A Message From the Principal:
Welcome to the month of August! Wow! What an amazing Summer we are having so far!
Thank you for your participation in our fun July events which included our Fabulous Fireworks Extravaganza and STEM Classroom Boat Float Competition. I hope you enjoyed the display in the lobby showcasing the boats each classroom made.
We are happy to announce that our Merryhill Spirit Shirts have arrived and are available for purchase at the front desk for $10 per shirt.
We will be hosting our Parent’s Night Out event on Friday, August 21st. This is a night where you can leave your children in our care until 9:30 pm, while you enjoy an evening to do whatever you wish. Spaces are limited. Please see below for more details regarding this special event.
Back by popular demand…our Brax Spirit Cup Fundraiser! This year there are prizes and incentives for every 10 items sold!
Your children have transitioned with ease to their new classrooms and are very excited about all of the fun projects and experiences that their new teachers have planned for them. Please take some time to explore your child’s new classroom, meet the teachers and let your child give you a tour, which will boost their self-esteem.
We will be hosting our Parent Back to School Nights in September which will allow you the opportunity to experience what is happening in the classroom first hand. Please see below for the dates for back to school Night for your child’s classroom. (Beginners through Pre-K 2) Complimentary childcare will be provided in a separate room.
- Beginners and Intermediates: Wednesday, September 9th 6:30-7:30 PM
(Toddler Parents are recommended to attend in Beginner A)
- Pre-K and Pre-K 2: Tuesday, September 15th 6:30-7:30 PM
Each week you will see many familiar faces returning from their summer breaks as well as meet many that are new to the Merryhill Family. This is a time to welcome change with our eyes and hearts wide open and enjoy the new friendships and important bonds between the children that are forming. Each day they develop and grow in leaps and bounds and it is important to take time and embrace these experiences through the eyes of your children.
We wish you an amazing month!
Please see below for more details on all of these events and more. Sincerely, Tammy Wells- Principal
Special Events/Theme Days* (Every Tuesday is Merryhill Spirit Day -Wear a Merryhill Shirt**)
- Monday, August 3rd – Brax Spirit Cup Fundraiser Begins
- Wednesday, August 5th- Sports Dress Up Day
- Friday, August 7th – Summer Picnic – Bring a sack lunch and your favorite beach towel.
- Thursday, August 13th – Cartoon Dress Up Day – Dress as your favorite cartoon character.
- Friday, August 14th – School Closed For Regional Staff Professional Development Day
- Monday, August 17th – Brax Spirit Cup Fundraiser Ends
- Wednesday, August 19th – Space Dress Up day
- Wednesday, August 19th- STEM Day – Classroom Robot Challenge
- Friday, August 21st – Pajama Day – Wear your “restroom friendly” pajamas to school!
- Friday, August 21st- Parent’s Night Out
- Thursday, August 21st – Tropical Dress Up Day
- Monday, September 7th – Labor Day – School Closed
- Wednesday, September 9th -Beginners and Intermediates Parent Back to School Night 6:30-7:30pm
- Tuesday, September 15th – Pre-K A/B/C/2 Parent Back to School Night 6:30-7:30 pm
- September 16th, 17th & 18th – School Picture days
- October 12th – 16th – Scholastic Book Fair (Volunteers Needed)
- Friday, October 16th – Read For the Record School Wide Event
- Friday, October 30th – Trunk or Treat “Spooktacular” Event
- November 26th and 27th – School Closed for Thanksgiving Break
- Wednesday, November 11th – School Closed in observance of Veteran’s Day
- December 24th and 25th – School Closed for Christmas Break
- Thursday, December 31st – Minimum Day- School Closed at 12pm
- Friday, January 1st- School Closed. Happy New Year!
*Events/Visitors will be added as they are confirmed. Please check the online calendar, e-mail reminders and the front window for events.
** Merryhill Spirit Shirts are now available for purchase!
School Closed for Professional Development Day: We will be closed on Friday, August 14th for our annual Staff Professional Development Day. This day is dedicated to the training and development of all Merryhill Staff. They will be attending our Professional Development Day offsite with 300 other Merryhill teachers and will return from this training day with many new exiting ideas to share with the children and help keep learning alive in the classrooms.
Parent’s Night Out: Thank you for your interest and Participation in our Parent’s Night Out events. Our next Parent’s Night Out is scheduled for Friday, August 21st from 6-9:30 PM. Parent’s Night Out is an opportunity for you to enjoy a night out while the children enjoy a special night with us at school. Dinner, a movie and fun filled activities will be provided. $25 per child / $15 for each additional sibling. Spaces are available on a first come first serve basis. Advance Payment is requested. 24 hr advance cancellation notice is required.
Enrollment Schedules: Our 5 full day schedule gives your child access to every event at our school, and we encourage our students to attend school on a 5 day a week program to gain the highest benefit from our Links to Learning curriculum. Switching days, so your child may participate in special activities or events may not always be accommodated. If you have previously signed up for a part time schedule and would like to increase your schedule, please notify the office as soon as possible. Spaces are limited!
Annual Activity Fee: With the end of the Summer near it is time to remind you that the annual Activity Fees are due by August 28th. The Activity Fees help to cover all of the extra special visitors and events that take place at the school throughout the school year. The fee is $65 per child. Many of you paid this fee with your 2015-16 Registration Fee. If you would like to check to see if you have already paid the Activity Fee, please ask a member of the Administrative Team and we will be happy to help you. If you have automatic tuition payments set up and would like for us to charge your account to process automatically we will be happy to do so.
Vacation Policy: I would like to take a moment to remind you of our Vacation Time Request Policy. We offer 1 week of Vacation Credit per school year. This year’s inclusive school year dates are June 29, 2015 thru June 20, 2016. This week is inclusive/reflective of your child’s schedule. We require 30 days advance notice to process the Vacation Request, which includes auditing the records to make sure a previous Vacation Credit has not been issued this school year. Please submit all vacation requests in writing or via e-mail a minimum of 30 days prior to your requested Vacation Time. Your child must be enrolled a minimum of 6 months to qualify for the Vacation Credit.
Flu Season and our Illness Policy: As you know the flu season seems to be never ending this year. I wanted to remind you of Merryhill’s illness policies as well as some tips and guidance for sick children (and adults of any age). Please help us by notifying us when your child or a member of your household has been diagnosed or has symptoms of an illness so we can be aware and pro-active on our end. – Thank you for working with us to keep everyone in our Merryhill Community safe and healthy! We are being vigilant about our cleaning and disinfection practices in every classroom and all common areas.
Merryhill’s Sick Policy:
The purpose of our sick policy as it applies to children is as follows:
- To reduce the spread of illness from the sick child to other children.
- To reduce the possibility of the recuperating child returning to school before the child is fully recovered from the illness, which in turn could develop into a more serious illness.
- To prevent the constant spread of colds, flu and diarrhea so common among small children.
Parents are to assist us in maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all of our children by helping to reduce the spread of illness from a sick child. If you, as a parent, have any questions regarding this policy, feel free to discuss them with any member of our Administrative Team.
A sick child must stay home where he/she is most relaxed and comfortable. Children may be sent home if they have any specific symptoms as listed below. In addition, a child must be free of all of these specified symptoms for at least 24 hours before he/she can be returned to school. These symptoms are as follows:
- A fever of 100 degrees or more within the previous 24-hour period.
- Vomiting within the previous 24-hour period.
- Diarrhea within the previous 24-hour period, including recurring episodes of diarrhea at school.
- A heavy nasal discharge indicative of infection.
- A constant cough or sore throat.
- Fussy, cranky behavior, and generally not himself/herself.
- A skin rash, excluding diaper rash.
- Head lice.
- Symptoms of a communicable disease.
Following an illness, a child may return to school once he/she has either been seen by a doctor or it has been determined that the illness is not contagious. #A doctor’s clearance may be requested.)
With the exception of our infant population, children at Merryhill Preschool will be involved in physical fitness activities, both indoors and outdoors, as an important part of the curriculum. If a parent believes that his/her child is not well enough to participate, s/he will probably be more comfortable at home in more familiar surroundings. The school is not equipped to accommodate the needs of a sick child. Additionally, to prevent widespread flu in the school, we recommend that your child stay home from school if experiencing flu or cold symptoms.
Change of Seasons: With the change of seasons please remember to update your child’s clothing in their cubbies. If they have difficulties keeping their jackets on while outside, we recommend bringing a pullover sweatshirt or sweater. Also please label all of their items so lost items can be returned to their owners. All children are required to have a fitted sheet for their nap mats as well as a blanket. The sheets and blankets must be taken home each Friday and laundered and then returned on Monday.
Late Payment Fees: Effective immediately a late payment fee of $25 will be automatically applied to all open invoices at 12 noon every Tuesday. Tuition is due every Friday for the following week. To avoid late fees it is possible to set up an automatic payment program at no extra charge to you. Please speak with Ms. Tammy, or Ms. Pauline and they will be happy to assist you in registering for this convenient program.
Safety First: We would like to remind you of a few security measures that we need your assistance with in regards to school safety.
- It is extremely important that you sign your child in and out of the daily sign in book each day. This is a legal document verifying that your child was checked in and out of school for the day.
- Please make sure all doors close securely behind you when you leave a room or the building.
- Please refrain from exiting through the Emergency Exit Door to the parking lot. (We do not want the children to think it is okay to use this door.)
- Please do not give out your door code to anyone other than the primary people on your pick up list.
- Please do not allow “piggy backing” at the front door. If there is someone behind or in front of you that does not know the code, please ring the door bell, which is located above the key pad.
- If you know in advance that someone other than your normal approved designated pick up person will be picking up, please complete a Pick Up Notification Form at the front desk or call/e-mail us to notify us of the change.
- If you change your cell phone number, please update this on your child’s Emergency Card.
Parking Lot Safety: Please remember not to leave any valuables in your car (including your children) when entering our building or any other location. With the slump in the economy, thieves are getting BOLD! They are taking part in a practice to which the Stockton Police refer as “Smash and Grab”. What they do is sit in clear view of parking lots of schools, post offices, etc where people are busy and running in and out of a location. They target mostly women’s cars who leave without a purse in hand who have left their purses, lap tops, etc. sitting in plain view in their locked vehicles! The “locked vehicle” does not stop them as they come prepared with a special glass breaking tool! They break your window, grab what they want and speed away!
Please do not leave anything of value or that resembles a purse or bag in plain view in your car, for any amount of time! This includes your children!
If you see any suspicious activity please report it to the office immediately or call the Stockton police Department at 209-937-8377. The more observant the better including Make and Model of the car and a License Plate # if possible. We ask that you pass on this information to anyone who is authorized to pick up your children.
Please see below for additional reminders about parking lot safety on our campus.
Rules for Vehicles While On School Grounds: Because the safety of our children is of paramount concern to us, we require all parents to adhere to the following rules of the road while on campus:
- There is a 5 miles per hour speed limit at all times while on school property.
- Park in designated parking spaces only.
- While on school grounds, pedestrians always have the right of way.
- Vehicle ignitions MUST be turned off, and the keys removed, while parked on school grounds.
- Children may NOT be left unattended in a vehicle at any time or for any reason.
- Violations of these rules may result in a warning. If a violation is serious, or if violations continue, school personnel are authorized to take a tag number for a report to the local police.
Thank you for partnering with us to keep all of our children safe.
Tuition Policy Reminders:
- Full day rates include lunch and two snacks per day.
- Tuition is due no later than the Friday prior to the weekly preferred schedule circled above. A late payment fee of $25 is assessed at noon on Monday following the due date. Returned checks will be assessed a $2.00 per day late charge from the date tuition was due until the tuition is paid in full by cashier’s check only. In addition, a $25.00 service charge will be assessed.
- All third party clients are responsible for any tuition not paid by the agency and will be held accountable for any tuition owing
- Merryhill Schools are open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays except holidays. A fee of $5.00 per each five minutes will be assessed for children picked up after 6:00 p.m.
- Merryhill offers a one-week vacation credit to qualified students during each 12-month school year and can be used with a 30 day prior written notification. To qualify, the student must be enrolled six months prior to vacation.
- Parents who wish to withdraw their child must give written notice 30 days prior to leaving. We reserve the right to suspend or dismiss a child (in our sole discretion) for unsatisfactory or inappropriate behavior, if we do not have adequate expertise or resources for the child’s educational, medical, or other needs, for violations of our policies, or if for any reason we determine it to be in the best interest of the school.
Important Dates & Times
- First Day of School: June 22, 2015
- Last Day of School: June 20, 2016
- School Day Opening Time: 9:00 a.m.
- Building Opening Time: 6:00 a.m.
- Building Closing Time: 6:00 p.m.*
* A late pickup fee of $1 per minute per child will be charged after 6pm
On Time Tuition Payments / Late Payment Fees / Payment Options: I would like to thank all of you for paying your Tuition each week in advance. As you are all aware, Tuition payments are due at the beginning of each week. Any payments received after your child’s first day of attendance each week will be charged an additional late fee of $25.To save you time and the headache of having to remember your checkbook every Monday, it is now possible to set up an automatic payment program at no extra charge to you. Please speak with Ms. Tammy, Ms. Pauline or Ms. Kasey and they will assist you in registering for this convenient program.
- If an unfamiliar person is picking up your child, please, have him or her check in at the front desk. The teacher will ask for ID. Thank you for understanding we want to keep your children safe.
- If you will not be picking up your child please fill out a pick up form at the front desk.
- Check your child’s cubby for extra clothes a few times a week. Also, dirty clothing items will be bagged and placed in the cubby for you to take home.
- Any personal blankets or bibs need to be marked. We understand many parents do not want their baby items to be shared with classmates. In addition, we want to return any personal items to your baby if the items go through our laundry. Let’s work together to accomplish this goal.
We Are Nut-Free: Please do not send your child to school with items that contain nuts. We will have to return the items to you at the end of the day. Thank you for being considerate about our children who have nut allergies and working with us.
Clothing & Toys: Remember to update your child’s clothing in their cubbies as the seasons change. Also please label all of their items so lost items can be returned to their owners. All children are required to have a fitted sheet for their nap mats as well as a blanket. The sheets and blankets must be taken home each Friday and laundered and then returned on Monday. Share toys are for Fridays only. Please have your child keep their personal toys home on all other days. We are not responsible for lost or damaged personal items.
PM Snacks: We do serve a snack to the children around 5pm each evening. To clear up some confusion, we do this as a courtesy for those parents who work late and may not be able to feed the children right away. We do not provide the snack foods for this optional snack and we do request that you pack something healthy. Remember that soda and candy are not suggested snack foods.
Merryhill Elementary School
What About Kindergarten?
If you are interested in staying within the Merryhill Family and would like to continue your child’s great education, please visit our sister Elementary/Middle School in the Brookside area, just three exits south of 8 Mile Rd. You can reach the Brookside Campus at 209-477-9005 or Corinne.firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Our Home Office
Reestablishing Routines for Your Preschooler – Maintaining Order & Staying on Track
As we reach the end of summer, now is a great time to reestablish comforting routines for your preschooler. Routines help children build self-confidence and independence, cope with transitions, and gain a better understanding of the world around them.
Our Links to Learning curriculum promotes students’ social and emotional development, which is necessary for following directions and demonstrating self-control. Our teachers focus on the importance of healthy living and safety routines in the Wellness component of our curriculum.
Here are some examples of ways we establish routines in the classroom, as well as ideas for you and your child to do at home.
TODDLERS (ages 1-2):
In the classroom: Naptime gives children an opportunity to recharge and reboot. Our toddlers transition from napping in cribs to napping in cots. Teachers schedule naps at the same time and in the same area of the classroom every day. Soothing music is played to help toddlers wind down.
At home: Talk with your child’s teacher about the naptime routine at school. Minimize naptime battles by attempting to maintain the same routine at home.
Recommended reading: Naptime by Elizabeth Verdick
BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: Around age two, children begin to learn basic self-help skills such as dressing themselves. Our Beginner students practice snaps and zippers, and are encouraged to complete basic sequences like putting on socks before shoes.
At home: Offer your child a choice during routines in order to increase his interest in the activity. For example, lay out two outfit options for him to wear. Allow him to choose the outfit he prefers. Give him ample time to dress himself before offering assistance. Praise every attempt.
Recommended reading: Let’s Get Dressed by Caroline Church
INTERMEDIATES (ages 3-4):
In the classroom: Teachers focus on the importance of sleep in the Wellness component of our curriculum. Students read and act out We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury and Michael Rosen. They discuss why the bear was sleeping, and why sleep is important.
At home: Create a bedtime routine for your child. For example, bathe, brush teeth, read a story, go to sleep. Follow the same sequence of events at the same time and in the same order every night.
Recommended reading: The Going-to-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
PRE-K/PRE-K 2 (ages 4-5):
In the classroom: Our older students follow an arrival routine at the start of every school day. They sign themselves in, say goodbye to their parents, and put away their belongings. Students learn rhymes and songs to help remind themselves what to do when they enter the classroom.
At home: Mornings are critical for setting the tone for a successful and positive day. Establish a morning routine for your child with a maximum of four steps. For example, get dressed, brush hair, brush teeth, eat breakfast.
Recommended reading: Waking Up is Hard to Do by Neil Sedaka & Howard Greenfield
Following routines helps children develop the habits of responsibility that will be crucial for their future success and well-being. Kindergarten students are expected to follow instructions, listen to their teacher and complete specific tasks. By setting routines in the preschool years, your child will be better prepared as he enters elementary school and beyond.
– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education