Pine Island Elementary School Student Handbook

Pine Island Elementary School Student Handbook

Welcome to Pine Island Elementary School

20 Schoolhouse Road
Pine Island, NY  10969

Our Kindergarten Program encourages children in the Warwick Valley Central School District to grow in all areas of their development – socially, emotionally, physically and academically.  Children are involved in a variety of activities which foster this growth throughout the entire school year in an atmosphere of care and acceptance.

 In all academic areas, our goal is to make learning as meaningful as possible concentrating on successful acquisition of skills.  It is of primary importance that children develop a positive self-concept and a sense of feeling secure and safe.

 Generally, the Kindergarten curriculum is designed for the varied and diverse learning styles and needs of young children.  Children’s chronological ages do not always match their developmental stages so it is especially important at the Kindergarten level that the academic curriculum be consistent, sequential, flexible and integrated to allow for all activities that enhance and reinforce the basic concepts.

Academic curriculum

READING AND WRITING are taught using a balanced literacy approach to literacy instruction through the readers and writers workshop model. Students are immersed in books through a variety of teaching models including read- alouds, shared reading, guided reading, and independent reading. Our young writers are exposed to authentic writing tasks in different genres, including narrative, persuasive, and informational writing. Our approach to literacy instruction helps to nurture a love for both reading and writing and helps our students to see themselves as real readers and writers. Each of our classrooms has a classroom library with exciting and challenging books for all our young readers.
MATHEMATICS instruction is accomplished largely through the use of manipulatives and concrete experiences and is integrated into many other curriculum areas. This year we are introducing a new Math Series titled Into Math from Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt.

SOCIAL STUDIES encompasses the study of self, family, school, community, and an introduction to global awareness.  Social Studies also focuses on promoting an awareness of rights and feelings, responsibility to others, appreciating contributions of others, and resolving conflicts.

SCIENCE includes life science (plants, animals, ecology), physical science (matter and energy), earth science (earth, space, and weather), the human body, the five senses, and nutrition using experimentation and “hands-on” activities. 

The HEALTH and SAFETY curriculum includes traffic, playground, home and school fire safety rules. Children are educated in ways to be safe in their environment.

TECHNOLOGY supports all curriculum areas with software and equipment to foster skill development. Every classroom has a Smart Board, an Interactive TV, or a Smart TV to enhance instruction. Kindergartens have Chromebooks for guided and independent use in the classroom.


  • 40 minute physical education classes with an emphasis on large motor development, eye/hand and eye/foot coordination, rhythms and dance, fine motor development and sportsmanship. 3x’s in a six day cycle.
  • 40 minute music classes to develop singing skills, teach about tone color, and loud and soft sounds. Development of listening skills is another area of focus along with giving children the opportunity to use musical instruments to explore rhythm and movement. 1x in a six day cycle.
  • 40 minute art classes that give the children an opportunity to use a whole variety of materials to express their creativity and help to develop fine motor coordination. 1x in a six day cycle.
  • 40 minute STEM classes (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) will give students the opportunity to solve problems using a hands-on, interdisciplinary approach to learning. 1x in a six day cycle.

A schedule of Encore Classes will be sent home in September.


For many children, Kindergarten will be the first time that they are regularly eating away from home, and it is usually one of the hardest times for them to adjust to during the first few weeks in school.  We will do everything we can to make it an enjoyable time for them.  The lunch choices are to bring a lunch from home or to buy school lunch.  A school lunch menu is featured online at our Food Services Department page. Information on the school’s breakfast/lunch program, cost, free and reduced lunch, etc., can be found on the school’s website.  

 If your child is not familiar using a lunchbox, thermos, and/or juice box, it is a good idea to have your child practice at home using his/her lunchbox and thermos or juice box a few days before school starts so he/she will be used to opening and closing the lunchbox, unwrapping and eating the sandwich, opening and pouring from the thermos or putting the straw in the juice box.  Please be sure to write your child’s name and room number on the lunchbox with a permanent marker so it can be returned if it is left outside at recess or taken by mistake.   

The children have approximately 20 minutes to eat their lunch and 20 minutes of recess.  The children go outside for recess unless it is raining or very cold so please dress them appropriately.  Lunch monitors are assigned to each class for help, guidance and supervision.


A time is set aside for snack each day.  You may pack a drink and something nutritious to eat (vegetable sticks, fruits, granola bars, raisins, cheese and crackers, small containers of fruit cocktail or applesauce with a spoon).  No glass containers allowed. Please note, we have a number of students with severe food allergies. Please make every effort to adhere to specific requests from your child’s teacher regarding any restrictions. Your cooperation will be appreciated by all.  


Kindergarten children are bused to school.  Please check the Parent Portal for bus stop location and pick up and drop off times.  You will receive a colored tag for your child to attach to his/her backpack with your child’s name, teacher, room number and bus number on it.  Please check to see that this information is correct. 


BUS ARRIVAL:  Students will exit buses and go directly to their classroom. Staff will be on bus duty to be sure students enter the building safely and are escorted to their classroom. If you are driving your child to school, it is important for you to know buses drop off students first. After all buses are unloaded, parents will then be directed to drive up and staff will be available to safely take your child and bring him/her to their classroom.

CLOTHING:  All clothing should be comfortable.  Jackets and sweaters should be labeled with your child’s name as it is often misplaced or forgotten at the end of the day.  In the winter, hats and mittens should also be labeled along with boots.  The children go out for recess everyday unless it is raining or very cold so please, dress your child accordingly.  Children should be able to put on their jackets and boots.  On physical education days, they should wear sneakers.  

Your child should have a bookbag or backpack to bring home all of their wonderful projects and notes.  Be sure it is of good size and easy to open and close.  Again, please label it.

TOYS/ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT:  All toys, trinkets, and electronics should be left at home unless it is requested for a special project.

MONEY:  When sending in notes or money, please put it in an envelope with your child’s name and teacher’s name as well as the purpose for the money on the envelope. 

LATE ARRIVALS:  Students arriving after 8:55 a.m. will need to come to the main office with their parent to sign in.

BUS DISMISSAL:  Beginning at 3:35 p.m., students will be dismissed by classrooms. Students will be taken to the bus by their classroom teacher or a staff member. If you are picking your child up at dismissal, please send in a note with your child’s name, teacher, date, and time of pick up. You must show photo ID and sign your child out before he/she will be released. As soon as dismissal begins at 3:35 p.m., a monitor will bring your child from his/her classroom and be released to you. Bus dismissal for parents picking up their child takes place at Exit 8. When facing the front of the school, Exit 8 is to the right of the front door.

PERMISSION TO LEAVE SCHOOL EARLY:  Consistent school attendance is very important. We realize there are times when a student will need to leave before the regular dismissal time. Please send in a note with your child or call the office to make the necessary arrangements. Parents/guardians should report to the main office and be prepared to show photo identification. Staff will not release a student without notification from the main office. We understand emergencies may occur during the day and you may need to make an immediate pick up. In such situations, please if possible, call the main office in advance. If not, come to the main office with proper ID and we will make sure your child is immediately released to you.

VISITORS:  Due to COVID restrictions, volunteer opportunities are limited. Please call the main office before visiting to be sure you will be allowed beyond the main office.

MEDICATION and ABSENTEEISM: The school will issue a form to be completed by both your doctor and dentist.  You received this form at Kindergarten Screening and will receive another in September to make sure we didn’t miss anyone.  This form explains the State law regarding the giving of medication by the school nurse.  Please read it carefully.  We also ask that children not bring in cough drops since many think they are candies to be shared.

 When your child is out of school, whether sick or not, we must have a note upon his/her return stating the reason for the absence.  We also ask that you call the School Attendance Monitor to report the absence.

Please make sure we have an emergency number on file in case we cannot reach you should your child be sick during the school day.  If this number should change during the school year, please be sure to let us know immediately. 

EMERGENCY CLOSING:  The school district’s primary email notification is called School Messenger System (SMS). Parent contact information is in the district database, so parents will automatically receive notification via the School Messenger System so there is no need to sign up. School opening delays and closings are also featured on the district hompage.

SUPPORT SERVICES:  The school district provides an extensive support program for students who may be experiencing difficulty in an academic, social, or emotional area.  Pine Island has the following support services:

  • Academic Intervention Services (AIS), ELA and Math
  • Speech-Language Services
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • School Counseling

We hope this helps to answer some questions you might have about our Kindergarten program.  We look forward to meeting your child on the first day of school, Thursday, September 2, 2021. Remember school starts at 8:55 a.m. this year. Students will be dismissed at 3:35 p.m. 

Please check the school website frequently for the most updated information on all of the above procedures as well as additional information on district/school regulations and practices.

A Typical Day in Kindergarten

8:45 a.m.   1st Bell… Students are released from the buses.

8:55 a.m.  2nd Bell… Students should be in classes. Pledge of Allegiance and Morning Announcements 

8:55 a.m.  Academic Day…English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Encore, Enrichment/Intervention

11:15 a.m.     Lunch/Recess
12:00 p.m.     Lunch/Recess

3:30 p.m.  Begin bus dismissal by classroom.  Student dismissal for parent pick up by classroom.

3:40 p.m.  Bus Departure

Welcome to the Kindergarten…see you soon!


How are the children selected for each class and teachers?
There are numerous factors that influence the placement of a child.  These include Kindergarten Screening results, and the parental information provided in that protocol.  Ultimately, classes are a heterogeneous-mix of developmental abilities, boy/girls, and academic potential.

When does school start this year?
School is scheduled to start for students on Thursday, September 2, 2021.  Also, school starts daily at 8:55 a.m. and ends at 3:35 p.m.

How long is the school day?
Six hours and 40 minutes. 

When does my child eat lunch?
The kindergarten children eat lunch and have recess daily. A lunch monitor is assigned to each class and assists them with either their lunch from home or school-bought lunch. Kindergarten has lunch at 11:15 a.m. or 12:00 p.m. 

What is the average size of a kindergarten class?
For this coming school year, we are looking at approximately of 20 students per class.

How will I know what time the bus will pick my child up?
You will receive directions over the summer on how to register for the Parent Portal. All bus information will be provided on the Portal. You will also receive a bus tag for your child to attach to their backpacks.  Please remember to give yourself 5 minutes before and 5 minutes after the designated bus times listed to ensure your child does not miss the bus.  

Should I drive my child to school on the first day of school?
It is strongly suggested that all children take the bus beginning with the very first day of school.  If there are “separation issues”, it is usually easier to separate at the bus stop. 

How will my child know how to get to their classroom?
Our support staff will take the children from each bus to his/her classroom. We will refer to the tag attached to your child’s backpack. Our faculty and staff will be in the building escorting your child to the appropriate classroom. The teacher will have the same tag on their door.