4 Open Enrollment/Registration Begins for 2021– 2022 School Year12-13 Music15 Tuition Payment Due, 3rd Installment15 Pizza Party for Annual Appeal Winners18 No School – Martin Luther King Jr. Day19-20 Spanish22 Registration for 2021–2022 Due withRegistration Fee28-29 Wilton Library29 New & Current Family Notification/Program Placement for 2021–2021 School Year
Happy New Year
Happy New Year! 2020 has officially come to a close, a year we surely won’t soon forget. The challenges posed by COVID-19 have been exceedingly difficult. Even within our Zion’s Hill Preschool community, too many of us have been personally and permanently impacted by the pandemic. Several of us have contracted the virus, many of us have followed mandatory quarantine protocols, and a few parents are on the front lines, battling to save lives each day (THANK YOU to Dr. Sakshi Sethi and Drs. Anthony and Caroline Gulati, featured in this month’s Community Profile). And tragically, at least two members of our school community have lost loved ones. They have seen a member of their family taken by ambulance, hoping beyond hope that they may recover. They have stood by the phone helpless, waiting for an update from the hospital. They have desperately wanted to say goodbye. Their personal recounts of desperation and helplessness have really hit home for me.
Yet the dawn of a new year also brings hope. The hope for widespread vaccination and a return to “normal”. The hope for our country’s unification and healing. The hope that this year’s resolutions stick… after all, January is the perfect time to 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, children need the comfort of predictability. They have already settled back into their school day routines at ZHPP, and we look forward to this month’s specials of music, Spanish, and the Wilton Library. These may be old patterns, but the children also set goals (often unknowingly!) to try something new. Whether it be completing a puzzle, donning their mittens, mastering the monkey bars, or spelling their name, these learning and developmental milestones are set – and met – on a daily basis. And we celebrate the fact that “I did it!” increasingly replaces “Help me!”.
And though we may all feel helpless at times, particularly with COVID, we are not. Each of us can continue to do our part, continue to exercise caution and vigilance, continue to exhibit sensible and responsible behavior. We must work together, help one another, so that our families may remain safe and health, and Zion’s Hill Preschool may remain open for our children. Hope will prevail. Come June, let’s look back on this school year, and exclaim “We did it!”.
Here’s to 2021,Jessica
Register This Month!
It’s hard to believe, but it’s time to begin our registration process for the 2021-2022 school year! Open enrollment began January 4.Though right now planning so far in advance seems uncertain, we are hopeful that next year will be more predictable. With that hope comes the acknowledgement that COVID-19 may affect our schedules and programming. Therefore, we have again pushed out the initial tuition payment and amended our payment schedule to allow for flexibility next year.
Below, you will find all necessary information and forms to register for another year of learning at ZHPP. Please return the registration forms to the ZHPP office by January 22, 2021. There is one open registration/rolling admission process for all families; however, please note that first preference will be given to current families with the greatest number of years at the school. It is also likely that enrollment will be limited, as it has been this year, to help us mitigate lingering challenged posed by COVID. As such, we anticipate that we may have a waitlist for several of our classes… the sooner you may return the registration materials, the better!
Families will be notified of program placement(s) by January 29, 2021. If you have any questions, we are happy to answer them. Likewise, if you do not plan to enroll your child/ren at ZHPP next year, or if you are facing special circumstances, please notify the office by February 26, 2021.
Spring Fling Kickoff on February 3!
Mark your calendars! ZHPP is gearing up for its annual Spring Fling! Spring Fling is our biggest event for parents and is now scheduled for June 10 at Rolling Hills Country Club. We have moved the date of the event, which is traditionally held in April, to June with hopes that it will be safer and more comfortable for us to gather.
More information about the big event and ways to get involved will be provided at a Spring Fling Kickoff Zoom meeting on February 3. All are welcome to participate in the planning and collaborate with other ZHPP parents. Look out for an email with more details in late January. We hope that you join us! The more the merrier!
Stop & Shop Community Bag Program
Zions Hill Preschool Program has been selected by local Stop & Shop store leadership as the benefiting non-profit in the Community Bag Program!
For the month of February 2021, Zions Hill Preschool Program will receive a $1 donation from each purchase of the $2.50 reusable Community Bag at the Stop & Shop store located at 5 River Road, Wilton CT. Learn more at Stop & Shop’s Non-Profit Resource Center.
Makeup Days/ Survey
Please be on the lookout for a survey coming via email regarding makeup days for the Holiday Break!
COVID-19 Quarantine Guidelines
COVID-19 Quarantine Timelines
There have been questions about quarantine timelines, particularly given recent pronouncements by the CDC and the State with the option for shortened quarantines in certain instances. For your convenience, we have summarized our protocols related to mandatory quarantines.
After carefully considering the CDC and CT Department of Public Health guidelines, Wilton’s health director continues to require that a 14-day quarantine for those in “close contact” with COVID-positive individuals be maintained. Therefore if your child has been identified as a “close contact” of a COVID-positive individual, (s)he may return to Zion’s Hill Preschool Program 14 days from the last date of contact with the positive individual.
Individuals who visit any state outside of the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island) or outside of the country for 24 hours or more must quarantine for 10 days after returning to Connecticut. The quarantine period may be shortened if the traveler has a negative COVIDl-19 test upon returning to Connecticut, and the negative test result has been sent to DPH.COVID-Travel@ct.gov. A Travel Health Form must also be completed. (Link to Travel Health Form: https://appengine.egov.com/apps/ct/DPH/Connecticut-Travel-Health-Form)
For other COVID-19 questions, please revisit ZHPP’s Covid-19 Q&A.
Weather-Related Delays and Cancelations
ZHPP policy is to follow Wilton Public Schools with regard to weather-related delays and cancellations. If Wilton Public Schools are closed, ZHPP will be closed. If there is a one- or a 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 12:30 or sooner, depending on the circumstances.
ZHPP uses both email and text messaging alerts in any weather related change to our schedule. If you would like to add a caregiver to our system, please let us know. There may be occasions when power/internet outages prevent us from sending emails/texts, 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 general rule of thumb—we follow Wilton Public Schools.
Daily Health Screen through Tadpoles
Please complete the daily health screen through Tadpoles before drop-off if possible. It really helps to streamline the drop-off process and eliminate congestion.
Per State regulations, hand sanitizer must be kept out of the reach of children. Please do not send your child to school with sanitizer in a pocket or backpack where it may be readily accessible. Instead, please provide to the classroom teacher directly. The teachers may administer hand sanitizer when hand washing is not readily available (e.g., on the playground, while children are on the bikes, etc.).
Dress for the Weather
Please dress the children appropriately each day, with extra layers or snow gear as needed. An extra pair of mittens (or two!) is also helpful. We are spending lots of time outdoors – even in the cold! The classrooms are also tend to run cool, as we look to maximize ventilation indoors.
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. Please also note that the lot is “One Way”, and adhere to the proper direction when entering and exiting. We recommend entering through the lower driveway and exiting from the upper driveway during the busy drop-off and pick-up times.
Please review ZHPP’s COVID-19 Policies and Procedures and At-Home Health Checklist.
Resources for COVID-19
Many of us may be struggling with how to answer our children’s questions about COVID-19. Here are links to some terrific resources:
- American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP Covid Talking Points and AACP Shelter in Place)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC Talking with Children Guidelines)
- PBS Kids (PBS Kids Covid)
The following are links to general resources for guidance:
- Town of Wilton
- CT Department of Public Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- CT COVID hotline: Call 2-1-1 or text “CTCOVID” to 898211