February 2020

Dear Families,

Happy February! Winter may have been slow to arrive, but we finally have some SNOW! The children are enamored—they enjoy watching snowflakes fall outside the classroom windows, decorating the snowmen and snowflakes that brighten our halls, and, best of all, playing outdoors in the snow! The winter playgrounds provide an entirely different environment for the children to cooperatively explore. They love it! We hope you, too, will enjoy the snow. Perhaps the upcoming winter break will find you hitting the slopes or building a snowman with your child?

Indoors, “love” will play a significant role in our activities and learning experiences. February is the perfect time to celebrate friendships. We will have special classroom celebrations for Valentine’s Day, and throughout the month Miss Brenda and I will be assisting with lessons on kindness and empathy. We “love” spending time in the classrooms and watching the children show their care for one another, whether it be greeting a classmate with a hug or helping a friend find a missing mitten. We invite you to help promote kindness and empathy by participating in our Community Outreach program with your child. This month, we will be spreading “love” and kindness by making Valentines for residents of two local assisted-living facilities. Finally, February will also bring a visit from Dr. Maksymiuk of MaxDental to celebrate National Dental Health Month and teach us how to brush properly for a “lovely” smile.

In the spirit of celebrating friendships, I am so grateful to spend time with you and your children each day. I love Zion’s Hill Preschool Program, and the special people (big and small) that choose to partner with us.

XOXO,
Jessica

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Happenings

Wilton Mom’s Club Play Date at ZHPP
Please join the Wilton Mom’s Club for a playdate at ZHPP on Friday, January 31, at 10:00. The play date will feature musical entertainment from our very own Miss JoAnne!

Dinner and a Movie at Marly’s
ZHPP has organized a kids dinner and movie night at Marly’s Restaurant on Sunday, February 23, at 5:30. Kids can watch a movie while munching on a dinner that includes ice cream! Parents can also make reservations (separately) to eat in the restaurant at the same time. Space will be limited to the first 20 kids registered, so watch for the Evite in early February.

Classroom Valentine’s Day Celebrations
The children will be celebrating Valentine’s Day in various fun ways! Celebration details will be provided by the classroom teachers.

Author Talk with Suzanne Farrell Smith
On Wednesday, February 19, at 9:30am, author and ZHPP parent Suzanne Farrell Smith will read from her memoir, The Memory Sessions, which recounts her years-long search for lost childhood memories. Suzanne will lead a discussion on childhood memory, including which ones stick with us and how they inform our parenting. Copies of The Memory Sessions are available for purchase at ZHPP.

Summer Camp
Although it is quite chilly outside, we are thinking of warmer days ahead as planning gets underway for ZHPP’s Summer Camp! We will again offer a 3-week summer program, which will include fun activities and visits from special guests. We welcome families outside of Zion’s Hill Preschool, so please mark your calendars and tell your friends and neighbors. More details to come! Week 1: June 8-12, Week 2: June 15-19, Week 3: June 22-26

New Families to Welcome!
We are delighted to announce the enrollment of two new students: Ananya Srivastava joined Miss Danielle and Miss Karen’s Two’s Class, and Babs Lysenko recently began in Miss Anne and Miss Sarah’s Froggy Four’s. We are excited to welcome back the Srivastava family, and are thrilled to welcome anew the Lysenkos to the ZHPP family!

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Join the ZHPP Board

The Board is comprised of parent volunteers who share their talents and give back to the school that gives our children and families so much. We meet one evening per month to plan programs and activities for the school, set policies, address suggestions from parents and staff, review the budget, and ensure the delivery of our mission statement.

The graduation of several ZHPP families has created openings on the Board. We are looking for people who are interested in serving for the 2020–2021 school year and invite you to join us!

Please contact Liz Brown, Sara Wynkoop, or Rebecca Hickey for more information or to request an application.

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Community Outreach

Be a Valentine for Someone in Need
During the month of February, we will be collecting valentines for residents at The Greens of Cannondale and Wilton Meadows, two facilities providing care to the elderly. We invite your child to write a note or draw a picture for a resident. It will surely brighten their day! Look for a mailbox in the lobby.

Cold Feet, Warm Hearts Update
Thank you for supporting our “Cold Feet, Warm Hearts” sock drive. We collected nearly 50 pairs of socks to help Homes with Hope in Westport. Homes with Hope is dedicated to ending the cycle of homelessness in Fairfield County, and provides emergency shelter, supportive housing, food, and mentoring programs. Thank you for helping warming some toes!

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Fundraising & Other News

Spring Fling Kick Off Meeting
The Spring Fling kick off meeting will be held Wednesday, February 5, at 7:30pm. Additionally, an informational coffee will be held in the ZHPP conference room on Friday, February 7, after drop off. Spring Fling is ZHPP’s biggest and best fundraising party, and there are many ways to help! See flyer above for more details, and email fundraisingandevents@zhpp.org with any questions.

Why the Five’s?
Perhaps your child’s birthday falls in the second half of the year. Maybe you’re thinking your child needs more social and emotional growth. Or you sense that your child would benefit from additional play-based learning before enrolling in kindergarten. Whatever the reason, you might be wondering, why the Five’s? On January 15, a panel of staff, parents, and an education specialist, convened to answer that question. If you’d like to learn what came out of the rich discussion, please speak with Jessica.

Registration and Enrollment
Thank you for completing your registration forms for the 2020–2021 school year. Parents will be notified of program placement(s) by January 31, but specific classroom and teacher assignments will not be determined until a later date. Spots are filling quickly! If you have any friends or neighbors considering ZHPP, please encourage them to call the office to arrange a visit. As always, we are happy to answer any questions—please see the office.

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Reminders

Sick Children
Please remember to follow the school’s illness policy provided in the family handbook. While some children appear to have the common cold, these symptoms could be indicators of the flu, strep throat, or ear infections. If your child is having persistent symptoms, please be courteous to all other children and staff members by giving the child time to rest and feel better at home. If a sibling is sick, please feel free to call the office in advance so that we can avoid exposing the school children to that sick child; we are happy to supervise your sick child in the comfort of your car while you drop off or pick up your healthy children.

Winter Clothing
Please remember to dress your child for wintry weather. We make every effort to go outside daily, and the children need appropriate gear to be comfortable. Please try to send in clothing that your child can independently manage, and include a hat and mittens or gloves (no long scarves, please, for safety reasons). 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.