In November, we engaged in a school wide service project called, Mindful Giving. This special project was a school wide endeavor with a focus on donating non-perishable items for our local Water of Life Food Pantry and the donation of $2 per child to support our global project, supplying solar lights for a school in Uganda Africa.
Your donations brought in enough money to purchase 48 lights for the teachers and staff at Nyaka School.
Ali Portilo, the director of the K LIGHT project provided photos (above) of the staff receiving their lights. It is a remarkable series of photos that demonstrate our ability to change lives through our mindful giving. Thank you to everyone for making this possible!
If you have a child who will be starting kindergarten in September of 2013, it is time to register for school! Download these forms, complete them and turn them into the school office (hours M-F, 8-4).
The Round Up Meeting for our newest group of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students takes place March 6. This is an opportunity for parents to find out about the district PK and K programs and enroll their child for the 2011-12 school year.
Georgetown will hold it’s meeting at 7 pm in the Multi-Purpose Room. There will be the option to attend a day time program at 10 am (held at Alward or South. The material will be the same for all schools.
If you know a neighbor who has an upcoming PK or K child, please encourage them to attend the meeting.
PREKINDERGARTEN: Full Day, Alternating Days. Held at Alward, Bauer, Forest Grove, South
KINDERGARTEN: Full Day, Everyday. Held at all buildings.
All kindergarten placement request will be honored. PK placement request will be honored based on section availability. Preference will be given to students with birthdays between September 1 and December 1.
This information will be reposted to the blog weekly between now and March 6. We are excited to begin enrolling the K class for the 2012-13 school year.
If you would like a paper copy of this information, open and print this document: PK:K Info 2012
I am excited to announce that beginning with the 2012/13 school year, HPS will offer the following programing options for students all upcoming PK/K children (those who turn five prior to December 1):
K: Full day/every day kindergarten in ALL elementary buildings. All parent K placement requests will be honored. No screening will be necessary.
PK: Full day, every other day pre-kindergarten (PK) will be housed at Bauer. Georgetown will not house PK–our section of PK will be held at Bauer Elementary. Georgetown PK students will be bussed from their homes to Bauer during their PK year. The following year, these PK children will return to Georgetown for their K year.
PK placements requests will be honored based on section availability. Screening will not be necessary. If sections fill up, preference will be given to students with birthdays between September 1-December 1.If you are undecided about the best placement for your child (PK or K), a screening can be scheduled for a placement recommendation.
JANUARY 31, 2012: Registration packets will be available for pick up in elementary buildings and at the administration building. Parents will be asked to specify their placement preference on the registration form.
March 6, 2012 @ 7 pm: PK/K Round Up at Georgetown. This is an evening meeting designed to help parents understand programming options and a time to turn in PK/K registration paperwork.
May 31, 2012: All parents will know their child’s PK/K placement by this date.
I am fortunate to have two families that keep me centered and supported: My Georgetown family, composed of an incredible group of children, parents and staff AND my home family, composed of a wonderful husband, daughter and son.
This past week, I watched many parents drop their child off for their first day of school at Georgetown. I saw and heard a variety of emotions displayed — excitement, anxiety, joy and fear. Some children raced off to the playgrounds while others stood close to their parents. Some parents were happy to see their child start the school year, others were worried their child might get lost on the playground or have difficulty making it to the right classroom. The first day of school is a journey of learning to let go of your child, trusting that you are leaving them in good hands and hoping you have done the best to prepare them to be independent, secure and comfortable away from home.
I have experienced this same roller coaster of emotions with both of my own children on their first days of school. Many of you know
that my oldest did not transition well to kindergarten. She was tearful at the bus stop and cried nearly every morning before school for weeks. I can still remember say, “Kelsey, there are other kindergarteners who miss their momma’s and daddy’s too,” among other pat phrases I had developed to normalize her feelings —and calm myself down. It was exhausting for both of us.
I relived this “letting go” journey again this past Wednesday. My husband and I dropped Kelsey off at college. The day was a deja vu experience, one that the college president prepared us for in the welcome ceremony. As the president addressed the freshman parents, she encouraged us to practice these four tips during the coming year. Ironically, these tools are the same for the first year of kindergarten too.
LISTEN: When your child tells you how much they are missing you, how worried they are about making friends or how they just can’t be away from you because their heart is broken listen, listen, listen. Try your very best to just listen without interrupting or blaming or guilting or fixing.
NORMALIZE: As your child is sharing their worries and you are listening, look for opportunities to tell them that you understand how they are feeling and at the same time use this to normalize their experience. Share that other classmates also have a hard time adjusting. Let your child know that their feelings are normal and others go through the same thing.
REINFORCE PROBLEM SOLVING: When your child is done crying and ready to listen to you, ask them: What can you do to make friends? Let me show you how to walk up to someone on the playground and ask to play. Let me show you how to ask your teacher for help. RESIST THE URGE TO FIX THEIR PROBLEMS FOR THEM: Do all you can to make sure your child doesn’t see you as the person who fixes their problems. If your child comes to you with worries and your reaction is to take matters into your own hands and skip #1 and #2 above, your child will not learn how to share their emotions, normalize them and get to the important step of problem solving.
CELEBRATE: For each step of independence they make, celebrate with them. Talk about how proud you are when they go to the teacher for help, seek out new friends on their own and mark every single step they make in learning and independence by reminding them that they are doing important work as a learner and a person.
As my husband and I left the auditorium and headed for convocation, we talked about the irony of the president’s speech and how we hoped to use these pointers later that day. Kelsey was excited to be heading to college, but during the early morning dorm room unpacking, we saw glimmers of self-doubt about making friends, ‘being smart’ enough to compete with peers from all over the country and world, and worries about homesickness.
When convocation ended, we said goodbye to her in the pine grove and she begged us to stay longer. Our first test, and I will admit my shoulders stiffened and my heart ached. We negotiated by walking along the path toward the dorm, hugging her and listening. She shed tears and talked about her fears….and we listened. After a few minutes, I found myself saying, “What you’re feeling is normal…and this campus is filled with many like you. But you are ready and what you are feeling is normal. We will always be a phone call away to support you. It’s okay to be sad and worried. Breathe. One more family hug, then a mom hug and then a dad hug. I’ll count to three and you’ll walk to your dorm and we’ll walk to the car.”
It was hard. We said goodbye through tears and as my husband and I drove home, we hoped we had handled the goodbye well. Less than two hours later, we got a text from Kelsey: “I love you guys! Met some friends. Feel better. Know I am going to love this place.” We both breathed a sigh of relief.
And, this is how it goes in kindergarten too. They might leave you crying but a short time later, they are playing at the lego table or
listening to a story. Know this: I understand how hard this journey of letting go can be. I know how much work it is to prepare our children for growing up and how emotionally exhausting it is to listen and guide them in problem solving for themselves. We are all here to support you in this journey….from the PK/K incredible teacher assistant Miss Lisa, to your child’s teacher, to Mrs. Stacey our lunch supervisor, teacher assistant and bus supervisor to the wonderful, caring secretaries (Mrs. Ripley and Mrs. Nurenberg) to me, your child’s principal.
If there ever is a time that you feel that a problem is too big for them to handle or involves a safety issue, please do not hesitate to email your child’s teacher. We want every child to feel safe, eat well and have the best experience possible! As I close this post, please know how much I value your trust in us and value the work we do with your child each day. We truly love Georgetown and our profession of teaching and learning…and we will take care of your child!
As we enter the last week of March and look ahead to the five day forecast, it is safe to say that March is closing out the same way it began, like a lamb. For those of you who are preparing to exit for places more warm than West Michigan, I ask that you bring back enough of that sunshine to warm up the month of April for us!
We end this coming week with one of the biggest highlights of the school year, the TALENT SHOW! There will be two shows, each with a different cast of performances. You can view the performance schedule by clicking on this link: TALENT SHOW LINE UP 2011 As I have done in years past, all performances will be video taped and published to this blog by Monday, April 4.
And for those of you with precious kindergarteners, remember: NO KINDERGARTEN CLASSES ARE IN SESSION THIS THURSDAY, MARCH 31. This is a day off for kindergarteners.
Here’s to a great week and a fabulous spring vacation for everyone—whether you are away or home!
Friday, April 1: FIRST DAY OF SPRING VACATION. NO SCHOOL.
If my child is in PK with Mrs. Boes room this year, do I need to attend Round Up?
No, you do not need to attend. You simply need to complete a registration form for kindergarten. This will arrive home this week. Registration form can also be downloaded here: K Registration
If I have a child that will be NEW to Georgetown and you would like to find out more about PK and K, should I attend the meeting on March 8?
Yes, we would love to provide you with information about the programs.
What if I cannot attend the meeting?
If you cannot attend the night meeting, we invite you to go to the 10 am meeting at Alward or South Elementary. The information will be the same. If the meeting times do not work for you, stop by Georgetown and pick up the enrollment information. The office is open from 9 – 4 pm each day.
Should my child be screened to determine if a PK or K placement is best?
Every parent has the option to have their child screened. We offer this screening to help parents with this decision. The screening is brief—-approximately 20 minutes. Recommendations are shared at the end of the screening. This is scheduled when you turn in the enrollment form. Screening days are March 15 and 16.
The Round Up Meeting for our newest group of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students takes place March 8. This is an opportunity for parents to find out about the district PK and K programs and enroll their child for the 2011-12 school year.
Georgetown will hold it’s meeting at 7 pm in the Multi-Purpose Room. There will be the option to attend a day time program at 10 am (held at Alward or South. The material will be the same for all schools, simply held at these locations for those that must attend during the day.
If you know a neighbor who has an upcoming PK or K child, please encourage them to attend the meeting. For those who cannot attend, the materials for registration can be found on live links below.
If your child needs to be screened to help you determine the best placement, PK or K, you will be able to sign up for a screening time at Round Up. The screenings will be held at Georgetown on March 15 and 16.
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