Spring Newsletter

April 5th, 2023 No Comments

Dear Families,

I am reaching out with a Spring Newsletter here, that covers from now through the end of the school year, because it seems like once we get to April – it just totally flies!  And we have a lot of things coming up, so I want to make sure you all mark your calendars so you don’t miss anything.  Happy Spring everyone!  We just love the warm weather!!

Spring Break: We are CLOSED Friday, April 7, and we are open for Childcare only (no classes), April 10-14, for those following the Peppermint Tree Calendar.

Spring Break is coming, and we are all hoping for some wonderful weather!  Please note we are CLOSED on Friday, April 17th (no childcare or classes).  The following week, 4/10-4/14, is not included in the tuition for those following the Toms River Schools calendar, so we are only expecting those children who follow the Peppermint Tree calendar.  If your child follows the Toms River Schools calendar, and you need child care, please call the office to schedule an extra day(s) for your child, on a space available basis.

Earth Friends Continues Each Week

I hope by now you have seen our emails and heard your children talk about our Earth Friends lessons with Miss Janna (in the Preschool and PreK classrooms).  “Miss Janna” is Janna Hockenjos, a Peppermint Tree parent who has a passion for our planet and for young children – and she is developing a curriculum to teach our young learners all about Earth, its inhabitants and to care for them with love.  She is piloting the curriculum here at Peppermint Tree and the children are just soaking it all up!  She is coordinating our gardening program with the curriculum so the Earth Friends learning will culminate with the hands on experience of caring for the garden and growing food.  How wonderful is that?!  Thank you, Janna!

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

Mr. Scott the Music Man will be visiting each month to share his love of Music and Movement with each classroom.  His next visit will be on Wednesday, April 19th.  He will also be here on Friday, May 19th , and Friday June 2nd.  If you haven’t checked out Mr Scott’s new song “Earth Friends” (lyrics by Janna Hockenjos) – written to go with the Earth Friends curriculum, you can check it out on his web page (scroll down to the music section and you will see a player to click on to play the song):  https://www.mrscottmusicman.com/

Earth Day Party!  Friday, April 21st at 10:00 a.m.

This is a new event we’ve just added – and we hope to be getting all the kids involved in planting Blueberry bushes at Peppermint Tree (weather permitting).  This is thanks to Janna and Chad Hockenjos who are really helping us move our gardening and planting program forward!    More details to follow!

One more morning of Speech Screening set for Monday April 24

Thanks to a partnership with Peppermint Tree parent and Monmouth University Speech-Language Pathology professor Cathleen Givney,  parents have been able to provide permission to have their children go through a speech-language screening via Monmouth University, right her at Peppermint Tree.  We have one more morning on the schedule for this, so if you would like your child to be screened, and you have not yet sent in your permission slip, please reach out to the office and we can set that up for Monday, April 24th.  (All those who sent in permission slips previously are already screened or scheduled for 4/24 already. ) Thank you, Cathleen Givney and the Monmouth University staff and students who have been performing the screenings!

Parent Group Meeting – via Zoom- Tuesday, April 25th, 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.  We are finalizing our plans for our “Family Gardening Party”. We will send a Zoom ink out by email before the meeting.

What came first, the chicken or the egg?  Chick Hatching Event starting May 2nd!

On Tuesday, May 2nd, we will begin our Chick Hatching event right here on-site at Peppermint Tree.   The farmer leaves us with 12 eggs in an incubator…then the children will see the eggs hatch and the baby chicks entering the world right before their eyes!  A most exciting experience!  (We’ll be hatching some baby “Earth Friends!)

Ocean County Children’s Festival, Saturday, May 6th 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Toms River Library, both inside the library and outdoors at the Courtyard.  Theme is “What a Wonderful World”.

Peppermint Tree will be offering an “Earth Friends” related activity along with Janna Hockenjos!  Also, Mr. Scott the Music Man will be performing at 2:15 p.m. for the festival finale!  We will also have children’s art on display – including the children of The Peppermint Tree.  There will be LOTS of activities, and Downtown Toms River is also having a Cinco De Mayo event that day – so there will be lots of reasons to go Downtown!  Miss Val is the community chairperson for the Children’s Festival event- please mark your calendars and help us celebrate young children and have a blast together!!

Dental Hygienist visit, Tuesday, May 9th

Ocean Pediatric Dental Associates will be visiting with a presentation for the children on taking care of their teeth.  This is a nice opportunity for the children to meet someone from the community and learn about dental care and going to the dentist.

Family Garden Planting Party, Saturday May 20th – Please Mark your calendar, and watch for more details.

Families are invited to help us plant and launch our gardens.   Thank you to parents Janna and Chad Hockenjos for donating all our seeds and seedlings (and some fruit bearing bushes and trees too!)  this year!!

Closed for Memorial Day, May 29th, 2023

The Peppermint Tree will be closed for all students and staff on Monday, May 29th, 2023 in observance of Memorial day.

Mark your calendars: Pre-K End of Year Celebrations – Tuesday, June 6, 2023: 10:00 a.m. outdoor ceremony for both Mrs. Hamilton’s Class & Miss Caren’s Class

This year we will be holding our end-of-year celebrations for Pre-K, outdoors in our parking lot.  Children will present a musical program and the children will receive a certificate of completion.  Families are invited.  Please mark your calendars.  Since it is an outdoor event, we will plan a rain date for Wednesday, June 7.

Mark your calendar – we are planning a new event:  Toy Swap Party!! June 12th, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

This will be a celebration for the end of the school year and a culmination of our Earth Friends curriculum.  Bring one clean and lightly used toy – and each child can pick a different one out to take home!  This is better than buying one – it’s free and each child gets to try a new toy!  More details to follow!

Registration for Summer Camp and the 2022-23  School Year

We are just about 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 call the office to see if there is room in your child’s age group, and then, to get onto the waitlist (most likely all that is available at this time), register online at  https://www.pepperminttree.com/registration/

After you click “submit”, don’t pay the camp registration fee when it takes you to PayPal (if 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.

Space is still available for most age groups (except for 3 year olds – the Preschool class is full) for the 2022-23 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 $150.00 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!

June Payment Information:  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.

As a reminder, our school year tuition is annual, broken up into ten equal monthly payments (September through June).  So, please remember that on June 1st, you still pay a full school payment, even though school ends on June 16.  You have benefited from this when there were five weeks in a month and your tuition did not go up.  This allows both you and the school to budget an even amount each month for tuition.  Any students not returning will have their security deposit subtracted from their their June bill.  Quarter Day students were required to prepay the June payment, so there will be no payment due in June if you prepaid it.

Calendar Notes: The last day of school is Friday June 16, 2023 – Please read all of the below for more calendar information

  • Session 1 of Summer Camp starts  on Monday, June 26th.
  • The week of June 19th is not included in the school or camp tuition, however, we are offering a “mini-camp” for those who need childcare on those days.  Tuition will be charged on a per day basis, for those who need those days.  We will offer signups for mini camp soon.
  • Camp is CLOSED on Tuesday, July 4th.
  • The last day of camp (last day of Session 3) is Friday, August 25th.
  • We are closed (no camp, school or child care) August 28th-September 4th.
  • The first day of the 2023-24 school year will be Tuesday, September 5th, 2023.

Family Reminders:

  • If your child is here after 2:00 p.m., please be sure to pack an afternoon snack, and if your child is here after 5:00 p.m., pack a second afternoon snack.  School Age After children also need to pack an afternoon snack.
  • Please do not send in candy – we do not serve candy to the children at Peppermint Tree. Please save that for home.
  • Please do not park at the front of our driveway, forward of the school.  There is not enough room at the end of the driveway to allow others to safely pass.  Pull in, go around the circle and pull up as far as the front edge of the building, to drop off at the front doors.  Thank you!

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!


Miss Val

Valerie Frost-Lewis, MS Ed.



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