Montrose Messenger

Montrose News, October-November 2019

October in Review

We have had a busy month at Montrose and Marshall! Our Week of Respect helped our school community come together with common messaging and a theme "Be A Rainbow in Someone Else's Cloud". The Respect Parade was a hit! It was great to have all of our preschoolers together for the first time this year. We even got to take a photo of our version of a rainbow. What an event!

The South Orange Fire Department has been so good to us! The visits on October 15 and 16 allowed the children to see the firefighters change into their gear. The children also heard the sound of a smoke detector and got an up-close look at a fire truck.

Picture Days at both school locations went very smoothly. A big "Thank you" to all volunteers. We could not have done this without your support.

Even though the weather was soggy outside on Halloween, children were all smiles inside. In lieu of an afternoon parade, some classes gathered for costume story time, others did a door-to-door "guess who!" and others had a great time painting pumpkins. Marshall preschoolers led their indoor parade. Children who did not participate in Halloween had a science experience with Mrs. Samuels - we made slime! Fun was had by all!

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Our Beloved Preschool Tree

You may have noticed that the tree nearest the playground was removed. This was due to damage and the need to ensure our community's safety. I am in contact with the Facilities Department and have conferred with the MECC PTA regarding options. Together, we will do some planning for a multi-year planting and grounds project. If you have the resources of time, talent, treasure or team that could help us with a project, please know that they are appreciated. Please indicate your interest by emailing me at and copying so we can coordinate our efforts.

Thanking you in advance.

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Curriculum Spotlight: What is Self-Regulation and Why Does it Matter?

In your weekly newsletters you are reading about self-regulation. It is woven into everything we do. Taking turns during Buddy Reading, stopping/starting on cue during Graphics Practice and Freeze Dance, sharing ideas and props during Make Believe Play, using whole body movement during transitions... you name it! But what is self-regulation?

Self-regulation is a set of underlying abilities that allow children to be successful in social interactions and learning. It’s tied to brain development that occurs in the early childhood years and can be influenced by a child’s early environment. Families and teachers can support the development of children’s self-regulation, which will have a long-term positive impact on children’s lives.

Please view the video below and try Crossing Guard Red Light/Green Light, the Freeze Game, or any others included. Please also refer to the yellow handout that was sent home on Friday, October 25 for additional information on self-regulation.

Have fun!

5 Incredibly Fun GAMES to Teach Self-Regulation (Self-Control) | Early Childhood Development
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The Difference Between Cold and Flu

Cold symptoms vs flu symptoms:

The common cold and flu share several symptoms including cough, sore throat, and

congestion. However, severity and onset is usually different. With a common cold,

the symptoms usually come on gradually – starting with a sore throat and then

progressing to cough, runny nose and/or sneezing. Your child could also have a mild fever.

The symptoms may last 3-10 days.

With flu, the symptoms tend to come on rapidly and your child will look and feel sicker. They may complain of sore throat, muscle aches, headaches, weakness and feeling

tired. Fevers may be high, and your child could experience chills. Most children get better in

a few days to 2 weeks. If your child has any trouble breathing, a change in skin color, is

not able to drink fluids, has severe vomiting, appears very irritable, or their fever returns

after a respite period – please see a doctor immediately as these could be signs of a

more serious illness.

Cold vs flu treatment

If your child has a cold, specific medication may not be needed. Keep your child well

hydrated, have them blow their nose and encourage rest as needed.

  • Keep home if children feel too ill or uncomfortable to adequately function in the classroom, or have rapid or difficult breathing - including wheezing - or severe cough, or sore throat causing inability to swallow, or excessive drooling.

  • Children may return to school when they are able to swallow, able to participate, on medication for 24 hours (if indicated for bacterial infection), and are fever-free.

If you think your child has the flu, keep them home from school. Allow them to get plenty

of rest and fluids. If your child has any chronic conditions, such as asthma, or appears very ill, contact your primary doctor. If flu is detected within the first 48 hours, there are medicines that may help shorten the time your child is sick by 1-2 days. Most of the time, your child will improve with fluids and rest.

Cold and flu prevention

For both the common cold and flu, preventative techniques include washing hands often,

covering nose and mouth when sneezing, avoiding contact with those who are

sick and disinfecting surfaces. We practice these habits in school.

The best way to prevent flu is to get the flu vaccine.

Here at Montrose, we do our best to prevent the spread of cold and flu by hand washing

several times throughout the day and sanitizing desks, toys and other objects regularly.

Thank you to all who have been getting the Flu forms back to me. For those who haven't please try to get them in by the beginning of December. If you have not provided proof of flu shot by December 20, your child will not be permitted to attend school after the Holiday Recess. Of course, the sooner the better.

My best,

Nurse Steffi

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Thanksgiving Food Basket Donations

In partnership with Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills (JLOSH), Montrose will be collecting non-perishable food items for Thanksgiving baskets. we are asking the MECC community to collect and donate items from the list below:

  • canned vegetables (i.e. corn, green beans, peas, yams, potatoes)
  • canned cranberry sauce
  • boxed stuffing
  • canned gravy

Along with developmentally appropriate discussions on the value of helping others, students will count and sort the donated items.

Our goal is to have 300 items donated. Donations will be accepted in each classroom from Thursday, October 31 through Wednesday, November 20, 2019. Consider bringing your donation when you come for the Halloween Parade, and weekly thereafter. Thanksgiving baskets will be assembled by JLOSH on Friday, November 22 and delivered to the Orange Public School District on Monday, November 25.

The Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills is an organization of women developed as civic and community leaders creating lasting community impact. JLOSH provides service to children living in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Milburn, Orange, Short Hills, South Orange, Springfield, and West Orange, and reaches out to women and families of all races, religions and national origins. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

Thank you in advance for your support!

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What is Social & Emotional Learning and Why it Matters

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) as "the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” It essentially covers 5 core areas; Self-awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Responsible Decision Making, and Relationship Skill.

Did you know that extensive research has demonstrated that competency in these areas can promote and enhance students’ connection to school, positive behavior, less emotional distress, and academic achievement? Here at Montrose and throughout the districts’ operated preschool classrooms, we help our students develop in these five areas through intentional teaching, and with our curriculum (Tools of the Mind). This curriculum allows ample opportunity for our students to practice social and emotional skills, while actively engaging students in learning.

Here’s a tip on how you can support your child at home:

Teach your child feeling words and their emotional definition. A more complex feeling vocabulary enhances children’s ability to identify feelings beyond “happy” and “mad”. It will allow children to communicate with others about their internal affective state. This can be done by using pictures of various emotions and pairing them with the appropriate affective label. Preschoolers are better at recognizing feelings with drawn pictures at first, then progressing to photographs.

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Professional Development

At Montrose, we value high quality Professional Development. Teachers' and staff participation in PD is critical to ensuring curriculum and assessment implementation with fidelity. We also delve into topics which promote an anti-bias experience and those which are health- and safety- related.

Staff has attended and participated in PD activities on the following topics:

  • Tools of The Mind Curriculum
  • GOLD Assessment
  • Promoting Student Independence
  • Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Asthma
  • When and How to Use an EpiPen
  • Universal Precautions in Healthcare
  • Food Handling Safety
  • ...and more

In November, PD will focus on:

  • "Equity Literacy" and Deficit Thinking
  • Tools of the Mind Curriculum
  • ...and more

All of these topics and workshops are designed to ensure that staff stays current in best practices and your children have a high-quality experience.

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November Dates to Remember

November 5 - Schools Closed: Professional Development

November 6 - 20 - Thanksgiving Food Drive

November 7 & 8 - Schools Closed: NJEA Convention

November 13 - PTA Meeting and Family Fall Festival (6:30 PM)

November 15 - School Spirit Day: Wear favorite team colors or gear

November 27 - Thanksgiving Recess: half-day dismissal (11:30 Montrose, 11:50 Marshall)

November 28 & 29 - Schools Closed: Thanksgiving Holiday and Recess

Looking Ahead to December

December 4 - Half-day: Evening Conferences (dismissal 11:30 Montrose, 11:50 Marshall)

December 5 - Half-day: Evening Conferences (dismissal 11:30 Montrose, 11:50 Marshall)

December 6 - Half-day: Afternoon Conferences (dismissal 11:30 Montrose, 11:50 Marshall)

December 10 - Half-day: Professional Development (dismissal 11:30 Montrose, 11:50 Marshall)

December 11 - PTA Meeting (9:00 AM)

December 20 - School Spirit Day: Pajama Day

December 23 - January 1 - District Closed: Holiday Recess

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Please be reminded that dogs are not permitted on school grounds. For the safety of our community, please adhere to this regulation.

Enjoy this month! May it be filled with gratitude.