Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Introducing Y.E.S! Owner/Director Therese DiVerde

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

therese-diverde-yes-ownerJuly 2, 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,

It is my distinct pleasure to inform you that I am the new Owner/Director of Young Explorers School and my name is Therese DiVerde. Building meaningful relationships and getting to know each other is my top priority. I am honored that Dr. Fil has entrusted me with serving all of you and while I know it will be tough to fill her shoes, I look forward to this important chapter in my life.

Change is often scary and it raises many emotions and questions. I would like to try and put your mind at ease by saying that any changes made will be slow, steady and purposeful and I welcome any and all input from the staff and parents (and the kids too!). In the very near future, I will be sending a survey home so that I can collect some data that will help guide me as we move forward.

A little bit about me….

  • I was born and raised outside of Chicago and moved to Tucson in 1981 (that makes me a native right?)
  • I am the 8th child of 12 so being around noise and kids is what I thrive on. We lost both of our amazing parents within the last 2 years after 72 years of marriage.
  • I have 28 nieces and nephews (not counting their spouses) and over 30 great nieces and nephews. I have been surrounded by kids my entire life.
  • I am the mother of 3 kids… one of each. (One of each you say?) I raised my stepson from the age of 4. I have a birth son and my youngest is my adopted daughter who was one of my students when I taught 7th
  • All three of my kids are married and each has 2 of their own children, so that makes me a “granny” of 6. One of my grandsons will soon be enrolling at Young Explorers.
  • I have a degree in Elementary Education which I earned in my 30’s. I taught 7th and 8th grade math in TUSD. I also worked as an Instructional Coach as well and have trained and developed many teachers and I love and respect the hard work and dedication of teachers.
  • I have a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and worked for Ombudsman Charter Schools as an administrator in Tucson, Phoenix and Las Vegas.
  • I once was a partner in a real estate development company so I have valuable experience operating a business. My passion however is and always will be working with children and their families.
  • I love to travel, I love to cook, I love to read, I love 70’s and 80’s rock, I love musicals and live theater, I love boating and I especially love to laugh.

I appreciate your patience, understanding and I promise to work relentlessly to make this transition as seamless as possible. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you.


Therese DiVerde

 Young Explorers May Parents Newsletter

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Dear Parents:

May is always an exciting month at Young Explorers School. Please note some of the special events we will have planned.

Friday, May 11, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. is our annual Mother’s Day Tea

This means moms (and dads who are also being both parents), grandmothers, aunts and guests are invited to join us. We will have special treats and surprises. Please let us know by May 9 if you plan on attending.

Memorial Day – May 28 YES! will be closed

Summer School

Summer Program reservations are being taken for our school age program. We will limit our class to 12 children. The rates for summer will include our swimming program and field trips.

June 9 is our Showers Point Campout 

We reserve Group Site 1 at Showers Point on Mt. Lemmon. Take the Organization Ridge road past the Boy Scout Camp.  YES! families are  invited to join us. The camp site can accommodate 25 guests. We will have a sign up sheet available with more information shortly. Since we are already feeling the heat of summer I know you will want to join us. You may come up for the day as well as plan to stay the night. More information is available for those planning on spending the night.

Sunscreen Permission Needed

Please put sunscreen on before coming to school. If you want your child to be reapplied we must have a written permission. Permission forms are ready for you to sign when you bring in your sunscreen. Please be sure to have your child’s name on the sunscreen.

Swimming Season is Coming Soon

swimming at young explorers schoolsLooking ahead to swimming, children who are potty trained I mean really potty trained will be eligible to go swimming with their class group. Each child will need a swim suit, small tee shirt and a small towel. (No Beach Towels) Everything must have their name on it. Every Friday we will send the suit, tee shirt, and towel home to be laundered. Due to health reasons, we will not have any extra suits available. If you forget to bring the suit in your child will not be able to swim until they have their own suit. As they say—No suit, no swim.

Please pass the word regarding our search for a swim instructor. They must have a current Life Guard Certificate or Water Safety Certificate. If we have a WSI instructor we will be offering swim lessons. We will keep you posted about the lessons.

Our staff is working on the themes and activities for our summer program. A Summer newsletter is getting produced as we speak.  Lots of fun times ahead.

Quality First Update

Quality First LogoOur coach Josi Terrell has helped us with our new order of educational equipment and materials for our classrooms. It will be fun receiving all of our new equipment. Our classrooms will be getting a new look.  In addition to the educational materials and supplies we are getting exciting coaching. This will help us get ready for our next visit from Quality First Observers. Our goal is to get at least a 3 star or higher rating. When this happens we will be able to qualify for scholarships to assist some of our families. Unfortunately this will be a year or two away before we can have any new benefits.  It is always a very challenging procedure and our staff will be devoting many hours in learning and growing their professional skills.

Time to Say Good Bye

Some of our students will be leaving this month due to their parents having time off for the summer. Let’s hope they have a terrific summer and will be joining us back in the Fall. Reservations for Fall need to be made to insure your child’s spot.

Preschool Hour Reminder

Just a reminder every child attending YES! will have Preschool times daily. Our preschool hours are between 9:00-11:30 a.m. Our preschool includes language activities, music and art, physical and fine motor play to name a few. One important benefit of our preschool is that our children are learning many of the skills expected in “Big School” class programs. It is only when we have lunch and nap time that our extended care time is considered “child care”.  When children are here at our school for many hours of the day, we need to provide care for the child’s total development. This includes meals and rest times which are just as important for a healthy child development.

One of the most rewarding times I have experienced is when I meet former families and children several years later. I always ask how their children are doing in school.  Our reward is that they report their children love school and are excelling. Lifelong learning is truly one of our goals for children. Learning and loving learning always assist children in discovering, problem solving and achieving. Each day is very special for children and their growth. What a joy it is to be a part of their “total” child development.

February 2018 Family Newsletter

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Valentines Day PartyDear Y.E.S! Families,

February is a very short month but it is definitely action packed. Check these exciting events and be sure to join us if possible.

Valentine’s Day Party: Wednesday, Feb. 14

Our party will begin at 9:45 a.m. and continue to 11 a.m. We will have story time, music, games and Valentines!

If you would like your child to bring in Valentines for the party, please bring them in on or before Feb. 13. This will give the children a chance to deliver them to the Valentine Bags. Have your child sign them “To my Friend: from their name. This is a real wonderful opportunity to encourage your child to notice letters and recognition skills too.

Visual Screening with Lions Club, Thursday Feb. 15 at 9 a.m.

This is a great opportunity for your child to have their eyes screened. The process is very simple and quick. You may get more information about the process by checking the Lions website. There is a video and explanation.  If you do not want your child’s eyes screened, please let us know. We can have a signup sheet for you to let us know. Check out the video at https//

Also, if you have pairs of old glasses that you have been wondering what to do with them, this is your chance to donate them to the Lions Club. They are able to recycle them for people who are in need of glasses. We will have a box for your donations.

Friday, Annual Rodeo Party, Friday, Feb. 23

We will have special cowboy beans and cornbread for lunch. The Rocking Star Ranch Ponies will be here to give the children pony rides. The festivities will begin after breakfast. Parents and friends are invited to join us for lunch. We will post a reservation sign up list.

Quality First LogoQuality First Update

Our staff enjoyed the training session last Saturday with our coach Josi Terrell. Our goal is to learn more about the standards for the program. It is always exciting to learn.  We are looking forward to our next visit. We will keep you posted. There have been many changes in the program so it will be interesting to see the new process.

Curriculum Corner

Valentine’s Day is an excellent way to encourage your child’s literacy skills. Take time when the children bring home their Valentines to read them and discuss the words and letters. Have your child dictate their greetings to grandparents and special friends. If you would like your child to know what happens with “snail mail,” you might even mail your child a card so that they can have the experience of going to the mail box. If you would like to mail a Valentine to your child at school, address it to your child care of Young Explorers School, P.O. Box 14614, 85732.

Take advantage of your time during your drive to and from school to encourage your child to look for letters. Children know a lot of words because they have experienced them. Most children recognize M for McDonalds and other restaurants too. Every day each of us have the opportunity to encourage children to become aware of the “reading environments”! By encouraging your child to share their recognition skills you can begin to see an emerging eager reader! Enjoying reading is the goal!

I hope you picked up the YES! Valentine Song Flyer. We will be singing our songs daily and at our Valentine’s Day Party too. This might help you understand some of the words your child may be singing.

Happy Valentine’s Day for all!

Dr. Fil.

Celebrating 47 YearsYoung Explorers SchoolP.S. Thank you for attending our 47th Birthday Party last week. It was quite a turn out. Many friends and family made the event very rewarding. Taking time to remember our past encourages us to continue to provide nurturing and educational learning opportunities daily for our children.

Happy New Year: January 2018 Parent Newsletter

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Crayon Girl Crayon BoyDear Parents:

Happy New Year!  We are looking forward to all the new experiences, adventures and happenings in 2018.  We have survived many challenges in 2017 so it is hopeful we will do more than survive but thrive and grow in 2018.

Just a reminder, Young Explorers will be open on Jan. 15th, Martin Luther King Day.


YES! turns 47 years old this month. We will host our birthday party on Thursday, January 25th from 5:00 p.m.-6:15 p.m.  YES! will  provide dinner – the hot dogs, fruit and salads, drinks and of course birthday cake. Reservations would be appreciated by Tuesday 23th.  Invite former students and their families that you know them to the momentous event.  We do have parents attending now who were here as children, too. Let’s Party!


Last year our school was invited to participate in vision screening for our children.  We are scheduling a visit soon.  We will be sending out the permission slips and also more information regarding the program.   This is a great opportunity for your family to be aware of the vision needs of your child.  The procedure is simple and quick.  We appreciate the Lions Club time and service. This is a great opportunity for your family.


  • Please call in when your child is ill and will not be attending.  This is important for us to know the latest “bug”.  Children must be fever free (without medication) diarrhea free, and upchuck free for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
  • Please call when your child will be late for school. This means they will miss breakfast or lunch. If your child is coming after the designated meal times it would be helpful to know by 9:00 a.m. when we are doing the meal counts and having the necessary quantities.
  • If your child has been to their doctor and has recent immunizations we need a copy of updated immunization forms. This is extremely important in keeping our records current for the Pima County Health Department.
  • We need correct and current addresses, phone numbers, and people designated for authorized pick up. We often discover when children become ill that the contact numbers are not in service. We must be able to reach someone in a reasonable amount of time.  When children are ill they need to be removed from the center within ½ hour at the most.  This is important since many children tend to react to fevers and other symptoms quickly.   Many parents want to be able to get their children to medical attention before their regular doctor’s offices close.
  • When bringing children in or picking children up while the class is out on the playground, be sure to notify the teacher that the child is present or leaving. This is important for our record keeping and child safety.
  • Tuition is due on Monday and past due after Wednesday.
  • Remember the 10 hour rule.
  • Dress in layers. It’s cold then hot and sometimes “coldish”.
  • Tax statements are available, please sign up on clipboard. We would appreciate at least 48 hour notice. Our school records are kept at the Young Explorers Business Office.
  • Please wash and return our emergency school clothes as quickly as possible. It would help to have your child’s backpack with extras just in case.

Just a Thought!

Hopefully you were able to get through the holidays with a smile and deep breaths.  We are looking forward to a busy new season at Young Explorers.  Our birthday party in January, Valentine Party in February and our Rodeo Party in February are just a few events that will provide us with many new experiences.  Watch for new songs and activities.

We are blessed with special resource people.  John Ross from Make Way for Books and Grace Young our amazing music teacher come weekly to enrich our program.  We are looking to get our garden growing this spring.  If you have a green thumb and can come and assist us with this, please let us know.

According to the Courtney Carver author of Soulful Simplicity,   Encourage your friends and family to answer the question, “What made you smile today?” instead of asking How are You?  This gives everyone a chance to respond with a more detailed or positive response.  I have tried this question this week with parents and teachers. It is remarkable what the responses have been!   Hope you try this at work. It would surprise you what the responses will be.  You may indeed find something positive and humorous to brighten your day.

See you at our 47th Birthday Party!

Dr. Fil.


Parents and Students November Newsletter

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

Stay up to date with everything happening at Y.E.S! this month with the Parent Newsletter!

Parents and Students October Newsletter

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

Stay in the know with what’s happening in October at Y.E.S. with our latest newsletter.

Parents and Students Fall Newsletter

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Stay up to date with Y.E.S. through our parent’s newsletter for Fall 2017.


Young Explorers Schools Summer News

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

Stay up to date with what’s happening at Y.E.S. in Summer 2017.

Summer News

March 2017 Y.E.S! Parents Newsletter

Friday, March 17th, 2017


Dear Parents:

February was a very short month but was packed with many exciting learning adventures. Our Valentines were mailed and hopefully you received your special card from your child. Our Valentine’s Party was truly fun and of course receiving gifts and cards made it special. The ponies from Rocking Star made our Rodeo Party fun and of course our delicious cowboy lunch made many memorable moments.

Our First Thing First – Quality First visit went well. We have signed the participation packet. Our Quality First coach is Josi Tyrell. She assisted us at our Bellevue School when we received our 3 star rating. We are ready to begin our challenges and proceed with the program. We will keep you informed since parent participation will be a part of the process.

March 17th. St Patrick’s Day. Wear your colors.

Spring time brings out the crazies in all of us. It seems the weather is cool in the morning and warms up for the rest of the day. Dress your child in clothes that will aid them in the active play. It is really important to have your child be able to dress and undress while doing their ”potty” times. Avoid the cute belts and clothes with lots of buttons and snaps if possible. Helping children become independent is critical for their emotional development.

School Clothes

If your child has an accident and brings home school clothes; please return them to us after washing. If you have some clothes that your child has out grown we would be happy to recycle them for you. We are low on sizes 4 to 6 for both girls and boys. We especially need good clean underwear. We are getting very low in our collection. We would hate to have to put a diaper on if we don’t have the correct size.

Scholastic Book Orders

Our school is now a part of the of the RED APPLE Teacher status. This means our orders have encouraged the love of reading. They have given us additional 500 extra bonus points. Our next order will be sent for the April selection on March 29th. I discovered if we phone our order in they shipped them quickly. So if you want some books as gifts for Easter, this will be a good time to order them. Attached is a copy of the Readers Pledge. If each classroom returns 10 pledges the classroom will receive a free book coupon.


You should have received a copy of your signed contract. Please let me know if you would need another one. Remember about the new rates, the 10 hour day fee, and the late fees. If you have any questions regarding this I would love to set up a time to meet and discuss this. YES! has appreciated your cooperation and understanding.


Quite often your child and teacher would like to be able to communicate with you when you come into the school. It is really difficult when you are on your phone and are distracted. It would be courteous to put your phone away when entering the front door. This would also give you some privacy regarding your conversation. Other people and children do not need to hear your private conversation, which is sometimes embarrassing to overhear. Your child is so happy to see you and deserves your attention.

Volunteers Needed for our School Garden

Do you enjoy gardening? Our school garden is in needed of a “green thumb” or two. We would like to get our garden going. We could use some help in digging the soil, planting and of course giving us some tips of the best way to grow our vegetables. Let us know if you are interested.

Sick Child Policy

In order to minimize germs and other health issues, your cooperation is needed. If your child leaves school with a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea they must be free from the symptoms for 24 hours. This means without medication too. Some parents take the child to the doctor and are given a note stating what time line they would recommend. Remember when your child is having these symptoms this could be the beginning of something else starting. You do not want your child to develop severe health issues because they are having their immune system challenged. If we all follow these procedures, we may be able to keep the spread to a minimum. Your child’s health is very critical.

Curriculum Corner

Our children have been working writing letters in the alphabet. You can encourage them to look for the letters in many ways. On the way to school discuss what letters they see on buildings and signs. Children recognize many letters on things they experience each day. Even the youngest child knows the big golden M on Mc Donald’s. When you make out your grocery list, use paper and pen so that children can see the need and use of writing words. Yes, I know that is rather old fashion since your phone can keep your list active and current but children need to see the need to write and learn words.

Instead of spending outrageous amounts of money on toys that they lose interest in, have a container of supplies they can use in a safe place. Pencils, pens, markers, paper, old junk mail, scissors and glue are just a few items you can have available for them. Encourage your child to write and draw. Children need to develop their fine motor skills of handling pencils, crayons and markers even before attempting to write letters and numbers.

The papers can be stapled into a book. Be sure to write the date on the title page. This will show you how much the child is growing and learning. The progress can be so amazing. I know this will probably drive you crazy if you are “neatniks!”  Get a big plastic container and put all the treasures in one place. Don’t forget to send some of the wonderful creations to grandparents and other friends.

You can use pictures from magazines, newspapers, old calendars, family shots to encourage discussing what is happening as well as extending your child’s language. Ask questions regarding colors, shapes, and size to encourage their imaginations. Taking time to encourage communicating demonstrates to them you are interested in what they are thinking. It is amazing how they will begin to use more than one word to express their ideas.

This is what makes each day working with your child so special. Listening, sharing and encouraging are very important in the learning process.

Do you know that the alphabet letters are 6 basic combinations of strokes?

Always encourage children to try to write the words they know. DON’T be critical of the way the letters look. Always ask the child which one they think is the best.   Many children will write their names backwards. This is not unusual or cause for alarm. Here’s a trick you can try. Have them take their paper and look in the mirror with it. You will see that the name is spelled perfectly. If we encourage the process of writing we also encourage the process of reading. You really want your child to be successful learners. Encouragement works wonders. Criticism sometimes discourages the child from risking and avoiding making mistakes. We can have great learning experiences even when making a few mistakes. This is fine as long as the mistakes are not harmful and life threatening.

Enjoy the spring weather and the joys of the new blossoms. Don’t forget to pass the Kleenex!

What’s happening at YES!

Friday, December 9th, 2016

Stay up to date with our latest news

Newsletter for the parents and families of Young Explorers Schools in Tucson, Arizona.