Storyland Family Handbook Page 5

Storyland Family Handbook Page 5

Table of Contents for this Page

Non Smoking Policy

Storyland is a non-smoking facility.  There is no smoking policy in the building and on the grounds in effect.  This policy also extends to field trips as well.

Front Door Policy

We are very lucky to have a doorway that remains locked throughout the day.  It helps everyone feel safe.  To ensure that the building remains safe, the staff watches the front door and then “buzzes” people in by use of remotes that are located in the front office.  

Our staff members are instructed to visit with any and everyone who they do not immediately recognize.  Anyone picking up a child for the first time will need to show adequate identification.  

We cannot do this if parents take over this responsibility.  As well-meaning as you all are, this has created problems in the past.  PLEASE, unless you know the person you are letting in do not open the door.  We will take care to do this in a timely manner.  

REMEMBER, if the red light is showing on the keypad, it means we have already released and opened the door.  Please just come in.  Anyone routinely picking up your child should be made aware of this too.  Many times, we see people standing at the door waiting for someone to open the door for them.  This takes up valuable staff time.  

Visitors

All visitors to the school must sign in and out at the front office. Workers such as plumbers present at the center will be escorted.  All other individuals who spend time in the classrooms (excluding pick up and drop off) will be required to present a clear background check and participate in an orientation program. This includes parents, friends and family members.

Pets/Animals in the Classroom

From time to time, we keep animals (pets) in our classrooms.  Presently, our school keeps a four guinea pigs.  This is subject to change.  Teachers who keep pets in their classrooms are responsible for keeping the pets clean and healthy.  There are certain types of animals that are not permitted in the school, and these include chickens, ducks, reptiles, and amphibians. 

If you have a pet that you would like to share with your child’s classroom, please let us know in advance so that we can notify other parents in advance when they will be here. 

All dogs, cats, ferrets, and any other animals such as small rodents must have written documentation from a veterinarian showing evidence of vaccinations and statement of health.  Children are required to wash their hands thoroughly after handling pets.

Cubbies

Every child is assigned a cubby to keep their coats, backpacks, change of clothes and papers.  Please check your child’s cubby every day for items to take home.  Often teachers will place notices in the cubby to help keep you informed of classroom activities.  Please help us keep the school less cluttered by assuring that everything fits well inside the cubby.  

Toys from Home

There will be times when your child’s teacher will request that you bring items from home for Show and Tell.  We encourage your child to participate in such events.  We discourage, however, bringing items from home at any other times as they may get lost, and we cannot be responsible for them. 

This includes the infant and toddler rooms also.  If a child insists on bringing a toy, that toy will be confiscated and held in the office until the end of the day.  You may pick up the toy in the office.

Attendances and Absences

If your child is going to be absent, please notify the center to let us know by 10:00 each morning.  If you are currently receiving benefits from Panhandle Work Source (CCMS), you must notify us each time your child is absent as well as the CCMS office. Failure to do so could result in your termination of benefits.

Your Address and Telephone Number

If your address, telephone number or other pertinent information changes, please let the office know as soon as possible.  You will need to initial and date all changes on your child’s record.  

Birthdays

Birthdays are very special at Storyland.  We like to celebrate each of them.  Please arrange a time and date with your child’s teacher and ask if there are any allergies that may prevent you from bringing in certain snack.  You are welcome to bring in party snacks or treats for the class.  You may provide juice, but please, no soft drinks.  You are also welcome and encouraged to stay and enjoy the party if your schedule permits.

Lost and Found

Please label all belongings with your child’s name.  If any item becomes lost, please check with your child’s teacher or the lost and found box.  The lost and found tub is located between the front double doors.

Inclement Weather and School Closings

If A.I.S.D. and/or C.I.S.D. schools close for severe weather, Storyland will be closed.  We will also follow A.I.S.D and/or C.I.S.D. delayed opening schedule.  If either school system has a delayed opening, Storyland will delay opening for the same amount of time.  Please check your local TV channels when the weather is bad.

Emergency and Disaster Information If Storyland should lose electrical power, we will shut down and notify you by phone.  This type of emergency is not within our control, and there is no reduction in tuition fees for that day.

Should we experience a tornado warning; all children will be escorted to our basement and entertained until the warnings have been lifted.  Fire drills, tornado drills, and lock down drills are held regularly at the school, and all children are instructed in safety practices.

Typical Daily Schedule

Children thrive on routine and predictable schedules.  They feel secure knowing what comes next in their day, and they actually learn how to tell time based on these routines.  This is only a guideline and the actual daily schedule for your child’s classroom might be different.  Schedules are subject to change if necessary.

7:00--8:30:    Arrival, Free Choice Activities

8:30--11:00  Preschool:  Includes breakfast, structured large group, small group, and individual activities.  Early literacy, math, science, music and movement, art, fine motor development, computer, and Spanish lessons are presented during this time.  Children will also have outdoor play, weather permitting for approximately 30 minutes during this time period.

11:00--12:30 Clean Up, Hand Washing, Lunch. 

12:00--12:30 Clean up, Diapering, Story time

12:30--2:30 Nap Time for most children

2:30--3:00 Wake up, make up mats, prepare for snack, Diapering, Toileting

3:00--3:30 Snack

3:30--5:00 Unstructured Learning, Science and Discovery, Music and Movement, Outside Play

5:00--6:00 Diapering, Toileting, Quiet games, Story Time

What to Expect on the First Day of School

Just as we are often apprehensive on the first day of a new job, children react similarly.  It is normal for your child to have some fears, and if this is the first time away from you, the transition may be traumatic.  Depending on the age of your child and their disposition, you may experience clinging, temper outbursts, refusal to eat, bedwetting, thumb sucking, or nighttime waking. 

Separation anxiety is strongest after 8 months old.  These problems are normal and usually temporary.  As long as you remain positive about the situation and lovingly firm, these behaviors should go away.

Parents are often worried about leaving a crying child.  Most children do not cry long.  Usually, the child will settle down shortly after you leave.  The best way to handle sad goodbyes is a cheerful hug and kiss, a loving smile, and a reassuring word that you will be back after work (or in terms that the child can understand such as, "I'll be back after you wake up from your nap"). 

Lengthy goodbyes generally do not help.  Conversely, we do not recommend that you “sneak out” as this causes excess anxiety in children.  First day nervousness is normal.  Be assured that your child will do just fine, and it is always harder on parents.

Grievances, Concerns and Suggestions

We strive to provide the very best care for your child.  Our goal is to provide a safe, educational, and stimulating environment for your child so that you can feel comfortable that your child is always safe, secure, and happy.  We know, however, that concerns come up from time to time, and we are here to listen.  

If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to speak to your child’s teacher first.  If additional assistance is needed, the owners/directors are available to listen.  We will do whatever we can to resolve these issues in a timely manner.

We also value your suggestions and comments and encourage you to become involved in helping us improve the program.  Many wonderful changes have occurred here over the years because parents have taken the time to share their ideas. 

While we love hearing what we do right, we also need to hear your ideas on areas that can use some improvement.  We survey our parents once per year, but please do not wait for the survey if you have a good proposal

Donations and Fund Raisers

We’d like to report that the tuition you pay covers all expenses for the care and education of your child.  Sadly, this is not the case.  We rely on Fund Raisers and Family Donations to help keep the program in top notch condition.  

FUND RAISERS

We do several fund raisers each year and depend on parents, extended family and friends of the school to help out with these events.  The money we raise from fund raisers goes directly back to the classrooms where supplies and equipment are needed. 

Normally we participate in a program called Red Apple that allows our school to make 40% profit on all proceeds.  This is very generous compensation for the school our hope is that all parents actively participate in this program.  Sometimes the money is directed towards larger purchases such as playground equipment.  We hope you will be willing to help with any fundraisers we might have.

DONATIONS

There are several ways that you can help make our school the best in town.  From time to time, we have specific needs that don’t always fall within the budget.  Sometimes they are as simple as new puzzles for the toddler room or manipulative toys for our preschool rooms.  Equipment wears out quickly when many children enjoy playing with it on a daily basis, so we are always replacing items that have worn out, lost pieces or has been destroyed.  There are several ways you can help:

RECYCLED MATERIALS

We use a variety of recycled materials for arts and crafts and encourage you to save and donate. If you have any of the items listed below, we can sure put them to good use:

 Plastic grocery store bags

 Empty paper and toilet rolls

 Old magazines for kids to cut

 Old scraps of fabric, lace, ribbon, buttons, pompoms, yarn, (you name it)

 Old dress up clothes

 Empty spice containers

 Old appliances (without the cords) for our home-living centers

 Plastic containers such as old yogurt cups, margarine tubs, etc.  

 Outgrown clothes, especially pants and underpants (for use when children do not have a change of clothing)

 Books and toys that your child no long uses

 Old but usable toys that your child has outgrown such as puzzles, blocks, educational items or home-living type toys such as toy phones, furniture, and accessories.  We also love baby items such as swings, bouncers, bibs, washcloths, and toys.

Benefits to You

What are you getting for your money?

  • Friendly, courteous, college educated and trained Staff 
  • Safe, secure environment
  • Video monitoring
  • All staff are certified in CPR and First Aid and have gone through background checks and FBI fingerprinting
  • Professionally designed, developmentally appropriate curriculum
  • Computer training in the 4 and 5 year old classrooms and school age programs
  • Field trips and guest speakers
  • Nutritious meals and snacks 
  • Convenient hours and pick up times
  • Clean, bright, attractive rooms
  • Parental involvement opportunities
  • Enrichment experiences lessons
  • Opportunities to participate in Scholastic book clubs
  • PWS Vendor

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do you have to ring the doorbell to get into the school?  NO.  If we know you, we will release the door using a remote or the button in the office.  Ringing the bell does not release the door.
  2. Why do we have to pay even when our children are not there? Even though your child may be out sick, our school is still open, and teachers still are paid. 
  3. What age will you start potty training my child?  We generally begin when the child moves into the two-year-old room (Discovery Drive).  If your child is showing the signs of readiness prior to moving into the room, we may be able to work with him/her.  This is something you will need to discuss with your child’s teacher.
  4. Do I get a free week to use for my family vacation? Yes.  You may get a week’s tuition credit for your vacation after one year.
  5. Do you charge less on weeks when the school is closed for holidays? There again, we do pay our teachers for holidays.  There are few benefits working in a childcare center, and salaries are much lower than those in the school districts.  This is one way we can show we appreciate our staff.  Many other centers do not do this and have a huge turnover rate.  Our staff is relatively stable.
  6. Do you accept debit and credit cards? Yes, we accept debit, Visa, MasterCard and Discover Cards.
  7. Can I send my 14-year-old son to pick up my child? No, we prefer for an adult (over the age of 18) to pick up children.
  8. My son was running a fever last night; can I still bring him this morning? No. Children should be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school.
  9. I don’t want my child to go outside today; can she stay with another class while her class goes outdoors? No.  Minimum Standards states that children should be well enough to participate in all daily activities.  Outside play is one of those daily activities.
  10. We were running late this morning, could my child still have breakfast?  Each class has designated meal times.  If you are running late, please feed your child prior to bringing him/her to school. 
  11. What should I do to help my child succeed in school? READ.  The single most important thing that a parent can do to help their child succeed in school is to read to them daily.
  12. Is it OK to drop off my child any time of the day? We suggest that all children arrive by 8:30. If you know your child has an appointment but will arrive for lunch, please let the office know by 10:00 so that we can prepare an extra plate.

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