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The ABC's of First Grade

The

  ’s

of First Grade

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Arrival: Class begins at 7:50a.m. It is very important that your child be here by this time. Students who arrive after this time will be counted tardy and must make up all missed work on their own time (recess). Student supervision begins at 7:40a.m., so please do not have your child at school earlier than this time, as they will not be supervised.

Art: We attend Art class every Tuesday morning with Mrs. Beth DeSchamp. We will also be doing several Art projects in our classroom at various times throughout the year.

Attendance: Attendance is very important and is imperative for your child to achieve academic success! Please make every effort to have your child at school on time every day! If your child misses school, please remember to phone and/or email the office and your child’s teacher, giving the reason for your child's absence.

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Backpack: Students will need a backpack that is not on wheels but is large enough carry their daily homework folder, reader, as well as library books and miscellaneous work.

Bathroom: The first grade students are given the opportunity to use the bathroom with our class 5 different times throughout the day (after unpacking in the morning, first and last recess, lunch and after packing up to leave in the afternoon).  In addition to these 5 times, the students have a “Bathroom Pass” they may use if an emergency arises during class time. It is so important that the students “try” to go during these allotted times so they do not miss out on class lessons.

Birthdays: Students are welcome to bring treats to school to celebrate their birthdays! For sanitary and safety reasons, please bring individually wrapped, pre-packaged items! (Little Debbie snacks, lollipops, Twinkies, etc.) If students bring drinks, please do not bring in anything with red dye in it (Big Red, Fruit Punch, etc. We tend to spill and these drinks stain the carpet.) Students will also be permitted to bring in a special item/treasure to share with the class on this day. (This will be the only day they will be permitted to bring a toy or electronic from home.) Students will also share the book they create, “Me, Myself and I”. (We will send this home at the beginning of the month of your child’s birthday.) If your child has a summer birthday, a special day will be designated as their birthday in the spring! You will receive a special note!

Book orders: We will frequently send home Scholastic book orders. If you choose to order, please make checks payable to Scholastic Book Clubs. No cash will be accepted. With your orders, our class will receive bonus points to purchase books and materials for our classroom.

Breakfast: Breakfast is available daily for $1.25. The amount will be deducted from your child’s Harmony lunch account on the days they choose to purchase breakfast using their own personal lunch account number. If you send money to school for breakfast (or lunch) to be deposited into your child’s Harmony account, please send it in a sealed envelope marked with their name and directed for breakfast and/or lunch. Make checks payable to Southeast Dubois School Corporation. You may pay by the month, semester or year.

Bus Passes: If your child is going home a different way, other than what is stated on their records, he/she must have a written note stating the new route. We cannot allow any student to go home a different way without proper written permission.

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Clothing: Students should wear appropriate clothing for the classroom that is comfortable, neat and not distracting. Students will also be playing outside during their recesses, so the outfits should double as play clothes. We strongly encourage your child NOT to wear flip-flops or sandals without back straps to school. Sneakers seem to be the safest shoe for all the running and jumping we do. Students must wear sneakers on the day we have PE (Physical Education).

When our Winter temperatures arrive, please label hats, gloves or any garment that is removed and could potentially be misplaced. Please dress your child appropriately for the temperatures. A sweatshirt or light jacket is not appropriate for the colder temperatures (especially the teens and 20s that we encounter at our AM recess break). Students will not be permitted to go outside if we deem the clothing inappropriate for temperatures.

We understand that large, heavy snow boots may be necessary to get on and off the bus during snowy days, but they are inappropriate for the school building. (The snow is cleared from the playground in order for the students to go outside.) If your child needs to wear snow boots, please send a pair of tennis shoes along for them to change into during class time.

In addition, the ballerina tennis shoes with the hard, circular disk on the bottom are not permitted at school. They tear up the carpet under the desks and scratch the tile floors by the bathroom and water fountains. They also leave marks on the gym floor!

Communication: Communication is important! Feel free to contact us whenever you have a question or concern. The best way to reach us is through email, but please do not send transportation changes through email in the event that we cannot check email before the end of the school day. Transportation changes need to be in writing and sent in the morning with your child in their Homework Folders, or you can call the office and they will get the message to us. (812-817-0900)

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Differentiation: Children are all unique and may be at different instructional levels from their classmates and those in other first grade classrooms. You can be sure that your individual child's needs will be met.

Discipline: At Pine Ridge, we utilize a “Clip Chart.” All students will start their day in green, “Ready to Learn!” If the students fail to follow the rules of the classroom or directions, they can be moved “down” on the Clip Chart to “Think About It” (warning - students have the opportunity to improve their behavior). Continued misbehavior results in moving down to “Teacher’s Choice” (teacher determines consequences) and/or “Parent Contact” (automatic loss of recess and detention slip sent home). Students have the opportunity at all times to move their clips up on the chart, as well, for improved behavior and behavior beyond what is expected.

Dismissal: Early dismissal is at 3:00p.m. Students who are being picked up (cars) and have a parent signed note, will be led outside to the side parking lot to meet their ride. Students without notes can be retrieved in the gym after buses are dismissed at 3:10p.m. Please do not come to the classroom to pick up your child. All students who ride the bus home (or to babysitters) will be dismissed accordingly.

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Electronics: Students are not allowed to bring personal electronics or toys to school unless given special permission. They may bring a special toy to share with the class on their birthday.

Email: We check our email periodically throughout the school day, however, we may not have proper time to respond to your questions or concerns until after school hours.

Emergency Information/Cards: Please include any and all numbers where you can be reached throughout the day. If these numbers change, please let us know ASAP. Please be sure to include any medical alert information that we need to be aware of. (This should be filled out with your registration information.)

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Field trips: The first grade takes their field trip to the Zoo in the Fall. Information will be sent home in August with information and dates. We like for parents to go with us as chaperones, but younger siblings cannot go along.

Footwear: Be sure that your child is wearing shoes that are appropriate for active movement.

Flip-flops, dress shoes and cowboy boots are not appropriate and could pose a safety risk. In the winter, students wearing snow boots will be given time to change into tennis shoes for the school day. Tennis Shoes must be worn on PE day.

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Grades: First grade students will not receive letter grades the first grading period. The students will receive letter grades (A,B,C,D &F) in Reading, Language Arts and Math for grading periods two, three and four. (Language Arts will include English, Phonics and Spelling.) They will receive CRedit in Science, Social Studies and Health/P.E.  Effort in all subjects will be recognized, including Art and Music.

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Harmony: Pine Ridge utilizes a software known as Harmony School Management. With this software, parents are able to access their child’s grades, lunch account amounts, textbook bills etc. with their personal user name and password (obtained from the school office).

Homework: Homework assignments will be given. Please take this time to become informed on what your child is learning in school and provide extra assistance as needed. Homework must be completed on the evening it is assigned and returned the following morning. Failure to complete the assigned homework may result in the child having to complete it during their recess time (Supervised Study Hall).

Periodically we may take “homework” grades on assignments that are sent home. The students will not be told which homework assignments are to be graded. If the homework is not returned on time, the student will stay in during recess Supervised Study Hall and complete the homework and receive HALF credit if it is a graded paper. *Please remember to initial homework sheets to indicate you have seen the lesson and have looked over the work with your child.

Homework Folders: Your child should have a folder that they will carry back and forth from home to school, every day! IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU CHECK THESE FOLDERS EVERY NIGHT WITH YOUR CHILD! There are two sides to our folder Keep at Home and Return to School!

On the side labeled Return to School, you should find Math, Reading and/or Writing homework on various nights and may find other assigned worksheets that need to be completed and returned! Other times you may also find tests that need to be signed and returned. Failure to return the homework or signed tests could result in loss of recess for your child!

Please “Keep at Home” all checked papers! * Sometimes we write notes on your child’s checked papers so be sure to look these over when they come home! Thank you!
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Illness: It is very important that your child be at school every day! However, if your child is running a fever, or does not feel well,  please notify the school before the school day is to begin. If you would like to have their work sent home, let the school know with who or how you plan to get it.  All students who have been ill will be given extra time to make up missed work. We will contact you if your child becomes ill during the school day. It is important that we have current phone numbers available on your child’s information card.

If your child is too ill to go outside for recess, please send a note every day they are not to go outside. (They will sit in the Supervised Study Hall room during the recess period.) After four consecutive days of not participating in outside recess, we may request a doctor’s slip stating your child’s reason for not being able to go outside.
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Join: Join the PTO! Get involved with your child's education right from the start! Becoming involved in your child's education shows them that you think school is important.

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Kindness: Students are expected to treat everyone with kindness and respect.

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Language Arts: Language Arts includes the academics of Spelling, Grammar (English), Phonics and Writing. You will receive separate notes explaining the procedures for these subjects.

Library: Your child will visit the Library each week, on Wednesday, to check out books. Please be sure to return these before the next visit to the Library.

Limited Criminal History: If you would like to volunteer you time in school (bookfairs, carnivals, PTO, etc.) and the classroom, or attend our class field trip, you must complete the limited criminal history check. You must request the form from the school office. The check is quick and confidential, but mandatory for all volunteers.

Literacy Stations: We will be working at Literacy Stations daily. It is a time when students work with a partner or alone on activities pertaining to Reading and Language Arts. It is a way to challenge each student, as well as, a time for individual encouragement.

Lunch: First grade goes to lunch at 11:45am. Lunch is $1.85 a day. This amount is withdrawn from their Harmony lunch account when your child purchases a meal using his/her personal lunch account number.  When sending money to school for your child’s lunch, please send it in a sealed envelope marked with their name, and directed for lunch. Make checks payable to Southeast Dubois School Corporation. You may pay by the month, semester or year.  

If you would like to join us for lunch, please sign in at the office and meet us in the cafeteria.

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Mission: The staff of Pine Ridge Elementary School believes that every child can learn when provided an educational atmosphere conducive to learning. Moreover, the staff believes that the education of the child must include parents, students and the whole community. The Mission of the Pine Ridge Elementary Staff is to provide a safe, secure, and challenging environment, which will guide students to become life long learners as well as productive members of society.

Money: Money is difficult for a child to keep track of. Please send any money in a sealed, labeled envelope. Please label as “lunch money” if it pertains.

Music: We attend Music class every Thursday with Mrs. Devin Craig. I also use music as a learning tool in the classroom.
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Newsletter (s): Every Monday, your child will receive a first grade classroom newsletter. In it you will find news about our class activities, birthdays, star students as well as any other happenings in the school that will affect our class! It would be helpful if we could email the newsletter to you rather than create paper/hard copies. Please provide an email address where the newsletter can be sent.

On Mondays, you will also receive a Reading Newsletter. It contains information about our week’s reading story, the weekly vocabulary words, the skills being taught for the week and our spelling words.

Periodically, your child will receive a Newsletter from the office! It will contain miscellaneous information and dates that you need to know.

Please take the time to read the Newsletters that are sent home. They can provide answers to questions that you may have!

Nurse: Mrs. Marian Bromm is our school nurse. She visits our school on Wednesdays. We also have support staff who can help in an emergency or to dispense medication. Please do not send medication to school without completing the medication form available in the office. If your child has a fever or has been sick the night before, please do not send him/her to school.
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Office: Mrs. Janet Uebelhor, our school secretary, is available to answer most questions you may have. Please treat our office staff kindly. You will need to sign your child in or out if you are bringing your child late or leaving early.

Outside play: Fresh air and exercise is good for us! We will go outside each day, weather permitting. Please be sure to dress your child appropriately for outside play and temperatures.
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Parent/Teacher Conferences: Parent/Teacher conferences contribute greatly to the educational process and are held during October. We look forward to meeting with you. Don’t hesitate to contact us at other times throughout the year when concerns arise.

Parties: Students will enjoy small celebrations throughout the year (Christmas, homework, Valentine etc.) Information will be sent home prior to these events and a request may be made to help provide refreshments for these parties. Thank you in advance for your help.

Progress Reports: Midway through all four grading periods, your child will receive a report that informs parents of their child’s current grade in each subject. The purpose of the midterm is to allow ample time for improvement in any subject that he/she may be struggling with.

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Questions: Please let us know if you have any questions and we will do our best to answer them.
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Reading: Pine Ridge First Graders will be utilizing a 90 minute, uninterrupted Reading Block. We will be using whole group instruction to teach the reading lesson and introduce new stories, but we will also be working with smaller groups on a daily basis to monitor individual progress. Students will be attending Literacy Stations to improve various skills that are being taught each week. Reading is very important!  Please read to your child as often as possible!

Recess: Students will have three breaks throughout the school day. We have morning (9:30am), afternoon (1:40pm) and lunch (12:10pm) recesses daily. A written note from you (parents) is needed to stay in at recess. The note must be provided every day the child is to stay in. If missed recesses become excessive, a doctor’s note may be requested. It’s important for students to get outside, exercise and get fresh air.

Released Time: On Wednesday mornings students will be given the opportunity to attend religious education of various denominations. If your child is attending The Divine Mercy or Good News classes, please send a note letting us know. For safety reasons, it’s important that we both know where your child is at all times.

Report cards:. Report Cards will be distributed every 9 weeks. The first graders will not get a report card the first nine weeks, however we will be discussing progress at Parent/Teacher conferences. Please sign and return all report cards.

Rules: We discussed our classroom and school rules with the class during our first few days of school. Please continue to review our school  and classroom rules with your child. It's important that your child understands and follows our classroom and school rules. See “Discipline” for consequences to not following our rules and classroom procedures.

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Security: The safety of our students is extremely important to the staff at Pine Ridge. All doors to the school building are locked during the school day. Visitors should enter through the main entrance (East side) and report directly to the school office. All visitors or volunteers must wear an identification badge that is obtained from the school office.

Stamps/Signs: Periodically we may send home papers we want you to sign and return to school. After the paper has been brought to school and we know you have seen it (by the signature), we will put a check across your name and return it to your child to keep at home.  You can identify these papers by variou stamps stating "Sign and Return." If I take a grade on class work, you should see a stamp labeled "Grade":

Snack: Snacks that the students can enjoy at their morning and afternoon recess breaks are welcomed. Students should NOT share their snacks with other students.

Star Student: Each week we will choose a different student to be featured as the “Star Student.”  The student who earns this honor will complete a poster about themselves to share with their classmates. They will also be allowed to share pictures and their favorite book.  Students who are chosen are those who show excellence in behavior, class work, responsibility, friendships, etc.

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Tardies: Class begins at 7:50a.m. It is very important that your child be here by this time. Students who arrive after this time will be counted tardy and must make up all missed work on their own time (recess). Student supervision begins at 7:40a.m. so please do not have your child at school earlier than this time, as they will not be supervised.

Textbooks: Textbooks are the property of the school. Students (and parents) must take responsibility for the care of the books. First grade utilizes a reader that will be brought home throughout the week. We also use a consumable Science book (lessons will be sent home as completed), small Social Studies textbooks (at school), and consumable Math sheets.

Toys: Students are not allowed to bring personal toys or electronics to school unless given special permission. They may bring a special toy to share with the class on their birthday.

Transportation: Students will be sent home according to the route/transportation directions that are listed on your child’s information card. Please send all transportation changes, in writing, in your child's daily Homework Folder or email the office before 2:00pm, so changes can be made. We will not allow your child to go home another way without permission from you.
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Units: Our units of study incorporate all essential skills and concepts students need to be successful.

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Visitor’s Tag: Pine Ridge’s policy is that ALL GUESTS (including familiar faces) are required to check in at the office and wear a guest badge. The presence of a guest badge will help identify visitors to all faculty and staff. It is important to remember that while this may seem inconvenient to frequent visitors, it is the goal and responsibility of the school to create a safe learning environment for all of our students.

Volunteers: Parent volunteers in the classroom provide opportunities for more children to receive one-on-one attention. The more specialized help students receive in class, the more they will learn. If you are interested in volunteering, on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, please let us know. Southeast School Corporation requires that ALL volunteers must have a background check completed

Water bottles: Students are allowed to have water bottles (with lids that seal and do not leak – no straws) on their desks to drink as needed or to utilize instead of the shared water fountains we visit during allotted times. The bottles can only contain water and must be filled at home. It is extremely time-consuming when the students attempt to fill water bottles at school.

Website: Please visit both our school and classroom websites. There is lots of information that pertains to your child’s education.

Wish List: Throughout the year we will need items that are not included with our classroom materials. We will send home a request when we are needing an item.  If you would like to donate items, please let us know.
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eXcel: Watch your child excel beyond what you thought was possible!
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You: You are your child's first and most important teacher!
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Zzzzz... Children need at least 9-10 hours of sleep each night to be productive in their class work. Please make sure your child has a reasonable bedtime so that he or she will be at their best!
 

 

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Thanks for taking the time to read this information! We hope it is helpful to you! A good learning experience is built on a cooperative effort between the parent, child and teacher. With your participation in and out of the classroom we can look forward to a productive, creative and fun year together. If you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us!