10/19 MM: Yearbook Photos & Reopening Update

Thanks for reading the Monday Minute. We publish this Exploris PTO blog post each Monday morning during the school year.  To submit articles please sent them to news@explorispto.org by 9pm on Sunday. 

  • Summer and Fall photos needed for the yearbook!
  • Reopening Update
  • Passive fundraising for Exploris
  • Upcoming Events

**Remember- Teacher Workday this Friday, October 23- please schedule your conferences **

Social Media Post - CELEBRATING FALL


1.  The Exploris Yearbook Staff is creating pages about Seasons! Remember back to those summer days? Take a stroll down memory lane to a warmer, s-l-o-w-e-r season and click here to fill in a google form to upload pictures and answer a few short questions about your summer. Too far away to remember? We’re also doing a page about fall activities. Click here for a few short questions about your fall activities.  Please fill in the form(s) by Friday, October 23! Miss the pet photos or digital learning? You can always submit those and general photos to this link.


Want to purchase your yearbook for the lowest price of the year? It is $30 only until October 23! Here’s the link for purchasing your yearbook!  


2.  Important Update on Exploris’s Reopening Plans (10/16/20)

Dear Exploris Families:

The sub committee from our summer Reopening Task Force met three times just before and after Fall Break to look at whether or not we could start our transition to Plan B (blended remote and in-person learning) in November. Here’s a summary of our work and plans.

Remaining in Plan C through December: 

  • We will remain in Plan C (remote learning) through December, and will revisit this decision again next month. If the metrics meet our criteria when we examine them again in November, we will begin planning for a return under Plan B (50% of our students on campus at one time) when we start back to school in January. 
  • Unfortunately, the rising cases of Covid in Wake County, combined with much uncertainty about how this virus might spread within our own school building and school community has led to this decision– we do not feel we can safely return to regular in person learning at this time. 

Here are the basic reasons and the metrics for this decision:

  • Wake County Covid rates are rising, not falling or stabilizing
  • Wake County schools are going to partially reopen over the next few weeks, and we would like to see the data from how those larger populations do. Observing those experiences will give us some solid information to know if it is reasonably safe for us to bring large numbers of students into our own buildings. 
  • There are only 3 weeks between the end of the first trimester and the end of the calendar school year, so those extra weeks will be time to get our local data from what happens in other schools while we keep your kids and our staff safe. 
  • Some schools similar to Exploris in our area who have opened up to in-person learning have experienced outbreaks and needed to return to remote learning and quarantine nearly immediately 
  • Flu season is gearing up, and no one is exactly sure how flu and Covid might cause multiple outbreaks in buildings, or how to tell seasonal flu symptoms from Covid and need to quarantine and send lots of kids home.
  • Our air filtration systems have just arrived and are being installed over the next few weeks, along with wall mounted hand sanitizer and materials for signage. We will need a  bit more time (and may be calling for some volunteers!) to help get our buildings ready & safe.

Between now and December:  In order to gather our own data and practice our protocols before opening up to larger groups, every grade level is being asked to plan at least two in-person experiences for every student between now and Winter Break. These are likely to be small groups of 2-10 students who are invited into the classroom or an outdoor location for a specific day, partial day, or lunch, either for an academic activity, some social time, and/or a service project. This will look different from team to team and our teachers are working right now to plan these. Our hope is that these experiences will let us find any challenges in our safety plans, practice the protocols with kids, and generally give us much better data on how our own school buildings, staff, and kids handle the required health measures to keep us all protected. 

As always, these in-person experiences will be optional and students can stay 100% remote throughout this entire school year, as the family deems best for their situation. 

We truly know this is disappointing news for many of our families. Our teachers keenly miss seeing the kids everyday and we know remote learning is a struggle for many kids and families to manage. We appreciate those of you who are advocating for reopening and we know, you are looking for what’s best for your individual family. We also have to advocate for the entire school community, and look at what is reasonably safe for our kids and teachers in the face of an unpredictable and sometimes deadly virus. We are so appreciative of your support and your kind words for our amazing staff and our leadership while we are tasked with these difficult and gut-wrenching choices. 

Best regards,

Deb Brown, on behalf of the Reopening Task Force and the Exploris Leadership Team.

3. 2020-21 Exploris School PTO Passive Fundraising Opportunities

Amazon-Smile-LogoPlease register and participate in these easy fundraisers for our school.  Have you re-linked your grocery cards?  

Click here for the details and links

  • Harris Teeter 
  • Lowes Foods
  • Publix
  • Boxtops for Education
  • Amazon Smile
  • Goodshop
  • Office Depot

4. The Exploris School Directory is online.   Please opt in.

Please list your family in the Exploris School directory!

1) Fill out the Form: Map and Directory Form

2) Use the directory: *Protected: Exploris School Directory


  1. Friday, October 23 – Teacher Workday for Conferences
  2. Wednesday, Nov. 11 – Veterans Day – Holiday
  3. Friday, November 20 – End of First Trimester
  4. Monday, November 23 – Tuesday November 24 – Teacher Workdays
  5. Friday, Nov 20 (3:15pm)- Monday, Nov 30 (8am) – Thanksgiving Break
  6. Friday, December 18 – Early Dismissal
  7. Friday Dec 18 (12:15pm) – Monday, Jan 4 (8am) – Winter Break
  8. Monday, Jan 18 – MLK Holiday
  9. Monday, February 15 – Teacher Workday – Conferences
  10. Friday, February 19 – Teacher Workday – Professional Development
  11. Thursday, March 11 – End of Second Trimester

Thanks for reading the “Monday Minute”!  We publish this Exploris PTO blog post each Monday during the school year.  

If you would like to submit information, please email your text (copy ready), photos, and links to Dana Deaton at news@explorispto.org by 9pm Sunday.