ABC's of 1st Grade

- Please let the office know if your child will be late or absent. Each time your child is absent send a parental or doctor’s excuse.  Please limit doctor or dentist appointments to after school hours when possible. Remember, learning cannot take place if your child is not at school.

Arrival – Supervising teachers and/or assistants will be on duty from 7:30 a.m. until school begins. Students may begin arriving at school at 7:30 a.m. but no earlier. Teachers and/or assistants will supervise the unloading of students from buses and cars. Buses will unload in front of the building.  At 7:55 the classroom teacher will gather their class and bring up to the classroom.

Art – Your child will have art with me as I integrate it into all subjects.


Birthdays – This is a special occasion and if you’d like, you may send a special snack in celebration of your child’s birthday. Also, if your child is having a birthday party and wants to pass out invitations, please have your child give the invitations to me so I can give them to the students in a discrete manner as to not hurt anyone’s feelings.

Books - As the students quickly learn, I am very passionate about books!  I just love them!  With the love of books, I also have a great love of reading, which I hope to instill in my first graders.  One of the easiest ways is to expose them to a variety of books and to put them in their hands.  The students are allowed to check out books from our classroom, but I am asking that they be returned the next day in the same condition as it left.  We make a lot of classroom books and I would love for my first graders to share these with you as these are wonderful treasures!

Book Orders - I will send home Scholastic book order forms for you and your child to look over every month. Book clubs offer books at reduced prices. It's a great way to build your child's home library and it earns books for our classroom at school as well! You can either order online using our classroom access code:  L7726 or you can send in your order with a check made out to Scholastic Reading Club.


Communication - Communication between the teacher and parents is so important. If you have any questions or concerns please call me before or after school, send a note or email me.  The best way to stay informed of school events is to check the school website.  The school sends out the Knightwriter monthly to keep you up-to-date of the schools happenings.  Also, please check our classroom website for 1st grade specific events and happenings.

Checking Out - If your child needs to be checked out of school early for any reason, please send a note or please report to the administrative office. Mrs. Matzek will assist you in securing the proper release of your child.

Computer Lab – Your child will have computer lab with the classroom teacher.

Conferences – Parent-Teacher conferences will be held twice a year. If you need to meet with me at any other time during the year, send a note, call me, or email me and we’ll set up a time for you to come in and discuss any concerns you may have.


Discipline – We use Love and Logic school wide.  As a class we spend a lot of time talking about choices, both good and bad.  We discuss how certain behaviors might have consequences, and in the end we are responsible for our actions.

Dismissal – The dismissal times are as follows:
3:10 - Dismissal Announcement is made for students to get on the bus or walk to the gym for pick up.

3:15 - Students in the gym will be dismissed as soon as the buses have departed.

Donations – At the end of the year, students are welcome to donate their gently or unused school supplies to our classroom.


Early Dismissal - Early Dismissal Days are scheduled for Dec. 23, Feb. 12, March 13, May 1, June 9. Students will be released around 12:15 these days.

Email – My email address is: I will return your email as soon as possible! I check email multiple times daily. If you have an email address that you’d like me to be aware of, please let me know.

Emergency Card - Please complete and return the emergency cards promptly. If your home or work phone number change, please inform the office and me.


Fall Festival – A $5 family donation will go to creating a classroom theme basket.  Also, children are encouraged to bring in a treasure jar.

Field Trips - Information about field trips will come home in your child's daily folder and will be detailed in the field trip permission slip and weekly newsletter.  You can also look at the field trip link on this page.


Guided Reading - To help your child grow as a reader, he/she will work in small reading groups where individualized instruction will be given.  During this time, your child will read books at his/her reading level and will work on reading skills.  While I'm working with a small group, the rest of the class will be working independently at literacy centers where they will have the opportunity to practice literacy skills.

Gym - Your child will have Gym with Mrs. Laust. Make sure your child dresses appropriately on gym days with sneakers/tennis shoes.


Homework - Students will have some homework in first grade. Homework assignments will vary and will be sent home in your child's daily work folder in the pocket labeled "Return to School". Unless otherwise noted, please return the homework the following day. Students should read at home daily and fill in their monthly reading calendar.


Independence - Independence is a goal for students because it builds self-esteem and self-confidence. First graders are very capable of doing many things on their own, and I encourage them to do as much as they can for themselves in the classroom.


Jobs - Each child will have a part in keeping our classroom community running smoothly each day. There are enough jobs for each student to be responsible for one daily role. Each morning, the jobs are chosen so each student will have the opportunity to try everything.


Kindness - My goal for our class is to create a community of learners where students show kindness and respect.  We will work each day to keep our room a safe place where all students feel comfortable!

Keep Updated - Keep updated by reading the classroom newsletter every week and checking our classroom website every day for other notes and information.  Also, please check your child's folder for daily updates and information.


Library – Your child will have Library with Mrs. Meshak. Make sure your child keeps library books in a special place at home so that finding them when it is time to return them is not difficult.

Lunch - If your child brings his/her lunch, please encourage no fast food or soft drinks. Milk may be purchased in the lunch room.  Our class eats lunch from 11:20-11:50 if you or a special guest would like to join us.

Prices:        Student $2.60
                    Adult $3.50


Math - We use the SAXON Math series.  This program introduces concepts in a way that allows students to explore concepts in a hands-on way, while challenging them to be problem solvers.  This program helps reinforce mathematical concepts through continued practice throughout the school year.

Medication - Prescription medication must be given through the office and not brought into the classroom. Check with the school secretary for a medication form. If your child has a medical problem of any type please let me know.

Medical Concerns - Please let me know of any medical concerns your child may have so appropriate accommodations can be made. These can include medications needed or a change in your daily routine that may affect your child. Please also let me know of any food allergies.

Money - Money sent for any reason such as field trips, lunch money, or book orders should be sent in a sealed envelope with the child’s name, teacher’s name, and purpose.

Music – Your child will have Music with Mrs. Laust.


Newsletter – A classroom newsletter will be available every Friday and it can always be found on our class website:

No School - St. Joseph Parish School will follow the same weather related closings as the Prescott Public School. Please listen to: WCCO, KSTP, FOX, KARE 11 news stations or WCCO-830AM, KDWA-1410AM radio stations for weather announcements. Please do not call the school office. You should also receive a phone call through Prescott Public School Alert Now System.


Open-Mindedness - First grade is a whole new world! Your little one is really growing up now! There is a lot more work involved in first grade which may seem a bit overwhelming in the beginning. We will be diving into reading, mathematics, science, social studies, and writing! So, please have an open mind and always come to me right away with any concerns.


Parties - We will celebrate the main holidays with a small celebration during our snack time as well as any religious events.  We will also be celebrating our 100th day of school with an ice cream party of the classes choosing!

Phone Calls - The office will not interrupt teachers’ instructional time during the day for phone calls, but please leave me a voice mail message and I will respond to you at the earliest conveince.


Questions– Have a question? Remember the best way to contact me is by email: or send a note or call me at before/after school at (715)262-5912.


Responsiblity - This is a big goal for my class and we work on it all year!  At the beginning of each day, they are responsible for turning in their folder, handing me any notes, taking care of their milk choice and completing their D.W.L.  Each night, I remind the students of their responsibility to share with you their folder.

Reading Calendar - A monthly reading calendar will come for your child to color showing their daily reading.  I am encouraging 20 minutes of reading nightly.

Recess – Your child will have recess daily from 10:50 – 11:15 and 1:30-1:45.

Report Cards – Report cards will be sent home at the end of each quarter.


Snack - A snack calendar will be sent home at the beginning of each month to let you know what day your child will be providing a healthy snack for the whole class.  If your child has any food allergies please let me know!  I will also put the monthly snack calendar on our classroom website.

Spelling - We are using the Rebecca Sitton Spelling program.  The goal of this program is to ensure that students learn to spell for writing - to spell words "forever,"  not just for a test.

Severe Weather - In the event of weather so severe that there is a possibility schools may be closed, parents are asked to stay tuned to their radio or television station for information. In order to maintain open communication lines, you are asked not to call the school.


Tardy Bell – The tardy bell rings at 8:10 which is when school begins.

Transportation - If your child has any changes in their transportation please let me know in writing, by email, or by voice mail. This includes riding the bus home with a friend, having a relative pick your child up, or riding the bus if your child is normally a car rider.


Us - Together we can be a powerful team in your child's education.  I am looking forward to working with you this year!

Understanding - Parents of first graders need to be understanding. Your child will be facing many new experiences, both academic and social. Letting your child know that you understand their feelings (we’ve all been there!) will help them to open-up and discuss their concerns and fear, as well as their joys!


Voice Levels - Students and staff at St. Joes will use the following voice check to identify the appropriate volume level in common areas and classrooms.
0 - Voices Off
1 - Whisper
2 - Speaking Voice
3 - Outside Voice

Volunteers and Visitors - Volunteers and visitors must register in the office and pick up a badge. You must, however, be cleared for background check prior to volunteering in the classroom (this includes classroom parties and field trips). If you haven’t filled out the background check form, please contact the school immediately (715)262-5912. It takes approximate 2 to 3 weeks to receive clearance. This is for the safety of all children at school.


Website – Make sure to visit our class website to find out what we’re learning at school! 

Weather - We will go outside for recess unless it is raining, or the temperature is below 0.  So please help your child dress accordingly.

Wish List – I will keep a Wish List posted on our class website that includes items we could really use in the classroom. I may also include items on weekly newsletters that we are in need of. You are under no pressure to purchase any wish list items, but should you want to, I will greatly appreciate it!


eXit - Parents and family members may eXit and enter via the main school entry and checking in with the office.


You! - You are the caregivers, the nurturers, the true teachers. You make this, and every year so special to your child. I look forward to meeting you and helping your child grow to be the very best first grader they can be!

Year - I am looking forward to seeing each student develop as a reader, writer and mathematician during this year in first grade!


Zzzzzzz - Make sure that your child gets plenty of rest. Setting and keeping a bedtime is a wonderful gift you can give your child.