Montessori School of Westfield
Children’s House 2
September 2018 Newsletter
We’d like to take this opportunity to welcome your children and families to the Montessori School of Westfield! Your family may be new to MSW or may be returning, however, we hope that you will always feel at home knowing that your child’s care is our top priority. We are as excited as the children to see what this year has in store!
Please feel free to contact any of the teachers with questions, comments or concerns, or for anything at all. We also ask that you please not enter the classroom before or during the class day or seek to talk with us in the hallway, as these are times for learning and we need to focus our attention on the children and on preparation. We are always happy to speak with you about your child and can set up a meeting, phone call or conference, as needed. You may leave a message at 317-867-0158, send a note with your child, jot one down to leave on the board outside of our door, or send us an email at email@example.com. We will do all we can to get back to you as soon as possible.
In addition, we ask that you make every effort to be on time for arrival and dismissal. Children are more comfortable when they are able to start their days with their class, and line time and lessons can begin promptly at 8:30. Likewise, any undue stress for the children is avoided by picking your child up on time. This also allows the teachers to flow with the remaining children into the next part of the day. Also, please remember that parking and getting out under the canopy can impede the flow of traffic. If you must park, do so around the perimeter of the lot and walk inside.
Dates to Remember:
September 1: Tuition Due
September 3: Labor Day, No School
September 4: Curriculum Night (Parents Only), 6:30pm
September 18: Picture Day
September 21: Peace Celebration, 10:30 am
Please be sure to always read notes and reminders from school and share them with your partners. We try to only send the necessary information, so it is vital that you are up-to-date on what we share with you. Thanks so much!!
Please take a few moments to review our newly updated school and classroom policies in the MSW Handbook (emailed to you and also available online). Nearly any question you may have is answered in its pages. Otherwise, just contact us with inquiries.
Cubbies and Weekly Notes, Etc.:
Each child has their own cubby within the classroom to hold the papers and projects that they complete in class. We have provided each child with a take-home folder for their work.
Reminders or special information concerning your child will be emailed to you through our classroom account (firstname.lastname@example.org) and this is where you should address any questions or comments concerning our posts to Transparent Classroom. As we are using the Transparent Classroom software you should be receiving individual updates immediately, daily or weekly, as you have chosen.
Please return emptied folders by Wednesday of each week so that we may fill it with items from the current week. If we do not receive their folders we will be unable to keep you up-to-date on what they have been doing at school. We will be taking pictures of the children to decorate their cubby and coat hook. This helps the children feel at home and allows non-readers to find their own spot.
It is also very important that you write your child’s name, in an obvious place, on both their backpack (which is large enough for a standard folder), a lunchbox and any jackets or sweaters they may wear in. Please try to send the same backpack and lunchbox with your child each day so that they (and we:) may find it easily, as needed. It is also requested that each child have a change of clothes (or several) in a labeled bag in their backpack every day for those unexpected spills or accidents. We also welcome grocery bag donations for wet items. We often send notes home, or wet clothes so please check your child’s backpack each day. Thanks for your help!
MSW strives to give your children the healthiest environment we can and this includes providing healthy snacks. The school will be responsible for providing such things as gluten-free pretzels, tortilla chips, raisins, gluten-free crackers, popcorn, etc. This year we will be asking families to send in snacks like fresh fruit and vegetables hard-boiled eggs and cheese. Each family will be asked to sign up online, for a few weeks this school year, to send in a snack. Each of these contributions will be counted toward your ten Volunteer Hours ($20 spent=1 hour.) We will email a link to our online sign-ups when they become available and will notify you by e-mail or note when one of your weeks is coming up. Thank you all for your support and nourishing snacks!
We count on our families to help out at MSW, as this frees up the teachers for more time helping the children to learn. We require that each family fulfill 10 hours of volunteer time per child (or $20 per hour equivalent) and there are many ways to do this. You can listen to readers, help to prepare materials, sharpen pencils at home, make copies, take materials for lamination and then cut them apart, take children to the school library, work drop-off or dismissal, or help with special events or cooking. These are just a few of the ways that you can help and we will be using online sign-ups which should make it easier to find, volunteer for, and fulfill both your hours and the needs of the classroom.
Information on volunteer signups have been and will continue to be sent through Sign Up Genius. In the meantime, please stop in and check out our Arrival/Dismissal sign-up board that is located just inside the West Canopy, on the Bulletin Board. Arrivals/Dismissals are the only sign ups that are not online, as they are shared by both classes. When you do sign-up we will contact you with further info.
Our Room Parent this year will be Tiffany Lamorand, (mother of Mia.) She will be organizing signups, Field Trips and making calls, if needed, to round up volunteers. She can also answer parent questions or find an answer for you that may not be addressed in the Handbook, Thank you, Tiffany, for agreeing to help us! We truly appreciate all the help that your families can give to our classroom and school.
*We’d like to ask that all little girls wearing skirts or dresses please wear shorts underneath. That way they are “covered” for play or work time, even though we continue to work on “sitting like a lady.”
*Please note that the handbook asks that you keep artificially flavored and colored foods at home and that you avoid sending sugary or artificially sweetened desserts or drinks in your children’s lunches. These little things can make a big difference in self-control during class time! Our policies are detailed in the Handbook if you need more details. Thanks!
*All sandals need to have a back strap for safe play outside.
*It is very important that all clothing be easy for your child to put on and off by themselves. Please refrain from sending them with snaps, buttons, hooks or elastics that are too tight, as they are often unable to get out of their clothing in time to prevent an accident. We are striving to help them to feel independent and successful and restrictive clothing can be counter-productive. If you struggle to get it on them or have to fasten/unfasten it for them, it is not best for school. Feel free to give them the opportunity to practice clothing like this at home, when you have extra time. 😉 As for shoes, they should be able to get them on and off and fasten them on their own. They can practice this skill at home, too. We understand that shoes without ties can be difficult to find, but appreciate your help when you are able to make that happen. Remember, school is about function and “playability”, not fashion. Many thanks!
*Each child should bring in (to leave at school) a pair of slippers or slipper socks to wear in the classroom. They will leave their shoes on designated mats outside the classroom and will change into their slippers for class time. Since we would prefer no bare feet, socks should always be worn in the classroom until their slippers arrive (or if the slippers need to be cleaned.) Email email@example.com with questions.
When a child has a fever (99.6 degrees or higher), the child may not return to school until at least 24 hours after the fever has broken without the assistance of medication. The child (ren) must be fever free for 24 hours and with NO fever-reducing medication within that 24-hour period. Parents should always be attuned to their children’s physical wellness each morning. Since the school is focused on movement and social interaction, if your child could possibly be a carrier of a cold or other illness, it is imperative that she/he stays home from school that day. Failure to remain at home could not only make your child’s condition worse, it could endanger the other students and staff. If your child’s teacher feels that your child should be at home, she/he will call you and ask for you to pick up the student immediately.
If a child has any of the following, she/he should be kept home from school:
- An oral temperature above 99.6 degrees
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Head Lice
- Chicken Pox
- Strep Throat
- Showing signs of a contagious infection, i.e. green nose, runny eyes, or a rattling cough
Communicable diseases like chicken pox, influenza (respiratory) streptococcal infections (Strep throat, Scarlet fever), conjunctivitis, head lice; etc. must be reported to the school immediately.
Birthdays are a special time here at MSW. On the day we’ve arranged to celebrate (please contact us several days ahead to set up), we will create (in class) a timeline with your child, from birth to present. All we need from you are photographs, sent from home, of years 0-their new age (4 X 6 or smaller are an ideal size). For example, if they are 5, you will send 6 pictures, one each, for years 0-5.
Special birthday snacks are not necessary, but if you choose to send something, please make sure that it is free of refined sugars, artificial ingredients or colors, gluten and dairy. Please just send us an email so that we may help you choose something that we may serve to all of the students. Fruits, cheese, organic, gluten-free baked goods or even a pencil or small item favors. We do have dairy and gluten allergies to work around this year, so keep that in mind. **No food or favors are required, though! **
Sophia Gonzales turns 5 on September 7 Happy Birthday to you and to our summer kids, too!
Recommended Reading for Parents
Balanced and Barefoot by Angela Hanscom, creator of TimberNook – This book provides great information about how outdoor play and unstructured freedom of movement are vital for children’s cognitive development and growth. The entire MSW staff read it over the summer. We have an extra copy and would love to loan it out. Email Sarah Kalen if interested see (below). We hope you’ve been hearing about your child’s adventures in the woods and outside during recess at MSW. We hope we are sending them home a little dirtier (and happier) than last year! (Wet Wipes and Towels are recommended to keep in the car.) 🙂
Upcoming TimberNook Programs
October 27, 9 am-11am Tiny Ones Pumpkin Lab
Ages 18 mos-5 years+parent, $10/child
Information and Registration: https://timbernook.sharetribe.com/en/listings/620496-tiny-ones-pumpkin-lab
October 27, 4pm-7pm (ages 5-12) Parents Night Out Freeze Tag and Forts
Ages 5-12 years, $35/child
Information and Registration: https://timbernook.sharetribe.com/en/listings/624256-parents-night-out-freeze-tag-and-forts
TimberNook at the Montessori School of Westfield: https://timbernook.sharetribe.com/en/timbernookwestfield
TimberNook MSW contact information: Sarah.Kalen@TimberNook.com. (317) 867-0158
“Let us treat the children with all the kindness we would wish to develop in them…” Dr. Maria Montessori Montessori is for Life!
Kelly Bowe and Amy Barnes