Kindergarten - Frequently Asked Questions

posted Nov 2, 2015, 8:32 AM by Pat Keith   [ updated Jul 23, 2017, 6:14 AM ]

Frequently asked questions--everything you want to know and more!


HOW OLD DOES MY CHILD NEED TO BE TO ATTEND KINDERGARTEN?  

Your child must turn 5 on or before October 1 of the current year.


CAN I TOUR THE SCHOOL?

We love having the opportunity to share our about our kindergarten environment here at BCE! We will be offering school tours several times over the next few months. Please click HERE for times and sign up.



IS KINDERGARTEN FULL DAY OR HALF DAY?

Both!  Bear Canyon offers both full day and half day kindergarten classes.

Full Day 8:40 – 3:30

Half Day-AM 8:40 – 11:40

Half Day-PM 12:30 – 3:30

Full Day is a tuition-based kindergarten program. Tuition for the upcoming school year is still being determined at the District level, but is estimated to be $3300.  This can be paid monthly (Aug-May) or all at once. Space is limited!


Half Day kindergarten can be either morning or afternoon. We will ask you for your 1st and 2nd choice and do our best to accommodate requests.



WHAT SORTS OF THINGS WILL MY KINDERGARTEN STUDENT LEARN?    Our Kindergarten program incorporates reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies and dramatic play to help students develop a long-term enthusiasm for learning. Equally important is helping our students acquire a solid sense of security and self-esteem as well as character and integrity.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FULL DAY AND HALF DAY KINDERGARTEN?

The curriculum is the same in both half day and full day kindergarten, but full day kindergarten allows more time to focus on the curriculum, as well as some additional enrichment activities.


WILL MY CHILD LEARN TO READ IN KINDERGARTEN? We foster each child's natural desire to learn. All kindergartners are immersed in literacy rich environments and are provided many opportunities to develop their literacy skills. Our goal is for each child to leave kindergarten with appropriate literacy foundations that will make them successful in the years to come. Yes, some children come into kindergarten ready to read or reading already, while others are developing their skills. Literacy activities in kindergarten are always multi-level and our classrooms are set up with many open ended activities to challenge each learner at their level. The beauty is that each and every child will grow tremendously no matter what skills they come into our program with.



WHEN WILL I FIND OUT WHOM IS MY CHILD'S TEACHER?

A letter will be sent home mid-summer at the latest with your kindergarten teacher’s name. Before school starts in August, you will be able to find your child’s teacher’s supply list on our Bear Canyon website and learn more about the teacher!

KINDERGARTEN MEET AND GREET

Our kindergarten teachers will be hosting a “Welcome to Kindergarten Social” to give new Kindergartners and their families a chance to informally meet teachers and classmates, see their classrooms, drop off school supplies and just play – without the crowd of the first day of school. More information on this Meet and Greet time will be sent to you by your child’s teacher before the start of school.


WHAT IS EXPRESS CHECK IN?

All students including Kindies, returning students, and students brand new to Bear Canyon Elementary, will need to complete Express Check In, which begins in mid-July. It contains additional forms and fees to be completed each year. More information will be available on the website in mid-July.


CAN I ENROLL MY CHILD IN FIRST GRADE IF THEY ARE AGE 6 BY OCTOBER 1 AND DID NOT ATTEND KINDERGARTEN?

According to district policy, a parent may make that choice; however, it is not recommended. Children would miss the foundation of learning in reading and math that prepares them for success in first grade. Students entering first grade in DCSD are expected to be reading at the DRA 3 reading level. Without the pre-literacy and literacy skills, a student may begin school at a disadvantage.



WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR A KINDERGARTEN STUDENT?

FULL DAY

Morning work/Calendar

Literacy Groups

Snack

1st Specials

Lunch/Recess

Relax and Read

Math

2nd Specials

Handwriting

Discovery Centers

HALF DAY

Opening

Language Arts/Science/Social Studies

Recess

Calendar/Math

Handwriting/child-directed play



HOW DOES DISMISSAL WORK?                

Kindergarten students have a “supervised” pick up. This means they are release to an authorized person for pick-up which may include: parents, emergency contacts, childcare or school staff member.  Students who ride the district bus or a childcare bus are escorted to their bus. Arrangements deviating from these persons should be prearranged through the front office and/or the child’s teacher.



WHAT CURRICULUM IS USE FOR KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS?  

Math curriculum – Math in Focus (Singapore Math) – BCE purchased and began using the Math in Focus math curriculum as the 2012-2013 school year started. We believe that Math in Focus provides a coherent sequence of topics, allows students time to master foundational topics and covers fewer topics at a more in depth level with each topic. At the kindergarten level, this means there are many foundational concepts learned--many of which relate to counting, sorting and number sense.

The Kindergarten scope and sequence includes: Number Operations, Algebra (patterning, modeling and counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s), Geometry (includes both two and three-dimensional shapes, Measurement, and Data Analysis. Other topics that are covered in Math in Focus include: Reasoning and Proof, Communication, Connections and Representation.



Reading and Writing – Wonders Program (McGraw-Hill) – Reading Wonders is the first and only reading program designed specifically for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Reading/Language Arts. Combining research-based instruction with new tolls to meet today’s challenges, every component and every lesson is designed for effective and efficient CCSS instruction. The program provides unmatched support for building a strong reading foundation, accessing complex text, finding and using text evidence, engaging in collaborative conversations, writing to sources, and using a rich range of diverse print and digital media. Wonders provides the instruction support and materials you will only find in a program that was created to teach to the rigor, intent and depth of the new Common Core State Standards.

HOW OFTEN DO THE KINDERGARTNERS HAVE “SPECIALS” (ELECTIVE CLASSES) AND WHAT ARE THEY?
Full Day  kindergarten students will participate in rotating “specials” of music, art and physical education, and library/Tech. Our full day kindergarten students also participate in “specials” of technology, health education and Lego Engineering.  Half day kindergarten students participate in specials including Technology and library.

WILL THEY HAVE A REST TIME DURING THE DAY?  

Yes, we try to have a rest, relax, and read time during our day.  We read stories together and independently and enjoy this quiet time in our busy day. Children do not have to sleep, but some do especially at the beginning of the year as they adjust to an active all day program.

WILL WE GET A REPORT CARD FOR THEIR PROGRESS? HOW ARE THEY GRADED AT THIS AGE?

The school district uses an EPR (Elementary Progress Report) on a semester basis. This is made available through Parent Portal at the end of each semester. The state standards and grade-level expectations are indicated on the EPR and as well as the grading scale. Children are assessed on a scale of 1-4, with 3 considered meeting grade level expectations.



WHAT CAN MY CHILD AND I EXPECT THE FIRST DAY?

Parents will stay with their child for the first 90 minutes to help them ease into the classroom, and learn more about Kindergarten. Students will be dismissed at their normal time.


DO I TAKE MY CHILD TO THE CLASSROOM ON THE FIRST DAY?

Yes. You will line up outside until your teacher escorts you in.

IF MY CHILD CRIES OR IS AFRAID, HOW DO YOU HANDLE IT?   

We will work with your child to make them feel safe and welcome, and ask that you let us work with them. Our team is very well-versed in helping students through this process. If we see the need to bring the parent back, we will call and coordinate that on an individual basis.


IF MY CHILD DOES NOT CALM DOWN AFTER A FEW MINUTES, WILL I BE CALLED?

We will work with them and use professional judgment. In some cases, we do call and ask the parents to come help calm the student.



IF MY CHILD APPEARS BEHIND THE OTHERS AT YEAR-END, WILL HE/SHE REPEAT KINDERGARTEN?

Grade retention is a complicated decision and must be coordinated through the principal. There are many factors and long-term effects that need to be considered and reviewed. If you are considering retention for your child, contact your teacher and schedule a meeting with the principal.


WHAT SECURITY MEASURES ARE IN PLACE FOR BEAR CANYON?  

All doors at Bear Canyon are locked before, during and after school. Visitors must buzz in through the front door and check in and show ID at the front office. We ask all visitors and volunteers to sign in at the front office and to wear designated labels while in the building. We also have Douglas County Sheriffs who randomly visit our school at least twice a day.


HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED WITH EITHER MY CHILD’S CLASS OR ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY AT BEAR CANYON?

We have many volunteer opportunities here at Bear Canyon!  We have a very active volunteer base who help out in our classrooms and with small group break outs, as well as at special events and field trips. There is a volunteer application to be completed to help out with our students as confidentiality and student safety is important to us!




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