Frequently Asked Questions About Kindergarten at Expo
Many families have questions regarding their child's kindergarten experience. We would like to take the time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions.
WHEN WILL I FIND OUT WHO MY CHILD'S TEACHER IS?
A letter will be sent home in late August with the name of your child's kindergarten teacher. Your child's teacher will then call you to schedule a goal setting conference (a time for your family to come in and meet the teacher and talk about the upcoming year) before school begins.
IS IT SAFE FOR MY KINDERGARTNER TO RIDE THE BUS?
Many kindergartners enjoy the responsibility of riding the bus. They enjoy their new found independence and often times, they make new friends when they ride the bus to and/or from school. Teachers will make your child a bus tag that your child MUST wear for the first few weeks of school. The bus tag ensures that the bus driver knows your child's stop.
IF MY CHILD RIDES THE BUS, HOW WILL WE KNOW WHERE THEIR STOP IS AND WHAT TIME THE BUS COMES?
You will receive a letter in the mail in late August that informs you of the bus stop and times. We will also have a map available in the office when you come in for goal setting conferences before school begins. We would be happy to help you find the right bus for your child.
HOW DOES LUNCH WORK?
Each learner receives a pin number from the Saint Paul Public Schools at their Goal Setting Conference. Families pay into a lunch money account as needed. Each time your learner has a hot lunch from school, the cost of the lunch is deducted from their account. Children who bring their own lunches may want to keep a minimal balance in their account for field trip lunches and purchasing milk.
All families may apply for free or reduced lunch in the Fall.
Learners may bring a lunch from home to eat if they choose. Many learners enjoy having hot lunch at school especially after they see their new friends eating hot lunch. We do not refrigerate lunches brought from home as we do not have the necessary space.
WHAT TIME DOES SCHOOL BEGIN AND END?
School begins each day at 8:30 and ends at 3:00.
IF MY CHILD ATTENDS DISCOVERY CLUB, HOW WILL THEY GET TO AND FROM THEIR CLASSROOM?
For the first few days, Discovery Club staff will escort your child to and from their new classrooms. The children quickly become comfortable transitioning themselves.
HOW OFTEN DO THE KINDERGARTNERS HAVE SPECIALIST CLASSES AND WHAT ARE THEY?
The specialist classes offered at EXPO are Humanities, Computer, Science, BK (Gym), and Music. Each specialist class is 50 minutes long. Although the schedule is adapted each year, generally your learner will attend each specialist class for a one or two week rotation. For example, for the first week of school, your child may have computer and then the 2nd week, they may have BK, and the third week, they may have music, etc.
WILL THEY HAVE A REST TIME DURING THE DAY?
Yes, we try to have a rest, relax, and read time during our day especially at the beginning of the year. We read stories together and independently and enjoy this quiet time in our busy day. Children do not have to sleep but some do especially at the beginning of the year as they adjust to an active all day program.
HOW DOES SNACK WORK?
Generally kindergarten children are the first to eat lunch so, snack becomes a very important part of our afternoon. Snack is sent in by kindergarten families. Families should send in at least one group snack (enough to share with the class of 20-24 learners) each month. Examples would be fruit snacks, cookies, cereal, pretzels, chips, carrots, apples, crackers, etc. We also appreciate donations of napkins, cups, and juice.
Please keep in mind that at the beginning of the year it is common for kids to come home feeling hungry as their bodies adjust to their new schedule. Do not fret! They quickly adjust to their early lunch time (jokingly called "brunch") and afternoon snack routine.
WILL MY CHILD LEARN TO READ IN KINDERGARTEN?
We foster each child's natural desire to learn. All kindergartners are immersed in literacy rich environments and are provided endless opportunities to develop their literacy skills. We want each child to leave kindergarten with appropriate literacy foundations that will make them successful in the years to come. Yes, some children come into kindergarten ready to read or reading already, while others are developing their skills. Literacy activities in kindergarten are always multi-level and our classrooms are set up with many open ended activities to challenge each learner at their level. The beauty is that each and every child will grow tremendously no matter what skills they come into our program with.