Spring Newsletter

April 8th, 2021 No Comments

Dear Families,

The weather is beautiful, and we are planning lots of experiences for the children to learn about the wonderful growth and changes going on all around us as the world bursts into the lively season of Spring.  The centerpiece of this hands-on learning Spring experience takes place in our gardens.  Over Spring break, the children who attended have worked hard to weed the garden boxes and prepare them for new seedlings and plants.    The classrooms are exploring nature items that are signs of Spring, in their Discovery interest areas, and there are books to be found, all over the school, all about gardening, seeds, and Spring!

In addition to the gardens, Mrs. Hamilton’s class will be doing a butterfly release in May, and Mrs. Sullivan’s class will be sponsoring our annual Chick Hatching later this Spring.  We will bring the butterflies and the chicks out onto the playground so each class will have a chance to see them.

Mrs. Hamilton’s class has been involved in a Seeds study, and has started growing seeds to be planted in the gardens – every day we are so excited to see the new growth!

Exciting Spring Learning!

 

Here is a sampling of the books we are reading:

The Pyramid Model Implementation at Peppermint Tree

In addition to our academic learning, we are always learning about ourselves, our emotions, and how to create a safe and happy community in our classrooms.  To guide this work, we are implementing the research-based Pyramid Model, which is an approach that helps children learn about their emotions, and how to make friends and be positive members of the classroom community.   As you may know, we were selected by the State of New Jersey to be one of a handful of centers around the state to have access to coaches from Montclair State University, to work with our teachers and provide us with ongoing professional development for this implementation.

Based on the Pyramid Model, we have created overall expectations for the Peppermint Tree Community.  All our pro-social behavior flows from these expectations:

  • Be Safe
  • Be Kind
  • Be Respectful

All the school rules can be connected to one of these expectations.  For example, “We use walking feet in the classroom to be safe.” “We listen to the person talking to be respectful.”  “We share our toys to be kind.”  In addition to the overall expectations, we empower children by encouraging them to  “Be a problem Solver” – so when there is a problem in the classroom, they can use the strategies we are teaching, to resolve a conflict with their friend, or work on resolving what may be making them upset.

Here is a bulletin board that the children and teachers have worked on reflecting our Overall Expectations.  More photos will be added to it, as the children demonstrate their understanding of the concepts.  The children from all the classrooms contributed their ideas:

Parent Group Meeting – via Zoom- Tuesday, April 27th, 8:00 p.m. – All Welcome. Please join in!

Let’s plan to connect together as we welcome spring, and take the opportunity to discuss how we can best meet your needs.  Since we are not planning events, I would like to make this more of a focus group format – where I can get a chance to hear from you how the year is going, get any ideas from you about new things we can do for the children and our community of families.   And, of course, open it up to everyone connecting with one another and we can discuss any pertinent topic that is brought up.   If you have any questions, ideas, or topics for discussion you’d like to submit in advance, send them my way: val@pepperminttree.com.  We will send a Zoom ink out by email before the meeting.

Mr. Scott the Music Man  – The Silliest One in the Land!

Mr. Scott the Music Man will be continuing to visit to share his love of Music and Movement with each classroom.  His upcoming visits will be on Wednesday, April 21, and Thursday, May 20th.

Pre-K and Kindergarten End of Year Celebrations

This year we will be holding our end-of-year celebrations for Pre-K and Kindergarten via Zoom.  Children will present a musical program to families who can view it via Zoom, and the children will receive a certificate of completion.  We will hold a separate celebration in June for each classroom, and we will be announcing those dates and times soon.   (This is something for our preschoolers to look forward to next year.)

Registration for Summer Camp and the 2021-22  School Year

We are fully booked for Summer camp!  We hope everyone that wanted a spot has already registered!  If you have not yet registered, and want a spot, we recommend that you get onto the waitlist, by registering online at  https://www.pepperminttree.com/registration/

After you click “submit”, don’t pay the camp registration fee when it takes you to PayPal (since we can not offer a spot in camp at this time).   We will send you an email regarding your place on the waitlist for camp.   There is still hope: We have not yet heard from the State of NJ on our capacity for Summer.  So, it is possible that more spaces will open up after we get that guidance.

Limited space is still available for the 2021-22 school year.  If you have not yet reserved your child’s place in school for next year, please register now, so we can be sure to meet your scheduling needs.  Use the same registration link, and pay the $125.00 registration fee via PayPal after submitting your form.  https://www.pepperminttree.com/registration/

$25.00 Referral Tuition Credit – for each family you refer to Peppermint Tree (once they register)

Is your family enjoying all of The Peppermint Tree activities?  Is your child benefiting from the loving care and enriching education we offer?  If so, please spread the word about Peppermint Tree!  We will reward you, if you do!

“Word of Mouth” is our best form of advertising!  And, we truly appreciate your spreading the word about Peppermint Tree to your friends, family and neighbors.  We offer all of our current families a tuition credit of $25.00 for each new family you refer to Peppermint Tree.  Once they pay their registration fee, we credit your account $25.00.  There is no limit to the number of credits you can earn!

Payment for Session 1 of camp and the final school year payment are both due on June 1st.

We wanted to bring your attention to the fact that payment for the first session of camp is due on June 1st, when the last school payment is also due.  For budgetary reasons, many families plan ahead for this by starting to make payments toward camp early.   You may feel free to make early payments, even if with a partial payment.  As with the school payment, there is a grace period until the 15th of the month before a late fee is assessed.  You may wish to pay the school payment on June 1st and the camp payment by June 15th – that is also acceptable.

Calendar Notes: The last day of school is Friday, June 25, 2021

  • Since we were closed for three snow days, the last day of school has been pushed back to June 25, 2021.
  • Session 1 of Summer Camp starts immediately following on Monday, June 28th, so there is no need for a “Mini Camp”, as there are no days in between.
  • The last day of camp (last day of Session 3) is Friday, August 27th.
  • We are closed (no camp, school or child care) August 30th-September 7th.
  • The first day of school will be Wednesday, September 8th, 2021

As always, I want to thank you for spending this school year with us.  If you ever have any questions about the school or camp, your schedule, etc., please feel free to call the office at 732-929-2500.  You can contact your child’s teacher directly with any classroom-related questions.   Enjoy the Spring weather!

Sincerely,

Miss Val

Valerie Frost-Lewis, MS Ed.

Owner/Director

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