Friday Notes, 6/4/21

Dear Panther Families,

It’s been great to congratulate our Kindergarten graduates over the past two weeks and I look forward to having a chance to say “goodbye” to our 5th Grade Panthers next week as they move onward and upward to middle school. Thank you to all the teachers, support staff and parents who continue to collaborate to help honor the perseverance and hard work of our students! Every Panther student has overcome unprecedented obstacles this year as we continue to learn together.

Don’t forget about these important reminders for next week:

– The Panther PTO is hosting “Chalk-the-Walk” next Tuesday, June 8th, from 5-7 PM. I’m looking forward to enjoying some phenomenal student chalk art on the Parkwood-Upjohn property!

June 10th is a half day of school for students with classes being held only in the morning.

June 11th is our last day of school for the 2020-2021 school year and also an AM-only half day.

Thank you for partnering with Parkwood.

Have a great weekend,

Mr. Murray

Friday Notes, 5/28/21

Dear Panther Families,

I hope the power has stayed on where you are today and that you are warm and dry. Several teachers are experiencing power outages at this time and I know that a great many students are as well. We understand if the effects of these outages are interfering with students’ abilities to attend all classes today. Above all, make sure to prioritize staying safe. The school currently has power so feel free to call us at 337-0720 if there is anything we can help with at this time.

As you look forward to enjoying the Memorial Day Weekend do note that:

1. There is no school this coming Monday, May 31st.

2.  You are all invited to the Panther PTO’s Chalk the Walk event on the Parkwood-Upjohn sidewalk from 5-7 PM on Tuesday, June 8th. 

3. June 10th and June 11th are both 1/2 days of school (AM only).

4. The last day of school for students is June 11th.

Have a fantastic Friday,

Mr. Murray

Friday Notes, 5/21/21

Dear Panther Families,

I have enjoyed seeing so many of you at our recent in-person events and I know that students are enjoying catching up face-to-face as well. The social and emotional needs of all students (and adults) are important and in-person connections are an essential component of meeting those needs. Do note that masks are still required at all KPS in-person events at this time. 

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for;

May 31st – Memorial Day (no school)

June 8th – Chalk the Walk by the Panther PTO: All students are invited to show off their artistic skills at this in-person, outdoor chalk art event!

June 11th – Final Day of School (half day)

Thank you for partnering with Parkwood-Upjohn!

Have a great weekend,

Mr. Murray

Friday Notes, 5/14/21

Dear Panther Families,

It was great to see so many of you at our PTO Lemonade Stand on Tuesday! It was not just a well attended event but a well planned opportunity for students to connect at the playground. Thank you so much to our PTO for their long-standing and steadfast support of students throughout this year of unpredictable change.

Next week, teachers will begin leading your child through Spring NWEA Testing. Over the next two weeks all students will complete computer based assessments at home in Reading and Math. NWEA testing gives students an opportunity to show their growth. Thank you for ensuring that your child is able to focus and work independently on these exams under the guidance of Parkwood-Upjohn teachers.

Thank you for continuing to partner with Parkwood!

Have a great weekend,

Mr. Murray

Friday Notes, 5/7/21

Dear Panther Families,

Thank you to all of our students and parents who were able to stop by Parkwood-Upjohn to say “Thank You” to our teachers this week! The thoughtful and heartfelt signs on our front lawn are both heartwarming and a testament to the care and concern of our learning community. A special thank you to our PTO Board for making this activity possible by providing all of the supplies and a lot of coordination. If you haven’t had a chance to make it up to the school for supplies, make sure to stop by today to add to this inventive and meaningful community Panther Project.

I also hope you can join us in-person for a PTO Lemonade Stand this coming Tuesday, 5/11/21, from 6-7 PM! Come join other parents and students for an outdoor, socially-distanced PTO meeting and a glass of springtime lemonade. Masks will be required.

Also, please note that NWEA Spring MAP testing for both Math and Reading will be administered beginning the week of May 17th. Just as in the Fall, these tests will be administered virtually, at-home, by your student’s teacher. Beginning next week, please look to your child’s teacher for specific testing dates and times. 

Have a great weekend Panthers,

Mr. Murray

Friday Notes, 4/30/21

Dear Panther Families,

It was great to see many of you at our Spring Seeds event this past Saturday. Also, I want to extend a special thank you to our Parkwood Cub Scout students as well as Scout Pack 234 for their contribution to the event by cleaning up and mulching our community gardens. They look fantastic! If you were not able to brave the rain to pick up a seed kit from our fabulous PTO, feel free to stop by the office and take one home.

Another great reason to stop by the school next week will be to show your appreciation for Parkwood-Upjohn teachers! The PTO is stocking our office with sign-making supplies that we would love for you to use. Simply;

1. Pick up yard-sign supplies from the school between 8 AM and 4 PM

2. Make a beautiful teacher-appreciation yard sign

3. Place the sign in the front yard of the school so our teacher and community members can enjoy seeing it when they drive by!

Thank you PTO and thank you to our amazing teachers!

Have a great weekend Panthers,

Mr. Murray

Friday Notes, 4/23/21

Dear Panther Families,

Thank you for helping your student continue to grow holistically as we move through the third and final trimester of the 2020-2021 school year. It’s been great to both see academic growth this Spring through remote learning and to catch up with students and parents at the in-person events we have begun to hold at the school.

We also hope you all can join us tomorrow for the Panther PTO’s Spring Seeds event at the school from 2-4 PM. When you arrive, you are welcome to stay on-site to start your plants or take them home. Make sure to dress for the weather, wear a mask, and practice social distancing. The Spring Seeds event is a great way to extend your child’s learning beyond the classroom!

We also want to help all families plan for the 2021-2022 school year. Dr. Raichoudhuri will be holding two more town hall Zoom sessions to discuss learning options for next year. Click here to find out more information. Please note that participating in virtual, remote learning for next year requires families to “opt-in” to distance learning by May 3, 2021. 5-day-a-week, in-person learning is the default learning option for all Parkwood-Upjohn students next year. Certainly, you can always reach out to me with questions by responding to this email or by calling 269-337-0720.

Have a great Friday, Panthers!

Mr. Murray

Friday Notes on Thursday, 3/25/2021

Dear Panther Families,

Thank you for engaging with your child’s teacher through Parent-Teacher Conferences as we celebrate achievements over the first two trimesters of the school year and plan for a successful conclusion of the final trimester. The first day of Spring Break is tomorrow, March 26th. The first day of class after break will be Monday, April 5th. School offices will be closed during Spring Break.

During Spring Break I hope you will have time to help your student engage in a Reading Panther Project from the Parkwood-Upjohn Librarian – Ms. Yerden-Ferguson! Also, take note of the following upcoming events:

April 7th: Virtual STEAM Night from 6-7 PM

April 10th: Spring Craft Day: Join the Parkwood-Upjohn PTO for a seed planting adventure! Check out the PTO Facebook  page for more details. Also, the PTO is looking for board members. Contact if you are interested.

April 12th – April 16th: Student Supply Pick-up. Come to the Parkwood-Upjohn office between 8 and 4, Monday through Friday to pick up essential supplies to support your child’s learning. Please feel free to contact me by responding to this email if you have questions.

Lastly, if your child’s Chromebook is not running as efficiently as before, try these Computer Spring Cleaning Tips.

Have a fantastic Spring Break,

Mr. Murray

Friday Notes, 3/19/2021

Dear Panther Families,

Thank you so much for a successful start to our final trimester of the school year at Parkwood-Upjohn! A team effort has helped our students maintain strong attendance and engagement throughout the year in all of our learning options. We appreciate the teamwork and look forward to continuing this partnership with you through the end of the year. As we move into the Spring, don’t forget about these important events and reminders:

1. Spring Break begins Next Friday (March 26th) and runs through April 4th. Parkwood-Upjohn offices will be closed during that time. If you still have a Letter of Intent to return, make sure to physically turn it into the school office by next Thursday or email it to

2. Get ready for a Virtual STEAM Night on April 7th from 6-7 PM! Details about the engaging activity list will be shared before Spring Break.

3. Details will also be shared soon from our PTO about the exciting Spring Craft Day at Parkwood-Upjohn on Saturday, April 10th! Also, if you would like to find out more about being a part of the PTO Board, please contact Co-President Ashley Boza at or via the Parkwood PTO Facebook page.

4. KPS Food Services will be providing a 7-pack food distribution on Tuesday, March 23th and Thursday, March 25th. Parkwood-Upjohn is a distribution site and will operate from 11:30-12:30 both days next week.
There will not be food distribution during the week of Spring Break.

Finally, take time to check out this week’s Panther Project Idea from Ms. Roberts – one of our awesome Kindergarten teachers. Creating a “Tornado in a Jar” at home is a lot of fun but doesn’t take a lot of work!

Enjoy the weekend,

Mr. Murray

Friday Notes on Thursday, 3/11/2021

Dear Panther Families,

It was great to see so many families at our Kindergarten and PEEP Orientation yesterday! If you or someone you know is still interested in finding out more about Pre-K or Kindergarten at Parkwood-Upjohn for 2021-2022, feel free to share my email ( or have them call 269-337-0720. The school office is open from 8-4, Monday through Friday for parents to complete Pre-K through 5th grade registration and turn in Letters of Intent. As always, the best way to reserve a seat for a child at Parkwood-Upjohn is to register early!

Also, don’t forget about the following upcoming events:

Friday, March 12: No school for KPS students.

Wednesday, April 7th: Panther Virtual S.T.E.A.M. Night from 6-7 PM

Saturday, April 10th: Spring Craft Day at Parkwood-Upjohn. Be on the lookout for more information from the Panther PTO soon!

You can also check out this week’s Panther Project Idea on “How to Catch a Leprechaun” from the 2nd Grade Teaching Team and the Social Emotional Lesson Review from Ms. Collins, our Behavior Specialist.

Finally, make sure to check out two amazing ways to support Parkwood-Upjohn by partnering with our PTO;

1. Purchase NEW Panther Pride Attire. 100% of the proceeds go back to our students and you get some really cool swag!

2. Contact the PTO Co-President Ashley Boza at or through the Parkwood PTO Facebook page if you are interested in serving on the PTO Board.

Have a great weekend Panthers,

Mr. Murray