ABCs of Kindie

The “ABCs” of 

Ms. Greulich’s Kindergarten 

A Handbook for Parents - 2023-2024


Absences:  Please call the office (303) 387-5700 if your child will be absent that day.THANK YOU for your cooperation!  

Arrival:  School starts at 8:35 a.m.  Students may arrive anytime between 8:18 and 8:35. They are to come in the front door and walk into our classroom (but I’ll meet them outside the first few days). Please try to have your child to school on time so we can start learning right away!

Allergies: If your child has food allergies, please provide me with a bag of safe snacks for your child to eat throughout the year (ten or so should be good). There are times I’d like to have something yummy and safe to give your child. Thanks!



Bathroom: Please help your child learn independence when it comes to using the bathroom. I cannot "help" them in the bathroom so please make sure your kindergartener knows how to use it appropriately. Even seasoned bladder-control experts can have an off day. In case of an emergency, there are extra clothes in the office for accidents. If this does happen, please just send the laundered clothes back to school as soon as you can.

Backpacks:  Your child should bring his/her backpack to school everyday. They will have things to bring home daily. Make Sure it is big enough to hold their lunch and a three ring binder. 

Birthdays:  Birthdays are VERY special in kindergarten! We celebrate in the classroom and have lots of fun! We do not celebrate birthdays at school with food treats or goodie bags…save those for the at home party! However, you can have a birthday lunch with your child or take them out for lunch on their special day. 

Back and forth Binders:   Binders will be sent home everyday and will include any notes from the office or me as well as finished work. They are to be sent back to school daily.


Conferences:  We will have the opportunity to participate in two parent/teacher/child conferences during the school year. We’ll conference in October and February. Of course, if any concerns arise, we can always schedule a meeting at your convenience.


Dismissal: School doesn't actually get out until 3:30 but I'll dismiss them around 3:25. If your child is a car rider their number will be called over a walkie talkie and they will be dismissed from my classroom.  Please help your child remember their car number.  The first week of school we will have extra support getting your child to the car loop.  Bus riders will be walked down to the bus stop everyday.  Please help your child remember their bus number. Base (After School Program) will also pick up the students from the classroom and walk them to the cafeteria. 

Dirty - Yes - your kids will get dirty. We play hard (both outside and inside), dig in the dirt, collect rocks, take neighborhood walks, catch insects, observe plant parts, etc. So much amazing learning happens outside the four walls of our classroom! 

Drills: We participate in many drills over the course of the year. We will have fire drills, disaster drills, lockout drills and lockdown drills. When we do participate in a lockdown drill, I will lock the door, turn off the lights, and then we will quietly sit in the back corner of the room. Because they are 5 years old, I tell them we do this drill in case an animal like a dog or fox gets into the school - I tell them we need to be silent because when animals hear kids they tend to get more wild. I’ve done this for years and it works for me (and the kiddos) as opposed to causing them undo stress with the real reason why.


Email: Email is the quickest and easiest way to contact your teacher. We are able to check email during lunch and will respond as soon as possible to questions or concerns! Ms. Hastings  email is [email protected] Katie Smith’s [email protected].

Email Sharing: I’d like to be able to share your email with other parents for party sign-ups, play-dates and invitations. I will be sending out a sign up sheet if you would like to be in the directory.  If you would NOT like your email shared, please let me know as soon as possible.


Fun: Kindergarten is a time for FUN! I promise to have fun with the kids everyday!

Fine Motor PracticeFine motor activities help develop hand muscles. Working with Play-Doh, using markers, crayons, pencils, pens, and scissors will strengthen your child’s hand muscles.  Stronger hand muscles will help your child’s writing skills and encourage proper letter and number formation throughout the year.


Giggles: I promise we’ll have fun and laugh A LOT!


Homework:  Your child may occasionally be sent home with a small project to work on with your help. Other than the occasional project, please read to your child everyday. He/she can also start reading to you, too. Book Bags will be sent home in their back and forth binder starting in September or October and they are to read their little books nightly. An Incentive sheet will also be sent home along with their books to help your child keep track of their reading progress. 


Independence:  Kindergarten is a big transition for children and families! We gently encourage the children to be as independent as possible.  Opening snacks, zipping backpacks and jackets, putting mittens and boots on, and cleaning up are skills they will learn how to do. Be sure to encourage your child to continue these behaviors at home.


Joy:  Kindergarten is such a joyous time! They are happy, excited, lovable, curious and silly. More than anything I love seeing the joy in each and every kindergarten face all day long. Whether it’s rolling down a hill, learning a new math game or observing and digging through mud, they have such a sense of wonder and joy! 


KindergartenThe kindergarten year is a special time for you and your child. Although academics are important, they are not the sole focus of our program.  We aim to support and develop your child’s social, emotional, and physical development as well. We want your child to become the best kindergartener they can be!


Love: I promise to love your child and my hopes are that they will LOVE kindergarten, LOVE TTE, and LOVE coming to school each and everyday!

Lunch: Please pack a lunch from home for the first couple of weeks of school so that we can get the students used to the cafeteria and teach them how to go through the lunch line and get their lunch. 

Your child has a choice of bringing lunch from home or receive free lunch from school. There are always 2 school lunch choices and you can view the lunch menu on the Timber Trail website. At this time, we are asking parents to save special lunch dates for the weekends or days off from school. 

PLEASE practice eating “school lunch” with your child. Make sure they can open everything you send with them (drinks, packages, Lunchables). THANK YOU!

Label all of your child’s wearable items:  This includes jackets, backpacks, lunch boxes and water bottles (and in the winter - boots, mittens, snow pants and hats). This cuts down greatly on lost items. Also, check through the lost and found throughout the year for any missing items.

Library: The kids will be going to the library at least once a week. 


Math:  Math concepts in kindergarten are explored through a variety of hands-on activities, play, and games.. We use Play-dough, rocks, leaves, dominoes, counters, etc. to explore mathematical concepts. Encourage your child to explain what they are learning in math throughout the year. You can always expand your child’s math knowledge by using everyday objects to count and add. Show your child how you use math everyday as well.


Newsletter:  A newsletter will be emailed to you every week sometime between Friday and Sunday. Be sure to read it for important dates, what we have been learning about and other special news.


OutdoorsRecess is outdoors everyday, weather permitting. If the weather is rainy or too cold, children will have indoor recess. Please put sunscreen on your child before school on these hot sunny days. Also, please send your child in with weather appropriate clothing and extra warm clothes in the winter months! The school rule is that we will go outside for recess if the temperature is above 20 degrees. In the winter we go out almost everyday, so your child will need boots and snow pants. 

Also, we go outside all the time during science and math. Any child would much rather add rocks or sticks together (found outside) than work on a worksheet. In science, a simple walk around the school creates SO many learning opportunities!


Play: Play is a child’s “work” and is an important component of our kindergarten day. Your child will participate in both structured and unstructured play at school. Play benefits the social, emotional, and physical development of children. During play, children are creative and innovative, learn how to socialize, and demonstrate resiliency and problem solving skills. In our class, we call our unstructured playtime “Discovery Time ”.

Progress Reports: These will be sent home twice per year - in December and in May.

Phone Calls: Feel free to contact me through email, or calling the front office to leave a message.  However, during the school day, I am actively engaged with students so I cannot return phone calls or emails during instruction time.  I will return your call or email within 24 hours. 

Parties:  Kindergarteners love to celebrate holidays and other events. We will have parties throughout the year which I will let you know about ahead of time in my newsletters. Volunteers and donations are greatly appreciated – so be on the lookout for upcoming events! Three parties we always have are the Halloween Party and Parade, the Winter Party, and the Valentine's Day Party. All parents are invited to our parties so mark your calendars!

Parent Portal: You should have received instructions when you registered on how to set up your Parent Portal account online. If you need help, please contact the front office. You will access payments, progress reports and lunch balances all on Parent Portal so please get it set up soon. Thank you! 

PTO: Our PTO is amazing and helps out our school in many ways. Don’t hesitate - get involved!


Questions:  Please don’t hesitate with questions or concerns! Feel free to write a note and send it inside your child’s folder, email me, or give me a call!


Reading: Our reading curriculum is called Wonders. Your reading instruction will follow “The Science of Reading” and will have a very strong emphasis in phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, fluency and vocabulary. Small group literacy will absolutely be differentiated to meet your child’s literacy needs.

Recess - We have three recesses in kindergarten!


Snacks:  We will have one afternoon snack each day, so please send your child with healthy snacks. PLEASE do not put the snack in your child's lunch box. Just put it right into his/her backpack. Healthy snacks could be fruit, vegetables, pretzels, cheese sticks, etc. (not cookies, candy or brownies or anything wet and can spill). PLEASE make sure your child can open his/her own snack.

Specials: Everyday your child will participate in "Specials" which consist of Art, Music, or PE. They will have each special for one week before moving onto a new special. During the PE rotation your child will need to wear tennis shoes to school. The PE teacher requested for the students to not wear crocs.

Shoe Tying: Please work on shoe tying with your kindergartner! Once your child has mastered the skill, he/she will become a "SHOE TYING EXPERT" in our classroom.

SEL - The students will be attending a Social Emotional Learning class 2x per week every three weeks. Mrs. Mitchell is our SEL teacher.


Transportation:  It is very important that we safely get your child to their proper mode of transportation each day. If there is a change in the way your child will be getting home, send me a note in their back and forth binder and email the office about any changes.  

Technology - So, here are my thoughts on technology… many kiddos are just on their devices too much. It’s not good for them! We do have enough Chromebooks for every child to have his/her own, but I will limit this as much as I can. Kids this age need to be moving, touching, experiencing things - not sitting in front of devices for long periods of time. (The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends one hour per day of screentime maximum for five year olds.)



Unique:  Each child comes to us with gifts and needs that are unique to him/her.  We rejoice in each child’s uniqueness and will do our best to teach him/her according to his/her individual needs.  We strive to differentiate our teaching so that each child can be the best kindergartener he/she can be!


Visitors:  When visiting the school, please sign in at the office and you’ll receive a “visitor” sticker. You'll need to bring your Driver's License in with you the very first time you come to the school during the school day.  When leaving, please remember to sign out!

Volunteers There will be many opportunities for parents to assist us this year. Volunteers are greatly appreciated throughout the year to keep our classroom running smoothly. More to come on this at a later date.


Worksheets: There are better ways for 5 year olds to learn other than sitting for long periods of time filling out worksheets. You will see some, but not many worksheets coming home. Please don’t think that because they’re not bringing tons of worksheets home that learning isn’t happening all day everyday!

Water Bottles: Please send your child with a reusable water bottle each day. This water bottle should contain water only and should be labeled with your child’s name. These will be kept by our classroom sink (and brought outside on hot recess days).

Writing: Kindergarteners are beginning to learn so many new things and writing is one of them. Your child’s writing will develop tremendously throughout the year. A kindergartener’s ‘writing’ may not look like an exact letter formation, and that is okay! Squiggles and scribbles are the beginning of the writing process! Encourage your child to write about what they draw at home. If you don’t know what it says, you can ask your child, “Can you read this to me?” or “Wow! Tell me what you are writing about. That looks interesting!”.These are ways to encourage your child to excitedly continue writing!


“X-tra” Time: Kindergarten students are notorious for learning at different speeds. Some might come in not knowing a single letter or sound while others may already be reading. Because of this, I will take each child from where he/she is and teach accordingly. In other words, if a child doesn't know letters and sounds, we'll start there. If a child can read, we will move on from where they are. There's no sense in boring children - or teaching over their heads. Some just need "x-tra" time...


YOU! - YOU are imperative in your child’s learning and for that we thank you!


Z-z-z-zs:  Please make sure your kindergartner gets a good night’s sleep and has a good breakfast before coming to school!  Being in kindergarten all day is exhausting! Below is just a bedtime suggestion chart based on when they wake up. This will help your child have the best day possible.