Mina Elementary School

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Mrs. Ponce’s Class

 

Welcome to our class! I am so excited to have you as part of our classroom family! I want to give you some general information on the structure and expectations of our classroom. Please read over this information so that you will understand the procedures of our classroom. If you ever have any questions or concerns any time during the year, please feel free to: send a note with your child (in his/her star binder), stop by after school or during a scheduled time, email me, or call me.

 

Attendance

Attendance is very important in Kindergarten.  If your child is unable to attend, please call the office.  A note should be sent with the student when they return to school.  Teaching begins at 7:30!  Please be on time so your child does not miss out.

Behavior Management

It is an expectation of all children to demonstrate appropriate school-wide behaviors (hallway, restroom, and cafeteria) and the kindergarten expectations stated on the report card. We will discuss appropriate behavior at school and will continue to throughout the year.  Communication to you regarding your child’s behavior will be sent home on a daily basis.  Please sign your child’s behavior newsletter and send back to school each day. Student behaviors are dealt with on an individual basis, and I am a firm believer in positive discipline.  I want students to learn from their mistakes and make better choices.  Students will be on a color system where they may move up for positive behavior or down for misbehavior. 

 

PINK: excellent day

GREEN: good day

BLUE: made a mistake

YELLOW:  behaved out in class

ORANGE:  behaved out again

RED:  referral to office

Pink, green, and blue are good behavior colors.

Yellow and orange will cause a note or call to parent from me.

Red will be a call from the principal.

Star Binder

The Mina Star Binder is crucial for home-to-school communication. It must be brought to school every day. You will find several very important things inside this binder.  One of these things will be a weekly newsletter consisting of important dates & information and talk time questions to help guide your conversations at home about school.  On the bottom of the weekly newsletter, you will find an area where you will be responsible for checking off their reading homework, sight word practice, & behavior color for that day. Please put a check in each box and initial on the last column for every day to show me that you have made sure your child has completed their reading homework and discussed their behavior at school that day. This binder will also be where you will find important notes from school and any work that is completed in class. This binder will be the primary communication between you and me. Please help your child keep it organized and make sure you check it every night!

 

“Work to keep at Home”

Every Tuesday, you will find one piece of graded work in the back pocket of their Star Binder.  We are attempting to build good habits of caring about quality work to show to our parents. Please help your child share this work with you and give them positive or constructive feedback at home. Once shared, keep the work at home. 


Notes to Home & Notes to school

Any important notes from school that need to be read or taken care of by you will be placed in the pocket labeled two-way communication-notes found in the Mina Star Binder. Please check this part of the Mina Star Binder every night!

 

If you need to send in notes about absences, money, or have a question that you need to communicate with me, please place this in the same pocket labeled two-way communication-notes found in the Mina Star Binder. I will check this part of the folder every day.

 

Reading Homework

Every night your child will be bringing home at least one book inside a book bag. (It is a plastic snap closure envelope). Please check that they have completed the minimum of 10 minutes of reading at the bottom of the Kindergarten weekly newsletter after you read with your child. In the beginning, you may need to read the book to the child & that is okay for reading homework. Eventually we will be working towards your child reading TO YOU.  The expectation is to read for 10 minutes every school night at the very least. Please keep in mind that the books that are coming home in their book bag are on a loan and belong to the school or myself and will be used by many children.  It is important that your child takes care of these books and keeps them away from food, younger siblings, etc. It is also IMPERATIVE that these books essentially “live” in their book bag and are brought back to school every single day. Have your child make a habit of putting the book back in their book bag after reading. Reading homework does not have to solely consist of the book(s) found in their book pocket of their Mina Star Binder.  Personal books at home can be used for the 10 minute reading homework as well. In fact, I encourage your child to read library books and their own personal books!

 

Snacks

Snack time will be from 12:55-1:05 daily.  Children should bring their own snack.  Please send snacks that are healthy and ready to serve (we do not have a microwave or refrigerator in the classroom). Some good examples are: grapes, crackers, golf fish, apple slices, pretzels, etc.  Children are welcome to bring bottled water but please no juice or soda. 

Arrival Procedures

School begins at 7:20.  Please make sure your child is on time each day.  Students are considered tardy starting at 7:30.  We will begin class promptly at that time.  The school will open at 7:00; if you need to drop your child off early there will be a Mina staff member on duty at that time to supervise the children.  To ensure the safety of the children, please do not drop off earlier than 7:00.  If your child is eating breakfast at school, he/she will report to the cafeteria.  If your child is not eating breakfast at school, he/she will report to their spot in the cafeteria until a kindergarten teacher walks them to class at 7:20.

 

Dismissal Procedures

 School ends at 3:00.  Bus riders will be walked to the specific area and supervised by Mina staff until they are loaded.  Car riders will leave out of the Kindergarten/First grade hallway.  NO student will be released before the 3:00 bell.  If your child has older siblings at Mina, they will join their older sibling in the 4th grade hallway for car rider dismissal.  Several staff members will line the street and load your child/children in your car.  Since we have meetings after school, all students need to be picked up by 3:15.  You can also choose to walk up and pick up your child.  If that is your preference all walk-up students will be seated in the 2nd grade hallway (directly across the street).  Walk-up/pick up and car rider pick up are different and your child will be in different places according to what you choose, so make sure you and I are clear on which way your child will be going home.  If you have a transportation change of plans at any time during the year, please inform me in writing or call the office. We will not take the child’s word as to how they will go home.   The children will go home their usual way unless I have notice from you.  If transportation plans change during the day, please call the office before 2:30 so they will have time to inform me before dismissal begins.

 

Lunch

The students will have entrée choices in the cafeteria, or they may bring his/hers lunch to school.  You will receive a menu from the cafeteria.  Our lunchtime is 11:02-11:32.  You are welcome to come and eat with your child.  You will be seated in a special area for parents (parents are only allowed to eat with their child, no friends, cousins, etc.).  Please do not come during the first two weeks of school.  This will give your child time to know the routine and make friends.

 

Money

Please send any money to school in an envelope or baggie with a note to explain what the money is for (pictures, lunch, book fair…).

 

SPECIALS classes

Students will be going to PE, Music, Computer, or Art every day. My class will be going to PE every Monday and Thursday.  Music will be on Tuesday, Art will be on Wednesday, and computer will be on Friday.  Students must wear tennis shoes or sneakers on PE days.

 

Extra Clothes

Sometimes accidents happen! I am requesting that you please send an extra set of clothes for your child in their backpack each day.  The nurse has limited spare clothes in her office.  If your child has an accident and there are no clothes to change them into you will be called to bring them clean clothes.

Clothes

We cannot control temperature in our classrooms. If your child is naturally cold, please send an extra sweater for him/her to use during the day. On the flip side, it can also become warm.  Also please keep in mind our specials schedule and send your child to school in appropriate clothing (i.e. shorts under dresses, and tennis shoes for P.E.).  Please make sure your child wears clothing that he/she can fasten and unfasten easily.  Overalls, jumpsuits, and belts are especially difficult to manage and sometimes can cause accidents.

 

Library

Our library day will be on Monday’s.  Please help your child remember to return their book every week.  Your child will not be able to check out a new book if they have not returned their old one.

 

Birthdays

Every child’s birthday is very special! You may send cupcakes for snack on birthdays, just please let me know a few days in advance.

 

Visiting Mina

Any time you come to Mina, you will need to sign in at the office.  This includes lunch, walking to the classroom, and parties.  The first couple of times you will need your driver’s license or a photo id.  You will receive a tag to wear while at Mina so everyone will know you have checked in at the office.  It may be a hassle, but with our campus set up the way it is, we are looking out for the safety of the students.

 

Parties

We will have three parties this year: A winter party, Valentine’s Party, and end of year party.  Details for parties will be send home a few weeks in advance to the party.

 

Field Trip

We will go on a field trip in the spring.  Parents that have completed the necessary paperwork and have been approved through Central Office will be able to go with us.  It takes several weeks to process the paperwork so make sure to get it in early!  You will receive the VIPS form with the beginning of the year paperwork.  Please complete the VIPS form now, it will save you time later.

 

Extra Information

There will be a mandatory Parent/Teacher conference in October.  The first report card will not be sent home until we have had a conference (BISD policy).  We will also have Open House in September; we are very excited about this opportunity to let you know what goes on in the classroom!

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.  The office is not always aware of everything that goes on in the classroom, so they may not be able to help you.  My conference time is 12:05-12:55.  I will try to respond to you ASAP but not during instruction time.

 

 

About Me

I am an Aggie teacher, Gig’em!  I received my degree in 2009 and since then I have taught head start for 3 years and am now beginning my fifth year in kindergarten at Mina.  I am from Bastrop and love the fact that I get to give back to the community that I was raised in.  I am married to a wonderful man and we are expecting our first child in January!  

Please stay in CONTACT with me!

I am thrilled and honored to be educating your child! I will be doing my best to stay in contact with you throughout the year and I encourage you to do the same with me.  If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please feel free to contact me, and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible (You can email me at any time). You can like our Mina Facebook page by searching “Mina Elementary School”.  We can also connect on Class Dojo, make sure you provide us with a current phone number or good email address so I can set that up with you.  I am looking forward to a terrific year with your child and you!

 

 

Sincerely,                                                                                 e-mail: kponce@bisdtx.org

Katie Ponce                                                                             School phone: (512)321-2565