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Weekly Message 10/8/23

Hello Parkwood Families,

This is your principal, Ms. Fearrington, with your weekly message.  October is Anti-bullying month and this month we are focused on showing our Panthers how to be Upstanders.  An Upstander is a person who understands the importance of advocating for themselves or others when they see someone being treated badly.  We are very proud of our Panthers because they work hard to take care of each other like family.  We ask that you continue to talk to your students about how to treat others kindly, even when they may not agree with them.  Here are some reminders and important information for next week.

Early Release Day:

Wednesday, October 11th is an early release day for all DPS traditional schools.  Student will be released at 12:15pm and all students need to be picked up by 12:45pm.  Please refer to the DPS Traditional calendar for important dates linked here.

Progress Reports:

Tuesday, October 11th is the end of 1st quarter and report cards will be distributed on Thursday, November 9th.  Please make sure you have access or have created a parent portal account to receive your student’s progress report.  If you need assistance with getting access or creating your parent portal account, please contact Ms. Bellamy at

Parent/Teacher Conferences:

All teachers will begin parent/teacher conferences on October 16th through November 16th.  Your child’s teacher will reach out to you via Class Dojo, call or email to let you know the process of how to sign-up for a slot. 

Growing Together Regional Meeting:

Next year will mark the beginning of our new boundaries for all elementary schools in DPS.  All  Parkwood families are invited to the regional meeting on Thursday, October 19th at Shepard Middle School from 6pm to 7pm.  Showcase of Schools will be held at the Durham Convention Center on Saturday, November 18th from 10am to 2pm.

Cellphone Policy:

All students are to have their cellphones off and in their bookbags during the instruction day.  No student is to have their cellphone on their person.  We have had some issues with students not adhering to the policy and want to make parents aware of the policy to support their students in understanding and following the policy.  If you have any questions about the policy, please reach out to Ms. Fearrington.

Title 1 Information Session:

We had a great information session and I want to thank the Parkwood families that came out to support and share their feedback.  The slide show that was shared with families is available herefor you to reference.  We also gathered some information and we are always looking for feedback.  Please feel free to fill out the Menti survey, within the slide show, to share information that will be helpful in supporting Title 1 events this year.

Title 1 Curriculum Night:

Parkwood will host Curriculum Night on Thursday, October 19th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.  We will serve dinner in the cafeteria from 5:30pm to 6pm.  All families will be able to attend two sessions in their child’s grade level.  Our awesome teachers will have an activity that parents can take home with them support their child in reading and/or math.  We will provide more details as the event draws near.  Please place this important night on your calendar.

Parent Engagement and School Improvement Team Parent Representatives:

We are looking for parent representatives to be a part of our parent engagement team and school improvement team.  If you are interested and want to receive more information, please email Ms. Carswell for the parent engagement team at and Ms. Fearrington for the school improvement team at

Hug Zones:

We have completed our 1st two weeks of school and it is time to build independence for all our students.  All parents will need to either drop their student off in at carpool or say goodbye at the designated “Hug Zone”.  Hug Zones have been identified to give parents the opportunity to say goodbye to their students and allow our staff to transition them into their buildings or for breakfast.  All parents including Pre-K and Kindergarten will need to adhere to the Hug Zone areas.  They are as follows:

Kindergarten & 4th grade:  The Black Gate

All other grade levels (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and Special Programs):  The Front Vestibule in the Main Building

Please allow our staff for Pre-K and Special Programs to bring your students down.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Kimberly Fearrington at

Attendance and Tardies:

All students should arrive at school between 7:15am and 7:45am.  The instructional bell rings at 7:45am and your students are considered tardy after that time.  This week you will be required to sign your student in for safety reasons.  If your drop off location is on the top lot, you will be required to come to the front lot to sign your student in, please do not drop your student off in the top lot after 7:45am.

Early Pick-Up:

Moving forward we will be adhering to the early pick-up time.  At 1:30pm, early pick-up for all students ends.  If your student has an appointment, then please make sure to have them picked up by 1:30pm.  Please do not come and pick up your student at 1:30pm to avoid the carpool line.  Your student is missing valuable instruction time when you are picking up your student frequently before 1:30pm.  We teach until 2:05pm, so your students should remain in class unless they have an appointment or an emergency.

Carpool morning and afternoon:

I want to thank everyone one for their extreme patience this week as we get the dismissal carpool line running smoothly.  We are working on streamlining the line and getting you out as quickly as possible.  I know that it is frustrating, but currently we have a lot of students that are carpooling because they are waiting for bus transportation.  As we continue to streamline this process, we need your support.  Please do not park in the front parking lot to walk up and/or get your student.  This disrupts the flow of traffic coming out of the front parking lot and may cause an accident.  It is best for you to get in the carpool line and wait.  If you park, I will ask you to get back in your car and get in the line.  This could significantly delay you being able to pick up your student.

Carpool lines:

It is very important that you drop off and pick up your student in the correct lot.  This will minimize the number of cars in each lot and help move the carpool line quickly.  If your student is in kindergarten and 4th grade, they are to be dropped off and picked up in the top lot off Revere Road.  If your Kindergartener or 4th grader has siblings in a different grade, they will be dropped off and picked up in the TOP LOT.  Please do not get in the front carpool line, this increases traffic.  If your student is in Pre-K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th grade and special programs, please drop off and pick up your student in the FRONT LOT.  If your student is in kindergarten or 4th grade, they are going to the TOP LOT for drop off and pick up.  Please make sure to bring your student to the front office to sign-in after 7:45am if you drop off your student in the TOP LOT.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Ms. Fearrington at or Ms. Boney at

Parkwood Visitation Policy:

I want to thank everyone for supporting their students as they are getting acclimated to their new environment.  All parents with students in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades will need to drop their students off at the “Hug Zone”.  If your student is a car rider, it is best that you kiss and hug your child inside of the car and let them out.  It is important to build independence and to ensure that they trust the adults in the building to get them to their designated locations and feel safe.  Pre-K and Kindergarten families can still walk their students to the “Hug Zone” and there will be staff to ensure they get to their locations.  The “Hug Zone” for kindergarten is at the Black Gate outside of their building.  Pre-K students may use the front foyer as their “Hug Zone” and Ms. Thaxton will ensure they get to their location.  It is important for you to read the Parkwood Visitation Policy to know and understand our rules and procedures around supporting your students in the building. 

COVID Policy and Protocols:

As we enter the school year, we have seen an uptick in COVID cases.  Please follow the guidelines below to report if your student has COVID or COVID symptoms. 

  • If your student has active symptoms, especially a fever, your child should stay at home until they have been fever free for 24 hours without medication.
  • If your student has active symptoms with no fever, they should wear a mask to respectful to others.
  • You should have your student tested for COVID if they have symptoms. Please send a picture or copy of the doctor’s note to your child’s teacher to show proof of a positive test (A home test is sufficient).  Your students will need to quarantine for 5 days and may return on the 6th  For days 6-10, they will be required to wear a mask.

Community Eligibility Provision Program:

This year we have exciting news!  Parkwood will participate in the CEP Program for the 2023-2024 school year.  All students will eat breakfast and lunch at no cost!  Under this program we will follow these specific regulations:

  • Applications are not required.
  • Students are allowed to PURCHASE la carte items. These items are not part of the lunch menu.  (Chips, cookies, etc.)

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

I look forward to seeing all our Panthers this week! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and as always Parkwood Panthers…Show PRIDE!


Kimberly Fearrington, Principal