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Diagonal PreSchool Handbook

Diagonal Preschool Handbook

 

Diagonal Preschool Handbook

 

Preschool Staff

Lead Teacher – Kelsey Reese

Paraprofessional – Lyndell Davis

School Mission:

The Diagonal community School believes that challenging expectations lead to high achievement for all students, at-risk, disabled, average, talented and gifted.  This will be accomplished by the cooperative efforts of students, school staff, parents, and community members to provide skills necessary to live in an ever-changing world.  Our students will attain a standard of principle based, acceptable conduct and academic achievement in order to become productive, self-fulfilled citizens in a world of diverse cultures.

School Beliefs:

The Diagonal Community School Believes:
High expectations lead to high achievement.
Each student learns in a different way.
All students have the right to a safe supportive environment.
Problem solving and critical thinking are essential life skills.
All students have the right to be treated fairly.
Students, staff and parents are accountable for their actions.
Our school exists for our students.
Learning is a lifelong process.

School Philosophy:

The Board of Directors of the Diagonal Community School District believes that each child will have access to an education program that meets the needs and abilities of the child regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, religion, creed, marital status, geographical location or socio-economic background.
The Directors recognize the guardianship of public education is a trust and obligation that the goals of education and the goals of democracy are fundamentally the same.  For that reason, the Directors consider that the school district’s philosophy and objectives can best be realized when the educational program is directed through written Board Policies, policies that are based on the Constitution, the state statutes, federal and state regulations, and the specific needs of this district. 
The Board of Directors is committed to a philosophy of service to children and young adults.  The objective is to help each person develop into a mature individual and a contributing member of society.

 

Contacting the Program

School number: 641-734-5331

School address: 403 W. 2nd St. Diagonal, IA 50845

 

Dress Code

The staff is required to wear appropriate, non-revealing clothing to school.  Jeans are fine, so long as they are not ripped or worn.  It is recommended that teachers and aids dress for comfort to allow sitting on the floor, outdoor play, and getting messy and wear footwear that allows for the same.

 

Inclement Weather Policy

If the Public Schools have a delayed opening or are cancelled due to inclement weather, our program cancelled.  Information about weather related delays or school closings can be seen on the television news channels.

 

Non-Discrimination Policy

Our program will not discriminate in hiring staff or in providing services to children and their families on the basis of race, religion, cultural heritage, political beliefs, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability.

 

Sexual Harassment Policy

It is the policy of Diagonal Preschool that all employees are responsible for ensuring that our program is free from sexual harassment.  All employees must avoid offensive or inappropriate sexual behavior at work and any action or conduct which could be viewed as sexual harassment.

Any complaints of sexual harassment should first be brought to the attention of the harasser, letting him/her know that his/her behavior is offensive or unwelcome and requesting that it stop immediately.  The issue should then be brought to the attention of the Director.  The Director will meet with the harasser and take necessary action varying from a discussion to suspension/termination.

 

Smoking Policy

Because we recognize the hazards caused by exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, as well as the diseases linked to the use of all forms of tobacco, we are a tobacco free campus.   This policy covers the smoking of any tobacco product and the use of oral tobacco products or “spit” tobacco, and it applies to employees, volunteers and visitors of the program.

 

Staff Disciplinary Policy

A staff member will be suspended if he/she fails to perform his/her job in accordance with their job description, has excessive tardiness, and/or is absent excessively without a physician’s note.  A written report will be filed indicating the reason for suspension, and the period of the suspension.  If the problem indicated on the suspension report is not corrected within the indicated time period, or if the staff member repeats the offense, the Director will dismiss the staff member from his/her position.

Staff Orientation

The director will conduct staff orientation prior to the beginning of the school each year.  All employees are required to attend orientation each year.  The following topics will be reviewed:

 

  • Review of job description, review of information about the individual children that will be cared for, and salary range
  • Overview of Diagonal Preschool Program and Preschool Board
  • Personnel policy
  • Statement of purpose & statement of non-discrimination
  • Health care policy
  • Information contained in the children’s records and confidentiality policy
  • Behavior management plan
  • Termination and suspension policy
  • Program plans
  • Referral procedures
  • Procedures for parent visits, input, conferences & communication
  • Procedures for sick time
  • The identification of the state licensing authority and contact information of such.

 

Employee Training

All Diagonal employees must meet personnel requirements.

  • Training in Universal Precaution and Blood Borne Pathogens is to be completed annually
  • First Aid
  • CPR Certification
  • Completion of Mandatory Child abuse reporter training

 

Staff Health Requirements

All staff members are required to have the following certification from their physician:

  1. Evidence of a physical examination within one year prior to employment (valid for 1 year from the date the staff member was examined and shall be repeated every year thereafter).
  2. Evidence of immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella, as required.
  3. Statement of physical limitations in working with children, if applicable.

 

If, in the preschool’s judgment, an employee’s physical condition requires a current physical examination, the preschool may require that such employee provide documentation of a current physical examination and indication of any physical limitations in working with children.

 

The preschool shall not require such certification of any person who states in writing that vaccination or immunization conflicts with his/her sincere religious beliefs or if medically contra-indicated.

Staff Meetings

The preschool director and staff shall meet every Thursday at 1:00pm to address program issues, meeting individual needs of children, policies, and parent communication.

 

Staff Supervision and Evaluation

The director shall observe, at least once each every month, each staff member while working with children and meet with staff members as needed to discuss children’s individual needs and needs of families.  Staff performance evaluations are performed at least annually and will include recommendations for staff training and professional development needs.  Staff members shall review, provide input, comment on and sign and return annual evaluations.  Documentation of all observations and consultations shall be filed in the staff member’s employee file.

 

Allegations of Abuse or Neglect

All staff are mandated reporters and shall report suspected child abuse or neglect. The report shall be made to the program director IMMEDIATELY.  The Director shall gather information from the staff involved report the suspected child abuse or neglect to the Department of Social Services and to the Preschool Board.  The Director will immediately notify the Social Services Department.  The preschool staff shall cooperate in all investigations of abuse and neglect.

Allegations of abuse or neglect against a staff member will be documented and reported as outlined.  Alleged abusive or neglectful staff member will not work directly with children until the Department of Social Services’ investigation is completed and for such further time as the Department determines.

 

Preschool Assessment Plan

Assessments are an integral part of our preschool program and are used to support children’s learning. A variety of methods such as observations, anecdotal notes, checklists, and rating scales are administered individually to students in the school environment setting when appropriate.

Teachers will observe children in the program throughout the year by recording observations, anecdotes, checklists, and other methods.  These observations will be included in the children’s records. Part of our assessment process and ensuring that the students are meeting the standards they need to be met, we use GOLD to track their progression throughout the year. We assess them by using IGDI’s. These two assessments are done three times a year: fall, winter, and spring. The results are sent home and/or discussed with parents to keep them involved in their child’s progression. A quarterly report is sent home to show parents where their child is as far as knowing letters, letter sounds, shapes, colors, numbers, social skills, and fine motor.

 

Based on these ongoing observations, teachers will complete written progress reports for each child.  The reports will be provided to the parents in November and again in March at the Parent/Teacher Conferences.

 

Teachers will conduct parent-teacher conferences in the November and March, and on as-needed basis throughout the school year. A parent-requested or teacher-requested conference will be conducted at a mutually agreed upon time between the parent and teacher.

 

Hearing tests are given by the AEA audiologist and the vision screening is given by Mt. Ayr Lions Club.

 

Creative Curriculum-GOLD includes both formal and informal assessment opportunities. Daily observations are recorded online, and used for monitoring children’s development, planning curriculum, and identifying children’s strengths and preferences.

 

IGDI’s – Individual Growth and Development Indicators. This testing insight for teachers in planning for classroom activities.

 

Assessment data is shared district-wide and with the AEA. Data is also used to identify students who need support services or individualized education plans.

 

Families will help plan for and implement individualized goals for their children. Teachers and families will meet to discuss and assess each child’s progress toward these goals during parent-teacher conferences.

 

Results of assessment information will be communicated through parent/teacher conferences held at least two times a year and also through written reports sent home in the child’s take home folder.

 

All assessment methods and procedures are consistent with program curriculum and philosophy.

 

 

 

Below is a chart of the assessments given to your child throughout the school year, as well as ways that the information is shared with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Test

Fall

Winter

Spring

Other

IGDI’s

X

X

X

 

Creative Curriculum- GOLD

X

X

X

 

Unit Checklists/Early Lit. Goals

 

 

 

As determined by teacher

Parent/Teacher Conferences

X

 

X

 

Quarterly Reports

 

 

 

3-4 times a year

Goal Setting

X

 

 

As needed

Child Interest Survey

X

 

 

 

Work Samples

 

 

 

Quarterly (minimum)

Dental Screening

 

 

 

Twice a year (I-smile)

Hearing Screening

 

 

 

1 time (AEA) follow up testing as needed

Vision Screening

 

 

 

1 time (Iowa Lions)

Behavior Management

It is our belief that children can be influenced by their surroundings.  If the environment is not developmentally appropriate, children can become frustrated.  To alleviate this we will provide a developmentally appropriate program with plenty of opportunities for the children to make their own choices.  However, conflicts will arise and teachers will respond in a positive, appropriate manner.  Teachers will use behavior management techniques such as setting reasonable and positive expectations, offering choices, and providing children an opportunity to verbalize their feelings, which encourages children to develop self-control and problem solving through understanding.  There are times in which the child will be incapable of responding to these techniques, and will need extra time to gain their self-control.  During these times, the teacher will direct the child to a quiet place within the classroom (i.e. the library area) for some time away from their peers to give the child the opportunity to calm down.  This time away will take place within the teacher’s view and will not exceed one minute for each year of the child’s age.

 

Parents will be notified of any behavior management concerns and will be asked to work along with the teachers in helping the child with inappropriate behaviors.  Prior to notifying a parent of behavior concerns, teachers will meet with the Director where the behavior will be discussed as a team.  The teacher shall then use discretion and reinforce that our program staff wish to work alongside the parent to help the child with his/her behavior.  Teachers will reinforce to the parent that the child is loved but it is the behavior that is undesirable.

 

Spanking or other corporal punishment of children is never used.  It is our policy to never subject children to cruel or severe punishment such as humiliation, verbal or physical abuse, or deprivation of snacks.  Children will not be deprived or meals or snack, or be force-fed.  There will be no disciplining or condescending for soiling, wetting, or not using the toilet.  Children will not be forced to remain in soiled clothing or to remain on the toilet, nor will staff use any other unusual or excessive practices for toileting.  Staff will work with each child as he/she is ready for toileting, by encouraging and praising his/her efforts.  Any staff member who does not comply with this behavior management plan will be terminated from the preschool program.

 

Arrival/Dismissal Policy

 

  1. All parents will be asked to complete a pick up/drop off permission form. Any changes to the pick up form must be done in writing as soon as possible! A parent may telephone the office or your child’s teacher to have someone else pick up their child, but that person must be listed on the pick up/drop off form. In an emergency, a parent may phone a request that someone not listed be allowed to pick up the child. They must follow up with a written change to the form as soon as possible.
  2. Anyone picking up a child MUST be listed on the pick up form and show identification when asked. Staff is required to ask for identification if they do not know the person picking up the child.
  3. A child cannot be picked up by anyone other than a responsible adult. A responsible adult is defined as a parent/legal guardian or individual of at least 18 years of age.
  4. Staff may release a child to either biological parent listed on birth certificate, UNLESS we have a copy of custody orders or court documents on file. If here is no court document available or there is any doubt that the child should leave with other parent, the following precautionary steps may be taken: call the parent or legal guardian that the child lives with or call the police department.
  5. Children will not be allowed to arrive at school before scheduled start time. Parents will be charged for childcare if student is brought before 7:45am.
  6. When bringing or picking up your child at school, you are required to walk him/her into the classroom and sign them in and out each day. This will assure the safe arrival of your child.
  7. Children must be picked up promptly at dismissal time, unless your child is enrolled in after school care (SFL). If a child has not been picked up from preschool within 15 minutes of dismissal time, a parent or emergency contact will be called.
  8. Bus is also available for transportation to the students. Students with disabilities will be assisted onto the bus by the bus driver.

 

Bus Regulations

The school bus is an extension of the classroom. The driver must be considered the teacher of the class. The driver has the same authority as a classroom teacher. Any student who fails to obey the rules and regulations may be deprived of bus riding privileges. Other than the fact you may talk to your friends in normal tones, your quiet voice, the behavior expected of you in the class is the same behavior that is expected of you on the bus. In general, behavior not allowed in school, will not be allowed on the bus.

Bus Rules:

  1. Follow all driver instructions the first time they are given.
  2. Remain in your seat with your feet out of the aisle while bus is moving.
  3. Nothing should be outside school bus windows at any time.
  4. Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
  5. Be respectful to everyone on the bus.
  6. Speak quietly so as not to distract the driver and so everyone can hear driver instructions.
  7. Food and drink allowed only with advance permission of the driver and only on special occasions. (Everyone must clean up his or her own mess or the privilege of bringing food and drink on the bus will be denied for everyone).

 

SFL – Child Care Service

SFL Child care is available from 6:30am-7:45am and 3:15pm-5:00pm each day. SFL is also available full days in the summer when school is not in session.

 

Classroom Ratios

Our preschool license is for a maximum group size of 20 children per classroom.  The teacher to child ratio is 1 to 10.  One additional teacher or assistant is required for 11+ children.   Staff to be included in ratios must be teacher qualified.  Assistants, student interns, or parents who do not meet the qualifications for teacher, will not be assigned to a group without a teacher-qualified staff member.

 

Confidentiality

Information regarding the children, families and/or staff is privileged and confidential.  The staff is expected to keep information shared confidential and not discuss information in front of the children, other families or other staff members.

  

Information contained in a child’s record shall be privileged and confidential.  Parents shall have access, upon request, to their child’s record at reasonable times.  A written log shall be included in a child’s record indicating any time a child’s record has been released.

 

CURRICULUM- CREATIVE CURRICULUM GOLD

Diagonal Preschool uses Creative Curriculum standards and objectives to measure where your child is developmentally in the following areas: social-emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, mathematics, science and technology, social studies, the arts and, if needed, English language acquisition. They use Teaching Strategies GOLD, an online assessment, to gather information. Listed below are the standard and objectives for Creative Curriculum.

 

Social/Emotional Development:

  1. Regulates own emotions and behavior
  2. Establishes and sustains positive relationships
  3. Participates cooperatively and constructively in group situations

 

Physical Develoment:

  1. Demonstrates traveling skills
  2. Demonstrates balancing skills
  3. Demonstrates gross-motor manipulative skills
  4. Demonstrates fine-motor strength and coordination

 

Language Development:

  1. Listens to and understands increasingly complex language
  2. Uses language to express thoughts and needs
  3. Uses appropriate conversational and other communication skills

 

Cognitive Development:

  1. Demonstrates positive approaches to learning
  2. Remembers and connects experiences
  3. Uses classification skills
  4. Uses symbols and images to represent something present

 

Literacy:

  1. Demonstrates phonological awareness
  2. Demonstrates knowledge of the alphabet
  3. Demonstrates knowledge of print and its uses
  4. Comprehends and responds to books and other texts
  5. Demonstrates emergent writing skills

 

Mathematics:

  1. Uses number concepts and operations
  2. Explores and describes spatial relationships and shapes
  3. Compares and measures
  4. Demonstrates knowledge of patterns

 

Science and Technology:

  1. Uses scientific inquiry skills
  2. Demonstrates knowledge of the characteristics of living things
  3. Demonstrates knowledge of the physical properties of objects and materials
  4. Demonstrates knowledge of Earth’s environment
  5. Uses tools and other technology to perform tasks

 

Social Studies:

  1. Demonstrates knowledge about self
  2. Shows a basic understanding of people and how they live
  3. Explores change related to familiar people and places
  4. Demonstrates simple geographic knowledge

 

Arts:

  1. Explores the visual arts
  2. Explores musical concepts and expression
  3. Explores dance and movement concepts
  4. Explores drama through actions and language

 

English Language Acquisition:

  1. Demonstrates progress in listening to and understanding English
  2. Demonstrates progress in speaking language

 

 

 

Diapering and Toileting Policy

It is not required that children be toilet trained in order to be enrolled in our program.  Staff will work with each family and child as he/she is ready for toileting.  Staff will encourage and praise children for his/her effort.  Children will not be forced to remain in soiled clothing or to remain on the toilet, nor will staff use any other unusual or excessive practices for toileting.

Staff will encourage children to carry out all toileting steps (undressing, wiping, dressing and hand-washing) to encourage self-help skills.  Staff will check children for signs that diapers or pull-ups are wet or contain feces at least every two hours. Staff will help children with these steps as needed.  For the safety of the staff and the children, staff will not be alone in the bathroom with one child, but rather have two or more children with them.  If a second staff member is not available to assist in the bathroom, the staff member will leave the bathroom stall open, bathroom door open and remain in view of other children.

 

For children who are unable to use the toilet consistently, the program makes sure that:

  • For children who require cloth diapers, the diaper has an absorbent inner lining completely contained within an outer covering made of waterproof material that prevents the escape of feces and urine. Both the diaper and the outer covering are changed as a unit.
  • Cloth diapers and clothing that are soiled by urine or feces are immediately placed in a plastic bag (without rinsing or avoidable handling) and sent home that day for laundering.

 

Staff check children for signs that diapers or pull-ups are wet or contain feces at least every two hours when children are awake and

  • when children awaken.
  • Diapers are changed when wet or soiled.
  • Staff change children’s diapers or soiled underwear in the designated changing areas and not elsewhere in the facility.
  • Each changing area is separated by a partial wall or at least three feet from other areas that children use and is used exclusively for one designated group of children. For kindergartners, the program may use an underclothing changing area designated for and used only by this age group.
  • At all times, caregivers have a hand on the child when being changed on an elevated surface.

 

In the changing area, staff

  • post changing procedures and
  • follow changing procedures
  • These procedures are used to evaluate teaching staff who change diapers.
  • Surfaces used for changing and on which changing materials are placed are not used for other purposes, including temporary placement of other objects, and especially not for any object involved with food or feeding.
  • Containers that hold soiled diapers and diapering materials have a lid that opens and closes tightly using a hands-free device (e.g., a step can).
  • Containers are kept closed and are not accessible to children.
  • Staff members whose primary function is preparing food do not change diapers until their food preparation duties are completed for the day.

 

 

Emergency and Evacuation Procedures

Evacuation / Emergency Contingency Plan

 

In the event of an emergency requiring evacuation from the school (due to fire, natural disaster, loss of power, heat, or water, or other emergency), the following procedures shall be followed:

 

In case of fire, the director will call 911.  Teachers will calmly gather and count the children and leave from the closest, safest exit.  Director will recount the children and compare to the day’s attendance to ensure that all children are present and accounted for. Teachers will take children to the designated safe spot.  The director will exit the building with emergency phone numbers and begin contacting parents.

 

In the event of power, heat, or water loss, or other emergency the director will contact children’s parents to have them picked up early.

 

In the event that it is not safe to stay on the premises, the preschoolers will be evacuated to the South Gym.  The director and teachers will walk them.  The director will contact parents.

 

Practice fire, tornado and evacuation drills will be conducted with all groups of children and all staff each month.  The date, time, exit route, number of children evacuated and effectiveness of each drill will be documented.

 

Fire Drill Procedure

 

  1. Gather the children together and talk with them about fire safety and why we practice for a fire.  Discuss our “Safe Spot” being the south parking lot.  Reassure them that we are safe.  Let them know that if we could not go out the front door, we would exit the building at the south door.
  2. Explain to children that we will now pretend that there is a fire.
  3. Have the children line up quickly and calmly at the door, making sure that they wait for a teacher to escort them.
  4. Teacher takes a telephone, Emergency Contact lists, and 1st Aid Kit.
  5. Staff member notes the times the fire drill begins and ends.
  6. Walk the children to the exit and to our “Safe Spot”.
  7. Vary the exit route so that children will know what to do if the main exit were blocked by fire
  8. Congratulate the children for a job well done.
  9. Staff makes a notation which includes the date, time, number of children evacuated, exit route used and effectiveness of the drill in the Fire Drill Log.

 

Tornado Procedure

 

  1. We gather the children together and bring them downstairs to the art room.
  2. The staff brings the emergency contact lists/clipboard.
  3. We explain to children that we use this room because there are no windows and the concrete walls are safer.
  4. We have the children sit on the floor, back against the wall, with arms over head, head in lap.
  5. We do NOT leave the building or stay in the classroom.  ALWAYS go to this safe room.
  6. Congratulate the children for a job well done.
  7. Staff makes a notation which includes the date, time, number of children in group, evacuated, exit route used to get to safe room and effectiveness of the drill in the Tornado Drill Log.

 

Shelter in Place

 

This type of procedure provides safety for students and staff when remaining in the building is safer than being outside such as a weather emergency, medical emergency, violence or other criminal activity that may be occurring outside of the building.

 

  1. Close and lock all windows and exterior doors (in the case of violence).  Also, lock/close/shut down all ventilation that draws air from the outside (in the case of an air borne chemical spill).
  2. The staff brings the children and their emergency list to (list the room or area you will gather such as the gymnasium, specific classroom or area).
  3. Staff and children remain in this area until notified by Director, Police or Fire Department that it is safe to return to the classroom.
  4. The Director contacts families to inform them of the incident.
  5. Shelter in Place drills shall be practiced throughout the year.
  6. Congratulate the children for a job well done.
  7. Staff makes a notation which includes the date, time, number of children in group, and effectiveness of the drill in the Shelter in Place Log.

 

Lockdown

 

This type of procedure provides safety for students and staff when weapon related violence is in progress or possible inside the building.  The purpose is to put barriers between the staff & children and the assailant.

 

  1. The staff gathers the children in the current classroom and bring the emergency list/bag.
  2. All doors are locked and/or barricaded by furniture.
  3. Children gather together in an area away from the door(s) and window(s)
  4. All lights, media and other equipment (computer screens, projectors, etc.) are shut down.
  5. This is stressful for all involved.  Utilize strategies to keep children calm.  I recommend having an emergency bag that has paper, crayons, and books for children to participate in a quiet activity to help distract them.
  6. Staff and children remain in this area until notified by Director, Police or Fire Department that it is safe to return to the classroom.
  7. The Director contacts families to inform them of the incident.
  8. Lockdown drills shall be practiced throughout the year.
  9. Congratulate the children for a job well done.
  10. Staff makes a notation which includes the date, time, number of children evacuated, exit route used and effectiveness of the drill in the Lockdown Drill Log.

 

Field Trips

 

Developmentally and age-appropriate field trips are fun and help to enrich the children’s preschool program!  Field trips must be carefully planned in advance.  The teacher should discuss the desired venue in advance with the director.  The teacher and/or director will contact the desired venue and secure transportation.  Teaching staff are expected to attend field trips.  If a field trip occurs on a date that a staff member is not scheduled to work, she/he will be paid for their hours worked.

 

All children must have a signed permission slip in order to participate.  Permission slips will be provided two weeks prior to field trips.  All children must have program contact information on their person on any offsite trips.  This information is to contain the name of the program, Contact name (director) and contact telephone number the contact can be reached.  Parents are encouraged to chaperone field trips.  Siblings are welcome on some, but not all, field trips.

 

Our program charters a school bus through XXXX Bus Company for field trips (with the exception of walking field trips).  Each bus is equipped with a 2-way radio so that the driver can contact their dispatcher.  The Director brings a Travel Bag which includes a complete 1st Aid Kit, Emergency contact forms for each child and signed field trip permission forms for each child.

 

The director is responsible for the coordination of this transportation.  The teachers, director and parent/guardian chaperones are responsible for the supervision of the children while being transported.  Children MUST remain seated and seat belted during the trip.  In the event that a child refuses to remain seated or seat belted, the bus will pull over and bring the bus to a stop until the situation is corrected by the program staff.

 

In the event of an emergency, the following will occur:

 

Medical Emergency:  The driver will pull bus over to a safe spot on the side of the road and call 911.  The director will administer 1st aid or CPR.  The teacher will contact the contact person for the child.  This information is in the Travel Bag.

 

Disabled Bus:  In the event that the bus becomes disabled, the children will be evacuated by the staff and chaperones to a safe spot to wait for a replacement bus.  The driver of the bus will contact their dispatcher.  Any moving violation or accident that occurs while children are being transported must be reported.

The bus driver will contact their Company.

The driver or Director will contact the local Police department (in the event of an accident)—with a copy of the accident report being given to the Director.

The Director will notify the chairperson of the Preschool Board.

 

Grievance Policy

At Diagonal Preschool, we strive to work as a team with open communication with each other.  From time to time individual employees may have grievances related to their employment which must be resolved in order to maintain positive working relationships within our team.  Individuals are encouraged to try to resolve grievances with each other informally through discussion.

If this format is not successful, staff may file complaints to the director, who will either address the issue or elevate it to the attention of the Preschool Board as necessary.  If a staff member has a complaint about the director, she/he should meet with the director to try to resolve the grievance individually.  If this is not successful, the staff shall contact a Preschool Board member.

 

Health and Illness Procedures and Policy

Health Records are kept in the school office. A consent form is signed as to who has access to these records.

 

The program maintains current health records for each child:

  • The program must follow the requirements for enrollment related to immunizations established by the Iowa Department of Public Health [IAC 641-7].
  • When a child is overdue for any routine health services, parents, legal guardians, or both provide evidence of an appointment for those services before the child’s entry into the program and as a condition of remaining enrolled in the program, except for immunization for which parents are using religious exemption.

 

Child health records include:

  • Current information about any health insurance coverage required for treatment in an emergency;
  • Results of health examination, showing up-to-date immunizations and screening tests with an indication of normal or abnormal results and any follow-up required for abnormal results;
  • Current emergency contact information for each child, that is kept up to date by a specified method during the year;
  • Names of individuals authorized by the family to have access to health information about the child;
  • Instructions for any of the child’s special health needs such as allergies or chronic illness (e.g., asthma, hearing or vision impairments, feeding needs, neuromuscular conditions, urinary or other ongoing health problems, seizures, diabetes);
  • The program must follow the requirements for exclusions related to immunizations established by the Iowa Department of Public Health [IAC 641-7.3].

 

We do our best to safeguard children by keeping a clean environment, conforming to the Board of Health guidelines with regards to hand-washing and disinfecting the classroom and through regularly scheduled toy and classroom sanitation procedures as discussed in the Safety and Management of Classroom Section.

 

Hand-washing must happen frequently throughout the preschool day. Children and adults must wash upon arrival for the day, before meals and snacks and/or handling food, after handling bodily fluid, and before and after handling medication. When handling blood or body fluids that contain blood, staff must wear gloves.

 

Administration of Medication for Children

Medications will only be administered if the required dosage is due during the time the child is at school and under the following conditions:

  • The administration of non-prescription and prescription medications for a child will not occur without the written consent of the parent and the child’s physician.
  • Medications will not be administered contrary to the directions on the original medication container.
  • All medications must be in their original packaging with the child’s name, directions for administration, the dosage, number of doses per day, and number of days the medication has been prescribed.
  • The medication and/or dosage (prescription or over the counter) being requested to administer must not be the child’s initial dose (meaning, the child must have taken this medication or this dosage in the past.  A new medication or new dosage of medication cannot be given in a child care program. )

The school secretary will be the one to administer any medications to a student.

 

Staff will keep a written record of all administered medications using the Medication Dispension form.   Medications will be stored out of reach of children, under proper conditions for sanitation, preservations, security, and safety.

 

Children’s Illness: Children should not come to school if he/she:

  • Had a fever over 100 in the past 24 hours
  • Has had diarrhea, vomiting, within past 24 hours
  • Has been on an antibiotic less than 24 hours
  • Suspected or confirmed throat or sinus infections
  • Head lice, open lesions in the mouth or on the body
  • Any child who does not feel well and is in need of comfort.

 

A child with a minor cold may attend school as long as he/she is comfortable, not coughing excessively, and nasal discharge is clear.

If a child becomes sick at school, the director or lead teacher will call the parents first.  In the event the parent(s) cannot be reached, the emergency contacts will be called.  If we are unable to reach anyone, the child shall rest in the room apart from the other children, under direct supervision, and repeated calls will be made until someone is reached.

 

Emergency Procedure for Children

If a child were to need emergency care due to an injury or a condition that requires more than first aid treatment, the following procedure will be followed:

In the event of a life-threatening emergency 9-1-1 will be called first; the parent(s) next.  If a child’s parent(s) cannot be reached, their emergency contacts will be called.  If no one can be reached, the director shall assume responsibility for the child.

 

Emergency Procedure for Teaching Staff

If a teacher were to need emergency care due to injury or a condition that requires more than first aid treatment a family member will be notified.  In the event of a life-threatening emergency 9-1-1 will be called first; family member next.  All staff are required to complete an emergency contact card which will be kept in their file.

 

Nap/Sleep Policy

Our full time program offers a nap/rest time from 1:00pm-2:00pm.  Staff shall set up the sleep mats so they are at least 2 feet away from each other.  Children will use sheets, blankets and/or pillows that have been provided to them by their parents.  (These items must be sent home on Fridays for laundering by the family and returned on Monday).

 

Children are not REQUIRED to sleep during this time.  They should be encouraged to rest.  If, after ½ hour, children are not sleeping, quiet activities will be provided to them (puzzles, books, quiet toys, etc.).

 

Playground Policy

Gross motor activity is important to a child’s health and for their fine and gross motor growth and development.  Outdoor play is part of each classroom’s schedule.   The children will go outside to play every day.  In the event of inclement weather (too cold, too hot), staff will provide one ½ of gross motor play indoors in the free space room.

 

Healthy Playing

Ensuring the students wellness before exposing others in activities and play is very important. Students with sores on their hands are not allowed to use the water table for safety of the other students. Water in the water table is drained and cleaned at least once a day.

 

Any surface or item that may have come in contact with body fluids must be removed, either disposed of or sanitized correctly. If there are further spills or body fluids that occur that cannot be cleaned properly by preschool staff, the janitor will be alerted immediately to clean up properly.

 

Referral Services Policy

In the event that the program staff feel that an assessment for additional services would benefit the child, such as social, mental health, educational, and medical services, including but not limited to dental check-up, vision or hearing screening, the teacher will bring this to the director’s attention, write a statement for the reason for the referral, a brief summary of the teacher’s observations related to the referral.  A conference will be requested with the parents and the teacher(s) and director will attend.  The written statement will be provided to the parents at the meeting and a copy will be placed in the child’s file.

Parent will NOT be told of a presumed issue or concern about development or need for services at pick-up or drop-off time.  It is important to have a dedicated time to discuss this with the parents.

 

We will offer assistance to the child’s parents in making the referral and shall have written parental consent before any referral is made.  Supportive services to the program, including consultation and educator training, may also be an option pursued.  The director shall maintain a written record of any referrals, including the parent conference and results.

 

Safety and Management of Classroom

Tables must be wiped before and after each meal and snack. Faucets and door handles need to be wiped with a sanitary wipe each day. Staff are required to assist with classroom cleanup during the school year at mutually agreed upon dates throughout the school year.  Staff members will be paid for their time.  Clean up should include sanitizing all toys, equipment, tables, chairs, keyboards, etc.

 

Food/Snack Policy and Nutrition

 

  1. Breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack are served daily.  Meals and snacks are offered at intervals of not less than two hours, but not more than three hours apart unless the children are asleep.

 

  1. All food is prepared, served and stored in accordance with the CACFP guidelines.  Staff discards any foods with expired dates.  Foods hotter than 110 degrees Fahrenheit are kept out of children’s reach.  Foods requiring refrigeration are kept cold until served.

 

  1. Clean, sanitary drinking water is available to the children throughout the day.

 

  1. Written breakfast, lunch, and snack menues are posted in the classroom and are sent monthly to families.

 

  1. Children are encouraged to taste all foods, but are not required to eat foods that are not appealing to them.

 

  1. The preschool staff does not use foods or beverages as rewards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages as punishment, nor will staff ever threaten to withhold food as a form of discipline.

 

  1. High-risk foods that could cause choking will not be served or will be modified so as not to cause choking. For children younger than four years of age these foods include: hotdogs whole or slicked into rounds, whole grapes, nuts, popcorn, raw peas or hard pretzels, spoonful’s of peanut butter, or chunks of raw carrots, meat larger than can be swallowed whole.

 

  1. For a child with special health care needs, food allergies, or special nutritional needs, the child’s health care provider should provide the preschool with an individualized care plan prepared in consultation with family members and any specialist involved in the child’s care.

 

  1. Children with food allergies will protected from contact with the problem food.  The program will post information about the child’s food allergies in the food preparation area and areas of the facility the child uses as a visual reminder to all adults who interact with the child during the day with the consent of the parents.

 

 

Social Media and Photography/Recording Policy

We take pictures of the children throughout the year for use in our newsletter, website and Facebook page.  Before ANY pictures are taken, each family must give separate permissions for Social Media (Facebook, website use); Photographs to be used on-site (newsletters and in the classroom) and recordings (video recordings of any kind).  Parents are given these forms to complete upon enrollment.

 

Each staff member must be aware of who has and has not given permissions for these.

 

Pictures and recordings must be taken with the classroom camera/recorder ONLY.  NOT with

personal cell phones.

Technology in the Classroom

Some classrooms have a computer in them.  These computers do not (and will not) have internet access on them.  The purpose of the computers is to provide computer programs/games for the children to use on occasion.  The programs/games must be age appropriate and approved by the Director prior to use.

 

Transitions

Our classroom ratios are based on ages.  Transitions from one classroom within the program to another happen in September at the beginning of the school year.  Mid-year transitions will happen by exception only.  Please meet with the director if you feel a child should be transitioned to another classroom.

 

During the children’s year in the 2-day program, they will have the opportunity to meet the next year’s teacher during Field trips and other events throughout the year.

 

The director will notify parents of the city/town’s Kindergarten registration dates once they are known.  The teachers will plan discussions and activities (stories, circle time discussions, possible field trips to a local Kindergarten, etc.) with the children to talk about their new school, teacher and friends.

 

Volunteers in the Classroom

Parents and student interns can be a wonderful experience in the classroom.  However, a person cannot volunteer in the classroom (even if only for an hour) unless they have completed the paperwork required by the state licensing division.  Please direct any individuals wanting to volunteer within the classroom to the director!

 

Once approved, the director will conduct an orientation with the volunteer to let them know of their responsibilities and our classroom procedures (including, but not limited to daily schedule, emergency procedures, and child guidance policies).

 

On their volunteer day, each volunteer must list their name and the time they arrive and leave on the attendance sheet.  Volunteers will be under the direct supervision of a qualified staff member at all times.  The volunteer will NOT be alone with a child at any time in accordance with state regulations and should defer child guidance/discipline concerns to the supervising educator.

 

Program Evaluation, Accountability, and Continuous Improvement

The program offers staff and families opportunities to assist in making decisions to improve the program. Collaborative and shared decision making is used with all participants to build trust and enthusiasm for making program changes. Staff and families meet at least annually to consult on program planning and ongoing program operations.