Northwoods News

A Message from Principal Nixon--Week of February 8, 2021

Dear Northwoods Families,


As most of you know, February is designated as Black History Month. During February, Northwoods students will be learning about the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, prominent Black leaders and innovators of the past and present, as well as the challenges that Black Americans and other minority groups continue to face as we strive towards racial equity and social justice.


The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and others this past year have shown us that there is still much work to be done in order to eliminate deeply rooted racial discrimination, biases, and opportunity gaps that Black Americans continue to face at disproportionate rates in our society. At Northwoods, we believe that Black History IS American History. We stand committed to ensuring that our students have daily exposure to instruction that is culturally relevant, inclusive, and explicitly reinforces positive notions about tolerance, social justice, and equity.


Below, I've included a couple of resources that I encourage you to view. The first is a short video titled, History of the Wake County Public School System, that provides an overview of the changes our school system has undergone in the last 67 years since Brown vs. Board of Education struck down segregation in the American Public School System. Few people, including those on our staff, know that Northwoods itself (originally named West Cary Elementary) was opened in 1963 as a segregated school for all-white children. Understanding and embracing that history is an integral part of moving forward.


The second resource is an overview of the WCPSS Commitment to Racial Equity that was released on June 1, 2020.


In closing, I want you to know that, as educators in the Wake County Public School System, we choose to focus on this important work not because it's popular or easy, but because it's the right work to do. Yet, we also understand that we cannot do this work alone. We welcome your participation and ask that you join us by fostering conversations about race, social justice, and equity at home with your children so that we may elicit meaningful and lasting change within and beyond our community.


Respectfully,


Joe Nixon

Principal

History of the Wake County Public School System

KOALATea Family Time:

Ms. Helton and Mr. Henderson, our school counselors, have put together a series of family support sessions that are designed specifically for parents. Each session will cover a different topic such as Motivation, Coping Skills, Trauma & Resiliency, etc. Their next session will take place via Google Meet this Thursday (2/11) at 5:30 PM. A full list of KOALATea Family Time topics can be accessed by clicking this link.

Virtual Counseling Slips

Fill out this form if your student needs to speak with a counselor!

Check out our website at www.nescounseling.com for resources/information about our program! Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns!

School Reopening Information

School Reopening Plans:

As you know, the WCPSS Board of Education voted last Tuesday to resume in-person instruction for all Pre-K-5th grade students who DO NOT participate in Virtual Academy. The first day of in-person classes will be February 17th.


  • Students in grades Pre-K through 3 will return for daily in-person instruction.
  • Students in grades 4 and 5 will return for in-person instruction following their assigned cohorts. The cohort rotation schedule for grades 4 and 5 can be found here.
  • Students participating in Virtual Academy for the spring will continue to receive their instruction remotely. There is no need for VA students to return to the school building.


Spring Semester Before & After-School Care:

Beginning February 17th, the Taylor Family YMCA will be offering on-site (at Northwoods) before-school AND after-school care for students participating in face-to-face instruction during the spring semester. The earliest drop-off time for the before-school care program is 7:00AM and the latest pick-up time for after-school care is 6:00PM. To register your child, please visit: https://www.ymcatriangle.org/schools/northwoods-elementary-after-school-0


Bus Requests & Health Attestation Forms:

Families in need of bus service must complete the Bus Rider Registration Form prior to February 17th. Please allow 4-5 days for the transportation office to process your request. Additionally, all families who will use district transportation must also complete the Health Attestation Form. This is a one-time process but is required in order for students to board the bus.


In-Person Instruction: Student Accountability and Expectations:

The WCPSS Student Accountability and Required Health Protocols document outlines our expectations for students to strictly follow our required health protocols when at school, as well as possible consequences and processes to address non-compliance. Families and students are asked to complete and sign the acknowledgment page and return it to your school, similar to the signature page for the Student Handbook. For your convenience, I've included links to the signature pages (English and Spanish) below.



Stay Home When Sick:

Effective immediately, if a WCPSS student or employee does not pass the health screening or if they stay home or are sent home because they are experiencing a symptom of any illness, their household members must also stay home. This means that any WCPSS student or employee living in the same house must quarantine for 14 days. The household members may return sooner than 14 days if the person experiencing a symptom of illness receives confirmation of an alternate diagnosis or a negative PCR/Molecular test.


Double-Masking:

Many of you may have seen information about the potential need to double-mask to better protect against a variety of new COVID-19 varients. However, this has not been officially recommended by the CDC. Therefore, it is not an expectation for students or staff to double-mask.


Visitors and Volunteers:

Please be advised that current restrictions require schools to limit non-essential visitors and volunteers. In accordance with those guidelines, parents and other non-essential visitors will NOT be permitted in the building. Additionally, parents will not be permitted to walk students to class in the morning. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we work to keep our students and staff safe.

Other Important School Information

Kindergarten Registration is Open:

The registration window for the 2021-22 school year is open. Rising kindergarten students must turn 5 years old on or before August 31, 2021 to qualify for enrollment. To register your child for the 2021-22 school year, please visit https://www.wcpss.net/Page/46102.


Virtual Kindergarten Orientation:

Attention families of rising kindergarten students: we will be conducting two virtual kindergarten orientation sessions in the coming weeks. Please see the flyer below for more information.


Update Addresses:

If your family has moved recently or since the beginning of the school year, please send our data manager, Marilee Davies an updated proof of address (gas, water, or electric bill). Bills can be scanned and emailed to her at mdavies@wcpss.net


Submit Free/Reduced Lunch Applications:

As many of you know, all students are eligible to receive a free breakfast and free lunch for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. However, families that may qualify for free or reduced-priced meals based on their income status should still complete the online application. The federal government provides financial assistance to schools based on the number of students who qualify for free/reduced-price meals. Funding for next year is based on the number of applications submitted this year.


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PTA Information

Volunteers Needed:

Parents--we need your help! We are looking for interested volunteers to step into several leadership roles within our PTA. Currently, we have vacancies for the PTA President and 5th Grade Celebration Coordinator. Please let us know if you're interested!


Scholastic Book Fair:

I'm pleased to announce that we will be conducting a virtual book fair this year! The book fair will run from Friday, February 26th through Thursday, March 11th. More details will be shared closer to the event.