Get Involved in Your Child’s Classroom to Support Learning!

getinvolvedeeParents are welcome in their children’s classroom at Encompass! Volunteer sign-up sheets are outside of each classroom. You can join us to be a mystery reader or stay for the day as an extra pair of helping hands. To ensure you feel comfortable during your time with us, we want to share these guidelines for adults to participate in our Early Learning Community.

Self-reliance is our focus for the children. Let the children do things for themselves and enjoy how proud they are as a result. Preschoolers are a capable people!


Circle/Class meeting:

  • Sit on the floor with the children.
  • Be involved with the group.
  • Use non-verbal cues to assist children to attend to the group activity (i.e. a touch on the shoulder, a finger to the lips, a smile, eye contact, etc.).

 Small groups/Process time:

  • Sit at a table.
  • Describe what you see children doing, i.e. positive actions, this gives words for their actions. Examples: “I see you are mixing yellow and blue paint.” “You drew a smiling face.”
  • Put names on children’s work; ask first if they want to write their own name, then where do they want you to write their name on the page.
  • Remember, the child’s work is their own; they do not have to follow a model, and make it the way we think it should look.

 Work Time:

  • Teeth brushing, snack and personal choice activities take place.
  • Art supplies are set out and refilled during this time.
  • Sensory tub is uncovered.
  • Storyboards (clipboards) are around the room and individual stories can be dictated to adults.
  • Loft rules for climbing up and down: Use two hands, come down backwards (like a ladder), no long dresses or dress up shoes when climbing.


  • An adult must clean table with sanitizer before kids arrive.
  • Wash hands before sitting at the table, adults and children.
  • Food is self-served.
  • Food is placed on the table and the children get their own plate, cup, napkin and silverware.
  • The adult is to monitor quantities of food.
  • Crackers, kids count 5 at a time (good math activity).
  • Fruit, 2-3 pieces per serving.
  • Children pour their own drinks using the small pitchers.
  • Child clears his own drinks using the small pitchers.
  • Child clears his own spot and wipes the table with a paper towel.
  • Adult records who ate snack on the attendance chart.

 Teeth brushing:

  • Use a paper plate and put 14-18 dabs of toothpaste around the edge.
  • The adult removes and returns the toothbrush to the holder.
  • There can be one child at each sink.
  • Demo good brushing skills with the BIG teeth and the BIG brush as the kids are brushing their teeth.
  • When all the kids have brush, spray the sink and wipe with a paper towel.


Conflicts between children:

  • We coach and guide the children to solve their own problems (Second Step skills). If you are unsure of what to do ask a teacher to assist in the situation and you can observe and learn the skills.

Adult conversations should be minimal — this is the kids’ time for work and play. We, the adults, are here to support and encourage their discoveries, creations and learning. Please save “adult” conversations for after class or excuse yourself to the hallway.

Thank you for your help!


Back-to-School at Encompass! Be welcomed, ready, involved and connected!

By Julie Forslin, Early Learning Program Manager10423946_10152302106013061_7893580381580850930_n

September 2nd begins the 2014/2015 school year at Encompass! We have been getting ready and are so excited to meet our new students and see how much our returning students have grown this summer.

Learning as much as we can about your student and your family is a priority for us—and we believe every child learns and grows in his/her unique way. We will design our program around them. We’ve found this approach works much better than changing your child to fit our program! So please join us on Thursday, September 3 from 6:30-7:30 for Parent Orientation to review the handbook and get to know us, too (please contact us if you have a conflict and we will make arrangements to get you the information).

It is my hope that your family not only takes full advantage of the programs offered by our early learning program, but also utilizes the many programs at Encompass that include parenting support groupsparenting education workshops and coaching, toddler playgroups, pediatric therapy, parent nights out, and more.

How to Get Involved at Encompass

Share Resources & Camaraderie – Moms Moment – September 1

Volunteering – Donate Your Time & Energy to Nurturing Children & Enriching Families

Get Connected & Informed – Attend Parent Orientation – September 3 at 6:30

Reach Your Family’s Potential – Attend our FREE Parenting Workshop on Avoiding Power Struggles – September 4

Get involved with our Autumn Gala – Attend, plan, volunteer, invite friends: Now through Nov 1

Learn more about your child — Join us at our monthly FREE developmental screenings – September 8 (Snoqualmie) and 9 (Issaquah)

Experienced Childcare & a Lot of Fun – Register for Parents’ Night Out – September 13

Be Welcomed, Informed & Inspired – Attend our Moms Meeting – September 16

Engage Your Toddler Developmentally & Meet Other Parents — Join our Toddler Playgroups – Register now. Begins September 5

Support Encompass with Every Purchase through AmazonSmile –

Purchase comedy night tickets and support Encompass – October 1

Follow us on social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, blog

Your child’s backpack can be ‘spine safer’

Two kids with backpacksBy Nicole Demetrescu

At their core, backpacks are a good idea. They keep students’ belongings together, protect their lunches from the elements and foster communication between parents and teachers.

But backpacks have drawbacks, especially as children age and bear greater academic loads. More books and equipment add to the weight of a pack and to the burden on a child’s spine.

The latest research shows us that anything beyond 10 percent of a child’s weight places unhealthy stress on the spine. It pushes the head forward and increases the compression of spinal discs. If these issues are not corrected, chronic pain can result, especially in older teenagers.

How a pack is worn also makes a difference. Low and loose on the back creates greater stress than higher and tighter. And if a pack is carried in a hand or over one shoulder – forget it.

If I could have my way, students would have one book for each subject at school and another at home, erasing any need for transport. Or they would carry books in wheeled bags, removing the spinal load entirely.

But neither of these options is practical for most of today’s students. Here are tips for how your student can make his or her backpack “spine safer”:

  • Keep the load no greater than 10 percent of body weight. Strategize with your student on what books he or she really needs each day. Create a place at home for books to be organized and easily accessed to ease day-to-day transitions.
  • Does your student have a locker at school? Encourage him or her to use it and carry only the materials needed for each class. Installing a portable shelf in tall lockers can help keep things organized and user-friendly.
  • Wear the pack high and relatively snug across both shoulders. If possible, buy a pack with a waist strap to shift weight from the shoulders and upper back to the pelvis. (Bags with waist and chest straps are doubly good if the fit is high and snug.)
  • Avoid single-strap bags, especially in middle- and high-school years when book loads are greater.
  • Place heavy items closest to the back inside the pack and light items in pockets and outer areas. This keeps most weight closest to the spine, reducing stress on vertebrae and discs.
  •  Posture, posture, posture! Especially in adolescence when bodies change proportions, poor posture can cause back, neck and shoulder pain – and adding a pack often makes it worse! Use this mantra to coach your student on proper posture: “Ears over shoulders over hips.”
  • Physically active students generally have greater strength, endurance and abdominal stability than more sedentary students. Help your students engage in activities they find enjoyable. If they exercise, encourage them to target (with moderation) the abdominals and buttocks at their “core.” Strong tummies and hips make happier lower backs.

Consult a physical therapist if your student complains of neck, shoulder or back soreness, or if you are concerned about your student’s spinal health. Physical therapists also assess and treat joint pain, muscle soreness and weakness, postural problems, balance dysfunction and coordination challenges.

Try these tips, and your student’s spine will thank you!

Nicole Demetrescu, DPT, is a physical therapist at Encompass.,