Weekly Message from Principal Albright
On the heels of another great weekend, our first advisory comes to an end this week. We will schedule additional Edline updates to reflect the need to get lots of grading done (as well as late student submissions). The schedule for these is posted below. Teachers have been communicating with students about end-of-advisory submissions in their classes and in their team bulletins; I ask that families support their students in getting first advisory work on time. Our first parent-teacher conferences of the year will take place on the 10th of November, sandwiched between Sunday and Veteran’s Day; below we also tell you how to sign up for these conferences online or, if not able to access the system, by contacting the team. All of these efforts are intended to provide you with as much information as possible about your student’s progress.
Last week, we held a parent information night for our IB assessment approach, implemented fully in the 6th grade this year. This was a well-attended meeting. As we feel the information is essential, we will hold three more similar presentations on the Nov. 10 parent-teacher conference day. We will announce the schedule next week, but it should allow 6th grade parents (and curious 7th and 8th grade parents) to see how the process works. The meeting last week provided us with excellent parent feedback, and we seek more.
November 3rd is extra important for us this year. First, it is the start to our second advisory; 6th grade students in arts and music will be shifting classes with the help of their teachers. A note below indicates how they should prepare for the shift. In addition, it is the day of our enrollment audit – the meeting with the central office to verify the number of students at Deal. While we don’t normally do this on a Monday, the spate of trips our students are taking leave us little choice. Given that, I ask that on a day that tends to have a slightly higher absence rate, parents work with us to make sure that their students are in school that morning. Enrollment equals funding in DCPS; be sure to avoid scheduling doctor’s visits, late arrivals, or any of the many events that might interrupt the day. Your children will appreciate it.
This last week we have kicked off our Proving What’s Possible (PWP) student satisfaction activities with some stellar events. Our ARTWard Bound evenings continue – with one almost every week for the next couple of months. Please check your inboxes for the ticket announcements; you don’t want your child to miss out. This week, Team Seoul (6th grade) headed over to Dave and Busters for a family fun event; it was a blast! Each 6th grade team will have one of these over the next month. Our 8th graders are heading off to challenge themselves this week at the Harper’s Ferry Adventure Center; 7th grade will not be far behind. Team and grade t-shirts are underway, and other fun things are planned. In general, Deal students report a high degree of satisfaction through surveys about their time on Fort Drive. Even with that, however, creating opportunities for students to connect with other students, families to connect with other families, seems like the right thing to do in our large school. So, keep an eye out for these events as well – I hope to see you there.
Finally, we have enjoyed the first week of our exchange students from Liceo Pino Verde in Colombia (and I know they have as well). When they are not in our classes, they are visiting sites all across DC; this weekend they headed up to Baltimore to see the Aquarium. Our host families have been amazingly generous, from the opening welcome to including them in family activities and trips over the two weeks here. Our students will be returning the favor by traveling to Colombia in late February. Our goal is to build not only a friendly relationship that teaches us about each other, but also to work together on shared curricular ideas and teaching. We are just getting started! Check out their blog linked on our website to see how they see us.
Enjoy the week.
PS – Two other fun things this week: Deal Read Week runs all week long, with many activities focused on supporting the student reader. On Tuesday, we will also have Mix-It-Up Day – we encourage students to sit at different tables. Be sure to support their efforts at home by asking them about their participation in both of these great activities.
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