Otter Splash News & Reminders

Posted by Stephanie Bias on 9/3/2021

Principal’s Otter Splash 9/3/2021 Versión en español aquí

Hello, Oak Grove family! We hope you are having a wonderful weekend. I hope you have had the opportunity to relax this long weekend.


Interim Reports, End of Q1 (Track 1), Curriculum Night, and track change:

We have a lot going on this week: On Friday, September 3, Track 3 & 4 families should have received interim reports from your child’s teacher. Please reach out if you did not receive your interim report. This week, Track 1 teachers will be holding Family Conferences. On Thursday, September 9, Track 3 & 4 teachers (and VA teachers that are working at Oak Grove) will be holding a Virtual Curriculum Night. The links will be coming this week. The end of the first quarter (Q1) for Track 1 is Friday, September 10. Track 1 tracks out on Friday, and we will welcome back Track 2 on Monday, September 13.


PTA Partners with Local Artist:

The PTA has an exciting opportunity for you to remember your child’s time at Oak Grove. The local artist, Lew Wilson, has created a print of our beautiful school. You can even order an ornament! You can find the information here:


Track 1 Summer Camp (September 13-17 and September 20-24):

Ms. Tysor ( is our Summer Camp coordinator. The students attending Track 1 Summer Camp were identified in the Spring. We look forward to welcoming our Track 1 Summer Camp students.


New Assistant Principal

Friday, August 27, was Ms. Rhodes’s last day at Oak Grove. We will miss her and her kind presence at our school. We are in the hiring process for a new Assistant Principal. Administrative appointments require Board approval, so the process can be lengthy. We hope to have an interim Assistant Principals named on Tuesday, September 7. In the meantime, I appreciate all your grace and patience if my response time is delayed. In some cases, I may not be able to respond as quickly as I would like.


Bus Transportation

Thank you for your patience with the bus delays in the past week with the start of traditional calendar schools. Our staff truly appreciates the efforts families have been making to communicate any transportation changes well in advance and to refrain from calling the school or arriving at school during dismissal when your child was supposed to ride the bus home. This has allowed us to focus on getting all students home as quickly as possible and minimized the likelihood of transportation confusion. The bus arrival and departure times improved each day this week. Our hope is that they will continue to improve this week. Please see updated bus times here: Oak Grove Bus Routes We encourage you to download the Here Comes the Bus tracker app. More information can be found here:


Update on WCPSS Health Guidance:

On Wednesday, August 25, WCPSS sent out information to families about updated health measures. Since that information came out to Principals, staff, and families at the same time, I have been working with other Principals in the Southwest area to align our practices for safe schools. I am working with my administrative team at how we can spread out students in the cafeteria. Additionally, we met with all classes to discuss the importance of only removing our masks while eating and replacing our masks when we are ready to talk. Finally, we continue to plan for the possibility of some/all students eating lunch outside at least some of the time, but this option is way more complex than it may appear on the surface. Considerations include the need for appropriate supervision, scheduling, seating, temperature, precipitation, shade, and insects. Also, our campus cannot have additional shade structures constructed due to our limit on permeable soil and our watershed status. All those considerations will have to be looked at while we formulate a plan. I do have an Outdoor Seating Team of parents working on the first step: tables. We are relocating some tables from our campus and working to purchase more tables.



WCPSS Health Update:

To continue to maintain safe learning environments, we are making the following updates to our COVID-19 safety practices. These changes took effect on 8/16 for schools currently in session but are already being practiced in many areas.  Safe Return to School Plan

  • For everyone over the age of 4, face coverings are required indoors in schools, all district buildings and on school-provided transportation, including school buses, activity buses, and vendor transportation. For Pre-K students, face coverings are strongly recommended for ages 3-4 and required for age 5. Face coverings are optional outdoors. 
  • If your student experiences an illness that does not include COVID-19 symptoms, it’s now easier for them to return to school quicker. For these illnesses, we’re returning to pre-pandemic health practices: Students can return to school when they are fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medication for 24 hours. Learn more about returning to school after an illness.
  • Safety practices for eating on campus are being strengthened. Most schools will group students when moving from the classroom to the lunchroom and use assigned seating during meals. This practice of grouping students will help reduce the number of students required to quarantine if a student in their class becomes infected. This also allows students to talk with others in their group during mealtimes. Face coverings will be required except for the time when students are specifically eating.

All families received an email early last week with a full overview of all COVID-19 safety practices including lunch routines, playground time, visitors and more.


Yearbook Cover Contest:

Hello Otter Families!

I am excited to announce the beginning of our annual Yearbook Cover Contest! Our theme this year is based on a quote from Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." Entries are due by October 8.  Finalists will be announced by October 21. There will be more than one opportunity for students work to be featured. We will select six pictures for the inside pages, nine for the back cover, and one for the front. Artwork is chosen from all grade levels.

Additional details are included on the entry form. 

Over the next two months, I will be working with all classes on the role of an artist as illustrator. We will begin our pictures in art class, but students may also take their entries home to work on. All students will create work based on the yearbook theme as an assignment. However, they are not required to enter the contest. 

I can’t wait to see the ideas our students come up with this year!

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.  

Mrs. Huovinen


COVID cases at school:

Please help us continue to keep our Otters safe by carefully monitoring any symptoms at home. Please do not send your Otter to school unless they are free of symptoms.

If we have a presumptive positive case at school, the school’s first step is to notify the COVID nurse/health department. We work with that agency to conduct contact tracing. Individuals that are determined to have been in contact with the presumptive positive case are notified.

CDC considers someone exposed to COVID-19 if they were within 6 feet of an infected person, without a face covering, for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset or, for infected people without symptoms, 2 days before they had a sample collected to submit for COVID-19 testing.

WCPSS no longer sends out an email to the entire school when there is a presumptive positive case. Instead, the School District will update the WCPSS COVID Metrics website daily to list schools where someone reported to have COVID-19 was in the school. Information for employees is shared via WakeConnect.

All reporting and notifications must maintain confidentiality in accordance with FERPANCGS 130A-143, and all other state and federal laws.

If you have questions about COVID in the school, Ms. Rhodes, our Assistant Principal, is our COVID coordinator. Her email is


Reminders for Carpoolers for a smooth arrival & dismissal

  • Morning carpool begins at 8:45 and ends by 9:10. Please try to arrive on campus between 8:45-9:00. As a reminder, students need to be inside the building by 9:15 or they will be considered tardy.
  • Afternoon carpool begins at 3:40 and ends by 4:00. During the first few days of a track change, the carpool line may take a little longer than 4:00. If our families arrive on time and ready, we should be able to complete the carpool around 4:00.
  • Adults stay in car at all times with car running
  • Please have your carpool number displayed during dismissal
  • Please practice carpool numbers with your student
  • Students should be ready to get out of the car quickly. If they are able, they can open the car door on their own. Our staff is there to help if needed.
  • Students should be seated in the back passenger seat (right side of the car) upon arrival; and will be placed in the back passenger seat at dismissal
  • Students should have backpack/personal items ready
  • Say goodbye or hello quickly
  • You can pull off by the Oak Grove track to the right as you exit if your Otter need help buckling up before leaving our campus



As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you may have. We are happy to help.


All my best,


Stephanie Bias, Principal



  • September 7-10: Track 1 Quarter 1 Family Conferences
  • September 9: Virtual Curriculum Night (Tracks 3&4) 5:30-6:10/6:15-6:55
  • September 10: Quarter 1 ends (Track 1)
  • September 13-17: Track 1 Summer Camp Week 1
  • September 20-24: Track 1 Summer Camp Week 2
  • September 30: Quarter 1 ends (Track 2, 3, 4)