What to Know Before the First Day

PRIMARY AND PRE-PRIMARY

WE NEED LOTS OF FORMS: (new Students) Health Inventory, Emergency Card, and Questionnaire.  Your doctor can complete the Lead Level Blood Test results in the health inventory OR on the separate form.  Despite what the form says, ALL students, regardless of where they live (some zip codes for “hot spots” are indicated) are now required to have the blood test done.  A baseline is usually done at the two-year old well-child visit, and then again, a few years later. Asthma and Severe Allergy Medical forms are available to those who need them; if they do not apply to your child, we do not need the papers.  It is a good idea to print out a copy of the Authorization to Administer Medication form to have in your child’s file at the doctor’s office.  Please be sure you have signed each form where indicated.  Parent Handbooks, finalized school calendars, snack calendars and suggestion list, and permission slips for: field trips, use of photos, and application of sunscreen and insect repellant will also be in your child’s cubby at the Open House.

FMS is requiring all students to be fully vaccinated in order to attend School.  This was a decision that was discussed and thought out carefully.  It is not our desire to exclude families, but the common good outweighs all else.  School will need a current copy of the immunization form prior to the first day of attending.  During the course of the year, if your child receives more immunizations at well-child visits, please ask the doctor’s office for a fresh copy of the form so we can update the file.  Parents may not pencil in the information as was once allowed by the State.  If your child is behind on any immunizations due to being born pre-maturely or because of other medical issues, the School requires a written explanation from the doctor as to why the shots were delayed and when they will take place. 

 (Returning students) The State is now requiring health inventories (and immunization records, as seen above) be updated yearly.  You may wait to have these forms completed at your child’s next well-child visit, as long as we have last year’s forms on file. Emergency cards can be rewritten, or simply reviewed and updated on Visit Day.

We like to have a questionnaire completed for each new student.

On our website, you will find a calendar and the most updated forms required by the State.  You will receive a monthly snack calendar by cubby mail.  Newsletters will be emailed to you as the year progresses.  For the first one, I will ask that parents tell me that they received it, so I will know I have the correct email addresses.

You will be asked, during the first week of school, to check your listing in the Class Directory. A hard copy will be shared afterward.

Please complete a field trip permission slip (you will be notified of each trip in advance) and a photo permission slip.  Returning students will also need updated forms.

YOUR CHILD SHOULD HAVE A LUNCH BOX WITH NAME CLEARLY PRINTED ON THE OUTSIDE: Ideally, we would prefer lunchboxes that do not have pictures of fighting and weapons.  Pack whatever your child enjoys, keeping an eye on healthy choices.  Food to be heated should be in microwave-safe containers (label these as well.)  The school will provide low-fat milk at lunch, or you may send a beverage (no soda, avoid 10% fruit drinks with added sugar and color—they tend to make children jittery.) If you include a dessert, please limit it to one; do not send candy, marshmallows, fruit roll-ups, or gummy anythings.  Although the children can hardly believe it, at school Jell-O, cereal bars, protein bars, granola bars and most trail mixes and yogurt (especially the colorful kind that comes in tubes) are considered dessert.  Teachers will check that the children have eaten enough of their “healthy, help-you-grow foods” before okaying dessert.  Please do not send silverware or cold packs; we have it covered.  Peanut butter and nuts are allowed in your child’s lunch.

Some children enjoy having a photograph of their parents or the whole family in their lunchboxes.  If you send one, laminate it so it can be wiped clean.  Lunch box notes, such as: “I love you!” and “Have a super day!” are also popular.

Cool water from a dispenser is available to the children throughout the day.  Please do not send additional drinks in thermoses or water bottles.  It is unnecessary and the drinks tend to be shared among friends.  You know where that leads.

CHILDREN DO NOT TRAVEL LIGHT; THEREFORE, A BACKPACK OR TOTE BAG IS A GOOD IDEA.  A comfortable and reasonably-sized backpack encourages independence and responsibility only if your child is the one who carries it.  Backpacks with wheels do not fit into the cubbies.

WE GO OUTSIDE A LOT, THEREFORE SUNSCREEN and INSECT REPELLANT is good to keep on hand.  We recommend you apply sunscreen before school begins. If you would like it re-applied during the day, you need to sign a consent form and provide us with the sunscreen, labeled.  Be sure it has not expired.  Lotion type is preferred to spray as the spray sunscreens which may trigger asthma attacks.  You may also opt for teachers to apply the School-purchased sunscreen and insect repellant.

REGARDING SCHOOL CLOTHING:  Children should wear clothes that are comfortable and not family heirlooms.  Avoid belts, suspenders, leotards, onesies, and any accessory that discourages the child’s independent use of the toilet.  Elasticized waistbands are the easiest for young friends who wait until the last second to get to the bathroom.  As your child becomes more comfortable with self-care, more intricate closures can be introduced. 

FMS encourages the children to treat each other gently and kindly.  It is one reason we do not allow war-play.  Please keep this in mind when selecting clothes for school.  Tee shirts with Super heroes and all their weaponry, pirates with cutlasses, Turtles who fight, Star War beings and Spiderman images do not help maintain an atmosphere of peace and are therefore not to be worn to school.  Please respect this rule and have issues resolved before arriving at school.

Rubber-soled shoes should be sturdy and safe for active play.  No clogs, flip flops, or shoes with high heels.  Sandals must have an ankle strap.  The most common accident on the playground occurs when children trip out of slip-on shoes such as Crocs that are too big.  I am not a fan of Crocs, but many parents are; please be sure, if you send them, that you make use of the ankle strap and that they fit snuggly enough to swing, climb and run in.   Cowboy/girl boots make for sweaty feet and really hurt if your child accidently steps on someone’s fingers, therefore they are not appropriate for school wear.  Socks help keep many shoes from painfully rubbing and should be worn.

All children need to keep a pair of rain boots at school to wear on muddy days.  If it is not raining hard, we will go out.  Put a name on the boots, please!

Some children like to keep a sweater in their cubbies in case the air conditioner gives them a chill.

PUT YOUR CHILD NAME ON EVERYTHING OR YOU MAY NEVER SEE IT AGAIN.  When school starts, the Pre-Primary friends don’t really know the difference between: “your cubby” and “a cubby”, so things make the rounds.  In Primary, the cubby area is a place for hurried movements (we don’t know why) and things float, slide and plop onto the floor.  Labeling helps everything go home with the right person.

HOW WE ADDRESS TRANSITION OBJECTS:  We are aware of the importance of transition objects for some children.  We want your child to feel comfortable here, but we also emphasize that the way we do things at school may be different from home routines.  Transition items are to be left in the cubby rather than travel the classroom with your child.  S/he may visit the cubby as needed throughout the day to touch and be comforted by the object.  If it is a nap-appropriate object such as a blanket or stuffed animal, it can be cuddled during quiet time.  (One creative Mom cut a section of a treasured blanket into hand-sized hearts.  If this child got tearful during the day, he would ask for a heart from home.) Please be sure take the transition object with you at dismissal.  (Of course, we have, and always will, meet you at school after-hours to enable you to retrieve a momentarily forgotten but now really needed transition object.  Still, you know you don’t want to make that call.)

Pacifiers are okay for nap time.  We do not use bottles at any time.

SHOW AND TELL:  Your child can bring a toy (no war toys), book, nature object, etc. on his/her assigned snack day.  Please encourage your child to share something simple and that s/he is comfortable having other children handle.  Lego creations are a teacher’s worst nightmare for Show and Tell; the structures are almost guaranteed to fall apart and need rebuilding each time they change hands.  We know it is hard but try to talk your children out of bringing remote control vehicles, fragile Lego creations, and electronics. 

*****PRIMARY CLASS*****

YOUR CHILD NEEDS A COMPLETE CHANGE OF CLOTHES, LABELED:  underpants, socks (not tights, please) shirt, skirt/pants that fit and are seasonally appropriate.  Some children keep an extra pair of sneakers as well.  Everything must be labeled with your child’s name.  If your child is wearing different clothes at dismissal than he was at arrival, you can figure you will need to replenish the clothes box the next day.  School will provide a bin for your child’s extra clothes. 

QUIET TIME:  A few children in Primary object to “nap” because they are “too old” hence, Quiet Time.  Each child will be assigned a cot for the year. You can send a twin size flat sheet or make use of a school sheet.  You may provide your child with a travel-size pillow (not a bed pillow) a small blanket (not a sleeping bag), and a quiet, soft, stuffed animal or baby doll (no purses, squeakers, puppets, taking, batteries, leashes, changes of outfits, light up capabilities, etc.) Please label all bedding.  Each child will have use of a school-issued drawstring bag for transporting bedding home to be washed every few weeks.  All bedding must be able to fit in the bag.  If it cannot fit in the bag, it cannot fit on the cot when stacked. 

PLEASE HAVE YOUR CHILD SELECT A POCKET FOLDER to take home important work papers, drawings, newsletters, etc.  Please empty it regularly.

KINDERGARTNERS:  K’s need a wide ruled notebook, spiral or composition style, which lies flat when opened for their journal entries.  Pages that tear out easily with frantic erasing can make a frustrating writing experience worse.  Students should have two different-looking pocket folders, one labeled “Daily Work” and the other “Kindergarten – Leave at School.” We will explain why in the fall. 

 

*****PRE-PRIMARY CLASS *****

THESE STUDENTS WILL NEED AT LEAST TWO COMPLETE CHANGES OF CLOTHES, LABELED:  more for children starting to use the potty.  Don’t forget the extra shoes.  Please bring a Rubbermaid type box just large enough to hold the extra clothes. Label the box and everything in it.  These extra clothes will stay at school.  We will remind you to replenish them when needed.

IF APPLICABLE, A STACK OF DIAPERS with your child’s name on the wrapper should be kept above the changing table.  We will let you know when the supply is low.

WIPES:  wipes of your choice.  No need to label, we will share these.

PULL-UPS may be used by children who are very close to being potty proficient, or when needed just for nap.  If your child is still in the diaper stage, please do not use Pull-Ups.

NAPTIME:  Each child will be assigned a cot for the year.  Please provide a small sheet and blanket.  A flat, twin-size sheet will also work.  You may also send a travel-size pillow and stuffed animal or baby doll (no squeakers, puppets, batteries, leashes, changes of clothes, light up capabilities, etc.) Label all bedding; it will be sent home at regular intervals to be washed. (No bed-sized pillows, no sleeping bags—the cots cannot be stacked with too much bedding.)

*****EVERYONE*****

PLEASE help us keep these supplies constantly available by providing:

1 box Ziploc bags, snack, sandwich, quart, gallon or two-gallon (surprise us!)

1 bottle of Ranch dressing and/or ketchup

Glue sticks

Pop Up antibacterial wipes

Appreciated, but not required:  sidewalk chalk, boxes of pop-up tissues, pinkie erasers (rectangle shaped), fun stickers, white cardstock, colored copy paper, glitter glue, plastic bags (for icky diapers), plain vinyl placemats, vinyl tablecloths, playground balls, supplies for the mud kitchen, dot/Bingo markers, ribbon

No list can be all-inclusive, however, having told you what to bring, allow us to mention what not to bring.  This hit list is derived from years of experience.

PLEASE DO NOT BRING:

Toys from home (except for Show and Tell)

Pens                                                      Candy

Workbooks                                         Umbrellas

 Make-up                                             Perfume

Gum                                                      Tablets, Kindles, Cell phones

Money                                                   Loose, temporary tattoos

Sippy cups/bottles                          Outside toys (unless being donated to FMS)

Sunglasses: unless medically required.  We have seen children’s sunglasses break and cut skin in playground accidents.  We much prefer sun/baseball hats which will help keep the sun off their faces too.

If you find some interesting, new objects in your child’s pockets or backpack after school, please check with a teacher to see if they belong to a work.  Our materials are attractive and sometimes hard to resist.  We will not be upset that your child has “borrowed” something; we will be very happy to get it back.

 

It seems like a lot, and it is!  But we will follow up with helpful reminders!