Apr 11

Friday the 19th is a half day of school. This means our AM class will be attending, and our PM class will not have school. There is no school for either class on Monday the 22nd.

For students in the AM class, if your child rides the bus home from school, please touch base with your bus driver to discuss an earlier drop off time. Typically, on half days, the bus will take students home 30-45 minutes early to accommodate the changes in schedules. Please email me if you have questions.

Mar 19

Picture day is this Friday! All students will have their photos taken and samples will be sent home in a few weeks so you can decide if you’d like to purchase them.

Mar 19

The Festival of the Arts is Thursday March 28th at 6pm. Your child will have their starfish picture framed and on display! Additionally, some students may choose to participate in a “spoken word” performance.

Mar 11

Do you need help understanding car seat safety laws? Please refer to the information below from the Virginia Department of Vehicles. Please help us make sure that all children are safely restrained in vehicles!

Click here for the link to the DMV.


Virginia’s child passenger safety laws require all children under 8 to be properly secured in a child safety seat or booster seat, regardless of weight or height.

Follow basic safety practices by:

  • Making sure every occupant in the car is properly restrained by a safety device – whether in a child safety seat or booster seat, or by a seat belt. Do not share seat belts.
  • Never holding a child on your lap or allowing anyone to ride in the cargo area of a station wagon, van or pickup.
  • Setting a good example by buckling up on every ride. Children are more likely to become lifelong seat belt users when their parents are lifelong seat belt users.

Selecting a Safety Seat

The best child restraint:

  • Is comfortable and is correct for your child’s age, weight, physical development and maturity level;
  • Has instructions and fits your vehicle;
  • Is less than 6 years old, has a known history and recall status, and is not under current recall.

To select the right safety seat, check the weight and height limitations on the safety seat labels, review the Four Stages of Car Seats, or refer to Choosing the Right Seat.

Placement of a Safety Seat

  • Place the safety seat in the back seat of your vehicle whenever possible.
  • Never place a child safety seat in front of an active passenger air bag. If there is no back seat and the child is in the front seat, the air bag must be off.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual to see how side airbags may impact safety seats.

installing a Safety Seat

  • Study the safety seat instructions or the vehicle owner’s manual, or visit a Car Seat Checkup event or fitting station.
  • Tightly install the safety seat with either a safety belt or LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) to hold it in place.
  • Position the harness straps on the shoulders and chest, and flat against the child’s body. The harness straps should be snug so that you cannot pinch any slack in the straps at the child’s shoulders.
  • For rear-facing car seats, use the harness straps through the slots that are at or below the shoulders. For forward-facing car seats, use the harness straps slots that are at or slightly above the shoulders.
  • Position the harness retainer clip at armpit level.
  • Make sure that the safety seat does not move forward or side-to-side more than 1 inch.

Rear-Facing Car Seat

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) now recommend that all children ride rear facing until 2 years of age or as long as the safety seat manufacturer allows. For optimal protection, use the rear-facing child restraint until the child is at the highest weight or height specified in the manufacturer’s instructions or on the safety seat labels.

  • Always position a rear-facing car seat toward the rear of the vehicle
  • Follow the installation instructions in the manual for the safety seat
  • Position the seat at the appropriate recline angle
  • Run the harness straps through the slots at or below the infant’s shoulders
  • Ensure that:
    • The belt path is closest to where the bottom vehicle seat cushion and back seat cushion meet
    • The retainer clip is at armpit level
    • The crotch strap is in the correct position and is not too long

Forward-Facing Car Seat

The forward-facing car seat should not be used until the child is at least 1 year of age, weighs at least 20 pounds, and has reached the highest allowed weight for a rear-facing safety seat. For optimal protection, use the forward-facing child restraint until the child is at the highest weight or height specified in the manufacturer’s instructions or on the safety seat labels.

  • Always position a forward-facing car seat toward the front of the vehicle
  • The safety seat should be kept in an upright position, although some manufacturers allow a semi-reclined position
  • Run the harness straps through the slots at or above the child’s shoulders

Booster Seat

When the child reaches the upper weight and height limits specified for a forward-facing car seat, a belt positioning booster can be considered for use. A child should remain in the booster seat until he/she is at least 8 years of age and 4 feet 9 inches tall.

The booster seat requires the use of a lap/shoulder belt and boosts the child to better fit the vehicle seat belt system. The lap belt should fit low and tight across the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt should rest over the center of the shoulder through the center of the chest.

Adult Seat Belt

To be able to use an adult seat belt, the child should be at least 4 feet 9 inches tall and at least 8 years of age, and should be:

  • Tall enough to comfortably sit without slouching
  • Able to keep his/her back against the vehicle seat back
  • Able to keep his/her knees completely bent over the edge of the seat
  • Able to keep his/her feet flat on the floor

The lap belt should fit low and tight across the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt should rest over the center of the shoulder through the center of the chest. If the seat belt does not fit properly, the child should use a booster seat.

Never put the shoulder belt under the child’s arm or behind the child’s back. This can cause serious internal injuries in a crash.

Mar 11

Many times, parents ask me “how do I get my child to stop ____.” It can be easy to forget the simple strategy of catching them doing the RIGHT thing. And praise them for it! Our children are dying for our attention, so make sure you are giving them attention in a positive fashion when they are doing the appropriate behavior! And be specific!

For example, you want your child to stop jumping on the couch, so catch them when they are sitting on the couch nicely. And make a big deal out it. “You look like such a big kid sitting on the couch like that! Since you are sitting to nicely, we can read a story together!” That way they know that you like what they are doing, and they will do it again for the praise.

Mar 11

Don’t forget about our reverse mainstreaming information session this Thursday, the 14th, at 6:00 pm in the library. Please send friends who are interested in having their typically developing child serve as a role model student and participate in our program! Remember, students must be 3 years old by September 30th and be potty trained in order to be considered. Additionally, parents must provide transportation to and from school once accepted. You can refer to the brochure that was sent home or reach out to me for more details.

Feb 21

Families- we printed out a fun love worksheet to do with our students for Valentine’s Day, then we ran out of time to complete them! We put them in the students’ folders if you would like to complete them at home.

Its a really fun “keepsake” activity. Just ask your student to answer the questions and write down exactly what they say! It will be fun when they are older to look back and see what was important to them.


Feb 20

You’ve got homework!

In your child’s folder, you will find a “Book Boosters” sheet with many ideas to encourage and develop literacy skills. I have attached a set of stickers to each child’s Book Booster page. As you complete an activity, have your child place a sticker on that square and turn it in for a completion certificate!

Let’s develop a love for reading! And let’s start making these simple interactive activities become habit.

(FYI, some children may have two different book booster sheets. You can choose which sheet you want to complete or you can do both!)

Feb 20

Please visit RVA Basics to see a new local resource for child development! Here you will see examples of how to use “the basics” in your everyday routine. Help give your child the best start!


Feb 18

We had a great time celebrating Valentine’s Day last week! Thank you to everyone who participated. I think the whole class really enjoyed it!

Some of our students had difficulty understanding the direction to give something to a peer and needed coaching with saying “thank you.”  With that in mind, I want to encourage you all to give your child some “chores” at mealtime. Have them practice bringing a napkin to each family member! Or have them help with setting the table. This can help with number sense (every person needs ONE fork) and it also encourages a social exchange. Additionally, many children love to be big helpers in the kitchen!

Let me know how it goes!

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