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Entering Kindergarten Fall 2018 - Parents Chat

  1. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4289 posts

    I’ve been seeing this thread for weeks and it was only today that I realized OMG, this applies to me!

    Name: B
    Birth month: January
    Type of school: public
    Transportation: drop-off at the attached daycare

    The cutoff in Ontario is the end of the calendar year, so B will be among the oldest. We had kindergarten registration in January, and there’s an open house tomorrow. Our situation is slightly complicated by the fact that the school we want him to go to is not our home school (it’s the school that has the French immersion program, but that doesn’t start until grade 1, and we’d like to avoid him having to switch) so he’s they can’t actually guarantee us a spot - technically up until the end of the first week of school he could be sent to his home school instead - but we’re told that it’s almost certainly going to work out. The other complicating factor is that while he is guaranteed a spot in the before/aftercare program at the attached daycare, my younger son is currently on the waitlist for their preschool program, so we might be doing two drop offs.

    B is really shy and doesn’t adapt easily to new situations, and has been in the same daycare with the same kids since he was 1, so I’m really nervous about starting school and a new daycare at the same time, but I’m crossing my fingers. He has mentioned to me several times that he’s nervous, which makes me so sad.

  2. Adira

    wonderful pomelo / 30401 posts

    Kindergarten Orientation is tonight!!! No idea what it will entail, but I'm bringing questions!

  3. Adira

    wonderful pomelo / 30401 posts

    I went to (parents-only) Kindergarten Orientation tonight! There are four Kindergarten classes at our school and the teachers were there to go over the things the kids will be learning (site words, writing a sentence or two, reading, counting, addition, subtraction, etc). It all sounded fairly simple and I'm feeling a lot more confident about Xander, especially since he's been in Pre-School and Pre-K classes at his daycare. I think he'll do fine! They also answered any of our questions (how do they handle food allergies, will they have access to any needed medication, where and when is drop-off/pick-up, etc).

    The worst part though was when another parent asked about sheltering in place. They do that, they have lock-down drills and fire drills. They advised us not to send kids in those light-up sneakers because during a lock-down drill, they close the doors and turn off the lights and hide under desks and you don't want your kid lighting up when they are supposed to be hidden. They also talked about how they've changed their fire drills now so that they don't all exit onto the fenced in playground but now exit on all sides of the building out into the open in case kids need to run from a shooter...

  4. JCCovi

    apricot / 377 posts

    @Adira: That's so horrifying. Light up sneakers are never going to seem the same to me after hearing that.

  5. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4289 posts

    @Adira: Oh my God, how can you stand it? That’s heartbreaking.

  6. Adira

    wonderful pomelo / 30401 posts

    @JCCovi: Right?!? I'll never buy light up sneakers again...

    @erinbaderin: It's awful that parents and children have to think about and be prepared for stuff like this... I hate that this is our reality.

  7. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4511 posts

    @Adira: omg, I am feeling ill thinking about those things...and definitely no more light up shoes for my kids.

  8. Adira

    wonderful pomelo / 30401 posts

    @Mrs D: I almost started crying during orientation when they were talking about this...

  9. Mrs Green Grass

    pomelo / 5556 posts

    Ugh I see the topic above but I’ll share a positive story instead. We had orientation last week and I love the school! One of the thing I’ve been most worried about is lo having accidents and every kinder class has its own bathroom. I am so relieved! We haven’t had our preschool graduation yet and it was kinda nice to see the new School and feel the positive energy first!

  10. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4511 posts

    @Mrs Green Grass: Oh thats great! I didnt think to look for that at orientation.

    I just reviewed DD's supplies list - which is no where near as overwhelming as I thought. I was scanning for birthday gift ideas for DD1 who will turn 5 on her second day of K. Not much to be found...I think my mom will get her the PBK backpack she wants and maybe the towel she is supposed to bring for nap time.

    FYI to other moms - may want to check if your supplies are communal before you let your kids pick out special note books, erasers, etc...in case it could cause a meltdown for them to see another child using them! I didnt know supplies were communal at this point!

  11. mdf106

    kiwi / 687 posts

    @Mrs D: What, if anything, are you planning on doing for a birthday party? My son turns five two days before school starts. It doesn't make sense to invite preschool friends, he was only with them for a year, preschool ended in May, and he will probably not see them again, but it seems awkward to invite the kindergarten class, and hard to plan. We are considering doing a special day instead, like an amusement park, but I don't know if he would miss out on having a friends birthday party.

    We bought the package of supplies from the school. The package includes a PTA membership and a t-shirt. I suspect we will buy a new backpack.

  12. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4511 posts

    @mdf106: Ha, I actually just got into a fight about this with my sister. Our current plan is a birthday party on the Sunday of Labor Day. DD is in full time pre-K with a group of kids she has been with since basically birth. So - as with last year - she'll get to invite 5 friends, plus our neighborhood friends (5 more families) for a very casual backyard party. We do Pizza, bounce house, cake and lots of alcohol for parents! haha

    My sister is annoyed I am doing it in the middle of Labor Day weekend. 1) I dont want to do it Monday with all we have going on the next day. 2) I dont want to do it the week after her birthday and have her all bummed all of her "new" friends arent there.

    I think the special day sounds lovely - I am sure it will overcome any complaints of a lack of birthday party. Maybe he could be allowed to bring one friend on the special day if it gets brought up?

  13. 2PeasinaPod

    pomelo / 5519 posts

    @mdf106: Regarding birthday, I'm asking his teacher for a list beforehand for invites. It's a little easier for me as S's birthday isn't until the end of September, but we're going with his new class rather than his old class. If, at the end of the summer, he's spent a bunch of time with some of the kiddos over the summer, we may invite them as well.

  14. Becky

    apricot / 477 posts

    @Mrs D: My bday is Memorial Day weekend and there were always people who couldn’t come. One of my closest friends had an annual family commitment when I was a kid. Bummer, but it was never a big deal.

  15. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6869 posts

    My Dds Birthday is Mid-September but I am thinking we will have her party early Sept. I will just invite her preschool friends who she has known for years and some close family friends. As she gets older and closer with her classmates i can see inviting the whole class

    She has her preschool graduation next week We bought her a LL Bean book bag and lunch can for a little grad gift.

  16. JCCovi

    apricot / 377 posts

    @Charm54: @2PeasinaPod: @Mrs D: @mdf106: My daughter turns 5 the 8th of September. I am going to ask the teachers for a list before school starts so I can email the Moms. She’ll be in a small class (12 max) so I’m planning to invite all of K and all from her preschool (also a small class). Hopefully it will be another opportunity to meet the other kids parents at the start of the school year.

  17. Grace

    cantaloupe / 6561 posts

    @2PeasinaPod: @JCCovi: Do teachers just give out contact info like that? I’m so used to daycare where all that is kept like a guarded secret. Actually, I’m not sure what I’d think of getting an email from a random school parent that I hadn’t met yet. My DD turns 5 just before school starts, but she’ll be inviting daycare friends. I imagine next year, she’ll want to invite school friends.

  18. 2PeasinaPod

    pomelo / 5519 posts

    @Grace: I actually got that info when he was in day care as well. It helps that he's going to kindergarten at the day care center he's at now, so we're really well established there, have 2 kids there, and they do that pretty frequently for things like birthday parties. It's just an email address and not a phone number.

  19. Grace

    cantaloupe / 6561 posts

    @2PeasinaPod: interesting

  20. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4289 posts

    The differences between Canada and the US in terms of school are so interesting - a list of required communal school supplies! That blows my mind. That is, as far as I know, not a thing here. We were told they’d need a backpack big enough to carry their lunch, a library book, and a water bottle, but that’s the extent of it.

    @Mrs D: Wow, they still have a nap time?

  21. Charm54

    cantaloupe / 6869 posts

    For those of you planning on enrolling your Lo’s in a second language/immersion program, what is the set up?

    They recently revamped our French immersion program so that there are now 0 instructional minutes in English from grades 1-3. That concerns me (especially as a literacy teacher) but we will still put her in the program as she loves learning French and it is pretty important in our area to be bilingual. I’m happy that Kindergarten is still in English though to give her a transition year.

  22. JCCovi

    apricot / 377 posts

    @Grace: Our principal has already sent out an email asking people if they’d like to excluded from a contact directory for all the parents. The default is they get included though. Our preschool has also always shared that kind of info. Sometimes officially and sometimes more like they send out a mass email and when you need something, you just use the same group.

  23. JCCovi

    apricot / 377 posts

    @Charm54: We’re entering a private Mandarin immersion program. There will be 40 minutes of English instruction per day (The subject will be... English). I think your kid should be totally fine without English in 1-3, I would just really make sure you’re doing a lot of reading at home as a family.

  24. mrs. eagle

    coffee bean / 27 posts

    First off - how are all of our kiddos old enough to be entering kindergarten?! I found hellobee when I was pregnant with my oldest who will turn 5 in July. I see a lot of familiar names from years ago

    1) Daya
    2) July
    3) She will be in public school - we live in a rural town and there aren't other options.
    4) The plan right now is to drive her to school. I'm not ready to send her on a public school bus.

  25. birdofafeather

    pineapple / 12003 posts

    @Charm54: our school is two-way immersion and will be moving from 50/50 to 90/10 for the K classes this year. from everything i read, it's the more researched based model, so i'm gonna go with it. i spoke to someone whose girls are 5th and 8th grade are in the same kind of program and they're both bilingual and biliterate. the dad said that they just started super slow and while comparing them to another kid in a "regular" class in K or 1st would have made them seem behind, now they're well ahead of peers.

  26. birdofafeather

    pineapple / 12003 posts

    oops, never introduced myself!

    1) R
    2) Jan
    3) public two way immersion
    4) walk! it's a 4 minute walk door to door.

    my oldest DD just had her preK promotion today, so i guess things will be getting real soon! we haven't had orientation or anything yet! our neighborhood school is a two way immersion (english and spanish) and this year, they're starting out going from 50/50 instruction to 90/10 which means 90% of instruction will be spanish! i know enough spanish to help for probably a year or two but i'll have to brush it off as she gets older. each year, they add on 10%, so by 4th, it will be 50/50 and stay there. the program's goal is for them to be bilingual and biliterate, which is awesome!

    one thing that will be a big change is going from our schedule now: DH is a firefighter so it's always different, i'm a photographer so i work a lot of weekends, my two oldest have school 2 days a week and i just had our 3rd 2 months ago so we have a really relaxed schedule. to 5 days a week of school and getting somewhere before 8 am! i feel like i'm getting a new full time job to add to my photography/mom work!

    what activities (if any) are you signing your kiddos up for in the fall? we're just going to do soccer and see how that pans out with school. i don't want to add too many activities to the start of the year, although i do want to see how the local girl scout troops work and what the commitment is for Kinder age.

  27. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4511 posts

    @Grace: Our daycare does not give out this info freely. Rather you can email them and ask they send it to your childs classroom distribution. For Kindy - we opted in to the directory...so it was a choice.

    @erinbaderin: Its technically rest time, and I think its rather short (30 mins or so) but they do pull out cots for it. I like the idea of controlled "rest" time where it calm and quiet in the room....from my understanding there is zero pressure for the kids to nap - thought they can of course - rather the focus is on resting quietly.

    Our list is not too daunting, some markers, crayons, glue, pencils, erasers, wipes and hand sanitizer...I think thats the majority of it. It helps keep the teachers from not having to spend their own personal money.

    @Charm54: DD1 will go to Spanish class a few times a week. They have casually taught Spanish in her pre-k and pre-school programs. So I'd just like to continue it! I would have chosen a different language but I had no say in Pre-school AND its the only language DH and I speak any of!

    @birdofafeather: We're only committing to soccer for the fall. DD1 will have the option to do some extracurriculars at Kindy (basketball, cooking, pottery, etc) for a minimal fee. As we get info on that I think we will sign her up so she gets 1-2 of those per week and rotate through a lot of them to see what she likes!

    Pre-K graduation today for us. I'm just hoping not to cry. I teared up when I saw her pictures in her cap n gown...

  28. 2PeasinaPod

    pomelo / 5519 posts

    @Grace: @Mrs D: That's actually a question on the information form when you complete it. You can opt in or out of the directory. If you opt in, you agree to share your email with other parents. So you do give consent beforehand.

  29. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4289 posts

    @Charm54: My son is starting at the French immersion school, but the French immersion program doesn’t start until grade 1, so he still has two years. As I understand it, once they hit grade one they go to all French in January, but I’m not 100% sure of the details.

  30. rattles

    grapefruit / 4815 posts

    I’m going to go ahead and join! We registered for kinder a couple of months ago, and PreK graduation was last month. I’ve ordered school supplies, and our first Kinder PTA play date with her future classmates is next week!

    1) L
    2) December ‘12
    3) Public
    4) Walking/driving - We live too close for a bus as the crow flies, but it’s a somewhat long (about a mile) walk on a busy street. I’m planning to walk/bike in the morning and perhaps pick her up in the afternoon when it’s a million degrees (Texas in August).

  31. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4511 posts

    FYI - Planet Box is offering 15% off the shuttle boxes. These work great for the "homemade luncheables" I have been making for DDs. Code is Summer15

  32. lindseykaye

    persimmon / 1344 posts

    @Mrs D: This is a really great point about communal supplies and knowing that info ahead of time. I have vivid meories of picking out a special pencil box for my things only to get to kindergarden and be told that I didn't need it (and that it couldn't come) because they had all communal supplies. My little barely 5-yr old self was super upset by this news

    We haven't had any sort of kindergarden orientation yet for my DD's school. We are continuing at the same place she had VPK, but the lower elementary is a combined K-2 classroom in a smaller, separate building from the main center (with daycare classes for 1-4 and VPK). I don't know when we might have orientation but I expect we'll find out via email. School starts 8/13 here.
    DD has already gotten upset that her 'best friends' are not in school with her. I don't think any of the families we became close with during her year of VPK decided to stay for kindergarten so I am very curious who will be in her class!

  33. JCCovi

    apricot / 377 posts

    @birdofafeather: We’re going to do soccer, a church program, and swim after school this fall. Soccer and swim are walking distance from our home but I’m a little nervous about 3 days of activities. I’m justifying soccer in that the kids really want to do it and we go to the park everyday anyway. Swim and church are not negotiable in my mind, so we just have to squeeze them in!

  34. rattles

    grapefruit / 4815 posts

    @birdofafeather: we’re planning to continue gymnastics and a Montessori religious ed at our church once a week each. She wants to be a daisy scout, so I’m planning to look into that too. That feels like plenty to me, but DD2 (3.5) wants to do soccer. I may let DD1 do that if she’s interested since we’ll be going regardless. I’m feeling the same way about the transition though and am dreading being tied to a full time schedule!

  35. hellobeeboston

    cantaloupe / 6826 posts

    @birdofafeather: we're also just doing soccer in the Fall... and we may continue with swim lessons which he's been in for quite some time.

  36. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4289 posts

    @birdofafeather: I don’t think we’ll do anything on school days, there just isn’t time and the boys are way too tired. On weekends we’ll stick with swimming, and B says he wants to try skating again.

  37. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4511 posts

    We're going to avoid any activities on School days. The one thing they hounded on at orientation was how exhausting it will be for the kids. I am not sure if the same will apply to DD given she is currently in an all day learning environment - but I am planning for it anyways.

    We are going to explore the little extra curriculars the school has, they are only 30-45 mins I believe!

  38. kayakgirl73

    clementine / 750 posts

    I haven't posted much in ages but I joined back when I was pregnant with my first who is going to Kindergarten in August.

    1) Child's name -- Gabriella
    2) Birth month -- January
    3) Type of school: public, private, charter, whatever -- Public
    4) What method of transportation? -- Bus if our current in-home daycare does her before care, that's currently the plan and they will still have my 3 year old. If this doesn't work hopefully we get into before care at school, but the waitlist is terrible and I've been on it almost a year.

    We had registration in April, An evening playground playdate in May and screening earlier this month.

  39. erinbaderin

    grapefruit / 4289 posts

    Disaster struck today and I’m super upset and stressed about it - the school B was set to attend in the fall, the school we’ve toured and met the teachers and played in the playground on a regular basis of, the school his friend is going to, the school with an attached daycare that our younger son is registered for, called to say he couldn’t attend. We’re out of area (it’s the immersion school) and while they did warn us that a spot wasn’t guaranteed, they all but assured us that it would be fine. Turns out it isn’t and now I need to find him a spot in a new daycare, make sure my son still has a spot in our current daycare (two dropoffs! Ugh!), hope our $200 deposit on the other daycare is refundable, and explain to him that he won’t be a Dolphin (the school mascot, he was excited) and he won’t be at school with his friend. DAMMIT!

  40. 2PeasinaPod

    pomelo / 5519 posts

    @erinbaderin: Oh no...that's terrible! I'm sorry that you now have this stressful situation on your hands. I know it doesn't seem like it now, but I'm sure it will all work out.

    On our side, the public school didn't get my original email that DS1 would be attending a private kindergarten. So we're now registered at both public and private school. Hoping they get that squared away quickly. We're getting tons of stuff for the public school, and I keep emailing and calling them and they're assuring me that it's just a timing issue.

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