.It is hard to believe that this time last year Marianne made the decision to close down the school and “go virtual” which meant for us traveling from house to house with scavenger hunts and packets of worksheets. Preschool is definitely NOT about worksheets; it is hands on play and exploration. When we made the decision to come back in the fall, we had no idea how it would go. We have been lucky enough to stay in school this year and have had minimal Covid issues. With just three months to go we are excited to get to do all of the things we missed out on last year. Wise Wonders is even gearing up to come back in-house and explore with us in March. So nice to think of getting somewhat back to normal as these months go by.
March will be a busy month. We kick it off with Dr Seuss week and end in talk of Easter. Somewhere in the middle with throw in Pirate week because X marks the spot. We are following the school district and taking a week off for “spring break” just when the snow has finally made it feel like winter. We are starting to get calls about Fall of ’21 and hope to be able to have a few more bodies together next year. As time marches on, we thank all of you for your continued prayers and support. We also need to send a HUGE thank you to the Mission Endowment Trust for the grant to help with scholarships and advertising etc. We are so blessed to be a part of a congregation who still thrives in trying times.
2020 has started with COVID safety measures and some restrictions in place. Marianne and Rochelle have smaller classes this fall. Our older class is required to be in masks for as much of the day as we can. You can imagine how that goes… Our staff stays masked all day. Classroom Mom/Pastor Elizabeth comes and talks to the children weekly and then sees “grandmas”, so she encourages them to mask up for her so we don’t get the Grandma’s sick. We do have a larger room with 6ft separation space to take mask breaks in. We ALWAYS clean in preschool, but have taken extra steps to sanitize daily. We are not allowed to have parent events like our Christmas program or special visitors like the fireman coming in until it is once again safe to do so. Wise Wonders museum was coming once a month, because they were comfortable with our safety procedures…until they had a staff COVID outbreak and had to pause all outreach. We hope to get them back in here as soon as we can. We are doing the best we can with students needing family quarantine breaks. We are having fun playing and learning together in this crazy year. We have learned about Brave Daniel and Scared Jonah (where is GOD when we are scared), sharing food with 5,000, and Jesus (and now doctors) healing the sick. We have talked about Fire Safety, being thankful, and the Christmas story. We look forward to January when we can focus on the basics again after holiday fun from October on. We want these students capable and confident heading into kindergarten or into our “big kid” class next fall. Let’s hope that the worst is over with the virus and we can have a safe school year in ’21.
It’s time to BEE excited for a new year in our preschool!
Hello from Mrs. Smith! I’m cautiously excited to get started with your children in preschool this fall. I’ve been waiting for the local school districts to plan and work around them. If they do full remote, or if our enrollment is too low, we may have to postpone our start. So far it looks like we are ready for September. Normally, we would have Open house for the class the first week of September after Labor Day. I take their photo for their cubby and have you do a few things with them. I’m not sure how that will work this year, because the church is not allowing “groups” in the building yet. We may do a staggered visitation much like when you originally came to visit us. Then on the 10th /11th you will drop off your child by 9 to start our fun. The preschool door (in the back of the building) will open by 8:45 and be locked by 9:15 - if you come after 9:15 you must bring them to the main church front doors-especially if we have to spend more time spread out in the larger room. (we can see you coming from the classroom, but not the large one).
Mr. Bee is ready to teach them how we bee-have in our school (be nice, be safe, be a friend etc.). We are looking forward to seeing our returning big kids and to meeting all of our new friends.
I’ll get back to you soon with our open house/visit plan. Feel free to call me with any questions. At this point I may not have the answers, but we will figure this out together. 252-4171
See you soon!
Ms. Smith & Ms. Meghan (MS2😊)
It’s officially summer break for us, but it has been sadly quiet there for more than two months. We spent our spring sending out mailings or dropping off ideas to keep the young ones busy while older children were doing on-line education. In May Ryan, Meghan, and Marianne drove around to the student’s homes (from Laurel to Lockwood) to send them off to kindergarten. We celebrated each child in their own space. We also had a zoom call, so that they could all see each other. We didn’t get our zoo trip or our Grad brunch celebration. It wasn’t the way we had hoped to end our time with these students. Some of this class moved with Mrs. Smith from Messiah last year, so they have had a rather memorable preschool experience.
May also marks the end of Ryan’s time as our assistant. He will be back to MSUB classes full time in the fall. Ryan and Marianne drove to our younger class’ homes to let him have one more chance to see them. Most of them will be back in September and he promised to visit his now “big kids” when he can. Marianne cannot tell you how much she has treasured this time in the classroom with her son by her side. He is going to make an excellent teacher with his big heart and bigger stature. Pastor Elizabeth’s son Soren had the benefit of his big buddy as his first teacher. What a blessing! Ryan will be missed. Meghan is excited to experience the 3-year-old class after all her time with the kinder-ready group.
We are taking calls and giving tours this summer with the hopes of starting a regular class by September. We have extra cleaning procedures planned, but don’t know yet how to keep preschoolers 6 feet apart. We may need to invest in masks for the students, but we still plan to make it work. This summer Marianne will be meeting with other church-based programs to develop a plan for the potential resurgence of the virus in the fall. It was so sad to not be together with the 2020 class while none of us were sick, but we certainly understand the reasons behind it. Prayers that we can meet together soon to learn and play TOGETHER.
If you know someone looking for a 1/2 day preschool program feel free to send them our way this summer.
As I'm sure you heard, the Governor has asked that all Montana schools shut down for the next two weeks starting March 16th 2020. We will keep in touch, but we will not have school this next week or two. I debated sending materials home or putting a story time “online” for you. The more I thought about it the more I realized that there is no substitute for our time together. If you wish, I can give you “worksheets” or projects from my plans, but there should be no pressure on YOU to do homework with your preschooler.
You CAN read them stories, let them practice their fine motor skills with blank paper and crayons or other art supplies (I’m not telling you to make slime for them- some messes can just be for preschool.) You can have them draw pictures for their friends or send notes to a Grandparent who is also shut-in. You can use our calendar and talk about the story we were planning to do or look around the house for things that start with our letter or the color of the week. There are plenty of opportunities to learn through play and exploration. Of course, this week was Pirate week with X that marks the spot, tic tac toe, and treasure hunts planned. (Why do these closures spoil all our fun?)
Feel free to check in with me if they are stir crazy at home. I'll miss them as much as they'll miss us and our routines together. We're so used to germs in preschool that this is frustrating. The problem is that preschoolers can't NOT touch their face and then each other or cough/sneeze all over us, they just do. Enjoy this time with the kiddos and know that I'm here even if you just need to vent about too much togetherness. I'll keep you in my prayers & we'll talk soon.
Mrs. Smith & (Mrs. Searcy)
Spring is almost here. March has come in “like a lamb”. The students have three more months of preschool ahead. We are starting to get calls for Fall 2020 enrolment, so please let us know asap if your child will be returning for our prekindergarten class the fall. Also, please spread the word-especially for the TuTh class. I loved having a class of 8 this year. It was so calm after many years of 18. 😊
Wow was February busy! We need to thank our Valentine family visitors, Pastor Elizabeth, the Wise Wonders team, Our dentist friend Dr. Bennion, and our Doctor friend Dr. Kunz for all coming to our school last month.
Now, I’m looking forward to Our crazy colors week with Dr. Seuss. Sometimes our “many colored days” falls on Ash Wednesday, and I end up going to church at noon in my tie Dye clothes. Hey, at least I make it to church… Lent is a season of reflection and evaluation in life and in preschool as we get your children ready for their next adventure in the fall weather it be with us in our “big kid”” class or on to kindergarten.
Bring on spring! We’re excited!
And so it begins! The holiday season is here. We start with the chaos that is Halloween fun! We love it, but bathroom needs and sugar buzzes are not a teacher’s friend. The students will wear costumes to school, have a parade around the building, show Mom their favorite Halloween songs books and games, and then trick or treat with their friends in class. It’s great MANNERS practice for them to say “Thank you” when someone gives them a treat.
For Thanksgiving, we make mini muffins together and pop some popcorn for our family snack day. We call it the Charlie Brown style feast. The students will sing a song or two and then share our thanks for all that we have. And then we come to Christmas! We have a short time between Thanksgiving and our holiday break this year. We will be learning some songs and finger plays to share with you on the evening of the 17th.
Another great bonus for the MWF students is our new partnership with Wise Wonders Discovery center. They hope to be coming to our school once a month to do some STEM activities with our prekindergarten class. We love having them so close by!
January we will get back to basics and get our friends ready for kindergarten, but the next month or two is all about fun, and holiday chaos with some sneaky learning in there too. Prayers for the teachers please as we keep up with the holidays. MS
My friend Jamie from Play to Learn Preschool wrote this great blog post about separation anxiety that I wanted to share with you before we start. Some children are a bit slower to warm up to their school experience and that's OK. We will work together to make it a positive adventure for them It just might take a few classes of nerves before they are comfortable. Take a deep breath and know we've got this!
Can't wait to get started with another year in Preschool with you!
It’s time to BEE excited for a new year in our preschool!
Hello from Mrs. Smith and Mr.Bee. We're excited to get started with your children in preschool this fall. We still have some room in both classes if you know anyone who is looking for a preschool. We will have Open houses for the classes on Wed/Thurs the 4th/ 5th of September. Come with your child any time between 9-11 am to meet us and do a few things to get ready. I’ll take their photo for their cubby etc. Then on the 6th/ 10th you will drop off your child by 9 to start our fun.
Mr. Bee is ready to teach them how we bee-have in our school (be nice, be safe, be a friend etc.). He’s looking forward to seeing some of his old friends in our MWF class and meeting all of his new friends too.
Feel free to call me at school with any questions at 252-4171
See you soon! Mrs. Smith
Hello from your Preschool. It’s hard to believe, but we just have three more months to go for this year. Calls are beginning to come in for fall of 2019. If you know of anyone looking for a two-day preschool, remember to send them our way.
Thank you ALC for allowing us to use the Fellowship hall for our Valentine visitors. Everyone had someone who loves them come and help make Valentines for Mom and Dad. We have adjusted to the space downstairs, but it sure helps to have all those tables to work from. Adults don’t always appreciate preschool sized chairs. We also had a visit from a Doctor Dad & our RN Dad who talked to us about taking care of our bodies. After hearing the Good Samaritan story, we were ready for a unit on taking care of each other and ourselves. If you are on Facebook you can see the preschoolers acting out the Samaritan story. Find us at ALC Preschool, Billings.
March is a fun month for high energy kids. We start by having fun with Dr. Seuss. We had been wearing a specific color every Wednesday and Thursday last month. With Dr. Seuss we get color crazy and wear as many colors as we can. I always tell parents to just let the child dress themselves that day. They have some crazy combinations. We will attempt our first real mess in the kitchen with Green Eggs and Ham. We also get to do some pirate play with our green week for St Patrick’s day. What else do you do with X but mark the spot?
With the hope of spring comes the Creation story and how God loves everything that he made. We also get to learn about all God’s creatures with Noah’s story and how Moses grows up and saves his people.
We are having a great time downstairs in your preschool. Thank you for the continued prayers and support.