August 2018 Superintendent Message

Dover School Community,


The summer is passing too quickly. It is my hope that you have had the opportunity to enjoy time with your family during the summer recess. There are still many days that you can still claim for family time. Marilyn and I have had the opportunity to have our two daughters and their families visit us in Dover. Our grandchildren loved the area and particularly the opportunity to go to the beach. For the youngest grandson Max (5 years old), his top priorities were the ocean and the Dover splash pad and pool. Max was willing to move in with us, so he could continue to enjoy those three water activities for the remainder of the summer.


I recognize August will eventually transition to the preparation for the 2018-2019 school year. The first day for students is Wednesday, August 29 except for Dover High School and the CTC. With the opening of a new facility, it is necessary for staff and students to become familiarized with the facility. All juniors and seniors will have a full-day on Wednesday, August 29 from 7:40 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and all freshmen and sophomores on Thursday, August 30 from 7:40 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Bussing will provide both days. Tuesday, September 4 will be a Green Day with all high school students attending school. Dover High School will providing additional information for high school families.


On Saturday, August 4, the old Dover High School will be open for tours from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. If you would like to recall your favorite memories of the old Dover High School, this is wonderful opportunity to tour and you may meet other Dover High School Alumni.


The opening the new Dover High School and CTC is exciting and wonderful opportunity for the Dover community. There have been questioned asked about the structure being built on the corner Alumni Drive and Bellamy Road. The structure under construction is new facility for the CTC Animal Science Program. There is also construction underway at Garrison School. The new third/fourth grade wing is being ready for school along with several common areas that have been renovated will be completed for the start of school. The second-grade wing renovation has started and will be completed in January 2019. The gym will continue to be used for classroom space during the remainder of the renovation project.


If you know of new families in the community, we asked that you introduce yourself and remind them to register for school. On August 7, the Dover School District will be participating in National Night Out at Henry Law Park from 4-7 pm.  It is a wonderful opportunity to stop by and have questions answered or to share your observations about the Dover School District.


During the school year, the District will initiate the first year of the implementation plan for the Dover School District Strategic Plan. The plan has four major goals:


GOAL 1: The Dover School District will improve educational outcomes for students by effectively engaging with the broader community.

GOAL 2: The Dover School District will develop and sustain a culture that is characterized by optimizing social, emotional, civic, physical, and rigorous academic learning.

GOAL 3: The Dover School District is committed to continue investments in infrastructure to support student learning inclusive of facilities, technology, and safety-security.

GOAL 4: The Dover School District will recruit, hire, develop and retain effective and caring educators and support them in their growth as strong community members.

The goals will be the focal point of the District’s work with the aim to continually improve the quality and effectiveness of the Dover School District.


In closing, I want to remind everyone of the importance of making school attendance a priority. It is important all students form the habit of attending school daily (unless ill) and to be on time. The daily attendance enhances the opportunity to take full advantage of the learning opportunities of the Dover Schools. The daily attendance and being on time needs to start in the elementary school and continue through every year of school.


As summer continues, I wish you a wonderful and safe summer. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the Dover School District – SAU 11. Max may get some additional “water time” in Dover before the summer ends.




William R. Harbron, Ed.D.



Dover Schools Updates


In the Fall of 2018, be prepared and plan to attend a series of three parent/guardian and student conversations based on issues that young adolescents confront during their middle school years. One of the conversations will be targeted for the fall, winter, and spring. The conversations will be facilitated by trained middle school and high school students. The topics for the conversations are being identified from a survey of the 2017-2018 eighth graders that were asked:


  • Looking back on you years at DMS, what do you wish you had known coming into middle school? What do you wish older students had told you?
  • What do you think is important to share with incoming students? What is important to tell incoming fifth graders?
  • What do you think is important to share with incoming students? What is important to tell incoming fifth graders?
  • What do you wish your family and parents knew about what it is like to be in the middle school (or what it is like to 11, 12, 13, 14 years old)?
  • What do you wish your teachers knew about what is like to be in middle school (or what is like to be 11, 12, 13, 14 years old)?
  • If you could teach your family and parents something, what would it be?
  • If you could teach teachers something what would it be?
  • What are your hopes and concerns about high school?


    During July and August, additional planning and training are occurring for the conversations. The dates and times for the three conversations are October 9, January 15, and April 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Dover Middle School. We encourage all middle school parents to join their student for the conversations.



    To start the 2018-2019 school year, Dover Middle School has selected Restart by Gorman Korman as a school wide book reading and conversation. One of the issues faced by middle school students across the nation is “bullying.”  The book is being used as a conversation started to assist students in understanding and developing effective strategies to deal with bullying. The summary of the book follows:


    A fall from the house roof leaves eighth-grader Chase Ambrose with acute retrograde amnesia. He may not remember names and faces from before his accident, but his classmates certainly remember him, and for the majority of Hiawasee Middle School, the memories are none too pleasant. Chase was the ringleader of a circle of bullying football jocks, who terrorized weaker, nerdier students and even caused talented pianist Joel Weber to transfer to a boarding school. Chase, however, remembers none of this, and his return to school as a perfectly amiable guy is met with understandable skepticism. His football goons want their rowdy, nasty old boy back, but he's perfectly content now hanging with the kids in the video club, where a football player's dexterity translates well to operating a flip-cam. It's not easy, though, for Chase simply to chuck his problematic past and move on to fresher fields—decent friends, new skills, even a commitment to helping the elderly in a local assisted living center—since he's still in possession of a stolen Medal of Honor that he can't remember pilfering but that his old partners in crime know he has stashed away. The pranks of his new crew of "vidiots" and the grouchy outbursts of his new geriatric acquaintance, Mr. Solway, provide ample comic relief, but Chase's very real dilemma—how to remake his life when people (including himself) don't fully trust his character change—is the serious underpinning that holds the goofy episodes together. This is the solid, seriocomic approach that's always worked well for Korman, and his fans will be pleased he's as sure-handed as ever.

    Middle school families are encouraged to secure a copy of the book and use it to guide family conversations pertaining to” bullying”. This will also be one of the topics of the middle school parent and student conversations being developed for 2018-2019 school year.

    Restart by Gorman Korman is available at Dover Middle School is also working with the Dover Library to have copies of the book available.



    Currently, I am reading the book The Good News About Bad Behavior by Katherine Reynolds Lewis. The following is a brief introduction to the book:


    The current model of parental discipline is as outdated as a rotary phone.


    Why don't our kids do what we want them to do? Parents often take the blame for misbehavior, but this obscures a broader trend: in our modern, highly connected age, children have less self-control than ever. About half of the current generation of children will develop a mood or behavioral disorder or a substance addiction by age eighteen. Contemporary kids need to learn independence and responsibility, yet our old ideas of punishments and rewards are preventing this from happening.


    To stem this growing crisis of self-regulation, journalist and parenting expert Katherine Reynolds Lewis articulates what she calls The Apprenticeship Model, a new theory of discipline that centers on learning the art of self-control. Blending new scientific research and powerful individual stories of change, Lewis shows that, if we trust our children to face consequences, they will learn to adapt and moderate their own behavior. She watches as chaotic homes become peaceful, bewildered teachers see progress, and her own family grows and evolves in light of these new ideas. You'll recognize your own family in Lewis's sensitive, realistic stories, and you'll find a path to making everyone in your home more capable, kinder, and happier--including yourself.


    I am gaining a great deal of insight from the book and it is highly informative, realistic, and entertaining. I believe parents, guardians, and educators can gain practical knowledge to assist our children in learning the art of self-control. The book is available on



    • August 29--First Day for Students for elementary and middle schools, and 11th and 12th grade students (orientation to new high school)
    • August 30—First Day for Students for 9th and 10th grade students (orientation to new high school)
    • August 31-Sept 3—Labor Day Recess



Check-out the Dover School Facebook Page at It is a way to stay informed of the current events of the Dover School District. There are many good happenings occurring in your Dover School District.



The District is engaged with Edlio in the design and development of a new Dover School District Webpage. Edlio will enable the District to have an attractive and inviting webpage that will be user-friendly and the design process has been initiated. A decision was made to maintain the current website until the new website is completed in late August. The following is a link that will provide you with an illustration of the new home page for Dover Schools – SAU 11 Webpage. (Note: The new site is not active until late August.)



If you are new to the Dover Community or have a new kindergarten student starting 2018-2019, we encourage you to contact your neighborhood school as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to register your student.  If you are unsure as to which school your student should attend or if you have questions, please contact the SAU at 516-6800



The quotation is from the book A Collection of Brilliant Quotations for a Beautiful Life:


PERSPECTIVE: There are two ways to live your life – one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein