Weekly Message from Principal Albright
It is hard to believe that we have arrived at the mid-point of the 1st advisory this week. If you are the parent of a 6th grader, they have figured out the school by now – hidden shortcuts, how to get in line to go out to lunch, how to make sure they are prepared for all six of their classes. 7th graders are over the fact that they aren’t in 6th grade anymore! 8th graders have finally earned their legs – there was a lot of huffing and puffing as they came up those stairs several times a day. So many Deal experiences are already underway – the Hemlock trip for 6th graders is now in the past, our 7th grade science trip is coming up, and the 8th graders are deep into Science Fair and, soon, National History Day. The mid-point of the first advisory is a chance to take an early look at our progress and see what we need to do to tweak our performance.
For 7th and 8th graders, the mid-advisory report will focus on graded performance for the first 5 weeks. Families will receive a print-out of their child’s Edline report, a starting point for a year’s worth of discussion and support. The impetus behind the report is to note whether a student is having significant difficulty in a subject or two; we send all the grades so that you can put this performance in perspective.
The 6th grade mid-advisory report will be different than that of the 7th and 8th graders. The focus for their first mid- advisory report is on the academic behaviors necessary for academic success. Early this year, our 6th grade teachers identified the following skills (defined as approaches to learning (ATL) in the IB):
- taking responsibility for one’s own actions
- meeting deadlines
- bringing necessary equipment and supplies to class, and
- practicing focus and concentration.
All 6th grade teachers (team, world language, arts/music, and PE) will determine if a student needs support in these areas to perform to their best level; continuing struggle might lead to lower performance on the 1st advisory report card in late October. You and your child(ren) will get feedback about these skills. These were selected in part because they are skills that you can work on at home as well. (These same ATL skills will be addressed throughout the year by teams.)
The 7th and 8th grade have also chosen ATL skills for the year. The complete set of skills will be placed on the Alice Deal website this week and you should see them in team and grade activities throughout the year as well. These are academic skills and will not be graded in a traditional sense. They are, however, what our teachers think would be the most useful for your student to grow. They fall into five categories: communication skills, social skills, self-management skills, research skills, and thinking skills. I look forward to the ATL becoming more useful over time as we help your student grow as a learner.
Enjoy the week!
PS – This Tuesday at 9am will be my first Principal’s Coffee. It is a chance for those of you who like strong coffee and a spirited discussion to gather and meet with me. It will run about an hour. There will be one a month this year; don’t feel as though you have to make this one, just pencil me in for later on if you can’t make it. I won’t have an agenda, just a desire to talk with you.
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