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Director Updates and Reminders

October 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

October has arrived and so has the cooler weather! Please remember to change out your child’s extra clothes so that they are weather appropriate. The key during the Michigan change of seasons is layering. Often mornings are cool and by the afternoon there can be up to a 20 degree change of temperature. If you are new to our Michigan climate see your child’s teacher for tips for the best fall/winter gear for young children.

Label, Label, Label

Now that I have advised you to layer your child, it means more articles of closing will be at the center! Please label everything. Teachers do a great job of tracking things, but they can’t remember what everyone comes in wearing each day. Duplicates of mittens, gloves, boots and snow pants can also be a cause for confusion. Lost items are more likely to find their way back to you if your child’s name is on them. It is very appreciated by teachers and helps save them time each day when they have a tag as reference.

Critical Incident Management

We had a crisis drill on Friday, October 3rd.  The type of drill we carried out was Secure Mode. This type of drill is put in place whenever there is an external concern in the local community. For example, if there was a bank robbery in the nearby area, we would go into Secure Mode. When in Secure Mode, the children are brought inside (if outdoors) and the classroom doors and windows are locked, as well as, the front entrance. Classroom activities will continue within the building as normal. Hallways will be monitored if there is movement to other areas. Our goal is to have staff practice this procedure while keeping the children calm and engaged in typical activities.

The drill went very smoothly. Because it was raining, we were already indoors. The teachers were able lock down their rooms and secure the classrooms without the children noticing anything out of the ordinary. Although we know it is very unfortunate that such drills are necessary, parents seem very appreciative that we are taking the time to practice our procedures.

Curriculum Night

Teachers have been preparing a wonderful evening of hands on learning for parents during Curriculum Night. We strongly encourage you to come and learn about your child’s typical day and experiences using our HighScope Curriculum approach. This is an adult only event, however child care is available for $10 with advanced notice. Please sign up if you plan to attend in your child’s classroom. Watch your mailbox for more information.

– Pond Wing Curriculum Night is 10/21, 6:15 – 7:30

– Railroad and Farm Wing Curriculum Night is 10/23, 6:15 – 7:30

Communication and Parent Mailboxes

Please be sure to check your Parent Mailboxes for important and timely information. Unsure where your mailbox is? No problem, just ask your child’s classroom teacher or anyone from the office. Communication is important and we want to be sure you get the information you need in several different ways.  Of course face to face is always preferred, but there is not always opportunity at busy drop offs or pick ups.

Teachers blog regularly and it is a great way to receive information and see great photos. We also send timely information through e-mails. Let us know the best way to communicate with you!

Thank you,


About Laura Griswold
Dhu Varren Director Laura Griswold has been a part of the Gretchen’s House team for almost twenty years, starting in 1992 as an I/T teacher at GH Mt. Pleasant. Laura served as the director of GH-Mt. Vernon for six years and as the director at GH-Traver for four years before opening the Dhu Varren center in October, 2003. Laura earned a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Child Development from Eastern Michigan University. She is a certified High/Scope trainer and also serves on the Washtenaw Community College Child Care Advisory Committee. Laura has two sons in elementary school who are GH graduates. In her spare time, Laura enjoys reading, scrap booking, and spending time with her family.

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