1st Grade Handbook

Mrs. Shoemaker’s First Grade Parent Handbook


This handbook contains important information that will be a guide for you throughout this exciting year.  Please read it entirely.  Thank you for your time and support. 


Rock Ridge students may not arrive at school before 8:20. At 8:20, students will be allowed to enter the building.  They may either get breakfast from the cafeteria or go directly to their classroom. 

·       Students will NOT be supervised until 8:20. 

·       Children are NOT allowed to run and play before school on school grounds.  

·       Parents will may only enter the building through the main doors and must sign in at the office. 

If you are scheduled to volunteer, please sign in at the front office.


Walkers:  School dismissal is at 3:30. We will exit the K door, please do not wait for your child outside of the K door or on the sidewalk.  Parents, adults and older siblings picking up will wait on the grass across from the brick wall (by kindie playground) between the mobiles and the Kiss & Go lane.  Please wait on the grass to keep sidewalks clear for students.  The 1st grade teachers will take the remaining students to their lines at the front of the building.  Your child will then raise his/her hand when he/she sees the adult or older sibling picking up.  He/she will give me a high five before I dismiss him/her to leave the line.  

Car Riders:  Kids being picked up in car will then be taken to Kiss & Go lane in front of the building.  Our staff members will escort car riders from our line to their cars.  See yellow visor card for more information.

Keeping your child safe is our main goal during dismissal.  Please do not take your child until the teacher dismisses him or her. 

 Dismissal is a busy time.  I will not be able to visit individually with parents during this time.  If you have a question or concern, please wait until I’ve safely dismissed all students so I can give you my full attention.  You may also email me and we can schedule a time to meet.  Thanks for your understanding.

Bus Riders:  Bus Riders will be escorted to the gym to join their appropriate bus line.   


If your child will be absent, you must call the RRE attendance line (303) 387-5152.  Feel free to send me a quick email as well, to let me know your child will be absent (I’m a mom, I worry).

Classroom Expectations, Procedures and IB:

Our classroom will become an environment where we work as a team in order to reach our highest potential.  Rock Ridge is an IB (International baccalaureate) school that puts an emphasis on 10 Learner Profile traits and IB Attitudes.  Our students and staff will always strive to be:  Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-Minded, Caring, Risk-Takers        , Balanced, Reflective members of the Rock Ridge community.

Behavior Expectations:  I prefer to focus on students’ demonstration of these attributes, rather than having a punitive classroom management system.  In other words, I’d rather recognize good, expected behavior than punish unexpected behavior.  I encourage you to talk to your child about the International Baccalaureate Leaner Profiles at home: 
Inquirer            Knowledgeable         Thinkers        Communicators 
Principled        Open-Minded            Caring           Risk-Takers                          Balanced            

They will write a letter, listed above, in their Daily Log to show they were recognized for showing an I.B. attribute.  I encourage you to ask your child what he/she did to show our I.B. Attribute.  Most behavior issues are addressed in the classroom.  Should inappropriate behavior occur, I would privately talk with your child about appropriate choices. If difficulties are frequent or severe, I will notify you through our take home folder, email or by phone. We enjoy celebrating great behavior!

Take-Home Folder:  Everyday your child will go home with his/her Take-Home folder. This folder includes The Daily Log and other important items throughout the year.  Please make a nightly routine of looking through your child’s Take-Home Folder and initialing “The Daily Log” every day.  We also are a school that environmentally responsible, we often send home information via email. Please let me know if you are not receiving emails.

Please encourage your child to return his/her Take-Home to school every morning.  What a great opportunity to develop responsibility!

Snacks and Water Bottles:  Students should bring a substantial snack and water bottle (water only) to school every day, separate from lunch. Our school emphasizes good nutrition, so please make sure snacks are healthy.  We have snack in the afternoon. We keep our snacks and water bottles together in a central location in our classroom, so

PLEASE write your child’s name on his/her snack and water bottle with a Sharpie marker.

Lunch:  You may view or print monthly lunch menus and manage your student’s lunch account at https://dcsd.nutrislice.com/menu/rock-ridge Each student has a school lunch account with a specified student I.D. number.  Checks for lunch should be written to RRE.  They may be brought to the office or sent with child. Please put your child’s money/check in an envelope or baggie labeled with a name and lunch account number.


Rock Ridge Elementary Birthday Treat Policy

Due to the high number of students with severe food allergies and special dietary concerns and Rock Ridge’s emphasis on health and wellness, birthday celebrations may not include food. Please save birthday cakes and cupcakes for your home celebration.


We realize many parents like to do something special in school for their child’s birthday. We’d like to suggest you consider donating a small gift to your child’s classroom. This donation from your child might be an educational game, a book for the class library, a ball to be used on the playground, or a pencil for each student in the room.  Classroom teachers also have a variety of activities for birthday celebrations designed to make birthday children feel special.

Another option is to donate a book to the library. Rock Ridge will place inside the book a recognition note of who donated the book and the date.  Check with Laura Keller lkeller@dcsdk12.org  more details.

All birthdays will be announced daily.  In addition, children will receive a birthday gift from the office. 

Also, if your child has a summer birthday, we will celebrate it sometime in May.  Please DO NOT send birthday invitations to school with your child.  This often causes hurt feelings if not all students are invited. 


Homework helps children develop responsibility and reinforces important concepts learned at school.  I do not believe in overwhelming your child with homework each night, 10-15 minutes maximum is sufficient.  Please ensure your child stays balanced by being active and playing outside when at home. Homework in 1st grade usually consists of…. daily reading, math sheet, and practicing sight words.  Periodically throughout the school year, additional homework, connected to our I.B. units of study will be sent home.  First graders also receive a grade on their homework completion.

Reading Homework:  First grade students should read with a fluent reader and read to a fluent reader (e.g. parents, older siblings, etc.)  First grade students also need ample opportunities to read books independently.  Reading homework should range from 10-20 minutes per night. Please try to balance your child’s reading homework: reading to your child, reading with your child, and letting your child read independently

I will send home your child’s sight words on cards, which are kept in a small Ziploc bag.  Sight words should be practiced every day for 3-5 minutes.  The sight words also need to be returned to school daily.  If your child is not able to complete his/her reading and sight word homework, please do not keep it at home to complete the following night. Always return reading and sight word homework to school the next day.  We practice sight words daily in reading groups and during our literacy workstations.  So… if students forget their reading/sight word homework at home, they are not prepared for their reading group or literacy workstations the next day at school. 

Written Homework:  Other written homework, such as math, writing and other subjects, will be sent home Mondays and will be due on Fridays.


First graders will go to Specials each day.  The classes include Music, P.E., Art and Spanish.   

PE:  First graders participate in physical education and the schedule is on a rotation.  Please refer to your child’s Take-Home Folder/ Daily Log for the Specials schedule.  Please have your child bring or wear (or bring) a pair of tennis shoes on designated P.E. days.


·       1st graders may checkout one book at a time from our RRE library. 

·       Keep your child’s library book in his/her backpack when not reading the book. 

·       We have a school library collection basket in our classroom when books.  Students are unable to checkout new books for the school library until old checked out books are returned.


Volunteers:  Volunteers are appreciated and welcome in our classroom.  There are several volunteering opportunities:

·       One P.T.O. room parent

·       Classroom assistants:  volunteer weekly or bi-weekly in a regular time slot

·       Help with holiday parties

·       Help to sharpen pencils

·       Prepare classroom materials at home


Our volunteer coordinator is Brittany Shiner bshiner@dcsdk12.orgPlease email her if you are interested in helping.  I will also send home emails soliciting volunteers as needed throughout the year.  Thanks in advance for your help!  **The parent volunteering will begin in September.


Transportation/ Dismissal Changes:  It is my responsibility to ensure all my students leave school safely.  If your child rides a school bus, I will send your child home on their normal route unless you notify the main office or contact me.  The best way to notify me of a transportation change is by sending a note or an email in the morning.  If you need to make a later change in transportation, you must call the front office.  Most often, I am not able to check email until after school. 

Toys from Home, Personal Treasures, and Personal Owned Devices (PODs)

The first grade team requests that first graders leave all toys, personal items, valuables, and Personally Owned Devices (i.e. personal electronic devices) at home.  In addition, we request that these items are not stashed in your student’s backpack or pockets when at school.  

I am thrilled about teaching your child this year!  I love learning and teaching with children more than just about anything.  I want all my students to feel success and love school as much as I do.  Please contact me anytime if you have questions.  Looking forward to a great year!!

Here is the link to the Rock Ridge Website.  Bookmark this page, it will be an excellent resource for you though out the year.

If at any time, you have questions or concerns please contact me.  The best way to contact me is by email.


303-387-5150 (main office at school)