Colvin Run Kindergarten Information Packet
Welcome to CRES. We look forward to working with you and your child at Colvin Run Elementary. We are so thrilled to have you as the newest members of the Colvin Run family.
In this information packet, you will find:
- Countdown to the Start of Kindergarten
- Enrollment Requirements
- A Day in Kindergarten
- The Kindergarten Program
- The Kindergarten Curriculum
- Student Absences, Late Arrivals, Early Dismissals and Change of Transportation form
- Health Room
- Helping Your Child
- Get Involved
- Parent Resources
- Kindergarten Readiness Is...
Countdown to the Start of Kindergarten
February - March
Notify Colvin Run Elementary that your child is eligible to attend kindergarten in September.
Letters mailed to prospective parents with orientation materials and orientation date.
Late April 30
Kindergarten Orientation held at Colvin Run for parents and incoming kindergarten students. Meet the staff, visit classrooms, and learn more about kindergarten.
Parents will be invited to meet with the office staff to complete enrollment forms and discuss health needs with the clinic room aide or public health nurse.
During the Kindergarten Orientation, future kindergartners will meet the kindergarten teachers, experience fun school activities, and visit a kindergarten classroom.
Physicals and health documentation must be submitted to the school so that a child will be assigned to a class. A child is not assigned until all enrollment requirements are complete.
- Welcome Letters mailed to parents with bus routes.
- Class assignments with the name of the teacher are posted on our Colvin Run Elementary homepage.
- Families are invited to the Meet Your Teacher Open House.
- School starts!
Get general information about FCPS and answers to your questions by calling the Parent Information Lines. Call anytime and leave a message. You will receive a return phone call in Spanish or Korean within 24 hours.
A child may enter kindergarten if he/she has reached age 5 on or before September 30 of the year he or she enters.
Virginia law, Section 22.1-254, requires that children who will reach their fifth birthday on or before September 30 must be enrolled in school unless the parent or guardian notifies the principal in writing that they do not wish the child to attend school until the following year. A child who will be six on or before September 30 must attend school.
Registration forms are available at the FCPS website or in the school office.
In addition to completing registration forms, parents must provide the following:
- Proof of residency: A deed, lease agreement, or resident manager’s letter is acceptable. If the family is living in the residence of a friend or relative, the homeowner/ leaseholder must provide a notarized affidavit accompanied by the lease or deed. An affidavit by the parent stating his/her residence, and supporting documents to that effect, are also required as evidence of non-temporary residence.
- Proof of birth/citizenship: An original birth certificate is required for all students. If a birth certificate is not available, an affidavit with substantiating documentation is required for all students.
- Physical examination and health documentation: A Virginia School Entrance Health Form MCH-213, available in school offices or online completed by a US-licensed physician or US-licensed nurse practitioner within the last 12 months prior to starting kindergarten is required before the child may enter school.
- Immunization requirements: The code of Virginia requires every child to be immunized. Official documentation includes complete dates (month, day, year) for the following:
- DTP, DTaP, Td, DT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus): a minimum of four (4) doses with one (1) dose given after the fourth birthday.
- OPV, IPV (Polio): a minimum of four (4) doses with one (1) dose given after the fourth birthday. A fourth does is not necessary, if the third dose was given after the fourth birthday and at least 6 months after the second dose.
- MMR (measles, mumps, rubella): one (1) on or after the first birthday with a second dose of measles or MMR prior to kindergarten entry
- Hepatitis B: a minimum of three (3) doses with at least 4 months between first and last dose
- Varicella (chicken pox): one (1) dose given on or after the first birthday for all students born on or after January 1, 1997. A second dose of varicella is required for all new enrolling students before entering kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade.
- HIB (Haemophilus influenzae type B): one (1) to three (3) doses required based on child’s age, and only for students up to 60 months of age. Not required for kindergarten entry.
- Tuberculosis screening requirements: For all students who have resided in a foreign country (with the exception of Canada, the countries of Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand) during the last five years for a consecutive period of five or more months, one of the following is required:
- Evidence of a negative tuberculin skin test (TST) and a negative symptom screen completed within 90 calendar days prior to registration certified by a licensed physician or department of health.
- Evidence of a normal (negative) chest X-ray taken within 90 calendar days prior to registration.
- Documentation of a negative symptom screen and risk assessment from the health department or private physician for students who present written documentation of having completed prophylaxis treatment for tuberculosis. A student may be conditionally enrolled in FCPS if he or she presents a temporary medical waiver of a TST. Waiver requirements should be discussed with the school nurse.
- School Health Information Form: Parents will also be requested to complete a School Health Information form at the time of enrollment and annually each fall to keep the school advised of any changes in a child’s health needs.
A Day in Kindergarten
A kindergarten day must include a balance of large group, small group and center activities, as well as many opportunities for movement, active play, and hands-on investigations. The below sample is one way for organizing a full kindergarten day. The actual plan will vary according to teaching styles, classroom needs, and special programs. Any schedule must be flexible enough to allow for the “teachable moment,” unplanned events, and time of year. For example, total group lessons that require attention in a large group may be shorter in September.
- Greet your friends and teacher
- Morning activity may be exploring materials or reviewing a concept previously taught
- School announcements broadcasted on the TV
- Calendar, weather, review the daily schedule, morning message, greeting, music and movement
- Focus lesson, use literature, music and manipulatives to reinforce understanding
- Individual and small group centers
Snack Time/ Recess
- Shared Reading, introduction of reading/ writing skills, small group work, Daily 5 work sessions, guided reading groups, independent reading time
- Students will eat with their classmates at one of three assigned tables in the cafeteria.
Science/ Social Studies/ Health lessons
- Each day, students will go to one or two of the following specials: Art, Computer Lab, Music, P.E., Spanish, STEAM Lab. In addition to these specials, your child will also receive Guidance once per month and Library once per week.
Special Projects/ Writing
- Students may explore learning stations
- Summarizing and reflecting on our day
The Kindergarten Program
The Kindergarten program focuses on oral language development as the basis for writing, reading, and thinking.
- Builds on, improves, and increases the knowledge skills that children bring to school.
- Promotes an appreciation of the similarities and differences among people.
- Incorporates active learning through body movement activities, manipulation of learning materials, and interaction with others.
- Uses ongoing performance assessment to observe, document, and analyze children’s learning behavior in the areas of language arts, math/science, and fine and gross motor skills.
- Encourages a love of learning.
Children learn, grow, and develop at different rates. The Fairfax County Public Schools’ early childhood curriculum takes into consideration these differences in young children. Through customized instruction, all students will progress at their own rates of development. We want each student to experience success and build a positive self-concept.
The kindergarten schedule includes a “quiet time” for books, reading, and listening to stories, as well as comfortable areas of the classroom for quiet activities. Not all children need a nap, but all children benefit from periods of relaxation to balance their active play. Teachers anticipate that the need for quiet time may be greater in the beginning of the school year as the children become acclimated to school. The transition back to school is hard for children…and teachers!
In the elementary years, a sound foundation in speaking, writing, reading, and mathematics prepares students for future academic success. Wherever possible, concrete objects and materials introduce concepts to students. Activities that include learning experiences using real objects help young children understand concepts and ideas prior to the introduction of abstract symbols.
The Kindergarten Curriculum
Reading and writing
Children learn about reading and writing from hearing stories read aloud; seeing others read and write; reading and writing with the teacher; and having opportunities to interact with books, writing materials, and other forms of print. These learning experiences occur daily. When reading and writing, the children are encouraged to draw on background experiences and pictures, use meaning, language structure, and phonics (letter-sound) cues. Big books (books with large print and pictures), class books, and stories or poems with rhyme, rhythm, or repetitive patterns are appealing to kindergarten children and used daily in the classroom. Development of letter-sound relationships occurs within the framework of stories the children read and write. This specific instruction is always tied to meaning. Foundations for reading and writing are built on what children already know and by expanding and enriching their language through experiences that encourage listening, thinking, and speaking.
In kindergarten mathematics, children begin by using concrete objects to represent numbers and compare quantities (such as many, few, none, same, and different), represent and extend patterns, match and identify shapes, and sort objects. Problem-solving skills are encouraged and developed throughout the year as children make up their own math stories, solve and illustrate simple story problems, and share their thinking about how a problem is solved.
In science, children investigate and understand simple patterns in their daily lives by recognizing classroom routines, observing and discussing daily weather patterns and seasonal changes. Children begin to investigate and understand the needs and life processes of plants and animals. Activities with shapes, magnets, sand and water encourage further discovery, investigation, and problem solving.
Children examine a variety of picture books, information books, and other materials to acquire additional knowledge about themselves as individuals, part of a family, and a community. Children share family traditions and celebrations, observe changes within the community, and explore American traditions, leaders and historical events. In geography, children begin to learn basic term and skills, and locate areas of land and water on maps and globes. Differences between economic needs and wants are included in the social studies program. Children participate in music, art, writing, technology, poetry, and dramatic representation activities as part of these learning experiences.
During weekly art classes, children explore paint, drawing materials, stitching, various types of weaving, collage, architecture, ceramics, and sculpture. Kindergarten students have the opportunity to work on problem-solving skills in group projects like murals and sculptures. They also learn about famous artists.
Music and Movement
The music and movement strand provides students with integrated activities in music and movement. Children are involved in activities which emphasize the development of motor skills, physical fitness, coordination, musical skills, and creative expression. Children use balls, plastic hoops, and musical instruments to help develop these skills. The kindergarten program utilizes a variety of learning centers for small group and individual learning. Center activities incorporate skills used in different areas of the kindergarten program. These centers include blocks, art, math, science, listening, dramatic play, and beginning reading and writing centers. Centers may change to meet the needs of a particular unit of study.
Physical Education and Health
Primary children have an insatiable appetite to be active. The PE program fosters skill development, promotes lifetime fitness habits, and provides lots of fun! By focusing on skills rather than sports, children participate in a wide variety of activities to develop space awareness, balance, throwing and catching, and other motor skills. Gymnastics, rhythm, and dance are also important elements of the PE program. Personal health and safety lessons are also important components of the kindergarten curriculum. Topics include nutrition, personal hygiene, avoiding harmful substances, and staying away from strangers. Each fall parents receive a description of the grade-level Family Life Education (FLE) lessons with the choice of opting a child out of some or all lessons.
Advanced Academic Programs (AAP)
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) provide challenging learning experiences that are designed to meet the unique learning profile of a broad range of learners. Through a continuum of services, students engage in complex subject matter, preparing them for more challenging and rigorous classes to meet their needs and further develop their potential.
The AAP program at the kindergarten level has several components. The first is a series of nine lessons, called Critical and Creative Thinking Lessons. These lessons are taught in all kindergarten6 th grade classrooms. The purpose of these lessons is to encourage higher level thinking and to help identify each student’s special learning needs. At Colvin Run Elementary, all students Kindergarten through 6th grade receive differentiated instruction using AAP curriculum in their classroom. The Advanced Academic Resource Teacher works with all kindergarten students and the classroom teacher to integrate the Critical and Creative Thinking Strategies into the Kindergarten curriculum.
Kindergarten students are involved in a variety of computer online and offline activities. These activities give students a basic introduction to the computer and keyboard. Kindergarten students also use appropriate curriculum software as a tool for learning. They will experience technology in the classroom as well as the Computer Lab.
During weekly STEAM Lab classes, students will experiment with integrated activities focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Children are involved in activities which emphasize the development of critical and creative thinking in this hands-on, minds-on learning environment.
Bus service is provided for children who live more than one mile from school or where walking is hazardous. Schedules for bus riders are mailed to each student before the first day of school. All FCPS kindergarten students will have a yellow band put around the LEFT shoulder strap of their backpack. This is to remain on the backpack and signifies to all FCPS employees that the student is in kindergarten.
FCPS requires a parent or designated adult to be present at the stop to receive the kindergarten student. If a student is not met by a parent or designated adult, the bus will return the student to the school. A parent or designated adult will then be called to pick up the student from the school. Please help your child learn his/her bus number. Staff members will be posted in the hallways in the morning to direct students to their rooms and in the afternoon to help children find their buses at the end of the day.
Bus Playdates will begin October 1st. This is necessary so that, in cooperation with the FCPS Transportation Office, we can determine which students use the bus, walk or drive to school and, in turn, the children can learn the appropriate routines. This will ensure the safety of all of our children. Transportation
Walkers are encouraged to travel to and from school with older children from their neighborhood. The PTO student directory available in the school office is a resource should parents need to contact neighborhood families. As a PTO member, families will receive their own copy of this student directory. A crossing guard will be on duty to assist walkers to cross Towlston Road at the crosswalk in back of the school. Patrols in yellow belts are also stationed throughout the school. Students that walk to school may enter or exit the building through the entrance nearest the gym or front entrance. Bicycles and scooters are permitted to be ridden to school. Bicycles and scooters are to be parked in the bicycle rack located in back of the school nearest the bike path leading to Towlston Road. For safety reasons, students who walk to school should not arrive before 8:55 a.m. because there is no adult supervision available before that time. Upon arrival, the children should proceed to the cafeteria. At 9:05 a.m., all children will be directed to their classrooms. At dismissal, children who walk home will dismissed by their grade-level teachers. Parents can plan to meet their children at 4:05 p.m., in the front lobby or doors near the playground at the end of the school day.
Parents driving their children to school should use the “Kiss and Ride” procedures found below and in the Welcome Back letter sent August/September. The bus loop in front of the school is reserved for the arrival and dismissal of buses only. No cars will be permitted to use the bus loop during school arrival or dismissal. The “Kiss and Ride” area is located in the upper parking lot of the school. Staff members will walk Kiss and Ride kindergarten students to cafeteria and monitor the children until they have safely met their vehicle to go home.
Children can be dropped off between 8:55-9:20 a.m. Pick up begins at 4:05 pm. The students will be called by their last name, so please remind your child to listen for their LAST NAME being called. There is also a number under your Last Name sign so we can identify the grade level of your oldest child and differentiate between families with the same last name. These numbers are family specific, so we encourage you to help your child remember to come meet you in the Kiss and Ride line when they hear their LAST NAME and number. The student drop off/pick up occurs along the sidewalk next to the building. The children exit the building through the cafeteria door entrance. School staff will be present to direct traffic and assist the children.
Many Colvin Run families drive their children to school, and we have a significant volume of traffic at Kiss and Ride during arrival and departure times. In order to maintain a safe and efficient procedure, please be patient and have your child’s Last Name sign clearly posted in your passenger side window. This Last Name sign was given to your child at our Meeting Your Teacher Open House or will be given on their First Day of School.
- Morning Drop Off Procedures
- Kiss and Ride begins at 8:55 a.m. No adults are available to monitor before 8:55 a.m.
- The Kiss and Ride route is shown on the map. If you are going to drop your students off at the Kiss and Ride area, please follow that route.
- Children should always exit the car on the curb side of the car as soon as they are within the “Safe Loading/Unloading Zone” marked along the sidewalk. This “Safe Unloading Zone” allows 7-8 vehicles to drop off students simultaneously. Orientation 11
- If you are next in the Kiss and Ride line, please pull up to the end of the ‘Safe Unloading Zone’ for students. Pulling up to the ‘Safe Unloading Zone’ allows for cars behind you to pull up as well.
- Please start saying your goodbye’s early. Kiss and Ride is intended to be a means to drop your child off quickly.
- If you are going to park and walk your student into school, you may park in the middle row parking spaces or short term on the basketball court.
- Staff members are outside each morning to assist and ensure the safety of your child. Please follow their directions.
- If your child needs extra time, or want to see your child enter the school, please park your car in an empty parking space and escort your child into the school.
- Stay to the right when exiting the Kiss and Ride line as there will be parents pulling in and out of the parking lot and 30-minute parking spaces.
- Please remember the tardy bell rings at 9:20 a.m.
- Afternoon Pick-up Procedures
- Kiss and Ride begins at 4:05 p.m.
- Parents/Guardians should display a Last Name sign on the dashboard or passenger visor of their car. This sign will be provided to you at the beginning of the school year and will show the LAST NAME of your child. There is also a number under your Last Name sign so we can identify the grade level of your oldest child and differentiate between families with the same last name. If you ever misplace your sign, please feel free to create your own replacement.
- Keep your last name sign visible until you have picked up your child.
- You may also choose to write your children’s names and their grade levels on the sign.
- All Kiss and Ride students will be seated in the cafeteria and await direction to meet your car when you have reached the ‘Safe Loading Zone’.
- An adult with a walkie-talkie will read the Last Name sign as you pull up. This adult will be communicating with another staff member inside the school, who will then direct your child to the Kiss and Ride area. The students will be called by their last name, so please remind your child to listen for their Last Name being called.
- Please pull all the way to the ‘Safe Loading Zone’ next to the curb nearest the Kiss and Ride area shown on the map.
- If you are next in line, please pull all the way up to the front of the Kiss and Ride area.
- Please ensure your child always enters the car on the curb side of the car. This will keep them away from cars moving around the loop.
- If your child is not ready to be picked up when you arrive, please follow staff directions to move forward, and your child will be brought to you when they arrive.
- If you are going to park and meet your student in the school, please drive to the left of the Kiss and Ride line and park in an open parking space.
Student Absences, Late Arrivals, Early Dismissals and Change of Transportation form
Our front office staff continues to provide a high level of service to our students, staff, and parents, and we look for ways to be more efficient in providing these services to our school community. Children’s safety is Our Top Priority!
Colvin Run Elementary has developed online forms in which parents can notify the school in the event of a student Absence, Late Arrival, Early Dismissal, and/or Transportation Change This is the most efficient and effective way to communicate with the school regarding this information.
Please complete the appropriate form for any of the following:
- Student Absence or Late Arrival (by 9:00 a.m.) - If your child will be absent from school or arriving late to school, complete this form to notify the front office.
- Early Dismissal (by 9:00 a.m.) - If your child is having an early dismissal, complete this form. Dismissal times must be before 3:45 p.m. We cannot accommodate dismissal times between 3:45-4:05 p.m.. The buses are arriving and we are completing end of day activities.
- Transportation Change (by 2:00 p.m.) Complete this form if you would like your child to receive a reminder note regarding a change for today or if you need to communicate your child will go home a different way than planned. Note about Play Dates: Only the student(s) going home a different way than normal should submit a Transportation Change form. We trust that if a parent submits a Change of Transportation form to go home with another student(s), the parents involved are aware of this Play Date.
First Day of School
The first day of school is always very exciting. It can also be a little overwhelming for new kindergarten students and families. To ensure the first day is a great one for our new students, we have created an arrival plan designed to support our new kindergarten students and their families.
If kindergarten students are taking the bus to school, getting dropped off at Kiss and Ride, or walking to school, the student will go directly to the Library and be met by the teacher. At 9:00, your child’s new kindergarten teacher will line them up and walk them to their classroom to start your day. If parents or guardians wish to walk their child to the classroom on the first day of school, parents may take their kindergarten student to the Theater. At 9:05, a staff member will escort you and your child to the K-1 pod. You and your child may take pictures, give a goodbye hug and kiss. To promote your child starting their school day independently and to minimize classroom disruption, parents should say their goodbye outside of the classroom.
If you would like to meet your child at dismissal, park your car in the Upper Parking Lot or Basketball Court and meet your child in the front lobby. Due to our dismissal procedures and to ensure the safety of all students, parents should not meet their child at the classroom doors. Please complete a Change of Transportation form if your child needs a reminder to meet you in the Lobby.
First Week of School
If parents or guardians wish to walk their child to the classroom for the first day or two, park your vehicle in the Upper Parking Lot or Basketball Court and walk your child into the building. To promote your child starting their school day independently and to minimize classroom disruption, parents should say their goodbye outside of the classroom. If you would like to meet your child at dismissal, park your car in the Upper Parking Lot or Basketball Court and meet your child in the front lobby. Due to our dismissal procedures and to ensure the safety of all students, parents should not meet their child at the classroom doors. Please complete a Change of Transportation form if your child needs a reminder to meet you in the Lobby.
After the first week of school, parents should say their goodbye in the front lobby to encourage their child to start their day independently.
General Arrival/Dismissal Information
Our arrival schedule will be:
- 8:55 a.m.- We welcome students into the cafeteria. We ask that students do not arrive before that time, as we do not have staff available to supervise them before 8:55 a.m.
- 9:05 a.m.: Students will be allowed to go to their classrooms.
- 9:20 a.m.: Students should be seated in their classrooms, ready to begin the school day; students arriving after 9:20 will be marked tardy. Any students riding a bus arriving late will not be marked tardy.
Our dismissal schedule will be:
- 4:05 p.m.: Kiss and Ride students, bus riders and walkers will be dismissed.
Helping Your Child Find His/Her Classroom in the Morning
All children riding the bus to school will receive a Bus # during the first week of school. Students will wear this Bus tag to the classroom, so the teacher is aware on what bus the child came to school. During the school year, staff members are stationed outside and throughout the building each morning to help children find their classrooms. Parents are encouraged to say their ‘good-byes’ in the lobby, so students are able to go to their classrooms independently. Kindergarten students are to report to the cafeteria if they arrive before 8:55 a.m.
Helping Your Child Find the Right Bus at Dismissal
Parents should communicate the child’s dismissal arrangements (walk, car rider, bus number and stop, etc.). Teachers use this information to create a master list of transportation arrangements for the class. Prior to dismissing each day, kindergarten students are lined up according to their bus number, walking home, SACC, or Kiss and Ride. Throughout the school year, safety patrols riding the kindergarten student’s bus will escort him/her to the bus.
Authorizing Others to Pick up Your Child
Be sure to list those persons who may pick up your child on the Emergency Care Form sent home on the first day of school or available online. This is especially important if your child becomes ill at school or misses the bus, or if you are delayed in traffic. Update this form throughout the year as necessary. The school cannot release your child to neighbors or relatives unless they are listed on the Emergency Care Form. Your cooperation in following both arrival/departure times and procedures is necessary to facilitate a smooth transition at the beginning and end of the school day!
Students may purchase breakfast, which includes juice, milk, and a choice of cereals, biscuits, and other breads. A menu is sent home to parents during the first week of school and monthly during the school year. To participate in the breakfast program, students should go directly to the cafeteria when they arrive at school.
Nutritious school lunches are served in the cafeteria daily and can be purchased daily. A menu will be sent home monthly. Milk is served with each lunch or may be purchased separately for a half pint. A choice of low-fat chocolate milk and low-fat or whole unflavored milk is available. Children with milk allergies may receive juice upon receipt of a physician’s statement.
Cafeteria Account Card
A computerized cash register system lets families purchase meals in advance and provide an emergency fund should the child forget his/her breakfast or lunch money. Students who prepay for their breakfasts, lunch, or a la carte items receive a personalized account card with a barcoded ID number to use for meals and a la carte purchases. To open or add to an account, parents have three options in which to load money to their student’s account card:
- Online – Using MySchoolBucks. The service is easy to use, convenient, private, and secure. Once the account is open, parents may check the fund at any time from computer or smartphone.
- Check – Write a check to “Colvin Run Food Services”. Your child will give the check to their classroom teacher who will make sure it gets to the Cafeteria Manager. A local address and phone number are required to be printed or handwritten on the check. The student name is required on the check memo line. Parents who want their checks for meals only should write “MEALS ONLY” on their check.
- Cash – Cash may be brought to the food service manager’s office for deposit on student’s account, or students may pay cash on a daily basis.
Joining Your Child for Lunch
Parents are invited to join their child for lunch. Adult lunches can be purchased in the cafeteria. We ask that dining guests check in at the office for a visitor’s badge before meeting the child’s class in the lobby.
Applications for free or reduced price breakfasts and lunches are sent to all families in August. They are also available at the school throughout the year in the school office. All requests are confidential and prescribed state guidelines are applied to each request.
Clinic services in the school, including the administration of medication and modified first aid, are performed by the clinic aide and office staff. According to state regulations, the clinic staff may provide care only for minor illnesses and injuries. If the child’s condition requires more attention, the parent will be contacted.
Students may take medication at school under strict adult supervision and in accordance with School Board guidelines. Forms authorizing the school to administer medication are available online or in the school office. With a parent/guardian’s signature and a physician’s signature, prescription and over-the-counter medication may be stored in the clinic and given as needed throughout the school year. With a parent/guardian’s signature only, antibiotics, antivirals, and over-the-counter pain relievers may be stored in the clinic and administered at school. Any other over-the-counter medications may be given for up to ten consecutive school days with the parent/guardian’s signature. Beyond ten days, a physician’s signature is required. A parent must transport any medication to and from the school clinic.
Annual Health Screening
Vision and hearing screening of all kindergarten, third grade, and newly enrolled Fairfax County students is conducted each fall by the public health nurse, clinic room aide and clinic volunteers. This is only a brief screening; parents should continually be alert to identify vision or hearing difficulties which indicate need for examination by a specialist.
Helping Your Child
Support Your Child's Progress
Parents are a child’s first teacher and they know their child in ways no one else does. By working in partnership with us, parents can help their child reach his/her fullest potential.
A parent’s primary role is one of encouragement and reinforcement. Parents can enhance what is experienced at school and foster a sense of excitement and a love for learning. Opportunities for parents to encourage the natural development of the child are endless.
Children learn to read and write in a manner similar to the way they learned to speak. They observe others reading books, directions and signs. They watch those around them write shopping lists, and letters. Through watching others, they try these activities. By reading license plates, food labels or other objects around them children learn that print is meaningful and useful. Whether scribbling on scraps of paper, writing a note to a parent with letter-like marks, or reading a book by looking at the pictures, these attempts should be accepted and encouraged.
Your child will exhibit many beginning reading and writing behaviors throughout this year.
- Approximate Reading is retelling a story from memory using the story’s picture clues. Your child may use his/her finger to point to words or pictures.
- Scribble Writing is making different lines or strokes which may or may not refer to specific words or letters.
- Labeling pictures or commenting on items found in books.
- Reciting a Story Aloud while looking at pictures.
- Temporary Spelling is the use of a letter or letters to represent a word or phrase. For example, l or lik may be used to represent the word like.
To help, read with your child every day. Read a variety of stories (folktales, fables, information books, and poetry). Read different written materials such as cereal boxes, recipes, books, magazines, signs, and greeting cards.
- Model reading and writing in your home. Involve your child in writing shopping lists, telephone messages, or reading letters from relatives. Let your child see you reading books, instructions, newspapers, and magazines.
- Expose your child to wordless picture books. These encourage your child to use picture clues to make up his/her own stories.
- Encourage your child to take chances. Build the concept that learning means taking chances and not always being right.
- Take trips to the library.
- Include your child in family discussions. Use questions that involve who, what, where, why, and when.
- Use family activities as a chance to explore new language. Visit and talk about the zoo, library, park, store, movies, or sports events.
- Play games like “Simon Says” that involve following directions.
- Sing and read simple songs and nursery rhymes like Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; Wheels on the Bus. Clap the rhythm.
- Read and follow recipe directions. This provides children with the opportunity to listen to and follow step-by-step directions.
- Reread favorite stories. Allow your child to choose the book for story time.
- Provide writing materials like pencils, pens, chalk, markers, crayons, different sizes and colors of paper, envelopes, and tape. Allow your child to write messages to family members, book authors, or friends. Also leave notes on the refrigerator or in a lunchbox from you to your child.
- Ask your child questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. Example: “What do you think will happen to Goldilocks?” Look at books and magazines and ask questions about what was read.
- Listen to your child when he or she speaks. Show that you are interested in what is being said. This encourages good listening habits.
Help your child develop muscle coordination by letting your child:
- Draw letters or numbers in the sand or on the sidewalk with a paint brush and water.
- Use puzzles, clay, or dough.
- Use crayons, scissors, snaps, buttons, zippers.
- Run, hop on one foot and two feet.
- Catch a ball.
Help your child develop independence by letting him/her:
- Make simple choices.
- Help choose his or her clothing.
- Perform simple household tasks.
- Dress himself or herself when possible.
- Find letters of his or her name in books, magazines, or signs.
- Sort things by size, shape, and color (clothing, buttons, dishes).
- Count seeds, pennies, stamps, M&M’s or any other objects.
- Locate food items in the grocery store by looking at the pictures and the labels.
When reading with your child:
- Let your child have opportunities to choose what book he/she wants to read.
- Pick a quiet time to read.
- Sit close to your child. Let your child see the pictures and print.
- Point to words as you read them. Refer to your child as a “reader.”
- Reread the book and encourage your child to join in with familiar phrases, turn the pages, and predict what will happen next.
The Colvin Run Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is the organization that specifically supports our teachers and children and represents the best interests of our children at both the local and state levels. A packet of general information about the PTO is will be sent home during the first few weeks of school. Everyone is strongly urged to join this important organization.
By joining the PTO, you are also helping financially support many of the special programs and school experiences CRES is able offer to your children. An active PTO sponsors school-wide events such as: Movie Night, Science Night, Skating Night, assemblies, field trips, and materials that enrich your child’s school program.
Colvin Run Elementary School has an amazing school community and welcomes family members to visit their children for lunch or volunteer in the classroom. Our volunteers are a great resource to our teachers and staff and positively impact our school and the great things we can accomplish with our students. All volunteers are required to sign in at the computer located in the Front Office and receive a name badge. Any visitors to our school will also sign in to receive a name badge. To sign in as a volunteer, all visitors must use their Driver’s License. Please bring that with you as this is the only means by which to sign-in to volunteer/visit the school.
Parents and community members are invited to participate by contacting a PTO officer, classroom PTO Room Parent, the classroom teacher, or the school office. Volunteers typically work with students, assist in the library, help with art projects, perform clerical jobs, classroom support, prepare instructional materials, or work on PTO projects. Schedules and responsibilities are as varied as our volunteers and their many talents.
Our newsletter, On The Run (OTR), is the school’s primary means of sharing information about school and PTO programs with the school community. The On The Run newsletter is emailed to parent who have signed up for News You Choose and is posted on the school’s website every other Wednesday. Make sure to read the newsletter to stay informed of school events and news.
The PTO newsletter, Dragon Gazette (DG), is the PTO’s primary means of sharing information about upcoming PTO programs and events with the school community. The Dragon Gazette newsletter is emailed to parents every other Wednesday, opposite the weeks of the On The Run newsletter. Make sure to read the Dragon Gazette newsletter to stay informed of PTO events and news.
Every Wednesday, take home folders are sent home with the children. These folders contain student work and important school notices. During the first week of school, the PTO provides the family of every student with an extensive amount of information for the new school year. There will be many forms to complete and return to school, as well as important informational documents. Please take time to carefully review all of the folder contents.
Day Care (SACC)
School Age Child Care (SACC) is a Fairfax County Office for Children program for children attending elementary school. The program accommodates families in which all adults in the home are working, attending school, or are disabled. The program provides professional care for children attending kindergarten through sixth grade, and is offered at most elementary schools, including Colvin Run Elementary. Fees are based on gross household income.
SACC operates school year, summer, winter, and spring programs. During the school year, children may enroll in separate sessions:
- Before school 7:15 a.m. – 9:05 a.m.
- After school 4:05 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
- Summer and winter/spring holiday sessions offered at certain sites from 7:15 a.m. until 6:15 p.m.
Call SACC registration at 703-449-8989 to receive information or enroll.
Kindergarten Readiness Is...
Children entering kindergarten demonstrate a variety of learning behaviors. Indicators of kindergarten success include the following:
- Oral language, reading, writing
- Says his/her first name
- Identifies colors
- Follows simple directions
- Identifies some letters of the alphabet
- Answers simple questions
- Writes his/her own first name
- Recites some nursery rhymes
- Discusses a favorite story
- Retells a familiar event or story
- Pretends to “read” a book
- Participates in word play (kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk)
- Attempts writing by using scribbling, print-like symbols, or strings of letters
- Identifies some shapes
- Matches objects like socks, shoes
- Notices similarities, differences
- Sorts and classifies objects
- Tries to count to 10
- Touches or points at objects when counting
- Arranges objects from shortest to tallest
- Uses math language like bigger, smaller, tallest, shortest
- Social-emotional, physical
- Makes choices, takes turns
- Tries new things, finishes new tasks
- Uses self-help skills (dressing, toileting, eating)
- Hops, jumps, gallops, runs, leaps, climbs, balances
- Shares with others
- Throws and catches a ball
- Helps with chores at home
- Buttons and zips
- Begins to demonstrate independence and show self-confidence
- Alternates feet when walking up steps
- Expresses thoughts, feelings