The Wintonbury Peeper
Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School
Oct 10 NO SCHOOL
Indigenous People’s Day
TBD Firefighters from Bloomfield FD will visit with a fire truck for each class to explore.
Oct 19 EARLY DISMISSAL, 1PM
Teacher Professional Development
Oct 20 OPEN HOUSE - CURRICULUM NIGHT 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM (Adults only)
*optional, school tour 6:30 PM-6:45 PM
Oct 26 Schools Closed
Teacher Professional Development
Nov 8 No School
Nov 10 Second Cup of Coffee
More information to come!
Nov 11 No School
Nov 14 Picture Retake Day
Welcome to the 2022-2023 School year!
I am very excited to welcome you all to the new school year.
This year I look forward to seeing more visitors in the building! I hope to see you at drop off or pick up, volunteering for a farm trip, in class reading a book to your child, at a PTO meeting, or at a school event. I hope you take this opportunity to engage with your child's experience here at Wintonbury. Can't make it in...not to worry! Stay in touch with your child's teacher, read the newsletters, send an email, donate snack or materials to the classroom. There are many ways that you can participate!
I have a few TOP PRIORITY reminders for you:
1. REPORT all ABSENCES, call the school when your child is out (860-769-5510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
2. Drive slow & safe in the parking lot
3. Read and follow the "Stay at Home Guidelines" (for illness), these apply to health management along with the District COVID Guidelines (located in your Parent/Student Handbook and on our website in the Virtual Backpack)
4. Your preschool child MUST have a Flu Shot by December 31st (it is now required by the state for preschool attendance)
5. Update you information with the school when it changes
6. Support the PTO
7. Talk and read with your child everyday
Stay happy, stay safe, stay well.
Meet our 2022-23 staff HERE
From our Social Worker
Happy New School Year! My name is Natasha Whyte and I am the Social Worker at Wintonbury. My role in the school community is to nurture students’ social and emotional development.
During early childhood, a strong social and emotional foundation allows students to self-regulate, build positive relationships and explore their environments freely, ultimately increasing their academic performance.
I provide several services including but not limited to individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, and coordination of school and community resources.
To start the new school year, I am partnering with teachers to discuss separation anxiety with students. At the beginning of the school year, it is common for students to grow anxious during morning drop-off. For new and returning students, transitioning to school involves several changes including new routines, being away from loved ones and meeting new people. Such changes can be scary for individuals of all ages.
I am visiting classrooms to read The Invisible String by Patrice Karst. We can feel the invisible string in our hearts and it connects us to our loved ones when they are not physically present. After reading, students have the opportunity to create two heart shaped bracelets (one for them to keep and the other for a loved one) that are connected by an invisible string, signifying that they are never alone and they are safe and loved while at school.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding social work services, please contact me at 860-769-5510 or email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
The PTO is very excited for the 2022-2023 school year, with more in person events happening this year! We had a great turn out for our first PTO meeting last month and are looking forward to ongoing participation from parents and teachers.
Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday October 12th from 6pm to 7pm and will be held both in person at Wintonbury (main entrance) and on Zoom:
Join The Wintonbury PTO Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 854 1943 8700
Our nominated board:
Yelena Wasser, President
Kim Abroise, Vice President
Tiana Reid, Treasurer
Lashonda Charles, Co-Secretary
Shamar Haseley, Co-Secretary
Voting on this slate will be on the agenda October 12th.
Please save the date for the Wintonbury Fall Festival taking place on Thursday October 13th from 4:30-6:30 pm at Auer Farm. We plan to have pizza, fruit, hay rides, a scavenger hunt and more. All are welcome at this event!
Friday, October 14: Forms Due for Lyman Orchard Pies Fundraiser. We appreciate your support by participating in this fundraiser.
Monday, October 17 - November 2: Child Winter Clothing Drive Items in good condition will be collected for a Winter Clothing Swap at Wintonbury on November 2. More information to come home in backpacks!
Winter Coats (2T – 8)
Snow Pants (2T – 8)
Boots (Toddler / Kid Sizes)
Gloves, Mittens, Scarves
We have received $245 in donations to the PTO, thank you so much! If you are able to, please donate to raise funds for the upcoming fall festival so we can provide free food and activities for all Wintonbury students and their families.
For any questions, comments, and volunteer opportunities please email us @ mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for your continued support of the PTO!
From the School Nurse
Please schedule your child’s flu shot as soon as possible this fall. By state law, all preschool students who are enrolled in schools are mandated by the state to have the flu shot annually by December 31st. All preschoolers must get a seasonal flu shot between 8/1/22 and 12/31/22. Documentation must be received by the school nurse verifying that your child received their flu vaccine. If the nurse’s office does not receive your documentation by December 31st, your child will not be allowed back at school until it is received.
For those students who have never got a flu shot before, they must get 2 doses of flu separated by at least 28 days.
Important Reminders:. Stay at Home Guidelines [Also available in the Parent Handbook]
Deciding when a child is too sick to go to school can be a difficult decision for parents to make. When trying to decide, use the guidelines below and seek the advice of your health care provider. Please do not send your ill or injured child to school and ask the nurse to “check him/her out”. Please have a thermometer and check your child’s temperature at home. If you think your child needs assessment, contact his/her health care provider,
If your child has a temperature over 100 degrees he/she must stay home. Your child cannot return to school the next day and should remain at home until the fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without medication.
If your child has diarrhea, he/she should stay home through the next school day after the diarrhea has passed. (Ex: Your child is sent home on a Tuesday at 10 AM for diarrhea and stops having diarrhea at 6 PM, the child can return the following Thursday.)
If your child vomited during the night, he/she should stay home minimally through the next school day following being sent home and until there is no vomiting for 24 hours and they are able to tolerate a meal. (Ex: Your child is sent home on a Tuesday at 10 AM for vomiting and stops vomiting at 6 PM AND can tolerate dinner, your child can return the following Thursday.)
If your child woke up with one or both eyes red, sealed with discharge, and/or is itchy or painful, he/she should stay home and be seen by their health care provider. If prescribed an antibiotic eye drop, he/she may return after 24 hours of use.
If your child is complaining of severe sore throat they should stay home and be seen by their health care provider. If an antibiotic is prescribed, he/she may return after 24 hours of use.
If your child has severe cold symptoms with thick discharge, especially green discharge, from the nose or has a wheezing, croupy cough they should stay home.
If your child has an unknown rash he/she should stay home and be evaluated by their health care provider. If prescribed an antibiotic they may return after 24 hours of use. Please cover any open or oozing sores.
Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations
Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week, and was expanded to one month in 1988. Hispanic Heritage Month is meant to ensure we bring attention to the histories, cultures and contributions of those whose ancestors came to the U.S. from Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America, or Spain, as well as the impact of all Hispanic and Latino culture on the U.S.
One of the ways we celebrated at Wintonbury was with a school wide reading of Salsa Lullaby written by Jen Arena and illustrated by Erika Meza. When nighttime falls, it's time for baby to go to sleep. In this household, that means it's also time for mama, papa, and baby to baila/dance, canta/sing, salta/jump, and more, all the way to bedtime! In a school wide family project, students shared their bedtime routines. Their stories are displayed throughout the building for all to enjoy. If you would like to hear the story of Salsa Lullaby, click HERE.
In addition to the family project, classrooms read other texts featuring Hispanic authors, illustrators and characters; explored Latin music and rhythm instruments,; learned some Spanish; studied the Mexican artist Frieda Kahlo, baked a Mexican treat, made piñatas and more!
Polvorones de Canela ~ Room 303
Polvorones de Canela is a Mexican cinnamon sugar cookie. Chef Lise and students in Room 303 made these delicious treats.
Piñatas ~ Room 201
Room 201 read two books: Hooray A Pinata!, By Elisa Kleven and One Is A Pinata: A Book of Numbers, by Roseanne Greenfield Thong. They also watched a “How to video” on piñata making and learned they needed flour and water to make a paste, and would also need balloons and newspaper. The children were also able to make connections from birthday parties they went to that had piñatas. Room 201 made two large piñatas which are currently decorating their room until they decide on what occasion they will break them!
Nazca Lines ~ Room 105
The Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School uses the Creative Curriculum® for preschool aged children. Rooted in theory and research, this curriculum’s foundation provides guidelines for best practice in early childhood education. Our highly qualified teaching staff provides a nurturing, language rich learning environment for young children.
Play is the work of children. Theory tells us that young children need concrete, hands-on experiences to build knowledge. Research also informs us that long periods of uninterrupted play with peers and adults promotes self-regulation. Children who can focus, control emotions, and transition easily through their day have higher success rates both socially and academically. During play young children manipulate and act upon their environment. Coupled with meaningful child-adult interactions, young children are able to learn new concepts and explore new ideas through play.
Teachers spend a great deal of time creating inviting and stimulating environments for young children. Teachers develop activities and experiences from careful observations and their understanding of child development. Intentionally planned environments take into account the varied needs, abilities and interests of each child.
How We Teach
Preschool teachers use a variety of instructional strategies when working with young children. The foundation of our practice is in developing strong relationships with children and families. Effective classroom management creates environments where children feel safe to explore and try new ideas. The students' questions and ideas drive the curriculum. Teachers engage in learning with children through effective questioning and meaningful dialogue. Simultaneously, teachers infuse 38 goals and objectives for young children’s learning.
Classrooms offer a variety of building opportunities. In this photo students are building with magnatiles at the light table. Students classify by shape, size and color, experiment with balance and form, plan and create, test ideas, measure and quantify, develop motor skills and more!
Students enjoy sensory experiences in the water and sensory tables (dry ingredients such as sand, rice, oats). This also allows students to experiment, discover, observe, measure, weigh and build fine motor skills.
Friday Try Days
What is Friday Try-Day?
Friday Try-Day is a Wintonbury-wide tasting day. The objective is to encourage favorable attitudes among students toward fruits and vegetables. Twice a month all the children have the opportunity to learn about and taste, a new fruit or vegetable.
Teachers promote an excitement for trying new things and model how delicious they are. Teachers do this in small or large groups, or during lunch or snack.
This year we will be tasting red cabbage, watermelon radish, apricots and many more. To view our Friday Try Day Calendar, click HERE.
Our First Friday Try-Day was September 23rd and the children tasted grape tomatoes. Often teachers will graph who liked the fruit/vegetable and who didn't. Others will do some investigation before the tasting. What does it look like? What does it feel like? I wonder what it will look like when we cut it open?
You will hear more about each Friday Try-Day as the year progresses from your child’s teacher. You may also hear more from your own child in the grocery store to try some of the favorites! Some parents in the past have even extended Friday Try-Day into their Friday night dinners, to introduce their children to new foods at home.
Auerfarm: Meet the Teachers
I was born in Virginia and received my engineering degree at Virginia Tech. I worked as an environmental engineer for 4 years. I have been teaching since my oldest daughter was born in 2006. I began working at Auerfarm in the fall of 2021. I have been married to my wonderful husband since 2002 and we have 5 wonderful kids; 2 daughters and 3 sons. We love to go out hiking and be outdoors as a family.
I’m Kyle Conard, and I am thrilled to be teaching the Wintonbury program at the farm this year! I have taught at the farm during the summer since 2021. For over 15 years I have worked in Special Education, teaching students from preschool through high school. Along with my Masters in Public Administration, I have taken classes in early childhood education, and American Sign Language.
My husband Rich and I Have 2 sons, and live in Simsbury. I love the outdoors, hiking, kayaking, enjoying the beach and Newfoundland dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I pick my child up?
Daily, parents can pick up preschoolers at 2:20 p.m. at their outside classroom door. All children must be picked up by 2:35. If you need to pick up your child earlier for an appointment, please call the front desk to let us know, so your child and the teacher can be prepared for your arrival. When you arrive, go to the side door, push the buzzer and you will be asked to identify yourself. Someone will bring your child to you.
What if someone else is picking up my child?
Some folks carpool with other Wintonbury families, or have a nanny or grandparent pick up on a regular basis. Any person picking up who is not the legal guardian of a child must be listed on the emergency contact form in the office. If someone who is not listed needs to pick up we must have written permission by the legal guardian and will check a photo ID upon arrival to the school. The new person picking up must show identification.
What happens if I’m late?
We ask that families be respectful of both our drop-off and pick-up times. In the morning teachers use precious minutes prior to drop off to make sure the environment is ready for your child. It is also important that your children arrive on time so they don’t miss important routines such as morning meeting. At the end of the day, if you are late picking up your child, he/she will be waiting in the main lobby. Go the side door, push the buzzer and you will be asked to identify yourself. Someone will bring your child to you. Repeated late pick-ups will be addressed on an individual basis.
My child’s usually a bus rider but I want to pick him/her up from school some days.
No problem! Send a written note, email or phone the office. Please let the office know by 1:45 if your child won’t be taking the bus on a given day. We will inform his/her teachers.
What is the time frame for farm visits?
Children will begin boarding the bus at 9:15 and depart Wintonbury by 9:30. Students will arrive at the farm for the lesson plan from 9:45-11:00. The bus will depart the farm by 11:15 and arrive back at Wintonbury at 11:30.
DID YOU KNOW... Showing up on time every day is important to your child’s success and learning from preschool forward. Missing 10% of school (1 or 2 days every few weeks) can make it harder to:
• Gain early reading and math skills.
• Build relationships.
• Develop good attendance habits.
High quality preschool and kindergarten has many benefits!
• The routines your child develops will continue throughout school.
• Make the most of early grades by encouraging your child to attend every day
WHAT YOU CAN DO Work with your child and his/her teacher to develop your child’s strong attendance. Talk about it – sing about it – make it an adventure!
• Set a regular bedtime and morning routine.
• Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
• Share ideas with other parents for getting to school on time.
IF YOUR CHILD HAS 3 OR MORE ABSENCES IN A SINGLE MONTH or is nearing 10 total absences you may receive a call and/or a letter from the school social worker who will support you in creating solutions to avoiding more absences if necessary.
We understand that some absences are unavoidable. Children who are ill should stay home. However, we also know that absences, regardless of the reason, can cause children to fall behind academically. Your child is less likely to succeed if he or she is chronically absent - which means missing 10% of the school year, equal to 10-18 (or more) days.
Prosser Library Parent Virtual Program
Spark Early Learning in Connecticut with Sparkler
The CT Office of Early Childhood is providing Sparkler, a mobile app that helps parents and caregivers access developmental screening, parenting tips, play-based learning activities, and connection to support. It's now free for all families with young children (0-5 years old) in Connecticut! Families can use Sparkler on smartphones or tablets, in Spanish, English, and Chinese. Learn how you can use Sparkler to spark your little one's early learning! Register HERE.
Miss Heidi Read-aloud!
oin Miss Heidi for the picture book read aloud of Nigel and the Moon. Read for the Record brings together millions of people each year in classrooms, libraries, community centers and homes across the US. This annual campaign was launched 16 years ago to highlight the importance of building early literacy and language skills for EVERY child so that all children have the opportunity to enter kindergarten prepared to succeed. you tube link will be available on Oct. 27.