New ’20-’21 PTSA Executive Board

PTSA held a meeting May 18th & voted in your PTSA Executive Officers for 2020-2021. Say hello to your new board!


Nicole Eddings
Holly Mitchell


Kali Besse
Jennifer Lewis


Ashley Henderson


Ann Brown

Congratulations, all! We know you’ll do an awesome job!!

News from the Library Learning Commons

In partnership with the Cobb County Public Library System, CCSD Library Media will be sunsetting Biblionasium this summer and moving to Beanstack in the fall as its reading challenge platform. Students will have access to their Biblionasium accounts through June 26th. Media Specialist, Mrs. Baker will recognize participants in the Durham Library’s March Madness and Beyond Reading Challenge at yearbook distribution, so finish logging those minutes now. (If you have logged your reading minutes but will not be at yearbook distribution, later recognition arrangements will be made.) Summer Reading Adventure 2020 will be led by the Cobb Public Library System throughout the summer, utilizing Beanstack, and then the Durham Library Learning Commons will continue that momentum in the fall. Further details are posted on the Library Learning Commons blog. Keep reading, Wildcats!

Dr. Bristow FAQs

Dear Durham Families,

I know there are several questions that many of you may have considering some recent changes.  I am going to try to answer them as succinctly as possible.  Below are some of the FAQs that I have received over the past week.

Grades and Online work

  1. At the end of quarter 4 (Q4) will my student receive a grade lower than their quarter 3 (Q3) grade? Students will not receive grades lower than their Q3 grades.  Students may work during Q4 to increase their grades, but they will not go lower than Q3.  If your student had straight A’s for Q3, they will have straight A’s for Q4.
  2. What is the lowest grade my child can receive at the end of Q4? The lowest Q4 grade a student can recieve is a 70.  This is per the Governor and the Georgia Department of Education.
  3. Are teachers grading assignments? Yes, teachers are grading all assignments that students turn in and are posting them into Synergy.  You can now view them in ParentVue.
  4. Will grades be put into Synergy that are lower than their Q3 grade, even though we are in Q4 and they cannot get a grade lower than the Q3 grade at the end of the quarter?  Yes, all grades will be put into Synergy.  If teachers only put in the “good grades” and/or omitted the “bad grades”, neither the students nor teachers would know if the students have learned or mastered the information.  At the end of the quarter adjustments will be made to the overall grade to make sure that the final Q4 grade is not below the Q3 grade.
  5. If my student and I are both happy with their Q3 grade, does he/she have to continue to work?  All the teachers and I recommend that every student continues doing his/her classwork in order to improve and keep their academic skills fresh.  However, if you and your child really are good with the Q3 grade then that grade will be used for Q4 and he/she does not have to do the work.
  6. Will grades that my student receives on an assignment for Q4 have a negative impact on their overall grade?  Ultimately, No (see question 4).  The grades a student receives in Q4 will only positively impact his/her grade.  For example, if a student had an 85 average at the end of Q3, then the lowest grade he/she will receive at the end of Q4 is an 85.  This grade can, however, be improved upon and he/she could end up with a higher Q4 grade if he/she does well on all their work.
  7. Can my student choose which class(es) he/she wants to work on and not do work for other classes?  Yes, a student can choose which class he/she wants to work on to improve their learning and/or grade.  If he/she is happy with their other classes, then he/she can choose not to work on those classes.  However, all teachers and I recommend that every student continues doing the work and getting feedback from teachers in order to improve and keep their academic skills fresh.
  8. Would it be appropriate to let my student’s teacher know if they are not going to do the work moving forward?  Yes, that would be appropriate.  This will allow the teacher(s) to know who to expect work from throughout the remainder of the year.  In addition, this will help teachers with planning activities and online interactions with students.
  9. At the end of Q4 will my child receive a Pass/Fail grade? Yes, at the end of this quarter eventually all K-8 students will receive a Pass/Fail grade.  However, that grade will be based on their Q3 grade that was finalized on March 13.  The exception to this will be for any 8th grade student who is currently in a high school course: Algebra, VA Comp Art, HS Physical Science, and Spanish.
  10. Where do I find Q3 grade?  The Q3 grade can be found in ParentVue. It is the grade from the last report card that was posted into ParentVue on March 20, 2020.
  11. Where can I find out how my student is progressing since March 13?  Teachers are now placing all assignments into ParentVue.  They started this process today and will hopefully have all graded assignments into the program for your review by this Wednesday.

Bottom line:  Your child cannot fail Q4.  If they stop working right now, the lowest grade they can receive is the grade they earned in Q3.  I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to keep your child in learning mode.  Four months out of school will have a negative effect on their academic retention to start the next academic year.

Access to the Building

  1. Will the students or parents eventually have access to the building to pick up items left at school or to return items?  Yes, however, at this time we are not sure when that date will be or what the format will look like.  We are working with the district to set up a plan.  However, with the current “Shelter in Place” extended until April 30, it may be May before we can allow students or parents to enter the building.  As soon as we know a date and plan, we will let the community know.

Disney Refund

  1. When will we get a refund for the 8th grade Disney/Universal Trip?  The travel company has been in negotiations with all the vendors.  The timing of the refunds depends on when those companies will be back at work.  Just as we are in a “Shelter in Place” order, so are these companies.  As soon as the Durham receives the funds, we will begin the process of refunding those trips.  As of today, the earliest it will be sometime in late May.

I hope that these FAQs have been helpful.  Please let me know if I can answer any other questions you may have.


Meeting Minutes 3/5/20

Durham Middle School

Durham PTSA

Executive Committee Meeting

March 5, 2020


6:30 p.m.


The meeting is called to order by President Jessica Mirth at 6:37 p.m. Kelly Vandegriff is present to take minutes. Quorum is determined as present.

Approval to file minutes: The minutes from the last general meeting on 8/15/2019 are posted outside the front office. They have been reviewed and read by the Executive Committee and the following PTSA members: Dr. Bristow and Nicole Eddings. There have been no noted changes or corrections; therefore, President Jessica M proposed to dispense reading the minutes aloud and vote to file them for audit. Executive Committee member Shelley Mazur made the motion to file. Motion passed.


Treasurer Report: Carrie Fountain posted the financial report outside the front office door. Highlights are as follows:

TOTAL REVENUE = $65,733.39

TOTAL EXPENSES= $63,909.51

NET REVENUE       = $  1,823.88

CASH ON HAND    = $33,869.81

Jessica M explained that we funded $13,000 in classroom grants, staff appreciation week, and the 6th grade dance. We are still funding grade level dances, honor roll celebration, fun Fridays, PBIS program, and student agendas.

New Business:

Nominating Committee: At our next General meeting we will be voting on officers for the 2020-2021 school year. Jessica M asked if there are any volunteers or nominations from the floor willing to serve on the nominating committee. No one responded. Jessica M, in an effort to ensure representation from all feeder schools, proposed that Dr. Bristow, Kali Besse, Nicole Eddings, Meghan Kluse, Jennifer Lewis, and Dawn Pendley serve as the nominating committee members. No questions or discussions; Jessica M declared the nominations closed and proceeded with a voice vote for nomination committee. The “ayes” have it, and Jessica M appointed Jennifer Lewis as the temporary chair of the committee until the committee meets and elects its own chair.

There was no further business. Meeting adjourned at 6:42 p.m. by Jessica M.

Kelly Vandegriff, Secretary