A parents guide: The nuts and bolts of registering for Kindergarten at HSE Schools - 2018.pages
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A parents guide: The nuts and bolts of registering for Kindergarten at HSE Schools The Early Learning Alliance Network, in consultation with the Hamilton Southeastern School Corporation, created this document as a resource to support families who are registering for Kindergarten in our community. For formal information and resources for the Hamilton Southeastern School District or specific questions please contact the Central Office at 317.594.4100 My child will be 5! In order to enroll in Kindergarten in the State of Indiana (Indiana Code 20-33-2-7), students must be 5 years of age on or before August 1, 2018. Please note, Hamilton Southeastern Schools has an early entrance policy for those students who will turn 5 between August 1 and September 1, 2018. It is ultimately up to parents/guardians to decide if your child will enroll in Kindergarten. Where will they attend? To identify the elementary school where your student will attend please look over the boundary map/ subdivision map carefully. The subdivision map is online at elan.press/HSE-subs the boundary map is online at elan.press/HSE-maps What do I need to register? Request a Skyward Account online at elan.press/skyward-request (Skyward is the student information system that is used by Hamilton Southeaster Schools and will be important as you continue in the school district - keep your login!) In preparation to collect necessary paperwork review the following: Documented immunization requirements can be found by scrolling down to the information found online at elan.press/HSE-health Documented residency requirements can be found online at elan.press/HSE-res Registration is online - before accessing registration be sure to have digital copies of the following documents (if you complete registration in person at your school you can utilize paper copies of these documents): State issued birth certificate Current immunization records Name, address, phone number of previous school Guardianship papers (if applicable) Proof of Residency Tip: You can use an app like CamScanner on your phone to create digital copies! How do I register? Once you have your Skyward account login and all the forms ready, begin the registration process by logging onto the district’s Skyward portal. Online at elan.press/skyward Tip: Skyward uses Google Translate so that forms and information can be translated into your native language as needed. Tip: Registration is easier on a laptop or desktop computer! Tip: Select the top menu item labeled “New Student Online Enrollment” Tip: Once your registration is complete you are NOT done; there are more forms to complete! (Don’t get too excited!)
Can I qualify for free or reduced lunch? It is important that you complete eligibility paperwork for free or reduced lunch BEFORE completing additional forms. Materials can be completed on paper and can be found online at elan.press/HSE-FRL - remember that your local library has computers and printers available! Or they can be completed online at elan.press/skyward by going to the Food Service menu and then clicking on the Applications (blue text on the Food Services Skyward page) Tip: By qualifying for free or reduced lunch you may also be eligible for free or reduced iPad rental and book fees. What happens after I register? Once you have your Skyward account login and registration completed you need to login to complete the additional forms, these forms can be accessed in Skyward under the second menu item labeled “Online Forms” at elan.press/skyward Student health information Indiana State Department of Health's Children and Hoosiers Immunization Registry Program (CHIRP) Release form iPad Rental or Bring-your-own Agreement for K-2 Background Check Information Department of Education Work Survey Hamilton East Public Library Digital Resources (This will eventually connect your child’s library card to their school account eventually) How can I set my contact information for the school district? Once you have your Skyward account login and registration completed you can select Skylert settings to customize how you are notified of delays, cancellation, or other important information from the school district. The Skylert preferences can be set up by going to elan.press/skyward Identify your phone numbers, emails, etc. for contact. Tip: that if you select all the numbers to be contacted you will receive the same message/call/ text/email for each point of contact. What do I need to attend to be sure our family is ready for Kindergarten? Communication and understanding of the goals, priorities, and environment your student is entering into as a Kindergartener are important for you to understand. We highly recommend attending the following three events to make sure you have as much opportunity as possible to ask questions. Kindergarten Open House Thursday, April 19th from 5-7pm at all Elementary Schools - KIDS SHOULD ATTEND Meet the Teacher Night or Back to School Night, in most elementary schools parents of Kindergarten students attend a different back to school event than the rest of the grade levels. This is typically a PARENTS ONLY event and where you may find out who your child’s teacher will be, hear from the building principal, and/or learn more about the Kindergarten curriculum, expectations, communication, and first week of school procedures to ensure your child gets a great start! Contact your school for more information about specific dates and times. Ice Cream Social is an opportunity to visit your students classroom, drop off school supplies, review the school layout and procedures and enjoy a treat at your new school. Typically social is held a day or two prior to the start of school. Contact your school for more information about specific dates and times.
What do I need to do to be able to volunteer or visit my child at school? HSE Schools uses a Safe Visitor procedure that is required of any adult that will volunteer, officially chaperone, have lunch with your child in the cafeteria, etc. There are several opportunities to volunteer in your child’s school via the Parent Teacher Organization (or PTO). Look for information at Kindergarten Open House or Ice Cream Social at individual schools. Complete your application for a safe visitor pass online at elan.press/badge Note that there is a fee for completing the criminal background check. Note that if grandparents or other adults would like to visit your child’s school they also need to complete a Safe Visitor application. Note that you DO NOT need a Safe Visitor badge to attend Kindergarten open house, meet the teacher night, or ice cream social. Tip: Try to give yourself at least a week to have the paperwork processed and receive your Safe Visitor badge. Remember that to officially chaperone field trips you will need this completed! What about transportation? Bus routes, pick up, and drop off information will be sent to parents just a few days before school starts. Please check Skyward for bus schedules after buses have been assigned. Note that bus stops are not always determined by proximity. Please check and recheck your bus stop location. Note that once you have your Skylert set up you will receive updates about transportation. More information on transportation can be found online at elan.press/HSE-bus How can I stay in the loop with HSE and my child’s school? HSE School has several avenues to stay informed and connected to the school district, schools, and teachers. The school handbook can be found on the school website. The district Facebook and Twitter accounts. The school Facebook and Twitter accounts. (Note that several schools have PTO/Parent of… Facebook pages that provide information and resources.) The teacher’s Twitter account and other applications that provide sharing of information and updates (for example SeeSaw). Tip: If you DO NOT want your child’s image to be shared electronically in public spaces be sure to note that with the teacher and school. But also be sure to note if your child’s teacher can share pictures of updates in private, secure spaces. The use of SeeSaw and other tools that act as living portfolios of your student’s day are commonly used! What do I need to know about the school calendars? There are four levels of schools in HSE (elementary (k-4), Intermedia (5-6), Junior High (7-8), High School (9-12). The following are things to keep in mind about school calendars. School Board approved calendars can be found online at elan.press/HSE-cal Standard elementary times for students are 8:55-3:40 Tuesday-Friday Early Release Mondays provide professional learning time for teachers. On Monday standard elementary times are 8:55-3:20. What about before and after care? Before and after care options are provided, take a look at your school website or check out the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis before and after school programs page at elan.press/before for information about available programs.
What if my child has allergies? The health services that are provided by the school district (including notes on food allergies, and other action plans) can be found on the district website at elan.press/health; also be sure to check in with the nurse that is assigned to your individual school. What if my child has special needs? The school district has an Exceptional Learners Administration Team; their website provides legal guidelines, continuum of services, autism support, and more on steps to take if you suspect a disability for any child starting at 2.5 years of age. For more information visit the district website at elan.press/sped What about supplies and book fees? School supply lists are available from individual schools and can be brought with Kindergarten parents on Back to School night or as your teacher directs. Note that in some schools not all supplies are set aside for individual students, but rather put into a general inventory used as needed by classroom teachers and students. Book fees are approved by the School Board. Book fees can be paid at the school or they can be paid online with the eFunds for Schools service. To create an account on eFunds (this is where you will also pay for any hot lunch), go to elan.press/efunds to establish an account. Once you establish an account SAVE your username and password Be sure to go to Account Settings, under Student Management to add your student (note that the Student Number can be found in Skyward) Book fees will not be listed until they are processed by the school (this can be anywhere from September to December). You will receive an email from the school/district that fees are ready to be viewed and paid. Tip: If you qualify for free or reduced lunch be sure that the application is set and is reflected on your fees as expected. What about iPads? Since Fall of 2016, K-4 students are required to have individual iPads to support teaching and learning. iPads can be rented from the district, or they can be purchased independently by parents/families. Device specifications can be found online at elan.press/device For rented iPads, be sure that you are aware of any damage prior to turning in the iPad at the end of the year. For setting up iPads check out the setup basics online at elan.press/ipads Tip: A survey of K-4 teachers that was conducted by the Early Learning Alliance Network noted that 61% of teachers had suggestions for iPad cases (not necessarily brand, but functionality) so you may want to check with your child’s teacher before purchasing a case! How can I pay for lunch? If your child will eat lunch at school (purchasing lunch instead of bringing his/her own), you can pay for lunch by depositing money in your students eFunds account. You can send a check or cash to school to be deposited in your child’s account, or you can deposit funds electronically with the eFunds for Schools service. To create an account on eFunds (this is where you will also pay for book fees), go to elan.press/ efunds to establish an account. Once you establish an account SAVE your username and password. Be sure to go to Account Settings, under Student Management to add your student (note that the Student Number can be found in Skyward). Select “make a payment” to schedule a payment, note that payments usually take 24-48 hours to post to your students account. Note also that you can set up notifications under Account Settings to alert you when funds are low.
Pro Tips from Parents and Kindergarten Teachers The Early Learning Alliance Network captured some tips from parents and Kindergarten teachers in our community. Read “The Night Before Kindergarten” with your child! Label everything (backpack, lunch box, containers, jacket, etc.) Think about ways to make morning routine easier (plan out outfits, etc.) and remember that some schools have special t-shirts, name-badges, etc. for Kindergarten! If you are in a “summer routine” test out the school wake-up schedule a few days before school starts. Don’t worry too much about sending Kindergarteners to school in the latest fashion, they will play, explore, create, and get a little messy (save the style for later!). Make sure to talk over transportation with your child, will they take the bus, etc. and be sure to communicate with the school/teacher about adjustments to your transportation schedule (bus rider Monday and Tuesday, car rider Wednesday for after school activity, etc.) to be sure you are as set as you can be! Remember not to compare your child to others, Kindergarten teachers feel strongly that every child is an individual and each has strengths and opportunities for growth! Keep focused on what is best for your child, not “keeping up with others.” Remember that buses usually run a little late the first few days of school (lots of pictures, good-byes, hugs, etc.) and can be a little off timing in the afternoon as everyone gets used to dismissal procedures for classrooms! Help your child to focus on being kind, showing empathy to others, and ask just as many questions about how they were a good friend to someone else as you do about how they did on their school work! When kids feel connected they do better academically! It takes a while for Kindergarteners to adjust to school. Your child might be tired, excited, over-stimulated, maybe a little overwhelmed, etc. Hang in there and don’t be surprised if they “let it all out” when they get home - communicate with your child’s teacher and be supportive and understanding of this awesome new transition for your child! Really think about and talk with your child’s teacher about developmentally appropriate practice. Sometimes there is a huge push on academics when there should be a greater focus on the whole child and really developing a love of learning! Make sure to show up for conferences and ask questions about what and how kids are engaging in learning! The Early Learning Alliance Network is a not for profit organization that is fueled by a shared passion for purposeful, transparent, and high quality early learning experiences for all children in Hamilton County, Indiana ages birth through eight. We are composed of educators, leaders, advocates, parents, and professionals who see a need to collaboratively facilitate our community efforts to ignite high quality early learning. We provide a mechanism to stay informed about early learning and get information on local resources. We collect and share data to empower the community to make decisions, be proactive, and respond purposefully to the needs of all early learners. We provide professional development, family/parent education, and convene our community in efforts to accelerate achievement of our mission. Learn more about our updates, data, and opportunities for community engagement online at www.earlylearningalliancenetwork.org
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