Grand Island Public Schools
123 South Webb Road
Grand Island, NE 68802
Your Legacy.
Their Opportunity.

Enhancing opportunities by seeking and securing resources for projects, scholarships and programs.

Access digital copies of our district flyers.

Improving school-to-home communication by distribute school flyers directly to families digitally.

Kindergarten Ready


Welcome to Kindergarten Ready, Grand Island Public Schools' starting point for parents for all things kindergarten.

If you can't find the answers you are looking for, you can always reach us in regards to kindergarten at this Let's Talk Kindergarten Ready page. We will get back to you as soon as we can to get the answers to your questions.

Welcome

We understand kindergarten is new adventure. For most first-time kindergarten parents, the last kindergarten experience you had was when you yourself were in kindergarten a few years ago. A lot has changed since then. 

For example, GIPS kindergarten is all day. There was a time when kindergarten was either morning or afternoon. GIPS has been full-day kindergarten for nearly two decades.

Also, our kindergarten students do not take naps at school. GIPS kindergarten is for learning ... and playing, too. Don't be surprised if your kindergarten student is worn out when they come home from school the first few weeks. It can be quite the adjustment!

The following information is for you to learn more about how to be Kindergarten Ready. Again, if there are questions you have which aren't answered below, please reach out to us via the Let's Talk Kindergarten Ready page. 

We look forward to meeting you and having your child welcomed into the GIPS family.

Kindergarten Ready Facebook Live

These videos are from the Kindergarten Ready Facebook Live broadcasts we had in place of having an in-person kindergarten open house this year. The first is in English; the second in Spanish.

Who is kindergarten for?

Kindergarten is for students who turn five by July 31 of the current year.

This chart provided by the Nebraska Department of Education shows when children are eligible for the next three school years.

HOW DO YOU REGISTER FOR KINDERGARTEN?

Follow the instructions for online registration found here. All students, new and returning, must be registered for school each year. Online registration is available for all students, including kindergarten students.

If you already have another student in GIPS, you can follow the instructions for returning parents. If the kindergartener you are registering is your first child in GIPS, you will need to follow the instructions to get a ParentVue account and proceed to registration. All instructions are at the link.

What do you need from your doctor for kindergarten?

In accordance with Nebraska State law, GIPS requires immunizations and a medical examination for any student beginning in the district. 

All students need to have these five vaccines before starting kindergarten: 

  • DtaP - Diptheria, Tetanus & Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Polio
  • MMR - Measles, Mumps & Rubella
  • Varicella - Chicken Pox

The required immunizations may be obtained from your family physician, or from the Central District Health Department. Immunizations are given twice a week at the Health Department located at 1137 South Locust Street (385-5175). A $13 administration fee is requested per visit, however, no child is turned away for inability to pay. Please call ahead for an appointment. (The Health Department does not perform the Kindergarten physical examination ... they only offer the immunizations.) More information: English | Spanish 

Our school nurses have also prepared this document welcoming you to kindergarten.

What do you need for school?

Kindergarten requires only a few supplies:

  • Headphones
  • Book Bag/Backpack
  • Box of Tissues

Supply lists for all grades can be found here.

How can you prepare for kindergarten?

To be Kindergarten Ready, there are a number of things you can help your student do. The Nebraska Department of Education has a number of resources and tips. NDE has created these booklets to help get you started.

The most important recommendations are:

  • Be enthusiastic about school. Focus on the positives. When you show that school is important to you, your child will learn that, too.
  • Help your child be at school, on time, every day. Whenever possible, make your child’s appointments for after school or towards the end of the school day.
  • Keep reading to, and with, your child daily. This can be a special time in your bedtime routine to see how much your child is learning.
  • Ask about your child’s day and about the work they brings home, too.
  • Talk to your child’s teacher often and early, especially if you have concerns. The relationships and communication between the teacher and your family is key to ensuring your child’s success.

If your child is nervous about starting school, here are some suggestions:

  • Be positive
  • Show excitement
  • Comfort but don’t encourage fear
  • Contact the principal early

The start of the school year

Currently, the plan is for kindergarten students to have the elementary to themselves on the first day of school (Wednesday, August 12, 2020). This will allow students the time it takes to tour the school without the bigger kids, go through the lunch line for the first time and feel more welcomed into the school by the entire elementary staff.

During the first two days (Wednesday and Thursday, August 12-13), all children will participate in many activities to meet friends and get to know school. Children will spend some time with each kindergarten teacher. Teachers will give informal assessments (colors, shapes, letters) and observe children during the first two days.

On Friday, August 14, kindergarten students will not have school during the day. However there will be a special kindergarten open house that evening at the school where the students and families celebrate and find out which teacher and classroom they will be in for the year. Any questions you still have at that time you will be able to ask your child's teacher. 

What does the typical kindergarten day look like?

Kindergarten helps students transition and prepare for the rest of their elementary school experience. The foundation of kindergarten is important for all students, whether or not they have had a high-quality early childhood education experience.

The typical kindergarten day includes learning, lunch and recess, as well as built-in time for play and discovery - two very important parts of early childhood education.

Students will progress throughout the year. GIPS follows the state standards for kindergarten curriculum and assesses students accordingly. However, our staff is exceptional at working with students who struggle with anxiety, stress and social emotional needs.

WHAT WILL STUDENTS LEARN IN KINDERGARTEN?

Your kindergarten student will gain their first introduction in science, math and English language arts curriculum areas. 

Science: 

The Kindergarten science standards and indicators help students gather, analyze and communicate evidence as they formulate answers to questions tailored to student interest and current topics that may include but are not limited to:

  • Trimester One: Where do animals live and why do they live there? 
    • Students are expected to develop an understanding of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive and the relationship between their needs and where they live.
  • Trimester Two: What happens if you change how hard you push or pull an object? 
    • Students are able to apply an understanding of the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object to analyze a design solution.
  • Trimester Three: What is the weather like today and how is it different from yesterday? 
    • Students are expected to develop an understanding of patterns and variations in local weather and the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.

What you can do at home to help your child prepare for and be successful in Kindergarten science?

  • Support your child in making observations of their world and asking questions about their observations.
    • I notice (see, hear, smell, feel, taste)...
    • I wonder…
  • Help your child identify and describe patterns in their world (winter, spring, summer, fall; color patterns made with building blocks, daily schedules)
  • Take a nature walk in the same location at different times of the year
  • Have your child describe changes in the motion of a toy when it is pushed with different strengths and directions (cause and effect)
  • Plant a flower or vegetable garden and have your child help. Make observations of how the plants are growing, or not growing. Grass, radishes, beans, marigolds are quick and easy to grow. See what happens if they don’t get water or sunlight.

Math: 

In kindergarten your child will learn how to:

  • Write numbers from 0 to 20
  • Add and subtract with numbers up to 5
  • Count objects and say how many there are
  • Identify and describe shapes
  • Compare numbers or groups of objects and tell you which group has more or less
  • Add and subtract within 10 using objects, fingers, drawings or numbers
  • Understand that teen numbers are 10 and a few more
  • Understand weight and length as something that they can measure
  • Solve addition and subtraction problems within a story
  • Trimester One: 
    • Number concepts through 10, sorting into two categories, identifying groups that have more or fewer, comparing length, mass, and capacity
  • Trimester Two: 
    • Introducing the concept of equality, position language, addition and subtraction, teen numbers, identifying and sorting 3D objects
  • Trimester Three: 
    • Number concepts through 20, identifying and sorting 2D and 3D objects, solving addition and subtraction word problems
    • To prepare for first grade begin identifying coins and their values

What you can do at home to help your child prepare for, and be successful in Kindergarten math?

English Language Arts

  • Trimester One: 
    • Demonstrate knowledge of print concepts (i.e., a book reads front to back, left to right and top to bottom.)
    • Identify the first sound in a given word (e.g., If you give the word, “fish.” The child can tell you the first sound is “/f/”. 
    • Identify the most common sound associated with the letters of the alphabet. 
    • Express ideas in writing using pictures, letter strings, labels and words. 
  • Trimester Two: 
    • When given two to three sounds in a given word (e.g., /a/ /t/) the child can blend the sounds together to tell you the whole word - at. 
    • When given a word that has two to three sounds (e.g., sun) the child can break the word apart into all of its individual sounds - /s/ /u/ /n/. 
    • Increasing recognition of regular grade-level words (e.g., cat, big, is) and irregular grade-level words (e.g., the, was, one). 
    • Expresses ideas in writing by stringing words together. Words are separated by spaces and there is an attempt to match consonant and vowel sounds with their appropriate spellings. 
  • Trimester Three: 
    • Demonstrates complete knowledge of blending sounds into single syllable words and breaking single syllable words apart into its individual sounds. 
    • Recognizes a number of grade appropriate regular and irregular words as if by sight.
    • Reads emergent reader text using a conversational tone.
    • Identifies characters, setting, and events in a story.

What you can do at home to help your child prepare for, and be successful in Kindergarten English Language Arts?

Assessments

Kindergartners take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment three times per year. The MAP assessment is designed to assess growth in math and reading from one term to the next and obtain learning statements to identify what each student is ready to learn. The results of this assessment are also used to meet the requirements of the reading bill. Your child’s teacher will discuss their MAP assessment results with you during parent-teacher conferences.

Additionally, end of unit assessments are used to measure student mastery of skills, concepts and content in each subject area.

How are parents involved in kindergarten?

Each school has different ways of helping parents be involved with kindergarten. Most GIPS elementary schools have a PTA/PTO parent group. 

We also encourage parents to volunteer in classrooms. We also need parent volunteers for special class events and field trips. To do so, we require a background check through our administration office. This is one way we help assure the safety of all students. 

 

 

Media Inquiries
Jack Sheard, Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 Ext. 1127
Grand Island Public Schools
123 South Webb Road
Grand Island, NE 68802
Your Legacy.
Their Opportunity.

Enhancing opportunities by seeking and securing resources for projects, scholarships and programs.

Access digital copies of our district flyers.

Improving school-to-home communication by distribute school flyers directly to families digitally.

Kindergarten Ready


Welcome to Kindergarten Ready, Grand Island Public Schools' starting point for parents for all things kindergarten.

If you can't find the answers you are looking for, you can always reach us in regards to kindergarten at this Let's Talk Kindergarten Ready page. We will get back to you as soon as we can to get the answers to your questions.

Welcome

We understand kindergarten is new adventure. For most first-time kindergarten parents, the last kindergarten experience you had was when you yourself were in kindergarten a few years ago. A lot has changed since then. 

For example, GIPS kindergarten is all day. There was a time when kindergarten was either morning or afternoon. GIPS has been full-day kindergarten for nearly two decades.

Also, our kindergarten students do not take naps at school. GIPS kindergarten is for learning ... and playing, too. Don't be surprised if your kindergarten student is worn out when they come home from school the first few weeks. It can be quite the adjustment!

The following information is for you to learn more about how to be Kindergarten Ready. Again, if there are questions you have which aren't answered below, please reach out to us via the Let's Talk Kindergarten Ready page. 

We look forward to meeting you and having your child welcomed into the GIPS family.

Kindergarten Ready Facebook Live

These videos are from the Kindergarten Ready Facebook Live broadcasts we had in place of having an in-person kindergarten open house this year. The first is in English; the second in Spanish.

Who is kindergarten for?

Kindergarten is for students who turn five by July 31 of the current year.

This chart provided by the Nebraska Department of Education shows when children are eligible for the next three school years.

HOW DO YOU REGISTER FOR KINDERGARTEN?

Follow the instructions for online registration found here. All students, new and returning, must be registered for school each year. Online registration is available for all students, including kindergarten students.

If you already have another student in GIPS, you can follow the instructions for returning parents. If the kindergartener you are registering is your first child in GIPS, you will need to follow the instructions to get a ParentVue account and proceed to registration. All instructions are at the link.

What do you need from your doctor for kindergarten?

In accordance with Nebraska State law, GIPS requires immunizations and a medical examination for any student beginning in the district. 

All students need to have these five vaccines before starting kindergarten: 

  • DtaP - Diptheria, Tetanus & Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Polio
  • MMR - Measles, Mumps & Rubella
  • Varicella - Chicken Pox

The required immunizations may be obtained from your family physician, or from the Central District Health Department. Immunizations are given twice a week at the Health Department located at 1137 South Locust Street (385-5175). A $13 administration fee is requested per visit, however, no child is turned away for inability to pay. Please call ahead for an appointment. (The Health Department does not perform the Kindergarten physical examination ... they only offer the immunizations.) More information: English | Spanish 

Our school nurses have also prepared this document welcoming you to kindergarten.

What do you need for school?

Kindergarten requires only a few supplies:

  • Headphones
  • Book Bag/Backpack
  • Box of Tissues

Supply lists for all grades can be found here.

How can you prepare for kindergarten?

To be Kindergarten Ready, there are a number of things you can help your student do. The Nebraska Department of Education has a number of resources and tips. NDE has created these booklets to help get you started.

The most important recommendations are:

  • Be enthusiastic about school. Focus on the positives. When you show that school is important to you, your child will learn that, too.
  • Help your child be at school, on time, every day. Whenever possible, make your child’s appointments for after school or towards the end of the school day.
  • Keep reading to, and with, your child daily. This can be a special time in your bedtime routine to see how much your child is learning.
  • Ask about your child’s day and about the work they brings home, too.
  • Talk to your child’s teacher often and early, especially if you have concerns. The relationships and communication between the teacher and your family is key to ensuring your child’s success.

If your child is nervous about starting school, here are some suggestions:

  • Be positive
  • Show excitement
  • Comfort but don’t encourage fear
  • Contact the principal early

The start of the school year

Currently, the plan is for kindergarten students to have the elementary to themselves on the first day of school (Wednesday, August 12, 2020). This will allow students the time it takes to tour the school without the bigger kids, go through the lunch line for the first time and feel more welcomed into the school by the entire elementary staff.

During the first two days (Wednesday and Thursday, August 12-13), all children will participate in many activities to meet friends and get to know school. Children will spend some time with each kindergarten teacher. Teachers will give informal assessments (colors, shapes, letters) and observe children during the first two days.

On Friday, August 14, kindergarten students will not have school during the day. However there will be a special kindergarten open house that evening at the school where the students and families celebrate and find out which teacher and classroom they will be in for the year. Any questions you still have at that time you will be able to ask your child's teacher. 

What does the typical kindergarten day look like?

Kindergarten helps students transition and prepare for the rest of their elementary school experience. The foundation of kindergarten is important for all students, whether or not they have had a high-quality early childhood education experience.

The typical kindergarten day includes learning, lunch and recess, as well as built-in time for play and discovery - two very important parts of early childhood education.

Students will progress throughout the year. GIPS follows the state standards for kindergarten curriculum and assesses students accordingly. However, our staff is exceptional at working with students who struggle with anxiety, stress and social emotional needs.

WHAT WILL STUDENTS LEARN IN KINDERGARTEN?

Your kindergarten student will gain their first introduction in science, math and English language arts curriculum areas. 

Science: 

The Kindergarten science standards and indicators help students gather, analyze and communicate evidence as they formulate answers to questions tailored to student interest and current topics that may include but are not limited to:

  • Trimester One: Where do animals live and why do they live there? 
    • Students are expected to develop an understanding of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive and the relationship between their needs and where they live.
  • Trimester Two: What happens if you change how hard you push or pull an object? 
    • Students are able to apply an understanding of the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object to analyze a design solution.
  • Trimester Three: What is the weather like today and how is it different from yesterday? 
    • Students are expected to develop an understanding of patterns and variations in local weather and the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.

What you can do at home to help your child prepare for and be successful in Kindergarten science?

  • Support your child in making observations of their world and asking questions about their observations.
    • I notice (see, hear, smell, feel, taste)...
    • I wonder…
  • Help your child identify and describe patterns in their world (winter, spring, summer, fall; color patterns made with building blocks, daily schedules)
  • Take a nature walk in the same location at different times of the year
  • Have your child describe changes in the motion of a toy when it is pushed with different strengths and directions (cause and effect)
  • Plant a flower or vegetable garden and have your child help. Make observations of how the plants are growing, or not growing. Grass, radishes, beans, marigolds are quick and easy to grow. See what happens if they don’t get water or sunlight.

Math: 

In kindergarten your child will learn how to:

  • Write numbers from 0 to 20
  • Add and subtract with numbers up to 5
  • Count objects and say how many there are
  • Identify and describe shapes
  • Compare numbers or groups of objects and tell you which group has more or less
  • Add and subtract within 10 using objects, fingers, drawings or numbers
  • Understand that teen numbers are 10 and a few more
  • Understand weight and length as something that they can measure
  • Solve addition and subtraction problems within a story
  • Trimester One: 
    • Number concepts through 10, sorting into two categories, identifying groups that have more or fewer, comparing length, mass, and capacity
  • Trimester Two: 
    • Introducing the concept of equality, position language, addition and subtraction, teen numbers, identifying and sorting 3D objects
  • Trimester Three: 
    • Number concepts through 20, identifying and sorting 2D and 3D objects, solving addition and subtraction word problems
    • To prepare for first grade begin identifying coins and their values

What you can do at home to help your child prepare for, and be successful in Kindergarten math?

English Language Arts

  • Trimester One: 
    • Demonstrate knowledge of print concepts (i.e., a book reads front to back, left to right and top to bottom.)
    • Identify the first sound in a given word (e.g., If you give the word, “fish.” The child can tell you the first sound is “/f/”. 
    • Identify the most common sound associated with the letters of the alphabet. 
    • Express ideas in writing using pictures, letter strings, labels and words. 
  • Trimester Two: 
    • When given two to three sounds in a given word (e.g., /a/ /t/) the child can blend the sounds together to tell you the whole word - at. 
    • When given a word that has two to three sounds (e.g., sun) the child can break the word apart into all of its individual sounds - /s/ /u/ /n/. 
    • Increasing recognition of regular grade-level words (e.g., cat, big, is) and irregular grade-level words (e.g., the, was, one). 
    • Expresses ideas in writing by stringing words together. Words are separated by spaces and there is an attempt to match consonant and vowel sounds with their appropriate spellings. 
  • Trimester Three: 
    • Demonstrates complete knowledge of blending sounds into single syllable words and breaking single syllable words apart into its individual sounds. 
    • Recognizes a number of grade appropriate regular and irregular words as if by sight.
    • Reads emergent reader text using a conversational tone.
    • Identifies characters, setting, and events in a story.

What you can do at home to help your child prepare for, and be successful in Kindergarten English Language Arts?

Assessments

Kindergartners take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment three times per year. The MAP assessment is designed to assess growth in math and reading from one term to the next and obtain learning statements to identify what each student is ready to learn. The results of this assessment are also used to meet the requirements of the reading bill. Your child’s teacher will discuss their MAP assessment results with you during parent-teacher conferences.

Additionally, end of unit assessments are used to measure student mastery of skills, concepts and content in each subject area.

How are parents involved in kindergarten?

Each school has different ways of helping parents be involved with kindergarten. Most GIPS elementary schools have a PTA/PTO parent group. 

We also encourage parents to volunteer in classrooms. We also need parent volunteers for special class events and field trips. To do so, we require a background check through our administration office. This is one way we help assure the safety of all students. 

 

 

Media Inquiries
Jack Sheard, Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 Ext. 1127
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