Pine Hill School News

Dear Families,

Welcome to the 2014-2015 school year!  Teachers, staff, and administrators have been busy preparing for an exciting, challenging, enriching year!  It is our commitment to give your child the best education possible in a safe, nurturing, and positive environment.

We will continue to implement our Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS). Students showing safe, respectful, and responsible behavior will earn Panda Paws, be awarded with exciting assemblies, and ultimately be proud they exhibit appropriate behavior in and around school, and beyond!

Did You Miss Back-To-School Night?

If you were unable to attend our annual Back-To-School Night on Thursday, August 28 you can view the presentation given by some of the teachers online. We will post links as we receive them from the staff.

You can view the kindergarten presentation with slides you can read at your own pace here.

You can watch the kindergarten presentation as a movie on our YouTube channel here.

back to school night

Cross Country Schedule


Download the schedule as a pdf here.

Schedule for 2014 Cross Country Season
Divisions:  K-2; 3-5; 6-8; Boys and Girls Separated
Race directors may change the division. Boys and girls may be run together, but scored separately.
DATE                         RACE/LOCATION                                                               TIME             
Thurs, Sept 18           Rio Dell Run, Rio Dell Elementary, Center Street          4:00 PM
                                    Josh Quintal:  764-5694;   

Thurs, Sept 25           Arcata Marsh, Jacoby Creek School                                   4:00 PM
                                    S. I St., West of Klopp Lake, Chris Sundeen

Sun, Sept 28              Waterfront Run: Youth Cross County Challenge             10:00 AM
                                    Karen Brooks: 822-7736 or

Thurs, Oct 2               Pacific Union Run:                                                               4:00 PM
                                    Molly Wasko: 822-4619;

Sat, Oct 4                    Clam Beach Run:  South entrance to Clam Beach          $5.00
                                    9:30-High School; 11:00-K-2nd & 3rd-5th; 11:30 6th/7th/8th   per
                                    Jason Lewis: 661-401-0390;     runner

Tues, Oct 7                 Open:                                                                                     4:30 PM

Sat, Oct 11                  CASA Kid Walk-Wharfinger Building                                10:00 AM
                                    See the attached flier,

Tues, Oct 14               Cutten Run:  Winship Middle School                               4:00 PM
                                    Rachel Pesch:   834-1004; 

Thurs, Oct 16             Pumpkin Run:  Rohner Park, Fortuna                               4:00 PM
                                    Lanore Bergenske:  725-5197;
Thurs, Oct 23             Cross Country Championships                                           4:15 PM
                                    Arcata Community Center
                                    Mike Pigg and the City of Arcata

For any questions:
Jack West:                 677-3655;
Reed Elmore:            502-9545;

Panda Press Issue #1

The first Issue of our newsletter Panda Press for the 2014-2015 school year is now available online.

download newsletter

Meet The Principal

MEET THE PRINCIPAL this Thursday prior to Back to School Night between 5:30 – 6:00 in the front foyer near office. Or, stop by the office anytime during school hours. 

                        Principal Beall’s contact information:
                        Cell: 407-5621
                        Office Phone: 443-4596

Principal Tami Beall is returning to Humboldt County from Mount Shasta.  She is excited to help lead a team of amazing teachers and an energetic, professional staff devoted to your child’s education. She has 3 children, 3 dogs, 3 cats, and enjoys running, swimming, and everything to do about education! Ms. Beall is beyond delighted to be at Pine Hill Elementary!


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Absences and Tardies

Please be sure your child attends school, each and every day.  We have 179 days to prepare your child for the next grade.  Every day is important.  Plan appointments for after school, or at least later in the day, if at all possible.  Make every effort to have him/her arrive at school on time. Being here on time sets the tone for the day.  Frequently, rich instruction takes place immediately after the bell rings. We don’t want your child to miss out! 

Common Core State Standards

Teachers will be delivering instruction based on the Common Core State Standards.  Student collaboration, engagement, and high expectations are emphasized.  Students will learn math conceptually, close-read, and be exposed to problem solving in group settings.  If you would like to discuss CCSS further, contact your child’s teacher, or talk to Principal Beall.  It is an exciting time in education!

Important Announcements

  • Be sure to label all jackets and lunch boxes with your child’s name.
  • Check our Facebook Page frequently!
  • Follow Principal Beall on Twitter @TamiBeall
  • Laps at Lunch Club! See box for more info!

Transitioning to Kindergarten

By Janis Strasser

Starting school can be scary and exciting for both you and your child. Effective kindergarten teachers know that children are individuals who each start kindergarten with a wide range of skills. You do not need to drill your child with letters, numbers, and facts, before school starts. But there are some things you can do to prepare both you and your child for kindergarten. Here are some ideas.

Before school starts

Send a note to the nurse and to the teacher if your child has allergies or special needs. Do this even if you have indicated this on other forms already. It may be critical for teachers to know that your child reacts to bee stings, has food allergies, or has hearing or vision modifications. As a parent, you have the responsibility to advocate for your child’s health and safety.

Visit the school and meet the teacher. If there is a visiting day to meet your child’s teacher and visit her classroom before school starts, make sure to participate. If you missed visiting day or the school does not offer one, call to see if you can arrange a quick visit to see the school and to meet the teacher with your child

Start your school routine early. To reduce stress and get used to new routines adjust new bedtimes or wake up times a few weeks before school begins. Routines are comforting for us and for children. Read a soothing bedtime story every night to help your child fall asleep with comforting thoughts. Do not watch the news or violent programs in the evening.

Label everything. Make sure to label backpacks, lunch boxes - everything your child brings to school. This includes her! If your child’s school has not supplied a nametag, make one. It should have your child’s name, address, and a phone number where a parent/guardian can be reached, the name of the teacher, and how your child gets home from school.

Read books together about starting school. You can ask your local librarian for suggestions or try some of these:

  • Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten, Joseph Slate (Illustrated by Ashley Wolff)
  • Seven Little Mice Go to School, Kazuo Iwamura
  • Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes, Eric Litwin (Illustrated by James Dean)
  • Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten, Hyewon Yum
  • Yoko Learns to Read, Rosemary Wells

On the first day of school

Be positive. Give your child a smile and a hug, tell her you love her, and wave goodbye.

Help your child say goodbye. Saying goodbye in a new setting can be frightening for some children. When you say goodbye (either at the bus or at school), reassure your child that you will see her later. Mention a specific time and a concrete activity, for example “I will pick you up before lunchtime and we will have lunch together.”

Avoid behaviors that might upset your child. For example, try not to:

Cry as you wave to your child through the bus window.

Argue with the bus driver who may be late the first few days. (The drivers need time to learn the route and talk to anxious parents.)

Battle with your child about an outfit you want her to wear. (She doesn’t have to be the school fashion queen.)

Force your child to eat a big breakfast. (She may be nervous and it might be better to eat lightly than to have a stomachache, for the first couple of days).

Wait to ask the teacher your specific questions. The first day of school is not the time to bombard the teacher with personal requests and information. Remember, your child is one of 20 or 25 children. Trust that the teacher is a professional who will make your child feel welcome and help her feel like a member of the classroom community.

During the first week of school

Be supportive. Adjusting to school may take time. Ask, “What was the most fun thing you did in school today?” Then ask, “What was the hardest thing for you?” (Only ask this after you have discussed what was fun.) Don’t expect your child to tell you every detail.

Instill a sense of confidence in your child. Celebrate your child’s successes. Tell her that you are proud of the way she got on the bus and sat down all by herself, or the way she tried to print her name. Don’t dwell on how many friends she has made during the first few days. This is too abstract for most 5-year-olds and their friends change by the minute. Instead, ask, “Tell me about some of the children in your class.” It takes time to adjust to new people, new activities, and a new environment. Don’t expect perfection. If your child was perfect, she wouldn’t have to go to school!

Set aside a time, each evening, to share your child’s day. See if your child has brought home any drawings, paintings, or scribbling. These papers may be very important to your young student. If there are no papers, don’t assume that your child didn’t do anything worthwhile. After a few weeks have passed and your child has gotten used to school, ask her about what she played with in the classroom, what stories the teacher read, if she went outside, etc. Listen for clues about your child’s strengths and challenges. If you have concerns, contact the teacher and set up a time to talk.

Read everything the school sends home. During the first weeks of school children bring home a wealth of information about school routines, important dates, and meetings that you will need to know about. Make sure to check your child’s backpack every day. Also, you may want to go over with your child, in a positive, calm way, the information you have supplied to the school on the emergency card (who may pick your child up other than you, where she can go if you’re ever not home, etc.).

Enjoy being the parent of a kindergartner! This is your child’s first step into primary school and a unique time in childhood. Enjoy!

See more at: htp://

Here is a another article 10 things kindergarten teachers wish parents knew.


Visitor Policy: For your safety and the safety of our students, once school begins at 8:25am, all visitors and volunteers, including parents and families are required to register in the office, then obtain and wear a badge while on campus. Please return the badge sign out when leaving. All of our staff have been trained to check for a visitor’s badge and will ask visitors to sign in at the office. Again, this is to ensure your safety and the safety of our students. Thank you for your cooperation.

When dropping off and picking up students, please be safe in our parking lot.  Please DO NOT stop in the drive through lane to drop off students.  If no parking spots are available on the left or in the drop off lane, please park on the street or come back around.  Stopping in the drive through lane is dangerous for our students.  It can back up the parking lot, often all the way onto the street.  Please do not leave your car unattended in the drop off lane. 

Another reminder, school does not open until 7:30 am.  For safety reasons, please do not drop off students before that time as there is no supervision.  Thank you very much for your cooperation

Positive Behavior Interventions & Support


For the last several weeks, everyone on our staff has been handing out Panda Paws to students “caught’ being safe, respectful and/or responsible. Students have been saving up Panda Paws and Privilege Points to use in our Privilege Shop and the day finally arrived last Thursday. Students visited the shop to “spend” their paws and points. 

They were very excited as they used their math skills and shopped for special treasures.  The children are starting to collect more Panda Paws and Privilege Points for future visits to the shop. It will open again in the weeks ahead. Go Pandas!


Download a full sized poster here.

Attendance Policy

Not only does the school lose valuable funding when your child has unexcused absences, research shows students who attend school regularly learn more & are more successful in school than students who do not. When families make regular attendance a priority, they are helping their children learn to be responsible, an important skill for success in life.

Attendance patterns are formed at a young age. Children who form good attendance habits now will have a greater chance of continuing those habits throughout their school years. Students who are late or absent miss out on carefully planned lessons that are given in sequence. Student learning is cumulative.  Each lesson is built on those that preceded it.  When students aren’t there, they begin to fall behind. If the pattern continues, they are more likely to drop out. We hope you will continue to let your child know how important it is to be at school and to be on time.

Because attendance is so important, we will review attendance twice per trimester.  Families will be notified and/or asked to meet with school officials if unexcused absences or tardies fall below acceptable. Students from other districts may have their inter-district transfer cancelled if they are not able to maintain good attendance.

Excused absences include illness, medical and dental appointments, family emergencies, funerals and required court appearances.  Please call and let us know and we will mark the absence excused. If students will be out of school for more than 5 days, an Independent Study may be arranged. Work is assigned for students to complete during their absence, for example if the family is out of town.  

Please call our office if you have questions.

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Adult English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes

Our English Language teacher, Linda Dionne, will offer an ESL class Thursday evenings beginning next Thursday, October 10, 6:30 to 8:00pm at Pine Hill.  For more information, call our office at 443-4596.

School Site Council

It is part of the California Education Code that each school has a School Site Council (SSC) made up of parents, community members, teachers, classified staff and administration.  The role of the SSC is to decide upon and monitor the Single Plan for Student Achievement, a plan that designates the priorities for spending funds at each site.  Pine Hill’s first SSC meeting of the year will be Tuesday, October 15th at 2:30pm.  As some parents have “graduated” to South Bay, we will need new parents for our Site Council.  Please come if you can and find out more about this very important role.  Everyone is welcome.

Positive Behavior Support

We have begun implementing our Positive Behavior Support Plan throughout the district.  The main themes are Be Safe, Be Responsible, Be Respectful. All of our behavior expectations are now based on these three main ideas. At Pine Hill, we will begin teaching students the agreed upon behavior expectations during October. We will have several assemblies and training sessions to help them better understand our new expectations.  We will also be sending information home and posting ideas on our website to keep families informed.

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Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)

This year the State Legislature and Governor have agreed on a new way to fund public schools in California.  From this year forward, schools in California will receive additional funding through a new formula, known as the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Schools will receive the regular amount per student, known as the Base Grant, and in addition, a Supplemental Grant.
The Supplemental Grant will provide an extra 20% of the Base Grant amount for every student that is:

  1. Eligible to receive a free or reduced-price meal (Application Process)
  2. Classified as an English Learner
  3. Foster youth

In order to get the most money for our school, we need every parent/guardian who qualifies to complete the application for free and reduced-priced meals, even if your child never plans to eat a school lunch.

***This is really important, because every approved application will provide additional funding to your child’s education. ***

Free and Reduced Lunch Application – Approximately 65% of the students in South Bay receive either a free or a reduced priced meal.  The application for free and reduced-price meals and the income eligibility guidelines is available in our school office and on our school website –  A family of four that makes less than $43,568 per year will qualify for a reduced lunch.  Please check the chart below to see if you qualify. Proof of income is not required to determine eligibility. If your child lives in two households, you may use either household’s income to meet the eligibility requirements. If your income changes during the school year, please consider reapplying.

South Bay School Lunch Program

School Lunches: About 85% of the students at South Bay School eat a school lunch every day. Some students bring a lunch, others pay either the full or reduced price, and others receive a free lunch. The school secretary knows how each student pays for their lunches in order to manage the school lunch program; the kitchen staff, teachers, and other staff do not know this information, and neither do the students.

Paying for Lunch: Each student is expected to pay for their lunch before ordering it. Students can pay for their lunches in the school office. School lunches cost either $2.05 at a full price or $.40 at a reduced price and include the main course, side dish, milk and salad bar. Parents are encouraged to pay in advance by sending cash or a check (made payable to South Bay School) with their student, or we also accept payment by mail to: 6077 Loma Drive, Eureka, CA 95503.

Estimating lunch costs: The monthly school lunch menu is typically sent home a week before the new month begins. Parents are encouraged to look over the menu with their student and estimate the number of lunches the student will order at school. A student who eats school lunch every day will spend $10.25 for a five-day week and $41 for a full month of 20 school days.

Lunch Account Balances: Each student has an account set up on the school information system that will automatically deduct the funds from his/her account each day after lunch is served. Parents can obtain a current balance by contacting the school office at 443-4828 or by email at  A balance remaining at the end of the school year is automatically rolled over to the next school year unless you request a refund of the balance. The school office will contact the parent/guardian of a student who has a school lunch account in the negative with the amount owed to the school. If the amount owed exceeds $50, the student will not be allowed to receive a school lunch.

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New Family Handbook Available Now

The South Bay Union School District 2013 - 2014 Family Handbook For Pine Hill Elementary School is now ready for distribution. You can get a pdf of the Family handbook here.

School Menus

Use the school menu page to view menus online or download a pdf to print at home.

Helping Pine Hill is just a click away!

boxtops for educationBox Tops for Education in having a promotion where first time buyers receive 15 extra eBox Tops to give to their school until October 31. The Box Tops marketplace has collaborated with several companies to earn Box Tops. Some of those companies include Kohl's, Disney Store, Lego, Office Depot, and Famous Footwear. Along with the 15 eBoxTops, every company gives a number of eBox Tops for every $10 spent. It is super easy to earn. 1.

Click here to Sign up or Login 3. Shop!

Thank you for all of your support and happy clipping!

YouTube Channel

YouTubeMr. Lentz has created a YouTube channel called Pine Hill Studios. He has uploaded three (3) more movies.


School Newsletters

Download the February 2014 newsletter here.

The kindergarten teachers all send home a weekly newsletter. Click here to see, read, and/or download the kindergarten newsletter.

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Class Web Sites

Teachers are encouraged to create class web sites to enhance home/school communication.

School Board Meetings

Click here to go to the school board page.

Dates To Remember


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