You come to school every few days and see what’s happening in the classrooms: the loving attention of our teachers, the excitement of playing with peers, the conflict that comes from differing opinions and the resolution that often comes after, the freedom to create. You see the play, the safe place to express all emotions, the chance to take risks – whether social, emotional, cognitive or physical.
But you might not see everything that goes on behind the scenes to make all this happen. As we wrap up the year, we thought you might like to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes:
- A group of teachers worked together to create a new structure to the fall SYC Parent Orientation with more focus on building community within classes.
- Based on the responses to the fall orientation, we designed and hosted a New Family Orientation in April to give families who are just joining the community a chance to learn about SYC’s philosophy, practices and the day-to-day details of coming to school here.
- We had our first Family Play Date last September which was a huge hit – we hope to replicate it this fall (and would welcome your help!)
- 38 new families joined us this year, with 30 more new families on track to join us this fall.
- Over $12,000 in scholarship money was raised through your generosity both at the Scholarship Auction and through other donations and was allocated to 14 families
- We received a very generous donation from former SYC teacher, Gene Ackerman, which will go to more scholarships in the coming years.
- Teachers travelled to Baltimore, MD to see how one school supports child-led learning.
- Teachers engaged in an in-depth study of several different child development philosophies and how they related to SYC, as well as workshops supporting racial and gender diversity and children with special needs and their families.
- Teachers renewed their certification in communicable disease prevention and ODJFS rules training.
- Several teachers have worked to prepare for our NAEYC renewal visit sometime next year, including vast documentation of the learning that happens every day in our classrooms.
- We learned and adapted to the new child care licensing rules adopted by ODJFS in December.
- We were visited by educators from Toledo who are starting a program for children who are kicked out of other preschools and wanted to see how we work with social and emotional development, an educator from Chicago who had read It’s OK Not to Share and wanted to see us in action, a team from Nationwide Children’s Hospital who support children and preschool programs who are struggling, and a person from Marysville who wants to start her own nature-based preschool.
- We’ve had observations from a number of OSU students as well as long-term internships from Columbus State, CAHS, and Upper Arlington students.
- Two retired SYC teachers have volunteered regularly while a few more have made occasional visits to help out.
- We’ve used: 600+ bandaids, three gallons of glue, 1,800 feathers, three giant rolls of paper, and 35 rolls of masking tape.
- We’ve had 9 fire drills and 3 tornado drills (sometimes called emergency practices), one visit by Dream Shop, three visits by the firefighters, and many visits by parents and caregivers sharing their skills/interests with us.
- We’ve hosted four parent education nights, eight parent coffees and one kindergarten info night.
- Teachers have had countless emails and conversations with parents, consultations with outside experts, referrals, articles/books read, smiles and hugs given/received.
Wow. Sounds like a lot when you put it all down on paper! And it is a lot in addition to all the hard work that happens in the classrooms each day, but it is all lovingly and willingly done to keep the SYC program and philosophies alive and well. If you’d like to help keep us going, please be sure to keep an eye out for the volunteer sign-ups that will come in the fall. We’d love to have your help!
…Susan Roscigno, Co-Director