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January 8th, 2021

Good afternoon, this is Steve Mares, principal of Athens Drive Magnet High School, with a message for Friday, January 8th. A copy of this message will be posted on our school website (www.wcpss.net/athensdrivehs), tweeted on our school Twitter account, emailed to our students, and emailed and texted to our school families.

 

NEW OR UPDATED ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

THOUGHTS: I can’t even begin to count the number of times since last March I have shared information with you all regarding “unprecedented” events. This week has been another one of those “unprecedented” weeks as I know our staff, students, and school family members have all followed the events in our Nation’s Capital with a wide range of emotions. On Thursday and today, I know that our staff and students engaged in conversations regarding events at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Please know that when we approach these conversations, we try to: Acknowledge that the events have happened and may be ongoing; Give students the grace and opportunity to disengage and take a break when needed; Provide students with an opportunity to write down their thoughts and feelings; Validate the need to process through this and be inclusive of diverse perspectives and emotions; Redirect any comments that may be contrary to our core beliefs; and Model behaviors of respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, and caring that empowers all of us to participate as active citizens in our community. I am saddened that we couldn’t “physically” be with our students, as I believe that at The Drive, we offer a safe place for students to nurture their development and grow as individuals. As challenging as this may be, during these teachable moments I believe that we provide students with life lessons that extend our curriculum and develop inquiring and compassionate students who will help create a better and more peaceful world. Being in remote learning did not change our responsibility or efforts to engage and support our students. I believe that public education is a foundational strength, pillar, and heart of our democracy, and I am proud to serve at Athens Drive in the inclusive school family we have created. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us that, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." We have all been through so much together in the past year, and this is just another opportunity to learn, grow, and be better people because of this. Our country has been through so many difficult times in our history, and we have risen each time together as a nation. I do believe we will rise again, meet these challenges, and strive to become an even greater, more unified nation. I am passionate about our country, our students, my family, and our school family. I believe in us. Together let’s be that light and love that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke about to not only our students, but to each other. As always, please continue to be safe and take care of yourselves, your loved ones, and each other.

 

FINAL EXAMS NEXT WEEK: Please remember that next week we are having our First Semester Final Exams. You can find our Final Exam Schedule and the Final Exam Special Message I sent to our school families on Wednesday, January 6th. These two documents provide the details you and our students need to prepare for Final Exams next week. For families new to High School and unfamiliar with Semester Final Exams, we end each Semester with a week of Final Exams. Classes end today, so there are no classes next week, only Exams. Please be sure to access the above links to be familiar with our efforts to safely administer our Final Exams with integrity.

 

STUDENT ACCOUNTABILITY AND HEALTH PROTOCOLS FORM: The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) has created a Student Accountability and Required Health Protocols Form requiring parents to sign and submit it to our school. By signing this form, students and families are certifying that they have read and understand the Student Accountability standards that WCPSS has created for In-Person instruction. We will need every student returning to campus for Final Exams and In-Person learning to complete this form and return it to school. I would ask that you please complete the signature page and email it to Ms. Martin, our Student Services Department Data Manager, at lmartin@wcpss.net. We will keep a record of who has submitted this information. Please know that if you are not able to complete this now, we will provide paper copies for students when they return for Final Exams and In-Person learning and this form can be completed at that time. However, we would like to get as many forms completed and done prior to any students returning to campus. Thank you for your help in completing this mandate.

 

 

BUS ATTESTATION FORM: Every WCPSS student who will ride District-provided transportation will have to complete a one-time Online Health Attestation Form. If you are planning on returning to school for Final Exams or In-Person learning in the Spring Semester, you must have this form completed prior to being able to ride the bus. Please know that you can complete this form now or you can wait and submit it prior to riding the bus at the start of the Spring Semester. Students who cannot complete the form electronically can submit a paper copy to us.

 

BUS TRANSPORTATION: Transportation has compiled the Bus Routes that will run during our Final Exams and Second Semester. Bus Routes can be found on our website by clicking on the Parents tab on the homepage and then clicking on Transportation. Please remember that all Bus Riders are required to submit the one-time Bus Attestation form in order to ride the Bus for Final Exam week and the Second Semester. 

 

FRESHMAN AND NEW STUDENT TOURS OF THE BUILDING: As we welcome students back to campus for In-Person learning for the Second Semester, we understand that if a student is a Freshman or new to Athens Drive, he/she may not have ever been in our school. Prior to their first day of school, we want to provide an opportunity for these students to walk the building and know where their Second Semester classes are. Thus, for Freshman and New Students to Athens Drive, we are inviting you to join us on Friday, January 15th, for a tour of our school. In order to maintain social distancing, we are asking any student who wants to participate to register for a time slot on the Freshman and New Student Tour Sign-Up Genius. Tours will begin every fifteen minutes beginning at 10:00 a.m. with groups of six or less students starting from either the Gym/Auditorium Entrance or Library Entrance and they will last for 30 minutes. The last tour will begin at 12:45 p.m. Students should be dropped off on-time for their tour and picked up on time at the end of the tour at the same drop off location. Parents/Guardians, and students who are not returning for In-Person learning for the Second Semester, are not able to participate in this tour opportunity. Please know that we will be adhering to the 3 W’s while on campus: Wear a face covering at all time; Wait six feet apart from others; and Wash hands. When arriving on campus all students will undergo a Health Screening. The Health Screening process contains two parts, symptom-screening questions and a temperature check using a touchless thermometer. Students who do not feel well, have COVID-19 symptoms, or otherwise fail the Health Screening at school, will not be permitted to participate in this event. I am excited to offer this opportunity for students to walk the school prior to their first day of In-Person classes.

 

SECOND SEMESTER BELL SCHEDULE: We have finalized the Bell Schedule for the Second Semester. Please notice that the Bell Schedule provides for a full day of classes for all students, whether students are In-Person learning or Remote learning. Students who are at school for In-Person learning will meet with their teacher and follow the schedule. Students who are remote learning will be connected to the teacher and class via Google Meet. For the vast majority of our classes, classes will be a blend of students who are In-Person, students who are in a Cohort that is rotated out of school, and those students who are remote learning full-time. We have very few fully Virtual classes due to our efforts to allow students to access all our available courses no matter their learning environment. We also will have some students who are In-Person who may have a teacher who is teaching remotely. In those cases, students will be assigned a room where they will access that teacher and class remotely during that class period while at school. For students who are remotely learning, there will be times when students who are remote learning will be excused from class to work on assignments and not be “live” with the teacher. In addition, there will also be times when students who are remotely learning will be engaged in a lesson with the teacher for the entire class. We will also begin our Drive Time (Homeroom) class again in the Spring Semester. It is our belief that this class will provide us with an opportunity to build community and ensure that our students remain engaged and connected to Athens and to other students.

 

PARKING REGISTRATION FOR THE SECOND SEMESTER: We have now opened the Registration process for students to apply to receive a Parking Pass for the Second Semester. The Student Parking Permit Application for the 2020 – 2021 school year is posted on our website. Students must complete the online Parking Application, scan their NC Driver’s License and Registration, and attach them to an email with the Subject Line: “Parking Application” to Ms. Gattens (egattens@wcpss.net). Applications will also be accepted in person between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. via the Front Entrance of our school. Please know that a decision has been made that WCPSS will waive student parking fees for the 2020 – 2021 school year if we are in plan B or plan C status. When we move to plan A status, the District will charge the students for parking tags by prorating the costs for the remaining time left in the school year based upon the previously approved $200.00 fee. Please also know that all students will be parking in either the Senior Lot or the Stadium Lot. The Junior Lot will now be used for Carpool and there will be no student parking in that parking lot. Students who drive must not linger in their cars or in the parking lot. Once on campus, they must immediately enter the building. And, at the end of the day, all drivers and their passengers must go immediately to their cars and exit campus. Students must not park in any other space than their assigned space.

 

SAT PREP COURSE STARTING SOON: Students who are planning on taking the SAT on Saturday, March 13th may want to sign up for the SAT Prep Course offered at Athens Drive. The Third Quarter SAT Prep Course is starting on Tuesday, February 2nd to prepare students for that SAT Test administration. Please contact Mr. Remaley (cremaley@wcpss.net) for more information.

 

INCLEMENT WEATHER GUIDELINES: All WCPSS families should have received an email from WCPSS last night sharing the new Inclement Weather Guidelines. Please understand that if we do have any inclement weather this Winter, we will operate on an Asynchronous Day. Thus, students will have an opportunity to interact with their teacher during Student Hours and may have assignments to complete. Because we will be offering this instruction, a make-up day will not be necessary.

 

SECOND SEMESTER STUDENT SCHEDULES: Our Master Schedule for the Second Semester has been finalized and students can now view their Second Semester schedules in their PowerSchool account. Please know that we are continuing to make minor adjustments to student schedules based on Final Grades for the First Semester for students, course changes, etc. Please continue to have students check their PowerSchool account to stay on top of their most updated schedule. Also, please be sure that students who are returning to In-Person learning for the Second Semester know their Cohort assignment. If a student is unaware of their Cohort, students can find that information out by asking their teachers.

 

CHANGE IN POSTIVIE COVID-19 TEST NOTIFICATIONS FROM ME: Beginning Monday, January 4th, the WCPSS I will no longer be sending a notification letter for positive COVID-19 cases at Athens Drive. Instead, the WCPSS COVID-19 Metrics webpage will be updated daily. Parents who have students in an affected school will get an email from WCPSS directing them to check the website.

 

MESSAGES FROM ME NEXT WEEK: Please know that next week we will begin communicating information and expectations for those students who are returning to In-Person learning for the Second Semester. Please know that we are working hard to maintain a safe school climate that is conducive to learning while maintaining social distancing standards. Please understand that school will not be “school as usual.” We have implemented policies and procedures to limit student and staff exposure and we all must always adhere to these policies to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone. I appreciate your understanding of these processes so that we can safely return students to school! I look forward to having students return to our building for teaching and learning!

 

CLOSING MESSAGE AND THANK YOU! Thank you for your incredible support throughout this First Semester of remote learning! Please remind your students that they can study for Final Exams, no matter what they tell you 😊! Please continue to check the Athens Drive website for general information and to help you stay informed. Please be careful with regards to the potential inclement weather we may have! As always, please continue to be safe and take care of yourselves, your loved ones, and each other. GO JAGS!

 

 

REMINDER ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM PREVIOUS WEEKLY MESSAGES:

 

EFFORTS TO INCREASE COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION DISSEMINATION: Athens Drive parents have set up Facebook groups for each Grade Level to help other parents get involved in the Athens Drive school family. If you are interested in connecting with other parents at Athens Drive you can find the link to each of the Facebook groups below.

 

 

 

 

 

I am thankful for the willingness of these parents to help us keep families “in the know” and please look for additional ways for parents to connect to Grade Level specific information.

 

ATHLETICS UPDATE: It was great to welcome families back to our Gym last night for the first-time last night to watch a Volleyball game! I appreciated how our school families followed all safety protocols and the 3 W’s while on campus! It worked out very well, and they saw a determined Jaguar Volleyball team play hard, but not quite pull out a victory against Green Level. I am thankful for the hard work of our coaches, athletic department, and student athletes to be safe and follow all protocols so that our athletic programs can continue to operate! I am sharing this additional athletic information again with you all to keep you updated:

 

Spectators at Events

WCPSS has determined we will be able to allow immediate family at games within certain guidelines. While we do not have all those guidelines yet, we will be sharing them with each of our teams as soon as we receive them. Throughout this year guidelines have changed quickly, so I want to remind you that as different sports begin their season, guidelines could change again. Please know that we strive to get the most up-to-date information to you as quickly as possible.

 

Live Streaming

All events at Jaguar Stadium and in our Upper Gym will be live streamed throughout the year. You can find additional information about our live streaming program here.

 

Registration Paperwork

All student athletes must submit a registration packet and COVID-19 pre-participation form prior to any workout or practice. Each student athlete only needs to complete this paperwork once for the entire year. If an athlete has contracted COVID-19 at any point, please email our Athletic Director, Coach Seese (tseese@wcpss.net), as there is an additional form the doctor will need to complete prior to participating in athletics.  

 

Communication

Communication is vital this year to make sure everyone has the most up-to-date information regarding athletics. Please make sure you are on our email list, follow us on Twitter and Instagram (both @athensjags), and are part of the communication platform for your specific program/sport. You can join our Athletic Department email list by visiting the athletics webpage and enrolling at the top of the page.

 

THE ATHENS ORACLE—OUR SCHOOL NEWSPAPER—IS AVAILABLE! Since we aren't printing our school newspaper, The Oracle, physically this Semester, we have been placing our articles all on our website. The staff wants to make sure that our school family is reading it! Check out The Athens Oracle at their website: www.athensoracle.com. I am proud of the efforts of our students in continuing their hard work in this remote environment!

 

PROCESS FOR OBTAINING A DRIVER’S ELIGIBILITY CERTIFICATE (DEC): DECs are only valid for 30 days; therefore, students are only eligible to receive a DEC during this time if they have a confirmed appointment with the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) within 30 days of the date of the request. Parents/students will start by sending an email request to Ms. Teresa Brown (tbrown3@wcpss.net) and include the email from NCDMV confirming the date/time of the appointment. You will then receive an email confirming the date/time you can come to Athens Drive to receive the DEC. Once your appointment is confirmed with us, the following steps will be taken:

 

  • Step 1: Scan or take a photo of the following:
    • Student’s birth certificate or passport
    • Completed Driver’s Education Certificate (if it has not been emailed ahead of time)
    • Proof of address if the current address is different than the one listed on the Driver’s Education Certificate or the address listed in PowerSchool. Address must be verified for the NC Real ID.
    • Email this information to Mr. Brown, our designated contact at the school. This will limit the amount of paper that has to be exchanged by staff and students. If you are unable to scan or take a photo of the document, then you will need to bring all these documents with you to the appointment.
  • Step 2: Bring the following documents to the appointment:
    • Student’s birth certificate or passport
    • Completed Driver’s Education Certificate (if it has not been emailed ahead of time)
    • Proof of address if the current address is different than the one listed on the Driver’s Education Certificate or the address listed in PowerSchool. Address must be verified for the NC Real ID.
  • Step 3: Receiving the DEC:
    • Once you arrive for your appointment, a staff member will meet you at the front door of the school (entrance by the flagpole) to receive the DEC. It is important that we limit the amount of direct contact and maintain at least 6 feet of social distance. For this reason, please limit the number of family members (preferably just the student and a parent or guardian) who attend the appointment. Please arrive at the school promptly for your scheduled appointment to ensure that we can follow the social distancing guidelines that have been established.
    • Staff will check the student’s grades for adequate progress. The student must have passed 70% of the courses taken in the prior semester to receive a DEC.
    • Once grades have been verified and all other documents are in place, the DEC can be issued to the student.

 

Thank you for your understanding and adherence to these procedures.

 

SUPPORT FOR OUR STUDENTS DURING THIS REMOTE LEARNING AND COVID-19 PANDEMIC: Dealing with uncertainty and the unknown influences our well-being. Anxiety during this time is an understandable reaction, whether you have been dealing with anxiety all along or this is a new development in your life. We understand that not being able to connect to others as we would normally connect makes this time more difficult. Please know that all our students and families are on our minds during this unprecedented time in our lives. If you need support or assistance, please visit the ADMHS Student Services Website for a list of resources to support students and school families. Please use the resources listed if your student needs emotional support during their time at home. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911 immediately.

 

ACCESS TO STUDENT SERVICES AND APPOINTMENTS WITH COUNSELORS: Our Student Services Staff and Counselors are working virtually to support our students and school families. The best way to get in touch with a Student Staff member or Counselor is through email. Questions related to Records, Transcripts, Withdrawal, and Enrollment should be directed to our Registrar, Ms. Sidney (psidney@wcpss.net). If you need to speak with a Counselor, please email your Counselor with questions using your school email account. They will respond to your questions or set up a virtual meeting, if necessary. Contact for our Counselors is as follows:

 

 

Our Counselors are available to support the academic, social emotional, and college/career goals of all students. As such, there may be times when the Counselors need to connect with individual students or groups of students to provide resources or to address specific questions/concerns. All communication with students is in accordance with WCPSS policies and guidelines. You can I talk to your Counselor about a myriad of topics: Academics, College and Career Planning, “Well-being” Checkups, etc. If a student is in a crisis, they should inform their parents/guardians or a trusted adult immediately. If necessary, please call 911 for assistance. Additional Resources for support can be found on our Social Emotional Support page. Please know that we care and want to help!

 

ATHENS DRIVE MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL TUTORING CLUB: Just a reminder that the ADMHS Tutoring Club is up and running! Please keep this in mind for your students if they need support in a subject. Information can be found at this link. Students can request a tutor from this site, and students that are interested in becoming a tutor can fill that request on this site as well. We hope this is a great opportunity for our students!

 

VIRTUAL COLLEGE VISITS:  Please remember that we have many Colleges and Universities that we have worked with to set up Virtual College Visits for our students. We will be hosting these Virtual College Visits throughout the school year. These Virtual sessions will allow students the opportunity to meet with Admission Counselors from various Colleges and Universities. This is a great opportunity for students to learn about the various programs available, admission requirements, Financial Aid, etc. Please visit our College Visit Website to  access these sessions. These visits have already started, and we have several more next week and in the future. Please keep an eye on this website to “visit” schools that your student may be interested in attending.

 

NEW ATTENDANCE EMAIL ACCOUNT: We have created a new email account, athenshs-attendance@wcpss.net for parents to email doctor’s notes, questions about attendance, etc. Please use this email account to communicate with us and know that we will take care of your attendance matters. Thank you!

 

CLASS OF 2021 GRADUATION: The Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) has announced the Graduation schedule for the District! The Athens Drive Magnet High School Class of 2021 will Graduate on Thursday, June 10th, at 12:00 p.m. at the Raleigh Convention Center! Please know that this Ceremony is pending the COVID-19 pandemic status and the ability of us to gather in large groups. It is certainly my hope that we can celebrate the Class of 2021 on June 10th at the Raleigh Convention Center! Please understand that at this point we cannot give any information to families regarding how many tickets will be allotted for each Senior, as capacity determinations have not been solidified. But I am fired up that we do have a date and a time for our Commencement Exercises!

 

SENIOR INFORMATIONAL WEBSITE CREATED BY OUR COUNSELORS: Please visit our new website to support our Seniors and their transition to life after The Drive. The website contains information and resources regarding the College Application Process, SAT, Letters of Recommendations, etc. and can be found at this link: https://sites.google.com/wcpss.net/adhscollegeapps. Our Student Services Department is here to assist our students as our Seniors move towards the goal of Graduation! Please know that our Senior Conferences and College advising will be Virtual this year, so we hope that this website will answer questions until your Senior Conference can be scheduled with your Counselor. Thank you!

 

SENIORS NEED TO JOIN MR. REMALEY’S SENIOR REMIND MESSAGE GROUP! Seniors, this year more than ever, YOU NEED TO JOIN Mr. Remaley's Senior Remind group! Mr. Remaley serves as our Senior Class Advisor and keeps Seniors and their families updated on all things Senior. The best way to stay connected and up to date on Senior information is through his daily messages. Seniors and their families can download the Remind App and enter class code: @theremaley  If you don't want the app, and prefer a SMS text message, then text the message:  @theremaley  to the number:   81010. If you have any Senior related questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Mr. Remaley (cremaley@wcpss.net). Please be sure you do this today so that you are up-to-speed on Senior events and happenings—Mr. Remaley does an outstanding job of communicating with our Seniors and Senior families!

 

$30.00 SENIOR GRADUATION FEE: Please know that all Seniors are required to pay their Senior Graduation Fee to pay for costs associated with Graduation. These fees go to pay for the Diploma, Diploma Cover, Graduation Program, Senior Awards, reduced costs for Senior Shirts and Sportswear, and other Senior events that are hosted throughout the year. The fee is normally $60.00, but this year we have reduced that cost to $30.00 due to the potential limits on the Senior events that we can host. Please go to the Online Payment link on our website to make this payment. Thank you for taking care of this required fee for all Seniors.

 

STAY CONNECTED THROUGHOUT THE YEAR: To stay connected to my messages and get other updates from WCPSS and Athens Drive Magnet High School, please make note of the following: 

  • SchoolMessenger: This is the system that we use to get messages to our school families. School families can set their contact preferences with their SchoolMessenger account. Please visit https://www.wcpss.net/schoolmessenger to update your preferences, read FAQ document, and read instructions on how to create a parent SchoolMessenger account.
  • Text messages: You can also opt-in to receive text messages through our SchoolMessenger system. Please visit  https://www.wcpss.net/schoolmessenger as well to get this information. 
  • Emails: We will automatically send you an email if we have your correct information on file. If you are not receiving this message via email, please email Ms. Gattens (emgattens@wcpss.net), our School Receptionist, with your correct email address.
  • Athens Drive Magnet High School Website:My weekly (or more often…) Principal Messages are posted and archived on our website. You can access these Principal Messages by clicking on the link in the banner towards the top of the website or scroll down our website for another banner across the webpage with icons and click on the Principal’s Message link.
  • PowerSchool Accounts:  In High School, all students need an NCEdCloud account, and parents are encouraged to maintain their own parent PowerSchool account. If you need to open a student and/or parent PowerSchool account, please follow the directions on the WCPSS website.

Thank you for your efforts to keep updated on all that is happening at The Drive!

 

SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS: Athens Drive Magnet High School has a variety of Social Media Accounts that students, staff, school families, and the community can follow to stay abreast of what is happening at The Drive. This is an updated list from the list I sent out earlier in the week:

 

  • Instagram:
    • School Instagram: @AthensHSMagnet
    • Student Services: @athensdrive_studentservices
    • The Torch (Yearbook): @athens_torch
    • The Oracle (Newspaper): @athensoracle
    • ATV (Morning News Program): @atvjagnews
    • Athens Athletics: @athensjags
    • Athens Jag Club: @adhsjaguars

 

  • Twitter:
    • School Twitter: @AthensHSMagnet
    • Student Services: @ADHSStudentSvcs
    • PTSA: @AthensDrivePTSA
    • The Torch (Yearbook): @athenstorch
    • The Oracle (Newspaper): @athensoracle
    • ATV (Morning News Program): @atvjagnews
    • Athens Athletics: @athensjags
    • Athens Drive Student Government: @ADHSExecBoard
    • STEM Academy: @AthensSTEM
    • Health Science Career Academy: @ADHS_HSA

 

  • Facebook:
    • School Facebook: Athens Drive Magnet High School

 

  • Remind: text to 81010

 

  • Senior Class Messages from Mr. Remaley, Senior Class Advisor: @theremaley

 

  • Remind Class information from our Student Services Team:
    • Class of 2021 is @fae99c
    • Class of 2022 is @admhscl
    • Class of 2023 is @c44694k
    • Class of 2024 is @haghfb

 

Please know that you can find this information on our website with active links to these sites. Thank you for keeping up-to-speed with everything that happens at The Drive!