DMS PTA News September 2021

JOIN DOWNING PTA
 
Have you wondered if you joined the Downing PTA yet because there are soooo many To Do’s at the beginning of the school year?!  You are not alone. In fact, if you accidentally joined the PTA twice, you are also not alone!  It’s a crazy time!
 
In the midst of the crazy, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to help our students and teachers hit the ground running this school year.  When you join the Downing PTA, you are doing just that.  In fact, your membership last year enabled the PTA to create a new lounge area for the students this year!  Look for it near the front office.  And several teachers were able to purchase upgrades to their curriculum to enhance their students’ learning.
 
We have Adult, Family (we want Dads, too!) and Student memberships.  Students?  Yes!  They want a membership too!  That $5 membership gives them a FREE LATE HOMEWORK PASS, a voice in their school and a few small surprises throughout the year. Sweet!  And EVERY membership makes a difference.
 
Thank you for considering joining your Downing PTA this year!  Click HERE and choose the option that works best for your family. Many thanks for all you do to support our students, teachers and staff!

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH

There’s volunteer effort and then there’s Volunteer Effort Extraordinaire with sprinkles and a cherry on top! Shelly Anderson went above and beyond when she heard about our plans to replace two aging couches in the student-lounge area. Shelly asked if she could offer her professional contract-furniture expertise: she showed us multiple innovative options, durable fabrics and outstanding price points. She did the measuring, ordering and — finally, after several delays — installing of our furniture last Friday. Ask your students — our new Diamondback-inspired seating looks fantastic, and is perfectly complemented by the new Downing mural that was painted over the summer. Thank you, Shelly, for helping the school welcome our students! 


WORTH THE WAIT

Our student-lounge furniture is finally here! Before the end of the 2020-21 school year, the Downing PTA was able to purchase new seating options and a rug for the area that welcomes students just inside the entrance to Downing.


PANDA EXPRESS DINE OUT
The next Downing Dine Out Night will be in September 14 at 10:30a – 9:30p.  Please be sure to tell them you are supporting Downing PTA so we will receive 20% back!  


REFLECTIONS

The PTA’s annual Reflections arts program encourages students to tap their inner creativity and express themselves through artwork. Students are invited to submit original artwork in one of six categories: Dance Choreography; Film Production; Literature; Music Composition; Photography; and Visual Arts. 
Mark your calendars as submissions are due October 29th.


HOSPITALITY

Even though it doesn’t feel like it, Autumn is just around the corner. In celebration, DMS Hospitality is planning a Goodbye Summer…Hello Fall feast on Tuesday, September 14th. Since we won’t have chili and soup weather yet, we’re planning a Mediterranean meal with slices of grilled lemon herb chicken served with naan bread, caesar salad, pasta salad, tomato and zucchini quiche, and fruit. Donations of desserts and beverages will be needed to make our feast a success.
Look for the sign-up toward the end of next week.


COMMUNITY OUTREACH

The Downing PTA Community Service Team could use your help and generosity this fall.  Click HERE to find out items needed for the weekly Diamondback Packs that are sent home as a community service to provide for student with food insecurity.  Descriptions list how many of each item are included weekly in each student pack and priority needs to fulfill our inventory.  Simply choose whatever you would like to purchase, it will be shipped directly to Downing MS.  Items can also be purchased locally and delivered directly to the school, high priority needs such as canned vegetables, tuna, chicken, pop tarts and fruit bowls.  Thank you!  


FALL RECYCLING FUNDRAISER



Lose the clutter and earn cash for your school — Downing PTA will be holding its fall recycling event on December 4 from 9 a.m. – noon in the South Parking Lot (by the track). Our recycling partners have an extensive list of items they’ll take — clothing to household goods to electronics. Clear out those closets before Christmas and help the Downing PTA!
For more information about what items are acceptable, individuals can click HERE


COLOR RUN


Due to the safety of our students and staff, we will be delaying the Color Run until Spring 2022.
We look forward to another awesome time!!


LEGACY GARDEN

Are you looking for a great way to contribute to our school and leave a lasting legacy for your student?  Ordering a personalized brick for our Legacy Garden is only $25.  After placing your order, you’ll be contacted to provide up to 3 lines (13 characters each) to be engraved on a brick for the Legacy Garden.
Click HERE to order.


BIRTHDAY GRAM

Celebrate your child and help Downing PTA all in one with a BirthdayGram—a birthday note, special candy delivery and lunchtime announcement for $15.
Click HERE to purchase a Birthday Gram


AMAZON SMILE
Shop at Amazon and generate donations for Downing Middle School PTA.
Click HERE to get started.
  

DMS PTA News August 2021

JOIN DOWNING PTA

Welcome back!! Your Downing PTA is SO excited to host PTA functions and activities for the kids and teachers this year!  If you are a parent, DMS teacher, grandparent or guardian of a DMS student, we really need YOU!!  
 
Since last year was a challenge in regards to being able to host the super fun activities and serve our teachers every month, we would LOVE to be able to do that this year!  The DMS PTA  is committed to offering as many services you have been accustomed to in the past like new spirit wear and wrap packs.  As well as pouring into the teachers in a big way through morale-boosters such as teacher/staff lunches each month and funding teacher requests for classroom enhancements. We also are focused on helping our students through our Outreach program with motivational speakers and food and school supply assistance. 
 
We would love for you to be a part of the Downing PTA this year to help us do all we can to serve the students and teachers this year!  We have streamlined the process even more with our newly designed website to make it EASY.  Please click HERE and select Join Now.  You will then see the 4 different membership options.  And don’t forget to get your student a STUDENT PTA MEMBERSHIP!  That membership gives them one FREE LATE HOMEWORK PASS!
 
Thank you for considering joining our Downing PTA this year!  And thank YOU for all that you do to support our students, teachers and staff!
 
Beth Currey, VP Membership

VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH

You know, that moment when you sign up for a volunteer job and have no idea how to do it? Kara Steffens defines PTA pluck. Kara has intrepidly researched how our Wrap Pack selection and ordering system works and coordinated the delivery and handout of our school packs in a whirlwind back-to-school season. We appreciate her willingness to dive right into new things! 


SPIRIT WEAR

The Downing PTA hopes you’ll take a moment to visit HERE to purchase new Spirit Wear (we just added 2 super designs based on family feedback!)
 
Our first pass for ordering ends August 20, so please don’t delay.
 
As always, we thank you for supporting our school and showing off your DMS pride! If you have any questions, please contact Shelby Strafel via text at 601.850.3409.

DOWNING DINE OUT

Our first Dine-Out Fundraiser of the year is coming up on Tuesday, August 24th!  Stop by Costa Vida on Long Prairie Rd for Taco Tuesday between 4pm – 9pm and mention you are there to support Downing Middle School. Costa Vida will donate a portion of the proceeds, and you won’t have to worry about what to feed your family on the night of Open House. Everybody wins! 


HOSPITALITY

Our Hospitality team kicked off the back-to-school training week with a teacher/staff luncheon featuring oodles of Giro’s pasta, salads and bread, as well as drinks, fruit and desserts generously donated by Downing families. We are pumped for a great school year and are excited to continue lavishing attention on our hard-working Downing employees with monthly Hospitality Events. 


WRAP PACKS

Thanks to all the Downing families who purchased Wrap Packs!
The office still has additional wrap packs that can be purchased for a few more days.
6th grade- $55.06
7th grade- $54.27
8th grade- $54.36
Exact cash or check only please. 
We are proud to support our Downing students.


FALL FUNDRAISER

We are bringing back our recycling event for the fall…with the exact date to be announced. 


COLOR RUN


Due to the safety of our students and staff, we will be delaying the Color Run until Spring 2022.
We look forward to another awesome time!!


LEGACY GARDEN

Are you looking for a great way to contribute to our school and leave a lasting legacy for your student?  Ordering a personalized brick for our Legacy Garden is only $25.  After placing your order, you’ll be contacted to provide up to 3 lines (13 characters each) to be engraved on a brick for the Legacy Garden.
Click HERE to order.

 


REFLECTIONS


This year’s PTA Reflections theme empowers our students to imagine their role in changing the world. We are working with DMS Fine Arts teachers to encourage students to create original works of art in numerous categories. Entries will be due at the beginning of October, with exact dates to be announced.


BIRTHDAY GRAM

Celebrate your child and help Downing PTA all in one with a BirthdayGram—a birthday note, special candy delivery and lunchtime announcement for $15.
Click HERE to purchase a Birthday Gram


AMAZON SMILE
Shop at Amazon and generate donations for Downing Middle School PTA.
Click HERE to get started.
  

DMS PTA News May 2021

PTA MEMBER OF THE MONTH

Our May volunteers of the month are a special group of parents who have poured their hearts into Downing for many years. They are leaders, party planners, fund-raisers and most of all the givers of their time and talents. We salute the following board members for a strong finish and wish them the best as they rise to high school with their 8th graders:

Cyndi Little, Jennifer Tipton, Wendy Pickett, Nicki Henry

 


OFFICIAL DOWNING PTA BOARD 2021-22 & OPENINGS

The Downing Middle School PTA would like to announce its 2021-22 Executive Board
as approved at our April General Meeting:

President, Tish Raymond
Secretary, Elizabeth Cline
Treasurer, Dawn Mansfield 
Vice President, Ways and Means, Bevin Jacobs
Vice President, Membership, Beth Currey
Parliamentarian, Liz Bose
 
We have several open board slots for the 2021-22 school year, including:  
 
• Hospitality (2-4 spots) – coordinate monthly Teacher Appreciation goodies
• Community Outreach (2 spots) – coordinate weekly LOVEPACs food donations + clothing/holiday and yearbook needs with DMS counselors for Downing students. 
• Arts in Education (1 spot) – promote, collect and judge Reflections entries (occurs in the fall).
• Web site (1-2 spots) – update PTA website, currently being redesigned for easy layperson use.
 
Text President Tish Raymond at 713-855-2359 if you are interested in volunteering!   

 


MEMBERSHIP AWARDS

As we reflect on this most unusual year, yes, this past year got off to a rocky start, but the students, teachers, administration and parents, pivoted.  And then pivoted again.  Though some storm clouds remain, there is definitely a clearing ahead! Despite the many challenges (like never being able to see each other in person!), your PTA worked hard to grow our DMS membership and to give a voice to our students, parents and teachers. 
 
We are happy to announce Downing Middle School earned several PTA Awards for the 2020-2021 calendar year: The Golden Apple Award (100% of faculty as members), The Student Membership Award (at least 25 student members, which we far surpassed!) and the MARS Membership Award (50 men as members).  It was also just announced Downing earned the GOLD Voice for Every Child Award, Texas PTA’s most prestigious membership award.
 
So a HUGE Thank You to YOU for supporting your children’s school this year and we look forward to serving the needs of all our Downing students, parents and staff next year!

 


EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Thanks to the active participation and generosity of our PTA membership and community, we were able to make several donations to enhance Downing’s educational opportunities for all students, including:
 
      • Patio heaters, sees starter kits & shelving for the future Downing STEM greenhouse
      • Craft supplies galore for Mrs. Bell’s classes
      • Batteries for Mrs. Hardwick’s tubers
      • Lawn darts for the PALS class
      • Scholastic Scope Kits for ELAR students (all grades)

DOWNING MS PTA SCHOLARSHIP

Congratulation to Downing Alumnae HANNAH SPEAR, winner of the 2020-21 Downing MS PTA $500 Scholarship, administered by the Lewisville Education Foundation. We are proud to recognize a former Downing student each year and help with higher-education expenses. 

 


DOWNING DINE OUT


Costa Vida Dine-Out Nite is coming for Taco Tuesday on May 4th, from 4-9pm! Come out and celebrate Cinco de Mayo a day early while supporting your Downing Middle School PTA.


 

HOSPITALITY

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 3-7 and our Hospitality Crew has lots of fun in store for Downing Teachers and Staff!
 
Tuesday — Lonestar Popcorn Snack Bag with Bottled Soda 
Wednesday — Cinco de Mayo catered Taco Lunch Box
Thursday —Dessert Day (including Buttermilk Sky Pies)
Friday — Gift Card Day with Sonic Drinks
Thank you to all our Downing Community members who contributed gift cards and drinks to put the exclamation mark on our Teacher Appreciation Week!

 
 
AMAZON SMILE

Shop at Amazon and generate donations for Downing Middle School PTA.
Click HERE to get started.
  


DMS PTA News April 2021

We blinked and Spring Break is over and Easter is almost here!  Despite all the (so very many) distractions and challenges we have had this year, you and your kids are doing an incredible job!  And our Downing teachers and staff?  They are INCREDIBLE!  Thanks to each and every one of you, families, students and teachers, who show up every day and give it your best!

 
The PTA is always looking for additional ways to support our students and staff and your PTA membership is one way we can do that.  If you are new to Downing or have had “Join the PTA” on your list for a while, we would love for your support!  Just click HERE
And as always, we thank you for supporting your Downing PTA!

 

DOWNING DINE OUT DATES

Come join us for a very special Downing Middle School PTA “Dine-Out” fundraiser on Wednesday, April 7th! One Stop Nutrition in Highland Village right next to LA Fitness has AMAZING nutritional shakes, custom made-to-order! Not only do they make some of the best shakes around, but their knowledgeable staff can help you with all your nutrition needs. Stop by ANY TIME during open hours (8am – 8pm) on April 7th and mention Downing Middle School PTA when you check out. One Stop Nutrition will generously donate a portion of the sales to support the students and staff at Downing!


Costa Vida Dine-Out Nite is coming for Taco Tuesday on May 4th, from 5-9pm! Come out and celebrate Cinco de Mayo a day early while supporting your Downing Middle School PTA. Keep an eye out for the flyer coming soon!


HOSPITALITY

Our fabulous DMS teachers & staff were recently treated to Smoothie King as we wish them a smooth last 9 weeks with our students!

Get ready for Major League Baseball Opening Day! Our DMS Hospitality Crew & Staff have a yearly tradition of celebrating Opening Day with favorite ballpark inspired foods. This year we will deliver Cane’s four packs, chips and a fun ballpark inspired treat on April 1st.
Go DMS and Go Rangers!

Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up, May 3rd-7th. We are in the process of planning a fun week for our amazing DMS staff.  Please be on the lookout in late April for ways you can help contribute and make TAW a huge success.


BOX TOPS

We need your help earning cash for Downing Middle School with Box Tops!  DMS has earned $142, well below our goal for the year…..  
Right now you can refer-a-friend and when they scan their first receipt, you’ll BOTH earn 20 Bonus Box Tops for DMS!  
SEE PRODUCTS & LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BOX TOPS APP HERE.  
 
YEARBOOK

Have you ordered your Downing Yearbook?
No? Not Sure?
Go to www.balfour.com
Questions? mickk@lisd.net
 
AMAZON SMILE

Shop at Amazon and generate donations for Downing Middle School PTA.
Click HERE to get started.
  

PTA Member of the Month

April’s PTA member of the month, Dawn Mansfield, brings a depth of accounting expertise to the treasurer position that makes the whole organization better. Some PTA jobs allow you to “fake it until you make it.” Treasurer is not that job. Dawn brings a calm, collected perspective to the PTA’s books. Her vast experience and practical outlook have been indispensable. This year has created so many question marks, financial and otherwise. Dawn has calculated and recalculated budgets, forecasts and plans. Her expertise has helped calm a choppy year! We are grateful for her leadership and dedication to Downing Middle School. 

Downing PTA Board 2021-22 Openings

The Downing PTA will be following Texas PTA pandemic-year guidelines to extend the role of our current Executive Board through the 2021-22, which eliminates the need for elections this spring. 

We do have several open positions and are looking for volunteers willing to help!
 
Positions include:
• Hospitality/Teacher Appreciation (2 spots) — organize monthly events (goody bags, lunches, drinks, etc.) to celebrate Downing teachers and staff.
• Community Service — (2 spots) — coordinate with counselors to arrange for LovePACs and food/personal-care items to be available to Downing students in need (on-going commitment). 
• Website — update our website with current information. (Separate from Social-Media; ongoing commitment, most busy in the late summer)
• Arts in Education — promote, collect and judge Reflections entries (occurs in the fall). 
 
We are holding off on filling all our in-person-event positions until we have a better idea of what LISD will allow on-campus during the 2021-22 school year. If you are interested in helping with a Social, Color Run, or Hoop It Up,
email HERE for more information. 

Official Notice:  Update PTA By-Laws and Standing Rules

The Texas PTA requires every local PTA to update its By-laws and Standing Rules every three years. Our Parliamentarian Nicki Henry assembled a committee and has proposed updates to our current By-laws and Standing Rules to reflect our current operations. We will be discussing and voting on those changes at the General Meeting on May 18 at noon. This will serve as our official notice of these proceedings.

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DMS PTA News March 2021

PTA MEMBER OF THE MONTH

Downing is a true community school nestled within the DFW metroplex. Our school is small, tight-knit, and draws from the nearby surrounding area, making the Diamondbacks a family. March’s Volunteer of the Month, Liz Bose, takes little credit, but makes an oversized impact as our Community Service Representative, making sure Diamondbacks in need have food, toiletries and clothing so they are prepared to do their best work in school. 

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