PBES February newsletter now available

Dear Families and Friends,

In the month of February, we find ourselves at a crossroads having just completed the first reporting cycle of student progress while inching towards the start of our annual New York State assessments for students in grades 3-5.   Students will once again complete these exams using a computer-based format which we successfully implemented last year at each of these grade levels.  

This year, we conducted a simulation exam in mathematics for students in grades 3-5 on Tuesday, February 11.  Other important test dates include the NYS English Language Arts exam which will be held on Wednesday, March 25 and Thursday, March 26.  Also, the NYS Math test will occur on Wednesday, April 22 and Thursday, April 23 which is the week we return from April recess.  

As was done the previous two years, all New York State assessments will now be given over two days instead of three days in response to past concerns from both parents and teachers about the number of testing days.  Other significant shifts that will remain in effect with year’s years annual testing program include the continuation of untimed testing which allows students to work at their own pace and complete the exam throughout the course of a school day.  There will continue to be fewer test questions on both the ELA and Math exams as well as fewer reading passages and constructed response questions on the ELA exam.  

As our testing dates approach, we will share more specific information regarding the administration of these annual exams.  In the meantime, we will continue to provide meaningful learning opportunities and educational experiences for all students.  


Christopher T. Sanita

Progress Reports

Parents can access and review their child’s report card online via the district’s eSchool Data Parent Portal.  Elementary report cards became available on the eSchool Data Parent Portal on Thursday, February 6, 2020.

Absences and Assignments

If your child will be absent from school, please call the Main Office (518-357-2770) to notify us.  New York State law requires a written excuse from a parent or guardian stating the reason for any school absence.  According to NYS law, the following are examples of legally excused absences: sickness, death in the family, religious observances, medical appointments, any weather-related occurrence including impassable roads.  Examples of unexcused absences include family vacations or any other non-emergency or non-medical related absence from school.  

We strongly encourage parents not to schedule family vacations and trips on days when school is in session.  A great deal of learning takes place during the instructional day that cannot be replicated otherwise. Learning occurs not only through assigned written work but also through hands-on activities, discussions and interactions that can only occur between students and teachers in the classroom.  Teachers are not expected to provide assigned work in advance as this is often predicated on the pace of instruction and learning in the classroom. There is a strong possibility that extended absences may negatively impact student performance.  

Winter Recess

School will be closed for Presidents’ Day and Recess from Monday, February 17 – Friday, February 21, 2020.  School will resume on Monday, February 24, 2020.

School Delays

Parents, please note that on days when the opening of school is delayed by one or two hours, staff is not present to supervise children who arrive at the regular time.  Please do not drive your child to school earlier than the delayed opening time expecting that someone will be available to watch him or her.

Whenever schools are closed for emergency reasons all night activities and continuing education classes are also canceled.

Spring Pictures

Spring Pictures will be on Friday, March 13, 2020.  They are listed in the District Calendar as Wednesday, March 25th but the date has been changed to March 13th.

Help keep Pine Bush Elementary healthy!  Spread the word, not the germs!

Henry the Hand’s ® 4 Principles of Hand Awareness:

  1. WASH your hands when they are dirty and BEFORE eating.
  2. DO NOT cough into your hands.
  3. DO NOT sneeze into your hands.
  4. Above all, DO NOT put your fingers into your eyes, nose or mouth!

Upcoming Events


  • 2/17-2/21 – Winter Break   


  • 3/3 – Bus Evacuation Drill, 9:00am
  • 3/6 – PTA Movie Night, 6:30pm
  • 3/11 – PTA Meeting, 6:30pm
  • 3/13 – PTA Spring Pictures
  •  3/20 – NO SCHOOL – Superintendent’s Conference Day
  • 3/24-3/26 – Grade 3 – 8 NYS ELA Computer Based Testing
  • 3/30-4/3 – Spirit Week
  • 3/31 – Grades K-2 11:30am Dismissal
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