2020-2021 Kindergarten Handbook Orland School District 135

Dear Kindergarten Parents,

We are excited to welcome your child to Orland School District 135! Whether this is your first child beginning his/her school career or your third child, we know the excitement you feel in seeing your child take this big step in their educational journey.

We understand you may have many questions as well as some concerns, so we have created this handbook. We want to help you feel prepared as a parent and support you as your child begins the first step of their journey. This handbook outlines the kindergarten curriculum, provides answers to frequently asked questions and provides an overview of District 135. You will also find suggested activities that you and your child can do together to help get ready for their first day of kindergarten.

District 135 strives to help all students become confident, lifelong learners and productive citizens by challenging them to discover their potential. Your child will never be a number to us; our students are individuals. By carefully nurturing their special talents, our entire school staff will help your child grow throughout their years in the District.

To help us give your child a strong beginning, we encourage you to become involved and stay in­­vol­ved in your child’s education. Our logo reads "Community of Learners" because it is the collaborative efforts of students, parents, teachers, and the Orland community that makes the District 135 experience second to none.

Thank you for choosing District 135. We wish you and your family success in the year ahead!

John Bryk, Superintendent

Orland School District 135

Administration Center

15100 S. 94th Avenue - Orland Park, IL 60462

Ways to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten:

  • Talk about school as a pleasant experience.
  • Practice clear speech and the correct names for objects, people and animals.
  • Practice how to listen to simple instructions and carry them out. Praise your child for jobs well done.
  • Prepare a good breakfast for your child.
  • Start an early bedtime routine - most kindergartners need ten hours of sleep a night.
  • Dress your students appropriately for a school setting and weather conditions.
  • Practice the route to school so your child feels comfortable with the first day of school.
  • Shop for school supplies together.
  • Establish a time each day to read with your child.

Kindergarten Readiness

In the Kindergarten curriculum, skills will be addressed at a time that is developmentally appropriate for the student. Instruction will include cooperative learning, paired activities, and play to promote social growth and communication skills. Children will have additional success when they enter Kindergarten if they can independently do the following skills:

Academic Skills:

  • Count to 10 or higher
  • Follow 2-step directions
  • Identify numbers 1-10 in print
  • Identify basic colors (red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple, black and white)
  • Identify a triangle, square, circle and rectangle
  • Print first name
  • Recite the letters of the alphabet (the ABC song)

Social Skills:

  • Demonstrate basic social skills (share and take turns)
  • Understand how to share and take turns
  • Respect others and their property
  • Speak in complete sentences of 5-6 words

Motor Skills:

  • Use crayons correctly
  • Cut with scissors correctly
  • Tie shoes
  • Zip and/or button a coat

Independent Skills:

  • Say first name, last name,
  • address and phone number
  • Manage bathroom needs

Kindergarten Expectations

Foundational Skills

  • Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print.
  • Follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page.
  • Recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequence of letters.
  • Understand that words are separated by spaces in print.
  • Recognize and name all upper and lower case letters of the alphabet.
  • Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables and sounds (phonemes).
  • Recognize and produce rhyming words.
  • Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.
  • Blend and segment onsets and rhymes of single-syllable spoken words.
  • Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant) words.
  • Add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.
  • Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant) words.
  • Add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.
  • Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds , for each consonant.
  • Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.
  • Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).
  • Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ.


  • Compose opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic or name of the book they are writing about and stat an opinion or preference about the topic or book (e.g., "My favorite book is...").
  • Compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
  • Narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.
  • With guidance and support from adults, students will be able to do the following: Respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers, participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them), and Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Speaking and Listening

  • Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about Kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).
  • Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges.
  • Confirm understanding of a text, read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
  • Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
  • Describe familiar people, places, things, and events with prompting and support; provide additional detail.
  • Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
  • Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.


  • Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
  • Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).
  • Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).
  • Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
  • When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.
  • Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
  • Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
  • Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1–20, count out that many objects.
  • Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.
  • Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals.
  • Understand addition and subtraction.
  • Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
  • Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add or subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
  • Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).
  • For any number from 1 to 9, find the number that makes 10 when added to the given number, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record the answer with a drawing or equation.
  • Fluently add and subtract within 5.
  • Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written numeral.
  • Understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones.
  • Understand the following special cases: 10 can be thought of as a bundle of ten ones — called a “ten", the numbers from 11-19 are composed of a ten and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones, the numbers 10-90 refer to one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine tens (and 0 ones), and compare two two-digit numbers based on meanings of the tens and ones digits, recording the results of comparisons with the symbols >, =, and <.
  • Add within 100, including adding a two-digit number and a one-digit number, and adding a two-digit number and a multiple of 10, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used. Understand that in adding two-digit numbers, one adds tens and tens, ones and ones; and sometimes it is necessary to compose a ten.
  • Given a two-digit number, mentally find 10 more or 10 less than the number, without having to count; explain why.
  • Subtract multiples of 10 in the range 10-90 from multiples of 10 in the range 10-90 (positive or zero differences), using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used.
  • Describe and compare measurable attributes.
  • Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object. Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/“less of” the attribute, and describe the difference. For example, directly compare the heights of two children and describe one child as taller/shorter.
  • Classify objects and count the number of objects in each category.
  • Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.


  • Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.
  • Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.
  • Identify shapes as two-dimensional (lying in a plane, “flat”) or three-dimensional (“solid”).
  • Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/“corners”) and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length).
  • Model shapes in the world by building shapes from components (e.g., sticks and clay balls) and drawing shapes.
  • Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes. (e.g., “Can you join these two triangles with full sides touching to make a rectangle?”


Our kindergarten science curriculum includes units of study that are driven by an anchoring phenomenon in our world. In kindergarten, the three units are, pushes and pulls, weather, and plants and animals. Each unit includes:

  • Explaining Phenomena. Phenomenon-based unit storylines provide real-world problems for students to connect their learning with their own experiences. Hands-on investigations enable students to explore, explain, and make sense of phenomena.
  • Designing Solutions. Engineering Challenges and investigations engage students to design solutions directly relating to Disciplinary Core Ideas.
  • Three Dimensional Learning. Each and every lesson focuses on at least one Science and Engineering Practice, one Disciplinary Core Idea, and one Crosscutting Concept. Each dimension is selected to support learning as it relates to the Performance Expectation.

Social Studies

Our kindergarten social science curriculum is driven by Illinois Learning Standards. Throughout their kindergarten school year, our students learn disciplinary core concepts by building understandings through essential questions. The disciplinary core concepts and essential questions include:

  • Civic and Political Institutions - Who are community helpers and what do they do?
  • Processes, Rules, and Laws -Why do we have rules at home, school, the playground, and within the community?
  • Economic Decision Making - Why can’t we have everything we want?
  • Human-Environment interaction - How does weather affect us? Does where you live affect how you live?
  • Human Population - How do people get the things they need?
  • Change, Continuity, and Context - How is my life the same as when my parents or grandparents were young?
  • Perspectives - Why do we have holidays? What are our holidays? Who are we celebrating? Why do we celebrate them?


Students will have the opportunity to explore various art forms, including drawing and painting.


Students will move freely to music and use patterns in singing and movement.

Kindergarten Expectations, Continued

In addition to your child's classroom teacher, other staff will instruct the students regarding the following topics:

Social and Emotional Awareness

  • Establishing social relationships
  • Developing empathy for others
  • Creating an understanding of emotion management skills
  • Practicing bus, playground, and fire safety drills
  • Avoiding illness through good nutrition and washing hands
  • Safety and first aid
  • Confidence/verbal skills for safety

Information Literacy

  • Students will learn how to obtain information. They will check out library books and explore ideas through a multimedia approach.

Physical Education

  • Gross motor skills (skipping, jumping, hopping)
  • Balancing and climbing
  • Movement in games and dance


  • Using word processing and keyboarding to produce text
  • Illustrate and communicate original ideas and stories using digital tools
  • Demonstrate the safe and cooperative use of technology

Kindergarten Assessment

Prior to the start of school, your child will have the opportunity to participate in kindergarten screening. This screening consists of literacy and math assessments which are intended to help building administrators plan for meeting students’ needs. Kindergarten students are also assessed in the fall, winter, and spring. In the area of early literacy, the vast majority of children are found to be developmentally ready for kindergarten. Throughout the school year, some parents may be asked to allow for a more in-depth assessment of their child’s readiness skills. If any cause for concern is detected in any assessment, you will be fully informed and involved in planning whatever additional services or programs your child may need.

Your Child's Health

Physical, Dental and Eye Exam Forms are Due by the first day of school.

State law requires that all students have medical (physical), dental exam and eye exams (performed by an optometrist or physician who provides complete eye exams) before entering kindergarten. We will give you the necessary medical, dental and eye exam forms at kindergarten registration. Families are encouraged to return the forms to school by June 1st. All Completed forms must be submitted by the first day of school. Children who are without completed health records must, by law, be excluded from school. Completed health records should be returned to your child's school to the attention of the nurse.

The A-B-Cs of Immunizations

All children must have certain immunizations before entering kindergarten. In the interest of everyone’s health, state law requires that school children be immunized against chicken pox, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, measles, rubella, and mumps.

While lead screening was mandatory at one time, students who reside within Orland District 135 boundaries are not required to show proof prior to entering kindergarten. Please consult your child's health provider about the need for lead screening and TB testing.

The only children exempt from these requirements are those for whom immunizations are medically contraindicated, as stated in writing by a doctor, and children whose parents claim a legitimate religious exemption. Your child’s immunization record is to be entered on the medical exam forms you are given at registration. We ask that you turn these forms in by June 1st, 2018. Immunization is required by law, so non-immunized children must and will be excluded from school.

If Your Child Will Be Absent

Once your child is in school, we suggest you monitor his/her health. Please keep your child at home if he/she has a sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, persistent cough, fever or rash. Please be sure to call school each day your child is absent. We will be looking for your child every day and will want to know that he or she is in your care if not in school.

If your child has been absent from school because of a highly infectious disease (impetigo, strep, ringworm, pink eye, etc.), we may ask that your doctor certify in writing that your child can be re-admitted to school. In the event that your Kindergartener has outside recess time and your child cannot go outdoors, your child's Principal may request a note if you wish to keep him/her indoors. If you want your child kept indoors for more than two days, we will need a doctor’s note to that effect. If your child develops any health problems that we should be aware of, please call your child’s school. We will accommodate you and your child to the best of our ability. If your child requires medication (prescribed or over-the-counter), we ask that you arrange the medication schedule so that you can give your child his/her medicine at home. When this is not possible, please contact your child’s Principal for information on our policy regarding the administration of medication in school.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which school will my child attend?

Confirmation of school assignment is mailed to parents in August. Class sizes and transportation concerns are determining factors when assigning children to schools. Schools with kindergarten programs are Centennial, Center, Park, and Prairie. Boundary maps are available on our website and provide a general idea of which of the four schools your child will likely attend.

Is full day kindergarten more beneficial for the child?

The District offers half day and full day Kindergarten. Full day students will have the opportunity for deeper learning and hands-on development that goes beyond the curriculum. It is highly encouraged for families to take advantage of the full day program to ensure their child has as many learning opportunities available to them as possible.

How should my child dress for school?

Selecting school clothes can be a fun task. We suggest that school clothes be easy for children to put on without help. Above all, school clothes should be comfortable and allow your child to move around freely. In winter, please dress your child for outdoor activities.

Look for inner and outer clothes with fastenings and ties that little fingers can manage. It’s a good idea to practice zipping and tying at home. Look for shoes that are easy to put on and take off. Please label hats, coats, boots, and mittens with your child’s full name.

How will the school contact me if I'm needed during the school day?

Each year, we ask parents to complete a Student Information Sheet. This form will be kept on file. It gives us important information about your child, and you will use this form to tell us where we can reach you during the school day should your child become ill or injured. It is essential that the information on this form be kept current. If you change your job, or work or home phone number or address anytime during the school year, please let us know by calling your child’s school.

Does District 135 offer before or after school care for my child?

The District offers the STARS Before and After School Care Program. You can read more about this program at https://www.orland135.org/domain/1455 or call (708-364-3346). The STARS program is hosted inside all Kindergarten through Fifth Grade buildings. Students can attend the STARS program at the school they are enrolled in. Students in Sixth through Eighth Grade will attend the program at their campus elementary school.

Additionally, Parents are encouraged to contact any one of the many daycare providers in the Orland area.

How do pick-ups and drop-offs work?

Each school has specific instructions for parents who are dropping their child off and picking them up from school. This information is discussed at Open House, which is typically held the first week of school in August. Students are released from school only to parents or legal guardians. Parents or legal guardians will be required to show a personal ID and sign students out in the school log. In the event of an emergency or inclement weather, students will be held in a safe place until an authorized adult comes to take the student home. Crossing guards are on hand at the schools in the morning and afternoon to ensure the safety of students who walk to school. We appreciate your help in reminding your child about the importance of walking to and from school safely.

*Please note, kindergarten students will not be dropped at a bus stop without a parent or guardian present.

Important Links

Click on any of the links below to be taken directly to a page on the District website for more information!