For Parents of Incoming Kindergarteners
Bloomington Public Schools District 87 provides full-day kindergarten programs in each of its six elementary schools. Children in District 87 are eligible to attend kindergarten if they will be 5 years old by September 1st of the school year. Parents must verify birth dates by showing a certified copy of the child's birth certificate and proof of residency in the district before a child can enter school. Each elementary school holds Kindergarten Registration in the spring of each school year.
Things You Should Know
The habit of regular school attendance begins in kindergarten and is very important to your child's educational progress. Irregular attendance makes your child feel insecure when at school and requires a period of readjustment which slows learning.
Learning activities take place in District 87 elementary schools beginning promptly at 9:00am. It is important that all students arrive to school on time. When students are tardy, they miss the valuable opening of the day activities. Please assist your child with arriving at the bus stop or at school at the designated time.
If children leave school before their regular dismissal time, parents must provide a note and/or telephone call to notify the school staff.
Getting Ready for Kindergarten
You can help prepare your child for an enjoyable, successful kindergarten experience. If children start kindergarten ready to learn, they increase their chances for a smooth transition and future academic success.
Before the big day and beyond . . .
- In every way possible, help your child become independent. Most kindergarten children are capable of basic self care (e.g. using the restroom appropriately, dressing themselves, asking for help when necessary). Help your child become used to taking care of these needs.
- Teach your child his/her full (first and last) name, complete address and telephone number. You may also want to teach your child your full name and where you can be reached.
- Provide your child with appropriate family and/or household responsibilities (e.g. picking up toys, feeding a pet, setting the table) and allow your child to fulfill these responsibilities independently. Encourage your child to finish their jobs.
- Teach your child to use a pencil, crayons, scissors and glue. Many children enjoy "playing" school. This is an excellent way to help your child build skills.
- Establish a bedtime schedule and stick to it. Kindergarten classes do not take long naps in the afternoon as many preschool programs do. Most kindergarteners need 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night.
- Before purchasing clothing, check to be sure that fasteners are easy for your child to manipulate. School clothing should be appropriate for working in the classroom as well as for sitting on the floor, playing in the gym and running outside. All students need tennis shoes for P.E. class. You may want to save fancy sandals and shoes with high heels for special occasions.
How Can I Help My Child Be Successful In School?
Parents play a vital role in helping children succeed in school.
Here are some tips on ways to help your child thrive in school at every level:
- Talk with your child about the importance of education. Let him/her know that you care about how he performs in school.
- Set aside time to talk with your child about school each day. Ask questions about what your child is learning in school. If you ask your child what she did in school today and she says "nothing", ask specific questions. For example, what story or book did you read today? What was the best thing that happened to you at school today? What kind of math did you use in school today? Expect your child to be able to tell you about her day.
- Make it a point to attend "Meet the Teacher Night" or "Open House". This is a great time for you to meet the educators who work with your child and to get a feel for the environment in which your child spends his day.
- Get to know the teacher's policies on homework. Enforce these policies with your child. Many teachers have homework routines so that parents and students can know what to expect. If your child is expected to write down assignments in an assignment book, expect them to bring it home daily. Look through it with your child.
- Arrange for your child to have a quiet place and a designated time to complete homework each day. If your child attends a day care or after school program, talk with your child and the staff about making sure your child takes advantage of homework time.
- Communicate any concerns you have about your child's performance to your child's teacher.
- Attend Parent Teacher Conferences. This is the best opportunity to get an understanding of how your child is doing in school and what you can do to help. If you cannot meet with your child's teacher on the assigned day and time, call to schedule an mutually convenient conference time.
- Help your child understand the importance of paying attention and trying her best even when she does not like a subject or activity.
- If you have concerns or complaints about the school or your child's teacher, discuss them privately with the teacher and/or the principal. Do not say bad things about the school or teacher in front of your child. Your child needs to know that you and the teacher and principal will work together.