The First Academy Preschool Blog, Week of September 1st


Parents, please take a moment to mark your calendars. The following are important dates that you do not want to miss:

Message from Sarah Donovan, Director of The Extended Educational Programs

Coffee, Principals, and a New Building- oh my! On Thursday, September 8th, The Extended Educational Programs will be hosting ‘Coffee with the Principals’ along with an Open House  of our newly restored E2 building. TCS and The First Hope Families are invited to join us at 8:00am in E2-Room 215 for a presentation followed by a tour. Preschool Families are invited to join us at 9:15am in E2-Room 136 for a presentation followed by a tour. We cannot wait to welcome our families to our school family and new building!

Our resident TEEP Weatherman, Mr. Joe Fana, has been keeping us updated on the Tropical System’s Happenings. Here are some tips to ensure your family and friends are prepared in the event that the storm effects Central Florida: As always, we will ensure communication if school days are affected.

Message from Mrs. Grayson Merritt, Principal of the Preschool

Upcoming Events

Sunshine Committee:  Please mark your calendars for Thursday, September 15th at 9:15am as we come together to plan a wonderful year celebrating our teachers and staff.  This committee is made up of incredible parent volunteers who will partner with the Preschool Principal to plan monthly “blessings” for our teachers as well as Teacher Appreciation Week in March.  We would love for you to join us!

Creative Movement and Ballet:  (11 students max.)
Ages:  Miss Kim, Miss Melanie, and Miss Ebony’s 3-year old classes
Time: 2:45-3:30pm Tuesday
Location: E1 Rm. 133
Cost: $360 (recital costume to take home, and recital fee is included)
Class Attire: Optional pink leotard, pink tights, pink leather ballet shoes, Light skirt can be worn over the leotard.

Description: An introductory ballet and movement class for little dancers! This program uses ballet technique and fun props such as ribbons, scarves, wings and capes, shakers to develop flexibility, coordination, and balance. The primary focus is on movement and storytelling to create a love for dance meanwhile building self-confidence and concentration! The class runs from September through April with participation in an end-of-year RAAE recital/showcase.

Spaces are limited so sign up today:


Mrs. Grayson Merritt


Happy Birthday to our Preschool  Friends during month of September:

Charis (9th); Sammy (12th); Jaana (12th); Tahseen (14th); Jillian (23rd); Eliza’ Kim (29th)


Welcome New Friends To Our School Family:

Isaiah, Nora, Alessandra, Andrew


Big Brother/Big Sister Celebrations:

Big Sister Harper                                                       Big Brother Winward

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SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT:  School Family Greeting (Conscious Discipline)

Every morning at 9:15am, our Toddler, 2’s and 3’s classes gather together for a daily ritual known as our Preschool School Family Greeting.  Miss Grayson leads this time with our school friends and staff to help wake up our brains and to ensure that the students are regulated and ready to learn!  Research by Dr. Becky Bailey has brain-based proof that in order for children to be successful and ready to learn, their behavior state must be calm and regulated.  Research also tells us that children learn best when the behavior expectation is communicated to them daily (since the brain is pattern seeking) as well as often.  It takes our brains 30 days doing the same routine to learn a new habit.

Our goal as a staff for this time together is not only to help regulate our school friends but to also develop a sense of connection with them so that they build relationships and trust with not only their teacher but also preschool staff administration and each other.

These connections provide the three essential ingredients for school and life success: (Adapted from Conscious Discipline Webpost on Wednesday, 8/23/16)

🌟 A willingness to learn:
Without willingness, each interaction becomes a power struggle instead of a learning opportunity. The School Family™ and Connected Family brings all children, especially the most difficult, to a place of willingness through a sense of belonging.

🌟 Impulse control:
Connection with others is the construct that literally wires the brain for impulse control. Disconnected children are disruptive and prone to aggressive or bullying behaviors. External reward/punishment systems cannot improve a child’s ability to self-regulate because they are not designed to teach new skills. The School Family™ uses connection to encourage impulse control while teaching self-regulation skills in context.

🌟 Attention:
Our attention system is sensitive to stress and becomes engaged with positive emotions. The School Family™ reduces stress while creating an atmosphere of caring, encouragement and meaningful contributions. These components are essential for children to develop and apply sustained attention.

Elements of our TFA Preschool School Family Greeting Include:

*Good Morning Song

*Greeting with each other and Miss Grayson (Ask your child to show you the butterfly, high 5 or Snowman)

*Breathing (Ask your child to model the STAR or balloon for you)

*Commitments (We talk about how we can be safe at school:  Looking eyes, Listening ears, Walking Feet, Kind Words, Gentle Touches).  We then together as a school COMMIT to being safe!

*Celebrations  We celebrate any special friends or staff who are celebrating a birthday or who might be a NEW Big Sister or Brother!  These are exciting times and we want to be able to celebrate with our friends!

*Prayer  We pray for our families, our friends, and our school

*School Family Song which incorporates the sign language sign for family (Ask your child, they can sing it to you!)

*Lastly, we go teacher to teacher and say, From My Heart to Your Heart, I wish you well.  The teachers feel loved and supported by each other and sets them up for success and ready to take on the day.

*We close by singing, Miss Grayson Wishes You Well, Miss Grayson wishes you well.  All through your day today, Miss Grayson wishes you well.

This time together not only provides a ritual and predictable routine that provides comfort and security to your child but it also helps to set up your child to be successful.  They leave feeling calm and regulated as well as knowing based on their commitments of Looking eyes, Listening ears, Walking Feet, Kind Words, Gentle Touches how they can be safe and help to keep others safe at school.

Wishing you well!!

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