Principal's Message

Photo of School Principal Stacey Merritt

Hello Southwood Families,

Welcome to a new exciting and productive school year. I look forward to working with you on this journey of accelerating student academic achievement.

Orange County Public Schools has moved to Skyward. For parents and guardians, this means that you will no longer use Progress Book and Parent Access to view your student’s information. Family Access is the parent portal that will allow you to see your student’s grades, attendance, schedule, and other important information.


A new website has been established to provide parents and guardians with the latest information on Skyward. Go to the main OCPS webpage ( and then select “Students and Parents” from the top menu. Then click on “Skyward”. You can go to this website anytime you would like to check on communications or other information about Skyward. This website includes how you will register for a LaunchPad account to access Skyward Family Access, along with the documentation on how to use the Skyward Family Access system (both will be found in the “Documentation” section).


LaunchPad is essentially a portal site that will provide you with automated access to different OCPS systems that parents and guardians will utilize – such as Canvas. The registration process for LaunchPad uses your mobile phone number or email address that you have on file with the school in our current student information system. If your mobile phone number or email address has recently changed, and you have not notified the school, you will want to do this so you can complete your registration in LaunchPad. 


A huge thank you to all of the families who have honored arrival and dismissal procedures.  As a reminder students are not allowed on campus until 8:15 a.m. There is no adult supervision until 8:15 a.m.; students cannot be left unattended during this time.  If you need information about before-school care, please contact the school. Gates are opened at 8:15 and closed at 8:43.  Students will need to go to the office with parents/guardians after 8:43.  The tardy bell rings at 8:45.


Please be aware we have two car areas for arrival; PARK AND WALK, and CARLOOP.  If you chose to use the PARK AND WALK area, please park in an open space and walk your child to the gate.  Please don’t leave your car unattended in the lanes of traffic. If you chose to use CARLOOP, turn left at the school entrance and your child will be greeted at the loop as they exit your car. 


As a reminder, when there is heavy rain at dismissal, walkers and bike riders will be sent to the media center.  Parents of walkers and bike riders must sign students out from the office after showing proper identification. When the rain stops or is a light drizzle, remaining students are walked to the dismissal gates and released as normal.  Car riders will be dismissed as usual from the carpool lane. They will not be released from the office.


For more information about dismissal, please see the daily agendas.  As always, thank you for your continued support.



Stacey Tanenbaum





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