Weekly Message from Principal Albright
On this beautiful Sunday, our hometown baseball team closes out their final game against the competition and the city anticipates another playoff series. Three years ago, before the first magical Nationals season, pitcher Gio Gonzalez came to Deal for a couple of hours to meet with students and to help a friend in her anti-bullying campaign. His visit, right before his phenomenal ’12 season, made a difference to many of our students. He probably doesn’t remember the visit – but there are many of us who do. He was a great, soft-spoken athlete-ambassador who wasn’t too impressed with himself to hang out with middle school students. It mattered.
Service takes many forms. Gio Gonzalez made a connection and thus a difference. At Deal, we encourage our students to learn how to make a difference to others. Part of that process is understanding the world around them, part is learning what is needed, and part is learning how to make the change happen. There are many service activities at Deal; as we start into fall the actions heat up. Some activities are big and splashy and some are more subtle, but all follow the goal of teaching caring individuals how to give back to their world.
We have started off with our Cardboard Challenge – an activity to bring awareness to the need to encourage creativity. On the 11th of October, we will bring community members to Deal to see what has been created as part of this challenge. Each grade will be selecting a major theme for the year around which to build activities and goals. Our sixth grade continues, for example, to pursue the topic of homelessness, building on the connections and meaningful activities from last year. Our #socktober challenge kicks off of the sixth grade theme. We continue to find out about other interesting service opportunities – our PTA heard from the Rock Creek Conservancy this past week with another exciting possibility – and hope to connect them to our curriculum and to our students’ lives. If you know someone who has some particular insight (or involvement) in service, we are eager to hear how we can harness that potential to help our students become experts in serving the world around them. We shouldn’t expect any less. I will give you more information about our activities as they happen.
Our 8th grade teams are already rolling busily. This weekend, our 8th grade parents are invited to learn about how writing is being taught at Deal. It is important for our students that you know how to support them; to do that, you need to know what is expected and planned for them. We hope to see you here on Thursday at 6:30. We will have an 8th grade family barbeque here at Deal on the 18th of October – something new for us and for you. Soon after, we will have our annual High School Night – schools from around the area will be present for you and your 8th grader to get a chance to see what is going on at each of them. October promises to be a busy month!
I am also very excited for the upcoming 7th grade science field trips; these were designed by our own excellent teachers and supported by the PTA. Students are doing stream sampling work – the same work that scientists do in the field. There is no better way to learn than by doing.
Enjoy the week.
PS – Thoughout the year, the school nurse (Ms. Whitlock) and the administration work to reduce the number of students without full immunizations at school. As of this week, only 70 percent of our students are fully immunized. Unlike in the past, we aren’t able to get a traveling immunization clinic; we need families to take care of this. One area of concern for some families is the HPV vaccine; I am told that if a family opts out of this vaccine they won’t receive further reminders during their time at middle school. I recognize that the process of getting these forms in is fraught with the potential for confusion; please be patient with us as we make sure that everyone is fully immunized. This past week, immunization reminders were sent out to the 6th grade; this coming week they will be sent out to the 7th and 8th grades. Thank you for taking care of this (if you have already) and, if not, let us know if there is additional information you might need to get this done.
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