Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School (LVA) has provided full day Kindergarten since the school opened in 2002. We are the only school in the area to practice looping, which means students will have the same teacher for both Kindergarten / First Grade and Second/Third Grades. This creates a sense of comfort and community within the classroom and allows for more continuity between grades.
We offer a before and after care program (ESP – Extended School Program) which is available for all K-6 students. This enables parents and caregivers to drop off children as early as 6:45 am so that they are able to head to work. During this time, the staff will provide homework help and supervise students during activity and play time.
In order to ensure a smooth start to the school year for our Kindergarten students, LVA provides a number of opportunities for the student and family to become familiar with the classroom and our Kindergarten program. Prior to the start of the year, everyone is invited to our K-6 Open House. This is followed by Kindergarten Orientation, where families learn more details about the Kindergarten Program and the students practice bus etiquette by riding the bus.
Each classroom has interactive white boards, infusing technology into their lives every day. Most of our Kindergarten teachers start their day with a short academic activity to wake up their students’ minds before circle time. During circle time, students join their teachers in the common play space to review the goals for the day and some basics such as the date and days of the week, weather, the letter of the day or any other special things students need to know.
A bulk of the morning is spent on Language Arts – for Kindergarten students this means phonics, basic comprehension skills, and handwriting. One of the most exciting things about LVA is that students begin their study of Mandarin Chinese at this age. Every other day, students will work with their Mandarin Chinese teacher and receive introductory lessons to the language. LVA also has three reading specialists who visit the classrooms throughout the day to help students where needed. By the end of Kindergarten, the goal is for all LVA students to know how to read!
LVA operates on a six-day rotation with one specialist class each day. Kindergarten students will have art, drama, music, library science once in the six days, and PE twice. After specials, all Kindergarten classes head to the cafeteria so students can socialize with one another during lunch time. Post lunch is every Kindergarten student’s favorite part of the day – recess! An active body is just as important as an active mind. From our large playground to inside spaces, LVA teachers make sure students have plenty of time to “shake their sillies out” during the day!
Kindergarten teachers utilize center time throughout the day, where students are placed in small groups for more individualized instruction. As an IB World School, even our youngest students are introduced to the idea of inquiry-based learning. Six units of inquiry are taught during the course of the year, encouraging students to learn about themselves and the world around them. These units are based on the Pennsylvania State Standards in the areas of Social Studies and Science. For math, students spend their days learning about number sense. When necessary, students receive extra help from three building level math specialists. The Primary Years Programme (PYP) guides all students in K-6 at LVA, and fully adheres to the PA Core Standards set by PDE. PYP students are encouraged to ask questions, develop a lifelong love of learning and become global citizens of the world.
Kindergarten students wind down their day with some much needed quiet time to rest and reflect before packing up. Bus dismissal flows smoothly and students who are a part of the ESP after school program can stay until parents are able to pick them up, as late as 6 pm.
During the school year, parents can stay connected to the classroom and ensure their child’s success through weekly newsletters, volunteering to help with classroom activities, attending Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences or chaperoning one of the field trips.
Kindergarten is a fun and exciting time for many families – we are so excited that you opted to take this journey with LVA! For more information about Kindergarten admissions, please contact the LVA Admissions office at 610-866-9660 extension 4100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.