Dear GCS Families,
It sure was a pleasure having such beautiful weather this weekend after nearly a week of dreary rain and clouds. Perfect timing, as I think everyone really needed some fresh air and sunshine. The world is really in a tough place right now with so much illness, lack of social connections, possible financial burdens, and emotional uncertainty. I am humbled by all the kindness, sincere notes, class camaraderie, and genuine care that has been shared with GCS. It keeps us all going!! I have had either phone calls with many of you, or exchanged emails, and no matter what the conversation or message, the common thread was the concern for the well-being for GCS and its fabulous staff. I am so proud of our school – staff and teachers, families and children, as collectively, everyone has risen to the immense challenges during this unprecedented event.
Many thanks to all of you for taking time to give us feedback on remote learning through the survey that was distributed to families. There is such a wide range of needs and happenings in all of our family households. While some are craving these classroom opportunities as a life line, others are juggling siblings, work, caring for family, and a slew of other reasons that remote learning just doesn’t make sense. Whatever category you are in, please plan to be with us from June 15th-24th as we all come together (virtually) for opportunities of closure, excitement, and celebration of the school year together. We don’t know how or what that will look like just yet, but we are beginning to plan virtual activities while we await news on where our state will be at that time.
If you expressed a specific request about the allocation of your tuition payments and/or deposit or you have requested a refund, we ask that you please be patient with us. We are working diligently on sorting out family accounts carefully so that there are no mistakes in the process.
Remote Learning – Our Teachers
It goes without saying that we are incredibly proud of our teaching staff and how they have reacted to this change of classroom teaching during this crisis. Right from the beginning, they went into overdrive, stretching their skills in ways they never thought about for their work with young children. After all, they went to school for education, not technology. Each team has really dug deep, shared, researched, changed their way of thinking, and are continuing to find ways to engage, connect, and offer early childhood experiences with your children. While goals certainly include enhancing educational experiences such as reading and math readiness, more importantly, and in keeping with our philosophy, we want to make emotional connections, share joyful experiences, help families feel supported, and create opportunities for laughter and feelings of security during this unexpected time. We also want to ensure that these young minds continue to grow and develop to be active, creative learners and thinkers.
Remote Learning – Your Children
Please don’t be concerned that your children will fall behind, but rather try and enjoy this journey with them. They will be strong and resilient from all the love, support, and opportunities that they are getting. Some days are definitely harder than others. We all wake up each morning in hopes that today will be the day that we can resume to some normalcy. Routines and schedules are helpful – but what we are all dealing with can no doubt make you tired, sad, and sometimes impatient. And that is okay, as we are all human. Please remember to take a day off if you need it, have an extra cookie or two, or stay in your jammies all day… we all need to recharge.
Here is an excerpt from a Facebook post questioning if children are falling behind while staying home:
But what if…❤️❤️❤️️
What if instead of falling “behind”, this group of kids are ADVANCED because of this? Hear me out…❤️❤️❤️️
What if they have more empathy, they enjoy family connection, they can be more creative and entertain themselves, they love to read, they love to express themselves in writing. ❤️❤️❤️️
What if they enjoy the simple things, like their own backyard and sitting near a window in the quiet. ❤️❤️❤️️
What if they notice the birds and the dates the different flowers emerge, and the calming renewal of a gentle rain shower? ❤️❤️❤️️
What if this generation are the ones to learn to cook, organize their space, do their laundry, and keep a well-run home? ❤️❤️❤️️
What if they learn to stretch a dollar and to live with less? ❤️❤️❤️️
What if they learn to plan shopping trips and meals at home. ❤️❤️❤️️
What if they learn the value of eating together as a family and finding the good to share in the small delights of the everyday? ❤️❤️❤️️
What if they are the ones to place great value on our teachers and educational professionals, librarians, public servants and the previously invisible essential support workers like truck drivers, grocers, cashiers, custodians, logistics, and health care workers and their supporting staff, just to name a few of the millions taking care of us right now while we are sheltered in place? ❤️❤️❤️️
What if among these children, a great leader emerges who had the benefit of a slower pace and a simpler life to truly learn what really matters in this life?❤️❤️❤️️
What if they are AHEAD? ❤️❤️❤️❤️
In terms of GCS and how we are doing, fortunately, our organization was strong, secure, and financially conservative going into this pandemic. Through the CARES Act Program, the guidance of our Finance Committee, some generous April donations, and May/June remote learning tuition dollars coming in, the school is working to regain some of its significant deficit. We still have a way to go, however. We all want to be here for children, families, and the community now more than ever, and continue after these challenges are over. What will the new normal look like… no one yet knows. We are attending webinars, reaching out to our licensing community, and thinking ahead with open eyes and thoughtful strategic planning.
Due to the current situation of social distancing and the anticipated changes in camp and child care regulations, we are sad to inform you that Camp Kaleidoscope will only be offered to Full Day Families this summer. We are working on getting information out to those families by the end of this week. We will certainly look forward to welcoming all of our half-day families back next Summer 2021!
We wanted to share a happy moment and joyous occasion with all of you! Vincenzo from the Toddler Class is a big brother, and the Terri family welcomed Francesco on Wednesday, April 29th. Everyone is doing well! Have a great week and we will see you soon!
At this time, we’d like to thank all of our GCS teachers, families and children for making GCS that best that it can be!
Please take a few moments and try one of these each day during the month for some opportunities that may be meaningful and fulfilling for you and your family: https://www.actionforhappiness.org/meaningful-may.
Linda Kosinski, Director