Welcome to our classroom for the 2014 – 2015 school year.  We are looking forward to a smooth transition for the returning students, the children moving from Ms. Crystal’s class and the arrival of our new students.  The information in this packet will provide you with the guidelines and procedures of the classroom.

Arrival/Dismissal

The first few weeks of school a child finds a lot to be excited about and it can also be a time of apprehension and anxiety.  There is normally a six-week adjustment period for each child.  Here are some suggestions that may help with this transition.

  1. Use the Safety Patrol drop-off service.  It is available from 8:40-9:05 each morning.  Using the Safety Patrol is a way to increase your child’s independence and is a safe way to ensure your child’s safety and help with separation anxiety.
  1. Have your child carry his or her own lunchbox or other personal items and place them into their cubby.  This will promote self-esteem.
  1. Good-bye is easiest for both child and parent if they are short and positive (example:  You are going to have a great day, I love you and I will see you at 2:30.)  Ms. Christina or I will be at the door to help your child into the room if they are hesitant during the first week of school.  Please refrain from entering the classroom with your child after 8:45 a.m.  You may call the school to see how your child is doing.  You may also observe through the classroom door’s one-way window but please stand back so that your child cannot see you.  Please feel assured that we will give your child comfort and encouragement as they adjust.
  1. It is important that your child arrives to school on time so they can greet their classmates, choose a work, look at a book or begin a lesson and participate in Line Time (group time).  It is an important part of the day for learning grace and courtesy, language, group lessons and sets the tone for the day.
  1. School ends at 2:30.  You may pick up your child between 2:40 and 3:00 p.m. with the drive thru, or you may have your child attend the after-care school program provided until 6:00 p.m.  You may use the after-care school program at any time, any day; however, if you plan to have your child attend a note needs to be dated and written on the note pad labeled “Note to the Teacher” provided on top of your child’s cubbies.

Communication

You can access all classroom information at www.millhopper.com, at the web site go to Preschool/Kindergarten and click on our class under Ms. Martha Dolan.  There you will find our monthly calendar, newsletters and any important information pertaining to our classroom.  To access the parent handbook click on parents /resources/parent handbook.

A folder will be provided at the beginning of the school year for your child.  The folder will contain important information from the school as well as any paperwork your child has done over the week.  Please have your child empty and return their folder.  Your child will bring their folder home on Friday and return them empty on Monday.  There will be a container marked “Returned Folder” outside the classroom by the cubbies.  There will also be a sign-up sheet posted on the class room door or bulletin board for special projects and for food preparation activities.  You will be notified when signups are by notices in your child’s folder.

There will be a Six-Week Interim Report sent home to let you know how well your child is adjusting to the classroom as well as an evaluation of observed work habits, social interactions, attitudes and behaviors.

There will be two conferences during the year.  The first will be held in November and the second will be in May.  Your child’s progress will be discussed at this time and we will go over his/her report card.  The report card contains an assessment of your child’s development and academic progress.  You may request a conference with me at any time, or I may request a conference beyond the two if needed.  There will also be two parent nights where you will be able to see the work that your child is doing in class.  The first will be in October and the second in February.

We are unable to give out daily and weekly reports as our daily schedule does not afford us the time. During the school day our priority is to attend to the children.  I will be glad to discuss any concerns you have before the children enter the classroom (8:30-8:45) or at the end of dismissal (3:00).  The safety of the children is our first priority at MMS.  You may leave me a note in the basket marked “Notes to the Teacher” which will be on top of the cubbies.  If there are any important changes that occur in your child’s life like death, change of residence, new addition to the family, etc. that could affect their behavior please be sure to inform me or Ms. Christina Wegner (teacher assistant).

Please feel free to contact me anytime at school by leaving me a phone message or an email at mdolan@millhopper.com, with any questions that you may have.  I will return your contact as soon as I am available.  I am looking forward to getting to know your child and you.

Clothing/Change of Clothing

The school dress code is outlined in the Millhopper Montessori School Parent Handbook. For your child’s safety it is the school policy that children were tennis shoes.  Children will be unable to play on the playground without appropriate foot wear.  Clothing should be comfortable and suitable for playing outside and for doing art activities in class.  We will wear painting smocks when we paint but clothing sometimes becomes stained even when taking precaution.  Girls should wear shorts under dresses and skirts.

Children at this age should be dressing themselves in the morning even though it may require additional time.  Please send your child in clothing that allows them to bathroom independently or be able to change with little assistance if an accident should occur.  Please refrain from sending your child with any clothing that has accessories or toys that may distract from their class work.  Example: light up accessories, jewelry, toys, stuffed animals.

On Orientation day please bring in an extra change of clothing including shirt, shorts or pants, underwear and socks.  Please put all of these items in a large zip bag with your child’s name on it.  Then put the zip bag in a plastic shopping bag so that your child can hang it on their hook that has their name above it in the restroom.  Please put their name on the outside of the shopping bag also.

*Please put your child’s name on all of his or her clothing, including sweaters, jackets, lunch boxes, and anything else that is brought to school.

Pocketed Classroom Materials

Classroom Materials have been selected to be appealing to the children.  If your child brings home small objects from school in his or her pockets please return them in a sealed envelope and place it in the “Note to Teacher” basket.  The items are sometimes a part of a set and it can be difficult and costly to replace them.

Lunches

Children will need to bring their own lunch.  Please provide a cloth napkin to serve as a placemat for your child to place their food on in addition to a disposable one for hands and face.  Please provide any utensils your child may need.  The placemat gives each child their own eating space.

We ask that you not send any glass containers for safety reasons.  Have your child practice at home with their containers to see if they can open them.  Ms. Christina will assist your child if they are having difficulty with anything but it is important that they can open most of their foods or containers independently.

In our curriculum healthy eating habits are emphasized.  Packing your child’s lunch with them will encourage them to make healthy food choices and hopefully be a good way for your child to enjoy some of the foods they help choose; small portions of cut vegetables, fruits, cheese, crackers, pasta, and yogurt are just a few choices.     Any uneaten food that will not spill in the lunch box will be sent back home in his/her lunch box so you are aware what your child is eating.

Do not be overly concerned if your child does not eat a lot of their lunch at the beginning of the school year.  Children have to learn how to socialize with friends and eat at the same time.  Ms. Christina will monitor your child’s lunchtime with encouragement and assistance. 

Show-and-Tell

Show-and-Tell activity time (will be announced in the upcoming newsletter).  This is an optional activity.  Children may bring an item that fits the theme of the week and or unit study.  The object may be that of nature, household items, pictures, books and or souvenir items from trips.  Please have your child choose only one item that will fit into their cubby along with their lunch box.  Toys are not appropriate for Show-and-Tell.  Show and tell is a great time for your child to express in their own words to the whole class what their own thoughts and feelings are.  Children enjoy talking about their own things.  Often this can help children overcome shyness when they see how much fun the activity is.

Birthday Celebrations

We will celebrate each child’s birthday with the Celebration of Life which honors all the years your child has been on the earth.  Parents are welcome to participate in this celebration.  You may bring a small display of photos from each year of your child’s life (optional).   If you wish to bring a special snack for the celebration please bring in a small, low sugar treat such as muffins, oatmeal cookies, granola bars, fruit, yogurt, cheese and crackers, juice boxes, etc.  We ask that you do not bring high sugar items such as cupcakes with icing, doughnuts, and candy due to the fact that we promote good nutrition at MMS.  Please contact me a week or two before your child’s birthday to make arrangements to the best time for your schedule.

Classroom Directory / Birthday Invitations

A listing of all students in our class, along with their addresses and phone numbers, can be found on our class page on the school’s website, please use the roster for your convenience.  If you wish to send Birthday Invitations to the entire classroom I will be glad to put the invitations in the children’s take-home folders or you and your child can place them in each child’s cubby.

Volunteering

We will need volunteers for special events and activities.  A note will be sent home and a signup sheet will be posted on the classroom door or the bulletin board outside of our classroom.  During some of our studies, we welcome your knowledge! Please feel welcome to volunteer to visit and share about holidays, cultures, hobbies and jobs.

Absences

Please call and leave a message with the front office if your child is ill or unable to come to school.  We would like to know how he/she is doing and when we might expect him/her back to school.

Conclusion

Please keep this packet to refer to as needed throughout the year.  I welcome any comments or questions you may have about the classroom and your child’s education.

This is an exciting year for me, Martha Dolan and Christina Wegner.  We are looking forward to working with your child and you!