ECC Logo Principal’s Newsletter

    October 3, 2022


    Hello ECC Families!


    Thank you in advance for reading important news and updates below! Please click on the quote I have attached. I share it with families each year as it speaks volumes to our philosophy and practice! It’s a great reminder that the experiences your child is having at school aren’t often those that we can show you on paper, or give you as a product. They are experiencing meaningful activities in their play and exploration with materials, books, songs, and so much more!


    Superintendent & Board Member Visit

    Last week, we welcomed Superintendent Dr. Roberson, President of the Board, Amy Hochkammer, and Trustee Lori Ajlouny for a school visit! I love these opportunities to showcase our high-quality program. As an advocate for all-things-early-childhood, I had a great time talking about what they were observing in classrooms and all the great learning going on!


    Arrival/Dismissal Thoughts to Remember

    Please keep in mind when setting your home routine that our school day is designed with an intentional plan and structure that is aligned with developmentally appropriate practice for early learning, and focuses on meeting goals of the curriculum. When children arrive late, even it’s just a few minutes, classrooms are already set in their routine. It is challenging for children to enter the classroom when students have begun their activities and teachers are engaged with children. It is difficult for teachers to greet children properly, which is a goal in all our classrooms. Entering the room after the routine has begun makes it hard for children to transition smoothly into the classroom and feel a part of what is happening. When the door to the toddler rooms is opened after school has started, some children begin their separation routine all over again. When students arrive to the playground late, this takes teachers away from safety supervision of playground activities. Please understand, too, that when you come late and have to ‘buzzed’ in at the main door, the office staff may take a bit longer to respond, since we are attending to office tasks like answering phone calls. Children have successful days when their schedule is predictable. Children who leave before the school day ends also miss out on the end of the day routine of the closing large group activity. Opening the door before 3:30 disrupts the classroom. Thank you for your understanding and consideration for all involved, when designing your routines.


    Appointments on a School Day

    We certainly understand that children may a variety of necessary appointments like visits to the pediatrician. We ask that, when at all possible, you schedule those on a non-school day or before/after our school day start and end times of 9:00/3:30. As mentioned in the paragraph above, you can imagine if arriving just a few minutes last can cause disruption or challenging transitions into the school day, an arrival an hour or more late is even more troublesome. If your child is going to miss a great deal of the morning, we ask that they stay home that day. If you schedule an afternoon appointment, please plan to pick them up at 12:00 or 12:30, when it’s a natural transition time between lunch and the rest time part of the day. Picking students up during rest time can disrupt the quiet time of the other children in the class. We appreciate when you can be thoughtful with your scheduling of needed commitments.


    Hallway and Parking Lot Safety Reminders

    We need your help again to ensure the safety of all children at school:

    Hallway: We teach all children that we walk in the hallways. Please make sure your child(ren) stay with you at all times. No child should be unattended.

    Doors: Doors are often left propped open as families enter. All doors must remain closed. If you see any doors propped open, please close them.

    Children and doors: Please remember we teach children during the day that only adults open our doors. We need your help to provide a consistent message.

    Automatic Door Opener: It is great fun for children to press the handicapped door button! However, I have seen this provides an opportunity for your child to run ahead of you, and in some cases right into the parking lot. Please hold your child’s hand walking in and walking out.

    Door Code: For the security and safety of children in our school, please remember the door code is for adults ONLY. We have noticed older siblings entering the code. This is to be used only by parents or regular people who pick up your child. Please do not share the code with others.

    Parking: Please use designated parking spaces only when using our parking lots. Areas with yellow lines are not designated areas to park. The handicapped spot is ONLY for families with approved disabled parking permits.



    It has been wonderful to celebrate each child as they grow in their independence skills! We encourage children to take off/put on and hang up their own coats, as well as manage their belongings during the day-and they are wonderfully independent at school! Preschoolers are independent when washing their hands. Having children walk in and out of school independently (as opposed to being carried) empowers children to feel confident and capable. Encourage them to carry their own backpack or lunch box! I send compliments to the many that I see helping children work toward this important skill!

    Important tip: this is a great goal to share with babysitters, grandparents and nannies J


    Curriculum Night

    We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, October 11 for curriculum night. This is an excellent opportunity to hear from your child’s teaching teams about the curriculum and structure of our day, hear more about the routine and areas in the classroom and most important hear the “WHY” and purpose of our program! Please remember, this is a parent-only event. We were able to stagger times to accommodate siblings:

    5:30-6:10pm: Brown Bears, Purple Cats, Giraffes

    6:15-7:00pm: Butterflies, Kangaroos, Caterpillars, Raccoons, Owls, Ducks AM/PM


    Picture Days (Oct 10, 11 & 13)

    We are excited to have Aly Darin Photography return to take school pictures this year! Midvale school pictures are a bit different from the standard studio-type, blue background, posed photos. Aly works to capture a bit more of a candid photo taken outside on the playground or in the classroom while playing. Please look for details in your classroom newsletter so you know which date your child is scheduled, as we work around when students are scheduled to attend school. Orders are completely optional.



    I have already heard excitement from children who are making their Halloween plans. *Please remember: We do not celebrate Halloween at Midvale or have class parties, like you might be used to in the elementary schools. Instead, we will have an all-school Pajama Day for students and staff on Monday, Oct 31!  

    Please remember:

    • Other BPS buildings have a half-day of school on this date; we are in session for our regular schedule. If you plan to pick your child up early, please arrive at 12:00 or 12:30.
    • We play outside, even in jammies, so children need to be dressed warmly and wearing shoes. No footy-pajamas, please.
    • No costumes, please
    • As indicated in our Parent Handbook, we will not serve candy when included in children’s lunches. Please plan to enjoy trick-or-treating goodies at home J


    Nature Tots

    We welcome the Nature Tot program from the Belle Isle Zoo back this year! The Giraffes, Butterflies and Caterpillars will have their date with nature on Wednesday, 10/19! Please see classroom newsletters for specific times. Parents are welcomed to join us for this activity! All other classes will have an opportunity throughout the year.


    No School- Date Reminders

    Please remember school is closed to students on Tuesday, Nov 8, Election Day, for Staff Professional Development. School is also closed on Wednesday, November 23, the day before Thanksgiving.


    GSRP Free Preschool Program

    The Great Start Readiness Program, a state-funded preschool program, has openings available for families who qualify by income level. This free preschool opportunity is for children who are 4 years old and located at Bingham Farms elementary. Students attend full-day, Monday through Thursday, 830-330. I’m reaching out to you in case you are aware of families who may be in need of a preschool experience and may qualify. Please help spread the word and let anyone interested know to contact me for an application.


    Parent Tidbit:

    It is so important to read school newsletters as well as your child’s classroom newsletter. Every week, teachers work diligently to provide you with a summary of what fabulous learning has been going on in their classroom. One important component of this information is finding out WHY we do what we do at school. Our lessons and activities are intentionally planned to enhance development and learning. Newsletters provide many ideas for you, when talking with your child, as you engage in conversation about what they learned at school. Knowing what activities they participated in helps you formulate your questions and helps children share detailed information with you. Newsletters also contain important dates of upcoming events, as well as ‘house-keeping’ type items to remember. Please take a moment to read these important communications from our teaching staff. This is a vital component of the home-school connection. We enjoy partnering with you as your child develops and grows here at school.


    Have a great evening!


    Laura Tinsley

    Principal of Early Learning

    Birmingham Public Schools


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