Northwoods News

A Message from Principal Nixon--January 31, 2022

Northwoods Families,

As most of you know, February is designated as Black History Month. During February, Northwoods students will be learning about the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, prominent Black leaders and innovators of the past and present, as well as the challenges that Black Americans and other minority groups continue to face as we strive towards racial equity and social justice.

Though Black History Month provides us with a special opportunity to teach these and other concepts, we also recognize the importance of ensuring these concepts are interwoven into instruction during the other 11 months of the year. Our continuing goal is to ensure that our students have daily exposure to instruction that is culturally relevant, inclusive, and explicitly reinforces positive notions about tolerance, social justice, and equity.

We welcome your participation and feedback and ask that you join us by fostering conversations about race, social justice, and equity at home with your children so that we may elicit meaningful and lasting change within and beyond our community.

Upcoming Events:

  • Tuesday, February 1st--First Day of Black History Month
  • Monday, February 7th - Friday, February 11th--School Counselor Appreciation Week
  • Monday, February 7th - Friday, February 11th--Bus Driver Appreciation Week
  • Monday, February 14th--Valentine's Day
  • Tuesday, February 15th--Classroom Group Pictures
  • Thursday, February 17th--Q3 Interims Sent Home
  • Friday, February 18th--Teacher Workday
  • February 21st--President's Day--No School
  • Tuesday, March 1st--First Day of Women's History Month


Joe Nixon, Principal

Counselor Corner

School Information

Kindergarten Registration is Open:

Parents of rising kindergarten students may begin registering for the 2022-23 school year. For more information, please review the Northwoods Kindergarten Registration flyer.

New/Prospective Family Tours:

We will begin conducting tours for new-to-Northwoods families as well as families with rising kindergarten students. Please see the flyer below for more information and a link to register for tours.

2022-23 Magnet/Year-Round Application Window:

The application deadline for Magnet and Year-Round schools has been extended. The last day for parents to apply for a seat at a magnet or year-round school is Monday, February 6th.

Black History Month:

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. This year, we want our students to help us actively learn and celebrate Black History Month. As such, our 3rd-5th grade students will be presenting information about notable black figures who have helped shape and change our country. More information to come!

Counselor Appreciation Week:

February 7th - 11th is National School Counselor Appreciation Week. We have put together a list of events (linked below) to help recognize and celebrate the work that Mrs. McMillan and Mrs. Birkenstock do daily with our students and staff. I encourage everyone to participate to help show our wonderful counselors how much we appreciate them!

Class Pictures:

Students will pose for class/group pictures on Feb.15th. Order forms will be sent home in the coming days.

Carpool Reminders:

As many of you have already seen and experienced, ongoing shortages of bus drivers have caused significant disruptions to our morning bus routes. As a result, more families are using the carpool line to drop off/pick up students. If you regularly use the carpool line, I ask that you review and adhere to the following carpool procedures:

  1. Please use BOTH carpool lanes. This helps get more traffic off of Chapel Hill Road.
  2. Please make sure students are ready to exit the vehicle quickly. This means having shoes on, backpacks ready, etc.
  3. Please DO NOT park to walk your child to the doors. This causes further carpool slow-downs as students and parents cross the crosswalks. If you insist on walking your child to the main doors, please park in the side lots so that it won't impact the flow of carpool traffic.
  4. When possible, ride-share with other families. This is a great way to share the responsibility of student drop-off and helps reduce the number of vehicles queuing in line.

Cary Chamber of Commerce Honor-a-Teacher Program

Excellence in teaching – we know it when we see it. It can be the teacher who spends extra time with the students who need it most, or the teacher who is creative enough to inspire a real love of learning in a student. Perhaps it’s a teacher who cares enough to be involved with their students beyond the classroom. Whatever their methods, certain teachers make a real impact on students and their learning abilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has only highlighted the great importance of the role that teacher's play in our society.

We would like to recognize one such teacher and we need your help. The Cary Chamber of Commerce has been a leader in supporting education in our community through numerous programs and activities. One of the most critical needs of Wake County schools is that of attracting and retaining the best classroom teachers. With the Cary Chamber of Commerce's Honor a Teacher Program we hope to help our school system in meeting that challenge.

Building on the success of the Discovery Award first sponsored by the Ashworth family in 1991, followed by the Clara Knoll Award in 2000 by Barry and DJ Mitsch, the Cary Chamber has secured sponsors to develop a teaching awards program for all schools in the Cary Area.

We are asking our community to nominate teachers for this award. Included with your nomination, please describe why you feel this particular teacher deserves this award.

Nominations must be submitted no later than Friday, February 25 at 5:00pm. These nominations will then be narrowed down to finalists that will be interviewed by a designated committee.

If you have any questions, please email Kelcey Ashworth, Vice President of Education & Member Business Services, at


Recent Updates to Quarantine Guidance for Exposures:

We have updated to include information about household and non-household exposures. A summary of the updates:

  • You may remain in school without any exclusion period following a non-household exposure to COVID-19 (e.g., during an afterschool activity, while eating lunch, at a community activity) as long as you do not have symptoms. This exemption applies to both masked and unmasked non-household exposures.
  • If you have a household exposure, you must stay home for 5 days following your last exposure to the household member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 unless you were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 90 days or are up to date on vaccinations.
  • If you are not able to separate from the household member, your ‘last exposure’ would be the day your household member’s isolation period ends, and your five-day quarantine period begins after that.

Sign-Up for Voluntary COVID Testing:

Our school, in partnership with MAKO Medical, will begin offering weekly, on-campus COVID-19 testing for students and staff on Tuesday, February 8th. COVID-19 testing is an effective way to reduce transmission, especially when layered with other measures.

We strongly recommend all families participate in this free program. Participation helps safeguard the entire school community and gives you information to help you keep your children healthy.

Participation in the program is voluntary. A parent or guardian must register any K-12 student under 18 years old in order for a COVID-19 test to be administered. Pre-K students who attend school within K-12 school buildings are eligible for the state-approved vendor testing with Mako. However, Pre-K students who attend school outside of K-12 school buildings are not eligible for the state-approved vendor testing with Mako.

The testing is simple: Trained MAKO Medical staff quickly and gently swab students’ noses. They place all the swabs in a single tube (that’s the pooling step). The samples in that tube are then tested as a single sample, using one test. If a positive test is received, everyone in the “pool” will return to school the next day to take another test to identify the person who tested positive for COVID-19. Learn more about pooled testing.