August 1, 2018

Dear Families,

As the principal of Dike-Newell School, it is my pleasure to welcome everyone for another great year at DNS! At Dike-Newell, we strive to be a community of engaged learners where everyone matters, and we look forward to working with your child as part of this learning community.

I am so happy to be starting my fourth year at Dike-Newell School, and am eager to greet your child whether he or she is just starting out or coming back to us for another year of learning. This is my eighth year as a principal, and I greatly enjoy getting to work with students, staff and parents in this capacity. I see my position as school principal as one of service - figuring out how to make our school the best place it can be for kids and families. With our talented, dedicated staff and supportive community, Dike-Newell School is a special place and my hope is to continue to make it one of learning, growing, and joy.

July and August have been a busy months, with RSU 1’s maintenance crew cleaning the schools, painting, repairing and re- organizing. Teachers are soon going to be in their classrooms organizing and planning. By September, everything will be put together and ready for the 2018-2019 school year.

Dike-Newell staff said goodbye to several individuals in the spring including second grade teacher Jeff Bickford and special education teacher Colby Gail, guidance counselor Devon Gallice, and educational technician Branden Noltkamper. Our contracted physical therapist, Rachel Madsen, also retired. We are working on filling vacant positions, and will be welcoming second grade teachers Kelsey Frost and Libby Zipperer to our team. Natalie Dean will be our new guidance counselor, and we will be filling our special education positions shortly. Our new physical therapist, Emily Gail, will also be on board in the fall supporting those students who require her services.

Please communicate throughout the year with your child’s teacher. If you have questions or need clarification about something, or merely want to check on how things are going, do not hesitate to email, call, or set up an appointment to meet. I am happy to set up an appointment to meet with you as well. We want to make sure your child has the best school year possible, and we can do that by working together.

Please help us by making sure that your child comes to school every day. We know that these early years are some of the most important, laying the foundation for future success in school and in life. Regular attendance in school establishes a pattern that will serve your children well throughout the school careers and beyond. Absenteeism, especially chronic absenteeism, is linked to social- emotional struggles in schools, increased likelihood of dropping out, and lower academic achievement. Whenever possible please make appointments after school or during breaks.

At Dike-Newell students in grades K-2 are eligible for school bus transportation. Please take advantage of this opportunity by having your child(ren) ride the bus. Please call Mrs. Burgess in the office (443-8285, ext. 0) to discuss the bus schedule and what that would look like for your child.

Your children learn the importance of school when we establish good habits right from the beginning - We can’t wait to see your children’s beautiful faces, and begin this year’s journey together!


Jennifer McKay