Monday, August 21, 2017

Welcome Kindergarten Families! General Info You Should Know...

Dear New Kindergarten Families, 

Welcome to Summers-Knoll Kindergarten 2017-18!  Fall is soon around the corner as evidenced by that early morning chill that sparks each day!
This "Kindergarten Capers" blog (and also repeated in an email) is specifically designed to offer some general information (a.k.a. all of the things that I can think of that I might otherwise forget to tell you;) about our class that you may find helpful.  Feel free, however, to contact me at with any of your additional comments, questions and/or concerns.

Our classroom blog, "Kindergarten Capers" is my main avenue for classroom activity communication.  Please sign up to receive 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 of the school each morning.  Parking is available in the lot across from the north entrance and for the first couple of weeks and overflow parking is located at County Farm Park across the street. Kindergartners are required to be escorted directly to and from the Kindergarten classroom daily by their parent/guardian or care provider. Kindergartners are released to adults only, please. There is no curbside drop off/pickup for Kindergartners.  Additionally, and for a small fee, Childcare/Extended Learning is available from 7:30-8:30 A.M and 3:30-6 P.M. in the Atrium. If enrolled in these programs, Child Care supervisors will escort your child to and from the Kindergarten room at the appropriate times.   

The K-2 Cubby Area is located right outside of our classroom.  Please provide a complete, labeled change of clothes–shirt/dress, pant/skirt, underwear, socks to store in your child’s designated area in the coat room. Individually labeled hooks and a green storage bin are provided for your convenience.  A back
pack or tote bag is also recommended to store and/or transport personal items. Seasonal items should include a jacket/raincoat, rubber boots, hat, waterproof gloves, snow pants, etc. (I know, it’s hard to think about them right now, but sometimes they are much harder to find later on;) Your child may also be required to periodically have rubber-soled gym shoes for Physical Education classes.   Additionally, some Kindergartners enjoy wearing house shoes/slippers in the classroom. This is encouraged (the children love it, and it really saves the carpets) but it is not required. Again, it is very helpful to label all of your child's personal belongings.  lost and found area is located in each of the three coat rooms in the building. Please note that items left for an extended period of time are donated to charity.

The nearest restrooms/water fountains to our
classroom are located between the two 1/2 grade classrooms across from the Library and children are allowed to (after informing an adult) go as needed.  Your child is also welcome to bring in their own water bottle for the classroom, if desired, for convenience.

All classroom materials including notebooks, journals,  and journal (mail) boxes for each student are provided. Individual school supplies are not necessary (but classroom donations are always welcome.) Kindergartners use a lot of tissue, glue sticks, markers (especially Sharpies), scotch tape and pencils.  SD cards for photographing our classroom memories are also greatly needed and appreciated.
School begins promptly at 8:45 A.M. and it is imperative that your child arrives on time to maximize our classroom climate and continuity. Also, early arrival allows your Kindergartner time to relax and feel more empowered in his/her environment and may ease drop offs as well. Prompt goodbyes are also very helpful for easing separation anxiety.  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 school office (734.971.7991) and email me to inform us.  This really helps with planning and accounting for every one's whereabouts for the day.

Also, please call the office and email me if your child will be picked up early and/or have appointments during the school day.  Additionally, 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 your child's emergency card or in a current individual note/email.  Proper picture identification is mandatory for your child's prompt release.

A complete "Flow of the Day" schedule is listed below and a "Monthly Dates at a Glance" appears at the beginning of each month on the blog. Kindergartners generally begin each day with "Circle Time." This very important Large Group activity 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.

Many Field Trip Volunteer/Guest Speaker opportunities are available throughout the school year and your presence is welcomed! It really enhances our curriculum when you share your gifts, passions and expertise! 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.

General Flow of the Day (Some domains are often multidisciplinary depending on the activity and all areas are subject to change for special events)


Circle Time/Group 

  9-9:40ish       Math        
  9:40-10:00    A.M. Snack/Recess
10:00-11:30    P.E./Science    
11:30-12:30    Lunch/Recess
12:30-1:30      HR/Language Arts*
  1:30-2:30      Choice Time
  2:30-3:00      Quiet Time/Journal writing 
  3:00-3:30      P.M. Snack and Recess 
*or EBs/Exploratory Blocks (electives) 12:30-1:20
More info about EBs/Exploratory Blocks in an upcoming blog entry)


  8:45-9:00     Circle Time/Group
  9:00-9:40     Math
  9:40-10:10   A.M. Snack/Recess
10:10-11:30   Choice Time/**Language Arts
11:30-12:30   Lunch/Recess
12:30-1:20     Art
  1:25-2:15     Music
  2:15-2:55     P.M. Snack/Recess
  2:55-3:25     Story Time with Madame
** Individual skill building 


  8:45-9:00    Circle Time/Group

  9:00-9:40    Math
  9:40-10:15  Snack/Recess/Choice
10:20-10:50  Library
11:00-11:30  Journal writing
11:30-12:30  Lunch/Recess
12:30-1:30   Global Experiences
  1:30-2:35   Snack/Recess/Quiet Time
  2:40-3:30   Music


  8:45-9:00     Circle Time
  9:00-9:40     Math
  9:40-10:10   A.M. Snack/Recess
10:10- 11:30  Language Arts/Choice
11:30-12:30   Lunch/Recess
12:30-12:50   HR/Choice Time
12:50-1:35     Science
  1:45-2:30     HR**
  2:35-3:05     Latin
  3:05-3:30     Snack/Recess


  8:45-9:00    SK A.M. Meeting
  9:00-9:40    Math
  9:40-10:10  Snack/Recess
10:15-11:15 (P.E.)
11:30-12:30 Lunch/Recess
12:30-1:20   Art
  1:30-2:30    Sharing Day
  2:30-3:00   K Buddies 
  3:00-3:30   Snack/Recess 

Group Snack Time is a Kindergarten tradition and a wonderful opportunity for socialization and community building.   Please look for our "Snack Provider Sign-Up Sheet" located right inside of our classroom entryway. This tradition consists of each family (and me) signing up and providing the class' snack ( 2 per day) for the entire week and several times (averages to about 3-4 turns each) during the school year.  A list of classroom allergies will be provided. Summers-Knoll is a food-aware school and we strive to keep all of our children as safe as we possibly can. No nuts/nut products (peanuts or tree nuts) are allowed in the school and we ask that you avoid other known allergens where we have sensitive children present. Please consider ingredient and nutritional content while snack shopping. Our classroom and school’s ongoing goal is to provide a healthy, safe and nutritious environment for all students as much as possible. A suggested snack list can be provided upon request, however, fresh fruits and vegetables are always great choices.  A mini fridge is located in our classroom for perishables such as cheese sticks, yogurt, and vegetable

dips. Also, feel free to provide an alternative individual snack for your child at any time if you desire. If anyone would like to sign up for Snack Provider for September  5th-8th or 11th-15th it would be much appreciated! Just respond via email and let me know. I can also pencil you in for any other weeks as well.   Thanks!

Shared Family Traditions

are very important to our Kindergarten class and enhances our global experiences!  Please inform me of your family’s traditions/celebrations (e.g. your child’s birthday or other observances) and we will gladly include them into our classroom plans whenever possible.  Also feel free to come in and present stories and other activities about your traditions and passions. We would love to have you!!!

Lunch Time is 11:30 A.M. daily followed by Lunch Recess at 12:00-12:30 P.M. Hand washing is required by all students before and after eatingChildren bring their own lunches (usually a lunch sack or box) from home and are escorted to the supervised Atrium area to eat along with the 1st/2nd Graders. Please note that limited microwaves are available and tend to significantly delay time for eating. A  thermos with  preheated food is ideal for hot foods. Cold packs should be used if necessary. Unfortunately, we do not have refrigerator space for lunch boxes. A beverage (water bottle, juice/milk box) should be included or water fountains are readily available.  Your child is also encouraged to bring in their own reusable water bottle daily.  After lunch, children are escorted to the playground area for recess and a restroom break is also encouraged during this time.

I am generally available for chats after school on 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 a few times a day and will respond to your emails at my earliest opportunity and usually the same day.  Families will be informed by the front office 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
 is my primary way of keeping you informed of our current K classroom activities. This tool will hopefully combat the, "So, what did you do today?"... "Nothing" blues:)  I try to generally make entries several times per month and include photos and other specific information and anecdotes about your Sweetie Pies and 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 our school's mission, my teaching philosophy and to answer your general questions and concerns about Kindergarten.  It is scheduled for Thursday, September 28th from 6:30-9:00 P.M. for the Lower (K-4th) School.  I am looking forward to seeing as many of you as can attend! The event will be partly held in the Kindergarten classroom and also includes presentations from our Head of School, Walter, and the Specials- (Latin, Science, P.E., Music) Teachers. 

Our first formal Fall Kindergarten Parent/Teacher Conferences are tentatively scheduled for the week of October 16th- 20th. 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 goals, comments and concerns about your child's individual progress and Kindergarten experience so far.   Also, a portfolio sampling of your child's classwork and artwork is generated and maintained throughout the school year and is available in the classroom anytime for your viewing as well. Feel free, however, to contact me at any time for more immediate concerns.  A formal Written Narrative Assessment is distributed two times per year; in January and June.

Finally, "Find Your Cubby Night" and popsicles at County Farm Park will be held on Thursday, August 31st from 5:30-7:00 P.M. This annual event is a great way for your child to become familiar with their classmates, other SKers, building layout, as well as where to put their belongings-very important to a Kindergartner!) Please understand that the K classroom will still be in preparation stage, so please forgive the mess.  It takes a while for Kinder-"Gardens" to bloom!:)

Again, welcome to Summers-Knoll! I am really looking forward to having a wonderful year! Have a happy and safe Labor Day, and I will hopefully see you all at our SK Kindergarten Play date on Monday, August 28th from 5:30-6:30 P.M. on the Kindergarten Playground and Thursday, August 31st at County Farm Park. 

Remember:  Our official 1st day of school is Tuesday, September 5th! 

Val Tibbs-Wynne  (Kindergarten/K Art Teacher)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August/September 2017 Dates at a Glance!

Monday, August 28th   SK Kindergarten Play Date, K playground 5:30-6:30 pm
Thursday, August 31st Find your cubby night & Popsicles-County Farm Park 5:30-7
Tuesday, September 5th First Day of School!
Thursday, September 14th School Pictures
Thursday, September 28th Curriculum Night (K-4th) 6:30-9 pm