Welcome to our Kindergarten parents!
This is an exciting time for our little ones and sometimes a little scary for our moms and dads on this “first time” adventure. So much is true from the readings of “All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten”. Kindergarten is a grade where huge growth and maturity is seen within one year’s time. Besides learning to read or improving their reading and math skills, they also learn very important life lessons regarding social skills, responsibility, and independence. They will make new friends and learn how to be helpful and kind to others. They will become little Blockbuster Stars in their first play –“Goin’ Buggy!” I never get tired of that play!
They will learn about music and how to play Orff instruments, their first introduction to real instruction in art such as how to draw landscapes, figures of animals and people, mold clay figures and develop an appreciation for the history of art. They will learn sportsmanship and team building activities in Physical Education and how to do graphic art activities in computer lab as well as work with reading and math programs.
I am proud of all the teachers we have in our Kindergarten grade level. They all are caring, loving folks who love what they do. They know how to motivate and inspire children who are reluctant and meet the needs of each child according to their abilities. They expect that all children will learn academically plus how to follow procedures that lead to an organized, structured classroom.
We have prepared a parent manual, “Everything You Need to Know About NorthLake Park.” Like all schools, it is important to have policies and procedures in place to assure organization and safety for our children. Please take the time to read this in its entirety as it explains about how birthdays are handled, volunteering, dismissal and arrival procedures, attendance and tardy policies, changes in transportation, dress code expectations and much more that will help you understand what NorthLake Park is about. Your teacher will also inform you of the procedures within their classrooms. Your classroom supply list will be found on the NLP website, www.northlake.ocps.k12.fl.us. This will be posted sometime in June. You can also pick up a copy in the office.
One of our policies is that parents may not request a teacher in any grade level. I have faith that every one of our teachers will meet the needs of your children. We strive to build balanced and diverse classrooms. If you would like, you may send me an e-mail explaining the learning style or personality of your little ones. Due to the fact that portables cannot be brought on to campus, we have had to build some co-teach classes in kindergarten. These work very well. It is about a 14:1 student to teacher ratio. Solo teachers are an 18:1 ratio. Both teachers are actively teaching at all times. They can see twice as many kids in reading and math groups and if a child experiences a discipline issue, one teacher can tend to it while the other continues to teach.
On “Meet the Teacher Day” (August 14th) you will find out who your new teachers will be. Our Kindergarteners will come early for a scavenger hunt around the school and see their new classrooms. The first day of school is August 18th.
By August, you will be contacted to schedule a time about a week before school starts to allow Kindergarten teachers the opportunity to do a quick assessment on your little one. This allows us to get a feel for where children are at the start of Kindergarten so that we can build balanced classes.
On the first day, you will be able to walk your children to their classrooms without going to the office first. (After the first day, parents can never go beyond the lobby without getting a visitors badge from the office). After announcements, you will be asked to leave so the teachers can get on with their day. You however, will be invited to a boo-hoo breakfast just for Kindergarten parents, sponsored by our PTA. You can meet other parents and your administrators will be there to address any questions.
After the 1st day, we ask that parents let us take over as you drop them off at the car loop, have them ride the bus or walk to school. You may walk them to the lobby if you feel the need, but not beyond. Kindergartners will always go directly to the cafeteria in the mornings and all the teachers will be in there waiting for them until the first bell rings.
Car Loop: The first couple days, the car loop is very long as so many parents want to bring or pick up their children. After that, it reduces quite a bit as children then ride busses or walk to school. Please be patient that first week if you use the car loop. It takes a little longer as we are teaching our little ones the procedures for listening for their names to be called and what lane they should go to in order to meet you when you drive up. Please remember, parents picking up their children by car must use the loop in front of the school. You may not get out of your cars to get your children from the porch. You may not use the parking lot as a drop off area in the mornings. This is very dangerous. Make sure you have the car signs you will receive on Meet the Teacher Day displayed in your front window. Before the first day of school, please read the front part of your manual for further important details about arrival and dismissal policies.
Most important is that we can reach you at any time. Please make sure you leave correct phone numbers for us to reach you or your emergency contacts. When you change your number or move to a new apartment or house, please let the office and your teachers know immediately.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Assistant Principal Tiffany Griffin, or me at 407-852-3500.
Thank you and we look forward to a wonderful year!