Dear Parents and Guardians,
Greetings! As we begin this exciting year together I would like to take an opportunity to tell you a little about myself and our classroom.
Prior to working in the Owen J Roberts School District I spent four years working as a Student Assistance Program Liaison and Crisis Intervention Specialist in a Chester County High School. During that time I spent most of my nights and/or weekends teaching the F.A.S.T. (Family and School Together) Program, as well as a Pennsylvania State Instructor for the Adolescent Substance Awareness Program. My experience with teaching younger children began before I took the position at the High School. During that time I worked as an assistant teacher at the ARC of Chester County in their Early Intervention Program, and I also taught Junior Kindergarten at Chesterbrook Academy.
My decision to go back to school to complete my teaching certificate was not a difficult one. Very simply, I missed working with the younger student population. My original degree is a Bachelor of Science Degree in Professional Studies with a dual minor in Health (Wellness and Elementary Education Health) and a minor in Early Childhood Education from West Chester University. I completed my Teaching Certification Program in both Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Immaculata University in 2007. My student teaching experience took place at East Coventry, and I was immediately hired as a long term substitute as an Instructional Support and Reading teacher. Following that position I was offered an opportunity to teach within the Full Day Kindergarten Program at East Coventry, which is where I spent three years before moving to French Creek in 2011. I am excited and looking forward to teaching another wonderful year here at French Creek Elementary, and I can say without doubt that my heart belongs in the Primary Grades.
To tell you a little bit more about myself, my husband, Jack and I live in the Owen J. Roberts School District, and have a daughter and son. It is an honor for me to have the opportunity to become skilled in teaching and instruction in a district where my children are taught.
While our back to school night will allow you to become familiar with First Grade in general, here are a few things that you should know about how our classroom operates:
· Home/School Communication: I send out a regular newsletter telling about our learning and fun for the month!
· Homework: Homework will follow a regular schedule that can be found in your child’s binder. Please check DAILY. The children will have a few tasks to complete each night (reading, word practice, writing, and math). The homework is meant to be a reinforcement, not to be stressful or over whelming. If your child is frustrated with the homework or you have too much going on that week to complete it, please jot me a note! I understand how hectic things can be at home! That said, I will expect work completed – I do not want children in a regular routine of taking a “pass” or giving up when things seem challenging.
· Behavior: The classroom is focused on many positive behavior reinforcements throughout the school day! Verbal praise, "bubble gum", etc. are some of the ways that I reinforce positive behavior. If there are behavior concerns, they will be addressed with you, the parent/guardian, to establish a positive solution to any concerns.
· Birthdays: Birthdays are very important to the children and me! We love celebrating them together! Since the school district has adopted a no-food policy for birthdays, I ask that you and your child pick a book or game for our class. Wrap the book like a present and your child can open it for the class. The children will love listening to the special story! In line with our math program, we have a wonderful list of games that I can send home if you so choose to send in a game, rather than a book.
There are a few things I’d like to ask your help with:
· If you would like to volunteer at school, you’ll need to have your criminal background check and child abuse clearances. It does take time for these clearances to come back, so the sooner you can get them mailed out- the better! Forms can be attained at the office or online.
· It would be ideal to have parent helpers in our class. If you would like to volunteer, please be on the look out for a form coming home soon. I typically do not have volunteers in until the children are well adjusted to our regular routine and have an established understanding of staying at school even when it is time for volunteers to depart.
Please feel free to contact me at anytime for any reason. I know that sending your child to school full day leads to a mix of many emotions for both you and your child. Please know that from the moment he/she walks into my classroom door, your child will be loved and cared for!
Mrs. Samantha Horosky
“The Impossible Dream…Isn’t”
*Back to school shopping…
Lastly, I WILL be supplying a take home binder for your child. I am kindly asking that you use this binder until at least the beginning of November so that we can focus on the routine of folder/mail management before choosing a designer binder. Starting in November your child is more than welcome to use any same size binder they choose for mail as long as it has a label with their name and magic number on the cover.
Thank you so very much! It’s going to be a GREAT year!
Library BooksIn order to establish a good library routine, for the beginning of the school year the students may return their library book any day of the week they choose to do so. There will be a "return" bin in our classroom that students will carry to the library each end of the school day. Until I feel comfortable that all students are prepared and responsible enough to enter the library by themselves and check out a new book we will will only be checking out books on our "special" library day. Thank you for your understanding!
SNACKPlease remember to pack your child a small, DRY snack that can easily be opened each day.
We do have a water fountain in our room so there is no need to pack a drink.
Students are welcome to pack a water bottle - but please make sure it is leak proof and they are able to open & close is securely themselves.
Snack is a short time during our day and students are expected to clean up after themselves so please consider packing items in spill proof containers that they can easily open and close.