Tuesday, September 22, 2020

SCS: Safe Place - Fun Place!

SCS Invites Returning Families to a Safe School:  When we reopened the school in June we gave all current families the choice of returning to SCS right away or waiting until the end of summer.  About 60% of families re-enrolled immediately, while the remainder chose September.  Well, here we are and over 90% of our "prodigal" families have returned to SCS once again!  Our record of running a safe school through small class sizes, distanced class groups, screening, and mask wearing has left us with a sterling record against infections - and we fully plan on keeping that record intact!


Welcome New SCS Families!  Fall is such a great time of year - and in schools, always filled with the feelings of starting something fresh.  It means new beginnings, friends, and the academic year.  All this is underscored at SCS this September by the large number of new families now in attendance.  Serving "all children" of the seacoast means being open to literally everyone; including all socioeconomic groups, races, classes, religions, and orientations of people in our area.  As always, many of our new families are a diverse reflection of the seacoast.  Welcome everyone!

SCS Parents Committee Needs You!  The SCS Parents Committee will be forming up soon for the 2020-21 school year - WE NEED YOUR HELP!  Be involved in making SCS the best it can be by joining a great group of folks who want to have fun doing it.  Contact Marketing and Development Coordinator Sarah Fleck at SFleck@Seacoastcommunityschool.org now!
 Sorry, But Don't Save the Dates!  Due to the SCS pandemic policies we will not be having our traditional Fall Parent Potluck at Community Campus this year, and our traditional Grandparent's Day is in the process of being changed to an online event.  We apologize for all this but it is the way of schools today to keep people distanced as much as possible.  That said, we are also trying to figure out how to still run the yearly Halloween Parade (we simply cannot be without that!) so stay tuned.

  Imagination Library Keeps the Free Books FlowingUpon entering SCS every new student under the age of 5 is offered the opportunity to join our school reading initiative called Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.   Free, brand new, reading books arrive monthly to children - starting with the introductory book "The Little Engine That Could".  The book selections are refreshed each year but contain popular repeats and classics too.  If you are enrolled in SCS (or have non-SCS siblings under 5) and are not already signed up, you can get free reading books too.  Just contact Amie Cole in the main office at ACole@Seacoastcommunityschool.org.  The books are age appropriate, and intended to be read by parents to their kids.  The Portsmouth Elks have sponsored our free book program for the past few years!

Annual Seacoast Community School C.A.R.E.S. Theme "Empathy":  This year's school theme could not be more appropriate.  To us, Empathy means putting ourselves in other people's places and understanding their experiences.  It means recognizing that all people have feelings, hopes and good reasons for what they do and think.  It is an appreciation for diversity, and it is being patient, forgiving, and affirming of others because we feel for them.  It inspires us to be giving and unselfish.  All the teachers and classes will be working Empathy into their experiences and daily activities this year, so feel free to help us celebrate!
Brightwheel Contacts Made Easy:  Are you looking to add family and friends to your Brightwheel account so they can join in the fun of seeing happy kids everyday?  As a fellow grandparent I know how important that can be!  Choosing the right permissions will allow folks the right access.  Below is a quick link to a helpful page showing what permissions parents can grant to Contacts.  Btw, Emergency Contacts can't get pictures or be Approved Pick-ups but family members can - so, if you want someone to have both those privileges you should enter them twice; once as a Family member and once as an Emergency Contact.


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

That's Some Good Summer

Brightwheel Launches and Parents Love it: Who said it was crazy to launch an entire new computer application when we reopened in June (just about everybody) but now they are singing a new tune as we brought app-based school communications to SCS!  Parents have been really enjoying the "feed" function as it keeps them abreast of what is going on with their kids each day, and the finance capabilities have revolutionized life in the Business Office (imagine not handling all those paper checks!)  Want to learn more about the software?  Go to MyBrightwheel.com or click on the image below.

Brightwheel Contacts made easy:  Are you looking to add family and friends to your Brightwheel account so they can join in the fun of seeing happy kids everyday?  As a fellow grandparent I know how important that can be!  Choosing the right permissions will allow folks the right access.  Below is a quick link to a helpful page showing what permissions parents can grant to Contacts.  Btw, Emergency Contacts can't get pictures or be Approved Pick-ups but family members can - so, if you want someone to have both those privileges you should enter them twice; once as a Family member and once as an Emergency Contact.

Summer Fun at Community Campus

Kids and Teachers are Having a Great Time!

Summer PEAK and Summer ECE loving the outdoors:  Being outdoors all day is the best part of summer but being there with your classmates is extra fun.  With the PEAK Program taking place at the Community Campus this year we have been witnessing all the great moments our PEAK kids enjoy right from our own windows!  Not to be outdone the ECE Program has added extra time out in the wild 90+ acres of woodlands that surround us with outdoor classroom, sprinkler, and extended playground adventures happening regularly.  It is just wonderful to have the school back in session and watching everyone enjoying themselves!

PEAK Kids Enjoying the Campus

Annual Fund Closes in on Record Setting Goal!  Nobody.  Not nohow.  Nobody thought we could come anywhere near our fundraising goal of $75,000 this year - but we on the Development Committee secretly knew that the SCS Community had it in them!  Well, we are on the verge of reaching our RECORD SETTING Goal this year and you can still be part of it all!  Just click the link below to help make a great school even greater - but you have to do it NOW as the Annual Fund closes TODAY!


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Springtime Update

SCS "Show the Love" Parade Happening May 12thHow can you keep your children happy to see their teachers for real and "Show the Love"?  Bring your kids to the drive-by Teacher Parade at the Community Campus at 3:30pm on 5/12.  Every ECE class and PEAK site will be represented by a live teacher as you cruise your kids-in-cars along and enjoy the creative and decorative displays!  See you there!

Reopening Date Still Uncertain:  As we adhere to the guidance of Governor Sununu's Task Force for Reopening New Hampshire, our reopening date keeps getting pushed back. We are all anxiously awaiting for the time childcare centers can once again safely serve their families.  At this point we do not see SCS opening before June 1st, and our next target dates will be June 15th, or 29th.  Whatever happens, we will be in touch with you well before the official reopening date to guide you in new procedures, policies, and program adjustments.  We know this is a difficult situation for families, faculty, and everyone involved in our regular operations as a school; we want more than anything to have happy and healthy kids back in our care!

 Parent and Teacher Surveys Provide Good Data:  Thanks to everyone in our parent base as well as on the faculty for providing responses to our recent surveys.  It was clear from the results that some folks would like us reopening as soon as possible and some not until all is back to normal, but the majority want us to wait until the stars align for a safe and sensible reopening in accordance with government guidance.  Everyone was in agreement that there will be policy and procedural changes reflective of our need for a safe environment for all.  One of the most prevalent themes was that our community trusts that we are doing our best to make the right decisions, and we SO appreciate that support!

 Introducing "Brightwheel" Our New Administration Software!  As many of you know we have been looking to upgrade our computer software and systems to better serve parents, and to that end we have recently chosen a new platform for all our administrative tasks.  Originally set up as a pilot program back in March, we have decided to use the time we have available now to move the entire school to the new software.  All parents/guardians/teachers should look for an invitation email that instructs you to download the Brightwheel App, and register with the new system.  Everyone is REQUIRED to do this so please take a moment as soon as you receive the invitation.  The new software will allow a variety of payment methods, add new communication channels, and store lots of important data for kids and teachers.  The new systems will become active on the day we reopen!

 Summer PEAK Update:  Despite a number of other summer programs cancelling for the summer, as of this point we are trying to maintain our commitment to working families by running our Summer PEAK program for 5-12 year olds.  This year it will probably take place at the Community Campus (we do not have permission from the Public School as of yet for our usual site) and involve a more traditional (albeit viral-safe) approach to summer fun.  Our Program Director for Summer PEAK, Jamie Schaaf will be sending individual emails to all parents currently signed up giving more specifics including information on deposits, timelines, and highlights of the program.  


 SCS Annual Fund Provides Opportunities for Giving: Have you been looking for ways to help SCS during our shut-down?  Are you running a positive balance in your SCS Account?  Just contact Finance Manager Corrine Morse at CMorse@Seacoastcommunityschool.org and tell her that you would like to donate your balance.  Many families have already taken this opportunity to help us when we need it most and it has made a BIG difference in the fund!  Not a parent? You can donate directly at http://www.seacoastcommunityschool.org/support-us.  Keep your favorite teachers at your favorite school - give now!

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Midwinter fun at SCS!

Inside or outside it's fun time at SCSECE and PEAK Sites, infant and 10yr olds, Clownfish and Dragonflies classes, it is a fun time for everyone as we cross the mid-winter point in our school year.  Teachers have been bundling up and bringing kids outdoors on a regular basis, and enjoying indoor playspaces as well.  Events on the horizon include SCS Board Visiting Day 2/5&6, and Kindergarten Information Night 2/6 at 4:30-5:30.

 Artist in Residence to Provide Music in all ECE Classrooms this Spring!  Local musician and teacher Philip Kliger will provide music classes once each week for all children at the Community Campus for 10 weeks this Spring in their classrooms.  Renown for working with kids of all ages, Phil loves the idea of teaching to even the youngest when it comes to introducing music, instruments, rhythms, beats, sounds, and songs.   

The Meadows Preschool celebrates one year!  Yes, it has been one full year since we opened our satellite preschool at Gosling Meadows and what a year it has been!  We started with 8 children and the class quickly grew to 12.  We then "graduated" 5 children off to Kindergarten and the whole group is doing very well in their respective schools.  A new crop of great kids is now enrolled and having a wonderful time getting ready for their own transition to public school.  Thanks again to everyone, especially the entire staff at the Portsmouth Housing Authority, for making this happen.  PS: We are building a new outdoor classroom for Meadows students in May and will be looking for volunteers - contact Sarah Fleck if you want to help at SFleck@Seacoastcommunityschool.org. 

Save the Date for Sunset 2020!  Our annual gala event is shaping up to be super special and we hope you will be there!  Mark your calendars now because SATURDAY APRIL 18TH IS THE DATE!  So join us for fun, laughter, and prizes of all sorts as we get our entire parent community together to celebrate all that we do here at SCS!  Just ask anyone who has attended in the past, it's the premier social event of the season!  Don't miss it!

 Important:  Summer PEAK Sign-ups:  Signing up for Summer PEAK has never been easier, and as we roll out the online registration this year, you can still choose the days you want for our summer session.  Current families signup opens on March 2nd, wait list families on March 9th, and the general public on March 16th.  More information is on the way.  A deposit will be due upon registration, and the full summer bill will be due April 6th.  Can't pay in April?  Payment schedules are available by contacting Corrine Morse in the Business Office x126.

Thanks for Helping Us Make our Half Year Goal!  Wow!  We made our half-way goal of $25,000 in early January and we wanted to thank EVERYONE who helped it happen!  Now on to the main goal of $75,000 by June 30th.  Contributions to the Annual Fund help the school at all levels from field trips and presenters in PEAK Programs to diapers and wipes in the infant class.  Your gift can REALLY help us make a difference in the lives of these children so give now!

DONATE NOW:  http://www.seacoastcommunityschool.org/support-us

Friday, December 20, 2019

Happy Holidays from Seacoast Community School!

Events, Events, Events! The holiday season is usually filled with wonderful events at SCS and this year has been no exception!  The TurkeyTrot Roadrace successfully raised over $10,000 for the school as 1800 runners braved the cold on Thanksgiving morning, and the Portsmouth Holiday Parade resulted in our parade walkers handing out over 2000 cocoa packets to all the good little boys and girls of Portsmouth.  Special thanks go out to the many volunteers who helped out with these initiatives.

Santa Makes a Surprise Visit to The Meadows Preschool: The Jolly Old Elf himself showed up to join the Dragonflies and their families at a special holiday celebration this past week at the Meadows.  Kids participated in Gingerbread House Making and other fun activities before the big moment when gifts (books) were handed out to each little one in attendance.  Certainly a cheerful time was had by all!   

ECE Spirit Week is a huge success:  With every day a different theme, SCS Holiday Spirit Week helped ring in happy times for everyone involved.  Monday was Holiday Colors Day, Tuesday Whoville Hair Day, Wednesday Class Choice, Thursday Dress Like a Reindeer Day, and of course Friday was Holiday Pajama Day.  The competition for "Most Spirited" class was tight but ultimately the Sea Otters proved to be the most spirited group for the week. Congrats to everyone for lifting the spirit at SCS to new heights!
Whoville Hair
Help Us Make our Half Year Goal!  Trying to make our Annual Fund goal of $25,000 by January 1st may seem like a stretch but we are close!  Please help us by donating to SCS any amount you can during this joyous season of giving.  Contributions help the school at all levels from field trips and presenters in PEAK Programs to diapers and wipes in the infant class.  Your gift can REALLY help us make a difference in the lives of these children!

DONATE NOW:  http://www.seacoastcommunityschool.org/support-us

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving from Seacoast Community School!

Happy Holiday to the SCS Community!  Have you ever considered SCS your family? We certainly do! At this time of year it is great to think about the good things that pull us together.  As a school dedicated to helping ALL children of the seacoast feel part of a whole, we love a time of year when we can do that as a group.  Families today can feel separated by geographic distances or busy schedules but we hope you feel that everyone here at SCS is as warm and comforting a family can be.  All the best during this holiday season!

Portsmouth Rotary Turkey Trot Roadrace TOMORROW: As beneficiaries of this beloved event this year we want everyone to sign up and run!  With over 1000 runners already enlisted, you will have plenty of company as you start out at Pierce Island and run 5K through Portsmouth.  Sign up here:  https://www.runreg.com/seacoast-rotary-club-turkey-trot. OR just sign up before the race starts!   

Portsmouth Holiday Parade December 7th:  Each year we parade our school in front of thousands of people (and prospective families) in this annual event.  This year it will occur on December 7th at 5:30-7:30pm and we would love to have you join us and have your kids IN THE PARADE!  Our theme again this year is "Hot Cocoa" and we are looking for parents and kids who would like to dress as marshmallows to hand out 2000 cocoa packets.  (Yup, you read that right!)  Contact Sarah Fleck sfleck@Seacoastcommunityschool.org if you want to take part!

SCS Strategic Plan Committees are in Motion:  With the new Strategic Plan fully launched the four main Pillar Committees have started to meet and design our future!  The Access Committee is working on making sure every family who wants to come to SCS can make it happen, the Talent Committee is analyzing and making recommendations for attracting and retaining the best of faculty and staff, the HOME Committee is working on finding and affording a permanent home for SCS, and the Program Committee is dedicated to insuring our offerings are cutting edge in our field.

Giving Tuesday is a GREAT day to Give!  How do we do so much as a school and still keep our tuition costs reasonable for families?  Why, the Annual Fund of course!  Because we never charge what it takes to fund the full experience for each child at SCS, we use our Annual Appeal to make up that difference.  Last year we set a record of raising $65,000 from our community and this year we will be shooting for $75,000.  PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY ON GIVING TUESDAY, DEC. 3rd!  Here is the Donation Page: http://www.seacoastcommunityschool.org/support-us

Friday, October 25, 2019

Fall Happenings at SCS!

SCS Grandparents/Special Friends Days a Big Success!:  Wow, what a turn-out for our annual celebration of kids and special adults in their lives!  Over 120 ECE and PEAK visitors showed to spend some quality time with loved ones.  Thanks to everyone who helped make this magical day happen as the classes and PEAK sites experienced games, art projects, and music at all our different levels.

Seacoast Wind Ensemble Thrills SCS StudentsIf you have never heard a group of amazingly talented musicians perform "The Chicken Dance" using trumpets, clarinets, and tubas then you have really missed out!  That's exactly what happened recently when the Seacoast Wind Ensemble came to share their craft for everyone in our B-5 program.  Kids got to meet each instrument (and its player) up close and personal at the end, and it was a truly memorable affair for everyone.

Seacoast Rotary "Turkey Trot" Roadrace! Nov. 28th 8amAs you know SCS has been chosen to be a beneficiary of this yearly Portsmouth event and YOU can participate in three ways to make it great!  First, you can sign up to be a runner at the link below - that alone would help make the event a success.  Second, you could volunteer to help Rotary and SCS organize the race on Thanksgiving morning (we need 15 volunteers!)  Third you can sponsor our TurkeyTrot SCS Team led by our own Ben Carter and raise even more money for this good cause!  Just follow the links to learn more about each:
Runners Sign-up LINK: Click HERE
SCS Go Fund Me Team LINK: Click HERE

2019-20 Annual Fund Launches November 1stOur goal of $75,000 will be a new record and we are 100% excited to reach it!  Look for your chance to give through emails coming soon - or just drop of a check in the main office or at your PEAK site.  Thank you in advance for supporting SCS!

Storywalk Combines Outdoor Fun and Literature:  Built to have families experience a great children's book with a pleasant walk around the Community Campus, our new StoryWalk does both beautifully.  Readers/walkers can experience "The Old Woman Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything" in a whole new way starting at the northeast corner of the front parking lot and continuing all the way through the book until ending up at the back playground.  Serving as an Eagle Scout project by Noah Viens and designed to be reusable, the project employed lots of local folks to construct it.  Btw, this book is a fun story and a Halloween theme!  Open 24 hrs!

Full and Part Time Teaching Openings at SCSAre you interested in joining a great school and working with children anywhere from Infant to 10 year olds?  SCS may be a real opportunity for you or someone you know.  We have a few openings for select teachers who have degrees, or want to earn degrees, while they work.  We offer good pay, excellent benefits, and the chance to work with great kids and families.  Please contact either Jamie Schaaf (PEAK Program) or Alicia Tonelli (Early Childhood Program) if you are interested.
Afterschool - Jamie:  JSchaaf@Seacoastcommunityschool.org
Early Childhood - Alicia: Atonelli@Seacoastcommunityschool.org