Online Classes Next Week
We had such a wonderful time if brief with the kids at school this week. Unfortunately our local COVID numbers aren’t favorable enough for us to safely hold in person class next week. check your email for a communication from The Garden Board of Trustees with details.
We mailed out your school packets today for next week (or given them to you if you were in class today) and we will share video stories in Belleamie’s Library and can’t wait to see you on Zoom next week!
Your teachers are looking Zooming with you and will send the links to your Zoom meetings.
Honeybees: 10am Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday
Crickets: 9am Monday/Wednesday
Ladybugs: 9am Tuesday/Thursday
From the Mousehole
We hope you all had a wonderful, warm and safe Thanksgiving. The staff have all shared that Thanksgiving was very different this year, but very special and filled with love. Our tables were more empty than usual, but our hearts were full with zoom calls to family, treasured recipes and a Thanksgiving a little bit more relaxed than years past. Most of all, we are all thankful that we are healthy, happy and ‘homed’.
We so enjoyed our Zoom sessions with the children. They were adorable! We definitely prefer seeing their smiling eyes and happy energy in person, but it was lovely to connect with them. The staff participated in a zoom workshop this week put on by the Issaquah School District, sharing wonderful ideas on how to enhance learning with preschool children in pandemic times, with masks and social distancing and zoom classes. It was fantastic to share with other preschool teachers – ideas, questions, solutions and – moral support and camaraderie from our peers.
Arriving back on campus this week, I think we all suffered a little bit of a mental lapse, trying to remember our protocols and routines! The teachers were trying to load up their tool belts, and couldn’t remember what exactly we needed! The parents were all talking about having ‘Monday morning brain fog’ even though it was a Wednesday! Can you believe how quickly we forget these ‘new normal’ routines?
Now, the kids, however…had no problem at all! They were excited to return to “Branching Out”, see their friends, run and play and greet their teachers. It was such a highlight to be able to see your children, in person, on campus, and just enjoy having fun and playing with them. We sent home the Holiday Gifts early, just to make sure you have them. The children did all of the artwork and hand prints on each gift. Typically, they help in the assembling of the gift, but this year, we just weren’t sure when we would see them again, so we assembled and wrapped them over the Thanksgiving break. Honestly, this year, we feel very accomplished to have the gifts ready to be distributed!
Our sweet friend Brin, celebrated a birthday on Sunday. We feel so blessed, every single day, to have this amazing and tech savvy woman on our staff. She enhances, embellishes and supports our team and community every single day. Hooray Hooray Brin! Happy Birthday!
One huge thing that feels missing from our Branching Out program, is our Gazebo time, where we get to visit with families and get to know you all. We continue brainstorm ideas to do this, but COVID numbers going up have snuffed out lots of our plans. We hope to kick off January with some monthly zoom parent meetings, a few social zoom events, (some adults only, and some kid centered, and some, family fun nights) in addition to our beloved Dad’s Day, Mother’s Teas and other events. Please bear with us as we figure out how to do all of this, and feel free to offer suggestions!
Speaking of suggestions, we have had several suggestions about our drop off and pick up procedures. You may have noticed the repainting of the parking lot over break that helps us keep organized. Thank you Kara McKown! Some suggestions to help us empty the parking lot quicker are: the end of the driveway by Issaquah Hobart Road is wide enough to have two lanes – one for left turners and one for right turners. Try to take advantage of the space if you can.
If you arrive after the ‘cut off’ time, please park in the lower lot and text Brin at 425.392.1563 to let her know you are arriving late. She will guide you up and assist your child to their campus after all other cars have left.
One Dad sweetly noticed that the Ladybugs, when waving goodbye to their parents in the morning, are staring into their car headlights. He suggested that you turn off your headlights at drop off so that the kiddos can see you.(this also brings up an apology from the teachers, who cannot see who is behind the wheel in each car behind the glare on the windshield – we’re slowly learning! But bear with us!) This same Dad also suggested that the school purchase a stop sign and get a volunteer from each class to stop traffic on Issaquah Hobart Road. We are not sure that we can do this, but if you have thoughts, or suggestions about this, please email Brin and we can perhaps figure out how to do this.
Lots of news, and lots of details, but to sum up…we love you, we appreciate you, and most of all, we absolutely LOVE being with your kiddos. Thank you for entrusting us with your most prized possessions!
Squeaks and Hoots from Cari, Thea and Donna
It was so fun to see the kids in person! The Crickets arrived ready for fun! We played in the rain, fed the chickens, read a book about Hanukkah, counted the eggs and practiced our letter of the week, G, and just enjoyed being with our friends! We are loving acting out “The Elves and the Shoemaker” and dancing like
The Honeybees practiced our Letter of the Week, K, and had a lovely circle where we recited the poems that we know and practiced reciting the poems that we don’t know yet. We played lots of ‘Hide and Go Seek’, fed the chickens and had fun performing our jobs for the week. On Thursday afternoon, we looked around and felt like the playground was the tidiest ever because we all chipped in to help. Keep practicing your poems and look for things that start with “L” for next week’s letter of the week. We missed Matthew, Gigi and Nolan. Matthew broke a bone in his wrist, Gigi is enjoying a family getaway, and Nolan is staying home safe for his baby sister.
Ladybugs enjoyed a day on the playground this week. It was so sweet to see the four that attended! Seri and Penelope had lots of giggles, playing with the soccer ball, and Hudson and Brynlee enjoyed swinging on the swings. We all loved listening to Cari read stories and had fun feeding the chickens, reciting “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and singing songs
Maddie and Adam are baking treats for their meeting this evening and waiting for the sitter to come take care of their kid, Mila.
Squeaks and Hoots from Brook and Cara
We absolutely loved being back on campus and seeing all our kiddos in person. We all understand the limitations to our world today, but seeing the children running, jumping, climbing and being social with their friends really warmed our hearts.
Both teachers noticed a big social and emotional development with our Ladybugs since the beginning of the school year. They were all playing so nicely together, problem solving and encouraging group play. We had fun reading “We Willie Winkie” and laughed at how he wore his nightgown. Then all the friends got to tell me about how they go to bed, and we put it in the news. They also had fun decorating and playing with the gingerbread people.
The Crickets got to have 2 wonderful days in the forest. We jumped in the mud puddles, fed the chickens and the bunnies and read funny stories about the Elf and the Shoemaker and the Cowboy and the Elves. We had a smaller class this week but hope to have a full class back to school after the holidays. The students practiced writing their letter “G” and came up with so fun words that start with the sound “G”. It would be great if parents can help partner with their children and explore your house to find objects that start with the letter of the week.
The Honeybees had so much fun making treasure maps that had us exploring everywhere from the wishing well to the chickens and bunnies. All the Honeybees at school did a terrific job with their poem this week. We are so proud of our students learning how to be strong and confident while public speaking. We also practiced writing our letter “k” this week and coming up with words that start with the sound “K”. I think we all ran about 5 miles each day up in the forest. The teachers were exhausted, and I am certain that the kiddos were too.
Crickets make some big splashes!
Last Day to order Garden Wear
Today is the final day to order Garden Wear. If you interested in placing an order, you have through the end of today.