Garden Gazette September 17, 2021

First Week Recap

What a great first week of school! We loved seeing all of you and enjoyed returning to in person parent drop-off and pick-up.

Please read on for important parking information, news and pictures from the classrooms and school updates and announcements.

Driving In and Out of the School

Parking
The Children’s Garden has two parking lots, the upper gravel lot and the lower grassy lot. Our upper lot cannot hold everyone at once so please use the lower lot if the upper lot is full or just for faster easier parking.

Upper Lot: The upper lot has a dozen available spots and an open area near the hillside that serves as the driveway for the residence. The driveway is coned off and not for parking. 

The upper lot is a busy space at the beginning and end of class and requires back in parking to help keep this area as safe.

When you park in the upper lot be sure to:

  • back in: we ask you to back into a spot for clearer line of site  and smoother exiting. 
  • resident driveway: it is a safety issue to retain access to the residence by not  having unattended cars blocking the space. Please do not park in this coned off area.

Lower Lot: The grassy lower lot has parking for staff and families. 

Exiting the School- Left and right turn lanes onto Issaquah Hobart Road
When you exit the school, please use width of the driveway to form two lanes, a left turn lane and a right turn lane, creating smoother traffic flow out of the school.

From the Mousehole

What an amazing first week of school we had here at The Children’s Garden! The teachers were all so thrilled to be back with the students! The summer seemed like a long hot summer, but then in the final weeks of prep, it felt short again! We had a wonderful work party turn out – thank you to everyone who helped get our campus ready! Our New Parent Luncheon was lovely; we had a wonderful turnout of mums this year! 

The weather held up beautifully for us this year for our luncheon, our work party and overall, for our first week of school. Morning classes, you’ve probably noticed that The Garden seems to have its own climate zone – we are much cooler in the morning as our campus is shaded by Tiger Mountain. We don’t usually get direct sun until about 11 am. This time of year there is also a dampness in the air, as the heavy autumnal dew and the morning fog take a while to dry out. We haven’t had any students complain about being too cold or uncomfortable, so you are all doing a great job of insulating them for the weather. 

The Hybrid Cohort, which we think we should come up with a cuter name for, maybe the “Belleamie’s”? as they start out on Belleamie’s playground? Anyway, the Belleamie Cohort are still working through routines regarding indoor and outdoor shoes, backpacks, snacks and jackets, but we feel as if we are steadily streamlining the process. We will keep parents posted at drop off and pick up of any procedural changes. If we call the Hybrid cohort, the Belleamie Cohort, we might as well refer to the Outdoor Cohort as the Luna Cohort, as they start their day up in Luna’s Forest.  

Isn’t it wonderful that the parents can mingle about with other parents in their cohorts at drop off and pickup? The teachers love to be out in the mix as well. Thank you everyone for following the health guidelines and requirements and helping us keep our campus safe!

Read on for Class Specific News.

Ladybugs:

We are so proud of our new little Bugs this year! We only had a few tears on the first day, and they were short lived. I think some of the parents might have been teary a little longer! The Bugs explored all the nooks and crannies of their new preschool and enjoyed eating snack with their classmates. We introduced our kiddos to Belleamie, our school mouse, who checks in with the children regularly about their feelings and teaches them how to be a good friend. Our puppet, Belleamie, is as old as the school and always finds and holds a place in our students’ hearts. Many alumni have told us their memories of how Belleamie helped them through a rough day. We introduced the new students to The Children’s Garden Closing Circle Song, and we made little booklets about our Daily Routine. 

In the Ladybug year, we begin to work with the students to ‘find our eyes’ when we are talking – to greet our friends and our teachers with a ‘hi’ – and to use a big strong voice when we are telling each other, or Belleamie, our name! “Hi, I’m Donna!” This is the beginning of developing confident citizens. At the end of the day, the teachers will get down on the kid’s eye level and say, “Bye! Can you find my eyes and say, ‘Bye Donna’” before sending them across the bridge or down the brick path. 

So much fun! The teachers are already gushing about how much we love these little kiddos!

Crickets: 

Wow! The Cricket class had a fun time experiencing sun and rain at The Garden! It was so fun for the teachers to have the opportunity to work with a different group of kiddos from last year and to experience all the children that we shared stories about last year! Our Crickets are pros! They know the routines, they clean up when the bell rings, they love to play and jump and run! 

We had two birthday circles this week, with Mara and Ember! We will celebrate each Cricket birthday this year, be it a half birthday or a day before. 

The Crickets began to learn about the calendar and colored a September calendar to bring home. We will do this each month and have the children begin to trace numbers of the calendar. Each day, we will look at the big calendar and learn about patterns, seasons, and days of the week.

We practiced the Closing Circle Song, and we learned a new Opening Circle Poem, ‘We Light This Candle”. Watch for both poems in the next week or so for you to have at home and practice. We also sent home news, which we will do each week.

In the Cricket class, we begin learning about letters and how to write letters. We work with pencil grip, tracing lines and learning the letters in our names. This week, we helped an owl trace his path to a tree or a barn. Next week, we begin looking at the ‘Sound Basket’ and learn about the letter of the week. Each week, a student will take the sound basket home on Friday and bring it back on Monday with 5 items that start with the letter of the week. We will share those items on Monday. If any other student would like to bring in items that start with the letter of the week, feel free! Next week, we are learning about all thing’s “A”! …and…we are celebrating APPLES for the next two weeks! Watch for apple art and apple songs.

We will be sending home a weekly ‘number basket’. Next week, we learn about the number, 1. So, the number basket student will bring in 1 of their favorite items to share at circle.

All in all, a fantastic and fun first week in the Cricket class!

Honeybees: 

Oh, my goodness, how can these kids possibly be Honeybees?!

But they sure are! They know the routines, they find our eyes, and they are ready to be at circle and show us what they know! We had several children stand up and proudly recite the opening circle poem. We will all learn this in the next month or so. Each week, the Bees will learn a new poem that they will stand in front of their peers and recite. This is such an amazing confidence builder. 

The Bees will be writing their names each week and learning about a new letter each week, along with a number each week! This week, we sent home a sound basket for ‘A’ and a number basket for ‘1’. 

The Honeybees began to learn about the calendar and colored a September calendar to bring home. We will do this each month and have the children begin to trace numbers of the calendar. Each day, we will look at the big calendar and learn about patterns, seasons, and days of the week.

This week we read the classic tale of “Caps for Sale” and we then acted out the story of the hat peddler and the group of mischievous monkeys who said ‘zhee zhee zhee zhee zhee’. Ask your honeybee if they were a peddler, a monkey or an audience member. 

We are so excited to have this year with our Honeybees and prepare them for their Kindergarten year. They are well on their way.

Ladybugs

Crickets

Honeybees

School Phones

We have updated our school phone system. When you call in you have options to reach the office, report an absence or leave a message with one of the teachers. 

Please press 10 to bypass all menu options and go straight to the office.

Our new phone system offers great flexibility in getting in touch with staff and most importantly our lines will be consistently running and we will be able to hear each other clearly with no crackling noise!

Monthly Tuition

Regular monthly tuition has been added to Brightwheel. You will recive a tuition notice around the first of each month and payments are due by the 15th of the month.

Payments can be made via Brightwheel or by paper check either sent from your bank or hand written and placed in the mailbox on the school bridge.

Mark Your Calendar

Please mark you calendars with the following important dates. You can view these dates and more at our online School Calendar.

Class Schedule

We start the week off with our Cricket class on Monday morning, Honeybees Monday afternoon and Ladybugs on Tuesday morning. Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to check in and get hands washed.

Crickets– Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8:15 – 11:15 am

Honeybees– Monday-Thursday 12:15 – 3:15 pm

Ladybugs-Tuesday and Thursday  8:15 – 10:45 am

Start of school paperwork and supplies.

Thank you to everyone who brought comfort kits and provided your child’s immunization records. These are important items for us to have at the school in case of emergency.

Visit our Start of School page here for a checklist and instructions for items to bring to the school.

Health and Wellness

Is your child: Traveling out of state? Have a runny nose?

We have adjusted our programming and incorporated additional health safety practices and protocols to directly address the continued health concerns associated with COVID-19. Please view our Health and Wellness page for our health safety practices and protocols for the 2021-22 academic year.  

A Note About Clothes

Last year our students were comfortable on colder wetter days with rainboots, rain jackets etc. Much thanks to all of our amazing parents and caregivers for layering and setting up your Gardeners for success with great clothing choices.

Cricket mom to Mara and Board member Andrea has set up a discount program with an outdoor clothing company she recommends.

“Families can sign up under Polarn O. Pyret’s Outdoor school program and get 20% off outdoor gear.  They have great outdoor great.  I outfitted both my son and Mara in their outdoor gear, high quality stuff!” 

Visit Polarn O. Pyret here. A Swedish children’s clothing company that has great outdoor clothes for kids.  Below is a link to sign up and get 20% off full priced outdoor gear! 

Fill in your information and then the schools information. 

The Children’s Garden School
12706 Issaquah-Hobart Road
Issaquah, WA 98027

As we move into colder weather, here are some layering recommendations to consider for those winter months.

View and print the Essential Winter Layers  here or click on the image.

Additionally we LOVE these items as well.

Seattle Sombrero

Hoods can allow water to drip in eyes and hinder hearing. We love this style hat sold at REI here and Amazon here.

Lots of our students wore one piece rain suits that worked out great last year. Some examples are Tuffo and Splashy.

Long Zip Gloves and Mittens

Zippers make these mittens easy to get on and off. Amazon sells them here.

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