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Q&A for New Kindergarten Parents

Click here for the Chinese translation

請點擊此處看中文譯本

 

Important dates

  • Jefferson Kindergarten Orientation for Parents/Guardians:
    Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 3–4 p.m., Jefferson Auditorium

     
  • Last day to turn in paperwork to Jefferson Main Office:
    Thursday, May 31, 2018

     
  • First Summer Playdate:
    Saturday, August 4, 2018, 10 a.m.–noon, Mother’s Meadow, Golden Gate Park (MLK just east of 19th Avenue)

     
  • Second Summer Playdate:
    Saturday, August 18, 2018, 10 a.m.–noon, Kindergarten Yard, Jefferson (enter on Irving between 18th and 19th Avenues or on 18th Avenue just south of Irving)

     
  • First Day of School:
    Monday, August 20, 2018, 8:40 a.m., meet in Kindergarten Yard, Jefferson


What should I do before school starts?

  • Turn in all paperwork to the Jefferson Main Office by May 31, 2018 (or at Kindergarten Orientation, May 15):
    ○ Student Emergency / Medical Information Form Card
    ○ Health Information Form
    ○ SFUSD School Health Form (to be completed by Health Care Provider)
        ■ including Kindergarten entrance physical exam
    ○ Kindergarten Placement Questionnaire

     
  • Join the Jefferson School Yahoo Group (see below).  Don’t wait; join today!
     
  • Come to both Summer Playdates.  It’s a great way to meet other kids and families!


When will I know what classroom my child is in?


There are four Kindergarten classes at Jefferson. The teachers are Ms. Baird, Ms. Kahn, Ms. Gow/Ms. Ellison, and Ms. Kabat. The week before school starts (normally on the Wednesday), classroom assignments will be posted in the school hallway (by the stairs, around the corner from the Main Office). Due to SFUSD student privacy regulations, class lists cannot be posted anywhere online. Please do NOT call the Main Office to try to find out your student’s class assignment. Shirley and Ana in the office are extremely busy preparing for the first day of school and cannot take the time to answer class assignment questions. The lists will remain up until after the school year begins.

 

Can I request a specific teacher or for my child to be placed with a friend?

Jefferson does not take requests for a specific teacher or classroom. If you would like to request that your child be placed with another child, please note this on the Kindergarten Placement Questionnaire. The request will be noted, but it is not in any way guaranteed.

 

What should I pack in my child’s backpack?

Kindergartners have snack time in the morning. We ask you to provide your child with a healthy snack.  Fruit, vegetables, cheese, a sandwich, crackers, dried fruit, seaweed, and unsweetened cereal are all good choices. The snack should be packed in a reusable container labeled with your child’s name.

For lunch, either you must pack a lunch for your child, or your child may eat the school lunch. (See below for information about the school lunch program.)

 

What does my child need at school?

Your child’s teacher will ask you to bring a change of clothes in a bag labeled with your child’s name.  You may leave the bag in your child’s cubby.  Please also label your child’s jackets, fleeces, vests, hats, and any other clothing that may be taken off during the day.  You would be amazed by how much unlabeled clothing ends up in the lost and found and is never claimed.

There 
is no school uniform at Jefferson. While SFUSD has dress standards (to see the policy, click here and search the document for "dress/appearance standards"), they focus on avoiding clothing that could cause school distraction or disruption or be unsafe. Teachers encourage children to wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes.  Luckily Jefferson students have a lot of opportunities to run around and play outside during the day.

In general, all school supplies (pencils, crayons, paper, erasers, scissors, etc.) are provided by Jefferson.  You do not need to send your child to school with any school supplies.

Kindergartners have quiet time in the classroom after lunch recess. Your child’s teacher will ask you to provide a bath towel, a little blanket, or a small pillow for your child to rest on. Please wait to find out your child’s teacher’s preference before bringing anything to class for your child to rest on.

Your child’s classroom cubby is also a good place to keep sunscreen and a water cup or water bottle.

 

How does morning dropoff work?

You must walk your child into the Kindergarten Yard. There are two gates into the K Yard: one on Irving between 18th and 19th Avenues and the other on 18th Avenue just south of Irving. Yard supervision by one of the Kindergarten teachers begins at 8:20 a.m. If you are dropping off your child between 8:20 and 8:40 a.m., be sure you see one of the Kindergarten teachers in the yard. Otherwise, please wait with your child until the classes line up at 8:38 a.m. (a first bell rings at that time) and are picked up at 8:40 a.m. (when a second bell rings) by their teacher, who walks them into the classroom.

 

What should I do if my child will be late for school?

If you are a couple of minutes late, you can take your child directly to the classroom. Should you be more than a couple of minutes late, please walk your child to the Main Office, pick up a Late Pass, and hand it to your child’s teacher upon arriving in the classroom.

 

What should I do if my child is sick or cannot attend school?

Please call the Main Office by 8:30 a.m.: 415-759-2821. Let the office know your child’s name and classroom number and the reason why your child will not be at school. You must call the office every day that your child is absent.

 

How do I enter the school at times other than at pickup and dropoff?

After standard pickup and dropoff times, all of the school gates and doors to the outside are locked except one. In particular, the two gates into the Kindergarten Yard will be locked. If you need to enter the school when the gates and doors are locked, and you don’t see someone inside who can let you in, enter through the gate to the Middle Yard on 18th Avenue, enter the school building on your right, and go to the Main Office.

 

What if I need to pick my child up before the school day ends?

If you need to pick up your child early, for example for a doctor or dentist appointment, go to the Main Office, where you will be asked to sign out your child and give the reason for the early pickup, you will pick up a pass, and you will hand it to your child’s teacher as you pick up your child.

 

What happens at lunchtime?

Lunch for the Kindergartners starts at 11:20 a.m., and lunch recess ends at 12:15 p.m. The teacher walks the students to the designated lunch area. Then adult lunch monitors take over the supervision. The children eat their packed lunches or school lunches with their class. After 15 minutes, the Kindergartners are dismissed to the Upper Yard, where they put their lunch boxes in their classroom’s yard bucket and go play. First Graders are also playing in the Upper Yard at this time, and adult yard monitors provide supervision. At the end of lunch recess, the Kindergarten teachers pick up their classes and the lunch boxes in the Upper Yard and take the children to the classroom to start quiet time.

You will receive information about the school lunch program from SFUSD (how to pay, qualifying for reduced–cost or free lunch, etc.), but here is the basic program.

School lunches need not be preordered, so if your child forgets to bring a packed lunch, school lunch will be provided, and payment is billed automatically through the system.

 

How does afternoon pickup work?

At 2:40 p.m. a bell rings to signal the end of the school day. Unless your child is enrolled in an onsite afterschool enrichment class or childcare program, you (or someone you have approved to pick up your child) must be in the K Yard at 2:40. Your child’s teacher will walk the children out to the K Yard at that time. Please wait for the teacher to dismiss your child into your care.

Pickup can be hectic and stressful for a child if the parent is late. So it is very important to allow the time you need for parking, walking, etc. to get to school on time for pickup at 2:40.

If your child is enrolled in an onsite afterschool enrichment class or childcare program, your child’s teacher will make sure your child is dismissed to the person in charge of that program.

Before the start of the school year, you will provide the Main Office with a list of people permitted to pick up your child. The list is shared with your child’s teacher.

 

What are the different types of afterschool programs?

  • The official SFUSD onsite childcare program. More information about it can be found here.
     
  • Onsite Afterschool Enrichment Classes. These are one-hour classes in different subjects offered after school. The PTA or parents organize the providers, and parents pay them directly. The different classes are usually announced and available for signup before the fall, winter, and spring terms. Here is an example of offered classes.
     
  • Activities led by parents, such as Girl Scouts, a running club, or a soccer team, some of which meet onsite and some offsite.
     
  • Parents have many strategies for arranging care between 2:40 p.m. and when parents return from work. Some parents trade off taking care of each other’s kids. Some offsite programs will pick children up (e.g. Wah Mei, JCC, etc.). Other parents find college students or part-time babysitters to look after their kids. It can be stressful figuring this out the first year, but don’t worry – it all comes together, and you will have it sorted out in no time. Don’t be shy about using the Jefferson School Yahoo Group to post your needs.

 

Where can I get more information about my child’s daily schedule?

Back–to–School Night is held in September. At Back–to–School night, you will meet with your child’s teacher in the classroom and receive more detailed information about your child’s daily schedule. In addition to the standard Kindergarten curriculum of reading, writing, and math workshops, the children have numerous enriching weekly activities, many of them funded by the PTA, such as singing, dance, opera, garden and outdoor science, gross motor skills, “reading buddies” with their Third Grade reading partners, trips to the Sunset Library (next–door to Jefferson) and the school library, occasional art, cooking, and science lessons, and lots of field trips.

 

How do I sign up for the Jefferson School Yahoo Group?

  1. Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JeffersonSchool
     
  2. Click on the “+ Join Group” button
     
  3. Use your existing Yahoo ID, or sign up for a new one if you need to
     
  4. Complete the final screen. Step 2 of this screen allows you to indicate the style of message delivery you want. You can choose to have each message delivered separately to you (the “Individual Email” option), or you can receive one email each day containing all of the messages posted for that day (the “Daily Digest” option). Be aware that the Daily Digest option delivers messages minus their attachments. You can always change how you receive messages by clicking “Edit Membership."

If you have any trouble signing up, please email jeffersonelementarysfpta@gmail.com.
 

How can I get more information?  How do I find out about school events and classroom events?

Every Wednesday, your child will take home a Wednesday Envelope containing information and flyers from the school and from your child’s classroom, including field trip permission slips and event announcements.

Each classroom has at least one Room Parent who coordinates classroom events and volunteer opportunities, disseminates information, and serves as the liaison between the teacher and parents.

Check out the Jefferson website. The site is full of information. There are links to the Wednesday Envelope contents online. There is information about Afterschool Enrichment classes. There are photos of school events. And so much more.  The site is updated regularly. Please check it frequently.

Check the bulletin board directly across the hall from the Main Office. All upcoming events are posted there, so you won’t miss a thing.

The Jefferson School Yahoo Group is a great way to get a feel for the school.  Search the message archive, and find answers to common questions. Reach out by posting a message to the group.

“Like” the Jefferson Elementary Facebook page to see school news and events in your facebook news feed.

Most classrooms also set up an email group for the parents of children in that particular classroom.

 

How can I get involved?

  • Join the PTA. Attend monthly PTA meetings.  PTA meetings are normally held the third Thursday of the month, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Jefferson Auditorium. Free parking is available in the Upper Yard (enter on 18th Avenue). Free childcare is available for Jefferson students.
     
  • Serve on a PTA committee. At the first PTA meeting and during the first weeks of school, there will be signup sheets for all kinds of volunteer opportunities. We need help with everything from art projects to pizza baking, setting up chairs, baking goodies, and watering the garden.
     
  • Participate! Attend Jefferson events. In addition to the Summer Playdates, there is also our big annual Gala and Silent Auction, a Dance Party and Game Night, an Ice Cream Social, Garden Work Days, and many other events.
     
  • Your child’s Kindergarten classroom will have endless volunteer opportunities for parents, including serving as a Room Parent and chaperoning field trips.
     
  • If your child's teacher would like donations of classroom supplies (tissues, hand sanitizer, garden tools, etc.), you will be informed after the school year starts, typically by the teacher at Back-to-School Night in September, by letter in the Wednesday Envelope, or by message from the Room Parent.  All supply donations are completely voluntary.  


You will find that we have a very inviting, supportive, inclusive, and warm parent community.
Welcome to Jefferson. We’re so glad you’re here!