Principals Weekly eNewsletters

September 21, 2018

Good evening. The students were certainly excited about having a three-day weekend. I'm sure you are noticing the same thing.

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher conferences are scheduled for October 4th (1:00-8:30) and October 5th (7:30-3:00). This year, you can sign up for a conference through the program PTC Wizard. The window for signing up for a conference opens tomorrow (September 21st) at noon and closes on October 4th at 2:00 p.m. You can access PTC Wizard directly from the Home Access Center (HAC). Please click on the following to see detailed directions: MS Parent-Teacher Conference Information

Item Drop-Off

As a parent of a 7th grader, I know that some middle school students do not quite possess the level of responsibility we want them to have. This means they may forget things every now and then. We are not opposed to parents/guardians bringing in things their children have forgotten. In fact, I have been in a few situations where I had to drop something off for one of my own sons. We are beginning to be challenged with the time it takes to ensure students get the materials they forgot without disrupting the learning environment.

Here are some details that speak to our challenge. In a six-day cycle, we had the following dropped off in our main office:

28 ChromeBook

7 lunches

5 gym clothes

5 school work items (planners, book, classwork)

4 items needed for after school (sports jerseys/equipment)

2 food items (snacks and bubble gum)

1 pair of eyeglasses

1 cell phone

This equals 53 total items

When these items are dropped off, our office staff must log them in, find where a student is, contact the student’s teacher (email and follow-up phone call when necessary), store the items until a student picks them up, track down the student if he/she does not come pick up the items, etc. If you look at the numbers above, you will notice the average number of items dropped off per day during that six-day cycle is almost nine.

To minimize disruptions to the learning environment and provide a structured process, we set up the following procedures:

  1. When necessary items relating to the health/welfare of our students like lunches and eyeglasses are dropped off, we will call the student down to the office to pick up these items. It is very important students are getting these items.
  2. Students will be able to stop by before and/or after lunch to check to see if other items such as those needed for after-school activities, snacks, cell phones, etc. were dropped off.
  3. Recognizing that students may not know items have been dropped off for them, we will make an announcement at 2:00 calling any student down who has an item to be picked up.

I want to reinforce that I am in no way saying that parents/guardians cannot drop off items for students. All we are doing is establishing a structured process to best support everyone. I have directed our office staff to begin following this procedure starting on Monday, September 24th. If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We Listened

At our Meet the Teacher Night in August, we conducted a survey on what your preferred method of communication was. Overwhelmingly, Facebook was noted as the preferred method. As a result, we now have a Facebook page. Search for Dallastown Area Middle School and you should be able to access our page. Our main goal as we continue to develop this page is to provide one location where you can get information on upcoming events, learn about what is happening at our school, and promote opportunities and organizations like the PTO. Our Twitter page will remain just as active as it has been.


September 17, 2018

Good evening. Thank you to everyone who came out to Rita's last week to support our backpack program. For those of you in the line I was serving (especially at first), I hope your treat tasted better than it looked!

Intramurals

Below is a schedule of our after-school intramurals. Each intramural ends at 4:15. For more information about an intramural, please contact the staff member written below the title or Mr. Foust at andrew.foust@dallastown.net

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Sign Language with

Mrs. Imhoff

Ultimate Frisbee

with Mr. Gillis

WAM (We All Matter)

with Mrs. Eckert

Ultimate Frisbee

with Mr. Gillis

Running Club with

Mr. Stump

Mat Ball with

Mr. Winemiller

Running Club with

Mr. Stump

International Club

with Mr. DiLiberti

Handheld Gamers

with Mr. Wingard

Volunteer Club with

Mrs. Ross

Eco-Green Club

with Mr. Hewitt

Running Club with

Mr. Stump

Color Guard

with Ms. Whitsel

MathCounts with Ms.

Hammers (starts 10/2)

Power Walking Club

with Mrs. Picchini

Mural Club

with Mrs. Gibson

Student Council

Remember, our school fundraiser this year is through Boon Supply Company. Boon Supply has items such as jewelry and bags as well as organizational items for your home, car, or technology. The fundraiser is run through Student Council, and the funds are used to help provide assemblies, field trips, dances, and more for our entire student body. Our goal this year is to raise at least $5,000! 50% of the money you pay for your items will be donated to DAMS Student Council. Can you help us reach our goal? Please follow the link below to shop! It’s a great time to start stocking up on those holiday gifts. Thank you in advance for your support!

https://www.boonsupply.com/collections/all?fundraiser=89720&complete

Upcoming Events

9/21: No School-Staff Professional Development

9/25: Boston Outbound Trip Parent Meeting (7-8:30 p.m. in the Auditorium)

10/4-5: No School-Parent/Teacher Conferences (more information coming Tuesday)

 

September 11, 2019

Good afternoon. Thank you very much for all the support you have shown us since the beginning of the school year. It is very important that we are partners in supporting students.

Here are a few things:

PTO

The first PTO meeting of the year will be this Thursday (September 13th) at 6:30 in the Learning Commons (Library). Dr. Dyer will be attending the meeting to share some information and hold an open forum for those in attendance. 

For more information about our PTO (including future meeting dates and how you can be involved), please visit http://ms.dallastown.net/information/our_school/pto

Attendance

If you know your child is leaving during the school day for an appointment, please have him/her turn in a note from you to the office that morning. The office staff will give your child a pass to come to the office to be picked up at the appropriate time. When the office staff is aware of the early dismissal, they are able to effectively communicate this to the appropriate staff members, which helps us continue to ensure all students are accountable and safe. In addition, this procedure minimizes the disruption to the learning process and decreases the amount of time you must wait.

Upcoming Events

9/12: Fundraiser for the Intermediate School and Middle School Backpack Program

         Rita's on Lombard Road in Red Lion (Cape Horn Shopping Center)

9/21: No School-Staff Professional Development

9/25: Boston Outbound Trip Parent Meeting (7-8:30 p.m. in the Auditorium)

10/4-5: No School-Parent/Teacher Conferences (more information coming soon)


September 4, 2018

Now that the school year is underway, I want to let you know about some opportunities for you to support our school. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

School Counseling Careers in the Community

Dallastown Area Middle School is in the process of planning an exciting new career education program.  It is our hope that our wonderful Dallastown parents will volunteer to help us make this program as meaningful and special to your children as it can be!  Our overarching career education goals are helping middle school learners:

  • Identify and explore personal interests
  • Identify and explore personal strengths
  • Identify and explore work values
  • Identify and explore career pathways that align with each student’s interests, strengths, and values

Traditional career education programs tend to focus on exposure to a small number of career options (Who wants to be a veterinarian when they grow up?) or a broad overview of general fields (Who wants to work in business?), but our new program aims to add focused, in-depth exploration of career pathways from across the spectrum of options.  

During the 2018-2019 school year, the middle school counseling team will be launching our new Careers in the Community program.  Over the course of the year, we will offer students focused opportunities to learn about careers or career pathways that interest them.  To provide these opportunities, we are humbly asking for your help. Recent research indicates that 50% of students (perhaps more) choose careers based on what their friends and family do for a living.  Our goal is to use our extended Dallastown family to broaden their exposure and horizons, giving each student more ideas and options to consider.

What kinds of careers are we looking for?  Put quite simply: all of them. Technology, Agriculture, the Arts, Law, Medicine, Manufacturing, Business/Entrepreneurship, Services, Trades...we want to give our students the opportunity to learn more about the world of work and as many potential options as possible.  We do not need amazing public speakers or elaborate booths; just bring yourself and a willingness to participate in a moderated panel with other parents in related fields.

We cannot do this without you. An hour or two of your time might help plant a seed that changes someone’s entire life trajectory.  If you are willing to volunteer some time and expertise, please click on this link https://goo.gl/GDoMbq at your earliest convenience and complete the brief (less than 5 minute) informational survey.  If you have any questions before completing the form, please feel free to email Jake.Winemiller@dallastown.net or give Mr. Winemiller a call at 717-244-4021, ext. 2536

Student Council

Our school fundraiser this year is through Boon Supply Company. Boon Supply has items such as jewelry and bags as well as organizational items for your home, car, or technology. The fundraiser is run through Student Council, and the funds are used to help provide assemblies, field trips, dances, and more for our entire student body. Our goal this year is to raise at least $5,000! 50% of the money you pay for your items will be donated to DAMS Student Council. Can you help us reach our goal? Please follow the link below to shop! It’s a great time to start stocking up on those holiday gifts. Thank you in advance for your support!

https://www.boonsupply.com/collections/all?fundraiser=89720&complete

MS Backpack Program

One important aspect of any child’s well-being and ability to learn is proper nutrition.  We recognize this at Dallastown Area Middle School and would like to assist in meeting the needs of school-aged students. In an effort to help children come to school ready to learn, we are providing a “Weekend Backpack Program.” For more information, please click on this link DAMS Backpack Flyer.docx 

August 27, 2018

Good morning. Here are more details about our Meet the Team Night on August 28th (tomorrow evening):

  • 7th grade parents can attend from 5:30-7:00 p.m. They will begin in their student's first core period class and move through all four core classes. From 6:30-7:00, 7th grade parents will have the opportunity to visit any unified arts or PE teachers their child will have this school year.
  • 8th grade parents can attend from 7:15-8:45 p.m. They will begin by visiting any unified arts, PE, or world language teachers their child will have this school year. At 7:45 p.m., 8th grade parents will report to their child's first core class and move through all four core classes.

Do not worry if this sounds confusing. Your child will provide you with a schedule. Because 8th grade parents will start by exploring their child's UA classes, parents should look for the schedule from your child today to know where to go. 7th grade parents should not be concerned if your child tells you he/she left the schedule at school. That may be true. All you need to know is what his/her first core course is. Report to that class at 5:30 and the teacher will give you your child's schedule. 

We are looking forward to a great night!

August 23, 2018

What a great first day of school! As the day progressed, many students adjusted to having to get up early, follow a schedule, and participate in learning. We are very excited for the great things that will happen here this year.

Tomorrow (8/24), we will be reviewing the following with the students: building evacuations including fire drills, severe weather, lockdowns, active shooter, and reunification. It is very important that we are preparing the best we can to ensure the safety of all students and staff.

We recognize these discussions can be sensitive, so we will encourage students to ask questions and/or talk to a trusted adult here at school should they have any concerns. It is also very important that you follow up with your child at home.

As always, feel free to reach out to me if there is anything you need from me. Please remember that the safety of our students and staff will always be a priority. always

August 20, 2018

We were so glad to see so many of you on Thursday for the Open House. Our excitement continues to build as we approach the first student day on August 23rd. It is going to be a great year!

We would like to thank all the NJHS students who volunteered to greet everyone and provide tours. They are a perfect example of how awesome our students are!

PE UNIFORMS

I would like to clarify the expectations of dress for PE. It is true that we have discontinued PE uniforms being mandatory. Certainly, students may still wear the official PE uniform, however, it is not something that has to be worn.

In a previous email I mentioned a few guidelines, one of which was shorts cannot have pockets. I apologize for the confusion that caused. What I should have been clearer on is that there should be no external pockets (ex: those that are commonly seen on cargo shorts). External pockets can get caught on equipment causing them to rip or, even worse, injure students. Please do not go out and search to find shorts that have no pockets in them. Finding them just may be impossible. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

PTO UPDATE

This link: PTO Rutter's Rewards.docx will take you to information about an effortless fundraiser for the PTO called "Rutter's Rewards Schools". All you must do is register, which is very easy to do.

Remember, our PTO is solely funded by donations. For more information about how you can support the PTO, please click on this link.  http://ms.dallastown.net/information/our_school/pto/membership__popsocket_orders_/

August 13, 2018

PARENT DROP-OFF AND PICK-UP PROCEDURES

When dropping off a student prior to 7:35 a.m., proceed to the rear of the building and your child will enter the MS gym entrance. This entrance will be open between 7:05 a.m. and 7:35 a.m.  This is the same location parents will pick up their children at the end of the school day.

Please know that traffic flow is one-way from 7:00 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. and 2:40 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Parents must enter our campus from the New School Lane entrance and exit campus from Tennis Court Hill. This is very important as we want to keep our students safe. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. For a more detailed look and explanation, see the campus diagram by clicking on the link.  https://goo.gl/5d867g

SCHEDULING UPDATES

As you know, schedules will be posted to Home Access Center (HAC) on Monday, August 13th. Here a few things to know:

  1. If you do not see a schedule in Home Access Center (HAC) on Monday, please be patient. Although we are not expecting any issues, there is always potential that things may be delayed. Please contact us on Wednesday, August 15th if you do not have access to a schedule.
  2. By now, everyone should know which team their child will be on. For information such as recommended supply lists, please visit the team’s specific website that can be accessed by clicking on the “Teams” tab on our DAMS website (ms.dallastown.net).
  3. 7th grade schedules will have nothing listed in the third trimester for the UA class. The reason for this is because the third trimester is split in half, and we are working on how to note that in our Student Information System software. In the Q and A document I sent to you last year when your child was in sixth grade, I gave a brief explanation of the schedule of UA courses. I included it again for those who may not have received the letter or need a refresher.

Q: Besides the four core courses and PE, what other classes will 7th grade students have?

A: Students will participate in four Unified Arts (UA) classes that meet three times a cycle for the first two trimesters. In the third trimester, students will repeat the four courses (two courses at a time for half of the trimester). The UA courses are World Language, Music, Art, and STEM (formerly associated with Tech Ed). The following is an example of a UA schedule:

First Trimester

Second Trimester

Third Trimester

Days 1-3 STEM

Days 1-3 Art

Days 1-3 STEM

Days 4-6 Music

(First half of third trimester)

Days 4-6 Music

Days 4-6 World Language

Days 1-3 Art

Days 4-6 World Language

(Second half of third trimester)

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Stay connected to our school by following us on Twitter.

            @DallastownMS: General information about great things at our school

            @DAMSprincipal: My own personal way to communicate about our awesome school

            @DallastownSD: An excellent source for district-wide information

PTO MESSAGE

Make the last full week of summer count!  From August 13-17, Adrenaline will be hosting a Back-to-School Special “Jump 3 hours for $25.00” package. Socks are an additional $2.00 if needed. Adrenaline will give our PTO a donation worth 15% of the cost of the package. No flier is required; just mention Dallastown Area Middle School when you purchase the 3-hour package. For more information about Adrenaline, you can visit their website at https://jumpadrenaline.com/york.



August 6, 2018

We hope you had a fantastic weekend. Below is information from our school nurses, Chartwells (our food service company), and details about our Meet the Team Night. I also included a few other important items. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

GREETINGS FROM THE NURSES

Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year!  The nursing staff is available to assist with helping students to have a healthy and successful school year.  With the current school year, important immunization regulations are in effect.  Notifications for students with incomplete immunizations have been mailed home to those guardians whom have enrolled students attending school on a provisional status.  We appreciate your diligence to this important medical matter.

Please notify the nurse of any health changes for your child throughout the course of the school year.  The nurses may be reached at MSnurse@dallastown.net or by phone at (717) 244-4021, ext. 2508. 

7th grade- Dental exams are required for all 7th graders.  Completed private examination forms are due by December 14, 2018. 

For students requiring medications during the school day, please have the required forms completed.  Medication administration will occur according to school policy.  An adult must bring in medications to school.

Access to important Dallastown Middle School health forms: Health Forms

(Medication Form, Asthma Action Plan, Seizure Action Plan, Allergy Action Plan, Dental Examination Form, Physical Examination Form)

Best wishes for a healthy school year!

Dallastown Middle School Nurses 

CAFETERIA SERVICES

Chartwells will continue to oversee our district’s food service department for the 2018-2019 school year.  Here are a few things to know:

  1. MySchoolBucks is a convenient, easy and secure online prepayment service, which allows parents to view daily purchases, and account balances. They also have free App that provides parents the ability to add funds electronically for a small fee. Parents can also sign up to receive an email when a low fund balance occurs.  If you wish to open a MySchoolBucks account for your child, please visit www.myschoolbucks.com. You will need to enter your child’s school and student ID#. 
  2. We will begin serving breakfast on the first day of school.
  3. To view menus and nutritional information on meals served in the cafeteria, please visit Dallastown.nutrislice.com
  4. An application for free and reduced meals will be sent home with your child at the beginning of the school year.  Families who received free/reduced meals last year must submit a new application no later than October 5, 2018 to continue this benefit. 
  5. For additional information regarding the school lunch program, visit www.dallastown.net > ‘Departments’ > ‘Food Services.’ 

CAFETERIA PROCEDURES

Faster lunch lines in the cafeteria!  Yes, we can do that with your help!

Chartwells will be implementing a new procedure at the registers called Cashless.  Starting September 10, 2018, we will no longer be accepting any form of payment at the registers for meals. The cashiers will not have cash in the registers to give out change. Not having to give out change during lunch service will speed up our lines and give students more time to enjoy their lunch.

Prior to September 10th, we will be consistently reminding students that they will need to deposit their money in the morning. Students should place their deposit (cash or checks) in an envelope with the student’s name and ID# and put it in the drop box.  Cafeteria staff will empty the drop box every morning and the deposit will be on the student’s account that day.

MEET THE TEAM NIGHT

Our 7th and 8th grade Meet the Team Night will be held on Tuesday, August 28th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for 7th grade and 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for 8th grade. Holding both grades’ Meet the Team Night on the same evening is new this year.

This is an opportunity for parents and guardians to meet their child's teachers and learn more about the exciting learning that will take place this year at DAMS.

PTO GIVES BACK

Dallastown Area Middle School has been working diligently to organize and initiate a Backpack Program to support our students in need.  The purpose of this program is to provide a bag of nonperishable food items to children in need to take home each weekend when school meals are not accessible. 

If you would like to help the DAMS Backpack Program or sponsor a child, please contact Emily Lauer at ems_8@yahoo.com.  If you would like to send in non-perishable food, we will accept the donations.  Please contact Emily for a list of single serve food items recommended to support our program. 

GYM UNIFORMS

Some have inquired about buying PE (Physical Education) uniforms. We are happy to communicate that specific PE uniforms are not required. If your child would still like to wear the school uniform, one can be purchased in our school store. Here is some additional information on, acceptable dress for PE is that you can also find in our handbook:

1. Blue, white or gray shorts or sweatpants; no pockets or zippers

2. Blue, white or gray t-shirt with short sleeves; words or pictures must be school appropriate

3. Athletic shoes and socks

Remember that all clothing must comply with the DAMS dress code.

NEXT EMAIL

On Thursday, August 9th, I will send an email with information about DAMS communication through social media, opportunities for students to get involved, and student drop-off/pick-up procedures.



August 1, 2018


We are all very excited about the 2018-2019 school year here at the middle school. Over the summer, staff have worked diligently to prepare for this year, and there are many exciting things we will introduce to the students and you throughout the year. A special thanks goes to the custodial and maintenance crews that worked extremely hard to make our school a welcoming one.

Toward the end of last year, I asked a student what students need from me as a principal. One of the comments she made was she appreciated that my weekly emails were “short and only included important information.” This year, I will continue to take that approach (although this email will be longer than normal).

You will notice this email does not contain a massive amount of information for you to sift through. One of the reasons is because you will soon be receiving access to documents like the handbook, technology use expectations, and annual notifications (I will give you more information about that below), which already is a lot of information. To help you stay organized with specific building information, I have broken it down and will be sending it to you over the next few weeks. Here is the schedule for those emails:

August 6: -Nurse Information

                 -Cafeteria Services and Procedures

                 -Meet the Team Night Details

                 -Middle School Social Media

August 9: -Opportunities for Students to Get Involved

                 -Drop-Off and Pick-Up Procedures

Now, on to the information I have to share.

OPEN HOUSE - AUGUST 16 (12:00-6:00 p.m.)

On Thursday, August 16th we are hosting our annual summer open house from 12:00-6:00 p.m. Students and parents are invited to arrive at their leisure during this timeframe to participate in tours of our building led by National Junior Honor Society members.  This is a great opportunity for students to become acclimated to our building and their specific classroom locations.  Representatives of our nursing, school counseling, and administrative staff will be available to answer your questions and welcome you to the start of the new school year. 

INFOSNAP

Please click on the link for a letter from Mr. Tom Stauffer, Director of Technology Services: InfoSnap 2018 summer letter.docx  This letter contains information about InfoSnap and will prepare you for accessing the beginning of the year documents.

PTO CORNER

An active PTO makes for a healthy school community.  Please consider joining and supporting the PTO by giving of your time, talents, or simply making a financial contribution.  Our PTO supports a variety of programs that benefit our entire student body including assemblies, field trips, and the end of the year field day celebration. 

  • Anyone that joins PTO this year and donates at least $25 will receive an exclusive Dallastown PopSocket (in a paw or wildcat head print). Donate $35 and receive two PopSockets. Any donation over $45 will also earn an additional special item. 
  • PTO meetings are open to any parent or family member of a student at DAMS.  They will be held this year on September 13, November 15, January 17, March 21, and May 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the MS Learning Commons.
  • If you have a Giant A+ Rewards card, please do not forget to link it to DAMS. This is one of the major resources the PTO has to fund activities for our students.

There are so many ways to get involved. To get more information about how you can help and all the PTO does to support our students, staff, and community, stop by their table at the Open House on August 16th and Meet the Team Night on August 28th. Also, we are overhauling our website, so check back soon to find the links to all of the PTO’s social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).

WHAT EVERYONE HAS BEEN WAITING FOR

We are preparing to release student schedules. All of the information can be found in H.A.C (Home Access Center). Here is the timeline:

August 3 - Homeroom and team assignments will be available.

August 13 - Full schedules will be available.

UPCOMING EVENTS

August 16 - MS Open House (12:00-6:00 p.m.)

August 23 - First Day of School

August 28 – Meet the Team Night 7th (6:00-7:00 p.m.) and 8th Grade (7:30-8:30 p.m.)

September 3 - NO SCHOOL - Labor Day

September 5 - MS Picture Day

September 13 - PTO Meeting (6:30 p.m. in the MS Learning Commons)

 Note: Dr. Dyer will be sharing information and holding an open dialogue with those
           in attendance.              

September 21 – NO SCHOOL - Teacher In-Service Day

September 26 - Boston Outbound Parent Meeting (7:00-8:00 p.m.)

October 2 - Williamsburg Outbound Parent Meeting (7:00-8:00 p.m.)

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