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Dear TK2 Parents,

Welcome to our Transitional Kindergarten class at Loma Portal Elementary School! You will be amazed at just how fast your child will grow academically and socially this year. Most likely your child has had the seeds of reading and writing planted.  During this year those seeds will grow and blossom, making your child an accomplished reader and writer.

Ways to Help Your Child Bloom

The loveliest flowers usually have the best gardener -- and that gardener is you! Staying involved in your child’s education is the key to a successful year. Reading to your child at home can be extremely rewarding for both of you. Talk to your child about their day. Look over homework and any work completed in the classroom. Tell your child what you like about his or her work. Your child will work harder when he or she believes that you care about the work.

A Few Procedures

School Hours - Our new school hours are from 8:15 a.m. to 12:35 p.m. Supervision is provided for 15 minutes before school begins on the kindergarten playground area. 

Arrival - Please have your child line up (sitting down) on the kindergarten playground in front of K-2. Children (including siblings) may not play on the playground for safety reasons (too many children out there at the same time).  Children will place homework folder (brought daily), labeled snack with name (except for Thursday - no snack - minimum day), and backpack outside the classroom in labeled designated area. We will open the classroom when the first bell rings at 8:15 a.m. We ask that parents say goodbye to their children outside of the classroom.  Parent volunteers may come in a few minutes early before students or with the kids in the morning.

Late Arrival - Please try your best to be on time!  We start school promptly.  Kids that are consistently late lose out on important learning time and concepts.  It also can be disruptive to the learning of other students.  If your child arrives more than five minutes late they need to go to the office first and get a late slip. 

Rainy Day Arrival - Kinder students go directly inside of their classrooms.  Other grades levels go to the auditorium until teacher arrivals to walk students to class.

Dismissal - Please pick up your child outside, in front of our classroom. Dismissal is at 12:35 p.m. If there is a change in your child’s regular procedure for going home, please let us know.  If you intend to have other people pick up your child, then you must have name(s) written on the release form in the office.  Please arrive promptly after school at 2:40 (or 12:35 on Thursday) to pick up your child.  You will need to allow extra time for heavier traffic - parking can be challenging.  Children become concerned when their parents are late and teachers are trying to prepare lessons for the next day.

Illness - Please keep children at home when they are ill. Children recover more quickly at home.  Families and teachers also appreciate limiting exposure to illnesses.  Please inform the school office (223-1683) when and why your child is absent.

School Homework Contracts - School contracts are required for students who are absent for five consecutive days or more.  Please try to schedule family vacations during school breaks or give at least two weeks notice if a contract is required.

Snack - Please send a healthy snack to school daily with your child except on Thursday. On Thursday lunch is early so there is no need for a snack.  A mid-morning snack helps to give your child energy to focus on the rest of their morning. Please label your child’s snack with his or her name. Your child will place the snack into the class “snack basket” in the morning.  Children eat snack at morning recess time.

Lunch - Your child may either bring a lunch or purchase a lunch in the school cafeteria.  We suggest that you send a lunch for the first week of school.  This will give your child some time to learn his/her cafeteria number.  If your child plans to eat in the cafeteria please put money in their account instead of sending cash. You can take care of funding their account in the office, on line or in the cafeteria.  This helps to avoid lost lunch money issues.

Weekly Parent Letter - Please read the weekly parent letter which will be stapled to the homework packet every Monday starting in October.  It will include dates for upcoming events and other important information.

Sharing/Helper - We will be sending our “Sharing Can” home with the “Helper of the Day”.  Your child will choose an object to put in the can and then please help your child write down three clues describing the object. Your child will then share the clues with the class and the students will try to guess what is in the can. This is a great opportunity for your child to practice public speaking.  Please anticipate early about the sharing can and practice at home first.   The “Helper of the Day” also gets to sit in a special helper chair during rug time and assist the teacher with classroom jobs.

Birthdays - We enjoy celebrating students’ birthdays together as a class.  If you would like you can send in a small party favor or pencil.  Please no food items due to allergies and food restrictions!  Thank you!

P.E. - In addition to recess activities in the kindergarten yard every day, the children will see our P.E. teacher (Miss Duncan) once a week to participate in our P.E. program.  Please have your child wear comfortable shoes every day!  Day to be announced.

Computer & Music Class - We are very fortunate to have both a computer teacher and a music teacher here at Loma Portal!  Students will attend those classes weekly. Days to be announced.

Library - Students will visit our school library weekly.  Our librarian (Mrs. Fenska) starts the class with a wonderful story and then children select a library book to keep at home for the week. Please make sure your child takes extra special care of this book.  The book will need to be returned the day before our next check out.  Day to be announced.

Homework – A homework packet will be sent home every Monday and collected on the following Monday.  Homework is required by the district and it helps to reinforce skills taught in class.  Please keep all the papers stapled together (makes it much easier to collect and check in) and make sure your child’s name is written on the front.  Check to see that all pages are complete.

The first homework packet will be sent home on the first Monday of October.  Until you receive the first homework packet, please read with your child each evening.  If your child does not know how to write his/her name it is imperative that he/she practice nightly.  Name writing sheets will be sent home on Monday and returned to us the following Monday.  Please make sure the first letter is upper case and all of the other letters are lower case.  Thank you for your support.

Folder - Many important notes will be sent home throughout the year.  Your child will receive a school folder. Please have them bring the folder to school every day. We use this folder to communicate school and class information. If you need to communicate with us please place a note in your child’s folder.

Email - Our email addresses are cknaplund@sandi.net (Caroline Knaplund) and ckeefe@sandi.net (Colleen Southern).  We will check our email before school and after school.  We cannot check emails during teaching time.  You may also write us a note and put it in your child’s folder or speak to us briefly when the first bell rings.  School phone # (619)223-1683.

Conferences - Parent conferences are scheduled in November.  If you have concerns and would like to schedule an earlier conference please let us know.  Open House will be held on Thursday, September 17th.  We will go over curriculum, kindergarten expectations and answer any questions you may have.  This night is for parents.  Please arrange child care.  Thank you.    

Backpack - Backpacks are a wonderful way to get items back and forth from school without losing anything.Please send a standard sized backpack to school every day and place it in a large blue tub located outside the classroom. 

Items From Home - Please label all of your child’s outer garments and belongings – sweaters, coats, lunch pails, backpacks, etc.

Teacher Schedule – Mrs. Southern will teach on Mondays and Tuesdays; Mrs. Knaplund on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  We will plan together weekly and communicate daily. 


Classroom Rules

Good behavior is extremely important in school.  Our class rules are as follows:

·          Be kind and considerate to others

·          Be responsible

·          Do your best work

·          Listen and follow directions

The class will earn a reward for good behavior when the marble jar is filled.  Rewards could include a treat, pencils, erasers, etc.  Students will earn an individual reward by collecting 10 green cards which can be used for a trip to the treasure chest.  A green card will be given to your child daily for good behavior.  Green cards will be kept in your child’s desk in a ziplock baggie. 

While we expect our classroom to be a happy and positive learning environment, if there are any discipline issues that require parental involvement we will send home a note explaining the circumstances to you.  Please sign it and return it to us the following day so we know you have talked with your child about appropriate behavior.

Ways To Help

Parent Volunteer Sheet – We would love you to help our students grow!  If you would like to be involved with our classroom please fill out the volunteer form, district application and get your TB test done ASAP.  We will send you a confirmation when you have been approved. Thank you and we look forward to working with you.

Parent Interview Sheet – Please help us get to know your child better by filling out the parent interview sheet.

We are looking forward to a wonderful year with your child.  We hope that your child will enthusiastically share our daily activities with you.  If he or she forgets, please ask.  If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call us.


Caroline Knaplund & Colleen Southern

 Here’s wishing us all a wonderful year of growth!