Penguin Press News

December 16, 2019


Dear LPE Families,

We are gearing up for the upcoming Winter Break that begins after the school day on Friday, December 20th. Our Student Council is sponsoring our first spirit week of the year. Students are invited to wear clothes/ accessories that align to the themes outlined below in the Student Council section of this newsletter.

A special note from Child Nutrition: All school meals are ordered by our District Child Nutrition team. Online menus are meant to serve as a planning guide, but please note that at the bottom of each menu is a disclaimer statement: "menu items subject to change at any time". Thank you for understanding!

Wishing all of your families a safe and happy holiday season!

Mark your calendars:

    • December 23rd - January 1st - Winter Break (school closed for students)

    • January 2nd - first day back from Winter Break (welcome back track 1)

    • January 7th - Year Round Schools Expo Night (5:30 -7:00 pm)

    • January 10th - Report Cards, Tracks 1,2,3

    • January 20th - No School (MLK, Jr. Holiday)

    • January 23rd - LPES STEAM Night (5:30 - 7:30 pm)

    • January 31st - Report Cards Track 4

    • February 3rd - 7th - National School Counselor Week

    • February 8th - PTA Spirit Night at Jelly Beans (5:15-7:00 pm)

    • February 17th - No School/ County Teacher Workday

    • February 28th - Track Change requests due

Kind Regards,

Raleigh G. Bame




Student Council - Winter Updates

Our Student Council is sponsoring a Spirit Week! Students and staff may participate by wearing festive attire reflecting the following themes:

  1. Monday 12/16 - LP Gear/ School Colors
  2. Tuesday 12/17 - Crazy Socks Day
  3. Wednesday 12/18 - Favorite Sports Team Day
  4. Thursday 12/19 - PJ Day
  5. Friday 12/20 - Crazy/Ugly Sweater Day

Our new recycling program at LPES. Each classroom will have a box where used plastic markers can be placed instead of throwing them away! We accept ALL brands of color markers, sharpies, highlighters and dry erase markers!

Want more information? Check out the website below!

Mrs. Sonstroem's Music Notes - Winter 2019

Students in all grades are enjoying the many festive pieces we get to listen to this time of year, from Thanksgiving to the Chinese New Year. Grade-level specific highlights from the first semester:

Kindergarten students have explored high and low pitches with their voices (singing) and on instruments. Creative movement with scarves is a highlight. They have learned about the four different voices- whisper, talk, shout, and sing. Students have also been learning to read and play various rhythm patterns on body percussion, drums, and keyboards. The "Superhero" song has been especially fun!

1st grade has learned about grouping beats into meters of 2, 3, and 4 beats. Students have also practiced rhythm on instruments, especially as it applies to words/lyrics. They have learned about the anatomy of singing and breathing, and applied their knowledge in a song about different modes of transportation. They are starting to read notes on lines and spaces in the treble clef. They have a great time singing "Goofy Pets," "Go and Stop," and can probably show you the accompanying movements.

2nd graders have learned about how beat and rhythm are different elements that work together. They have practiced reading and playing ostinatos (repeated rhythmic patterns) on drums as well as improvising. Students have visually traced the melodic contour of seasonal pieces of music by reading and singing notes in the treble clef. The Baroque period in music is our current focus. Students have fun learning about the composers of this time period and completing activities at keyboards. Ask them to sing "Buffalo Gals" or "Joyful, Joyful is the Season" about harvest time.

3rd grade has been building their musical knowledge by learning to read notes in the "musical alphabet" on the treble clef staff, playing the pentatonic scale, singing rounds, cannons, and songs from South Africa. These students have also been studying Classical period music and are singing fun songs in class that help with playing rhythms on the drums and keyboards. Their recorder unit will begin next quarter. "Obwisana" and "The Sixteenth Note Samba" are some favorite songs.

4th grade students have been busy playing recorder on pieces like "A Heart Full of Thanks" and "Boogie-Woogie Holiday." Earlier in the quarter, they worked to review note durations, part singing, Major vs. minor tone quality, and learned a catchy song about "Terrific Triplets." They will begin the Recorder Karate next quarter and start preparing for their North Carolina Symphony Field Trip!

5th grade has been hard at work with syncopated rhythms, improvising, vocal ranges (soprano, alto, tenor, bass), global music, music symbols, and evaluating performances. They have learned many pieces at keyboards already this year, including a reggae song with a positive message called "Be What You Want to Be." These students can play the C, F, and G Major scales on the piano. I know they are looking forward to beginning the ukulele unit next quarter.

It is not too late to sign your child up for a free Quaver Account to use at home. See our music website for additional information and at-home enrichment activities.

Ms. Trent's STEM Updates - Winter 2019

December 9 - 13 was the Hour of Code where students throughout the world were encouraged to do one hour of code that week. The hope is that students will see how fun coding is and want to do more of it. There are several websites that actually offer online classes for K-12 students to help them learn coding. We start with something called block coding. It is where the bits of code are embedded in colorful and easy to use blocks. Here are a few websites with more coding opportunities: - this is what we used in my class.

Here is something similar with actual classes for the students: Another great website for students interested in coding is

which walks students through different projects in Scratch. Happy coding!

Counselors' Corner - Winter 2019

Counselors are finishing up the social-emotional learning lessons for grades 2-5. These lessons focus on identifying feelings and strategies to help us manage our emotions. Kindergarten and 1st grade classes are receiving lessons on friendship and emotions. Small group “lunch bunches” on various topics continue throughout the year based on student needs. If you have concerns about your child, please feel free to contact your school counselor:

Caren MacEntee, Tracks 1 & 2 -

Ashley Waddell, Tracks 3 & 4 -

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It’s time to get ready for Science Fair again! Projects in the 3-5 experiment category will be due at school on January 6 or 7, and projects in the other 2 categories will be coming in January 17 or Jan 21.

Science Fair chairs this year are Mary Masui and Laurel Voelker. You can reach us at Ms. Trent is our teacher contact.

Complete details can be found on the LPES PTA website. ( )

Students can enter in different categories based on grade level and the type of project. Kids can work in groups of up to 3 students. Students should feel free to work with students in different classes or even grades, as long as everyone in the group fits within the grade category they are entering. (ie, A 1st grader and a 2nd grader could do a joint project, but not a 2nd grader and a 3rd grader). Some of our best entries last year were submitted by a siblings of different ages working together.

Categories are:

  • K-2: All students in Grades K-2 will enter in this category. Students may work alone or in groups of up to 3 students. Awesome prizes will be awarded for things like Best Science, Best Display, Most Creative Project, Messiest Project and other fun stuff! These projects may be an experiment, model, or report. Students in this age group are not eligible for the Regional Science Fair.

  • 3-5 Model/Demonstration/Report: This category is for students in Grades 3-5 who are interested in building a scientific model or doing a demonstration or report of a scientific topic rather than doing an experiment. For example, the entries in this category might be a model of the solar system or water cycle. Students may work alone or in a group of no more than 3 students. Prizes will be awarded for the best entries in this category, as well as other fun honorable mentions. Since these projects are not experiments, they are not eligible for the Regional Science Fair.

  • 3-5 Experiment: This category is for students in Grades 3-5. Projects in this category must include experimentation and follow the Scientific Method. Students may work alone or in a group of no more than 3 students. Prizes will be awarded for the best entries in this category, as well as other fun honorable mentions. The top 3 projects and 1 alternate will be chosen to move to the Regional Science Fair

Students can find the link to registration at Registration will close December 15.

You’ll soon be getting flyers to send home in Monday folders. There will also be announcements about the fair and a display in the hallway coming soon. We hope that you’ll help us promote the fair by talking to your students and mentioning it in your weekly emails to parents. Please share the link to the website ( )

We also found a great set of short videos (5min each) from NASA that walk students through the steps of a project and the Scientific Method ( . Showing these would be an easy way to get students interested. In addition, if you would like one of the science fair chairs to visit your class, let us know. There are links to many other resources on the website.

We are also looking for judges. If you have parents in your class or friends/family members with experience in the Sciences, please encourage them to sign up. This will be a one -time commitment of around 2 hours. Judging for the youngest kids (K-2 category) is fairly simple, and would also be a great experience for a high-schooler or college student. The link to the judging sign-up is here: .

Thank you so much for all you do for our students! If you have any ideas or suggestions or need assistance in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Contact Info:

Laurel Voelker ,

Mary Masui


That would be great! Also the STEAM night volunteer link and the calling all STEAM people link too. Here is what is on the PTA link:

January 23, 2020
​5:30-7:30 PM
Join us for an evening of learning!
Hands-On-Activities ⧫ Demonstrations ⧫ Food Trucks ⧫ & More
STEAM for kids, Apex Friendship Engineering, NC State, NC Air Quality and more!

Interested in volunteering at STEAM Night?
Please sign up through this link:

Do you know any Scientist?
Tech People? Engineers? Artists?
Mathematicians? Do these people like to have fun with elementary kids?
​We are starting to plan for our STEAM Night and are looking for companies and individuals to provide hands-on/interactive activities for our students. Fill in the Google form through the link below if you are interested in sharing your talents!
Exhibitor Interest Form

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Ms. Trent -

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Laurel Park Spring Fun Run Volunteers Needed

We are THRILLED to be hosting our *very own* Laurel Park FUN RUN in March for our students!

We will be using Boosterthon to help organize secure donations but this will allow us to keep more of the gracious donations that we receive during this fundraiser!

With this exciting change, we are looking for a LOT our Penguin Community to volunteer any time to help us organize this event and make it the best year yet for our students and our school!

Please follow the link below to find a sign up for our current planning needs!

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Grocery Store Rewards Cards

Laurel Park Community Calendar

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