Sunday, November 28, 2021

Our ECC In Publication

In the summer months, Zeeland partners with Ready for School to provide a Kindergarten Readiness Camp opportunity to help our pre-K students transitions to elementary school.  Ready for School recently published a quarterly newsletter highlighting this exciting opportunity with pictures from Summer '21.  Perhaps you may like to begin considering this possibility for you preschooler.




If you are interested in reading more, you may access a digital copy of the Ready quarterly by following this link.

Learn more about Kindergarten Readiness Camp at readyforschool.org/summer!


Friday, November 19, 2021

Z for Me: School Closure Update

 If you have not already subscribed to the Z for Me district email list, you will want to do so now to stay up to date on any future district wide announcements.  

Subscribe to Z for Me


Wishing each of our ECC families a safe & healthy Thanksgiving!

The update sent via email on 11/19 reads as follows:

Important Update

Dear ZPS Families,

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we have so much to be thankful for. There is much to celebrate, including the resiliency of all our staff and students in the midst of another year of challenges. I am also grateful for the unwavering support of the ZPS community. Together, we have been able to provide relational, high-quality, in-person school for our students for the past twelve weeks.

It hasn’t been easy, but our hardworking and dedicated professional staff have gone above and beyond this year, doing more than ever before to meet the needs of our students and the ZPS district. There hasn’t been one school day yet this year that we have had enough substitute coverage which has caused teachers and support staff to cover for those who are absent. 

Given the staffing shortages we are experiencing currently, we have decided to close the entire week of Thanksgiving, Monday, November 22, through Friday, November 26, including ZKids childcare. The decision to close was based on many conversations with local health officials, hospitals, district staff, and numerous neighboring districts, as well as the review of parent communications throughout the district. These additional two days will hopefully provide ample opportunity for rejuvenation, so that upon our return on November 29, we are all healthier. 

Additionally, COVID-19 rates continue to climb, and while ZPS has committed to numerous mitigation strategies to contain the spread of this virus, a nine-day break with the loss of only two scheduled days is one more way we can combat the possibility of interrupted learning in the long term while also dealing with the continued staffing shortages brought on by COVID-19.

There will be no remote instruction during this time. Activities and events related to co-curricular and extracurricular events will be handled on a case by case basis, and communication will come directly from program directors and coaches. For students needing meals, please contact The Bridge at 616.772.3843. Families are welcome to come to The Bridge between 11am - 1pm on Monday and Tuesday. Their address is 210 East Main Avenue.

The overall health and well-being of our students remain the focus of all decision-making, and I encourage you to spend this break doing whatever fills your hearts with joy. Take extra walks, connect with friends and family, and absorb these precious days with your children who will grow up all too soon.


We are thankful for the support of our families, the dedication of our staff, and the effort put forth by our students. We acknowledge the potential strain this decision places on some of our families. Together, with family and community, we are grateful to play such an important role in preparing our students for a lifetime of learning. We look forward to welcoming students back on November 29. 

Gratefully,

Dr. Brandi-Lyn Mendham
Superintendent 
Zeeland Public Schools




Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Scenes from a School Day

 Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of your preschooler might look like?  

Enjoy this little window into one of our four year old classrooms!


Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Weekly Updates


 Here are a few quick updates to kick off November:

Your support in our school fundraiser was tremendous!  We are so thankful for you orders, and generous donations.  Your orders will be available for pick up this Thursday (11/4).  Please stop by school between 3:30 - 5:30 to pick up your order.  

Next week, November 9-11, will be parent/teacher conferences.  Your child's classroom teacher will reach out to you with information for how to schedule your individualized conference.  Our tuition and GSRP classrooms will not be in session on the 10th, 11th or 12th.  ECSE students will have school on the 10th, but will also be off on the 11th & 12th! We look forward to seeing you in the building, or via Zoom, throughout the week. 

School pictures will come home with your child this week Tuesday or Wednesday.  If your child was absent on picture day, or you choose a picture retake, retake day will be November 16th.


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Process Art for Preschool

 Do you know what Process Art means for your preschooler?

Process Art is a child-directed, choice-drive opportunity to celebrate discovery through artistic experiences.  The product in process art is unique to each child and focuses on the creation rather than the final piece. 

four year olds develop fine motor skills with a "fin-tastic" fish process art project

One of our amazing Associate Teachers developed a grant proposal and preschool curriculum to enhance the development of process art in all of our preschool classrooms.

Mrs. Busa explains why we do process art, 

"Process art allows children to explore a variety or tools and materials.  Process art encourages our students to try new things, think, plan, create and make mistakes.  Children use their fine motors skills as they discover a variety of art materials. Children have many opportunities to make decisions about their art.  Process art is a stress reliever driven by curiosity and imagination! Since process art is open-ended and creative, every child's piece looks different."

If you may like to learn more about process art and the benefits for your preschooler, this article from TinkerLab is helpful.

Additionally, there are several children's picture books you and your child may enjoy together while exploring artistic expression.

The Dot by Peter Reynolds

Ish by Peter Reynolds

Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

Perfect Square by Michael Hall

The Book with a Hole by Herve Tullet

Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire

I’m Not just a Scribble by Diane Alber

Spots by Diane Alber

Snippets by Diane Alber

Splatter by Diane Alber


Friday, October 15, 2021

Thank You!

 

Thank you so much for your participation in our school fundraiser this fall!  Your record breaking generosity in purchases and donations will benefit your child and enhance the experiences we are able to offer throughout the school year.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Picture Days: Coming Soon

 

School picture days will be on October 11th & 12th!  

Please connect with your teacher for a specific scheduled time for your child's photo.


Choose an outfit that is comfortable.  Children wearing items they feel are tight or scratchy may not relax to fully smile for a photo. Perhaps let your child help pick out an outfit they are excited about and/or shows their favorite color.

Check your child's clothing for wrinkles and stains.

Large logos, brand names or characters take away the focus from your sweet preschooler's face in the photo.

Aim for a hairstyle that is self-sustaining if your child runs and plays before their photo time.


SMILE!



Thursday, October 7, 2021

Fire Safety Awareness Month

 


Earlier this week at preschool we practiced our first fire drill.  

Today we had a very special visit from Zeeland Fire Rescue.


Start a conversation with your child about what they are learning 

about fire safety awareness by asking some of these questions:


What color was the fire truck that visited your school?

What do firefighters wear to stay safe in a fire?

What number should we call if there is a fire at our house?

Were you able to climb into the firetruck today? What did you see inside?


A valuable follow up conversation as a family who be to talk together about your family's "Meeting Spot."  Where outside will you meet together if there is a fire in your home?  The firefighters recommend a spot in your own front yard by a prominent tree or your mailbox.


Thank you Mrs Ysseldyke for planning this informative 

and fun experience for all of our preschool classes!


Monday, October 4, 2021

Fine Motor Development

"It takes time to build muscles in little hands."

GSRP students stretch rubber bands on geoboards to strengthen muscles for fine motor activities

Fine motor skills are the coordinated use of small muscles, specifically those in the hands and fingers.  Fine motor skills are used for movements such as grasping and pinching.  

In our ZPS early childhood classrooms and childcare students engage in daily fine motor activities to develop this critical skills as a foundation for writing, drawing, cutting, buttoning, lacing and zipping. Fine motor skills also contribute to developing hand-eye coordination

There are simple & fun ideas you may also wish to try at home to further develop your preschooler's fine motor skills.  For a collection of suggestions, you may wish to explore some of the activities found on ABC & 123: A Learning Cooperative.  There are also many ideas to be found by searching for Fine Motor Activities for Preschoolers on Pinterest.

Other simple things you may want to try with things you likely at home already include:

  • Playdough
  • Finger Paint
  • Sorting Loose Change
  • Opening and Closing Plastic Zip Bags or Containers
  • Legos
  • Stringing Noodles or Yarn on Floss or Yarn
  • Experimenting with Clothes Pins or Tweezers
  • Pouring Dry Ingredients or Water between Containers
What have you tried with your child that you may like to share with other caregivers?
What questions might you have about fine motor development?
Please share your comments & questions!



Monday, September 27, 2021

Poppin' In to Share a Great Way to Support Our School!

We are kicking off our school fundraiser today.  Your child will be bringing home information in their folder this afternoon.

 Do you have additional questions? Please reach out to your child's teacher or give our office a call.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Early Childhood Center Handbooks


Did you know there are parent handbooks available to help you navigate your child's first experiences in Zeeland Public Schools?  Your child's teacher will shared the appropriate links with you.  Please review your program handbook.  After reading through this guide each family will be asked to sign a paper copy acknowledging you are familiar with the handbook contents.

Tuition Preschool Handbook

Childcare Handbook


Sunday, September 12, 2021

Back to School Health & Safety Specifics

9/1/21

Dear ECC Families,

It has been fantastic to see so many of your in the past weeks at arrival, dismissal and during family/teacher meet & greets!  We are thankful for each one of you and your family.  One thing we have learned over these past years is that the only thing we can be certain of is change.  However, we are certain of one thing that will not change in our school - our focus on helping your child love learning, build great relationships at school and achieve great things.  We can not thank you enough for partnering with us in the early education of your child.

The Ottawa County Health Department has given us guidance regarding the mask mandate for PreK-6th grade.  This means that face masks are required for anyone over the age of 4 who enters our building.  For those students who will be riding school transportation, a mask is also required to be worn on the school bus.  Thank you for your ongoing support regardless of your emotions around this order. We appreciate each and every one of you!


Volunteering at School
We look forward to welcoming parents back into our building as volunteers.  If you are interested in volunteering at school the first step will be registering with the online system.  Please follow this link to get set up at https://v2ms.zps.org/Login.aspx.  Please remember you must renew your registration each school year.

When your registration and background check is complete and approved, you may check in with your child's teacher to schedule times to volunteers.

Field Trips
We are excited to share that we will be allowed to resume field trips this school year! Please stay tuned for more details from your child's teacher regarding field trip opportunities.

Birthday Treats
Your child is welcome to celebrate their birthday with their classmates by bringing a prepackaged, store bought treat or non food items.

Daily Health Screener
Families are asked to check for health each morning prior to sending your child to school.  If a child is experiencing respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms and/or has a temperature please keep the child home.  Parents will be asked screening questions at drop off including:
  •      Has your child been in close contact with any person who has COVID-19?
  •      Has your child felt unwell in the last 24 hours?
Our school will cooperate with the local health department in case of an identified case of COVID-19.

Mitigation Strategies
  • Students are encouraged to bring water bottles from home as drinking fountains are not available at this time.
  • Classrooms are sanitized daily per LARA regulations
  • Hand washing will take place often
  • Students are contained in cohort groups as much as possible
  • Movement in hallways is scheduled to keep children with their cohort groups as much as possible
  • Breakfast and lunch will be eaten in the classrooms and provided by ZPS Food Service for GSRP students.  Staff will facilitate serving all food.
  • Children will be encouraged to bring a blanket from home for rest time.  Blankets will be kept in individual cubbies and sent home weekly for cleaning.
Please contact us at anytime if you have specific questions.

Your Partner in Preschool Education,
Katie Meyering