Welcome, Kinder Parents!
Congratulations on your admission to Don Benito Elementary. We are thrilled to welcome you to the Don Benito family.
Here is a brief guide to help you navigate the “ins and outs” of our school:
At the Welcome Back Fair (August 10th, 5pm to 7pm) you will get the chance to learn about before and after school care, volunteering, after-school enrichment, and much more. You can sign up at each booth or take the information and sign up later. Some programs and clubs will be more popular than others, so keep an eye on the popular ones to ensure you don’t miss out.
Walk In/Drop Off/Pick Up
Due to Covid, we are still in the process of confirming student drop off and pick up procedures. For grades 1-5, children may be dropped off at carline (along Hastings Ranch Dr.) and then they walk to the upper playground to the line up area. There will most likely also be additional designated areas for drop off this coming year. We should have clarification on all these aspects by the first week of August. We will keep you posted.
Should parents be allowed on campus, kindergarten students typically are dropped off in the kinder playground area. Kinders are called into their classrooms between 8:40am- 8:45am. Teacher supervision starts at 8:30am. End of day pickup procedures will be determined by the administration and classroom teachers. Please respect your child’s class procedure for pick-up. Otherwise, it can be very disruptive to the class.
If you need to pick your child up early, go to the office first and sign your child out in the binder located on the front counter or table outside the main office. The classroom will then be called by office staff to alert the teacher and your child will be brought to the office. That being said, it is a welcome courtesy to give your teacher a heads up a day or two before the early sign-out just so that interruptions of early departure are minimized.
If your child is sick or will not be in class, you must call the school @ 626.396.5870 and then press 2 to leave an attendance message. You can also notify your teacher, but you must call the phone system and leave a message (the system is available 24/7). Remember, if your child is more than 30 minutes late for school, they must sign-in at the office before entering the classroom.
Plain or Don Benito shirts are considered appropriate for the school dress code, as well as navy, black, khaki or grey pants, skirts or jumpers. Denim is okay. Stripes, flowers, rhinestones, pop culture images and logos are a “no.” Students in each class will be asked to purchase a “field trip shirt” once school starts. Your teacher will send home ordering info in The Blue Folder. If you have questions, you may email email@example.com.
Bring them. Always. These act as the kids’ cubbies.
Lunch & Lunch Boxes
Your teacher will tell you where lunch boxes go during the day, as well as their class nut policy. Cafeteria lunches are available every day. Menus are released on a bi-monthly basis. A paper copy will be placed in your child’s blue folder or you can access it online. You can open an account for your child with the cafeteria and add funds to their account via myschoolbucks.com, which makes it very easy.
Please plan on sending your child to school with a snack and an individual water bottle or thermos as communal water fountains will not be available.
Kinder Playground and Pergola
The kinders mostly hang out on the kinder playground, which is the separate playground near the Kinder classrooms. They eat lunch at the upper playground pergola (covered outdoor lunch table area near the cafeteria). When they eat and play at lunchtime, they have that whole area to themselves.
The Blue Folder
Every Wednesday your child will come home with their Blue Folder. In it will be information from your teacher and the school that you need to look at immediately. There will most likely be things to sign and return. This is where you will find field trip permission slips, flyers detailing upcoming social events, Scholastic book order forms, notifications about fundraising efforts, etc. Even if it is empty, it comes home, so look for it. The Blue Folder returns to school the next day, Thursday, when it is checked in by your child’s teacher or aide. This is the only Blue Folder your kids get for the year, so please encourage them to be gentle with it (and invest in some scotch tape for repairs).
Back To School Night
August 25th (5:30-7:15pm) is Back To School Night. This is an opportunity for you to learn about the academic program for the year, meet parents in your child’s class, and learn about in-classroom volunteer opportunities from your teacher. You will also be able to sign up as a classroom parent if you haven’t already done so. The evening will start with a welcome from Dr. Bugarin and follow with host identical sessions to allow you to visit two classrooms should you have more than one student at Don Benito.
There are typically countless volunteer opportunities at Don Benito- from helping run the Autumn Carnival, being a classroom art docent, chaperoning on field trips, or being a classroom aide. Each teacher has their own preferences on volunteers in their classrooms so they will communicate with you personally. Once we receive final guidance from the District and Health Department as to on-campus access, we will distribute a survey about opportunities. Sign-ups and more information will also be available at the Welcome Back Fair and during the first weeks of school. Even if your schedule only allows you to volunteer once in a while, we encourage 100% parent participation throughout the year. It is a cornerstone of Don Benito’s foundation and what truly sets us apart from other schools!
Everyone is encouraged to join the PTA. Membership dues, valid for the school year, are $10 per person. You can be as active a member as you would like and there are volunteer opportunities for every schedule. Just signing up helps our school, as many grant applications include PTA membership numbers. Membership is a great (and easy) way to support Don Benito! Sign up today!
The school collects Boxtops for Education, digitally. These are the pink/blue stamp size labels you see on many grocery items like Cheerios and Ziploc bags. Start scanning your grocery receipts! There are contests throughout the school year for which class can collect the most. Don Benito also earns money from purchases made through Amazon Smile so please signify us as your beneficiary on your Prime account. Also, if you have a Ralphs or Vons card, you can go to their websites and link your card to our school. Every time you use the card, the store contributes to the school. Boom! Easy. We also host monthly Restaurant Nights which take place at a variety of local restaurants. A percentage of your bill on a specific evening is ear-marked for Don Benito so all you have to do is order!
There are online tools available for teachers and room parents to communicate with student families such as Shutterfly, Remind, and more. These tools will enable your teacher to communicate with you about of-the-moment items in addition to providing a place to post photos of field trips and daily activities, share class calendars and pass along any other important information. More information will be provided at our Room Parent orientation meeting early in September.
We hope this has been helpful. If you have any additional questions or concerns about what to expect, feel free to email any time this summer or fall. We would be happy to talk with you.
Our email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.