Welcome to a new school year at Friends ‘n Fun!
Our mission is to provide your child with experiences that are filled with adventure, exploration and discovery. We want to be in collaboration with you as we work together to support your child as he/she grows and develops during these exciting early years of childhood. This partnership is of great value to us and we encourage you to let us know of any concerns or questions that you may have throughout the school year.
Teachers at FnF realize that parents know their children better than anyone. It is you who have seen them smile their first smile; it is you who celebrated their first words and first steps; it is you who have nursed them through illness and accidents; and it is you who continue to encourage, support, comfort and love them. Thank you for sharing your children with us and know that we take the trust you have extended us very seriously.
We all look forward to an exciting year and to all of the journeys ahead of us!
Janet, Jane & Katey
This newsletter has a lot of information regarding upcoming events and getting started in our program. PLEASE take time to read it and make notes on your own family’s calendar so that your family does not miss out on important dates, etc.
September’s Journey –
The beginning of a new school year presents us with an opportunity to see ourselves not only as individuals but also as a part of something bigger: a family, a school setting, a community.
“A child is born a first time, and then, through the long and difficult process of constructing his identity, it is as if he is born again. In this process, he gives himself a face, a body, gestures, movement, speech, thought, feelings, imagination, fantasy; in short, the awareness of being and the means of expressing his “me-ness” which is absolutely essential for becoming autonomous and distinguishing ourselves from other people and things – people and things we live and interact with and from which, little by little, we draw most of the raw material with which we create our own identity. To recognize ourselves and to be recognized. But a child’s most sought-after goal is to recognize himself in others, and to find in others (objects and the natural world as well) parts of himself.”
One of the facets of our daily schedule is the time of the day when we gather the children together in smaller pods to share ideas, activities and experiences as we explore a shared focus. On M/W and T/TH we do this in “Small Group.” The children come together with a teacher who will remain their small group teacher for the year. It is a time when we put similarly aged children together. There are the 2 1/2 to 3 year olds; the pre-kindergarten aged children; and a crew who aren’t quite the youngest and not quite the oldest. Small Group topics are selected in a variety of ways. Sometimes we use a rich and relevant children’s book as an anchor for exploration; sometimes teachers sense that a particular topic may be helpful in connecting the children to the school and each other; other times (and our favorite) is when we see patterns emerge in the children’s play that cross ages and gender and call for a more in depth investigation.
Friday is the day we switch gears a bit and have what we call “Studio Discovery.” Teachers set up a “surprise” for the children as they take turns messing about with materials and experiences that invite discovery. The teachers observe and learn about each child’s approach to what is set before them. Sometimes it is an individual experience that encourages creativity, investigation or tactile experimentation, and sometimes they are asked to work together to generate ideas and solutions to specific problems.
Every August the teachers come together around a thought, idea, or focus that anchors and guides the upcoming school year’s work. This past August we were inspired by the natural sense of wonder that children generate as they explore and make sense of the world around them. We talked about how to honor that sense of wonder and how to purposefully connect with it as we plan for the experiences we present to the children. As always, we seek to create opportunities for problem solving, collaboration, and creativity. We hope to do this in a manner that reflects compassion, kindness and caring for each other and our ideas. We hope to communicate with the children in a manner that supports deeper thinking not right or wrong answers to closed questions. We reflected on this way of thinking as we discussed a few articles that focused on the power of WONDER. We encourage you to share in this way of thinking, and if you wish, to check out the articles we discussed. Magic And Wonder: Creating A World Where Children Lead by Neville Dwyer; The Role of Wonder in Early Childhood: Finding Children’s Natural Desires for Learning by Muriel Vermelho; and Why Good Teachers Allow a Child’s Mind to Wander and Wonder by Anders Schinkel.
A caution suggested by the authors is to be aware that the window to wonder is wide open for a brief period of time – the time for our children is now!
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We began our new school year by observing our own and each others “Faces” as a way to get familiar with and learn more about each other and those in our small group crew. We are now jumping into an exploration that is steeped in the riches of Wonder – Nature! The children’s interests and input will help the teachers shape and guide the path we traverse. We do not know what directions and twists and turns we will embark on throughout this journey, but we are excited by all of the possibilities!
Studio Discovery Friday is kicking off with messing around with objects and reflection. We surprised the children with tables filled with mirrors, dominos and jeweled stones. As the children created things with these objects they became more conscious of what was happening in the mirrors. This Friday we will focus more specifically on observing reflections and the language around our observations. We hope to uncover many surprises on our Fridays throughout the year!
Drop off and Pick Up
We are so grateful to have our neighbor, East Simpson Coffee Company, join us on our end of Simpson Street.
With an additional business occupying our neighborhood, parking and access to school can be a bit squishy at times. There is a public parking lot right behind FnF that you can use should you encounter a really busy time. If you park there you can walk between FnF and the office building next to us and come around to the front for drop off, or onto the playground for pick up.
If there is a day where you will be later than expected or your child will not be attending please give us a call or email to let us know!
We like to check in with you after your child has been attending FnF for a few weeks to hear more from you about your child and to answer any additional questions that may have come up . We will be scheduling conferences in September on Wednesday the 28th and Thursday the 29th. The conferences usually take about 15 minutes and you are welcome to bring your child/children if you wish. The conferences are scheduled with your child’s small group teacher and each of us will connect with you to arrange a time.
The scheduled Fall conference secures an opportunity to chat together but we want you all to feel free to talk with us whenever a question or thought comes up!
We have been so very fortunate over the past two years to have successfully managed the pandemic and remain open without times of quarantine. That has been in large part due to the amazing efforts of all of our FnF families and their conscientious diligence in monitoring their family’s health and virus exposure so as to insure we are all as protected as possible. In an effort to continue to work together around health, we request all families do a symptom check before they leave home each morning. The Colorado Department of Public Health resource “How Sick is Too Sick” outlines the guidance we follow for all illness, including COVID.
An additional way you can help us is to practice the recommended hand washing protocol at home: wetting hands; applying soap; rubbing hands with soap for 20 seconds outside of the water stream (singing the ABC song, happy birthday two times, or counting to 20 slowly); rinsing the soap off and drying hands.
We can all help take care of each other within our Friends’n Fun Community and safe guard the health of ourselves and those in our lives outside of school!
We so appreciate everyone’s continued efforts and awareness!!!!!!
BITS & PIECES
HEALTH FORMS– The State of Colorado requires us to have a recent physical for each child at FnF. This physical must be updated annually. Jane will let you know if you are missing any paperwork and when it needs to be updated.
PERMISSION FORM– Licensing requires the permissions page of your child’s paperwork to be initialed and dated annually. Jane will catch you to have you sign/date the permission form for this year.
INFORMATION CHANGES – Jane will be asking returning families to review their child’s enrollment forms and update any changes to: address, phone numbers, employment (and that contact information), emergency contact, physician, insurance. If any of those things change during the year, please let us know so that we have current/correct information.
MEDICATIONS – A form MUST be completed by your doctor each time he/she prescribes ANY medications to be given to your child while in our care. This includes prescriptions and over the counter meds. Please ask Jane or Janet for the medications form and have your physician complete this form and return to school with the medication(s), as we will not be able to administer any medications without it. Please note that we are not allowed to administer any homeopathic medications/remedies. THANKS!
WATER BOTTLES & BACKPACKS
Our nurse consultant has recommended no water bottles at school, and space for backpacks is extremely limited – especially when winter gear starts sharing the hanging space. SORRY!
CLASS LIST WITH CONTACT INFORMATION – we are working on this and will make sure everyone has a copy once it’s ready!
Please watch Channel 9 News for notices of school closings or late
opening times on days of extreme snow. If you can, check Channel 9
News online for the most current updates, as the television has a
delay time from when we called. We will also post closures on the
“Latest & Greatest” page on our website and our Facebook page:
Phone numbers – If something should come up during off school hours call Janet or Jane (phone numbers will be on the class list.
FRIENDS ‘N FUN SCHOOL CLOSINGS FOR 2022-2023
August 29, 2022 Fall Session begins
September 5, 2022 Labor Day
November 24 – 25, 2022 Thanksgiving
December 24 thru Jan. 1st Winter Break (reopen Mon., Jan. 2nd)
January 16, 2023 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
February 20, 2023 President’s Day
March 22 – 23 – 24, 2023 Spring Break
May 29, 2023 Memorial Day
TBD Last Day of school year