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March News

A Message From the Principal:

March is here, which means it is almost time for SPRING!! The children are so excited to see the trees blossoming and the flowers in our garden grow.  The children will also be planting flowers for Spring and looking for Lepherchauns for St. Patricks Day. Also don’t forget to “Spring” forward your clocks on March 8th.

This month we will kick off the month with Dr. Seuss Week.  We will be celebrating with our Wacky Wednesday Fashion Parade.  We will also be getting a visit from various Dr. Seuss characters courtsey of the Merryhill Elementary.

Priority Registration ends on March 20th.  Be sure to register early and reserve your child’s spot for the 2015-2016 school year.  We are anticipating full enrollment for next year.  If you have any questions please feel free to see the front office.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me or my assistant Ms. Robin at (916) 689-7322.

Warm Regards,
Nieva Gatbonton – Principal

Upcoming events:

  • March  2nd- Professional Development Day  *CLOSED*
  • March 2nd- Dr. Seuss’s Birthday
  • March 4th- Wacky Wednesday
  • March 6th- Pajama Day
  • March 9th- Cooking Class Begins with Ms. Esmeralda
  • March 12th- Plant a Flower Day
  • March 17th- St. Patrick’s Day
  • March 20th- Very Hungry Caterpillar Day
  • March 20th- First Day of Spring
  • March 20th- Last Day of Priority Registration
  • March 21st- Open House 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • March 26th- Picture Days Pre-k, Infants and Toddlers
  • March 27th- Picture Days Beginners and Intermediates


It is time to begin planning your child’s preschool education for the 2015-2016 school year. It is important that you reserve your child’s spot. Students that will be continuing with us (Infants through Pre-k), we will begin Priority Registration by the end of February. Look for more information as it comes closer.

We will be closed on Monday March 2nd for our Professional Development Day. This is an opportunity for the teacher to learn new ways to help the children grow and also be recognized as outstanding teachers which we already know.

All tuition is due on the Friday prior to the weekly preferred schedule remember to read all communication, so you know everything that is happening in the school. Please make sure you are abiding by the parking lot rules enter and exit the appropriate way. Tuition is due Every Monday. A late fee of $25.00 will be assessed every Tuesday at noon. Our Academic School Day starts at 9:00 a.m. please make sure your child is to school on time. Make sure you update your emergency card for any changes of phone numbers or any information.

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.

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.

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.

Just a reminder when you are coming into the school please be cautious and aware of your surrondings and the housing development. When entering the school you need to follow the rules. The parking lot is a one way street so please do not do short cuts to the preschool, thank you for your cooperation.

Don’t forget to be checking your email daily, for your weekly word from the principal. This helps you keep up with all the events or activities for the upcoming week. Please make sure that you are checking your email everyday!

Due to nut allergies, we are now a nut-free school. Please make sure your child does not bring in any types of nuts or nut products to school. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

At Merryhill we are committed to the well-rounded development of each child, and we recognize that social and emotional skills are just as important as academics. This year we are introducing a brand new Character Education program for our Pre-K and Pre-K2 children. Our new character education program uses songs, puppets, games, books, and brain builder activities to teacher and reinforce skills. Although the complete program will be integrated into the Pre-K and Pre-K2 classrooms, many of the concepts and tools will be introduced to our younger children. This program is one more way we are preparing your child for a bright future.

For more information about our Elementary school please contact: (916) 689-7322- Jennifer Okimura or go to http://calvine.merryhillschool.com/

If there is one thing that parents love to do, it’s talk about their children’s successes.When friends ask you about your child’s experiences at Merryhill, what type of success stories do you share?Do you mention the personal and educational discoveries that your child is making thanks to our advanced curriculum?Do you talk about the new levels of self and social confidence your child has gained thanks to our encouraging atmosphere?Whatever glowing reports you deliver about how your child is growing with his or her education, we couldn’t be more appreciative.In fact, we’d like to show you just how thankful we are for your endorsements.Now when you tell other parents about our school,you can become a Merryhill School ambassador.For every new child you refer who enrolls at our school for three months, you’ll receive an Ambassador Certificate for one FREE week of tuition for your child!


Developing Confident Future Readers

March Article PhotoMarch is National Reading Month, so it is a great time to reinforce how important it is to expose children to books from an early age. We engage all of our students in language and literacy activities every day throughout the school year.

Research has shown that reading aloud to children has a profound influence on their speech development and listening skills. Reading allows children to experience the wondrous world depicted in books, and thrive on the interaction with adults.

Below are age appropriate activities that we implement in our classrooms to get children excited about reading, as well as recommended books to read with your child at home.

INFANTS – Linking sensory and reading experiences

In the classroom: We introduce language and literacy beginning with our infants, by consistently speaking, reading and singing to them. Teachers choose interactive books with bright colors, different textures and pop-up designs to help stimulate infants’ growing sensory awareness.

Books to read at home: Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt, Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings by Matthew Van Fleet and Baby Danced the Polka by Karen Beaumont

TODDLERS – Rhyme and repetition

In the classroom: Toddlers enjoy hearing the same books read over and over again, because they are able join in as the stories become more familiar. Teachers read books with rhyme and repetition, such as Goodnight Moon, and vary their voice each time they tell the story. The change in tone gives children a chance to hear different sounds, and encourages them to practice making the sounds themselves.

Books to read at home: All Fall Down by Helen Oxenbury, Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox and Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

BEGINNERS – Engaging the imagination

In the classroom: Around age two, children begin to develop a love for the world of imagination. It’s important to engage children’s imaginations and encourage them to participate in shared reading experiences. A picture walk motivates children to rely on pictorial clues to decipher the story’s plot and make predictions. Before reading the story, the teacher and student flip through the book, and the child is encouraged to make predictions about the characters and plot. The teacher then reads the book aloud with the student. When finished, the child is asked to relate his predictions to the actual outcome of the story. For example, “Now that you know what happened, why was the elephant wearing a tutu?” or “What would you have done if you were the elephant?”

Books to read at home: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff, Corduroy by Don Freeman or Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

INTERMEDIATES – Exploring the wider world  

In the classroom: As our Intermediates are introduced to the Citizens of the World component of our curriculum, they read about different places, cultures and traditions in books. Books help children understand and enjoy learning about the diversity of human experience. During circle time for example, we may read a story about children living in another country, in a different type of house and wearing different types of clothes. Afterward, the teacher connects the story back to what the children know by asking, “What does your house look like?” and “Who lives in your house with you?”

Books to read at home: Abuela by Arthur Dorros, So Much by Trish Cooke and On Mother’s Lap by Ann Scott

PRE-K/PRE-K 2 – Nonfiction Adventures

In the classroom: Children are naturally fascinated by the lives of real people and the world around them.  Our teachers cultivate this fascination by exposing students to nonfiction books. For example, the class may read both a fiction and nonfiction book about animals. Afterward, they are encouraged to compare and contrast the two books and discuss what was accurate in the fiction book.

Books to read at home: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon (fiction) and Bat Loves the Night by Nicola Davies (non-fiction)

By experiencing a literacy-rich environment, both at school and at home, we instill a love of reading and provide the foundation for our students to become successful, confident readers in elementary school and beyond.

– Lauren Starnes, PhD- Director of Early Childhood Education

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