Frequently Asked Questions from Incoming Kindergarten Parents
How many students are there in the classroom?
Our district guidelines for kindergarten cap the limit at 24. It can vary from year to year but it is typically right around that number.
What supplies do we need to purchase?
There is a Jefferson school supply list. We have copies here but you can also access it via our school website. Under the “Our Schools” menu there is a link to School Supplies. Your child’s teacher may send home a note asking for other supplies as needed in the classroom.
What are the required readiness skills?
Nothing is required, but it is always good to be prepared to learn. Continue to read to your child and spend time learning through all of your home activities.
What bullying precautions do you take?
Student safety is our number one priority, and that includes both physical and emotional safety. There is a Washington State law to protect against bullying and we support that in Everett. At Jefferson, we first teach our students what it means to be kind, respectful, and a good friend. Andrea Floyd, our counselor, teaches a curriculum called Second Step which helps our primary students to understand how to treat others. And, Jefferson has an anti-bullying group called Rise Above Harassment (RAH) that Ms. Nunes and Ms. Floyd facilitate, gathering information about the potential for bullying and teaching their fellow students about it and how to respond if bullying occurs. Jefferson is a very safe school and we do not tolerate bullying on our campus.
When is the first day of school?
Wednesday, September 3rd. Kindergarten has orientation on Tuesday, September 2nd. If your child is in AM kindergarten or All-Day kindergarten, they will come from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. If your child is in PM kindergarten they will come from 1:00-2:00 p.m. We meet in the Jefferson cafeteria and then teachers take their new classes back to their rooms while parents learn about the important information needed to help their child get off to a great start at Jefferson.
How does the school kindergarten class help a child learn if they know most of the curriculum already? How will my child be challenged?
The Everett Public Schools Mission Statement cites, “Inspire, educate, and prepare each student to
achieve to high standards, contribute to our community, and thrive in a global society.” It is our responsibility to teach each child at their particular developmental level. Our school provides enrichment opportunities for students to enhance and expand their learning. Each teacher is expected to provide both re-teaching and enrichment for their students as needed.
How do teachers discipline or deal with non-compliance?
First, they provide clear expectations and the structure in the classroom to support those. Our students know what is expected and the behavior at Jefferson is very good. We use the Make Your Day citizenship program, which teaches children—even kindergarten children—to take accountability for their behavior and reflect on what they did and what they could do better. Your child’s teacher will explain more about Make Your Day, which is modified for kindergartners. The most important thing is to provide safety, security, and a warm, inviting atmosphere in which your child can learn and thrive.
What is the timeline for catching the bus?
The transportation department will send information about bus pick-up and drop-off times as we get closer to the start of the school year. It is recommended that parents have their child ready a few minutes early. The beginning of the school year is very busy and buses may not be exactly on schedule those first few days as students and parents learn the system. It is important for parents to know that the times may vary slightly until things are settled.
How does drop-off and pick up work?
Jefferson has an enrollment of approximately 550 students and our parking lot does not provide sufficient space for all. For AM or All-Day kindergarten, students may be dropped off anytime after 8:55 a.m. If they get fed breakfast at school they can be dropped off at 8:45 a.m. All students gather in the cafeteria in the morning and are supervised there until they are escorted to the covered area for pick- up. There is a “Kiss-and-Go” lane, so parents can drive up to the curb, say goodbye to their child, and leave the parking lot. If parents want to walk their child to the cafeteria and stay for a few minutes they must park. If our Jefferson parking lot is filled, parents can use the Eastmont Park & Ride lot down the street or look for other parking nearby.For PM kindergarten students, because drop-off is in the middle of the school day and no one else is dropping off students, they can park in the Kiss-and-Go lane, walk their child to the kindergarten round- up area (just outside of their classrooms), say goodbye, and head home.For pick-up for all kindergarten students, parents get in the Kiss-and-Go lane and wait for their child to come, once they see their parents. Students all wait in the parent pick-up area (the fenced area right in front of the cafeteria) and are supervised by our paraeducators there. If a parent needs to come into the school they must park in the lot, at the Park & Ride, or find parking nearby if our lot is filled.
Two points about drop-off and pick up:
- The only parking lot parents can access is the front lot. The back drive and parking lot is reserved for buses, official daycare vans, delivery vans, and emergency vehicles. No students are to be dropped off or picked up in the back parking lot at Jefferson.
- There is no waiting in the aisles of the front parking lot or using the marked handicapped spaces if you have no handicapped sticker in your vehicle. We must keep all lanes clear so cars can come and go safely. Please plan ahead, getting to Jefferson early to avoid the rush, or use the Park & Ride and enjoy some good talk time with your child as you arrive or leave with them.
Do kindergartners get a snack? Is water allowed in the classroom?
Yes, there is snack time built into the school day. Your child’s teacher will tell you more about this: how often, what students eat, etc. Water is very important and there are drinking fountains in each kindergarten classroom. Students do not need to bring water bottles to school.
What about food allergies? How do you deal with that?
If your child has an allergy of any kind (food, milk, bees, grass, etc.) it must be noted on the registration paper work. This information is filed in our health room and shared with all staff members. At Jefferson we ask that parents do not send snacks with nuts or nut products, as there tend to be more students who are allergic to those. We do have a designated table in the cafeteria for students who have food allergies and need to sit away from those who may bring food containing nuts or other products that may be a problem. Several students sit together at those tables every day and our noon duty supervisors monitor to be sure that those students with allergies are being cared for correctly.
What special events occur during the school year?
Jefferson has a school website that provides information on all upcoming events. We will also send
home an events calendar so you can plan ahead for those special events. We have a very active PTA that plans many events for our students and their families.
Can I get information translated into Russian? Can I get information translated into Spanish?
Yes. Everett Public Schools takes pride in being welcoming to all of our families, and honors the cultures that they bring to our schools. At Jefferson all official district documents can be translated into Spanish and Russian, our two most prevalent ethnic groups. We can also translate our own school documents into multiple languages, using Google translate, and do so. It may not be the most accurate translation but can provide parents with information in their home language. Parents who want school information translated should ask their teacher for that accommodation.
How do I emotionally prepare my child for kindergarten?
Children pick up on their parents’ and other adults’ emotions. If you are very nervous about your child starting school, they may become more anxious. If you are excited (as you should be!) about your child starting school, they, too, will be excited about this new adventure in learning. Be positive, tell your child that Jefferson is a great school and they will love coming each day. Also tell them that you will be there to pick them up and hear about their school day. Coming to the kindergarten orientation the day before school starts is very important in showing them the school and what to expect on that first day.
How is Jefferson ranked? What kind of reviews do they get from current and past parents?Jefferson is thriving as an effective school. Last year we earned the Washington Achievement Award, a high honor, for our work in closing the Achievement Gap, ensuring that each child can learn. This year, although ranked 18th amongst other schools in terms of our socio-economic status, we ranked 2nd on our performance and student achievement. That means that we are outperforming most other schools with similar students and demographics.Each year parents are asked to complete a survey called the Educational Effectiveness Survey (EES). This is typically done in late October, right around parent conference time. This survey provides parents the opportunity to share their perceptions of Jefferson: the learning environment, safety, culture of the school, how they feel welcome, how their children are treated, the attitudes of the staff, etc. This is critical information that we use to help improve our already strong school. Jefferson’s parents are consistently very satisfied with our school, seen from the longitudinal data from our parents from the past three years. Please do fill out the EES Survey next fall. We need your input to help us make Jefferson better each year.
Why don’t kindergartners attend every other early release day instead of such a short day?Students are expected to attend school every day, even on a short day. Parents need a consistent schedule, knowing in advance when their child must be at school. Our kindergarten teachers are wonderful and still provide good instruction, even on those short days. It is critical to get your child to school on time each day, showing them the importance of good school attendance.
Do the kindergartners have a separate bathroom form the older children? Do they go into the bathroom alone or are the bathrooms checked for others?
Each kindergarten room has a separate bathroom from the ones used by our first through fifth graders.
They are smaller sized to fit our kindergartners. Students raise their hands to get permission to use the bathroom and can go on their own, as it is attached to the classroom and their teacher can easily check on them if needed.
When can I get a tour of the school? What is my child’s classroom number?
When parents come to the kindergarten orientation on September 2nd they will get to see the school and the areas their child will be during the student day.We have two kindergarten classrooms at Jefferson, B-106 and B-108. The phone number for B-106 is (425) 385-7436 and the phone number for B-108 is (425) 385-7438. Once you learn your child’s teacher’s name you will know which room they are in.
Do kindergarten students get recess?
Half day kindergarten students do not go to recess, as their day is already so short and we need to focus on their learning. But teachers do occasionally provide some time for students to enjoy being outside in their round-up area, and students walk back and forth to P.E. in the gym.
All-day kindergarten will have a recess time scheduled during the school day.
When will I learn if my child will be in the AM or PM kindergarten?
We like to inform parents as soon as possible, knowing they need to make plans for drop-off, pick-up, and child care before or after school. Many factors must be considered (staffing, transportation, etc.) before we can give parents a definite answer. We typically tell them in August once we have a better idea of our schedule. We can tell you that next year, the Lighthouse cooperative kindergarten will be in the morning and the general education kindergarten classroom will be in the afternoon. At this time, unless your child is in the all-day kindergarten or the Lighthouse cooperative kindergarten, they will be in PM kindergarten.
My daughter doesn’t turn five until the end of August. We would want to know if she is ready for kindergarten.
Parents know their children best. This would be a good conversation to have with your child’s teacher
and our school counselor, Ms. Floyd.
What are the PTA opportunities? Can I volunteer at the school?
Jefferson has a terrific, active PTA and we need you to join them! They will be at the kindergarten orientation on September 2nd to share all that they do for our students and invite you to be a part of their organization.We love having parents volunteer and need you with us at Jefferson. Parents must be cleared to be with our students and can fill out the volunteer application online. Go to the Everett Public Schools website, click on “Community,” click on “Volunteer,” and click on “Volunteer Application.” It is a simple process and does not take a long time to get approved.
Will there be adult supervision at all times of the day?
Yes. Safety is our number one priority at Jefferson. You can be assured that your child is never left unattended. We have teachers, paras, noon duty supervisors, volunteers, and a principal that all keep a watchful eye on your children. They are in good hands at Jefferson!