What to Expect the First Day of School

What should I expect the first morning?

For the first 3 days only, prek, lowk & kinder families should plan to arrive at school between 8:15am and 8:25am. (After the first week, please plan to arrive between 8:00 and 8:10am as the curriculum starts at 8:15. You may drop-off into our early care room between 7:30 and 8am if needed.)

PreK (3-year-old) parents must always park and walk their child in. LowK & Kinder parents will have the option of curbside drop-off, but on the first day your child would love you to park and go to the classroom together. (New curbside drop-off and pick-up details will be available soon.)

Staff and volunteers will be all over campus to help direct you and answer questions. Your child’s teacher will be waiting in the classroom to welcome your child. Please understand that the teacher’s focus will be on the children, and she/he will not be able to have extended adult conversations. If you have extensive information to convey, please contact the school to set up an appointment with the teacher either before or after school starts.

Kiss your child, give a reassuring smile, and leave. (We do not recommend sneaking out – the children need to trust you and not be surprised later that you’re gone.)

Some children will run or wander right into the classroom – after all, there are toys and other children to play with!

Other children will have some separation anxiety and may hold onto you or cry when you leave. This is always tough, especially for the parents. If this is your child, ask a teacher or teacher assistant (TA) for help. He or she will engage your child in an activity or a hug allowing you to leave. It’s always hard to leave when your child is upset, but most children are just fine after five or ten minutes. Prolonged goodbyes usually make things more difficult.

If you wish to find out how your child is doing, please call the office (Hilltop Building 503-226-2496, Arthur 503-265-8855). A staff member will check on your child and call you back. Please understand if it takes awhile for them to call you back, particularly in the Hilltop building.

If ISP is your child’s first school experience, it may be helpful if the first day is only a half day.

What will the first day be like for our child?

Every class runs a little differently or does things in a different order depending on the teacher and class dynamics, but all classes will have certain things in common.

  • Your child may be given a sticker name tag for the first few days until the teachers learn all the children’s names.
  • Mornings often start with some relatively unstructured playtime to help children feel at home in the classroom. The teacher will generally have some activity prepared on the tables for those who are interested.
  • Circle time: the teacher will engage the children in a story or conversation. Circle time often starts with getting to know one another and the school, talking about the weather or the day of the week. The teacher will talk to the children in their target language; most of the children will talk to the teacher and to one another in English.
  • Snack time: ISP provides snacks for prek, lowk & kinder students in the morning and afternoon. Teachers oversee hand washing before & after any food event. If your child has allergies or other food restrictions please let the teacher know that you will be sending snacks for him/her.
  • Lesson times: just like the big kids, our prek, lowk & kinder students have age-appropriate activities in science, social studies, math, cultural learning and language arts, often intermingled (just like they are in real life)
  • Outside play time: playground! Rain or shine, please make sure your child is dressed appropriately. It is important that the children wear clothes that can get dirty or paint-splattered. Please make sure all outerwear has your child’s name written in it.
  • Lunch time: Parents must send lunch or sign up for one of the lunch options. Each class has a microwave oven which teachers can use to heat student lunches, but please don’t send anything that requires preparation.
  • Nap/rest time: each class has special nap mats, lights are dimmed, and everyone has quiet time together. Please make sure your child has a blanket and special stuffed animal if needed. Children are not expected to fall asleep, but they are encouraged to nap and rest.
  • Art, PE, Music: our prek, lowk & kinder students all do a lot with art, music & physical activity with their teacher. They also have class with art and PE specialists once a week; lowK & kinder students also go to the library and have weekly classes with the music specialist. One of these activities may be on your child’s class schedule for the first day.

What should I expect at the end of the day?

If your child attends half days. Please arrive between 11:45 and noon, park, and go to your child’s classroom to pick him/her up. It is important that you pick up your child by noon due to teacher/child ratios. If the class is heading to recess, you are welcome to join, but the teachers won’t be able to be in charge of your child after 12:00.

If your child attends full days, school ends at 3:15. New pick-up instructions will be published shortly in ITK.