Pre-K and Kindergarten Questions and Answers
The transition to a new routine and a new school can bring about quite a few changes – we all understand as we’ve been there! We welcome all questions and hope this quick FAQ can answer some of yours, as well as help put you at ease. We all agree that Bolton is a great place to learn, but it is a change from daycares, private preschools and other care arrangements (if any!) that you had before. So, a few questions will be asked answered here in the Hoot, on the new Bolton website, and via Facebook and Twitter postings. To get you started, here are a few:
Q: What do I need to prepare for my first day of school?
- Join us for scheduled Play dates to get to know the grounds, your way to the school, meet some new classmates and new parents. These will be shared on this site (news updates) and the Bolton Academy Facebook page.
- Watch for updates on this website, the Bolton Academy Facebook page, and sign up for the Weekly Hoot newsletter!
- Make sure your child is registered.
- School supplies are NOT needed for Pre-K, but Kindergarten parents have a supply list.
- Learn how your child will get to school: walk, car or bus. Remember, school opens at 7:30 am, school starts at 8:00 am.
- Determine if your child will go home at dismissal or if you plan to utilize after school services.
- Stock up on school uniforms (hint: there are some great sales on now!)
- Decide if you are going to pay or pack your student’s lunch. For pre-K, breakfast and lunch is included in the program (free!). For Kindergarten, breakfast is available prior to school start, and lunch may be handled via free lunch (if you may qualify), pay (online account), or pack a lunch. Breakfast is $0.50 and lunch is $2.00 per meal.
- Find out your teacher(s) and Para professionals and what classroom (assignments available as of late July).
- Snacks are important for Pre-K and Kindergarten as their breakfast and lunch are early: Breakfast is at 8:00 am, Lunch for Pre-K/Kindergarten is at 10:30 am. This means that by 2:00 pm, we have some hungry kids – PLEASE coordinate with your child’s room parent and teacher to ensure snacks are available on a daily basis. A letter will be shared with you on the first day for sign up, suggested snacks and more.
- Typical day schedule: A Kindergarten day tends to follow the regular school day schedule; the typical Pre-K day includes breakfast at 8:00 am and a mid-day nap.
- While not necessary yet, you can send your child with a backpack for the occasional project, artwork, and notifications from your teachers, room parents and the school. Your choice!
- Join us for the scheduled Celebration of Learning from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm. This is an open house to answer a number of your questions, get to know the school and have a “dry run” prior to your first day!
- First day of school: Wednesday, August 5, 2015.
Other questions we have heard (or had ourselves when we started):
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 and more. As these students are coming from different levels of education and exposure to this type of environment, there are different levels of skills. 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?
For Pre-K, yes! We have the kids “sign in” with their names (good practice!) each morning as they walk in. We encourage parents to walk their child to the classroom door.
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.
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 & 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 site.
Q: How are the snacks provided?
This is something that the parents in each classroom will need to coordinate. It is recommended that both water (bottled) and snacks (chips, goldfish, fruit snacks) are organized though your teacher and room parent. You may also pack additional snacks in your child’s bag – just watch for those allergens (peanuts, etc.)! Juice and other sugary snacks are discouraged.
Q: How will I know what type of day my child had?
For Kindergarten, you will have an agenda (purchase at the start of the year for $10). This will have sight words, a smiley face indicating the type of day they had, and possibly a description of what happened (Blue = GREAT; Green = a few problems, but generally OK; Yellow = Not so Great day; Red = Behavior/issues that needs to be discussed and corrected). 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 do I know what my child is learning?
Curriculum chats are provided to help understand the lessons, topics and order that classes will cover subjects. These are scheduled in September and parents are HIGHLY encouraged to attend so you know what your child will learn, approximately when, and how you can support those lessons from school at home. These are scheduled for early September and are already on the school calendar. Ask your teacher and your room parent for more information.
Q: How can I get involved in my child’s classroom?
Work with your teacher, room parent and PTA committees/contacts for classroom and event opportunities. This can include a “mystery reader” to come in and read stories, help with “centers” such as math, reading and spelling, special events such as holidays, parties, field day, or even 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.
The key is that you will not have quite the proactive communications from your teachers and your child’s daily progress and activities as you have become accustomed in private daycare or preschool. However, it is up to you as a parent to reach out to your teacher on a proactive basis to build a relationship and understand how you can best support your student.
We look forward to having you join our Bolton family and have a parent checklist available on this site to help you plan and prepare. Stay tuned for more updates, reminders and look for answers via the web, Facebook, Twitter and future Weekly Hoots!