Family Handbook 2021-2022 - Pine Tree Elementary School

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Family Handbook 2021-2022 - Pine Tree Elementary School
Family Handbook
          Pine Tree Elementary School
             156 Pine Tree Road Monroe, NY 10950
              (845) 460-6900 - Fax (845) 460-6049
Student Instructional Day begins at 9:20 AM and ends at 3:30 PM*

          *Students should be in their classrooms by 9:15 AM
                    *We begin dismissal at 3:35 PM

                      CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION

                    Mrs. Elsie Rodriguez – Superintendent of Schools
        Mr. Matthew Kravatz- Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
 Mr. Patrick Cahill – Assistant Superintendent for Business and Management Services
      Dr. Eric Hassler – Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
Dr. Bhargav Vyas – Assistant Superintendent for Compliance and Information Systems

                          BOARD OF EDUCATION
                          Mrs. Staci McCleary, President
                        Mr. Michael Ciriello, Vice President
                             Mr. Anthony Andersen
                                 Mr. Don Beeler
                               Dr. Sergey Koyfman
                                 Mr. Jamell Evans
                             Mrs. Suzanne Donahue
                                Mrs. Dawn Tauber
                               Mr. Daniel A. Ezratty
                         Omer Mosker (student member)

                            Mr. Bryan Giudice – Principal
                      Mr. Timothy Martin – Assistant Principal

                                  Main Office
                        Mrs. Nancy Lux – School Secretary
                           Ms. Ursula Campo – Typist
                        Mrs. Kathleen Szynkowski - Typist


Pine Tree Elementary School                                                  T: (845) 460-6900
                   156 Pine Tree Road, Monroe, New York 10950                                   F: (845) 460-6049
                   Bryan Giudice, Principal               Timothy Martin, Assistant Principal

September 2021

Dear Pine Tree Families

On behalf of the entire Pine Tree faculty and staff, welcome back to school as we are gearing up for an
outstanding 2021-2022 school year! Our staff has worked very hard preparing for this upcoming school
year and we are ready to provide students, our children, with the best education every single day of the
school year. We are continuing with the philosophy that one of our goals is to nurture growth
academically, socially, emotionally, and physically throughout the school year. We also believe that it is
important for the team of adults, parents/guardians, teachers, and administration continue to always work
together with the children’s best interest always at heart. Together, we all can nurture our Pine Tree
students as they mature and develop the foundational skills which will support them in future years - living
up to our motto, “A Great Place to Grow!”

Please consider the many opportunities our Parent Teacher Association has to offer. Joining and actively
participating throughout the year with PTA events helps all children. Parents and guardians are welcome
and we encourage all to join the PTA annually in support of our children. Many of our PTA executive
board members are fifth grade parents and we are looking for second and third grade parents/guardians
to start considering becoming an executive board member. The PTA is truly a labor of love and all efforts
are rewarding when we see the smiles of our children’s faces throughout the year regardless of the PTA
activity. Many events are listed on the school calendar as well as on our “Daily Bulletin” on
PowerSchool. Additionally, becoming a member will place parents/guardians on an email group that
provides further information about upcoming PTA opportunities. Pine Tree PTA does a wonderful job for
our learning community and administration continues to be forever grateful as a result of the efforts that
are put forth annually.

This Family Handbook is intended to provide families with important information regarding our Pine Tree
School. This handbook should be reviewed at the start of the year and throughout the year as necessary.
Our staff recognizes the importance of excellent communication between home and school. Students
achieve much more when we are all on the same page and working together. Should you have any
questions, please feel free to contact me or my Assistant Principal by phone, email, or visiting the main


Bryan Giudice                                                Tim Martin
Principal                                                    Assistant Principal                              

Health, Safety and Security

The Monroe-Woodbury School District, its Board of Education, and its staff continue to
make a commitment to the safety of all its students, staff and faculty. District
publications such as our Code of Conduct, Board of Education policies, procedures and
school building regulations assist all of us in knowing what is in place and what the
expectations are. Every K-12 student, parent and staff member will be given the
information necessary to ensure that our schools, buses and activities remain safe and
secure. The Pine Tree staff works together to comply with school-wide safety rules. While
some of them may cause minor inconveniences, the mission of Safety First is

The Olweus program will provide a continuous, sustained district-wide effort to reduce
bullying issues.

The District is fully compliant with the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA). The Monroe-
Woodbury Central School District strongly supports a school climate that is safe and
welcoming to all students. The District recognizes that physical, emotional, social and
cyber-bullying, harassment or intimidation can jeopardize student academic
achievement and undermine their physical and emotional well-being and may provide
retaliatory violence. For these reasons, Monroe-Woodbury is committed to working
towards eliminating bullying/harassment with a strong immediate response to any
bullying/harassment incident as follows:

      Taking disciplinary action
      Providing emotional and psychological support for the victim
      Counseling intervention for the bully
      Maintaining procedures for conflict resolution
      Publicizing reporting procedures
      Monitoring school climate
      Ensuring that curriculum and pedagogical strategies foster respect.

No student shall be subjected to harassment by employees or students on school
property or at a school sponsored function; nor shall any student be subjected to
discrimination based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national
origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender
identity, or sex by school employees or students on school property or at a school
sponsored function.

School Safety Procedures
Parents are familiar with the school procedures regarding school closings and delayed
openings. Other situations could, and have, resulted in the school district implementing
protective actions to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.

The District and each school building maintain school safety plans which detail response
procedures for possible emergencies. The plans are available for review at the office of
the Director of Health and Safety. The protocol for emergency response varies based
on individual circumstances. When conditions warrant an emergency response, local
law enforcement collaborates with district and building administration to determine the
most appropriate response based on the circumstances of the incident.

*Finally, with dismissal beginning at 3:35 PM, parents will be allowed to wait for dismissal
in the main entrance, starting at 3:15 PM.

School Closings and Delayed Openings:
Examples include inclement weather and Homeland Security Emergencies. Parents
should monitor the MWCSD website and radio/television stations. Parents should
monitor conditions at home. Listen to the following radio stations for specific details. OR

      WRRV 92.7 FM                     NEWS TALK 1220 AM                WRNN CH. 8
      WGNY 98.9 FM                     WPDH 101.5 FM                    WNBC CH. 4
      WSPK 104.7 FM                    WCZX 97.7 FM                     WHUD 100.7
      WLNA 1420 AM                     WBNR 1260 AM

Early Dismissal:
Early dismissal of the students and staff can occur due to emergencies such as
inclement weather, power outage, fire or law enforcement activity.

Homeland Security Emergencies
During Homeland Security Emergencies, students cannot be sent home if a responsible
adult is not present. As a result, the student will be sheltered at a designated location
that will be protected by District personnel and law enforcement agencies. When a
responsible adult is available, the student can be picked up. Parents should not attempt
to pick up children from school unless this is the normal practice. Parents should monitor
the MWCSD website and radio/television stations as they do for snow closings. Try not to
phone the school district since this can tie up phone lines needed for emergency
response. Parents should have an early dismissal plan in place to ensure that their
children will be received by a designated responsible adult. Each child should be aware
of his/her arrangements and emergency plan.

Parents can enter information regarding phone numbers or email contact that will be
used with our Parent Notification System. At the bottom of the Monroe Woodbury
website homepage (, select “Closings & Delays” under the
Community link. Preferences can be chosen on the Parent Portal, which is also available
on the link.

Students are dismissed early as per the following schedule:
    High School 10:30 AM
    Middle School 11:30 AM
    Elementary Schools 12:45 PM (Including Pine Tree Elementary)
    K-1 Schools 11:50 AM
Please review with your child what he/she should do in the event that they are dismissed
early and no one will be home when they get off the bus.


As directed by guidance from the CDC, unvaccinated students are required to wear
                           facemasks while on the bus.

The Monroe-Woodbury administration, teaching staff, and transportation professionals
work together to provide the safest possible bus transportation for all students. In
addition to handling the vehicle safely, our school bus drivers are proactive in making
the bus ride a pleasant experience. The Transportation Department employs the same
focused anti-bullying program, “Olweus.”

The Monroe-Woodbury Transportation Department is responsible for picking up and
dropping off your child at his/her bus stop at the assigned times. However, it is very
important that you have an emergency plan set up, with which your child is familiar, in
case you are unable to meet your child or they are dismissed early from school.

***As of now, transportation is only allowing students to get dropped off at their own stop.
If your child is not taking his/her regular bus home, or is getting off at a different stop, it
is required that we receive a note from the parent/guardian. We cannot allow a student
to ride a different bus without written permission from the parent. This includes if your
child is going to a friend’s house or a babysitter’s house. Please send a note to your
child’s homeroom teacher if you previously sent in a permanent note (e.g., your child
goes to scouts on Tuesdays or you pick up your child for religious instruction on Thursdays)
and you want your child to go home on his/her regular bus instead.

Parents are responsible for the conduct of their children while they walk to/from school
and while they are waiting for the bus and returning home from their designated bus
stop. It is the responsibility of the parents or guardians to make sure that the student is
waiting at his/her designated bus stop on time or to assure that the student arrives to
school on time if they are walkers or getting dropped off. In addition, parents should
review with their child the rules of proper behavior while riding on the school bus. These
rules include but are not limited to:

• Students should be seated promptly when entering the bus, and should stay
         seated except at the driver’s request. The driver has a right to establish a
         seating plan and to change it at his or her discretion.
       • Loud, boisterous, profane or vulgar language will not be tolerated. Improper
         conduct such as teasing, tripping, hitting, etc. is not allowed. The rules for
         proper conduct in the classroom also apply to the bus.
       • Windows will be opened only with permission from the driver.
       • The students should stand or walk only when the bus has come to a complete
       • No eating or drinking is allowed on the bus.
       • Parents of students who damage or deface a bus shall be held liable for such
       • Students should accord the same respect and cooperation to the bus driver as
         they do to their classroom teachers.
       • Improper behavior on the bus may result in an assigned seat or suspension of
         transportation services.

Student Drop Off/Pick Up
The safety of all children is our primary goal. In order to minimize risk, we ask that the
following guidelines be followed.
    • Families driving their child to school should follow the signs marked “student drop
       off area” through the visitor’s parking lot, around the fencing toward the edge of
       the front sidewalk. The front of the building is for buses only during arrival and
    • If you need to pick up your child at the end of the day, please park in the visitor’s
       parking area and follow the crosswalk to the Main Entrance.
    • Parents will be allowed to wait for their child(ren)’s dismissal in/around the main
       entrance starting at 3:15 PM.
    • Students with notes to be picked up will be dismissed to the Main Lobby at the
       time indicated on the note sent into the homeroom teacher. Please be sure to
       have proper picture identification in order to sign your child out.
    • Parking is not permitted in the bus slots directly in front of the building, between
       9:30 AM and 2:30 PM.
    • When dropping students off at arrival, if you must get out of your vehicle to walk
       your son/daughter across the lot, please use the designated crosswalk.

Health Services
A variety of health services are provided to Monroe-Woodbury students. These include
vision, hearing and scoliosis screenings, provision of medication or treatment,
emergency first aid, and assessment of symptoms that occur during school hours.
Health Office staff also monitor immunization status and assist with state mandated

Reminders to Parents/Guardians:

      1. Students must bring an absence note when returning to school.
      2. Inform the Health Office of any significant medical concerns or changes in
         health status of your child.
      3. For the safety of your child and other children, parents/guardians should bring
         medication on their own during the school day. All medications – prescription
         and over-the-counter – must be accompanied by written health provider
         authorization valid for the current school year and also signed by the parent
         or guardian. All medications must be in their original, labeled containers and
         must be brought to the Health Office by the parent or guardian.
      4. Students needing to be excused from, or have modifications to, their physical
         education programs must have written verification from their health care
         providers. Students excused from physical education will not be allowed to
         participate in outdoor recess.
      5. Children who have a fever of 100oF or more or who have been vomiting should
         stay home. Have your child evaluated by your physician if you suspect a
         contagious disease.
      6. Homework requests for an absence of two days or more may be called into
         the Main Office prior to 11:00 AM to allow teachers an opportunity to prepare
         your child’s work. The work can either be sent home with a neighbor or picked
         up in the Main Office after dismissal (4:00 PM). Family vacations during regularly
         scheduled school time may interrupt the learning process. Advise teachers
         well in advance if you have travel plans that require your child to be absent.

Emergency names given to the nurse's office only give us permission to call these
contacts in the event that your child is ill and we cannot reach you. It does not allow
these individuals to pick-up children whenever they choose unless we have received a
specific note from the parent/guardian on that day. If you would like someone to be
able to come for your child whenever the need arises, a permanent pick-up note may
be written. In that case, please realize that we will not call you to confirm that your child
is being picked-up by your designated person.

School Meals
The Monroe-Woodbury Food Services offers a breakfast and lunch program at Pine Tree.
Lunch includes an entrée, salad, fruit, and a beverage. Children may visit the snack bar
and purchase water, ice cream or cookies. Students eligible for free or reduced lunch
are automatically eligible for free or reduced price breakfast. Breakfast and lunch
menus are sent home at the beginning of each month and are also available on the
District website.

If you wish to prepay your child’s meals, the cafeteria will keep a record of their
spending account. Send a check, made payable to Monroe-Woodbury Food Services,
and include your child’s name and homeroom teacher. You can also use for an additional option to replenish the spending account. Periodic
statements of account will be sent home with your child, upon request.

Parents are welcome to join their children for lunch (This may be subject to change as
a result of new guidance, resulting from COVID). Specifically, parents may join their child
for lunch two times per each trimester. Please be mindful that Cafeteria space is limited.
In keeping with the district’s healthy food theme, please bring a brown bag lunch or
enjoy one of the cafeteria’s specials.
Providing lunches for any other student is not permissible. In the event school is on an
early dismissal or late arrival schedule, time and space is limited, and parents will not be
able to eat with their child.

Parents are encouraged to send a nutritious snack with their child to school for
classroom snack time. Snacks should be non-sugared and follow the district guidelines
in the Healthy Schools Initiative. Also, since many children have allergies to certain
foods, all classrooms will be designated “Tree nut/Peanut-Free.” The sharing of snacks
is not allowed. Please follow the guidelines on snacks from your child’s teacher.

Clubs and Activities

Pine Tree is also the place where students will make new friends, have a chance to try
out new things, and have fun. Their classroom will be like your home during the school
day but there are many exciting ways to have fun outside the classroom, and students
will learn so much. Let’s see what some of them are:

    School Store – students will work in our school store, which sells paper, pencils,
     and pens – and you can visit it to purchase items to use at school.

    School Post Office – students in all grade levels will participate with our post
     office. All students can write and send letters to anyone in our school. However,
     our grade two students and teachers will operate the post office.
 Newspaper Club – this club is for fifth graders. Students will write and print a
     newspaper several times a year. Thee copies will be available on the Pine Tree

    Drama Club – our fourth, and fifth grade drama club students work diligently at
     the start of the year. They work on a school play and then perform the annual
     play for parents, classmates, and friends in November.

    Art Club – what an exciting club and the fifth grade students in this club make
     our school so much more beautiful. Check out the mural in our main hallway –
     the Art Club made it!

                                                         th     th
    Odyssey of the Mind – a special program for 3rd, 4 and 5 graders. One team
     will select problems they have to solve – usually by building something or writing
     their own play. Original solutions are performed in front of judges in late winter.

    5th Grade Student Council – meets throughout the school year and is composed
     of 5th grade students. The Student Council helps share students’ ideas, interests,
     and concerns with teachers and administration. They will help plan for school-
     wide activities, including social events and community projects.

    Chess Family—this club is open to all grade levels. Students have an opportunity
     to learn and play the game of Chess with other students in the building.

    Patriot Club—this club is open to all grade levels. Students and families who
     have been impacted by deployment, meet and share experiences with each
     other, while receiving support from the school and other resources. Several
     events will be planned during the year for students to participate in.

    Reading/Book Club – for our avid 3rd 4th and 5th grade reading fans!

    Advanced Orchestra and Band-select clubs for our 5th grade music students.

    Garden Club- for students in third grade interested in how gardens work.

Extended Day Program

The YMCA Club Kid program at Pine Tree is a before and after school program
sponsored by the YMCA. The program is available from 7:00 AM until school starts and
from school dismissal until 6:00 PM. You can reach the YMCA at 344-9622, Ext. 237 for
additional information.

Student Internet and Computer Usage
All families will be emailed the “Student/Parent Consent Form”, which will outline the
district’s policy for student use of computerized informational resources, which includes
a “District Media Release” form, among other things.

The parents are required to sign only if they want their child to be exempt from any
media release. It should be returned to your child’s homeroom teacher. Please call the
Pine Tree main office with any questions about this form.

Expectations for Student Behavior

The Monroe-Woodbury Central School District is committed to providing a safe and
productive learning environment for all students, faculty and staff. To that end, our
district supports a progressive discipline model with a three-level approach to student
management: prevention, intervention and after-care. It is the obligation of our district
and our community to help students gradually increase their responsibility for
appropriate behavior.

The New York State Legislature enacted Project SAVE, Safe Schools Against Violence in
Education Act, in July 2000. This legislation required that schools develop specific plans
to address a number of safety and educational issues.

Our plan includes:

School Safety Plan
Each school has a BERT (Building Emergency Resource Team) Plan. This plan outlines
who and how staff members are to respond to safety issues that may occur in a school

K-12 Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct establishes the standard for appropriate conduct in school and
on school property. A copy of the Code of Conduct can be found in the Appendix.

Anti-Bullying Mission Statement

The Monroe-Woodbury School District strongly supports a school climate that is safe and
welcoming to all students. The district recognizes that physical, emotional and social
bullying, harassment or intimidation can jeopardize students’ academic achievement

and undermine their physical and emotional well-being and may provoke retaliatory

For these reasons, Monroe-Woodbury School District is committed to working towards
eliminating bullying/harassment with a strong immediate response to any
bullying/harassment incidents, taking disciplinary action, providing emotional and
psychological support for the victim, counseling intervention for the bully, maintaining
procedures for conflict resolution, publicizing reporting procedures, monitoring school
climate and ensuring that curriculum and pedagogical strategies foster respect. Our
Olweus initiative will provide our school with the universal philosophy and expectations
related to peer relationships.

Student Dress Code

All students are expected to dress appropriately for school. Our focus is on maintaining
a safe environment where students can do their best learning. When selecting clothing
for school, please remember that student attire should not interfere with the day to day
functioning of the classroom or infringe upon the general health, safety and welfare of

 Sneakers with hidden wheels are a safety hazard and are not allowed in school. These
sneakers may only be worn if the wheels are removed. Flip-flops and sandals present
safety concerns on the playground and on stairs. Please encourage your child to wear
sneakers or other closed shoes. Clothing with inappropriate phrases or pictures should
not be worn to school. The length of shorts and skirts as well as the types of shirts students
wear should be appropriate for a learning environment. Short shorts, tank tops, spaghetti
straps and half shirts are unsuitable for school. Clothing must cover the midriff. School
clothes should be comfortable, but not distracting from work. During the colder months,
students should wear pants, jackets and suitable clothing to stay warm.

Cell Phones

If you want your child to bring a cell phone to school, it must stay in their backpack and
be turned off during the instructional day. If children need to call a parent during the
instructional day, they must use the office phone. The school takes no responsibility for
the loss or damage of any child’s cell phone, or any personal communication device.

Electronic Games, iPods, Electronic Devices

These items are not allowed to be in use during school, unless it is a district owned
device. If your child wants to use these devices on the bus, they must be kept in their
book bags during the school day. When bringing any valuable items to school, including

card collections, your child takes a chance they might be damaged or lost, so please
take this into consideration. The school accepts no responsibility for loss or damage to
any such items that students may elect to bring to school, and we strongly advise that
they not be brought to school at all.

Trading Items

Children are not allowed to trade or sell items that they bring to school (toys, candy,
gum, cards, etc.)


If you need to purchase a new backpack for your child, please keep in mind that the
bags on wheels can be very difficult going up and down stairways and getting on and
off the bus.

We appreciate your support regarding these rules and are happy to discuss any
particular concerns you might have relative to this topic.

Academic Expectations

The New York State Board of Regents has established higher standards for all students.
To reach the New York State Learning Standards, assignments will challenge students to
demonstrate their knowledge and skills in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science
and Technology, and Social Studies. New York State has adopted learning standards for
all students grades K-12. These standards will help align New York State schools to
provide a shared set of clear educational goals, particularly for English language arts
and mathematics. There is a great deal of information on the New York State Education
Department website, and to see some of the most frequently asked questions, you can

New York State Assessments
Grade 3
English Language Arts and Mathematics

Grade 4
English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science

Grade 5
English Language Arts, Mathematics
Support Programs for Special Interests or Needs
Every child has different needs. The Monroe-Woodbury School District recognizes the
rights of each child to receive services based on his or her academic, physical, and
emotional differences.     Speech classes, counseling services, adaptive physical
education classes, physical and occupational therapy, testing, and special education
services as necessary are part of the everyday program at Pine Tree Elementary School.

Each year students’ needs and interests change. As children mature and develop, a
well-rounded educational program exposes them to a wide variety of opportunities in
order to accentuate talent or interest and/or assist remediation for areas that may need
strengthening. Monroe-Woodbury is cognizant of the differences in student growth and
development and meets individual needs with support programs both on a state-
mandated and student elective basis.

Second Grade – Academic Intervention Services provide support in reading and math for
those students experiencing difficulty in their regular classroom settings. In the spring, ALL
second graders are screened for possible invitation to the formal EXPAND program
which would begin in Grade 3. However, all students in each grade level will have
opportunities to work with the EXPAND teacher.

Third Grade – Academic Intervention Services in reading and math continue to be
offered for students eligible. Chorus is part of the music program for all third graders.
The formal EXPAND program begins for those who qualify. However, all students in each
grade level will have opportunities to work with the EXPAND teacher

Fourth Grade – Academic Intervention Services are provided for those eligible. Chorus
is an elective for students who choose to participate. This year also provides students
with the opportunity to take instrumental music lessons and participate in Band,
Orchestra, and/or Chorus. The formal EXPAND program is offered to those who continue
to qualify and express an interest. However, all students in each grade level will have
opportunities to work with the EXPAND teacher

Fifth Grade – Academic Intervention Services are provided for those in need. Chorus is
an elective and instrumental music lessons, in Band and Orchestra, can continue for
students who have an interest in pursuing their musical education. The formal EXPAND
program continues to be an option for those who qualify. Additional activities are
offered through the Gifted and Talented program to all students.

As part of each grade level experience, assemblies and visitors to the classroom may
be scheduled. These special activities are designed to make units of study more
meaningful to students. These “real world” connections are often the elements of the
school years that children never forget!

Special Area Subjects

Art, Music, Physical Education, Library, Health and Computer

Art Education is part of our K-8 program for ALL students. Pine Tree provides art classes to
second graders once a week. An additional art class is added sometime during the
year to focus on the needs of second graders to continue their fine motor skill
development. Children in grades 3-5 have their art study once a week. This gives our
older children an opportunity to complete a unit of study, which often integrates art,
and/or humanities with content currently being researched throughout the school year
in their other classes.

Music Education is also part of our K-8 program for ALL students. Similar in format to our art
program, music is scheduled once a week throughout the school year. Along with this
unit of study, our third through fifth grades have Chorus opportunities. All Third grade
students participate in chorus. Fourth and fifth grade chorus is optional. Grades 4-5 have
an instrumental elective of choice in Band or Orchestra. Music education provides a
wonderful way to introduce children to culture throughout the world.

Physical Education is offered twice a week for each grade level. The program focuses on
physical growth and development, social interaction, physical fitness, and an
introduction to the rudiments of competitive and lifetime sports activities. Along with
this sequential physical education for ALL students, an adaptive physical education
plan is in place for students with special needs.

Library Education is designed to help our students recognize the library as the “hub” of all
research and study. By the time our students are in the fifth grade, they are expected
to access information from a variety of resources, take notes, outline and develop
through to a finished copy, a research paper based on a theme or unit of study. All
library efforts, beginning with our second graders, are to that end. Pine Tree students
should be as comfortable in the library as they are in their own homes!

Computer Education is primarily focused on developing keyboarding skills, word processing
literacy, and using a wide variety of software to provide individual practice
opportunities for specific content areas. All students in Monroe-Woodbury are required
to complete a research paper each year. This gives students the opportunity to
integrate their reading, writing, library, and computer skills. Second graders will, once
again, be taught Computer Education by the Computer Teaching Staff.

Health Education focuses on the knowledge, skills and attitudes essential for making
responsible, lifelong health-related decisions. All topics are covered in an age-
appropriate manner. Topics that may be covered include: self-esteem, feelings, stress
reduction, peer pressure, drug abuse prevention, medication safety, disabilities
awareness, personal body safety, abduction prevention, communicable diseases,
nutrition, dental health, body systems, health consumerism, safety and first aid. Topic
emphasis varies according to grade level.

                               SCHOOL WORK AT HOME

        Homework is designed to fulfill one or more of the following purposes:

                              REINFORCE daily class work
                                PROMOTE responsibility
                                   DEVELOP habits
                             FOSTER independent learning
                           PRACTICE skills previously taught
Children all over the world have responsibilities. Pine Tree Elementary students
demonstrate self-directed learning skills by having homework assignments completed
on time and finished neatly, accurately and completely. Parents can help by valuing
the homework process, providing a place for children to work, reading all notes and
communications sent home, and taking an interest in the topics studied. Expressing
interest, taking time to talk to your child(ren) about assignments, and words of
encouragement from parents are the best known motivators for student success.

You will hear more about homework at our fall open houses. Please contact teachers
if you have questions. Reviewing the homework information contained in the Student
Handbook with your child should help make “homework” time a positive experience.
Should homework take longer than 45 to 75 minutes, please contact your child’s
teacher to further discuss.

Assignment Books

Each child will receive an assignment book, which should travel between home and
school each day. Your child will record his/her assignments and any notes concerning
short/long-term projects.

If your child is unable to complete an assignment within the recommended times, you
should write a note to the teacher in the assignment book. In addition, if you need the
teacher to contact you for any reason, the assignment book is a good way to do so.

Student Attendance
The Monroe-Woodbury Attendance Policy Summary is sent home with students on
opening week. Please review it carefully and return the “acknowledgement” section
to your child’s homeroom teacher.

*The Pine Tree Elementary student instructional day begins at 9:20 AM and ends at 3:30
PM. We begin dismissal at 3:35 PM.

Tardiness: A major emphasis has been placed on school attendance and arrival time
by our faculty and administration. While we understand that there can be extenuating
circumstances, repeated absences and tardiness deny your child a structured routine
of daily practice, academic learning, and special area instruction (Art, Music, Library
only occur once a week, with Physical Education twice). Tardiness is especially difficult
in a structured school environment. A child arriving late needs time to acquire a late
pass from the Main Office, then time to settle in while the rest of the class is already
engaged in a lesson or activity. We believe that consistent attendance and arrivals are
critical to the academic success of all students. Students have the best opportunity for
success if they are in their classrooms by 9:15 AM.

Early Dismissal: While we realize there are times when an early dismissal is necessary,
please keep in mind that when students are picked up at or before 3:30 PM, they are
deprived of:
                                Shared literature time
                                Classroom instruction
                                Homework preparation
                                Closure and reflection on the day’s learned
                                Band/orchestra/chorus
                                Small group attention

Because reflection, either individual or whole class, helps students pull their thoughts and
experiences together and increases their level of understanding, removing them early
truly interferes with their educational development. This is also disruptive to the other
students in the class. (Students who are frequently late or absent will receive follow-up
from administration to help resolve issues surrounding their absenteeism.

Starting this school year, NYS Education Department has set the threshold of tardy
and/or absent 10% of the school year as excessive. School administration will be
contacting parents should your child be tardy/absent more than 10% of the school year.

Parent Conferences
Report cards will be issued three times per year. There are six parent-teacher
conference days planned for the 2021-2022 school year, which will be managed by the
Pick-A-Time online scheduling program. Check the school calendar for the dates of
parent-teacher conferences. During the conference, parents will have an opportunity
to review their child’s progress, see samples of writing, and discuss assessment data.
Ultimately, by having the parent-teacher conferences during the “trimester”, students
will have opportunities to improve their final report card grades as there will still be
several weeks before grades are due.

As always, the conference is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to continue to
strengthen our home/school partnership and connection. Please remember that we
encourage you to contact your child’s classroom teacher whenever you have
questions or concerns. Pick-A-Time information will be sent home several weeks prior to
parent-teacher conferences to assist with scheduling.

Report Cards

Pine Tree Elementary Trimester Dates 2021-2022:

1st Trimester- September 4 through December 6
2nd Trimester- December 9 through March 20
3rd Trimester- March 23 through June 26

Pine Tree Elementary Parent- Teacher Conferences 2019-2020:

Tuesday, November 9th- Evening Parent Teacher Conferences
Friday, December 3rd- Half Day Parent Teacher Conferences
Tuesday, December 7th- Evening Parent Teacher Conferences
Thursday, March 10th- Evening Parent Teacher Conferences
Friday, March 18th- Half Day Parent Teacher Conferences
Wednesday, March 23rd- Half Day Parent Teacher Conferences

As always, teachers will continue to be available throughout the year at any time as in the past.
Administration will also be available during school hours to discuss the progress of your child’s

Teacher Gifts
No staff member is allowed to receive any gifts, including holiday or end of year, having
a value of more than $75. Parents are encouraged to show appreciation by a card or
written note. A donation of a book to your child’s classroom library or a small gift to
charity may be acceptable alternatives. Taking a class collection of gifts or money/
lottery cards is not permitted.

Here Are Some Great Ideas:

Everyone sends in a flower or favorite candy.
Create an appreciation book where each student makes one page.
Everyone sends in one item related to a theme.

Student Birthday Celebration
Every child’s birthday is a special day at Pine Tree. During morning announcements,
students celebrating a birthday will have their names announced. Also, students
celebrating birthdays will have an opportunity to visit Pine Tree administrators for a
special birthday gift. Students who have birthdays in July and August will be announced
in June. Our district’s Health and Wellness Policy has recommended that a classroom
birthday celebration take place one day each month for those students who have a
birthday within that month. Your child’s teacher will notify you of when they will hold the
monthly classroom birthday celebration to allow families an opportunity to provide
donations for their child’s special day. Please do not send in gift bags for students in the
classroom. Teachers are not permitted to provide class lists and or contact information
for your child’s birthday party invitations. If you are dropping off items for a class
celebration, we ask that they be left at the Greeter’s Desk. Our student delivery helpers
will gladly deliver items to the appropriate classroom.

Pine Tree Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

Our PTA has a long history of providing special programs and activities for all our
students. These include cultural/curricular programs by professional performing groups
and individuals. All grade levels have multiple opportunities throughout the year to see
these wonderful performances. In addition, our PTA sponsors and coordinates our Book
Fair, Holiday Boutique, Art Expo, Spring Fest, and many other programs that enhance
our students’ experiences at Pine Tree.

You will be receiving much more information from and about our PTA. Please join this
wonderful group and become an active participant. Our PTA and its members truly help
to create a nurturing and enjoyable school community for all of us.

For your convenience the Pine Tree PTA can also be contacted through e-mail at the
following e-mail address:

                            2021-2022 PTA Executive Board
             Title                            Names
             President                        AnnMarie Colabella-Kaiser
             Co-Vice-President                Andrea Abrignani
             Co-Vice-President                Lauren McElroy
             Treasurer                        Eva Sefer
             Corresponding Secretary          Christina Maddalone
             Recording Secretary              Dina Andren

District Calendar and Quarterly School Newsletter

Please utilize the district calendar provided to all families to help you stay informed of all
district and building activities and programs. In addition, our website and the Parent
Portal’s Daily Bulletin are maintained daily and are wonderful resources for up-to-date
information. We will also be sending out a school newsletter at the end of each trimester
to keep you updated with all events happening at Pine Tree Elementary School.

**Important ** Anyone needing to update or register for PowerSchool Parent Portal can
check the link, posted on the districts home page, under MW Quick Links, located on
the right hand side of our district homepage.
*In regard to the parent portal, each parent will need to obtain their student(s) Access
ID and password. Please call the Pine Tree main office with any questions.

  Pine Tree- a great place for children to grow!


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