December 2019

Happy Holidays!

Dear Families,

Say it isn’t so … is December nearly here? Time sure flies when you’re having fun, and we’ve certainly been having a lot of fun!

A highlight in November was the horse-drawn carriage. Over the wee hill and through the lot, to the church did we all go! I even got to ride with the children, a real treat. We celebrated our annual Thanksgiving Feast with our Four’s and Five’s families, a perennial favorite. We were delighted to be joined again this year by local heroes, a small way for Zion’s Hill Preschool to thank those who serve our community. The children’s rendition of “Simple Gifts” and “Over the River and Through the Wood” was lovely and served as the perfect reminder of the spirit of Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season.

By the end of this month, the first semester at ZHPP will draw to a close, though there is much more fun to be had between now and then. Our wonderful enrichments of music, yoga, and Spanish will continue, and the children will learn about all the holidays. We invite families and caregivers into our classrooms to share traditions or celebrations. We will also enjoy another special event at Zion’s Hill Preschool Program, the ever-popular holiday sing-along with Miss Jo Anne. This will take place in the church basement on Friday, December 13, at 9:30am. All are welcome to enjoy this tradition, another one of my favorites. (I know … I say this about all of our events!)

Cheers to family and fun this holiday season!

Jessica

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Happenings

Parent-Teacher Conferences
The teachers have been enjoying the Fall Conferences, which began mid-November and will run through early December. Conferences are a great opportunity to share information about your child’s day and development. Please see Jessica with any questions.

Holiday Sing-Along
The annual holiday sing-along will be Friday, December 13, at 9:30. Held in the church basement, the sing-along is a school-wide event, with all students, families, and siblings welcome to join. Miss Jo Anne will lead us in festive songs to celebrate the holidays.

Train Show
Wilton Historical Society extends a special invitation on Friday, December 13, 12:45–1:45. For just $8 per child, enjoy a tour of the magnificent train show and make a colonial sachet craft in the barn.

Parent Coffee
On Thursday, December 19, directly after drop-off, meet up with other ZHPP parents at Tusk and Cup in Wilton. Mingle for a few minutes and get caffeinated before dashing off to holiday shopping!

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Registration & Enrollment

Registration packets for the 2020–2021 school year will be distributed before the holiday break, with open enrollment beginning on January 6.

We will host an Open House for prospective families on Saturday, January 4, 10am­–12pm. New families interested in our school are invited to visit our classrooms, meet our incredible teachers, and learn about our emergent play-based curriculum. Please spread the word to friends and families who might be interested in attending the Two’s, Three’s, Four’s, or our revamped Five’s program.
An information session for the Five’s Program is scheduled on Wednesday, January 15, at 9:30. Learn about what makes our Five’s class stand apart, from its focus on responsibility, courage, and empathy, to its two extended days of programming each week. Please contact the office with questions.
We extend a warm welcome to two new students, Caroline Cron and Alan Tokaev. Caroline joined Miss Louise and Miss Bridget’s Three’s class, and Alan joined Miss Anne and Miss Sarah’s Four’s class. We are thrilled to have Caroline and Alan, along with their parents, Alex & Jeff and Alana & Zaurbeck, join the ZHPP family!

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Community Outreach

Mitten Tree and Coat Collection
This month we will be “decorating” a tree with hats and mittens to support Person-to-Person in Norwalk. We will also be collecting any gently used winter coats. P2P serves over 800 families a month, and during the winter provide hats, mittens, and gloves to those in need. Please look for the Mitten Tree in the lobby and consider donating for this worthy organization. A thank you in advance from P2P: “We are so grateful for your kindness and support!”

Food Drive
Wow, the “Kids Can!” Food Drive was an enormous success! The generosity of our families was incredible. ZHPP collected 296 pounds of food, enough to provide 242 meals for those in need. The Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry in Bridgeport was so appreciative. THANK YOU!

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Fundraising & Other News

AmazonSmile
This holiday season, remember to use AmazonSmile as a way to benefit ZHPP every time you purchase from Amazon. Look below the January preview at the end of this newsletter for details.

Stop & Shop Bags
Zion’s Hill Preschool Program has been selected for the Stop & Shop Community Bag Program. For the month of December, every time the reusable $2.50 Community Bag is sold at Stop & Shop in Wilton, ZHPP will receive a $1 donation. Learn more at Stop & Shop’s Non-Profit Resource Center.

Box Top Campaign
Zion’s Hill Preschool is collecting Box Tops to benefit Miller-Driscoll, with a friendly competition for prizes attached. Best of all, thanks to the generosity of one of our families, a cash donation match up to $500 will be made directly to our school. Look in the foyer for additional details and the collection mailbox, and start clipping!

Design Help
Are you a graphic designer or handy with visuals? We are looking for one or two community members to help us with flyers, signage, and other visual projects. Please see Jessica if you have a bit of time and talent to share.

Visiting Consultants and Aides
From time to time, you may notice new faces in our classrooms. As the need arises, we may have visiting consultants and aides perform observations and support. If you ever have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask your teacher or the office staff.

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Extended Programming

Does it seem like there’s never enough time in the day? Are you wondering whether holiday planning and preparations will come together this season? We can help! Take advantage of our extended programming. Extensions and Afternoon Adventures are designed so your child can learn, play, and explore a new skill in our nurturing classrooms. Daily programs run from 12:30­­–3:00 and include rest and snack.

ZHPP also offers a Monday drop-in for Four’s currently enrolled Tuesday to Friday. Students can drop in for extra learning, play, and socialization on Mondays in Miss Tracey’s class. The cost is $50 per day, 9am–12:30pm. Please sign up at the office.

Please notify us at least 24 hours in advance if you would like extended programming for your child.

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Reminders

Winter Clothing
Please remember to dress your child for wintry weather. We make every effort to go outside daily, and the children need appropriate clothing to be comfortable. Please try to send in clothing that your child can independently manage, and include a hat and mittens or gloves. Please also remember to update your child’s spare clothing with a seasonally appropriate set.

Weather-Related Delays and Cancelations
ZHPP’S policy is to follow the protocol of Wilton Public Schools with regard to weather-related delays and cancelations. If Wilton Public Schools are closed, ZHPP will be closed. If there is a one- or two-hour delay, we will begin our mornings at 10:30. If there is a three-hour delay, ZHPP will be closed. If there is an early dismissal, we will end at 12:30pm or sooner, depending on the circumstances. In all instances of early dismissal, there will be no afternoon activities.

ZHPP uses both email and text message alerts for any weather-related change to our schedule. If you would like to add a caregiver to our text/email chain, please let us know. There may be occasions when power/internet outages prevent us from sending messages, but we make every effort to get the messages sent in a timely fashion. Please be certain to check as many sources as possible for up-to-date information. And remember the rule of thumb: we follow Wilton Public Schools.

Pick-up and Drop-off Procedures
To ensure the safety of all, children must always be accompanied by an adult within the building. This is particularly important during drop-off and pick-up times, when our lobby and hallways can become congested.

A friendly reminder that drop-off is at 9am (doors open at 8:55), and pick-up is at 12:30pm (3pm for extended programming). Adherence to these times is appreciated, as it allows children to maximize their time in the classroom and our staff to prepare for each day.

Also, please use extreme caution in the parking lot. Many little bodies are underfoot and can be difficult to see (particularly with snow banks)! Hold your child’s hand and watch for cars. We recommend entering through the lower driveway and exiting from the upper driveway during the busy drop-off and pick-up times.

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