December Newsletter

November 29th, 2020 No Comments

Dear Families,

What a fabulous community we have!  I want to thank all those who donated non-perishable foods for the “Your Grandmother’s Cupboard” organization.  During the month of December we will be focusing on the spirit of giving, and, clearly the children have great examples of this in our wonderful families.

We’ve got an exciting month in December, including a Holiday Shop (by catalog) for the children, and Mrs. Sullivan’s class will have a “Sing-Along” on Zoom for families of students in the Kindergarten class.   And, during our first week we have Pajama Days to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

As a reminder, you can always check our event calendar on our website, by going to www.pepperminttree.com, and clicking the “Events” menu at the top/right.

Pajama Days for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS): Thursday, December 3rd & Friday December 4th

Children wear their pajamas to school on 12/3 & 12/4 in honor of children who are too sick to get out of their pajamas.  The children will learn about helping children who are sick.   We ask our families to make a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for this event.  Donation checks can be made out to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and can be sent in to your child’s teacher.  We will also forward any cash donations, as well.

Peppermint Tree Secret Holiday Gift Shop, December 9-11 & 14-15, 2020 (Wed-Thurs & Mon-Tues)

During Dec 9-15, if you’d like your child to participate, please be sure he/she comes to school with their shopping list (paper form will be sent home) and the appropriate spending money ($1.25 per person on their list) to participate in our “Peppermint Tree Secret Holiday Workshop”The shop will be open (by catalog) 12/9-12/15 to allow the children to pick out inexpensive gifts for their immediate family and pets. We will send home the notice and shopping list in your child’s backpack next week.  (We do not allow children to buy gifts for themselves, only gifts for immediate family and pets.)

This is an opportunity for your child to participate in giving gifts this holiday season – not just receiving.

For the holiday shop, we purchase a quantity of small, inexpensive gifts suitable for immediate family members, grandparents and dog and/or cat pets. The items will be $1.25 each.  If you wish your child to participate, send in $1.25 per person on their list in a sealed envelope with the completed shopping list form. On your child’s regularly scheduled day, he/she will “shop” in their classroom by using a catalog we have created for them.   This will be an exercise in decision making and money handling. We will also be discussing the concept of thinking about others. All gifts will come home wrapped and tagged. Wrapping paper will be made by the children.

If you have extra clean plastic grocery bags, please send some in, as we use these to send home all the wrapped gifts from the shop.

Our Next Parent Group Meeting will be Thursday, December 10th, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. via Zoom.  Please join us–all parents and guardians are welcome!  This is your opportunity to meet with the Director and other parents, and help us plan activities for our families.

A Zoom link will be emailed when the date gets closer.

Mrs. Sullivan’s Class Sing Along – Wednesday, December 16th at 10:30 a.m. – broadcast from the classroom via Zoom – so families can sing along with the children.

Mrs. Sullivan’s class will be holding a holiday sing along event for the children and families of that class – via Zoom. Please mark your calendars and you will receive an invitation and Zoom link directly from Mrs Sullivan via email.  (This is for Mrs. Sullivan’s  class only.)  The children will be practicing seasonal songs to share with families at this festive event!

Annual Flu Shots – Please send in updated immunization record by 12/31/20.  The Health Department requires the annual Flu shot for all children in Preschool, under the age of 5.  

As per the State of New Jersey requirements, all children who attend Peppermint Tree who are under 5 years of age, must get an annual Flu shot, before December 31. Please send in proof of this vaccination for your child’s file.  As an alternative to visiting your child’s pediatrician for the Flu vaccine, you can visit the website for the Ocean County Health Department to find out when they are giving flu shots.  There is a lot of good health related information on their website as well.  www.OCHD.org  Please note, the Ocean County Health Department audits our student records for immunizations.

Calendar Notes for the Holiday Break

We will be CLOSED on Thursday, 12/24/20, & Friday 12/25/20, Thursday, 12/31/20, & Friday, 1/1/21. for the holidays.

We will be open for child care only during the rest of the winter break: Monday-Wednesday 12/28-12/30/2020   If your child follows our Peppermint Tree calendar, the child care days are included in your monthly tuition. If your child follows the Toms River Schools calendar, and you need child care during the break week, please let the office know so we may save a space for your child, and adjust your bill for the additional day(s).  Please note: Child care days can only be added for children in Miss Liz’s Preschool class and Mrs. Hamilton’s Pre-K class.  Mrs. Sullivan’s Kindergarten and Mrs. Diver’s Pre-K classrooms are not open during school holidays.

As a reminder, your tuition is annual, and divided into 10 equal monthly payments, so tuition payment amounts do not change during months where there is a break.  It also does not go up when there is a five week month.  It is all averaged out through the year.

Mark Your Calendars:  Parent/Guardian Workshops have been planned by our Parent Group-both will be provided free of charge to our families, via Zoom

  • Wednesday, January 27th @ 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. via Zoom:  “Structuring Downtime, Especially During Covid Restrictions” – workshop provided by Colleen  O’Donnell, Peppermint Tree Parent and Board Certified Behavior Analyst for Toms River Schools
  • Tuesday, February 16th @ 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. via Zoom “Promoting Early Literacy” – workshop provided by Carol Sullivan, Peppermint Tree Kindergarten teacher, NJ Department of Education certified preschool and elementary school teacher, and Valerie Frost-Lewis, Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education and Peppermint Tree Director.

Inclement Weather

In case of snowy or icy conditions, please look out for a text from us (if you have signed up for our “Remind” text program, or check our website announcement on the home page, or your email inbox for updates about school opening on these days. We also provide this information to WOBM radio “Storm Watch” and FIOS Stormwatch, and change our outgoing phone message. We make every effort to be open, however the safety of our staff and families is our first concern. As a guideline, if The Toms River Public Schools have a delayed opening or are closed due to inclement weather, the earliest we will open is 8:30 a.m. This will give us time to get our driveway and walkways plowed, salted and sanded and determine if we will delay further or have to close for the day. There are no refunds or credits for inclement weather closings.  We will be able to make up for up to three snow day at the end of the year, if we have them.

For safety on the playground: Please no scarves or hats with long scarves attached. 

We do not allow scarves at all on the playground, as they are hazardous on playground equipment. (Can get caught in the swings, or wrapped around a child’s neck.) Thanks for your understanding.  Note: We also prefer mittens over gloves, as it takes more time to get all the children into gloves!  Thank you!

Parent Reminders:

  • Label Everything. If an item is not labeled, we may label it for you. This includes lunch bags, jackets, sweaters, mittens, hats!
  • Send in two clean, labeled cloth (or disposable) masks each day for your child.
  • Please – Mittens ONLY/ no gloves, no scarves.
  • No strings on jackets or hoodies.
  • Dress your child in layers. We go outside every day that it is 32 degrees or higher, and not precipitating.
  • All children must go outside with their group. If a child is too sick to play outside, then they should stay home from school to rest.
  • Please drive SLOWLY in our driveway.  Thanks!
  • Please do not exit your car while using the drop off/pick up line at 9:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., or 2:00 p.m.  Allow us to go to you! This will keep our driveway safe, and the line moving.
  • Please do not park your car at the end of our driveway, as it is too narrow to accommodate parked cars and two way traffic.  Park further back in our driveway.
  • Please do not leave your car idling in our driveway.  This is a safety concern.
  • Please remember to download the “BoxTops for Education” App on your phone, sign up to raise funds for Peppermint Tree, and scan in your grocery receipts.  This is a helpful and important fundraiser for us.
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