July 26, 2020

Hello Parents,


This is Tom Childers contacting you from Antioch Elementary. Please continue to post questions that you have on the google doc for parents. I am going to attempt to respond to your questions and give you additional information to help you prepare as we close in on the beginning of a new school year. Please keep in mind that many of my responses are based on current guidance and many items have changed multiple times since June and are therefore subject to change. 


Here are responses to questions received after my message on July 20, 2020:

There is currently no timeline to shift from "on-demand" remote learning to "live" remote learning. Many factors will impact this timeline. Such as, which Plan UCPS is currently operating. Movement to Plan "A" or Plan "C" would immediately increase the amount of "live" remote learning. The major obstacle to "live" remote learning is created when a small number of students are "face to face" and the teacher is also trying to manage remote learners. The shifts in types of remote learning will be consistent among teachers within a given grade level. 


Teachers will contact parents this week and share an email with your child's assigned day. Parents may choose to keep children at home for five days of remote learning, please complete this survey if you plan to do so. Some students have been shifted for their "face to face" learning day. Shifts are necessary to accommodate class distribution and other services that take place each day. Parents may email me at tom.childers@ucps.k12.nc.us if a hardship has been created with your assigned day. Some parents have noted a concern with Holidays or Workdays that fall on their child's assigned day for "face to face" instruction. There is a small difference in the total number of days of school for Monday through Friday. If a student is scheduled to attend school on a given day and that day is a workday or holiday that day will not be made up. The teacher will also share a series of three videos. Here is the sample content of each video:

  • Week of July 27th - Introduction by the teacher along with interesting details that will help the student connect.
  • Week of August 3rd - Details about the exciting activities that await them when school begins.
  • Week of August 10th - Details about the virtual open house and specific information about the teacher's class.


Students will not share school supplies and learning manipulatives will be managed in a manner to reduce the spread of germs.


To the best of my knowledge, all off-site child care providers will be permitted to pick students up at Antioch.


UCPS has a tiered system in the planning process that would permit some groups of students to attend school for additional days of "face to face" instruction. This plan will be shared once it is finalized. Parents that choose to keep children home for five days of remote learning will not impact or increase the number of days that other students will attend school for "face to face" learning. Please keep in mind that every child is assigned a day to attend school and the parent may exercise this right at any time.


Parents may request UCPS transportation at any time. Please keep in mind this service may take some time to coordinate.


UCPS has approximately 2,800 internet mobile hot spot devices. Please complete this form to request a device. These items will be dispersed on a first come first serve basis while supplies last.


Students who participate in Plan "B" or Plan "D" at Antioch will receive the same instruction. They will be assigned to an Antioch Teacher which will assist the transition if and when the student returns to school. Please keep in mind that UCPS could make adjustments to Plan "D" and students could potentially be taught by a non-Antioch or non-Weddington teacher.


The Governor and the UCPS Board of Education would make the decisions regarding transitions between Plan A, B and Plan C. I cannot provide specific examples of what would cause UCPS to transition to Plan "C" or to Plan "A"


Any student who has a fever must follow the guidelines that I shared last week. Those guidelines are also at the bottom of this message.


Third grade students are currently scheduled to take the Beginning of Grade Test for Reading. This will occur during the first month of school.


Teachers will provide explicit information regarding remote learning tools for students and parents. Students will have opportunities throughout the week to connect with their teacher to ask questions and to receive feedback.


The Antioch Elementary PTO has shared the Antioch Parent Network. This resource has been created by the Antioch Elementary PTO for parents to connect with other families for the purpose of arranging child care during remote learning days. Neither Antioch Elementary PTO, Antioch Elementary nor UCPS takes any responsibility for this network. This Antioch Parent Network is an optional service provided to the community. The Antioch PTO is seeking corporate sponsorships. Please the attached flyer if you are interested.


Students in fourth and fifth grade will receive a letter via U.S. Mail this week. This letter will provide information regarding your child's math placement for the upcoming school year. All students are assigned to Standard Content Math, Advanced Math or AIG Math. If your child qualifies for Standard Content Math and you wish to appeal for Advanced Math, you may complete the appeal form. The form link will be on the personalized letter that you receive via U.S. Mail. The deadline to submit an appeal is August 1, 2020. All additional AIG testing will occur after the beginning of the school year.


If a parent is considering purchasing a device for their child to participate in remote learning… I would highly recommend a tablet and not a laptop for Kindergarten and First Grade students. Tablets are consumer devices which are better for younger students. UCPS feels confident that the infrastructure in place, including internet bandwidth capability, will be sufficient to provide for various types of teaching and learning.

Antioch Elementary has released Student Supply List. In addition to these items, parents should include face coverings for your child. Antioch will provide each child with a lanyard to wear around their neck. The lanyard can be clipped to the face covering to help your child manage the face covering. You may send a small personal bottle of hand sanitizer with your child. This cannot be shared with other students. The school will provide hand sanitizer in each classroom. Students will also be encouraged to wash hands frequently during the day.


Many of my responses are based on current guidance and many items have changed multiple times since June and are therefore subject to change.


Thank you for supporting our school - working  together as one team on one mission, we are meeting needs, challenging minds and celebrating accomplishments.


Until next time… Have a great day!




Important Information from the July 20, 2020 message:

Social distancing guidelines will be followed. The building will have signage and floor markings to remind students of the need to maintain a safe distance. Our staff will verbally remind students of the need to social distance for the safety of everyone. Students are strongly encouraged to bring plastic refillable water bottles. Thanks to the Antioch PTO our school is equipped with numerous bottle filling stations. While water fountains are available to students for use, we strongly encourage the use of personal water bottles.


Sharing of instructional materials such as pencils, crayons and markers will be prohibited. Your child's supplies will be used only by your child. Other instructional supplies provided by the school,  such as magnetic letters, books and math manipulatives will be managed in a manner to eliminate the spread of germs. Students will likely eat lunch in the classroom to limit exposure to large groups. Recess will occur daily, however students will not be permitted to use the playground equipment as there is no feasible way to sanitize these large structures between use. Our custodial staff will sanitize high touch areas and restrooms five times each day.


Non-essential visitors will not be permitted to enter the building. This means that parents will not be permitted to walk students to class or eat lunch with their child. All parent meetings will be held virtually. Volunteers will not be permitted in the building.


Our school will have a special plan for Kindergarten students during the first two weeks of school. I will communicate the details of that plan to parents at a later time. Staff members will walk Kindergarten students to class for the first few weeks of the school year.


Our school will utilize a new app this year to manage student check-in, check-out and transportation changes. All changes must be made through the app. More information is forthcoming. The app is called  Student Dismissal Manager. Students who arrive at school late will be greeted and screened at the front door. Parents will communicate with the office through the use of the video doorbell for student check out and the child will be sent to parents at the front entrance. Sometimes students forget items at home, parents are permitted to bring prescription eye wear, prescription medicine and other items deemed essential by the school. This would include a forgotten lunch if the child has a special diet and our cafeteria cannot accommodate the child's needs. The school will not permit the drop off lunch and homework unless lunch meets the previously discussed criteria. Parents will only be permitted to drop off clothing items if the child's clothing becomes soiled during the school day. All students should bring coats, jackets and face covering daily at the beginning of the day. These items will not be permitted to be dropped off during the day. The school will provide a face covering for your child if they forget their face covering at home.


Everyone who enters the building will undergo a temperature check and symptom screening. Staff members will complete this daily before engaging with students. Our building will have multiple entry points, the walker door, the front lobby and the gym door. Our staff will provide multiple screening stations to complete the required checks before students enter the classroom. Staff and students are not required to have a COVID-19 screening before attending school.


Any student who has a temperature above 100.4 will be checked at least twice before notifying the parents. Symptomatic students will report to a space away from other individuals until a parent can pick them up from school.


Students with symptoms will be excluded from school until ALL of the following occurs: 1. It has been at least 10 days since the child first had symptoms AND 2. It has been at least 3 days since the child had a fever without the use of fever reducing medicine AND 3. It has been at least 3 days since the child's symptoms have improved, including cough and shortness of breath.


A child may return to school once they have had a negative COVID-19 test and there is no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines for 24 hours.


 If a child has been diagnosed with COVID-19 but does not have symptoms, they should remain out of school until 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.


If a child has been determined to have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, they should remain out of school for 14 days since the last known contact, unless they test positive. In which case,  they should remain out of school until 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.


Students must complete the full 14 days of quarantine even if they test negative. A child can return to school, following normal school policies, if they receive confirmation of an alternative diagnosis from a health care provider that would explain the COVID-19- like symptoms, once there is no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines and they have felt well for 24 hours.


UCPS is working with Public Health Officials on details regarding communication of COVID-19 positive cases within our school. I will share more information as it becomes available.


The Antioch Cafeteria will continue to provide meal options for students. Food service will be designed to eliminate the transmission of germs. Students will not serve themselves as they have in the past. All supplemental sales such as chips and cookies will be suspended. Students will pick up lunch and/or breakfast in the cafeteria and will eat in the classroom. All staff will take precaution and make the appropriate arrangements for students with food allergies to provide for a safe environment.