Pine Tree Family Handbook

Pine Tree Elementary School logo

Family Handbook 2019-2020

Pine Tree Elementary School
156 Pine Tree Road Monroe, NY 10950
(845) 460-6900 – Fax (845) 460-6049
E-mail: [email protected]


Student Instructional Day begins at 9:20 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m.*

*Students should be in their classrooms by 9:15 a.m.

*We begin dismissal at 3:35 p.m.


Academic Expectations
Cell phones and electronic devices
Clubs and Activities
Code of Conduct
Computer and Internet Use
Delayed Openings
District Administration
Dress Code
Drop-off and Pick-up Procedures
Early Dismissal
Early Pick-up
Extended Day Program
Health Services
Health, Safety and Security
In-school celebration
Parent Portal
Parent Teacher Conferences
Pine Tree PTA
Quarterly Pine Tree newsletter
Report Cards
School Closings
School Meals
School Safety Plan
School Safety Procedures
Special Area Subjects
Student Behavior Expectations
Student Support for special interests or needs
Trading items
Welcome letter


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
Mr. Bhargav Vyas – Chief Information Officer

Mr. Jonathan C. Huberth, President
Mr. Daniel A. Ezratty, Vice President
Mr. Anthony Andersen
Mr. Donald Beeler
Ms. Lorraine Carroll
Mr. Christopher DiLorenzo
Mrs. Suzanne Donahue
Mrs. Staci McCleary
Mrs. Dawn Tauber
Ms. Maeve Harrington (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

[email protected]

Letterhead for Pine Tree Elementary School

September 2019

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 2019-2020 school year! Our staff has worked very hard since last April 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 office.


Bryan Giudice
[email protected]

Tim Martin
Assistant Principal
[email protected]

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 accomplished.

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

WCZX 97.7 FM
WBNR 1260 AM
WGNY 98.9 FM
WHUD 100.7 FM
WLNA 1420 AM
WPDH 101.5 FM
WRRV 92.7 FM
WSPK 104.7 FM


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.

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 a.m.
  • Middle School: 11:30 a.m.
  • Elementary Schools: 12:45 p.m. (Including Pine Tree Elementary)
  • K-1 Schools: 11:50 a.m.

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.


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.

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 stop.
  • No eating or drinking is allowed on the bus.
  • Parents of students who damage or deface a bus shall be held liable for such damage.
  • 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 departure.
  • 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 the main entrance starting at 3:15 p.m.
  • 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 a.m. and 2:30 p.m..
  • 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 physicals.

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 a.m. 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 p.m.). 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. 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 four times a year. Everyone receives a copy.
  • 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!
  • Odyssey of the Mind – a special program for 3rd, 4th and 5th 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 military deployment, meet and share experiences with each other, while receiving support from the school and other resources. We have marched in parades and spearheaded a Valentine Day card writing campaign for deployed soldiers.
  • Reading/Book Clubfor 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.

Parents/guardians 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 setting.

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 on the district website: Monroe-Woodbury K-12 Code of Conduct.

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 violence.

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 others.

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. 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 access

 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.



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 p.m.


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 a.m.

Early Pick-up/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 p.m., they are deprived of:

  • Shared literature time
  • Classroom instruction
  • Homework preparation
  • Closure and reflection on the day’s learned information
  • 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 2019-2020 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 2019-2020:

  • 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:

  • Thursday, November 14th – Evening Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Tuesday, November 19th – Evening Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Wednesday, November 20th – Half Day Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Tuesday, March 3rd – Half Day Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Thursday, March 12th – Half Day Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Thursday, March 19th – Evening 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 academics.

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 fifth grade 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: [email protected]

2019-2020 PTA Executive Board

President – Kelly Paulsen
Vice-President – Eva Sefer and Iantha Lasoce
Treasurer – Lauren McElroy
Corresponding Secretary – Katie Aprea
Recording Secretary – Francesca Ross

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.

Parent Portal

**Important ** Anyone needing to update or register for PowerSchool Parent Portal can check the Parent/Student Portal link, posted on the district’s home page, under 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. To receive those codes, parents/guardians must bring photo ID to the Main Office. Please call the Pine Tree Main Office with any questions.

Pine Tree- a great place for children to grow!

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