PWE Hints and Tips




6th Grade Graduation:  Takes place during the last week of school. 


Adopt a Panther: Staff members and Specials teachers are assigned to classrooms that host them during class parties that occur throughout the school year. If they are unable to attend a party, Room Parents will ensure a plate of party food is delivered to their office instead.


Background Check:  All school volunteers must have a current RISD background check on file.  This includes: class parties, field trips and any volunteering you do at school.  You must renew this every school year.  It can take up to 2 weeks to process, so do it now to be sure you're ready when duty calls.


Book Fair Week:  Scholastic books available for sale in the library to students, parents and staff during one week in the fall (no more Spring book fair).  A Family Night is held on the Thursday evening of this week in conjunction with a PTA General Meeting.  Book fairs are PTA-funded, and go to support the PTA and all that it funds.


Box Tops:  A PTA sponsored class contest to raise funds for the school.  You earn cash for PWE by clipping Box Tops coupons from hundreds of participating products and turning them into the school. Box Tops are collected once per semester.


Buddy Fun Day:  A PTA sponsored school-wide field day held the last week of school with games, relays, a sno-cone truck and music. 


Carnival:  A PTA fundraiser open to the community with games, food and entertainment.


Clothes Closet: RISD Council of PTA’s clothing donation program.  This is a wonderful program for which you can donate your used clothing or your time to help RISD students in need “shop” in the Clothes Closet for new clothes.  


College and Career Week:  Held in May, the week focuses on encouraging children to create goals for both higher education and careers of interest.  Parent speakers are invited to come and talk to students about their professional careers.


Dads and Donuts: A PTA sponsored event. Dads and other male role-models are invited to enjoy donuts, coffee and juice with their kid(s). This is typically held on a Saturday morning in late Spring.


Dads Club:  A group of PWE dads that help with morning drop-off, update the PWE marquee, and make themselves available for various volunteer needs throughout the year.  Members have the opportunity to sign up to be "DAD for a Day" at the school.  The group usually gathers socially for a happy hour 2 times a semester. 


End-of-Year Pizza Lunch:  End-of-Year pizza lunch is provided by the PTA and the lunch is organized and executed by Room Parents.  They are held the last day of school. Volunteers must have a current RISD background check on file in order to attend. 


Enrichment Clusters:  Each grade and class partakes in an enrichment study of certain special interests selected by the class (kinder) or multi-age interest groups (grades 1-6). This occurs in the fall and spring, and information will be sent out by your classroom teacher. 


Enterprise City:  A district-wide program with a field trip for 6th grade students designed to teach students economic concepts.


Environmental Center:  To meet the goal of curriculum support, the Environmental Studies Center provides a safe place for each student to explore scientific concepts in a natural setting through direct experience and the use of appropriate technology.  Grades K-6 go to the Environmental Studies Center once a year.


Feed the Panther:  A PTA fundraiser in a “write a check – make no effort” format.  Families can donate at any time online or via check/Tuesday Folder beginning in mid-July.


Field Trip Shirt:  PWE PTA provides a free t-shirt to every student to wear on Field Trips.  Sizes are requested at the beginning of the year and delivered to the homeroom teachers for distribution by mid-October. These can also serve as Spirit Shirts and students are encouraged to wear them every Friday.


Field Trips:  Each grade level has 2-4 field trip per year which varies by grade level.  Sometimes parent chaperones are needed and other times not.  Parent chaperones will need to provide their own transportation and have a current RISD background check on file.  Students are required to wear their PTA sponsored Field Trip t-shirt.


Focus:  RISD’s Parent Portal for access to your child’s grades, attendance, and to register your child for school.  For more info, visit


Future Panthers:  A group of families with children that will attend PWE.  Playdates, family nights, and special events are all coordinated via the Future Panthers page on Facebook


Kinder Graduation:  Takes place during the school day during the last week of school.  Kindergartners wear their “Sunday Best” and perform a few special songs they have prepared with the music teacher.  It is a PWE tradition for kindergartners to do a self-portrait during school in the spring semester and these are used as the graduation décor.  Kinder students are given a diploma.  The PTA Kinder Graduation Chair coordinates the event.


International Literacy Night:  Held in the spring and features books that the students have written and illustrated through the PTA sponsored “Publishing Company”. Highlights and celebrates other cultures through activities, food, games and entertainment from around the world.


Kindergarten Round-Up:  The first opportunity incoming kinder families have to register their child for school.  Registration forms are time-stamped for situations where more register than space allows for.  Incoming Prestonwood kindergartners visit PWE in the spring to meet some future classmates, while mom and dad receive important registration information and tour the school. 


Math and Science Night:  A school organized Family Night taking place in the fall at the school usually in conjunction with a PTA General Meeting.  Fun math and science related activities are offered throughout the building.


Muffins with Mom:  A PTA sponsored event held in the spring typically around Valentine’s Day welcoming all moms and mother-figures to the school on a Saturday morning for a light breakfast and craft with the kids.


Muscle Beach:  "Time out" in P.E. class


Musicals:  Grades 2, 4 and 6 each put on a musical performance choreographed and directed by the PWE music teacher.  There are usually 2 performances:  one during the day for the student body, and one in the evening for parents.


Open House:  Held once in the spring in conjunction with a PTA General Meeting.  Parents are invited to visit their child’s classroom to view special assignments and projects the students have prepared.  This is a come and go event (not a teacher conference period).


Parent Meet the Teacher:  This is held during the first week of school at night. Parents come to school for a PTA meeting and then get to go to their child’s classroom to learn from their child’s teacher about the school year. Plan ahead and get your babysitter lined up. 


Pay Pams: Online service that allows parents to pay for cafeteria accounts and monitor what their children are buying for lunch.


PIN:  Each student has a PIN which they punch in when they want to purchase lunch.


Popsicles in the Park:  A meet and greet event held the Friday before school starts in the school yard.  Students receive a free popsicle and meet their teacher.  School supply kits and sprit wear are sold by PTA following the event. 


Pride Rally:  A school assembly in “pep-rally” form held at the end of every nine-week grading period (for the student body only), where awards are given for excellence in academics, music, PE and art. 


PTA Board Meetings:  Typically held on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm in the PWE library.  PWE PTA Board members (both executive board and committee chairs) are all expected to attend.


PTA General Meetings:  Typically held four times per academic year on a Thursday evening at 6:00pm in the PWE cafeteria.  Informative meeting with speakers from the PWE staff and PTA Board members.  All parents highly encouraged to attend.  Please remind your child that school rules still apply during these meetings (no climbing on furniture, playing tag in the atrium, etc.).


PTA: An important part of PWE’s continued success! The PTA is responsible for and/or helps with most of Prestonwood’s programs and events. 


Quest: An enrichment program for identified second grade students, QUEST (Quality Experiences Supporting Talent), will give students an opportunity to demonstrate their gifted behaviors through the development of a portfolio which, in conjunction with standardized test results, may support future placement in REACH.  All non-REACH students will be tested in the spring of first grade to see if they qualify for this academic program.  Quest classes begin in the fall of second grade. 


REACH: RISD’s gifted and talented program available for K-6.  Applications to have your child tested typically go out in October and testing occurs in January. All 1st grade students are automatically tested. REACH classes are once a week during regular school hours.  Once accepted, the student will no longer need to be tested and will remain in REACH through grade six.  However, if not accepted, the student is able to retest the following year (an application must be resubmitted each year).  K – 3 grade REACH students receive services on PWE campus, and 4-6 graders are sent by bus to Bowie Elementary one day a week.


Reading Buddies: 6th grade students pair up with kindergartners to read together during classroom time.


Red Ribbon Week:  Red Ribbon Week is a national tribute to drug and alcohol awareness, and takes place in the fall.  Peer mediators visit and students show support with silly outfits throughout the week. The PTA funds an assembly during the week with a different performer each year.


Reflections:  A National PTA art contest held in the fall.


Report Cards:  Report cards go home at the end of each nine week grading period via Tuesday Folders for grades 1-6.  For grades 1 and 2, grades are given on a scale of 1 to 4 and for grades 3 and up, grades are given on a scale of 1-100.  Kindergarten students receive one report card at the end of each semester.


ROBI:  During the fall and spring semesters, ROBI instructors provide extension and enrichment lessons to kindergarten students in their home campus classrooms in order to encourage higher level thinking. 


Room Parents:  3 parents per class selected by a committee of teachers and PTA board members who organize help for teachers (as needed), and plan and execute class parties.  Room Parent Orientation typically takes place on a weeknight evening in the beginning of September. One room parent per grade level will be the Grade Level Communicator, and another room parent per grade will be the Grade Level Treasurer. The Grade Level Communicator is responsible for emailing all parents in the grade to announce class party plans, solicit help with donated items or teacher needs, and liaise between the PTA Homeroom Coordinator and the grade level room parents and parents. The Grade Level Treasurer collects all donated funds for the grade, sets budgets for class parties and teacher gifts, and updates all room parents on amounts remaining.


Safety Patrol: 5th and 6th graders participate as crossing guards in helping with before and after-school pedestrian safety. 


Science Fair:  A school organized event taking place in the fall with mandatory participation for grades 4-6 and encouraged participation for grades K-3.


Specials:  Specials are Art, Music and PE classes.  All classes attend Art one day a week, Music two days a week and PE two days a week.


STAAR Test:  A state mandated achievement test for grades 3-6 taking place in the Spring.


Supply Sale:  School supply kits are sold by PTA online.  They are delivered to the students’ classroom and sorted by the teachers.  This is the teacher-preferred way of purchasing supplies to ensure uniformity. 


Talent Show:  Students (K-6) are invited to prepare a skit/song/act to audition for the annual school Talent Show.  The show is usually held in January with 2 performances:  one during the day for the student body, and another in the evening in conjunction with a PTA General Meeting.


Teacher Appreciation Week:  A PTA-sponsored week in May with a theme and daily treats and gestures from volunteers to show how much we appreciate our teachers.


Teacher Conferences:  Takes place once a school year in the fall.  A parent only one-on-one conference with your child’s home room teacher in a 15-minute session.  Additional parent conferences can always be requested at any time by contacting your child’s teacher.


Tuesday Folders:  Each student brings home a manila folder every Tuesday with weekly communication flyers from the community, school, and PTA along with graded assignments from their teachers.  Parents sign the outside of the folder on Tuesday evening confirming your receipt/acknowledgement of the information, and the students bring the empty folder back to school on Wednesday morning.  PTA volunteers organized by the PTA Room Parent Coordinator stuff the folders every Tuesday morning after drop-off in the cafeteria.


Used Book Fair/Drive:  A RISD council sponsored event where students are asked to bring in used books to donated to the Used Book Fair.  The class that brings in the most books wins an ice cream party.  Books are sorted by PTA volunteers and then delivered to the fair.  All of the community is invited to attend the fair typically held around Valentine’s Day at an off-site location.  Proceeds go to fund teacher and student scholarships given by the RISD Council of PTAs.


Valentine’s Party:  Valentine’s Parties are organized and executed by Room Parents.  They are held the Friday closest to Valentine’s Day.  Volunteers must have a current RISD background check on file in order to attend.


Volunteer Breakfast/Luncheon:  A staff-sponsored breakfast or luncheon held on school grounds where all parent and community volunteers are invited to eat and mingle in come-and-go fashion to show the staff’s appreciation for all of the volunteer efforts throughout the school year.


Winter Party:  Winter parties are organized and executed by Room Parents.  They are held the last day of the fall semester after the Jingle Bell Run.  Volunteers must have a current RISD background check on file in order to attend.

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