Sunday, May 5, 2019

Voyager Academy Elementary School News, May 5, 2019


Dear VAES Families,
This trimester, our third graders are studying our community, Durham.  We are very proud that they are making service a part of their Durham project by giving Durham a service "gift" in honor of Durham’s 150th birthday!!


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As you know, the Durham Bulls are a BIG part of Durham’s history and culture. On Wednesday, our third grade students, families, and staff had a FANTASTIC time at the Durham Bulls game!!  

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On Thursday, our first graders had their Misunderstood Animals Project Celebration.  The students learned about a local “misunderstood” North Carolina animal, but one that is helpful to us and our environment. For example, some students studied the opossum. An opossum is an animal that most people think of as “road kill” and most have rabies, however they actually do a lot to maintain a clean and healthy environment. Students also raised money to donate to an organization that supports the animal by creating a PSA, the project boards that are displayed in our lobby, and various products to sell. 
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A few first grade PSA Links:  

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The goal of the 2nd Grade Weather Project is to integrate non-fiction reading and writing, as well as data collection to enhance our student’s understanding of the weather.  They also learned about various types of extreme weather and created an art piece based on their extreme weather interest.  
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Please check to see if your child is missing a coat, jacket, lunch box, water bottle, etc. located in our Lost and Found!  ALL items that are not claimed by Friday, May 24th will be donated to charity.


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The PTO is looking for interested parents who would like to be a part of the PTO board. We will be providing information in the coming weeks, but if you are interested (or think you may be email pto@voyageracademy.net.

Just a reminder… Please continue to display your ES RED (& MS BLUE) signs for AM & PM carline ALL YEAR.

Best,
Leslie Paynter
VAES Principal

Be sure to read IMPORTANT DATES and MORE VAES INFORMATION where you will find previous information covered in the weekly news, information about Remind text sign-up, fundraising, important dates, carline guidelines and rules, etc.

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:
EOY:  4/23/19 - 5/14/19
Math Assessment Dates:
3rd grade EOY NC Math Check-in:  April 8 - 12
K - 2nd EOY:  May 6 – 10

3rd Trimester Project Celebration Dates:
Kindergarten:  May 16th at 1:30
3rd Grade:  May 21st at 11:30

OTHER DATES:
3rd Grade Reading & Math EOG (End–of-Grade) Tests:  May 14 & 15
PTO Hospitality Luncheon:  Wednesday, May 22
3rd Trimester Ends: May 24
Last Day of School – Early Release at 11:15 & Report Cards Go Home:  May 24

MORE VAES INFORMATION:
Please continue to display your ES RED (& MS BLUE) signs for AM & PM carline ALL YEAR!!  I am usually at the bottom of the hill most mornings and afternoons and when your sign is displayed, it makes it much easier for staff to know who should go where which means that carline runs faster.  
--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 3:15/3:20 (1:15/1:20 on Mondays).  Staff will walk students from the gym 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 try to arrive for afternoon carline on the front end from 2:45 – 3:00 (12:45 – 1:00 on Mondays).  
--At 3:05, families that pick up at the Elementary and the Middle School are permitted to queue in the middle school line.  
--At 3:20, families picking up at the middle school only are allowed to get into the middle school carline.

Do not use your cell phones during carline.  This means no talking, texting, or checking emails/Facebook.  Given the large number of cars on campus during the AM and PM carline, every adult needs to be focused and vigilant while driving on the Voyager campus.  We have ES staff positioned at various locations throughout the carline, in addition to MS staff, HS students, sports teams, etc. walking between buildings and crossing the lanes of traffic. Keeping all students, staff, and parents safe is our priority!


Remind Texts:
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
CARLINE PICK-UP:
To ensure that all families are clear regarding the afternoon carline pick-up times, we have made a large sign that is posted between the elementary and the high school.  The sign states:
Elementary Pickup ONLY:  2:45 – 3:05 (Mondays-12:45 – 1:05)
Elementary & Middle ONLY: 3:05 – 3:15/3:20 (Mondays-1:05 – 1:15/1:20)
Middle School Pickup ONLY:  3:20 (Mondays-1:20)
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 try to 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.

PTO FUNDRAISER:
If you mention the Menchie’s flyer, 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!!
My Hot Lunchbox & Ordering School Lunches:
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.  See the attached flyer.
ORDER NOW!  Thank you, The My Hot Lunchbox Team
888-894-8295
College Day & Voyager Spirit Day:
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 Carline Reminders:
ALL families MUST go through morning and afternoon carline, even if you think you might be tardy in the morning.  Only staff and families with a walking waiver (families living or working within walking distance of the school) should be parking and walking their children to the school buildings.  The exception to this rule is if you have a meeting at the school or if you are bringing something to school that your child cannot carry or get out of the car during the carline.
If you are bringing car seats for a field trip, please drop off your child in the carline and then pull around to the front office to drop off the car seat.
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.  Given the large number of cars on campus during the AM and PM carline, every adult needs to be focused and vigilant while driving on the Voyager campus.  We have ES staff positioned at various locations throughout the carline, in addition to MS staff, HS students, sports teams, etc. walking between buildings. Keeping all students, staff, and parents safe is a priority! 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 for 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!