Owl Observer, February 22, 2019

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 9:54am


Feb 22    PTA Glow Party  6:30- 8:00 PM

Mar 4-8  READ Across America Spirit Week- see more information below!

Mar   6    Interim Progress Reports issued

Mar 14   4th Grade Field Trip to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Mar 15   1st Grade Market Day

Mar 15   PTA Movie Night

Mar 19   Chick-Fil-A Spirit Night  4:00-8:00 PM

Mar 21   1st Grade Field Trip to Robinson Nature Center (rescheduled date)

Mar 27   Bedtime Math Night  5:30-6:30 PM

Mar 28   K  Field Trip to Elkridge Library (resched. date-Sneeringer/Shull classes only)

Mar 29   Deadline to return Learning Together Peer program applications (see below)



Dear Families,


In order to allow HCPSS families and staff to plan ahead, we wanted to provide this update regarding the last day of school for students. As of Monday, February 11, Howard County public schools have been closed due to inclement weather on four days this school year: November 15, January 14 and 30, and February 11. As a result, all four of the inclement weather make-up days reserved on the school calendar will be used. The last day of school is now scheduled to be Friday, June 21. The final three school days, June 19, 20 and 21, will dismiss 3 hours early. The updated HCPSS calendar is available online at https://www.hcpss.org/calendar/.  As this changes we will keep you informed. 


We had an incredible PTA meeting last night. Parents learned about investing for the future for college with a 529 Plan.  This was the second parent workshop provided by the PTA to provide parents with information about education savings, well-being, and internet safety.  Next month on March 21st, the PTA will be hosting the third parent workshop focused on internet safety.  The PTA is also hosting the Glow Family Dance Party this evening in the gym from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.  Come enjoy the fun!


We are looking for additional indoor recess games such as Connect Four, Uno, and checkers.  If you have one of these games that you are willing to donate, please send it in with your child to bring to the grade level para-educator.  Thank you!


Enjoy the weekend,

Mrs. Balter and Mrs. Madden



PTA's Family Fun Glow Dance Party              February 22nd     6:30-8:00 PM

Celebrate and dance the night away with our DJ, enjoy light refreshments, get your face painted and of course, GLOW STICKS!  A parent or guardian must attend with their child.


Read-a-thon: The 2nd annual DLES Read-a-thon is going great! Our amazing DLES students have logged more than 35,000 minutes of reading already, and we've raised over $1,100 for our much needed school programs. There are still 8 days left, and we want to challenge every student to log at least 50 minutes of reading.  Let's see which student can create the coolest owlvatar (logging reading minutes, inviting sponsors and liking or commenting on your friends pages will give you additional coins to use in the owl shop on your owlvatars; you can even use the magic wand to turn your friends into another animal for the day)!  Reading and sponsorship opportunities will run until Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2nd. Thank you all for your support and keep up the great work!!


Hershey Park tickets are on sale now! If your family looks forward to great rides, fun water park, and lots of delicious chocolate, then this is the deal for you. An order formwill come home in the February 28th Thursday folder. Tickets are for one-day (plus a few hours the night before) in the summer season, and cost $38 each until March 28th (this is a great bargain, as regular ticket prices are $68.95). Please note that any orders received after March 28th will be charged $40 per ticket (after that date Hershey Park increases their costs). The sweetest place on earth is waiting for you this summer!


PTA Elections       April 11, 2019

The PTA invites you to consider running for a position on the board of directors for the 2019-2021 school year. The terms of several current members are coming to an end, and we need new volunteers to run. Attached, please find an outline of the responsibilities for each available position, as well as a nomination form to fill out for yourself or another member of the DLES community who might be a good fit.

Please note that the fun and important ways that the PTA supports our school depend on great volunteers like you. If we do not fill these positions, the PTA will no longer function. The workload is quite manageable if we all pitch in and most of it can be done at home, though attendance at monthly meetings is required. Please email DuckettsLanePTA@gmail.com if you have any questions.



We will be administering MAP assessments in reading and mathematics to all DLES students in grades 1-5 during the month of February.  MAP is a computer adaptive assessment. In a computer adaptive assessment, as a student responds to questions, the test responds to the student, adjusting up or down the difficulty of the questions presented to the student. This creates a personalized assessment for every student.


A score report will be sent home to our families a few weeks after the Winter administration of the assessment concludes on March 1st. This report shares your child’s overall score in reading and math, as well as scores in a variety of areas. MAP assessments measure a student’s growth over time in reading and mathematics. MAP assessments let teachers know where a student’s strengths are and if help is needed in any specific instructional area(s). Teachers use this information, along with the results of various other assessments and their own observation of student performance, to help guide instruction. Students will be writing their math and reading MAP assessment dates in their agenda books. Our Rangers are familiar with these assessments, will be setting personal goals, and we will be celebrating their engagement and growth throughout the assessment window. 


The last Math MAP assessment will be given to 4th grade students on Monday, Feb. 25th.  Please contact Mrs. Madden at courtney_madden@hcpss.org if you have any questions.



March 2nd is Dr. Seuss’s birthday!! Did you know Dr. Seuss would be 115 this year? While he is no longer with us, his legacy lives on in the pages of his books. He forever changed the way children’s books were written and continues to inspire generations. In honor of his birthday, we will be dressing up each day according to a theme that is associated with one of his amazing books. Please encourage your child(ren) to dress up each day and read a little extra all week!!


Spirit week activities include:

Monday- Wear your favorite or craziest hat!!

Tuesday- Wear crazy socks!!

Wednesday- Wear wacky clothes (backward or inside out)

Thursday- Wear a red or blue shirt.

Friday- Wear a school shirt or shirt from a place you visited.



The DLES Reading Team



We need YOU for our annual DLES Career Day on April 5th!  

Would you like to inspire our 3rd, 4th, or 5th graders about interesting and different careers?  Inspire kids to be on a career track?  We need volunteers for the following time slots:


3rd Grade:   9:15AM-10:45AM

4th Grade:   9:45AM-11:15AM

5th Grade: 10:00AM-11:30AM


Please reach out to Mrs. Tobin at danielle_w_tobin@hcpss.org or call 410-313-5050 if you have questions or would like to volunteer by March 8th!  We can't wait to see you there!



The first grade field trip to the Robinson Nature Center has been rescheduled for March 21, 2019.  A new permission slip will be sent home next week.  Please sign and return it to your child’s teacher as soon as possible. 



The Ducketts Lane Elementary School Regional Early Childhood Center (RECC) preschool programs are making preparations for classes for the 2019-2020 school year.  These classes include children with and without disabilities.  The program’s focus is helping children develop communication, literacy, math, problem solving, motor and social skills.  Parents/guardians of children who will be 3 by September 1st or 4 years of age may contact Mrs. Grove or Ms. Lynette in the front office for an application package.


All applications must be returned by March 29th to the front office.  A mandatory playdate will be held on April 24, 2019 from 11:30 AM- 12:30 PM.  A limited number of openings are available for children without disabilities.  Children are selected based upon screening information given on the application form and the “Ages and Stages Questionnaire”, as well as observations of the child’s participation in a playgroup.  If necessary, a lottery process will be  conducted.


If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Geiser (mary_geiser@hcpss.org) or Ms. Kest (amy_kest@hcpss.org) or call 410-313-5050.


February Events at our business partner, Chick-fil-A Arundel Mills

4107992812 • 7055 Arundel Mills Cir



Arts & Crafts With Danielle                Feb 27th • 5PM-7PM

Join Danielle tonight for a craft! Please make sure to bring a friend or family member to share in the fun! We love seeing you all have a great time!



We are hosting our 5th annual Health, Home, and Harvest Festival on Saturday, April 27th from 9:00 am-12:00 pm and we are looking for local Howard County wellness and environmental professionals to set up informational displays and demos at this year's event.  This would be an opportunity for you to provide information for our DLES community on your educational resources and promote your business. In addition to being a wonderful outlet to promote your work, it is a chance for our DLES community to improve the health and wellness of their families through a fun and interactive experience.  If you are interested in being one of this year's vendors, please contact Meaghan_Liwosz@hcpss.org by April 12th.


Sign up for "More Than Karate" after school at Ducketts Lane!

Fun and Structured...the perfect way to introduce your child to the benefits of martial arts training!  Register NOW online at www.okdkarate.com!  Classes will be held at DLES, beginning Thursday Jan. 24th (every Thursday for 10 weeks), 3:25-4:15pm! 

Led by adult instructors from THE OKINAWAN KARATE DOJO, students leave class smiling, focused, more respectful, and skilled with sound self-defense basics!  Flyers were sent home or REGISTER online at www.okdkarate.com by January 22nd.  

Call 443-574-8999 or email morethankarate@gmail.com for more info on our AFTER-SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION and CAMP services!  NEW LOCATION - 4900 Waterloo Rd in 21043!     



Please visit the Community News and Programs page at

http://www.hcpss.org/community-news-and-programs/ for announcements of upcoming events and programs sponsored by non-profit organizations.