September 2021 Newsletter
Welcome back to our returning families, and a warm welcome to our new families. We look forward to hearing all about your summer vacation trips and adventures. If you have postcards or photos that you would like to share, please do bring them in as we will have a few days to talk about what the children did during the holidays at our circle time.
The classrooms are now called Casa 1, and Casa 2. Casa 1 is the upstairs room, and Casa 2 the downstairs room. Full day children will have their lunch and nap in Casa 2, whereas non- napping children will go with a teacher to Casa 1 for quiet activities. Your child’scertified Early Childhood Educators are as follows:
- Casa 1: Mrs. Joce and Mrs. Diana.
- Casa 2: Miss. Nicole and Ms. Michelle.
- In the afternoons, the teachers switch classes so that they work with all the children at some point; this makes it easier for everyone when a teacher is not at school.
- Admin: Mrs. Divya and Mrs. Joce.
- Early morning, lunch, nap / siesta: Mrs. Divya is in class at the beginning of each day with Miss. Nicole. During lunch/nap/siesta time, Mrs. Divya is joined by the other teachers depending on their lunch break schedules. There are always a minimum of 2 teachers on duty between 12 and 2 o’clock.
- Afterschool program: From 4:30 onwards, Miss. Michelle and Miss. Joce combine the children in Casa 2.
- Music class: Miss.Tessa.
There is a lot of information to pass on to you! Please also review the parent handbook which was sent to you when you registered. So, find a comfy chair and brew your favourite tea or coffee
Please open and read the following attachments:
- School calendar – this includes important dates of school and daycare closures, upcoming events.
- List of items needed for daycare and school.
- Sound of The Week information
- The documents from Alberta Health.
COVID update and our policies:
We recently received an email from Rebecca Schulz, the Minister for Alberta Children’ Services, advising us of the most recent changes to the COVID public guidelines for child care programs. I attach the links below for the updates, including the AB health daily checklist.I would like to draw your particular attention to page 2 of the guidelines, whereby parents are requested to self-screen their child for COVID symptoms each day before drop off, and to the list of symptoms on the health screening checklist. Please be aware that these protocols are likely to be changed as we continue to receive updates from the AHS and our licensing officer; we are a licensed centre, therefore we are bound by law to follow any changes made. We will do our utmost to keep you informed as soon as we have processed any new changes.
Although the need for cohort groups have been removed, Angel Wings Montessori will still be continuing with the following procedures:
- Your child’s forehead temperature will be taken daily at drop-off, and logged on the attendance sheet by their name.
- If the staff member notices your child presenting with any of the symptoms on the check list at drop-off time, we will ask you about it and possibly ask you to take your child home again. To avoid that inconvenience, it is expected that a parent will use the self-screening checklist daily before coming to school. If you answer “yes” to any of the questions on the screening checklist, please keep your child at home, and refer to the instructions on the checklist and call 811. Please see page 2 of the new guidelines which are attached.
- Each child will be monitored throughout the day as normal. If your child develops ANY of the symptoms as listed on the updated July 2021 AB health checklist, a teacher will call you to collect your child as soon as possible. Whilst waiting for you to arrive, your child and a teacher will remove to another room.
- Drop-off and Pick-up will continue to follow the same routine – please ring the doorbell on arrival. A teacher will come to the door as quickly as possible, but during busy times we do ask for your patience.
- Teachers will likely be wearing a mask at drop-off and pick-up times, and potentially in the classroom, especially during September, and the cold and flu season. This is dependent on the teacher’s personal choice and their vaccination status.
- All children will be required to wash their hands on entering the school, after each work, before and after eating, after coughing or sneezing, putting their fingers in their mouth,after going to the washroom or after a diaper change.
- We still can not accept stuffed or fuzzy toys or other personal toys.
- COVID-19 information: guidance for preschool, day care and out of school care (child care) – Open Government (alberta.ca)
- Stage 3 Guidance for Facility Based Child Care (alberta.ca)
- COVID-19 Alberta Health Daily Checklist
School fees are due in full by the first of each month please. You can e-transfer, pay by cash or cheque. Thank you. You may be eligible for childcare subsidy; you can check for this at Child care subsidy | Alberta.ca
Please bring 3 photos of your child on the first day of school/daycare. Two recent photos and one baby photo. One recent photo is to go above your child’s coat hook, the other two photos are for our “Who’s who?” wall. Regular 4×6 photos are ideal.
DROP-OFF AND PICK-UP.
Our Montessori program commences at 8: 30 AM, and again at 2:00 PM. The children are fully engaged in their 3-hour work cycle by 9:00AM, and 2:15PM. Please ensure that your child is dropped off no later than 8: 45. and no later than 2:05 for the afternoons – this avoids disruption and difficulty with transitioning.
For half day children, Morning pick-up is between 11:15 and 11: 30, and between 4:15 and 4: 30 for the afternoon program. If your child is registered for before or after-school care, then you will follow that schedule.
The centre will be open at 6:30AM for drop-off of full day or before-school care children, and open until 5: 45PM for pick-up of full day and after-school care children. * Please be aware of the new construction happening – at last! – on the Hwy22/1A. If you are held up by the construction, please call the school – 403-932-7066 – or send us a quick Seesaw message. Traffic hold-ups will unfortunately be inevitable, and we do understand how frustrating it can be; however, we are not licensed to have children here on the premises after 6:00PM.
If for any reason you need to drop off your child later, or pick up earlier, please do give us a head’s up. Depending on when you will be dropping off or picking up, we may ask that you drop off or pick up at a transitioning time so as not to disturb the other children, especially at nap time.
We have had great feedback about the Seesaw app, so we will continue to use it to send photo updates, send messages etc. it has been a fabulous tool as it helps us to stay connected with you. You can of course, use it to send us messages as well. If you are not already on our Seesaw list, we will send you an invite via email, please follow the link and instructions. Please note that we prefer to spend our time with the children, and therefore you may not get a photo update every day. We prefer that it’s your child that gets the attention of the teacher, not the classroom tablet!
Communication is the key to successful interpersonal relationships between home and school, and while we do have an open communication policy, please be mindful that we are also teachers in the classroom and won’t be able to respond to emails or Seesaw messages immediately. If you have an urgent request or information that you feel that we need to know, please give us a brief synopsis at the door and then we can follow up with a phone call or email as soon as we are able. The types of information at the door that really help us is if your child had a particularly bad night/ morning, if a beloved pet or family member is sick – this type of background information really helps us to help your child and understand why the child may be behaving in a particular, or out of the ordinary, way. Likewise, if your child has had a particularly upsetting day at school, we will give you a brief synopsis at the door. If you have ANY questions or feedback, please do email us.
Wow! This is a lot of information – how’s your coffee tasting?
SNACKS, LUNCHES, WATER BOTTLES AND CUTLERY.
We are a nut free centre, so please ensure that your child’s snack and lunches do not contain any tree nuts. If you pack Wow! Butter sandwiches – or similar- please just put a sticky note to let us know; if we aren’t sure then you may 1get a phone call!
Please pack healthy snacks and lunches, such as fruit, vegetables, yogurts, soups, left-overs are ideal, cheese, crackers etc. If food needs to be heated, please add a sticky note. Soups, lasagne, spaghetti, noodles etc, can call be packed in a flask or similar microwavable container.
If your child is here all day, please pack 2 snacks and a lunch in separate containers. This makes it much easier for your child to be independent at snack time.
Please pack a spoon, fork and water bottle every day, please also label everything with your child’s name.
WHAT TO WEAR, AND SPARE CLOTHES
Please bring 3 or 4 sets of spare, seasonally appropriate, clothes for your child on their first day – socks, underwear, pants, shorts, shirts. These will go into the bag provided, which is hung on your child’s hook.
Encourage your child to be an independent dresser, please just ensure that it is school appropriate. Please encourage your child to wear shorts under dresses and skirts for modesty reasons. We love individuality when it comes to fashion, so if the shirt doesn’t coordinate with the pants – that is quite OK! If your child is potty training or is new to being independent in the washroom, it is helpful for your child if the pants/shorts can be easily pushed down and pulled up – elasticated waist bands are much easier than clasps and buckles, especially in a hurry.
Please pack a pair of indoor shoes that your child can put on and take off easily and independently. This is also true for their outdoor shoes; boot laces are fine if your child can tie them. Velcro runners are ideal indoor and outdoor shoes for all ages. Please name them.
Please pack a jacket appropriate for the weather. In the fall, we still have beautiful days, so a light, wind proof jacket will be ideal.
Please pack daily items in a back pack; drawing and other work then go in this to be carried home.
BEDDING FOR FULL DAY CHILDREN.
Please pack a fitted, crib size sheet and blanket for your child into a bag; the reusable grocery bags are ideal. This comes in at the beginning of your child’s week and goes home at the end of the week for laundering. Please label everything with your child’s name. if your child needs a soother, please put it in a sealed and named container.
NAP / SIESTA TIME.
All full day children are required to take a nap, or siesta, after lunch, on their named mat. Full days are very busy and every child needs to rest, and be ableto recharge. Napping helps the child’s mood, physical health, and brain development as it sharpens the brain and improves concentration. Restful sleep is an act of trust – the teachers are present, the lights are dimmed, and quiet, calm music is played. If your older child does not need a nap, they are still required to take a 30-minute siesta, after which, they go with a teacher to do quiet activities. Please talk to us if your child is a non-napper and we can go over your child’s individual needs.
PULL-UPS AND DIAPERS.
If your child is in diapers or pull-ups, please bring a pack of them, with a pack of wipes and diaper cream on the first day; these items go into a named tote box for your child. When we are running low, a teacher will call you for replacements.
As and when your child is ready for toilet training, and you start training at home, please do let us know. Likewise, if we feel that your child is ready for training, we will chat with you. It is always better if a consistent plan is followed between home and school; this makes the transitioning to underwear less stressful for your child. To follow licensing health and safety protocols, we do require waterproof underwear during this transitioning period.
You’ve read it this far!? It must be that great coffee keeping you going!
TRANSITIONING YOUR CHILD INTO SCHOOL.
If this is yours, or your child’s first experience of daycare or preschool, then transitioning your child can be astressful time for you both. If you have not already chatted with us about transitioning days, and you feel that it will help, please do email us and we can certainly set this up. Often times it is the parent who feels sad at the door – stay positive, encourage your child to explore their new surroundings, be excited for your child to make new friends and to gain newfound independence. It really is such an exciting time for you both. Our team of Early Childhood Educators have much experience with helping you and your child transition into school. The best advice we offer is to keep your goodbye brief, positive and happy. Tell your child you will be back, that you love them, and can’t wait to hear all about their day. The longer you stay and draw out the goodbye, the harder it becomes forboth of you. We will always call you or send you a photo to let you know that your child is calm and happily engaged. Depending on the child, it can take up to two weeks for your child to transition easily into school. Do not lose heart – be patient and keep to the routine – consistency always works.
SPEECH AND LANGAUGE SCREENING:
We have been partnered with Foothills Creative Beginnings, Early Intervention services, here in Cochrane, for many years. They will be coming into school to screen children on September 15th. Please look out for a consent form in due course. This screening is funded through AB education, and helps to identify anychallenges; we highly recommend that your child receives this screening service. You can check out their website at www.creativebeginnings.ca
PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES.
These will be held on November 12th 2021, and February 25th 2022. The daycare and school will be closed all day. The teachers will also have their PD Day on these days to avoid extra school closures.
The November PTC is for NEW children who started during the summer of 2021, or later. The February 2022 is for RETURNING children in their 2nd, 3rd or 4th year.
Depending on COVID protocols and advice at that time from AB health services, the interviews may be in person, or via phone call or virtual. An email will be sent out closer to the dates.
COVID restrictions allowing – Starting the week of January 17th 2022, you will have the opportunity to come into school to observe your child’s classroom at work; time slots will be for 30 minutes. An email will be sent out during December reminding you to write your name against a time slot on the sign-up sheet. An information letter will also be sent out prior to your observation.
Finally – do I hear a collective sigh of relief? – Thank you for registering your child with us, and for entrusting us with their early year’s education. We are excited to get to know your child, or to renew acquaintances with them. It will be a great year!
The Angel Wings Early Childhood Educator Team:
Mrs. Divya, Director and Owner. B.Ed., ECE level 3, Montessori Certificate.
Mrs. Joce, Assistant Program Supervisor, Casa 1. ECE level 2, MCI level 3 Montessori Diploma: Early Childhood Pedagogy.
Mrs. Diana, Casa 1. ECE level 1
Miss. Nicole, Casa 2. ECE level 2
Ms. Michelle, Casa 2. ECE level 1
Miss. Tessa, BMT., Certified Music Therapist.
Angel Wings Montessori Daycare
2 West Hall Place, Cochrane, AB.
403 932 7066