September 11, 2019

Hello,

Time sure is flying, and we have been back to school for 2.5 weeks already! Everyone seems to settling into the routine pretty well.

PTA Meeting Tonight: There is a PTA meeting tonight from 6-7pm in our library. PTA will be planning future low cost fun family events, such as upcoming Family Movie Night, as well as a Haunted House event. PTA is giving away coupons for FREE Kids Snack Packs for the Family Movie Night for all parents in attendance at the meeting. We welcome the participation of all, and children are welcome to attend as well.

Bus Changes

We need bus drivers! We sent letters home with children impacted by bus changes due to our shortage of drivers. If you didn’t get a letter, your child is not impacted by the changes. Those bus changes begin Friday, September 13, 2019. If you know of anyone with a CDL license or a willingness to get one, please call Marston Cubit, Director of Transportation at 766-8844.

Independence Day is Monday, September 16, 2019

Now that we are 3 weeks into the school year, it’s time to celebrate Independence Day for our children! Monday, September 16, 2019, is Independence Day. This means parents should “Hug and Go” in our lobby. If you are worried about your child finding their own way to the classroom, certainly use these last two days to practice - trail behind your child as they walk to the classroom and “hug and go” at the classroom door. If you have concerns after Friday, please let me know so we can assist and make sure your child gets to the classroom.

Why “Hug and Go?”

Besides the fact that independence is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children, relationship building and instructional time in the classroom are precious for our children and teachers. Teachers need to give their full attention to the children as they arrive in the classrooms. If parents would like to speak with teachers, please email or call to make an appointment.

School Safety Visits: Mrs. Gentry and I will be visiting each classroom next week to discuss school safety. We review the process and explain reasons for fire drills, lock down drills, how to know if adults in the school are safe, what to do if they see an unsafe adult in the school or on the playground, etc. We will also explain all that we have in place to keep children safe (visitor sign in and badges, locked doors, door bell, staff badges, curtains on classroom windows, etc.) We will also conduct a school fire drill on Wednesday , September 18, 2019. For more information about school safety, see our school website at this link: https://des.ncsuvt.org/school-safety

Picture Day is Thursday, September 19, 2019. In case you misplaced your envelope, a copy of the form you can complete and send in is on our Home Page

No PreK: PreK is cancelled for September 20, 2019 due to professional learning for the staff.

Early Release Day for K-6 children: Friday, September 20, 2019. Breakfast and lunch are scheduled for that day, and dismissal will be at 12:00 pm. Teachers and para educators will be involved in professional learning that afternoon. Please start planning in advance and make any special transportation arrangements with Mrs. Mager in the office as soon as possible. Letting us know of plans well in advance increases our efficiency and safety for your child(ren).

Courtesy Post: See Better Resource Fair attachment. Soccer Shoot Found on our Activities Page

September 5, 2019

Hello,

I have been able to spend time in the classrooms of our new teachers this week and last and I am so impressed. The tradition of having great teachers at Derby continues!

Tomorrow is the last day to buy tickets for our drawing. Tickets are on the Home Page , or your child can just bring in the money and complete tickets in the classroom tomorrow. The drawing will be at the end of the day tomorrow. Funds help our 6th graders on their class trip to Nature’s Classroom at the end of the month.

Mr. Auclair, PE teacher, is offering a very low cost evening soccer clinic for K-2 children. The first session is tomorrow. Information is on the Activities Page .

Registration has begun for the Encore After School Program for grades 1-6. We now provide transportation at 5:00 pm to locations throughout the area. Information is the After School Program Page.

There is a PTA meeting on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 from 6-7pm in our library. PTA will be planning future low cost fun family events, such as upcoming Family Movie Night, as well as a Haunted House event. PTA is giving away coupons for FREE Kids Snack Packs for the Family Movie Night for all parents in attendance at the meeting. We welcome the participation of all, and children are welcome to attend as well.

We only have 180 families that have competed the Annual Student Update. We need updated contact information, especially in case of emergencies. We would also like you to complete the Lunch Application to help us out with applying and receiving grants. You can also set up your online lunch account, to see purchases and balances, and to make deposits on line. Our website has the instructions you need, as well as the links, but for your convenience, here are the links as well:

Parent Portal for Annual Student Update in PowerSchool (if you already have an established account from prior years). If you don’t have an established account, call our Administrative Assistant, Laura Fernandes at 873-3162 ext. 101.

Lunch Application (you will need your child’s ID number from PowerSchool)

Online Lunch Account & information: check balance, make deposit, see meal purchases (K12paymentcenter)

Looking ahead:

Picture Day is Thursday, September 19, 2019

There is no PreK at all on September 20, 2019.

Friday, September 20, 2019, is an Early Release Day for K-6 children. Breakfast and lunch are scheduled for that day, and dismissal will be at 12:00 pm. Teachers and para educators will be involved in professional learning that afternoon.

August 30, 2019

What a great first week of school! We had an assembly on the first day and your children listened so well. I was introducing all of the new staff and I asked the children to hold their applause until the end. Not only did they hold their applause, but your children were super caring and friendly and silently waved to each new staff member (without prompting). It was a sight to see – over 400 children waving silently over and over with smiles on their faces – welcoming our new staff. If this is a sign of the kind of year we will have, I am very excited!

Our Kindergarteners started Wednesday, and they did so well with new procedures in classroom, hallway, and the lunchroom!

Our new breakfast buffets seem to be wildly popular, and teachers are reporting there is very little food waste. Children are eating every speck of food on their plates. Full bellies in the morning lead to healthy, happy children who are ready to learn! We continue to work to establish efficient procedures for breakfast service. It’s difficult to serve the kind of breakfast children need when our cafeteria is also our gym. (With our numbers, we have to have PE class first thing each morning in order to fit all the necessary and required PE in the school day.)

Speaking of our numbers, did you know we have 487 children in our school so far this year?

We conducted our first safety drill today. It will be one of the two required bus evacuation drills for the year. Teachers, bus drivers, and bus monitors assisted the children with this drill. Soon, Mrs. Gentry and I will be visiting classrooms to talk about all of our safety and emergency procedures, including fire drills, lockdowns, and evacuations. In accordance with state law, we conduct one safety drill per month. In case you’d like school safety information, we have a safety section on our website. Here is the link: https://des.ncsuvt.org/school-safety

Here’s what is happening next week:

First, our 6th graders are selling raffle tickets next week to benefit their Nature’s Classroom overnight trip to New Hampshire this fall. There are three prizes: Be Principal for the Day; Be Assistant Principal for the Day; and Take Coco the Giraffe home FOREVER. Information is on the Home Page. Parents can send in completed tickets with money. 6th graders will also have tickets available in the classrooms. 6th graders can also purchase tickets.

Second, Open Gym will begin Tuesday morning, September 3, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. for children in grades 1-6. Children are allowed to go to classrooms at 8:20 a.m. each morning.

Third, Mr. Auclair, PE teacher, is offering a very low cost evening soccer clinic for K-2 children. Information is on the Activities Page

Courtesy Information this week is on the Activities Page : Cub Scouts

August 26,2019

Hello, and Happy New Year!

We were so pleased to see so many families enjoying the PTA BBQ and meeting our teachers at our Open House on Thursday night! Pictures can be found on our FB page. https://www.facebook.com/destigersvt/ Special thanks to our PTA, teachers, custodians, office staff, and para educators who helped get the building ready and beautiful for our families!

You can find handy back to school information on our school webpage, including lunch menus, our school calendar, and safety information,: https://des.ncsuvt.org

With our children returning Tuesday (gr. 1-6) and Wednesday (K) at 8:20 am, it is very important that you complete the ANNUAL STUDENT UPDATE. We need updated contact information, especially in case of emergencies. We would also like you to complete the Lunch Application to help us out with applying and receiving grants. You can also set up your online lunch account, to see purchases and balances, and to make deposits online. Our website has the instructions you need, as well as the links, but for your convenience, here are the links as well:

Parent Portal for Annual Student Update in PowerSchool (if you already have an established account from prior years). If you don’t have an established account, call our Administrative Assistant, Laura Fernandes at 873-3162 ext. 101.

Lunch Application (you will need your child’s ID number from PowerSchool)

Online Lunch Account & information: check balance, make deposit, see meal purchases (K12paymentcenter)

We can’t wait to see all the bright shiny faces filling our halls and classrooms!

August 19, 2019

The countdown is on – FOUR DAYS until our Open House and PTA BBQ! (Information can be found on the Home Page.) The PTA BBQ will be outside on the playground, so please bring blankets or lawn chairs and dress appropriately. Teachers will be eager to greet families between 6 – 7:15 pm in the classrooms!

We can’t wait to have our children back in our school. We are rushing to get the building ready for you – the custodians, office staff and teachers have been putting in a herculean effort! The new carpet is in downstairs, the playground has been “woodchipped,” the compost shed is being built as we speak, and the digital door holders (for fire safety) have been installed. Teachers have been in the last few weeks working hard to get their classrooms ready. Our gym has been a work in progress all summer – new ceiling tiles, new paint, and a new floor. Unfortunately, our gym will not be ready until the first day of school. However, on Thursday, we will have the doors open so you can peek in, but we ask that no one walk on the floor. It needs time to cure.

Our Lunch Menus for the first week of school and the month of September can be found on our Lunch Program Page. We are pleased to try new changes to our program, and hope to improve nutrition and choice for children. We are open to any constructive feedback you may have.

Thank you to those of you that have completed the Annual Student Update already! We understand that much of the information pre-populates this year, making it easier and not as long of a process. We will need you to complete new Health Card information each year. If you have not completed the Annual Student Update yet, the letter with information sent previously is on the Home Page. I also attached more information based on parent questions we have received about the process.

For Kinder and PreK parents: Another copy of the instructions for signing up for a back to school appointment with your child’s PreK or Kindergarten teacher are on the Parents Page. The appointment program is called Pick A Time. We can see that half of you have done it already, so we still have half of our appointments open.

For your convenience, below are the important back to school dates:

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

First Day of School for grades 1 – 6, 8:30 – 3:00 pm

Kindergarten and PreK classroom appointments (scheduled by you through Pick A Time)

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

First Day of School for Kindergarten, 8:30 – 3:00 pm

PreK classroom appointments (scheduled by you through Pick A Time)

Thursday and Friday, August 29 & 30, 2019

PreK classroom appointments (scheduled by you through Pick A Time)

Monday, September 2, 2019

No School, Labor Day

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

First Day of School for PreK

August 13, 2019

Dear Derby Tiger Families,

This letter contains important information about three items that are necessary for you to complete for the start of school: The Annual Student Update, SNAP Health Parent Portal, and the school lunch application and online payment.

We are excited to announce that the Annual Student Update is now available for the 2019-2020 school year! Please complete the Annual Student Update for each student before August 26th. The Annual Student Update is an important process that occurs every year. Parents/Guardians need to ensure that the school has the most current phone numbers and addresses, email addresses, emergency contact information, transportation information, and medical information for your student(s).

  • If you already have a parent account, please visit the PowerSchool Parent/Student Portal: https://ncsuvt.powerschool.com. You can access the “Annual Student Update” via the PowerSchool Parent Portal for any of your children who have been enrolled in a school in the North Country Supervisory Union.
  • If you do not have a PowerSchool parent account, please contact our Administrative Assistant, Laura Fernandes, for help.

Parents and guardians should have received an email from SNAP on July 31st with instructions for accessing the SNAP Health Parent Portal to update/confirm student health information. SNAP is a secure platform that allows you to communicate conveniently with our school nurse. SNAP will help you sign and submit health-related school forms, share vaccination records, physicals, and other documents, and update our school nurses with information about your student’s health, medications, or other related concerns. Families can use it to create a single account for all students within the school.

We are also very excited about some changes to our food service program! Our long time Kitchen Manager, Linda Bingham retired, and we have hired Chef Jason Marcoux as our new School Nutrition Manager. Mr. Marcoux comes to us from Holland Elementary School, where he was the Kitchen Manager and chef. Mr. Marcoux has also been the chef at the Morgan Country Store, La Belvedere, and the Eastside restaurants.

Based on Mr. Marcoux’s experience and your feedback on our parent survey, there will be some exciting changes, especially for breakfast. We intend to serve a buffet style hot breakfast every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The hot buffets will consist of fresh, real eggs, pancakes, french toast, home fries, breakfast pizza, ham, sausage, fruit, etc. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, breakfast will consist of cold options such as cereal, fruit, yogurt, cheese sticks, cinnamon rolls, breakfast bread, etc. Breakfast will continue to be eaten in the classrooms. You will also be seeing more lunches that are homemade and include more fresh and diverse ingredients. Of course, our Free Fruits and Vegetables Snack Program will continue for all children. The September Menu will be available on our website and Facebook page soon, and I will send it by email as well. While we try to keep our prices as low as possible, we are required by the State of Vermont to raise our lunch prices $ .10 per year until we reach the state minimum of $3.00 per student. Our prices for 2019-20 are: Breakfast $1.25 Lunch $ 2.70 Adult Lunch $3.75

We’d like each family to complete a Lunch Application. This application will help determine if your child is eligible for free or reduced priced meals, but that’s not the only reason we are asking families to complete this application. North Country Supervisory Union and Derby Elementary School receives and relies on federal and state funding for a number of other programs. To continue to receive funding for these programs we require the most accurate family income information. Loss of this funding may result in the loss of programs and/or increases in local taxes to cover the costs to continue funding. Your help is essential to ensure that the schools of North Country Supervisory Union can receive the maximum federal and state funds due to us.

We need only one application for all the children in your household that attend any school in the North Country Supervisory Union. In order to protect your confidentiality, we are offering two secure ways to provide this information:

  • The online application is available at LunchApplication.com. If you have children in both the high school and in a primary or junior high school enter them all in one application, and the system will tell us to use the same information across all schools. Your application will be sent from a secure website directly to the NCSU Child Nutrition Specialist, based in our Central Office, so you don’t need to worry about filling out a paper form that could be lost or misplaced. If you need access to a computer, please contact your local school or our Child Nutrition Specialist.
  • If you are unable to utilize the online version you may request a paper application at your student’s school, which can be returned to the school or directly to the NCSU Central Office for verification by a designated individual. North Country Supervisory Union

Attn: Child Nutrition Specialist

121 Duchess Ave., Suite A

Newport, Vermont 05855

With this new software, you will also be able to pay your child’s lunch bill online at https://www.k12paymentcenter.com/ . You will also be able to view your child’s meal account and make payments for multiple students. You do not need to pay online to set up an account and view your child’s meal account. We hope this will be a convenience for you. We will no longer be giving your child paper invoices, as this program alerts you when your account is low.

For questions about the lunch application and the new software, please contact Wanda Morse, NCSU Child Nutrition Specialist, with any questions, and visit lunch application.com to complete the application today. Wanda.Morse@ncsuvt.org or 802-334-5847 ext 2076.

We will have computers and help available at Open House on August 22, 2019 in the library to assist you with these items.

We are looking forward to having children back in our school!

August 9, 2019

Happy New Year and Welcome Back to School! This year sure does bring some exciting changes. We have a fresh new look to our gym. We have a new look to our library, Maker Space, and downstairs classrooms (check out our pics on FB) and we also have many new staff members and events coming up. We also welcome the families and children from Holland this year! We look forward to making sure it is a good year for them in our school community.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

First Day of School for grades 1 – 6, 8:30 – 3:00 pm

Kindergarten classroom appointments (previously scheduled)

Wednesday August 28, 2019

First Day of School for Kindergarten, 8:30 – 3:00 pm

Monday, September 2, 2019

No School, Labor Day

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

First Day of School for PreK

Welcome New Staff Members:

Elizabeth Totten, PreK, is a new teacher and lives in Derby. (Mrs. Stearns resigned and moved out of state.)

Tyrah Urie, PreK, is a new graduate of Keene State University, and is from the NEK.

Joanne Whitelaw, K, has been teaching for 2 years, and joins us from Holland Elementary School. (Mrs. Leigh is now an intervention teacher, replacing Mrs. Sawyer and Mrs. Brainard, who retired.)

Amber Merchant, K, has been teaching for over 10 years in Texas, and has moved to Holland. (Mrs. Ashburner is on leave for this coming year.)

Abbie Santaw, gr. 1, is a new graduate from Northern Vermont University, and is from the NEK. (Mrs. Handley and Mrs. Coburn are sharing a job this year.)

Chelsea Trucott, gr. 2, is a new graduate from Northern Vermont University, and is from the NEK.

Chelsea Bianchi, gr. 4, is a new graduate from Northern Vermont University, and is a former Derby Tiger!

Brittany Fortier, gr. 5, is a new graduate from Northern Vermont University, and is a former Derby Tiger! (Mrs. Beaudry retired.)

Michelle Bonneau, gr. 5, has been teaching for several years in Brownington. (Mrs. Green retired.)

Leigh Elliott, gr. 5, has been teaching for several years in Charleston. (Mrs. Gentler resigned to teach in her hometown.)

Dina DeSena, intervention teacher, has been teaching for several years, and joins us from Holland Elementary School. (Mrs. Madey retired.)

Stefanie Lingenfelter has been a counselor at Greensboro and Glover and will be teaching Health and Social Emotional Learning Skills.

Jessica Harris was hired by NCSU and assigned to Derby to teach Special Education. She has been a dedicated para educator at Derby for the last several years.

Sabrina Keller was hired by NCSU and assigned to Derby to teach Special Education. She joins us from Holland Elementary School.

Jason Marcoux joins us as the new School Nutrition Manager. (Mrs. Bingham retired.)

Alexis Greenwood, Dory Lemieux, Garth Robinson, and Angela Godfrey join us as para educators and bus monitors.

Dennis Ullery and Gerri Stevens and Beckie Schneider join us as bus monitors.

Please continue to follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/destigersvt where we post pictures from the school day and reminders about events.

Our website has valuable information on it (school calendar, Family Handbook, safety, PTA, reminders, etc.). https://des.ncsuvt.org

Information on Open House and PTA BBQ on August 22 can be found on our Homepage.