The Growing Times – January 2021

January 5, 2021
Number 01
Volume 22, Number 1                     

 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. 

Proverbs 22:6

NOTE FROM MRS. JANE:

Happy 2021!  I pray that 2021 is full of promise, healing, and peace!  I hope you savored every moment of the holiday season!  As we move into 2021, we will begin the discussions about the 2021-2022 school year.  The discussion will include class assignments and the possibility of adding a classroom, as well as, holidays and hours.  Let me know if you have any questions.

I would encourage you to keep Grow to Know and the staff in your prayers throughout the year.  We have about 100 employees with many needs.  There are college students trying to plan their future, young moms trying to manage work and children, staff with aging parents, staff with health concerns.  We needs prayers for wisdom, patience, creativity, and safety.   The staff are encouraged to pray for the children in their classrooms and their parents.  Let’s make 2021 a year of uplifting everyone in prayer!

I know we can all say that 2020 was a tough year.  In spite of everything I saw so many blessings that give me hope for the future.  I saw the GTK family support one of our own families as they struggled through Covid with prayers, gifts, meals, and donations for tuition.  Parents supported the ever changing plans through Covid.  We had to change so many things and we felt supported and loved.  We were showered with gifts and well wishes throughout the holiday season.  Through everything, your children were a bright spot full of smiles, hugs, and mischief.  Thank you for your love and trust! 

IMPORTANT CHANGES FOR JANUARY 11, 2021

Grow to Know and Schweitzer have purchased an amazing temperature taking machine.  We did a practice test before the Christmas break and it appears to be quick and reliable.  With the machine and in talking to the Greene County Health Department, we will be able to allow parents to come into  the center to drop off/pick up their children with strict guidelines. 

Beginning Monday, January 11, 2021 (unless we have to make last minute changes), GTK will allow the following;

  • Parents will be able to come into the center and drop off and pick up their child(ren), with some guidelines:
    • Parents MUST wear a mask inside the center/building.
    • Parents will be allowed to drop off/pick up their child at the door of the classroom.  (You will NOT be allowed to actually come into the classroom.)
    • Parents must exit the center in about 15 minutes. 
    • Parents must have their temperature taken before entering the center.
  • The laundry baskets will be outside the classrooms so the parents can drop off bedding, clothes, etc. 
  • Each child’s name will be on the coat hook outside the classrooms so you can hang coats or pick up coats quickly. 
  • If you need to talk to the teacher, please call or message them on Class Dojo.  We want to honor the 15 minutes time frame. 
  • As the positive Covid cases hopefully decline, we are hopeful that we will be able to adjust the hours to 7:00-5:30 at some point.  Stay tuned.

COVID-19 UPDATES for 2021!

As we move into 2021, we will continue to gather data and review  guidelines from the Greene County Health Department.  The goal for GTK is to extend the hours from 7:00-5:30 when we are able to combine classes. 

At this time, the Greene County Health Department has advised us to maintain stable groups which means we are not allowed to combine groups or classes. 

IMPORTANT REMINDERS FROM THE GREEN COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT:

  • Keep your child home if you or your child is NOT feeling well. 
  • If you are waiting on COVID test results, keep your child home with you until you get the results.
  • If you have been tested for COVID and waiting on the results, do NOT enter GTK. 
  • If you are being tested or have tested positive, contact the office.  It helps us in the planning process.
  • Wear your mask within the center and in public. 

(We need everyone to do their part to keep children, staff, and families safe.) 

Grow to Know  will continue to do the following until further notice:

  • Hours:  7:30-5:30. 
  • Masks are required by adults as they enter the building. 
  • Handwashing is encouraged/required throughout the day.
  • GTK will continue with  “stable groups”.
  • GTK Class Closure
    • If  GTK cannot provide care due to a class closure, you will not be charged the weekly tuition. 
    • We will follow the Greene County Health Department guidelines on class closures and quarantine guidelines.   

GROW TO KNOW KIDS – SCHOOL AGE

After much thought and discussion, Grow to Know will NOT have Grow to Know Kids (School age) during spring break (March 15-19).  We are hopeful that we will be able to offer Grow to Know Kids during the summer.  We will make the final decision by spring break so you have time to plan.   Let us know if you are interested in Grow to Know Kids for the summer and we will put your child on the list.  (Grow to Know Kids is limited to 50 children.) 

PARENTING TIPS

Here are a few excerpts from the book “The Kindness Curriculum” by Judith Anne Rice on developing feelings and empathy:

“During their preschool years, most children begin to recognize the six emotions of happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and silliness.  The awareness of these feelings gives them the basis for improving their empathy skills.”

“ Anger, jealously, and fear are all part of the human experience. “

Here are some ways to help preschoolers express their feelings.

  • Tell children it’s okay to get angry, but they cannot hurt other people or break things.
  • Allow children to express anger by pounding wooden pegs or playdough, tearing up paper, throwing balls, bellowing Tarzan calls, and blasting off steam in other safe ways.
  • Give children enough physical free play time to help them release tension.
  • Teach the names of emotions so children can begin to communicate their feelings.
  • Encourage children to assert themselves.  If a child says someone hit her, ask her to tell that person in a big, strong voice, “Stop! Do not hit me! That makes me mad.”
  • Give children permission to  experience their feelings.  Say, “It’s okay to cry.  Would you like a tissue or a teddy bear to hold?”
  • When a child is making a bad choice, rewind and give him the chance to start over.  Say, “Let’s try this again.  What would be a better choice?”
  • Knowing how other people feel—and caring about them—will help children make and keep friends.
  • “I” messages help us communicate.  With practice, children will be able to give “I” messages on their own. 

Check out the following Facebook page for some fun things to do with your child:  Frugal fun for boys and girls. 

SNOW DAYS

We have now entered the winter season where snow/ice is likely to happen at some point.  Grow to Know tries to open in inclement weather, but there are times we have to close.  The following factors are considered:

  • The forecast
  • Timing of the storm
  • Staffing
  • Ability to clean the parking lot/sidewalks
  • Temperature

Please note:  GTK may delay opening (Example:  open at 8:30) to allow time for the parking lots to be cleared and staff to arrive.

GTK will:

  • Do our best to make a decision to open/close/delay by 6:00 AM.
  • Announce the decision on the GTK Facebook page and Class DOJO.  Make sure you are on Class DOJO!
  • Announce closure on KOLR-10. 

It is a very difficult decision so you can help us by praying that inclement weather stays away during the week and arrives on the weekend so you can enjoy the time with your child!!!

If you have specific questions, let us know. 

DEVELOPMENTAL SCREENINGS

Grow to Know partners with Springfield Public Schools to provide kindergarten screenings and developmental screenings for the preschoolers.  As you would expect, this year has been different.  Springfield Public Schools will offer developmental screenings to a minimum number of children.  Your child’s teacher will discuss with you if we/you think a developmental screening would be helpful in for your child’s educational needs. 

Kindergarten Screenings:  Springfield Public Schools will screen all of the children that will be 5 before August 1. 

DID YOU KNOW????

  • That GTK has school age students to assist with virtual learning?  We have about 30 students in the Learning Pods.  We will continue with the Learning Pods on Wednesdays as long as Springfield Public Schools has virtual days.
  • That GTK follows the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Child and Adult Care Food Program guidelines for meals/snacks?  The guidelines detail portion size, meal planning, and time of the meals. 
  • That licensing requires a minimum of 30 minutes for naptime each day? 
  • That licensing does an annual inspection?  The annual inspection includes an inspection from the fire marshal and the health department, as well as, the licensing agency. 

COATS/JACKETS/BACKPACKS/PERSONAL ITEMS

There is a LOST AND FOUND basket near the check-in area.  At the end of each month, the unclaimed items will be donated to Red Rack.   

SCHWEITZER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

  • Check out Schweitzer United Methodist Church at sumc.co for details on worship times and safety guidelines.  Schweitzer is having in person worship with programs for children on Sundays.  Check out the website/Facebook for worship times, including online worship,  programs, etc.  

INFORMATION

  • Grow to Know Hours:  7:30-5:30.    (Hours have been adjusted due to COVID restrictions.)  You will be charged $5.00 per minute after 5:30 PM.
  • Please call the office OR post on the GTK Facebook page if your child is going to be absent or will be arriving after 9:00.    (The kitchen staff does lunch counts starting at 9:00.)
  • A $15.00 late fee is applied to late payments and balances carried over.  If you have specific questions, contact the office. 
  • Grow to Know has a private Facebook page for the GTK families and staff, so “Like” us on Facebook.  Check out the Grow to Know website (www.gtkpreschool.com). 
  • We bill on Mondays for the week. 

Bible Verse for January:  

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 

Psalm 51:10

CALENDAR OF EVENTS:

January:

1:  GTK CLOSED

4:  First day of school for 2021

18:  Martin Luther King Day  (GTK plans to be open.)

February:

12:  Valentine Party Day

15:  President’s Day  (GTK Plans to be open.)

February

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