Sunday, February 10, 2019

Voyager Academy Elementary School News, February 10, 2019


Dear VAES Families,
Here is an important message from our PTO:
Voyager Staff/Teacher Appreciation week is a special time at Voyager where we pause for a moment to reflect on the enormous contributions that the staff members make for our children each day. We love them each and every day but we want to recognize their hard work and dedication, next week. Most importantly, each year we gift each staff member with gift cards, again a small token of appreciation. This will be done next Friday, February 15. Monetary donations can be made using this link https://squareup.com/store/voyager-academy-pto)  or send in gift cards with your student labeled "PTO Gift Card Giveaway." Please be on the lookout for emails from your class parents or sign-up genius requests. The PTO needs your help to make this event a success. 


Voyager Academy Staff/Teacher Appreciation Week – Next Week!   February 11th -15th 
Monday – Breakfast supplied by the PTO
Tuesday – Write a letter of gratitude for your teacher, a staff member, etc. (these can be written by parents, students, or both) 
Wednesday – Snack in breakrooms supplied by the PTO
Thursday – Supply drive for teachers & staff and/or send in your teacher’s or staff member’s favorite snack 
Friday – Gift Card Giveaway /Catered Luncheon for all staff, K - 12

Fantastic news!!!  The wooden parkour play structure is being installed behind the middle school!!  YAY!!! The installation was delayed several times by the rain and the ground being so wet.  The hope is that it will be ready to use by the end of next week!!

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This will give our students another place to play, in addition to the area beside the Hock House and behind the elementary gym.  We are in need of some extra playground balls for Four Square. If you are able to donate some extra balls that would be terrific (see pic below for the type of ball we need)!

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Also, the lights are being erected at the athletic field construction site!! This is VERY exciting!!!


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Our fabulous PE teachers, Mrs. Derrick and Mrs. Flowe-Dawson kicked off our American Heart Association’s Kid’s Heart Challenge in Physical Education. Our Kids Heart Challenge Event has been taking place this week during the PE classes.  Please join us in the fight against heart disease. Help your children go online at http://american.heart.org/kidsheartchallenge or download the Kids Heart Challenge App (App Store for iPhone or Google Play for Android) to make a pledge to be more heart healthy and earn a free glow in the dark wristband - https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0?ui=2&ik=e7ef2f5459&attid=0.3&permmsgid=msg-f:1624911647134556129&th=168cd888aed99fe1&view=att&disp=safe
New this year, the Heart Heroes show students how they can have happy, healthy hearts. To see the Heart Heroes dance, jump, and play - use the free app to scan your wristband, kickoff stickers, coloring sheets, envelope, tattoo, keychain, or plush. You and your students also can use the app to take selfies with your favorite Heart Heroes and to create customized avatars. It’s awesome!  Thank you for your life-saving help!
If you have questions about our program, please contact Mrs. Derrick (bderrick@voyageracademy.net) or Mrs. Flowe-Dawson (mflowedawson@voyageracademy.net).


“Diamonds and Denim,” Voyager’s first auction and gala is taking place on February 23rd at Umstead Pines Golf and Swim Club. You can check out the auction catalog and buy your ticket(s) online by clicking on this link:  https://voyager.schoolauction.net/auction2019
This is going to be a fabulous adult only event that you will not want to miss!!  We hope to see you there!
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Second Grade Families - you will want to bid on the beautiful art work that the 2nd graders in Mrs. Sawyer’s class and Mrs. Morgan’s class have made for the auction!!  

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**SAVE the DATE for the Elementary Science Night on Tuesday, March 26 from 5:00 – 7:00.  More information to come soon!!**

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 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.

MORE VAES INFORMATION:
**SAVE the DATE for the Elementary Science Night on Tuesday, March 26 from 5:00 – 7:00.  More information to come soon!!**

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.

The Voyager Administrative team also discussed and expressed concern regarding parents parking at the high school and walking over to avoid the carline, and in the morning a potential tardy.  We all agreed that 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.  This is a huge safety issue and concern given the large number of cars on campus and the need to keep pedestrian traffic to a minimum, especially when adults are continuing to use cell phones even after being asked to not use them during carline. The exception to the parking and walking 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.

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
Photo & Video/Media Release Form:
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.  
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 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.

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!!
Elementary Hours:
***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)
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:
K – 2nd Mid-year Benchmark Assessment:  February 1 - 8
3rd grade EOY NC Math Check-in:  April 8 - 12
K - 2nd EOY:  May 6 - 10
Project Celebration Dates:
2nd Trimester:
Kindergarten:  February 22nd 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
OTHER DATES:
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
Elementary Science Night:  Tuesday, March 26 from 5:00 – 7:00
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:
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!