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March News

A Message From the Principal:

After all of this cold weather, we are so excited for spring to arrive.  Hopefully it will be here in the earlier part of  March rather than the end.  Soccer will begin again this month.  There will be no demo day.  Soccer will start on March 19th.  Information will be arriving soon.  All soccer registrations will be done online.

We have a book fair scheduled again for the spring.  It will take place the week of March 23-26. We are so excited!

We have already experienced some winter weather this year.  If you have not yet signed up for the remind text alert please do so.  If you need the information please stop in the office.  If you are signed up, please remember to call the school letting us know that you have received the message.

Please make sure that your child has a weather appropriate change of clothes in their cubbies.  All kinds of accidents can happen.  Also, please make sure your child is coming in with a warm jacket, hat and gloves as we will be going outside on a daily basis (weather permitting).  We don’t want the kids to be cold while outside.

For the safety of the children and all adults please make sure to turn off your cars when dropping off and picking up your children.

Music and Math

Mathematics and music are intertwined. Math is innate within people of all cultures around the world and lays the groundwork for musical composition and performance. Music is also innate within people of all cultures and is mathematical by nature. The counting of beats and the rhythm of songs, note values and time signatures, the frequency of pitch, the pattern-based compositional structure of music, and even the physical design of musical instruments all rely on fundamental mathematical principals.

Music instruction stimulates a child’s mind and reinforces basic mathematical concepts. Research has shown that children who are exposed to music instruction at an early age show greater spatial temporal reasoning intelligence, the reasoning required for higher brain functions such as chess, mathematics, engineering, science, art, games and everyday life. Music education also enhances abstract reasoning abilities, improves math skills, can facilitate learning to read and builds a child’s self confidence that can result in success in other areas of learning.

Music is an important part of our curriculum. While Infants are exposed to pleasant music throughout their day, our Toddlers  begin playing simple instruments and moving to music. Our Beginner classes sing and move to music and can identify loud and soft. Intermediates and Pre-K students clap and move to the beat and experiment with sounds and tempos using simple instruments and clapping patterns. Finally, our Kindergarten students begin exploring music from various cultures through the world.

We encourage you to sing, to dance, and to listen to music with your preschooler!  There is a wealth of wonderful music for young children, much of which is available in the iTunes store or on CD. Make the car ride fun and educational-turn on some music and help your child prepare for future academic challenges!

For Parents

We thank you for your continued support of our programs. It is always wonderful to see the parents’ involvement in all that we do at Chesterbrook! Don’t forget to take a look at all the special activities we continue to offer:

  • Miss Bootsie, Dancing
  • Miss Vicki…aka DeMarco’s Palette Art!
  • Soccer Shots (Fall and Spring)
  • Music with Mr. Tom

From the desk of Donna Miller:

Dear Infant Parents,

Chesterbrook Academy Schools are the industry leaders in providing strong early childhood programs for their children. We are constantly evaluating our current operational practices and identifying new ways to continue to keep our children safe and healthy.

This communication is to make you aware of two initiatives that we have in place in our infant program. The first initiative is to make our families aware of recent information and trainings associated with safe sleep practices. We will then ask that you adopt our Safe Sleep Practice as part of the enrollment process. The second initiative is one that has enhanced our bottle feeding practices.

The Safe Sleep initiative is in place for all of our infant families. You will be educated on the Safe Sleep Practice at the time of enrollment. You will also be asked to sign the document which shares that they understand and will adhere to the expectations of the Safe Sleep Practice. All of our infant staff have been trained on the procedure and have a certificate of completion on file. As new infant teachers are hired they will be trained on both the Safe Sleep Practice and Bottle Feeding and Labeling System. Our safe sleep practice includes the elimination of any and all soft items in the crib. Soft items would include stuffed animals, dolls, mobiles, bumpers, blankets and lovies. Our rooms are kept at temperatures that are warm enough for the babies. However, if you would still like your child to have some type of outerwear, i.e. blanket, the Association of American Pediatrics recommends a sleep sack.

The second initiative is a color-coded labeling system for our Infant Program. Each child is assigned a specific color and Cubby tags, Crib labels, Daily Sheets, and Bottles are identified by that color. Chesterbrook Academy will supply you with all materials needed from our labeling system supplier, Applied Labels. You are welcome to preview the system and materials on Applied Labels website at www.appliedlabels.com.

Our preschool management team is ready to assist you with enrollment at Chesterbrook Academy and answer any questions you may have. We are looking forward to having your family join ours.


Donna Bonfiglio-Miller, Executive Director


  • Closings/delays – Watch Channel 6 ABC for any school closings and weather-associated late openings. Be sure to look for Chesterbrook Academy, North Wales. With the weather changing, please remember to update your child’s extra set of clothing in their classroom. It is important to remember that we do try to get the children outside daily, so keep an eye on the weather to make sure that your child is dressed appropriately.  Please remember to apply sunscreen daily in the morning.  We will reapply in the afternoon.
  • Are you signing in and out on a daily basis?  You should be fulfilling this requirement as a part of your daily routine:  Please also inform others who may be dropping off and picking up your children.
  • Sneakers/closed toe shoes are the required shoe, year round at Chesterbrook Academy for safety purposes.  Please be aware that crocs and open toe/heel shoes are not sneakers.
  • We prefer that toys be left at home, with the exception of nap time friends. Toys from home can cause unnecessary tears and confusion over ownership.  We can not be responsible for lost toys.
  • If your child is unable to eat our scheduled lunch, be it religious, health, allergic or simple dislike, it is your responsibility to provide an alternative lunch. Keep in mind, that Chesterbrook Academy is a nut free environment.
  • Although it is not required, we ask the courtesy of a phone call if your child will be out for the day.

Minds in the Making: Taking on Challenges

As we continue to explore the constantly developing and evolving minds of our preschool children, this month we turn our focus to the fifth critical life skill, Taking on Challenges. Stress. Stress it not typically a word we associate with children. We think of our own stress at work, home, on our commute, etc., but we seem to confine the word and the concept to adulthood. Stress, however, is equally present in our children and is present from birth onward.

Stress in life is inevitable. Anytime we face something new, a challenge, an obstacle, or a failure, stress is the body’s natural response. For children, this may be moving to a new classroom, birth of sibling, learning to ride a bike, parental divorce or separation, military deployment of a parent, or even as simple as working to make a new friend. What matters most, however, is how we work through those encounters. For children, even when faced with major life stressors, the most important protective factors are having adults in place to provide a safe environment and warm guidance to help work through the situation. As parents, we can’t shield our children from stress nor should we. Children must learn that in life there may be struggles but, more importantly, that they have the ability and the support to persevere through tough times.

So, how can we help children learn to persevere when faced with life challenges?

Manage your own stress. As much as we try to shield our children from our own stress, they are highly intuitive and can sense it. When young children sense their parents’ stress without the direct acknowledgement of it, it can actually increase the child’s stress due to misperception. Acknowledge your stress and model how you are dealing with it. For example, “Mommy needs a few minutes to think. Someone said something that is bothering me, and I need to think how I am going to respond.”

Don’t try to shield your child from everyday stress. While we never want to throw our child into situations in which they are not prepared, we do need to encourage our children to approach and persevere through challenges. For example, “I know birthday parties make you feel a little shy sometimes. I want you to walk in, smile, and say Happy Birthday to the birthday boy. I know you can do it.”

Give your child control. If you and your child continue to encounter repeated cycles of stressors, give your child some control in the situation. Ask your child how he or she wants to handle the stressor. For example, “Every time I tell you it is time to get in the car and get your seatbelt on, you tell me ‘no’ and act out. This gets me upset and upsets you too. What can we do to make getting in the car better for you and me?” Let your child set some expectations and parameters. You can then remind him that you are doing what he suggested and you can use that to gain some buy-in.

Lastly, celebrate your child’s efforts and perseverance. This is different than praising his personality. Make comments about his actions and his attempts, such as “You did a great job getting in the car without fussing. Your suggestion of me giving you a warning and a countdown really worked well. Thank you for your suggestion.” This empowers your child and puts him back in a position of control.

With these small steps, you can make large strides to helping your child learn to face challenges head-on.

Lauren Starnes, PhD- Manager of Curriculum and Instruction

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