New Student Social

This month Golden Pond School hosted our annual New Student Social! This is our special way of welcoming all new students who are registered for the 2018-19 school year. Incoming students experienced the The Golden Pond Way for the first time through duck themed, hands on games, art, cookie decorating, crafts, and more. New friends played Lucky Ducky, Duckpin Bowling, Egg Toss, Pin the tail on the Duck, Chuck-a-Duck Bean Bag Toss, took photos, painted murals, decorated cookies, made Duck Feed and Duck Visors plus learned bubble adjectives in Spanish!

We look forward to seeing all these new faces again this Summer and Fall! Welcome to the Golden Pond School Family!

Field Days!

Field Day at Golden Pond School is a big event and a student favorite! Elizabeth Dwyer, Operations Director, creates a memorable, school-wide extravaganza every year. Parent Volunteers and Teachers helped students navigate creative activities all over the school. The Trike Wash, created by a teacher, is the best – you can hear the laughing of the children all the way on the other side of the building! Sack races, bubbles, basketball, obstacle courses, water games and more happened throughout the event and refreshing ice-pops ended the exciting day! We were fortunate to have amazing weather for our Field Days during this rainy Spring. Thank you to everyone who made this another special event at GPS!

 

Kindergarten Readiness

At Golden Pond School we are often asked if children are ready for Kindergarten. There are important skills children need to have acquired prior to starting Kindergarten that make this milestone year a successful and happy experience.

  • Social & Emotional Skills – This is one of the most important areas of readiness. Children need to be able to cooperate with their peers in groups and activities and be able to control their impulses. Being comfortable with non-family authority figures reduces stress and allows children to be able to focus on their academics.
  • Motor Skills – Fine Motor skills that work small muscle groups include drawing, coloring, cutting and beginning handwriting. Gross Motor skills that work large muscle groups include walking in a straight line and throwing a ball.
  • Cognitive & Intellectual Readiness – Cognitive readiness is when a child is able to answer questions about their environment, assemble simple puzzles, understand similarities, differences, and opposites. Intellectual readiness are learning skills a child needs to make a smooth transition like knowledge of colors, numbers up to 10, some letters of the alphabet and shapes.
  • Curiosity & Eagerness – Children will be most successful if they learn to ask questions, think independently, and be creative. They should be curious about the world, how things work, and how to creatively approach problems. Ask your child questions like “Why do you think that?” or “Where do you think we could find the answer to your question?”. You are encouraging your child to think for themselves and building their self-esteem.

Golden Pond School Events in Ashburn!

Creative, active learning is what GPS does best and we loved sharing our passion for brain building with new friends at Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods Market this April.

Children discovered the magic of Mo Willems at our Golden Pond School Workshop at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, April 21st. The fun and learning included interactive stories with Music & Movement, learning to draw the Pigeon with simple shapes, literacy with onomatopoeia words, character lotto and discovering patterning and numbers in sensory bins.

Eating the Rainbow is fun! GPS took over Whole Foods Market on Wednesday, April 25th. Children danced and listened to stories. They made rainbow kebobs and homemade lemonade, scrubbed fresh fruits and veggies and sorted fruits by colors. New friendships were made and as always, the Golden Pond School sunglasses were a favorite!

If you are interested in our coming to our upcoming events please sign up for our quarterly newsletter at www.goldenpondschool.com/admission/enrollment-newsletter/

There has never been a better time to invest in your child’s private Kindergarten education!

New federal tax codes allows parents to use money in 529 plans to pay for tuition for Kindergarten – 12th grade. According to the Washington Post, starting with the 2018 tax year, you can withdraw $10,000 per student, per year from a 529 plan to pay for primary or secondary education. Unlike funding for college, however, this money can be spent only on school tuition, not textbooks, computers, or other fees or activities.

More information can found in this NY Times article.

March Reading Events at GPS!

At Golden Pond School we know that children who are exposed to reading and nursery rhymes are more likely to do well in all areas of academics and develop a love of reading.Our brain-based learning approach tells us that if neurons are used, the become integrated into the brain by connecting to other neurons; if they are not used, they will fade away. It is the experiences in childhood that determine which neurons are used. We provide exciting, multi-layered experiences for our students to integrate neurons into the brain – and this March we are excited to celebrate Read Across America, annual reading and awareness program that encourages reading, and Dr. Suess’s Birthday!

In coordination with Read Across America our students enthusiastically welcome special guest readers all month long in the classrooms. We strongly encourage friends and family to join the classrooms and read to students. A brain is plastic – it grows and changes over a lifetime as it gathers new information. This growth is dependent on our experiences. What a wonderful experience for a child to have their friend or family in the classroom reading

On Dr. Suess’s Birthday the fun begins with teachers wearing red and white striped hats at car line. Then special themed snacks and lots of reading and activities celebrating the beloved Dr. Suess. When children have fun learning – they love to learn! Emotions solidify learning and multi-layered activities embed memories throughout the brain.

Exposure to Nursery Rhymes has been proven to lead to early reading. Mem Fox, writer of children’s books and an educationalist specializing in literacy, states in her book Reading Magic  that “Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know 8 nursery rhymes by heart by the time that they are 4 years old, they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re eight.” 

 The integrated curriculum at Golden Pond School provides constant exposure to nursery rhymes monthly in all of our programs with a special emphasis in our 3’s and 4’s programs. Our print rich classrooms and daily stories help students master language, communication and speech skills. At GPS the interactive print exposure starts immediately with the daily sign in and exciting Morning Message.

Books are a powerful tool for young children. Reading helps children acclimate to new experiences, strengthens their ability to focus and develops critical thinking skills. Reading to children is one of the most important steps in providing a foundation for academic excellence.

Grab a book, snuggle in and start reading!

GPS at Barnes & Noble!

Golden Pond School is proud to announce a wonderful partnership with Barnes & Noble One Loudoun in Ashburn, VA. Barnes & Noble opened it’s doors in November of 2017 and has quickly become a destination for our community to read, eat and relax. We were honored to be invited to the storytime hour and we were thrilled to bring the magic of Golden Pond School to the event were we had a beary good time!

Our wonderful teachers, Mrs. Pace and Mrs. Foster, brought the Bears + Valentine’s Day theme to life for the children. A bear puppet introduced our teachers and set the stage for a non-fiction book about Bears. The piano and singing was heard throughout the store as we enjoyed the song Going On A Bear Hunt. Music & Movement is a wonderful way to engage and excite young children. The fun continued with a special Valentine Bear Scavenger Hunt throughout the children’s section. Each child was able to keep their special bear as a Valentine’s Day present!

The Valentine’s Bears book was a big hit and the children enjoyed sensory tables filled with items correlating to the story. The sensory bins contained bears and berries that were sorted by size and color. Then our new friends created Bear Valentine necklaces that highlighted their age. Position words like over, under and behind were cleverly taught during the song The Bear Went Over the Mountain. The storytime ended with more singing and dancing and lots of smiles!

Reading to a child helps them understand that print makes sense and they will start to recognize high frequency words. Research shows that children need to be read 1,000 books before Kindergarten. Golden Pond School is dedicated to instilling a love of learning through a brain based curriculum through creative, hands-on activities that incorporate reading and a love of books.

Priority Enrollment for GPS Families

GPS is excited to offer our families a dedicated week to enroll your children for the 2018-19 School Year and Summer Camp before we register new families. And Priority Enrollment is now online!
Your teacher conference is a great time to discuss the best program option for your child in the 2018-19 school year.
 
Please note that all program requests will be processed by date and time order. Current students and their siblings are eligible for Priority Enrollment through February 9th.


Enroll Here: www.goldenpondschool.com/admission/admissions-forms/


Summer Camp
 is now available for children ages 2 1/2 – 9 with exciting new themes and the return of our popular Specialty Camps including Reading, Art and Drama! Plus, there is a 5% Early Bird Enrollment Discount if you enroll in Summer Camp before March 1st!


Enroll Here: www.goldenpondsummercamp.com


Have Questions?
For more information about our programs and enrollment, please contact Margaret Grace, Admissions Director:

Summer Camp at GPS!

GPS Summer Camp fills quickly! Enroll before March 1st to take advantage of early enrollment for Golden Pond families and receive a 5% discount. You don’t want to miss out – registration opens to the public on February 10th.

This year we have expanded our camp offerings to include a variety of themes that will delight your preschoolers and engage your school age children! We are pleased to offer Half-day and Full-day camp to a wider age group – children age 2 ½ to Rising 4th Graders. Sign up for all 7 weeks or select the weeks you want. On-line registration makes Summer planning easy!

“I am excited to kick off our 2018 Summer Camp with a Carnival theme. One of my fondest childhood memories is of a backyard Summer Carnival that my family organized for the children in our neighborhood. I cannot wait to see how GPS campers will create their very own carnival and make their own life-long Summer memories!” Teresa Wolfe, Director of GPS Summer Camp

Refer a new camper to GPS and you will be entered to win a $200 Birthday Photo Session + 8×10 print from Big Bash Photo! Plus, all Golden Pond School families receive a great Student Special on Party Photo Packages!

Give your child a Summer to Remember at GPS!

DOWNLOAD THE SUMMER CAMP BROCHURE>>

The Parent Group at GPS!

The Golden Pond Parent Group is a wonderful group of parents that create events that bring together the families and staff of Golden Pond School with the community. Events are planned at the monthly meetings and new ideas are always welcomed! The Parent Group runs the Lemonade and Cider stands, donation drives including food, clothing, coat and books and they even host a Family Fun night out at a local business. Parents organize Spirit Wear and create wonderful memories for our families like Art to Remember and The Holiday Shoppe. The Parent Group showers our appreciative staff with love and gifts during Teacher Appreciation Week. And of course – they bring those delicious Mom’s Pies to GPS every November!

The Parent Group always looks to support local charities and ways to teach children about giving back to the community. They have made a big impact working with Piece of the Pie charity. This charity was started by a GPS alum to benefit children in West Virginia and they are extremely grateful for the generosity of our families at Golden Pond School. So far this year GPS has donated 1,200 pieces of food and toiletries to them from our successful Thanksgiving Food drive! Thank you all for the donations.

This year the Parent Group has partnered with a new charity called Sensory Sundays. They are a non-profit agency mentoring, implementing and designing programs for sensory sensitive and special needs children. Glow Studio Hair Salon opens their doors one Sunday a month to make the children feel as comfortable as possible when doing a task that most of us take for granted. The $600 proceeds of the lemonade stand were donated to their efforts to raise awareness and include more salons.

The giving will continue this Spring! There will be a Spring Cleaning for a Cause event including a community service sorting day. The Parent Group will be collecting clothing, toiletries and toys. More information will be coming soon about this wonderful cause.

Family Fun Night is coming up, with a Pizza Party at Kidz Plaza this March! GPS families and staff are welcome.  This is a wonderful opportunity to socialize with other parents while the children make new friends. More details will be coming soon about this fun event!

You can get involved in the Parent Group in many ways! Parents are encouraged to join the monthly breakfast meeting held the 3rd week of the month to hear about upcoming events and the different areas where volunteering is possible. If you are unable to attend the morning meetings there is plenty of things to be done at home, like Goodie Bags for Spring Sing and Holiday Shoppe gifts. Parents can help set up or run events, create Sign-up Genius links, take notes at the meeting, take photos – or find a role that work for your schedule and family.

My favorite part of running the Parent Group has been meeting new people!  It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with parents of children who are in different classes as well as meeting people who run the charities that we support.  We can make a difference in our community and that’s a wonderful lesson to pass onto our children.” Melissa Cremins, Parent Group Chairman

To get involved please contact Melissa Cremins, Parent Group Chair, at GPSParentGroup@hotmail.com or via the GPS Parent Group Facebook page. Thank you for bettering our school and community!