Preparing Your Preschooler for Success

We are delighted to announce an exciting event that our school is hosting on Monday, November 16th on Preparing Your Preschooler for Success.  We are fortunate to have a panel of local educators who will address the issues and expectations of children as they transition from preschool to kindergarten. 

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel on Williston Road in South Burlington, adjacent to Al’s. This event is free, but we ask that you register for a space by clicking the button below. We want to give our families a chance to sign up before we open it to the public. We promise you’ll find it an engaging and worthwhile event!  

This session will cover important topics that will help you learn how best to prepare your child for a successful transition from their preschool experience to a full-time kindergarten and elementary school program.

Panel Participants:

  • Kathy Leo-Nyquist, Ed.D, Associate Professor in the Early Childhood program, Champlain College
  • Lori Meyer, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, University of Vermont, Department of Education
  • Rachel Franz, Preschool Teacher at Heartworks Shelburne, Member of the NAEYC Young Professionals Advisory Council
  • Suzanne Weishaar, former Kindergarten teacher, Sustainability Coach at The Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes
  • Melissa St. Amand, First Grade Teacher and former Kindergarten teacher at the Renaissance School at Shelburne Farms

More about the panelists

Questions? Contact us!

Sarah G. Soule
Sarah.soule@heartworksvt.com
Director of Admissions

Cara M. Simone                    
cara.simone@heartworksvt.com  
Director, Academic Programs and Operations

 

Parent and Teacher Conferences

A sign-up sheet for the parent/teacher conferences on November 9th and 10th is posted on the bulletin board at your child’s class. Please be sure to sign up for a 30-minute individual time with your child’s teacher. This is a wonderful opportunity to have the complete attention of your child’s teacher for 30 minutes to hear all about your child’s day as well as to ask questions and share your goals for your child.

On Monday, November 9th, school is closed for the day and conferences are held from 8:00 with the last one scheduled for 4:00. On Tuesday, November 10th, school closes at 12:00 and conferences start at 1:10 with the last conference at 3:50. If your child has a different afternoon teacher from the morning program, you are welcome to sign up for a conference with that teacher too.

If you are in need of child care, please speak in advance with the School Director as there may be someone at the school who can watch your child during your parent/teacher conference.  If the available days/times do not work for you, please speak with the School Director who will arrange a time that is more suitable for the teacher and yourself.  Thank you.

We look forward to meeting with you, to answer your questions, and to share all of the wonderful work your child has been engaged in to date.

 

Got recycling? We can use it!

We are always collecting the following recyclable items

Baby food jars, small jar tops, butcher paper rolls, recyclable paper – where students can draw on one side, buttons, cardboard boxes, cardboard tubes, calendars (old), cereal boxes, coffee filters, cotton balls, corks, egg cartons, fabric scraps, feathers, felt scraps, greeting cards, magnets, margarine or other small tubs, newspapers, magazines, oatmeal (or other) canisters, packing bubble sheets, paper bags, paper plates, plastic lids, ribbons, sand paper scraps, straws (drinking), tissue paper, wallpaper scraps and samples, wooden beads, wood dowels, wood scraps, yarn, and plastic grocery bags.  So before you think of tossing any of these items into your recycling bin, please feel free to bring them to school for various creative uses.  Thank you. 

 

Halloween Celebration

October is a time to celebrate the season of pumpkins, foliage and Halloween. Heartworks Schools will have a Halloween Celebration on Friday, October 30th. Most classes will participate in a costume parade and teachers at some of the schools perform a Halloween play for all to enjoy. All families are invited to attend both the parade and the performance. If your child is not in school on Friday, they are more than welcome to join their class for the parade and performance.

Costume Guidelines:

In years past children have dressed up like animals, athletes, community helpers, clowns, storybook or fairy tale characters. In keeping with the philosophy of Heartworks, we ask that the costumes reflect a peaceful representation of a character rather than one of fear or violence. Please refrain from frightening costumes, masks or weapons of any kind (guns, knives, swords, etc.). Please avoid commercialized movie or television characters and superhero-type costumes (such as Power Rangers, Spiderman, Batman, etc.). We appreciate your efforts in coming up with costumes that are fun and reflect the playful, creative childhood spirit of Halloween.

Back on the Farm for Differentiated Learning

Pictured here: Sarah Soule, Director of Admissions, Alumni, and Parent Relations and Lisa Zengilowski, owner of the Heartworks, Renaissance, and Endeavour Schools.

Pictured here: Sarah Soule, Director of Admissions, Alumni, and Parent Relations and Lisa Zengilowski, owner of the Heartworks, Renaissance, and Endeavour Schools.

Read this article from the Shelburne News highlighting the differentiated education process employed at the Heartworks, Renaissance, and Endeavour Schools. 

Music and the Brain

Renaissance Elementary School Alumni Kameron Clayton's passions for music and neuroscience inspired a symposium and concert at Boston University in March. He states that his education at the Renaissance School “opened my mind to the incredible internal workings of life." 

Clayton worked to bring together a panel of leading neuroscientists, a violinist, and the Brass Quintet from the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The goal of the evening was to provide an opportunity to explore the connections between music and the brain. And to study science and art without reducing the art simply to scientific components, but celebrating the beauty and mystery of art as well. Read the full story

Seusical Jr.

Presented by:

The Renaissance and Endeavour Schools


Thursday, May 7 at 6:30
At The Williston Central School
Admission is free!
Show will be about 1 hour


Seussical JR. is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by:

Muic Theatre International
421 West 54th Street
New York, NY 10019

Script, music and all other material ©2006 Music Theatre International Broadway Junior and MTI's Broadway Junior Collection are trademarks of Music Theatre International. All rights reserved. 

Music by
Stephen Flaherty

Lyrics by
Lynn Ahrens

Book by
Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty

Co-Conceived by
Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and Eric Idle

Based on the works of
Dr. Seuss

Music Supervised, Adapted and Produced by
Byran Louiselle

Staying Healthy

During the Winter and early Spring, please be aware that colds and viruses present themselves more commonly. We ask that you help to prevent the spread of illness by being diligent about keeping your child home, as per our school policy, if they present the following symptoms:

  • A fever- over 99 degrees taken under the arm- children are to remain home until the fever is under 99 degrees for 24 hours without the aid of ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Lethargy, loss of appetite, severe coughing, difficulty breathing, severe sore throat, abdominal pain or other uncharacteristic behaviors
  • Children with a known communicative condition (such as, and not limited to: conjunctivitis, or strep throat), are to remain home until they have received antibiotics for 24 hours. If a child has been diagnosed with an illness, please notify us so that we may inform other families of symptoms to look for in their child. If a student comes to school and is suspected of having a communicative condition, the parents will be called and asked to pick up the child for further diagnosis from a doctor and treatment , if necessary.
  • Children who have had two or more incidents of vomiting or diarrhea are not to return until their symptoms have been fully resolved for 24 hours and they are able to resume normal dietary habits and activities.
  • Children with an unknown rash will be asked to see a physician to confirm that it isn’t a communicative condition.  Students with a rash and a fever will need to stay out of school until confirmation of the rash and the child is fever free for 24 hours.

We look forward to caring for your child and take the health and well-being of every child very seriously. 

Endeavour Middle School Performance and Visit from the Renaissance School

On Tuesday, December 16th, the Heartworks School went to the Endeavour Middle School for a holiday performance. The middle school students performed holiday songs. including Frosty the Snowman in French and Spanish! At the end of the performance, the Heartworks and Endeavour students sang Jingle Bells all together. 

The 3rd grade students from the Renaissance School came to visit our afternoon classrooms. The older students helped the preschool children create snowmen, made gingerbread houses and enjoyed a snowman dice game.

The Middle School students came one afternoon and their love of books and reading with our preschool classes. The preschool children enjoyed being read to as a large group and then with some smaller groups.

School Delays and Closing

Within 15 minutes of making our decision to delay the start of our school day or close for the day entirely due weather-related factors, the School Director will send out an email to all parents as well as change the outgoing message on the schools voice mail (except Stowe
voice mail) to indicate the school is closed or delayed for the day due to weather.  And a notice will be posted on the Facebook pages.

In addition, the following radio and TV stations will be notified:

Please be sure to check one of the television or radio stations as well as your emails on days when the weather is challenging. Thank you.

Our Thankful Project

In the month of November all of the classrooms are learning about what it means to be thankful. The teachers model use of the word thank you while sharing in a family style snack and lunch and throughout the day. They also highlight acts of kindness in the classroom, and talk about what is special to each child as an individual.  The children will learn about the act of giving and continue to practice turn taking and using loving kindness with their friends, family, animals, and nature.

To celebrate this theme and the coming holiday, each child and teacher in the school will receive a paper turkey feather that they can explore and decorate if they choose. These feathers will then be collected and put on display behind our friendly turkey that lives in the school’s entryway. Keep your eye out in the next few days for a wonderful and fun burst of color as you walk in the door. See if you can find your child’s special feather. If you or your other children would like to add to our thankful turkey feathers and crayons will be available at the front desk. Let’s see how full our turkey’s tail can get!

Kindergarten and Pre-kindergarten Buddies

On Thursdays the Kindergarten classes at the Renaissance School will host one of the Pre-kindergarten classes from Heartworks Shelburne at the Commons building. Last week the Kindergarten classes helped the Pre-kindergarten classes make paper pumpkins. The children loved working together. This week the students will work together with a focus on a math based pattern activity. 

This is only one sample of how the teachers are working with younger classes as well as older classes and teachers as we build our community of learners and help students with transitions towards their next class.  

Heartworks Professional Development Day

The teachers and staff of the Heartworks Schools gathered together on Thursday October 16th for a day of Professional Development. Heartworks maintains an active schedule of staff development programming each year, with eight to ten sponsored events, designed to meet the needs of the teachers throughout the organization.

The workshops were led by the five Heartworks Preschool directors; Libby McDonald, Joanne Pillsbury, Amanda Collis, Leiann Moran, and Kathleen Schaffner.  The teachers and staff had an opportunity to work in small and large groups, and collaborate with teachers from the other preschools teaching the same age children. We discussed ways to use cooperative games and gross motor activities in the classroom as well as sharing the many literacy and math activities incorporated into daily learning. We also spoke about the importance and value in a productive, meaningful, and fun morning circle. Overall, it was a highly productive, engaging, and beneficial day for all! 

 

Halloween Celebration

Halloween.jpg

October is a time to celebrate the season of pumpkins, foliage and Halloween. Heartworks Schools will have a Halloween Celebration on Friday, October 31st. Most classes will participate in a costume parade and teachers at some of
the schools perform a Halloween play for all to enjoy. All families are invited to attend both the parade and the performance. If your child is not in school on Friday, they are more than welcome to join their class for the parade and performance.

Costume Guidelines:

In years past children have dressed up like animals, athletes, community helpers, clowns, storybook or fairy tale characters. In keeping with the philosophy of Heartworks, we ask that the costumes reflect a peaceful representation of a character rather than one of fear or violence. Please refrain from frightening costumes, masks or weapons of any kind (guns, knives, swords, etc.). Please avoid commercialized movie or television characters and superhero-type costumes (such as Power Rangers, Spiderman, Batman, etc.). We appreciate your efforts in coming up with costumes that are fun and reflect the playful, creative childhood spirit of Halloween.

Fall Recipes to Try with your Children

Vanessa’s Mini Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ Cups of flour
  • 3 Teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 Cups of Sugar
  • 1 Cup vegetable oil
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Can (15oz) pure pumpkin
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips (if desired)

Directions

  • Preheat over 350 degrees. Grease 4-6 small loaf pans.
  • In a large bowl mix flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl mix sugar, oil, eggs, pumpkin and water until blended. Add egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. If adding chocolate chips mix in now. 
  • Divide batter evenly among pans.
  • Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Let cool and ENJOY!

Rachel's Apple Crisp

apple-crisp.jpg

Ingredients
5-6 Apples (we used granny smith)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked oatmeal
1/3 cup of butter (softened)
¾ cup of brown sugar
½ cup flour
White sugar and cinnamon

Directions:
•    Peal apples if desired. Slice into one inch pieces.
•    Sprinkle cinnamon and white sugar over apples. Stir.
•    Place coated apples in a glass backing dish or pan.
•    Mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Hands work best for mixing!
•    Spread topping evenly on the apples in the pan.
•    Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until apples are soft.

Mallory's Apple Sauce

Ingredients
½ cup of water
5 medium apples

Directions

  • Core, peel, and dice apples
  • Heat the apples until slightly soft and place in individual baggies for squishing. Allow to cool.
  • Have the children squish the baggies and explore how the apples feel.
  • Dump the baggies into a crockpot, add water and simmer until completely soft. Be sure to check the water level often and stir.
  • Mash, strain and or puree to desired consistency. Add a little cinnamon or a drop of vanilla for a new flavor experience.
  • Allow to cool and enjoy!

Lunch Box Reminder

Please be sure that there is an ice pack in the lunch box for any items that need to be kept cold, such as milk and yogurt. If you want your child to have something warm to eat, please be sure to provide it in an insulated thermos.

For children aged two and three:
All food items need to be cut into pieces smaller than ½ inch in size. Grapes, tomatoes, and olives must be cut in quarters. If providing carrots, they must be cut in very skinny lengthwise strips.

The following food items are not to be served according to NAYEC guidelines, which we must follow: hot dogs (whole or sliced), popcorn, hard pretzels, raw peas.

We are a nut free facility and do not serve items that contain, or may contain peanuts or tree nuts, or even those items processed in the same facilities. Cereal bars and granola bars often have these types of labels on them. Please check all labels before packing items in your child’s lunchbox, and if the packaged items do not list ingredients please indicate that it is free of al peanut and tree nut warning labels.

Thank you for following these guidelines as you prepare food for your child during their day at school.

Heartworks Burlington Spring 2014 Art Show

The community of the Heartworks School in Burlington gathered together on the first warm and sunny spring evening of Friday, April 11 at the Endeavour Middle School to enjoy an amazing exhibit of student artwork from all of the classes of two through five year old children. The annual springtime art show is a highlight of the year for many, providing a wonderful opportunity to visit with other families within the school while admiring the artistic talents of their own children as well as the work of all the children at Heartworks in Burlington.

The children were so happy to show their artwork to friends and family members, and were delighted to share details about how each piece was created in the classroom under the guidance of their creative Heartworks teachers. The exhibit included wooden "Tall Paintings," softly lit colored luminaries, black and white photography, clay mythological creatures, and many other dazzling pieces.
 
After appreciating the artworks, all of the families and children took advantage of the beautiful night and gathered outside on the green and around the gazebo in front of Endeavour. 

Heartworks STEAM Program

New for next year, the Heartworks Schools will be offering an exciting afternoon program of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.  The Full Steam Ahead Curriculum will allow children to explore these topic areas in-depth through just the right combination of fact-based learning and fun hands-on experiences as they extend their day into enriching learning blocks as part of the afternoon sessions offered at our three Preschools. 

The Full Steam Ahead program will provide a high quality and incredibly fun learning experience, allowing children to expand their natural desire to explore, to imagine, to build, and to question, paired with our traditional classroom values of sharing, courtesy, respect and listening.  We believe that this program is an important step in helping to prepare children for all future learning by introducing them to science, technology, engineering, arts and math in a fun and creative way. 

If this program interests you, we encourage you to enroll early as we expect demand to be high.  If you have any questions about the program we encourage you to contact our Director of Enrollment, Kelly Libby, at (802) 985-2153 or kelly.libby@heartworksvt.com, or discuss it with your school director. 

For more information, please see this more detailed description of the STEAM program coming to the Heartworks Schools.