ABC's of Kindergarten

- 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.

"Apple of My Eye"- Each child will have chance to be my "Apple Of My Eye" for a week.  When your child's "Apple Of My Eye" turn arrives, I will send home an envelope for you to fill out.  Just fill out the questionnaire and send in 5 or more family photos.  They will be displayed on a bulletin board and will be returned the following week.

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 7:45 I will pick up students in the Gym and bring them to the  Kindergarten classroom.

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


Backpacks:  To help carry messages in and information to and from school, you are asked to provide a backpack for this purpose. Please find a backpack without wheels and also make sure that it is large enough to hold a folder. Please have your child share the contents of the backpack with you daily.

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. I will make your child's birthday a special one. As a class we sing "Happy Birthday". Your child gets to be leader for the day, and he or she gets to sit in the birthday chair. If your child's birthday is in the summer, we will celebrate the birthday as a half birthday (6 months) from actual birthday. To make the birthday extra special, many families have helped by having a birthday child bring a small gift to class (marking pens, note cards, glue sticks, stickers, or small books). You are not obligated to do this but, the concept of a child sharing his or her birthday by being a giver makes a statement.

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:     JCP8N    


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 Kindergarten and 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.   The School Secretary 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.


Differentiation -  Because all children are unique and special, they may be at many different instructional levels. Since it is my responsibility to take each child from where he or she is to a higher level, students may be learning concepts different from his/her peers. With this type of teaching in the classroom, you can be sure that your child's individual needs will be met.

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.

Dress - Please label all coats, jackets, backpacks, and sweaters. Have your child wear tennis shoes appropriate for Physical Education activities on Gym days. 


Early Dismissal - Early Dismissal Days are scheduled and can be found on the school calendar.  Students will be released around 12:15 on these days.

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


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. 

Footwear:  Please have your child wear shoes that are appropriate for running and active movement. Cowboy boots, dress shoes, or flip flops for example, are not good for school activities because they are slippery and inappropriate for the gym and playground. 


Guided Reading/Literacy  - 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 sessions/centers where they will have the opportunity to practice literacy skills.

Gym - We will be going to gym twice a week.  Please make sure your child dresses appropriately on gym days with sneakers/tennis shoes.


Health - Please let me know of special circumstances which may affect your child. These could include medication your child is taking, not getting enough sleep, a death in the family, etc. Also please let me know of any allergies your child may have.

Help at Home - By the end of the year your child will be expected to know and print his/her name, address, telephone number, basic color words, number words, count to 100, count by 2s, 5s, 10s, identify letters and sounds, and many more skills. With all of that you can see why helping at home really makes a difference in your child's learning.

Home Study - Students will have some home study on Monday through Thursday.  Please refer to the weekly newsletter for assigned work. Students should read at home daily and fill in their monthly reading calendar starting in October.


Illness - The question of when to keep your child home from is often a difficult one, especially when decisions must be made first thing in the morning. 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. Children must be FEVER FREE for 24 HOURS before returning to school. 

Independence - Independence is a goal for students because it builds self-esteem and self-confidence. Kindergarteners 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.  Jobs are changed on the first day of each new week.

Join our Home and School Organization - Our Home and School Organization is fantastic!!! They will do so many wonderful things for the students, faculty, and staff here at St. Joe's. Without their support our school would not be as great as it is. Please consider joining and become an active member and all the numerous projects they are involved in. 

Journals - We will begin writing in our journals on the first day of school. Your child will be given a prompt when he/she will answer the prompt in their journal. When your child brings home his/her journal at the end of the year you will see how in the beginning usually only pictures were used. Soon you'll see letters for words, and labels for pictures, and by the end of the year a sentence or more.


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 – We go to the School Library/Media Center once a week.   Please 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 11:22-11:50, if you or a special guest would like to join us.

Love - I love children and I will love your child as if he/she were my own! I am very dedicated to teaching and I become very attached to each and every child. I will do everything possible to make sure that your child is successful academically, as well as emotionally, socially and spiritually .


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.

Math Journals - Students will solve simple math problems in their Math Journals two to three times a week.  The Journal will be sent on to First Grade and sent home when all the pages are filled in.

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 twice a week.


Newsletter – A classroom newsletter will be available every beginning of the week 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 - Kindergarten is a whole new world! Your little one is really growing up now! There is a lot more work involved in Kindergarten  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.

Outside PIay - The children will be going outside each day. Please dress appropriately for the weather (coats, mittens, boots, and hats).


Parties - We will celebrate the main holidays with a small celebration during our snack time as well as any religious events.  

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 after school or by the next day of school.

P.O.P.S-(Praise Of Positive Students) - Positive behavior is rewarded for showing respect to others and being responsible. On Fridays or the last day of the week one or more students are able to pick a Prize Coupon.  
Names are picked out of the POPS jar, much like a raffle. When homework is completed, or a good deed is done ...your child's name is put into the POPS jar.


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. (ext.20)


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 assigned weekly job and morning work.   Each night, I remind the students of their responsibility to share with you their folder.

Reading Calendar - A monthly (starting in October) reading calendar will come home for you to record titles of the books read at home.  I am encouraging 10-15 minutes of reading nightly.  Please record stories listened to or stories your child can read on their own.

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 trimester.


Scientist of the Week - Each week a student will be chosen to be the "Scientist of the Week." A brief case will be sent home containing books with science experiments in them. The "Scientist of the Week" will choose one experiment to share with the class. On Friday the "Scientist of the Week" brings the briefcase back to school and shares the experiment with the whole class.

Show and Tell/V.I.K. - Please have your child bring in an item that he or she would like to share with the class on his/her V.I.K. day. Please have your child put the show and tell in the V.I.K. bag or a brown paper bag so that we can play 20 questions and guess what the item is in the bag. Please help your child think of 3 clues about the show and tell item. After 5 guesses your child shares one of the clues and after 10 guesses another clue, etc.

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 Words Their Way and 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.

Toys - Please leave all toys at home. I have an incredible amount of stimulating materials. At this age, when their own toys come to school, they are often misplaced and then there are disappointments and tears.

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.


Understanding - Parents of Kindergarteners 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 joy.

Unique - Kindergartners learn that they are special and unique. Kindergartners have opportunities to describe how they are alike as well as different from others. They share their culture and learn about different cultures within the class.

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


V.I.K. (Very Important Kindergartener) - Each day of the week, a different child will be the Very Important Kindergartener (V.I.K.). On this day, your child will perform special duties such as being the first in line, filling in our calendar,  and various  other duties.

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!

Writing - It is very important when your child is learning to write letters that he/she uses proper letter formations. That means starting the letter at the top and pulling down. Once incorrect formation is started it is very difficult to change these habits.


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


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

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 Kindergartener  they can be!

Younger Siblings - It is in your child's and the class's best interest to have our parent volunteers and chaperones 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.


Zzzzzzz - Please make sure that your child gets plenty of rest. Setting and keeping a bedtime is a wonderful gift you can give your child.  It will help them to be alert and ready to learn each day!

Thank you for allowing me to be your child's teacher during their first official year of school. Together, I know we will help them to grow academically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually!

                                                                                 Mrs. Darla Ironside