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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

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

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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

January 2015 Newsletter

Let it Snow

Happy New Year to all of our AEL families and staff! We hope you have a relaxing and fun vacation filled with celebrations with family and friends. We are looking forward to get back into our routine here at preschool. It is hard to believe that we are almost half way through the school year! In the next few months, we will be sending home information about registration for the coming year. This will include information for those returning to preschool, enrolling in preschool for a first time and those who will be stepping up to kindergarten. Our goal is to make this information as clear as possible. Please call us if you need additional information or would like to talk about your child’s options. We are happy to help in whatever way we can.

Increasingly, we are seeing children arriving in the drop off line sitting unbuckled in the front seat of the car. Please be sure your child remains seated and buckled in the back seat until staff come to take them out of the car. Cars are still moving in the drop off lane and it could be very dangerous for your child should a car accidently bump into your car.

We are noticing an increasing number of children being picked up late each day. This can be very upsetting and confusing to children when they are still here and all of their friends have gone home. Please be sure to be here for pick up at 2:55 p.m.

Tax time is coming up. If your tax situation allows a deduction for tuition, you will need the following EIN/Tax ID# for the Academy of Early Learning: 046-001-163. If you need any documentation of tuition paid for the year, please contact Maggie Padilla at 772-1390

The clothing exchange room is getting a bit low on winter clothing. If you would like to donate gently worn, stain-free winter clothing (pants, shirts, jackets, boots) sizes 3-6, please drop them off at the office. We will start accepting spring/summer clothing towards the end of March. The clothing exchange room is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


January 5:
Return to School!

January 16:
No Preschool or Wrap Care

January 19:
No Preschool-Martin Luther King Day

January 20:
No preschool/No Wrap Care- Professional Development Day

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

Happy children

Page last updated: January 23, 2015




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