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2/14 Principal's Message


Alston Ridge Elementary School Families:


I hope that you are well, and safe, (and warm and dry!) as we prepare for another great week of learning in our school’s Virtual Academy, and In-Person Learning for those families who have opted to return to the school building. We have plenty of exciting events and updates to share. We hope to see your family engaged with upcoming programs!


Black History Month: Biographies at Breakfast

Join our School Library Media Coordinator, Ms. Cara McConnell, and a host of colleagues in celebrating Black History Month through biography read-alouds each morning on the school’s YouTube channel: _ AlstonRidgeES _ Staff - AlstonRidgeES. Biographies will go live each morning at 6 a.m. and will be available afterwards for replay. Follow us on Twitter to see some of the ways that we are celebrating in our school building: @AlstonRidgeES including representations for Rio Cortez’ ABC’s of Black History, with a daily set of faculty-curated links to explore background on each topic.


Schedule Changes

As our school building reopens for in-person learning Monday, I am grateful to our faculty who have worked hard to ensure that we can provide a consistent schedule for online learning and new models for blending in-person and remote learning for our students in Grades 4 and 5. These efforts will ensure that live learning schedules in the Virtual Academy will continue with very few changes—consistency and predictability continue to be our goal for all families in the midst of so much uncertainty. Thank you for your continued support to your students.


Wake Up and Read Book Drive

Beginning on 2/15 (and continuing until 2/26), students and families can drop off new and gently used books for donation. All books will be gifted to children and families in Wake County who have struggled to access books and who will benefit from beginning to build a home library for reading as a family. Books will be for young children up to age 12. As a school we want to collect 1,000 books to support Wake Up and Read's goal of 200,000 books. The WUAR Wish List can show you some titles that are hoped for, including if you want to purchase new books to donate. A bin will be located by the front carpool loop during school hours for drop off. Thank you for your help to ensure that every child in our community can develop a love for reading.


Substitute Teacher Recruitment

Thank you to those parents and neighbors who have stepped up to become substitute teachers--helping us secure a safe and healthy reopening for our school! Our district has recently launched a campaign to recruit additional substitute teachers. Our subs receive training, work flexible hours, and earn bi-weekly pay and incentives based on the number of jobs they pick up. If you have an interest in supporting our schools and shaping bright futures, visit to learn more.”


Modular Classroom Construction

Alston Ridge is growing! To accommodate our school community’s continued expansion, construction has begun on the installation of 4 new modular classrooms near our school’s bus loop. These classrooms will be connected to house our Academically and Intellectually Gifted program, reading intervention programs, teacher collaboration spaces, and specials classes. As you pass the school you may see site preparation work as we await placement of the units soon. We are excited grow space to house our faculty and students!


Meal Benefits Application

The federal meal benefits application is available to all families—eligibility criteria is based on earned income and other factors that determine access to free and reduced-lunch meal benefits for students. The following is a notification from Wake County Public Schools regarding this opportunity--Parents, please consider applying for meal benefits by Feb 26. By submitting a qualifying application, families will also support the district in qualifying for additional funds to support students and learning! Also, the NC Department of Health & Human Services will soon begin collecting free and reduced lunch data from WCPSS to determine families that will receive additional Pandemic Electronic Benefits (P-EBT) that will be issued in the coming months! By not applying for these meal benefits, you will miss the opportunity to receive direct P-EBT funds for your family!

Yes, meals will still be free for all students through June 2021 but we still need you to complete a meal benefits application so our school can be eligible for this extra funding next year. Information about applying for Meal Benefits for the 2020-21 school year can be found at Help our school continue to receive this funding by completing an application online at Paper applications can be requested by calling 919-588-3535.



Please call our school (919-544-2474) to speak with Mrs. Alvarez, Mrs. Frakes, and Mrs. Tang about any questions that you may have and for assistance! If you need to reach one of the school’s administration, e-mail: Principal Niko Schutte (, Assistant Principal Ruth Ann Freeman ( and Assistant Principal Melissa Oliver (, and


Take good care,





PTA Opportunities:

The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) is asking you to consider helping lead! Currently the PTA is seeking motivated and committed parents and community members to serve in 2021-22 PTA Officer roles. No experience is necessary, and there are no required skills other than a desire to help support our school! Positions are 1-year commitments (except Treasurer: 2-year). Roles will begin in July 2021 with a transition period starting in May to provide support and guidance leading into the new year.


If you are interested in this opportunity to serve, please email Mrs. Schanel Mize, the Nomination Committee chair, will be in touch to discuss your interest and help you learn more about ways to serve. She will share information, and answer any questions you might have about the board, individual positions, or the nomination process. Our leadership is important to the continued strengthening of our school family and community. We appreciateyour consideration to be part of this extraordinary team!