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Kindergarten Handbook 2 0 1 3 - 2 0 1 4        

St. Joseph School District Educating Each Child for Success

The School District of St. Joseph 925 Felix Street St. Joseph, Missouri 64501 Dr. Melody Smith Superintendent of Schools

phone: 816-671-4000 fax: 816-671-4470

Dear Parents: This booklet is designed to acquaint parents with the kindergarten program offered through the School District of St. Joseph. Our kindergarten students will have the opportunity to adjust to group situations, to use hands-on materials and to participate in activities which will develop readiness for numbers, letters, language and reading. You are encouraged to read regularly to your children. Encourage your youngster to listen carefully in the classroom each day and see that he or she gets an adequate night's rest. A close relationship between your home and school is fundamental to your child’s success. Please feel free to call the teacher or principal whenever you have questions or concerns. It is my wish that you and your child have a successful start to school. Your partner in education, Melody Smith Dr. Melody Smith Superintendent of Schools

Educating Each Child for Success

We Believe... 

All children should love school because it is a special place designed just for them and because it accepts and respects them for who they are.

Parents play a major role in a child's success in school.

Assessment should be an on-going process in which we can show individual growth .

The classroom atmosphere should be child centered and encourage peer interaction, play, active learning and creativity.

The curriculum should offer challenges to the developmental level of each child while teaching key skills in a meaningful context.

Each child is unique and processes information in a different way; therefore, the classroom should provide a variety of opportunities for all learners.

The St. Joseph School District Vision St. Joseph School District: A Great Place to Learn

Mission Educating Each Child for Success

The Board of Education Goals • • • • •

Student Performance High quality staff Support resources Family and community engagement Governance

"These goals were adopted by the St. Joseph School District Board of Education in the fall of 2010. As the focus of our district, they will shape the education that your child will receive over the next few years."

Melody Smith Superintendent of Schools

Goals & Strategies for Students of the St. Joseph School District Goal 1: Create a learning environment that will produce academic success for all students. • Provide a rigorous curriculum that is accessible to all students. • Continuous inquiry and monitoring of student achievement will be conducted in an effort to decrease the achievement gaps between student sub groups (African American, White, Hispanic, English Language Learners (ELL), grade levels, students with Individual Education Plans (IEP), poverty, and gender). • Identify and effectively implement best practices in all classrooms. • Promote lifelong learning by emphasizing a pre-kindergarten through college continuum. • Recruit and retain a world-class staff. Goal 2: Provide a safe, secure learning environment. • Monitor and increase safety and security of all facilities in the St. Joseph School District. • Maintain safe schools as defined by discipline policy and procedures. Goal 3: Practice fiscal stewardship of resources. • Develop and implement a financial plan to provide sufficient resources to fund the District's goals and objectives. • Manage the fiscal affairs of the District with integrity.


Health Screening Name: The school nurse will screen your child at kindergarten registration for the following:


Hearing _______

Functional _______

Dental _______

Random Dot E _______

Height _______

Visual Acuity _______

Weight _______

We will take a history of your child’s health and immunizations status at registration. Be sure to bring your child's immunization record with you to registration. We recommend a medical and dental examination for children entering kindergarten.

Entrance Requirements For Kindergarten Children must be five (5) years of age before August 1. A birth certificate or other approved legal document, giving proof of the child's birthdate must be presented at registration. Children must be immunized according to state regulations before the FIRST DAY of school or enrollment will not be permitted.

School Immunizations: Diphtheria, Pertussis & Tetanus (DPT) - Four (4) doses of diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus toxoid. The last dose must have been received at age four (4) or older. Polio - If a combination of IPV and/or OPV is given, four (4) doses are required, otherwise, 3 doses. The last dose must have been received at age four (4) or older. (Maximum of 4 doses are required.) Rubella - Two (2) doses of rubella vaccine received by injection at age twelve (12) months or greater. Measles - Two (2) doses of measles vaccine received by injection on or after the first birthday and before entering kindergarten. Mumps - Two (2) doses of live mumps vaccine received by injection on or after the first birthday and before entering kindergarten. Hepatitis 'B' - Three (3) doses of Hepatitis 'B' vaccine for

all students entering kindergarten. Spacing between the second and third dose must be 56 days or greater. The last dose must have been received at six (6) months of age or older. Varicella - Two (2) doses of vaccine or proof of disease (chicken pox). As satisfactory evidence of disease, an MD or DO must sign and place on file with the school a written statement documenting the month and year of previous varicella (chickenpox) disease.

Kindergarten Is An Important Part Of Education In The Elementary School The child entering kindergarten will:

establish relationships with others outside the family group.

experience activities planned to meet his/her needs, interests, development.

have opportunities to use many different materials freely and constructively.

have a structured daily routine.

We send reports home four times a year. You do not need to return these. We hold parent/teacher conferences at the conclusion of the first and third quarters.

Questions Most Asked About Kindergarten


1. What can I do to make the first day of school go smoothly? Make good-byes loving but firm. If you accompany your child to school, don't linger after saying good-bye. Your child will make the transition easier if you appear confident that he will do just fine. Prepare your child for any after school arrangements. 2. If my child has a summer birthday, should I send him to school? Children must be 5 by August 1 to enter kindergarten. Children with summer birthdays may be academically ready but may lack social and emotional maturity. Talk with the kindergarten teacher about individual cases. 3. What do they do all day? Each classroom will have a different schedule. Please check with your child's kindergarten teacher to ask about specific activities. 4. At the end of the year will all the children be on the same level? Each child grows, develops, and learns at an individual rate. Each child enters kindergarten at a different level and each will master kindergarten tasks differently.

After Completing Kindergarten, Students Should Know and be Able to do in English Language Arts... Reading: Literature and Informational Text • 1. With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text. • 2. With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, identify main topic including key details. • 3. With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.. • 4. Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text. • 5. Recognize common types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems) and identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book. • 6. With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story. • 7. With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts). • 8. With prompting and support, identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text. • 9. With prompting and support, compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories, identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures). • 10.Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding. Reading: Foundational Skills • 1. Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print. • 2. Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes). • 3. Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. • 4. Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding. Writing • 1. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose

opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic or the name of the book they are writing about and state an opinion or preference about the topic or book (e.g., My favorite book is...). • 2. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic. • 3. Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened. • 4. With guidance and support from adults, respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed. • 5. With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers. • 6. Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them). • 7. With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question. Speaking and Listening • 1. Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups. • 2. Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood. • 3. Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood. • 4. Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail. • 5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail. • 6. Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly. Language • 1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. • 2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. • 3. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on kindergarten reading and content. • 4. With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings. • 5. Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.

After Completing Kindergarten, Students Should Know and be Able to do in Mathematics... • Counting and Cardinality o Know number names and the count sequence. o Count to tell the number of objects. o Compare numbers. • Operations and Algebraic Thinking o Understand addition as putting together and adding to, and understand subtraction as taking apart and taking from. • Number and Operations in Base Ten o Work with numbers 11-19 to gain foundations for place value. • Measurement and Data o Describe and compare measurable attributes. o Classify objects and count the number of objects in each category • Geometry o Identify and describe shapes. o Analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes. • Mathematical Practices 1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. 2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively. 3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. 4. Model with mathematics. 5. Use appropriate tools strategically. 6. Attend to precision. 7. Look for and make use of structure. 8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

After Completing Kindergarten, Students Should Know and be Able to do in Science... • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Understand and use scientific methods while doing science. Use the process skills in experiments. Present information in a formal lab report. Understand the vast number of careers available in science. Use technology while doing science. Understand the relationship of scientific ideas to daily life. Identify matter according to texture, size/weight/mass, shape, and color (big, small, heavy, etc.). Sort objects based on physical properties size, material, color, shape, mass. Identify positions of objects in relationship to other objects (behind, below, above, left, right, etc.). Identify different motions. Identify the force needed to move an object (push, pull, lift, etc.). Identify objects in the day and night sky. Understand day and night cycle. Describe the characteristics of the cycles of the four seasons. Understand the difference between living, nonliving, and dead. Identify the importance of sun, water, and air to living things. Identify a stage of growth or change of animals and plants. Observe daily weather: precipitation, cloud cover, temperature. Recognize offspring that do and do not resemble their parents.

• Identify the five senses and their uses. • Identify the source of a given sound and its loudness, pitch. • Identify an object having a specified texture (soft, hard, smooth, and rough).

After Completing Kindergarten, Students Should Know and be Able to do in Social Studies... • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Identify symbols of the United States. Demonstrate good citizenship. Identify why laws and rules are made. Explain how it is necessary to carry out or enforce rules. Participate and use the rules of a democratic government. Explain how to resolve disputes peacefully. Describe how groups need to make decisions. Identify basic needs and how they can be met. Identify the purpose of money relating to basic needs. Recite address (street, city, state, and country). Use globes and maps as tools for finding geographical areas. Describe and identify seasons and holidays as they relate to American culture. Demonstrate a general knowledge of how family influences our lives. Identify family structures/members and their roles. Recognize and use newspapers, magazines, graphs, charts, and maps. Model proper use of the telephone. Connect ideas and make meanings from themes and issues.

After Completing Kindergarten, Students Should Know and be Able to... • Demonstrate gross motor skills - skip, hop, gallop, catch. • Demonstrate fine motor skills - use scissors, crayons, pencils, handle blocks, puzzles. • Express self through pretend play, art, and construction. • Listen and follow directions • Interact cooperatively with others. • Participate in class activities and discussions. • Pay attention and stay on task. • Observe school expectations outside the classroom. • Demonstrate self-confidence, initiative, and independence.

When Children Enter Kindergarten... Most Can: • • • • • • • •

Take care of toilet needs without help. Avoid toilet accidents. Hang up sweater, coat, or jacket without help. Be away from parents for a few hours without obvious fear. Be understood by strangers. Name most of the parts of the body (arm, legs, feet, etc.). Count to ten. Enter a new activity without fear.

Many Can: • • • • • • • • • • •

Sing some songs. Put together a simple nine piece puzzle. Listen quietly while the teacher reads. Tell the teacher his/her last name. Pick out the primary colors. State his/her own age (not hold up fingers). Start own play activity. Talk in sentences with more than two words. Handle books right side up, turning one page at a time. Use words to describe objects. Hop on either foot.

Half Can: • • • • •

Take care of personal belongings. Play cooperatively with others. Use scissors effectively. Clap or otherwise keep time to music. Clean up after self (with reminders). Continued…

When Children Enter Kindergarten... Half Can: (Continued) • Show understanding of up, down, back, front, high, low, over, and under. • Catch a ball when bounced. • Hold a pencil correctly. • Remember facts of a simple story. • Color and stay within lines.

Few Can: • • • • • • • • •

Zip zipper on jacket (after it is started). Carry out more than two-step directions. Tell two days of the week in proper order. Skip. Group objects into categories such as vegetables, fruits, meats, etc. Use please, thank you, and excuse me, etc. Tie a knot. Match rhyming sounds (like sat, hat). Recognize some (ten or so) letters of the alphabet.

Very Few Can: • • • • • • • •

State his/her address. Tell his/her telephone number. Indicate which is his/her left or right hand. Tell birthday. Tie shoes. Jump rope. Tell the left and right sides of an object. Print first name with first letter capitalized and finished with lower case letters.

• Write numbers to ten. • Read a simple sentence.

Zaner-Bloser Manuscript Writing: While handwriting is not formally taught in preschool, many parents find it helpful to know the kind of writing that primary children learn. The various letters are formed as shown on the following page. Children learn to use the capital letter at the beginning of their name. For example: Mary - not MARY Smith - not SMITH


Rules to Be Observed 1. The arrival and dismissal times at each school vary. Always confirm the daily schedule with your school. Do not send the child before the requested arrival time to insure proper adult supervision. Please pick up your child promptly at dismissal time. Â

School begins: School ends: 2. We strive for perfect attendance, but children who show evidence of illness should be kept at home. Report the reason for absence to the secretary at the school on the first morning of the child's absence.

3. We require a written explanation each time your child is absent, tardy, or is to be dismissed early for any reason. 4. Accompany your child to school the first day. Meet the teacher, leave the supplies, and check registration. Send the child to school the next day with a cheerful but firm farewell. 5. If you would like to visit the school some time, you must first make an appointment in the school office. 6. Do not send money to school with your child unless it is requested. If you do give your child money for lunch or any other reason, put it in an envelope and write your child's name and the purpose for which the money is intended.

Materials Needed Â

1. Thin crayons (any count) 2. Pencils #2 (not mechanical) 3. Markers (classic colors) 4. Eraser 5. Glue (white)

6. Watercolor paints 7. Safety scissors 8. Supply box (small) 9. Manila paper (9 x 12) 10. Colored construction paper (9 x 12) 11. Box of tissues – 1 large box

The Value of Play Play promotes... literacy and language development as children: • Use communication for taking turns, negotiating, and planning their play. • Reconstruct events and sequences in events and stories leading to increased story comprehension.   • Increase speech fluency. • Practice new vocabulary. physical development as children: • Coordinate their actions with objects and other people.

• Engage in activities that develop stamina, flexibility, strength, coordination, and fitness. • Practice gross and fine motor skills. cognitive development as children: • Pretend to be some object or person. • Learn new ideas from peers. • Solve problems and think abstractly about their world. • Learn to distinguish fantasy from reality.


Play promotes... (Continued) social growth as children: • Learn to consider the perspective of others. • Participate in turn taking, cooperating and sharing. • Experiment with leadership skills. • Learn to tolerate delays. • Work out stress. • Increase goal-directed behavior and persistence. • Use creative imagination. • Pursue their own ideas. • Develop friendships. • Work through conflict.

• Experience sheer fun -- the positive aspect of fun is that it is essential to growth and a strong motivation for every kind of learning. Â

Observation of children at play, guides teachers in planning curriculum to meet the developmental needs of students.

Learning begins before Kindergarten Children begin learning at birth, and Parents as Teachers (PAT) can help you to give your child the best possible start in life. Parents as Teachers is a free and voluntary early-learning program for parents with children from prenatal to entering school. This nationally-known program, which originated in Missouri, has spread throughout the United States, reaching thousands of families of all kinds. Parents as Teachers has much to offer you and your child, too.

How you benefit from Parents as Teachers As a parent, you are your child's first and most influential teacher. Parents as Teachers can help you to lay a strong foundation for your child's future success in school.


As a PAT participant, you'll receive the following services: 

Personalized visits by a certified parent educator, specially trained in child development and eager to help you give your child a great start.

Group meetings with other parents, where you can share parenting experiences, gain new insights, and talk about topics that interest you.

Information and guidance, beginning even before your

baby is born, on preparing for your baby, home safety, what to look for as your child develops, effective discipline, constructive play and more.

Periodic screening to ensure that your child has no undetected learning, sensory, emotional or developmental problems.

A referral network that can help you to find special services, if needed, that are beyond the scope of PAT.

ENROLL NOW IN PARENTS AS TEACHERS Contact: Debbie Kunz 671-4300 or website

Safety Education Your child should know: • first and last name, street address, parents' names and telephone number. • the safest and most direct route to school if he/she walks to school. • about traffic lights, policemen and school patrols. • the correct way to cross the street. CROSS ONLY AT CORNERS - OBEY THE SCHOOL PATROLS. When you meet your child, please do not ask him/her to cross in the middle of the block or on unpatrolled corners. • not to accept rides with strangers. • that he/she should come directly home after school unless you give written permission to do otherwise. • the number of the bus and the route to the bus stop. He or she should obey the bus driver and behave properly. • what to do if school dismisses early due to bad weather or special events.

Join the PTA in your school Take an active part in school life. It will be beneficial for both you and your child. Membership in this organization is an excellent way to get acquainted with the teachers and other parents. Parents in this organization discuss common problems and work together with faculty to improve the Â


St. Joseph School District Educating Each Child for Success

925 Felix St. Joseph, MO 64501 Phone: 816-671-4000 For Further Information Contact: Shelly Nordquist - 816-671-4020

Revised March, 2013

Kindergarten Handbook 2013-14  

This handbook shows the expectations for a student entering kindergarten and what parents should expect their child to know following kinder...

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