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We are looking forward to seeing all our students tomorrow for the first day of school at 9:00! Thanks to the many parents in kindergarten & 1st grade who’ve already met their child’s teacher at Back to School Night last week. Everyone else, we look forward to seeing you on Tuesday evening (2nd & 3rd grades) or Wednesday evening (4th, 5th & 6th grades) at school at 6:00.
We thank our teachers for an incredibly busy preparation week. They trained, they planned, they set up classrooms, and did countless other tasks that result in the safe and organized opening of school for 730 students. That’s a lot!
Please read below so that both you and your child are prepared to have a great first week of school! Information on breakfast, lunch, arrival & dismissal, safety, and other topics can be found below.
Jesse Kraft, Principal (email@example.com )
Jessica King, Ass’t Principal (firstname.lastname@example.org )
Coming to School
We will not be allowing parents to escort their children to class this year. If you are walking your child to school, please say goodbye to him/her outside the school. If we allowed parents to come with our students into the school tomorrow, we’d have tightly packed hallways and sustained times where kids and adults would be in proximity. We aim to avoid situations like this as much as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We will have many staff members positioned inside and outside the school to help students find their classrooms.
You can help by making sure your child knows the following:
- His/her grade level
- His/her teacher’s name
- How he/she is going home each day (bus, walker, Kiss & Ride, daycare van)
If you do not think your child can remember this information, please write it down and send it with your child and/or email/text your child’s teacher directly.
Please be patient with drivers and expect that bus stop times on your schedule are approximate. Come to your stop early and be prepared to wait. Northern Virginia traffic is always a challenge to our routes at the beginning of each year. Also, there is a national bus driver shortage that is impacting FCPS, and some routes may take longer or experience delays as the FCPS Office of Transportation works through the situation.
Kindergarten parents, please remember that your child must have someone meet him/her at the bus stop after school. Our drivers will not release a kindergartner from the bus unless s/he has an adult or older sibling (older than elementary school) at the stop wait for him/her.
Kiss & Ride
Coates has a supervised Kiss & Ride lot where parents may drive their children to school and drop them off. Parents who use Kiss & Ride must follow all rules including the following:
- Obey the crossing guard and staff
- Do NOT leave your car. Your child leaves the car when you drop off. If you pick up your child in the afternoon, you will not leave your car. Train your child to recognize your car, and our staff will help him/her find you.
- There is no passing lane at AM Kiss & Ride. All vehicles wait in line and move as one line.
- If you arrive early to Kiss & Ride (prior to 9:00) and there is no staff member present, please do NOT drop off your child. S/he would not be supervised.
- When driving, please do not text or use hands on your cell phone. This is dangerous to the many students nearby.
Walking students may come in through Door 3 or the main entrance at arrival. At dismissal time, we route all walkers out Door 3, which is in the back of the school by the playground. The door is supervised by staff and using this door helps us avoid crowding and bottlenecking inside the school at the end of the day. If your child walks, and you wish to pick him/her up, please go to Door 3.
Breakfast & Lunch
All students may receive one (1) no-cost breakfast and one (1) no-cost lunch meal each school day. The cost of an adult or a second student breakfast is $2.30. The cost of an adult or a second student lunch is $4.50
Menus, allergens, and nutrition information are all available online. School menus will be published weekly beginning a week before the first day of school.
You do not need to “sign up” for breakfast or lunch if you want your child to have it. You may also send your child with a lunch from home any day.
Staying in Touch with the Teacher
If your teacher has not yet emailed you, please call the front office at (703) 713-3000 to get connected. Our teachers use the Talking Points app to communicate with all parents via text messages. Your teacher can tell you how to get these texts.
At the beginning of each week, all Coates teachers will send a group text to parents keeping you abreast of some important topics for the upcoming week. You may also text your teacher outside of the group.
Please realize that a teacher’s daily schedule is intense, and s/he is actively teaching or supervising your child and the rest of the class with very little break time. Allow up to 24 hours for responses to questions.
As noted previously, lunch is a time when students may remove their masks to eat. Most classes eat lunch in the cafeteria. We have created a schedule that reduces seating to about 50 capacity at our tables (our tables have built-in seats for 10, and we will be seating 4-6 to each table). When kids are finished eating, they will be required to pull their masks back up.
We clean tables between classes and all hands are washed or sanitized before and after lunch time.
Accommodations for Lunch or Arrival
Some parents have requested to pick up their child at lunch time to take them out of school to eat with them. This is a reasonable request, and we are happy to work with any parent who wishes to do this so long as they pick up their child at his/her scheduled lunch time and return on time. If you wish to do this, please contact your teacher. Someone from our office will confirm with you.
On a related note, some parents have requested to drop their child off a few minutes after the 9:15 bell to avoid the crowds at arrival. This is also a reasonable request, and we are happy to work with any parent who wishes to bring their child to school between 9:20-9:30. If you wish to do this, please contact your teacher. Someone from our office will confirm with you.
Staff Vaccination Requirement
This week, Superintendent Brabrand announced that FCPS is requiring all staff members to be fully vaccinated or to submit routine negative COVID-19 tests beginning in October. The vast majority of FCPS staff are already vaccinated.
FCPS continues to encourage vaccination for everyone, including students as soon as they are eligible. This summer, Fairfax County has seen vaccination rates for our young people soar. We have some of the highest vaccination rates across the country for this age group.
Among youth ages 12-15 in Fairfax County, 61.9% are fully vaccinated – up 24.2 points since July, while 75.3% have had one dose – up 19.4 points since July. Of 16-17-year-olds, 74.4% are fully vaccinated, while 84.8% have received one dose.
If you or your child would like to be vaccinated, vaccination opportunities can be accessed through the Fairfax County Health Department or Vaccines.gov. COVID-19 vaccines are accessible and free.
At Back to School night, you’ll be provided with paper copies of many important forms that need to be updated. Watch for a separate News You Choose email with reminders and online access to some of these forms.
The SIS (Student Information System) Parent Account is an online tool that parents can use to access information about their child’s attendance, class schedule and performance, discipline incidents, health information, and more. If you registered in the past, your account is still active. If you have not, please create an account using this link. Please contact the Main Office if you have any questions or need support.
Information parents will be able to access includes:
- Progress Reports
- Health information
- Significant Discipline incidents
- Name of Classroom Teacher
- Teachers’ email addresses
- FCPS calendar
- Student’s emergency contact information
- Transportation information including bus stops and times
Mark Your Calendars
Aug. 24: Back to School Night for 2nd & 3rd Grade Families, 6-7:30 PM
Aug. 25: Back to School Night for 4th, 5th & 6th Grade Families, 6-7:30 PM
Aug. 31: Parent Coffee, 9:15-10:15 AM
Sept. 3: Labor Day Holiday
Sept. 6: Labor Day Holiday
Oct. 11: Student Holiday
Expect more events to be scheduled in the coming weeks.
2480 River Birch Road, Herndon, VA 20171 | Main Phone: 703.713.3000
Report Absence Online | Attendance Phone: 703.713.3030
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