November 2016

  Letter From our Director  “Where has October gone?” I am glad that I am not the only person wondering about this, as I have heard many parents ask one another this very question. It seems as though October just disappeared, and Halloween appeared out of nowhere! As we enter November, we are gearing up for our Nursery School Tour season to officially kick off. We will begin with our Open House on Election Day, November 8th at 10:00 am. I thank all of you parents who pass along the information about our little school to your friends. Since we do not advertise much, we really do depend on our parents to let their friends know what a fine school we have here. I always smile when a new family tells me that someone here has recommended us highly. Thank you also for your generous donations to our Pumpkin Patch! The children had a great time! There was much scooping, painting, floating and sitting upon pumpkins, and many smiles and much laughter could be seen and heard. Thank you to our Publicity Chairperson, Mikah O’Mara who ensured the attendance of photographers from both the Outlook and Tribune who captured the event so wonderfully in each publication. In November, we look forward to meeting with parents from each family during our November Observations. It is a great time for you to come see your child in action, and take a few moments to meet with the teacher to discuss progress, successes and fun stories about your child. If you must miss your scheduled appointment, please email your teacher and me directly so that we may reschedule your appointment. I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful autumn, and is looking forward to the coming holidays. We gently remind you of our “low keyed” holiday/birthday policies here at Nursery School. For Thanksgiving, we will enjoy Cookie Days with cookies and Thanksgiving themed napkins. You may sign up for this tradition with your class’s Room Parent. We also remind everyone that we handle birthdays in the same, low-keyed manner. Please no invitations or goody bags at school. If there is a holiday or other celebration that the class would like to observe together, it is recommended that the parents organize a class play date. This would be an appropriate time and place for these items to be handed out. On October 17, the...
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October 2016

smccns-oct-2016-newsletter
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May 2016

Letter from the Director   A Brief History of San Marino Community Church Nursery School: On July 10, 1953, the Evening Guild of San Marino Community Church sent out a survey to parents of three and four year olds who attended Sunday School. On September 21, 1953, a meeting was held of the mothers of preschoolers who were interested in participating in a nursery school program. The first Board was elected to carry on the business of the school through the year. Policies and Procedures were written and approved. School opened on October 1, 1953, to 49 children –25 three year olds on Tuesday and Thursday ($10.00 per month) and 24 four year olds on Monday-Wednesday-Friday ($15.00 per month). The program was described as follows: “Guided outdoor and indoor play; Establishment of health habits – rest, eating, toilet, play; Creative expression thru clay, sand, painting, drawing, building; Music appreciation, singing, rhythms, games; Sympathetic guidance for the discipline or other behavior problems of the individual child. As of January 1, 1955, seventy-six children registered with a staff of five teachers. The total budget in 1966 was $16,860. In 1970, the proposal to turn the nursery school in to a full day care center was brought up and defeated. The Scholarship Fund was established by donations from the Deacons of the church in 1972. In September, 1978, Mrs. Jil Sheldon was hired to start the five-day program in Room 5. Picnic Days began in 1979 on Wednesdays and Thursdays for a fee of $4.00 per afternoon. In 1979, Mrs. Nancy Swanson began as an assistant teacher and became a lead teacher two years later. When the third director, Mrs. Sally Cramer, retired in 1987, Mrs. Swanson became the fourth director in the history of the school.  In June of 2013 Mrs. Swanson retired, and Jane Walker became the fifth director of the school. In 1991 SMCC Nursery School was accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs and has been re-accredited every year since that time. As you can see, our sweet school has been around for quite some time, and has weathered the years very well. With a strong partnership with the church and the community at large, we have stayed very true to our vision and original mission. We are dedicated to growing our program. We have instituted Early Drop Off at the request of our members, as...
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April 2016

Letter from the Director Happy Spring! The nursery school is abuzz with activity, and we are looking forward to a little rest before we kick off this next few months of fun! As you know, our Spring Break will begin on Monday, April 4th, and we will return on Tuesday, April 12th. This first day back will be a Staff Meeting, which means there is no Picnic Day, but it will be Pizza Day! If you have signed up to have Pizza this year, or if you would like to join us for $4 per person, please find us in the Courtyard after school on Tuesday, April 12. Our second Pizza Day for April will be Friday, April 15. Over Spring Break, Phase One of our Campus Beautification Project will come to life as the Church’s God’s Gardners crew will be replanting the roses near the Community Room to make room for the Nursery School’s planters and garden beds. We are so grateful to all who have contributed to our Garden Fund project by purchasing seeds. We hope that you have either had an opportunity to purchase seeds for your home use, or to donate back to the school for the children to plant in our new beds. It is never too late to give, so stop by the Nursery School Office anytime to purchase your seeds. We are still in need of funds to purchase children’s gardening tools, soil and soil booster. The labor for the building of the Mini Farm Boxes over Spring Break has been generously donated by a church member, the Lukes Family, and we are so grateful for their contribution. In the spring we often focus on growing and life cycle with our gardens and silkworms and butterflies. It is such fun to see the children’s faces as they watch this growth before their very eyes. April is also Parent Teacher Conference Month. Your teachers will have more information regarding the scheduling of your conferences. If the day scheduled for your class does not work for your family, please arrange an alternate time directly with your teacher. The Conference Days are as follows:  Mrs. Perth’s Class- Tuesday, April 19  Mrs. Conkling/Keith-Thursday, April 21  Mrs. Fitzhugh- Friday, April 22  Mrs. Brown- Tuesday, April 26  Mrs. Conkling/Keith- Wednesday, April 27  Mrs. Talbot- Friday, April 29  Tuesday, May 3- Mrs....
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March 2016

Letter from the Director   “I didn’t Do It!” Right about now, in the spring, children seem to come awake. Especially three and four year olds. The parental stress of the holidays are well behind us, and we are simply coasting into Spring Break and beginning to think about the lazy days of summer. This might be the time when children are beginning to understand right from wrong. We know this is starting to happen when we hear them say, “I didn’t do it!” Denying involvement in something that had a negative effect, is the first clue in knowing your child is developing a sense of what is right, and what is wrong. Do not berate them for denying culpability, instead, know inside that they are becoming aware of the world, and may someday be a great story teller! Learning to take responsibility for their actions is a difficult task for little children. Being accountable for actions and making amends is an important part of developing self-control. Parents do well when they help children accept responsibility by using consequences as part of their guidance methods. There are two kinds of consequences: natural and logical. With natural consequences, things just happen as a result of the child’s actions.   Parents don’t have to do much about this, other than perhaps verbalize cause and effect: “Hmmm— guess things fall down when they’re not put away in the right place. Better get that fixed.” There is more of a role for parents in devising the logical consequences that provide the needed experience to help a child correct an error or make amends for actions. It’s important to understand that we are talking not about finding an appropriate punishment, but rather structuring a learning situation for the child that links behavior and the necessary resulting action. A matter-of-fact attitude helps children understand that fixing mistakes is just one of the things that people have to do. So it is: “I know you didn’t mean to spill the milk, Emma, but it needs to be cleaned up. Here’s the sponge.” Or: “When you grabbed the book away from the baby, you made her fall and bump her hand. What can you do to make her feel better?” Logical consequences avoid the temptation for us to devise an appropriate lecture or sermon, and also prevent our increasing children’s guilt feelings. Setting them up to lie is...
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February 2016

Letter from the Director   Have you ever noticed that children love to be heard? They really want to be seen. They want us adults to know that they are here, that they have something to say or share. They spend a lot of time trying to get our attention. They do not always require loads of praise or applause, but a simple acknowledgment that they are seen and appreciated can go a long way. At Nursery School, your teachers work very hard to create and environment where children feel seen and appreciated. Your children are engaged with adults and children in the classroom, and they have a lot of choices to make on a daily basis. Giving children the opportunity to choose what they will do and where they will go allows them to learn to trust their judgment, and lets them know we trust them to make good decisions. Children learn best when they come to conclusions on their own. A good teacher will give a child the tools he or she needs in order to process a problem, will gently guide them until they arrive at a solution. One way we do this at Nursery School, is with I Wonder statements. I Wonder statements help to promote independent thinking, imagination and discovery. When reading a story, a teacher might pause and ask the children, “I wonder what will happen next?” or “I wonder how this character is feeling?” After a conflict with a sibling or a friend, we can ask, “I wonder what you can do differently next time.” In February we will talk a lot about love, family and friendship. We will celebrate Valentine’s Day in a very low key, age appropriate way, with Cookie Days. Please do not send your child to school with Valentine cards for their friends, as they will celebrate together and make special tokens of friendship for their friends at school. What a great time to develop a special Valentine’s ritual in your home to show your child how much you appreciate them. A few years ago, I began giving each of my children a book on Valentine’s Day. A few of my favorites so far have been- I Wish You More, Let Me Hold You Longer, I Love you More and More, and The Wonderful Things You Will Be. There are so many more to choose from, a quick walk down the aisles at Vroman’s and I am sure you will find the perfect book for your child. I wonder...
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