Penguin Press News

Back to School Edition 1 - August 3, 2020


Dear Laurel Park Families,

Over the last few months we have all been anticipating the start of the 2020-21 school year, wondering how it would look and feel. I can assure you that our staff has been working tirelessly to plan a robust and supportive online learning environment for all students. The first two weeks of the school year will be focused on establishing new classroom communities, fostering positive teacher/parent relationships, and providing clear communication to all stakeholders.

Fall Teacher Assignments:

  • Over 60% of our enrolled students opted for Virtual Academy this fall. Virtual Academy families will receive a confirmation email letter by tomorrow, August 4th.

  • With three different groupings of students per track (Plan B/ Fall Virtual Academy/ Yearlong Virtual Academy) our original classroom teacher assignments could not be maintained. However, track assignments have not changed.

  • Students will be assigned to class rosters based on their platform choice (Virtual or Plan B). This includes ALL students, Kindergarten through 5th grades.

  • 21 teachers will be assigned to a Virtual Academy classes this fall. 22 teachers will be assigned to a plan B classes.

  • Once classroom rosters are finalized later this week, your child's teacher will send out a formal introduction. Each class will have a Meet the Class opportunity and teachers will hold individual family conferences during the first two weeks of school (orientation).

Please view and share this staff profile pages with your children. Students can find their new teacher and learn more about their background, hobbies, and other fun facts!

School Supply Lists:

  • Supply lists:
  • We will have grade level (carpool) material pick up days during the first two weeks of school. During this time, parents will be able to pick up their PTA supply kits purchased during the late spring/early summer. More information to come soon.

Remote Learning Instructional Schedule (Both Plan B and Virtual Academy)

  • The Board of Education approved an additional 15 minutes to the year-round daily schedule. Our school hours will be 9:15 am to 4:00 pm all year long. (this applies to both Virtual Academy and Plan B)

  • Please take a moment to preview the active link button below this message titled "View the 2020-21 LPES Remote Instructional Schedule"

  • Generally speaking, families can expect that students will have some learning experiences each day for which they will need to be in attendance and engaged during specific hours of the day. Students and families should expect instruction to happen Monday through Friday. Students will receive approximately 5-6 hours of instruction and/or instructional activities per day, with at least 2.5 hours of live instruction per day. Times may increase beyond the baseline based on teacher planning.

  • As noted above, there will be times during the day in which students will be expected to participate in live (synchronous) instruction. Due to FERPA regulations we are not able to record live sessions as students’ faces and names would be present. This is a district mandate, so this is not subject to change. For asynchronous learning (not live) students will have flexibility to work at their own pace over the course of the day depending on family needs.

  • The schedule will also include device-free breaks and flexible times for students to meet virtually in smaller groups.

As always, thank you for supporting our school, especially as we navigate unprecedented times. Our staff theme for this year: Together, We've Got This!

Mrs. Raleigh G. Bame




View the 2020-21 LPES Instructional Schedule

PLEASE NOTE: Instructional blocks will be a mix of live and recorded sessions. Laurel Park teachers will communicate more details about the grade level schedule during the first two weeks of school (orientation).

Laptop and Hotspot Distribution Begins Aug. 17

We will begin distributing laptops and hotspots to families who requested them on August 17 from five distribution centers:

  • Apex High
  • Enloe High
  • Knightdale High
  • Leesville Road High
  • South Garner High

To accommodate social distancing and keep our families, staff, and volunteers safe, families will be assigned a date to collect their requested devices. They will be allowed to pick up their devices from any location on or after their assigned date.

Welcome Mrs. Connell, New Front Office Receptionist

My name is Mrs. Connell and I am excited to be the receptionist at Laurel Park Elementary. Prior to joining the staff here, I was an Instructional Assistant with WCPSS for the past 5 years. I am the face you will see at the front desk and the voice you will hear when you call the school.

I have lived in Apex for 10 years with my husband, 3 grown children and our dog Murphy. My daughter is a 5th grade teacher and my two sons are in college at UNC Charlotte and NC State. I look forward to meeting all of you!

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Student Services Updates - August 2020

We realize the transition back to school this year is very different than previous years and children may require additional support. We are available to help students and families with social, emotional, behavioral concerns and family needs, including adjusting to virtual learning, schedules and study skills. Please feel free to reach out to us if we can be of assistance!

Caren MacEntee, Counselor,

Ashley Waddell, Counselor,

Dr. Amy Hawkins, School Psychologist,

Rick Mendzef, Social Worker,

Single Subject Acceleration Updates from AIG Team

Single Subject Acceleration (SSA) Update

Hello LPE families!

Wake County Public Schools has decided to reopen the Single Subject Acceleration (SSA) nomination window again from last spring 2020. Although Laurel Park Elementary held their nomination window open during the spring remote period, some schools closed their nomination window due to COVID. To be equitable to all WCPSS schools, the SSA nomination window will be reopening August 3rd - August 28th for any 1st - 5th grade student only.

Single Subject Acceleration is an opportunity for students that are consistently performing above grade level to be considered to move up one grade level for only one subject in either Math or English Language Arts. This is an important decision that should be considered greatly. This is not a decision for all students or for students that need challenged or enrichment. This is for students that have demonstrated above grade level ability consistently across all same subject objectives. I highly recommend if you are considering SSA, that you speak with your student's classroom teacher from last year to get their advice. If your student's teacher is no longer with LPES, please contact me and I will contact that teacher to get their advice on this decision. If you made this decision last spring to have your student SSA tested, I already have their nomination on file and will test them accordingly. If you would like to change your decision or want to touch base with me to verify that I did receive your nomination, you can email me at

For families that are interested in SSA and missed the spring SSA nomination window, please read over the attached information from Wake County Public Schools regarding SSA testing and if interested please complete the SSA Nomination form and email it to me at Our SSA nomination and testing timeline will be as follows:

Accepting SSA Nomination forms August 3rd - 28th

SSA Testing August 31st - September 25th (3rd - 6th week of school)

Qualified students will placed into their new SSA class September 28th (7th week of school)

Students that meet SSA test qualifying scores, will be placed into their new SSA class the 7th week of school. Which means they will miss the first 6 weeks of instruction. We will have a SSA meeting to discuss how to best help each student with the transition to their new class, how to handle the missed six weeks of instruction and what the first quarter report card grades may look like. That date will be announced through email to the guardians of qualifying students.

If you should have any questions, please email me at

Thank you!

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Note: PDF of SSA Request Form at the bottom of this newsletter.

A Note from the YMCA

The YMCA of the Triangle has been working diligently, and in collaboration with local school systems, to develop supplemental learning programs that align with educational requirements while also supporting out-of-school time and child care needs of students. We’re happy to introduce YMCA Scholastic Support Centers.

YMCA Scholastic Support Centers are a place where your K –8 students can go to participate in their online school or Virtual Academy classes. The program is offered either Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. with an extended day option for those who need full-day care, or as a full-day program from 7:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. Hours vary by location.

To learn more or register for YMCA Scholastic Support Centers, visit our website today.

7. Plan B Instructional Calendar for All Tracks

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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.

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Laurel Park Community Calendar

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