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Students head back to school at PIE

August 14, 2019
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

The 2019-2020 school year at Pine Island Elementary began Monday, Aug. 12, when the school bell rang at 8:55 a.m.

For the first time, the Pine Island Fire Department set up their trucks with lights flashing at the crosswalk on Stringfellow Road and Phillips Street Monday with a large banner to remind drivers to "Please Stay Alert and Drive Slow School is back in Session."

"We want to remind drivers that school has started and keeping our children safe is one of our highest priorities," Fire Chief Ben Mickuleit said. "We handed safety lights to the students after the terrible accidents in Lee County last school year. Anyone who would like to have a safety light should stop by Station #1."

Article Photos

Seated in the cafeteria with Principal Steve Hook, Ariana Leiter, Reyes Meitzler, Aubri Stuart and Marissa Stuart eat breakfast on the first day of school.


"I want to thank the Matlacha / Pine Island Fire Department for their presence today," Principal Steve Hook said. "Opening day was exciting for the students for me. The students, even our new kindergarten students, looked and behaved like seasoned veterans."

In preparation for the new school year, last week PIE held its open house CPTO fundraiser in the school cafeteria.

"We decided to have a spaghetti dinner so that parents and teachers can get reacquainted," Hook said. "Every parent received an open house folder with everything they need for the first day of school. They then went to specified rooms to use computers to do all the required paperwork. Our district is transitioning to paperless."

According to the United States Department of Transportation, "Over the last decade, nearly two-thirds of school-age pedestrians fatally injured in school transportation-related crashes were struck by school buses or other vehicles when getting on or off a school bus."

The U.S. DOT stresses that parents teach their children to always play it SAFE:

- Stay five steps away from the curb.

- Always wait for the bus driver to tell you when to board.

- Face forward after finding a seat on the bus.

- Exit the bus when it stops, look left-right-left, and take five steps away from the bus toward the curb.

If your children walk to and from school:

- Children under 10 years old should be accompanied by an adult.

- Use the sidewalk whenever possible. If there isn't a sidewalk walk close to the edge of the street facing traffic.

- Use crosswalks whenever they are available. Look left and right when crossing the street.

If your children bike to and from school:

- Always wear a helmet securely fastened with a chin strap.

- Ride in the same direction as traffic and follow traffic signs and signals.

- Ride in the bike lane if there is one.

- Never use electronics while riding.



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