Welcome Dolphin Families!

We look forward to the next school year, which represents an important milestone for your child  — starting kindergarten!   Here is a summary of hints and suggestions.

We know the transition to a new school takes planning and our goal is to help everything run as smoothly as possible.

School Supplies

  • Each teacher typically sends a list of items that are to be supplied by each student. Most of the items are for use by the entire classroom and will be put out as needed throughout the year. Other items such as a pencil case and crayons/markers are kept by the student at their desk.
  • Please bring the supplies to the “MEET THE TEACHER” event the Thursday before school starts, rather than bringing them on the first day of school.


When is the first day of school:  Monday or Tuesday? 

Starting dates are “staggered”

so the teaching team can

attend to each kindergartener

as he/she learns the

classroom routine.

  • Kindergarteners begin the school year on a staggered schedule. On MT, only one-half of the class will attend, rather than the entire classroom.
  • Your kindergartener will be assigned a specific starting day, either Monday or Tuesday. Your child will have a full day of school on his/her assigned starting day, but will not attend on the other days.
  • On Wednesday, ALL kindergarteners will be in the classroom together for the first time.


Breakfast and Lunch

  • Breakfast is available  *FREE* in the cafeteria starting at 7:35 a.m.
  • Lunch options:  

bring a lunch from home; students can buy milk ($ 0.60) from the cafeteria

 purchase school lunch from the cafeteria  ($ 2.40; reduced price $ 0.40)

NOTE:  Orange County Schools prefers that students use a prepaid account to purchase meals to avoid bringing money to school. Unfortunately, accounts for incoming students can NOT be established prior to the start of school. New students must first receive their ID number, which typically happens the first week. In the meantime, pack a lunch for your student or put lunch money in a ziplock bag labeled with the names of the student and teacher.

Once you receive a student ID number, funds can be transferred to your account by paying with a check or through the K12PaymentCenter online system.

Click on: Orange County Schools meal payment options




7:30 a.m.              Students may gather in the cafeteria until 7:35 (no drop-off before this time)

7:35 a.m.              Bell rings— students may enter the classroom

7:50 a.m.              “First” bell — the five minute warning

7:55 a.m.              “Second” bell — OFFICIAL START OF SCHOOL DAY — all students must be in class


  • The kindergarten teaching team will suggest dropping your child off in the car rider line instead of coming to the classroom. The idea here is to establish routine and lessen the chance of a tearful separation. Rest assured, none of the tears will be coming from the kindergarteners, only the parents! So bring some tissues . . . you just might need them!
  • Most parents want to walk in with their child on the first day. After that, some quickly transition to the car drop-off line and others enjoy walking in every day, even beyond kindergarten!
  • Refer to the section on the next page for all car rider procedures


2:50 p.m.              Bell signals — END OF SCHOOL DAY

Pick-up  or after school:

You will fill out a form to indicate how your child will leave school each day.

  • “Car rider” indicates the student will be picked up immediately at the end of the school day. Kindergarteners go to the cafeteria upon release and wait to be called.

— car pick-up is in front of the cafeteria (car line forms on Occoneechee St.)

— walk-up to get your student at the BACK of the CAFETERIA ONLY (near the gym)

  • After school programs:  students will be directed to the appropriate location by HES staff.

Hillsborough Elementary Year-Round After school Program participants remain on-site.

Off-site after school program participants will be transported by bus or van.