The ABC's of Kindergarten

Absences - Students need to be in school as much as possible.  We are building language, working on auditory development, and using hands-on materials to enhance our learning. These activities cannot be duplicated for students who are missing. If your child is sick or must be out of school, please call the front office (516-992-7500) and leave a message.  Upon return to school your child needs to bring in a signed note from home explaining the absence.  I need to keep accurate records for each child.

Arrival - Our school doors open at 8:55 am.  Students who arrive early should join children playing outside or wait by the Kindergarten doors.


- Please send a backpack with your child every day. Put your child's name on it. Please provide a sturdy two pocket folder for correspondence to be kept in the backpack. Check the folder in your child's backpack for papers and remove them daily.

Birthdays - Birthdays are highly anticipated by most kindergartners. I try to make each student's birthday special.  For more specific information please read the section "Birthday Celebrations" on the home page of my website.

Birthday Invitations - Please do not send birthday invitations to school unless you are inviting the entire class.  If all the children are invited, I will gladly allow your child to hand out invitations in class.

Book Check Out - Your child will be checking out books regularly from our school library.  I cannot express to you often enough the importance of reading to and with your child every day ­ begin with 5-10 minutes and build to 20-30 minutes per day.

Book Orders - I will send home a Scholastic book order bi-monthly and you have the option to purchase books or not. Scholastic offers many quality children’s books at reasonable prices so you may expand your home library. Scholastic also gives the teacher a certain amount of bonus points for each order placed. This allows me to get free materials for our classroom such as books, cassette tapes, video tapes, puppets and other educational materials. Please be aware that you do not need to purchase books every month or at all unless you so choose!  If you find books that you would like to order, fill out the order form and return it with the amount due. Checks should be made out to Scholastic Book Club.

Bus ­ For safety, it is best if your child rides to the same after school address every day. If this is not possible, please clarify in writing any changes about the way your child is transported to and from school. This is important information regarding the safety of your child. Make sure your child understands his or her mode of transportation each day. You may choose to safety pin a note to your child or include one in his or her folder when he/she is to ride to an alternate address or wait for you at the school.

-We will have various parties throughout the year.  Our class parent will contact you to volunteer and help with our celebrations. 

Clothing - Please dress your child in comfortable clothing that is appropriate for Kindergarten.  I also recommend that you send in an extra set of clothes in a ziplock bag, labeled with your child's full name.  In case of any spills or bathroom accidents your child will be able to quickly change into a new set of clothes without any fuss or embarrassment.

Communication - Communication between home and school is very important.  If you feel the need to talk to me, the fastest way to reach me is through my email account,  I check my school email several times a day.  You can also send me a note in your child's folder, or in an emergency call the front office.  I will get back with you as soon as I possibly can.

Computers -We have a computer center in our classroom which your child will have access to on a rotating schedule.  We also will visit the John H. West computer lab each week.  Your child will be taught the proper way to use a computer and then have access to a variety of educational children's software to explore.  

Conferences - I will be scheduling several conferences throughout the school year.  If you feel the need to contact me at any time, please send a note, or email me to make arrangements for scheduling a conference. 

­ School ends at 2:50 pm for Kindergarten students. The children are dismissed five minutes before the older grades at the Kindergarten classroom outside door.  This allows families with older children to be able to pick up their Kindergartner first and then proceed to the blacktop area in time to meet their older children.

­ (Early Literacy Profile) This is a school required indicator or test for early literacy skills and reading given to students in the fall, winter, and spring.

Emergency Cards -Your child will have an emergency card on file in the Nurse’s office.  At least two working phone numbers are required in order to contact parents in case of illness or emergency.  There will also be a form indicating other adults that are permitted to pick up your child from school.


Field Trips
-We take several educational field trips during the year.  A permission slip will be required anytime that we will be taking a bus for a field trip.  If we do not receive a permission slip, your child will not be allowed to go with the class. 

Fire Drills -Your child will participate in frequent fire drills throughout the year.  We will practice the procedures before our first fire drill so that your child will be prepared and will know exactly what to do in case of such an emergency.

Fund Raisers -Our school participates in several fund raisers throughout the year to raise money for various things for our school.  We hope that everyone can participate, but it is not required.


Guided Reading

­ We take note of holidays, and always include time for a special celebration.  Many of our learning activities focus on different holidays and often include learning about traditional ways that people celebrate all around the world. 

Homework ­ It is important for children to establish a responsible homework routine at this age. Starting a homework routine in Kindergarten can lead to responsible homework habits in the future. I will usually send a monthly homework calendar and an occasional daily assignments home in your child's folder. Please keep the homework until it has been completed and return on the stated return date. Review or re-do pages that challenge or frustrate your child at a later date.


Invented Spelling/Sounding Out Words

Journal Writing
-We spend time everyday writing in our journals.  Journal writing is a process that begins with scribbles.  You should see a growth in your child’s writing throughout the year.

Junk food - Try to encourage your child to eat healthy snacks in school by avoiding sending in junk food.  Healthy nutritious snacks will keep those brain cells working hard for a longer amount of time!

Kindergarten Children
-Kindergarten is a special time for your child.  I want to make this experience the best it can be!

- Label all personal items that your child brings to school, especially his or her lunch box, snack, backpack and outerwear.

Library -We have a scheduled library time every week.  Kindergarten students may check out books from the library.  Library books are due the following week.  Students may not take out another book until the original book is returned. 

Lunch - Kindergarten children will get to experience lunch in the cafeteria with their schoolmates.  If your child is bringing lunch to school:  Please send it in a lunch box or brown bag labeled LUNCH with his or her name to avoid confusing it with snack. Again, please continue to send in a juice box, or water bottle.  If your child is buying lunch:  Money being brought to school should be in a sealed envelope with your child’s name on the front AND his or her choice of lunch for the day.

Lunch Card - Using a pre-purchased lunch card allows your child to buy lunch without bringing money to school.  Information on purchasing these tickets is available from the school office.

Lock Down Drill

Is difficult for a child to keep track of money.  Please send in any money in a sealed envelope or small change purse labeled with your child's name on it.

- Look for notes from the office and from me coming home in your child’s take-home folder. 

Nurse’s Office -Nurse Smith is our school nurse.  She will take care of your child until you can be reached to pick him/her up from school. 

-Your child will have outside time daily, weather permitting.  Please dress your child appropriately for the weather and remember to label all of your child's belongings.

P.T.A (Parent/Teacher Association) -All parents are encouraged to join the school’s P.T.A.  There is a special section on the John H. West website to tell you more about this important association!

Pledge of Allegiance
-Each morning we will stand to recite the pledge of allegiance to the United States.  During this time we will also hear the morning announcements over the school loudspeaker.

Physical Education -The kindergarten children participate in a 40 minute Physical Education period twice a week.  Please send your child to school wearing his/her sneakers on this day.  To see our daily schedule, look on the home page or click here:  Our Daily Schedule of Events.

Parent Involvement -We love parent involvement!  Please be involved in your child’s Kindergarten year as much as you can.  We always need volunteers for class events!


Questions - During the school year please feel free to write a note or send an e-mail to if there are any questions or concerns that you have. I will contact you as soon as possible. If there are any special needs that your child has, please let me know.

Report Cards -We are on a bi-yearly grading period.  Your child will receive a report card twice a year.  Report cards are sent home in January and in June.  Please keep in mind that each child develops at his or her own rate.  Childhood is a journey not a race.

Restrooms -We have restrooms in our classroom and your child is allowed to go whenever needed. Unfortunately accidents sometimes happen and we will make sure that your child is sent to the nurse’s office for a change of clothes.

Rules - We have five rules in our Kindergarten classroom.  You can find the list of them on my home page under "Classroom Rules."

- Your child’s safety is top priority.  I take every precaution when your child is in my care.  Please send a note with your child or call the school if he/she is to go home a different way. 

School Website - John H West has its own website.  We hope that you visit our school's website often so that you keep yourself up to date of all that happens at West.  We can be found at WEST is the BEST!

Show and Tell ­ When your child is our Star Student, he or she will have an opportunity to bring a special Show and Tell item. If you have something extra-special to share with us (a new baby, or other special event), please talk to me; we can always squeeze in some extra time!

Sight Words or High Frequency Words -There are 50 basic sight words that students in Kindergarten are required to know before moving on to first grade.  You can find them on my home page under "Sight Word Soup."

Snack ­ During our busy learning day, the children will have an opportunity to have a "nutrition break" in addition to lunch.  Each day the children will be given a brief time to have a small nutritious snack and beverage. Send your child’s small snack, napkin and juice box in a plastic Ziploc bag or brown bag labeled SNACK with his or her name. Please send juice boxes only because thermoses, bottles or cans lead to large spills for our little people and learning time is lost each day cleaning up our room.  If you would like to send snacks for the entire class, I encourage you to do so.  Please only send healthy snacks.  Some examples are:  Goldfish, animal crackers, fruit, yogurt, and cheese/crackers.  If your child has any food allergies please inform me immediately.

Star Student ­ Each student will be highlighted once during the school year. During the week, your child can bring pictures, Show and Tell items, and a special activity. Wait until you receive a Star Student information sheet before sending pictures!  For more detailed information, please read the section "Star Student of the Week" on the home page of my website.

Success - There is nothing more important than the success of your child. We’ll work together to help your child do his or her best in Kindergarten. Please contact me regarding any concerns you may have - at any time.  After all, "everything we ever really needed to know we learned in Kindergarten!"

Supply List - You can find our school supply list here: Kindergarten Welcome Letter.


Toys - Please keep all toys at home unless it is your child’s turn for Show and Tell. Also, try to limit jewelry as it often breaks upsetting the child, or they misplace it. These items are better left at home because they quickly become too large a distraction at school. If they do appear, the items will be put away until they can be returned to an adult.

Treats ­ If you would like to send a special treat for the children, please contact me. I encourage you to send a treat when it is your child's birthday.


Under the Weather -


Units and Themes -


Very Best

Visitors - Please make sure that you sign in at the front desk and receive a hall pass before you come to the classroom.  I will be looking for your sticker when you enter the classroom.

Writing Skills - Please see the section called "Beginning Writing Skills" on the home page or Exercises to Improve Handwriting Skills and The Handwriting Without Tears Program under the heading "What is Kindergarten All About?"  You may also click on the links to go directly.

X-tra Special

Yearbook Photos
One of my hobbies is photography. I enjoy taking pictures and making scrapbooks. I love sharing my photos on a website called Shutterfly.  You may choose to make "Kindergarten Memory Book" for your child to have at the end of the year. The site will include pictures from all of our classroom events and even some pictures of our everyday routines. It is always a lot of fun for the children to see and to remember their Kindergarten days!!

You - are your child's first and most important teacher. No one can influence your child's life in the way that you can!


-Your child should get plenty of rest each night.  Kindergarten students require 10-12 hours of sleep a day.  It is so important for your child to be alert and ready to learn each day.  Set a bedtime and be consistent.   

Zoom - Sit back and watch your child's skills take off! You will be amazed and surprised at the changes this year.