Notes from the Director
with Lexy Martinez
Every single one of our families filled out the Family Feedback Survey! This really helps us as we plan for the summer program, next school year and broader programming changes. We got overwhelmingly positive feedback with some really concrete ideas for how we can improve. Once staff and the Board of Directors have the opportunity to go over the results, we will share more details. Thank you all so much for participating!
Another thank you goes out to everyone who participated in the Valentine’s Day Flower Fundraiser. We especially want to thank Sky & Marianne Purdy of the Island Market for donating the flowers and Natasha Stevens for coordinating the fundraiser. We raised over $750 towards playground improvements!
Speaking of the playground, Board member Jane Wherren has volunteered to chair the Playground Committee. They are beginning to gather measurements and distill the many ideas that were contributed. Then we can move forward and start creating an engaging and accessible outdoor space for our children!
This month’s theme is Same & Different. Children are noticers! And they are often more comfortable noticing differences. As parents and teachers, we realize how important it is to allow children to notice differences and similarities in humans and use those observations as sparks for important conversations. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge their questions and help them understand. We will be unpacking this theme on many different levels, from noticing shapes and colors, matching pairs of socks and exploring opposites, to reading books about different cultures and making snacks from around the world. It’s been a lot of fun so far!
with Jen Bailey & Ginny Drew
As you know, we recently started our new body safety curriculum, Little Big Chats. The goal of body safety education is to teach children ideas, words and actions to help them feel confident and safe. With these skills in place, children relate to each other in a more respectful way. This month, we will be exploring the topics of Consent (body boundaries and respect) and My Safety Network (identifying 3-5 trusted adults a child can go to if they feel unsafe). These lessons are co-led by Miss Lexy and Miss Jen every other Thursday as part of our Kindness & Connectivity work.
To celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday, Miss Melissa read The Lorax. The Pre-K and Infant/Toddler classrooms enjoyed spending time together for this story time. Miss Chloe taught us all about snow. After reading a book, we did a science experiment where we tried to melt ice with salt, powdered sugar and baking soda and predicted which would melt the ice first (it was the salt!). We painted snowflakes and then headed outside for a snowy scavenger hunt, looking for footprints, pine cones and branches.
with Lindsey Govoni & Morgan Landry
We’ve noticed a theme in our classroom: the little ones want to do everything on their own and they want to do a lot of the things that grown-ups do. This is actually really common between the ages of 1.5-2.5 years. We believe it’s important to follow the child’s lead (to a certain point anyway!), so moving forward we will include more activities centered around practical life skills. This includes dressing (putting on shoes and jacket, pushing down pants for a diaper change), grooming/hygiene (brushing hair, washing hands), food preparation (peeling a banana, putting spread on a cracker) and feeding (pouring water in a cup, cleaning up a spill).
Not only does this meet the developmental need of toddlers to imitate adults and be independent–it helps children build the skills needed to contribute to their classroom and home environments. Make sure to read the weekly classroom newsletter to find out what practical skills we worked on that week.
Updated Masking Policy
As you know, we updated our masking policy so that children are no longer required to wear masks at school (unless families prefer to have their children mask). Staff will continue to wear masks through the end of March and we will re-evaluate our policy at that time.
We took some time to chat with the Pre-K classroom about this change and wanted to share in case it’s helpful for you in navigating this change. These are some of the things we talked about:
- We acknowledged that, while it may be exciting not to have to wear masks anymore, it can also feel weird and uncomfortable–and that’s okay.
- We explained that we made the change because we want to keep everyone safe and learning (and that a lot of learning happens by being able to see each other’s faces!).
- While the rules may have changed at preschool, we need to respect the rules of other places we go that may still ask us to wear masks (like a doctor’s office or maybe a family member or friend’s house).
- It’s important to respect and be kind about the choice of other people if they choose to continue masking–this is what helps them feel safe.
If you are getting rid of any water bottles or sippy cups, we could use a few at the school for when children forget theirs at home.
Pop-Up Spring Play Date
Stay tuned for the announcement of a preschool playdate toward the end of March. We’re waiting for a windy day to fly kites at Maddie Dodge Field after school. In the meantime, make sure your kites are ready to fly!
3/2: Story Time w/ Miss Melissa (Zoom)
3/7: Nature Time w/ Miss Chloe
3/18: School Closed (In-Service Day)
3/? : Pop-Up Spring Play Date
4/15: Half Day (dismissal at 12:30)
4/18-4/22: School closed (Spring break)