(LS3YO) Explorer Class – Weekly Digest (8/27/18)

LS3-4yo Explorer Class – Weekly Email

Publish Date: Monday 8/27/2018

Hello 3yo Explorer Families, Week 1 down! The kids did great, thanks to all the hard work of the teachers & the amazing preparation and calm of you parents!

This is the inaugural issue of your weekly email from your room parent (Jessica Nimjee). I know you are wading through a sea of communications, so let me introduce this weekly email as “the” intended source of 3yo class information for you to pay attention to. This weekly email will come from me every Monday and is a compilation of teacher and school-wide resources. This email is quite dense, so bear with me. (You possibly may also receive this email in duplicate via MailChimp, please see the “Misc” section on PACA website for an explanation). These emails from me get skinnier as the year moves on, promise!


Know your teachers!every week, I’ll start with a little teacher tidbit

This week, I’m excited to share about Miss Grace Gordon…

Miss Gordon is a trained and certified naturalist. This makes her an expert in leading the kids in all things outdoors. Pretty nice fit for our little outdoor explorers!


NEW News:

          Siblings of 3yo Explorer and Pre-K class should go to the lower school steps to meet their 3yo/Pre-K sibling for pickup at end of day dismissal (and not the blacktop)

          CASE after school is now available for children enrolled in the program

          Transportation times and procedures:

  • CASE Before Care Drop-off @ CASE room: 7:00 – 7:30 am (do not need to enroll in advance, and no fee)
  • School Carpool Drop-off @ Lower School steps: 7:30 – 7:55am (or the last car in the line)
    • Staff will assist your child out of the car and direct them into the school. Please try to have them as ready to get out of the car as you can (e.g. ready to get out of car seats, coats, backpacks on) – to the best of your ability. Preference is that no parents exit the car to assist, but if your child needs additional assistance that staff cannot attend to, please wait in line and pull to the very front when you can (not around other cars).
    • If you arrive after the carpool line ends, you must walk your child into the LS office to sign in with Mrs. Saling.
  • Carpool Pick-up (half-day) @ Lower School steps: 11:30-11:40 am
    • Place name placard visibly in the front windshield
    • Staff will assist your child into the car. Preference is that no parents exit the car to assist, but if your child needs additional assistance that staff cannot attend to, please wait in line and pull to the very front when you can (not around other cars).
  • Carpool Pick-up (full-day) @ Lower School steps: 3:15 – 3:40 pm(or the last car in the line)
    • Note: remind your older child (if you have one) to meet their 3yo/Pre-K sib at the Lower School steps (instead of the blacktop) if they are both at end of day dismissal!
    • Place name placard visibly in the front windshield
    • Staff will assist your child into the car. Preference is that no parents exit the car to assist, but if your child needs additional assistance that staff cannot attend to, please wait in line and pull to the very front when you can (not around other cars).
    • If you are not there by the time the carpool pick-up line ends, your child will be checked into CASE at the daily drop-in rate
  • CASE After Care Pick-up @ CASE room: 3:40 – 6:00pm (enrollment required, and available for a fee)
    • Walk into the school and sign them out with a CASE administrator. Door unlocked at that time is the Schoedinger Theatre entrance next to the Kindergarten/1st grade playground via  Academy Circle

          Requesting a PIN code to enter Lower School main doors: Please see the LS office/Mrs. Saling if you need a PIN request form. The form can be returned to the LS office directly or through the classroom teachers.

          Increasing Your Child’s Enrollment in 3yo program: the admissions office issued an email today about the ability and timing to scale up on number of days your child goes full day this morning

          Absence Policy in the Lower School – A new policy is being rolled out soon. Highlights are:

  • For planned, extended absences, an absence form will need to be submitted by families (2 weeks of more prior to missing school, if possible)
  • For part-day/day-long absences (e.g. doctor visits), notifying teachers + Mrs. Saling (salingm@columbusacademy.org) is requested (as early as possible)
  • Note: There will no longer be a designation of “Excused” or “Unexcused absences in the Lower School (the Middle School and Upper School will still maintain the Excused Absence Policy due to the demands of the curriculum at those levels)

          Picture Day for 3yo is make-up picture day for the Lower School 9/26

  • If you have already purchased a package, your package automatically carries over to makeup picture day
  • If you have not purchased a package, you will be contacted prior to the date to purchase

          Sign-up for LS snack duty! Click here

  • It’s a great way to learn the LS hallways, and the teachers and children really appreciate you for it! (all details on how to get the snack distributed and a map of the LS will be waiting for you at the Dining hall the morning you arrive for duty.) it takes 20-30 minutes to complete this very important daily chore!
  • Note: Our 3yo class and Pre-K class will receive different snacks delivered from the cafeteria in the morning and afternoon, generally healthy options such as fruit, cheese, etc. (you will not be delivering to the 3yo or Pre-K classes) 

Old News/: (but still pertinent!)

          Day 1: Coffee Chat – many of the discussion topics have generated thoughtful discussion and clarification throughout this email (e.g. absence policy, transportation (drop/pickup), CASE-3yo eligible, ASA – 3yo not being eligible, how to filter through all CA communications)



          Don’t forget to bring these in/complete these things, parents! (if not done already):

  • Gym Shoes – labeled with his/her name (these are to live in their cubbies all year)
  • Boots – labeled with his/her name (and keeping an extra rain coat (labeled with his/her name) might be a good idea for all the in/out the children will be doing).
  • Medical Forms
  • Transportation cards
  • CASE enrollment form  – even if you don’t plan on using, highly consider filling out the ‘drop in’ selection in case you need emergency coverage by the school at dismissal time
  • Parent conference questionnaire (green sheet)

          Tell/Remind your 3yo’s older sibling to meet them at end of day dismissal on the Lower School steps (if applicable)

          Sign up for a PIN from the lower school (see attached form) and return to school via LS office or classroom teachers


Key Dates: Next 3 weeks

          Thursday, August 30 7-8pm Lower School back-to-school night (Dining Hall, then 3yo Classroom); Note: no children to attend

  • Parents and guardians are encouraged to join us to meet their teachers, both homeroom and co-curricular. Everyone will meet in the Dining Hall at 7:00 p.m. for some introductions, comments from our PACA lower school leaders and some words from Head of School Melissa Soderberg and Mark Hansen. At 7:25 p.m., you will have the opportunity to visit your child’s classroom and learn about the year ahead. The evening will end at approximately 8:30 p.m.

          NO SCHOOL – Friday, August 31 (Lower school only, MS & US have classes

          Friday, August 31 Parent-Teacher conferences (3yo Classroom)

  • These Parent-Teacher Conferences are designed to be listening conferences for faculty as you tell teachers about your child.
  • CASE (the before-care and after-school program) is available free of charge during your child’s conference time only. You may bring your enrolled CA child and any potty-trained siblings to CASE for the duration of the conference.

          NO SCHOOL – Monday, September 3 Labor Day

          Wednesday, Sept 5 at 8 – 9:15am first PACA Parent Forum – formerly known as the “monthly meeting” (Dining Hall, includes light breakfast) 

  • hear about current topics of interest at the school,
  • meet other parents,
  • get any questions answered, and
  • find out more ways to be involved in PACA and the school. 
  • Purchase any spirit wear – Viking Corner will be open

          Friday, September 14 Lower School Campout

  • This will be a fun opportunity to camp out in a tent as a family at school. Details will be sent next week.

          Saturday, September 15) Viking Rampage Challenge (LS, MS, US) followed by many other CA Community Day activities on campus


Things in the Works:

          Volunteer opportunities for parents forth-coming (thank you all for the excitement to help out!)

          Photo Directory of the 3yo class



While all CA communications have value, they may not necessarily be tailored to us as a 3yo class stakeholder group.

Copious Communications from CA – what to read? So, here is how you might want to prioritize your attention:

1.    Seesaw (daily – a must!) – This is the teacher’s main channel to remind you of key supplies needed at school, activities you don’t want to forget happening in the classroom, and to delight you with your child’s day. “Ask me abouts” are great conversation starters that the teachers will leave for you throughout each day (e.g. ask me about what snack I had)!

2.    Room Parent weekly update (Mondays (this comm) sent by me!) – This email is the most tailored to the 3yo class prevue. The room parent weekly email is a compilation of teacher asks & clarifications, questions that other families have had that may be pertinent to all, LS administration’s update, and your room parent (me!) combing through all other CA communications for the nuggets to share with you. And, as you think of logistical questions, do not feel you need to wait until the weekly email to get clarification. Note: I will be emailing you weekly by Monday night with these weekly updates and also posting the same content to the PACA website (see #3). This way, you will always be able to see current and previous weekly updates from me.

3.    PACA emails/PACA website.  (every Sunday by PACA LS lead parents & ad hoc by other PACA leadership) – I will try my best to incorporate anything of relevance to the 3yo class into this Monday email from PACA emails and the PACA website. 

  • The PACA LS update is a great overview of what is happening at the LS Inside it is loaded with upcoming parent-only and parent-child events, opportunities to volunteer, etc. The PACA LS update was sent this morning and will be sent weekly. The contents of these emails will also live as blog posts on the PACA website
  • Emails from other members of PACA leadership also may highlight LS, MS, and/or US activities. This was sent yesterday (overnight) by PACA leadership pertaining to LS, MS, and US and will be intermittently distributed. The contents of these emails will also live as blog posts on the PACA website
  • As you are probably gathering, the new PACA website is intended to be a hub of all parent-to-parent communications. These types (including this weekly email) are to “live” as blog posts on the PACA website starting this year. At some point in the future, the design is that no mass emails from parents to other parents will be exchanged via email account to email account. The future state would be uploading content, such as this weekly update, to the PACA website. Then, the PACA website would auto-push from MailChimp to parents’ email accounts (or a twitter alert) a notification that information relevant to you as a 3yo parent is available. Until that future state of PACA website being the central hub is fully established, you may receive 3yo room parent email in duplicate from me and from MailChimp (and in triplicate if you subscribe to twitter).

4.    Ad Hoc communications, websites, social media: Emails from administration, quarterly Viking Voice emails, also reiterate or highlight new LS, MS, and/or HS comings and goings

www.columbusacademy.org (school information, directory, curriculum guides, dress code, general calendar)
www.vikingparents.org (PACA and parent involvement – go here to find ways to volunteer!)
www.mybackpack.org (parent contact information, kids schedules, grades – rarely used by 3yo class) 

www.academyvikings.org (sports related schedules and information – rarely used by 3yo class) 


@vikingparents – Parents feed 

@ColumbusAcademy – School’s official feed 

@AcademyVikings – Official sports feed of CA Athletics 

@Vikings2College – CA College Counselor’s feed
Facebook Pages:

Parents’ Association of Columbus Academy – PACA

Columbus Academy
Instagram: @columbusacademy – School feed 


Hope the updates and the communication clarification helps with what to read/pay most attention to. Please reach out if you see, hear, are pondering anything that leaves you wondering.

Have a great week ahead,

Jessica, 3yo Explorer Class Room Parent

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