Kindergarten Handbook 2018-19

Mrs. Sara Awe 444-8337

Mrs. April Ferraro 444-8339

Mrs. Trista Luckey 444-8338

Ms. Kari Pelinka 444-8321

Washington Main Office 444-8300

Attendance Line 444-8305

Welcome to WASHINGTON!

Welcome to Washington all-day Kindergarten! We are so excited to get started on a new school year! 


We can’t wait to see you each and every day. Here is the school attendance policy:
call the attendance line as soon as you know your child will be absent or tardy. We ask that these calls be made before 7:55 AM. You may talk with the attendance secretary or leave a message on the attendance line – 444-8305. The attendance secretary will call parents if a call has not been received. If the attendance secretary cannot verify the child’s absence the absence will become unexcused unless we receive further communication from parents. If the child is absent frequently, the school will take steps to assist the family in complying with state guidelines for attendance. If after providing such assistance, absences continue, the school will need to follow attendance guidelines and statutes for follow up.

Drop-off/Pick Up
Pick-up and Drop-offs by car must be on 14th Street. Please do NOT drop off on St. Paul Road as this is reserved for our buses. Please drop off your child at the beginning of the day *by 7:50.  All Kindergarten classes will be lining up by the Kindergarten doors facing St. Paul Road.
the end of school (2:25), Kindergarten teachers will walk those students to be picked up to the 14th Street pick-up. If your child rides a bus, we will help them find the correct bus/meet up with older siblings as needed. 

If you need to pick up your child during the school-day for any reason, please stop in the office and your child will be brought there to meet you. If visiting your child’s classroom or volunteering, you must stop in the office for a visitor’s pass.

Thanks for your help on this efficient drop-off/pick-up process and for ultimately keeping children safe! We understand it may take a few days to get used to it! Please send a note in the daily binder if transportation plans change or call the school office (444-8300) to communicate last-minute changes. Email communication might not be received until the following day.

Emergency Contact/Nurse

It is your responsibility to keep your phone numbers, address, emergency contact information, and email up-to-date with the school. Please communicate changes in this information to your child’s teacher or to the school office as needed.

The school nurse, Kim Sandhofer, is available to our students when necessary. Please contact her (444-8306) if your child requires a medication to be taken during the school day. Please inform the nurse as well as your child’s teacher of any allergies, medical concerns, etc.

Kindergarten Expectations

Communication Binder (and email)

Students will bring home a DAILY COMMUNICATION BINDER. This binder has daily information that is essential for you to read. Please sign the binder and return it to school EVERY DAY. This is very important! Also inside the binder will be occasional homework, the pouch of power (see below), a folder for papers to go to/from school, and other valuable information. Feel free to also write notes or questions to your child’s teacher in the communication log as we will check this binder every day. Please send your child with a backpack that he/she can open/close/carry each and every day.

Another great way to contact your child’s teacher is via email. Teachers WILL send out updates, reminders, etc via email. Please make sure that we have a current email for you and that you are receiving our emails.


  1. Weekend Homework: Students will have some homework over the weekend. We ask that you help your child complete it and return it to school in the binder folder the following week. If you have concerns with this, please contact your child’s teacher. The homework is not meant to be difficult, but is instead a “practice” of what the students are currently working on in school.
  2. Pouch of Power (POP words): Students are responsible for practicing the sight words in the pouch in their binder each week as often as necessary so that they can read these words accurately and fluently.
  3. Reading: At the beginning of the year, we ask that you read to your child each night. This models the importance of reading, teaches them comprehension skills and book basics. For example, you might touch each word as you read so that they learn that words move top to bottom, left to right. When your child is ready, we will ask that your child reads to YOU on a daily basis. Each Kindergarten teacher will have some sort of a reading recording sheet for books read so that kids can work towards some sort of a reward or prize.
  4. Extra Support on necessary skills: The teacher may indicate that your child needs extra assistance on a specific skill or additional practice as necessary. Practicing necessary skills at home will help your child feel more confident at school.

Kindergarten Reading “End in Mind”…

Throughout the school year, teachers will update you on your child’s reading success in school. They will work with the student to determine the child’s current “end in mind” (* or plan/goal) that the child is working to achieve and communicate this “plan” to you so that you may also assist your child in reaching this goal at home. We understand that each unique child is working on a unique reading goal at any given time and we will differentiate our instruction to help them build success at his/her specific level. Students are then give a new “end in mind” once they reach their individual goal. 

Visual Phonics/Sound Spelling

Visual Phonics is a helpful tool that Kindergarten teachers use to help your child learn letter sounds and spell/sound out words phonetically (by sound). Each letter sound has a visual hand motion that helps the student identify a visual with each letter sound. This is NOT sign language. Once letter sounds are learned and fluent, children often use visual phonics for sounding out words and “sound spelling.” Students tend to drop this method/use of visual phonics once they fluently can put together sounds in a word (blend) and take apart (segment) sounds in a word.

Sound spelling is when children use the letter sounds to spell words. Example: “lake” may be spelled “lak” or “lac” until children learn to read more fluently/gain phonics knowledge building to a more “book spelling” approach. Both visual phonics and sound spelling are research- based and very effective tools for the beginning reader/writer.

Sight words will be introduced throughout the year. This combination of learning words by sight, and learning basic phonics rules/tools combines for reading success. If you have questions about this, please contact your child’s teacher.

Grading and Conferences

Teachers will communicate students’ progress at the end of each trimester. Some information will also be communicated mid-trimester or as needed throughout the year. We will have conferences twice a year (mid October and late January/early February). If you have questions regarding your child’s progress, please do not hesitate to ask the teacher.

Supply List/Snack Cart

A school supply list has been sent home prior to the school year. Please replace folders as needed throughout the year. Other necessary supplies will be communicated to you by your child’s teacher.
will have a snack break every day. You may purchase the school healthy snack cart or send a healthy snack each day. Snack cart must be paid in advance. You may pay for it each trimester or pay for the entire school year. Snack cart information will be sent soon.


Parent volunteers are welcome and encouraged! We ask that you wait until October to begin volunteering so that children can become comfortable with the routines of school. Volunteers might assist with fieldtrips, be a weekly classroom helper, and so forth. Supply volunteers might assist by sending in needed supplies for special days. All volunteers must pass a background check for school safety. Please see your child’s teacher for specific roles you might assist with.


We will be using the “Handwriting Without Tears” curriculum to teach your child correct handwriting techniques. Please remember that all letter/number formations start at the top!

Library and Maker Space

Kindergarten students will check out books from the school library on a weekly basis. We ask that you put these books in a safe place, read them with your child, and return them as soon as you are finished with them. Each teacher will have a library return basket in their classroom.

Students will go to an exciting new special called “Maker Space.” This special will focus on using STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) experiences. We are excited to bring a new kind of learning to Washington!


This is a friendly reminder to assist your Kindergartner in dressing appropriately for cold weather. Unless the temperature is below 0 degrees or raining, children will wait outside before school AND have outside recess. Minnesota mornings can be cold! Coats, mittens, hats, snow pants, and boots are necessary as the weather gets colder. Kindergarten kids often don’t know what clothing to pack on their own and may need assistance. If you need financial assistance for these items, please contact your child’s teacher or the school social worker.

We encourage students to responsibly put on their own “gear” for outside. In other words, please work with your child so they can zip coats, button any buttons, and put on mittens. Also, please clearly LABEL all outdoor clothing with your child’s name as items are often misplaced!


All families of an upcoming kindergarten student are mailed a packet with breakfast and lunch information. Please review all information in the mailing.

Payment Reminders: Money must be prepaid into your child’s meal account prior to the purchase of food. Parents are encouraged to manage their student’s meal account with our online service. You can make payments, view purchase history, schedule automatic low balance reminders and much more. Also available for payments and balances is our 24 hour automated toll-free number listed below.

  • Online at Student ID # required – obtain by calling 507-444-8616
  • Toll-free at 866-620-4942 “ “ “

Payments by check - write your students first and last name in the memo line. There is a collection box at the school office or check can be given to the teacher first thing in the morning.

24-hour payment box - this box is located on the east driveway of the District Office at 515 W. Bridge Street. If you wish to speak to someone in person, our office hours are 7:30-4:00. Please DO NOT send cash with your child.

Visit our webpage at for much more information on our program including special dietary needs and applications for meal benefits.

We welcome your child to great school year!
Food & Nutrition Services

Washington Physical Education Program

Welcome back to a new and exciting school year. We hope that you and your family had a safe, fun, and active summer. This year all of our students in grades K-5 will be receiving physical education for 30 minutes each day. For specific P.E. curriculum information, please visit our website. At any time this year parents are welcome to come and visit our P.E. classes. We look forward to meeting you and can’t wait to get moving!

What kind of shoes will my child need for P.E.?

Separate pair of P.E. shoes to be left here at school.

Shoes that cover the entire foot, have bendable soles, rubber bottoms and good for moving.

What else does my child need for P.E.?

Lightweight sweatshirt or coat for days when we go outside in the cool weather.

Extra pair of socks in backpack.

If your daughter wears a skirt or dress to school, please make sure she wears a pair of shorts



What if my child doesn’t feel well or is injured and can’t participate?

Please send a written parent note with your child if he/she is unable to participate that day.

If your child cannot participate for more than 3 days, a doctor’s note will need to be provided.

If your child has a medical condition or asthma that could affect participation in P.E., please

come and talk with our school nurse so that we can get the student set up with a medical plan.


How will I know if my child is being a Leader in P.E.?

P.E. Leader Award-Given for hard work, improvement and making good choices in P.E.

Physical Education 7 Habits Reminder Sheet- This sheet will help us communicate any

inappropriate behaviors that may be happening in P.E. Please sign it and have your child return

it the next day.


Thank you in advance for all of your support and cooperation in making this a successful and fun school year in Physical Education. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at: 444-8325 or by email at  OR  ;You can also find this information on our PE homepage off of the district website site. Thank youJ

Kari Wiste and Mark Clauson 444-8325

Physical Education Teachers

Art and Music Programs:

Kindergarten students will have music twice a week and art once a week. No additional supplies are necessary.

Have a great start to the school year!