Families New To Fairmount - Q&A
1) Question: How do I drop my child off in the mornings at school (as well as picking them up)? What is the procedure and what can I expect?
Buses – the buses drop the students off before school between 8:40-8:55 and students proceed directly to their classroom; in the afternoon bus buddies assigned by the Kindergarten teachers escort the Kindergartners to their respective buses.
Non-Bus Drop off in the morning – parents can park and walk their student(s) to the front door between 8:40-8:55 or if your student(s) can exit the car quickly, pull up in the drop zone and let your student(s) out.
Pick up for Half-day Kindergarten – Meet your student(s) in front of the school at 11:45.
Pick up for Full-day Kindergarten – please park and meet your student right outside their exterior classroom door (you do not enter through the main school entrance but rather on the east side of the building).
Pick up for all other students – pull up in the drop zone and your student will get in the car.
2) Question: How does my child get from the bus to their classroom? As well, how does my child get back to the bus at the end of the school day?
For all students, the bus drops off between 8:40-8:55 and students proceed through the front doors and directly to their classrooms.
At the end of the day, Kindergartners have bus buddies assigned by their teachers who take them to the bus. All other students walk to their bus in the bus loop. Buses are designated by number and colored cone.
The staff is always outside from 8:40-8:55 to help the kids make their way into the school; as well as at the end of the day. The K-2 teachers will meet the students out front for the first 3 days to help their students to their respective classrooms. Adults are always in the interior hallways to help students find their way in the mornings and afternoons.
3) Question: How does my child make purchases in the school cafeteria? As well, if my child brings their lunch to school, how does their lunch make it to the school cafeteria?
Upon arriving in the classroom in the morning, students place their lunch box in a marked cart/bucket (located by the entrance of the classroom). The cart/bucket is then taken to the cafeteria after the bell and is placed in the same marked area of the cafeteria each day. This area never changes. Students then locate their lunch boxes when they enter the cafeteria.
We encourage parents to use the electronic lunch accounts for students to pay for their lunches. You can set-up and refill these accounts on the Jeffco Connect website found at http://www.jeffcopublicschools.org/jeffco_connect/; login and go under “My Payment Plus (Meal Pay)”. You can also call the school secretary to add to your child’s account using a credit card. Your child will need to know their student number when “checking out” in the cafeteria. If your child does not know their number (most Kindergartners do not but in time they will need to know it as this will be their student number for the duration of their Jeffco academic career), they simply need to provide their name and the cafeteria staff will log in their purchase. You will then be able to see what your children buy each day.
4) Question: Where can I find a menu for the cafeteria?
You can find a link to the menu on the JeffCo website (http://www.jeffcopublicschools.org/food_services/index.html). It shows the daily choices for lunch by day/month.
5) Question: What is the difference in the curriculum for the Half-day Kindergartners vs. the Full-day Kindergartners?
As discussed at Kindergarten orientation, the half-day kindergarten is the Colorado required curriculum that includes literacy and math. The full-day includes Science, Social Studies, additional literacy time, Specials (Art, Music and P.E.) and purposeful play.
6) Question: What is the role of the Para-Professional in the classroom?
The Para-Professionals assist the teachers with students on academics in the classrooms. He/She supervises lunch and recess. He/She also teaches art, music and PE for our full-day Kindergartners.
7) Question: What are the “Specials” that are run for the 1st through 6th graders? How does this work?
The Specials consist of Music, Art and P.E. The 1st through 6th graders attend each one for three days in a row and then rotate to another one for three days in a row. These are taught by licensed teachers. A schedule by grade level and by teacher is posted on the Fairmount website and in the monthly Fairmount Focus newsletter. Specials for full-day Kindergartners are Art, Music and P.E. taught by the para-professionals.
8) Question: What is the best form of communication with my child’s teacher?
The best form of communication for most teachers is email. You may also call their voicemail. Both are listed on the Fairmount website.
9) Question: What is the best form of communication with the front office?
You can call or email the office (303-982-5422). You can also always stop by the office. Office hours are 7:30-4:00.
10) Question: How do I contact the school if my child is sick and not attending school that day?
Call the school attendance line (303-982-5400) and leave your name, your child’s name, grade, teacher, reason for absence and dates of absence. Please call before 9:00 a.m.
11) Question: If my child becomes ill at school, what is the procedure for handling this situation?
Your child’s teacher will send them to the clinic. The clinic aide will call home if the child is too ill to return to class.
12) Question: How do I volunteer to help in my child’s classroom?
To help in the classroom, discuss this with your child’s teacher. They typically have a method for signing-up to help. They will also ask for volunteers to help with Field Trips throughout the year. To help with classroom parties, you can sign-up to do this through the PTA website (www.FairmountPTA.org) under the Volunteer Section. When entering the school, please sign-in at the front office and receive your badge before assisting in the classroom.
13) Question: How do I purchase Fairmount apparel for my family?
The Fairmount PTA will have apparel selections on display at Curriculum Night and in the school office. You will have the opportunity to purchase apparel at the beginning of the school year (deadline is September 4th). You will need to go to the PTA website (www.FairmountPTA.org) to place your order!
14) Question: What kind of fundraisers does Fairmount do throughout the school year?
The 3 largest fundraisers are the Silent Auction night on Sep 22, 2017, the Fairmount Firebird 5K Chase on May 6, 2018 and the Grocery Card Program where you purchase a King Soopers or Safeway card through the PTA (pre-loaded with $25 for a purchase price of $25); 5% of your grocery purchases are donated back to the school (PTA receives 2.5% and you receive 2.5% to use towards your school fees).
15) Question: What is Curriculum Night?
Curriculum Night takes place the second week of the school year and is for Grades 1-6. Curriculum Night is currently scheduled for Wed, Aug 30th for Grades 1-3 and Thurs, Aug 31st for Grades 4-6.
Curriculum Night gives parents the opportunity to meet their child’s teacher and learn about the curriculum and classroom management procedures. It is an opportunity to find out about the curriculum and homework expectations, review parent participation guidelines and receive information about individual teacher expectations. Individual parent/teacher conferences are not held at this time. There are separately scheduled curriculum sessions for parents with more than one child.
It is also asked that you attend one “Gym Session” with the Principal, Sally Mills, while you are at Curriculum Night. This is not grade specific, so you need only to attend one per family. This is where Principal Mills will discuss school-wide expectations and schedules, as well as drop-off and pick-up procedures.
16) Question: What are the “Friday Folders”?
The Friday Folders are a form of communication with each child’s family and varying school programs. At the conclusion of each week, your child’s “Friday Folder” is placed in their backpack. Please check your child’s backpack weekly as the content of this folder is important. The contents of this folder range from graded school work, notes from the teacher, permission slips, PTA information and various before/after school programs. Please take the time to review the contents of the Friday Folder each weekend and return it on Monday (with any forms that need to be returned) for further communications.
17) Question: What kind of announcements does the school make to the Fairmount community?
The primary form of communication is a weekly email (on Sundays) that is sent via the Messenger System from Principal Mills. If you are not receiving these weekly email communications, please login to Jeffco Connect (https://jeffcoconnect.jeffco.k12.co.us/) and make sure that you have not opted out of the communications and that you have a valid email address on file. The PTA communicates via email and it is suggested that you register on the PTA website (https://fairmountpta.org/); you do not need to be a member of the PTA to register and upon completion of your registration, you will be able to apply for volunteering opportunities as well as making PTA sponsored purchases (Yearbooks, BBQ Tickets, Fairmount Apparel, etc.).
18) Question: Do I need to pack a snack or water bottle for my child each day?
This is optional, but highly recommended. If you would like further information on this, please see your teacher on Curriculum Night. Each classroom has a water fountain and students are welcome to bring a snack in their backpack for the afternoon. As a friendly reminder, under the Healthy Schools grant, Fairmount tries to encourage all of the students to voluntarily eat more fruits and vegetables. So – pack healthy!
19) Question: What does the PTA do for the school?
PTAs benefit everyone. Strong schools mean stronger communities. PTA membership is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth. PTAs improve children’s well-being by focusing on what students need to be successful in their learning, including proper nutrition, safety and healthy environments. PTAs keep families informed. Involved families can understand the challenges schools face and become part of the solution. PTAs support education through active participation and advocacy. PTAs help families navigate the local educational system to become effective participants and advocates for their children.
The Fairmount PTA provides a whole range of programs and events for the Fairmount community. With your help, we will be able to offer the following programs this year:
- Events: Annual Fall BBQ, Silent Auction, Fairmount 5K Run/Walk, Lakeside Night, Talent Show, Sock Hop, 6th & 5th Grade Continuation, Staff Appreciation, Parent/Student Breakfast, and Valentine & Halloween Parties
- Programs: Grade Level and field trip support, Music/PE/Art support, Special Education support, Read Naturally, Book Cart, Reflections and the Fit Fun Club
- Other: Newsletters, Yearbooks, Directory, Apparel Sales, Childwatch at monthly PTA meetings, Bridge Books, Scholarships and an Angel Fund
Each year we also identify “bigger ticket items” in order to enhance the Fairmount Elementary experience. In past years these items have included iPads and “smart boards” for every classroom, new playground equipment, Fundation supplies, school safety equipment, an outdoor classroom, the new learning garden, improvements to our running track, and the electronic marquee at the school entrance. Last year was a very successful fundraising year and, as a result, we are able to provide 60 Google Chromebooks and 2 charge carts (cost of $25,000) to the school. Fundraising efforts this year, with a $67,000 goal, will go towards the purchase of another set of Google Chromebooks (36), parking lot improvements, the Read Naturally and Interventions programs, additional playground enhancements, funding of a Multi-Cultural Night, Author Visit, 2 Xylophones for the music program and the programs noted above.
20) Question: How can I join and help the PTA?
You can join the Fairmount PTA by going to the PTA website at www.FairmountPTA.org and registering. You will be able to join the PTA as well as volunteer for numerous opportunities that fit your schedule! Our PTA website will keep you up to date and provide you with the convenience of making all of your PTA purchases from your home or work (purchase your Fairmount Spirit Apparel, BBQ tickets, Yearbooks, etc.).
PTA meetings are held on the 1st Tuesday of every month at 3:45 in the school library beginning with our first meeting on September 5th. Childcare is also provided!
21) Question: What are the before/after school enrichment programs?
We partner with outside educational programs to enrich our students’ love of learning. Cooking and art classes, foreign languages and chess club are among some of our programs. A complete list of the enrichment programs is located on the PTA website under Programs. Along with the list, you will find links and telephone numbers needed to enroll your child.
The sessions meet once a week for an hour to an hour and half, and typically run 6-8 weeks.
22) Question: What is the Fit Fun Club?
This program runs once a month beginning in September for fun-filled fitness. The program is typically before school. Each month we have a new focus: running, yoga, zumba, and strength based exercises to name a few.
Click here for our helpful Q&A document to help you get started!
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