Eagles' News Brief:

New Family Orientation Edition: June 2020

Welcome to Vandora!

Greetings New, Perspective, & Returning Eagle Families!

We are thrilled to welcome you to Vandora Springs Elementary School! Please take a few moments to enjoy this special newsletter to learn more about our school. We've included several items that we hope will give you a glimpse into our amazing school and answer some questions you have about the upcoming school year.

  1. Welcome Video from Principal Rhonda Curtis
  2. Virtual Tour
  3. Virtual Orientation - featuring our VSE Kindergarten Teachers
  4. Kindergarten Supply List
  5. Information from our school nurse, Mrs. Lunsford
  6. Tips from our Data Manager
  7. School Lunch & Bus Transportation Links
  8. Information about our Specials, YMCA Afterschool Care, and the Vandora Springs PTA

In addition to this virtual orientation, we invite families to join us for a "Google Meet" on Tuesday, June 23rd at 6pm or a Q & A session with our principal later in the summer. Please sign up below to receive information about how to join one of our Google Meetings. We look forward to meeting you soon!

Welcome Message from Mrs Curtis!
virtual tour

Click on the Virtual Kindergarten Orientation Video Below

kindergarten Virtual Orientation

What does a Kindergarten day look like?

  • Morning Meeting

  • Writing

  • Letterland

  • Lunch

  • Centers

  • Specials (Art, Music, P.E., Media/Technology, & Guidance)

  • Math

  • Snack and Recess

  • Dismissal

Information from our school nurse Mrs. Lundsford

Click the picture for a informative slideshow.

Tips from Ms. Cattano

Hello Future Eagle Families!

My name is Tracy Cattano and I am the Data Manager at Vandora Springs Elementary. I am here to answer any questions you may have about your child’s enrollment. Please click https://www.wcpss.net/domain/1375 to begin your child’s online registration. To expedite the enrollment process, you may upload the following documents when completing the online registration.

1. A certified copy of your child's birth certificate.

2. Parent Photo ID

3. Proof of your Wake County address, which must be one of the following:

o Current water, gas, or electric bill in parent's name that is no more than 30 days

o Newly signed lease that is no more than 60 days old

Please keep in mind that once schools reopen, we will need hard copies of all the documents you have uploaded along with the NC Health Assessment and completed immunization record. (Due on or before the child's first day of attendance)

Please reach out to me if you need further assistance with registration at tcattano@wcpss.net. We look forward to meeting each of you!


Tracy Cattano

Navigating carpool at Vandora Springs Elementary

Welcome to Counseling with Mrs. Lucas


My name is Jennifer Lucas I am the School Counselor at Vandora Springs Elementary. I have the privilege of working with our students through classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, and individual counseling. I also collaborate with school staff and parents in order to best meet the needs of students. Please take a look around this website to learn more about the Comprehensive School Counseling Program, and available resources for parents and students https://sites.google.com/wcpss.net/mrs-lucas-counseling-corner/home. I look forward to meeting our new Eagles and Eagle Parents! If you have any questions for me feel free to contact me- Jennifer Lucas- Jlucas@wcpss.net

Welcome to Music with Mrs. Theres

I’m Mrs. Theres (pronounced like the word terrace) and I am the music teacher at Vandora Springs Elementary School! I am going into my twelfth year of teaching elementary music, although I have taught in many different places. My husband is in the U.S. Army, and with this comes a lot of moves. I started my teaching career in Colorado, then Virginia, then Germany and now we’ve been in North Carolina for 3 years. I have three boys, one of which comes to Vandora Springs with me and he is in 1st grade. My other two are “big kids” and go to middle school and high school.

I absolutely love teaching music and believe in students learning through creating music from the ground up. I am a fully certified Orff teacher, which means starting with a simple song and letting the students decide where the song will take us. This involves singing, playing instruments, dancing and playing games. I also have my level one certification in World Music Drumming. World Music Drumming is all about students playing and experiencing authentic music from many different cultures starting all the way in kindergarten!

Your kindergarten student will be learning first through singing, playing cooperative music games and dancing. We will then pretty quickly transition into students learning about respect for instruments and the correct way to play them for them to have the best sound. It is important for students to be able to experience and keep a steady beat, so many of our activities in kindergarten involve beat keeping.

I also believe in students learning how to read music from a young age, so we will begin the process by reading iconic notation (pictures while keeping a steady beat) and then transition to reading actual music notes (rhythms). Reading music goes right along with students learning to read because the notes go from left to right, top to bottom, just like in a book.

I am very excited to meet all of our new kindergarten friends, and can’t wait to welcome them into my classroom so that we can make music together!

Please feel free to let me know at any time if you have questions or concerns. stheres@wcpss.net

Welcome to Technology with Mrs. Jones

Welcome VSE Eagles Family!! My name is Mrs. Bree Jones. This will be my first full year at Vandora Springs Elementary, but I have over 15 years experience working in corporate America’s technology field teaching and advancing new ideas. In my new venture I’m super excited to be able to engage our Kindergarteners as they begin their technology experience. We will navigate using technology log-ins, age-appropriate educational apps on iPads and the use of chromebooks to prepare them for the rest of their elementary school journey.

My educational philosophy: ‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’ –Benjamin Franklin

Welcome to P.E. with Mr. Lawson

Dear Vandora Springs families,

I would like to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Wesley Lawson and I am the Physical Education teacher here at Vandora Springs Elementary. I have been a PE teacher in Wake County Public Schools for 13 years and have taught the past 8 years here at Vandora Springs Elementary. I am really looking forward to working with you and your children this school year.

In Physical Education class, we will explore and learn about Personal/Social Responsibilities, Motor Skills, Movement Concepts, and Health-Related Fitness. Our goal is to teach your child how to become to a healthy life-long learner.

Below is some helpful information that will make your child’s first year a successful one.

We participate in lessons and activities that are safe, educational, and fun. Safety is our top priority. Students should wear appropriate clothing for PE class. Your child should wear clothes that they can be active in. Students should wear sneakers to PE class or bring a pair of sneakers to change into. Flip flops, crocs, shoes with high heels, dress shoes, or any open toe shoe are not safe to wear to PE class.

Dresses are not appropriate for gym class. If your child would like to wear a dress on a day that he/she has PE, please have them wear shorts underneath their dress. Your child should wear clothes that they can be active in.

If your child is sick or has an injury that requires them to sit out of our activities, then please email me or send a written note. If your child has a medical condition that I should be aware of please contact me at wlawson@wcpss.net.

I look forward to meeting you all and working with your child this upcoming school year! Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


Wesley Lawson

Healthful Living

Vandora Springs Elementary

Welcome to Media with Ms. Matthews

Welcome to kindergarten! I attended Vandora Springs K-5th grade and have worked here for 8 years as the media specialist. Your child will visit the media center to learn about authors, create in our makerspace, read, use technology and much more! I can't wait to help your child get started on the path to being a life long reader! We have "open circulation" in our media center, which means children can come as often as they wish to return and check out books. First quarter, kindergarteners will start by coming with a teacher or checking out a book when in media for a lesson. As they get more confident and independent, kindergarten students will come to get books with a friend on their own. I can't wait to meet you and your children!

Melandie Matthews

Media Specialist, Vandora Springs Elem.

Welcome to Art with Mrs. Norris

Hello new VSE families and returning families! I would like to introduce myself. My name is Marlana Norris and I am the art teacher at Vandora! I have been working here for over 19 years and have had various titles. I started out as a teacher's assistant in 3rd grade for about 8 years, then as a teacher assistant in Kindergarten for about 7 years. I received my teaching degree during this time. I have been a teacher at Vandora for 5 years now; 2 of those years as a 2nd grade teacher and the latter as the art teacher.

In Kindergarten art class, we draw, cut, glue, and occasionally paint. While using these supplies and creating masterpieces, we will be working on our fine motor skills, as well as enhancing our knowledge of shapes, colors, and letters. We also work on social skills by collaborating with our table friends with hands on activities such as creating with legos, connect cubes, etc. This builds self awareness, confidence, creativity, and critical thinking.

I can't wait to meet all of you. We are going to have a ton of fun!

Marlana Norris

Art Teacher, Vandora Springs Elem.

Register for on-site after school care.

Register online at www.ymcatriangle.org. Contact Rebecca Blanton, our Program Director, at rebecca.blanton@ymcatriangle.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Several local daycares and community organizations provided off-site before and after-school care for our students during the 2019-2020 school year.

Some of them were:

  • Aversboro Road Child Care Center

  • Childcare Network

  • Community of Hope

  • Garner Academy

  • Garner Parks and Recreation

  • Heather Park Childcare Center

  • Kindercare

  • King's Kids

  • La Petite Academy

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