Schuylkill Elementary News

Updates from Dr. Renzulli

June 2, 2023

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SSHA Board Positions: Warm welcome to new SSHA President, Koree Ritter and new SSHA Secretary, Becky Miller. Thank you for volunteering your time to take on these positions.

5TH Grade Moving Up Reception: Schuylkill's tradition is to have 4th grade parents assist in sending the 5th graders off in style! To do this we're looking for families to provide drinks, snacks and volunteers at the reception immediately following the 5th Grade Moving Up Ceremony. Non-perishable items can be sent in the day prior to the ceremony, Wednesday June 7th. All other items should be dropped off no later than 9am on Thursday, June 8th. Thank you for your help!

***PLEASE NOTE*** ALL food items MUST be store bought and tree nut free. We cannot accept ANY home made items for this event. Thank you for understanding.

Upcoming Events: Mark your calendars; all sign up links will be included here once they are live.


Do you have information that you would like to share through the SSHA Scoop? Please have it to Kristie Drayo ( by 6pm Tuesday night to be included in that week’s edition.

Year Books

We are working with Barksdale to get the year books ASAP. Stay tuned! There are no extra books for sale at this time.

EOY (End Of Year) Reminders

  • Have your child check the lost and found for jackets, sweatshirts, lunch boxes and water bottles.
  • Water only! We welcome healthy drinks at lunch, but water only should be packed for classroom drink breaks.
  • Expectations still in place! School expectations for respectful interactions with classmates and adults have not changed. This includes behavior on the bus.
  • No cell phones and smart watches in class! Devices should be OFF and in a backpack. This is non-negotiable.
  • Early dismissal (including Grade 5 early dismissal after the Moving-Up Ceremony) must be entered into PickUp Patrol - PUP)

Summer Suggestions - Building Resiliency

Did you know?

- Your children are learning to solve conflicts. Let them play without your intervention. Problem-solving is a sought-after skill.

- It's OK to say no to your children. I promise they will still love you in spite of a tantrum or meltdown. Your children are learning to self-advocate and to find alternatives to instant gratification.

- Feeling sad, angry, disappointed, and worried is natural, and our children are learning to self-regulate. Allowing our children to power through emotions with loving support builds resiliency. You cannot anticipate every barrier and swiftly move them from your child's path, BUT you can encourage your children to spot adversity and ask for help.

- "I'm bored" (some people believe that only boring people are bored :) can be remedied by doing something for someone else. It forces a child to expand a horizon so that it includes OTHERS. Self-absorption is an epidemic. Let's save the children!

- Finally, limit gaming and unfettered access to the internet and social media. Nothing beats human interaction - especially a good laugh with a child.

Recurring Information

Summer Reading and Math

The district Summer Math and Summer Reading expectations are linked here and posted on the website.

Rising 2nd graders will be getting new devices, stay tuned for communication from the Technology Department.

Parent Satisfaction Survey


We know you may feel “survey fatigue” this time of year, but we are REALLY hoping you will take a few minutes to complete the Parent Satisfaction Survey. It is completely anonymous and provides the District with valuable feedback which we use to make decisions on how we do things moving forward.

Parent Satisfaction Survey

PickUp Patrol

PickUp Patrol is returning for the 2023-24 school year. Thank you for your efforts to streamline dismissal for all 445 students. Remember that PUP records attendance, late arrivals, early dismissal, and a customizable dismissal plan.

Upcoming Events

6/2 - Grade 5 EOY Celebration

6/8 - Grade 5 Moving Up Ceremony

6/9 - Last Student Day 11:45 Dismissal


Social media is filled with what school and families are like with the end-of-the-year frenzy. Here at Schuylkill, we plan special events for the sole purpose of creating memories for your children. The end of the year is a balancing act!

  • Special events mean a disrupted routine.
  • Excitement sometimes undermines self-control.
  • Competition sometimes engenders poor sportsmanship.
  • The prospect of summer is a promise of freedom for some and loss of relationships for others.

Wherever your child rests on this broad continuum of end-of-year emotions and behaviors, we are here to help. Supported by conversations that you may have at home, we will continue to build resiliency and self-reliance in our students. We want everyone to enjoy these end-of-year special events!

Good News and Cautionary Tales

Good news - language matters! Many parents have responded to a call-to-action on monitoring what seems to be broad access to social media. There is a significant drop in sexualized profanity and hurtful "trash talk". Thank you, families! YOU matter.

Cautionary tales for the playground and bus - weather, competition, and fatigue . . . of all the times for these three significant factors to converge, it's now. During the month of May, the jackets come off, the sun sets later, sports are at a fever pitch (insert little league humor), teachers are wrapping up their grades for the 4th quarter, end-of-the-year school activities explode, YOU are tired, the CHILDREN are tired, and as of right now there are 4 Mondays remaining in the 2022-23 school year. We can do this!

Weather, competition, and fatigue are factors on the playground as students confuse organized sports with recess, and adult supervisors with coaches. What may be appropriate for a community field is different for the turf here at school. Please remind your children that aggressive physical contact is ALWAYS wrong, as is arguing with adult supervisors. It may surprise you that your child's version of a recess incident is often not quite the same as a video account.

Some bus behaviors are still a challenge - getting out of a seat, roughhousing, screaming, and unwanted physical contact are the main reasons for bus referrals, and student/parent complaints. Thank you, families, for supporting us in our attempts to keep kids safe!

Your support over the past months with some of these sensitive topics is greatly appreciated.

Summer Planning for RISING 6th Graders

PUP Pick Up Patrol

Thank you for joining us in making this such an efficient way to report late arrivals, early dismissals, changes to dismissal plans, and absences. For your convenience, please note:

  • You can enter changes in dismissal up until 2:00 PM - the earlier, the better.
  • We will no longer enter changes into PUP when receiving a phone call or email. Please enter the information in the app.
  • You can enter club attendance and other regularly scheduled events months in advance. Your child is absent? No worries, the absence report will notify and update club attendance and dismissal!

Behavior and Technology - Young Comedians

The intention of this segment of the newsletter is not to alarm you OR to suggest that these behaviors are pervasive in every grade and every classroom. My intent is to call attention to trends that affect your children.

It is challenging to explain to elementary school students that stand-up comedy is a carefully honed skillset. Every year we address "roasting" where disparaging and rude comments are made to classmates. The response from the offending child is, "It's a roast. I was just kidding."

We then address yo mama jokes. These jokes range from a mild insult to a more profane comment and again the response is, "It's just a joke." Now we have Your dad left for milk comments. These sarcastic statements refer to the other person being the reason for their parent leaving home. Profane? No. Unkind? Yes, especially to the student without a parent. Please join me in the effort to protect our children from seemingly harmless entertainment (YouTube, TikTok, online gaming).

Reminders about Toys and Equipment

This is a friendly reminder that toys, collectible trading cards, and equipment ie., footballs, basketballs, and soccer balls should remain at home. Lost items, bad trades, inequitable teaming, and unfair play are reasons for this school rule.

Is Roblox Safe for Children? It Can Be!

In my never-ending quest to learn more about WHERE our children are learning about sexualized profanity, there is a common thread among all of my conversations with students and parents . . . online gaming. To be clear, I am not anti-gaming. A recent conversation about Roblox (extraordinarily popular among our students) led me to some "food for thought" regarding online gaming.

  • Your child can chat with strangers in the game. Yes, a 45-year-old adult can "chat" with your 7-year-old.
  • Certain games have adult content, (even profile pictures are without oversight) and this can affect your child’s behavior too.
  • Some of the games, like those of the horror genre, may have a long-lasting effect on the mental health of children.
  • Some of our children are playing unsupervised well into the early hours of the morning.

This is not a lecture, but a plea. Unfettered access to the internet and exposure to adult speech and adult images are affecting our children. I welcome conversations, meetings, or chats about this topic - please give me a call.

DISCIPLINE - Please Read

There are few words to describe some of the discipline referrals and complaints that arise from the bus, cafeteria, and playground. In these unstructured environments, we expect typical and age-appropriate behavior - roughhousing, arguing, competition, and general elementary school scuffles. What we do not expect is highly sexualized profanity. The increase in students from grades 2 through 5 using profanity and discussing topics of a sexual nature is stunning. In investigating where the students are hearing this and assuming that you are not explicitly teaching these things in your homes, the #1 answer is YouTube, followed by TikTok and Discord. I implore you to revisit the parental controls on the students' home devices. We are battling this daily on our PASD devices and can appreciate the efforts it takes to keep our children safe and maintain their innocence.

Phantom Food Packs - A Message for Families

Is your child on the National School Lunch program? If so, your family is invited to participate in the Phantom Food Pack program. Students enrolled in the program will receive a weekly backpack filled with grocery items to supplement weekend meals at home. Families must be eligible for the National School Lunch program or have extreme financial hardship. To enroll in the Phantom Food Pack program, please complete this form: PHANTOM FOOD PACKS

Please contact your child’s school counselor with any questions.

As a reminder breakfast is free for all students this year, regardless of household income. Additionally, the National School Lunch program provides free or low-cost lunch to eligible students. More information, and the application, can be found at SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM.

If you have any questions about the school lunch program or if your family would like more information on food security resources in our community, please contact Alyson Riffey at 484-927-5117 or


Keep informed about redistricting!

Do you have questions about obtaining a PASD device? Do you have questions about the annual fee? Do you need to troubleshoot some technical difficulties? Click this button!


  • School building opens at 8:40 AM. Children should arrive NO EARLIER than 8:40 AM. There is no adult supervision available prior to 8:40 AM.
  • Car Riders: Students who are not bus riders should arrive to school by 8:40 AM via the car loop off of South Whitehorse Rd. The doors close promptly at 8:50 AM to allow staff to report to their assignments.
  • Bus Riders: Students arriving by bus will be dropped off at the gym entrance doors.
  • Walkers: Students who walk to school should enter the building by the playground blacktop area and into the cafeteria to check in with the teacher on duty no earlier than 8:40 AM.
  • All open doors are supervised by teachers on duty.
  • Once students enter the building, students proceed to their classrooms**.
  • All outside doors are closed at 8:50 AM.
  • After 8:50, parents / guardians should park legally in a parking space and escort their child(ren) to the main office to be signed in.

**During the first week of school, students in grade 2 will meet their teachers in the cafeteria.

Birthday Treats

Due to the many students with allergies and food reactions food items to celebrate student birthdays are not permitted. We are requesting that all birthday recognitions be non-food based. No birthday food treats should be sent to school. We do want to acknowledge student birthdays, but encourage parents to do so in other ways. For example, small items such as pencils or stickers for classmates or the donation of a book to the school or classroom library in honor of a child’s birthday would be appropriate. Thank you for honoring and respecting this request.