November 2018 Directors Newsletter

Dear Northminster Preschool Parents and Friends:

This is a month for giving thanks.  I would like to thank all the parents who have brought in special snacks, volunteered, participated in the parent group meetings, signed up to help with fundraisers, and all of the other big and small things you do to help make Northminster a special preschool.

We will be doing our second annual Kids’ Craft Workshop and Vendor Boutique on Saturday, December 1, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  We will be sending out a google doc soon and we need your help! Please consider signing up for a craft table to help the children make crafts for decorations and/or Christmas gifts.  Thank you to the workshop committee for making this exciting event happen again this year! We will be auctioning off class baskets on December 1st as well.  Each class will have a basket theme and we are asking families to donate items to the basket to be auctioned off.

Our second dine-n-donate is Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at Mountain Mike’s Pizza in Clairemont, all day.  Please consider going there for lunch or dinner. They will donate 20% of the proceeds to the preschool! Don’t forget to bring the flyer we will be distributing so our school gets the credit.

Our parent group meeting is Friday, November 9, 2018 at noon.  If you come to the meeting your child eats during lunch bunch for free!  Lunch will be served to the parents attending. Please bring a lunch for your child. We would love to see you there! 

Our enrichment program this month is Eric Runningpath.  He is a Native American Dancer who does a show in Congdon Hall on November 13th and 14th.  He dresses in full Native American regalia, dances and teaches the children about his culture.  He has been performing at the preschool for over 20 years.  You are more than welcome to come and watch!  The show starts at 10:30 a.m.

We are also doing a food drive for CCSA, a community service agency that helps feed the homeless and those in need in the Clairemont area.  There will be a box outside the office next week for the collection. The agency needs stuffing mix, canned fruit, canned cranberry sauce, chicken broth, mashed potato mix, canned green beans, canned gravy, cake mix, bags of rice and bags of beans.  Please make sure the items you donate are not expired food items.  Thank you for your generosity.

We will be closed on Monday, November 12, 2018 in observance of Veteran’s Day.  We will also be closed the week of November 19-23 for Thanksgiving break.

The staff and I would like to thank you for sharing your children with us.  They are special, we love them, and our jobs!

Shelli Harder


October 2018 Director's Newsletter

Happy October everyone!  We are getting into our routine of preschool with your children and hope that they are enjoying school as much as we are enjoying having them here!

We have our first Dine-N-Donate fundraiser coming up on October 4th at Blaze Pizza.  Please bring in the flyer or show the flyer on your phone when you pay! 20% of the food sales will be returned to Northminster!  

Picture days are Tuesday, October 23rd and Wednesday, October 24th.  We have an amazing photographer who takes his time to make sure he gets a good picture of every student.  We sometimes run late on picture day. Please bring your pink envelope in with payment to your child’s teacher or the office.  Satisfaction guaranteed

Open House is Friday, October 26, 2018 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m..  All are welcome, including grandparents! We will be having an ice cream social put on by our parent group, depending on the weather!  Ice cream will be $2.00. Don’t forget to bring cash! We will also have a book fair!

The classrooms are transforming as we speak, getting ready for that special day at the end of October.  We have a Halloween Parade on Tuesday, October 30th, and Wednesday, October 31st around 9:15-9:20 a.m. Please, no masks or weapons if you choose to have your child dress up. Ask your child’s teacher about their procedure for this event.  You are invited to stay and take pictures! This is one of my favorite events and you don’t want to miss it

Our enrichment programs start this month.  Our parent group fundraising allows us to have a special enrichment program each month.  This month we will have a Magic show performed by Dana the Magician. Those shows will be in the Hall on Tuesday, October 9th and Wednesday, October 10th at 10:30 a.m.  Parents are welcome to attend all enrichment shows!

Reminder, please sign-in and out every day.  This is a state requirement as well as how we do our billing system.  Please also remember at the end of the month, the office reads 100+ time sheets.  Please make sure the times are legible and correct. We can only go by what we can decipher on the sheet for billing purposes.  Also, please do not allow your child to sign in or out on their sheet. This is a legal document required by State Licensing with your signature.  Thank you.

I would also like to remind parents that you need to please keep your children home if they are sick.  The only way to keep your children healthy here is if you help us by keeping your children home when they are sick.  If they have a persistent cough and runny nose and are not feeling well, they need to stay home or see a doctor. If they have a fever, vomit, or have had diarrhea, they must be symptom free for 24 hours without medication before they are allowed back at preschool.  Please help us keep the children and staff at Northminster Preschool healthy!

The parent group meeting this month is Friday, October 12, 2018.  Lunch will be provided to the parents attending the meeting. Remember, lunch bunch is free for your child if you attend the meeting.  Lunch bunch is for registered children in the preschool only. Please bring your child a lunch to eat with their friends!

Parents, a safety reminder about our gates, please make sure you are only opening the gate for you and your child.  I understand wanting to be courteous to the other parents, but our number one priority at this preschool is safety.  We rely on our parents to keep a watchful eye when they are opening and closing the 4 gates we have entering our preschool.  Thank you for your understanding.

Please drive slowly in the parking lot. We have 95 children a day at drop off.  It is also against the California State Vehicle code to leave your child unattended in the car during drop-off or pick-up.

As I walk around the school each day, I am reminded of all the efforts past and present that the parents have done to help make Northminster Preschool one of the best in this area.  It is because of parents like you that we are able to look at our school both inside and out and be proud of both the physical plant and the teachers and staff who make it special. I am extremely grateful to be the Director of Northminster Preschool.  We have an amazing group of parents, children and staff here. We are so blessed! Thank you for all you do as parents to make it a pleasure to do my job.

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please stop by the office.


Shelli Harder


September 2018 Newsletter

Welcome back everyone!  We are so happy to see our returning students and all our new students.  

For those of you who are returning, I want to remind you that the preschool hours are 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Any pick up after 5:00 p.m. is $3.00/minute. Extended care is held in Room 4 (Red doors) for room’s 2-4 and Room 1 (green doors) for room’s A, B,1A and 1B.  Pick up after 4:00 p.m. will be in Room 1 this year (green door). Please use the gate by the office after 4:00 p.m. as we will lock all other gates at 4:00.

All fees are collected by Smart Tuition.  Tuition is due on the first of each month, with a grace period until the 5th.  Tuition not processed on the 5th by smart tuition will be subject to a late fee of $65.00.  You can always go on line to your account and make a one-time payment with your credit card or your debit card if you forget to mail your check in on time.  Please make sure you allow enough time for it to be received via the mail and processed.

Because of the billing system, extended care will be in arrears 2 months.  This means you will have an outstanding balance for extended care at least a month after services have already been rendered.

Please make sure you drive slowly when you are in the preschool parking lot.  We have 95 children and their parents transitioning from the parking lot to the preschool and back.   Nothing is as important as the safety of the children and parents at preschool, so please drive safely.

Reminder, no child can be left in the car in the parking lot while you take your child into the preschool or pick your child up.  This is a violation of the California Vehicle Code. Please keep your children safe and with you!

Please do not allow your child(ren) to run or play in the parking lot attended or unattended.  

The Department of Social Services does not allow adult use of the preschool restrooms on the playground, or to be in the bathroom on the playground when other children are present.  If you need to use a restroom for your personal use, please ask a staff member where the adult restroom is located. Thank you for helping us to comply with the State of California Licensing requirements!

If you are coming to drop your child off at early morning, before 9:00 a.m., please make sure you check-in with the teacher working early morning.   Once your child is signed in, he/she must stay on the playground. If you come to the preschool before 9:00 a.m. but are not going to leave your child in early morning, please make sure you and your child remain off the playground.  It is very hard to keep track of which children are in early morning and which children are with their parents, if you are on the playground at the same time. Thank you for your understanding of our desire to keep this transition period safe for all of the children.  The classrooms open at 8:55 a.m. Please remain outside the classroom until this time.

When you pick up your child at 12:00 p.m. please do not allow your child to play on the playground.  Our lunch bunch children are required to sit at the picnic table to eat their lunch for at least 20 minutes before they play.  It is confusing for the children in lunch bunch to see children playing on the playground when they are not allowed to do so.

On Thursdays and Fridays, you have the option to sign-up for snack.  We provide snack but since we are limited in the variety we can provide to 95 students, we have found that parents enjoy bringing something different or “special” for a day.  We have been told the children enjoy shopping and picking something out for their classmates. This is a voluntary sign-up. You do not have to participate. There will be snack calendars posted by your child’s door every month if you chose to participate.  The snack needs to be from 2 food groups. If you do bring snack, please check with your child’s teacher for food allergies in the classroom. They have a list of food allergies and can let you know if there is a specific allergy in the classroom. We do not prepare any snack with peanuts in them.  We do, however allow peanut butter to be brought from home if your child is staying for lunch bunch. Also, we are requesting you bring healthy snacks for the children whenever you sign up for a snack. Thank you for helping us promote healthy eating habits!

On Friday, September 14, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. we will be having our first parent group meeting in the Fireside Room (by the office, off the kitchen).  All parents are welcome to come and share their fundraising ideas. We also have positions we need filled for the parent group. Your children can attend lunch bunch for free if you attend the meeting.  Our parent group is a vital part of the preschool and we welcome all new parents to attend. Thank you for your support!

As a reminder, we are diligent on proper hand washing techniques and sending children home who are sick.  We need your help this flu season by also emphasizing hand washing at home and keeping your children home if they are sick. Your children must be fever free for 24 hours without the help of medication and have not vomited or had a loose stool for 24 hours before they will be permitted back into the preschool.  Please help keep your children healthy and the staff!

Northminster Preschool is a non-profit preschool.  We rely heavily on fundraising to help us fund large improvement projects for the preschool.  We will be having fundraisers throughout the year. If you don't want to participate, or buy anything, you can always make a straight donation to the preschool.  Participation is always optional. All donations are tax deductible and greatly appreciated!

We are looking forward to a wonderful school year with you and your children.  I am always available if you have any questions or concerns and if not, please stop by to say hello!


 

Shelli Harder

Director

June 2018 Newsletter

Just a reminder next week is our last week of school before our summer prep and summer program starts. 

Friday, June 8th is a full day of preschool from 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.  We are closed the week of June 11th for summer prep and will reopen Monday, June 18th at 8:00 a.m.  Summer hours for the core program are 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. with early drop off at 8:00 a.m. and afternoon pick up by 4:30 p.m.

I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that after 27 years at Northminster Preschool, Mrs. Alcala, our room 3 lead teacher is retiring.  We are very excited that after all these years, she gets to graduate from preschool!

Thank you Mrs. Alcala for 27 years of dedication and teaching so many young children of Clairemont and the surrounding area and getting them ready for Kindergarten.  We will miss you!!

 

Shelli

May 2018 Newsletter

Dear Northminster Parents and Friends:

We have one more month of preschool and then Summer Camp!  The school year goes until June 8, 2018, we will have our usual school hours that day from 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.  

The preschool will be closed on Monday, May 28, 2018 in observance of Memorial Day.  Also, please keep an eye open for the Summer Camp letter and room assignments. Those letters will be going home on Monday, June 4, 2018 and Tuesday, June 5, 2018.  

Summer Camp starts Monday, June 18, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. and school closes in the summer at 4:30 p.m.

Our wonderful annual Art Night is Friday, May 18, 2018.  Dinner starts at 5:15 p.m. The cost is $5.00 for adults and 12 years and younger are free!  Dinner is payable at the door. We will also be holding a silent auction during dinner on the stage.  We are putting together some fun packages, so you can shop and support Northminster after you have had dinner!  The classrooms will open at 6:00 p.m. for the Art Show.

The parent group enrichment program this month is Pacific Animal Productions.  We will have a group here that will be bringing in animals to show the children, so they can learn about the different animals in their environment.  Those shows will take place on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 and Wednesday, May 23, 2018 in the fireside room. The show starts at 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

We will be having our last Parent Group meeting of the year on May 11, 2018.  We would love to see you there. We are looking for parents who are interested in helping with fundraising ideas for next year.  Lunch will be provided for you and your child can go to lunch bunch for free!

On behalf of the entire staff at Northminster Preschool, we would like to thank you for all the small and large things you have done this year to make our school special.  Not only have you shared your unique skills with the children, you have donated supplies, time and love whenever we have needed it. You are an amazing group of parents and I wanted to let you know that what you do for us does not go unnoticed!  

 

Shelli

April 2018 Newsletter

Dear Northminster Preschool Parents and Friends:

Wow!  It’s spring already?  It never ceases to amaze me how the time goes by so fast and your little ones grow by leaps and bounds!  

Since it is now April, I want to remind parents that if you want to schedule a conference with your child’s teacher to check on their progress, please feel free to do so.  We do not set aside a specific conference week, so if you feel you need to touch base with your child’s teacher feel free to ask for one with your teacher.

The office continues to work on classroom assignments for the summer and next fall.  If you signed up for Summer, we will be sending out a letter at the beginning of June with classroom and teacher assignments.  The fall class assignment letter will go out during the summer.

We have Bubblemania coming on April 24th and 25th at 10:30 a.m. in Congdon Hall.  This is our April enrichment program provided by funds raised by the parent group!  Parents are always welcome to attend.

We also have our spring pictures Pony Pictures (yes a live pony!).  If you want to dress your child up in western wear the pictures will be taken April 17th and 18th.   Part of the proceeds are given back to the preschool for the pictures you buy. They take everyone’s picture and then you can come in and preview the pictures before you buy.

Mixed bags are due this Friday, checks made payable to the preschool.

This Friday, April 6, 2018 the preschool will be doing a parent’s night out fundraiser at Spice & Soul from 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Flyers are going home today and tomorrow.  15% of sales come back to the preschool. You must take a flyer in order for the preschool to get credit for your order. Join other parents for a fun night out!

If anyone has any gift cards, museum tickets, Padre tickets, etc. to donate for the Art Night Celebration Silent Auction, we are still accepting items.  If you know a local business that would like to donate, we have donation letters in the office you can take to the business with our tax ID number.

The Parent Group is looking for new parents to become a part of the wonderful Northminster Preschool tradition.  The preschool relies heavily on the parent group to fundraise for classroom improvements and manipulatives, playground and facility improvements and special classroom supplies.  Please consider becoming a part of next year’s parent group. The parent group is meeting Friday, April 13th in the Fireside room. Lunch will be prepared for the parents and if you come, your child can eat lunch with the other children for free (bring a lunch for them).

I want to thank you for your time, hard work and commitment to our preschool.  Thank you for all that you do for us and thank you for sharing your children with us!    

Shelli Harder

March 2018 Newsletter

Dear Northminster Parents and Friends:

We are transitioning from the month of Love to spring and that cute little green man who comes to visit.  

The Parent Group meeting will be Friday, March 9, 2018 at noon.  We would love for you to come and see how you can be a part of Northminster Preschool’s Parent Group for next year.  Free lunch bunch for your child enrolled if you attend the meeting!

We will have Irish Dancer’s visiting on March 15th and March 16th, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. in Congdon Hall for our March enrichment program.  This program is courtesy of the parent group fundraising.

Spring break starts on Monday, March 26th and runs through March 30th with school re-opening on Monday, April 2nd at 7:30 a.m.  

We are doing another Mixed Bags fundraiser this month.  Packets will be going out on Monday March 19th. Don't forget to share with family and friends!

We will have Chapel on Tuesday, March 6th and Wednesday March 7th with Pastor Jay in the sanctuary at 9:30 a.m.

I want to thank all of you for your continued support of our program at Northminster Preschool.  We continue to strive to make sure that this program is the best in San Diego. My door is always open for you!

Shelli Harder

February 2018 Newsletter

Dear Northminster Parents and Friends:

Your children are getting ready for Valentine’s Day.  They will be learning songs about love, being polite and loving one another.  All classes celebrate Valentine’s Day and have special instructions for you for making valentines.  Please check with your child’s teacher.  

I would like to take the opportunity to formally introduce Northminster Presbyterian Church’s new Pastor, Jay Shirley. He formally came on as the Pastor this month.  Pastor Jay has been down to greet you a few times this month. The preschool is very excited to have Pastor Jay here and we will be starting up Chapel again this month!  We will be going to the sanctuary 2 days a month to sing songs and listen to a story.  Chapel this month is February 6th and 7th at 9:30 a.m.  You are welcome to join us!

School will be closed on Friday, February 16, 2018 and Monday, February 19, 2018 in observance of Lincoln and Washington birthdays.  

School will also be closed on Friday, March 2 for professional growth.  The entire staff will be re-certifying in CPR.

Our enrichment program this month, courtesy of the Parent Group, is two animal shows by The Living Coast.  The theme is animal movement. Those performance dates are February 21, 2018 and February 22, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. in the fireside room.  Please check with your child’s teacher on which time they will be going.

The Parent Group meeting will be Friday, February 9, 2018 in the fireside room at noon, lunch is provided.  Please joins us!

Tuesday, February 20th is priority registration for children and siblings of children currently enrolled in the program.  We will be sending home registration packets for summer fun registration and fall registration.  If you have a new sibling coming into the program, please stop by the office and get a registration form and new child packet.  Your children have priority in the program, but please keep in mind your forms need to be in the office no later than March 1, 2018.  We have past-priority registration March 1, 2018 and open enrollment March 5, 2018.  Any spots available in the program on those days will be taken by new children.

While every effort will be made to honor teacher requests, the office reserves the right to fill classes based on age appropriateness, child dynamics and boy to girl ratios.  Also, please keep in mind that although your child has a spot in the preschool, it is still first come first served regarding how many days a week you would like.  

As cold and flu season is now in full swing, I would like to remind parents that if your child is sick with a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea you must keep them home until they

are symptom free without medication for 24 hours.  Also, if your child has an excessive runny nose, you need to keep them home.  A child, whose nose needs to be wiped consistently in an hour, constitutes excess.  This applies even if the doctor states the child is not contagious.  It is very hard to keep toys and hands clean when the nose is constantly running.  We teach the children clean hands and noses while at preschool, but we cannot be at the ready with a Kleenex in hand with one child, let alone multiple children.  This is for the health and safety of all the children as well as the staff.  Thank you for your understanding.

I would also like to request that no toys from home be brought to school to play with in the classroom or the playground (this excludes the sharing box/bag and lovies for nap).  Please keep them at home or in your car.  It is very difficult to keep track of special toys that inevitably get lost on the playground and in the classroom.  It also creates problems when those toys are not shared.  Thank you for your understanding.

Thank you to everyone who donated items, spent time sorting and even shopped at our rummage sale.  We were able to raise $1000.00.  More importantly, we were also able to help very important charities M.O.M. (military outreach) and CCSA (Christian agency in Clairemont that helps Clairemont families) with the left over items.  

Please remember to sign your child in and out each day.  This is a licensing requirement.  We also need to ask you to please write the times legibly.  Please also remember to sign your child up for lunch bunch and extended care even if you are on contract.   The sign-up sheets are used to make a master list for our lunch and after care staff.  Thank you!

I wanted to thank all the parents who have signed up for snack this year.  The reason we have snack sign up is because we are limited on what we can serve 95 children a day and this gives you the opportunity to introduce a favorite snack of your child to the other children.  It also gives you the opportunity to go shopping with your child, pick out a healthy snack and make it into a fun teachable moment for you and your child.  It is completely voluntary but very much appreciated!  Remember to represent 2 food groups for your snack.

Your children are a precious gift to us and we love the opportunity to teach them and care for them every day!

Shelli Harder

Director

January 2018 Newsletter

Happy New Year everyone!

Welcome back!  We are into the swing of the New Year already.  We are excited to be back and are looking forward to a great 2018 with your children.

On Tuesday, January 30, 2018 and Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. we will have The Jack Straws here as part of Northminster Preschool’s enrichment program.  They do a musical pirate show in the hall.  Parents are always invited to attend!

A calendar reminder for you: the preschool will be closed on Monday, January 15, 2018 in observance of Martin Luther King Holiday.

Our Parent Group meeting is Friday, January 12, 2018 at noon.  Lunch is provided for you.  We would love to see you there.  We will be asking for volunteers to help sort for the rummage sale and work the rummage sale January 27th.  If you work the rummage sale and/or help sort the week before, you get to shop early at the sale!  Thank you in advance for your help.

We are having our annual preschool rummage sale on Saturday, January 27, 2018 from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.  Please feel free to clean out your children’s toys (gently used with all pieces), books (children and adult reading), strollers, high chairs, clothing (children only up to age 7), mini kitchens, bikes, little tike’s structures, changing tables, etc.  We cannot accept cribs or car seats.  All proceeds go to the parent group for classroom, outside and school supplies.  Any leftover donations will be donated to MOM.  A military outreach program.  All donations are tax deductible and we have forms in the office.

Since we are going into the heavy cold and flu months, please remember to keep your child home if they have an excessively runny nose, fever, diarrhea, or vomiting.  State regulations require your child to be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school.  This also applies to vomiting and diarrhea. We want to keep everyone happy and healthy this year!

On behalf of the entire staff we wish you a happy and healthy 2018!  Remember, my door is always open if you have any questions, comments or concerns.

 

Shelli

December 2017 Newsletter

Dear Northminster Preschool Parents & Friends:

It is hard to believe December is upon us already!  It just seems like yesterday we were starting a new year of preschool.  We have had some tears, much laughter, and a lot of fun since September and we have made many new friends!

Our Holiday Craft Fair and Vendor Fair is this Saturday, December 2, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  There will be 15 craft booths for your children to make crafts to give to family members, or to keep!  There will be vendors selling a variety of items for the holidays and there will be a bake sale and pizza!  Please stop by and make this event, put on by your parent group, a huge success!  Invite your neighbors to join you.  Crafts will be $2.00 a piece or $25.00 to do all 15 crafts.  All proceeds go to the parent group fund.

We will be having our annual children’s rummage sale on Saturday, January 27th from 7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. in Congdon Hall.  If you are planning on cleaning out your children’s dresser’s and toy boxes, please consider saving those items for our rummage sale.  The only items we cannot take are cribs and car seats.  Otherwise, any strollers, bikes, high chairs, changing tables, toys, little tikes tables, play structures, books, clothing items ages newborn – 7 years and maternity clothing, we will take!  It is tax deductible and any items we do not sell are donated to the military outreach, MOM.

We will have a very special guest (shhhh, its Santa!) on December 13th and 14th in the Fireside Room at 10:30 a.m. You are invited to come.

Christmas break starts December 18, 2017 through January 2, 2018.  School will start again on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at 7:30 a.m.  

On Friday, December 15, 2017 we will be closing at 12:00 p.m.  There will be no lunch bunch or extended care available that day.

The parent group will be meeting on Friday, December 8, 2017 at noon in the Fireside Room.  Lunch will be provided.  Please come join us!

If you are traveling this month, please make it a safe trip.  

On behalf of all of us at Northminster Preschool, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2018!

 

Shelli

November 2017 Newsletter

Director’s Corner   November 2017

Dear Northminster Preschool Parents and Friends:

This is a month for giving thanks and I would like to thank ALL of the parent volunteers, the parent contributors, the parent group members, the room mom’s, the ice cream volunteers for their contributions so far this year!  We had a successful Mixed Bags fundraiser with almost $3,000.00 coming back to the preschool.  You can order on line up until July 2018 and 40% will still come back to the preschool.  The orders should be back in a couple of weeks.

Our next fundraiser is butter braids, they are a great holiday gift or a great Christmas morning baked treat before you open those presents!  

The parent group meeting is Friday, November 17th at noon in the Fireside Room.  Please come join us for lunch.

For those of you who have been at Northminster for a while, we normally have a big fundraising Carnival the first weekend in November.  This year we are taking a break from the Carnival.  We have had a carnival since the preschool opened in 1970 and we felt we were not accomplishing our fundraising goals for the amount of work it took to put on the carnival.  If you have any new ideas for fundraising, please come to our November parent group meeting!  We would love to hear your ideas.

I would like to remind all the parents that as we get into the full swing of the year, there are many opportunities to participate in fundraisers, volunteer your time, or your talents.  Our fundraising can only be successful with your help.  Your fundraising dollars in the past have beautified our school in countless ways and the play yard in the front and the back are some examples.  We are looking to possibly update the outside bathrooms this summer!  As you may guess, we need your help.  The plumbing is around 45 years old.  

Our enrichment program this month is Eric Runningpath.  He is a Native American Dancer who does a show in Congdon Hall on November 14th and 15th.  He dresses in full Native American regalia, dances and teaches the children about his culture.  He has been performing at the preschool for over 20 years.  You are more than welcome to come and watch!  The show starts at 10:30 a.m.

A few calendar reminders for you.  We will be closed on Friday, November 10, 2017 in observance of Veteran’s Day.  We will also be closed the week of November 20-24 for Thanksgiving break.

The entire preschool staff is thankful and appreciative of all the parents and children here at Northminster and feel very blessed to be able to be a part of your lives for the short time you are with us.  

Shelli Harder

October 2017 Newsletter

Happy October everyone!  We are getting into our routine of preschool with your children and hope that they are enjoying school as much as we are enjoying having them here!

Picture days are Thursday, October 26th and Friday, October 27th.  We have an amazing photographer who takes his time to make sure he gets a good picture of every student.  We sometimes run late on picture day.  Please bring your pink envelope in with payment to your child’s teacher or the office.  Satisfaction guaranteed.  Pictures will be back before Christmas break.

Open House is Wednesday, October 25, 2017 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m..  All are welcome, including grandparents!  We will be having an ice cream social put on by our parent group, depending on the weather!  Ice cream will be $1.00.  Don’t forget to bring that dollar!

The classrooms are transforming as we speak, getting ready for that special day at the end of October.  We have a Halloween Parade on Monday, October 30th, and Tuesday, October 31st around 9:20 a.m.  Please, no masks if you choose to have your child dress up. Ask your child’s teacher about their procedure for this event.  You are invited to stay and take pictures!  This is one of my favorite events and you don’t want to miss it!  Please be mindful of only posting your child's picture on social media.

Thank you to parents who have signed up to bring snack on either Thursday or Friday.  This is a great way to take your children shopping and have them pick out two healthy food groups to share with their friends.  Just a reminder if you bring grapes, please cut them up.  The grapes are extremely large right now and pose a choking hazard if not cut up.  Thank you!

Our enrichment programs start this month.  Our parent group fundraising allows us to have a special enrichment program each month.  This month we will have an Owl show from the Living Coast on October 17th and 18th at 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. in the Fireside Room.  You are welcome to come and watch the show!

I would also like to remind parents that you need to please keep your children home if they are sick.  The only way to keep your children healthy here is if you help us by keeping your children home when they are sick.  If they have a persistent cough and runny nose and are not feeling well, they need to stay home or see a doctor.  If they have a fever, vomit, or have had diarrhea, they must be symptom free for 24 hours without medication before they are allowed back at preschool.  Please help us keep the children and staff at Northminster Preschool healthy!

Parents, a safety reminder about our gates, please make sure you are only opening the gate for you and your child.  I understand wanting to be courteous to the other parents, but our number one priority at this preschool is safety.  We rely on our parents to keep a watchful eye when they are opening and closing the 4 gates we have entering our preschool.  Thank you for your understanding.  Please do not let your child run in the parking lot.  This is a very busy parking lot and it is extremely unsafe to allow your child to run around the parking lot.

Reminder, please sign-in and out every day.  This is a state requirement as well as how we do our billing system.  Please also remember at the end of the month, the office reads 100+ timesheets.  Please make sure the times are legible and correct.  We can only go by what we can decipher on the sheet for billing purposes.  If you stay for the parent group meeting, please indicate PG on the side of the timesheet for that day so we do not charge your child for staying for lunch.

As I walk around the school each day, I am reminded of all the efforts past and present that the parents have done to help make Northminster Preschool one of the best in this area.  I am extremely grateful to be the Director of Northminster Preschool.  We have an amazing group of parents, children and staff here.  We are so blessed! Thank you for all you do as parents to make it a pleasure to do my job.

Shelli Harder

September 2017 Newsletter

Welcome back everyone!  We are so happy to see our returning students and all our new faces.  

For those of you who are returning, I want to remind you that the preschool hours are 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Any pick up after 5:00 p.m. is $3.00/minute. Extended care is held in Room 4 (Red doors) for room’s 2-4 and Room 1 (green doors) for room’s A,B,1A and 1B.  Please use the gate by the red door and the office as we lock all other gates during nap time.

All fees are collected by Smart Tuition.  Tuition is due on the first of each month, with a grace period until the 5th.  Tuition not processed on the 5th by smart tuition will be subject to a late fee of $65.00.  You can always go on line to your account and make a one-time payment with your credit card or your debit card if you forget to mail your check in on time.  Please make sure you allow enough time for it to be received via the mail and processed.

Because of the billing system, extended care will be in arrears 2 months.  This means you will have an outstanding balance for extended care at least a month after services have already been rendered.

Please make sure you drive slowly when you are in the preschool parking lot.  We have 95 children and their parents transitioning from the parking lot to the preschool and back.   Nothing is as important as the safety of the children and parents at preschool, so please drive safely.

The Department of Social Services does not allow adult use of the preschool restrooms on the playground, or to be in the bathroom on the playground when other children are present.  If you need to use a restroom for your personal use, please ask a staff member where the adult restroom is located.  Thank you for helping us to comply with the State of California Licensing requirements!

If you are coming to drop your child off at early morning, before 9:00 a.m., please make sure you check-in with the teacher working early morning.   Once your child is signed in, he/she must stay on the playground.  If you come to the preschool before 9:00 a.m. but are not going to leave your child in early morning, please make sure you and your child remain off the playground.  It is very hard to keep track of which children are in early morning and which children are with their parents, if you are on the playground at the same time.  Thank you for your understanding of our desire to keep this transition period safe for all of the children.  The classrooms open at 8:55 a.m.  Please remain outside the classroom until this time.

When you pick up your child at 12:00 p.m. please do not allow your child to play on the playground.  Our lunch bunch children are required to sit at the picnic table to eat their lunch for at least 20 minutes before they play.  It is confusing for the children in lunch bunch to see children playing on the playground when they are not allowed to do so.

On Thursdays and Fridays, you have the option to sign-up for snack.  We provide snack but since we are limited in the variety we can provide to 95 students, we have found that parents enjoy bringing something different or “special” for a day.  We have been told the children enjoy shopping and picking something out for their classmates.  This is a voluntary sign-up.  You do not have to participate.  There will be snack calendars posted at your child’s door every month if you chose to participate.  The snack needs to be from 2 food groups.  If you do bring snack, please check with your child’s teacher for food allergies in the classroom.  They have a list of food allergies and can let you know if there is a specific allergy in the classroom.  We do not prepare any snack with peanuts in them.  We do, however allow peanut butter to be brought from home if your child is staying for lunch bunch.  Also, we are requesting you bring healthy snacks for the children whenever you sign up for a snack.  Thank you for helping us promote healthy eating habits!

 

On Friday, September 15, 2017, at 12:00 p.m. we will be having our first parent group meeting in the Fireside Room (by the office, off the kitchen).  All parents are welcome to come and share their fundraising ideas. We also have positions we need filled for the parent group. Your children can attend lunch bunch for free if you attend the meeting.  Our parent group is a vital part of the preschool and we welcome all new parents to attend.  Thank you for your support!

 

As a reminder, we are diligent on proper hand washing techniques and sending children home who are sick.  We need your help this flu season by also emphasizing hand washing at home and keeping your children home if they are sick. Your children must be fever free for 24 hours without the help of medication and have not vomited or had a loose stool for 24 hours before they will be permitted back into the preschool.  Please help keep your children healthy and the staff!

 

Northminster Preschool is a non-profit preschool.  We rely heavily on fundraising to help us fund large improvement projects for the preschool.  We will be having fundraisers throughout the year.  If you don't want to participate, or buy anything, you can always make a straight donation to the preschool.  All donations are tax deductible and greatly appreciated!

Reminder, no child can be left in the car in the parking lot while you take your child into the preschool or pick your child up.  This is a violation of the California Vehicle Code.  Please keep your children safe and with you!

We are looking forward to a wonderful school year with you and your children.  I am always available if you have any questions or concerns and if not, please stop by to say hello!

 

Shelli Harder

Director

June 2017

Dear Parents:

On behalf of the entire staff at Northminster Preschool, we want to thank you for a wonderful year and for allowing us the privilege of being a part of your children's lives for a little while.  We are so grateful for your support as we start your children's journey in this crazy, fun, exciting life we call school! 

A reminder, if you used lunch bunch, early morning or extended care in May, you will be billed for that time in July if you were not on contract and if you used any of those extra services in June, your bill will come in August if you were not on contract.

I look forward to seeing our summer school friends Monday, June 12th.  The school hours are 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

If this is good-bye, please do not be a stranger and come and see us whenever you are in the area.  We love visits from our alumni and we love that we were a part of your lives!

 

Sincerely,

 

Shelli Harder

May 2017 Newsletter

Dear Northminster Parents and Friends:

We have one more month of preschool and then Summer Camp!  The school year goes until June 6, 2017 and we will close at 5:00 p.m. that day.  The picnic at the end of the year, on June 7th has been cancelled.  Summer Camp begins on June 12th and runs through July 21st.

Our annual Art Celebration night is Friday, May 12th from 6-7 p.m.  We will be having a parent group sponsored, fundraising spaghetti dinner starting at 5:15 p.m.  Tickets are $5.00 per adult, children eat free.  Come and join Northminster Families for dinner before the art show!  We will also be having a silent auction on the playground from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.  The playground will be closed to children playing, for safety purposes.

Please keep an eye open for the Summer Camp letter and room assignments.  Those letters will be going home at the beginning of May.

The preschool will be closed Friday, May 26 and Monday, May 29th in observance of Memorial Day.  

The parent group enrichment program this month is Pacific Animal Productions.  We will have a group here that will be bringing in animals to show the children so they can learn about different animals in their environment.  Those shows will take place on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 and Wednesday, May 24, 2017 in the fireside room at 10:15 a.m.  

We will be having our last Parent Group meeting of the year on May 5, 2017.  We would love to see you there.  We are looking for parents who are interested in helping next year.  Lunch will be provided and your child can go to lunch bunch for free!  

We will be doing our memory tiles for the walls out on the playground on May 4th and May 5th. It is a wonderful fundraising project run by a former parent.  This parent group sponsored fundraiser is $35.00 for a 6x6 tile that will be permanently affixed to the outside walls by the playground.  Forms for this fundraiser will be emailed and there will also be forms in the office.  

On behalf of the entire staff at Northminster Preschool, we would like to thank you for all the small and large things you have done this year to make our school special.  Not only have you shared your unique skills with the children, you have donated supplies, time and love whenever we have needed it.  You are an amazing group of parents!

Shelli Harder

April 2017 Newsletter

Dear Northminster Preschool Parents and Friends:

Wow!  It’s spring already?  It never ceases to amaze me how the time goes by so fast and your little ones grow by leaps and bounds!  

Since it is now April, I want to remind parents that if you want to schedule a conference with your child’s teacher to check on their progress, please feel free to do so.  We do not set aside a specific conference week, so if you feel you need to touch base with your child’s teacher feel free to ask for one.  

The office continues to work on classroom assignments for the summer and next fall.  If you signed up for Summer, we will be sending out a letter at the beginning of June with classroom and teacher assignments.  The fall class assignment letter will go out during the summer.

We have Bubblemania coming on April 18th and 19th at 10:30 a.m. in Congdon Hall.  This is our April enrichment program provided by funds raised by the parent group!  Parents are always welcome to attend.

We also have our spring pictures Pony Pictures (yes a live pony!).  If you want to dress your child up in western wear the pictures will be taken April 11th and 12th.   Part of the proceeds are given to the preschool for the pictures you buy.

On April 11, 2017 the preschool will be doing a dine and donate fundraiser at Boudin Bakery on Balboa Avenue from 4-8 p.m.  There will be flyers on each classroom table.  30% of sales come back to the preschool.  You must take a flyer in order for the preschool to get credit for your order.

The classrooms will be celebrating Easter on April 13th and 14th with special parties and a class by class Easter Egg Hunt.  Please check with your teacher for special instructions and classroom sign-ups.

The Parent Group is looking for new parents to become a part of the wonderful Northminster Preschool tradition.  The preschool relies heavily on the parent group to fundraise for classroom improvements and manipulatives, playground and facility improvements and special classroom supplies.  Please consider becoming a part of next year’s parent group. The parent group is meeting Friday, April 14th in the Fireside room.  Lunch will be prepared for the parents and if you come, your child can eat lunch with the other children for free (bring a lunch for them).

I want to thank you  for your time, hard work and commitment to our preschool.  Thank you for all that you do for us and thank you for sharing your children with us!   

March 2017 Newsletter

Dear Northminster Parents and Friends:

We are transitioning from the month of Love and Sea Life to spring and that cute little green man who comes to visit.  

The Parent Group meeting will be Friday, March 10, 2017 at noon.  We would love for you to come and see how you can be a part of Northminster Preschool’s Parent Group for next year.  Free lunch bunch for your child enrolled if you attend the meeting!

The preschool will be closed, Monday, March 13th for a professional growth day.  We will be re-certifying the entire staff in First-Aid.

We will have Irish Dancer’s visiting on March 16th and March 17th, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. in Congdon Hall for our March enrichment program.  This program is courtesy of the parent group fundraising.  

Please also remember that priority registration is until March 7, 2017.  We need to have all your paperwork in for both Summer Camp and Fall registration by March 7, 2017.  We have past priority registration on March 8, 2017.  After this date, all open spots will be filled from our waiting list.  You are guaranteed a spot in the preschool for priority registration, however, the amount of days you request is on a first come, first served basis.  If you do not get your paperwork in on time (by March 7, 2017), we cannot guarantee a spot for your child.  

Also, a reminder that spring break starts on Monday, March 27th and runs through March 31st with school re-opening on Monday, April 3rd at 7:30 a.m.  

Our Mixed Bag Fundraiser brought in $2,000.00!  That is our best year yet. If you missed out on the fundraiser or want to buy more things, our on-line account is open until July.  Their website is mixedbags.com and our school code is 74479.  The link is also on our website at www.northminsterpreschoolsd.org.

I want to thank all of you for your continued support of our program at Northminster Preschool.  We continue to strive to make sure that this program is the best in San Diego.  My door is always open for you!

Shelli Harder

February 2017 Newsletter

Dear Northminster Parents and Friends:

Your children are getting ready for Valentine’s Day.  They will be learning songs about love, being polite and loving one another.  All classes celebrate Valentine’s Day and have special instructions for you for making valentines.  Please check with your child’s teacher.  Our value for this month is being polite.

School will be closed on Friday, February 17, 2017 and Monday, February 20, 2017 in observance of Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays.  

Our enrichment program this month, courtesy of the Parent Group, is two performances by the Jack Straws and the theme will be pirates. Those performance dates are February 22, 2017 and February 23, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. in the hall.  The Parent Group meeting will be Friday, February 10, 2017 in the fireside room at noon, lunch is provided.  Please joins us!

Monday, February 27th is priority registration for children and siblings of children currently enrolled in the program.  We will be sending home registration packets for Summer Fun registration and Fall registration.  If you have a new sibling coming into the program, please stop by the office and get a new child registration packet.  Your children have priority in the program, but please keep in mind your forms need to be in the office no later than March 7, 2017.  We have past-priority registration March 8, 2017 and open enrollment March 9, 2017.  Any spots available in the program on those days will be taken by new children.

While every effort will be made to honor teacher requests, the office reserves the right to fill classes based on age appropriateness, child dynamics and boy to girl ratios.  Also, please keep in mind that although your child has a spot in the preschool, it is still first come first served in regards to how many days a week you would like.  

As cold and flu season is now in full swing, I would like to remind parents that if your child is sick with a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea you must keep them home until they are symptom free without medication for 24 hours.  Also, if your child has an excessive runny nose, you need to keep them home.  A child, whose nose needs to be wiped consistently in an hour, constitutes excess.  This applies even if the doctor states the child is not contagious.  It is very hard to keep toys and hands clean when the nose is constantly running.  We teach the children clean hands and noses while at preschool, but we cannot be at the ready with a Kleenex in hand with one child, let alone multiple children.  This is for the health and safety of all the children as well as the staff.  Thank you for your understanding.

Thank you to everyone who donated items, spent time sorting and even shopped at our rummage sale.  We were able to raise over $1500.00!  More importantly, we were also able to help to very important charities M.O.M. (military outreach) and CCSA (Christian agency in Clairemont that helps Clairemont families).  You are amazing parents!

Please remember to sign your child in and out each day.  This is a licensing requirement.  We also need to ask you to please write the times legibly.  We have to read 125 sets of handwriting and want to make sure we are charging you the correct amount for extra care each month.  Also, remember the school closes at 5:00 p.m.  Each minute starting at 5:01 p.m. is $2.00/minute. Please be respectful to my aftercare staff, as they have places they need to be on time after work.  

I wanted to thank all of the parents who have signed up for snack this year.  The reason we have snack sign ups is because we are limited on what we can serve 95 children a day and this gives you the opportunity to introduce a favorite snack of your child’s to the other children.  It also gives you the opportunity to go shopping with your child, pick out a healthy snack and make it into a fun teachable moment for you and your child.  It is completely voluntary but very much appreciated!  Remember to represent 2 food groups for your snack.

Your children are a precious gift to us and we love the opportunity to teach them and care for them every day!

 

Shelli Harder

Director

 

January 2017 Newsletter

Happy New Year everyone!

Welcome back!  We are into the swing of the New Year already.  We are excited to be back and are looking forward to a great 2017 with your children.

On Tuesday, January 10, 2017 and Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. we will have Living Coast Animal Show here as part of Northminster Preschool’s enrichment program.  Parents are always invited to attend!

A calendar reminder for you: the preschool will be closed on Monday, January 16, 2017 in observance of Martin Luther King Holiday.

Our Parent Group meeting is Friday, January 13, 2017 at noon.  Lunch is provided for you.  We would love to see you there.  We will be asking for volunteers to help sort for the rummage sale and work the rummage sale January 28th.  If you were unable to help with the carnival, this is a great way to get your 2 hours of volunteer service in.  If you work the rummage sale and/or help sort the week before, you get to shop early at the sale!  Thank you in advance for your help!

We are having our annual preschool rummage sale on Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.  Please feel free to clean out your children’s toys (gently used with all pieces), books (children and adult reading), strollers, high chairs, clothing (children only up to age 7), mini kitchens, bikes, little tike’s structures, changing tables, etc.  We cannot accept cribs or car seats.  All proceeds go to the parent group for classroom, outside and school supplies.  Any leftover donations will be donated to MOM.  A military outreach program.  All donations are tax deductible and we have forms in the office.

Since we are going into the heavy cold and flu months, please remember to keep your child home if they have an excessively runny nose, fever, diarrhea, or vomiting.  State regulations require your child to be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school.  This also applies to vomiting and diarrhea. We want to keep everyone happy and healthy this year!

On behalf of the entire staff we wish you a happy and healthy 2017!  Remember, my door is always open if you have any questions, comments or concerns.

Shelli

December 2016 Newsletter

Dear Northminster Preschool Parents & Friends:

It is hard to believe December is upon us already!  It just seems like yesterday you were walking your children into our school, some for the first time, and taking that first step of letting them go for a while.  We have had some tears, much laughter, and a lot of fun since September and we have made many new friends!

What an amazing carnival!  The weather was perfect and everyone seemed to have a great time.  I would like to thank the carnival committee, the parent group presidents and their loyal assistants, the parent volunteers, the bakers, the parent donors, the community donors and anyone else that took some time out of their day(s) at some point along the way to make this carnival successful.  All your time, money and donations helped to raise over $6,500!  It really takes the effort of many, in large and small ways, to make this preschool unique and successful.  I applaud all of you for your continuous hard work and contributions to that effort.  

We will be having our annual children’s rummage sale on Saturday, January 28th from 7:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. in Congdon Hall.  If you are planning on cleaning out your children’s dresser’s and toy boxes, please consider saving those items for our rummage sale.  The only items we cannot take are cribs and car seats.  Otherwise, any strollers, bikes, high chairs, changing tables, toys, little tikes slides, structures, books, clothing items ages newborn – 7 years and maternity clothing, we will take!  It is tax deductible and any items we do not sell are donated to the military outreach MOM.

We will have a very special guest on December 13th and 14th in the Fireside Room at 10:30 a.m.  This special guest is made possible by the Parent Group enrichment program.  

Christmas break starts December 16, 2016 at noon, through January 2, 2017.  School will start again on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 7:30 a.m.  

On Friday, December 16, 2016 we will be closing at 12:00 p.m.  There will be no lunch bunch or extended care available that day.

The parent group will be meeting on Friday, December 9, 2016 at noon in the Fireside Room.  Lunch will be provided.  Please come join us! We will be doing a cookie exchange at the meeting.  If you would like to participate, please bring 2 dozen cookies and a container to take cookies home.  Please RSVP to Andree at the preschool email address.

If you are traveling this month, please make it a safe trip.  

On behalf of the Northminster Preschool staff, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2017!

 

Shelli