1st Grade Logistics

Welcome to First Grade at The Summit!



First grade functions as a learning community. Each day brings an opportunity for your child to learn and grow academically, socially, and emotionally as he or she works independently and cooperatively with teachers and peers.  Listed below are several important aspects of first grade, including home and school communication.  Please refer to The Summit website, classroom blog, and online school calendar to stay informed of important dates and information. It’s going to be a wonderful year! 




Student Handbook

  • Please review the recently updated school handbook. It can be located on The Summit website under “Important Links” at the bottom of the homepage.



  • Please review the class schedule. Should changes or modifications be needed throughout the year, the schedule will be updated accordingly.
  • School starts promptly at 8:45 am.  Students are allowed to come into the classroom at 8:30 am.  Please make arrangements to bring your student to school no earlier than 8:30 am and pick them up by 3:45 pm,  unless you have made arrangements for Fun Zone.  
  • Students are given frequent bathroom breaks, drink breaks, and time to wash their hands. They will also be given many opportunities throughout the day to sanitize their work areas and supplies.
  • Tennis shoes are strongly encouraged every day and required on P.E. days.
  • Students must bring a backpack, a water bottle, snack, and yellow spelling folder to school each day.  
  • Remember to dress appropriately for the weather.  We will go outside for recess and for outdoor class time, weather permitting.
  • Students wear Summit uniforms each day, with Jeans Day on Friday.  Please refer to the student handbook on the website for more information regarding uniforms.
  • Most content area instruction in first grade occurs in a mini-lesson or workshop format.  This type of instruction allows the teacher to introduce a topic and then conference with students individually as they engage in the learning process through work stations. Students will also be given the opportunity to explore a variety of materials and learn through discovery. 



Please make sure you have carefully read the Summit’s Re-Entry plan, updated last week.  You can find it by going to www.thesummitprep.org, clicking on the “Summit Life” tab at the top, and then clicking on Re-Entry Plan for 2020.  

  • In accordance with this plan, students will be required to wear masks.  Please be sure to leave an extra mask (or two) in your child’s backpack in case one gets wet, dirty, lost, or forgotten.  
  • Practice mask wearing at home before the first day of school.
  • Model and discuss proper handwashing techniques with your child.


Lunch and Snacks

  • Students have the option to buy a school lunch or bring their lunch from home.  Students will be responsible for selecting the appropriate option each morning.
  • Families are encouraged to send in healthy lunch options, pack items in reusable containers that the child can open independently, bring your own silverware, and limit the number of microwaved items in order to expedite lunch.
  • This year, first grade will eat either in the classroom or at the outside picnic area.
  • Each child should bring a healthy snack daily, and students must bring a water bottle each day. 



  • This year, carline will utilize a different method than in previous years. At dismissal, students will wait in their classroom with their teacher until their parent/guardian arrives. When their guardian has arrived, students will be sent down promptly.
  • Notify me and the office in writing (or email) if someone other than a parent will be picking your child up from school or if your child will be absent.



  • While we do not have classroom birthday parties, we will be sure to make it a special day. 



  • In the event that your child will not be at school due to illness or other circumstances, please email me and the office as early as possible.  You may also call to leave a message on the school answering machine.  If your child arrives late, please call the front desk.  An administrator will meet you outside for your child’s temperature check before entering the building.  The administrator will then escort your child to class. 


Friday Folders

  • Friday folders are sent home each week.  They contain important information from the office and student work. Parents are encouraged to review work sent home in the Friday folder with their child.  This is an opportunity to discuss weekly successes and challenges with your child. 
  • Friday folders also contain a communication sheet to briefly allow me to communicate your child’s successes or areas of improvement for that week. Please sign the form each week and place it back inside the folder. Students will return their folders to school each Monday.


Field Experiences, Guest Speakers, and Service Projects

  • In the event of a field experience, first graders will take the school bus to the experience, and parents will be asked to complete an online form approving costs prior to going.  We may occasionally ask for additional parent volunteers to help chaperone or drive.  Parents must complete volunteer training to be eligible to chaperone. In order to drive, parents will need to have filled out the necessary paperwork through the office.


Scholastic Book Order

  • Scholastic book orders will be sent home periodically.  Participation is entirely optional, although they are an inexpensive option for purchasing books and also help our school earn free books. Please let me know if you would like suggestions of level appropriate books.


Curriculum Information


Communication Arts

  • Reading workshop consists of independent reading, shared reading, familiar reading, and partner reading.  Students learn skills and strategies to aid in decoding, comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary with the overriding goal being to develop a love of books and reading.  Reading folders and web-based subscriptions include level appropriate books for individual students.
  • Writing is taught in a workshop format, with most of the allotted time devoted to student writing.  Students follow the steps of the writing process and learn traits of writing including idea, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions.  Students maintain journals and writing folders which hold on-going individual work.  Students type, edit, and revise various works on Google Docs.
  • Spelling and word work activities are incorporated in literacy and writing workshops.  Students have a weekly spelling list, which will grow in length as the year progresses, and a weekly spelling assessment.  Weekly lists, which are student generated, focus on a phonetic rule, pattern, or content vocabulary.  Lists are individualized as each child chooses his or her own words.  
  • Handwriting instruction and practice includes a review of D’Nealian letter formation.  D’Nealian writing allows for an easier transition into learning cursive in second grade.
  • Author studies introduce students to different children’s authors whose work will be used as a format for literature appreciation, writing trait exploration, identification of story elements, vocabulary development, and exposure to a variety of genres.
  • Students are exposed to a wide variety of literature, including on-going chapter book read alouds.



  • Math workshop focuses on exploration of new concepts, memorization of basic facts, application of principles in problem solving situations, and hands on manipulation to increase conceptual understanding. Students play games, work independently, and integrate mathematics into the school day.


Social Studies and Science

  • Social studies and science content drives the class theme and is integrated throughout the day.  Literature is often a launching point for topic exploration. Students participate in various group and individual projects throughout the year, encompassing many areas of the curriculum.
  • Students will participate in weekly STEM exploration guided by Mr. Powers during the 2nd trimester. 


Project Workshop and Discovery Learning

  • Project workshop and discovery learning will focus on exploration and discovery.  It may serve as an extension of science and social studies content related projects or other projects of student interest.  It will provide students with the opportunity to foster creativity, utilize technology (including OSMO), solve problems, and work cooperatively. During discovery, we will also focus on creative thinking and problem solving skills.



  • Daily classroom computer use integrates technology with the first grade curriculum.  A variety of skills will be practiced using Google Drive and the Internet.  Students will be allowed to visit sites under teacher supervision.  Websites related to classroom learning will be listed on the first grade blog.
  • Laptops will be stored with student belongings in the classroom.  Students will store their computers at school for the week and then may take the computer home on Friday.  Computers should be fully charged when returned to school on Monday.  Please contact me if you wish to make other arrangements.
  • Parents are welcome to add privacy restrictions, provided the teacher is given access to passcodes to allow certain programs to run.


Social-Emotional Learning and Character Education

  • Social-emotional learning occurs through everyday interactions as first graders work to build a classroom community in which each member is respected and valued.  This too is reinforced through literature, addressed throughout the school day, and is often a component of morning and closing meetings. We will utilize some concepts from Conscious Discipline in our classroom to help students better understand their own emotions in order to regulate themselves and build positive relationships with others.
  • Character Education will teach students valuable soft skills such as kindness, respect, and tolerance.


Homework and Home Learning

Homework in first grade is intended to be meaningful practice.  It is highly individualized and may not look like what is traditionally thought of as homework.  As such, the following provide guidelines about home learning expectations.

  • First graders are expected to spend approximately 20 minutes reading independently at home everyday.  Some students and parents find it helpful to borrow level appropriate books from our classroom.  Please contact me if you are interested in borrowing books.  In addition, some students and parents find it beneficial to track reading at home through the use of a reading log.  Please contact me if you would like suggestions for appropriate means to track student reading.
  • As first graders gain reading independence, remember to continue to read aloud to them.  Reading aloud to children models reading fluency and expression and exposes them to a variety of literature.
  • First grade spelling focuses on exposure to common spelling patterns and application of these patterns in our writing.  Weekly spelling lists will be recorded at school and stored in the yellow spelling folder. It is each student’s responsibility to bring the spelling list to and from school for daily practice. Please look over these words with your child during the week and provide support as needed.  In class, we will have daily word work time in which students will participate in a variety of activities allowing them to manipulate words, explore patterns, and expand vocabulary.  These activities will incorporate the weekly spelling pattern and at times each child’s individual spelling list.  Spelling practice is encouraged at home, especially if your child is struggling to apply the pattern.
  • First grade students who are struggling to grasp a concept or are in need of extra practice may be asked to complete supplemental activities at home.  Please let me know if you feel your child is struggling with a concept, so we can find appropriate activities to provide added support.
  • First grade students are involved in individual and group projects relating to areas of the curriculum. Most of this work will take place in the classroom; however, activities may be offered to extend learning at home.
  • The links page on the class blog provides students with access to links to extend learning at home.


As always, if you have any questions related to this document, please feel free to reach out to me at lursino@thesummitprep.org. It’s going to be an excellent year!