This web page is a tool for me, as the teacher, to connect with parents, but also a learning tool and resource center for parents and students.
Pine View Survival Guide
Dr. Singleton’s Class
Welcome to Pine View! I’ve put together some important tips to help you navigate your journey while at your school. As always, you can email me with any questions and/or concerns.
*The first day of school I recommend you walk your child to the classroom to help him/her get settled. Give a hug & a kiss and then please be on your way-it helps all of us get our day started on the right foot. After that first day you may escort your child to our building, however, please say your good-byes outside and let your little one make the trip to the classroom on his/her own. This fosters independence early on and leads to feeling confident. It also helps maintain a nice “flow” to our morning. Each child can bring a water bottle to school to keep at his/her desk. Make sure it only contains water, though….no juices or sports enhancement drinks. (Our administration will not be happy with me if they see any stains on the carpet!) Students will need to line up outside our classroom each morning until the bell rings. The initial bell rings at 9:10, the last bell will ring at 9:15. If your child does not arrive in the classroom by the 2nd bell, s/he will be marked tardy. Multiple tardies will result in a conference to remedy the situation. If your child does arrive late due to traffic, car problems, dentist appt., etc., please escort him/her to the Front Office and sign him/her in and you will get a pass from one of the personnel at the desk. The student will then bring that pass to me upon arrival at which point the tardy will be excused.
*Dress Code-I ask that all of my students wear sneakers (with socks) or some sort of closed-toe shoe-(Crocs don’t count). Sneakers are required on P.E. days-if the student does not have them on, s/he will have to sit out that day and will get marked down on their P.E. grade accordingly. Absolutely NO flip-flops, please…they never stay on the child’s feet and the mulch on the playground can be bothersome. I know they’re comfortable, but they just are not conducive to maneuvering our way around this big campus. Girls are not permitted to wear the “spaghetti” style tank tops, anything that shows a midriff, or extremely short shorts/miniskirts. I’m very aware how hot it is at the beginning of the school year, but a dress code is a dress code. Whether you’re 7 or 17 on this campus, you will be sent to the office and asked to change if you choose not to respect these guidelines.
*Lunch! Our lunch period runs from 10:50 A.M.-11:50 P.M. The 3rd graders at our school have two choices when eating lunch. They may eat in the cafeteria (a.k.a. the Student Union) or outside at the elementary picnic tables. Even if a student buys a lunch in the Student Union, s/he can still take it to eat outside at the picnic tables-a bit of a walk with a tray full of food, but they seem to handle it just fine. Lunches cost $2.10 for the elementary students. If you know your child is going to eat a school lunch often, it would behoove you to keep money in his/her account at myschoolbucks.com. You may send in a check for any increment, (checks are always made out to Pine View School), and just make sure your child’s first and last name AND a pin # are on the front of the check. If your child was in a Sarasota County public school last year, s/he will have the same pin # as last year. If your child is new to the public school system, s/he will get a new pin # which they should have a record of in the Front Office. Your child can bring a lunch check in to deposit any morning before school. You’ll want to replenish these funds throughout the year, so please don’t let your child’s account get too low. Students will be permitted to “charge” their meals twice if they do not have any money left in their account, or if they forgot their lunch money on a particular day. Also, we do have a la carte items to purchase (i.e. cookies, ice cream) that range in price from $.35-$2.50. Some parents only allow their child to purchase an a la carte item on Fridays-that’s up to your discretion. Make sure if you do allow for a la carte items you let your child know that that money is for them, not all of their friends. You can write directly on your check if you want all of the money to go just towards lunch or some to the lunch account, some to an a la carte account. (Who knew lunches could be so confusing?!?) Students are allowed to eat with whomever they choose in Grade 3, which is nice if they know someone from a different class. I ask that parents refrain from coming to school to have lunch with their child until after the first two weeks of school. This helps students get acclimated to their new schedules and gives them a chance to socialize with their new friends. So after the first two weeks of school, I’d be happy to see you come to school and have lunch with your little one. You may bring in food from elsewhere if you wish-kids always love that-just please be sure to sign in in the Front Office upon arrival. Other family members are allowed to come and eat with your child-big brother/sister that’s home from college, grandparents, out-of-town guests, etc. If you have younger children, please keep them off the playground while our 3rd graders are on it-we have over 100 students on the playground at one time and I would hate to see a toddler get accidentally injured during our recess time.
*Buses/Parent Pick-Up/Dismissal procedures:
Dismissal is 3:52 P.M.
As Pine View services students from all over Sarasota County, we have more buses than any other school. If your child is a bus rider, I MUST have that afternoon bus number. I will teach the students that first day how to get on the correct bus-it’s quite easy and they get the hang of it quickly. If your child is riding the bus home with an older PV sibling, make sure you tell older brother/sister to meet the 3rd grader at the bus loop-not at a pre-designated place. After that first week the siblings can meet up at a different place on campus, but until then I will be escorting the students at an earlier dismissal time to the buses so as to assure they get on the correct one. If you think your child may start to ride the bus at some point throughout the year, I implore you to get him/her on that bus sooner rather than later. The bus drivers need to know how many seats to reserve on the bus for regular riders. Students put on the bus that first week of school will allow the bus driver to know to keep a spot open for him/her. Riding the bus is really not a “scary” experience for the little ones-I know many new parents are leery of having their child ride the bus, but I always tell my students to sit right behind the driver. All of the shenanigans go on in the rear of the bus.
***If your child is going to ride a different bus home with a friend one day after school for a play date or for an activity, your child will need to submit a Temporary Bus Rider permit form to the office. The forms are available in the office and must be filled out completely with a parent signature or a note from home. No temporary bus rider forms are allowed the first two weeks of school.***
Car riders: If you are going to pick your child up, you have two choices. The most popular choice I’ve found is using what’s called the “shell lot.” Using the shell lot alleviates the long line at parent pick-up. The shell lot is located at the entrance where the buses go in-you’ll see it on the right-hand side as you enter in the bus loop. You’ll park your car and walk up to the covered sidewalk area where your child will be waiting for you. I will walk them to this covered sidewalk area that first week of school, but after that they will walk there on their own (usually with a group of students-many use the shell lot.) We do NOT want students going to meet their parents in the lot…please make it a habit to park and walk up to the covered walkway. Shell lot is not available for drop-off in the mornings-this is for the high school students to use as their parking lot. After 2:30 P.M. the shell lot is open for use. As always, please use extreme caution and watch for pedestrians…absolutely no cell phone use while on campus.
The second choice is using the parent pick-up loop which is located adjacent to the Elementary building. Enter through the main entrance and follow the signs. The pick-up loop is staffed with personnel to assist your child with getting in or out of the car. You will use this loop to drop your child off each day, and you may also use it for pick-up at the end of the day. It does get quite congested (300+ cars moving in and out each afternoon), so please have patience. Arrive early, grab a good book and wait in line if you can. Again, no cell phone use while in the loop. Parking or leaving your car is not permitted in the loop. If you must escort your child into school, please park in a designated visitor space in the Staff/Visitor parking lot.
To sum it all up--you have some choices when it comes to picking up your child after school. I need to know which one your child is using that first week-i.e. bus, shell lot, or parent pick-up loop, or walker. I will be escorting all the students to their designated areas that first week, and then they’re on their own. Most of the students can handle it all by themselves by Day #3! Also, please make sure your child knows how s/he is getting home those first few days. When you send in a note saying one thing, and the child is quoting something else, it can make for a hectic and stressful experience for your child. Your cooperation is appreciated.
*Absences-If your child is going to be absent for a doctor’s appointment, special activity, etc. and will need to be excused from class early, a parent note should be sent with the student beforehand so an office pass can be obtained by the student from the office. You must bring a note to the office before first period (9:15 A.M.) of the day the sign-out is effective. The note should include the following: legal name and grade; destination (dr.appt., dentist appt., airport, etc.); date and time of the appointment; requested time of dismissal from Pine View; approx. time of return to campus, if any. The student will then bring the office pass to me and I will hold on to it until the assigned dismissal time. You will then meet him/her in the main office and sign him/her out. Using an office pass helps with diminishing class interruptions.
If your child wakes up sick and will not be coming in on that day, please call the school (941.486.2001) and let the attendance office know that your child will be absent that day. When your child is well enough to return to school, simply send in a note to the Front Office explaining the reason for the absence, the date(s) that s/he was absent and sign it. I will always work with your child in making up any missed work. You are allowed one day for every day absent to make up the work.
*Extended planned absences-When a student is planning on missing a full day or more due to family commitments, s/he must obtain a PASSPORT. PASSPORTS should be obtained from the front office at least 3 days prior to a full day of absence. A note from the parent must be presented stating the following: student name and grade; purpose of absence; dates of anticipated absence. The note and PASSPORT form are then presented to me. I will use the form to communicate any work the student will be responsible for completing. If given to me with enough notice, I can usually work it out so any quizzes/tests that may be missed can be completed ahead of time. When completed by me, parents must review and sign the PASSPORT and return it to the office the next day for administrative approval. Students will be given 1 day to make-up work for each day absent. Please keep in mind that it is not recommended that students miss any class time. Our instructional pace moves quick and missing school for even a day can put an unnecessary burden on the student.
*Volunteering-I sincerely appreciate the hundreds of hours my parent volunteers give to my classroom and our school. We ask, however, that all volunteers and chaperones be approved by the PV Volunteers office before they are allowed to work with Pine View students. Volunteers must obtain clearance using the computer system available in the Front Office. To chaperone field trips, prior approval through PV Volunteers is required. You must obtain clearance every new school year-even if you volunteered many hours at your child’s last year’s school, you’ll need to enter your name and license into our system again this year.
There are many opportunities to volunteer in the classroom. We have parties throughout the year, art in the classroom, special activities, class historian (picture taker), numerous field trips, and many other opportunities. If you have younger children, kindly keep them home if you wish to volunteer in the classroom. I need “all hands on deck” and younger siblings can be a distraction.
If you wish to volunteer for the school itself (i.e. the fair, fundraisers, jog-a-thon), keep an eye out for flyers sent home detailing volunteer opportunities as well as the monthly issues of the Pine Views. Because Pine View encompasses three schools-elementary, middle and high-there is a constant need for hands-on help.
*Homework-Many parents want to know just how much help to give their child each night on homework. My homework requirements are minimal-about only 30 minutes a night. Students should be completely comfortable with any math assignment prior to taking it home and the spelling/language arts assignments shouldn’t be ones they can’t do by themselves. I do expect each child to read for 15-20 minutes a night, also. If you’re finding that you need to “sit” on your child each night in order to get the homework done, we need to talk. I expect you to look over your child’s work and assist them if they have an incorrect answer. I expect you to encourage them to do homework that looks nice and has thoughtful effort put into it. I expect neat handwriting, neat coloring, and organized thinking to be demonstrated by the student. Make sure your child puts his/her homework in their backpack and teach them to double check their backpacks each morning before leaving for school. All of these skills need to be taught-please don’t assume they’ll just “know” it. Remember, they’re only 8 or 9 years old…they’re working an entire grade level above each day and they’re going to be tired at night. We’re asking a lot of them….we can help them by guiding them gently. If they forget their homework once in a while, which they will, it’s OK! If it becomes a chronic issue, we will meet and talk about it. Help them by teaching them how to organize their workspace at home, organize their backpacks, and check themselves before they leave each morning. It will make a difference in the long run.
*Communication with Dr. Singleton-The entire school uses the Agenda Book here at Pine View. It is a sort of daily planner for students. Every student will get one on the first day of school-for free! I use this Agenda Book as a consistent tool for organization and communication. We write our assignments in them daily and I use it as a communication vehicle between home and school. Parents are required to initial them nightly and students are required to bring it to school and home each day.
I also send home the “Friday Folder” each Friday. This folder will hold all of your child’s papers (i.e. graded homework, in-class work, quizzes, tests) done throughout the week and any school-to-home communication. Parents need to empty and review classwork in the Friday Folder, sign the agenda, and return both each Monday.
Another form of communication I use is my webpage: http://www.Vicky.Singleton.educatorpages.com or you can go to Pine View’s website (www.pineviewschool.com) and search for my last name under “Teachers” and it will direct you to my webpage.
I do not send home a hard copy of a newsletter each week. I update my webpage every Friday, and I put on special assignments, test, etc. as well as any pertinent information that you’ll need to know under Classroom News. There is a calendar of important dates and events, and I also post the schedule for our specials’ classes (art, music, P.E., computers, and Spanish) so you’ll know each week when gym class is and the proper rotation for specials. I’m always available by email at (Vicky.Singleton@sarasotacountyschools.net) -you’ll get a quicker response from me by sending an email rather than phoning me. I’ll try to respond within a couple of hours, but most definitely by day’s end depending on the time I receive the email. My planning period is from 2:03-3:00 P.M. I am available before school from 8:45-9:10 A.M., during my planning period, or after school from 3:52-4:15 P.M. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to meet for a conference or just want a brief update as to how things are going. Kindly email me ahead of time to request a meeting. You must sign in at the Front Office prior to any meeting/conference. They will call me to let me know you’ve arrived.
I know this seems like quite a bit….and actually it’s just scratching the surface. I hope I’ve answered some questions you may have presently and some you may have in the future. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of my new families-especially those 3rd grade boys and girls!
Here’s to a fantastic year of new hopes and beginnings!
Dr. Vicky Singleton