A Message From the Principal:
Welcome to a whole new school year at Merryhill Preschool! This month we will be welcoming many new students to our Merryhill family. I encourage each of you to connect with each other by saying hello to someone that you have never met. This is how lifelong friendships begin. From the big smiles and giggling voices that have filled our school over the past two months, it is evident that your children enjoyed the exciting summer activities. Thank you all for your participation in all of our fun Summer Events.
The month of September will be filled with many special events including our Grandparent’s Day Musical Celebration, Parent Back to School Nights, Lifetouch School Pictures and a few fun dress up days.
Please be on the lookout on the last day of each month for your Links to Learning take home folders which will update you on the skills that were implemented the previous month and prepare you for the month ahead. Please take some time to look at all of the wonderful documentation boards in each classroom which contain a mix of children’s work, pictures of the children participating in the activities, and a description of all of the activities as well as the skills that the children were building while participating in the activities.
Your children have begun their transitions to their new classrooms and are very excited about all of the fun projects and experiences that their teachers have planned for them. Please take some time to explore your children’s new classroom, meet the teachers and let your child give you a tour, which will boost their self esteem. Our Parent Back to School Nights will be the perfect opportunity for you to experince “A Day in the Life of Your Child”. This event is an “adult only” event, however we will be offering free childcare in another classroom for up to 36 children each night. Beginners and Intermediates: Wednesday, September 9th. Pre-K A/B/C/2: Tuesday, September 15th. Toddler Parents are welcome to join the event in the Beginner A classroom, however we will not be hosting a Back to School Night for Infants and Toddlers. Please see below for more details about this event and more.
Thank you all for being a very important part of the Merryhill Family!
Tammy Wells- Principal
Special Events/Theme Days* (Every Tuesday is Merryhill Spirit Day -Wear a Merryhill Shirt**)
- Thursday, September 3rd- Crazy Hair Day
- Monday, September 7th – Labor Day – School Closed
- Wednesday, September 9th -Beginners and Intermediates Parent Back to School Night 6:30-7:30pm
- Friday, September 11th – Remembrance Day – Wear Red, White and Blue
- Monday, September 14th- 3:30-4:15 pm – Grandparent’s Day Musical Celebration w/ Music Matt
- 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
- Wednesday, September 16th – Toddler and Beginner Pictures (1 Volunteer Needed)
- Thursday, September 17th – Infant and Intermediate Pictures (1 Volunteer Needed)
- Friday, September 18th – Pre-K A/B/C/2 Pictures (1 Volunteer Needed)
- Wednesday, September 23rd- First day of Autumn
- Friday, September 30th- STEM School wide Apple Challenge
- October 12th – 16th – Scholastic Book Fair (Volunteers Needed Each Day- various shifts)
- 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 $10 each!
Parent Back to School Nights: Our Parent Back to School Nights will be the perfect opportunity for you to experience “A Day in the Life of Your Child”. This is a night where parents get to come to school and be a “child” for an hour. It is a chance to experience what your children are doing during the day. You will learn about your child’s daily routine, Links to Learning Curriculum, classroom expectations and spend some time getting to know the teachers as well. Free childcare will be provided for up to 36 children per night as this is an adult only event. Please sign up in advance to attend and to reserve the childcare.
- Beginners and Intermediates: Wednesday, September 9th 6:30-7:30 pm.
- Toddler Parents are welcome to join the event in the Beginner A classroom, however we will not be hosting a Back to School Night for Infants and Toddlers.
- Pre-K A/B/C/2: Tuesday, September 15th 6:30-7:30 pm
Parent’s Night Out: Thank you for your interest and Participation in our Parent’s Night Out events. Our next Parent’s Night Out has not officially been confirmed, but we will keep you posted once we have confirmed a date.. 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
Developing Balance Skills in Young Children
From Tummy Time to Bike Riding
Balance is a fundamental skill necessary for maintaining controlled positions, such as sitting in a chair, or engaging in physical activities like running or riding a bike. Having balance makes motor skill development easier, reduces the risk of injury, and helps children focus on academic tasks.
Our Nobel Learning Education team stays up to date with the latest research to ensure that our Links to Learning curriculum exceeds childhood learning standards. The Links to Learning curriculum was enhanced last fall to include a greater focus on balance, a building block for skills such as hand-eye coordination, muscular strength and body awareness.
Here are some ways we help improve balance in the classroom, as well as ideas for you and your child to do at home.
In the classroom: Tummy time promotes neck, back and abdominal strength needed for infants to eventually push up, roll over, sit up and crawl. Teachers keep infants engaged by using activity mats or plush blocks.
At home: Place your baby on his stomach and shine a flashlight near him. Once you have captured his attention, shine the light in a rhythmic pattern. For older infants, encourage your baby to move or crawl toward the light.
TODDLERS (ages 1-2):
In the classroom: During the toddler years, children make major strides in balance and coordination. Teachers play music and encourage students to move their bodies in different ways while maintaining their balance.
At home: Push and pull toys require children to use core balance and arm strength, which can be difficult for new walkers. Place a small wagon or toy shopping cart and a pile of blocks on the floor. Show your child how to fill the cart with blocks. He will enjoy pulling or pushing the blocks around the room.
BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: Sitting cross-legged, or as we say with the children “criss-cross applesauce,” is an important developmental skill for two year olds. Teachers encourage children to sit criss-crossed anytime they are playing on the floor. Sitting in this position strengthens a child’s core muscles and helps improve body control. We discourage “W-sitting,” with knees together and feet on either side of the hips, because it puts strain on knees and hips and fails to engage core abdominal muscles.
At home: Provide your child with a sit-and-spin toy. Ask him to sit on the toy with his legs crisscrossed. As he turns the wheel to spin, he will gain a better understanding of cause and effect.
INTERMEDIATES (ages 3-4):
In the classroom: Around age three, children learn to maintain control of their upper body while moving their lower body. Our Intermediate students practice pedaling a tricycle, bouncing on hopper balls, and walking on a balance beam.
At home: Have your child practice running and stopping with control by playing the traffic light game. Shout out the color green, yellow or red. Have him move quickly when hearing “green,” move slowly when hearing “yellow,” and completely stop when hearing “red.”
PRE-K/PRE-K 2 (ages 4-5):
In the classroom: Teachers encourage children to practice balance and coordination by jumping on their non-dominant foot, walking on a line or beam, or jumping rope. Children also practice balance by crouching down to tie their shoes.
At home: Ask your child to tell you about the games and activities played at school. Include these activities at home and during family events such as birthday parties and vacations. Scooters and pogo jumpers are great toys for children at this age.
Good balance helps children maintain appropriate and controlled body movement during important tasks. By building balance skills 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