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PTAPipeline Sand Pine Elementary

Happy New Year! Happy New Year to everyone. I hope 2010 is going well for each of you so far.

29040 County Line Rd. Wesley Chapel, FL 33543 Phone: (813) 794-1900 Sick Line: (813) 794-1911

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Holiday Shop. It was so much fun to see the children so happy and excited as they secretly shopped for their loved ones. The Magical Math Tour came to our school January 11th. The kids were laughing hysterically as they watched this funny and educational magic show. The PTA Family Sweetheart Dance will be held on February 5th at 7pm. Tickets are on sale now. I am looking forward to seeing many of you there! If it is anything like our last Family Dance, it is going to be a great time! PTA’s MOSI Night will be held March 5th at the school. Come out and star gaze with us! MOSI will be bringing several high powered telescopes and we will have lots of fun activities planned for the children. By the time this newsletter prints, the four new commercial grade picnic tables purchased by PTA should have arrived at the school. I am looking forward to seeing the students enjoy having a class outside now and then.

District School Board of Pasco County 7227 Land O’ Lakes Boulevard Land O’ Lakes, Florida 34638 Heather Fiorentino, Superintendent Allen Altman District 1 Joanne Hurley District 2 Cathi Martin District 3 Kathryn Starkey District 4 Frank Parker District 5

Volume 12 • Issue 4 • January-February, 2010

The PTA has purchased a short-wave radio transmission system and we are in the process of setting it up. If all goes as planned, this will provide a way for us to transmit important Sand Pine News through your car radio while you are in the school parking and car rider loop. Personally, I think this is pretty neat and can’t wait to see it in action! The PTA has granted funds for each teacher and many teachers have taken this opportunity to buy books, supplies, etc., for their classrooms. These programs and recent purchases are made possible through your generous support all year long. Thank you!

We will be spending the next few weeks planning the final details of our largest fundraiser of the year, the Spring Walk-a-thon. The Walkathon will take place on April 1st. More information will be coming home in a few weeks. It is that time of year when we begin planning for next year’s PTA board. Many of the current PTA board members will be leaving Sand Pine as their children graduate and move on to John Long Middle School. So we will have many positions available. Speaking from personal experience, I can say that being part of the PTA Board is a fun and rewarding experience. If you would like to consider being a part of next year’s PTA board, I invite you to attend one of our meetings to see what we are all about. Out next meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 17th at 9:30 a.m. Please contact me if you are interested in joining next year’s board or if you would like to attend a meeting. Last but not least, it is during times of great tragedy, like the recent Earthquake in Haiti, that the world community bands together to find ways that we can help those who have suffered such catastrophic loss. Indeed our heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy. PTA believes it is important to provide opportunities for the students to demonstrate that together they can make a difference. We are exploring ways that we may be able to help in some small way. If you have an idea you would like to share, please contact me at I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day! I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming PTA events! Sincerely, Peggy D’Alessandro, Sand Pine PTA President

2009-2010 PTA Board Members President

Peggy D’Alessandro


Kim Clarke


Darlene Basi

1st VP

Christine Simonelli

Vol Coordinator


Dawn Khalil

Website-Spanish Carlos Vera Newsletter

Dawn Khalil


Lisa Weinstein


Mary Burstiner

Public Relations

Nicole Auman


Mari Blank


Nicole LaRocca


Katalin Rutherford


Deb Rottum

Dad’s Club

Valerie Ryan-Lanza

Sports Totes

Darlene Basi


Mari Blank

2nd VP

Jenn Metz


Colleen Moore


Jenn Metz

Community Donations Chrissy Hymiak Spring Event

Delicia Morris-Gordon


Jenn Metz

Team Party

Tiffany Ragsdale

Health & Safety

Kem Baker


Christine Simonelli



Val Ryan-Lanza


Darlene Basi

Staff App

Catherine McLain

School Vol. Co

Ms. Westbrook

The Pipeline is published six times a year and can be downloaded from our website online at Principal

Ginny Yanson

Assist Principal Todd Cluff PTA President

Peggy D’Alessandro

Editor/Designer Dawn Khalil Next Newsletter deadline: Friday, March 26th

Principal a note from the

Dear Parents and Members of our Sand Pine Community,

This week we welcomed two new and very special students to our school, Mahalia Bijou and Harold Saint-Surin. They are special because they come to us from far away but, more importantly, they come from Haiti. We are happy that they are safe and with us at Sand Pine Elementary. I am excited to announce our Teacher of the Year and our SRP of the Year. Mrs. Freda Malphurs has been selected as Sand Pine Elementary’s Teacher of the Year and Mrs. Connie Key has been selected as our School Related Personnel of the Year. Both, of these ladies are outstanding members of our staff. Mrs. Freda Malphurs is a unique professional in that she started her career as a teacher then became a Reading Specialist and then an Assistant Principal. Infact, she was my Assistant Principal at Quail Hollow Elementary for eight years. She then moved to Denham Oaks as Principal and served in that position for seven years. Mrs. Malphurs was an outstanding principal making many contributions to our district and touching many lives of Pasco County students. Several years ago, she began to examine her life and her future. It became clear to her that her calling had always been to teach. She had truly never considered becoming a principal. Although, she enjoyed her time in that position, she made the decision to return to her first love—the students and the classroom. We at Sand Pine Elementary feel blessed to have not only such a quality teacher, but an amazing colleague on our staff. Her decision to return to teaching was obviously a good one as evidenced by her being selected by her peers as Teacher of the Year. Congratulations Mrs. Malphurs. Mrs. Connnie Key began in the school cafeteria the year Sand Pine opened in 1998. She is currently the only cafeteria employee who was on the charter staff. Mrs. Key’s son attended Sand Pine and is currently a high school student at Wiregrass High School. She has an interesting background as she as worked at Disney in Orlando and lived in Germany for several years when her husband was stationed there in the service. Mrs. Key is truly here for the students. She always promotes a nutritional meal program and works to provide a nurturing and caring environment for our students in the cafeteria. She speaks fondly of the many students that she has had special connections with over the years, and she truly enjoys her role in our school food service program. Mrs. Key willingly takes on additional responsibilities and becomes involved in the total school program. We are fortunate to have her as a member of our Sand Pine family. Congratulations, Mrs. Key. On Wednesday morning, January 28, 2010, Mrs. Malphurs and Mrs. Key were treated to a complimentary breakfast at The Wolf’s Den and to a special coffee drink at Starbucks. Cosi Café and Tiquana Flats also donated gift certificates to our honorees. We are grateful to have community supporters who value our school. At Sand Pine Elementary we believe that learning is the shared responsibility of the school, the student, the home, and the community. I hope you will take an active part in the educational program at our school. Sincerely, Ginny Yanson, Principal

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Literacy Coach From Our

Angie Westbrook

“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Research & Inquiry Theme Project One of the components of our core reading program, MacMillan McGraw Hill Treasures, is the Research and Inquiry Project. Each unit of instruction is launched through the introduction of an inquiry based research project that integrates the essential literacy skills to be learned during the unit of instruction (reading, writing, digital media). The range of curriculum resources within each unit of instruction allows all students to extend and refine their understanding of the concept in order to create new meaning as a culminating activity. The daily instruction and practice opportunities within each unit are aligned with these outcome goals, in order to ensure that each lesson will advance students’ learning of the essential skills (K12 Reading Plan). Mrs. Pope, Mrs. Lattke and I have worked collaboratively to support teachers with the implementation of this project. Mrs. Pope has been busy with many classes doing launch lessons on how to use various resources to conduct research. Mrs. Lattke has worked with teachers for their culminating project through the use of technology. Some examples of students presenting their culminating project at the end of their unit were Mrs. Mulligan’s 4th grade class with “People Who Took a Stand,” and Mrs. Romero’s 1st grade class with “Making Connections: Near and Far” (below).

The Outstanding School Volunteer Award I am thrilled to announce that Mari Blank has been selected to receive the “Outstanding School Volunteer Award” for the adult category for Pasco County! She will be recognized at the School Board meeting on February 16, 2010. For those of you who do not know Mari, here is a little information about her and why she has been selected for this amazing honor! Mari volunteers at Sand Pine Elementary and John Long Middle. She was the PTA President for two years at Sand Pine, and under her leadership the school raised enough funds to buy 25 new computers and a playground shade cover. She mentored a new PTA at Double Branch Elementary, served on the Pasco Council PTA and started a “Reading Buddy” program at the school. Largely due to her efforts, the school raises over $10,000 each year for Relay for Life. She pursued special recognition for the school’s Butterfly Garden, and with several modifications, had it certified by the National Wildlife Federation. She fought hard to retain the newspaper recycling commitment with Meadow Point I and II Clubhouses, and obtained a newspaper recycling bin for the school property. This year she is serving on the Sand Pine Elementary PTA Board, the school’s Advisory Council and the PTA Board for John Long Middle. She is currently serving her second year of a five-year commitment on the District Vision Committee. “Mari is enthusiastic, energetic, and an amazing woman!”

Parent Buddy Reading Program Mrs. Blank and I truly appreciate all the support we get from our Volunteers! It’s not too late to sign up to be a Buddy Reader! We are in need of additional buddies! If you are interested, please contact us. Angie Westbrook: Mari Blank:

The FCATs are coming!

The FCATs will be taken mid February, and March at Sand Pine. Confused about the test? The Florida Department of Education has an informative website dedicated to the FCATs,

How you can help your child regarding test taking

Reducing your child’s anxieties: aa Emphasize that test taking is a skill to be developed. Students can get better at it with practice. aa Remind your child that class grades are not determined by standardized test scores. aa Explain that no student is expected to know all the answers. When testing week comes, help your child by doing the following: aa Get a good night’s sleep. aa Eat a good breakfast every day of test week. aa Bring eyeglasses or other necessary aids to school. aa Wear comfortable clothes. aa Remember to encourage your child to do his/her best and not to get overly stressed. aa Get to school promptly to avoid feeling rushed.

January - February, 2010 PTA Pipeline | 3


Media Technology A Message from Mrs. Lattke It is with a mixture of regret and excitement that I say goodbye to the Sand Pine community after four years. I will be moving on to a position as an Instructional Trainer/Coach with the Instructional Media and Technology Department at the school district. In this position, I will be able to support instructional technology and media specialists throughout the district. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in such an incredible school with so many wonderful students and staff members, who I will miss very much. I truly appreciate all of the support from the school administration, teachers, staff, students, parents, and community members in working together to integrate instructional technology. Sand Pine has hired a fantastic new Instructional Technology Specialist to continue the work that we have begun together and to bring a fresh perspective to the Reading/Media/Tech team. Erin Simmons will join Sand Pine on February 8th, and we will be working together to ensure a smooth transition for Sand Pine students and staff. Most recently, Erin worked as an Instructional Technology Specialist at John Long Middle (JLMS), where she helped to open the school. Prior to her four years at JLMS, she spent five years teaching third through fifth grade students in both Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Erin is looking forward to getting back to her elementary roots as she joins Sand Pine, and Sand Pine is excited to have her as a new addition to the team. Please join me in welcoming her! The Use of Technology at Sand Pine Students are using technology all around the school! The Netbooks have been used by Mrs. Bidgood’s class to create graphs 4 | January - February, 2010 PTA Pipeline

—Mrs. Pope, Media Specialist Mrs. Lattke, Technology Specialist, and Mrs. Chitty, Media/Technology Assistant

The Flamingos Team will miss you, Mrs. Lattke!

from survey data they collected, by Mrs. Mandell’s class to create presentations which they shared using the LCD projectors with their classmates, and by the Dolphins team for a variety of web and other activities! Mrs. Simmons’ and Mrs. Ojeda’s classes used Kidspiration to sort foods they liked, while Mrs. Bradarich’s class used Tux Paint to illustrate a drawing of an animal they studied and write a fact about that animal. The Turtles team has been busy in the computer lab working on a Research and Inquiry project tied to the Treasures reading series, using a variety of technology tools and resources. Fourth and fifth grade students from both teams have been working on a collection of public service announcement videos on cybersafety, which we hope to share with all of our students around the school. BrainPop and BrainPop Jr. have served classes as a valuable resource, as well. Transitional classes have used the website in math to view videos on basic addition, basic subtraction, and doubles and have accessed the “Word Wall” section to review important vocabulary. In science, classes have used the videos on matter and forces, completed several of the activities included with the movies, and used quizzes to check for comprehension. Speak Up 2009 Survey Thanks to the students, teachers, and parents who participated in the “Speak Up 2009” survey. The results of this survey, which will be shared later in the spring, will help to assess our school’s use of educational technology and our students’ understanding of science, math, and 21st century skills. Those feeder patterns that participated in our district had excellent levels of participation. We look forward to learning from the results so that we can continue to improve our program.

Box Tops Success Thanks to your efforts our winter Box Tops for Education collection was a big success. The sports shirt winners were Caloi Koelendorfer for the Seminoles, Alexis Pryor for the Bulls, and Joey Stopha for the Gators. Mrs. Jones’ class brought in the most Box Tops with 532 total earning a computer lab party. The team with the most student votes was the USF Bulls. Go Bulls! Keep an eye out for the next collection sheet, which will be due back at the end of February. Thanks to our students and families for your support! Pancake Breakfast with Frosty & Santa

Thanks so much to all of those who attended our Pancake Breakfast with Frosty and Santa! We had just over 300 attendees over the course of the three hour family event. The fun-filled gathering included a hearty pancake and sausage breakfast, live caroling from high school chorus members, and, of course, pictures with our special guests, Frosty the Snowman and Santa. We earned just over $1,000 to support instructional technology at SPES, and a fun time was had by all. Many thanks to all of our teacher and staff volunteers who came out on a Saturday morning to support this event. 5th Grade Memories Once again, the yearbook will be selling space for fifth grade memory blocks. These 1/4 page blocks are a super way to send a special message to your fifth grader as they begin their journey through middle school. Submissions are due by March 5th, and space is limited, so get your memory blocks in before it is too late. For more information, visit http://sandpine.pasco. The proceeds from the sale of memory blocks benefit instructional technology for Sand Pine students.

Book Fair Diner: All You Can Read: Books for All Tastes!

Cyber Citizenship

Make plans now to visit our Spring Book Fair, March 22-26.

In November, we began a series of articles on cybercitizenship with a look at cyberbullying. This month, we will look at how Web 2.0 technologies such as, blogs, social networking and media sites, video sharing sites, and online gaming sites relate to cybercitizenship.

Be on the lookout for the book fair flyers with some of the books that will be featured in our fair along with information about a family event time for you to shop with your child. Twenty-five percent of your book fair purchases benefit our media, reading, and technology program. If you would like to volunteer in our book fair, please call 794-1920.

You may have heard a lot of terminology thrown around lately that sounds like a bunch of techno-mumbo-jumbo. Here are a few more definitions to help you understand what they have to offer.

Thanks in advance for your support! Our kindergarten through second graders will be voting on their favorite book from the list of eight books selected by the Florida Reading Association. Your child may be heard talking about the first FRA book they have heard, Help Me Mr. Mutt: Expert Answers for Dogs With People Problems by Janet Stevens. This is a great book that introduces friendly letter writing. We created a letter writing response activity using our LEARN moodle that some of the classes have begun to use. Our next book to read to the students is Thea’s Tree by Alison Jackson. For a list of all the titles for you to read with your child before they vote in late March, go to http://’s%20Book%20 Award/2009_cba_list.htm Our third through fifth graders will also be voting in late March for their favorite Sunshine State books. They must have read three or more of the 15 titles on this year’s list to vote. A list of titles can be found at Mrs. Pope, our Media Specialist, has been working collaboratively with many classes to assist students with their Research and Inquiry projects. Students are utilizing print reference materials and online research materials from links on our school homepage or from the district’s online information network called the Media Information Network for the District (MIND) found at

A blog is website in journal style; the term originated at a shortening of the term “web log.” Sometimes blogs allow readers to post comments or responses to their entries, creating an element of interactivity. Many of our Sand Pine teachers use blogs to communicate classroom information to students and parents. Wikis are websites that allow users around the world to edit pages and create content. One of the most famous wikis is Wikipedia, which is a collaboratively created encyclopedia from everyday users. While this website contains a lot of useful information, beware of its validity, as any user can add content to its pages. Video sharing sites, such as YouTube and TeacherTube, allow users to create an account to share their own video content. Social network and media sites allow users to create profile pages and store information, pictures, videos, and more about themselves. They also allow users to create groups or networks with other users; those users can see each other’s profile contents and communicate through chat, email, and online games. Some of the most well-known social network and media sites include Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Many of these types of technologies involve sharing personal information. It is important for parents to know about these sites so they can help their children make good choices. Review privacy policies or terms of service agreements to see if there are age limits. Please be aware that Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube have age limits; Facebook’s requires that users be at least 13, MySpace requires that users be 14 or older, and YouTube’s is not intended for users under the age of 13 and that users under 18 creating an account must have parental consent. These websites will delete any profiles that they determine to be created by underage users. Sites such as Club Penguin and Webkinz are targeted toward a younger audience. If you allow your children to create accounts on these site, be sure they choose a username that does not include personal information such as their first or last name. Set up any accounts with your child, so that you know the password and monitor the activity. Help your child understand that other users are not always who they say they are, and it is important to be cautious about what information is shared online and who has access to that information. It is also important that students be cautious about posting pictures, videos, or other private information. Although young users need to be aware of potential dangers, understand that Web 2.0 tools can also be valuable educational tools. Video chatting tools, such as Skype, can help students connect to faraway experts or other students around the globe in a supervised classroom setting. TeacherTube contains many instructional videos that can be useful for teachers. Students can communicate with their teachers through classroom blogs. Using Web 2.0 tools can help students learn 21st century skills. Being a good cybercitizen means using tools that are age appropriate in a safe and responsible way, and keeping trusted adults involved to help ensure that students make good choices. To help your child learn more about responsible use of Web 2.0 technologies, consider watching videos together on BrainPop and discussing it as a family ( technology/digitalcitizenship/). You can even take the provided quizzes together! You can get the password to access BrainPop from your child’s teacher. Another great approach is to put together a cybersafety contract with your child ( netsafetyplan.pdf), to help open discussions about Internet safety. January - February, 2010 PTA Pipeline | 5

Hi Sand Pine Parents!

And the winners are:

drum roll please… Primary—Visual Arts 1st: Hailey A. Alvord “A Mom Dolphin & Its Baby” 2nd: Jacob K. Wetzstein “Puppy in the Park” 3rd: Rachel M. Coffey “Beauty is the Light of a Lighthouse” Primary—Photography 1st: Luke A. Wallace “Eyes That See” 2nd: Taylor G. Moore “Rainbow Magic” 3rd: Emily R. Hill “Rainbows” Intermediate—Literature 1st: Lauren E. Payne “Beauty” 2nd: Isabella C. Forcino “Beauty is Nature” 3rd: Tony El-Rady “Night-Crawling Critters” Intermediate—Visual Arts 1st: Victoria L. Skinner “Beauty is the View from my Window” 2nd: Katie A. Clarke “A Beautiful Reflection” 3rd: Randy McMeen “Discovery” Intermediate—Photography 1st: Alex J. Perugini “Beauty is Not Always on the Outside” 2nd: Samantha L. Kephart “Beauty is Nature” 3rd: Steven A. Saxton “Beauty is … Butterflies” Intermediate—Music Composition 1st: Carley A. Ragsdale “Beauty is Rhythm” 2nd: Vanessa J. Converse “Magic” Intermediate—Film/Video Production 1st: Jason P. Duncan “Beauty is …the Breakers at the Beach” Intermediate – Dance Choreography 1st: Taylor Forgas “Untitled” Congratulations to all the students who participated in the Reflections Program. The judges had a very difficult task this year; we had a total of 63 entries! We wish all the above students the best of luck as they compete with other Pasco County schools. The 2010-2011 Reflections theme will be “Together We Can” —­Mari C. Blank, PTA Reflections Chair 6 | January - February, 2010 PTA Pipeline

Guidance Corner

“Beauty Is …”

This past December we said “So long” to Ms. Young, the Guidance intern who has now graduated with her master’s degree in Counseling. She was an asset to our school, and we wish her well as she has just started as a Guidance Counselor at another school in Pasco County! Congratulations, Ms. Young! This year there is a new anti-bullying law in the state of Florida focused on keeping students safe in our schools. At Sand Pine, we have installed Bully Boxes around the school so that children can not only solve these problems in the usual ways (Brave talk, warning, help from an adult), but also so that they have an opportunity to report harassment anonymously. Reports of repeated verbal, mental, or physical bullying are investigated by the Guidance Counselor and a school administrator. I hope you enjoy getting the handouts for my Classroom Guidance lessons. We have covered a number of topics this year, the latest topic being about Bullying. The award-winning Developmental Guidance Program in Pasco County has services that reach 100% of our student population through classroom guidance. It is such a pleasure to be a part of this community and to work together with parents to help all of our students reach their potential. Small group counseling is also available on a variety of topics – Family Changes, School Success, Friendship Builders, Stress Busters, and Cool Cats. Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding groups or any of the Guidance services available. I am also happy to answer parenting questions. Take Care, Linda Matthews, M.Ed. 794-1917,

Parenting Tip:

I know I’ve said this before, but please hear me out… Please pay attention to ratings on video games, TV programs, and movies. Use the parental controls on your TV and computers. There are many cartoons that are actually for adults and contain content that is not appropriate for children at our school. Many times I see those kinds of things affecting our students and being spread throughout social circles in ways that cause problems and cause concern to other students and their parents. You can set your TV to block programming beyond a certain rating with the use of a password. I recommend that if you choose to have a television in your child’s room that you have parental controls set, as children can otherwise view inappropriate material unsupervised. You can often even set it so that it turns off by a certain time so you can avoid those sleepy days when kids were up too late with TV or games. Respecting the legal age restrictions on social networking sites such as Facebook (which has a minimum age requirement of 13) allows our children to be kids. There really shouldn’t be a rush to grow up too fast. Saying “no” to something beyond a child’s developmental level is doing your child a favor (even if he or she doesn’t like it at the time!). It’s a tough job we have as parents, but it’s not a likeability contest! Like I have told my own children “I make parenting decisions not based on what others are doing, but what I believe is right.”

Box Tops— Earn Cash for our School 1. Clip Box Tops. 2. Send Box Tops to School. 3. Our School Earns Cash!!

Tyson Project A+

Student Council News

Tyson’s program is simple… 1. Clip and save Tyson Project A+ labels. 2. Turn in the labels at your school. 3. Your school redeems them for cash. Each label is worth 24¢.

Campbell’s Labels For Education™ Program— This program awards schools free educational merchandise! Attention Parents: Remember to include the UPC code off of the packages. They will no longer accept the front labels off products. Please continue to help out our school by sending in your UPC codes! For a complete list of eligible products, visit www.

Recycling Program What do Ink Cartridges, Cell Phones, Batteries and Paper have in common? Recycling these items at Sand Pine benefits our school! Don’t clutter our landfills with spent ink cartridges, cell phones, and batteries (AAA, AA, C, D & 9-volt), bring them to Sand Pine. Drop off your newspapers or other paper waste in the dumpster in the Sand Pine parking lot. Together we can keep our environment healthy while earning much needed cash for our school!

Market Day— order online at Don’t forget Market Day! If you haven’t tried it before you should, as everything bought helps us earn money for our school’s technology needs.

Pick Up Date (2:30-4:30)

The Student Council is having a book drive for the migrant children and less fortunate at Rodney B. Cox Elementary School in Dade City. We contacted the principal to see what they were in need of and she said many of their students don’t have books at home. A field trip is being planned to deliver the books to the students just before spring break. Any gently-used books can be turned in to the Turtles or Gators teams. The Student Council is still collecting supplies through Spring Break that will be taken in the Spring to the orphanage in Cambodia. We are also selling Valentine lollipops starting the first week in February. The Council is planning a 4th and 5th grade spring social on Friday, March 19th! Student council reps and officers are responsible for hanging up posters advertising the social, selling tickets, and working 30 minute shifts during the social. —Judi Mulligan, and Melody Welt Student Council Teacher Representatives

Feb 18 Mar 18

PTA Sports Totes Your PTA has donated sports totes for all pods. These totes include sports balls, jump ropes and sidewalk chalk. The PTA would like to ask all families to help replenish these packs throughout the year. Donations of any new or gently used sports equipment would be greatly appreciated! These items can be turned in to the front office, or sent in with your child for their pod.

Spirit Day Don’t forget to show your Sand Pine Spirit by wearing your Sand Pine Elementary T-shirt on Fridays and you could win a treat in the cafeteria (up to 75 cents) from the PTA! Order your shirts. Send the form (download from the PTA website) with your check (payable to SPES PTA) to school. Do you search the Internet? Why not raise money for Sand Pine while you surf online! Just go to, enter “Sand Pine” for your charity, and search like a normal. Each search will produce one penny for SPES! Be sure that SPES gets credit for the searches, make sure that is always says Sand Pine Elementary School under “Who do you GoodSearch for?”

Food Drive Success!

The 2009 PTA Annual ABC Food Drive was once again a huge success. We would like to thank everyone who donated food for the food drive. We had a wonderful response and were able to provide holiday dinners for 12 ABC families. The extra food was donated to ChesterTaylor Elementary. A special thanks goes out to Sand Eagles Girl Scouts. They did an excellent job helping during the morning in gathering the food from cheerful givers. We would also like to thank Mrs. Matthews and Ms. Young for their help with packing and delivering all the holiday food. Great job everyone! January - February, 2010 PTA Pipeline | 7

2b or not 2b? That’s the Question By Mr. Cluff

Quick…decide which fraction is larger: 22/23 or 24/25?

You are invited to Sand Pine’s Math Night The Florida Department of Education has adopted new math standards that are impacting the math instruction at all levels. Many of you have already seen the impact on the type of work and expectations for your children. We would like to invite you to join us as we present some of these changes: Who: Parents and Guardians of Sand Pine students What: An awareness* overview of the new math standards and their implications for our school Where: Sand Pine Cafeteria When: Thursday, February 4 6:30 7:30 p.m. Although we are not requiring specific registration for this event, we will use our new phone service to call all families on February 1st to allow people to select “yes” or “no” via phone regarding your intent to attend. *This session is meant to give everyone a broad overview of the changes. Future sessions addressing specific questions can be created based on the feedback from those attending.

If it took you more than five seconds to answer (or if you needed a pencil and paper), chances are you won’t be able to meet a new math Sunshine State Standard that has been adopted for our third graders. For those of us who have been through the “elementary” curriculum as a kid years ago, it’s a bit scary to realize that things are changing and even we might not measure up. Florida, along with much of the nation, is trying to ensure our students can compete with the rest of the world in math. Successful countries have found the need to shift from focusing mostly on solving equations (a.k.a. doing algorithms) to working to ensure students deeply understand mathematical concepts. Because of this, things have drastically changed regarding the expectations we have for our students in math.

but we can’t quite wrap our brains around why multiplying fractions gets a product that is smaller. Next year will be the first year for our students to be assessed and evaluated by these new standards on the FCAT. Being able to show they understand the concepts is a huge shift in what is assessed. The impact on how and what we instruct has been a bit of a challenge for us, especially as we are trying to shift to the new standards with books and materials designed to support the old standards. Last year the new standards were implemented in our kindergarten and first grade classes. This year it has been a focus in the second grade classes. Thank goodness our new math textbook adoption will take place this summer as we expand to all grades next year!

Will it be easy? No…but nothing worthwhile ever is.

Most of us have been very successful with solving math problems and equations that are set before us. In fact, even when I was a kid (learning by firelight in my prehistoric cave) I spent years practicing my math facts, memorizing equations, and being drilled-and-killed with worksheets to prove I could master those digits. Most of us did fairly well on standardized tests; however, sometimes we realized later that we didn’t always understand the math concepts behind the numbers. Many of us can explain why a multiplication problem with whole numbers gets a product that is larger,

8 | January - February, 2010 PTA Pipeline

We’ll be holding some events for parents to help with the transitions. We’re all in this together so keep an eye out since I’m certain many of us will be scratching our heads as we “help” our children with their math homework. Remember, though, it will be worth it. In fact, we might even start to understand some math concepts we should have learned years ago. Will it be easy? No…but nothing worthwhile ever is. Oh, and by the way, the answer was 24/25…but you’ll have to ask a third grader why!

February 15th is President’s Day— Enjoy your day off!

Become a 08-09 PTA The PTA Board Member! wants YOU! Anyone interested sho uld contact Peggy at president@sandpinepta .org

hirts, We have many SPES Ts e tim at and now is a gre hat an awesome night! The students rit spi freshen up your and families all had a great time. We to !! Contact Jennifer obe had a wonderful turn-out for our first everwardr e at Metz before they’re gon Fall Festival and pumpkin decorating contest. .org There were a total of 39 pumpkins entered. secondvp@sandpinepta

W Lost and Found

Remember, after 2 weeks, any items that are NOT found by their owners, will be donated to the Pasco Homeless Assistance Program.

The Lost & Found is located in the mail room, but is moved to the sidewalk in front of SPES each Friday.

They were all so fantastic and creative. Ms. Yanson definitely had her work cut out for her as our only judge since our PTA president was knee deep in the festival details at that time! So thank you Ms. Yanson for your support (and tough decision making) in helping to make the pumpkin contest a great success.

Congratulations Mrs. Medina (Gator s) and Mrs. Styles 1st place: Cheeseburger by Sal Dalessandro (Music) on their ne 2nd place: Cinderella’s Carriage w by Megan Campbell family additions! So without further delay….

Happy Crowd Favorites Valentines Day

3rd place: Nightmare Before Christmas (Jack) by Cutter DiMotta (and mom)

Judges Pick Pumpkin Winners:

Every y ear a b ike is giv IDENT en away A KID. from The luck y winner this yea r was Ez ra Ramos in Mrs. Gib bens class.

Medications at school

Funniest – Vanessa Harris Silliest – Christopher Arant Scariest – Jacob Wetzstein Coolest – Tyler Reed Most Creative – Jamie Valenta

Anthony McLain from Mrs. Mulligan’s class made a convincing Benjamin Franklin during his “People who took a stand” presentation.

In order to administer medication from home at school, medication should be brought in by a parent/guardian in the original prescription container and with the original prescription label. The necessary paperwork must accompany the medication before it can be administered to your child. District policy does not allow over-the-counter medications unless there is a prescription from a doctor. The prescription must include the student’s full name, name of medication, dosage and time to be given, and dated within one year. Students will be allowed to carry metered dose asthma inhalers or an Epipen, with written permission from their parent/guardian and physician. If you have any questions please contact your school nurse Lyn Herbert or clinic assistant Kem Baker at 813-794-1905.

Family Sweetheart Dance is Friday, February 5th! Come Dance with us!

Come star gaze with us at MOSI Night March 5th !

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! March 2, 1904 January - February, 2010 PTA Pipeline | 9

Our School Year Calendar February 2010 2/5 2/9-11 2/15 2/18 2/23 2/25

April 2010 4/1 4/2 4/5-9 4/13 4/16 4/22

PTA Walk-a-thon Planning Day / No School Spring Break Tijuana Flats Night Report Cards & Relay For Life at Wiregrass High Market Day pick-up

Family Sweetheart Dance FCAT Writes (4th Grade) President’s Day No School Market Day pick-up Progress Reports Domino’s Night

5/3-7 5/7 5/6 5/10 5/11 5/21 5/27 5/31

6/9 Teacher Appreciation Week PTA General Assembly/Bingo Night School Play Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast Progress Reports PTA Spaghetti Dinner Domino’s Night Memorial Day — No School

Thanks to all of you, our second Tijuana Flats night was a huge success. We raised $220 for the school that night and everyone enjoyed the festive atmosphere with our Sand Pine families. Much thanks to Tijuana Flats for hosting us! Our next Tijuana Flats night is the Tuesday after our Spring Break, April 13. Please mark your calendars now! Many thanks also to our partners who sponsored our Teacher of the Year and School Related Person of the Year Celebration. Starbucks on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. – provided a special coffee drink and bag of Starbucks goodies for our honorees. Tijuana Flats and Cosi Café provided gift cards for our recipients to enjoy dining out. We are also very pleased with the support Starbucks provided for our holiday gift collection for some of our own needy families. The community support through Starbucks was really appreciated.

10 | January - February, 2010 PTA Pipeline

3/4 Spring Pictures 3/5 MOSI Night 3/9-10 FCAT/SAT-10 Quiet Campus 3/11-19 FCAT Quiet Campus 3/17 Brusters Night 3/18 Market Day Pick-up 3/19 4th & 5th grade social 3/22 Walk-A-Thon kick off assembly 3/22-26 Book Fair 3/25 Domino’s Night 3/31 Field Day

May 2010

Business Partner News

Our Domino’s Nights continue to be successful. Please mark these upcoming dates to order from Domino’s: February 25 March25 May 27th

March 2010

Gift Collections from Starbucks and SPES Staff

June 2010 Student’s last day 5th grade clap out

What an Incredible BMX show! JUST DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!

The Crowd Loved it!

Have you joined the PTA yet?

When PTA gets involved, all children benefit!


We have 441 parents in our PTA. If you haven’t become a member yet, please consider how valuable your $5-8 annual membership means to our PTA. There are no obligations, you can be as involved as your schedule allows.

3 Thank You 4

Sand Pine PTA Business Partners

The Sand Pine PTA would like to thank the businesses listed on these pages for their generous support. When you visit these businesses, please thank them for their support.

PTA Platinum Superstars

member name

if joining as family—spouse’s name


email address

Would you like to receive notices by email? c yes c no Please check: c Mother c Father c Grandparent c Community/Business Partner c Faculty/Staff c Teacher student name


student name


student name


Dues are $5 for one adult, $8 for family (2 adults). $25 for Business memberships Send this form with check (payable to SPES PTA) or cash to school with your child, or via mail to: Sand Pine Elementary PTA 29040 County Line Road Wesley Chapel, FL 33543 Questions? Contact Mary Burstiner at

Silver Superstars

33 Mcllwain Family Dentistry 33 Life Source Chiropractic

If you’d like to become a PTA Superstar and see your business listed here and on our website, contacting Darlene Basi at superstars@

PTA Gold Superstars

Come and celebrate the joy of movement with us! NOW ENROLLING for 2009-10 Season and Summer Camps! Children: Classical Ballet | Jazz | Hip-Hop | Modern Tap | Acrobatics | Musical Theater Adults: Dance | Pilates | Ballroom | Fitness 5330 Primrose Lake Circle | Tampa, FL 33647 |

813.979.2222 |

January - February, 2010 PTA Pipeline | 13

Pancakes with Frosty & Santa was a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit!

The Candy Cane Run December 22 made students sweat for their treats! 14 | January - February, 2010 PTA Pipeline

PTA Pipeline 2010-01  

Sand Pine PTA newsletter for January & February, 2010. Wesley Chapel, FL