Kindergarten

Registration for Kindergarten begins in January. Register early. When classes fill up, students are redirected to other elementary schools. Contact the school office for more information: 508-647-6580


Kindergarteners follow a special first week schedule. Please see this article to find out attendance times and dates.


The Ben-Hem Parents Online Google Group is a great resource for parents entering Kindergarten. The following is a list of questions asked by incoming parents and the advice Ben-Hem veterans have offered up, from a parent's perspective:

What school supplies do I need?
The school provides supplies for each classroom. At Curriculum Night, your teacher will have a list of any extra supplies they'd like for the classroom (a book she wants to read the class, extra tissues or stickers for reward charts, etc.). The date for Curriculum Night is not announced until after school starts, although it's usually a few weeks into the school year. 

Get a lunchbox and backpack. Pick a pack that is roomy enough for a folder, water bottle, sweater (and in winter snow pants), exercise shoes and the occasional library book, in addition to the art work your child will bring home. 

Label everything! The lost and found table gets very full, very quickly.

Also, you might want to purchase pencils, glue and child-friendly scissors to keep at home for any homework assignments.

Snacks and lunch
Send a water bottle with your child and a snack. You will need a separate, reusable snack bag (snack-sized zip-lock bag or small lunch sack).

Buying lunch can be a time consuming process. Send lunch in for the first few weeks. (Peanut butter sandwiches are OK at lunch.) Have your child look around at what other kids are buying to see what they might want to eat. Then, set up a lunch account so your child doesn't need to deal with money.

Buses
If your child is going to aftercare some days and taking the bus other days, write it on a laminated card and stick it to his/her backpack. It makes things easier. Include your mobile number too, just in case.

Winter shoes, snow pants and mittens
If you have an extra pair of athletic shoes, leave them in your child's cubby this winter. They can change out of snow boots when they get there, instead of carting shoes back and forth. 

Plus, buy an extra pair of snow pants and leave them at school for snow days (you can get cheap ones at Target and Amazon). This is much better than having to bring snow pants back and forth to school for recess.   

When it's time to buy gloves/mittens for your child, buy several pairs that all look the same.  You might get lucky and they'll lose a left hand from one set and a right hand from another, but you'll still have a matching pair!

Where should I park to drop off my child?
Walk your child to the building the first few days, so they can get the lay of the land. Park along Evergreen. Some parents park on Appleton Rd. After they are accustomed to the routine, you can use the drop-off lane -- and you don't even have to get out of your car! 

A volunteer will help your child out of the car and send them into the school to wait with classmates.  For more information about drop-off, please go here.  

When should I arrive to pick up my child?
If you are picking your child up at the end of the day, they exit the front of the building around 2:41pm. Get there a bit earlier.  Even then, you may find nowhere to park. If you plan to drive to Main St. after pick up, instead of parking in the lot, go down Evergreen a little ways and park on the right side of the street. This will expedite your escape. If you're planning to turn back into the neighborhood, park closer to Farrant Rd.  For more information about  pick-up, please go here - there's a map! 

Curriculum Night
Curriculum Night is where you'll learn all about your child's school day and what they will be learning throughout the year. (Because of the time crunch, Curriculum Night isn't the best time to discuss the individual needs of your child. It would be best to send an email, schedule a private meeting or wait until Teacher Conferences to address any issues.) You should bring your phone or calendar to Curriculum Night. Your teacher might have a sign-up sheet for parent conferences and morning drop-off duty. They might also request Room Parent volunteers at this time. You'll be able to snag the spot you want with a calendar in hand. 

Use Google Calendar
Want to know the date for the PTO's Monster Mash or Biography Night?  It's on the PTO Calendar on the homepage of this site. Both the school district and PTO use Google Calendar to keep track of events and half-days. It's a great resource! If you have Google Calendar, you can have all these dates readily available on your phone by subscribing to the PTO and school calendars. Plus, it's easy to add your monthly classroom events  (plus your families extracurricular activities) to the calendar to keep track of everything.

What monthly classroom events?
Take a look at this approximate Kindergarten timeline of in class activities:
September - Curriclum Night and Field Trip 
October - Halloween Parade at school
November - Teacher Conferences and Book Fair
December - Gingerbread House Decorating
February - 100th Day of School and Valentine's Day Party
March - AEO Fundraising Event (every other year) and Morning Drop-Off Volunteering
April - Teacher Conferences
May - Field Trips 
June - Portfolio Day, Special Olympics, Field Day and End-of-Year Party

Set up your Sign-up Genius account
Many teachers use Sign-up Genius for school conferences and room parents often use it to organize class parties. The PTO uses Sign-up Genius too.

Back-to-school fatigue
Your child will be entirely exhausted for the first few weeks. Even kids who have been in full-time daycare are totally wiped out. Don't worry, this will pass.

Where can I get more info?
Look on the PTO website calendar to see when the first PTO meeting is. This is usually a good place to meet people and have your questions answered.  There is free babysitting in the cafeteria during PTO meetings! 




If you have any advice for incoming parents, please email  theboard@benhempto.org. Thank you!

To join the online Google Group, moderated by Trudi Lord, request membership at http://tinyurl.com/benhem