Entering Kindergarten

Kindergarten Registration FormsKindergarten Registration

Registration for kindergarten is held in early spring. Your child must be 5 years old by Dec. 1 to attend kindergarten in the fall. Registration forms are available here.

Kindergarten Screening and School Tour

Once a child is registered for kindergarten, parents will be notified of the date for kindergarten screening and school tour.

Kindergarten Orientation PresentationDuring the screening, your child will visit various centers with other incoming kindergartners. Faculty and staff will assess how students work in a group and provide individual assessments for your child. Please note, the teacher who performs the informal assessment may not be the teacher your child will have for kindergarten but will be a member of the kindergarten team staff at Gardner-Dickinson School.

You and your child will then get a tour of the school. This includes a visit to kindergarten classrooms to help your child become more familiar with the school and the routine of a kindergarten day.

By early August, parents will receive a Back to School packet in the mail containing a welcome letter and other information.

Kindergarten Supply Drop Off

The day before school starts, a Kindergarten Drop Off Day is held to help make the transition to school easier for students and parents. Students will visit their classroom, drop off supplies, and take a short bus ride. Parents will also be able to ask questions about the upcoming school year.

Start of School Year

The first week of school will be busy. A special Open House for parents of kindergarten students is held in September. This will provide an opportunity for you to meet your child's teacher and learn about the classroom and instructional program.

Arrival Time

Kindergarten is a full-day program. Students arrive beginning at 8:00 a.m. If you drop off your child, you may park in the parking lot and walk your child in or wait in your car in the line in the parking lot. For the safety of your child, please wait until you are in the designated drop off area before allowing your child to exit the vehicle. Staff will be on hand to ensure your child gets into school safely.

If you arrive to school after 8:15 a.m., you must walk your child into the building through the main entrance. Please check in with Mrs. Fazioli who will let your child in the building.

Lunch

Lunch is served in the school cafeteria from 11:25 to 11:50 a.m. Please see our Food Services webpage for school menus and information about our online payment system.

Recess

Students have recess each day from 11:50 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.

Dismissal Time

Dismissal is at 2:30 p.m. If you are picking up your child, please arrive at the office prior to 2:25 p.m. to sign your child out. If your child needs to leave early, please send a note or call the main office at 283-4600 ext. 10.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How may I communicate with my child's teacher? May a special conference be arranged?
Parents can leave messages in the Main Office by calling 283-4600 ext. 10 for teachers to call them. Parents can also leave a message on a teacher’s voicemail or by e-mailing them. Contact information is available by clicking here. Please note, it is often difficult for teachers to talk with parents or return calls during the school day because they are with children. Teachers will return your call after school dismisses or during their planning time, if time permits. They will also be glad to set up conference times before or after school.

How may I find out how my child is doing at school?
Conferences and report cards are used to report student progress to parents throughout the school year. The school operates on nine-week cycles for conferences and report cards. Usually, the kindergarten teacher will have conferences with parents at the end of the first nine-week period. This occurs around November. Parents are always welcome to call and arrange conferences anytime during the school year.

What is a typical class size?
Class size in kindergarten typically varies between 17 to 22 students, depending on student enrollment.

How do breakfast and lunch programs operate?
Gardner-Dickinson offers a hot breakfast and lunch program daily while school is in session. Prices and menus are available on the Cafeteria webpage. Prepaid lunch accounts can be set up for students. Just because a student has an account set up does not mean they have to purchase a lunch.

My child will be late to school today. What do I need to do?
If your child is going to be late to school, please call the Nurse's Office at 283-4600 ext. 18 by 8:15 a.m. to let them know. When you bring your child to school, you must check into the main office and sign your child in.

May I pick my child up from school myself?
Yes. Elementary students who do not ride the bus and do not attend an aftercare program should be picked up by 2:30 p.m. Students who need to be excused early from school for illness or a medical appointment must provide a written parental request. Written request must be submitted to the Main Office before the start of school. Parents are required to pick students up at the Main Office and to sign them out for early dismissal. The school will only release children to the people you have listed on your emergency card. It is critical that this information is updated annually.

Additionally, students should not be dropped off or picked up in the circle area between the hours of 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. These are times that our buses are parked or dropping off or picking up our students and no other vehicles should be in this area, during these times.

Can my child ride a different bus or come home with a friend?
Yes. If a change of transportation is necessary, a signed note must be sent in with your child in the morning. The note must include your child’s name, grade level, date, the address your child will be going to and/or name of the individual picking up your child. Calls to the Main Office during the day to change transportation arrangements are for emergencies only and must be made prior to noon in order to ensure proper communication with your child’s teacher and the transportation department.

Who may pick up my child from school?
The school will only release a student to individuals authorized to pick him/her up as listed on the student emergency card. If a situation arises where someone else needs to pick your child up, the parent is responsible for sending a note to the school. It is also important that information on the emergency card be kept up-to-date throughout the school year as situations may change. Custody issues should be brought to the attention of the office staff prior to school starting (if custody has already been established) or as soon as a change is made.

Do I need to call the school if my child will be absent?
Yes. An absence or anticipated lateness must be reported to the Health Office by 8:30 a.m. by calling 283-4600 ext. 18. This number may be called at any time of day or night.

How can I find out about events and activities at school?
The district website is the most up-to-date place for information about the district. The district also offers a Facebook page, Twitter account and eNews emails that provide announcements and information about the school.

May I send medicine for my child to school?
No medication of any kind should be sent to school with the student, including prescription and over-the-counter medications. Please contact the school nurse at 283-4600 ext. 18 in the event a medication must be administered during school hours. More information can also be found on the Health Office webpage.

How will I know if the school is closed or delayed or closes early due to inclement weather?
If school is closed because of weather or an emergency, an announcement will be posted to the district website, Facebook page, Twitter account and eNews emails. An announcement will also be made on local television and radio stations.

How much Physical Education will my kindergartner have?
Kindergartners have a 42-minute Physical Education class every other day. Students are required to participate unless they have a note from a parent. Any student who cannot participate for an extended period time will require a note from a doctor.

Will my child use computers at school?
Yes. All classrooms have computers and/or access to tablets. The school also has a computer lab that students will use with instruction from teachers. All students are required to have a parent or guardian sign a computer use policy.

May my child use the library?
Yes. Kindergartners visit the library with their class for instruction, to check out books, and enjoy books that are read aloud. Students can check out books anytime once their previous books have been returned. Your child's teacher may also send home book order fliers throughout the school year that parents can purchase.

Are there art and music programs for kindergartners?
Students will have a block of art, library, music or PE class each day. 

Do kindergartners go on field trips?
Yes. Field trips are scheduled during the normal school day using school buses. Parents will be notified in advance of field trip dates and destinations. We can always use volunteers to go along. Permissions slips must be on file prior to the field trip.

Is the school prepared to handle emergency/crisis situations?
Yes. Nothing is more important than the safety of our students. To help ensure emergency preparedness, the school regularly practices school bus, fire, lockdown and other drills. Teachers will prepare students in advance for these drills in a calm, instructional manner to reduce concerns.

Is the school involved in development of good character in students?
Yes. Gardner-Dickinson strongly believes in character education to help shape, nurture and develop the total child. Character development improves school and classroom climate by focusing on basic principles of character.

I am afraid my little kindergartner will get lost riding the school bus!
The district takes every effort to ensure this does not happen. Bus schedules are mailed to parents in the middle of August with bus numbers, list of roads and bus pick up times. Students should be at the bus stop at least five minutes prior to the pickup time. If the stop needs to be changed, the bus driver will let you know. For the first week of school, Wynantskill UFSD will have teams of faculty and staff helping students to the cafeteria. The kindergarten teacher will walk her students to the classroom each day as well as to the buses each day throughout the school year. Parents are encouraged to read the bus guidelines with their child. Students should not to eat or drink while on the school bus. Additional transportation information is available here.

My child has a complicated afternoon schedule. How should I handle it?
It is important to keep your child's teacher informed about your child's schedule at dismissal time - are they going to after school, riding the bus or being picked up? With everything being "so new" for the first few weeks, it is especially important that everyone is clear on afternoon schedules. A note giving a schedule for the week (sent in on Mondays) is helpful until everything falls into a routine.

Does Gardner-Dickinson offer special programs for gifted/high ability students?
A challenging core curriculum is the foundation of the services available for gifted students at the elementary level. Classroom teachers modify the core curriculum for gifted and other high ability students. Flexible grouping practices are utilized to maintain appropriate academic challenge in the classroom.

How should I send money/other items to school?
We strongly suggest that you label every item you send to school with your child's full name. We may have several children with the same first name so last names should be included. You will be surprised to see how full our Lost and Found Box (located outside of the office) will be by mid-October. Please send all money to school with your child in an envelope clearly marked on the outside, "Milk Money = $x.xx" or "Lunch Money = $x.xx" or you may enclose a note as to how the money should be applied. Also, please be sure your child's name is marked on the envelope, too.

How do the afterschool programs operate?
There are many options for afterschool care. The three most commonly used are Y-Time, Hope 7 and CASE. Please contact the program directly for more information.

Are class pictures and yearbooks available?
Fliers and instructions will be sent home during the school year with information and fees for school pictures. Usually, individual pictures are taken at school in October and arrive back prior to the winter holiday. Yearbook order forms are sent out in in late March. Yearbooks are distributed to students about two weeks prior to the end of the school year.

How can I help in the school?
The Wynantskill PTO is a very active parent volunteer group. Information can be found on their website.

How should my child be dressed for school?
The student dress code is available here.

Will my child be exposed to secondhand smoking while at school?
No. All New York public schools are tobacco-free for students, staff and members of the community. Wynantskill UFSD prohibits the use of tobacco products in school buildings and on school grounds including school parking lots, athletic fields and in vehicles owned, rented or leased by the school. This prohibition includes the use of all tobacco products at outside activities such as sporting events, PTO events, etc. The policy applies at all times, day or night, and to all students, employees and visitors on school grounds.

Can my child celebrate his/her birthday at school?
Yes. Your child's birthday can be celebrated at school in a simple fashion. You may bring a small treat for each class member such as cupcakes, cake, donuts or cookies (when bring a cake, please remember to bring plates, forks, napkins and something to cut the cake with.) We discourage party favors of any kind being distributed. Please save those for home. Birthday treats can be shared in the classroom, not in the cafeteria. Celebrating a birthday in the cafeteria can present a problem because all kindergarten classes eat lunch together and only one class receives a treat. Many times your child's teacher will assign your child's snack day on his birthday. This will allow for the afternoon snack be the birthday treat. Please check prior for allergies.

Is there counseling for students?
Yes. The elementary school counseling and guidance program is a planned, sequential set of interrelated services designed to help address the academic/educational, social/emotional, and career/vocational domains of child development. It supports the educational process by helping children master the development tasks of childhood and learn effectively and efficiently. Emphasis is also placed on the early identification of factors that interfere with learning and on planning interventions to address those factors. The goal of the program is to help students acquire the knowledge and skills essential for academic competence, responsible behavior and successful living in society. The counseling and guidance program services are available to all students. You can learn more by visiting the Guidance website.

May I call my child at school?
Students are only called for phone calls in the case of an emergency.

How can I find out more about the kindergarten curriculum?
At the beginning of the school year, you will receive a copy of the kindergarten curriculum guide. This will give you an overview of the kindergarten program. The brochure will be discussed in more detail at Open House Night held for parents in September.