Kindergarten Frequently Asked Questions
Regular Bell Schedule:
Starting time 9:20 am
Dismissal time 4:05 pm
Students may arrive at school no sooner than 9:10am.
KINDERGARTEN FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Questions about Kindergarten at Fairhill? Check here!
Our bell schedule is 9:20am-4:05pm.
The earliest that students may arrive at school is 9:10am.
At 9:10am, when the first bell rings, all students are to report to class. Students should be in class at 9:20am when the second bell rings.
If a bus arrives late, students will not be marked tardy. Non-bus riders who arrive after 9:20am must report to the office with a parent to sign in and pick up a tardy slip before proceeding to class.
Class assignments are made by the principal and assistant principal, in consultation with the staff from that grade level. Fairhill staff strives to create balanced classrooms that will provide a positive atmosphere for the children and the teacher. Parents are welcome to provide a description of their child’s personality, learning style, and any special needs they may have, by emailing administration.
Requests for specific teachers will not be considered. Rather, parent input about the learning environment your child is suited for will be considered.
Parents may request that twins, triplets and other multiples be placed in the same classroom or in separate classrooms. Parent requests will be honored.
FCPS schools do not offer childcare. However, FCPS partners with Fairfax County Government to offer SACC (School-Aged Child Care) programs in school buildings before and after school.
Registration is handled directly through the SACC office, not the school. Fairhill’s SACC program opens at 7:00am and closes at 6:15pm. Parents must provide their own transportation. SACC programs are popular and there is typically a waiting list. For more information about SACC, please see https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ofc/sacc.htm or call the SACC registration office at 703-449-8989.
Bus transportation will be provided if a family lives a mile or more from school, or when there is not a safe walking route. The bus schedule and bus stops (which are both determined by the FCPS transportation office) will be mailed to families at the end of August with the teacher assignment letter.
Please note: Kindergarteners must be met at the bus stop in the afternoon for pick-up. A designated person, middle school age or older, MUST ask for the student by name before the bus driver will allow the kindergartener to exit the bus. If a designated person is not at the stop to meet the child, the bus driver will keep the child on the bus, complete the route, and return the child to the school office. The office will then try to contact the parent or the other people on the emergency contact list to pick up the child.
If a bus rider does not get off the bus in the afternoon, please call the school. Fairhill staff will communicate with the transportation office to locate the student.
If a student walks to school, parents are responsible for selecting the walking route and for reviewing the rules of safety. It is requested that parents walk students all the way to the entrance but not to the classroom. Exceptions are made during the first week of school, but students are encouraged to walk to classrooms on their own within the first few days! At dismissal, if a student is a walker, kindergarten team will walk students to door #1. For those that will be picked up through Kiss and Ride, their child will be brought there.
If a parent drives the student to school, they should use the “kiss and ride” drop-off location near door #8 at the side lot. Staff and student safety patrols monitor students as they exit vehicles. Students should exit the cars from the passenger side only. At 9:20 am, Kiss and Ride closes, and students may no longer be dropped off. After 9:20am, parents will park and bring students through the front doors to sign in.
No need to worry! Kindergarten teachers will put a piece of yellow duct tape on the strap of the kindergarteners’ backpacks. This “signal” is used across FCPS to help staff identify kindergarteners. (Staff will also note the bus number or mode of transportation on the yellow tape.) Bus drivers look for the yellow tape, and have the youngest riders sit in the front of the bus in the morning and afternoon. Fairhill staff greet the buses for the first few days to ensure that students know the route to the classrooms. Patrols are also available to walk students directly to class.
In the afternoons, patrols gather kindergarteners by bus number and escort them to the buses. Kindergarten teachers and IAs hand off walkers to parents. SACC staff pick up kindergarteners from their classrooms.
If a child will be absent or tardy, the parent is to call the attendance line (703-208-8181) and leave a message indicating the child’s first and last name, grade, teacher, and reason for absence. Parents may also register an absence through the link on the school website, or by notifying the teacher and office.
If the school is not notified about a child’s absence by approximately 9:50 am, they will be marked as unexcused and an automated email and phone call to the parent will be generated by the attendance system.
If a student is tardy, the parent must bring the student to the school office to check in for the day.
Each kindergarten classroom has its own bathroom. Unless there are special circumstances, it is expected that kindergarten children have independent bathroom skills including unbuttoning/buttoning, unzipping/zipping, wiping, flushing, and handwashing. Summer is a good time to solidify independent bathroom skills if needed.
Kindergarten teachers will request that a second set of clothes be kept in the classroom in the event of a bathroom accident, spill, or playground mishap. If no change of clothes is provided, parents or emergency contacts will be called to come to the school.
Typically, kindergartners’ days will go as follows:
In the morning when students arrive, the kindergartners are walked to their classroom. They will put away coats and backpacks and listen to the morning school news show.
Most of the morning will be built around Language Arts activities (reading, writing, phonics, and oral language, etc.) Activities will be in large and small groups. Children will also work individually.
Depending on the schedule, the class may take a short snack break. Classroom teachers will provide information about how snack works in their individual classrooms.
Students will then eat lunch, have recess before continuing to their afternoon work. In the afternoon, students engage in math, social studies and science activities.
At some point in the day (depending on the whole school schedule), kindergarteners will have “specials”, which consist of art, music, library, physical education, Chinese and counseling (but not all on the same day!).
Teachers will provide a detailed schedule of the day at the Open House in August.
Breakfast and lunch will be available in the cafeteria every day. Students may also bring lunch from home. Milk and water are available as well.
Breakfast is served “grab and go style” and students take it with them to eat in their classrooms. Students who do not obtain a school breakfast should eat breakfast at home.
Students eat lunch in the cafeteria. The kindergarten instructional assistants provide extra assistance to the cafeteria hostess (who monitors the cafeteria) since kindergarteners often need extra help picking up food from the food line and opening containers, condiment packets, milk cartons, etc.
The breakfast/lunch menu can be viewed on the FCPS website: https://fcps.nutrislice.com/
Please note that lunches brought from home may not include glass bottles or containers. We ask that you NOT send soda or commercial fast-food meals for lunch.
Allergy information is provided to the school by parents on the Student Health Form. This information is then communicated to our cafeteria manager and to teachers by the Public Health Nurse who reviews the form. However, if a student has serious food-related allergies, parents are encouraged to share this information directly with the classroom teacher and cafeteria manager. Direct sharing helps all parties understand the necessary food restrictions and how an allergic reaction manifests itself.
The cafeteria is not nut free, but there is a table designed as an “allergen awareness” table.
Teachers will share their snack procedures with parents. Depending on the lunch time, some classrooms make time for snack while others do not. In some kindergarten classrooms, all students are given the same snack (that meets allergy requirements). In other kindergarten classrooms, parents provide individual snacks from home.
The most efficient way to reach the teacher is to either send an email or to send a note in with your child. The teachers will do their best to respond promptly. However, their classroom duties will always take priority so they may not be able to return messages the same day that they are received.
Fairhill’s Principal and Assistant Principal are always willing to listen to parent concerns and take action where appropriate. It is recommended that you email an administrator with your concern. All staff email addresses are on our website. If you prefer, you can also call the main office to set up an appointment.
Kindergarten students do not have nightly homework assignments. However, all students at Fairhill are expected to read for a minimum of 20 minutes every night. In Kindergarten and the lower grades, parents are asked to read to their child, or work with them as they develop their early reading skills for at least 20 minutes every night.
Teachers will send home a weekly newsletter sent via email. Every Tuesday Fairhill will send out the Fairhill Forum (News You Choose) which is our school newsletter. As parents you are always welcomed to reach out to your child’s teacher at any time. We ask that you allow up to 48 hours for a teacher to respond.
Kindergarten children receive progress reports three times during the school year. The parent-
teacher conference in November will be used to review each child’s performance in the first quarter. After that, the quarterly progress report will be sent home in the Tuesday envelope and posted to your parent SIS account. Teachers will be happy to discuss your child’s progress at any time, but again, please make an appointment so they have the time to focus on your questions be fully prepared.
My child needs medication every day/occasionally. Can I just send it in with a note for the teacher?
Students may not bring medication to school, including eye drops, or any over-the-counter medication, except under the strict supervision of an adult in and accordance with FCPS guidelines (Regulation 2102). Forms that explain the directions under which a student is permitted to take medication during the school day and that need to be completed by a physician and parent are available from the school clinic. The school’s Public Health Nurse or School Health Aide can provide more information.
Fairhill has a small health room (clinic) where children who are ill or hurt can receive attention and rest. The clinic is staffed daily by a trained school health aide. If a child gets sick or hurt during the school day, the SHA will call the parent to discuss the situation and, if appropriate, ask the parent to come pick up the child. Children may rest short-term on a clinic cot until parents arrive. Please note that children with fevers and other conditions such as vomiting, diarrhea, lice, etc. may NOT remain in school. Students must be fever free for twenty-four hours without medication before returning to school.
If the illness or injury is serious and requires the immediate attention of a medical professional, the clinic aide or other staff member will call 911 and the parent. An administrator will accompany the child to the hospital and wait there until a parent arrives.
The PTA will distribute information describing the types of volunteer activities available with PTA sponsored events, activities or services. All parents are encouraged to support at least one of these events or activities.
If parents wish to help in the classroom, they are encouraged to contact the teacher with a note or email to determine what, if any, assistance the teacher needs. Kindergarten teachers typically need a few weeks in the classroom with their students before they can assess their needs and determine how and when classroom volunteers can best be used. It is up to each teacher to determine how they will use parent volunteers.