Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Carol Pilla



September 2016

Dear Parents, 

On behalf of the entire Laurel Plains Staff I would like to welcome you to a new school year and extend a very special welcome to our new families. 

The following staff changes have occurred for the 2016-2017 school year:  Mrs. Blauman has moved to third grade and Mrs. Burgess to fourth grade.  Our part-time speech teacher, Mrs. Gail Cantor has retired and Ms. Meagan Gaffney will join our staff. We also have a new teaching assistant, Ms. Shari Kim. I want to share with you that Ms. Lauren Ruszkowski is now Mrs. Cernuda. Congratulations to Lauren and her husband on their marriage. 

The 2016-2017 School Year promises to be both exciting and challenging. At Meet the Teacher on September 14th teachers will provide you with more detailed information on your child’s program. We will continue with our OLWEUS Anti-bullying Program.  Also, through our Student Advisory Council students will participate in community projects to help those in need.  Thanks to the PTA, students will experience many exciting cultural arts programs that enrich their understanding and knowledge. 

This year we will be implementing a new K-5 writing program: Resources for Teaching Writing: Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative Writing.  The new program is part of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Teachers  will receive training in September.  Additionally, Special Education and Reading Teachers will be trained in the Orton Gillingham Program to provide strategies and skills to benefit our students. 

Each year the staff and I evaluate instructional programs, past activities and events, daily routines, school-wide procedures such as arrival and dismissal, and the overall safety of the school building.  A key piece in this is evaluating procedures to ensure the safety of each and every child in Laurel Plains.  As a result, I would ask your cooperation in the following:           

  1. Parents who arrive at dismissal to pick up their child must come into the office and sign-out their child.  Please do not sign out your child early unless it is a necessity.  The best method for taking your child out of school early is to:  send a note in the a.m. to your child’s teacher or to call the office during the day and your child will be waiting for you in the office at dismissal or the time requested by you. Please do not remove your child from a dismissal line without coming into the office to sign-out your child.  I would only encourage the early dismissal of students for family emergency purposes. 
  1. Again, to ensure that each child is accounted for during dismissal, Walker and Car rider students will be in classrooms with teacher supervisors prior to dismissal.  If you are picking up your child who is a Walker or Car-rider, kindly send in a note to your child’s teacher in the morning or call the office during the day or come to the office prior to dismissal to sign your child out.  Then, the office will send for your child.              
  1. When you come to the building, please sign-in with the greeter and go to the office, where you will receive a Laurel Plains’ visitor pass before going anywhere in the building. 

I know you appreciate how seriously the staff and I take the safety and security of the children in Laurel Plains.  I know I can count on your cooperation, thank you. 

Laurel Plains is designated an early school, therefore, arrival and dismissal are as follows: 

            7:52 a.m. – Students are admitted to their classroom 

            8:00 a.m. – Classes begin 

            2:35 p.m. – Students are dismissed

Breakfast will be available at 7:30 a.m. for students.  Please do not drop off any children prior to 7:30 a.m., as there is no supervision available. 

Dismissal procedures are as follows: 

  1. Walkers will be dismissed after the last bus arrives and teachers will escort all walkers up the path to the Crossing Guard.
  2. All buses will depart by 2:35 p.m. Cars are not allowed to enter the school grounds until all buses have departed.
  3. After all buses and walkers have departed, the cars will be admitted by the crossing guard to proceed to the front circle. Please pull up to the end of the circle next to the curb in single file.  Student car- riders will be helped and directed to their cars by the teachers on duty.  Children may only enter cars on the curbside. 

Please drive carefully onto the school grounds and be patient, an extra few seconds of waiting is a small sacrifice to ensure the safety of our children.  Also, remember not to pass a school bus or van that is stopped.  It’s the law! 

Another issue that I would like to address as the school year begins is the practice of students changing buses on a regular basis. Students are not allowed to ride on other buses for reasons of safety. Should an emergency arise that would clearly be an exception. Additionally, please make every effort to have your child arrive on time for school.  All students should report to their classrooms by 7:52 a.m.and are designated late at 8:00 a.m. and beyond. Thank you for your cooperation in training our students to be responsible citizens. 

 We are discontinuing Backsteppers this school year due to issues of safety, supervision, and the very small number of students as backsteppers. Thank you for your understanding. 

As this new school year begins, let us all work together to help each child in our care reach his/her potential.  “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much!”  Through our mutual support, open communication, and belief in each child’s ability to succeed, we can all live our school motto: BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE!

I look forward with great anticipation and excitement as our new school year begins.    One of the happiest moments for me is when our students arrive on the first day of school filled with excitement, hope for great success, and a bit of trepidation for the unknown.  That is always the time that I reaffirm my pledge to do all that I can to make each child succeed in a happy, supportive, challenging, and safe environment.  All of our children are “Stars” and we must work each day to reinforce that image.  Our successes at Laurel Plains can only happen with your continued support and cooperation.  I know I can always count on you, thank you.  There is no place like Laurel Plains! 

Carol A. Pilla