New Family FAQ
School Events for New Families
Are there any events for new families to learn more or get to know each other?
Yes, to learn more about your new school and teacher, it’s helpful to attend these events:
Back to School Night (Monday, August 28, 2017l). Learn about your child’s classroom and teacher!
Fall Fiesta Sunday, September 10, 2017, 12noon to 3pm. Learn about and sign up for volunteer opportunities; free food and entertainment for all!
When will I find out my child’s TK assignment?
The TK assignment is typically finalized in August. For the 2017-2018 school year, there will be TK classes at Lomita Park and Meadows School. Please check the district website for TK information in August for more current information.
Preparing for Kindergarten
What does my child need to bring each day?
Students should bring a water bottle, a snack, and lunch each day in their backpack. They can also purchase breakfast or lunch using their lunch card (see “Meals/Snacks at School” for more details) at the Multi-Use Room (MUR) where they eat lunch. Label all belongings, including outerwear.
Toys, loveys, and blankets should be kept at home.
What school supplies should I buy?
You don’t need to buy any school supplies. Instead, you will receive an email about donating money for school supplies from the PTA around July/ August. Our PTA coordinates the supplies for the entire school, so that supplies are in the classroom ready for your child at the beginning of the school year.
What is a typical day like?
8:15am - Students line up for announcements and say the Pledge of Allegiance behind the school (blacktop). Teachers then lead students to their classrooms.
10:00 - 10:20am - Morning snack is eaten, and students have recess in the kindergarten playground.
11:40 - 12:10pm - Students have lunch in the Multi-Use Room (MUR). Afterwards, they play in the playground.
1:15pm - Dismissal.
1:15 - 2:00pm - One day a week, your child will have Extended Day and will be dismissed at 2:00 pm. Extended Day is time that the teacher spends additional time working with a subset of her class.
How can I prepare my child for Kindergarten?
Encourage self care and independence such as practice writing his/her own name, packing his/her own backpack, wiping his/her own nose, cleaning up after meals, raising his/her hand to ask for help, asking to go to the bathroom, learning to wipe him/herself and washing hands after using the bathroom. Above all, have your child play and have fun as play-based learning is highly encouraged.
When can my child use the bathroom? Does he go by him/herself?
Your child should go during recess or ask his/her teacher during class. Since bathrooms are located outside of the classroom, teachers may require children to use the buddy system and walk to the bathroom with a classmate during class.
Will there be homework?
Yes, homework is assigned a few weeks into the school year for kindergartners, usually after Labor Day. Kindergarten homework currently consists of:
Monthly worksheet packets are emailed to parents to print out for their child and are due at the end of each week/month, depending on the teacher.
Weekly book bags come with 1-2 books to read and journals to write in; students are encouraged to do all the writing work themselves.
Homework should not be stressful for parent or child and is meant to help kindergarteners become accustomed to doing homework. Please read with your child every day.
What is my child’s teacher like?
We have an amazing set of kindergarten teachers at Spring Valley, and you will meet your child’s teacher at Back to School Night. This is a great opportunity to learn how your child will be educated, and a lot of information will also be given to you.
School Drop-off and Pick-up
How do I drop my child off at school?
You may drop off your child as early as 8:05am. The blacktop area (behind the school) is supervised from 8:05-8:15am (no unattended students should be there before 8:05am). At 8:15am, students line up by classroom: Ms. Raddavero’s and Ms. Lam’s classes line up on the far right side of the black top when facing the building while Ms. Finn’s class lines up on the far left side, closest to the Multi-Use Room (MUR).
Where do we line up if it is raining?
Go straight to the classroom, and the classroom door should be open at 8:05am.
Where should I pick up my child?
Teachers will dismiss your child to you at the gate of the Kindergarten yard.
Before- and After-School Care
What before and after school options are available?
The program that runs on Spring Valley’s campus is A Child’s Way (ACW). Before-care runs from 7:00-8:15am, and after-care is 1:15-6:30pm. ACW will walk your students to and from on-campus after-school enrichment classes (e.g. Extended Day, Engineering for Kids, Drama Club, Mad Science, Chess Club, etc.).
There are also many other after-school providers that pick up children at the school and bring the students to their own centers. Please notify your teacher with a note, or email, if your child will be attending one of these programs.
What if my child is going to be absent (due to illness, vacation, weddings, funerals, etc.)?
On the day of the absence, call the main Spring Valley phone number (650-697-5681) to report the absence through the answering service. School funding is based on attendance, so it is in everyone’s best interest to keep your child in school as long as s/he is healthy: conversely, the school gets less funding when there are absences, as we are an ADA (Average Daily Attendance) district.
If your child is out for illness or other absences (i.e.: bereavement or weddings) for fewer than five days, contact the teacher for missed work. If you know your child will be absent for more than five days, please request an Independent Study contract from your child’s teacher in advance of the absence. The work is due to your child’s teacher upon his/her return to school. It is highly encouraged to use designated school breaks for family vacations when possible.
Meals/Snacks at School
What meals does the school offer?
Breakfast and lunch. The district office sends out a menu each month and also posts it on the district website, after which you can click Child Nutrition.
How much meals cost? And how does my child pay?
Breakfast costs $1.50, and the reduced fee is $0.30. Lunch costs $3.00, the reduced fee $0.40, and milk costs $0.50. Reduced fee meals require completion of the Application of the Free and Reduced-Price Meals.
Please inform the teacher if your child will be purchasing lunch. Payment can be done with cash or through the lunch card, which is online. To load money on the lunch card:
For more information, visit the school district's page on Child Nutrition.
How will my child know where to go to buy these meals?
The teacher will take the class to the cafeteria (aka MUR) and take them to the appropriate place to get food. The first week of school, the kindergarten teachers will train students how to use the Multi-Use Room, how to get their meals, how to clean-up, etc.
Is there time for children to wash hands before snack and before lunch?
Yes. Your child can access the bathroom, or you can put sanitary wipes/ hand sanitizer in his/her lunch.
What if I forget to pack utensils for my child’s lunch?
S/he can get what s/he needs from the cafeteria.
How long do they have for lunch? How much time do they have for recess after lunch?
Students have 30 minutes for lunch; they usually spend 10-15 minutes eating and then go out for supervised play.
What kind of snacks should I pack my child?
Please have a healthy snack prepared: candy is not allowed at school.
What is the school policy regarding nuts in meals or snacks that are served either by the school or provided by parents in the classrooms?
This is not a nut-free school. The school serves nut-free meals and snacks and hosts nut-free classroom holiday celebrations (Halloween, Christmas, and Valentines). Since there is no policy on what families may bring to school for lunches and snacks, please remind your child not to share someone else's food.
What happens if my child gets sick or hurt at school?
Your child will be sent to the office, and you will be called and asked to pick up your child from the office, if it is severe enough.
What if my child has pre-existing medical conditions or allergies?
If your child has food allergies or any pre-existing medical conditions that require special care, please let your teacher and the school secretary know. If you need to store epi-pens or any other medications at school, the school secretary will give you a form that will need to be filled out by your doctor.
Where will my child’s emergency medications (e.g. inhaler, epipen, etc.) be stored at school? How will s/he get it if he needs it?
Medications are stored in the school office. The teacher will send someone to the office and only trained personnel will be able to administer it.
Can my child keep any emergency medications in his backpack?
ESL, Special Ed IEPs, & 504s
What if my child doesn’t speak much, or any, English?
Your child will be supported. Information is located in the registration packet.
What if my child has an IEP or a 504?
If your child has an IEP (Individualized Education Program) or a 504 plan, make sure to provide that information to the school upon registration.
What if I think my child needs extra support at school?
If you suspect your child may need services, contact your child’s teacher. The school has a process in place to provide the necessary support for your child.
Parent Involvement (Classroom, PTA, MEF)
How can I become involved in my child’s classroom?
Volunteering in the classroom is an excellent, rewarding way to engage in your child’s education. Here are some ways:
Volunteer to be a Room Parent, someone who serves as the main parent contact for your child’s classroom. You will work with the teacher and other Room Parents to coordinate activities, celebrations, and other parent volunteer opportunities for the class.
Sign up to be a classroom volunteer, and help out however you can. Classes have programs such as Art in Action, celebrations, stations, and field trips that need parent volunteers, and teachers also need preparation help in the classroom. You can sign up during Back to School Night at the start of the school year and throughout the year, on either a recurring or as-available basis.
To volunteer in the classroom or attend field trips, you must obtain volunteer clearance via a fingerprinting process and a TB clearance. It’s most convenient to do this when the district offers fingerprinting onsite at the beginning of the year. The clearance lasts for the entire time that your child is enrolled in the Millbrae School District. If you miss the first opportunity, you can go through the school office, to schedule a new time. When you do come to volunteer in the classroom, make sure you sign in in the office with Denise Coffaro, the school secretary.
Who are PTA and MEF, and why are they asking me for donations?
The Spring Valley PTA (Parent Teacher Association) works to fund school site-specific programs/ supplies such as computers, field trips, assemblies, community-building events, and much more.
The MEF (Millbrae Education Foundation) fundraises to hire teachers for the entire school district such as our music, technology, and band teachers.
Unfortunately, California state funding for education is low compared to other states. Other school districts have supplemented this by asking for donations from parents and the community. We hope that you will participate in the direct donation asks from the PTA and MEF to ensure our students continue to receive a 21st century education. Any amount is appreciated, and every little bit helps.
Is there a Dads’ Club?
Yes, the Dads’ Club meets monthly to organize family bonding events and fundraising opportunities such as an Annual Bowling Night, a family camping trip, and other fun activities! Contact Sam Liu to learn more.
If you have more questions, email us at email@example.com