January 2020 Newsletter

Dear Woodside Families,
Happy New Year! 

We are pleased to be back with the children as we begin a New Year! We appreciate your understanding about how important it is for all of us to have time to be with our families.  We also thank you for your continued support for our fundraising activities, for making donations to the school, for your thoughtful gifts and notes, and for helping us in the classroom during the busy holiday time when the children are so excited.  It means much to us all, and makes a difference. Children need additional support to be productive and focused when routines are changed, and when emotions are heightened, as with the stimulation of the holiday season.  Your understanding, proactive planning, and consistency help them manage daily challenges, as well as readjust to classroom expectations after time at home.

Important Dates:

  • Registration for 2020-21 is now open!  Application forms are available in the office.  Please return them as soon as possible to help us with our planning.
  • Classes Resume – Monday, January 6
  • Martin Luther King Day – NO SCHOOL – Monday, January 20
  • Professional Development  NO SCHOOL – Tuesday, January 21
  • Parenting Discussion Group – Thursday, January 23, 7:00 p.m.

As we begin the New Year we continue to reassess our policies and options daily, and our curriculum goals as we help prepare your children for the bigger world. “There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation of the way we raise our children.” (Marianne Williamson)  This has always been our mission! We feel it is imperative to teach them, especially through our own actions, to be friendly and kind to each other, with a focus on helping them solve problems using words, with respect for others’ needs and feelings as well as their own. Let’s show them how to help others, through compassion, understanding, and support. This would truly make the world a better, safer place for all.

When children feel competent and confident in managing daily life events and interactions with peers, they become empowered and capable. As noted many times before, research has shown that didactic teaching, emphasizing cognitive skills has little relevance to young children. Instead, encouraging creativity, problem-oriented learning, and social-emotional development through collaboration, will help children manage an ever changing world and strengthen relationships, which will lead to future success. 

Educators have generally agreed that small children must be allowed to experiment and explore, as they learn mainly from interacting and not from passive listening, from developing understanding and not from memorizing, and from being read to often to be inspired and excited about learning.  We appreciate your supporting your child’s learning at home in such ways, as children who are prepared to listen, who can express their ideas, who understand and respect limits, and who understand why it’s important to try to manage their emotions and their impulsive behaviors, are better able to build the skills necessary for learning.  They will become resilient, and be capable of developing respectful relationships with others.  It also makes it possible for us, their teachers, to be able to focus on helping them reach their fullest potential.

Parent groups this month will be discussing ways families can further develop connections and strengthen relationships through understanding, communication, and respect for emotions.  We can create helpful strategies to become more effective in managing any of the daily challenges that all parents face, and thus empower children to be successful and resilient. Discussions are developed by each group, so specific needs of children of all ages can be addressed.  All are welcome throughout the year!  Bring a friend!  The next group is scheduled for Thursday, 1/16 at 7:00 p.m.

Reminder:  We are always concerned about illness spreading throughout the classes during the winter months, as we are aware that some children and their families are especially vulnerable.  If your child is showing symptoms of a cold or flu, we ask that you keep your child home a day or more to gain back strength and resiliency, as well as to help keep the germs from spreading needlessly.  Thank you for your continued consideration.  Also, please send in warm winter clothes, including snow pants and boots, even if we don’t have snow, as we plan to go outdoors whenever possible.

Snow Days Policy

We may still have a snowy winter!  We cancel classes for safety and whenever Plymouth Public Schools are closed.  If there is a delay announced for Plymouth schools, our morning classes will be cancelled.  We will use email when we are in session and need to cancel the afternoon only, or when a last minute decision must be made.  Please be aware and look for alerts when weather conditions are questionable!  

2020-2021 Registration

Please note:  Registration and enrollmentfor the school year 2020-21 for current families begins in January, with registration opening to the bigger community in February.  Please speak with teachers about recommendations and scheduling options, as placement for a child involves many considerations.  Discussions with Nancy and the Teachers are helpful in developing decisions to best meet the needs of your child and family.  We can be flexible with scheduling, as we offer extended day options for both morning and afternoon sessions to help with individual needs.  Application forms are available in the office and it helps us to have them returned as soon as possible.  This will enable us to provide necessary teaching staff and classes to maintain quality programming options for next year. 

As we begin a New Year, we are hopeful that, together, we can truly create the change needed for the safety and welfare of our children. We appreciate all that you contribute to our Woodside community of friends and families!  With best wishes for peace, joy and beauty in the New Year!“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched,  full of things that have never been.”   Rainer Maria Rilke                                                          

~ Nancy Stearns