Ms. Bethanie's Classroom

August 29, 2012

Welcome to Ray Preschool For All! August 2012

Filed under: 2014-2015 — Bethanie Smith @ 4:33 pm

August 12, 2012

Dear Parents:

We just wanted to get a quick note out to you before school starts. You will be receiving a Handbook from the teachers at Ray as well as one from Chicago Public Schools Office of Early Childhood about the program overall. Please read both carefully as there is important information and guidelines in them.

State Pre-kindergarten half-day program has an unique way that students begin. The children that are returning for their second year of State Pre-Kindergarten will start school on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at the regular scheduled time and stay for the entire 2 ½ hour session. The new children will be phased into the classroom for 30 minute periods on September 5th and 6th. Your child’s time slot is written at the bottom of the page sent to you in the mail.   As your child is being introduced to the classroom, we ask that parents review other important information at the table set up outside the cafeteria. We will work with you on any separation issues you or your child may have. We have attached some suggestions for the first day of school that you may find useful.

Please enter and leave the building through the main entrance located at the front of the building. Pre-K classrooms are in the new addition. You must bring your child to the classroom and sign them in and out each day. The morning session is from 8:45 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. The afternoon session is from 1:10 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Please do not be late!! Children arriving late miss out on important activities and disturb the rest of the class. If your child is late or absent, we will need a written note on the day your child returns to school.

Note: You may not park in the teacher’s parking lot after 8:15 a.m. or before 4:00 p.m. Kimbark Avenue is closed between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and again at 3:30 p.m. to allow for bused children to get on and off the buses safely.

Classroom Information
The classroom number is 405.
The classroom phone number is 773-535-6702.
Ms. Bethanie’s e-mail address is or (please put Ray School in the subject line when e-mailing). E-mail is the most efficient manner in which to reach me. I do not always answer the classroom phone while engaged in activities with the children. I do however, have the ability to set a special alert for e-mails that are school related and will check them as soon as possible.

Note: Please make sure that we always have your current address and phone number(s) so that we can reach you when necessary.

Ice Cream Social
There will be an ice cream social the week before school begins for all families new to Ray School. You should be receiving a post card with the exact day and time, please keep an eye out for it. We hope you can make it. Folks will be gathering near the garden at 56th Street and Kenwood. We’ll have tours of the classrooms at that time.

What you will need the first day of school:

NO Backpacks- it gets very crowded when winter outerwear is added daily!
***We do not have enough cubby space for children to bring backpacks. The only exception is for children who are going onto another care facility directly after class (i.e., Little People’s Learning Center). So please do not bring backpacks to school.

1) Change of clothing for your child, including pants/shorts, underwear, shirt, socks, shoes, and with your child’s name on all items. Please put sunscreen on your child before they come to school. We will spend a lot of time outdoors when the weather permits.

2) Photo of your family.

3) $6.00 for a Ray School T-shirt for class trips if you don’t already have one. If you’d like one of the new and beautiful green tie-dyed t-shirts, they are $12.00. You can make a check out to Friends of Ray for the t-shirts. (t-shirt prices may have changed, I will communicate with the PTA to confirm)

**Lastly, we are a very creative group and often need extra cleaning supplies for our daily activities. We have a short “wish list” for parents who would like to donate the following (due to limited storage space we ask that the supplies be brought in a staggered fashion, on an as needs basis).

4) Families whose last name begins with A-E, please bring the following:
* 1 box of facial tissue
* 1 Bottle of Lysol (disinfecting spray) or 1 container of disinfecting wipes
* 1 roll of paper towels (Select-A-Size is preferred)
* 1 box gallon-sized zip-lock bags, 1 box quart-sized zip-lock bags
* 1 ream of computer paper
* Hand wipes (Wet ones, baby wipes)
* 1 bottles of hand soap

**I will ask for more supplies from the remaining families as needed throughout the year.

Ms. Bethanie and Ms. Martinez

***If your child is having a successful phase in, there is the option of attending the 2nd day until the end of the class session. We can decide as the phase-in process takes place.
The First Day of School

The first day of school can be a wonderful or terrifying event for both parents and children. We can do things to help us through this process.

 Talk to your child about if there is a special item (small enough to fit into their cubby) he or she would like to bring to school for comfort. The object will be left in the cubby for your child to go to and snuggle with (if necessary).
 Please bring a family photo to post in your child’s cubby so that they can look at it throughout the day (if necessary).
 Visit the playground at school so your child is familiar with the equipment and feels competent using it.
 Do some pretend play with your child about how you will go to school and how you will say goodbye. Imagine waking up, having breakfast, getting in the car, walking in the door, kissing/hugging goodbye.
 Agree on a goodbye ritual: how many kisses, hugs, etc.
 Make sure your child is clear about who will pick him up and when.
 Find out something about the schedule so you can talk it over with your child.
 Give a special note, picture, or poem for your child to keep in their cubby. We will also encourage your child to write a letter or draw a picture for you to make them feel better (if necessary).
 Make sure you awaken early enough to have a relaxing morning, with time to dress and eat a good breakfast/lunch.

Do not hang around at the door or peering through windows after you have said goodbye. Once your child sees that you are reluctant to leave, it is harder for them to feel safe and it is more difficult for the teachers to engage the child in classroom activities. BRING TISSUES! This may be harder for you than your child.

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