February 2014

Letter from the Director

Dear Families-

What a wonderful start to the New Year this month has been! I am always amazed at this time of year to see all of the growing that your children have been doing over the past several months. There is much less crying, children are using their words to let us know how they feel and what they need, and the “challenges” are more creative, intricate and are achieved with much aplomb!

As I reflect on all of the growth that the children have achieved so far this year, I am reminded to look in the mirror. I realize how much I have learned and have grown here in my new role since September (fewer tears, using my words to express my needs…☺.). I have survived many “Firsts”- the First Fall Coffee, First Class Coffee, First Christmas Party, etc. What fun I had on January 25th as I was here for my First Father’s Day at Nursery School. It warmed my heart to see all of the fathers enjoy the morning with their children here at school. The expressions on the children’s faces were priceless – what a gift to share with your loved ones. Thank you to our Hospitality Chairpersons Ann Pearson and Mary Buckley for providing the refreshments, and to all of the teachers and dads who made the day so special for our children.

As we announced a few weeks ago, Ms. Liao left our school after ten years of serving as an Assistant Teacher, and will be working as a Financial Aid Advisor at Rio Hondo College. We are sad to see her go, and wish her well in her new position. We are pleased to announce, that our On Call Substitute Teacher, Mrs. Lamis Barakat will be taking her place. Mrs. Barakat will have her first rotation in Mrs. Brown’s class. She has been a substitute in all of the classes at one point or another throughout the school year, so all of the children are familiar with her already. Please join us in welcoming her to our school.

We are pleased to announce that we will be offering the SMCC Nursery School Summer Program again this year! Currently enrolled students (including those “graduating”) are eligible to participate in the program.  The Program will be held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9am – 12pm from June 10 – July 17. There will be two sessions; each one will be three weeks long. Session I will run from June 10-June 26 and Session II will run from July 1-July 17.  In March, we will be sending home forms with more information. Sign-ups will be by Session, payment will be due in advance, and there will be no refunds due to changes in schedule. Enrollment priority will be to those students who wish to enroll in both sessions.

Again, more information will be forthcoming in March, but we wanted to announce the program in case it figured into your summer planning. Should you have any questions, please contact me.

Jane Walker, Director

Upcoming Events

2/12 & 13 – Valentine’s Day Cookie Days

2/14 & 17 – President’s Day Holiday – No School

2/15 – Spring Tuition Due

2/21 – Picnic Day Sign-ups (10:00 am)

2/24 & 25 – Speech and Language Screening with Justine Sherman & Associates

2/25 – Picnic Day Payments Due

2/28 – Parent Education Program, “Raising Kids in a Touch Screen World” (9:15 am)

2/28 – New Student Applications Due

Spring Tuition Reminder

The Spring semester begins February 1st and tuition statements will be distributed to each student in their classroom cubbies.  Payments are due by February 15th.  Please contact Debbie Kurtz, Treasurer, at 626-287-6341 or deborahkurtz@sbcglobal.net with any tuition questions.


Applications are now available for siblings (new to the school) and new students.  Please visit Jane Walker for an application or you can click to download this New Student Application**All new student applications are due by February 28th.**

Applications for returning/currently-enrolled students will be available on March 15 and due by April 26.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at nicoleanido@gmail.com.

Nicole Anido, Admissions Chair

Parent Education Series

Mark your calendars for our next Parent Education program taking place on Wednesday, February 26 at 9:15 – 11:15 in the Community Room.  We will learn about “Raising kids in the Touch Screen World” led by our very own school director, Jane Walker and her colleague, Joyce Woodruff, Director of Westchester Parents’ Nursery School.  Do you struggle with your kids to turn off that iPad? This interactive program will help you parent well in a media age.  You will learn about the basic skills needed to teach your children media literacy.  A media literate child would learn to self-monitor screen time and be able to take it in doses, rather than all day.

Do not miss this timely and highly relevant talk!  It is free to parents of SMCC Nursery School and babysitting is available for a small fee.  This program is sponsored by Mrs. Brown’s class.  A raffle for Picnic Day vouchers will be held for all who attend – no purchase required.

Thank you to all who attended our last talk with Dr. Gail Ellis on January 23.  We learned many concrete ways to practice the important skill of positive parenting.  Thank you to the Room Parents of Mrs. Randall’s classes for the delicious refreshments.  Congratulations to our raffle winner who won a packet of picnic day vouchers.

Hong Yoon Plurad, Parent Education Chair

Picnic Day

Picnic day sign-ups for March will be open online February 21st at 10am. Payment is due by noon on Tuesday, February 25. Please remember to write your child’s name and picnic dates on your payment. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Jessica Martignetti, Picnic Day Chair

Valentine’s Day

Hello Parents!  SMCCNS will celebrate Valentine’s Day Wednesday February 12 (Monday/Wednesday/Friday Classes) and Thursday February 13 (Monday – Friday Classes and Tuesday/Thursday Classes). The children will mark the occasion with a treat and a special napkin.

Please honor SMCCNS’ policy of “low-key” holiday celebrations and remember that the children do not exchange Valentine’s Day cards or candies. Thank you!

Hilary Kingston, Nutrition Chair

Window Display

Many thanks to Colleen McGuinness and Joelle Grossi from Mrs. Randall’s M-F class for their “Out of this World” January window display!

“Lots of Love” to Renita Lin and Amanda Tracey from Mrs. Conkling’s M-W-F class for all their hard work on the February window display!

Church Activities

Music & Discovery is a spiritually-based choral music & creative arts program for children, ages 4 through 5th grade. Director Yilin Wentlandt and Pastor Becca Bateman lead students through a children’s musical each semester. Children will learn fundamentals of singing and music; have regular art and discovery portion, enjoy snack and getting to know one another. Our first class began January 29th but you may join us every Wednesday from 3 – 4:15 pm this semester. For more information & the registration go to the SMCC Website or e-mail Becca Bateman at BBateman@smccpby.com!

Extraordinary Animals Vacation Bible School at San Marino Community Church. Save the Date: July 21-25, 2014, 9:00 am to noon daily. Ages 4 – 5th grade. (Registration begins in March. There is a 3-year-old class & childcare available for Infants – 2 years only for volunteers.) Sign up to volunteer now! BBateman@smccpby.com

Becca Bateman, Associate Pastor for Children’s Ministries, San Marino Community Church

Nursery School Nurture

Starting February 1st let your kids wake up to a new heart on their door expressing something you love about them! (Submitted by: Jessica Martignetti)







Valentine’s Day Craft Ideas

Feet heart






Heart Tree






Crayon Hearts






Valentine’s Day Treats

Lady Bugs






Rice Krispie Treat Pops






Fruit Valentine






Around Town

Pasadena Film Festival






Black History Month 4

Celebrate Black History Month 2014 in Pasadena






February 4, 7 pm, Madeleine Levine, PhD “Parenting Strategies” at Huntington Middle School Auditorium.  Her New York Times bestseller, The Price of Privilege, explores why teenagers from affluent families are experiencing epidemic rates of emotional problems. Her latest book, Teach Your Children Well, discusses the skills required to be successful in the 21st century.