At Pinewood Elementary, we enjoy honoring students on their birthday. We also respect families that do not want us making a big deal out of their child’s birthday. We enjoy many Pinewood traditions that go along with acknowledging birthdays or half birthdays (if students have a summer birthday). We announce the birthday child’s name on the morning announcements, classes sing the “Happy Birthday” song, and families have always had the option of bringing in treats for his or her classmates. Please know that you do not have to send treats or gifts with your child on his or her birthday. Teachers take great pride in making your child feel special on their birthday. If you do feel the need to send something for your child to enjoy with her or his classmates, please follow the birthday guidelines below (taken from the Student Handbook).
FOOD IN CLASSROOMS (for parties and treats)
The District prohibits any distribution of food or treats outside the school lunch program, except foods that are individually, commercially wrapped. Foods made at home may not be distributed within the school. If your child wants to bring a birthday treat, encourage them to bring in a healthy snack or even better; bring an item for the classroom such as a classroom book (signed and dated by your child) or other classroom supplies such as pencils, erasers, etc. The reason for this strict interpretation of school district policy is because of the growing number of students who struggle with food allergies, diabetes, and childhood obesity. Individually packaged items that would be considered healthy snacks include: pretzels, baked crackers, and granola bars. Attention! Attention! Please do not send cupcakes, doughnuts, or sheet cakes for your child’s birthday treats. These items are not individually wrapped and do not meet the guidelines of our district policy. Cupcakes, cakes, doughnuts will be sent back home! According to new procedures, any time that food is brought into school by a teacher or student, a “food request” form needs to be turned into the Health Office and the Principal’s Office. Teachers need to account for all allergies prior to distributing food in their classroom. Please plan ahead if you want to send food items (for the whole class) into the classroom. This policy is expressly concerned with foods involved in classroom parties or treats for students and is not meant to limit the preparation of foods directly related to the school curriculum and approved by the building Principal.
We are strongly encouraging families to send non-food items on birthdays. Instead of a food item, please consider sending something for the class to enjoy such as:
• A game for the classroom
• A classroom book (A nice touch would be having your child pick it out, sign it, and date it.)
• A classroom set of items for each child to keep such as pencils, pens, erasers, markers, etc.
The items listed above will still make your child feel special and they will last a lot longer than a food item.