Piney Point Weekly

Week of February 20-24, 2023

Important Dates

A week

Monday, February 20 - Holiday - Presidents’ Day - All Schools and Offices Closed

Thursday, February 23 - Kids Heart Challenge ends

Friday, February 24 - PTA Paint Night at 6:00pm (registration required by Feb 22, limited space)

Kids Heart Challenge

We’ve kicked off our school’s Kids Heart Challenge (KHC)! Can you help us reach our goal to have 100% of our families learn Hands-Only CPR through Finn’s Mission?

We’re a great life-saving team! And not only will we learn how to be healthier, but we’ll also have the chance to earn Heart Heroes along the way.

If you haven’t already, JOIN OUR TEAM at and choose your daily health challenge to Move More or Be Kind and earn your own TORCH WRISTBAND so you can help light the way!

  1. Download the Kids Heart Challenge App or visit to register.
  2. COMPLETE FINN’S MISSION in your Headquarters, where you and your family can learn Hands-Only CPR and help us create a community of lifesavers! Earn Finn’s Lifesaver Award when you complete all 8 challenges!
  3. START COLLECTING YOUR HEART HEROES! Get the TORCH Wristband, and HEROES Hearty and Breeze with your first $10 in lifesaving donations! They are at our school NOW! Jump Start your donations by being the first to give. Check out all the fun Thank You Gifts you can earn HERE.

When you support KHC, you help real people—including kids with special hearts. Learn more about how your donations help families just like Finn.

Thank you for keeping more hearts beating strong!

Don’t forget: Double your Gift! Check to see if your employer will match your donation today! Follow the steps and forward the confirmation to to have this added to the student’s fundraising page.

The Surprising Benefits Your Kids Get From Playing Board Games article from Scholastic

The Surprising Benefits Your Kids Get From Playing Board Games

This family time benefits their brains, boosts their language development, and teaches them little life lessons.

If you bring out board games on cozy Friday nights or over long holiday weekends, know that your kids get big benefits out of this special family time. In addition to teaching them about teamwork, patience, and how to win and lose gracefully, board games can actually benefit kids' brains and language development.

1. Board games offer opportunities for early learning.

Even simple games help young players identify colors, count spaces, and develop hand-eye coordination and dexterity in moving cards and pieces around the board. Plus, learning to wait your turn and follow the rules are important lessons that serve kids far beyond the living room floor.

2. They get older kids' brains buzzing, too.

Board games are an easy way to encourage healthy brain development in older kids and teens. “Strategy games are useful in helping the frontal lobes of the brain develop,” says Beatrice Tauber Prior, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist, author, and owner of the private practice Harborside Wellbeing. “Those frontal lobes are responsible for executive function skills, which include planning, organizing, and making good decisions."

3. They boost their language skills.

Board games can be a sneaky way of helping school-aged kids work on skills they’re struggling with. Have a reluctant reader? A round of the BOB Books Happy Hats Beginning Reading Game will help them expand their vocabulary and flex their spelling skills.

Meanwhile, games in which players have to remember several pieces of information at once (who did what, and where) might help a child who’s having trouble with reading comprehension — all while still having fun.

4. They sharpen your child's focus.

“Board games, when played without interruptions, can help lengthen a child's attention span,” says Prior. But to reap the benefits, everyone needs to commit to seeing the game through to the end.

“If your family sits down for a game of Chinese checkers, be sure to complete a full game without everyone checking their phone, asking Alexa to play a song, or turning on the TV for the latest football scores,” adds Prior. “Finishing a board game without interruptions will help lengthen the declining attention span of kids in a world filled with digital distractions.”

5. They teach the value of teamwork.

Board games often offer kids meta-messages about life: Your luck can change in an instant, for better or for worse. But in addition to teaching them that nothing is guaranteed, board games are a good way to encourage kids of different ages to team up and work together — something they'll need to do throughout life. Form teams of older kids working with their younger siblings, or choose a game like The Brainiac Game or Race Across the USA, which have questions tailored to grades 1-6, so everyone’s challenged fairly.

6. Board games are an alternative to time out.

The next time you find yourself going through a rough patch with one of your kids, consider playing a board game together instead of sending them to their room. “I often use board games as a mechanism to work on the parent-child relationship,” explains Regine Galanti, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist and professor at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva University in New York City. “They can also be used to increase frustration tolerance in a child.”

In other words, taking turns and practicing patience during a game — even when things don't go their way — can help little ones practice more respectful responses than stomping off and slamming their bedroom door shut.

7. Board games soothe anxiety.

They may help anxious kids learn how to navigate friendships more easily. “Because they're structured, board games can provide an easier way to build interpersonal relationships with peers, since the child knows what's expected of them,” says Galanti. For kids who struggle with striking up conversations with others, Galanti recommends games that promote structured opportunities for chatter, such as guessing games.

8. They show kids how to be a good loser.

“If you're playing with a child who has low frustration tolerance, and losing is really difficult for them, allowing them to break the rules at first can make the game more tolerable and fun for them,” says Galanti. “But my goal is often to purposely play by the rules and encourage them to use coping skills and promote resilience when things don't go their way."

For instance, you might say: "I'm so proud of you for staying calm even though you picked a card you didn't like. I hope next time you pick a good one!"

9. Board games are a great way to unplug.

The lack of technology required to play board games makes them special. They are a simple way to get quality, screen-free time with the kids — and you might be surprised by how much they love playing. (Here are more screen-free activities to keep your kids entertained during the holidays this year.)

"Families are struggling to find the balance between digital and real-life connections, but board games provide a tool for that emotional connection to each other," says Prior. Order pizza and make it a way to celebrate the start of the weekend together!

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From the Nurse's Office


Norovirus is a common virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. Refer to this Maryland Department of Health fact sheet for additional information. Remember, if your child is sick, they must be free of fever, vomiting and diarrhea for 24 hours (without the use of medication) prior to returning to school.”

Student Laptops

School Laptops

Students are held accountable for laptops all year, including summer.

Here are the guidelines care.

  1. Keep you laptop in a secure place. The laptop should not leave home or be taken on vacations.
  2. Please review the procedures in our Accountability Document for "Care of Laptops Offsite"
  3. If you need help with your device please submit a helpdesk ticket using these directions.
  4. All students are issued a school laptop.
  5. It is your responsibility for the care and upkeep of your device.
  6. Depending on the make/model, a school laptop costs 380.00 - 520.00. Laptop charger replacements cost 40.00.

If you break a laptop, there is a repair cost. Please take care of your device.

Boosterthon Event - May 17

Dear Piney Point Families,

Piney Point Elementary is so excited to launch our Shirt Sponsorship program! Through this program, we will be able to provide an item of spirit wear to EVERY student in our school, while also raising needed funds for our students, staff, and programs this year.

Last year, we were able to partner with some incredible businesses to provide custom shirts to all our students! We are hoping to partner with EVEN MORE local businesses this year. Their logo or name will be displayed on the back of the shirt and worn by every student in our school. Not only will their support be incredibly helpful to Piney Point but it will enable us to support them as a community!

If you know of, or are part of, a business that would be interested in becoming a Piney Point Shirt Sponsor, please see the attached Sponsorship Form for more information.

We need a commitment from all sponsors by April 3 in order to supply all our students with a shirt.

I’d like to give one more shout out to last year’s sponsors! Thank you to the following partners for their generous support!

Russell's Store


Cedar Point Federal Credit Union

Captain Pat's

J. Browne Excavating

Escape Room

Great Mills Trading Post

Dyson's Building Supply

Dr. Dylan Schneider

Bin There Dump That

SWM Solutions

William & Amanda Peterson

WM Davis Contracting

Tall Timbers Marina

TT Oyster Ranch

Thank you in advance for supporting our school! If you have any questions, please contact me at

Thank you,

Melissa Adkins

Spirit Wear Chairperson

Piney Point Elementary School

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Yearbook Sales

Piney Point ES

Order Your 2022-2023


Capture this year's school memories by ordering your yearbook TODAY!

Sales end Friday, April 28.

Student absence reporting link

Wellness Information

February is the American Dental Association National Children’s Dental Health Month. The American Dental Association recommends that everyone brush their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks, and see your dentist twice a year. Parents for home care dental tips please read the following article

Do you have a sweet tooth? Check out this article for healthy sweet alternatives to enjoy.

Grades 3-5 Donations Needed

The Science Mobile Lab will be returning this year in March. Students in grades 3-5 will be doing a lab activity about the ecosystem that requires a 2 liter bottle. We are hoping to get enough bottles so every 3rd-5th grade student can create their own ecosystem. We will need 220 two liter empty bottles with lid! Please send in empty bottles with your child to school. We appreciate your support! Thank you!

Counselor's Corner

Hello Piney Point Families,

During the month of February, our students will be learning about the character trait, KINDNESS. They are learning that kindness means:

  • Being nice to others

  • Forgiving others

  • Showing compassion

  • Helping people in need

Listed below is a newsletter which contains some books, web resources, and activities for home on our character trait that you may want to explore with your child.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at or 301-994-2205 (ext. 24120).


Krissy Wells

Evening Counseling

PTA Updates

February 24th - We will be painting three snow birds (Please see flyer below). Cost is $15 per child and all supplies will be provided. Space is limited to 40 participants and registration is required before the event. Last day to register is Feb. 22nd . For questions, send an email to

February 24th - March 10th - St. Patrick's Day Candy Grams will be for sale

March 15th - Dairy Queen Fundraising Night- Dairy Queen at 21753 Great Mills Rd is donating back 15% of sales from Dine-In, Takeout & Drive thru orders to The Piney Point Elementary School PTA.

The Science Mobile Lab is returning on March 6th - 10th. Please see sign up sheet below if you are able to volunteer to help with it. Volunteers must be registered and approved SMCPS volunteers.

Please check out our Amazon wishlist, any help is greatly appriciated .

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Parent Drop Off Reminders

Parent drop off begins at 9:00am and ends at about 9:10am. If there are no staff members outside and the front doors are closed, you must park and walk your student(s) into the front entrance of the school. Students are considered late after 9:15am and must be signed in through the main office.

What to do if your student is ill

While school attendance is vital to your student’s education, a sick child belongs at home. Please review the Sick Day Guidelines below to assist you in making that decision.

Keep me home if...

  • I have a temperature higher than 100°F.
  • I'm throwing up or have diarrhea.
  • My eyes are pink and crusty.

Send me back to school when...

  • My symptoms have significantly improved or resolved.
  • I haven't had a fever for 24 hours and have not had any fever-reducing medication.
  • I haven't thrown up or had diarrhea.
  • If antibiotics have been prescribed, I have been taking them for at least 24hr.

Call the doctor if...

  • I’ve had a temperature higher than 100°F for more than 2 days.
  • I've been throwing up or having diarrhea for more than 2 days.
  • I've had the sniffles for more than a week and they aren't getting any better.
  • I still have asthma symptoms after using my asthma medicine (and call 911 if I'm having trouble breathing after using an inhaler).

School Volunteers

The School Volunteer Portal is now open for applications. Beginning this year all school volunteers must apply annually for approval. The application process will begin on August 1 and end on May 1 of each school year. There is no application fee for school volunteers.

Health Room

Medication Administration

Medications occasionally need to be administered to students by our nurse during the school day. Students can not transport medication of any kind to school including over the counter medications. All medication must be brought to school by a parent, guardian, or other authorized adult. Please call the school nurse if you have any questions.

My School Bucks

All students in SMCPS have been issued classroom and technology resources.* These resources may include:

  • Textbooks

  • Novels

  • Library Books

  • Laptops

  • Chargers

  • Consumables

  • Content/Class specific resources not mentioned above

When an SMCPS resource is lost, the student is charged the replacement cost specific to that item. When a laptop is damaged (either partially or completely), the repair or replacement cost is as shown in the SMCPS Student Device and Resource Accountability document. If a student is charged for any reason, payments can now be made through MySchoolBucks. As soon as a fee is assessed in Destiny, a REAL TIME FEE will show in the parent/guardian My School Bucks account. If your family does not already have an account with MySchoolBucks, it is not difficult to create one. Simply go to the MySchoolBucks Help page and click on the “How do I get started” option. Answers to many of your other questions can also be found there. *Please note, you can also still pay with cash or check at your school.

Ready to sign up? Visit this link.

*If you would like to see what your student currently has checked out or any fines that have been assessed, the student can login to their Destiny account.

School Meals

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture waivers that permitted distribution of free meals in school and via take-home meals have not been extended into School Year 2022-2023.

While meals are not free for all students, we are still offering the free and reduced meal program based on the status determined from the meal benefit application. Students who qualify based on income or direct certification will still receive free or reduced meals this school year. A new application must be submitted for this school year to qualify.

Elementary School Prices:
$1.45 breakfast

$2.75 lunch

School Meal Benefit Forms: School Year Meal Benefit forms for SY 2022-2023 are now available online! Easily fill out your new meal benefit form by visiting on the website. Families and students should also be advised that there are a lot of additional benefits by submitting a meal application form. These perks include waivers on college applications, dual-enrollment courses with the College of Southern Maryland, and discounted fees to participate in St. Mary’s County Parks and Rec programs. Families can request more information by contacting SMCPS Food and Nutrition Services Office at 301.475.4256, Option 5, or via email at
  • If you completed a meal benefit form last year and qualified for free or reduced meals, your child will continue to receive a free or reduced meal until October 6th. You must complete a new meal benefit form to receive a free or reduced meal for the remainder of the school year.
  • For those families that did not complete a meal benefit last year, your child will need to purchase their meals. You can put money on the meal account by visiting

Schoology App

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Bus Stop Locator/Here Comes the Bus app

Information regarding bus routes and signing up for Here Comes the Bus can be found at this link:

Students are assigned a bus based on their physical address. If your child is coming to school or going home to another address (like a daycare), it is the parent's responsibility to communicate that information with the office. Please contact Jayne Worch at If your child is a returning PPES student, you only need to communicate with the office if the transportation to or from school has changed from last school year.

Home Access Center (HAC)

HAC opens for families on Friday, August 19 at 5:00 p.m. Directions can be found on the SMCPS parent page Please contact Jayne Worch, school secretary, if you need assistance with accessing HAC. HAC includes student's schedules, homeroom teacher, attendance, grades, and registration information.

School Supply Lists

The school supply lists can be found using this link: You can find the lists using the quick links tab.

Student Handbook

The SY2023 Student Handbook and Code of Conduct can be found here.
HAC Mobile App

Please use this link if you are interested in accessing the Home Access Center through your mobile device.