Cross Oaks Elementary
Changes to Morning Arrival Systems
August 27, 2018
Frequently Asked Questions
How are the Cross Oaks morning arrival procedures changing?
For the first eight days of the school year, parents of Cross Oaks students have been able to enter the building freely in the mornings before school to walk children to their classrooms. Beginning Monday, August 27th, these procedures will change. Beginning on the 27th, parents will no longer be entering the building to walk their children to class or eat breakfast with them in the cafeteria.
These new campus procedures are identical to the morning drop-off procedures we put into place at Cross Oaks beginning in October 2017. In other words, these procedures will not be new to most Cross Oaks families.
Why are these changes taking place?
All families of students in the Braswell Zone received an email from Jeff Russell, Denton ISD assistant superintendent, on Thursday, August 23rd. As he detailed in this letter, these changes are taking place at all elementary schools across the district to increase the safety and security of our campuses to benefit students and staff.
After initial communication was sent to families from the district the evening of the 23rd, we are sending additional communication to Cross Oaks parents so that all families are prepared for these changes.
What are the options parents have to drop children off at school each morning?
Parents have the opportunity to drop their children off by car at two locations on campus from 7:15 to 7:40 am. The first location is behind the gym using the long driveway at the end of Corral Street, and the second is using the cafeteria parking lot off Liberty Boulevard. When entering this parking lot, cars will form a line in the right lane and stay to the right until they reach the sidewalk in front of the cafeteria. In both drop-off locations, safety patrol students and staff members will be present to open your door and help your child out of your vehicle. Please work with your child to prepare them to exit the vehicle quickly and safely when you arrive at your drop-off spot.
We ask that students eating breakfast in the morning be dropped off outside the cafeteria by car at 7:15 am so they can eat their breakfast and make it to their classrooms on time.
Parents can also choose to park and walk their children to the front entrance of the building from 7:30 to 7:40 am. Parents will say goodbye to their children outside the front entrance of our school, and children will enter the building independently and walk to their classrooms.
Parents of pre-k and PPCD students who wish to walk their children to the front entrance of the school will be met by pre-k and PPCD staff members who will receive their children and keep them in a safe and secure area inside the front of the school until they are ready to walk to their classrooms after 7:40.
Parents are encouraged to choose the morning drop-off option that best fits their needs based on where they live in the Cross Oak Ranch neighborhood.
Although they are not able to walk their children to class before school, are parents still welcome on campus in the mornings?
Absolutely! We are seeking VIP volunteers to serve in the mornings before school from 7:10 to 7:40 am. Whether you are interested in volunteering on a daily basis or less frequently, we want you to be included! We are looking for moms, dads, grandparents, and other student family members who feel called to serve our school and deepen their connection to our school community. All those interested in becoming VIP Volunteers are invited to complete this form: https://goo.gl/forms/u4MBwW5R1RL654cs1. All volunteers are required to first complete a district volunteer application, which includes a background check.
All VIP volunteers who complete the form will be contacted by email or phone so they can prepare for their new volunteer responsibilities.
Will parents be able to eat breakfast with their children in the cafeteria?
Beginning August 27th, Cross Oaks parents will not have the option of entering through the cafeteria or signing in through the office to join their children for breakfast. This change was made during the 2017-2018 school year, and it was supported by our school community in providing the safest and most organized morning routine for our students. It also supported our system of helping all students make it from the gym and cafeteria to their classrooms by 7:40 am when the tardy bell rings.
Parents who wish to be on campus in the mornings are encouraged to become VIP Volunteers. Some VIP Volunteers will assist students in the cafeteria. However, they will be helping with all students eating breakfast, not just their own child.
Can I still come eat lunch with my child at school? Can parents still come for class parties and other school activities?
We will continue welcoming parents and other relatives to come to school and have lunch with their children during their class’s assigned lunch time each day. These procedures will remain unchanged from how they have been in the past. Please verify your child’s lunch time before joining us for lunch for the first time, and please come 5-10 minutes early so that your child has enough time to eat lunch and enjoy your company before returning to class at the end of their lunch period. Parents are still welcome at class parties and other school events such as Field Day and the Fun Run in April. Teachers will continue inviting parents to awards assemblies who have children who are recognized that grading period.
All grade levels will also set aside one day each semester this year to invite families into classrooms during the school day to experience firsthand what their children are learning at school.
How can parents be confident that their children will make it safely to class once they are in the building?
We have highly structured systems and procedures for supervision of students in the mornings before school, and all staff members receive specific training to keep our students safe and monitored. From 7:15 to 7:30 each morning, all students are held in the cafeteria and gym as they eat breakfast and/or wait with their friends. When the first bell rings at 7:30, students will proceed to class in an organized manner one grade level at a time, and students will be supervised continuously by multiple adults in the hallways as they make their way to their classrooms. All classroom teachers will continue standing at their doors waiting to greet students individually and welcome them to class. While 4th and 5th grade safety patrol students will continue assisting with our morning procedures, there will be a heavy adult presence in the cafeteria, gym, and hallways each morning to ensure continuous supervision.
What special systems are in place for our youngest students in pre-k and PPCD?
We will have unique systems for our AM pre-k and PPCD students before school. These students can arrive by car at either drop-off location, or parents can walk them to the front of the school where they will be welcomed by a pre-k teacher from 7:30 to 7:40 am and held in lines before traveling to class with the teacher. Whether in the gym, the cafeteria, or at the front of the school, pre-k teachers and staff will always be monitoring our youngest students. Our pre-k students will be led to their classrooms from each location by multiple staff members, and only after our older students have traveled to their classrooms.
I am a working parent, and walking my child to class in the morning is the only opportunity I have to be involved at school. How can I still stay connected to Cross Oaks and involved in my child’s education?
We encourage parents who have availability from 7:10 to 7:40 am to become VIP Volunteers to become involved by serving our school in a variety of ways. We also schedule multiple parent involvement opportunities outside the school day, including evening family events.
Walking my child to class allows me to have important conversations with my teacher about my child’s academic and behavioral progress. It also allows me to let my child’s teacher know if my child is having a rough morning. How can I communicate these concerns to my child’s teacher and keep informed on their behavioral and academic progress?
We recognize that parent-teacher communication is essential to a child’s daily and long-term success in school. It is very important that parents have the ability to communicate with teachers frequently and in a variety of ways. Although parents will not be having face-to-face conversations with teachers in the mornings before class, every Cross Oaks teacher will have systems this year designed to allow parents to see evidence of their academic and behavioral learning firsthand through technology applications called Seesaw. Through this application, teachers (and students!) can share evidence of learning directly with parents during the school day, and parents have the ability to praise their children for their hard work, provide feedback, and ask questions that challenge them to take next steps in their learning journeys.
Convenient, readily accessible parent communication tools are built into Seesaw that allow parents and teachers to communicate with one another quickly and efficiently through using technology.
We understand and value that there are times when technology communication is not enough, and a face-to-face conversation is needed. Please reach out to your child’s teacher if you like to schedule an in-person conference or phone conversation to discuss your child’s academic or behavioral progress. Parents are also welcome to schedule
appointments through the office to visit classrooms in person to see their child’s learning activities firsthand.
What if my child has a large or fragile class project they need help carrying to class? How will you accommodate parents who need to deliver something to the classroom that children cannot carry on their own?
Parents who are not comfortable sending a delicate project or large item with their child through our car drop-off lines are welcome to bring these to the front office. We will ensure these items are safely delivered to the classroom. This is similar to the system already in place for parents delivering supplies or food for class parties through the front office.
My child wants to go to the computer lab in the morning. How will this work?
Our computer labs are open each morning from 7:15 to 7:38 am for our 2nd - 5th grade students to complete weekly Imagine Math and Istation assignments. When students in these grade levels arrive at one of our drop-off locations and enter the school, they simply need to inform a staff member that they would like to go to the computer lab. Staff will be present in the hallways to ensure these students safely travel to the computer labs from the cafeteria or gym. Students are monitored in the computer labs by staff until 7:38, at which time they proceed to their classrooms. If you would like your child to work in the computer labs before school, please contact your child’s teacher.
My child has separation anxiety and/or a disability, and I am worried about how they will handle this change emotionally while feeling safe in the school without me. What can parents do to help our more sensitive children with this transition?
We understand that these changes may be difficult for some of our students and families, and we are here to help! We want this transition to be as smooth and easy as possible for our students and their parents. Here are some suggestions:
1. Speak with your children about these changes in advance of Monday, August 27th. When having conversations with your children, speak about these changes in a positive light. This is an opportunity for students to build independence and maturity, and we want to celebrate this opportunity for students to grow in their autonomy.
2. Parents are encouraged to remind children there are many adults at the school who have special jobs throughout the building each morning, and that they have a plan for keeping all students safe while they wait in the gym, eat in the cafeteria, and walk to their classrooms. Remind your child that all of the adults in the school have received special training to make sure children are happy and safe.
3. If your child is nervous about you not being in the school in the mornings, consider becoming a VIP volunteer by completing this form:
https://goo.gl/forms/u4MBwW5R1RL654cs1. By volunteering in the mornings before 7:40, your child will know that you are in the building helping with important morning jobs.
4. Remind your child that you can come to visit them at school during lunch or at other special times like class parties and awards assemblies.
Parents are always encouraged to contact their child’s teacher and/or campus administration with any questions or concerns regarding these changes. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if we can be of any assistance!