DINGMAN DELAWARE PRIMARY SCHOOL (DDPS)
Kim Butaitis, Principal
Dingman-Delaware Primary School
1375 Route 739
Dingmans Ferry, PA 18328
(570) 296-3173 (fax)
Dingman Delaware Primary School (DDPS) opened on August 31, 1999. It is one of four primary and elementary schools in the Delaware Valley School District. It is unique in that it is the only building in the district which houses just grades Pre-K through second grades. It was built to address increased enrollment on the Dingman Delaware campus, and has consistently had enrollment of between seven and eight classrooms in each grade level, kindergarten through second grades.
When DDPS opened in 1999, it was led by Principal Dr. Dick Maggs. Victoria McNeely and Thomas Smith both led the building as principal for a short period of time. The building’s current principal, Kimberly Butaitis, has been with the district since 2008, first serving as principal of DVES and then since 2011 as principal of DDPS.
“What is best for the children?” The answer to that question is what has driven the staff of DDPS since the opening of the school on August 31, 1999. DDPS is a community focused school with many programs for students, parents, and guardians and serves as a place where all segments of the community can come together for the purpose of enriching students’ lives.
DINGMAN DELAWARE PRIMARY SCHOOL
Grades Included in This School
*These students are also included in the enrollments for each grade; therefore, these numbers have not been added to the totals
School Days at DDPS
At Dingman Delaware Primary school, the staff focuses on doing what is best for students always and student learning first. As a building which houses the largest population of the districts’ youngest children, it is crucial we make the first impact on school life positive. Everyone working in the building has a special gift for working with young children. It is very a warm and nurturing culture at the primary school. Students take on responsibilities for their learning through a variety of hands-on activities embedded into the district’s curriculum. Often students will be found discussing and sharing learning with peers and teachers. Students receive 120 minutes plus of Reading activities and 90 minutes of Math activity daily.
In addition to the core content areas, The Dingman Delaware Primary School provides its students with physical education, vocal music, art, guidance, and library instruction. Library enrichment and book checkout times are in addition to the regularly scheduled library instruction time.
A before and after school tutoring program exists within the Dingman Delaware Primary School. Tutors are either teachers within the primary school or are certified teachers from the elementary school. The Primary School also offers a variety of after school clubs where students engage in activities such as sports, games, crafts, gardening, exercises and nutrition.
A full day kindergarten program exists within the Dingman Delaware Primary School. The same course offerings are included in the kindergarten as in both first and second grade. In addition, the school provides both before and after school tutoring. Tutors are either teachers within the primary school or are certified teachers from the elementary school.
Programs for parents and guardians are an integral part of the operation of the Dingman Delaware Primary School. Title I reading specialists hold parent workshops throughout the school year. Parent-teacher conferences are held twice each school year. An art night, during which parents and guardians work on art projects with their sons and daughters, is held annually. Three music concerts are held in the spring of each year. Principal meetings are held for the parents. Information nights, to provide information about new programs or initiatives are held on an as needed basis.
Two co-curricular programs exist within the Dingman Delaware Primary School. A second grade Odyssey of the Mind team represents the school at regional competition. The student council is also open to two representatives in each second grade homeroom. The student council, along with staff members, has been involved in such activities as fund raising for victims of hurricanes, fundraising for UNICEF to assist victims of tsunami disasters, and fundraising for local families who have experienced tragedies. The student council also organizes activities for various special days, including sponsoring a mitten tree during the holiday season which is used to gather mittens which are then given to families in need, organizing a St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun hunt, assisting with the distribution of daffodils for the American Cancer Society, collecting shoes for the children in Iraq and Jump Rope for Heart. The students within the Dingman Delaware Primary School have been recognized for their letter writing to wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and veterans at the Veterans’ Hospital in Wilkes-Barre. As part of the regular school day, representatives from second grade classes lead the school in the Pledge of Allegiance and participate in morning announcements on the DDTV News, which is facilitated and produced by the school librarian.
The Dingman Delaware Primary School is a community focused school. Numerous community organizations use the school after hours including cub scouts, daisies and Warrior Extreme Cheerleading. DV-ACE, the school district’s adult and community education program also holds classes in the evening in the primary school.
The building principal for the Dingman-Delaware Primary School, Kimberly Butaitis, has been with the district since 2008. She served as principal of the Delaware Valley Elementary School from 2008 until 2001, whereupon she took on the duties as principal of the Dingman-Delaware Primary School. It is not uncommon for the building principal to make classroom visits, participate in classroom activities and read to students.
The staff of the Dingman Delaware Primary School consists of a mixture of local residents and commuters. The majority of the staff made the move from the elementary school to the primary school. The remaining staff has been hired since the school’s opening. In addition to their teaching duties, staff members also participate in many PTA and school planned evening events such as the Art Show, Sports Day, Book Fairs and the annual Eggstravaganza.
The Dingman Delaware Primary School PTA is a school and community focused organization whose sole purpose is providing services to the students. The PTA sponsors a Thanksgiving food basket drive every year. The PTA sponsors two assemblies a year, sponsors a visit by a local author during Read Across America Week, holds a movie night, a sports day, and an annual Eggstravaganza. The PTA also coordinates two reading incentive programs a year in conjunction with the fall and spring book fairs. PTA members also assist with field days and provide refreshments for new student orientation, kindergarten registration, and the annual bus drivers’ breakfast. The PTA is an integral part of the school’s annual Awards Program and presents certificates to students for participation in the Reflections program as well as participation in reading incentives and Citizen of the Month.
The students, parents, guardians, and staff of the Dingman Delaware Primary School make things happen. The school is the center of a community in which most families live in private communities. The school is the only place in the community where all segments of the community can come together for the purpose of enriching our students’ lives.
Information researched and compiled by Sharon Siegel.