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Panther News, 12/4/20

JDE Weekly Parent Update 12/4/2020


Panther Parents,

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving break! As always, please let us know if you have any questions, concerns, or if you are in need of our support.  Have a wonderful weekend!


Updates for this Week:

  • Updated! The Virtual Academy Window is Now Open--The survey for elementary families to opt into virtual academy for the spring or to opt out of virtual academy for the second semester will be open from December 2 - 9.  This is the link: (                                  Here are some things to consider:

    • If I am currently in Plan B, can I opt in to virtual for the spring?  Yes.

    • If I am currently in virtual academy, can I choose to move to Plan B? Yes.

    • If I am currently signed up for virtual academy for the entire year, and I want my child to stay there, what should I do?  There is nothing for you to do.  You will receive a confirmation email from the school after the window closes. 

    • If my child is currently a Plan B student, and I want them to stay on the same plan, what should I do?  There is nothing for you to do.  Your child will automatically remain a Plan B student unless you sign them up for virtual academy.

    • If I sign up for virtual academy for the spring but then I decide I want to change my child to face-to-face instruction, can I do that?  No, due to the complexity of scheduling and staffing, if you opt in to virtual for the spring, you will need to commit to the virtual academy for the entire second semester. 

    • Will my child keep their current teacher?  Unfortunately, there is no way to determine the answer to that question until after the survey window has closed. We will do our best to keep students with their current teacher, but everything depends on student numbers. We will need to shift our staff so that we can meet the needs of students in the virtual and in-person settings.  For example, if your child is currently in a virtual academy teacher's classroom, but many families in that grade level opt out of virtual academy for the spring, we may have to pull that virtual teacher to teach face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the year.  Your child would continue with virtual learning; however, they would be working with a different teacher.

    • How many students will be in my child's class?  Please know that when children return to face-to-face without cohorts, class sizes may be up to 23 for K-3 (NC DPI approved) and more than that for grades 4-5.  The district has also stated in a recent communication that families that there may not be 6 feet of social distancing for in-person instruction when all students return.  We will make all attempts to maintain the social distancing as much as possible, but due to class sizes and the square footage of classrooms, this may not always be possible.

  • Upcoming Asynchronous Days--There are several asynchronous days coming up. Assignments on these days will be posted. Students will not come to school, and there will not be any live meetings. Please support our teachers by making sure your students are keeping up with their assignments. Thank you!
    • Wednesday, December 16
    • Monday, December 21 and Tuesday, December 22
    • Winter break and track out will be from December 23, 2020-January 22, 2021.
      • Students return to online or in person learning on Monday, January 25, 2021.
  • Did a student go home sick? Please remember, all household members must also go home.

    • Effective immediately, if a WCPSS student or employee does not pass the health screening or if they stay home or are sent home because they are experiencing a symptom of illness, their household members must also stay home. This means that any WCPSS student or employee living in the same house must quarantine for 14 days. The household members may return sooner than 14 days if the person experiencing a symptom of illness receives confirmation of an alternate diagnosis or a negative PCR/Molecular test.


  • District Provided Transportation Reminders and Updates from Mr. Saeva:
    • Bus Rider Registration 2020-21 School Year:
      • The link below is only for students who have enrolled for the 2020-21 school year, have a school assignment that provides for neighborhood or express school bus transportation as noted on the student's official student assignment letter and wishes to use the service on a regular basis.
      • New enrollees to WCPSS are required to fill out a Transportation Service Request form when applying to their base school. The school's Data Manager will enter the transportation request for new enrollees. If you need more information on enrolling a new student into the school system, visit Student Assignment by clicking on this link.
      • Link to Bus Rider Registration 2020-21 School Year
    • Here Comes the Bus:
      • WCPSS Transportation provides families of students who ride a yellow bus to school with a free bus tracking system called Here Comes the Bus.  
      • Here Comes the Bus translates GPS data into an easy to use customizable map that works on a computer, tablet or smartphone. The app allows you to see where the bus is and how close it is to your stop.  To register for Here Comes the Bus click on the link below.
    • Carpool Reminders:  To help make sure that all students arriving in carpool are properly screened and able to get to class on time we will need your help with the reminders below:  
      • Morning Carpool Temperature Checks: With colder temperatures arriving we know that a nice warm car is the best!  However, we realized yesterday morning that it is also causing temperatures to register high.  Please consider turning the heat down or rolling the windows just a bit as you are arriving to school.  If a student registers 100.4 or higher we will need to wait a few minutes and conduct a re-screening.
      • Please make sure that each child is ready to be screened with their face covering on when the screener approaches the car.
      • Please make sure that your child has all their belongings ready prior to exiting the vehicle (Book Bag, Lunch Box, other instructional supplies).  We know there are a lot of items to carry back and forth but having them together and easy acceptable will allow the screeners to assist if needed. 
      • Please make sure that your child can exit the car once they pass their screening.  If they struggle to unbuckle you may pull ahead and help them out of their car seat if needed so that we can continue to move other vehicles through the screening location.
      • Please continue to be patient during afternoon dismissal.  Students are quickly learning their carpool numbers as well as out procedures with social distancing.
  • ​District Updates--Parents can stay up to date with district updates and back to school guidance by clicking on this link.
  • Update from Mrs. DuPont regarding Library Books--
    • New library book pickup days for VA and Remote Learning students will be every Tuesday and Thursday for the remainder of first semester. An email will be sent out letting you know when they are ready for pickup.  Please reach out to Mrs. DuPont if you are not able to pick up within this timeframe.  (
    • New holds will need to be placed by 8 am on the scheduled day of pickup.  
    • Green bags - please return the green bags when you return the books as they will be reused.
    • Library books not picked up within three days will be returned to circulation so other students can have a chance to check them out.

             Thank you to all of our families who have already utilized our new Library Check Out Procedures.  

                   --JDE Media Center Policies and Procedures (Fall 2020) can be viewed here

                   --Placing books on hold--Please view this video for more information.

With pride,

Altonia Bransome, Principal


  • No Fuss Fundraiser--Don’t forget to help us with our No Fuss Fundraiser! We are working to support JDE purchase items for both virtual and in person learning including: Raz Kids Reading Program, room dividers for social distancing, and technology grants for our teachers to purchase other virtual learning apps for the students. Every dollar counts! Donate today!  Link:    

  • Link Your Lowe's and VIC Cards--Parents it's now time to relink your Lowes Foods and Harris Teeter savings cards.  You can link your VIC card at  and go to to link your Lowes card.  
    • You can also send your Vic or Lowes savings card # or phone number used to set up your savings cards to  Sending these numbers will only link your cards to our school. It will not give out any information.  
    • Any questions please contact Theresa Pritt, VP of Fundraising, at the above email. 
  • Join the PTA--Please support the JDE PTA by becoming a member! The cost is $10 for an individual or $15 for a family (2 memberships). A portion goes towards national and state dues and a portion goes toward programs for students, teachers right here at JDE, and much more!
    • Every person who joins automatically becomes a member of both the North Carolina PTA and National PTA. JDE PTA members will receive special access to discounts at PTA events throughout the year.  Members are entitled to National PTA membership discounts. Thanks for all your support!
    • You may pay online at  Processing fees will apply.