A Message From the Principal:
Welcome to the “MERRY” Month of May!
Thank you so very much for all of your participation during our very busy month of April which included Our Bubble Magic Family Dance Party and Petting Zoo during the Week of the Young Child, the Merryhill Family Ports Baseball Game and Earth Day Planting Day. I hope that you enjoyed the fun activities and memories of these great events. Our Mini Kickers Soccer Program is in full swing and the children are really enjoying this program.
The next few months will be packed full of activity and fun! While in April we celebrated all of the young children in our lives, the months of May and June will be dedicated to celebrating our mothers, fathers, teachers and Pre-K graduates.
For Mother’s Day you are all invited to attend our “Mother’s Day Social” on Friday, May 6th from 3:30-4:30. This event is dedicated to all moms, grandmothers, etc. You will be pampered by your children and do fun “Mommy and Me” activities together. Refreshments will be served.
We will be celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week May 23 – 27, which is dedicated to recognizing the teachers for the wonderful work that they do each and every day. This week’s theme will be “SUPERHEROS..because our teachers are truly the BEST kind of Superheros! (I will be sending the secret details in an e-mail to all of you as we would like for some of it to be a surprise for the teachers.)
On Friday, June 10th we will be celebrating our dads with a special “Daddy and Me Fun Lunch” from 11am-12pm.
For our Pre-K children who will be going onto Kindergarten in the Fall, we will be hosting our Graduation Ceremony on the evening of Thursday, June 16th.
On Thursday, June 16st we will also be celebrating the last day of the 2015-2016 School Year with our Bubble Magic Dance Party / End of the School Year Celebration.
As many of you have heard our Merryhill Elementary School’s final day will be June 2nd. In light of this news, we have decided to host the “Kindergarten Kick Off” Summer Program at our school for those children who will be starting Kindergarten in the Fall. Spaces are limited, so please let us know your plans for Summer as soon as possible.
With Summer and Graduation quickly approaching I would also like to take this opportunity to remind you of our 30 day notice policy, which is extremely critical in lesson and activity planning, transitioning children to their new classrooms and staffing. 30 day notice is required for all children regarding Schedule Changes, Vacations, Extended Leave Requests, and Withdrawals from the program regardless of if the children are graduating, or staying for a portion of the Summer, even if they are not registered for next school year.
And finally, we will begin the month of May with a major increase in communication with our new Links to Home Program. We will also be offering a Credit Card Payment Option for Tuition, Registration and Activity Fee Payments.
Please see below for more details on all of these events and more.
Tammy Wells- Principal
Special Events/Theme Days* (Every Tuesday is Merryhill Spirit Day -Wear a Merryhill Shirt**)
- Wednesday, May 4th – Star Wars Day – “May the 4th be with You” – Dress as a Star Wars Character
- Thursday, May 5th – Cinco de Mayo – Dress in Fiesta Colors
- Friday, May 6th – Mother’s Day Social – Big Event
- Monday, May 16th- Cap & Gown Pictures for Graduates
- May 23rd-27th – Teacher Appreciation Week (Much more information to come. Volunteers needed)
- Monday – Avengers
- Tuesday – Ninja Turtles
- Wednesday – Justice League
- Thursday – Glam Day
- Friday – Disney Hero Day
- Monday, May 30th – School Closed – Memorial Day
- Friday, June 10th – Father’s Day Social – Big Event (this year’s event will be a little different)
- 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 available for purchase $10 each!
Mother’s Day Social: You are cordially invited to join us for our “Mother’s Day Social” Friday, May 6th from 3:30-4:30pm.
Are you ready to be pampered?
This event in an opportunity for our moms to be pampered by the children, with many enjoyable “Mommy and Me” activities that you can participate in together. Refreshments will be served.
Please RSVP on your child’s classroom door.
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.
From Our Home Office
Building Your Child’s Sense of Family Belonging
Relationships with family members play an important role as children begin to develop a sense of self. When they feel a sense of identity and belonging within their own families, children are better able to grow emotionally, make friends, and appreciate and accept the diversity of others.
With Mother’s Day right around the corner, it’s a great time to share activities that celebrate the importance of family.
Below are age appropriate activities that we implement in the classroom, as well as activities you can do with your child at home.
In the classroom: Teachers use baby sign language to help children identify and eventually verbalize names for their family members. When parents enter the classroom, teachers say, “Look! Here’s Sophia’s mommy,” while also signing “mommy.” They work with parents to learn specific names used at home, and then use those names in the classroom.
At home: Use baby sign language as you come across names of family members in books and songs. To sign “mommy,” tap your thumb on your chin repeatedly. To sign “daddy,” tap your thumb on your forehead repeatedly. Remember to say the word aloud as you sign.
Recommended reading: Spot Loves His Mommy by Eric Hill, Are You my Mother? by PD Eastman
BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: By age two, children begin to learn the names of extended family members, such as grandmother, uncle and cousin. They practice using these words as they talk about their families. After sorting stuffed animals by type, teachers might say, “This is the horse’s family. He has a big family. Who’s in your family?”
At home: Give your child play dough and encourage him to create the members of his family. Afterward, ask him to count and name them. This activity helps him conceptualize that multiple people make up his entire family and gives you insight into what family means to your child at his particular point in development.
Recommended reading: On Mother’s Lap by Ann Herbert Scott, Oonga Boonga by Frieda Wishinsky
INTERMEDIATES (ages 3-4):
In the classroom: As children read stories about diverse families, teachers encourage them to share unique details about their own families. For example, teachers might ask, “Who has a sister?” or “Who has a pet?” Afterward, students create charts with the information.
At home: Have each member of your family make a thumbprint using finger paint on a piece of paper side by side. Then, ask your child to compare the various sizes, and guess which thumbprint belongs to each person. As they talk about their family members, they begin to appreciate what makes their family unique.
Recommended reading: Clifford’s Family by Norman Bridwell, What Mommies Do Best and What Daddies Do Best by Laura Numeroff
PRE-K/PRE-K 2 (ages 4-5):
In the classroom: Our older preschoolers begin to understand that their parents have more than one role. Family members are invited to visit and talk to the class about their roles inside and outside of the home. Students are encouraged to write and draw their family members in the different roles they serve. For example, “Mommy is a doctor.”
At home: Go on an uninterrupted family outing with your child. Try to avoid checking work emails or answering unimportant phone calls. Afterward, ask your child to write about his favorite parts of the day in his journal.
Recommended reading: Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too? by Eric Carle, The Napping House by Audrey Wood
All of our schools will be celebrating families in really fun ways this Mother’s Day season, and we hope that you do too!
– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education