Penguin Press News

March 8, 2021


Dear LPE Families,

We are very excited to welcome sunshine and warmer weather here at "the park". Our in person students and virtual students need the balance of academic rigor and social interaction, especially when the weather allows for them to enjoy being outside! We hope your families are enjoying these early spring days - don't forget to "spring forward" early Sunday morning!

With that being said, many of you have asked about the return to a multi-track schedule for the 2021-22 school year. We are currently planning for a normal multi-track return to school in July. Our administrative team will continue to keep a watchful eye on updates and decisions from our Board of Education and county leadership. Please take a moment to review the following:

Track Change Requests:

  • Disclaimer: At this time we are planning for a multi-track year round schedule for the 2021-22 school year. However, please be aware that track changes will be considered only after we understand the impact of our Virtual Academy enrollment.
  • All students who were in attendance during the 2019-2020 school year are still assigned to the track they were on prior to this school year. If your child is new to LPES this school year and you need to know your assigned track for 2021-22, please contact Mrs. Murray (Data Manager) at
  • If you would like to request a track change, please complete this form by April 23, 2021 and submit to the front office (by mail, by email to, via carpool drop off).

Bus Transportation:

  • With more students returning to in person learning, this is a great opportunity to consider using the bus for transportation to and from school. Our buses are underpopulated and much faster than carpool. It is not too late to sign up! APPLY HERE

Picture Days are next Week!

  • We will monitoring the Board's decision about 4th and 5th Grade returning to Plan A.
  • More information will be shared once the BOE decides about the return to school plan for in-person 4th and 5th graders.
  • We should receive payment directions for pictures in the next few days. Teachers will send out this information to families and the information will be posted on our website.
  • For Virtual Academy Families: pictures will be mailed home if parents choose shipping and handling. Otherwise, we will arrange a pickup opportunity for families in about six weeks.
  • Pictures will be in yearbook.
  • Strawbridge Studios will follow all safety protocols. Photographers will be social distancing and will not be able to approach students to help them with envelopes, posing, or assistance with removing face coverings.
  • No retakes this year. Picture packages are 100% refundable if families are not satisfied with pictures.

Thank you!

Kind Regards,
Mrs. Raleigh Bame, Principal

  • March 15th - Plan B Spring Picture Day - K-2
  • March 16th - Plan B Spring Picture Day - 3-5
  • March 17th - Asynchronous/ Remote Learning Day*, Virtual Academy Spring Picture Day
  • March 29th - Asynchronous/ Remote Learning Day*
  • March 30th - Asynchronous/ Remote Learning Day*
  • March 31st - April 13th - Spring Track-out
  • April 14th - First day of 4th Quarter
  • April 21st - Asynchronous/Remote Learning Day*
  • May 5th - Asynchronous/ Remote Learning Day*
  • May 19th - Asynchronous/Remote Learning Day*
  • May 26th - Asynchronous/ Remote Learning Day*
  • May 31st - Holiday
  • June 21st - Last Day of School

*Live morning meetings scheduled from 9:15 - 9:30 am, followed by asynchronous learning assignments

Next PTA Spirit Night:

Wednesday, March 24th


Information for ordering:

Your group: Laurel Park Elementary School PTA

Your fundraiser date: Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Your fundraiser time: 11:00am – 8:00pm

Your fundraiser location: City Barbeque Cary,

Your fundraiser code: FundA

Reminder - 1st Grade Author Visit

Author Carole Boston Weatherford will be virtually visiting our 1st graders on Wednesday, Mar. 10th at 1:30. All Laurel Park families are welcome to watch the live stream event at the link below. Signed books can be ordered from the PTA website at

Live stream link -

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It's here! - Yearbook Information 2021

Yearbook Sale info & ordering links will be coming soon!

Until then, we’d love to have some awesome candid photos of your children from this school year! These photos can include anything from enjoying an LPES Spirit Night to your Virtual Academy student hard at work, remote learning spaces, first day back to school, supply pickup, students proudly wearing their Spirit Wear, etc.

Please follow the link below to upload:

If you have any trouble uploading, you can send them directly to with the subject Yearbook Candids.

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Art Update from Ms. Benner

Hi families and friends,

Our school is participating in a creative fundraiser with Art to Remember that allows you to purchase keepsake products customized with your child's art. You can select a piece of artwork from home and upload it by going to and following these instructions:

1. Go to the website listed above and click the “Upload” button

2. Enter your child’s first and last name and click “Search”

3. From the list of search results, find your child’s name with “Fall 2020” listed under it and click “Upload”

4. Click “Choose a File” and select the piece of artwork you’d like to upload

5. Edit artwork if necessary. Artwork will appear exactly as uploaded so please make sure you have any background cropped out

6. Click “Next”

7. Enter additional details (optional) and click “Finish”

8. You’ll then have options to upload additional artwork for the same child, upload artwork for a different child, or view all of the artwork in your gallery. You can click on any of those options, or if you are ready to shop, click “Done”

9. This will take you to the shop page where you can shop products

10. At checkout, you can enter a password to create an account and save the artwork to your personal family art gallery! These make great gifts and a percentage of every purchase goes right back to our school.

Have fun creating and shopping!

​Thank you,

Laura Benner

Art teacher

Laurel Park Elementary School


Single Subject Acceleration (SSA) Nomination Window Opening Soon

Single Subject Acceleration (SSA) is the practice of assigning students to a higher grade level for a single subject, than is typical, given the student's age, for the purpose of providing access to appropriately challenging learning opportunities. SSA is an accelerative practice that allows students to show mastery of an elementary or middle school course.

Students must meet qualifying Single Subject Acceleration (SSA) criteria in grades K‐7 to take advanced academic content in Mathematics or English Language Arts. Nominated students for Single Subject Acceleration (SSA) will be assessed at their school, based upon their current grade level. Depending on their grade level and subject, this could include a multiple-choice test and/or a writing sample. Students can be nominated for SSA by either their teacher or parents. If interested, please talk with your students' classroom teacher.

The LPES SSA nomination window will be opening next week, Monday, March 15th - Friday, March 26th. SSA Testing window will be Monday, April 19th - Friday, May 7th.

Is your child a good candidate for SSA?

  • Consider your child’s social and emotional maturity.

  • Your child may be taking classes with peers who may be older.

  • Consider your child’s organizational skills and ability to focus.

  • Can your child begin or complete projects by themselves?

  • Your child will be skipping an entire year’s worth of content and background knowledge.

The AIG teacher and homeroom teachers are not responsible for covering any content your child skipped as a result of receiving SSA services.

  • If your child qualifies for SSA in math or ELA in elementary or middle school, some courses take place online. During the school day, students participate independently in these online courses.

  • SSA may result in a different class schedule. To accommodate your child's academic needs, the school may assign your child a nontraditional schedule. The final decision about scheduling will be made by the principal at each school.

SSA Testing Information

Assessment for SSA will include a comprehensive examination to establish mastery of the foundational skills and content this course /subject requires. Specifically:

  • Kindergarten students looking to skip first grade math, the student must receive a proficient score on each of the individual constructed response tasks without assistance.

  • Kindergarten students looking to skip first grade ELA, will be assessed using iStation.

  • A 1st-7th grade student in mathematics must earn a minimum of 80% accuracy on the above grade level comprehensive assessment. The assessments have open response questions.

  • In English/Language Arts all students must earn >85% correct on Acceleration Assessment AND score proficient (level 4) on scored writing prompt for elementary school. Middle school students must score proficient (level 3) on a writing prompt.

  • Prior to the exams, students may review the content standards for the course or subject area that they are seeking to demonstrate mastery. North Carolina State Standard Course of Study Links: ELA NC State Standard Course of Study and Math NC State Standard Course of Study

  • All SSA testing will be administered in an online platform.

  • No iPads can be used for SSA online testing.

  • Acceleration assessments will be reported as percent correct.

  • Due to test security, specific items on any Acceleration Assessment Test will not be reviewed.

  • Eligibility to accelerate is based on meeting the above criteria. Students who do not meet the criteria for SSA will have an opportunity to test again during the spring of 2022 for the next school year (2022-2023).

If you would like more information or have specific questions, please email Amy Stone, our SSA Coordinator and AIG Teacher at


Student Performers for 2021 Virtual STEAM Night

We invite your LPES Penguin Star Student to perform for STEAM Night! Because this year looks a little different, we're going to create a video scrolling "talent showcase." Click here for more information!


Dear Parent or Guardian,

I hope this letter finds you and your family safe and healthy. My name is Mark Edwards and I am the Physical Education teacher here at Laurel Park. I want to take a few minutes of your time to introduce the kids heart challenge that your child will be participating in over the next six weeks during their PE classes. Please take a few minutes to read the attached letter.

All the students will be introduced to jump roping skills during class and the importance of staying active. This year we will be doing all donations online using the KHC app or the website. So please do not send in checks or cash. You can find directions on how to get started on the attached letter. Please try to help your child look at the app or website and collect donations to help other kids that have special hearts and make our community healthier. The app and website also have a lot of great videos and activities.

Some students have already donated online so we are off to great start. We would like to collect donations over the next 5-6 weeks. We would like to finish up donation collections at the end of March.

I would like to thank you all in advance for your support for this great cause. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at

Thank you again and stay healthy, Mark Edwards

Physical Education Teacher

Laurel Park Elementary School

Apex, North Carolina


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Positivity Project Resource for Families

P2 for Families is an easy and effective way for families to discuss the importance of character strengths and positive relationships. It is differentiated for grades Pre-K – 2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Each character strength follows a 1-1-3 model: 1 quote, 1 video, and 3 questions to drive conversations around character at home.

Please choose your child’s grade level found at the link below:

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!