Finding the Right School For Your Child

Posted by Heidi McGregor on October 19, 2018 at 12:30 PM

Have you ever wondered what teachers look for when considering a school for their own children?

Consistently, teachers agree it is important to visit a school on a typical school day when students are present. No surprise...these teachers also feel you should do your homework. Start with a list of questions that are relevant to your child’s development. After all, you know your child best. Here are some of the questions they suggest: 


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Topics: Education, Academics, Community

Building Connections for a Caring School Community

Posted by Krista Berneike, Jen Bowen and Ann Marie Galasso on October 5, 2018 at 12:00 PM

"Students are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors and succeed academically when they feel connected to school," according to the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report.  Having a home and school connection brings positive benefits concerning both academic success and healthy decision-making. Below are a few activities that can be used to strengthen the support network for children in the classroom to create a caring community.

knowledge is power: Learn about your students

  • Collection Museum: During the first week of school we ask students to bring in something they love or collect, like shells, rocks, or Legos. They present to the whole group about their collection and then we display all of the items in a Classroom Museum and give students time to explore all of the exhibits.
  • Star Student Program: Each week we choose a Star Student, and that child shares things about themselves with the whole group, such as bringing in their favorite book for a classroom read aloud. The rest of the students show how much they value the Star Student by writing kind notes to the child. At the end of the week, the Star Student is presented with a bound book that includes all of the notes from students and teachers talking about the things that make that Star Student an important part of the community.
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Topics: Education, Parenting Tips, Community

Move It!: A Beginner’s Guide to Physical Literacy

Posted by Shannon Helmecki on September 21, 2018 at 12:30 PM

When you hear the word “literacy” you probably think reading and writing, but did you know that there’s also physical literacy? Project Play gives this definition: "Physical literacy is the ability, confidence, and desire to be physically active for life.”

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Topics: Education, Athletics, Health & Wellness, Parenting Tips

Transitioning to First Grade: How Teachers Pave the Way

Posted by Kathy Dabkowski, Kristy Patton and Katherine Stafford on September 7, 2018 at 1:04 PM

The transition from kindergarten to first grade can make parents and students feel excited and a little nervous about leaving “early childhood” and becoming a “big kid.”  At Sanford School, teachers think about helping students do three things to ensure that students all transition smoothly: seeing a familiar face, feeling comfortable in the space, and getting used to the pace.

Seeing a Familiar Face

Students often feel less anxious about going to a new classroom when they know a little bit about the new teacher that they’ll have. To help with this, kindergartners have recess along with the first and second grades so that teachers can start to connect with the students they’ll have in a year or two. In addition, faculty members who teach “specials” like art, music, and technology constantly remind students that even though the homeroom teachers change, the specials teachers will remain the same, so they can plan to see many familiar faces the following year. To help drive home this point, the specials teachers always participate in greeting during morning drop off the first week of school so that students going into a new grade can see teachers that they had the previous year .

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Topics: Education, Academics, Parenting Tips

5 Ways to Help Your Child Have a Smooth Transition into School

Posted by Liz Christopher, Tara Giordano, and Patti Reynolds on August 24, 2018 at 10:43 AM


Children entering PreK and kindergarten may be spending the day away from home for the very first time, and that make kids feel both excited and anxious. Even children who have attended an early childhood program need to prepare for the differences that come with going to school rather than daycare. As a parent, having a clear morning routine is one thing you can do to help start your child’s academic journey on the right foot. Use the five tips below to create a streamlined, stress-free process that will help your child begin every morning with confidence!

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Topics: Parenting Tips

5 Healthy Eating Habits for Kids

Posted by Olivia Civiletti on August 10, 2018 at 10:31 AM


As children get older, it’s important to help them healthy eating habits. Whether packing lunch, grabbing a snack after school, or ordering dinner in a restaurant, there are many opportunities for kids to control what goes into their bodies. Here are five tips to help you teach your child how to make nutritious choices.

Eat the rainbow

  • Encourage your child to build a plate that has an abundance of color from a variety of fruits and vegetables. A fun way to do this is to make edible art with your child! For example, create a forest scene using broccoli for the trees, an orange slice for the sun, sliced blueberries for a lake, and cauliflower florets for clouds .
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Topics: Health & Wellness, Parenting Tips

Why We Love Thematic Learning (and You Should, too!)

Posted by Christine Diubaldo and Candyce Pizzala on June 29, 2018 at 2:00 PM


The Four C’s

For years the world of school was focused on the Three R’s: reading, writing, and arithmetic. But in today’s world it’s not enough to read a book, write a story, and do a few math problems; we need to prepare our students for an ever-evolving global society. Now, education organizations around the country, including the National Education Association (NEA) are talking about the Four C’s:

  1. Critical Thinking
  2. Communication
  3. Collaboration
  4. Creativity


The Fifth C: Chocolate!

In the Third Grade we tackle the Four C’s and more through thematic learning. Thematic learning is when students focus on one theme that connects multiple subject areas. For example, in our Chocolate Economics unit we use the overarching theme of chocolate to bridge several content areas. Some highlights of the unit include:

  • Science: Investigation of the cacao bean and its rainforest habitat, including the layers of the forest, the geography and weather conditions needed to sustain a tropical rainforest, and the importance of sustainability and conservation of these areas;
  • Social Studies: Discussion of the history of chocolate, from the Aztecs and Mayans to the explorers who brought chocolate to various countries and continents;
  • Reading and Performing Arts: Reader’s Theater performances—complete with costumes and music—of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Great Kaypok Tree;
  • Economics (including research, writing, and math): Participation in the full scope of activities related to the business of chocolate-making, such as conducting market research, production of actual chocolate creations, branding & advertising via print and television, and, eventually, a Market Day where students sell their chocolate and calculate their profits, which are donated to charity organizations selected by the students.


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Topics: Education, Academics

7 Places for Summertime Family Fun in Delaware

Posted by Olivia Civiletti on June 15, 2018 at 2:13 PM

Every year, students excitedly wait for the arrival of summer, a time when they get to escape the routine of school and try something new. Though the anticipation of summertime freedom can be exciting, often, when summer arrives, kids get tired of having nothing to do and bored with the lack of routine. A great way to get out of a summertime rut is to plan day outings for the whole family. Here are seven fun things for you and your family to do this summer in Delaware.

Rehoboth Beach

What better place is there to bring a child on a sweltering summer day than the beach? Rehoboth Beach, Delaware offers public sandy beaches with access to a boardwalk with food, shops, and an amusement park, “Funland.” This is a wonderful place to get away with the family, enjoy a swim in the ocean, sunbathe, and have some fun on a ride or play a carnival game.

Delaware Art Museum

Bring out your child’s inner artist with a trip to the Delaware Art Museum. In addition to being a non-profit art museum with permanent exhibits and changing temporary exhibits, the Delaware Art Museum is very welcoming of families and children. They have a reduced admissions fee for families of up to 2 adults and 4 children and children 6 years old and under get in free. Museum admission is free on Thursdays from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM and on Sundays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and the museum holds public tours every Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM. They also offer stroller tours, youth and adult art classes, and storytelling performances for kids. For families this summer, they will also be holding special yoga in the garden events, studio Sundays, and a summer solstice labyrinth walk.

Brandywine Zoo

Any animal enthusiasts in the family? A trip to the zoo can amaze and delight! Spread across 12 acres of historical land in above the Brandywine River, the Brandywine Zoo is one of over 200 accredited zoos and aquariums in North America. It is open year-round and is committed to taking exceptional care of animals and making family visits enjoyable. This idyllic zoo houses 120 different species and is a great place to escape for the day with the whole family. They hold special events every week, such as “Story Time,” held every Thursday, in which the children are read animal stories, “Reptile Shows,” Fridays through Sundays, where kids can find out about the unique abilities of reptiles, and many more fun events focused on the education of children and their families .

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Topics: Summer, Parenting Tips, Community

How Design Thinking Inspires Future Engineers

Posted by John Bell on June 1, 2018 at 12:30 PM


Design Thinking is a teaching approach that incorporates the engineering design process in hands-on, collaborative projects. Students are guided through the design steps to problem solve. The process is meant to be repeated to create the best possible solution. Project-based and problem-based learning engages students while providing essential Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills that inspire innovation.

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Topics: Education, Academics, STEM

Tools to Teach Coding to Kids

Posted by Patrick Martin on May 18, 2018 at 12:30 PM

Elementary school is the perfect age to teach coding. Learning to code is fun, empowering, and provides essential 21st century skills. According to the US Department of Commerce, within the last ten years STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) employment opportunities have grown by 24.4% vs. only 4% in non-STEM fields, and STEM-focused employees make an average of 29% more than non-STEM workers. It is important that we provide our children with the computer science skills necessary to be successful.

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Topics: Education, Academics, Parenting Tips, STEM

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