General Class Information

                    WELCOME TO  KINDERGARTEN!!                       

                                                  2016- 2017

 September 1, 2016

 Dear Parents, 

My name is Matilda “Tillie” Grubbs Kaufmann, and I will be your child’s kindergarten teacher this year.  I have taught kindergarten for twenty-six years in Shenandoah County and five years in Miami, Florida.   My part-time assistant’s name is Sheila Trelawny (part of each day she works with first and second grade teachers, and also in other areas of the school when and where needed).

Kindergarten is an excellent opportunity for a child to develop emotionally and socially, as well as academically, as he/she makes the transition from home to school.   It is a time when he/she learns to work in a large group with each person in the group having special needs, just as he/she does.   Many times his/her needs must wait.   It is a time when he/she begins to learn to handle feelings and turn them into acceptable behavior.   It is a time when he/she can learn to meet new experiences, be comfortable and confident, and develop independence.

The following information may answer some of the questions that you have about kindergarten.

Clothing--Please have your child wear comfortable clothing and shoes to school.   Flip-flops, sandals, or hard-soled shoes can be dangerous in the classroom, gym, and on the playground.   Tennis shoes or shoes with soft soles are the safest type of school shoes.   Tank tops may not be warm enough in the early fall and late spring when the air-conditioner is on inside the building.   A labeled jacket or sweater may be needed during this time as we may go outside in the morning.   Everything that comes to school that belongs to your child, and you would like to come back home, should be labeled with your child’s name!!   Please help your child learn to tie or buckle his/her shoes and zip or button clothes ---especially his/her jacket and coat as seasons change.   It will make him/her feel more grown-up, and we will not have to spend valuable time zipping 18 jackets before we go outside.

Birthdays--If you would like to help us celebrate your child’s birthday, I will be sending home a letter with more information close to your child’s birthday.   If your child’s birthday is not on a school day or is during the summer, another day will be selected to celebrate it.   We are not permitted to distribute party invitations (unless each child is invited), or to give out children’s addresses or telephone numbers.   (This is a safety precaution.)

Bus Changes--I must have written permission to send your child on a bus other than the one he/she normally rides.   If your child is going to be picked up by you or someone else, I also need a note (or a telephone call in an emergency situation).

Medication--If you need to send medication to school for your child, please send it with a note including your child’s name, the date, the amount to be given, when it is to be given and your signature.   We cannot give any medication (even cough drops) to your child without this note.   Please send only the dosage to be given at school in a small plastic bottle instead of sending the whole prescription.

Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, and Ice Cream--The cost of child’s breakfast is $1.25 (weekly $6.25), and the cost of child’s lunch is $2.25 (weekly $11.25);  reduced and free lunches are available for those students who qualify. Milk (35¢) is available for those students who pack their lunches.  (SEE Money section on the next page for information on how monies should be handled.)  The class will have a snack-time in the afternoon (2:00-2:10).  Each child may bring his/her own afternoon snack.   I am asking that you keep this snack small, simple, nutritious, and pre-packaged to the size your child needs, as he/she will be eating the individual snack while listening to a story and/or completing a learning activity during Math time ... no drinks, please…there is plenty of water (fountain) in the class!!   Some suggestions include crackers (plain cheese, peanuts, goldfish), raisins, dried or other fruit (already packaged and prepared to eat), pretzels, Teddy Grahams, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, animal cookies, dry cereal, granola or other bars, Goyurt/yogurt . . . I’m sure you can think of many more!  Please send items your child can handle on his/her own, as adults will be busy with other groups of students.   You will be need to send a spoon/fork, if needed to eat the snack, as none are available.  

Ice cream will be available on FRIDAY afternoons (when we are in school on Fridays and the whole day, but NOT for the first 2 weeks of school, Friday, 9/23; the cost is 50¢.   Ice cream is optional and, if you prefer, your child may bring a snack from home on that day to eat during ice cream time.  

Money--To make our “money-gathering” process each morning go more smoothly, could you please follow these procedures, (monies are sent directly to the cafeteria or office for handling) :

1--Put all lunch/milk money in an envelope labeled with your child’s name, the amount, your child’s account number, and what the money is for.   All lunch/milk money goes directly to the cafeteria from the classroom to be handled.   If your child will buy his/her lunch all week, we prefer that you pay for the whole week on Monday, if possible.   If you would like, you may put money “on account” for your child in the main office or send it in in a labeled envelope and designate on the envelope (if cash) or on the check (memo or for line) that the money is “on account”.   (SEE STUDENT-PARENT HANDBOOK 2015-2016 for more information)

2--Put weekly or daily breakfast money in a separate labeled envelope.   Your child will give it to cafeteria when getting breakfast or can have money “on account”.   (SEE STUDENT-PARENT HANDBOOK 2016-2017 for more information)

3--Put ice cream money (50¢) in a separate envelope and label the envelope accordingly.   Please send in ice cream money on the day we have ice cream.   Ice cream money is not be put “on account” or included with other monies!!                            

Miscellaneous:

1—Volunteering - I will be asking for your assistance throughout the school year for things including:  helping construct classroom materials (cutting, gluing, coloring, etc.), assisting with special classroom activities and possibly a field trip, etc.   If you have a special talent or interest that you would like to share with the children, please let me know (by signing up orientation night or by the volunteer letter attached).

2--Kindergarten progress reports will be issued four times this year (November, February, April, June).  An Interim Report will be issued the between report cards ( December, March, May).                                   

3--I realize that winter is several months away, but you may want to consider a “bad weather plan” in the event of early dismissal.   For example, if the children are released at 12:30 P.M. and you are at work, you may want your child to ride the bus to a grandparent’s, neighbor’s, or baby-sitter’s home.  You may call the office on an early release day (which is announced on local radio stations and a new computerized phone system that calls the number you designate) and advise the secretary of any bus changes.                                              

4--School day begins - If you are planning to drive your child to school, please have him/her here by 8:00 A.M., as we have a full day and begin our morning activities at that time.   The children need to have money, morning routines, and morning work finished, so that they will not miss any instructional time.   If you need to pick your child up in the afternoon, please plan to pick him/her up no earlier than 2:58 P.M.

5--If you have taken the “Volunteer Aide Training Program” offered by Shenandoah County Schools, please let me know.   Also, if you would like to take this training, please let me know and I will get you additional information.

6--Classroom items needed - If you would like to make a donation to the classroom, the following items are needed and would be greatly appreciated:   Baby wipes for general cleaning, tissues for all those running noses, baggies (snack size) for all kinds of sorting things, and hand sanitizer for cleaning hands!!  Thank you, in advance!!

7--Remember the importance of your child’s blue “Take-Home Folder” that you received and learned about at Kg. Orientation – sending notes, monies, etc. to school and taking learning materials home each day.   On the back of your child’s folder is a “Kindergarten Cheat Sheet” with important information you may often need and a copy of a computer keypad with your child’s name and five digit number given to you for his/her breakfast/lunch number.   It is important for your child to know this number and how to punch it on the keypad when he/she goes through the breakfast of lunch line, so I am providing this copy for practice at home, on the bus, in the car, or wherever.   Please have your child practice finding the numbers, pushing them in the correct order, and pressing enter at the end.   Daily practice will insure that we are able to move through the lunch line in a timely fashion.   This is important “homework” for the first several weeks of school!!

8-“Homework” is everything that comes home that your child has done each day.   Please go over it with him/her, ask questions about what was learned, if a book is done in class (not library books) have him/her read it to you or with your help.   This homework does not have to come back to school, but should be saved for future practice or review.   There will be times that I will send “homework” requests to go along with our learning.

Thank you so much for all your support and cooperation in the above items.  It will make our days at school go much more smoothly!!

Mrs. Trelawny and I will do everything we can to help your child develop emotionally, socially, physically and academically this year.   You can further enhance this development by being interested, asking questions, coming for visits, and letting your child know that you think school and what he/she does at school are very valuable.   We will send a monthly newsletter (to conserve on paper and copying) home to let you know what we are doing. Please read the items in the newsletters and discuss them with your child--you will be surprised to find out how much he/she is learning!!   The newsletter and other information, pictures, poems, birthdays, etc., will be posted on our class web page…so check it out!!!!

YES, the class has a web page that you may want to visit sometime… just go on the W.W. Robinson web site under Faculty/Staff –Kindergarten to find it!!    I am in the process of updating it for the new school year . . . so check it ever so often, as I do try to update it as often as I possibly can!!

If you need to discuss anything with me, do not hesitate to send a note with your child, call the school during the day (459-5155) and leave a message for me to return your call after school, or send me an email at school . . . mgkaufman@shenandoah.k12.va.us, and I will get back with you as soon as possible!!

We are looking forward to a positively GREAT school year for our Kindergartners and their families!!                    

Tillie Kaufmann

Sheila Trelawny