View/Download PDF version: Welcome Letter from DMS ED 2019-20

Welcome to DMS School Year 2019-2020

Dear Families,
We trust that you are enjoying a relaxing summer and we are sending along this information to support your entry or return to Desert Marigold School for the upcoming academic year 2019-2020. Your child’s smooth transition is important to us so please stay in touch if you need any support.

Bell Schedule

Our faculty, staff and administration are looking forward to the start of this school year, which begins on August 8th, promptly at 8:15 a.m. This year there will not be an early release on a weekly basis. The academic calendar for the 2019-20 school year is on the school’s website for further reference. For more details, please see the website or click on the link here https://desertmarigold.org/back-to-school

The bell schedule is as follows:
Early Childhood
– Play Garden Hours – 8:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
– Kindergarten Hours – 8:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Grades 1: 8:15 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (aftercare available for a fee)

Grades 2-8: 8:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (aftercare available for a fee until 5:30 p.m.)

High School: 8:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

 

Extended Care

KinderCare: available until 3:30 p.m. (preschool – 1st grade)
After Care: available from 3:30-5:30 p.m. (2nd grade and up)
Please visit our website for forms and fees associated with extended care.

 

Our Administration

Have a question? Please reach out to the following:
Acting Executive Director, Christie Kriegsfeld – christiek@desertmarigold.org
High School Administrator, Michael Martin – mmartin@desertmarigold.org
Student Support Services, Laura Coady – lcoady@desertmarigold.org
Enrollment and Student Records, Deana Douglas – ddouglas@desertmarigold.org
Business Operations Specialist (Accounting), Shannon Rowe dmsaccounts@desertmarigold.org

Back to School Meetings

Teachers have sent out their welcome letters and supply lists via email to families. Please check your email and refer to those materials for more details about what to expect this year for your student and information on parent meetings. The parent meetings will also be placed on the community calendar and the welcome letters are also available on our website. Childcare will not be available for these meetings and no unsupervised children are allowed on campus.

 

Preparing for the First Day and Reminders:

Closed Campus
A closed campus policy in the Waldorf curriculum is not limited to the classroom. The teachers need to feel free to take the students onto the playgrounds or walkways at any time. In light of this fact, and for the safety of our students, we would like the campus free of non-staff, non-students and non-volunteer family members during the school day. If you are on campus working as a scheduled volunteer, please sign in with the front office before going onto the campus. No exceptions please.

Drop off and Pick-up
Please drop off** and/or pick up your children promptly and then depart the campus. If you are waiting for a sibling who is in class until the last dismissal at 3:30 p.m., we ask that you depart the campus until that pick-up time. May we suggest coordinating snacks and games at the Farm at South Mountain or one of the nearby parks.

For the safety of our children, the campus opens at 7:50 a.m., at which time there will be yard supervision. The campus will close at 3:45 p.m., and the students who remain at school without a parent or guardian will be signed into our aftercare program. Please be aware there is a fee for this service and you will be charged.

This structure is important for our aftercare program to function and for our students to be safe. Please be aware that the children become distracted by parents who arrive early for pick-up. Waiting outside of your student’s classrooms is not permitted. Please wait in the front pick-up area or in the parking lot until the students are released. The same is true for morning drop-off, and we encourage you to take your conversations to the front pick up area after 8:15 a.m.

**For drop off only – please comply with the following:

Early Childhood – parents/guardians walk their students to their classrooms, say goodbye at the door, and allow the students to independently enter their classrooms.

Grades 1-2 – students should proceed to their play-yard. (Please note on the first day of school that section will be set up for the Rose Ceremony.)

Grades 3-6 – students should proceed to their classroom buildings and line up outside of their classrooms for the traditional morning greeting and handshake with the teachers by the first bell at 8:10 a.m., and then class begins promptly at 8:15 a.m. After the late bell rings, the students will be admitted with a late pass to accurately record attendance.

Grades 7-8 – students should proceed to their classrooms and line up until the teacher opens the rooms. They should not wander onto the High School section of the property.

High School – students proceed to the High School area and arrive in their classrooms prior to the final bell at 8:15 a.m.

Please note that parents/guardians are not permitted to drive through or park in the employee parking lot on the north side of the school or on 28th Street outside of the High School.

 

Respect Class Time

Class time is a very special time for your student’s class and teacher. Please respect that time and save communications with your child and/or the teacher until the end of the school day. Please be aware of each teacher’s time and focus and do not distract or disrupt their morning or afternoon responsibilities with the students. Aside from the area out front of the administration office or the parking lot, the rest of the school campus is to be kept free of social gatherings and conversations. If you would like to communicate with your student’s teachers, please e-mail them for an appointment.

 

The Front Office

The office is the hub of all school activity around which students, teachers, volunteers, parents, and prospective families converge. The office staff focuses on the business, communication and administrative needs of the school.

The office is not a social gathering place and we ask that everyone model respectful speech and behavior at all times. To help the office staff function more efficiently in serving the community as a whole, we ask you to
consider the following courtesies:

• Please respect the work environment and keep the volume of your conversations low.
• As with any working environment, where office machinery is in use, please see that your children are supervised.
• The copy machines and general office facilities (upstairs and downstairs) are for school business only. Please do not linger or socialize in the office as it may cause distraction to the working staff.
• Dogs are not permitted on campus.
• Smoking is not permitted on campus.
• Absences should be reported to the teacher by informing the school office. Please call the school office and leave a voicemail no later than 8:00 a.m. on the day of absence with the following information: student name, teacher, and reason for absence.
• The office cannot relay messages to children or make car-pool or after-school arrangements (apart from their normal interaction with the aftercare staff).
• Please do not call upon the office to relay messages except in cases of real emergency. This enables the office staff to stay on task without interruption to their workday.
• Updated school rosters, committee listings and board member listings will be available on our website.
• The family handbook is being revised and will be available on the website before the start of the school year. There are many changes so please take the time to familiarize yourself with the new policies and procedures, including attendance requirements, discipline procedures, and communication protocol with faculty, staff and administration.
• The dress code will be strictly enforced this year. A few reminders: proper shoes must be worn, flip-flops, crocks, slippers, flats, clogs, heavy boots, or other footwear that prohibit students from fully participating in activities are not allowed; shoulders must be covered by a sleeves; hats must be worn when outside but not inside; logos and disruptive messages on shirts are not permitted; leggings must be covered by shorts, tunics, or skirts, and may not be worn as pants; shorts and skirts must be long enough to reach student’s fingertips when standing up straight; and, nail polish is not allowed.

 

Heat and Air Quality Guidelines

The students will have limited time outside for the first few weeks of the school year. Heat guidelines soon will be available on the school website. Please ensure that students are sent to school with hats and water bottles.
Stay tuned for additional changes…

• We have engaged Lunchkins to offer healthful lunch options to students. More information will be available on our website and will also be shared at back to school meetings.
• We are moving to Parent Square (parentsquare.com), which is a communication tool to help bridge the gap between families and teachers. Additional details will be provided soon.
• We will continue to provide updates as they develop and of course notify you promptly if anything changes.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and all of us at Desert Marigold School look forward to welcoming our students to campus on August 8th.

In service, and on behalf of the DMS faculty and staff,
Christie

Christie L. Kriegsfeld
Acting Executive Director
Desert Marigold School

Desert Marigold will be closed for the remainder of the 19/20 school year as we evaluate the ongoing developments of COVID-19 {read more}
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