St. Thomas' Nursery School | Update from Nursery School Director

Update from Nursery School Director

Nursery School Director Shari Petrakis

Nursery School Director Shari Petrakis

We are now a little over a month until school starts. I wanted to send an update on a few items.

Construction

The school is moving along according to schedule with our new air conditioning, windows, lighting, ceiling and sprinkler system. Our schedule is for all teachers and I to move back into the building on September 1 to be ready for the first day of school with our small group meetings on September 12 and 13 We are excited to get back into the building!

The Emily Norris Carey Learning Center will be providing the Nursery School with many exciting opportunities. The addition will give us the use of a beautiful small chapel where we can hold our monthly chapel services for the children, along with a living room for meeting spaces for families and for parenting workshops. For years STNS has had a waiting list and we have had to turn many wonderful families away in the community. With this addition the nursery school is gaining two additional classrooms so we can open our school to more families in the community. We are also getting a classroom dedicated solely to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). We already had a training on the STEM/STEAM classroom experience and we are so excited to provide this to our preschoolers! This classroom will face the courtyard and have many opportunities for kids to learn in and outside of the classroom.

School Playground

I am so excited to report, with the help of the church, we are getting an entire new playground directly connected to the school, as before! Originally, our intention was to re-install our old equipment when the building was complete. I had Playground Pros come out to look at the equipment and we were told no company will re-install old equipment and certify it safe for children to use. Since safety is number one, we began researching new playground equipment. As you can imagine it is very expensive to get an entire new playground. After looking at three companies and getting competitive quotes, we narrowed it down to one. They were very willing to work on the price and the church is able to provide us with a beautiful new playground!
We will have a new play set with three slides, a rock climbing wall, a stone slope climber, a chime wall, a drum panel and more! We are also getting a large tire swing (it is a disc that 4-5 children can swing on at a time) and a rock-it tunnel. The sandbox and small house from our previous playground will also be re-installed. We are aiming for September 1 installation date, as long as there is no delay in shipping of equipment, which can take up to 4 weeks.

We will also re-install our beautiful fence around the new playground that was donated by Gardy Kahoe’s family.

Children’s Memorial Garden

In 2007/2008 school year a Children’s Memorial Garden was planted on our playground in honor of the previous Director, Caroline Hauser. This was a wonderful fundraising event and the garden was in memory of STNS parents, children and staff. There were stones engraved with STNS family’s names and there was a garden of small trees and plants that STNS families donated. When our playground was dismantled we carefully removed the stones and stored them to be re-installed. We also had our E.G. Rall come out and take pictures of each plant and tree so that the garden can be re-planted after the completion of the addition. One of our teachers, Amy Roak, also took several of the perennials and re-planted by her classroom courtyard so that the plants would be saved for re-planting. Our plan has been to place the stones and plants back on our playground or in the courtyard between the two buildings. Now that the project is close to completion, I have met with E.G. Rall to see what the space looks like and if there is enough sunlight for the plants/trees to be planted in the courtyard or if the memorial garden will be better on our new playground. This will be done when the construction is completed and when the weather permits. We are aiming for Spring of 2017 to re-plant the garden. I will keep you all updated on the placement of the garden.

Thank you and enjoy the rest of your summer!

Shari Petrakis
Director
St. Thomas’ Nursery School