March 11, 2021
Hello ECC Families! I have been so encouraged with the warm air this week and the sound of birds chirping. If your child has not shared with you, we have many mama birds who build nests on top of the outside lights on our playgrounds. Throughout the spring we often observe them as they sit in their nests, listen to chicks hatch and hear their tiny cries for food, and watch how diligently the mothers travel to bring back tasty worm morsels to share! If we are lucky, we witness when they are old enough to fly away on their own.
In this newsletter this month, are reminders of information shared through various school and district communication as well as your classroom newsletters. Please be sure to open these emails and take a few minutes to read your child’s weekly classroom newsletters. Our teachers take extra time to write these to share activities they are doing during the week, and WHY! It’s an important goal of our program to connect with you the purpose and intention to all the great things we do with your child each day. An added bonus are pictures of children doing the activities from the week!
Masks & Safety Protocols
I have been overwhelmed at the success of our preschoolers wearing their masks all day! WOW, please be proud. They quickly adapted to this new routine and have been very cooperative! It’s important to also recognize our staff teams and the extra efforts they have added into their daily routines to follow COVID safety protocols to mitigate the germ count in our classrooms. Included in these practices are daily cleaning of toys and surfaces, helping children to social distance (we do our best!), implementing systems so children don’t share the same materials, scheduling outside and gym times to keep cohorts separate, as well as work extra hours to help our arrival and dismissal procedures run as efficiently as possible. It certainly takes a village and I am grateful for this staff team!!
Family Safety Protocols
We appreciate how efficient you’ve been in completing the Clear to Go daily screener! It helps our arrival and dismissal process move a bit faster. Please remember part of our safety procedures to keep germ counts low include washing your nap bag contents (including comfort items like stuffed animals!) as well as the actual bag at least every week. Also, we ask that you wash your child’s lunch box regularly, as well as coats and other gear that they bring to school.
Appointments in the Middle of the Day
It has always been our policy to ask that you avoid making appointments during your child’s school day. The structure of the 9:00-3:30 school day schedule and routine is very intentional. When children arrive late, or are picked up early it causes disruption to this important routine. When children arrive to school late, they often have a challenging time transitioning into the day as other students and teachers are engaged in activities. Also, they often miss activities and become very upset. Please keep in mind that while we offer a full-day program, we do not operate as a daycare where students can come and go throughout the day.
Spring Break Week
Please remember we are closed this year for BPS’ Spring Break week, March 29-April 2. We will resume regular schedules on Monday, April 5, 2021. If you plan to travel, please email our office and let us know. We ask that you strongly consider the guidelines of BPS and the CDC, as follows:
International Travel Guidelines
The CDC provides guidance for travelers flying outside of the United States. If you travel outside of the United States, you must:
- Get tested 3-5 days after travel and stay home for seven days after travel.
- If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 10 days after travel.
Domestic Travel Guidelines
If your travel is within the United States, the CDC recommends that you consider getting tested when you return and reducing non-essential activities for a full seven days. The CDC also asks that you practice good social habits, stay 6 feet from anyone you did not travel with, wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and watch for symptoms of COVID-19.
March is Reading Month!
March is recognized, nationally, as Reading Month! While we certainly believe every month is a reading month, we annually join others in celebrating! Your class newsletters have had details about activities going on this month! It’s been great to see all the virtual guest readers as well as the students who are bringing in their favorite books to share with their class! I have had to honor to read to classes and will continue throughout the month. Please be sure to read to your child every day! This daily focus has benefits that include spending individual time with your child, exposing them to rich literature, practicing early learning concepts like noticing letters and words in books, as well as talking about the storyline, characters and predicting what will happen next! Reading with your child every day is one of the single most important activities you can do to enhance their learning and success in school. Reading all types of books builds your child's background knowledge, enhances vocabulary and teaches them that written words have meaning and give messages to others. The rewards of reading are endless.
Speaking of reading…I cannot say enough how important it is to read to your child every day. Reading alphabet books is an excellent way to expose and introduce letters to your child. Books that have one letter on each page with pictures of items corresponding to that letter sound provide good experiences into letter and sound knowledge. Children usually learn the letters in their name first. See if you and your child can find their letters in the books that you read. Begin to look at upper as well as lower case letters. Look for interesting alphabet books! Other great books to look for are those with a rhyming text. As you read and re-read books, omit the last word in the sentence and see if your child can name the missing rhyming word! Wordless picture books are a great way to help your child tell stories, too! As they read the pictures, they can develop the story line, names of characters and create the ending to the story!! Goodnight Gorilla is a popular wordless picture book that we read here often :)
Another way to celebrate your child reading is to encourage them to identify print in their environment. This includes names of family and friends, logos, store signs, packaging labels, restaurant signs, advertisements, etc. How many of you have a child who shouts, “There is Target!” or notices Starbucks before you see it? Being able to “read” these symbols helps children develop an important pre-reading skill as they learn that symbols have meaning. Encourage your child to “read” these symbols as you are out and about. Developing their sense of being a reader is the first important step in becoming a reader! Even toddlers can “read” environmental print :)
Activity Idea: Make a list of logos to take on a familiar shopping trip. Have your child find logos as you shop. Young children love a clipboard and a marker :) Have them either help you shop for items or do a scavenger hunt and cross off the logo when they find it. I bet they can find Lego, Cherrios, Oreos, Ice cream, favorite foods as well as familiar items you have around the house. AND it keeps them engaged during your shopping trip!
Thanks for taking the time to read through this month’s newsletter!
Have a great evening!