Boston College Children's Center PARENT HANDBOOK 2010 Table of Contents
History and Philosophy 1Program Plan 2
Goals for Children 2
Goals for Families 2
Campus School Visiting Program 2
Curriculum Development Plan 3
Children’s Records and Assessment 3
Children’s Center Faculty 5
Faculty Lines of Authority 5
Criminal Record and DSS check 5
Room Assignments 5
Typical Daily Schedule 6
Arrival and Transition into and out of School 6
Indoor and Outdoor Play 7
Child Guidance Techniques 8
Observations, Research, & Teacher Training 10
Professional Development 10
Extra-Curricular Activities 10
Field Trips 10
Recreational Complex 11
Birthday Celebrations 11
Holiday Traditions and Celebrations 11
Parent Involvement 12
Parent Meetings and Special Events 12
Parent Advisory Committee 12
Program Evaluation 12
University Resource Committee 13
General Policies 13
Appropriate Communication and Physical Contact 13
Daily Routines 13
Morning Arrival 13
Traffic Pattern 14
Nutrition Program 14
Rest Time 15
Afternoon Departure 15
Child Care After Hours 16
Phone Procedures 16
Telephone Auto Attendant 16
Late Policy 16
Storm Closings or Delayed Opening 16
Health Policy 17
Flu Season 17
Allergies and Chronic Conditions 18
Dental Hygiene 18
Restricted Substances 18
Emergency Procedures 18
Weapons Policy 20
Toy Policy and Policy re: Dangerous Objects 20
Building Inspections 20
Building Security 20
Registration and Enrollment 20
Continuing Enrollment 21
New Applicants 21
Summer Program 21
Documentation for Enrollment 21
Individual Education Plans 23
Probationary Period and Termination Policy 23
Child's First Day 24
Treasures from Home 24
School Attire 25
Nutrition Information 26 Tuition Policy 29 School Calendar 31
List of BC Approved Holidays 31
Boston College Children's Center Faculty 32 Parent Handbook
This handbook is designed to acquaint all members with the Center's goals, current policies and procedures. The Center reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to set goals and/or modify these policies and procedures and to promulgate new ones. These policies reflect licensing and accreditation standards, university procedures, and agreements made between parents and the Center to make BCCC the best possible environment for children's growth and development.
This handbook and any center documents can be submitted for translation. Boston College is also a resource for translators for parent conferences or any language needs. If any parent would like this service please contact the director or your child’s classroom teacher.
History and Philosophy
Boston College Children's Center is a response to a child care need expressed by members of the University community. The program provides a high quality preschool curriculum and extended day care for children of faculty, employees, graduate and undergraduate students. When available, spaces are also offered to neighborhood residents. The Center is owned and operated by Boston College and is part of the Human Resources division of the University. The Director of the Center reports to the Vice President for Human Resources, who approves all Center policies as well as Center tuition and fees. The Center is located in the Haley Carriage House, one block from Beacon Street. This affords parents the convenience of an on-site facility, the ability to visit their child during working hours, and the beauty and comfort of a neighborhood setting that is close enough to feel part of the University community.
The Center's philosophy, teachers, and curriculum support a developmental and predominately play based approach to learning, which is incorporated in the daily activities and schedules. The teachers utilize the MA EEC guidelines for preschool experiences and frameworks in developing the curriculum. The emphasis is on exploration and process, questioning, and discovering while learning about topics interesting to young children. Activities are designed to foster the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive growth of young children by encouraging them to utilize their curiosity and to experience a variety of learning media. Classrooms are divided into learning center areas with developmentally appropriate activities available for a single child or small groups of children to enjoy. Areas such as blocks, painting and sculpture, dramatic play,, music, language arts, and math challenge children to learn about themselves and the world around them.
Our qualified teachers are facilitators, helping children plan, select, and explore materials in ways that teach readiness skills and concepts. Teachers are selected on the basis of their extensive experience and education in the field of Early Childhood Education. They are creative experts in their field who care about young children and are dedicated to providing an exciting and nurturing place in which youngsters can grow.
Boston College is an institution that welcomes and encourages diversity in its population and programs. The affirmative action and nondiscrimination policies of the University extend to the Children's Center's admissions, administration, and educational programs. The University welcomes all regardless of race, religion, cultural heritage, political beliefs, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin or differing ability. The Children’s Center serves and acknowledges all types of families in its programming. The Center is licensed and operates within the requirements and jurisdictions of the Massachusetts Office of Early Education and Care (MAEEC). The Center is also nationally accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs, a branch of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Goals for Children
What we anticipate for the children in our care
To have opportunities to develop and build their self -esteem
To gain self respect and respect for others, which we believe children gain through mastery of tasks appropriate to their developmental level.
Tasks that are open-ended, creative, and an end in themselves.
For all children to feel special, included, accepted and their home culture and language reflected in their classroom environment.
To develop age appropriate fine & gross motor coordination
To gain independence through the ability to separate from parents and feel comfortable at school. Also gained through mastery of self-help skills.
Ability to play and learn cooperatively through mastering appropriate social skills
Gain knowledge about themselves, others and the world around them.
Exhibit self-regulation. Develop the ability to cooperate with adults and each other and/or use words and other negotiating/coping strategies.
Respect others rights and property and listen to their words.
Develop cognitive readiness skills and concepts that will lead to critical thinking and reasoning through studying content areas & exploring learning centers and units that are meaningful and interesting to children.
Confidence that children gain from achieving the above goals.
Goals for Families
Families will feel welcomed and respected in our program.
Parent will feel encouraged to give input regarding their child’s growth and development.
Teachers and parents form a collaborative relationship.
Parents feel positive about their child’s education and care.
Campus School Visiting Program
BCCC has a visiting program with the Campus School, a school for children with severe and profound disabilities, located in Campion Hall. The children in the Pre-K rooms visit, and are visited by, the preschool groups from Campion and the exposure for both groups is very rewarding. This mutually beneficial program helps the Center children overcome barriers they may have toward the disabled and Campus School teachers notice positive effects for their children in attention span and efforts to respond to others.
The Center curriculum is child centered and play-based utilizing themes, projects and content units to encourage learning. We strive to provide an exciting environment with opportunities for discovery, initiative, and inquiry. Developmentally appropriate activities are planned for each content area to give success and challenge to each age level. A balance between teacher-initiated and child-initiated activities is sought with emphasis on the child's choice. Materials are gathered, created, and purchased with these goals in mind.
The curriculum is based on the process of play while interacting with materials, environment, and peers, and not on the product of that interaction. Children are given several activities to choose from each day and a variety of activities are available throughout the week. They are encouraged to try new things, extend projects, brainstorm on solutions to problems, and verbalize about what their plan was, what happened, and how or why they got the final result. The activities are at varying levels of competence so children may challenge themselves or seek out activities that stress skills they are already comfortable with. We strive to build a learning community where children share explorations with adults, peers and younger and older children. Teachers write an outline of the daily activities on cubbie room white boards. We hope this is helpful to parents in communicating with their children about their day at school.
Each child's progress is monitored through teacher observation, anecdotal notes, checklists, work sampling and some informal testing. The assessments are provided to parents in a portfolio including a written form with a checklist and narrative, work samples and photos and in the discussion during parent conferences.
Children’s Records and Assessment
Purpose of Assessment:
At BCCC we are dedicated to the authentic assessment of each child. The purpose of authentic assessment is to discover children’s skills, competencies, readiness levels, and concept formation. Simply put, assessment is defined as the process of observing, recording, and documenting what children, do, know, and understand.
is on-going, systematic, and embedded in the classroom’s curriculum.
takes place in the natural learning environment
focuses on the whole child and takes into account their cultural, language, and developmental needs
is used to inform the teachers’ curriculum planning and instruction
helps the teachers to identify children in need of referral service
How We Assess and What We Do with the Information:
The teachers utilize a variety of methods while assessing the children in their classroom including:
Highly developed observational skills
Anecdotal records or note taking
The BCCC developmental assessment document based on the Massachusetts Guidelines for Preschool Learning Experiences
The teachers utilize these tools on an on-going basis throughout the entire year to gain an understanding of their students’ skills and developmental levels. The teachers allow their assessment of children to inform their planning, thus being able to use what they know about the children to plan for the group or for individuals.
Sharing Assessment Results/ Parent Teacher Conferences:
The teachers at BCCC communicate the results of their assessments in many ways. Informally, the teachers will communicate with parents through phone calls, e-mails, and face to face conversations on an on-going basis. The teachers can gain useful information from parents, as well as share what they are learning about the child at school.
Formally, our assessment system allows us to establish a partnership with the families throughout the year. We communicate our findings through:
At least two parent conferences
Two written reports addressing the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of the child.
An extensive portfolio documenting the child’s growth, progress, and experiences through samples of work, photographs, and stories
The initial parent conference takes place during the fall semester and focuses on the adjustment and transition to a new classroom. Families and teachers share information about the child’s social and emotional development as well as cognitive and physical attributes and set goals for the rest of the school year. Translation services can be sought through Boston College for any non-English speaking parent/guardian. Please let the teacher and/or director know ahead of time so the center has time to accommodate this request.
The teachers will invite the families to another parent conference during the spring semester. Families will receive a developmental report prior to this conference detailing the child’s growth and learning in all areas including social, emotional, physical and cognitive. During this conference the parent/guardian and teacher will discuss the report and the child’s overall development. The child’s portfolio will be used to support and document the child’s progress and experience at BCCC. The child’s portfolio will build throughout the year and will be given to the child and parents at the end of the school year.
Parent conferences are not limited to just two a year. Additional conference times may be arranged by request from either the child’s family or the teacher.
All records are kept confidential and filed in the director’s locked office. Only BCCC teachers, the child’s parents and those designated in writing by the child’s parents may have access to the child’s educational or health records. Parents have the right to see their child’s records, request a copy and request to have it amended.
Access to Your Child’s Record
Your child’s teachers and the BCCC administrative staff have access to your child’s record. It is the policy of the center not to allow anyone outside of the appropriate center staff and the child’s parents or guardian to have access to any portion of a child’s record including health records. If you would like access to your child’s school record, please send an e-mail or voice mail to the director to inquire about a time to view these records. If the situation arises, parents designate in writing those they wish to have access to their child’s records or give permission to share information regarding their child. The Center will keep on file who has accessed the record and who has used information from or added information to the record.
Amending Your Child’s Record
As the child’s parent or legal guardian you have the right to add information, comments, data and any other relevant material to your child’s file. You may request a deletion or amendment of any information contained in the child’s record by requesting a conference to discuss the request. The center will have one week to give a decision on the request and the reasons in writing. If the decision is in favor of the parent request the changes will take effect immediately.