First Grade Orientation    

          Welcome to the First Grade! The information included below has been prepared for you by the Newtown Elementary PTA and the First Grade teachers. We hope it helps to make the transition to First Grade go smoothly.



                First Graders have a mid-morning snack time each day. Students should bring a healthy snack, packed separately from their lunch. This is important, because the lunches are sent to the Cafetorium. For the students to have access to their snacks, they must be packed in their backpacks.  If you send pudding or Jell-O, please make sure to include a spoon. First Graders do not have milk or juice with their snacks.  Please pack a water bottle each day for your child. They are more than welcome to leave this on their desk all day.  While your child is allowed to pack peanut products for lunch, please be sure their snack is “peanut free”.  We appreciate your support in this matter.


                First Graders have two recess periods each day. All First Graders have recess together, and only First Graders are on the playground at that time. During recess, recess aides monitor the students.  If the weather is inclement, the students have “indoor” recess and remain in their own classrooms.

                The first recess is 30 minutes long and takes place just before lunch. For this recess the students are on the main playground. At the end of recess, they enter the Cafetorium and have lunch.

                The second recess is 15 minutes long and takes place in the afternoon.


                Students have the option of bringing lunch from home or buying lunch at school. All of the First Graders have lunch together, and they are the only grade in the Cafetorium at that time. During lunch, cafeteria aides monitor the students. For the first week of school, PTA parents and first grade teachers will also be in the Cafetorium to assist the First Graders with the transition to having lunch at school.

                Lunches brought from home need to be in a bag marked with your child’s name. The bag may be disposable or a reusable lunch box/bag. Each classroom has a large lunch tote, in which the students place their lunches first thing in the morning. Two students move this tote to the Cafetorium where it stays (unrefrigerated) until the students have lunch. At lunchtime, students need to locate their lunch bags in the tote on their own. Please make sure your child can identify his or her own lunch bag. Also, please pack items that your child is able to open independently.

                Students have multiple options when buying their lunch. A lunch menu is sent home at the beginning of each month. Each day’s menu has a unique option, referred to as the “A” lunch. In addition, there are four alternates listed on the menu; these alternates are available every day during that week. Each morning in their classroom, students buying lunch need to identify what they are purchasing for lunch. This process goes more smoothly if each child has made a decision before coming to school. Please discuss lunch selections with your child at home.

                All first grade families received a formal letter outlining the cafeteria procedures using our debit system and student personal pin numbers.  We strongly suggest you deposit money in the student’s account to pay for multiple lunches.  This way limited cash will be handled by the student.  You will be notified by the cafeteria staff once your account has approximately three lunches remaining.  Cafeteria staff and teachers work closely to make sure students know their pin number and can access the system comfortably.  Milk is available each lunch.  Typically, skim, 1% and chocolate milk are available.  Snacks will be available for sale at lunch at a variety of prices later in the year.


                We have students in our school community with a severe allergy to peanuts. We must do all that we can to provide a safe learning environment for everyone. In an effort to allow all students to participate fully in class activities, we ask that you do not send in any food for snacks that may contain peanuts or peanut oil. We have set up a “peanut free” lunch table for each lunch period. Any child who has a peanut allergy will sit at this table, along with any friends who wish to join them, providing their lunches are peanut free. Please be sure that the school nurse and your child’s teacher are aware of your child’s allergy.


                The school day ends at 3:40 p.m. In order to ensure dismissal runs smoothly, no student will be called to the office for dismissal between 3:30 p.m. and 3:40 p.m. If you did not return your Afternoon Dismissal Arrangements form at orientation, please send it to school with your child as soon as possible. All First Graders are requested to wear their transportation “tags” with dismissal information for the first week of school.  The tags include the information you submitted on the Afternoon Dismissal Arrangements form on the first day of school. 

                At the end of each day, the first children to be dismissed are the car riders. These children must bring transport slips from home indicating they are car riders for one day, several days, or the whole year. You do not need to sign your child out again if you sent in a transport slip. Parents are asked to wait in their cars for their child to be dismissed.

                The second group of children to be dismissed is the children riding buses and vans; they are dismissed by bus or van number. Multiple buses are dismissed at a time. Children walk from their classroom to the front of the building where they board their buses or vans. Make sure your child can identify his/her bus or van by number.

                The students attending the Champions program after school are dismissed to the Cafetorium.

                The school must be notified in writing if your child’s transportation arrangements at dismissal change for a specific day, or permanently. Please note that riding a bus for a social visit is not permitted. If you are presented with a childcare emergency, permission to ride an alternate bus to another child’s house can be obtained by writing a note to the school principal. The child will receive a note with the principal’s authorization, which must be presented to the bus driver prior to riding the bus. If you need to change dismissal plans after the start of the school day, please call the office instead of emailing your child's teacher. We have limited time to check email throughout the day and don't want to miss an important update!




                First Graders have five specials each week:  Music, Art, Gym, Library, and Computers. Each First Grade class has their own weekly schedule for specials. 

    Special Teachers:

                            Music:  Mrs. Arner

                            Art:  Mrs. Wallitch- Make sure your children do not wear their best clothes.

                            Gym:  Mrs. Bloom - All children need to wear sneakers on Gym day.

                            Library:  Mrs. Kurek- Books are due back the following week on Library day.

    For these specials, the homeroom teacher takes the children to their special and picks them up at the end of the session.



    ***********Council Rock is proud to be “GREEN”.  Please be sure to check the Newtown Elementary home page and teacher websites for information.