Registration Opens to New Families February 1st 2013

Registration Information for the 2013-14 school year is now available as one of our "links for families" to the right.  Registration is open to returning families starting in January 2013.  It is open to new families February 1st.  Registration for a new student is only accepted with a completed tour or visit to the program.  You may schedule a private visit or you may choose to attend our open house on Thursday, Jan. 24th from 11:45 am to 12:45 pm. 
       READ registration info for complete details.


Backhoes and City Workers!

 There were big doin's in our alley today!! On Thursday and Friday of last week, some of our students were treated to some preparation work being done by Seattle City Light to change how the power is supplied to our building.  That work was very LOUD, because they drilled a hole directly into the foundation of the building.  But today was much more fun!  Big yellow trucks, lots of hard hats, a back hoe, a concrete cutter, a jackhammer, and a lot of really fun workers who wanted to share a little of themselves with the preschoolers in our building.
This is David, the Electrician.  He is in charge of the project that will fix/change how power from the city gets into our building.  He was very happy to help Mrs. Coleman get pictures of the workers, and even offered to go to his truck to get his yellow hardhat.  Mrs. Coleman really liked David and his very helpful attitude.  Sometimes it can be scary meeting new people; and sometimes you meet someone like David who makes it all ok to take a chance making a new friend.
This is the driver man, who drives the truck with all the big supplies, such as a pipe threader, that helps to put ends on pipes that can help them to connect.
(Mrs. Coleman failed to get his name. Sorry.)

 OO-oo-OO-oo!!  Here's the backhoe!  Below is Tate's picture of the top of the backhoe, and another of the arm.  Patrick told me that's what you call that part, Tate!

Can you tell that Tate's perspective is from the top?? He was standing on a chair in his classroom, and drew pictures of what he saw.  Brilliant!
Here is the backhoe driver, Patrick!  He's waving because he saw our classmates and friends watching in the windows, and he was happy to be able to say "Hi!"
Here is Brighton's version.  Brighton's enthusiasm for this project was simply contagious!!

Zaid's picture is really quite detailed.  Look closely!

This is Logan's depiction of the events.  Patrick loved to see that he was represented in all of these pictures.
 This is Sam, the Jackhammer Operator.  He was ok about having his picture taken, but he was also ready to start his job, so not quite as happy about Mrs. Coleman's visit as Patrick was, so we snapped our picture and scooted back to school.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring?


Kindergarten Discussion at TCS

At today’s parent lunch bunch, facilitators Cecily Maguire and Lisa Hagan gave us a great overview about all things kindergarten. Cecily has two children in Seattle public schools, and Lisa’s daughter goes to Catholic school.
Because most of the attendees were planning on public school, the discussion focused on Seattle public schools.
Public schools
One important note: Seattle kindergarten is not free. The district offers full-day kindergarten, but the state only pays for half a day. For this school year, the fees are $272 per month, which will presumably increase next year.
If you want to find out or confirm what your attendance-area (i.e. neighborhood) school is, you can use Seattle Public Schools’ address lookup tool, at http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?sessionid=5333510764b73611fc579578d641ba38&pageid=172265&sessionid=5333510764b73611fc579578d641ba38
There you can find your reference elementary school (as well as current reference middle and high schools), and your “option schools” with transportation. Currently, you are guaranteed a seat for your child at your reference school.
If you plan to attend your neighborhood school, you can enroll early now and avoid lines during the busier spring enrollment season.  You will need to download and complete a brief application, available at http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?sessionid=39ec5b06dbadc164a7374588e0d04da2&pageid=192380&sessionid&sessionid=39ec5b06dbadc164a7374588e0d04da2
And bring the following:
·         Two documents verifying address. Must be dated within the past 60 days and include the parent’s name. Examples of documentation include telephone, utility, or cable bills; mortgage statement; insurance documents; DSHS or court documents; or residential leases (must include property address and the signatures of the parent and landlord).
·         Certificate of Immunization Status
·         Birth certificate, passport, or other legal document verifying the student’s date of birth
·         Photo ID of the parent or guardian
You can bring your paperwork to the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence (2445 3rd Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98134) any weekday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are also several weekend and evening enrollment opportunities. (See http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=280541&sessionid=bb036d9ec44f6e503ee91f57825dea5a for details) One evening enrollment that might be convenient for TCS families is 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at Nathan Hale High School, Library, 10750 30th Ave. N.E., Seattle, WA  98125.
Whatever you choose, parents who have been through the process suggest that you request a stamped copy of your submitted application, because it’s not unheard of for the district to lose paperwork.
If you want to apply to a different school, you can submit an application during an “Open Enrollment” period in the spring. According to the SPS website, Open Enrollment information for the 2013-2014 school year will be available after the 2012 winter holiday break.
There are a number of “option schools” the offer different curriculums and educational methods. They don’t have geographical boundaries and admission is by application only. One local option school is Jane Addams, which offers an E-STEM curriculum, with a focus on environmental science as well as science, technology, engineering and math. Another is Thornton Creek, which offers an “expeditionary learning” model and uses a project and theme-based curriculum. For example, one recent school year students learned many academic subjects through coverage of the Silk Road.
Another option school is Pinehurst. We did not discuss that as much, as the program is in a state of flux and apparently is threatened with closure every few years.
Cecily mentioned it can be very difficult to get into a “choice” elementary school – particularly the language immersion schools such as McDonald, which offer half-day instruction in Spanish or Japanese. But many of the neighborhood schools, particularly those in the northeast cluster, are high quality.
However, many of the schools are very overcrowded. Some of the parents mentioned that some classes are having 28 to 30 students in kindergarten and first grade classes. What happens with capital improvements will be determined in part by a levy subject to the vote in February 2013, the Building Excellence (BEX IV) capital levy. The school board will vote on a list of recommended projects for the BEX IV levy in November and is taking comments now.
We discussed the advanced learning opportunities with the public schools. My understanding is that these programs don’t start until first grade, so while they are something to think about parents don’t need to worry about it right now.
Very briefly, those opportunities include:
·         APP, or Accelerated Progress Program, for academically highly gifted students (98/99th percentile range in cognitive ability and the 95th percentile range or above in both reading and math achievement). In this program, students would work at a grade level two grades or more above their current assignment. The program is offered at a limited number of sites.
·         Spectrum and ALO programs that provide advanced learning opportunities within more schools, and typically has students working at one grade level or more above their current assignment in reading and mathematics. Spectrum is offered at 10 elementary schools, including Wedgwood and View Ridge locally, and ALO is offered at many more schools. Seattle Public Schools’ advanced learning page has a list of program sites.
Cecily mentioned that one site to learn more about the workings of Seattle Public Schools from an activist/opinion perspective is the Seattle Schools Community Forum at http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/

Catholic schools
Lisa mentioned that Catholic school is an alternative that is less expensive than private schools, and is open to students of all faiths. Catholic schools may or may not have openings in a particular year. If openings are limited, in general, parishioners would be admitted before non-parishioners. A number of Catholic schools are providing information now. For example, Assumption-St. Bridget School in Bryant is holding a Kindergarten Information Night on Wednesday, October 24th at 7:00 pm in the Assumption Parish Social Hall. See http://www.asbschool09.org/Admissions/Default.htm for details.

Thank you to Deirdre C for this wonderful and helpful information!!


These are the coolest toys to build houses out of!!

If you build a house, or barn, you can put zoo animals inside!!  Here's another example!

Magnatiles - a preschooler's best building option!


From Your Pre-K Classroom

To Parents and Friends of our Pre-K Class, from Harper's Mom:

This is a quick roundup to the parents of the kids in the Pre-K class. I've copied Mrs. Banks and Mrs. Coleman in case I made a mistake, also because I don't think I have Emma's parents emails -- could you please forward this to them and/or send me their emails?

Those of you who were at the parent meeting may recall that one of the topics was that parents wanted to have a little more information about what the kids were up to in the classrooms. Here’s a little information about some of the activities the Pre-K kids are doing now:

General themes for the month of October will include fall leaves, spiders, pumpkins, and later in the month a more specific focus on Halloween.

1.      Number boards. The number board is a traditional Montessori activity in which kids place number tiles on a board to count by tens. It helps with number familiarity, counting and also with the fine motor skills of a thumb to finger pincer grasp, which is a pre-writing skill. Mrs. Banks told me that some of the kids have already counted up to 100, and that the teachers will be encouraging all the kids to try it. In additional to the traditional Montessori board, the kids are also using seasonal tiles. Right now they’re using small rubber Halloween icons. Earlier in the year they used bugs and butterflies and apples.

2.      Metal insets. This is another pre-writing activity in which the kids are using any one of about two dozen different metal shapes and tracing shapes onto paper with pencils. Once they’re done tracing the shapes they can use them as a basis for drawings – Mrs. Banks said some of the kids are turning the circles into pumpkins.

3.      The take-away game. This is another traditional activity in which a group of objects are placed on a tray and covered with a towel, and then one child takes an object away, hides it behind their back, and then whisks the towel away. The other players then have to guess which object is missing. This activity helps kids practice taking turns and waiting. It builds observation and memory skills and also builds their vocabulary. For example, this morning’s take-away tray contained objects including acorns and hexagons.

4.      This morning Brennan demonstrated color-mixing for me, which was fun because he explained it very carefully and seriously. There’s a muffin tray with a small amount of water in each cup. Mrs. Banks put a couple of drops of red food coloring in one cup and a couple drops of yellow in another, and then Brennan used a dropper to put a few drops of each color into a third cup and mix them together, and told me that they made orange. In addition to showing kids how colors work this is yet another way to practice those fine motor skills and pincer grip.

5.      This morning Emma was working with the rubber band board. She was stretching rubber bands from peg to peg on the board to make different geometric shapes.

6.      I almost forgot yesterday's visit from the red-eared slider turtles Pebbles and Neptune. If your kids are really into said turtles there are a tank of them at the pet store at the corner of 45th and the highway, aka the free mini zoo. Also Harper may be telling your kids the "Turtle Trouble" story, which is blatant ripoff of the Trouble with Tribbles, but please note the turtles did not actually escape and lay eggs in the dollhouses.

Thanks, Deirdre!  This is great information!!  


Get ready for "Take Apart"

Take Apart is only 6 days away!! (Sept. 24th)

For those of you who know me, it comes as no surprise how excited I am!  I think this must be my favorite project of the year.  Take a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds and let them explore the different ways to take stuff APART!! How freeing.  
We collect a bunch of household items - especially ones with easy-to-get-to screws, give the kids and teachers some goggles, and some screwdrivers, and tell the kids to take the item apart to see what is inside.  It is just the best!  Teacher Cinda is helping the kids to get ready for this by giving them a chance to look over the items and start finding the screws. We could still use some items, if you have some!
Let the de-construction BEGIN!!


Summer Vacations!

 Mrs. Coleman, Teacher Theresa and Miss Tierney enjoy time together at Seabeck Family Camp in early July!!
Mrs. Coleman and her son, Philip, going geocaching on Peak's Island in Maine on Aug. 8th!  This picture shows the very first geocache that Mrs. Coleman has ever found on her own!!

Summer is a great time for adventures and shared experiences with family and friends.  Maybe you have had a chance to visit The Children's School, Seattle on Facebook to see some of Mrs. McArthur and Teacher Cinda's activities.  And if you have a chance to go to the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, during the last week in August is where you will find Teacher Theresa and her 3 girls showing sheep in the sheep pavillion!! I'm hoping you will have the chance to share your pictures and stories with us when we all get back to school!!


Heifer Project Returns to TCS

Heifer International Project

*Kids Helping Kids*

The Children’s School will be participating in an educational program to teach our classes about other cultures, the need to promote a healthy environment, and how we can provide food for children and families in need. We will be using materials from Heifer International, which is on the Top 10 list for charitable organizations.

Our classes will learn about the positive effects that animals can have on improving the quality of life in other countries. We will be reading the true story of Beatrice’s Goat and talk about some benefits a goat can bring to a family in need. We will be collecting quarters to buy a goat for a child and his or her family, living in an underprivileged country.

It takes $120 to buy a goat and we will be collecting quarters for the next several weeks with this goal in mind. But every culture has a different relationship with animals. Goats may be great for families in India and Africa, but llamas are better in Peru; cows and beehives are great in Central Europe; ducks and geese in Southeast Asia. As we collect our quarters, our students will also be encouraged to vote for the kind of animal(s) they would like to see this money go toward.

The quarters will be collected in 2 clear tube “piggy banks.” Each class will gladly accept quarter donations.


We LOVE Dads' Lunch!

What an amazing experience for our children - to invite their dads (or grampas or uncles) to come to school and have lunch, maybe do a little yoga, maybe play castles, or even sit and listen to the creation of a story. A terrific way to participate in your child's play is to "Play Secretary!" Today, Macy's dad, Chris, was handed a clip board and a marker and asked if he would like to try this. I must say, he did a FABULOUS JOB! Here is the result of Chris' work today:

"Playing with Puppies in the Doll House:
Sadie: He banged his neck
Macy: We need to go t the the doctors appointment.
Sadie: Your puppy's dead.
Macy and Sadie: Let's slide down the roof... WEEEEEEE!

Playing at the Castle:
Sadie: My name is Zoe.
Macy: I am a bad guy. "Hi Bad Guy."
Sadie: I am the bad horse.
Macy: [puts bad guys in the jail]
Sadie: What did you do with my friend?
Macy: No, that's my friend.
Sadie: I'm Prince Charming.
Macy: I want to take your best friend home. Is this your best friend?
Sadie: We need the horses!
Macy: Horsey, Horsey, Horsey!"

We also had trains going on, and marble work, and playing in the kitchen and Hullabaloo! And we took a lot of pictures of all of this. We continue to keep our pictures of children off of the blog and our FaceBook page, but will be compiling a year-end photo disk with all these gems included!


Nothing new - NO SCHOOL ON FRIDAY!

Due to the unusual weather we continue to experience, The Children's School will be closed on Friday, January 20th. We are hopeful that all will be right with our world by Monday morning, and we can return to our "regularly scheduled program." (chuckle, chuckle!)


School Closed on Thursday, January 19th!

Sorry folks, but this weather is taking its toll. TCS will be closed again on Thursday. We will continue to monitor the weather and hope for the best! If you were hoping to join us at The Children's School for our Open House, know that we will be holding an Open House next Thursday, January 26th from 11:30 to 1pm. Please join us! Bring a friend!! Come find out about this fabulous preschool program!

Teacher Lisa Eve and the Gingerbread Girl

You may have heard from your children
about acting in a play about the Gingerbread Girl...

  •   PreK Actors: Crab (Julian), Seal (Maddie), Whale (Molly, Mielle), Octopus (Amin, Jian, Clara, Henry, Molly) Baker (Matthew, Holden) and the Gingerbread Girls ( Leah, Amanda)

     (Here is a little more information)
    Teacher Lisa Eve had a great time writing the story of The Gingerbread Girl. When her mom and sister came to her with the idea, she was thrilled to participate. 
    Teacher Lisa Eve’s mom, Linda, was always enthralled with children's story books and had hoped to one day illustrate a book of her own. Working with two of her grown children, this endeavor became a fun family project with each of them adding the ingredients to make a memorable children's classic.
    Teacher Lisa Eve’s sister, Deana, has been teaching for 15 years, ranging from kindergarten to third grade.  The idea for The Gingerbread Girl book came to Deana while she was reading to her then first grade daughter, Abbi, who was being her animated self during the story. Her twirling actions gave Deana the inspiration to say:
    "Run, Run, Run - watch me twirl.
    You can't catch me, I'm the
    Gingerbread Girl."
    Deana had fun helping to develop The Gingerbread Girl series in a format that could be enjoyed by children and adults alike. She has created the Activity Booklets to accompany each story with questions, games, memory activities and more.
    You can find out more by checking out the website at:www.gingerbreadgirlbooks.com


Snow Predictions - NO SCHOOL on the 18th

Weather predictions are showing a lot of snow for Wednesday January 18th.
Seattle Public Schools are take precautions and closing their schools tomorrow. The Children's School is following suit! We are closed all day - all classes - for Wednesday the 18th.
Let's hope this lets up soon!


School Starts with Lunch Bunch Tues. 1/17!!

Seattle Public Schools will start 2 hours late on Tuesday 1/17, so as per our policy, morning classes are cancelled and we will start with LUNCH BUNCH. There is no M-F, no T/Th Pre-3, but there is LB and Pre-K. See you at school!