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February Newsletter

From the Principal’s Office

The smell of roses in the air, the taste of chocolate on your lips, and a pile of cards in front of you . . . Yes, it’s that time of year again, it’s Valentine’s Day! Please check with your child’s teacher for party sign ups and class counts for Valentines.

Priority Registration is here! It is time to register for the 2016-2017 school year. I would like to remind you that our school is currently full and we anticipate full enrollment for the upcoming school year, so it is very important to register early to reserve your child’s spot. Registration information will be placed in your sign in sheets the first week of February. If you do not receive your registration information, please see Lisa or Linda.

Spring portraits will be taken this month. Please check the portrait schedule inside this newsletter, so you won’t miss out. Class pictures and Pre-K graduation pictures will also be taken at this time. Bring those smiles for a great portrait!

As a reminder, Merryhill will be closed on Monday, February 15th in observance of President’s Day.

Soccer also starts up again this month. Please check the on-line site for space availability. Spaces are limited!

Join your child on Wednesday, February 10th from 3:30 – 5:30 pm for our Art to Remember Event. Details coming your way soon!

Happy Valentine’s Day!
Lisa Norris – Principal

Important Dates

2/1 Priority Registration Starts

2/2 Groundhogs Day Celebration & Findings

2/8 Chinese New Year

2/10 Art to Remember Event 3:30 – 5:30 pm
Parents must participate with their child

2/12 Valentine’s Day Celebrations

2/15 President’s Day – School Closed

2/16-18 Spring Portrait Days

2/18 Soccer Starts!

3/7 Professional Development Day – Merryhill will be closed

Coming Up!

Priority Registration
Priority Registration for our upcoming 2016-2017 school year will begin on February 1st and will end on Friday, March 11th. It will be important for you to register early to reserve your child’s spot for next year. By registering early, you will save $50 off the returning registration fee of $140. Registration will be $90 during the Priority Registration period. After that time, the returning registration fee will be $140. Merryhill is your investment in your child’s future, so register early and save your child’s spot!

Please be aware that although you have until March 11th to register at the discounted registration rate, we will continue to register new students to Merryhill. The sooner you turn in your registration materials to us, the sooner your child will be placed on a class list. Our school is consistently full and we want to make sure that all of our existing students have a spot, so I urge you to register as soon as possible.

School Portraits
Spring portraits will be taken February 16th – 18th. Both individual and class pictures will be taken at this time. If your child’s class date does not fall on your regularly scheduled day, you may bring your child for portraits only. Due to the high attendance on these days, we will not be able to accommodate switching days. Thanks for your cooperation!

Tuesday, February 16th
Pre-K and Pre-K 2Individual, Class & Graduation Pictures

Wednesday, February 17th
Beginners, IntermediatesIndividual and Class Pictures

Thursday, February 18th
Infants and Toddlers Individual and Class Pictures

All sibling portraits will be taken on Thursday, February 18th!

Don’t forget to bring your smile!

Art to Remember Event
Join your child on Wednesday, February 10th any time between 3:30 -5:30 pm for our Art to Remember Event. Art materials will be provided for you and your child to create original artwork to then be made into a variety of items such as mugs, mousepads, keyrings, etc. These will make great gifts and will arrive in time for Mother’s Day!

Cold & Flu Season is Here!
With the cold and flu season upon us, it is critical that you follow our sick policy and use your best judgment in determining if your child is well enough to attend school. We will always continue with our regular activities during the cold weather, including going outside to play (unless of severe cold or rain, of course) and we will want your child to join us. If your child runs a fever at school of over 100 degrees, you will be asked to pick up your child. All children must be symptom free before returning to school. In some cases we may ask for a doctor’s note before returning to school.

Save the Dates!

STEAM NightWednesday, March 16th6-7:30 pm

Week of the Young Child PlaydaySaturday, April 9th10:30 am – 1:00 pm

Week of the Young ChildApril 11th – 15th

From the Education Department

Helping Your Preschooler Develop Positive Friendship Skills
Ed Pic

Are you puzzled by some of your child’s social behaviors? Have you noticed that your toddler doesn’t interact with other children very often? Does your three-year-old get frustrated when a classmate won’t play with him? Will your four-year-old only play with her best friend?

These are all normal social behaviors for preschoolers. Learning how to develop friendships is a lifelong process. Children’s social behaviors evolve from smiling and cooing at others, to engaging in parallel play, to eventually forming friendships and playing together.

Below are ways we help develop friendships in the classroom, as well as ideas for you and your child to do at home.

In the classroom: Before they can communicate verbally, infants build connections by smiling, cooing and crying. By two months old, they might turn toward other infants, and by twelve months, they begin to imitate their peers. Teachers help facilitate this relationship by sitting infants near each other during activities such as story time and tummy time.
At home: Even though infants don’t really play with one another, they still benefit from “play dates” with other infants. Sit your infant face-to-face with another infant or in close proximity to an older sibling, and provide each child separate toys. Note when your infant watches the other child and what captures his attention.
Recommended reading: Friends by Helen Oxenbury and Let’s Play by Leo Lionni

TODDLERS (ages 1-2):
In the classroom: Many young children tend to engage in “parallel play.” They play near other children, but each child is doing something different. This is a natural phase of development. As children get older, they begin to enjoy more shared activities with their peers. For example, they might enjoy splashing their hands at the water table with others, looking at books while sitting close to a friend, and dancing to music with their classmates.
At home: Invite another parent and child to your home for a play date. Blocks, balls, dress up clothes and toy kitchen sets are great toys for children at this age. Don’t force them to play with each other. Instead, let the children decide on the level of interaction.
Recommended reading: Do You Want to be My Friend? by Eric Carle and I Can Share by Karen Katz

BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: In the Beginner classroom, teachers refer to classmates as “friends.” Students learn about personal space and begin to practice good manners by saying please and thank you.
At home: Model positive behaviors while playing with your child. Say “I’m going to roll the ball to you. Can you please roll the ball back to me?” Afterward, say “Thank you. You are being a good friend.”
Recommended reading: How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends? by Jane Yolen and Let’s be Friends by P. K. Hallinan

In the classroom: Between ages three and four, children attempt to understand social situations, but often do so from an egocentric point of view. They need adult guidance to help them navigate peer conflict and model appropriate friendship-making behaviors. Small group activities help children learn how to follow directions, take turns and develop friendships.
At home: Ask your child about their friends and what games they played together. If he says, “Andrew didn’t play with me today. He’s mean,” you could say, “Andrew may have wanted to play a different game today. Maybe you can play together tomorrow. What does Andrew like to play?”
Recommended reading: Just My Friend and Me by Mercer Mayer and Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney

PRE-K/PRE-K2 (ages 4-5)
In the classroom: Friendship in Pre-K and Pre-K2 is usually reciprocal and deliberate as children become more skilled in social interactions and look for peers with shared interests. Our character education program reinforces friendship making skills using songs, games, books and brain-builder activities to nurture skills such as collaboration, understanding feelings and resolving conflicts.
At home: Bring your child to events that include multiple children, such as birthday parties, or encourage your child to play a board game that requires multiple players. Ask him to introduce himself to the other children, or encourage him to play the game taking turns. If you notice frustration from your child, say, “In order to play the game, we all have to play together.”
Recommended reading: Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel and A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom

Don’t be concerned about the number of friends your child has, as it is more about quality than quantity. Each child will develop friendships at his own pace. What matters most is the development of social skills such as collaboration and problem-solving, which will help him transition into elementary school and beyond.

– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education

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