IMG_3424Weekly Message from Principal Albright

On Friday, we concluded the Reading and Math portions of the DC CAS for all grades. Your students were magnificent – as I checked the building and spoke to teachers and administrators, I heard nothing but how wonderfully focused the test-takers were. It is a big undertaking, one that requires a lot of patience and perseverance, and I am proud of how the students responded to the tight rules and procedures. We have two more days of testing (and make-up days) on Tuesday and Wednesday; these will be for 8th grade Health and Science tests and 7th grade Composition tests. Please help us keep the momentum going through the middle of the week.

There is much going on in the city these days that has to do with middle schools. Nothing makes you look harder at yourself when others turn a sharp eye on your work. During weeks like the DC CAS week we can sometimes wonder about the effort that goes into making a school work and be curious about the outcome so many years down the road. Does a particular assignment connect to a child’s life when they are an adult? Sometimes, if we are lucky, the answers pop up right before our eyes – as something this week showed me.

One of our students traveling with the 8th grade has taken a lot of responsibility in arranging her paperwork for the trip. This is not uncommon. In order to travel, this student had to have a particular travel document issued by the US Government and needed fingerprints from the immigration office. She applied six weeks ago for the process and received word just this week that her fingerprint appointment was on April 14, long after she was to have departed. She came to me with justifiable concern.

After discussing the situation with her and the trip chaperone, we determined that we would need to contact a federal-level representative who could expedite this process. With the girl present, I contacted one of our Councilmember’s offices to get me the right person at Congresswoman Norton’s office (being used to procedures!). While this was being checked, the girl waited outside. She came back ten minutes later to tell me that she had just called the Congresswoman’s office, had explained the situation to Congresswoman Norton’s staff, had arranged for the emailing of the proper form and the return faxing of the same form when completed. She said that she was bored with waiting so decided to call.

Events like this, when a student shows poise far beyond her years or when in the face of great disappointment that student takes matters into her own hands to resolve, serve to remind me (and us) that our mission is to nurture this young person, to get out of her way perhaps, and to give her opportunities to show who she is. If we despair that amid the distractions of daily life, our prospective leaders might become too distracted to learn (or care) how to run the world, we can remind ourselves that there are those of our students who are letting us know that they are already preparing themselves for that responsibility. A great reminder for the week.

Enjoy next week’s Spring Break!

James Albright

This coming weekend, nearly 200 Deal students and staff will be traveling to Costa Rica, France, and China (with a few parents thrown in). Those of us who will be traveling will report on the trip via blogs or other social media linked on the main page of the Deal website. Thank you to the PTA for helping students in need be able to afford this important activity. (And if you are the parent of a 7th grade student, sign-ups for next year’s trips are already underway.)


Welcome to the 2013-2014 School Year
from the Deal PTA!

 The Theme of this Coming School Year is: BUILDING COMMUNITY!

We hope you are enjoying summer and getting ready to play an active role in our school’s community. Deal’s middle school program continues to be strong! The Deal PTA plays an important role in supporting this great school by working hard to provide the “extras” that enrich our children’s educational experience.

Support the PTA!   The PTA depends on family participation and your contributions fund clubs, sports teams as well as the annual musical production.  PTA contributions also support important programs for all of our students throughout the year, from the Sixth-Grade Orientation and the annual team-building trip for our youngest students, to the Eighth-Grade Promotion ceremony.  PTA contributions provide grants to teachers to buy supplies to support classroom instruction, technology, Viking Time and other student activities.  In addition, the PTA provides funding for the Deal directory, website, newsletters, parent education workshops, books for the library and improvements to the building and grounds.  We can make so much happen, with every family’s support. 

To reach that goal in providing these important programs, activities, grants and supplies, we need to raise approximately $170,000. That amount might sound daunting but, in fact, it represents only about $15 per student per month over the upcoming school year.  This is your PTA and we ask that you support the PTA and be as generous as possible.  The suggested contribution is $150 per student and we encourage you to give more if you can; however, no contribution is too small.  It is your participation and support that ensures a great Deal and builds our sense of community for Deal’s students, parents, families, faculty, administrators and staff.

In addition to fundraising, the Deal PTA also works to provide information and to open avenues of communication among Deal parents, the school administration and the larger community. There are many ways for you to find out what’s happening at Deal:

  • Join the Email List
    This is the only way to receive Principal Albright’s indispensible Weekly Bulletin.  This will ensure that you get the PTA newsletter and all announcements via Constant Contact throughout the year.
  • Read the PTA newsletter, which is published electronically four times a year.
  • Visit the website, for current news and information.

Get involved!  This is a critical time in your child’s development and education, and middle school students are not as easily accessible as elementary students.  Unlike in elementary school, teachers are not asking for classroom volunteers or art assistants and parents are not meeting each other on the playground or at play dates. When parents volunteer for school activities at Deal, it gives them a chance to be a “fly on the wall,” and get an inside view into their kids’ school lives.  The Deal PTA strives to provide many important opportunities to get involved.  A list of these activities can be found HERE.

Our first PTA meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 6:30 P.M., prior to the sixth grade parent workshops. Please plan on joining us!  Subsequent PTA meetings are planned for Wednesdays, Oct. 2nd and Nov. 20, 2013, during the first semester, and Wednesdays, March 19th and May 21, 2013, during the second semester. We will provide more detailed information about the agenda before each meeting. Every meeting gives you a chance to ask questions, make suggestions, meet and talk with other parents and hear important information about what is happening at Deal and in our community.

We look forward to a wonderful school year.  If you have any questions, or want to get involved, please contact us.  The PTA needs you–we always welcome new faces and new ideas!

Cathy House, PTA Co-President
Addy Schmitt, PTA Co-President


Pasamos la Voz

The 8th grade Spanish Humanities students have been working hard on a newspaper, website, and documentary to combat global warming.… 

photo 2 Read Across America Day

      Students from Ms. Kinzer’s class visited Murch Elementary to celebrate Read Across America day.  Deal students were practiced… 

IMG_0750 Ski Trips

Over three days, approximately 300 Deal students went skiing at White Tail.

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