I wanted to write to you and let you know of an upcoming change to the NC state laws that regulate early education and how this law will be affecting us here at school. Most recently the state has adopted a law that requires all administrators of child care centers to participate in 5 hours of training in Emergency Preparedness. This included completing a state template for an Emergency Plan that is uploaded to the state website. In the event of an emergency at Bell’s School, emergency responders will have access to our Emergency Plan and be better able to help us.
As part of building this new Emergency Plan, we have had to update our procedures here at school. One of the items discussed at the training and that is included in our Emergency Plan is the addition of lock-down drills. This is part of a new state law. We will be required to have quarterly lock down drills here at school. This is not something that we have ever practiced before here at Bell’s School. Unfortunately, due to national tragedies in recent years, this is something that NC is now requiring.
We will be talking to the children before we start doing these drills. We have already started talking to the children in the PreK classroom. However, as we talk to the children we are NOT calling these “lock down drills” We do not want to increase child stress and anxiety talking about potential bad things that can happen. Instead we are calling these drills “safety drills.” With the older children we are letting them know that safety drills are just like storm drills or fire drills. They help us to stay safe in an emergency. If the older children ask about the emergency, we are just saying “like if something happened and we could not go outside.” These drills will only happen quarterly and we are going to practice them with a lot of focus on minimizing the anxiety and stress. If you have any questions, please see me.
Halloween is coming! The children are starting to make their own costumes. We create our own costumes here at school because we understand the value of opportunities for creativity. When children are offered a chance to be creative, they build higher order thinking skills. Children can engage in brainstorming, planning and producing. We facilitate children’s creativity by encouraging them to explore a variety of open-ended materials and use them in different ways. When we create our own costumes, the children are taking the time to brainstorm what they want to make, plan how they are going to do it and produce their own costume.
You may also have noticed in the classroom newsletters that we have requested that the children do not wear costumes from home to school on October 31. This is because the children have created their own costumes and we are proud of the work that we are doing. Not every family has the resources for expensive, elaborate costumes. And we would like to put emphasis on the work that the children have done to create their own costumes. Therefore, we ask that you not send your child in costume on Halloween day. If you and your child would like to share your costumes, children can wear or bring costumes on Tuesday, November 1st the day after Halloween.
Along this same line, you will notice as we move through the holidays that we create our own decorations in the classrooms and do not rely on store bought decorations for the same reasons as above.
It is time for conferences! The teachers have signup sheets outside the doors for you to sign up for conferences. We will be holding conferences for two weeks. Of course you may request a conference at any time during the year but we encourage all families to sign up for a conference time now.
Cold and flu season is upon us! Please remember to wash your child’s hands both when entering the classroom AND before leaving to go home. Please wash your hands as well and hopefully we can keep the bad germs out as much as possible.
Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks!
Miss Catherine Lieberman
PS- It is a Bell’s School rule that you hold your child’s hand in the parking lot. This is for the safety of all children. PLEASE hold your child’s hand when leaving the building until they are buckled into a car seat!