Introduction

The Kindergarten teachers of Chico Unified School District would like to welcome you and your child to school.  We hope that your child is looking forward to the first school experience with a feeling of delight and anticipation.

Our philosophy is to enable your child to have a meaningful school experience in a learning environment that will meet his/her developmental needs, and achieve the best possible education.

There must be communication and understanding between the school and home.  We hope you feel comfortable enough to ask questions and express your pleasures and concerns.  As part of our home/school communication program, we schedule parent conferences during the 1st quarter and as needed to discuss your individual child.  You are a vital part of this network and your active participation is encouraged.

Hopefully, this will answer some of your questions.  It is our attempt to bridge the gap between school and home.  We all want the important kindergarten year to be a happy and satisfying one for you and your child.

Attendance/Tardiness

Good attendance, and being at school on time, are crucial for a pupil's successful school experience.  The educational foundation starts in kindergarten and is one of the most important years in the child's educational career.  The interruption in learning through excessive absenteeism can hinder a child greatly in the learning of the basic skills.

Secondly, there is another factor to consider.  Kindergarten children are picking up many messages from the adults in their world.  If parents do not think it's important to go to school and be on time, a child may develop a similar attitude.  This type of attitude encourages a lack of responsibility.

We realize that children are highly susceptible to common colds, etc. and we would expect the child to stay home if he/she is sick.  Please help us make your child's first year a healthy happy one.

Program Description

The CUSD Kindergarten program provides a learning environment and learning experiences designed to take into account the developmental needs of all children.  Growth in auditory, visual motor, and language areas are fostered through active participation in an experience rich curriculum.  A positive self-concept is nurtured by providing opportunities for success at the appropriate developmental levels.  Process and conceptual development are more important than product at this stage.  For example, a developmentally younger child will count concrete objects such as blocks to develop the concept of number.  A developmental five-year-old will count the objects and write the symbol using paper and pencil.

Nice To Know Skills Before A Child Starts School

These skills and concepts represent the ideal.  School readiness skills are best taught in small doses, with repetition over months, and without pressuring your child.



Motor Skills
-run -build with blocks
-walk a straight line -complete simple puzzles
-jump -zip clothes
-hop -handle scissors
-stand on one foot 5-10 seconds -cut simple shapes
-throw a ball -button clothes
-clap hands -draw and color beyond a simple scribble



Listening and Sequencing
-follow simple directions -retell a simple story in sequence
-pay attention -repeat a sequence of sounds
-recognize common sounds in the environment -repeat a sequence of orally given numbers



Size, Position, and Direction
Big and little Hot and cold
Long and short Empty and full
Up and down More and less
In and out Fast and slow
Front and back Top and bottom
Over and under  



Time

Understand day and night
Know age and birthday

COLORS AND SHAPES

Recognize primary colors
Is aware of triangles, circles, squares, and rectangles

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Express self verbally
Identify other children by name
Can be away from parents for 2 to 3 hours
Can take care of toilet needs
Care for own belongings
Join in family conversations
Get along with other children
Recognize authority
Share with others
Meet visitors without shyness
Work independently
Put away toys
Help with family chores
Know own first and last name
Aware of parent's name
Aware of home address and phone number

READING READINESS

Remember pictures from a printed page
Repeat a 6 to 8 word sentence
Answer questions about a short story
Pretend to read (and has been read to frequently)
Identify own first name in writing. Aware of letters of the alphabet
Know nursery rhymes
Understand meaning of simple words

Parents Can Help After School Begins

- Read to your child each day.  Have a regular time set aside in a relaxed atmosphere. Take trips to the library.  You might even subscribe to a children's magazine.
- Stay in contact with the teacher.  Whenever possible, participate in the classroom or make a classroom visit.
- Talk about schoolwork being brought home.  Ask specific questions; for example, What was your story today? or What song did you learn today?  If you are not specific, you will most likely receive an answer such as Nothing or Played!
- Listen to your child patiently and take time to respond.
- Talk to your child.  Help your child increase his/her vocabulary.  Speak to your child in complete sentences and
encourage him/her to speak the same way.
- Give your child responsibilities: follow home rules, pick up belongings, make his/her bed, care for a pet, dress self, etc.
- Help your child become an observer.  Detect likenesses and differences in sizes, shapes, colors, textures, and sounds.
- Encourage your child to be a collector.  Provide a special place to put collections  - a drawer, bookcase, or even a shoebox would do.
- Go on excursions and talk about the places seen.
- Keep your child healthy.  Start each day with a nutritious breakfast.
- Be sure your child is well rested.
- Allow your child to exercise, walk dogs, play in the park, climb, ride bikes, move to music.
- Limit the amount of time your child is allowed to watch television.  Discuss programs with your child.
- Discuss with your child ways to protect him/her from strangers. Each child has his/her unique rate and pattern of growth.  Praise your child.  Everyone needs praise everyday!


Setting the Stage for Learning

PHYSICALLY     
  1. Does my child receive three nourishing meals a day?      
  2. Does my child get ten to twelve hours of sleep a night?     
  3. Does my child play out-of-doors every day?     
  4. Does my child play with other children?

INTELLECTUALLY     
  1. Do I spend every day conversing with my child?                
  2. Do I read to my child and then let him talk about what we have read?     
  3. Do I enrich his experience by taking him places?     
  4. Do I listen to my child?

EMOTIONALLY     
Children whose  basic emotional needs are satisfied have a better chance to grow up with good mental health and become mentally healthy adults.

THE EIGHT VITAMINS FOR MENTAL HEALTH
  1. LOVE    
    Every child needs to feel that his parents love, want, and enjoy him; that he matters very much to someone; that there are people near him who care what happens to him.
  2. ACCEPTANCE    
    Every child needs to believe that his parents like him for himself, just the way he is; that they like him all the time, and not only when he acts according to their ideas of the way a child should act.
  3. SECURITY    
    Every child needs to know that his parents will always be on hand, especially in times of crisis when he needs them most; that he belongs to a family or group; that there is a place where he fits in.
  4. PROTECTION
    Every child needs to feel that his parents will keep him safe fro harm; that they will help him when he must face strange, unkown, and frightening situations.
  5. INDEPENDENCE
    Every child needs to know that his parents want him to grow up and that they encourage him to try new things; that they have confidence in him and in his ability to do things for himself.
  6. FAITH
    Every child needs to have a set of moral standards to live by; a belief in the human values - kindness, courage, honesty, generosity, and justice.
  7. GUIDANCE
    Every child needs to have friendly help in learning how to behave toward persons and things; grownups around him who show him by example how to get along with others.
  8. CONTROL
    Every child needs to know that there are limits to what he is permitted to do and that his parents will hold him to these limits; that though it is all right to feel jealous or angry, he will not be allowed to hurt himself or others when he has these feelings.