First Day School (Sunday School) Program
Parent Guide to First Day School
Program Mission Statement
The Mission of First Day School, Boulder Meeting, is to create an exciting learning environment for Kindergarten through high school Young Friends and to supplement parents’ efforts in religious education at home.
First Day School will nurture an understanding of Friends’ history, practice and testimonies, primarily “that of God in every person”, and will help Young Friends to develop skills for deepening their spiritual lives.
Overview for Parents
Welcome to our First Day School! We look forward to getting to know you and your children. The following is what we expect you will most want to know about our First Day School program.
First Day School is for all children from kindergarten (usually age 5) through High School (usually age 18). The First Day School is divided into three groups: Elementary, Middle School (Junior Young Friends), and High School (Senior Young Friends). The Junior and Senior Young Friends frequently go off site, so to be included visitors need to be on time. There is child care for younger children.
First Day School is open to the children of all members, attenders and visitors. Regular attendance is encouraged, but one-time or occasional attenders are also welcome.
Schedule and Age Groupings
First Day School begins at 10:15 a.m., which is 15 minutes after meeting for worship begins, and usually ends around 11:15. Before First Day School begins, children are encouraged to attend the first 15 minutes of meeting for worship with their parents, starting at 10:00 a.m. At 10:15, the meeting room doors will open which is a signal for the children to rise and leave the meeting room together. At 11:15, parents should return to the classroom for their children.
Grades K-5 children typically gather for opening activities, candle lighting and a moment of silence followed by a story and the day’s activities.
Junior Young Friends (JYF) and Senior Young Friends (SYF) at our Meeting’s First Day School consist of middle and high school students. They usually meet separately but sometimes meet together, depending on the activity and students in attendance. They occasionally walk to a nearby coffee shop, along with the teachers, to chat. Both JYF’s and SYF’s are given respectively more responsibility and more freedom than the younger children to decide what they want to work on as well as how to accomplish their goals. We strive for an inclusionary, thoughtful, and fun learning atmosphere where Quaker values are stressed.
Many of our young people attend Mountain Friends Camp, which is offered once a year. See http://mountainfriendscamp.org
|First Day School Group||Meeting Times & Locations|
|Childcare/Nursery: Provided for infants up to 5 years of age||Offered Sundays, 9:45-11:15, located in Nursery/New Horizons school area|
|*10:00-10:15 Children may attend Meeting for Worship*|
|School-aged classes, clustered by grade levels into smaller groups||Meet Sundays, 10:15-11:30, in classrooms|
Please drop your child off at his/her classroom at 10:15 and please pick him/her up at the classroom or on the playground at the rise of Meeting. We request that K-5 students be signed in by their parents before class and signed out at the end.
Curriculum and Activities
The First Day School curriculum includes stories and lessons from the Old and New Testaments, Quaker history and values, and plenty of opportunities for play and projects. We consider all of these activities to be a form of worship for the children, and we endeavor to lead the children in a manner consistent with Quaker values and testimonies such as the testimonies of peace, simplicity, integrity, equality, and community.
The specific activities can vary greatly from week to week and teacher to teacher, so please ask your child’s teacher if you have questions about that day’s activities, the activities planned for future First Days, or if you would like to receive an e-mail notice of future activities. For an example curriculum, see FDS Calendar of Activities.
Infants through Kindergarten gather in a fully operational on-site preschool setting with experienced care givers. Parents can arrive and help children to settle as early as 9:45. Parents pick up their children upon rise of meeting, or at times the children will be brought to their parents in the meeting room at 11:15.
Teachers and REC Contacts
Our First Day School is taught by volunteers from the members and attenders of our meeting under the supervision of our Religious Education Committee (REC). If you have been regularly participating in the life of our meeting for at least six months and would like to become more involved, please talk to a teacher or any member of the Religious Education Committee.
Quaker Family Activities
We encourage social events that include families and plan them from time to time. If you have ideas and want to participate, please let someone on the REC know of your interest.
Children in Meeting for Worship: Please read FAQ on Children and Worship, or speak with one of our teachers.
FDS Parents Handbook (PDF download)