Whittier Weekly Newsletter

February 21, 2021

The week ahead

Dear Whittier Families,

As we get ready for the second week of hybrid learning, we are going to make a slight adjustment to Pre-K dismissal. Arrival will remain the same.

Pre-K dismissal will be from the car-rider loop along with all other grades. Our staff will supervise and monitor the transition for our littlest ones to make sure they get where they need to be.

For those of you who will be picking up students as car-riders for the first time this year, please drive to the car-rider loop on Independence Street and remain in your vehicle. Our staff will take care of everything from there. As we move forward, expect that car-rider pickup will be very efficient and ultimately be done by 2:15 to 2:20 at the latest.

Breakfast, lunch, and supper: Meals will continue to be available to all students free of charge through the end of this school year. If you would like to review the menu with your child, it is available below. If you would prefer that your child not receive supper to go at the end of the day, please let the front office staff, Ms. Black or Mrs. Dimonte know.

Warm regards,

Lorcan OhEithir, Principal

Upcoming Dates

  • Monday and Tuesday, February 22nd/23rd - Hybrid learning for Cohort A students. All others Virtual
  • Wednesday, February 24th - all students Virtual
  • Thursday and Friday, February 25th/26th Hybrid learning for Cohort B students. All other students Virtual.

Out-of-District Transfers: Renewal or New Applications

Parents or guardians who want their child to attend a school outside their assigned attendance area should review the 2021-22 Restricted Schools List and Regulations 400-78, Restricting Schools to Out-of-District Transfers and 400-15, Assignment and Transfer of Students.

Pursuant to these regulations, the Out of District Transfer process is available for all applicants from January 2 - March 1 each year for the following school year. You can complete your request using the Out of District Transfer Request Form, available in English and Spanish through March 1.

Please Note: Your Out of District Application Form MUST be signed, either electronically or printed, signed and scanned, prior to returning to outofdistrict@fcps.org. You can also send the application via fax to 240-236-2480 or via US mail to Department of Student Services, Orchard Grove Elementary School, 5898 Hannover Drive, Frederick, MD 21703.

Please contact MaryAnn Gomez at (240) 236-2493 or maryann.gomez@fcps.org if you have any questions.

Whittier Music Makers: Grades 4 and 5

The Whittier Music Makers are back! This group learns and performs music from a variety of genres through singing, dancing and playing instruments. Music Makers is open to all 4th and 5th graders. Due to COVID, we will be rehearsing virtually this year on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 4:30, beginning February 24th. For more information, and to sign your child up, please click the link below:

Whittier Music Makers Information and Permission Form

Read Across America Week

Read Across America Spirit Week March1-5

Read Across America Spirit Week March 1 - 5, 2021

Monday, March 1st: And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street

Imagination Day

(Use your imagination to wear mismatch or write a funny story to share)

Tuesday, March 2nd: Happy Birthday to You! --- Hat Day

(Wear your favorite hat or your wildest hat)

Wednesday, March 3rd: Fox in Socks --- Wacky Socks Day

(Wear your Wackiest socks)

Thursday, March 4th: The Lorax --- Color Day

(Wear your favorite color and take time to be caring to someone or something)

Friday, March 5th: Oh, The Places You’ll Go! --- Travel Day

(Wear a shirt or hat from somewhere you have been or would like to go)

5th Grade Parents -Important WFMS Registration Information

Attention 5th Grade Parents -Important WFMS Registration Information

Dear Parents and Guardians of Future Cadets,

West Frederick Middle School is beginning the process to register students for the 2021-2022 school year. Rising 6th grade students will be receiving registration forms for middle school in the coming week. These forms will be mailed directly to homes. Once registration sheets are received, parents and/or guardians are encouraged to review the course levels and discuss elective options with their child. Parents will be asked to complete this Google Form indicating agreement with placement decisions and elective options.

Resource for Families: Middle School Course Guide

WFMS will hold a parent information session for all rising 6th grade parents on

Thursday, February 25, 2021 from 6:30 to 7:30 PM

This meeting will be held via Google Meet. Please use the following link to join the meeting.

To join the video meeting, click this link: https://meet.google.com/gdb-chej-sei

Otherwise, to join by phone, dial +1 224-880-0696 and enter this PIN: 694 912 652#

Getting to and From School

Grades K-5

Arrival is from 8:30-8:55 am

Dismissal is between 2:00-2:30 pm


Morning Pre-K: 9:00 -11:30 (arrive between 8:30-8:55 if hybrid)

Afternoon Pre-K: 11:30-2:00 (arrive at 11:30 and depart at 2:00 if hybrid)

Full Day Pre-K: arrive between 8:30-8:55 and depart at 2:00)


  • Car rider line begins at 8:30
  • Please have your child ready to EXIT the car when you stop (backpack, mask, and coat ready). Students should be able to exit the car on their own.
  • Car rider line ends at 8:55
  • If you arrive at school after 8:55 please park your car and walk your child to the front doors.
  • Due to virtual learning beginning at 9:00 we do not have the staff to supervise children in the parking lot after 8:55.

For families whose students will be bus riders, please go online to find your child's specific pick-up time, location, and Bus assignment.

Bus Stop Information


Please also review bus expectations with your student before they board the bus. These may be found HERE.

Video with Narration Explaining Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

WhES Arrival and Dismissal in Hybrid 1

Enlarge images below for maps of drop-off and pick-up locations

Enlarge this image for walker entrances and exits

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Health and Safety Information - Please Review Carefully

Daily COVID-19 Screening

FCPS is asking for your help keeping all our schools and communities safe. Please review the list of COVID-19 symptoms below with your student prior to leaving for school every day. You will be provided a weekly communication reminder of this requirement. Students who are ill or are experiencing symptoms are expected to remain at home.

Parents/Guardians are affirming and attesting to the following for their student:

(a) Your student has not tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days, or in the last 14 days had any close and prolonged contact ( * within 6 feet for 15 minutes or greater) with anyone who is either confirmed or suspected of being infected with COVID-19, AND

(b) Your student is not currently experiencing or displaying, and your student has not in the last 10 days met the criteria for a person experiencing a COVID-19-like-Illness:

Any 1 of the following: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or



At least 2 of the following:

  • Fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) or higher
  • Chills or shaking chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore Throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting, or
  • Diarrhea

If the answer is YES to any of the above statements, your student should not come to school.

Please contact your healthcare provider with any questions regarding next steps for your


Thank you for your cooperation.

* 15 minutes of close contact in a cumulative 24-hour period

Safety Measures:

Mask Expectations: Everyone in the school building will wear a face covering while at school. The information linked here is intended to provide clarity about the FCPS requirements for wearing face coverings in school buildings.

Virtual Attendance in the Event of Mild Symptoms: If students are experiencing any symptoms of illness, they should stay home and parents should follow up with their child's health care provider. Students are encouraged to attend virtually any day they are not in school if they feel well enough to do so (even if it is a day for which they are scheduled to be in person).

Please provide a note if your child is not able to attend in person or virtually due to illness.

E-mail your student’s teacher AS WELL AS the Whittier Attendance email address (WHES.Attendance@fcps.org) so we can keep track of student absences.

Close Contact and Quarantine Details for Parents - What to Expect: When a positive COVID-19 case is confirmed, FCPS will conduct a case investigation to determine if there was any close contact with other individuals. Close contact means that an individual was within six feet for a prolonged period of more than a cumulative of fifteen minutes over a 24-hour period. All identified close contacts will be immediately notified and asked to quarantine for ten days and monitor for potential symptoms. If the close contact becomes symptomatic, the individual should seek assistance from their healthcare provider.

Quarantine means:

  • Stay home except to obtain medical care.
  • Your child may not participate in any in person school activities.
  • Avoid public spaces and practice physical distancing of six feet or more from other people.
  • Wear a mask at all times around other people.

Monitoring means:

  • Watch for fever. Check temperature twice a day, at least 6 hours apart and record in a log.
  • If your student or anyone else in the household develops symptoms such as a fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pains, sore throat, or a new loss of taste or smell, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

For further details, the FCPS guidance for Student Health and Safety and COVID-19 Response Plan can be found at this link.

Governor Hogan's Travel Order: The governor issued an emergency order requiring Marylanders to limit all travel to essential purposes only. All Marylanders who do travel outside of Maryland must either obtain a negative COVID-19 test result or self-quarantine for 10 days. The exceptions to the order include Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Hybrid students who travel outside of MD will need to follow the governor's order and should access virtual instruction upon return for 10 days or until a negative COVID test is obtained.

Reducing Visitors to the School Building: For the protection of our staff and students, we will significantly limit visitors in the building. If you need to speak with administration or with someone at the school, please call the office in advance (most meetings will be held via phone or Google Meet). All students are afforded access to a free breakfast and lunch each day, so there should be minimal need for food to be dropped off for students. If you need to drop off or pick up anything else at school, you will be asked to leave it or pick up in the vestibule (thus limiting traffic in our front office).

Cleaning of Materials for Parents: FCPS schools will follow strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols for school buildings that include an emphasis on high touch surfaces such as door knobs, light switches, sinks and restroom fixtures. Schools have developed routines to significantly reduce and often eliminate the use of any shared materials through individual kits of materials appropriate to grade level or specific content classes for students. Students will be required to wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer on a frequent basis.

With very few exceptions (e.g. library books), materials that are brought home with students will be used exclusively by that student and kept in near proximity to them all day while at school. This exclusive use greatly reduces the need for any specialized cleaning by parents.

If parents wish to take additional steps to support their student (s) at home with cleaning of materials, the following is advised:

  • Wiping off hard surface manipulatives (e.g. math tiles) with a microfiber towel or paper towel after each use.
  • Laying out paper materials in a single layer overnight after use and putting these paper materials back into their student's backpack the next morning before school.

Further information on cleaning and disinfecting your home is available through the Center for Disease Control (CDC) at this link.


Communication is Key

Please provide a note if your child is not able to attend in person or virtually due to illness.

E-mail your student’s teacher AS WELL AS the Whittier Attendance email address (WHES.Attendance@fcps.org) so we can keep track of student absences.

Virtual Snow Day Information:
In the event of inclement weather, FCPS may call for a virtual learning day where all students will access learning from home. Students should join their homeroom teacher's schedule for that day.

Meals at School (Hybrid students) & Food Availability (Virtual students)

Hybrid Meals-(Students in the building)

ALL students attending hybrid face to face learning will be offered a free breakfast, lunch and to-go supper. No action is needed on families' part to enroll. This is provided to all students. Menus can be accessed using this link and my clicking- elementary schools/Whittier: https://www.fcpsnutrition.com/index.php?sid=1496937421390&page=menus

**If your student is planning to access breakfast, lunch, or a to-go supper please review the menus and talk about their choices ahead of time. Each morning, on the way to class, students will be offered a to-go breakfast. School staff will take lunch orders for students in the morning and these will be delivered to classrooms at lunchtime. Students will also be asked if they wish to take a to-go supper. These will be delivered to classrooms before dismissal for students to take home. If you would prefer that your student does not access some or all of the meal choices, that's perfectly ok. Students may bring lunch from home if that is the family's preference.

**For our young students, consider packing items that your students can open independently - items like Gogurt, Capri-sun, and Lunchables can be a real challenge for little ones to open without help. We will, of course, assist as needed, but would like to significantly limit this need.

To-Go Meals-(Families accessing Virtual learning)

Food and Nutrition Services is providing FREE to-go breakfast, lunch and supper. Any child 18 years old or younger can get meals. We also provide meals to adults older than 18 who are enrolled in a program at FCPS for persons with disabilities. Meals are distributed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am-1pm through February 12. Starting February 16th, meals will be provided in school to all students in school buildings and on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11am-1pm at select locations listed on the welcome page. Breakfast, lunch and supper is provided for all 7 days of the week. Weekend education enrichment activities can be found on the supper menus as well as our welcome page.

*Monday February 15th is President's Day so all students and kitchen staff are off. Tuesday February 16th is not a usual meal distribution day. All meals for February 12th through February 16th will be distributed at these locations on Friday February 12th. Meals will be available on Tuesday February 16th for all students attending in school hybrid learning on Tuesday February 16th at all FCPS schools.

Water Bottles: All students who are attending in person hybrid instruction may bring a refillable water bottle labeled with their first and last name. FCPS water fountains will be used for the sole purpose of filling water bottles at school as needed.

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Counselor's Corner with Mrs. Reese and Mrs. Leatherman

Hybrid Learning:

As we prepare to launch our Hybrid Learning Model at Whittier, Your School Counselor team has put together The ABCs of Hybrid for Whittier- It includes important information about our new learning model for ALL students in Cohort A, Cohort B and Cohort V (virtual)

We have been presenting this information in lessons to students this past week. If your student still has questions- please feel free to message us or their teacher. We are all in this together and it is new to everyone! The ABCs of Hybrid Learning for WHES

The Many Masked Faces of Whittier is a slideshow that we have put together to help students become familiar with staff in PPE: Please share with your child: The Many (Masked) Faces of Whittier

We have also put together some tips for families who are sending children back to school for Hybrid Learning For Families: Going Back to School Hybrid Edition

Student Small Groups Updated Schedule : Our small groups will continue to meet virtually as we begin with the hybrid schedule next week. The virtual schedule for groups is posted on the Counselor’s Corner Schoology Page. Mrs. Leatherman’s Links and Mrs. Reese’s group times are posted there, as well.

Here is an Outline:

Leatherman’s Groups: will meet from 3:00-3:30 on Mondays (K), Tues. (1st), Thurs. (2nd) and Fridays (K-2)

Reese’s Groups: Wednesday 1:00-1:30- 5th grade, Thursday 10.35-11:05- 3rd grade (lunch bunch) 4th grade Fridays- we will meet at 12:40 (4th grade lunch) on 2/19/21 to set our schedule for the coming weeks.

We will be sure to message our students in groups to let them know of the changes!

Military Group: Will meet on Wednesdays at 3:30. Mrs. Reese will share the links from Mrs. Wynn with All students enrolled in Military Lunch Bunch/Small Group

KLU: Meeting times remain the same: Mondays at 3:00/Level 2 (5th grade), Wednesdays at 3:00/ Level 1

(4th grade)

We are here to help during this transition Do not hesitate to contact us:

Mrs. Leatherman 240-236-3135 Kirsten.Leatherman@fcps.org

Mrs. Reese: 240-236-3170 Lisa.Reese@fcps.org,

We will continue to be available for students to contact us through Schoology Messenger. We will continue to work with students individually as needed and in small groups.

From Mrs. Lewis, Community Liaison

FREE & REDUCED MEALS application... As students and staff prepare to return to the building, the Federal Government will continue to provide free meals for all students throughout the remainder of the school year - both virtual and hybrid. FCPS, however, encourages all families to complete the Application for Free & Reduced Meals. The Meals Application and frequently asked questions can be found under Whittier Community Resources below.
Whittier Community Resources - Mrs. Lewis

Mrs. Lewis, our Community Liaison, has many resources for families. She may have just what your family needs. If you know Mrs. Lewis, you know she always finds ways to help families who need some help.

Whittier Elementary School - Believe, Achieve, Succeed

Please use Find Out First for up-to-date FCPS and WHES news.

We will also communicate through our school website

Follow me on Twitter @fcpsOhEithir where I will communicate school news and happenings