Q:What should I pack for lunch on Picnic Days?
A:On Picnic Day, your child will walk to and from the San Francisco Botanical Gardens carrying their lunch. They will eat their lunch sitting cross-legged on the ground, sitting on stairs or sitting on a park bench (depending on where exactly their class goes that day). Given these logistics, the two most important things are keep it light and keep it simple. Your child must carry their own lunch, so make sure that the lunch is light enough to carry and in a bag that is easy to carry. The teachers are particularly fond of the back-pack style lunch containers. Please send your child with a beverage (juice boxes are fine). Do not send your child with food that needs to be heated or is difficult for them to eat seated on the ground.
Q:Is peanut butter allowed?
A:No - peanut butter and other nut products are not allowed at Stepping Stones, due to children with severe nut allergies. Please do not pack any nut products in your child's lunch, and also, please do bring any dishes with nuts to school potlucks. For those whose kids only like PB&J, try Soy or Sunflower Butter, which tastes similar but is made without nuts and is safe for those with nut allergies.
Q:What kind of bedding should I bring for nap time?
A:Your child will sleep on a little blue cot that looks like this. They can use any kind of blanket or pillow that they find comfortable. Please write their name on their pillow - these are always difficult to tell apart! Many of the children have light sleeping bags, or nap mats like this, but any blanket is fine.
Q:My child seems to be wearing different clothes than when I dropped them off - where are the dirty ones?
A:Wet or dirty clothes will appear in a ziplock bag in your child's cubby.
Q:How do I know when my child needs more diapers and/or extra clothes?
A:Teachers appreciate it if you keep an eye on the supply stored in their cubbies. But if it gets too low, they will leave you a reminder in your mailbox.
Q:What exactly does homework mean for the Yellow Class?
A:The two's and three's class does not have any homework. They are encouraged to participate in the Tuesday themes like "Bring a Circle Shaped Object".
Q:What exactly does homework mean for the Green Class?
A:The main weekly homework for the 3's and 4's is to bring in the whatever object has been requested on Tuesdays. Typically, this is something like "Bring in a Circle Shaped Object", but may also be a request for an ingredient for cooking, or art supplies for a special project. When possible, please let your child help choose the item. Some week the 3's and 4's are also sent home on Friday's with worksheets to practice over the weekend. This homework is only partly for the child's benefit. She also sees it as an opportunity for the parents to keep abreast of their child's skill development.
Q:What exactly does homework mean for the Pre K's?
A:The pre-K class has more formal homework. This goes home with your child on Thursdays, and should be brought back to school on Tuesdays.
Q:What happens to the books we bring on Book Share days?
A:These books are read to the children, either during circle time in their classroom, or doing one of the twice-daily all-school story times. You are welcome to bring in a book to share any day of the week.
Q:How can I sign up to volunteer at a special event?
A:Visit the Volunteer page for the schedule and sign-up opportunities.
Q:What happens on Potluck Days?
A:Over the course of the year, the school hosts around six potluck lunches. Parents are invited to attend the potluck lunch and/or contribute an item to the menu. A few days before the lunch, the school will put out a sign-up sheet for food contributions. The school suggests a menu, and parents sign-up for a particular dish. The school asks that each parent try to attend at least one potluck lunch per year. Potlucks are typically held in celebration of Halloween, the December Holidays, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter / Passover and Father's Day.
At the potluck, the parents help serve the food to the kids, then sit down and enjoy some lunch themselves! Parents are also asked to volunteer to help clean up.
Q:Should I pack my child a lunch on Potluck Day?
A:Unsurprisingly, the menus for Potluck Days are pretty kid friendly. However, if your child is a particularly picky eater, you are welcome to pack them their own lunch.
Q:What holidays does the school celebrate in December?
A:In keeping with our multicultural city, the Stepping Stones students are a diverse, multicultural bunch. Stepping Stones aims to be inclusive of all cultures and traditions. In December, the school celebrates Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. The children learn about each tradition during classroom time. If your family celebrates something else in December, the school is happy to incorporate this into their curriculum. Before the December break, the school hosts a Holiday Potluck lunch.
Q:I came to school for a potluck / field trip and my child was whiny and horrible! Are they always like this?
A:Invariably, the answer is NO! But, for some reason, they all seem to behave more than a little oddly at school when Mommy or Daddy is around. Some have even been known to refuse to eat their own birthday cupcakes! This behavior will likely subside once you've made an appearance at school a few times. In the meantime - take comfort - your child is not the only one who does this!