April 2021

April Calendar

12-16 Week of the Young Child (50th Anniversary Celebration)
12 “Music Monday”
12 and 13 Music
13 “Tie-Dye Tuesday”
14 “Work Together Wednesday” with the Clay Lady
15 “Tasty Thursday”
16 “Fun Friday” with Pizza Party!
20 and 21 Spanish

A Note from Jessica

The start of April has been a difficult one here at ZHPP; despite all of our mitigation strategies, COVID-19 found its way into our school. This is a sober reminder that COVID-19 is far from over, and our children are still at risk. For our students, staff and families that were directly affected by this most recent exposure, our hearts and thoughts are with you for a speedy and full recovery. Even though restrictions are lifting, at Zion’s Hill Preschool we will be doubling down, and refocusing on our singular purpose: to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment for our children. I ask all of you to keep this focus. We have all made countless sacrifices during this past year, and continue to do so. We have all missed gathering with friends and loved ones. But we must hold on, and to this end ZHPP made the difficult yet responsible decision to table any in-person celebration of our annual Spring Fling gala. It is simply what we must do to keep our focus on being here for the children.  
April provides us the perfect opportunity to sharpen our focus, as tomorrow begins the week-long celebration of childhood. We have fun-filled activities planned throughout the week (see below for details), culminating in a school-wide pizza party on Friday as the children proudly don their tie-dyed shirt to show their solidarity and spirit. Time and again, we hear from you how much the children love their school. The children, and your support, have motivated us to keep going throughout this most difficult year. We must not deprive them of ZHPP, or their love of learning. Thank you for entrusting us to do so each day, and for your continued cooperation.  
Jessica

Happenings

The Week of the Young Child®
The Week of the Young Child® is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and 2021 marks the 50th Anniversary! This special week was first established to recognize that early childhood lays the foundation for children’s success in school and beyond. This special week allows our communities and nation to reflect on how we may better meet the needs of all young children and their families. Learn more about The Week of the Young Child® here.
At Zion’s Hill Preschool, we have historically marked The Week of the Young Child® with fun-filled activities, and to celebrate the children and their learning and development. This year is no exception, and each day will offer some of the children’s favorite experiences.
“Music Monday” – we’ll sing and dance along with Miss Jo Anne!
“Tie-Dye Tuesday” – the children will make their own tee shirts, each as unique as them! Please remember to provide a clean white shirt for your child to dye.
“Work Together Wednesday” – the Clay Lady, Michelle Beyman, will stop by and help us make a one-of-a-kind creation. Each child and staff member will have a hand in sculpting and painting a masterpiece, which will be auctioned off at the Spring Auction!
“Tasty Thursday” – the children will make a special snack, a Banana Split Yogurt “Sundae”, complete with toppings… yum!
Fun Friday” – please send your child to school in their new tie-dye tee, but no need to send lunch… we’ll have a school-wide pizza party!
Book Club
Join us for our Zion’s Hill Book Club meeting! We will discuss the book Moms Don’t Have Time To, A Quarantine Anthology by Zibby Owens on Wednesday, April 21st at 8pm. Watch your email for the Zoom invite!
“The author, Zibby Owens organized these profound pieces into themes inspired by five things moms don’t have time to do: eat, read, work out and breathe. Now compiled as an anthology named Moms Don’t Have Time To, these beautiful, original essays by dozens of bestselling and acclaimed authors speak to the ever-increasing demands on our time, especially during the quarantine, in a unique, literary way.”
Spring Auction: Help Make it Awesome!
We are in the final stages of gathering and soliciting items for our annual spring auction. This auction is always the biggest fundraiser of the school year. It was cancelled in 2020, but we are bringing it back as a silent online auction May 3-7.
We would like to reach out to individual families once more. 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.
Family Pottery Fun
ZHPP is collaborating with Wilton’s own Happy Hands Pottery to bring pottery painting fun safely to your home.
Look out for an email with details on how to order your “Pottery To Go” kit. We will drop off and pick up your kits at school for your convenience. Look forward to some creative, painting fun!
Spring Playground Cleanup – Save the Date!
Spring Playground Cleanup is one of ZHPP’s favorite traditions, during which families come together to get the playgrounds ready for spring. This year it will take place on April 17 (with a rain date being April 24th). Each class will be assigned age appropriate tasks (e.g. washing toys and equipment, weeding, replenishing sand, etc.). Come help us get our school ready for spring and have some fun with your class friends! Please be on the lookout for an email from your room rep for more information about this event.

Other News

Registration and Enrollment
It’s hard to believe, but preparations are under way for the 2021-2022 school year! Contracts and enrollment forms required for next year will be distributed in coming weeks. 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 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: the week of June 14th and June 21st. Camp runs Monday through Friday each week, from 9:00am – 12:30pm. Children will enjoy arts and crafts, water play, and plenty of time outside – join us for some “Fun in the Sun”!
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 sure to submit your 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 
While Connecticut recently relaxed travel restrictions and there are currently no mandates or requirements in place, nonetheless the State asks that travelers follow the CDC recommendations, which include BOTH a COVID test 3-5 days after travel, AND a 7 day quarantine. After consulting with the local Health Department, and to avoid any confusion so late in the school year, Zion’s Hill Preschool will keep our current policy in place: self-quarantine for 10 days upon return, OR produce a negative COVID test. We ask that this test be taken 2-3 days after return to Connecticut, particularly if travel occurred by plane. This policy is based on Connecticut’s original travel requirements.
Close Contacts
We understand that local public school guidance surrounding quarantines recently changed. However, experience has also shown that young children neither tend to exhibit the same level of symptoms, nor communicate how they may be feeling, in the same way as older children or adults. After carefully considering the CDC and CT Department of Public Health guidelines, and after consulting with Wilton’s Health Department, Zion’s Hill Preschool will keep our current quarantine policy in place. We continue to require a 14-day quarantine for those in “close contact” with COVID-positive individuals. 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

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
With the change of seasons – and the growth of the children! – please check your child’s spare clothing and update as needed. And remember to dress the children appropriately each day. We are spending lots of time outdoors – even in the rain! The temperature can also vary throughout the day – layers are key! Spare masks are also needed.
Caution in the Parking Lot
Please use extreme caution in the parking lot. Many little bodies are underfoot and can be difficult to see! 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 Connected
Please visit our Facebook page @ZionsHillPreschoolCT