Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What options exist for band?  Ms. Marino, the band teacher, will address students in early September to gauge students’ interest in band. Individual lessons generally begin in October with the entire band beginning to meet in early December.
  • If my child participates in band, what will they miss?  5th grade generally halts regular instruction during big band times (2:25-3:10 on Wednesdays). Students not participating in band are given extra assistance, remedial help, or have other pullout opportunities.
  • What/when is Release Time?  Release Time is an hour on Wednesday mornings that local churches utilize for religious instruction. It will occur between 9:05-10:05 on Wednesday mornings from late October to early April.
  • If my child participates in Release Time, what will they miss?  During this time, students remaining in the classroom will be focusing on building their reading stamina, and there will be no new instruction given. Students who do not go to Release Time may also receive additional assistance in other areas. Release Time students will not miss any of the 5th grade curriculum by choosing to go to Release Time.
  • How many teachers will my child see throughout the day?  We view 5th grade as a nice transition to the middle school. He/she could see any of the eight 5th grade teachers (including their homeroom teacher) for the Differentiated Reading and Differentiated Math classes on a given day. Students will also travel with their entire homerooms in what we call Rotations. This includes a Science class (taught by either Mr. Tillmann, Mr. Bouta, or Mrs. Kaminsky), a Social Studies class (taught by either Mr. Langins, Mrs. Elton, or Mrs. Krause), and a second Math class called Math Plus (taught by Mrs. Moore, or Mrs. Madson). Therefore, your child could see between three and five of the fifth grade teachers in a day.
  • What are Differentiated Reading and Differentiated Math?  These subjects can be thought of as traditional reading and math instruction, though this is also achieved through Writing, Spelling, and Math Plus. Based on both teacher recommendations as well as MCA, SRI, and other testing data, students will be flexibly grouped for these classes. They may be moved to different groups and see different teachers throughout the year depending on their success or frustration and their work habits.
  • How do conferences work with my child seeing so many teachers?  You will have a scheduled conference with your child’s homeroom teacher. All of your child’s teachers will pass on pertinent information to the homeroom teacher. If you have further questions, you may certainly email or otherwise contact any of us with specific questions.
  • What are the 5th grade field trips?  We have a trip to the Middle School at the end of the year for swimming, open gym, lunch, and exposure to their new school. We may go ice skating at the ice arena for the fall party, see a movie at the State Theater for their winter party, and go bowling at the bowling alley for the Valentine’s Party. We usually have asked for around $10 to cover the food costs for the fall, winter, and Valentine’s parties as well as bussing and admission to the ice arena and bowling alley. We also will visit the Children’s Theater in the spring.
  • How much homework should my child have on a given night? Research tends to indicate about 10 minutes for every grade of schooling on average. Therefore, a typical student should be close to an hour. Students who find school comes easy for them and who use their class time wisely may rarely ever have homework. Other students who struggle in certain areas, have a hard time concentrating, or who make poor use of work time at school may have significantly more than an hour on average. If your child constantly has more than two hours of homework each night, and through your monitoring you are certain they are working and not daydreaming or concurrently watching television or listening to music, please contact your child’s teacher to discuss ideas.
  • How much help should I give my child on his/her homework? Feel free to assist your child and even do some problems together. Please stop short of taking the pencil in your hand to write answers for them.
  • What if my child forgets something (homework) in school? Sometimes, a janitor can let you into the classroom after hours to retrieve forgotten items, but please talk to your child’s teacher first regarding specifics. Students who need extra time to finish their homework may, on occasion, come in early to do so, or go to the cafeteria as part of the breakfast program.
  • My spouse and I do not understand this assignment. What do we do?  Our curriculum is vast and complicated. Many parents express concern that certain concepts their children are learning are long forgotten or are being taught in a new manner. Textbooks and reference manuals may certainly be brought home by students. Please check your child’s Homework Journal for due dates and notes from teachers. Teachers are often open to being contacted at home on a limited basis to answer quick questions. Please try contacting friends or classmates as well as a means of answering questions regarding directions or expectations.
  • When is a good time to contact a teacher with a question?  All of us have e-mail addresses and phone extensions here at school (look on the contact information instead of frequently asked questions). Most of us have a prep time between 9:06-9:38 and 12:00-12:30. If you need to pass a message along to your son or daughter after 1:45, please ask the secretary to patch your phone call directly to the room. Emails and messages in our office mailboxes may go unnoticed after this time.
  • What are school hours?  The students will enter the building at 8:35 with the tardy bell ringing at 8:45. The dismissal bell rings at 3:25, and the buses are supposed to be leaving shortly after that.
  • What is the 5th grade grading scale? 90-100% = E; 80-90% = S; 70-80% = P; Below 70% = N
  • Do I need to sign the Homework Journal?  Most teachers do not require this. Please make a habit of checking it nightly though, along with the Take Home Folder, which should contain corrected papers and informational items.
  • What does the Gifted/Talented program look like?  All four grade levels at Park share a half-time gifted/talented position. Puddle will be an option, and various other opportunities will exist throughout the year.
  • When should I send a note to the teacher?  Please send a note if you are planning on being gone, if the office was unable to get a hold of you following an absence, if your child needs to get out of school early for an appointment, if your child needs to take a different bus home (or otherwise has different than usual after school plans), or if your child needs to miss Phy Ed for any reason.
  • If our family is going on vacation, can I request homework for my child?  Yes, but our daily plans change throughout the week and often we are not able to give specific assignments until a day or so before you would leave.
  • Can I eat lunch with my child or take them out to lunch?  Certainly. Some classes eat from 12:45-1:05 whereas the other half of fifth grade eats from 12:50-1:10. If you wish to eat a school lunch with your child, just let the office know and either secretary can confirm your child’s lunch time. Meal tickets are available for $4.35 in the office–cash or checks are accepted.
  • If I can’t get a doctor or dentist appointment scheduled before or after school, when would be a good time to do this so that my child will not miss prime teaching times?  Wednesdays, especially during Release Time (9:05-10:05) or Band (2:25-3:15), would probably work best. If your child participates in both Band and Release Time, the rest of the day has an abbreviated schedule.
  • How should birthdays be handled?  Your child is welcome to bring a treat if they wish. Unfortunately, these should not be homemade, and new federal laws make even non-nutritious treats questionable. If your child is planning to pass out invitations at school, please have them be discreet, so that others do not feel left out.
Hutchinson Public Schools

Hutchinson Public Schools