August 2020

 

Dear Parents,

 

            Welcome to St. Mary’s kindergarten.  I am anxious to get to know you and your child(ren) this year.  Here are a few things I thought you’d like to know as the year begins. 

We will be setting up a routine for arrival and dismissal, and hopefully we will all have things down pat very soon.  Please send me the Kindergarten Information paper as soon as possible telling me how your child will be going home this year.  This is extremely important to be sure to get them in the right car or on the right bus.  Please bear with us as we get the new system running smoothly.

            I have prepared a list of some important topics for you to keep for future reference.  You may want to post it on the refrigerator or in another easy to find location.  You can also refer to this document on my web page at www.stmarysgreensburg.com.  If you have questions please let me know by sending me a note, an email (jsmith@stmarysgreensburg.com) or calling me (812-663-2804.)

 

Sincerely,

Mrs. Jenny Smith

 

THE ABC’s of KINDERGARTEN

 

Alphabet:  This year we will designate a letter for each week for handwriting practice and homework, but we will discuss and review ALL letters all year.  You will find these letters in the classroom newsletter.

 

*Appointments:  If you must make an appointment for your child during the school day, afternoon (12:30 or later) is the best time to ensure that your child will not miss critical instruction.  Much of what we do is not able to be sent home so being at school is important.

 

Birthdays:  In order to be cautious about the unintentional spread of germs, you will NOT be able to send in treats or anything to pass out to the class on birthdays.  Be assured that we WILL sing and make your child feel special on that day😊.

 

*Bookmobile:  The GPL Bookmobile (mobile library) might get to visit us later this year if they decide it is safe with social distancing.  More information will be given as we find out.

 

Church:  The class will be attending mass every other Wednesday for school mass, as well as on Holy Days.  We will sit as a class at a safe social distance and pray together with half of our schoolmates.  Masks will be worn just like at the weekend liturgies.   On the weeks that our group does not attend mass in person, we will be watching a live stream of the mass.


 

 

Drop off/Pick up:  Children arriving between 7:15-8:00 should come directly to our room.  No parents may enter the building due to COVID-19 precautions.   Please remind students to enter school by the main office and walk directly to the classroom.  There will be staff members available to help them if necessary.  ½  day classes are from 8:00-12:15.  Please pick up at door #1.  Students staying all day will be dismissed at 2:40 for bus riders and 2:45 for those going by carDismissal will be divided alphabetically between the front of school and the back parking lot to allow or social distancing in the line.  Please refer to the new guidelines from the office.

 

 

Envelopes: Anytime you send money to school for milk/juice, book orders, etc., please put it in a sealed envelope clearly marked with name and purpose.  Sometimes even the most reliable students forget what they have and why.

 

*Email:  I will email you with reminders and information so that we can be up to date on any changes.   Since I have a busy schedule, it is also a good way to get questions to me while the ideas are on your mind and I can answer you when I have a minute to think.  I check my school email daily, but sometimes not until after the students leave so always call with time-sensitive issues like dismissal changes, etc.  I do not receive emails on my phone so late afternoon or evening emails will usually be seen the next morning. 

 

Family Photos:  During the first several weeks of school we will be doing many activities revolving around getting to know each other and our families.  Please send a family photo for your child to share with the class.  It is a good idea to have it in a ziplock bag to avoid finger marks.  It will be returned after a few weeks.

 

Getting to Know You:  Your child’s first homework assignment includes a sheet to fill out with your child’s name (one letter in each box) at the top followed by a recent photo of the child (glued in the large box) and then some questions to fill in about brothers and sisters, etc. Please fill this out with your child ASAP and return to school.  We will make a class book out of the pages.  It is always a favorite choice when students get to look at books.

 

 

Homework:  There will be weekly homework assignments for your child to complete.  They may be paper/pencil tasks or something to do online.  Please check the book bag each night to be sure there is nothing you need to do or read.  I will try to send home all written homework on Monday night to be turned in on Friday (or before). Books will come home in a plastic bag on a rotating schedule.  To avoid spreading unwanted germs, some students will get the actual book and others will read it online each week.  I will rotate so that all children get a chance at both ways.  Let me know if online access is a problem for you so that I can send the actual book.

 

 

 

Invitations:  Party invitations may be distributed at school as long as all of the students in the class or at least all of one particular gender are being included.  If your party is going to be smaller than that, please find another way to distribute your invitations so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings.

 

Journals:  We will be writing in journals as we enjoy the Junie B. Jones book series together.  To start the year, I will be writing with the students for them to copy and then later in the year they will begin to write on their own.  I have found this is a great way to get kids reading and writing!

 

King for the Day:  Each boy will have a turn at this honor for a day as we get to know each other and learn to recognize our names.  It will be a surprise as to whose day it is each day!

 

Lap Reading:  Beginning in Sept. I will send home Lap Reading sheets every month.  At the end of the month, those who bring them back completed will earn a special reward for reading at home.  This is one example of “Homework”.  For the months of October through March, Pizza Hut coupons will be the reward through the “Book It” program.

 

*Lunch Money:  Monday mornings are the best time to send in lunch money for the week.  Please have the money in an envelope with your child’s name and grade and the words “lunch money” so that we know what it is for.  You will NOT receive change back, but your account will be credited.  You can pay a large sum at one time and then add more when that runs out, if you’d rather do it that way.  There is also the option to pay online.  Call the office for information. 

 

Masks:  Students will be asked to bring a mask to cover his/her nose and mouth when we are in common areas of the building or when we cannot social distance.  When students are working at their desks they will not have to wear a mask.  We are providing each child with a mask but I will use that one for a back-up if they need it.   We are also providing a lanyard to keep the mask around your child’s neck when not in use.  This will stay at school. 

 

*Milk/Snacks:  Please send $45.00 as soon as possible for morning milk/juice for the first semester.  I will send a reminder home in January to send in $45.00 for the second semester.  Snacks will consist of the occasional treat for someone’s birthday or something to go along with a theme or holiday.  Since our lunch is late (12:30) you can send a small pre-packaged snack for him/her to eat with the morning milk.  Refrigeration is not available so plan accordingly.  Snacks should not be candy and should not be large.  It needs to be a small bag of crackers or dry cereal or fruit, etc. that can be eaten in a few minutes time. 

 

Newsletters:  I will send The Kindergarten Connection home weekly to keep you informed of what we are doing at school and important dates to remember.  Watch for one each Friday.

 

Our Aide:  We are fortunate to have a full-time classroom aide.  Mrs. Laura Rather will be available to assist in our kindergarten classroom this year.  She will do clerical work as well as helping with centers and giving students some one-on-one assistance as needed.

 

Physical Education (gym):  We will have gym class every week on Thursday morning, so please be sure your child has on tennis shoes.  Mrs. Mauer does expect everyone to have the right shoes to participate safely.  Dresses need to have shorts underneath on gym days.  To help with social distancing, half of the class will go to PE while the other half has technology class with me and then the groups will switch places. 

 

*Portfolios (a manila folder) will be sent home with each report card containing samples of work and your child’s report card.  These need to be returned and kept at school all year. 

 

Queen for the Day:  (same as King for the Day, see above)

 

 

Reading:  Please encourage your child to read.  There are three types of reading:

1)      Reading by telling stories with the pictures

2)      Pretend reading

3)      Reading by decoding all of the words (“real” reading)

 

Star Words:  These are words that we have encountered in our writing/reading that your child should be able to read on his own.  We review these words daily and have them posted in the room.  Your child will also have a copy of each word on a laminated slip of paper and all of them will be attached to a ring.  This “Star Word ring” should be in your child’s book bag every day so that we can add new words when we get them but still go home each day for practice with you in the evening. 

 

Tags:  If your child rides a bus home from school, please keep the tag that I put on his/her bookbag visible.  This will help any adult know where your child needs to go to be sure that your child is comfortable with the bus routine in the afternoon.  It is also a good idea to have your child’s name on the outside of the bag where it is easy to see.

 

Upon returning to school following an absence of any kind, please send a note for me to keep on file for my records.  This is school policy.

 

Visiting school:  We would love to have you as guest, but right now we are trying to limit the number of people coming into our building.  If you need to drop off a late student or a lunchbox or pick a child up early for an appointment, you will need to sign in/out in the lobby outside of the main office.  We hope you understand that this is for everyone’s safety.

 

Water bottles:  Since the drinking fountains are not in use, each student is permitted to have a water bottle at his/her desk.  Please be sure to have your child’s name on the bottle and send it filled with water.

 

X:  When we study the letter X, we will not stress it as a beginning sound since it acts differently than most letters.  We will focus on the sound it makes at the end or in the middle of words.

 

Young children:  They respond best to a variety of approaches.  Please do not be alarmed if you do not see a lot of papers coming home, especially if your child has to miss a day or two of school.  We will use various ways to practice and learn.

 

Zoo field trip:  In the past kindergarten has gone to the zoo in the spring.  We hope that we will be able to go there again.  We will send home information well in advance of this trip.

 

            This may seem an overwhelming amount of information to absorb at once.  That is why I suggest you keep it handy so that when you have a question as the year goes on you can refer to this and hopefully have your question answered.  A copy of this document will be on my web page all year so you can refer to it there as well.  Of course, you can always call me to ask any question that comes up at anytime this year.  I look forward to talking with you!

 

 

                                                                                                Sincerely,

                                                                                                Mrs. Jenny Smith