Dear P.A.W.S. Family and Friends,
The Winter Solstice is Thursday, December 21, but today’s lovely weather didn’t feel very wintery! The snow is melting on the ground and with today’s warmer weather, one group of preschool students were blowing bubbles during outside play-time! Please read the following P.A.W.S. Update for information about important school events and about snowy day outdoor play, should we have more snow at some point!
Limited Parking at the P.A.W.S. Campus Tomorrow
Tomorrow, Wednesday, December 20 there is a holiday concert for the Fiske Elementary School at 8:45am. There will likely be many Fiske School parents attending the event, and this may cause very limited parking for P.A.W.S. parents. Please plan accordingly, be patient with each other in the congested parking lot, drive slowly, and utilize the drop-off car line facilitated by P.A.W.S. staff.
Friday, December 22, 2017 is the last day of school this year! We hope you enjoy your winter holiday and we will see you again when school reopens on Tuesday, January 2, 2018!
All preschool tuition is due, paid in full, by Monday, January 1, 2018. All families that pay tuition must be in good standing with the District Business Office in order for your child to return to school on January 2, 2018. If you have any questions about how much tuition you owe, how or where to pay your tuition, or if you have any other tuition questions, please call the P.A.W.S. office and we will assist you.
A BIG Thank You!
Thank you to all of the many families and staff members who supported the “Helping Hands” mitten tree this year! Your generosity, kindness, and care warmed our hearts and has helped to make the holiday season happier and brighter for several families.
Family Winter Traditions Dessert Night
Thank you to the P.A.W.S. PTO for organizing our first Family Winter Traditions Dessert Night! Thank you to all of the families who baked, prepared, and shared their favorite holiday desserts and joined us on Dec. 8th for an evening of joy, eating desserts, and spending time together! It was a well attended event that boasted delicious desserts filling tables up and down our school hallways! There were so many positive comments made throughout the night from parents enjoying the time spent together and from the children playing and having fun, that we are already looking forward to doing it again next year!
Attention: All families with children who will be age 5 by August 31 – Your child is/will be age eligible to enter kindergarten in 2018!
Your Kindergarten registration packets will be mailed out on January 2, 2018. Be sure to read all of the information carefully, complete all required forms, and feel free to ask your child’s teacher or the P.A.W.S. office staff if you have any questions. Please check the district website for more information. LINK
In order to provide a convenient way for all families to register for Kindergarten, the District hosts events called “Kindergarten Round-Up!” where you are invited to bring all of your kindergarten registration paperwork to one location. There are two Kindergarten Round-Up events hosted at the Sprague Elementary School (2/8/18 from 3:00pm-6:00pm and 3/4/18 from 9:00am-12:00pm) open all kindergarten eligible families throughout the district. The district Kindergarten Round-Up is an event for parents and/or guardians to submit their paperwork for kindergarten registration, meet the elementary school principals and office staff, and learn about the elementary school after school program with the WCCC.
The P.A.W.S. Kindergarten Round-Up! Wednesday, February 7, 2018 from 10-1
The lines at the district wide Kindergarten Round-Up events can sometimes be a little long, so we host an exclusive, special Kindergarten Round-Up at the P.A.W.S. main campus that is offered for benefit and for the convenience of our P.A.W.S. families. The elementary principals do not attend the P.A.W.S. event, but the WCCC is present to help answer questions about the after school care options it provides. Children do not need to attend any of the Kindergarten Round-Up events.
P.A.W.S. Winter Carnival
Sunday, January 21, 2018 hosted by the P.A.W.S. PTO at the Hardy School Gymnasium
The P.A.W.S. Winter carnival is a family friendly event hosted by the PTO where we welcome our P.A.W.S. families to gather together for some fun in the gym at Hardy School! This is a free event for all families. Siblings are invited to attend, too, and it is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with with old friends and to make and meet new friends! This year there will be face painting, a raffle, prizes and games! We look forward to seeing you there!
The P.A.W.S. CARE TEAM
The old Beatles song may have said it best when they sang, I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends! We all need a little help from time to time, and we are working to establish a P.A.W.S. preschool CARE Team that will be organized to provide support and assistance, to all members of our school community, when one of us is in need of a helping hand. We were inspired when we learned about the Fiske and Schofield Elementary Schools CARE Teams and we decided we would like to create a CARE team at P.A.W.S., as well. Anyone can be a member of the P.A.W.S. CARE Team. You just need to be interested in volunteering to share your support to care for another in our school community, who may need a hand from time to time.
The Fiske and Schofield CARE Teams have been able to care for their school communities by providing meals for families after a major life event such as a birth of a child, or when a parent has become ill, or when there has been tragic event or a death in the family. Additionally, the elementary school CARE Team members have organized themselves and will sometimes provide a ride to a child or family who may need help to attend a school event, or they might provide rides to a family when it it bitterly cold or there is inclement weather. Sometimes an email gets sent out the the CARE Team members with a specific request for a special need or to provide assistance. We are looking to start a P.A.W.S. CARE Team, to be best able to support each other, should one of us need a hand, and we’d love to have you join us!
The CARE Team is organized, designed, and intended to be available to help all members of the school community. Please send an email to ‘Becca Z. at email@example.com if you are interested in being a member of the P.A.W.S. CARE Team, if you would like to receive emails with more information about the CARE team, or if you have ideas or any questions about the CARE Team. Being a part of the P.A.W.S. preschool CARE Team is strictly voluntary, and we’d love to have your support.
Winter Snowy Days and Outdoor Play
If the weather should bring us more snowy days, there may be opportunities for the children to play outside in the snow when they are at school. Please check with your child’s classroom teachers about the times your child may be going out to play in the snow. Be sure that your child has boots, hat, mittens, snow pants and a warm parka/coat/jacket to be able to enjoy snowy day, outdoor play. Please mark each item of clothing with your child’s name, to help us keep track of your child’s belongings. Thank you!
From Your School Psychologist:
This article is a reprint from Paws Prints past. Hopefully, you’ll find some points in this article that can help you plan for a smooth holiday and school vacation time.
Easing the Stress of Holidays and Vacations
by Terry Weksel, Psy.D., School Psychologist
Common knowledge is that routine is very important in the lives of young children. A
standard bedtime, regular times and expectations for meals, and a general sense of how
the day will progress are examples of the way in which parents try to provide regularity to
a busy family life.
During these next few months, as holiday times and a school vacation approach, these
routines may be shaken somewhat. An extra trip to the mall or the toy store to pick up
some gifts may interrupt a lunchtime or nap, and overtax a child’s coping ability (you
know how you feel when you haven’t had your morning coffee and everyone in the
household starts making demands on you?). Before you know it, you’re dealing with a
meltdown in the parking lot of the store.
School vacation may mean less structure in your children’s day. “There’s nothing to do”
may be heard more often, and the rise of sibling squabbles could be on the horizon.
Out of town visitors may be a part of your holiday or vacation plans. Grandparents who
say, “oh, just one more cookie won’t hurt” may feel like sabotage to your parenting.
Well-meaning relatives or friends whom your children haven’t seen since last year can
appear overwhelming to youngsters.
Or, travel may be in your family’s plans. Sleeping in a different bed, having meals at
irregular times, and long hours in a car or airport can strain everyone’s patience.
But, there’s a bright side to all of this as well. School vacation can provide much needed
family time. Connecting with grandparents, other relatives, and family friends can bring
richness to children’s lives. Holiday traditions are an opportunity to learn about and
celebrate family values and those of others. Traveling to other parts of the country or
even to other parts of the world is educational as well as fun.
So, how can you keep some sense of routine while everything seems turned upside down?
• Try to maintain as much of your regular routine as possible. Bedtimes and mealtimes
may fluctuate a bit, but you may still be able to keep these important activities within
reasonable time frames. If a meal will be very late, offer your children healthy snacks
such as yogurt, raisins, or fruit to offset hunger meltdowns.
• Prepare your children for what to expect. You know your children best. Some kids
need to know the evening before exactly what the next day will bring. Others do best by
being told in the morning. Whatever works with your individual child, that is what you
should do. “We’re going to start our day with breakfast as usual, and then Aunt Mary is coming to take us shopping.” Use a list posted on your refrigerator. When possible,
involve your children in the schedule. “Would you like to bake cookies first, or deliver
• Avoid trips to the mall or crowded grocery store with your children during what would
be meal times or nap times. This will insure an unhappy companion. The
overstimulation of the environment, coupled with the children’s sleepy or hungry state, is
not likely to be a pleasant experience.
• If you are traveling long distances, be sure to stop at regular intervals for bathroom
breaks and stretches. Pack healthy snacks and juice/water, and quiet games and activities
(such as coloring books, colorforms, books on tape, music), to occupy your children along
the way. Be sure to dress the children in comfortable clothes for the journey.
• Maintain your expectations for your children’s behavior. Holidays and school
vacations are not an excuse for loosening up on limit-setting or allowing non-compliance.
Household chores such as picking up one’s own toys should still apply.
• Also maintain your positive feedback to your children. Let them know that you
appreciate their cooperation; reinforce their efforts as much as their actual behavior.
• Make time to take care of yourself! If you are feeling tired or stressed, this can affect
the rest of the family too, and it will be harder to employ any of these strategies. Simple
activities such as a brisk walk, meeting a friend for lunch, or your favorite music on the
stereo can change your mood.
In whatever way you and your family will be spending the upcoming school vacation and
holiday time, a little planning and common sense will go a long way in maintaining a
calm, cooperative atmosphere. Enjoy!
If you have any questions about managing specific situations, please feel free
to contact me at 446-6222 ext. 2803, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Weksel, Psy.D.
Wishing all of our wonderful P.A.W.S. friends and family members, a very happy, healthy, and joyful holiday season!