The latest Gator Blast

DES PTO Gator Blast E-mail
Week of October 19-23, 2020 

School option choice due Mon at 5 pm; Unity Day is Wednesday

Calendar:   

This week:
Monday, Oct. 19:  AACPS School model choice due by 5:00 pm
Wednesday, Oct. 21:  Board of Education meeting, public session at 6:00 pm, details here
Wednesday, Oct. 21:  Unity Day sponsored by AACPS, wear orange today, details below

A look ahead:
Wednesday, Oct. 28: Kona Ice sale, details to come
Sunday, Nov. 1: Daylight Savings Time ends, turn clocks back one hour
Tuesday, Nov. 3: NO SCHOOL, election day
Wednesday, Nov. 11: Dining for Davidsonville night at Chick-Fil-A Edgewater. 5-8 pm

News:                         

Make a schooling choice by Monday at 5:00 pm
The AACPS deadline to submit a preference on the learning model in which you wish to enroll your child is now at 5 p.m. this Monday, October 19th. Go to www.aacps.org/oct2020familyreopening before  5 p.m. on Monday, October 19, to indicate your preference.

Families that do not register a preference will have their students enrolled in virtual learning for the remainder of the school year, which is the Virtual Full-Year Model. More information, answers to frequently asked questions, and the link to register is at www.aacps.org/oct2020familyreopening.

Sessions start this Wednesday for all grades
Spanish language program anyone?
No time like the present to learn a new skill set. The DES after school Spanish Enrichment Program is back! Starting Wednesday, October 21st from 2:30 pm to 3 pm the DES PTO will run a 6-session Spanish program to introduce interested students to the Spanish language. This session is open to all grades and no experience is necessary and only costs $21 (payment made by PayPal). 

To sign up NOW, visit this link. Fill out the form there and you can also submit payment using PayPal. Contact Mike Schneider, chayaandmiri@gmail.com or 410-693-8967 for questions. We are limited to 15 students for the program this year, so sign up as soon as possible!
Visit this link to register

Wear Orange on Wednesday!
Please join the DES community this Wednesday as we celebrate Unity Day! Wear ORANGE to show that we all stand together against bullying and UNITED for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion!  Choose something orange you already have or create your own orange item, like an orange bracelet made from ribbon or construction paper. Our Gators will participate in special lessons Wednesday morning to bring awareness to this valuable message.

Don’t Forget…   
Boon Supply catalog sale is going strong
This fundraiser offers so many useful items for families AND it helps raise funds for the PTO. Do all of your shopping at home and get items shipped there as well. 40% of your order total supports the DES PTO. Please share it with your friends. You can check it all out online at www.boonsupply.com/63508

DES PTO Membership Drive truly needs your help
The PTO needs more families to join this year. Please register today as we are running out of time to get your student’s information in the Student Directory, which is only offered to members. We know the year is different, but your PTO has the same commitment as ever to make the year a special one for all.
 – Visit this link to join the DES PTO Today –

Harvest for the Hungry
This year’s collection for the food pantry is still going. Please consider giving to the cause. No in-person food donations this year, so we need your help. Donate today at this link.

 Coming Soon…   
• Dining for Davidsonville at Chick-Fil-A on Wed., Nov. 11th, 5-8 pm, put it on your calendar now
• Gator Wear spirit sale is coming very soon
• Get your Halloween costumes ready!
• More program & club news

 Public Service Announcements: 

Science to Go
AA County Libraries offer fun class “All About DNA”
Anne Arundel County Public Libraries are creating some great programs. Ages 5-11 are welcome to register for a fun online session called, “SERC Science to Go: All about DNA.” Join a real molecular biologist for this virtual session online this Saturday, October 24th, 1-2 pm, as you learn all about DNA and take part in a fun lesson. Registration is still open at this link. Some materials are being offered, check out the site for info.
See flyer attached

Last Reminder
Nominations for 2020 Ravens Community Award due
Supported by the Ravens Foundation, Inc. and the NFL Foundation, the Community Quarterback Award recognizes individuals who exemplify leadership, dedication, and a strong commitment to improving the communities in which they live. Volunteers, ages 13 and up, who provide extraordinary service to area nonprofit organizations are eligible for the award. Charitable organizations are encouraged to nominate their own volunteers and individuals can also nominate themselves. Recipients of the award will receive Ravens apparel and a financial grant benefiting their organizations.

Applications for the 2020 Baltimore Ravens Community Quarterback Award accepted until Oct. 23 and can be completed at https://www.baltimoreravens.com/community/community-qb/


DES PTO Gator Blast
Midweek Mail, October 14, 2020

AACPS changes deadline for school selection to 10/19

Thanks to all who attended the PTO Meeting Tuesday
We had a GREAT turnout, maybe even a record!! Guess it helps when there’s a huge issue going on right this minute. We want to thank everyone who has joined the PTO this year, and all who tuned in for some chat about our plans, our goals, and our path. Thanks for the ideas, the feedback, and the kind words. We are ALL the PTO – this year more than most. If you haven’t joined yet, please do, we can use the help.

November school decision is THE hot topic!
Lots of communication this week about upcoming changes. Tuesday’s PTO meeting had a good talk and a quick survey (take the PTO survey at this link, results will be shared with administration), along with some great questions for Mrs. Harris and the PTO. Principal Harris also hosted a Q&A on Monday that was well-attended and very helpful. And County Exec. Pittman (a DES parent himself) hosted a live Facebook event on Tuesday with some BOE members and others to explore the topic further. There remain many unknowns at this time and we understand that families are anxious for information and definite answers. The DES PTO hopes for the very best outcomes for our staff, our students, and our families as we all move forward together.

Check out a few of our survey response graphics below.
An interesting way to see how some of your fellow DES parents are thinking.

What you can do
1. You MUST let AACPS know your preference for your elementary student learning plan by the NEW DEADLINE of Monday, Oct. 19th at 5:00 pm using their online Family Registration link here. Note, this has been referred to as a survey, but it is NOT optional. Read each question carefully, and review all details before submitting it. If you have any questions about it or need any additional help, e-mail: oct2020familyquestions@aacps.org.

* IMPORTANT *
If you DO NOT submit a selection by Monday, Oct. 19 at 5:00 pm, all students without a submission default to VIRTUAL students for the rest of the school year. 

2. There is another Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, October 21st at 6 pm. If you still have questions, or thoughts to share on this topic or others, PLEASE contact any or all of the Board members at the addresses linked here and listed below. Your voice matters and perhaps you have an idea or issue that nobody has even yet thought of. The PTO encourages you to speak now as many decisions are still being made. The agenda for this meeting was not yet available, but check this link as the date approaches. You can also find guidelines for public testimony on that page.

Here are the e-mail addresses of current Board of Education members & our County Executive:

Michelle Corkadel (President) – mcorkadel@aacps.org

Melissa Ellis (Vice President) – mkellis@aacps.org

Candace C.W. Antwine – cantwine@aacps.org

Terry Gilleland – tgilleland@aacps.org

Eric Grannon – egrannon@aacps.org

Julie Hummer – jhummer@aacps.org

Robert C. Leib – rleib@aacps.org

Dana Schallheim – dschallheim@aacps.org

Drake Smith (Student Member) – dmsmith8@aacps.org

General AACPS Comments & Questions – comments@aacps.org
County Exec. Steuart Pittman – Click here to send a message or call 410-222-1821

Please note that communications with public offices are considered public records.


DES PTO Gator Blast E-mail
Week of October 12-16, 2020 

PTO General Membership Meeting Tuesday at 7:30 pm

Calendar:                                   

This week:
Monday & Tuesday, Oct. 12-13:  NO SCHOOL, Parent/Teacher conferences for all grades
Monday, Oct. 12: AACPS Magnet program application window opens 8 am for 2021-2022, details here
Tuesday, Oct. 13:  DES Parent Q&A with Principal Harris, 12-1 pm online, see Saturday’s e-mail
Tuesday, Oct. 13:  PTO General Membership meeting, virtual at 7:30 pm, details below

A look ahead:
Wednesday, Oct. 21:  Board of Education meeting, public session at 6:00 pm, details here
Wednesday, Oct. 21:  Unity Day sponsored by AACPS, activities to be announced
Sunday, Nov. 1: Daylight Savings Time ends, turn clocks back one hour
Tuesday, Nov. 3: NO SCHOOL, election day

 News:                                             

AACPS offers new school options
In case you missed the big school news…
AACPS has announced that a hybrid school option and two virtual school options will be put into place by mid-November. They are asking all AACPS families to make a decision by Thursday, Oct. 15th. To review the information pages on each and to fill out the required form, visit this link

If you haven’t done it already – join us!
Become a member of the PTO today
We are still accepting PTO memberships for this school year. Your PTO is already working to fulfill the needs of the school, the staff, and the students at DES. Recent topics have included a software license so our students can use their favorite BrainPop app online. The PTO also supports the purchase of agenda books and colored pencils for every student’s supplies as well as the annual Back to School gifts for teachers. As you can see, the current situation hasn’t prevented us from getting things going and we need your help as much as ever. 

Please join the PTO this year, as a regular member or as a booster. This and your support of the smaller fundraisers we will be hosting throughout the year will be very helpful. Thank you all for your help. Note that only registered PTO members can vote on budget approval during the upcoming general membership meeting Tuesday.
 – Visit this link to join the DES PTO Today –

It’s fundraiser time and you’re going to like it!
One of our favorite fundraisers is back this year! Boon Supply is a favorite of many families for their expansive selections–from their awesome bags to wrapping paper to kitchen supplies! It’s a great time to think about Christmas presents, for your family or yourself. Items will ship directly to your house and 40% of your order total supports the DES PTO. Please share it with your friends and family! The fundraiser closes Dec. 7th. You can check it all out right now online at www.boonsupply.com/63508.
See flyer attached

PTO Meeting set for this Tuesday
The PTO will be having the 1st General Membership Meeting on Tuesday, October 13th beginning at 7:30 pm.  The Zoom link to join is below. This will be an informal meeting to discuss upcoming plans for the fall, approve the annual budget, and to share your thoughts/ideas/questions regarding the upcoming school year. Please join the PTO board & Mrs. Harris for this meeting. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to e-mail PTO President Carrie Groff at cagroff@comcast.net and/or join us for the meeting on Tuesday the 13th at 7:30 pm. Meeting link: Join Zoom Meeting.

Don’t Forget…
Harvest for the Hungry is still going. Donate today at this link.

Coming Soon…
Dining for Davidsonville at a local restaurant
Martial Arts program sign-up
Halloween costume day, and more.

Public Service Announcements: 

Nominations for 2020 Ravens Community Award now accepted
Supported by the Ravens Foundation, Inc. and the NFL Foundation, the Community Quarterback Award recognizes individuals who exemplify leadership, dedication, and a strong commitment to improving the communities in which they live. Volunteers, ages 13 and up, who provide extraordinary service to area nonprofit organizations are eligible for the award. Charitable organizations are encouraged to nominate their own volunteers and individuals can also nominate themselves. Recipients of the award will receive Ravens apparel and a financial grant benefiting their organizations.

Applications for the 2020 Baltimore Ravens Community Quarterback Award will be accepted until Oct. 23 and can be completed at https://www.baltimoreravens.com/community/community-qb/. We look forward to reviewing the impactful work of community volunteers and are excited to celebrate this year’s nominees.


DES PTO Gator Blast E-mail
Week of October 5-9, 2020 

We are ALL the PTO. Join the PTO today! 

Calendar:                                   

This week:
Wednesday, Oct. 7:  Board of Education meeting, public session now at 6:00 pm, details here

A look ahead:
Monday, Oct. 12:  NO SCHOOL, Parent/Teacher conferences for all grades, info. to come from DES
Monday, Oct. 12: AACPS Magnet program application window opens 8 am for 2021-2022, details here
Wednesday, Oct. 21:  Board of Education meeting, public session now at 6:00 pm, details here
Wednesday, Oct. 21:  Unity Day sponsored by AACPS, activities to be announced
Sunday, Nov. 1: Daylight Savings Time ends, turn clocks back one hour

News:                                             

**We are far from our goal!**
Still seeking families for DES PTO Membership
Thank you to all who joined the PTO since this time last week. We want to share that we are still far below our goal and we really need more families to join the DES PTO this year. It seems many are missing the simple cash payments that we usually welcome, but we just don’t have the option. Instead, we offer dues payment by PayPal and registration form submission online.

This year has been challenging for all of us in unique ways, and the PTO at Davidsonville is asking for your help today. Please consider joining the PTO today and lend your support to the many programs we bring to life, as well as all of the other school facility requests and teacher needs that we help to fulfill. Together, we can still help with SO much. 

For those who have joined (Yay!), we are waiting to wrap up our new member registration so that we can announce the date of the first PTO meeting. So, hold on for a bit longer as we hope to be ready soon.
   Visit this link to join the DES PTO Today! 

Note: To those who had some slight tech problems with the online form, we are offering an alternative form and method of getting to payment. Check this page at the PTO website. We’d prefer you use the main form, this is just an attempt to help those who couldn’t get through.

Give money to share hope
Harvest for the Hungry gets going with online drive
It’s an annual tradition, and it’s ALL different this year. The need for food by the hungry will never change, so the Harvest for the Hungry Kids Helping Kids food collection event will run countywide from October 1st thru November 25th. Families are asked to donate funds only this year at a special online link set up for donations. All proceeds will benefit the AA County Food & Resource Bank. Visit the donation site for more details. Please give what you can to help solve hunger in our area.
See flyer attached

Help in the time of COVID
Our own school counselor Mrs. Isett has joined with other counselors from the South River cluster to assemble a very helpful website for families in search of resources during this COVID-19 situation. You can find all types of resources and information there that should help to answer some questions. Visit this link to view it.

Public Service Announcements:     

Come out & have some local fun this Saturday!
Kids Bike Safety Rodeo  in D’ville hosted by Cub Scouts
All elementary-aged kids are invited to visit the outdoor Bike Safety Rodeo event set for this Saturday, Oct. 10th from 10 am to noon at the DES Bus Lot. Kids, bring a bike, a mask, and a bike helmet. Enjoy safety tips and handling lessons, along with a demonstration, an on-site bike mechanic for bike safety checks, and some special guests and small prizes. You can also join scouting or just learn more about it at the event. Sponsored by Cub Scout Pack 454. Questions: chair.pack454@gmail.com. More information on the pack website: www.scout454.org.
See flyer attached


DES PTO Gator Blast E-mail
Week of September 28 – October 2, 2020 

How’s the school year going for you so far?

Calendar:                                  

This week:
Monday, Sept. 28:  NO SCHOOL, all schools & offices closed
Thursday, Oct. 1: AACPS free curbside meals (p/u 12-12:30 pm) now include dinner, details here

A look ahead:
Wednesday, Oct. 7:  Board of Education meeting, public session at 10:00 am, details here
Monday, Oct. 12: NO SCHOOL, Parent/Teacher conferences for all grades, info. to come from DES
Monday, Oct. 12: AACPS Magnet program application window opens 8 am for 2021-2022, details here
Wednesday, Oct. 21:  Board of Education meeting, public session at 7:00 pm, details here

 News:                                       

PTO Membership drive heads into week #4!
The annual membership drive for the Davidsonville Elementary School PTO is up & running and we hope you ALL join us. Thank you SO much to all of you who have joined this past week – it is awesome! We are still talking and planning and trying to figure it all out! We have committee chairs working on plans for the year, and lots of stuff getting worked out. Never fear, we have some great ideas. So, stay with us and keep listening. 

This week we gave our teaching staff their annual back to school gifts from the PTO. Traditionally, these gift cards are used by teachers to help get things for their classrooms that they need to have even if they’re not in the budget. This year, we figured there were probably lots of things that teachers need that they haven’t necessarily needed before. So each of them got some help from the PTO with your support. Teachers, if you haven’t gotten your gift yet, contact the school office-they have them waiting for you. We LOVE our teachers at DES! 

The PTO does a lot of great things and the goal is always 100% participation. Visit this link to join the PTO & pay your dues online. Info. on the form will also be used for our student directory. Thanks again to all who have joined already this year. 


If you’re going to shop online…
Amazon Smile anyone?
Don’t forget to use the Amazon Smile program every time you shop at Amazon. This raises funds for the PTO each year and is the easiest way to do so that we’ve seen. They have now made it simple for folks who use the Amazon app on their phones to set it one time and forget it (hint: it’s in the menu on the bottom of the screen, look under Programs & Features). Or you can just click the link at the bottom of every issue of the Gator Blast before you start shopping. It’s also on the front page of the website here.

 Coming Soon… 

  • Gator Gear school spirit wear is in the final planning stages! Cool gear (some never before seen) will be available to order very soon. It’s a great time to be a Gator!!
  • Rumor is we might have a few great fundraisers this year, including Boon Supply with their cool bags and reversible wrapping paper! This one is always popular, and you shop at home!
  •  

 Public Service Announcements: 

If you need tech help…
Because the problems can be ongoing, AACPS has set up a Virtual Family Support Center, or a helpline, to address any tech troubles parents and students might have. Get help with Chromebooks, passwords, tutoring, and more by calling 410-222-5001.

Ages 6-10 can travel into a hurricane!
AA County Public Libraries offer cool STEM session online Oct. 3
You need to visit the AACPL website to get details on lots of fantastic (and free!) offerings and programs – from yoga to science, the county libraries are making things work during this unique time we are in. Like this great online program all about “Exploring the Atmosphere.” Held on Sat., Oct. 3rd, from 1-2 pm, kids age 6-10 will get to look at all kinds of cool weather-related sciences. Seats are still open, but limited. Register online at this link.


DES PTO Gator Blast E-mail
Week of September 8-11, 2020 

Welcome to Davidsonville Elementary School.
Welcome to the Gator Blast.

 Calendar:                           

This week:
Tuesday, Sept. 8:  School begins for all grades 1-12
Tuesday & Wednesday, Sept. 8-9:  Kindergarten Conferences held
Tuesday, Sept. 10-14:  Staggered entrance continues for Kindergarten

A look ahead:
Tuesday, Sept. 15:  First full-day for all Kindergarten
Wednesday, Sept. 16:  Board of Education meeting, public session at 10:00 am, details here
Wednesday, Sept. 23:  DES Back to School Night for all parents, 6:30pm
Monday, Sept. 28:  NO SCHOOL, all schools & offices closed

 It’s the Gator Blast!             

This is the e-mail distribution list for the families of Davidsonville Elementary School coordinated by the PTO at DES, home of the Gators! The Gator Blast lets you get info. about lots of things that happen beyond the classroom. Clubs, programs, events, county school news, issues of interest, and much more are shared with parents weekly and any family at DES can sign up to get it free of charge (that explains the ads above).

Thanks to all of our new families signed up for the Blast already. If you know of anyone who isn’t signed up, let them know to head to despto.org and sign up there. Unlike more normal years, we don’t have many new Kindergarten families signed up yet.

During the school year, we will send out the Gator Blast fairly regularly on Sunday evenings, sometimes midweek, and as items come up. Holiday weekends will usually be on a delay.

If you are receiving this e-mail, but wish to unsubscribe, drop us a line at desgatorblast@gmail.com. We realize many of you may have moved on as last year ended abruptly. 

 The News:                                 

School Info for DES
Yes, it’s all virtual school for now. Every student will take part in a virtual classroom experience using computers or devices. You should have gotten many e-mails from AACPS and a couple of updates from DES Principal Harris about how it all works. If you have any questions, visit the AACPS Virtual info site at this link. AACPS is recommending students log-in to their virtual Google classrooms daily using Classlink. The Classlink link is here. Best of luck to everyone as we get going. 

School hours are different this year
K-2nd grade 9:00 am – 3:00 pm on Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. (Wed. is 9:00-11:00 am)
3rd-5th grade 8:30 am – 3:00 pm on Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.
(Wed. is 8:30-11:15 am)
Students need to be on their computers, logged in and ready to begin at the start time. If you have any questions about forgotten passwords or general problems, contact the DES front office staff and they can help you find answers. The DES office phone number is 410-222-1655.
See the schedules & school year calendar at aacps.org

We are ALL the PTO!  Join online today!
PTO Membership sign-up starts now
Hello everyone and welcome to a most interesting school year! The annual membership drive for the Davidsonville Elementary School PTO is up & running and we hope you ALL join us. Despite the virtual nature of the school start, the PTO still has very real expenses. Like the cost of the gift cards we give to teachers at the beginning of each year, the purchase of supplies and technologies as needed, website hosting, taxes, insurance, and much more. The PTO does a lot of great things around here and are proud of the awesome community spirit at DES. The goal is always 100% participation. Check out the PTO website to see past project lists, fill out the membership form & pay dues online while there. Info. on the form will also be used for our student directory. Thank you for your support.
Visit this link to join the PTO

Back to School Night is online 9/23
Wednesday, Sept. 23rd you can head back to school for one night and learn more about your student’s classes and teachers as well as general policies and procedures at DES. Parents will log-in via their student’s Google Classroom on the computer. There will be brief presentations by the Principal and the PTO. Then teachers will host two-20 minute classroom sessions, just like we do in more “normal” years. So, if you have students in multiple grades, you will get a chance to visit with more than one teacher during the evening. We hope all parents will join online for this important opportunity to be involved in your children’s education.

Parents, take some photos!
We just wanted to remind everyone that a virtual start won’t hold us back from trying to make a yearbook happen this school year. So, the PTO is reminding all of you to grab those pictures of special events. First day of school, fun moments in virtual schooling, cultural arts moments, or ideas you come up with. We don’t want to miss out on the year’s early memories, so help us out. We will send info. soon on where & how you can share these photos with our yearbook committee. Thanks.

Virtual clubs can happen & volunteers will still be needed
Never fear! We are working on all kinds of ideas to try and offer students things to do and to explore during this virtual window. And we are ready to listen to suggestions you might have to offer. Our new PTO Volunteer Coordinator Laura Addeo, is focused on all things related to clubs, programs, and volunteers. Stay tuned to future Gator Blasts for any and all news on programs, where we might need help, and how you can be involved this year at DES. Meanwhile, if you want to reach out to her with ideas or questions, fill out the contact us page on this site.

 Public Service Announcements: 

Sports and things…
Our friends over at the Davidsonville Athletic Association (DAA) are doing everything they can possibly do to make things more “normal” for kids and families during this pandemic. This includes some sports happening now or others that still have registration open. If you are new to the area and want to know how to get your kids involved in local athletics, visit DAA online at daagators.org

You can also check out our other neighboring sports league at South River Youth Athletics where you can also find several sports up and running. Visit this link.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

PTO Executive Board 2020/2021  

President: Carrie Groff
VP Communications: Christina Feindt
VP Volunteer Coordinator: Laura Addeo
VP Fundraising: Jamie Quinn
Treasurer: Jenn Phillips
Asst. Treasurer:
Secretary: Leeanne Whitwell

If you need to contact the PTO Board,
visit the Contact Us page on the menu above (under PTO Info)
fill out the form,
and we can get it to the right people.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

 Like us on Facebook
Davidsonville Elementary PTO 

 See us on Twitter
@PTO_DES

 Support us EVERY TIME you shop at Amazon  using the Amazon Smile program
Click here before you shop. 

 Visit the PTO website
DESPTO.ORG

Permanent link to this article: https://despto.org/info/the-latest-gator-blast/