December 2021

Preakness Early Childhood Center Newsletter

Dear Families,

Dear Families,

The cold weather is here but the warmth of the children and the learning occurring at the ECC touches us all. December is a month of giving and we are fortunate to have participated in food and clothing drives last month as well as a toy and food drive this month. I hope you all enjoy a beautiful holiday season! If you have any questions, at any time, please feel free to call or email me at

Dr. Jess Hammond

Principal, Preakness Early Childhood Center

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Nurse's Notes

Flu season is here. As per New Jersey State Code, Chapter 14 Immunizations requires all preschool children 59 months ( 4 years 11 months old) and younger to receive a flu shot between September 1st and December 31st, 2021

  • Proof of your child’s immunization must be received in the Health Office before this date or your child will not be able to return to school on January 3, 2021.

Please feel free to call Nurse Brie with any questions or concerns you may have.

To call your child in to school please call the Attendance Line at 973-968-7400 ext. 2690

Nurse Brienne Trignano -

973-968-7400 ext. 2670

Governor's Educator of the Year Awards

I am happy to announce that our Governor's Educator of the Year Award goes to Mrs. Christine Romanick. Miss Christine has nineteen years of experience as a preschool teacher.

Affectionately known as “Miss Christine,” she has been teaching preschool for 20 years. As one parent writes, “I am sure teaching preschoolers has always been exhausting, but teaching preschoolers during a pandemic, virtually, brings things to a whole new level.” Christine Romanick found a way to engage her three and four-year-old learners in interactive lessons, exciting activities, and hands-on learning experiences. Although students may not have attended in-person school every day, they were eager to be with their classmates and “see” Miss Christine. Outside of the school day, Miss Christine volunteers for the ECC’s PTO. She is vocal in organizing events to raise money for the students and school, and she volunteers her time to plan and attend these events. It has been noted that Christine eases the fears of parents when learning that their child is eligible for special education and related services. As a parent, it is never easy to accept that your child may need to follow a different path, but Miss Christine walks the path with the student and family. Christine Romanick is passionate, nurturing, patient, and enthusiastic, and engages in the school community outside of school hours and for all of these reasons, she has been nominated as the Preakness Early Childhood Center’s Teacher of the Year

Mrs. Kurpick is a paraprofessional in the preschool and lights up her student’s eyes and smiles every day. She easily adapts to any classroom within the Early Childhood Center to include individual classroom/student needs. Mrs. Kurpick engages in positive collaborative practices that promote positive outcomes for our school community members. Mrs. Kurpick utilizes proactive problem-solving strategies to ensure successful outcomes for all students within the preschool setting. Most importantly, Mrs. Kurpick is willing to embrace suggestions, ideas, and strategies in order to meet individual needs while increasing positive outcomes for all students in the classroom. Mrs. Kurpick is often referred to as dedicated, compassionate, and loving. Mrs. Ann Kurpick’s positive collaborative practices, knowledge of individual learning needs, support of social-emotional needs, and dedication toward student learning are commendable. Her professionalism and compassion are always in the best interest of all students and are evident in their connections with Ann.

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Handwriting Without Tears

We are so excited to announce the adoption of the Handwriting Without Tears program in our Preschool! Handwriting Without Tears is a program that was designed by an occupational therapist to teach children how to write without frustrating them to tears.

You can download activities to learn and practice over winter break here.

You can also find a larger set of materials here.


Our arrival and dismissal seems to be going very well, a big thank you to our parents and caregivers for ensuring the safety of our young students. As a reminder, our procedures are outlined below.

Parents transporting their child to and from school will use either the driveway in front of the school via Hamburg Turnpike or the Church Street entrance and park in the side parking lot near the playground and walk to the front of the school for drop off/pick up.

• Follow the arrival and dismissal traffic patterns at the front of the center. You may park your car and hand your child off to a staff member in the front of the building. For safety reasons, children should exit from the passenger side of the car only and caregivers will hand their child to the staff on duty. Dismissal follows the same pattern as arrival.

As a reminder, parents should NOT use the back driveway as that is strictly utilized for our school buses.

Bus Students will be assisted by the teachers and paraprofessionals.

Important Reminders:

If the adult picking up your child is not known to our staff, he or she must show photo identification (driver’s license, etc.) to prove his or her identity before your child may be dismissed into his or her care.

AM Sessions

  • AM Arrival is at 8:20am (doors open at 8:15am)

  • AM Dismissal is at 10:55pm (doors open at 10:55am)

PM Sessions

  • PM Arrival is at 12:10 pm (doors open at 12:05 pm)

  • PM Dismissal is at 2:45 pm (doors open at 2:45 pm)

Upcoming Events

December 6-7: Minimal Day due to Parent-Teacher Conferences - will be held virtual

December 6-17: Food Drive to benefit the WIN Pantry

December 6-17: PTO Toy Drive

December 9: PTO Fundraiser at Panera at The Parke at Hamburg

December 13: Last day of the PTO Book Fair

December 20-23: Spirit Week

December 23: Minimal Day - Start of Holiday Recess

December 24-31: Holiday Recess

January 3: Return to School

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The PECC is now able to order lunches through the online google form here. The monthly menus can be found here.

Spirit Week

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Winter Break Activity Challenge

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PTO News

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Visit the newly built Panera on Hamburg Turnpike (Trader Joe's Shopping Plaza) for a fundraiser on Thursday! Take-out orders and in-restaurant dining between the hours of 4-8 pm are included in the fundraiser. Please show the flyer on your phone or print a copy to ensure your donation is counted. Panera will donate 15% of your check back to our PTO! Download the flyer here.


The Preakness ECC Virtual Book Fair with Usborne Books is running now until December 13th. Click here to access the virtual bookstore and staff wish lists. Shipping estimates are 5-7 business days, so you will be able to enjoy your books over the holidays! Visit our social media: @peccpto on Instagram and The Preakness Early Childhood Center Facebook Group to view videos from surprise readers! All funds raised in the book fair will be rewarded back to the school to add to our teacher libraries!


We are partnering with ATCBN on a toy drive to support local families in need. Between now and December 17th, toys (new only) will be collected at school in the foyer. For ideas, a wish list can be found by clicking here.

If you are a family facing financial hardship or know someone who is and would benefit from some extra support during the holiday season, download the flyer here.


Pantry items will be collected throughout the school year and dropped off every two weeks. We have collected 400+ pounds of plastic and are getting closer by the day to our 500lb goal!

Please continue to send these items to school with your students to give back to the community. To volunteer to drop off plastics or food pantry items, please email We’d love your help and support!


Our membership has increased! We have reopened signups for spring committees to welcome our new members. To get involved in a committee (i.e. yearbook, graduation), sign up here.

Questions? Email Thank you!

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