Hayhurst Elementary Incoming Parent FAQ

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

When in doubt, please contact the school office for information.  They are the official source for school communication. The school office can be reached at 503-916-6300.

Is there a school supply list at Hayhurst?

No. Our PTA provides nearly all supplies that teachers and students need, so that every kid has what they need all year long. Students should come with backpacks and water bottles, labelled with the child’s name.
Clothing should be labelled with child’s name when practical to avoid lost items. 

When is the Kindergarten assessment at Hayhurst?

Parents will hear from the school to set up and schedule their assessment appointment.  Assessments will occur during the first days of the school year, but prior to the first full day of Kindergarten (which starts later). 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 in time for the first day of kindergarten.

Does kindergarten start with a full day right away?

Yes, after the Kindergarten start day, it is a full day.  Kindergarten start is usually Day 4 of the school year, and there can be partial days or smaller class sizes leading up to it. Please reach out to the school office if you have not received the calendar for the first days of Kindergarten, which was emailed out in early August.

When does school start and end at Hayhurst Elementary?

Doors open at 7:45 AM. First bell is at 7:55 AM. School starts at 8:00 AM. Generally, if your student arrives before 7:55 AM it is requested that they line up in the cafetorium until dismissed by grade to classrooms (Kindergarten goes first). In 2021-2022, students may be directed to go straight to their classrooms due to COVID-19 precautions.

School is dismissed at 2:15 PM.  Parents can pick up in designated spots outside the school due to COVID-19 protocols.  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:
– 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.  The PTA hosts 2-3 summer events and you can post on the Friends of Hayhurst School Facebook group to plan 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 and arrive by 7:55.
– In years without COVID-19 precautions in place, school tours are welcomed and encouraged.

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 Hayhurst Elementary Incoming Parents (focusing on 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.
– Nevertheless, we encourage you to sign up for the PTA weekly newsletter.
– 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 classroom 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 (check out our PTA Zone to learn about the PTA and its officers). Find a parent who looks friendly at pick up to ask questions. Post a question on the Friends of Hayhurst School 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. 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. Please note that most in-class volunteering is suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
– 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 and these shifts are even more necessary as each grade level has it’s own lunch due to COVID-19 precautions.
– There are many other ways to volunteer!  A form with areas of interest for volunteering is emailed after classes are announced and come home with your kid. The form helps to give you an idea of what’s available, as well as helps us organize it all. Find details about volunteering at Hayhurst and with the Hayhurst PTA on our Volunteer Page.