Penguin Press News

September 7, 2020


Dear LPE Families,

Happy Labor Day to you all!

As we enter the second week of our full instructional schedule, we want to thank you for persevering and supporting our teachers along the way. Our schedule is in direct compliance with county expectations. While we observed a high level of engagement this past week, we do not want families to feel overwhelmed by remote learning. If you or your child(ren) need to take longer breaks from the instructional schedule, our attendance policy allows for flexibility and grace. Our goal is to serve families where they are from day-to-day.

We are here for you if you need guidance or support. We value open communication and hope that if you are feeling overwhelmed you will reach out to your child's teacher. As a support to our teachers, LPE administration will help navigate needs as they arise. Our goal will always be to provide our students with a happy and healthy learning environment.

For your reference, please see the WCPSS Remote Learning Attendance Policy below:

A student is considered present for daily attendance during a remote learning day if either of these statements are true:

  • If a student completes their daily assignments, either online or offline;

and/or if a student is present in synchronous (live) instruction.

  • If a student has a daily check-in, a two-way communication, with the classroom teacher.

Kind Regards,

Mrs. Raleigh Bame, Principal

Mr. Adam Barabasz, Assistant Principal

Communication Reminders:

  • Teachers will send out a weekly newsletter prior to the start of the week, outlining curriculum and general announcements.
  • Penguin Press Newsletters are sent every other Monday, unless breaking news needs to be shared.
  • Our school website is updated frequently.
  • Follow us on Twitter: @LaurelParkElem

We Are In This Together!

Mrs. Bame asked teachers what advice they would share with parents during these early weeks of remote learning. Here are some of their responses:

  • There are still road bumps and spills that are going to happen, and we are all doing our best to make things work. We appreciate every parent being patient with us during this time.

  • The students are doing a fantastic job!! They're showing up, logging in, working hard, and navigating curriculum. If a parent has a question, we would really appreciate a private email rather than using the chat. Classrooms are really supposed to be for the students, especially those students who are more independent.

  • It would be helpful to have school materials in a central learning area in their home.

  • Headsets/headphones are REALLY helpful if there are multiple kids in the room trying to learn.

  • THANK YOU to all of the parents who are helping to support students and teachers from home AND all of the encouraging emails!!!!

  • I keep reminding myself that what works this week may or may not work the following week and adjusting is part of this journey. All teachers do that all the time in the classroom and it's perfectly fine for you and your family to do the same at home. We all are still figuring out what works for us and sometimes it takes us doing things by trial and error. We're all doing our best and it's during this time that we all just continue to have patience and grace for one another.

  • I would love for them to know that we recognize that students are building their stamina for the length of the school day. In addition, we are here to support them as they begin to submit assignments electronically. We value feedback, welcome questions, and love working with kids.

  • My advice would be that since we have had a few weeks of practice on whole group instruction and students are becoming more comfortable, parents should try to leave the room or walk away and let the students complete whole group instruction independently. If teachers feel that parents need to help the students in any way, they will contact them.

  • We are amazed at how well the kids are doing with all of this. A big part of that is parents! Thanks to all the supportive parents that are going above and beyond to help, encourage, support, and TEACH! We can't do it without you

  • Balloon breaths- they work for students and adults too. When in doubt take a balloon breath!

  • My advice would be to set aside one hour over each weekend to regroup...sort out materials, organize, make sure assignments have been done even if all work cannot be complete. We want students to experience success so that the next week is a clean slate.

  • We're here for you. Working together, we'll make it a great year! Focus on your family, unplug, play outside, and take care of one another.

  • Have a family routine of naming something they are grateful for each day.

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Music Class Updates from Mrs. Sonstroem

We've had a great start to the year and I'm so proud of our amazing LPES Penguins.❤️ Thanks for all the family support. I'd like to share instructions for students who have not yet logged onto Quaver Music. Classroom teachers are sharing this prior to the week your child has music, but in case you'd like a refresher or a head-start...

We use the Quaver Music curriculum which can be accessed digitally. As with anything, students will first need to login to their WakeID portal and always sign on to with the blue "Sign in with Google" button. (see picture)

Please follow these detailed (visual and video) instructions on our music website.

I post assignments in the music Google classroom and students will join our Meets from there, but most of our work will be done via it's so fun, creative, and engaging! I'll take students step-by-step how to login during their first class. 🙂

After the initial login, it's a one-click login with the blue "Sign in with Google Button" every time. Super simple!

For grades K-2 Quaver class codes, see this page.

For grades 3-5 Quaver class codes, see this page.

Looking forward to a great year!

Jenni Sonstroem

Music Specialist, Laurel Park Elementary (Year-Round)

NBCT, Early & Middle Childhood Music

MM, East Carolina University

BM, University of North Carolina at Greensboro My Google Site

Go Play Save - PTA Fundraiser

Link to book preview


Here is an email to send out and fb message you can post. Feel free to edit it however you choose. :)

We have one more week to purchase and sell GoPlaySave paper and mobile books! We can earn $11,000 if every family buys 1 book. We can double our profit if every family buys one book and sells one book to a friend, family member, neighbor, or co-worker.

Click here to flip through the paper book digitally:

The average family saves $400 each year. Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy have just been added to the mobile book with 4 $10 OFF your purchase coupons! Using these coupons alone will allow you to support our PTA and save money when purchasing shoes and clothes, as well as make your money back for the paper or mobile book! All of the other $10,000 in savings coupons will be gravy and support local businesses! The Butcher’s Market, Cookie Cutters Hair Cuts for Kids, Ruckus Pizza, Pasta & Spirits, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Pet Mania, Hollywood Feed, Jersey Mike’s, The Melting Pot, Mellow Mushroom, Char-Grill, Swagger, Knight’s Play, Fresh Local Ice Cream, Goodberry’s, Duck Donuts, Great Clips, SuperCuts, AR Workshop, Glory Day’s Grill, Culver’s, Wake Zone Coffee, Donovan’s Dish, Clean Eatz,Red Bowl Asian Bistro, Pastry n’ Chaat, Inchin’s Bamboo Garden, Sassool, Hallmark, Learning Express, and Office Max/Depot are just a few of the great places you can support and save!

We will have a drive set up for any paper book purchases. We will be wearing masks and gloves when handing you paper books purchased. Click here to purchase your GoPlaySave paper or mobile book today:

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Kids Heart Challenge Update

Dear Penguin family and friends,

My name is Mark Edwards and I am the Physical Education teacher here at Laurel Park. I would like to give a quick update on our KHC. As a school we raised over $8,300 last school year. With that total we were ranked in the top 25 schools in the state of North Carolina. Thank you all for your hard work and donations. I am so proud of all of you.

I would like to get the prizes out to you all in the next couple of weeks. This is my plan. If your child collected any donations of $15.00 or more, please email me their name, last years teacher name, grade from last year and when you would like to pick them up. If you are not sure email me with the same information and I will let you know if they earned any prizes. I will have a blue box in the bus loop area by the side door with your prizes in it. If you have a child that moved onto middle school I also have their prizes. This box will be there Monday-Friday from 8:30—4:30 for pick up. If you have any questions or if it not there please email me at I look forward to hearing from you. Go Penguins!!!!!

Thank you and have a great day, Mark Edwards

Positivity Project Resource for Families

P2 for Families is an easy and effective way for families to discuss the importance of character strengths and positive relationships. It is differentiated for grades Pre-K – 2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Each character strength follows a 1-1-3 model: 1 quote, 1 video, and 3 questions to drive conversations around character at home.

Please choose your child’s grade level found at the link below:

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We are pleased to announce Lucky's Library Curbside Service! LPES Media Center will have takeout book service this year with curbside pick up.

Directions and detailed information:

If parents would like to check out using their own library account, just email Mrs. LeSueur with your name, student's name and phone #. She will create a parent account for you.

Live too far from school?

Stay tuned, we are working on ways to deliver books to you!

Technology Tips and Tricks from Ms. Trent

Single Subject Acceleration Updates from AIG Team

Single Subject Acceleration (SSA) Update

3rd Grade Explorers Informational Google Meet

Calling all 3rd Grade Parents! We will be hosting a 3rd Grade Explorers Informational Google Meet for all 3rd grade parents. Explorers in a nurturing, enrichment class that is offered ONLY to 3rd grade students. If you are interested in learning, more about this program, please attend this Google Meet to learn more about what Explorers is, how students are identified for enrichment and if AIG services are needed. This Google Meet will be offered on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 7:00 pm. The Google Meet code is

4th & 5th Grade AIG Informational Google Meet

Are wondering about what AIG is and if your student is eligible? Please attend our 4th & 5th Grade AIG Informational Google meet for parents of 4th and 5th graders ONLY! In this Google Meet session, you will learn what AIG is, the AIG testing process, AIG eligibility, meet the LPES School Based Committee for Gifted Education (SBCGE) and learn how LPES serves their gifted population. (This is not a meeting for current AIG student parents.) If you are interested in learning more about AIG, this Google Meet will be offered on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 7:00 pm. The Google Meet code is

If you are unable to attend these events on the scheduled nights, do not worry! They will be offered again on the LPES AIG website, through a live recording by Mrs. Stone on Thursday, September 10, 2020. Please email her with any questions at

Wake County Public Schools has decided to reopen the Single Subject Acceleration (SSA) nomination window again from last spring 2020. Although Laurel Park Elementary held their nomination window open during the spring remote period, some schools closed their nomination window due to COVID. To be equitable to all WCPSS schools, the SSA nomination window will be reopening August 3rd - August 28th for any 1st - 5th grade student only.

Single Subject Acceleration is an opportunity for students that are consistently performing above grade level to be considered to move up one grade level for only one subject in either Math or English Language Arts. This is an important decision that should be considered greatly. This is not a decision for all students or for students that need challenged or enrichment. This is for students that have demonstrated above grade level ability consistently across all same subject objectives. I highly recommend if you are considering SSA, that you speak with your student's classroom teacher from last year to get their advice. If your student's teacher is no longer with LPES, please contact me and I will contact that teacher to get their advice on this decision. If you made this decision last spring to have your student SSA tested, I already have their nomination on file and will test them accordingly. If you would like to change your decision or want to touch base with me to verify that I did receive your nomination, you can email me at

For families that are interested in SSA and missed the spring SSA nomination window, please read over the attached information from Wake County Public Schools regarding SSA testing and if interested please complete the SSA Nomination form and email it to me at Our SSA nomination and testing timeline will be as follows:

Accepting SSA Nomination forms August 3rd - 28th

SSA Testing August 31st - September 25th (3rd - 6th week of school)

Qualified students will placed into their new SSA class September 28th (7th week of school)

Students that meet SSA test qualifying scores, will be placed into their new SSA class the 7th week of school. Which means they will miss the first 6 weeks of instruction. We will have a SSA meeting to discuss how to best help each student with the transition to their new class, how to handle the missed six weeks of instruction and what the first quarter report card grades may look like. That date will be announced through email to the guardians of qualifying students.

If you should have any questions, please email me at

Thank you!

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View the 2020-21 LPES Instructional Schedule

PLEASE NOTE: Instructional blocks will be a mix of live and recorded sessions. Laurel Park teachers will communicate more details about the grade level schedule during the first two weeks of school (orientation).

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Need to Update Your Contact Number? Want WCPSS Texts?

The district uses the SchoolMessenger notification service to send important information to families through phone calls, email, and text messages. General school news is shared by email and text message. Phone calls are used for urgent school news.

Grocery Store Rewards Cards

Laurel Park Community Calendar

Please click on this link to view our daily calendar. Thank you!