Mrs. Stephens’ Class Policies and Procedures
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
8:30 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Wednesday (Early Release)
8:30 a.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Your child’s regular and prompt attendance at school is critical to his/her success. Most learning activities in kindergarten are hands-on and involve interaction with the teacher, classmates, and classroom materials. Therefore, it is very difficult for students to make up work at home. It is important for your child to attend school every day except in cases of illness or emergency. If your child is absent, you will need to send in a note stating the reason for the absence in order for it to be excused. Instruction begins each morning at 8:30. If your child arrives after 8:30, he/she is considered tardy and will need to check in at the front office before coming to class.
Arrival and Dismissal
Students may begin arriving at school at 8:10 a.m. and instruction will begin at 8:30 a.m. Children will learn the routine for arrival and dismissal from the first day of school, so it is important that your child comes to school the first week in the same way they will be coming all year, if possible. If you ever have any changes in dismissal, you MUST send in a written note or call the front office (547-4090). If I do not receive a written note or a message from the office, your child will be sent home by his/her usual method of transportation.
Communication between parents and teachers is very important. I will be communicating with you often throughout the school year. I will be using your child’s daily folder and email as the two main communication links between home and school. I encourage you to also use these means in order to communicate with me when necessary. If you ever have questions, concerns, or comments you may send a note in your child’s daily folder or you may send me an email and I will try to respond in a timely manner. My email address is [email protected]. Please be sure I have your correct email address as well.
Each child will have a daily folder. They will be responsible for taking it home every afternoon and bringing it to school every morning. The folder will contain classwork, and any other important information from me or the school. Please check your child’s folder every afternoon and if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to put a note in the folder, as I will check folders each morning. If you are sending in money for any reason, please place it in an envelope labeled with 1) your child’s name, 2) my name, and 3) the purpose for the money (lunch money, field trip, etc.). This is a tremendous help and reduces the likelihood of confusion and errors.
All students are expected to behave in a manner that is respectful of others and conducive to learning. The behavior system that I and many other teachers use has four components. These components are Wow, Good Job, Warning, and Oops. Each day all students will begin on Good Job and will have the opportunity to move to Wow if they demonstrate
exemplary behavior or to Warning and Oops if they demonstrate inappropriate or disruptive behavior. I will contact you as necessary if behavior issues arise.
The cost of a regular school lunch is $2.35. The cost of “a la carte” lunch items can vary. You may send in lunch money (cash or check) to be put in your child’s lunch account or you may put money in the account online at https://paypams.com. When sending in lunch money, please place it in your child’s daily folder in a sealed envelope with the following information written on it – 1) your child’s name, 2) my name, 3) the purpose for the money (lunch money). Please know that along with lunch, your child has the option to purchase extra snack items such as cookies, fruit roll ups, and other snacks. If you prefer that your child does not purchase these extra items, you may send in a note or block these items on the lunch account website listed above.
The kindergarten classes will be going on several field trips together this year. We will be sending home more information and collecting money for field trips as they approach. We ask all families to purchase a VRA field trip t-shirt for your child to wear on each field trip. Each class will be ordering and wearing a specific colored shirt, which will help us to keep track of each class more easily. More information on how to purchase shirts will be coming home soon.
We love having volunteers at Valley Ridge Academy! If you would like to volunteer in the classroom, please sign up on the volunteer sheet (which will be coming home during the first few days of school). I will begin having volunteers in late September or early October, simply to allow the children time to learn our classroom routines without interruption. Before you begin volunteering (even if just for field trips or just to eat lunch with your child), you must fill out a County Volunteer Application online. The application can be found on my class website under the “Volunteer” section or at the link listed below. If you are interested in volunteering (on a regular basis or even just occasionally for special parties, field trips, or just to eat lunch), please go ahead and fill this out. https://knt1.keepntrack.com/HTML/KnTOnlineVolunteerApplication.html?db=stjohns&version=22.214.171.124
It is very important for each child to have the appropriate school supplies. If you have not yet purchased supplies, please print the kindergarten supply list from the VRA website, then purchase your child’s supplies, and send them in on their staggered start day or as soon as possible.
Homework will be given on a monthly basis, beginning in September. Homework is optional, but highly encouraged. The homework will reflect many of the skills we are learning in class, as well as some additional and more challenging skills for extension and enrichment opportunities. All homework will be distributed at the beginning of each month and should be returned at the end of each month.
Because the children tend to get hungry, we will have an opportunity for snack on most days. Please send in an individual snack for your child each day except Wednesday. If your child has any allergies or health conditions, please let me know immediately.
Birthdays are very special for children! You are more than welcome to bring or send in small treats like cookies, cupcakes, or donuts for your child’s birthday. However, please be sure to schedule a date and time with me before bringing in the treats. If you would like to send in birthday invitations to be handed out at school, please make sure every child in the class receives one in order to avoid hurt feelings.
Please do not allow your child to bring toys to school. These easily become a distraction and may get lost or broken. If there are specific days when the students are allowed to bring in special items, I will inform you in advance.
Scholastic Book Orders
Every month I will send home a Scholastic Book order form. If you would like to order books, simply return the completed order form along with a check made out to Scholastic Book Clubs. For every book you order, our class receives bonus points towards classroom book sets and other educational materials. This is a great way to encourage your child’s love of reading at home while also helping our classroom to receive free books and other great learning materials.
Box Tops for Education
Our school collects “Box Tops for Education.” This program allows our school to earn money to purchase learning materials. Box tops can be found on most General Mills products as well as many others. Please send in box tops throughout the year in order to help our school earn money for additional educational materials.
You may request a conference with me at any time during the school year. Please make an appointment with me through your child’s daily folder, phone, or email. I will be happy to meet with you either before or after school to discuss your child’s progress.
I have created a class website to keep you informed about what is happening in our classroom. On the website you will find updated newsletters, calendars, pictures, homework, and other documents to keep you informed. I also have a kid friendly search site where your child has access to great educational websites. The class website address is www-vra.stjohns.k12.fl.us/teachers/stephec and I encourage you to visit often.
Thank you for taking the time to familiarize yourself with my classroom policies and procedures. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me by email. I am very excited about the new school year!