By Jorden Blucher, SNS parent volunteer
Across from the Shelburne Parade Grounds, tucked beneath the old stone church, are five classrooms that make up the Shelburne Nursery School, a parent cooperative that has been preparing children for kindergarten for the last sixty years.
Shelburne Nursery School is currently open for fall enrollment and is hosting a birthday party fundraiser at 3pm at the Shelburne Town Hall on Feb. 6. Magician Tom Joyce will be there to entertain, and snacks and drinks will be available at our concession stand. The cost is $10 per child, adults are free.
Last week, amid a morning scene of productive chaos, Sheri Hill, who has been an assistant teacher since 2008, and head teacher Joanne Buermann, stood in the main hallway greeting students and chatting with parents who were attempting to herd their children in the direction of the coat hooks or their cubbies to put away their snacks.
Except for a few harried parents hurrying their children along, the hallway was nearly empty, the other children having made their way to one of classrooms for some free play. Two were steering a pint-sized ship made of wood, cardboard and other various odds and ends created and built by assistant teacher Diane Marcotte, who is the school’s artist and creator in residence.
“I love how you get to know the other families at Shelburne Nursery School,” parent Julie Holmes said. “My older kids are in junior high now, and their closest buddies are still the kids they went to nursery school with.”
The school serves children ages 3 to 5. The three-year-olds attend class Tuesday and Thursday mornings and the four-year-olds attend class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with an option to enroll in a more academically-focused Tuesday and Thursday afternoon session. After a brief time of free play, a school-wide circle time begins the academic portion of the day. During this time younger children will dress Willa the weather bear, work on shape recognition or do a color scavenger hunt. The older children talk about the calendar and weather graph as well as say the Pledge of Allegiance before breaking off into smaller groups.
“I really like the small ratio of teacher-to-students,” said parent Jenna Mazur. “They provide the perfect balance of nurturing, social time with both their peers, parents and teachers, academics and provide a schedule at the school that prepares them for kindergarten.”