Kindergarten

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Welcome to our Kindergarten Information Page!

Many things will be shifting and changing from our normal kindergarten processes this year due to the covid-19 pandemic. What won’t be changing is our enthusiastic welcome to parents and students to our schools! We are happy you are here and hope this page provides all the information you need along with the various dates and details for enrolling your rising kindergarten student into one of our four elementary schools. We will be updating this page weekly as we move forward with our kindergarten planning.

What’s different this year due to the covid pandemic?

  • We will be hosting our Kindergarten Information Night via Zoom (one event will include all four elementary schools) on January 21, 2021
  • We will still be asking that all current resident children are registered through our Early Kindergarten Registration process from March 1- March 19, 2021
  • We will not be able to host kindergarten classroom observations for parents in January & February
  • We are not sure at this time if we will be able to host Buddy Day when rising kindergarten students can visit a classroom in the spring
  • We still plan to find a way to provide developmental screenings this spring to all rising kindergarten children
  • We are hopeful that later this spring and summer we will be able to host playground playdates, family picnics and other events to ease the transition for you and your child

Information Meeting for Parents & Guardians (Virtual)

This meeting is for any and all parents/guardians of a rising kindergarten student. Our four elementary principals will welcome you and provide a host of information about our full day kindergarten program including school hours, curriculum  including our focus on learning through play, specials including art, music, library, gardening, and physical education, a typical kindergarten day (outdoor time,  circle time, small group and individual instruction and learning time, snacks, meals and recess) . We’ll also cover information about before and after school programs, enrichment programs, school meals and snack time, bus transportation, special supports for students including school health office, average class sizes, teaching staff and student to teacher ratios,  music and art in the classroom.

Kindergarten virtual meeting for parents

Date: January 21, 2021

Time: 5:30 pm-6:30 pm  

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Reunión virtual de jardín de infantes para padres

Fecha: 21 de enero de 2021

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6:45pm – 7:45pm (EST) Español

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Kindergarten is a critical year for all children—a year of transition from preschool programs or home to formal schooling. Most children arrive in kindergarten filled with curiosity, wonder, and an enthusiasm to learn about themselves, others, and the world. We see our role and responsibility as nourishing this hunger for knowledge, motivating and challenging the children, while protecting and nurturing them.

The process of learning for children at this age is as important as performance and products. When children see themselves as competent learners, they tackle challenges with confidence, and develop attitudes and dispositions that encourage their curiosity and eagerness to learn. And, as research and common sense tells us, these skills and attitudes lay a solid foundation for future academic success.

In addition to inviting children to learn and grow, we want to invite families to partner with our schools. Parents are truly their child’s first and most important teachers and we encourage your involvement in your child’s education and school!

Northampton’s kindergarten curriculum is integrated across learning domains, always keeping the development of the whole child at its core. Children learn to take risks and solve problems, develop relationships, explore new concepts, acquire academic skills and knowledge, and enhance their physical, social, and emotional competence.

Children Sitting in Class

To accomplish these tasks, they need sufficient time to become involved in projects and investigations to satisfy their own interests. Therefore, our kindergarten day offers a balance of child-initiated and teacher-selected activities to enhance learning.

Children benefit from our rich, multi-sensory learning environments that support different learning styles and kinds of intelligence. They are able to acquire symbolic thought as they represent their ideas and knowledge through drawing, painting, block constructions, dramatic play, speaking, and writing.

 

Check out our kindergarten videos below!


Our kindergarten videos are a great way to take a sneak peak at our wonderful kindergarten program!

Ryan Road Elementary School
Leeds Elementary School
Jackson Street Elementary School
Bridge Street Elementary School

 

 

Common Questions about kindergarten in Northampton Public Schools

  • Your child must be 5 years old on or before August 31, 2021 to be eligible to attend kindergarten
  • Children who are currently attending Northampton Public School preschool are already registered for kindergarten!
  • Students attend one of four elementary schools based on your home address
  • Kindergarten is a full day program Monday-Friday 8:50-3:00 pm (drop off time is 8:35am and pick up time is 3:00 pm)
  • Before & After School Programs are available at all elementary schools (available through YMCA Program)
  • Each school offers an afterschool Enrichment Program with a variety of fun learning experiences
  • Bus transportation is available for children who live 1.5 miles or more from their school
  • Lunch and breakfast are served every day (snacks are brought from home)
  • Class sizes are generally 18-22 students and each class has a primary teacher plus a educational support staff teacher
  • Children will have lots of time everyday playing and learning outside both on the playground, our school gardens, and outdoor classroom area
  • Students are guaranteed a space in their neighborhood school and can also apply to attend another in-district school (if space is available) through the Open Enrollment Program. If there are any unfilled seats after all resident students are considered, these seats will be available to non-resident students through School Choice

 

Kindergarten Timeline 

Note:  some events may not happen as normal this year due to the covid-19 pandemic

Fall and early Winter: Attend a kindergarten information session. These events, generally planned in the early evening are an opportunity for parents to come to the school their child will attend and meet the principal and kindergarten teachers, learn about our curriculum and program, and visit the classrooms. Information about registration and next steps will be provided. Similar information will be presented at each of our schools and parents will be welcome to attend sessions at any of our four elementary schools.   We welcome parents questions and are here to help families with this transition.  Topics we generally cover include the typical kindergarten schedule,  subjects to be taught,  lunch, recess, busing, outdoor playtime, before and after school programs, weekly classes (physical education, art, music, library, gardening, computer literacy) and so much more!

Early Spring: New students are registered to attend in the fall.  Children attending our NPS preschool programs are already registered!  More information will be posted on this site about when and how to register.

Open Enrollment Program Applications – for those interested in the opportunity to have their child attend another in-district school, applications are accepted through March 19, 2021 deadline. Parents will be notified if there is space in April.

Buddy Day – Late May/Early June –a chance for your child to visit a kindergarten class and be matched up with a current kindergarten buddy– post cards will be mailed. Bus

Transportation – all eligible families will be mailed information in June (there is a deadline to sign up for busing).
Free & Reduced Lunch Program – all families will be mailed information in July. Applications will be available on the district website. Eligible students who also qualify for bus transportation will have the bus fee waived.

Playground Play dates – August: a chance for you and your child to meet other kindergarten families at your school playground – watch for a post card to be mailed in late July.

Information Packet: late August: you will receive a mailed packet with back to school information including your child’s teacher, orientation dates, beginning of the year details, before and after school programs, breakfast & lunch menus, etc.

Orientation/Getting to know you visits– 2021 dates to be determined. You and your child will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the teacher so you can begin to get to know each other.  Visits will be approx. 30 minutes and will be scheduled during school hours. You will receive information on scheduling in the August mailing.

First day of Kindergarten – Kindergarten students start after the older grades to accommodate the orientation visits. The first day is a full day of school.

Developmental Screening – will take place at your child’s preschool program, by calling the Early Childhood Office or during the first few days of school in September.

School Open House– late September/early October – Your school will have an Open House night when parents can visit their child’s class and see their current work.

Parent Conferences– late October.  Parent conferences are scheduled for late October. You will receive information in early October about setting up a conference appointment. And, remember, you can contact the school anytime to leave a message for your child’s teacher.

Kindergarten Registration Information for 2021

Form and updated instructions will be posted here in the coming weeks. Due to the covid pandemic our normal in person process will be shifting.  Early registration for current resident students will take place from March 1-March 19. Students currently attending Northampton Public School preschool are already registered. Resident families are strongly encouraged to register their child in March so that we can plan for the correct number of students and have space to accommodate children at their neighborhood school. Families who are moving to our district after the early registration dates will follow a different process which will be on-going throughout the summer.

Who to contact with questions

  • Erika Frank, Early Childhood Coordinator (413) 587-1471
  • Jennifer Towler, Registrar (413) 587-1328
  • Bridge Street Elementary School Principal Beth Choquette (413) 587-1461
  • Jackson Street Elementary School Interim Principal Lauren Brown (413) 587-1511
  • Ryan Road Elementary School Principal Sarah Madden (413) 587-1560
  • Leeds Elementary School Principal Christine Wenz (413) 587-1540
  • Special Education Concerns Erika Frank, Early Childhood Coordinator (413) 587-1471 or Marianne Lockwood (413) 587-1457
  • Bus Transportation Tammy Lieber (413) 587-1331 Ext 2

 


Check our Kindergarten Curriculum page for information about:

Our philosophy and mission
Tips for parents
Development of young children including social and emotional learning
Information about English Language Arts, Science, Math, Creative Arts (visual and music), History and Social Science and Physical Education
Daily activities including lunch and snack, recess, parent involvement and so much more!

Making the Transition to Kindergarten: Check out this Handy Guide!