Welcome 2017-2018 ELP Families

Welcome to the Early Learning Program at Darien Public Schools.

The Early Learning Program is a integrated preschool where children with special needs and children with typically developing skills learn from each other in a nurturing environment. It has been part of the Darien Public School system since 1996.

Class for Darien Residents

The 16 hour a week program for 3 year olds and 4 year olds follows a modified Darien Public Schools calendar. The classrooms are at Tokeneke, Royle and Ox Ridge Elementary Schools, and Monday through Thursday, from 9:30am to 1:30pm.

Mission Statement

The goal of the Early Learning Program is to enhance each child’s cognitive understanding, emotional development, social skills, language and physical motor development through structured and facilitated language and play based experiences.

ELP Applications for 2017-18

Parents are notified of acceptance into ELP or wait list numbers. Deposit of $600 for the 2017-2018 school year is due by February 15, 2017. Please make checks out to Darien Public Schools: (memo: your child’s name 2017-2018). Please mail to Gladys Didia, Darien Board of Education 35 Leroy Avenue, Darien, CT. 06820

Click the link to download the credit card authorization form.


Laura Straiton, Program Director Early Childhood, SESS, 203-656-7472

2017-2018 Welcome Letter

Read (PDF)
The Basics


  • Tokeneke School does not allow parents to bring in food/snacks for the class to celebrate birthdays
  • However, signup to be a mystery reader the week of your child’s birthday
  • Donating a book with your child’s name and a message to the classroom is a great way to celebrate your child’s birthday
  • Schedule summer birthdays with your teacher

Mystery Readers:

  • Parents, relatives, care givers are all welcome to read
  • Check with your room parents for dates and times

Pick-up and Drop-off: (refer to the map)

  • IMPORTANT: Instruct your drivers where to park for pick-up and drop-off
  • No cars are allowed to enter the Bus Loop before 8:25 or from 2:45-3:15
  • No cars are allowed to Park in the Drop-off and Pick-up Zone before 8:45 or from 2:45-3:15
  • ELP drivers should always park in the Tokeneke Parking Lot, and NOT the Bus Loop
  • The designated fire lanes are for emergency vehicles ONLY
  • If you park along Old Farm Road you will be towed
  • 8:30 students can be dropped-off with an ELP teacher in the Drop-off Zone in the parking lot, or make plans to ride the bus
  • 9:30 students need be brought by a responsible adult to the school’s main entrance; the adult should wait with their child in the Great Hall for the teachers to arrive
  • All students (except those on the bus) should be picked-up in the Great Hall at 1:30

ELP Parking

Lunch & Snack:

  • Each family is asked to signup for 2-4 weeks for the year, check with your room parents for details
  • As a reminder, please provide snack and drink for students and teachers; teachers like to snack with the kids
  • Juice should be self-stable, and in large containers so that it can be watered down
  • Check with your room parents for classroom allergies; All ELP classrooms are nut-free
  • Additional Snack information is available at:
  • School Lunch: With K12 Payment Center, you never have to worry about lost lunch money again. K12 Payment Center is a secure, easy and convenient way to apply funds directly to your student’s account online. You can even check the account balance and keep an eye on what your student is buying! As an added convenience, parents can receive a Low Balance notification email alerting the parent that the student’s account will need another payment applied soon.  K12 Payment Center has been designed to make it easy for you to know exactly what information you need to provide and to guide you through the process.  To learn more view this flyer or visit the K12 Payment Center website to register. You simply need your student’s district student Id #. If you do not have this number you may obtain it from your student’s school.

Delayed Opening:

  • 8:30 arrivals will start at 10:40 a.m.
  • 9:30 arrivals will start at 11:40 a.m.

Change in Departure Notification:
The Darien Public Schools launched School Dismissal Manager (SDM) on February 1, 2017 as the district’s main way of tracking elementary school students and ensuring their safe arrival at an alternate destination after school. SDM replaces written notes, phone calls, and emails in notifying elementary school staff about a pickup time change, play date, or after school activity. SDM enables parents to digitally notify school staff of a change in their child’s regular dismissal plan.

Emergency procedures:

  • ASPEN: Every family is required to complete ASPEN at http://www.tokenekepto.com/resources-for-families/aspen
  • Weekly Newsletter: The “Wire” is emailed on Sunday, and contains timely information for the upcoming week – signup at http://www.tokenekepto.com/wire/
  • Website: The TPTO website has many parent, student and volunteer resources – http://www.tokenekepto.com
  • Facebook: Friend the Tokeneke PTO on Facebook to receive more news about the school – http://facebook.com/pto.tokeneke
  • Instagram: Follow the TPTO on Instagram – http://instagram.com/tokeneke_pto/

Teacher Gifts:

  • Teacher Appreciation: We will not collect money, but we will need classroom volunteers to cook or buy dish items for the teachers
  • Spring Fling: $TBD will go toward the spring fling classroom group basket.
  • Holiday: $TBD will go toward a group gift for the teacher and 3 paraprofessionals.
  • End of year: $TBD will go toward a group gift for the teacher and 3 paraprofessionals

Classroom Signup Sheets: http://www.tokenekepto.com/elp-signup-sheets/

Visit the ELP Web Site – http://www.darienps.org/page.cfm?p=535


Darien Public Schools are now using Aspen, a secure, Web-based school information management system to collect contact and medical emergency information for your children, as well as obtain parent consents and releases, and to distribute report cards and grades. Please follow these steps as soon as possible so we have your child’s information for the start of school. Please click here to learn more.


August 31, 2017 @ 12-1pm – Special Ed Students Orientation “Meet the Teacher”

August 31, 2017 @ 12:30-1pm – Peer Model Students Orientation “Meet the Teacher”

September 5, 2017 @ 8:30am or 9:30am-1:30pm – Special Ed Students First Full Day

September 11, 2017 @ 8:30am or 9:30am-1:30pm – Peer Model Students First Full Day

September 13, 2017 @ 1:00-1:45pm – ELP Grade-level Coffee for Parents

  • A general parent orientation will be done by the Principal, Vice-Principal, ELP Director, PTO Chairs, Pumpkin Carnival Chairs, and other key leaders.
  • After this, a break-out, small group parent orientation will be lead by the room parents for each respective class.  Please bring your calendar and checkbook, sign-ups and donations will be collected at this time.

September 28, 2017 @ 6pm – Parent Open House

September 14, 2017: All Day – School Picture Day

September 21, 2017: No School – Rosh Hashanah


October 9 @ All Day – Pumpkin Sale 

  • Write your child’s name on an envelop and send in $2 to buy a pumpkin
  • Pumpkins will be sent home, please have your child decorate the pumpkin
  • Send decorated pumpkins to school with your child on Oct 13

October 13 All Day – ELP Pumpkin Share

October 14 @ 10am – Pumpkin Carnival (rain date Oct 15)

  • The carnival will open at 9:30am for ELP families receiving services; a limited number of rides geared toward preschoolers will be operating
  • ELP families will be responsible for staffing at least one game, signup online: http://tokenekepto.com/pumpkin-carnival

October 31 @ 10am – Halloween Parade

  • Each family should provide 10 non-edible treats for trick-or-treating (ex: play dough, stickers); the treats are specifically for your classroom and will be distributed by staff as the kids trick-or-treat through the main areas of the school. The trick-or-treating will end in the common room.
  • All family members are welcome to attend the parade (older siblings can not be pulled out of their classrooms)

November 7, 2017: No School – Election Day / Staff Development Day

November 20 @ 12:30pm – Thanksgiving Feast

  • Each family should provide one dish to share (est. 35 people)
  • All family members are welcome to attend the feast
  • Donate items for the canned food drive

November 22 @ 12pm Early Dismissal – Thanksgiving Recess

November 23 & 24, 2017: No School – Thanksgiving Recess


December 5 @ 12:00pm – ELP Early Release for Elementary Conferences

December 6-8: No School – ELP Parent-Teacher Conferences

December 14 @ 12:45pm – Holiday Gingerbread House Making

  • Each family should signup to bring in at least one item
  • Before December 14, send in your child’s backpack an empty and clean small milk or orange juice carton with your child’s name written on the bottom; feel free to send in extras if you have them
  • Parents are welcome to attend and help their child decorate their house

December 25-29, 2017: No School – Holiday Recess


January 1, 2018: No School, Holiday Recess

January 2, 2018: No School, Professional Development Day

January 15, 2018: No School – MLK Day


February 4 @ morning – Super Bowl Pancake Breakfast

February 16 @ ELP No School – Professional Development

February 19, 2018: No School, Presidents’ Day

February 20-23, 2018: No School – Winter Recess

February TBD- Valentine’s Day

  • Students will exchange cards but there will be no party
  • Leave “To” field empty, only write your child’s name in the “From” field

March 5-9, 2018: Book Fair

March 20, 21 @12:00 ELP Early Release for Elementary Conferences

March 22 &23, 2018: No School – ELP Parent-Teacher Conferences

March 30, 2018: No School-Good Friday


April 9-13, 2018: No School – Spring Recess

April 20 @ Evening – Bingo Night


May 24, 25 &29, 2018: No School – ELP Parent-Teacher Conferences

May 28, 2018: No School – Memorial Day


June TBD– Music Share and EOY Party

  • Each family should send in a white tee shirt in a bag with your child’s name written on it
  • Each family provides one snack to share (est. 35 people)
  • Parties will be held in the classroom
  • All family members are welcome to attend the end-of-year party

June 14, 2018: School Ends for All Students (subject to change due to snow days)