Arrival and Departure
Upon arrival each day, please bring your child into the classroom and wait for the teacher to greet him/her. One parent should be prepared to spend some time at school with their child in the opening days of school if his/her adjustment requires this. The teacher is usually the best judge of the length of the stay and the number of days this support is needed. The younger children often benefit, at first, from a shorter school day. It may be best to take them home early if your schedule permits. After a short time this usually becomes unnecessary.
In the pre-school program, after the first days, it is important to the child that he/she has the benefit of the total program. The child who always arrives late is confused and is deprived of the opportunity for a balanced program.
At departure, the prompt arrival of the parent at the close of the school day is vital to the child's feeling of security. The parent must come into the school to collect the child's belongings and make sure a staff member knows they are leaving.
Your child will only be released to his/her parents or the adults listed as Emergency Contacts on the Medical Information and Emergency Release Form. If your child is to leave with someone else, please leave a signed, dated note with the teacher in advance.
If a non-custodial parent has been denied access, or granted limited access, to a child by a court order, the center shall secure documentation to that effect, maintain a copy on file, and comply with the terms of the court order.
In the toddler group we ask that the adult bringing and picking up the child help us by signing in and out on the attendance sheet.
Birthdays and Holidays
Birthdays are celebrated very simply. The birthday child usually provides the snack for his/her class (cup cakes or perhaps a favorite food, or something typical of the country from which he/she comes). Half-birthdays may be celebrated for those whose birthdays fall in the summer.
Holidays are also celebrated simply. Our school gives a unique opportunity to learn a variety of national customs and ceremonies. Please share yours with us. As with the public schools, we discourage the giving of gifts to the teachers.
Please dress your child in comfortable play clothing of the type that encourages self-help. Party clothes are inappropriate, as are flip-flop sandals when on the playground. Each child should bring the following to school, plainly marked with his/her name: a hand towel, a resting mat (pre-school only), and a complete change of clothing. These will be kept at school unless they are sent home to be washed.The school yard is often muddy even when it is dry at home. When in doubt, send boots or rubbers. (In buying boots or rubbers, please make sure they are plenty large to slip on easily). Please label all jackets, boots, hats, mittens, etc.
Conferences are regularly scheduled in mid year. Please feel free to arrange additional conferences with your child's teachers if you feel the need. It is very important that we stay in constant communication so the home and school can work in concert to provide the best possible experience for our children.
Children entering the pre-school must already be toilet trained. We expect there will be occasional accidents but the children should be comfortable with toileting. Teachers will help with clothing as needed and will remind children to use the toilet. The infants and toddlers that are still in diapers will be changed as needed. Parents supply their child's diapers which are kept in the child's marked bin above the changing counter. Please replenish the supply when low. If you use cloth diapers please also supply a clearly labeled, covered container in which the soiled ones can be kept and taken home at the end of each day.
A snack of fruit juice and crackers is normally served at mid-morning and mid-afternoon. This will be varied as we try new things and the results of our cooking projects. Please be sure to note on the Medical Information and Emergency Release Form any allergies your child may have or any dietary restrictions.
Children will bring their own lunches, including beverage, from home. Try to send nutritious food that your child likes and in amounts that he/she can finish. Uneaten food is usually repacked so that you can see what your child has eaten. To avoid confusion over similar lunch boxes, please label all lunch boxes and beverage containers.
Within the infant group the teachers will develop with the parents a written plan regarding the feeding schedule, specific formula, nutritional needs, and introduction of new foods for each child. The food and bottles for each child are brought by the parents and should be carefully labeled. Mothers who are breast feeding are welcome and encouraged to drop in at any time to nurse their infants.
If your child is in the pre-school or toddler full-day program, you will need to provide a (labeled) 2x4 crib sheet and a (labeled) 2x4 blanket or a light sleeping bag that can take the place of the sheet and blanket. This nap gear should be in a labeled bag such as a pillowcase or laundry bag. Because storage space is very limited we ask that nap gear be as compact as possible. If your child needs a special item for nap time, such as a pacifier or stuffed animal, please be sure it can remain with the nap gear and not be taken home each night. In the infant group each child has a crib assigned and the school supplies the bedding.
Parents' Meetings and Workshops
During the year there may be evening meetings on topics of interest and/or workshops. If you have ideas or topics you would like to have covered please let us know.
Parents are welcome to visit the school at any time. If you have a special talent you might share or a project you would like to do with your child's class, please let the teacher know. We welcome parent involvement in the school and its activities. An annual Parent Meeting when parents are especially invited to visit takes place at the beginning of each school year.
It is important that parents and teachers work together in the toilet training process. We use the following guidelines.
We will not push or pressure the child, and will watch for signs of readiness to begin toilet training. We will prepare him/her by teaching about toileting. We will also communicate very clearly the confidence we have when he/she is ready to toilet train.
We expect children to have occasional accidents while learning to use the toilet. It is during these times that our support is most needed. Therefore, we will not express anger or disapproval, nor will we scold, shame or punish. We will calmly clean up accidents while reassuring the child that he/she will remember to use the potty next time. We will also give gentle reminders to use the potty during the day to help him/her to be successful.
Tote Bags or Backpacks
Children should bring a tote bag or backpack to school each day, even if they do not always have projects to take home. Please check your child's bag each day for messages, soiled clothes, and school projects.
Toys from Home
Try not to bring any toys from home. We have plenty of toys for the children to enjoy and it is easier for children to share community property.