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 December 15, 2013
DES News
In This Issue
From our Principal
From the PTO Co-Presidents
Is your child too sick for school?
School Directories Have Arrived
Music "Informances" for K-3rd Grades throughout December
Holiday Party information
PCMS Informational Coffees for rising 6th Graders
DES Lunch Bunch Needs You!
The Jungle Book, Kids!
Congratulations to Mrs. Reynolds, 2014 DES Teacher of the Year!
Time to Nominate your favorite teacher for the LifeChanger of the Year


Calendar At a Glance

This Week

K-3 Music "Informances"

Friday, December 20:

  • All Pro Dads' Breakfast - 6:45am
  • Holiday Parties
  • Last Day of First Semester
  • Cultural Arts Holiday Assembly (students only) - 8am 

Next Two Weeks



School Resumes on Tuesday, January 7, 2014


View the complete calendar on the Dunwoody Elementary PTO Website, and/or Subscribe to the GMail Calendar


 From our Principal
We are successfully completing the first semester of the 2013 school year! Our big initiative this year is STEM, and I'm proud to say that our teachers and students are having a great time.  Thank you to all of the parents who have graciously added their names to our Career Bank. Teachers and students are absolutely benefitting from your expertise in a STEM industry.

I am happy to announce that Georgia Perimeter College has agreed to serve as a formal STEM partner.  GPC joins Dunwoody Urgent Care, US Geological Survey, and Forest Investment Associates as supporting partners.

Our partners are playing an integral role in the development of our STEM program.  Forest Investment Associates, Fernbank, and GPC have agreed to help plan and facilitate the development of a nature trail on our campus. Students in grades 3 and 5 are writing essays for a chance to participate in the planning stages of the trail.  Our hope is to create a truly unique trail where students can practice and experience varying aspects of the science curriculum from animal habitats to weather monitoring.

Lego kits are a big component of the STEM curriculum, because they allow students the opportunity to engineer designs to solve problems.  We just purchased kits for our reading classes which are in addition to our existing robotic lab.  All students have regular exposure to the Lego Lab, and we also have a team of 10 students who are part of our Lego Robotics team.  The robotics team recently performed very well at competition and earned the "Against all Odds" award which is subjective based on the team that has demonstrated great potential, team work, and diligence.

As we move to second semester, we are looking forward to more STEM days, our nature trail, and regular partner involvement.  We are also planning and preparing to enhance our curriculum by integrating more math and science along with more writing across the curriculum.  STEM is an ongoing process that requires continual reflection and conversation on the part of the teachers.  One Wednesday a month, we provide collegial time for our staff to discuss STEM initiatives, plan lessons, and learn from others.

I wish everyone a safe and relaxing holiday season.  I hope that you and your family have peace and joy this season and throughout the year. I am so grateful to serve in such a wonderful, supportive community, and I thank you for trusting us with your precious children.

Jennifer P. Sanders

Dunwoody Elementary School
1923 Womack Road
Dunwoody, GA 30338
Phone (678) 875-4002
Fax (678) 875-4010


From the PTO Co-Presidents  

It's come to the time of the year where we want to pause and say thank you to all of our DES families. From the many hours our volunteers put in every day to help run our school, to the many dollars our families have donated to Tiger Fund for the programs and services that we offer our students throughout the year.  We are thankful everyday for the abundance of generosity we find from our terrific Dunwoody Elementary School families.  


Thanks to the generosity of our families, teachers and staff enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Feast before the holiday break.  Your annual dues payment of $35 helped pay for all 99 teacher's and staff's holiday cash gifts totaling $9,700! We are thankful that we are able to give our teachers, administration and staff a little something extra at the holidays, and your $35 annual dues has helped us do just that.  
Without the tireless hours that our volunteers spend at the school each day, we would not be able to offer our children so many wonderful programs throughout the year.  From Cultural Arts to Field Day, Lunch Bunch to Carpool, all of our events and programs outside of our daily curriculum are run by parent volunteers.  If you volunteer at the school, please take a few moments to log your volunteer hours on our PTO website.  We are so grateful for your time and dedication and we want to reward you in the Spring at our Volunteer Brunch, so please don't forget to log in your hours! We want you to reap the rewards at the end of the year for all the hard work you put in.
Just a quick about the last day of school before the holiday break: We have the following events happening on Friday, December 20th:
  • All Pro Dad
  • Staff Appreciation holiday gift pick-up
  • Cultural Arts programs (in house)
  • Holiday Parties
Please remember that parking with be at a minimum, so please utilize the Georgia Perimeter College Parking lot.  Also, please be courteous to other parents as you come in and out of the building.  Please do not double park and block in any other vehicles.  Also remember that if you are not on the class list for your child's class party, you will not be permitted to enter the classroom on the 20th.  The front office will have a list of parents who are scheduled to be there on that day, and they will enforce this guideline.  
Thank you again to you all for your generosity and we will see you around school for one more week!
Amy LeVasseur & Amanda Rountree
PTO Co-Presidents  
 Is Your Child Too Sick for School?
It's a question parents regularly face in the cooler months.  What makes the keeping-home decision even more complicated is the fact that it's not just about your child,  it's about exposing other children, too. Children are really good at spreading germs.  Here are some guidelines that can help you decide whether your child should stay home from school.
  1. Does my child have a fever or have they had one in the last 24 hours?  A fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher is a sign that your child needs to rest and stay home from school.  It is school policy to wait until your child has been fever-free, without medication (Tylenol or Motrin), for 24 hours, before letting them return to school.
  2. Did my child wake up with a crusty, red eye?  Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) is contagious, and children should stay home from school for the first 24 hours after treatment begins.  Other symptoms of pink eye include eye redness, irritation and discharge.
  3. Has my child vomited within the last 24 hours?  Children should stay home for 24 hours after the last time that they vomited.
  4. Rashes can be a sign of contagious conditions such as chickenpox, bacterial meningitis, ring worm or impetigo. Children should be kept home until they're properly diagnosed or free of rash.
  5. Is my child too lethargic or sick to be comfortable at school and participate in educational activities?

Please notify the child's teacher if your child is staying home due to illness.   This way, the absence will be marked "excused".  A doctor's note is not required unless three or more consecutive days are missed related to illness.  Thank you for understanding and keeping our school healthy!

Stephanie Clark, RN, BSN
School Nurse
Dunwoody Elementary School
1923 Womack Road
Atlanta, GA 30338
School Number: 678-875-4002

 School Directories Have Arrived

The school directories arrived just before Thanksgiving Break. Those who ordered a copy during Registration were sent home with their child's TIP.  If you would like to purchase one, there is a limited amount available through the School Store.  The cost is $5 each.

Congratulations to our Cover Contest winners:


Overall winner: Abigail Watts

Kindergarten: Edward Kim

First grade: Abhinav Daddi

Second grade: Maya Tabachinkoff

Third grade: Sishnukeshav Balamurali

Fourth grade:  Stehanie Orr

Fifth grade:  Jack Arant

We will be creating a book of all of the eligible entries and that will be kept in the browsing area in the Media Center.  Thank you to all entrants for being part of the contest!

Upcoming Events

Holiday Party Information
Parents:  All holiday parties will be held on Friday, December 20 from 1:15-2pm. There is a limit to the number of parents per classroom so please check with your room parents and/or teacher if you wish to be a part of this celebration. We ask that all parent volunteers park their cars at Georgia Perimeter College for this event. Thanks!


Some notes about the parties:


  • Parties begin no earlier than 1:15pm.  Parents will be admitted to the classrooms no earlier than 1:00pm to set-up. Parties must end at 2:00pm so that students can be ready for dismissal. Visitors are asked to leave the campus by 2:15pm so that we can provide a safe, orderly dismissal process for our students.
  • Parent helpers/room parents/volunteers should be limited to 4 adults per classroom. More than 4 parents per classroom gets to be too crowded for our students.
  • Outdoor activities are fine, but space can not be guaranteed. No water related activities.
  • Parking is available at GA Perimeter College. Please avoid parking in the bus lanes (along the curb). Our buses arrive on campus by 1:30pm and need space to drive/park.
  • Carts will be available on the curb closest to the flagpole for those who wish to drop off items curbside prior to parking at Perimeter College. 
PCMS Informational Coffees


Peachtree Charter Middle School invites all parents of 5th graders to our upcoming informational coffees to learn more about PCMS and what you need to know to prepare your rising 6th grader for middle school.

The informational coffees will be held in the PCMS Media Center on Tuesday, January 14, at 9:00am, and Sunday, February 2, at 2:00pm. The informational sessions will last 1 hour and will be followed by a school tour.

You will receive information about the summer bridge program offered to 6th graders to help with the transition to PCMS, typical 6th grade schedules, band/orchestra/choral offerings, daily PE, and the accelerated math program.

You will also have the opportunity to ask questions of the school's principal and teachers.

Additionally, PCMS Spirit Wear will be available for purchase following the coffees in the school store on January 14 from 10:00-11:00am and on February 2 from 3:00-4:00pm. Cash or check only. 

Tours of PCMS are offered to parents by appointment if you are not able to
attend one of the coffees.

Get Involved

DES Lunch Bunch Needs You!
Lunch Bunch is a group of volunteers who help out in the cafeteria during lunch. It's a great way to see your child at their lunchtime! Lunch Bunch volunteers help children with their lunch needs (opening containers and cleaning up small messes etc.). Come and meet your child's classmates and see what your child actually eats for lunch!
This is a great volunteer opportunity for those who have preschool children and those who have an irregular work schedule because you can choose what days and shifts you work! There is a choice of 3 shifts, either 10:30- 11:45am, 11am-12:30pm or 11:45am-1pm.
Please email Rosemary Gorham (
 or Jennifer Fenmore ( if you are able to help! 

School Clubs

 The Jungle Book, Kids!


Do you have a 3rd, 4th or 5th grade student who loves to sing, dance and act?! If so, they need to join our fabulous cast for "The Jungle Book, Kids!" We have Mowgli, Baloo, King Louie and many more great parts to hand out to our talented kids. Information letters went home in the TIP before Thanksgiving. If you need another letter, please check out the information carosel as you enter the building or email Mrs. Miller:



IMPORTANT!! The deadline for applications is Thursday, December 19, 2013. We cannot accept late forms after this date!!


Congratulations to Mrs. Maria Reynolds, 2014 DES Teacher of the Year!   


Mrs. Reynolds is an accomplished educator who embraces leadership opportunities within the local school and at the district level.  She is a district level professional development presenter, and she assists in the writing of the district's PE curriculum.  Mrs. Reynolds has been very involved at DES from chairing the Health and Wellness Committee to helping with Girls on the Run to coordinating the Field Day events.

Mrs. Reynolds states, "I feel that it is essential to not only educate but inspire all the different young minds at Dunwoody Elementary.  Relying on the various types of learning modes, teachers can appeal to each child's reading, thinking, and reasoning skills.  Therefore, I attempt to develop activities that utilize movement, patterns, and various types of cognitive abilities to help every child connect to the lesson at hand." 

Time to Nominate for LifeChanger of the Year  

National Life Group is pleased to reward those school district employees who exemplify excellence, positive influence and leadership through our LifeChanger of the Year program.


Nominations are now open for our 2013 - 2014 LifeChanger of the Year program. Ten honorees will be recognized annually and awarded with a personal cash prize and school donation. The nomination period will close on January 31, 2014. LifeChanger winners will be announced in the Spring of 2014.


Nomination Procedures

Anyone, including school employees and administrators, may nominate educators and employees for the LifeChanger of the Year award. Students also are welcome to make nominations, but need to have support from a teacher or administrator. A selection committee from National Life Group will review the nominees and determine the top 10 winners based on our set criteria. 



All K-12 education professionals and school district employees are eligible to participate. Nominees must be full-time educators, teachers, principals, or any member of the school's staff who makes a positive difference in the lives of students. The LifeChanger of the Year will be awarded without regard to race, gender, religion, age, national origin or disability. 


Selection Criteria

Each award winner will be selected based on the following criteria:

  •  A proven ability to make a beneficial difference in the lives of students
  •  An ability to positively add to the development of the school's atmosphere
  • A leader in his or her activities at the school and/or district level
  • A proven record of excellent performance at the professional level 
  • A commitment to producing a nurturing atmosphere

Tiger Talk Information

How to Send an Announcement Using Tiger Talk


Tiger Talk is the weekly e-newsletter of the Dunwoody Elementary School PTO. Every Sunday, we publish information that is pertinent to the students and parents of DES. 


The submission deadline for each issue is 10pm on Tuesday.


All announcements must be brief and sent in writing as an email to Announcements will run for two weeks prior to the event or as applicable. If you have any questions about Tiger Talk, please contact the editors at

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