August 27, 2014

Dear Families:

It was great to meet so many of you this morning!  Also, thank you to those who dropped off donated supplies.  I am terribly sorry (and embarrassed) but in the flurry of activity, I am not quite sure anymore who dropped off what, so thank you very much to all who did!

The start of a new school year is a time of anticipation and fresh beginnings.  I am eager to get the school year off to a good start for your child.  This letter contains some basic information and FAQ’s to inform you of typical routines.  If something is not clear, or if you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Also, this letter and all newsletters can also be found on our class website.  

Classroom Climate

Our room faces south; therefore we get lots of sunshine!  This can also mean temperatures rise in the afternoons.  The best advice would be to dress your child in layers for the chilly mornings and warmer afternoons.  Even in winter, the sun can warm the room nicely, but on cloudy days it’s definitely cooler.  Please keep this in mind.

You may also choose to send a water bottle with your child.  To avoid mix-ups, please label it with your child’s name or initials.  

Home/School Folder

All notes and papers will go home in a folder.  Please check your child’s folder daily.  In the mornings, your child will get into the routine of checking the folder for any ntoes, lunch money, etc, and putting these in a designated space.  At the end of the day your child will put any notices or papers to go home in the folder.

Changes in Transportation

If your child’s way of getting home changes for whatever reason, please send in a note telling us if your child is to ride a different bus, is car pick up, etc.  We ask that
you do not call the school for routine changes in transportation unless it is an emergency.  Please do not rely on email to get these urgent messages across.

If your child is dismissed early for appointments or other reasons, please send in a note.  Your child will be prepared to leave and will be sent to the office upon your arrival.


We have a daily snack break around 9:45.  Snacks can either be purchased through Abbey Group or brought from home.  Please note: Barstow is a Peanut/Tree Nut Safe School.

Because of a variety of food allergies and dietary concerns, sharing of snacks is prohibited.

The Abbey Group prefers you prepay into your child’s account and any snack or lunch purchases will be deducted.  Please refer any questions regarding lunch accounts directly to the lunchroom at ext. 44.


We celebrate children’s birthdays by making them king/queen for a day!  After the ‘crowning’, we sing our special birthday songs and the child will have a special birthday share.

This year I would like to suggest that we include non-food based options for celebrating birthdays.  Some ideas include sharing pencils, stickers or some other small token with classmates.  Another idea may be to have your child teach the class a special group game or a song.  If you do choose to send in treats, please give at least a day’s advance notice to clear with our nurse, Ms. Wright.  Some choices would be fruit pops, cheese/crackers and veggies.  Thank you for your cooperation with this.

As for party invitations, do not send invitations to school to be passed out unless the entire class is invited.  


Monday- P.E.

Tuesday:  Art

Wednesday:  P.E.

Thursday: Library

Friday:  Music

*please wear appropriate footwear on P.E. days


Homework in first grade will begin in a couple of weeks after the kids have had time to adjust.  There is a daily expectation of ten minutes of daily reading (or being read to).  Any written homework will be activities similar to what your child has done in class. Homework will generally go home on Mondays and will be due by Friday.  As always, if there are any questions, please let me know.


Effective discipline is essential for creating an environment conducive to learning.  In grades K-2, a Better Choices form is used to help keep families informed of behaviors.  The form is sent home for a signature, and I will always contact you the day it is going home to give a heads-up.  The idea is to keep communication open and to make you aware of small issues before they become habitual.  

I hope this letter has been helpful.  In order to make the year a successful one for your child, communication is key.  I can be reached by phone, (ext 16) email ( or a note from home.  

By working together, your first grader will have a great school experience.  


Kelli Bates