BBL Summer 2009 Updates

BBL Update: Swine Flu & Other Items

  • Swine Flu
  • 3rd Annual Summer Barbecue
  • Summer Program & Transition
  • Food Program Update
  • Teaching Team
    • A Special Thanks…
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Other News:
    • Parent Annual Survey
    • Baby Parade winners!
    • Birthday Parties
    • BBL Alumni Group
    • Linkedin Group
    • Where in the world is the Executive Director…

Swine Flu

It’s hard to believe that the end of school is but only a few weeks away! On my return, I had the opportunity to be in the classroom with the children and the teachers as I assessed their development for the upcoming summer program.  During my absence, frequent conference calls were held with Ms. Mary and my office team to determine the best course of action for the swine flue outbreak.

I immediately authorized additional spending to be focused on obtaining hand sanitizers, Purell pumps, and to increase the frequency and intensity of the cleaning services for our school.

I am excited to report that at the South location, all the families are ‘pumping before they punch.’ We have observed a decrease in overall illnesses and absences in the school.  After carefully reviewing the North location process, we haven’t been as successful in enforcing the new procedures. We are hoping to change the location of the pump in order to promote a greater level of participation.

As part of my literacy initiative, I spent the first two weeks on my return going over the summer theme with each individual teacher. My goal is to use the new books that I purchased at the conference to drive the study and activities for the summer. A strong focus on community, field trips, water, and outdoor experiences are being emphasized.

In this email, we have important information to help you understand the summer program as well as the transition for the new families. Please note that on July 1st, the school will be opened for BBL Families who are enrolled for the month of July.  However, all families are invited to attend the annual barbecue at the pier.

We have also included information for the breakfast and lunch program. All the necessary documentations have been finalized! So beginning June 15th, you will be able to begin using the service.  I would like to thank Ms. Mary, Ms. Ophelia and Ms. Dorothy, as well as all the Lead Teachers, for upholding the BBL philosophy and creating an exciting place for children to come!

3rd Annual Summer Barbecue

Hooray! After meeting with all the Lead Teachers on Friday and going over the Summer Barbecue theme…you will all be in for a big surprise!  The team has decided on a Luau theme for this year’s event; games and prizes are already being planned for each of the age groups.

In addition, each classroom will be responsible for a part of the festivities.  We will have music, food, and lots and lots of fun.  In order to plan accordingly, this year we are asking for $10.00 per adult to be provided by June 18th and $15 per adult on or after June 19th.   The monies should be given to either Ms. Dorothy or Ms. Ophelia.  Please note, the barbecue will be held on July 1st, at 2:30 p.m.  I look forward to seeing you there as we end another year with friends and family.

Summer Program & Transition

After meeting with each of the Lead Teachers in the past few weeks, we have finalized the themes that will be explored during the summer.  In addition, we are planning community field trips to help bring the themes to life.  As part of our Summer Program, we will be taking many of the classrooms centers outside. Thus, the children may be doing blocks in the courtyard, or story time at the pier, or simply taking their lunch for a picnic at the park.

Because we like to enjoy the outdoors, consider the following as you plan for your day:

  • Apply sunscreen before you arrive to school. It takes approximately 2 hours for it to become effective. We will reapply it in the sensitive areas.
  • Be sure to look at your cubby and update the clothes for the summer.  Be sure to include additional pants, socks, and sandals.
  • Be cognizant of when your classroom goes outside. Once the children are outside, the child will be unable to join the group without you—call ahead. We will do our best to accommodate you.
  • Know the days for water play and dress your child accordingly.

For the children who will be moving to the Green Room in the summer time, the transition will begin on the 3rd week of June. Thus, as of Monday, June 15, the children will be taken in small groups of 3 or 4 to the Green Room. Activities have already been planned to support the transition.  We need all families to drop off their child at their homeroom.

Note: If your child is not able to attend on their assigned day, the teachers will be able to share with you the schedule for his/her next visit.

Food Program …Is here!

Yeah! We finally have completed all the necessary steps for the lunch program.  In addition, the team has created a form that you will be able to complete online and email to Turning Point directly.  We have asked Turning Point to create two different emails to receive your request and immediately sort it between the North and South Location.  This means that when you mail the form to Turning Point you have to be sure that you are using the designated email addresses:

For North: tpschoolN@gmail.com

For South: tpschoolS@gmail.com

As of Monday, June 15, you will be able to begin using the forms which have been attached with this communication.  I thank you in advance for your patience and hope that this arrangement will provide a little bit of relief to your busy lives.

Teaching Team

This year, we have offered our team the opportunity to be off for the summer and return in September for the school year.  Since then, teachers have approached me requesting the summer off to be with their families.  For this, we will be reassigning teachers to different rooms.

We have also begun our staff evaluation process. Each full time teacher is required to complete a self evaluation form and return it to the administration for review.  Our goal is to keep the best teacher for our children.  We define ‘the best’ by looking at how they engaged with children in the classroom, attended workshops, and had low absences and tardiness records. As parents, you will be completing a survey that will be used as part of their review.

I thank you in advance for your support of the teaching team and the way you all have participated in the classrooms’ breakfast and activities.

A Special Thanks…

I would also like to give a special thanks to our Administration team Ophelia Richardson and Victor Cotto.

Ms. Ophelia Richardson is not only an amazing administrator, but a person that I am proud to call a friend.  She has been there for the children, families, and teachers while upholding the BBL philosophy.  As a friend, she took over the helm of BBL at a time when I needed her the most—at the passing of my late husband.  For that and much more, I will be forever thankful.

Victor Cotto has been an amazing addition to this year’s team. He has brought our hallways to life with fireplaces, butterflies, pictures, and more.  Victor is leaving to pursue his dream of dance choreography.  However, I have invited him to join us for the annual barbecue.

BBL and I thank you in advance for the way you have loved and supported the administrators and teachers.

BBL and I will always the special way they touched our lives.

Frequently Asked Questions around  Contract Renewal

If I’m pregnant, what should I do to have my child added to the pending registry?

All families that would like to be added to the pending registry must do so on line at www.beyondbasiclearning.com. There is no cost to register your name in the pending registry.

When will the children transition to their new classrooms?

All the children will be transitioned to their new classroom in September.  However, the Butterfly Rooms will combine for the summer.

When will the children who are assigned a different location i.e. North or South move?

At this time, we do not have an infant classroom until September. Because of this, all the moves will take place for the North or the South in September.

When will the new rate increase?

On July 1st, the new rate will increase and an adjustment made to the pre-paid tuition on file to equal current rates.  All discounts and changes of fees due to classroom will take place in the September tuition.

If I’m assigned to the Butterfly Room, when will the change be reflected in my tuition?

Your new classroom designation correlates with your meeting the age range by September 30 (See classroom age group demographics under the Contract Renewal at the top of this email).  Thus, your new rate will take effect in September and all changes to your deposit will take place as well.

Will my child have a transition period?

Yes. The goal is to transition the children moving from one classroom to another, within the same school, in the month of August.

Will I be able to transition my child if I’m transferring from one school to another?

Unfortunately, the .transition will not apply for the families who are transferring.  The classroom environment will not be transformed to a Cocoon room until the August break. However, the first week in September is a transition for all the families and children, and you will be able to participate as well.

What type of information should I look to receive for the transition?

Teachers have put together a schedule for the transition.  A teacher from the current classroom will accompany the child over to the new room.  The primary goal during this time is to familiarize the child with the new classroom.

When will I know who is going to be the teacher for my child?

The teachers are in the process of completing their self evaluation. It is at this time that we evaluate their role. Some of the factors that are considered include: Trainings taken, team work, attendance, and team feedback.  The teachers also have the opportunity to decide their age group preference, desired schedule, and role. Collectively, this aids us in making the best decision for the children.

Other News…

Parent Annual Survey

The Parent Annual Survey has been completed for the 2008-2009 School Year. The survey is a way for us to obtain your feedback and sense of your classroom environment. We will be sending a separate email and link for you to complete the survey online.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Baby Parade

What a wonderful day we had at the Baby Parade! We would like to congratulate the families that came out to support the Hoboken Museum Annual event.  I am proud to say that every year, we have families that win trophies at the award.

This year’s winner came from the South Green Caterpillar Room:

  • Ms. Bruni’s daughter Nina won for Best Costume
  • Ms. Patricia & Alfred Tse-Lee’s daughter Nichole Lee won for Best Carriage

We also had the Cammarano family join us at the event. As many of you know, Mr. Peter Cammarano is running for Mayor of Hoboken and we wish him the best!

Have your Birthday Party with us…while simultaneously supporting the school!

We are excited to say that families are signing up for our literary birthday parties! How exciting to use a children’s book to celebrate life. As part of the 3 hour package, a Beyond Basic Learning teacher will assist in planning the event.  The birthday parties will only take place in the older classrooms and not in the infant rooms.

In addition, BBL families will receive a discounted rate for having their Birthday parties with us and your child will get a copy of the book to keep as a memory.

ALUMNI’s Welcome

For families that have graduated from the Butterfly Rooms, we are creating an Alumni group to stay in touch, invite you to our events, and share information about you and your child with each other. We have created a group named Beyond Basic Learning at www.linkedin.com.

We hope that you will be able to share information with one another, postings on opportunities for services, and share a little more about yourself.  This will be a great way for the BBL Community to support one another.

Where in the world is the Executive Director… NYU here I come!

It was a sad moment for me, when two days before my trip to Italy, the program was canceled because of the Swine Flue outbreak.  However, within the same course of time, I received news from NYU that I had been accepted to the masters program in Environmental Conservation Education.  This program gives me the opportunity to customize my interest in environmental conservation to education programming and curriculum.  It will help me gain a better understanding of how I can help transform and inspire conservation in our schools.

In addition, I am enrolled in a children’s literacy course at NYU continuing education where the instructor is the vice president and publisher of Henry Holt Books for Young Readers.  We discuss the manner in which children’s books are selected for publishing.  Some of the books that we are reviewing include: Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?, Olivia, Thank You, Bear, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, House in the Night and many more!

Did you know?

That the author of Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?, Bill Martin Jr., was dyslexic and learned to read at the age of 20.

Z is for Zuleika and Z is for Zoo: Yes, I was the Green Butterfly of the week at the North location.

  • On Monday: I had to present a poster of myself to the children with my family pictures.
  • On Tuesday: I had to bring something that started with the letter Z for my first name.  I brought in a petting zoo at 7:00 in the morning for the children: goats, sheep, bunny rabbits, and chicks filled the classroom.
  • On Wednesday: I shared one of my favorite children’s book called Courage.
  • On Thursday: It was a show and tell with pictures of a live lobster caught in the Dominican Republic.
  • On Friday: I cooked Caribbean pancakes made of pineapple, mango, and bananas with the children.

I had so much fun with the Graduating class! We also invited the rest of the families at the North location to join us at the zoo!

In Closing,

This year has been filled with mixed emotions as so many of our families have been impacted by the economic downturn. I have been attending meetings at the County level to gain a better understanding of the direction of early childhood today: All Pre-K expansions have been put on hold; the Urban League has suspended all future Saturday trainings; and families have had to relocate due to their companies.

As we continue to pursue our goal of opening an elementary school in Hoboken,  I believe that this is the time to focus on the future of our children. When I brought the petting zoo to class, Aidan said to me “Ms. Zuly, I’m going to estimate how many chicks are in there.” Then he and his friend Oliver, began to count under their breath. That is the type of thinking that I want our children to gain from being at BBL.

The process of estimating is what progressive education is meant to accomplish: The ability for children to think for themselves and create with their minds.  This is not a time for didactic thinking or rote learning because it’s familiar or safe; or to insert a curriculum pre-packaged for children; or to obscure the importance of early childhood and its impact on later years.  This is a time where we have a responsibility to promote creativity to do something old — anew.

As we embark on this journey, we look for your support in extending Beyond Basic Learning beyond.

For more information on how you can become part of this initiative, email me at director@beyondbasiclearning.com.

Kindly,
Zuleika

BBL Update: Swine Flue & Other Items

· 3rd Annual Summer Barbecue

· Summer Program & Transition

· Food Program Update

· Teaching Team

o A Special Thanks

· Frequently Asked Questions

· Other News:

o Parent Annual Survey

o Baby Parade winners!

o Birthday Parties

o BBL Alumni Group

§ Linkedin Group

o Where in the world is the Executive Director…

BBL Update: Swine Flue & Other Items

It’s hard to believe that the end of school is but only a few weeks away! On my return, I had the opportunity to be in the classroom with the children and the teachers as I assessed their development for the upcoming summer program.  During my absence, frequent conference calls were held with Ms. Mary and my office team to determine the best course of action for the swine flue outbreak.

I immediately authorized additional spending to be focused on obtaining hand sanitizers, Purell pumps, and to increase the frequency and intensity of the cleaning services for our school. 

I am excited to report that at the South location, all the families are ‘pumping before they punch.’ We have observed a decrease in overall illnesses and absences in the school.  After carefully reviewing the North location process, we haven’t been as successful in enforcing the new procedures. We are hoping to change the location of the pump in order to promote a greater level of participation.

As part of my literacy initiative, I spent the first two weeks on my return going over the summer theme with each individual teacher. My goal is to use the new books that I purchased at the conference to drive the study and activities for the summer. A strong focus on community, field trips, water, and outdoor experiences are being emphasized.

In this email, we have important information to help you understand the summer program as well as the transition for the new families. Please note that on July 1st, the school will be opened for BBL Families who are enrolled for the month of July.  However, all families are invited to attend the annual barbecue at the pier.    

We have also included information for the breakfast and lunch program. All the necessary documentations have been finalized! So beginning June 15th, you will be able to begin using the service.  I would like to thank Ms. Mary, Ms. Ophelia and Ms. Dorothy, as well as all the Lead Teachers, for upholding the BBL philosophy and creating an exciting place for children to come!