Hello Murray Families,
Back-to-School: Back-to-School is September 23rd from 4:30-6:30pm. This year, it is entirely virtual. We are asking families to join sessions via Zoom. Please select time slots to meet with your child’s teachers by using this Sign-Up Genius menu. On Wednesday, September 22nd, families will receive the Zoom links in order to attend these forums.
Fall Growth Assessments Reminder: A short reminder that the Virginia General Assembly introduced a new expectation for state assessments in elementary and middle schools. The purpose of these new assessments is to measure students' growth and progress in reading and mathematics content standards. Based on this legislation, students in grades 3-8 will be taking a Virginia Growth Assessments (VGA) this fall.
For fall 2021, the VGA will focus on identifying potential learning gaps resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Most ACPS students in grades 3-8 will take VGAs in the subject areas of reading and mathematics. Questions cover content that would have been taught in the previous grade level.
VGAs must be taken at the school under supervision of school staff. This week, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade Murray Elementary students will take the VGA on September 14th and 15th. If you have any questions, please contact Laura Richardson, Murray’s Testing Coordinator (LRichardson@k12albemarle.org).
Breakfast and Lunch Reminder: Weather permitting, students will eat breakfast and lunch outside. (As it grows cooler, please be sure your child has appropriate outerwear while at school.)During inclement weather, students will eat in the cafeteria 4-5 feet apart while facing one direction. Breakfast is served from 7:45am-8:00am. Lunch hours are from 10:25am-1:00pm.
Picture Day: Picture Day is coming on October 5th. Please mark your calendar.
Traffic: Thank you for supporting the drop-off and pick-up process. Through our collective efforts, we are able to begin class nearly at 8:00am and dismiss at 2:28 daily. Hurray!!!!
As we continue to improve processes on campus, please also be mindful of foot traffic on Morgantown Road. There are several families that walk the short distance from their homes to school.
As always, thank you for reading and go Mustangs!!!
Dear Murray Families,
Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year! We are thrilled to have 264 students return to face-to-face instruction. It is my hope that this message, which is chock-full of helpful information, will provide you with necessary insight as we prepare for a successful school year.
New Staff Members:
Each year brings positive change. This includes a few additions to our staff. We are delighted to welcome:
• Julia Conceison (Music)
• Karin Constant (Counselor)
• Tyler Dodson (Teaching Assistant)
• Karen Grenadier (School Nurse)
• Erica Hanson (PE)
• Amy Hepler (Early Childhood)
• Jamie Hinson (Teaching Assistant)
• Cate Little (Teaching Assistant)
• Vikki Mayberry ( Kindergarten Teacher)
• Yeshe Sheehy (Teaching Assistant)
Breakfast and Lunch:
Breakfast and lunch will be provided at no cost to all students again this year. Weather permitting, students will eat breakfast and lunch outside. During inclement weather, students will eat in the cafeteria 4-5 feet apart while facing one direction. On days your student would like breakfast, they should let their teacher know upon arrival and report to the cafeteria. Students will grab breakfast and return to class after eating. Breakfast is served from 7:45am-8:00 am. Lunch hours are from 10:25am-1:00pm. If your child would like to receive a school lunch, they should inform their teacher. Teachers will take lunch orders in the classroom every morning. Lunch periods will begin earlier this year to allow for proper spacing and distancing. Consequently, we ask that you send a larger snack for children to have throughout the day during snack periods.
In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19, our school will follow Albemarle County Public Schools’ mitigation measures as developed and updated based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the Blue Ridge Health District (BRHD), and local medical professionals. Please review the division’s most current Mitigation Strategies Webpage for information regarding:
• Daily COVID-19 Screenings
• Physical Distancing
• Hand Hygiene
• Cleaning and Disinfecting
• School Meals
• Visitor Policy
• Management of Illness as School
• COVID-19 Response Sequencing and Procedures
Please remember, all students must stay home when sick, wear a face mask in school, and maintain as much physical distance as possible while on campus. (Please review the COVID-19 slide deck) Additionally, if your child has not had to wear a mask often, it may be beneficial to start mask training at home prior to the start of school. It will take all of us (students, staff, and families) to support a school environment which continues to be safe and welcoming. #UNITEDEFFORTS
Meet the Teacher:
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are offering staggered Open House sessions. If you have not signed up for a slot, please feel encouraged to do so here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c094ba8a72fa3fd0-murray1
PowerSchool Parent Portal: The Parent Portal is where you can find your child’s class and bus assignments. An access letter was mailed last week to new families. It contains your username and password to set up your child's new account or add to a previous sibling account. If you are having trouble accessing your account, whether you are a new or a returning family, you may reach out to Cdodson2@k12albemarle.org for assistance. The portal will open on August 17th at 4:00pm.
Sign up for Murray Matters, our PTO newsletter, and receive the latest parent updates via email. Please visit the PTO site to sign up: .V.L. Murray PTO Web Site
Our school supply lists can be found here:
At this time, classroom laptops (grades 3-5) and iPads (k-2) are assigned to students and should remain at school.
Towels: Students should bring a towel with them to school. Each towel should be labeled with your student’s first and last names. In an attempt to take full advantage of our beautiful campus, students will use them to sit on when outside throughout the school day. Towels should travel home on Fridays for a weekly cleaning cycle.
Transportation Information: Bus number and bus stop information is now updated in Parent Portal. Please note, if you need to make any changes or additions it may take up to 10 days to process. If you need a long term alternate stop ( eg., an alternate bus route and stop for childcare purposes) you must fill out an alternate bus stop form. This is available on the ACPS transportation site, or you may reach out to Cdodson2@k12albemarle.org for a copy. At this time, students are not able to ride an alternate bus for the first two (2) weeks of school. This allows division bus drivers an opportunity to learn their students and routes without shifts in their rosters.
We kindly request that every student brings a water bottle with their name on it to school daily. All water fountains are equipped with a bottle filler.
Website: The Murray Elementary website has many useful links to things such as the Parent Portal, ST Math, and the PTO newsletter. It also holds the school calendar. It can be located here: https://mes.k12albemarle.org/
If you have any specific questions, need information about practices, or have the need to speak with a counselor, please do not hesitate to contact us. The front office and I are happy to assist you.Thank you for reading and I look forward to working with you this year.
C’ta DeLaurier, principal
Dear Murray Families,
I am honored and excited to serve as the principal of Murray Elementary this year. I am fully committed to the school and hope to serve the community in future years. It is my goal to continue the legacy of success through collaboration, hard work, and a strong community partnership.
Flexibility, communication, and collaboration will be key in making this a meaningful school year for our students as we continue to navigate through unprecedented times.
As we begin the school year, please note a few dates and actionable steps:
Meet and Reconnect
Community is a critical part of the V.L. Murray culture. I invite you to join me on either July 30th or August 6th from 4:00pm-6:00pm for a Kona Ice snow cone along with a brief hello. We are asking families to sign-up for this event. Sign-Up Genius Link
Open House will be held in-person this year on August 19th between the hours of 3:00pm-5:30pm. This is a chance for you and your child to drop off supplies, see your child’s classroom, and meet their teacher. (Teacher and bus assignments will be available in the Parent Portal shortly before this day.) Since we will be meeting in person, COVID-19 protocols should be observed. While in the building, this includes wearing a mask and maintaining a three (3) foot distance. Again, because of the virus, we are sustaining our safety and mitigation measures and ask for your support in making sure this happens.
Additionally, we would like to limit the number of individuals in the building. To support this effort, we have created a sign-up form to help structure attendance and foot traffic. Here is the link to sign-up for this event. Please choose a time that works for your family. If you have multiple children, feel free to choose multiple slots. Please call the front office if you have any questions.
For your convenience, here is a link to the recommended school supplies list.
The first day of school is Monday, August 23rd.
Please recall that teacher and bus assignments will be available in the Parent Portal shortly before Open House. We’re super excited and eager to start!!!
Communication/Contact Information - Communication remains important. For broad informational purposes:
Beginning in early to mid August:
Please visit the VL Murray Elementary website for general information. (eg., calendar, lunch menus, school directory, school supplies list, principal’s message, PTO link)
Returning families may begin to refamiliarize and use Parent Portal as a resource. Our new families will receive communication from the school with portal log-in information. Families can have access to student information, such as attendance, grades, teacher and bus assignments. At that time, and if you do not already have a Parent Portal account, you can go to https://www.k12albemarle.org/for-families/parent-portal and follow the instructions to create an account. Please make sure family contact information is current prior to the start of the school.
Visit the Albemarle County Public Schools website at https://www.k12albemarle.org/ for the latest information from the division.
I look forward to a wonderful 2021-2022 school year!
Principal, Murray Elementary