December 20, 2018  

    Hello ECC Families! 

    Tomorrow is the last day before our December break. Monday, Dec 24 through January 1, all Birmingham schools are closed. We will resume on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Also, looking ahead, please mark your calendar, as schools are closed on Monday, January 21, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


    On behalf of our entire staff, I's like to extend a huge thank you to our families for participating in our Holiday Staff gift program. All staff will be showered tomorrow with a generous gift card to Target! Thank you for your well wishes and act of appreciation for all that they do. It means the world that you support their hard work! Thank you to the parents who helped with the gift cards, too! We are so blessed to be a part of a caring school community.


    Tomorrow is Hat Day! We hope your child joins us in wearing a hat to school! Please be assured we will not allow children to share hats during that days :)


    Breakfast with a Buddy


    We had such fun inviting "buddies" in this month to all our classrooms! Children love to show off their school world and have a chance for some one on one time to spend in the classroom. Each classroom planned different meals - eggs, yogurt, pancakes, waffles, and French toast along with delicious side dishes. One class decided to make pizza! Children enjoyed being a part of the preparation of food to be shared or decorations for the room. It was fun to see adults and children playing together, building blocks, reading books, making art, and pretending in the dramatic play area. Thank you for taking a bit of time out of your day to spend with your child. We will invite you in again for a dessert event in the spring!


    Lost & Found

    We have quite a collection of hats and mittens and gloves without owners! Please check the bench ner our jungle tree to see if anything belongs to your child.



    Over the December break, our hallways will be getting a much-needed paint job! Teachers have already started taking things off the walls in preparation for this. We apologize for the unsightly and bare areas this creates. I'm looking forward to coming back to a fresh new look!


    ***Break Weeks!!!!***

    We still have openings to enroll for February and April breaks. Please go online and register if you are interested in having your child attend school. We are planning our staff needs and I want to make sure we can accommodate all that need these weeks at school. Charges for February break have been added to your School Care Works account and you've received a confirmation email from me or Ms. Nicole in the office. If you did not see the charges for February break on your most recent invoice, we do not have you on our list and have not planned for your child to be here. Charges for April break will be added to tuition due March 1.


    Vision & Hearing Screening 

    Each year, the Health Department comes to assess all students in our 4 year old classrooms only (Kangaroos, Raccoons, Owls & Ducks) for hearing and vision screening. This testing is required before kindergarten. Vision Screening will be April 22 & 23 and Hearing Screening will be April 15 & 16. If your child does not attend school on those dates, you are welcomed to bring them to school to be tested, make an appointment at the health department or visit your pediatrician instead. If your child does not pass, you will be contacted to schedule a re-test. All children will be given forms to turn in during kindergarten registration. 


    Kindergarten -- Reminder

    Children who will be five years old by September 1, 2019 are age-eligible to attend Kindergarten in the fall. Elementary schools have planned Kindergarten Round Up meetings in January and February. These schedules came home in cubbies of 4 years olds, and are posted outside classrooms. If you question which home school your child will attend, please let me know. Kindergarten Round Up is an important parent event to attend to learn more about what to expect next year. In the spring, schools will have a visitation day for incoming kindergartners as well. If you have any questions about this, I'm happy to help. It's a good idea to call your home school so they have your contact information for upcoming registration. 


    2019/20 School Year

    It's almost time to make plans for the 2019/20 school year! Registration for our programs will begin after our break. Please watch your email for details in January! Current families and sibilings have first priority, before available openings are offered to families on our waitlist.



     Parent Tidbit:

    This time of year is a joyful time, but can also be a stressful time, with all the many celebrations and traditions that families will participate in. It's important to keep in mind that children react to these special times in different ways, and they often sense your hightened mood and stress level, even when you think they may not be noticing! Some might seem unaffected, where others show a change in behavior at the smallest change in routine. Large gatherings can be overwheleming and highly stimulating to young children. Break time is often filled with trips, play dates and over-night stays. Some of the tips we like to give parents at this time of year, to help with a smooth holiday season with young children are:

    • Keep your routine the same as absolutely possible
    • Try to keep celebrations and special events low-key
    • Limit the amount of special parties and celebrations you attend with your child
    • Keep naptime and bedtime routines consistent-even if you are out of town. Also, it's often difficult for children to transition back into school when their nap and bedtimes have been off schedule.
    • Remember that young children do not move at the fast pace that adults do during busy times. Allow time for transitions and remember their little steps take longer than our larger steps!
    • Let them know ahead of time if there will be a change in routine and be as specific as possible ("Today we will be visiting Grandma after naptime") and prepare them for what's coming next. Leave time to answer questions they may have about changes in routine or special events.
    • Stop to enjoy the moments they want to share with you. Young children want to look at and talk about the lights and decorations they see, experience the snow, ect.
    • Remember to give children a lot of time to PLAY!!
    • Consider writing a story together or making a picture book of the memories you've created. While this is certainly an excellent literacy project, young children love to read books about themseleves and characters they know and recognize! Encourage your child to "read" these books to you, and others.
    • Cherish these moments and memories together. As a mom of a 16, 18 and 22 year old, I can say, with certainlym that time flies by!
    • https://families.naeyc.org/content/thoughts-giving


    Have a wonderful break with your family! We look forward to seeing everyone again in 2019!! Happy New Year!

    Laura Tinsley