Grade 1 - What to Expect

How can I prepare my child for grade 1?

During the summer prior to grade 1 we would encourage you to spend time talking with your child about what school will be like.  Share information from this package.  Spend time reading with your child, practicing letters and numbers, and engaging your child in conversation. 

Feel free to come over and play on the playground with your child.  If you are purchasing school supplies, we would encourage you to do this with your child and make it an exciting activity; this helps to build anticipation.  Most importantly, be calm and positive with your child.  Explain that there will be new experiences and things to learn.  Grade 1 is a safe, exciting and caring place for children and it is great to have fun and learn with friends.

Please note that many grade 1 children are very tired at the beginning of the school year.  For most of them this is the first time that they are working (and playing) all day.  Having a consistent early bed time and a healthy breakfast and beginning this routine before school begins helps the child adjust. 

What should my child bring the first day of school?

** School Supplies

If possible, the items on the supply list should be brought to school the first day.  However, if this isn’t possible, the school will certainly lend items to your child to get started. 

Supply lists are sent home in June.  Please feel free to contact the office or check our website  if you did not receive your copy or if it was misplaced.  You may have decided already to purchase the pre-packed supply bundles that the Parents for Mountview are organizing.  If you did not receive this information, please feel free to contact the office or check on our website.  Some tips if you are buying supplies for your child:

  • Dixon and Ticonderoga pencils are good quality.  Fancy ones break in the sharpener.
  • Buy ordinary white glue sticks and white Elmer’s liguid glue.  Coloured or sparkly glue makes a mess of some projects and some brands of bottled glue get plugged up easily, which is very frustrating for the children.
  • A thick plastic ruler works best- not bendable. Please send one that only measures in centimeters (not inches).
  • Please DO NOT LABEL the school supplies.

** Clothing

All children will be requested to have a pair of non-marking indoor shoes which stay at school and are worn inside during the day.  It is requested that these indoor shoes be running shoes because the children have Phys. Ed. every day.  Children take off their outdoor shoes or boots and leave them in their boot room.  

Most parents send a backpack for their child to use to transport items back and forth to school. We strongly encourage a sturdy backpack.

Always send your child with a coat to wear in the summer and the fall regardless of the weather.  As you know, it seems to change every 5 minutes and we frequently go outside for activities.

Please send a change of clothes in a labeled zip-lock bag… just in case.  Don’t forget the socks!

Please remember to label EVERY clothing item that you send to school for your child especially shoes and boots.  These are left on the boot rack and it is not unusual to see several pairs that are very similar.  It is also not unusual for a classroom to have several pairs of size 6 black snow pants once the snow flies!!

**Food

You are encouraged to send a healthy snack for your child to eat at recess and a healthy lunch. A protein, fruit or vegetable will keep your child’s learning level up.  If possible, it helps the child if the snack is always located in an outside pocket where s/he can find it quickly and easily in the rush to head outside for recess.  Although microwaves are available in every classroom, we encourage parents to send non-microwavable lunches for the first couple of weeks because the first week of school can be somewhat overwhelming for little ones.  Don’t be alarmed if your child doesn’t seem to be eating much at school during the day initially.  There will be plenty of opportunities to eat at recess and lunch and your child will soon get the hang of it.

** Petit Sac

This is the traditional name of the sturdy homework bags that are available at the  Mountview School office for $7.00 and that many of you already purchased in kindergarten.  The supply list does request some type of homework bag and many parents find that these last throughout the child’s years in elementary school.  However, any type of homework bag is quite acceptable.

What should my child NOT bring to school?

Please do not send tie up shoes if your child cannot tie laces.  Velcro shoes or tie-ups with elastic laces work well.  However, it is a good idea to begin to learn to tie laces at home.  We also request that you not send party shoes or sandals to be stored in the classroom.  You child does need running shoes and we don’t have space for multiple pairs of shoes per child.

Don’t send foods that your child doesn’t like.  We find that children won’t eat them at school, either!!

What are the regular school hours?

Teachers are on the playground to supervise beginning at 8:10. 

The bell goes for students to enter the building at 8:25 and classes begin at 8:30.

Recess is from 10:05 – 10:20.

Lunch is from 11:55 until 12:40.

We finish the day at 3:00.

What can I expect for my child the first day of school?

Arrival:  The first day of school will follow the regular bell schedule listed above.  Parents or other adults are encouraged to accompany their children to school in the morning to help them find their classroom and get settled.  Step one is to come into the school and head to the gym to locate the class lists.  They will be posted by grade so it will be easy to check which class your child is in.  There will be school maps and many people available to point you in the right direction to find your child’s classroom where the teacher will be waiting to say hello.

Many parents are, understandably, nervous on the first day and are, therefore, welcome to stay for the first 5 to 10 minutes to help settle their child and to help organize the materials.  We have found, however, that it is sometimes easier for the child to adjust if parents leave the classroom after the first few minutes. 

Each day Language Arts and/or Math are usually topics taught prior to recess.  Activities are changed frequently and the children move as much as possible.  They are certainly not expected to sit in quietly in their desks all day! 

Recess:  Children will go outside to play at recess, weather permitting, even the first day of school, so please do send appropriate clothing.  At recess children go outside to play in the playground and field at the back of the school.  This is supervised by teachers and some Educational Assistants. During the first week of school the grade 1 teachers take the children outside to show them where they may play, what the expectations are, and how to find an adult supervisor if necessary.

 After recess there is more learning time. 

Lunch:  Children will eat lunch in their classrooms with a supervisor. The teachers will introduce the children to the lunchroom supervisor and explain the lunch expectations and routines including hand washing.  One important routine is that children need to eat the healthy lunch items first and then any treats as they will need lots of energy to continue learning in the afternoon.  From about 12:20 to 12:40 children also go outside to play and are supervised by the lunchroom supervisors.

At the end of the first day:  Parents are, once again, welcome to come to the classroom door to pick up their little ones.  Once routines are in place, we encourage parents to meet their children outside if they don’t have other business in the school. Huge traffic jams, which are very intimidating for children, can occur if many parents wait in the hallway for their children.

The teachers will be outside at the end of the day to help children who are taking the bus.  If this is a new experience for your child, this can be very stressful for both parents and child.  Teachers can certainly help ensure that children are on the correct bus.  However, getting off the bus is another matter.  During the first few days of school, the bus driver DOES NOT KNOW the children by sight and DOES NOT KNOW the stop of each child.  The child may not recognize his/her stop even if you have taken your child to the bus stop in the morning.  Children are busy talking, may be seated on the opposite side of the bus and may not recognize their stop from the window of the bus.  Therefore, if it is your child’s first time riding the bus, you are encouraged to find a “bus buddy” among the older children at your child’s stop in the morning.  Older children are delighted to be of assistance and can ensure that you child gets off when the bus buddy does.

There, your child has just finished his/her first day of grade one!  After that day, you’ll find that those nervous feelings both children and parents have had will begin to disappear.  That brings us to one more “don’t”.  Don’t worry.  Your child is growing up.  That’s what they are meant to do.  We look forward to working with your child.  Grade 1 will be an amazing, exciting year!

What options are available for my child at lunch?

All children, not just those who are bussed, are welcome, although not required, to stay for lunch.  Your child may stay for lunch beginning the first day of school. This “Lunch Program” is a service provided to those parents who would like their children to stay for lunch. You will be requested to register your child for the lunch program in the fall.  The children are cared for at noon by lunchroom supervisors (one per class).   The lunch supervisors are paid an honorarium by collecting fees from the parents. Children eat lunch in their classrooms from 11:55 – 12:20  They then go outside to play for the rest of the noon hour period.  Please note that, due to some severe allergies, we are a “NUT AWARE” school and that parents are requested NOT to send nuts, peanut butter etc. for lunch for their child.  We always are in need of lunch supervisors so if you might be available even a few days per week, please contact the school office.

How do you decide which class is right for my child?

Prior to school opening the teachers meet together to carefully craft class lists taking into account the total numbers, the number of boys/girls, the social needs of the children, as well as the learning and working styles of the children.   Class lists will be posted in the gym on the first day of school and there will be staff available to help you find your way to the classroom.  Your child may be in a class with only grade one students or a combined class with some grade ones and some children from another grade.

Please note that we make every effort to be completely organized prior to school opening so that children will come to their classrooms to find their names already posted to welcome them.  However, there is the odd occasion where things may have to change.  For example, if 8 more grade one children whom we weren’t expecting register on the first day of school, it may be necessary to reorganize the classes.  If this occurs, you will certainly be informed immediately either by letter or phone.  It would help us and help your child if you keep this in mind while discussing the first day of school with your child.  It is our experience the children adapt very quickly and easily to these types of changes and parents can certainly help by preparing the child prior to school and staying positive with the change themselves.

Where will my child enter and exit the school?

Depending upon where your child’s classroom is located, your child will have a designated door for entry.  This is to ensure that shoes and boots are close by to change into for recess and also to ensure that reasonable numbers of students come in each door.  Your child’s teacher will explain all this and show your child the correct door on the first day of school.  Please note that for safety reasons all outside doors except the main door are kept locked during the school day.

How can I stay in touch with the teacher?  What if I have questions or concerns?

We have many avenues of communication between parents and teachers as we feel that this communication is extremely important. 

The LINK book is the most important communication tool between parents, teachers and students.  The LINK book will be sent home each night and you are requested to check is daily and return it to the school.  The LINK book will have important messages such as homework and information items.  At times, the teachers may ask for something that your child needs to bring to school for the next day.  You may also wish to write messages for the teacher such as if your child has a doctor’s appointment or if they are to meet someone different after school

Parents are encouraged to call the teacher at the school, e-mail the teacher or drop in for a chat on a regular basis.  Formal Parent/Teacher conferences will occur at the beginning of October, but informal communication is on-going. 

If your child is going to be absent, you are requested to leave a message on the attendance line (403-346-5787).

You can also download our app for free.

The school newsletter is posted on our website on the last Friday of every month.

How can I be involved at the school?

The École Mountview School Council plays an important role in the life of our school.  The Council provides feedback to administration on policies and procedures as well as organizes numerous activities that contribute to a strong sense of parent community within the school.  The fund-raising activities support a variety of enhancements in our school program.  You are invited to get involved.  Please check the school newsletter or website for the date and time of the first meeting.

Parents are certainly an integral part of our school program.  Many parents volunteer their time during the day assisting with materials preparation, in the classroom or with special events.  Please note that you are welcome at the school.  If you are planning to volunteer, please do contact us first as RDPSD policy requires all volunteers to have a police check and references.  After you have received our volunteer package, it is a no-cost short stop at the RCMP office to complete the check.

When you enter the school to volunteer, you are requested to sign in at the office.  This is a safety precaution both for the children and also for our volunteers should there be an emergency