September 9, 2016
Dear Kindergarten Families,
The year is off to a great start! Our first few days have been filled with activities to help us feel comfortable in kindergarten, get to know one another, learn routines, and explore our spaces. We hope your child has shared a few details with you about life in kindergarten. Today our all-school-theme was revealed ... SURVIVAL: From Surviving to Thriving in the City, Country, Classroom. Throughout the year we will engage in activities related to “survival” in our classrooms, as well as with the larger school. Our students received a package filled with seemingly unrelated items: berries, water, a picture of the sun, and a house. As each item was revealed children discussed what these things have in common. After much discussion, the children discovered they are all items living things need to survive.
We also revealed that our group names are survival related. Jonah’s group is called “The Sunbeams"; Elizabeth’s group is “The Shelters”; Rachel’s group is “The Raindrops”; and Katie’s group is “The Berries.” Our students seems excited to weave this study of “survival” into our days. We will give you more details about this as the year unfolds.
We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, October 5, at 6:30 pm for Back-to-School Night, when we will give you an overview of how our days are spent in kindergarten. There is a reception in the Garage at 5:30pm that same evening. Please make a habit of checking the calendar above this note for important upcoming classroom dates as we will not write about each event.
In the meantime, here are some FAQs we thought you’d find helpful… it is a lot, but please take the time to read it.
How do I contact my child’s teacher?
The best way is by email . We are sure to check email in the morning before school and at the end of the school day. Please allow us 24 hours to respond. We can also set up times to speak in person or on the phone. In an emergency, please call the main office 215 545 5323.
Each week in the school's “Progressive EDge” you will find a link to the these notes; you might want to bookmark the page as well. Please read our notes carefully; they are extremely important. They will include upcoming events and highlights from our classroom. Please let us know if you do not have regular access to email or the Internet.
When does the kindergarten go to Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education? What does my child need for the Schuylkill Center?
Kindergarten students go together each Friday during the fall and spring to the Schuylkill Center. Unless notified otherwise, please send your child to school on Fridays ready to go to the Center. We sometimes make weather-related decisions at the last minute. Our first trip to The Schuylkill Center will be next Friday, September 16th. Please send a water bottle and a trashless lunch each time we go to the Schuylkill Center since there are no trash facilities available. School policy requires your child to wear long sleeves and long pants to protect your child from insect bites, ticks, and scrapes and scratches as we hike through the woods. We will be teaching the children to check themselves and each other for ticks before they board the buses to return to school. A thorough tick check and a shower or bath are strongly recommended on Friday nights. If you want your child to wear sunscreen or bug repellant, please apply it before school. Your child should wear sturdy hiking shoes or sneakers.
What does my child need to bring to school?
Each child should bring a healthy, hearty lunch that will be kept in the cubby, a small backpack for art work, and weather-appropriate clothing. We spend time outdoors every day. Please make sure your child comes to school dressed to participate fully and with appropriate footwear. We ask children to wear closed-toed shoes that make running and climbing at the park easy to navigate
Please send a full change of clothes for your child to keep in school in a plastic bag in case of accidents or a particularly muddy time at The Schuylkill Center. Your child may bring a comfort object from home, but we ask that it stay in his/her backpack, in his/her cubby. No other toys from home are allowed in our classrooms.
How does dismissal work?
If your child is in ASEP (after school program) or in after school clubs, s/he will be walked to the ASEP program by kindergarten and ASEP teachers. If your child is being picked up directly after school, s/he will be brought out of the classroom around 3:15 pm on Monday-Thursday and 2:55 pm on Fridays. Please note, as with morning drop-off, when you are in the garden with your child, you are responsible for your child. Kindergarten dismissal is through the South Street exit of the garden, where escorts must check out with the kindergarten teacher on duty. Please be sure to leave the garden with your child when you hear the bell ring. We also ask that you not pick any vegetables with your child when in the garden. Part of our curriculum is harvesting those vegetables, and we want to be sure to have enough for the entire class to harvest. Thanks for your cooperation and understanding. If you have a change of dismissal plan, please email Keisha Smith [email protected].
How do you celebrate birthdays in kindergarten?
We love celebrating birthdays at school. If you would like to celebrate your child’s birthday in our classroom, please email us at least a week in advance so we can plan ahead. We invite families in to celebrate by reading a favorite book to the class; we also share a card the class makes for the celebrant, usually around 2:45pm. Please note that we do not celebrate birthdays with edible treats. Unless everyone in the class is included, please send birthday party invitations, thank you notes, gifts, etc., through the mail or outside of school
If you have other questions, please refer to the TPS Handbook, which is posted on the Parent Portal of the website. We look forward to working closely with you and your child throughout the year. Now that you and your child have experienced a few days of kindergarten, we’d love to check in. Your child’s “contact teacher” will call you some time in the next week.
Have a wonderful weekend!
The Kindergarten Team