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December Newsletter

Escuelita Closed for Winter Break
As is stipulated in our Parent Handbook, Escuelita will be closed from Dec. 25th through Jan. 1, for our annual winter break. We will observe regular hours of operation through Friday, Dec. 22, and will reopen with normal hours on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Please ensure to make other childcare arrangements for the one full week, plus one day on Jan. 1, that Escuelita will be closed. Happy holidays to you and your loved ones on behalf of Escuelita’s staff. Please note that Escuelita will be closed on Monday, January 15, 2018, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. We will re-open on Jan. 16, at normal hours.

Informational Meeting About AISD’s Dual Language Program December 7, 2017, 5-6 p.m.
Escuelita will host a meeting to disburse information about the dual language curriculum that AISD has in place at many elementary schools. Claudia Kramer-Santamaria, executive director assistant of dual language programs, will present information about the curriculum implementation and the application process. If you are considering a Pre-Kindergarten (must be 4 years old by Sept. 1st) or a Kindergarten (must be 5 years old by Sept. 1st) dual language program in AISD, please attend the meeting on December 7th, upstairs, in the Rainbow Room.

We will provide in‐house childcare for the duration of the meeting to those parents of 4 or 5 year olds who are interested in attending the session. The Orange, Blue and Copper Rooms will have a survey attached to the sign-in clipboard on which you MUST indicate if you plan to attend the meeting. For proper planning of needed teachers who can provide childcare at Escuelita, we must know ahead of time how many parents will be at the meeting and the number and ages of the students who will remain in attendance for its duration.

Tuition Rate Increase Effective February 1, 2018
Due to rising operational expenses, Escuelita finds itself forced to implement an across the board tuition increase of $50 per student starting on February 1, 2018. Both fulltime and part-time rates will see a change. The only rates that will remain unchanged will be those for our after-school program. Please ensure to add the $50 increase with your February payment.

Switching to Reusable Food Containers
Thanks to the generous contributions from the parents of the Class of 2017, Escuelita will be transitioning from single-use food containers and utensils to reusable dishware soon. This switch has been a long-time goal for us for many years. The legacy gift of this summer’s graduating class will make it possible for us to purchase the dishes, beverage tumblers, utensils and kitchen shelving necessary for this transition. We aim to implement the change by mid-January, 2018. The change will also require the hiring of a third kitchen employee to enable the dishwashing in a timely manner.

The most obvious reason for transitioning into reusable dishware is so that we can make a change in the amount of garbage that Escuelita generates and sends to the land fill. Another reason is so that we can economize on the expense of the single-use containers, since disposables are so expensive. The legacy gift from the Class of 2017 will make it possible to incur the large, one-time expense of the dishes and drastically reduce the weekly expense of the throw-away containers. While we are aware that we will not exactly save on the food service expense because the savings from the reusable containers will go directly to paying wages to a third kitchen employee, we will see a drastic change on the size of garbage container that we will require.

The City of Austin has new ordinances for commercial establishments which operate with food permits. One regulation that is already in effect is that we must recycle at least 50% of the material that we dispose of. We are not currently meeting that requirement since our garbage output far exceeds what we are recycling. Switching to reusable dishes will immediately help us comply with that regulation. While the CoA does not yet require the recycling of organics, like food scraps, Escuelita is already contemplating ways each class can begin to gather any uneaten food after every meal, to send to a container for composting pick-up.

Another major expense and garbage output for Escuelita is the large amounts of paper towels that we dispose of, since children and teachers wash their hands all day. We would love to eliminate that expense and the use of so much paper by switching to cloth towels from a linen service. We are still investigating that possibility through the health department. We will notify you about that change if, and when, we get the clearance from the authorities. At worse, we will continue to use disposable paper towels that would be added to the organics recycling so that the amount of garbage that goes to the landfill can remain low for Escuelita.

Teachers’ Birthdays
Dec.9—Ms. Cristina, Copper Rm.
Dec. 10—Ms. Pilar, Housekeeping
Dec. 15—Ms. Araceli, Red Rm.
Dec. 26—Ms. Raquel, Pink Rm.
Jan. 1—Ms. Laura, Bronze Rm.
Jan. 2—Ms. Yulisa, Substitute Tchr.
Jan. 30—Ms. Elizabeth, Red Rm.
Feb. 3—Ms. Maria C., Cook
Feb. 8—Ms. Delvis, Yellow Rm.
Feb. 8—Ms. Esmeralda, Asst. Dir.
Feb. 14—Ms. Gracie, Purple Rm.
Feb. 15—Ms. Silvia B., Purple Rm.
Feb. 20—Ms. Silvia V., Orange Rm.
Feb. 22—Ms. Flor, Cook

In Need of Scrap Paper
We very much appreciate donations of scrap paper that our students can use for doodling on. If your workplace or home produces paper that is blank on one side and is destined for recycling, please consider donating it to Escuelita for use by the different classrooms. Please drop your donations of recycled paper at the main office.

Author Description

Jessica Crowley

Parent to Shae and Iyla

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