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Weekly Message 11/26/23

Hello Parkwood Families,

This is your principal, Ms. Fearrington, with your weekly message.  I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving break with family and friends!  I look forward to seeing all of our Panthers tomorrow, Monday, November 27th at Parkwood.  Here are some reminders and important information for next week.

Student Climate Survey:

There will be an upcoming survey that all 5th, 7th, and 11th graders will be asked to take to tell us how they feel about attending Durham Public Schools.  It is called a Student Climate Survey and we administer it every year.  We want to know what makes them feel good or proud to be a DPS student, and if there are things we need to improve so that they can feel good about learning in DPS.  We would appreciate your consent using the Google form that you should have received via email.  It will be administered between Monday, November 20th and Tuesday, December 19th.  If you did not receive the email with the link, the link is available here.

Important Dates:

On December 20th through January 2nd, all DPS schools will be observing Winter Break.  There will be no school for students on those days.  All students will return to school on Wednesday, January 3rd.

MOY Benchmarks:  Please make sure your student is in attendance on these days

All 3rd, 4th and 5th graders will begin taking MOY Benchmarks for Reading, Math and 5th grade Science on December 4th through December 8th.  The dates for each test are as follows:

  • Monday, December 4th: 3rd, 4th & 5th Grade Reading
  • Tuesday, December 5th: 5th Grade Math
  • Wednesday, December 6th: 3rd & 4th Grade Math
  • Thursday, December 7th: 5th Grade Science
  • Friday, December 8th: Make-Ups

Parent/Teacher Conferences

The deadline for teachers to reach out to all families for parent/teacher conferences was November 16th.  If you did not get to meet with your child’s teacher, please reach out to your child’s teacher this week to schedule a meeting after Thanksgiving break.  If you need assistance scheduling a meeting, please contact Kimberly Fearrington at

Growing Together Assignment Plan:

We hope you were able to attend the Showcase of Schools on Saturday. It was amazing! If you missed it, there’s still time to explore your child’s possibilities under the new 2024-25 Elementary Student Assignment Plan. Our elementary schools are hosting open houses through December, and open houses for the magnet application schools will continue through January. You can double check your K-3 child’s elementary assignment and see a list of open houses at Remember, if your child will be in fourth or fifth grade next year, they can remain at their current school, but you can still explore other options that may interest you.

Title 1 Night and Winter Concert:  Changes May Occur

We will be hosting our 2nd Title 1 Night event and 3rd, 4th and 5th Winter Concert on December 14th.  It will begin at 5pm and end at 7:30pm.  The schedule for the Title 1 Night and Concert:


It is important that all students arrive before 7:45am when the instructional bell rings.  We have had an increase in students being tardy and all parents are required to sign their student into the building if they arrive after 7:45am.  We need all students to be engaged and ready to learn at the start of the school day.  So, please make it a priority to be on time every day.

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 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, FLU & Cold Season:

COVID, Flu and cold season is upon us, and it is very important to make sure you are reporting sickness to your child’s teacher.  Please make sure that you are reporting positive COVID cases and providing a picture or doctor’s note to your child’s teacher.  If your student will be out multiple days because they are recovering from the flu, cold, allergies etc.  Please notify your child’s teacher and provide a note to the front office.  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