The Canopy ~ News for and about The Greenwood School ~ April

 Lindsay is back!

Lindsay and Cayenne have fully recovered from the accident and are back in the spring swing. Thanks for all the blessings and prayers.

Training Day Success!

I’d like to acknowledge that closing Greenwood on the Monday after Easter was an inconvenience for some parents. Thank you so much for your enduring patience. The training providers received high marks and appreciation from the staff members. Thank you for your support.

Training topics included:

  • Emergency Preparedness: Station 301, Oak Hill Fire Dept.
  • Screening for School Readiness: School Preparedness Screening and Review (SPSR)
  • Integrating Spanish Language into Regular Preschool: Somos Amigos, Ann Benson
  • Responding to Language and Learning Challenges: Total Communications, Christi Ibarra
  • Child Abuse Identification and Reporting: Center for Child Protection, Kate Nyquist

 

Fire Engine Visit

We are making plans for Oak Hill’s Engine 301 to return to Greenwood on a school day to demonstrate how things work and what the Engine looks like inside and out. A fire fighter will put on the protective suit and discuss the importance of staying calm. We want children to trust the fire fighter to help everyone get to safety. It is very important that young children be comfortable with the physical appearance of first responders. This visit with children could potentially save lives. We will let you know when the 301 is coming.

SPSR ~ School Preparedness Screening & Review

In order for each staff member to complete their SPSR training and certification, they each need to screen two students. There is a parent form that needs to be filled out, so they cannot complete the process without your participation. If your child is selected, you will receive a form in your child’s basket. We do not currently have the resources or time to complete the screening for every child; however, feel free to let us know if you wish to be included. It is our goal to have every Greenwood student fully prepared for kindergarten. If we have concerns about developmental progress or acquired knowledge, we will let you know.

Earth Day, April 22

We will follow our Earth Day tradition of planting a tree on April 22nd during welcome circle. Parents are may attend the ceremony. We will begin at 8:45 and complete by 9:10.

Emma’s Birthday Circle

We will have a traditional birthday circle for Emma on April 24. Your child may bring a toy for Emma, but please understand that Emma is not allowed to play with balls or Frisbees. Plush toys are fine. Toys made by Kong are most desirable because they last. Emma is allowed to have “Bully Sticks” and natural bones, but no raw hide. Just check with Tracy if you have questions. Gift cards to Tomlinson’s, Petco and PetSmart are also welcome. A single dog biscuit wrapped in gift paper is quite adequate. Children simply love to be generous, and they all love Emma so much. Please try to send something to school that day. Emma will be evaluated in June. If she is accepted into advance training, we will be saying good-bye at that time. Time and date details of her Crossing-over ceremony will be available after the evaluation.

Beltane Festival (aka May Day)

Beltane will be celebrated on May 1st at 8:45. This is a very simple festival involving skipping and dancing around the May Pole and a special snack. The teachers will keep you posted on details. Please let us know if you would like to attend and help guide the children in lively movement around the May Pole. We need at least six tireless dancers. Details and the festival rhythm will be posted next week.

Spring and Summer Activity Changes

For summer, we will be replacing Yoga with Mr. Louis and Miss Melissa’s Music Jam. We have been enriched by Kelly’s yoga classes, and are sad to see her go. Miss Kelly is moving on to new adventures as Meadow heads for Kindergarten. Louis has taught music at Greenwood in the past and we are delighted to have him return. And of course, having Miss Melissa back will be a sweet surprise for the children. Spanish is now being held twice a week. We are dividing the children into two groups by skill level. The higher group will be on Mondays at 9:00 and the younger/newer kids will be with Miss Ann on Thursday at 9:00. Water Play will start in June. We will keep you posted of other activity changes as things come together. Our activities are posted on the staff schedule above the sign-in sheet.

New Peeps

We still have no broody hens, so even though Apollo is doing his part to keep the eggs fertilized, the hens are young and may not sit this year. We love to provide the children with the spring experience of watching babies, so we have purchased eight pullets to add to our flock. The new peeps are growing fast, and are able to spend part of the day outside in the sun shine. Children enjoy watching them and feeding them bits of herbs and dried meal worms.

Warm Weather Dress

With spring we see big advances in what children can accomplish with dressing on their own. We no longer need the bulky clothing and mittens, so we can allow children to practice dressing skills. Hoodies can go home. We ask that children be layered in a tank, a t-shirt with a sun shirt over them. Once the temperature reaches 70, we will want only the tank and sun shirt. If the hoodies and pretty sweaters are not at school, we will have much less arguing and crying. Please support our dress-code.

Self-dressing

I’ve borrow the follow excerpt from Parents.com. Please forgive the shortcut.  This is an important topic, but I’m not free to spend a lot of time writing and editing. Please consider that the greatest expression of love that you can show for your child is allowing the child to struggle, fail, accomplish and learn.

[From Parent.com] When your child reaches toddlerhood, there is a burst in development as she begins to walk, talk, and start potty training, but self-dressing is particularly essential because it uses so many different skills. “A child being able to dress herself is such an important psychological and emotional milestone,” says Karen Ruskin, Psy.D., LMFT, a family therapist in Sharon, Massachusetts. Because children are driven to be independent, you can bet that your own tot’s got her eye on wearing that floral-print bathing suit of hers — even on a frosty January day! Without opportunities to experience being independent, the less confident a child will feel. The feeling of accomplishment really affects a child’s self-esteem in a positive way, Dr. Ruskin says. Self-dressing also lays the foundation for being able to tackle additional gross and fine motor challenges, like gripping objects (e.g., writing, drawing, cutting) and self-feeding.

Just as there’s a variety of clothes to wear, there are a variety of skills a child needs to master when it comes to dressing herself, says Emily Austin, an occupational therapist at Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. These skills include:

Gross motor: lifting arms and legs in specific coordinated motions into shirt sleeves and pant legs, and balancing to take off shoes and pants

Fine motor: being able to use fingers to manipulate small objects (zippers, buttons, buckles, and laces)

Cognitive: being able to understand the sequence of putting on clothing and to think about how seasons and temperature affect what should be worn

Before your kiddo masters the art of dressing, you should expect her to undress first and take off socks, shoes, and pants. “Around 18 months of age, and sometimes even younger, toddlers will start undressing themselves because it doesn’t require as much skill,” says Kenneth Polin, M.D., a pediatrician at Town and Country Pediatrics in Chicago. “They’re like little Houdinis and can get out of anything. Parents shouldn’t be surprised to walk into their child’s bedroom in the morning and find her with nothing on.” Your mini nudist won’t take an interest in putting clothes on until she’s about 2 1/2 to 3 years old. Usually, “around this time she will put on simple things, like T-shirts and dresses, without any complicated buttons or zippers,” Dr. Polin says. Once your child does start to wear clothes on her own, don’t be surprised or disappointed if she wears her shirt backward and her rainbow tights inside out. Instead, recognize her effort as a job well done. If you’re headed out for the day, you may want to gently explain that her shirt needs to be adjusted, but if she protests, let it be and continue to focus on the positive. Emotionally, your newly bedecked babe will be going through a range of feelings, Dr. Ruskin says. “Emotions can shift within seconds. She can go from joy at putting on her favorite pink dress to frustration at not being able to get a piece of clothing on or at feeling that a shirt seems too tight,” Dr. Ruskin adds. So remember to offer praise and encouragement.

During the initial stages of learning to get dressed, everyone in the family needs to be doubly patient and support a child’s newfound progression towards childhood, Dr. Polin says. Chances are, her room will be covered in a multitude of outfits, as she’ll want to change frequently to show off her personality and her pride in acquiring new skills. But even you may be hustling to get out the door in the morning, give her the space and time to get dressed.

If your child isn’t dressing himself by 30 months, ask yourself, “Am I always pitching in and doing it for him?” If the answer is “yes,” the solution might be as simple as giving him the space to fiddle with buttons and zippers on his own. But if your child still seems to be struggling with taking off socks and shoes (if he still can’t pull off a sock after a significant amount of time or has a poor grip), he may have decreased strength and motor planning or sensory issues. If you suspect this might be the case, contact your pediatrician for a more thorough evaluation.

Porch Rules at Greenwood

Sorry for the confusion about why and when parents can go on the back porch. In the mornings, we request that parents say good-bye inside the school. You do not need to instruct your children on dressing, storing lunch, setting out water bottle etc. You are only required to sign-in and tenderly say goodbye. Lingering is usually unnecessary and would only be helpful if no staff member were available to assist at the time of drop-off.

Adults on the porch pose a distraction for parents and children. Of course, you want to make sure a staff member knows that your child has arrived. Please do not leave children alone in the school. If all the staff members are outside, you must go out onto the porch to get the attention of a staff member. We understand the necessity in that case.

Pick up time also will require parents go outside to locate their child after 3:00. Please make sure a staff member knows you are taking your child.

Shoes

Some shoes and clothing items are too difficult for children to manage. Please provide loose fitting, cool fabric pants with elastic waist bands until your child is confident and competent with more complex clothing. Also, provide shoes that your child can put on without your assistance. Clogs and flip flops are fine for arriving and going home. Once a child turns four or five, you may want to challenge them more with Velcro sneakers. Laces can wait until kindergarten. Let your child know that if he or she wants to wear a particular pair of shoes, he or she must be able to put them on and take them off without a teacher’s help. I love to see children taking on new challenges, but we want them to feel successful and avoid unnecessary frustration.

Crossing-Over Ceremony

All Greenwood students from 2014-2015 are invited to participate in a ceremony to acknowledge their accomplishments and growth. We will host the Crossing-Over Ceremony on August 1st. This is also a teacher-appreciation ceremony. We hope you will all attend. On August 1st, we want the children to be here by 9:45.  Opening remarks will begin at 10:00. The ceremony and children’s performance will be complete by 11:15. We will send out more information this summer. Please stay in touch if you are withdrawing sooner. We want all the children from this school year to attend.

Staff Update

Please welcome Kevin Scherrman to our staff. Kevin is Mary’s husband and lives on the property. He has been doing carpentry at Greenwood for years, but is now a regular part of staff. Daryl has left to be a full-time landscaper. If you see Kevin around, please welcome him. His responsibilities are predominantly in the area grounds and maintenance with some livestock care and errands thrown in for good measure.

Picture Day

Teddy Bear Portraits will be here on May 13th to take group and individual portraits. We plan to be outside for the photo shoot, so in case of rain, we will reschedule. Each family must fill out a form in advance. The forms will be available at school the first week of May. We ask that you complete the short form here at drop-off time or pick-up time. The form provides the photographer with your contact information and child’s t-shirt size in case you want a t-shirt. We have not tried this company before, so I will welcome feedback about your customer experience. To get an idea of what to expect, please visit http://www.teddybearportraits.com/parents/experience.aspx. Contrary to their promotional video, we do not want your child to dress up in clothes unsuitable for the playground. This will be a normal school day with normal school activities before and after the shoot. We expect hats and sun shirts as usual. We will take off the hat for individual portraits, but will likely have them on for the group shot.

 Upcoming Calendar Notes

April 22 (Wednesday)

Earth Day Tree Planting 8:45 

May 1 (Friday)

Beltane Festival 8:45-10:45 

May 25 (Monday)

School Closed—Memorial Day 

June 1 (Monday)

SUMMER CAMP FOR K THRU 2ND BEGINS 

June 22 (Monday)

Summer Solstice Festival 8:45-10:45 

June 29-July 3 (Monday-Friday)

School Closed—Summer Break 

August 1 (Saturday)

Lammas / Crossing-Over Ceremony 10:00-11:30

Community lunch to follow at  Nutty Brown Café. 

August 26 SUMMER CAMP ENDS 
September 7 (Monday)

School Closed—Labor Day Holiday