Kindergarten Family Handbook - 2024-2025

  • Dear kindergarten families:
    Welcome to kindergarten and to the Snohomish School District! Educating a child requires the efforts of a team of caring people. In Snohomish School District, this successful team involves parents/guardians, teachers, principals and district staff. We welcome you as equal partners on your child’s team.

    Our kindergarten program includes a strong emphasis on the development of academic and social skills. In addition, we will provide your child with the opportunity to explore, discover and experience the joy of learning. Please read through this handbook for more information.

    We encourage you to get to know your child’s teacher and school. Please be sure to ask questions and take an active part in your child’s education.

    Once again, welcome! We look forward to working with your child and your family.

    Sincerely,
    Elementary Principals

    Snohomish School District Elementary Schools
    Your child will attend one of the following elementary schools. If you are uncertain which one serves your neighborhood, please call our Transportation Department at 360-563-3525.

    WaKIDS

    Our state full-day kindergarten programs participate in a program called Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS). WaKIDS is part of a transition process that helps to ensure a successful start to your child’s school experience. There are several components to the WaKIDS program.

    • Family connections – During the first three days, teachers will meet with each kindergarten family to get to know them and learn about the student’s interests and needs. We will have many opportunities designed to get to know our new kindergarten students and their families. Our goal is to introduce school to your kindergartener and lessen the anxiety around starting school. Watch for more information from your child’s school about schedules and details as the start of school approaches.
    • WaKIDS whole child assessment – This is not an assessment in the sense of a “test” students take. In the fall, teachers observe each child during classroom activities and record data about what each child knows and can do at the beginning of the school year. Knowing more about your child’s skills and strengths as they enter kindergarten helps teachers and parents work together to support student growth. The WaKIDS assessment observes six areas: social-emotional, physical, cognitive, language, literacy and mathematics.
    • Early learning collaborations – Our schools are working to build relationships with early learning providers to support smoother transitions into school for our students.

    State-funded full-day kindergarten
    Kindergarten is the first year of your child’s public school life. It is an integral part of the primary program and the beginning of a child’s formal education. Activities provided in kindergarten are carefully designed and appropriate for 5-year-olds. Under proper guidance, what may look like play actually produces important learning. Children learn best through active participation and are provided opportunities to learn through discovery, interaction, creativity, problem-solving, conversation and play.

    The Snohomish School District kindergarten program includes a rich and varied curriculum that:

    • Helps students develop initial skills in the academic areas of reading, writing, and mathematics.
    • Helps students develop language and communication skills.
    • Provides experiences in science, social studies, arts, physical activities and music.
    • Includes a basic introduction and brief experience with a world language other than English.
    • Helps students acquire large and small motor skills.
    • Helps students develop social and emotional skills including successfully participating in learning activities as an individual and as part of a group.

    Getting Started
    What you can do to help as your child begins kindergarten:

    1. Get to know your child’s teacher during the “first three days” and also by communicating through letters, notes and calls throughout the year.
    2. Become acquainted with your school by attending school events and attend a kindergarten tour. Make yourself aware of school programs and activities. Subscribe to receive newsletters and other announcements from your child’s school and the school district.
    3. If your child has been in preschool or child care, consider sharing information you’ve received from your early learning provider with your child’s kindergarten teacher.
    4. Know your child. Be patient if his or her first adjustments to school are difficult and if he or she is slow in starting. Please remember each child is an individual, and all children differ in their physical and mental growth.

    Helpful Hints
    A successful start to kindergarten is very important to your child. Here are a few hints we hope will be helpful:

    The first few days:

    • Mark your child’s name, phone number and address on his/her clothing and other personal items (lunch box, backpack, etc.). Make sure labels are properly affixed.
    • Wait with your child for the bus or ask an older student to watch both morning and evening.
    • If there are small bumps in the road (a lost lunch box, for example), be patient and calm. Downplay these events and reassure your child that school is a great place to be.

    Throughout the year:

    • Respond to messages from school promptly. We will do the same for you. Please remember that good communication is the key!
    • Enclose money and/or forms sent for various purposes in a sealed envelope. On the envelope, always write your child’s name, the teacher’s name and the amount enclosed.
    • Strive for good attendance. If your child is absent, please send a written explanation or call your school’s phone attendance line.
    • Send a note with your child or call the school if his or her usual transportation is temporarily changing (For example, following a different route, getting picked up where usually riding the bus, or going home with someone else).
    • Report any change of address, telephone number or withdrawal from school to the school office.
    • Pick your child up at the curb, crosswalk, or wait until he/ she crosses the street with the patrol. Never ask your child to “jaywalk” to your car across the street – or to walk between parked cars or buses to a double-parked car.
    • Assure your child is always safe and well-supervised. If you provide transportation, drop off and pick up your child as close to the beginning and end of class as possible.
    • If your schedule permits, consider volunteering for your child’s classroom or greater school community.
    • Encourage your child and enjoy your new school community!

    Immunizations/Health
    The amended School Immunization Law requires that a completed Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS) form be present at school on or before your child’s first day of attendance. The CIS form must show proof of: (a) full immunization; (b) initiation of a schedule of immunization; or (c) a certificate of exemption.

    The following charts note the minimum vaccines required for kindergarten attendance in the school year 2024-2025 (charts as of January 1, 2024), according to the State of Washington WAC 246-100-166: Required documentation must include the month, day and year that all vaccinations were given.

    Snohomish School District strives to provide for a safe and optimum learning environment for your child. Legislation enacted in June 2002 requires that children with life-threatening health conditions have a medication or treatment order and nursing care plan in place before they start school. The medication or treatment order must be from the child’s licensed health care provider. The law defines life-threatening condition as “a health condition that will put the child in danger of death during the school day if a medication or treatment order and nursing care plan are not in place.” These health conditions may be life threatening reactions to bee stings or food allergies, severe asthma, unstable diabetes, severe seizures, and others. Students who miss school due to illness should be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school. If you have any questions and/or require assistance in any way, please call your child’s school and ask to speak with the district nurse.

    Kindergarten Registration
    Kindergarten registration will begin spring 2024 at all Snohomish School District elementary schools. All kindergarten families and students are highly encouraged to attend this year’s Spring Into Kindergarten event. Spring Into Kindergarten will be held on Thursday, March 7, from 4-6:30 p.m. at district elementary schools. Families should complete and return their kindergarten registration paperwork that day. Each school will also be conducting school tours and having important information available for families (WaKIDS, PTA/PTO/parent organizations, bus transportation, special services and more). For more information, please contact the elementary school your child will attend.

    Age of admission: To enter kindergarten a child must be 5-years-old on or before August 31. (Note: Please call your school if information is needed regarding early entrance requirements. Depending on availability, early entrance may be considered only if your child’s birthday falls between September 1 and October 31.)

    Where to enroll: Your child should be registered before the first day of school at the school nearest your home. Kindergarten registration will begin Thursday, March 7, at all Snohomish School District elementary schools. All registration materials will be available at www.sno.wednet.edu/kindergarten. We encourage families to utilize the online student enrollment and registration available at that site.

    Important materials: Families should complete their kindergarten registration materials online at www.sno.wednet.edu/kindergarten. Materials you will need to have handy include:

    • Child’s birth certificate
    • Child’s immunization records (child’s immunization records must be up-to-date)
    • Emergency contact information and phone numbers (at least 2)
    • Name and phone number of your family doctor
    • Parent’s phone number at work
    • Proof of address (see below)
    • Any relevant legal documents (parenting plans, protection orders, etc.)
    • When registering students who have transferred from another school, please bring the name, address and phone number of the school

    Proof of address (at least one): Our registration policy requires any student/ parent to show proof of residency before acceptance into our school district. Proof of residency is:

    1. A current Snohomish County property tax statement (original) with the parent/guardian name and address. The address must be within the service area of your home school.
    2. A current utility bill (PUD, water, phone landline, etc.)
    3. Closing documents in home purchase – Documentation from a title company is acceptable. Purchase offers are not. NOTE: Cell phone bills, vehicle registration and driver’s licenses are not acceptable forms of proof.

    Bus Transportation
    Our Transportation Office is responsible for developing student bus routes and schedules. For the most up-to-date information on bus schedules and routes:

    • Visit our district website at www.sno.wednet.edu.
    • Log onto your student’s Skyward/Family Access account
    • Call 360-563-3525

    It is our district’s practice that kindergartners will not be let off the bus unless the student’s parent (or designated adult) is at the bus stop at the time of student drop-off. Kindergartners whose parent/guardian is not at the bus stop will be returned to the student’s elementary school where the parent (or emergency contact) will be called for student pick-up.

    Bus safety
    We highly value the safety of those who ride our buses and will do our best to ensure that each student arrives at school, and back home, safely.

    Families and schools share the responsibility for providing a safe environment for students while they are riding district buses and during times of emergency school closures.

    Posted bus routes and pick-up and drop-off times are approximate. Please remember that traffic, weather and other unforeseen circumstances may cause some routes to be early or delayed. It is recommended that parents and students arrive at their bus stops five minutes prior to the published times.

    Students on buses are expected to conform to behavior rules corresponding to classroom conduct regulations. They must:

    • Sit properly in their seats,
    • Refrain from throwing objects,
    • Keep their hands to themselves,
    • Be courteous to others, and
    • Obey the bus drivers at all times.

    School Supplies
    Each school will publish a list of school supplies on its website. Please watch for this information in the summer prior to the start of the school year.

    Kindergarten Curriculum

    • Math Bridges in Mathematics - www.mathlearningcenter.org
      In kindergarten children will learn to count to 100 by ones and tens, be able to add and subtract within 10, and develop an understanding of teen numbers are 10 and some more. They will also use mathematical language to describe shapes, weight, and length. The curriculum provides lots of hands-on practice, and opportunities to play math games to help children engage in playful learning. The Math Learning Center has a wide variety of resources for families to engage in fun math activities at home.
    • Reading Fountas and Pinnell Classroom - www.fountasandpinnell.com/intro
      By the end of kindergarten children will know the ABCs and the primary sound each letter makes. They will be able to read books 8-16 pages long with about two to three lines of text per page. We teach our students to use some sight words they have learned, to “sound out” words with short vowels, and use pictures to help understand the meaning of the story. We also provide lots of opportunities to play with letters and sounds such as rhyming games and songs, and read aloud and talk about books daily.
    • Writing Being a Writer - www.collaborativeclassroom.org/programs/being-a-writerThe focus in kindergarten is developing an understanding that writing is a form of communication. Children begin by drawing pictures and labeling the pictures, and they end the year writing two to three short sentences on lines related to the pictures they draw. We teach students the difference between fiction and nonfiction, and help children develop confidence in their writing.
    • Purposeful Play
      Play is an important part of our kindergarten classrooms. Students develop social skills, problem solving, and creativity during our purposeful play time. Teachers facilitate learning by providing activities to engage and challenge students in a playful setting. Examples of play areas in a kindergarten classroom are the block and toy area, dramatic play area, home area, writing area, math area, and art area.
    • Social-Emotional Second Step - www.secondstep.org/social-emotional-learning
      Children learn social-emotional skills in a variety of ways, including the behavior they see modeled by the adults in their lives. Social-emotional skills and concepts are also taught explicitly in the classroom, in much the same way math or reading is taught. Second Step provides whole class lessons in empathy, emotion recognition and management, problem solving, impulse control, calming down, communication and assertiveness.