August 9, 2020

Welcome Back to School Message from Your Principal!

I am very excited to begin another school year at White Oak Elementary! I realize that this is not the opening anyone had hoped for, but I want to assure you that the staff at White Oak is committed to providing quality, rigorous learning opportunities for all students! The teachers have been working hard to set up their Google Classrooms, establish routines and procedures, as well as prepare lesson plans so they are ready to engage with their students Wednesday morning! We will begin our day with our traditional morning announcements so look for the link to these on the White Oak eClass home page at 8:00am then be ready to join your teacher at 8:15 on their live check in!

We are working hard to provide a device for every student who needs one. The Tech Team at White Oak is striving to have all requests for devices honored for Tuesday Morning at the Drive Through Celebration! If you requested a device and were placed on the waiting list please watch for an email indicating that a device is now available for your student(s).

Over the past few days several parents have contacted the school to make a change in their students’ learning option. At this time since every student is beginning school using the digital format we will not make any class changes for students who request to move from in person learning to digital learning. However, for families making a change from digital learning to in person learning once we begin the transition a class change will be made. All preferences for students’ learning platforms are being documented so we may revise classes, schedules etc when it is time to transition to both learning platforms. Thank you for your understanding!

This week you will be receiving a letter from Gwinnett County Public Schools regarding your choice of either digital or in person learning made in July when you completed the survey from the District. If you have contacted the school to make a change in your learning preferences please disregard this letter!

As always, thank you for your continued support of the instructional program at White Oak Elementary! I appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility as we begin our school year; I know it has been and will most likely continue to be a challenge for our school community! Please reach out to me with your questions and concerns. It is my honor to serve as the principal of such a fine school and community! I wish everyone a successful and healthy school year!

Most sincerely,

Jean Loethen, Principal

Important Dates

Monday, August 10, 2020 - Virtual Open House for ALL White Oak students and families. Make sure you watch the video message from your child’s teacher before you attend the ZOOM sessions on that Monday! This will be a great opportunity to get to know your teacher and engage with a “Tech Check” so you are ready for the first day of school.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - Drive Thru Celebration for ALL White Oak students and families! On this day we will be giving out back to school information, textbooks, supplies, chromebooks, etc. The teachers will all be on the sidewalk to welcome students! PTA has a fundraiser event planned as well! For your convenience and to limit traffic in the Car Rider Lane please follow the schedule below. Thank you!

  • 8:30-10:00 – Last names A-K

  • 10:00-11:30 – Last names L-Z

Prior to coming to the school:

  • Please make a sign for your vehicle window with the last name in bold dark letters and then list all of the students' first names. Please place the sign in the front passenger window so it is visible to the staff. (See attachment)

As you arrive at the school:

  • Families will enter through the car rider lane where staff members will be waiting to place the items in the trunk of your vehicle.

  • When you are asked to stop your vehicle, please open your trunk so that it is readily accessible to the staff member who will be placing your child’s items there. If your trunk is not automatic please step out of your vehicle, open the trunk then return to your car so the staff member may safely approach your vehicle to place the student’s belongings in the trunk. After the staff member steps away from your vehicle you may get out to close your trunk then safely proceed to the exit. Please make sure you follow the social distancing guidelines specifically maintaining 6ft or more from anyone while on school property.

  • Once all bags have been placed in your trunk please safely proceed up the hill to exit the school. We are expecting a big turn out and want to make sure we limit your wait times.

  • If you ordered donuts please follow the directional signs to pick these up in the car rider parking lot.

  • The teachers will be lining the sidewalks to greet our families however, please refrain from stopping to talk with them so traffic moves along!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - First Day of School!

Big picture

GCPS sent parents an email regarding the Back to School Tech Check on Monday, August 10 beginning at 11:00am and ending by 11:30am. See the information below regarding what is needed prior to the first day of school. While it would be ideal for you to complete this during the timeframe listed above, if you can not make that work with your schedule, you are welcome to do it at another time prior to Wednesday morning. Many of you are signed up for your Zoom Open House meetings with teachers on Monday, which will be a great tech check to prepare us for using this technology as a part of everyday instruction.

eCLASS and Google Classroom: Getting ready for the first day of school

Here are a few technology items that will help your child be ready for our first digital day of school on Wednesday.

  • Log into eCLASS

    • You should have received an email from your child’s teacher with login and password information. Your child will also receive a login card on Tuesday with this information. (Please email your child’s teacher if there is an issue with your child’s new password.)

  • Navigate to the teacher’s Core eCLASS page

    • The Core eCLASS page is where we will begin each school day. Practice navigating to your teacher’s eCLASS page. On this page you will find your daily schedule and a weekly overview of lessons. Beginning the first day of school, a more detailed daily digital learning plan will be linked in the activity feed.

  • Join Google Classroom

    • Also in the eCLASS Core page Activity Feed is a link to Google Classroom. This link will take you to the Google Classroom dashboard. Click the blue Join button on each Classroom card. This only needs to be done at the beginning of the year to activate your child’s Google Classrooms.

Please click on the link below to watch a short video that walks you through the steps to log into eCLASS and navigate to the teacher’s Core page and Google Classroom.

Video Link: Logging into eCLASS and Joining Google Classrooms

Navigating in eCLASS and Google Classroom: Weekly Overview and Daily Digital Lessons

Teachers at White Oak Elementary have created two communication tools to guide our students’ digital learning: the Weekly Digital Learning Overview and the Daily Digital Lesson Plan.

  • Weekly Digital Learning Overview

    • Posted each Friday afternoon to give you a glance at what learning and activities are coming the following week.

    • Teachers will link recordings of their live Zoom lessons here at the end of each school day. This will be easy to access for students that miss a lesson or want to rewatch a lesson for review.

    • The Weekly Overview will be posted on each teacher’s eCLASS Core homepage.

  • Daily Digital Lessons

    • The Daily Digital Lesson is basically your child’s schedule for the day. This Google Doc will break down each subject area, give you and your child the time of each live meeting (whole class and small group), links to Zoom meetings, and more detailed information about the lesson, independent work, and assignments.

    • This daily information will be linked on each teacher’s eCLASS Core page in the Activity Feed. Daily lessons will be posted at 8am each school morning.

    • From the Daily Digital Lesson, your child will click their first Zoom link of the day to head to his or her class meeting at 8:15am. The daily plan also includes a direct link to Google Classroom.

Please click on the link below to watch a short video tour of both the Weekly Digital Learning Overview and the Daily Digital Lesson plan.

Video Link: Digital Tour of Weekly Overview and Daily Digital Plan

New Look of the Parent Portal

The GCPS Parent Portal has a new look! This tool gives parents an easy way to stay in touch with the school with access to grades, assignments, and communication with teachers. Click on the link for more detailed information. If you have questions about signing up, activating your account, or your Parent Portal password, please email our White Oak registrar, Becky Hogan.

Link: GCPS Parent Portal Information

My Payments Plus/School Supplies

Prior to the announcement that we would all return to school digitally we had offered school supplies on My Payments Plus; you are welcome to purchase these supplies now if you need them at home just know that we will offer supplies and agendas again prior to our return to In Person Learning. Teachers will be developing a Digital Learning supply list which will be posted next week for you. At this time I ask that all families go to My Payments Plus to:

Pay for periodical subscriptions which are digital (2nd - 5th grades)

Pay contributions: tech, supply, clinic, PTA and Lanier Education Foundation.

Sign off that you have read handbooks, releases etc.

Cafeteria Updates

Beginning Wednesday, August 12 from 11:30- 12:20 we will be offering Curbside Lunch Pick-up in the bus lane at White Oak! Then, each week meals will be available for pick-up Monday - Thursday. Friday meals will be available for pick-up on Thursday.

  • Students will be offered the choice of both a breakfast and a lunch each day.

  • Students will need their Student ID cards (these will be given included in the student’s bag on Tuesday at the Drive Through Celebration). This allows the School Nutrition Program to process and properly account for each meal.

  • The student does not need to be present to receive a meal. A Parent/Guardian may pick up a meal for their child but they must have the Student ID card in order to validate their child’s enrollment and eligibility.

  • Students will be charged for their meals based on their current eligibility of Free, Reduced, or Gull Pay. If you plan for your child to receive a meal please ensure that proper applications have been submitted and/or funds have been added to the student’s lunch account.

  • Students may pick up a meal at any school within the Lanier Cluster.

  • There is no charging of meals and no alternate meal will be provide to students without method of payment.

    The Free- and Reduced-Priced Meal Application must be filled out each school year. The online application for 2020-21 is now available at

Click Here For Information From The PTA

Be sure to look at the White Oak PTA Facebook page. They have created 3 groups to help guide parents with Digital Learning.