March 2021

March Calendar

9 and 10 – Music and Yoga
15 Tuition Payment Due, 4th Installment
16 and 17 – Spanish
25 and 26 – Wilton Library
30 and 31 – Music and Yoga
31 Board Meeting, 7:30 pm

A Note from Jessica

Dear Families,

Happy March! This “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb” month is filled with lots of changes and transformations as we say goodbye to winter and hello to spring…. the days grow longer, the sun shines brighter, icy patches melt to muddy puddles, and winter coats are replaced with lighter jackets. March is also metaphoric for the changes and transformations that the children have experienced since September… some back-to-school jitters have given way to smiles and laughter, they all have grown a little taller, expanded their vocabulary and friendships, and have their daily school routines down pat. We can see their progression and development reflected in their work, whether it be smiley faces that become more defined or a child’s written name appearing more legible, it is undeniable that they are gaining the skills needed to be successful learners! We are not wishing the school year away, but look forward to their continued growth as spring turns to summer.

For me, March’s proverb has always signaled optimism – this year perhaps more than any other. As we commemorate one year living with – and through – a pandemic, the hope for light at the end of this long, dark tunnel may just be the shot in the arm we all so need. Figuratively, and literally. Our staff and teachers will begin to be vaccinated this month, with many of our parents to follow! This is exciting, and there is reason for optimism. But we must temper this enthusiasm with caution and guard. I know this for certain. COVID-19 roared its way into my personal life, as March 2021 begins with my nine year old son recovering from the virus. I know we are all fatigued, but hold tight and stay the course. I know for certain we can do this, because you ARE doing this. You are raising little lambs, not an easy task, and in a pandemic no less. You are keeping them safe and healthy, and yet not depriving them of their childhood. We are impressed every day by the interactions we witness between families and children, and the commitment you show to their educational endeavors. Your dedication means a great deal, and is at the heart of why Zion’s Hill Preschool is so special and unique. Thank you.

Here’s to a healthy and hopeful spring,
Jessica

Happenings

Book ClubJoin us for our second Zion’s Hill Book Club meeting! We will discuss the book Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover on Wednesday, March 24th at 8:00 PM. Watch your email for the Zoom invite!

Spring Fling 2021
Have you marked your calendar yet? We are optimistically planning ZHPP’s biggest social event and fundraiser of the year for Thursday, June 10th at Rolling Hills Country Club. It is always a fun-filled evening of dinner, dancing, music, and silent and live auctions. We are hopeful that we will once again be able to safely gather to celebrate and support our awesome school!
Missed the kickoff meeting for planning Spring Fling? You can help in small or big ways. There is much to do! We are in the stages of gathering and soliciting silent and live auction items. Do you have connections at businesses that would be willing to make a donation to the auction? Or, do you have something to offer that others would be excited to bid on? Past auction items include gift certificates, private events, tickets, services, and vacations, and we are open to anything that you think will make for good bidding!
Thank you to those of you who have already sent us some exciting vouchers and items from your business connections. Every item makes our auction better.
If you would like to get involved in even a small way, please contact Fundraising Co-Chairs Kelli McGee, Melissa Fensterstock or Karen Kupinse for more information.

Other News

Registration and Enrollment
Thank you for completing your registration forms for the 2021–2022 school year. Parents were notified of program placement(s) on January 29 via email. Specific classroom and teacher assignments will not be determined until a later date. Spots are filling quickly – there are only a few remaining! If you have any friends or neighbors considering ZHPP, please encourage them to call the office. As always, we are happy to answer any questions.

Have Fun in the Sun this Summer at ZHPP Summer Camp!
We are excited to announce that we will continue the fun at ZHPP into the summer! This year, we will be offering two weeks of camp at our Fun in the Sun camp. Camp runs the week of June 14th and June 21st Monday through Friday each week from 9:00am – 12:30pm. Children will enjoy arts and crafts, water play, and plenty of time outside!
Pricing is $260/week. Please note that camp is only open to current families at this time and that space is especially limited this year to maintain everyone’s health and safety. Be on the lookout for registration forms!

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 2021–2022 school year and invite you to join us!
Please contact Emma Levine

COVID-19 Travel and Quarantine Guidelines

For your convenience, we have summarized our protocols related to mandatory quarantines.
Travel Advisory https://portal.ct.gov/coronavirus/travel#:~:text=Executive%20Order%20Regarding%20Travel%3A%20Pursuant,from%20the%20time%20of%20last
Zion’s Hill Preschool follows the current State guidelines. 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: https://appengine.egov.com/apps/ct/DPH/Connecticut-Travel-Health-Form. Please note we do prefer that the whole family test a few days after returning to Connecticut, such that we know a student may not be a “close contact”. Testing too early may also prove inaccurate and provide false security.
Close ContactsAfter 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.
For other COVID-19 questions, please revisit ZHPP’s Covid-19 Q&A.

Reminders

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 make every effort to complete the daily health screen through Tadpoles, as it really helps to streamline the drop-off process. It is particularly important that you take your child’s temperature before coming to school.  Our contactless thermometers are picking up much of the ambient air, and have been reporting a “LOW” reading error. Thank you for your continued cooperation! .
Dress for the Weather
Please dress the children appropriately each day, with boots and 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! Spare masks are also needed, as they tend to become damp with condensation. The classrooms also tend to run cool, as we look to maximize ventilation indoors. Layers are key!
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.

Staying Informed

Please review ZHPP’s COVID-19 Policies and Procedures and At-Home Health Checklist.
The following are links to general resources for guidance:

Please be sure to read ZHPP’s Revised Mask Wearing Policy as well as the Covid-19 Q&A.
Staying ConnectedPlease visit our Facebook page @ZionsHillPreschoolCT