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141 Davis Street, Greenfield, MA 01301, 413.772.1300 (voice), 413.774.7940 (fax)



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Principal: Joan Schell, EdD
Program Coordinator, General Administration: Nancy Garlock
Program Coordinator, Special Education Administration: Elizabeth Bednarski-Mahon

Visit our About AEL/FAQ page

Now enrolling for 2015-2016


To inquire, please call 772-1390 and leave a message or email Nancy Garlock at

Parents may request a free developmental screening for their child at any time. To schedule a screening, please contact Nancy Garlock at 772-1390 or email

AEL Open House, 2/24/15

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Announcements to cancel school or delay school opening are typically made early in the morning or the prior evening. You can find out about cancellations or delays in these ways:

  • Our “phone robot” calls each family to announce a delay or cancellation. If you do not get a call, then we don’t have your correct phone number. Please let the Academy office know right away.
  • Local TV and radio stations will announce Greenfield Public School cancellations and delays.
  • If you have internet, look at our school district

When school is cancelled, there will be no classes or Wrap Care. Any scheduled meetings are cancelled and will be rescheduled.
When there is a delay, start times for the morning and full day classes are backed up the length of the delay (for example: with a 2-hour delay, start time is 10:30 a.m.) Similarly, wrap care start time is delayed (with a 2-hour delay, start time for wrap care would be 9:30 a.m.). The usual delay is a 2-hour delay-in which case, the morning classes are cancelled, full day classes begin at 10:30, and afternoon classes run as usual.
Also, when there is a 2-hour delay, the school does not serve breakfast.

In the very unlikely event of an early release due to inclement weather, the automated phone system will call with the announcement. In addition, the Academy staff will make every attempt to reach a family member by calling your cell and/or work numbers. Please make sure your emergency pick-up contacts are up to date.


school house

February 2015 Newsletter

Let it Snow

HeartWith Valentine’s Day approaching, our teachers are focusing on the many ways we celebrate friendships. Our preschool curriculum offers many activities related to friendship including stories, letter writing, and greetings for friends. Classrooms may do an optional valentine exchange which is then incorporated into the curriculum activities. As always, we try to focus on the celebration of friendship rather than the sharing of sweet treats. Please check with your child’s teacher before sending in something to share. At home, families can help by talking about the importance of friendship.

We will be hosting an open house on Tuesday, February 24th from 5:00-6:00 to showcase the preschool to prospective families. If you know anyone looking for preschool for next year, please encourage them to come check us out! In addition, we are happy to give tours during the school day to anyone who is interested in seeing the program in action!

EnrollmentStudents returning to the Academy will bring home a re-enrollment form after the February break. Space is limited, and returning students who complete and return their forms by the return date are given preference. Let us know too, if you have a younger child you would like to enroll.

For new students, we will be hosting registration sessions from Thursday, February 26 through Thursday, March 5th with one evening session on Tuesday, March 3rd. As part of registration, all children will receive a free developmental screening. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. Families should call us (772-1390) to set up a registration appointment. Please encourage friends and family to consider our preschool program!

Kindergarten registration at all three Greenfield elementary schools is scheduled for late February. We will send home registration information once all the dates have been set. It’s not too early to start touring the schools. This can help you decide which school may provide the best fit for your child. We are always available to help you through this process.


Feb 12
PTO 6:00–7:00 p.m.

Feb 16-20
School Vacation

Feb 24
Open House for New Families

Feb 26
First Registration Session 9:00-1:00

Feb 27
Registration Session 9:00-3:00

We try to go outside for recess whenever possible. We follow the guidelines set by the Child Care Weather Watch Chart and the Greenfield Public School Winter Recess Policy to determine when it is safe for children to have outdoor recess. Please plan on sending snow pants, hat, gloves and boots daily throughout the winter so that your child will stay warm and have fun outdoors! Be sure to label your child’s clothing too! If you are missing any clothing, feel free to check out the Lost and Found box which is kept in the front portico entrance.

United WayOur United Way readers are coming on February 12 to read to all of our students. The United Way provides a book for each student to keep. The students get very excited to receive a book that they can keep. Please take a few minutes to sit down and look at the book together, asking your child questions about the story. This is a great way for you to support early literacy at home!

Many families struggle with how to involve their children in every day chores around the house. Some children are eager to help with everything and others are less excited about helping out. By giving responsibility to your child, you are helping build self-confidence and conveying that you see your child as a contributing member of the family!

  1. Make sure the chores you have your child do are safe and age-appropriate. Give children simple chores that they can do alone such as putting things away or emptying their backpack. You can also give chores that you can do together.
  2. Start young! This helps get your child in the habit of helping out and being responsible. When your child puts their laundry away, helps set the table for dinner or sorts silverware they are working on great preschool skills.
  3. Make your expectations clear and acknowledge hard work. It is important for your child to feel successful. Acknowledge their hard work and thank them for their help. Try to avoid money as a reward for chores. In order for a household to run smoothly, we all need to pitch in and help. An occasional pizza night or movie night together might be a good way to acknowledge the chores being done by everyone.
  4. Make a family chore list. This helps remind everyone of their responsibilities and helps your child know what is expected. Let your child “check off” when their chore has been completed. Try to use pictures to represent your child’s responsibilities.

BookwormHere are some easy tips for encouraging early literacy well before your child learns to read!

  1. FORM A CLOSE BOND: Your relationship with your child is very important to his/her ability to learn. If you are interactive, close and loving, your child will reap the rewards!
  2. GET IN ON THE FUN: Being a participant during playtime can bring you closer and help you learn useful information about your child’s habits and emotions.
  3. TELL TALES: Build narrative skills by gathering family members at meal times and having them tell the story of their day.
  4. PLAY RHYMING GAMES: This helps build phonemic awareness (the ability to distinguish and manipulate individual sounds)….and it’s fun!
  5. BRING READING AND WRITING INTO EVERYDAY LIFE: Encourage literacy in your child’s daily routine. Some examples might be making shopping lists together and labeling their drawings together.
  6. BE ATTENTIVE: and engaged when you communicate with your child. By paying attention and listening to what your child has to say, you are giving them the message that what they say is important!
  7. READ TOGETHER: Make story time a daily ritual that your child can count on and look forward to. Reading before bedtime is a wonderful way to wind down and have some special time together.

Car seat Please remember that all children must remain buckled in a child restraint seat when arriving and leaving school.  At drop off, children should remain buckled until a staff member comes to get them. At pick up, all children must be buckled when your vehicle leaves the school. Your child’s safety is our top priority!

BackpackNotices and newsletters are sent home on a regular basis to help keep you informed about what is happening in your child’s classroom and the school at large. It is important to us that you are informed and involved. Please be sure to check your child’s backpack daily.

Field Trips
Field TripAll of our classrooms participated in field trips to an apple orchard during the first month of school. Children had a great time and of course, they all loved going on the big bus! Our classrooms try to take field trips regularly throughout the school year. Teachers will always send notices home ahead of time. We welcome families joining us for field trips and ask that you complete a CORI check prior to the field trip. These CORI forms are available in the office. At this time of year, with many families submitting CORIs, there can be a backlog. To avoid disappointment on the day of the field trip, please check with Maggie (413 772-1390) ahead of time to be sure that your CORI has cleared.

A+ School Rewards are points that supporters earn with each purchase made using their Stop & Shop Card. At the end of each month, the points earned are used in a calculation to determine our school's cash total, which is then automatically credited to our school's account. Customers can support up to two schools to benefit from their A+ School Rewards that accrue. We invite families to register now to start earning dollars for the Academy! Families can register at the customer service desk or you can register online by going to: You will be asked to enter your Stop and Shop card number and our school code (We are listed as the North Parish Elementary School) which is 05139. This is a simple and easy way to raise money for our school without spending anything extra! Please register today and encourage friends and families to register too!

Sick ChildMany families have questions about when their child can return to school after being sick. Some circumstances are clear to us: your child must be free from vomiting, diarrhea and fever without the use of medication for 24 hours before returning to school. Some circumstances are less clear. Sometimes it can be helpful to think about whether your child is acting like themselves and have the energy needed to get through the day. Our school nurse has attached a flyer that offers guidance for making these tough decisions. Please review this and let us know if you have questions or concerns.

Academy Staff
Full-Day Classrooms
• Jennie Horton (teacher)
• Janice Fuller (teacher)
• Julie Letendre (teacher)
• Claire Glabach (teacher)

Half-Day Classrooms (morning & afternoon)
• Caissie Putnam (teacher)
• Tarah Perna, (teacher)

Intensive Special Needs Classroom
• Liz Bednarski-Mahon (SPED Coordinator & teacher)

All-School Staff
• Nancy Garlock, Program Coordinator
• Liz Bednarski-Mahon, Program Coordinator
• Deb Abrams, Interim School Psychologist
• Keith Urkiel, Custodian
• Tiffany Losier, School nurse
• Maggie Padilla, Receptionist/ Tuition Coordinator
• Renee’ Southwick & Donna Gaylord, Speech & Language Pathologists
• Heidi Merritt, Wrap-around care

Our teachers are available to meet with you to discuss your child. You can always call the school at 772-1390 to leave a message for your child’s teacher and she will get back to you as soon as possible. Because attending to your children is our highest priority, please schedule a time to speak with your child’s teacher rather than going down to the classroom during the day or trying to catch the teachers during drop off/pick up. Our teachers want to be able to give you their full attention!

Our Mission

The Academy of Early Learning provides quality pre-school education and support services in a safe, nurturing public school environment. We believe young children learn best when discovering and exploring their world through play. We are dedicated to being a responsive, community-based preschool while meeting all district, state and national performance standards for excellence. We are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Brain Building LogoFor more information about the importance of children interacting and learning in enriching environments, visit Brain Building in Progress, a public-private partnership, led by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and United Way.

Academy of Early Learning PTO
Meeting Minutes/Newsletters
PTO News: May, 2014
PTO News: November-December, 2013
PTO News: September-October, 2013
September 12, 2013
May 1, 2013
PTO News: May-June 2013
April 10, 2013
March 6, 2013
February 6, 2013
January 9, 2013
December 12, 2012
November 15, 2012
September 12, 2012
August 1, 2012

Visit our About AEL/FAQ page

Happy children

Page last updated: February 20, 2015




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