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February News

A Message From The Principal:

Dear Merryhill Parents,

As February is usually noted as the month of love and friendship, we take the opportunity to encourage friendship, love, and appreciation to all our students. We encourage our children to show kindness and appreciation to those close to their hearts. We also believe that love extends farther than the love we have for our friends and family as it can extend to strangers and those in need. Our students will be learning about different ways to help others.

This month we will also incorporate activities that include learning about our president’s and the role they play in our daily lives. The month of February brings multiple opportunities for us to incorporate the community, family and school to create a wonderful learning environment. We will celebrate Black History Month through song, reading , and hands on activities. We will also teach the children how to care for their hearts and teeth in honor of American Heart and Dental Health Month. We cordially invite parents who work in or have some expertise in these fields to come and share their experiences as guest speakers to the classes.

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that your comments and suggestions are very important to us. I would also invite you to personally bring to us any ideas, questions, suggestions or concerns you may have as they occur. Please speak to us directly and let us know in which areas you would like to see improvement, or let us know if you need additional information about your child’s day and the activities that are taking place at the school. We invite you to visit the Parent Board in your child’s classroom as you can get daily, weekly, and monthly curriculum information. We also invite you to check the bulletin boards in the classrooms and those show activities, pictures, and activity descriptors that will help you connect with what is happening in each classroom. Please know that the staff and I are committed to always being available to address any needs you may have. It is our goal to constantly find ways to improve our program and we count on you to direct us in the right direction.

We would also like to encourage any family with children that are eligible for Kindergarten this fall to learn about our Elementary campus. For more information, contact Principal Debbie Spalding at 916- 564-7343 or debbie.spalding@nlcinc.com.

Yvonne Valenzuela, Principal

February 2015 Celebrates…

  • Transportation Week 2/2-2/6
  • Dental Health Week 2/9-2/13
  • Five Senses Week 2/16-2/20
  • Families & Homes Week 2/23-2/27
  • 02/02/15: Groundhog Day
  • 02/11/15: Tooth Fairy Visit – 10am-12pm
  • 02/13/15: Valentine’s Day Celebrations
  • 02/14/15: Valentine’s Day
  • 02/16/15: School Closed
  • 02/17/15: Mardi Gras Mask Parade
  • 02/27/15: Bring a Family Photo from Home

News from our Classrooms

Infant Room
We all very excited for this upcoming month of February, with lots and lots of fun activities planned. Some of the fun activities that we have planned are; completing some toothbrush art, playing with some play dough, reading some stories about friendship and family, and also playing with some feathers out doors in the sunshine. Our sign for this month is “all done”. We will be practicing our sign language during meal times and during all of our activities. We are very excited to watch of our friends in the infant room learn this new sign. For our story time this month, we have two books that we will be reading with our friends. The first is “Little Bunny’s Bedtime!”, and the second is “Care Bears: Special Delivery”. We are excited to read this excellent books with our friends during our circle time.

Toddler Room
The month of February is going to be a fun, busy month for the Toddler class. We’ll be going over four different themes this month. The first week of February we are teaching the children about Transportation. We’ll make cars, a class map, an airplane, and many more fun activities to help teach the toddlers about transportation. At circle time we’ll talk about different ways we get to school .The second week we’ll be learning about the importance of Dental Health. Activities will be done throughout the week to help children explore Dental Health; for example the children will be painting with toothbrushes. The third week the Toddlers will be learning about the five senses we have. We’ll do sensory activities so they can explore. The last week of February the toddlers will learn about Families and Homes. The Toddlers will build a home with blocks and share a family picture with the class. Please bring a picture of your family to share with classmates during circle. Thanks!!

Beginners Room #5
This month, in the Beginner 1 class, our friends will be learning new Spanish vocabulary: Rectangulo (rectangle) and we will continue to review Spanish vocabulary from previous months. We will play I-Spy and search the classroom for a variety of shapes to reinforce shape recognition in English/Spanish.We have some fun themes planned for the month of February that include our exciting “Read Together Talk Together” books about planes, trains and automobiles. We will be building our vocabulary and connecting the stories we hear to real life events.Please notice our “Name Train” in the classroom, as you walk in the door. We are currently working on first name recognition. Ask your child to find their name as they arrive in the morning.In addition, we are learning how to say our first and last name during morning circle time.

Beginners Room #4
The Beginner 2 class is excited to welcome the month of February. The students will continue practicing with standing up in front of their classmates during morning circle and stating their first and last names. They are also recognizing their names on flash cards. Towards the end of the month the children will be given mini white boards and dry erase markers to begin practicing tracing their first and last names. The children will continue to identify the weather (sun, rain, snow), and also temperatures (hot, cold). This month the children will be exploring animals more in depth, for example matching adult animals to their baby animals recognizing (big, little). The Beginner 2 class will review previously acquired Spanish vocabulary, as well as new vocabulary words; rectangulo, and adios. We’ll be expanding new ways of saying goodbye in different languages.

Intermediates Room 2
As February begins, we have lots of fun activities planned for this month, including celebrating our families, recognizing good dental hygiene, Groundhog’s day, Lincoln’s Birthday, recognizing our Five Senses, and transportation fun. The tooth fairy will be making a special visit to explain the importance of eating the right foods, and the correct way to maintaining healthy teeth. During our “five senses” week, children will be exploring and experimenting with various objects to recognize the job of each sense. February 14 is Valentine’s day. This is a day that we recognize the important people in our lives and discuss the friendships we have created here at Merryhill School. Our celebration will be Friday, February 13. Sign-ups to be posted soon. This is a great time to practice our writing skills. As a home activity, we ask that children write their first names on their valentine’s day cards to hand out to their friends during the valentine celebration..Thank you for all you do and for your cooperation.

Intermediates Room 3
In the month February we will introduce new Spanish vocabulary. El perro, el gato, el pajaro and el pez. The children will learn about the common pets and identify animals and their habitats as well as the animal sounds. Math; Learn to count 1 to 30 and recognize numbers 1 to 10 in English and Spanish by making lots of art projects and a numeral cooking project as well. Review basic colors and shapes in English and Spanish by sorting color, shapes by sizes creating different patterns using up to three objects and making different art projects using pre– cut shapes. The children will also identify rhyming words by learning new rhyming songs “Jack and Jill” etc and continue recognizing their names in print, some letter names and It’s sounds. We will discuss about President Day and what they did for our country. Also we will talk about Dental Health and how to have good dental hygiene. Discuss about Healthy and favorite food and beverages. We will talk about family and friendship. Spark: Practice walking on tiptoes, jumping forward with two feet.

Pre-K Room #1
We are excited for all the fun learning experiences to come in the month of February. This month we will be excelling in our language in literacy skills as we are consistently working on phonics in our workbooks and we are learning to read simple sentences as we sound out each word. We will continue to improve our math skills by learning to recognize numbers 1-80, and subtract and add numbers between 10 and 30. In our sensory center we will explore with water, smell jars, and play dough. We will be doing many hands on activities as we will be building many different structures from cars to cabins and houses using various materials. We will learn about the family of one another during families and home week as we bring in pictures, discuss our family traditions, and improve our art skills by painting pictures of our family. Spanish this month will include review of how to say numbers 1-20 and we will be learning new vocabulary as we learn how to say many different animals in Spanish. We look forward to the celebrations and cultural studies to come in this month.

Pre-K2 Room #6
Our Pre-K2 students are loving all of our Links to Learning Skills. We are moving right along with our curriculum and have added even more fun to our class to help us be extra prepared for the upcoming transitions to our elementary schools. We have added new sight word games, money games, and much more. This month students will begin keeping track of their day by using our new digital clock. Our PreK2 students have become very interested in keeping their bodies healthy and we will continue learning simple exercises, sorting foods by healthy and unhealthy and much more. Our SPARK program is another great way to keep our bodies healthy and moving. We are very proud of how excited our friends are to complete their phonics books each day. The eagerness to learn really shines in our PreK2 classroom. In Math students will begin learning how to use a calculator to create simple addition and subtraction equations.

News From our Education Department

Learning About the Uses and Benefits of Technology

Children today have many opportunities to interact with technology for entertainment value and learning. Most often we think of children using computer technology, including handheld devices loaded with games, books, music and movies. In moderation, these devices can aid in children’s learning and development.

Within our academic curriculum, we involve children in activities and reflection on ways that technology can improve our understanding of the world around us, help us do our jobs, and make the world a better place. We help children see how the understanding of science and math moves technology forward, and that someday they too might create new and improved ways to do things.

Below are a few ways that we integrate technology in our classrooms and some ideas to try at home.

In the classroom: Beginning in our Intermediate program, students learn common technology vocabulary, such as mouse, keyboard and email. Students also explore the double meaning of verbs that describe online and offline activities, such as “tapping” and “surfing”.

At home: Dot. by Randi Zuckerberg is a great book to read with your child to continue the learning at home. Dot, the main character, is a tech savvy little girl who leaves her electronic devices at home while she taps, swipes and shares in the real world.

In the classroom: Teachers encourage our older preschoolers to use technology as a tool to express themselves. For example, students use a camera to take photos of seasonal changes outdoors and write what they observed in their journal. This activity promotes creativity and provides a fun opportunity to practice writing skills.

At home: Allow your child to explore his world using digital photography tools. Ask him to describe his photos and explain why he chose those objects or locations to photograph. Encourage him to use descriptive language and emotion vocabulary.

In summary, we provide numerous opportunities for children to explore technology in our classrooms. Through these activities, children become excited to use technology educationally, and are better prepared to use technology in elementary school and beyond.

– Lauren Starnes, PhD- Director of Early Childhood Education

Specialty Classes

This soccer program coach skills within a framework of character development based on respect, responsibility, integrity, leadership and sportsmanship. Their curriculum has been created to address the key areas of technical development that have the biggest impact on performance in the game.

We offer a beginning Jazz Dance Class each Wednesday. This class is designed to introduce children to the art of dance. Making the art of dance fun for children, Ms. Jennifer engages the children with special props and music. The children are able to show off their dancing skills twice a year with a dance recital! More information is located in the lobby.

Gymtyme is also offered on Wednesdays with Ms. Jennifer. Ms. Jennifer introduces the children to the sport of gymnastics through fun activities. Ms. Jennifer brings with her each Wednesday different props so the children can learn about tumbling, jumping, balancing and so much more. This is a great class for both boys and girls!

Music Matt
Mr. Matt will be teaching an introductory music class. This class is open to all 3 and 4 year olds and will introduce them to different instruments, singing and much more! We are excited to announce that Music Matt is available for birthday parties. If you are interested, please contact Music Matt either through his website or by email. Please check out his web site at www.MusicMatt.com. If you would like more information he can be reached by e-mail: Only1MusicMatt@gmail.com or by phone: 530-220-4400.

A few friendly reminders …….

  • Upon arrival and during pick-up time, please make sure that you sign your child in and out in the sign-in/out binder located in the front office. All information must be completed on each line and be clearly legible. You must write a phone number each day where we can reach you immediately should there be a need for it.
  • Should you require an alternate person to pick-up your child, please give a written letter to the office, stating the name of the person who is authorized to pick up. Please inform the person picking up the child that they must provide a valid form of identification with photo. A staff will ask for I.D. to properly identify this person as someone who is authorized to pick-up your child.
  • All new students must have a complete file by the first day of school. Attendance will not be allowed until all necessary forms are completed. Please note that emergency information and immunization records must be updated as needed throughout the school year.
  • Please make sure that your child has a crib-sized fitted sheet to cover his/her mat, a blanket, and at least two spare set of clothing in his/her cubby. On Fridays, you must take blankets and sheets home to be laundered and return them on Mondays. Please check your child’s cubby everyday for soiled clothing or other items that may need to be taken home. Please also make sure all items are clearly marked with your child’s name (clothing, sheets, blankets, sweaters and jackets, towels and bathing suits, etc.).
  • Merryhill provides a hot lunch as well as a morning and afternoon snack. We do not provide breakfast, but we’ll be happy to assist your child with breakfast brought from home until 8:45 AM. If you would like your child to eat breakfast at school, he/she must arrive by 8:30 AM.
  • Merryhill School is a NUT FREE environment, we ask that you not bring any food items into the school that contain nut products.
  • Please refer to the tuition fee schedule for updated new rates and tuition policies for the current school year. A deposit equal to the weekly tuition amount is due on the first day of school.
  • Tuition is due no later than Friday prior to the week of attendance. Tuition is considered delinquent at 12:00 PM on Monday. A $25 late fee charge will be assessed at that time and should be included in your payment. Tuition is continuous throughout the year. There are no deductions in tuition for absences, illness, or the holidays that are observed throughout the year. Each child is entitled to one week of vacation credit for each school year. Requests for vacation credit must be presented in writing to the office at least two weeks in advance.
  • A charge of $1 per a minute will be assessed for children picked-up after 12:30 PM for half-day students, and 6:00 PM for full-day students.
  • In order to keep you informed of everything happening at Merryhill, please check the Merryhill Links to Learning Parent Board and students’ files located in each classroom, our monthly newsletter, and our website. In an effort to establish prompt communication with parents please make sure to provide us with an e-mail address for up-to-date e-notifications.
  • We welcome children to bring a special item for “Show and Tell” on Fridays. Please make sure that these items are small enough to be stored inside your child’s cubby. Toy guns and/or weapons of any kind are not allowed. Merryhill is proud to provide all our classes with enough materials that are fun and educational. Sometimes it is hard for the children to understand the concept of sharing special items that they bring from home. Some of these items are valuable to the child, therefore, we do not want to take the chance of them getting lost or misplaced.
  • It is very important that you make contact with the teacher on duty when arriving or picking-up your child. This will help you better understand how your child’s day went and allow you time to ask any questions and/or voice any concerns you may have.
  • During the summer months we will have water play days and occasionally go on walks. We will also maintain our playground schedule when weather permits. We ask that parents put sunscreen on the children before they come to school. We also ask that you maintain a bottle of sunscreen in your child’s classroom and teachers will reapply as needed. Please make sure that you complete a “Permission to Apply Sunscreen” to maintain in your child’s file.
  • Please make sure to carefully review our Sick and Medication policies. Our goal is to maintain a healthy environment for all our children and staff. We are asking you to abide by our sick policy as we will continue to enforce those policies with every enrolled student. Although their symptoms may not abide by the sick child policy, the school administration will determine when a child needs to go home according to their wellbeing. On occasion, symptoms may be outside the parameter of our Sick Child Policy, at that time the school administration will contact you if we feel your child needs parental care.
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