Questions to Ask at New School

Updated on July 08, 2012
X.O. asks from Naperville, IL
11 answers

My son's starting Kindergarten this fall at a new school (it is a Catholic school and different from the one at which his 2 yrs of preK were done).

One of the fellow parents is on the mentoring committee, and she has contacted me a few times to see if there were any questions I had. I can't really think of any, but don't want to miss a valuable opportunity for some advice.

What would you ask?
What might not have been covered at orientation?

More info:
We already have the school supplies (we just pay a flat fee and they provide them) & his uniform

What can I do next?

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answers from Redding on

You may have "understood" orientation well enough to not have a single question. Maybe talk to the gal on the mentoring committee and ask her "By the way,what ARE the most common FAQ's...?" That should do it :)

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More Answers


answers from Grand Forks on

Do they keep the kids in for recess in inclement weather? How hot/cold/rainy does it have to be before they are kept inside? What do they do inside if they don't get to go out?
Do they eat lunch together in the gym, or stay in their classrooms? How long do they have to eat, and how long to play at lunch? Are they allowed to stay in an finish their lunch if they are slow eaters, or may they bring food outside with them to finish up?
Are there any allergy kids in the class? What foods do you need to be careful with?
Can you send treats for the class for birthdays?

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answers from Boston on

In addition to what has already been posted, ask about homework, what's expected for parent involvement in fundraising, what the policy is about room parents who coordinate special activities, what's normally done about teacher gifts in December and June, and how parents are communicated with (website, email, flyers?) for things like conferences & homework that may or may not be done (they may not have homework in Kindergarten but it's worth knowing how they think going forward). If you have any questions about how religion is taught, ask that too. See if there is a parent guide that comes home - depending on your level of observance, you may want to know how things are being explained to your child in case he has questions or makes comments when he comes home.

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answers from Salinas on

Ask if there are other questions from the new parents. Be honest that you can not think of any. Maybe one the these other questions will help you think of something.

I am not sure what you learned in the orientation. You can also ask if you can contact her or the committee when a question does come to mind through out the school year. My son's class has a room parent who collects money for Christmas/end of year present for the teacher. You can ask how this is handled in K (some schools will ask a mom who has an older child at the school to be the room parent because she knows the system (class parties/plays end of year gift protocol).

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answers from San Antonio on

In addition to what's already mentioned. (I browsed thru the answers. Sorry if these are duplicates):

What time is lunch and how is that handled? Can I bring my child a lunch and sit with him every now and again?

Birthdays - can I bring the class cupcakes? Must they be store bought or can I make them? Any rules regarding the handing-out of birthday party invites?

What's the best way to get ahold of my child's teacher - phone, email, in person, at pickup, at drop off, etc ? What time is the teacher's conference period?

Who else will be working with my child (volunteers, paraprofessionals, etc) and what sort of background check do they go thru? What paperwork is involved for me to volunteer also?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Some things we share with parents during orientation are:

the curriculum that will be covered
homework expectations
before and after school procedures
daily schedule
volunteering opportunities
procedures for visiting the school (sign in/out in the office, visitor badge, etc.)
how we handle snacks
how we communicate with parents (weekly newsletters/emails/daily communication charts, etc.)
conference time/phone number/email for the teachers


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answers from Chicago on

*what expectations for reading level are there? (at what point in the year are they expected to know how many words?)
*when do they have specials (gym, music, art)
*is snack served, if so who supplies it? (you need to know how much to feed him at home)
*what type of shoes, jackets, hats, etc are allowed?
*what discipline system is used?
*how do we communicate with the teacher (email?)
*how do we know what they did in school?
*are they graded in kindergarten?
*what if my son needs special help?
*what church requirements are there for families?
*is fundraising required?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

As a mentor in a Catholic school myself, I try to remember what surprised me from my first year of school and tell them about it. Heads up on the Christmas concert, you need to be there 30 mins earlier than they tell you to get a seat or a parking spot - that sort of thing. I mention about the fun activities that their child would be experiencing that year and any hiccups I suffered through. Usually that sparks something in my new family to bring up other questions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If you don't need to know about rules and supplies, what about things like "How is lunch handled? Do the students sit with their class?"

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answers from Chicago on

One of my lines, when I can't think of anything, is "is there any questions you have been asked that you thought were important?" or "is there anything I haven't asked that I should know about"

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

How many kids are in the classroom?
How many are girls/boys?

Are they only using the state's standards? Do they have their own standards? (the benchmarks/concepts they will teach at each grade level)

How do the teachers handle discipline?
Will there be classroom parties? How are those handled (teacher ran, parent ran)?
Will there be field trips? How are those handled?

Is there a room mother?
How do parents volunteer?

How will they handle emergency situations? Will they call parents?

1 mom found this helpful
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