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!
SNOW! Snow has consumed much of our lives these past few weeks! School has been closed and roads have been hazardous. But we’ve had fun with it too! We’ve sprayed it with water color, brought it inside to see what happens to it and some classes even had a “snow day” in school! They brought snow gear and tackled the mountains of snow with their teachers to make snow angels and snow creations!
Staff development day March 2nd Speaking of snow... the school calendar allows for 4 snow days. We have had 6! In accordance with the calendar, “give back” days are March 29th and 30th. The WNS staff has decided to forgo the annual Professional Development day (March 2nd) and remain open! This leaves us with only one “give back” day, March 29th.
Valentine’s Day What would February be without Valentine’s Day! Leading up to the big day, classes at Westminster talked about what it means to be kind and how to show people you care for them. We read books about friendships and families and making and giving Valentines to those you care about. Each class then celebrated Valentine’s Day with special snacks and a Valentine exchange with their new friends.
2021-2022 Registration – new programs We are very excited to announce new extended day programs for next year! Our 3s will have the opportunity to join us for Lunch and Learn: 11:30am – 2:30pm. The 4s may join us from 11:30am-2:30pm for an enrichment program with an emphasis on kindergarten readiness. The Kindergarten Explorers will meet from 3:15pm-5:30pm for group activities, homework time, and opportunities for art, science, literature and cooking exploration! Application and tuition information will be posted on our website www.westminsternurseryschool.org within the next week. Please call if you have any questions.
Conferences Conferences for our 3s and 4s classes will be by phone this year. Teachers will reach out to find a mutually agreeable time.
Upcoming Calendar Dates • March 2nd School OPEN • March 15th-19th Music week
Reading to Your Child Studies show that reading to your child as little as five to ten minutes a day boosts the language skills he/she needs to learn to read. An added value is the interaction during that time. The conversation while reading is just as valuable for language and reading skills - ask your child to make predictions, periodically check for comprehension, take note of the illustrations, ask them to tell you the story!
“If you’re looking at this book and the child is really interested in the bunny, then talk about the bunny.”
Sharon Vaughn, University of Texas Meadows Center of Preventing Educational Risk