June 27, 2019
Hello Parkside Families!
I would like to start my blog by expressing my gratitude for the past year. A year ago, I had the awesome opportunity to purchase Parkside; a place which I have always considered my second home. This past year has included some learning curves as well as achievements. I am certainly looking forward to working on some big projects we have in mind for next year! But until then I would like to take a moment to talk about some of the achievements we made this year and what we have coming up for the next year!
As you know one of largest projects we had was to renovate the classrooms by removing the flooring and painting the walls. We have completed two of our infant rooms and soon will have two more rooms, our Sequoia and Zion rooms completed after our shut down week. My goal is complete all of the classrooms by next year’s Memorial Day shutdown day.
Our teachers work hard every day, and to show my support to them we wanted to build the benefits package for both our full-time and part-time teachers. We increased the pay at least $1/hr for everyone. We now pay all of our teachers for the shut down week, instead of them being required to use their paid time off. In addition, we have provided a Roth IRA plan where Parkside contributes 2% of their net check into their account and we now pay for each teacher to have a TeleMed policy through Aflac. We have many more ideas to continue to build our benefits package which will include health insurance (hopefully soon) and we would like to continue to increase the pay our teachers receive.
We have begun to change the outside experience on our playground by removing some of the plastic climbers and replace them with more natural experiences. We will continue to build more experiences over the shut down week by adding large tires for kids to climb on or under and we will have more art experiences on the playground. My goal is to continue to develop the opportunities to learn and play will promote creativity and cooperative play with peers.
We have also begun to enhance our curriculum and inside experiences for children. Our Pre-K classroom will have Handwriting Without Tears added to their daily curriculum beginning this fall. We have also begun to use more of an emergent curriculum approach, where teachers are beginning to follow what the kids are interested in doing versus what time the clock is saying to do, for instance if kids are actively involved in an activity and it is snack time, it’s ok that snack starts a bit later. I am a true believer that in our busy world we are constantly watching the clock, this year I wanted to provide a more relaxed approach towards our classroom schedule and provide more opportunities to play in the classroom. We will continue to expand this approach over the upcoming year. We will also begin to look at the infant and toddler curriculum and decide whether we would like to change it as well.
Over the next year I hope that we will have the following changes at Parkside:
- All classrooms will be remodeled
- The playground will have more natural materials to play and will have more outside time regardless of the weather
- More benefits for the teachers
- Electronic daily notes in every classroom
- Continue to have more community service experiences
Wow, I am exhausted and looking forward to our next year more and more! Again, thank you for your support and know how important these changes will be to enhance you and your child’s experience at Parkside!
Our Yosemite and Olympic classrooms visited the community garden at UMA today and what an experience it was! The kids had the opportunity to plant flowers and seeds, learn about pollination, make their own greenhouses with beans, paint rocks for the garden and to simply play and run outside a large grassy area. We talked about the kids helping other families who do not have the ability to go to the grocery store to get food to eat. We look forward to participating in the harvesting of the vegetables!
I hope you have a wonderful week,