The colder season is upon us with all it's variations of weather. December was a busy month with dreidels, menorahs, trees, and gift-making. Students learned about the Makabees and the miracle of oil, as well as whose birthday some people celebrate as Christmas. All of our families also generously donated gifts for the children who must live in the Eureka Rescue Mission until they can find homes. Many thanks to the de la Uz family for delivering this giant bag of new gifts.
The coming months will bring field trips (Discovery Museum, Community Workers, Theater Performances), and we hope everyone remembers to wear their Strongbridge shirts and hoodies for easy recognition in a crowd. The classroom will be a warm stage for some "resident" presentations, including one from the Redwood Community Action Agency's preschool oral health program, and some from expatriot community members offering aspects of their culture interesting to our age-group, including Japan and China.
Teachers Charity and Layla, although new to the school this year, are the most consummate and dedicated professionals the school has ever had the good fortune of having on staff! Their creativity, affection, humor, and intelligence has raised morale significantly, and as school progresses into the second half of the year, they are continuing their Montessori training and have become very adept at assisting students to use the apparatus effectively. We have recently acquired some new materials, including a hanging bead frame, a new map of North America (we have learned all countries up to Central America, and will learn those in the coming months), and some new object boxes in reading.
We are also working hard at teaching children hygiene habits, such as sneezing and coughing into the crook of the arm to avoid the spread of germs, and "pinching and pulling" tissue when wiping the nose to circumvent mucus smear on the face. We do ask parents to please be conscientious in sending your child to school when they exhibit symptoms of illness. With coughing/running noses we ask that the child stay home if they experience dripping/hacking more than once in a ten minute period. With fever/vomiting we ask that they remain home until 24 hours after the last incident. If running noses persist, we request that parents see an allergy specialist to determine effective treatment. We also strongly recommend flu shots. Very little learning can take place when one must attend constantly to the symptoms of illness, and it is essential that we do whatever we can to suppress contagion to the rest of the school community.
Unfortunately, our Adventure Playground continues taking a beating from the weather! The playground pads have blown everywhere, the sand in the sandbox is dribbling away to a thin crust, and the potted trees are falling down! Fortunately with team work, everything gets put back where it goes with every sunny day, rain boots help to navigate the "Strongbridge Lagoons" that appear on the play surface, and if we're lucky, we'll get at least a few days of sunny enough weather to dry the place out! Parents please remember to send your child to school with warm outer wear, because every chance we get, we will be playing outside (although not in the rain)! Also, please be diligent in making sure your child's cubby contains a complete change of seasonally appropriate clothing (with initials, including footwear). As hard as we try, there will always be accidents that require changes and when clothes come home in a bag, they must be replaced by the next day.
We are always looking for parents to come to school and volunteer in the classroom! We love to have your presence for any amount of time you can manage, and it gives you an opportunity to view first-hand how your child operates in the classroom environment.