November 2011

LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR
On Wednesday, October 26, I attended the Informational Meeting on a Possible Full-Day Kindergarten at the San Marino Unified School District Board Room. A number of our SMCC Nursery School parents also attended. The Valentine and Carver principals spoke, as did kindergarten teachers from both schools. The final decision will be made by the school board in November as to whether the school district will or will not go from a half day kindergarten to a “full day” kindergarten.

Parents are given an opportunity to read information and participate in a survey by going online to the San Marino Unified School District website. I mentioned at the meeting my concern that if a full-day kindergarten is to be starting next fall, the day should allow time for developmentally appropriate activities and not just add more academic activities to the curriculum. The kindergarten teachers seemed to agree. There should also be more outdoor playtime than is presently scheduled. Another issue raised was the student and credentialed teacher ratio in each class.

There are strong feelings on both sides. By filling out the survey you will have an opportunity to voice your opinion as parents of prospective San Marino School District kindergarteners. I urge you to go online and learn more about this important issue.

Nancy Swanson – Director

PARENTING FORUM REMINDER
Don’t miss the Parenting Forum this Wednesday, November 2 at 9:15am in Westminster Hall. If you didn’t get a chance to RSVP – please come anyway! Noted speaker, educator and mother of four, Ms. Jan Morris will be speaking on the subject of “Positive Parenting – How to Love Your Child”. There will be time for questions. Younger siblings are welcome. Coffee will be served. We hope you can make it!

THANK YOU TO OUR CLASS COFFEE HOSTS!
To all the parents who hosted and co-hosted our class coffees – thank you! The teachers thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you better and having the opportunity to discuss their classroom experiences with you. ☺

Group 1: April Danz and Mary Buckley
Group 2: Debbie Kurtz, Colleen McGuinness and Ellen Tsang
Group 3: Marina Heartfield and Stephanie
Group 4: Janice Segimoto and Stephanie Leifer-Sercel
Group 5: Jennifer Danenhauer and Carrie Walker
Group 6: Rosemary Lay and Julie Lee
Group 7: Nancy & Jonathan Ko and Kathryn Carey
Group 8: Jeannie Kim and Grace Huang

HALLOWEEN COOKIES

Thank you to all the families who brought Halloween cookies – the children loved every bite!!

Group 1 – The Parker Johnson Family
Group 2 – The Mattie Johnson Family
Group 3 – The Christopher Hart Family
Group 4 – The Jonathan Sercel Family
Group 5 – The Charlie Danenhauer Family
Group 6 – The Chase and Peyton Ong Family
Group 7 – The Aldo Marcel Cali Family
Group 8 – The Theo Bieltvedt Family

NOVEMBER IS OBSERVATION MONTH
During the month of November, you will have an opportunity to observe your child in the classroom (through our one-way mirrors) and have a discussion with the teacher about your child’s progress so far.

Please sign up in the classroom if you have not done so already!

NOVEMBER WINDOW
Thank you to Mimi Bernstein and Jamie Gertmenian for their adorable window display for Mrs. Conkling’s M/W/F class.

PICNIC DAY SIGNUP CHANGE!
Picnic day signups for December have been rescheduled for Friday, November 18

KINDERGARTEN SCREENING PARENT INFORMATION MEETINGS
Integrated Learning Solutions (ILS) who professionally screen prospective incoming kindergartners for the Pasadena Independent Schools will offer two Parent Information meetings as follows:

Tuesday, November 15, 6:00 – 7:30 at High Point Academy, Pasadena
And
Wednesday, December 7, 6:00 – 7:30 at Barnhart School, Arcadia

These meetings are for adults only and will focus on kindergarten readiness, the value of an independent education, visiting schools and finding a good match for your child.
Questions? Call ILS at 626-568-8558 or go on line to their website

FROM OUR ENRICHMENT CO-CHAIR
Thanks for all of the purchases of our school spirit merchandise. All orders have been delivered to your child’s cubby.

Still looking for a t-shirt or a sweatshirt? Check out our list below of in-stock merchandise. All items are in Nancy Swanson’s office. Please see her directly if you’d like to make a purchase.

And don’t forget our School Spirit Days – the last Thursday and Friday of every month.

Here’s What we have left:
Girl-Cut T- Shirt Pink, size 4T – $17.00
Crewneck Sweatshirt Navy, size 4T – $23.00
Crewneck Sweatshirt Navy, size 5/6 – $23.00

ASSISTANT TEACHERS WILL CHANGE NOVEMBER 14TH
Room 2 – Miss Liao
Room 3 – Mrs. Eaton
Room 4 – Mrs. Powell
Room 5 – Mrs. Chang

BOOK FAIR – NOVEMBER 29 &30
The school Book Fair is coming up on Tuesday, November 29 and Wednesday, November 30. Doors will be open from 8:30am – 1:30pm in the Parish Hall. San Marino Toy and Book Shoppe will be bringing in plenty of fantastic books and toys – and 20% of all proceeds come directly back to the school. Don’t miss the Teacher’s Wish List tables and, new this year, the Teacher Recommendation Table (each teacher has given us a list of some of their favorite books!) This is a great chance to get some of your holiday shopping done. Free wrapping will be available. PLUS – this year, we will be welcoming children’s author, Kevin Tseng, to the Book Fair. Mr. Tseng will be spending time in the classrooms with the children and will be available at the fair (on Wednesday) to personalize and sign his book, Ned’s New Home.
“A blessed companion is a book, – a book that, fitly chosen, is a lifelong friend,… a book that, at a touch, pours its heart into our own. ~Douglas Jerrold

ANNUAL ADOPT-A-FAMILY HOLIDAY GIVING
Once again, San Marino Community Church Nursery School will be adopting five needy families from La Casa Community Center this holiday season. This is a great tradition of our school and a wonderful opportunity to help local families in need. La Casa Community Center is just down the street in San Gabriel and has been helping families for more than 65 years. These families have requested little, so lets do our best to provide a wonderful holiday for them.

This year, we will be providing gifts for five families. Starting November 28, there will be a Christmas “Giving Tree” decorated with ornaments outside each of our five classrooms. On each tree, there will be a variety of ornaments with either a gift request for a child in the family (the name, age, and clothing size will be provided), or a cash/check donation, which will go towards food and gift certificates for each family.

Please stop by your child’s “Giving Tree” and pick up an ornament. After you choose a gift that you’d like to donate, let us know by signing the sheet next to the tree. You can then return the wrapped gift and original ornament to the box below the tree by Wednesday, December 14 when the program comes to a close.

This is a wonderful opportunity to show your children the gift of giving while your generosity and kindness will go a long way to help each of these families have a Merry Christmas. If you have any questions, please call Allison McCroskey at 626-796-6364.

Thank you for helping make a difference this Christmas!

Allison McCroskey – Scholarship Chair

THE ANNUAL CHRISTMAS WISH LIST IS COMING!
One of the many unique things about SMCC Nursery School is that families are asked only once a year to help the school. The Christmas Wish List allows the school to fulfill certain needs that are not covered under the annual budget. This year, our outdoor playground in both yards need some structural repair as well as sanding and painting. In addition, some of the funds will go towards special programs such as music, live animals, and the bubbleman.

Starting December 5th, a snowman will be keeping guard at the entrance of the nursery school. Our snowman will be collecting the envelopes that will be placed in your child’s cubby. We hope you will consider donating to help keep our school the special, nurturing environment that it is!

Happy Holidays!
Sean Ky – Equipment Chair

SAFETY MESSAGE
As a reminder, please park in the parking lot (south side of the Church) or on the east side of Virginia Road (i.e., the side the school is on). If you must park on the west side of Virginia Road across the street, it is imperative that you cross the street at the CROSSWALK. Doing so is not only for you and your child’s safety, but also teaches your child always to use a crosswalk and never to dart across the street between cars. Also, please refrain from using your cell phone as you approach the school on Virginia Road and as you enter/exit the parking lot.

Thank you!
Caroline Sayers – Vice President

FLU SEASON REMINDER
The cold and flu season is upon us! Please remember to keep your child home if they show signs/symptoms of a cold or flu virus. Runny noses, coughs, and lethargy can all be signs of a virus. If your child displays those symptoms, please keep them at home until all symptoms have cleared. If your child has run a fever, please keep them home until the fever has passed for at least 24 hours.

Your assistance in this will help keep our school as healthy as possible!