A Message From the Principal:
Welcome to April!
I would like to start this month with a big thank you for your participation in the many events that took place during the month of March. We started the month with our Scholastic Book Fair. Because of your Book Fair purchases each classroom received $100 in new books. The month continued at a very rapid pace with our St. Patrick’s Day mischief and our Spring Egg Hunt. Thank you for your active participation in these fun family events.
April will prove to be a month full of wonder and delight as we celebrate the Week of the Young Child. The Week of the Young Child is a special week designed to celebrate young children and to focus public attention on the needs of those children and their families. It is also a week that recognizes the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. To celebrate the Week of the Young Child, our Merryhill Children will be involved in a variety of activities throughout the week. This year we will be kicking off the week with our Baseball by the Books Merryhill Family day at the Stockton Ports baseball game on Sunday, April 10th. We look forward to spending the afternoon with you there and will be sending information home about when you will be able to pick up your free tickets for the game.
Week of the Young Child will continue with special dress up days every day. On Wednesday morning from 10-11 all families are invited to join us for our “Family Bubble Fun Dance Party” hosted by the Bubble Magic DJ group. Our grand finale will be our Western Day Petting Zoo from 9:30-11am
We are very excited to announce that our new Mini Kickers Soccer Program will begin on April 19th. The children will receive their soccer uniforms on their fist session.
We will be observing Earth Day on Friday, April 22nd and will be dedicating the day to planting and gardening. Please sign up on your child’s door if you would like to donate any items or volunteer your time to enrich the Earth Day activities.
Please read below for more information regarding upcoming events and themed dress up days
Thank you 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**)
- April 10th – 16th – Week of the Young Child
- Sunday, April 10th – Merryhill Family Baseball By the Books Ports Game 2pm (FREE TICKETS)
- Monday, April 11th – Sports Day – Dress is your favorite sports gear.
- Wednesday, April 13th – Rock Star Day
- Wednesday, April 13th – Bubble Magic Family Dance Party @ 10am
- Thursday, April 14th – Princess and Superhero Day
- Friday, April 15th – Western Day
- Friday, April 15th – Petting Zoo 9-11am
- Tuesday, April 19th – Mini Kicker Soccer begins
- Friday, April 22nd – Earth Day – Wear Green and Jeans
- Friday, April 22nd – Earth Day – Big Event (Parent Volunteers Needed)
- Thursday, April 28th – STEM Day – Egg Challenge
- Friday, May 6th – Mother’s Day Social – Big Event
- May 23rd-27th – Teacher Appreciation Week
- Monday, May 30th – School Closed – Memorial Day
- Friday, June 10th – Father’s Day Social – Big Event
- Thursday, June 16th – Last Day of the School Year Celebration Day
- Thursday, June 16th – Pre-K Graduation (6:30 PM)
- Friday, June 17th – School Closed for Staff in Service Day
- Monday, June 20th – First day of 2016-17 School Year & Summer
*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!
Merryhill Family Day with the Stockton Ports: Thank you for signing up to reserve your FREE tickets for our Merryhill Family Day at the Stockton Ports Game.
Baseball by the Books is a special reading program put on by our local Stockton Ports baseball team. This program is designed to spread the value of reading by encouraging students to read both inside and outside the classroom while earning two free tickets to a 2016 Stockton Ports baseball game. The children read at least 5 books during the month of February and as a result earned free tickets to see a Stockton Ports Game. Our Merryhill Family Game is Sunday, April 10th @2pm. So save the date and join us for a fun Merryhill Day at the Stockton Ports.
Earth Day Celebration: Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd.
In observance of Earth Day, We have decided to dedicate the day to planting and gardening. Please sign up on your child’s door if you would like to donate any items or time to enrich the Earth Day activities.
Items include but are not limited to…
- Potting Soil
- Flower Boxes
- Flowers and plants that can be replanted.
- Your ideas are welcome
Parent’s Night Out: Thank you for your interest and Participation in our Parent’s Night Out events. Our next Parent’s Night is in the planning stages and we will let you know as soon as we have decided on the next 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.
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!
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 16, 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.Deprater@nlcinc.com.
From Our Home Office
Linking Learning with Nature
Spring is here! Flowers are blooming, days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer. Now is a great time for children to explore these environmental changes happening in the world around them.
Not only are children curious about nature, but research shows that it has a profound influence on their problem solving skills, creativity, imagination and cognitive ability. Because of this, our teachers incorporate nature in all aspects of our Links to Learning curriculum.
Below are ways we connect learning with nature, as well as activities you can do with your child at home.
In the classroom: After reading a book about springtime, teachers bring children outdoors to explore and investigate objects in nature. The children have fun crumbling leaves, smelling flowers and looking at clouds.
At home: Take tummy time outdoors and allow your infant to explore different sights, sounds and textures. Encourage him to move and grab things by placing objects just beyond his reach. For toddlers, ask questions like, “Who made that chirping sound” or “Can you point to the flowers?”
Recommended reading: Wake Up! Wake Up! A Springtime Lift-the-Flap Book by Kathryn Davis, Welcome Spring by Little Scholastic
BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: Our Beginners read books about seasonal changes, then bring the story to life by going outdoors to find real-world examples.
At home: Help make your child aware of the seasonal changes going on around him. Talk a walk with him and ask questions such as “Why do we see flowers growing now?” or “What do flowers need in order to grow?” Encourage him to use his creativity when answering.
Recommended reading: Over in the Meadow by Olive Wadsworth, Mouse’s First Spring by Lauren Thompson
INTERMEDIATES (ages 3-4):
In the classroom: Students plant seeds in their school garden and learn about the importance of caring for them. Through this activity, they practice math skills such as measuring, sorting, counting and making predictions.
At home: Set up a bird feeder outside a window that your child can easily see. Let him help you fill it with birdfeed. As the birds come to eat, ask your child to talk about them. “What color are they?” “Are they big or small?” “What are they doing?”
Recommended reading: Little Seed by Eric Carle, Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
PRE-K/PRE-K 2 (ages 4-5):
In the classroom: Pre-K and Pre-K 2 students explore the sounds they hear in nature while playing outdoors. They then use recycled and natural materials, such as string and pine cones, to make their own wind chime.
At home: Reuse junk mail for a fun arts and crafts activity with your child. Encourage him to look through flyers and magazines to find words and pictures that he recognizes. Then, ask him to create a collage by cutting and gluing them to a piece of paper or poster board.
Recommended reading: And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, About Springtime, Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
We provide many opportunities for our preschoolers to think creatively and imaginatively about the world around them. By setting this foundation, children build confidence in their own unique thoughts and maintain a thirst for learning as they enter elementary school and beyond.
– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education