What a wonderful start to the school year we have all had together, welcoming new families and reuniting with familiar faces. While perhaps a few tears were shed here and there, most children have settled in nicely, learning new routines, and developing new friendships. It is so nice to see the playground full of the hustle and bustle of many little feet.
A special focus word, TUNZA, is one that you will begin to hear throughout the school year. It is Swahili term meaning “to treat with care and affection”. Each year, as a school, we create a common theme together to help unite our team, enhance our curriculum, and give focus to some of our staff trainings. While we are already very attuned to fostering kindness and caring for one another, we will strive to also focus on encouraging this concept throughout the broader community and the world.
Our wonderful group of hardworking teachers were definitely hit hard during the first week of school with COVID-19, as were some children in classrooms. With the beginning of the school year starting off with positive cases, we made the conscious decision to mask up as staff, for the first full week of school. We most definitely have come a long way since the very start of the pandemic back in the spring of 2020, with guidelines that are much less stringent. Isolation times are now reduced, quarantine times after exposure are nearly non-existent, and testing is only asked one day, instead of multiple days. We hope to see this trend of easier and less restrictive measures as the year progresses. However, we will continue to monitor and adjust as needed.
We do recognize that there are two sides of the fence: families that want us to be more stringent and families that want us to be more relaxed. It is important to know that some classes have been hit hard while others not so much. After reaching out to our local Board of Health, their message to us was, “Staff and families should focus on the fact that COVID is here to stay like many other illnesses, and we all need to stay vigilant with handwashing, stay home when sick, maintain the isolation for (+) cases, and close monitoring of symptoms frequently.” They also gave us the go-ahead to opt for ‘temporary’ stricter guidelines to address current situations. Please see our updated COVID-19 & GCS policy (guided by MDPH policy for early childhood centers, K-12 schools, and recreational camps)on our website. . As always, we are available for personal conversations with anyone who has questions or concerns.
Fall is always a busy time with lots of happenings here at GCS. The Board of Directors will have a booth at Grotonfest coming up on Saturday, September 24th, so please stop by and say hello and participate in a few activities if you are planning to be at this fabulous community event.
As the old saying goes, “Many Hands Make Light Work”. Our outdoor playscape is big and is always in need of helping hands for some minor repairs and regular maintenance. This year we would like to complete our greenhouse, organize our new storage shed, and do some playground sprucing up, to name a few tasks. There is no need for skill, and even an hour would be a tremendous help. Please mark your calendar for Saturday morning, October 22nd with a rain date of October 23rd. More information and a sign-up to come!
Annual General Meeting & Social
Our fabulous Board of Directors will also host our informational Annual General Meeting and also social gathering for GCS parent/guardians on Monday, October 3rd at 7:30pm. Please join us to mingle with staff, board, and other families, and hear about our goals for the year, as well as our fun events.
Front Door Code
A reminder is that if your child attends GCS full days, we do give you a family access code for the front door so that you can allow yourself into the school according to your family schedule. See Bonnie at the front desk if you have misplaced your code or need another one. Please help keep the school safe by not sharing this access code with others and by not allowing children to use the front key pad. While we know how appealing those number buttons are, we want this pad to be used by adults only for safety reasons.
Loaves & Fishes
Do you or anyone you know need help with groceries? Loaves and Fishes is a local food pantry that provides nutritious food to individuals in need who are from the local area. We have postcards in the front entrance for those that would like more information.
New School Year
We are looking forward to a wonderful year together as your child learns new skills, grows in development and self-assurance, and expands their horizons. We also hope for you, as parents and caregivers, that this year be rewarding and exciting. Please reach out to us if there is anything we can do to help make your family’s experience as good as it can be!
Congratulations to the Cahill/Magro family on the birth of their daughter (sister, Saoirse, is in the MWF PM Blue Room); the Dube family on the birth of their son (sister, Abigail, is in the TTh AM Blue Room); the Howell family on the birth of their daughter (sister, Grace, is in the MWF AM Blue Room); the Mann family on the birth of their son (brother, Wesley, is in the MWF FD Yellow Room; and the Murphy family on the birth of their daughter (sister, Adelyn, is in the Full Day Aqua Room).
We’d like to thank the following families for the generous donations to GCS over the Summer and the beginning of the new school year: The Mauch, Seero & Vadvalkar families for their kind words of gratitude; the Abraham, Babin, Crowley, Giangregorio, and Wilder families & Debbie MacDonald for Staff snacks; the Favreau family for diapers/pull-ups; the Halloran family for spare crib sheets, the Zocchi family for a disc swing; and Betsey Reeves for recyclables.
Linda Kosinski, GCS Director
DATES TO REMEMBER
Monday, September 19th Board Meeting – 7:30 PM
Saturday, September 24th GrotonFest
Monday, October 3rd Room Parent Meeting – 6:30 PM
Monday, October 3rd Annual General Meeting – 7:30 PM
Monday, October 10th Columbus Day – No School
Thursday, October 20th Curriculum Day – No School
Saturday, October 22nd GCS Fall Fix-Up – (More info to come)