Knight Writer

November 2019 Edition

Principal's Message

During the first grading period, our students worked hard on applying the learning strategies learned in reading, writing, math, and science. In December our students will have the opportunity to shine as they show off all that they have been learning as measured by our M.A.P Assessments (Measure of Academic Progress). It is at this time of year that many parents ask me how they can help their children become better readers. They also want to know how to help their child meet grade-level expectations. The following are skills needed to be successful:

• Determine the meaning of words (vocabulary) by using is context clues (read through the sentence, skipping the unknown word and figuring out the word from the meaning of the sentence)

• Determine the main idea or essential message of the passage.

• Identify supporting details and facts (sentences or words that tell about the main idea.)

• Retell (child tells you the story in his own words).

• Recognize comparison and contrast (what is similar and what is different).

• Recognize the difference between fact and opinion (fact- actually happened in the story; opinion what person in the story thinks about something).

These strategies will help your child become better readers and thinkers. Research tells us the more children read, the better readers they will become.

Don’t forget to sign your child’s reading log daily and have your child read every night.

Another very important way that you can help your child succeed in school is to be sure that they attend school daily and arrive on time. It is extremely difficult to recapture the lost instruction time that the child loses by not being in school or arriving late. To maximize the number of days that your child attends school, please use your blue family calendar to plan family vacations and trips on days when school is not in session. Your child(ren) are our greatest resource and we will do whatever it takes for them to succeed! We appreciate your assistance with this.

Until next time, Carpe Diem! Carpe Success

PTA News

October was a busy month for your North Shore elementary PTA. We kicked off the month with our annual Literacy Night and Family BBQ. IT was so joyful to be in community with our North Shore families sharing a meal together and reading under the stars. The BBQ was also the kick-off for the Direct Donation Drive. Our PTA does the vast majority of our fundraising at the beginning of the school year, so we can focus on programs for the remainder of our year. We do the Direct Donation Drive in lieu of selling cookies, wrapping paper, or cheap doodads, and allow 100% of your support dollars to go toward PTA programs. We finalized the drive at the Fall Festival on October 26, 2019., and will announce the final tally at the November 5, 2019 Pizza & PTA General Meeting.

The Fall Festival is a decades-old tradition that now sometimes sees three generations of North Shore students and alumni. Fall Festival Chair, Hillary Miller and Vice-Chair Crystal Crisp have steered this event for several years, and out-do themselves each and every time. Hillary and Crystal says that all of the worries of the hundreds of hours they and their cadre of parent and high school volunteers put into planning and implementing the festival melts away the minute they see the smiles of our students gleefully playing games, decorating treats, bouncing in the bounce house, and petting the farm animals. Please remember all of our events are run by volunteers, so if you have the time and inspiration to lend a helping hand, please contact us. Special shout out to Dee Shepard who has created and made most of our games over the last several years and Jason Miller who ensured there was good food to eat. We are so grateful to the many teachers and staff members, in addition to our volunteers, who made this beloved event a success.

If you thought October was busy, wait till you see November! We will have our monthly Pizza & PTA general meeting on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 (make sure you vote first) and 6 PM. You will hear updates from all of our initiative, and we have also built in an open forum time for parents and PTA members to ask their questions.

Of course, the biggest event coming up in November is the 3rd annual North Shore Elementary Coffee Pot Turkey Trot. The t-shirt deadline and price increase are looming. Secure your spot and shirt by registering by November 3, 2019. We already have double the runners signed up from this same time last year, so you don't want to miss it. The Turkey Trot is the main source of fundraising to support our 7th hour program, so please support this important event to ensure we can keep offering the programming that puts North Shore on the forefront and allows us to support our teachers, students, and school community to the very best of our ability.

It has been an awesome year so far for your North Shore PTA. Please check the school website for how to get in touch with any of our board members. We are about halfway to our goal of a membership representing every child, so if you haven't officially become a member yet or have another family member you would like to have join, it's never too late. Becoming a member does not obligate you to volunteer, but it does give you a voice and shows your child that you represent them in their school.

We look forward to seeing you at Pizza & PTA. Please let us know if you'll be coming. Kids are always welcome, and keep working through that Couch to 5K program, so we can run with you bright and early Thanksgiving Morning.

Let's Talk!

Our district has launched a new online communication tool called Let’s Talk! The platform is aimed at improving our communication with staff and families.

Let’s Talk! enables anyone to submit a question, comment, concern or compliment 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Let’s Talk! also helps the district track the quality of our service, so we can continuously improve.

Let’s Talk! can be accessed at or by clicking the “Contact us” button on our website. The launch will be limited to several departments and district offices, but we will be adding more in the coming months.

Let’s Talk! will not be used to address safety concerns. Any safety concern or emergency should be reported by calling 911 or submitting a tip to the Sandy Hook Promise Anonymous Reporting System or Fortify Florida.

Pinellas County Schools recognizes the importance of improving communication to best serve our students, staff, and families.

Let’s Talk!

Peach Jar

A reminder that Pinellas County Schools has an electronic flyer communication and delivery tool called Peachjar. This “green” initiative saves our community partners and schools tons of paper and reduces copy costs by thousands of dollars. In addition, posting school flyers in this electronic backpack removes a significant administrative burden from teachers, office staff and volunteers.

This system is used exclusively for the distribution of school approved flyers. Your email address will not be shared or used for any other purpose. To view school-approved eflyers, simply click the Peachjar button on our website homepage. We also suggest you add to your email contacts. When you receive your first eflyers, be sure to click “always display images.”

Volunteering @ the Library!

Have a few minutes to spare? Coming to eat lunch with your child and have a few minutes before or after? We could use you!! Some things you could do are:

  • Shelve books
  • Help students find books and check them out
  • Organize the shelves

If you think you would be interested, please contact Mrs. Gramlich at or 727- 893-2181 and then see Ms. Gervais to register as a volunteer.

Food Drive

The North Shore Thanksgiving Food Drive will be from 11/1-11/20. Canned and boxed food items are needed. No glass, please. Donations should be given to the classroom teacher. All items will be given to the Salvation Army to help our community. Our goal is 400 items. This is a great way to show the character word of the month: Citizenship!

Note: This is NOT the same as the Astroskate canned food drive.

Medication at School

We encourage that all medication is given at home, however, if medication must be given during school hours please keep in mind:


  • 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.)

If you require medication to be given at school please give the school nurse a call at 893-2181 Ext. 2107 and we will be able to send home the full medication policy with your student.

North Shore Elementary School

North Shore Elementary is a family-oriented community that provides a safe and positive environment to spark a lifelong love of learning.

Carpe Diem! Carpe Success!