Junior Kindergarten


This full day program for older 4-year-old students will follow the same academic structure of 4-year-olds in our preschool program. However, Junior Kindergarten will add an enriched social and emotional component for its students to work toward developing kindergarten-level skills, while keeping with age-appropriate expectations. Students will have the opportunity to fine-tune their motor skills and deepen their understanding of the academic structure. Each child will experience meaningful instruction while bolstering self-confidence and faith-filled learning in a Catholic, values-based setting.

Junior Kindergarten is designed for the older child who missed the cut off date for entry into Kindergarten. The child MUST BE 5 by January 31st.

To provide children who do not meet the September 1st cut-off date what they are academically and emotionally ready for Kindergarten. Pre-school is a great preparation for Kindergarten, this program will give these students a bit more academic preparation as well as social emotional learning tools for success in school.

1. The student must turn 5 before January 31.
2. The student must have already attended 1 year of preschool.

Backpack: Backpacks should be large enough to hold a 9 x 12 folder and a lunch box. Please label your child’s backpack.

Folder: Please send one, two pocket folder with your child the first day. Communication between home and school will be sent through this folder. Your child’s work will also be sent home in this folder. (Please be sure to check your child’s folder every night and especially Wednesday as information from school is sent home to oldest and only)

Change of Clothing: Please place a complete set of clothing (shirt, pants, underwear, socks and shoes) in a Ziploc bag, label the bag with your child’s name and keep it in your child’s backpack.
Clothing: Please dress your child in comfortable clothing that can get dirty. All children need to be able to dress and undress themselves when using the bathroom. We suggest pants with an elastic waist band if needed.

Shoes: All children should wear gym shoes even on non-gym days as we will still have recess.

Snack: Please bring a water bottle and snack daily. Cheese stick, fruit, granola bars are a few examples.

We understand that each child may not fall asleep; however, we do expect that each child rest quietly. Soft music and some stretching poses will help to calm the mind and body!
To help with that, we ask that you make sure your child understand that “resting quietly” means each child should be able to:

  • Lie quietly on the rest mat
  • Refrain from talking or from getting up and walking around

Junior Kindergarten Full-Day Schedule:

  • Morning Schedule: 7:50-11:30
  • Arrival: Empty backpacks, morning routine, & morning work at tables
  • Morning meeting/calendar time/ movement/Jolly Phonics
  • Snack – Provided by the snack helper
  • Special class (Gym, Music, Library, Technology Learning Center/TLC, Spanish)
  • Morning Centers – small groups activities that focuses on Math, Literacy, Social Studies, Science, and Learning through play.
  • Religion/I am Special
  • Handwriting/Handwriting without Tears
  • Phonemic awareness
  • Afternoon Schedule: 11:30-3:00
  • Lunch
  • Recess
  • Read Aloud
  • Rest Time
  • Free Choice Centers/Play time
  • Dismissal: prayer, announcements and pack up

Arrival and Dismissal procedures:

Please drop off children for morning or all day Preschool at Door #3,
Each school day, the preschool teacher/assistant will greet the children from 7:50 – 8:00am each morning in the classrooms. If you are arriving late, please bring your preschooler into school through the main apple door, door #2.

Please inform the teacher who will be/is allowed to pick up your child. Please also fill out the pick up information in the main office.
If there is a change to your child’s typical pick-up (for example an Aunt is coming instead of a parent or a child is going home with a friend, please let your child’s teacher know every time this occurs. The teacher will not be able to dismiss your child with anyone else without your permission. Also be sure your child knows to.

Important Information

Hot Lunch:
Hot lunch information will be sent home soon and all ordering is done online. Please be sure your child eats what you order! If there’s something you know your child will not eat, do not order it.

If your child is to attend aftercare, please email and CC your child’s teacher. Email is preferred, but if you cannot do so, call the school at 708.352.4820. Please do so BEFORE 2:00. The earlier, the better!

Please email: and CC your child’s teacher if possible.

E-mail is best!  Dismissal is NOT the best time to have a conversation. We need to focus on getting children safely to their cars.

If you would like to set up a phone call or in person meeting, please email your child’s teacher to do so.
Each Wednesday your child will bring home notes from school. Please be sure to take the time to read these notices.

please read the Google newsletter each week. It is posted EVERY FRIDAY BY 3:00. Please read before the end of the weekend. Use the newsletter to ask your child questions about school.
All contact information for families can be found using the DIRECTORY SPOT. You can access the directory by going to New families should click on “reset password” to create a login. You can also download the DIRECTORY SPOT app to your phone.
Use this for playdates and birthday invites! (Please NO birthday invitations sent to school).

We are always looking for the following donations:
Playdough or play foam. We use playdough ad play foam in school during center time and the children love to make letters! If you catch any of these items on sale, send them to school!
Writing center: By the fall, the writing center is a popular center! Send in any paper, envelopes and stickers. Watch for seasonal stickers to go on sale!

Classroom Management

We will be utilizing the idea of being a bucket filler this year. We will introduce this topic within the first full week of school so be sure to ask your child all about it.
While each classroom may run this system a bit differently, the concept will remain the same among them all.

Being a bucket filler is all about showing kindness and positivity and creating an environment filled with good vibes. For example if a child were to ask another who looked lonely to come over and play with them, they would be a bucket filler. The child who asked would feel good for doing something kind which would fill their own bucket and the child they asked would feel good which would fill their bucket as well.


Religion:  I AM Special program for 4-5 year olds, focus on emotional growth.

Social emotional learning: Preschool Second Step Program which focuses on teaching children problem solving skills and ways to cope with and manage different feelings.

Phonemic Awareness: Michael Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Program Preschool Edition- oral manipulation of letters and sounds, early literacy and pre-reading skills.

Phonics: Jolly Phonics program- we will learn and master the 26 letters/ sounds. This will assist students in reading, writing short vowel words. We will practice these skills in small group center work.

Handwriting without Tears: strengthen fine motor while practicing letter formation.

Math: Number sense, counting, sorting, patterning and graphing skills practiced through small group center work.

Science and Social Studies: Becoming aware of God’s world around us through different monthly themes.

Speaking and listening skills for language development.


  • Monday: Spanish
  • Tuesday: Gym
  • Wednesday: TLC
  • Thursday: Art
  • Friday: Gym

Read about all the exciting activities and learning taking place in junior kindergarten.

Junior Kindergarten News

JK Newsletter September 21, 2024

Happy Fall! I hope you all enjoyed the Grandparents/ Special Friend mass! Its not too late to send your family photo in to go with your child’s drawing. The kids love looking at their families! They are so loved!!! I hope your children are sharing their day with you at home! Here are a few...
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JK Newsletter September 15, 2023

  It was so nice to see you all at Fall Fest last weekend! Fall is definitely in the air:) Notice the fall changes all around us! Please make sure your kids have coats as the temp gets cooler. Please help your children get their coats on, and  button it up or zip it up...
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JK Newsletter September 8, 2023

Fall fest is upon us and we are EXCITED! We have been getting many sneak peeks at the rides with our walks around the campus. Ask your child who they had as a walking partner, who who they played with at free choice time!The Social Emotional well being of our students has been a big...
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JK Newsletter September 1, 2023

We had a great week settling in to a new year! We are gaining confidence in our our classroom routine, and making new friends. All the best parts of a new school year! We also enjoyed meeting with our 4th grade buddies and attending 9:30 mass on Wednesday morning.A few questions to ask your children:...
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JK Newsletter Aug 24, 2023

Dear Parents,We are off to an amazing start in JK! Your kids could not be sweeter, thank you for sharing them with us! We hope you enjoy the pictures below! To stay connected to St. Cletus, please be sure to check out the school’s Facebook page and Instagram as well. If you have any questions, as...
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JK Newsletter June 7, 2023

Dear JK Families,We had such a great year with all your children! Wow, have they grown since the first day of JK, You should be so very proud! We hope to see you all around town or at church this summer:)St. Cletus is always here for your children! Once a Cardinal, always a Cardinal! Love...
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JK Newsletter June 2, 2023

Happy Friday! Summer is coming and we are ready for it!!We had a great week! Show and tell was a HUGE hit. We found a tree frog near the JK classroom.  AND your kids have really enjoyed playing with the Cicadas at recess:) A few reminders for next week! Bubbles and Donuts party on Tuesday...
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JK Newsletter May 26, 2023

Happy Friday! JK Had a fun week learning all about different Bugs! We read stories on bugs, sang songs, played games, puzzles, drew pictures, and learned more fun facts!  I hope that in your summer adventures, you  and your child come across a Praying Mantis in your garden, a cool spider web, a lucky ladybug,...
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JK Newsletter May 19th

This week was out of this WORLD, pun intended:) We had beautiful weather for recess, learned about Planets and Space, and read a found some hilarious tongue twisters that your kids loved and understood, because they are smart and master rhymers!A few things to ask your children: Is the sun a planet? (nope a star)...
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