Beginning of the Year Letter - Parents FYI

Hello!  First Grade Parent,

   I want to welcome you and your child to first grade.  I’m so excited for another great year.  This is a very special year for your child.  First grade is your child’s first encounter with serious academics, not to mention, his/her first time staying a full day at school.  It can be quite an adjustment.  Children need positive affirming responses to their efforts.  Learning must be enjoyable and have a playful tone, not burdensome or too terribly serious.  My goal is to create an environment that takes school seriously, but is also relaxed enough for risk-taking and laughter.  It is vital that we keep open lines of communication.  So, please don’t hesitate to contact me with concerns or questions.  I am at school by 8:10 a.m. and there after school until 4:00 p.m.

 

Classroom Supplies:  A list is found on the district website.  Please DO NOT label each item with student’s name.  ONLY LABEL your child’s backpack and lunch box.   I prefer to compile ALL supplies into a supply reserve.  It is very cumbersome to store student’s supplies on a student by student basis.  If there is a special item that your child wishes to call his/her own, this can be labeled with a name.  

Book bags:  Your child should have a book bag (labeled with a name) and bring it to school every day.  You should check your child’s take home folder every night for homework and important papers.  There usually will be a daily behavior chart too that needs initialed every night.

Lunch/Money:  Please send ALL money to school in an envelope with your child’s name and lunch number clearly written on the front.  Also your child needs to memorize his/her lunch number in order for there to be a smooth lunch transition.  This was hopefully sent to you from the district.  If not, you can get it at Open House.  Please label lunch boxes with your child’s name.

Buses: If your child is not to ride the bus on any given day, please send me a note or call the office.  Without written notice from you, I must put your child on his/her assigned bus.  Please help me to avoid confusion and tears.

Car Riders/Walkers: Children will be picked up in the circle area.  They will be dismissed at 3:25.  Please do not come to the classroom. 

Early Dismissals: If your child has an appointment and has to leave early, please go to the office and the secretary will call the room to let me know you are waiting.

Homework:  All homework for the week is usually assigned on a Friday and has a return date of the following Friday unless otherwise stated.  The only exception is 100 book challenge which needs to be completed every night Monday through Friday (weekends are optional).  There are no more weekly spelling tests.  More information about this will be sent home.

Toys: Please do not let your child bring toys from home.  We have toys for outside play and indoor recess.  If your child brings a toy from home, he/she will be asked to put it on my desk or in their backpack.

Bathroom: We do not have a bathroom in the classroom, so there are several guidelines for you to be aware of concerning bathroom usage.  The children are allowed to use the bathroom when they come to school in the morning.  Throughout the day one girl and one boy is allowed out of the room at any given time.  They are strongly encouraged to go during classroom breaks and recess.  Sometimes bathroom privileges are abused, and then your child may only be allowed to go during classroom breaks and not in between.

Behavior:  Every Hooverville classroom has a behavior "Clip System" in place.   More information is in a separate document, labeled "Discipline," of my website. Any communication regarding behavior will be discussed via phone conversation or meetings.  Email will not be used to address behavior issues.    

Positive Reinforcement:  Every month I try to incorporate an individual reward/privilege or a whole class reward/privilege that is earned according to behavior.  This might include prize box, lunch in the room, extra recess, bring in a show & tell item, special treat etc..

DonationsThe following items are things that we could use in our classroom this year.  Some of the items you may have around the house and others are inexpensive items that could be purchased.  All donations will be greatly appreciated.

 

  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Packing tape
  • Painter’s tape
  • Gift Certificate to Wal-Mart (for whatever comes up)
  • Leftover/new drawing paper
  • Paper towels
  • Lysol/Clorox Disinfectant Wipes
  • Slidelock Baggies – Gallon Size
  • Slidelock/Ziplock Baggies 
  • Gallon, Quart, Sandwich, and Snack Sizes
  •  Soft Tissues
  • Small rewards/treats for positive behavior.
  •  Individually Wrapped Candies
  • AA/AAA batteries
  • Snack Food – pretzels, cookies, chips, crackers-Nothing Orange please (like Cheetos/Dorittos)

 

Parent Volunteers:    I can always use an extra pair of hands.  This year, volunteers MUST have clearances.  See the district website for more information.  Volunteer forms will come home in September or October.  This year, it will work out best if volunteers could come in the morning.  If this suits your schedule, please consider volunteering your time.  I would be very grateful.  From time to time, I may have things that need to be cut out or stapled.  Some of these things can be done at home.  Let me know if you are able to help in this way and I may send the necessary materials home with your child when help is needed.  If you are able to volunteer within the classroom, please remember to stop by the office for a visitor’s tag.  We will begin in October (or possibly sooner).  All are welcome and very much appreciated!

Visitor Policy:  Must enter by the office.  Must go through the School Gate Guardian System.  Must be buzzed in, sign in, get a visitor badge.  Must leave a DRIVER’S LICENSE at the office until you sign out.

Parent Community Portal:  Please join the portal.  You will need to present your driver’s license to Sue Baker.  More information regarding this will be presented at Open House. 

Appropriate Dress for weather/classroom:    REMEMBER:   NO flipflops, NO holes above the knee if the skin can be seen. And we will go outside for lunch recesses unless directed by the principal.

Two final things…

The first few weeks we are learning many important routines/procedures and reviewing important, foundation skills from kindergarten.  So if your child comes home saying that he or she is bored, please give it some more time. Before you know it, we will be diving into the wonderful first grade curriculum that will be fun, but challenging, and the skills your child will learn is something that will amaze you. 

Also, there may be tears that first day.  There may be tears for a few days because it is a big adjustment.  But, don’t fret, it will get better as the routines/expectations are learned and the excitement replaces the jitters.  In order to help your child have a better day, please see that s/he eats breakfast every morning and gets plenty of rest each night. 

 

I hope that the above information has been helpful to you.  I am thrilled to be spending this year with your child.  I am excited about all the new experiences we will have together.  Please remember that you may call me anytime you have questions or concerns (762-1191 Ext. 1500) or you can email me at jan_mcintire@wasdpa.org

 

First Graders are Fantastic!

Jan McIntire