Happy New Year!
I hope this finds you enjoying the holiday break with opportunities for both relaxation and merriment with your loved ones. January is the perfect time to pause, take stock, and set goals for the year ahead. While we adults may see the New Year as a chance to test old patterns or try something new, the children will be settling into the comfort of school routines. January will find ZHPP students enjoying music, yoga, and Spanish, in addition to daily classroom activities (and hopefully fun in the snow!). While this may all be familiar, the children also set goals, often unknowingly, to try something new. Whether it be zipping a coat, completing a puzzle, mastering the monkey bars, or spelling their name, these learning and developmental milestones are set – and met – on a daily basis. We are grateful to be your partner in guiding the children along their journey as they, in turn, teach us about hard work and determination. We only need to look to the thrill on their faces when they master a skill, or share in their delight as they exclaim, “I did it all by myself!” as proof that perseverance pays off.
Preparations for the next school year are under way, with enrollment opening on January 6. We are excited for your children to “graduate” to the next class, and to welcome a new group of students that will become part of the ZHPP family. To that end, we are holding an Open House for prospective families on Saturday, January 4. Please spread the word about our wonderful school and continue to invite friends and neighbors to attend. You are our best source of referrals. During tours, we consistently hear “my neighbor/cousin/friend’s child is at ZHPP and they are so happy!” Thank you!
Here’s to a great year ahead,
We will host an Open House for prospective families on Saturday, January 4, 10:00–12:00. 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.
Why the Five’s?
An information session for the Five’s Program will be held on Wednesday, January 15, at 9:30. Learn about what makes our Five’s program 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.
Gymnastics Play Date
On Monday, January 20, 9:00–11:00, start the MLK free day with a fun ZHPP play date during open gym at the Westport/Weston YMCA gymnastics center (in Norwalk, next to Pump it Up). Siblings are welcome. $10 per child.
Register This Month!
Registration packets for the 2020-21 school year have been distributed, and open enrollment begins on Monday, January 6. Kindly return the registration forms to the office by Friday, January 24. Families will be notified of program placement(s) by Friday, January 31. We are happy to answer any questions—please contact the office.
Cold Feet, Warm Hearts
This month we will be collecting socks for 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. For shelters, socks are among the most needed articles of clothing. New socks are appreciated, but adult crew socks in size large are most needed. Look for the collection in the lobby and help us warm some toes!
Parent Workshop: Positive and Consistent Parenting for Everyday Challenges
Please join us on Wednesday, January 29 at 9:30 in the conference room for a great parent workshop by Susan O’Brien. When our children push our buttons, our skills sometimes go out the window and we may respond in ineffective ways. This workshop aims to teach strategies so you can effectively discipline your child while under stress. You will learn techniques for reacting appropriately, positively, and consistently in the face of your child pushing your buttons. You will learn tips for approaching these challenges in a calm and positive manner.
Mitten Tree and Coat Collection Update
Thank you for beautifully “decorating” the mitten tree during December!
We collected over 30 pairs of gloves and mittens, dozens of hats, and 8 overflowing bags of coats to support Person-to-Person in Norwalk. P2P serves over 800 families a month, and during the winter provide coats, hats, mittens, and gloves to those in need.
Stop & Shop Bags Update
Zion’s Hill Preschool Program was selected for the Stop & Shop Community Bag Program. For the month of December, every time the reusable $2.50 Community Bag was sold at Stop & Shop in Wilton, ZHPP received a $1 donation. Over $130 has been raised thus far. Thank you for your support!
Fundraising & Other News
ZHPP is gearing up for its annual Spring Fling! More information about the event and ways to get involved will be provided at the Spring Fling kickoff meeting in late January/early February. Please see the upcoming Evite for details.
Box Top Campaign
ZHPP 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!
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.
Does it seem like there’s never enough time in the day? 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, 9:00–12:30. Please sign up at the office.
Please notify us at least 24 hours in advance if you would like extended programming for your child.
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.
Caution in the Parking Lot
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.