We celebrate Thanksgiving this month and I’m feeling especially thankful for you, our students, and our staff here. We are thankful for your thoughtful adherence to our policies and understanding that it does take a village to keep our children healthy. We are thankful that you entrust your children to us, their inquisitive minds and laughter bring such light to our school! I am fortunate as I write this to be hearing shrieks of laughter and cheers coming from the Lunch and Learn room with Mrs. Marsh! We have so much fun here! As director, I am able to see what the teachers and helpers are doing and I am so thankful (there’s that word again) for a staff with such loving hearts, knowledge of best early education practice, creativity, and experience.

Updated Travel Guidelines We follow the guidelines put forward by the Berkeley Heights Public School system which can be found at . To summarize: Unvaccinated people who travel over 24 hours to domestic states other than NY, PA or DE must quarantine for 3 full days upon return, test on Day 3, and return on Day 4 with a negative test result. If a test is not obtained, unvaccinated travelers must quarantine for 10 days.

Flu Vaccine The State of New Jersey mandates that all children enrolled in pre-school receive a flu vaccine by December 31st. If the office has not received documentation of the vaccine by the end of the year, your child will not be allowed to return to school after winter break (Dec. 23-Jan.3). If your child has allergies which preclude administration of the vaccine, please provide the office with documentation from his/her pediatrician.

What to Wear? We try to play outside as much as possible. If the temperature is above 32 degrees, chances are we will be outside. Please dress your child accordingly with a warm jacket, mittens, and a hat if it is cold outside. We understand some students do not like hats, etc. and we will do our best to keep them comfortable, yet warm at the same time!

Westminster Swag! The flyers have gone out for our annual t-shirt and sweatshirt sale! The deadline is next Friday, November 19th so we can get them to you in time for the holidays! This is one of the few fundraisers we have and your support is always appreciated. I bought my family sweatshirts for Christmas last year – I’d love to share the smiles and pictures by the tree, but my adult children (and husband) did not want those pictures made public! : )

Culture of Care Baby Food / Food Collection Throughout the rest of November and into the first week of December, we will be collecting baby food and “favorite” food for the Westfield food pantry. Giving baby food and favorite foods to others in need is a tangible way for you and your child to make a difference. Non-perishable favorite foods could include pasta, mac & cheese, spaghetti sauce, rice, cereal, canned soup...

Openings! We currently have openings in our Tuesday and Thursday 4’s Enrichment class and in our 3-day (Monday/Wednesday/Friday) Lunch and Learn program for 3’s. Both programs meet 11:30am – 2:30pm. Please call or see our website for more information.


  • All tuition payments are due by Wednesday December 1st.

  • Universal Child Health Records are past due. If you need a copy, please let me know.

Upcoming Dates of Note

  • November 24th, 25th, 26th – School Closed Thanksgiving

  • December 1st – Final tuition payment is due

  • December 23rd – School closed for the winter break

  • January 3rd – School reopens

Fall is here and we are into our second month of school already! It is such a joy seeing our students walking in confidently each morning. For some the transition to school was harder than others. We need to recognize what an accomplishment this is for our little ones – they are maturing!

Picture Days – October 19th and 20th I am so glad we are able to continue our tradition of picture day with Mr. Bill from Positive Image Photography in New Providence. He will be taking individual and class pictures next Tuesday and Wednesday outside, weather permitting. Mrs. Machin’s 2.5 class and Mrs. Bocian’s 2-day class will have their pictures taken Tuesday October 19th. Mrs. Ripps’ 4’s and Mrs. Bocian’s 3-day class will have their pictures taken Wednesday October 20th. This year there are no forms to fill out. After the pictures are taken, I will send out information on how to access them digitally and orders will be made directly with Positive Image Photography.

What to Wear? On picture day the “photo shoot” is first thing in the morning so chances of getting paint or dirt on special outfits before the pictures is minimized. Most days however, please keep in mind that we play outside as much as possible and sneakers and socks work best for outdoor play, as well as our stairs. Also, “easy up and down” pants make bathroom visits easier for everyone involved!

Westminster Swag! Keep an eye out for an email about our annual Tee Shirt and Sweat Shirt fundraiser! Locally-owned Tee Bag has provided us for years with WNS–logo apparel. We’re excited to offer you the opportunity to show your school spirit!

Policies and Procedures addressing COVID-19 Please familiarize yourself with this booklet distributed at the beginning of the year. Parents are advised to call or email the office “in the event of absence and report the reason for absence”. In addition the health

screening upon arrival is spelled out detailing the symptoms which warrant denial of entry. Travel restrictions are outlined in the email sent September 24th subject: Travel and Masks. Please let me know if you need copies of either.

Halloween We ask that students not wear their costumes in school for Halloween. Past experience has shown us that costumes can be difficult on the stairs and in the bathroom and there just is not enough time to dress and undress an entire class during one class session. We recognize Halloween through artwork, books and song.

Scholastic Book Club We are happy to distribute Scholastic Book Club flyers monthly. The books are reasonably priced and can be ordered online and delivered straight to your home. Westminster gets bonus points and FREE books for our library when our families purchase books using our code (DXTCN).

Culture of Care A Westminster Family is in immediate need of a babysitter Monday through Thursday afternoons 2:30-4:00 to pick up school-age children from schools. This is the ideal part-time job for someone – please help spread the word. If you or anyone you know is interested please reach out to Lucia at (908) 464-4880 or westminster_nursery_school@verizon,net. Thank you!

Openings! We currently have openings in our Tuesday and Thursday 4’s Enrichment class and in our 3-day (Monday/Wednesday/Friday) Lunch and Learn program for 3’s. Both programs meet 11:30am – 2:30pm. Please call or see our website for more information.

Calendar Dates

  • October 19th - Class Pictures for Mrs. Machin and Mrs. Bocian

  • October20th – Class Pictures for Mrs. Bocian and Mrs. Ripps

  • November 4th - School Closed

  • November 5th – School Closed

  • November 24th, 25th, 26th – School Closed Thanksgiving

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

  • 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.

Important Dates

  • 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.