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Weekly Message 1/29/23

Hello Parkwood Families,

This is your principal, Ms. Fearrington with your weekly message.  As we near the end of January, please make sure that you have received your child’s report card.  If you have any questions, it is very important to reach out to your child’s teacher and request a parent/teacher conference.  Here are some reminders and important information as we prepare for next week.

Parent/Teacher Conferences:

It is that time again!  We have ended the 2nd Quarter and have entered the 2nd semester of the school year and all teachers will be reaching out to set up parent/teacher conferences.  All conferences are to be completed between February 1st through February 28th.  Please make sure to reach out to your child’s teacher to get a conference scheduled.

Schedule Reminders:

All DPS students on the traditional calendar will have an early release day on Wednesday, February 8th and a teacher workday on Monday, February 20th.  Students will get out of school on Wednesday, February 8th at 12:15pm and all students should be picked up by 12:45pm.  Monday, February 20th is a teacher workday, so there will be no school for students that day.  Please refer to the district school calendar provided and linked here for important dates.

Growing Together Information:

Over the past two years, Durham Public Schools has worked collaboratively with district leaders, community partners, DPS staff and our families to

improve equity and access to schools and programs while managing growth within our community. As a result, our Board of Education adopted a revised

school assignment policy to allow for regions of access and new elementary school boundaries.  As a school community, we want to make sure that all of

our families understand the new boundaries and how it will specifically effect Parkwood.  We will host a community meeting to discuss the new

boundaries and address and questions, comments or concerns you may have regarding the new assignments.  Please keep in mind that these new

boundaries and assignments are not to take place until the 2024-2025 school year.  The date for the community meeting will be shared in next Sunday’s

weekly message, but we want to share some frequently asked questions that may help answer some initial questions.  The questions will be linked in the

email and if you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to me at any time.

Parkwood GT FAQ English.pdf 

Parkwood GT FAQ_SPA.pdf 

Gaggle Information System:

Nothing is more important than the safety of our students, teachers, and staff. This is a reminder to you that Durham Public Schools consistently monitors and investigates any and all possible hazards or threats to our school communities. To that end, we piloted a tool called Gaggle for Student Cyber Safety Management at six of our schools last year, and received funding to expand this tool districtwide. The Gaggle tool monitors student district accounts to scan for harmful content and alert us when students show signs of self-harm, cyberbullying, credible threats of violence, or other harmful situations. Please know that we will always continue to work with our student support services professionals to create a safer school environment, and to proactively provide help to students in need.

Attendance and Tardies:

I want to remind all parents that all students are to arrive by 7:45am when the instructional bell rings.  If your student arrives after that time, you will need to come into the front office to sign your student in.  You will no longer be able to drop your student at the front without coming into the school building to sign in.  We have encountered a significant number of students that are tardy and we thank you in advance for your support with this new process moving forward.

Fall Retake Pictures:

A photographer from Strawbridge Studios will be at Parkwood on February 9th to photograph Fall Retake pictures.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Jacqueline Boone, our school secretary at, if you have any questions or need additional information.

Cellphones, Electronics and Toys:

We have noticed an increase in the support needed to assist with students who have their cellphones, electronics or toys out during instructional time.  Our cellphone/electronic policy strictly prohibits phones being on and out during the school day.  Students may place these items in their book bag to ensure the items remain safe and secure.  If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to reach out to Ms. Fearrington and/or Ms. Carswell.

COVID Protocols and Information:

It is important that as we see an increase in the amount of COVID-19 cases and flu, that we remain vigilant with symptoms that can be COVID-19 or Flu related.  If your child has a fever and is showing signs or symptoms that are COVID-19/Flu related it is important to keep your child at home to ensure they receive rest and are symptom free without medication for 24 hours before returning to school.  If your child has symptoms, please get your child tested to ensure they are not positive for COVID-19 or the flu.  You will need to provide proof of a positive COVID-19 test by taking a picture or providing the doctor’s note to your child’s teacher.  If you have any questions, please reach out to your child’s teacher.

Updated Elementary Visitation Guidelines:

We have updated our protocols for elementary school visitation during instructional hours.  The Parkwood Visitation Plan is linked here for you to read.  It is important to note that we have added additional information to the section regarding instructional time.  It is not recommended that parents volunteer in their student’s classroom during instructional time.  However, a parent can support and/or assist with making copies, laminating, eating lunch with their student or volunteering in another area of the school at any time.  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher, Ms. Fearrington or Ms. Carswell.  Thank you all for supporting all of our teachers, staff and students at Parkwood, we truly appreciate your commitment and dedication to a joyous school learning environment.

There are many ways to stay connected to our community.  Please follow Parkwood Elementary on our Facebook page and website.  Please join the Parkwood PTA!  If you have any questions please visit and/or reach out to Hope Alfaro, our PTA president at

Please reach out to me if you have any questions or need assistance!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend and as always Parkwood Panthers…Show PRIDE!