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Partner Profile – Grace Montessori School

This month we are profiling Grace Montessori School in Allentown.

1. What is Grace Montessori School and what is its history?

Grace Montessori School is an outreach of Grace Episcopal Church, established in 1992. We are a not-for-profit, school and childcare center. We are licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and registered as a private, non-public school with the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Grace Montessori School has worked successfully to build what Dr. Montessori has called a cohesive community for children and their families. We cater to the needs to children between the ages of 18 months – 11 years of age. We are a richly diverse student body and faculty, and our children learn in a prepared Montessori environment with well-educated and experienced professional teachers.

2.How does the school work with Allentown Promise Neighborhood to help the children that live there?

We work with Allentown Promise Neighborhood, which promotes early childhood education in the neighborhood adjacent to the school, by participating in events for parents sponsored by the APN and their home-teacher who works with 3 and 4 year olds and promotes preschool education.

3.How will Montessori School and APN be working together in the future?

We can work together to increase awareness about preschool education in the neighborhood. We value the contribution APN had in promoting our Toddler program which was started in the 2015-16 school year. We would like to see such partnering in the future and help provide a safe learning environment for children.

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2nd Annual EPN Resident Block Party in West Ward is Tomorrow!

Easton Promise Neighborhood will host its Second Annual Resident Block Party to bring West Ward neighborhood residents together while connecting them with local public service agencies this Saturday, July 23 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. inside Cottingham Stadium on N. 11th Street next to Paxinosa Elementary School.

The free event for EPN neighborhood residents will feature partner information tables from local non-profit groups, food and beverages, music, games and activities for children, and other entertainment. It will be held rain or shine. Attendees who get their passport stamped at each partner information table will be entered in a drawing for FREE raffle prizes.

For the first time the block party will take place inside Cottingham Stadium on the grassy playing field. We’ll have a large tent where you can hang out to enjoy all of the activities.

There will be water balloons to toss, sprinklers to run through, and of course the dunk tank! Plus we will be handing out cold bottles of water to refresh you! The first 200 people will get free ice cream, and the first 300 will get ice pops!

Event partners are Family Connection of Easton and the Easton Area School District.

Parents can also register their child for school in the Easton Area School District at the event. The following items are needed for registration:

  • Proof of immunizations
  • Four doses of DPT with one dose of tetanus and diphtheria on or after the fourth birthday
  • Three doses of polio
  • Two doses of MMR
  • Three doses of Hepatitis B
  • Two doses of Varicella (chicken pox) or proof of the disease
  • A current vaccine record must be presented at registration in order to register.
  • State birth certificate or other proof of birth
  • Completed school district forms
  • Student registration record
  • Home language survey
  • Health information sheet
  • A mortgage or lease agreement in the parent(s) name is mandatory, plus two of the following:
  • Current utility bill, moving permit, car registration or insurance, tax statements, current

credit card statement, check stubs from wages, public assistance, or social security.

  • If a mortgage or lease is not available in the parent(s) name, an affidavit of residency or

support is required. Contact Central Registration at 610-250-2400 extensions 35097 or

35099 for more information.

  • Custody papers or PFA order, if applicable.

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EPN & Paxinosa School to launch West Ward Collective Impact Team

Earlier this year EPN released the results of its 2015 Neighborhood Survey of West Ward residents in Easton. That report acted as a springboard for its nonprofit community partners, school district representatives, business leaders, funders, government officials and residents to work together on addressing the many issues that families living in that community (Census tract 142) are dealing with.

Paxinosa Elementary School Community School Director Ashley Sciora met with EPN Manager Ammar Sharif to begin the conversation on how to help solve those issues.

Now a new initiative called the West Ward Collective Impact Team is being formed. Community leaders, decision makers, and key influencers in Easton have been invited to attend quarterly meetings to discuss the four key areas that have already been identified:

  • Early Learning
  • Housing/Safety
  • K-16 Education
  • Health

The first Collective Impact Team meeting will take place later this spring; date, time and location are still to be determined. After reviewing the results of the EPN report data, the group will decide what to work on first. Attending partner agencies are invited to bring their own data long to the meeting to share with the group.

Sub-groups will be created for the four focus areas so that each can tackle specific tasks. After this initial meeting a schedule for subsequent quarterly meetings will be developed.

Community members and residents are also invited and encouraged to attend. Anyone interested in joining us should contact Ammar Sharif at  610.438.4327 or ammars@nullpromiseneighborhoodslv.org.

 

 

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It’s Back to School Time!

The sales have started and that means back to school is just around the corner! Follow these tips from this Web MD article to help prepare your child for back to school:

Help Your Child Prepare for Back to School

WebMD Feature

By Joanne Barker

Reviewed By Hansa D. Bhargava, MD

When summer winds down, it’s time to get ready for a new school year. Buying notebooks and scoping out sales is the easy part. There are less tangible things you can do as well.

Here are 9 ways you can help your child — and yourself — get ready to go back to school.

1. Re-Establish School Routines

Use the last few weeks of summer to get into a school-day rhythm. “Have your child practice getting up and getting dressed at the same time every morning,” suggests school psychologist Kelly Vaillancourt, MA, CAS. Start eating breakfast, lunch, and snacks around the times your child will eat when school is in session.

It’s also important to get your child used to leaving the house in the morning, so plan morning activities outside the house in the week or two before school. That can be a challenge for working parents, says Vaillancourt, who is the director of government relations for the National Association of School Psychologists. But when the school rush comes, hustling your child out the door will be less painful if she has broken summer habits like relaxing in her PJs after breakfast.

2. Nurture Independence

Once the classroom door shuts, your child will need to manage a lot of things on his own. Get him ready for independence by talking ahead of time about responsibilities he’s old enough to shoulder. This might include organizing his school materials, writing down assignments, and bringing home homework, says Nicole Pfleger, school counselor at Nickajack Elementary School in Smyrna, GA.

Even if your child is young, you can instill skills that will build confidence and independence at school. Have your young child practice writing her name and tying her own shoes. “The transition to school will be easier for everyone if your child can manage basic needs without relying on an adult,” Pfleger says.

3. Create a Launch Pad

“Parents and teachers should do whatever they can to facilitate a child being responsible,” says Pfleger, who was named School Counselor of the Year by the American School Counselor Association in 2012. At home, you can designate a spot where school things like backpacks and lunch boxes always go to avoid last-minute scrambles in the morning. You might also have your child make a list of things to bring to school and post it by the front door.

4. Set Up a Time and Place for Homework

Head off daily battles by making homework part of your child’s everyday routine. Establish a time and a place for studying at home. “Even if it’s the kitchen table, it really helps if kids know that’s where they sit down and do homework, and that it happens at the same time every day,” says Pfleger. As much as possible, plan to make yourself available during homework time, especially with younger kids. You might be reading the paper or cooking dinner, but be around to check in on your child’s progress.

5. After-School Plans

School gets out before most working parents get home, so it’s important to figure out where your children will go, or who will be at home, in the afternoons. You might find an after-school program through the school itself, a local YMCA, or a Boys and Girls Club. If possible, try to arrange your schedule so you can be there when your child gets home during those first few days of school. It may help your child adjust to the new schedule and teachers.

6. Make a Sick-Day Game Plan

Working parents also know the trials and tribulations of getting a call from the school nurse when they can’t get away from the office. “Most of our parents, because of the economy, are working,” says Pfleger. Before school begins, line up a trusted babysitter or group of parents that can pinch hit for each other when children get sick. And make sure you know the school’s policy. You may have to sign forms ahead of time listing people who have your permission to pick up your child.

7. Attend Orientations to Meet and Greet

Schools typically hold orientation and information sessions before the start of each academic year. These are good opportunities for you to meet the key players: your child’s teachers, school counselors, the principle, and most importantly, front desk staff. “The secretaries know everything and are the first people children see when they arrive at school every day,” says Vaillancourt.

8. Talk to the Teachers

Of course, teachers are the reason your child is there. When you talk to your child’s teachers, ask about their approach to homework. Some teachers assign homework so kids can practice new skills while others focus on the accuracy of the assignments they turn in. Ask for the dates of tests and large assignments so you can help your child plan accordingly. For instance, if you know a big test is coming up on Friday morning, you will know to keep things simple on Thursday evening.

9. Make it a Family Affair

Together, you and your child can plan for success in school. For instance, sit down with your child to create a routine chart. Ask your child what she wants to do first when she first gets home from school: play outside or do homework? Her answers go on the chart. “The more kids have ownership in creating a routine for themselves and setting expectations, the more likely they are to follow it,” says Vaillancourt.

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We’re looking for families for our new Book Bound Family Program

If you’re looking for fun and educational activities for you and your children, please join us for the Book Bound Family Program.

This program, hosted by The Literacy Center, will include an opportunity for 30 families in the APN to make and publish their very own book.

The Book Bound Program begins July 8 and ends August 5.

To register your family for this unique opportunity, please contact the Literacy Center 610-351-0349 or the Allentown Promise Neighborhood at 610-351-4288.

Book Bound Family Program

 

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Kindergarten Registration with ASD

Attending kindergarten is an important step in a child’s educational development. In the Allentown Promise Neighborhood we want to make sure that families have all the tools they need to provide and obtain quality education for their children.
Did you know in the state of Pennsylvania, families are not legally required to send their children to kindergarten? Here in the APN, only roughly 1/3 of children have a quality pre-school experience, which means there are children right here in our community that do not receive a quality pre-school experience, or attend kindergarten. This means that some children’s very first educational experience is 1st grade, where they start out performing below normal achievement levels. We want to make sure all children start out on the right foot, and get the most out of pre-school and kindergarten experiences.If you live in the Allentown Promise Neighborhood, and have not yet registered your child for kindergarten, please visit http://www.allentownsd.org/domain/1860 or call 484-765-4000. See the below kindergarten registration forms.
If you have a pre-school aged child that lives in the APN, please consider enrolling them in our Little School/Escuelita Home Visitation Program.  This program provides up to 12 visits of quality early learning lessons for your child, taught right in the home. For more information, please contact Cassondra Lander  610-437-6000 ext 2170, or email clander@nullcscinc.org.

 

K-Reg Sign up Form Spanish 2014 K-Reg  Sign up Form English 2014

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Allentown School District Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration will be happening April 28 – May 9. If your child will be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2014 make sure they are registered with your neighborhood elementary school. Please see the dates, times and locations below.

For detailed questions, please contact the Allentown School District at www.allentownsd.org or 484-765-4000.

Kindergarten, as well as pre-school, are important stepping stones in a child’s social and academic development. Don’t let them miss out!

Also, for families registering their children for kindergarten that will attend Central, Cleveland, or McKinley Elementary Schools, you will receive a Kindergarten Readiness bag full of books, crayons, games, and materials to help promote kindergarten readiness for your child.

ASD 2014 Kindergarten Registration

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Determining student educational achievement through annual state testing

The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), Keystone Exams, and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) are statewide measures used to tell if students are achieving Pennsylvania’s academic standards in reading, mathematics, science and writing.

According to the federal No Child Left Behind Act, students must be 100% proficient in reading and math by 2014. The PSSA results allow schools and districts to evaluate their students’ progress to make full proficiency a reality. The federal Act also requires states to determine annually whether schools and districts in Pennsylvania achieve AYP. Student performance on the PSSA tests are among the components used to make those determinations.

By using these standards, educators, parents and administrators can evaluate their students’ strengths and weaknesses to increase students’ achievement scores.

PNLV encourages parents and families to connect with your children’s school, and learn what you can do to support your child’s learning and performance for the upcoming 2014 PSSA, Keystone, and AYP.

To see Pennsylvania’s 2013 PSSA, AYP, and Keystone data, follow these links:

PSSA and AYP Data

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/school_assessments/7442

Keystone Results

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/keystone_exams/20436

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APN Calendar of Events

Allentown Promise Neighborhood wants to spread the word about community events happening in the neighborhood, and encourage community involvement!

If you are interested in learning about community events, please visit our website calendar to learn about what’s happening: http://promiseneighborhoodslv.org/calendar/

Also, if you would like to post important happenings in the neighborhood, contact us!

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PNLV to once again support McKinley’s Odyssey of the Mind team

McKinley's Odyssey of the Mind team 2013Next Monday, October 21, begins the McKinley Elementary School team Odyssey of the Mind practices for the 2013-2014 competition.

Dawn Robinson-Weldon of PNLV will be coaching the McKinley Elementary team for the second year in a row.  For those who aren’t familiar with OOTM it is “an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college.

Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.”

The McKinley Elementary team will be beginning their third year of competing.  The last two years the team has been able to compete at the regional level, and this year will strive to compete at the state and national levels, as well.

Please support Allentown schools participating in Odyssey of the Mind by volunteering. For more information, visit http://www.paodyssey.com/.