Welcome to Kindergarten at Westmoreland School! I hope that you are excited and looking forward to a year of learning and fun. I am so excited to start this journey with you, and I have so many fun and enriching activities planned.
The beginning of the school year is a thrilling time in the lives of children, especially Kindergarten students. This letter was prepared to answer any questions you may have concerning procedures in our room and in our school. Please let me know if you have further questions. I have been in your shoes before, and I know how confusing and overwhelming it can sometimes be.
Your students will be leaving the classroom and/or working with other teachers for physical education, music, guidance, library, technology, Spanish and art. Here is their daily schedule for those specials:
Monday: technology, art
Tuesday: P.E., health
Wednesday: PE, music
Thursday: library, guidance
Friday: Spanish, music
All of the basic supplies such as crayons, pencils, glue, scissors and paper are provided to your child here at school. You do not need to worry about purchasing these items for your child. However, a few basic items should come to school:
-Standard sized backpack (no wheels please!)
-A change of clothing, including shirt, pants, socks, and underwear. Please bring them in a Ziploc freezer bag and label all items. These will remain at school in the event of an accident.
-An extra pair of athletic shoes to remain at school for inside use. Please make sure they are easy to take off and put on again. Velcro or toggle sneakers work out best for Kindergarten students. We wear indoor shoes to help keep our school clean.
-A snack for snack time
-a beach towel or small blanket to cuddle for rest time.
PLEASE LABEL JACKETS, BACKPACK, TOWEL OR BLANKET, AND CLOTHING WITH YOUR CHILD’S NAME.
This year I am trying something new. In the past, I have asked each family to send in a travel sized pillow for rest time. One of my former colleagues makes pillow cases every year for the class. I have heard from families that it is very hard to find these pillows any more in the Keene area. I am asking each child to send in $3.50 for the pillows this year. Please send in cash in an envelope for this one situation. I found that I can order them in bulk, so I plan on doing that to make it easier for each family. If you are having trouble coming up with the money, please write me a note and let me know. If I do not receive the money by Friday, September 2nd, I will assume you do not want a pillow for your child.
Periodically, your child will bring money to school for lunch, milk, field trips, book club orders, etc. When sending money to school, be sure to use an envelope or Ziploc bag clearly marked with your child’s name, what the money is for, and the amount enclosed. Please send exact change when sending cash. If the school provided an envelope, please completely fill out all of the requested information on the front of the envelope.
The cost of student lunch is $2.70 a day. You may also just purchase milk for 50 cents. Please refer to the school lunch program information provided by the school for more information about payment methods, etc. Menus are sent home every month. Please help your child select the menu items. If the lunch item is not something your child likes there is an option of salad or peanut butter and jelly. If your child brings his/her lunch from home, please label the box or bag.
We have a short 15 minute snack break at 10:15 every morning. Please provide a small, nutritious, self-serve snack. Please do not send in snacks that need to be refrigerated, heated, or otherwise prepared by an adult.
Clearly label your child’s snack bag with his/her name. If you are sending lunch with your child, please make sure that snack and lunch are NOT in the same bag. This helps avoid confusion about what is for lunch and what is for snack.
Please remember to notify me in writing if there are any changes in the way your child will be going home from school. Without written instruction from you, we will send your child home in the usual manner. We cannot accept verbal exchanges from your child or a sibling. Please do not e-mail transportation changes. I cannot guarantee that I will have the opportunity to check my e-mail prior to dismissal. Additionally, substitutes do not have access to my e-mail account. If a last minute transportation change arises, please call the front office before 1:00 and they will notify me. If you will be picking up your child from school, please send a note. It can be one note for the whole year.
I have found that it makes everything go smoother if your child uses the same transportation on the first day of school as (s) he will be using the rest of the year. I highly recommend allowing your child to ride the bus to and from school. Not only do the kids absolutely love riding the “big kids” bus, you will avoid the hassle of carpool and your child will always arrive on time. If you want to walk your child to the room the first day, I understand. However, I feel that it is best for everyone if you allow your child to walk independently after the first week of school. Independence is an important skill learned in Kindergarten. Don’t forget that your child should be in line outside by 7:50 to avoid tardiness.
Your child should be at school every day unless he/she is sick or observing a religious holiday. If you child is not feeling well, has had a fever during the last 24 hours, or is in any way contagious, PLEASE allow him/her to stay home from school as we want your child and the rest of the class and teachers to stay healthy.
Some volunteer opportunities for our class include room parent, mystery readers, party planners, classroom preparation, field trip chaperones and helpers at special events. The board implemented a plan for volunteers. About 45 days prior to volunteering, a criminal background check needs to be submitted and returned from the state with clearance.
Throughout the year I will schedule trips into the community to enhance the curriculum. Permission slips and cost information will be sent home prior to each trip. Transportation is provided by Westmoreland’s bus guru, Mr. Richard Delano. Possible field trips include the Colonial Theater or Allyson’s Apple Orchard.
You will have the opportunity to volunteer to be a chaperone for some field trips. Due to space requirements, the number of volunteers will be limited for each trip. When the field trip permission slip is distributed, if you are interested in chaperoning please let me know as soon as possible. Chaperones will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis. Please understand that I will make every attempt to give each parent the opportunity to go on at least one trip.
Chaperones will be responsible for 3-5 children while we are away from school. Since you need to devote all of your attention to the students, siblings are not permitted to accompany you. Thank you for your cooperation.
Kindergarteners are involved in activities that require jumping, running, climbing, and the like. Athletic shoes are required on PE days. Please keep in mind that your child will participate in outdoor activities daily and flip flops, slip-ons, clogs, and similar style shoes often pose a danger to your child. Since I try to maximize the time that we have, I cannot always help your child change shoes for recess or PE. Therefore, it is best to send your child in shoes that are easy to get on and off. Velcro and toggle ties are recommended. When choosing clothing for school, choose clothes that are easy to get on and take off for toileting. I strongly suggest pants with elastic bands and easy clasps. Do not send your child with a belt of any kind! In the event of a toileting emergency belts can be too difficult for your child to navigate independently. In class, students will be cooking, painting, using markers, using glue, working with play dough, and other messy stuff. Please select clothing that is both comfortable and appropriate for these activities.
Kindergarteners are busy people during the school day! We use our brains and bodies to learn and play. As a result, we need time to rest and re-energize. Your child will have a short rest period each day. As the school year progresses, we will gradually eliminate the rest period in preparation for the full day in first grade. Please provide a small blanket or beach towel for your child. Please do not send in stuffed friends for your child to rest with. These items are among the worst carriers of lice and other critters and NOBODY wants that! Your child is not required to sleep but must relax on his or her spot quietly and not disturb the other resting children. The lights are turned off and soft music fills the room for a relaxing down time. Please remember to send in money for a travel size pillow for your child on the first day of school.
Each day, I will send home this folder with your child. In this folder you will find work for the week, my weekly newsletter on Fridays, and any notices that need to be sent home. You will also find a communication book where we will be able to write back and forth to each other. If you have a pressing matter or question that cannot wait for the communication book, then please feel free to call me at school (399-4421) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you ready to run yet!!!! I know this was a lot of information, but I want to keep you as informed as I can throughout the year. You are a huge piece in the puzzle for your child’s education. I am excited to work together so that Kindergarten is a success for everyone. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!!!!!!
Throughout the year I will be asking for donations for various items that we will use in the classroom. The first items that I am looking for are tissues, Band-Aids, and happy face stickers and regular stickers. These items are very specific due to letter activities that we will be doing. If you can help out with any of these items, it would be much appreciated!
I will end with this little poem for you. It was adapted from a poem by Jamie Solley.
The First Day
I gave you a little wink and smile
As you entered my room today.
For I know how hard it is to leave
And know your child must stay.
You’ve been with him for five or six years now
And have been a loving guide,
But now, alas, the time has come
To leave him at my side.
Just know that as you drive away
And tears down your cheeks may flow
I’ll love him as I would my own
And help him learn and grow.
For as a parent, I too know
How quickly the years do pass
And not long ago it was my turn
To take my child to class.
So please put your mind at ease
And cry those tears no more
For I will love him and take him in
When you leave him at my door.
My daughter is off to Keene High School this year!!!! It does go by fast!