Donna Weidel » The ABC's of Kindergarten...The Kindergarten Handbook

The ABC's of Kindergarten...The Kindergarten Handbook


The ABC’s of Kindergarten


Centre Hall Elementary

Mrs. Weidel and

Mrs. Houser

2019 - 2020




Absences: When your child needs to be out of school due to illness, please be sure to send a signed, written excuse on the day he/she returns.


Alphabet: Learning the alphabet will be an important component of our learning in Kindergarten.  We will be learning the name of each letter and the sound it makes.  You can help your child learn their letters by playing games with them.  Find different letters on food items or billboards.  Make letters out of blocks, play dough, or other household items.  Make/write the names of those in your family and discuss which letters are in each person’s name.


Attendance:  Learning is fun and takes place every day!  Please be sure your student comes to school every day and is on time.


Arrival: School starts by 8:10 am.  Students who do not ride the bus may begin arriving at school at 7:50 am. (Students will not be dismissed to their classrooms until 7:55 am).  Student drop off time is 7:50 am – 8:10 am.  Parents will need to check in (with their student) at the office if he/she arrives after 8:10 am.


Art: Students will have Art class with Mrs. Burrows.  Mrs. Houser’s class will have art on Fridays.  Mrs. Weidel’s class will have art on Wednesdays.




Backpacks/Bookbags: Each child will need a full-sized backpack/bookbag beginning on the first day of school.  All papers, books, etc. will be sent to and from school in it.  This makes it much easier for your child to be responsible and organized.


Birthdays: We try to make your child’s birthday a special day.  He/she will get a birthday “crown” and/or a birthday sticker, and we will sing Happy Birthday (complete with “birthday hugs” from us).  If you choose, you may send in a treat to share so the class can help your child celebrate his/her “special day”.  The most popular choice is usually a cupcake, cookie, or brownie.  If your child’s birthday is in the summer, we will celebrate it during the month of May or the end of the school year.  The best snacks are those that are easily and equally shared – please no sheet cake or ice cream.  Please be sure your snack is at school before 12:00, so we can eat it during our lunchtime.

       Birthday invitations WILL NOT be passed out at school.  The class directory is made for your convenience so that you know the phone numbers and addresses of all the children.  Please plan to call or mail the invitations yourself.


Book Exchange:  Each week, students will be able to check out two books.  One book from the Centre Hall Elementary Library (i.e. the “inside” library) every Thursday and one book from the Centre Hall Area Branch Library (i.e. the “outside” library) every Friday.


Book Orders:  Throughout the year we send home Scholastic Book Orders.  These are order forms with plenty of books for good prices.  These are always optional.  If you choose to order books, please note the due date on the form (or in the newsletter) and be sure to return your order form(s) and your check (no cash, please) made payable to Scholastic Reading Clubs by this date.  Check the newsletter for further information.


Breakfast After the Bell:  Our school participates in the Breakfast After the Bell program.  At the beginning of the school day, all students eat breakfast in their classrooms with their peers.  Parents may choose to purchase school breakfasts or may choose to provide a breakfast/snack for their student.




Class Directory:  At the beginning of the year all parents will be asked to provide their permission to put their child’s name along with your contact information (name/address/phone number/email)

in our “class directory”.  Parents may choose what (if any) information they would prefer to be included in this directory.  This directory is handed out to students in our class for parents to coordinate play dates, birthday parties, etc.  You must participate in the class directory to receive a copy of it.


Clothing:  Please LABEL all clothing with your child’s name - especially coats, hats, mittens, etc.  Play clothes are the perfect attire for our classroom.  We spend a lot of time on the floors and would like your child to feel comfortable.  Sneakers are suggested for footwear.  This makes playtime much easier and it prevents children from slipping on hallway floors.


Communication:  Communication between home and school is VERY important!  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, concerns, problems, or issues.  The best way to contact us is through email: and   You can also call the school and leave us a message: (814) 422-2004.


Conferences:  Parent/Teacher conferences will be held twice during the school year.  The first is at the end of November with the second in February.  Please feel free to contact us at ANY time to set up a meeting. We will also contact parents, if a conference is needed any time between scheduled conference times.




Dismissal:  School ends each day at 2:45 pm.  Students riding the bus will be walked to their bus at the end of the day.  Students who are being picked up will be dismissed from the end doors of the A wing, the doors closest to the parent parking lot.  If your child is to go home a different way than his/her normal manner, you MUST send a written note to the teacher or email/call Laura Romig at or (814) 422-2004.  If a note, phone call, or email is not received, your child MUST follow his/her regular dismissal routine.




Email:  Email is the BEST way to contact us.  They are: and


Emergencies: The school may need to contact you in case of an emergency.  If your phone number/address/email changes, please notify the school ASAP.


Excuses:  The first day your child returns to school after being absent, he/she must bring a signed note explaining the reason for their absence and the date he/she was absent.




Field Trips:  We occasionally take field trips to a variety of locations (Eisenhower auditorium, Wasson Farm, etc.).  Permission slips will be sent home any time this occurs.  Please be sure to sign and return the slip in a timely manner.  If you would like to volunteer to help with a field trip, you must have district clearances.


Folders:  All students will need a folder.  The students in Mrs. Weidel’s class are welcome to use the folder he/she received at the Kindergarten Open House.  If you would like to purchase your own “fancy” folder, please feel free to do so (just be sure your child’s name is written on the folder).  The students in Mrs. Houser’s class will be provided with a folder.  Please be sure to check your child’s folder on a DAILY basis.  Newsletters, notes home, and your child’s work will be sent home in their folder.  This is also the best place to send lunch money, book orders, or any other notes to school.


Food Allergies:  Please inform us about any allergies or health concerns your child may have so we can be aware for breakfast, lunch, and/or snack.




Grades:  Students are given three progress reports during the year: November/December, March, and at the end of the year. You will always be contacted throughout the year if there are any concerns about your child’s progress.  Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions about your child’s development in Kindergarten.


Gym:  Students will have Gym with Mr. Milner each week.  Students in Mrs. Houser’s class have gym on Tuesdays.  Students in Mrs. Weidel’s class have gym on Fridays.  Please be sure your student has proper sneakers/gym shoes for this day.  Please refer to the newsletter and/or calendar for specific dates.




Headphones:  Each child in Mrs. Weidel’s class needs a pair of headphones for using iPads.  While parents may choose to provide Earbuds, in our experience, headphones work much better for small hands and ears.  (Earbuds get more easily tangled and students have a hard time keeping them in their ears).


Homework:  Generally, students in our classes do not have homework.  Sometimes we send work home, if students are struggling to get it done in school.  If this happens, we will be in contact with you about our concerns.  The best “homework” your child can have at this age is to be read to and listen to stories.  Please take time every day to read with/to your child.




Ice Cream Wednesdays:  Every Wednesday our cafeteria offers ice cream for students to purchase with their lunch.  Students do not need to purchase the school lunch to purchase ice cream.  Ice cream costs $0.85.  All students must have money in their lunch account to purchase ice cream.  Ice cream is not included with the free/reduced lunch program.


Illness:  Please do not send your child to school if he/she has a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting within the last 24 hours.  If your child becomes ill at school, we will notify you to pick him/her up.  Your child should be fever and symptom free for 24 hours before returning to school.


Important Papers:  All important papers will come home in your child’s folder.  Please be sure to check it on a regular basis.  If papers need signed and returned, please do so in a timely fashion.


iPads:  We are fortunate to have an iPad for each student to use while in school.  Students will use a variety of apps to support and enhance their learning.  If you have questions about the apps or how we use the iPads in our classroom, please feel free to ask.




Joys!:  At least twice per week (hopefully DAILY) we will have a short time of talking/sharing.  Sometimes, students have a hard time thinking of things they want to share.  Talk with your child about their successes and help them share their joys with us!  We all want to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments!




Kidwriting: We use “kidwriting” in Kindergarten.  This is a form of using the SOUNDS we hear in words to write.  Students are not expected to properly write (or “adult write”) words.  If you are helping your student with writing, help him/her sound out the word and write the letter he/she HEARS – not how the word is spelled.  For example, students would write the word “class” as kls or klas because these are the sounds they HEAR.  This is fully acceptable and appropriate for Kindergarten.




Leaving Early:  If your child will leave early from school, he/she MUST have a note.  Please be sure to send this note in your child’s folder.  We will be sure to send the note to the office so the absence can be excused.


Library Books:  Students will take one book from the school library every Thursday.  They will also check out one book from the Centre Hall Area Branch Library every Friday.  Please read these books with your student and return them on the next day we visit each library again (Thursday for Centre Hall Elementary Library (“inside library” and Friday for Centre Hall Area Branch Library (“outside library”). Please refer to the newsletter and the school calendar for specific dates. 


Lunch Money:  Each student will be issued a four-digit pin number.  This is your child’s lunch number.  Whenever your child purchases breakfast, lunch, or milk, he/she types this number into the keypad and the cost of the meal/food will be deducted from your child’s account.  When sending lunch money for students, you may do so for the week, month, or longer.  The money goes into this account and the school will notify you when your student’s account is empty.  Checks can be written to Penns Valley Area School District and sent to school in an envelope with your child’s name and pin number on the front of it (if you do not know your child’s pin number, we will put it on for you).  Prices for meals are as follows:  Breakfast $1.15     Lunch $2.35     Milk $.50




Menus:  Breakfast and lunch menus can be accessed online at Please let us know if you need a paper copy sent home.


Music:  Music class will be each Monday for Mrs. Weidel’s class and Wednesday for Mrs. Houser’s class with Mrs. Mudgridge.  Please see the school calendar for specific dates.




Newsletter:  Each week we send a newsletter home to let parents and families know what we will be doing in Kindergarten for the coming week.  Please be sure to read the newsletter for information about what we are doing and how you can help your child in school.




Outside:  We try to be outside DAILY.  Please be sure your student has the proper clothing for outdoor play.  During the winter, students will need hats, gloves, and boots.




Parties:  We will have two classroom parties throughout the year: Christmas, and Valentine’s Day.  Students will be divided into two groups to help provide cookies, drinks, cups, plates, and napkins for our parties.  Information will come home with your child when it is your turn to help provide for the party.  Please let me know ASAP if you will not be able to send an item for a party.


PTG:  Our school has a Parent/Teacher Group.  Please get involved with this group to help plan events, fund raise, and/or provide food or materials for special occasions.  The PTG offers support to the teachers and provides fantastic experiences for the students.  Meetings are held once per month.




Questions:  PLEASE do not hesitate to contact us with ANY questions you have.  An email is the best way to reach us ( and, but you may also send a note in your child’s folder, or leave a message with the school secretary.




3 R’s – Be Ready, Be Responsible, Be Respectful:  These 3 R’s are the cornerstones of our school-wide behavior expectations.  All students learn about how to be Ready, Responsible, and Respectful in all areas of the school (cafeteria, hallway, bathrooms, etc.).  When talking with your child about his/her behavior, you can refer to these three words.


Ram Stars: Along with our 3 R’s, students can earn Ram Stars for Ready, Responsible, and Respectful behavior.  These are squares of paper with the student’s name, why they earned the Ram Star, and who gave them the reward.  Each Friday, we will pull one Ram Star from the week’s rewards and that student will choose a book from our book box to keep.  Encourage your student to always follow the 3 R’s and they may have a new book to keep!




School Day:  Our school day runs from 8:10 am – 2:45 pm.  Children may not arrive at school before 7:50 am and will be dismissed to the classroom at 7:55 am.  Students arriving after 8:10 am are considered tardy and need an excuse.



Self Help Skills:  We will be working with your student to help him/her learn how to tie his/her shoes, button and zip coats, etc.  Please help your child at home, too.  Allow your student to work on these things as he/she gets ready for school.




Toys from home:  We have PLENTY of things to keep us busy in our classroom.  Therefore, toys from home are not permitted in the classroom.  If your child chooses to bring something from home for his/her bus ride, it will remain in the backpack during our school day.




Units of Study:  Please watch our newsletters for information about what we are learning in Kindergarten.




Visiting the School:  When entering/visiting the school anytime between 7:50 am and 2:45 pm please don’t forget to sign in at the office.  All people entering the school are required to do this.  It is for the student’s safety!


Volunteers:  Volunteers are used as needed in our kindergarten classroom (especially for field trips, special occasions, etc.).  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, you must fill out the District Volunteer clearance forms.  You can request these forms by calling our school secretary or by visiting our district website –




Writing:  We use “kidwriting” in Kindergarten.  This is a form of using the SOUNDS we hear in words to write.  Students are not expected to properly write (or “adult write”) words.  If you are helping your student with writing, help him/her sound out the word and write the letter he/she HEARS – not how the word is spelled.  For example, students would write the word “class” as kls or klas because these are the sounds they HEAR.  This is fully acceptable and appropriate for Kindergarten.




eXciting:  This is a very exciting year for you and your student.  We are excited to be a part of it and look forward to building many happy memories with you, your student, and your family.




You:  You and I are a team, so please let us know if there is anything we can do to help your child be successful. Please reinforce skills learned at school at home each week.




ZZZZZ’s:  Please make sure your student gets plenty of rest each night.  Setting up a consistent bedtime routine will help with this.  Did you know Kindergarten children need 10 – 12 hours of sleep a night?!?!  We are BUSY, BUSY, BUSY in Kindergarten and your child will need his/her rest to have a successful day.