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Policies & Procedures

Bathroom Policy

Children may use the bathroom any time during the school day. Children will always be accompanied to the bathroom by a staff person. We encourage children to be self-sufficient in all aspects of toileting and ask that you reinforce your child’s abilities in undressing, wiping, flushing and redressing, as well as washing hands. Staff may assist children with clothing fasteners if needed but will not assist with wiping.

All children entering school must be fully toilet-trained. No diapers or pull-ups will be allowed. We do understand that young children may have toilet accidents from time to time. When clothing needs to be changed due to a toilet accident, two staff will be present. At no time will a child be reprimanded or embarrassed by staff for having an accident. Accidents often happen at the beginning of the school year. Your reaction to accidents as unfortunate, but not bad, will be an important support to your child’s growing self-confidence and independence.

If a child has repeated accidents over a period of time, we will review the child’s readiness for school and determine if the child may continue in attendance at this time.


Birthdays

It is fun to celebrate a birthday at school. Parents should notify the teacher of the date your child will celebrate his or her birthday and bring birthday napkins, milk and cookies, donut holes or ice cream cups (NO cupcakes, please) for the celebration. Letting your child participate in the choosing of the items adds to the meaning of the event. Parents are encouraged to join the class for snack time that day. All snacks brought from home must be purchased at a bakery or grocery store to meet Health Department and DCFS standards.

Please do not send additional treats or favors for birthdays at school. We also ask that you not send additional sugar treats or goodie bags at other holiday times. Only items made at school can be sent home with the children. This means no goodie bags and no edible treats.


Clothing

We encourage children to assume responsibility for dressing and undressing. Simple play clothes and outer clothing with fastenings the child can handle will help him or her be more independent and will make the school experience more enjoyable. If your child is young and has trouble with snaps, buttons and zippers, then sweat pants are a great idea for school.

School is an active place. Your child will be tumbling, climbing and crawling on the floor, as well as using paint, paste, play dough and glue. Comfortable, washable clothing is advisable. We also require rubber-soled shoes for school for gym and playground safety.


Conferences and Assessment

Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for the fall and spring. No one has to wait for these dates to talk with the teacher, however. If at any time during the year a parent wishes to confer with the teacher or Director, a time will be arranged. Open and frequent communication with parents is a priority.

Teachers consistently observe and document children’s activities, skills and interests. The curriculum is then planned to promote each individual’s growth. In preparation for conferences teachers may use a combination of anecdotal records, observational check lists, developmental screening, photos of play and samples of work to assess a child’s progress.


Confidentiality

We honor a policy of confidentiality regarding children’s behavior and activity at school. Information about a child will not be shared with anyone without written permission. Confidentiality Forms are included in the Home Visit packet.


Discipline

The Nursery School has a policy of no corporal punishment, abusive language or humiliation of children. Teachers work with each child to promote cooperation and respect for classmates and materials. Prevention, intervention and consistent enforcement of classroom guidelines are practiced with the goal of each child building self-esteem, self-control and the ability to work through conflict successfully and positively.


Snack

We make an effort to serve healthy snacks each day. Snacks will consist of milk, water or juice to drink. Fresh fruit, cheese, crackers, dry cereals, rice cakes and pretzels will be served. Each family is asked to contribute twice a year to the snack supplies.

Approximately once a week children prepare a snack through a classroom cooking project that is related to the topic of study. Teachers pay close attention to food allergies in planning these projects.

Raw carrots, peanuts, nuts of any kind, peanut butter and hard candy are not permitted as snacks in the Nursery School. Children under age four are also not permitted to have popcorn. This action was taken in response to the report from the American Academy of Pediatrics that found these particular foods are prone to causing choking in young children due to their size and shape and the severity of peanut allergies.


Orientation Days

A day is set aside at the beginning of each school year to assist children with the adjustment to the new experience. Parent and child come to school for one hour as assigned by the teacher. Only five to nine children are at school with their parents each hour. Parent and child are free to explore the rooms and experiment with the equipment and materials with little interference.


Parent Orientation

We hold a Parent Orientation Meeting in early September. This is an opportunity to meet other parents and for the teachers to share the daily schedule, the goals for the class and review the learning centers available in the room. Parent participation opportunities will be discussed and there is time to ask questions.


Room Parents

A Room Parent will be identified for each classroom. The Room Parent will assist with the September Parent Orientation Meeting and coordinate classroom parent volunteers as needed. The Room Parent will also assume responsibility for establishing a calling tree for each classroom, assist in the organization of an Ice Cream Social and assist with a classroom donation for the spring auction.


Special Needs

It is the desire of First United to include children with special needs in our classrooms; however, due to the staffing of the school we are unable to perform medical procedures. We expect that a positive experience for the special needs child will greatly depend on the team of parents and staff working together in the best interests of the child. This team effort will include agreed upon shared goals and open communication.

At times, the need for additional staff or special equipment or materials may arise. It will be the responsibility of the family to fund or find funding for any required additional staff and to provide needed equipment and materials.

If the Nursery School staff determines after several weeks of school that a child in the class has unidentified special needs, a meeting will be held with the parents, teachers and the Director. In order for the child to continue in school it may be necessary for the parent to cooperate in seeking further evaluation and appropriate services within 30 calendar days.

From time to time, there may be unusual situations in which the child still does not appear to benefit from the program. Such a decision would be based on observation of classroom interactions and consultation with the teacher. In such cases the Nursery School Board and the Director reserve the right to inform the family of our inability to serve the child as spelled out in the school manual. Before that step would be taken, we would do our best to make it work for all concerned.

Special needs may include, but are not limited to: allergies, developmental delays, physical challenges, birth defects, abuse experiences, behavior disorders and medical illnesses.


Visiting

Parents are welcome to visit school at any time. A good way to visit the school is to volunteer to participate in the classroom when the teacher expresses a need for a helper.