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                                                                           Principal’s Message - January 2021    

         Happy New Year!  Each January at DES, our school staff has made a habit of reflecting on the year ahead. Inspired by the Jon Gordon book, “One Word,” we all make individual decisions on the word that will be the driving force in our actions moving forward. While this act is rather simple, the impact it has had on many of us is so incredibly positive. With so much turmoil and angst in our world right now, thinking positive, being intentional, and seeking change from within ourselves are continued goals of ours. We’d love for you to join us—what’s your one word?

         I suspect you continue to have many questions regarding our eventual return to our school building. As you are aware, we will remain fully virtual through the end of January. In order to define a timeline past that point, our Board of Education (BOE) has planned an additional meeting this Thursday evening. In the meantime, a new parent survey has been launched so you are able to let us know your intent for your children to remain virtual for the remainder of the school year or return in the hybrid format. That survey ends on Sunday, January 17th. After we know the return timeline and our student survey data is made available to us, we will be able to sort students into hybrid cohorts and virtual classrooms. We had practice doing this in the fall, so we are hopeful the hiccups we had at that time will be worked out in this round. Thank you in advance for recognizing all of the moving parts that we must consider when preparing for a safe return to our school.

         Student attendance continues to be critical to student success, even in the virtual world. The state of Maryland monitors schools based on their overall attendance rates annually. Families with students in the at-risk range have been notified as we move into this second half of the school year. Thank you to everyone for making attendance a priority and demonstrating to our young people the importance of simply showing up.            

    Mrs. Colleen Harris