Kindergarten

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Welcome to our Kindergarten Information Page


Kindergarten Timeline

Using data from the City of Northampton’s annual street census and information from area preschool and daycare programs, we will mail a packet to families of young children with additional information about our public preschool program, kindergarten program, playgroups and other services and activities for families with young children. This mailing will be send out in mid November. If you are new to Leeds, Florence or Northampton and did not complete the city census or receive our mailing, please contact the Registrar via email at Registrar@northampton-k12.us or via phone at (413) 587-1328.  Children must be 5 years old by August 31, 2023 to enter kindergarten. 
  • INFORMATION MEETING: December 6, 2022 (Virtual) from 5:30-6:30pm: View last years event below and/or review the Q&A.  Feel free to sign up so you get the emails!
    Kindergarten Info Night Dec 6 5:30-6:30pm Sign Up Genius Link   The day before the meeting, we will send registrants an email with the Zoom link.  On Dec. 6 we’ll post the zoom link for anyone signing up late.
  • OPEN HOUSE: January 17th, 6-7pm for parents and their child to see and explore kindergarten classrooms, and talk with kindergarten teachers, school principal and parents
  • CLASSROOM OBSERVATIONS: January 23, Jan 30, Feb 6: 8:50am- 10:00am  (sign-up to be a quiet observer in an active classroom during school hours)
  • REGISTRATION/ENROLLMENT – February 27-March 10 (one at each school and an opportunity to meet the Principal and tour the school and classrooms)
  • CLASS VISIT FOR KIDS: Buddy Day – Late May/early June (rising kindergarten students get matched up with a buddy in an active classroom with indoor and outdoor/playground activities)
  • ORIENTATION: Getting to Know You Visits – first 3 days of school – scheduled time for parents and their child to meet with the teacher in the classroom.
  • FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL – each school will offer a variety of activities like family dinners, school picnics, and Open House events for families to connect with their school communities
  • Volunteer opportunities for classroom and school involvement are available including our volunteer program, Parent-Teacher organizations, school councils, etc.

 


Kindergarten Parent Meeting 2022:

Please SIGN-UP to attend our Virtual Meeting schedule for December 6, 2022 at 5:30pm.   Here is the Link: https://tinyurl.com/tuhrtv7p
Once you create an account and sign up, you will receive an email with the Zoom Details and Link.  When we refer to ‘parents’, the term is understood to include grandparents,  legal guardians, foster parents and other caregivers responsible for young children. 
 
Here is LAST YEAR’s (2021) Virtual Meeting Recording:

The presentations from last fall’s information meetings are available to view below and we are also posting the Q&A from that event. Please scroll to the bottom of this page to view our kindergarten videos. They will give you a wonderful opportunity to see students in our kindergarten program.

Question & Answer Document: Parents questions asked at our presentation and the answers to those questions!

Below are the slideshows for the December 1, 2021 kindergarten informational presentation. We hope you find this overview helpful. 

 


Kindergarten Open Houses (2022-2023)

January 17, 2023 from 6:00 pm – 7:00pm at each of our four elementary schools. Each school principal will welcome kindergarten families to visit our kindergarten classrooms and explore our school. Children are eligible for kindergarten next fall if they will turn 5 years old before August 31, 2023.  Unsure which school your child will attend? Call our Registrar to find out (413) 587-1328. No sign up required. Please meet in the School Main Lobby. 

 

 


CLASSROOM OBSERVATIONS: January 23, Jan 30, Feb 6: 8:50am- 10:00am  (sign-up to be a quiet observer in an active classroom during school hours). Call the school’s Main Office to sign up. Each classroom visit will be limited to 15 minutes. Please be familiar with our observation guidelines below, before you come for your visit.   Bridge Street (413) 587-1460 Jackson Street (413) 587-1510 Ryan Road (413) 587-1550 Leeds (413) 587-1530

We are pleased to have you visit our kindergarten classrooms and observe children engaged in learning!

A few things to remember:
•Sign in at the main office
•Wear the visitor’s badge you received when you signed in
•Be sure you know which classrooms you will be visiting
•Please use the “visitor chairs” in the back of the classroom; if the chairs are occupied, please go to another classroom first
•Children and teachers are working and you are here to observe – not to interact
•If children come to talk to you, please greet them, but encourage them to return to what they are working on
•Please limit your visit to each classroom to 10-15 minutes
•If you have more questions, please let the front office know that you would like to set up a phone date to talk to the appropriate staff
•Please return to the office at the end of your visit to sign out

Some information on observing:
•Classrooms are busy places – you can notice environment, activities, and interactions. 

•Environment: Each classroom has individual elements plus the following standard centers (blocks, art, pretend play, writing, manipulatives, books, a gathering space), and lots of children’s work on display.

•Activities: Depending on the time of day, you may see whole class activities (e.g. morning meeting, mini-lessons, etc.), center time, or small group activities. Children may be working alone, with partners, or in a group. Teachers may be working with the whole group or might be moving around the room to work with individual children or small groups.

•Interactions: You may see teachers engaging in conversation with children individually and in small or large groups as well as children engaged in conversations — playing, working and problem-solving together.

Ref: School Committee Policies: KI-Visitors in the Schools, IHBAA-Visitor and Observation of Educational Programs

 


Mark Your calendar – Kindergarten Registration for next Fall!

All students must be registered in the Northampton Public Schools District to attend. Please attend one of the four events.  Each Session will start at 2:30pm a

nd end at 6:00 pm.  Families can attend any registration day that works; children are welcome!

  • Monday, Feb 27, 2023:  Location: Jackson Street School, 120 Jackson Street, Northampton, MA 01060

  • Tuesday, March 7, 2023: Location RK Finn Ryan Rd School, 498 Ryan Road, Florence, MA 01062

  • Thursday, March 2, 2023: Location Bridge Street School, 2 Parsons Street, Northampton, MA 01060

  • Thursday, March 9, 2023: Location Leeds Elementary School, 20 Florence Street, Leeds, MA 01053

Info? Contact Registrar Jennifer Towler (413-587-1328) or registrar@northampton-k12.us

 


Kindergarten Videos





Welcome to Kindergarten at the Northampton Public Schools! We provide full-day kindergarten to all children turning 5 by August 31 who live in Northampton, Florence and Leeds.

Kindergarten is a critical year for all children—a year of transition from preschool programs or home to formal schooling. Most children arrive in kindergarten filled with curiosity, wonder, and an enthusiasm to learn about themselves, others, and the world. We see our role and responsibility as nourishing this hunger for knowledge, motivating and challenging the children, while protecting and nurturing them.

The process of learning for children at this age is as important as performance and products. When children see themselves as competent learners, they tackle challenges with confidence, and develop attitudes and dispositions that encourage their curiosity and eagerness to learn. And, as research and common sense tells us, these skills and attitudes lay a solid foundation for future academic success.

In addition to inviting children to learn and grow, we want to invite families to partner with our schools.  Parents are truly their child’s first and most important teachers and we encourage your involvement in your child’s education and school!

Northampton Public School Kindergarten Curriculum

Northampton’s kindergarten curriculum is integrated across learning domains, always keeping the development of the whole child at its core. Children learn to take risks and solve problems, develop relationships, explore new concepts, acquire academic skills and knowledge, and enhance their physical, social, and emotional competence.

To accomplish these tasks, they need sufficient time to become involved in projects and investigations to satisfy their own interests. Therefore, our kindergarten day offers a balance of child-initiated and teacher-selected activities to enhance learning.

Children benefit from our rich, multi-sensory learning environments that support different learning styles and kinds of intelligence. They are able to acquire symbolic thought as they represent their ideas and knowledge through drawing, painting, block constructions, dramatic play, speaking, and writing.

English Language Arts  Listening, speaking, reading, and writing are the foundations of English Language Arts. Direct instruction through our Readers and Writers Workshop model and authentic teachable moments allow for these skills to be intertwined during the day. Your child will experience ELA development through:

  • Morning meeting and the message
  • Listening to and Reading books
  • Drawing and Writing stories
  • Singing songs
  • Acting out stories
  • Talking together in small groups, during teacher directed activities, during snack time
  • Drawing/painting in the art area
  • Playing in the block, sensory, dramatic play and other centers

Science  Young children have inquiring minds and are natural scientists. They wonder about how things work and why things change, and want to experiment, touch, and see what happens. Our science curriculum is integrated throughout the learning areas (math, literacy, art, music), building on children’s natural curiosity by supporting their investigation and exploration of the world around them.   Our science curriculum includes:

  • The study of natural and physical sciences as well as technology/engineering
  • Activities that focus on properties of liquids/solids, weather/seasons, plants/animals, and measurement
  • Outdoor time and walking field trips provide a natural laboratory for observation and exploration

Math  Children form their first mathematical understandings through concrete experiences with the real world and with common materials. Our Math Investigations curriculum encourages children to explore mathematical concepts and learn to communicate those ideas to others.     

  • Math is integrated throughout the day – during choice time, morning meeting, snack, cooking, art, music and outdoor activities
  • Children work individually and in small and large groups
  • Math concepts include number concepts and relationships, patterns, sorting and classifying, geometry and spatial relationships, measurement, graphing, and data collection
  • Math includes hands-on use of manipulatives, blocks, games, sand, water, and other classroom materials to develop mathematical concepts that lay the foundation for future achievement in math and science

Creative Arts  Young children are naturally creative, and they eagerly explore new methods through which they may express their ideas, feelings and understanding of the world. Children use the arts to create or recreate imagined or real events. To provide opportunities for children to express themselves artistically, the creative arts are woven through the kindergarten curriculum, in the classroom on a daily basis and with MA licensed art and music teachers on a weekly basis.  Some of the core activities/beliefs that ground our creative arts curriculum are:

Visual Arts:  Children develop an awareness of their surroundings, a sense of color and design, an appreciation the role of artists through observation, abstraction, and invention.  Children express themselves through various media: paint, clay, drawing, collage

Music: Music is an integral part of the kindergarten day; children express themselves through songs, chants, creative movement, rhythm instruments, and games.

Children listen, imitate, and improvise sounds, patterns and songs

History and Social Science At the kindergarten level, learning in history and social science is built on children’s experiences in their families, school, and community. Though the “learning strands” may sound sophisticated, our kindergarten curriculum allows children to gain an understanding of history, geography, civics, and economics as developmentally appropriate concepts in the following ways:

History: Understanding of past and present by focusing on time and sequence – what has happened and what might happen (routines, seasonal changes, life experiences)

History/geography: Developing cultural awareness and sensitivity, compassion, recognizing fairness and injustice

Geography: Understanding of location and direction through exploration and mapping of the classroom, school and community; discussions about near and far places children have visited

Civics: By creating a classroom community with rules developed by the group, children learn about respect, friendship, personal responsibility, fairness, justice, leadership and other character traits

Economics: Understanding of the various kinds of work people do (outside and inside the home)

Physical Education  Young children are active learners and our Physical Education (PE) curriculum capitalizes on this by helping them gain skills that will foster their physical, social and cognitive development.  To provide opportunities for children to develop their physical skills, we offer PE classes with a MA licensed PE teacher twice a week. PE classes, recess, and daily classroom activities build and strengthen the link between motor development and learning through:

  • Climbing, running, jumping, hopping, dancing and other gross motor activities that promote physical development
  • Tumbling, balancing, swinging, spinning that promote sense of directionality and spatial awareness (left/right, up/down, in/out)
  • Cooperative and team games that teach social skills such as turn-taking, following rules, listening, and waiting
  • Throwing/catching balls, beanbags, etc. to promote eye-hand coordination