Parent Handbook

Dear Parents,

          The faculty, staff, and administration of Pinehurst Elementary welcome you to an exciting and challenging year of education.  This handbook contains essential information regarding our school and school rules.  It will help students and parents gain a better understanding of how and why we do certain things.  Students and parents should use this handbook as a guide to help assure a positive, rewarding experience.  While it is not feasible for this handbook to cover every situation that may occur at school, it does provide direction that, along with the Charleston County School District’s Student Code of Conduct book, will help with the making of informed decisions.

          It is our goal to foster a school climate where teachers can teach effectively so students can maximize their potential.  We cannot do it without the help and cooperation of students and parents.  We must work together as a community to ensure the best education for all students.  Like a community, members have responsibilities.  Students are expected to come to school ready to learn, participate in class, be a positive role model for fellow classmates and to take full advantage of the time they have at Pinehurst.   Parents are encouraged to take an active role by participating in the school’s Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO), attending parent/teacher conferences, asking your child daily about school activities, having frequent communication with your child’s teacher, volunteering, and setting consistent homework and study habits.

          School has a lot to do with attitude and effort.  School should be and will be challenging.  The faculty, staff, and administration of Pinehurst Elementary will do everything we can to help your student be successful. 



Dianne Benton, Principal


Academic Conferences

Academic conferences are held two times per year.  Teachers will contact the parents of students who are not meeting grade-level expectations, who have not met standards on a portion of the SCReady/SCPASS Test (4th and 5th grade students), or who are repeating the same grade level to set conference times on these dates.  Additionally, teachers will meet with parents as needed throughout the year to discuss academic progress.  Please remember you may contact your child’s teacher to schedule a conference by calling (843) 824-8728, e-mailing the teacher, or by simply writing a note to the teacher.  Conferences need to be scheduled during the teacher’s planning period, before school, or after school so instructional time is not lost.

Arrival/ Dismissal

  • Arrival

    Adult supervision at Pinehurst Elementary School begins at 7:05 am.  Students should not be dropped off before this time due to the lack of supervision.  For this reason, the school will not be responsible for students left unsupervised by parents before 7:05 am.  Pinehurst Elementary does not provide an early morning (before-school) program.  It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure supervision before school hours. 

    Car riders should only be dropped off at the front entrance of the school at 7:05 am or after.  Students should never be dropped off or walked-in from the gate on Pinehurst Street.  There is no one on duty in the front parking lot area of the school and students will not be supervised when walking across the street.  This is a safety issue.  Students and parents not following this procedure will be asked to return to their car and access the school as described above.  Parents walking their students to class should use the middle school parking lot.  Students may not walk from the middle school parking lot unaccompanied.  Parents do not need to check in at the front office when walking their student to class prior to 7:30. 

    Bus riders will enter the building through the back bus loop door supervised by school personnel. Every student should report directly to his or her classroom from 7:05 and before 7:30 (tardy bell).    

  • Dismissal

    For the safety of your student, we will be unable to accept any changes regarding transportation messages taken or delivered after 2:00 pm.   Please make sure your child knows how he or she will get home in the afternoon before he or she leaves for school in the morning.  School will be dismissed beginning at 2:25 pm.  Car riders will be dismissed first, followed by bus riders and after school day care students.  Parents are asked to arrive promptly to receive students.  Any changes in the regular routine will require a note for the teacher signed by the parent. 

    Car riders will be dismissed from the front of the school. Parents are asked to form a double line in the car lane and follow the directions of the staff on duty.  Students whose parent’s park in the school parking lot will be dismissed last, once all moving vehicles have left the car rider’s line and the parents will have to exit their car and come to the front of the school to receive their student.  Please be on time (2:25).

    Bus riders will be dismissed from the rear of the school and accompanied to the busses by their teacher.  Students must ride their normal bus and will not be allowed to ride another bus unless the aforementioned transportation procedure is followed (note/e-mail to teacher and front office notification). 

  • Early Dismissal

A parent or an authorized person must show ID and provide the secret family code word listed on the Emergency Contact card when taking a student from school grounds.  Students will not be dismissed without notification from the office.

Daily attendance is a requirement for academic success and grade promotion.  Students may not be eligible for promotion if they have more than 10 unlawful or unexcused absences.  The data clerk must receive a valid excuse (note), written by the parent or guardian, within 3 school days after the student returns to school.  The excuse (1) student's name, (2) teacher's name, (3) date(s) of absence, (4) reason for absence, and (5) signature of parent or guardian.

After 10 handwritten excuses, a doctor’s note is required to excuse an absence.  Attendance conferences will be held with parents of children who exceed the South Carolina Attendance Regulation Laws.  Student attendance is monitored very closely.  Please read the Charleston County School District Student Code of Conduct and Attendance Policy that will be sent home during the first full week of school.

Behavior Incentives
Pinehurst Elementary is a Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports school (PBIS).  We hold quarterly behavior incentive functions like dances. Students receiving 3 Teacher Managed or 1 Office Managed referral will not be allowed to participate in these functions.

Bell Schedule
7:05    Homeroom

7:30    Tardy Bell (parent/guardian required to sign student in at front office)

2:00    No individual student dismissal after 2:00 pm

2:25   Announcements/Dismissal Begins

Breakfast and Lunch
Breakfast will be served from 7:15 to 7:30.  Accommodations will be made for students arriving late to school if the student arrives at a reasonable time. Questions regarding Food Services should be directed Pinehurst Elementary's Cafeteria Manager at (843) 818-1431 or at Food Services at (843) 566-8180.

The cafeteria will begin serving breakfast and lunch on the first day of school.  The last day for breakfast and lunch will be the last day of school.  Did you know?  You can find CCSD Breakfast and Lunch menus each month on the CCSD website.  Go to , click on the “Parents” tab at the top, and click on “Food Services” located in the left hand column. 

Bullying, Harassment, Threats, and Intimidation
Please refer to the Charleston County School District Student Code of Conduct regarding our no tolerance policy on bullying, harassment, threats, and intimidation. Students will be referred to administration if they are involved in any of these offenses.

Class celebrations/birthday parties will be held at lunch or at the end of the school day so as not to be a distraction to the learning environment.  You will be notified by your student’s teacher if and when a celebration will take place.  When providing food, please be mindful of food allergies.  Please do not send balloons, flowers, etc… to the school.

Cell Phone Use/Electronics
Cell phones are not permitted to be used during school hours and it is highly recommended that students do not bring them to school.  However, if a parent deems it necessary for their child to have a phone, the phone must be stored out of sight (bookbag) and in the ‘off mode’ during school hours (CCSD policy).  Should a student need to contact a parent during school hours, a school phone must be used.  Teachers are instructed to collect cell phones that are seen or heard during school hours and parents will be required to personally retrieve the phone.  The school staff and administration will not be responsible for the loss, damage, or theft of a student’s cell phone or other electronic devices.  A student who brings a cell phone or electronic device to school does so at their own risk.

Corporal Punishment
Per CCSD Policy JKA, corporal punishment will not be used as a disciplinary action at Pinehurst Elementary School at any time by any faculty, staff, or administrative member. 

Dangerous Weather
Extreme weather conditions may cause the school district to dismiss school early and/or cancel school.  In such cases, there will be notification by Pinehurst via the Parent Messaging system.  It is important to ensure that the Data Clerk have up-to-date contact numbers.


Please review the Charleston County behavior policies in the 2017-2018 Student Code of Conduct handbook.  Pinehurst Elementary follows the school expectations symbolized by the word “SOAR”.  This word is the reminder that students should demonstrate positive and productive behaviors- Self-Control, Organization, Responsibility, and Respect.  Appropriate, expected behavior is defined throughout the school on posters and in classrooms by class Code of Cooperation statements.  Students demonstrating this type of behavior are rewarded.  The “Claw Cash” system is used to reward outstanding behavior, kind deeds, and individual improvement.  Claw Cash can be redeemed for small prizes.  When a student is not exhibiting appropriate, expected behaviors, a number of progressive consequence options may be given as outlined in the CCSD Student Code of Conduct handbook.

Dress Code

A complete student dress code can be found in the Charleston County School District Student Code of Conduct.  Pinehurst Elementary abides by the guidelines set forth in the CCSD Student Code of Conduct.  Students are responsible for dressing in an appropriate manner while on school campus or while involved in a school or district activity.  Wearing appropriate attire promotes a positive influence on the school climate.


Emergency cards will be sent home on the first day of school.  Please fill these out completely and return them with accurate information immediately.  Please provide the school with a working number where you can be contacted as well as the number for a family physician in case of emergency.  This information needs to be kept current and it is the parent’s responsibility to complete a new card when the information changes.  Changes must be made with Pinehurst’s Data Clerk and not the classroom teacher.  If you cannot be reached during the day, please list someone with a working phone who has transportation who will be responsible for your child’s emergency care.  This person must be listed on your child’s emergency card. 

Grading Policy
Grades will be designated by letters on report cards and interim progress reports for students in 2nd grade.  Grades will be recorded as numbers on report cards and interim progress reports for students in grades 3 -5.  This is in accordance with state law, the South Carolina Uniform Grading Scale.

2nd Grade

3rd, 4th and 5th Grade

C - Consistently Demonstrates

A - 100-93

E – Emerging

B - 92-85

N – Not Met

C – 84-77

NA – Not Assessed

D - 76-70

F - 69-0


Head Lice

If a student is found to have live head lice at school, they may stay at school for the remainder of the day but the student cannot return to school until he/she has been treated and can show proof of treatment.  If a student has nits (eggs) at school, the parent will be contacted and the student must be treated before returning to school.  If a student is absent from school because of lice, this is not an excused absence according to the Attendance Regulations of South Carolina.  A note must be sent by the parent or guardian in accordance with the Attendance section of this handbook when the student returns to school.  Please take care of lice appropriately to prevent the spread of lice from one person to another

Per Charleston County School District Policy IKB and Pinehurst Elementary expectations, all teachers are required to give homework each night.  Homework will not be done during the regular school day.  Students are to read every single night! 

Legal Issues
If a child reports that there is any type of abuse taking place, liability requires that the school report the incident to the proper authorities.  Even if there is only a suspicion, the school is a mandatory reporting agency and must report each incident. 


Parents, not students, are to bring all medication to the clinic that will be dispensed at school.  The school must have a signed permission form from the parent and the physician before any medicine can be given to the student. The instructions on the medicine will be followed.  See our school nurse for further information about other over-the-counter medications.  If you have any questions regarding medication, please call the school nurse at (843) 818-1424.

Media Release Forms
If you do not wish for your student to appear on film, in the newspaper, or in the yearbook, you must have a Denial of Media Release on file in the school office.  This form will be sent home on the first day of school.


Students that are sick will be sent to the clinic to see our nurse.  Any student that vomits 2 or more times in 24 hours and/or has frequent diarrhea should be excluded from school unless the symptoms are known to be associated with a non-infectious disorder.  Students will be sent home if vomiting is accompanied with a temperature of  > 100 degrees.  Students that are sick in the morning should stay home.   Students sent home by the nurse must have a note in accordance to the Attendance portion of this handbook when they return to school.  Please make sure the school always has a current working phone number for your child in case of emergencies.  Contact numbers must be up-dated through the data clerk.

Parent/Teacher Communication

Teachers will regularly keep parents informed of their child’s progress.  Folders with student work and important information will be sent home every Wednesday.  Please review all information in the Wednesday Folder and sign that you have received the information.  Progress reports and report cards will be sent home quarterly.  These dates are listed on the Calendar portion of this handbook.  It is expected that parents meet with their child’s teacher at least one time during the school year.  If a student is in danger of being retained in his/her present grade, the parents will be notified by the student’s teacher.   

If a parent wishes to speak with a teacher about academic or behavior problems, the parent is to contact the teacher, e-mail the teacher, or send a note to the teacher to plan a conference.  Conferences are held during the teacher’s planning time, before school or after school so to limit class interruptions.  Parents must check in at the front office upon arrival in the building.  

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)
The dues for PTO Membership are $3.00 for individual and $5.00 for an entire family.  PTO meetings will be held throughout the year.  Please note the dates for the meetings on the calendar.  Reminders will be sent home with students in the Wednesday Folders. 

Promotion/Retention Policy
Parents will receive information regarding this policy as applicable during the school year.  Attendance and academic performance are factors taken into account.  Promotion ceremony participation is a privilege and may be rescinded based on student behavior.

The steps to registering a student in a CCSD school are as follows: a birth certificate, Social Security card (if available), South Carolina Immunization record, a notarized Affidavit of Residence form provided by the school, and two current forms of proof of residence are required.  Further information can be found on the CCSD website under the Families tab.  The school will request records from the student’s previous school upon completion of the registration process. 

Tardy Policy
Students must be punctual to maximize instructional time and reduce classroom disruptions.  Any student that arrives after 7:30 for any reason must be signed in by a parent.  Bus students will not be marked tardy if the bus is responsible for making the child tardy.  Parents of students who are tardy more than 5 times will be asked to meet with the school counselor, student data clerk, and an administrator. 

Technology/Internet Guidelines
A copy of the Technology and Internet Guidelines must be signed by the parent, student, and student’s teacher.  This policy (GBEBD) can be found in the CCSD Student Code of Conduct. 


When a student transfers from Pinehurst Elementary, parents are asked to give the school notice.  Parents are also asked to make sure all student textbooks and library books are returned to the student’s teacher.  Records will be forwarded upon request by the new school.  We are unable to give records to parents. 

Transportation on the Bus
Riding the school bus is a privilege.  Any behavior that risks the safety of the students or the driver on the bus is grounds for removal from the bus.  Students are expected to sit in their seats, facing forward at all times.  Removal from the bus may range from one day up to the remainder of the school year.  Transportation is the responsibility of the parent if a student is suspended from the bus for any length of time.  Student absences due to bus suspensions are considered unlawful.  Durham Transportation can be reached at (843) 745-7084 for information on routes and pick-up and drop-off times. 

Visitor Policy

Parents are welcome to visit the school and visits should be arranged with the school prior to arrival.  To ensure safety for everyone at Pinehurst Elementary School, all visitors to the school are required to check-in at the front desk upon arrival to PIES and receive a Visitor’s Pass.  Visitors must have a driver’s license or state issued identification card to receive a Visitor’s Pass. This pass must be visible and worn during your entire visit at PIES.   Please remember, no parent conferences can be held during instructional time.  The best policy for meeting with your student’s teacher is to contact them to schedule an appointment.   


Parents are welcome to come to school to help in the classroom or on field trips.  There are several committees that need parent input and participation as well.  Parents have the opportunity to serve on the Title I Planning Team, School Improvement Council, Parent Teacher Organization, and the School Improvement Committee.  If you are interested in serving as a volunteer, contact the school at (843) 824-8728.  We look forward to seeing you throughout the year!