End of the Year 2021-2022
On May 27th, the preschool will have their “graduation” send off in the fellowship hall with 16 students. We have been with eight of them for the last two years. Our students started the year in questionable pandemic times with mask wearing and limited visitors. UffDa! What an adventure these last two years have been to navigate in class. We have enjoyed helping the students grow and learn over the last few years, but we look forward to less germ exposure at some point. Preschool is always germy, but this has been kind of exhausting for all of us. We are just grateful that the teachers have been healthy able to keep going all year.
In May, we also say goodbye to four students from our younger class. Two are kinder ready and two will be moving this summer. We like to end the year with the 4 year old class going to a local playground. They do not get to go on field trips with us like the “big kids”. We all know about Montana’s questionable spring weather. (As I type this it was snowing in late May) We hope the snow was finally done with us in time for the park day. We look forward to seeing how much the 14 remaining students grow and change over the summer months. They will come back knowing how school works and can show our 4 new friends what we do. The returning students also jump into the academics a bit quicker which makes having 18-4 year olds a bit easier to navigate.
So as the preschool has finished our year, we thank our preschool families and the members of American Lutheran Church for their support and prayers. Mrs. Smith will be around to give new student tours etc. these next few months and Ms. Rochelle will be in Youth Director mode with VBS and planned youth activities all summer.
Soon we rest and recover to be refreshed for fall of 2022.
See you in September!
April 26th, 2022
Hello from Marianne and Rochelle in your preschool. We have reached the home stretch with one month to go downstairs. We finally have some spring weather after our white out Easter egg hunt last month. We are in field trip season with a visit to Wise Wonders, the playground, and Zoo Montana planned. At the end of the month, we will send 19 students off to kindergarten with a “graduation” in the fellowship hall. The younger class will have a moving up party at the park if the weather cooperates.
We have had a very successful year with visits from our Wise Wonders friend Joseph, our Dentist Dr. Bennion, Dr. Kuntz, fireman Patrick. Retired teachers Barb Leininger and her friend Lynn read to us and sang with their guitar. Pastor Elizabeth came and shared Bible stories with us. We have had a few events with parent visitors too. As the pandemic changes, we have rolled with mask wearing and sanitizing. We have hope that each coming year will see continued “normalcy” with our routines. Sometimes a little bit of new “normal” can be a good thing.
As we often do, we began our year with tiny Zacchaeus and will end our year with the giant Goliath (and hopefully a visit from 6’9” Ryan). We love to see how much our students have grown and changed over the last year. We are already full for our Fall 2022 classes. It has been a fun filled fabulous year in your preschool! We will see you again in the fall with new adventures downstairs. MS
CHRISTmas Program/New semester
The Christmas Program was held on Thursday the 16th at 6:30 p.m. We had 3o students (both classes) together to sing and share the story of Jesus birth with our families. It was our last time together until January 3rd when we begin our second semester. Thank you to all of the families who braved the cold and came to share the joy with us. Thank you also to all who brought gifts or goodies to share with Ms. Rochelle and Mrs. Smith.
We look forward to the down time with our families. We can't wait to get back to school and hear about all of the Christmas gifts/fun our students had over the break.
Happy New Year to all of you!
It's almost time to start a new year in the preschool. I have been busier than ever with calls and tours this summer. I bet most of us were hoping to have a "normal" year after being extra careful, staying home more, or doing adaptive schooling with our families last year. A lot of us are ready for routines and gatherings again. I know I am! We will do our best to make everything as normal as possible here. Of course school is all new to most of your children, so they will not know any different as we build our routines,
Last year we cut our class size in half to keep us all safer, We are planning to go back to two full classes this fall while still being aware of the virus variant(s). We will keep our strict cleaning in place and keep masks around incase of visitors and germ concerns. Our staff and our visitors will be vaccinated. We know that we may still need to wear masks around your children to keep them safe, We try to follow school district #2's plans. If the surrounding districts are more nervous about children and the virus, we will watch and follow their lead and guidance.
We are looking forward to meeting our new friends and having some new adventures with your children in September. As I (Mrs. Smith) is writing this, I'm gearing up to take my "baby" girl off to college in Bozeman. She was JUST in my preschool class a bit ago!!! Enjoy these young years- they go by waaaaaay to quickly. Ironically, both of my children are studying to become teachers, so reading to and sharing your occu"passion" with your children really does rub off on them later. I'm off to spend some quality time with my kids before we see you all at our open houses. If your child hasn't received a postcard from me yet, please drop me a message, so we can make sure that they know when we get to go to school. See you SOON!
What a year!
.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.
Our strange year
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.
August 15th, 2020
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.
Our two month shut-down
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)
February 29th, 2020
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!