, DES nurse, recently received 100% on her immunization records. We appreciate all parents who responded to Mrs. Johnson's request for updated records in a timely manner and helped us attain our 100%. Ms. Cassandra Battle, Cafeteria Assistant Manager, and her staff earned a heath rating of 100 when the county inspection team visited Dunwoody this past week. Ms. Battle has done an exceptional job of managing the cafeteria in the absence of the manager. We have been informed that our new manager, Erica Burd, will begin this week. She also serves Peachtree Middle.
We continue to work on our school safety, and I appreciate when parents notify me of potential problems. During the month of September, students participated in a fire drill, a lock down drill, and a tornado drill. We will review these drills periodically throughout the year to make certain that our children are clear regarding procedures in an emergency. I appreciate the cooperation of parents who are in the building during the drills, and I appreciate all parents who follow the sign-in process in the front office. A special thank you to the PTO and our Social Worker, Ms. Julie Mann, for providing the Mandatory Reporting training for all our school volunteers.
Our Positive Paw Program is off to a great start as well. At the end of September, our top ticket earners were Mrs. Dyer's first grade with 318 tickets, Mrs. Blair's class with 258 tickets, and Ms. Harrison's class with 251 tickets. On October 15, classes that have earned at least 6 Big Daddy Paws will be able to play on the 18 ft. blow-up slide during recess. Each 9 week period we will have an incentive to help classes earn their paws. Students who were able to participate in August's Principal's Lunch were Miles Gumbrill, Katie Hull, Mason Marks, Shina Resenson, Evelyn Williams, Hunter Olive, and Sarah Rudder.
October arrives with a bang! Students will begin by taking the DCSD benchmark assessment which is given every 9 weeks. This is the first experience students will have with on-line assessments. DeKalb County School District is hoping to move all students toward electronic testing in the near future. Students in Grades 1, 3, 5 will also take the ITBS and CogAT this month. Scores are generally returned to a school approximately 6 weeks following the end of the assessment window. We will be sure to let you know when results are returned.
Jennifer P. Sanders
Dunwoody Elementary School
1923 Womack Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338
Phone (678) 875-4002
Page 1 of 2«StartPrev12NextEnd»
- 2013-2014 Dunwoody Wildcats Youth Football Camp
- Dunwoody Girls' Lacrosse
- Dunwoody Boys' Lacrosse Camp
- From the PTO Co-Presidents
- Dunwoody Elementary Battery Recycling
- 2nd Grade Flat Stanley Projects
- Georgia Young Authors Competition 2013
- From our PTO Co-Presidents
- Dunwoody Singers 2013
- Chesnut Charter Cruising Cougars Summer Camp