Storyland Family Handbook

2018-2019

Storyland Family Handbook is published each spring for the next school year. You can either read the handbook online, or click here for a downloadable PDF copy.

Storyland School Yearly Calendar 2018-2019

We will be closed for the following holidays: 

Labor Day Monday:  September 3, 2018

Thanksgiving:   November 22 & 23, 2018

Christmas Holiday: December 24 & 25, 2018

New Year’s Holiday: December 31, 2018 & Jan 1, 2019

Good Friday: April 19, 2019

Memorial Day: Monday, May 27, 2019

Independence Day: July  4 & 5,  2019

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

We are proud of our tradition of “going above and beyond” to provide a rich experience for your child.  Here are just some of the yearly activities that your family can enjoy:

  • Grandparents Day Breakfast
  • Mother’s Day Breakfast
  • Father’s Day Breakfast
  • Fall Festival
  • Christmas Musical Program
  • Formal Preschool Graduation
  • Thanksgiving Family Feast
  • Classroom Parties at Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter
  • End of School Celebration, end of summer celebration

Important Phone Numbers

Texas Health and Human Services (Child Care Licensing)

3521 SW 15th

Amarillo, TX 79102

 (Licensing) 358-6211, Intake 354-5307

Child Abuse Reporting 1-800-252-5400

Child Care Licensing Website

****Should any of the policies in this manual change, we will notify you in writing.  Please check your child’s cubbies daily for children’s work and notices from the administration.

Storyland follows the rules and regulations outlined in the State of Texas Minimum Standards.  Should you wish to review these standards, you may visit the school and read these standards on the premises.  We are unable to lend this book out as we often refer to it. 

 You may also visit www.dfps.state.tx.us/Child_Care and read the standards online.  If you ever need to see a copy of our latest inspection report, you may do so by going online to the site listed above or stop by the office, and we will show it to you.

NEW REGULATION § 746.501: Under the Texas Penal Code, any area within 1000 feet of a child-care center is a gang-free zone, where criminal offenses related to organized criminal activity are subject to harsher penalty. A gang-free zone is a designated area around a specific location where certain gang related activity is prohibited and is subjected to increased penalty under Texas law.

Welcome to Early Childhood Associates of Amarillo, Inc.

We are glad that you have chosen us to assist you in the care and education of your child.  Early Childhood Associates of Amarillo, Inc. owns Storyland Preschool under the direction of Janice Jones; M.A. 

Karissa Ellison is the director, and our Assistant Directors are Justine McDonald and Laura Cogliandro.  Storyland has had a rich tradition of providing quality preschool education for the residents of Amarillo. 

The school first opened in 1960 and has remained one of Amarillo’s premiere preschools.  Now at its new location, Storyland remains committed to following this longstanding tradition of excellence, and continually strives to enhance the program as new research becomes available in the field of Early Childhood Education.

Mission and Philosophy

We believe that the first years of a child’s life are critical to the development of a positive, self-confident, happy, capable learner who will later become a competent, happy, and successful adult.  We also believe that a clean, safe, nurturing, high quality, developmentally appropriate environment outside of the home is beneficial to the child.  

The needs of the whole child must be taken into account, and these needs fall into the five domains of cognitive, physical, emotional, social and spiritual.  Each child is unique and possesses particular abilities, interests, and learning styles.  We believe that addressing these areas in a structured well-planned, high quality early childhood program will help develop positive attitudes towards learning that will enhance self-esteem and overall well-being.

Program and Standards

Our program integrates each child’s needs, interests, and abilities and focuses on the whole child.  Planned within the framework of our philosophy, the daily program addresses all areas of a child’s development including cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, and physical development.  A multi-sensory approach is used to introduce each child to his environment. 

Daily activities incorporate all five senses.  We offer a stimulating yet safe environment that encourages learning.  To provide an environment conducive to optimal learning, we strive to limit enrollment so that our teacher-child ratios stay below that required by the State of Texas.  For you as a parent, this means that your child will enjoy more one-on-one interactions with their teachers.

We participate in the Texas School Ready program.  Please see this link for more information.  http://www.childrenslearninginstitute.org/our-programs/program-overview/tx-school-ready/.  This program is administered through the University of Texas, Austin and provides resources and mentoring to teachers of Buddy Block, Preschool Plaza, Alphabet Alley and Starter Street.  The goal of this program is to promote school readiness.

Curriculum

Our day revolves around a balance of quiet and active activities, small and large group, indoors and outdoors, child centered and teacher directed. We take into consideration the developmental needs, and ages of individual children.  

All children are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of pursuits consistent with their age including early literacy, math and science, dramatic play, music, movement and drama, arts and crafts, story time, direct and indirect guidance in social and emotional development and, large/small muscle activities. Learning activities are planned to be comprehensive and are based on individual assessments done throughout the school year.  Sign language instruction is available in some of the rooms. Computer learning is part of the curriculum and guest speakers augment learning in many classrooms.

We follow a developmentally appropriate curriculum called DLM.  

This program is based on the Texas State standards that include activities in all the learning domains including Early Literacy, Math and Science, Arts and Crafts, Music and Movement, Cooking, Social and Self-help Skills, Fine and Gross Motor Development, and Character Development.  

With a strong focus on challenging but appropriate content, our curriculum follows a comprehensive progression of knowledge in all skill domains.  Weekly Lesson Plans are posted in or near each room on the Parent Information Bulletin Board.  We also send out a monthly parent newsletter to keep you up-to-date on center happenings.

Educational Goals

Infant and Toddler Program

Social and Emotional Development

  1. Learn to know and trust caring adults
  2. Regulate own behavior
  3. Manage own feelings
  4. Respond to others' feelings with growing empathy
  5. Play with other children
  6. Learn to be part of a group
  7. 7. Use personal care skills

Physical Development:  Learn About Moving

  1. Demonstrate basic gross motor skills
  2. Demonstrate basic fine motor skills

Cognitive Development:  To Learn About the World

  • Sustain attention
  • Understand how objects can be used
  • Show beginning understanding of cause and effect
  • Show a beginning understanding that things can be grouped
  • Use problem solving strategies
  • Engage in pretend play

Language Development:  Learn About Communicating

  • Develop receptive language
  • Develop expressive language
  • Participate in conversations
  • Enjoys books and being read to
  • Shows awareness of pictures and prints
  • Experiments with drawing and writing

Preschool and Pre-K

Social and Emotional Development:  Sense of Self

  • Shows ability to adjust to new situations
  • Demonstrates appropriate trust in adults
  • Recognizes own feelings and manages them appropriately
  • Stands up for rights

Social and Emotional Development:  Responsibility for Self and Others

  • Demonstrates self-direction and independence
  • Takes responsibility for own well-being
  • Respects and cares for classroom environment and materials
  • Follows classroom routines
  • Follows classroom rules

Social and Emotional Development:  Prosocial Behavior

  • Plays well with other children
  • Recognizes the feelings of others and responds appropriately
  • Shares and respects the rights of others
  • Uses thinking skills to resolve conflicts

Physical Development:  Gross Motor Skills

  • Demonstrates basic locomotor skills (running, jumping, hopping, galloping)
  • Shows balance while moving
  • Climbs up and down
  • Pedals and steers a tricycle (or other wheeled vehicle)
  • Demonstrates throwing, kicking and catching skills

Physical Development:  Fine Motor Skills

  • Controls small muscles in hands
  • Coordinates eye-hand movement
  • Uses tools for writing and drawing

Cognitive Development:  Learning and Problem Solving

  • Observes objects and events with curiosity
  • Approaches problems flexibly
  • Shows persistence in approaching tasks
  • Explores cause and effect
  • Applies knowledge or experience to a new context

Cognitive Development:  Logical Thinking

  • Classifies objects
  • Compares/measures
  • Arranges objects in a series
  • Recognizes patterns and can repeat them
  • Shows awareness of time concepts and sequence
  • Show awareness of position in space
  • Uses one-to-one correspondence
  • Uses numbers and counting

Cognitive Development:  Representation and Symbolic Thinking

  • Takes on pretend roles and situations
  • Makes believe with objects
  • Makes and interprets representations

Language Development-Listening and Speaking

  • Hears and discriminates the sounds of language
  • Expresses self-using words and expanded sentences
  • Understands and follows oral directions
  • Answers questions
  • Asks questions
  • Actively participates in conversations

Language - Reading and Writing

  • Enjoys and values reading
  • Demonstrates understanding of print concepts
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the alphabet
  • Uses emerging reading skills to make meaning from print
  • Comprehends and interprets meaning from books and other texts
  • Understands the purpose of writing
  • Writes letters and words

Infant - Toddler Programs

We believe infant care should be based on relationships and child-directed learning over adult-directed learning. We design rooms and schedules with the children in mind and work hard to provide an environment that is both inviting and safe. 

While we put an emphasis on the teacher child relationship, providing tender loving care, and keeping children safe, we also think that it is important to look at the entire child’s growth and development when planning fun and challenging activities. 

Children learn so much in the first three years of their lives, and we want to be there to help guide and direct this learning.  Our infant toddler programs are not considered a stepping-stone to prepare children for preschool. 

Rather, during these important years, we want to lay the foundation by forming secure attachments, working on social and emotional development and providing ample time each day to learn and practice motor skills, language development, self-help and self-regulation.  

Ratios are kept as low as possible to provide opportunities for one-on-one, small group, and large group activities.  Books and stories, arts and crafts, music and movement, and specific learning activities fill the toddler’s day.  Learning takes place all day long, so we do not designate a specific period of time such as that seen in our preschool programs.

A Note to Nursing Moms:  We encourage you to nurse your baby at Storyland if your time permits.  We have a comfortable, quiet, and private basement for you to use, or you may nurse in the classroom if you prefer. 

Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Programs

A formal preschool program is available, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 until 11:30 or 12:30 for children.  A well-planned, developmentally appropriate curriculum is used to teach basic skills and prepare children to excel in school. 

This program is included in the cost of childcare for children enrolled on a full-time basis.  This formal program begins when a child enters the three-year-old room and continues each year to prepare them to be successful in kindergarten. 

Children learn important early literacy skills, math and science, music and movement, cooking, fine and gross motor skills as well as self-help and socialization.  Our curriculum is based on the Texas State Early Childhood guidelines.  Parents continually tell us that their child is well prepared for kindergarten.

Summer School Age Program

Our children participate in a variety of activities including indoor and outdoor play.  We provide opportunities to participate in arts and crafts, board games and puzzles, dramatic play, computer fun, movies, large group and small group games, music and movement, field trips, guest speakers, and community involvement programs. 

Our summer program promises to provide a full day of activities revolving around a theme.  Bowling, skating, swimming, sports, picnics, arts and crafts, reading and much more fill up each day.  Children who have completed kindergarten up through age 12 are eligible to participate in this program.  

Non-Discriminatory Policy

We admit children from 6 weeks of age without regard to race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry.  Children with special needs are accepted as long as a safe, supportive environment can be provided for the child, and it is determined that we can successfully meet the needs of that child.

Open Door Policy

Please feel free to visit Storyland at any time during the center’s hours of operations to observe your child, the child care center’s operation, or the program activities.  You do not need prior approval to this, and we encourage you to visit.

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