Please click here to view the newest Nutrition Guidelines when planning on snacks and celebration items.
October 3, 2018
Dear D.J. Montague Families,
It is hard to believe, but we are almost halfway through the first marking period. The school year is off to a great start!
A couple of security updates. We have a new check in system that requires visitors to scan their driver’s license. We will keep you informed as to when it will be activated. When this occurs, be sure to have your license in your possession when you come in to the office. If you have visited D.J. in the last several weeks, you noticed the installation of two additional doors at the entrance to the school. These doors prevent access to the hallways without first checking in at the office. Once you have checked in at the office, you will exit to the right. While this will result in a few extra steps to get to the cafeteria, it will prevent visitors coming in to the building from going through the glass doors without checking in at the office.
With the cold and flu season approaching, I want to remind you of the division guidelines for when to keep your child home from school. Your child should stay home if he/she
- has a fever of 100* or more (should remain at home for 24 hours after fever is gone)
- has vomited or has diarrhea (should remain at home for 24 hours after vomiting and/or diarrhea has stopped)
- has a persistent cough
- has any rash
- has open or draining skin sores
- has inflamed or draining eyes or ears
Your compliance with these guidelines will help keep all students and staff healthy!
On Thursday, October 18th we will be participating in the Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill. During this
drill students are expected to Drop, Cover and Hold On. Students will drop to the floor, take cover under
their desk or table and hold on to the legs of the desk or table. More information about this drill and being
prepared for an earthquake can be found at www.ShakeOut.org/southeast
Our Fall Celebrations will take place on Wednesday, October 31st. Due to the increasing number of students with food allergies, we ask that no home baked goods or items prepared at home be brought to school. Items should be store bought and have an ingredient list on the package. Our school nurse will review the ingredient list to ensure that the treats are safe for all students in the class to enjoy. Additionally, all foods must meet the nutrition guidelines of the Wellness Policy. These guidelines are available on the D.J. homepage. If you will be providing food items, healthy options such as fruits and vegetables are good options. If you plan on bringing fruits and vegetables, we ask that the items be brought to school and the trays prepared at school. A “kitchen” will be set up in the conference room for this purpose. Thank you for your help in making this a safe, special day for our students.
On October 31st beginning at 2:00 PM, we will continue a longstanding D.J. Montague tradition – the Halloween Parade. Students in grades K – 2 will parade around the bus loop in costume as the rest of the student body, staff and parents look on. In order to ensure the safety of the students during this event,
the entrance to the school will be closed at 1:45 PM. If you are planning on attending, make arrangements to arrive before this time, otherwise you will need to park on Centerville Road. Additionally, due to limited space and preparation time, we ask that our families please not enter the hallways or classrooms prior to the parade. After the parade, each class will move to a specific location for pictures. After this photo opportunity, students will return to the classrooms. For those of you who will be taking your children home after the parade, classroom teachers will have a sign out sheet in the classrooms. PLEASE do not take your child from the parade site. You will receive more specific details about this event from your child’s teacher.
Important dates to remember:
8th PTA Meeting (4:00 PM – Media Center)
9th Book Fair opens
9th 1st Grade (Pastirik and Leaptrott) to Williamsburg Regional Library
9th Title 1 Parent Meeting (5:00 – 6:00 PM)
11th 1st Grade (Rovelli and Slavin) to Williamsburg Regional Library
16th Kindergarten (Gibbs and Hahn) to Bush Neck Farm
17th Kindergarten (Cline and Ford) to Bush Neck Farm
18th Math and Science Night (5:30 – 7:00 PM)
18th Book Fair closes after Math and Science Night
19th FULL DAY OF SCHOOL (Hurricane make-up)
26th PTA – Trick or Treat Night
31st Halloween Parade and Fall Celebrations (2:00 PM)
5th 1st Marking Period ends
6th NO SCHOOL – Teacher Workday
7th 2nd Marking Period begins
8th B.U.G. Ceremonies (2nd grade – 9:00 AM; kindergarten 9:30 AM; and 1st grade 10:00 AM)
As always, thank you for your continued support. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or 258 – 3022 with any questions, comments or suggestions.
Welcome Don Tate, Author and Illustrator!! Third, Fourth, and Fifth Graders had the wonderful opportunity to meet and hear from Don Tate who has written and illustrated over 50 children’s books! What an awesome way to boost creativity, a love of reading and drawing, and learn about how to become an author or illustrator one day.
Don’t forget to head to Papa Murphy’s this week to support DJ Montague’s fabulous PTA. Mention DJ Montague to receive $3.25 off your pizza and $3.25 is matched and given back to our school. Need easy and delicious dinner plans this week, we have you covered! Hope to see you there.
September 12, 2018
Dear D.J. Montague Families,
I hope this letter finds you and your family safe and dry. We are off to a great start, and I am excited to begin a new school year. I hope the transition back to school has gone smoothly for your family, particularly those of you who are sending a child to school for the first time. The students are adjusting well, learning classroom and school routines, making new friends and reconnecting with old friends. We are looking forward to a successful year!
It is my pleasure to welcome Ms. Pat Chappell to the D.J. Montague staff. Ms. Chappell is a veteran educator with 20 years of teaching experience in Williamsburg-James City County. This is a bit of a homecoming for Ms. Chappell who worked at D.J. Montague from 1997 – 2010. Now, after a brief retirement, she has decided to return to the classroom. Ms. Chappell will be serving our kindergarten – second grade gifted students. We are excited to welcome Ms. Chappell back to our Mustang family and look forward to the many ways she will engage our students in their learning.
In accordance with the Code of Virginia and Accreditation Standards, one fire drill will be held each week for the first month of school and one each month for the remainder of the school year. Additionally, public schools are now required to conduct two lockdown drills during the month of September and two during the second semester, one of which must be held in January. The first drill will be conducted by our school staff and other drills may be conducted by members of the James City Police Department. During this and any other drills, parents and visitors will not be permitted to enter the building. Students have done an excellent job during the drills that have already been conducted.
This year we are focusing on fostering a growth mindset in our students. We all want our children to work hard, be risk takers and succeed, but our choice of words may be conveying a different message. In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol S. Dweck differentiates between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset and the role we as parents and teachers have in developing the growth mindset. I would like to share with you some ideas about what she calls the fixed mindset versus the growth mindset.
Simply, the fixed mindset message says: You have permanent traits and I’m judging them. The growth mindset says: You are a developing person and I am interested in your development. I frequently lavished praise on my children for doing something well or succeeding in the hope of encouraging confidence and achievement. My comments included, “You are so smart.”, “You’re a natural athlete.”, “Look how well you did without even studying.” Dweck’s studies show that the message children hear is quite different. “If I don’t learn something quickly, I’m not smart.”, “I’d better quit studying or they won’t think I’m brilliant.” Children like to receive praise for their intelligence and talent, but that boost is short lived. Once something is difficult or challenging, that confidence and motivation fall by the wayside because if success means they are smart, failure means they are stupid. This is the fixed mindset.
So what can we say to let our children know we are proud of their successes? Rather than praising their talent or intelligence, we should praise them for the growth oriented process – for their effort and accomplishments achieved through practice, study and persistence. Comments like, “You really studied for your test and your improvement shows it.”, “I like the way you tried many strategies on that math problem until you solved it.” and “That assignment was so long and involved. I admire how you concentrated and finished it.” As Dweck stated, “If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenge, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning.” Ask your child about the power of yet!
As you probably have heard, the WJCC School Board adopted changes to its Student Wellness policy. These changes have no impact on what students can bring to school in their lunches, but do affect food that can be served during the school day such as birthday treats, snacks and class celebrations. In the D.J. Montague Elementary School Family Handbook which should be coming home soon, I have provided the criteria snacks and treats must meet to be brought to school. General standards must be met first and then there are nutrient standards for calories, sodium, sugar and fats that must also be met. To put it simply, to meet the general standards, the first ingredient on the label must be
- whole grain or
- a fruit, vegetable, dairy product or protein food or
- a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup of fruit and/or vegetable
If that standard is met, the food must also meet the following nutrient standards
- Calories – 200 or less
- Sodium – 200 mg or less
- Total Fat – 35% of calories or less
- Saturated Fat – Less than 10% of calories
- Trans Fat – 0 g
- Sugar – 35% by weight or less
I encourage you to visit these links on the WJCC website for more detailed information and answers to frequently asked questions. http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/wjcc/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=98CK2Q4F74D0 and
Mark your calendar.
19th – 21st Spirit Night at Papa Murphy’s (Be sure to mention D.J.!)
20th Back to School Night (6:00 – 8:00 PM – Gym)
26th Picture Day
29th Color Run (8:30 Registration/Check in – D.J.)
8th PTA Meeting (4:00 PM – Media Center)
18th Math-Science Night/Book Fair (5:30 – 7:00 PM)
It is important that we work together to make this school year a successful one for your child and your family. If you have any questions, concerns or feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-258-3022.
5th graders are busy being creative and building during Makerspace time in the Media Center.
DJ Montague students had the pleasure of meeting a variety of community members last Friday during our first ever “Careers on Wheels.” Students saw police officers, firefighters, the Book Mobile, a WJCC HVAC technician, a mobile pet groomer, animal control, retired military, WAVY TV 10, and more. Students asked questions and learned all about just a few of the available careers in our community. Thank you, Mr. Hill for a wonderful event, and thank you SO MUCH to all of those that volunteered their time to our students.
DJ Montague students have been busily exploring the Makerspace in DJM’s Media Center. Makerspace provides students in all grades, K-5, the opportunity to explore and problem solve with hands-on creating and building. There are opportunities to build, create, code, be innovative, collaborate, and use critical thinking. Here are some 5th grade students who constructed a large “building” and they were even able to fit inside! What a great space to explore and test new ideas.
On Saturday, March 24, many of our DJM Orchestra students participated in the Elementary Orchestra Solo Festival. Our students did a fantastic job and came home with Superior ratings! Congratulations to these outstanding orchestra students!