September 2012 room 2

Welcome to Room 1 Kindergarten at Old Mill School!

Welcome to Kindergarten at Old Mill School!

September 2012

 We are pleased to welcome you and your child to Kindergarten at Old Mill School. We know this will be a wonderful year of growing and learning. A good partnership between home and school is important in making this first year a positive one for your child. This is the first of many informational “notes home” you will be receiving throughout the year. We look forward to hearing from you. There are a few things you can do to help get this year off to a smooth start.

Daily Communications: There are message notebooks or clipboards for you to leave messages regarding pick-ups and other information. The room 1 message clipboard is in room 1A outside the classroom on the orange topped cabinet. Room 2 message notebook is on top of the cubbies outside room 2. Messages for E.D.S. may also be left on these clipboards. You may leave voice mail at anytime, 389-7727, Ms. Althoff - x 2501, Mrs. Nichols - x 2502. We will get back to you within two teaching days. We do not have time to check for messages during our teaching day. If you have an urgent message you will need to leave it with Mrs. Frazier, school administrative assistant. Our email addresses are jalthoff@mvschools.org and anichols@mvschools.org . 

Specialists:  Ms. Liza Heath is the room 1 assistant and Ms. Ann Perry the assistant in room 2. Assistants are with our classes for three and a half hours each day. Mrs. Lori Adessa, our music teacher, is at Old Mill on Wednesdays. Wednesdays will also be library days with Ms. Martha Lewis. Ms. Jackie Lalanne, our art teacher, will work with Kindergartners alternate Thursdays. Mrs. Virginia Van Royen is our Physical Education teacher. Half of  room 1 students have P.E. on Monday and the other half on Tuesdays. Room 2 has P.E. on Thursdays and Fridays. Dr. Claudia Trinklein-Engman, our school counselor, or her intern will be meeting with Kindergartners in small groups called Friendship Groups. We will have dance on Fridays with Mr. Alan Scofield. 

Messages Home:  Classroom newsletters and other notices are sent home each Wednesday in a a  zip-lock bag (rm. 1) or a large envelope (rm. 2). Please return the envelope or bag as we reuse them each week. Be sure to read everything promptly and return any papers requiring a response the next day. You will receive the PTA school newsletter on line. Please be sure to read it. 

Absences:  If your child misses school for any reason, or is tardy, it is essential you call the school. You can leave a message 7 days a week, 24 hours a day by calling the school at 389-7727. 

Attendance:  Kindergarten hours are 8:30-11:50, September 10-September 28 and 8:30-1:30 beginning October 1. Children line-up on the upper yard playground when their day begins. Please have your child arrive on time for school. All children attending E.D.S. after school will be picked up from Kindergarten by an E.D.S. staff member in the classrooms. All other children should be picked up promptly at 1:30 outside the Throckmorton classroom doors. The children may not  play on the front lawn area after school because rooms 3 and 4 students are in class. The upper yard is available for children to play after school if they do not disturb P.E. classes. Please be respectful of the quiet zones around rooms 14 & 15.

Snacks:  We will be sending home snack calendars regularly. Each child will be assigned dates to bring snack for the entire class. This will be approximately once every 25 school days. It is your child's homework to decide with you on a healthy snack to share with classmates. Snacks should be prepared and ready to serve. You do not need to send napkins as we have fabric ones.

Nutrition education is part of our curriculum so we ask that snacks be healthy and nutritious. The following is a list of some possible snack ideas: 

                    pieces of apple, orange, banana, other fruit, carrot sticks, crackers,                   cheese, muffins, bagels, etc.

As we have children in class with peanut allergies, we have a no peanuts or peanut products in policy for both snack and lunch. Please do not send yogurt.

Field Trips:  We have begun planning our learning/field trips for this year. The dates are not yet available.

       Mill Valley Children’s Gardens -  October

       Richardson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary - November

       Wild Care Museum - May 

       Watershed Hike with Special Friends - June 

The cost of these trips is not covered by the district. We ask families who are able, to contribute toward the cost of the trips. It will be about $20. A room parent will contact you about this later this month. Please do not send money now. As the dates approach we will schedule volunteers to drive and assist us with each trip.

Lunches:  Your child needs to have a healthy lunch at school each day beginning October 1. Lunches from home should be packed so your child can be self-sufficient at lunch time, opening and putting away items. Kindergartners may purchase lunches from Choice Lunches. Please visit www.choicelunch.com for more information. The registration code is MVSD. We will be requesting volunteers soon to help the children at lunch time. 

No Waste Lunch:  Our school community is committed to reducing the amount of waste we produce at school particularly at lunch. So we are "trashing the trash".... Specifically, there will NO LONGER be regular trashcans available at the eating areas. Instead, students will be provided with three waste options: 

      Biodegradable/Compost

      Recyclables

      Liquid waste (leftover milk, juice or other liquid)

All other leftovers, garbage or trash will go back into the lunch box/container and be sent home with the students. All purchased lunches will be in compliance with these options. 

When packing a lunch, please help reduce our lunch waste by providing your child with a "No Waste Lunch". This will also help you have a better idea what your child actually eats at lunch. Guidelines for packing a “no waste” are on the Old Mill School website. 

Birthdays:  Your child will be snack host on his/her birthday. We will make special arrangements for summer birthdays. We try to make each child’s birthday a meaningful occasion, while at the same time cut down on the amount of sugar children consume. We ask that birthday snacks follow the same nutrition guidelines we have for snacks. Your first day packet has information about the P.T.A.’s birthday library book program, another wonderful way to celebrate birthdays at school.

 Clothing:  Kindergarten is an active place. Be sure to send your child to school wearing comfortable washable play clothes and rubber soled shoes. Sandles must be closed toed with a heel strap. It is important your child be able to manage buttons, snaps, zippers and buckles. Practice at home with jackets and sweaters is helpful; also be sure your child is able to easily remove clothing for toileting. Make sure your child is prepared for the weather. Please put first and last names in sweater, coats, hats, backpacks and any other item that could possibly get lost at school. A backpack is helpful for making sure information gets to and from school.

Toys:  Emphasize to your child that toys, candy and gum must stay at home. 

Special Friends:  Each Kindergartner is paired with one or two special 5th grade friends for the year. The Special Friends meet approximately twice a month for learning activities and for other special events. This program will begin the last week of September.

Homework:  Your child will bring home our classroom newspaper, Kindergarten Weekly, regularly. It is each child’s homework to discuss the pictures of things we’ve done in school with the family. When children bring work home from school they are to read/share it with at least two people. These are their regular homework assignments. There will be other homework assignments throughout the year on an irregular basis.      

 Assemblies: Assemblies are sponsored and scheduled by the P.T.A and will be announced.

Conferences and Progress Reports:  We will hold parent-teacher conferences in November and June and student-led conferences in March. Parent-teacher conferences are also available on an as needed basis. You will receive a Kindergarten Progress Report in June.

Volunteers: Parent volunteers are always needed and welcome in Kindergarten. After the first few weeks of school, we will be sending a letter about ways families can help at school and at home. Please consider volunteering in some way.

Kiddo and P.T.A.:  We hope to have 100% participation in Old Mill P.T.A. and Kiddo this year. E-scrip is an easy and free way to support Mill Valley schools. Many of our programs would not exist without your support of these fine organizations.

School Rules:  Be safe. Be kind. Be responsible. Be respectful. 

During the first few weeks of school we will be making new friends and learning about rules and routines of our classroom. Coming to Kindergarten is a big step for children (and parents). We hope to make this beginning a special one for each child and you.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

                               Mrs. Ann Nichols      Ms. Julie Althoff