Weekly Message from Principal Albright
There is no more timely national holiday than the Labor Day weekend (at least in DC). All the energy expended in our first week – teacher preparation, parent attention to children’s needs, student excitement – sapped us all. We needed this weekend (no matter how muggy) to recharge. We come back in the building tomorrow with a successful start to the year behind us and enough time to reflect on what the year ahead holds.
Several important events start off this week as part of our belief that families need to know what is going on. Do not miss the 6th parent workshops – these are well-attended, information-packed sessions which give new-to-Deal 6th grade parents the lowdown on what we have heard you want to know. Check out the schedule further down the bulletin. This year, we are adding a special new session for families of new 7thand 8th graders – a mini-version of our August 22 orientation – offered on Wednesday night as well. Next week Back-to-School Night nestles into the schedule – a chance to hear about what we teach from the people who do that work! By this time, many of you have started to receive your team-based bulletins – another way to keep in touch with what is happening.
Clubs and activities start up this week – a long list is included in this week’s bulletin (with a few more to be added in the weeks to come). Important points here are that they run from 3:30 to 4:30, that students don’t need to sign up in advance or stay for any specific number of sessions, and that when they conclude for the day, students are expected to either head home or to after-care. We will remind your students of these expectations and hope they have as much fun and growth in these clubs as possible.
The PTA has its first full meeting of the year this Wednesday (starting at 6:00, a half hour before the workshops). I will use this space frequently to remind all of us why we should support the PTA – financially as well as with our efforts. A good way to find out is to join us at that meeting. Your PTA has already come through in a big way – heavily subsidizing the Hemlock trip for our 6th graders, helping us welcome our new and returning teachers with great hospitality events. These commitments matter. So does your support.
There are several new initiatives underway at Deal this year. Each of them deserves their own full report, but given the number of competing demands for space, I will have to spread them out a bit. Keep an eye out for information about how our assessment processes are changing – beginning with a real commitment to effective student feedback. This change is being effected through the redesign of the IB Middle Years Program, and will take a couple of years to fully implement across the school. In addition, our student satisfaction initiative (we don’t have a good name for this yet!) is adding some family-focused events and activities to keep up our already significant level of student satisfaction. A third major program change this year is in line with the IB, and will raise the profile of student skill development through a strong approaches to learning (ATL) effort.
There is a lot that follows this message. Check it out below. If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions (or corrections!) please email me at email@example.com.
PS – As we get underway, I would ask that if you know of a planned absence (e.g., medical or religious holiday) please send an email to Ms. Johnson and to team emails regarding the absence.
PPS – For certain evening events at Deal (e.g, Workshops, Back-to-School) it is best not to bring your children as space is very limited and attendance is usually high. Thank you for your understanding.
Welcome to the 2014-2015 School Year from the Deal PTA!
Here are few important things we’d like to share with you:
- Our first PTA meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 3, 2014 from 6:00-6:30 PM, prior to the sixth grade parent workshops. We especially invite all new parents to attend this meeting!
- At the second PTA meeting on October 8th we will vote on the updated By-Laws inclusive of our new name: Alice Deal Community Association, Inc. Please plan to attend.
- Be an early bird… Make your Deal PTA donation by Friday, August 22, 2014 and you will be eligible to win an iPad mini! The suggested donation is $150 per child, but any amount you can give is greatly appreciated. It is your participation and support that builds our sense of community for Deal’s students, parents, families, faculty, administrators and staff. You can contribute online, or place your check in an envelope in the PTA box at school.
- During enrollment/re-enrollment you should have completed a Deal Directory sheet. If you need to, please complete the enclosed form. Seventh and eighth grade parents, please review your contact information online. If you do not want your contact information published, please make certain you indicate that option.
- Click on “Join Our Email List” in the middle of the homepage (right below the news & announcements). This is the only way to receive the principal’s vital weekly bulletin, and it will ensure that you get the quarterly PTA newsletter and announcements throughout the year. Visit the website regularly for current news and information.
Your PTA donations do so much! They fund clubs, sports teams and the annual musical production. PTA donations also support important programs for all of our students throughout the year, including the sixth grade orientation, team-building trips for all of the grades and the eighth grade promotion ceremony. PTA donations provide grants to teachers to buy supplies to support classroom instruction, technology, partial scholarships for the International travel program and other student activities. The PTA provides funding for the Deal directory, website, newsletters, parent education workshops, books for the library and improvements to the building and grounds. This past school year, the PTA provided support for Period 8, an on-line instruction program with Kelly Miller Middle School, sound equipment improvements to the auditorium and Deal Gives Back Community Service Partnerships with the National Coalition for the Homeless.
Last, but not least, get involved! This is a critical time in your child’s development and education. When parents volunteer for school activities at Deal, it gives them a chance to be the “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.
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 President
cell: (202) 468-3541
home: (202) 829-2934