Junior Kindergarten

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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.

Overview:
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.

Goal
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.

Requirements:
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.

Naptime:
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:

Arrival
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.

Dismissal
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.

Aftercare:
If your child is to attend aftercare, please email attendance@stcletusparish.com 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!

Absences:
Please email: attendance@stcletusparish.com and CC your child’s teacher if possible.

Communication:
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.

Newsletters:
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 https://directoryspot.net. 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.

Curriculum

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.

Specials

  • 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 February 22, 2024

Another great week under our JK Belts! This weather has been a blessing, and we truly been enjoying it! Question to ask your children: What is the story of the Good Samaritan?  What was your part when we acted it out in the class? Who are your new tablemates? What family did we pray for...
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February 16, 2024

What a busy week! Lent and Valentine’s Day! Thank you to the room moms for planning and such a fun party for the kids!  A few questions for your kids:  Who was the line leader? What did you trace your hands for today?  How are you preparing your hearts for Lent?  Did you like the...
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JK Newsletter February 9, 2024

Happy Friday! We had such a great week in JK! We have been busy with all things hearts. We talked about our love for friends, and family, and God’s love for us ALL. Our class party will be on Tuesday. Please remember to have your child sign their name but leave the TO: empty to...
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Jk Newsletter February 2, 2024

What a great Catholic Schools week! We had so much fun! Thanks to all the families who stopped in and said “Hello” on Sunday. Our school is a great place to learn grow, and we have a LOT of fun while doing it! Valentines Party– We will be celebrating Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, February 13th...
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JK Newsletter January 26, 2024

We hope everyone had a great week! We are having a Arctic BLAST in our class this week, and will continue into next week as well:) It’s Catholic School’s week! We will kick it off this Sunday at 10:30 mass and then an open house! We hope you stop and say “hello” and see all...
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JK Newsletter January 19, 2024

We hope you are staying warm, this has been a cold and snowy week! We ave had the parish center to run around, but we all miss the fresh air.  With only a few days under our belt with the new school year, we are excited for a full week ahead! Some things to ask...
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JK Newsletter Jan 12th

Happy New Year!  Winter has arrived.. I hope you all have some very excited children! All of your kids have grown so much over Christmas break, it was fun to see! We are starting this year off with a signing a classroom “Oath” of rules and classroom expectations. We also have fresh pencil boxes. The...
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JK Newsletter December 15, 2023

The Christmas joy is all around our JK Classroom! We have been very busy preparing our hearts for Baby Jesus” birth by doing our kind deeds. We have also been busy preparing for our Christmas Program that will be next Wednesday at 9:30am in the Parish Center.  Questions for your children: Who was the line...
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JK Newsletter December8, 2023

What a week in JK! We enjoyed the beautiful weather. Today we celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at 8am mass. We also had a great time reading many different variations of the Gingerbread Man! Questions to ask your children: What part of the Gingerbread cookie did you eat first? Did you like how...
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