Orientation Handout 2014


Kindergarten continues to change. Instead of being the transitional year between home and school, kindergarten is now the first year of your child’s formal schooling. Kindergarten sets the foundation for future success in school… ESPECIALLY in literacy!

Each child comes to us with his/her own unique starting point… as well as his/her own rate of learning, so every child will enter kindergarten in his/her own unique place. The CCSS (Common Core State Standards) have given us sets of high level exit goals for each subject area. Our goal is to have each kindergartner make as much social and academic progress as possible while s/he develops confidence and a true love of learning. We will share our love of learning with your child to help him/her discover the joy in learning while s/he acquires a strong foundation in the basic areas of literacy and math. 

With the CCSS, Kindergarten has become more academic than ever. A few of the end of the year goals on the Salem-Keizer Kinder EPR (Elementary Progress Report) state that a child will be able to:

-Identify all upper and lowercase letters and letter sounds and be able to use them in reading and   writing

-Read  and write grade level high frequency words

-Read fluently at a Level C or above


-Blend and segment 3 letter, single syllable words

-Elaborate on a topic by writing multiple sentences (with correct case, spaces, ending punctuation)

-Produce an organized piece in all three types of writing: Narrative, Informative and Opinion

-Understand basic addition and subtraction

-Work with numbers 11 – 19 to gain place value foundations

Take a look at the work samples outside rooms 14 and 15 before you leave today if you would like to see some examples of how Kindergarten writing changes throughout the year. Seeing these work samples is the easiest way for us to show you how much incredible growth takes place in kindergarten! Peek into the classrooms to see examples of what our students are learning in the spring.


To determine each child’s starting point, a one-on-one assessment, called the Developmental Reading Assessment (or DRA) will be given during the week of September 3rd through Monday, September 8th. The DRA is used to evaluate your child’s incoming literacy readiness: letter identification, letter sounds, and other readiness skills. We try to fit in a few informal math assessments on testing day, too. These assessments give us the information that we need to be able to plan fall instruction.

There will not be any school for kindergarten students during DRA testing, except for your child’s 1 or 2.5 hour appointment when you will sign up to bring your child to Candalaria to take the DRA with his or her teacher. We have a small group of students come at each testing time so that while they are here they not only get assessed, but they also meet a few classmates and learn a bit about our class and our school. Sign-ups for DRA testing will be done online in August. Please make sure that you have clearly written your email on the sign-in sheet so that we can contact you about how to sign up for your child’s one testing day/time. Parents will not stay at school during the testing.


You are the first, and most influential, teachers your child will have; therefore, we view the education of your child as a partnership.

As “ Kinder Parents” we expect you to:

- get your children to school, on time, every day

- support what your child is learning in school

- assist your child in the learning process

- send your child to school in clothing that he/she can paint, run and play in.  Comfortable, casual clothes and enclosed shoes that s/he can get on and off  without assistance. No sandals, no heels, no slippery soles (tennis shoes are best for our playground and/or gym)

(Hint:  If your child will be wearing shoes with ties in September, please start teaching your child to tie his/her own shoes now! We have gravel in our play area and our kinders usually have to dump the gravel out of their shoes after each recess.)

-  write your child’s name in a visible spot on ALL of his/her clothing!

-  write your child’s name in a visible spot on his/her backpack (and lunch box if in the all-day class.)

(Hint: Backpacks need to be normal size to fit our 10” by 13” Thursday Folders.)

Communication Home

Students will bring a “Thursday Folder” home from school each Thursday.  School newsletters, information for parents, and class newsletters will be sent home in Thursday Folders.

The All Day Kindergarten has a lot of Parent Information online. Please explore Laura’s website at:


To find the General Parent Information please choose the Class of 2014-15  Main Page and scroll down to August.

There is information about what you can do to help your child before, during, and even after kindergarten. And, as always, you are free to contact me by email at any time! The email link from the website goes to my home email (lflocker@mac.com) and I am glad to answer any questions that come up over the summer or throughout the school year. If you have questions, PLEASE never hesitate to ask us!  Janice’s email is: schiedler_janice@salkeiz.k12.or.us

What you can do at home to prepare your child for kindergarten:

- Check out the Parent Information Pages at Laura’s website above.

- Sign your child up for the summer reading program at the Salem Public Library. Set a goal of reading to your child for a minimum 15 minutes each day. When your child receives his/her “certificate of completion” at the end of the summer, have him/her bring it to his/her teacher by September 15th to receive a special prize.

- Talk with your child to increase his/her oral vocabulary. Use adult language, not baby talk! Good oral language skills make learning to read easier!

- Allow your child to develop independence – teach him/her to be able to do things for him/herself!

- Allow your child to develop problem solving skills. When there is a problem, brainstorm several solutions with your child. Help him/her learn ways to share, to clean up, and to ask for what they need.

- Teach your child to think creatively! There are many ways to tell a story or to design a house!

- Teach your child how to take off, hang up, put on and fasten his/her coat. Find shoes that your child can get on and off independently. Make sure that your child knows how to use public bathrooms independently, including taking care of his/her own clothing and hand washing.

- Talk with your child about how to meet new people and how to make friends.

- Teach your child to open and close most food containers that you will be sending in his/her lunch.

- Talk with your child about things that s/he will do during a typical school day: sit on the carpet, listen, sing, raise his/her hand to talk, take turns, share, hang up his/her backpack and coat, ask an adult to go to the bathroom, use a drinking fountain, walk in a line, walk up and down stairs, follow adult directions…

- Make sure that your child is holding his/her pencil correctly and forming his/her letters correctly (from the top down) Students should also be able to hold, and use, scissors correctly. We use fiskars for kids (rounded points) at school.

- Teach your child to read and write his/her first name in correct case (not all capitals)


We encourage ALL parents to get involved at Candalaria by volunteering either in the classroom, on field trips, in the Media center, and/or to assist with any of our many school wide activities. Kindergarten classrooms need parents to help with all kinds of jobs from cutting and coloring to working with small groups students; some of these jobs can even be done at home! Please fill out the volunteer interest form, and a criminal history report NOW, so that you will be ready to volunteer in the fall.

Important Dates to Save:

September  2, 2014   -    BTSN - Back To School Night

September 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th  DRA Testing for Kindergarten

Tuesday September 9, 2014 - First Day of school for All Kinders

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