Prickly Pears August Update

Welcome to the Prickly Pears 2021-2022

“Now he is ready to learn. This is the joy of education, the education of the mind and of practical life skills. After children are normalized, they can take in the whole of education. Therefore, the great hope for education is to help the youngest. This hope is in our hands.”(Montessori, The 1946 London Lectures, p. 217)

It is an honor and a great joy to welcome your child to a new academic year. We are looking forward to work alongside with your child every day, guiding them to discover their love for purposeful work, for learning for practical life on their exciting journey to independence, and to discover of their role as a positive member of society.

We have placed great care and effort preparing a welcoming and well-equipped environment that is ready to facilitate your child’s learning and skills development. We will have several opportunities throughout the year to show you how each area and material has been well-planned as a purposeful conduit to your child’s development. 

This letter will provide you with the guidelines to participate creating the best experience for your child throughout the year. Your participation and observance of these guidelines will be key to a successful year ahead.


The beginning of the day can be both exciting and stressful for children, we kindly ask you to follow these guidelines that will help your child start his/her day off right, the better this process is for your child, the more productive and positive his/her day will be.

Before Care (All Day) 7:30 – 8:30 a. m. -  Half Day or Full Day 8:15 – 8:30 a. m. : Sign in is at the Prickly Pears’ outdoor environment (Go Through the Children’s House gate, walk through the Children’s House playground to drop off your child in the Prickly Pears outdoor environment). We encourage you to bring your own pen to sign in. 

Tardy (after 8:30 a. m.) If you arrive late at school (after 8:30 a. m.), you can go to the lobby, sign in your child, and the administration assistant will guide your child to the Prickly Pears classroom. 

Farewells Before you drop off your child by the Prickly Pears’ outdoor environment, we encourage you to do this in a brief, calm and confident manner remembering that your-child’s mood will reflect yours. 



Full Day (3:00 p. m.): Pick up your child and sign her/him out at the Prickly Pears’ outdoor environment. The children will be waiting in the classroom and will be called by one of the teacher assistants to be dismissed. Please bring your own pen to sign out.

Half Day (11:45 a. m.)/All Day (5:30 p. m.): When you arrive at school you can come to the lobby, sign your child out, the administration assistant will call the Prickly Pears teachers to guide your child to the lobby. Please bring your own pen to sign out if possible. 


Lunch is another great opportunity for your child to practice motor skills, precision of movement, self-confidence, and grace and courtesy. You can support your child on this important part of their day by following the next guidelines.

Use a thermally protected lunchbox, this is preferred  to preserve the freshness of your child’s lunch (please label the lunchbox with your child’s name).

-Include an icepack in your child’s lunchbox, this is needed since lunchboxes cannot be stored in the refrigerator due to limited space.

-Include a labeled water bottle, it is important for your child to have his/her own water bottle to drink water as many times as he/she desires. 

Include a healthy meal that your child likes, remember that all these foods will give your child energy  for a productive day.

Utensils  Include a fork or/and spoon on your child’s lunchbox.  

Containers should preferably be made of glass and should be easy for the child to open.

-Snacks, the Prickly Pears families will have the opportunity to bring the weekly snack for the classroom giving their children the opportunity to share with their classmates. A snack list will be given out each Friday for the parents to provide it on Monday morning.

-Please notify the teacher and office, on the first day of school of any allergies or special diets your child might have.


If your child naps, please bring a labeled (child’s name) plastic box, a crib sheet, and a small blanket. The box should only be large enough to contain the sheet and the blanket. Shoe box size is usually ideal. Avoid sending any type of sleeping toys. This box will be sent back to you every Friday for laundering. 


Please follow the dress code as stated on the handbook on clothing and shoes, these requirements are meant to keep your child safe and comfortable (Avoid wearing flip-flops). Note that if your child is 3 or 4 years old, he/she should bring one extra set of clothes in a labeled (child’s name) zip-lock bag.

Gold Notes:

The Gold Notes are used to communicate messages to the teachers, such as doctor appointments, early pick-up, vacation absences, someone other than parent picking up or dropping off your child. Teachers will also use them to communicate with you. If you haven’t yet done so, please activate your School Cues account using the instructions previously sent. 

Parents Involvement:

Montessori is not just an educational system but a philosophy that seeks the child’s overall development through purposeful work and movement. Classroom and/or Community Meetings are crucial to support your child’s development through your active participation and continuation of his/her Montessori experience at home. Classroom Meetings are held almost every month. Please check Keystone’ s Website for specific dates. These meetings are informative and fun. Remember that as your child’s role model, your involvement will show in your child a sense of belonging to the community as well as it will allow you to learn how to support your child and why.  If you would like to help with any of the many activities during this school year, please let me know. 

Our Key Parents this year are Kristie Winchester and Melissa Singer Pressman. 


Each child has a folder in the classroom to keep his/her daily work. Once a month, we will send home any paperwork your child has done, this will occur the last Friday of the month.


The teacher and classroom assistants will not give medication to your child. The office staff has a medication form, and all medications will be kept locked in the office. This includes any prescription and non-prescription medication such as lip balm, oils, sunscreens, and lotions. Please do not send any of these items to the classroom. If necessary, you can put lotions, sunscreens on your child before arriving at school.


We want your child and the other children around to be in a healthy and safe environment. Respecting the right of others for the same, we kindly ask you to notify me or our teacher assistants of all communicable illnesses (e.g., chicken pox, strep throat, pink eye, lice, etc.) that may invade our class. If your child is ill, please keep him/her at home. Report any absences and reasons to the office. The illnesses policy is further outlined in the parent handbook.


As much as your child, we also love to celebrate birthdays. Please let the teacher know two weeks in advance if you wish your child to celebrate his/her birthday in class, and on, or near the day of your child’s birthday, you may bring a timeline of photos that we can share in our special birthday wall. 


Welcome to the Prickly Pears’ 2021 - 2022 School Year!


Ms. Blanca, Ms. Mar, and Ms. Daniela