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Commonly Asked Kindergarten Questions at Dunning

What is the teacher:student ratio in K?

Currently each of our K classrooms have 20-21 students with one general education teacher and a part time aide. The guidelines allow for up to 22 in Grade K.

If kids are on the spectrum but not in need of substantially separate classrooms are they supported by that group?

Children who are recommended for inclusion or standard kindergarten programs are provided with the supports outlined in their IEP and may have some services delivered by the same staff that work with the students in the substantially separate classrooms or by other appropriate staff in the building.

What is an SEI classroom... is this just a classroom taught in English to English speakers?

SEI stands for Sheltered English Immersion. It is a method of teaching both students who are native English speakers and non native English speakers. The SEI classrooms follow the same curriculum pacing as our non SEI classroom but has the added benefit of our push in language supports.

Do the kids get choice time? And if so, does it stay consistent through the year or taper off?

Yes, we do include a choice time in our day (generally in our SEL block). All K classrooms are equipped with a block area, kitchen area, dress up, play dough etc. These are opportunities for self directed play as well as an opportunity for teachers to enrich content learning from the day/week. We also do schedule a quiet time. In the beginning of the year the children often sleep during this time, but as the year goes on the children start to transition off of actual sleeping to quiet reading/rest/yoga etc. in order to be prepared for 1st grade where there is not a scheduled quiet time.

Given the current covid situation, how do you plan to acclimate the kids to get them to the right level?

Given the impact of this unprecedented situation, the district anticipates that this will be a concern for all students when re-entering school. As educators, we also recognize that students will come back to school with differing needs and that we will need to meet students at where they are at the time. The administration and teaching staff will carefully develop plans for meeting students academic, social and emotional needs as they return to school. We will be engaging in this same careful planning for our incoming Kindergarten students.

Are you required to practice shelter in place/lockdown drills? How often is this done?

Yes. These are scheduled and completed with the police and fire departments.

Is there a separate art classroom?

Yes, we have a separate Art and Gymnasium. We also have two areas for Music.

Do you mix up the classes for specials or do they stay with their home rooms?

We have found it to be helpful for K students to stay with their “homeroom” group for specials as there is a lot of transitioning involved.

Will the kids have access to chromebooks and technology throughout the day?

Yes. Every student will have access to Chromebooks, and students use district wide online learning programs at least twice a week (such as i-Ready, Imagine Learning (for English Language Learners, and Zearn or IXL (upper grades). Several classrooms (mostly upper grades) use Google Classroom.

There are shared chromebooks for kindergarten and typically they are accessed at least 3-4 days per week as well as during their library/media time each week. It varies as to the amount of time spent on technology depending on the time of year and purpose.

Do children have their own cubbies?

We have hooks for students to hang their coats and bags on within the classroom. There is also a shelf for lunchboxes.

Are the kindergarten bathrooms attached to the classrooms or they are located in the hallway?

No, we do not have Kindergarten bathrooms attached to the classrooms. However, we often take “class trips to the restroom throughout the day. Of course if a student needs to use the restroom when it’s not a “class trip” time they can go :)

Is breakfast served at school?

Yes, breakfast is served daily at school. more information can be found

How long is lunch and recess?

Lunch is 30 minutes and Recess is 15 minutes. Students in grades 1-5 are given the opportunity to leave the cafeteria 15 minutes early with staff members to begin recess early (so they can have up to 30 minutes of recess). We feel that Kindergarten students need the 30 minutes for their lunch, so we will schedule an extra 15 minutes of Recess (especially during the first few months of the school year).

Does Dunning have an extended hours or "Explorers" program?

Yes, there is an extended day option at Dunning. Next year it will be an Explorers program.

Can you share where these details are available about Explorers

Here is a link to the Explorers webpage

Here is a link to the Before and After School Pre-Registration Form for 2020-2021

Do you offer field trips during the year? If so give some examples.

Yes, we go apple picking each year to augment our science and social studies units. Last year we also took a field trip to the library to get all kids their own card and learn how the library works (as part of our community helpers unit). We also schedule some in-house field trips in cooperation with local museums etc.

Do the 3 K classes ever get together for grade level activities or projects?

Yes, we do have grade level activities usually for special events (such as the 100th Day, and our sing along events), but they are together everyday at lunch and on the playground and they quickly make friends in all the classes!

Are the kindergarten classes on the first floor or are there stairs to navigate?

The building is one level so the only stairs that they may need to navigate are the stairs to the stage where Mr. Roberge teaches Drums Alive.

2 questions before we end: In the schedule recess looked like after lunch?? Also - is there more space at Dunning than at Hemingway?

Recess is after lunch. Hemenway and Dunning have the same layout, with the exception of the modular classrooms at Hemenway.

What types of consequences do you use to address behavior?

At Dunning, we use the PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Supports) as our approach. We also use Restorative Practices and the Zones of Regulation to help students to use words to solve problems and to restore any "harm" that was done (such as an apology, a small group circle to discuss, and fix what was broken when possible).