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December News

From the Principal’s Office



Dear Families,

I hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed some great family time and of course some wonderful food. We here at Chesterbrook are thankful every day for the opportunity to spend time with you and your children, and I am thankful for the hard working staff that we have here every day who always go above and beyond for their children.

We continue the Holiday spirit as we roll into December. I can’t believe that the end of 2015 is already upon us. Our children are busy working on their songs for our Holiday performance on December 17th. We look forward to seeing you all there, at Spring Valley High School. Keep an eye out for more information as the performance gets closer.

As the weather is getting colder, please make sure that your children have appropriate outdoor clothing. We do still try to take the children out every day, even when it is cold. Label hats and gloves so they can be returned to their owner when we find the on the playground or on the classroom floor (we all know that it is going to happen).

I hope everyone is enjoying the new television that is displayed in our lobby showing pictures of the children. We were able to purchase this and pay to have it installed safely using the proceeds from our parents night out. The children seem to love walking down the hallway and seeing themselves and their friends on the big screen. We shall be holding a parents afternoon out one weekend this month. This is a great opportunity for you to get a bit of last minute shopping done without little eyes around. Watch out for the date and details to follow. This will be available to people on a first come first served basis, and will require you to sign up in advance. It promises to be an afternoon full of fun.

Please make sure to take extra care in the parking lot now that it is dark as some people are picking up. Drive slowly and mindfully so that we can keep everyone safe. Please remember that we do close at 6pm, and if you are running late, just give us a courtesy call so that we know you are on your way and that there are no problems.

As always, thank you for your continued support of our very busy school.


Helen Parks, Principal

Christmas Holiday Sign Up Sheets

Parents, be on the look out for our Christmas Holiday sign-up sheets.  The sheets will be located outside or inside of your child’s classroom.  Please take a moment to fill in the spaces next to your child’s name with a Y(yes) or N(no).  This helps us to staff properly and order the appropriate amount of food for those weeks.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Weather Changes

The cold weather is here!  We will continue morning and afternoon playground time as long as the temperature is comfortable for outside play.  Please have your child prepared for outside time…heavy coats, hats, gloves, and scarves (be sure to label all items) to keep them warm and cozy during these chilly-sometimes cold days.



  • 1-11 – Families Helping Families donations.
  • 4 – Last Day for Harvest Hope donations.
  • 17 – Holiday Program @ Spring Valley HS Auditorium.
  • 18 – Holiday Parties @ 2:30 (see your child’s teacher for details).
  • 18 – Last Day of School for Chesterbrook Kindergarten students.
  • 21 – First Day of Winter.
  • 21-Jan. 1 – Winter Break for Chesterbrook Kindergarten students.
  • 24 – School Closing @ 12:00pm – Christmas Eve (morning snack & lunch will be served).
  • 25 – School Closed – Christmas Day.
  • 31 – Links to Learning Folders Go Home.
  • January 1 – School Closed.

Field Trips

Thursday, December 10th
Children’s Theater
– Room 12
– Cost is $6.00
– Leaving at: 8:30am
– Wear navy Chesterbrook logo t-shirt

Thursday, December 10th
Children’s Theater
– Room 7
– Cost is $6.00
– Leaving at: 9:45am
– Wear navy Chesterbrook logo t-shirt

Friday, December 11th
Children’s Theater
– Room 10
– Cost is $6.00
– Leaving at: 8:30am
– Wear navy Chesterbrook logo t-shirt

Friday, December 11th
Children’s Theater
– Room 9
– Cost is $6.00
– Leaving at: 8:45am
– Wear navy Chesterbrook logo t-shirt


LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!! We invite you to “like” our page at www.facebook.com/ChesterbrookAcademy where we’ll be providing our fans with regular educational tips for children from preschool to 8th grade and the opportunity to network with fellow parents. We would love to have your participation in this forum and encourage you to continue to check our school website for local updates specific to our own school. We look forward to having you as part of our Facebook community!

Open House: Invite a family member or friend to come to our Open House on Saturday, January 23, 2016 between the hours of 10am-1pm. This is a great opportunity to meet the staff, tour the facility and see first hand how Chesterbrook Academy makes a difference in the lives of children!!


Entry & Exit Doors: ** DO NOT USE THE BACK DOOR FOR ENTRY TO THE SCHOOL!!!** As you all know there is a code required for entry to the school. Please be sure to limit the code to family members and/or friends that are picking up your child(ren) on a regular basis. Do not give the code to your child(ren). In addition, everyone should use the front entrance for drop off and pick up. We advise strongly not to let individuals in the side entry door, as this person may or may not be a Chesterbrook parent or other family member. The side door is to only be used as an exit. This guarantees the safety of Chesterbrook Academy students and staff. Thanks in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

Chesterbrook Academy & Queensboro Apparel Company: If you are interested in ordering Chesterbrook Logo apparel for your child(ren), please view our online store. You may notice all the wonderful colors available, but please keep in mind that Chesterbrook Academy uniform colors are Navy, White and Forest/Dark Green.

Chesterbrook Academy & Mabel’s Labels: As a way to target the problem of lost belongings and a large lost and found closet, Chesterbrook Academy is fundraising with Mabel’s Labels, a company with all types of labels that are colorful, indestructible, easy-to-use and fun! Iron-Ons, Stickies, Bag Tags, Allergy Alert labels & more! Personalize your labels with names, nicknames, initials – whatever you choose. Cool icons help even little ones identify their own belongings. Dishwasher, microwave, laundry & kid tested! Dispatched within 24 hours!

Visit www.chesterbrookacademy.mabelslabels.com to place your order.

For Parents

Tuition: Parents, please understand the importance of paying your tuition & paying it on time! Payments are due every Friday for the coming week. Late fees will be applied at 12 noon on Monday following the due date. Unpaid tuition, more than a week past due, will result in immediate dis-enrollment. If you have any questions, please see Helen, Melissa or Andrea in the front office. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Field Trips for the 2015-16 School Year: Please be reminded that students must wear the Chesterbrook logo navy t-shirts on field trips.  All monies for field trips are to be collected by someone in the front office.  Please be sure to turn in signed permission slips for scheduled field trips to your child’s teacher.

Automatic Payment Program: Parents this is a very easy way for you to not worry about writing those checks every week and avoiding late fees. APP can be used to pay tuition only invoices or all invoices (tuition, registration & activity fees). Please see Helen, Melissa or Andrea in the front office for details and information on getting signed up or you can print the form from the link on the school website. In addition, you can also set up online bill-pay through your bank.

Contact Information: Please be sure that all home, work, cell and pager numbers and any other contact information is up to date in your child’s file. This helps the staff at Chesterbrook have every available option to contact the parent(s) in the event of an emergency.

E-Mail Addresses: Please update your email addresses with the front office in order to receive important information about upcoming and/or emergency events from the school. We can send email notifications to more than one email address.

School Operating Hours: This is a friendly reminder that Chesterbrook’s hours of operation are 7:00 am – 6:00 pm, Monday thru Friday. Half day hours of operation are 8:30 am – 11:30 am. The late pick up fee is $15 per child for the first 15 minutes and an additional $15 per child for each quarter hour after the regularly scheduled pick up time. Also parents, if you are running late and its close to closing time, please be sure to give the school a courtesy call.

Parent Ambassador Program: Spread the word about our school and save on your child’s tuition! Refer a new family to our school and you could earn a free week of tuition. For more information on our Ambassador Program, see your school’s principal. The current referring Chesterbrook family will receive a discount after the referred child has attended full time for 3 months. Discount applies to the tuition of the oldest child in the referring family.

For Parents & Teachers

NUT FREE SCHOOL: We have several children enrolled at Chesterbrook Academy with severe nut allergies. Please do not send your child to school with food containing any type of nut products.

Prescription Policy for Chronic or Allergic Conditions:
Medication may be brought in for chronic or life threatening medical conditions. All medications must be in their original container with the prescription label attached to include the proper administering time(s) and dosage to be given. For the use of a nebulizer, a letter or note will be required from your child’s doctor’s office stating time(s) to be administered and the tubule dosage to be given. In addition, an “Authorization to Administer Medication Form” must be completed and turned in by the parent. Please see Helen, Melissa or Andrea in the front office if you have any questions or concerns.

Weather Policy: In the event of severe weather, we will make every effort to open on schedule and to remain open during the course of our regular hours of operation. In the event that severe weather requires us to close our school, delay our school or close early, parents will be notified initially by e-notify. Please make sure we have your most current email address and that you have added us to your address book so our message does not go to spam. In the event that your employer will not allow you to receive email at work, please provide us with an alternate email address for you. Parents may also call the school’s voicemail at 803-699-9988 and listen to the prerecorded message by 5:30 a.m. for information regarding the operating hours. Information will also be posted to the school’s website which is www.cbacolumbia.com.  You can also tune into WIS channel 10 and/or WLTX channel 19 for closing and/or delay information.
**Chesterbrook Academy DOES NOT follow the schedule of Richland School District 2 during weather delays or closings**

Sign In & Out Books: We wanted to take this time to remind you all about an important security here at Chesterbrook. Please remember to sign your child in and out every day on the class Sign In/Out sheets located outside or inside of your child’s classroom everyday. If someone on your child’s authorized pick-up list is picking up, please remind him or her to do so as well. Although we have never had any problem nor do we expect to in the future, this is an important security measure that keeps all of the children safe. Thank you for your continued compliance with our security policies.

Uniform Policy: All children from 3 year old Preschool and up are required to wear uniforms daily at Chesterbrook Academy.  The official uniform is navy blue (NOT jean) or khaki bottoms and white, navy blue or hunter green solid tops.  Girls may also wear navy blue or khaki jumpers, skirts, skorts, or the plaid jumper offered by the uniform company, Flynn & O’Hara.  Shoes should be white, black, brown, or navy blue and preferably athletic type.

Parking Policy

  • Traffic should enter the school parking lot at the first driveway and exit through the carport out the last driveway.
  • Cars should be parked in designated parking spaces or on the road above the school.
  • Please do not park under the carport, behind the bus, or in front of the dumpster.
  • Please do not block the mailbox.
  • All preschoolers must be escorted into the school by an adult.
  • Elementary students may be dropped off at the front door. Cars should stop in the right lane only and students should exit their cars through the passenger side door.
  • Please do not allow your child to run through the parking lot unattended or play on the hill.
  • Please drive slowly on school property. Be courteous and patient with other drivers and watch out for our children.

Illness Policy
A parent of a child that is determined to be ill shall be notified immediately. The child must be picked up within an hour of notification. No child shall be allowed to remain at school with the following conditions:

  • Elevated Temperature (100 degrees or higher)
  • Vomiting and/or Diarrhea
  • Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
  • Head Lice
  • Other Communicable Diseases (ie. chicken pox, strep throat, etc.)

Student Pick-Up: Parents, please be sure to inform the teachers and/or front office if another family member or friend will pick up your child. This applies to names that are on your list as well as names that are not. If it will be the first time the family member or friend picks up your child, please remind them to bring in their drivers license when they come in. This is very important to insure the safety of your child(ren).

School Spotlight


Chesterbrook Academy
cordially invites you and your family
to join us
December 17, 2015


Spring Valley High School Auditorium
for our Holiday program of

“Candy Cane Wishes & Gingerbread Kisses”

Classrooms 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 – will begin at 6:30pm
(please have children there by 6:15pm)

Classrooms 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 – will begin at 7:30pm
(please have children there by 7:15pm)


December Birthdays


4 – Leyla Martinez
4 – Zoey Sangal
8 – Lukah Pinson
9 – Maren Hill
11 – Abigail Bowen
12 – Alexander Baskin
13 – Molly Anderson
13 – Sophie Anderson
15 – Laura Turner
17 – Corinne Thomas
18 – Abigail Jay
19 – Carlie Kimberger
19 – Ryan Mehdizadeh
20 – Allie Fields
20 – Aidan Gatson
20 – Mason Goodman
21 – Ava Jacobs
21 – Omari Ramirez
23 – Bolin Drew
23 – Leonardo Gianelloni
23 – Oliver Gianelloni
27 – Stephen Glover
29 – Samantha Crites
30 – Camille Gonzalez
30 – Ava Singleton
31 – Benjamin Trice

14 – Abigail Rhode
23 – Kelly Plunkett
24 – Deborah Scott
28 – Sharon Knight

From the Education Department

 Exploring Holiday Traditions from Around the WorldDecember Education Picture

The holiday season is here, providing a wealth of opportunities to enrich the children’s understanding of diverse cultures and traditions around the world. In addition, our students will share their own traditions with others.

Below are age appropriate activities that we use in the classroom, as well as activities for you and your child to do at home.

BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):

In the classroom: As they near the age of two, children begin to recognize the sights and sounds of holidays celebrated by their family. Parents visit our classrooms to share holiday traditions, including unique books, songs and activities.

At home: Gather family photos and point out traditions, such as unwrapping presents, eating holiday dinner at grandma’s house, and making a snowman. Encourage your child to talk about what he sees in the photos.

Recommended reading: Children Around the World Celebrate Christmas by Christine Tangvald, Happy Hanukkah, Corduroy by Don Freeman, My First Kwanzaa by Karen Katz


In the classroom: Children sing holiday songs from around the world and are introduced to holiday symbols that they may see in their communities, such as Christmas trees or Hanukkah menorahs.

At home: Take a drive with your child or bring him to various holiday festivals in your community. Encourage him to look for and identify holiday decorations.

Recommended reading: Christmas Around the World by Calliope Glass, Hanukkah Hop by Erica Silverman, Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa by Donna Washington

PRE-K/PRE-K2 (ages 4-5)

In the classroom: After learning about holiday traditions around the world, our older preschoolers identify countries on a globe. For example, they might learn about Diwali, the festival of lights, and then find India on the globe. They might make tamales, a dish often served on Christmas, and then find Mexico on the globe.

At home: Ask your child to help you prepare your family’s favorite holiday foods. Talk about the long-standing traditions in which these foods are rooted. For instance, you might explain, “I used to bake cookies for the holidays with my mom. Now we can start baking cookies together!”

Recommended reading: Children Just Like Me: Celebrations by Anabel Kindersley, Light the Lights: A Story about Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas by Margaret Moorman, The Story of Kwanzaa by Mary Washington

Exposing children to various holiday traditions helps them build strong social skills, establish a sense of self, and respect the differences of others as they transition into elementary school and beyond.

Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education

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