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July 23rd, 2021

Good afternoon, this is Steve Mares, principal of Athens Drive Magnet High School, with a message for Friday, July 23rd. 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 ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

WELCOME: First, I would like to give a warm WELCOME TO THE ATHENS DRIVE MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL FAMILY to our newest Jaguars! I would also like to give a shout-out to our rising Seniors who are moving into their final year of high school! I look forward to serving all of you this year and I am also looking forward to a fantastic school year!

 

WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS EXPLANATION: Throughout the school year, I will be providing weekly announcements on Friday afternoons through text and email messages to our school family members, posting the message on our website under the Principal Message icon, and the PTSA will provide a link to my message on their Athens Alert newsletter. I hope you find this an informative weekly update. If there is information that I deem so important that it cannot wait until Friday afternoon, I will send out Special Messages at other times. Again, I will send these messages through text and email to our school family members and post it to the Athens Drive Magnet High School website. If you hear about these messages but are not getting them through email and/or text, please contact our Student Services office (919-233-2050 then press 1) to update your contact information in PowerSchool. Please do not forget to check the Athens Website (https://www.wcpss.net/athensdrivehs) for continual updates and information regarding our school family.

 

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: Please remember that the First Day of School for all students is Monday, August 23rd. Students are expected to be in class and ready to learn at 7:25 a.m. I am looking forward to another great year of teaching and learning!

 

WHAT WILL SCHOOL LOOK LIKE FOR THE 2021 – 2022 SCHOOL YEAR? I know that you all are wondering exactly what school will look like for this coming year...will students/staff be required to wear masks, will parents and visitors be allowed in the school, will there be social distancing standards, etc. Well, take comfort in knowing that I am not completely sure about those answers either! Please know that as the WCPSS Board of Education considers new Governor Executive Orders, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recommendations, CDC recommendations, etc., they will be making decisions regarding these issues. Please know that I will be communicating with you all to keep you informed on exactly what teaching and learning will look like during the 2021 – 2022 school year! Thank you, as always, for your understanding and patience as we work through this process to support a safe, educationally strong, re-opening of school!

 

ATHENS DRIVE JAGFEST—STUDENT ORIENTATIONS FOR THE 2021 – 2022 SCHOOL YEAR: We are excited to announce the creation and implementation of new Student Orientation programs for all students for the 2021 – 2022 school year! We have scheduled an Orientation for each Grade Level to help our students reunite and prepare for a fantastic 2021 – 2022 school year! Our Senior JAGFEST will be held on Tuesday, August 10th, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Our Junior and Sophomore JAGFEST will be held on Wednesday, August 11th, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. And, our Freshmen JAGFEST will be held on Thursday, August 12th, from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. I am excited to bring our students back on campus to prepare for a great start to our year! Registration and general information can be found on our JAGFEST website page. I will also be sharing additional details as these dates approach.

 

BACK TO SCHOOL GATHERINGS IN COMMUNITIES TO WELCOME BACK STUDENTS AND FAMILIES: We have scheduled several Back-To-School gatherings in some of our communities to support a smooth transition back to In-Person learning and the 2021 – 2022 school year. In partnership with Ekklesia Church, who holds their services in our school each Sunday, we will be hosting these events featuring food, games, and information for students and their families from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the following days and locations:

 

  • Wednesday, July 28th: Peach Road Community Center (911 Illeagnes Road Raleigh, NC 27603)
  • Thursday, July 29th: Orchard Point Apartments (2021 Orchard Hollow Lane Raleigh, NC 27603)
  • Monday, August 2nd: Parkwood Village Apartments (2729 Conifer Drive Raleigh, NC 27606)
  • Tuesday, August 3rd: Kentwood Apartments Community Center (1145 Clanton Street Raleigh, NC 27606)

 

We look forward to seeing returning and new students and families so that we can have a solid start to the year! I am excited to offer these events and plan on being at each one to begin to REUNITE with our school family!

 

STUDENT SCHEDULES FOR OUR IN-PERSON LEARNING STUDENTS: Please understand that we are continuing to finalize our In-Person Master Schedule for the 2021 – 2022 school year. As new students continue to enroll, as we work to ensure students are on course for Graduation, as we enter Summer Learning Program credits earned, and as we review academic data from last year to ensure students are placed appropriately in courses that move them towards their post-secondary goals, schedules continue to change and are updated. Our plan is to have our student schedules finalized on Monday, August 9th, by 9:00 a.m., and we will open them for students to see in PowerSchool. If a student is unable to find his/her schedule in PowerSchool, student schedules will be available for pick-up in the Student Services Office beginning Monday, August 9th through Friday, August 13th. Schedule Change Request will be available on the Athens Drive website and in the Student Services office beginning on Tuesday, August 10th. All completed Schedule Change Request forms must be submitted to the Student Services office by Monday, August 16th, at 2:30 p.m.  Please remember that schedule changes will only be considered for the following reasons:

  1. Enrolled in a course you have already completed and received credit.
  2. Enrolled in a course for which you have not met the prerequisite.
  3. Do not have a full schedule of 4 classes each Semester.
  4. Want to move up/drop down a level in a core class (Must have signed Release form if dropping Honors/AP course).
  5. Course needed for promotion and/or graduation.

All request for schedule changes must be completed on the Schedule Change form, no exceptions. Counselors will not be available to see students and/or parents who walk in with Schedule Change forms. Please understand that forms will be processed in the order in which they are received.

 

STUDENT SCHEDULES FOR OUR VIRTUAL ACADEMY STUDENTS: Please understand that we are continuing to finalize our Virtual Academy Master Schedule for the 2021 – 2022 school year. We are creating our Virtual Academy in partnership with Cary High School and Green Hope High School. Thus, all our Virtual Academy courses will either be taught by Athens Drive Magnet High School, Cary High School, or Green Hope High School teachers. As the development of this new structure is taking additional time, Virtual Academy student schedules will not be ready for student viewing on Monday, August 9th. We will be communicating information to our Virtual Academy students as we finalize schedules, processes, and procedures for our Virtual Academy.

 

SENIORS—MID-YEAR GRADUATION: If you are a Senior and are interested in Graduating Mid-Year (January 2022), forms are available on the Athens website (Mid-Year Graduation form) and in our Student Services office. The Mid-Year Graduation form must be completed and returned to the Student Services office by 2:30 p.m. on Friday, September 3rd.

 

SENIORS—EARLY DISMISSAL OR LATE ARRIVAL ON SCHEDULE: If you are interested in having a Late Arrival (No First Period) or Early Dismissal (No Fourth Period) for the 2021 – 2022 school year, that form is posted on the Athens website (Early Dismissal/Late Arrival form) and is available in our Student Services office. The Early Dismissal or Late Arrival form must be completed and returned to the Student Services office by 2:30 p.m. on Monday, August 16th.

 

PARKING PASS: Parking passes for Juniors and Seniors in good standing for the 2021 – 2022 school year are now available. Students interested in securing a Parking pass for the 2021 – 2022 school year should carefully read and follow the guidelines on the application. To complete the Parking Pass Application process, please be sure to do the following:

 

  • Complete the Online Parking Form
  • Print and complete the One-Page Paper Application (which includes a signed copy of the Athens Drive Magnet High School and Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) Rules and Regulations). Please note the dates for accepting applications.
  • Make a clear copy of your valid North Carolina Driver’s License (permanent license, not a permit) and Vehicle Registration(s).
  • Students must not have any outstanding fees and fines (our Main Office Staff will verify this). A Parking Tag will not be issued if a student has any outstanding fees or fines.

 

The cost of a Parking Pass is $200.00 for the year. Parking tags may be picked up beginning on Monday, August 2nd, Monday through Friday, through Friday, August 20th, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Please know that Parking Passes and Off-Campus Lunch Passes are two separate applications.

 

OFF-CAMPUS LUNCH PASS: Off-Campus Lunch passes for Juniors and Seniors in good standing for the 2021 – 2022 school year are also now available. A Junior or Senior student cannot leave campus during Lunch without having an authorized Off-Campus Lunch pass. Freshmen and Sophomores are NEVER allowed to leave campus during the school day, unless on an approved school trip. To complete this process, please visit the Off-Campus Lunch Pass information page on our Athens Drive Magnet High School website and please note the following:

 

  • The student must be a Junior or Senior.
  • The student must not have any outstanding fees and fines due to Athens Drive Magnet High School.
  • The student must have the parent/guardian sign the Off-Campus Lunch Pass application.

 

Please know the 2021 – 2022 Off-Campus Lunch Pass Application Form can be found on our website. The cost for a 2021 – 2022 Off-Campus Lunch Pass is $5.00. The completed form needs to be emailed to our School Receptionist, Ms. Gattens (emgattens@wcpss.net) or physically brought to the school to the Main Office to turn it in. Please know that since we did not take student photographs last year due to COVID-19, we will need to make every Off-Campus Lunch Pass in the Main Office. Students will need to come to school beginning Monday, August 2nd, between the hours or 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. every day, Monday through Friday, until Friday, August 20th. A completed application and $5.00 fee must be provided before we can create an Off-Campus Lunch Pass for a student. Please know that Parking passes and Off Campus Lunch passes are two separate applications.

 

SENIOR PORTRAITS: Congratulations to the Class of 2022!! You all are now Seniors, and I am counting on you for positive leadership in the coming year! No matter what the 2021 – 2022 school year will look like, it will be a fantastic year and I am proud that you have made it this far and are ready to prepare for life after The Drive! One of the first right of passages for the Class of 2022 is Senior Pictures! We want to be sure that every rising Senior gets his/her picture taken for them to be included in our award-winning Yearbook! Please know that there is no charge for Seniors to get their Senior Portrait to be taken to be included in the Yearbook. It only costs family’s money if they want to purchase any of the pictures taken. Again this year, Senior Pictures will be taken through Evan Pike Photography. We partner with Evan Pike who is a local photographer who offers all students FREE sessions on campus throughout the summer (there is no obligation to purchase photo packages). Picture dates for July and August are now posted and open for booking. We will be adding dates for August as we progress through the summer. As we open more dates, we will post them on the Torch (Yearbook) Instagram account (@athenstorch), the Yearbook website (athensdriveyearbook.weebly.com), as well as on the Senior Photography site. Students must photograph with Evan to be in the Senior section of our Yearbook. Our Seniors will be photographed on campus. All students will need to have 2 poses taken (both will be used in the Yearbook—one will be a headshot and one a 3/4 length). Please understand that due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic, we will NOT have draped/tux pictures this year. For detailed information regarding Senior Pictures and to schedule an appointment, please see the Athens Drive Magnet High School Senior Photography website. Scheduling for Senior pictures will be done online, and picture dates span through August. Once a student schedules their picture, please make sure you look for emails from Evan Pike if we do need to adjust Senior portrait dates. Congratulations, again, rising Seniors! I look forward to a fantastic finish to High School next year!

 

SENIORS ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE THE MENINGOCOCCAL BOOSTER VACCINATION: North Carolina law requires all rising 12th Grade students to receive a Meningococcal Vaccine Booster before starting 12th Grade. Please know that this includes students who are enrolled in our Virtual Academy for the 2021 – 2022 school year. Please know that the vaccination must be done before the 2021 – 2022 school year begins. Families will need to provide a copy of their student’s immunization record showing proof that the Meningococcal Vaccine has been completed prior to the first day of school. This is a 2-dose immunization; the 1st dose was required in the 7th Grade in the WCPSS. Please click here for more information. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Sidney, our Registrar, at psidney@wcpss.net, contact our Student Services Department at 919-233-4050, or fax your immunization updates to 919-670-4457. Thank you for taking care of this required vaccine!

 

REMALEY’S REMIND MESSAGE GROUP FOR THE CLASS OF 2022: Mr. Remaley, our Senior Class Advisor, shares important information with our Senior Class and Senior Class families throughout the school year. It is imperative that all Seniors and their families join this Remind Message Group! Students and their families certainly do not want to miss any announcements during your Senior Year! Here are the two ways sign-up for this Message Group:

 

  1. If you are using the Remind App, then enter class code:  @theremaley
  2. If you prefer an SMS text message, then text the message:  @theremaley   to the number:  81010

 

Seniors and your families, thank you for taking care of this important step for your Senior Year! It will be awesome!

 

BUS TRANSPORTATION: Parents/Guardians, if your student will require Bus Transportation, please make sure you have registered for Bus Transportation on the WCPSS Bus Rider Transportation Registration website.  Bus Transportation will not occur unless your student has been registered! Please know that WCPSS student Bus Transportation information will be available in PowerSchool. We are told that Bus Transportation information will be updated and visible for students and families in PowerSchool prior to the start of the school year. When it becomes active, on your PowerSchool account, look for the transportation tab to see your student’s transportation status and type. If your student is a bus rider, stop and route information will also be provided. I hope this information makes for a smooth transition to start the year with regards to Bus Transportation.

 

UPDATE ON STUDENT DEVICES FOR THE 2021 – 2022 SCHOOL YEAR: WCPSS has shared that they will be providing all students with a Chromebook at the beginning of the 2021 – 2022 school year. While I cannot guarantee that the Chromebooks will be available by the first day of school, WCPSS will be informing us soon of our distribution dates. I look forward to sharing that information with our school families as soon as I get the information. For students who already have a Chromebook checked out to them, they may be required to return the Chromebook to receive a new one, or they may be required to continue using it, depending on the model. I will share additional information with our students and school families as I receive it. Please refer to the WCPSS Student Device Program website for additional information.

 

PTSA: If you are interested in supporting Athens Drive Magnet High School in a tangible manner, the PTSA could use your help. With the Graduation of several of our PTSA Board members’ students, the PTSA has many opportunities for our new families to be a part of the PTSA and make a significant difference in the teaching and learning at The Drive. If you are interested in serving in any capacity, please email our PTSA President, Ms. Jill Rbaihat (president@athensdriveptsa.com). Thank you for considering serving in this manner to support our students, families, and school! In addition, please be sure to become a member of the PTSA. Your membership fees and donations help support all the PTSA’s important programs, including Classroom Support Grants, Student Recognition, Senior Scholarships, and more. To join, please visit the PTSA website (https://athensdriveptsa.com/) and become a member! Thank you for supporting our students, staff, and school family in this manner!

 

ATHLETIC REGISTRATION: All registration for all Athletic teams/sports this year will take place via the DragonFly platform. Please get your student athlete's medical paperwork and permission slips loaded on the platform as soon as possible. The approval process does take up to a week, so please do not wait until the last minute to get registered. You can find the registration link here and directions on how to complete the process here. If you need a copy of the Physical you turned in last year, please fill out this form. Thank you for your help in ensuring the safety and well-being of our student athletes!

 

FALL TRYOUTS FOR ATHLETICS: Tryouts for the 2021 Fall Season will begin on Monday, August 2nd. Sports that will complete in the Fall season include Football, Cheerleading, Men's Soccer, Women's Tennis, Cross Country, Women's Golf, Volleyball, and Gymnastics. If you have a student athlete interested in any of these sports, please contact the Head Coach so you can get added to their communication group. Please visit our Head Coach Information Page to find the email contact for all our coaches.

 

ATHLETIC SPORTS PASSES: Athens Drive Athletics Sports Passes are now on sale for the 2021 – 2022 Athletic year!  All passes this year will be Digital, via the GoFAN platform. We offer four levels of sports passes; Student Pass, Individual Pass, Family Pass, and Go Jags Family Pass. If you purchase a Go Jags Family Pass, a customized Paw Print on the sidewalk outside Jag Stadium is included with your package. To get the Paw Print painted prior to the Fall Season, please make sure you purchase your Athletic Sport Pass by Saturday, July 31st. If you have any questions regarding Athletic Sports Passes for the 2021 – 2022 Athletic year, please reach out to our Athletic Director, Coach Travis Seese (tseese@wcpss.net). We are looking forward to a great athletic year!

 

ATHLETIC SPONSORSHIP: One of the ways we raise funds to support our Athletic Department at Athens Drive is by selling Sponsorships to local businesses. If you own a company or work at a company that would be interested in sponsoring Athens Drive Athletics, please contact Coach Travis Seese, our Athletic Director, at tseese@wcpss.net. Our Sponsorship Levels link provides information on Sponsorships. Thank you for your help in finding ways to continue to fund our Athletic Department programs!


JAGUAR PAW PRINTS: Jaguar Paw Prints are on sale again this year for the athlete recognition paws that lead up to Jaguar Stadium. If you purchase a Go Jags Family Pass, it is included with your Pass membership fee. However, if you would like to order a Paw Print separately, please fill out this Paw Print form and we will send more information to you on how to purchase the Paw Print for the 2021 – 2022 school year.   

 

GAME SCHEDULES: We will be releasing the Game Schedules for all Fall Sports next week via our Athletic email group, Twitter page (@athensjags), and Instagram page (@athensjags). Please be on the look-out for the announcements of these athletic events.

 

LIVE STREAMING OF EVENTS IN OUR GYMNASIUM AND JAGUAR STADIUM: We will be offering Live Streaming again this school year through the NFHS Network. You can purchase the Live Streaming package by visiting the WCPSS Live Streaming Website and clicking on Athens Drive.


JAG CLUB FACEBOOK GROUPS: The JAG Club has created Facebook groups for each Class to provide parents/guardians with up-to-date information regarding what is going on regarding Athens Drive Athletics as well other information. If you would like to join one of the JAG Club’s Facebook groups, please click on the appropriate links:


Seniors
Page Monitor: Natalie Swann nataliesgems@gmail.com
Senior parent Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/634948097189997/
 
Juniors
Page Monitor: Richelle Laskey richellejagclub@gmail.com
Junior Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Athens-Drive-Sophomore-Parents-100112738558727
 
Sophomore
Page Monitor: Aylin Gay aylin.gay@gmail.com
Sophomore Facebook pages: http://www.facebook.com/groups/athensclassof2024/
 
Freshman
Page Monitor: Karen Taylor karentaylor2000@gmail.com 
Freshman Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/groups/520790015923241/?ref=share

 

DRIVER’S EDUCATION: Please know that SUMMER REGISTRATION is currently CLOSED for Driver’s Education registration. Students who have received a class assignment confirmation email should make payments as soon as possible. Please review the class assignment email for payment procedures. Visit www.jordandriving.com for information on Fall registration. Please understand that Jordan Driving School is not admitting students who attend schools outside of the Jordan Driving School Summer Registration Pod: Athens, Enloe, Broughton, and Cardinal Gibbons. Please understand that pods are in place to control student numbers and relieve COVID-19 induced wait times. Please also understand that Behind The Wheel training is experiencing extremely long wait times due to COVID-19 shutdowns and short-staffing. Jordan Driving School is currently contacting and driving students from classes from the beginning of the calendar year. The current wait time for Behind The Wheel instruction at Athens Drive could be as long as 16-18 weeks once a student completes the classroom portion of the course. Please know that students and/or their parents/guardians may select to use Private Driving Schools if you prefer. If this is your decision, please contact Jordan Driving School to start the process.

 

FREE SCHOOL MEALS FOR THE ENTIRE 2021 – 2022 SCHOOL YEAR: We have received information that Breakfast, and Lunch, will be available at no cost to all students for the 2021 – 2022 school year. While WCPSS may be able to offer free meals to all students, it is very important for eligible parents to complete a meal benefits application because this data enables schools to obtain funding to provide other important educational resources to benefit our students. Other benefits that are issued directly to families that have applied and are eligible for meal benefits may also be available (such as the P-EBT cash benefit). Parents can complete a meal benefits application online at https://www.myschoolapps.com/. Paper applications also are available at all schools. More information can be found at WCPSS Free & Reduced Meals.

 

FOOD DISTRIBUTION: Please know that we are continuing to provide our Food Distribution services to our school families and local community Monday through Friday, from 10:45 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. Please know that hot lunches for the day and breakfast for the next day will be provided. This service will continue through the summer. Please know that an updated list of all Food Distribution sites can be found at this link. Please continue to share this information with anybody in our community and thank you for your help in taking care of our school families and our community!

 

CLOSING THOUGHTS AND TAKE CARE: As we prepare to start this new year, I want to thank each one of you for allowing us the honor and pleasure of serving your student! Please know that I understand the great responsibility that you place on us, and please know that we are passionate about providing all our students a safe, inviting, and rigorous school climate where our students can build on their strengths and interests and reach their ultimate potential. I believe in our teachers, I believe in our students, and I believe that we have a school family that cares and supports students. Please know that we are committed to working hard this year to challenge each student, meet their individual needs, and help each student successfully Graduate and reach their full potential. I understand and am thankful for the privilege I have to serve you all, and I continue to be proud to be a part of the Athens Drive family. Again, I would like to welcome all our new students and families to the Athens Drive Magnet High School family! We have a great school family, and I am excited about this coming year of teaching and learning! Please continue to check the Athens Drive website (www.wcpss.net/athensdrivehs) for general information and to help you stay informed. I hope your summer is going well, stay cool in this heat, and enjoy the last few weeks of summer prior to the first day of school on Monday, August 23rd! As always, please continue to be safe and take care of yourselves, your loved ones, and each other. GO JAGS!