Greenfield Town Seal

141 Davis Street, Greenfield, MA 01301, 413.772.1300 (voice), 413.774.7940 (fax)



GPS Home

GPS Email

Printable Calendar

Events Calendar

Staff Directory

Admin Directory

GPS PowerSchool

Job Openings

Prof. Dev.

Food Services
(Online Payments)



Greenfield High School

8th Grade Academy

Math & Science Academy
Grades 4, 5, 6 and 7

Poet Seat
Therapeutic Day Program

Greenfield Middle School

The Discovery School
@ Four Corners

Federal Street Elem.

Newton School Elem.

Academy of Early Learning


Follet Destiny Logo
GPS Library Home Page


Math Sites 4 Fun & Practice

Town of Greenfield

Accelerated Reader Logo
Study Island Logo
Britannica for Kids
Discovery Education Login
Safe Schools Safe Streets
Academy of Early Learning Banner

Principal: Joan Schell, EdD
Program Coordinator, General Administration: Nancy Garlock
Program Coordinator, Special Education Administration: Elizabeth Bednarski-Mahon

Visit our About AEL/FAQ page

Now enrolling for the 2015-2016 School Year
We are now scheduling registration appointments! Registration includes a FREE developmental screening with your child as well as an overview of the program and tuition structure. To schedule a registration appointment, please call 772-1390.


Parents may request a free developmental screening for their child at any time. To schedule a screening, please contact Nancy Garlock at 772-1390 or email

school house

April 2015 Newsletter


SpeechWe are thrilled to welcome Carla Bernier to our staff as our new speech and language pathologist. Renee Southwick has retired after many dedicated years of service. Thank you, Renee and welcome, Carla!

ABC logoWe are quickly filling up for next year. Thank you to all of the AEL families who returned their enrollment forms for next year. You will soon receive letters letting you know whether your child has been placed in a full or half-day classroom for next year. We have made every effort to honor your first choice requests, while maintaining good balanced classrooms. Specific classroom assignments will be mailed to you in early August.

We still have a few remaining openings for the fall. Please spread the word to your friends and family. Anyone interested in a tour or a registration appointment may call the office at 772-1390.


April 9
PTO meeting 6-7 PM

April 10
No preschool or Wrap Care

April 17
No preschool or Wrap Care

April 20-24
School Vacation Week

Piggy BankAEL is very fortunate to have a gift fund that has been set up to cover expenses that are not ordinarily covered by school budgets. Teachers frequently pay out-of-pocket for such things as field trips, emergency snacks, photo printing, special project supplies etc. These costs may seem inconsequential but over time, they add up to a considerable amount of money. We welcome donations to this fund as it helps us to be able to continue the “extras” that we consider critical to the quality of our program. Donations may be made to: North Parish Gift Fund.

Summer ProgramWe are now enrolling for our summer program at the Academy of Early Learning. This program runs for 4 weeks, Monday-Thursday from 8:30-noon, including free breakfast and lunch for everyone. The program begins July 6th and ends July 30th. Slots fill up quickly. Please call Liz Bednarski-Mahon at 772-1339 to enroll your child or to get additional information.

Self-ControlHow can you teach your little one to handle big emotions like anger, frustration, and disappointment? Work on increasing his self-control with these strategies to help him think before he acts.

Talk it out
Give your child words to use when he is upset. For example, if you can’t find your glasses, you might say, “I feel so frustrated! Where did I last have them?” Then, when he’s aggravated (say, he misplaced his favorite book/toy), encourage him to use similar words. (“I feel mad because I want my book/toy. I was looking at it in the living room-maybe it’s there.”) He’ll learn to talk through his problems and be less likely to yell or whine.

Think ahead
Prepare for situations where self-control comes in handy. You could say, “We’re going to your cousin’s house. Let’s think about what you can do if she’s playing with a toy you want.” He may ask to join her, or he could ask to play with another toy until she’s finished. Having a plan can help him avoid grabbing the toy or yelling at his cousin.

Calm down
When your child begins to get upset, help him find ways to keep his cool. For instance, he might take a deep breath, count to five, or draw a picture of how he is feeling. The distraction may be enough to settle him down. And once he’s used to these techniques, he’ll be able to do them without a reminder from you.
2014 Resources for Educators

Academy Staff
Full-Day Classrooms
• Jennie Horton (teacher)
• Janice Fuller (teacher)
• Julie Letendre (teacher)
• Claire Glabach (teacher)
Half-Day Classrooms (morning & afternoon)
• Caissie Putnam (teacher)
• Tarah Perna, (teacher)

Intensive Special Needs Classroom
• Liz Bednarski-Mahon (SPED Coordinator & teacher)

All-School Staff
• Nancy Garlock, Program Coordinator
• Liz Bednarski-Mahon, Program Coordinator
• Deb Abrams, Interim School Psychologist
• Keith Urkiel, Custodian
• Tiffany Losier, School nurse
• Maggie Padilla, Secretary & Tuition Coordinator
• Carla Bernier & Donna Gaylord, Speech & Language Pathologists
•Heidi Merritt, Wrap-around care

moneyIf you have had any changes in employment or income, please remember to submit updated information to our tuition coordinator, Maggie Padilla at 772-1390. We appreciate that families are making their tuition payments by the first of the month.  Thank you!

Safety1Please remember that school parking lots adhere to NO IDLING. If you are escorting your child into the building, be sure to turn off your engine. For safety, all unattended cars must be turned off.

SafetyWe have placed cones on one side of the street to request that families park on one side of the street only so that cars may still pass through. We understand that parking is extremely limited and encourage families to use the drop off/pick up line to avoid adding to the congestion. Please be considerate of our neighbors by parking away from their driveways and driving around the block rather than turning around in their driveways.  This will help keep the street safer for families walking over. We appreciate your patience and support as we work to maintain safety for everyone.

ClothingDo you have clothes that your child has outgrown? Please consider donating gently worn clothing to our clothing exchange. We can still use pants and long sleeved tops, as well as spring items for both boys and girls. The clothing exchange is open all day on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If you are unable to get in to the school, give us a call and let us know what you need and we will send it home with your child. This is truly shopping made easy!

Many families struggle with how to involve their children in every day chores around the house. Some children are eager to help with everything and others are less excited about helping out. By giving responsibility to your child, you are helping build self-confidence and conveying that you see your child as a contributing member of the family!

  1. Make sure the chores you have your child do are safe and age-appropriate. Give children simple chores that they can do alone such as putting things away or emptying their backpack. You can also give chores that you can do together.
  2. Start young! This helps get your child in the habit of helping out and being responsible. When your child puts their laundry away, helps set the table for dinner or sorts silverware they are working on great preschool skills.
  3. Make your expectations clear and acknowledge hard work. It is important for your child to feel successful. Acknowledge their hard work and thank them for their help. Try to avoid money as a reward for chores. In order for a household to run smoothly, we all need to pitch in and help. An occasional pizza night or movie night together might be a good way to acknowledge the chores being done by everyone.
  4. Make a family chore list. This helps remind everyone of their responsibilities and helps your child know what is expected. Let your child “check off” when their chore has been completed. Try to use pictures to represent your child’s responsibilities.

BookwormHere are some easy tips for encouraging early literacy well before your child learns to read!

  1. FORM A CLOSE BOND: Your relationship with your child is very important to his/her ability to learn. If you are interactive, close and loving, your child will reap the rewards!
  2. GET IN ON THE FUN: Being a participant during playtime can bring you closer and help you learn useful information about your child’s habits and emotions.
  3. TELL TALES: Build narrative skills by gathering family members at meal times and having them tell the story of their day.
  4. PLAY RHYMING GAMES: This helps build phonemic awareness (the ability to distinguish and manipulate individual sounds)….and it’s fun!
  5. BRING READING AND WRITING INTO EVERYDAY LIFE: Encourage literacy in your child’s daily routine. Some examples might be making shopping lists together and labeling their drawings together.
  6. BE ATTENTIVE: and engaged when you communicate with your child. By paying attention and listening to what your child has to say, you are giving them the message that what they say is important!
  7. READ TOGETHER: Make story time a daily ritual that your child can count on and look forward to. Reading before bedtime is a wonderful way to wind down and have some special time together.

Car seat Please remember that all children must remain buckled in a child restraint seat when arriving and leaving school.  At drop off, children should remain buckled until a staff member comes to get them. At pick up, all children must be buckled when your vehicle leaves the school. Your child’s safety is our top priority!

BackpackNotices and newsletters are sent home on a regular basis to help keep you informed about what is happening in your child’s classroom and the school at large. It is important to us that you are informed and involved. Please be sure to check your child’s backpack daily.

Field Trips
Field TripAll of our classrooms participated in field trips to an apple orchard during the first month of school. Children had a great time and of course, they all loved going on the big bus! Our classrooms try to take field trips regularly throughout the school year. Teachers will always send notices home ahead of time. We welcome families joining us for field trips and ask that you complete a CORI check prior to the field trip. These CORI forms are available in the office. At this time of year, with many families submitting CORIs, there can be a backlog. To avoid disappointment on the day of the field trip, please check with Maggie (413 772-1390) ahead of time to be sure that your CORI has cleared.

Snowflake 1
Snowflake 2
Snowflake 3
Snowflake 4


Announcements to cancel school or delay school opening are typically made early in the morning or the prior evening. You can find out about cancellations or delays in these ways:

  • Our “phone robot” calls each family to announce a delay or cancellation. If you do not get a call, then we don’t have your correct phone number. Please let the Academy office know right away.
  • Local TV and radio stations will announce Greenfield Public School cancellations and delays.
  • If you have internet, look at our school district

When school is cancelled, there will be no classes or Wrap Care. Any scheduled meetings are cancelled and will be rescheduled.
When there is a delay, start times for the morning and full day classes are backed up the length of the delay (for example: with a 2-hour delay, start time is 10:30 a.m.) Similarly, wrap care start time is delayed (with a 2-hour delay, start time for wrap care would be 9:30 a.m.). The usual delay is a 2-hour delay-in which case, the morning classes are cancelled, full day classes begin at 10:30, and afternoon classes run as usual.
Also, when there is a 2-hour delay, the school does not serve breakfast.

In the very unlikely event of an early release due to inclement weather, the automated phone system will call with the announcement. In addition, the Academy staff will make every attempt to reach a family member by calling your cell and/or work numbers. Please make sure your emergency pick-up contacts are up to date.


A+ School Rewards are points that supporters earn with each purchase made using their Stop & Shop Card. At the end of each month, the points earned are used in a calculation to determine our school's cash total, which is then automatically credited to our school's account. Customers can support up to two schools to benefit from their A+ School Rewards that accrue. We invite families to register now to start earning dollars for the Academy! Families can register at the customer service desk or you can register online by going to: You will be asked to enter your Stop and Shop card number and our school code (We are listed as the North Parish Elementary School) which is 05139. This is a simple and easy way to raise money for our school without spending anything extra! Please register today and encourage friends and families to register too!

Sick ChildMany families have questions about when their child can return to school after being sick. Some circumstances are clear to us: your child must be free from vomiting, diarrhea and fever without the use of medication for 24 hours before returning to school. Some circumstances are less clear. Sometimes it can be helpful to think about whether your child is acting like themselves and have the energy needed to get through the day. Our school nurse has attached a flyer that offers guidance for making these tough decisions. Please review this and let us know if you have questions or concerns.

Our teachers are available to meet with you to discuss your child. You can always call the school at 772-1390 to leave a message for your child’s teacher and she will get back to you as soon as possible. Because attending to your children is our highest priority, please schedule a time to speak with your child’s teacher rather than going down to the classroom during the day or trying to catch the teachers during drop off/pick up. Our teachers want to be able to give you their full attention!

Our Mission

The Academy of Early Learning provides quality pre-school education and support services in a safe, nurturing public school environment. We believe young children learn best when discovering and exploring their world through play. We are dedicated to being a responsive, community-based preschool while meeting all district, state and national performance standards for excellence. We are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

QRIS Community
Bringing the Massachusetts early education
and care community together

Brain Building LogoFor more information about the importance of children interacting and learning in enriching environments, visit Brain Building in Progress, a public-private partnership, led by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and United Way.

Academy of Early Learning PTO
Meeting Minutes/Newsletters
PTO News: May, 2014
PTO News: November-December, 2013
PTO News: September-October, 2013
September 12, 2013
May 1, 2013
PTO News: May-June 2013
April 10, 2013
March 6, 2013
February 6, 2013
January 9, 2013
December 12, 2012
November 15, 2012
September 12, 2012
August 1, 2012

Visit our About AEL/FAQ page

Happy children

Page last updated: April 15, 2015




For Web site queries and questions and to report Web site issues, please contact:

Privacy and Terms of Use