Principal's Notes 7/16/2019



July, 2020            

Dear Parents,

The school is very quiet. The camps were a success. Those girls were madly sewing items every day.  The Science Camp was all over Washington, Virginia  and Baltimore. The Sports Camp lucked out with the weather and the First Grade was just a happy place to be. It was a good way to ease into summer. Spring was the usual busy time when we were all running in circles.  So it is wonderful to have this calmer time to relax and find a little peace. 

The calendar has been posted on the website and the list of Friday NOON dismissals can be found at the end of the calendar.  Hopefully, this will help everyone to prepare for next year. Take the time now to update your own calendars.  Note the days that school is closed. 

Everyone is busy and pulled in many directions.  You could make a life out of sports and do nothing else.  Then you may have piano lessons, karate, band, dance and gymnastics.  Add a few playdates, visits to relatives and then homework.  Aren’t you glad it is summer!

 In thinking about the life of De Chantal there is an area that always needs a boost. VOLUNTEERISM.  The reason our school continues to be so busy and active is because of the generosity of so many parents.  It does take a village to keep all of the activities going. It takes a very large village.  The HSA does a wonderful job organizing and planning the many events.  We always need more help.  The volunteers who have been the core in hosting all of these events need some assistance.  Even if you work outside the home, there is a way you can pitch in.  Please answer the call when help is needed.  Your children love to see you helping out.  Everyone is busy with jobs, homes to care for, events and children’s needs.  We cannot let the same few carry the load of all of the great activities that are made available.  We do not want to cancel events.  The children love the many activities.

The first Home & School Meeting is scheduled for August 28 at 7 PM. We found this to be very successful the last few years. Please make an effort to be there. If you are a coach, cancel practice so everyone can come.  These meetings are important.  Staying in touch with your child’s school should be a top priority.  Get involved and volunteer. There are so many ways that this can be done.  Whether you work in or out of your home, there is a place for everyone.  We have a great school because of the strong volunteers who do make things happen.  Please join in. We need everyone to step up and help!

Please note the first day of school (August 28) on the calendar and also the back-to-school nights. Your child’s class assignments will be posted on the doors across from Christopher Hall the week before before school begins. Please remember that we will not make changes after these lists have been posted.  No child will be in a class of strangers. The teachers worked very hard placing each child. There was great effort to be sure that all children had friends.  We welcome and encourage you to walk your child to his/her classroom on the first day. Please do not use the front door.  Please park in the lot behind church if you decide to do this. After the first day, let your child come in alone to build his/her confidence. There will be older children to take the younger ones to their classes as long as your child feels the need. There is EXTENDED DAY (not morning care) the first week of school.    

The children often write that they love De Chantal because it is like a home away from home.  We want them to feel this comfortable atmosphere each day.  Sometimes it is hard for parents to understand that the school day belongs to their children.  It is difficult to let go of being a part of every happening in a child’s world. But it is necessary for children to experience a life separate from their parent.  There will be events that include parents and grandparents; there will be many that are just for the children during the school day.  It is important for you as parents, to understand that the school day is your child’s opportunity to thrive and grow independently.  Coming to volunteer for lunch angel or on a field trip is your turn to be present.  School programs, classroom activities and day to day happenings are just for the school population.   We will have the plays, talent shows, band concerts and choir events at night for the parents.   

Our goal is to set high standards in all places. Whether it is for academics or dress, we want the De Chantal children to be the best. We have received so many compliments on how polite and well-dressed our children are.  This does not just happen.  It would be so easy to let the uniform get disheveled looking and the boys’ hair shaggy and long. We want more for our children. Please support us in this endeavor.  The uniform shoes and socks work well. The uniform shoe is the plain light brown buck that ties.  Please do not buy other styles and versions. After watching the lifeline of the shoes, we did come to agree that The Flynn & O’Hara shoes did last throughout the year. Please look at your children as they leave home each morning and make sure that they are in complete uniform with the correct skirt length, hair length and uniform socks. The school sweatshirt is the only sweatshirt permitted. If your child chooses to wear a sweatshirt as a coat, it must be the school sweatshirt or fleece. Your child should be in complete uniform with shirts tucked in. If your son’s hair is over the ears, in his eyes or curling around his collar, get it cut. It isn’t about the hair, skirt length or uniform socks, it is about respect for rules and for adults.  We are proud of our children and we appreciate the support that the families have shown in following our guidelines.   All of us together can raise wonderful children and we do.

The technology program has surpassed our expectations. The children are very comfortable using the chrome Books.  Although there have been a few mishaps and replacements have been necessary, the incidents have been few.  We have a beautiful projector in the gym that we have used on many occasions.  Google Classroom has become a common word among the teachers.  During our August days, there will be a workshop to introduce teachers to better uses of Google Classroom.  Our testing has become second hand and the scores continue to rise.   This was made possible by the Home and School fundraising. Recently, our security systems were updated.  We have the ability to view all of the hallways, cafeteria and gym from 4 screens.  We also have outside cameras that give us access to the various doors and parking areas around the school.  The teachers have been trained by The Alice Training Institute. In turn, the children have been educated about ways to be safe.  We have had the readiness training offered by the Home and School.   We are committed to the safety of everyone who is under our care.  This is why we are very adamant that no one use any door but the front door and no one roams the school without permission.   Everyone who enters the school must sign in and wear a badge.

The doors open each morning at 7:45 AM.  The patrols are on duty until 8:10.  After that time, children are marked tardy.  There families who come late every day to avoid carpool.  These children miss morning announcements and many fun activities over the PA.  They also come in to the classroom and the teacher must stop the lesson while they organize themselves.  If you are late more than a few times, this will eventually cause your child problems. High schools consider the absences and tardies very seriously.  There have been children who were not accepted into a high school because of this.   Traffic is difficult and driving long distances can be a challenge.  Try to adjust your morning routine so that your child does not walk in late and feel embarrassed.

We are very proud of our De Chantal community.  The teachers are so dedicated; many still pop in during the summer to do a few things in their classrooms.  The parents are so very generous with time and talent.  We could not thrive without the never-ending energy that so many of you extend to help with events and day to day needs.  The children are a reflection of parents and teachers working together to achieve the best for these little ones.  They are well behaved (usually) and very engaging (always). We are proud when we take them out on trips and receive such positive comments from all we meet.  Thank you for entrusting your treasures to us. It is such an honor to have a part in their lives.

Summer is a gift.  It is a time when the days are longer and the nights are filled with stars and even a meteorite shower or a solar eclipse.  It is a time to take walks, bike rides, go for ice cream and after dinner swims.  Vacations are the memory making days that hold families together. Use this time to connect with your children.  Go out for ice cream and just be together.  The school year is busy and demanding. Use these days to relax and reconnect.  Make memories.



Mrs. Betsy Hamilton