Ponce de Leon Panther Post

Volume 1, Issue 4 March/April/May

Principal's Message

Hello Ponce families and happy spring to everyone!

I hope you all had a terrific Spring Break and that your children are ready to come back for the final grading period before the end of school! Hard to believe it, but report cards go home at the end of the month and we are moving into the final 9 weeks of school. But these final weeks sure will be busy! Our third-fifth graders will be taking their FSA tests in April and in May. The testing schedule is provided in this newsletter. This time of year can be very stressful for our students, as these assessments determine things such as promotion to the next grade level, course levels for middle school and enrollment in our academically talented program. But one thing we know is that our panthers are more than ready!

Our teachers have worked hard making sure that our students not only make a year’s worth of growth but also in filling in some academic and social emotional gaps that may have existed at the start of the year. Our students have risen to the occasion and have worked hard in class, writing essays, reading grade level texts that are both fiction and nonfiction and learning both conceptual and procedural concepts in math. Students have visited the science lab, played kahoot and have completed various review activities in class to prepare. We know they are ready to shine as they show what they know in these upcoming months.

In addition, our primary students will be taking their MAP assessment this spring. They have taken it twice already and both students and teachers will be able to see growth in the students in both reading and math. They too are ready to rock it later in March and into April.

Please remember that your child’s success and the success of overall school depends on the relationship between home and school. Little things like checking your child’s agenda, making sure that your child completes his/her homework and asking him/her what he/she learned at school each day are all part of building that connection. Remember, if ever you should have a question about your child’s performance, please reach out to your child’s teacher! Together, our students will achieve more!

Educationally Yours,

Tracie Bergman


Ponce de Leon Elementary

Calendar of Upcoming Events

March 29th - 3rd semester report cards go home

April 19th - No school for Students

May 6th-10th - Teacher Appreciation Week

May 27th - No School Memorial Holiday

May 28th - Last Day of School

FSA & SSA Testing dates

April 2nd - 4 &5 Th grade Writing

April 3rd & 4th - 3rd grade Reading

May 1st & 2nd - 4th & 5th grade Reading

May 7th & 8th - 3rd,4th,and 5th grade Math

May 9th & 10th - 5th grade Science

Safety Patrols

A Big Thank You to our sponsor the Star Lodge #78, F & AM for supporting our safety patrols.

Panther Art

Congratulations to the following students who will have work included in the FLORIDA ART EDUCATION AWARDS Exhibition.

Zaiden Franklin-Blanch

Melvin McAuley

Ronnie Coe

Kevin Turcios-Andrade

Yessenia Turcios-Andrade

Elizabeth Mellado Ambrocio

Maria Hernandez Baxcajay

Dorkas Chanda

Ayden Glasco

Jade Flohre


PE Department

We hope everyone had a great Spring Break!!!

Before we left, we had an awesome last couple of days! Field Day was a huge success! A special thank you to all those who helped, all the parents that came out to support their kids, and all the students who made Field Day enjoyable for everyone!

A few reminders for PE class… remember students should be wearing tennis shoes on their PE days (no sandals, crocs, etc…)

Also, keep bringing in your Box Tops!!! Box Tops are our main source of funding for all our equipment. We are now in the middle of doing our Fitness Testing. We will get a good chance to see how the students have improved since the beginning of the year. We look forward to a great last couple months of school!

Cortez's Counseling Corner

Test Taking Tips for Parents!

As you may already know, the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) are quickly approaching. These tests are important, so it’s good to remember that there are ways to help your student minimize stress and maximize performance throughout the testing process. Below you will find 6 tips for helping your student perform to their highest potential during the testing window.

1. Talk about the test at home: Encourage your child to do their best and to not stress.

2. Give words of encouragement: Teachers and students have been working hard all year, and the test is where they get to show everything they have learned.

3. Have your child get a good night’s rest: Rest is important for having your child feel their best.

4. Eat a good breakfast: Students who are full can focus easier and longer than students who feel hungry.

5. Get to school on time: Students who feel rushed to get to school, start their day with anxiety, and anxiety during a test can lead to poor performance.

6. Make sure your student has everything they need: They should be prepared with pencils and eraser.

Attendance Matters!!

As we return from Spring Break, it is important to remember that good attendance is a huge part of your child’s success! The time between spring break and the end of the school year is when the majority of the standardized tests are given. Attendance is always important, but is crucial during this time, so that your child is able to show what they know!

This is also the time to pay extra attention to getting your child to school on-time. School starts at 8:45 am, and testing starts promptly at 9:00 am. Any child who comes in late will have to sit in an alternate location to take their test at a different time. It is imperative that your child is in their classroom by 8:45 am. This will enable them to start their day in the best way possible, without any additional anxiety of rushing to get to school, rushing to eat or even worse skipping breakfast, and getting to class on time to take their test.

Here are some recommendations to have a successful rest of the school year:

  • Have a regular bedtime, elementary aged children should be getting 9- 11 hours of sleep per night.

  • Have a regular wake-up time. If you know that you have some slow movers in the morning, start your wake-up process 15 minutes earlier for some wiggle room.

  • Ensure time for breakfast. If your child is having breakfast at home, ensure they are at school by 8:30 am. If they are having breakfast at school, ensure they are at school by 8:15 am.

  • Start your day in a positive way. Have a positive saying, give your child an extra hug, or give a special high five each morning to share a positive moment together. The way we start our morning (as children, and adults) sets the tone for the whole day!

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or are in need of any assistance, please contact Courtney Klingman, or Connie Clifton, School Social Workers, at (727) 588-3573.

Volunteers & Mentors

Hello volunteers and mentors! My name is Tricia Wheeldon and I'm joining the Panther Family as your new Family & Community Liaison. I'm very happy to be a part of this school and look forward to getting to know all of you. There are several Mentor classes being offered at this time. If you are interested in any new training please reach out to me at wheeldont@pcsb.org for more information.

Thank you for all the you do

and all that you are.

Tricia Wheeldon

Family & Community Liaison


4th & 5th grade Writing April 2nd

3rd grade Reading April 3rd & 4th

4th & 5th grade Reading May 1st & 2nd

3rd, 4th, & 5th grade Math May 7th & 8th

5th grade Science May 9th & 10th

Take a deep breath, go with the FLOW.

Just do your BEST and SHOW what you KNOW!

TIPS for Rocking the FSA & SSA

1. Get a good night's sleep

2. Eat a good breakfast

3. No appointments on test day.

4. Be on time


PTA is accepting nominations for the 2019-2020 Executive Board. Please see below for the application to become a part of our team.