September, 2016 Edition

Newsletter Header

Welcome to the first monthly edition of The Downey upBeat for the 2016-17 school year. Here, you’ll find the latest information about what’s happening at Downey as well as updates from our teachers and board co-presidents.  Please be sure to direct your friends, family and any Downey Co-op alumni you know to this website so they can enjoy our newsletter and all the other features of the site.  And if you would like to contribute an article or photographs, or if there is anything you would like to see featured in the upBeat, please feel free to contact the newsletter coordinator ( at any time.  Enjoy!

“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.”  – O. Fred Donaldson


Hello, Downey friends!

Welcome to a brand new school year.  With any luck, much of the information that we threw at you during Officer-Led and Teacher-Led Orientations has had a chance to settle in and you’re excited about the start of school.  So many of you have already started on your family job, and I hope that in addition to having fun, you truly understand that we are a parent-run organization.  Your job helps our school succeed, in one way or another, and without your help, we cease to be what makes us great.

Thank you for all of your hard work at Outdoor Clean Up.  That event is one of my favorites because it is usually the first chance to really talk to fellow parents while transforming our playground area from sadly-neglected to fresh and ready.  That event embodies the optimism we all feel at the start of a new school year and the collective energy of wanting to be a part of something incredible.  I hope, as the year goes on, that you are inspired by the hard work of our teachers and your fellow parents to keep that optimism and energy present at Downey.

Here’s to an extraordinary school year.  See you in class!

Erin Robson-Smith


The Frog Log

The Polliwog Blog

Hello Frog and Polliwog families!  I am looking forward to getting to know each of the families and your children as we learn together this year!  Here are a few things to keep in mind as we start the school year…

  • Bring an extra outfit for your child, including socks, that will be left at school in case of an accident.  (Please put it in a ziplock bag or sack with the child’s name on it.)
  • If “snack” families include whole fruits or vegetables (that can be cut up at Downey) with their snack choice each day, we should be able to meet the dietary choices of all of our children.
  • If your child chose not to have their photo taken during our home visit, please forward me a picture that I can print before class begins next week.
  • Every child who would like to remove their shoes in the classroom or wear dress up shoes must have a pair of socks accessible.

A couple of new requests…

  • I’d like each family to send in a photo of your family that can be left at school.  While snapshots are fine, a framed photo would be easiest for us to display.
  • Rain boots!  After our day on the playground, a parent had the brilliant idea of sending rain boots for the children that can be left at school.  We will be working on a boot rack for storage, and until then, we’ll just line them up near our coat racks.
  • Insect repellent!  Our damp playground has become quite the breeding ground for mosquitoes lately. Please let me know if you would like to have anything applied to your child before we enjoy our time outside.  I have a natural product called Buggins in the classroom that I’m happy to share, though it wasn’t super effective for me last Saturday.  You are welcome to leave a labeled bottle of repellent in the classroom, and I will make sure it is applied before we head outside.

I’m excited to start another great year at Downey!

Mrs. Lovold


Tadpole Tidbits

Welcome to the Tadpole class!

We will spend the first half of September getting to know each other and getting used to being at preschool.  Preschool is a big transition for parents and children.  We will spend time on learning the new routine- like taking our art to the art mat in the hallway.

During the first days of school, we (Tadpoles and parents) will make placemats for snack so when snack time rolls around, everyone will know where to sit at the table.

Some things to remember for the first day of school: 

  • Please bring any paper work that needs to be turned in.  For each Tadpole, I need the Parent Interview and Emergency Form if they have not yet been completed.
  • Bring an extra set of clothes and diapers and wipes if needed.  (Please put them in a ziplock or bag with the child’s name on it.) 
  • Most important of all, bring a smile and a bright attitude.  We are going to have a lot of fun!

Thank you for choosing Downey.

Mrs. Egan


“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” – Mr. Rogers

What's Happening


Please stay tuned for more details regarding Tuberculosis “TB” testing happening in late September.  This quick and easy test costs a small fee and is required for participating parents.


The first of this school year’s Parent Education opportunities is being planned for October.  Details and sign-up information will be available soon.


Did you know that 4 out of 10 kids in central Indiana are at an unhealthy weight that puts them at risk for serious health problems? …and that the Irvington 46219 zip code is one of the highest risk areas for child obesity?

Even before we knew these facts, Downey Co-op was committed to providing a healthy place for children to play and learn.  Our classroom snacks typically consist of a fresh fruit or vegetable paired with a whole grain or protein. Unknown

But what about celebrations like birthdays, holidays and special events when “a special treat” feels appropriate?  We do allow treats in moderation, as moderation is an important lesson for kids to learn, but we also encourage you to think of other ways to celebrate your child’s birthday or special occasion.  You can always discuss ideas with your teacher.  Here are a few suggestions from our friends at Jump IN for Healthy Kids to fuel your thinking:

– Choose a book your child loves and buy a copy for the classroom.  You can inscribe a personal message in honor of his/her birthday inside the cover.

– Ask if your child can lead classmates in a fun game or physical activity, such as Follow the Leader or a dance party.

– Create a “water bar” where students can add various fruits and fun straws to their drinks at snack time.

– Display a favorite everyday snack in a fun new way- making sea turtles out of green apples, snowmen out of cheese sticks, pumpkins out of clementines, or anything else your imagination (or, be honest, Pinterest) dreams up!

These are not hard and fast rules to follow, but just something to keep in mind as a new school year begins.


Starting the new school year can bring some anxiety or certainly, some questions, especially if you are new to Downey and to the co-op experience.  It’s an adjustment to get our children into the routine of being in school and a learning experience for us, too, to know how to participate in their classrooms.  In these early days, please feel comfortable reaching out to the teachers or to other parents if you need anything.  What makes our school so special is that we’re all in it together! 


Special thanks to Outdoor Clean-up leaders, the Pattersons, and to all those who worked hard (in rainy weather, too) to make the Downey outdoor play yard ready for many hours of fun and adventure.  This year boasted record participation, which made the job quick and productive. images



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.