At Gardner-Dickinson, we understand that when a child enters our building for the first time he or she is typically excited and a little nervous. We relish those emotions that present themselves as your child enters our wonderful community. We want to make your student’s transition to kindergarten a joyful one! Our wonderful teachers work hard every day to make each and every child feel welcomed in their classroom environment. We want to foster in your child the “can do” attitude early so that he or she feels safe and is able to learn effectively each day.
Parents are encouraged to register kindergartners by March so the district can plan for the upcoming school year. Your child must be 5 years old by Dec. 1 to attend kindergarten in the fall.
Kindergarten Screening and School Tour
Once you register your kindergartner the district will notify parents of date for kindergarten screening and school tour.
During the screening, your child will visit various center with other incoming kindergartners. Faculty and staff will assess how students work in a group and provide individual assessments for your child. Please note, the teacher who performs the informal assessment may not be your child’s teacher but will be a member of the kindergarten team staff.
You and your child will then have a tour of the school. This includes a visit to kindergarten classrooms to help your child become more familiar with the school and the routine of a kindergarten day.
In early August parents will receive a Back to School packet in the mail containing a welcome letter and other information.
Kindergarten Supply Drop Off Day
The day before school starts a Kindergarten Drop Off Day is held to help make the transition to school easier for students and parents. Students will visit their classroom, drop off supplies and take a short bus ride. Parents also can ask questions about the upcoming school year.
Start of School Year
The first week of school will be busy. An Open House for parents of kindergartners is held in September. This provides an opportunity for you to meet your child’s teacher and learn about the classroom and instructional program.
Lunch is served in the school cafeteria from 11:25 to 11:50 a.m. Please see our Food Services webpage for school menus and information about the online cafeteria payment system.
Students have recess each day from 11:50 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.
Kindergarten is a full-day program. Students arrive beginning at 8:00 a.m. If you drop off your child, you may park in the parking lot and walk your child to the main entrance or wait in the drop off line in the parking lot. For the safety of your child, please wait until you are in the designated drop off area before allowing your child to exit the vehicle. Staff will be on hand to ensure your child gets into school safely.
If you arrive after 8:25 a.m. you must walk your child into the building through the main entrance. Please check in with Mrs. Fazioli who will let your child in the building.
Dismissal is at 2:30 p.m. If you are picking up your child please arrive at the main office prior to 2:25 p.m. to sign your child out. If your child needs to leave early, please send a note or call the Main Office at 518-283-4600.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I find out how my child is doing at school?
Conferences and report cards are used to report student progress to parents throughout the school year. The school operates on nine-week cycles for conferences and report cards. Usually, kindergarten teachers will have conferences with parents at the end of the first nine-week period. This occurs around November. Parents are always welcome to call and arrange conferences anytime during the school year.
How can I communicate with my child's teacher? May a special conference be arranged?
Parents can leave messages in the Main Office by calling 518-283-4600 for teachers to call them. Parents can also email teachers. Please note, it is often difficult for teachers to talk with parents or return calls during the school day because they are with children. Teachers will return your call after dismissal or during their planning time, if time permits. Teachers are also happy to set up conference times before or after school.
How do breakfast and lunch programs operate?
Gardner-Dickinson offers a hot breakfast and lunch program daily while school is in session. Prices and menus are available on the Food Services webpage. Prepaid lunch accounts can be set up for students.
What is a typical class size?
Class size in kindergarten typically varies between 17 to 22 students, depending on student enrollment.
My child will be late to school today. What do I need to do?
Please call Mrs. Fazioli at 518-283-4600 by 8:15 a.m. to let her know your child will be late. When you bring your child to school you must check into the main office and sign your child in.
May I pick my child up from school?
Yes. Elementary students who do not ride the bus and do not attend an aftercare program should be picked up by 2:30 p.m. Students who need to be excused early from school for illness or a medical appointment must provide a written parental request. Written requests must be submitted to the main office before the start of school. Parents are required to pick students up at the main office and sign them out for early dismissal. The school will only release children to individuals that parents have listed on their emergency card. It is critical this information is updated annually.
Students should not be dropped off or picked up in the bus loop from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The bus loop must be clear of vehicles during this time so our buses can drop off or pick up students.
Who may pick up my child from school?
The school will only release a student to individuals authorized to pick him/her up as listed on the student emergency card. If you need someone else to pick your child up, a parent must send a note to the school. It is important that information on the emergency card be kept up-to-date throughout the school year as situations change. Custody issues should be brought to the attention of the office staff prior to school starting (if custody has already been established) or as soon as a change is made.
Can my child ride a different bus or come home with a friend?
Yes. If you need a transportation change, a signed note must be sent in with your child in the morning. The note must include your child’s name, grade level, date, the address your child will be going to and/or name of the individual picking up your child. Calls to the Main Office during the day to change transportation arrangements are for emergencies only and must be made prior to noon in order to ensure proper communication with your child’s teacher and the transportation department.
Do I need to call the school if my child will be absent?
Yes. Please call Mrs. Fazioli at 518-283-4600 by 8:30 a.m. if your child will be absent. You can all this number anytime to leave a message.
How will I know if school is closed, delayed or closes early due to inclement weather?
May I send medicine for my child to school?
No medication of any kind should be sent to school with your student, including prescription and over-the-counter medications. Please contact School Nurse Tricia Gibbs at 518-283-4600 if medication must be administered during school hours. More information can also be found on the Health Office webpage.
Will my child use computers at school?
Yes. All classrooms have computers and/or access to tablets. The school also has a computer lab that students will use with instruction from teachers. All students are required to have a parent or guardian sign a computer use policy.
How much physical education will my kindergartner have?
Kindergartners have a 42-minute Physical Education class every other day. Students are required to participate unless they have a note from a parent. Any student who cannot participate for an extended period time will require a note from a doctor.
Are there art and music programs for kindergartners?
Yes. Students have art and music classes each week.
May my child use the library?
Yes. Kindergartners visit the library with their class for instruction, to check out books and enjoy books that are read aloud. Students can check out books anytime once their previous books have been returned. Your child’s teacher may also send home book order fliers throughout the school year that parents can purchase.
Is the school prepared to handle emergency/crisis situations?
Yes. Nothing is more important than the safety of our students. To help ensure emergency preparedness, the school regularly practices school bus, fire, lockdown and other drills. Teachers will prepare students in advance for these drills in a calm, instructional manner to reduce concerns.
Do kindergartners go on field trips?
Yes. Field trips are scheduled during the normal school day using school buses. Parents will be notified in advance of field trip dates and destinations. We can always use volunteers to help. Permissions slips must be on file prior to the field trip.
I am afraid my little kindergartner will get lost riding the school bus!
The district takes every effort to ensure this does not happen. Bus schedules are mailed to parents in the middle of August with bus numbers, list of roads and bus pick up times. Students should be at the bus stop at least five minutes prior to the pickup time. If the stop needs to be changed, the bus driver will let you know. For the first week of school, Wynantskill UFSD will have teams of faculty and staff helping students to the cafeteria. The kindergarten teacher will walk her students to the classroom each day as well as to the buses each day throughout the school year. Parents are encouraged to read the bus guidelines with their child. Additional information is available on our Transportation webpage.
Is the school involved in development of good character in students?
Yes. Gardner-Dickinson strongly believes in character education to help shape, nurture and develop the total child. Character development improves school and classroom climate by focusing on basic principles of character.
How do I ensure my children’s items aren’t lost?
We strongly suggest that you label every item you send to school with your child’s full name. We may have several children with the same first name so last names should be included. Our Lost and Found fills up quickly.
How should I send money to school?
Please send all money to school with your child in an envelope clearly marked on the outside, “Milk Money = $x.xx” or “Lunch Money = $x.xx” or you may enclose a note as to how the money should be applied. Also, please be sure your child’s name is marked on the envelope.
Are class pictures and yearbooks available?
Yes. Flyers with instructions about school picture will be sent home during the school year. School pictures are usually taken at school in October and arrive back prior to the winter holiday. Yearbook order forms are sent out in in late March. Yearbooks are distributed to students about two weeks prior to the end of the school year.
How do the afterschool programs operate?
TSL Kids Crew offers a before and after school program at Gardner-Dickinson School. Please view this flyer for details.
How should my child be dressed for school?
Student Dress Code Guidelines is available here.
How can I help in the school?
The Wynantskill PTA is a very active parent volunteer group. Information can be found on their website.
Is there counseling for students?
Yes. The elementary school counseling and guidance program is a planned, sequential set of interrelated services designed to help address the academic/educational, social/emotional and career/vocational domains of child development. It supports the educational process by helping children master the development tasks of childhood and learn effectively and efficiently. Emphasis is also placed on the early identification of factors that interfere with learning and on planning interventions to address those factors. The goal of the program is to help students acquire the knowledge and skills essential for academic competence, responsible behavior and successful living in society. The counseling and guidance program services are available to all students. Learn more by visiting the Counseling Center website.
Can my child celebrate his/her birthday at school?
Yes. Your child’s birthday can be celebrated at school in a simple fashion. You may bring a small treat for each class member such as cupcakes, cake, donuts or cookies (when bringing a cake, please remember to bring plates, forks, napkins and something to cut the cake with.) We discourage party favors of any kind being distributed; please save those for home. Birthday treats can be shared in the classroom, not in the cafeteria. Celebrating a birthday in the cafeteria can present a problem because all kindergarten classes eat lunch together and only one class receives a treat. Many times your child’s teacher will assign your child’s snack day on his birthday. This will allow for the afternoon snack to be the birthday treat. Please check with your child’s teacher about classroom allergies.
How can I find out more about the kindergarten curriculum?
At the beginning of the school year, you will receive a copy of the kindergarten curriculum guide; this will provide an overview of the kindergarten program. The brochure will be discussed in more detail at Open House Night held for parents in September.
May I call my child at school?
Please call your student only in the event of an emergency.