September 9, 2022
We had a fantastic and enthusiastic start to the school year – so many smiling faces and so much positive energy, even with steady rain all day on Tuesday! It feels great to be starting a new adventure together.
More good news: Construction crews are finishing the second floor of the elementary wing tonight! That means that our custodial crew will deep-clean this weekend and start moving in boxes from storage. Our teachers will then begin the process of unpacking, organizing, and making these amazing new rooms even more amazing starting on Sunday and through next week. That means that our 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms will be up and running on Monday morning, SEPTEMBER 19!
FRIDAY FLYER INFO
You’ll see a lot of repeat information below during the first few weeks just to make sure no one misses any details. Also, if you hear of anyone saying they aren’t receiving this Flyer, please advise them to first check the Junk email folder for a “noreply” email and then call my office.
PLEASE LABEL BAGS, JACKETS, & SWEATHIRTS
Please please please write your child’s name on clothing like jackets and sweatshirts that kids take off and on (and then accidentally left somewhere) during the day. You would be shocked how much clothing finds its way to the Lost and Found AND NEVER LEAVES!
SWIM IN GYM
Swim In Gym is underway! On gym days, please make sure your child comes to school with a towel and bathing suit in a bag so he/she can change for the pool and then have a place to put the wet stuff. If your child is unable or not wanting to participate, our teachers have alternative activities. Please reach out to your child’s teachers for any further questions about the SIG aquatics program.
7th & 8th GRADE RETREAT NEXT FRIDAY
Our 7th and 8th graders and their teachers are traveling to Sharpe Reservation in a week for a full day of outdoor team-building challenges and activities. We’re so happy to finally be returning to Sharpe – it’s an amazing location, but through COVID, we were paying to have them come to us each spring and run events on our campus.
PTA WELCOME BACK PARTY
Next Friday night is also our big PTA Welcome Back BBQ that’s not to be missed! Enjoy a night outside with friends, meet new people and reconnect as a school family.
PTA NEWS: CLASS PARENTS, FUNDRAISERS, & MEMBERSHIP
Would you like to become a class parent? It’s a great way to engage with the classroom and families, to know about PTA, Foundation, and events, and more. If so, email PTA@PocanticoHills.org, and include your name, child’s name, grade, name of teacher, your email and phone number. Also attached is a flyer with more information.
The PTA is having a Back to School Clothing & Supply Fundraiser. Help to support our fellow Pocantico families. Every child deserves new clothing and school supplies. You can donate online or by check to the Pocantico PTA, and the PTA will do the shopping. Learn more: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090548aeaf2da3fd0-back2
Your 2022-2023 PTA Membership helps support this year’s programs! Learn more: POCO.memberhub.store - Flyer attached.
BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHTS IN-PERSON
Just to let you know, our Back to School Open House Nights will be IN-PERSON this year and there will be NO remote option. We look forward to seeing you and having you see your children’s classrooms and teachers! Schedules to follow as each date approaches.
Middle School – Evening of September 21
Elementary School – Evening of September 28
AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES & CLUBS
Once again, we’ll be offering a variety of after-school clubs, resources, and intramural activities for elementary and middle school students throughout the year – more so than ever, in fact. Once details are finalized, we’ll share the different descriptions and sign-up links if applicable. Don’t worry, you won’t miss out.
Homework Help, Grades 5-8
Beginning this Monday, there will be homework help and tutoring for grades 5-8 in the library from 3:00-4:00 every day. It is open-door with no sign-up so please make sure you’re on the same page as your child about staying or dismissing. Children can be picked up in the bus circle or take a bus home at 4:00.
Homework Help, Grade 4
Also beginning Monday, 4th graders may stay from 3:00-4:00 to work on homework, especially math, with a teacher on the team. If you have a 4th grader, just know that the teachers will be sending home a sign-up form – there is nothing for you to do now, I’m just giving you a heads-up.
There is much more to come, including 3rd grade homework help, multi-age intramurals, and elementary/middle school clubs.
Please make sure you log into the Parent Portal and update your household information – emergency contacts, emails, and phone numbers. We rely on this info being up-to-date and accurate, so thank you!
LUNCH ORDERING, ACCOUNT FUNDING, & OPTIONAL PARENTAL RESTRICTIONS
Teachers take lunch orders in their classrooms every morning and lunches are paid for in the cafeteria. If your child will be buying food this year, I suggest you set up and electronically fund a MySchoolBucks account. On the Cafeteria page (https://www.pocanticohills.org/domain/63) is a link showing how to create and fund a MySchoolBucks meal account (which you can then access to see current balances and purchasing history). It’s very important that these accounts are funded.
Sometimes parents get surprised by what their child is buying in the cafeteria. You can avoid some of this by placing restrictions on your child’s account. To do so, complete this form for each of your children by September 30th: Purchasing Restriction Form
ARRIVAL & DISMISSAL PROCEDURES
If you’re new to Pocantico this year, please know that we try to make arrival and dismissal procedures as stress-free and friendly as possible, and when we all do our part, it’s smooth and easy – it's Poco!
Gate 2 – the car circle – will be open from 7:30 – 8:25am for all grades. Students who arrive prior to 8:10 will go to the cafeteria until they are allowed in their classrooms. Buses are unloaded at 8:10, at which point all students report to their classes. All PK-8 students are expected in school by 8:25, otherwise they are late.
Gate 1 is used for buses in the morning, as well as families of Junior Pre-K students only. Buses arrive between 8:00 and 8:10. Kids getting breakfast are allowed off the bus as soon as the bus arrives. Then, at 8:10, I temporarily close the circle and unload the buses for everyone. Our kids and staff are pros at this, so we are usually done by 8:14, at which point the buses leave and I reopen the circle for the continuation of JPK drop-off.
Early Pickup and late drop-off during the school day occurs through Gate 3 (the front of the school) and happens in the lobby only. Parents do NOT accompany their children down to the classroom, nor do they go to get them from classrooms. If there is a specific need in the nurse’s office, then exceptions will be made if cleared by the nurse and administration. We do have construction still happening in front, but you can still park in front and come in.
The School Day
There are nine 40-minute periods in our school day, with first period starting at 8:30 sharp and ninth period ending at 2:54pm. Our schedule runs on a 6-day cycle that wraps around holidays. These Day Codes are on our school calendar as well.
Dismissal announcements begin at 2:55 and I try to roll out the buses with everyone accounted for by 3:04 – we don’t mess around! This goes for cars pickups too - please be on time if not a little early!
PK-4 Car Dismissal
Elementary car dismissal occurs in Gate 2, supervised by Ms. DePaola. Please be there by 2:50 so you are ready when we start sending children to the circle. We close that gate by 3:05.
5-8 Car Dismissal
Middle school cars line up outside the Gate 1 bus circle and wait for me to send the buses out at 3:04. Then we wave in the cars as the kids file out of the school by the gym. We’re done in the bus circle before the clock hits 3:10. Please try to be here before 3:00.
We also have a 4:00 bus for those staying after school starting on Monday, as well as a 5:15 sports bus specifically for our modified sports teams (volleyball, soccer, and football in the fall).
**Dismissal Rules – No Exceptions
- We will NOT dismiss a child to any situation or person other than who/what we have on file unless we have a written note from you. If we don’t have it in writing, it’s not happening.
- PLEASE CONTACT US IN ADVANCE.
- Emails should be sent to Deb Kaplan, Ryan Beckley, AND the teacher. Handwritten notes should go directly to your child’s teacher, who will then forward it to the office.
- In the note, include your child’s first AND last name, teacher/grade, timing of the pickup (if early), and who specifically is picking up your child.
- Children MUST ride on their assigned bus at 3:00 and cannot switch buses for playdates or any other reasons. The best solution for this would be to pick kids up by car.
Our staff need to know what to do, and my office compiles all the notes each day and distributes the approved situations to the dismissal supervisors, security, and bus drivers. Again, these changes must be made in advance – we simply can’t sort it out at the last minute when we’re trying to dismiss the school on time – thank you!
TRANSPORTATION UPDATE – BUS TIMING ADJUSTMENTS
We continue to refine our bus routes as family transportation needs change. I strongly urge you to check the district website for minor bus route time changes.
Have a great weekend!
LOOKING AHEAD . . .
9/7/22 - 9/30/22
- PTA Back to School Clothing & Supplies Fundraiser Begins
- 7th and 8th Grade Retreat
- PTA Back to School Party/Welcome to New Families
- Picture Day
- Middle School Back to School Night & Open House
9/26/22 - 9/27/22
- Rosh Hashanah - School Closed
- Elementary Back to School Night & Open House
Edit and verify your email addresses and telephone numbers in the Parent Portal. Click the button above to log into the Portal. If you need assistance, please contact Norma DeSousa at firstname.lastname@example.org
SEE ATTACHMENTS FOR DOWNLOAD AND PRINTING SECTION BELOW FOR ADDITIONAL YUBBLER SUPPLY INFORMATION
Please browse our Pocantico Hills School Foundation FACEBOOK Page for the latest news and information from the Foundation!