Back to School Letters

Isabelle Jackson Elementary School


Dear Parents,

We’re looking forward to working with you and your child!  We want your child to have a rewarding and memorable kindergarten experience.  We need you, your help, and your support to have a successful year.  If you have any questions or concerns during the school year, please do not hesitate to call us at 689-2115.



A.M. Kindergarten        8:00 a.m. – 11:31 a.m.            P.M. Kindergarten                         11:00 a.m. – 2:31 p.m.

Schedule changes happen with track change days and field trips. We will send a notice with your child.


Arrive at school no more than five minutes early and wait with your child until a teacher greets them at the door.  Do not leave your child unattended.


If you arrive late, please walk your child into the classroom.  Never drop your child off and drive away.  Sometimes, we are in another building on campus.  After seeing your child to the classroom, proceed to the office for a tardy slip.



At dismissal time, the children are to wait in the designated area until their teacher releases them to their parent or daycare provider.  Please be prompt.  Please discuss this procedure with your child.



Throughout the year, we plan activities with food.  Let us know if your child is allergic to any foods, bites, stings, medications, etc.


If your child is sick, do not send him/her to school.  You must call the school office at 689-2115 to let them know the reason for your child’s absence.


Every child will have a special week during the school year to be “Student of the Week.”  The student will prepare special things to share during the week.  A note will go home with your child the Friday before their week to share explaining what they should bring each day.  They will also have special opportunities each day as Student of the Week.


Each student’s birthday is acknowledged in class with a fresh baked plain donut, a lit candle, and with singing of course.  We request that sweet treats be reserved for your own family celebrations and therefore we ask you not to bring in cookies, cupcakes, cakes, donuts etc…


With our current state financial situation, many jobs have been cut.  In the past we have not had to ask parents to help, but now will need your help so that we can continue to offer your children unique learning experiences.  Besides helping us, your participation in the classroom is even better assurance of your child’s success in school.  We encourage and welcome you to become an active participant in your child’s school and classroom.  Parental involvement and student success go hand in hand.  We hope that every parent will participate in some way this year.  Even an hour a week would be greatly appreciated.

For those who are unable to volunteer during class time we will place “Helping Hand” envelopes by the door of the classrooms for projects – cutting, folding, tracing etc… that can be done at home and returned in a day or two.



Monthly homework packets will be sent home at the beginning of the month, starting August 1st and are due at the end of the month.  In addition to the monthly packets, read daily with your child, review and discuss all papers brought home in your child’s backpack daily.  


Many volunteers are needed to chaperone small groups of children.  If we do not have enough chaperones, the field trip will be cancelled.  On the day of the field trip, the schedule will be different. So please make sure to review all notes sent home in your child’s folder. This information will be sent home, in your child’s folder, with a permission slip several weeks in advance.


At the beginning of every month, we send home a newsletter to let you know what we are doing in the classroom, letters and numbers of the week, special events, and how you can support your child at home.


Your child is given a folder at the beginning of the year.  Please review it daily with your child and look for notices from the teacher.  You may also send notes to us by using the folders.  However, I would prefer we use email if you are a daily email user.  My email address is .  Please make sure we have your current and active email address and phone number. We send notes home to notify parents of upcoming events, field trips, etc.  Please be prompt in returning all notes, permission slips, etc.  We are all busy people and it takes extra time to call or send home second notices and reminders to parents who have not responded.


Children must be able to fasten/unfasten their clothes, this includes shoes, use the bathroom, and blow their nose by themselves.  Please help your child learn to tie shoes.



Keep all home, work, daycare, cell phone, emergency contacts, and active email addresses current with us.  Let us know immediately when any of your contact information changes.



Children should wear comfortable, washable clothing and closed toe shoes.  Please refer to the school’s dress code policy.  Label all sweaters, jackets, backpacks, lunch bags, etc.


Every child needs to bring a snack and drink each day in a bag or lunch box.  Suggestions: fresh fruit or vegetables, whole grain crackers with cheese, ½ a sandwich, unsweetened yogurt, nuts and seeds with dried fruit.  The children do not have enough time to eat a full lunch.  “Lunchables” and the cafeteria meals take the children quite a long time to eat.  Please make sure they have eaten well at home before coming to school.


Every child must have a backpack EVERY DAYThe backpack should be large enough to hold a 10” X 13” folder for daily work and notes from school and a snack.  Important notices from school are in your child’s backpack and must be attended to daily.  Your child will not need to bring any other supplies or materials.



Toys are not allowed at school.  They are disruptive to learning and can be broken or lost.


We look forward to working as a team with you this year to make your child’s first year of school great!


The Kindergarten Team of Teachers



A Parent's Checklist

 To encourage my child to listen, speak, write, and read
*I take time to talk with my child every day- every chance I get!
*I take time to listen to my child, and answer all his/her countless questions!
*I sing and recite nursery songs and rhymes to my young child, and favorite songs and poems to my older child.
*I read something (newspaper, magazine, BOOK) everyday. Everyday I model for my child that I get pleasure and information from reading.
*I have a library card (the best of all credit cards), and I will get one for my child as soon as he/she can write his/her name.
*I take my child to the library weekly (or as often as possible). We both select books to read by ourselves and aloud together at home.
*Together we look at books an magazines, each of us sharing about what we see and read.
*I ask my child to tell me a story, or describe something he/she has done or seen.
*I write down what my child tells me often, and read back his/her "story" exactly the way it was dictated to me.
*I take my child on brief excursions(walks, car rides, shopping trips, visits to a park, farm, firehouse or zoo) and we talk about them before, during, and after to increase experiences and word usage.
*We play games together-including word and listening games.
*My child has his/her own bookshelf(or a box or a drawer) for all his/her books, and those borrowed from the library.
*My child watches carefully selected television programs, and I limit TV viewing so that there is at least equal time for reading.
*We talk about TV programs, and often pursue the interest stimulated with reading.
*I praise his/her efforts and accomplishments so that he/she will have self-confidence and zest for new learning experiences.
*I encourage my child to do things as independently as possible.
*I am on the lookout for signs of problems in hearing, seeing, and speaking.
*I take time to read aloud to my child each day as often as my child will listen to me, or asks me to read to him/her, and I will encourage all member of my family to do the same!!!
-Mary Mastain-
Post this checklist in a prominent place so you can see how you're doing!!!




Welcome Back to School

July 19, 2012

 Isabelle Jackson Elementary School, 689-2115

Ms. Camila McFarland


-Phonemic Awareness – Research has shown that Phonemic Awareness is one of the most important indicators of whether the child will be a successful reader.  Phonemic Awareness is the ability to hear and understand the sounds with which words are made.  Phonemic Awareness includes rhyming, oral blending (putting sounds together to make words), segmenting (separating words into sounds), recognizing the first sound of a word and recognizing the last sound of a word.


-Promote reading by letting him/her see you reading, talking about reading and books, reading to your child, and keeping very easy access to books by having a basket or tub of books in your living room, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and car.  Get your child into the habit of reading for enjoyment.  Slowly and gradually build up time for reading independently and silently.  Parents can have some quiet time while the child is reading independently.

-Open Court Reading Program – Alphabet Sound Cards have corresponding sounds, hand movements and songs.  Your child will learn these in class.  Be sure to ask them to share these with you. We will begin our workbook next month.

-Letter of the Week – Every week, we plan activities to accompany the Letter of the Week.  For example, during “Aa” Week, we do apple activities and we make a project to go with the song, “The Ants Go Marching.”  For “Bb” Week, we make bear projects, have a book-a-thon and wear our clothes backwards.  We often ask parents for contributions.  Look for the activities on the monthly calendars.


-Send a plastic tub (minimum size 15 qt., NOT the small shoebox size plastic tub).   These are available at Big Lots, Target, and Walmart. We will decorate it, and send it home, so your child will have a special place for the books that they bring home from kindergarten.  Revisit the books throughout year and watch their reading progress. 



-Chapter pages will go home at the end of each chapter.  Review the concepts with your child.  The chapter assessment will be given a few days later.

- counting daily with your child both while and while not pointing to the number is very helpful. 

-Discuss more, less, amounts, time, the days of the week, months, money, shorter, longer, heavier, adding, subtracting etc. in daily conversations.



By the end of August, children should know most uppercase and lowercase letters and their sounds, identify numbers 0-10 and count to 20.  We review this everyday.


Establish a SOLID routine of reading aloud to your child daily, preparing for the next day of school, going to bed early, waking up without complaining, eating a nourishing breakfast and getting to school on time.


Also, have your child write his/her name the correct way.  And work on any concepts that are difficult for your child.  Make flashcards for sight words, letters and numbers up to 30.  There is no need to buy them.


Empty your child’s backpack and folder daily. Review and discuss papers and projects as daily homework.  There is a purpose for every activity.  Ask them to “read” their stories, papers and projects to you.  Memorization is the first step to reading.  Help your child correct all mistakes and finish any unfinished work.  Ask specific questions about the day and be prepared to listen. 


Have child help prepare for the next day THE NIGHT BEFORE by laying out clothes, putting folder into his/her backpack, preparing the snack as much as possible.  DO NOT wait for morning to get ready for school.  Strive for INDEPENDENCE (even if it does take more time now, it will be worth it later!!)



PLEASE buy Velcro shoes until your child knows how to tie.  Tying many shoes each day takes away from teaching time.  Help your child to learn how to tie shoes.



We love parent volunteers and we need you.  If you have any special talent, such as playing an instrument, storytelling, arts or crafts, cooking etc…, please come to our class to share!  Grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings and cousins (high school age) are welcomed and encouraged to come visit as well.  We can’t do this without you.


Electronics in your home

Set time limits for TV and video games. Less is better.  Restrict the computer to EDUCATIONAL computer games.   Some suggestions...                                       iPhone app. – Teach me kindergarten



We welcome and encourage calls, notes, and emails regarding any questions or comments.

PLEASE do not hesitate to contact us.