Weekly Updates and articles from the Open Arms director

Hello Everyone!  So much happens here throughout the week and so many people care about our school so deeply.  We are blessed with new adventures everyday and we are so thankful to God for each new day we get!  Here you will find Ms. Jessy's weekly updates about things going on around the building and in the classrooms!

1/13/23 Update

Happy Weekend! We hope everyone had a wonderful week!  I know a lot of kiddos looking forward to an awesome weekend, so many of the kids look forward to spending "two home days with mommy and daddy".  You mean the world to them and they love you so much! 

Here are somethings going on around the school and many upcoming and fun events!

What's that Smell?: A few families have noticed a "gas smell" coming from our lobby area.  An email was sent out today with updates on that.  We did have Nicor Gas out on the property today checking the area.  The good news: Its NOT gas, the bad news: we have no idea why that smell seem to like that area of the building.  We will continue to look into it and see if we can locate the cause of the stinky lobby.  Thank you to everyone who said something right away. 

Registration: At the end of January all current families will be receiving Registration information for the 2023-2024 school year.  We always allow our current families to get first pick of the spots and then we open to the public.  Registration for current families will be due by February 28th.  Registration will be open to the public on MARCH 1st.  

Dine and Donate Fundraiser: On Thursday January 19th from 7am to 7:30pm at Corner Bakery on Patriot Blvd, Open Arms is hosting their second Dine and Donate Fundraiser event.  Stop by that day and order a yummy breakfast, lunch, dinner and a percentage of each order will go to OA!  Remember to tell the register that you are with Open Arms.  You can also order online by using code number 659!

Parent Thank you Breakfast: On Friday January 20th, parents, in the downstairs foyer (by our Nativity scene) the staff have prepared a wonderful grab and go breakfast.  We want to say thank you to all our families that trust us with the most important thing in their life, their children. Breakfast will be served from 7am to 9am. 

Lutheran Schools week: The children will kick off Lutheran Schools Week by singing in Church on Sunday January 22nd.  Service is at 10am.  We will also be celebrating some of our staff's work anniversaries.  The rest of the week will have a fun theme each day!

Spaghetti Dinner: Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 18th.  Immanuel Lutheran Church will be hosting their Annual Spaghetti Dinner.  Raffles are BACK! Stop by and enjoy some yummy spaghetti, meet some of the other OA families and the Immanuel Church members!

12/30/22 Update

Happy New Year!  I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas, the children have been all sharing their excitement of all the toys and adventures they had with their families.  I want to share with everyone that the children are so animated when they talk about the things they did with their family over the holiday, more than they are about the toys.  They talk about the flights they took and the people they got to see and all the Christmas decorations they got to go and see.  

Coming up in January:

Open Arms is CLOSED January 2nd for the New Year, we look forward to seeing everyone back on the 3rd. 

Clothing Drive: January is when we will be doing a children's clothing drive.  St. Paul in Mt. Prospect is looking for children's clothing for the Breakfast with Babies where parents can take their children for a meal and get some much needed items for their family.  There will be a box in the entryway for gently used clothing you wish to donate. 

Dine and Donate Event: January 19th at Corner Bakery on Patriot all day will be doing a dine and donate event.  Stop by for some breakfast, lunch, or dinner and let them know you are with OA and 15% of your total will be donated back to OA!

School Spirit Week: January 22nd-28th is Lutheran Schools Week.  This week we celebrate our school spirit with dress up days and special events.  Keep an eye out for more information about special performances and dress up information. 

Stay warm, healthy, and blessings to your family this New Year!

11/4/22 Update

Hi Everyone!  The week after Halloween is always an interesting one.  Are you sure you all didn't feed the kiddos candy for breakfast.  Just kidding, we know you would never do that.  Anywhoo here are some goings on around the building.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Culver's Fundraising Dinner Out: Join us for Dinner on Monday November 7th, from 4 to 8pm.  Make sure to mention that you are participating in the Open Arms fundraising event.  20% of your total will go towards funding Open Arms.  Plus, you don't have to cook or plan dinner AND you can have some yummy ice cream, I mean, Custard for dessert!

Safe Families:  On next Saturday Immanuel will be hosting a presentation from Safe Families.  This organization helps families stay together through different support methods.  And coincidentally, we have some children enrolled that are being supported by this organization.  Please consider joining us. 

Daylight Savings: Friendly reminder that this weekend we roll our clocks back an hour.  Enjoy that extra hour of sleep (that is, if your children let you).

10/14/22 Update

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone stayed healthy this week.  With the beautiful but colder fall weather we prepare for a lot of changes.  Please remember to check the spare clothes in your child's cubby and switch their spares out for warmer weather clothes.  Here are some updates from around the school!

Pumpkin Patch:  A HUGE thank you to Lukas' family for donating all the pumpkins this year for our pumpkin patch.  Every child got to take home a perfect pumpkin!  The children also got to go on a hay ride and take photos in custom picture cutouts! 

Front Doors:  Whoo-whoo we did it!  The new front doors look AMAZING! Thank you all for your patience and for your important role of keeping the kiddos safe.  Our new doors all open and close with no problem.  Remember that the 2nd door is the one you need to pull to enter. Grinning Face

Costume Parade and Halloween:  Our Costume parade is in 2 weeks on Friday the 28th at 5pm-dont be late it goes by very quickly.  Please remember to send your child's costume in and it needs to be God pleasing, so no ghosts, vampires, zombies, or un-natural creatures. Halloween in Glenview is Monday the 31st from 3 to 7pm!

Illness:  With the changing colder weather we always have a few rounds of illness in the school.  Please remember to keep sick children home and to please not medicate with fever reducers before coming to school. 

9/30/22 Update

Hello OA Families!  Happy Friday, happy fall and welcome October!  Here are some updates from Open Arms!

Parking Lot: Next week should be back to normal.  You are able to use both the in and the out sides of the driveways.  Please continue to drive slowly and watch for very quick children.  Staff will be able to park along the river again and reserve the front spots for pick up and drop off purposes. 

Baby Sitting: Ms. Abby (Soccer Shots Coach) has a women's ministry at her college, Wheaton, and they have many college age women looking to babysit.  Ms. Abby is WONDERFUL with the children.  If you would like her email address please contact Ms. Jessy :)  Thank you!

Phone calls: Please save (847) 724-6092 in your cell phones as Open Arms.  Our phones have been a little glitchy lately and has been showing the direct lines to different classes instead of the main number for outgoing calls.  If you get a phone call from a classroom please do NOT call that line back- please call the mainline to return any phone calls. 

Pumpkin Patch: We have our annual pumpkin patch coming up soon.  We are checking to see when our hay ride tractor driver is available for some hay rides.  If you know of any places that sell or offer group discounts on medium baking pumpkins please let Ms. Jessy know so she can pick up enough pumpkins for all the students! :)

Parenting PSA: there is a YouTube Kids programming issue.  Children will be scrolling through videos and a very inappropriate video will pop up on the app.  These videos are titled with kid friendly words and cute screen images, making it look kid friendly, but are scary and graphic within seconds of the video starting.  If your children are on the internet, please have them watch where you can also see the screen to stop and report any inappropriate videos. 

9/16/22 Update

Hello Everyone, my apologies for missing last weeks update, I was a bit under the weather and missed work on Friday. Here are some of the updates as we go into our weekend. 

Soccer Shots: Soccer practice for the 2s through kindergarten age group started this week. The children are so super excited for this opportunity during their school day!

Technology Update:  Open Arms is merging their email domain with Immanuel.  Don't worry!  All the emails will be the same, but this does mean that our online newsletters and photos may not be available or may accidentally get lost in the transfer.  If that does happen we ask for your patience while we figure out what data needs correcting and appreciate your forgiveness in advance if some cute photos are lost.

October Updates:  We do still have plans for our Fall Pumpkin Patch this year, more information will come out.  The Costume Parade is BACK!  We want to get the parents back into the building to see all the costumes that the kiddos love showing off.  More information will come about that soon, but in the meantime we ask that you start planning your costumes with sincere focus.  We are requesting that all costumes be God Pleasing so no ghosts, devils, witches vampires "re-animated" creatures or cult like characters. 

9/2/22 Update

Happy Friday and "tag you're it" for a long weekend :).  Just kidding.  We will miss all the kiddos over the long 3 day weekend, but we look forward to a wonderful next week. Here are some updates from Parent Orientation night in case you weren't able to attend. 

CLOSED MONDAY:  Reminder that we are Closed this Monday, September 5th, for Labor Day! See you Tuesday!

2022-2023 School year theme: Developing Followers of Jesus.  This is a part of our Mission statement. It fits so perfectly because we are a child development center, focusing on helping children develop mentally, physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. 

OA Parent Facebook Page: If you would like to meet other parents and see some what's going on around the school, email Ms. Jessy on how to be invited to the page.  This is a locked and private group for Open Arms Parents both past and current

Signing Children in and Out: Reminder to please please please sign your children in and out each day.  This helps us keep track of all the children in our care, especially in the case of an emergency. 

Daily Prayer: Did you know that the entire school prays together TWICE each day.  At 12:15 the children do an echo prayer over the walkie talkie and then at 3:30 we all say the Lord's Prayer (the Our Father).  It so nice that we are able to do that openly in our school!

NLSA: We are entering our re-accreditation year.  We are looking for parents (or even some involved grand parents), who would like to weigh in on what makes our center great and ways to make it even better.  If you are interested please reach out to Ms. Jessy for more details.  It will take less than an hour a month of your time and all of the work benefits your child (or grandchild). 

Looking for a babysitter?  Downstairs by our staff lounge (room 109) is a board where you can post if you are looking for a babysitter.  Some of our staff are more than happy to babysit on the evening or weekends.  And who better than someone that already knows your kiddo!

8/26/22 Update

Happy First Week of School!  We welcomed back many faces this week and met some new friends. It has been an adventure getting used to new rooms and new kids, but don't worry, after a few weeks the tears will subside and children will be talking all about how they love their new classrooms!  Here are some updates around the building

Drainage System:  The new drainage system in the back is well underway, we have been watching from the library and enjoy seeing the mini excavator digging in a new drain trench. We have had a few rain showers but all the rooms are dry!  YAY!

Front Lot Gas Line Work:  You should have all received an email today about our front lot being dug up.  We were a bit surprised by this too.  Sometime next week some workers will be digging up our gas line which will mean that part of our driveway will be closed and a bunch of our parking spots will be torn up.  Staff will all park in the west lot so parents have closer parking to the building.  We hope this project only takes a week or two at the most. 

Parent Orientation Night:  Mark your calendars for Wednesday August 31st from 6 to 7pm.  We ask that children stay home and only parents attend.  This is a great opportunity to meet your child's teacher and ask questions about the upcoming school year.  We will meet in the Church first to go over some big school changes (getting to know Ms. Christin as well as our school year theme and cool things happening this year).  

8/12/22 Update

Hello and Happy Friday everyone.  Did we all survive the full moon this week?  With the last full week of school before the new school year, the children have been extra enthusiastic haven't they?  Here are some updates from the school and some calendar reminders too!

New Drain Work:  We are nearly done with the drain work!  The threes and fours classrooms had to have some new pipes put in.  God bless the men working on the project as it took them an hour to cut through the old sold cast iron pipe!  The library will be finished up and then they will move to the kitchen!  We are super excited to see this project so close to being complete!

New Doors:  The current projected ETA is sometime in late September so we will have a short break between building projects. 

Grill Night is on this Wednesday the 17th at 5:30pm.  Come and join us for the last cook out of the year and mingle with the families.  We have a lot of newer families so come and say hello!

Back to school and backpack blessing:  We have collected 10 backpacks filled with supplies!  Thank you all!  These backpacks will go to the Debra Gelfand Children's Foundation to be sent to nearby schools with children in need of the supplies.  The blessing with be at Immanuel Lutheran on Sunday August 21st at 10am.  Parents can bring their work bags and children can bring their own backpacks to be blessed for the upcoming school year. 

8/5/22 Update

Happy Friday!  I cannot believe how fast we are flying through the school year and the summer. We are in the last few weeks of summer and we are getting super busy and excited for the upcoming school year.  Here are some quick updates:

New Drain work:  The drainage work begins on MONDAY.  Since there is rain in the forecast they plan to start with the indoor work so when it comes time to drill through the brick, hopefully we will have dryer weather. 

Daily Prayers:  Did you know that every day the children say a prayer together.  The entire school with Ms. Jessy leading over the walkie talkie leads us in prayer.  Then at 3:30pm we all say the Lord's Prayer.  So if your children are suddenly able to say the Lord's Prayer, it just means that they are actually paying attention in school :)

Back to School Blessing:  All families are invited to join us at 10am on Sunday August 21st. For a backpack blessing and to bless our teachers.  This will be included as part of our regular worship.  We will be blessing the backpacks donated as well as all the children's back to school backpacks and even the grownups briefcases or work bags!

Calendar Reminders: OA is CLOSED August 18th and 19th for staff orientation and cleaning.  1st day of school is August 22nd.  Parent Orientation (no children please) is on August 31st at 6:00pm. 

7/29/22 Update

Happy Friday here are some exciting things that have happened this week.  I hope you all have a relaxing and well deserved weekend. 

Pardon our Dust:  We have the permit and approval for our new front doors! YAY!  We are just working out the when and the supplies so we will give a definite date soon. This will probably mean that drop off or pick up may be a little different as we may need to use a different door and the key fob activator may be down for a few days so keep a close eye on your emails for updates

Saying Good bye to summer break:  We are in the last few weeks of "Summer" as we prepare for the 1st day of school on the 22nd.  You all should have received an email with your classroom information and the school supply lists.  Reminder that we are closed August 18 and 19th.  Let your teacher know if you will be out on vacation that week (we know it is a popular week to vacation).  

When it rains it pours:  We had a busy week, the sudden rainstorm this week caused some minor flooding in the baby begonias and almost in the 2s room.  Thank you for our amazing staff who moved water, children, and supplies and for all our amazing parents who picked up kids so quickly so we could clean and re-open.  

7/22/22 Update

Happy Happy Friday everyone!  July is just zooming by.  I hope everyone has a great weekend!  Here are some reminders for things at Open Arms.

Grill Night: Grill Night is this upcoming TUESDAY at 5:30!  Come and join us in the backyard for some hotdogs, brats, and community!  This is a great opportunity for new families to meet some of our veteran families and our families to meet members of Immanuel!

Cleaning Days: Reminder that we will be closed August 18th and 19th for staff orientation/in-service training and cleaning.  If you have plans to go on vacation that week (we know many of you like to use that opportunity) please let your lead teacher know so we can possibly get a jump start on some of that cleaning :)

New Classroom Information:  All families will be receiving an email next week with the classroom assignments, supply lists, tuition information, and new parent handbooks.  I do not use the automated system for that so I thank you in advance for your patience while I type all those out individually to email to each family. Also, Check out our "About Us" page with the new teacher info and bios!

Is there something we are doing really well:  We love to hear all about ways we can grow, and it is just as important to us to hear about things we do that have made a big impact on your family, if there is something we do well, feel free to send an email, or drop a letter in the tuition box!  If anyone would like to write a review for our website please send one to Ms. Jessy!  Thank you!

7/15/22 Update

Hello and happy Friday.  It started out pretty rainy, I hope you all manage to stay dry at pick up time too.  Here are some changes and updates around the building. 

Weekly COVID Testing: Illinois started to offer funding to COVID testing facilities again, so our company is able to test all the children and staff even if they didn't want to provide insurance information.  Friendly reminder that ALL children will be tested unless they have an Opt-Out Form, the form is attached below on the 11/5/21 update.  For children that had opt out forms from the beginning we have kept them and have not tested those select children.  You can opt out or opt back in at any time. 

Grill Night: Our next Grill Night is scheduled for Tuesday, July 26th starting at 5:30PM!  We will be grilling hot dogs and have side dishes.  Come and get to know other families and members of Immanuel.  

August Cleaning Days: On August 18th and 19th Open Arms will be closed so the staff can attend in-service trainings, CPR trainings, and cleaning/ prepping their classrooms for the upcoming school year.  School will re-open on Monday August 22nd for the 1st day of the school

Parent Classes: In the past OA offered free classes on a variety of different subject for parents to attend.  Is this something you would be interested in again?  Would you like to have a zoom class or maybe a recorded YouTube video?  Ms. Jessy has some different topics to explore.  If you have suggestions on a topic please Email Ms. Jessy your ideas!  

7/1/22 Update

Happy Friday everyone and Happy 4th of July Weekend.  Here are some things happing around the school this week!

4th of July:  We are CLOSED on Monday July 4th for Independence Day.  We will re-open on Tuesday July 5th at 7:00am.  Just a friendly reminder that tuition is the same for next week. 

Accreditation Process:  This week the School and Church Boards as well as the lead teachers begun discussing the self-study questionnaire to renew our status with the NLSA (National Lutheran Schools Accreditation Association).  If you are interested in learning more about this process or would like to help us continually improve our schools please reach out to Ms. Jessy to serve on a subcommittee.  

Open Door Policy:  Here at Open Arms we want everyone to feel like family, we all take care of each other and we are there for each other in times of need.  If you ever have any questions about how things are run or have a worry about your child's care, please reach out to Ms. Jessy first.  We all work very hard around here to always provide you with the best care, and if there is something we can improve on we want to know about it right away.  You are always welcome to speak to Ms. Jessy, call or email.  

6/24/22  Update

Happy Weekend everyone! We have been blessed with BEAUTIFUL weather for water play days! Some classes even got to go out multiple times! Here are some updates around the building

Door Updates: Front Doors have been making process, we need to go before the Glenview Appearance Committee to approve the "look" of the doors, we are pretty sure of the company we are going with to replace the doors and then it is just a waiting game on materials to come in.  The back code door: the code door is located between the toddler room and the twos room, parents are not given this code for security purposes, and not all staff are given the code either.  If you need to re-enter the building please enter through the front doors. Please continue to make sure that the doors close behind you.

Mark your Calendars: Here is your friendly reminder that Open Arms will be CLOSED Monday, July 4th in honor of Independence Day. 

Also, you are invited to join us on Sunday August 21st for a back to school blessing- we bless all our wonderful teachers, staff, and administration as well as any back packs, briefcases, and work bags for a blessed school year. 

Reminder: Please go back and check your emails for the parent and staff survey about the administration and overall Open Arms School. 

6/17/22 Update

Happy Friday again!  This week has been quite warm.  We are so blessed to have an air conditioned building!  Here are some things going on around the building. 

Water days: Water days have begun full swing. Please check out the Open Arms Parents Facebook Page for some of the photos.  If you need access to the page please send "Jessy Open Arms Dinkelman" a friend request and we will invite you to the group.

Spring Cleaning Bug: The cleaning bug has hit OA!  Some of you may have noticed our BEAUTIFULLY cleaned stage area in the gym.  Our teachers are also working on many of the toy and curriculum storage areas around the building.  At this time we ask that if you have a donation please leave it with Ms. Jessy.  If we have a use for it we will add it to a classroom.  If we do not have a use for it we will send it along to St. Paul in Mt. Prospect for their Breakfast With Baby charity. Reminder that we will be CLOSED August 18th and 19th for deep cleaning and staff orientation. 

Staff trainings:  Our staff are continually updating their knowledge base.  Some of the annual trainings include: SIDS/SUIDS prevention, Mandated Reporter Trainings, Shaken Baby prevention, and Trauma Informed Practice Trainings.  Every 2 years staff get refreshers in CPR/ First Aid/ Choking/ and now AED. We also have meetings with our staff on how to fill out accident/incident reports, technology in early childhood, and safety drills.  If you think our staff could use improvement in a certain area, please talk to Ms. Jessy to add to the training schedule! 

COVID Vaccine Update: Some of you may heard that the FDA is voting to approve the vaccine for children between the ages of 6 months and 5 Years.  We are still waiting for more information, but our preliminary findings show that the side effects reported would require any child under the age of 5 that receives the vaccine needs to stay home 24 hours after receiving the vaccine to monitor for side effects.  My encouragement for families considering the vaccine would be to schedule it for a Friday so their child would not miss any days of school. More information to come as we hear more. 

6/10/22 Update

Happy Friday Open Arms!  We had a wet week, but the sunshine did peek through for us often enough for us to have some fun. Here are some updates around the building

-Ms. Megan E- In the 2s room welcomed her beautiful baby girl on Monday.  Mama and Baby are doing great- we will have Ms. Megan back after her maternity leave and baby will be joining us as well!

-Water Days technically started this week, I think only 1 class was able to make it out between all the rain.  We pray for sunshiny days so everyone gets to play in the sprinklers and water tables!

-Lead teacher and Co-Lead teachers have been announced for each classroom please check your email for those announcements!  We look forward to an amazing new school year!  

-Open Arms Survey:  A few months ago we sent out surveys asking  parents about their lead teachers and now we are sending out a survey for the administration of Open Arms.  Parents and Staff please check your emails for this survey, even if you just graduated, we would love your feed back!

-Backpack Blessings:  For the month of July we are collecting School Supplies and backpacks that will be blessed for the upcoming school year.  These supplies and backpacks will be distributed by the Debra Gelfand Fund to children in the area.  Please bring all supplies to Ms. Missy in the front office. 

6/3/22 Update

  • Congratulations to our Kindergarten Graduates! The Kindergarten class of 2022 Graduated on Thursday Night with performances by the Daisy Threes and Sunflower Fours.  Our Kindergarteners are so ready for 1st grade! If you would like a copy of the slideshow presentation please bring a USB memory stick to Ms. Jessy.  Thank you. 
  • Another Congratulations to our Sunflower Fours who completed their Bridging Ceremony today.  Some of our 4s will join us for Kindergarten but many are off on their own Kindergarten journeys.  We have some bright futures ahead. 
  • Reminder that Water Days for the classroom start next week.  Monday: 3s Class; Tuesday Toddler/Baby Classes; Thursdays 4s Class; Fridays 2s Class. Please remember to pack a suit, towel, appropriate water shoes, sunscreen/hat, and swim diaper (if necessary).  
  • Tonight is Grill Night: Food will be served From 5:30 to 6:30pm.  We hope to see you there!