Family Information

General Questions

Will you put twins or siblings in the same classroom?
This will be a discussion between the school staff and the parents as to what is most appropriate for the children.

Can parents request to have children placed with their friends?
No, parents cannot make requests for specific classes or teachers.

Do children need to be toilet trained?
We strongly encourage families to work on toilet training prior to starting pre-k and prefer children are toilet trained before school starts. However, we understand that there is a wide variety of development in the early years and not all children will arrive completely trained. The school staff will be willing to carry over whatever has been introduced at home in regard to toilet training.

What percentage of the students are from Bloomfield?
Approximately 35% of the slots are for Bloomfield students.

What is the sibling rule?
Siblings of children currently enrolled in the school will be offered a slot as long as the sibling continues to be enrolled. 

Should an October/November birthday be Pre-K or K?
According to the RSCO Lottery guidelines children with birthdays from:

  • September 1, 2016 through December 31, 2017 are eligible to enter pre-k 3
  • September 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016 are eligible to enter pre-k 4

It is important to note that students may only enroll in each grade level for one year.

Can you hold a child back after 2 years in pre-k?
Children are not held back at Wintonbury for an extra year of Pre-K.

What are the drop off rules for families that transport their child to school?
For safety, please use the arrival/dismissal guidelines listed below.

1. An adult needs to physically walk each child to their classroom and sign them in each day as well as sign them out at the end of the day. 

2. Families who drop off and pick up their children at Wintonbury can do this at their child's classroom exterior door (marked with the room number) from 8:40 -8:55 AM and again from 2:20 - 2:35PM.

3. On Early Dismissal Days, the pick up window is from 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM.

4. Families dropping off and picking up their children during all other times can use the parent entrance, located at the side of the building by the parking lot. Please buzz in and wait at the door.   

Strict adherence to these times is maintained due to security reasons and staffing of the door. This keeps parents and students who are dropping off or picking up put safely out of the way of buses in the bus circle.

What is the ethnic diversity going to be?
Our past and current enrollment information indicates that we are a perse community. The student population is approximately 50% minority.

If we don't send our child this year, will we have to enter the lottery again?
Yes, if you decline your child's slot for next year, you will need to reenter the lottery for the following year.

How is this funded?
The construction was funded 95% by the state of Connecticut and 5% by the town of Bloomfield. There will be a per pupil reimbursement from the state of Connecticut for students to offset operating costs. The balance will be picked up by the Bloomfield Public Schools.

Does Avon, East Granby, Granby, Hartford, Simsbury or West Hartford lose any money for this school?
No. At this time, participating districts do not pay per pupil tuition. 

Do families pay tuition to go to Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School?
No. There is no tuition charge to attend Wintonbury. 

Facility-

Are there outside speakers?
Yes there are outside speakers that can be heard on the playground.  

What kind of security will there be?
The school will be locked during the day. Anyone arriving after 8:55 a.m. or prior to 2:20 p.m. will have to be buzzed into the building and sign in with a receptionist. We ask that all visitors stay outside this year based on Connecticut State Department of Education guidance for COVID-19.

Is there a school cafeteria?
There is a fully functioning kitchen in the school. Children will have the option of purchasing lunch or bringing a lunch from home. Some students may qualify for free or reduced meals after completing the appropriate paperwork. All pre-k students eat in the classrooms with their classroom staff assisting.

What about meals for distance learners?
Distance learners and hybrid learners (for their home learning days) will be able to pick up meals at ARACE between 9 and 11am on Wednesdays. 

What will be done in the courtyard?
Children gather in the courtyard for both small and large group lessons with their classes. We continue to add interactive elements to the courtyard including instruments, a pebble well, xylophone, and large building blocks. We use it as an observation space for flowers, plants, butterflies, and other pollinators. Additionally the glass windows all around the courtyard will provide much natural light inside the school.

Where will the children play outside?
There is an outdoor learning environment which has 3 distinct areas. Children will have the opportunity to play in the dirt and sand, ride tricycles, play ball, climb on the playscape as well as engage in dramatic play activities at the "chicken coop theatre."

What is the typical Pre-K school day like?
This is an approximation which does not include the necessary shift on field trip days.
8:40-9:10 Arrival/Greeting Time
9:10-10:50 Group Time, Center/Activity Time, Group Story, Outdoor Learning Time
11:00-12:30 Lunch Time
1:00-2:00 Quiet Activity Time/Rest
2:00-2:20 Closure Activity
2:20-2:30 Dismissal Time

Curriculum and Educational Questions-

What technology will be used?
Each classroom has a Promethean interactive whiteboard that the teacher will be able to connect to his/her computer for instructional purposes.

What is the class size?
There are 18 children in each Pre-K class. Each class will have approximately ½ 3 year olds and ½ 4 year olds. This year our class sizes are limited based on the State Department of Educations COVID-19 guidance. We will have 14 per classroom or less with the possibility of eventually 18. Our school year will start with about 7 students in each classroom when we are int he hybrid model, attending in cohorts. 

Will the 3 and 4's be together for the entire day?
Yes.

Do we have to go 5 days per week?
Yes. We ask children to attend 5 days each week. If individual children are not able to tolerate a full day we will work with the family beginning with a ½ day schedule with the goal of building up to full day participation eventually.

What school calendar will you use?

We follow the Bloomfield Public Schools calendar. However, we are aware that as there are some differences, some children will need to spend time with their families particularly during the February vacation. Be sure to provide your phone number and email address to the school so you can receive School Messenger messages regarding school closures and important events or information.

To view a school calendar select the link below: 
2020-2021 school calendar for Bloomfield Public Schools.
First 6 weeks calendar for Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School. 

What is the curriculum?
We use The Creative Curriculum© for Preschool in the Pre-K classes. This is a curriculum which focuses on skill development (Social/Emotional, Physical, Cognitive and Language) by structuring the learning environment.

What is the partnership with the AuerFarm?

Each class will go the farm once every 3 weeks. The partnership fosters lessons that follow the farm calendar year. Lessons related to animal shelters and other topics are used in conjunction with the seasonal changes happening at the farm- standards are embedded into these learning opportunities. In order to emphasize an inquiry approach to learning, students are exposed to the topic in advance and are given an opportunity to ask questions regarding their upcoming experience. When on the farm the students are allowed to "research" their questions, personalizing the learning experience. This year we will not be attend the farm in person but rather participating in virtual field trips based on the State Department of Education COVID-19 guidance. 

How will teachers alter their instruction for the age range in the classroom?
The teachers take into considerations the varying levels of all the students while planning and implementing lessons in the class.

Do you have a Kindergarten program?
No. We have 18 pre-k classrooms only. 

How will you assess kids and communicate to parents?

Teaching staff will make observations and assess children based on the goals of the curriculum. This progress will be communicated to parents formally during parent teacher conferences in both December and March as well as a written summary which will be presented during conferences as well as in June.

Will teachers be able to individualize or just follow the curriculum?
The Creative Curriculum© is designed so that teachers can develop individualized, small group and large group goals for varying activities. 

Will you coordinate from pre-kindergarten to kindergarten in home districts?
Yes. We communicate with all of the districts in some way to prepare for and ease the transition from pre-kindergarten to kindergarten.

Parent Involvement-

What opportunities will there be for parent involvement?
We welcome and encourage families to volunteer in the classroom or within the school, based on their availability. Strong family involvement is a school goal! Many families choose to volunteer as chaperones on the trips to the AuerFarm or during PTO events such as literacy night, fundraisers or the Scholastic Book Fair. We always welcome families to approach teachers to ask about sharing with their class any special family traditions and/or other ways that your family celebrates together.

Before and After School Extension Program-

Can we go to Extension 2 or 3 days per week?
Extension is a 5 day a week program. Children can participate in before school, after school or before and after school Extension. This year extension will run along side of Wintonbury's phase in model. Your child can attend extension on the days they are in physically in school. 

What are the Extension rates?
The 2020-2021 rates are listed below.Extension will be paid in biweekly installments this year.

Please contact the Extension Program Director, Kristine Johnson for more information, kjohnson@blmfld.org or 860-209-2696.  Select the links below to print the Extension Registration Forms.  

Is there a sibling discount in the Extension Program?
Yes. If you have other children enrolled in any of the Bloomfield Public Schools Extension Programs you will get a 10% discount.  

Is there a snack time in the Extension program?
There is a healthy snack provided in the afternoon which represents 2 of the food groups.

Transportation-

Who qualifies for bus transportation?

Bloomfield and Hartford students will qualify for bus transportation for the regular school day. 

Is there an age cut-off for the buses?
No.

Will there be seat belts on the buses?
Yes, there are booster car seats for pre-kindergarten students.

Will there be monitors on the buses?
Yes there will be monitors to and from school each day on the Pre-K buses. When children are transported back and forth to the AuerFarm the classroom staff will accompany them on the bus.

Will children be transported back and forth to the farm?
Yes.

Will staff assist children getting on and off the bus?
Yes, teachers/school staff will help children getting on and off the buses. Additionally we will require that parents or a responsible adult get on the bus each day to load their child safely. For children living in Bloomfield who qualify for transportation, is it possible for the school bus to pick them up each day at one address and drop them off at a different address? Yes, children can be picked up from one Bloomfield address and dropped off at a different Bloomfield address. However, the morning pick up must be the same address for all 5 days and the afternoon drop off must be the same address for all 5 days.

Staffing-

What qualifications do the staff have?
The classroom teachers have Connecticut state certification with an early childhood endorsement. The assistant teachers minimally have an Associate’s degree or equivalent in early childhood.

What does the staffing look like in the building? There is an Early Childhood Instructional Coach, 3 full time Special Education teachers, 2 full time time Speech/Language Pathologists, a Social Worker, a full time Registered Nurse, 1 Reading Teacher, 2 full time Administrative Assistants, and 2.5 Custodians. Additionally an Occupational Therapist and a Physical Therapist will be available as determined for individual students.

Meals/Food-

Is it a nut-free school?
We are not a nut free school. Please read our food guidelines. 

What will the lunch program be?
The school is equipped with a full kitchen. Children will have the option of purchasing lunch or bringing lunch from home. When children bring a lunch from home, it will need to be ready to eat. There will not be facilities for preparing/heating meals on an individual basis. Children will eat lunch in their classrooms. Please read our food guidelines

What is the cost of a school lunch?
Parents will have the option of filling out a USDA meal form to determine if their child might qualify for a free or reduced price meal. Parents will also have the option to purchase meals. The 2019-2020 school lunch price is $2.75. Breakfast can be purchased for $1.50.

Will there be snack time at school?
Each classroom handles snack in one of two ways. Most classrooms use a "community snack" method where families donate snacks from an approved list (please check with your individual teacher as some classrooms have specific allergies) or children will bring in a healthy snack from home each day. Snack time will be determined based on individual classroom schedule.

Safety/COVID-19 Guidance-

Do children wear masks?
We encourage this but we cannot require you to with the exception of the bus. Children must wear masks on the bus.

Adults (including teachers and staff) must wear masks, all staff and other adults when on the school grounds must abide by this rule. Masks must be worn during parent pick or or all other reasons that you may be physically at the school.  

 

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