Dear Kindergarten Parents,
I imagine you are all relaxing and soaking up the sunny days and breezy evenings. I have been completely enjoying the ocean and am now busy visiting my Mom. In a twinkle it is that moment in August when we turn our attention to September and the excitement of the kindergarten year ahead! As we look at what is to come, we warmly welcome all the new families to our class and welcome back our dear families from last year.
For the new parents in the class, it is customary in our school for the kindergarten teacher to make a home visit shortly before school begins. Please be assured that this is a very informal visit, the purpose of which is to begin establishing the teacher-child relationship which allows the child to feel significantly more confident and comfortable on the first day of school. Typically the visit should be very simple, with no fuss for the family and should be no more than an hour. I expect to be available on the following days for visits: August 21st, 22nd and 23rd and then Sept 4th & 5th. Please email me (with telephone number) if you are interested and I will call with more details as we arrange for a time.
If this does not work for your family, Mrs. Kata and I will be setting up the classroom in early September and we will set some time aside for families to stop by for a quick hello. We need to work this around teacher meetings so I will let you know soon.
As we are committed to creating an environment where your child’s own imagination and initiative will flourish, we ask that the children’s clothing and all gear (including lunchboxes, backpacks, pillows) be free of media images and images in general, ie: sharks, eagles, princesses, puppies, including sports logos.
I appreciate that it is difficult to find picture-less clothing these days, so if any of you do have a good source could you please let us all know. As soon as one child comes in with a "picture shirt", it usually becomes a distraction. Depending on your child, the attention may make them feel uncomfortable or perhaps they enjoy the special attention or stir the shirt creates. In either case, it sets the child apart from the rest of the class and can then produce the situation where the other children want to keep up with attention getting "trends." This ultimately complicates your life and undermines what we are setting out to achieve in the classroom.
Since we are very active with water play and are out in the elements, mud and the need for changing clothes is a regular part of life in the kindergarten. As many children do not like borrowing or wearing other children’s clothing, it becomes important that when your child's clothes are sent home, fresh clothing is sent in the very next day. Please remember to label EVERYTHING. As aware as our children seem to be, at this young age children live in the moment, they are not conscious enough to keep track of what belongs to them or where they have left things. It is also time-consuming during class time and often impossible for the teachers to try to sort out who was wearing what. So, please keep labeling through the seasons. By the way, thanks to our gala fundraising, we will have brand new cubbies at the start of school! There is no need to send in a special box or basket to hold your child's clothing as the cubbies come with their very own baskets.
To support our active kindergarten day, we ask that the children have the following clearly labeled items on the first day of school:
- raincoat with hood, rain pants and rain boots Claudia Bousrou has discovered the ultimate rainpants which are designed so the child can easily get them on and are big enough (sort of like baggy overalls) for them to freely move about instead of feeling stuffed in and large enough for them to use beyond one season. She has located a supplier and I will forward more information
- always an extra set of clothing: top, pants, underwear, couple pairs of socks and a sweater
- light jacket
- inside shoes - a light flexible but sturdy shoe/slipper that provides a bit of traction for inside play (children will be climbing, skipping and playing with big blocks, so please avoid backless and frontless.) A sturdy slip on or tie up with enough protection for little toes is good. Again no backless or toeless, including clogs.
- a bag that can carry home treasures, soiled clothes or drawings
- a drinking mug
- later in the season: winter coat, snow pants, hat, scarf, gloves and snow boots
- a simple, small resting pillow (nothing distracting such as pet pillows, etc.)
- girls should have a pair of sweatpants or leggings to pull on over tights in cooler weather
We also request that jewelry and nailpolish not come to school as they create a distraction. Toys and stuffed animals should be left at home as well. We do encourage sharing anything of interest from nature. For instance, if you or your child finds a beautiful stone, flower, piece of bark, or similar items, we would be very happy to find a special place on our nature table for it to be enjoyed by the class.
While the School does not promote any vendors, I have been advised that Lands End is a good resource for indoor and outdoor gear. Be sure to check their overstock page - many of the same items at greatly reduced prices.
Afternoon Care If you are interested in signing up your child for our extended day program, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible. Although we would like to accommodate everyone's needs, spaces are limited. So please reserve your space by sending in your form to the business office or call Carol Proctor with questions. Mrs. Goldenberg is the contact for the afternoon care program and she will be available the evening of our orientation to answer any questions you may have about the program. I do believe a letter has been sent to you with details as well. If you have any questions in the meantime, about anything, please do not hesitate to email me.
Lastly, with regard to dress code, one of the delights of the kindergarten is that we attend the all school assemblies - front row seats!! In keeping with the festive mood of these assemblies, we all dress up a bit on assembly days. Please see the parent handbook or the monthly calendar for a list of our all-school assemblies. We greatly encourage you to attend as well. In addition to the wonderful class performances (Grades 1-12), it is exciting for the children to see their parents in the audience as we parade down the aisle to our seats!!
Orientation is scheduled for September 9th at 7:30 in Bonner Hall. We will then gather in our classroom for our own class meeting.
Once the school year begins, I am available to discuss any specific issues between 1-3 pm almost every day. I am also available via email or by telephone between the hours of 7:30-8:30 pm most evenings. My contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org, (home phone after Sept 1st) 516-742-2740 or at school, 516-742-3434. Prior to the beginning of the school year email is the best form of communication. Again, if you have any concerns, please feel free to email me. I check in every few days at this point. By the end of August, I will be checking in daily.
Please note that the first day of school is the only one with the early dismissal of 11am. For those families needing afternoon care, please know that this program does begin on September 11th, even though we have early dismissal.
I cannot wait to see the children. Mrs. Kata and I look forward to seeing you all very soon and we hope you enjoy the remainder of the summer!
With warm regards,
The Waldorf School of Garden City
225 Cambridge Avenue
Garden City, NY 11530
Tel: (516) 742-3434
Fax: (516) 742-3457
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