Explore, Learn, Laugh
is for Kindergarten Children must be five years of age by September 1, 2017 to register for Kindergarten for the 2017-2018 school year.
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Welcome to NPSD from the Superintendent Dear Families, Welcome to the North Penn School District! Your child will begin an exciting adventure this fall when he or she starts Kindergarten and hopefully a life-long love of learning. We know this time can be full of excitement and anxiety. We want to help ease any fears and anxieties about your child beginning school by answering some of the many questions you may have regarding AM or PM kindergarten assignments, transportation, day care and extended school care opportunities. We also want to share some tips for engaging with your child’s school, and fun and educational ways to best help your child prepare for his or her first year of school. The elementary years are extremely important because they set the foundation for a child’s academic and social future. The information included in this brochure will help ensure your child is well-prepared for the start of his or her educational career in the North Penn School District. Our district provides an educational experience that is safe, nurturing and fun. Each academic classroom is enriched by a multitude of extra-curricular activities, including technology, assembly programs and student clubs. We hope this information is helpful to you and look forward to welcoming you and your child to school in September. Sincerely,
Dr. Curtis R. Dietrich Superintendent
Letter from the Director of Elementary Education Dear Parents and Guardians, I take great pleasure in welcoming you as your child begins his or her educational journey in the North Penn School District. Kindergarten is an ideal time to start teaching children the importance of school and introducing basic skills into their lives. Learning is an important experience and we make it engaging and interactive so kids enjoy coming to school. Therefore, the North Penn School District is pleased to offer very talented and nurturing staff members, a safe and friendly school environment, and a developmentally appropriate and challenging curriculum so that kindergarten students can achieve their highest potential. As the Director of Elementary Education, one of my greatest joys is visiting classrooms and seeing the enthusiasm of our young children as they learn a new skill, make a new friend or complete a difficult project. I feel honored to be able to see kindergarten students grow throughout the elementary years and am always impressed with their achievement and abilities by the time they graduate sixth grade and move on to middle school. I hope you and your child will have an outstanding experience! Sincerely,
Dr. Elizabeth Santoro Director of Elementary Education
Frequently Asked Questions About Kindergarten North Penn School District (NPSD) provides information and resources to our families in a number of ways. One way is through the “For Families” tab on our website, www.npenn.org, is a great resource for general information. The Home Access Center, also found on the district website, provides parents of elementary-aged children the ability to review registration/ demographic information, daily attendance records, and teacher and bus assignments. Information about HAC and how to access it will be mailed to your home in August.
How do I know which bus my child will ride?
AM and PM Kindergarten Sessions
How does the teacher know what bus my child will ride, and how do I know my child will get on the correct bus?
Your child should wear the bus tag you receive at kindergarten orientation for the first few days of school. You should write your child’s name and busing/van pickup information on the tag. You can also pick up a tag from the school secretary.
It is important to keep your child’s routine consistent. Too many changes, too many times a week can be confusing for the child and our staff; for this reason, we ask that notes are sent in the event of any change. Teachers walk the morning students to their busses and the office for pickup. In the afternoon, older grade level buddies may also help the kindergarten teachers by escorting the students to their bus lines or “parent pickup” location.
How do I know which session my child will be attending? Will it be AM or PM?
Your neighborhood busing is determined by the NPSD Transportation Department. They determine the location of all children attending for the upcoming year and balance the number in the morning session and the afternoon session. It is always possible that your neighborhood session may change from year to year because of rising or declining registration. In June, you will be notified of your child’s placement in either AM or PM kindergarten.
Is there a process for a change of session request?
Changing sessions may be considered under rare and compelling circumstances. The building principal will review written requests on a first-come, firstserved, case-by-case basis. If a session is changed, the parent/guardian is responsible for picking up the student after the morning session or dropping off the student for the afternoon session, depending on the change.
Just like teacher assignments, you can visit the district website at www.npenn.org to access HAC to find out your busing information. If you are unsure of your child’s bus stop, do not hesitate to contact the NPSD Transportation Department at 215-853-1139.
What school supplies does my child need?
A kindergarten supply list will be sent following registration and may be accessed on school websites during the summer.
How do I know which teacher my child will have?
Once you receive your Home Access Center (HAC) login information in August, you will be able to find your child’s teacher assignment.
Is my child’s safety ensured while at school?
The buddy system is used in schools so students never walk through the school alone. Teachers are posted at all dismissal doors and used as greeters in the morning. In addition, each school uses a buzzer system that prevents anyone entering the building without being buzzed in by a secretary or principal. Once inside the building, all parents, volunteers and visitors must sign in at the office and take a name tag/ID badge. All persons walking through the building without a name tag/ID badge are stopped.
When is Kindergarten Orientation?
Orientation takes place the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. Kindergarten students come with their parents at a designated time during the AM or PM session as listed on your placement letter. The SECOND DAY OF SCHOOL is actually the FIRST DAY for kindergarten students and they can ride the bus into school that day.
After School Options
How do I communicate that I want my child to be “picked up” by me or a relative or friend?
What do I do if my child is sick?
In order to pick up your child, send a note to the teacher to let them know of a change in your child’s schedule. Let the relative/friend know they must go to the office to sign out the student. They will need to present a driver’s license or some other form of picture identification. If it is during the school day, the office will call for the child to come to the office. For security purposes and to maintain uninterrupted curriculum time, relatives/friends will not be permitted to walk down to the classroom during the school day.
A major factor in a student’s school success is regular attendance. Anytime a student is absent, it is the responsibility of the parent to inform the school. A safeat-home call will be made if the parent fails to call. Upon his/her return to school, a written or verbal excuse must be sent to the teacher within three days of the date of the absence. If an excuse is not received within the appropriate time, the absence will remain unexcused. Absences are only considered excused for one of the permissible reasons listed in the Discipline Code that is mailed home to all parents in August. Additional information regarding absences can also be found in the NPSD Elementary School Parent Handbook which can be found on the district’s website at www.npenn.org, under the “For Families” tab.
Day Care Option for Students
Does NPSD offer Extended School Care?
The North Penn School District offers before and after school care for each of its 13 elementary schools through its Extended School Care program. This program is held Monday through Friday and on several in-service days throughout the year. Students attending AM kindergarten may attend the before care program from 7 am until the start of the school day. Those attending PM kindergarten may attend the afternoon care program from the time of dismissal until 6 pm There is NO allday care program in NPSD elementary schools.
For information regarding specific rates and times of the district’s Extended School Care program, please contact 215-853-1039.
Home and School Association
How can I assist with the Home and School Association?
You will receive a packet from your child’s “Home and School Association” with information on activities and fundraisers, how you can volunteer for year-long functions, or volunteer as a classroom helper. Emergency chain, clothing sales, student directory and much more will be included!
Extended Vacations (10 consecutive school days or more)
If my child will miss at least 10 consecutive days of school, what must I do when it is time for my child to come back to school?
According to PA School Law, students who miss 10 consecutive school days shall be dropped from active school membership unless evidence exists that the excuse for absence is legal. When a child is removed from school for an extended vacation beyond 10 consecutive school days, those missed days are not considered legal absences. As a result, the student is considered withdrawn from school and must complete the registration process before the student can return to school. During this extended vacation, the school will not provide school assignments, nor will credit be given for missed school work.
How should I dress my child for school? Where will they keep their backpack/coat?
Please dress your child in kindergarten-appropriate, comfortable clothing that allows your child to freely move around and participate in all activities. Please check the weather regularly so your child is dressed appropriately for each season. It is recommended to label all coats and sweaters. Each kindergarten classroom has either a closet or cubby space for students to keep their items during the school day. This varies from building to building.
Curriculum and Assessments
Will my child be able to buy lunch?
What will my child learn in kindergarten?
NPSD does not offer lunch for kindergarten students except on early dismissal days. A letter will be sent home to parents regarding more information about lunch on early dismissal days.
Curriculum will be covered at Back-to-School Night in September. Curriculum guides are available from the district office, as well as on the NPSD website, www.npenn.org, under the “For Families” tab.
How will I be informed of my child’s academic performance?
Elementary progress is reported three times per year in grades K-6: December, March and June. Art, music and physical education will report grades only twice a year: December and June. Report cards are issued approximately 15 days after the close of each trimester. A parent/teacher conference will be held in early November. Information about conferences will be sent to parents during the school year. While specific reporting conferences are scheduled, parents are encouraged to arrange for additional conferences with their child’s teacher.
Breakfast may be purchased daily for AM kindergarten students. Parents can prepay for breakfast through the MyPayments Plus Program. Please visit the www.mypaymentsplus.com website or contact NPSD Nutrition Services Office at 215-853-1081 for more information or to register an account.
The NPSD encourages its families to participate in the Free and Reduced Meal Program. To see if you qualify, please visit the NPSD website at www.npenn.org and click on the “For Families” tab. Completed applications for the Free and Reduced Meal Program should be returned to the NPSD School Nutrition Services Department at 401 East Hancock Street, Lansdale, PA, 19446.
Special Needs Child
Will my child have recess time?
Who do I contact if my child has special needs?
Due to half-day kindergarten sessions, recess is held at the discretion of your child’s teacher. The duration and frequency of recess may vary.
Individual services and programs are available for children who are determined to need specially designed instruction due to the following conditions: autism, blindness or visual impairment, deafness or hearing impairment, intellectually disabled, multihandicapped, neurological impairment, other health impairments, physical disability, serious emotional disturbance, specific learning disability and speech and language impairment. If you believe that your child may be in need of special education services or related programs, you may request a screening evaluation in writing to the Director of Special Education and Student Services at 401 East Hancock Street, Lansdale, PA, 19446. For additional information, please contact 215-853-1060.
What health examinations are required and what types of health tests are conducted throughout the kindergarten year?
Your child will be required to complete both a physical examination and dental examination and submit this to his or her school nurse by October 15th. These can also be conducted by the school doctor or dentist at the school if you do not have a private physician or dentist. Please contact the school nurse if this is the case.
In addition to the physical and dental examinations, the school will also conduct height, weight, body mass index (BMI) percentage, hearing and vision for all kindergarten students.
I don’t have insurance. What are my options?
Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health insurance to all uninsured children and teens who are not eligible for or enrolled in Medical Assistance. No family makes too much money for CHIP because there is no income limit.
I believe my child should be in the gifted program.
NPSD offers services that are designed to meet the unique needs of gifted students in grades K-12, if they qualify as a result of the district’s gifted testing process. If your child is thought to qualify for gifted services by school personnel, you will be notified of the evaluation and screening procedures. Parental requests for screening and evaluation should be made in writing to the Director of Special Education and Student Services at 401 East Hancock Street, Lansdale, PA, 19446. For additional information, please contact 215-853-1060.
Bus and Transportation Information Having your child ride a school bus for the first time can be intimidating, for both you and your child. To ease your worries, we have provided information on the kindergarten busing policy, as well as transportation guidelines for all students. These are used to ensure that all students riding the bus are as safe as possible. Kindergarten students have the opportunity to participate in the annual K-Day event held by the NPSD Transportation Department in August. This event is designed to ease the anxiety that kindergarten and first grade students who have never ridden the bus before (and their parents!) sometimes experience when they take that first ride on the big yellow bus. Participants will be invited to explore the bus while NPSD bus drivers explain school bus facts and safety information. Students will be invited to take a seat for a short ride around the neighborhood. The exciting day will wrap up with a safety video and the distribution of information regarding bus tags, bus schedules, emergency phone numbers and day care locations. Dates will be mailed home to kindergarten families around July 1st.
Kindergarten Busing Policy All kindergarten routes will have a permanent driver and alternate driver assigned. Except under very rare circumstances, one of these individuals will drive the run. Both the driver and the alternate will attend kindergarten orientation at the beginning of each year. They will drive the bus assigned to their particular route. Both will familiarize themselves with students, parents and stops for their particular run. Both will practice the run before the opening of school. During the first week of school, the alternate will ride-a-long until he/she is familiar with all students and stops. All kindergarten students will be assigned the same bus stop each day of the week. The only exception will be special situations as directed by the Coordinator of Transportation. A morning kindergarten student will not be dropped off at a stop unless there is a parent or other responsible person present. If no parent or responsible person is present, the bus driver will follow these procedures: • Keep the child on the bus • Call the office at 215-853-1139 and the office will attempt to locate a parent/guardian • Return to the stop at the end of the run • If no one is there, the child will be returned to their school
Transportation Guidelines Bus transportation will be provided to elementary students who reside in excess of one and one-half miles from the school and to secondary students who reside in excess of two miles from the school. Exceptions to the one and one-half and two-mile rule are made in situations where students must travel a PennDot certified hazardous route. In this case, bus transportation will be provided. Handicapped or special education students are transported according to arrangements made by the school district on a caseby-case basis. If parents request to enroll their child in a school outside the designated attendance area, admission will be granted only if space is available in the requested school. If approval is granted, parents must assume responsibility for transportation of the student to and from the requested attendance area. An application by the parent for transfer of school attendance must be completed by the parent and submitted to the Director of Elementary Education at 401 East Hancock Street, Lansdale, PA 19446. Requests for transportation to daycare centers or babysitter locations must be submitted in writing to the elementary school the child is attending and approved by the building principal and the transportation department. Daycare centers’ or babysitters’ residences must be located within the attending school zone boundaries. All locations for stops will be made in accordance with established district guidelines. If transportation arrangements are made to a daycare or babysitter location, such arrangements must be the same on all school days. For example, one set of arrangements for Monday-Wednesday-Friday and another set of arrangements for TuesdayThursday will not be allowed. This is necessary to ensure the safe and secure transport of all students.
Family Friendly Schools The North Penn School District encourages all families to support their child’s academic career and become engaged with their child’s school. There are many programs and services in place that enhance communication and partnerships between the school, staff and family. In addition, individual schools and the district provide programming to support families. Family involvement in early childhood education often results in greater student success in school. With this in mind, focus is placed both at the district and at the building level to provide transition opportunities for new, incoming kindergarten and first grade students through open houses and new family orientations. NPSD staff members are always available to talk with parents/guardians about a child’s progress. During the year, parents will be given progress reports and are invited to a parentteacher conference. However, if a problem or question arises, parents or teachers may request a conference as needed.
Child Readiness The first five years of a child’s life is a critical time for their social, emotional and cognitive development. Children entering school need to be ready to learn, thrive and succeed. The academic program for a child begins in kindergarten. If children are able to enter kindergarten at the appropriate levels, they will be able to continue these successes through to graduation. Meetings are regularly held with preschool/early childcare center directors and teachers to align curriculum between preschool and kindergarten in North Penn. These meetings create a stronger understanding of what early childhood programs should provide so that children are prepared for kindergarten and first grade instruction. NPSD recognizes and supports families as their child’s first and best teacher. A focus on readiness skills will support early learning and serve to prepare children for success in school and in life. Families can help by providing a safe environment with proper health and nutrition, by sparking curiosity and creativity through play, and by using everyday moments to teach.
Tips to Help Your Child Succeed Families and child care play an important role in the learning and growing processes of a young child, especially preparing them for school. Some of these tips will provide you with tools necessary to feel confident that your child is well-prepared. Explore Language • Recognize words that rhyme • Identify beginning sounds in words like “s” in “sand” • Recognize sounds in words like “c” and “at” in “cat” • Speak in complete sentences • Listen while others speak • Take turns using words to communicate needs and wants Get Ready to Read • Hold a book • Use their finger(s) to follow words across a page (from left to right and top to bottom) • Match words in print with spoken words • Use pictures to tell what is happening in the story Pay Attention • Listen in a group • Follow directions and routines • Be interested in learning • Stay on task • Clean up after work and play
Get Along with Others • Express interest in other children • Follow directions and routines • Be interested in learning • Respect others and property • Display self-control Know Letters, Numbers, Colors, Shapes • Recognize name in print • Write name (first letter uppercase, followed by lower case letters) • Recognize letters of the alphabet • Recognize written numbers 1-10 • Differentiate between written numbers and letters • Count and write 1-10 • Count objects • Identify and recognize colors, shapes
Be Safe by Knowing • His/her address and telephone number • Name of his/her school • Bus pick-up and drop-off locations • How to cross streets (look both ways and cross at corners) • How to contact a safe adult in emergency
How YOU Can Help Your Child: • Show a safe way to walk to school and where to cross the street • Send your child to school at the same time as other children • Explain to your child that they should come straight home from school and don’t talk to strangers • Provide a school bag for items to arrive safely to/from school/home • Model good health habits Do Things Themselves • Practice good hygiene • Use buttons or zippers • Practice playground and fire safety • Dress and undress themselves • Received plenty of rest • Attempt to tie his/her own shoes • Eat a good breakfast and lunch • Use the bathroom and wash hands • Dress appropriately for the weather with minimal help • Promote regular attendance • Correct use and grip of pencils and • Encourage your child to talk about his/her scissors experiences at school