Penguin Press News

Back to School Edition 2 - August 10, 2020


Dear Laurel Park Families,

Happy back to school preparation week!

As we prepare for students to return next Monday, August 17th please continue to check your email frequently for updates and information. Teacher assignments will be distributed this Wednesday, August 12th. You should expect a welcome email and video from your child's teacher, along with several helpful resources.

The first two weeks of school are Orientation Weeks across the district. All of our students will meet their teachers and other classmates, participate in live learning activities, and complete some independent assignments. For your planning, you can expect:

  • Live morning meeting sessions every day at 9:15 AM for all grade levels.
  • An invitation to sign up for a conference with your child's teacher. (we are calling these family conferences)
  • Classroom opportunities to build relationships, establish expectations, and practice using available technology.
  • One ELA learning opportunity for each day of the second week of orientation.

The first two weeks of Orientation will not be a time when you would expect 5-6 hours of instructional assignments or 2.5 hours of live instruction. This will begin after the first two weeks.

  • During the week of August 24th we will have Student Instructional Material Pick-up Days by grade level. Each student learning packet will contain instructional supplies needed for first quarter work.
  • We will not have Staggered Entry this year for our incoming Kindergarteners. Our Kindergarten teachers will host a Meet the Teacher and parent orientation in addition to family conferences.
  • Our full instructional schedule will begin the week of August 31st. The instructional schedule can be found embedded in this newsletter.
  • 2020-21 School Hours: 9:15 AM - 4:00 PM

School Supply Lists:

Together, We've Got This!

Mrs. Raleigh G. Bame




WCPSS Special Education Meeting for Parents: Tuesday, August 11th

We are inviting all parents of students who receive Special Education Services to watch a webinar regarding the upcoming school year on the WCPSS YouTube channel at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Topics covered will include: the opening of school in an online environment, implementation of IEPs and special education services. The video will be closed captioned in English and Spanish. During the webinar, parents will be invited to share questions and feedback through an online form. Answers will be provided later in an FAQ.

2020 Attendance Guidelines for Parents

A student is considered present for daily attendance during a remote learning day if either of these statements are true:

  • If a student completes their daily assignments, either online or offline;

and/or if a student is present in synchronous instruction.

  • If a student has a daily check-in, a two-way communication, with the appropriate teacher(s):

    • In grades Pre-K-5, homeroom teacher

    • In all other grade levels, each course teacher as scheduled

Instructional Material Carpool Pick-Up Days

Our grade levels are putting together learning materials for parent pick up. PTA will also pass out supply kits. Ms. Benner will pass out 2020-21 student art products and Art to Remember orders. Thank you!

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).

NEWS from Lucky’s Library

All parents whose students have library books from our media center will receive an automated email message with a list of those books attached. We will have a return bin out by our bus loop August 25th – 28th, Tues. – Fri. from 9:00 – 4:30. You may also hand them to a staff member on materials pick-up day Monday, August 24th. If you are not able to return them right now, that is fine, no fines will be applied. You may just set the books aside to be returned when face to face instruction starts.

Stay tuned for details about our curb-side pick-up library service coming soon!

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Updates from Art Class with Mrs. Benner

Kindergarten Art Supplies

  • Folder with pockets
  • white cardstock or construction paper
  • scissors
  • paintbrush
  • save empty toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls
  • optional: watercolor set

First Grade Art Supplies

  • Folder with pockets
  • white cardstock or construction paper
  • scissors
  • paintbrush
  • save empty toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls
  • optional: watercolor set

2nd Grade Art Supplies

  • Folder with pockets
  • white cardstock or construction paper
  • paintbrush
  • save empty toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls
  • optional: watercolor set

3rd Grade Art Supplies

  • Folder with pockets
  • white cardstock or construction paper
  • markers
  • paintbrush
  • save empty toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls
  • aluminum foil
  • optional: watercolor set

4th Grade Art Supplies

  • Folder with pockets
  • white cardstock or construction paper
  • markers
  • paintbrush
  • save empty toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls
  • aluminum foil
  • optional: watercolor set

5th Grade Art Supplies

  • Folder with pockets
  • white cardstock or construction paper
  • markers
  • paintbrush
  • save empty toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls
  • aluminum foil
  • optional: watercolor set

​Thank you,

Laura Benner

Art teacher

Laurel Park Elementary School

Music with Mrs. Sonstroem

Welcome to K-5 music classes at Laurel Park Elementary for the 2020-2021 school year!

Specialists will be rolling out our orientation greetings in the first two weeks of the year. We will be starting live Google Meets during week 3. You can find specialist Google Meet links through our Google Classrooms (organized by grade level). Please visit the music class website and virtual music room for more specific information that will continued to be updated as the year progresses.

I can’t wait to meet everyone!

Jenni Sonstroem

Music Specialist

NBCT, Early & Middle Childhood Music My Google Site

P.E. with Coach Edwards

Dear Students and Families:

Our penguin family is very excited to welcome all of you to Laurel Park Elementary for the 2020-2021 school year!!

I will be your child’s Physical Education teacher. My name is Mark Edwards and I look forward to helping your child learn and improve on their skills using fun and exciting activities. You will be receiving an introductory video explaining supplies needed and activities that we will be covering this school year.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me by email at

I can’t wait to see each and everyone of you to begin our journey together to become healthier and happier penguins,

Thank you,

Mark Edwards

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.

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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.

Grocery Store Rewards Cards

Laurel Park Community Calendar

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