New Student FAQs

Is Summer School required?
GVR MS will focus on creating a strong school culture, understanding expectations, and teambuilding.  Students will have classes in English, Math, and Science.  Summer School is required by all students who are accepted through the lottery.  Students who do not attend summer school will lose their seat in the incoming school year group and will not be able to register for the 2017-2018 school year.  Please do not make plans for June 19th to July 7th.

What is the purpose of the DSST: GVR Middle School uniform?
The purpose of the uniform is to create a professional, safe and respectful community where students can place their sole focus on learning. Please refer to the formal dress code in your orientation packet or in the handbook.

Will DSST: GVR MS provide transportation?
Yes, for the 2017-2018 will participate in Far Northeast success express. Transportation is NOT provided during summer school.

How will you handle discipline issues?
The DSST: GVR community is founded on the school’s six core values: respect, responsibility, integrity, courage, curiosity and doing your best.  The core values provide students with the opportunity for self-improvement, individual growth, and character development.   The core values define our rules and behavioral expectations. Consistently living these core values is expected of all students for their benefit and the benefit of the entire school community.  The program at DSST: GVR MS has systems in place to promote a strong school culture and community by holding students accountable for living these six core values.

School authorities have the right and responsibility to manage student conduct and create an orderly, positive, and safe learning environment.  Conduct which disrupts learning or threatens to disrupt the operation of the school, which interferes with the rights and privileges of students or other citizens, which endangers the health, safety or welfare of any person, or which damages property will not be tolerated.  Any violation of school rules will subject a student to disciplinary measures.

Can my student bring a cell phone to school? What about other electronics?
We understand that many students have cell phones for safety and communication reasons.  Cell phone use by students is not permitted within the school building or during the school day.  All cell phones and other electronics must be stowed in a students’ backpack or locker in the off position.  If a student is seen using or holding a cell phone or other electronic device, or if a cell phone rings during the school day, the equipment will be confiscated until a parent can come and pick it up.

Will lunch be provided during summer school? Can students bring pop or energy drinks to school?
Lunch will NOT be provided during summer school.  A student may bring a snack that he or she can eat in a designated area between 12:00-12:15 only if he or she is assigned CP/Refocus/MT.  Otherwise food is not permitted within the school building.  Students are allowed to bring water bottles containing water ONLY.  Soda and energy drinks are not permitted at any time.

Will breakfast be provided?
We participate in the cooking from scratch healthy eating program with DPS. It’s an amazing food service!  ALL students receive free breakfast during summer school and during the school year! We eat breakfast together in advisor’s classrooms from 7:45 am to 8:00 am daily.

How will DSST: GVR MS meet the needs of special education students?
Special Education students who are on an IEP or 504-plan will be served in an inclusion model; they will be in the same classes as other students.  DSST: GVR MS will have a special education teacher who will make sure the goals on the IEP are met.  Special Education students may be placed in Math and English support and seminar classes, in addition to their regular courses.  In these classes, students will be given more time to work on core skills, receive additional instruction, and reinforce necessary strategies.  Also, teacher, peer (high school students), and mandatory tutoring may be assigned to provide more support. Please indicate in your registration information that your student has an IEP or 504-plan so we can set up services as soon as possible.

How will DSST: GVR MS meet the needs of students who have been identified as Gifted and Talented?
The middle school program at DSST: GVR MS will work hard to create and implement differentiated instructional practices so that we can have non-tracked heterogeneous classes that level instruction to meet student learning needs.  Teachers will create Level 1 and Level 2 (and in some cases Level 3) approaches to challenge students at all levels in heterogeneous classes, and use flexible grouping strategies that allow for constantly changing instructional groups, based on student mastery levels and learning needs.  Levels of mastery and identification of learning needs will be based on student performance on our Benchmark Interim Assessments.

What are DSST’s Core Values?

The six DSST Core Values are Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Courage, Curiosity and Doing Your Best. They are the foundation of DSST and are an active part in the daily lives of each community member. Visitors to our community most often remark that the values are not simply words on walls but are tangibly lived by students, staff, and families at DSST.

What are Morning Meetings?

Morning Meetings, which happen most days of the week, start the day and give us a chance to spend time building our school culture and community. Often they include every DSST staff member and student but sometimes they just include one grade. They typically include things like “shout outs” where individuals can acknowledge others’ moments of living our Core Values, announcements and a program. The daily program theme changes but typical themes include our Core Values, college, career, self improvement and celebrations.

What is an Advisory?

An advisory is a group of roughly 15 students, all of one gender, who meet with the same teacher (advisor) daily. The purpose of this group is to ensure that each student knows a smaller group of students and one teacher very well. It also provides each student with more localized support to ensure that no student slips between the cracks - it is the job of each advisor to ensure that they have a sense for what’s going on with each of their students and to help them when they may be in need. They can also act as a resource for families so that they have another person at the school whom they can contact about their child’s time at school.