Every school does its Kindergarten Orientation and Open House differently. For some, it is before school begins. For others, it may be 2-3 weeks after school starts. Whenever your particular orientation and open house is, here are some ideas to make yours a success.
For many years (longer than I can remember), our school has had a separate Open House for Early Childhood Education and Kindergarten. The theory behind this decision is that for many of these parents, this is their first experience as a parent in the school system. By the teachers having a semi-formal sit down orientation, we are able to go over everything that Kindergarten entails, as well as school expectations and procedures.
We usually choose an evening 2-3 weeks after school begins and send home plenty of reminders. I generally ask for no students to be present, since it is a sit-down meeting with the adults. Reminders include paper notices home and text messages via Remind! I also include a visible reminder on my parent communication board and calendar.
Making a PowerPoint presentation for all of the grown-ups in your orientation may be an easy way for you to present your material. This worked well for me in the past.
Parents were able to sit down, watch the presentation and take part in the slide show by asking questions. This enabled me to present all of the classroom and school rules in a precise and effective manner and allowed me to answer the questions in the whole group setting.
This is the time to give your grown-ups the informational paperwork and handouts from your classroom and school. Here is a Back-to-School Kit that includes most forms for you new students.
In our school, we did the open house without children, but your school may not have that available. You will need an activity to entertain the little ones while you interact with the grown-ups. One such activity is the Name Mosaic. This activity is easy to set up and very fun for your little ones.
Kindergarten orientation and open house should be informative, but also be fun for all.