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Principal’s Welcome to the 2015-16 School Year

The belief at the Barbara Vick Early Childhood and Family Centers is that social and emotional development serves as the foundation of all other learning.   We provide a play-based, child-centered curriculum aligned with the Illinois Early Learning and Common Core Standards.  Our curriculum maximizes the learning potential of all children, especially Diverse and English Language Learners.  The staff creates learning environments that are intentionally designed to deepen children’s thinking through the development of relationships with one another, provoking materials and the natural world outside.  Documentation is critical to the learning process as it helps to make the children’s learning visible.  Providing access to innovative technology opens the world to children and staff alike, deepening and extending learning experiences.  We offer families information, support and resources while encouraging them to be active participants in their child’s education.

July 21, 2015

Dear Parents,

We are so very pleased to welcome you, your child, and your family to the 2015-16 school year at the Barbara Vick Early Childhood and Family Center.   This school year will mark our 17th year of providing high quality programs to young children and their families.   We are most excited about the promise a new school year brings.  For some families and children, this will be an exciting and rewarding first year at preschool.  For other families and children, it is a welcome back to familiar surroundings with old friends.

***If you are no longer interested in your child attending the Vick Center, please contact us at (773)535-2671 as soon as possible so that we may welcome another student from our waiting list.

Important Information 

Before school starts


The first day of attendance for the 2015-16 school year is Tuesday, September 8th.  A copy of the CPS 2015-16 calendar is included in this packet.  This calendar provides important dates for all Chicago Public School families.  Please keep it handy.  A second calendar, Barbara Vick Year at a Glance, is also included.  These dates are school specific dates and are organized by each month.   This might be nice to keep on the refrigerator.

Book Bags

The school will provide a book bag for each child that will be used for home-school communication.  Please put your child’s name and room number on the bag.  Classroom staff will have materials available the first week of school to help you and your child make the bag your own.

Should you decide not to use the book bag that we will provide, please choose a book bag that your child is able to handle.  Buckles and zippers can be difficult for small fingers and hands to manage.

Classroom Information

Your child’s classroom placement and AM/PM session is attached to this mailing.  Please know that many returning and newly enrolled families requested a morning placement for next school year.  Please be aware that every attempt was made to accommodate these requests, however all families did not get the session they requested.  If your child requires a change in session, please let the main office know.  Changes will not occur until after the school year has started.

Registration information

New families

All newly enrolling children are required to have a physical and immunization record on file prior to the start of school.  This record must be within one year of the first day of school (prior to 9/8/14). 

Many new families had the opportunity to register their children during the month of June, however your child’s registration is not considered complete until all necessary documents are received.  As indicated above, be sure to turn in your child’s Certificate of Health Examination.  All registration information must be completed and received at the Center by August 24th.           

If you have not completed the registration process for your child, you will be contacted by your child’s teacher to register once the staff returns in August.  Once you have your child’s Certificate of Health Examination, please bring it up to the Center at your earliest convenience.

Returning families

Families with returning children are required to complete and have on file a number of forms.  These forms are included in this packet.  Please complete the forms and return them to school by August 24th.

If your child is returning for a second year of preschool, a new medical is not needed.              

Important information – Start of school


Parent/Child Welcoming

The transition into school is a major life event for children.  How easily your child makes the transition into school can affect their school experiences for a lifetime.  Separating from parents and other caregivers is an important milestone for the preschool child.  Every child approaches this transition differently, depending on the child’s temperament, family relationships, past experiences and current situation.  Because of this, parents are encouraged to stay, as needed, for the first few days of school, sometimes longer, until the child becomes comfortable.

Tuesday, September 8th is a 1 hour attendance days for new and returning children.   These attendance days are for your Vick student only; please leave siblings at home.

The schedule for Tuesday is as follows:

AM      Returning Students                9:10-10:10

New Students                       10:30-11:30

PM      Returning Students              12:45-1:45

New Students                         2:00-3:00      

Wednesday, September 9th – Friday, September 11th follow the typical schedule and the children attend 2 hour and 35 minute.  Morning session is 9:10-11:45am and Afternoon session is 12:30-3:05pm.

Important information

Throughout the school year

Drop Off Procedures

Children are required to be sign-in and out of school by an adult on a daily basis.  Classroom staff will have sign-in sheets available for parents/guardians to initial.  The classroom teams will indicate that they are ready to receive and/or dismiss children when they open their classroom doors.  Children will only be released to parents or designees as indicated on the Release Form that was filled out during registration.  Please be aware that if an unfamiliar individual comes to pick up your child for the first time, a member of the classroom staff will ask for picture identification.

Parent Participation and the Parent Program

The VickCenter offers a wide range of opportunities for family involvement.  The Parent Coordinator, Classroom Teachers and the Parents and Teachers Together Organization (PTT) offer social and educational programs throughout the school year.  A schedule of parent activities will be available during Parent Orientation Week (see above).   In addition, the Parent Room will be open throughout the first week of school for families to talk and receive support as your child moves into this most important phase of their development – SCHOOL!!!   Coffee, conversation, and a place to wait close at hand will be available throughout the first week of school.

School Web Site

The web address for the Barbara Vick Center is www.barbaravick.cps.edu .  This site will become a source of information and connection for you throughout the coming year.  Please visit often to learn about upcoming events as well as gain insight into your child’s classroom.  Photos of the children and school environments will be posted throughout the school year, please be assured that identifying information regarding children is never included.  All families are requested to sign a Media Release at the start of each new school year, and these are kept on file in the classrooms.

Child Parent Activity Days

The classrooms will host three Parent-Child activity days throughout the school year.  This time is a wonderful opportunity for adult and child to have quality time to work together on an activity.  These days are for your Vick student only, please leave siblings at home and follow the same time schedule as the Parent Orientation day in August (see above).  The dates will be October 16th, January 29th, and May 20th.  Mark your calendars as these days are always wonderful days of learning and sharing.

Local School Council

The Local School Council meets the second Wednesday of the month at 3:45pm at the Vick Center.  This year is an election year.  If you are interested in serving on the Local School Council, please call or stop in the school office.  If you are interested in participating with this vital school governance organization, please mark your calendar and plan to attend the meetings.

Parents and Teachers Together (PTT)

The PTT is an organization composed of the parents with children enrolled at the Center as well as staff members.  Please review the enclosed flyers for more information.

The first PTT activity is the Ice Cream Social on Thursday, September 3rd, @ 6:00-7:00pm at the Vick Center.  This annual social event gives families a chance to meet and greet other families, staff, and children.  The Social takes place on the front lawn of the school.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you are no longer interested in your child attending the Vick Center, please contact us at (773)535-2671 as soon as possible so that we may welcome another student from our waiting list.

We look forward to continuing to develop collaborative relationships with you, your child, and your family.

We remain sincerely yours,

Cathy Lawton                                                                                   Amy O’Connor

Principal                                                                                            Assistant Principal


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