Garden Gazette – September 15, 2020

Campus Tour

We hope you are all staying safe and healthy during this bout of poor air quality we are experiencing in our area. We are really excited to get to school and we are monitoring the weather and air quality conditions regularly. We will reach out to you via text in the early evening if we have to cancel school for the next day. Fingers crossed we soon get some rain or wind to clear our air and open our doors.

In the meantime, we have not been able to offer our school tour to our new families and a few of our existing families who are interested in seeing the campuses. Teacher Thea has done a lovely job of guiding you through our Luna’s Forest and Belleamie’s Playground campuses via video tour.

School Pictures

Our long-time photographer Nigel Cooper will be at the school in a couple of weeks to take socially distanced pictures from our school parking lot. These outdoor pictures will be taken during class.

Picture day class schedule:

Crickets and Honeybees
Wednesday, September 30th

Ladybugs
Thursday, October 1st.

The school uses these school pictures throughout the year on various projects. Parents can choose to purchase picture packages from Nigel Cooper Studios.

Download and print your order form here.

Immunization Records

Please provide your child’s current immunization record. You can get this from your doctor and send to the school via email or hard copy in our on campus drop box.

Parenting Class- a message from our parenting class instructor, Julie Spangler

The jury is in.  Parenting isn’t always easy or fun.  We may have occasionally wished we could duct tape our kid to the fridge, just to be able to finish making lunch, but of course we have not given in to the impulse.  The preschool years are some of the most rewarding and the most challenging years we face as parents.  Each child is unique, having their own pattern and timing of development and we have the joy and privilege of watching them unfold into who they are and will become.  And yet, though there is uniqueness, there are still patterns common to all children as they grow, and challenges all parents share. 

You may have reacted to some child’s transgression harshly, only to realize later that it might have been handled differently to better effect.  We all have occasional regrets.  It is helpful to take the time to think ahead and prepare responses to issues that come up with our children regularly.  Sometimes we feel we, alone, experience these challenges. We may even feel ashamed to speak of them. It is helpful to step outside of our automatic responses occasionally and think of alternative ways to work with them.

My name is Julie Spangler.  I will be offering parenting classes this fall to any parents who are interested in rethinking ways of problem-solving with their children.  Our intent through these classes is not only to give specific tools to enrich your interactions with your child, but also to enhance the inclusion of family and home life as an integrated part of the Children’s Garden learning experience. We find that if the children are addressed at home in a similar manner as at the school, it supports their progress in all areas of their growth.

Through the parenting classes we will learn about supportive language, natural and logical consequences, problem-solving and tools for handling those normal challenges our children bring us daily. We find that it is often a relief to parents to be able to talk with other parents about their challenges and receive support and input from other’s experience. (We see this especially among the Dads.  Moms talk with each other more about parenting issues, Dad’s don’t often get the opportunity.) 

This is an opportunity to talk with other parents, compare notes and share experiences, learn from each other and from parenting materials created for this purpose and having fun while doing so.  This is a chance to meet with a group of other parents of young children to talk about those little people whom you love and who rule your lives, and get some new strategies and to learn some new skills.   OK, maybe a parents’ tour of the wine country might be more fun, but it wouldn’t have the life enhancing side benefits of easing your discord during conflicts of interest with those charming little ruler wannabes you live with.

Starting now to develop good communication habits with your children will show great benefits through the anticipated teen years!

This class is offered online through Zoom on Tuesday nights at 8:30 PM, September 29th – November 24th, 2020.  

Sign up  here.

Payments are made to Julie at your convenience within the first few weeks of the class via papal, zelle or check. Multiple small payments can are available.

Questions?  Email me at jespangler@gmail.com phone:425-643-2991. 

Important Forms

Earlier this week, we sent an email with the Community Commitment and our Assumption of Risk and Waiver of Liability Relating to Coronavirus/COVID-19 forms attached for you to view. You can view these documents via the links above or visit our Branching Out page.

We have hard copies of both documents to give you on the first day of school. Please sign and return forms to the school in our on campus drop box.

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Parking at The Garden

Because all families will need to participate in health checks and parents must remain in their vehicles while children are escorted to class by their teachers, the parking pattern will look different this year.  The parking lot has been striped and we ask that all families back into the next available space as indicated on the attached map.  To avoid additional confusion, we will have each class remain parking on the same side of the parking lot all year.  Please look for your teachers as you arrive this first week to know which side of the parking lot you will be using.  It is critical that all families adhere to this protocol as we are double parking cars in order to have everyone able to arrive in the upper lot at the same time for health checks. 

Please note the following:

Teacher Cara and Teacher Brook’s classes will begin the year on Belleamie’s Playground. Teacher Donna, Cari and Thea’s classes will be starting the year in Luna’s Nest.

  1. All cars must BACK into the next available spot as they are numbered on the provided map on each side of the parking lot.  The only exception to this rule is spot #9 in front of the gazebo, which is a head-in only spot for the last car to arrive.  Please be patient and allow plenty of space for the car ahead of you to park appropriately.
  2. You may only exit your vehicle on the driver’s side while masked to help your child unbuckle/be ready for the health check.
  3. Health checks may only occur after everyone has returned inside their vehicle
  4. You must wait to exit the parking lot until all children/teachers have left the parking lot
  5.  Exit order on the gazebo side is different from arrival order.  Parking spot #6 MUST EXIT FIRST, followed by #3 and #4 while #9 MUST EXIT LAST as it needs the empty parking lot in order to turn around.

Please also remember that the upper parking lot will close 5 minutes before the beginning and ending of classes (8:10am/10:40am for morning classes, 12:10pm/3:10am for afternoon classes).  If you arrive late, you will need to wait in the lower field, call Brin to notify her that you are here and then wait to enter the upper lot after ALL cars have exited from the morning drop-off and/or afternoon pick-up.

Finally, don’t worry!  The Staff will be greeting cars as they arrive for the first week of school to help everyone better understand the parking protocol.

Thanks to everyone for your patience as we navigate our first week of Branching Out!

View our Parking Lot map here.

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