Welcome to PALS

PALS 2019/2020

 

Welcome to PALS (Play and Learn at School)

Welcome to the 2019/2020 PALS school year.  I am very happy to be back in such a dynamic program and look forward to getting to know the children and your families. 

 

Welcome to the Wolf Room

Each of the PALS classrooms has a unique name associated with the Indigenous Seven Sacred Teachings.  We are the wolf classroom.  The wolf represents humility.  “To be humble is to see us equally in the eyes of the Great Spirit.”

 

Philosophy

Our classroom is a play based environment, where children can develop many of the skills needed for Kindergarten. Often, this is a child’s first experience away from his/her main caregiver and as such, we are very flexible to make it a positive start. We approach all tasks in a developmentally appropriate way. We meet children where they are at and give them many opportunities to grow and learn in a fun, safe and supportive environment. We have access to specialized supports (Speech and Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist and Physical Therapist) in order to accommodate all of the children’s learning needs.  Our team also has two incredible Educational Assistants, Nikki and Tracy, this is their fourth year in PALS.

 

Class days and Times

PALS operates five days a week. Monday-Thursdays are centre based days and some Fridays are Family Oriented Programming Days (FOPS). The first Wednesday of each month there are NO PALS classes. This is early dismissal day for the rest of the school and has been designated for Team Collaboration/Professional Development days for PALS as well as some FOPS.

The AM class runs from 8:30-11:20

The PM class runs from 12:25-3:15

 

Class Schedule

We begin each day with free play, followed by; clean-up, circle time, centers, snack and gross motor.  We will either be going outside or to our designated gross motor space. The class schedule is very flexible as we use an emergent curriculum.  If our students are very engaged in an activity, we will switch around our day to allow for active learning to occur.

 

Messy Play

We engage in messy play in PALS.  It may be painting, playing in sand, water, dirt or leaves.  Please do not send your child to school with clothes that cannot get dirty. 

 

Outdoor Play

We will try our best to be outside every day.  We have a beautiful outdoor courtyard we can use for art, stories or just having fun.  Please ensure your child is dressed for the weather each day.

 

Newsletters

You can expect a monthly newsletter throughout the year. The newsletter typically describes our focus stories, theme, and upcoming special events. We will also send out updates and reminders as needed.

 

Family Oriented Programming (FOPs)

In addition to our classroom time, we provide opportunities to families to connect with staff and participate in activities facilitated by our staff. This programming is mostly done in a group format in the community or at the school. You will receive a tentative list of the FOPs at the beginning of the school year. Please note, this list is subject to change.  These FOPs are excellent ways to connect to your child’s learning as well as to meet the other families in the program.  We have a great community of parents and encourage you to exchange ideas and support one another, you are all a wealth of great knowledge.

 

Questions?

Our classroom is a busy place with a large team, full of really knowledgeable and caring people. We love that we have so many great resources close at hand. Our experience is that as children grow, learn and change, questions continually come up. You are welcome to ask questions at any time. However, at times, specific team members may be able to answer a question best, so your question may be re-directed to that staff member. We appreciate that it is sometimes frustrating to not get an answer right away. However, we always want to get you the most accurate information possible. We really appreciate your patience at those times!

 

Volunteer Opportunities

Throughout the year we may need parent volunteers to help with things such as making play-doh. At this point, we will send home volunteer sign-up sheets. Any help would be appreciated!

 

Transportation

If your child is riding the bus, we will meet them at the bus and bring them to the bus at the end of class time. It is very important that you send a note if there is a change in transportation for the day (ie. You are picking them up). Unless we have a signed note or a phone call, we have to follow the prearranged transportation. Please also let your bus driver know about any changes. If you are driving your child, we will show you where to drop off and park. It is very busy at certain times. Please use caution and follow the signs carefully.

 

Student Absences

Please let us know if your child is going to be absent by calling the school. If your child is late, you must take them to the office first (before entering the classroom) to let them know you have arrived.

 

Communication

I endeavor to have contact through the communication book, phone calls home, newsletters, etc. Sometimes, if we have a busy end of the day, this is not always possible. Anytime you have any questions, big or small, let me know. I can be reached by phone at 780-467-2246 or by email rachelle.gagnon@eips.ca

 

Looking forward to a great year!

The PALS Wolf Team