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January 29, 2023


Dear White Oak Families, 


It's a five-day week! Thank you for taking a few minutes to read through our weekly school newsletter.


Quick Notes/Reminders:

  • The lunch menu for Monday is Manager's Choice: Egg and Cheese Wakemuffin or Sausage and Cheese Wakemuffin, Baby carrots, Fresh tossed salad and Fruit Juice
  • Tuesday is a school spirit day for National Backward Day. January 31st honors everything backward with National Backward Day. The day provides an opportunity to reverse our ways, our direction or simply our shirt. Dessert for breakfast, perhaps? There are many ways to celebrate this fun day, so just let your imagination be your guide.



Stories from the Specialists



Explorers from Mrs. Taranto:


I am meeting with 3rd grade Explorers groups to make up for Explorers ending early in the Fall. The students are practicing their critical thinking skills and problem-solving in both Language Arts and Math.  


In addition, I am also currently reviewing the CogAT and IOWA scores to prepare the data, work samples, and paperwork for AIG identification.   

This process will continue throughout the third quarter.  Any students that qualify for AIG services will receive paperwork for parents to review and sign.  We anticipate that the final paperwork will be completed near the end of the third quarter.  AIG classes for third graders will begin in the fourth quarter.

I am looking forward to getting to know the students!



4th & 5th grade AIG and Talent Development classes - Mrs. Joyce:


All of the students are working very hard, and we are thrilled to see their growth!

The 4th grade reading classes have completed their realtor research and presentations.  We learned to analyze information to use for a specific audience, as each group created a realty company and received a fictitious real estate client.  The students researched information about North Carolina counties for their clients from various websites, and created a persuasive presentation that highlighted and explained the most important information.  Each student also looked back at their Habits of the Mind information, wrote a mid-year review of how they are doing with their goal, and set a new goal for the 2nd half of the year.


At the beginning of the quarter, the 4th grade math groups completed their bat wing designs, tested them, analyzed data from the tests, and  wrote about a possible redesign.   The groups used multi-step and multi-operation strategies in order to analyze the data.  Students also analyzed basketball coaching data in order to choose the "best" team to coach, in an open-ended math challenge.  We have wrapped up the quarter by writing original multi-step and multi-digit multiplication and division problems to fit a specific answer and context, and honing accuracy and efficiency with multiplication and division strategies during an enrichment challenge involving either the skeletal system or a logic puzzle about peoples' ages.


In 5th grade reading, the students completed an epilogue or alternate ending narrative writing, from a perspective of their choice.  They were incredible pieces of writing - the students learned a great deal about how to "hook" their reader with an Entertaining Beginning, and how to use precise, descriptive language.  During writing conferences, I helped students with writing endings, and also how to use "Show Don't Tell" - a technique for describing words.  Currently, the students are drafting an expository piece of writing from the perspective of an environmental expert, about the areas of clean air and/or clean water.   The students are writing for a specific audience as well.   They are incorporating sensory details, research information, precise vocabulary, anecdotes, quotes, and statistics in order to engage the audience.  We may be creating some Flipgrids with these - stay tuned!


The 5th grade math students have completed an activity involving multi-step multiplication and division with fractions, and decimals.  We have also explored how percentages relate to these concepts.  Students did a hands-on activity with a variety bag of chocolate, in order to determine if/how the candy companies use math to create the large variety bags of chocolate.  We also compared 2 variety bags to see if there is consistency in the math application.  Students then used their math skills, critical thinking, and creativity to design the "perfect" variety bag of candy.  Each group also made a presentation, business plan, or advertisement.  These projects showcased the students' creativity and math skills, and they came up with bags of candy that I would love to purchase!!!!  





PTA News & Updates


PTA Meeting

WOES PTA will hold a budget update meeting via Google Meet on February 8, 2023, 7:00-7:30pm. More details to come. 


Save the Date: Spirit Night!

The next Spirit Night will take place at Mellow Mushroom Cary on Thursday, February 23, 2023, 11:00am - 11:00 pm. 


WOES PTA Website

Stay in the know: Visit the WOES PTA website to learn more about Spirit Wear, PTA events, and more!



Spirit Wear

Purchase your Spirit Wear and show your WOES spirit! 






Positivity Project - Character Strength of the Week


The Positivity Project (P2) is a character education program (funded by our PTA) and dedicated to empowering America's youth to build positive relationships by seeing the good in themselves and others. We hope you enjoy using the character strengths vocabulary and have meaningful conversations at home that support your child's learning here at school.


This Week's Character Strength: PERSPECTIVE



Classroom Updates


Please make sure you check your child's class newsletter sent each week on Friday: 


1st Grade

2nd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade

5th Grade




Upcoming Dates


WCPSS Calendar


Tuesday, 1/31

WOES Spirit Day 

Backwards Day

2/6 - 2/10

National School Counselor Week

Wednesday, 2/8

PTA Budget Meeting 7pm

Friday, 2/10

Report Cards Go Home

2/13 - 2/17

National Bus Driver Appreciation Week

Monday, 2/20


President's Day

Thursday, 2/23

PTA Spirit Night

Mellow Mushroom





THANK YOU for all of your support! 


Robin Swaim, Principal

Kevin Boynton, Assistant Principal 

& all of the Explorer Staff 


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Facebook: @WhiteOakES

Twitter: @WhiteOakElem