Graceful

beginnings pre-K

school handbook:

Absences
If your child will not be in school for a day, please contact us via phone, email, or ClassDojo (an app that we use) before the start of school that day to let us know that he will not be attending.  If your child has a fever over 100 degrees, uncontrollable coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, chills, a contagious or unidentified rash, goopy eyes, or any other contagious illness, please keep him home so we do not have a preschool epidemic!  Children should be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to preschool.  

Arrival Routine
As the children come into school, we would like them to become accustomed to a routine.  Please help your child to find his hook and hang up his coat and backpack, find his apple and place it in the correct spot, and enter the room quietly and choose an activity.  While your child will need help at the beginning of the year, we would like this routine to become more independent as the year progresses.   Preschoolers are very capable of removing coats, getting materials out of backpacks, and hanging their things up.  They should also be practicing putting their coats back on (including zipping) and putting their things in their backpacks.  They will need to do these things independently in kindergarten!

Behavior Chart
We are using a behavior clip chart, where children will move their clothespins up and down a chart, depending on their behavior.  The spots on the chart are “Awesome” (Purple), “Great Job” (Blue), “Ready to Learn” (Green), “Think About It” (Yellow), “Time Out” (Orange), and “All Done” (Red).  All kiddos will start on Green—Ready to Learn—each day and will move up to Great Job or Awesome for good behavior or hard work, but may need to move down the chart if they break a rule or show inappropriate behavior.  “Think about it” is a warning, “Time out” will be a short time out, and “All done” means another time out, and the child will not be permitted to return to the activity or may be asked to complete an activity on his own rather than with the group.  We will be sure to let you know about major behavioral problems, but we encourage you to ask your child daily about clothespin to keep him accountable for his behavior.

Book Orders
You will receive a set of Scholastic book orders about every month for you to look through with your child and choose some books to add to your collection.  Book orders are an excellent way to purchase books at a discounted price for birthdays, Christmas, or just for fun for your child or other young friends and relatives.  They are also great ways to reinforce skills that we are learning in school.

Communication
Communication between parents and teachers is very important!  If you have any questions or concerns, please voice them to a teacher.  We will work to keep communication lines open by sending home monthly newsletters describing what will be happening throughout the month.  We will also send home progress reports in January and May so you can see how much your child has learned!  If you have any concerns about your child, feel free to let us know so that we can help out or watch for warning signs.  If we see a problem or concern, we will let you know, but consider no news as a sign that your child is doing just fine!

Entrance to the School and Security
The entrance to the school is on the left side of the building if you are looking at the building from the front parking lot.  We are directly across from the former Common Grounds Café.  Go up the steps onto the porch, through the black doors, and straight ahead into the classroom.

For security purposes, the doors to the school will be locked each day from 9:05-11:50 and 1:05-3:20.  If you arrive late or need to pick up a child early, you will need to enter the building through the glass doors in the front and report to the church secretary, Denise.  

Expectations of Parents
We are only blessed enough to have your child in our care for 5 or 9 hours per week.  This is only a fraction of the time that you will spend with him/her weekly! While we will be called your child’s teachers this year, you are still the first teacher in your child’s life!  We will do our best to prepare your child for kindergarten, but unless you are supplementing our curriculum at home, your child will not be learning as quickly as he/she could.  Therefore, while we do NOT give formal “homework,” we do ask that you spend at least 15 minutes per day working on letters, numbers, shapes, counting, patterns, or whatever else we are learning in the classroom.  Read the newsletters for ideas on how to do that, or talk to us if you are in need of resources.  However, it can be as easy as counting bubbles in the tub or looking for letters on the cereal box!  No fancy lessons needed!

Also, we cannot stress enough the importance of reading to your child EVERY DAY!  We want each kiddo to develop a love of reading, and that will start at home.  If you are having trouble finding time, make it a specific part of your daily routine—after school, before nap, before bed, after dinner, etc.  Reading to your child will help with his language skills (speech AND vocabulary), letter recognition, rhyming, attention span, book handling skills, and so much more!  Read, READ, READ!

 

Field Trips
Our classes will be taking field trips from time to time to supplement our curriculum.  A signed permission slip will be required in order for your child to participate in the trip.  Parent chaperones and drivers will be requested for each trip; we ask that each parent attend at least one trip throughout the year.  

Inclement Weather
In case of inclement weather, we will operate on the same schedule as Midd-West School District.  If they run on a delay, we will begin school at 10:00, rather than 9:00.  We will also follow the district for early dismissals and closings unless the problem is not weather-related (water main break, etc).

Parent Volunteers
We want parents to feel welcome in our classroom, but we do not require parents to volunteer.  During the first month or two of school, we avoid bringing parents into the classroom until we are adjusted to routines and have worked through separation anxieties, but beginning in October-November, parents (or grandparents!) are welcome.  We realize that many parents work during the day and are not able to help out in the classroom, and that is fine!  In order to volunteer in our classroom or chaperone field trips, you must provide us with copies of your Criminal History and Child Abuse clearances.  Please let us know if volunteering is something that you would like to do or if you need more information on how to obtain clearances.  

 

Parenting a Preschool Child…
Here are some things that you can be working on with your child in the next few months before school starts (if you haven’t already).
**Drinking from a regular cup, if your child still uses a sippy cup
**Pulling up, buttoning, snapping, and zippering pants as well as putting on shirts and coats and zippering them. 

**Wiping after using the bathroom.  Miss Beth’s rule is that your child must wipe first, then he/she will receive help if needed.  
**Putting on shoes and socks (not necessarily tying shoes) and keeping them on.  We do not allow children to go barefoot in the classroom for safety reasons.
**Washing hands with soap and water.
**Cleaning up toys when finished with them and cleaning up after a meal
**Establishing a bedtime and (somewhat) consistent waking time.  Preschool can be exhausting, so don’t be surprised if your child needs extra sleep.  If he doesn’t normally roll out of bed until 9:30 and is in the morning class, keep that in mind in the weeks before school starts!  If he normally naps from 1:00-2:00 and is in the afternoon class, you may need to start to phase out the nap or adjust the time a bit.   
**Playing short games (Candyland, Memory, etc) to get your child accustomed to focusing on a task for more than just a few short minutes
**Coloring/drawing/writing and holding a crayon (or other writing utensil) correctly.  

Payment
Payment is due on the first school day of each month, with the exception of September’s payment which is due on or before Open House on August 26th.   No cash will be accepted as payment; please pay by check or money order.  You will not be billed.  If tuition is not paid by the third school day of the month, there will be a $10.00 late charge.  

Releasing of Students
We will only release students to the people listed on your child’s information sheet (included in this packet).  If an emergency arises, we need written or in-person consent to release your child to another person, and we will ask to see identification.

 

School Day
The morning class runs from 9:00-12:00 each day, and the afternoon is from 1:00-3:30.  We have had issues in the past with parents repeatedly picking up their children late or dropping them off early.  We are not a babysitting service; please do not arrive before 8:55 or 12:55, and failure to pick up your child within 10 minutes after the end of school will result in an additional charge.

School Year
The school year will begin on Tuesday, September 7 and run until Thursday, May 26.  We will be closed on the following days:  Wednesday, November 24, Thursday, November 25, and Tuesday, November 30 for Thanksgiving, December 23-30 for the Christmas holiday, and Thursday, April 14 for Easter (this will be a snow make-up day).

 

Show and Tell
Your child’s show and tell day for the month will be the day that he/she brings snack.  He/she can bring in an item/photo/etc. to share with the class on that day.  There is a secret box outside the classroom in which your child can place his/her show and tell to keep it a surprise until circle time.  Show and tell is an excellent way to foster expressive language development, so we encourage you to have your child practice sharing his item and a few things about it (such as where he got it, what he likes to do with it, or why it is special to him.)  

Snack
Part of our routine each day is snack time, where the kiddos will be practicing good table manners, saying please and thank you, and eating together as a group.  Children are expected to stay at the table until snack time is over.  Each day, one child will bring snack for all of the students.  If your child’s snack day is a Tuesday or Thursday, you will need to provide snack for 24 students.  If it is a Wednesday, there are 12 students.  When you bring snack, please bring a healthy snack (fruit, veggies, pretzels, whole-grain crackers, etc.) and 100% juice (no punch or juice drinks) or 2% milk.  We try to schedule snack days on or near birthdays, so if you would like to bring in a special treat for birthdays, that is fine, but we ask that you send something healthy as well to supplement.  Your child’s snack day will also be his/her show and tell day.  (See show and tell).

 

Teachers
Your child will have one teacher, Miss Beth (Zechman), and one assistant, Miss Jess (Ward).

Withdrawal
You are registering your child for the entire preschool year, from September through May.  If, for some extenuating circumstances (relocation or illness), you need to withdraw your child from our program, there will be a $50.00 early termination fee.  In addition, we require one month’s notice so that we can fill your child’s spot.  If you do not give one month’s notice, you will still be required to pay for that month.