Sunday, September 2, 2018

Voyager Academy Elementary School News, September 2, 2018

Dear VAES Families,

It’s hard to believe that we have finished our fourth week of school!  For the past few weeks, students and staff have been discussing their hopes and dreams for the school year.  This helps our community of learners
get excited about what we will learn and also makes a personal connection.  By inviting students (and staff) to name their hopes and dreams (learning goals) for the year shows them that they are valued members of the classroom, that school is a safe place, and that we have a lot of fun and challenging learning to do this year. Creating a tone of trust and respect is one of the most important things we do at the beginning of the year.  Here are a couple of links explaining in more detail about Hopes and Dreams.

After we determine our hopes and dreams, the students and the teacher create the classroom rules.  These are the rules that need to be in place so that everyone can achieve their hopes and dreams. Rules and routines that are reasonable and fair give children a sense of security and belonging.  We know that children will break the rules (adults do too). Sometimes children forget, become unsure, and sometimes they want to test limits. Because we have spent weeks building a strong foundation for a caring learning community, we are able to follow up with effective strategies and most importantly, the use of logical consequences.  Logical consequences help the fix problems that result from children’s words and actions when they break or forget the rules. Logical consequences help children regain self-control, reflect on their mistakes, and make amends for them. They should always be respectful of the child, relevant to the situation, and reasonable in scale. You can click on this link to read more about Rule Creation and Logical Consequences.  

Below are some pictures from a Third Grade classroom showcasing student’s hopes and dreams and the process of creating their classroom rules.
C:\Users\lpaynter\Desktop\FullSizeRender (3).jpg
C:\Users\lpaynter\Desktop\FullSizeRender (2).JPG


If you mention this Menchie’s flyer (click here), every Friday from 12:00 PM to close for the entire school year, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt Patterson Place located at 3604 Witherspoon Blvd. #109, Durham will donate 20% of your purchase to Voyager Academy!!

Don’t forget to 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.  

I am sure many of you are tired of reading about carline, but…the morning and afternoon carline continue to improve with each passing day.  There were a couple of days this week that some cars ran into a traffic jam on Carver Street due to road construction. You may want to avoid Carver Street until the road construction is complete by using William Penn Plaza instead.  Please 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.  

From 7:15 to 7:25, the carline does not get backed up.  You can “breeze” right through!! 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.  
Be sure to read MORE VAES INFORMATION where you will find important dates, carline guidelines and rules, etc.  

Monday, September 3rd is the Labor Day Holiday.  There is no school for staff and students.  I hope everyone has a great long weekend and we will see everyone back at school on Tuesday, September 4th!!
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

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.**

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 2nd 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!