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Pond Preschool-July Reminders :)

July 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Below are some friendly reminders for the next few weeks of July.

  • Alyssa will be off this Friday, July 18th.
  • Whitney will be off next Thursday, July 24th-Monday, July 28th.
  • Please bring in a crib sheet or extra blanket for your child’s nap mat. (We are trying to make nap time more comfortable by having them lay on top of a blanket or sheet, instead of the vinyl nap mats.)
  • Please be sure to take your child’s water bottle home with you weekly-we are unable to wash them at school.
  • Kristen will be off Friday, August 1st-Tuesday, August 5th.


Hope everyone is having a great week,


Pond Preschool-New Faces, New Changes

June 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

As many of you have noticed, we have many children coming and going from our classroom these days. This past month, we said goodbye to Wesley D., Payton, Conor, Lara, Ryan,Tyler and Shiv. We also said, “see you soon” to Mina and Ismaeel, who are both traveling for the Summer. As of June 16th, we officially welcomed our new transitioning children, Jason, Edwin and Supriya. All 3 children joined Kristen in the Blue Group.

Some of you may have seen the welcome sign for our new teacher, Alyssa! We are happy to have her as a full-time teacher for the Yellow Group.  Here is some information about her, but you can find it posted in our classroom as well!

Alyssa is a returning teacher to Gretchen’s House. She began her employment at the Traver location, but took a short break to finish her Bachelor’s Degree in Family Life and Education from Spring Arbor University.  Alyssa also has an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Development. She has been working in early childhood for 5 years and is excited to continue her experience at Gretchen’s House. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with her family and friends.

We realize change can be difficult for both children and families. To help support everyone with these recent changes, we created family group picture pages so that you can become more familiar with the new names and faces. We placed them in your Parent Mailboxes early this week. We hope you enjoy them!


Director Notes – Highlights and Reminders

May 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Parent Conferences

Throughout the year teachers are taking anecdotes about the children in key developmental areas. They record this information using the Online Child Observation Record (COR) which is a HighScope assessment tool.  Twice a year we share the report with families. Many families were able to meet with their child’s teaching team in April and May. Teachers really enjoyed the meaningful conversations they were able to have with parents about their children. If you were unable to make it to a parent conference, please be sure to let your child’s teacher know and we will make arrangements for a time that works for everyone.

Emergency Procedures

As you know, we have already had the opportunity to put our emergency tornado procedure into action this month. I thought I would share some information about our procedures in such a situation.

Seasonally, we practice tornado drills with the children. Each classroom has a designated area where they ‘take cover’ until we receive the all clear. Recently, we had a Critical Incident consultant, Thomas Mynsberge, walk around the building and point out the most structurally sound areas to take the children. Because there is not one place that we can bring all of the children together, we have to spread out throughout the building.

When a tornado watch is in effect, teachers prepare items (toys, snacks, books, etc) that they can bring in their designated areas to keep the children calm and distracted in the event that the watch  turns into a warning. administrative staff monitor the weather and we alert teachers of any weather conditions that would require going to the designated areas.

During this past incident, once everyone reported to their assigned area, the role of the administrative staff was to keep teachers updated and help wherever needed. This became increasingly more difficult because the phones rang continually while we were ‘taking cover.’ I understand that you are worried about your child and want to be sure that they are as safe as possible. I too had children in two different public schools in lockdown and was concerned.

Moving forward we plan to send an e-mail alert to parents (provided we have internet service) and a message will be sent out via twitter and will automatically update our website. This will help get you the information you need and will allow the Administrative staff to focus more on the immediate situation. If you have not signed up for the twitter account, it’s an easy process:

  1. Set up an account for yourself at
  2. Once logged into your twitter account, go to
  3. At the top of that page, click on the follow button.
  4. Once you see the green check mark and “following” message in that same spot, click on the mobile phone icon to subscribe to automated texts from us.

Warmer Weather

After such an extreme winter, it is so nice to have these warmer days. I want to remind everyone that we do go outside unless the temperature or heat index is 100 or above. We make sure water is available for both drinking and to play in. Time  in the shade is encouraged, limiting exposure to the sun and heat. Swimsuits that can be left at the center are great to have for water play. We also ask that sun hats are sent in so that children can have additional protection from the sun. We do provide sunscreen and the brand we are currently using is Coppertone Water Babies; Pure and Simple.

This is also a great time to take inventory of your child’s extra clothes that are kept here at the center. Please make sure that they have extra under pants (if appropriate), socks, pants/shorts, shirt and a bathing suit that is labeled here at the center.

Thank you,


Pond Preschool-Classroom updates/reminders

May 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We wanted to send out a few reminders to you all:

*Please check your child’s cubby and re-stock it with seasonally appropriate clothing. (Extra socks and pants are recommended for the muddy season)

*We have our Ice Cream Social/Classroom Potluck, next Thursday the 22nd. It starts at 5:30pm-we hope to see you there! If you’d like to bring in something, there is a sign-up list on top of our parent sign-in/sign-out sheet.

*Conferences are next Monday and Tuesday 5:45-8:45- please double check your day and time that you’ve signed up for.

*I will be off next Friday, May 23rd.

*Kristen will be off Tuesday, May 27th.

*We are CLOSED Monday, May 26th for Memorial Day.

– Whitney



Pond Preschool-Big Thanks

April 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We just wanted to say ‘thank you’ to all the parents who came out on Friday for our Trike-a-thon! It was great having a crowd cheering on the children as they rode their bikes around the playground. The children enjoyed showing off their pedaling skills, as well as showing other children their helmets! It was a fun way to spend a Friday morning!

Thanks again,

Whitney, Kristen, Claire, Josh and Q


April Notes from the Director

April 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

April is the official Month of the Young Child and at Gretchen’s House we like to take the opportunity to focus on the community, parents, staff and as always, the children.

Community Focus

In celebration of the Month of the Young Child, Gretchen’s House tries to include children in a community outreach activity that is interesting and meaningful for them. This can be tricky since we know that many of the community outreach projects are difficult  for them to understand. We have decided to support St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital. While we understand that the concept of riding trikes to raise money for sick children is a very abstract one, we do know that children enjoy the activity of riding on bikes, trikes and scooters and/or pulling wagons, wheel barrels, etc. Our focus with the children will be to re-introduce the bikes now that the weather is better and discuss bike safety throughout the month. We will have lots of materials for the children to decorate the outdoor equipment and enjoy a special activity with the bikes.

It is important to note that all children will be included in the activity if they are interested in participating; regardless of donations. No one will be excluded. Please see the attached copy that outlines the official date for each classroom and other helpful details. A hard copy will be put in your mailbox as well. St Judes Information sheet

We are also collecting books for Reach Out and Read, a non profit program that collects new and gently used books. These books are used in doctor’s offices in lower income areas so families have the opportunity to read together while they wait to see the doctor. Often books are given to the children to take home.

Potlucks are coming up in the next few weeks. Be sure to check the calendar for your potluck date. We look forward to having dinner together as a Gretchen’s House community.

Parent Focus

Parents seemed to really enjoy the parenting series. A special thank you to Beth MeLampy, who divided her time between two sides of town to support as many families as possible to participate in the series.

Parents will be receiving a gift from their child and a gift from Gretchen’s House. Keep checking your mailbox!

Have you wondered  about the best times to transition your child from an infant seat to a forward seat or a forward 5-point harness set tot a booster? Please mark your calendar for Monday, April 24, when the University of Michigan Pediatric Trauma Program will be coming to present and interactive discussion on  child passenger safety. It will be from 5:45 – 6:45 at Dhu Varren in the gym. You will need to sign up in advance as child care and a light meal will be provided. Car Seat Safety Training

Children Focus

Your child will be receiving a book from Gretchen’s House, a gift certificate to Washtenaw Dairy for a free ice cream cone and will have a popsicle treat. And as always, our curriculum will focus on physical development, social emotional development, cognitive development and language and literacy. Special visitors will be coming to the center and field trips may be planned as well.

Staff Focus

Teachers will receive a gift from Gretchen and some fun appreciation treats and thank yous throughout the month. Parents are welcome and encouraged to participate in some kind of act of appreciation. Card, notes, etc. are always treasured by the teachers who care for your child(ren) each day.

Thank you,



Pond Preschool-What’s happening this week…

April 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Our busy month is under way…here are some important dates that are coming up:

  • Thursday, April 17th-Yoga visitor! (Please send your child in comfortable shoes)
  • Friday, April 18th-Pond Preschool Trike-A-thon
  • Tuesday, April 22nd-Pond Wing Potluck (look for sign-up sheets in the Wing)
  • Wednesday, April 23rd-Kid’s Treat!

Happy Month of The Young Child,


Pond Preschool-Goodbye Toya!

April 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We wanted to let you all know that our intern Toya will be leaving us soon. Her last day is going to be Wednesday, April 23rd. The children have enjoyed having her “Toya time” in the gym, where they express themselves through movement and talking about emotions, as well as forming a bond with her in the classroom. We wish Toya the best of luck and hope she enjoyed her time at Gretchen’s House!


Pond Preschool-April Updates

April 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 


Happy Month Of The Young Child!

As many of you have seen, April is a busy month as we celebrate children and their development! We have a yoga visitor, bike-a-thon, healthy treats planned for the children, parent workshops, wing potlucks, and many other fun activities going on all month. You can find out more information on our classroom calendar-it’s posted underneath our white board. If you’d like a copy, we are happy to make one for you! Our building director, Laura also put out a parent calendar with more detailed information that you can find in your parent mailboxes.

Throughout the month, we will be focusing on children and our love for them. With that said, we know you all have busy schedules, but if you’d like to be a guest reader, come in and share a hobby or activity with the group, or would just like to come visit, let us know. The children loved having our parent guest readers back in the Winter and we want to let you all know our room is always open for you! You can email or talk to a teacher at pick-up or drop-off if you are interested.

We are really looking forward to celebrating your children this month. Here’s hoping that it warms up quickly!




Pond Preschool-Tammy Holley reminder

March 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We have Tammy Holley this Friday, 3/21. Please remember to bring in gym shoes.

Thank you!


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