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Posted by Craig Christensen on Friday, Apr 11th, 2014.

We are hopping along in April!!!

* The fourth quarter starts on Monday.  I cannot believe how this year has flown by!  The next nine weeks will go by in a flash!

* Teachers will be finalizing report card grades this week and report cards should be ready by next Monday's Advisory class.  However, as you know, you can check grades any time by utilizing your HAC account!

* We will continue to take the new district assessment, SBAC, this week.  Please make sure your child/children are here and on-time each day this week.  Your cooperation is appreciated.

* Our ASES coordinator, Daniel Urrutia, is moving on from ASES and DRA to continue his education.  He is planning to complete college to be a teacher.  Hopefully, we will have him back at DRA one day as a teacher!  I want to thank him for five years of dedicated service.

* There is no school on Friday, April 18th.  Enjoy the three day weekend.

* Dressing out for P.E. is not an option.  Students are required to dress out in their PE clothes.  In addition, students are not allowed to wear the P.E. clothes under their normal uniform/clothes.  This is more of a hygiene issue than a fashion statement.

* Please remember that sandals are not allowed on campus for safety purposes.

* Lunch time is a busy time for us.    Please try to pick up your child either before or after lunch if you have to check your child out for the day.    It is a safety issue when we have to take our focus off the overall student population to try to find one student.

* Do you know what your child is bringing to school?  Are you sure?!?  If not, please make random backpack checks.  It is your right as the parent/guardian to know what your child has in his/her possession.  I know we want to give our children some freedom, but we also have to maintain our parental responsibilities!

* Celebrating birthdays and other holidays is not allowed at school. Students are not allowed to bring balloons, cupcakes, cake, gift bags, etc to share at school. These items will be checked into the office until the school day is over. Remember, our focus is on education!

* Students are expected to come to school prepared for learning! We expect our students to come to school with their Agenda, notebooks, pencils and other items necessary for academic excellence.

* The district has a program for anonymous bullying tips.  Visit www.PSSTworld.com for more information.  You can also contact Mr. Cain, our counselor, and/or me if you are having problems or have witnessed bullying, fighting, and/or any other violating situations.

* Wednesday, April 30th is the deadline for 8th graders to turn in permission slips and money for the 8th grade field trip.  The 8th graders are going to California Adventure at the end of May!!!

* Our annual Talent Show is scheduled for Thursday, May 15th.  I am not sure about the time yet.  I will let you know when I know.  J

Enjoy your three day holiday weekend!


Posted by Craig Christensen on Friday, Apr 4th, 2014.

April has arrived!

Three down…  One to go!!!


* Friday, April 11th is the LAST day of the third quarter!!!  There are only a few days left to turn in late/missing work and retake quizzes and tests for extra points.

* The fourth quarter starts on Monday, April 14th!  The final quarter always flies by with the district assessments and summer approaching!

* The next few weeks will be very busy for our students and staff.  There is no "state testing" this year, but our school is participating in the SBAC assessment.  The SBAC is the upcoming assessment that is replacing the CST. 

* All students will begin the SBAC assessment on Monday, April 7th.  They will take a language arts test on Monday and Tuesday.  The assessments will continue on and off for the next three weeks!  It is very important that your child arrives to school on time, every day during this testing period.

* There is no school on Friday, April 18th! 

* We have many students participating in the Battle of the Books this Wednesday.  Good luck!!!

* The 8th grade end-of-the-year trip to California Adventure is scheduled for May 29th!  All permission slips and money are due to Mrs. Amidei by Wednesday, April 30th.  The trip is $100 and is cash only.  There are NO refunds for this trip. 

* Our annual Talent Show is scheduled for Thursday, May 15th. 

* Please remember to check your child's backpack and Agenda at least once a week.  You have a right to know what your child is doing and writing.

* Please talk with your child about bus behaviors.  Riding the bus is a privilege, not a right.  Students will lose bus privileges for inappropriate behaviors.

* Sharpies and permanent markers are not allowed on campus! Please check your child's backpack at least once a week and remove items that are not needed or allowed at school.

* Students are not allowed to call and/or text parents/guardians on cell phones during school hours.  Students must ask their teacher or come to the office if they need to call home.

* The warming weather is also bringing out spring clothing! Please remember our dress code policy with shorts, skirts and skorts. We use the "tip of fingertips" as a general rule.  In addition, please keep in mind that clothes that you used to wear when the school year started may not fit the same anymore.

* In addition, because of the warming weather, we are going to reinforce the dress code policy of not allowing students to wear sweatshirts, sweaters, long sleeve shirts, hoodies, or other items over their uniform shirts within the classrooms.

I hope you have a great weekend!!!  Thanks for visiting!  


Posted by Craig Christensen on Monday, Mar 31st, 2014.

Welcome back!

Spring Break is over and it is time to get back to learning!

I hope everyone had a great break!!!

Posted by Craig Christensen on Friday, Mar 21st, 2014.

March Madness!!!!

* Spring Break is March 24th - 28th!  School will resume on Monday, March 31st!  Get your rest because we will be buuuuusy when we return!

* The last day of the third quarter is Friday, April 11th!!!  Check your H.A.C. account today!!!  Please make sure you are communicating with your children and teachers before it is too late!

* Our after school ASES Program is hosting a car wash at DRA on Saturday, April 5th.  Please come out and/or purchase a wash ticket to help our students raise money for sports jerseys and other after-school activities.

* We had our annual 8th grade panoramic picture taken last Wednesday.  I was extremely proud of our eighth graders throughout the process.  We have over 350 eighth graders this year and the photographers made several comments on the great behavior of the entire group.  You make me proud!!!

* Please read my previous blog regarding Twenty 4 Change!  It is a great new movement created by students in our district!

* After Spring Break, we are no longer going to allow students to wear hoodies, flannel shirts, vests, and other articles of clothing over their uniform.  Students have been taking advantage of our flexibility and are wearing these items to disguise the uniform.  We will still allow students to wear button up or zipper sweatshirts that DO NOT contain graphics.  Students may also wear a long sleeve under the polo shirt.  In addition, students must remove sweatshirts and accessories at a staff member's request.

* Students are receiving referrals for any type of "physically aggressive" games during lunch and morning play.  Game such as "bulldogging", tackle football, rugby, tag, etc. are NOT allowed on campus.  Safety is our first priority.  Students will be cited for disrupting school environment and attempting/causing physical injury to another student.  Students who receive a referral may receive a warning, phone call home, after school detention, suspension, and/or a ticket issued by Officer Osmond from Indio Police Department!  We are done warning students and I am not accepting, "It was an accident" or "We were just playing" as an excuse. 

* Dressing out for P.E. is NOT an option. Dressing out is part of students' grade.

* Sharpies and permanent markers are not allowed on campus! Please check your child's backpack at least once a week and remove items that are not needed or allowed at school.

* Students are not allowed to call and/or text parents/guardians on cell phones during school hours.  Students must ask their teacher or come to the office if they need to call home.


Posted by Craig Christensen on Tuesday, Mar 18th, 2014.

Twenty 4 Change

Did you ever make plans and then everything fell apart at the last minute, causing a ton of stress and anxiety?!?  This was my weekend!!!  I am the kind of person who would do whatever I can to help someone in need.  However, I am not good asking for help.  When things went in a different direction over this past weekend, I was called a friend at the last minute to help me out.  Without hesitation, my friend, Nate Manderfeld, offered his time.

Nate Manderfeld, or Mr. Manderfeld, is a fourth grade teacher at Monroe Elementary school.  During the time Mr. Manderfeld was with me, he talked to me about the charity/movement that he and a colleague who is now at Johnson Elementary School created at Monroe.  The movement is called Twenty 4 Change

Twenty 4 Change is about giving.  The goal is to bring the gift of charity to others by giving $20 or 20 minutes to make someone else's life better.  This can range from a randon actb of kindness to using the $20 to help a foundation.  Right now, his students at Monroe are raising money to buy a cow through Heifer International to help families in Africa.  The gift of charity does not need to be $20 or 20 minutes.  It can be anything to help someone who needs a lift in spirits.

When Mr. Manderfeld and I were done with my work, I offered him money to put towards the cow.  He declined the money.  Instead, he asked that my gratitude would be more beneficial if I would help spread the word about Twenty 4 Change.

Mr. Manderfeld and his students were featured on KESQ and they have a website and Facebook page.  Please, please, please take a moment to watch the story and visit their sites.  This is a movement started by students to help anyone!

Website:  http://www.twenty4change.org/

KESQ News Story:  http://www.kesq.com/kesq/how-20-dollars-or-minutes-can-change-the-world/24570984

Share your stories:  twentyforchange@gmail.com

You can also contact Mr. Manderfeld at nathan.manderfeld@desertsands.us with questions, commments, and other inquiries. 


Thank you for visiting!!!

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