EMS Newsletter (originally emailed Jan. 10)

(NOTE: The Exploris PTO blog sometimes posts emails that went out to all parents as a courtesy to those who may have missed them. We try to post all important items, such as EMS newsletters from Summer, to serve as an easily located reference for parents. We will always note when items have been previously emailed so you don’t have to waste time reading them if you have already seen them earlier.)

I hope that everyone had a restful break and that the beginning of the new year has started well. The return to school has started fairly smoothly but I have noticed that folks may have forgotten some things over the long break. Particularly…

AFTERSCHOOL PICKUP
The three big things to remember are:

  • No Left turns (The City has asked that Exploris traffic turn right to enter lots and turn right when exiting lots). This means when you leave the Ugly Monkey, you shouldn’t be turning left and crossing traffic.
  • Try and stay off Hillsborough unless you are picking up a single rider. If you need to get to the Ugly Monkey lot, access Harrington from either Edenton or W. Jones streets and come straight across Hillsborough at the light.
  • Stay off cellphones. This will help to ensure everyone is alert to other traffic and can prevent accidents.

Folks who are trying to follow these procedures are getting frustrated by cars on Hillsborough turning right, which in turn backs up traffic making it near impossible for cars to make the Harrington/Hillsborough light. The teachers in the Ugly Monkey lot are trying to keep the flow of traffic moving, asking those cars who are waiting on kids to move out of the lot and park either along the street or in the West parking lot. In fact, we don’t even want cars circling the block and thereby adding to Hillsborough traffic.

We appreciate your help with this!

If you need a visual, please consult google maps so that you can find the most convenient and safest route for picking up your child.

APPLICATIONS
Anyone with a rising 6th grader, EVEN IF THEY ARE A SIBLING, must turn in an application for that student. Siblings do receive preference but only if we have an application for that student. Applications and tour dates can be found on our website. The lottery will be held on February 7. Applications are due February 6.

WEATHER/EMERGENCY RELATED NOTICES
It’s hard for me to tell whether parents received my twittter feed regarding the school opening 2 hours late on Tuesday. If you followed the directions below, but still didn’t receive the text, please let me know so that I can look into why you might not have received it.

A reminder that we’re moving toward a blended email and Twitter notification system. This will allow parents who have phones who receive texts but don’t receive email a way in which to receive timely information. The school’s twitter account name is ExplorisSchool.

Want to get updates from @ExplorisSchool but don’t want to create a Twitter account? No problem! You can receive our Twitter updates without having to sign up or add your phone to a Twitter account. (Data and/or messaging fees may apply)

To get started:

Text Follow ExplorisSchool to telephone number 40404 on a US-based cell phone. If done correctly, you will be sent a text message confirming your request. You may also be sent a text asking you to create a Twitter account. You can ignore this. It’s not a requirement. Once done, this would mean you’d start getting text (SMS) updates whenever @ExplorisSchool posts a Tweet.

If you already have a Twitter account (or want to create one), you can click on the twitter icon under the Connect with Us in the lower right hand side of our website as well. From there you will need to click on the radio button under our profile to “turn notifications on” to receive tweets as a text (SMS) message to your mobile device.

SCHOOL CALENDAR
The Exploris Board met on Tuesday of this week and approved Calendar B for the 2014-2015 school year. That calendar is attached for your reference. This will mean a later start date for the school. Again, it’s critical to the school that all students are present for the first day of school. Any students not in their seat on that first day will detrimentally impact the school’s funding to the turn of approximately $4500. We appreciate you planning your summer accordingly.

EXPANSION UPDATE
Exploris’s expansion application has been submitted and is being recommended for State Board approval by DPI at the February State Board meeting. (We were originally told the January Board meeting, but apparently it’s February. Our application has been very favorably received by the Office of Charter Schools at DPI, which makes recommendations to the Board. I’ve been assured that we should sail through.

The school has been moving forward with facility planning for the elementary school and for our future site for the k-8 school. We are currently waiting on the city to issue a request for letters of interest with regard to the Stones Warehouse. This is the warehouse that Exploris has been interested in for quite some time, and we look forward to working with the city during the proposal and decision-making process.

For the temporary location, we have identified a location, are planning with architects, vetting general contractors, and working on initial plans. The size of this facility will impact the size of the elementary school over the next 2-3 years, but all is looking really good. Sean Gargan, the school’s Board chair, will be sending more information to families in the coming week about where we are in this process.

PASS THE HAT
I just wanted to thank everyone who participated in our annual Pass The Hat fundraiser. Once we include PayPal donations pledged until June 30 and matching donations that will give us a total of $39,250 raised, which is just a tad more than last year’s total as of June 30th ($39,215). These funds will go a long way it helping Exploris achieve its mission and make an impact on current students. Thank you!

Dates to Remember:
Friday, January 17 – Early Release Day
Monday, January 20 & 21 – No school, MLK Holiday and Teacher Workday
Friday, February 7 – Middle School Lottery, Time TBA

EMS 2014-2015 Calendar

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