Dear MPS Families!
We have been back in school for almost 5 weeks and October is finally here. The kids have for the most part settled into our classroom routines, worked out the process for saying goodbye to their parents in the mornings, and embraced the activities and opportunities in the classroom and on the playground. We are seeing new friendships forged as the kids continue to get to know each other, which is always a delight.
Having mentioned all the wonderful parts, I am sure that your children all had reactions to the start of the school year, especially if MPS was new for them. What looks like a smooth adjustment at school sometimes looks like stress and chaos at home. Going to school is big work, especially for our new three year olds. Once the children get home from school it is very common for them to have emotional meltdowns or increased volatility, experience disruptions to their sleep patterns/routines, or even begin having toilet accidents that you thought were behind you. Because they really are so young and it is hard for them to verbally process with you how they are feeling about changes in their life they do it the best way they know how – through their bodies. Don’t panic if this has been you and your child’s story. Things do settle back down as they become more and more familiar with the routines. In the meantime use this as an opportunity to provide extra love and reassurance to them. I know it can take a lot of extra energy from you to get your breath, center yourself and be ready to meet your little one when they seem more like a distraught ogre than a cuddle bug. But they really do NEED your extra love and attention during this time. The knowledge that you will always be there to pick them up, that home is still the best place in the world filled with the people who love you the best is more comforting than any words.
If they are seeming more stressed than you would expect please be sure to let me know. I am available for an early parent teacher conference if you have things that are worrying you with your little one. Just let me know and we can find a time that works. Amanthus, Lisa and I will move mountains to make sure that we are creating an environment that nurtures and supports your kids as they learn and grow.
NOTES FOR YOUR CALENDARS
Lots going on this month! Be sure these dates ad events get entered into your calendars.
NO SCHOOL: October 12th and 13th are inservice days. I will be working in the classroom making some shifts in materials that reflect the changes in the seasons. I can also make time on these days to meet with you if you are having any questions or concerns about how your child is doing. Please note that I will make sign ups available later in October for our individual Parent Teacher Conferences which will happen in November.
CLASS MEETINGS WITH TEACHER MARTY
These meetings are a chance for me to check in with all of you about how things are going for your kids, how parent teaching is going for you, and for us to share information and get questions answered about curriculum, child development and the goings on and themes that are emerging in the children’s play. Please do your very best to attend these sessions.
Four’s Class Parent Meeting: October 14th from 9am to 12pm at Laura Radosta’s house.
Three’s Class Parent Meeting: October 18th from 6:30 to 8:30pm in Beaverton, hosted by Nick and Arianna Sigfried.
Pre-K Class Parent Meeting: October 20th at 6:30. Lindsay Morich’s home.
PUMPKIN PATCH FIELD TRIPS!
3’s Class: October 19th. Meet at the Plumper Pumpkin Patch at 8:45am.
Pre-k Class: October 19th. Meet at the Plumper Pumpkin Patch at 1pm.
4’s Class: October 20th. Meet at the Plumper Pumpkin Patch at 9am
The Plumper Pumpkin Patch is at 11435 NW Old Cornelius Pass Road, Portland 97231. You are responsible for driving your child to and from the pumpkin patch. You are more than welcome to attend with them – the kids love having you along. But if you cannot stay make sure that we know in advance. You are also welcome and encouraged to set up carpools with other parents in your class. Please allow plenty of drive time so that you can arrive at the appointed meet up time. I have built in a 15 minute grace period for each class but our tours will begin at their appointed time. If you are running late be sure to let me know via text or phone call so I can let you know how to catch up to us.
There is a $7 fee per person for attending the pumpkin patch trip. This fee is applied to everyone over one year of age. (I don’t count babies in front carriers who are not down walking) but it does include parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. If the fee is problematic, you need only let me know and I can cover it for you. Make sure you get a pumpkin for every $7 paid! Your class reps (Breanne DeLong/3’s; Hilary Himan/4’s; and Jill Muhm/Pre-k) will be distributing permission slips and collecting the fees. The permission slips are REQUIRED even if you are attending with your child. Please turn them in to your class rep in ADVANCE of the trip. No exceptions!
We will still have parent teachers on the field trip and the snack parent still brings the snack and this time drinking water as well. Obviously for a field trip it has to be portable. We will bring along napkins and paper cups. If you are the snack parent you can leave the food in the car until it is time to eat. We will gather in one of the green houses to eat together. Please plan some extra food to cover any siblings who may be attending.
For a comfortable and successful field trip, please dress everyone for the weather as we go rain or shine. We have had 80* weather and we have had 40* weather. We have been dry and we have been battered by wind and rain. Having the right outer wear and shoes makes a huge difference in how much fun you and your child will have.
Another useful thing to do on field trip day is to bring a bag to carry your pumpkins out of the fields. Grocery bags work great for this and if they are labeled we will be able to help you make sure that your pumpkin makes it home with you. We pick up sugar pie pumpkins which are certainly not the big ones but if you are taking 2 or 3 out with you it will be easier if you bag them!
If you have more questions grab me at drop off or pick up from class. This is always a fun experience with a farm talk, hay ride behind a tractor, a tour with a visit to some farm animals, the big slide, a play area and then pumpkin picking! You won’t want to miss it!
This year’s Harvest Party is Saturday, October 21st. There are more details elsewhere in the newsletter but I want to reinforce a couple of things. First, there will be a ‘soft opening’ for children in our community who have sensory integration challenges, anxiety or any other developmental challenge. This is limited to these kids and their families so that they can come in a little early and have the fun experience of the party without getting overwhelmed and dysregulated by the high energy and noise of the main event. Most of you will be coming for the main opening. If you are not sure if you should use the early arrival talk to me and we will figure it out together.
Kids and adults are welcome to wear Halloween costumes HOWEVER! NO MASKS OR SCARY FACE PAINT! Some of our little ones are scared by overwhelming images. We want to keep it fun and safe for everyone.
It is a potluck so figure out a dish you can bring to share. We always need lots of main dishes so that we don’t run out! See the sign up sheets that will go up later.
We hope to see you all there!
HALLOWEEN: We do lots of fun activities in the classroom in October that reflect both the changing season and a preschool friendly approach to Halloween. In other words lots of pumpkins, apples, leaves, stories and songs and no scary stuff. The Harvest Party is our first big full community special event and it is lots of fun. That party is where the kids wear costumes. I want to remind you all that we DO NOT wear costumes to school on the actual day of Halloween. We find them to be distracting, difficult to manage (remember how often preschoolers go potty!) and take care of.
That’s it for this month. Before I close though I did want to again thank those of you who were able to attend this year’s Anti-Bias Class. I know it is a significant time commitment, especially for families with young children. However I believe everyone who attended found new insights and support for their own journeys and were able to join together in sharing information and ideas for raising children who are comfortable in a world filled with diversity. There will be more opportunities this year to continue discussion around the many elements of an anti-bias curriculum and to strategize together about how to invite our children into a life of action directed towards creating a more just and fair all of our citizens.
I hope you are ready to welcome Fall in all of its glory. I really hope that we are done with the super hot days, that the fires in the gorge and elsewhere in the state relinquish their hold on our forests and the smoke dissipates leaving us with crystal clear days. We will continue to spend lots and lots of time outdoors. It is where we are our happiest!
Much love and appreciation,