Sand Pine Spotlight

Keeping our Crane families in the know!

2020-2021 School Year, Volume 4

Hello Cranes!

Welcome to Volume 4 of the Sand Pine Spotlight. Please continue to look for more newsletters like these to keep you updated with the latest and greatest information regarding the 2020-21 school year.

In this newsletter, we will focus on the safety measures we are putting in place in the school building. We can't wait to get this school year started because.........


New School Hours

Due to school being pushed back for two weeks, our daily hours have changed. Arrival will begin at 8:10 am, with the tardy bell ringing at 8:40 am. Dismissal begins at 3:08 pm, so please plan accordingly.

FOod and Nutrition information

School meal accounts can be funded through the MySchoolBucks meal payment service starting on August 15th. Just visit You can also view meal history and set spending limits through this service. You also have the option of paying directly in the cafeteria with cash, check, credit or debit. Contactless pay will be available at registers where credit cards are accepted. Students can use contactless cards, or Google Wallet, Android Pay and Apple Pay from their phones.

For students choosing mySchoolOnline, meals will be available for parent pick-up. Details regarding the program will be sent to those households. Please note that meals will only be free to students qualifying for free lunch. Students receiving reduced or paid meals will have their accounts charged based on their status.

If your student will not be returning to school and has money remaining on their account, these funds will stay on their account until they return to school in the future. If you need to request a refund, transfer these funds to another student, or would like them donate them to our hardship fund for students in need, please visit

Finally, the free and reduced-price meal application for the upcoming school year is now available at Only one application is needed per household. If already received a Direct Certification letter, you do not need to complete an application.

Please contact Food and Nutrition Services with any questions by emailing or calling 813-794-2522.

Safety and procedures

Daily student screener

Please see the student screener below. We are counting on parents to screen their children at home daily to ensure the health and safety of our school community. Please, if your child is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed in the screener, keep them at home until they subside. Let's work together to make our school as safe as possible!
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Per district policy, students must wear a face covering. This is required on all school busses, in all school buildings, and at all school-sponsored events. Students participating in PE will be required to wear a face covering unless engaged in activities where proper social distancing can be maintained.

We understand that the students will need mask breaks during the day in order to stay compliant to the guidelines. Short mask breaks will be given by the teachers. The safest place for a mask break is outdoors, but students will need to maintain at least a 3 foot distancing to remove their mask. If a mask break takes place indoors (like during snack time), students will have to remain seated at their desks to maintain distancing.

Please assist us in helping your child to learn to wear their mask properly. The nose and mouth should be covered at all times while wearing the mask. We will be providing each student with a mask and a lanyard on which to clip it to assist them with keeping track of their mask.

A clean mask should be used daily. We will have additional masks on campus in case of masks becoming exceptionally soiled or lost.

The School Board understands that some students may not be able to tolerate the use of a facial covering due to a medical condition or a disability. The existence of such a medical condition or disability may entitle your child to an exemption from the emergency face covering rule under the ADA, the IDEA, Section 504, or other applicable laws or regulations. To the extent that you wish to seek an exemption to the face covering mandate for your child, please obtain written documentation from their doctor, or other licensed medical provider, that states your child cannot tolerate or utilize a face covering as the direct result of a current medical condition or disability. Please obtain this documentation as soon as possible and provide that documentation to your child’s school on or before August 17, 2020.

Failure to comply with this deadline may result in your child not obtaining a requested exemption and may otherwise interfere with or delay their educational services in the Traditional brick and mortar educational environment. Failure to comply with the face covering requirement without an approved exemption will result in your child being assigned to receive education in the mySchool Online format while the Emergency Face Covering mandate remains in effect.

For more information about the Emergency Face Covering mandate, please visit


Campus will be open for arrival beginning at 8:10 am daily. Parents of walkers and bikers, please be sure that your child does not arrive sooner than 8:10. The car line will begin unloading at this time as well. Please do not drop off your child before then, as staff will not be available for supervision.

Due to new social distancing restrictions, we will not be able to have students congregate at the front of the school in the morning. Students will be sent straight to their classrooms, or to the cafeteria if they choose to have breakfast.

Students will notice new hallway traffic patterns. We will use one-way patterns when and where feasible to ensure social distancing.

Dismissal will begin at 3:08 pm. Walkers and bike riders will be dismissed from classrooms with adult supervision at slightly staggered times to encourage physical distancing. Car riders will have assigned bench/sidewalk seating according to cohort. Bus and daycare van riders will be seated according to the bus they ride instead of by grade level. Additional school personnel will be monitoring to ensure students are distanced to the greatest extent possible.


Cohorting is a strategy to limit contact between students and staff in order to limit transmission of COVID-19. This practice decreases opportunities for exposure to COVID, reduces contact with shared surfaces, and provides for more efficient contact tracing in the event of positive cases. This is a recommended practice from the CDC.

At SPES, a cohort is a classroom group of students. Students will stay with their cohort throughout the school day, and teachers will rotate between rooms if necessary. This way, students will only have physical proximity with others in the same cohort or classroom.

Here are just a few examples of how we are utilizing the cohorting strategy at SPES:

  • Art and music teachers will go to classrooms for instruction instead of students traveling to the art and music shared spaces.
  • PE classes will all be in separate areas so that cohorts do not mix.
  • Different recess areas will be used of each class.
  • Lunch times are staggered so that only one class of students arrives in the cafeteria at a time.
  • Students will not visit the media center. In order to provide students access to those books, our resource management associate will facilitate checkout of books by visiting individual classrooms weekly and limiting student touching of materials.

cafeteria procedures

Breakfast - Upon arrival at campus, students choosing to have breakfast will go to the cafeteria, where they will pick up breakfast "grab and go" style. They will not be eating in the cafeteria for breakfast, but will take their breakfast bag to the classroom for consumption at their desk.

Lunch - Lunch times for each classroom cohort have been staggered to allow to distancing and cleaning between cohorts. Lunch tables will be spaced out and facing all the same direction so that students will not be facing each other while eating. Student seating will also be physically distanced on the benches to the greatest extent possible. Students will scan bar codes at the register instead of typing their student number on the keypad.

Classroom layout

Within the classroom, students will be physically distanced as much as possible.

Desks: All students will be sitting in individual desks with an attached cubby for storage of personal materials. No tables will be used for student seating. There will be no sharing of items such as pencils, crayons, and other supplies between students, even in art class. Desks will not be grouped together, but rather separated, spaced out, and all facing the front of the classroom.

Bathrooms: Each classroom cohort will have an assigned bathroom within the pod. Only students from that cohort will use that bathroom.

Sanitation: Each classroom will have a sanitation station that will include hand sanitizer, a small broom and dust pan, germicide, and microfiber cloths. Hand sanitizer will be used when access to a sink is limited, as hand-washing is preferred. The teacher will utilize the germicide and cloth to wipe down areas in the classroom, as well as items like computers that will need to be shared between students.

Cleaning and sanitizing

The custodial crew is required to sanitize areas of our campus on a much more frequent basis than normal. Some examples of this enhanced cleaning are:

  • The playground equipment will be cleaned throughout the day.
  • Areas that are touched often such as light switches, door handles, etc. will be sanitized multiple times throughout the day.
  • Desks, tables, walls, doors, and cabinets will be cleaned daily.
  • Drinking fountains will be disinfected and polished during the day.
  • In addition to fully mopping, classroom floors will be deep scrubbed and burnished weekly.

New to the Nest!

Meet Yessica Rojo, our new Puffins teacher!

  • Born and raised in Cuba
  • Came to the US when she was 13 years old
  • Bachelors in Exceptional Student Education K-12
  • Masters in Special Education from Florida International University
  • Married and has a two-year old daughter, Janet
  • Loves Italian food, especially pizza and gelato
  • Enjoys being outdoors with her family
  • Favorite books include "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros and "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Upcoming Dates

August 11 - Traditional student supply drop off (3-5 pm)

August 13 - Traditional student supply drop off (8-10 am)

August 20 - Meet the Teacher Day (8 am-2:30 pm)

August 24 - First Day of School

August 26 - PTA General Assembly

About us

Please contact us at any time. We love hearing from our families!

Mrs. Christina Twardosz, Principal

Mrs. Lisa Grimsley, Assistant Principal