News and Notes from Principal Hargrove

Hello Monarch Family,

I want to first thank you for joining us for the new school year. We are proud to say that the dust has finally settled and we appreciate you helping in doing so. Today we were able to start the school day on time! Students participated in morning meeting and listened to morning announcements via the PA system for the first time! We are delighted to have your loved ones a part of our nurturing community. Over the summer, we spent countless hours preparing for students and reviewing our systems to ensure that your children remain safe and have the opportunity to experience an academically enriched school year. Understandably with any new change there will be some anxiety and uncertainty. We are asking for your continued support to ensure that students are able to receive a high-quality education with minimal disruption. Below you will find changes that have been activated and followed for the entire school year. Thank you for your support. We look forward to partnering with you.

1) Morning Arrival/Transitions—Morning arrival is the most important ritual of the school day. We are asking parents to assist with supporting students by utilizing the “Kiss/Hug & Go policy.” The Kiss/Hug & Go policy builds essential social/emotional skills for students during periods of separation. We ask that parents speak with students beforehand to ensure they understand that you also believe in their ability to make smart choices and be responsible by going straight to their morning designations, which are from 8:00 – 8:15 (K-1 st walk directly to class, 2nd – 3 rd report to the café, 4th & 5th report to the gymnasium, 6th grade reports to the basement/multipurpose room, and grades 7th & 8th reports directly to their classrooms.). Students who report after their classes have been released from their morning designations will obtain their breakfast from their designated breakfast post and report directly to class. Staff will be in the halls to support and assist students.

2) Late Arrival (After 8:30)—Any student reporting to the building will use the Exeter Hall entrance (students only). Students will sign in with security and will be issued a pass to retrieve breakfast (grab and go directly to class). Parents who report with their students should report to the main entrance (Kirk Ave.). Parents will be required to sign-in students. Students will obtain a late pass and will follow the same breakfast protocol.

3) Dismissal Process (2:40 is the official dismissal time).—We have reorganized our dismissal protocol to ensure that students report to their correct dismissal location. Please bear with us this week as it is critical that we ensure that all students are in their correct locations. Changes are below.

a. The Express Car Rider Program is Back!—Effective Monday, September 11, 2017, parents will be able to take advantage of the program. Please complete the short application and submit it to Ms. Higgins who will be in the front to collect your applications. You may also place it in the drop box at the main lobby entrance (Kirk Ave.). The program will allow parents to pull up along Kirk Ave., display the placard in the windshield and a staff member will call for your student(s) to come outside. Students participating in the program will be housed in the gymnasium.

b. Walkers—Parents will pick-up students from the Kirk Ave exit (first exit past the main entrance). A staff member will be outside with a radio and will communicate with staff on the inside (basement location). Siblings will gather in the basement. Please ask older siblings to wait for their younger students prior to walking out. Students in grade 5 -8 without siblings will be released immediately. Students in grades K-4 without a sibling will only be released to a guardian, who will need to report to the staff member outside. Parents will provide the name of the student(s) to outside staff member and the child will be released from the basement.

**The playground will no longer be used for walkers.**

c. Bus riders—Bus riders will load from the Exeter Hall entrance only. We are asking parents not to park along Exeter Hall during dismissal (2:20 – 3:00). Same day bus change requests will not be honored unless in extreme emergencies. This will minimize confusion and avoid bus delays. For questions concerning bus changes, please email Mr. Washington at qwashington@bcps.k12.md.us.

d. Early Release—Parents please pick-up students prior to 2:15. This will ensure student safety and allow you to avoid the dismissal traffic.

4) Parking—Parents are asked not to park in the alley ways, bus zone, or in the residential neighborhood. Parents who park in these areas are subject to being towed.

Again, I want to thank you for your continued support and commitment to making this an epic school year for students.

We look forward to seeing you on Back to School Night 9/20 (K – 4 th) & 9/21 (5th – 8 th) from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

During Back-to-School Night you will have an opportunity to meet your child(ren’s) teachers and learn more about their instructional program.

In solidarity, 

Kiara Hargrove, Principal