MDO Newsletter - January 2016

Class Themes

  • Baby Class - Feel & Touch
  • Fall 2s - Winter Wonderland
  • Spring 2s - Winter Animals
  • Fall & Spring 3s - Frosty & Polar Animals
  • Turning 4s & Pre-K - Wonderful World of Animals

Important Dates

January 8: Tuition Due
January 18: School closed for MLK holiday
January 21: Librarian Visit
January 22: Pre-K Open House for Turning 4s Parents
January 26: Spirit Night at Yeah! Burger
February 1: Registration for the 2016-2017 School Year Begins for Current Families

Director's Notes

Happy New Year everyone! It is hard to believe the school year is half over. December was a short school month, but there was plenty of time for lots of winter and holiday themed activities. On the last day of school, the Turning 4s and Pre-K hosted their annual December music performance for the class' parents before the party. Susie and I had listened to the children practice the songs in the hallway since Thanksgiving and it was so cute to finally watch them perform on stage. Great job Ms. Angie and Ms. Lisa!

In December we also had two Parent Sharing Program activities. Zoe Mayers had all the kiddos moving and stretching during her yoga class. They pretended to be pencils, trees and crabs and even made pizza! Hojung Oh and Juntae Choi also put on an engaging program about Korean culture. The students enjoyed learning where Korea is located on the map and how to count in Korean. They tasted a Korean snack, and watched a video about a Korean cartoon show called "Tayo the Little Bus" whose popularity is similar to Thomas the Tank Engine here in the US. The Pre-K class also made Korean flags. I can't tell you enough how much the children LOVE these PSP programs, and we really appreciate you volunteering your time. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

On that note, we are looking for two parents to host this month's Sensory Play-doh PSP from 10am-12pm on Thursday, January 14th. This volunteer spot is easy and fun! We give you all the materials and set the schedule. All you need to do is show up and make play-doh with the kids. The teachers help, so you aren't alone. If you would like to volunteer please sign up for January or future months using this link: Play-Do Sign Up Genius

If you would like to do another type of PSP, such as play music, do a science experiment, or anything else appropriate and interesting, please use this link: PSP Sign Up Genius. We try to alternate days for PSPs, but often the time is designated by the volunteer's personal schedule if the proposed date doesn't fit. In early February Chris C.'s mom, Ming Juan, will host a PSP about Chinese New Year. 

Lastly, I am so excited about the exciting plans we have in store for 2016, one of which is the new library and reading nook! A HUGE thanks to Jill Cobb for coordinating the transition of the books from the office to an area upstairs. For weeks Jill measured and planned the move, and over break Jill and her team of helpers moved the books. Thanks so much to Jill's husband John Chou for installing the shelves, and Cyndi Dieker, Jungtae Choi, Hojung Oh, and Melody Crowley for helping with the move! The library is now located in a former closet, in the upstairs carpeted room. We have plans to turn a corner of the large room into a reading area with a rug, couch and bean bags. Everyone is so excited about this new space and reading area. Stay tuned for more info on our plans and how you may donate materials, time and funds to the cause!

The Laundry Fairies are the Fall 2s and registration for the 2016-2017 school year will begin February 1st for currently enrolled families. 

Have fun and stay warm!
- Patty

Letter from the Chair

Greetings, All! I am SO happy that school is back in session. We really missed having a schedule and seeing everyone's smiling face every day. It's good to be back! This is a relaxed month at MDO, providing a welcome interlude for our outstanding pool of parent volunteers - some of whom even came to school over break to create our new library, which is simply awesome. Thank you, library team! This move is one I've wanted to see for years, so I'm particularly excited to watch the revamped space develop and improve. If you're looking for a way to help right now, we are looking for a tall, free-standing bookshelf (that will be bolted to the wall), preferably wood. Please contact Jill Cobb or myself if you can donate something that might work.

As Chair, I spend a lot of time working with Patty and the other Board members to guide our school and plan for its future. We've had a lot of changes since last school year, including several staffing adjustments, which can be a tricky transition to navigate. We've seen alterations to policies and procedures, and updates to our classroom curricula and methods. It has taken a steady hand and an energetic mind to manage, and I must say that Patty has provided both, and excellently. The Board and I are so happy that she is our Director; MDO wouldn't be as successful as it has been without her management. Watching her dive into her role, not only as the executive director of a not-for-profit preschool, but also as an ambassador to current and prospective parents, has been extremely satisfying. Thank you, Ms. Patty! We couldn't do it without you.

Equally as vital to success as a steady hand at the tiller are the enthusiasm and capability of the crew - by which I mean our incomparable staff of teachers, assistants, floats, and substitutes. The transitions of the past year could not have gone smoothly, or well, without their cooperation and partnership. I have seen veteran teachers adopt new methods with impressive finesse, and new teachers hop on board with delightful eagerness and efficiency. Students in every classroom are thriving and learning, thanks to them. I've been at MDO for five years, and I have never been prouder of our staff. We are lucky parents indeed, to have such superior educators and caregivers for our children.

I leave you with your Inspirational Parenting Quote of the month:

“Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home.” ― Phyllis Diller

Sincerely,
Melody Crowley
Chair, Board of Directors

Extra Days

Our Extra Days program is a great resource for families and also a small fundraiser for MDO.  If you don't know how it works, you sign your child out when they aren't coming to MDO on the calendar outside the office, and another student may fill the spot by signing in and paying $30.

We have lots of families interested in extra days.  Some have enrolled for two days because that is all that is available, but they would like to come more.  So for the Babies, 2s and 3s, if you know your child will be out on a particular day for travel or another reason, we would appreciate it if you would please mark your child "out" for that day on the Extra Days Calendar outside the office.  If your child becomes ill and you know they aren't coming to school please call Susie in the office so she may mark it on the calendar. If you would like to add an extra day if a spot is available, mark your child's name "in" on the date and deliver a check for $30 to the tuition box that day.

If you have any questions about our Extra Days program please feel free to email Susie (office@morningsidedayout.org) or stop by the office.  

Parent Volunteer of the Month

Janna Charoenlap is the current volunteer newsletter editor. Her daughter Alice is in Ms. Rosario's baby class, and this is the family's first year at MDO. 

What is your favorite thing to do in your free time? I love cooking, baking, and trying new restaurants with friends, my husband and our family. 

What is your favorite guilty pleasure? Watching television, especially reality television is my favorite guilty pleasure. I know it's ridiculous, but I can't help it!

What is your favorite part of being a mom? I love all the learning that comes along with parenting, and of course seeing my daughter be happy. Anything I can do to make her laugh or smile is my favorite!

What do you do for a living? I am a management analyst for the Georgia Department of Audits doing performance audits. We look at effectiveness and efficiency of state funded programs. It sounds boring, but I enjoy learning about new aspects of state government with each new project. 

Teacher Feature

Lisa Carpenter is the Turning 4s teacher. She attended Temple University's Business Management program before becoming a teacher. She has been a teacher, and teaching at MDO for 15 years!

What do you love most about MDO? The family atmosphere, and the parents' involvement with the school and their children's education and well-being.

What made you choose to work at MDO? The position was advertised on craigslist. After visiting the school for an interview, I fell in love.
What is your favorite...
   Activity to do with the kids?  There are so many, but I'd have to say circle time. It is the time when we explore and learn.  They ask questions that are sometimes off of the lesson plan, giving a teachable moment.

   Book to read to the kids? Again so many, but I would say "Ticki ticki tempo." I love for them to learn "the great long name" and say it with me after I've read the book a few times.
   Song to sing with the kids? Our very own school song which is "we love our MDO".

What is something fun we may not know about you? I tell the same story every time I'm interviewed but we get new families so maybe some of you might not know this story, I was a Delta flight attendant while teaching at MDO. I was New York-based, and I once came to school and taught my class during my 10 hour layover in Atlanta, from Newark to Charlestown; what a day that was.

What is your favorite thing to do in your free time? I love to cook, try out new recipes, and create new ones for the cookbook that I'm writing for my family.

Spirit Night at Yeah! Burger - 1/26

Class Notes

Baby Class

Miss Amber left MDO in December. We are sad to see her go but we are thrilled with her replacement, Kristi Gage. Kristi is a mom in our area who has two children and baby nursery experience. She is wonderful and doing a fabulous job! 

Each morning in the baby class, the agenda begins with music and free playing to put little worries away. We sing songs, or we play games. We crawl, walk, do our exercises, and learn to dance! The babies enjoy giggling and repeating words during the vocabulary lesson. We may use songs or fairy tales to learn new words, talk about parts of the body or animals that we know. We also review colors, shapes and numbers while we play and hum. 

We go outside each day, if the weather permits, for fresh air, fun and a little sun!  Playground visiting is for exploring, laughing and playing in the dirt. We always make sure we stay together and play and are careful not to hurt ourselves. After our outdoor fun, we always remember to clean our little hands. The babies also love to play upstairs when it's too cold or rainy to go outside. We always like to visit the Fall 2s and play with the older kids, too. And of course, lunch time is our favorite time of day! Here we are playing, visiting with Ms. Elsa, eating and learning to blow kisses!

- Ms. Rosario

Spring 2s

We had a wonderful warm December with lots of time playing outside. The balmy weather was conducive to planting new Lenten Rose plants in the playground as well as unearthing parts of the play structure that were buried under years of sandbox fun! Everyone enjoyed the plastic beach shovel and helped in the archaeological dig! Here we are posing and painting!

The holiday party was a success with lots of delicious snacks. Thank you to Monica, our fabulous room representative, for organizing all the details. I am so thankful to all the Spring 2s parents and their children for their generosity and kindness. Thank you for my class gift! It was very much appreciated by me and my children!!

- Ms. Catherine

Spring 3s

Spring 3s December fun! We had so much fun in December, with the holidays and art. We had fun creating melted snowmen, snowflakes, holiday wreaths and all sorts of fun holiday art. As always we enjoyed playing with our friends and creating more memories with everyone. 

Looking forward to January and 2016, we are going to enjoy a month of winter and winter animals. Let's see what fun things we can learn and explore in 2016. Maybe some potty training, letters and more!

- Ms. Giselle

Turning 4s

Happy New Year parents! I know that everyone had a wonderful holiday break. It's hard to believe that we are more than halfway through our school year. 

The children learned a lot about celebrations from around the world. On that subject I'd like to thank the Korean culture lesson through the parent sharing program, the kids love it when parents come in; it's a wonderful program! We also had a lovely Holiday Program - the kids did a great job! I want to give a special thanks to Heather Grubman, our room parent, for orchestrating all of our parties and events thus far. She is doing a top notch job, making the teacher's tasks move more smoothly. Also, thank you to all of the parents that help set up and bring in goodies for our parties and events! 

We are presently learning about a new theme, "Wonderful World of Animals." We will be learning about different types of animals, such as hold and cold-blooded animals, nocturnal animals, you name it! I know the kids will soak up all of the information like sponges and come home and tell you all about them because it is a favorite theme for the kids. This month we also welcome Tanay (1/18) and Medha (1/27) to the 4-Year-Old club!

Please know that it is not too late to come in and be a Mystery Reader. Even if you signed up for a past month, or haven't signed up at all, please email me at ladycarpenter3@aol.com or see me at drop off of pick up. 

Thank you, everyone for an awesome school year thus far!
- Ms. Lisa

Last Month at MDO

PSP Yoga was a lot of fun! 

And we learned so much about Korean Culture!

The Turning 4s and Pre-K's Winter Program was a big hit!

And we all enjoyed our last day of school Winter Parties!