Kindergarten Orientation

Pine Glen Room 101

Our kindergarten program is designed to help children learn to enjoy school and feel positive about themselves and their abilities.  The program is largely a hands-on experience.  Play is an integral part of the learning process at this level.
Massachusetts follows the Common Core State Standards.  These standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world.  We have curriculum goals in all curricula areas including; reading, writing, math, motor skills, communication, life skills, social studies and science.  Music and literature are also part of our daily program.

Some questions most often asked by parents of incoming children:

  1. Who will work with my child?

Each class has a teacher and an instructional assistant.  Teachers and assistants will be responsible for academics, art, music and gym.  
Librarian- Ms. Small
Computer Specialist- Mr. Danoff  
Guidance counselor - Ms. Zanotti
School psychologist - Mrs. Perry
ELL- Mr. Lord
RtI Literacy Tutor- Ms.Horton
Special Education Teachers-
Mrs. Groom & Ms. Pierce
Additionally, other teachers and specialists will be in to help us including staff from the Science Center, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech pathologists and staff from the Developmental Skills Classroom.

  1. What should my child wear to school?

“Play clothes” and comfortable shoes are appropriate dress for kindergarten.  Your child should feel comfortable working on art projects, sitting on the floor, playing outdoors and in the gym. Pants and belts they can manage themselves are also important so they can be independent in the bathroom. (We tend to discourage flip flops.  It is difficult for the students to manipulate the play structures while wearing flip flops.)  You are welcome to pack a spare outfit to leave in the backpack just in case there is a toileting accident.

  1. What supplies does my child need?

Your child will need a school bag or backpack. Your child will use the backpack to bring home important notices, school projects and homework. Backpacks should also be big enough to hold your child’s lunchbox.  

Water bottles are strongly recommended.  There are water fountains down the hall, but it is recommended students have a water bottle at school every day so they may easily and quickly access a drink as needed.

We go outside to recess for approximately 25 minutes everyday unless it is raining. Occasionally, we will do other activities outside as well. The playground and fields may have little to no shade. You may want to apply sunscreen to your child before he/she leaves for school. Sunscreen should not be brought to school.

We ask that toys and school supplies stay home. Our classroom is full of great materials! This will prevent special items from getting lost or broken.  

Also, please remember to send your child’s GREEN communication folder to school every day- even on field trip days!
  1. When should parents write notes to the teacher?

Your child needs a note whenever he/she goes anywhere other than the designated bus stop.  We cannot put a child on a different bus without a note.  In addition, your child needs a note when he/she is being dismissed and when your child is being picked up by you or anyone else.  Important messages regarding last minute dismissal changes should be called into the office directly by 10:00.  Please call the office at 781-270-1712.

  1. How will my child get to and from school?

Kindergartners will ride the neighborhood bus to school in the morning.  A special kindergarten bus will bring your child home. Kindergarten or P.M. buses have different numbers.   Please fill out the enclosed name-tag (both sides) and put the tag on your child’s backpack. Check the bus list to make sure you know your child’s A.M. and P.M. bus numbers and fill out the enclosed form. Please make sure that I have this information before you leave today!

A parent needs to be waiting at the bus stop for students living on a cul-de-sac or at the front door of your house everyday.  We will need a note if another adult is to greet your child.  The bus drivers will not allow a kindergarten child to get off the bus if there is no parent (or designated adult) to greet your child.  Be aware that for the first few days, buses may be late. The phone number for the A&F Bus Co. is 781-229-0111.

Note: School hours for kindergarten
Arrival 8:20-8:35 a.m.
Dismissal 1:10 p.m.

School hours for grades 1-5
Arrival 8:20 - 8:35
Dismissal 2:40

Parent drop off is through the side parking lot and around the horseshoe.  Teachers are on car duty at 8:20 a.m. Parents need to wait in the car with their child until teachers are on duty and the door is open.  Parents should pull all the way up to the top of the horseshoe and wait for cars behind them to stop before allowing their child out of the car.  Having your child exit the car from behind the driver is the safest for your child.

If you are picking up your child you should park in the front parking lot or the cafeteria side parking lot and walk to the map of the USA and your child will be walked to you at kindergarten dismissal.

  1. What about birthdays?

We will have a simple acknowledgement of each child’s day.  Summer birthdays are celebrated before we leave for the summer break.  We do not distribute party invitations in class.  However, we will send home a class list with addresses and phone numbers for parents to contact each other directly.  Please sign the permission slip if you would like your contact information to be included.

Note: Due to school department policy, we do not allow food to be sent in to celebrate birthdays.

An optional birthday poster is something you can create with your child and they will be able to share it on their special day during our Morning Meeting. (Please see separate sheet about the Birthday poster).  

  1. What do I need to know about field trips?

Specific information and permission slips regarding dates, times, etc. will be sent home in advance.  Please return them to school ASAP. Payments for field trips are CASH ONLY. You may volunteer to be a chaperone on our field trips. There will be a place for you to sign up on each form.  All chaperones or classroom helpers must fill out a CORI form, have it processed at the Superintendent’s office and attend a principal-led confidentiality meeting before volunteering in the classroom or attending a field trip. (Siblings are not allowed on trips).

  1. How will I be informed of my child’s progress?

Parent conferences will be scheduled two times during the year.  The town of Burlington has Thursday, November 30th as conference day for elementary students.  The second conference will be held in the spring.  Progress reports are sent home twice a year, in January and the last day of school.  However, please know that we are available to talk whenever needed.  In fact, it is not too late to request a listening conference. Please contact Mrs. Parnell to schedule.

  1. Are checks acceptable as payment for things my child needs at school?

Payments for field trips are CASH ONLY.  We will collect money for field trips as they come up throughout the year. All money MUST be in an envelope and clearly marked with your child’s name, room number, teacher’s name, amount and purpose.
Sample envelope:
Child’s name
Room number
Teacher’s name
Amount enclosed
Purpose (ex. Field trip)

10) Can my child purchase lunch?
The Town of Burlington has a cashless lunch system. There are two payment options for having your child buy lunch at school
Option 1:
Make Checks Payable to: Burlington Food Service
Option 2:
Go to this web site for cashless lunch
The cost for lunch is $3.00 for lunch or $.60 for milk.

11) Snack
We will have an optional snack time in the morning. If you decide to send in a snack please send it in a disposable bag SEPARATE from their lunch box with only one snack food item. Be sure to include appropriate utensils and napkins if needed.  Students will have access to their water bottles during snack time.  

Please keep in mind that we will be eating in the classroom. Therefore, healthy and disposable snacks that require minimal clean-up are best. In accordance with the district allergy policy, snacks also need to be peanut and tree nut free. Acceptable morning snacks may include crackers, fruit, string cheese, raisins, etc.

12) What if my child needs to take medication during the school day?

The school nurse must administer any medication that needs to be taken during the school day. Please contact Joanne Ferrick at 781-270-1713.  Also, health forms need to be turned in by the first day of school.

13)  Will my child have homework?

    The kindergarten news and other optional enrichment opportunities and suggestions for students to complete will be sent home in red homework folders on Fridays and are due back by the following Friday. Participation in the homework process is encouraged, but optional.  Regardless of whether your child complete any activities at home, please return the folder by each Friday.

14)   How can I contact my child’s teacher?

You can reach me here at school.  The classroom phone number is 781-221-7788. The best time to reach me is 7:45-8:15 a.m. or after 1:15 p.m.  You can also reach me by e-mail. My email address is  I check my e-mail at least once a day.

    15)  How can I be a classroom volunteer?

We welcome and NEED parent assistance in the kindergarten program.  Please fill out the form in the packet if you would like to be a volunteer. Opportunities include room parents who coordinate communicating with other parents to gather supplies from time to time, at-home prep work, field trip chaperoning, special event assistance, serving as a classroom helper or surprise mystery reader.  

Note: all chaperones or in school classroom helpers must fill out a CORI form, have it processed at the Superintendent’s office, and attend a principal-led confidentiality meeting before volunteering in the classroom or attending a field trip.

16)  What classroom donations are needed?

To start off our school year we would love a donation of:
WET WIPES- antibacterial hand wipes
Kleenex/Puffs- tissues
Bounty paper towels
assorted Zip-lock baggies
hand sanitizer- foam kind if possible
sidewalk chalk

* As our storage space is limited we will inform you when we need more donations.  THANKS!
* We have found that if we wash hands often our classroom environment and members stay healthier.  Throughout the year we will be asking that our wipes and pump hand sanitizers be replenished.  

* Check our class blog wishlist page for updates.

17)  Communication

Ways we communicate with parents:

Please register for the Blogs to receive email updates!
- Follow us
We love to share all that is happening in school.  Our blog will be updated as frequently as time allows.

18)  List of forms we need filled out and returned TODAY!
(THERE ARE 6 ITEMS- Please place forms in the marked bins)

  • pink emergency card for nurse (both sides)
  • blog permission form
  • transportation form
  • parent-teacher partnership/class list
  • School Messenger Form (green)
  • Family Contact Form (green)

We are looking forward to working closely with you to ensure a successful year for your child.

Melissa Parnell & Kathleen Kearney  

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