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April News

A Message From the Principal:

Dear Chesterbrook Parents,

Here are a few friendly reminders.

  • Please be sure we have the most recent copy of your child’s immunization records along with the completed Universal Child Health Form.
  • Tuition is due every Friday for the following week. A mandatory $25 fee, per our corporate office, will be charged if payment is not given by Tuesday mornings. No exceptions.
  • We have an ACH program that allows us to automatically withdrawal the tuition from your account every Monday night. If you would like to take advantage of this, please ask for the form.
  • Please remember to sign your child in and out for every drop-off and pick-up. The book is located on the front desk and is labeled with each classroom name.
  • Remember that the academic day begins everyday at 9:00am, so please be sure to have your child here by that time.
  • For security purposes, please do not share the code to the front door with anyone other than the people named on your child’s Authorized Pick Up List.
  • You must give us four weeks’ notice in writing prior to withdrawing your child from the School. If four weeks’ notice is not given, please understand that you will be held responsible for four weeks’ tuition. You must also give us two weeks’ notice prior to changing your child’s attendance schedule.
  • Please do not leave your car running or a child in the car unattended at drop off/pick up time. In addition to being dangerous, this is illegal and the state of NJ considers it as abuse and neglect, even for a minute.
  • Earn a free week of tuition for referring a family to our school.
  • Reminder that we will no longer be honoring make up days.
  • Don’t forget to give us your child’s flex schedule in the beginning of the month.

April Weekly Themes:

  • 3/30- 4/3: Busy Bunnies
  • 4/6-4/10: April Showers
  • 4/13-4/17: Brown Bear, Brown Bear
  • 4/20-4/25: Going Green
  • 4/27-5/1: Bees, Bugs, & Butterflies

Important Dates:

  • Wednesday, April 1st  Spring Easter Egg Hunt
  • Tuesday, April 7th Picture Day
  • Monday April 12th – Friday April 18th Week of the Young Child
  • Wednesday, April 22nd Earth Day
  • Tuesday, April 22nd – Friday, April 25th Kindergarten SAT10 Testing

Looking Ahead:

  • Friday, May 8th is our Kindergarten & Pre-K field trip to Pitman Theatre to see Miss Nelson is Missing.
  • Monday, May 25th the school is closed for Memorial Day.
  • PreK & Kindergarten graduation will be held at Wedgewood Country Club on Friday June 19th at 1:00 pm.

If at anytime you have a question or concern, please feel free to stop in the office to speak with me…the door is always open.

Stacy and Maggie


School Spotlight

Congratulations to Teacher of the Month for April 2015: Lexa Tatulli

Lexa started working at Chesterbrook Academy in May 2014. She has worked in every classroom so far, but she works primarily in our Infant Room. Lexa has her Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts, and is currently attending Rowan University to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Radio/TV/Film. When Lexa isn’t working or at school, she enjoys theatre, exercise, and spending time with her family. Congratulations Miss Lexa!! We are so lucky to have you!

Classroom Bullets

Spring has finally sprung in the Infant room. We have a lot planned this month. We will be making various Spring related art projects to decorate our classroom. Welcome Catherine to our room this month and a very special 1st birthday this month to Caroline and Lilly!

Toddler A
Welcome Spring! This month we will be exploring the concept of size; using the words big and small and learning to distinguish between the two. Our color of the month will be yellow, and our shape will be an oval. After such a long winter, we are looking forward to using our playground. Thank you for your continued participation with book day and daily events. Toddler A parents are the best!

Toddler B
Spring has finally arrived and with it warmer weather. Please check your child’s extra clothing to make sure they’re weather appropriate. The children are learning how to put on their jackets. Thanks for being so supportive and encouraging. Yellow is our color for the month. The children will need 2 hard boiled eggs on March 31st. Our egg hunt will be on 4/1. Some of our Links to Learning skills will be naming colors/shapes, understanding one/many, and dancing to music.

Beginner A
During the month of April, we will focus on speaking in a clear, audible voice as well as using a variety of vocabulary. For math, the children will continue practicing their shapes and colors. The children will begin to use their fingers to represent numbers 1-5. In our science category, we will begin to describe textures and identify age. While the children continue to put on their own jackets, they will also try to catch a ball and kick the ball without falling. Our Spanish words of the month are “uno” (one) and “muchos” (many). We are looking forward to a great month!

Beginner B
Welcome to April in Beginner B! Now that Spring is finally here, the children are going to explore all the spring changes! The children will use our science box to explore outside! We will also enjoy kickball games and relay races outside! Each child will continue to learn their self-help skill of putting on and taking off their jacket. This month, we will learn our new Spanish words “uno” (one) and “mucho” (many). This month, we will celebrate Nicole & James Rodia’s 3rd birthday! We are excited for our new month, new season, and warm weather!

Welcome Spring! The children have flown through the year. The children are showing great improvement in letter and number recognition. The children have worked hard on adding and subtracting, counting, sorting by size & color. In April, we will be focusing on name recognition and writing our first names. We will be working on self-help skills and social interaction skills. The children will graph weather daily and recognize the changes. We will be working a lot on fine and gross motor skills. We will be doing plenty of art projects to go with our themes and we will also continue on letters of the week. Please remember to bring in your books to share with your friends and follow our show-n-tell! Looking forward to another great month.

Spring is finally here and we are very excited! We will be working on vowel sounds, mastering our current sight words, addition and subtraction skills, and learning how things grow. We are also starting to prepare for our graduation ceremony at the end of the school year (Our graduation ceremony will be on June 19th at 1:00 pm. More details to follow). We will be playing outside more so please make sure proper footwear and clothes are worn. Also, please check your extra clothes for correct season and size.

Kindergarten will be on Spring Break from April 2- April 6. If your child attends school those days they do not have wear their uniforms. This month we are going to be preparing for our SAT10 tests. Testing will be on April 20th- 24th. During that week please make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and eats breakfast! We will be testing during the morning and doing fun activities in the afternoon. There will also be no homework that week

Your Child’s Health

Sleep Tips for Kids of All Ages
By Stacy Lu

Sleep has a big impact on health. Kids and teens need enough sleep to help them grow, ward off sickness, think clearly and remember things, and fend off bad moods. Recently there has also been research focused on whether getting enough sleep can help kids keep their weight within healthy ranges. Some studies have shown that kids who don’t get enough sleep — especially younger kids and boys — may have a greater risk of being overweight.

Though it’s still being studied, getting enough sleep has other clear roles in helping kids stay fit. Kids and teens who are well-rested are more likely to have the energy needed for exercise and being active. Additionally, getting enough sleep can help your child learn better and have better memory. When you’ve gotten enough sleep — no matter what your age — you’re also more likely to make healthy eating choices. When you’re well-rested, you can remember your healthy eating goals and have the energy to follow through by taking the extra moment to choose nutritious food.

But starting from a young age, we want to cram in as much as possible into each day. Who hasn’t seen a baby fighting sleep to the point of falling asleep in their plate of food or at play? The trend continues as kids get older and beg to stay up for another TV show. And teens stay online texting friends until all hours if no limits are set.

It’s up to you as a parent to encourage enough sleep for kids to help keep them healthy, active, and happy. The trick is to knowing how much sleep kids need based on their ages.

Sleep for Kids: How Many Hours of Sleep Do Kids Need?

Sleep needs vary from child to child, but the following are general guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation:

  • 1 to 2 months old: 10 1/2 to 18 hours per day
  • 3 to 11 months old: 9 to 12 hours per day
  • 1 to 3 years old: 12 to 14 hours per day
  • 3 to 5 years old: 11 to 13 hours per day
  • 5 to 12 years old: 10 to 11 hours per day
  • 12 to 18 years old: at least 8 1/2 hours per day

How Parents Can Help Ensure Sleep for Kids and Teens

If your child needs sleep help, the good news is that parent interventions are almost always effective. Here are some tried-and-true methods to ease the way to sleep for kids.

  • Power down. “Make sure kids are in sleep mode and prepared for bed at the proper time,” says Ronald Becker, MD, a pediatrician at the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital Boston. Turn off electronics at least one hour before bedtime, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. If your child has a TV in her bedroom, seriously consider moving it out. Research shows that kids who have a television in their bedrooms tend to sleep less.
  • Create a calming nighttime routine. Winding down each night with the same calm routine — bath, book, tooth brushing — signals that it’s time for sleep, especially for younger children and kids who have more than one home.
  • Be consistent with bedtime and rising. Don’t relax sleep rules on weekends or for homework. “If kids are permitted to fight off sleep once, it’s going to increase their interest in doing so again,” Becker says.
  • Children’s circadian rhythms — the light-sensitive body clock that tells people when to sleep and wake — can shift easily. “If there’s a big difference in timing and routine, it can make sleep more difficult on school nights,” Becker tells WebMD. This includes a change in a child’s wake time, which can then influence his bedtime the same night. For example, letting a teen sleep until noon on Sunday will make it that much more difficult for him to go to sleep that night at a reasonable hour. Use blackout shades, if needed, to darken rooms and get kids on track during the back-to-school season or time shifts.

It’s also good for parents to keep the same sleep routines, so you’ll benefit too.

Enforce naps in younger children. Keeping a nap routine, without allowing sleep too late in the day, can help keep night sleep on track.

Promote physical activity and exercise. Kids who are more physically active during the day take less time to fall asleep, sleep longer, and seem to have a deeper sleep. In addition to exercise helping kids sleep better, sleep can decrease the risk of being overweight.

Watch for cues. An extra-busy day can make your child feel ready for bed earlier. Watch for that and go with the flow, keeping in mind that signals of drowsiness vary, especially among children. “Tiredness in children doesn’t look like it does in an adult,” Felt says. “It can look like irritability and hyperactivity, especially in the evening.”

Put sleep first. “Parents have priorities for providing their children educational experiences, sports experiences, and family time,” Developmental-behavioral pediatrician Barbara Felt, MD says. “Yet one fewer activity to allow an added 15 to 30 minutes of sleep might really be a long-term benefit, not only for learning and social and emotional status but also for their weight and cardiovascular health,” says Felt, who sees children with a variety of physiological or behavioral sleep problems at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.

Don’t give up. If sleeping problems persist, consult your pediatrician or a sleep specialist to check for potential underlying physiological problems such as sleep-related breathing disorders or iron deficiency. Even sleepers with the toughest problems can learn good habits.


Your Child’s Education

No More Tantrums
By Eileen Hayes, Supernanny Expert


Tantrum-proof your home – some useful tricks and tactics

Every child will throw a tantrum at some point. But there are ways to deal with tantrum episodes and prevent them from happening again…

  • Toddler-proof’ your home by placing dangerous or breakable things out of reach.
  • Have clear routines to your child’s day, for example regular lunch, nap, bath and bedtimes.
  • Plan ahead, keeping an eye on frustration levels so you can step in before they go over the top.
  • Provide lots of opportunities to let off steam every day –running around outside, at the playground, dancing to music.
  • Give children some control and choice over what to eat, wear or play with.
  • Use distractions and diversions for as long as they work – a new toy, a changed activity, a song or game.
  • As children reach preschool age, discuss how you want them to behave in different situations and have clear, simple rules.

If Tantrums do happen…

With all the previous strategies in place, parents are likely to have a relatively tantrum-free life. But it makes sense to have a few ideas up your sleeve for how to deal with them. For a minor episode…

  • Try ignoring, by walking into another room or just carrying on with your own tasks
  • Use calming techniques to lower your own stress levels – deep breathing, relaxing your muscles, positive talk inside your head: ‘I will keep calm’.
  • If ignoring hasn’t worked, some children can be jollied along out of an episode. Say something like, ‘Time to stop now – I’ll count to 10’, then give plenty of praise and cuddles if the tantrum stops.
  • In the supermarket, it is sometimes best to just pick up your child and go outside to cut down your embarrassment.


For a really major tantrum, different tactics are needed…

  • Speak calmly, saying things like ‘I’m here, I won’t let you hurt yourself’.
  • Hold your child tightly, preferably making eye contact.
  • Sometimes you just have to weather the storm till your child calms down.
  • ‘Time out’ can help if you find it impossible to stay calm. Time out involves putting your child somewhere safe but boring (for example a playpen, pushchair or the bottom step) for a couple of minutes. It should never be forced in anger and is not really understood by under 3’s. It may work best for parents to take it themselves!

Top Tips for Cutting Down Tantrums

  • Aim for some happy, relaxed times every day – reading a story, visiting the park, playing a game.
  • Show a good example by remaining calm when times are stressful. This encourages your toddler to do the same.
  • Cut down negatives – constantly saying ‘No’ will add to a toddler’s frustration. Instead, use phrases like ‘later’, or ‘after lunch’.
  • Keep aware of new stresses (potty training, starting nursery) that may need more sympathy.
  • Respect your child’s feelings. Feeling understood will reduce your child’s need for tantrums. Try saying, ‘I know that makes you mad’ or ‘That must have made you feel sad’. Your child will see that their feelings matter and can gradually learn to put them into words, saying “I’m angry” instead of acting it out.
  • Use positive parenting – plenty of praise and attention for behavior you do want, trying to ignore as much as possible behavior you don’t.
    •Avoid harsh discipline – shouting and punishments only make tantrums worse.
  • Use humor to defuse tricky situations – silly songs, laughter, making a game of tidying toys can all work brilliantly! A hug or a tickle at the right moment can also change a child’s mood.
  • Most children do grow out of the need for tantrums when they have more language and understanding. But the way you deal with them in the toddler years is important. If they are handled harshly, with responses like yelling and smacking, or if you constantly ignore their feelings and need for comfort, they may well become worse and carry on for longer.
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