New Kindergarten Families

*Make sure to read General Resources & Information in addition to the information provided here.

The following MPS web page contains useful information on getting ready for kindergarten including what you need to know about pre-K early childhood screening (required by state law!) and many other tips on getting your child ready and registered for kindergarten.

Kindergarten Picnic (August)
The Kindergarten picnic is a PTA-sponsored event held on an early evening in mid-August. All incoming kindergartners and their families are invited to come and meet one another! Watch the school website over the summer for exact date, time, and details.

Kindergarten Parent Coffee and Tissues (First Day)
Immediately after the start of the first day of kindergarten, join fellow kindergarten parents in the lunchroom for coffee, conversation, and maybe a few tears


FAQ  for Kindergarten Parents about Lake Harriet Lower Campus

What time does school start?
First bell rings at 9:25; this is when the doors to the school open.  Second bell rings at 9:35.  If a child arrives at school after 9:35 they will need a late slip, picked up from the school secretary, located in the lobby, across from the lunchroom.  More information on late slips is below.

What time does school end?
School ends at 3:50.  Kids who are part of Minneapolis Kids are brought to that location.  The rest of the kids are walked outside with their teachers.  The children walk around the building with their teacher, who drops off bus kids at the appropriate buses.  Parent pick up kids are dropped off at the corner of Drew and 40th once the teacher has confirmed the responsible adult for each child.  Any student not picked up by 4:05 when the buses pull away is brought back into the school and the parents can pick them up at door #1 on 41st.

How does my kindergartener make it from the bus to their classroom?
During the first two weeks of school, kids are lined up when they get off the bus and are walked to class, showing them how to find their classrooms.

What to do/who to call if your child is going to miss school (due to sickness or family vacation, etc.)
Find all the information about what to do here for vacations:

When you call the lower campus office at 612-668-3210 you will be prompted to choose an option.
Attendance, Health Office, Transportation, Social Worker, Main Office

If your student is absent or going to be late (for any medical appointment, automobile issues, weather conditions) please choose option 1, leave a message with the students name, id number, and reason for absent or being late. If your student is late for a medical appointment please have a doctor's note available for the visit.

If a student is running late for any other reason than listed above, a late pass is needed. If your student is in grades K-2, bring your student to the health office to receive a late pass. A 3rd grade student can come to the health office to sign in and get a late pass without parent approval.

What are the tags on the backpacks?
Kindergartners through 2nd graders get a white tag on their backpack on the first day of school.  This tag contains their name, room number and information on how the child gets home.  Remember, the school cannot accommodate helping to set up play dates. Any day-of changes need to go through the office. For other changes in the regular pickup schedule of your child, please contact the teacher directly via e-mail.

All kindergarteners get a free breakfast at 10:10am.  Teachers will bring kids down to the lunchroom where they will enjoy a small breakfast and time to chat with their friends.

A little about lunch time, recess and getting the snow gear on:
Lunch is at 1:20pm.  Children have approximately 30 minutes for lunch and then head out to recess.  During the snow season please label ALL snow gear. Please have your child practice putting on their winter gear so they can be independent in this task at school. We have 20 to 30 minutes of recess daily unless the wind chill is below zero.

School lunch:
The School Cafe is designed to provide parents with a safe and convenient way to prepay for student’s meals online.  To set up a new account or manage an existing account, visit  The website for paying for school lunch is It is helpful for kindergartners to practice memorizing and typing their lunch number prior to starting school and throughout the first few weeks.

Menus can be found and printed out via the website below.  Please note that we are a K-8 on site school.  This means our school meals are prepared on-site.

Homework expectations
Fun Monthly Family Projects that correspond to themes in class will be sent home to work on with your student. They should be returned by the specified date to be shared with peers in the classroom. Formal, daily homework is not a large focus in kindergarten classrooms or curriculum.  

Communication to expect from your teacher
You will receive weekly communication from your child’s teacher. This is a great way to get an overview of what happened at school that week and what is coming up.  In addition, each of the kindergarten teachers have a link via their school webpage to a “Peek at the Week.”  This calendar gives you an idea of what the kids are learning about each day, what books they are reading, etc. Tuesday folders will go home weekly with documents and news from school.

Ways to communicate with your teacher
E-mail is the best way to communicate with your child’s teacher. Please be mindful that the teachers are busy teaching and working with children during the day, and thus are often unable to check their email after the first bell of the morning. If you need a message communicated to your child’s teacher same-day it is best to call the office. In an emergency you should always contact the office.The kindergarten team is all very open to communicating with the parents.

Sign up for school newsletter
You can sign up for the weekly school newsletter by visiting the home page of the school (  Make sure to do so – it contains lots of valuable information about upcoming and current activities at the school.

PTA fundraising efforts, Classroom field trips, STEAM day, and so much more!!  You will receive information about all of these events from the PTA newsletter, your classroom representative and/or your teacher! 

Minneapolis Kids Program
We provide high quality school age child care for families. We offer a safe, nurturing, educational and recreational experience where children are encouraged to pursue interests and develop friendships, independence, and confidence.  This program is available before and after school, school break days and during the summer.  For more information

What is a ‘Room Rep’ and what kind of communication can you expect?
A Parent Room Rep is a parent who communicates directly with the teacher and provides communication via email to all parents.  Room Reps typically help set up class parties, send reminder notes about upcoming events and activities, and serve as a resource for the teacher to get out communication.  Depending on the teacher, you might hear often from your room rep or it could be less frequent.  There is opportunity to sign up to be your child’s room rep at Open House in August.

Volunteer forms and background check:
In order to volunteer in your child’s room, you need to fill out a volunteer form.  This form is good for your student’s entire time at LHCS.  In order to be able to be alone with a child you will also need to have a background check completed.  This is a separate form and is only good for one year.  Visit this website for access to the forms and more information about volunteer policies.

How can I be involved?
There are a variety of ways to be involved.  First, contact you teacher or Parent Room Rep to see what you can do to help in the classroom.  Opportunities vary from coming in to help in the classroom or being a chaperone on field trips.  Besides in the classroom, below are a few of the other ways to help:

Join the Green Team!
Join the LHCS Green Team and support organics recycling in the LHCS lower campus cafeteria. Volunteers help the kids separate organics (food scraps, paper, and cardboard) from the rest of their lunch trash. The time commitment is two lunch periods per month (11:45-1:40).  If you can help, please contact Heather Hunt ( or Nikki Niermann ( This is a fun and easy program that has a real impact--on our kids and on our planet!    

Join the PTA!
The PTA provides funding and volunteers for the myriad of extra-curricular events and opportunities at Lake Harriet Community School.  Lake Harriet Community School is known for it's strong parental involvement.  Parental involvement has been shown to positively affect students’ success in school and brings numerous benefits to parents, teachers and the school in general.  Check out more information on the PTA here!

Join the Site Council!
The Lake Harriet Community School (LHCS) Site Council is the school’s site leadership team. As the advisory and planning body for LHCS, it is a forum for staff and parents to provide direction to the administration and to enhance student achievement. For more info, look here:

Students may be assessed at the beginning of the school year, in the winter, and again in the spring.  These tests help the teachers to plan their instruction so that they can meet the differentiated academic needs of your child.