Pre-K and Kindergarten Questions and Answers

The transition to a new routine (and/or a new school) can be a bit overwhelming for both parents and students, and it is a marked change from daycare, private preschools and other care arrangements that you previously had. Remember that Pre-K and Kindergarten classes are bigger and our teachers are focused on helping to transition your child into their new environment.  If you previously were enrolled in daycare or private preschool, you may not have the same level of communication from your teachers as you previously had – but rest assured that your children are in great hands!  Also, please remember that we need and encourage a high level of parent involvement so be sure to be proactive by reaching out to your teacher and building a relationship with him or her.  This will help you understand how you can best support your student.

With all of this in mind, we welcome all questions and concerns you may have, and hope that these FAQs can answer some of your initial questions, as well as help put your mind at ease during this transitional period.  We are here to help you in any way we can – we have all been there! 

Welcome to you all.  We are thrilled that you are part of the Bolton family!

Q: What do I need to prepare for my first day of school?

  • Get connected!  Sign up for the Weekly Hoot (our main channel for school communications) and keep an eye out for updates and reminders from room parents, teachers, school administrators and the PTA.  Please also remember to check backpacks for flyers, bookmark our website and visit Facebook and Twitter (@BoltonPTA)!
  • Check out our calendar.  You can add the Bolton Academy school calendar to your Google calendar by visiting www.boltonacademy.org to see the school calendar and clicking the "+ Google Calendar" button, or be sure to bookmark http://www.boltonacademy.org/monthly-calendar.
  • Make sure your child is registered.
  • Pre-K asks for parent contributions of school supplies and Kindergarten has a required supply list.  Check our supply checklists here.
  • Learn how your child will get to school: walk, car or bus? Remember, the school opens at 7:30 am, and school starts promptly at 8:00 am. Check out the APS transportation website for bus routesFor Pre-K only, please read the FAQ below about morning drop-off. 
  • Determine if your child will go home at dismissal or if you plan to utilize after school services.  For more information about our after school programs, click here.
  • Stock up on school uniforms.  Be sure to provide your teacher with a change of clothes for your student.
  • Decide if you are going to pay or pack your student’s lunch and be sure to communicate that choice clearly to your child and his or her teachers.  Breakfast is available prior to school start, and lunch may be free or reduced if you qualify.  You can also pay for your child’s meals online. Breakfast is $0.75 and lunch is $2.25. 
  • Learn who teacher(s) are!  Assignments are generally made in late July.  Be sure to attend the annual Celebration of Learning before school starts to meet your teachers and check out our fantastic school (you’ll find more information about this event in the Weekly Hoot and on our website, Facebook and Twitter).
  • Snacks are important for Pre-K and Kindergarten as their breakfast and lunch are early: Lunch is usually around 10:30 am. This means that by 2:00 pm, we have some hungry kids.  Look for emails from your teachers and/or room parents who will help coordinate snacks for the year, but until then - be sure to pack snacks for your children each day.  Juice and other sugary snacks are discouraged, and please do not send snacks that contain common allergens such as peanuts.  Also, our teachers welcome any extra snacks to keep in the classroom in case snacks are accidentally missed one day.
  • Typical day schedule: A Kindergarten day tends to follow the regular school day schedule; the typical Pre-K day also includes a mid-day nap/quiet time.
  • Please send your child with a backpack for the occasional project, artwork, and notifications from your teachers, room parents and the school.
     

Q: How different is Pre-K and Kindergarten from daycare and preschools?

Your child will have a structured day and will start adjusting to the new routine: breakfast, scheduled activities and centers, set potty breaks, lunch and more. Our students are coming from different levels of education and exposure to this type of environment, so they all have different skill levels. Teachers will provide differentiated instruction so that those that are behind can catch up, and those that excel are encouraged to keep going!

Q: Can I walk my child to their classroom in the morning?  Are there procedures for morning drop-off?

For Pre-K, yes – and if your child does not take the bus, he or she must to be walked into school and taken to their classroom no later than 8:00 am.  For children eating breakfast, they will be taken to the cafeteria to eat.  If you arrive before 8:00 am, your child wants to eat breakfast and our breakfast eaters have already gone to the cafeteria, please take your child directly to the cafeteria.  All children who are not eating breakfast at school will remain in the classroom.  Please note that if you arrive after 8:00 am, your child will not be able to eat breakfast and you will need to stop at the front office first to bring your child to the classroom with a tardy slip. 

For Kindergarten, it is up to you. For those that arrive via bus and carpool, they will be dismissed from either breakfast or the gym as a group. If you are a walker, you can drop them off at their classroom door. Again, this is your choice and your comfort level.

Please also keep in mind that early in the year, your child may be a little upset at morning drop-off.  Our teachers encourage a quick hug and brief goodbye – extended goodbye time is typically not helpful and kids tends to get more upset the longer it goes.  We promise they are happy campers about 30 seconds later! 

Q: Are uniforms required?

We are a public school, and all parents have choices with regard to clothing their child. However, that said, uniforms are a GREAT way to help kids fit in, a GREAT budget-saver, and a great way to speed up your morning routine (only questions: blue or white today?)!  Uniforms are easily available at all budget points and at many online and retail store merchants, and finding navy and white shirts and khakis are quite available. If you want to add to the polos or jumpers for more school spirit, iron-on patches are available for purchase through the Spirit Wear page on our website.

Q: How will I know what type of day my child had?

Each Kindergartener  will have an agenda that you purchase at the start of the year for $10. This will have sight words, a smiley face indicating the type of day they had (Blue = GREAT; Green = a few problems, but generally OK; Yellow = Not so Great day; Red = Behavior/issues that needs to be discussed and corrected), and possibly a description of what happened. You may also see homework as early as the first day for Kindergarten to reinforce handwriting, math skills, matching and much more.

For Pre-K, your teacher will let you know at the start of the year how they will communicate good and bad days, areas of excellence and areas of improvement.

Q: How can I get involved in my child’s classroom and in the school?

Work with your teacher, room parent and PTA committees/contacts for classroom and event opportunities. This can include being a “mystery reader” to come in and read stories, helping with “centers” such as math, reading and spelling, planning and participating in special events such as holidays, parties, field day, and volunteering to be the room parent! We know that many parents have limited time, so please coordinate with your teacher, room parent and any PTA committees that best fit you, your availability and skills.