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Directly Speaking

After more  than a year of hard work by many people, our Board of Directors adopted a 3 year strategic plan for our center (2013– 2016) at their Board meeting last month. The plan contains 4 key strategic areas that will be the blueprint for how the school will grow and evolve in the next several years. Each area has strategies and timelines that will guide the school to the successful accomplishment of these objectives.
 
The four key areas of focus are:

  • Financial Stability - Ensure near-term viability and position for future growth.
     
  • Employer of Choice - To have a strong diverse team within the organization that includes staff, families, and board.
     
  • Quality Programming - Maintain high quality teachers, curriculum and facilities.
  • Marketing and Development - Heighten visibility to attract new families, donors, and partners.

 
The plan will be posted on our web site (www.penchild.org) and hard copies will be available in the lobby at the Maryland campus as well as at Sabin and Boise Elementary Schools.

Implementing this plan will take the time and expertise of many people. You are invited to comment on the plan, and are also encouraged to get involved to help us succeed in accomplishing these key areas of focus by joining one of the four committees.  If you are interested please contact me (ken@penchild.org, or 503.280.0534 ext 21)! We look forward to working with many of you as we implement this exciting new chapter in Peninsulas history.


Notes from Amber and Tracey, Co-Directors of Education

All children sometimes have trouble regulating their emotions and behavior. This is a skill that children need to learn, like any other skill, such as learning their colors, and how to read. They learn it through watching the adults their lives and their peers. Here at Peninsula Children’s Center we support children’s social and emotional health utilizing a guidance model called Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS). The focus of this model is to build positive relationships with young children and teach skills to help them manage their behavior in an appropriate manner. Our teachers use techniques such as clear expectations, logical consequences, redirection, positive phrases, and modeling to help children achieve their goals. We also help children identify their emotions, and teach them coping skills when they become overwhelmed by their emotions. 

These PBIS techniques are easy for families to incorporate into daily routines at home as well. A great place to start is to make sure that children have clear expectations. Clearly and simply state what you expect your child to do. When given clear guidelines, children will usually be able to do what is expected without confusion. This can be achieved by using age appropriate rules and appropriate language. Simple language is best for young children, paired with short, precise directions.

An easy way to teach rules would be to get out your camera and take pictures of what you want your child “to do”.  Some children do better with a visual cue about things like meal time, bed time, bath time etc. The best way is to post it, model it, practice it, and notice when it’s done and praise it!

Another activity to practice at home is using statements in a positive manner. For example, instead of saying “Don’t run” you can rephrase that by saying “Walking feet inside. You can run outside later.”  Or instead of saying “Don’t hit,” you can say “Gentle touches please.” Remember that children will always respond best to positive phrases and clear directions. 

This is just a brief overview of PBIS. If you would like more information you can check out the following website http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/resources/family.html.  There is a great deal of information available for parents. If you have any questions about behavior management at Peninsula please feel free to contact one of us. Amber at 503-280-0534, ext. 33 or amber@penchild.org or Tracy at tracy@penchild.org or 503-280-0534, ext. 36.

Sabin Site Notes

In April we will be talking about habitats and biomes and what we can do to take care of our earth.  We will be talking about deserts, caves, oceans and forests.  If you or your child has any books, pictures or experiences to share about any of these, please do so.  We will also be working on an ongoing project making art from recycled materials.  These will go on display in the future to sell to raise money for an environmental organization.
    
For April, our schedule is changing. This change will likely last until the end of the school year.  This is an attempt to alleviate some of the monotony of doing things in the same order everyday; to add more structure to meet requests and comments from surveys; and to cut back on some of the discipline issues we were having before spring break. Our new schedule allows for more outside time on days when the weather is nice so that should help everyone’s mood, getting more vitamin D.

I have opened a Picassa account under the email peninphotos@gmail.com. This is for the purpose of sharing photos only. You have been sent an invite to Google+ and that is the way you can view the photos. Only people who I send the invite to can see them. You cannot share them or tag them. Right now I have only added photos from our field trip to Zenger Farm (including the one to the right), but I intend to add photos from earlier in the year as well.

Abby Scott, Sabin School Age Site Director
503.756.2761 // sabinsa@penchild.org

Boise-Elliot Site Notes

Welcome Back! I hope everyone had a restful spring break. In the month of April we will be focusing on Earth Day. The children will participate in various activities related to the environment such as picking up trash around the community and creating various art projects with recycled materials. Please remember that PPS and Peninsula will be closed on Friday April 12, 2013 for staff training day. We will also have a late opening on Wednesday April 17, 2013.



Francine Alexander, Boise-Elliot School Age Site Director
503-282-0042

Preschool Parent - Teacher Conferences

It's that time of the year again where we want to meet, check in, and chat with you about the progress your child is making in our classroom! Parent Teacher conferences for parents of preschool children will be held on Friday, April 12. Please see your child's teacher to sign up for a time slot to meet with them to discuss your child's progress and achievements. This is a great time to sit down one-on-one with your child's teacher without the distraction of the busy day at Peninsula, since all of our sites are closed to children.



Parents Night Out / Kids Night In

We are pleased to offer a discounted rate for Parents Night Out / Kids Night In. For just $15 per child your child can enjoy an evening with Preschool Teachers Daniel and Megan including dinner and activities. This month we are offering this evening program on Friday, April 19, 6:00 - 9:30 p.m. Please sign up today by emailing tracy@penchild.org!



Peninsula Offers Prepayment Discounts!

Starting in April 2013 Peninsula is excited to offer discounts for families who pay for multiple months at once. We will be offering the following discounts:

3-month payment - 1.5% discount
6-month payment - 2.5% discount
9-month payment - 3.5% discount
12-month payment - 5.0% discount

Please stop by Ken's office for more information or email ken@penchild.org or call 503-280-0534, ext. 21.

Calendar of events

Tuesday, April 2
5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Family Involvement Committee Meeting in the Maryland campus conference room.
Thursday, April 4
6:15 - 7:00 p.m.
Group Tour for prospective parents.

Peninsula Parents, please remember there is a referral incentive if a family you refer enrolls at Peninsula!
Friday, April 12 ALL SITES CLOSED - staff training day
Friday, April 12 Preschool Parent - Teacher Conferences
Thursday, April 18
6:15 - 7:00 p.m.
Group Tour for prospective parents.

Peninsula Parents, please remember there is a referral incentive if a family you refer enrolls at Peninsula!
Friday, April 19
6:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Parents Night Out / Kids Night In
Tuesday, April 23
4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Happy Hour with Peninsula Parents in the Maryland commons room.