• What to Expect on the First Day of School


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    By the first day of school, please help your child to know the answers to the following questions:

    • What is your teacher's name?
    • What grade are you in?
    • How do you go home (bus number/car rider/day care name)?
    • Which are you having for lunch today?
      • packed lunch from home
      • choice 1: max stix with marinara (i.e. cheesy bread sticks)
      • choice 2: chicken parmesan sandwich
      • yogurt
      • peanut butter and jelly uncrustable

    Also keep in mind:

    • Snack will be provided for your child for the first week of school. After that we request that each family share a healthy snack with the entire class approximately once a month. Your snack day will be marked on the calendar attached to the communication folder.
    • Your child will be taking home a temporary folder from Back to School night. Please return this folder to school each morning until we change it out for the folder you purchased for your child. Once we place some important labels and information inside, these folders will also come to school each day and will be returned with finished work, newsletters and notes from the teacher.
    • Students will need to wear their bus-shaped transportation necklace to and from school for the first two weeks of the year. There will be extra adults on the bus ramp to help our new raccoons learn their arrival and departure procedures - these necklaces help our staff with this goal.

     If you have any questions that are not answered here, please feel free to contact me at parrottece@staffordschools.net


    What to Expect at Back to School Night


    The date of Back to School Night is TBD.  I will let you know when we have more information.  Back to School Night is broken into two parts:


    4:00 - 4:20 Introduction for Kindergarten Families in the Activity Room

    Families will be introduced to several RES Staff Members. Following a short introductory program, you can either go straight to your child's classroom or stay in the activity room to:

    • Put money in your lunch account (we encourage families to load up their lunch account during this time rather than waiting until the first day of school)
    • Purchase spirit wear from the PTO
    • Join the PTO (and get a free school calendar!)
    • Find your bus route or car rider number
    • Join the Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts
    • Get a library card for the Rappahanock Regional Library
    • Visit and sit on a real school bus
    • Pay your Scholastic News fee (amount TBD)
    • Have questions answered by a variety of staff members
    • You can also visit the front office to sign up to be a car rider or to visit the nurse


    4:20 - 6:30 Visit Your Classroom

    Families will be welcome to visit their classroom at any point during this window of time. In room 24 you will be able to go on a scavenger hunt that helps you to explore your new classroom and includes:

    • Unpacking your supplies (if you choose to bring them tonight rather than carrying them on the bus - your child can bring them to school in small batches over the first week of school as well)
    • Meeting your teacher and your paraprofessional
    • Setting a personal goal for the school year
    • Finding your seat and taking home your temporary folder, transportation necklace, and welcome gift
    • Checking your student information sheet to ensure the office has accurate contact information for you and your child


    Tips for the First Day of School

    Things to keep in mind as we approach the first day of school:

    • The routines of school can seem jarring after a carefree summer, and new kindergarteners often tire early and may need to sleep more hours than usual. To prepare for the start of school it’s a good idea to:
      • Start enforcing an earlier bedtime two weeks before the first day of school.
      • It's also best to limit afternoon activities during the first few weeks of school.
      • Leave plenty of time for a relaxing bedtime routine at the start of the school year too. To get your child involved, ask for his or her input about how to structure bedtime. Just be sure they aren't relying on screen time to help themselves wind down. The stimulation from television and electronics can disrupt normal sleep cues and may push bedtime back.
    • Practice a twenty-five minute lunch time for two weeks before school starts. Practicing eating in these timed segments will help your child prepare for all the distractions of the lunchroom and helps them learn how to balance social time with eating.
      • If you plan to send a packed lunch with your child, try serving them a sample meal. Help them practice opening and closing their lunchbox, sticking a straw in his/her juice, and peeling open things like yogurt tubes and other containers on their own. There are adults in the cafeteria to help your child if they have any difficulties though.
      • It is also important to have a trash plan with your child – letting them know what uneaten food is expected to come home with them and what they can throw out will help the class stay organized when it’s time for each of them to clean up the table.
      • If your child is buying lunch, it’s helpful for them to know about the different lunch choices before they arrive at school.
    • Your child's preschool teachers were probably somewhat involved in restroom visits, but this is not the case in elementary school. Make sure your child is adept not only at wiping and vigorous hand washing, but also at things like cleaning off the seat (if needed), locking and unlocking a stall door, and even flushing a commercial toilet (which is probably much louder than the flushing sound of the toilet they're used to!).
      • Our school bathrooms offer both toilets and urinals in the boy’s room – it can be helpful for boys to practice with urinals before school begins.
    • It’s helpful for kindergartners to know their last name, their bus number (or daycare name), and whether they are buying lunch or bringing a lunch from home.
    • You do not need to send a snack to school during the first week. I will provide snack for the first week of school and each classroom family will take turns sending in a shared snack each day after that. Your child’s folder will have a snack schedule in it by the end of the first week.


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    Where Is My Bus Stop?

    Stafford County Bus Route


    Please also note the following if you plan for your child to ride the bus home at any point during the school year:

    To ensure a safe transition from school to home, and to comply with Stafford County Social Services Guidelines, last year we began updating our practice for our youngest students.  We will continue with this practice in the year ahead. Please note: kindergarten and first grade students must be accompanied by an adult or older sibling in order to be released from the school bus. 

    To assist you in making this a smooth process, we will be attaching white bands in order to tag kindergarten and first grade students.  This way, regular drivers, as well as substitute drivers, will have a quick way to identify students in kindergarten and first grade. These students will be called to exit the bus first (kindergarten students, then first graders), and the driver will be responsible for making eye contact and waving at the parent or adult who is waiting for the student.

    If no adult (or older sibling) is there to accompany the kindergarten or first grader, students will be brought back to their school for a parent to pick up.