THE BEGINNING OF RTK  - by Kristine Smith

My family moved to Bridgewater in 2006 and my son Liam started Kindergarten in September 2010. Mrs. Scripter was his teacher and Liam was really doing great! He adored Mrs. Scripter, he was proud of his locker, he was great about remembering his backpack, he could zip his own coat and he was even warming up to the monthly homework calendar. However, it took a lot to get to that point and I can so easily remember how overwhelmed that spring as the process began.

As I started to get Liam ready to go to Kindergarten, I was still adjusting to life as a stay at home mom of Liam, age five, and his sister Fallon, age one. We were busy planning a summer vacation, my husband was interviewing for a new job, the pool needed a new filter, the training wheels on Liam's bike were due to come off, and Liam was graduating from preschool, which meant I was planning an ice cream sundae party! The days were flying by and the calendar was getting full!

Before my eyes spring was gone, summer was upon us and the fall loomed just around the corner. As it happened, we missed both the May Kindergarten Orientation Evening and the August Bus Safety Day due to trips out of town that were pre-planned. The only day we made it to school was for Liam's 15 minute Kindergarten screening in June and that was all business. By August 1st, I was desperate for information! How could my husband and I prepare Liam for Kindergarten when we were not sure of the logistics?

I called Mitchell and was helped several times by very nice people over the phone. But soon I began to see a pattern; every time I hung up the phone,..I'd think of another question. I felt horrible calling back over and over. As a college administrator turned mom, I know what August looks like in a school office. You might think it's quiet because the students are not there, but in many cases, it can actually be the most challenging and exhausting time of the year. The guilt was killing me!

In September, I went to my first GMSPA meeting and asked GMSPA for their support if I designed the Road to Kindergarten program. There had to be other families out there like mine, right? As a former Director of Orientation at a local college, it seemed fitting that I try and bring all that I have learned to other families who may be super busy and/or who like to plan ahead.

I hope my personal need to understand and to share information is helpful to you and your family as you start this wonderful adventure.

Mitchell is a cheerful school, littered with talented faculty and staff and full of Bridgewater pride. i hope you enjoy your journey as much as I did. Welcome to the Mitchell family! 

~Kristine Smith, Road to Kindergarten Founder 2010