Carter Welcome Letter 2022-2023.docx

Dear Carter Cougar Families,

Welcome Back! 

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer. I also hope you are safe, healthy,  relaxed, recharged and ready to start a new school year. I am so delighted that you are part of our amazing learning community. I welcome and value your positive energy and dedication to excellence in education, and I look forward to working with you and your children.


We are excited to get our students back to school as we fully know that our students' academic and social-emotional needs are best met on site. We are looking forward to another incredible and productive school year. Our skilled and devoted staff is already planning and preparing for your child(ren). Our enthusiastic office team is registering new families, ordering needed materials and updating student files. Our hard working and conscientious custodians have spent the entire summer thoroughly cleaning the facility. And, our much-appreciated PTO is gearing up to welcome families, provide volunteer opportunities, and offer other exciting events and programs. We are indeed a joyous and caring community with the common goals of nurturing responsible, caring students and promoting high-level learning.

New Staff

Each year brings change and this year is no different.  Please join me in welcoming Ms. Laura Andranigian and Nancy Howell to our Kindergarten team, both come to us with many years of experience and are excited to be part of the Carter family.  


Facilities/modernization Update 

Our custodians, besides all of the regular summer cleaning and maintenance, have been working diligently to sanitize all areas of the school to combat COVID, and will continue to make this a daily priority as we progress through the year.   

We have also begun the  ‘modernization’ of our site over the summer.  The project is broken down into several phases, and will take approximately a year and a half to complete.  We are excited about updating our school site, classrooms, and adding a new building, but it comes with some challenges (ex. Teachers having to move rooms mid year so their room can get modernized).  We will continue to share changes as we progress through the school year.  

Safety and security

As always, safety and security are a top priority for us here at Carter.  With the modernization of Carter we are excited about some of the upgrades, such as cameras in several areas of the site, and a ‘buzz in’ system that will be part of the new administration building.  Our district is also in the process of hiring site security guards for every elementary site, and has created contracts with outside agencies, (RCSD, RCFD, and others) to host training for sites and staff.


As they continue to remodel our site, we will remain with a single point of entry through the main office.  All visitors will be required to check in with an ID to access campus or to pick up a student.  We will continue to have monthly drills and conversations with students and staff to be best prepared for all scenarios.  


Student Placement

A great deal of time, effort and thought has gone into the process of student placement for the 2022-2023 school year.  The classroom assignments will be available on Saturday, August 13th through your ParentVUE account. 


Careful consideration was given to input from staff and families as well as student learning styles. Classrooms have been balanced academically and socially. Our class lists are structured to provide equitable class sizes at each grade level. Moving students is difficult without causing imbalances and inequities.


Thank you so much for being positive with your child and helping him or her understand that it is impossible to place all students with a preferred best friend or teacher. ALL of our staff works hard to make school a positive experience for ALL students. Carter Elem. is eagerly looking forward to enriching your child’s life. Thank you for understanding that it can take a few weeks for a child to acclimate to a new grade, peer group and teacher.  


Thank you to all who are helping prepare for the new school year. Your commitment to ensuring that Carter remains a celebrated and successful school is awe-inspiring. I eagerly look forward to greeting students and families again. It remains an honor and privilege to serve as your principal. Please stop by and say hello. Together, I know we will make this school year one of growth and achievement for all children.


Back to school night/meet the teacher:

We will be offering in-person sessions for our Back to school night this year.    This will be a little less formal where you will get a chance to meet your students' teacher, and see the classroom, and learn more about.   In an effort to keep you and our teachers healthy, and allow for smaller groups,  we are breaking our back to school night into several  sessions by grade levels.  This also allows families with more than one student to meet all assigned teachers.  

I am including a ZOOM link to host a PRE back to school night/information this Friday at 5:30.  Topics will include drop off and pick up procedures, first day of school protocols, a review of our Carter handbook for families, and a Q & A session.  


Topic: Principal pre back to school/informational meeting   Time: Aug 12, 2022 05:30 PM Pacific Time Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 859 6164 4153   Passcode: 052624


Back to school night sessions

·       TK-K orientation will be held Thursday, August 11th at 6:00pm This will be a parent only information night, please leave students at home.

·       1st grade and Special ed will be help Monday August 15th at 6pm.

· 4th and 5th grade will be held Wednesday August 17th at 6pm

· 2nd and 3rd grade will be held Thursday August 18th at 6pm

COVID safety protocols:

We were hoping to be completely done with this but unfortunately that is not the case...YET.  Luckily we were able to put multiple safety measures in place last year that we will carry on with such as: new filtration systems on all AC units, upgraded HEPA filters, air purifiers in every room, portable wash stations, and sanitizers everywhere.  Please visit our District or Carter website to review COVID protocols through our COVID handbook. Some positive changes/additions:

·       Masks continue to be optional in all settings.

·       Social distancing will be encouraged, but do not need the 3 foot mandatory spacing in classrooms.  

·       We have hired a half time custodian to sanitize all desks and touch points DAILY. 

Important information and dates:

·       For new registrations please call the office at 760-862-4370. 

·       Online Registration for existing students must be completed the week of August 19 through ParentVue on a laptop or computer; this cannot be done through the ParentVue application. If you need help with your ParentVue account please contact the office.

·       Instruction begins August 18th.

·       Daily schedule changes

o   Gates open at 8:15

o   Instruction begins at 8:45

o   TK-3 dismissal at 3:00

              -Early Release Thursday. /Min. Day 1:45

o   4-5 dismissal at 3:15

-Early Release Thursday. /Min. Day 1:59


Drop off and pick-up procedures.

Please note our dismissal times.  In an effort to mitigate our dismissal challenges, we are staggering release times. Parents of TK-K students will need to park and get their students directly from their teacher at the gate by the front office.  For students in 1st-3rd who ride the bus, or have a sibling in grades 4-5, we will house them in our multi-purpose room for ten minutes and they will be dismissed at 3:15 to get on the bus or join their older sibling.  If you have a carpool set up with multiple grade levels, please let us know and we will make the necessary arrangements. 

This system worked well for us last year.  Our biggest challenge was with upper grade parents who would be in line early to pick up their child (particularly those with lower grade siblings). Please recognize that upper grade students are not released from the classroom until 3:15 and arriving early literally backs up everything.

Another recommendation that would really support this process would be to have your student ride the bus.  We have several pick-up and drop off sites to all areas of our Carter communities.  If you are interested or have questions about steeing this up, or bus routes please call the office and we will support you.

Please see the attached map for routing purposes, and we thank you in advance for your patience.  

In Partnership,

M. Williams


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