February at Heartworks Shelburne

Class with Meg and Kaylie

The children in class with Meg and Kaylie had so much fun engaging in the Musical Instruments theme last month. The room was filled with all different types of music from classical instrumentals to early childhood favorites, and the children loved moving and dancing to them all. Some of the favorite additions to the classroom in February were the ukulele and the large bass drum. The children really enjoyed experimenting with the sounds they could make and used different toys to bang on the drums and pianos. Music is such a wonderful teaching tool and one that Meg and Kaylie will continue to use throughout the year.  

Class with Marina and Kristen

The friends with Marina and Kristen started off the month exploring recycled materials and learning how to use items such as paper towel tubes, tissue boxes, and plastic containers in different ways. One of their favorite activities involved pom poms, paper towels tubes, and small containers. The children practiced feeding the pom poms through the paper towel tubes and experimented with the different tops and how to secure them onto the containers. They delighted in figuring out how to remove the tops, and it quickly became a game to see how many times they could get a teacher to help them put the tops back on. It is amazing how much joy they can find in the smallest of things.

Class with Anne and Jacey

So many wonderful things have been happening in the class with Anne and Jacey. February was focused on all things construction and the children really enjoyed this creative and imaginative theme. The used recycled cardboard blocks to build towers and bridges and explored different ways to make these constructions fall safely in the classroom. The construction theme even spilled over into the Valentine’s Day celebration as the children worked on painting tissue boxes to look like construction vehicles that were then used as mailboxes for their friends to deliver cards and treats to. This is one of the children’s favorite themes and they always have so much fun pretending to be construction workers and construction vehicles.

Class with Liz and Amanda

The friends with Liz and Amanda spent the month of February exploring the arts of Dance, Drama and Movement! It is so important for young children to move their bodies freely and part of this theme is helping them to learn how to do so safely when other friends are around. Liz and Amanda engaged in movement activities such as “freeze dance” and “follow the dancer” that modeled following one and two-step directions and how to move in both large and small spaces. To incorporate drama into the day the teachers made a “bed” out of blankets and pillows and the children all pretended to be monkeys jumping to the song “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.” The children continued to explore yoga as an activity and learned a few more poses such as cobra, shark and rainbow.

Class with Nikki and Cara

Continuing the theme of music, the friends with Nikki and Cara focused on Musical Instruments including, brass percussion and strings. One of their favorite activities was listening to different music and trying to figure which instruments were making each of the different sounds. They paraded around the room with homemade shakers, danced fast and slow to different types of music and used their fingerprints to make notes along their own staff. In addition to Musical Instruments, the children celebrated Valentine’s day and heard stories about love and caring and practiced doing kind things for one another and the school as a whole. It is so wonderful to see the children helping one another and sharing their love and kindness so openly.

January in pictures! Heartworks Shelburne C

Meg and Kaylie

The children grew so much and reached so many milestones over break and through the month of January. From sitting on their own to pulling up and moving around the room, we have all celebrated these accomplishments and have continued to explore new ways to help foster and encourage this growth. Some of the children had the chance to explore snow from outside and splash in the water in the warmth of the classroom. A fun side project that Kaylie and Meg have started is a series of themed photos that are displayed on the wall each month. During the month of January the theme was “A View From the Top” where the children were photographed from above as they were drinking their bottles. February’s “Tunnel of Love” theme is well underway and the photos are so much fun to look at. 

Marina and Kristen

During the month of January, children in class with Marina and Kristen learned about winter and winter animals. They enjoyed exploring outside on the playground and taking many walks around the campus. It has been so fun to watch the children’s excitement as they explore the newly fallen snow and work diligently to move around in their warm and cozy snowsuits. One of the children’s favorite enrichment activities was using birdseed, toilet paper rolls and “Wow” soy nut butter to create bird feeders for the birds that perch on the trees outside the window. All of the children excitedly gathered outside and had a chance to help Marina hang the bird and small critter feeders for the winter animals. This was such a wonderful enrichment for the children who have shown a great love of all the Earth’s creatures, especially the sounds they make.

Anne and Jacey

Winter, snow, and ice were a huge draw for the children with Anne and Jacey during the month of January. They explored outside, sang songs about winter and used the coldness and snow of the season to talk about winter animals and how they prepare for and survive through winter. The children had a lot of fun pretending to gather food as the animals do, creating warm homes and of course taking long winter naps! Throughout the month of January and continuing in the months to come, the children began exploring shapes and colors and have been introduced to numbers and counting through everyday play as well as meal times, enrichment activities and circle lessons. They are all growing so fast and learning so much. This is a very exciting time of year for all of the children and teachers.

Liz and Amanda

During the month of January the children with Liz and Amanda were transported each morning to the prairies of North America. The children heard stories about life on the plains learning about both animals and people and the different way things were when the plains were just being settled. The children had a lot of fun playing prairie games such as hopscotch, potato sack races and a bean bag toss. There was so much joy and laughter as they were learning how to play. They also had the opportunity to experience a little bit about how food was made before grocery stores as they worked hard shaking cream to transform it into butter. They then tasted their creation on freshly made gluten free biscuits.  At the end of the month the children practiced using scissors to cut down the “grass fields” they grew when the blades got too long. 

Nikki and Cara

As the children entered the classroom with Nikki and Cara during the month of January, they were transported deep into the forest with woodland creatures, through songs, stories and exciting enrichment activities. Many of the days involved talking about animal tracking, searching for footprints in the snow both on the playground and in the forest and pretending to be the animals they were learning about. They explored caves created with cloth and chairs as they searched for bears, practiced their echolocation skills as bats in a darkened room and built squirrel dreys using grass, stick, leaves and other natural materials. The children show such compassion and care for animals, and it is wonderful to foster this love of nature.

January Highlights from Heartworks Shelburne

It was a busy and exciting month for each class. The school wide theme was “Animal Homes and People Homes.” Each classroom enjoyed learning about life in a different region. They discussed the animals that live there, the people, special stories from an area, and enjoyed creative art projects related to the region.

Children in class with Sherri and Sandra spent their month exploring Life in the Forest. The children enjoyed going on bear hunts around the classroom and even created their own bear cave to hibernate in! Their classroom transformed into a campsite with a real tent. The children were thrilled to get to “sleep” in the tent and roast marshmallows around the campfire. 

Children taught by Kaylah, Hunter, and Danielle took an adventure through the Hot and Cold Deserts this month. The children learned about where deserts are located in the world and the different animals that live there. They went on many hunts for polar bears around the classroom, used their handprints to make prickly pear cactuses, and created sandstorms with paint and sand.

Children taught by Hilary and Haley learned about Life in the Mountains. The children learned about animals that live in the mountains, pretended to be bears hibernating in caves, and squirrels gathering food for the winter. The children even created their own beautiful mountain collages to display in the classroom. They even used their carpet squares to demonstrate how plate tectonics move to create mountains! The children especially loved going on bear hunts and exploring the life in the high mountains. 

Children in class with Amber and Angela explored Life in the Rainforest. Each classroom grew their own rainforest by creating murals adding plants, animals and insects to the layers of the rainforest. The children baked muffins and breads using ingredients that grow in the rainforest. They were thrilled to use their math skills to measure the distance tree frogs jump as well as the length of a quetzal's tail feathers! 


The STEAM classes taught by Amber, Angela, Haley and Danielle have been hard at work. The children have enjoyed a month filled with experiments, projects, building, inventing, observations and predictions.

Some highlights from the month include: Science projects that involved building rocks, planting seeds, walking water, and cloud observations. The Technology projects included using stumps and tools, technology charades and telephones. Wednesday Engineering highlights were using blueprints to create structures with blocks, creating towers with solo cups, and creating a water system using straws and tubs. Thursdays the children enjoyed an afternoon of creative arts! They loved reading Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzbery and creating their own “beautiful oops” projects, water coloring, and reading Elmer By Donald Mckee and making their own special colored elephants. A highlight was Danielle’s class performing a production of  “Swimmy” by  Leo Leonni for Haley’s class.  Math on Fridays have been filled with matching, size differentiation, color hunts, and playing board and card games.

December Highlights: Celebrations Around the World

December was a month filled with holiday celebrations from around the world.  We started the month with an all school Story by Heart of St. Nicholas day. The following day the children were surprised to find clementines in their shoes. The children were filled with wonder as they discussed how St. Nicholas did this.  

All of the classes celebrated such holidays as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, St. Lucia’s Day and Winter Solstice. The last two days before vacation were pajama days. Teachers and children alike came to school in pajamas! The school gathered in the big room for a reading of The Polar Express. It was a definite highlight of the month and a special way to start the winter vacation.  

The class taught by Sherri and Sandra enjoyed learning about St. Nicholas and left their shoes out to find a special clementine treat that was left by St. Nicholas. The children also enjoyed reading “The Gingerbread Girl” and used fine motor skills to  make beautiful paper gingerbread girls.  

Kaylah and Hunter’s class enjoyed singing songs about snowmen and reading the book “Katy and the Big Snow By Virginia Lee Burton. The children also loved making and eating Latkes and applesauce.

Danielle’s class was hard at work creating paper clogs and learning all about St. Nicholas and the beautiful traditions that make that celebration so special.

The class taught by Haley made beautiful paper crowns to celebrate St. Lucia day. St. Lucia is the celebration on the 13th of December to celebrate the light, love, and feast of the season in scandinavian countries.  

The class taught by Hilary spent the month of December ice skating with wax paper and making beautiful menorahs made out of paper and fingerprints. 

The children in Amber’s class “travelled” to Germany to learn about all the Gingerbread and the story of The Gingerbread Boy, on their return “flight” home they found a large plate of gingerbread cookies.  Delicious! 

The wonderful class taught by Angela was busy creating a holiday winter wonderland. They made beautiful literary light to decorate the wall, practiced size differentiation by making adorable snowmen for the wall, and made gingerbread for children to eat!  

December STEAM Highlights:

The STEAM classes created beautiful crystal in December and observed the chemical reaction created by using borax, vinegar, and baking soda. Throughout the next couple of weeks the children carefully documented the changes that took place and ended up with beautiful crystals!  

For Tuesday tool technology day, the STEAM classes experimented with common classroom tools such as scissors, pencils compared to ink pens and created beautiful snowflakes for the classroom.

On Thursday, art day, the children used paint and straws to demonstrate how germs are spread through the air and when we sneeze. For math the children created and learned all about three dimensional shapes and patterns.  

December Highlights

Meg and Kaylie

The children with Meg and Kaylie really love hearing and making different sounds so December was a perfect month full of holiday music and the jingling of bells. “All the Snowflakes” and “Dashing Through the Snow” were two of the most favorite song choices that elicited the biggest smiles and expressive reactions. In addition the fun music, Kaylie and Meg worked with the children to help create footprint mistle "toes" and a holiday gift that we hope all of the families enjoyed. 

Marina and Kristen

The friends with Marina and Kristen had a lot of fun during the month of December exploring the different holidays and enjoying many enrichment activities. They started off the month using their hands and paintbrushes to add greenery and snow to the winter solstice tree and really enjoyed feeling the paint between their fingers and moving it around on the canvas. As a class, they celebrated Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa through stories and songs and art. They created collage wreaths for Christmas, used sponges to paint paper dreidels for Hanukkah and used black, red and green squares to create Kwanzaa placemats. The room was full of holiday music such as Jingle Bells, Let it Snow, and Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel most of the day as the children eagerly signed and asked for more at the end of each verse. What a fun and enriching month they had!

Anne and Jacey

The friends with Anne and Jacey started off the month using finger paints to create a beautiful banner with the word celebrate and proceeded to do just that throughout the month. They used sponges and green paint to create Christmas wreaths and finished them off with glue and red pom poms for a nice festive touch. For Kwanzaa the children again used glue and pasted red, black and green tissue paper on different toilet paper rolls that they then used to create a kinara for display in the classroom. The children really enjoyed experimenting with the sticky glue and trying to figure out how to get the paper to stick to the roll instead of their fingers. One of the children’s favorite activities was playing pin the flame on the menorah. Each child had a chance to hold one of the paper flames and place it atop one of the nine candles, including the shamash. They all had such a wonderful few weeks in December and really enjoyed the holiday theme.

Liz and Amanda

The children in class with Liz and Amanda explored Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas through stories, songs, and a lot of fun enrichment activities. The children worked together to paint a large canvas menorah and used clay as they learned about dreidels and sang the dreidel song. The children also really enjoyed singing The Twelve Days of Christmas dancing with scarves and acting out the different verses pretending to milk cows and leaping like lords. Towards the end of the month some of the friends helped to paint red, black and green candles for the class kinara and practiced counting from one to seven as they set the candles up in the kitchen area. As a special treat Tucker’s mother, Katie, came in and helped the children create fun and festive snowman magnets! The children loved experimenting with the pieces and the little snowmen were so sweet.  

Nikki and Cara

In Nikki and Cara’s class the children also explored some of the different holidays that are celebrated in December. The children all really love to move and dance so there was a lot of holiday music to be heard each day which filled the room with laughter and dancing. One of the favorite moments was when the children discovered that Saint Nicholas visited the school one night and left delicious clementines in their slippers. Many of the children chose to eat their clementines right away at snack. Thank you so much Saint Nicholas. The children were also introduced to Kwanzaa and heard about the seven principles of the holiday and focused on unity, working together and supporting one another. At the end of December Nikki and Cara used the “We Three Kings” book that the children were all interested in to talk about Mary and Joseph looking for a place to lay baby Jesus and how the kings were traveling to bring the baby gifts. The children then pretended to bring different gifts to the babies in the classroom. 

Sick Policy

Put those tissue boxes to good use!

Put those tissue boxes to good use!

It is our goal to keep our entire school population as healthy as possible. With the guidance of the Childcare State Regulations, Vermont Department of Education and Vermont Department of Health, we have the following health policy.

  • It is best to keep children home who do not seem well enough to participate in the regular activities or to be cared for fully within the classroom; this may include lethargy, severe coughing, difficulty breathing, severe sore throat, earache or abdominal pain.
  • Children who have a fever of over 99.0 degrees are asked to remain home until the fever is less than 99 degrees for 24 hours, without ibuprofen or acetaminophen. 
  • Children with a known communicative condition (such as, but not limited to strep throat and conjunctivitis/pink-eye), are to remain out of school until they have received antibiotics for 24 hours. Please inform us of any illnesses so we can inform other families of symptoms to look for in their child. If a student comes to school and is suspected of having a communicative condition, the parent will be called and asked to pick up the child for further diagnosis from a doctor and treatment, if necessary.
  • Children who have had two or more incidents of vomiting or diarrhea, are required to not return until their symptoms have been fully resolved for 24 hours and they are able to resume normal dietary habits and activities.
  • Children with an unknown rash will be asked to see a physician to confirm that it isn’t a communicative condition. Students with a rash and a fever will need to stay out of school until confirmation of the rash and the child is fever free for 24 hours. 
  • Children with head lice and/or nits, can be in school after receiving a first treatment with a product that will kill head lice. Parents are asked to pick out the small nits (eggs) each day for at least ten consecutive days. We will also be checking all of the children at school. Whenever head lice are found, the parent will be called and asked to pick up their child and apply treatment.     

If your child has any of these conditions, please care for them at home. We will miss them while they are ill, and this will hopefully enable all of the students to remain healthier and in school. If your child becomes ill at school, you will be called to come and take him or her home. If we are unable to contact you, we will reserve the right to call the emergency contact on your child's application. 


November at Heartworks Shelburne

Children with Meg and Kaylie
Happy First Thanksgiving! The children with Meg and Kaylie worked very hard all month to create adorable “My First Thanksgiving” shirts to share with their families this holiday season. We hope everyone enjoyed them. Some of the children have started to show more interest in finding ways to move around the classroom and reach toys they are interested in playing with. They are all watching one another and experimenting with crawling, scooting and rolling around the room. November was full of stories about animals and feelings, shapes and colors, and a lot of song books. It is so wonderful to see the two way “conversations” that are happening and listening to the cooing and babbling and watching the smiles of all the children.

Children with Marina and Kristen
During the month of November the children explored emotions and the Thanksgiving holiday through songs, stories, and projects. The children enjoyed making handprint turkey placemats for the holiday and spending time outside exploring on the playground. Books have been an increasing interest with all of the children. They have been eagerly choosing stories and making themselves comfortable in the closest lap to hear about Duck and Goose, sing along with “The More We Get Together” and explore emotions with the “Baby Faces” books. There is so much excitement when new books come into the classroom.

Children with Anne and Jacey
During the month of November Anne and Jacey explored Feelings and Thanksgiving with the children. They explored different emotions through stories, songs and projects. The children created collage faces that depict different emotions and sent home turkey magnets for the holiday. Along with the sentiment of giving, the class has been collecting donations of old jeans for “Blue Jeans go Green” a company that turns old blue jeans into insulation which is sent to Habitat for Humanity at no cost. If you have any old jeans you would like to donate please feel free to add them to the box outside of their classroom. 

Children with Liz and Amanda
The friends with Liz and Amanda used the inspiration from the sidewalk construction to explore vehicles and other “things that go.” They have had so much fun creating roads and tracks around the room using tape, bubble wrap, foam pieces and blocks. The children really enjoyed creating paintings using construction paper, paint and small matchbox cars and trucks; they spent a lot of time at the table dipping the cars into the paint and making engine noises as they drove around the table. It has been such a treat for the children to have trucks and “diggers,” busses and cars right outside the classroom. This month’s theme was definitely a hit. 

Children with Nikki and Cara
This class chose to participate in an Author study and dove into the world of Dr. Seuss during the month of November. They used the stories to explore many different early concepts such as rhyming, sorting, color recognition and letter sounds and of course a lot of fun imagination. The children were given the opportunity to explore different materials to create collage footprints, practiced using scissors and tearing paper to make green eggs and ham, and stacked blocks with apple shapes. Connecting the block to the story “Ten Apples Up in Top,” the children worked together to count how many apples could go “up on top” before the tower fell over. The children had so much fun with Nikki and Kelly and have welcomed Cara with open arms. 

Visit from "Recycle Rhonda"

Rhonda Mace, aka “Recycle Rhonda,” from the Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) visited Heartworks in Shelburne on November 7th to help preschoolers understand why recycling and composting is important, and to learn how they can help “make the earth happy.” Rhonda visits around 50 schools in Chittenden County each year to promote the vision of CSWD, which is to maximize composting, reuse and recycling of products by diverting as much waste as possible from the trash.

Rhonda explained to the children that each person in Vermont creates about three pounds of trash each day, but that over half of what we each throw into the trash could be recycled or composted. Using sock puppets named Bernie the Bacteria and Flo the Fungus, Rhonda demonstrated how to identify which items can go into the composting bin or the recycling bin, and which items need to go into the trash. She explained that Bernie and Flo like to eat everything that goes into the compost, including the paper towels that we use after washing our hands and paper napkins that we use when we eat.


November at Heartworks Shelburne

This month the theme in Sherri’s class was Kitchen Magic and Chemistry. The children used measuring tools to be kitchen scientists. They made their own finger paints out of kitchen ingredients and mixed food coloring into the paint to make it their favorite colors. Our school smelled of yummy pancakes that they mixed and cooked together. The children also made their own pumpkin pie scented playdough and brought it home to share. They were so excited to show their families their creation and have them smell it!

Children with Kaylah and Hunter studied Life on the Farm.  The children learned about sheep, pigs, chickens, and the importance of taking care of farms in Vermont and nationwide. The children worked on their fine motor skills and shapes by creating adorable shape tractors.  The children really enjoying color mixing as they mixed red and white paint to create pink pigs.  

The children with Danielle learned about dinosaurs. They were serious paleontologists identifying dinosaurs and digging for bones in the sandbox. Each child created their own dinosaur footprint  and made paper mache’eggs. Together they decorated a life size footprint of an apatosaurus and found out that the whole class could all fit inside it! It was great to see how excited the children were to compare their own feet to the giant apatosaurus foot.

Hilary and her friends learned about Vermont this month. They read the book, “The Sugaring Off Party” and looked at real taps that are used to tap maple trees. Then, the children took turns crushing ice and taste tested Vermont maple syrup on top. The children also made a chart of the fun things you can do in Vermont in the winter. They practiced balancing on “snowboards,” pretended to snowshoe and built ski trails on snowy mountains. It was so fun seeing the children really using their imaginations!

Children with Haley learned all about carnivals.  They worked on thier gross motor control and hand-eye coordination while competing in a ring toss, balance beam, and parachute popcorn game. The children  create delicious carnival treats.  They mixed glue and food coloring to create “cotton candy” and baked delicious “funnel cake”.  

During November children with Amber studied chemistry.  They learned all about chemical reactions because  preschool age children are inquisitive and open-minded, perfect traits for budding young scientists!   The children’s favorite chemical reactions were mixing baking soda and vinegar to make a volcano, making oobleck, and magic milk.  What a wonderful hands on learning month!  

The children with Angela learned all about circulation and healthy bodies!  They learned about the functions of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system.  The children’s favorite projects were using straws to blow air through to show how germs travel and using fine motor skills to make ripped paper “salads” that really looked delicious.

STEAM Highlights

The children in the afternoon STEAM class with Danielle have been hard at work on Fridays learning  wonderful math skills. They have been learning about patterning, counting, and shape and number recognition. The children particularly enjoyed the dot dabber dice game.  Following the reading of Ten, Nine, Eight by M. Bang the children created their own “dice” using coffee filters and bingo dabbers.

Children in the afternoon STEAM class with Haley were very busy this month.  The children enjoyed all sorts of projects, experiments and fun!  The children particularly enjoyed reading Elmer by David McKee and painting beautiful Elephants.
The scientists in STEAM with Amber donned their science goggles and watched color mixing eruptions.  They created the  green eruption by adding baking soda to blue colored vinegar and yellow colored vinegar. 

The children in the afternoon class with Angela spent a wonderful engineer afternoon reading Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty and creating their own solo cup structure.  The children first worked individually to see if they could create a tower using five to eight solo cups and then worked in small groups to create two large towers in the classroom.  After working for a while the children built a tower over four feet tall, all made entirely out of solo cups!     

December Fundraiser

During the month of December Heartworks Shelburne will be supporting the Ronald McDonald house. The Ronald McDonald house is the “home away from home” for families with seriously ill children seeking treatment at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital. It is their aim to be a refuge for families experiencing the stress and anguish of their loved one’s illness. Whether for a short stay, or for weeks at a time, they provide families with the comforts of home as well as the support of their dedicated staff and volunteers.”  

Starting Monday, December 5th there will be a large box near the front desk where items will be collected. Thank you  in advance for your support of our special community outreach project.

The items they are in need of are: 

  • Postage Stamps
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Taxi vouchers
  • Baby quilts
  • Preemie baby caps (we have knit/crochet patterns)
  • Fresh Fruit
  • K-Cups for Keurig Brewer
  • Hot and cold cereal, including single-serve boxes
  • Cookies
  • Individually packaged snacks and crackers
  • Bulk sugar and brown sugar
  • Chicken stock
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Frozen meats
  • Combs and Brushes
  • Hotel size shampoo and conditioner
  • Razors
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Antibacterial wipes

Celebrations from Around the World

The schools will discuss many of the wonderful traditions, customs and celebrations from around the world. We will share the traditions, purpose, and reasons that some celebrate a certain holiday; we leave out the commercialization of the holiday. This may include:  

  • St. Nicholas Day (December 6) 
  • St. Lucia Day (December 13)
  • Las Posadas (begins on December 16)
  • Winter Solstice (December 21) 
  • Hanukkah (begins on December 24)
  • Christmas (December 25)
  • Kwanzaa (begins on December 26) 

We believe that this is a wonderful opportunity for the children to learn that it is perfectly fine that we may have different traditions to celebrate. This also encourages children to accept each other as individuals and not to base acceptance on what we do or what we celebrate or what we have in common with each other; being open to accept each other will continue to create harmony, peace and happiness in the children and community. Through the discussions, we help children see that light (candles, sunlight) is a commonality through all of these celebrations.  

If your family celebrates a certain holiday or tradition during this month that you would like to share with the class, please speak to your child’s teacher.   

Throughout this month, children from various classes will join together on many days for Story by Heart. The stories will be told by the School Director and will focus on the various holiday celebrations. 

Story by Heart time is so very special and magical for the children. Having so many “friends” from various classes and ages together to share in the tradition during this time of year simply enhances our community commonality between the classes while also learning about various cultural traditions, diversity and ways to help others.

School Closings or a Delay in Opening Due to Weather

In the event of snow or another form of inclement weather, the schools may close for the day or delay opening. Here are a few places to look or listen for school closing information.

  • The School Directors will send out an email. This will typically be between 6:30 and 7:00.
  • Our Facebook pages will have a notice added, here are links to each school's page: Heartworks, Renaissance, Endeavour
  • Many radio and television stations broadcast this information on an on-going basis.
  • Many TV and radio web sites have a link on their home page that says “closings and delays” – all schools in the area are listed there. We are located under: Chittenden County, Heartworks, Renaissance, Endeavour Schools (when all schools are cancelled). 

In the event of a “two hour delay” in opening, we will open to receive children beginning at 10:20.  The time is calculated from when the morning program begins (8:20) and early care is not available on these days.

Parents who may have a challenging commute to or from school during inclement weather are welcome to arrive late in the morning or choose to have their child stay home.  During the school day parents are welcome to pick their child up at any time that best suits their needs.  We try to remain open as long as possible in the day and if the weather becomes increasingly difficult during the day, we may close early at 4:30 or 5:00.

October at Heartworks Shelburne

Morning Theme Highlights

Children with Sherri and Sandra spent some time “down under” in Australia. The children learned about aboriginal art, some of the animals that call Australia home and Australian food. They also had fun going on a fall pumpkin hunt in the woods behind the playground.  

Children taught by Danielle and Kaylah and Hunter were busy learning about Chinese culture, food, and of course the Panda Bear! The children experimented with chopsticks in the dramatic play area, made beautiful Chinese lanterns, and created adorable panda bears in a multi-step, sensory, and day project.

Viva Mexico! The children with Hilary and Haley took a “plane ride” to Mexico and spent the day exploring the country and the beautiful  landscape. To start the study of Mexico the classes started each morning counting to 10 in Spanish and greeting each other with a morning Spanish song. The classes ended the month with making homemade guacamole and having a fiesta to celebrate Mexican culture and food.

The  two Pre-kindergarten classes taught by Amber and Angela spent the month on the continent of Africa learning about Kenya. The children explored the people of Kenya - how and where they live, what they eat and the animals of Kenya. The children with Amber particularly enjoyed learning about Zebras and marble painting adorable Zebras for the wall. Children taught by Angela learned some Swahili phrases and about the climate of Kenya. They created a beautiful african sunset for the the wall.  


Full STEAM ahead into another month of incredibly fun learning experiences in the afternoon, allowing children to expand their natural desires to explore, to imagine, to build, and to question. 

STEAM class with Danielle has been busy using the outdoors as their classroom. After conducting a science circle inside they go outside for beautiful fall hikes, classifying leaves, comparing colors and leaf shapes, using magnifying glasses to study leaves.

Children in STEAM class with Haley have been busy learning all about gravity. They collected different objects from about the classroom and dropped them off from different heights. The children followed up the lesson by going outside to drop parachutes off the big climbing structure.

Amber has taken the hands on concept of STEAM and applied it to technology. She set up four different learning stations using binoculars, magnifying glasses, flashlights and tweezers and after a discussion about how each tool makes their life easier and how the tools were invented, the children began to explore and discover the tools on their own.

STEAM class with Angela spent an engineering day and transformed their classroom and themselves into structural engineers using tape, pattern bears, and newspaper for materials. They built and designed bridges from tape and newspaper from chair to chair, chairs to shelves, and shelves to tables. After creating bridges the children were able to balance bears on the bridges - How many bears fit on your bridge? 

HRE Reaches Out

On October 4, seven Heartworks staff members attended the Gubernatorial Candidate Panel Discussion on Early Education. HRE was a sponsor of this event that was held at UVM. Many other educators also attended to learn more about the candidates’ thoughts and plans about addressing early education in Vermont.

On October 25, HRE hosted a panel discussion at Champlain College for Education Majors. Nine HRE members attended along with the college students, a Champlain Faculty Member and someone from Let’s Grow Kids program. Paul Zengilowski led the panel discussion by asking questions that would be helpful to the students in their planning and preparation for securing a job in education.

The questions ranged from how best to be prepared for working with young children, tips for when children may decide to do something other than the lesson, how best to make decisions with always the focus on the best interest for the children, working with parents, and so much more. The panel consisted of Lia Barnes; Danielle Harris – Renaissance School Director; and Directors of Heartworks – Joanne Pillsbury, Kathleen Schaffner, and Ashley McKinley; and Georgia Morris, a teacher at Heartworks Williston and a recent graduate of Champlain College.

The education students had a chance to ask questions and share their thoughts followed by opportunities for the education students to socialize with the Directors and ask further questions. One highlight was when an education student said she worked at a summer camp this past summer where a Heartworks’ child was in attendance. It was shared of how the child had social, emotional, and life skills surpassing those of the other campers and how this three year old was quickly the leader of the campers and one who was looked to for learning to follow directions and making great choices. This was another testament to the wonderful educational Heartworks Preschool program that we provide, and to our teachers who are so dedicated to early education.  We look forward to additional collaboration with Champlain College and thank them for supporting this event.


Professional Development Day

Over 60 Faculty members of the Heartworks, Renaissance and Endeavour Schools gathered together on Friday, October 21 for a day of Professional Development.  The schools maintain an active schedule of staff development programming each year designed to meet the needs of the Faculty throughout the organization.

The Heartworks’ workshops included discussions about Smooth Transitions in the Classroom, Outside Time, Classroom Management and Strategies, Teaching Phonics, Theme Program Discussions, Career Growth through Professional Development, Character Development Curriculum and presentations from Mutual of Omaha and The Richards Group on our new employee benefits.

Workshops were led by Lia Barnes – Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Erin Hyer – a licensed and certified speech language pathologist, Andrea Beam – Director of Finance, Administration and HR, some of the School Directors and Lisa Zengilowski. The Faculty had opportunities to work in small and large groups, and collaborate with teachers from the other Heartworks Schools.  It was a highly productive, joyful and beneficial day for everyone!


Clothing and Winter Gear

In keeping with our belief in classical education and to minimize distractions, please do not send your child to school in clothing that includes any pictures or images associated with television shows, cinematic themes or commercialized toys, super heroes, games, or video games. We also believe that children should not wear hats indoors.  Thank you for helping to follow these guidelines. 

As the cold weather is upon us, it is very important that your child has a heavy fleece or warm jacket, hat, and mittens to wear outside.  Very soon it will be necessary to add snowpants, warm boots, heavy jacket and waterproof mittens.

Please label, with your child’s name, all clothing items with a permanent marker including hats, mittens, snow pants, boots, etc., since many of these items look alike.   Some items can become misplaced, and a labeled item finds its way home much faster.  The Heartworks, Renaissance, and Endeavour Schools cannot be responsible for lost or misplaced items.

September Highlights from Heartworks Shelburne C

Class with Meg and Kaylie

The first month of school in the infant classroom is filled with getting to know one another, establishing daily routines for each child and simply enjoying being together. Meg and Kaylie have been working on a few small projects using handprints and footprints to create wonderful fall decorations. They have been spending so much time outside with all of the children walking around the campus and laying in the courtyard watching the leaves move in the wind and enjoying the end of summer and beginning of fall sunshine.

Class with Jackie and Marina

Our friends are growing so much and are reaching many new milestones just in the first few weeks of school! They have quickly settled into a routine and are having so much fun exploring the classroom space and getting to know their friends and teachers. The children have also enjoyed going on walks and exploring the playground getting as much fresh air and sunshine as they possibly can. Outside is definitely a favorite activity for the class. It has been so fun watching the children interact with one another and enjoy the day with excitement and wonder.

Class with Anne and Jacey

What an exciting and enriching first month the children in this classroom have had! They quickly fell into a routine and are having small circles, wonderful enrichment times and are enjoying books and puzzles during transitions. Each month Anne begins with a group painting on canvas using paint and tape to create a word that relates to the theme. September’s word was “welcome” and the children had so much fun exploring the paint and mixing all the colors together. On the windows you will find heart shaped suncatchers that the children created using contact paper and colored tissue paper squares. The also used glue and colored leaf shaped pieces of paper to make fallen leaves for the fall tree on the wall in the classroom. 

Class with Liz and Amanda

The beginning of the year has been filled with so much laughter, joy and excitement. Liz and Amanda have quickly established a rhythm that works well for the children that allows them time to explore, read stories, move their bodies, explore art and music, and get to know one another. The class goes outside for fresh air and gross motor activities rain or shine and the children love that time to explore big body movements in safe and controlled ways. As the months go by the children will continue to learn about using verbal and sign language to communicate their needs, wants and emotions. Some of the favorite activities from the month of September were coloring paper for the “friendship quilt” and creating nature wands using stick, tape and items they found outside.

Class with Haleigh and Nikki

Hiking and exploring families in nature has been a favorite focus of the classroom this month. The children have been enjoying outside time in the forest looking for signs of animals and insects. As a part of the Friends and Family theme, the children used crayons and paper to create mini “family portraits.” Each child had the opportunity to point out the family members they drew, and they were displayed on a family wall in the classroom. The children are enjoying exploring in the classroom  and are working on using books and puzzles to transition between activities, learning new greeting songs during circle and using words to express their thoughts and feelings.

October themes

Overall Theme for the two oldest classes is Cultures.
Children with Haleigh and Nikki will study Australia - the land, language, people and animals.
Children with Liz and Amanda will explore the wonderful cultures for “America the Beautiful.” 

All classes will explore Fall and Harvest, as well as their own learning concepts such as engaging in parallel and cooperative play, language use and development, gentle touches and careful body movements plus appropriate gross and fine motor skills. We are all looking forward to the exciting activities and enrichments planned for this next month.

September Highlights - Heartworks Shelburne B

Highlights from the September Morning Theme of Family and Friends:

The children with Sherri and Sandra have been busy creating a feeling of community in the classroom by making a handprint community wreath to hang on the door, making friendship dough (playdough) and drawing cards to deliver to different classrooms.

Children with Kaylah and Hunter have learned all about family and friends. They created a friendship Garden using a beautiful painted canvas and delivered cookies to the school community. 

The children with Danielle spent the month learning about extended families. They learned how many people are in each child’s family and what it means to be a family. The children read a very sweet book titled, Mouse Paint by Ellen Walsh. After reading the story, the children enjoyed painting with their feet on large pieces of canvas.

The children with Haley started the month with a wonderful discussion and project about what it means to be part of a community. They followed the discussion up with taking a hike through the “community,” collecting leaves as the colors became more vibrant and making leaf rubbings with the leaves that were collected!

Children with Hilary spent the month learning about Community Helpers. They learned about fire fighters, doctors,construction workers, dentists, and police officers and what their role is in our Community. At the end of the month the children created a thankful wreath for the Shelburne Police Department.  

The children with Amber started September with learning about communities and made a Friendship Bread yeast starter. Over the next ten days they tracked the progress of the yeast, wrote out a card and directions for each class and delivered the yeast starter to each classroom! Wow did the school smell delicious.

Children with Angela have been busy learning about Friendly Neighborhoods and what it means to be part of a community. To learn about Neighborhoods they talked about the different components that make up a neighborhood, walked around our school neighborhood and finally created a large map of our local community on canvas.  


The Heartworks Preschools have an enrichment program in the afternoon that incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math  (STEAM). Each day the focus of the afternoon curriculum is on one of these areas, combined with our traditional classrooms values of sharing, respect, courtesy, and listening. Through a broad range of fun and creative activities, the children are encouraged to make predictions, develop hypotheses, ask questions, explore, imagine, build and experiment. 

September STEAM Highlights:

What a wonderful successful start of the afternoon STEAM programs! The children have been busy with STEAM experiments, projects, building, inventing and observations.  
Some highlights from the children in Danielle’s class are science projects that involved walking water, and cloud observations. In Haley’s Wednesday STEAM class some exciting  Engineering highlights are creating “blueprints”  to draw the ideal playground and using blocks to create a mock playground. The children in Amber’s class have enjoyed working with numbers in all aspects of STEAM. They have been measuring with rulers, sorting and graphing crayon colors and counting with cubes.  In the STEAM class with Angela children have dissected  apples and then labeled their parts followed by a delicious apple snack.  Using baking soda paint the children  used eye droppers to drop vinegar onto paintings and observed the chemical reactions.  

October’s Morning Overall Theme is Cultures

The Culture Study exposes children to different cultures and ways of life. They will learn to find the location on a world map, be introduced to some basic words in that language, clothing, art, music, dance, architect, important landmarks, food, animals, landscape and so much more. The classes will be studying the following Cultures:

  • Children with Sherri and Sandra - Australia
  • Children with Kaylah, Hunter and Danielle - China
  • Children with Haley and Hilary - Mexico
  • Children with Amber and Angela - Kenya


Music with Joanna

Joanna May is our music teacher who visits our school throughout each month.  Some of the classes have a scheduled time to have music with Joanna in the Big Room.  Joanna incorporates singing, dancing, and movement into her music class.  

Apple Brownie Recipe


  • 1 stick salted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for dish
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 small sweet apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center position. Generously butter an 8-by-11-inch baking dish. 

Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and egg with a mixer until pale, about 2 minutes. Add apples, and stir by hand until combined. Add flour mixture, and stir until combined, about 30 seconds more. 

Spread batter in pan, and bake until golden brown and slightly firm, about 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 30 minutes, then cut into 12 bars.

Based on a recipe from Martha Stewart