School for Young Children

at the University of Saint Joseph: September 2019

Director Update by Sue O'Donnell

Our new school year is off to a fabulous start! The consistent beginning the of the day drop off routines families have implemented have truly helped children with their initial adjustment back to school. Our teaching staff creates inviting environments in classrooms each day to provide a welcoming space for children’s arrival. This intentional attention to the environment and children’s interests allows children to feel connected to the classroom space and interested in exploring the classroom materials. SYC’s teaching staff understands the importance of preparing environments and developing meaningful connections with children during the first days of the school year. Walking through the classrooms on the fifth day of school there was a sense of calm, curiosity, collaboration, and engagement within each space. I am so glad you have chosen SYC as a place for your child to learn, grow and explore during the preschool years! During the two years your child is in the program you too will learn, grow and develop new connections with other families and staff!


Each year we ask families to complete a survey on different aspects of their program experience. Thank you to all of the families that took time to share their thoughts and ideas. We also appreciate your kind word of praise. At our initial beginning of the year professional development day, we share the results from the survey with staff. Each year a common thread that families mention is communication with staff related to their child’s growth and development. Over the past several years SYC staff has worked to strengthen this communication with use of more consistent classroom newsletters, emails, and detailed anecdotes within conference narrative summaries. Several families noted how this additional information made an impact on their experience. We will continue to look for new ways to share information about children’s time at SYC with families.


During the course of the year, please feel free to communicate concerns, ideas and new ways to strengthen collaborations between home and school. Teaching staff, Deidre and I are interested to hear ideas you may have related to growing as a community and school.

FALL FESTIVAL DATE CHANGE!

The Fall Festival has new dates:


  • Oct 17, 2019: Rooms 2,5.6,7
  • Oct 18, 2019: Rooms1,3,4


You will receive more in formation about this fun event and volunteer opportunities from PAC and the Fall Festival chairs, Catherine Riberio and Erin Sullivan.

Helping Your Child Learn Responsibility


To be responsible, children must notice what needs to be done, think of useful options, and take pride in their contributions. Here’s how to encourage responsibility.



Notice and narrate

Draw attention to strategies that work. “Moving your puzzle to the table is a good idea. It’s easier to keep track of the pieces,” “You and your sister made up great rules.”


Ask instead of tell

Support your child’s independent actions. Ask, “What’s a safe place to put your cup?,” instead of saying, “Put your cup on the counter.” Note, “I see toy cars in front of the stairs. Where should they be moved?,” instead of insisting, “Someone could trip on the cars. Please move them.”


Put your child in charge

Ask questions that inspire your child to solve problems. “We need a good way to get everyone to the table for dinner. What do you think we should do?” and “We need to find a better place for the boots [bikes, socks, mittens, toys] so we can find them easily. Where do you think they can go?”


Celebrate success

When you notice your child being responsible, show your appreciation. “Hurray! All the coats got hung up today,” “Awesome work setting the table! Dinner was very elegant,” “Thanks for putting the snack wrappers in the garbage. I loved working on a clean counter.”




Marie L. Masterson, PhD, is Director of Quality Assessment at McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership. She is a national speaker, child behavior expert, and consultant to state agencies, schools, childcare centers, and social service and parenting organizations.

First Days of School Candids!

PAC News

On behalf of the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC), welcome (back) to The School for Young Children! We look forward to another great year and extend an invitation to all of you to join PAC in its mission:


The Parent Advisory Committee’s role is to help build a community among families and staff through activities and ongoing school wide communication. With the help of parent volunteers, PAC provides support for all school programs and is an avenue for parent feedback and interaction which is used to shape the direction of the School.

PAC’s “supporting role” includes running events for the school community, sponsoring special guests, and coordinating fundraising efforts throughout the year. The school calendar includes the dates of all scheduled PAC activities.


You will receive updates from PAC via e-mail, notices in your child’s mailbox, and on the bulletin board outside the office. Information is also shared by PAC Room Pals (parent volunteers from each classroom), newsletters and even Facebook posts. The goal of communication goes both ways - your questions and suggestions are always welcome and PAC meetings are open to all families and teachers. Volunteering through PAC is an easy and rewarding way to enrich your SYC experience. It is also a great way to meet new people and families. Please check the bulletin board for more information and a list of volunteer opportunities. We would love for you to join us!


As your co-chairs this year, we aim for open and easy communication. Please don’t hesitate to introduce yourself, pose a question or just say hi! Stop us in the hall or email us at any time. We are looking forward to reconnecting with returning families and getting to know new ones throughout the year!


Upcoming events include our fall fundraiser featuring the purchase of Lyman Orchard Pies beginning in October with the pies being delivered by Thanksgiving, as well as the Fall Festival taking place in mid-October. More information to follow!


The first PAC meeting will be held on October 2nd from 7-8pm in the Conference Room at SYC. We will discuss upcoming events, brainstorm new ideas, and identify volunteer opportunities. It is a great way to get involved! Everyone is encouraged to attend.


Stephanie Dominello & Kelley Pellegatto

PAC Co-Chairs 2019-2020

Afternoon Backpack News

Welcome to SYC's extended day program, Backpack Club. We are off to a great start of the new school year.


  • If your child is a Napper, please be sure that you provide a blanket each week for naptime. At the beginning of each week, please bring your child's nap items down to the gym and put them in your child's nap bin.


  • If your child does not nap, he/she is an Awaker. Awakers rest for 30 minutes in their classroom 1-1:30pm. Please provide a blanket for this rest time.


  • All bedding is sent home at the end of the week for laundering.


Thank you in advance for your patience as we get to know you and your child. At dismissal time in the afternoon, please be prepared to show a form of ID. Please tell any of your authorized pick-ups to have identification on them when they pick up your child. We will not release your child to anyone who does not have an ID. Your child's safety is very important to us.


Thank you

PIZZA FRIDAY!!

Pizza Friday Session 1 will start on Friday September 13th.

Please hand in forms and payment (check only) to the main office.


Session 1: $56 per child

Session 2: $76 per child


Both sessions can be paid for at once at a cost of $132 per child


Questions? contact Deidre at 860.231.5562 or dhoran@usj.edu

Playground Policy

The SYC playground is accessible to all families during a short time frame between our morning and afternoon programs:

1-1:30 pm Monday-Friday

When using the playground, please adhere to the following:

  • Please leave the playground as you found it. Clean up after yourselves before you leave.

  • Please be gentle with our trees and plants.

  • Gates must be locked at all times.

  • Adults must supervise children using the top and bottom sections of the playground.

  • Bikes may not be taken out, helmets are locked up at this time of day.

Thank you for your help in keeping our playground a safe area to enjoy for all!

Together Time

Together Time is intended for children 24 months to 3 years of age and an accompanying adult. Together Time meets at the School for Young Children on Tuesday or Thursday mornings 9:30-11:00. Activities include classroom free play, sensory exploration, nature trail walks, stories, songs and finger plays.


Fall 2019 ~ Sessions 1 & 2: 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.


Tuesdays Session 1 – September 17 – October 29

Tuesdays Session 2 – November 5 December 17


Thursdays Session 1– September 19- October 31

Thursdays Session 2 – November 7 – December 19 (no class Nov. 28; 6 Classes @ $120)


Together Time groups will be led by Sue O’Donnell and Deidre Horan, School for Young Children staff members with many years of experience teaching both toddlers and preschool children.


Fee per session: $140 (except Session 2 Thursdays- $120)


Please call the office with any questions, 860.231.5560


Flyers can be found in the Main office, please make checks payable to The University of Saint Joseph

Some Odds and Ends for the begining of school..

  • Check the Lost and Found basket for items that belong to your child. The basket can be found in the Resource Room. Unclaimed clothing will be donated to a local organization at the end of the school year.
  • Please remember to send your child to school in appropriate footwear for play. Closed shoes or sneakers are best for play and safety.
  • Please remember to sign in to the main office when visiting your child's classroom or when remaining in the building after drop-off. This is for safety purposes. Thank you

Looking Ahead...

  • Oct 2: PAC Meeting
  • Oct 14: Indigenous Persons Day: Preschool CLOSED, Backpack OPEN
  • Oct 15: Priority Enrollment for 2020-2019 begins. Please return the forms by Nov 8th to secure your child's spot.
  • Oct 21-25: Family Conference Week (Sign up sheets will be posted in classrooms)
  • Oct 26: Open House for Prospective Families, 10-11:30am