Orientation
Katie Goodman

Welcome to the 2012-2013 school year!  I am so excited to begin working with your children!  Here is some information that will be passed out at orientation! :)

Kindergarten is such a special time for your child and I am grateful for the opportunity to get to know this incredible person you have raised for the past 5 or 6 years.  So much learning goes into this important first year. 

Please remember…only a portion of your child’s learning this year will occur within the framework of the Kindergarten day.   The rest happens at home with you…your child’s first and most important teacher. Talk to your child about what he/she is learning at school, review papers that come home, read aloud to your child each day and, if possible, volunteer in the classroom to develop a shared learning experience.  Together we will make this a great year.

Our orientation session today is designed to provide a time for you and your child to get acquainted with the school, classroom, and me! Hopefully this letter will answer some questions as we move forward.  I will send home a bi-weekly classroom newsletter letting you know about upcoming events, what we’re working on in the classroom, and answering common questions parents have about school.

Communication

I can always be reached by email, phone or in person.   I do not always answer the phone during school hours, so if there is an emergency, call the office and they will reach me.  I always check voice mail before school and after school.  I don’t always get a chance to check email before school starts, but I check it every day after school.   If you would like to meet in person, send me an email or call me so we can schedule a time that works for both of us.

Email:

Voice Mail: 503-825-5312          

Office: 503-825-5300

Attendance Line (to report an absence): 503-825-6010

Home:  503-521-0768

Getting to the Classroom / Dismissal

School begins at 8:00am.  Children may come to class by 7:45 AM.  If your child arrives prior to that time they will need to wait in the cafeteria until the duty dismisses the children to come to class.  The first week there will be adults helping the Kindergartners find their way off the bus and to the classroom.  Informally assigning a sibling or neighbor to do the job is fine.

School ends at 2:15. The Kindergarten teachers will share the duty of getting the kids to the buses or waiting with the children who are picked up or go to daycare.  Please see the attached note regarding dismissal procedures.

Tardy Slips

Students arriving after 8:00 AM need to stop by the office for a tardy slip before coming to the classroom.

Change in Transportation

Please provide a written note or phone the office at least 30 minutes prior to release.  Please do not call the classroom as I may not receive the message before dismissal.  As the year progresses, the children will start having more play dates and going home with friends so this is especially important.  We do not want any tears because we don’t have a note.  If there is an important note I need to see, please pin it to your child’s coat or shirt (don’t laugh, it works!)  I will not be going through each backpack so this will be the best way to assure I see your note.

Snacks / Popcorn Friday / Birthdays / Food Allergies

There will be no daily snacks in Kindergarten except on Fridays.  Popcorn is available (see next paragraph) and children are allowed to bring a small (nut-free) snack on Fridays (in addition to popcorn if desired).

Popcorn Friday is a school fundraiser provided by PAC.  Each Friday kids receive a bag of popcorn.  Cost TBD.  Kindergarteners pay in advance if they would like to participate to prevent tears if they forget their money. 

If you would like to bring a treat for your child’s birthday, please let me know a few days in advance.  It is preferred that you bring the same exact treat for each child.  Also, cupcakes tend to be quite messy and another treat that is easier to eat would be wonderful.  Food items must be store purchased.  Don’t forget napkins!  If you have invitations to pass out for your child’s party, please send them in the mail or deliver invitations outside of school.  This will prevent hurt feelings if not all kids are invited.

Please let me know if your child has any food allergies. 

Volunteers

Please complete the volunteer and screening forms and return to the office.  It takes about 3 weeks for the paperwork to be completed.  Each volunteer (even if it is a grandparent visiting from out of town) will have to go through a screening process/security check before helping in the classroom or going on field trips.  I encourage all of you to do this now to prevent problems in the future.  I will bring in classroom volunteers as soon as possible!  It is a great help in these first weeks of school.  Parent volunteers are in integral part of my classroom.  Look for details soon! 

Friday Folders

Friday Folders will be full of school and district messages, classroom news, and homework. I use Ziploc bags for folders.  Please remove papers and return the bag empty on Monday morning. 

Classroom Money

All money sent to school needs to be placed in a sealed envelope with your child’s name, amount, and purpose written on the envelope. This is very important as several children will hand me things at the same time and I need to know which child to credit.

Clothing Labels

It seems impossible…only a few hours earlier a child wore this great coat into the classroom, and no one will claim it as their own!  I could hold it up for the next 3 weeks and it will go unrecognized!  Please put your child’s name somewhere on the garment so I can make sure it gets home again. 

Specials

We will be having specials (library, technology, PE, or Music) daily.  Look for information in my newsletters telling you the day of each special.  Make sure on PE days to have your children wear appropriate shoes.

Golden Horseshoes

Your child may come home with a little yellow slip of paper called a Golden Horseshoe.  These are given out to reward positive behavior.  Each week one person from each class who has earned a Golden Horseshoe that week to come up to the office to receive a small prize. All children will win at some point during the year!  Periodically, we will have special dress-up days at school when the whole school has earned a certain number of Golden Horseshoes.  (crazy hat day, beach day, etc.)

Think Sheets

There are times when a child’s behavior may warrant more than a gentle reminder or a small consequence.  Think Sheets are given to students who use inappropriate language, misbehave in a way that may verbally or physically hurt another child, or do damage to property.  The goal of a Think Sheet is for the teacher to sit down with the child, reflect on the incident, and talk about how behaviors will be handled differently next time.  If your child comes home with a Think Sheet, please sign it and return it to school the next time.  Use this sheet as a talking point with your child.  In most circumstances, I will email you or phone you about the incident.

 

If I have forgotten to answer something, please let me know!  I want this year to be a great success for you and your child and I look forward to developing a partnership with your family.



 

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