Welcome and congrats! Your child is finally going into kindergarten. It is exciting, scary and confusing all in one. 🙂 The below is to try and help with some of the confusing parts. 🙂 Any info given out by the school takes precedence over the below.
There are a lot of calendars. The BSPTO, the school, and the district all have them. And you can make them all visible on your phone. Checkout our Calendar info page for help. The BSPTO calendar will have more info on BSPTO events. The school calendar will have many of the same events but less detail, but it will also tell you what letter the day is (more on that below). The district and school calendars both have events for when school is closed, which is really helpful.
Morning drop off
Morning drop off is from 7:30* to 8:00. Kindergarten kids go to the cafe, while all other grades go to the gym. Day 1 may have some special arrangements that may vary from year to year, like being allowed to walk your child all the way to their classroom. But overall the expectation is that parents don’t enter the building during drop off, so say your goodbyes outside. Some of the reasons for this are security, and just too many people.
Everyone is encouraged to walk, bike or scooter when possible, as it is good for the kids and for the congestion in the parking lot. But if driving is necessary, many people park nearby and walk the last bit to avoid the crazy parking lot. This is a really good option for kinder parents as you probably want to give hugs and what not when dropping off, which isn’t possible if you use the drop off line. There are several entry points to the school grounds that have street parking near them, and there is a crossing guard as well as a blinking crosswalk sign (that the BSPTO sponsored) on 174th to making walking over safer. It is always a good idea to do a little recon before the first day to find where you want to park for your walk in.
You can drive through and drop off your child curbside (drop off line). But you are not supposed to get out of your car, and your child needs to exit from the right side of your vehicle to be safe. Drop off line gets nuts a little after 7:45am. When it rains it gets super crazy, traffic even backs up onto 174th from time to time. So be really careful if you are driving to drop off.
Parking in the school parking lot is “technically” possible, but it is discouraged unless you are staying to volunteer for something. Little kids are really hard to see with so many cars around. Walking from your parked car to the front door can dangerous. So please keep your kids super close.
There is also a very few children who can ride the bus. You should have received information from the school about that if you are eligible.
* Note: There is a private business that does before and after school care in the cafe. They start at 7am. But you have to be signed up with them in advance. Their info is on this page on the Bethany Elementary website.
Kids who bring lunch, will drop it off in a bin with their teachers name on it. For kinder the bins are in the cafe, for other grades they are in the front lobby and get moved to the cafe sometime after 8am. So make sure the lunch bag has their name on it, or some special ribbon on the handle. There were like 5 identical Frozen lunch bags in my kids bin her first year. You are allowed to have peanut stuff in the lunch, which is part of the reason it doesn’t go to the classroom. There is a peanut free table in the cafe for each lunch session.
Pick up is similar to drop off, very busy. Pick up is at 2:35, except on Wednesdays when it is at 1:05. Wednesdays are early release to give the teachers time to meet and collaborate. The school has been experimenting with different ways of organizing this, so at this time they we aren’t going to write anything here about it.
First day of school
For kinder, only half the class is asked to come on the first day. Then the other half on the second day. Followed by all of the students on the 3rd day. This helps the kids adjust a little easier.
Classes go to specific specials (music, PE, technology, library…) on certain days. Because the pattern is more then 5 days before it repeats, they use letters. So each school day gets a letter. Usually A-H. Your child’s class my have PE (gym) on B and F days for example.
A special note about GeoQuest. 1st Grade and kinder usually have the 1st and second lunch slots. These are right after GeoQuest. So if you volunteer for GeoQuest you can stay and eat lunch with your child. This is a great way to meet some of their friends who you have probably heard about.
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