Junior Kindergarten

St. Cletus Junior Kindergarten his program is designed for students born September 2, 2018-January 31, 2019.

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. 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: Art
  • Thursday: Gym
  • Friday: TLC

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

Junior Kindergarten News

JK Newsletter March 16th, 2023

This week was full of sunshine, lots of outside playtime and more Leprechaun shenanigans! Did we catch him? Be sure to ask your child for the ending:) We had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day in school!  Trinity Irish Dancers came in for an all school assembly , and even taught us a few steps, What...
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JK Newsletter March 16, 2023

Spring is in the air…Even if we have a few snowflakes here and there! Not sure if you heard but we have a Leprechaun in the classroom.  He has a cute little home and has made himself cozy.  He has been up to some real Shenanigan’s! Next week we will be getting ready for St....
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JK Newsletter March 3, 2023

March has arrived and brought us some amazing weather this week.  Your kids have really enjoyed the outside play at recess. We had a great week reading and rhyming with Dr. Seuss. Please continue the fun of reading these books at home with your children. These books are a hoot and the kids love all...
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JK Newsletter February 24, 2023

Another great week under our JK belts!It’s hard to believe we are wrapping up February and heading into March!Questions to ask your children to hear more about their day? Who reported the weather today? Who was the prayer leader? What family did we pray for? Can you sing me your new lent song? Religion: Lent...
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JK Newsletter February 16, 2023

Another fun full week here in JK!  Thank you to those who made it to our Valentine’s Day Party.  Thanks also for the class donations to make our party a hit! Thank you also for your support for those in Turkey and Syria. The prayer service put on by NJHS was heart felt and nice...
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JK Newsletter February 10th, 2023

Happy Friday! We had such a great week! We finished our unit on Arctic animals! The kids got to put on a “Blubber ” glove and see how the animals stay warm in the cold temps. We learned so many fun facts, it was much enjoyed by all! We have been very busy getting ready...
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JK Newsletter February 3, 2023

Happy Catholic Schools Week!Thank you to all the families who came to mass and that stopped in to say “Hello” on Sunday! Our school is a great place to learn and grow, and we have a LOT of fun while doing it!  Your kids have been busy doing many great things in the classroom AND...
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JK Newsletter Jan 27th

We hope everyone had a great week!  We had a great week learning about the Chinese New Year. We did a parade through our halls pictures and videos below:) Pictures: Video: It’s Catholic Schools Week! We kick off this week with a Mass on Sunday at 10:30 followed by an all school...
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JK Newsletter January 20, 2023

It was a fun filled short week! I hope your kids came home telling lots of Polar Bear fun Facts:) Catholic Schools week is coming up fast! We kick it off January 29th with 10:30 mass and then an all school open house from 11:30-2:30 house. We hope you can come say “HELLO” and see...
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