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TK/Kindergarten Parents

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Welcome to Bay Park Elementary! We remember that we had so many questions the first few months of Transitional Kindergarten (TK)/Kindergarten. This FAQ is a general guide to questions we had (and you will probably have too!)

The questions below are just some of the ones we hear the most. You will also be getting a lot of information from your specific teacher.

The first few weeks of TK/Kindergarten are a transition for both you and your child, and the Bay Park community of staff, students, parents and teachers are available to you as resources to make the process smooth and seamless.

What time should I arrive at school with my child?
TK/Kindergarteners are required to be escorted by a parent onto campus. They are not to be dropped off in the 3 minute zone located on Erie Street. Parents are not allowed to park in the 3 minute zone in order to escort your child to the classroom. The campus has supervision from 8:45 AM until the 9 AM bell rings. TK/Kindergartners are to sit at the far right picnic tables closest to the kinder yard.

What happens if I am late to pick up my child?
Each teacher will hold your child in front of the classroom until 3:40 (bell rings at 3:35). If you are late the teacher will walk your child to the office and he/she will be there until you arrive.

What is Morning Opening?
Morning Opening happens every day just after the 9 AM bell rings on the blacktop on either side of the breezeway. The student will line up with their class to say the Pledge of Allegiance, sing a patriotic song, as well as listen to the morning announcements from Principal Barnes, or other staff/PTA members about any school day happenings and Bay Park special events. It if it is raining the kids will go to the auditorium where they will show a movie until the bell rings. The children will go directly from the auditorium to their classroom once the bell rings on a rainy day.

What is Jogging Club?
Jogging Club is held every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the school year. It starts at 8:30 AM and is held on the lower dirt field. Students run laps before school and each lap is tracked. Joggers are recognized at opening at various times throughout the year for milestones. There are no requirements for Jogging Club. All students and parents are encouraged to participate. If your child is in the YMCA before school program, they will be escorted to Jogging Club should they choose to participate. Jogging Club will be cancelled if there is rain either the day of or a significant amount the night before.

How can I help the teacher with supplies?
Each teacher will provide a suggested donation for the classroom (such as ziplock bags, pencils, crayons) within the first few weeks of school. Monetary donations may be requested as well. All donations are voluntary. Any special project requests throughout the year will be sent home in your child’s Red Folder.

When there is a field trip will I need to provide a car seat?
The school will provide a school bus and car seats are not needed. On field trip days also remember to pack a sack lunch (as opposed to a lunchbox) as the teachers will not have to account for all of the lunch bags and bring them back to the school. You will get specific information regarding each field trip from your teacher.

My child is in the YMCA program, how will the transition from the end of the day to aftercare work?
A YMCA staff member will come directly to the area where your child’s teacher has kids waiting for pick up and receive your child. If you are participating in part-time YMCA care, you will be directed how to communicate with them as to which days your child will be in their care. The YMCA staff is also accessible by phone, and they are very good about answering and returning calls during the school day.

How will my child be directed if they sign up for an after-school activity?
Bay Park offers a variety of after-school activities throughout the year. Some are through a third party and some are in direct correlation with the school staff. If your child is starting a new activity remind them that they will be doing so. The staff of the activity will come directly to your child’s classroom after the bell rings and pick them up from their teacher. If your child is in the YMCA aftercare program, the Y staff will get them from the activity and bring them to the Y when the activity is over.

The school is on a minimum day schedule all week, how do I make arrangements for my child if I cannot retrieve them by 1:00pm?
The YMCA may open up their facility during minimum day periods to non-YMCA participants. Contact the Character Builders supervisor for more information.

What is the Stingray store?
Every Bay Park student will start to accumulate Stingray Bucks almost immediately. It is a school wide recognition program to help promote good behavior and academic successes. The Stingray Store is open various times during the year and is the only place your child will be able to “spend” their bucks. Dates are announced during morning opening and will also be in the Stingray Splash and Bay Park Press. TK/Kindergarteners are escorted by their teacher during the school day to the Stingray Store. The rest of the students (Grades 1-5) will go after school hours.

What is a typical day like for my TK/Kinder?
The first week of school, you will take your TK/Kinder directly to their classroom at 9:00am. Their teacher will be waiting for them in the classroom. After the first week, your TK/Kinder will stand on the blacktop in a line with their classmates and teacher and participate in the morning opening. A typical day includes morning greeting, curriculum, snack recess (11:00am), curriculum, lunch recess (12:30 and 12:50), curriculum, 20 minute quiet time (1:30ish), curriculum/end of day. Each teacher schedules their day differently, but the break times are the same as the other TK/Kinder classes. Curriculum is used as a general term and includes time at Centers, library visits, art, independent reading, instructional time and more. Principal Barnes will go into more detail on what you and your child can expect at the Kinder Orientation. For minimum day, your student’s day will follow the same schedule as above, but recess times will move back by 1/2 an hour. (snack at 10:30, lunch at 12:00 and 12:20pm).

How can I help in the classroom?
Each teacher is different and their level of volunteer time is different as well. Typically, a letter will be sent home by the teacher in your Child’s Red Folder (this will be provided by the school) asking for volunteers. It will list out what is needed and you can sign up directly that way. There are also times throughout the year when a special event is planned in your student’s classroom. Most Room Mom’s will send out a volunteer sign up via email or a letter home asking for help. That is another way to help in the classroom. If you can’t help during school hours, let the teacher know you are available to take prep work home with you and she can send that with your child. Check out the Get Involved  section of our site for more ways on how you can help in the classroom and on campus. All volunteers must go to the office and request a District Volunteer Form. Fill out the form and get a TB test and then turn the form in with your test results. You cannot volunteer in a classroom unless you’ve had a recent TB test and the District Volunteer Form is on file with the school.

Other Tidbits:

  • Don’t forget to change out your child’s spare clothes when the season changes, you will most likely start with shorts and a t-shirt, when the weather changes swap them out for something warmer!
  • Read the Stingray Splash – it is a valuable source of information about what is going on during the year!
  • Read all of the information in your child’s Red Folder every night, this is the primary way the teacher (and the Bay Park Administration) will communicate with you.
  • If you have further questions, feel free to reach out to the PTA Kindergarten Liaisons:  Lorena Romero at lorenalopez5061@gmail.com or Lolita Plattfoot at lalita620@hotmail.com
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