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ABC's of Kindergarten 2013-2014

December 05, 2013


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ABC’s of Kindergarten


Absence-If your child is ill or has to miss school, please call the office (402-223-1580) in advance and inform us of your child’s absence and the reason for it. This is for your child’s safety.  If a student must leave early for a doctor’s appointment, go to the office to sign them out and the secretary will call your child to the office. Please do not send another person to pick up your child without informing me or the secretary.


Attendance-A successful school experience is the responsibility of the child, the parent and the school.  Your child's progress, both academically and socially, is influenced to a great extent by daily participation.  Regular attendance without tardiness is a key.


Arrival and Dismissal- Pupils should arrive between 8:15 and 8:25 AM. Students should not arrive prior to 8:15 AM (unless they are eating breakfast at school or ride the bus to school) since supervision by the school staff is not available.  School begins promptly at 8:30 AM.  Afternoon dismissal is at 3:26 PM (we let the kindergarten kids out at 3:21 to beat the rush of big kids) from the patio door unless they are riding the bus or a daycare van. Please pick up your child promptly.  If you are late, look for your child in the office.


Backpacks-To help your child carry projects, messages and information to and from school, you are asked to provide a backpack that is large enough for a large library book!

Beatrice Public Schools Website- www.beatricepublicschools.org

Birthdays- Birthdays are special occasions for young children.  We will celebrate your child’s birthday at school with a crown, song, and a cake in a cup!  Students are no longer able to bring class treats for their birthday.  We will celebrate summer birthdays during the last few weeks of school.

Blog-I am going to attempt to have a classroom blog this year.  My blog address will be:  http://jfrerichs.blogspot.com/  Please promptly return the website permission form so that I can put photos of classroom activities on the blog for you to enjoy.  I will not put student names with their photos.

Book Orders- Periodically I will send home a Scholastic Book Club Catalog for you and your child to look over. These clubs offer wonderful books at reduced prices---what a great way to build your home library!  If you choose to order, please make the check payable to Scholastic.

Breakfast- A school breakfast is served every morning from 8:00-8:15 AM. Students who want to eat breakfast should enter through the front doors and go to the gym promptly at 8:00.  Breakfast is $1.70.


Calendar- A school calendar and the monthly school breakfast/lunch menus are available on our district website, www.beatricepublicschools.org

Computer- We are fortunate enough to have two student computers in our classroom. We use a variety of age-appropriate programs that reinforce math, readiness and reading skills.  Children will work on the computers during center time and reading work stations.

Conferences- Parent/Teacher conferences are held twice a year (from 4:30-8:30 PM).  We will discuss your child's accomplishments, strengths, and overall progress.  Please feel free to schedule additional conferences at any time throughout the year if the need arises.  Conference dates are listed on the school calendar.


Discipline-Along with using the Well Managed Schools program by Boystown (see below) I’m going to have a behavior chart in the classroom.  Each child will have a clothspin on the class behavior chart that shows how their day is going.  There are three sections on the chart: 1-at the top-Way to go!, 2-in the middle-Ready to Learn, and 3-at the bottom-Oopsie!  The children will start off the day at 2-Ready to Learn and if they are helpful or make great choices I can move their marker up to 1-Way to Go!   If they end up on 2-Ready to learn that means they had a good day with no problems.  If they make poor choices or can’t be redirected they can move down to 3-Oopsie.  I am going to have the kids mark where they end up at the end of the day (1,2 or 3) on a behavior calendar in their STAR folder.  Please check their behavior calendar daily.   After they earn 10 days of 1’s or 2’s I have some fun rewards for them.  (examples are: walk around the classroom in your socks, trade desks with a friend for a day, sit at the teacher’s desk, extra computer time,  be a morning classroom greeter, etc.) 


Email-You can contact me via my email address: jfrerichs@bpsnebr.org   I will check my email on a daily basis.  If you need to discuss something urgently, please call me at school instead.

Emergency Closings-If school is closed for a snow day or any emergency, you will get an automated phone call. It will also be announced on radio station KWBE AM 1450.


Field Trips-We plan several field trips that are both fun and educational for the children.  We often need parent volunteers on the trips and chaperones will be chosen on a first come, first served basis.  Please return permission slips as soon as possible after they are sent home.

Fire Drills-Fire drills are held on a monthly basis throughout the year.  All students will participate and are expected to walk quickly and quietly to their designated exit.  We will practice and become familiar with procedures before our first scheduled drill.


Gym-Our class will have a 30 minute gym class (P.E.) with Mr. Luke 2 times each week.  The children are asked to wear tennis shoes for gym class which will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Guidance-We will have a guidance class with Miss Hill our school guidance counselor for 30 minutes on Thursdays.  She will focus on topics such as getting along with others and expressing your feelings appropriately through a program called Character Counts.


Hands-on Learning-I feel that the best way to help children learn is to make learning fun. Important concepts can be learned by doing meaningful hands-on activities. There are times when seatwork is required and necessary, but for the most part, our classroom will be an active learning environment.

Health-Please let me know of special circumstances which may affect your child. These could include medication that may make him sleepy, a death in the family, etc. Also, please let me know of any allergies your child may have, especially food allergies. We sometimes cook or do food activities to complement lessons in kindergarten and it would be helpful to know when I plan our recipes.

Help at Home-It is helpful if your child knows these readiness skills:
�Full name      �Address             �Telephone number        �Parent’s names     �Basic colors        �Counting to 10
�Printing first name beginning with a capital letter and the rest in lower case
When time permits, work on these skills too:    �Identifying letter names           �Tying shoes
�Reciting the alphabet        �Shape names          �Birthday (month & date)            �Identifying numbers to 10


Illness-Sometimes it is difficult to know when to keep your child home due to illness.  See the school directory for specific information on illness.  It is important, however, to keep your child home if he/she is ill.   This helps to make them more comfortable and prevents others from becoming ill.  Children function more effectively in the classroom when they are healthy.  Please remember that your child may not come to school with a fever or until they have been fever free, without medications for 24 hours. 

Independent Reading-Because children learn to read by reading, they need plenty of opportunities to read independently.  Sufficient time and appropriate materials are necessary to develop and strengthen reading abilities.  By giving the children time to read both at school and at home, we can work together to provide a literature-rich environment and a life-long love of reading.

Infinite Campus-Our district uses Infinite Campus which is a helpful website that includes your child’s report cards, attendance, personal information and lunch balance.  You will be given more information on how to login and use this website.  You can access it from the district’s website or https://campus.bpsne.org/campus/portal/beatrice.jsp

Ipad-Our classroom has twp Ipads that all students will have opportunities to use on a regular basis.


Journals-One strategy that will be used to help convey the vital concept that print conveys meaning is the frequent use of journal writing.  In these journals the kindergartners combine their emerging writing skills with their drawing skills.  As the children are exposed to a variety of phonics and reading experiences, journal entries will move from drawings and inventive spellings towards more conventional writing.


Kindness-Students in our classroom are encouraged and expected to treat all members of our class as well as others with kindness and respect. Bothering others, bullying and interrupting learning will not be permitted.


Library-The children will have library with Mrs. Burgess for 30 minutes on Tuesdays.   After a few weeks the children will have a chance to select a book to check out.

Literacy Centers-During literacy centers, children practice reading and writing skills while the teacher works with individual children or small guided reading groups.  The center activities are designed to strengthen letter/sound knowledge, listening skills, oral language expression, rhyme, letter formation and cooperation.

Lunch-Children may bring a packed lunch from home or eat a school lunch.  The lunch menu is in the Friday Flash each week or on the district website.  The students are required to learn/know their lunch number.  We will work VERY hard on these during the first week of school.  Please practice this number at home too!  Lunch is $2.50.

Lunch Money-Your child needs to have a positive lunch account.  If you need to send money to school, please send it in an envelope with your child’s name written clearly on the front and put it in their STAR folder bucks pouch.  Have your child give their money to me when they get to school.  You can also drop the money by the office or pay online.  A lunch notice will be sent home when your child’s account is getting low on funds. You can check their lunch balance on Infinite Campus.


Math-The kindergarten math curriculum provides students with experiences that help them develop number sense and a positive attitude towards math.  We employ a hands-on, problem solving approach.

 Music-Our music teacher, Mrs. Shelton, will be teaching the children the basics of music education!  We are scheduled to have music for 30 minutes on Mondays and Fridays.  We will also be singing and enjoying music daily in the classroom. 


Newsletter-Our weekly school newsletter, “The Friday Flash”, is generally sent home on Fridays.  It is written by the Stoddard PTO (Parent Teacher Organization).  It will keep you informed about what is happening at Stoddard---special activities, school wide events, the lunch menu and upcoming events.

Nurse-We are very fortunate to have a wonderful school nurse, Mrs. Kleveland. She will tend to minor scratches and scrapes, as well as sudden illnesses.  She will be at Stoddard one day a week.  For more serious injuries, she will contact you. Please be sure to send the office any changes of contact numbers in case she needs to get in touch with you.  She will be screening your child’s height, weight, vision, hearing, and blood pressure.


Outside-We will be spending time outside daily for fresh air.  It is VERY important that you send your child to school with appropriate clothes for the weather.  Please consider varying temperatures throughout the day!


Parent Involvement-Your support of school activities makes your child feel important and sends the message that you value school!  We are always happy to have your help for special activities in the classroom and at school wide activities.  Requests for help will be published in newsletters from me or in the Friday Flash.

Parent Teacher Organization-Stoddard school is very lucky to have a wonderful PTO.  The PTO has done some outstanding things for our school which include: purchasing: new playground equipment, technology equipment, a die-cut machine, laminator, book binder, new TV’s and DVD/VCR players.  PTO sends out the weekly newsletter, The Friday Flash.  PTO is always looking for volunteers to help with school functions.

Parties & Celebrations-We will have 2 classroom parties throughout the year.  The PTO parents will organize these events and coordinate volunteers and donations.  All parents are welcome to participate in the festivities! 

Phone Number-Stoddard’s phone number is 402-223-1580

Playground Procedures-Please review these playground safety procedures with your child:

  1. Swings: Stay seated while swinging, one person per swing.  Swing going forward and backward, no twisting.
  2. Slides are for going down, not up.
  3. No rough play. Keep your hands and feet to yourself.
  4. Do not leave the playground. 
  5. Rocks/gravel stay on the ground.

Portfolio-Kindergarten is a year of exceptional growth.  Your child’s growth will be documented through the use of a growth portfolio.  A portfolio is an on-going collection of your child’s work.  Portfolios are a valuable tool to assess a child’s growth and needs. 


Questions-You may contact me if you have any questions about school.  402-223-1580  (between 8:00-8:15 a.m. or 3:30-4:00p.m.).  You can also write a note or email me at:    jfrerichs@bpsnebr.org


Reading Buddies-Our class will pair up with a 5th grade class and your child will be assigned a 5th grade buddy.  We will play games, read books and do special projects with our buddies. 

Recess-The children will play outdoors daily (unless it is raining or the wind chill is below 0 degrees).  Please keep this in mind when helping your child to select clothing for the day. If your child is too sick to play outside, he is too sick to come to school. There is no supervision available for children to stay indoors due to colds or illness.

Report Cards-Report cards are issued every nine weeks.  These reports reflect the progress your child has made toward various kindergarten objectives and uses a grading system that reflects the developmental nature of kindergarten learning.  Please remember that as the year progresses so do the expectations. 

Restrooms-We have restrooms in the classroom.  Your child will be permitted to go as needed.  Please talk to your child about basic bathroom rules and help them learn to take care of all of their bathroom needs themselves. 

Room Parent-The room parents help coordinate parties and activities, seek volunteers for events, and help with fundraisers.  Being a room parent is a great way to be involved in your child’s school life. 

Rules- My general rules are:  Be safe, Be respectful, and Be responsible.  All guidelines for students fall under these three categories.  To create this environment, I instruct students on what the rules mean, coach them on behaviors to use throughout the school, and reinforce appropriate behavior to help students follow rules daily.


Science-The focus of the kindergarten science curriculum is on developing an awareness of the world in which we live. Through scientific inquiry, concepts will be presented in the life and earth sciences, including the study of animals and plants, the five senses and general health, and the four seasons. These areas will be explored utilizing a literacy based, hands-on approach.

Shared Reading-Shared reading is an interactive process used with the whole class. As the teacher reads a story, children join in on phrases or words that they know. During subsequent re-readings, children read more and more of the text, until they are able to read the story independently. Shared reading is an opportunity for the teacher to model conventions of print and the use of reading strategies.

Show and Tell-We will have show and tell occasionally throughout the year.  It will be announced in my newsletters.  Please let me know if you have a special pet, or something unique you would like your child to share with the class even if we don’t have a time scheduled.

Snack-The children generally get hungry by mid-morning.  We are providing you a Ziplock bag to fill with healthy snacks that will last your child for a few weeks.  Please choose snacks that are non-refrigerated and can be eaten quickly eaten, such as crackers, roll-ups, raisins, etc. We will get a drink of water after our snack, so no drinks are necessary.

Social Studies-The kindergarten social studies curriculum focuses on the students and how they relate to others in their families, classroom, school, and community.  Activities will help the children focus their natural curiosity for the world around them.

STAR Folder- Students will be given a STAR Folder filled with valuable information.  Please read through the information.  We will use it to send notes and information to you and for you to send notes to school. Please have your child remove the notes and papers each day from their “Empty Daily” folder and share them with you.

Supplies-1 backpack brought daily (large enough for large library books), 1 large box of Tissues, 12 small glue sticks, 4 boxes of Crayola crayons (16 Count)(24 count, no Roseart brand), 1 plain pencil bag (Approx. 10” x 6”) , 1 box gallons size baggies-boys only, 1 box snack size baggies-girls only, 1 1 inch white 3 ring binder with clear front/back plastic pockets and 1 bottle of Elmer’s glue.


Toys-Please have your child keep all toys at home because they can distract from learning. If a toy is accidentally lost or broken, feelings are often hurt.

Tardies-Your child is expected to be at school by 8:25 and the tardy bell rings at 8:30.  We do keep track of your child’s tardies, it is VERY important that your child is at school on time! 


Unique-Kindergartners learn that they are special and unique.  Kindergartners have opportunities to describe how they are alike as well as different from others.


Visitors-Stoddard School has a policy that ALL GUESTS (including familiar faces) are required to check in at the school office.  Stoddard welcomes and encourages family involvement. It is important to remember that while this may seem inconvenient to frequent visitors, it is the goal and responsibility of the school to create a safe learning environment.  Please also take into account that visits should be kept short, so the learning atmosphere is not interrupted. 


Website-Our district has a website which can be accessed at www.beatricepublicschools.org.  I do have a webpage under the Stoddard-Teacher section but do plan to use my blog more often this year.

Well Managed Schools-This is the behavior program Beatrice Public Schools uses.  It is designed to create a productive and cooperative school climate.  It is designed by Boystown.  The skills taught are in your child’s STAR folder. 

Wish List-Throughout the year we sometimes need supplies above and beyond our classroom materials (such as an item from the grocery store.)  These needs will be posted in the class newsletter.  Extra items that you think we might be able to use are always welcome!

Writing-Our writing program builds on what each child already knows. Writing begins with scribbles and proceeds to lines and circles, random strings of letters, words and spaces and eventually sentences. Your children will be encouraged and praised for all attempts and accomplishments in writing. Providing a risk-free environment is paramount to your child's progress in writing.  If possible, please provide your child with writing tools, such as pencils, crayons, markers and paper at home.


Younger Siblings-It is in your child’s and the program’s best interest to have our parent volunteers available without younger children. This not only allows your full attention to be focused on the class, but also allows for some special time between you and your kindergartner.  Thank you for making childcare arrangements for younger siblings.


Zero the Hero-Zero the Hero will come and visit us every 10th day of school. 

Zzzzs-Please make sure that your child gets plenty of sleep each night. Setting and keeping a bedtime is a wonderful gift you can give to your child.   It will help them to be alert and ready to learn each day!  It is normal for them to be especially tired the first 4-6 weeks of school.