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Virtual Kindercamp Available

Dear Incoming Kindergarteners and Families,
 
We value our KinderCamp experience for the opportunities it provides to welcome your child to kindergarten, help with transitions into our school setting, and gather academic, behavioral, and social information about our new students. Due to the impact COVID-19 has had on all facets of life including the impact on education, we were unable to hold this experience in June. At that point, we asked families to hold the dates of August 3rd and 4th, in the event that we would be able to come together and assess the students’ academics, as well as behavior and social engagement in free play with peers. These opportunities are intended to provide a positive and socially-connected initial school experience. 
 
We believe we will be able to achieve those same goals by deferring assessment to the initial weeks of school, while also providing several transition activities to build students’ excitement, comfort, and confidence in the school transition. As such, we will not be holding the KinderCamp assessments tentatively scheduled for August 3 & 4. We are confident in the approach we are taking and hope that it alleviates stress or worry on the part of our families and students. We are prepared to meet all academic needs of students no matter where your child’s abilities may be when they come to kindergarten.
 
Moving forward, our current main goal is to provide students with a positive experience that allows them to orient to their new environments whether that be virtual or in-person this fall and begin to form relationships with their new teacher and classroom. Please know that we are actively planning various forms of communication to help ease your child into their upcoming kindergarten experience. These may include communications from the district and/or your child’s kindergarten teacher to include: videos, podcasts, letters, virtual tours and possible virtual meets. Our staff members are extremely creative and are already thinking through the possibilities. The release of class placements in the online student information system (e.g. Sapphire) will happen in mid- August. An eBlast will notify families when placements are ready for review, as happens for all students K-12.
 
As a reminder, we also asked families to complete a checklist for their child to help provide us with additional information about their child’s current academic strengths and needs. If you have not completed and submitted this checklist to date, we ask that you please do so using the form below. There is also a companion form for preschool teachers to complete to assist with additional insights. Both forms are linked for your convenience. They can either be mailed back to the school or emailed to the school secretaries referenced at the conclusion of the checklists.
 
 
 
As the beginning of the school year approaches, here are some suggestions you can do to help prepare your child for kindergarten. Focus on school as a fun, exciting, and safe place to come to learn and grow. Take this time to play together. Cut, write, squish play-doh, draw and color as much as you can to get those little hands ready for classroom work. Sing songs, rhyme and read together often to help build literacy skills. We encourage you to have conversations with your child about the importance of wearing a mask, hand washing and sanitizing and discuss appropriate social distancing. These last few weeks of summer will go by quickly, and practicing some of these activities may help build your child’s confidence to help them have a more successful start to the year.
 
Pine-Richland School District partnered with Student Transportation of America (STA) to create a video that can be watched as many times as you choose to help familiarize your child with bus riding procedures. This is a brand new resource created this summer for your children. Please use this video link to help our newest students to understand expectations and to gain excitement about this fun aspect of entering kindergarten. 
 
We shared several videos and resources with families in June including personal introductions to the school-based teams and an overview of the programming and kindergarten experience. We are including those links below again for review or to share for the first time with families who have just recently registered.
 
Kindercamp 2020: Welcome from Hance's Principal
PRSD Kindergarten Busing Lessons
 
Many thanks in advance for your partnership!!
 
Respectfully,
Greta Kuzilla, Hance Elementary Principal