Welcome to an Exciting Year

I would like to welcome all of you to a new school year especially our new students and their families. I hope all of you get the chance to meet one another during our school events, especially during our up-coming September Social and Back to School Night.

For those parents who do not know me very well, let me tell you a little bit about myself.  I started working for Mr. and Mrs. Kelly as a volunteer camp counselor when I was in tenth grade during the summer.  I however have always been interested in working with children well before this, for my mother often tells a story about how I was always playing and working with young children at a very young age.  Unfortunately, since I had been living in Nebraska during the school year and only came out to Pennsylvania during the summers my opportunities were limited.  However, during these special summers, I was given a fantastic opportunity to work at their camp at the same time when my little three-year-old brother was attending it.  I became totally amazed with the Montessori method and wanted to learn more, so each summer I continued my adventure of being a camp counselor for Valley Forge Kinder House.  Once I had graduated from high school in Nebraska I came back to Pennsylvania to attend West Chester University for my bachelor’s degree of Science in Early Childhood Education.  Although that experience was wonderful and very beneficial for becoming a teacher, but it still leads me to still wanting to know more about Montessori.  I then attended Washington Montessori Institute in Washington D.C. for completing my Montessori degree.   I currently will be starting my thirty-first year as a teacher for Valley Forge Kinder House, even though I have been with this fantastic school longer than that.

As you may know each of you will have received a Parent Handbook that provides a great deal of valuable information about the school rules and regulations.  I highly suggest you keep this book someplace handy, so you can easily refer to it throughout the year.  There are a few things I would like to point out though that reflect in your child’s classroom.  On your child’s special day for joining the class during our phasing-in period your child will be introduced to a variety of special lessons we like to call Grace and Courtesy and Movement skills.  These lessons will help assist your child to become more familiar with the classroom routines and develop confidence, as well as, independence as they work throughout their day.  They will also be given a variety of other lessons on the various classroom materials which are patiently waiting for them to enjoy in our prepared environment.

Just a few things to highlight, please be sure that your child’s name is on everything they bring to school, for articles can be easily mixed up when they are not labelled correctly.  All students must always have an extra set of uniform clothes to keep in their cubbies for any occasion it might be needed.  Although most of the time your child may not need them, it is very common for spills to occur while working with the room activities especially in the Practical Life area.  Also, the occasional bathroom or outdoor weather can bring on surprises, so we want your child to feel as comfortable as possible throughout their day at school.  If your child would like to wear slippers or slip-on indoor shoes during the day they may, I simply ask that they stay at the school unless your request otherwise and that they have no characters or blinking lights.  These issues can become very distracting to the students throughout the day. I also  would greatly ask that the children do not wear any jewelry like bracelets or rings that can easily get lost.

We ask that you write all messages for the school and/or teachers in the Message book that will be located at the gate.  This is a perfect place to let us know if someone else will be picking up your child or if your child needs any prescription medicine.  There will be many opportunities to volunteer throughout the year, but I would like to request for an additional room parent who can help assist the students during our holiday celebrations.  We have one room mother so far, but I would truly like to have another parent encase one of you can’t attend an event.

If you would like to celebrate your child’s birthday during the school year please remember no frosting on cupcakes and please send in a set of photos from each year of your child’s age, so they can be shown during their special celebration.  For those student’s whose birthday lands during the summer, special arrangements can be made during the last few months of the year, so they too can celebrate.

I’m looking forward to meeting and talking to all of you especially with our up-coming events.  If you should have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at phelen@vfkh.org or call the office during the school hours and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.  Let’s begin to celebrate a wonderful year together.

About Ms. Phelen

Ms. Phelen has been a pillar of the VFKH community for over 25 years. She loves to watch the children grow in all aspects of their being, and share with them some of her talents, such as music and art appreciation.