Executive Director/ Owner

Hello Parkside Families!

Happy Cool Summer!  The weather certainly hasn’t felt like August this week…hopefully we’ll get a lot more sun and warmth before the month is out.

TRANSITIONS, TRANSITIONS!  We’re gearing up for our fall enrollment right now, and the changes include this blog.  Miss Lisa, our Assistant Director, is moving into our Big Sur classroom as their third teacher until December.  The ages of our children are quite young this year, thus we need an additional teacher to maintain ratios.  Since Miss Jen V. will be taking on Lisa’s scheduling role, I’m taking over the blog for awhile.  I’m thrilled with this change, as I rarely get the chance to reach out to Parkside families other than brief moments in the hall.  Allow me to talk about events upcoming in August…

Transitions are the main topic, as moving children from room to room happens most often in July and August.  Our oldest children have graduated and will be leaving for Kindergarten during the last week of August or the first week of September; we fill their spots with four-year-olds from Big Sur and Yosemite, and it’s a domino effect from there.  Typically we have all classes in place by the end of the first week in September.  Thank you all for your patience as we help children adjust to their new teachers, schedules, and routines!  If your child hasn’t moved but you expect him/her to change classrooms, feel free to stop into the office and ask.

CONSTRUCTION NEWS:  If you’re anything like me, you are annoyed with the number of spots under construction in the greater Bangor area!  Well, the news isn’t good if you’re already frustrated:  new construction is about to begin on Hammond Street onto Odlin Road, ending just in front of Parkside!  You will note all the construction equipment to the right of our building.  On the plus side, the kids love the machinery!  Beginning Monday, it may be difficult to use your regular route to get to our parking lot.  My suggestion is to use the NEXT exit, Union Street, and go over the bridge, taking a left at the lights.  From there continue onto Maine Ave. as usual, going around the rotary then straight.  You may need to use our employee parking lot entrance to go all the way around PCHC to get to our parking lot.  The other option, depending on where construction begins and ends, is to use Hammond St. but take a right just before Bangor Savings.  Go to the stop sign and take another right, going behind Parkside all the way to Ventura Drive.  Then, take a left.  At certain times of day that will be a difficult left, however, thus I still recommend the Union Street approach.  We’ll have a better idea of how this will go next week.

NEW ABSENCE PROTOCOL:  Due to the possibility of children not being accounted for, we will now BE CALLING by 9:15-9:30 each day if we have not heard that your child will be out, yet your child hasn’t arrived.  This is for everyone’s safety.  If you know your child will be late or absent, PLEASE TELL US.  Thank you!

SCHOOL SUPPLIES:  Jen V. has been telling you about our “Stuff the Bus” campaign, where we’re gathering school supplies for less fortunate families.  Today, Friday, August 11, is the last day to drop off supplies to be included.  Miss Stephanie was kind enough to go shopping on behalf of Parkside this week, so we’ve added our own goodies to Elmo’s sweet ride…but there are LOTS of families hoping for supplies, so there’s always room for more.

CAMERAS, VIDEOTAPING:  Parents, we need your cooperation!  We cannot allow you to take pictures of other children!  Unless it’s a group event (like a holiday show), please DO NOT RECORD children!  Facetiming is also NOT ALLOWED when you are amongst other people’s children.  Thank you for your help!

FIELD TRIP:  Our oldest classrooms, Big Sur, Yosemite and Olympic, will be walking over to Challenger Learning Center on Wednesday, August 22nd.  Parents please sign the permission slip on the clipboard in the classrooms.

PARTY:  August 25 is our “End of the School Year” party, even though Parkside never closes altogether, and everyone is invited!  We play games and bounce in the bounce houses during regular recess times, so if you would like to join us please inquire as to those time frames.  Children who have graduated but want to return may do so with a parent accompanying them…and we’d love to see you again!  The rain date is the day just before, so if rain is forecast for that Friday we’ll have the bounce houses and games the day before…just call if you’re unsure of the weather.  We’ll post something on our website and will send out a “Remind” message if we need to change days.

SCIENCE:  Yosemite and Olympic should welcome back Miss Trudi and Miss Cyndi for science in the fall, but we’re unsure of the start dates…please stay tuned!  We welcome an additional Spanish teacher, Ms. Kate Evans to Parkside.  Miss Lexi will now be our third Olympic teacher and will only occasionally teach Spanish.  As always, we’ll continue to offer Music, Art and Literacy in addition to Spanish.  We continue to search for a gym teacher if you know someone who loves physical education and would like to teach ages 2-5.

HELP!  DO YOU KNOW ANYONE WONDERFUL?  Jen V. mentioned in her last blog that we’re struggling to compete with high wages in the area, even from places like McDonald’s!  The school system’s turnover of retiring teachers has opened up many teaching positions for licensed teachers as well.  However, we are happy to report that most Parkside teachers have chosen to stay with us.  We continue to look for PART TIME teachers to cover lunches especially; typical hours would be 10:30-2:30 or later until 5:00.  Do you know anyone wonderful?  Send possible people to www.parksideclc.com or have them stop in to apply in person.  Remember, we only want kind, nurturing and wonderful folks who adore children!

We would like to say thank you to the Peet family for donating the tick-removal spoons. You can pick one up in the lobby!

HEAT, KIDS, PETS AND CARS:  The news this week has included a tragedy involving a dog with a baby in addition to a child left in a car all day by accident.  Both events saddened and horrified us, as we work tirelessly each day to protect children.  It is an important lesson that we can never be too careful with children and pets (animals are unpredictable) even as many of us have fantastic, gentle pets.  The child care that left a three-year-old in a transportation van shook us to the core.  The process of checking children by head count AND by name cards going in and out of our building is how we prevent any such accidents.  Though we transport very rarely, we do go in and out for recess many times a day.  If you’re not aware of our lengthy process to track children, please ask your child’s teacher.  Attached please find an article about heat stroke especially in vehicles…spread the word…and while you’re thinking about it, please remember that PETS also die each year from vehicle heat.  Let’s remember all our vulnerable little ones!

Car Safety Checklist for Parents and Providers in the Summer Months: Making Summer Time Safe

From The US Office of Child Care (read the full article HERE):

Heatstroke is the number one killer of children, outside of car crashes. On average, every 10 days a child dies from heatstroke in a vehicle. These deaths are preventable, and everyone in the community, especially Head Start and child care providers, has a role to play in protecting our children. Here is a checklist of things you can do to prevent heat stroke of a child from being in a hot car:

  • Make it part of your everyday routine to account for all children in your care. Set up backup systems to check and double check that no child is left in the vehicle. Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle—even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running with the air conditioning on. Vehicles heat up quickly; if the outside temperature is in the low 80s, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes, even with a window rolled down 2 inches.
  • Always make a habit of looking in the vehicle—front and back—before locking the door and walking away.
  • Get in touch with designated family members if a child who is regularly in your care does not arrive as expected.
  • Create reminders to ensure that no child is accidentally left behind in the vehicle. Place an item that is needed at your final destination in the back of the vehicle next to the child or place a stuffed animal in the driver’s view to indicate that a child is in the car seat.
  • Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately if you see a child alone in a hot vehicle. If he or she is in distress due to heat, get the child out as soon as possible and cool him or her down rapidly.

Have a great weekend!

Jen Montgomery-Rice