Letter from Teacher Marty – January 2018

Welcome To 2018!

A fresh new calendar year and a continuation of the 2017/18 school year. When we hit mid January we are officially half way through this school year. Your children have grown quite a bit in the last 4.5 months, both physically and developmentally. When the kids come back from break we teachers are often breathless looking at the changes that have happened in just the last two weeks.

I have to say that I have really relished the break from the routine. Our holiday was much quieter than it used to be when we had a young child in the house but our traditions, connection with our families and friends kept it special still in our hearts. And the quieter days without the rush and bustle of our regular work schedules meant that Duane and I had plenty of time to unwind together. And I actually got to read a couple of books for the pure pleasure of the experience. (Although one book in particular was filled with tragedy and sadness and while I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the story to anyone looking for an uplifting and hopeful experience, the writing itself was first class. Lol!)

It is good that we have had this chance to catch our breath because upon our return, we are going to be very busy right through spring break!

This month is RE-ENROLLMENT TIME for those of you returning next year. Your forms will be in your hands (or email) and you will need to meet the stated deadline for submission. It is truly critical that you get your forms and payment in by the deadline as we will immediately begin enrolling new families applying for next year right after the OPEN HOUSE on Jan. 23rd. Please keep in mind that our registration fees are non-refundable so be sure of your intent before you turn them in.

If you have questions about appropriateness of MPS for you child for the coming year be sure to talk to me. I can help you sort out your questions and concerns. I can be available for in person conversations/conferences the weekend of January 6th as needed. If you find that you must leave us for reasons other than standard matriculation, know that you will always go with our love and best wishes. Schools need to fit your child AND your family.

When you and your children return to the classroom you will find many changes in the environment. The CLAY MOUNTAIN will make its appearance (600lbs this year!) My snow and crystal shrine will be out for the children to explore. The wrecking ball will be available for the builders and smashers in our midst. The winter playscape will be out (fairies, animals, treehouse, lights – very Waldorfy!) The sensory table will go through a succession of InstaSnow; Ice; Sparkly Rice and Gel Beads during the winter term: each substance as fun as the last and so good for the kids brains as they explore and play.

Pajama Day is this month as well: Thursday January 25 for the 3 year olds; Friday January 26th for the 4 year olds and Pre-K class. On PJ Day, you can send your children to school in their jammies. They are encouraged to bring a stuffed animal and especially a FLASHLIGHT because no pajama day is complete without exploring the dark and playing with shadows and light. If you are parent teaching that day you are encouraged to wear some classroom friendly PJs as well (the Teachers will all be participating!). If you are the snack parent, please plan a ‘breakfast’ type snack: cereal and milk, pancakes, waffles, muffins, fruit and yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, toast, etc. Just make sure foods meet our nut-free standards and that you accommodate any food allergies or sensitivities in your class (eg. providing vegan, dairy free or gluten free options as needed!) (NOTE: We will still play outside on Pajama Day, so they will need shoes and coats. Stuffed animals and flashlights should be labeled with their names. Also, if they are bringing a flashlight please make sure it has good, fresh batteries and practice turning it on and off with them in advance!)

Please remember that January 15th is a day off in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. In advance of that holiday I will be reading the 4’s class and pre-k students My Brother Martin by his sister, Christine King Farris. And remember that MLK Day is a National Day of Service so if you have time and energy finding volunteer opportunities that would include your children would likely be a great experience.

I will be hosting a Family March for Peace and Justice on Monday January 15th at noon. We will meet in DeWitt Park across from the Hillsdale Library at noon and then march together through the Hillsdale Business District for an hour. If you wish to participate, I encourage you to make signs for you and your children to carry that promote positive change in our world – stating your beliefs and values and encouraging all to mobilize for action – this means “UP WITH” messages as opposed to “DOWN WITH” messages. I did this last year on Inauguration Day and all who participated left feeling stronger and more connected. I will send out an invitation to MPS Alumni families and other local preschools so it is a real community event. Let me know if you want to participate or if you have questions or need ideas for signs. And remember if you do not have an “In Our America” sign for your yard and would like one, I still have quite a few left.

Your AUCTION PROCUREMENT DEADLINE is coming right up. If you don’t know where you stand on your procurement goal, you should be communicating with Sheila Hansen soon. Also if you need support and ideas, there are plenty of people available to help you. On a positive note, I can see from the current totals that we will make our collective goal again this year. Thank you for all the work you have put in so far and for the work yet to be done. On another auction related note, there is information in this newsletter about buying your tickets for attending the auction. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get your guests lined up and your tickets purchased as soon as possible. There are two parts of the equation for auction success: THINGS TO SELL + PEOPLE TO BUY = A SUCCESSFUL AUCTION! We need a MINIMUM of 200 people attending the night of the auction to be in a good position for success. Just like I know we will meet our procurement goal, I know we can meet the attendance goal as well! Go TEAM!

That’s it for me this month. I look forward to seeing you all very soon and joining your children in the exploration of some new materials and experiences!

Warmly, Teacher Marty