First Grade News

First Grade News

1-121 (Mrs. Giazitzoglou) & 1-119 (Ms. Volpe) 


                 September 2018

Dear First Grade Families,


Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! We are so excited to work with your children over the course of the next year.  We are looking forward to your children having an exciting and successful first-grade experience as we help them grow emotionally, socially and academically.


          It is very important to us that your child is aware of the home-school connection. We encourage you to speak with your child daily about their school day and what he or she learned to further support and enrich their experiences in school. Part of creating a positive parent-teacher relationship is communication. We will be creating a monthly newsletter informing you of what is going on in our classrooms and throughout the school. These newsletters will include current curriculum, important dates such as field trips, half days, no school days, and classroom/school events.  In an effort to save paper we will be emailing these newsletters, as well as posting them to our grade’s website. It is very important to read these newsletters carefully.


Important Dates in September:

No School – Rosh Hashanah ­ - Monday and Tuesday, September 10th and 11th

Meet the Teacher Night – Monday, September 17th

No School – Yom Kippur - Wednesday, September 19th

As your child’s teachers, we are really looking forward to getting to know all about your children. Thank you ahead of time for your support and cooperation. We look forward to a wonderful year together!



                                                                                                   Your First Grade Teaching Team

                                                                                                   Mrs. Giazitzoglou and Ms. Volpe

Classroom Procedures


We will have snack time each day. Please have your child bring a small, healthy, and yummy snack.  Examples are fruit, carrots, yogurt, pretzels, small sandwiches, or cheese and a small drink. PLEASE TRY AND REFRAIN FROM SENDING NUTS AS WE ARE BEING MINDFUL OF ALLERGIES. Please do not send in glass containers or soda cans. Paper napkins and any necessary plastic spoons or forks are also required. PLEASE LABEL YOUR CHILD’S SNACK WITH THEIR NAME AND THE WORD “SNACK.” This helps to avoid confusion between lunch and snack.  Each class will determine the best timing for snacks based upon the schedule and individual class needs.



Each day your child will bring home his/her “RED FOLDER” labeled “Anderson News.”  In this folder, you will find notes from the teacher and the school. Your child should return this folder to class each school day containing any necessary responses to memos or dismissal notes.   Please be sure to remember to remove notices from the “Keep at Home” section of the folder every day. Place any school forms, permission slips, and/or notes to the teacher in the “Return to School” section of the folder.


In addition to the Red Folder, your child will also have a HOMEWORK FOLDER

(BLUE). Your child will take the Homework Folder each Monday and return the folder on Friday (for students who prefer no homework over the weekend) or the following Monday (for students who use the weekend to complete the homework).



We will be celebrating birthdays in class with students. We will celebrate birthdays by reading your child’s favorite story. You may come in to the class to do a read-aloud or you may send in the book with your child. PLEASE CONTACT US A WEEK IN ADVANCE TO SET UP A TIME FOR YOUR VISIT. We will celebrate with the whole class on your child’s birth date or in the event of no school, we will celebrate at a scheduled time close to that date. If you choose to send in something for your child’s birthday, it must be a non-food item. For example, children may donate a book to the class, give out pencils, stickers, bookmarks, etc.


Note that invitations to classmates/schoolmates to outside-of-school parties are not to be distributed on school premises or on the school bus. This is school policy. We wish to avoid having hurt feelings on the part of those children who don’t receive invitations or are unable to attend.


Health/Food Matters

If your child has a food allergy, please inform us immediately.


Even if the school has been previously informed of health issues, please be sure to inform us in writing if your child has any health issues (e.g. allergies, asthma, hearing/visual needs) or dietary restrictions that warrant attention from us and/or the school nurse.



All medication must first be cleared by the DOH on-site nurse, along with proper 504 documentation.  This helps to ensure the safety of all students.  At no time can medication be administered without DOE approved documentation.  This includes, but is not limited to: eye drops, cough/cold medications, aspirin, and topical creams.


Trip Volunteers

Parents volunteering to help chaperone class trips will be recruited in advance by the teacher.  Trip slips will have a section to indicate that you are hoping to chaperone, and after slips are collected, the teacher will inform parents if they are the specific chaperones for the trip. 



Anderson Homework Philosophy


The Anderson School assigns homework to correspond with what students are learning in their classrooms.  Homework is a support – not a substitute – for classroom instruction.  The amount of homework is grade-appropriate for Anderson students.  While homework is an important support for school learning, more is not necessarily better.  Too much homework can place inappropriate pressures on children and undermine intrinsic sources of motivation such as curiosity.


According to the philosophy of homework as defined by the Anderson School, the purpose of homework is:

·   to reinforce skills taught in class

·   to provide an opportunity for extended and independent learning based on content specifically addressed during class time

·   to provide the teacher with data to access the mastery of skills

·   to build stamina as a student

 Roles and Responsibilities of Parents

Parents are responsible for conveying to their children the importance of meeting expectations for homework tasks and deadlines, and helping their children learn to manage their time.

Parents should use their discretion when assisting their children with homework.  It is acceptable to help your child, but do not “do” the work for them.  If you have concerns about your role in homework you should write us a note or ask for clarification during “Meet the Teacher Night.”


                               First Grade Homework Policy


First grade students at the Anderson School will have weekly homework packets to help reinforce and review classwork or preview an upcoming learning unit. Homework will consist of literacy and math activities. At times, assignments in other areas will be given. Your child will bring home the Homework Folder each Monday and return the folder on Friday (for students who prefer no homework over the weekend) or the following Monday (for students who use the weekend to complete the homework).  In addition to the homework packet, there will be a word study quiz each Friday.

On average, students in the first grade will have 20 minutes of homework each night.  Each child's work pace differs, and varying levels of comfort with assigned materials will impact the time some assignments take. At the end of each packet, there is a “Homework Checklist” to help your child check over their work.

In addition, students are expected to do at least 20 minutes of independent reading each night.  Students are also expected to record their reading in their reading log. Reading logs will be handed in with the homework each week. In addition to these 20 minutes, we encourage shared reading and/or reading aloud to your child.


Nightly Routines


Students need to establish a routine that includes a time and place for homework. A parent or caregiver should be available at home to model responsibility and to provide the appropriate atmosphere for homework. If a child is spending more than thirty to forty-five minutes on one assignment on any given night, parents should step in, help their child pack up materials, and include a note to the teacher.  A note on the homework assignment explaining difficulties can go a long way in helping a teacher individualize instruction for each student. 





          Anderson School Procedures


School Arrival

It is imperative that your child arrives at school on time each morning. Even being a little late for school can cause anxiety in a child (and parent), in addition to missing morning routines and opening lessons. You and the Anderson staff want your child to profit by getting the most time at school. 


We will be picking the children up at 8:20 a.m.  Elementary students will walk in the entrance door closest to Amsterdam Avenue on 77th Street.  Students will enter the auditorium and wait for the teacher.  


Please note that if your child does not go to the classroom with the teacher, he or she must stop at the main office in room 102 to get a late pass.  If your child does not obtain a late pass, he or she may be marked absent for the day. If your child will be having school breakfast, please be sure to drop him or her off no later than 8:00 a.m. so there is adequate time for your child to complete his or her meal before school starts. 



Dismissal this year is at 2:35 p.m. In the red folder is a “Dismissal Notification Form” which we are requesting that you fill out and return once you are certain of your child’s day-to-day dismissal procedures.  In first grade, we will start to expect your child to take on more responsibility in their daily dismissal schedule.


Any change in dismissal procedure, whether it is for one day or longer-term, must be reported in writing immediately. This is especially important for the children who take the school bus home. If there is a change in the busing procedure for that child on a particular day, a note must be backpacked to us; otherwise we have to send the child home in his/her normal manner that day. In the event that a note is forgotten, you must call the office in a timely manner (212-595-7193) and fax  (212-496-2854) in a note stating the change. This is school policy and must be

adhered to strictly.  This policy was created for the safety of the children. 




In addition, if you and your bus child have invited a non-bus child to your home (for a play date, etc.) the non-bus child may not take the bus home with your child. A parent/guardian must pick up both children from school.



The school has requested that you call the Anderson office (212-595-7193) to inform them when your child will be absent. When the school’s voicemail picks up, there will be an option to report a child’s absence. Choose this option and leave a message with any pertinent information.


Once your child returns to school, please be sure to also write a note stating your child’s name, classroom number/teacher, date, and reason for absence.  Please also submit a doctor’s note if applicable.



Parents sometimes wish to take their children out of school for a week-or-more trip, or a few days before a school holiday. Please realize that your child will be missing lessons if this occurs and consider the message conveyed to your child—that school can be missed now and then in favor of a time away. School is obviously a priority for your child during the academic year; he/she should come to school every day (except during illness).


Blue Emergency Cards

Blue emergency cards will be sent home today to parents who did not fill them out during registration.  This needs to be filled out by you and returned as soon as possible. Please note that your child will only be released to those persons listed on this card.  Please inform the office and classroom teacher of any changes that must be made on the blue card throughout the year.