Penguin Press News

August 9, 2021

A Message from Principal Bame

Dear Laurel Park Families,

As we begin another week 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 year round colleagues at other schools we made the difficult decision to adjust some of our upcoming programming, such as our L.E.A.R.N. events (LPE Engagement and Resource Nights). These evening events will be moved to a virtual platform. This is the safest way for us to share information with our families at this time. While we would like nothing more than to have our community together, we feel it would be more responsible to plan remote programming.

Many families have asked how Laurel Park staff members are supporting healthy practices. A few operational structures we have in place:

Classroom -

  • Many of our classrooms have air purifiers that have been donated by classroom families. You may notice that some of our teachers still have air purifiers on their wish lists. If you would like to contribute, please contact your child’s teacher.

  • 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.

  • Students’ will keep personal items separate and in individually labeled cubbies, containers, 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 snack. Our teachers have been given several options to enhance the safety of snack time (staggered eating, conducting snack while students listen to a read aloud, spreading out around the classroom depending on available space.

Cafeteria -

  • Under Plan A, Laurel Park 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.

  • Be on the lookout for PTA communication regarding outside seating (picnic table) sponsorship.

  • 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,

Principal Raleigh G. Bame

What is coming up?

  • Thursday, August 12th - Lucky's Bedtime Stories Night (Virtual Read- aloud)
  • Friday, August 13th - Interim Reports
  • Wednesday, August 18th - Tracks 1 & 2 Picture Day
  • Thursday, August 19th - LEARN event for tracks 1 & 2 - NOW VIRTUAL PLATFORM - a schedule will be shared very soon.
  • Monday, August 23rd - Welcome back track 3 - Track 2 out
  • Wednesday, September 8th - Tracks 3 & 4 Picture Day
  • Thursday, September 9th - LEARN event for tracks 3 & 4 - NOW VIRTUAL PLATFORM

Upcoming Spirit Events:


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

ALPACA Peruvian Charcoal Chicken

1107 Pine Plaza Dr, Apex, NC 27523

3pm - 8pm


Thursday, October 21, 2021

Board and Brush Creative Studio

1485 Kelly Road, Apex NC 27502

6pm - 9pm

The Story of our Spirit Rock (also called "The Iceberg")

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Student Council Welcome and Update!

Hometown Heroes

In honor of September 11th, Student Council will be sending treats to our local heroes. If you are interested in donating, we would like you to send in candy, chips, popcorn, drinks or any other pre-packaged treats. Please make sure these items are store bought and in snack sizes, so they can be eaten on the go. In addition to sending food donations, we have created an Amazon Wish List. You may purchase items directly through this link and they will be mailed directly to Mrs. Tolp and Mrs. Link at LPES. We would like donations by 9/10. Treat drop off locations will be at the front entrance and at the bus loop entrance. Students may also drop off treats in Mrs. Tolp’s room, number 2411, or Ms. Mallard’s, number 1407. Student Council will be dividing treats, so they can be picked up or delivered to our Hometown Heroes, such as local police, fire department, EMT, etc. If you have any questions, please contact Rosemary Link at or Nicole Tolp at

Technology Update from Ms. Trent

Did you get your Chromebook before they started putting cases on them? If you looking for a Chromebook case like the ones WCPSS has, here are the specs: 300e Gen 2 (AMD) Chromebook case. This of course isn't mandatory, but some people have been asking.

STEM First Quarter

Kindergarten students are learning all about Starfall. Parents can use Starfall at home! Thanks to the LPES PTA! Ask your teacher or Ms. Trent for the sign-in information.

1st - 3rd grade students are learning how to take care of their Chromebooks, how to be safe online, and doing some fun engineering building projects with the empty computer boxes!

4th and 5th grade students are learning how to use their outlook email that is in their Wake ID.

All students will soon be doing engineering projects using the Keva blocks using the engineering design process: Ask, imagine, plan, create, and improve.

Tiffany Trent

STEM Teacher/Tech Contact

Laurel Park Elementary School

Need Tech Help? Try the WCPSS Tech Help Page

Need More Tech Help? Fill out this form.

5th Grade AIG Updates

Dear 5th Grade LPES Families,

It's that time of year when we accept Academically and Intellectually Gifted nominations from classroom teachers and parents! This is a time that we ask you to really reflect and determine if higher-level differentiation is needed for your student in Mathematics and/or Language Arts. If you are unsure, please talk with your student's classroom teacher or last year's classroom teacher to determine if AIG Testing, may be needed to meet the needs of your student.

AIG Nomination Process

When a student is nominated, the AIG teachers will send home an AIG Testing Consent form and an AIG Parent Observational List. Please complete these forms and return them back to the AIG team as soon as possible. The AIG teachers will go to your student's current and last year classroom teacher to interview the teacher about your student's performance in the classroom, ask for unit assessments, enrichment opportunities, and classroom samples. The classroom teachers will complete a teacher AIG Observational Checklist and a Gifted Rating Scale. The AIG teacher will also pull formal data such as your student's ISIP data, COGAT and IOWA scores, EOG scores and Report Card grades. All of the above data is collected for each AIG candidate and presented to the Laurel Park Elementary's School Based Committee for Gifted Education (LPES SBCGE) for review. The LPES SBCGE will review the above data and decide whether the AIG candidate should be tested for AIG consideration. If a student is being considered, they will be given the COGAT and IOWA tests on the below dates:

Fall ​AIG Nomination Window

Track 1 - Beginning of school year - August 13th

Tracks 2 - 4 - Beginning of school year - September 10th

Fall AIG Testing Window

Track 1 - August 23rd - September 1st

Tracks 2 - 4 - September 20th - 29th

If you should have any questions about the AIG program or the process, please feel free to email Amy Stone at

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PTA Updates - August 2021

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2022 GoPlaySave KickOff Video.mp4
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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:

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!