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March News

Hear what our families had to say about our school!

The results from our annual parent survey IN!  Here is what our families had to say!

  • 98% of our families said they were satisfied with their child’s educational development
  • 99% of our families said they were satisfied with our curriculum
  • 96% of our families said they were likely to recommend our school
  • 98% of our families said they were satisfied with their child’s overall care
  • 98% of our families said they were satisfied with our facility
  • 98% of our families said they were satisfied with safety
  • 96% of our families said they were likely to recommend our school to others

When asked why our parents chose Chesterbrook Academy Preschool in Oswego, they said:

“Wonderful principal, location, reputation, safety and outstanding communication”

“The teachers are great; I feel like my child is in good hands”

“I like that the staff members really know my child. They understand her likes/dislikes and work hard to meet her individual needs”

“I love how the school cares about my child and takes amazing care of her. The teachers and principal are so caring the minute you walk in the door”

“My son is 2 and it is amazing how much he has already learned! I have no doubt he will be well prepared to start kindergarten! Thank you to all the amazing staff at Chesterbrook”

“We love the curriculum and overall teaching styles. The closeness of the staff with each other and the kids is great! My son has some special needs and all the staff are quick to react when needed. We are so grateful!”

“The principal is very conscientious, diligent in her work and is always putting in extra hours to satisfy the many needy parents in her area. The school is always in top form and shows MANY examples of student work on the walls and the front desk. The curriculum is unmatched by any other school in the area and the teaching staff is fantastic!”

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • 3/16-3/20 – Scholastic Book Fair
  • 3/17 – St. Patrick’s Day
  • 3/21 – Open House 10-1pm
  • 3/30-4/3 – Oswego 308 Spring Break
  • 4/3 – Egg Hunt
  • 4/13-4/17 – Week of the Young Child
  • 4/22 – Earth Day
  • 4/24 – Spring Fling


We are VERY excited to announce the launch of our new NLCI logo wear online portal through Queensboro Shirt Company.  The Queensboro Shirt Company is our preferred vendor for all logo wear, apparel, and accessory needs and is a one-stop-shop for all NLCI branded items.  As a parent, you are invited to purchase items through the exclusive Chesterbrook Academy  Queensboro website and take advantage of our very special pricing plan.  Simply click on this link, follow the instructions, and place your order.


Your orders will be shipped directly to your school!


  • Tuesday:
    • GymStars. beginning at 9am
      $60 per 4 week session, $25 registration fee
      Ages 2-5
    • Steppin’ Out Dance, beginning at 2:45pm   (DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR ONLY-NO SUMMER)
      $90 per 7 week session, $10 registration fee
      Ages 3-5
  • Thursdays:  Pre-Fit, beginning at 9:30am
    $5 per half hour session
    Ages 2-5
  • Fridays:  Happy Feet Soccer, beginning at 9:30am
    $40 per month for a weekly half hour session
    Ages 2.5-5

Curriculum Corner

We at Chesterbrook Academy are extremely excited to announce some changes to our Pre-K programs that started in the fall.   Our goal at all of our NLCI schools is to ensure that all of our students are ready to enter Kindergarten and be prepared fully both academically and socially.

In order to continue to maintain educational excellence, our education department has conducted an in-depth analysis of the new Common Core State Standards, a highly academic rigorous set of academic standards for K-12 education. These Common Core State Standards are designed to increase the academic rigor in K-12 education across the country and have been adapted for integration into the State of Illinois public schools.   We have thus since fully aligned our Links to Learning curriculum to ensure that our preschool educational program will meet and exceed academic expectations for entry into any Kindergarten program in line with the Common Core State Standards. Our children will be exposed to higher level mathematics and an enriched early reading curriculum that also connects writing, science, physical fitness, and a variety of other skills. Children will do all of this in an classroom setting that actively engages them in fun activities that feel like play but are developing skills that will set them up for success in Kindergarten and beyond.

The Common Core Standards philosophy is to: “provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.”  The Chesterbrook staff wants to provide both children and parents the knowledge to create successful learners for the 21st century and beyond.

We are so excited about the changes coming to Chesterbrook Academy this fall and would like to invite you and your family to come see our school and hear more about the changes to our curriculum. Please feel free to call us with questions you might have about preschool or the Common Core State Standards. We would love to share our expertise with you.

Please visit http://www.corestandards.org for more information on the Common Core State Standards.

Character Education
The preschool years are very important.  We want your child to be as ready as possible for kindergarten.  This is not just about knowing letters and numbers.  It’s also about knowing how to learn and get along with others.  We will be using the Second Step early learning program in our PreK-B and PreK-2 classrooms in the fall to teach these important life skills.

The Second Step program teaches skills in the following four areas:

  1. Skills for Learning:  Children gain skills to help them be better learners, including how to focus their attention, listen carefully, and ask for help.
  2. Empathy:  Children learn to identify and understand their own and others’ feelings.  Children also learn how to show care for others.
  3. Emotion Management:  Children learn how to calm down when they have strong feelings, such as worry or anger.
  4. Friendship Skills and Problem Solving:  Children learn how to make and keep friends and to solve problems with others in a positive way.

Our school was chosen to be part of the pilot program for Second Step this spring.  Overall, the company chose to go with the Second Step early learning program because it is the only character education program specifically designed for preschool students and it is based on research that connects the development of social-emotional competence and self-regulation skills to success in school and life.  I have also been told that district 308 uses the same program in grades K-3.

Please visit www.secondstep.org and use activation key SSPE FAMI LY68 for more information about the Second Step program.

From the Education Department

Developing Confident Future Readers

March is National Reading Month, so it is a great time to reinforce how important it is to expose children to books from an early age. We engage all of our students in language and literacy activities every day throughout the school year.

Research has shown that reading aloud to children has a profound influence on their speech development and listening skills. Reading allows children to experience the wondrous world depicted in books, and thrive on the interaction with adults.

Below are age appropriate activities that we implement in our classrooms to get children excited about reading, as well as recommended books to read with your child at home.

INFANTS – Linking sensory and reading experiences

  • In the classroom: We introduce language and literacy beginning with our infants, by consistently speaking, reading and singing to them. Teachers choose interactive books with bright colors, different textures and pop-up designs to help stimulate infants’ growing sensory awareness.
  • Books to read at home: Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt, Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings by Matthew Van Fleet and Baby Danced the Polka by Karen Beaumont

TODDLERS – Rhyme and repetition

  • In the classroom: Toddlers enjoy hearing the same books read over and over again, because they are able join in as the stories become more familiar. Teachers read books with rhyme and repetition, such as Goodnight Moon, and vary their voice each time they tell the story. The change in tone gives children a chance to hear different sounds, and encourages them to practice making the sounds themselves.
  • Books to read at home: All Fall Down by Helen Oxenbury, Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox and Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

BEGINNERS – Engaging the imagination

  • In the classroom: Around age two, children begin to develop a love for the world of imagination. It’s important to engage children’s imaginations and encourage them to participate in shared reading experiences. A picture walk motivates children to rely on pictorial clues to decipher the story’s plot and make predictions. Before reading the story, the teacher and student flip through the book, and the child is encouraged to make predictions about the characters and plot. The teacher then reads the book aloud with the student. When finished, the child is asked to relate his predictions to the actual outcome of the story. For example, “Now that you know what happened, why was the elephant wearing a tutu?” or “What would you have done if you were the elephant?”
  • Books to read at home: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff, Corduroy by Don Freeman or Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

INTERMEDIATES – Exploring the wider world

  • In the classroom: As our Intermediates are introduced to the Citizens of the World component of our curriculum, they read about different places, cultures and traditions in books. Books help children understand and enjoy learning about the diversity of human experience. During circle time for example, we may read a story about children living in another country, in a different type of house and wearing different types of clothes. Afterward, the teacher connects the story back to what the children know by asking, “What does your house look like?” and “Who lives in your house with you?”
  • Books to read at home: Abuela by Arthur Dorros, So Much by Trish Cooke and On Mother’s Lap by Ann Scott

PRE-K/PRE-K 2 – Nonfiction Adventures

  • In the classroom: Children are naturally fascinated by the lives of real people and the world around them.  Our teachers cultivate this fascination by exposing students to nonfiction books. For example, the class may read both a fiction and nonfiction book about animals. Afterward, they are encouraged to compare and contrast the two books and discuss what was accurate in the fiction book.
  • Books to read at home: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon (fiction) and Bat Loves the Night by Nicola Davies (non-fiction)

By experiencing a literacy-rich environment, both at school and at home, we instill a love of reading and provide the foundation for our students to become successful, confident readers in elementary school and beyond.

– Lauren Starnes, PhD- Director of Early Childhood Ed

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