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Weekly Message 12/3/23

Hello Parkwood Families,

This is your principal, Ms. Fearrington, with your weekly message.  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 19thIf 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

Chromebooks:  URGENT

We are reaching out for your support in locating missing Chromebook devices and chargers. We are asking ALL families to please double check their homes to see if by chance your child has previously brought home a Chromebook from last school year or even this year. We have many Chromebooks missing from our campus, and we are hopeful to get those back into the hands of students here who do not have a device to use at school. We have a prize for each student that can bring back a missing charger or Chromebook device. We really appreciate your support in this effort, as we want to ensure each of our students has a Chromebook to use for their online interventions at school. Thank you so much for taking the time to look for these items in your home and returning them to us! We look forward to passing out these special prizes to those who return them!

Growing Together Assignment Plan: URGENT

Recently, Durham Public Schools sent letters via mail regarding the 2024-2025 Growing Together student reassignment plan.  This letter informed you of your child's official region and assigned zoned elementary school for the 2024-2025 school year. If you are a parent/guardian of a Pre-K through 2nd grade student, please take two minutes to complete the following survey. This survey will assist us with further communication and your intent for next year. Your intent is not binding, but it will help us, as a district, plan for next year at this time. Remember, if you have a rising 4th or 5th grade student, those students will remain at Parkwood until they transition to middle school. If you have a 4th or 5th grade student that has a sibling in grades PreK-2nd, please complete this form for the sibling, noting their older 4th or 5th grade student on the form. Please complete this form by Monday, December 4th.  

Parkwood Growing Together Form 

You can also explore the Growing Together website at this link:

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:


PTA Information:

Join us for the final PTA Meeting of 2023! In this meeting we will be discussing upcoming fundraisers, events, and opportunities to volunteer for December and throughout the Spring. We also will be receiving updates from our PTA Board and its supporting committees.  

This will serve as the NOV-DEC general membership meeting. We invite Parkwood parents, teachers, and staff to MEET IN-PERSON in the media center on WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 6th from 5:30pm-6:30pm.

Visit our website at to register to attend the meeting. Interested in officially joining the PTA? Use the website to submit $10 in annual membership fees before the next meeting to become a voting member. If you or someone you know may be a great candidate in any of the vacant board or committee positions, visit to send in nominations. The PTA Needs YOU to lead one of our mandatory committees (Advocacy, Audit, and Nominations).


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.

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