August 17, 2020
Dear Kindergarten Parents,
I hope your summer has been going well and you and your child are excited about starting the school year! Per the request of Governor Scott, Tuesday, September 8th is the Opening Day of school. I have included a copy of our updated school calendar. Please know that this could change due to recommendations from the Vermont Department of Health and/or the CDC and/or our Supervisory Union. If it does, I will communicate those changes with you as soon as I know.
Kindergarten will be in session Monday through Friday, from 8:00am-3:00pm. Erin Crowley will be my classroom assistant again this year!! Our daily schedule will be a little different from years past. Due to COVID19, during the first trimester (thru November 24), I will teach the class from 8:00am-1:30pm. Starting at 1:30pm, there will be 2 options for families. Option 1 would be that your child’s day ends at 1:30pm and you would come and pick your child up from school. Option 2 would be that your child stays until 3:00pm and attends the school wide enrichment block (free of charge) from 1:30pm-3:00pm. This enrichment block would be planned and organized by our after school program, One Planet, as well as our essentials teachers (art, music and PE), and would be implemented by our classroom assistant as well as classroom paraeducators depending on the number of students accessing this block of time. This would allow time for teachers to work on planning a virtual option for the winter in case that becomes necessary for our students. One Planet will also run an after school program from 3:00pm-4:30pm and there would be a charge to attend this program. The supervisory union is in the process of hiring a new One Planet director for our school. If you have any questions regarding the One Planet enrichment time as well as the after school program, please contact our Supervisory Union One Planet coordinator Carrie McDonnell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am very excited to start this new school year. I have spent a lot of the summer planning and prepping the Kindergarten room!! I have added 4 safety pods in my room that will act as shields around individual desks to help limit the spread of germs. Each child will have their own cubby, their own desk and space, and their own classroom supplies. I have also built sneeze guards on my kidney shaped tables to allow for small group literacy and math work. While in the classroom, everyone will be required to wear a mask and try to maintain a safe distance of at least 3ft. I, along with Miss Erin, will do our best to create a loving and safe classroom while at the same time limiting unsafe close contact between classmates. We will give friendly reminders as often as needed to maintain this space as well as reminding students to keep their masks on. Please talk to your child about how important this space is and the importance of wearing a mask correctly at all required times. (Students will not be required to wear a mask during snack or lunch as well as when we are outside more than 3 feet apart.) I recommend that each family provide at least 2 masks (1 that they wear to school and 1 extra) for their child every day. Please send the extra mask in in a ziplock bag. The school will have extra masks if they need more than 2 a day! Please wash your child’s masks daily. They will get very wet and dirty throughout the day. I will provide a lanyard for each child to clip their mask to so that when they do not need to wear their mask, it will kept close to them so that it doesn’t get dirty or lost and is easy to pop back on when needed. This lanyard will stay at school and be labeled for your child only! I recommend having your child practice wearing a mask for an extended period of time throughout the day. This is something that really needs time to get used to. I am still not used to wearing one for a long period of time so I am also practicing!!
With all of this said, please know that Miss Erin and I will do our best to keep your child safe in school. There will be unavoidable times that 5 year olds will be closer than 3 ft from their classmates and that they will take their mask off and play with it. They will need to be reminded of our class safety rules. We will do our best to catch these moments (as well as provide many outdoor breaks and learning times), but we do not want to be drill sergeants! Miss Erin and I will do our best to keep the 3 foot rule with our students as well, but this is not realistic at all times. We will need to be close to your child at times to teach them simple things as zipping their coats, holding a pencil or giving them emotional support when missing their parents. Safety will always be on our minds, but we will care for your child as they are one of our own! Please know that if at any point you do not feel comfortable sending your child to school in-person, you can switch to our Supervisory Union’s virtual academy. I hope that you choose to do what feels right for you and your child/family. Please let me know if you choose to switch so that I can help in that process. Once you switch to virtual learning, you are required to stay in the mode of learning until the end of the first trimester (November 24th).
Again this year, I will be doing most of my communication through email. If your email address has changed or you would like to add another email to my list, please let me know. My email address is at the bottom of this letter! I will set up a class email list and will send an email to everyone with more beginning of the year information once school starts. Again this year, I will not be creating weekly paper newsletters. I will email parents with class updates. I am in the process of picking an online platform to share pictures and Kindergarten happenings. I will let you know what I have chosen once I decide the best option. We are trying to possibly pick an online platform that is school wide.
This year our Open House will look different. Instead of having it the night before school starts and in person, we will have it virtually. Each classroom will have a designated night that they can login and meet their teacher and ask any last minute questions. Mr. Haley will attend each of these virtual Open House times so that he can answer questions as well. Kindergarten’s night will be Wednesday, September 2nd from 6:00pm-6:30pm. I will send an email closer to this date with the google meet link that you will click on to attend this meeting.
If you have any questions at anytime throughout the next few weeks or during the year please don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com. I will try to check my email at least once a day. I really want everyone to feel comfortable in keeping our communication open. We are all working together to bring out the best in your child as well as making this new way of learning in school as smooth as possible for everyone! I have enclosed a list of goals for Kindergarten, an outdoor education letter as well as a show and tell letter. I look forward to seeing everyone on the first day of school!
Mrs. Piper firstname.lastname@example.org 763-7425 (Main Office) 802-788-8059 (Classroom)
*** Please email me your child’s after school plans (after 1:30pm).
Option 1 – You will pick your child up from school everyday at 1:30pm.
Option 2 – You will pick your child up (or they will ride the bus home) from school everyday at 3:00pm.
Option 3 – You will pay for your child to attend One Planet everyday until 4:30pm.
Option 4 – Your child will attend the Virtual Academy or be Homeschooled.
Find more information about our educational goals for your child for this year here.
To learn more about our Outdoor Education program, click here.