April 29, 2013
Dear Preschool Parents,
I write this just a few days before the Preschool’s 31st annual Grandparents/Special Friends Day with the confidence that it will be, as always, a fabulous event. We fully expect a large and appreciative audience and your children will rise to the occasion and perform with gusto! Thank you to Elizabeth South for her expert instruction and her creation of a program enjoyed by all ages, and to Elizabeth Lyle for the beautiful backdrop she has created with the enthusiastic assistance of the preschool students. We thank our preschool parents for preparing and serving the refreshments at our receptions.
Our third annual “Taste of the World” was a most memorable family event. The children roamed freely from one “continent” to another, exploring artifacts, listening to music and sampling food from all over the world. A special thank you to Freya Cohen, Jill Stafford, Janet Hampton, kindergarten parent Kara Turner and the entire preschool diversity committee for this event.
The excitement surrounding Grandparents/Special Friends Day and Taste of the World is hard to beat, but we have several special events in May and will end this school year with another wonderful musical program.
Our chick eggs have been placed in an incubator in Freya Cohen’s science lab across from the PreK classrooms. If all goes well, the chicks should be hatching the week of May 13th . You are invited to check out the incubator, but we ask that you remind your children to look but don't touch as the eggs incubate over the next two weeks.
In May we begin to think about transition to the next grade level. Parents of children who will be entering Lower School are invited to attend a meeting about first grade tonight, Monday, April 29 at 7 pm in the library on this campus. The kindergarten children will meet Lower School Director Carolyn Ronco and the first grade classroom teachers at an informal morning assembly on Monday, May 6, and each kindergarten class will visit one first grade classroom during the following week. Pre-K classes will visit kindergarten classes the week of May 20 for a preview of their next school year.
Leigh Ballou’s and Deb Shadduck’s class will present an African folk tale entitled "Who's in Rabbit's House?" on Wednesday, May 15 at 8:30 AM in the Great Room. As with our other assemblies, this is an informal program and space is limited to parents and siblings of children in Leigh’s class.
Both pre-k and kindergarten children complete their final study units on May 17 with celebrations. The Sunshines and the Frogs will be enjoying a virtual safari, Animal Adventure Day, and kindergarten children will celebrate the culmination of their last unit of global studies with Kenyan feasts.
Thursday, May 23 is Preschool Spirit Day. We have exciting events throughout the day. We begin with a magician early in the morning. Next we have various outdoor activities in the gym and on the playground and blacktop (plus sno-cone and popcorn treats). We complete our special day with a pizza lunch and make-your-own sundae dessert. Each child will receive a special tee shirt to wear on Sprit Day and keep as a souvenir. We thank preschool teachers Janet Hampton and Dena Hanna and our super parent helpers for making this event possible.
We have early dismissal on Friday, May 24. If you have only preschool children to pick up, we suggest you plan to arrive between 11:15 and 11:30 to avoid the traffic congestion typical of campus-wide early dismissal.
Michelle Rosen and Letizia Haynie ask that all library books be returned by Tuesday, May 28so that inventory can be completed before school is dismissed.
The final day of Aftercare is Thursday, May 30.
Preschool Closing Exercises will be held on Friday, May 31 at 8:30 in the Performing Arts Building. All preschool children will take part in the program lasting about 30 to 45 minutes. Kindergarten children will be provided with a special graduation tee shirt, and we ask that they wear their tee shirt with white shorts and socks. Pre-kindergarten students should dress in comfortable school attire. After the program, children go back to their classrooms to say good-bye to their teachers.
It has been a wonderful year and we owe many thanks to you for all that you have done to enrich the preschool experience over the past year. In particular we want to thank all our class mothers and Julie Harris and Jane Waters, our preschool representatives to Parents Council. Your children have been fantastic and we are all feeling very lucky to work where we do and to have the phenomenal parental support we enjoy. On behalf of the preschool faculty I want to extend our thanks and our wishes for a healthy and relaxing summer.
|PS Teacher Appreciation Lunch|
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
8:30 AM to 1:00 PM
|No Extended Day/Aftercare|
|PS/LS early dismissal 11:45 am-LS Field Day|
|Last Day of Extend Day/Aftercare for Preschool|
|Preschoolers and their families get a 'taste of the world'|
Preschool students and their families got a “taste of the world” April 25, when the Durham Academy Preschool celebrated family night. The Preschool was a whirl of activity, with music, food, dancing, art, games and artifacts from six continents.
|DA chess players bring home five titles from state tournament|
Chess teams and individual chess players from Durham Academy shined in the North Carolina State Scholastic Championships, bringing home three team titles and two individual titles. The championships were held March 2 to 3 at the Raleigh Convention Center.
|Five Questions with Nikki Graves|
Nikki Graves joined the Durham Academy community in 2010 as a pre-kindergarten teacher after working previously as an administrator with Boys & Girls Clubs of Raleigh. She graduated from UNC-Charlotte, where she was a 1,000-point scorer, a two-year captain and a team MVP as a member of the university's varsity womens basketball program. As DA's JV girls basketball coach, she has led the team to consecutive TISAC conference championships.
|Pre-K astronauts blast off on their final mission|
After five weeks of studying about the solar system and outer space, Pre-Kindergarten “astronauts” blasted off for their final mission on March 4 with a parade through the Lower School. Pre-K students built a “spaceship” in their classrooms, made mini-solar systems and stargazed at the Morehead Planetarium. Best of all, Preschool Director Sheppy Vann wrote in her monthly letter to parents, “their enthusiasm is unmatched anywhere in the cosmos.”
|If kindergarten is studying 's,' it’s time for Silly Sock Day |
When Durham Academy kindergarten students study the letter “s,” their teachers ask them to think of words that begin with that “sssssssss” sound. If you’re in kindergarten, “silly” is bound to be one of the first words to pop into your brain. What’s even better than “silly” is “silly socks,” and you don’t need a laugh track to hear little ones giggling about silly socks. On Wednesday, Nov. 7, DA kindergarten students and teachers celebrated Silly Sock Day by wearing just that.
|Durham Academy celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month through song and dance|
The Durham Academy community celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15, in a variety of ways, from creating a wax museum of influential figures in Hispanic culture to welcoming the larger Durham community to the DA campus for an evening of Latin-inspired song and dance.
|Durham Academy's Halloween festivities feature cheers and BOOs alike|
There was a babe-in-arms dressed as a tiger, and a dad who came as a king. Librarians were outfitted as “Dewey” and “Decimal,” and one kindergartener was disguised as a venus flytrap. There was an ice cream cone. Harry Potter made an appearance. And there were enough super heroes and princesses to populate an entire network of cartoons.
|Kindergarteners celebrate USA with all-American picnic |
With their first country study unit, titled "Our Families, Homes and Country," coming to a close, Durham Academy kindergarten students celebrated in grand style with an all-American picnic Oct. 5. Students wore red, white and blue, listened to patriotic music and enjoyed hot dogs, chips, lemonade and red-white-and-blue cookies under a bright blue sky.
|Kindergarteners say 'hello' in 17 languages|
Want to know how to say “hello” in 17 different languages? Just ask the students in Sheppy Vann’s kindergarten class. They have been learning how America is made up of people from all across the world, including a Durham Academy classmate whose parents came from Nigeria.
|Parent Survey to be distributed in mid June|
Durham Academy’s parent survey will be distributed via email mid June. The survey, which should take no more than 20 minutes to complete, provides DA administrators, faculty and staff with valuable feedback that is used to evaluate various aspects of the school year and to improve the school. Please plan on participating in the survey as your feedback is valuable to ensuring Durham Academy’s continued excellence.
|Class of 2024 bids farewell to Preschool |
Durham Academy Preschool “graduated” 63 kindergarten students at closing exercises Friday, June 1. Kindergarten students wore green-and-white T-shirts bearing their projected high school graduation date: Durham Academy Class of 2024. The tradition began when DA’s Class of 2000 completed kindergarten, and the T-shirts have become a rite of passage at Preschool closing exercises.
|K-1 chess team places sixth at National Elementary Championships|
Durham Academy’s state champion K-1 team finished in sixth place in the 300-player Championship Division of the 2012 National Elementary Championships held in Nashville, Tenn.
“The K-1 Championship Division section was incredibly difficult with so many strong teams and players from California to New York participating,” said Craig Jones, DA chess coach. “Playing chess competitively is hard for any age group; it is particularly challenging for six-year-olds to maintain their wits during a long and exhausting schedule. Our guys gave their all for three long days – it was quite amazing!”
|Closing exercises set for all divisions|
Between June 1 and June 8, each of Durham Academy’s four school divisions will hold closing exercises or commencement and send students to their next level of schooling.
|Culture and Community Festival to celebrate diversity |
Come for food, live entertainment and fun as Durham Academy celebrates diversity at the Culture and Community Festival Friday, May 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Upper School Learning Commons and Courtyard. This annual event, which used to be called the Diversity Dessert, has grown into an all-school celebration and is open to the entire DA community.
|Preschoolers make music for Grandparents and Special Friends Day|
Durham Academy Preschoolers demonstrated their musical range, singing selections ranging from 19th-century Beethoven to Katy Perry’s 2010 hit “Firework,” for the 30th annual Grandparents and Special Friends Day April 27 in Brumley Performing Arts Building on the Lower School campus.
|Preschool teachers treat DA maintenance crew to Valentine’s breakfast |
Durham Academy Preschool teachers think DA’s maintenance men are tops. That’s why they have treated them to a Valentine’s Day breakfast almost every year since moving to the new Preschool/Lower School campus in 2002. The Preschool teachers bring biscuits, grits, doughnuts, coffee, juice and more, and set it up for the men in the maintenance shop.
|DA community honors Chinese New Year with traditional food, dance|
Dragons and dumplings dotted the Durham Academy campus on Jan. 23 as the school community celebrated the Chinese New Year in traditional fashion.
Preschool students and teachers paraded through their building playing Chinese hand drums and waving red ribbons to celebrate the holiday. Students leading the parade imitated a traditional dragon dance, which honored 2012 as the Year of the Dragon. Click here
to watch video of the parade.
|Re-enrollment contracts to be handled electronically;|
contracts are due on Friday, Feb. 10
Durham Academy will be handling re-enrollment contracts electronically for the first time this year. Re-enrollment and tuition information for 2012-13 will be emailed to parents of current Durham Academy students on Jan. 24. Using the personalized Veracross link, families can re-enroll, submit tuition deposits via bank draft and update any medical information.
|Third annual meal-packaging event set for Jan. 16 at DA|
By Anne McNamara
Upper School Director of Community Service
The national holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. will be observed on Jan. 16. Congress designated the holiday as a national day of service in 1994, making it the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service. Durham Academy will observe this day by hosting the third annual meal-packaging event in conjunction with Stop Hunger Now.
|Transition events help students, parents prepare for next grade level|
Moving up to the next grade level can be nerve-wracking. At Durham Academy it means new teachers, unfamiliar classrooms, different expectations and maybe even a two-mile move to another campus. In order to help families with this transition, DA has planned a series of events geared toward both children and their parents.
|Like Thanksgiving? |
Then thank “bold, brave, stubborn and smart” Sarah Hale
Thanksgiving, the holiday Americans celebrate on the fourth Thursday in November, came about thanks to the relentless efforts of Sarah Hale, a writer and the first female magazine editor in America. Kindergarten students in Janet Hampton and Dena Hanna’s class recently presented an assembly about this determined woman, who they described as “bold, brave, stubborn and smart.”
"School is a fun and exciting place to be"
|For a full interview with Preschool Director Sheppy Vann, click here.|