May 2020

Treat Yourself Right

Dear Families,

Happy May! Let’s hope that April showers bring May flowers—and with it some warmer temperatures, a flattening of the COVID curve or better yet a vaccine, and some return to normalcy! These are trying times. I am finding the uncertainty particularly difficult to grasp: how long will social distancing—as necessary as it is—last? When can our school/town/state/country/world safely reopen? Will summer camp proceed?

These questions weigh heavily, as many have been suddenly thrust into roles we never envisioned (home school headmaster, short order cook, closet organizer, peacekeeper, internet troubleshooter). These new roles—on top of “real” jobs and our responsibilities as mother/father/son/daughter/brother/sister/partner/friend/citizen—are requiring that we dig deep. Although these days are long and difficult, this is temporary, and you are doing enough. More than enough, you are all doing amazing! I must remind myself of this too, that keeping my family and community safe while maintaining my sanity is enough. And I must give myself permission to let some things go (like putting aside my second grader’s assignments for the day when he is simply done, giving my ninth grader more phone time to stay connected with her friends, and, as you may have gleaned from some of the videos on Google Classroom, my appearance!).

Please give yourselves permission to prioritize your family’s needs, and let some things go. This includes Google Classroom. While I encourage you to check out the wonderful content that is posted daily, please do not feel any pressure to do so or complete any activities for which you may not have the bandwidth. Again, we are all doing enough. We will eventually emerge from this, and our children will not be behind, but will have grown through this with our love and support. I know for certain that our ZHPP family will come together again and celebrate all of the wonderful learning and growth that has occurred this year.

Until then, I am extremely grateful for the partnership shared between our families and staff, and am so proud of our teachers for finding ways to continue many of the wonderful events and traditions “normally” enjoyed at ZHPP this time of year. From Week of the Young Child celebrations to conferences to an innovative take on the Mini-Marathon, our teachers have been working hard to remain connected to the children and families and provide meaningful continuation of learning. Teacher Appreciation Week could not come at a better time. THANK YOU!! And thank you for keeping your families, and our greater community, safe and healthy. Let us remain so, that we may be together again soon.

Warmly,
Jessica

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Happenings

Spring Parent Teacher Conferences
Spring conferences will occur during May (virtually, of course)! This is a great opportunity to catch up with your child’s teachers and share in the wonderful growth that has occurred since the fall. The teachers will reach out to offer a phone call/FaceTime/Zoom meeting at a mutually convenient time, preferably when you may have a few uninterrupted moments. As much as we miss the children, conferences are still intended to be a dialogue strictly between parents and teachers. Also, in a departure from previous conferences, we will not be providing benchmarks or assessments, but only the narrative piece that has typically accompanied such forms. This will be sent to you in advance of your conference, and will serve as a launching point for discussion. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Joy at zhppdirector@gmail.com.

Kindergarten Information Sessions with Kathy Coon
Miller-Driscoll School Principal Kathy Coon visits ZHPP annually to speak to parents of rising kindergartners. This year’s “visits” will occur over Zoom, on Wednesday, May 13, at 3pm and Thursday, May 14, at 7pm. Please join to learn about “a day in the life of a kindergartner” and hear answers to common questions. More information will be sent to Four’s and Five’s classes.

ZHPP “Fish Tales” Story Special with Norwalk Maritime Aquarium
Please join the Maritime Aquarium Educators on Tuesday, May 5, at either 9am or 10am for a live “Fish Tales” story time especially for ZHPP families. During the 45-minute session, the educators will read stories, sing songs, dance, and maybe even have animal guests! Each session is limited to 30 slots, so please reserve your spot using the Fish Tales google spreadsheet.

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Local Business News

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Free All Day Arepas
To celebrate the recent launch of their new food concept all day arepas, the Fensterstock family is offering a free 4-pack of arepas as a fun Cinco de Mayo treat. The arepas are prepared to commercial standards, stored frozen, and gluten and nut free. Pick them up May 5, 10am to 4pm. The arepas will be in a cooler in the Fensterstock driveway, 411 Thayer Pond Rd. Please practice social distancing and wear gloves when accessing the cooler. Also visit their website to order a variety of arepas with doorstep local delivery. Use code “zion20″ for a twenty percent discount. Thank you, Fensterstocks, and good luck with your exciting new concept!

Coalhouse Makes Friday Pizza Day
Coalhouse Pizza (85 High Ridge Rd, Stamford) is providing free make-your-own-pizza kits (dough, cheese, sauce, toppings) for the ZHPP community every Friday. Call 203-977-7700 by Thursday at 8pm to order your kit and have it available curbside by noon on Friday. Thank you to the Robertson family for their generosity and for this fun idea! Coalhouse Pizza is open with a full takeout menu and has an awesome food truck that can be booked for events. Check them out!

She La La Helps Fight COVID-19 with Person2Person Mask Giveaway
A big ZHPP shout out to She La La, who is helping protect the economically vulnerable from COVID. For every decorative mask sold, She La La is donating one to Person2Person, which serves local low-income families. Please visit the She La La website and grab some masks.

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Staying Informed

Resources for COVID-19
Many of us may be struggling with how to answer our children’s questions about COVID-19 and why we can’t be at school with our friends. 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

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Staying Connected

Please visit our Facebook page to post updates and photos from home school, or simply to enjoy posts from others as a way to feel connected during this time. @ZionsHillPreschoolCT.