July 22, 2019
Dear Kindergarten Family,
Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! I am looking forward to a new year and getting to know my new students and to get reacquainted with or meet their parents. My goal is to meet every child’s needs as an individual. With your help, I will do my best to give your child a happy and successful school year. The information I am providing in this letter should make the beginning of the year run smoother.
On the first day of school, Thursday, August 8th, I ask parents to plan on having at least one parent stay for the first 30-45 minutes. I will read a story and have a short activity for you to do with your child. After that, I encourage parents to leave promptly. The first few days of school often means tears for some kindergarteners and I have found that children often do much better when parents do not linger. Tears tend to dry up quickly because we have so many fun things to do! When parents do linger, it tends to take the child longer to become comfortable with their new surroundings. Once the children have adjusted, I welcome you back to participate in whatever way you can.
Also, on Thursday, August 8th and Friday, August 9th, I ask parents to be sure to send a lunch with their child. It helps ease the children into the routine of going to the gym to eat lunch. Starting Monday, August 12th, we will add the step of going through the cafeteria line for children eating school lunch. Please let me know if your child will be having school lunch. You may set up an account through the FUSD website for your child once you know their student ID. I appreciate your support in this area. Kindergartners will have lunch/recess from 11:40-12:25, Monday-Thursday and 11:20-12:00 on Friday.
Morning recess will be from 10:00 to 10:15. We will have snack time before or after morning recess. Parents are responsible for providing their child with a snack each day that can be eaten within 10 minutes. Please make sure it is healthy, no cookies or chips. Please do not send juice or other drinks for snack. Students may have water bottles in the classroom, both for snack time and throughout the day.
August 8th and 9th kindergarten students will be dismissed at 12:15. Starting Monday, August 12th, kindergarten students will be on a regular schedule. Kindergartners are usually dismissed five to ten minutes earlier than the rest of the students. If you are picking your child up Monday through Thursday, we usually will dismiss kindergartners around 3:15-3:20. Fridays are early release days and kindergarten students are dismissed at 12:15-12:20. Parent pick up students will be dimissed from the classroom this year. If you ever need to pick your child up early, you will need to sign them out at the front office before coming to the classroom.
Accidents do happen and children are always more comfortable in their own clothes, so please provide a change of clothes to be left in your child’s backpack. Label everything with a permanent marker (extra clothes, backpacks, lunch sacks/boxes, water bottles, coats, homework folders) with your child’s name. It is amazing how many items end up in lost and found with no way to identify the owner.
Please do not send girls to school wearing spaghetti straps unless they have another shirt underneath or on top to cover the straps. Also, tank tops and flip-flops are not permitted. I do not recommend sandals or open toed shoes out on the playground. I have seen too many injuries when students wear them. Students must wear athletic shoes on P.E. days if they are going to participate. When the weather starts getting cooler please send a coat with your child. They are not allowed to stay inside because they don’t have a coat. Also, boots are required when snow starts falling. You may have your child leave a pair of shoes to change into at school during this time.
Learning social skills in kindergarten are still important. However, students are now entering school more prepared to learn. Kindergarten is much more academically rigorous than what it use to be. I do my best to keep learning activities fun and engaging. Once again we will have iPads to engage the kindergartners and enhance their learning. Please be sure to send their headphones the first day of school. Earbuds do not work well for kindergartners, so please only over the head headphones. To help develop independent learners I will be doing the Daily Five. Please see the enclosed Daily 5 letter. Homework will consist of a homework packet of skills students need to learn in kindergarten that will be sent home on Monday and will be due on Friday. Parents are additionally encouraged to work with their child on sight words, numbers, and nightly reading. I encourage parents to read to their child or their child may read to them for a minimum of 15 minutes every day. The weekends are reserved for play and hopefully a bedtime story!
Birthdays may be celebrated in the classroom. I will let you know more about treats when I am more familiar with any allergies that students may have. If you are sending home party invitations through school, please give them to me to place in homework folders. Too many times I have seen tears when a child is not invited to a party.
Finally, parent help is important to have in kindergarten. If you are interested in volunteering, please let me know at the time of your child's kindergarten screening or during Parent Night. I usually will have parents start volunteering in the classroom in September once students have had a chance to get settled in and are use to established routines.
I am sure more questions will arise. I am using ClassTag this year for us to communicate more effectively, safely, and to keep you up to date on all pertinent class information. You may also contact me through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at school 773-4020 (Ext. 2914). I will be providing important dates for the year when school starts.
I look forward to working with you in helping your child succeed in their education.