Friday, January 29

ARTS & CRAFTS: Valentine’s Day Votive

Decorate your house for Valentine's Day with these festive votive candles!

Recycled glass jars
Colored tissue paper (white, red, pink)
Liquid Starch or Mod Podge
Craft brushes
Tea Lights

  1. Using a craft brush, paint liquid starch or Mod Podge onto one side of a clean glass jar. Tear small pieces of white tissue paper and place on the painted side. Paint a layer overtop of the tissue paper now stuck to the jar. Continue painting and placing tissue paper until the outside of the jar is fully covered and a topcoat of Mod Podge has been applied.
  2. While the jar is still damp, cut small hearts from the red and pink tissue paper. Place the hearts onto the damp sides of the jar. If hearts do not stick, apply another layer of Mod Podge to dry areas of the jar.
  3. Once the hearts are in place, paint one last coat of Mod Podge over the jar to seal all tissue paper into place.
  4. Allow the votive to dry overnight then place a small tea light inside.

Contribute by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Images and Craft Instructions by Homemade Serenity


Weekly Hightlights:


Contributed by Rebecca Stokes,Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, January 27

FAIRMONT FIVE: How to Make the Most of Your Open House Experience

Open House season has arrived as private schools begin enrolling students and inviting new families to explore facilities, engage with teachers, and be welcomed into a new learning environment. Below are five tips to help make your Open House experience productive and insightful for your family as you shop around for the best private school!

  1. Don’t skip prospective family events. If you’re checking out a school for the first time, don’t skip the events dedicated to welcoming visitors. These times are dedicated to introducing new families to the school and staff, as well as providing tours or question-and-answer periods. This is your time to learn key introductory information and meet admissions directors and administrative staff face-to-face.
  2. Talk with current parents. Most Open Houses merge or overlap prospective families with current families, which provides you with incredibly valuable insight if you spark a conversation with a current parent. Grab an adult who seems to know their way around and ask questions for the ultimate, face-to-face Yelp review experience. Questions involving homework loads, styles of teaching, and overall satisfaction are great ways to encourage current parents to reveal their insight.
  3. Take a tour. If there is no established tour time, find a school administrator and express your interest in experiencing a guided tour. Chances are a school’s staff will jump at the opportunity to show off their facilities and introduce you to their learning environment. Pay close attention to facility maintenance, safety, organization, and the resources dedicated to extracurricular activities your student might engage in.
  4. Talk with your child’s grade level teacher. This could be your child’s next teacher, so take a moment to reach out and have a conversation. Introduce yourself and your child to get a feel for the teacher’s personality, teaching style, and overall compatibility. Teachers also provide a great source of knowledge regarding school policies, procedures, curriculum, afterschool opportunities, etc.
  5. Be observant to people’s reactions. As you walk around a school for the first time, use this opportunity to silently observe the parents, students, and staff. Do the children look excited to show off their school work? Do the parents seem engaged and receptive to teachers and staff? What is the overall energy level of the event? Simply being aware of the atmosphere and by watching the reactions and attitudes of others can provide a big indicator of whether or not you and your child will be happy attending this particular school.

When searching for the best educational environment for your child, attending Open Houses and admissions events is a great way to investigate and make fully-researched choices about which school to attend. Use these times to ask questions and discover the best learning atmosphere for your student!

Over the next month, Fairmont Private Schools is having Open Houses at its three Orange County Preschool - 8th grade campuses. This is a great opportunity to visit a campus and learn why Fairmont was voted "Best Private School in Orange County" by Parenting OC’s Readers’ Choice poll. Click here for more event information!

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, January 25

SNACKTIME: What Do the New Dietary Guidelines Mean for Your Family?

Earlier this month, the United States government released new Dietary Guidelines for Americans ages two and older. Issued every five years by the US Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services, the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines are designed to foster a healthier diet, promote health, prevent chronic disease, and help Americans maintain a healthy weight.

Notable changes to the new guidelines include less emphasis on specific nutrients and more emphasis on overall eating patterns. For example, what you eat over time influences risk for certain diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. In general, plant-based, unprocessed foods help reduce risk.

The new guidelines recognize that American do not receive enough calcium, vitamin D, fiber, and potassium. Therefore, emphasis is now placed on the following foods to meet nutrition gaps. A healthy diet includes:
  • A variety of vegetables: dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), etc.
  • Fruits: especially whole fruit
  • Grains: at least half of which are whole grain
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy: milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods: seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, and nuts and seeds
  • Oils: those from plants such as olive and peanut oil, as well as oils naturally present in nuts, seeds, seafood, olives, and avocados.
 The 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommends Americans limit thier sodium intake and the amount of sugary foods and beverages consumed:
  • Adults and children ages fourteen years and over should limit sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day, and children younger than fourteen years should consume even less. Salty chips and canned soups are often high in sodium.
  • Limit added sugars to no more than 10 percent of daily caloric needs. Americans consume 22 to 30 teaspoons of added sugar daily, half of which come from soda, juices, and other sugary drinks. High sugar intake has been linked to everything from dental cavities to obesity to type 2 diabetes, to heart disease. Daily added sugar intake should be under 200 calories per day, or 12 teaspoons of sugar. For children, who may only need 1,200 to 1,400 calories per day — it's even less.
Use the Nutrition Facts label to check for sodium and added sugars to make informed food choices. A healthy eating pattern is adaptable to a person’s taste preferences, traditions, culture, and budget.

Submitted by Leslie K. Kay-Getzinger, Regional Dietitian for Nutrition Management Services
Image by

Friday, January 22


Weekly Highlights:


Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools

Wednesday, January 20

ARTS & CRAFTS: DIY Paper Spinner

White Paper
Colored Markers or Crayons
Cotton string or twine
Glue stick

  1. Save and print the blank circle template, then decorate the circles with colorful designs.
  2. Cut out the circles and use one to trace a circle onto the cardboard.
  3. Cut out the cardboard circle and attach the two paper circles on either side of the cardboard circle using the glue stick.
  4. Punch two small holes in the center of the circle.
  5. Thread a 28 inch piece of string through both holes and knot at the ends.
  6. With the circle in the middle, and with the end loops of the string in both hands, use a forward swinging motion to twist the circle around the string. Then slowly pull, as the spinner hums and spins!

Watch a spinner in action:

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Images, Video & Craft Instructions by A Girl and A Glue Gun

Friday, January 15


Weekly Highlights:


Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools