KINDERGARTEN LIFE: WHAT WILL MY CHILD DO ALL DAY?
The school doors open at 8:20 a.m. each morning (first bell), at which time children put lunches, snacks, coats, and other possessions into their lockers, and settle into an informal activity (free-play). Structured classroom activities begin at 8:30 a.m. (second bell) and continue until 12:30 p.m., except on the assigned two long days (i.e. Monday/Wednesday or Thursday/Friday) when children stay until 3:00 p.m. On Tuesdays and six early release Thursdays, dismissal is at 12:20 p.m., ten minutes before older children are dismissed on Tuesdays and early release Thursdays. Kindergartners are usually escorted by a parent or guardian into the classroom, particularly at the beginning of the year and until children become comfortable entering the classroom on their own. Teachers appreciate a speedy good-bye.
The school day is comprised of both structured and unstructured activities. When children gather together for circle time at 8:35 a.m., they make a weather chart, share, recite the pledge of allegiance, and discuss the day’s schedule. Each day the children have language arts and math experiences as well as snack time, free-play (blocks, housekeeping, painting, writing, etc.) and outdoor play, weather permitting. They have lunch at school at 12:30 pm only on their extended days.
Some special classroom activities are: reading big books, hatching chicks, growing narcissus bulbs, writing books, and introducing and celebrating holidays. The children also keep a journal. At the beginning of kindergarten, each child is given a large black journal book. Each week or two, your child makes a journal entry, recording things such as: family activities and portraits; special holiday celebrations; stories about family, school, favorite activities, etc. The journal is passed along to the first grade, keeping a record of growth as your child develops and matures. These books become a source of pride for the children, parents and teachers.
In addition to the above activities, kindergartners are assigned a special reading buddy, with whom they meet once a week. Each kindergarten class is matched with an older class. Reading buddies become special partners and friends of our kindergarten children, and devote their time together to reading, working on special projects, and sharing thoughts and experiences.
Kindergartners go to music, art, and library once a week and to physical education twice a week. These classes are taught by specialists. You will be notified the first week of school of the days these classes are held and of particular things your child should bring or wear for them.
At dismissal, kindergarten children should be met by parents or guardians at the side door near the younger children’s playground. Children are dismissed by their teacher, and are released only to an authorized person. Special arrangements can be made by writing a note to the classroom teacher if someone other than a parent/guardian is to pick up your child. The remaining children who attend the Zervas After School Program (Z.A.S.P.) are picked up at their classroom by a Z.A.S.P. teacher. Many kindergartners attend the special kindergarten Z.A.S.P. program, which runs Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from dismissal until 3:00 p.m., and Tuesdays until 4:00 p.m. Kindergartners can also register for the regular Z.A.S.P., which is available from 3:00 p.m. (12:30 on Tuesdays) until 6:00 p.m. daily. Z.A.S.P. also offers a before-school option. Contact Z.A.S.P. at 965-2655 for information.