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Kindergarten Handbook

Important Numbers

Rootstown Elementary School: 325-7971

Mr. Jeffrey Turner, Principal  325-4137

Mrs. Susan Baldwin, School Nurse   325-4141

Mrs. Lynn Fatica, Psychologist and Director of Special Ed  325-4144

Mrs. Miriam Thrasher, Speech Therapist   325-4138

Mrs. Danielle Ray, Guidance Counselor   325-2011

Transportation Office 325-0189

Portage County Health Department 296-9919

Entrance Requirements

In order to enter Kindergarten, pupils living in the Rootstown School District must be five years old on or before August 1 of the year under consideration, or meet the following requirements: The child's birth date must be on or before December 31st and the child must be identified as gifted according to the accelerated guidelines in the Board policy. A child entering kindergarten must present a birth certificate, social security number, and all necessary information and documentation for any pertinent legal matters and state required immunizations.

Kindergarten Screening

The Ohio Revised Code Section 3313.673 is the explanation of Senate Bill #140 regarding screening of incoming kindergartners. This mandate requires that before November 1 of the school year in which a child is enrolled in kindergarten or first grade for the first time, the child must be screened for hearing, vision, speech and communications, other health or medical problems, and developmental disorders. Further assessment must be provided if screening reveals the possibility of special learning needs.

With our kindergarten sign-up, we will do the initial health screening. Hearing, vision, speech and communications are screened after school starts in the fall by the Nurse and the Speech and Hearing therapist.

Kindergarten Orientation

Kindergarten orientation for parents is held during the first week of school to inform parents about the program and what to expect throughout the school year.  Also during the first few months of school, the KRA test is administered to the children during individual scheduled sessions set up by the school.  Because of the testing, Kindergarteners do not begin school on the same day as the rest of the grade levels in the district.  They begin a few days later.

General Information

The Rootstown Elementary School Kindergarten program meets or exceeds the Ohio Department of Education Early Childhood Division requirements for Ohio's public schools. Our kindergarten program includes age appropriate activities with a self-responsible, self help approach by a faculty who attempt to meet the varying developmental stages of youngsters. Doing everything for your child ruins your child's chances to develop independent skills and short circuits children from learning how to cope with everyday-life problems. Ignoring your child's needs by withdrawing encouragement and support is equally damaging. The necessary progression to help little ones along is in place and properly functioning in our kindergarten program.

The Readiness section that follows includes ways you may assist your child to reach self-sustained independence. The list includes many ways in which to meet this goal, but should be implemented gradually. Review previously achieved tasks frequently so your child will not forget the item that was mastered.


Please click here for information regarding Kingergarten Readiness.

School Day

Children in kindergarten attend school in full day sessions. The school day is from 8:20 am to 2:55 pm. In August, parents receive a letter of class placement. Included are bus number assignments which are determined in cooperation with our transportation supervisor. Questions concerning this should be referred to our transportation supervisor at 325-0189. Changes in the bus pick-up and drop-off of your child, if other than your home address, must be noted in the school office through the use of the Request and Authorization Form which can be picked up at the Elementary School  Office.

At orientation name tag must be filled out completely and worn pinned to the child's outer most garment for at least the first two weeks of school. Bus drivers need at least two weeks to become familiar with the children and their bus stops.

The first week of school, parent volunteers escort kindergartners and first graders to their rooms until the children become familiar with the routine. Likewise, third grade bus buddies escort the children from their rooms back to their buses for the trip home. 

During the school week, kindergartners have experiences in the areas mentioned in this booklet while in their classroom. In addition, Art Education, Basic Movement, and Music Education are provided, and students may check out library books once a week. Please help your child learn responsibility for returning these books on time each week.

Fees are required for consumable supplies. Each year the fees are recalculated based on rising costs or discontinued programs. The kindergarten fee amount will be discussed in the orientation the first two days of school.

Basic room rules include:

Talk quietly

Listen to directions

Do not keep others from listening

Behave in a safe way

Take care of your belongings and other people's belongings

Supplies And Consumables

Every child will need several items brought from home to help organize the school day. Other items are provided by the school and reimbursed by parents in the form of a consumable fee. Below is an outline of each category. Please be sure you not only provide the materials from home, but regularly check with your child to replace those materials as they are used up.

From Home

1 box of tissues
2 folders for school papers (1 each semester)
1 pair gym shoes - worn to school on gym days (see school calendar)

From School

8 crayons (a new set for each semester)
8 markers
Art materials
Tempera paint blocks
All About Us Letter People booklets
Weekly Readers

Emergency and Absence Procedures

Children must be in school regularly to see the importance of learning and to keep the continuity of that learning intact. Your child's progress is directly related to good attendance. Please, never allow your child to stay home from school just to be with you or because the child wishes to stay home. This leads children to think that attendance in school is secondary and not valuable to them. Successful adulthood depends on disciplines and consistencies that can be learned in school.

Check your child daily for symptoms of illnesses. Keep him/her home if the following symptoms exists:

Flushed face
Running nose, coughing, or sneezing
Skin rashes or peeling
Sores around mouth, hands, or body
Sore throat
Inflamed eyes

Precaution may avoid a long illness for your child. Be sure your child has adequate rest and bedtime habits.

Please call the school by 9:00 A.M. any day your child is absent.

Beginning July 1, 1990, attendance in kindergarten became mandatory by State House Bill #140. All attendance enforcement is now appropriate for kindergartners.

Specific Tasks For Each Area Which Parents Can Work On With Child

Gross Motor/Body Awareness

Hop on each foot

Jump with both feet together


Practice balancing skills-on one foot, on a line with arms extended, and one foot right in front of the other

Throwing and catching balls, beanbags, etc.

Kicking balls, bouncing and catching large balls

Naming body parts

Jumping rope

Let child swing arms comfortably when walking or running

Other activities: crawling, skating, swimming, hopscotch, swinging, tumbling and gymnastics, climbing trees, digging in the garden, riding tricycles and bicycles

Fine Motor Skills

Tracing shapes (circles, squares, pictures, etc.)

If child has difficulty, start with larger shapes and work with these before doing smaller ones

Drawing pictures of self and others

Printing name with capital letter first, then small letters

Pour from one container into another without spilling (water, juice, sand, beads, etc.)

Practice cutting on a line, curves, corners, and diagonals, etc.

Practice buttoning large buttons

Make shapes from clay-letters, animals, etc.

Games for finger dexterity: building block towers, stringing beads, models, pick-up sticks, jacks, marbles, etc.

Physical Development

Provide gross and fine motor activities

Help child learn to care for own physical needs, such as dressing, toilet needs, and eating

Practice good health habits

Emphasize a wellness approach rather than a sickness orientation

Get adequate rest and nutrition


Set aside a time every day to read two or more books or the equivalent of 15-30 minutes to your child
Talk to your child; let him/her finish his own sentences
Teach him/her to listen when others are talking
Teach him/her to name things in the immediate area
Help him/her understand ideas such as larger/smaller, big/little, long/short, thin/wide
Help him/her to repeat a series of four numbers
Teach him/her nursery rhymes and poems


Concepts about books, front, back, read left to right and top to bottom, title, author
Teach your child to say full name, address, and telephone number
Compare things that are hard/soft, fuzzy/smooth, etc.
Identify things by taste, smell, sounds
Locate things using prepositions up, down, next to, under
Take him/her places and talk about them, such as a zoo, a museum, a farm, a post office
Count objects with your child, "How many apples do you have?" or "Bring me three spoons."
Have him/her tell the events in a short story in sequence
Tell what things are made of (such as: a chair, a shoe, a book) and what they are used for
Follow simple directions after hearing them
Develop awareness of time

Preparation for First Grade Reading

During the kindergarten year, the teachers work into the curriculum 26 sight words that are important in the development of first grade readers. If you really wish to help your child, reinforce these words during the kindergarten year and especially during the summer between kindergarten and the first grade. Go over these words so your child knows them by sight. Using flash cards would be a good idea.

blue       has        find       is        make       red
green     yellow     girl       a         boy         the
can        you        can't    have    on           not
it           at          look     this      want        and
are         in

Health Habits/Personal Hygiene

Children entering school should be in the best possible health. if health problems do exist, the school should know about them through consultation with the school nurse, psychologist, or principal. Before entering school, every child should have an examination by a physician and dentist. The child should have a Tuberculin skin test as well.

No child shall be admitted at the time of his/her initial entry unless the parents present written evidence that the child has received or is in the process of receiving immunizations as outlined below:

Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis (DTP, DTaP, DT, Td): A minimum of four doses are required. If the fourth dose was administered before the fourth birthday, a fifth is required.

Polio (OPV, IPV): A minimum of three doses of all OPV or all IPV. If the third dose was given before the fourth birthday, a fourth dose is required. A minimum of four doses is required if a combination of OPV and IPV was given.

After 1 year of age:

Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR): Two doses of MMR are required for entry into kindergarten. The first dose must be given on or after the first birthday. The second at least 28 days after the first.
Hepatitis B Vaccine: A minimum of three doses is required. The second dose must have been given 28 days or more after the first, and the third at least three months after the second and not less than at six months of age.

Immunizations may be obtained by calling your physician or the Portage County Health Department at 296-9919 for information. The Immunization Clinic is open on Wednesdays, 8:00 - 11:30 am and 1:30 - 3:30 pm. The fee is $7.00 per shot.

Children must have personal care and good hygiene habits well established. Some of these habits are:

Can be away from parents for several hours without being upset
Can button all clothing
Can tie shoes (by age 7)
Can zip zippers
Can put on coats and boots
Can take care of toilet needs
Can wash hands properly
Can ride bus and behave properly
Can cooperate on the playground
Can use tissue or handkerchief properly

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