Friday, August 28, 2015

SK Kindergarten Round Up at the Potluck Picknic Thursday, 9/3!

Please join us for a "Kindergartner Round Up" at our annual SK Back to School Potluck Picnic on Thursday, September 3rd at 5:30-7 P.M. at County Farm Park!  Kindergartners will be gathering at a special area to hear Where the Wild Things Are read by our beloved Head of School Joanna, participate (if desired) in a 'Wild Rumpus' and enjoy scrumptious foods from our potluck supper.  Your Kindergartner is also welcome to "Find Your Cubby" back at the school prior to the event.  See you soon! val

Thursday, August 13, 2015

September 2015 Dates at a Glance!

Welcome Kindergarten Families to Summers-Knoll School!

Theme for September/October 2015-16:  Identity!

Tues.-Thurs. September 1st-3rd    Professional Development Days for Staff 

Thursday, September 3rd             "Find Your Cubbie Night" for students 
                                                        & SK Picnic at County Farm Park, 5:30-7 P.M.

Tuesday, September 8th              First Day of School 2015-16!  School begins at 8:40 A.M.

Friday, September 11th              K-4 all day field trip to Howell Nature Center, 8:45 departure

Thursday, September 17th            Lower School Curriculum Night, 6:30-9 P.M.

Saturday, September 19th            SK "Nature's Classroom" Conference, 10-4 P.M. 

Thursday, September 24th            School Pictures taken!

Welcome SK Kindergarten Families 2015-16!

Dear New Kindergarten Families, 

Welcome to Summers-Knoll Kindergarten 2015-16!  I am excited and grateful to be teaching Kindergarten here at SK for the 5th year and am looking forward to building our Kinder "Garden." Your 'Tender Plant' will hopefully have an opportunity to grow, be nurtured, and climb up their own individual academic and social trellis while building community yet maintaining a sense of autonomy, and hopefully with joy!  Presently we have 8 amazing students enrolled in our class!

Included in this blog is some general information about our class that you may find helpful.  However, please feel free to contact me at with any of your additional comments, questions or concerns.  

Our classroom blog, "Kindergarten Capers" is my main avenue for classroom activity communication.  Please sign up to receive immediate notification of new entries at  The blog is also a great way to keep the Grandparents informed!  More specific or confidential/personal information will be shared in person, by phone call, or by email.  Also, please expect a special note from me to your wonderful Kindergartner very soon via U.S. mail!:)

General Info

Entrance to the school and the Kindergarten classroom should be made through the main entrance (north rear) of the school each morning.  Parking is available in the lot across from the entrance and for the first couple of weeks, overflow parking is located at County Farm Park across the street.

Kindergartners are required to be escorted directly to the Kindergarten classroom daily by their parent/guardian or care provider.  There is no curbside drop off/pickup for Kindergartners.  Additionally and for a small fee, A.M. Childcare is available from 7:30-8:30 A.M and P.M. Child Care 3:30-6 P.M.    If you enroll in these programs, Morning Care supervisors will escort your child to the Kindergarten room at the appropriate time.  Participants will also be escorted to After Care as well.  

The K-2 Coat Room Area is located right outside of our classroom.  Please provide a complete labeled change of clothes–shirt/dress, pant/skirt, underwear, socks, and store them in your child’s area in the cloakroom.   Your child's individually labeled hooks and a green storage bin are provided for your convenience.  A back pack or tote bag is also recommended to transport personal items.  Seasonal items include- a jacket/ raincoat, rubber boots, hat, water proof gloves, snow pants, scarf etc.  (I know, it’s hard to think about them right now, but sometimes they are much harder to find later on:)  Your child will also be required to periodically have rubber-soled gym shoes for Physical Education classes.   Additionally, Kindergartners also enjoy wearing house shoes/slippers in the classroom.   We encourage this (the children love it, and it saves the carpets) but we do not require it.   It is very helpful to label all of your child's clothes and foot wear.

The nearest restrooms to our classroom are between the two 1/2 grade classrooms that are located across from the Library and children are allowed to (after informing an adult) go as necessary.

All classroom materials including journals,  journal (mail) boxes, and a pencil/storage box for each student are provided. Individual school supplies are not necessary (but classroom donations are always welcome.)  Kindergartners use a lot of glue sticks, markers (especially sharpies), and pencils.  

School begins promptly at 8:45 A.M. and it is imperative that your child arrives on time, with a goal of 8:40.  Early arrival allows your Kindergartner time to relax and to feel more empowered in his/her environment and may ease transitions as well.  Prompt goodbyes are also very helpful for easing separations.  Children generally recover very quickly when their loving adult shows confidence in them and their ability to be a 'big kid.'  If your child will be late or absent, please call the SK school office (734.991.7991) and email me to inform us.

A complete "Flow of the Day" Schedule is listed below and a monthly calendar is forthcoming in the next blog entry but Kindergartners generally begin each day with "Circle Time." This very important Large Group Time includes taking attendance, classroom community building exercises, announcements, and a story related to that day's lessons.   Again, please let us know if your child will be late or absent.   We have many specials and activities throughout the building and will be attending many field trips and outings (some spontaneous) and it is essential that your child is properly accounted for.  Field Trip Volunteer opportunities are available and your presence is welcomed!  Information about scheduled trips and outings are sent out via the blog generally.  Emails of unplanned excursions are sent out to you prior to departure.

Please call the office and email me if your child will be picked up early and/or have appointments during the school day.  Also, please inform us if your child will be picked up by someone else.  Release permission notification of the individual picking up should be listed on the emergency card or in an individual note/email.  Proper picture identification is mandatory for your child's prompt release.

General Flow of the Day (Some domains are combined depending on the activity)


8:45-9:00        SK All School Meeting in the Atrium 
9-9:15ish        Circle Time (Language Arts)
9:15-9:45        Math
9:45-10:00      A.M. Snack/Recess
10:00-11:00    P.E.
11:00-11:25    Homeroom (HR)
11:30-12:30    Lunch/Recess
12:30-1:25      HR/Choice Time activities 
1:25-2:15        Art 
2:15-2:50        P.M. Snack and Recess
2:55-3:25        Latin


8:45-9:00       Circle Time
9-9:45            Math
9:45-10:20     A.M. Snack/Recess
10:20- 11:00  Choice Time/Small Group activities
11-11:30        Story time with Madame Imogen
11:30-12:30   Lunch/Recess
12:30-1:30     Global Experiences 
1:30-2:45       HR/Choice Time 
2:45-3:00       Quiet Time
3:00-3:30       P.M. Snack and Recess


8:45-9:00      Circle Time
9-9:45            Math
9:45-10:20     A.M. Snack/Recess
10:40- 11:25  Science
11:30-12:30   Lunch/Recess
12:30-1:20     Music
1:30-2:30       HR/Choice Time 
2:30-2:50       Quiet Time/Journaling
2:55-3:25       P.M. Snack/Recess


8:45-9:00       Circle Time
9:00-9:45            Math
9:45-10:20     A.M. Snack/Recess
10:30- 11:30  Physical Education (P.E.)
11:30-12:30   Lunch/Recess
12:30-1:15     Science
1:20-2:45       HR/Choice Time 
2:45-3:00       Quiet Time-Journaling
3:00-3:30       P.M. Snack and Recess


8:45-9:00       Circle Time 
9:00-9:45        Math
9:45-10:10      Snack/Recess
10:15-11:30    HR/Choice Time
11:30-12:30    Lunch/Recess
12:35-1:25      Art 
2:00-2:50        Music
3:00-3:30        P.M. Snack and Recess

Group Snack Time is a Kindergarten tradition and a wonderful opportunity for socialization and community building.   Please look for a "Snack Provider Sign-Up Sheet" located inside our classroom. This tradition consists of each family (and myself) signing up and providing the classroom snack ( 2 per day) for the entire week and several times during the school year.   A list of classroom allergies will be provided. Summers-Knoll is a food-aware school and we strive to keep our children safe. We do not allow nuts (peanuts or tree nuts) in school, and we take care to avoid other known allergens when we have sensitive children present.  Please consider ingredient and nutrition content while snack shopping. The classroom and school’s ongoing goal is to provide a healthy, safe, nutritious environment for all students as much as possible. A suggested snack list will be provided to all families and fresh fruits and vegetables are always great choices.  Also, feel free to provide an alternative individual snack for your child at any time if desired. If anyone would like to sign up for Snack Provider for September  8th-11th or 14th-18th it would be much appreciated! Just respond via email and let me know.  Thanks!

Shared Family Traditions are very important to us and enhances our global experiences!  Please inform me of your family’s traditions/celebrations (e.g.  your child’s birthday, holidays) and we will gladly work them into our classroom plans whenever possible. 

Lunch is at 11:30 daily, followed by a Lunch Recess at 12:00. Children bring their own lunches (usually a lunch sack or box) from home and are escorted to the supervised Atrium area to eat with the 1st/2nd Graders.  Limited microwaves are available but tend to significantly delay time for eating; children have to wait their turn to heat their food and it can take a while.  A  thermos with  preheated food is ideal for warm food. A beverage (water bottle, juice/milk box) should be included but  we have water fountains  if desired.  Hand washing is required before and after eating. After lunch, children are escorted to the playground area for recess. and a restroom break is also encouraged during this time.

I am available for chats generally after school most days.   I try to reserve other times during the school day to provide optimal attention to the children's needs and concerns, collaboration with colleagues,  and for planning.  I check my email several times a day and will respond to your emails at my earliest opportunity and usually the same day.  Our amazing Office Manager, Karen, will inform all families of any school closings, early dismissals, or other general school matters.  We will call or email you (both parents) directly and immediately for more urgent concerns, i.e. injury or illness.

Again, our SK School Blog "Kindergarten Capers" is my way of keeping families informed of our current K classroom activities.   I try to generally make entries several times a month and include photos and other specific information and anecdotes about our classroom’s learning experiences.  Please subscribe at to receive notification of new entries. Also, feel free to make comments about what you find most enjoyable or helpful.  

Curriculum Night is designed to inform families of our classroom's general goals and objectives, explain my teaching philosophy, and to answer your general questions and concerns about Kindergarten.  It is scheduled for Tuesday, September 17th  6:30 P.M. for the Lower School.  I am looking forward to seeing as many of you as can attend!  It will be partly held in the Kindergarten classroom with specific agenda items. 

Our first formal Fall Kindergarten Parent/Teacher Conferences will be scheduled for October 19th- 23rd.  A sign-up sheet with numerous A.M. and P.M. time slots will be available via email and in the classroom.   This mandatory exchange is a great opportunity to hear your comments/concerns and discuss your child's progress and successes so far and to create individual plans and goals. An individual portfolio of your child's classwork and artwork is generated and maintained throughout the school year and available for your viewing.  Remember, however, feel free contact me at any time for more immediate concerns.  Formal written narrative assessments are distributed two times per year.

Finally, "Find Your Cubby" night and our SK All School Picnic at County Farm Park will be on Thursday, September 3rd from 6:30-9:00 P.M. This annual event is a great way for your child to get familiar with their classmates, classroom, building, and where to put their belongings- (very important to a Kindergartner!)  Please, however, understand that the classroom will still be in the stages of preparation, so please forgive the mess.  It takes a while for Kinder- "gardens" to be constructed!

Additionally, if you are looking for other ways to get to know other SK families, here is a note from one of our awesome former Kindergarten Parents of Daniel, now a first grader.  "Hi all, I wanted to let you know about this fun opportunity we've been participating in for a few years now.  Pittsfield Township has soccer practice and games on Saturdays for kids 4-9 years (different groups for different ages).  It's parent coached and the great thing is that it is always at the same place and time.  If you register you can ask to be placed with other SK kids."  Best wishes, Jill  

Again welcome to Summers-Knoll, Have a happy and safe Labor Day, and I’ll  see you all at the picnic on the 3rd of September! -Val Tibbs-Wynne  (P.S.  The official 1st day of school is September 8th!)