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Weekly Message 12/10/23

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 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, December 11th through Tuesday, December 19thIf you did not receive the email with the link, the link is available here.

Panorama SEL Screener:

We will be administering a survey that we will give to all students in kindergarten through third grade.  This survey will students a chance to tell us how well they understand their social and emotional skills. The survey focuses on SEL (or social-emotional learning). As you may already be aware, building social-emotional learning skills is an important goal for our schools this year. Over the next several weeks, students and teachers will participate in several exercises to better understand these concepts. For several years, we have administered this survey designed to give students a chance to reflect on how they perceive these skills in themselves.

Due to the new Parents’ Bill of Rights, we’re asking for your consent to allow your kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade student to participate. You may grant permission for your student to take the survey https://t.ly/seloptin. You may also access the link on the DPS website. The survey will be administered between Tuesday, December 5 and Tuesday, December 18, 2023. To access questions from the Panorama SEL Survey, K-2 click here, 3-5 click here.

Please call or email Kimberly Fearrington 919-560-3962 and/or kimberly_fearrington@dpsnc.net if you have questions or concerns. Thank you for your consideration.  

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.

Chromebooks:

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 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!  If you have any questions, please reach out to Kathleen Carswell at Kathleen_carswell@dpsnc.net.

Communities In Schools Afterschool Program at Parkwood:

We are excited to announce a new afterschool program coming to Parkwood.  This program will be geared to giving students academic support afterschool and is available to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders only.  We have identified specific students to be a part of the program and those families have or will receive correspondence from Ms. Alesha Braswell, who is the Success Coach for the program.  The afterschool program is free and will be located at Parkwood.  The beginning time is 2:15pm and will end at 5:15pm.  Transportation will have to be provided for your student to participate.  We are encouraging all parents who have been notified to please consider having your student participate in the program.  This is a great opportunity for students to receive academic support to assist with excelling in class but also to prepare for EOG’s.  We want our students to have all the support they need and to be successful.  If you are interested and need additional information, please reach out to Alesha Braswell at alesha@cisdurham.org.  Ms. Braswell will also be available for questions or if you would like tot sign-up at our Title 1 Night on December 14th.

Growing Together Assignment Plan:

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 Wednesday, December 13th.  

Parkwood Growing Together Form 

You can also explore the Growing Together website at this link: https://welcome.dpsnc.net/

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:

Interested 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 linktr.ee/durhamparkwoodpta to send in nominations. The PTA Needs YOU to lead one of our mandatory committees (Advocacy, Audit, and Nominations).

Tardies:

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 https://www.durhamparkwoodpta.com/.

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

Warmly,

Kimberly Fearrington, Principal