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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 . 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 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

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

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