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Welcome, Pinedale Panther families!


Here are your “cliff notes” to help keep the school year running smoothly for everyone:


The school day begins at 8:00 AM and ends at 2:50 PM. Please set a good example by allowing extra time in the morning so that your child will arrive to school on time every day. When the 8:00 AM bell rings, students are expected to line up outside at their classroom door with their classmates. We want to encourage independence and responsibility as well as the consistency of routine that begins a successful day!


Students should arrive on school grounds NO EARLIER than 7:35AM. They will be allowed to go straight to the playground between 7:35AM and 8:00AM, rather than into the gymnasium (unless the red flags are posted for below-zero wind chills). The only students who will be allowed into the building prior to 8AM will be those who are with parents in the office, who are having school breakfast, who have a helper pass, or who are dropping off instruments.


Students who arrive after the tardy bell rings at 8:05 will need to check in at the office before going through the halls to class. Please help us cut down on tardies! Excessive tardiness creates a disruption not only for you and your child, but for the office, teachers and other students as well. Let’s work together to get all of our kids to school on time and ready to learn!


IF YOU KNOW THAT YOUR CHILD WILL BE LATE OR ABSENT, please call the school right away to let us know (394-1805) so that your child’s whereabouts are confirmed and their attendance and lunch count is recorded. The lunch count is sent to Stevens High School after morning attendance is taken and cannot be changed once it is sent, therefore it is important that we are notified right away if your child will be late and or absent. Students who arrive late and miss the lunch count will be responsible for bringing a packed lunch for themselves.


The doors are automatically locked during the day for the safety of our students and staff. Please use the button on the brick wall by the front door to notify the office of your presence and wait until the door unlocks to be admitted. All visitors need to stop at the office to check in and receive a visitor’s pass before entering classrooms or the lunchroom (including before school).


If possible, please consider scheduling appointments, visits, drop-offs and other non-urgent interruptions for outside of school hours. We want to make attendance and education a priority while minimizing disruptions to the classroom and to other students. Classrooms receive incentive prizes for good attendance!


We request that all students be picked up no later than 3:00PM. There is no supervision after school and no nursing available in case of injury. The upper playground is not available for parking before school starts but the upper playground gate will be opened by our custodian at 2:40 PM for after-school parking.


Messages called in to be delivered to students can quickly add up as another source of disruption and confusion during the day. Please make consistent after school pick-up/walk home arrangements, etc. with your child ahead of time.


Pick-up and drop-off is a very busy and often stressful and distracted time, both inside and outside of the building. Allow extra time, drive slowly, be aware of your surroundings, and be patient. PLEASE ALWAYS use the crosswalks to cross the road!


Teacher Hours: 7:40-3:45


Office Hours: 7:15-4:00


Kindergarten, First and Fifth will eat lunch from 11:40 -12:00, followed by recess until 12:15


Second, Third and Fourth will eat lunch from 12:10-12:30, followed by recess until 12:45.


Food Program: Breakfast – $2.05 Lunch – $2.75 Milk – $.55 (Adult meal $3.60)


Free/reduced price meal applications are available.


Parents/grandparents are welcome to bring lunch to their children, eat with them in the lunchroom, or sign them out to have lunch elsewhere, but please be considerate of space and time constraints. Adults who wish to order school lunch must call before 8:15 AM that morning in order to be included in the lunch count (adult meal $3.60, to be paid in cash).


Students are released for recess immediately following lunch, but individuals are allowed to stay in the lunchroom and continue eating for the full 30 minutes if they wish to do so.


Students will be allowed to be dismissed when they feel they are finished eating.  We will encourage our students to eat, but we will not “force” or make sure they have eaten before they leave (this is a discussion you may wish to have with your child). They may only need 5 minutes, or they may stay for the full 30 minutes.


Food brought into CLASSROOMS for birthday or holiday celebrations MUST BE STORE-BOUGHT, individual servings, and clearly labeled. Due to allergy restrictions, homemade items will not be allowed for birthday and holiday celebrations. This also applies to balloons, flower bouquets, etc.


Homemade items ARE allowed for personal lunches and snacks. Most teachers encourage an individual mid-morning snack. These snacks should be a healthy choice brought from home in an appropriate container and is not intended to be shared with other students. Please keep in mind any allergy or peanut restrictions that your child’s teacher may have for the classroom.


All students will participate in P.E., music and library twice per week. The students are responsible for wearing appropriate shoes and clothing for P.E.


Each grade goes outside for recess multiple times a day, in all types of weather. Please assist your child in making sure they are dressed appropriately. Students may bring their own playground equipment from home, clearly labeled with their name. No students are allowed to exclude other students from play for any reason. Playground activities during the school day should be a time to encourage safety, social skills, learning, teamwork, fair play, and cooperation between all levels of skill.


Recess is also a time when lots of coats, hats, mittens, etc. become “lost”. Pinedale’s Lost and Found is always overflowing with items that need to find their way back home! Please label all of your child’s belongings and stop by regularly to find what you are missing. Unclaimed items will be donated to charity every few weeks.


If your child is feeling sick, overly tired, or has a temperature above 100 degrees, please allow them to stay home and rest! Forcing them to go to school when they aren’t in good condition isn’t fair to them or to the other students. We have very limited nursing options at Pinedale and the school nurse is not a substitute for seeing your regular physician. For everyone’s best interest, we want our students to stay in a place where they are comfortable and can recover completely before they return to school.


Our school’s behavior plan focuses on positive reinforcement. “Panther Pride” encourages respect for ourselves, for others, and for property. Our principal, teachers and school counselor work together to promote a plan that teaches and encourages empathy, self-management, independence and leadership.


Make sure you are connected to your child’s teacher and classroom through the Class Dojo app!  Discipline policy is uniform across all classrooms so that students are always aware of expectations and can be responsible for their actions by making appropriate choices everywhere in the school. Parents can follow their student’s progress and communicate with their teachers through the Class Dojo app, where “Dojo Points” are awarded as digital points and can be redeemed for privileges throughout the year.


All Pinedale families are encouraged to use Class Dojo and should make sure to keep updated email addresses and phone numbers on file for school communication. Information also goes home in Friday Folders, through email and phone messages, and posted on our school’s Facebook page.




A complete RCAS District handbook is available in each classroom, in the office, and online.  Your child’s teacher is your first stop with any questions or concerns, either in person, via email or phone call, or through Class Dojo. You may also email our principal, Mr. Chip Franke, at or call the Pinedale office at 605-394-1805.


Open, honest communication and a dedication to education is a key to your child’s success!