As we head into the last days of 2013, I would like to thank the many people that made this past year such a successful one for Peninsula. First I want to thank all of you family members for your continued support. I then want to thank our entire staff. We are so fortunate to have such a qualified and dedicated group of people working daily with your children. And lastly I want to thank our Board. Under the leadership of Bonnie Morris they have provided us guidance and vision for our school throughout the year.
As we prepare for the New Year we are always trying to improve the quality of our program. I want to thank those of you that participated in our family survey. To date over 50 families took the survey. In the next couple of weeks I will be sending out a summary of the results. For those of you who put your name on the survey I will be contacting you to follow up on your comments.
The survey helped us identify several things that we need to improve on. Better lighting on the outside of the school for those dark mornings, and early dark afternoons. Improve the quality of the breakfasts. Some parents wanted better teacher/classroom feedback forms at end of day. This varied classroom to classroom (both in terms of what teachers do and what families wanted). I will be talking with teachers to see if we can improve these forms, and maybe standardize them throughout the school.
Overall I am very pleased with your responses. I think you validated what I had thought about our program. While there are always ways we can improve, you feel that we provide a wonderful safe environment for your children to grow, and develop as we help prepare them to eventually enter Kindergarten. If you would like to discuss any of the questions in the survey, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
On behalf of our entire staff I want to wish you a wonderful holiday season and once again thank you for all the support that you have given ME and our STAFF this past year.
Notes from Tracy, Director of Education
Building Bridges Between Home and School
When you ask our teachers at Peninsula about what they like best about their role in children’s lives, you will hear them say things like “being with children”, “helping children learn”, and “getting to know families.” Getting to know the families of the children we care for can help us to individualize our programs to better meet the needs of each child and their family. After all, we are all engaged in the important and precious work of raising, guiding, and teaching our children. How teachers and parents approach learning from day one, will have a profound effect on the child's experience in school.
Some of the ways that our teachers work on building relationships with families are using open communication, welcoming parents into the classroom, and conducting family conferences. We communicate with parents on a daily basis through conversation, phone calls, emails, and through writing, such as notes in your cubby or notices posted throughout the center. The parent’s role in daily communication involves keeping your child’s teacher informed of changes that may affect the child’s routine, and also to make sure to check your cubby each day for important communication. If you need more communication from your child’s teacher, or you need to receive information in a different way, please speak with the teacher. We want to be able to accommodate your needs so that you and your child will have a successful experience here at Peninsula.
Each day at drop off and pick up time we see many parents come into their child’s classroom and spend a few minutes “hanging out.” This is a great way to observe how your child interacts with their peers and their teacher. It also gives parents a few minutes to chat with the teacher about how the child is doing. These few minutes can make a world of difference for your child especially if they have a hard time with separation. When they see their parents involved, and comfortable in the environment, it helps them to feel comfort as well. We encourage parents to communicate openly with the teachers about what will make drop off and pick up easier for everyone. You are welcome to visit your child’s classroom at any time.
Last month we had an entire day dedicated to family conferences and our teachers conducted 104 family conferences! Our teachers enjoyed talking one on one with the families and worked together to set goals for children. The teachers will use these goals to individualize their daily lesson plans so that we can help children learn and grow so they will be prepared for Kindergarten, and beyond. If you missed out on conference day, and want to have a conference, our teachers can arrange a special time that will work better in your schedule. We will also be having another conference day on April 11, 2014.
Thank you for your participation in our program and for trusting us with the most important person in your world. By working together we can be successful during this most crucial time in your child’s life.
Happenings in our Curriculum Corner
, Curriculum Coordinator
The days are getting colder and we have lots of changes happening at our center………
Alicia, our wonderful teacher from Preschool 1 has stepped into the role of Lead Teacher in our Preschool 3 classroom when Daniel left for California. She brings her strong love of science to the curriculum and children are already experimenting with new materials and formulating ideas about how they work.
Please welcome Linda to our Preschool 1 classroom as our new Lead Teacher. Linda has been substitute teaching for our center since September and we were more than thrilled that she wanted to take over this classroom. She has already learned about each child’s interests and needs and brought in materials and activities to support their learning.
Big news on our playground as children explored with ice and frost during outdoor play…….an extremely exciting happening here in Portland. Our children got to experiment with the properties of water both in the cold and then had fun extending their play back in the classrooms. As you walk through our buildings, be sure to check out the cool art experiences displayed outside many of our classrooms. Children are painting with balls, feet and fingers and also using natural materials to make coasters and clay creations. We certainly have our share of artists and engineers here at Peninsula.