Return to Headlines

Principal's Message 9/18/23



Hello Stallion Families!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  The weather was beautiful, so I hope you found some time to be outdoors.  What a perfect way to begin the fall season!


Updates for the Week of September 18th-22nd

  • This week is a 5 day week. 

  • Students in our ELA classes will continue to take Beginning of Year (BOY) mClass assessments this week.


Shout Outs!  Thank you!

  • Thank you to Shelly Cox, our testing coordinator for leading the effort around the BOG 3 assessment this week.  Thank you to all who jumped in to help support our students during this time.


Stough Elementary Open House

  • Thursday, September 21st is Open House Night at Stough.  Food trucks will be on campus for those families who wish to eat dinner on campus.  We look forward to seeing you on Thursday!  

    • 5:30pm- PTA General Membership Meeting in the gym

    • 6:10-6:30pm- Session #1

    • 6:40-7:00pm- Session #2

    • 7:00-7:30pm- Introduction to AIG and SSA


After School Clubs @ Stough

  • Now that the year is up and running, I need to share some information about our afterschool clubs as we did make some changes this year.

  • I want to start by explaining “the why” behind these changes. 

    • During my first 90 days of school, I learned that only students with flexible transportation were able to access after-school activities at Stough.  This was not surprising, as WCPSS does not provide late activity buses at the elementary level, so it happens in many elementary schools.  Equity of access is a high priority for me, so I was looking for a solution.

  • Families in our Mandarin program were very vocal about wanting additional Mandarin support for their children.  Mandarin tutors are very expensive.  I was looking for a way to provide this support without compromising the model we choose to use during the school day.

  • Some of our teachers/staff  are working all day at Stough and then working additional jobs on nights and weekends to supplement their incomes to provide for their families.  I was looking for a way to provide support for our teachers in the hope that it allows for a better quality of life... which makes them better in our community.

  • Stough is a school community that requires an afterschool program.  It is needed.  I was looking for a way to collaborate with the YMCA to provide a program that is structured, staffed well, offers interesting and highly engaging activities for students, and offers support for our economically disadvantaged students who need academic support and childcare.

  •  I sat down with the YMCA this summer and they graciously listened to all of my requests.  They came back with several proposals that I accepted as I do believe they are in the best interest of our students.

  • The YMCA will offer two programs at Stough this year.  The first is Y-Learning.  This program is free to students who qualify.  Students in this program must show academic need, be referred by their teacher, and commit to attending a large majority of the session.  Transportation is provided by the YMCA for this program, which opens access to our population who are normally underrepresented in after-school programs.  These sessions/lessons are taught by Stough teachers.

  • The second program is called "Club Stough"... or something similar as determined by the YMCA.  

    1. The YMCA has agreed to hire our Mandarin staff so that students can have access to homework help and/or Chinese culture awareness as determined my students want/need.

    2. The YMCA has agreed to hire our Mandarin/traditional staff to lead various activities that are of high interest and levels of engagement for kids.

      1. This is a win for the YMCA as they are hiring highly qualified staff for their program.

      2. This is a win for our staff in that they are being paid for leading activities they love, allowing them to drop night/weekend jobs or earn additional money.  The result- better quality of life.  BONUS- if they work the program, they get a free membership to the YMCA, and I hear they are using them to create/maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Retaining quality staff is KEY to student achievement, so I am beyond grateful to the YMCA for this opportunity.

      3. We have some clubs that were restricted to specific grade levels/students due to the lack of staff engagement.  For example, Ms. Rieder will need additional staff support with the garden club.  By including this club with the YMCA program, the YMCA will provide all of the resources, including additional staff so we can include more students.  

      4. Students in the Y-Learning program will be able to access a club one time per week, allowing some of them to experience clubs for the first time.

    3. The YMCA is allowing families to access specific programs without accessing "everything".  AND there are scholarships available for families who cannot afford costs.  

    4. Once all of the pieces launch, our team will come back around to reflect and see how we can improve our processes.  I am sure this process has some flaws, and we will address those in the near future

Walker students- arrival and dismissal

  • A BIG thank you to all of our families who are complying with our new walker expectations.  The parking lot has been much safer the past few days.  I appreciate you putting safety as top priority in our community!  Thank you!  


Carpool RIders-

  • To our families driving in the carpool lanes.  Please do not stop/park on the crosswalk.  We have families who need to use the crosswalk and we do not want them to walk around cars due to the crosswalk being blocked.  This is not safe practice.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


Yellow and Orange Buses-

  • Our yellow and orange buses are “double back routes”.  This means the driver does the entire yellow route first, then doubles back and picks up students on the orange route.  Things to note:

    • This will appear confusing on the “Here comes the bus” app.  Both routes have the same bus number, so it may appear that your bus is near, when it is really on the other route.

    • There may be times when the bus drives past your stop, but does not stop.  This is because the driver is collecting students from the other route.

    • We know this is frustrating, but I am confident (because I have seen these ladies work) that our transportation team at the central office is working very hard to ensure that every student arrives at school safely.  


From Dr. Cecconi-Roberts: AIG testing

  • Parents of 4th and 5th graders who are interested in having their student screened for AIG services may nominate their student any time during the school year.  Students who meet the 2023-2024 identification criteria may be tested in October or January.  Not all students who are nominated for screening will be tested.  For more information or to nominate your student, please email Mrs. Cecconi-Roberts at 

Project: September 18-22: Curiosity

  • Continuing for the 2023-2024 school year- Stough Elementary is a Positive Project (P2) school.  The mission of the Positivity Project is to empower America’s youth to build positive relationships by understanding, appreciating, and exemplifying the character strengths in us all.

  • Please use the following family newsletter to see that your child is learning during Morning Meeting this week and to continue the conversation at home.  We are always working to build a strong home-school connection, and P2 is a great way to strengthen this process.  (P2- Curiosity)


Stough Magnet Elementary PTA

  • Instructional Assistant’s Day- On Friday our Stough PTA treated our Instructional Assistants to giant cookies from Glenlake Cafe.  We are grateful today and every day for the hard work of our IA’s. Thank you for allowing us to celebrate our staff members in this way.

  • Mandarin Immersion Parent Meeting- Hello new Mandarin Immersion parents and welcome back to returning Mandarin Immersion Parents! We are looking forward to another great school year. We will be hosting our first Mandarin Immersion Parent Meeting via Google Meet on Tuesday, September 19th at 7 pm. The meeting will consist of PTA and staff introductions, presentation on the WCPSS Immersion pathway, Judy Ouyang presenting Participate Learning Curriculum updates, and ways parents can support their students at home.  A link to this meeting will be sent home to you via your child’s teacher.  We look forward to seeing you there.

  • PTA General Membership Meeting 9/21- Our first PTA general membership meeting will be at the school this Thursday, September 21st at 5:30p.m. Jolly’s Catering Food Trucks will be on site from 5-8pm offering dinner and dessert options. We'll provide a link to PRE ORDER YOUR DINNER via email next week. Come grab a bite and join us for the first of three general membership meetings scheduled for this school year! 

  • Walk & Roll to School Event 10/4- National Walk & Roll to School day is Oct. 4 and Stough will be one of over 1300 schools across the nation to celebrate this event. Help us raise awareness of the joys and benefits of actively commuting to school and the importance of using safe routes to do so. Getting our children to school safely is a community effort - regardless of how you commute to school or work. We had such fun last year and are looking forward to another great event!

  • Get Ready for Fun Run! 10/20- We’re hard at work preparing for what we hope to be our best Fun Run yet! We’ll be updating our Fun Run page soon with more details and opportunities for you to get involved.  Interested in getting your name on our T-shirts or banner? Check out our Fun Run page or email to check out our sponsorship opportunities and get your donation in today! Our T-shirt and banner sponsorships close Sept. 27th.

Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday, September 19- Virtual Meeting for Mandarin program families  (7:00pm)

  • Thursday, September 21- Stough PTA General Membership Meeting (5:30pm)

  • Thursday, September 21- Stough Elementary Open House (6:00pm-7:30pm)

  • Monday, September 25- Teacher Work Day- No School for Students

  • Thursday, September 28- Fall Picture Day

  • Wednesday, October 4- Walk & Roll School Event

  • Friday, October 20- Stough PTA Fun Run


Before and After School Care Options

  • Stough Elementary Before School Care- Stough Elementary School hosts a before school program that is facilitated by our Stough Elementary Staff.  Please contact Ms. Leonette Adkins ( if you have any questions or would like to be added to the waitlist for this program.  When this program is full, Ms. Adkins will refer you to Wake Harvest as a morning care option.

  • Alexander Family YMCA After School Care- The YMCA after school care program is located on the Stough Elementary school campus.  This year the YMCA has hired some of our Stough staff members to work in collaboration with YMCA counselors in effort to provide a program that best meets the needs of our Stough community.  Please contact Samantha Perry ( or the Alexander Family YMCA at (919) 832-9622 to learn more about this program.

  • Wake Harvest is also an option for those looking for before/after school care.  Wake Harvest does provide transportation from Stough Elementary school to/from their program location.  Please contact Wake Harvest for more information.                                         (919) 561- 9740

  • Kicks- Raleigh Tae Kwon Do is also an option for after school care.  Kicks does provide transportation from Stough Elementary School to their program location.  Please contact Kicks at (919) 435-4258 for more information.


Programs who rent our space

  • Mad Science- Explore the Magical World of Chemistry.  Mad Science is an 8-week after school program for kids in Grades 1-5.  Register online at Triangle.MadScience.Org.  Classes meet on Wednesdays from 4:00pm- 5:30pm.

  • Kidz Art-  Kidz Art after school art classes are open to all students K-5.  Classes are on Thursday from 4:00pm-5:00pm beginning on September 14th.  Please use the following link to register for this program:  Please contact cjiang@kidzart or (919) 710-4403  for pricing and additional information.  


Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. Jodi Lay 

Principal, Stough Magnet Elementary School