Principal Page

Notes from the Principal

Dear Otter River Elementary Families,

I hope this finds you well. Bedford County Public Schools (BCPS) announced changes to the school start dates for students last night. Elementary schools (grades K-3) will open on August 19th, 8:00 am - 1:30 pm. Middle schools (grades 4-6) will open August 20th, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm. High schools (grades 7-12) will open on August 24th, 10:00 am – 3:30 pm. Bedford Connects remote learners start on August 24th. I am attaching three documents added to the BCPS webpage outlining the reopening plan.

BCPS is trying to finalize survey results for transportation and decisions for in person or remote learning. These results will determine how we will establish classes and rosters. Please know that we are still working on these and information is changing daily. Please know that students choosing the remote learning option will still be considered part of the ORES family able to participate in our school events and fundraisers.

I am updating staff placements due to the loss of student enrollment to remote learning, home school, student transfers to other schools, and staff resignations! Ms. Smith (retiring) and Mrs. Grachan will not be returning to ORES for this upcoming school year. I know there will be many more changes that have to be made! There are just too many changes and unknown variables at this point to publish.

There will NOT be a traditional “Open House” due to current safety guidelines. Students and parents will not be permitted into the building prior to the first day of school. We are working on alternative plans for sending papers for parents to complete, meeting teachers, and for getting school supplies to school. We will notify parents when we have finalized these plans. Parents will NOT be permitted to walk their children into the school at all this school year.

Continuous changes are being made as we receive guidance for the State and local school Boards. Bus route times, drop off times, dismissal plans, master schedules and many school procedures are still being developed.

The 2020-21 Supply lists for grades K-3 have been posted on our school’s webpage. This has also been shared with area retail stores. The supply lists for the 4th-6th grades will be developed and published through the middle schools in the near future.

As a reminder, our new buzz in system is in place at the main entrance exterior doors. Parents and the public must be buzzed into the main lobby prior to entering the office. The sign in computer for parents and students is now located in the lobby to help limit exposure and make signing in/out students easier. Visitors will not be allowed beyond the office this school year. This means we will not have volunteers in classes or be able to have visitors for lunch. Visitors coming into the office must wear a mask and have their temperature taken.

We are working through an overwhelming amount of changes for procedures needed at the school. We cannot get answers for MANY of the questions that we still have for the opening of school. We will share information when we feel it is completed. Please be aware that new procedures will have to be modified during the school year based on how they are working for the safety and academic success of our children. We truly appreciate your patience and cooperation as we work through this together.

We continue to register Kindergarten students for the fall! Any child who is five years old on or before September 30, 2020, may enter Kindergarten. Please contact the school (540-586-9210) if you have a child that will be entering kindergarten for the 2020-2021 school year. We would like to send you the forms, answer any questions you may have and set up an appointment for you to bring these to school.

Documents needed for Kindergarten registration:                        

● Birth Certificate

● Updated physical

● Record of immunizations

● Proof of residency (copy of lease agreement, mortgage, or real estate tax statement)

All forms must be completed and returned to the school before the child can begin class in the fall.

You will also need to register online using one of the following links.

NEW KG students who have never been in BCPS before:

PREVIOUS BCPS PK and Head Start students who will be moving up to KG:

Registering for school on time helps every child, teacher, and school to be ready when school begins.

Please contact the school at (540) 586-9210 or email me at if you have any questions. 

ORES Strong!

Andy GreenoughM.Ed.


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