Casa II News

Dear Casa 2 Parents, 

Welcome to the new school year!
We’ve had such a wonderful start to the year so far!  Mindi and I are enjoying every day with the children as we continue working with those who returned and as we get to know all of the children who just joined us this year!  We currently have 16 children in Casa 2, with others on the schedule to begin soon!  The month of September was very busy as we all came together to create our 2016-2017 Casa 2 family.  Mindi and I have enjoyed observing how each of the children have grown and changed over the summer.  Each of the new children bring with them their own personalities and special characteristics that have made it easy to build relationships with classmates and new friends.  It has been a great joy to observe our returning children as they strive each day to help their new friends feel comfortable in their new environment.  We’ve got a lovely class and we are anticipating a wonderful year ahead!

Parent phone calls
I’ve been able to connect with some of you via phone over the past few weeks and I will continue to reach out to those of you who I haven’t had a chance to speak with yet.  I’d love to take a few minutes to visit, to give you an update on how the beginning of your child’s year has been and to answer any questions you may have.  We will meet at the end of November for a more detailed conference, but we can certainly touch base any time between now and then!  I look forward to visiting with you soon if we haven’t done so yet!

Casa 2 mailbox
Some parents have asked if we are using the mailbox in the same way we did last year- where parents and family members could send mail in at any time for their children to receive.  Unfortunately, we are no longer doing it that way, as some children received a lot of mail and others received very little.  We’ve decided to use our mailbox a bit differently this year- and so far the children have really liked the change!  During each child’s birthday celebration, they will get to check the mail to see if there are any special birthday letters in there for them (there will always be at least two- from myself and Mindi).  A few weeks prior to the birthdate, I will send home a letter with more specific information so you can share our address with family members who may also want to send a special letter.  Of course, we would still love to receive letters addressed to the whole class!  For example, if a family takes a vacation and wants to send us a postcard, the children would love that and they will also be able to locate the location on the world map.  So, letters to the class are accepted at any time!  Please watch for more information about the mailbox to come home prior to your child’s birthday celebration.

Shoes and clothing to keep at school
Thank you all for sending an extra set of clothing to keep at school in case your child needs a clean piece of clothing to change into!  Mindi and I try to send home a yellow sheet anytime a child brings home wet or dirty clothing so you know if they are out or running low of their supplies.  If a shirt comes home, for example, please send a clean one the next day to replace it in your child’s basket.  With inconsistent temperatures and weather, it is a good idea for children to dress in layers so they can be comfortable throughout the day.  Please send a sweater or sweatshirt that your child can keep in their cubby to accommodate for the changing temps.  With just a few weeks left before winter, we often take advantage of having the windows open, too!  

Throughout the year, you’ll notice that your child’s shoes may not fit comfortably anymore.  We will do our best to let you know if your child is close to outgrowing their shoes.  It would be helpful if you could take a look periodically throughout the year, also, to be sure they are always wearing properly fitting shoes.  We’ve had many parents asking about which shoes are best for indoor shoes and which are best for outdoor shoes.  For both indoor and outdoor, our policy states that children should always have close-toed shoes that support their entire foot. Younger children (age 3-4) would be safest with tennis shoes that have buckles, Velcro, or another closing which keeps the shoes fitting snug enough to support the foot.  Older children (age 5-6) will begin practicing the bow frame and the lacing frames and might even be ready for shoes with laces!  We will work together to figure out when your child is ready for them!  Whichever shoe you choose for your child, we request that they be able to put them on and take them off independently. All shoes- particularly those for indoors- should be non-light up shoes. We will help your child, of course, when they need help but they should be close to being able to use them without much guidance.  This directly supports the Montessori approach to helping children become independent individuals in all areas of life- including self-care.

Many parents have been asking about Crocs and sandals, and it is a good question to ask! Although we have allowed Crocs in the past, our school policy does state that shoes must be close-toed.  The reason we ask this is for your child’s safety- we observe children tripping much more often when wearing Crocs rather than tennis shoes.  This is especially important during outdoor play/running/kicking balls.  Some parents have asked if they can wear Crocs indoors, since we don’t run inside.  Many children don’t wear socks with Crocs, but some do.  In the case of a fire in the winter, the children are not able to change their shoes before going outside.  We practice drills monthly, and we do take the children outside in the wintertime with their indoor shoes on (we practice real-life scenarios and in the case of a real fire, we wouldn’t stop to change shoes).  So for every child’s safety, we ask that children wear close-toed tennis shoes (or Mary Jane type shoes) for both indoor and outdoor play.  Keep in mind that Crocs are good shoes for various activities (such as boating and going to the beach), they just aren’t safe for what the children do throughout the day at JMS.  Please reach out to me if you have any questions!  Here is one article I found from WebMD if you’d like to read more:

On the Calendar    
Thursday, October 20th      No AM Kindergarten bus
Friday, October 28th         Fall Fest in Casa 2 (fall crafts, baking, songs, etc.)
Monday, October 31st        No School
Tuesday, November 8th     Picture re-take day            

We hope you all had an enjoyable week off for the Ryder Cup!  With so many various fall activities coming up, we are looking forward to an eventful month!

Taryn & Mindi