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March News

From The Principal’s Desk

5 Star Rating Received!

We were so excited to announce our 5 star rating and to kick off the celebration in our school.  This has been a huge accomplishment for our school.  I would like to personally thank each of you for supporting our staff and the school while we worked through the star rating process.  To receive a 5 star rating the school was assessed in three classrooms. Infants, two year olds, and Pre K were randomly chosen by a state auditor. The room was observed for a designated period of time and all the interactions, classroom routines, teacher/parent interactions, classroom cleanliness and sanitation standards and equipment in the classroom were monitored.  There are over 42 areas observed in each classroom.  In addition the education levels of our staff were assessed and their tenure in the field of early childcare.

In addition to receiving the star rating scores we received our Parent Survey results. Recently, parents were asked to complete a survey about our school. Each school is sent their results and we come up with an action plan to ensure our school is continuously growing. I wanted to share some of the great things from our survey and then share a “did you know” document that will give you tidbits of information about our school that you may not know…

Here are some things that you may not have known about our school:

  • Did you know that Links to Learning curriculum is unique to our company and cannot be commercially purchased?
    • Each program builds on the one prior and progresses upward; in other words what your child learns as a Beginner prepares your child for the Intermediate program.
    • Links to Learning is not a “cookie cutter” curriculum. Each teacher is trained to teach to meet the learning needs of each child.
    • Multiple content areas much like different subject areas in K-12 schools.
    • Links to Learning was updated in 2014 to reflect current research and K-12 expectations.
    • As a selected member of the National Advisory Council of Principals, I helped update the “new” Links to Learning.
  • Did you know that there are multiple methods of parent communication?
    • Parent boards outside of every classroom.
    • What We Learned Today posted every day on the parent board in the hallway. This is posted every day by 2:00 pm for EVERY classroom.
    • Process boards throughout our school show variety of student work.
    • End of Month folders for every student.
    • Parent reports for every student.
    • ParentShares sent to every child (one or three parent shares emails sent a month per child.) This is a new program and is not set up to be used daily but to capture serendipitous moments throughout the month for your child.
    • Postcards sent throughout the year to every student from their teacher.
  • Did you know that the money from our fundraiser’s go towards items for the school?
    • We have purchased items such as new trikes for playground, new books, items to create our sound garden and many classroom supplies. Going forward we will notify families via email or by setting up a display in the lobby to let parents know what the money was used for.
  • Did you know that we have two training days per year that allows our teachers to receive ongoing professional development training to enrich or support the needs of each child?
    • These trainings are mandated by the state of North Carolina (NCDCDEE) and also Nobel Learning Communities. These Training days are so important in order for our school to continue to grow and for each teacher’s personal growth.


Sheila Wright, Principal



  • March 5-6th  – Lifetouch Pictures
  • March 8th – Daylight Saving Time Begins
  • March 17th  – St. Patrick’s Day
  • March 20th – Spring Begins
  • April 6th – Easter Monday
  • April 22nd – Earth Day

Sick Policy

The purpose of our sick policy is to reduce the spread of illness among children and to encourage full recuperation of sick children before they return to school. We depend on parents to assist us in maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all of our children. We reserve the right to send home any student who shows signs of illness at school. Any student who becomes ill at school will be made comfortable until his/her parent can be notified and the student is picked up from school. A parent must pick up the ill child within one hour of notification. A sick child must stay home where he/she is most relaxed and comfortable. Children may be sent home if they have any specific symptoms as listed below. In addition, a child must be free of all of these specified symptoms for at least 24 hours before he/she can be returned to school. These symptoms are as follows:

  • A fever of 100 degrees or more
  • Vomiting within the previous 24-hour period
  • Diarrhea within the previous 24-hour period (including recurring episodes of diarrhea at school)
  • A heavy nasal discharge indicative of infection
  • A constant cough or sore throat
  • Fussy, cranky behavior and generally not himself/herself
  • A skin rash, excluding diaper rash
  • Head lice
  • Symptoms of a communicable disease

Following an illness, a child may return to school once he/she has either been seen by a doctor or it has been determined that the illness is not contagious. (A doctor’s clearance may be requested.)

Our Pre-K programs prepare your child for kindergarten

Expectations for student achievement in kindergarten are increasing. Recently, the National Governor’s Association and the Chief State School Officers introduced a new set of national K-12 education standards to prepare our children for success in school and beyond. These new Common Core State Standards specify a broader range of academic skills for kindergarten students.

We’ve responded by updating our Pre-K Links Learning curriculum in reading and mathematics. Our Pre-K programs will now link to the new Core Common Standards in order to better assure our students are confident and ready for Kindergarten.

Having fun while building reading and math skills

Pre-K children are full of curiosity and take great joy in learning. Our new reading and mathematics curriculum incorporates engaging and fun learning activities that can be adapted to each child’s developmental readiness. Links to Learning Pre-K programs introduce letter-sound relationships and vocabulary through fun characters and stories. Our math activities allow children to use concrete objects to explore patterns and find ways to solve problems.

We are committed to the well-rounded development of each child, and we recognize that social and emotional skills are just as important as academics. When children begin kindergarten with strong social and emotional skills, they are more likely to be successful at transitioning into elementary school, developing positive attitudes, and achieving academically. Our character education program uses songs, puppets, games, books, and brain-builder activities to teach and reinforce the following concepts.

  • Managing Emotions
  • Making Friends
  • Problem-solving
  • Listening
  • Understanding Feelings
  • Resolving Conflicts

Our Pre-K experiences will prepare your child for success in kindergarten and a lifetime of learning.

For Parents

Safety focus

We wanted to take this time to remind you about the important security feature at our school.  Please remember to sign your child in and out daily in the office.  In case of an emergency the sign in / out sheets will give us an accurate count of who is actually in our building at any given time.  While we have never had any problems nor do we expect any this is an important security measure that keeps all of the children safe.

Entry into our building is pass-code protected.  To ensure that only authorized people gain entrance, please refrain from allowing individuals to follow you into the building UNLESS you recognize them as another enrolled child’s parent or grandparent. HINT: Encourage grandparents or other authorized pickups to enter your pass-code into their cell phone for easy access when they forget.

Communication Is the Key

We here at Chesterbrook Academy know that your child is your #1 priority and that you want to know about every great and wonderful event that happens at school. Because of this need we have set up some great communication tools so that we can keep you informed about your child’s Chesterbrook experience!

  • Email-Did you know you can receive our monthly newsletter by e-mail? Provide us with your e-mail address to receive on-going communication about school and events within the Chesterbrook community.
  • Look What We Learned Today-Posted outside your child’s classroom every afternoon is a detailed report of all the great things they experienced and learned that day. We include the songs they sang, the books they read and all their favorite activities throughout the day.
  • Monthly Links to Learning Folder-Starting in September you will receive a “fun and busy month” folder. This folder is full of information about what your child learned in the month, what they will learn in the upcoming month and some great activities that you can do with your child at home. In addition we include work samples from your child.
  • Web Site-Our school web site is jam-packed with information to help make your life easier. Want to know what’s for lunch? Check out our menu tab. Want to know what the weekly summer camp theme is? Check out our calendar of events tab.
  • We take parent communication very seriously. We believe that when parents and teachers work as partners in a child’s education, it makes the learning experience much richer and more meaningful to the child!

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 Education

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