I hope you all had a good break and that our reentry into the preschool world goes smoothly for everyone. Please be patient with your kiddos as they return to their pre-break routine. All of us can be a little unsettled by change and when you are very young it is easy to forget how things like saying goodbye to mom and dad worked before vacation. I am sure we will be right back into the thick of things soon as there are so many exciting new adventures to be had in the classroom. Refer back to my email of 1/2/17 for a reminder on what is coming up this month.
Do you know that when we hit the middle of January we will be half way through the school year??? Kind of hard to believe really as it seems like we just started. In the 4.5 months our classes have been together we have seen lots of growth and development happen.
The 3 year olds have really hit their stride. They enter the classroom ready to join in with any and all activities. Most all of them have worked out their major issues with separation and they have all built endurance for the day. Some of them are joining in with lunch and play and are spending a 4 hour block away from home at the preschool. Their next big task developmentally is beginning to transfer their identification and relationships from the teachers to their peers. Not that we expect them to discard their relationships with us, but as they develop socially and as they become more secure in their school environment their attention begins to shift towards making and extending friendships and then of course learning how to deal with the bumps in the road that come along with those relationships.
The 4’s class came back to school this last fall almost as if they had never been away. They have continued to grow and mature. Seeing their confidence in their skills and relationships develop has been so rewarding. They are keeping all three teachers on our toes to stay at least one step ahead of them! They are curious and engaged and eager to make things happen. Their friendships are intense and their play patterns can be very interesting. They are working on flexibility, learning about being inclusive, about advocating for oneself and developing strong problem solving skills – working those bumps in the friendship road out!
And the pre-k class remains a high energy and very bright group of kiddos who are squeezing every moment of play and joy they can get out of their last year of preschool! Their passion for relationship based play and exploration is something to behold! They still need lots of big body play and they are intrigued by science experiments. They are really working on developing leadership skills, including learning about how to share the lead with others and the art of negotiation and compromise.
For the second half of the year we will continue to pay lots of attention to the continued development of social skills in each class, lots of gross motor play, games, fine motor development, music and story telling. Some art experiences that we have to look forward to this winter and into spring include clay tile making, changing the wrecking ball out to a painting pendulum, and some rather large form of splatter and squirt painting (think paint balloons, squirt bottles or tubes filled with paint and whatever else I can add in!)
Also coming up quickly is the deadline for getting your final auction procurement done. Please let me or one of the many parent volunteers available to help you (Class Reps, Co-Presidents, Auction Procurement Chair Extraordinaire Rebecca Durlin-Smith!) know if you are feeling stressed, stuck or panicked. We all want to work together to extend the success we had going into winter break. I cannot believe we hit the halfway mark before the middle of December. Thank you all so much for your hard work. You all lead complicated lives with taking care of your children, your home, for some of you an extended family member and many of you also have work outside of the home to add to the equation. I see you and respect your time and your energy. And I appreciate your commitment to our school more than you can know. I will help you in any way I can so please ask.
Re-enrollment is upon us and then on its heels, our annual Open House for prospective families. It is very important you get your enrollment forms back in by the deadline so that we have an accurate count of how many spots are available for new families. If you will not be returning next year please make sure we know. I always miss our families who graduate and those who find that a co-op did not work for their family. But I support you all in making the best choices to meet all your needs.
Many thanks go out to Jennifer Baldwin who is serving out her last month of a two year term as MPS Board Co-President. Jenn, you have been a joy to work with. Your support has meant the world to me and your willingness to pick up tasks where needed has been amazing. Most recently she has been doing the membership assistant/registrar job in addition to her co-president duties. (She is the one about to file our required immunization report with the Health Dept. Please make sure you are responding to her requests for updated information and signatures in a timely manner!) And please make sure that you find her either during class or our next General Community Meeting and thank her for her service.
That’s it for me at the moment. I wish you all the happiest of new years and hope it will be filled with health, love and peace.