January 2012

Happy New Year and welcome back to school!  We welcome Ella Mechoso to Mrs. Perth’s class, taking the place of Emma O’Brien who moved to Illinois last month.  We also welcome back Mrs. Angeles Madrigal-Moulton as an additional assistant teacher. Martha, her daughter, is an adorable four months old now and Angeles’s mother is her morning caregiver.  Mrs. Madrigal-Moulton will be delivering snack with the children, filling in for teachers in conference, substituting when teachers need to be absent and many other important tasks.  This is especially important now that we are heading full speed ahead on our NAEYC Re-Accreditation proceedings including creating classroom portfolios and a program portfolio.

Our Thursday picnic days continue to be under enrolled.  This past Thursday we had three very happy and busy boys with Mrs. Powell and Miss Liao.  I covered for them while they took their lunch breaks.  We all had a really good time.  I am hoping the Tuesday/Thursday children will start taking advantage of this fine afternoon program and I encourage the five-day a week classes to consider Thursday as a day to stay.

The December windstorm took us by surprise, but we learned a lot from the experience.  First of all, I now have all the teachers e-mail addresses which I can access with my iPhone.  Also my land phone at home worked very well.  The number is in the directory.  The city of San Marino alerts came on that telephone.  The office telephone, computer, and my home computer were shut down.  We are sorry about the damage to trees and homes but grateful there were no injuries reported.

Thanks to all of you who participated in the Family Survey last November.  We had a 93% return! Overall, we are very pleased with the results. The purpose of the survey is to point out areas where we are doing well and to point out areas that need improvement. The survey results will be shared with everyone soon.
Applications for new students are available beginning January 9. Tell your friends and neighbors who have three year olds!  Your recommendations are priceless.  Please remember, however, that returning student applications are not available until April 23.

Nancy Swanson, Director

I would like to extend a big “Thank You” to all the families who contributed to our Christmas Wish List!  Your generosity will support the much needed improvements in the outdoor yards as well as new creative play tools and enriching programs for our children to enjoy.  In a time of busy holiday schedules and once in a hundred years storm knocking out our power, I am touched that you found time to give back to our school.  May the New Year bring you and your family much love and happiness!

Sean Ky
Equipment Chair

Your kindness and generosity to other preschool families helps sustain the staff, as well as the five families that you adopted from La Casa de San Gabriel this Christmas.  Brenda told me a story about one of the dads who came to her the day after his family was adopted. He told her, “I want to thank whoever is responsible for our family being adopted.  My little girl had just asked me if Santa was coming to our house. I had only one dollar in my pocket when my wife came home with the gifts. God truly works in mysterious ways, because I was praying all last night that I would have more hours at work or that somehow there would be something for my children.” As that father is indebted to you, so is Las Casa.  We are most appreciative.

With best wishes for the coming year,
Steve Preston, Board Chair
Cheryl Prentice CEO

Each year our lead teachers are asked to write teacher recommendations for children applying to various private schools in the area. The teachers and I spend a great deal of time and effort making sure that each and every recommendation sent reflects the child described. These recommendations are written during out-of-school hours, and the teachers are paid by the school for their time. Therefore, we ask that parents do the following when requesting teacher recommendations.

1. Please give Nancy Swanson the recommendation form at least two weeks before it is due. The longer the time the teachers have to fill out the recommendations, the better.

2. Please include a stamped, addressed envelope with each recommendation.

3. Please pay the school a processing fee of ten dollars ($10.00) for the first recommendation and five dollars ($5.00) for each recommendation thereafter to help cover the school’s expenses. Some schools in the area are now using the same teacher recommendation form. Only one processing fee of ten dollars ($10.00) will be charged regardless of how many copies are made.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Speech pathologist, Justine Sherman, will hold speech and language screening for children whose parents fill out and return a permission slip and attach a check for $45.00. These screenings will take place on Tuesday, February 7 and Wednesday, February 8. More information and the permission slips will be handed out early in January.

First and Third Thursdays:  Building Families to Last with Rev. Karen Berns. A group of preschool mothers meet on the church campus from 9:30 until 11:00.  Childcare is provided in the nursery.  All are welcome.

Teddy Bear Tea – Sunday, February 12, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. All Children, Mothers, Grandmothers and Aunties are invited for a fun get together in the Fellowship Hall.  More information will follow.

Thank you to all the families who brought in holiday treats – cookies, cakes, fruits, and more to help us celebrate the season.  The children loved the delectable nibbles – and the teachers did too J

Group 1 (Mrs. Talbot) – the Voxman family, the Walker family, the Sieben family
Group 2 (Mrs. Brown – the Tsang family, the Chao family, the Gao family
Group 3 (Mrs. Fitzhugh) – the Giardina family, the Munguia family, the Copeland family
Group 4 (Mrs. Randall) – the O’Mara family, the De los Santos family
Group 5 (Mrs. Conkling) – the Kamm family, the Wu family, the Bernstein family, the
Germanian family
Group 6 (Mrs. Perth) – the Morris family, the O Brien family, the Hom family
Group 7 (Mrs. Conkling) – the Green family, the Ko family, the Mester family
Group 8 (Mrs. Randall) – the Sieben family, the Hoecker family, the Gopen family

A special thanks to Julie Lee and Rosemary Lay from Mrs. Perth’s Tu/Th class for the delightful winter wonderland window display.

Also assistant teachers will rotate on January 23 as follows:

Room 2 – Mrs. Eaton
Room 3 – Mrs. Powell
Room 4 – Mrs. Chang
Room 5 – Miss Liao