September 2019 Newsletter

Dear Woodside Families,

Welcome! As we begin a new school year, we remember each of the past 18 years since we began, and all that we have experienced. Time disappears too quickly, and yet, each day gives us so many opportunities for learning.

Important Dates:

  • Classes begin the week of September 9: Groups 1, 2, & Adventure Club: 9-11:45-A.M.
  • Afternoon Group – Pre-K/Kindergarten: 12:15- 4:00. Lunch: 11:45-1:00
    Extended hours are available as needed until 4:00.
  • Playgroups Begin: Monday, 9/23 and Friday, 9/27
  • Parenting Discussion Group: Thursday, September 26, 7:00 p.m.
  • 8th Annual Trick or Trot 5K/10K, Saturday, October 26, 9:00 a.m.

We continue to assess and make changes, try new ideas, and learn from our observations and experiences. Families have more to manage, it seems at times, although we see how much can be accomplished through collaboration and with support. We continue to be grateful for all the ways families have helped us create our school over time. Woodside has always been a place where children and adults can learn and develop new understanding, together. Your perspectives and contributions help us stay viable as we grow and adapt to a changing world. We now offer more flexible scheduling options and extended hours to help with your daily demands. Please let us know when you need additional childcare, through email or by signing up at the front desk. We hope to remove one more layer of stress by working with you in providing support.

Parent Handbook

We ask that you review the Parent Handbook, that was emailed to you earlier, to develop understanding of safety and health policies and procedures, which will help us all begin the school year in a positive, constructive way. Please refer to this resource throughout the year and feel welcome to contact us as questions arise. When adults are organized and resourceful, children will feel more confident about managing the unpredictable parts of each day.

At the beginning of each school year, it is important to remember that we all need time to adjust to changes in expectations and routines. Even when children have been involved in Woodside groups before, each year will be different because of new experiences, understandings, and responsibilities. Some children, because of temperament or other needs, appreciate being given time to re-establish relationships with teachers and friends. Others may jump right in at first and become overwhelmed with time. Our goal is to have the children leave Woodside each day feeling successful, pleased with managing new expectations, and excited about returning. We encourage you to plan quieter days at home for the first few weeks, with time for reflection and integration of the knowledge gained from their school experiences. Conversations might focus on what the children have enjoyed, or what kindnesses they have experienced or shown to others, with acknowledgement of the challenge of managing new expectations, especially when so much of the day still can be somewhat unpredictable. Remember that children just need to be reassured that we are aware of their challenges, and that they have the support and care that they need as they develop experience and more independence. By giving them opportunities to successfully manage daily challenges, they will develop confidence in their own abilities and the self motivation to keep trying. “The happiest, most successful children have parents who do not do for them what they are capable of doing, or almost capable of doing.”*

We welcome back all our vested teachers and introduce you to Meghan Knight, a new addition to our staff as we begin another year. Meg is a Woodside parent who also has been teaching in the Plymouth Public Elementary Schools, having returned to Plymouth after several years teaching First Grade in Vermont. She will be bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to Woodside! We are very pleased to welcome her to join our teachers in the following schedule for the year:

Morning Session

  • Playgroups – Monday/Friday: 9-10:15: Nancy Stearns
  • Baby Groups – TBA – Laura Flynn
  • Mixed Group 1/2 – Monday: 9-11:45: Laura Flynn/Rita Conley
  • Group 1 – Tuesday-Thursday: 9-11:45: Laura Flynn/Anathea Viscariello
  • Friday: 9:00-11:45: Laura Flynn/Meghan Knight
  • Group 2 (Pre-K) – Tuesday-Friday: 9-11:45: Rita Conley/Lisa Dudley
  • Adventure Club (Pre-K/K) – Tuesday & Wednesday: 9-11:45: Meghan Knight

Afternoon Session

  • Pre-K/Kindergarten – Monday-Friday: 12:15-4: Nancy Stearns/Bambi Urann/Meghan Knight

As another new year begins, we invite you to help us by getting involved. There are always many jobs that we need help with, and the children benefit when their parents or caregivers are part of their learning experiences. Please let us know if you have any ideas, resources, and/or talents to share with us. Parents are always welcome to visit or help in the classroom and in our outdoor learning environment. Your contributions make a difference and mean so much to us all!

We have a strong commitment to support families. We feel that by providing information and resources, by offering opportunities for discussion and community building, and by developing skills based on understanding, we can all better manage the challenges of this changing world. To this purpose, ongoing Parenting Discussion Groups will be scheduled regularly throughout the year. These meetings are facilitated by Nancy Stearns, a Certified Parenting Educator, and though informal in nature, can help parents develop understanding of how to strengthen their relationships and best help their children become successful as they become more independent. Handouts are provided and become the basis of conversations that explore specific topics that are relevant to the time of the year and are of interest to parents of children of any age, but with a focus on children from infancy to age six. There will be no cost to Woodside parents and friends to attend. Please look for signup sheets with times and topics. Feel welcome to join a group at any time throughout the year.

The first discussion is scheduled for Thursday, September 26th at 7:00 p.m., with the focus on helping children reach their full potential and begin the new school year with confidence. All are welcome! Contact Nancy and sign up at the front desk if you plan to attend.

To help develop our sense of community as we begin another year, we will be collaborating with other non-profits at the 8th Annual Trick or Trot 5K/10K on Saturday, October 26 at 9:00 a.m. held at Plymouth North High School. Go to for more information and to register. We invite you to join us for this outdoor family event which helps us raise funds to enhance our programs and keep tuition affordable. Serious runners have enjoyed participating, and it’s a manageable walk for families. There is also a Fun Run for younger children. Halloween costumes are encouraged! Spread the word! All are welcome! We have more information and sponsorship forms at the front desk. We hope to see you then for a morning of outdoor fun!

We thank you for your trust in our care of your children, in their education, in managing safety issues, and in supporting all areas of their development. We have found that only in collaboration can we fulfill our responsibilities in the way children deserve.

~Nancy Stearns

“We cannot speak of teaching and learning at all unless we speak of the ways and means of sustaining the powers that are visible in the child when he first comes to class”
-George Dennison

*Madeline Levine “Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success”
**Almon, J. “The Role of Risk in Play and Learning”
***Other resources can be found on our Facebook page. Photos of class activities will also be posted throughout the year