Green paint was everywhere, green paper was running low, more and more students were wearing green clothes...St. Patrick’s Day was coming! This year on St. Patrick’s Day, we had a school assembly in the sanctuary where Mrs. Hassen played jigs on her violin and students danced with their hands at their sides like Irish Dancers! The rest of the day was filled with excited cries of discovery as students found leprechauns hiding in the hallways!
Music Week Postponed! Music Week, scheduled for next week, will be postponed for later in the year. We hope to be able to welcome people in our sanctuary at a later date to show the students a variety of instruments. Please let the office know if you play or have an instrument you could share with us!
Masks Current COVID dashboard numbers from the schools do not yet offer a clear picture of what effects the removal of masks has had on positive COVID cases. Additionally, the Union County Office of Health Management continues to express concern about unvaccinated students not wearing masks given the high rate of transmissibility of the current and newer variants. For these reasons, Westminster’s policy recommending masks for our students and staff remains in place. Please know we are monitoring the situation closely and you will be notified of any changes.
Registration and Parent Packets If you know of anyone looking for a nursery school for next year, please let them know registration is ongoing. For those of you already registered, your Parent Packets are coming! The office is revising the packets so there is more information in the Parent Handbook and fewer papers to sign.
Early Drop Off and Extended Day Early drop off is available daily at 8:30am for $5. There is no need for advance notice. Extended day for 3s and 4’s is for $30. Please let the office know in advance if you would like your child to stay. 4’s Enrichment is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays only.
Upcoming Dates of Note
April 11 -15 School closed for Spring Break
Week of April 25th Annual Art Show
Hearts can be found all over the school this time of year, in the artwork we’re creating and in the books we’re reading. They are a wonderful reminder to be kind and loving, to fill our hearts with all good things!
Our Tuesday/Thursday classes held their Valentine’s celebrations this week! The 4s and 3-day 3s classes are looking forward to celebrating on Monday Valentine’s Day! The Valentine exchange is a wonderful example of learning by doing, as each child shares cards from home and gives them to their friends. Sometimes it is hard to come to school with treats and then give them away! Students are learning to share : )
Governor Murphy announced recently that the mask mandate for K-12 and early child care centers will be lifted March 7th. Masks are still mandated until March 7th so there is no immediate change to our current policy. We are licensed by the State of New Jersey Department of Children and Families and are expecting new operating guidelines within the next few weeks.
Westminster has remained open with little disruption throughout the pandemic. We are grateful for the cooperation of our families and adherence to our COVID protocols and procedures which include masking. We are very aware we are nurturing an unvaccinated population and expect to proceed with caution in the coming months.
We are excited to be welcoming most of you back next year even as we will be saying good bye to many in our 4s class. Our classes are filling fast! We have some openings left in our 2 1/2, 2-day 3s and 3-day 4s classes. If you know of anyone hoping to enroll here, please encourage them to do so quickly1
Extended Day Programs
Our extended day programs (11:30am – 2:30pm) are a wonderful way to extend the day in community with friends. We eat together and then spend the afternoon learning through play and games and getting some much needed large motor activity in whether outside or inside. Limited availability remains for Mrs. Marsh’s program for 3s Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Mrs. Hassen’s program for 4s has availability on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Both programs are $30 per session.
Snow Days and Delayed Openings
We have had some warm days, but I don’t think winter is done with us yet! Please remember to check your email if bad weather is in the forecast! Westminster Nursery School follows the Berkeley Heights Public Schools when it comes to closings and delayed openings due to inclement weather. I will send an e-mail between 5:30 am and 6:00 am in the event of a closing or delayed opening. If there is a delayed opening, classes will be in session from 10:00am until noon, with extended day in session noon to 2:30pm.
If the public schools call a remote learning day due to unsafe conditions, Westminster may call a snow day as the safety of our staff and students remains our top priority.
Early Drop Off
Early drop off is available daily at 8:30am for $5.
Upcoming Dates of Note
February 18th – 21st - School closed President’s Day!
March 8th – School closed for Staff Professional Development (CPR, AED, First Aid certification)
The holidays are upon us and although there is much to be done associated with this season, let’s not forget how much there is to celebrate! We can celebrate the time we finally have to spend with family! And maybe during this time we will...” do nothing”! I just read an article on how important it is for children (and I suspect adults too) to have at least an hour each day of unstructured, truly child-led play with no predetermined goals or objectives. Let’s remember to play this winter break! Let’s remember to be joy-full. Whatever holiday your family celebrates, we extend our best wishes for a holiday filled with peace, joy and cherished family time.
Updated Travel Guidelines We follow the travel guidelines put forward by the Berkeley Heights Public School system which can be found at www.bhpsnj.org . Please continue to be mindful when travelling and going out this season; our school community has been so careful and caring, we all appreciate it!
Get to Know our Staff Please check out our website www.westminsternurseryschool.org to read about and see pictures of our staff! Nancy Ripps, with the assistance of Jaime Andrews, teaches our 4s. Susan Bocian teaches our 3s. Terry Machin teaches our 2.5s. And all of this is made possible with our helpers in the hall who help everyone: Eileen Vass (here daily, helping and greeting everyone at the door with our COVID protocol), Loretta Rake (Monday and Wednesdays), Ruth Gombas (Tuesday and Friday mornings and Thursday afternoons), Jen Hayes (Thursday mornings) and Marilyn Klein (Friday afternoons). Donna Marsh leads our 3s Lunch and Learn and Lucia Hassen leads our 4s Enrichment.
Culture of Care This year, instead of making a holiday gift for our students and families as staff has done in the past, Westminster Nursery School made a donation to the Annabelle Forever Young Foundation. We have fond memories of Annie’s time here at Westminster and are grateful to be able to honor her memory in this way.
Baby Food / Food Collection Thank you so much for your donations of food! We are still collecting through the end of this week! I will be taking the food to the Little Flower Pantry Friday December 17th. The woman I spoke to there was so grateful and said the baby food will go to Mercy House. Thank you for supporting such an important mission.
Snow Day and Delayed Opening Reminder Westminster Nursery School follows the Berkeley Heights Public Schools when it comes to closings and delayed openings due to inclement weather. Parents will receive an e-mail between 5:30 am and 6:00 am in the event of a closing or delayed opening. If there is a delayed opening, classes will be in session from 10:00am until noon, with extended day in session noon to 2:30pm. Should you have questions regarding this policy, please contact the office.
Westminster Swag! Thank you to those of you who ordered sweatshirts and t-shirts! They are due to in this week and distributed before the winter break!
Registration Registration for next year 2022-2023 will begin in January. Current families will be notified first and have a two week priority registration period.
Extended Day Looking for an extended day for you 3 year old? We currently have openings in our 3-day (Monday/Wednesday/Friday) Lunch and Learn program for 3’s which meets 11:30am – 2:30pm. Your child is welcome to try it out ($30 per day) just let the office know in advance.
Early Drop Off Early drop off is available daily at 8:30am for $5.
Universal Child Health Records are past due.
Flu vaccine documentation must be in the office before break as children without it may not be admitted to school in 2022.
Update your child’s extra set of clothes here at school for the winter months – those shorts and t-shirts are too cold for this weather! : )
Upcoming Dates of Note
December 1st – Final tuition payment was due
December 23rd – Flu vaccine documentation due
December 23rd – School closed for the winter break
January 3rd – School reopens