Newsletter January 20, 2019

Pre-Kindergarten News

Dear Families,

Welcome to 2019! I cannot believe how time flies here in PreK! It was so exciting to see everyone after the long holiday break. I hope everyone had as much fun as I had with my boys – what a magical time of year! It took a little bit, but we are fully back into our school routines.

We are exploring the idea of seasons, focusing on winter. We have talked about what we wear outside in the cold winter versus what we wear in the hot summer. We had a hot cocoa tasting to see if we like warm drinks after coming in from the cold. We have been counting marshmallows – well after we tasted a few of course 😉 and creating snowmen from recycled plastic bottles and cotton balls. Last week we transformed the dramatic play area into an “ice skating rink.” I taped a shower curtain to the floor and we set up a snack shop complete with pizza, popcorn and hot chocolate. The students are sooo engaged! We worked on the menu by writing a list of the snacks for sale. I am so impressed how the students are sounding out the words and coming up with letters to write. Writing a Kk instead of Cc for carrot is 100% age appropriate and clearly indicates they are ready for “Kindergarten spelling,” which is spelling phonetically or how things sound. I hope you all have a chance to come visit our classroom next weekend during our open house.

As you know, we will not have classes this Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. We spent time on Friday learning about this amazing person. It is hard for children to imagine discrimination when they have never experienced it themselves. We did have a great discussion after I told children with pants they were no longer allowed to sit on the carpet at circle time. “What?” “Why?” I changed my mind and sent the students with ponytails away. “What?” “Why?” This didn’t make any sense to them. We then talked about children with brown skin not being allowed to go to the same schools, drink from the same water fountains or play on the same playgrounds as white children. We also talked about discrimination in terms of gender. I am sure they only absorbed a bit, but it is never too early to start! We followed up with a fun bulletin board where we made a rainbow of handprints using red, yellow and blue paint. Orange, green and purple were all created as we worked together by shaking hands and mixing the colors to finish the poster. I have attached a picture for you to see.

Next week we will work with the letter Gg as we prepare for Catholic Schools Week beginning Jan 27th. This is our version of spirit week as we celebrate all Catholic schools across the nation. Here are the cliff notes:

  • Sunday: Open House from 9:30a-12:30p. Come visit our classroom and visit the Kindergarten room to see where your child will be next year. Please bring any friends and/or relatives who might be interested in sending their children to our wonderful school.
  • Monday: SMS School Spirit Dress-Up Day. Students are encouraged to wear any clothes that are in our school colors including burgundy and navy blue. Wearing the move-a-thon shirts would be a GREAT idea!
  • Tuesday: Pajama Dress-Up Day. Students are encouraged to wear their pajamas to school. Please remember shoes are still required, as we will still be going out to recess.
  • Wednesday: Grand-friends Day. Students are encouraged to bring a friend to Mass and breakfast with them. Many students do not have grandparents living locally, so while grandparents are the perfect guests, parents, uncles/aunts or even family friends are more than welcome. We will meet in the Koinonia room to drop off our backpacks (do not go to the classroom for school drop-off) and then the students are free to sit with there grand-friend wherever they choose. After Mass (early start time of 8:45a), we will go down to the social hall for a pancake and sausage breakfast. It is free of charge, but we will be taking donations for our charity school. We will listen to the band play and then go out to recess. At that time, Grand-friends are free to leave to get on with the rest of their day. If your child does not have a friend, do not worry as I will be their special friend or we will find another friend for them to sit with. Please note that there will not be hot lunch served that day. ALL students must bring lunch from home.
  • Thursday: “Who I look up to” or “My Hero” Dress-Up Day. Students are encouraged to dress up like people they look up to. We are thinking doctors, athletes, teachers, parents, etc.
  • Friday: Matching Day. Students are encouraged to dress up like their friends. I was thinking we could pick a color for the girls and one for the boys. We could also have all of the girls wear their hair the same – ponytails or braids. Thoughts? Anyone want to organize?

It is going to be a crazy week, but lots of fun too. I will try to send reminders home with your child about what to wear each day, but I may need your help. The list is in the newsletter if you need it.

This Thursday you will receive an email about registration for next year. This is an electronic system that should make the process easy to use. I truly hope all of you are ready to come back for Kindergarten! Please be sure to talk with Ms. Romero if you hesitant due to finances – she really is committed to providing a great Catholic education for anyone who is interested. I honestly could not have sent my three boys to SMS without financial aide.

Friday we finished the 84th day of school! Yikes!! This means we are quickly approaching the 100th day of school. We will celebrate with all sorts of fun activities on the 100th day, which happens to be Tuesday, Feb 12th. We will also celebrate Valentine’s Day on Thursday, Feb 14th of that same week. I will send out many more details after we recover from Catholic Schools Week. I just want to get the party on your calendar so you are able to come help us celebrate!

Please also note that Feb 12th-14th is our school Accreditation. We have a team of educators coming to review our school to give us feedback on how to improve our practices. They of course will be learning a few things from us as well J. Anyway, it is going to be a busy week, but it should be business as usual for the students. We will need to have meetings with the visiting team, so it has been decided that we will be dismissing everyone at noon on Thursday, Feb 14th. This will allow for a great jump-start to the long mid-winter holiday week. I hope you are able to take advantage!

I have sent home book orders, so please have a look and order lots of reading material for my little friends!

Ordering online is fast and easy:

  • VISIT com/readingclub
  • ENTER the one-time Class Activation Code: NNKNT
  • SHOP from a carefully curated selection of the best books, value packs, and Storia eBooks
  • SUBMIT your order and earn FREE Books for our classroom

 Upcoming Events:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day. No school.
  • Registration begins Thursday Jan 24th and runs until Feb 4th before registration fees go up and spots are open to new students.
  • Catholic Schools Week (CSW) Jan 27th-Feb 1st. See details above and on flier in the Thursday packet.
  • 100th Day Activities Tues Feb 12th.
  • Valentines Day Party Thursday Feb 14th – Early Dismissal 12p.
  • Mid-Winter Break Feb 14th – Feb 24th.

Friendly Reminders:

  • Please remember to label your child’s bags, water bottles and clothing. Items left places other than the classroom often make their way to our lost and found bin outside the school office.
  • Please send a water bottle to school with your children so they can stay hydrated after recess and PE.
  • Our first colds will begin to make the rounds soon. Please remember to keep your child home if they are sick, especially with a fever.

I know this was a lot of information, but I appreciate you reading the whole letter! Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for entrusting me with your wonderful children!


Karen Madden