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Newsletter

December 18, 2023

Hello ECC Families!

We are winding down the school part of December, with break beginning at the end of the week. As a reminder, we are in session through Thursday, with the first day of December break on Friday, December 22, 2023. We will resume on Wednesday, January 3, 2024. Additionally, looking ahead, please mark your calendar, as schools are closed on Monday, January 15, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

We are extremely blessed to be a part of such a caring school community. I’d like to extend a huge thank you to our families for participating in our Holiday Staff gift program, and a huge shout out to Becky Drazin and the parents who organized the collection as well as the explosion of treats in our staff lounge today! All staff will receive a generous gift card later this week! Thank you for your well wishes and thoughtful act of appreciation for all that they do. It means the world that you support their hard work!

Pajama Day

This Thursday is our second, school-wide Pajama Day! We invite your child to join us in jammies on Thursday, 12/21! Please remember, we will still play outside as long as wind chill temperatures allow. Children need to wear shoes with their jammies; please avoid the ever-so-adorable footy-pajamas!

Seaholm Students

Your child may have mentioned the “big kids” that have been visiting in classrooms over the past week. As a part of the initiative to include classes to inspire BPS students to pursue teaching as a future career, I’m excited our school district has added a new class at each high school, Child Development! This two-part course includes learning about the field of early childhood. We are partnering with each high school to provide opportunities for students to experience what they are learning, as they observe and participate in our classrooms! Seaholm students are joining us this trimester three mornings per week to utilize what they are learning through real-world experiences! Our students are enjoying having them in classrooms!

Morning Arrival

We are experiencing an abundance of children who are arriving each day after 9:00am. Arriving to school on time is an important piece of the successful transition that children make into their classroom (even if their class is on the playground). Please remember, our school day routine begins at 9:00am. When your child arrives after 9:00, it can cause difficulty with their transition into the routine. The other children are often already engaged in activities, sometimes making it difficult for a child who is late to feel a part of the group. Also, teachers concentrate on being available to welcome students and greet parents. After 9:00, they become involved in activities and may not be able to give that focused attention. A consistent drop off routine sets an important tone for the day. The disruption of the door opening over and over makes it difficult for those for are having a hard time getting into the routine. Also, it is important to understand that the interruption of the main entrance door buzzer, after we have started our day, can affect the efficiency of our office. Unfortunately you may have to wait a bit longer for our staff to answer the door. Please arrange your morning routine to arrive on time for school as well as refrain from picking children up early before 3:30pm.

Illness

We are hoping that a well-needed break from school will help with the germ count, as we’ve experienced many cases of runny noses, coughs, fevers and viruses lately!  As we return in January, please remember, if your child exhibits symptoms of illness to keep them home and consult a pediatrician if necessary. Unfortunately, travel over breaks can result in illness and lice can also be common, as you visit hotels and other shared spaces. 

Break Weeks

Please remember, as you review our school calendar, that we are closed for both break weeks this year. This allows us to align with the rest of the district. Winter break is February 19-23 and Spring break is March 25-29.

Parenting Tidbit

This time of year is a joyful time, but can also be a stressful time, with the many celebrations and traditions in which families will participate. It's important to keep in mind that children react to these special times in different ways, and they often sense your heightened mood and stress level, even when you think they may not be noticing! Some might seem unaffected, where others show a change in behavior at the smallest change in routine. Large gatherings can be overwhelming and highly stimulating to young children. Break time is often filled with trips, play dates and over-night stays. Some of the tips we like to give parents at this time of year, to help with a smooth holiday season with young children are:

  • Keep your routine as close to the same as absolutely possible
  • Try to keep celebrations and special events low-key
  • Limit the amount of special parties and celebrations you attend with your child
  • Keep naptime and bedtime routines consistent-even if you are out of town. Also, it’s often difficult for children to transition back into school when their nap and bedtimes have been off schedule.
  • Remember that young children do not move at the fast pace that adults do during busy times. Allow time for transitions and remember their little steps take longer than our larger steps!
  • Let them know ahead of time if there will be a change in routine and be as specific as possible (“Today we will be visiting Grandma after naptime”) and prepare them for what's coming next. Leave time to answer questions they may have about changes in routine or special events. Children feel safe and secure when they know what to expect.
  • Stop to enjoy the moments they want to share with you. Young children want to look at and talk about the lights and decorations they see, experience the snow, etc.
  • Remember to give children a lot of time to PLAY!!
  • Consider writing a story together or making a picture book of the memories you’ve created. While this is certainly an excellent literacy project, young children love to read books about themselves and characters they know and recognize! Encourage your child to “read” these books to you, and others.
  • Cherish these moments and memories together. As a mom of three grown *boys*, I can say, with certainly, that time flies by! With two in college and one now on his own, I treasure when we are all together J
  • https://families.naeyc.org/content/thoughts-giving

Have a wonderful break with your family! We look forward to seeing everyone again in 2024!!

Happy New Year!

Laura Tinsley

Principal of Early Learning

Birmingham Public Schools

248.203.5805