Butterfly News Archive
From Carolann – February News
Dear Parents of the Butterfly Community,
Our community continues to grow together with these amazing children; each bringing something of their own to share. We delight in sunshine pouring in through our windows, hear the rain a moment later, and watch the trees dance in the wind. The promise of spring is in the air!
Welcome New Friend
We have welcomed a new friend, Ozan, and his family into our Butterfly community. Please help me welcome Ozan, mom Esin, and dad Engin. We are so happy to have you with us!
Gala/Auction & Events
The Gala/Auction is coming up soon. I look forward to seeing many of you there. It is not too late to buy your tickets! The children had so much fun creating our button mirror and creating pieces that were made into a fun and happy pillow. Each child made their contribution and they each are truly a community effort. I will enjoy socializing and playing with you at the fun, festive event to support our school.
Our second Parent/Child open house, ‘evening of sharing’ was lovely. It is an honor to observe as the children share their classroom and love of the materials with you. Thank you for making this time with your child.
Conferences are coming up March 19th and 20th. I will enjoy talking with you and sharing about your child’s days. Conference Sign-Ups Here
We celebrate two birthdays this month. Mia turned four years old. She shared happy photos of her life and a festive snack to share. This week we will honor Aro and her birthday turning five years old. We are happy to share this special occasion with the children. Happiest Birthday wishes Mia and Aro!!
A special thank you to Vanessa (Fern’s mom) for offering her amazing sewing skills to create a fun and happy pillow made from work from the children. It is fabulous! Come see it at the Gala/Auction!
We have thanks to offer. Thank you to Ansel Bax and family for the mango tea from your travels to the Philippines, the book on Storms, a new favorite of the children. And, the oranges for our juicing work. Thank you to Elaine and family for the lovely books to add to our collection; “The Word Collector”, “Rosie Revere, Engineer”, “Iggy Peck, Architect”, and “I Walk with Vanessa”. Reading books is a favorite part of our days. Thank you Shayne and family and Oren and family for saving your eggshells for our grinding work. Thank you for your generous contributions.
Our bountiful snack ingredients, lovely flowers for arranging, and milk to offer at lunch have been provided by the families of Sydney, Sebastian and Mirabelle, Katie, and Evan. Thank you for adding to the daily life in our classroom.
Our classroom laundry has been cared for by the families of Miles and Mia and Fern. We are grateful for your time and efforts.
Thank you for sharing your children with us and the gift of watching them learn and grow each day. They bring many smiles!
From Room Parent – Auction and Gala
Happy Monday everyone! The auction committee reached out to the room parents for our help. One, to encourage everyone to come to the auction. If you haven’t seen the amazing projects that the children did please do so! They are in the foyer.
Two, they are in need of more gift cards for the mystery bags. I will be buying one and donating and I hope you will too! Below is the link for gift cards.
Also if you would prefer to Venmo me I can pick one up for you. I would provide you with a receipt of course.
They are looking for restaurants and grocery stores primarily. Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to read this on a busy Monday!
From Carolann – January News
January 22, 2020
Dear Parents of the Butterfly Community,
Happy New Year! I hope you all enjoyed your winter break. It is wonderful to come back together as we begin a new year. The children returned with social connections, enthusiasm, and smiles and our classroom is full of joy.
We enjoyed a few snowflakes falling outside our windows and during our time on the playground. We also notice bulbs emerging from the ground with the anticipation of spring!
A gratitude of thanks once again, from all of us; myself, Emilie, Julia, and Jessica, for the very generous gifts. I know we all have enjoyed collecting things to brighten our lives and keep us cozy. We truly appreciate your thoughtfulness.
We welcome our newest friend, Spencer into our community. Spencer is three years old and joins his twin brother, Conner in the Sunflower classroom, and older brother Preston in the Maple classroom. Please help me welcome Spencer and his family, mom Christie and dad Khanh, into our Butterfly family. We are so happy to have you with us!
We celebrated Ansel Lin’s birthday in the new year. Ansel turned five years old and shared happy photos of his life and a special snack to share with friends. Happy Birthday Ansel Lin!
This week we celebrate two more birthdays. Oren turns four years old and Anisse will be turning six years old. We are happy to honor these friends on their special day. We look forward to seeing photos and sharing a special snack in celebration. Happiest Birthday wishes Oren and Anisse!!
We have many thanks to offer. Thank you to Ansel Lin and family for the lovely collection of books, “Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter”, “My Nana and Me”, “Thank you, Omu”, “Yard Sale”, and his personal favorites in honor of his birthday, “A Sick Day for Amos McGee”, and “Can I play too?” Reading books is a favorite time of our day. Thank you to Oren and family for the big bag of goodies; ribbons, collage items, and other treasures. We will use them all! Thank you to the families of Oren and Shayne for saving your eggshells for our grinding work. Thank you to the families of Cora and Katie and bringing in magazines that can be cut up for works. Thank you to Sydney and family for the beautiful books from our wish list, “I Like Myself”, “Skin like Mine”, and “All are Welcome!” We have so many nice books to choose from each day. Thank you for these thoughtful additions to our classroom. We appreciate each generous contribution.
Thank you to the families of Hudson, Aiden, and Katherine for supplying our snack ingredients, flowers to arrange and brighten the classroom, and for the milk to enjoy during lunchtime. This adds so much to our days.
Thank you to Cora and family and Katherine and family for helping with our classroom laundry for the month of January. We appreciate your time and efforts.
Thank you for sharing your children with us each day. It is a joy to be back together and beginning a new year. I treasure your children.
From Carolann – Classroom News
December 15, 2019
Dear Parents of the Butterfly Community,
Happy winter! I wish each of you a wonderful, relaxing holiday with your families. I hope
you enjoy your time together celebrating the season in your own special way.
Our Winter Solstice celebration and Winter Sing is Friday, December 20th beginning at
1:00 with joyful singing from children of all Children’s House classrooms together. Don’t
be late! You won’t want to miss this special part of our day. We will pass your child to
you after singing in the commons and ask that you return to our classroom to begin your
craft making. We hope you delight in visiting the various classrooms to make crafts and
gifts for giving. Happy Winter Solstice to you!
We added little white lights into our classroom to go along with stories of adding light
into the darkest days of winter. They add just the sparkle and light we have needed on
these dark and gray mornings.
Thank you to the families who have shared holiday traditions by sending in your stars
with favorite rituals your family enjoys. We are having fun reading them and hanging
them around the classroom. Keep them coming!
We have been celebrating winter and the holidays with stories of different cultures and
traditions, books, songs, and related art and practical life activities. Our classroom
smells so good! It is fun and interesting to learn and share.
We welcomed two new families this month. Please help me welcome Brennan and his
family, mom MaryAnn and dad Dustin. Brennan just turned three years old and we are
so happy to have him join us. Please help me also welcome Oren and his family; mom
Alissa, dad Brian, and little brother Emile. Oren is almost four years old and we are
excited to have him in our community. Welcome!
We will celebrate Emilie’s birthday this week. Emilie has a birthday at the end of
December and we are happy to share a day in her honor. Happy Birthday wishes
Thank you to Aiden and family for the tea, candy cane lane, a seasonal favorite! Thank
you to Shayne and family for saving your eggshells for grinding and adding to our
gardens. Thank you to Ansel Lin and family for the lovely selection of books from our
wish list. ”The Big Umbrella”, “Quiet”, “Only One You”, “Because of an Acorn”,
“Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn”, “A Big Mooncake for Little Star” are beautiful
additions to our reading collection. Thank you to Evan and family for the coffee beans
for grinding. We use a lot of coffee beans! Thank you to our newest friend Oren and
family for the sweet plant to add to our environment and the book, “Don’t Touch My
Hair”, it is a fast favorite. Thank you to Katie and family for the sparkles for our
gluing/collage work. Thank you to Oren and family for more coffee beans. You can never have enough
coffee beans! Thank you to Julia for the notecards with butterflies! I
will enjoy writing notes on them. Thank you to Emilie for our newest teapot. I appreciate
you keeping an eye out for the things we can use. Thank you for your generosity and
Thank you to the families of Mia, Holden, and Fern for the delicious snack ingredients,
lovely flowers to grace our classroom, and milk for lunch each day. Thank you for
adding to the daily life in our classroom.
Thank you to the families of Hudson and Fern, and help from Evan’s family, for helping
with our classroom laundry for the month of December. We are grateful for your time.
A special thought to share is that your child’s easel paintings can make beautiful
wrapping paper for gift giving.
Thank you to our amazing room parents, Christine and Vanessa, for organizing our
classroom craft projects for the Winter Solstice. And, we thank you for all you do to
bring our families together.
Mark your calendars for two opportunities for parent education in the new year.
Tuesday, January 14th we will offer the Importance of the Kindergarten Year and giving
your child the gift of the full cycle. Please join all three Children’s House guides for this
presentation, 4:15 to 5:15.
Our Journey and Discovery will be Friday and Saturday, January 24th and 25th . Come
join us in the classrooms and get an intimate experience with the materials and the work
your children are doing and the work to come in the next levels. Come spend time with
all of our guides and play with us! It is a very special and profound experience. I hope
you can join us.
We are asking for your help as we return in January with drop off in the mornings.
Thank you all for your efforts to arrive on time, it makes a big difference in how your
child starts their day.
We have realized it is pertinent to revisit the rules regarding morning drop off. As part of
our partnership in this community, we have agreed that, in order to ease congestion
during peak arrival times, all arrivals between 8:10 and 8:25 must occur on the blacktop
via the drive-through drop off lane for those driving. Please do not park and walk your
child to the front door during this window of time. It is imperative that we abide by this
rule; recently we have received complaints from neighbors about this issue. Thank you
for working together with us to keep us in good standing with our neighborhood
agreement, and for helping us maintain a smooth, orderly drop off procedure!
If you have any questions regarding this, please let me know. Thank you for your
I wish you all a magical, joyous, relaxing and harmonious holiday with your families over
the winter break. It is a gift to spend my days with your children. Stay warm and cozy. I
look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!
Merry, merry and happy everything!
With love and gratitude,
From Carolann – November News
Dear Parents of the Butterfly Community,
In December we will celebrate the season by joining together to share in Winter Solstice. We will begin by singing together with the other Children’s House classrooms, songs of the season. You are then invited to take your child and move around the school where each classroom will be offering crafts for making and gift giving. This will happen on Friday, December 20th, beginning at 1:00 and lasting until 3:00pm. I look forward to sharing in the season in this special way.
We will be adding little white lights into the classroom to go along with some stories of adding light into the darkest days of winter. They will add sparkle and light on the dark, gray mornings ahead.
We will be adding some practical life works and choices in expression that go along with the winter season; adding lovely smells to our classroom. We will be singing songs and telling stories of winter.
I am so thankful to share my days with your children. We treasure our time in the Butterfly classroom.
From Room Parents – Winter Solstice & Holiday Gifts for Guides
Friday, December 20th
1:00 pm-3:00 pm
Please join us for The Winter Solstice. It’s a great event for all families to come together and spend some time creating and mingling. Siblings welcome! We have some fun crafts planned for the butterfly room and we are excited to see everyone.
We have most of the materials but there are a few items we need and some volunteering opportunities.
The items are listed in the SignUpGenius under winter solstice 2019, or use the link that is in the Tuesday Communications.
We have a box in the commons labeled BUTTERFLY SOLSTICE DONATIONS.
Please put all donations in the box by
Appreciation Gift Donations
Donations can be placed in the black “Donations Box” at the front desk in the file marked butterfly.
Also you will find in the butterfly file cards for Carolann, Emilie, Julie and Jessica. Please take a moment to sign these cards. Even if you choose to not participate in the group gift, we still encourage you to share your words of appreciation. Please also sign the cards for the support staff!! They are located in the same box, “support staff” file.
Donations are also due Monday, December 16th.
Cash or checks or Venmo Christine Lazo @Christine-Lazo-3 payable to Christine Lazo accepted.
Thank you and we look forward to celebrating the solstice with all of you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.
From Carolann-November News
I wish each of you a lovely Thanksgiving holiday and long weekend with your families. We have enjoyed sharing an appreciation for all the things we are grateful for in our lives.
Thank you for your time during conferences. I really enjoyed talking with each of you. It was nice to have time to share about your child’s days in the classroom as I get to know some of you better and learn a bit more about your child.
Our Thanksgiving feast is Wednesday, November 27th. Please send in lunch items for our potluck with your child on Tuesday or Wednesday morning. Please bring desserts with you when you join us. You can find our classroom sign-ups here. We will share a family-style, buffet lunch with items that you help provide. We welcome you to join us at 11:30 for dessert and socializing. We have noon dismissal on that day so you can leave us to pick up your older child if need be, and start your holiday weekend. I look forward to celebrating the holiday in this simple way with you.
Welcome New Friend
We welcome our newest friend, Shayne. Shayne is four years old and we welcome her family, mom Erin, dad Todd, and little sister Hollis. We are so happy to have Shayne and her family join our Butterfly community. Welcome!
We celebrated Aiden’s birthday this month. Aiden turned five years old! He shared happy photos of his life and a festive snack to share. We were honored to share in his special day. Happiest Birthday wishes Aiden!
We have many thanks to offer. Thank you to Sydney and family for the ribbons and buttons for our many works. Thank you to Fern and family for keeping us in supply of collage items. Fabulous! Thank you to Sebastian and Mirabelle for the book you chose on your trip to the beach, “Take your Octopus to School Day”. It is a fast favorite. Thank you to Ansel Lin and family for the book, “Stone Soup”, a favorite we have enjoyed over the years. Thank you to Katie and family for the big bag of stuffing. We use it all the time. Thank you to Sydney and family for the set of construction books, they are loved by all. And, thank you for the slicers and choppers that will come in handy the next time we make applesauce. All of your contributions add so much to the daily life in the classroom. We appreciate your generosity.
Thank you to the families of Mia, Holden, Sydney, Miles, and Fern for providing our lovely snack ingredients, beautiful flowers, and milk to enjoy during lunch these past weeks. We are grateful.
Thank you to Mirabelle and Sebastian and family and Katherine and family for helping with our classroom laundry for the month of November. We appreciate your time and effort.
From Carolann – October News
October 25, 2019
Dear Parents of the Butterfly Community,
Joy fills our classroom as we connect as a community. The children are happy, busy, and engaged. The children sing as they work with confidence and purpose. We are enjoying the change in the season as we settle into our days. Autumn is a beautiful time of year in so many ways!
I look forward to sharing time with you during upcoming Parent/Teacher conferences, November 7th and 8th. Click here for sign-ups. This is an opportunity to share, get to know one another better and learn more about your child.
Our Parent/Child open house, ‘evening of sharing’ was lovely! Thank you all for joining your child for this special evening. I delight in the opportunity to observe while the children share their classroom in this way. I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into our days.
Our Fall Mixer was a really nice way to get to know one another better and connect. I was so happy to see everyone at the Fall Festival and enjoyed watching the children having fun with families and friends.
We celebrated Fern’s birthday this month. Fern turned five years old and shared happy photos of her life along with a festive snack to share with friends. We love sharing in each child’s special day and celebrating them. Happiest Birthday wishes Fern!
Thank you so much for the generous contributions this month. Thank you to Cora and family for the lovely teas, coffee beans, and ribbons. All help keep our works stocked for the children. Thank you to Hudson and family for the charming pumpkin grown in their garden with carving that says ‘Butterfly Classroom’! What a special surprise. Thank you to Aiden and family for the new and favorite tea flavors. Tea making is a popular activity. Thank you Mirabelle and Sebastian and family for the lovely variety of teas for the children to make, try and offer. Thank you to Ansel Lin for the collection of new books to add to our Library. “Waiting for Wings”, “They All Saw a Cat”, “Maple”, and “Bear Snores On” are lovely additions. Thank you to Anisse and family for saving your eggshells for our grinding work that is added to our gardens, and the lovely assortment of teas for our works, and the onion skins for a project in the future. Thank you to Evan and family for the canisters of coffee beans and teas. We use these so much on a daily basis! Thank you to Elaine and family for the wonderful assortment of ribbons for our many works. Thank you to Deacon and family for the nuts for our nut cracking work, a new fall favorite. Thank you all for bringing in colorful leaves to add to our season tray. We appreciate every item, every moment of help you so graciously give.
Thank you to the families of Hudson, Cora, Aiden, and Cora again for providing our bountiful and healthy snack ingredients these past weeks, as well as lovely seasonal flowers for arranging, and milk to enjoy during our lunch time. Thank you for adding to the daily life in the classroom.
Thank you to the families of Aiden, and Mirabelle and Sebastian for helping with our classroom laundry for the month of October. We appreciate your help.
From Carolann – September News
September 25, 2019
Dear Parents of the Butterfly Community,
Happy Autumn! Our classroom community is coming together as we have welcomed new friends and reconnected with old friends. Children have returned to cherished work, shown lovely grace and courtesy to new friends, helped one another with apron tying, cleaning up spills, putting on shoes. The children are showing respect and care for one another and our environment. I am honored to have this opportunity to know each family and share in your child’s life.
Thank you to those families who were able to attend our Back to School night. I hope you all found the highlights helpful.
Once again, I would like to thank Christine (mom to Aiden) and Vanessa (mom to Fern) for graciously agreeing to be our room parents this year. I appreciate working with these parents in ways to bring our community together, communicate fully, and enrich our classroom with your support. Thank you!
In the Classroom
Our days are beginning to feel the change in season as we honor Autumn Equinox. We share stories, books and songs of the season. We will add a season tray to our classroom and would welcome any interesting items from nature that children would like to bring in and share.
We have started to spend time in our garden space cleaning up and freshening up for fall. We made applesauce this week with all children cutting up apples to add to the crock pot. Something special to enjoy for snack!
We celebrated our first birthdays. Holden turned six years old. Cora turned six years old. And, Evan turned four years old. Each child brought in happy photos of their life and a lovely snack to share with friends. Happiest Birthday wishes Holden, Cora, and Evan!!!
We also honored returning friends with summer birthdays. Katherine and Joshua turned four years old just before school started. And, they share a birthday! 😉
We have many thanks to offer. Thank you to Holden for the book “Waiting” to add to our collection. We love books! Thank you to Fern for saving eggshells for our grinding work, to be added to the garden beds; and for more pompoms for our gluing/collage work, always a big hit. Thank you to Ansel Bax and his grandma for the lovely supply of buttons, fabrics, and ribbons. We will put these to good use. Thank you to Evan for the books, “Fletcher and the Falling Leaves” and “A Squiggly Story”. These are fun additions to our daily choices. Thank you!!
Thank you to the families of Aiden, Cora, Holden, and Katherine for providing us with healthy, bountiful snack ingredients, beautiful flowers for arranging, and milk to enjoy at lunch these first weeks. Thank you for adding to this important part of our days.
Thank you to the families of Cora and Holden for helping with our classroom laundry for the month of September. We are grateful.
Thank you to all of the families for taking time to look through our on-line sign ups to help contribute to the Butterfly classroom.
Our class time together is happy and busy. It is a joy to spend our days together.
Here is a glimpse into a day in the Butterfly classroom….
Elaine was grinding coffee. Katie was exploring with clay. Hudson was making a cup of tea. Sebastian was reading labels in the phonetic object box. Cora was writing with the movable alphabet. Fern was building the teen boards. Deacon was counting to one hundred. Holden was painting with water colors. Miles was putting together a leaf puzzle. Joshua was matching the color tablets to objects in our environment. Ansel Bax was creating with the gluing/collage. Katherine was matching the shapes from the geometry cabinet to the corresponding cards. Evan was working with a cylinder block. Ansel Lin was looking at a book in the reading loft. Aiden was matching objects with sounds using the big movable alphabet. Sydney was painting at the easel. Mia was doing the bead stringing. Mirabelle was building the United States map. Anisse was doing yoga. Aro was building the binomial cube. It was a lovely day.
Saturday, October 5th – Fall Festival
Thursday, October 10th – Fall Mixer
Wednesday, October 16th – Photo Day! Smile 😉
Thursday, October 17th – Parent/Child Open House, evening of sharing
Thursday and Friday, November 7th and 8th – Conferences
From Carolann – ASQ and Back to School Recap
Dear Butterfly parents,
As I shared at Back to School Night, we have a wonderful screening tool called the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) that we are going to begin using in all of our Toddler/Primary classrooms to help identify social-emotional and developmental strengths, as well as concerns.
Here is a recap of all we discussed, for your reference and for any parents who were unable to attend.
There are two questionnaire formats, both of which we’ll be using. The ASQ-3 tracks developmental milestones from birth through 5½ years, while the ASQ-SE: tracks social-emotional development from birth to 6 years. Using these tools will give us a quick check of your child’s development, and will be a great opportunity for deepening our partnership in the service of your child!
Screening tools like the ASQ are used in early childcare settings all over the country in order to:
• Help teachers and parents see and celebrate areas in which the child is developing on schedule
• Identify children who would benefit from practice and/or support in specific areas
• And identify children at risk for developmental delays who should be referred for further evaluation.
We will do this twice a year in order to answer the question, “Is your child developing on schedule over time?”
Here’s how it’s going to work. Twice a year, we’ll send home the 2 questionnaires (ASQ:3 and ASQ:SE) for you to complete. The precise questionnaires you receive each time will depend on your child’s exact age at the time you complete the questionnaires, so completing them within the window of time we designate is key!
The first round of questionnaires will be sent home in your child’s family folder on Thursday, October 3. We will give you ample reminders to return them to us no later than Thursday, October 10.
Completing the questionnaires is easy. It takes about 15 minutes per questionnaire. Look at it as an opportunity to spend some quality bonding time with your child! Keep in mind that your child will likely be able to do some, but not all, of the items.
As I mentioned, please return the completed questionnaires to me by 10/10. I will score the questionnaires and send results home within two weeks.
If your child is developing on schedule, great! I’ll give you a list of activities to continue supporting your child in their development, and we’ll have the opportunity to discuss more at fall conferences (Nov 7-8).
If your child is in the “monitoring zone” for any developmental domain, I will invite you to come in to meet with me right away, if you’d like, so I can share resources for activities you can try at home to help your child practice skills in specific developmental areas. If you’d rather just wait and discuss at conferences, that’s okay too. Either way, we’ll re-screen in 1-2 months to monitor their development a little more closely.
If there are any areas that suggest that further evaluation would be helpful, I’ll share that with you ASAP, along with further resources.
No matter what, the ASQ will give us a helpful glimpse into how your child is doing and let us know what we can be doing to provide the best support possible.
We’ll repeat this process again in March, before spring conferences.
Thank you for partnering with me; you are such an important part of this process! You know your child best, and your unique knowledge of your child’s interests, behaviors, and interactions in various settings is key to giving us a full picture of their development.
Your answers help me to get to know your child better and let me know how I can better support him/her in the classroom.
Please let me know if you have any questions, and be sure to check your family folder on October 3.
Highlights from our Back to School Night
September 12th, 2019
Additionally, please refer to the Children’s House Portions of the Family Handbook
Thank you to so many families who were able to join us this evening. This is an opportunity to ask general questions about the routine in the Butterfly Classroom, Children’s House community, and about the beginning of the school year. We talked about the different areas of the classroom, what a lesson looks like, and what ‘a day in the life’ looks like for the child, from beginning to end. Also, parents have an opportunity to meet one another and share dialogue about their children, their experiences, and Montessori education.
We are so happy to welcome new families and friends into our Butterfly community.
Please feel free to contact me through email, send a note in with your child, or leave a message with the office if you wish to talk with me or check in for any reason. I am happy to talk with you by phone or email, or set up a time to meet in person. I will make myself available.
Please communicate any unusual circumstances occurring at home that may affect your child’s disposition. It could be as little as a rough morning, dad being out of town, or grandma visiting; or as big as moving, the loss of a pet, etc. This will help me to understand more fully where your child is and be compassionate to each child’s situation. If your child has a hard drop off or an emotional morning, please feel free to call the school and someone will come peek at them in the classroom during our morning and reassure you that they have settled in and are doing well.
Our room parents this year are Christine Lazo (mom to Aiden), and Vanessa Gillis (mom to Fern). They are here to work with me to bring our community together, offer social time to connect, support the classroom, and answer all of your questions! If they do not know the answer they will find out for you. These parents have been with the Butterfly community, some through more than one child, and they are great ambassadors of our school.
Arrival and Dismissal
Arrival and drop-off time is available from 8:10 to 8:25 each morning. Please make every effort to arrive during this time. I would like to emphasize the importance of a timely arrival. When your child arrives with the other children of our community he is part of our morning preparation. This allows your child to transition into their day smoothly. Our drive through procedure for drop off is in place to allow for quick good byes as your child starts their day into our school. If you do walk your child in through the front door, please say good bye at the big white desk and allow them to walk to our classroom on their own.
Dismissal times are 1:00 for the morning children and 3:00 for those children who stay for a longer day. Our aftercare program goes until 5:30 and is available for those children needing longer care each day. Please schedule appointments outside of our regular school hours as best you can. Thank you for your cooperation.
We ask that you contact the school office before 9:00 each day if your child will not be at school. I would request that you email the attendance as well as me. The children always notice when a friend is missing and it is nice to be able to speak why they are not with us on a particular day. If we have not heard from you, expect a telephone call or email confirming that your child is home with you. We need to account for each child, in each classroom community. Thank you for your help with this. If your child is not feeling well, please keep them home and allow them time to rest and recuperate. This helps keep everyone healthy! Please let myself and the office know if someone other than you will be picking up your child on any given day.
Our community information and ways to help can be found on-line and through our Tuesday communications. We ask parents to volunteer to provide our morning snack ingredients as well as milk for lunch each day and fresh flowers to arrange and enjoy each week. There is a sign-up for laundry to be taken home weekly, either on Wednesday or Friday, each month. Please lay laundry flat and the children will fold it! There is a wish list of consumables we use in the classroom as well as a ‘wish list’ for books we would like to add to our library. Thank you for contributing to the life in our classroom. As conferences approach, you will find a sign-up calendar on-line. You can schedule observation time to sit in our classroom and have a glimpse into our days. Spring can help with this. If you need help with on-line issues, please talk to Monica.
We offer parent/teacher conferences twice a year, in the fall and spring. This year they are November 7-8, and March 19-20. We provide a parent/child open house; evening of sharing two times a year with you being your child’s guest. Those dates are October 17th and February 6th. These are wonderful opportunities for you to get an idea of how your child spends their day. We also have parent nights throughout the year offering parent education, insight into Montessori curriculum and a time to gather together and connect as a community. Our Silent Journey and Discovery is January 24-25. Mark your calendar for this amazing experience you won’t want to miss!
We have some social opportunities coming up early in the year. There is the family campout at Oxbow Park September 21st. Join for camping or just for the day. Our Fall Festival is Saturday, October 5th from 10:00 to 2:00, with the Fun Run happening from 9:00 to 10:00 on the same day. This is a lovely family gathering to celebrate the season. We have a Fall Mixer on October 10th from 6:00 to 7:30, adults only. Come join other parents for a glass of wine and snacks. Our annual auction/gala is March 14th. This is a fun way to come together as a community and support our school.
I send out a Butterfly community newsletter each month sharing what is happening in the classroom and what events are coming up. Each family has a folder with news from the classroom, the office, and such. I pass this information along to you at the end of each day.
We celebrate the seasons and special times of the year rather than holidays. We celebrate fall with a festival, National peace day with a song, Winter solstice with singing and craft making, Earth Day as we garden and refresh. We celebrate birthdays in our own simple way as a classroom community. We celebrate the harvest moon. With each season and special day we read books and tell stories. We add items to our expression area and practical life works. We keep things simple to honor the child of this age.
With all children sharing lunch together, please send in simple, nutritious and manageable items. Please watch for what and how much food comes home each day and make appropriate adjustments. We do have a microwave available to warm up food, and milk and water are available to have with lunch each day. Try to let you child be involved in some way with what they pack for lunch. Perhaps they pack it, maybe they know what’s in it, and maybe this happens on some days. We have a peanut allergy this year so we ask that you avoid sending in peanuts or peanut better. Thank you for helping in keeping all children healthy and safe.
We are offering something very exciting starting this year. This is Ages and Stages Questionnaire that you will be filling out. There are two formats; one tracking developmental milestones, the other social and emotional development. This is a screening you are probably familiar with from well child visits to your pediatrician. Most children will be developing on schedule. Some may benefit from monitoring and some exercises to practice at home. Others may show the need for extra support. The earliest support we can offer will benefit the child. These will be offered twice a year beginning this fall. I am excited to be working in partnership with you in support of the child.
We are happy to have our specialists add to the children’s learning experiences each week. Mariana comes to do Spanish lessons with the children each week on Fridays. She gathers small groups and each child has a turn. She offers Spanish with very concrete objects, known songs and books. She will join us for lunch each week as well. The children adore her. We welcome Kristen, our outdoor specialist, each week on Tuesday mornings as she takes a small group of children to join her for some outdoor project such as planting, watering, observing, or going for a nature walk. We rotate each month through all of the children. This is a special outing that the children love.
Please dress your child appropriately for the weather each day. We plan to get out for fresh air and exercise each day! We do not have adequate space in our classroom to hold each child’s boots, raincoats, or other rain gear. This is a great benefit of inside shoes – your child can wear rain boots to school and then change into other shoes for their day in the classroom. Please have your child wear clothing, including shoes that they can easily manage on their own. This helps the children to be successful in putting their belongings away when they arrive, get their outdoor things on when going to the playground and going home for the day. We strive for independence! Please keep the character clothing at home and accessories for dress up and play at home. These can all be very distracting in the classroom. Thank you for your cooperation. 😉
Unless absolutely necessary, please leave backpacks at home. Your child can easily hold onto their lunchbox when coming to school. If your child does need a backpack please help it to be as small as possible. We simply do not have space for so much extra gear. Thank you!
We are proud to be a green school and we love to reuse, recycle, and limit our waste. Please consider recycling your child’s ribbons, cloths, bags, etc. that may come home with their work. We are happy to reuse them and it helps keep the work stocked for the children’s use. Consider using easel painting paper for gift wrapping! Thank you.
Please, please do not allow television time before school in the morning! Television is not conducive to active participation in one’s life. The passive activity of watching a screen is in opposition to what happens in a Montessori Children’s House classroom. When your child does watch television or screens at other times, consider the content of the programs, amount of screen time watching television, movies, computers or phones, and make sure it includes educational and family time. There is my soap box!
Time and Independence
Please allow enough time in the mornings to foster a happy beginning to your child’s day. Allow your child to do as much for herself as she can. Involve your child in as much preparation for the day as possible. Remain aware of your child’s sleep needs so that they are in bed early enough to allow them to be truly rested in the morning. For this age child, the recommended amount of sleep is twelve hours each night! Perhaps some things can be planned for the night before. Check the weather when picking out clothing, limit choices that are appropriate for school and the weather. Pack or discuss lunch options. By allowing this time in the morning you can encourage your child’s desire for independence. You can have more time for early morning hugs and quality together time, which always starts the day positive for everyone!
Fridays are Sunstone t-shirt day. Wear blue and show school spirit. We also have an assembly once a month and our first one is this Friday. It is a fun, happy way to end the week.
Thank you so much for helping your child to fully experience our days in the classroom together with the benefit of this knowledge. It is a joy to spend my days with your children, thank you!
From Carolann – No Peanuts Please
We have a peanut allergy in our community this year. Please do not send in peanuts or peanut butter in your child’s lunch.
Thank you for helping to keep everyone safe and healthy!
From Carolann – Welcome New Staff
Dear Butterfly Families,
Welcome to the start of a new school year! We were so happy to be in the classroom with returning children today and look forward to welcoming new children in the coming days.
I look forward to seeing you all at the Back to School Night next Thursday, September 12th. This is a great way to connect with other parents and learn about what our days are like in the Butterfly classroom. All questions will be answered!
As we start a new year together I wanted to share with you some new faces joining our Butterfly team. As we extend our program we have some wonderful help coming to us.
We are very excited to welcome Julia, former in-house sub. for the past year, to join us in our days with the children and staying to head up aftercare for those children needing a longer day. She will also be sitting with those friends resting in the afternoon. Julia is known to the children and they already feel comfortable. She is very enthusiastic to join our family. Please help me welcome Julia. She is helping with drop off this week before her shift changes to later hours.
We also welcome Jessica, former staff member in the Huckleberry toddler program, she has moved to part time and graciously joins our team starting the day with those children needing care before school. She will be helping with escorting children to the bathroom, offering breaks, helping with dishes and doing whatever we need to support the Butterfly classroom. Once schedules settle in she will be doing drop off each morning. Please help me to welcome Jessica.
I am so excited for the new school year. We have an amazing staff. We have many new friends and I look forward to meeting families and connecting as we start the year together.
Welcome one and all!
From Carolann – P.S.
Thank you for trusting your children in our care.
From Room Parents – Welcome
Dear Butterfly Community,
Welcome to all new and returning families! We wanted to take a moment to introduce ourselves as the Room Parents in the Butterfly Room. My name is Christine and my son Aiden is four and this will be his third year in the butterfly room. Vanessa’s daughter Fern is 4 and this will also be her third year in the butterfly room. Our responsibilities as Room Parents are varied and we would like to take the opportunity to let you know what we do and how we might be able to help with questions, support and ideas that you might have.
- Volunteer Opportunities – We help communicate volunteer opportunities within the classroom. If families are needed to sign up for flowers/laundry, classroom wish list items or to volunteer at Solstice, you may hear from us. Some are able to give their time, others would rather offer donations. We encourage you to volunteer in a way that is right for your family. You can check out a list of volunteer opportunities on the parents portal of the website. Please let us know if you have questions about any of the opportunities.
- Gifts and Staff Appreciation – We coordinate gift giving efforts for the Guides and the support staff during the holiday season and at year-end. We also coordinate a staff appreciation meal once a year. For staff appreciation each classroom chooses one month during the year to provide a meal to honor the whole school staff and show our appreciation for all that they do for our children. Meal ideas include breakfast goodies, brunch, or serving homemade soups and baked goods for lunch. If you have any ideas or suggestions, we welcome your input! We will let you know when our selected month is and send out more information at that time.
- Winter Solstice Activities and Class Auction Art Projects – We help plan and procure supplies for the Winter Solstice craft activities as well as the classroom art auction project, so if you have any special talents or can volunteer your time, please let us know. You will also see donation sign ups in the Tuesday Communications as these events near.
- (Classroom) Community Events – We organize special events for the (classroom) community. In addition to the whole school Fall Mixer on October 10, we will be planning a (classroom) community get together this fall and another in the early spring so watch for those details. There will also be an end of year picnic. The date is yet to be determined for that but we’ll keep you informed.
Throughout the year we will use this listserv, (classroom)community@
We highly encourage you to read the Tuesday Communications each week and check out the classroom page link while you are there.
School Directories can be found on the parents portal of the website under Directories – Password: Sunstone. The classroom rosters will be published there shortly.
Be sure to mark your calendars for the upcoming Back To School Night on September 12 @ 5:30pm. We look forward to sharing a new school year with all of you!
From Carolann – Welcome Back
Dear Parents of the Butterfly Community,
I hope this finds you well and enjoying your summer. I am excited to return to the classroom in the fall reuniting with returning friends and welcoming new friends into our community. I look forward to a wonderful year together.
I have enjoyed my summer with early morning walks, working in my gardens, spending time with friends and family, trips to the beach and our lake house, and exploring Canada. It has been lovely.
Good to Know
Here are a few things to make note of as we look ahead to the start of school.
The first day of school for returning children is Tuesday, September 3rd. We will welcome new children on staggered start dates. New families, I will be telephoning in late August to set up a time for you to bring your child for a visit before their first day.
Your child will need to bring the following on their first day or during their visit just before they begin:
- A pair of rubber soled, slip-on shoes to be left at school and worn indoors. Please do not send slippers.
- A complete change of clothes including socks and underwear. No characters, please.
- A small, child sized cup or mug for drinking water. No plastic or characters, please.
- A cloth placemat and napkin to be used for lunch.
Please mark your calendar for our Back to School Night, September 12th. This is a great opportunity to learn about how our days flow in the Butterfly classroom, ways to communicate, what to expect, and a time to come together with other families. We do offer childcare for enrolled Sunstone children ages 3 and older at $5/child. Click here to reserve childcare.
During the last two weeks of August, Emilie and I will be busy preparing the classroom for the children’s arrival. There may be some volunteer jobs that I will ask for help with that can be done at home and in or around the classroom. I will let you know how you can help.
If you have any questions you can reach me during the summer at email@example.com.
I look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new families as we begin another year. I know this is going to be an exciting, amazing year for us all.
Enjoy these last weeks of summer!