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Principal's Message 12/5

Good afternoon Raider families!  This is Dr. Lanier with important information for the week!  Please listen carefully to all details.

Wednesday, December 8, is an early release day.  Please communicate with your scholars regarding their transportation plan that day as school will end at 12:20 and all scholars will need to be picked up on time.

All scholars will take district required Case 21 MOY benchmark assessments this week in math and reading on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  All 8th grade scholars will take an additional assessment in Science on Thursday.

Attention 7th grade parents: There is no waiver on the public health annual reporting for the 2021-2022 school term. It is extremely important and time sensitive that your scholar’s immunization and Health Assessments are up to date.  Consistent with state requirements, our district has determined that health & safety necessitates that our schools exclude students without updated immunization records from participating in our in-person learning. Please act now to update the status of your scholar impacted by the immunizations and Health Assessments required for 2021-2022.  As a reminder, they are Tdap and MCV.  Parents, you are responsible for uploading the forms through PowerSchool Parent Portal.

The 2021-22 DPS Climate Survey for Students will be administered online in Social Studies classes for 7th grade students on Monday, December 6.  The survey is designed to measure student perceptions about aspects of their schools including:

  1. Emotional and Physical Safety

  2. Student Discipline

  3. Expectations for Students

  4. Student Support

  5. Social and Emotional Learning

  6. Teacher and Administrator Treatment of Students

  7. School/Classroom Environment and Learning Conditions

In addition, middle school students will also be asked about their participation in extracurricular activities.  This year’s survey has been modified to include additional questions related to gender identity (all levels).  DPS will use student feedback to determine the district’s strengths and areas for improvement so we can improve our school climate.  Our independent research partner, K12 Insight, will analyze the results by school, area, and district to identify trends and specific strengths and areas needing improvement. 

Raiders, grab the perfect read with our “Fall Into Reading” Virtual Book Fair!  All orders must be made online by registering on the Bedford Falls Book Fair link that is included in the email that accompanies this phone message.  Book sales will end on Friday, December 10. Please contact our Book Fair Chair, Kara South, if you have any questions.  All purchases support Githens PTA and your school library.

Basketball season is upon us and the Raiders will compete against Lakewood Montessori Middle School on Thursday, December 9, beginning at 4:00.  A reminder of the following guidelines for winter sports:



  • Athletes are required to wear a face covering except when engaged in physical activity.

  • Weekly testing is required for all unvaccinated athletes to play.


  • Indoor venues will be limited to 50% of capacity with the home team getting 80% and the visiting team 20%.

  • All spectators are required to wear masks and any spectators without a mask will not be allowed into any venue.

  • All concessions will be pre-packaged food and drinks, with a limited number of individuals working to allow for adequate spacing.  

  • Lobby areas for concessions will be clearly marked for adequate seating and spacing.  

  • Bags are not allowed in any DPS athletic event. 

  • Spectators may not reenter any athletic contest after leaving.

All sports ticket sales will be virtual this year through “ticket spicket” and are required for entry.  Please use the link provided in the email that accompanies this phone message to follow the steps necessary to purchase tickets.  For further information regarding athletics or specific teams, please email either Ms. Stackhouse, Athletic Director, or the coaches.  A reminder that middle school students must be accompanied by an adult to enter and attend all athletic events at high schools moving forward.  This is part of their spectator and safety guidance at their athletic events.  The only exception is when middle school students have received individual invitations from the high schools.

Another reminder that students are required to be in classrooms, seated, with materials ready, and cell phones powered off at 7:30.  Students entering the building after 7:30 will be marked tardy.  Scholars must be on time for school and we are seeing an increasing number of scholars coming to school anywhere from 20 to 50 minutes late.  This is not ok as they are missing valuable instruction needed to bridge learning loss due to the pandemic and virtual learning.  Please make sure your scholar is wearing a mask before they leave your home or your car.  Masks are required by the city of Durham and Durham Public Schools.

That’s all for now.  Have a great week!


Book Fair: ts/ School Code for registration: GMS1

Contact Kara South:

PDF: How to Set up a Parent Portal Account (Eng | Spa)

Video: How to Set up a Parent Portal Account (Eng | Spa)

Web: How to Create a Gmail Account

Web: How to Create a Yahoo Account

PDF: How to Complete Returning Student Process (Eng | Spa)

Video: How to Complete Returning Student Process (Eng | Spa)

Immunization Link:

Register to (COVID) test your student today with this link: 

Ticket Spicket: