PARENT HANDBOOK 2012-2013
The Family of Faith Preschool is a non-profit, early childhood ministry of The Family of Faith Lutheran Church. In a Christian environment, we will partner with parents to help love, teach, nurture, and care for their children.
It is our purpose to bring people to Jesus and membership in His family, develop them to Christ like maturity, and equip them for their ministry in the church and their life mission in the world, in order to magnify God’s name
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Early Childhood Council – Governing Board
ADMISSIONS – 5
Notification of Policy Changes
ATTENDANCE – 9
Center and Preschool Hours
Arrival, Departure, and Release Procedures
Parent-Teacher Conferences/Daily Reports/Progress Reports
Lunch / Snack / Rest Time
HEALTH AND SAFETY – 14
Child Safety To and From School
Health Requirements and Services
Vision and Hearing
State Vaccine Requirements
Sickness, Contagious Diseases, and Emergencies
Bad Weather / Closing of Center
Fire Drills / Emergency Evacuations
Birthday Parties and Special Events
APPENDIX – 19
Texas Immunization Requirements
Purpose: The Family of Faith Preschool is a non-profit, Early Childhood Ministry of The Family of Faith.
In a Christian environment, we will partner with parents to help nurture, love, and care for their children as they explore the world around them and develop spiritually, academically, socially, emotionally, and physically.
Mission: The Preschool partners with parents to provide a Christ-Centered education in a nurturing environment which helps children grow spiritually, academically, socially, emotionally, and physically with Christian character, values, and ideas based on the Word of God.
Non-Discrimination Statement: The Family of Faith Preschool admits children of any race, color,
Nationality, or ethnic origin and extends all the rights,privileges, programs, and activities
generally accorded or made available to children at the Center. Enrollment will be open to any
child providing the school will be able to meet his/her needs.
Licensing: The Family of Faith Preschool is licensed by the Texas Department of Protective & Regulatory
The Preschool follows the rules of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services regarding the operations of our child care facility. To contact the local Licensing Office, PRS Child Abuse Hotline, The PRS Website, review minimum standards, and our child-care center’s most recent Licensing Inspection Report, please contact:
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
PO Box 16017
Houston, TX 77222-6017
Office Phone: 713-940-3009
The Preschool Ministry Team – Governing Board: The preschool policies and handbooks are written and approved by the Early Childhood Council of The Family of Faith Lutheran Church. They have been designated to be the Governing Board for the Preschool. Meetings are held one Sunday of each month at 12:00 p.m. Watch the newsletters to see the time. If needs should arise, such as special considerations or unresolved issues, parents and/or staff may address the Governing Board. To be added to their agenda, you must first contact the Director, on or before the fifteenth of the month. You will then be given an opportunity to address the Governing Board, at the beginning of their meeting, before the closed Executive Meeting resumes. Any decisions, on your behalf, will be made in the closed Executive Meeting and you will be notified of the Board’s decision.
Age Requirements: Children entering the Preschool must be 18 months old
through 5. We do not offer Kindergarten.
Registration: A yearly registration form and fee must be received in the preschool office for currently enrolled and newly enrolled children. To keep in compliance with licensing, additional forms must also be kept on file. These include the current year’s Enrollment Record, Medical Information Form, Medical Record, Treatment for Minors Consent Form, Child Information Sheet, and Teacher Information Sheet.
Registration is not complete until all forms are completed, signed with the required signatures, and notarized, as needed. We have two notaries on staff at The Family of Faith if we can assist you in this matter. The only form not required until the first day of attendance of the new school year is the updated Medical form.
Notification of Policy Changes: If there are any policy changes during the year, the parents will be notified of the change via a bulletin sent home in the child’s folder which is placed inside the child’s backpack. An additional statement will be in the following newsletter which is sent home monthly in the child’s folder which is placed inside the child’s backpack.
Tuition Installment Payments, Fees, and Discounts
Schedule of Fees: A 2012-2013 Schedule of Fees is included in the Registration packet.
Tuition Fees: Tuition is calculated on a yearly basis, NOT by the month but by the number of days that we are in school.
As a service to our parents, we have added the following choices:
Registration Fee: This fee is $115. This is a yearly, non-refundable fee to be paid for each child at the time of registration.
PLEASE NOTE: We usually have a waiting list so please contact us if your child is unable to attend on the first day of school. Remember to always keep the preschool informed of vacations, emergencies, etc.
If your child’s first tuition installment payment has been paid and we have reserved a space in one of our classrooms, we will expect your child to be here for class. However, if he/she has not shown up as scheduled, we will make several attempts to contact you by phone or e-mail during the first few days of school. We will hold your child’s space in the classroom until the 10th of September. At this time, if we haven’t heard from you regarding the status of your child and your intention for your child to attend The Family of Faith Preschool, his/her reserved space will be given to the next child on our waiting list. The Registration Fee will not be refunded.
If your child will miss school for any reason, you must continue to pay the monthly payment to insure your child’s space. If you do not wish to do so, you will run the risk of not having an available spot for your child when you return and you will need to re-register (see paragraph below).
Re-Registration Fee: A fee of $50 will be applied for each child who re-enrolls in our school for the following reasons:
Return Check Fee: For all returned checks there will be a return check fee of $25. PLEASE NOTE: If two checks with insufficient funds have been received, your child can attend the Preschool on a “cash only” basis. This means that your child can remain in our school if all fees are paid, by the due date, either in cash, money order, or cashier’s check.
Late Payment Fee: Late fees of $20.00 will be assessed for all tuition payments and other assessed fees received after the 10th of each month. These payments must be made by the 15th of the month for your child to remain in school.
Multi-Child Discounts: A 10% discount is available for families with more than one child enrolled in our program. This discount is only for the tuition fees of the second child or the child whose tuition is less.
Change of Program Fee: Parents must fill out a Change of Program Form and give the center two weeks, written notice to change their child’s program.
Withdrawal Fee: Parents must fill out a Withdrawal Form and give the center two weeks, written notice when withdrawing their child from our preschool. This form must be reviewed and signed by the Director or staff person in charge. If you fail to comply with this requirement, you will be responsible for an additional assessment of one-half month’s tuition.
Please see the Connect tab In the Community for Application for Childcare Expense for the Military program.
Center and Preschool Hours: Preschool hours are Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. For the parents who need additional hours of care because they work we open at 6:30 a.m. and we close at 6:30 p.m. For these additional hours there is an additional cost in addition to the preschool tuition. Please call if there are any questions.
Arrival and Departure Times/Procedures:
Signing your child in/out: Beginning 2012/2013, you will sign your child in/out using the computer and a code. This will be done in the breezeway (during school hours in the business office) at the computer station.
Arrival: Children will be dropped off in the gym each morning. Your child will stay in the gym to participate in the morning devotion and worship time. This daily time of worship will take the place of our monthly chapels. Parents are encouraged to stay and participate. Opening begins at 8:50 a.m. and will end at 9:10 a.m. Parents will not walk their children to their classroom. Teachers will line the children up and take them to class. Parents can give hugs and kisses and say goodbyes in the gym after the opening. Parents are NOT to accompany their children to their classroom, even if they are crying. Our staff is ready and equipped to care for them from that point on. If you come after 9:30, you will sign your child in at the church office. Staff will then take your child(ren) to the classroom.
PLEASE NOTE: For the safety of our children and staff, entry to the preschool, while school is in session, must be made through the doors on the east side of the building, by the overhang. The preschool doors will be locked at 9:30 am until 1:30 pm each day. If you pick your child up late, you may have to ring the door bell, and then you will pick up your child from Extended Care. Late fees will be assessed accordingly, based on the time of your pick up, and will be listed on your monthly billing.
REMEMBER TO BE ON TIME – If you are running late, call someone to pick your child so you will avoid unwanted late pick up fees. You must designate all authorized pick up people on your forms in the office. Please review the Late Payment of Tuition Fee and Late Pick-up of Children Fee as listed in the Parent Handbook and the Fee Schedule for 2009-2010 so you will not be surprised at unexpected fees.
Departure: All children will remain in the building until an authorized adult arrives and the child is signed out and released from the care of the Caregiver. Be sure to sign your child out and note the time.
If you arrive at the classroom and need to speak to the teacher, please sign your child out first and list the time of your arrival. A $1 per minute late charge will be assessed for preschoolers who are picked up after 2:10 p.m.
If you arrive after 2:10 p.m. your child will be in the breezeway under the watchful eye of one of our staff. You will sign your child out at the desk and pick up your child.
Release Procedures: Children are released only to their Parents or other persons designated on the enrollment forms. It is our policy to ask for the Driver’s License to verify the identity of any authorized person that our staff does not know. Please add all persons who might be asked to pick up your child. If their name is not on the list, your child will not be released to them. NOTE: Persons designated to authorize medical treatment must also be on the authorized pick up list.
Curriculum: Our curriculum is Christ-centered and Bible-based, supporting our objectives of Christian education as outlined in the mission and philosophy statements. The Christian faith is taught as a way of life. We teach all of the basics required by Cy-Fair School District so that your child will be ready for kindergarten. They are taught letter recognition, language development, sight words, pre-reading skills, number recognition, math skills such as patterns and one-to-one relationship, and calendar.
The curriculum is center-based and developmentally appropriate. It is designed to meet the individual needs of the children enrolled in our program. It provides a preschool education in Spiritual and Social living (self-help skills, relationships, morals, values); Communication arts (speaking, listening, reading, writing), Expressive arts (art, drama, movement, music); Wellness (health, nutrition, safety, fitness); and Discovering the world (math, social studies, science).
We believe that growth and learning occur through play in settings such as centers, the playground, and classroom activities. These allow your child to have hands-on opportunities for individual and group exploration, experimentation, discovery, and social interaction. Children participate in activities such as creative art, sand/water play, drama, and block construction.
Each child will be assessed upon arrival in the program to target where they are in cognitive and readiness skills. We believe that age-appropriate methods of evaluation are a necessary part of a quality program. These assessments will help us determine the skills that need to be taught to move him/her forward. This information will be shared with the child’s parents during conferencing. Partnering with the parents, we will work to help each child develop in all the areas needed for academic success.
Parent-Teacher Conferences/Daily Reports/Progress Reports: Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held in the fall, at your request, so we can review your child’s assessment and share individual educational plans that we have for your child. A Parent/Teacher Conference will be scheduled for you in late January to inform you of the progress of your child(ren). To further keep parents informed, we will send home a brief daily or weekly report to let you know how your child’s day/week went. Progress Reports will also be sent home periodically so you can further track your child’s achievements.
Field Trips: For the safety of your children, the Preschool will have in house field trips by bringing visitors and exhibits to the children at our school. When special days and visits are planned, parents will be notified well in advance if they wish to attend.
Water Activities: In the spring there are two days of water play. This water play consists of wading pools, squirt guns, and water toys. The pools are emptied each day and sanitized. This day requires towels, suits, sunscreen, and a dry change of clothes. Parents are invited to participate, but beware: you might get wet! You have already agreed or disagreed to give permission for your child’s participation through a form that was part of the enrollment packet. Be assured that the teachers are outside with their class the entire time just like always.
Animals: Occasionally there may be animals at the school. The animal will not be a hands-on animal, but one viewed at while in a cage. We hope to raise butterflies, chickens, frogs, worms, things like that. The children will never be allowed to touch the chickens or frogs (or any reptile) due to Minimum Standards ruling #746.3905. If a child should ever touch an animal while at the school, they will be required to wash there hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer immediately after.
Lunch / Rest Time / Snack Time:
Lunch: Each child should bring a lunch and a drink from home in a lunch box or paper sack. All foods should be ready to eat like sandwiches, peeled and cut up fruit, cut up cheese, crackers, etc. Glass containers are not allowed. Children should bring a lunch drink in a spill proof cup or thermos. Box drinks are also recommended and should be in a hard box holder. These are easier for the children to handle.
Snack Time: Each child will take a turn bringing a snack for the entire class. These snacks need to be nutritional and peanut free. Your child’s teacher will inform you as to how the classroom snack will be handled.
Rest Time: Nap mats are needed for all children who are ages 18 months to three years old. These should be labeled with your child’s name. A mat cover or large pillowcase can be used to cover the mat. Your child may bring a small pillow and/or small blanket for naptime. If the mat, blanket, or pillow are too large to accommodate, they will be sent back with you and you will be asked to obtain something smaller. Blankets, towels, and mat covers should be taken home at the end of each week for laundering. Children in the four year old classes will not need a nap mat. If your four year old still requires a nap, please inform the teacher. Arrangements will be made to accommodate. The four year olds will have a quiet time after lunch such as story time. Naptime for children provides an essential break from an active morning schedule. No one is forced to “nap” but many of them fall asleep after an exciting morning.
Discipline: Discipline is not punishment but rather a teaching of self-control, Christian attitudes, and orderliness. Children model the behavior they see around them. We as parents and teachers must model the values and behaviors we want our children to develop.
In the classroom, the teacher is the primary disciplinarian. The teacher’s attitude toward each child will show respect and care for that individual. Harsh words, angry voices, and physical force will not be used to discipline your child. Positive choices of behavior will be discussed with the children.
Each school year will begin with a discussion of the classroom rules. This will be done for the first few weeks and periodically thereafter for the remainder of the year. The teachers are familiar with those actions that are acceptable for the age level they are teaching. Inappropriate actions will be redirected to stop any behavior that interferes with learning.
If a certain unacceptable behavior persists, the child may be asked to sit in the “Cool Down” chair for a few minutes. If more action is needed, the child may be removed from the classroom and sent to the Administration Office. Parents will be informed of this action. If the same behavior is repeated, a conference will be set to include the Parent(s), Teacher, and/or Director. A report of the incident will be documented on an incident report form, which is signed by the Teacher and the Director.
Behavioral Issues: You will be contacted to pick up your child if he/she:
PLEASE NOTE: The Director has the authority to remove a child from the program at any given time.
Personal Items: Please do not let your child bring personal items from home unless approved by the teacher. We are not responsible for loss or damage of personal items brought to the Preschool. Special opportunities to bring items from home for show and tell will occur throughout the year at the discretion of your child’s teacher. If a child brings a personal item from home, the teacher has the right to take it and hold it until the child goes home.
Grievances: Following the Matthew 18 principle (Matthew 18:15-20), the handling of all grievances begins first between the two people involved. If no solution can be reached, the Director should be informed of the problem in an attempt to reach a solution agreeable to both parties. The decision of the Director is final.
Dress Code: Think of your child’s comfort by providing simple clothing that can be laundered and is easy for your child to remove for the bathroom. Keep in mind that art materials as well as playground activities can be messy. Provide clothing that is both sturdy and washable. No open toed shoes are allowed for the safety of your child.
Remember that Houston’s weather is changeable [sunny and bright in the morning and cloudy and cool in the afternoon]. It is much better to remove an unneeded item than to be cold and get chilled. All removable clothing needs to be labeled with your child’s name.
Children who are newly potty trained need clothing they can manage with minimal help from adults (pull-downs with elastic around the waist are easiest). Accidents happen sometimes because children can’t get their clothing undone soon enough. Some jeans also are hard for the child to snap or unsnap. Belts are not recommended.
Good grooming and proper dress contribute positively to the climate of our Center and to the emotional attitude of your child. Children are expected to be dressed in accordance with health and safety standards as well as in good taste. Rubber-soled shoes are recommended for your child’s safety, especially on the playground. Please, we prefer no boots or sandals.
PLEASE NOTE: All removable clothing (sweaters, jackets, hats, etc.) must be labeled with your child’s name. A complete change of clothing for your child (including shirt, pants, underwear, socks, and shoes) stored in a labeled, zippered bag, should be kept at Faith Academy at all times. Please realize that if children are on the playground and playing creatively, clothes and skin can get dirty quickly. We will try to have your child reasonably clean when you arrive at the end of the day.
The Center keeps a limited number of extra pieces of clothing on hand for children, so when your child comes home in something belonging to the Preschool, please launder it and send it back as quickly as possible.
Child Safety To and From School: It is important for your child to be seat-belted going to and from school. It is also required by law. If someone else is picking up your child, who does not have a car seat, you may leave yours here with the name of your child, your child’s room, & person to pick up child. We have areas to keep your car seat during the day. PLEASE NOTE: For the added protection of your child, our Administrative Staff will notify you by phone and in writing if we notice that your child or children are not seat belted when they leave our facility. Also, please lock your car when you come into the building as purses have be taken from unlocked cars.
No parking is allowed in red zones or in front of the sidewalk up to the doors!
Medication Policy: If your child requires medication while at school, you MUST come to the Director’s office, fill out a medication sheet explaining when to give it and giving us permission to give it. If your child requires an epee pen due to severe allergy issues, again you must come to the office and inform the Director and fill out the correct form. The medication will be kept in the office.
Health Requirements and Services: The State requires a health form and immunization record be on file by your child’s first day of school. These must include a validated history of all required immunizations. A physician stating that your child is in good health, is free of contagious disease, and has received necessary immunizations must be on file. Because we are a licensed facility, your child will be excluded from school attendance if you have not met the following requirements.
Vision and Hearing: The State requires that first-time enrollees who are four years of age or older and all children enrolled in programs who are four years of age by September 1 will be screened for possible vision and hearing problems. The Preschool must have a statement specifying that tests have been administered by a licensed or certified screener or a health care professional, with the results given. The Preschool offers this screening at a cost to you. This fee is not for the school, but is charged by the people who do the screening. Please watch for the information which will be sent home in September.
State Vaccine Requirements: A complete listing of these can be found in the Appendix.
Emotional Crises: Because a child’s mental health affects his or her learning ability and classroom behavior, Teachers and Caregivers appreciate knowing of any emotional crisis (e.g., serious illness in the family, separation/divorce of Parents, death of a pet, extended separation due to work, illness, vacations of child and either Parent, etc.) in order to be better equipped to help your child through these situations. Professional privacy is maintained at all times.
Sickness, Contagious Diseases and Emergencies: An ill child will not be admitted for care if one or more of the following exists:
1) The illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in facility activities.
2) The illness results in a greater need for care than the staff can provide without compromising the health, safety, and supervision of the other children.
3) The child has any of the following:
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PROTECTIVE & REGULATORY SERVICES (TDPRS) REQUIRES THAT CHILDREN BE FREE OF FEVER, VOMITING, and/or DIARRHEA FOR AT LEAST 24 HOURS BEFORE RETURNING TO SCHOOL.
PLEASE NOTE: Absences may require a doctor’s note. If your child is out for illness either two days of a two or three day program or three consecutive days of a five day program, we require a doctor’s note before allowing your child to come back to school.
Regrettably, the Preschool is not able to meet the needs of sick children.
If your child becomes sick during the day, he or she will be isolated and you will be notified as soon as possible and asked to pick up your child promptly. Faith Academy does not have a school nurse on duty nor do we have the facilities to keep a sick child.
Minor injuries will be promptly treated. A Boo Boo Report will be placed in your child’s back pack. Please check your child’s back pack daily. In such cases where the injury has been caused by another child, an Incident Report will be completed and given to the parents of both children involved. If your child becomes sick while at school, you will be notified and an Illness Report will be completed to give to you.
Our staff is trained in CPR and first-aid procedures and will give treatment as needed, outlined by Minimum Standards. In case of an accidental injury, we will make an immediate attempt to contact you. If you, or the other persons you have designated as emergency contacts, cannot be reached, we will call your child’s physician.
If necessary, we will call an ambulance. Until the arrival of a parent, the physician, or an ambulance, the Director or staff member in charge will make all decisions concerning the care of your child. You are expected to assume the responsibility for the resultant expense. The Center maintains a signed and notarized parental consent form, Treatment for Minors and Medical Emergency Consent which shows that you are in agreement with this provision.
It is in your child’s best interest to keep the Center updated on current phone numbers, emergency numbers, and other pertinent information.
Bad Weather / Closing of Center : The Center will follow the Cy-Fair Independent School District regarding the closing of the Center due to bad weather. School closings will be announced on local television (Channel 2, 11, 13, 26, 48 and 51) and radio stations (KIKK FM 95.7; KILT FM 100; KTRH AM 740; KKBW 93Q FM 92.9; and SUNNY FM 99.1) usually between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m.
Fire Drills / Emergency Evacuations: The Preschool follows local regulations regarding such drills. Fire and severe weather drills are conducted periodically and documented. Detailed escape routes are posted inside the door of each classroom. Children are moved to an outside area a safe distance from the building in cases of fire. You will be contacted if an emergency evacuation is necessary.
Homeland Security: In case of any man made or natural disaster, it is the responsibility of the Red Cross (713-526-8300) to designate area shelter locations and inform the public of these locations, through use of the media.
Holidays: The Preschool closes for the same holidays as the Cy-Fair School District in most cases. Please check the Cy-Fair calendar or website for further information. Most importantly, check our calendar.
Birthdays,Parties, & Special Events:
Birthdays: Birthday party invitations will need to be mailed to the children unless everyone in your child’s class is invited.
If you wish to provide a special birthday snack for your child’s class, please contact the Teacher ahead of time. We suggest a child’s favorite food, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, or ice cream for a birthday treat. These treats may be given out during their regularly scheduled snack time.
Special Events: Special events may be held during the school year such as singing at our worship services and the Christmas Pageant. We encourage all children and their families to participate.
1) Newsletter – A monthly newsletter will be distributed to all parents by means of your child’s backpack, by email, and on the website. The newsletter highlights current events along with other miscellaneous information.
2) Be sure to check your child’s backpack, daily, for notes, calendars, etc.
3) Phone Calls – The Director and/or the staff person in charge are available during regular operating hours. If they are in meetings or with another parent of a child, you may leave a message and your call will be returned. Please call the church at 281-855-2950 and ask for the Director.
4) If the parent has any questions or concerns about the policies and procedures of the child-care center, please contact the director. The director is often available, but sometimes an appointment will be necessary.
5) A parent may visit the school at any time, but it would be helpful if the teacher is made aware of the visit. Just call the teacher or the school to alert us to the time and day. You must sign in at the front desk and then sign out when you leave.
6) Parents are always welcome to help at the school. You must sign in at the front desk and then sign out when you leave. There is a limit to the help or the contact with the children that are not your own unless a background and fingerprint check has been completed. This is a costly procedure and we cannot afford to do this with every parent. You may not be left alone with the class at any time.
7) A copy of the Minimum Standards are available to all parents at any time. Just ask, we will loan you a copy to look over.
Fund Raisers: Several fund raisers are held during the year. Proceeds are used to purchase items benefiting the children. Watch for further information on these events in your monthly newsletters. Our ongoing fund raisers are:
1) Fun Run
2) Scholastic Book Fair
3) Spaghetti Supper and Auction
TEXAS IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS
This chart summarizes the vaccine requirements incorporated in Title 25 Health Services, 99.61-97.72 of the Texas Administrative Code. Students will not be allowed to enroll if his/her immunization records are not presented to the school upon enrollment and if the student’s immunization records are not current. Faith Academy and Cypress-Fairbanks ISD request that the immunizations be presented at thebeginning of the semester in which they are required.
The following immunizations are required for all Texas students:
**Receipt of the dose up to (and including) 4 days before the birthday will satisfy the school entry immunization requirement.
The law allows (a) physicians to write a statement stating that the vaccine(s) required would be medically harmful or injurious to the health and well-being of the child, and (b) parents/guardians to choose an exemption from immunization requirements for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. The law does not allow parents/guardians to elect an exemption simply because of inconvenience (a record is lost or incomplete and it is too much trouble to go to a physician or clinic to correct the problem).
For children needing medical exemptions, an official document signed by the physician should be submitted to the school.
Instructions for the affidavit to be signed by parents/guardians choosing the exemption for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief can be found at www.ImmunizeTexas.com.
NUTRITIONAL SNACKS FOR KIDS
SNACK CONCERNS – Please send nutritional snacks for your child. Because of State Law FMNV (Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value), any snack that children eat during snack time must have a nutritional value. Please be mindful of this when you are preparing snacks for your children. Healthy snacks help your child focus and concentrate. We appreciate your cooperation and your support.
Examples of good snack foods to send:
Examples of snack foods NOT to be sent:
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 281-855-2950.