Forgive me for being sentimental, but the butterfly seems an apt image for this time of year. Last fall, we worked hard to open the school so we could provide a safe nurturing environment for your children, our Westminster family, to grow and learn during a difficult time. This spring, as the school year comes to a close, we are feeling a little amazed and very grateful seeing where we are – perhaps like the butterfly emerging from its chrysalis!
Culture of Care – Placemats and Pajamas! In March, Westminster made placemats for the residents of Autumn Lake Healthcare. We heard recently that residents are using and enjoying these placemats each day! This month we launched a pajama and book drive on behalf of New Jersey children and adults in need. Through our actions we hope to model a culture of care for our little ones. There is still time to donate; the pajama drive has been extended to May 27th!
Art Show A link to the annual Westminster Art Show was emailed to you, we hope you enjoyed it. It can also be viewed on the website to showcase our Westminster talent (and philosophy of art as a creative, fun-filled process)!
Financials The first tuition payment for next year was due May 14th (extended from original May 1st date). Please remit as soon as possible if you have not already.
2021-2022 School Year For those returning next year, stay tuned for parent packets and next year’s calendar. We currently have a few openings in our 2-day 3s class and 3-day (Tuesday Thursday Friday) 4s class and a waiting list for our 2-day 2.5 class. If you know of anyone who is seeking a nurturing learning environment for their child please pass the word!
Extended Day Programs Remember to register for the Extended Day programs if you are interested. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. The application form is on our website www.westminsternurseryschool.org.
Our 3s lunch and learn is designed to provide your child additional time with peers in a safe joyful place.
Our 4s enrichment provides a full-day kindergarten readiness experience in preparation for the Berkeley Heights full-day kindergarten program.
Our Kindergarten after-school program (3:15pm – 5:30pm) is designed to provide a stress-free environment to explore among other things, art, outdoor play, science, literature and cooking. Snack and homework time will be included.
Employment Opportunities We would love to welcome members of our Westminster Family to our Westminster Staff! We are seeking an energetic, creative, self-motivated person to lead our Kindergarten Explorers program. We also have openings for additional aides/helpers next fall. Are you looking to enter the workforce for a few hours each week? Do you have a heart for children and a positive attitude? Please reach out to Lucia Hassen for more details.
May 27 – Close of Pajama Drive
May 28 – WNS closed for Memorial Day
May 31 – WNS closed for Memorial Day
June 11 – Last day for nursery school and Thursday/Friday KE class
June 15 – Last day for Monday/Tuesday KE class
To all of our families, thank you again for entrusting us with your children! This year is one we will never forget. We will forever be thank-FULL for the joy your children brought us! Lucia Hassen, Sue Bocian, Nancy Ripps, Eilenn Vass, Loretta Rake and Terry Machin.
What a beautiful Spring! We are lucky Westminster Nursery School has such beautiful grounds. Our students are learning about the signs of spring first hand – hearing the birds chirping (and wood pecking) and seeing the daffodils, forsythia, and cherry tree blooming. Some classes are planting their own flower seeds this month and are learning what a seed needs to grow. Soon each class will be getting caterpillars and what do you think will happen when they grow?
Community Service In March the students and staff made placemats for the residents of Autumn Lake Healthcare. Autumn Lake posted a heartfelt thank you on their FB page which was shared on Westminster’s FB page. In addition, they sent us a card stating in part, “When we look down and see how beautiful our placemats are, we cannot help but to smile and feel so happy”. It makes us smile and feel happy reading that!
Pajama Program Look for the launch of our pajama drive in May! We will be collecting nightgowns and complete sets of pajamas for moms in need and their children! Donations will go to The Pajama Program, a not-for-profit organization in New Jersey which provides new pajamas for children and adults in need.
Art Show The annual Westminster Art Show will be virtual this year. The teachers have been taking pictures all year long featuring each child with art he/she was especially proud of, or had the most fun creating! A video compilation will be “released” sometime at the end of April. As we cannot hold our usual treat-filled reception, please plan to watch with your young artist and celebrate with treats at home!
Mother’s Day Celebration Mrs. Ripps’ and Mrs. Bocian’s classes are looking forward to celebrating Mother’s Day outside this year - Wednesday May 5th 9:00, or Friday May 6th if it rains Wednesday. Moms will come to school with their child for a brief celebration (30 minutes). If Mom cannot attend, you are more than welcome to make arrangements for another special person to attend.
Pictures! Mr. Bill from Positive Image was here Tuesday and Friday taking pictures! I am so glad we did not have to forego this tradition this year. Pictures were taken safely outside; individual photos were taken without masks, and class photos with the children close together were taken with masks. Information on how to order your photo package was emailed to your homes.
Safety As the COVID crisis continues, I want to let you know that the teachers and staff are now completely vaccinated. While we cannot vaccinate the school, we did get the second stamp of approval from the NJ Department of Children and Families Office of Licensing upon their health and safety check early this month.
Congrats to ALL of us, it takes a Village!!
Traditionally we have celebrated music in the middle of March with musical guests and daily morning music assemblies. We are pleased to say that we did not give up on this tradition! While we limited our assemblies to Monday and Friday and were not able to welcome guests, we still managed to celebrate. Classes made their own instruments, saw the inside of a piano (230 strings! Hammers covered in felt!), played a variety of instruments in their classrooms (including their voices!) and learned about musical families (Strings, Wind, Percussion, Brass). Mrs. Hassen demonstrated her violin and Wednesday’s students danced and played their instruments to Irish Jigs on St. Patrick’s Day.
Yes! Spring really is on its way! Our break begins Tuesday March 30th (we are in school Monday March 29th to “give back” a day we lost to snow) School resumes Monday April 5th. If you are planning on traveling, please be aware of the latest information re: NJ travel restrictions and continue to follow COVID protocol.
Thank you! Our school has been so fortunate to have families, staff, and students following the latest guidance with regards to COVID-19. We staff continue to be amazed at how well our students are doing with masks, hand washing and sanitizing and distancing.
The students made placemats for their families in November. This month they helped others by making placemats for the residents of Autumn Lake Healthcare right here in Berkeley Heights. Mrs. Hassen will deliver them Monday 22nd with a card the students signed.
Extended Day Options for 2021-2022
Please visit our website at www.westminsternurseryschool.org for flyers on our new extended-day options for 3’s, 4’s and Kindergarteners. We will also be offering Early Drop Off next year at 8:30am.
Please remember to sign your child in and out each day as required by the NJ State Department of Children and Families Office of Licensing.
The final tuition payment for this year is due April 1
Remember to register for next year, including extended day options
Upcoming Calendar Dates
March 27 Passover begins at sundown
April 4 Easter Sunday
Late April – The annual art show will be in the form of a slide show this year – keep your eyes peeled for a late April reveal!
Please visit our FB page for pictures of our weekly happenings!