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February 12, 2021

Hello Parkside Families,

I sit here today (Friday, 2/12), re-reading this blog and wishing that the week ended the way I felt about it on Wednesday evening. How quickly things can change? I feel as though I want to explain that this blog was written before Thursday. As I sit here today and reading this blog again, my perspective of this week has certainly changed a great deal. I do want to say that we are missing seeing the kids, families and teachers. We are looking forward to seeing all of you soon!

I hope you had a great week! Our week was full of excitement including playing outside, experimenting with new materials in many of our classrooms as well as the overall excitement associated with Valentine’s Day. In this week’s blog I have included a reminder about Pre-K registration, winter benchmark assessments and an update on Parkside’s journey to a new philosophy.

We are nearly half way through the registration process for our fall Pre-K program! The registration timeline ends on Friday the 26th. For families who have children who are eligible: please bring in your form stating whether your child will or will not attend Parkside in the fall. If you plan to enroll for the fall please remember to attach the deposit (which will go towards September’s tuition). After the 26th I will be in touch to let all who are planning to enroll whether we will have one or two classrooms in the fall. Please let me know if you have any questions: we can zoom, talk via phone or of course I am always available via e-mail: jvachon@parksideclc.com.

Our teachers have been working on your child’s assessment since the beginning of February. Our assessments will cover your child’s development in Social/Emotional, Cognitive, Physical and Language development. The timeline will be from 11/1-2/26. Once our teachers have completed the assessments Lynna and I will review them and hope to have them out to you mid-March. We will discuss opportunities to meet with your child’s teacher to talk about their progress once you have received them.

Last weekend I had created a video for all of our parents that talked about the new philosophy in more detail: including what your child’s experience will be like and what you can expect their day to look like. As I have been thinking about this video, I realized why I wasn’t 100% satisfied with it. The reason is because I feel as though I have skipped three chapters in a book. Although the storyline might make sense there are some important details that help the story. For us our story is currently this pandemic and how it has changed our relationship. I am so grateful for the trust you have in us, but let’s be honest: it has been almost a year since our lives have changed and the relationships I used to have a drastically different to the ones I have now. Therefore, please know that yes, I will be sending out a video to talk about our philosophy, but the video will include much more. I miss the unique relationships I had; I missed the great conversations in the hall. Stay tuned for my video to be sent through Remind.

The journey of friendships is a topic that can be simply lovely or it can be one that brings up conflict. I remember as a child my parents did my best to teach me the values and characters of a good friend and how I can be a good friend in return. But, as many of us do we also have friends who may not be the best influence according to parents. I remember when Abby was at Parkside and she would begin saying words that were not approved words in our home. It quickly took me to a place to make sure we did not put anyone down, but to remind Abby what we do at our home and if she heard someone say these words, she could tell them to please stop. As Abby has gotten older, she has picked friends who fit both categories. But I have never wanted her to think they were either “good” or “bad”, knowing that was not the solution to the conflict. The solution is to work with Abby to make sure she was the same person no matter who she played with and to advocate what is a positive or negative decision when necessary. As a parent I think our reflex is to say “don’t play with that child” when we hear stories of them talking in a way we do not approve or not being kind or helpful. But I urge us to all to remember that children (no matter how bad they may sound) are simply behaving this way not because they are bad but because they are not able to communicate their needs, wants or emotions differently. The great advantages of being in a group setting is learning from one another and not to create a divide between the good and the bad. I urge you to remind yourself that there is no good or bad child- just good or bad decisions. If you are finding yourself in a place such as myself with friends, it is important to focus on your child. There is a statement in Conscious Discipline “focus on what you want”. The journey of friendships starts at an early age and continues for all of our lives…as my mom says, “This is just the beginning…”

Have a great weekend,

Jen