Hey ROCK families!
August is right around the corner so this is a good time to answer questions about Moving Up at the ROCK! Hopefully this will provide some clarity, and if not, call or email me and I’m happy to chat about the best class fit for your child.
Q: Where are you moving?
A: We’re not going anywhere – we’re here for you and always will be. But your kids are getting ready to move up to the next grade level or age group. For instance, if they were in Kindergarten A for 2016-2017 school year, they will be in 1st grade A for the 2017-2018 school year. This deserves a celebration, so join us for ice cream in the courtyard after the later worship services!
Q: My child is in year round school and has already started in their next grade, can they move up sooner?
A: It’s cleaner and a smoother transition for everyone involved if we all move up at the same time, based on the Wake County traditional calendar. Since Wake County starts on August 28th, we’re moving up on August 27th, 2017. I know it’s slightly awkward for a kid who started 6th grade in July to continue to go to the 5th grade classroom in July and August, but it’s only for a short period of time. They can do hard things.
Q: What is the cut off date? My child will be 4 years old on September 2nd, do they go to the 4 year old room or the 3 year old room on August 27th?
A: Our cut off date follows Wake County, which is August 31st. If your child is 3 years old on August 31st, 2017, they will be in the 3 year old classroom for the 2017-2018 school year. They will not move up to the 4 year old room until Move Up Sunday 2018.
Q: My child is starting TK (Transitional Kindergarten) in the fall – do they go to the 4 year old room or the Kindergarten room when they move up? His friends are all going to Kindergarten.
A: You have options in this scenario. Your child can stay in the 4 year old room (this is the most popular option) another year. They are young enough that the social impact of this is typically low. This will ensure they stay with their grade level moving forward. The other option is to move them to the Kindergarten room. If that is your choice, we would encourage them to be in Kindergarten for two years in a row, again, to keep them with their grade level moving forward. We can “move them up” from Kindergarten A to Kindergarten B to give them the feeling of moving up, when they officially start Kindergarten, if that would be helpful. Some parents feel strongly about keeping them with their same AGE kids as opposed to their same GRADE level kids. If this is your desire, we are open to that, as well. We feel like that can cause some speed bumps when it comes to milestone events in the church like 3rd grade Bible, joining Youth, Confirmation, Graduation Sunday, etc. but it is certainly a parent’s choice – no one knows your child better than you. Please call Stacy to chat about your unique situation at any time.
Q: My child is moving from 5th to 6th grade – help! They will be a “youth”, where do they go, what do they do?
A: No worries! The Children’s and Youth Ministry teams are here to help with that transition. There will be a YOUTH orientation session in the Youth Room (Room 236) on August 20th from 5:00-6:00 where your youth will get to meet youth ministry staff, learn about youth ministry and most importantly have some fun and eat snacks! On August 27th, 5th graders will meet in the Fellowship Hall at 9:40a where there will be a simple but impactful bridging ceremony to welcome them to youth, with youth guides to show them to their new Sunday school classroom. UMYF (United Methodist Youth Fellowship) kick off is same night, (kick offs are SO much fun – a great entry point for hesitant new youth) so put that on the calendar for 4:00-7:00p. Please plan on attending UMYF kickoff with your youth as there will be a PARENT info session that night – watch your email for complete details. As parents, your involvement in youth ministry will help make the most of this transition for your pre-teen!
Q: My child wants to be with their friends, can I make a class request?
A: Absolutely– we know exactly how key community is to faith formation, for all ages, but especially for children. We are happy to accommodate any friend requests, as long as it leaves us with a good balance of numbers and genders across classrooms. Contact Stacy to discuss.
Q: Are the same teachers helping on Sunday mornings?
A: Some yes, some no. Some of our servants have already committed to teaching more frequently this year, as they understand just how important consistency is in Sunday morning. Kids can be terrified of an unfamiliar face, kids can tell anything to a stranger and sometimes nothing in their lives is consistent. We know kids will trust people who show up consistently. We encourage our shepherds (teachers) to teach at least 2 Sundays a month for all of these reasons, but we understand that’s not always possible, so we are flexible with our scheduling.
Q: How can I help?
A: Did you know Moses was actually the first guy with the idea, “It takes a village” (see Deuteronomy 6)? You can help by foremost praying for all of the adults who influence our children at church and at home. And can consider your gifts and graces and where God can best use them at the ROCK. We need greeters, teachers, children’s council members, music leaders, large group helpers. Email Stacy today to discuss your spiritual gifts and where they fit at the ROCK. If not you, then who? While praying on your role, consider this thought about the story of the Good Samaritan that we all know so well. “The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’ Martin Luther King, Jr.