Sunday, August 26, 2018

Voyager Academy Elementary School, August 26, 2018

Dear VAES Families,
We have had a great week of school!!  The teachers and staff continue to spend time with our students learning the rules and routines and creating a respectful and kind classroom climate and culture to ensure that everyone can learn and that the classroom operates safely and efficiently.  Next week, on Tuesday, August 28, we will have our Kindergarten Curriculum Night at 5:00 and the First Grade Curriculum Night at 5:30.  We hope to see all our K and 1st grade families!


Please make sure you click on the media release link below and complete a form for each of your children. This gives permission for photos, videos, etc. Also, be sure to sign that each family has read the Parent/Student Handbook.  

On Tuesday, our third graders took the English Language Arts/Reading Test Beginning-of-Grade 3 (BOG3) test.  We will receive their scores within the next two weeks. As part of the Read to Achieve law (G.S. §115C-83.1) passed by the General Assembly in 2012, third graders are required to take the Beginning-of-Grade 3 (BOG3) English Language Arts/Reading Test to establish a baseline measure of how he or she is reading. We do not expect all children to pass the Reading BOG3.  The BOG3 assesses what a student’s reading level should be at the END of third grade.  

Morning and afternoon carline continue to improve with each passing day.  You should continue to display your ES RED (& MS BLUE) signs for AM & PM carline ALL YEAR. If you have an ES student, you should arrive on our campus BEFORE 3:15 (1:15 on Mondays).  Our carline should be complete by 3:20 (1:20 on Mondays). Staff will walk students to the front lobby at 3:20 (1:20 on Mondays) and your child will be sent to after school care if you have not arrived by 3:25 (1:25 on Mondays).  If you have an ELEMENTARY ONLY student, please arrive for afternoon carline on the front end from 2:45 – 3:00 (12:45 – 1:00 on Mondays). Also, don’t forget that ALL Mondays are Early Release Days and school dismisses at 12:45.  

In the morning, from 7:15 to 7:25, the carline does not get backed up.  If you want to ensure that you do not get stuck between middle school cars and risk being late, we advise you to arrive in carline by 7:35.  
Listed below in MORE VAES INFORMATION, you will see details about the REMIND texts, the Athletics Go Play Save fundraiser, important dates, carline guidelines and rules, etc.  

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!
Leslie Paynter
VAES Principal

My Hot Lunchbox is excited for another great year of delivering school lunches!  Due to major improvements we have made this summer, families will need to create a new account.  Please note that whichever email address you use for account creation will be the email that receives ALL communications from My Hot Lunchbox.  ALL credits will roll over from last year after you create your account.  Click here for a flyer.

Thank you,
The My Hot Lunchbox Team

***Elementary Hours for the 2018 - 2019 School Year:
Monday:  7:45 AM - 12:45 PM (Every Monday is an early release for Professional Development for teachers and staff which begins at 1:15 PM)
Tuesday - Friday:  7:45 AM - 2:45 PM
AM Carline Monday - Friday:  7:15 AM - 7:45 AM
PM Carline on Mondays:  12:45 PM - 1:15 PM (while the field is under construction)
PM Carline Tuesday - Friday:  2:45 PM - 3:15 PM (while the field is under construction)

Sign up to receive the VAES Remind texts.  We have set up group text messages by grade level, K – 3, to ensure that if there is important information, an emergency, inclement weather, etc., we can very quickly and easily send a text message to all families.   I hope to send more reminders, etc. via text instead of email. So, if you want to receive reminders, important information, etc. - first, you must download the Remind app.  Next, join your child’s grade level group (you can join multiple groups if you have children in different grades) to receive the Voyager texts.  You MUST sign up each year.  Please click on the link/s for your student’s grade level and join Remind!!

VAES K 2018-2019

VAES 1st 2018-2019

VAES 2nd 2018-2019

VAES 3rd 2018-2019

We are looking forward to another amazing academic and ATHLETIC year with our students.  We are starting our Go Play Save Coupon Book drive again to solely support the efforts of our Athletic Department.  We have a HUGE goal for this year to make sure we keep Athletics running smoothly!  Our goal is $96,000.00!  That's right, you read that correctly.  We need each and every family to push hard this year to help us hit this goal.  We have multiple fundraisers we will be doing but the Go Play Save Coupon Books are our BIGGEST so we need your help.
Your students came home with a collection envelope, some information on prizes for selling the most books, and one sample (middle school and elementary school families).  Please start reaching out to family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.  Not only are there hard copy books, but there are also books available online for different areas where the Go Play Save books are available.  
If you are not able to sell your sample book, please return it to the school with the envelope provided.  If you need more, let your teacher know and we will get them to you! There are class prizes, individual prizes, and prizes for our athletes as top sellers.  All orders are due in by August 22nd.  If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail Deuce Harris at
Thank you for all your support and as always, Go Vikings Go!
Deuce Harris
Athletic Director

One of our K – 12 School Improvement Team goals is to increase our school spirit school wide.  Last year, we had College Day on Thursday and Voyager Day on Friday. We will continue this tradition.  The College Day Thursdays are days that all staff, students, and parents can wear their favorite college apparel.  Also, some of you may have noticed that beside classroom and office doors, we display small signs stating where our staff attended college/university.  We hope these activities will promote great conversations about different colleges and college attendance, especially with our middle school and high school students.  
Last, but not least, every Friday is Voyager Spirit Day!  Wear your Voyager apparel and/or your school colors (red, white, and blue) to show school spirit and pride!!  

Important Dates for VAES Families:
** Please note that the elementary (K- 3) operates on trimesters (and not quarters or semesters) to better align with the mClass Reading assessments and the state math assessments. This means report cards will go home every 12 weeks and progress reports every 6 weeks.**
*3rd Grade BOG (Beginning-of-Grade) Reading Test:  Tuesday, August 21 @ 8:00 AM
mClass Reading Assessment Dates:
BOY:  9/4/18 - 9/24/18
MOY:  1/9/19 - 1/31/19
EOY:  4/23/19 - 5/14/19

Math Assessment Dates:
First Math Assessment (only for 1st - 3rd graders - K does not have one):
October 22 - 26
Mid-year (K - 3rd):  February 1 - 8
3rd grade EOY:  April 8 - 12
K - 2nd EOY:  May 6 - 10

Project Celebration Dates:
1st Trimester:
Kindergarten:  November 7th at 11:30
1st Grade: October 25th at 1:00
2nd Grade:  November 6th at 12:30
3rd Grade:  November 9th at 1:00

2nd Trimester:
Kindergarten:  February 15th at 11:30
1st Grade:  February 15th at 1:00
2nd Grade:  February 13th at 12:30
3rd Grade:  February 13th at 11:30

3rd Trimester:
Kindergarten:  May 16th at 11:30
1st Grade:  May 3rd at 1:00
2nd Grade:   May 3rd at 11:30
3rd Grade:  May 21st at 11:30

Labor Day Holiday:  Sept. 3
Progress Reports Sent Home:  Sept. 17
Fall Conference Day/No School for Students:  Sept. 28
FALL BREAK/No School for Students and Staff:  October 8 - 12
1st Trimester Ends:  Nov. 6
2nd Trimester Begins:  Nov. 7
Veteran's Day Holiday/No School for Students and Staff:  Nov. 12
Report Cards Go Home:  Nov. 16
THANKSGIVING BREAK/No School for Students and Staff:  Nov. 21 - 23
WINTER BREAK/No School for Students and Staff:  Dec. 20 - Jan. 3
Required Teacher Workday/No School for Students:  Jan. 4
Progress Reports Sent Home:  Jan. 18
Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday/No School for Students and Staff:  Jan. 21
Required Teacher Workdays/No School for Students:  Feb. 18 & 19
2nd Trimester Ends: Feb. 20
3rd Trimester Begins:  Feb. 21
Report Cards Go Home:   March 1
Required Teacher Workday/No School for Students:  March 11
Spring Conference Day/No School for Students:  March 12
Progress Reports Sent Home:  April 5
SPRING BREAK/No School for Students and Staff:  April 15 - 22
3rd Grade Reading & math EOG (End–of-Grade)Tests:  May 13 & 14
3rd Trimester Ends: May 24
Last Day of School & Report Cards Go Home:  May 24

IMPORTANT Carline Reminders:
Students need to be ready to pop right out of the car in morning carline with backpacks already on their shoulders and lunch boxes, etc. in their hands.

As you are pulling into your unloading zone in the AM, teach your child to unbuckle quickly so they are ready to get out of the car once it stops.

Parents are not to get out of their car to unload their child.   Parents may pull up and over to the side and assist their child, if needed.

When there are other children in the car who are not unloading at the elementary, the student's car seat needs to be behind the passenger seat so that the child can unload quickly and doesn't have to climb over the other children in the car.

ALL Kindergarten - Third Grade students MUST be dropped off in the morning carline from 7:15 - 7:45, unless you have a walking waiver stating that you live and/or work within walking distance of the school.  

Do not block the crosswalks or the entrances to the elementary in AM and PM carline.  We need to keep the crosswalks open so students and staff can cross safely and the entrances open so cars or emergency vehicles can enter and exit.

DO NOT use your cell phones during carline.  This means no talking, texting, or checking emails/Facebook.  We will have MS children walking between buildings in the AM with the before school program and staff and their children walking between buildings in the AM and PM.  It is very dangerous to use your cell phone in carline. If one of our carline staff see you on your cell phone, they will ask you to put up your phone, or to pull around to the front office to drop off or pick up your student.

We have families (many of them new Kindergarten parents) and staff new to Voyager and they may not understand all of the traffic logistics.  We do not want their first experience at Voyager to be an unpleasant one. So, please be kind!!!  

For AM and PM Carline, you MUST have a RED ES sign in your car window/windshield that lists the names of each student you are dropping off and picking up.  Place the card/s on your dashboard as you are coming down Ben Franklin Blvd. and entering the Voyager campus.  We are still learning names so; this also assists the staff as they call names and load students into their cars.

For PM carline, if you do not have a RED sign in your window with the student names, you will be asked to pull around to the front office to pick up your children.  Having a sign with the names of the students riding in your car will make carline run more quickly and effectively.

The safety of our students is our number one concern.  If a student is to ride home with someone other than their regular caregiver, the teacher must have had written or verbal confirmation from the parent or guardian.  Those carline changes will be on a daily grade level list which will be given to each grade level teacher that is on duty in the gym during PM carline. If your child’s name isn’t on this list with a carline change, the child WILL NOT be placed in the person’s car.  The person picking up will be asked to pull around to the front office and the office will call the parent/guardian to confirm this person has permission to pick up your child.  If you know that your child will have a PM carline change, I would advise you to write a note, send an email, or call the teacher the day before.  Often it is difficult for teachers to check their email or voicemail during the day when they are teaching. If it is an emergency or last minute change, please call the front office and the front office staff will let the teacher know so that the student is added to the grade level list. We appreciate your help and support implementing this new procedure so that all students are safe!

Do not cut in front of someone to avoid having to wait in the carline.  This includes NOT making a U-turn in front of the middle school.  First, you could potentially cause an accident and this is inconsiderate and often makes the driver that has been following the rules and waiting their turn very angry.

Remember to be kind to your fellow drivers, staff, students, and volunteers during carline!  We are all trying to work together to make carline efficient and safe!!

Please be understanding and respectful to our carline staff if they notice that a driver is breaking one of the rules.  They are doing this to ensure that our students and drivers are safe!! Our goals are to make carline safe, quick, and efficient!