Family Handbook

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Family Handbook


www.emiliechristiandayschool.com

Updated Feb, 2016

Family handbook for Emilie Christian Day School

Table of Contents


Welcome

Statement of Philosophy



Page 3

4


History

Professional Affiliations



5

6


Vision and Mission Statements

Admission



7

7


Daily Schedule of Activities

Curriculum and Licensing



7-8

9


Fees

Days and Hours of Operation



10

11


Kindergarten

Summer Camp



11

12


School Calendar and Closings

Arrival at School



12-13

14


Absence

Departure from School



14

14-15


Clothing

Helmets, Shoes



16

17


Classroom Materials

Toys


17

17

Meals

Birthdays



17-18

19


Field Trips

Fundraising



19

20


Behavior and Discipline

Biting


20

20-21


Conferences/Participation/Communication

Early Intervention Services

Health Issues


21

22

23-24



Safety and Emergencies

Confidentiality



25-26

26-27


Suspected Child Abuse

Family Code of Conduct



27

27-28


Referral Policy

Withdrawals, Transitions, Termination



28

28-29


“Helping your little one adjust…”

30

Welcome
Thank you for choosing Emilie Christian Day School.
This handbook is designed to ensure your family has a positive experience with our school. In this handbook, we have tried to anticipate your questions about the program.

Our goal is to provide high quality care and education for children and to ensure that parents are valued and respected. To accomplish this, we depend on parents to be responsible and active participants. We expect parents to read this handbook, follow the policies and procedures, provide us with all the necessary information, and be open and honest regarding their feelings about the program. We welcome your comments, questions, concerns and suggestions about your child’s experience and the program. The director and teachers are available for individual meetings at a mutually convenient time to ensure good communication and the best experience for your child.

Changes to specific policies and/or procedures will be distributed to families in writing. The handbook is to be used as a guide and is not inclusive of all policies and practices. Any questions and/or concerns should be directed to the Director.

Statement of Philosophy


Young children learn by doing. The complex process of learning begins at birth and results from the interaction of a child’s own thinking and experiences. Maturity and emotional development are important contributing factors in learning because they provide a valuable framework which precedes learning.
Children learn by hearing, seeing, moving and touching. With a foundation of security, love and encouragement, children will explore and learn to understand the exciting world around them.
Knowledge is not given to children. They acquire information about their physical and social world through playful interaction with other children, adults and objects. They are motivated by a natural desire to explore and make sense of the world around them.
Each child is unique. A quality program recognizes the individual needs of children while providing an environment full of stimulating, as well as challenging materials and activities for all children. Our skilled teachers and staff closely observe the children in how and what they understand and construct additional experiences and challenges to expand the child’s thinking even further.
Learning information in meaningful context is not only essential for a child’s understanding and the development of concepts, but is also critically important for stimulating self-motivation in children.
Young children need basic understanding and skills to make their experiences more meaningful. Through play with various, diversified and similar items, children are able to classify, sort, count and so on.

Children learn language through daily, fun experiences, through the five senses, and through listening and talking to other children and adults. Staff can help children learn language by speaking to them continually about whatever they are experiencing at the time and by telling them the words they need to understand their experiences.

Children’s ability to learn is directly related to their effective use of language. Children should be given every opportunity to express what they need and what they think. Conversations and questions should encourage thinking and require more than a simple answer from older children.

History
The Emilie Christian Day School has been servicing the Levittown area since 1958. Feeling the need for a Christian preschool and kindergarten program, the official board of the Emilie United Methodist Church established the school in August, 1958.


It began with three classes in the basement of the original Emilie church building. Upon completion of the new church education wing in 1994, the school moved to its present location. Currently there are over 150 children enrolled.
The school is conducted by the Emilie United Methodist Church on a non-profit, but self-sustaining basis for the benefit of children in Levittown and vicinity. It is a non-sectarian, but Christian school.
We are grateful to the many parents, friends and educators whose warm praise, enthusiastic commendations and loyal support have been largely responsible for the success and development of the school.
The Emilie Christian Day School is administered by an official Board consisting of members of the church, community and school. The Board strives to uphold the high educational standards of the school by employing qualified and experienced teachers and assistants.
The earliest years of childhood are of great significance. The habits, attitudes, ideas and interests, which are acquired, will influence the remainder of the child’s life.

The toddler, preschool and kindergarten classes offer a friendly and happy environment where children can work and play together. Opportunities are provided for the children to gain new skills, appreciations and form good habits. The children learn to be responsible members of a group.

There is an additional value to a Christian preschool and kindergarten. The teachers and assistants are aware of the many opportunities for religious interpretation of the children’s day-to-day experiences. They seek to guide the children at their developmental level in the way of life as exemplified by Jesus Christ. There is a bi-weekly chapel time in the sanctuary with one of the pastors.

Professional Affiliations


Emilie Christian Day School is a proud member of the following organizations:

Keystone STARS Program


National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Bucks County Association for the Education of Young Children (BCAEYC)
Pennsylvania Association Childcare Association (PACCA)
Quality Child Care Coalition of Bucks County (QCCC)

For more information about these programs, please contact the office.

Please feel free to visit our website for upcoming events or

email the director at


www.emiliechristiandayschool.com
Find us on facebook at www.facebook.com/emiliechristiandayschool.com

Vision Statement

Growing through imagination, exploration and community!


Mission Statement

Our mission at Emilie Christian Day School is to help children to learn to love God and each other, to grow into caring, responsible citizens, and to become the best people they can be.


Admission


Emilie Christian Day School provides preschool and childcare for children ages 13 months to 5 years. A separate summer camp provides for toddlers, preschool, kindergarten and 1st-4th grade children.

Families must complete an enrollment application and meet the enrollment requirements before care can begin. The application must be signed by a parent or legal guardian of the child. Included in your application packet are health and human services information and tax information. Other resources will be distributed at least quarterly.

Children will be accepted into the program depending on available space. If there is no space in your child’s age group you will be offered the opportunity to be placed on a waiting list. Children are accepted into the program on a first come, first served basis.
Emilie Christian Day School does not discriminate based upon race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender or disability.

Daily Schedule of Activities

We provide a variety of play and learning activities for children every day. The teacher in your child’s classroom will keep you informed about the activities and events planned for the class.

A typical Half day program might look like this:

9:00 – 9:15 Opening circle (discussion, story, calendar, weather)

9:15 – 9: 45 Playground or Social Hall

9:45 – 10:30 Art activity/Free play

10:30-10:45 Snack time

10:45 – 11:15 Music special

11:20 -11:45 Finish art activities, dismissal

A typical full day preschool program might look like this:

6:30 – 9:00 Gathering room and classrooms for free play

9:00 – 9:20 Circle, storytime

9:20 – 9:55 Playground or Social Hall

9:55 – 10:20 Bathroom and snack

10:20 – 11:40 Art activity/free play

11:40 – 12:45 Clean up/lunch

1:00 -2:30 Rest time

2:30 – 3:15 Up, bathroom, snack, story

3:15 – 3:45 Free play, organized games/movement activities

3:45 – 4:20 Playground or Social Hall

4:30 – closing Free play, art activities, games

The children go to music class each week. They attend chapel with the Emilie pastor or director of congregational life every other week. Programs and trips are also a part of our schedule to enhance our curriculum.
Weather permitting we take the children outdoors daily, even in winter. Outdoor play allows children to strengthen their motor skills and provides a change of scene and fresh air. Our outdoor play periods are shorter at lower temperatures. During cold weather, we request that families send gloves, hats, and warm coats every day.
We monitor air quality and temperatures in warmer temperatures, as well. When the weather is too extreme, hot or cold, or the air quality is deemed too dangerous for young children, the boys and girls will enjoy our large, indoor playroom downstairs in the Social Hall. Please send in a bike helmet for your child to use during these days. It will be labeled and kept in your child’s classroom or a separate bin.
The need for naps varies with the child. Some children find a quiet rest time essential each day. Each child will have their own cot. Families are requested to supply a small travel pillow and small blanket marked with the child’s name. These items will be sent home every Friday. Families are responsible for laundering the items each week.


Curriculum


We use the Creative Curriculum at ECDS. Our curriculum identifies goals in four areas of development.

  • Social/emotional: to help children develop independence, self-confidence, and self-control, follow rules and routines, make friends, and learn what it means to be part of a group.

  • Physical: to increase children’s large muscle skills – balancing, running, jumping, throwing and catching – and use the small muscles in their hands to do tasks like buttoning, stringing beads, cutting, drawing, and writing.

  • Cognitive: to acquire thinking skills as the ability to solve problems, to ask questions, and to think logically – sorting, classifying, comparing, counting, and making patterns – and to use materials and their imagination to show what they have learned.


  • Language: to use words to communicate with others, listen to and participate in conversations with others, understand the purpose of print, recognize letters and words, and begin writing for a purpose.

Children enrolled in our toddler and 3 year old program focus on socialization skills, language development, and sparking their curiosity for learning. The four year old classes will learn the concepts that are required for enrollment in kindergarten. The kindergarten children utilize the Harcourt reading series, “Storytown” as well as the Harcourt math series. The students are well prepared for area public, private or parochial schools when finished our kindergarten program.


The Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards are utilized in lesson planning at all age levels.

Licensing


Emilie Christian Day School is licensed by the Department of Human Services in accordance with the Childcare regulations established by Pennsylvania and registered with the Department of Education as a non-public school. A copy of our current license and/or certificate of compliance is posted in the day school office. A copy of the DHS regulations book is posted on the parent board in the lobby area.

Fees


All families will sign a written Fee Agreement prior to the child’s attendance at the School. This Agreement will specify the fee amount for the care of your child(ren).

All fees are due, in advance, on the 1st day of each week, as specified in your Fee Agreement. We prefer that you pay your fee by check or cash and leave it with the staff in the Day School office. Fees that are not paid by the end of the week will be considered late and subject to the late payment fees listed in your Fee Agreement. Failure to pay the fee will result in the termination of care for your child(ren).

Please feel free to discuss any temporary financial problems with the office staff.
Full time tuition is based on an 8 hour day. At 9 hours, there is an additional per hour charge.
The annual tuition is divided into equal weekly payments for your convenience. Please note, neither the number of days or weeks attended in a month affect the tuition payment due.
All private pay families will not be charged for Christmas week and the 5th week in May.

Late Pick-Up Fees


If your child is not picked up by closing time at 6:00 PM you will be charged a late fee.
A $25.00 fine will be assessed at 6:05 PM. An additional $25.00 fee will be assessed for any part of 15 minutes for every 15 minutes until pick up. Habitual late pick-up may result in termination of service to your family.

Payment of Fees During Program Closings


There is no adjustment to the fee when the program is closed for a holiday, weather condition, or an emergency.


Days and Hours of Operation


We are open from 6:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday for the full day program. Families who have not picked up children by 6:00 p.m. are considered to be late. Late pick-up fees will apply in all cases where children remain in our care after that time. Late pick-up fees are discussed in the Fee Section of this Handbook.

We offer a full day young toddler program for children 13 months – 2; an older toddler program for children who are 2 years old, preschool programs for children who are 3 years old by August 31st and PreK programs for those who are 4 years old by August 31st.

The preschool ½ day classes are as follows:

Classes are available September through mid-June. They are on Tuesdays/Thursdays or Monday/Wednesday/Friday.

AM session: 9:00 pm – 11:45 am

M-F AM sessions are also available



Kindergarten
Children who will be 5 years old on or before August 31st are eligible to enter kindergarten at Emilie. Kindergarten is one of the most important years in the child’s development, as well as the foundation for future school experiences. In kindergarten the child learns, under the guidance of a teacher, how to adjust to group situations. Teachers guide the child’s learning in reading, math, health, physical education and safety with a carefully planned program adjusted to individual needs. Our small class size supports total growth and development in an environment that provides a smooth transition from home to school. The child will grow in confidence and show increased maturity. Area principals and teachers tell us that they love to get our students because they are socially mature and academically ready for the challenges of 1st grade. We offer a full day program with limited ½ day morning slots.

The school day begins at promptly at 9:00 am. Students who arrive after the start of the school day should go to the office and the office staff will admit the child to the room. Habitual lateness or chronic absences will not be tolerated.



Summer camp
Summer camp is from mid-June until the Thurs before Labor Day. Parents of children already enrolled in school must sign up separately for camp.
The program is relaxed and fun-filled and will include crafts, trips, fun in the sun, and special water activities.

The kindergarten age group will do some review of math and reading using related materials and games. This is in addition to the summer fun activities.

Our school age program is for children finishing 1st4th grade. These children enjoy swimming 2X a week, plus a weekly field trip, arts and crafts, games, learning reviews, outdoor activities and more.

School Calendar and Closings


The School Calendar is on the first page of this Handbook and lists the dates the program will be closed. We close for certain holidays and for several staff in-service days each year.
There may be times when the program may be closed due to severe weather conditions or other emergency situations.

Severe Weather Conditions:


In the event of severe weather conditions, Emilie Christian Day School will follow the lead of two out of three of the neighboring school districts: Bristol Township, Neshaminy and/or Pennsbury in determining whether or not to close the school. Families are instructed to watch television stations (NBC10, 6abc, Fox 29 or CBS3, call the school answering machine or check our facebook page for emergency closing information. A delayed opening for the districts, will mean that ECDS will open at 8:30 am. An early dismissal announcement means school will close at 4:30 pm.


Other Emergencies:

Other situations, including but not limited to, electrical power failure, lack of water, lack of heat or air conditioning, hazardous road conditions, or other situations which may endanger the safety or health of children and employees, may result in Emilie Christian Day School being closed. If school is in session, families will be notified by telephone when these conditions occur. If the closing is during the program day and we are required to relocate the children you will be advised as to where your child may be picked up.

Emergency Plan:

Our Emergency Operations Plan provides for responses to a variety of situations that may occur. Depending on the circumstance of the emergency, we will use one of the following protective actions:



  • Immediate evacuation – students are evacuated to a safe area on the grounds of the facility in the event of a fire, etc.

  • Shelter in place – sudden occurrences, weather or hazardous materials related accidents may dictate that taking cover inside the building is the best immediate response.

  • Evacuation – total evacuation of the school may become necessary if there is a danger in the area. In this case, the children will be relocated to a relocation facility. Our plan for a walking evacuation is to relocate to the Levittown-Fairless Hills rescue squad or Magic Cottage in Appletree. Should an evacuation be necessary which would require transportation, we would rely on local and/or county emergency personnel to establish the location and provide transportation. You will be notified of our whereabouts through phone, posted message on school doors or local media.

We ask that you do not call during an emergency. This will keep the main phone line open. We will call you to let you know that we’ve taken one of these protective actions using the information supplied to us on your Emergency Contact Form. We will also call you when we’ve resolved the situation and it’s safe for you to pick up your child.
We will utilize the Emergency Contact Form that you have provided to release your child in the event of an emergency. Please ensure that the phone numbers on this form are kept current and that only the persons you list on the form attempt to pick up your child.

We will review and practice our Emergency Operations Plan, including the shelter in place and immediate evacuation plan at least annually.



Arrival at School

All children must be accompanied by an adult when they arrive. Children are to be brought to their classroom and the adult will sign the attendance log indicating the time the child arrived. For children arriving early, please take their belongings to their classroom and then sign the attendance log in the Gathering Room – Room 107.

Families are permitted to park in the back parking area. Please do not park in the funeral home parking lot since that is not our property and is reserved for their use. An adult must accompany the child from the vehicle into the building. Do not leave unattended children in your vehicle at any time.

Notification When Child Will Be Absent


Families are asked to call the school whenever their child is not going to attend. In the case of extended absence due to illness, a doctors’ note should accompany the child upon return to school.

Departure from School


All children must be picked up before closing time at 6:00 p.m. Children can only be picked up by adults who are listed on the Emergency Contact Form.

  • We require the names and telephone numbers of any adults who may pick up the child.

  • Under no circumstances will we release your child to anyone who is not listed on the Emergency Contact form without permission. Please remind all pick up persons to be prepared to show ID.

  • If you wish to add a person, you must change the Form in writing. You are welcome to update the Form at any time.

  • Any adult who is unknown to the staff who wishes to pick up your child will be asked to provide positive identification. If the individual does not have a photo identification we will not be able to release the child to them.

  • Adults who come to the school to pick up a child should go directly to the office. The office staff will assist the person in finding the classroom.

The adult will be required to sign the attendance log indicating the time the child was released from our care. Once the child has been released we require that the adult and the child promptly leave the school. For liability insurance purposes we cannot be responsible for children once they have been released from our care and discourage families from lingering on our premises after the child has been released.

Parking is provided in the back parking lot for adults who are picking up a child. Please advise the adult who is picking up your child where they may park.
Please be sure that your child’s teacher is aware of you picking up, if from the playground or downstairs play space. We often have multiple staff supervising and this will ensure an accurate count of children. Also, be sure to close the gate when entering and/or leaving the playground to ensure the group’s safety.
Anyone who picks up a child who is required to be in a car seat must have a car seat in their vehicle. We are required to report incidents where children are not in car seats to the police and/or child protective services. We always have a spare in the office, if one is needed.
If your child is covered by a Court Order we will abide by that Order provided we receive a copy of the Order. You are encouraged to speak with the Director if your child is covered by a Custody or other Court Order. We cannot take instructions from you to violate the terms of a Court Order. If the Court Order changes you must provide us with a new copy so we can abide by the new terms.

Parents who have visitation rights are only permitted to be at the school during the visitation period established in the Court Order. We will not allow visiting parents to be at the school for any reason other than at those times. Please be advised that we will not accept the responsibility of supervising visitation. We also will not allow supervised visitation to take place at our facilities.

Be advised that we will not release a child to anyone who appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. We will contact the police in circumstances where in our judgment the individual who has come to pick up the child appears to be under the influence. We may contact the parent or legal guardian to make alternate pick up arrangements if another adult has come to pick up the child. We will also report these incidents to children’s protective services.

Clothing


Our curriculum includes playtime and floor activities, so we strongly recommend that the children be dressed in comfortable play clothes.
It is also important that children are dressed in clothing that they can manage. The child should be able to use the bathroom without requiring staff assistance and be able to dress for the outdoors.
The children will spend time outdoors and should have clothing that is suitable for the weather. When it is cold they will need gloves and hats.
We want to keep every child safe while they attend our program. Therefore, we request families observe the following rules about clothing and attire:

  • Children should not wear clothing that has stringed hoods that can be a strangling hazard.

  • Children should not wear jewelry such as rings, beads or earrings that can fall off and become a choking hazard.

  • Children should not wear necklaces, bracelets or other chains that can be a strangling hazard.

  • Children should not wear beaded clothing or hair beads because of a possible choking hazard.

  • A change of clothes, including shirt, pants, underwear and socks should be kept at school at all times. A reminder will be sent home when the weather changes to update your extra

    change.


    Helmets

Please send in a bike helmet for your child to wear while riding in the Social Hall on bad weather days. It should fit correctly. Girls with hair in ponytail holders, whose helmet will not fit properly, will be restricted in their play.



    Shoes

    Sneakers are the best shoes to wear to school. They provide support and traction for climbing and running on the playground. Only rubber-soled, closed-toe/closed-back shoes are safe for the type of play that occurs every day. Children who come to school wearing dress shoes, sandals and any other shoe that does not fit the above description will be restricted to the sandbox and swings for outdoor play.

Classroom Materials and Supplies


From time to time families may be asked to provide materials from home for special activities (i.e. shoeboxes, yogurt containers, egg cartons, etc).

Any other bulk donations are always welcome.


We are always in need of scrap paper for use in the classroom. If you or someone you know has paper to donate, please let the Director know.

All other art supplies and learning materials are supplied by ECDS.


Toys

Your child may bring a doll or stuffed animal for naptime. Some classes have specific show and tell days for home toys. Otherwise, please refrain from bringing in personal toys from home. The children get very upset at having a toy broken or lost and/or are unable to share their toy with others at their developmental age. We have many varied and interesting materials to use and do not want to cause unnecessary upset.


Snacks


A simple snack with milk is served mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

  • If your child has any dietary restrictions or allergies please inform the classroom teacher.

    Food Brought From Home

In a continued effort to increase the quality of our program, we have aligned our policy regarding food brought from home with the USDA standards. We would appreciate your continued cooperation and would encourage you to follow these guidelines:
Breakfast:

Suggested foods: cereal, fresh fruit, whole grain muffin, bagel, toast, yogurt, sandwich.

Avoid: candy, dessert foods, such as cupcakes, jello

Try to make a healthier choice than poptarts and doughnuts


Lunch:

Suggested serving sizes:

½ sandwich 1 snack

fruit/veggies –1/2 cup ea. milk – ¾ cup

Suggested main foods, other than sandwiches:

salad, bagel w/cream cheese, yogurt, rice cakes w/ cream cheese or peanut butter, whole grain crackers w/ peanut butter or cheese, soup/stew/pasta heated and in a thermos.


Avoid Lunchables. Although convenient, they are one of the most unhealthy lunches due to the exceedingly high fat and sodium content.
Suggested fruit/veggies: any fresh fruit/vegetable, canned fruit, pre-packaged veggies/dip.

NOT healthy: Fruit rollups/fruit snacks. They are junk food.
Suggested snacks: the serving size for 3-5 years olds is ½ cup. Be careful about oversized bags of snacks. Two cookies is a serving. No candy will be allowed in school. The children will be allowed ONE treat, anything additional will be sent home.
Refrigeration and Heating: to maintain proper food temperatures for foods, use a thermos for hot foods. Rinse thermos with hot water and fill with hot food. Food will be at proper temperature by lunchtime. We cannot reheat foods in the microwave. All lunch items that need refrigeration will be labeled with your child’s name and put in the classroom refrigerator.
Drinks: The USDA recommends milk for a beverage. We provide this as part of your tuition for snack and lunch. If your child is not used to having milk regularly with meals, there may be an adjustment period. In our experience, this is minimal and a new routine will be established. The only other suggested drink for lunch would be 100% juice, such as Juicy Juice, Apple and Eve or Sesame Street.
As part of our efforts to increase healthfulness, all other drinks will be sent home. Save money! Skip the drink and let us provide it!
Classroom parties:

A sign up sheet will be provided by the classroom teacher for parties. Please do not send extra snacks other than those that are requested. They will be sent home.

Food allergies: If there is a child in your classroom with allergies (peanut, milk), it is very important that you follow the teacher’s guidelines as to what can or cannot be brought into the classroom as a group snack.

Birthdays: Emilie Christian Day School allows families to provide a special snack for all the children in the classroom on their child’s birthday. The family should speak to the child’s teacher prior to the birthday, if they are going to provide a snack. The teacher will advise you if there are any children with dietary restrictions or with food allergies that you will need to accommodate when providing a snack. The snack must be provided in individual servings (for example, cupcakes).


Please refrain from sending goodie bags with candy. We appreciate your generosity; however, if you want to do favors, we would suggest a non-edible item instead.

Field Trips


Emilie Christian Day School takes the children on field trips a few times each year. In the past we have visited Styers Farm, Silver Lake Nature Center, and Bucks County Libraries. We also include a variety of health and safety programs, as well as children’s theatre performances. Families will be advised about field trips and will be required to sign permission slips in order for their child to participate.
On the day of the field trip the children will be required to wear the school t-shirt that will be sent home with your child during the first weeks of school. Children are transported to field trips by school bus. Parents are encouraged to join us as chaperones. All chaperones are required to obtain a clear PA state police clearance and PA child abuse clearance. Details about obtaining clearances will be distributed at our annual meet and greet.
We do not permit children who are not enrolled in our program to participate in field trips.

Fundraising

We generally have one or two fundraisers each school year. The monies are used to replace worn materials or add a major upgrade to the program. In the past we have purchased a new school bus, new playground equipment, new Social Hall equipment, new shelves and many, many new toys. Participation is completely voluntary.

Behavior and Discipline


All children have periods where their behavior is not appropriate for the classroom setting. Although inappropriate behavior is undesirable, it will occur from time-to-time and is part of the normal developmental process. Teachers attempt to deal with behavior problems utilizing standard acceptable practices in the early childhood education setting. Your child’s teacher will advise you if your child’s behavior is problematic. She will offer suggestions for methods of correcting the undesirable behavior so that a degree of consistency is achieved both at home and in the classroom.
From time to time, a child’s behavior may require that we suspend the child from the classroom. In those instances the family member will be consulted and options will be discussed to correct the behavior problem.
We may consider dismissal for a child who displays habitual inappropriate behavior and who presents a direct threat to the safety of other children, the staff, or themselves. Your child may be affected by the behavior of another child. The staff will advise you if there is any accident or injury. However, we cannot discuss another child or their behavior with you because of the child’s and the family’s right to privacy.
You will receive and be asked to sign our Discipline Policy upon enrollment.

Biting

If you are enrolling a 2 or 3 year old you will need to be aware that some toddlers and preschoolers go through a “biting stage,” usually most prevalent at the beginning of the school year. Although biting is undesirable, this is a normal developmental process. It is a form of communication for a frustrated child. If a child does bite, we remove the child from the other children for a short period of time and tell the child “no biting” or “biting hurts.” In order to protect the privacy rights of our children we will not release information to any family member regarding the identity of a child involved in a biting incident. However, we will advise you of your child’s involvement in such an incident through a standard incident report. Please do not ask our staff to violate another child’s privacy rights by asking who bit your child, or who your child bit.

We may consider dismissal of children who become habitual biters and who present a direct threat to the safety of other children. While we understand the biting incident may have been traumatic for you and your child, we will work with both children and their parents through this developmental stage.
If you have questions or concerns we will be glad to discuss this matter further, or supply you with information to help you better understand this stage.


Family and Teacher Conferences


Your child’s teacher will keep you up to date on your child’s progress and interests during informal conversations at drop-off and pick-up times. We will schedule a formal Family and Teacher Conference, once in November and again in May, to share information, concerns and to assess the child’s skills and readiness to transition to the next level.
There may be other times when it may be beneficial to have a formal conference with the family to address an issue of particular concern. If a family has a concern that they would like to discuss in a formal conference with the classroom teacher, they should notify the teacher who will schedule the conference as soon as possible.

Family Participation


Family members are welcome to visit and/or volunteer in our program after submitting their clearances. We use volunteers in the classroom, on field trips and occasionally to help maintain our playground. Families are also welcome to visit during the day. We ask that you consider whether your child will be able to successfully separate from you when you need to leave in deciding whether or not to visit.
We encourage you to attend our many family events, held throughout the school year, in the evenings, to build relationships with your fellow families, as well as our staff.

Emilie Christian Day School will not permit parents who are subject to a Custody Order to volunteer at times that do not fall within their visitation periods as specified in the Custody Order.


Communication

Families can read the daily happenings of their child’s classroom on the message board in the classroom. Parents of toddlers will receive a daily communication about eating/sleeping/diapering habits. Preschool-Kindergarten families should look for the white board for class information. You may communicate with staff through a notebook system or using the “leave your teacher a message” form, located near the sign in sheet. Your child’s teacher will then respond accordingly.


Early Intervention Services
Some children may need extra help and support that can be offered through Early Intervention Services.

Children learn naturally during their early childhood years, by doing, by watching you and other children, and by being taught how to do different things. Sometimes you or your child’s teacher may notice that your child is growing or developing differently than other children of the same age.

The five developmental areas are:


  • Ability to move, see and hear – physical development

  • Ability to talk, express needs – language and speech development

  • Ability to relate to others – social and emotional development

  • Ability to eat, dress, and take care of themselves – self help (or adaptive development)

  • Ability to think and learn – cognitive development

While all children grow and change at their own rate, some children can experience delays in their development. Sometimes this is cause for concern. Early Intervention can help.

Early Intervention services can include, among others, information on how children develop, early childhood education, therapies which help the child to move his/her body, information for the family to help enhance a child’s growing and learning, and ideas for the their classroom teacher to help the child in their early childhood program.

The first step is to determine if the child is eligible for early intervention. Families should contact their local early intervention service coordinator (in Bucks County it is the Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22 1-800-770-4822). With the family’s permission, the coordinator will do a screening. If the family continues to have concerns after the initial screening, they have the right to request a full evaluation.

If there are areas of delay, the child may be eligible for early intervention services or supports. A plan is developed for each child who is eligible called an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This plan will outline the services that are needed, based on the identified needs of the child and will include the family’s concerns, the child’s strengths and needs from the evaluation.

Services are delivered in the setting that is consistent with the needs of the child and family. Considerations are made to reflect the child’s best place for learning. Services may take place in the child care setting or another community setting.

Your pediatrician, the local mental health provider, the blue pages in the phone directory and/or your insurance carrier can be a resource for additional social, mental, health, educational and medical services.

Please see your child’s teacher or office staff for more information regarding early intervention.

If your child is already receiving services and has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) in place, please forward this to the office at enrollment and schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher prior to enrolling to ensure good communication and successful programming for your child’s needs and goals.

Health Issues

Enrollment Health Appraisal


All children who are enrolled in Emilie Christian Day School must have a health appraisal completed by a qualified medical professional within 30 days of enrolling in the program. Families will be provided with the Health Appraisal Form when the child is accepted for enrollment in the program. It is also available on the school website at www.emiliechristiandayschool.com. The Dept of Health and Human services who oversees our school requires that Health Appraisals be completed annually.

Immunizations


All children who are attending Emilie Christian Day School must have current immunizations as prescribed by the Department of Human Services and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Families with questions or concerns about the Health Appraisal or Immunizations should contact the Director.

Illness


Emilie Christian Day School does not have the capability of providing care for sick children. Families should not bring children to school when they are ill. Staff will deny care to any child who exhibits symptoms of illness such as fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Please note: administering acetaminophen/ibuprofen (Tylenol, Advil, etc) for a fever and then sending them to school is not acceptable. That is when a child is most contagious. Children should be excluded from care until they are symptom free for 24 hours or until a qualified health care professional notifies the program, in writing, that the child may resume attendance.

All families will be required to sign our exclusion policy at enrollment.


When a child begins to exhibit symptoms of illness during the program day the family will be notified to come to pick up the child.

We follow the recommendations in Model Child Care Health Policies-Revised 2014 by ECELS to determine when a child should be excluded from school and the criteria for the child to be readmitted to the program.

From time to time, children are exposed to communicable diseases while attending Emilie Christian Day School. Families will be notified in writing whenever their child may have been exposed. The letter will contain information about the disease and the steps the family should take for their child.

First Aid and Emergencies


All staff are certified in Pediatric First Aid and CPR.
Staff will assess all injures and provide first aid when appropriate. Families will be notified in writing when their child has been injured and will receive information about the first aid that was provided.
If the child’s injury is more serious than the typical scrape or bruise, staff will contact the family to notify them of the injury and the care the child received. If the injury is very serious or deemed an emergency the staff will contact emergency services and notify the parent.
First aid kits are available in each classroom and on the bus. Staff take first aid kits and emergency contact forms on all outings.

Dispensing Medication


Emilie Christian Day School prefers that your child’s medication, both prescription and over-the-counter, be dispensed at home. We understand that from time to time it may be necessary for your child to receive medication while they are attending the program. In order for our staff to dispense any medication you must comply with the following:

  • Medication (or anything labelled “Keep out of reach of children) must be in its original container;

  • Written consent must be signed by the parent or legal guardian at the office;

  • Prescription medication must have instructions for storage;

  • Medication will not be dispensed after the expiration date on the container;

  • Medication must be given to the office staff by the adult who accompanies the child. Should you bring your child to school prior to the office opening in the morning, the Gathering Room staff will accept the medication and direct you to sign the Medication Log.

Staff will complete the medication log when the medication is dispensed. The log will include the type of medication, the time dispensed, the amount dispensed, and the name of the staff member who dispensed the medication. Should you pick up your child after the office has closed for the day, the medication and log will be in the Gathering room for pick up. DO NOT LEAVE MEDICATION IN THE CUBBY OR LUNCH BOX.


Health Insurance


Families are responsible for providing their own medical insurance for their child. We require that families provide the health insurance coverage information on the child’s emergency contact form. Families are responsible to keep the health insurance information up-to-date and accurate.

Information is distributed at enrollment and available in the office regarding the CHIP insurance program.



Safety and Emergency Evacuation


Emilie Christian Day School strives to keep every child safe while they are in attendance. The entrance doors to the school are locked at all times. You must obtain an access card from the office (for a $10.00 refundable deposit) to get in and out of the building each day. If you come to the school and do not have your access card, you will need to ring the bell. A staff member will greet you at the door and allow you to enter. Whenever the staff member is not familiar with the person at the door the person will be questioned about their business at the school before they are admitted and escorted to their destination.
Please do not teach your child to hold the green button while you open the door. The system is designed so that a child cannot get out of the building by themselves. However, two children together can successfully do this, if taught how it works. Tell them that the grownups will do it. Hold their hand while walking down the hall and to your car to ensure their safety in exiting the building.
We have regular fire drills in accordance with state law. We also have drills for other emergency situations.

In the event of an actual emergency the children and staff will follow the Emergency Operations Plan detailed in this handbook. Families will be notified that the children have been relocated and should report to that location to pick-up their child. In the event the nature of the emergency does not allow us to relocate the children, families are asked to comply with the instructions of emergency workers.


Confidentiality


The individual dignity of children, families, and employees will be respected and protected at all times in accordance with law. Information about children, families, or employees will not be divulged to anyone other than persons who are authorized to receive such information. This policy extends to both internal and external disclosure.
Staff are not permitted to give a family any information about another child or family in the program, including addresses and phone numbers without parent permission. This includes even those situations that appear evident, such as discussing why a child uses a wheelchair. Staff may not openly discuss a matter about another child with you. This would also include information about an incident in which your child was involved. For example, staff cannot tell you who bit your child. They can only tell you your child was bitten. Please do not put staff in the position where they may violate policy and be subject to disciplinary action by asking for any information about another child.
Emilie Christian Day School will only release information about your child with your express written consent. If you want records provided to another facility or school you must sign a Release form before we will provide the information. Release forms are available in the Director’s office.
Staff are also strictly prohibited from discussing confidential information about another staff member. For example, there may be a time when an employee is absent from the Center. This could be due to a serious health condition or even termination. Staff may not discuss this information with you. If you have concerns about a staff member you should discuss them with the Director.
Our staff is trained regularly about confidentiality. We will do everything to protect your family’s right of privacy and ask that you respect the rights of others.

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

Our staff is required by state law to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect. Staff who fail to make a report of suspected abuse or neglect are subject to disciplinary action, including termination, and may also be subject to criminal prosecution.
Our staff is trained about abuse and neglect and their obligation to report suspected abuse or neglect.
Staff are not permitted to discuss their suspicions with a family or to disclose that a report was made. Reports of suspected child abuse or neglect are made to Childline. If you have questions or concerns about this policy please contact the Director.

Family Code of Conduct


We believe that people are individuals who have different thought processes. It is the role of every person at Emilie Christian Day School to treat staff, families, and children with respect and dignity. We expect that all adults in our program settings conduct themselves in the following manner:

  • With courtesy,

  • With respect,

  • With patience,

  • By dressing appropriately,

  • By treating people the way you want to be treated,

  • By modeling how we want our children to treat others, and

  • By acknowledging and celebrating the cultures and practices of other people and families.

Under no circumstances will the following behaviors be allowed:



  • Physical or verbal punishment of children,

  • Threats to staff or parents/guardians,

  • Swearing and cursing,

  • Smoking,

  • Quarreling, verbal fighting, raising of voices with other staff or parents/guardians,

  • Doing things that are against school safety practices and policies,

  • Bringing drugs, alcohol, or weapons to Centers or events, and
  • Violation of any program policy.

If the above behaviors occur, parents/guardians will be asked (privately if possible) by a staff person to stop the inappropriate behavior. If family members continue to quarrel, verbally fight, or threaten, staff will call the police.


Emilie Christian Day School reserves the right to terminate service to any family who violates this Code of Conduct.


Referral Policy


The Christian Day School offers currently enrolled parents a tuition credit of 1 week’s tuition for referring a new student to the program.
The credit is one week of the referred students’ tuition.
The new student must be enrolled a minimum of 3 months. The credit will be applied at the end of the 3 month period.

For example:

A T/Th parent refers a full time kindergarten student to the school. The referring parent will receive a credit of one week fulltime tuition.

Or

A full time parent recommends a student for the MWF half- day class. Referring parent will receive a credit of one week 3 day ½ day tuition.



Withdrawals, Transitions and Termination of Service


When you register, it is expected that your child will be attending for the school year (Sept. – mid-June).
Families are required to provide two weeks written notice of their intention to withdraw their child from the program. Failure to provide 2 weeks notice will result in forfeiture of your escrow.
When transferring to another program, you will sign a request form at your new program/school to have your child’s records sent to the new school. We will then process the school’s request and forward the requested paperwork.

Emilie Christian Day School reserves the right to terminate service at any time to any family for failure to pay the fees as outlined in the Fee Agreement.

Emilie Christian Day School further reserves the right to terminate service at any time, and without notice, to any family who violates program policy. If you have questions about this policy please contact the Director.

“Helping your little one adjust to a new program”


Going to a new school is a big step for a child. Some take it in stride and other need assistance getting used to a new experience. Some things to do:


  • Talk about going to school with your child. Explain that he will be going there while you are at work. Always assure him that you will come and get him every day after work. Even young children benefit from being talked to about what’s going to happen.

  • Take your young child to the new program for a short visit before dropping her off for the first day. Show her where she will play, eat and take naps. Talk about the kinds of things she will do each day while there.

  • Read stories together about going to school/child care.

  • When the first day arrives, establish a goodbye routine and keep it the same every day. Children feel secure when they can depend on familiar rituals for their routines. Never sneak out without saying goodbye. It can be frightening for a child if a parent suddenly is not there.

  • Say one goodbye and then leave. Prolonged goodbyes are difficult for children.

  • Send in a favorite stuffed animal from home for rest time.

  • Talk with the staff and decide together what will be most helpful for your child.

--Reprinted from Bucks County Midweek, 2/23/00

Thank you for choosing Emilie Christian Day School. We look forward to getting to know you

and your child!!







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