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Durant Elementary School

October Newsletter


Dear DES Families:

We all enjoy the colors of autumn leaves. Each leaf is a thing of beauty, a work of art. W can say the same for each of the children at Durant Elementary. Each is beautiful, special, like an artful masterpiece. Each is the absolute treasure of his/her parents and grandparents, and we realize that. I love my job!! Everyday I walk down the hallway to smiling faces and lots of hugs. At DES, we want children to fell safe and comfortable so that each can learn and thrive.

Kurt Volker


Guidelines For Success at Durant Elementary: The Six Pillars of Character Counts! Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship

Dr Seuss

Fire Prevention Week, October 6-10

For over 80 years, Fire Prevention Week has brought attention to fire safety. It has served as a time to alert and educate the public to their role in fire prevention. Fire safety advocates across the country will be spreading the word that when it comes to escape plans, practice is the key. At Durant we practice two fire drills and two disaster drills each semester.

National School Lunch Week, October 13-17

School lunch is the smart way for children to refuel and get the nutrition they need to grow and think! School cafeterias across the country are placing new emphasis on offering nutritious meals and avoiding “junk food.” We encourage you to help educate students about nutrition during the National School Lunch Week, and show how much you value your caring lunchroom staff for serving healthy, delicious meals each day. Thank you to our food service team for all their hard work;

Red Ribbon Week, October 23-31

This year marks the 26th anniversary of the first official celebration of Red Ribbon Week. The event has grown into the country’s largest anti-drug endeavor. Encouraging youngsters to turn away from drugs is still the main emphasis, but giving them the tools to make other healthy choices is now a component. Say “NO” to drugs; say “YES” to healthy lifestyles. Visit for activities to do with you children at home.

Parent Teacher Conferences Monday and Thursday 10-20 and 10-23

We will be having Parent/Teacher Conferences on Monday, October 20 from 4:00-8:00p.m. and then again Thursday, October 23 from 4:00-8:00p.m.. On Friday,   October 24, we will not have school.



October: Get Ready! Prepare!

That’s right! October is the month to prepare students to take the Iowa Assessments Test formally Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS). Second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students will take the Iowa Assessments the week of November 3rd – 7th.

Parents can be a great help in getting students ready for this assessment. As you know, The No Child Left Behind mandate enables the federal and state government to use the ITBS scores as a lens to look into the academic programs of Durant Elementary School and judge its success based on the results of these test.

IMPORTANT: During the month of October, we ask that parents support students as they complete their math homework and to make sure they are reading and writing each day at home. Reading and writing are skills that must be practiced in order to become more proficient at each. Math skills also must be practiced in order for students to become proficient!

Reading Counts Program:

The Durant Elementary School utilizes a reading incentive program called Reading Counts. In this program, students are able to take computerized quizzes testing their reading comprehension on books they have read. Points are accumulated with each quiz passed throughout the school year. Kelly Schaufenbuel, Teacher-Librarian and her staff, record the points weekly for grades 3-5 and prizes are given when students reach 25, 50, 100, 250, and 500 points. The goal of the program is to get students to read more and to comprehend what they have read.


Parents, please encourage your child to read and to take the computerized quizzes!!!

Building Block for Success in Mathematics

What Students Should Know and Be Able to Do:

Now more than ever, students need a solid foundation in mathematics in the early grades to prepare them for challenging mathematics courses in middle and high school.

Here are a set of essentials mathematics skills and possible timeline by which to monitor student progress:

  • Preschool—Before children start school, they need many opportunities to explore numbers (their size and meaning), shapes and basic measurements.
  • Elementary School—Students should be proficient with whole numbers: counting, place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication &division. Students should be able to solve problems involving perimeter and area of 2-dimensional shapes.
  • Middle School—Students should be proficient with fractions, decimals and percents: comparing fractions, relating fractions, decimals and percents, additions & subtraction, multiplication & division. Also, students should be able to solve problems involving surface area and volume of 3-dimensional shapes.
  • 8th Grade—Students should be prepared for high-level mathematics, including course work in algebra.

Effort Matters!! When children believe that their efforts to learn make them smarter, they show greater persistence with math



Nutrition Nuggets for Parents

Be sure to have your child eat breakfast every morning. That is also a time for conversation that may set the tone for the day. Keep the conversation light and focused on having a good day!!

Make a Smoothie: Whip up four strawberries, one banana, one cup of orange juice and a container of low-fat vanilla yogurt for a great early morning treat.

Make it healthy: Give your child a mix of protein (meat, eggs, milk, cheese) and carbohydrates (whole grain cereal, fruit, or whole-wheat bread) for breakfast to boost energy levels.

These two breakfast ideas are easy and quick to fix. They are healthy and will keep you child going and learning until lunchtime


Thank You!!!

  • I would like to thank all the students, parents, grandparents, and friends of Durant for donating books for our Daily 5 reading program is going on in all of our classrooms.



I encourage all parents to sign up and use the infinite Campus Grading program to monitor your child’s grades. Currently in the elementary grades 3-5 places grades on the computer. Once these grades are inputted on the computer parents can check the progress.   At any time you have concerns about you child’s progress visit with you child and or contact the child’s teacher. Also praise you child for the successes they are achieving.  

Student +Teacher+ Parents=Success

United We Build Our Children’s Future

October Events

10-8-14          1st grade field Trip: Grout Muesum

10-9-14          Tree Planting Grades 3-5 at DES

10-9-14          K-3 Fire Station Visit

10-13-14        PD:   No School

10-17-14        End of the 1st Qt

10-17-14        2nd grade field trip Grout Museum

10-20 to 10-23          Conferences and Book Fair (Report cards will also go home on Monday)

10-20-14        UIU mens BB visiting DES PE classes

10-23-14        Ronald McDonald visit

10-24-14        No School

10-31-14        Fall fun Day

10-31-14        Sumner Community Halloween 5-8


It is the policy of Sumner-Fredericksburg Community School District not to illegally discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, age, religion, creed, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status in its educational programs and its employment practices.


If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy, please click here to contact the Equity Coordinators.