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1760 Ames Place
St. Paul


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1st grade general information

General information about 1st grade

Teacher (institutrice): Alex Rivard          Email: alexandra.rivard@spps.org

School (école):  L’Etoile du Nord French Immersion 

Room (salle de classe):  2115

Address (addresse):  1760 Ames Place. St. Paul, MN 55106

Phone (téléphone):  (651) 744-6970    

School Hours (horaires de l’école): 9:30 - 4:00 (Arrive at 9:10 for breakfast)



Attendance and being on time are vital to the success of your child.  First grade is a continuous experience with each day’s learning built on the day before.  Much of what we do involves listening and participating so it is nearly impossible for a child to do make-up work. 

Children will come into the room at 9:15 and will have a morning assignment to complete.  Students arriving after 9:30 will be marked late. Family vacations other than non-school days are discouraged but if it is necessary to take some days off during school time you must fill out a form to be approved by the principal.  I can send home this form with your child in the communication folder. 

When your child is ill, please call the office in the morning to report the absence. Repeated unexcused absences and tardies will be turned over to truancy officials.  


Change in Transportation:  

If for some reason you are picking up your child early, you must sign him/her out in the office.  If you are picking up your child who normally rides the bus, or if there is any change in afterschool plans, please send me a note informing me of this change in the communication folder. All transportation changes must be indicated in a paper note to me or a phone call to the office before 3 pm.  Because young students tend to forget to turn in papers/give notes, I strongly encourage you to call the office or send me an email before 9 am. If I don’t have a note/wasn’t notified by the office, I will send your child to the bus or what we usually do on that day. Please note that children may not take the bus home with a friend, even with a note. Bus drivers only accept children on their bus list.


Breakfast-to Go and lunch:  

Breakfast is available at school from 9:10-9:20 free of charge for all the students.  Students will pick up their breakfast and bring it to the class to eat.   


A lunch account is made for each student and they will use their student’s lunch badge to debit their account each time they eat lunch from school. You may pay online or send in money in the communication folder. Money sent to school must be put in an envelope and labeled “Lunch Money” with your child’s first and last name and student number. Free and Reduced Lunch forms should be filled out by everyone even if you don’t qualify because they are also for the district to receive education benefits.

You can find the menus for breakfast and lunch here: https://www.schoolcafe.com/menus 



We will observe birthdays in our class with a crown and singing “Happy Birthday. We will not do birthday treats to respect St Paul School District policy. If you oppose us celebrating your child’s birthday please let me know in advance.   

We will do activities with holiday themes from different cultures. Please, share with me the holidays celebrated by your family so I can make sure that all the students are included. Let me know if you don’t want your child to do activities related to a special holiday.



Communication is very important to me. You can contact me by e-mail, phone calls, and/or with a note in the communication folder. The principal means of communication will be emails (however, if you don’t have an email account, I can make a paper copy of what is sent by email and send it home with your child). 

The communication folder (blue or black) will be how all the papers, finished work, flyers, and forms will be sent. The folder is also for parents to send in anything that needs to be sent to the school or to me like notes, money for lunches or other school needs, forms that needed completing, etc.  Please be sure to remind your child to hand me any notes from you or let me know when there is a note for me.  Money needs to be in an envelope with the purpose and your child’s name written on it.  The communication folder needs to go back and forth daily between the school and the house.  Most of the communication takes place by email, but still keep getting into the habit of checking your child’s communication folder daily because that’s where homework will be and paper flyers/forms will be.  Papers in the left pocket of the communication folder should be kept at home and papers in the pocket of the folder should come back home (be aware though that students may misplace papers). 


Emails or texts using the app Reminds are the best way to communicate with me on time-sensitive matters as I check my texts/emails at least once during the day. If you don’t get an acknowledgement from me that I have seen your email or your text by 1 pm, please call the main office because it means I didn’t see your message. 

You’re welcome to call and leave me a voicemail, but be aware that I don’t check my voicemail until after school is over. Calls will be sent directly to my voicemail.


My e-mail address is Alexandra.rivard@spps.org

Email is my preferred way of communication in non-emergency matters. I will email you (for parents who have an email address) before I try to reach you another way when needed unless I feel it is something you need to know right away. 


You can also check the class’ website at http://frenchimmersion.spps.org/1st_rivard I will try to update the website every week and keep a copy of the newsletter and homework on it, as well as the handwriting/spelling words. 


General information about the school can be found on the school website at




Each week, I will email a newsletter by Monday evening (I often write the newsletter on Sundays and will send it earlier if it’s ready). I will put it on the school website in the newsletters section. It is to keep you informed about the upcoming week. It will include themes of study, homework, things your child might need to bring, special events, and other announcements. It often contains important or time-sensitive information so make sure to read it. 

This week and next week, I will send a paper copy and an electronic copy (let me know if you don’t get it). After that, I will only send an electronic copy by email. If you do not have access to emails or would like a paper copy as well, please let me know and I’d be happy to provide a paper copy.



Simple clothing is best. Buttons, belts, and buckles can be hard to handle in the bathroom.  Practice buttoning, zipping, and tying shoes at home.  Although I do not request a spare set of clothes to be kept at school, if your child is prone to bathroom accidents, it is a good idea to keep a clean pair of underpants and pants in a plastic bag in his/her backpack (they can put the wet clothes in the plastic bag after changing) Please label all clothing including jackets, snow pants, hats, mittens, and boots.  Hats are not allowed to be worn in school nor are shoes with wheels.



Tennis shoes are preferred for everyday wear.  Flip Flops, shoes without backs, and shoes with heels are not safe play shoes for recess because of the wood chips.  If your child prefers to wear dress shoes, please send tennis shoes in their backpack or keep a pair at school.  When boots season begins, you may want your child to leave his/her shoes at school and just wear boots home – I do not allow students to wear snow boots in class (so children don’t sit in a muddy/wet spot later) so make sure your child has an extra pair of shoes to wear in class.


Behavior management

My behavior management system is mostly positive reinforcement. Students will earn “star tickets” for having behavior that promotes learning for themselves and others. When they reach 20 star tickets, they can trade their stars for prizes. 

If a child is having trouble following the classroom rules that promote learning for themselves or for all, this child will be given 2 warnings then asked to switch spot or take a 2 minutes break apart from the rest of the students. After 2 breaks in the classroom or if a child is still being disruptive to the classroom, the child will be sent to the buddy room or assistance from another adult will be requested. If a child needs more support, individual methods may be put into place. If disruptive behavior or behavior not supporting learning keeps happening, I will notify you.

Students not completing their work at school will need to catch up at home. I will inform you when I will send work to finish at home that should have been completed in class. 


Toys and other miscellaneous objects at school:  

Please do not let your child bring any toy to school or anything else that should not be at school (i.e stickers, make-up, fidget toys, special pens/markers, money). Children are not allowed to give away, sell, buy, or trade any toy/things they own at school or on the bus. I will give warnings to the students and confiscate objects if students keep sneaking them in the classroom. I will give them back to the student at the end of the day or ask you to pick them up if it keeps happening. Students will need to put away prizes in their backpack and not take them out until they get home. Little things such as bracelets, watches, necklaces, and special headbands/hoods (for example headbands with cat ears, hoods that are like a superhero mask) can also be very distracting for some students. I recommend keeping these at home. I would also recommend avoiding clothes with special features that make other kids want to touch them. 


Volunteers are welcomed during the school year for helping in the classroom with tasks such as making copies, hanging students’ work, etc. If you speak French, please let me know and I may have you help with the students. Please, contact me if you are interested in volunteering!

You can also help from home with things such as sharpening pencils, folding papers, etc. 

When we have a field trip and chaperones are needed, I will notify all the families. 



At the beginning of the school year, students will have handwriting homework. Soon, they will also have math pages on most days. Starting in October, we will have a sound of the week and a spelling test on words with the sound of the week. Students are expected to practice these words at home. Students will also be expected to read at the minimum an average of 15 minutes/day. Reading can be done in any language. If your child doesn’t know how to read yet, read to your child, they will still benefit from it.


Homework is expected to be sent back the next day (weekly for reading logs), but exceptionally you can send it back a day or two later. If you have something going on and you can’t get to the homework, do not keep your child up late, just send it the next day. Most children will need support to complete at least part of the homework and to benefit from it. Homework provides the extra practice needed to master skills and is expected to be completed by all. 

Homework will usually be math homework, spelling words, and reading once we’re done with the handwriting homework pages. Math homework pages and spelling words will be included in the newsletter.


Water bottles

Students are expected to have a water bottle at school. Students will refill their water bottle as needed. Water bottles will be sent back home regularly to be washed or they can be sent back home everyday if you prefer that. Water bottles should not leak when tipped on their side and be easy to fill for your child. 


Learning to become independent

Students will be in charge of grabbing homework and other paperwork and turning in their homework or other papers. Please remind your child to show you their communication folder every day. At the beginning of the school year, it is common for children to forget to grab homework or turn it back in. Let me know if you’re not getting the homework, any form I mentioned in the newsletter/text or the homework is not getting turned in. 


Please, ask me if you have any questions! Thank you!


Mme Rivard