Important Back-to-School Information for Families

  • Wake County Public School System Families:

    It will be a very new and different kind of “back to school,” at least in the beginning, as we kick off the 2020-21 school year on Monday, Aug. 17. But this doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot to look forward to and much to share.

    Thousands of teachers, principals and support staff have been working to ensure that we hit the ground running as smoothly as possible, providing solid instruction for our students in spite of the new and different learning environment in which we find ourselves.

    Whether your child is attending via Plan B Transition or Virtual Academy, please take a moment to review several points of information:

    Orientation

    The first two weeks of this year will be an orientation period. Parents should have been contacted by now about what this means for their child’s school. If not, you should contact your school.

    There will be a tremendous amount of flexibility involved during these two weeks, as students settle into this new learning environment and teachers work to prepare students for everything they need to do so.

    It is possible that schools may not deliver the full two to three hours of live instruction during weeks 1 and 2 due to orientation events. If your child is having issues with your school’s scheduling and other needs, we need you to know that that is OK. We will work with students to ensure their learning is progressing appropriately.

    Expectations, Attendance and Scheduling

    What will be different this year than from when we switched to remote learning in March, is that we have a completely new set of expectations. This will be school as we know it for the time being. As such, expectations for attendance and participation will be as if students are attending school in person.

    Attendance will be taken - again with flexibility as key. Students who have a two-way interaction with a teacher such as a virtual classroom meeting, email or phone call, and/or are turning in daily assignments will be counted present. More detail will be coming from your school.

    Technology

    We know that not every student will have connectivity the first day of school. We have hundreds of employees and volunteers who will be devoting the next two weeks to reach out to families who need it and support them in getting it.

    It is very important that families do not go to their child’s school to try to secure a device. There are five high schools serving as distribution sites. If you submitted a device request in our recent tech survey, you will be notified by email soon when your device will be ready for pick-up. Please wait until you receive notification before going to a distribution site to pick up your device. If you go to a distribution site before receiving notification, there will not be a device available for you.

    Again, our teachers and support staff will work with students to catch them up once they are connected. Your child will not be penalized for getting started later than others.

    Back to School website

    We have developed resources to help you with this. We encourage you to visit our Back to School website at wcpss.net.

    Tech Support

    Information about how to support online learning is available at wcpss.net/techguides. The resources on this site show students how to log into their Wake IDs and student email, how to set up and use Chromebooks and Internet hotspots, how to connect to WiFi, how to use learning systems such as Google Classroom and Canvas, and much more. You can also find how to contact our Help Desk for direct support.

    New school

    We welcome South Lakes Elementary School in Fuquay-Varina this year! Principal Kim Short is a veteran administrator who has some great ideas in store for South Lakes students and families. Welcome, Sea Turtles!

    Food services

    For more information and a list of all community distribution sites, visit wcpss.net/food. See more information regarding meal service options.

    Extension of Deadline for Immunizations and Health Assessments

    A new Executive Order issued yesterday by Governor Roy Cooper suspends but does not waive documentation deadlines for proof-of-immunization and health assessment requirements for school. In typical years, proof of required immunizations and health assessments were required within 30 days of the first date of attendance of school. After the 30 days, children are to be excluded from school until the family provides documentation of requirements. All immunization requirements and health assessments are now due by September 30th, 2020. Students will be granted a 30-day grace period which expires on October 30th, 2020. Learn more on NCHHS’s website.

    Childcare and Support During Remote Learning

    Families looking for a program to supervise their children during remote learning can view available options at www.wakeed.org/fast. Organizations across Wake County have worked together to provide locations convenient to most families that provide affordable supervision during the day. Financial assistance is offered by individual providers.


    Athletics

    At this time, all athletic activities are suspended indefinitely. We will monitor local health trends and follow guidance from state and federal health officials in determining if and how athletic activities in our district may resume.

    • High School Athletics: On Wednesday, the N.C. High School Athletic Association released guidance on when athletic tryouts, practices are allowed to resume.
    • Middle School Athletics: To protect the health and safety of students and staff, and to endeavor to offer all middle school sports during the 2020-21 school year, middle school athletic activities will be suspended until no sooner than the start of the second semester in January 2021. We will plan for all middle school athletics teams to have condensed seasons that will allow for all sports (fall, winter and spring) to be played from January to May 2021.


    Patience and understanding

    Please know that as we enter this new world on Monday, a great deal of time, energy, effort, thought - and care - has been devoted by thousands of our employees and partners to give your child the best learning situation possible.

     

    If you have any questions, please contact your child’s school.

    We wish you all the best for a successful, safe and healthy new school year!