Weekly Update

  1. Check the Weekly Calendar for assignments, due dates, and our class schedule!
  2. #DoGoodFromHome Challenge – Design for Change and Hasbro are leading a national campaign to capture how kids are trying to support those in need at this difficult time.  How are you “doing good from home?” Post your how you might be supporting neighbors, health care workers, family, or friends.
  3. Reminder: Next week is Spring Break! Online classes will resume Monday, April 13th.

Have a great week!

Counselor Update

The Exploris School Counselor Corner

During these uncertain times, lots of information is everywhere on the Internet about COVID-19 and what to do and where to go. It can be very overwhelming to find what you are looking for. We created a site to help families navigate family resources and social/emotional support during this time. 

You can click on the link above or access it from The Exploris Website under: Student Services

Please reach out to us directly by email for questions:

Michelle Duncan: michelled@exploris.org

Lori Mauro: lmauro@exploris.org

Please note we will be setting up counseling support to students via online- Stay tuned to the counselor page for details.

Sixth Grade Digital Learning Plan

Hello Exploris 6th Grade Families,

We hope that you are well and enjoying some downtime together! We miss you already and are thinking of you always!

Your 6th-grade teachers have been working hard to transition to a digital learning environment and we are excited to begin! Please read the attached Digital Learning Plan document (including ALL hyperlinks!) Hopefully it will outline the requirements and expectations as we sail these unchartered waters. Please understand that in these times of uncertainty, we are evolving and will continue to modify plans as needed.

The word of the day is “grace” as we all move forward and work through these plans.

Please email your crew teacher with any questions and we will also go over these expectations on our first Digital Learning Day (Thursday 3/19/20).

 6th Grade Digital Learning Plan

ELA Updates

*This announcement was posted in ELA Google Classroom*

Happy Saturday! It’s going to be a beautiful day! Loren and I wanted to update you with some things you can be working on over the teacher workdays. See the list below:

  1. Finish reading The Lightning Thief.
  2. Complete focus question for Chapter 22. (Assignment posted in ELA Google Classroom)
  3. When ALL of your focus questions are complete, please turn them in. All focus questions should be turned in by Thursday morning.
  4. Begin No Red Ink lesson for this week: Embedding Quotations and Formatting Titles
  5. Complete typing reinforcement lessons. (Posted in Tech and Reflect Google Classroom)

Let us know what questions you may have! Remember, for NRI, complete the lesson first and take notes on a Google Doc or piece of paper.

More to come next week! “See” you online in a few days!

COVID-19 Updated From Ellie

March 13, 2020 

Dear Exploris Community,

The impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has had significant impacts worldwide and is causing us to take unprecedented steps to balance our educational mission with the health, safety and well-being of our entire community.  It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this morning to inform our school community that together with the Exploris School Board we have determined that we will be transitioning from in-person instruction to a digital learning environment next week.  While there are not any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our school community, we believe that it is important for us to be proactive in supporting the community effort to reduce the spread of the virus and implement policies that will protect our students, staff, and community. 

Public health officials and the CDC have recommended social distancing strategies and the cancellation of large group gatherings in an effort to curtail the exponential growth of the pandemic.  Our school has been preparing for this possibility over the last two weeks and begun the process for developing digital learning plans and identifying family needs for technology and other school supports needed during a transition away from in-person instruction.  Today, teachers will practice digital learning instruction to ensure students are familiar with some of the digital tools that will be utilized, understanding that technology strategies will continue to evolve.

Friday, March 13, 2020 will be the last in-person school day for students. Online learning will begin on Thursday, March 19, 2020 for students and continue digitally through April 3, 2020.  School will be closed as scheduled for spring break from April 6, 2020 through April 10, 2020. At this time, we anticipate resuming in-person instruction for students on April 13, 2020.  We will continue to monitor and evaluate the timing based on how the situation evolves.

School will be open for staff from Monday, March 16, 2020 through Wednesday, March 18, 2020 for teacher workdays so that we can offer professional development on digital learning tools and allow our teachers to more fully prepare lessons for the transition to digital learning.  Crew teachers will be communicating directly with students and parents to discuss the plans, instructional strategies, and timing for the online learning experiences and expectations.  Teachers will be delivering instruction, grading student work, monitoring student attendance, and communicating with families throughout this digital learning process to ensure that we collaborate together to support your child. 

We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate through this transition. The info@exploris.org  email and attendance@exploris.org will be monitored for general questions and attendance reporting needs.  We recognize that this will be a challenge for many families and appreciate your support and cooperation.  We are confident that together we will weather through this storm and bond together to support one another. Please feel free to reach out to your crew teacher, school counselor, or an administrator if you need additional support for your student or family.  My deepest wish for the health and well-being of your entire family. I look forward to seeing everyone again soon.

Warmest regards,


Please complete survey ASAP!

Hello parents! In light of recent events the administration is asking that we have an understanding of each families unique technology needs in the event school is closed. While we are not certain that there will or will not be school closures, it is important that we have a plan in place if school is closed. Even if school is closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 learning will still take place on digital platforms. That said, we need to know if families will have access to specific types of technology. Please complete the survey below ASAP!!!


Weekly Letter

March 11, 2020

Exploris Grade 6 Weekly Letter


Date:  Thursday, April 30

Rain Date:  Monday, May 4

Volunteers are needed 8:30 – noon (shifts will be available).  Stay tuned! Contact Leslie for more details and/or continue to watch for updates.

SLOTS OPEN FOR KODA CARE!: Help take care of our class pet over the weekends! Please sign up if you would like to care for Koda, our hedgehog, over a weekend or vacation! She is a pretty low-key pet, nocturnal and a bit of a loner, but it can be a fun experience and lesson in responsibility! Her cage is rather large (about 4 feet long and 2 feet wide), so you’ll need a big enough space to transport her. Thank you for your help!! Sign up here: Koda Sign-up

STEM FAIR: The 100 Black Men Triangle East Chapter, MBK Durham and PAGE of Wake County are presenting a STEM Fair on Saturday, March 21, 2020 @ 9:30 AM – 4 PM for students in grades K-12. This will be an exciting and informative day of STEM lessons and activities, informative panel discussions from educators, engineers and medical professionals, and an inspiring message from Tony Parham, Fidelity investments VP for Innovation and Strategy.  Registration is open to the public at a cost of $18 for each session including lunch. Scholarships are available. Contact Dereck Rabun (dereck.rabun@100mte.org) before registering to receive a promo code which provide a 100% discount for each ticket. To register for the event go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/super-saturday-academy-2020-tickets-86286785097   

8TH GRADE SERVICE LEARNING HELPING REFUGEE FAMILY/DONATIONS NEEDED: An 8th Grade service learning group has taken on a refugee family from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It has been hard for them since they have been in a refugee camp for 20 years as well as being stuck in a country that has some very bad war and political issues. The DRC has also been ravaged with major diseases, which is why it is important that we get them everything they need to have a healthy home life when they arrive here in the U.S.

We have created a Sign Up Genius with the stuff they need, if you have any of these please donate and get this family what they need.  If you have an item that has already been donated, please pay it forward to other Raleigh families and donate to the Green Chair Project.

PLEASE HELP KEEP THE GERMS OUT OF OUR CLASSROOM! Help keep our classrooms clean and germ-free!!! There are many slots open for classroom cleaning on Friday afternoons. This would take 20-25 minutes after school on Fridays. Sign up here!

Sixth Grade Lunch Coverage: The PTO is trying something new! As you know, at Exploris our teachers don’t get a break from supervising children during lunch. We would like to give them a chance to eat in peace/ do something else/ have a meeting/ or catch up on paperwork during lunch sometimes! For this to work out we would need 4 adults to volunteer to be with the kids from 12:15-1:15 on duty free lunch days. Sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050849aeaf2da4fa7-6thgrade


Headphones: This is another reminder that students should have headphones/earbuds at school with them each day. Please check in with your child to ensure that they have them!!!! 

Sixth Grade Classroom Amazon Wishlist: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3FSP7H7WHS60O?ref_=wl_share Thank you for your support! We greatly appreciate your contributions to our classroom!

Rag Cleaning: Take home Friday after school and return clean on Monday! Sign up here!

Reading is awesome! Feel free to order new books throughout the year from Scholastic. Click here to order books from scholastic! Our class code is: L6VMN

Homework/Weekly Requirements:

Access the student google calendars for google classroom by clicking on each link. You can then add these calendars to your own:

          ELA              MATH               EXPEDITION           TECH AND REFLECT                

Monday3/9Teacher Workday
Teacher Workday


Photosynthesis/Agrarian Civilization Test Review due
Read Chapter 20 and answer FQ (FQ posted on ELA GC)
Khan- complete 20 minutes
Photosynthesis/Agrarian Civilization Test
Chapter 20 FQ due
Read Chapter 21 and answer FQ
Khan-20 minutes

Dungeons and Dragons Club 3:15-5pm 
6th Grade Math Help Hall 3:15-4:00
Model UN
Battle of the Books 
Chapter 21 FQ due
The Lightning Thief Quiz: Chapters 20, 21, and vocabulary
Typing lesson due-”Important Facts”
40 minutes of Khan due by end of day
Elective #2


Important Dates (Exploris CALENDAR)

Monday, March 9 and Tuesday March 10 – Teacher Workdays

Spring Break – Friday, April 3 (3:15pm) – Tuesday, April 14 (8am)

Friday, May 15 – Teacher Workday

Monday, May 25- Memorial Day Holiday

Monday, June 1-Friday, June 12-EOG Testing Window

Friday, June 12 – Graduation (10:30 am), early dismissal

Friday, June 12 – End of Third Trimester, last day of school

6th Grade Contacts

Loren Kent loren@exploris.org

Kathryn O’Neal koneal@exploris.org

Devon Rose devon@exploris.org

Shawna Scipione shawna@exploris.org

Brianne Calvert bcalvert@exploris.org

Kelly Fauth kelly@exploris.org

Who’s Who at Exploris?

Jamie Butler – Art

Sharon Cuffe – Exceptional Children’s Teacher

Michelle Duncan – School Counselor

Jill Hemingway – Interventionist

Paula Mancini – Exceptional Children – Teaching Partner

Mary Margaret Moffitt – Development Coordinator, but mostly just about anything you need!

Michael Gilbert-Singletary – Student Services Manager – Attendance

Deborah Brown – Associate Director of the Middle School (6-8)

Michelle Parkerson – Instructional Coach

Ellie Schollmeyer- Executive Director

Leslie Payne – Health and Wellness

Christina Franklin – World Cultures

Harry Huntley – World Cultures Teaching Partner



Clubs and Extended Care Program:

  • Allies – Mary McWay
  • Cross Country (Aug-Oct) – Adrian Findlay
  • Contemporary Art Museum docents – Shawna Scipione
  • Dungeons & Dragons – Cris Preble 
  • Science Olympiad – Helene and Emily 
  • Green Team – Devon Rose 
  • Model U.N. – Cori Greer-Banks
  • Improv (Nov-Jan) – Jeri Donovan Livengood 
  • Soccer (Jan-Mar) –  Shannon Hardy
  • Yearbook  – Jessie
  • Student Ambassadors – Paula Mancini 
  • Battle of the Books – Devon and Loren
  • Japanese Exchange (August Visit) – Cori Greer-Banks, Jessie Francese
  • Ultimate Frisbee – Sandi Mayo