Jill P. Griffin
Small Bears Preschool
35 Standish Circle
Wellesley, Ma 02481
781-237-6119 http://www.smallbearspreschool.com/ (781) 237-6119
Small Bears Private Preschool is licensed under the
Department of Early Childhood Education and Care (EEC) and is located in the
nurturing environment of a lovely private home Staff Credentials
Director/ Lead Teacher
P. Griffin M.
earned her Masters of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from
Wheelock College. She also has a Bachelor of Liberal Science degree in
American Studies and Elementary Education from Lesley University and an
undergraduate art degree from Boston University. She has over 30 years
teaching experience in Wellesley.
Regular Assistant Teacher
Flynn earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Design
Lasell College. She joined Small
in January of
Katie has several years of experience working with children
the YMCA in Needham where she also served as the Assistant Director
of the after-school program.
Jackie Sansone is a
licensed and registered Occupational Therapist in the
Massachusetts. She has a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy and a Bachelor's degree
in Rehabilitation Services from Springfield College.
Jackie specializes in Sensory
Integration. She joined Small Bears
School in 2011.
Jackie runs OT therapy groups as needed at Small Bears and she works
with students at her office on Walnut Street.
Ivy has Master of Science degree in Speech Pathology from Boston University.
She is certified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is a member
Association (ASHA). She
joined Small Bears
School in 2010. Ivy provides speech and language assessments for
students at Small
Bears school. She works privately, as needed, with students at her
office on Walnut
Street in Wellesley.
Table of Contents
Staff Credentials Small Bears
Parent Involvement Enrollment and
Tuition Policies General Information Emergency
Lead Poisoning and
Bears Preschool and Toddler Programs
Small Bears school is a
private, in-home preschool and toddler program that is affiliated with the Association
of Family Childcare Providers of Wellesley (AWFCP). It is licensed by the Massachusetts Office of
Early Education and Care (EEC).
Small Bears educational
philosophy combines High Scope and Montessori approaches to early childhood
education. Small Bears supports the five central principals of High Scope
educational theory, which are:
1. Active learning
- children learn by doing
The Montessori approach
has many similarities to High Scope but stresses multiage groupings and
emphasizes child-directed activities that encourage natural learning. The
Montessori teacher’s role is to provide a well-organized and material-rich
environment that stimulates a natural curiosity for the child to explore the
classroom and interact with the materials. At Small Bears that is what we try
to achieve. At all times teachers use developmentally appropriate practices
that are associated with both High Scope and Montessori approaches to early
childhood education and care.
The educational emphasis
at Small Bears is on art and literacy but does not neglect to consider the
child as a whole. Each learning domain is addressed and assessments are ongoing
to be sure that each child is receiving an individual education plan based on
their personal strengths and needs. Program
Small Bears Private Preschool Program is
designed as an enrichment program with a strong art and academic focus. The
current curriculum meets many of the Massachusetts and National Standards and
Frameworks for Pre K –2 in the subject areas of language arts, mathematics,
social studies, science, and the arts. Students who graduate from Small Bears
Preschool will enter kindergarten with a foundation of learning that will set
them on the road for academic and social success for years to come. Recent
studies show that children between 0-3 are establishing fundamental connections
during their first three years that cannot be replaced later in life. Therefore,
it is essential that early childhood programs and educators help children make
these connections early on. At Small Bears Preschool, students develop concepts
and skills, to help them achieve success and feel better about themselves as
learners. It is our objective to introduce developmentally appropriate academic
concepts and skills in a fun environment that promotes learning. The
lesson plans use a variety of mediums and learning styles to maximize students’
results and minimize frustration. The goal is to instill confidence in your
child by providing them with a foundation of learning, sharing, and socializing
that creates a positive educational experience from the beginning and promotes
a love of literacy.
Typical Daily Schedule
activity centers and Guided Reading: Students arrive and begin their day with one to one or
small group Developmentally Appropriate Practices(DAP) guided reading instruction, which facilitates speech and
language development and other important emergent literacy skills. Next, the
students select a daily activity center to play at. Daily centers include
writing and other fine motor activities, blocks and building, computers, puzzles,
dramatic play, art, cooking, puppet theatre, listening center, and a sensory
table. Activity centers rotate around monthly themes such as Back to School in
September, Fire Safety in October, Family and friends in November, Lights and
crafts in December etc.
9:15 Morning meeting and interactive read aloud: (Weather,
calendar and storybook friends time) The teacher will introduce new books about friendship and
family. Students will discuss the friendship themes and concepts in each story
and create a yearlong list of what good friends do for each other (i.e., make a
present or card for a friends birthday, send a card to a sick friend, share,
take turns, etc.).
9:30 Morning activity: (Usually art, music, language arts, math,
or cooking) Students
move to the art room for a teacher directed activity. Activities vary from day
to day but usually follow a monthly theme. For example: In September,
(Back-to-School Month), students create nametags, personalized placemats and
choose nursery rhymes to post on the classroom walls. Over time, students learn
to recognize their names and many other words and letters from the text-rich
environment in the classroom. Monthly science themes such as apples in
September, pumpkins in October, and leaves in November, serve as a focus for
many of the morning activities. Books are specifically chosen around monthly
themes. For example, in September students listen to stories about apples and
participate in many activities that are related to apples. As part of the
social studies friends and family curriculum, students often create story
friends that relate to one of the books read at morning meeting. The children
use the story friends to remind them of the books they listened to that day and
throughout the year. There is a classroom wall devoted to story friends.
10:00 Snack time: During snack time students relax and eat while they listen
to a story. Students listen to and chime in with the teacher as she reads or
sings familiar nursery rhymes, stories, or songs.
10:30 Recess: Weather permitting, students go outside every day.
Students are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of games and
activities that promote gross motor skills. If outside recess is not possible
then students have indoor recess in a spacious tiled garage where they can
ride bikes, paint or draw on an easel, play hopscotch, bowl, or participate in
any number of other activities.
12:30 half day students are dismissed and full day students prepare for naps and quiet time.
1:00-3:00 Activities vary daily but often include math, science, and writing. There is typically a second recess for children who do not nap.
3:30 - 4:00 additional activities vary daily. There is usually a time for free play, puppet shows, and story time. Guidance/ Discipline
At Small Bears the philosophy of discipline is based
on the understanding that school is a learning environment where there are
rules for safety but it is understood that nobody is perfect and that everyone
makes mistakes. The primary form of discipline is oral discussion. Teachers
generally resolve problems by having a brief discussion with the child, which
serves to redirect the child into a more positive alternative. Sometimes, if
feasible, negative behaviors are ignored and positive behaviors are reinforced
by attention and praise. However, it is the policy of Small Bears that the
cases of more persistent or worrisome behavior problems are best handled in an
atmosphere of ongoing discussion between parents and teachers in which mutually
acceptable solutions are worked out and implemented. Time outs are not used as
a form of discipline for children under 2 years old. In cases where safety is
an issue, short 1-2 minute time out periods are used to give the student a chance
to calm down and talk the problem over with a teacher before rejoining the
group. Usually during that time there is
a behavior plan outlined by the teacher and accepted by the student before the
student can reenter the group activity.
Small Bears welcomes parent involvement. Parents
create a family collage poster for their child at the beginning of the year
that is posted on the classroom walls and used many times throughout the year
for numerous activities. Parents are invited to visit the classroom at any
time, read a book to the class during snack or lunch, chaperone class field
trips, or volunteer in the classroom on a regular or irregular basis. Parents
are encouraged to share their children’s culture with the class in any number
of ways. Some parents bring in games, food, music, books, costumes, toys etc.
to share with the class. Other parents choose to join Parents and Educators of
Young Children (PEYC), where they can meet other parents, listen to
professionals in the field of early childhood literacy present, and discuss
quality children’s literature. PEYC is a community partnership between parents
and educators. Its purpose is to promote early childhood literacy and create a
love for books. Parents who join PEYC
will have a deeper understanding of the books their children are listening to,
reading, and discussing in class and will have an opportunity to participate in
some of the book choices.
Tuition Policies, Parent/school agreement:
The parent agrees to notify the school of any
illness their child has come in contact with outside of school. The school
agrees to notify the parent of any illness the child has come in contact with
at school. Students must be free of vomiting, diarrhea or fever for at least 24
hours before returning to school.
Tuition will be billed once a month, in the
beginning of the month, for the month. Tuition is due regardless of whether the
student is present or absent. Make-ups may be available at no extra charge if
space is available. Small Bears Preschool follows the public school calendar
and therefore will close for three weeks of paid vacation, one week in
December, February, and April. Small Bears will be open in the summer as an
additional option. (See Jill for summer schedule) Parents will contract for one
full school year at a time, from September through June. Special arrangements
will be considered for clients with extenuating circumstances, however parents
should provide at least 30 days written notice prior to leaving. There will be
no charge if school is closed because of teacher illness. (Small Bears has only
closed for one sick day and one personal day in twenty-three years, so we do
not anticipate this to be a problem.)
Paid Holidays include: Labor Day, Columbus Day,
Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, One week at Christmas from Christmas Eve to New Year’s
Day, Martin Luther King Day, Washington’s Birthday, (which falls during the
week of February vacation), Patriot’s Day, (which falls during April Vacation),
and Memorial Day.
A one-month non-refundable deposit for
tuition guarantees placement for enrollment. Deposits will be credited towards
your last month of tuition.
Information/Requirements: Students entering Small Bears toddler program
should be at least 18 months old by September 1. Students entering Small Bears preschool
program should be between 2.6 and four years old as of September 1.
Students bring a snack, lunch, and at least two beverages each day and should
supply a change of clothes, wipes, diapers or extra underwear, and any
appropriate seasonal clothing that is applicable. Students must provide proof
of a recent health exam and a copy of their updated immunizations required by
the state. Parents must complete and hand in a registration packet for each
child they wish to enroll. Specific allergies or food requests should be
documented in writing.
Suggestions: We strongly suggest that you send your child in
appropriate clothing. Things can get a little messy at times, especially during
art, lunch and outside play. Your child will be encouraged to wear a smock or
bib; however, accidents do happen. Many students feel constricted by bibs and
smocks and refuse to wear them. As a result, there is a strong possibility that
their clothing will get soiled or stained.
In the event of a fire,
gas, or other household emergency or for a fire alarm drill the children will
be taken across the street to Audrey Callahan’s enclosed three-season porch to
await the fire trucks and/or emergency personnel and vehicles. Audrey Callahan’s
phone number is 781-235-7373.
In the event of a fire,
natural disaster, or other situation requiring evacuation of the building (such
as a chemical spill or bomb threat), the children will be taken by car to the
Wellesley Middle School. Parents will be notified by phone as soon as possible.
Small Bears School will use its own vehicles to transport the children to the
emergency location, or if needed the school will request assistance from the
emergency vehicles. Small Bears School has sought permission from Wellesley
Police Department to create this evacuation plan in order to be sure there is a
safe, comfortable space for the children during an emergency. In the event the
emergency is more widespread and requires the school to identify another location
further away outside of the neighborhood the school will seek guidance from the
Wellesley Police department as to where to take the children and how to reach
the parents if telephone lines are unavailable. In a case where all local
telephones are unavailable, the following contact person outside of
Massachusetts is Jill’s sister Dee Ganley. Her phone number in East Andover New
Hampshire is 603-735-5543. Her cell number is 603-848-5543. Dee will be the contact person to advise you where
the children have been taken if the Wellelsey Police Department is unavailable.
Dee’s email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we must evacuate the facility, we will take the emergency contact
information for all children including emergency consent forms, special
medications needed by the children and first aid supplies. We will also take a
school bag with pillows, blankets diapers, wipes, spare clothing, water,
snacks, books, and toys, with us. An emergency cell phone will be taken with us
to contact parents. We will use Jill’s cell phone, which is 617-584-3668. As in
any offsite activity, we will count and make a list of all children in
attendance before we leave the school. We will take attendance again, once
outside, and once more before leaving the site. We will recount the children
again once we reach our destination to be sure that all children are accounted
for. We will document when the children are picked up and by whom. In some cases,
it may be safer to remain on site until the emergency has ended. In event of
severe weather or power outages, loss of heat, or water, Small Bears School
will close and the emergency contact persons would be contacted. An emergency
generator for the school is on site, which should provide enough temporary
power. The water and sewage for Small Bears School are provided by the city and
do not require electric power for service. All smoke and gas alarms have
batteries for back up coverage in case of a loss of power. There are sufficient
flashlights and batteries on hand on each level. There is a cell phone on site
for emergency use in case of a loss of telephone service. There are sufficient
emergency food supplies as well as blankets, flashlights, and other necessities
to keep the children and teachers comfortable. There are plenty of materials on
hand to keep the children busy until the emergency is resolved. In the event of
a tornado, the students will move to the basement or hall closet. In the event
of an earthquake there are emergency shut off valves for electricity, gas and
water service in the basement and outside. Small Bears School shares its
contingency plan with parents at the time of enrollment and review and updates
its plan regularly.
All family childcare educators
are required by EEC to provide parents with information regarding the risk of
lead poisoning. The following are some facts that parents should know about
lead and lead poisoning.
1. Lead poisoning is
swallowing or breathing lead. Lead is poison when it gets into the body.
2. Lead can stay in the body
for a long time. Young children absorb lead more easily than adults do.
3. The harm done by lead may
never go away. Lead in the body can:
a. Hurt the brain, kidneys
and nervous system.
b. Slow down growth and
c. Make it hard to learn
d. Damage hearing and speech
e. Cause behavior problems
4. Most of lead poisoning in
Massachusetts comes from lead paint dust in older homes. Many homes built
before 1978 have lead paint on the inside and outside of the building.
5. When old paint peels and
cracks it creates lead paint chips and lead paint dust. Children between 9
months and 6 years old are most at risk.
6. Home repairs and
renovations also create lead dust.
7. Most children who have
lead poisoning do not look or act sick. The only way to know if your child has
lead poisoning is to have a lead test. Ask your doctor to test your child for
8. Some children may have an
upset stomach, trouble eating or sleeping, headache, or trouble paying
9. All children between 9
months and 6 years of age will have to provide documentation of a lead test.
10. I am required to disclose
to you if I am aware of any sources of lead in my home. Small Bears School was
built in 2006. There is no lead in any part of the school.
11. To learn more about lead
poisoning you can visit http://wwwmassgov/dph/clppp or call the lead
poisoning prevention program. 800 532-9571
EEC has regulations
requiring educators to have a policy regarding the administration of medication
to children in care. As a licensed family childcare provider. I am also
required to take medication administration training. The following guidelines
are common to all programs that are licensed by EEC.
medication must be brought into the program in its original container and
include the child’s name, the name of the medication, the dosage, the number of
times per day, and the number of days the medication is to be administered.
This prescription label will be accepted as the written authorization from the child’s
2. The parent must
fill out the authorization of medication form before the medication can be
1. The program
needs written parental authorization to administer oral non-prescription
medicine. The parent must fill out the authorization of medication form, which
allows the educator to administer the non-prescription medication. The
statement must be renewed on a weekly basis.
2. In case of
unanticipated non-prescription medication that is used to treat mild symptoms (eg.,
acetaminophen, ibuprofen) the program must still have written parental
authorization; however it must be reviewed annually.
3. The educator
will make every attempt to contact the parent prior to the child receiving the
non-prescription medication unless the child needs the medication urgently or
when contacting the parent will delay appropriate care unreasonably.
Topical ointments and sprays
1. Topical ointments and sprays such as
petroleum jelly, diaper rash ointments, sunscreen, or insect repellant will be
administered according to the child with parental written permission. The
signed statement from the parent will be valid for one year and include a list
of all topical nonprescription medication. The parent will provide all topical
non-prescription medication and label the medication with their child’s name on
2. When topical ointments or sprays are
applied to wounds, rashes, or broken skin, the educator will follow the written
procedure for non-prescription medication, which includes the written order of
the physician, which is valid for one year, and the written authorization for
medication form signed by the parent.
1. The first dose of any new medication must
be administered by the parent at home in case of an allergic reaction.
2. All medications must be given directly to
the educator by the parent.
3. All medications will be stored out of the
reach of children.
4. Jill Griffin and Katie Flynn are the only
authorized educators to administer medication.
5. The program will maintain a written record
of all medications given during the school day excluding topical ointments and
sprays applied to unbroken skin. This record will include the child’s name, the
time and date of each administration, the dose and the name of the person
administering the medication. The complete record will become part of the
6. All unused medications will be returned to
the parent of disposed of according to the Department of Health guidelines.
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We would welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and deliver you the best service in the industry.
35 Standish Circle
Wellesley, MA 02481
Mon - Fri: 9AM - 5PM
Sat: 10AM - 5PM