WHPS Remote Elementary School

First Day of School Edition

Message from the Principal

We hope you had a wonderful first day of school in the West Hartford Public Schools Remote Learning Experience (RLE) School for elementary students! We appreciate your ongoing support and patience as we navigate technology needs and work through classroom assignments/communication with families newly opting for our remote school.

Our school coordinators and I enjoyed brief visits to our 31 virtual classrooms today. We heard students learning how to greet each other by name and saw them practicing Google Meets tools and discussion strategies. Teachers shared favorite books, and students shared how they were feeling about being back to school.

Please be sure that your classroom teacher has up-to-date email and phone information to support communication with you in this virtual school environment. If you are new to our school this week, we have included information from our welcome newsletter in this edition. My team and I will maintain communication through monthly newsletters with school and district updates.

Within this new setting, our neighborhood school contains voices from across all of West Hartford. We will develop new bonds among educators and families in our online school. We are one West Hartford community, here to support each other this year!

In partnership,

Kerry Jones

Remote Elementary School Principal

Director of Elementary Education

WHPS Remote Learning Experience (RLE) School Website

Our district website is accessible in multiple languages through a translate feature (see yellow arrow below)

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Meet our Remote Learning Elementary School Coordinators!

Ashley Callan, Townwide Curriculum Specialist for Literacy and Social Studies, and Mary Lestini, Townwide Curriculum Specialist for Math and Science, will be serving in teacher leadership roles in our school this year. Mary and Ashley bring many years of experience as classroom teachers and teacher-leaders in the district to their work with our school team. They both completed graduate school leadership training through CT principal certification programs. Mary and Ashley will facilitate teacher and family meetings and support all aspects of our school operations as part of our school leadership team.

Chalise Ross, our districtwide English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) coordinator, will also be part of our school leadership team this year. Chalise and our ESOL teachers will support student learning and help coordinate family needs for translation and other support services.

Who are the teachers in the remote school?

The WHPS Elementary RLE School is composed of professional elementary educators and support staff from across the district. Staff member names are posted to the district website: http://whps.org/remotelearning.

What will the Remote Learning school day look like?

Details are included in our Remote Learning Experience (RLE) School Handbook posted to the http://whps.org/remotelearning website. At all grades, students will have daily small group instruction (4-8 students) for 1-1 ½ hours per day with their classroom teacher. Students will see specials teachers for 30 min per day beginning the week of 9/14. They will also have daily or weekly assignments posted to their digital learning platform (SeeSaw in Grades PreK-2 or Google Classroom in Grades 3-5) to work on independently at home.

On Wednesday mornings from 8:30 - 9:00, each teacher’s whole class of students (all groups) will meet online together for a Morning Meeting group activity.

If your child is enrolled in the Aiken or Whiting Lane Early Learning Center (ELC), please contact Melissa Cook, ELC Supervisor, for information specific to programming schedule. She can be reached via the Whiting Lane School office at (860) 233-1455.

When will specials classes start?

We plan to begin special area classes the week of September 14. These classes will be scheduled for 30 min in addition to time with the grade level classroom teacher each day. Your child's classroom teacher will communicate the time and Google Meets links for your child's special area classes.

Your child's special area teacher (music, PE, art) may be a teacher who is part of our RLE school staff or a teacher from one of our district elementary buildings who is logging in to teach our school's remote learners from their school location.

How do I contact the remote school office?

Our remote school office has a dedicated phone line for elementary and secondary schools (860) 561-6609. Please call that number to report absences or contact our office team with any questions or concerns.

Mrs. Sarah Falvey provides office support to the elementary remote learning school via the number above or email at sarah_falvey@whps.org. Mrs. Angela Tokarz is the remote school secretary for both the elementary and secondary remote schools and can be reached at (860) 561-6609 or angela_tokarz@whps.org.

What supplies does my child need?

  • Quiet home learning space without distraction and access to an electronic device. Students in Grades 3-5 will need a Chromebook or laptop to access their Google Classroom learning platform. Grade PreK-2 students can use an iPad, tablet or laptop/Chromebook. A mobile phone will not be sufficient to support student remote learning. Please contact Angela Tokarz at (860) 561-6609 or Angela_Tokarz@whps.org if you do not have an electronic device with internet connectivity available for student use.

  • Basic school supplies are always helpful if available (a few pencils and eraser, writing paper of any type, child scissors, a gluestick, ruler, colored pencils or crayons). If your child would benefit from school supplies provided by the district, please let your child’s teacher or our office team know @ (860) 561-6609.

  • Our remote school team will provide children with a remote learning toolkit of math manipulatives, journals/whiteboards or other hands-on materials appropriate to each grade level for pick up. Due to our increasing enrollment, we have ordered more student materials and anticipate distribution at the end of next week. More information to follow

Welcome from Ms. Arcari, Physical Education Teacher

Includes links to a self-directed PE calendar in English and Spanish to support staying active this month!

Important Dates


  • Remote Learning Toolkits (math materials, writing paper/notebooks, art supplies) will be available for pick-up (Location/Times TBD)
  • Monday, 9/21- Principal Coffee/Meet-Up (online) 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. Click here for link
  • Monday, 9/28-Yom Kippur (no school)
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Mrs. Kerry Jones, Principal & Director of Elementary Education

Mrs. Sarah Falvey, Remote Elementary School Office Support


Mrs. Angela Tokarz, Remote School Secretary