Ms. Catherine's Community

March 3, 2021

Today VPK Assessment Reports were sent home for all students in our 4's classes. 

 

February 15, 2021

VPK Mid-Year Testing Starts This Week! 

During the next two weeks, February 15th - 26, 2021 every VPK student will be taking the  Florida Voluntary Prekindergarten Assessment.  This is an individually administered standardized test that is given in a one-on-one setting that takes approxiamately 30 minutes per child. Each parent will receive an individualized report with results.  This information will be sent home after every child has been tested.

February 15, 2021

August 1, 2020

ALL ABOUT ME....

My name is Catherine Penrod and I received my degree in Elementary Education and taught for 10 years in the Florida public school system.  My last position in the public school arena was teaching Kindergarten in St. Johns County at Liberty Pines Academy.  This public school experience and connection allows me remain current regarding the academic rigor of Kindergarten.  I hold endorsements in Primary Education (Pre-K- Grade 3), ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and ESE (Exceptional Student Education).   Collectively this will be my 15th year at Deermeadows!  It is SO GREAT to be here preparing students for the educational road ahead.

My role at Deermeadows is to ensure that EVERY student is receiving the instruction he/she needs to be ready for Kindergarten!

Specifically I:

  • spend 30 minutes every week in each VPK  classroom helping our students prepare for Kindergarten.  My focus is on the Language Arts and Mathematical PreKindergarten standards

  • Serve VPK students in a one-on-one setting on individual skills. This is where I identify gaps and design individual lessons to increase student understanding of difficult concepts

  • Administer the Florida Voluntary Prekindergarten Assessment to all VPK students three times per year.  This is an individually administered standardized test that is given in a one-on-one setting that takes approxiamately 30 minutes per child.  With this immediate feedback teachers and parents can readily identify strengths and weaknessess.

  • Support all teachers and parents identify if further testing is required for students. 

  • Initiate outside services and testing for students: speech, language, physical / occupational therapy, gifted, etc.  

If you have any questions about your child’s educational needs, please leave word at the front office, 645-5882. 

August 1, 2020

Preparing for Your Child's First Day

So you are all signed up but you might have one thing left on your mind…..separation anxiety!!!!!  Is your child going to cry when you drop him / her off on their first day of school?????? One thing is for certain: How you handle the situation will definitely play into this outcome.

During the first months of a child’s life it is our duty to do everything for our child.  Research supports this and states that a child who has his / her every need attended to in the first six months of life will grow up to be more secure and confident in the world.  However, the problem that most parents have is that as a child gets older, we are supposed to give all these jobs back!   Parents are supposed to let go of the reigns and foster independence in the skills a child can do on their own:  walking instead of being carried, feeding themselves, brushing teeth, etc.  However, if you are like me, you enjoy and want to do things for your child because it shows how much you love them.  What I had to learn the hard way is that this behavior actually stifles a child from attempting to try new skills on their own.  It is our job as parents to “parent” children by letting them know where the boundaries lie.  With that being said, children do not get to control the good bye.  You do.  Going to school is not negotiable.  You have planned this wonderful enriching experience for them, so they are going.  Period.  No debate.  No grey area.  So be the parent and confidently drop them off knowing they are in good hands.

Even the youngest child can sense it when a parent is apprehensive to let go.  If you appear nervous, you will most certainly make your child nervous—especially if you say things like you are “going to miss them".  Although you mean well, it is really best to stay away from such phrases.  Keep conversations positive and brief:  “You are going to have SO much fun.” “That playground is so cool.”  “All your favorites will be in your lunchbox.”

This is also good advice for the morning drop off.  We have this saying at school: “Quick good-byes equal dry eyes.”  If you drag out the good-bye it could build apprehension in your child; one kiss and let them go.  You need to be firm and explain that the school and classroom is something special for your child only!  Rest assured that the teacher will help hang up the backpack, get out the notes, and put the lunch box into the cubby.  All will be fine!!!!

The great news is that our carline process is the absolute best way to ensure this process goes well.  With the added precautionary measure we are taking this year, every child will be using carline every day.  It is a quick exhange that does not allow "linger" time. Before you know it, a friendly teacher will take your child to their class for you.  Again, because the transfer is quick, children experience a smoother transition to the activities of their school day.  To really prepare you can even practice a "mock" carline run where one parent pulls up to the curb and the other parent (or adult) takes your child from the car.  Switch up the roles too and allow your child to play the role of the teacher.  The more familar your child is with the procedures, the less anxiety everyone will have about the drop off. 

While waiting your turn in carline get them ready to depart, check the backpack, that shoes are tied, adjust those pretty bows in her hair, etc.  Have everything ready so that when the teacher opens the door your child can be ready to “deploy"!  You can even make a game of it, like a parachute jumper getting ready to leap from an airplane.  Take it a step further and show a couple YouTube videos on how quickly these adults can deploy from their vehicles.  Be the fastest one to deploy.  Your child will be so excited about this challenge that they focus on the task and not on the good-bye! 

Then at the end of the day you get to pick them up again and celebrate their big day at school!  Again avoid saying how much you missed them, but instead say “I am so glad to see you, let’s look at what is in your backpack.”  Be strong!  Be confident!  Be decisive!   Then, be ready to do it all again the next day!!!!  You got this!!!!!

In Christ's Love,  

Ms. Catherine

Learning Specialist

August 1, 2020

ALL ABOUT ME....

My name is Catherine Penrod and I received my degree in Elementary Education and taught for 10 years in the Florida public school system.  Four years ago I took a sabbatical from preschool to renew my professional teaching certificate and taught Kindergarten in St. Johns County at Liberty Pines Academy.  This public school experience allowed me to get back in touch with the academic rigor of Kindergarten and become immersed in continuing education.  As a result I now hold endorsements in Primary Education (Pre-K- Grade 3), ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and ESE (Exceptional Student Education).   Collectively this will be my 15th year at Deermeadows!  It is SO GREAT to be here preparing students for the educational road ahead.

My role at Deermeadows is to ensure that EVERY student is receiving the instruction he/she needs to be ready for Kindergarten!

Specifically I:

  • spend 30 minutes every week in each VPK  classroom helping our students prepare for Kindergarten.  My focus is on the Language Arts and Mathematical PreKindergarten standards
  • Serve VPK students in a one-on-one setting on individual skills. This is where I identify gaps and design individual lessons to increase student understanding of difficult concepts
  • Administer the Florida Voluntary Prekindergarten Assessment to all VPK students three times per year.  This is an individually administered standardized test that is given in a one-on-one setting that takes approxiamately 30 minutes per child.  With this immediate feedback teachers and parents can readily identify strengths and weaknessess.
  • Support all teachers and parents identify if further testing is required for students. 
  • Initiate outside services and testing for students: speech, language, physical / occupational therapy, gifted, etc.  

If you have any questions about your child’s educational needs, please leave word at the front office, 645-5882.