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!

GPS Kindergartners go to D.C.!

Our Kindergartners don’t just learn about Washington D.C. – they experience it! The excitement is palpable as the charter bus crosses the Potomac and the children spot the monuments. There is nothing like visiting our nation’s capital city with our friends, parents and teachers. The highlight of this December day is always the private tour of the Capital Building which is a treasured memory for our Kindergarten families.

The monthly theme, Washington D.C., is creatively brought to life in the Kindergarten classrooms through centers and activities. Skip counting is especially fun when it is a photo puzzle of a monument. Fine Motor Skills and Reading are enforced with letter clothespins for completing sentences about The White House. Finding related words on Legos in a sensory bin to create sentences about the trip is an especially active way to teach language. And using a pulley system to find coins and identify images is always a favorite!

The Golden Pond School Kindergarten curriculum has been designed to encompass all the conventional skills of literacy and math plus the increasingly essential skills of creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and problem solving. We ensure small class sizes combined with an assistant teacher to allow for individualized and specialized instruction. This program comes with the expectations of greater learning, higher test scores, and confident students. Our experience confirms that GPS Kindergarten students enter First Grade with a love of learning and a thirst for more knowledge!

Learn more about our Private Kindergarten program at our upcoming Information Session

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 | 9-10am & 6-7pm | RSVP HERE

Learn more about our Private Kindergarten program here

 

 

Cooking with GPS at Whole Foods Market!

 

Wed., Jan. 17th, 10-11am

Please join us for a fun-filled FREE Wintry Mix event with Golden Pond School, Loudoun County’s Premier Private Preschool and Kindergarten, at Whole Foods Market in Ashburn!

Children will learn about winter weather, clothing, foods and more while making creative snacks and projects! Enjoy Cooking, Sensory Bins, Music and Movement, Storytime and more!

Children ages 2-6 are invited with a parent. Please RSVP for your children (adults do not need to RSVP) as space is limited and indicate the name and age of your children. Because of space limitations, children above the age of 6 are not able to attend the event.

At Golden Pond School we are dedicated to teaching the whole child, including healthy meals. Learn more about the GPS menu here: https://www.goldenpondschool.com/menus/

Thanksgiving at GPS!

GPS Junior Kindergarten and Fours students had an exciting adventure this month when they were warmly welcomed by our two Kindergarten classes to explore and learn about the Pilgrims!  Both lofts were magically transformed into “The Mayflower”, giving our young students the opportunity to take a pretend voyage.  Home-made butter was created while dancing to the Butter Boogie.  Their enthusiasm continued as they learned to speak some Pilgrim language – “What cheer?” (Hi, how are you?) and “Huzzah!” (Congratulations!).

The children loved being with our older students and seeing what Kindergarten is really like.  Remarks such as “That loft was cool!” and “My hand is tired from shaking that butter” were heard in the hallway after this delightful in-house field trip!

Golden Pond School programs celebrated Thanksgiving in their classrooms – an annual Feast for students and their families.  Our motto is ‘the more the merrier’ and that certainly was the case with our Feasts.  Tables were not only laden with Thanksgiving fare but also many foods celebrating classmates’ unique traditions.  There is nothing better than sharing food, laughter and music with family and friends at these annual feasts.

We are thankful for all of our GPS families and wish you a safe and happy holiday.

 

Discounts during breaks at The Little Gym!

Golden Pond School is here to help our parents every step of the way. We have partnered with The Little Gym to offer discounted camps for our families during GPS vacations!

Contact The Little Gym directly for more details about their upcoming Drop & Shop Black Friday CampWinter Break Camp and Spring Break Camp. TLG will also be providing Summer Camp sessions that will compliment our fun-filled GPS Summer Camp schedule. The camps offer AM, PM and Full-Day options at both the Ashburn and Dulles locations – all at a discount to GPS families!

Plus, Golden Pond School families receive a free class plus a waived Annual Family Membership if you choose to enroll at TLG.

Check out other GPS Student Specials HERE.

Golden Pond School is proud to announce the expansion of our popular full-day Stay & Play program!

GPS is now accepting enrollment for children in our 2 year old Scrambler Program starting in the 2018-19 school year! Our youngest students will experience engaging activities in an enriched environment from 7:30am to 6:00pm complimenting our prestigious Preschool program. A professional and educated staff of loving teachers will nurture and care for your children with respect and attention to their emotional and physical needs. GPS is a desirable place to teach and we are proud of our low teacher turnover. Healthy meals and snacks, a peaceful rest time, and flexible daily schedule ensure your child feels comfortable and loved. Our unique Stay & Play program gives children additional opportunities for meaningful learning, vocabulary development and the further growth of social skills. Research shows that vocabulary development is an early indicator of later reading skills.

Teresa Wolfe, Stay & Play Director, is excited to launch our new 2s Stay & Play program. “The Stay & Play program is unique because of the genuine interest teachers take in each child, fostering a love of learning through joyful, play-based activities. Don’t be surprised when you come to pick up your child and he wants to Stay & Play!”

The Golden Pond Way of teaching will continue into the Stay & Play classrooms. Students will have theme based projects and activities that attract young minds. Water, Bubbles, Balls, Things that Grow and more will come to life through STEAM activities, physical games and group projects.

Parents love Stay & Play just as much as their children! They stay connected daily through Tadpoles, paperless childcare daily reports for the iPhone and iPad. Karyn B, a GPS parent says: “Our son is in the Stay & Play program and he is loving it! Every week he tells me about the theme and just loves having his morning buddies and his Stay & Play friends every day. The teachers have been wonderful and the class ratio is amazing. It’s a safe and fun environment for my child. The rooms are spotless, they brush their teeth daily, are provided healthy meals and have a great balance of classroom, free time and playground time. I have to beg him to follow me out each night!”

We are busy preparing for our newest friends in the 2 year-old Stay & Play program and look forward to sharing the information with you and your family!

Please contact Margaret Grace at admissions@goldenpondschool.com for more information about Stay & Play.

GPS Simple Machines Expo at Whole Foods Market!

Sat., Oct. 14th
10am – 12pm

Please join us for a FREE morning of STEAM activities and fun! Our Simple Machines Private Kindergarten curriculum will come to life in the Whole Foods Market Parking Lot for children ages 2-8.

Experiment with Simple Machines including the Catapult, Wheel & Axle, Pulley, Balance Board, Inclined Plane and Balance Scale. Plus, don’t miss out on the Wheelbarrow and Shopping Cart Relays! Build your own Catapult to use at home! Peel your own apple snack with a Simple Machine plus enjoy music, fun and photo opportunities.

Each family that attends will receive a mini pumpkin! We look forward to meeting new families and seeing familiar GPS faces!

Click here to RSVP today!

Golden Pond School: Teacher Training  

Every August, Golden Pond School teachers, assistant teachers and administrators gather for Teacher Training. Returning and new faces eagerly set up their classrooms and become students for the week! Kathie Burrell, owner of GPS for 15 years, always creates an exciting and inspired presentation. One of this year’s training topics will revisit a necessary but favorite theme — a child-centered classroom. Another training will examine the special magic that regular routines give to an early childhood classroom.

Susan Leone, preschool and Stay & Play teacher, says “I enjoy getting tips from my fellow teachers and I always look forward to the fun and creative ways Kathie presents her ideas. One year, to remind us how it is for a child to learn things for the first time, Kathie brought in interesting fruits and vegetables for us to taste that we had never had before. Seeing something new through a child’s eye helps to reinforce our dedication to creating a comfortable learning environment for the children.”

As Susan remembers from a past Teacher Training week, Kathie Burrell used The Golden Pond Way of teaching to imprint the idea of stepping into a child’s point of view to our teachers. Just like in our classrooms, when you engage the senses in an enjoyable activity it makes a lasting memory. The Golden Pond Way of teaching and the high-quality staff is what makes Golden Pond unique and successful!

Kathy Sestak, GPS teacher of 10 years and current Private Kindergarten teacher, always looks forward to Teacher Training. “I learn new concepts each year and find creative ways to apply that to my classroom. My excitement then carries over into my lessons and the students have fun learning!”

Teacher training at Golden Pond School is a time for all of our teachers to broaden their knowledge of early childhood education, exchange ideas and prepare the school for the magic that lies ahead. Mentoring by established GPS teachers is critical to the successful development of new teachers and we are very proud of our meticulously assembled staff. Golden Pond School teachers have unparalleled credentials and a passion for early childhood education.  The support we give our teachers helps them to further develop the skills required to effectively navigate the school year ahead; ensuring a successful classroom for both children and teachers.  Great teachers inspire great students!

GPS Soars High with 2017 PALS Scores AGAIN!

We’re thrilled to report that Golden Pond’s rising kindergarten students (4 year olds and junior kindergarten classes) have AGAIN exceeded the top end of the Virginia development range for the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS).

PALS provides a comprehensive assessment of a young child’s knowledge of important literacy fundamentals. This test is an approved screening tool for the state of Virginia, and is an indicator of early reading success. 99% of all school divisions in the state use this tool on a voluntary basis. Educators are then able to use the information from PALS to plan appropriate instruction for each student and to intervene early to prevent reading problems. All kindergarten students are administered this test as they begin their first year in Loudoun County Public Schools. Golden Pond students have shown outstanding – and improved – scores every year!

“At Golden Pond, we understand that early reading success forecasts later academic success for our children, and we’re proud that our students’ marvelous PALS scores show that,” said owner Kathie Burrell.”

In 2007, Golden Pond School began screening preschoolers who are going on to kindergarten with the PALS – PreK test in the spring.

“We started this process because we felt it would benefit our students to take the test in preschool, administered by someone that they know and trust rather than being exposed to the test for the first time as they begin a new school year at a potentially new school with a new teacher,” said Burrell.

This is just one of the many ways Golden Pond School equips its students with an educational advantage.

“We also knew that this was a way for us to see how well our school had prepared our students to take the next step in their educational journey,” she said.

As can be seen from these results, the median score achieved by Golden Pond School students exceeded the top end of the Virginia development range. In several of the test components, 99% of Golden Pond students scored at or above the top end of the Virginia development range.

Congratulations to all of our students and teachers!