Welcome, Kinder Parents!
Congratulations on your admission to Don Benito Elementary. We are thrilled to welcome you to the Don Benito family.
Here is a brief guide to help you navigate the “ins and outs” of our school:
At the Welcome Back Fair (August 8th, 5:30pm to 7:30pm) you will get the chance to learn about before and after school care, volunteering, after-school enrichment, and much more. You can sign up at each booth or take the information and sign up later. Some programs and clubs will be more popular than others, so keep an eye on the popular ones to ensure you don’t miss out.
Walk In/Drop Off/Pick Up
The teachers encourage the Kinders to be walked into and picked-up from school. Please notify your teacher if your child is going to be taking the bus or is enrolled in a before/after-school program.
You are welcome to hang out on the Kinder playground in the morning until the kids are called into their classrooms at 8:45am. Lots of parents do this and it is a great way to make your child feel comfortable and to meet other parents. However, remember there is NO teacher supervision before 8:30am. End of day pickup procedures vary from teacher to teacher. Please respect your child’s class procedure for pick-up. Otherwise, it can be very disruptive to the class.
If you should need to pick your child up early, go to the office first and sign your child out in the notebook located on the front counter. The classroom will then be called by office staff to alert the teacher and you may proceed to retrieve your child. In any event, it’s a courtesy to give your teacher a heads up a day or two before the early sign-out just so that interruptions of early departure are minimized.
If your child is sick or will not be in class, you must call the school @ 626.396.5870 and then press 2 to leave an attendance message. You can also notify your teacher, but you must call the phone system and leave a message (the system is available 24/7). Remember, if your child is more than 30 minutes late for school, they must sign-in at the office before entering the classroom.
Plain or Don Benito shirts are considered appropriate for the school dress code, as well as navy, black, khaki or grey pants, skirts or jumpers. Denim is okay. Stripes, flowers, rhinestones, pop culture images and logos are a “no.” Students in each class will be asked to purchase a “field trip shirt” once school starts. Your teacher will send home ordering info in The Blue Folder. If you
have questions, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bring them. Always. These act as the kids’ cubbies.
Lunch & Lunch Boxes
Your teacher will tell you where lunch boxes go during the day, as well as their class peanut policy. Cafeteria lunches are available every day. You can open an account for your child with the cafeteria by check made to “PUSD Food Services” or cash. Please place it in an envelope marked clearly with your student’s name, their ID #, their teacher’s name, the $ amount and the check #. Turn in prepaid deposits to your child’s teacher or directly to the cafeteria cashier. Or you may use the online system myschoolbucks.com, which makes it very easy.
Each teacher is different about snacks. Some provide them for their classes and will ask you to donate snack items, others ask each child to bring their own. There are water fountains available, but it is nice for kids to have their own water during recess or for lunch. For this purpose, children may bring water bottles to school (don’t forget to Label Everything). If your child should lose an article of clothing or lunch box, for example, check the Lost and Found across from the cafeteria.
Kinder Playground and Pergola
The kinders mostly hang out on the kinder playground, which is the separate playground near the Kinder classrooms. They eat lunch at the upper playground pergola (covered outdoor lunch table area near the cafeteria). When they eat and play at lunchtime, they have that whole area to themselves.
The Blue Folder
Every Wednesday your child will come home with The Blue Folder. In it will be information from your teacher or the school that you need to look at. Right away. There will probably be things to sign and return. Don’t forget! Even if it is empty, it comes home, so look for it. The Blue Folder returns to school the next day, Thursday. This is the only Blue Folder your kids get for the year, so please encourage them to be gentle with it (and invest in some scotch tape for repairs).
Back To School Night
August 21 is Back To School Night. This is an opportunity for you to learn about the academic program from the year. At this point, you will have a good sense of the questions you need to ask your teacher.
There are many volunteer opportunities to help your child’s teacher and class. You help the teacher or rally parents with projects, and communicate with parents about school-wide events. If you are interested, sign-ups and more information will be available at the Welcome Back Fair and during the first weeks of school. If your time is limited, each class has lots of chances to come in and help out, just speak with your teacher. They will be grateful!
Everyone is encouraged to join the PTA. Membership dues, valid for the school year, are $10 per person. You can be as active a member as you would like and there are volunteer opportunities for every schedule. Just signing up helps our school, as many grant applications include PTA membership numbers. Membership is a great (and easy) way to support Don Benito! Sign up today!
The school collects Labels for Education. These are the pink/blue stamp size labels you see on many grocery items like Cheerios and Ziploc bags. Start collecting! There are contests throughout the school year for which class can collect the most. Don Benito also earns money from purchases made through Amazon Smile. Also, if you have a Ralphs or Vons card, you can go to their websites and link your card to our school. Every time you use the card, the store contributes to the school. Boom! Easy.
There are online tools available for teachers and room parents to communicate with student families. These tools will enable the posting of photos of field trips and daily activities, share class calendars and pass along any other important information. More information will be provided at our Room Parent orientation meeting early in September. The PTA also sends a weekly Things To Know email that is a digest of the week ahead at Don Benito, but you have to be a PTA member to receive it– so remember to join the PTA!
We hope this has been helpful. If you have any additional questions or concerns about what to expect, feel free to email any time this summer or fall. We would be happy to talk with you.
Our email is: email@example.com.