Kindergarten Orientation


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 now 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.

  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.  Please send your child to school with a filled water bottle daily. Students get thirsty throughout the day and having a water bottle on thier cubby assists us in allowing the students a quick drink.

We ask that toys and school supplies stay home. Our classroom is full of great toys and materials already! 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 sing, give a small goody bag, a certificate and a birthday crown to celebrate their special day.  An optional birthday poster is something you can create with your child and they will be able to share it on thier special day during our Morning Meeting. (Please see seperate sheet about the Birthday poster).  Summer birthdays can be celebrated at your child’s half birthday or before we leave for the summer break.  We do not distribute party invitations in class.  We will send home a class list with addresses and phone numbers for parents to contact each other directly.  Please sign the enclosed permission slip so your information can be included.
Note: Due to school department policy, we cannot allow food to be sent in to celebrate birthdays.

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

Our field trips take place during the school day.  In most cases, we will return in time for your child to go home at the regular time.  Specific information regarding dates, times, etc. will be sent home in advance.  We are hoping to schedule a trip to the Franklin Park Zoo in October. We try to do our field trips on Fridays.  Field trips tend to take a bit more energy and leave both the students and teachers quite tired!  Field trip permission slips will be sent home for each trip. Please return them to school ASAP.   You may also volunteer to be a chaperone on our field trips. There will be a place for you to sign up on each permission slip.  All chaperones or classroom helpers must fill out a CORI form and have it processed at the Superintendent’s office and attend a Principal lead Confidentiality Meeting before volunteering the classroom or attending a field trip.
Note: Siblings will not be allowed on trips, and field trip payments are cash only.

  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, December 1st as conference day for elementary students.  The second conference (optional) will be held in April/May.  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. If you would like to tell us more about your child/family please schedule a Listening Conference so teachers can learn about you!

  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.

  1. 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.

12)  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.

  1.  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.

  1. How can I be a classroom volunteer?

We welcome and NEED parents in our classroom to assist in the kindergarten program.  Please fill out the form in the packet if you would like to be a volunteer.  Please note all chaperones or classroom helpers must fill out a CORI form and have it processed at the Superintendent’s office and attend a Principal lead Confidentiality Meeting before volunteering the classroom or attending a field trip.

  1.  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
tennis balls
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.  

16)  Communication

Ways we communicate with parents:

  • paper notices
  • e-mail-
  • telephone-781-221-7788
Please register for the Blogs to receive email updates!

17)  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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