Miller-Driscoll

The Miller-Driscoll School serves the youngest children in the Wilton public school system, covering Kindergarten through 2nd grade.

Administration

Principal: Cheryl Jensen-Gerner

Assistant Principal: Dr. Sheelah Brown

Assistant Principal: Leslie Pearson

Address

217 Wolfpit Rd

Wilton, CT 06897

http://www.miller-driscollschool.org

Important Phone Numbers

203.762.8678 or 203.762.3374

Fax: 203.761.1570

Background

Miller-Driscoll Elementary School is comprised of two different schools that were structurally united in 1990 and administratively re-united in 2010. Miller School was built first, dedicated in1966 and named for Tilford W. Miller who had served as town treasurer and twenty year chairman of the Board of Education. Then Driscoll School was built to the south of Miller ”behind” the original school. Driscoll was dedicated in 1969 and named after Ina E. Driscoll, a beloved Wilton teacher and principal from 1926-1957. In 1990 the two schools were physically united by the new office, library and central cores. In 2010 the two schools were combined administratively. Both were built on the site of the old Benedict Farm which was purchased in 1961 for $78,000.

 

Accolades and Achievements

  • USDA Healthier US School Challenge Bronze Award

Frequently Asked Questions

Before School Starts

 

1. How and when do I register my child for Kindergarten?

Kindergarten Registration is in January of each school year. The specific dates are published in the local media. If you miss the kindergarten registration you may call the school office and the office staff will direct you in the necessary steps. These registration materials should be turned in as soon as they are completed.

 

2. What is the cut-off age/date for kindergarten entry?

Admission to kindergarten is open to all children turning five years of age on or before the last day, (December 31), of the calendar year in which they enter school.

 

3. What materials do I need for kindergarten registration?

To register, you must present the child’s original birth certificate or passport as well as two proofs of residency which can be (1) your closing documents, deed or real estate tax bill accompanied by a current utility bill or (2) your signed lease if renting accompanied by a current utility bill. The registering parent/guardian will also need to present his/her drivers license. All materials should be presented at the same time. Finally, the State of Connecticut’s Health Assessment Record must be completed before the child can be placed.

 

4. Do you hold a kindergarten orientation?

Yes, we have three scheduled orientations planned for May 2012.  Both parents and kindergarten children will be invited to a one hour session in May. The dates for orientation are: May 7, 14, and 21. We will hold two sessions on each of those dates. Sessions are 1:00-2:00 and 2:00-3:00. Parents will attend a session to hear about kindergarten, receive handouts, and ask questions. While the parents are attending a session in the gymnasium the kindergarten teachers will take the children for an activity they will do together in one of the kindergarten classrooms.

 

5. When will I know the name of my child’s kindergarten teacher?

Kindergarten teacher assignments will be mailed to parents by the end of July. That mailing will include the class list for your child’s class, a listing of parent-purchased kindergarten classroom supplies information that includes directions and your password for access to our protected pages on Edline – our Miller-Driscoll website.

 

6. When may we meet the teacher?

Meet the Teacher Day for all kindergarten students is scheduled for 9:00-9:45 on Thursday, August 23, 2012.  Since this operates as an open house, parents and kindergarteners are invited to visit the classrooms and meet their teacher during that 45 minute block of time. We do ask that all visits conclude by 9:45 to enable the next set of students and parents who will need to park for the next open house that begins at 10:00.

 

7. When is the first day of school?

The first day of school for the 2012-2013 school year is Monday, August 27. The hours are 9:05-12:45 for all kindergarten students.

 

8. What are the regular school hours for kindergarten students?

Kindergarten has an extended day program. For the first three weeks of school all kindergarten children attend school for a shortened day, 9:05-12:45. Beginning on either Thursday, September 21 or Friday, September 22 kindergarten will begin their extended days/long days. Extended days for kindergarten students consist of three short days (9:05-12:45) and two long days, (9:05-3:35). All the students will attend a short day each Monday and then be assigned to two long days, either Tuesday/Thursday or Wednesday/Friday. The opposite days will also be short days. These assignments will be made by September 13. This will give the teachers time to know the children better in order to determine an appropriate mix/balance of students for each long day session.

 

Placement/Classrooms

 

1. What is the process for placement?

The incoming students will be placed in 14 classes for the 2012-2013 school year.  An attempt will be made to balance the classes according to the following criteria: a) a balance of boys and girls, b) a balance of students from the various preschools, c) preschool input including students to be placed together and those to be placed separately and d) students with behavioral and academic needs.  Class lists and teacher assignments will be made by Miller-Driscoll administrators.

 

2. Will legacies from previous siblings be honored this year?

When possible, legacies will be honored but they will not be the driving force for the placement process and so there can be no guarantees that this will occur. Our primary consideration is an appropriate balance for each class as noted above.

 

3. When will I know the name of my child’s teacher?

All teacher assignments will be mailed by the end of July. Information to access password pages on Edline, including parent passwords, will be included in this mailing.

 

4. How many children will be in a class in 2012-2013?

Classroom size is determined by enrollment numbers. Kindergarten classes at Miller-Driscoll are typically between 18-20 students. Each class is taught by a kindergarten teacher. We do not have paraprofessionals that are assigned to each class. Some classes have paraprofessional support assigned to specific students or clusters of students as determined in their IEP, (Individual Education Plan).  For the 2012-2013 school year we expect to have 14 sections and 18-20 students per class.

 

Transportation

 

1. How will I know what bus my child will ride and where he/she will catch the bus?

 

All bus information will be sent via email to each family. This will be made available no later than Friday, August 24, just a few days before school begins. All bus routes are determined by the district transportation department. The transportation coordinator is Mary Channing at channingm@wilton.k12.ct.us  or 203-762-3381, extension 8333.

 

Bus tags are distributed to all kindergarten students on “Meet the Teacher Day”, August 23 showing bus assignments, (both number and letter*), student name and address, and name of teacher. The tags have clips and should be worn every day during the first weeks of school.

 

All kindergarten parents are required to be at the bus stop for morning pickup and afternoon drop off.  If there is no known responsible adult at the stop when the bus arrives in the afternoon, (short days and long days), the driver will notify the bus company to notify the school and finish the route before returning the child to the school. The school will contact the parent to request the child be picked up at school.

 

Kindergarten students are assigned a number bus and a letter bus.  In the morning and at the end of long days the children will ride their assigned number bus. First and second grade children are also on the numbered buses in the morning and afternoons. At the 12:45 dismissal on Mondays and short days the kindergarten children take the letter buses home. Since these buses leave at mid-day, only kindergarten students ride these buses.

 

Preparing for Kindergarten

 

1. Does my child need a backpack?

Your child will need a backpack to carry notes, reading books, snack/lunch, etc. No rolling backpacks please as they do not fit in lockers and space is very limited in the classrooms.

 

2. Should my child’s belongings be labeled?

Yes, please label backpack, coats (name should be marked on the inside), boots, mittens, etc, to avoid any confusion. We do have a Lost and Found area on each end of the building near the cafeterias.

 

3. What supplies will my child need for kindergarten and where may I find them.

Parents are requested to purchase basic individual school supplies for use by your child. This list may be found in the “Incoming Kindergarten” folder on the website.  All other supplies are provided by the school. Supplies may be purchased at stores such as Staples, Walmart, etc. In the spring the PTA also provides a service for parents to purchase these supplies in a package that is delivered to the students at the start of the school year.

 

The School Day and Program

 

1. Are the kindergarten classrooms equipped with a restroom?  

Some of the classrooms have a restroom within the kindergarten classroom. Many do not there is a boys room and a girls room near the classrooms.

 

2. Will my child be able to purchase lunch at school?

Yes, children may purchase a hot or cold lunch at school or they may bring their own from home. Chartwell’s is our food service provider and purchased lunches work on a debit card system. Parents pay Chartwell’s, (check or online), and money is deposited in the child’s lunch account. Children do not handle the money.  Their debit card is kept in a pocket chart in the cafeteria. When children purchase lunch they find their card in the pocket chart and it is scanned by the lunch servers.  The lunch menu is posted online.

 

3. Is there a special kindergarten wing?  

Yes, all our kindergarten rooms are clustered at the south end of the building.  For this next school year we have 14 sections of kindergarten in this area of the building. These sections are broken down into smaller units called “Cottages”. As in grades one and two, kindergarten has three cottages. Firefly Cottage has five regular kindergarten classrooms, Caterpillar Cottage has four regular classrooms and Ladybug Cottage has five classrooms.  Kindergarten rooms can be easily spotted by their yellow doorways.

 

4. Is there a designated kindergarten playground?

Yes, kindergarten students play on the south playground which is very near the kindergarten classrooms.

 

5. Does my child have recess? Is it indoors or outdoors?

Each morning kindergarten children have a morning break which includes a snack and short recess with their class. There is also recess before or after lunch on the children’s long days. Recess is held outdoors whenever possible. When the weather is prohibitive, the class will usually have indoor recess.

 

6. Will my child play with the older students on the playground?

At lunch the kindergarten students are divided in half at which time they will rotate between lunch and recess. At the lunch recess the students only play with other kindergarten classes. Each class also has a grade level recess in the morning that is scheduled at the discretion of the teacher. At that recess, they also play on the south playground but there may be one or two other classes in grades one and two also outside at that time. The teacher supervises the grade level recess for his/her own class and will monitor the play of the students.

 

7. What are “Specials” classes?

At Miller-Driscoll, kindergarten students enjoy music and physical education twice a week for thirty minutes.  Art is scheduled one time a week for a 45 minute block of time and library/media center is held once a week for thirty minutes.  Music, art, physical education, and library/media center are staffed by teachers certified in their area of expertise. Once every two weeks students are instructed in the tech lab by their kindergarten teacher. Your child’s specific schedule will be available at Parent Information night in September.

 

8. How are birthdays celebrated at school?

Birthdays are very special events for our kindergarten children.  In the classroom your child’s teacher will recognize each child’s birthday in a special way. The teacher will share details at the beginning of the year about the specifics related to birthday celebrations. Please do not send food treats as our school has a specific policy regarding parties that prohibits food from being brought to school.

 

9. Do kindergarten students go on field trips?

Yes, several curriculum-related field trips are scheduled throughout the year. They are planned to provide classroom learning and hands-on experience.

 

10. How will my child be challenged and supported?

Our class sizes foster a supportive attitude among the children and enables teachers to help each student experience the thrill of learning. With the extended day program the class has half the students in the room for the afternoon hours.  With the smaller number of children during that time the teacher has the opportunity to provide small group and one on one instruction for reading and writing experiences. In addition, we provide reading teacher assistance to each classroom to team teach with the teacher or to provide assistance to students as needed.  Paraprofessional support is available as-needed to support students for whom learning is more challenging. It is our goal that children appreciate their uniqueness, reach their potential and take delight in new experiences and challenges.

 

11. How do I get involved in my child’s class?  Are there opportunities to volunteer?

We love our volunteers at Miller-Driscoll School!  All our kindergarten teachers welcome volunteers and there are many ways that both working and stay at home parents can be involved. Each class will have sign-ups available at the start of the year for various ways to be involved.  We also have an enthusiastic and active PTA that encourages involvement in many different ways. The PTA will be available at spring orientation with handouts and opportunities for participation in our many events.

 

12. May I bring my younger child to the school when I come to volunteer?

For the safety of all children, our schools prohibit siblings to accompany you to school when you are volunteering. Siblings are welcome to attend some events such as PTA meetings, evening/weekend activities, etc.

 

Arrival/Departure

 

1. What happens when my child arrives at school?

Children must arrive on campus no earlier than 8:45 and no later than 9:00. School begins at 9:05 and children are expected to be on time for school each day. Upon arrival, by bus or car, children will walk to their classroom, unpack their backpack, hang up coats in lockers, put away notes, etc. from home, and prepare for class to begin.

 

2. How will my child get to school?

Children may take the bus or be dropped off at school. When children arrive by bus, school staff will meet the buses and supervise their entry to the building.  When children are dropped off, families will proceed through the drop off circle and staff will be available to supervise entry to the building.

 

3. What do I do if I am late in bringing my child to school? 

If your child arrives to school after 9:00, you must park your car, walk your child to the office and sign him/her in at the office. One of the office staff will call down to your child’s class to ensure the class is in the room and the child will walk to the classroom by himself/herself.

 

4. What do I do if my child needs to leave school early?

You must send a note with your child regarding early release plans with the time, reason and name of person picking him/her up from the office. Upon arrival in picking up your child you will check in with the office staff who will call your child from the classroom to be sent to the office. You will sign out your child with the time of departure. You will not go to the child’s classroom as teachers are not allowed to release your child unless there is a call from the office. Please remember that children should leave early on a rare occasion.

 

5. What do I do if I want to change my child’s method of departure?

You should notify your child teacher’s at the beginning of the year the normal method of departure for each day. If your plan deviates from the usual, you will send a note with our child to give to the teacher. In your note give the specifics of the change and if it is for one day or if it is a permanent change. Calls, emails will not be accepted during the day as it is very confusing for the child.  If it becomes necessary to make a change during the day, you must bring a note to the office for the end of the day change. If you are making a last minute change to pick up your child early you will bring the note with you and the office staff will call the classroom for your child to come to the office at that time.

 

6. What are the drop off and pick up procedures?

In the event that your child will be picked up at school, we ask that you write a dated note to the child’s teacher to that effect the morning of the pick-up. If a note is not sent in, the parent/guardian must bring a note into the office during the school day.

 

Kindergarten Short Day pick ups (12:45 p.m.) will wait in the area outside the door to the Gym (at the South end of the school), next to the Handicapped Parking area.  On extended school days or long days, pick-ups will wait with adult supervisors in the drop off/pick up loop at the South end of the school (Belden Hill Road entrance). The children wait with the supervisors until the parent drives up in the line to pick up the child.

 

First grade students are picked up/dropped off on the North end (Wolfpit Road) and second graders are picked up/dropped off at the South end. Students with younger siblings will go to the designated pick up/drop off area of the youngest sibling.  If the youngest sibling is a pre-school student in our building, the drop off/pick up area is the North end.

 

Communication

 

1. How do teachers communicate with families?

 

Teachers provide three written progress reports that come home once each trimester: November, March and June. Parent-Teacher Conferences with each family take place in November.  Individuals can also schedule a teacher conference on as-needed basis during the school year. Teachers write bi-weekly newsletters posted on our website, www.edline/net/pages/wiltonmd. These pages can be accessed by a password.  Parents will receive password information at the end of July in a mailing that includes placement and beginning of the year information. Parents may also communicate through email and voicemail.  Teachers are very responsive to questions and concerns. At Miller-Driscoll we take pride in being open, responsive and supportive in our home-school partnerships.

 

Health Office

 

1. What happens if my child gets sick at school?

 

We have a Health Office staffed by two nurses. Your child will be evaluated and treated as soon as possible. You be called if the injury is severe or if your child needs to go home due to illness.

 

Childcare

 

1. I work. Do you have after-school childcare for kindergarten children?

 

We have two programs for children at Miller-Driscoll School related to after school childcare. These are both run by Wilton Continuing Education. The Miller-Driscoll Before and After School Extended Day Programs offer parents the flexibility of having their child arrive at school early, (7:00-9:00 a.m.), or stay at school late, (3:30-6:30 p.m.) in a safe, fun, and nurturing environment.

 

The KinderKids Program is an educational and recreational program designed for kindergarten students. This program, which operates from 12:45-3:30, supplements the shortened kindergarten day, broadening your child’s experience.  For more information regarding both these programs, please go to www.wiltoncontinuinged.org.

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