Washington DC

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October 2017

Ellington Middle School

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Ellington Middle School has a proud history of bringing our eighth-grade students on a memorable trip to our Nation’s Capital. We have made this trip with our students for the last 51 consecutive years. This year’s trip is scheduled for June 5th through June 8th, 2018 and includes an extensive tour of Washington DC and a stop in Baltimore, Maryland on our way home.

One of the most unique features of our trip each year is that we are able to include the vast majority of our eighth-graders on the trip. The typical participation rate is in the neighborhood of 90% of all students. As a school, we do everything possible to include all students. We expect that students who participate on the trip will display the kinds of behaviors in school that show their ability to help their fellow classmates get the most out of the experience. I always watch in awe as our children come together as a team to make this an enduring legacy for all students at the middle school. Throughout the year, we monitor and work with students and families so that they develop the habits that makes this such a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Before going to Washington, each student will complete a workbook designed to provide them with the background knowledge that will maximize the educational benefits of the trip. Working with peers and teachers, all students complete the workbook prior to leaving on the trip.

The cost of this year’s trip has been set at $633. This cost includes bus transportation by the DATTCO Company, housing at a quality hotel, food, tours, and a group picture. If a student wishes to be a part of this trip but is unable to pay the total cost, we will make every effort to be of assistance. Forms for needs-based assistance are available upon request from the Principal’s office. Although we do not want any student excluded from the trip for financial reasons, our funds are quite limited, and it is not possible to cover all expenses for any student. Students have been aware of this trip since 7th grade, and we hope that students and their parents have been planning accordingly. Students have been provided multiple opportunities to fundraise (Butter Braid Pastry and Cookie Dough), with proceeds going directly to families to offset the cost of the trip.

DATTCO has moved the registration process to an online system. All students must register through this system. Attached is an application form that allows you to give your child permission to create the account. Last year, some found the system a little confusing, so we will walk the students through the registration process. This, under no circumstances, obligates your child to participate in the field trip. It only provides us with an approximate number of students as we block off rooms and reserve banquet facilities. It is better and easier to withdraw a student than to add someone at the end. This process will also create the account so that any payments made are credited properly to your secure account. PLEASE DO NOT SEND IN ANY PAYMENTS TO DATTCO UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED THAT IT IS TIME TO DO SO.NO PAYMENTS ARE TO BE BROUGHT TO SCHOOL.

We are confident that this trip will be another great success, as it has been during all the past 51 years. You can be sure that the trip will be planned carefully, thoughtfully supervised, and that students who attend will return having had a great experience with plenty of memories that will last a lifetime.

Very Truly Yours,

Steve Donovan Ed.D

Trip Coordinator

DC Application

D-Day Letter

Steve Donovan Ed.D

Washington DC Trip Coordinator

sdonovan@ellingtonschools.net>