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Panther News, 11/20/20

JDE Weekly Parent Update 11/20/2020


Panther Parents,

It was so nice to welcome all of our K-3 students, and our first rotation of fourth and fifth grade students on Monday.  We truly enjoyed seeing their smiles and having them back in the building!  Thank you so much for your abundant grace and patience as we have adjusted our arrival and dismissal procedures. 

Next week is very short, with asynchronous days on Monday and Tuesday for our students. I want to wish each of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving! I hope you enjoy the time off with your families, and get some much-needed rest.  We are thankful for all of you, and look forward to seeing everyone online or in person on Monday, November 30.  

Updates for this Week:

  • New! WCPSS Goes Pink--WCPSS is turning pink the week of Nov 30-Dec 4 in the fight against cancer! We are asking all JDE staff, students, and parents to wear something pink onTuesday, December 1 to help bring about cancer awareness. We can make a difference!

  • New! 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!

    • Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24 

      • There is no school on November 25-17.

    • Wednesday, December 2

    • 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.

  • The Virtual Academy Window Opens on December 2--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.  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 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.

    • When will I know the district plans for second semester?  The board will vote on a plan for second semester on November 17. 

  • Updated! 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 
  • Art Supplies for Specials--Please have your student bring in their art tools they had at home to use in ART class. They can keep them in their classroom desk or cubby in between classes.  (4th and 5th grade students will need to take their tools home during off school cohorts.)
    • Please store supplies in a LABELED zip-lock bag (gallon is a good size) or a pencil box.  Please make sure all your student's items are labeled with their first name and teacher's name.

      • Please include these items:  Box of 24 crayons, box of 8 markers, 2 pencils

        • If you want your child to use his/her own watercolor set, glue bottle, or colored pencils that you have already purchased that is okay to bring those as well. 

        • If your child already has these items for use in their regular classroom, they can use them in the art room too.

  • ​District Updates--Parents can stay up to date with district updates and back to school guidance by clicking on this link
  • YMCA Before and After School Registration--Before and after school services will be available starting Monday, October 26. 

--This is the link for registration: 

--Should parents have questions, they can contact or call 919-845-3872.

  • 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. 
  • New! November Newsletter--Please check out the JDE PTA newsletter here.
  • 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.