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!

1/21/22 Update

Next week is Lutheran Schools Week.  Remember:

Monday: Wear your OA t-shirt! We will be going around on Monday getting t-shirts to families that need one. 

Tuesday: Dress Fancy. Dress to the 9s in some spiffy attire. 

Wednesday: Wacky Wednesday. Get goofy wear something silly or go for a crazy hair style

Thursday: Sports Day.  Go team! Represent your favorite sports teams!

Friday: Pajama Day! Get all cozy and snuggly for a pajama day to wind down the week!

Keep an eye out. 

-Enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year will be coming out soon.  Remember Open enrollment for the community starts March 1st, all currently enrolled families get first pick of the spots. 

1/14/22 Update

Happy Friday and  Hello. I feel like I haven't written in a while.  It has been a crazy few weeks.  

Mark Your Calendars: January 24-28th is Lutheran Schools Week.  Each day has a dress up theme, check out the flyers around the building or January Newsletter if you need a refresher on the different themes.

COVID UPDATES: Our school was tested on Wednesday this past week.  We will most likely continue to test Wednesdays, and it seems like our lab has worked out some of their influx challenges, getting the results to us quicker than last time. We thank all our families and staff for being safe and for communicating any concerns or possible exposures to COVID. 

COVID Policy Updates:  Open Arms tries to remain open as much as possible.  A room will only close under the most severe of circumstances, such as if the Majority of the classroom has officially tested positive or we do not have the proper staffing for required ratios.  Open Arms is enforcing a 10 day quarantine for all positive CHILDREN and must return symptom free.  Fully vaccinated staff have been moved to a 5 day quarantine, but also must return symptom free. 

If your child tests positive from a school test you will always receive a phone call from Ms. Jessy or another school representative, you will also receive an email from stream lab solutions.  Sometimes these phone calls are after school hours, we make our phone calls as soon as we get the results, if you do not answer a voice message will be left for you. 

12/10/21 Update

We had a wonderful staff appreciation luncheon today.  The staff enjoyed the food so much and LOVED the mugs with the OA logo on them.  Thank you so much from all of us for this special treat, it brought many smiles to some tired faces. Here are some things around the building.

1) REMINDER: The Mom's Christmas party is tonight from 6:30 to 9:00. Bring your white elephant gift and a little snack-y to share. 

2) Our Health and Safety inspection was this week.  Because we have a high risk population (i.e. Children) and we serve food we have 2 surprise inspection each year.  Both of our inspections this year were great and we passed with a beautiful 100% Go Open Arms!

3) A reminder as we get into the colder months, sickness will happen, its better to take a day in the beginning of the illness than to take several days when it is a full blown sickness. Some classes have already begun seeing some rough viruses go through their room. As much as we let the children rest at nap, a longer and uninterrupted nap (or even a calmer day at home) can lead to better sleep at night and a stronger immune system.

12/3/21 Update

1) Reminder that our Christmas Program will be tomorrow! The Daisy Threes, Sunflower Fours, and Wildflower Kindergarten will be performing at 9am in the Church.  After the performance will be a light breakfast in the gym and photo opportunities with the Nativity and Santa.  The nativity will be on the Altar and Santa will be in the Library. Santa (and breakfast) will be heading back to the North Pole at 11am. Everyone is welcome to attend (extended family included) please remember to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. 

2) The Open Arms Staff Party will be on December 10th, so any last minute donations or sign up need to be before then.  The staff really appreciate this wonderful tradition, they love taking care of the children every day and love the opportunity to have a nice lunch and time with each other. 

3) Mom's group White Elephant Christmas Party will also be on the 10th from 6:30pm to 9:00pm.  Bring a secret gift and a small munchie to share. 

4) Please see our Monthly Newsletter (emailed earlier this week) for all the planned December events in advance. 

Have a Wonderful Weekend and we hope to see you all tomorrow. 

11/19/21 Update

Happy Friday!  This week has felt so busy.  I'm going to have to remind myself to put my feet up this weekend (hahaha who am I kidding I've got a 3 month old, hahahaha). 

Some quick notes on the goings on of this week. 

- You can still donate for the teacher's Christmas Luncheon.  Smartcare donations are CLOSED but if you wish to still contribute, you can bring in a check or bring in a $5 gift card to any store like Starbucks, Dunkin, Einstein bagels, etc., you can also sign up on sign up genius to donate your time: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050e4cacab2da5fe3-open1

- Mark your Calendars for the MOMS CHRISTMAS PARTY! Friday December 10th from 6:30pm to 9:00pm.  Bring a fun white elephant gift and a snack to share.  

-COVID testing updates.  I apologize for going back and forth, we are still new to the process and they are informing me as we go.  I previously stated that anyone under 2 will not be tested.  That information has changed.  Starting next week they WILL test the younger children.  IF you wish to OPT OUT the link to the form is in the 11/5/21 update below. We still have the forms for those who previously opted out.  

-We had our DCFS state re-licensing visit today.  We have this really big visit every 3 years and the staff always work exceedingly hard to make sure everything is perfect all year round.  Every paper and file must be complete and the classrooms perfectly safe.  We always do well and this year is no different.  The classrooms were AMAZING, the only work needed included new trash cans and some paint touch ups! YAY TEACHERS! We could not be more proud of all of our staff in working to make their classrooms amazing every day! Some files needed some fine tuning but overall, the entire school did amazingly well. YAY OPEN ARMS!

11/12/21 Update

Happy Friday! This week has felt a little off, hasn't it?  Maybe it was just the time change, but everyone seems to be a bit on edge lately, myself included, lets find a way to help someone smile today :). 

Here are somethings that went on at Open Arms this week:

-We lost internet intermittently for the last 3 days.  Everyone probably heard about the Comcast outage, I guess it really knocked us out. We are catching up on all the emails so thank you for your patience as we get through the backlog. 

-Today we had the first round of COVID testing for all children aged 2 and older.  I apologize, I thought it was also for the infants and toddlers.  We will continue to test the children that are 2 and older and staff every Friday.  If a child is not going to be here, they will simply go untested for a week, and will test again the next time they are present. 

-Note that we will be closed for Thanksgiving, both the 25th and the 26th. PAJAMA DAY on Wednesday the 24th!!

-Mark your calendars for the CHRISTMAS PROGRAM (*whisper* and Santa's visit) on December 4th at 9am. And Mom's group Christmas party on Friday December 10th.

11/5/21 Update

Happy Friday.  We have had a busy week here.  Here are a few major updates of things going on around the school. 

-Our center will now have free weekly COVID testing to all children and staff.  Stream Labs Solutions will be conducting weekly cheek swab tests on all the students.  If you would like to OPT OUT of this for your child please fill out an opt out form in the front office. SCHOOL_OPT_OUT_FORM.PDF

-Reminder to parents: Please sign your children in and out on the Smartcare kiosk, you can use your phone for touch free check in/out. 

-Also, please see your child to the classroom each morning- they don't always go straight to their rooms and we don't want to have a missing child.  Teachers need to see an adult at the door for both drop off and pick up.  It is an important time to communicate with parents about the child's day. 

-This weekend is Daylight Savings: Remember to fall back

10/29/21 Update

-Halloween Fashion Show: All the children looked ADORABLE in their costumes today! Each class got to get some videos or photos of them in their costumes.  The Videos and photos are on Facebook.  If you are not a part of our OA Parents Facebook page please friend request "Jessy Open Arms Dinkelman" and I will invite you to the page.  

-New Handbook update: Some minor changes were made to the handbook to include our COVID policy.  A few people noticed that our hours are different in the handbook. Right now that is to help us plan for hopeful future hours.  We thank everyone for their patience as we continue to try to navigate longer hours.  At this time we are looking to expand to 7am to 5:30pm.  We are also deliberating if a 6:30am to 6:30pm day is actually necessary, so please weigh in via email.  Other changes in the handbook were simply wording and names, i.e. "The Board" was replaced with the "Mission Leadership Team". 

-NLSA Accreditation renewal: This is a busy year for us, we have our DCFS relicensing as well as our accreditation renewal.  This means a lot of work for our staff, especially our lead teachers.  Please pray for us as we navigate these items.  

10/22/21 Update

IM BACK! It is so good to be back and I am so blessed to have my daughter just downstairs when I need some baby snuggles.  Here are a LOT of updates so please read through this and reference it as needed. 

1)The 3s, 4s, and Kindergarten are singing in Church THIS SUNDAY October 24th.  They have been working on practicing their "Blind Man" song.  There will also be a special children's message.  We want you all to know that on behalf of Immanuel Lutheran Church we are so happy to have children in our service.  We do not care if they are loud, or fussy, or running around, we are just so happy from them to be there, you are invited to join us for the entire service. The children will sing in the beginning of service.  <<<<Picture of the children practicing their song. 

2) Now that I am back there are two of us! Ms. Hannah and I have divvied up the roles of the job.  Ms. Jessy is working directly with Parents so any questions you have should go to oadirector@openarmsglenview.org.  Ms. Jessy is also working with Enrollment.  Ms. Hannah is working with staff, so if you would like to drop her a note about how a classroom is doing you should send it to oaad@openarmsglenview.org.  Ms. Missy is still handling receipts and attendance, so if you need a tax statement or a statement of payments or need to call out a child please send a message to oaoffice@openarmsglenview.org.  Please continue to email your child's classroom teacher AND Ms. Jessy for the following: COVID test results, Absences, Illness, Questions about classroom, curriculum, and policies. 

3) Did you know you can get notifications on your Smartcare phone app?  Using your parent app you can go into the notification settings to let you know when things are updated.  I have the sign in/out turned off, personally, but I like to keep things like "child needs", "incident", "medication", and "notes" turned on. Our teachers will use these features occasionally and when they do it is nice to get a notification right away!

4)IDPH Travel Updates: Travel in the U.S. is no longer restricted.  Your family my travel to any of the US States without needing to quarantine or COVID test upon return. 

5) Saint of the Week:  Here at Open Arms we believe that everyone is a saint and the best news, you don't have to do anything but be a child of God to be one!  We will be randomly selecting 7 people (children and/or staff) to be saints of the week.  We will honor that child's love from God through acts of service and a special spot on our front bulletin board.  

6) Pumpkin Patch and Halloween Fashion Show:  Just a reminder to mark your calendars for next week: Wednesday during school we will be bringing the pumpkin patch to us and Friday October 29th for our fashion show.  The pumpkin patch here at school worked out so great and we will have our mini tractor hay ride again this year for all ages! For Friday, we will be streaming the show on Facebook and Facebook live throughout the day during the children's gym times.  Ask their teachers what time their class goes to gym and set your alarms to log in to watch.  The videos will be available after as well, just in case you miss it. 

10/1/21 Update

Happy 1st of October!

With October starting, there are a few things that are coming up this month. Hopefully you all received the newsletter, but to recap:

-Hearing and vision forms for the upstairs classrooms will be passed out on Monday the 4th. The actual date for hearing and vision testing is on Tuesday October 26th.

-Connecting Open Arms with Immanuel, we are inviting the 3's, 4's, and kindergarten to join us for singing at church. The service is at 10:45AM and the children will be asked to come forward right at the beginning of service to sing their song that they have been practicing so hard on these last few weeks. Hope to see you there!

-Our Halloween Fashion Show will be on October 29th during the day. We will have the show on Facebook Live via the Open Arms parent page. If you need access to our parent page please send Ms. Jessy a friend request.

9/24/21 Update

The first day of fall was this week! Cooler temperatures are upon us. Please make sure your child has a coat or sweater for outside time. Also start swapping out extra clothes that are kept at school for warmer ones and not so summer like ones.

October is fast approaching. Keep an eye out for the school/church newsletter. The newsletter will put into detail the different events coming up in October.

This weekend we have Oktoberfest! Sunday September 26th from 3-6pm there will be brats and hot dogs as we have a fun time together enjoying the beautiful weather! It is supposed to be super nice outside this weekend, so even if you don't join us at Oktoberfest, enjoy the weather with anything you do this weekend!

We are still looking for a storm drainage engineer. If you know of anyone, please send them our way.

9/3/21 Update

Again if there are any parents that know of a storm drainage engineer please send them our way. You can email Mrs. Dunn at oaad@openarmsglenview.org or Ms. Kathy at kgerken@immanuelglenview.org. We are looking to get our flooding issue under control and the Village of Glenview wants us to have a storm drainage engineer design a plan before we can move forward. Thank you in advance. 

Reminder that Monday September 6th is Labor Day. Our facility is closed.

Have a great weekend!

10/8/21 Update

Happy Friday!!

Columbus Day is Monday October 11th. Open Arms is open Monday! Please let classrooms know if you will be keeping your child out that day.

Some reminders: 

Oct. 24th the 3's, 4's and Kindergarten will be singing for church. Church service starts at 10:45am. 

Oct. 26th we have our hearing and vision testing. Please fill out the form and get that back to your classroom teacher as soon as possible.

Just another note for parents- there will be a Trunk or Treat at OLPH. Please find the flyers hanging up around the school.

8/27/21 Update

It's been a wonderful second week of school here at Open Arms! We are all falling into our routines and enjoying learning and playing with our friends! :)

Wednesday we had Parent Orientation night. If you missed it please feel free to email Mrs. Hannah Dunn at oaad@openarmsglenview.org or your child's teacher to gather more information about curriculum and different things going on around the school!

Just a quick side note: If there are any parents that know of a storm drainage engineer please send them our way. You can email Mrs. Dunn at oaad@openarmsglenview.org or Ms. Kathy at kgerken@immanuelglenview.org. We are looking to get our flooding issue under control and the Village of Glenview wants us to have a storm drainage engineer design a plan before we can move forward. Thank you in advance. 

8/20/21 Update

Reminder that Grill night is tonight from 5-7pm! Please join us for hot dogs and brats as we celebrate the start of a new school year!

Parent Orientation is upon us. August 25th at 6pm join us for a night of meeting the teachers! Can't wait to see you all!

8/6/21 Update

- New 2s Teacher: Ms. Samantha Bahena Fitz (currently our Kindergarten Assistant) has accepted the position of Lead teacher of the Tiger Lily 2s Classroom!  We are so excited to support Ms. Sam during this exciting time!

- Backpack Blessing: We are collecting donations of School supplies and backpacks to send to needy families in the surrounding areas.  Please see the flyers around the school for the list of supplies and have the supplies dropped off in the building by Sunday August 15th so we can bless the backpacks in church before we send them out. 

-Grill Night: Mark your calendars for Friday August 20th from 5 to 7pm.  Last call for food will be at 6:30pm. 

-Water Slide: One more waterslide day!  Since the children loved it so much we have decided to do one more waterslide day for the upstairs classes.  Remember to bring their swim suits on Tuesday August 10th!

7/30/21 Update

- The new fence and gate were installed.  We needed higher fencing along the river and added a gate (photo) to the west side of the playground for added safety! The last bolt was put in place on Monday the 26th!

-Best Wishes: Wednesday and Friday were Ms. Olivia's and Ms. Jennifer's last day, Ms. Olivia and Ms. Jennifer have been Assistants in the Baby classrooms, Ms. Olivia is going off to college in California and we wish to her many blessings as she continues her education and life journey. Ms. Jennifer (Olivia's Mom) is taking some time to help her move out there and transition for such a big step in their lives.

-Grill Night:  We had such an amazing Grill night on Thursday the 22nd with over 120 people present!  We are planning another Grill Night on Friday, August 20th so mark your calendars!

-As we near the end of the summer, if you do not plan to return for the school year, please notify Ms. Jessy on your child's last day and remember to turn in your key fobs or a $10 replacement fee (per fob) will show on your account.