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February News

Message from the Principal

Dear Families,

February is here and we are so excited to be welcoming so many families to Chesterbrook Academy at Ellis Preserve! It is such a pleasure and a privilege to work with your children!

We hope you are enjoying our Links to Home through Tadpoles! We love sharing your child’s day with you and I hope you are enjoying the photos as much as we are!

Our first two weeks have brought us snowy winter weather! Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow and we are looking forward to spring weather just around the corner! In the meantime, please continue to send your child to school with outdoor winter weather gear as we will get outside for active play!

Chesterbrook Academy at Ellis Preserve will be celebrating Valentine’s Day on Friday, February 12th.  Children are invited to bring in Valentines to share with their classmates. Please send enough for every child in the classroom, but do not worry about addressing them.  We will have a special Valentine Day snack in the afternoon and the children will participate in Valentine themed activities throughout the day! We are looking forward to a fun filled Valentine celebration!

As a reminder, school is closed on Monday, February 15th. Our teachers will be attending Professional Development workshops at the Western Technical Center in Limerick. This is a wonderful opportunity for our teachers to learn new skills and gain new ideas for the classroom; while working together with teachers from our sister Chesterbrook Academy Preschools.

As always, it is an honor to work with and watch your children grow. Thank you for choosing our school for your children.


Lisa Delaney

Winter Weather News

The winter season is upon us! At this time we would like to remind our families and staff of how to find out about our school delays and closing information. We do our best to maintain our regular operations, but occasionally there are times when we need to open late, close early, or possibly close the school due to extreme weather and/or school conditions.

Please tune to ABC 6 for our school delays and closings. You may also find this information on the ABC 6 website at: www.6abc.com and on any wireless device with internet access. In addition, you have the option to sign-up on the 6 ABC website for email alerts, dismissals and delays that are posted. We will be listed as Chesterbrook Academy – Newtown Square. Also, a message will be left on the school’s voice mail and website whenever possible.

For your reference:

If we delay one hour, CBA will open at 7:30 a.m.
If we delay two hours, CBA will open at 8:30 a.m.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation. Your safety and that of your children and our staff is important to us.

When the Snow is Here, Bring in the Gear!
(Hat, Mittens/Gloves, Winter Coat, Snow Pants and Boots)

The children will have outside play time whenever the temperature and wind chill is above 25 degrees.  Be sure your child has appropriate outerwear for the weather!

From the Education Department

 Helping Your Preschooler Develop Positive Friendship Skills

Are you puzzled by some of your child’s social behaviors? Have you noticed that your toddler doesn’t interact with other children very often? Does your three-year-old get frustrated when a classmate won’t play with him? Will your four-year-old only play with her best friend?EDU News feb2016

These are all normal social behaviors for preschoolers. Learning how to develop friendships is a lifelong process. Children’s social behaviors evolve from smiling and cooing at others, to engaging in parallel play, to eventually forming friendships and playing together.

Below are ways we help develop friendships in the classroom, as well as ideas for you and your child to do at home.


In the classroom: Before they can communicate verbally, infants build connections by smiling, cooing and crying. By two months old, they might turn toward other infants, and by twelve months, they begin to imitate their peers. Teachers help facilitate this relationship by sitting infants near each other during activities such as story time and tummy time.

At home: Even though infants don’t really play with one another, they still benefit from “play dates” with other infants. Sit your infant face-to-face with another infant or in close proximity to an older sibling, and provide each child separate toys. Note when your infant watches the other child and what captures his attention.

Recommended reading: Friends by Helen Oxenbury and Let’s Play by Leo Lionni

TODDLERS (ages 1-2):

In the classroom: Many young children tend to engage in “parallel play.” They play near other children, but each child is doing something different. This is a natural phase of development. As children get older, they begin to enjoy more shared activities with their peers. For example, they might enjoy splashing their hands at the water table with others, looking at books while sitting close to a friend, and dancing to music with their classmates.

At home: Invite another parent and child to your home for a play date. Blocks, balls, dress up clothes and toy kitchen sets are great toys for children at this age. Don’t force them to play with each other. Instead, let the children decide on the level of interaction.

Recommended reading: Do You Want to be My Friend? by Eric Carle and I Can Share by Karen Katz

BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):

In the classroom: In the Beginner classroom, teachers refer to classmates as “friends.” Students learn about personal space and begin to practice good manners by saying please and thank you.

At home: Model positive behaviors while playing with your child. Say “I’m going to roll the ball to you. Can you please roll the ball back to me?” Afterward, say “Thank you. You are being a good friend.”

Recommended reading: How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends? by Jane Yolen and Let’s be Friends by P. K. Hallinan


In the classroom: Between ages three and four, children attempt to understand social situations, but often do so from an egocentric point of view. They need adult guidance to help them navigate peer conflict and model appropriate friendship-making behaviors. Small group activities help children learn how to follow directions, take turns and develop friendships.

At home: Ask your child about their friends and what games they played together. If he says, “Andrew didn’t play with me today. He’s mean,” you could say, “Andrew may have wanted to play a different game today. Maybe you can play together tomorrow. What does Andrew like to play?”

Recommended reading: Just My Friend and Me by Mercer Mayer and Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney

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

In the classroom: Friendship in Pre-K and Pre-K2 is usually reciprocal and deliberate as children become more skilled in social interactions and look for peers with shared interests. Our character education program reinforces friendship making skills using songs, games, books and brain-builder activities to nurture skills such as collaboration, understanding feelings and resolving conflicts.

At home: Bring your child to events that include multiple children, such as birthday parties, or encourage your child to play a board game that requires multiple players. Ask him to introduce himself to the other children, or encourage him to play the game taking turns. If you notice frustration from your child, say, “In order to play the game, we all have to play together.”

Recommended reading: Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel and A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom

Don’t be concerned about the number of friends your child has, as it is more about quality than quantity. Each child will develop friendships at his own pace. What matters most is the development of social skills such as collaboration and problem-solving, which will help him transition into elementary school and beyond.

– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education

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