Preschool Parental Handbook
Children of Faith Preschool
A Christian preschool of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church
545 Apollo Rd.
River Falls, WI 54022
Mrs. Anna White, Teacher: 507-720-3000 (Cell)
Children of Faith Preschool exists to serve families in the River Falls area by assisting parents in the training, teaching and overall development of their children through a Christ-centered program of developmentally appropriate experiences in an atmosphere of Christian love and caring to meet the needs of the whole child: spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual, physical and creative.
God gives parents the primary responsibility to “bring (children) up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4
). Children of Faith Preschool assists parents in striving to help each child:
- Know and love Jesus as their Savior.
- Feel loved and cared for by Jesus and other caring adults in their world.
- Reflect God’s love by exhibiting care and respect for others in their words and actions.
- Develop self-confidence and a sense of independence.
- Develop intellectually to their God-given potential through large and small group activities and hands-on exploration and play.
- Develop physical dexterity, strength and coordination.
- Develop creativity and imagination.
- Develop the skills necessary in preparation for a successful kindergarten experience.
Faith Ev. Lutheran Church, through the Board of Education and the pastor of the congregation oversees the program of Children of Faith Preschool and the director/teacher.
- The director/teacher answers to the Board of Education.
- The assistant teacher answers to the teacher.
- The director/teacher is in charge of day-to-day operations in keeping with the policies of Children of Faith Preschool and Faith Lutheran Church. Questions and/or concerns should be brought to her attention first.
- Children of Faith Preschool is licensed by the State of Wisconsin, Department of Children and Families. Inspections take place regularly to ensure that licensing standards are met. Our license and results of the latest monitoring visit are posted on the Parent Communication Bulletin Board in the classroom. The Wisconsin Administrative Code for Group Child Care and the Children of Faith Policy Handbook is readily available for review at any time. Copies are on the sign-in table.
- Smoking is not permitted on the premises.
- Children of Faith Preschool does not have pets on the premises. In the event that a pet visits the classroom, parents will be notified either verbally or in writing in advance and asked for their written permission.
- Children of Faith Preschool is covered by appropriate liability insurance underwritten by Church Mutual Insurance Company, Merrill, Wisconsin. This insurance meets group child care liability. Information will be provided upon request.
AGES, HOURS, MONTHS AND DAYS
- Parents may apply for admission to Children of Faith Preschool for a child who will be three years old by July 1 preceding the start of the school year. Exceptions can be made pending space availability and the child has turned three prior to admission. Our program serves children ages 3 through age 6. Children should be toilet trained and able to take care of their toileting needs independently.
- Children of Faith Preschool operates September through May. The Preschool will publish a school year calendar of days closed for holiday celebrations, breaks, teacher training, and so on. Our calendar roughly follows that of the River Falls School District. It will be available prior to the beginning of the school year.
- Children of Faith Preschool will not discriminate based on race, color, creed, gender, national or ethnic origin. Children with disabilities are welcome to apply for admission and will be accepted on a trial basis to determine whether the educational needs of the child can be met by our program.
HOURS OF OPERATION
- Children of Faith Preschool offers its program on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Hours for the morning session are from 9:00-11:30 a.m. and if needed, the afternoon session are from 12:30-3:00 p.m.
- Class sizes and schedules may change year to year, so please contact us for the current class schedule.
- Parents are asked to complete and turn in an “Application for Admission” form along with an application fee set by the Board of Education. Classes for the following September are filled first with members of Faith Lutheran Church or children currently enrolled in Children of Faith Preschool or Faith Lutheran Church Sunday School. Remaining openings are filled next from the applications received prior to March 1. The application fee will only be refunded if all openings are filled. If you wish to remain on a waiting list, the application fee will be retained and non-refundable. You will be notified if a space becomes available.
- When a child has been admitted to Children of Faith Preschool, the parent will receive a packet of information and forms, such as an enrollment form, immunization and health forms, the pamphlet, “Your Guide to Licensed Childcare,” and others, which must be filled out and returned to the school. Many forms must be returned before school begins. Failure to turn in these forms may prohibit the child’s participation in the program.
There will be an opportunity for parents and teacher to meet prior to the beginning of school in September either through a home visit or school open house. At this time, forms may be turned in, policies reviewed and the first tuition payment made.
TUITION AND FEES
A yearly application fee will be charged in the amount set by the Board of Education of Faith Lutheran Church. Annual tuition rates are also set by the Board of Education. The annual rate will be prorated by month should a child enroll during the school year. Payment may be made yearly, twice yearly or in nine equal monthly payments due on or before the first class session of the month. Another payment plan can be worked out if needed. Parents are required to have a Payment Contract on file before the first day of attendance. While third party payments are accepted, the parents are ultimately responsible for timely payment of tuition. Make checks payable to Children of Faith Preschool
If a child is withdrawn from the program, a two-week written notice is necessary for unused tuition to be refunded. There will be no refund of tuition for a month a child has started attending. There are no refunds for children’s absences due to illness, weather or vacation.
Current registration fees and tuition charges are included in an insert in the Parent Handbook.
Christ is the cornerstone of our curriculum, therefore, interspersed throughout our day are prayers, religious songs and talk about God in connection with everyday activities. There is a Bible time every preschool day, with a weekly Bible story, Bible songs and verses as well as a monthly chapel service conducted by the Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church. Prayers will begin and end the day, and start our snack time. We will celebrate birthdays, Christian, and secular holidays during our school year with emphasis on Christian holidays celebrated in the Lutheran church. Celebrations may include special program, music, art activity, snack, games, etc.
- As a Christian preschool we have a message for all people. We are all created by God and equally precious in His sight. Because this is what we believe, we reach out to and respect all people and encourage that attitude in our parents and children.
- We will explore the various cultures and ethnicities within our preschool, community and world through study, toys and art supplies, wall decorations, books, and music. The children will be encouraged to appreciate the differences between themselves and others.
The director/teacher is responsible for planning the preschool curriculum based on the age and stage-appropriate levels of the children. Many activities will reflect the theme of the week, season of the year or letter of the week. Opportunities for intellectual, cognitive, social, creative and large and small motor activities will be incorporated into daily plans.
At each session, children will participate in a variety of activities, both self-initiated and teacher-directed. While allowing for flexibility and spontaneity, each session will generally include:
- Opening Circle Time- The whole group meets for greeting, calendar and weather activities.
- Bible Time- Each week we will focus on a story from God’s Word, pray, sing and apply it to our lives to promote the children’s spiritual growth.
- Whole Group Activities- Activities reflecting the week’s theme, music and movement, finger plays, and games to promote intellectual and cognitive development, gross motor skills, social interaction, self-expression.
- Snack Time/Sharing Time-Children will have opportunity to take turns planning and sharing their snack and may talk about an item they have brought from home. Children will have time to socialize with their classmates.
- “Work” Time- Children choose their activities in various areas of the room: art, manipulatives, dramatic play, blocks and building and other toys and learning activities.
- Small Group Activities-Art/craft activities, fine motor activities, games, and individualized instruction.
- Story Time and Review of the Day-Our program has a major emphasis on quality children’s literature, which will often tie in with the theme of the week. As we review the day, children recall what they have done and learned during the day.
- Outdoor Play-We will make every effort to go outside whenever the weather is moderate, especially in the autumn and spring of the year. We will not go out in weather below 15 degrees wind chill, or above 90 degrees. Activities may include play on climbing equipment, gross motor games, ball play, sandbox play and more.
Only in very rare instances will TV, videos or DVD’s be viewed during preschool hours, and only of an educational nature.
- When arriving and leaving preschool, cars may be parked temporarily in the drop-off circle in front of the church. Please follow the wide sidewalk to the south double doors on the east side of the building.
- A parent or other adult must accompany the child to the classroom and sign him/her into the attendance book. Please do not arrive for your session more than ten minutes ahead of time.
- A parent or adult listed on the child release form is also required to sign out the child from the classroom within 10 minutes of the end of the session. If someone else will be picking up your child, please notify the teacher in writing or by telephone in advance. That person may be required to show a picture I.D. Your child will only be released to those pre-authorized by you.
- If the adult picking up a child appears to be impaired, reasonable steps will be taken to protect the child up to and including calling the local authorities.
- The Preschool responsibility for the child begins as soon as the parent or other authorized adult leaves the premises and ends as soon as the parent or guardian arrives back on the premises. This means that whenever a parent or guardian is on the premises, Children of Faith Preschool is not responsible.
COMMUNICATION AND CONFERENCES
- To foster communication, a weekly newsletter and monthly calendar is sent home with your child. These will include the snack schedule, your child’s snack and sharing day, the theme and Bible Story of the week, classroom news and other items of interest.
- The teacher is available to talk to you at drop-off and pick-up times, and is willing to arrange a time to talk further whenever a parent requests. Please check the Parent Bulletin Board for announcements, certificates, state license and results of inspections.
- Formal conferences between parents and teacher will be held in the fall and spring of the school year, however, parents are encouraged to give the teacher ongoing feedback regarding their child, especially when circumstances or events may affect their child at school.
- To protect each family’s confidentiality, Children of Faith Preschool will not share information about a child or child’s family with anyone not authorized to receive it.
- Parents may review their child’s records and medical log pertinent to their child upon request.
- The Division of Early Care and Education staff may also review records upon request.
Parents are welcome to come and observe our classes at any time your child is in attendance unless prohibited by court order. If so, a copy of the court order must be on file. While other visitors are also welcome, we ask that they call in advance of the day they wish to visit and make arrangements with the teacher. Visitors will need to check in and may be accompanied by a staff member during their visit.
Parents and other adults are welcome to lend their special talents and expertise to enrich our program. If you would like to volunteer in the classroom or would like to prepare materials at home, please talk to the teacher. Volunteers who work regularly in the classroom and are not used to meet staff-child ratios will need to attend an orientation session and fill out a Background Information Disclosure form.
- Most supplies such as markers, paints, papers and other consumables are provided by Children of Faith Preschool. At times, a list of needed items for class use may be posted on the parent bulletin board and may be donated if a parent wishes.
- Parents will provide a backpack or book bag to be brought to school daily with an extra set of clothes for emergencies. This includes shirt, pants, underwear and socks. Please mark your child’s clothing with names or initials. Disposable undergarments should be provided for a special needs child. Back-up undergarments and clothing are also kept on hand at preschool. In the event that clothes are soiled, the child will be given help if needed in changing into clean clothing and soiled clothing will be placed in a plastic bag for transport home. The parent or caregiver will be notified upon pick-up.
- Please do not allow your child to bring toys or other personal items to school. We supply many enjoyable and educational toys at preschool for all the children to use. Personal items that are brought to school will be returned to the parent to take home, or stored in the child’s bag until the session is over.
- Please be sure to bring clean, dry shoes to wear into the classroom daily. This means that a child should wear boots in wet or snowy weather and change into shoes for the classroom.
- Parents should dress their child for the weather, since we will be going outdoors many days. This means that children should wear boots, mittens, caps and the appropriate weight jacket in winter weather.ABSENCES/CLASS CANCELLATIONSTUDENT ABSENCE
- If you have a pre-planned absence, please notify the teacher in writing, by phone or in person in advance. If your child is ill on a school day, please call in the half hour before school starts at 715-425-6598 or call earlier and leave a message on the church answering machine. You may also try to reach the teacher at home (715-425-0023), however, after I have left for school, I will not get the message.
- If I have not heard from you by the time we start our circle time (approximately 9:15 a.m.), I will try to contact you by phone, by either calling your home, cell or work numbers. That will delay the start of class, so please make every effort to call.
- Should there be an emergency situation that requires the teacher’s immediate attention during class time, the pastor of the church or other adult within five minutes of the church will be called to come and stay with the children to meet teacher-child ratios. Parents will be called to pick up their children if there is more than one hour left of the preschool session.
- In the event of the teacher’s pre-planned absence, a qualified substitute teacher will conduct class.
- In case of inclement weather, such as snow or extreme cold, we will follow the lead of the River Falls School District. If RFSD cancels school, Children of Faith Preschool will also. If there is a two-hour late start, the morning session will be cancelled.
- In the case of hot weather, the preschool room is air-conditioned. Temperatures in our classroom will be kept between 67 and 80 degrees.
- If for any reason preschool cannot be held, for example a teacher’s illness or family emergency, lack of heat, water, electricity, telephone or plumbing problems or funeral of a church member, parents will be notified by telephone that school is cancelled.NUTRITION POLICYMEAL TIME ROUTINES
- Approximately once a month, your child will have the opportunity to provide a nutritious snack for his/her class. Your child’s snack and sharing day is listed on the monthly calendar/newsletter.
- Snack time will begin with a group prayer. Children are encouraged to engage in pleasant conversation and develop their socialization skills and manners.
- Additionally, children are encouraged to try new foods, but they will never be forced to eat, nor will food be used as a reward or punishment.
- This is your child’s special day. Help him/her select and prepare the snack and discuss what to bring to share. It is helpful if you provide two food choices for the children from two different food groups: dairy, vegetables, fruit, bread/grain, or protein. The preschool provides milk and/or apple juice as well as napkins and disposable eating utensils and cups.
- A written record of snacks served to the children will be available for review upon request.
- Please notify the teacher via the Child Health Report form if your child has any food allergies. A list of foods to avoid for snack time will be distributed by the time parents are asked to provide food for snack time.
- Parents may be asked to supply their child’s snack in cases of restricted diet or severe allergies.
- Birthday treats are welcome. Please consult the teacher in advance.
HEALTH CARE POLICIES
ABUSE AND NEGLECT POLICY
We are mandated by Wisconsin Statute 48.981 to report any suspected cases of child abuse or neglect to the social service agency or local law enforcement agency. The classroom teacher or assistant teacher will observe the child who is suspected of being abused or neglected. The teacher will document any injuries that the child arrives at preschool with in the medical logbook. The teacher will also document in the medical logbook any signs of abuse or neglect. Suspicions of abuse or neglect will be reported to the proper authorities.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SOURCE
If a child should require emergency medical care due to illness or injury, preschool staff will attempt to contact the parent first. If the illness or injury appears life threatening, 911 will be called and the child transported to River Falls Area Hospital. Parents are responsible for the cost of emergency services including, but not limited to, ambulance and emergency room charges. Children of Faith Preschool is covered by appropriate liability insurance through Church Mutual. A copy of our policy is available for review upon request.
- If your child will be absent from school, please call to notify the teacher in the half hour before your child’s session begins or call anytime and leave a message on the church answering machine.
- In the case of a communicable disease transmitted through normal contact, we would like to be able to notify other parents that their child may have been exposed. The identity of the ill child will be kept confidential. Examples of communicable diseases are: pink eye, hepatitis A, salmonella, measles, mumps, chicken pox, head lice, rubella, pertussis, polio, influenza B, meningococcal meningitis and other illnesses with symptoms which may include fevers of over 100 degrees, diarrhea, rash, skin lesions. When required, communicable diseases will be reported to the local health department.
- If required by the Department of Health, a child may not be allowed to return unless accompanied by a statement of health from the child’s doctor, or if a child has been absent from school for a period of time equal to the longest incubation period for the disease as specified by the Department.
- Please keep your child at home if he/she has an elevated temperature, has diarrhea or vomiting one or more times in the past 24 hours, an unidentified rash, significant respiratory distress, a constant thick, colored nasal discharge, unexplained lethargy, or has a contagious illness such as strep throat, pinkeye, etc. Wait 24 hours after a fever subsides before returning your child to school. A child should also be on prescribed antibiotics for a full 24 hours before returning to school.
- Your child should be able to participate in preschool activities with reasonable comfort, both indoors and outdoors.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
- Each child must have a physical examination form, immunization record and health history and emergency care plan submitted according to the schedule listed in the ENROLLMENT section and Parent Handbook. Non-compliance will result in exclusion from our program and your spot will not be held for you.
- Information provided on health forms by health care providers and parents will be kept in the child’s personal file. This information will be shared with staff caring for the child by teacher/director. Parents may review their child’s file upon request.
- Parents should update their child’s health forms regularly. Notify the staff of recent immunizations and changes in your child’s health. In addition, children are required to have a physical examination two years after the initial exam.
- If your child becomes ill with any of the conditions described above at school, he/she will be made comfortable on a kindergarten mat within sight and hearing of the teacher, but in a place away from the other children. You will be called to pick up your child immediately. If you cannot be reached or are delayed longer than one hour, your emergency contact person will be called.
- Medications, prescriptive and non-prescriptive (such as pain relievers, cough medicine, sunscreen, insect repellent), will be administered only in special circumstances when it is unavoidable and only when parents have completed the authorization form provided. All medicine must be in its original container, bearing the label with the child’s name, dosage and administration directions. It will be stored in a marked container in the workroom refrigerator or other designated shelf out of reach of children. The medication will only be dispensed as written unless there is written authorization from a doctor.
- In the event that a child has a severe allergy, a detailed plan on what to do in the case of a possible allergic reaction must be submitted to the director.
ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES
- Superficial injuries will be washed with soap and water and covered with a bandage or treated with an ice pack. Parents will be told about minor injuries when picking up their child or notified by telephone, note or email if someone else picks up the child.
- If a child should require emergency medical care due to illness or injury, preschool staff will attempt to contact the parent first. If the illness or injury appears life threatening, 911 will be called and the child transported to River Falls Area Hospital. Parents are financially responsible for emergency services including, but not limited to, ambulance and emergency room costs. Children of Faith Preschool is covered by appropriate liability insurance through Church Mutual.
Children will be responsible to take care of their own toileting needs, however we realize that accidents happen. Staff will assist child in changing wet or soiled clothing promptly. Toileting accidents will be treated as accidents, with no reprimand or punishment given. Parents should send extra clothing to school daily in child’s bag. This includes shirt, pants, underwear and socks.
Evacuation procedures have been developed and exit routes posted in the event that the classroom must be evacuated due to fire, tornado, flood, extreme cold or heat or other emergency. Staff has been trained in these procedures. In the event that evacuation is necessary, children will be sheltered at the church parsonage.
Fire drills are practiced monthly with the children. Tornado drills are practiced in September, October, April and May. Detailed procedures for these and other emergencies are available for review in the Policy Handbook displayed on the sign-in table.
Children of Faith Preschool may occasionally sponsor extracurricular field trips and special events for children and families. This may require an additional expense.
- If an event is held off-site and transportation is by car, parents are responsible for accompanying and transporting their own child, or a parent may give written permission for another parent to transport their child. All child safety seat rules must be followed.
- A River Falls School District bus may occasionally be obtained for field trip transportation. Procedures to ensure the safety of the children will be followed.
- In the event that the preschool should take a field trip to a swimming pool, parents are strongly encouraged to accompany their own children.
- We will occasionally take a walk around the neighborhood. Emergency information cards for each child and a cell phone will be taken whenever the child leaves the premises.
CHILD GUIDANCE POLICY
Children of Faith Preschool seeks to provide children with a caring and nurturing Christ-centered atmosphere. Our goal is to lead children to monitor their own behavior. To that end, God-pleasing behavior and attitudes will be modeled by the teacher, verbalized to and expected from the children. Children will be treated with love and respect as children of God. They will be assisted in their growth in self-discipline by using encouragement and praise for God-pleasing behavior, redirection of a child’s activities, narrowing of choices, and offering alternatives. This positive approach encourages self-control, self-respect and cooperation among children. In addition, developmentally appropriate programming, activities and room arrangement will go a long way toward avoiding problems due to excessive waiting time, frustration or congested play areas.
In the event that a child is crying, distraught or fussing, every effort will be made by staff to reassure and comfort the child, perhaps by holding, giving the child a quiet location, minimizing stimulation, or distracting the child. At no time will the staff act in a punitive, humiliating or injurious way toward the child.
TECHNIQUES TO CONTROL UNWANTED BEHAVIORS
A staff member can often anticipate unwanted behaviors, such as hitting or biting, by noticing signs of frustration, anger or helplessness in a child. Intervention in advance by diversion, discussion or redirection can often help. If an event occurs, the child should be led to acknowledge the misconduct, helped to make a plan to avoid future behavior, and make amends. The child should be assured of forgiveness for the behavior.
TIME OUT GUIDELINES
Time-outs not exceeding five minutes may occasionally be used as a last resort for a child who may be in danger of harming himself or another in order to help a child calm down and cool off. The child will be given a quiet place to regain control. The teacher will be available to talk with the child about what has happened, help him understand what is expected of him, reassure him of forgiveness through Jesus and lovingly restore him to the group as soon as possible. A child may also be guided to make amends if the situation warrants.
Parents and teacher will work together to help a child correct persistent problems. If the behavior continues, the teacher will make every effort to refer parents to appropriate sources of help. Dismissal from the preschool program may occur after discussion with the Administration.
Because we wish to reflect God’s love in Christ to these little ones, and in accordance with “Wisconsin Rules for Licensing Group Child Care Centers”, actions that are aversive, cruel, humiliating, and actions that may be psychologically, emotionally or physically painful, discomforting, dangerous or potentially injurious are prohibited. Such actions include spanking, hitting, pinching, shaking, slapping, twisting, or inflicting any other form of corporal punishment on the child; verbal abuse, threats or derogatory remarks; physical restraint, binding or tying the child to restrict the child’s movement or enclosing the child in a confined space; withholding or forcing meals, snacks or naps, or punishing a child for lapses in toilet training. These forms of punishment will never be used, even at the request of the parent.
DISCHARGE OF ENROLLED CHILDREN
CAUSE FOR DISMISSAL
A child may be dropped from enrollment for reasons such as, but not limited to:
- The needs of the child cannot be met by the preschool.
- Tuition is not paid promptly and alternate arrangements have not been made.
- Required enrollment and health forms are not submitted.
- Lack of parental cooperation.
- Non-compliance with policies of Children of Faith Preschool.
- Parent or child verbally or physically abuses another child or teacher.
- Repeated failure to pick up the child at the scheduled time.
- A child has been absent for a period of four consecutive sessions without the preschool being notified.
PROCEDURE FOR TERMINATION
In the event of an issue possibly leading to termination, the following procedure may be used:
- The parent will be given a verbal warning.
- Written notice of the reason will be given. Notice of a specific time frame for resolution of the problem will be given. Time frame is variable depending on the nature of the reason.
- A meeting between staff and parents may be held to discuss the issue and seek resolution.
- The pastor and/or Board of Education may be consulted in reaching a decision to terminate enrollment.
Christian love compels us to make every effort to work with parents and children toward a mutually beneficial experience. However, Children of Faith Preschool reserves the right to dismiss a child from the preschool program without advance notice. Refunds of unused tuition are the same as if a child was withdrawn voluntarily. See TUITION section.
If a parent wishes to dispute a decision of termination, the grievance must be submitted in writing within ten days of the decision. The Faith Board of Education will review the grievance within seven days and a reply will follow within three business days of the Board meeting. The Board reserves the right to consult with state licensing and/or county officials if needed, during the grievance process.
Mrs. Anna White, our Director and Teacher, lives in River Falls with her husband and daughter. With previous experience as a Lead Teacher and Director, Anna has taught preschool in Florida, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, creating and implementing curricula. Anna earned her Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota.
Faith Lutheran Church is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The Lord has truly blessed the WELS by allowing it to become the fourth largest private/parochial school system in the United States. Individual congregations and associations of WELS congregations maintain and support 330 early childhood programs, 363 elementary schools and 25 Lutheran high schools throughout the country. Christian education is important to us!
Sunday School for children and Bible Class for adults are at 9:15 a.m. In addition we offer individual or group Bible information classes for non-members and those wishing to become members. We welcome your questions about what we believe and teach about God’s Word. Please ask to speak to the pastor if you would like to discuss, explore or review basic teachings of the Bible.
This handbook is a summary of the policies of Children of Faith Preschool. More detailed policies are readily available for review. A copy of the Wisconsin Rules for Group Childcare, under which we operate, is available for review as well. Please do not hesitate to talk to the director if you have further questions or need clarification. August, 2010 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org