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 few 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. After the first three weeks, 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 lunch as well as a separate snack each day for your child.
Our first formal conference will be in October. I will send out an appointment sign up sheet in September for you to express your preferences for conference times.
Each Tuesday, your student will bring home a weekly folder containing the class newsletter and other parent notices and information. Please review and keep all news and work in the pocket labeled “left at home.” Other items, such as permission slips, etc. will be found in the pocket labeled “send right back.” Please make sure your child’s folder comes back to school each Wednesday. 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: Mari Mountsier 389-7731, ext. 2030
Messages are checked several times a day and I will return calls as soon as possible, however, I will not be able to take any class time to check voice mail 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.
SCHEDULE AND PROGRAM
A daily schedule and our program for the year will evolve from the needs of the children as I get to know them. I will discuss the kindergarten curriculum and the school day with you at Back-to-School Night, which is scheduled for early September.
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 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 30 for pick up and will be dismissed from the Room 30 door. Any children not picked up by the dismissal time will be walked to the school office.
Volunteers are an extremely important part of the kindergarten learning experience. Please let me know if you can help us. I will have a volunteer sign-up sheet available during Back-to-School night. We appreciate any time that you can spare! Thank you in advance for your help!
To help with the organization of 22 children and their belongings, I have divided the children into four different color groups. These groups will be used to organize cubbies, 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 a snack, lunch, library books, and their Tuesday folder. (Toddler/Preschool size packs are 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. I 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 small pets (please note, dogs are not allowed on school grounds). During this time, you may read a story to the class, 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 (even 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. Lunch must also be included beginning Monday, September 18th.
Kindergarten is a time of exploration, which often leads to creative messiness. Please dress your child in clothes that are easily laundered and suitable for active work and play. 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.
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 cubby should he/she ever need a change of clothing.
Birthdays are an exciting time in kindergarten! Your child may choose to bring a favorite book to be read aloud on his/her special day. A reminder will be sent home a couple of weeks before the birthday. You may send a healthy treat as an addition to our snack time. Please do not send party invitations to school for distribution. Feelings can be hurt if all children are not invited. Summer birthdays will be celebrated in June.
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 (or two) parent/s from each class to act as a PTA representative.
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 3-ring binder in the classroom and may be viewed by you or your child at any time. Please be respectful of student work and do not open a portfolio that does not belong to your child, unless invited to do so by the portfolio’s owner.
District policy does not require homework in kindergarten, but we ask that students participate in a reading activity for at least 10 minutes each 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.
Please call the school office if your child will be absent. Please plan family vacations during the established breaks throughout the school year.
I am very excited about the upcoming year! I look forward to getting to know you and your child.