DMHS Update 12/20/15

Posted 01/22/2016
Dear DMHS Community,
I hope you are enjoying a peaceful, fun filled holiday break. We have had a very, very strong year so far in terms of student performance and culture. On behalf of all DMHS staff, I can share with you that It has truly been a joy to work with your students. If you are ever curious what our school days are like, you are always welcome to come observe and spend time at DMHS. Just schedule a time with Carol at carol_delong@dpsk12.net. We love having parent and community members see the great work that is happening every day.
Here are a few important updates:
Newsletter:  Please find attached the DMHS newsletter completely designed and written by the DMHS Communications team!
Report Cards: Our semester ends after the third unit at the end of January. At that time, we will send home copies of student portfolios along with report cards (9th grade receives report cards). In the meantime, you can check your student’s progress at any time by looking at their electronic portfolio. It is shared with you via your google docs. If you are having trouble finding it, first ask your student (they look at their portfolio nearly every day while in school) or email me at katy_myers@dpsk12.net
Holiday Home Work: Your student may have holiday home work in the form of work due but not turned in – otherwise known as missing work. You can see what is due when you look on your student’s electronic portfolio. If the box named “Work due but not turned in” is empty – no work is due. If there is missing work, please work with your student to schedule time over the holiday break to get their work done. It is really important that students complete their missing work and come back in January ready to work on new assignments.
Literature Books: Many students need to catch up on their literature book readings. Please ask your student about their lit books and what support they need to catch up on their reading and double entry notes so that they are fully prepared for seminar.
PARCC:  PARCC scores have finally been released and the district will be mailing your students’ scores to you over the next few weeks. Here are a few notes that the district wanted us to pass along to you….
PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) is the new state assessment that is aligned to the Common Core Standards by which instruction is now governed.  Some things to keep in mind when reviewing your child’s assessment results:
  • With change comes some growing pains, and your child’s test scores may be lower than what you saw before. This is not permanent. We fully expect scores to start rising as students and teachers get used to the higher standards and become better prepared to meet the more challenging material.
  • Children are not losing ground just because they are not scoring as highly on the new tests as they did on the old tests. Rather, Colorado has set a higher bar and established a new baseline, so parents will have a better sense of whether their children are actually on track for college and career.
  • These scores are not an apples-to-apples comparison to old test scores. The new tests measure different things – such as where the students are in developing the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills needed to succeed at all levels of life. The scores should be viewed as a new benchmark from which to measure the future success of Colorado’s students.
  • These new scores will act as a new benchmark, so we can see how each student grows and progresses toward graduation and success beyond high school.
Collaborative School Committee:   Please join us at the CSC meeting that will be on January 7 at 4:30. DMHS will be discussing PARCC results, the Unified Improvement Plan (UIP) and the schools’ Innovation Renewal plan. These are three very important topics, and we would love to have the opportunity to inform you on these topics and get your feedback. 

High School: The high school team has made tremendous progress over the last few months in preparation for opening DMHS high school next year. A few days ago, we sent out a mailing to former Montessori students that will be entering 10th grade next year. The mailing included letters from me and from student Christian Lobo-Lafore, the high school syllabus, schedule and our new brochure. We are going to host a high school information night on January 14 at 5:30. I have attached the High School Syllabus to this email. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Rachel at rachel_balkcom@dpsk12.net or me.
DMHS Supply Restock Wish List
If it fits into your budget, we would greatly appreciate if your students could bring the following supplies to school in January:
  • Highlighters -1 box
  • Expo Markers -1 pack
  • Sharpies black- 1 box
  • Pencils  -1 box
  • Pens 1 -box
  • Colored Pencils -1 pack
  • Graph Paper -1 pack
I hope you have a wonderful, peaceful and joyful holiday break. We look forward to seeing your student on Tuesday, January 5.