A Message From the Principal:
Welcome to December!
In November, we created wonderful new memories at such events as our Thanksgiving Friendship Feast and Harvest , as well as your own special family celebrations. Thank you all so much for contributing the items for the Thanksgiving Feast and your time for our Festival.
December is upon us with the spirit of the holidays in the air. Everywhere I go, I hear holiday music, see cheery decorations, and sense the excitement that is generated during this special time of year. Time seems to pass very quickly during this season. I encourage all of you to take some time out of each day to slow down and to view the world through the eyes of your children. Every experience through a child’s eyes is full of wonder and delight. Sharing in these experiences is sure to warm your hearts and help you to slow down and fully enjoy the season.
December has always been the “Season of Giving Without Walls” here at Merryhill Preschool. This month we are collecting new warm socks and gloves for our “Warm and Fuzzy Drive”. These items will be donates to those in need in Stockton. We will begin collecting immediately and ask that all items are dropped off no later than Friday, December 18th. Thank you for working with us to make the holidays brighter for everyone involved.
We will be hosting our annual Pre-K B/C & 2 Holiday Show on Thursday, December 10th and our Parent’s Night Out will be held on Friday, December 4th. We will also be having a few special theme dress up days, so make sure to mark your calendars.
Many of you will be taking time off this month to spend the Holidays with your loved ones. Please review our Vacation Credit Policy and Request Process below….this is completely separate from the sign-up sheets /schedules that will be posted on the classroom doors.
To help us plan activities and staffing accordingly, we will be posting sign-up sheets on the doors for you to indicate if your children will be out for any time during the holidays, but please note this is only an indicator of your schedule..the Tuition Charges do not change for the holidays/ closures and by marking your child out on the form it is simply indicating that they are not going to be there on their normally scheduled day.
From our family to yours, we wish you a happy, warm and safe holiday season.
Tammy Wells- Principal
Special Events/Theme Days* (Every Tuesday is Merryhill Spirit Day -Wear a Merryhill Shirt**)
- Wednesday, December 2nd – Silly Sweater Day
- Friday, December 4th – Parents Night Out 6:00-9:30 pm
- December 8th-18th Warm and Fuzzy Drive: Collecting new socks and gloves for those in need
- Thursday, December 10th – Pre-K B/C/2 Holiday Show
- Friday, December 11th – Merryhill Elementary Carolers visit
- Friday, December 18th – Pajama Day and Polar Express Fun
- Thursday, December 24th- School Closed for Christmas Eve
- Friday, December 25th – School Closed for Christmas
- Thursday, December 31st- Minimum Day – School Closes at 12 noon
- Friday, January 1st- Happy New Year! School Closed
*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!
Pre-K B/C/2 Holiday Show :We will be hosting our annual Pre-K B/C/2 Holiday Show on Thursday, December 10th at 6:30 pm PM. The show will take place at Christa McAuliffe Middle School. There is no limit to how many guests you can bring to enjoy the show.
We recommend that you pick up your children from school no later than 4pm to have dinner and change for the show. We ask that all Pre-K B/C/2 Children arrive at 6:00 PM in order to be ready and in place for the 630 PM Show. The show will start promptly @ 630 pm.
No-One will be allowed entry until 6:00pm, as we need time to prepare/set up for our event.
The dress code for children is “Holiday Attire”.
Parent’s Night Out: Thank you for your interest and Participation in our Parent’s Night Out events. Our next Parent’s Night Out will be held on Friday, December 4th from 6-9:30pm. 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.
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.
We Are a Nut-Free School: 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 of our children who have nut allergies and working with us to keep our school safe for everyone.
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: Have you paid your child’s Annual Activity Fee yet? 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.
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.
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.email@example.com.
From Our Home Office
Exploring Holiday Traditions from Around the World
The holiday season is here, providing a wealth of opportunities to enrich the children’s understanding of diverse cultures and traditions around the world. In addition, our students will share their own traditions with others.
Below are age appropriate activities that we use in the classroom, as well as activities for you and your child to do at home.
BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: As they near the age of two, children begin to recognize the sights and sounds of holidays celebrated by their family. Parents visit our classrooms to share holiday traditions, including unique books, songs and activities.
At home: Gather family photos and point out traditions, such as unwrapping presents, eating holiday dinner at grandma’s house, and making a snowman. Encourage your child to talk about what he sees in the photos.
Recommended reading: Children Around the World Celebrate Christmas by Christine Tangvald, Happy Hanukkah, Corduroy by Don Freeman, My First Kwanzaa by Karen Katz
INTERMEDIATES (ages 3-4):
In the classroom: Children sing holiday songs from around the world and are introduced to holiday symbols that they may see in their communities, such as Christmas trees or Hanukkah menorahs.
At home: Take a drive with your child or bring him to various holiday festivals in your community. Encourage him to look for and identify holiday decorations.
Recommended reading: Christmas Around the World by Calliope Glass, Hanukkah Hop by Erica Silverman, Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa by Donna Washington
PRE-K/PRE-K2 (ages 4-5)
In the classroom: After learning about holiday traditions around the world, our older preschoolers identify countries on a globe. For example, they might learn about Diwali, the festival of lights, and then find India on the globe. They might make tamales, a dish often served on Christmas, and then find Mexico on the globe.
At home: Ask your child to help you prepare your family’s favorite holiday foods. Talk about the long-standing traditions in which these foods are rooted. For instance, you might explain, “I used to bake cookies for the holidays with my mom. Now we can start baking cookies together!”
Recommended reading: Children Just Like Me: Celebrations by Anabel Kindersley, Light the Lights: A Story about Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas by Margaret Moorman, The Story of Kwanzaa by Mary Washington
Exposing children to various holiday traditions helps them build strong social skills, establish a sense of self, and respect the differences of others as they transition into elementary school and beyond.
– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education