|Message from the Chair|
I hope this message finds you and your family well. These past two weeks have been hectic with changes in our communities happening so frequently. Although we continue to cross our fingers and hope that our kids can get back to school before the year’s end, I’m sure you all know this is unlikely to happen. Please rest assure that tuition payments have been cancelled indefinitely and will only resume if we are able to start classes again.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Teacher Cathey and Teacher Lisa who have handled this closure with such grace. Teachers in early childhood education don’t get the opportunity, like those in grade school, to continue education with the students they have become so close with throughout the year. I can only imagine how heart breaking it is for them to walk into a classroom once bustling with our children and how hard it is to not see their smiling faces. I know that you both have a few more tricks up your sleeves for our kiddos, your dedication and enthusiasm is greatly appreciated by everyone!
Another thanks to the incredible parent committee that gathered this year to help our teachers facilitate a wonderful program. Although your work may be put on hold for the year, all the organizing and planning that went on behind the scenes at the playschool each month does not go unnoticed. You have been a remarkable group of people to work with.
I cannot forget that each one of you as parents made a commitment to a co-op playschool. This gave you the opportunity to see your children grow and interact with their peers, but it is also a big commitment. Thank you for all the time you put into helper days, volunteering for events, bingos and toy cleans. It is community involvement that makes this program successful.
On that note, it is important to also look forward to better times. We are preparing to accept your children at the playschool for the 2020-2021 school year. If you or someone you know is interested in registering, we are still taking registrations at this time. You can email our registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Please understand that registration forms will not be taken in person as to protect our registrar and promote social distancing.
The pandemic has created obstacles for all of us and luckily people respond in beautiful ways such as community support groups. We were asked to share a Facebook support group that was formed by local parents. It is a resource to share news, requests for assistance, and community during this time of social distancing. http://www.facebook.com/groups/lymburnormsbyneighbours/
We are all navigating a path that we haven’t been down before and everyone’s understanding while we try our best to keep you updated whenever possible has been greatly appreciated. As always if I can answer any questions for you please do not hesitate to reach out to email@example.com.
Stay healthy and safe!
Hilary Gordon CLCP Chair 2019/2020
And now, if you need a laugh…
How excited was the gardener about spring? So excited he wet his plants. Does February like March? No, but April May
When do monkeys fall from the sky? During APE-ril showers What season is it best to go on a trampoline? Spring time What do you call a rabbit with flees? Bugs Bunny
What goes up when the rain goes down? Umbrellas
What month of the year is the shortest? May (only 3 letters)
Name a bow that can’t be tied. A rainbow
What’s Irish and comes out in Spring? Paddy O’Furniture
Why did Cinderella get kicked off the baseball team? She always ran away from the ball.
Greetings to my wonderful preschool families!
This was not the newsletter submission I had expected to send and may be one of hardest ones I have ever had to write. The past few weeks have been very sad for Teacher Cathey. I miss your kiddos so much! April was going to be so much fun – Easter Egg Hunts and Parties, Dad’s Night, Zoo 2 U coming and visiting our classroom, Brown Bear visiting homes and a fun theme on Sea Life – I was even planning on starting an aquarium over Spring Break! But here we are.
Please know that I still consider myself your child’s preschool teacher until they start Kindergarten. If you need help or have questions about their development, kindergarten readiness, or ways to help them prepare, I am here for you. Email me anytime. I am working on sending out a package with some great websites and worksheets to keep you busy, the best playdough recipe and a kindergarten readiness checklist. Hopefully this will be sent out by the end of March.
I am not ready to call our school year over quite yet. My deepest hope is that we will be able to gather again. We have so much left to do! I do have some work that your child has done (crafts, name cards, etc). I would like to leave it for a bit at school, hopeful we are back. If not, arrangements will be made for how to get these items to you.
There is no other group of parents, or children that I would rather walk through these difficult days with. This truly has been one of my favourite groups of kiddos. Maybe that is why the grief is so intense. But here is to looking forward to when we are together again – even if it is a graduation celebration in August!
I leave you with this quote by one of my mentors:
“When life throws you a rainy day, play in the puddles.” Winnie the Pooh
Enjoy the slower pace and the time you have as a family. Play games, build forts, make playdough bunnies….your children will be back to school before you know it, and you will look back on this time with all the memories that you created.
Know you are never far from my heart or thoughts, Teacher Cathey
This is a very different message than usual. Most of our newsletters describe so many fun classes, days, or field trips to look forward to, but at the moment there is a great deal of uncertainty about what the rest of our school year will look like. My heart goes out to all of you when I think about talking your kids through this time of uncertainty. Keeping your little ones busy, staying positive, having fun are all pretty easy things for a short period of time. Now the real work begins as you spend your days at home. It has become harder to run to the store for things or pop over to a friend’s house (or go for a walk, but NOT stop at the park!), but I have no doubt that each of you have wonderful homes full of creative family members. Be extra patient with each other, be flexible with your routines, and reassure your littles that if they are missing out on something, you make it up or have a re-do after we are done staying at home till this illness is gone. Make sure they know that this flu is not any worse than other illnesses, we are just staying home (and washing hands, etc) to make sure that not too many people get sick at the same time, so our doctors and nurses can keep up.
Teacher Cathey and I met in the classroom on Monday, March 16, after finding out that Edmonton Public had cancelled classes for the foreseeable future. At this time we took care of a few housekeeping things like touching base with Lymburn school staff, packing up costumes, blankets, laundry to take home and making sure that any recycle and garbage was out of the classroom. Teacher Cathey took the classroom cell phone home to field calls. This was a tough day for us, discussing and absorbing all of the activities, lessons, field trips, events, etc. that we had been planning that were suddenly not going to happen for our students and families. We are both really invested in building community in our classrooms and using the whole school year to develop more advanced social and emotional skills. Over the past seven months we see burgeoning competencies in numeracy and literacy awareness and I was seeing progress in fine motor development and sharing/taking turns. Like all of you, in your work and home lives, we are struggling with letting go of some of these goals and plans.
One very concrete thing that I would like to offer is the opportunity to connect with your kids one-to-one by FaceTime or Skype. It might seem unusual, but we are dealing with unusual circumstances here, where your children had no warning or
opportunities for the winding down of school activities, or the chance for celebration or goodbyes. I will leave it up to you to determine whether you think this would be a positive thing for your child. I am very flexible and would love to hear from you.
Email me and we can figure out what would work best for your little ones. You can also let me know if there is something specific you would like me to address, like what is a good book to read, or do I live in the classroom!
With EPSB closing schools “indefinitely”, we are likely to keep their schedule, but our licensing falls under the daycare designation, so we will be monitoring both governing bodies to determine whether we can see each other again in our group settings.
Take care, I miss the kids like CRAZY and hope you are all doing well.