Monday, September 25, 2017

Voyager Academy Elementary School News Sept. 24, 2017

Dear VAES Families,

Please don’t forget to bring in your gift cards (Walmart, Target, & Amazon) for Smith Academy in Houston, Texas (read about Smith Academy’s needs on the last page)!  Given the variety and severity of their needs, we will continue to collect Walmart, Target, and Amazon gift cards for the Smith Academy families until September 29.  Please deliver the gift cards to the front office at each school by September 29.   Let’s show the Smith Academy community how much the Voyager Academy community cares about them!!  

We have had an exciting week at VAES!  Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade have all taken field trips to support their first trimester projects.

Also, don’t forget that Friday, September 29 is a  Teacher Workday and there is no school for students.  Have a great weekend!!

Leslie Paynter
VAES Principal

Parent Teacher Conferences:
You should have received a sign-up notification from your child’s teacher for parent-teacher conferences.  Our policy at VAES is to schedule conferences with parents/guardians whenever we need them.  However, since we are on trimesters and the first trimester ends on November 9, we will conduct parent-teacher conferences from September 29 through October 23.  The elementary teachers will have a variety of days and times for parents to choose from, so that parents can find a day and time that is convenient for their family schedules.

Fall Break Basketball Skills Camp:
Voyager Basketball Coach, Mike Huff, is offering a 3-day basketball skills camp for boys and girls in grades 3-8, Monday-Wednesday of fall break.  Camp runs from 9:00-12:00, with early drop-off available for a small extra fee.  If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Coach Huff at
VAES Yearbook Cover Contest:
It is time to kickoff our annual yearbook cover contest and we hope that all of our Elementary School students will participate. Attached you will find a flyer detailing the contest rules and artwork requirements. All entries must be turned in by Friday, September 29!  If you have any questions, please contact Leslie Jewell at We can't wait to see all the amazing artwork and submissions that we are going to receive. 
Yearbook Ordering:
Elementary School Yearbooks are now on sale and can only be ordered online this year. You can order your copy online at Yearbooks are $23.00 each and must be ordered by January 31, 2018. After this date, there will be a price increase for additional book orders. Visit, click on Pay or Order Online, enter our school code 110322 for Voyager Elementary, then click View Gallery. Choose Yearbook to proceed to your order. Please contact Leslie Jewell ( if you have any questions. Order today!!

Lost and Found:
The Lost and Found is continuing to grow!!  Before it gets out of hand, please come and see if your child is missing a jacket, an article of clothing, or water bottle.  All items still in Lost and Found by October 6 will be donated to charity.

Background Checks:
If you are planning to chaperone field trips this year then please read the following information regarding the new process for background checks.  Currently, we are still in need of parents completing the driving record background check so that we will have enough parent drivers for local field trips. 
**If you HAVE already completed your background check but did not add the comment that says, “Please include driving record search” you need to call CIR directly at (919)-460-7799 and ask them to add a driving record to your account. This takes less than 2 minutes to do.  **If you have NOT completed your background check, please be sure to do the following:
1.       Go to www.
2.       Click on “Check My Background”
3.       Type in your personal information.
4.       Under “Comments/Special Instructions” add the comment ” Please include driving record search-Voyager”. **If you do NOT do this step, you will not be able to drive for field trips.**
5.       Click “Continue.” 

Future VAES Hospitality Luncheon Dates:
Thursday, October 19th
Tuesday, November 14th
Thursday, December 14th

Important Dates:
Fri., Sept. 29
Required Teacher Workday & Deadline to turn in Walmart, Target, and Amazon Gift Cards for Smith Academy in Houston

Oct. 9 - 13
Fall Break
Oct. 23 - 27
Case 21 Math 1st Benchmark Assessments for 1st - 3rd grade
Fri., Oct. 27
PTO Fall Carnival
Tues., Oct. 31
Boosterthon Kick-off in Gym at 2:00

Oct. 30 - Nov. 3
Spirit Week (more information to come in October)
Wed., Nov. 8
Kindergarten Project Celebration at 11:30 AM &
1st Grade Project Celebration (VAES GYM) at 1:00 PM
Wed., Nov. 8
2nd & 3rd Project Celebration at 5:30 PM
Thurs., Nov. 9
End of 1st Trimester & Boosterthon Fun Run:
K/1st from 12:15 - 1:15
2nd/3rd from 1:30 - 2:30
Fri., Nov. 10
Veteran’s Day Holiday/NO SCHOOL
Mon., Nov. 20
1st Trimester Report Cards Go Home
Wed., Nov. 22 – Fri., Nov. 24
Thanksgiving Holiday/NO SCHOOL

Wed., Dec. 20
Early Release at 11:15 AM for the Winter Holidays
Dec. 21 - Jan. 4
Winter Holidays

Smith Academy, Houston, Texas
Smith Academy as a whole had forty-six families affected by Hurricane Harvey. Most of the families live in neighborhood homes. Some of these homes are rented from other owners who may live in the Houston area as well. The homes of our families were flooded by water due to the amount of rain received by Harvey.  Some families were able to save items and some were not due to taking shelter at other locations and/or leaving to get to higher ground.  One of our students will not be able to return to their home for 6 months due to the process of clean up, insurance to take effect, and to rebuild.  We have various needs for our families such as toiletry items, clothes (mainly uniform clothes), sheets, blankets, beds, furniture, backpacks, shoes, and cleaning supplies. Looking ahead, Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner, so some families will need assistance in order to help their family feel some normalcy during the holiday season. We also have many students who were not able to purchase school supplies before the storm.

Smith Academy Family Profiles
1.         Grandmother and grandson live in a home not too far from Smith Academy.  She was displaced from her home and is now living with relatives. She was impacted by Hurricane Harvey with floodwater that was up to her knees. They were able to save some items upstairs, but are in need of cleaning supplies, sheets, blankets, towels and other items that can be replaced, but may be too expensive to gather all at one time.  Her application is on file for FEMA, but FEMA has not assessed her house at this point.
2.         Family of six displaced and currently living at a temporary home.  They are waiting on FEMA to speak with them about their current home.  Because their home was flooded, they lost most of the items in the home. The family needs to replace all household items.
3.         A family had water damage to their home due to flood waters, and they are waiting on FEMA. They pretty much lost everything in the home. The family needs to replace all household items.
4.         A single mother with three kids had flood water in their home. Everything had to be thrown out and the sheetrock has been removed. They are currently waiting on FEMA. They have lost beds for the children. The children are currently living with their father due to the damage in their mother’s home.
5.         A single mother of two also had water damage to her home and stated they lost everything and need help with everything.  She is unsure of her status with FEMA and could use help with items such as clothes, shoes, and backpacks for her children.

The VAES yearbook cover design contest!
Click here to learn more or participate.