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August 3, 2015

Dear Parents,

Welcome to First Grade!We hope you had a wonderful


summer holiday. The following letter contains important
information about the first grade team and program that you will need to refer
to frequently so please keep it for future reference.

THE TEACHERS

Monica Tindall
is Australian. She graduated with Honours in her Early
Childhood Education Degree from Newcastle University and has a Masters
Degree from the Southern University of New York. She has taught in Australia,
Singapore and Venezuela. This is Ms. Tindalls thirteenth year at ISKL. She
enjoys keeping fit, visiting the spa, traveling and dining out. As a hobby she runs
a blog, theyumlist.blogspot.com where she posts all of her favourite spots to
eat, stay and spa.

Araceli Arismendi
is from Houston, Texas. She received her Bachelor's of
Arts from The University of Texas at Austin and her Master's of Education
from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Araceli has twelve years teaching
students in grades kindergarten through 4th grade. This will be her 4th year
working at the International School of Kuala Lumpur, and she cant wait to work
and learn from her new group of learners! On her free time, she enjoys yoga,
running, cooking, dining, and dancing to great beats.

Karin Martin
is from Honolulu, Hawaii. She received her bachelors degree from
Colorado State University and has a masters degree in Education from
Chaminade University in Honolulu. She has lived overseas for over 20 years
(Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing). She is married and has two daughters
who attend ISKL high school. This will be her seventh year teaching and her
fourth year at ISKL. She enjoys reading, eating and spending time with her
family.
Alasdair Hamilton
is from Toronto, Ontario Canada. He received his bachelors
of Arts from University of Guelph and his bachelor of Education from Trent
University. This is his second year at ISKL. Previous to working at ISKL he
worked in Kuwait. When he is not working, he loves to be outdoors. Skiing with
his wife and running are some of the activities he loves to do.
Ashley Varney
is from Long Island, New York. She went to Lehigh University
where she received a Bachelor of Science in Business & Economics and a
Masters in Elementary Education. She has spent the last seven years
specializing in Early Childhood and working closely with Literacy Development.
Ashley enjoys being active and loves walking her dog, going hiking, running with
her husband and doing yoga. It is Ashleys second year at ISKL and she feels

excited to be a part of this warm community. Ashleys passion is education and


she is greatly looking forward to meeting her new students.
Sungeeta Singh
is from New Zealand. She is originally from South Africa. She
received her Bachelors degree from the University of Durban-Westville and
her Masters degree (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from
the University of Tasmania. Although this is her first year at ISKL, she brings
over 30 years of teaching experience to the classroom. She has taught from
Prep Senior to Grade 12. She is passionate about teaching literacy. In her
leisure time, she enjoys walking, yoga, travelling and learning about new cultures.
She feels very privileged to be part of the ISKL family.
Diane Foudy
is from Canada. She received her undergraduate degree from
Bishops University, her Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the
University of Strathclyde, and has a Masters Degree from the State University
th
of New York. Diane is entering her 19
year of teaching with international
experience in Kuwait, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Oman. She is married and has
two daughters in ISKLs Middle School. This is her seventh year at ISKL. Diane
enjoys reading, cooking and hiking.

THE TEACHING ASSISTANTS:

Miss Salama
was born in Kedah, Malaysia. She has worked for ISKL for twenty
one years. She has three grown-up children. Salama enjoys cooking, sewing, and
exercising.

Miss Jag
was born in Negeri Sembilan Malaysia. She has worked for ISKL for
nine years. She has a young son. Jag enjoys listening to music and cooking.

Miss Josephine was born in KL. This is Josephines nineth year at ISKL. She has
two teenage boys and worked in preschool in Childrens House. Josephine loves
teaching and loves working at ISKL!

Miss Priscilla
was born in KL. She has worked at ISKL for seven years. In her
free time, she loves to be with her friends.

Miss Elaine
was born in Selangor. This is Elaines seven year at ISKL. Previously,
she has worked in a renovation firm and a Kindergarten classroom. She has two
children, one in high school and one in college. In her free time she likes to
listen to music, shop and visit with friends.

The Student Resource Team (SRT) TEAM

Grade one is supported too by Kate Balsamo (Speech and Language therapy), and
Chris Wright

(counselor). They are a vital part of the First Grade team and will
be working with students in classrooms over the year.

SPECIAL CLASS DAYS

- Your child will enjoy the following classes, taught by


talented specialist teachers: Physical Education (PE); Music; Art; Library; and;
World Languages.

THE PROGRAM

We are looking forward to having a successful experience


together. The first month the children will need time to settle in and adjust to
their new surroundings. Grade One students will have a full year adding new
skills to their personal, reading, writing, math, science and social studies
toolbox. At Open House and throughout the year, via newsletters and
curriculum letters, you will receive more information about the program
specifics.

THE MELAWATI WAY


The Melawati Way is an integral component of our
community. Within each Grade One class, we will emphasize this theme:

Make a difference by

Taking care of yourself

Taking care of others

Taking care of this place

ISKL SLRs (School Learning Results)


In addition to the Melawati Way, the childrens learning in Grade One will be
guided by our SLRs which are:

Collaborate Constructively
Think Creatively
Reason Critically
Communicate Effectively
Learn Enthusiastically
Live Ethically

SCHOOL HOURS Children should arrive between 7:40 and 7:50am as


supervision is not available before this time.
Children

directly to the playground


- there

should go

is no supervision in classes before


8:00am. The first bell rings at 7:55am, at which time students line up with their
class and First Grade assistant in the playground and walk in a line to the
classroom. Classes begin at 8:00am First Grade students attend school from
8:00am 2:45pm daily. Optional after school activities begin on September 7,
starting at 2:45 and ending at 3:45pm.

TARDY
Children who arrive to school after 8:00am must first go to the main
office to get a Tardy Slip before entering the classroom.

UNIFORMS
Children should come to school in dark blue shorts and the
official white or blue shirt and a hat. On P.E. days, children should wear rubber
soled, closed-toe sports shoes. (Sports shoes are recommended for everyday
use to enable your child to make the most of their recess times in the
playground.) Children will wear their P.E. clothes to school on P.E. days and

change into their uniform after P.E.


Please label ALL of your childs
belongings with name and class.

SNACK AND LUNCH- Students may bring food from home or purchase snack
and / or lunch from school. You will need to top up your childs account in the
front office with a minimum of RM100 per top up.
Please do not send money
to school as Melawati is a cash free campus. For children who bring
home-packed food, we cannot stress enough the importance of sending
healthy
(low sugar, low fat, high fibre) food and drinks.
This provides the nutrients
your child will need throughout the day and will promote physical and mental
development. Please have your child eat a healthy breakfast before coming to
school as well. Children bring their lunch in a lunch box or small cooler bag.
We
encourage a trash-free grade one please see the separate note with
suggestions for how to do this.
There are no heating facilities for lunches for
children in grade one.
The Grade One children use the tables outside Prep Senior for snack and lunch
times. The ordering routine will be the similar as the one that students follow in
Prep. Senior. A menu and order form will be sent electronically at the end of
each week, to be filled out for the entire following week. You must open your
school email account to access this. Please support our positive efforts in
becoming trash free.

An important note about snack time:

PLEASE ensure your child knows what


they are having for lunch before they come to school each day lunch from
home or lunch from school. They also need to know if they have snack from
home or snack from school. Help your child differentiate between the two.

WATER BOTTLES- Students should bring a small, clearly labeled water


bottle, which they can keep in class for use during class hours.
A clear, large
label will make it less likely that bottles are lost. To ensure the most of
instruction time children are encouraged to go to the bathroom during their
break times and to have their water bottles filled before coming to the
classroom to minimize distraction to the learning periods.

SUPPLIES -
Children

should bring a regular sized backpack, big enough for


carrying A4 sized folders, lunch box, library books, hat and water bottle. No
roller bags please, as these are too big for the cubbies provided.

CHANGES IN A CHILDS MODE OF TRANSPORTATION

- Student safety is
of utmost concern to us. School policy states that if parents wish to make a
change in the way a child goes home at dismissal time, the teacher must be
informed in writing.
If written permission is not received, your child will go
home in the customary manner
. If your child must go home in a different way
than normal, you must contact both the school busing office
and the classroom
teacher.
melawatibusing@iskl.edu.my Jane or Grace: 012 3973466 or (03) 4104 3061

A change in activities, such as your child missing an activity one day, should be
communicated to the classroom teacher and also Jessie Leong in the main
office, jleong@iskl.edu.my, (03) 4104 3000

HOME/SCHOOL FOLDER
-
From Monday to Friday your child will bring home a
zipped folder. Once the routine is established, books will come home inside the
folder and also any special notes.
Your child must return their home/school
folder to school each day.
Most notes and information however will be sent via email or posted on the class
webpage or blogspot.

OPTIONAL HOME ACTIVITIES-


We understand that the children have a
very long day at school and they need time to play and relax when school is
over. This is a highly valued part of their physical and mental well-being and
unstructured playtime develops skills that cannot be formed otherwise, such as
creativity, lateral thinking, independence and social/ emotional skills.
We do however ask that you read with/ listen to your child everyday a book of
his/her choosing. Feel free to read to your child in his/her native language as
well as in English. At times teachers will send Suggested Home Activities that
connect learning in class to the home. These activities are not graded and are
not returned to school. In grade one and we trust parents to use the activities
as appropriate for their child. We recognize that many parents already engage
their children in meaningful activities such as cooking and reading together,
playing board games and imaginative play.

LIBRARY-
First Grade students visit the library once every 6 days. See the
class calendar for your childs library day.

BIRTHDAY PARTIES

Please refer to our separate notice about celebrations at


school.
If you are holding a celebration at home, teachers are happy to send invitations
home through the Home/School folders only
if all
students are invited. Parents

must handle invitations for home parties to which only some children will be
invited.
We have a green policy for celebrations at school. Please see the separate note.

TOYS FROM HOME

The Grade One classrooms are full of interesting items


that belong to the entire community and therefore are a less potential source
of conflict than are personal belongings from home. In order to avoid problems
among the children,
toys from home are not allowed at school.

SICKNESS
- We would like to suggest that our parents follow these guidelines
in order to minimize absences due to illness.

Please do not send a child who may be coming down with an illness to
school.

Please

nsure
e
that your child has had at least one completely fever
free day (24 hours) without medication before he/she returns to class.

Children

with heavy colds may not be feverish; however, our little


ones are often not yet able to cover their sneezes and coughs
sufficiently. We would prefer them to stay home until their symptoms
have calmed down.

If

your child has allergies of any nature, inform the teacher.

If

your child needs any type of medication during the school day, the
medicine must be sent in with a note and given to the school nurse. She
will administer it.

Students

who are not feeling well or who have been absent due to an
infectious health condition such as chicken pox, pink eye, whooping
cough, impetigo, measles, mumps or head lice need to see the nurse and
receive clearance before returning to class.

PARENT SHARING IN THE CLASSROOM


- Children enjoy having their
parents come to their classroom to share interesting information or to teach
something. If you have a talent such as playing a musical instrument, singing,
drawing, or even reading stories, please let the teacher know. We will set up a
time for you to be with us and participate in our day. Your childs homeroom
teacher will make you aware of other opportunities for classroom participation
after the students have settled into a regular routine.

ROOM PARENTS -
Every class in ISKL Melawati needs at least one Room
Parent volunteer who works both with the Grade Level Coorindator and with the
teacher to organize class events like parties, parent gatherings and field trips
and recruits other parent volunteers to help. Please notify your childs teacher
if you would like to take on this role.

COMMUNICATION

GREEN GRADE ONE


To have the best possible education for your child we will need to work together
and have open communication. Please feel free to contact your childs teacher
with any questions or concerns you may have. In Grade 1 we use email as the
preferred way of communicating with parents. We use the @iskl.edu.my address
only so if you are not yet signed up please see our technology department
immediately. All newsletters and communication pages will be sent home through
via email or class websites.
Parents may contact teachers through Panther Apps.
Our addresses are as follows:
kmartin@iskl.edu.my
(Karin Martin)

aarismendi
@iskl.edu.my
(Araceli Arismendi)
mtindall@iskl.edu.my
(Monica Tindall)

avarney@iskl.edu.my
(Ashley Varney)
ahamilton@iskl.edu.my
(Alasdair Hamilton)
dfoudy@iskl.edu.my
(Diane Foudy)
ssingh@iskl.edu.my
(Sungeeta Singh)

The ISKL Grade One phone number is (03) 4104-3020 for emergencies. Please
be considerate of your childs teachers time and be sure to arrange a meeting in
advance via email if there is an important issue to discuss. Please remember
that you may not be seen if you just drop by as these drop-ins may take away
valuable contact time between the teacher and students.

We are all looking forward to a great year with your child.

Sincerely,
The First Grade Teachers
Important points to remember:
LABEL everything
We have a green ethos and do our best to align our actions with this value
Were one team (children, parents, teachers, school community) working
together towards a better future for our students. Go Team!