November 2019

Principal Points from Mrs. Hill

October has been a very busy month here at Cypress Woods Elementary! It is hard to believe that the first marking period is over. Progress reports for students in kindergarten – fifth grade came home last week. With a quarter of the school year already over, now is a good time to reflect on your child’s academic progress. Celebrate your child’s successes and set some goals for areas of improvement. If you have not already had a conference with your child’s teacher, I encourage you to schedule one in the coming weeks. Collaboration with your child’s teacher is essential to bridge the connection between home and school. Mr. Stevens and I enjoy visiting classrooms each day and watching our Eagles happily engaged in learning. Each day they are striving to become the best readers, writers, mathematicians and scientists. November and December will be very busy months on our campus. PTA will be hosting their annual Eaglethon fundraiser on Friday, 11/15 We hope all families will help support our awesome PTA. On November 13th, we will be hosting the Great American Teach In. We encourage parents, grandparents, and friends to share their careers and talents with our students. We may have a few spots left for speakers so please contact Kim Shipley, Family & Community Liaison, if you are interested in participating. Her email address is

We are beginning to see an increase in tardies from many of our students in the morning. Please remember students must be in their classrooms at 8:45AM each morning. Family vacations, heavy traffic, and oversleeping are considered unexcused tardies/absences. The most crucial learning hours of a school day are the morning hours, because they are when students are most attentive. Students who are tardy miss the beginning of their morning classes, and they also cause a distraction when they arrive late to the classroom. Research shows that students who are frequently tardy have lower GPAs, lower scores on standardized assessments, and lower graduation rates. Chronic tardiness in elementary and middle school is also linked to failure in high school. The classroom experience is of unique value and cannot be duplicated by make-up work, so please take the time to familiarize yourself with the tardy and attendance policy posted in this newsletter. Thank you again for your continued support!!

Staff Recognitions

This is the time of the year where Pinellas County Schools seek nominations for Support Employee of the Year and Outstanding Educator of the Year. We have many, many outstanding staff members (both support and instructional) who support the success of our Eagles year after year. While the hard work and dedication of every staff member does not go unnoticed, we only can select two outstanding staff members. After nominations were submitted by staff and parents we have two excellent candidates that will represent Cypress Woods this year.

Becky Crispyn, Physical Education Assistant is our Support Employee of the Year nominee. Her work in our PE classes and around campus goes above and beyond each day. She is willing to jump in and help whenever needed which demonstrates her ongoing commitment to our Cypress Woods community.

Sarah Karlesky, Fifth Grade ELA Teacher, will be our Outstanding Educator of the Year nominee. She welcomes creativity in her classroom and supports students demonstrating mastery in various means. The voice and choice in her classroom provides an environment that is not only culturally relevant but also student centered. She teaches her students to strive for excellence, to love reading and writing, and to respect each other.

Upcoming Dates & Events

  • 11/8 - PTA Eaglethon Kickoff
  • 11/11 - Veteran's Day Program 9-10 AM
  • 11/13 - Great American Teach-in
  • 11/15 - PTA Eaglethon
  • 11/19 - NEHS Induction 6:30-7:30 PM
  • 11/20 - Chick-fil-A Spirit Night 5:30-7:30 PM
  • 11/25 - 11/29 - Thanksgiving Break - School Closed
  • 12/2 - School Reopens
  • 12/4 - SAC Meeting at East Lake Library 5-6 PM


Student Government will be holding a canned food drive the week of November 12th – 15th to benefit the Salvation Army. Help local families in the area have a wonderful Thanksgiving by bringing in cans or boxes of food for our drive. Tables will be set up on the stage in our cafeteria for students to place their donations on.


Just a friendly reminder to our families that may need to apply for our free lunch program. Please see the attachment below to help you through this process. Please do no hesitate to call me if you have any questions.

Notes from Our Guidance Counselor


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Homework Helpline

The Homework Helpline is a free service for all PCS students. The service is available 5 to 8 p.m., Monday-Thursday. Students can get help with math, science, social studies and language arts. Students who need practice reading can also call the helpline and spend 10 minutes reading to an adult. Families can reach the Homework Helpline at 727-547-7223.

Notes from Our School Nurse

While it may be tempting and well intentioned to send your student to school with cough drops and other medications, please be advised that Pinellas County Schools has a very strict policy regarding all medicines, including over the counter meds, such as cough drops and certain chap sticks.

Policy and Procedure for medication administration at PCS:

  • STUDENTS MAY NOT TRANSPORT MEDICATIONS TO OR FROM SCHOOL. Medications cannot be given to bus assistants to transport to school. It is not safe for children to deliver medicine to the school. This rule prevents safety concerns of lost or stolen medicines, students sharing medicines with friends, and/or students taking medicine unsupervised.
  • All parent/guardians must complete a medication form and/or obtain MD signature/order.
  • Medications must be counted by a parent/guardian. This count will be verified by school staff.
  • If medications need to be cut, they must be cut prior to bringing them to school.
  • Pill crushers, calibrated measuring spoons, soft food for mixing, and special drinks must be provided by a parent/guardian. Physicians order must also specify these directions.
  • Parent/guardians must notify the school of any changes to medications, dosages or administration times. Upon making such changes, an additional form must be signed, and a physician order provided.
  • Parents are required to pick up and sign out any unused or unnecessary medication at the end of the school year or upon request. Be aware that all medications remaining at the end of the school year will be destroyed.
  • Over the counter products, including but not limited to non-prescription medication, medicated lip balm, and cough drops, will require both parent signature and written health care provider prescription.
  • All medications must be in their original pharmacy or unopened manufacturers container with the equipment necessary to be given (ex: spacer, tubing, mask, etc.)
  • Prescription medications must be given to the school with the pharmacy label attached. Do not alter or write on the prescription label. Prescription medication labels must include:

  • Student name
  • Medication name
  • Specific dosage instructions and time
  • Date the prescription was filled
  • Health care provider name
  • Pharmacy name and telephone number

  • Over the counter (OTC) products or medications must have a health care provider order which includes:

  • Student name
  • Medication name
  • Specific dosage instructions and time
  • Signature of MD and phone number

  • Narcotics, barbiturates, non-FDA regulated non-prescription herbal products and essential oils/aromatherapy products will not be given at school.
  • New medication cards and authorization forms are required each school year.

Only the following medications may be carried by the student and self-administered

  • Insulin
  • Pancreatic Enzymes
  • Inhalers
  • Epi Pens

Students may carry and self-administer only if the appropriate authorization form is on file at the school and the school nurse has assessed the self-administration to be safe and effective yearly. The school nurse reserves the right to revoke a student's ability to carry and self-administer medication if the student is assessed to be unsafe.

If you have any questions, please give me a call in the clinic.

Jennifer Reznick

School Nurse

Notes From Kim Shipley, Family & Community Liaison

Hello Volunteers!

I was reviewing our volunteer hours for the first grading period and I wanted to thank those of you who have logged your hours in the volunteer system! We have just over 1K hours recorded, but I’m sure there are many, many, more that need to be entered. Please take a few minutes to log your volunteer hours by following the attached instructions. Every hour counts such as, classroom assistant (at school or at home), field trips, lunch pals, lunch heroes, book fair/library, PTA meetings, SAC meetings, School Activities, etc. These hours are reported twice per year to Tallahassee and display the wonderful community involvement we have at Cypress Woods and they allows us to maintain our 5 Star Award. Hours can be entered in chunks, as the dates are not as important as recording the time itself. If you are unable to log your hours for any reason, please contact me and I will be happy to help you.

Would you like to be a Lunch Pal (Mentor)?

We have many students that would greatly benefit from having a lunch pal, so please let me know if you can help! Only Thirty (30) minutes a week, can make a difference in a student's life! Listen, encourage, and be a friend to a student. Schedules are flexible, Lunch Pals meet during the student’s lunch time any day of the week. There is a free workshop that the district requires in order to participate, please see the attachment and/or follow this link to see the locations and times available and hopefully you can find one that is convenient for you: There’s even a webinar on 11/22/19 that you can take at your convenience (see attached)!

The CWE PTA needs registered volunteers for our Eaglethon. Please sign up using the link below.

Eaglethon: Friday, November 15th


With the season of giving approaching, please consider adopting one or more of our teachers who have not yet been adopted (see form attached). This money is used in the classroom to directly benefit the educational opportunities for students. A full adoption is $100, but we will accept any amount. The following teachers have not yet been fully adopted:

Pre-K: Maguire ($85 away), Hartman, Dumala, Buoniello, Eagan

1st Grade: Harlan ($50 away), Lau, Robinson

2nd Grade: Woodham ($25 away)

3rd Grade: Hodges ($50 away), Kontodiakos ($50 away), Williams ($50 away)

5th Grade: Pearson, Preston ($70 away), Slater

Important Dates & Opportunities:

  • Monday, November 11th at 9 AM - Veterans Day Celebration – Level 2 volunteers will be needed to guide our guests to the PE court and guide them off campus when it’s over, please contact me if you can help. Those of you who already signed up-Thank you!
  • Wednesday, November 13th The Great American Teach In- Volunteers are needed to help with the check in process, Level 2’s to escort speakers to/from their classroom/location, help keeping our refreshments updated, set up in the morning and cleaning up at the end. Please contact me if you can help! You’re already signed up to volunteer? Thank you!! If you signed up to participate as a speaker, please watch for an email soon that will give you your schedule and important information about the day.
  • Friday, November 15th – Eaglethon, please see link above to sign up and volunteer!
  • Wednesday, November 20th – Chick Fil A Spirit Night 5:30-7:30 PM! Join us for delicious food, spin the wheel for great prizes, meet the cow and socialize with our CWE families and staff J
  • Monday, November 25th through Friday, November 29th Thanksgiving Break – No School
  • December – The Giving Tree Will Begin- Please contact if you are available to help with this project.

Have a fantastic month!!

Kim Shipley
Family & Community Liaison

Cypress Woods Elementary

4900 Cypress Woods Blvd

Palm Harbor, FL 34685


PTA Newsletter November


Save the date, Eaglethon is just around the corner. Remember, this is a completely volunteer led, fundraising, fun run. Our own PTA created this event so we don’t have to pay a company to run it for us, that way the proceeds stay at our school, supporting our students and staff. Kick-off is November 8th followed by the fun run, during school hours, on November 15th. Look in your child’s binder for more information. Sign up at If you would like to help at the event please sign up at:

Membership Has It’s Privileges

Remember when you join CWE PTA you are supporting our school and all the programs we provide. PTA funds buy Scholastic News, provide funding for each classroom and department plus so much more. Additionally, members get great discounts on Lego Land Tickets, car rentals and grocery delivery.

Year Book Discount

Purchase a yearbook before the end of November and receive a 5% discount. Don’t forget to personalize your 2 free pages! Additional personalized pages can be added for a small cost.

Club News

Fall clubs are ending. Running Club’s last day is November 1st, Garden and Spanish Club end November 4th. Watch your child’s binder for winter session sign up. Information comes home after Thanksgiving break.

Questions about how to get involved in PTA or our programs, email