Welcome To First Grade - Binghamton City Schools

Welcome To First Grade!!!
Please read this important packet. It will explain just about everything you need to know
about your First Grader’s Classroom.
This week your child will complete one of the most important milestones in his/her lifethe first day of school!! I understand that you and your child may have met this day with
excitement or apprehension (or a little of both) and I hope that this packet will help you
to know what to expect in First Grade this year and answer any questions you may have.
I would like to take this time to introduce myself. My name is Ms. Jean McArdle. I am
beginning my 19th year as a teacher. I have 12 years of experience teaching first grade.
I am looking forward to working with your child this year and helping him/her to achieve
his/her full potential. Through the remainder of this packet, I will share some of my
beliefs and classroom policies.
Parent/Teacher Relationship
I believe that a good parent-teacher relationship is necessary for maximum school
success. Throughout the year I will communicate with you through notes, telephone
calls, classroom newsletters, progress reports, and parent-teacher conferences. I
encourage you to contact me if you have any questions or concerns at any time. You can
call me at school (762-8340). I have also enclosed an additional sheet for you to write
any concerns or further information about your child that you would like for me to know
about. Just have your child bring this into school tomorrow. (This is optional).
Parent Participation
Throughout the school year there will be a variety of special classroom activities and
celebrations. I encourage you to attend these functions when possible and to support
them by sending needed supplies or treats. If you would like to volunteer as a classroom
parent please fill out the attached form. As a classroom parent you will help me
coordinate holiday parties and any other activities I will need assistance with. Your
support of school activities makes your child feel important and sends the message that
you value school.
School Attendance
Your child’s regular and prompt attendance at school is crucial to his/her success. I can’t
emphasize this point enough!! Most first grade learning activities are group oriented and
involve interaction with classmates. Therefore, it is next to impossible to make up work
at home. Please view school as a priority, and see to it that your child attends everyday
except in cases of illness or emergency.
Changes in Transportation
If you plan to pick up a child that normally rides the bus or you wish for your child to
ride a different bus than usual, you must send a written note. Do not rely on your child to
tell me this information, because children often become confused and relay messages
Outdoor Recess
The children will be going out for recess everyday unless it is raining or extremely cold.
Please keep this in mind when helping your child to select clothing for the day. Also, we
are fortunate to have a variety of playground equipment, including several pieces for
climbing. Please keep this in mind when selecting shoes.
On occasion it will be necessary for your child to bring money to school. Always send
money in a sealed envelope with the following information written on it:
1 Your child’s first and last name
2 The amount of money
3 The purpose for the money (book order, ice cream money, etc).
4 My name.
This will be helpful if the envelope is left on the bus or dropped in the hallway, this
information will make it more likely that the money will be returned to my classroom.
Birthdays are special occasions for young children. If your child wishes, he/she may
bring treats for the class on his/her birthday. We will usually celebrate a birthday during
snack time or at the very end of the day.
Our school has received a grant to provide a healthy snack for your child each day! So
there is no need to send a snack into school this year!!!
Discipline Policy (Rewards and Consequences)
I believe in positive reinforcement and rewarding children when they do good things.
Therefore, I reinforce positive behavior by giving both verbal complements as well as
rewards in the form of treats or picking from a reward box. These rewards are aimed to
reinforce positive whole group, small group and individual positive behavior.
Unfortunately there are times when students have a difficult time being redirected and
doing the right thing. Below are consequences for negative behavior.
A verbal warning
A verbal warning with a your child going to the “Take A Break Chair.”
If the negative behavior continues and it is impacting other student’s right to
learn a call to a parent or guardian to talk the problem over and get the student
back on track will occur. After being redirected and spoken to a number of
times the student might be sent to the Alternative Learning Center. This is in
order to stop the student from interrupting other student’s right to learn in a
disciplined classroom environment.
If you are not able to receive personal phone calls at work please let me know and I will
call later in the evening to discuss your child’s behavior. I have found that if the child is
able to talk with a parent while the problem is occurring it can be resolved much quicker.
This will also help your child take ownership of their behavior and they will quickly
realize that you will be informed of their negative behavior and help them get back on
Our first graders need to continue actively learning after school to be academically
successful. I will be assigning homework on a daily basis. There will be a reading
assignment every night. Math will be assigned most nights. I will occasionally be
assigning special home challenges or assignments. Please help your child complete the
homework. If you have any concerns that your child is finding the assignments too
difficult please write a note to me or call me at school to discuss your concerns.
Please do not allow your child to bring toys to school. Toys are often lost or students
give their toy to a fellow student. They then change their mind and want the toy back but
it’s nowhere to be found. This makes for a great deal of problems. I will not be
responsible for tracking down toys. If a student does bring a toy to school they will be
told to put it in their backpack and take it home. If this becomes a constant problem I
will keep a toy for they rest of the year and give it back to the child in June. Jewelry is
also a major source of distraction. Please do not allow your child to ware jewelry to
In closing, I would just like to say that I am looking forward to a great year working with
your child! I would also like to suggest that you save this letter for future reference.
Thank you in advance for your concern and support throughout the year!!!
Ms. McArdle
Let me tell you about my child………..
If you would like to write a note to me about your child please return this note with your
child tomorrow. This is optional. This note is meant for you to inform me of any
additional issues or concerns that you believe are important for me to be informed about.