* What are program hours? PreKindergarten (PreK) hours align with the 217 school day. School begins at 8:25am and ends at 2:45pm. Once our School Safety Officers open the doors at approx 8:22am, parents can walk their child to class. At 2:45pm, the side gate will be opened and parents may enter the door from the school yard to reach the PreK classrooms and pick up their child.
* Is there snack time? Yes. Pack a healthy snack, including a reusable water bottle (no fruit juice or milk) for your child in addition to their lunch each day.
* Can students get cafeteria lunch? Students eat in the classroom with the classroom teacher and students are to bring lunch from home at the start of the school year. As students gradually transition into the school year we will notify families of when they may begin having hot lunch from the cafeteria. Students may order a hot school lunch or a cold lunch (peanut butter & jelly or cheese sandwich, fruit, water). Because students eat in the classroom, only water is permitted for drinks.
* Will there be breakfast offered at school? Yes. Breakfast is offered, free, to all students in the classroom upon arrival at 8:25am. In addition, all students at 217 are welcome to enjoy a free breakfast in the school cafeteria between 7:45-8:10 am in the cafeteria - PreK students must be accompanied by an adult.
* Is there nap time? Yes. Students do not have to sleep, but they must stay on their cot quietly and rest for 30-40 minutes each afternoon.
* Do PreK students share bathrooms with older students? No. The PreK classrooms have their own (PreK-sized!) bathrooms that connect the two preK classrooms.
* What do I do if my child is sick or will be absent? Please notify the teacher and the office by emailing the attendance secretary at email@example.com copying your teacher.
* What’s included in a day in the life of a PreKindergarten student at 217? In a PreK student’s day there will be a variety of activities that range from working independently, in small groups, and together as a whole class. Daily activities range from quietly looking at a book to busily creating a city in the block center, and includes one hour of outdoor gross motor play each day (in the gym during wet weather). Each day students will have lots of play, plenty of friends, nurturance from caring adults, and promotion of curiosity, all within a stimulating environment. There’s a positive approach towards learning and focus on cooperation and kindness. In addition, students also receive instruction from our school science, music, art, and library teachers who each visit the PreK classes once per week.
* Do PreK students go on field trips? The Department of Education does not permit PreK students to use school buses. We may take a few local, walking field trips during the year. Advance notice is always given and permission slips are sent home.
* How will I know about my child’s progress?
Parents have the opportunity to see their class teachers each day at drop-off and pick-up there is ample opportunity to have a quick chat about concerns or progress.
Should you need more time to discuss any issues, PreK teachers are also available every Tuesday morning between 7:45-8:25. You are welcome to make an appointment to see your teacher during this time or contact your teacher to make additional conference appointments if needed.
In addition, Parent-Teacher Conferences are formally set 2 times per year to discuss expectations and progress.
* How will I know what is happening around the school?
Teachers email weekly updates to parents with details about what students are focusing on in class along with news and general reminders.
The school e-newsletter, “Hawks Happenings”, is emailed weekly from the PTA. If you aren’t finding these in your inbox each week please email the PTA (firstname.lastname@example.org) to confirm your email address.
From October we aim to have a volunteer Class Parent for each class who will regularly inform class families of activities and news happening in the class and around the school.
All parents are encouraged to participate and volunteer in PTA events - email email@example.com if you would like to get involved.
* What types of assessments are given in PreKindergarten students? The ESI-R (Early Screening Inventory) test is required for all PreK programs to identify potential developmental delays and English Language Acquisition (ELA) support needs. This screening tool assesses such things as language, cognition, perception, and motor development. Each child is assessed by the ESI-R assessment in order to rule out any possible developmental delays. If your child doesn’t speak English, or has an IEP, he or she is exempt. Informal assessments are routinely documented and recorded by teachers. We use Teaching Strategies Gold, an authentic assessment system aligned with the NYS PreKindergarten Standards to document and assess students’ progress.
* What is included in the PreKindergarten curriculum? PreK students learn through play! We place emphasis on nurturing independence, the process of learning, and the all-around growth of each student. Students will be engaged in nine units of study throughout the year, such as transportation, plants, light, and water. Within these units of study, children are engaged in learning centers that provide developmentally appropriate experiences that promote socio-emotional, cognitive, and literacy and language skills. Students have an hour of gross motor play each day, two hours of Center Time (Blocks, Dramatic Play, Puppetry, Art, Table Toys, Sand/Water Table, Writing Center, Listening Center) in addition to Read Alouds, Small Group Activities, Whole Class Meeting Time, and subjects taught by specialist Teachers such as Music, Science, Art and Technology.
* When will I get my child’s class assignment? Class assignments will be mailed to the address on your Department of Education file during the week before school begins. Included will be procedures for the first day of school. If your address changes before this time, please notify the school immediately.
* What supplies does my child need? A school supply list will be available on the PTA website from May/June. You may order your supplies either:
By ordering a PreK supply kit from the PTA in June. Supply kits include 1 cot sheet and kits will be delivered directly to your child’s classroom in the first week of school, or
You can do the shopping yourself and bring in your bags of supplies during the first few days of school.
Please note: Cot sheets can be ordered from the PTA for $13. We recommend that each student has 2 sheets so that they can be switched out for laundering or in case of accidents.