Mulberry Room
2016/17 School Year
Orientation Letter

 

Dear Parents,                      

We hope that you are having a wonderful summer with your children.  The following information will help us get off to a great start when the school year begins.

 

Overview:

The Mulberry classroom is dedicated to meeting the needs of the three to six year old child. The students are guided by two co-head teachers and one bilingual assistant.  Children attend Monday through Friday 9:00-12:00. Morning childcare is available 8:00-8:55, and afternoon childcare from 12:00-5:00.  Kindergarteners attend Monday through Thursday 9:00-3:00, and Friday 9:00-12:00.

 

Montessori Philosophy and Goals

The Mulberry Room follows the Montessori Philosophy, supporting independence, respectful and positive socialization with peers, and education of the whole child. The classroom will change in accordance to what the children need. Units of study will follow the interests of the group and cover a range of developmental levels.

 

In the Montessori Philosophy there are multiple elements to be supported in the child’s school environment:

-Discovery- The whole classroom is available for the child to explore and figure things out independently.

-Auto-education- The environment is varied in what is available, different textures, curriculum areas and interactions all form the child’s knowledge of the world around him. 

-Independence- Each child is encouraged to do for himself.  As Maria Montessori said,“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” The classroom, teachers, and schedule is designed to do just that, help each child succeed independently.

-Sensitive periods- In the fourth through sixth year of life, children have a heightened awareness in many areas, the classroom and curriculum is customized for these periods.

-Absorbent mind- The environment is heavily perfected to only provide necessary tools for development.  The teachers are aware that all things in the child’s surroundings are being absorbed unconsciously.

-Spontaneous repetition-  The child’s concentration is never interrupted by a teacher, works are never unavailable to the student and the gift of time is always given while respecting the child’s need for mastery.

-Development of the will- With gentle guidance, positive redirection, and intrinsic rewards the child will build their inner conscience. 

-Normalization- With consistent routine, environment and class community, children will learn to know what is next and be confident in themselves and others. 

-Observation- Daily observation and note taking will occur, ensuring the child is being challenged at his own level.

-Control of error- Each work is designed to be self-correcting.  This allows the child to independently complete and monitor his activity.     

 

Daily Schedule

We ask that you arrive with your child by 9:10. This allows children to begin their day together and build their classroom community. Please drop off through front door, say a quick goodbye, and sign your child in every day. Please pick up at front door, please do not come into classroom, we will bring your child to you after they have gathered their items.   

 

Daily Schedule

8:00-8:55 Childcare inside 

8:55-9:10 Arrival

8:55-11:00 Work time

11:00-11:35 Outdoor play

11:35-12:00 Circle

12:00-12:10 Dismissal 

 

Morning Arrival

At arrival time, a teacher will greet your child between 8:55 and 9:10 a.m. (a childcare fee will be charged for any child dropped off before 8:55 a.m.)  To help your child make a smooth transition, please arrive on time, say goodbyes at the door, and keep them as brief as possible.  If you have a message for the teachers please write a note and we will read it as soon as we have a moment.  Let us know if you anticipate that drop-off will be a challenge for you or your child and we will kindly assist.  Please know that most children who separate with tears are pretty happy within about ten minutes.  When coming into school, be highly aware of children darting across the road and running into school. The rear parking lot is for staff only.  If you are unable to leave your car, please have your child walk in with another parent.

 

Sign-in/Sign-out Procedure

The sign-in/out binder is located by the front door.  State licensing requires that you sign your child in and out using your full name and the accurate time. Not doing so will result in receiving a phone call to return to school and sign, and/or you will receive charges for any fines incurred.  Please make sure that a teacher sees you take your child.  No child will be released to anyone whose name does not appear on the Emergency Card filled out by the parent.  Please notify the office of any changes to the Emergency Card and send a note to the teacher when a new person is to pick up the child.  If there is a change in your schedule or location, or any special instructions call the office.  Drivers under the age of 18 must complete a form available in the office.

 

Clothing

Please label all of your child’s outerwear. Action figures, scary, or violent images are never allowed (on clothing, shoes, hats, or lunches.)  Shoes should support and protect feet for daily running and outdoor play.  Shoes need to be rubber soled and closed toe.  If you send a hat for outside play please label it.  We ask that you apply sunscreen at home if necessary. If you need it to be reapplied at lunch please fill out the medication form.  A complete and seasonally appropriate set of labeled extra clothes (include extras if you foresee your child needing a change more often) should be supplied in a clear, re-sealable bag, also labeled with your child’s name.  Borrowed clothing must be laundered and returned the next day.  If your child is in diapers, please send five diapers in a plastic bag labeled with your child’s name. The goal for all children is to independently care for themselves, so be mindful with what your child wears to school.  Belts, overalls, and buttons are much more frustrating than elastic bands. 

 

School Supplies

--Photos:     We need three photos of your child with your child’s head approximately one inch in diameter, two regular sized photos of your child, and one family photo.  Please bring these photos to the Parent Orientation.

--Slippers:     Please provide your child with a pair of non-slip, rubber soled slippers, labeled with their name. The more neutral the better (remember no action figures please). We ask all children to wear slippers in the classroom as it encourages independence, responsibility, keeps the classroom clean, and provides a quieter working environment.

 

Lunches

Your child’s lunch box needs to be labeled (remember no action figures please), and all items should be easy for them to open. We are unable to refrigerate or heat the students’ lunches, so we recommend a thermos for hot lunches and ice packs for those items that need to remain cool.  Sunrise encourages healthy nutrition and prefers that the children have lunches without high sugar and artificial items. Additionally, Sunrise is a nut-free school.  Any food items sent to school containing nuts will be sent back home.  More information about our nutrition policy can be found in your Parent Handbook.  Please inform a teacher of any food allergies.  

 

Sharing

Sharing will be held daily for one child.  Each day the assigned child may bring an item relating to the current theme.  The item will be on display through the morning to encourage peer discussion and grow friendships. The student will then present their item to the class at circle time.  A calendar will be posted with each child’s day for the month.  Also, any child may bring an item any day to share, if it is from nature or an item they created.  

 

Birthdays 

If you would like, we enjoy having a special ceremony to celebrate your child’s birthday. This can take place at 11:30, please schedule the day with the teachers.  Family is welcome to join, and we ask you bring one picture for each year of your child’s life at drop off.  You are also welcome to bring a healthy, child-sized birthday snack at drop off to share with the class (please refer to the Nutrition Guidelines in the Parent Handbook.) Please make arrangements two or more weeks in advance.

 

Visitation

Parents are welcome to visit us anytime.  We should have our schedules and routines settled by October.  Spending a day with your child is a fun and rewarding experience.  If you would like to visit, please make arrangements with the teachers. We enjoy having you as our special guests!

 

Parent Participation

We encourage parental participation in our class.  The following are some examples of how we can begin to utilize your energy and enthusiasm. 

Unit Parent- One parent per unit (4-8 weeks): 

Bring in library books, help organize special activities, parent helpers, and events that can take place during our units of study. 

Garden Parent- One or two parents for the year: 

One parent is needed to organize parent volunteers with planting, weeding, and cultivating our garden throughout the year. 

Reading Parents- One parent daily, unless otherwise posted: 

Our new readers love to practice their skills with a parent volunteer, sign up will be posted with the sign in/out binders.

Snack and Laundry Parent- One family for one week per year: 

One family brings snack for two days that week on Monday.  On Friday please take the classroom laundry (have your child help fold!) and bring it back the following Monday. 

 

Parent Education

We hope to see you at school meetings and events as these gatherings provide a time to discuss questions and advice about the wonderment of childhood.  If you have questions throughout the school year do not hesitate to ask a teacher.

 

Vacations

Consistent attendance at school is very important in each class level.  Family vacations during regular school session are strongly discouraged, especially at the elementary stage.  Your child will be missing valuable lessons, field trips or special cultural days that cannot be rescheduled or easily made up.  This is very disappointing for your child as well as for the teachers who have prepared group lessons based on the full participation of each student.

 

Illness

Please keep your child at home if they have a fever, diarrhea, green mucus, or are vomiting.  They must be fever free (without the use of fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol) for 24 hours before returning to school.  Children who are sick will be isolated and the parents will be called to pick up the child.  Please notify the school office as soon as possible if your child is going to be absent and the reason for the absence, particularly if the illness is communicable or contagious disease.

 

Medications

Medications are only allowed at school when absolutely necessary.  All medicines must have their original labels and complete instructions as to use (this includes Tums, throat lozenges, mints, sunscreen, lotions and chapstick.)  Please give the medication directly to your child’s teacher and ensure a form is complete to allow permission to administer product.)

 

We are excited about the new school year and look forward to seeing you at Orientation on August 30th.

 

Sincerely,

Laura, Gina and Karen


Mulberry Staff:

Laura Michels - lmichels@sunrisemontessorinapa.com

Gina Trethewey - gtrethewey@sunrisemontessorinapa.com

Karen Winget - kwinget@sunrisemontessorinapa.com

Jim Bartscherer - jbartscherer@sunrisemontessorinapa.com