New Parent Tips

Here are some tips for incoming parents put together by some wonderful parents who want to make the King Open School experience as easy and painless as possible.  Please reach out to them and thank them if you like their tips!  Also – don’t forget that you can always contact the King Open family liaison Neusa DaCosta at 617-349-6540, ext. 101 or ndacosta@cpsd.us for any questions you may have about the school.

Tips brought to you by…

The TIPS 

When do we find out about classroom assignments?
Classroom assignments were sent to families at the end of July.

When does school start for Kindergarteners?
The first day of school for Junior Kindergarten and Senior Kindergarten students will be on Thursday, September 6th 2018.  This is 2 days after everyone else starts school on Tuesday, September 4th.  Click here for the full school calendar, which includes holidays and Early Release Days.

Will my child have the opportunity to meet any of his/her classmates before school starts?
Yes, every year parents organize playdates in a playground near King Open on a couple of different dates over the summer for kindergarten families to meet each other.  The 2018 dates are July 29th and August 18th. For questions or more information, please contact Clara Hendricks.

If you are interested in connecting with other families in your child’s classroom over the summer, please contact Sarah Christopher who will connect you to classmates.

There is a big group of families, mostly from King Open but not exclusively, who have potluck picnics every Wednesday night at the park behind the future King Open at 6pm. All are welcome! This is a great opportunity to meet families in a casual setting. If you want to be added to the distribution list, please contact Sarah Christopher.

Also, Amber Bifolck-Fisher hosts picnics for King Open families in a park in North Cambridge on Fridays. Please email her to be added to that list.

Will my child have the opportunity to meet his/her kindergarten teacher before school starts?
Yes, there will be small group orientation sessions with your child’s classroom teacher during the first or second day that the school is open (Tuesday, September 4th or Wednesday, September 5th).  Families are usually notified the week before school starts as to the assigned time slot with your teacher.

What should we bring on the first day of school?
Each child is expected to bring a backpack that is large enough to fit a full size folder.  Teachers will send notices home in the backpacks each night and parents/guardians are expected to check them daily.  If your child is planning on bringing their lunch, they will also need a lunchbox.  For kindergartners, you will also want to bring an extra set of clothes to leave in the classroom as well as a small blanket for quiet/rest time.

What are the options for purchasing food in the cafeteria?
Breakfast and lunch may be purchased in the cafeteria.  The food and nutrition services department has information on their site about the costs for the meals, how to pay, applying for free or reduced lunch, as well as current food calendars.

A sample lunch and breakfast menu for June 2018 is available here.

Snacks
Most classrooms have a shared, community snack and families will be asked to sign up to bring healthy snacks in.

What are the school hours?
School hours are 8:55AM – 2:55PM.  Classrooms open at 8:40AM.

How do we know where/when to get the school bus?
Children who live more than a mile from the school qualify for the school bus.  Bus information is sent to families the week before school starts.  More information may be found here.

What are the options for after school care?
King Open Extended Day (KOED) is an afterschool program that is completely integrated into the King Open School and is only open to KO students.  KOED is open for 10 months, from the first day of school in September to the last day of school in June. It is closed on most city and legal holidays.
The hours are from 2:55PM to 6PM pm every school day, 12:55PM to 6PM on early release days and 8AM to 5:30PM during school vacations.  KOED fills up very fast so we suggest that you submit an application as soon as possible if you are hoping to send your child for all or some days after school.

How/when do we sign up for Community School or other classes?
The Harrington Community school class catalog will be distributed to students around the second or third week of school and classes will start shortly thereafter.  They end a week or two before school breaks, so they don’t provide full childcare coverage.  Classes take place in the King Open building. Students may register to participate for a fee in a variety of classes.  Children who participate in KOED are also able to take Community School classes and will be brought to/from KOED and their registered class.

Another option may be the Science Club for Girls.  Science Club for Girls is a free, after school Science Club open to all girls. This program has been on hold and we are watching to see if it will be offered at King Open this Fall.

Who do I contact if my child has an allergy or health condition that needs to be discussed?
Ruth Jolicoeur is the school nurse and can be reached at 617.349.6540 x120.  You may also discuss any concerns with your child’s teacher.  For kindergarten families, the small group orientation session may be a good opportunity to do so prior to the beginning of school. You may also contact the Food and Nutrition office for additional accommodations. More information about the School Nursing Services are available here.

How do I learn more?
We recommend joining the Friends of King Open Facebook page.

There are also two e-mail lists for families:

  • Announcement-Only List
    The Announcement-Only List is moderated and information can only be posted after approval. Less traffic and school related information only.
    To subscribe send email to: kingopenannounce-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
  • Family Discussion List
    The Family Discussion List is a forum for parents/guardians of current KO students to discuss issues, ask school-related questions of other parents, make connections, and brainstorm ideas. The list is unmoderated—messages are not screened before they go to the list. This list usually has more traffic that the Announcement-Only list. To subscribe to this list, send an email message to kingopenfamily-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

NOTE: Every message that is posted to the Announcement-Only list is also sent to the Family Discussion list, so there is no need to belong to both lists. If you want the minimum emails with just school/CPS/education-related information, join the Announcement list. If you want all of that plus discussions and postings from KO family members, join the Family list.

Lastly, you may also visit the school’s website. Please let us know if you have any questions.

How may I get involved?
There are a variety of ways to get involved in the King Open community:  You may serve as a Classroom Helper in your child’s classroom, attend an event, volunteer to help in a classroom, chaperone on field trips, participate on a committee, etc.  We look forward to getting to know you.  If you are interested in learning more, please contact any of us using our contact info listed above.

Remember to check your child’s backpack every day as there are usually forms or other pieces of information inside.  If you have any questions, please ask.

Welcome!

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