Preparing For the Return to School

Preparing for the Return to School

 I love the return to school it is one of my favorite times of the year, but it also one of the most stressful on our family. Buying school supplies, finding all the important information for school and activities, getting back on to a schedule it’s a hard transition for all of us. In addition to the normal stressors, one of my daughters has severe anxiety when it comes to changes or transitions and the build up to the return to school is hard on all of us. Here are some tips that hopefully will help you and your family make the return to school a fun and positive event.


Please try to get your child back on to a consistent sleep schedule. Sleep is an essential part of a child’s development and affects their ability to learn and regulate their emotions.   We see dramatic differences in student behavior when they are struggling with getting enough sleep. Having a consistent bed time and reducing the use of technology before bed time and having a consistent wake up time prior to school starting will make a huge impact on having a successful start to the school year.

 2.  Prepare School Supplies

Have your student work with you to prepare their school supplies. All supplies can be brought in on Open House day and kept in their classroom or in their lockers. When students have time to prepare and organize their supplies they feel more confident to start the year.

3.  Discuss any Fears

Take time to talk about how this could be both and exciting and scary time for your child, give them time to talk and share any questions or concerns they have. Most questions you can answer, any that you can’t feel free to contact myself or your child’s teacher.

4.  Come to Open House

Our Open House is Wednesday August 30, 2017 at 6pm, that is a great time to see the building, talk with your teacher, decorate your locker, and meet up with friends and new classmates. At our Open House we will also have a fun digital scavenger hunt using the app Goosechase.  This will be a fun way to see pictures from students in your child’s classroom and explore our school grounds.


Mark Your Calendars!

Wednesday August 30, 2017 from 6pm-7pm is our Pinewood Open House

Tuesday September 5, 2017 is our first day of school!

School hours are from 8:45 tardy bell rings to let students enter the building until 3:41 each day.

Here is our Official Welcome Back Video please show it to your students we are hoping it gets them excited to return to school.

Helpful Parent Links:

Pinewood Supply List

Food Service Website

Free and Reduced Lunch  online application

Before and After School Care Information

Help Navigating Our Web Page

Pinewood Building Tour

Our facebook page is another way to stay connected


Super Reader Strength HOPE

The last strength that is discussed in the book Every Child a Super Reader  by Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell is hope.

Allyn and Morrell state, “Hope is a basic human need.  When we lose our hope, we lose our humanity.  For more than two decades, Shawn Ginwright has worked with students who have experienced tremendous suffering in their lives.  The difference, he argues, between the kids who are able to confront and ultimately overcome obstacles and those who are unsuccessful, is hope”.

We want all Pinewood students to feel like they can have big, amazing dreams and the ability to reach those dreams.  Students who believe in themselves are full of hope for what their life will be like in the future.  Our students learn to think ahead and dream big by setting goals for themselves and celebrating their progress towards these goals.

Families at home can help students build hope by:

  • Make a list of family “hopes” for a week or a season and post them.
  • Talk about what kids hope for their future, encourage them to dream big.
  • Talk about ways to encourage others to be hopeful.
  • Find stories in the world about hope and optimism to share with your child.

Student Book Recommendation

Holes by Louis Sachar

student reviewer Meredith

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Super Readers Courage


In the book Every Child a Super Reader this week’s strength is courage.

Allyn and Morrell state, “Whether a child is learning a new difficult skill or reimagining their ability to tackle a challenge, risk taking and courage play important roles.  Risk taking begins with a decision to act, and courage provides the inspiration to act”.  Learning so many new things can be both scary and exciting for kids.  Every day they are introduced to new concepts and we expect them to tackle each with energy and positivity but we don’t always give students the credit for how courageous they are every day.  Imagine if you showed up to work and every day you were given training on something new, your boss expects you to learn it and use it, and then you show up the next day and not only are you using that new skill you are learning something new again.

At Pinewood we strive to make learning fun and to create an atmosphere where students feel like they own their learning, but it still doesn’t mean they don’t need a little courage to keep jumping in to new experiences each day.

“Becoming a super reader requires courage.  Whether it is having the strength and perseverance required to tackle a difficult text or the will to act upon the things that we read that demand us to be different in the world, courage is the key”.  (Allyn&Morrell)

What Can You Do at Home to Help Develop the Strength of Courage:

-Have conversations about what courage is.

-Point out in books and movies when you see acts of courage and ask your child what made it courageous.

-Support your child when they want to stand up for a big idea, a cause, or a friend.

-Praise your child when you see them persevering and taking risks.

-Give your child opportunities to show courage trying new activities and learning new skills.

Student Book Recommendation

Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton

reviewed by Maggie S.

Soul Surfer By: Bethany Hamilton Book review by: Maggie S

You should read this book! If you like the ocean you would like this book. Bethany lives in Hawaii. She got attacked by a shark when she was with her friend and her bff and the bff’s brother and dad. Did they act quickly to save her life? Will she survive? Fun fact: She nearly died from blood loss in the attack. She nearly died from blood loss in the attack.Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 12.46.31 PMScreen Shot 2017-08-09 at 12.46.22 PM

Me as a reader When I was little I found out about Winter from Clearwater Marine Aquarium . At the age of nine I was able to go to Florida with my family and see Winter and Hope, the Bottlenose dolphins .Then it struck me the girl in the movie Dolphin Tale 2 was Bethany Halman world champion surfer!

Super Reader Confidence

Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell state, “Often schools perceive unmotivated readers as kids who do not value reading when the real problem is that the students lack confidence in themselves as readers.  When students’ confidence as readers increase so does their motivation and ultimately, their reading achievement”.


This chapter in Every Child a Super Reader was the perfect one for me to read this week. I have two daughters and one of them lacks a lot of confidence in her reading which often leads to melt downs when its time to do her daily reading.  Its frustrating to me because in the time she is upset and crying over not being able to read she could be working on her reading.  I know she has an issue of confidence which creates a lot of anxiety and I should not be frustrated but as a parent its really tough sometimes when we are right in those moments.

Some of the strategies the book recommends is finding a book where a character has to go through a difficult time and succeeds.  I have done this with my daughter I even read the book they suggested I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, excellent book by the way, but my daughter didn’t connect to it, she enjoyed it but didn’t see herself in it.  We had a moment in Barnes and Noble the other day where I made a huge mom/principal mistake my daughter picked out a book she really wanted to read, Mal’s Diary from Disney’s Descendants.  The book was a larger chapter book and I told her I thought it would be too hard for her to read and to pick one of the easy readers.  I totally crushed her, she got tears in her eyes and told me she was never going to read again.  I immediately regretted my statement but I couldn’t take back the damage to her confidence.  I apologized to her, we purchased the book and she has been working her way through it for the last week.  She is so proud of herself when she finishes a page, even though its slow, and she is struggling she is doing it and that is building more confidence then anything.

Along with helping students find characters or stories that inspire confidence, and working through difficult text, here are some additional suggestions for building confidence.

-Have students write down three things they are proud of themselves for.

-Have family members share about how they boost their own confidence, parents and older siblings sharing about not feeling confident will make younger students feel like they are not alone.

-Write anonymous notes of praise to your child, with specific things you are proud of them for.

-Talk about stories or books you are reading that highlight building confidence or productive struggle.


Student Book Suggestion:

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

by Quintin D.

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