Saturday, September 23, 2017

PTO Newsletter 9/22/17

DMS PTO Newsletter for 9/22/17 
Deadline Extended for Donations for the Raffle Baskets!
We are off to a great start in our collection of items for the raffle baskets, but we would like to have even more!

Donations for raffle baskets for the fall fundraiser are now due on Wednesday, September 27.

The raffle baskets will be on display, so folks can purchase tickets, at the Fox Chapel Homecoming Carnival on October 6th, at the Dorseyville School Store, and at our Middle School Musical in mid-November.

PLEASE HELP by donating items related to your child's Team Theme listed below. If you'd rather donate for another theme, please do so instead!  If you don't have the time or desire to shop, please consider making a tax-deductible monetary donation to DMS PTO for us to use towards the purchase of a larger item for the Raffle Baskets.

Please send in any monetary donations or lottery tickets in an envelope marked PTO RAFFLE BASKETS and have your child give the envelope to their homebase teacher. Checks can be made out to DMS PTO. Donated items are needed by September 27th.  Donated items (with the exception of money or lottery scratch offs) may be placed in the PTO RAFFLE ITEMS BOX in the main vestibule until Friday, September 29th.


6A  LOTTERY TREE (scratch off lottery tickets)
6B  LOTTERY TREE (scratch off lottery tickets)
6C  OUTDOOR ADVENTURES (bug spray, sunblock, flashlight, binoculars, hat, camping items, sidewalk chalk, bubbles)
6D  CRAFTY ITEMS (art and craft type items)

7A  FAMILY FUN (board games, trivia, checkers/chess, puzzles, deck of cards, movie, movie candy, popcorn)
7B  FAN GEAR (sports items of any type)
7C  TOTALLY TEEN (gaming items, movie tickets, gift card, anything teens would like)
7D  CRAFTY ITEMS (art and craft type items)

8A  FAMILY FUN (board games, trivia, checkers/chess, puzzles, deck of cards, movie, movie candy, popcorn)
8B  FAN GEAR (sports items of any type)
8C  TOTALLY TEEN (gaming items, movie tickets, gift card, anything teens would like)
8D  PAMPER MOM (lotions, bath soaps, hair products, nail polish, any items moms would like)

If you have any questions, or would like to become more involved with our PTO's Fall Fundraiser of Raffle Baskets, please contact Kelly DiNatale at or (412)779-5328.  DMS PTO thanks you in advance for your generosity, and with your support we are certain to have a successful Fall Fundraiser!
Spotlight on Sports
Congratulations to Coach Pete Shiner and DMS social studies teacher, Assistant Coach, Matthew Lapatka, as well as to the sixty DMS cross-country runners, on another highly successful Fox Chapel Middle School Invitational! The annual event is one of the largest middle school races in Western Pennsylvania, featuring over forty schools and approximately 1200 runners this year. More than fifty parents donated items and volunteered to set up, park cars, sell items, staff the course and finish line, and clean up afterwards under the organization of Larry Van Dyke. The high school cross country team members also volunteered on the hot day. The whole event was a great showcase for our community. 
Sign Up to Staff the School Store
We continue to need volunteers (with clearances) to sign up for a Tuesday or Thursday lunch-time session in the coming weeks and months to run the school store. The school store carries many student essentials including locks, pencils, notebooks, gym shirts, and more. Staffing the store is a fun way to be involved at DMS.  Choose a time to volunteer with a friend and you will have plenty of time to catch up and chat while you visit with students and provide them a great service. Or, make a new acquaintance while being able to subtly check up on your student.

Sign up here!
Last Chance to Advertise in the Directory
We will still accept artwork and payment for ads in the school directory through Wednesday, 9/27. Use this link for instructions. 
Box Tops Collection Starts Monday
Vie for a team prize and earn money for our school just by turning in some otherwise worthless cardboard rectangles! Our first collection of the 2017-18 school year begins on Monday, September 25th and will end on Friday, October 27th.

Parents, please be on the look out for Box Top Collection baggies to come home next week with your kids. Please send in your non-expired Box Tops with your student and they can put them in the Box Top collection box in the main entryway. If your special baggie gets lost, you can just use your own labeled with the grade and team.

This year there is a contest between the teams in each grade.  The team that brings in the most Box Tops in 6th, 7th and 8th grade (for the year) will win a prize.
District Forum Meeting Held on 9/19 at DMS
Here is a recap from our very own district forum representative Kelly C.

PSSA scores continue to rise across all buildings in the district since the tests were realigned in 2014. The district is focused on the individual growth of every student and conducts Benchmark testing four times per year to address the needs of each student.

We toured the new building updates to DMS, including the maker space, media center (library), and the modern and welcoming updates to walls, lockers and flooring. We also toured the mobile fab lab. It is a tiny house constructed by high school students and it will visit elementary classrooms to give hands-on lessons related to the STEAM curriculum.

School start times are currently under study and consideration. The district wants to poll 1300 student athletes in Fox Chapel to determine the impact of shifting school start time. They are also considering the needs and opinions of all stakeholders, teachers, staff, families, and how to implement this change. Bus schedules and costs are an important part of the process. Parent input is welcome and needed.

The sex and drug education curriculum is being revamped.  Based on student and parent input, the district has revamped its sexual health education curriculum. There is now a focus on SSR (Sexual Risk Reduction) as opposed to a focus on an abstinence-only curriculum. Now there will be more robust conversation about relationship issues, consent, violence, birth control and STD avoidance and treatment. The focus will be on making healthy choices and having open conversation. The drug education component is also under review to make curriculum more relevant to the current opioid epidemic.

The next District Forum meeting is Tuesday, November 14 at 6:00 PM in the high school's LGI (large group instruction) room. 
First PTO Meeting of the Year
More than twenty people attended the first PTO meeting of the year on Wednesday. Here's what you missed if you weren't one of the attendees.
  • President Veronica Harris welcomed the attendees.
  • Mr. Nauhaus gave a construction and school staffing update.
  • Treasurer Tanya Hussein updated the group on finances through August.
  • Raffle Basket Coordinator Kelly DiNatale extended the deadline for raffle basket donations.
  • Raffle baskets will be on display at the High School Homecoming, DMS musical, and during DMS school store hours.
  • Sandy Simpson reminded everyone of easy, ongoing fundraisers: BoxTops, Giant Eagle Apples for the Students (school # 5494) , and Shoparoo.
  • Site-based representative, Liz Rambeau, let us know about a possible recycling program at the school, and will have a formal request for PTO funding in the near future.
  • Student Social coordinators, Patty Lee and Melissa Compton, will start planning for the student social on 11/3 soon... updates will be forthcoming.
  • There were other committee updates and comments from attendees... full minutes will be posted on the PTO website next week.
Events Coming Up
Monday, 9/25: Box Tops collection begins
Tuesday, 9/26: Picture Day. Click on the link for more information
Wednesday, 9/27: Donations for raffle baskets for fall fundraiser are due
Wednesday, 10/11, 11:30 AM: Early dismissal
Wednesday, 10/18, 7:00 PM: PTO Meeting
Don't forget to send in those non-expired Box Tops and raffle donations.