Our school held a “Meet My Teacher” information afternoon this year, rather than our traditional school Curriculum Night. Organised much like our Student Led Conferences, students were dismissed early; parents made an appointment for themselves, and their child introduced their parents to their teacher(s) and informed them about the classroom routines and curriculum. The Kindergarten did not participate in this event as we had our Parent Intake Conferences the same week.
However, in Kindergarten there is always so much information for parents new to Ridgeview and parents new to Kindergarten and Ridgeview, that we’ve taken classroom routines and expectations from our Kindergarten Curriculum Night presentation and put it online.
Meet the Kindergarten. We are really enjoying teaching our classes this year. The children are settling in well and adjusting to their new teachers and the classroom routines and expectations. You may find your child is tired at the end of the day and that is for good reason, because they are all working extremely hard. By the time Thanksgiving arrives, we will all begin to notice remarkable changes in their maturity, and their ability to self-regulate and manage their day. We remind ourselves every day to be very patient with our classes as they make this important transition to being a full-day student.
Pick-up and Drop-off Routines. The Kindergarten day begins at 8:50 am. Children should wait quietly with their parents outside their classrooms. The teachers will open the door at 8:50 am. The children can independently hang up their coats and backpacks. A quick kiss and “goodbye” at the door, and a prompt exit by parents, has really helped reduce any separation issues and allows us to start our day on time.
“O Canada” is sung by our entire school population promptly at 8:55 am (in English Monday-Thursdays; in French on Fridays). If you are dropping off at that time, please assist your children by encouraging them to come in silently and limit conversation in the cloakroom or hallway.
If you arrive after 9:00 am and the attendance has been sent up to the office, your child is considered late. Please walk up to the office with your child, sign in, and then bring him or her back to class. You must also sign your child out at the office if you need to pick up early.
Your children should know each day how they are getting home. Sometimes they tell us they don’t know who is picking them up, or wonder if they are going to the after school childcare centre. We always reassure the children that we will look after them, but they will feel more secure and confident throughout the day knowing who will be there to greet them at 2:55 pm.
At dismissal, we make sure we see a parent or caregiver before we dismiss your child. If there is a change in pick up, such as with another child’s family, please let us know. If your plans change at the last minute please call the school office, not another parent in the class. Our school office will communicate your message directly to us. We are able to release your child to another parent only with your permission.
Snack and Lunch Routines. The children should use a lunch kit to bring their food to school. It’s very awkward for them to be taking numerous containers and a water bottle out from their backpack and juggle them into the classroom. Their lunch kit then goes into their backpack, which is also used to hold their weekly library book, notices and artwork for home.
We have snack twice a day. We eat morning snack from 10:20-10:40 am, when the rest of the school is having outside recess time. Our Kindergarten classes go out for recess from 10:40-11 am, and the children are supervised by playground supervisors as that is when the teachers take their break. Our second snack time is around 2:30-2:45 pm, after our afternoon outside recess.
You might consider placing the morning and afternoon snacks in separate ziplocs or label the snacks to make it easier for your child. Please tell your children what bag or container is for snack, and which one is for lunch, because sometimes they do get confused as they are still very young.
Please send a water bottle that is non-spill and refillable. We are allowed to use the hallway water bottle refiller so the children can drink fresh, filtered water. We encourage you just to send water, rather than juice, as it’s healthier and part of our healthy eating philosophy
Lunch begins at 12:00 pm and the children have about 25 minutes to eat. Currently they are supervised by an adult lunchtime supervisor and Grade 7 monitors.
We encourage your children to eat but we cannot make them eat and finish their lunches. We always send home the uneaten food so you are able to see what your child is eating on a daily basis. Have a discussion with your children about what they like to eat, and have them help you to choose what goes in their snacks and lunches.
The Hot Lunch Program began this past week. The children seemed to enjoy their food but we ask that you do not use the Hot Lunch Program as an opportunity for your child to try new foods here at school. Please continue to send some snacks and a lunch from home until it’s certain that your child will eat the preordered food. It creates a difficult situation when your child will not eat their Hot Lunch and there is no other alternative in their lunch bag. Please send your child’s water bottle everyday, even if he or she orders lunch and a drink.
Pack In/Pack Out Routine. We call our waste management system at Ridgeview “Pack In/Pack Out.” Children can bring a ziploc bag to collect their organic garbage and packaging waste to take home. Many children simply put the garbage in their lunch bag which they seem to be comfortable doing.
Self-Care Expectations. The children are managing their washroom situations, which is washrooms located in Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Zambon’s classroom, and the children in Mrs. Daudlin’s class use the hallway washrooms. We’re very diligent about hand washing and we try to check in with the children as they are returning from the washrooms.
We do remind the children at every break opportunity to use the washroom, but many of them are so excited to go outside or they don’t want to miss anything in class so they try to wait. This is an important discussion for you to have with your child.
In the case of a bathroom accident, your child should have an extra set of clothes to leave at school in a small shopping bag to hang on his or her hook. It’s a good idea in the event of rain or puddles or muddy spills to have clothes here. Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Zambon’s class can use their bathrooms to change, and Mrs. Daudlin’s children may use a staff washroom so they have space and privacy.
When Should I Keep My Sick Child at Home from School? We have found over the years, that even though a child is not feeling well, he or she still wants to come to school. However, your sick child does not have the patience or energy to deal with the demands of the school day, friendship issues or school work expectations. For the mutual benefit of the children, the children’s families and our teaching staff, a sick child needs to stay at home.
We spoke with Vancouver Coastal Health as they developed their new poster “When Should I Keep My Sick Child Home for School?” when we were writing our blog post, Your Kindergarten Child’s Good Health last January. Please keep your children home from school if they have are vomiting, have a fever or diarrhea. This includes known communicable diseases such as pink eye, chicken pox, strep throat, measles or an undiagnosed rash.
If your children have a very runny nose they cannot manage independently, or a bad chesty cough, those might also be reasons for them to stay at home. We understand fully as working parents ourselves that it is not always convenient to take a day off from work to stay home with your sick child; however, we are unable to look after a sick child at school, nor are we able keep sick children inside during the playtime breaks. A child who has taken a day or two to rest and get well at home is going to be back to health faster and more able to fight a future illness.
If your child is sick, we ask you to call the school call back line each day your child is away.
Communication through Remind. This year we will be using “Remind,” a communication system to keep you informed through text messages or email. Please subscribe if you have not yet already done so, and remember that this code is for parents and caregivers only. Please feel free to come and see us about your child at any time during the year. We are usually available for a quick chat after school; in the morning at drop-off time is difficult for us to talk as we are trying to welcome and settle the children in the classroom. If you would like to speak with us and need a longer time, please arrange a meeting time with us. We will often call parents in at 2:55 pm if we need to share something with your briefly or talk about your child’s day
Communication through theselfregulatedteacher.com. We also author theselfregulatedteacher.com, our Kindergarten website for keeping our class parents informed. We post once or twice a week; we will send you a link through “Remind” so you can see what we’re learning and thinking about in Kindergarten.
Communication through Email. You can also email should you wish to contact us. If your child is in Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Zambon’s class, please copy your emails to both teachers.
On Thursdays our school issues the weekly ebulletin. Please speak to our Administrative Assistant if you are not receiving these newsletters. They contain important reminders and updates for our school, and community news as well.
We’re looking forward to great year of fun and learning with your children! Our Kindergarten Curriculum Overview will be sent home as a hard copy later this week.