Welcome to Kindergarten!

It is our joy and privilege, year-after-year, to welcome another group of Kindergarteners into our school community. We are so glad to have you, and can’t wait to get to know our newest Great Hearts Irving Lower School scholars.

Information for New Families

We have compiled numerous resources you will find helpful in getting acquainted with your child’s new school at greatheartsirving.org/lowerschoolnewfamilies. Do be sure to pay it a visit to have all your questions answered.

Lower School New Families Page

How can I help my child be ready for Kindergarten?

We have good news. At Great Hearts Irving, we are very used to Kindergarteners from lots of different backgrounds, abilities, and preschool experiences. Our entire Kindergarten program is designed to help all students learn how to read, write, do basic arithmetic, but, most importantly of all, how to be a scholar.

At Great Hearts, we ask that parents leave the academics to us. Don’t worry about teaching your child to read, recognize their letters, or hold a pencil. Don’t worry about helping them to memorize math facts. We’ll take care of all of that—and we’re very good at it. The best gift you can give your child before they come to Kindergarten is helping them with basic developmental and interpersonal skills. Things like dressing and undressing independently, saying their first and last names, conversing politely and confidently with adults, cleaning themselves after using the bathroom, and washing their hands. We’ve compiled some of these most basic and important skills into an at-a-glance document which we encourage you to consult.

Kindergarten Readiness

Kindergarten Academy: The First Week

At Great Hearts Irving Lower School, the first week of school for our new Kindergarteners look a little different. To help welcome our youngest students and ease their transition into the routine of school, the first four days—August 13th-16th, 2024—will be early-release for all Kindergarteners. We call it “Kindergarten Academy.” The Athenaeum after-school program will also not be available to Kindergarteners the first week of school. Parents will need to make other arrangements for these days. Parents should pick up their Kindergarteners in the Green Carline between 1:30 and 1:55. Older siblings will  need to be picked up separately at the usual full day dismissal time of 3:30.

May I walk my student to class on the first day of school?

Our carline procedures make it unsafe for parents to get out and walk students into the school building. Allowing your child to hop out of the car in carline that morning and walk into his/her new school ready for a great day of learning is a gift, especially for children who may be inclined to suffer separation anxiety. We will have lots of teachers available both outside and in our hallways to make sure our newest scholars are given a warm welcome and make it to the right place. Please do not park and walk your students in.

One thing some families have found helpful is coming to school before the first day and driving through the carline with your child to practice! You can also help your child to recognize the type and color of vehicle that will be picking them up each day so that they can tell our teachers and we can get them to the right car in the afternoon as quickly as possible.

Who will my child’s teacher be?

Throughout the first week, Kindergarteners will have the opportunity to spend time with all our Kindergarten teachers. It will also give us a chance to get to know our newest students before we assign them to a permanent classroom. At the end of Kindergarten Academy, families will receive an email indicating who their child’s teachers will be for the rest of the school year.

Where should we go for Meet the Teacher?

Kindergarten families should visit the Lower School campus during one of our three Meet the Teacher windows like the rest of our families. Because Kindergarteners will not have been assigned to a particular classroom by the time of Meet the Teacher, families should visit all four of our Kindergarten classrooms during Meet the Teacher so they will have a chance to meet all the teachers they will be spending time with during Kindergarten Academy and to drop off their supplies.

What about carline placards?

We will have placards with your child’s name and carline number available for pickup at Meet the Teacher for you to use the first few days of school. After our Kindergarteners have been assigned a permanent classroom, we will send home new placards that include their section.

Will students have lunch during Kindergarten Academy?

Yes! While Kindergarteners will be released at the earlier time of 1:30pm on the first four days of school, they will still have a lunch time before dismissal. Be sure to pack a lunch or add money to their school lunch account beforehand. Visit greatheartsirving.org/breakfastandlunch for details on our meal program and student accounts.

Should Kindergarten students bring a change of clothes to school?

The expectation is that all incoming Kindergarteners will be fully potty-trained. That said, occasionally accidents do happen. We strongly recommend that all Kindergarteners come to school all year long with an extra pair of underwear, socks, and uniform in their backpack just in case.

For additional questions about Kindergarten at Great Hearts Irving Lower School, please reach out to Mary.Pantin@greatheartstxschools.org.