Friday, September 23, 2016

Come See My Friends at Fourth Friday, TONIGHT!!

I've been a busy bear preparing for tonight's Fourth Friday Event in Uptown Westerville!

My friends from the ELC will be in front of Hanby Elementary School starting at 6 PM, and I know they would love to talk to you!

We will have a few activities for our young friends, and will be available to answer questions about child development.  

Look at the great sign we made for our display!  My friend Matt helped with the picture on the flyer.  Isn't it beautiful?!?

Gotta Run!

The Polar Bear

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Apparently, We Are News Worthy!!

That's right!  I spent yesterday afternoon with reporters  - reporters who plan to feature our center in an up-coming issue of the magazine Westerville 365!!  

When they contacted us, I figured the focus of the story would be on my excellent writing skills.   (Yes, for a bear, my writing skills are extraordinary!) However, it turns out that the real story is the amazing staff, students, and families at the Early Learning Center! The more they talked to our team, the more they understood why our program earned a Five Star Step Up To Quality rating! 

I can't wait to read the article when it is published!!

Also, a quick reminder that our curriculum night will be held in our center from 6PM to 7PM tonight.  I hope to see you there!

The Polar Bear

Monday, August 8, 2016

Going Back to School Makes Me Hungry!

With all of this excitement, who wouldn't be hungry!  

And I'd certainly rather support the Early Learning Center than cook dinner!

So, I plan to download this flier and take it with me to Raising Cane's on Polaris Parkway tomorrow, August 9th between 11 AM and 9 PM.  When I do, Raising Cane's will donate 20% of the sale back to our PTA!

(and if I forget to print off the flier, I can show them the flier on my phone!)

I'll see you soon at the Early Learning Center!

The Polar Bear

Friday, July 29, 2016

This is an Event Not to be Missed!

Students in the Westerville City School District who will be riding a school bus for the first time this fall are invited, along with their parents or guardians, to attend the annual First Time Riders open house, which will be held at Whittier Elementary School from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 30. Whittier is located at 130 E. Walnut St. in Westerville.
At the event, sponsored by the district’s Transportation Department, pupils will have the opportunity to explore a school bus up close, learn about bus safety, ride a real school bus with their parents, learn about school bus mechanics through hands-on activities, and meet Buster the Bus. Those who are not first time riders, but are apprehensive about the school bus experience, are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Count Down Has Begun!

In just over a month, all of our Preschool Friends will be heading back to school, and we are busy getting ready!  As you can see, we have been busy preparing our Back To School Mailing!  (Actually, it was a lot of work trying to stuff envelopes with my hairy paws, so I skipped out to work on my blog while they kept working!)

The packets have been compiled and are in the mail!  

In the mailing, the packet includes helpful information about what families need to do before school starts.  It also includes several important dates ... Important dates like:
  • Preschool starts August 23rd
  • Back to School Event is scheduled on August 9th (11:00-1:00 and 4:00-6:00)
  • Families can come and Meet the Teacher on August 22nd (3:00-4:00 or 4:00-5:00)
  • Back to School Picnic hosted by our WSNPTA will be held on August 25th 
Also in the packet, you will get information about how to complete some required forms online. (yep, the forms are required, and it is required that they are completed online - let us know if you need help!) The more families who complete these forms BEFORE coming to the Back to School Event, the smoother our event will go.

Preparing packets was hard work, and work makes me hungry, so I did what any bear would do ... I called my friends at Raising Cane's!  They have offered to host a Spirit Day Fundraising Event for us ALL DAY on August 9th! That's the same day as our Back to School Event! At least for Polar Bears, that's a great day to eat out - I know that I won't feel like cooking after an exciting afternoon at the ELC!  I hope to run into some old friends and make a few new ones at the Back to School Event ... maybe I will ask them if they want to meet for lunch or dinner when we are done!

The Spirit Day Fundraiser will be held at the Polaris Location from 11AM to 9PM.  The Spirit Day Fundraiser is simple, especially for our families who would be eating out anyway.  When families are at the ELC, we will pass out fliers.  When our families take the fliers and go to Cane's for lunch or dinner, our PTA will make money!  Isn't that cool! 

I look forward to seeing you all VERY soon!!

The Polar Bear

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

It's Official! The ELC is a 5-STAR SUTQ Program!

Woo-Hoo!  Hooray!  Yippee!  

Way to go, ELC Teachers!

In case you haven't heard the good news, Westerville City Schools
Early Learning Center Preschool has been awarded a 

Five-Star Step Up To Quality Rating!  

Earning this award is a lengthy and involved process.  It includes gathering and submitting evidence of our practices as well as hosting an unannounced site-visit by representatives from the Ohio Department of Education.  The evaluation team spent multiple days with us.  During the visit, they observed our classrooms and interviewed our teachers.  They also looked at all sorts of things, like our records, our professional development plans, our curriculum, and more!  I think they even read my Polar Bear Blog!!

I have always known that our center is of 5-Star quality, but it sure is nice to see it in writing!  In fact, while my preschool friends are on break for the summer, I have been chill'n in the center with Mrs. Kile (our director) and admiring our banner.  
Isn't it beautiful?!?!

In case you'd like a little back ground on the significance of this honor, A Step Up To Quality Five-Star rating means our program that has demonstrated the highest level of quality! Below are some of the considerations at the five star level.

·              There are more staff members per child.
Teachers have more time to support your child’s individual development and learning.  This is important because 90 percent of brain development occurs by the time your child is 6 years old.

·               The administrator and teachers have higher educational qualifications.
The administrator and most teachers have a bachelor’s or master’s degree and many years’ experience working with young children.  These qualifications benefit your child’s development and learning.

·               The administrator and teachers complete more than 20 hours of specialized training every two years.
The administrator and teaching staff are committed to expanding their education and skills to better support your child’s development and learning. 

·               Teachers develop lesson plans that support each child’s growth. 
Teachers plan intentional and purposeful activities and experiences that meet the needs, interests and abilities of children.  These activities and experiences support them and their development. 

·               Program staff completes assessments to evaluate and improve the learning experience.
Assessments with your child help keep track of his or her growth over time.  This lets teachers adjust how they offer experiences to your child daily.

·               Families and the community are valued.

Programs work with families and neighborhood organizations to provide more opportunities for children.

If you would like more information regarding early learning and development programs in your area and statewide, visit  

I hope all of my Preschool Friends are enjoying the summer!  

                                                                                               The Polar Bear

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tomorrow Is Our Last Day!!

Although this Polar Bear is ready for some fun in the sun, I can not believe that I have only one more day of school with all of my preschool friends!  However, we still have LOTS of fun activities and learning going on around here - just this morning, I have seen students cooking treats, going on a treasure hunt, exploring the outdoors, and more!

Our students have learned so much this year and are ready for whatever comes next!

I know that my friends who are headed to kindergarten are very well prepared and will love their next 12 years in Westerville Schools!

I am also glad that many of my friends will return in the fall for another year of preschool at the ELC. The ELC gets a little lonely when school isn't in session, and I am so glad to know many will be returning!

As I think of steps that come next, I am also reminded of Mrs. Nancy Brunson - she is one of our Speech and Language Pathologists.  Not only has she had a great year helping us learn, she has been helping students in the Westerville School District since 1990!  Mrs. Brunson is smart, caring, hardworking, funny, passionate, ... and VERY HUMBLE!  Because she is humble and reluctant to be placed in the spot light, you might not have heard that she is retiring at the conclusion of this school year. She will certainly be missed!  I hope you will all join me as I send positive thoughts and wishes her way for a well deserved and happy retirement!

(That's me with Mrs. Brunson!)

Please remember that the last day of school for students is Tuesday, May 24!  Have a wonderful summer!

The Polar Bear

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Please join us on April 19th for Q and A with Dr. K!

If you haven't met our Superintendent, you are in for a real treat!  I was just up in his office this afternoon, and it is so exciting to hear him talk about all of the great stuff going on across the Westerville School District!

As our Superintendent, Dr. Kellogg is involved in  just about everything! He helps select the district's curriculum and classroom materials, oversees the hiring of teachers and administrators, coordinates with our community, and he truly cares about each of our students!  Can you believe with all that, he still finds time to meet with his favorite Polar Bear!

Since I work in the building as the preschool mascot, I get to ask him questions anytime, but here is a great opportunity for all of the Preschool Families to have their questions answered!  On Tuesday, April 19th, Dr. Kellogg will be the featured speaker at our General PTA meeting.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM at the Early Learning Center.  

Like I said, you can always count on him for an update of what's happening across the district, but most of his time at the meeting will be based on questions that WE ask!  This could be specific to preschool, about the district in general, or just about anything.

Also at the meeting: Our Nominating Committee plans to present the slate of nominees for the PTA election in May.  If you or anyone you know is interested in serving on our board, please contact to add your name to the list!

Rumor has it that Dr. Kellogg will be running the Boston Marathon the day before our meeting, and I plan to ask him how he runs so fast!

I hope to see you on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 6:30 PM in the Sunshine room of the Early Learning Center!

The Polar Bear

Monday, February 29, 2016

2016 Summer Camp/Activities Expo is Coming!

Are you starting to make plans for the summer? This is worth checking out!

The 2016 Summer Camp/Activities Expo will take place from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening, March 9, at Westerville North High School, which is located at 950 County Line Road.

The event is sponsored by the Westerville Parent Council PTA. Admission is free and open to the public, and everyone in attendance will have a chance to win raffle prizes.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

Our Food Drive for W.A.R.M. was a HUGE SUCCESS!

Following our drive, volunteers from WARM came and picked up all of our donations.  

It took two grown men, a polar bear, a cart, and big van to transport the numerous items that our preschoolers somehow carried in on their own! 

(Our students' strength must be the result of Ms Julie's Physical Education Classes!)

After weighing in the donations ....

The Early Learning Center collected 531 pounds of food and personal care products that will help individuals and families in need in the Westerville Community!

(Although our Director Mrs. Kile is in the photo, the volunteers and I did all of the heavy lifting!)

I hope everyone is enjoying the last days of their break!  Students are scheduled to return to school on Wednesday, January 6, 2016.

Happy New Year from The Polar Bear!