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The days seem just a bit shorter and the nights are getting darker earlier. Acorns are already falling from the trees, all to remind us that September is here bringing with it a brand new school year. As every teacher knows, it truly marks a new beginning because each child who comes into your class is starting a journey that they haven’t been on before, a journey that the two of you will take together; a journey marked by growth, learning and lots of fun.

Parent Meetings I will be conducting informal parent meetings on Monday and Tuesday, September 24th and 25th, after drop off at 9:15 a.m. These meetings are for any parent who has any questions about the Westminster (WNS) program. Extended Day Extended Day begins Thursday, September 13th! This program is offered to 3 and 4 year olds from 11:30-1:00 p.m. Children bring lunch (nut free) and then explore different topics throughout the year. These topics include: dinosaurs, traveling around the world, science, cooking, books, and art. Please call Kathy if you are interested in signing up. Stay and Play We want to remind parents that Stay and Play (11:30-2:45) or (1:00-2:45 following extended day) begin on September 13th. These programs of artwork, games, stories, and playtime are available on Monday-Friday afternoons. Signup is available one week prior to the scheduled session. Signup sheets are located on the bulletin board by the back door. Pick-up time for Stay and Play is 2:45 PM. Pick-Up and Drop-Off Arrival time for all morning classes is 9:00 a.m., doors open at 8:55 a.m. Teachers are preparing their classrooms prior to these times. If you arrive early, you are welcome to come at 8:30 a.m. for Early Drop Off for $5 per day. This program is offered every morning and you don’t need to call or sign up early. We would also like to remind you to use care in the parking lot when picking up or dropping off children. The parking lot is a busy place at these times, and we have had some “near misses”. It is imperative for the safety of all the children that drivers slow down, proceed with caution and obey the entrance and exit driveway signs. First Field Trip for our 4 year old classes Our fours will be taking their first field trip to Melick Farms in Oldwick on Wednesday, October 3rd. The children will take a tour of the farm, pick apples, and watch how apple cider is made. A separate notice with additional details will be sent home. Movement Our “experienced” 4s will be coming up to visit Mrs.Gonzalez in the “big” room from day one. Our 2 1/2s and 3s will be visited by Mrs.Gonzalez in their classrooms in September. They will begin making the “long” trip upstairs for Movement at the end of September. As usual, the Parachute is the highlight! Picture Days Individual student pictures will be taken on Tuesday, October 16th, and Wednesday, October 17th. Positive Image Photography has taken our pictures for many years and one picture is cuter than the next! If for any reason you are not happy with how your child’s picture turns out, Positive Image will re-shoot. We will not be painting on picture day, so put those special outfits on! Calendar Dates

  • Friday, September 7th - Meet and Greet 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

  • Tuesday, September 11th - First day of school

  • Thursday, September 13th – Extended Day and Stay and Play Begin

  • Monday and Tuesday, September 24th and 25th - New Parent Meeting 9:15 a.m.

  • Monday, October 1st - Back to School Night for Parents Only

PLAY is not a four-letter word! It comes from “toil” which means “to work”.

Spring seems the ideal time for science to really “blossom”. Imagine the wonder of being able to actually see a caterpillar eat, grow fat, weave a cocoon and then hatch into a beautiful butterfly! Planting seeds and watching them grow! Digging for worms, centipedes and millipedes. We are so busy with science. Spring Camp We still have room in Spring Camp. Please sign up by May 7th so we can prepare for everyone. Notices will be distributed indicating which group your child is in soon. Community Helper Field Trips for 4s Our “community helper” field trips are gearing up. Stay tuned for more information. Footwear Now that spring is here, we are outside on the playground every day (unless it is raining). The children are also working on gross motor skills with Mrs. Gonzalez in Movement by participating in various obstacle courses. In order for the children to fully join in these activities, they need to wear sneakers and socks. We know that the children want to wear those new sandals they have gotten, but it really is a safety issue. Please tell your children they can wear their sandals at home, but at school they need to wear their sneakers. Thanks for your help with this! Lunch Bunch Bills for March and April Lunch Bunch were distributed this week. The last Lunch Bunch will be held on June 1st. The last Lunch Bunch bills (for the month of May) will be distributed by May 25th. This leaves a very short window for them to be paid by the end of the school year. Please help us by looking for the bills and paying them promptly. The last week of school, May 29-June 1 will be Pay as you Use it daily. Mother's Day Brunches The children are very excited about the “party” they have planned for their Moms on May 8th or 11th. We hope you enjoy it as much as the children and staff do! We have been busy cooking and practicing songs for everyone! 2018/19 School Year Before the school year is over, the Parent Packet will be going out to next year’s Westminster families. As a reminder, the health form, enrollment form and a record of immunizations must be received in the office by Sept. 5th. Feel free to drop off paperwork during the summer. The first installment of tuition was due May 1st. Calendar Dates

  • Tuesday, 5/8 – Mother’s Day Brunch – 2 day 2 ½ and 2 day 3s classes and Mrs. Ripps’ 4s class

  • Friday, 5/11– Mother’s Day Brunches – 3 day 3s and Mrs. Losada’s 5 day 4s classes

  • Monday, 5/28 – School Closed for Memorial Day

  • Friday, 6/1– Last Day of School for preschool and 4s wrap

  • Monday, 6/4 - Spring Enrichment Camp Week 1

  • Monday, 6/11 - Spring Enrichment Camp Week 2

  • Friday, 6/15 - Last day of Kindergarten Enrichment

Spring Camp Flyers and registration forms for Spring Camp will be distributed this month. Spring Camp will run from June 4-8 and June 11-15 and is open to children currently enrolled in our preschool classes. Registration forms must be returned by Thursday, May 4th. You may sign up for one or two weeks. Learning About our Community During the month of April, WNS classes will continue to talk about their community. We had a visit from a dentist last month to talk about keeping our teeth healthy. Our four-year-olds will be visiting the Berkeley Heights Post Office and Berkeley Heights Fire Department. Please check the classroom doors for the dates your child’s class will be taking their trips and to sign the permission slip. Preschool Graduation WNS does not have a preschool graduation ceremony. Going to kindergarten is an important life event. Preschoolers can feel excited—and a bit worried, too. WNS does not make a big deal about “graduation.” Many preschoolers have concerns about moving on to kindergarten. They worry that they won’t have friends, won’t like the teacher, will get lost, won’t be able to do the work, and so on. Parents can help by acknowledging their child’s feelings, providing information about the new setting, and spending plenty of time reminding children that they are competent learners who will be successful kindergartners. The children get a certificate at the end of the year. Art Show The Westminster Art Show and Reception will be held on Tuesday evening, April 17th from 7-8 p.m. “Doing art” is a very important part of our curriculum at Westminster. As with music, art gives children another way to express their ideas. The painting, gluing, cutting and collaging that we do is much more than a “product” to take home at the end of the day. Each project helps children learn to make decisions, strengthens their ability to focus and helps them explore their own creative spirit. Using a wealth of materials, each child is encouraged to develop that wonderful sense of pride in what they can accomplish, all the while having a wonderful time. Mother’s Day Brunches Our annual Mother’s Day brunches will be held Tuesday, May 8th at 9:15 a.m. for Mrs. Machin, Mrs. Bocian’s two day class and Mrs. Ripps’ classes; and on Friday, May 11th at 9:15 a.m. for Mrs. Bocian’s three day class and Mrs. Losada’s class. Catering, entertainment and gifts will be provided by your children. If Mom cannot attend, you are more than welcome to make arrangements for another special person to attend. We expect the “brunch” to last for 30-40 minutes. Field Day Our annual Field Day for the 4s and three day 3s classes will take place on April 25th (rain or shine). Our movement teacher, Mrs. Gonzalez, coordinates this event. In order for all of the activities to run smoothly, we need a number of parent volunteers. Check your calendars to see if you are available. Class mothers will be contacting parents in their classes to obtain volunteers. Sneakers Please! With spring approaching, we know children want to wear their new sandals, clogs, jellies, etc. However, they do pose a safety issue on the stairs, during movement and on the playground. Please be sure your child is wearing securely tied (or velcroed!) sneakers. Follow us on Facebook and check our website for pictures and information.

Calendar Dates

  • April 17 - Art Show and Reception 7-8 p.m.

  • April 23 and 24 - Wear Yellow Days

  • April 25 - Field Day

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