School for Young Children

at the University of Saint Joseph: September 2018

Director Update by Sue O'Donnell

The 2018-2019 school year is off to a great start! By mid-morning each day, children have settled into their classroom and have been busily engaged with activities. During children’s transition into the program it is common for them to feel sad and cry when saying “Good-bye” to their family. Creating consistent morning routines helps children develop an understanding of their day at school. As you and your child enter the classroom place their lunch box into the cubby and take a look around the room, let your child know you’ll see them later and send them off with a big hug and kiss! Teachers will help support and guide them into an activity.

At home, focus on the positive aspects of your child’s day. Ask them about activities shared on the chalkboard outside their classroom. You might make predictions with your child about what will be in the sensory table the next morning. The main goal is to remain positive and convey your trust and excitement in this new adventure at SYC.

During the next couple months we will host 2 workshops for families. I am securing a date for someone from Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence to present a workshop on RULER for families. Many of the RULER strategies and ideas used at SYC can be used within your home. I have also secured a presenter from Mary’s Place in Windsor which is a center for grieving children and families. We will hold a workshop on Tuesday, October 23 at 7:00. Discussing the concept of death is a difficult topic to share with young children. Having an understanding of how to share this information and how children will process it before it is needed is helpful for adults. We will have a sign-up sheet for child care for both events on the PAC bulletin board by the main office. I hope you will make time to attend these two workshops.

I am happy you chose SYC for your child’s preschool experience. The school year will be filled with many opportunities for your child to develop their interests and skills as they engage in the rich curriculum teachers plan each day. You will find the SYC community also offers you opportunities to form relationships with other families through many different activities during the year.


Calendar Highlights:

Family Picnic

Friday, Sep. 7th, 5:30-7pm

Taylor's Field at SYC

Join SYC families and staff for a picnic to kick off the school year! Bring your blanket and own dinner and a sweet treat to share! (Please label treats with nuts)

Hope to see you all there!

(rain date: 9.14.18)


Martin Luther King Jr Day is Monday January 21, 2019. Family Conference Day is Tuesday January 22, 2019. These dates are incorrectly printed on our calendar.

  • Preschool will be CLOSED on Monday January 21st and Backpack will be OPEN.
  • Preschool and Backpack will be CLOSED on Tuesday January 22nd for Family Conference Day.

Please note, Preschool and Backpack will be OPEN on Monday January 14th and Tuesday January 15th for our regular HOURS.

Connecting With Your Child's Preschool

Whether your child is starting school for the first time, entering a new classroom, or in a year-round program, back to school time is a good chance to connect with your child's teachers. Here are some tips for supporting your child in school:

Connect with teachers

  • Establish relationships with your child's teachers-it confirms to your child that his/her teachers are important adults in your life as well as his/hers. Let teachers know how to contact you and that you are interested in what is happening at school.
  • Every family's schedule is different. Tell teachers when you are available. If you can't help during school hours, ask how else you might become involved. Attend class events and meetings whenever you can, and let teachers know if your schedule doesn't allow you to attend.

Participate in school activities

  • Join the school Parent Advisory Committee (PAC). You might not be able to attend meetings, but you can reach out and offer to help in ways that fit your schedule.
  • Sign up to volunteer whenever possible-even and hour a month makes a difference.
  • Attend school events when you can-it helps your child see that you value school and what is happening there.

Encourage friendships

  • Arrange playtimes outside the program with some of your child's classmates.
  • Get to know the other families in your child's class/program.

Add learning at home(reading, writing, math, science, and social studies) to your day

  • Take your child to the library and register for a library card.
  • Read books before bedtime.
  • Make or sign birthday and holiday cards together.
  • Let your child measure ingredients as you cook together and count items in your grocery basket at the grocery store.
  • Go on a nature walk and talk about what you see.
  • Visit places in your community ( post office, museum, fire station)

NAEYC Message in a Backpack

First Days of School Candids!

PAC News

On behalf of the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) welcome 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 SYC.

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 email, notices in your child's mailbox, and on the bulletin board outside the main 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 fore 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 any time. we are looking forward to re-connecting 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 October 15th and 16th. More information to follow!

The first PAC meeting will be held on October 3rd, 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.

Melissa Bowman & Stephanie Dominello, PAC Co-Chairs

Afternoon Backpack News

Welcome to SYC's extended day program, Backpack Club. We are excited for the start of a new school year. If your child is a Napper, please be sure that you provide a blanket each week for naptime. 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. Your child's safety is very important to us.

Thank you


Pizza Friday Session 1 will start on Friday September 14th.

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

Questions? contact Deidre at 860.231.5562 or

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!

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 3: PAC Meeting
  • Oct 8: Columbus Day: Preschool CLOSED, Backpack OPEN
  • Oct 15: Priority Enrollment for 2019-2020 begins. Please return the forms by Nov 9th.
  • Oct 22-26: Family Conference Week (Sign up sheets will be posted in classrooms)
  • Oct 27: Open House for Prospective Families, 10-11:30am