Principal Updates

August 20, 2021

COVID Protocols

Dear Penny Road Families,

As we begin our school year of teaching and learning, our attention will remain focused on providing a safe and caring learning environment. We continue to take COVID-19 protocols very seriously and are following the guidance of experts in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS).

After consulting with colleagues at other schools we made the difficult decision to use virtual platforms for school events and programs when feasible. Parent access into the building will be prohibited or limited unless approved by administration. We believe that this is the safest route for us to share information with our families at this time and to keep our students and staff healthy. While we would like nothing more than to have our community together, we feel it would be more responsible to plan remote programming when possible.

Here are the many ways in which Penny Road staff members are supporting healthy practices.

Classroom -

  • Teachers are using assigned seats and or lines in classrooms, hallways, and common spaces.

  • If there are centers/circle time/carpet time in the classroom, floor markings are encouraged to remind students of social distance.

  • Water breaks: students will always have access to water. Our students have done a great job staggering their water breaks. Drinking from fountains is not allowed, so water bottles are encouraged.

  • Students’ will keep personal items separate and in individually labeled cubbies, containers, or lockers, when feasible.

  • Access to cubbies/personal storage areas will be staggered to allow as much space as possible between students.

  • Snacks: Students will be provided with a set time to eat snacks in the classroom. Students are provided time to wash their hands before and after a snack. Our teachers have been given several options to enhance the safety of snack time (staggered eating, conducting snacks while students listen to a read-aloud, spreading out around the classroom depending on available space.

Cafeteria -

  • Under Plan A, Penny Road does not have the physical space or staffing to allow students to stay six feet apart from one another while face coverings are removed for eating. At this time, schools have returned to breakfast and lunch practices and procedures used before the pandemic, including allowing students to socialize while eating.

  • Students will wash hands or use sanitizer before eating.

  • Serving lines are set up in the traditional way so students can "self-serve" and make their own food/beverage choices, but they are asked to practice social distancing while in line.

  • Students have assigned seats in class, specials, on the bus and during lunch to reduce the number of people who will potentially be exposed and to facilitate contact tracing. We are utilizing our cafeteria space to the extent possible, especially when we have only one grade level accessing the space.

  • We are encouraging students to dedicate the first part of their lunch to eating. When a student is done eating, they will put their mask back on. They are encouraged to socialize with their masks on.

Recess -

  • Playground equipment is available for use.

  • Students will wash or sanitize their hands before and after recess.

  • Hand sanitizer will be available for students to practice hand hygiene during play.

  • Masks are not required outside.

Healthy Hygiene -

  • We have scheduled handwashing times throughout the day.

  • Students will use sanitizer as they enter new spaces

  • Sanitization stations will be checked and refilled daily.

  • Sanitizing high-frequency touch points by school custodial services will happen throughout the day.

How can parents help?

  • Encourage your child to practice self-awareness when eating and drinking.

  • Provide an extra mask for school each day, in case their primary mask becomes dirty or wet.

  • Keep your child home if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms, and communicate illnesses with your child’s teacher:

    • 100.4° fever or higher

    • Sore throat

    • New cough

    • New shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

    • New loss of taste or smell

    • Diarrhea or vomiting

    • New severe headache

  • Review the WCPSS Return to School Guidelines

Kind Regards,

Mrs. Hoke

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

Arrival: Parents who bring their children to school will UNLOAD through

the SINGLE/RIGHT lane on the passenger side of the car. Please have your child(ren) wait in your car until adults arrive for morning duty. Once arrival begins and you

have pulled up to the designated areas, you may allow children to exit your vehicle. For

students needing assistance, please wait for adult assistance. For the safety of our children and staff, we ask that cars patiently wait for the cars in front of you to unload and that you do not pull around other cars.

Dismissal: For the safety of our children, we are implementing a new afternoon dismissal plan. We ask that you follow instructions from staff as you enter the parking lot. Please be patient, kind, and considerate as everyone gets accustomed to our new procedures. Dismissal will be delayed.

Walkers: If you walk to school to pick up your child in the afternoon, please wait near the flagpole for a staff member to assist you.

Have a wonderful weekend!