Owl Observer: October 4, 2019

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 9:06am




October 4, 2019



Oct  4   Deadline to turn in Flu vaccine consent forms or sign up online

Oct   7   Chick Fil A Spirit Night at Arundel Mills  4:00-8:00pm

Oct   8   Yankee Candle orders due!

Oct   8   Interim Progress Reports issued

Oct   8   Kindergarten Reading Night  5:30- 7:00pm

Oct   9   Schools & offices closed

Oct  17  Deadline to turn in Joe Corbi’s Pizza orders

Oct  18  Schools closed- Professional Work Day for Staff

Oct  21  Flu vaccine clinic

Oct  21  Ledo’s Pizza Spirit Night

Oct  25  4th grade field trip to Historic St. Mary’s City

Oct  30  5th grade field trip to Washington DC

Oct  30  PTA sponsored Game Night  7:00-8:30pm



Dear Families,


I will be out of the building from Wednesday, October 16th – Friday, October 25th to visit my daughter during her study abroad semester.  Mrs. Patricia Shifflett will be the visiting administrator at Ducketts Lane during my absence.  Mrs. Shifflett and I worked together for several years at Rockburn Elementary School.  She most recently was the principal at Jeffers Hill Elementary School before retiring this past school year.  Mrs. Shifflett is a dear colleague and friend.  Please welcome her to Ducketts Lane when you see her in the car loop, hallway, or classroom.  Mrs. Shifflett will work in partnership with Mrs. Madden while I am on vacation.


We are working on our arrival procedures specifically during rainy days. To support a safe arrival to school, please adhere to the following procedures:

  • Unless accompanied by an adult, students should not arrive to school before 8:35 a.m.
  • Children are not allowed on the playground before school hours
  • Please be patient and stay in your car
  • Use the car loop access road (one lane), and do not go around other cars

We have several staff members outside to help with the arrival and dismissal process.  We are doing our best to make sure you’re getting in and out as quickly and safely as possible.   If you are dropping your child off in the morning please be prepared that this process could take 15 minutes.  With your cooperation, our goal is to have your child/children in school by 8:50 a.m.

Each year, families are asked to update the emergency information in Family File. As of Friday, October 4th, 88% of DLES families have submitted their Family File for the 2019-2020 school year.  Thank you to those families who have been able to update their information and contribute to the significant increase over the past 2 weeks. It is important to have accurate and up-to-date information for our students as we start the new year. Even if there are no changes, returning families still need to review emergency information at the start of each new school year. Click here to login and complete your Family File today.  If you need help, please call the school at 410-313-5050.


Have a wonderful weekend,

Mrs. Balter and Mrs. Madden


Update your child's emergency contact information in HCPSS Connect!

Your Family file needs to be updated every school year.


This information must be completed before your child can go on a field trip!

HCPSS uses Family File for parents/guardians to complete emergency information. Parents/guardians must verify and/or update information for each child, and can do so by logging in to HCPSS Connect and selecting the Family File tab and then clicking on Family File.  Once logged in, parents/guardians will be asked to provide or update important information.


Changes of address may not be made through Family File.  If you have recently moved, please contact DLES at 410-313-5050 as soon as possible as we need to update your address in our files as well.  You will need to complete an Address Change Form and provide a copy of your new lease or deed.


Parents who have forgotten their login credentials for Family File may click the “Forgot Password” link on the sign in page.



MEMBERSHIP:  Did you know that by joining PTA you help bring Cultural Arts events to our school, provide indoor recess games, reimburse teachers for school supplies, fund family events like Book Bingo and International Night, help offset yearbook costs for graduating fifth graders, provide Golden Owl feather prizes and so much more! Every membership also provides a voice for your child when National PTA takes action on education topics like safety in school, special education rights and other relevant topics. Please join us by signing up today!



YANKEE CANDLE paper orders are due October 8th!

To start off our year, we're offering Yankee Candle products, magazine, gift wrap and goodies. You can order now through the catalog (NO TAX added; orders will be shipped to the school for pick-up in late October), or online (https://www.yankeecandlefundraising.com/cusentry.htm?cusId=990063017&frComp=ycf, with Group #990063017) through January 8th for shipping directly to your home. Kids get some fun prizes, and the school programs get some much needed support as well. Please order today, and make any checks payable to DLES PTA.


Don't need any candles but want to support us? Consider sending a DONATION directly to the PTA! This is a wonderful option because 100% of the money will go directly towards enhancing your child's school experience. You can also help for FREE by scanning BoxTops, buying through smile.amazon.com for all Amazon purchases, or signing up for iGive.com; Ducketts Lane receives some money back! 


Attention Kindergarten Families!

Join us on October 8th from 5:30-7:00PM for Reading Night!

Please join us on October 8th for our kindergarten reading night!  Come to the kindergarten classrooms at 5:30 PM to enjoy a pizza and water dinner followed by reading night activities!  Learn fun games to play at home to practice reading comprehension, writing skills, word families and sight words! Best of all, you will get to make and take home all of the materials you need to play at home!  We hope to see you there!



Families and staff  of our feeder schools are invited to the first annual Homecoming Parade Viewing (and marching) Party!


Each feeder school is invited to set up a pop up at 8:00am in our front parking lot, perhaps with food or poster making supplies for families, while we prep for the parade.  The Lightning Cheerleaders will come over and teach all the future lightning students “The Lightning Ruble” cheer.  We will have some bling and some noisemakers available.


When the parade is ready to depart at 9:00am, families will go up to the curb in front of the school to watch the whole parade go by.  While the parade is going through the neighborhood, the adults will help get the students assembled about a block down Tamar Drive, where the parade exits the neighborhood.  Right before the parade turns onto Tamar Drive, about two blocks from the LRHS parking lot (and the end of the parade), we will pause the parade, make room for the future lightning students to join in, and they will march behind the band with their signs and cheers to the end of the parade.  Parents can take pictures or march right along if they want!


As the parade ends (approx.. 9:45am), the band will peel off and create an arc in front of the school, near the pop ups, and perform their exciting Dance Show music.  Families can enjoy the music, and have photo opportunities with Zeus, our mascot, football players, and cheerleaders.


We will be holding a paid pancake breakfast that families are welcome to join after the parade, but certainly it will be fun even if they don’t join in.


If your school or PTA are interested, please RSVP to jennifer_whiddon@hcpss.org no later than October 15th, and she will share further planning details.


Howard County G/T Program Parent Academy

Wednesday, October 16th     7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Long Reach High School, 6101 Old Dobbin Lane, Columbia, MD 21045

HCPSS families interested in the Gifted and Talented (G/T) Program are invited to come learn about the advanced-level offerings available through the G/T Education Program and how their students can become involved.

The evening will begin with an overview of G/T Education Program offerings at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Following the general session, parents and community members will have an opportunity to meet by school level for a question and answer session.

Full Schedule:

7:00 – 8:00, G/T Education Program Overview Presentation – Auditorium

8:05 – 8:30, Question and Answer Sessions:

  • Elementary G/T Program Offerings: Auditorium
  • Middle G/T Program Offerings: Classroom A127
  • High School G/T and AP Courses: Classroom B115

For more information, please email hcpssgtac@gmail.com or alyson_tommins@hcpss.org or call 410-­313­‐6800.



The Flu Clinic is coming to DLES on October 21st.  Today is the deadline to turn in the paper consent forms or sign up online. If you wish to sign your student up online do so via the secure link:  http://immunizemaryland.org/school-clinic-consent-form/


Money Due by Oct. 17th
Delivery/Pick Up: Monday, Nov. 25th during Parent Teacher Conferences (Just in time for the HOLIDAYS!)  All profits will be utilized to purchase class t-shirts and yearbooks for all 5th grade students and to help decrease the cost of our field trip to Philadelphia. Your help is greatly appreciated!


HC DrugFree Updates for Parents/Guardians

Free Parenting Classes for Parents/Guardians of 9-14 Year Olds: HC DrugFree and the Howard County State's Attorney's Office,   partnering with the Howard County Public School System and the Howard County Health Department, will once again provide the evidence-based series Guiding Good Choices for parents to gain skills and knowledge to reduce the risk that their children will use drugs. This 4-week series will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, October 22, 29 and November 5, 12 at Wilde Lake Middle School in Columbia. Parents are expected to attend all 4 sessions. To register, go to  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GGCOct2019 or see attached flier. Free workbook included. If you have questions, email Joan Webb Scornaienchi, HC DrugFree’s Executive Director at Admin@hcdrugfree.org or call 443-325-0040.


Drive-thru EpiPen, Medication and More Collection: Howard County's next convenient drive-thru collection for over-the-counter and prescription medication and “sharps” (needles, syringes and EpiPens) will be held on Saturday, October 26 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in the Wilde Lake Village Center parking lot near the Swim Center and The UPS Store. HC DrugFree and the Howard County Police urge you to clean out your medicine cabinets. Teams, clubs, students, PTAs/PTSAs, families, scouts, etc. are welcome to volunteer at the event and receive community service hours. Please visit HC DrugFree’s website at  www.hcdrugfree.org and go to the Events/Drug Take Back Day page for more information about medication disposal, or let us know you plan to volunteer by emailing  Admin@hcdrugfree.org or calling 443-325-0040. 


"More Than Karate" After-School Program at Ducketts Lane ES

Grades K - 5

Thursdays 3:25 - 4:15PM


Fun and Structured...these classes are the perfect way to introduce your child to the benefits of martial arts training!  All classes will be held at DLES, beginning Thursday Oct. 3rd (and 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 have been sent home.  REGISTER ON-Line at - www.okdkarate.com...by Oct. 1st.  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!


KidzArt at Ducketts Lane ES

Grades K - 5

Tuesdays 3:25 - 4:40PM


Register Now! Classes fill up quickly! Projects are never repeated and quality art supplies is provided. KidzArt is a FUN, art-enrichment program designed to enhance drawing skills and build each  child's confidence. Certified instructors help students create original work of art, take risks, and think outside the box. Students will explore a variety of artist grade materials, such as oil and chalk pastels, watercolor, clay, copper, textured papers, and much more. Younger children will practice following directions and using fine motor skills. Older children will love having the creative freedom and guidance to further their skills.

Register NOW For Any Session Securely Online at: CentralMD.KidzArt.com/registration

 *** Parent Assistants Needed**Receive 50% OFF (Must attend all weeks) First Come, First Served!


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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.