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10/19 Principal's Message


Alston Ridge Families:


Welcome back from track-out and a happy start to the second quarter of our school year. Our faculty has missed learning alongside our students, and we are eager to be back in class together. As we begin this new quarter we are also excited to welcome back some of our students for in-person learning. The district has been sharing updates to all WCPSS families, and we are looking forward to beginning a safe phase-in for our students at Alston Ridge.


Through all of the changes, I know that there are many details that still may be confusing. Please do not hesitate to e-mail ( with questions, as well as our wonderful assistant principals Melissa Oliver ( and Ruth Ann Freeman ( You can also reach the school with questions from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. We want you to have all the information your family needs to stay healthy, learn, and make informed decisions.


The following are a few reminders and updates:


Reopening for In-Person Learning

The Board of Education has approved school reopening plans for students who did not elect to participate in the district’s Virtual Academy program. In-person students in grades Pre-K through Grade 3 and the school’s regional special education programs will attend school in small groups for 1 week beginning on either 10/26 (Cohort A/1), 11/2 (Cohort B/2), or 11/9 (Cohort C/3), followed by daily in-person instruction each week starting 11/16. The week that students will attend with a small group is determined by the cohort assignment.


During the weeks of rotation (beginning 10/26) when they are not attending in person, students will learn online with a different teacher at the grade level who will welcome them to their classroom community. This will ensure that our in-person teachers are able to establish the health and safety protocols with students on campus while also building a new sense of community in their classrooms.


Students in Grades 4 and 5 will begin their rotation to in-person learning on either 11/16 (Cohort A/1), 11/30 (Cohort B/2) or 12/7 (Cohort C/3). Although this will only provide a short time for in-person learning, we are excited to begin adjusting to having our oldest learners back in the building during this first semester. Students are expected to continue on a rotation for Grades 4 and 5 throughout the reopening plan.


Remote Learning Day, Alston Ridge ES, Friday, October 23

This Friday, October 23, students at Alston Ridge ES will complete learning activities asynchronously; live learning will not occur except when specifically arranged by teachers for the purpose of assessment or support.


New WCPSS Year-Round Calendar approved for Quarter 2

The WCPSS Board of Education has approved updates to the WCPSS Year-Round Calendar for the remainder of the 1st semester of school, including providing additional Remote Learning Days as follows: 10/28 (allowed for all schools), 11/3, 11/18, 12/2, and 12/16. On these days students will neither attend school for in-person learning, nor will they participate in live learning. All activities will be asynchronous. These Remote Learning Days are designed to provide flexibility for families and opportunities for instructional planning and collaboration for teachers across online and in-person settings (see WCPSS School Calendars). School calendars for the second semester are likely to be updated during the next several months.


WCPSS Second Semester Virtual Academy Registration
Anticipated in December is a district application window when all families will be provided with an opportunity to decide how their student will learn beginning in January 2021: Second Semester Virtual Academy, or the opportunity for In-Person Learning according to the district's school opening plans.


Apex Leadership Virtual Remix Fitness Fundraiser Launches 10/26
We are excited for our PTA's annual fitness fundraiser with Apex Leadership Company. All students will launch the program with a virtual Pep Rally in their classes on Monday, 10/26. Families will be able to drive through at the school to pick up Apex spirit supplies from their program team during the day on 10/26. This fun event is a great way to help students stay active and learn about leadership and character. Thank you for the ways that your family will support this campaign to raise funds for essential technology, play equipment, and important program improvements at Alston Ridge.


Before School and After School Care:

For in-person students, Alston Ridge is pleased to extend last year’s partnership with the NW Cary YMCA to support flexible schedule options for families. The fee-based Before School and After School Care programs will be on-site at Alston Ridge ES. The hours for each program will include: Before School Care starting at 7 a.m. and the After-School Program until 6 p.m. Registration information can be found via the YMCA of the Triangle > School Programs site.


The Northwest Cary YMCA has you covered before and after the bell rings at Alston Ridge! Caring, trained counselors lead the program that complies with all state and local safety protocols. Registration opens October 12th. We will be offering registration by the week, for families’ flexibility.


Learn more about program changes and COVID pre-screenings to ensure the safety of your child. Register today. If you have any more questions please contact


  • ARES Spirit Wear is available by online ordering and curbside pickup at Alston Ridge. Don’t forget to find your Gator spirit in the ARES PTA Online Gator Shop. The PTA will alert you when your order is ready for curbside pick-up.
  • Speak up: We are trying to come up with new ways to be useful to each of you and our school all the time. Every one of your ideas are things we might have never thought about, especially this year when the situation is so unprecedented. Let us know what you think about PTA programs and what you would like to see us doing. Please feel free to email if you have any questions or ideas about the new school year and our AREPTA.
  • Join the AREPTA: It's one of the best ways to get involved and have a voice in what we do! We'll be scheduling our first (virtual) meeting of the year soon so keep an eye on your email and our Facebook or Twitter post. You never have to attend a meeting but it's a great way to find out more about our school!
  • Fill out our PTA communications form: Even if we already have your email, we might not be aware of your child's current class to notify room parents and help you communicate with parents of your child's classmates.