EPE Express

East Pennsboro Elementary School Newsletter

December 2021

Principal's Message

Greetings EPE Families,

The month of November brought many exciting events, and we are equally excited and optimistic at what December has in store at EPE!

We kindly remind families to send your student to school with a coat each day, as we are requiring a coat for students at recess. That being said, we would like to offer a wonderful community resource called “Community Closet” which is located at Enola Emmanuel United Methodist Church. Later in this newsletter, you will see a flier with a google form. Any family in need of clothing items, especially coats for your student(s) can fill out the form, and the Community Closet will reach out to you about getting you a coat. This is a confidential process which seeks to help families in need this winter.

The EP Elementary PTO has many fundraisers going on throughout the month of December. The West Enola Fire Company will be hosting the annual Holiday Store, where a special guest from the North Pole may make an appearance! A wreath sale is also being conducted through our PTO. Please visit the EPASD Elementary PTO Facebook page for more information about these and other events! Funds raised go toward supporting our students and teachers.

The EPASD Elementary PTO also looks forward to hosting fun community events such as Bingo Night, which will be at EPE on January 11th. More information to come!

We thank our participants who attended American Education Week in the month of November. We enjoyed hosting parents and guardians and showcasing our new math program, Everyday Mathematics, 4th Edition.

Lastly, please take a moment to recognize a teacher or staff member who you feel is deserving of recognition. Our teachers and staff work very hard to meet the diverse needs of students and families, and take great pride in their work. Even though it is never expected, it means the world to get a “thank you” in recognition of one’s hard work. Thank you in advance for taking time to recognize a teacher in our “Panther Spotlight” section below!


Rich Tysarczyk, Principal


Dan Etter, Assistant Principal



EPE Band and Chorus Concert

Please join us at the EPMS LGI for our Winter Concert on December 15, at 7:00 PM.
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Caring School Communities Cross-Age Buddies

Part of our character education initiative at the elementary school involves the Caring School Communities program. Within the program, we establish classroom meetings, we learn about our classmates through Spotlight Student, and teach social/emotional skills. Starting this past month, we have implemented the next phase of the program: Cross-age Buddies! Through cross-age buddies, classrooms at least 2 grades apart are paired together and students are assigned a buddy from the partner classroom. These classes meet once or twice per month to work on social skills, letter writing, interview skills, developing good habits, and collaboration skills. It is truly a pleasure to watch cross-age buddy classrooms in action!

Community Coat Drive

Please complete the confidential survey below if anyone in your family is in need of a coat this winter. Enola United Methodist Church on Salt Road is running a community closet which supplies clothing needs to families in need. They look forward to supporting our community with any clothing needs you may have. All responses of this survey are kept confidential, and all students and families who receive coats are kept anonymous. Coat pick-up will either be in the EPE office, or at the church itself. Someone will reach out to you when the items are ready to be picked up.


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Science Explorers

We are very excited to have the Science Explorers after school STEM club back at EPE! We will begin our next club, "3-2-1 Blast Off!" after the Fall break. Please see the flyer below for club options and registration procedures.

There are 7 available slots remaining for the "3-2-1 Blast Off!" club!

EPE Science Explorers Registration

Please check this link to register for an in person club at EPE.

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Nominate an EPE Staff Member With Our "Panther Spotlight" Form

If you have something amazing to share about an EPE staff member, please consider doing so using the following short form:


We appreciate the feedback and may share it in future newsletters.

Please see these fine commendations from the past month:

Miss Wertz is absolutely amazing. She really takes the time to teach her children, and takes time with the ones who need the extra help. She is very responsive to messages and always answers your questions and make sure you understand. My daughter absolutely loves her. I have volunteered for her class and watching her with the children just makes me have high hopes for this school year. Your doing amazing Miss. Wertz keep up the great work and keep doing what your doing. Your are really shining! In case you don't hear it enough I wanna say I appreciate you!

Mrs. Choplick is really great at keeping myself and the rest of "Team _____" up to date on anything for her benefit. I truly appreciate all that she and the rest of the team do to help my granddaughter.

Ms. Piper, thank you so much for encouraging your students to learn world languages through Duo Lingo in their free time! We could not be happier that you are encouraging the kids to spend their time productively and opening their minds to new languages and global opportunities! This is the kind of initiative and effort that truly should not go unnoticed!

Ms. Carroll, thank you for pouring your heart into your teaching of the kindergarten class! You are just as kind and encouraging as you are organized and demanding, which is an impressive balance to achieve! I am sure it takes a lot of work and effort, thank you for caring so much about our kids!

EPE Core Value Award Recipients

These EPE students demonstrated our core values over the past month!

EPE Girls on the Run (GOTR)

Our Fall Girls on the Run Team completed their season with a culminating 5K run at HACC this past Sunday. Congratulations to these girls for their hard work and perseverance! Thank you to our coaches for taking your time to work with the the GOTR team!

Veterans Day Celebration at EPE

Become a Junior Achievement Volunteer!

East Pennsboro Elementary School has been a partner with Junior Achievement for many years. We welcome the community based-curriculum they have to offer in addition to our EPE volunteers. If you may be interested in becoming a JA volunteer, review the information below. Please note all JA Volunteers must follow EPASD Volunteer procedures and complete a volunteer application, submitted to the building principal for approval.

  • Volunteer basis in our school
  • 5-8 sessions with a class per year
  • Scripted lessons from JA
  • Topics centered around careers, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, community.

Interested community members may email the EPE Administration or our JA contact, Gini Riese, directly at griese@jascpa.org.

To learn more about Junior Achievement, visit the following websites:



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General EPE Information:

Lunch Menus

EPASD Lunch Menus can be accessed here.

EPASD Technology Support

Students/families needing support for all EP issued devices may contact our tech team for help at the following email: technologyhelp@epasd.org.

EPE Facebook Page

Please stay connected to EPE at our official Facebook Page. Our most up to date information is posted here, first!

Change in Routine Procedures

The classroom teachers follow routine dismissal procedures daily. Changes in those routines

should be for urgent reasons and must be accompanied by a Change of Routine Notice or a

written parental notice requesting such a change. All student verbal requests for such changes will be denied without written notice or a phone call from a parent/guardian. Seesaw messages, text messages, and emails will not be accepted during the school day of a change of routine. Please have these requests into the school ahead of time so we can ensure students are where they need to be for a safe and secure dismissal.

EPASD Change in Routine Form

The EPASD Change of Routine Notice can be found at this link.

EPASD Attendance Procedures

EPE accepts attendance notifications (excuse cards, absence notes, etc.) via email. Parents can email epesattendance@epasd.org as a means of reporting your child’s absence. Paper notes will still be accepted as well. Reminder that all excuse notifications are required to be submitted within three school days of your child’s absences.

Excused Absences:

When a child is enrolled in the district’s educational program, the student is subject to the

Pennsylvania State Attendance Laws. The Board considers the following conditions to constitute an excused absence from school:

1. Illness

2. Quarantine

3. Student required court attendance

4. Prearranged doctor and dentist appointment for time of appointment and appropriate travel time only

5. Authorized school activities

6. Pre-approved educational tours and trips, not school sponsored

7. Other urgent reasons, including funerals, that apply to the child and approved by the building administrator

Parents/guardians are expected to telephone the school when students are absent for any reason. In addition, a written excuse from a parent/guardian is required for each absence.

Unexcused Absences:

An unexcused absence shall be defined as:

• Absence from school with parent/guardian consent for reasons other than those considered


• Leaving school during school hours without permission from the administrator.

• Absence from school without knowledge/permission of parent/guardian (truancy).

• Absence from school without knowledge/permission of school authorities.

• Absences from school without written parental excuse submitted within 3 school days of the absence.

You may refer to the Elementary Student Handbook in the link below to review more specific information about our attendance policies in certain situations (Page 10 of the document). Please contact our school office if you have any questions about our attendance policies or procedures.


Automated Absence Alert:

EPE will begin sending automated absence alerts this school year. The Automated Absence Alert system was implemented to inform parents when their students are absent from school. If/when your student is absent or does not report to their classroom they are recorded as absent. When the daily attendance is submitted electronically, an automated message will be sent to a phone identified by the parent/guardian. This call will normally occur by approximately 10:00 am. Should you have questions or concerns you may contact the

attendance secretary by calling: East Pennsboro Elementary School (EPE), (717) 732-0441.

Car Rider Procedures

School Buses:

School buses will queue at the rear of the school building, behind the new addition for arrival and departure.

Car Riders:

Cars for parent drop off and pick up will queue in front of the school. Please pull up to the stop sign rather than stopping midway through the loop to unload. In the afternoon, parents must have their name hanger tags visible for student pickup. Students may only be dropped off or picked up within the “loading zone” that will be marked in the front of the school - approximately the first ten cars at a time. Parents may not park in the parking lot and walk up to the loop attendant. Please stay in your car at all times. Please review the map below of the car rider loop.

School Vans:

School vans will utilize the small loop near the baseball fields for arrival and dismissal. No cars should be in this loop.


Parent drop-off begins at 8:25 AM. Students must be in the building by 8:50 AM.

Parent pick up times run from 3:20-3:40 PM.

We certainly appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we ensure a safe and orderly process for each student. We continue to recommend that you send your EPE students to and from school on our school buses.

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Create a Sapphire Parent Portal!

Please create a Sapphire Parent Portal account. There are several benefits to creating a parent portal account:

  • You can access your child's report cards when they are published
  • You can keep track of your child's attendance
  • You will be able to receive important notifications about your child

To create a parent portal account:

  • Go to our website www.epasd.org
  • Hover over the "Students" tab
  • Click "Sapphire Community Web Portal"
  • Click "Create a Web Portal Account"
  • Follow the remaining on screen instructions to enter your information.

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Wadlinger at pwadlinger@epasd.org. She would be happy to help!

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2021-2022 School Year Calendar

Click the link below for the 2021-2022 School Year Calendar!


EPASD Elementary PTO Meeting Dates and Locations

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Important Dates

December 2021:

2 - School Board Meeting 7:00 PM EPE LGI

10 - 1:20 PM Dismissal

15 - EPE Winter Chrous & Band Concert - 7:00 PM Middle School LGI

23 - 12:00 PM Dismissal

24 - Winter Break

January 2022:

3 - School is in Session

6 - School Board Meeting 7:00 PM EPE LGI

17 - Schools Closed in Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

18 - End of Second Marking Period

20 - School Board Meeting 7:00 PM EPE LGI

25 - Report Cards Issued

28 - 1:20 PM Dismissal

All above dates are subject to change. Any changes will be communicated via our blackboard connect system.

Please see our previous newsletters: