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Weekly Message 10/22/23

Hello Parkwood Families,

This is your principal, Ms. Fearrington, with your weekly message.  Here are some reminders and important information for next week.

Important Dates:

On Wednesday, November 1st and Tuesday, November 7th, all DPS Traditional Schools will have a teacher workday.  There will be no school for students on those days.  Friday, November 10th, all DPS schools will be observing Veteran’s Day Holiday, so there will be no school for students on that day as well. 

Bullying Prevention Spirit Week:

Parkwood will celebrate Bully Prevention with Spirit Week starting Monday, October 23rd.  Please make sure your Panther is ready to SHOW PRIDE by showing their school spirit everyday!  Here are the themes for each day:

  • Monday, October 23rd: Crazy Sock Day – Sock It to Bullying (Wear your favorite crazy socks)
  • Tuesday, October 24th: Team Tuesday – Team Up Against Bullying (Wear your favorite team gear)
  • Wednesday, October 25th: Workout Wednesday - Let’s Workout All Problems (Wear your favorite workout attire)
  • Thursday, October 26th: Inside Counts – Inside Out Day (Wear your clothes inside out)
  • Friday, October 27th: Pajama Friday - Put Bullying to Rest (Wear your comfy pajamas)

School Wellness Day:

We will have our first School Wellness Day for all Panthers on Friday, October 27th.  Our wonderful school counselors have put together an amazing day of wellness activities for our students.  As a response to our students and staff advocating for space to prioritize social, emotional and mental well-being, the district is designating two days each semester to fully dedicate to student and staff wellness.  You should have received a parent letter/permission slip with your student on Friday, asking for permission for them to participate in the Trunk or Treat event at our school from 12:30pm to 1:30pm.  Please make sure to return the form by Monday, October 23rd so we can prepare for the event.

Progress Reports and Report Cards:

Tuesday, October 31st 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 Assignment Plan:

Next year will mark the beginning of our new boundaries for all elementary schools in DPS.  You should have received a letter in the mail with your student’s assigned school for next school year. This is part of the exciting changes coming with the 2024-25 Elementary Student Assignment Plan.  To learn more about the Assignment Plan and the world of possibilities it will bring home to you and your child, visit  This is a new dedicated site that will be your central location for information about the assignment plan.  The plan starts next year for elementary students only, but now is the time to learn more about what this will mean for you and your family.  Again, be sure to check your mailbox for a letter and visit for details on the 2024-25 Elementary Student Assignment Plan and to register for informational meetings.  Showcase of Schools will be held at the Durham Convention Center on Saturday, November 18th from 10am to 2pm. 

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.

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 5thgrades 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.

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