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Junior Kindergarten

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We are happy to announce the introduction of our new Junior Kindergarten program (full day) for the 2019-2020 school year. This program is designed for students turning 5 years old between September 2, 2019 and January 31, 2020.

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. 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.

Please be sure your child has the following items:

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: Each family will be asked to provide snacks, drinks, napkins, cups, and all needed plates/ silverware for one week. The snack schedule indicates when it is your child’s turn to bring in snack.

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/Allelu!
  • 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 the Gym door, door #14, on Stone Avenue and follow the drop off line which runs through the angled spots. Please pull forward, as far as possible. A student patrol person will assist your child with getting out of the car. Parents should not exit their car.

Do Not pull around others-just follow the car in front of you.

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.

Parents may park on Waiola, North of 54th Street only, and walk their preschooler to the gym door, #14.

Stone Avenue drop off at gym door #14 is strongly recommended.

NO PARKING ALLOWED IN ANGLE SPOTS BETWEEN 7:45 and 8:15am

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.

For Junior Kindergarten children, either oldest/only or with a sibling in kindergarten, please pick them up in the pick-up line running in front of the church and Parish Center. Follow the pick-up line and a patrol person will bring your child to your car.
Please post a large sign with the family name, written boldly, in the front passenger side window.

For Junior Kindergarten children with a sibling in 1st-8th grade, please pick up your preschooler at door #14 with their older sibling.

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!

Dress-up clothes. The dramatic play area is one of my favorite centers and I love to switch it up to connect with our themes. Any clothes would be greatly appreciated!

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.

1. ALLELU Religion program for 4-5 year olds, focus on emotional growth.

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

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

3. 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.

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

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

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

7. Speaking and listening skills for language development.

Tab content area

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

Pictures from Junior Kindergarten.  Follow a link below:

Junior Kindergarten News

Junior Kindergarten November 13. 2020

Play is such an important part of development at the JK age! We incorporate play into our day, through centers and free choice time! Ask your child about these centers. Mr. Rogers said it best, “Play is the work of the young child!”     Comedy night is this Saturday! If you have not signed...
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Junior Kindergarten November 6, 2020

Family Reading Night is November 19th! Read together as a family and send pictures to Mrs. Schaefer! For more information, please check the web site below!              https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/center_for_the_book/frn.html           What a beautiful week we had! The weather made it easy for us to spend time outside....
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Junior Kindergarten October 30, 2020

  Happy Halloween weekend! We had a great time celebrating Halloween in our classroom! The trunk parade was wonderful! Thank you to all the families that joined us! Next week will bring us into a month of gratefulness! We are blessed and lucky with the gifts God has given us! Religion: This month Thanksgiving will be...
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Junior Kindergarten October 23, 2020

A peek into our centers! So many fun learning activities every day!   REMINDER: Please send in a small pumpkin with your child’s name on the bottom by Wednesday October 28. We will be sending these home after we go on a virtual field trip on Friday October 30.  THANK YOU!!   Our week was...
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Junior Kindergarten October 16, 2020

    The weather has been cooperating for us to spend some time outside! Please be sure your child is dressed for the weather. Chilly days are still so fun outside. Help your child zipper his or her coat too. We are very patient as we wait for all to be zipped or buttoned before...
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Junior Kindergarten October 9, 2020

Dear JK families, If you did not complete this…..PLEASE fill out the tech survey, follow this link! https://forms.gle/TxbUZnQGLKavq1Tx7 Take some time over this long weekend to notice the seasonal changes! We use our senses to see, hear, feel and taste these changes. Talk to your child about the new season. Language development and conversations are...
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Junior Kindergarten October 2, 2020

We are so grateful to our JK families! Our Amazon wish list has been getting filled! Thank you to all who have helped out our classroom by purchasing the items listed in our newsletter! These items make our learning so much fun! Here is an updated list of things that would make our classroom even...
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Junior Kindergarten September 25, 2020

PLEASE fill out the tech survey, follow this link! https://forms.gle/TxbUZnQGLKavq1Tx7 Thank you!! We made apple pie today! These were the ingredients!   Our apple exploration was so fun! We learned about apple trees, the seeds and and all things apples! We read fiction and non-fiction books telling us about apples. Our family picture wall is...
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Junior Kindergarten September 18, 2020

It is so nice to catch these moments! Helping each other is part of JK! It is doing what God asks of us…LOVE ONE ANOTHER! Next week begins the season of Fall! So much change in the world during this season. Notice the changes and talk to your child about what you see! Jackets are...
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