August 2023
Dear Transitional Kindergarten Families,

Welcome to Transitional Kindergarten at Woodside School.  We are thrilled to begin a new year with your children on Wednesday, August 16th.  We invite you and your children to come by to visit the TK classroom and meet us, on Tuesday, August 15 between 1pm-2:30pm.

This is an informal open house for exploring the classroom, becoming more comfortable about coming to school and meeting other TK students. Please check in with the office before walking over to room 2. We look forward to welcoming you to TK! 

My name is Sonja Virgallito and I am in my 22nd teaching year at Woodside School. I was born and raised here in the special community of Woodside. I now live in Half Moon Bay with my husband Greg, and my sons Lucca (16) and Axel (11). My children and I all attended Woodside School. I love to be outdoors having adventures with my family, traveling, swimming, hiking, reading, and always learning new things.

Our TK aide, Mrs. Pam Nessi has lived in Woodside for 24 years with her husband Chad and has two daughters, Macie (23) and Tillie (21) who all attended Woodside School. She has a degree in Child Development and has been working at Woodside as a paraeducator for years. She enjoys hiking, playing with her dogs, visiting her children and spending time with family.

The first day of school on August 16th is a minimum day that ends at 12:30 pm.  Please plan on arriving to school early, as parking will be limited on minimum days. Starting on Thursday, August 17, students will be dismissed at 1:00 pm for the first trimester of school which ends November 17th. 

The first few weeks of Transitional Kindergarten are especially tiring, adjusting to all the newness of school.  I recommend not over-scheduling your child with too many extracurricular activities during the first few weeks of school. Please make sure that they get plenty of sleep (10-12 hours) and wake up in time to eat a healthy breakfast and get to school on time every day.

 As we begin this year, parents and visitors on campus are not allowed past the gates during school hours. Plan on entering the school campus in the west parking lot near the town tennis courts.  You may choose to park or drop off your child at the curb. Follow the cones/signs to the designated drop-off area.  Your child will be escorted to the TK classroom in room 2 near the preschool by Pam Nessi. Campus opens at 8:10, so your child may need to wait outside the classroom until the bell rings at 8:20. Please look for more information about drop-off and pick-up procedures from the School District. From Thursday, August 18, until Friday, November 17th, all TK students will be dismissed at 1:00pm. During the second and third trimesters, a 2:30pm full day will be an option. We will meet at the same gate by the tennis courts for pick-up. The school offers two after-school daycare options. Please see our school website for more information and to sign-up.
Daycare providers will pick TK students up at the classroom when our day ends. Protocol for drop-off and pick-up may be changed by the school administration. Please make sure to read any emails that come from Woodside School and check the school website for any updates.

TK students will be eating a snack and lunch at school on all school days, including minimum and early dismissal days. If you are interested in signing up for catered lunches or milk, please sign up through the school website. This year we adopted a new lunch program called “The LunchMaster.”  If you’d like to purchase lunches for your child, go to our school website (In the top right corner, click “QuickLinks,” then “Lunch Ordering”).  Please order before the start of the school year. Be sure to place your orders for your student each week. Please remember to also pack a water bottle and a snack every day for morning recess (morning snacks are not included in the hot lunch purchase). Note that school lunches are not available on minimum days.

What to Expect the First Days of TK
  • 8:10-8:20am: Drop-off will be at the gate between the tennis courts and the first-grade classrooms. Mrs. Nessi will greet students there and make sure that they walk to room 2 safely. Please do not worry if you arrive late. The parking lot will fill up quickly and I understand that it takes longer to get to campus with young children. If children arrive early, they may need to sit on the bench outside room 2 until the bell rings.
  • 8:20am: I will open my door and begin welcoming students inside. Each student will have a cubby for their belongings. 
  • 8:20-8:45am: After putting belongings away, all students will wash their hands before engaging in arrival activities such as games, puzzles, building toys and books.
  • 8:45-9:30am: Storytime, Circle Time, Group Games, Music and Movement, Playtime
  • 9:30am: Morning snack and recess. We eat in the classroom and play outside for recess. Please provide a healthy, hearty snack and water.
  • 10:15-12:00pm: Storytime, Center Activities, Exploration, Art
  • 12:00pm: Lunch Please provide a healthy lunch in a reusable lunchbox. Students will eat inside with adult supervision. Practicing how to open containers, and clean up is highly recommended.
  • 12:30pm: Pick-up will be by the gate near the tennis courts. Mrs. Nessi and I will wait with the students there and make sure that they are dismissed by their caretakers. 
Please note that starting on Thursday, August 17th, TK will be dismissed at 1:00pm. They will enjoy a second recess after eating lunch. 

Getting Ready for TK at Home
The TK program emphasizes growing independence, confidence, and learning in a community. I highly recommend having your child practice some of these routines at home. Here are some suggested activities: cleaning up toys, getting dressed, using the bathroom, washing hands for 20 seconds, packing up a lunchbox and backpack, opening food containers, filling a water bottle and putting on shoes. Most children enjoy these self-care routines because they feel grown-up and helpful if they can do them without a grown-up’s guidance. 

What To Bring To School
Each day, your child should come to school with: 
  • A regular-sized backpack (no rolling backpacks)
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Sunscreens/hats encouraged on hot days for outside time
  • A healthy morning snack and lunch 
We have recess and lunchtime every day, including the first six weeks of school at 1:00pm dismissal.  For those students who ordered school lunches, they begin the first week of school.  If you are interested in signing up for hot lunches, please order through the school website.  Please note:  If your child is signed up for a school lunch, please send them with a morning snack. Lunches are delivered to the classroom.
Children should also be wearing comfortable closed-toe shoes for running around the playground and on our P.E. days.  Flip-flops are not allowed at school. 

Extra Clothes
Please send your child to school with a labeled ziplock bag of extra clothes (underwear, shorts/pants, shirt/sweatshirt, and socks). TK can be a messy place. Please dress your child in clothing that is comfortable and can easily be washed. Young children often need to change clothes. Bathroom accidents easily happen at school when there is so much activity and sometimes a line for the restroom. Food spills down shirts. Sometimes, we get covered with paint, mud, clay or water at school.  Please label all of your child’s belongings. 

Donating TK Supplies
I provide, and we will share, the supplies in the classroom. TK students do not need to bring their own. If you would like to help donate to TK, here are the supplies I need to start the new year:
  • Boxes of soft tissues (like Kleenex)
  • Seventh Generation or similar non-toxic disinfecting wipes
  • Seventh Generation or similar non-toxic all-purpose cleaner spray bottles
  • Foaming non-toxic hand soap and soap refills
  • Baby wipes
  • Fine point black EXPO markers

Back to School Night
During the Back to School Night on September 7th, we will present a lot of information about the TK curriculum, events, expectations, celebrations and more about our amazing school. We will also give you a TK Handbook that has everything that you need to know this year. This is a parent-only event, so please plan accordingly.

Attached is our school calendar for the year.  Please note all holidays and minimum days in your calendars.  On minimum days, students will always be dismissed at 12:30 pm. Since these days are whole-school dismissal, plan on coming early or walking if possible to avoid traffic/parking delays. 

Upcoming Important Dates:
August 13: PTA New & Buddy Family Ice Cream Social from 4:00-5:00 pm 
August 15: Meet the TK teachers: between 1-3 pm in room 2
August 16: First day minimum dismissal at 12:30
August 17th – November 17th:  TK Students are released at 1:00pm. (first trimester). November 27 (after Thanksgiving break) - -June 7th 2:30 dismissal will be offered
August 25th: PTA sponsored Back to School BBQ at 5:00pm 
September 4th: No School – Monday for Labor Day
September 7th: Back to School Night.  Students are dismissed at 12:30pm.  Time & Details TBD.
We look forward to meeting you and getting to know your family this school year. You will learn much more about us, and the TK program, at Back to School Night on the evening of September 7th. This will be a parents-only event and we will have a 12:30 pm dismissal for all students on that day.

Enjoy the remainder of your summer. We are looking forward to a great year!
Sonja Virgallito
Pam Nessi