September 2019

Principal Points from Mrs. Hill

By now all of the students have settled into their new classrooms and we are off to a great start to the school year. It’s hard to believe that we are already into the month of September. I appreciate all of the continued support as we strive to help each student reach his/her highest potential. Our work together is very important. Research confirms that parental interest and involvement in a child’s education is the most significant reason children succeed in school.

While we work together to develop students who will be good citizens of the future, our goal at Cypress Woods is to provide a nurturing and challenging education for all students. In reaching our goals, establishing and maintaining an orderly environment is essential. Listed below are a few ways that you can help us maximize student achievement at CWE:

  • Respect Our School Hours
Office Hours: 7:45 am - 3:45 pm
First Bell: 8:30 am
Class begins: 8:45 am (considered tardy if not in classroom)
School Hours: 8:45 am – 2:55 pm

  • Make sure your child is here daily AND on time. Children should always be on time for school. Students who arrive late to school (after 8:45 am) are expected to sign in at the front office and obtain a tardy slip. Tardiness on a regular basis is disrupting and detrimental to your child’s success.

  • Please respect dismissal time: Students must be picked up at 2:55 each day. We have many children who are being picked up well after the dismissal bell. Please make sure other arrangements have been made if you will be running late.

  • Check your child’s planner/agenda nightly. The planner is an important communication tool from the teacher and includes homework assignments and important dates.

  • Participate in school activities. We welcome volunteers, tutors, and mentors at Cypress Woods. We also have a very active PTA that is a tremendous support to our school community. Please check the school website, PTA and school Facebook pages for ways you can become involved here at school.

  • Expect your child to demonstrate respectful, responsible and safe behavior. Cypress Woods is committed to providing a positive learning culture. We have a school-wide Positive Behavior Plan where we teach children behaviors that will ensure success in school and throughout life.

Each day presents wonderful opportunities to make a difference in the lives of children as we prepare them for success in school and in life. It is with pride that I look forward to a productive and enriching school year! Thank you for your continued support! Please let us know if we can be of assistance to your family.

Just a few safety reminders:

These safety reminders were sent out in a School Messenger email over a week ago; but it doesn’t hurt to put these out in print one more time.

  • If your child is a car rider, please make sure that you are using the name sign on your rearview mirror at pick-up time. Please print in bold large letters. Car riders should have received a hanging car tag (one per family) during the first week of school to use during pick-up. Please feel free to make a large placard for the car window for all cars that will be picking up your child…Mom, Dad, and Grandma too!

  • Please refrain from talking or texting on your cell phone while moving in the car line. We have had some close calls with those who have their attention elsewhere!

  • If at all possible, please refrain from picking your child up before 2:30 without prior notice. This is disruptive to the learning for everyone in the class when classroom instruction is interrupted.

  • Please do not drop off or pick up your children in undesignated areas. The only drop off and pick up area with supervision is in the car circle under the yellow overhang. Parking in undesignated areas is not safe. Students must NOT be dropped off in the left lane of the car circle. While we understand the car line can take some time, please be patient so students can enter the campus in a safe manner.

  • If you would like to walk your child to the blue doors in the morning, you must park in a parking space or in the overflow lot at the end of Cypress Woods Blvd and walk your child to the front of the school. DO NOT drop off on the side of the road or park at Excel and walk across the street. These areas are not supervised and can be dangerous.

  • K-5 students are NOT to be dropped off at the Pre K building. This area is designated ONLY for Pre K drop off and pick up and those students must be signed in and out daily. We will be monitoring this area to ensure it is being used exclusively for our Pre K families.

  • The secondary car circle is located in the bus circle and is reserved for pickup in the afternoons of students in Grades 3-5 only. Intermediate students with younger siblings should use the front car circle.

  • Adult supervision on campus begins at 8:15 AM, so please do not drop off your children before this time. We continue to have students dropped off before 8:15. We will be formally notifying parents that are continually dropping their children off before the designated time.

  • Our car circles are beginning to get into our regular routines and making efficient time at this point, so please make sure that you are here to pick up your child by 2:55 PM each day.

  • For those parents who walk up to pick up their child in the front car circle are asked to please stand away from the exit doors and the bench area where students sit. This just congests the area and delays our dismissal process.

  • It is important that we expedite the car line as quickly as we can both in the morning and the afternoon. Therefore, the lane closest to the building (drop off and pick up lane) will ALWAYS have the right of way when exiting the car line. We understand this can take some time with volume of cars on campus during arrival and dismissal.

  • While we understand there are many cars trying to enter and exit campus during arrival and dismissal times, we ask for parents to be considerate to those entering the campus from the north off of East Lake Road allowing them to merge into the car line circle.

We appreciate your attention to these important safety issues.

Upcoming Dates & Events

  • 9/2 - Labor Day, School Closed
  • 9/5 - Open House: PreK - 5:00-6:00 PM
  • 9/5 - K-2nd Grades & Access - 6:00-7:00 PM
  • 9/12 - Fall Picture Day
  • 9/17 - Gifted Open House - 5:00-6:00 PM
  • 9/17 - 3rd-5th Grades: 6:00-7:00 PM
  • 9/25 - Chick-Fil-A Spirit Night - 5:30-7:30 PM
  • 10/2 - Walk to School Day - 7:45 AM (Meet at East Lake Library)
  • 10/4 - Volunteer Cafe - 9:00-11:00 AM


Save the date! Fall picture day is coming Thursday, September 12th. Flyers will be sent home with your student this week with more information.

Notes from Our Guidance Counselor


Attending school has a huge impact on student success. Regular school attendance helps students feel better about their academics—and themselves. Good attendance is missing 9 days or fewer days for the entire school year and being on time for class/school. Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10% or more of the academic year for any reason (average of 2 days each month), including excused and unexcused absences, suspensions, time missed due to changing schools, transportation, family events, etc. We need your help!

Some Attendance Tips to Promote Student Learning:

  • Make sure your students keep a regular bedtime and establish a morning routine so they are rested and alert when they get to school.
  • Turn off all electronics including TVs, phones and tablets at bedtime.
  • Make sure clothes and pack backpacks are ready the night before.
  • Check with our school nurse or office staff if you are not sure about when to keep your child at home due to illness.
  • Avoid scheduling vacations or doctor’s appointments when school is in session.
  • Talk to teachers and counselors for advice if your student feel anxious about going to school.
  • Develop back up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Examples include: Call on a family member, neighbor, or another parent to take your student to school.

Ways to report Absences to School:

When your child must miss school, it is important to communicate with us for every absence! Below are different ways of notification.

  • Sending in a letter to the office/teacher and/or sending in notes from doctor’s appointments. Please always be sure to include your child’s name, grade, date of absence and the reason for the absence so the absence can be recorded correctly. If the days are consecutive, one note for the date range will suffice.
  • Going on the School’s website and clicking on the Report Student Absence tab. Follow the steps listed below:

  1. Go to Cypress Woods Elementary website:
  2. Click “REPORT STUDENT ABSENCE” tab at the top of the page
  3. Click the blue circle that says Report Student Absence and it will generate an email.
  4. Fill out the email and be sure to include the student’s name, DOB, grade, date absent, and reason for the absence.

Please let us know how we can best support you and your student so that they can show up for school on time every day. Thank you and we look forward to a successful year!

original Bringing Attendance Home_ Parent Video


Cypress Woods Elementary STEM Academies

Calling all future engineers! We are excited to announce that Cypress Woods Elementary will host eight STEM Academies serving 160 students this school year! The CWE STEM Academies will be forming soon. The teachers who are facilitating STEM Academies in grades 2 through 5 are preparing applications to go home with students. The STEM Academy schedule is (all Academies are after school, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.):

Tuesdays: Mrs. Pocrnich (4th Grade); Mrs. Romary (5th Grade Boys)

Wednesdays: Mr. Sikorski (2nd Grade); Mrs. Wegelin (2nd Grade); Ms. Williams (3rd Grade); Ms. Healy (3rd Grade); Mrs. Pocrnich (4th Grade); Mrs. Romary (5th Grade Girls)

If your child does not bring home a STEM application by Friday, September 6th, please email your teacher if you would like to have an application sent home. Students for each Academy will be chosen by lottery. STEM Academies will hold their first meetings during the first week of October and run through the month of April. Remember that parents of students in every STEM Academy must provide transportation home from CWE at 4:00 p.m. on their weekly STEM day. Look for specific details in the STEM applications coming home with your child. Questions? Email Mrs. Romary at

Notes from Our Media Center

Tip of the Month from the Eagles Nest (Media Center)

Children use a variety of online services, and each of these services can have different safety concerns.

However, there are some basic tips which you can employ no matter how your children use the Internet.

  • Keep the computer in a high-traffic area of your home.
  • Establish limits for which online sites children may visit and for how long.
  • Remember that Internet technology can be mobile, so make sure to monitor cell phones, gaming devices, and laptops.
  • Surf the Internet with your children and let them show you what they like to do online.
  • Know who is connecting with your children online and set rules for social networking, instant messaging, e-mailing, online gaming, and using webcams.
  • Continually dialogue with your children about online safety.

Notes from Our School Nurse

Welcome back! I am pleased to be returning to Cypress Woods again this year as your full-time nurse and hope everyone had a healthy summer break!

I would just like to take a moment to review some basic district policies and provide some health tips for the school year.

Per PCSB policy, no student may carry ANY medication on them at school, or transport medication to or from school. ALL medications must be brought to the clinic by an adult and signed in with the nurse. This includes all over the counter medications, like Tylenol, Benadryl and even medicated chap stick and cough drops. Students may be allowed to self-carry inhalers and epi pens with a Doctor's written permission. Please contact me in the clinic to obtain these or any other forms.

While we’re on the subject, please make sure you complete and return the yellow clinic card that was sent home with your student at the start of the school year. I personally review each and every card to evaluate every health need of every student. This allows me to effectively communicate health needs with teachers, support staff and especially you and your child. If you receive follow up forms from me requesting additional information, please be sure to complete them as well and return them to the clinic as soon as possible. These forms help provide us with additional insight and details about your students specific diagnosis and helps us identify any students who may need additional resources.

Please keep a change of clothes in your child’s backpack. -Yes! Older kiddos, too!- Cypress Woods has 800 students from PreK through 5th grade! Keeping clothing on hand to support such a large student body in such a variety of sizes is a monumental and impossible task, not to mention we just don’t have the space to accommodate them. Most importantly, we want to avoid having healthy kids waste learning time sitting next to sick kids in the clinic waiting on parents to bring clothes. Simply keeping a change of clothes in your student’s bag prevents lost class time and decreases the risk of bringing illness back to class-or home!

A piece of good advice for the school year: “Once a Week-Take a Peek”. That’s right, no one loves elementary schools more than Lice! Please help prevent the spread of lice by routinely checking your children’s hair. We do not do routine classroom Lice checks due to HIPPA laws. However, if your student is displaying symptoms of infestation they may be sent to the clinic for a head check. If your child is found to have lice or nits they will need to be picked up from school. Pinellas County Schools currently has a no Nit policy. This means students may not return to class until they are completely nit free. Upon being treated, and all nits removed, they will need to be rescreened by staff who will then clear them to return to class.

Finally: Washing your hands is the simple most efficient way to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses! Remind your child often to wash their hands regularly throughout the day!

Have a Healthy School Year!

Jennifer Reznick, LPN

School Nurse

Notes from Art

The Art Department is in need of paper towel tubes, wrapping paper tubes and toilet paper tubes. Please save them and send them in with your students to bring to the Art room.

Also, if you would like to help photograph children’s artwork for Artsonia this year – please send me, Mr. Sikorski an e-mail at: If you have a specific grade level you would like to work with, please include that in your email.

Notes From Kim Shipley, Family & Community Liaison

Greetings Volunteers!

Hopefully this school year is off to a great start! I want to personally welcome all our new volunteers and those who are returning, we are so happy to have you here! If you are a new volunteer or have already completed the reactivation process, THANK YOU! If you are a current volunteer and have not reactivated, please do so as soon as possible in order to continue receiving emails about volunteer opportunities/news and most importantly to volunteer. Instructions are attached, please contact me if you have any trouble completing this process.

If you are new to the school district and would like to register to volunteer, we have a new online registration process. Please follow this link: and you will be notified via email once you have been approved. Background checks may take up to 3 weeks, so don’t delay…register TODAY!

This school year we have set a goal to increase our mentors and students who receive lunch pal/mentors as it directly relates to student and school improvement. A Lunch Pal is another caring adult and role model that meets with a student once per week during his/her lunch. Primarily, a Lunch Pal listens and encourages students to be the best they can be. Students in this program have better attendance, their grades rise as well as their self-esteem. Please consider taking one of the district’s free workshops and become a Lunch Pal/Mentor(see attached). Change your lunch plans, change a child’s life…only 30 minutes per week will make a huge difference!

Recently, the text alert application, Remind, made changes to their service and as a result, you will need to opt in again for this service in a slightly different way. Please see the list below and sign up under the grade of your youngest student in order to receive text alerts about school events, PTA and volunteering. (The information will be the SAME on all accounts, so you should only sign up under one class…)

To 81010, please text the following:

  • PRE K @b49fk3
  • KINDERGARTEN @24b47f
  • 1ST GRADE @cf6c38
  • 2ND GRADE @9f7edc
  • 3RD GRADE @cwethi
  • 4TH GRADE @2ce39k7
  • 5TH GRADE @e26kb9

Family Friendly Lunches will begin on Friday, September13th and will continue weekly unless there is testing or an activity occurring that would cause us to cancel. We will need Level 2 Volunteers for all lunch periods, please contact me if you are available on a consistent basis once a month, twice a month or weekly to be a Lunchtime Hero at:

Important Dates:

  • Monday, September 2nd – Labor Day Holiday – No School
  • Thursday, September 5th – Open House for Pre-K 5 – 5:45 PM; K – 2nd 6 – 7 PM
  • Tuesday, September 10th – On site Fingerprinting by the Postal Annex, $48 cash or check, bring photo ID, appointment recommended, sign up here:
  • Thursday. September 12th – Fall Picture Day – We will need a few volunteers to help with organizing the line of students and making sure hair and clothing is just right. Please contact me if you are available to help!
  • Tuesday, September 17th – Open House for Gifted 5 – 5:45 PM; 3rd – 5th 6 – 7 PM
  • Wednesday, September 25th – Chick-fil-A Spirit Night 5:30 – 7:30 PM – Spin the wheel for prizes and have some delicious food! Be sure to tell them you are with Cypress Woods Elementary as the school will receive a portion of all sales.
  • Thursday, September 26th - Room Parent Overview 9:00-10:00 in the Cafeteria.
  • Wednesday, October 2nd – National Walk to School Day! 7:45 AM meet at East Lake Library
  • Friday, October 4th – Volunteer Café 9:00 – 11:00 AM- Join us for friends, food and fun as we work on various projects for our teachers! RSVP appreciated to Snacks provided by Grade Power Learning.

Our Great American Teach In is Wednesday, November 13th, the deadline to sign up is October 18th! Please see the attached form and sign up to be a presenter now!

Thanks so much!

Kim Shipley
Family & Community Liaison

Cypress Woods Elementary

4900 Cypress Woods Blvd

Palm Harbor, FL 34685

727-538-7325 ext. 2051

Upcoming Veteran Day's Program


Don't forget that you can have a chance to have your child's name in lights for their birthday! Just fill out the form that went home in the first day packet. This birthday gift is on $10! Return the form with the money (cash only, please) at least one week prior to your child's birthday week. All proceeds will be used for staff incentives, staff professional development, supplies, and technology.