Welcome to Daniel Bagley!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rainy day procedures

If it's really raining, go straight to the classroom after 9.   If it's only sort of raining, take a look at the playground - if kids are out there, it's a regular drop-off.

Pickup is outside the front, rain or shine. Bring your umbrella.  (Although, I have cheated, and snuck in to stand beside the front doors in the past, but that was when I had my preschooler with me and didn't want her to get too wet and cranky)

More on recess issues: http://bagleykindergarten.blogspot.com/2011/08/what-is-typical-schedule-how-much.html

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chocolate milk in the cafeteria

Some of you might remember the post from August, where I talked about snacks and lunch, and how my kindergartener son ran up a $5 chocolate milk tab last year, in September, before we realized what was going on.

Well, yesterday my kindergartener daughter from *this* year informed us as we were walking home from school: "I didn't eat anything from my lunch box today, except the chocolate milk I got at the cafeteria.  You don't need money!  Just type in your number - the cook will look that up for you".  Sigh.

So, history does repeat itself.

I suggested that I could come in to have lunch with the kids - ostensibly to hang out, but actually a reconnaissance mission - but that suggestion was met with shock and horror by both of them... so we just have to hope that the chocolate milk tab isn't increased any further!

p.s.  I thought the K-1s were now having recess before lunch, but my son absolutely denies that.  So, who knows?  Maybe I'll remember to ask next time I'm at school.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Random activities and events afoot

If you haven't added the Daniel Bagley google calendar to yours, now is a good time. There is a lot happening.

First, notice that MAP testing for kindergarteners and new-to-SPS kids is happening in the fall to establish a baseline. The rest of the school will wait until January. Testing period #2 will be in May or thereabouts. 

Second, if you are wondering about APP/Spectrum/ALO programs because your child could be a genius, then MAP scores plus a discussion with your teacher (at or before parent-teacher meetings in November) will be the determinant for school options next year. But, we'd love to keep you in the Bagley community!

New Student Orientation - your feedback requested!

We need your help to improve future orientation programs for new students.  Please take two minutes to fill out this survey.  The link should take you right there (I tried to embed it directly into the blogpost but the formatting went all weird).


Thank you!

p.s.  I'll be signing off for a while, unless anyone has specific questions for me.  Work, kids and volunteer activities are starting to pile up  :)   Thanks for reading, it's been fun...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

PTA meeting overview. What fun!

Fun times at the PTA meeting last night!  Here are the snippets:

  • Four large raccoons ran right past the front door as we were leaving (that is the most important, hence the first bullet).  Cool!  Or not, depending on your perspective.
  • Most of this will be in the Buzz on Thursdays, but not all in one place.
  • 389 kids at Bagley right now, and a few more about to start.  There will be more trickling in over the year as people move into the district.
  • Erika noted that there will be only two MAP testing periods this year, in January & May. Some weirdness there for kids who want to test into APP programs and need the proof of high MAP scores to qualify.
  • What do you want to see at Bagley?  Send in that 'mission and vision' statement via Kidmail, or email.  Yeah, you.  You're a parent therefore you are now the community.  And there aren't too many of us, so every voice counts.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Free Money contest, Jogathon, and more

Since people are still reading this, I thought I'd make a quick plug for the Free Money contest (since I'm organizing it) and Jogathon (which is in a few weeks).

But first, PLEASE fill out the new student survey!  We want to know how to improve orientation next year!  

So, the Bagley PTA raises $95,000/year for classroom support in the form of staff salary subsidies and supplies - see previous post - and an EASY way to do it is through Free Money programs.

All you have to do is remember to save your receipts, or register your Safeway/Fred Meyer/QFC card, send in old juice pouches, etc., and Daniel Bagley receives donations.  Easy!  Free!  No selling or soliciting by parents!  All our programs are listed on the website.

For the contest, ending October 7, save your Greenwood Market and Ballard Market receipts, BoxTops for Education, and Labels for Education, register your Safeway card with eScrip, and your Safeway and Fred Meyer/QFC card with eLabelsForEducation.com.   Details were sent out in kidmail last week.   Win a $25 gift card - one for top earner and one random draw.   More prizes throughout the year, including classroom prizes, so keep saving even after the contest ends.

Also, the jogathon is coming up quickly!  September 30! Ask friends and relatives and colleagues and neighbors, or just plan to make this one of your main donations to the PTA, if you have the giving capacity right now.  The goal is to raise $100/kid in the Jogathon.

Over the course of the year, $95,000 raised works out to about $250/kid (although clearly this is an average - whatever families can afford is much appreciated).  You can help with fundraising through Jogathon or springtime auction donations, Chinook Book and Wreath sales, buying scrip, and the myriad Free Money opportunities (which are, I repeat, FREE).  Decide what works best for your family!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Your questions, answered!

One of the kindergarten parents emailed me with SIX questions (thank you!), so I thought I'd post for all to see.  Please excuse any weird formatting.  I'm not even going to bother to try to fix it.

Scrip:  Can we pay for scrip with a credit card? 

The PTA isn't totally set up for electronic payments yet (looking into smartphone payments such as Square, but no action at this time), and the old-school credit card swiper is pretty cumbersome, so in-person scrip must be purchased cash or check only.

Takeaways from Curriculum Night

I hope everyone feels a lot more informed after Curriculum Night.  We didn't really touch on MAP testing, but it sounds like that - and more - is on the agenda for next week's PTA meeting (Tuesday September 20, 6-8pm, limited spots for childcare available by emailing Mary Lamb).

Our class gets to bring whatever snacks we want when it's our turn to bring them in, yay!  Our teacher decided that it was getting too complicated to work around all the different allergies, so highly allergic kids will bring their own.  I think this is a smart decision and takes away stress from the teacher.

Hey, I found out that the K-1s *are* getting recess before lunch, which explains why my 1st grader has been eating everything (my kindergartener hasn't quite figured it out yet, so she is exhausted, cranky and starving every day at pickup.  Fabulous).

Any questions about any of the info from your teachers or in yesterday's kidmail?  Let me know!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kidmail Thursday!

Thursday is kidmail day.  Check backpacks tonight for a broad assortment of goodies (or tomorrow, if there are technical glitches or time management issues!).  Today's will be especially loaded because it's the first one of the year.  Look for a Baby Buzz mini-newsletter - you can opt out of hard copies for the Baby Buzz, and you really should to save lots of time and paper and money, but everyone is getting paper versions this first time, jogathon information, Free Money contest details, art news from Ms. McNeer, and lots more.

Parent volunteers spend a few hours every Thursday morning photocopying, stapling and sorting the kidmail.  If you want to stop by clip 'n' chat to help out, drop by the first portable between 9:30-11:30 on Thursday mornings.  Little kids welcome, too!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Curriculum Night is *THIS* Thursday night!

Curriculum Night, THIS Thursday from 6:30-8 in the lunchroom & your classroom, is a chance to learn about the lesson plans going forward including topics and focus areas, briefly discuss any issues you might have, and to set up your parent-teacher conference time in November.  Curriculum Night is hosted by the principal and teachers.

Kids are NOT allowed.  There is no childcare provided (unlike PTA meetings, where there is free childcare - though not sure about toddler-aged kids).  Get a babysitter for Curriculum Night.  It is probably a good idea to have both parents/primary caregivers attend this one so you get the full picture, and can split up to chat with multiple teachers if necessary.

Come and find out what's going on!  What is writers' workshop and reading workshop?  What is the computers class all about?  Will we have a bike unit in Health & Fitness this year?  When is the first computerized/standardized MAP testing session? Etc.

Also, you'll be able to buy scrip, Chinook books, and t-shirts, and sign up for the PTA & school directory.  :)

Monday Morning Meetings

I might have forgotten to post this previously, BUT all parents are welcome to attend Monday Morning Meetings, right after school starts every Monday morning in the lunchroom, ~9:35-9:50.

Parents need to stand at the sides and the back of the room so all the kids can sit on the floor.  Then you'll have a chance to watch any class performances (not at the first one, probably), listen to the principal address the kids, hear any announcements, and see if your kid knows the words to the Pledge of Allegiance and the Bagley school song.

This week, there is a meet-the-principal coffee at 10:15, so stick around to say hi!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where do we go from here?

The kids are in school, we're learning the routines, and everyone is adjusting to the new schedules.

I see that I'm still getting about 50 hits a day on this blog, so it seems like people are still seeking guidance/information... but to be honest, I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to post now that we're finally in school.

I'm happy to keep posting for another few weeks, but only if you, loyal readers/parents of kindergarteners, provide me with some suggestions.  What is concerning you?  What are your questions? What information is not otherwise readily available to you?

Please email me (lexyrelph at gmail dot com) with any comments or questions - or use the form at the bottom of the sidebar, which sometimes works.

(Alex, Ms. Messom's 1st & Isabelle, Ms. Richards' K)

Friday, September 9, 2011

What is my kid doing all day?

Your student is probably giving you little hints about their day, but what are they really doing?

The first week or two, there is a lot of time spent learning the routines, and classmates' names.   Academics will be slowly introduced into the mix, and you'll learn more about the classroom plans at curriculum night next Thursday.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

You survived the first day of school! Now what?

The kids have found their desks and lockers, have made best friends after just one day, heard the *actual tune* to the Bagley song, and have partied on the playground.  So, what should you do next?


  • Check backpacks for kidmail (the forms you got today need to go back to your teacher with your student by Monday - wade through 'em, figure out what you really need to return, and muddle through the whole privacy opt-out form)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The big ol' dirt pile in the playground

For those of you who were outside at Welcome Night tonight, you probably noticed a large, unfenced pile of dirt right in the middle of the playground.  Around mid-afternoon today, some clever contractor apparently decided that fencing off the grassy area was sufficient.

But, since this is the real world, and we are dealing with elementary school children, we know that a dirt pile is like a magnet to clean little children.

The Bagley admin folk didn't have enough 'caution' tape to rope the entire area off at the last minute.  But, there are plans in the works for tomorrow - more caution tape, large orange safety cones, and recess monitors patrolling the area.

This weekend's greenfield work party will hopefully be tackling Dirt Mountain, but until then, be forewarned that there is a high probability of kindergartener dirtiness.

First day of school is tomorrow! How it works...

It's hard to believe, but our babies will be starting kindergarten tomorrow!

Bring your cameras and kleenex, put his/her lunch and water bottle into the brand new backpack, bring your school supplies & $20 (give to your teacher at some point this week), and arrive at the playground well before the first bell at 9:25.  There, you will locate your class line - usually the teachers are out early on the first day to orient the kids - and students can put their backpacks in the line before running off to play.  At 9:25, they run back to their line, which is always in the same place, all year, and they'll go into the school with their teacher in an orderly fashion so they can start class at 9:30.

Parents are welcome to come inside with the class on the first day for photo ops and send-off, but you should consider bringing your camera to welcome night for a photo at your child's desk.  It'll be chaotic tomorrow morning.

Parking will be CRAZY on the first day, so walk if you can, and if there are no spots in the parking lot, please find street parking that is legal and doesn't block the neighbors' driveways.

After drop-off, no need to run off to work right away - come to the lunchroom to have coffee, buy t-shirts, chat to other parents, join the PTA, etc. (bring your checkbook, just in case).  At ~10, there will be the annual all-school flag raising ceremony on the front lawn.

Pick-up will be at 3:35 on the front lawn, rain or shine.  Walk if you can, or be a friendly-to-neighbors driver/parker.  Teachers will bring the students out to the front lawn for parent or caregiver collection (same general lawn spot all year, in all weather).  During the first week, you might be allowed to come to the classroom door for pickup, but this is teacher dependent.  Expect the potential for your child's class to emerge from the doors later than 3:35 due to the complexity of coordinating an entire class of five and six year olds as they are learning a new routine.

Welcome to Daniel Bagley!

p.s. If your child is taking the school bus, staff and/or parent volunteers will make sure they are collected and escorted directly to the correct bus after school.  It's all very safe and organized.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Welcome Night is tomorrow (Tuesday September 6)

Looking forward to seeing the New Families at Welcome Night tomorrow, at Daniel Bagley!

Come at 5:30 with a picnic (and blanket) to socialize with the parents from your child's class - since you now now your teacher! - and let your Bagley Bee explore the playground equipment... it looks like the construction fences will be down, mostly.  

At 6:30, come to the front doors of the school (on the front lawn) to be greeted by the principal, Ms. Ayer, then find your child's classroom, meet your teacher and explore the building.  I *think* it will be just the K-1 teachers in attendance, but I'm not sure - call the office to check if you're with an older new student.

  • Feel free to bring your PTA & medical forms as well as school supplies to Welcome Night, so you don't have to burden your student with them later on in the week.   The PTA volunteers will take your membership form; the rest of the items go directly to your teacher.
  • Also, Bagley t-shirts will be on sale!  Helpfully, the words to the school song are on the back of the shirts, so consider the t-shirts to be teaching tools.

Why you really should join the PTA, and some of those other forms you need to complete

Amidst the stack of papers you received with your teacher assignment letter last week, you will notice a goldenrod colored page that says 'Join the PTA!' on one side, with a Family Information Form on the other.

Even if you don't plan to join the PTA (and you should), please complete this form!  It will ensure that your contact information is included in this year's family directory.  Other benefits of this form:

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Jogathon! Friday, September 30, 10:30am at Lower Woodland track

You have heard about the Jogathon by now.  So, what is it all about?

The first thing you have to understand is that Mr. Millsap, Daniel Bagley's Health & Fitness teacher, is like a rock star to the kids, who demonstrate enthusiastic adulation for him.  You'll hear regular comments such as "Mr. Millsap says..." or "Mr. Millsap is funnier than you, dad" or "Mr. Millsap can run 10 miles in one minute".

Anyways, Mr. Millsap is the driving force behind the annual Jogathon, this year held on the morning of Friday September 30, at the Lower Woodland track (since our playground will not be fully available).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Is there a Daniel Bagley school song?

Why, yes, yes there is.  You'll see the lyrics on the back of the Daniel Bagley t-shirts (which, incidentally, will be for sale for cheap! at Welcome Night and the first day of school, as well as other opportune times throughout the year).  I couldn't find the lyrics written down on the website, though.

Is the melody written down anywhere?  I don't think so, but there is a rumour of a recording lying around somewhere.  Meanwhile, we can deduce an approximation of the tune from the kids singing it at Monday Morning Meetings.

Forthwith, the lyrics (which your kindergarteners will have memorized after only a few weeks of school):