• August 10, 2020


    Hi Eastern Families,


    We here at Eastern Elementary are excited for the 2020-2021 school year! Based on the registration form you completed, you have been assigned to participate face-to-face instruction/virtual instruction. Your assigned classroom/virtual teacher will be mailed to you in just a few short days.  Please see the schedule below so you know what dates your child will report to school IF you have chosen to participate in face-to-face instruction. If you have chosen to participate virtually, your child’s teacher will be in touch with you to discuss the best way for your child to participate, once they return to work on August 11th. 


    We know that you all have many questions and concerns. As a parent of a Pitt County School student, I too had some questions. We hope that this letter will help answer some of the questions that you have.  


    1) School Operating Hours (subject to change based on government and district guidelines):

    a) Monday-Friday 7:30am - 1:30pm 

    b) Student arrival 7:30am - 8:00am (students are tardy after 8am)

    c) Teacher office hours 2:00pm - 3:00pm


    2) Face to Face “Learning Zones” Student Assignments:

    a) August 17 & 18 - Learning Zone A students attend school

    b) August 20 & 21 - Learning Zone B students attend school

    c) Week A will begin their regular schedule on August 24th

    d) Week B will begin their regular schedule on August 31st

    e) Information about instruction during virtual weeks will be coming soon!


    3) School Nutrition:

    a) Students can get breakfast and lunch supplied by the cafeteria daily or bring their lunch to school.  

    b)  Breakfast will be $1.00 for students that pay full price and free for all students that qualify for free or reduced-price benefits.  

    c) Lunch will be $2.35 for students that pay full price and $.40 for students that qualify for reduced-price benefits.  

    d) Lunch money can be paid online with the system PaySchools Central found at payschoolscentral.com or students may bring cash or a check weekly or monthly.  

    e)  If your child is coming to Eastern from a PCS that received school wide free status (CEP school) that does not carry over to Eastern and you must apply and be approved for free and reduced lunch status here.

    f) If you feel your family may qualify for free/reduced lunch status please make sure you get the form from the office or your child’s teacher.  If you were approved last year it continues for the first 4 weeks of school but a new application must be filled out each year.  

    g) After Aug. 31st you must be approved for the free or reduced status otherwise your child(ren) must bring lunch money daily or weekly to cover their meals.

    h) Students in grades 4th and 5th will go to the cafeteria to pick up breakfast/lunch on their way to class, and take the meal into their classroom to eat. Students in grades K-3rd will have breakfast/lunch delivered to the room.

    i) All students, even those who participate virtually, will be able to receive breakfast and lunch.  More information will be provided at Open House about meal service.  


    4) Masks and Hand washing:

    a) All students and staff will be required to wear a mask on school grounds and on the bus. 

    b) Students will be provided 5 masks and a lanyard.  Students may choose to use these masks, or any other appropriate mask.  Please do not send students with masks that contain inappropriate images or words. The lanyard is to be used to make sure that while students are eating, the lanyards do not fall to the ground or become mixed up with another student's mask.

    c) Teachers will add breaks in their schedules so that they can take their class outside to remove their masks.  Students will be socially distanced during this time.  If you would like for your child to opt out of removing their mask during the break, please send in a letter to your child’s teacher.

    d) Breaks will also be built into the schedule for hand washing.


    5) Parent Visitors:

    a) Visitors will not be allowed into the school building at this time. Parents or guardians must remain in the safe corridor entry for all checkouts. Masks are required for entry. 


    6) Transportation:

    a) Bus Riders: We ask that all parents of students riding the bus please wait with your child until they have boarded the bus each morning.  This will give our driver time to ensure that it is your child’s correct week to be at school.  Buses will have a roster and signage in the window indicating the week of attendance (Green-Week A, Yellow-Week B). At the end of the school day, bus riders will be escorted to the bus by school staff.

    b) Car Riders: Parents must fill out a car rider application to be issued the 2 tags that will be provided.  The car tag should hang from the rear view mirror to indicate their number and week of attendance (Green-Week A, Yellow Sticker-Week B). These are to assist our staff in quickly ensuring that the students are at school on the appropriate week. (If they see the wrong color sign in the window, they will know your child has come to school on the wrong week and students will not be permitted to exit the car).  As parents arrive in the drop off lane at school (front or back loop), there will be staff members available to take temperatures of students before they exit the vehicle.  If your child is fever free and not showing symptoms of COVID 19, they will be allowed to enter the building.

    c)  Walkers:  Students who walk to school from the surrounding area will also need to have their temperature checked before entering the building.  We ask students who come from Cedar Lane to go to the bus entrance to have their temperature checked.  Students who come from behind the school, (Wright Road) should report to the Kindergarten entrance and wait for a staff member in the back of the building to take their temperature.  

    d) Afternoon dismissal will be similar to last year’s dismissal procedure.  Parents will pull into the car line, as usual and display their car tag for us to call your child up for dismissal.  Students will remain in their classrooms until dismissal to eliminate the likelihood of close proximity to other students. Please help make sure your child knows their car tag number by the end of the first week.  There will be no walk ups for pickup.  No check-outs from the office will be allowed after 1:00  to ensure that we can safely dismiss students and that all staff can be in their appropriate location. 

    e) Children may only go home the way they are supposed to go everyday unless a written (email, note, dojo message) change is provided by parent/guardian before 1:00pm.


    7)  Communication:

    a) Please make sure that anytime you move or get a new phone number you send in a note and make the office and teacher aware. This is important so we can reach you with important information or notify you if your child is sick or there is an emergency.

    b) If  you move during the year be sure to come to the office with two proofs of your new address and complete a moving form. Office staff can help!

    c) Monday folders will communicate regularly your child’s performance and upcoming events.   

    d) We also have a school Facebook page - please like and follow it to receive important information and updates.  

    e) Each teacher has an email account and a Class Dojo account which are great ways to communicate quickly with teachers. Class Dojo is a free app that can be downloaded to your phone or you can sign up on a computer with an email address and still receive notifications.  We often post school wide announcements on the school story section of Dojo such as school closures and events parents need to know about.  

    f) Transportation changes may be made on email or Class Dojo. However, if the teacher has a substitute that day they may not get the notification. It is best to communicate transportation changes with a note the child brings to school the morning of or the day before just to ensure the teacher and/or substitute knows the change.  The office cannot take transportation changes over the phone during the school days.  

    g) When a bus leaves campus late or has a mechanical issue it is often communicated via our message system. You will be notified via phone call as long as we have an up-to-date phone number for you. This system is also utilized to share important upcoming events. 

    h) Teacher’s have set working hours from 7:30-3:00 and during student instructional time they cannot answer phone calls or messages.  Our policy is that teachers will respond to your call within 24 hours.  We do however realize that this year is different and may present challenges with virtual learning.  Our virtual learning teachers will have more flexibility during the day than those teaching face to face class. We are asking teams to pair up, so even if you come face to face the week your child is virtual there is someone you can reach out to.  Many of our teachers respond after hours or have office hours for parents who work and need a later time.  Please remember, they have families and children of their own and must balance their time between school and home but will respond within 24 hours.  


    8)  COVID Procedures:  

    a) We will be following the NC Public Health Toolkit.  We encourage all families to look through this and view the FAQs that the state updates regularly.    

    b) If the student is exhibiting any of the following symptoms (fever, chills, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, new cough, new loss of taste or smell) or come to school with a fever, they will be quarantined under staff supervisors away from others and  a parent will be notified to come and pick up the student.  


    9) Device Distribution:

    a) Pitt County Schools is pleased to announce that they have transitioned to being a 1-to-1 district. K-2 students will be receiving iPads while 3rd-5th graders will be receiving Chromebooks. Your child will use the same device for three consecutive school years. A detailed device agreement is coming home on the first student day or when picking up devices for virtual learning and will need to be signed and returned before the device may travel home with your child. 

    b) Devices are expected to travel to and from school with face-to-face students daily and the week they are scheduled to attend school.  Devices should be charged each night and cords should stay at home.  

    c) Students are able to bring their own device to school if they are participating in face-to-face instruction. 

    d) Our school contact regarding devices is Sharon Crockett.  Please call or email her with specific questions related to Chromebooks/iPads or the PCS device agreement form once it has been sent home: crockes@pitt.k12.nc.us


    10) Open House:  Open House will look different this year.  Students who are coming on A and B weeks will participate in a virtual Open House on August 13th for 1st-5th grade.  Each teacher will send out a virtual open house video to view by 3:00 on Open House. Your child’s teacher will contact you to either set up times to meet virtually through Zoom or do a live question and answer session for parents who would like to attend.  We understand this may cause some anxiety, however, we can assure you we will be available to answer questions, address concerns, and introduce ourselves to our Eagles!


    11) Open House Virtual:  Students who are participating in virtual learning will have Open House on Wednesday, Aug. 19th from 4:00-6:30.  Each teacher will send out a Virtual Open House video to view.  Your child’s teacher will contact you to either set up times to meet virtually through Zoom or host a live question and answer session for parents who would like to attend.  


    12) KINDERGARTEN FACE TO FACE STUDENTS:  We would like to invite our face to face kindergarten families out to school for Open House on August 13th.  Teachers will be contacting families a few days prior to set up appointment times for 15 minutes to meet your teacher and see the classroom.  When you arrive we ask that you park in the back parking lot with the entrance off of Wright Road.  We ask that for Open House only the kindergarten student and two adults attend.  Please arrive with masks and your temperature will be taken before proceeding to the classroom.  We would also request that you bring student supplies at this time.  We will not be allowing parents into the building to walk students to class once school starts and while we WILL have someone available to meet and escort your child to class in the mornings, we understand it may be comforting for you to show your child where to go ahead of time.     


    13) KINDERGARTEN VIRTUAL STUDENTS:  On Aug. 19th we will invite our kindergarten virtual students to come out to school for Open House.  Teachers will be contacting families the week prior to set up appointment times for 15 minutes to meet the teacher.  When you arrive we ask that you park in the front parking lot and buzz in at the office.  Temperature checks will be done on each person coming into the building and we ask that everyone have a mask to wear before you are allowed to proceed to the classroom to meet the teacher.  Once you have had your appointment you will come back up to the library in order to check out your device, if you need one, and pick up log in information.  


    We recognize that there may be more questions that you have as we transition back to school in an entirely new way. For more information, please follow Pitt County Schools and Eastern Elementary on Facebook as we will continue to share information. We thank you for your continued patience and understanding.  While school will look different this year, we can assure you that we will do our best to protect, care for, and teach your children.  We are all looking forward to seeing you!




    Robert Johnson


    Eastern Elementary School