Welcome to Kindergarten at Tam Valley School!
This information will help make coming to kindergarten a happy, positive experience for your child.
BEGINNING DATES and TIMES
For the first 3 & 1/2 weeks kindergarten begins at 8:15 AM and concludes at 11:35 AM. Students should come with a healthy snack for our mid-morning recess. From then on, kindergarten will begin at 8:15 AM and conclude at 1:15 PM. Students will then be eating lunch on campus, so please send a healthy lunch as well as a separate snack each day for your child.
Our first formal conference will be in October. You will get a chance to sign up for your conference at Back to School Night.
You will receive a weekly Tuesday folder containing the class newsletter, as well as other parent notices and information, beginning Tuesday, 8/29. Please review and keep all news and work in the pocket labeled “keep at home.” Other items, such as permission slips, etc. will be found in the pocket labeled “please send back.” Please make sure your child’s folder comes back to school each Wednesday. You may expect a folder and newsletter every Tuesday.
The most convenient way to contact me is via my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also send a non-urgent message via voicemail: Mary Dale 389-7731 ext. 2007
Emails and messages are checked before and after school. I will respond as soon as possible, however I will not take any class instruction time to check messages. If you need to reach me during your child’s class time hours, please call the school office and a message can be sent down to the classroom.
GOING TO AND FROM SCHOOL
Supervised yard play is available from 7:45 – 8:15 every morning before school. On rainy days only, children may go to the multi-purpose room for supervision. Tardy children must first check in at the office before coming to class. Please be on time! Children can be very upset when they must come into a classroom already in the midst of group activities.
Children are to go straight home with a parent or to on-site childcare unless they have WRITTEN permission to go home with another adult. Please make sure I have the note before you leave your child at drop off. If you need to pick up your child before the end of the school day, you will need to sign him/her out at the office. At the end of the school day, children participating in on-campus daycare will be picked up from the classroom by daycare staff. All other students will remain in Room 7 for pick up by you or their caregivers. Children will be dismissed from the Room 7 playground door. Children who are not picked by 1:15 will be brought to the school office to await pickup since I have yard duty at 1:20.
To help with the organization of 20 children and their belongings, I have divided the children into four different color groups. These groups will be used to organize cubbies, lockers, portfolios, and so on. Your child will remain in the same color group throughout the year, however he/she will be involved in many different small groups with different children throughout each week. Your child will also participate in a variety of learning situations: working independently, with partners, in random small groups, and whole class situations.
ALL CHILDREN NEED TO BRING A BACKPACK DAILY. Please make sure the backpack is BIG ENOUGH to accommodate snack, lunch, the Tuesday folder, and any work sent home. (Toddler/Preschool size packs are usually not big enough.) Also, please make sure the backpack, as well as any jackets, sweaters, etc., are labeled with your child’s name. PLEASE KEEP ALL TOYS AT HOME! We have plenty of developmentally appropriate toys in the classroom.
SUPERSTAR OF THE WEEK
Every Friday one child is randomly selected from the class to be the class superstar. He/she will bring home 2 posters to complete over the weekend. Instructions will be included with the posters. Your child’s superstar week will be the time to arrange for special visits by parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, relatives, or pets (please note, dogs are not allowed on school property). You may read a special story; share something about your child, or just visit. The children look forward to being the superstar!
SNACKS AND LUNCH
It is important for young children to have a mid-morning snack and a healthy lunch. We work hard and play hard! Children will need to bring their own daily snack (especially if they order school lunch that day). We are happy to assist children who need help opening items, etc. Please make sure that a snack is sent on the first day of school.
Please dress your child in clothes that are easily laundered and suitable for active work and play. Kindergarten is a time of exploration. This often leads to creative messiness. Please do not send children to school in “best” clothes. All children need rubber soled, close-toed shoes for playground time and P.E. (No flip-flops or “party” shoes.) Believe it or not this is a safety issue. Tanbark can hurt when it gets into sandals, and party type shoes slip on the climbing bars. One more note about shoes…start working on those laces now because shoe-tying services end in December!
Please send a change of clothes (underwear, socks, pants, shirt) to school in a plastic bag that is clearly labeled with your child’s name. These will remain in your child’s locker should he/she ever need a change of clothing.
Birthdays are an exciting time in kindergarten! Your child will need to bring a favorite book to be read aloud on his/her special day. The birthday celebration schedule will be sent home in our first Tuesday folder. You may send cupcakes, cookies, etc. as an addition to our snack time, but please, no whole cakes. Summer birthdays will be celebrated in June. Please do not send birthday invitations to school for distribution. If your child’s birthday falls on a Monday, I will most likely schedule the celebration on a different day of the week since we reserve Monday mornings for the new superstar!
Volunteers are an extremely important part of the kindergarten learning experience because we do a great deal of our academic work in small groups. Please let me know if you can help us as little as once this year! Thank you in advance for your help!
PARENT TEACHER ASSOCIATION (PTA)
I invite you to join our school’s PTA. You will receive information regarding dues and meetings on the first day of school. In addition to regular members, the PTA will need one parent from each class to act as a PTA representative (Room Parent).
Your child’s portfolio is a collection of her/his work throughout the year. It provides a wonderful record of growth. Portfolios allow me to constantly assess and reflect on your child’s progress. Each portfolio is kept in a white binder and may be viewed by parent or child at any time.
District policy does not require homework in kindergarten but we ask that students participate in a reading activity for at least 10 minutes a day. Bedtime stories are a perfect fit here.
A district nurse is responsible for the children’s vision and hearing screening. We do not have a nurse at school for first aid. Should your child need to take any special medicine during the year, it must be kept and administered in the school office.
Setting the tone and importance of attending school begins now. If your child is sick, please call the school office to report the illness. If your child has an appointment, I hope that he/she will attend at least part of the day. Please plan family vacations during the established breaks throughout the school year. As a public school, Tam Valley is obligated to monitor absences and late arrivals to school. According to Education Code section 48260, the principal must follow up with the parents of any student who is excessively absent or tardy. We have noticed that too many absences or tardies can have a significant effect on a student’s adjustment to school, and arriving late is disruptive to both the late student and the rest of the class. Please let Mrs. Van or me know if you would like to meet to problem solve how to make sure your child is in line for class before 8:15 daily.
I am very excited about the upcoming year! I look forward to getting to know you and your child.