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Kindergarten Parent Letter

 Welcome To Kindergarten  
Please read this letter in its entirety and refer to it throughout the year, as it will answer many frequently asked questions.
 
Congratulations!  Your child has successfully completed his or her first day of Kindergarten!  I am sure that you have many questions regarding the school year, so I hope that this letter will help you to become familiar with what is expected in Kindergarten and answer any questions that you may have

Pick-up and Drop-off
Kindergarten students will be entering the school through the main doors (I will greet them) and exiting through the classroom door.  It is very important for the children’s developing independence, that they say “good-bye” to their parents at the front door and walk into the school with their class.  At the end of the day, I will wait with them in the classroom until they have been picked up.  Please make sure that you are on time to pick up your child as children become anxious when parents are late.  Remaining children will be asked to wait by the office 

If you are late arriving to school, see that your child visits Mrs. Priebe at the office for a late stamp.  If another person or parent is picking up your child at the end of the day, you must send a written note, inform the office, or talk to me personally.  Please do not rely on your child to tell me this information, for the message could be relayed incorrectly.  Do not send me an email the day of, to tell me that someone else will be picking up your child, as I will not get a chance to read it in time.
Correspondence
The students have been given a Ziploc bag and they will be responsible for bringing this bag into the classroom (whether it is empty or full) as well as bringing it home each day.  Please remember to check and to return the Ziploc each night.  If you would like to write me a note that requires a response by the end of the school day, correspondence via the Ziploc bag is the most efficient way to do this.   However, if you prefer to correspond via e-mail, for matters that do not require immediate attention, my address is mary.robinson@holytrinityschool.ca.  I will usually be able to check this e-mail once a day (week days) at approximately 4:00pm.  If you need to contact me during school hours, please leave a message with the office.
 
Please get into the habit of checking the school website: www.holytrinityschool.ca. Under homework, there is a Kindergarten link. The monthly calendars that include the weekly letters and words will be posted there.
Attendance
If your child is going to be absent, please phone the school office (604 987- 4454) and inform the secretary, Mrs. Priebe.  When your child returns to school, send a signed note with the following information: date(s) of and reason for your child’s absence.  Please keep in mind that the Ministry requires a signed note for absences, e-mail is not sufficient.  If you know that your family is going on vacation, please inform me as soon as possible. 
Snacks/Lunch
There are a few kids with severe nut allergies in this class.  Please do not send any nuts in your child's snack or lunch. 
Please have your child bring a healthy snack and lunch in a lunch bag to school each day. We will be learning about the food groups and the importance of a healthy diet.  Please ensure that your child has a fruit or a vegetable to eat during recess.  Every child has access to the water fountain, but if you would like to pack your child a drink, you may send a bottle of water.  In an effort to reduce the amount of garbage that our school produces, the students will be asked to put wrappers and containers back in their lunchboxes as opposed to throwing them in the garbage can.  Please be mindful of this when packing your child’s lunch. 

The Kindergarten class will not be partaking in hot lunch for the first half of the school year.  We will have hot lunch with the rest of the school in January.   
Outdoor Recess
The children will be going out for recess everyday, even if it is raining.  Please ensure that your child is dressed appropriately for the weather conditions.  If your child is well enough to be at school, he/she is well enough to participate in outdoor recess.  The times for recess are from 10:30-10:45 in the morning and then from 12:00-12:30 in the afternoon.  For the first month of school, while the Kindergarten class is getting used to new friends and new routines, we will be having our recesses at different times.  The Kindergarten students will have their morning recess at 10:15-10:30 and their afternoon recess at 12:35-1:05. 

Money
On occasion, your child may be bringing money to school. Always send money in a sealed envelope or Ziploc with the following information written on it: 
-Your child’s first and last name
-The purpose for the money (book order, Mass donation, etc.
-       Grade (Kindergarten)
Keep in mind that there may be days when your child will be bringing in money for two separate causes, such as for a charitable donation as well as for a treat when we have bake sales.  If the money is not separated and labeled, I will not know how you wish for it to be allocated. 
Birthdays
In the past, students have brought in treats for the class.  We will no longer be doing this.  We will recognize and celebrate your child's birthday, but please do not bring in treats.  We will not be passing them out.
Mass Days

Once a month we have a school Mass.  The students are required to have proper shoes as well as their sweaters to school each day, but it is especially important for the students to have their full uniform when we go to Mass.  Parents are always welcome to join us in the church. 

Reading

The purpose of full-day Kindergarten is to build and to strengthen social skills, to spark creativity and to foster independence.  Much of what we will be learning throughout the day will be play-based.  In saying that, we will be learning a lot about letters and sounds and I do introduce a reading program, but I work with the children at their own individual pace.  Please keep in mind that the students enter Kindergarten at different levels.  The focus of the fist few months is for the children to feel comfortable in the classroom, to get used to the routines and to learn how to play with one another.  Therefore, I typically do not read with individual students throughout the first term.

Materials Required

Many of the materials that were purchased at the beginning of the summer will be used communally in the classroom.   If you did not purchase these materials, please see me so that you will know what to contribute to the classroom.  Your child will require some personal materials such as journals and duo-tangs.

I have old shirts for the children to wear while painting, but if you would like to send in your own smock for your child, please be sure to label it.  Also, please send a pair of non-marking running shoes that your child can keep in the classroom and wear during gym class.  There is no gym strip for Kindergarten students. 

Everyday after lunch, the students will enjoy some downtime.  It is at this time that they students will be able to take out a special blanket, book or stuffed animal from home.  Throughout the rest of the day, these items are to remain in each child’s backpack.  I ask that students refrain from bringing other toys from home as they tend to be distracting and they often go missing.

Please be sure to clearly label your child’s clothes, especially jackets and sweaters.

Please keep an extra pair of underpants and clothes (socks, pants, and even a top) in your child’s backpack in the event of a bathroom accident!  For some children, this can be quite embarrassing, so I suggest sending in blue bottoms so that they look similar to the uniform.
Star of the Week 

Every week starting in October, a new student will have the opportunity to be Star of the Week.  This student will complete a ‘Me Collage’ and will be able to bring in an object for ‘show and tell’ each day for that week.  The Star of the Week will lead calendar each day and pick the day’s Special Helper.  The Special Helper’s name will be picked out of a bag.  This student will assist in the calendar routine and will be able to take home either Marley or Molly and their journals. Marley and Molly are two stuffed monkeys.  I kindly ask that you write a short description of your child’s adventure with the monkey.  Your child will draw a picture to accompany the story.  Marley and Molly’s adventure will be shared with the class during calendar each day.

Please be sure to read the school bulletin, which will be sent via e-mail every Thursday.  Important dates and school-wide activities will be discussed here. 

Lastly, I would like to introduce Mrs. Botteselle and Mrs. Kramer.  Mrs. Botteselle and Mrs. Kramer are Educational Aids and they will be assisting the students in the classroom.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at the school, e-mail me, or send a note in your child’s Ziploc bag.  I look forward to getting to know all of you and I am so excited for this amazing adventure that we are going to have this year! 
Sincerely,
Mary Robinson