The Growing Times – February 2022

February 1, 2022
Number 02

NOTE FROM MS. JANE:

As we move into February, it is our hope and prayer that this long season of illnesses, quarantines, flu,  viruses, etc. becomes a faint memory.   Continue to pray for our families as they struggle through all of this “stuff.” 

Just a reminder that Grow to Know will continue to follow the CDC guidelines with guidance from the Greene County Health Department.  We realize the frustrations, anxiety, and difficulties you have as we try to keep everyone safe and healthy.  We hope you understand that none of the quarantine guidelines, masking requirements, socially distancing, etc. is easy to plan or to implement.  It is our prayer that everyone is healthy and move into something less restrictive very soon.  Stay tuned to Class Dojo for the latest updates!

We are beginning to think and plan for the school year 2022-23.  Let us know if the plans for your child are changing at GTK.  Is your child going from part-time to full-time? Is your Pre-K child staying at GTK another year? As we begin our planning, we need to be sure we know your plans.  Thank you!

COMING UP

The licensing process includes an inspection from the  fire marshal, an inspection from the health department/sanitation and the formal licensing inspection.  The fire marshal inspects each classroom for safety violations, the fire drill data, and sprinkler checks.  The sanitation supervisor checks each classroom for safety violations, water temps, classroom cleanliness, the 3 step cleaning process, etc.  The state licensing person checks the staff files for TB tests, physicals plus check the children’s files for shot records, completed paperwork, accident reports, physicals, etc.  They will also check each classroom/playground for safety violations and general safety processes in each classroom.

GTK has passed the fire and sanitation inspections.  The licensing inspection will be scheduled soon.  As we prepare for the inspection, we will let you know if anything is missing or needs to be updated for your child’s file.  Thank you, in advance,  for your help in getting everything in order. 

WINTER WEATHER

We had a winter weather test/tease a couple of weeks ago and we were able to open!  Inclement weather is predicted (as this newsletter is being finished up) so stay tuned! Hopefully you have a “plan B” if we do need to close GTK for inclement weather.   

The goal is to open GTK.  We reserve the right to have a “late start” which allows the maintenance crew to clear the parking lot/sidewalks and the staff to get to GTK safely. 

If we need to close or open later, it will be announced on Class Dojo, the GTK Facebook page, and media outlets.  IF we need to close early during the school day, we will notify you by Class Dojo, Facebook, and/or phone call. 

  • The decision to open/close is based on the following:
    • The actual weather/snow accumulation
    • The weather forecast
    • Staffing
    • The maintenance staff getting the parking lot/sidewalks cleared.
  • We do our best to have a decision made by 6:00 AM.
  • WINTER WEATHER REMINDER:  Pray for winter weather on the weekends so the GTK  families can enjoy some family fun and Jane/Crystal don’t have to make those tough decisions!!! Are you praying????

SUPPORTING GTK

  • GTK can always use the following items:
    • Sand for the sand box—we are hoping to be outside more and more!
    • Wipes
    • Tissues

Thank you to everyone that has donated any and all supplies.  We are grateful!

PAYMENTS

You should have received your end of the year statements for tax purposes.  If you have any questions, contact the office.

GROW TO KNOW UPDATES

  • Ms. Teri, office assistant, has taken a different job.   We wish her well in her new endeavor.
  • With Ms. Teri leaving us, we have asked Ms. Randi back for a short (?) time to help us get ready for the licensing inspection.  Ms. Randi retired from the GTK office before Ms. Teri came to work for us.  Randi is a huge resource in helping us get everything ready to go for the annual inspection.
  • GTK continues to deal with a staffing shortage.  Continue to pray for the right staff that loves God, loves children, and wants to work at GTK.  We will continue to do our best to remain in stable groups throughout the day.  There may be times, however,  we may combine classes during naptime so staff can have a required 30 minute break.  We will keep the groups socially distanced if/when that happens.  The gym/Kids’ Worship is divided into sections to keep classes socially distanced. 
    • According to the CDC/Greene County Health Department, children can play outside with several classes because they are outside and moving, etc. 

GTK has had to close several classrooms in the last few weeks due to positive Covid exposures.  Positive exposures include children and/or staff testing positive. 

You will be notified if/when that happens.  There may times that we have to combine classrooms to accommodate everyone.  For example:  A child was not at GTK when the exposure happened so the child can attend  GTK.  When this happens we will put that child in a different class until the “exposed” classroom is back in session.

  • Mark your calendars (tentatively) for Thursday, February 24 from 3:30-5:30!  The upstairs space will be ready to show off!  GTK has two WOW classrooms upstairs.  One of the classrooms is a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Room.  The second classroom is a library, puzzle, and music space.  The area upstairs is AMAZING!!!! 

PRE-K UPDATES

It’s hard to believe we are talking graduation, kindergarten, and Grow to Know Kids for many of the children in the Pre-K classes.  As you know, the many layers of Covid continue to impact the plans, but here is what we have at this time.  We will continue to update you as we make more plans.

  • Your child must be 5 years old by August 1 to qualify for kindergarten. 
  • Parents as Teachers will be at GTK February 16-18 for kindergarten screening.  The paperwork must be completed and returned to GTK. 
  • Pre-K Graduation will be held on Thursday, May 19.  The time(s) have not been finalized.  Stay tuned. 
  • Grow to Know Kids (summer care for those going into kindergarten) is still being finalized at the time of this writing.  Here is what we have at the present time:
    • June 6: First day of GTK Kids.  (The children that are presently in a Pre-K class will stay in their classroom until GTK Kids begins.
    • July 4: CLOSED
    • August 11:  Last day for GTK Kids.
    • GTK Kids may be smaller to accommodate staffing needs. 
    • “Like” GTK Kids (School Age) Facebook page for updates.

COVID-19 UPDATES

Please continue:

  •  to wear masks at drop off and pick-up. 
  • to take temps as you enter the center.

The CDC and the Greene County Health Department quarantine guidelines:

  •  Basically 5 days with masking for 5 days following the quarantine.  At this time, a we will close a class with a direct contact.  We will continue to evaluate class closures. 
  • Children under 2 will be required to quarantine for 10 days since they are unable to mask.  If your child (any age) refuses to wear a mask, he/she will need to quarantine those days. 

Check out the CDC and the Greene County Health Department website for updates.

 If you or your child is symptomatic, please stay home.  Symptoms to watch for include:  fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea. 

The GTK staff (vaccinated or not) is being required a mask through at least February 11.  Masking will be re-evaluated at that time. 

Thank you for your diligence as we do our best to keep everyone healthy.  GTK will continue to limit close contact to less than 15 minutes and keep a distance of at least 6 feet while indoors.

If you have any questions concerning a quarantine, call the office. 

PARENTING TIPS from CONSCIOUS DISCIPLINE

How do I handle my child’s upset?

One of the biggest challenges for parents of infant or toddler-aged children is dealing with an upset child. Think about how you handle an upset child. Do these responses sound familiar: “You’re okay, can you give me a hug?” “Come look over here! Play with this!” “Shhhhush (accompanied by rocking or bouncing).”

Though common, these responses rob the child of the opportunity to express his or her genuine emotion. These are reactive rather than responding statements. “You’re okay, can you give me a hug,” generally stems from the parent’s fear that the child isn’t okay, or that s/he is okay but is going to start wailing. “Come over here” and “Shhhhush” are both attempts to distract the child from his/her upset or pain. To respond to the child in a way that addresses his/her emotion, we must teach him/her how to handle the upset. We can do this by using active calming ourselves, helping the child to calm down and labeling the emotion to build the child’s self-awareness.

Step 1: S.T.A.R. (Smile, Take a breath, And Relax). Actively calm yourself first so you can respond.
Step 2: Wish the child well by continuing to breathe and thinking loving thoughts about the child.
Step 3: Notice, “Your face is going like this (demonstrate the child’s expression). You’re safe, I’m here. Breathe with me.”
Step 4: Label emotion the emotion for the child to build awareness, “You seem sad (angry, upset, frustrated).” Do your best to label the child’s emotion. The child may correct you if you say “sad” and they feel “angry.”
Step 5: “You want ________.” Take a good guess at what the child wanted. Again, they may correct you. If the source of upset is a physical hurt (a fall, bump, etc.) describe what happened, “You were so busy playing that you didn’t see the coffee table until you ran into it.”
Step 6: Commit to keeping them safe: “I’ll keep you safe.”
Step 7: After the first six steps are complete and the child is calm, then you may offer redirection. “Let’s go play with the blocks.”

At first, the child’s upset may increase. This is healthy and occurs because you are allowing the child to feel the anger, upset or other emotion s/he is experiencing. Continue your active calming and move forward with the seven steps above.

As parents, our impulse is to bend over backward to avoid having our children experience any kind of discomfort. However, experiencing their own emotion is necessary and healthy for your children’s development. Be present with your children and help them cope with difficult emotions rather than attempting to shield them. The payoff will come years later when your children are able to handle their own upset about life events, whether they be bigger ones like a death in the family or smaller ones like getting a ding in his/her first car. Whatever the event, you will have taught your children the skills necessary to calm themselves in times of emotional difficulty.

Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey is a great resource for parents.  

GETTING READY FOR SCHOOL

Our  goals for GTK include the following:

  • To know God through Christian education.
  • To learn through centers.
  • To learn through opportunities for problem solving, making choices, and collaborating with peers.
  • To have opportunities for self-expression and skill mastery.
  • To learn how to self-regulate through positive behavior management.
  • To learn to integrate positive, Godly character traits and to develop  a positive self-esteem.
  • To learn about others in the community and around the world. 

We want children,  as they grow and develop:

  •  To love God and to love learning
    • To follow simple directions
    • To become independent
      • To identify their personal belongings, care for personal belongings
      • To do basic self care need such as  put on their coat/shoes
      • To walk to class unassisted
    • To know their needs/wants
      • Potty trained
      • To know when he/she is thirsty/hungry
      • To make choices

If you have concerns about your child’s developmental skill level, talk to your child’s teacher or check out the following organizations for guidance:

  • First Steps is Missouri’s Early Intervention system provides services to families with children, birth to three years of age, with disabilities or developmental delays. The program is designed to meet the needs of families related to enhancing their child’s development, learning, and participation in family and community life. (First Steps will come to GTK for an evaluation and if your child qualifies, provides therapists that will come to GTK…..free of charge.)

For additional information about First Steps, please call toll-free at 1-866-583-2392 or check out their website.

  • Parents As Teachers is a free, voluntary program that serves families with children from prenatal to kindergarten entry.  We provide home visits that meet the needs of your family and use a research-based curriculum.  Every child is offered a developmental screening once per year to ensure your child is meeting developmental milestones.  Group connections and access to a resource network are other benefits of participating in the program.  

For more information about Parents as Teachers, contact your school district.

As you talk to you child about school, ask questions to focus on the positive things in a day.  For example:  What was your favorite thing at school today?  What was your favorite thing to eat at breakfast? Lunch?  What did you play in the gym/outside?  Who did you play with today? 

                                                                                                                DID YOU KNOW????

  • That GTK has an annual inspection from the Fire Marshal and the Greene County Health Department? GTK passed passed the fire and sanitation inspections.
  • That each employee has an annual background check? 
  • That the state licensing agency inspects GTK annually? 
  • That licensing requires up to date immunization records for each child?

SCHWEITZER CHURCH

  • Check out the Schweitzer website at www.schweitzer.church for classes, updates, and news.
  • Check out the Children’s Ministry at Schweitzer for special events for children.
    • R and R:   Make your reservation for free child care on February 25 and March 25 from 6:30-8:15.  Drop your child off for a fun evening while the parents can enjoy some time without children.
  • The current sermon series is studying the Apostles’ Creed. You are invited to join us as we learn what the Apostles’ Creed means to us.    Service times are:  9:00 and 10:45.

INFORMATION

  • Grow to Know Hours:  7:00-5:30.   You will 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. 

PLEASE NOTE:  

Bible Verse for February: 

My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you. 

John 15:12

CALENDAR OF EVENTS:                                

February: 

14:  Valentine’s Day (The classroom teachers will let you know the plan for parties, valentine lists, etc.)

19:  President’s Day (GTK will be open.)

23:  Zoo Visit

March:

            13:  Daylight Savings Time Begins

April:

            17:  Easter

May:

            19:  Pre-K Graduation (Details TBA)

Contact Info

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