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Building Classroom Community During Kindergarten Orientation

Lemor Murray, MRES kindergarten teacher, welcomes MacKenzie Williams to class Aug. 1. Kindergarten students and their parents attended kindergarten orientation activities Aug. 1 at Meridian Ranch Elementary School.

“We haven’t had kindergarten orientation for a couple years,” said Sheehan Freeman-Todd, MRES principal, addressing parents during the event. “The Board of Education voted to bring it back and we’re so happy to have all of you here today to get off to a good start.”

After beginning outside, students and parents brought backpacks and school supplies into the classroom.

The new students and their adult “assistants” immediately went to work on the first project of the new school year.

“It’s the kissing hand,” said Lemor Murray, kindergarten teacher. “It’s a reminder that mom and dad are always in your heart, even when you are at school.”

“I’m coloring them, and I’m putting some ribbon on them,” said MacKenzie Williams, 5, decorating cutouts of the traces of her mom and step-dad’s hands.

MacKenzie’s step-father, Chris Lane, was hopeful she wouldn’t need the aid.

“At home she’s the oldest and kind of in charge,” he said. “As long as she remembers she can't do that here I think she'll be just fine.”

Students took tours of the school and met their music, art and physical education teachers before ending the orientation with a pizza lunch prepared by the school’s nutrition services team in the cafeteria.

“This feels really great,” said Murray, about the orientation. “The kids and the parents get to interact with and build a relationship with me from the start.”

“It helps to build a strong classroom community.”

Members of the Falcon Fire Department discuss emergency planning for the year ahead with Sheehan Freeman-Todd Aug 1.   this is a alt text

Matt Meister