Pine River Area School Update

Winter 2022

Dear School Community Members,

As the new calendar year gets moving, we find ourselves halfway through our second trimester in the elementary and middle schools and at the start of our second semester in the high school. We wish to embrace a return to our quarterly newsletter, which has been absent since COVID began. These newsletters will provide information about our schools, safety, parent resources, and employment opportunities.

Other ways to stay informed are:

Facebook @ Pine River Area Schools

Facebook @ Pine River Area Elementary

Facebook @ Pine River Area Middle School


Pine River School App- for Apple Device

Pine River School App- for Android Device

Want to Get Involved?

Research shows that home-school collaboration improves student achievement, behavior, attendance, higher self-concept, and more positive attitudes toward school and learning. Pine River Area Schools has a variety of opportunities if you would like to become involved. Below are groups that collaborate with the schools to create opportunities for all students. We encourage you to join! Contact information is provided.

School Safety

What are our schools doing to keep our students safe?

  • All buildings have a secure entry and remain locked throughout the day.
  • All classrooms have locks and remain locked throughout the day.
  • All buildings have both internal and external security cameras.
  • All buildings have high-frequency radios that have an emergency channel for emergency services.
  • Our district has an Emergency Operations Plan that is reviewed and approved by Law Enforcement and the Board of Education every year.
  • All staff are trained on emergency policies and procedures every year.
  • All Emergency Operation Plans and procedures are practiced multiple times a year with staff and students.
  • Every student has access to school counselors, student success workers, and social workers to provide support services to our students and access to additional services for behavior and mental health.
  • The district works with outside agencies to provide outside supports to students and families as needed.
  • A district-wide alert system is in place to be used for communication.
  • External agreements with local organizations and agencies are in place to support our schools and our Emergency Operations Plan.
  • We continue to run our required School Safety drills for tornadoes, fire, bomb threats, and lockdown scenarios.

Possible School Resource Officer for Pine River

The School Board directed us to begin conversations and meetings in December concerning the possibility of a dedicated School Resource Officer from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department who would be on campus in the 2022-2023 school year. At this point, it looks like it may even be possible that we could have an agreement to run a pilot program from March until the end of the school year in early June. More information on this will be available when we receive it.

Notice of Change on HS Backpacks

For the safety of all students, in the high school, like the elementary and middle schools, after changing the school rule due to COVID-19, we are once again requiring backpacks be left in student lockers (unless there is a reason to consider an exception) for all students.


We continue to have a strong focus on social-emotional learning and the social-emotional well-being of students. In addition to our counselors and school success workers in our buildings, we have a new, full-time, School Social Worker, Ms. Julianne Thompson, who already has a full caseload. We have also added time to the schedule of our Behavioral Health Therapist, Mr. Scott Machin.

Our SEL Team at Pine River continues to teach lessons to all K-12 students regarding social-emotional learning. This team also continues to collaborate with all of the other school districts in our ISD to ensure we are all giving our students all of the social-emotional supports they need.

What should I do if there is an emergency at school?

We have worked with local law enforcement to complete plans for protecting our students and staff should a crisis situation develop. Our plan is complete and our staff has been trained in the necessary procedures for ‘lockdown’ and other emergency situations listed below.

  • Severe Weather (incidents such as a thunderstorm, tornado, blizzard, etc. which requires the Pine River Area Public Schools to take emergency protective measures.)
  • Fire (a fire in a building or on the grounds of the Pine River Area Schools requiring emergency protective measures to be implemented)
  • Environmental Hazard (an incident such as a hazardous materials release, exterior threat, or another incident that requires district employees, teachers, and students to remain inside.)
  • First Aid/Medical (incidents that require district staff and teachers to provide emergency care)
  • Power Outage (incidents where there is an electrical power failure, gas line break, water main or sewer break, telephone outage, computer network or internet outage impacting the Pine River Area School District requiring action to be taken)
  • Evacuation (incidents such as a fire, internal chemical release, bomb threat, or other incidents which require district employees, teachers, and students to leave the building)
  • Bomb Threat/Suspicious Package (guidance on handling suspicious packages and during a suspected or actual bomb threat on or impacting the Pine River Area Schools requiring emergency protective measures to be implemented)
  • Secure Mode (incidents when the potential for external threats arise in the surrounding area, actions will commence securing the building and occupants)
  • Lockdown (incidents such as an active shooter, criminal incident, exterior threat, or other incidents which requires district employees, teachers, and students to remain inside to protect occupants and minimize overall exposure to danger)
  • Reunification (provide for the orderly and coordinated reunification of students and families if an emergency situation occurs that warrants evacuating Pine River Area Schools for an extended period of time)

It is our staff's utmost job and duty to protect your children in any emergency situation. The parent and/or guardian's role in emergency situations is to wait for communication via our notification system. (Our notification system sends out text messages and phone calls for snow days, important messages, etc.). It is very important that this number is always kept up to date in the office for each of your children. The notification system works with our student information system.

*If you have NOT been receiving text messages and/or phone calls for snow days...please let the school office know as soon as possible, so this can be resolved.

How do I report a safety concern or threat?

Contact Law Enforcement by calling 911 or dispatch 231-796-4811

Tell a Staff Member at Pine River

Report it to OK2SAY

School Bond Updates

Our bond work is nearly complete and we are so thankful for all the community support. The elementary now has a new wing that consists of three classrooms and three extra rooms that are utilized as a conference room, behavior room, and ISD room for special education services. New lockers are located throughout the elementary building. The cafeteria has a brand new floor, new appliances, and is freshly painted. The middle school boy's and girl's locker rooms are completely refurbished and the school now has a completely new boiler system. The high school has a newly renovated art room, new science labs, and the girl's and boy's locker rooms are also renovated.

More things are continuing to be completed as the year progresses, such as the baseball and softball announcer booths and the Pavillion at the elementary school.

Below are some pictures of some of the bond updates.

Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Pine River High School’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony for the Classes of 2021 and 2022 will be held in between the home girls JV and varsity double-header vs. Lake City on Friday, January 28, 2022. Come out and support our girls and see the ceremony inducting: Luke Jones, Sheila (Dickinson) Houseman, Fred Davis, Carl Johnson, 1976 Varsity Boys Basketball Team, Tim Jones, and the 1980 Varsity Softball Team. The JV game will tip-off at 5:30 p.m.

FAQs and Answers

Is there a heating issue at the high school?

It has been a bad time for a heater breakdown in our high school kitchen, but we have now added in a 5th supplemental heating source to alleviate the cold while Advanced Mechanical is tackling our rooftop unit issue. We expect the repair to be completed in the next two weeks, but it is a tricky repair as we have to cut a new hole in our roofline–in winter–and seal it back up as soon as we drop in the new unit. We have people lined up and are waiting for delivery while we begin our work this week.

Is the district still pursuing HVAC improvements?

Yes, per the Board’s approval to improve air quality in all of our buildings, we are developing a bid package to work on the elementary and middle school-high schools' mechanical systems in the summer of 2022 and/or possibly the summer of 2023. In a survey, the community responded strongly to the idea of air quality improvement in our district.

Parent Resources

Social Media Information for Parents Tips and strategies to help keep your child safe on social media.

NWEA Toolkit for Families Learn about the NWEA assessment that K-12 students take three times a school year to show growth in academics.

Upcoming Dates & Events

January 25

Kindergarten & 1st Grade Movie Night (after school - 4:45pm)

January 27

Sophomore CTC Tour

February 3

2nd & 3rd Grade Movie Night (after school - 4:45pm)

February 11


Home Girls Jv/Var basketball vs Beal City


February 18

Professional Development for Teachers

No School for students.

February 21

President’s Day – Holiday

No School for students.


March is Reading Month.

Events TBD. Stay tuned!

March 3

4th and 5th Grade Activity Night 3:30-5:00pm

March 10

6th and 7th Grade Activity Night 3:30-5:00pm

K-12 Parent-Teacher Conferences 4:00-7:00pm

March 25

Spring Break begins.

Half-day of school.

April 3

Spring Break ends.

April 4

School Resumes.