Incoming Parent FAQ

This page is written by parents, and is intended for incoming Kindergarten parents at Hayhurst Elementary.  Many of these questions and answers apply, however, for new incoming parents regardless of grade.

When in doubt, please contact the school office for information.  They are the official source for school communication.

Is there a school supply list?

The current school supply list can be found on the PPS Hayhurst website.  You can also opt to contribute to the class fund by paying directly to your teacher or to the PTA.

Backpacks, water bottles, headphones used in class, and clothing should be labelled with child’s name when practical to avoid lost items.  All else will be put into a communal resource area that the teacher will distribute to each desk or group table.

When is the Kindergarten assessment?

Parents will receive a phone call from the school to set up and schedule their assessment appointment.  Assessments will occur the first three days of the school year, and kindergarteners will start school on the fourth day.  Assessment covers basic information like numbers,letters, and colors.  It is a great opportunity for the teacher to have a few one on one minutes with your child before the school year.

If you have any questions feel free to call the school office.

When do I find out my kindergarten teacher?

Teacher assignments will be known on the first day of kindergarten.

Does kindergarten start with a full day right away?

Yes, on the Kindergarten start day, it is a full day.  Kindergarten start is usually Day 4 of the school year.  Check the calendar.

When does school start and end?

First bell is at 7:55 AM. School starts at 8:00 AM. In the morning if you are there before 7:55 AM it is requested that you line up in the cafetorium until dismissed by grade to your classrooms (kinders go first).

School is dismissed at 2:15 PM.  Parents who pickup can go through the front door of the school and proceed to their kid’s classroom.  Please do not arrive more than 10 minutes ahead of dismissal as learning is still happening and hall noise distracts from this.  Bus, intramural and after care kids are escorted by staff to their respected areas.

Are there things I can do before the school year to help my child get ready for the new school year?

A few things that are available to you if you need it:

  • Go to the school and take a tour, it is open about two weeks before the school year starts and that is an option depending on staff availability. Check in at the front office first.  Find out if you can show your child the classes and meet any staff who is there.  School counselors are available for those kids with anxiety or special needs who may need some extra help in the first few weeks.
  • Meet up with other families that are entering ahead of time so she gets used to some of the new kids that may be there.  This will help you too so you can meet the new parents and guardians.  PTA hosts 2-3 summer events and there are many Facebook groups for meet ups.
  • Make a practice day ahead of time where you do all of the routines that you would do the day of school so she can know what the routines are.  Walk to the school.  Classes open at 7:50 and in seats at 8:00.

Do you have any other tips and advice for me?

Yes, yes we do! We polled other experienced Hayhurst parents for advice and tips they would give to incoming Kindergarten parents. Please keep in mind this is not an “official” school communication– just an informal passing of “Lessons Learned” from other parents! Here we go:

  • Expect your child to be very tired for the first 3-4 weeks, even if they have done full-day childcare or five-day preschool before. It is normal. It’s a long day and a lot of adjustment for kindergartners.
  • Around October, the novelty and excitement tends to wear off. It is very common for kids to start saying that they hate school or hate riding the bus or hate something about school, around this time. It will pass.
  • You’ll be overwhelmed with school communication, especially in the first month. The most important to pay attention to is “backpack mail” — some forms or info are only distributed that way, i.e. in your kid’s backpack.
  • Pack an easy-for-kids lunch. Simplify your containers so there are not a lot of pieces to manage. There is enough time to eat lunch, however, many kids spend too much time CHATTING. Simple containers help your kids get to their food quicker, as well as aid the lunchtime helpers in getting kids setup.
  • Note, Kindergarten kids do get extra time for lunch in the first few months so they can adjust to the routine. They may come home saying they don’t have enough time to eat lunch. Usually they are spending a lot of time chatting. They will adjust in time.
  • You might be able to provide an “emergency snack” in your kid’s main bag for the afternoon, if you find they’re really hungry. Check with your teacher.
  • Classroom logistics: Kids will have a place in the class room to put their lunch box, as well as each kid will have a hook for their bag, coat, etc. There is also usually a designated basket in the classroom where parents can return filled out forms, leave notes for the teacher, etc.
  • If you are wanting more information on something, reach out to your PTA officers, or attend a meeting. Find a parent who looks friendly at pick up to ask questions. Post a question on our Facebook group. Stop by the office at school. Take the initiative to reach out, and someone can point you in the right direction!
  • If your kid is interested in recreational fall soccer, sign up through Foothills now. You can request team placement by school, but it’s not guaranteed especially late in summer. There’s typically one practice and one game per week. (Note: this can be a lot for a K kid, with the exhaustion of adjusting to school already)
  • You can feel more connected and involved through many volunteer jobs at the school, but the “best” way (in some opinion) is to volunteer for your kid’s teacher. Each teacher manages parent volunteers differently. As a working parent, this can be hard, but some working parents have had success with reserving a vacation day off to help with a field trip or class party. Do note that many teachers, especially in Kindergarten, will ask that you wait a month to volunteer, as they have their hands full getting to know their students.
  • There is always a significant need for lunchroom volunteers, especially for the younger grades at the start of the year.  This is a great way to be a “fly on the wall” in your kid’s day.
  • There are many other ways to volunteer!  A form with areas of interest for volunteering will come home with your kid, and helps to give you an idea of what’s available, as well as helps our volunteer coordinator to organize it all.