Important Class Information

  • Welcome to Kindergarten!

    Dear Kindergarten Families,     


    Welcome to Kindergarten at Highland Park Elementary!  My name is Steve Abenth and I will be your child’s teacher this year.  I am one of three kindergarten teachers at H.P.E.  This is my 9th year teaching kindergarten here at Highland Park Elementary but my 19th year teaching at Highland (I taught 10 years in 4th grade).  I am looking forward to a great year working with you and your child!

    Below, I have included information regarding events, reminders, and procedures you will need to be aware of as we start the year.  If needed, I will update you on these types of items through our kindergarten newsletter.


    Teacher Contact Info

    Room # 1112    E-mail:   Phone # (651) 293-8770


     School Hours


    7:15 – Doors open and breakfast is available.  Students may enter the building and classrooms. 

    (Please do not drop your child off before 7:15. There will be no supervision for them and they will not be allowed to enter the classrooms.)


    7:30 - Students should be in their classroom by 7:30 and the final bell rings at 7:35. If they enter after this time, they will be marked tardy.


    2:00 - School ends



    Please make sure your child attends school every day and arrives on time. Good attendance habits need to be developed from the beginning. If your child will be absent/late please notify Deb in the office at 651-293-8770 or by email prior to the absence @  If your child has an appointment and will need to leave early or come late, you will need to sign your child out and/or check them in at the office. If your child needs to leave school early, a written notice is required that morning or before (paper or email).



    Please keep your child home if they:

    • Have a fever of 100 degrees or more (must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school)
    • Have vomited or had diarrhea the previous night or that morning
    • Have an unknown rash.


    We ask that ALL kindergartners wear their transportation tags on their backpacks all year long.  Students who will come to school by car should be dropped off and picked up on the south side or “the school side” of Saunders.  Students who walk home or take the bus will be walked to their patrol line or bus line by their teacher.


    The office must be contacted by a parent or guardian if your child has a change in their transportation arrangements.


    IMPORTANT NOTE:  If your child rides a bus he/she will always be put on the assigned bus unless I receive a note from you or get a message from the office.  In an emergency, please do not leave a message on my voicemail or e-mail regarding information for that afternoon, as I may not get it in time.  I cannot accept verbal messages from your child or a sibling regarding this matter.  I cannot put a child on a different bus than the one assigned to them.  You will need to contact the office to make the necessary arrangements if their bus information is to be changed.



    Kindergarteners eat lunch at 10:00. Your child may bring a lunch from home (it cannot be put in a school refrigerator) or they will receive a school lunch.  A lunch menu is available online on the SPPS website.



    We will go outside every day unless it is raining or the temperature is below zero degrees.  Please send your child to school in "weather appropriate" clothing.  To be excused from recess we will need a note from your child’s doctor.


    Extra Clothes

    Accidents happen here at school, whether it is a bathroom accident, a spill from breakfast, lunch or snack, or getting wet from a muddy or slushy playground.  In these cases, it is possible that your child may need a change of clothing.  We ask that you put a shirt, pair of pants, underwear, and socks in a zip-lock bag, labeled with your child’s name, to leave in your child’s cubby bin.  If your child needs to use these clothes, their wet clothes will be in a plastic bag in their backpack.  Please send a clean set of “extra” clothes the next day.  Thank you!


    Home Folders and Newsletters

    In the first week of school, I will provide the students with a folder that says, “Home Folder”.  This tool will help us to communicate.  The folder is to be brought to school in their backpacks. This folder will be sent home every Thursday and should return to school by the following Wednesday (or earlier).  Be sure to check for any announcements, newsletters, homework or notes.  This helps ensure that we are working as a team to support your child’s growth.  If you have any time sensitive items or information that is your child’s folder, please email me to let me know as it is difficult to check every backpack…everyday.  Thanks!



    Please check with the main office if you are interested in volunteering opportunities this year!


     Book Bags

    Later this Fall, a book bag will come home weekly with your child’s home folder.  In the bag, you will find a reading log and a book(s) that your should read and practice during the week. These books are at their current reading level.  Have your child read and reread these books throughout the week.  Record the books’ titles on the reading log and include any additional books that are read to or with your child that week.  This log should stay in their book bag.  Return the book bag with the books the next week by Wednesday.  I will check their log, swap the books for new ones, and connect a new copy of the log if needed.  Every time your child fills up their reading log, they will receive a little “prize” from me.


    Gym Shoes

    All students need to have gym shoes for gym class.  Please make sure they have them on or with them on gym days or they will be unable to participate.  A pair of gym shoes can be left at school if needed.


    Student of the Day

    Early in the school year, each student will have a chance to be the student of the day.  They will get to be interviewed by their classmates on their favorite things.  Each student in the class will create a page in a book for them.  Your child will bring home an “All About Me” poster to complete with family and return to share and display at school.



    Families are asked to supply a whole class snack each month that can be shared during snack time (for 26 students).  Students will also receive milk during snack, at no cost.  If you are able to provide additional snacks to help other families, it is greatly appreciated. Health rules require that we serve store bought items only.


    Snacks MUST be individual pre-packaged servings.


    Some snack suggestions:

    • Crackers: Goldfish, Ritz, Graham Crackers, Animal Crackers, Wheat Thins, popcorn, pretsels, etc.

     Thank you so much for your donations!


    *NOTE: NUT-FREE classroom!  Please do not sent any items that contain peanuts or tree nuts.  Thank you!


    I am looking forward to a wonderful year!


    Sincerely,                                                            Grow

    Steve Abenth