Welcome to the Eleva-Strum Public School’s all day, every day Kindergarten program! Whether this is your first experience with our school’s Kindergarten or you have had children in the program before, please take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the information included in this handbook and keep it for a handy reference during the year to come. This handbook is also available online at the school's web site.
Our goal as teachers is to form a learning team with you, your child, and our entire school staff to provide the most developmentally appropriate education for your child. We can best accomplish this by keeping an open line of communication between home and school. One way we attempt to do this is through our weekly newsletters and monthly calendars. A folder is sent home each day with your child and should be returned the following school day. This serves as a “communicator” from both home and school. Also, please feel free to write a note, phone us, or send us an email anytime you have a question or concern.
We look forward to a new and exciting year with your child in our Kindergarten program.
Our Kindergarten program strives to:
~Provide experiences that will stimulate the child to develop fully at his/her own stage of growth and lay a sound foundation for subsequent development.
~Provide an atmosphere that will stimulate the natural interest which the child has in the world around him/her; encouraging him/her to observe, explore, and experiment.
~Assist the child in his/her social development so that he/she will relate well with his/her peer group and others with whom he/she comes in contact.
~Provide opportunities for the child to develop a healthy self-concept.
~Provide activities that will help develop and coordinate the large and small muscles.
~Provide activities that will help him/her to express ideas confidently, listen actively, follow directions, develop perceptual skills, and acquire self-help skills.
~Encourage the child to plan activities, accept responsibility for his/her acts, share with others, make and obey rules, and care for property.
~Provide opportunities for the child to properly use school materials and to develop dexterity in their use.
~Develop fluency and naturalness in oral expression and form correct speech patterns.
~Acclimate the child to daily school routines and expectations.
Our Language/Literacy Program
The Kindergarten Language Program is built on the educational philosophy that children learn to read by reading and they learn to write by writing. A variety of approaches are used to introduce reading and writing based on this philosophy.
The basis of our Language program includes the following teaching tools:
~Big Books – Predictable, repetitive and enjoyable, the children’s interest is held and sustained until they too are reading!
~Great Books – A shared experience of a literature selection usually theme related with the children’s responses in the form of a class book. During this type of activity, the children become authors and illustrators.
~Journals – Children use illustrations, “kid” spelling, then more traditional spelling as they progress. The journal contains work on the phonics or the sounds associated with letters.
~Assessment Portfolios – Our reporting system to you includes work samples, checklists, and work from your child’s life at school.
Our Kindergarten Language Program is built upon themes, some from a noted publisher, Houghton-Mifflin, and many others from our children’s library at school and in the communities, and our personal collections. We publish a weekly newsletter so you can also keep track of learning events in advance! Our phonetic instruction or learning the sounds/symbols of our language is based on linguistic research. We do not teach the letter/sound relationships in alphabetical order, but instead in an order that research has determined is more developmentally appropriate. We focus on one letter each week and may on occasion ask you to help your child share items whose names represent those letter sounds. “Sight Words” that are often found in our written language are also introduced. Our weekly newsletter will contain the information on the focus letter of the week.
Reading and writing are learned in stages just as walking and talking. Children go through these stages at different rates. We practice a variety of approaches in Kindergarten to meet the needs of children at these varying stages. We are always open to questions…don’t hesitate to contact us!
Our Mathematics Program
The Mathematics Program for Kindergarten is designed to help your child learn a wide range of mathematical concepts as well as insuring knowledge of basic arithmetic skills. The program is known as “Everyday Math” and is based on current research evaluating the most effective way to teach young children mathematics. The method stresses real-life mathematical experiences rather than abstract drill. The children become actively involved with concrete materials such as Unifix cubes, pattern blocks, and our popular “junk” boxes. Over the course of the school year, the children will work with these materials and others to experience and learn about patterning, sorting, classifying, graphing, measuring, problem solving, and numeration.
Our World (Science/Social Awareness)
The study of science is directed toward the areas of physical science, natural science, life science, and environmental science. Activities include many child-centered experiences: field trips, children’s collections and sharing, related discussions, books and videos, experiments, etc.
The social awareness or social studies curriculum is designed to enhance the individual child’s view of himself and his ever-changing world. This is an ongoing, daily process involving appropriate behavioral techniques, anger control, sharing, manners, etc. Family, neighborhood, community, world, and multicultural awareness are also important components that become topics for classroom learning through discussion, role playing, audio-visual materials, guest speakers, and field trips.
You will hear your child speak of other teachers and specialists in his/her life at school. We at Eleva-Strum are fortunate to have the talents of some exceptional specialists. We have an elementary guidance counselor, art and physical education instructors, speech/language clinician, Title I reading teacher, music instructor, library/media specialist, occupational and physical therapists, English language learner instructor and school psychologist. Some of these specialists work with all children, while others are based on special needs. We will be in touch if your child may be in need of special services.
Kindergarten Special Events
Very Important Kid (V.I.K.) Program
It is important for young children to learn that each person is unique, with special abilities, interests, and a personal history all his/her own. Every Kindergartner will have a turn being the V.I.K. or special person of the week. We devote a special bulletin board to the V.I.K. during that child’s special week and he/she has many privileges and responsibilities that week. We will send all the details home to you when it is your child’s turn; listings are also posted in the monthly calendar and weekly newsletter. One of the most special components of the program is that the V.I.K. is invited to ask a special person to be our Guest Reader. The Guest Reader reads a story to the class. We have enjoyed many wonderful stories from grandparents, aunts/uncles, older siblings, as well as parents during this special time. It also provides your child with practice making introductions!
We have traditionally celebrated each child’s birthday in school as they come up during the year…we celebrate summer birthdays (unbirthdays) in May and June by selecting a date closest to the child’s birth date. Please let us know if you have another preference for your child’s birthday celebration.
You may send a birthday treat to school on your child’s special day. Birthdays are celebrated in the afternoon, so the treat needs to be at school by 1:00 P.M. With an increasing number of children experiencing food allergies, edible treats will not be accepted at school for Kindergarten. If you wish to do something special for your child's birthday or V.I.K. week, the following list may be helpful to you. These are some ideas of alternative treats that may be used. As always if you have questions or concerns, contact your child's classroom teacher. Thanks for your cooperation in this matter.
~A book for the classroom library
~A game for the classroom
~School supplies for the classroom
~Art/craft supplies for the classroom: foam shapes, craft sticks, pom pons, buttons, etc.
~Items to be donated to the local food pantry
If your child is having a birthday party in which classmates will be invited, we ask that you do the following:
~Mail invitations if possible, or give them to the classroom teacher to
discreetly deliver. This reduces feelings of being left out and confusion.
~If the children will be picked up after school, please send a note listing the
children who are involved. If the children will be riding a bus, please contact
the bus driver beforehand to be sure there is enough space for the extra riders.
~If your child is attending a birthday party, please send a note indicating who
the child is going with, or which bus he/she needs to ride.
As part of our partnership with you, the parents, we send home a few projects during the year to share together with your child. The intent of these parental involvement activities is to give you a chance to become part of your child’s education at home as well as in school. The Estimation Jar activity asks for small items of one kind for estimating/counting at school. The Young Scientist Kit is one in which you and your child select an experiment from a book (included), gather the ingredients, and perform it for the class. A note of explanation will always be sent home with the activity. We hope these projects will be fun and educational for you and your child.
Our reading program will require parent involvement. You will be expected to read to/with your child for 50 minutes per week. More information and guidelines will be shared with you as we progress through the school year.
Show and Tell
One of the tools we use to enhance language development and social experience is our rotating Show and Tell bucket/bag. The Bucket/bag is sent home with a different child each day and labeled with the theme. We as teachers model the activity first for the children and then they take over! The following are examples of our themes:
~Bring 1 or 2 things that tell about YOU and/or your FAMILY!
~Bring 1 or 2 things you are THANKFUL for (preferably NOT toys).
~Bring a favorite TOY.
~Bring something that tells about WEATHER.
~Bring a MYSTERY
~Bring your favorite STORY.
We currently have a breakfast and hot lunch program at our school. Your child may choose to bring a cold lunch from home, or participate in the hot lunch program at school. Each family has a computerized lunch account. We have two milk breaks per day. Notices are sent home when your account is getting low. You may call Jill Payne (695-2696) at the high school to check on your balance. She can also give you a pin number and explain how you can use the school’s web site to check your lunch account balance. We encourage deposits for your account to be sent directly in care of her at the high school. You may also send them to school with your child, but we ask that you label the envelope with your child’s name, amount enclosed, and that it is to be deposited in your family lunch account. Please do not send cash to school with your Kindergartner. The lunch menu is published on a monthly calendar in the Cardinal News and may be found online at the school's web site. Contact our school administrative offices at 695-2696 or the Eleva-Strum Primary School at 695-2916 if your family qualifies for free or reduced cost meals. The necessary forms will be sent to you.
Kindergarten Supply List
Your child will need the following SUPPLIES forKindergarten:
~A large backpack (NO WHEELS)
~Inside shoes (gym shoes and inside shoes are one in the same)
~A vinyl rest mat
~2 boxes of broad tip markers
~18 small glue sticks
~2 large pink erasers
~2 boxes of crayons (24 in a box)
Your child will be given a special school folder for communication daily to and from school. No other folders are necessary. Please do not send pens or colored pencils to school.
Immunizations and Medications
Proof of immunizations is required of all students by the 30th day of school!
Please be sure our school nurse, Mrs. Kathy Thomas, has this information as soon as possible. If these immunizations requirements have not been met and/or the school nurse has not received this information by the 30th day of school, our school is required to submit your child’s name to the Trempealeau County District Attorney at that time for appropriate intervention.
All medications, including over-the-counter drugs need to have the proper forms completed before any medication can be administered to your child at school. Please contact the school nurse if you have questions.
Often times children need to go to another destination than they usually do after school. This requires a special note or phone call from the parent/guardian. We cannot stress how important this can be to avoid end of the day tears and fears! Please notify the classroom teacher before 2:30 P.M. the day of occurrence.
Special events are often recorded and shared such as the music programs. We must have your permission before taping such events, so kindly complete and return the enclosed form at your convenience. We must have permission from ALL parents to tape the entire class.
We also take a few walking field trips (nature hikes, visits to places in the village such as the Recycling Center). We need to have a Field Trip Permission form on file for this purpose. Most field trips do require bus transportation, however, so those trips’ permission forms will be sent home prior to the trip.
Thanks for your attention to these details…we look forward to working with you and your child this year in Kindergarten!!! If you have questions or concerns, please contact us.