Spring has begun and we’re starting a busy time of year — as you can see by the length of this newsletter!
Pre-registration is starting! For those children returning to TCNS for the next year, registration forms are available. These must be returned by April 22nd along with the registration fee to guarantee a spot for next year. After the 22nd, spots will be opened to younger siblings and then the general public during our Open House on April 29th. I expect the MWF spots to go quickly, do don’t procrastinate! Also, kindergarten registration has begun, so if you have a child entering kindergarten make sure to call your elementary school to register.
Coming up in May will be our second big fundraiser for the year – Big Fun at the Fairgrounds. We’re waiting for confirmation about the date, but it will be either May 16th or the 30th (Saturday) from 10-2 pm. I’ll be tracking down those of you who signed up to help organize so we can get started on the planning. We’ve decided to try a basket raffle; a BBQ basket, a child’s basket, and a mom’s basket. We’ll be asking for basket donations at the end of April.
There will be a HUGE used clothing sale at Ulysses Square in Jacksonville during the month of April sponsored by Tree Cook, a parent of a former TCNS student (now graduated from HS). Tree puts together these sales to benefit non-profit organizations and she’s chosen TCNS to be one of the beneficiaries (along with Hospicare, the Reading Partnership & Sew Green). It’s the perfect opportunity to shop and benefit others at the same time!
Remember, there will be no school April 11-19 for spring break. I hope everyone enjoys the wonderful weather! Our next parent meeting will be Wednesday, April 22nd at 6:30. It would be nice if we could have a good turn-out, we’ll be going over some of the plans for Big Fun.
Overall, the parent survey was positive. A few things that came up in the survey and were discussed at the parent and board meetings were the playground, communication, a sign-out, and curriculum.
Playground: Every year we struggle with ways to make our playground more accessible. It’s usually not an issue for the children or teachers because we have snow pants and boots on, but it is often difficult for parents and younger siblings. We talked a little about improving the area near the backdoor to be more patio-like and make it comfortable for parents waiting for their children. The upper door is easy as a pick-up spot during winter when a teacher is on the sledding hill but not as convenient when both teachers are on the playground. We’ll be looking into a railing also. If anyone has any creative ideas or is interested in helping with planning, please let me know. If you can’t catch me during school, email or a note in the suggestion box are also good.
Communication: We wish we more time to write feedback about your children. We try to be diligent about the written observations and sticky notes. Generally, our teachers’ would rather spend their limited time interacting with the children instead of filling out paperwork. (Sorry, your children are too much fun!) Please feel free to email me whenever you have a question or concern. Nothing is too small. Remember, it’s also easy to come in early or stay a few minutes after if there’s ever anything you’d like to talk about.
Sign-out: We’re trying to come up with a fun sign-in/sign-out system that we can test out after the April break. The teachers have talked something in which the child (or parent) would move a picture to match with their name. We’ll have the last couple of months to work the bugs out before next year.
Curriculum: A couple of comments on the survey expressed the wish for more academic curriculum. I wanted to take the opportunity to remind everyone about the play-based philosophy of TCNS. We feel that we provide a rich educational environment which addresses the needs of preschool children and provides preparation for kindergarten. I’ve attached an article about kindergarten readiness to this month’s newsletter which I hope will be helpful in easing parents’ concerns. Also, Sarah Brainard and I are working on putting together a workshop discussion about kindergarten readiness, what to expect, how to help your child prepare, etc. for the end of April or early May.
Our themes this month will be friendship and gardening. We’ll start the month with a sweet book that’s new to us from scholastic called Grumpy Cat by Britta Teckentrup. After that we’ll read Ebb and Flo and the New Friend by Jane Simmons. Both of these books are about making new friends. During these two weeks we’ll be making a cityscape (a two-day project) and do stamp art. We’ll also be making our own wooden boat – a chance to hammer a real nail! We’ll make a paper dragonfly and build our own snack. After spring break we’ll move onto gardening and read Muncha, Muncha by Candace Fleming and Grow Flower Grow by Lisa Bruce. We’ll talk about what plants need to grow, plant our own seeds, make a handprint bunny and garden collage. We’ll also make flowers out of popsicle sticks (a classic) and try making our own watercolor garden picture with a spray bottle and markers. We’re also hoping for a fieldtrip to Cyrus’s farm in the TTH class – details and directions will be provided.
5 Green and Speckled Frogs
Sat on a speckled log
Eating some most delicious bugs (yum, yum!)
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Then there were four green speckled frogs!
Four green and speckled frogs….
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