Dear Parents,

Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year. My name is Renee Brohamer, I will be your child’s lead teacher for the upcoming school year and my assistant is Kathleen Bastien. We both look forward to meeting you and your child at our orientation which will take place Friday August 9th. Coming in to meet teachers and see the room before school starts helps the children gain comfort and confidence for the beginning of school. There will be about six children in each orientation group so the new children will have the opportunity to meet their teachers and familiarize themselves with a few peers. Returning students have an opportunity to meet some new students and reacquaint with old friends. The orientation experience also gives the children an opportunity to explore the classroom and ease any anxiety of coming into an unfamiliar environment. The purpose of this letter is to prepare you and your child for our classroom orientation and the upcoming school year.

What to bring for Orientation?

1.         A recent photo of your child about 2’’x 3’’.  We will be displaying it in the classroom.

2.         A change of clothes including shorts, shirt, socks, and underwear.  Please place the clothing in a zip type plastic bag and put that bag into another bag with handles so it can be hung up in the bathroom.  Please label all clothing items and both bags with your child’s name.

During orientation:

1.         Have your child find all of the places with their name on them: cubbies, file folder, name tag, hook in bathroom.

2.         Explore the room.  Work with familiar materials and/or read with your child.  If your child senses that you are comfortable and enjoy the room, they will feel the same way.

3.         We will be doing a simple craft activity also.

During the first weeks of school:

1.         Good-byes:

Make good-byes short and sweet.  For parents who are leaving for the first time, this is a big milestone for both parent and child.  Long drawn out good-byes make it harder for children to separate.  “I love you, have a nice day,” and a kiss work well.  Say good-byes at the door of the classroom.  My assistant or I will be there to help if needed.  Use the drive through drop-off as soon as you feel comfortable.  For many children it is easier to say good-bye at the car.

If your child has experienced separation problems in the past, please talk with me beforehand so we can come up with a plan to make the transition into the classroom a smooth and positive one.  We can talk on the phone or discuss it at the orientation meeting.

2.         Clothing:

For safety reasons, it is school policy that children wear tennis shoes.  Girls should wear shorts under dresses and skirts.  Clothing should be comfortable “play clothes”, as they will be on the playground and moving around the classroom.  We will be doing a lot of art in our class, and though we take measures to protect clothing, they do sometimes become permanently stained.  Children at this age should be dressing themselves in the morning.  Please do not send them to school in cumbersome clothing (overalls, difficult belts, snaps, and ties) that could affect them going to the bathroom independently, or changing clothes independently if an accident should occur.

3.         Lunches      

Please reference the school website regarding hot lunches if you are interested in this option; otherwise, you will need to pack your child a lunch (snacks are provided by the school).  **Children in the class need to pack a cloth napkin with their lunches (in addition to the napkin they use to wipe their mouths) to use as a placemat during lunchtime**.  This small ceremony of laying out their placemats denotes each child’s eating space and encourages good manners.  If your child is a finicky eater, I recommend giving your child choices by packing a variety of foods (i.e. small plastic containers filled with fruit (raisins), cut vegetables, nuts, cheese cubes, small crackers, pasta items, or whatever nutritious food s/he will eat).  Having your child help pack his or her lunch also works for some families.  For a number of reasons, we ask that you do not pack any candy in your child’s lunch.

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.

I am looking forward to seeing you, and to the exciting year that lies ahead.  Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Sincerely,

Ms. Renee Brohamer

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