This handbook has been prepared to help acquaint you with our program.  Your participation is beneficial to the development of our program and to your child’s experience here.  If you have any questions or suggestions concerning the program, please feel free to share them with us.

ARRIVAL & DISMISSAL - PLEASE BE ON TIME!

We have a very busy day and it is important that we start on time! Children should arrive 5 minutes before the scheduled start time for their class. Doors will open promptly on the hour. Parents, please be outside 5 minutes before the class ends. When we open the door at the end of class, please come to the bottom of the stairs to assist your child. If you are not there your child might get upset. There will be a charge for late pickup so please be on time. 

Attendance & TARDY

Regular attendance is essential to a successful academic experience. Students are expected to be present every day on time when school is in session. Parents are required to report absences and tardiness of students as they occur. When leaving a message, parents must give the student's name, teacher's name, reason for absence, and a return phone number. When the child returns to school they need a note explaining their absence. 

clothing

Children should be dressed appropriately for school. Please make sure they will be able to go to the bathroom by themselves. No onesies, overalls or belts. We go outside every day (weather permitting), please do not send your child to school with sandals without straps. As colder weather approaches please send gloves/mittens and a hat in with your child everyday. Please label all clothing and it must fit into their back packs.

In addition, all nursery students, should be potty trained,  please send in a set of emergency clothes for the classroom in case of an emergency.  This includes a short-sleeved shirt, pants, underwear and socks. Please send these items on the first day of school in a zip lock bag labeled with your child's name. 

backpacks and folders

Your child needs to bring a backpack every day. We suggest your child practice opening and closing the backpack so s/he can independently work the zippers and/or snaps. The backpack should be large enough to carry a folder and your child's coat. Please write your child's name on the backpack. Please empty your child's backpack every day.  Folders will go home every Friday.

birthdays

Birthdays are a great opportunity to spend time in your child's class. Pre-K children will be celebrating their birthdays once a month. A note will go home in the beginning of the month. Please let your child's teacher know ahead of time if you will be coming in. Nursery children will have their own parties. We are a peanut free school, party treats: Entenmann's popems or Rice Crispy Treats, juice, paper plates, napkins and cups.

We do not celebrate summer birthdays as it is very confusing to children at this age.

TOys & Jewelry

No toys or jewelry are to be brought to school except for Friday, show and tell, the toys should also correspond to the letter of the week.

Show & tell

Every Friday will be show & tell. Please have your child bring in one item that corresponds to the letter of the week that is listed on the monthly calendar. No toy guns are allowed at the school at any time. 

Park rules

We encourage you to practice these rules with your child. 

  • We do not climb on top of the playhouses.
  • We go down the slide feet first.
  • We never touch our friends.
  • We don't throw sand or rocks.
  • We stay inside the sand area of the park, feet in the sand!
  • We don't play in the grassy area or climb the trees. 
  • We also ask that the children do not play with guns. 

Parents should watch their children closely when they are playing at the park before and after class. 

School Closing Information 

Due to inclement weather, there may be a need for a delayed opening, early dismissal or school closing. We go by the NYC Department of Education closings. In the event of a closing, you will be contacted via phone chain or email. 

Emergency Situations

Fire drills, as well as evacuation drills are held monthly. There is never a time that the children are made to be fearful of these situations. In the event of an emergency where we cannot re-enter the building, the children will be escorted to St. Thomas More Church. A staff member will remain outside the school to inform parents where to pick up their children. 

Illness

 If your child has one or more of the following symptoms please keep them home: FEVER, DIARRHEA, VOMITING, HEAVY NASAL DISCHARGE, SEVERE COUGH, UNEXPLAINED RASH, LICE & PINK EYE. Students should be fever free for 24 hours without use of fever reducing medications. Students should remain at home for 24 hours after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhea. Students should remain home for 24 hours after taking the first dose of antibiotic for an infection. Please inform the school if your child has been exposed to a communicable disease so that other parents can be informed. Your child may not return to school without a signed note from the doctor that states that the child is free from infection. If your child is sick for three days or more a doctor's note is required for them to return to school. 

If your child is sick in school, we will call the parent and ask you to come as soon as possible. If a parent cannot be reached, we will call a designated emergency contact. We will make them as comfortable as possible until you arrive. Should an emergency arise that is deemed by our staff to be potentially life threatening, we will call our local ambulance and your child will be transported to the hospital. We do not distribute medications. 

Communications/monthly calendar

We encourage open communication with parents. We believe in a team approach to education. All children benefit from a close and positive interaction between their school and their families. Communication channels between the school and parents include progress reports, conferences, phone calls, folders, emails, notes home, and a monthly calendar. We ask that you please do not approach the teachers at the time of arrival or dismissal. This is their time for greeting and saying good-bye to the children.

Volunteering

We encourage classroom volunteers. If you have a special talent or hobby that you would like to share with our class, please let us know. It can be a marvelous learning experience for children when one shares painting, cooking, sewing, or a special collection. Please contact your child's teacher if you would like to help at school. We will wait a few weeks for the children to be comfortable in the classroom before we have volunteers. 

Storytellers

Parents/guardians, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members are encouraged to volunteer to be a "Star Storyteller" and surprise your child with a visit to the classroom to share a favorite story. Classroom teachers select volunteers four times a month and appointments are made around your schedule. This is a perfect opportunity for working parents to be involved in their child's school day. 

Classroom Mommies/Daddies

Each year "Classroom Mommies/Daddies" volunteers help strengthen the home/school partnership by working with teachers on the daily activities of their child's classroom. The responsibilities of "Classroom Mommies/Daddies" may include, but are not limited to, creating a class phone chain, organizing class parties/celebrations, and assisting with special class projects. 

A Typical Day for Nursery / Pre-K  

Welcome/Arrival: Children enter the classroom and independently select activities as they arrive in the classroom.

Circle Time: The class comes together to hear of the day's activities:

                         Story time

                         discuss the day's activities, songs and dancing, make choices for Center time.

Center Time: Children choose from activities in the centers, which include dramatic play, table toys, blocks, art, sensory table, library and computers.

Clean Up: Children learn when it is time to stop an activity, put away toys and materials and work together.

Snacks for Nursery then dismissal

Pre-K Lunch will be served Family Style in the classroom. Meal times are used to teach children about good nutrition.

                Pre-k only will have a rest time after lunch

Outdoor Learning: Energetic outdoor play provides opportunities for children to exercise, to engage in social interactions, and to experience and respect nature. Children also learn self-management by following rules and safety guidelines.

Music/Movement: Children express themselves through singing and movement, and by playing simple instruments.

Story Time: Teachers read to children in both large and small groups. Reading enhances listening comprehension, stimulates thought-provoking questions and conversation, and develops concepts of print and vocabulary.

Center Time: Children choose from activities in the centers, which include dramatic play, table toys, blocks, art, sensory table, library and computers.

Dismissal: Children are encouraged to review the day's events and independently collect their belongings. 

The Family-School Connection

There are a number of ways that parents/guardians can help their children learn. As your child's first teacher, you can:

  • Take an active interest in your child's activities
  • Talk to the teacher about your child's progress (via telephone or scheduled meeting.)
  • Read together
  • Offer praise and encouragement
  • Be enthusiastic about your child's daily school experiences
  • Be a good role model
  • Teach your child self-respect and respect of others

Most learning takes place when teachers and parents work together. There are many ways in which you can support your child's learning in the classroom as well. You can:

  • Read a story to your child's class
  • Share a song or game with your child's class
  • Share a hobby or activity with your child's class 
  • Share a special holiday tradition with your child's class
  • Assist your child's teacher during center time

Book Orders: Monthly book orders from Scholastics are a good, inexpensive way to get books into children's hands.

Parent Teacher Conferences: Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled for twice a year. Parent conferences will be held in November and after spring break. The conference is an opportunity to discuss your child's progress. The teacher and parent discuss how they can work together to enable your child to have a successful school year. You are encouraged to attend these scheduled conferences. Please advise the teacher immediately when there is a change of address, phone number, or emergency contact. Please advise us if there is a change in your home (e.g., hospital, illness, death, divorce, trip, new baby). All information will be kept confidential. These events do affect your child's behavior in class.