Parent Handbook

parent handbook
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Welcome to Coastal Community Preschool, an independent, private, incorporated, non-profit organization which serves preschool children from the age of 2 years 3 months until entry into kindergarten.  The school is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of Coastal Community Preschool parents, members from the Santa Cruz community and teachers at the School.

Mission and Goals

Coastal Community Preschool seeks to provide a safe, accessible, family –centered environment that nurtures children as individuals, fosters social understanding, and serves as a vital part of its local community.  In this setting, we will celebrate the unique spirit of each child and strive to cultivate Good People who recognize and respect their own precious worth and that of others.

The Preschool approaches this mission with the following goals:

  • To create a sanctuary for learning that honors and protects each child’s interests and ideas, and encourages development at each child’s own pace;
  • To sustain a talented, experienced and highly skilled faculty by ensuring respectable salary levels and benefits and maintaining a comfortable, stimulating workplace that encourages participation in organizational development;
  • To provide a diverse and inclusive environment in which children learn to appreciate different lifestyles and cultures;
  • To prepare children for school through emotional readiness, and through cultivation of each child’s unique strengths and interests;
  • To encourage a family-centric, team-approach among parents and teachers who share a mutual goal of raising a community of strong, confident, and happy children;
  • To serve as an integral part of the local community by providing a variety of resources in support of strong families, successful parenting and learning readiness.

Philosophy

At Coastal Community Preschool, we believe children learn best in a warm, welcoming, safe and vibrant community where their ideas are respected, their motives trusted, and their needs are met to the fullest extent possible.  In addition to creating and maintaining this environment, we are committed to fostering a sense of community by facilitating shared experiences that engage intellect, emotion, and senses, encouraging children to reflect on these together.  By focusing on the child as both an individual and vital community member, our goal is to help develop a sense of belonging and self-respect, as well as respect and compassion for others.  We believe children have to develop socially in order to be prepared for school academically.

We are committed to providing developmentally appropriate experiences for all students.  To do this, we must consider each child’s developmental readiness and learning style.  We also strive to create an excitement for learning by encouraging children to recognize and appreciate their own interests and talents.  To this end, Coastal Community teachers provide a large palette of rich and varied experiences, enabling children to explore many different avenues of creativity and learning.  Teachers offer positive guidance to help children navigate the many possibilities, and hone in on those that build their self esteem, enhance problem-solving skills, and create an enthusiasm for further discovery.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Coastal Community Preschool does not discriminate against families, employees, or applicants for employment because of race, color, religion , national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition (cancer related), marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, age (over 18), veteran status, or any other non-merit factor unrelated to job duties.  Such action shall include, but not be limited to the following recruitment; advertising; layoff or termination; rates of pay or other forms of compensation; and selection for training, including apprenticeship; employment, upgrading, demotion or transfer.  Any person who believes that they have been discrimination against can contact Coastal Community Preschool’s Board of Directors.

Coastal Community Preschool is licensed by and is accountable to:

State Department of Social Services
Community Care Licensing
111 North Market Street, Suite 300
San Jose, CA 96117
408 277-1286

Personal (Children’s) Rights/Parents Rights and other children’s records required by the State of California Dept. of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division

Parents will receive a copy of the Personal Rights (children’s) statement and the Parents Rights statement which will need to be read, signed and put into the child’s file along with the following forms:  Consent for Medical Treatment; child’s Pre-admission Health History-Parent’s ReportIdentification and Emergency InformationPhysician’s Report with updated immunization records and TB test; and a signed Admission’s Agreement.  If applicable, a Needs and Services Plan will be submitted.

Eligibility/Admission Procedure

  • Our license allows us to accept children into the program when they reach 2 years 3 months of age up until entry into kindergarten.  We prefer to have children begin at 2 years 6 months.
  • We do not require that children be toilet trained.
  • We accept children with physical or other limitations on an individual basis contingent on our ability to meet their needs.
  • We maintain a policy of non-discrimination regarding race, creed, color, sex, sexual preference, national origin or disability.
  • There is a Director on-site who can arrange parent observations of the classrooms and answer specific questions about the program.  Prospective preschool children are welcome to accompany parents during an observation visit.
  • The Director will meet with the parent and child to determine whether the program can meet the needs of the child and family.
  • All preschool children must have up-to-date immunization records, physician’s health report and emergency information on file in the preschool office before beginning school.

Physical Examination

Children must have a physical exam by their physician sometime in the 12 months prior to admission in order to enroll at Coastal Community.  The doctor must also complete and sign a health evaluation form that we provided in your enrollment packet.  This form, along with a health history form that you will complete, as well as other licensing required forms, is kept in a confidential file in the CCP office.  All forms must be completed, signed and returned no later than the first day of attendance in order for your child to start school. 

Immunizations

Your child must have their immunizations complete and up to date according to California law.  There is an immunization log at the bottom of the health evaluation form that your child’s physician must fill out for you.  Or you can bring the yellow immunization card into the office to be copied.  It is your responsibility to keep your child’s immunizations current, and show proof of new immunizations to the director as they happen.  Their immunizations must include:

  • Polio, 3 doses
  • DTP/Dap/DT/TD, 4 doses
  • MMR, 1 dose after age 1
  • HIB, 1 dose after age 1
  • Hepatitis B, 3 doses
  • Varicella (chicken pox), 1 dose ( unless the child had chicken pox)

Provision is made in Calif. law for the waiver of immunizations for religious or personal choice.

IMMUNIZATION NOT REQUIRED WHEN CONTRARY TO PERSONAL BELIEF

Immunization of a person shall not be required for admission to a school or other institution listed in California HS Section 120335 if the parent or guardian who has assumed responsibility for his or her care and custody in case of a minor, or the person seeking admission if an emancipated minor, files with the governing authority a letter or affidavit stating that immunization contrary to his or her beliefs.  However, whenever there is good cause to believe that the person has been exposed to one of the communicable diseases, listed in subdivision  (a) of California HSC code, Section 120335, that person may be temporarily excluded from the school or institution until danger of contagion has passed.

MEDICAL CONDITION MAKING IMMUNIZATION UNSAFE

If the parent or guardian files with the governing authority a written statement by a licensed physician to the effect the physical condition of the child is such, or medical circumstances relating the child are such that immunization is not considered safe, indicating the specific nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstances that contraindicate immunization, that person shall be exempt from the requirements of Chapter 1, (commencing with Sections 120325, but excluding Section 120380) and Sections 120400, 120405, 120410, and 10415 to the extent indicated by the physicians statement.

Should you choose not to immunize, a waiver form must be filled out.

You may get the form in the preschool office.

Schedule and Programs

CCP offers three programs for the preschool child:  Classroom One is for children 2.5 years-3.5 years of age; Classroom Two is for 3- and 4-year-olds, and Classroom Three is for children who will be old enough to go to kindergarten the following year.  Each classroom has a professional staff with training in early childhood education, which is dedicated to meeting the needs of young children and their families.

All programs maintain a child/teacher ratio of approximately 7 to 1.

Our school is open 5 days per week (excepting holidays and other closure dates).  We open at 7:30 AM and close at 6:00 PM.  Within those hours we maintain a variety of available schedules.

Half Day          8:30 AM – 12:00 PM   M-F, MWF, Tithe

¾ Day             8:30 AM – 3:00 PM                 M-F, MWF, Tithe

Families have the option of purchasing additional hours whenever needed.  See current tuition schedule for details. We normally follow a 10-month school calendar (Sept-June).

Summer: We also offer a 9-week summer program.  Please find the summer 2012 application in your packet.

We do not offer any services other than these basic services.

Curriculum

Coastal Community Preschool offers a full, developmentally appropriate academic curriculum, which includes early literacy and mathematical concept activities, as well as an exploration of the arts and sciences.  Unit blocks, puzzles, manipulative toys, simple board games, picture books, audio recordings and musical instruments, art materials such as markers, paint, glue, and safe scissors, dramatic play materials such as dolls, dress up clothes and props, puppets, and sand and water toys are available.  Opportunities for cooking, gardening, creative movement and dramatics are also offered.

Teachers provide a variety of activities and materials that are selected to: emphasize concrete experiential learning; encourage children to think, reason, question and experiment; encourage language and literacy development; enhance physical development and skill; build upon their curiosity to initiate discoveries in science and social studies; encourage sound health, safety and nutritional practices; and respect cultural diversity.  Circle times and small group times are part of the daily routine in order that the children learn to share, to listen, to participate and to care for one another.

The program for the youngest children is paced appropriately and provides nurturing teachers available and responsive to the child’s needs.  The pre-kindergarten program is designed to meet the transitional needs of the older preschooler and to prepare him/her for a successful entrance into kindergarten.  We realize that a pre-kindergartener is ready for a more directed exploration of curriculum, being already familiar with and comfortable in the preschool environment.  All programs strive to maintain a close relationship between home and school, parents and staff, teacher and child.

Arrival and Departure Procedures

Parents and/or caregivers MUST sign your child in and out each day.  A form requiring your full signature (initials only are not acceptable) with the time of arrival and time of departure will be available in each classroom.  A comment book for special instructions (emergency phone numbers for the day, pick-up or health information) will also be available.

When you arrive with your child please come in and stay until she is involved in an activity and has been greeted by a teacher.  Check your family file daily.  Remember to say good-bye to your child when you leave, and then leave promptly.  Please do not just sneak out without saying goodbye to your child.  We are building trust and it is easier for your child if good-byes are clear.  Teachers will help you and your child through this process.

Children will be released only to parents or those adults given specific permission on a pre-arranged basis.  Parents must leave written permission authorizing someone else to pick up their child.  A child will never be released to an adult we don’t know without express permission of the parents and only when proper identification is provided.

Please note the following important guidelines:

Until children are picked up by their parents or other authorized caregivers, they are required to stay in an area supervised by a teacher.  In the afternoon after rest time, children may move from one supervised area to another, so the supervising teacher in one room may not be aware of exactly where a specific child will be.  However, all children will be in an area where they are under adult supervision.  Once a parent has signed a child out, the teachers will no longer be responsible for the supervision of that child.  At that point, the parent is solely responsible for supervising the child.  Also, be aware of your child’s whereabouts while you are chatting with other parents at pick up time.  The parking lot can be a dangerous place.

Clothing

Dress children in “play clothes” for school.  Paints and other materials that the children will be actively exploring may stain.  We recommend the pre-treating of any paint and white glue spots before regular washing.  We provide art smocks for painting and water play, but often, children refuse to wear them.  Shoes:  Avoid fancy, smooth-soled ones, or flip flops that might slip when climbing.  Athletic shoes with Velcro are especially good.  Label Everything:  jackets, sweaters, socks, shoes,

Toys from Home

We would like to encourage children to play with materials selected for the school environment.  Occasionally, however, a child might feel a strong need to bring a special toy from home to aid in the transition to school.  This can be worked out between the parent and the classroom teacher.  Individual classrooms may have special sharing times as determined by the teacher.  At those times teachers might allow toys to be shared as well as special objects such as photographs, travel souvenirs, and other assorted treasures.  Toy weapons such as guns, swords, action figures holding weapons, etc. are not permitted at school.  Of course, comfort items are always welcome and can be stored in your child’s “cubby” when not needed.

Lunches/Snacks

Coastal Community serves a morning snack (which is prepared onsite) between 9:30 and 10:00 AM and an afternoon snack at approximately 3:30 PM.  Parents must notify the teaching staff of any known food allergies or food restrictions affecting your child.  It may be necessary for parents to provide special dietary foods.

Children will need to bring lunch from home.  Label lunch container with your child’s name in an obvious place (we often have several boxes in the same popular style).  Include only nutritious, healthful food in the lunches.  We would like for children to be in charge of their own lunches at lunchtime.  If all food available is nutritious, then teachers won’t have to monitor what is eaten first.  If goodies or treats seem important, you may include just a small token amount.  A sample lunch might be:  a peanut butter sandwich, some cut up fruit, a few pretzels, one little cookie and a thermos of milk.  Another possibility:  thermos of soup, a few crackers, cheese slices and a bottle of water.   Beware of prepackaged foods.  They might be convenient, but most of each box drink, pop-top applesauce, etc., ends up in the trash.  Do not include candy, gum or large quantities of sugary or salty foods.

Some sort of ice pack to keep things cool is also a good idea.

Because teachers have many children to help during lunchtime, they are unable to disrupt their supervision of the children in order to heat or cut up food for individuals.  Wide mouth thermoses are effective in keeping food warm.

Birthdays

We celebrate all children’s birthdays at school.  We have a special circle time activity and families may choose to bring a special snack to share with the class.  If you would like to be involved, please let us know.

Nap Time

            Nap time away from home is a delicate time.  We provide each child who stays through rest time with a routine to help the transition from active play to quiet resting.  We will provide each child with a sleeping mat and a clean sheet.  Our routine starts after lunch with toileting, hand washing, story time and then resting on mats, while listening to quiet music with individual attention.  Please let teachers know about any special routines that your child relies on to slip off to sleep.

Please send a blanket for your child to use at nap time.  This blanket can stay at school; we will wash it as needed.  Send any comfort items (special blanket, teddy bear) that will help your child relax.

We request that you plan your pick-up time BEFORE 12:30 or AFTER 1:30.  This courtesy will provide all the children with a minimum of interruptions and a restful environment.

Resources for Parents

Teachers and parents should communicate frequently about child-rearing practices such as discipline, feeding, toileting, etc. in order to maximize ability to generalize rules and expectations in both settings.  The expertise of early childhood professionals is a rich source of information to assist parents in their complex roles.  Feel free to schedule an appointment at any time with your child’s teacher to discuss any parenting challenges or questions you might have.

Community Resources and Consulting Services

Coastal Community Preschool sometimes works with the preschool resource specialists who work through the school districts of Santa Cruz County.  These specialists and agencies provide screening and assessment of the development of children.  Our goal is to identify children who might be at risk for developmental delays, have the child fully assessed, and form a team of professionals that might include a psychologist, nurse, speech-language pathologist and teachers.  The team will work together with the family to implement an education plan designed to meet the needs of that individual child.  These programs are provided without charge to eligible children who reside in the County of Santa Cruz.

Some of the other resources on our area:

  • Child Care Switchboard.  476-7140
  • Family Service Agency of  The Central Coast  423-9444 (offers sliding scale)
  • The Parents Center.  426-7322
  • Pediatric Therapy Center.  Located in Aptos.  Offers occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech/language therapy for young children. (831) 684-1804
  • Santa Cruz Child Development Resource Center: Santa Cruz 466-5820 Watsonville 763-8725.
  • Women’s Crisis Support.  685-3737
  • The ABRITE Organization: .454.8530   email: info@abrite.org  www.abrite.org

Parent Participation

Parents are welcome visitors in the classroom at all times (for example, to observe, eat lunch with a child, or volunteer to help in the classroom).  Parents and other family members are encouraged to become involved in the program in a variety of ways, taking into consideration working parents and those with little spare time.  Ask your classroom teachers for ideas of how you can actively participate in the program.  CCP intends to be inclusive of all families in a bias-free environment that welcomes and values every child and parent.  If you feel that any curriculum or policy hinders this goal please notify us immediately.

 

Parent/Teacher Conferences

            In addition to the annual “get acquainted” conferences in the fall and formal Parent/Teacher conferences held in spring, parents are welcome at any time to schedule a conference with their child’s teacher.  Communication is an important part of providing good care.

Field Trips

  • Sometimes a walk around the neighborhood, or to the duck pond, would be a field trip.
  • Emergency cards and medical release forms will be taken on trips.
  • Field trips will have approximately one adult for every four children.
  • Adults will have children specifically assigned to them and will be responsible for them for the duration of the trip.
  • Parents need to sign a field trip permission slip upon enrollment to allow their child to go on field trips.
  • You would be notified ahead of time about any field trips happening in your child’s class.
  • Parents will leave car seats to be used for their child under six years or sixty pounds.
  • Parent and staff drivers must be insured and their cars must be maintained sufficiently to be safe to transport children. 

Child Safety and Accident Procedures

Children are under adult supervision (by sight and sound) at all times.  Wherever children go, even to the bathroom an adult accompanies them.

If a child suffers an accident or injury, an Accident report Form will be filled out by the teacher responsible for supervision.  This form will be filled out immediately after the incident and the parents/guardians will be informed.  The injury will be recorded on an “ouch” report, which are located in classrooms and other areas.

We do not have the training to diagnose and therefore err on the side of caution.  In the case of serious injury, a person trained in First Aid may render appropriate aid, but 9-1-1 will be called.  Other than minor bumps and scrapes, parents will be called immediately whenever an injury occurs.  All of the teachers are certified in emergency pediatric first aid treatment including CPR for infants and children.

Safety and Emergency Information

Our staff is keenly aware of the importance of a well-supervised and safe environment.

When minor accidents happen (scrapes, cuts, etc.) the staff will provide the necessary

First aid. An accident report will be put in your family file. In the event of a more serious accident, we will contact you immediately and perform all necessary actions.

 It is the parent’s responsibility to have a medical release form, as well as an up to date emergency card on file at all times.

In the event of a natural or other kind of disaster and the building is not safe, it may be necessary to evacuate the building.  There may also be a situation where the building is safe enough to occupy, but parents/guardians cannot get to the Preschool to pick up their children.  In this case, we will keep your child at school until you arrive or someone on your emergency form arrives.

These possibilities make it necessary to identify (ahead of time) alternative sites that can be used to care for the children. Depending on the disaster or emergency, we would move into other rooms or buildings of the FCC property, or to predesignated Care relocation sites.

CARE sites are preschool families and caregivers who have volunteered to care for one or more children in the event of an evacuation or stranded children.

You will be notified of alternate location when you arrive at the school site.  There will be a notice posted on the front door.

We have plenty of emergency supplies located outside of the building, enough for a few days, if needed.

Children are involved in monthly earthquake and fire drills.

.  Establish confirmed out-of-state and/or out of area telephone contacts that can be used to relay information in case local phone lines are overloaded or cell towers are down.

Our policies and procedures for Disaster and emergency are posted and kept updated.

Health and Medication Guidelines

The health guidelines are for the protection of all the children and families of Coastal Community Preschool.  It is often difficult to tell how sick children are when they do not appear well.  Because this is the age of the highest incidence of communicable disease, it is impossible to prevent illness completely, especially in a group situation.  The spreading of illness and the severity of illness may be reduced by careful assessment of the children’s health.  Parents should call the preschool regarding any illness your child is experiencing.  A teacher will assess each child’s health upon arriving at school each day and will discuss any problems with the parent.

Daily Health Screening

According to State Licensing regulations, our preschool staff shall be responsible for insuring that children with obvious symptoms of illness, including but not limited to fever and vomiting, are not admitted into the preschool. At arrival time, the greeting teacher will check in regarding how your child is that day. He/she will also check the child for any signs of illness at that time.   Please provide health information including sleep and eating patterns over the last 24 hours, any changes in health or changes in behaviors.  Also let the teacher know about any medications (prescription or over the counter) they he/she has taken and if there is medication we are to help with at school.  No child shall be admitted without contact between the teacher and the person bringing the child to school.  This person must remain until the assessment is complete.

Exclusion for illness policy

Keeping children healthy is a partnership between families, childcare providers, the children themselves, and your medical provider.  Some illnesses require exclusion to insure the ill child’s protection, and to protect the other children, families and staff.

Families are expected to observe the child each morning for any signs of illness and to call with any questions or problems.  Please call in to let us know your child will be staying home for any reason, especially in the case of illness.

Please do not send your child to school on over-the-counter medications without first checking in with the director or your child’s teacher.  Fever reducers and antihistamines can mask real symptoms of a cold or flu, which contributes to the spread of illness.  They can also cause behavioral changes in children.  Please inform your child’s teachers when they are on any type of medication, so they/we are best able to care for your child.

Reasons to exclude a child

  1. The illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in our program.
  2. The child requires more care than we can provide without compromising the other children in the program.
  3. the illness is any of the specifically diagnosed conditions listed below:

Notifying staff:   Please notify us if your child will be home ill.

If your child comes down with a contagious illness, even if it occurs over the weekend, please notify the director as soon as possible.  We are required to report to public health, and to post an exposure notice.  Both of these things are done while maintaining complete confidentiality.  Examples of reportable illnesses are:  measles, rubella, chicken pox, head lice, etc.

Children must stay home or may be sent home with any of the following symptoms:

  • A temperature of 100 degrees or above.  Children should not return until a fever has been normal for 24 hours.
  • Has a new, clear or white runny nose less than 3 days old, or in combination with other symptoms.
  • A recurring cough or sneeze with mucous secretion (wet or wheezy) that could be spreading a bacterial or viral infection.
  • Diarrhea (loose, watery stools) twice in one day or one loose stool combined with a mild fever.  Child may return to school after 24 hours with no diarrhea.
  • Recurring vomiting or vomiting accompanied by fever.  Child may return to school after no vomiting for 24 hours.
  • “Pink eye” or conjunctivitis.  Symptoms are red, watery eyes or mucous discharge from the eye.
  • Presence of unknown rash, body rash with fever or skin ailments such as impetigo, scabies (raised red spots or lines), ringworm,  yellow skin, cold sores or fever blisters until scabbed over.
  • Yellow eyes, or thick or thin and watery mucus or puss draining from eye (may or may not be accompanied by redness or itching), will not be admitted with discharge, unless on medication or with doctor’s note.
  • Head Lice or nits (eggs):  If head lice are discovered, you must keep your child at home and notify the school immediately!  Your child is not permitted to return to school until there is no more evidence of live lice or eggs.

Your child may return to Coastal Community when:

  • Fever:  Has had a normal temperature of less than 100° for 24 hours, and other symptoms of illness have cleared and/or behavior has come back to a typical healthy behavior.
  • Colds:  Has a runny nose with no other symptoms that is no less than 3 days old.  Has a runny nose with no other symptoms that is less than 3 days old with a doctor’s note stating that it is an allergic condition.
  • Diarrhea: Has had a normal bowel movement since onset of diarrhea, and has NOT had diarrhea for at least 24 hours.
  • Vomiting:  No vomiting or accompanying symptoms for previous 24 hours.
  • Skin: absence of skin condition symptoms, or doctor’s note with permission.  Children with heat or diaper rash may attend school.  Child with allergy may attend school with a note from the medical practitioner.
  • Eyes:  No signs of fresh discharge from the eyes, or discoloration.  Doctor visit recommended.
  • Lice:  Treatment with lice shampoo or prescribed treatment.  Removal of all eggs.

 

These health guidelines apply to staff as well as children.  Parents are asked to observe the child each morning for signs of illness and contact a teacher with any question or problem.  In the event a child becomes ill during a school day, parents will be contacted to pick the child up and the child will be isolated until a parent or pick up person arrives.  Please be sure that emergency and telephone information is kept up to date.

Staff is alert to the health of each child.  Individual medical problems and accidents are recorded and reported to staff and families.

Child Medication Policy

Prescription medications can be administered at school to a child ONLY if the following conditions are met:

  • WE WILL NOT GIVE THE FIRST DOSE OF A NEW MEDICATION.
  • Parent must complete a “Permission to administer medication” form.
  • Medication form must be signed, dated and must include the name of the medication, date, dosage and times to be given.
  • All medication must be in the original container, with the prescription visible and readable on the container.
  • The child’s name and the daily medication dosage must be on the prescription label.
  • Over the counter medication can only be dispensed from the original container and a permission to administer medication form is filled out by the parent/guardian.

Program Assumptions

Coastal Community Preschool’s educational program is based on establishing a learning environment that is experiential, active and developmentally appropriate to the needs of preschool children. We work to provide as active and varied a learning environment as possible and will be reluctant to deprive all children of certain activities because of the behavior or need of one or two individuals.  We see this learning environment as enhanced by the opportunity for children to make age-appropriate choices, and will not create a regimented classroom due to an individual child’s inability to make acceptable choices, or inability too control his or her behavior.

Discipline/Rules

CCP believes in a non-punitive approach to discipline.  In the case of an extreme behavior problem, a child would be removed from the group for a brief time, and a teacher would work closely with that child toward positive redirection.  Teachers try to model positive attitudes and cooperative behavior rather than use punishment or blame.  We want children to be successful, not only in their academic challenges, but in social experiences as well.  Rules are based on safety and consideration of others.  Children are expected to gradually learn to use the rules. Under no condition may any staff members spank or use any kind of physical or negative emotional discipline with children at our school.  (For further information See appendix A on page i)

Parents should note that, under state law, teachers are mandated to report any cases of suspected child abuse to the appropriate authorities. 

Serving Children with Special Needs

Children’s special needs should be interpreted broadly.  For example, food allergies, family situation, personal fears or preferences may constitute special needs.  Coastal Community accepts children with various disabilities, learning delays, or speech and language delays, as long as the needs of all the children in the program can be met.  Parents and teachers are involved in development and use of individual education plans.  The preschool staff is familiar with available community resources and can refer parents.

           Grievance procedure       

Coastal Community Preschool has established the following grievance procedure to provide each parent/guardian fair and impartial treatment.

 One – Verbal discussion/Direct communication:

If a parent or staff member has a communication difficulty or conflict we ask the parent or staff member to first approach the person with whom they feel there is a problem.  Often the matter can be clarified and mutually resolved in this manner.

Two – Direct Supervisor:  If the problem does not feel resolved, we ask that the parent or staff member speak to the direct supervisor within 10 days of the occurrence.  An example is after talking to a teacher or parent; you can talk to the Head Teacher of that program.

Three – Program Director:  If the problem is still not resolved, we ask that you go directly to the Program Director and refer your grievance in writing within 3 days.  The Program Director will promptly schedule a meeting to provide an opportunity for each party to present his/her case.  Within 3 days after that meeting or such a period as is required under the circumstances to properly investigate the matter, the Program Director will provide each party with a verbal or written response to the grievance.

Four-Board of Directors:  if either party is not satisfied with the decision at the third step, each party will have an additional 3 days to request in writing a personal interview with the Board of Directors, who will discuss the problem and investigate the basis for the grievance.  The Board of Directors will provide either a verbal or written decision within 10 working days unless it has been determined that additional time is required under the circumstances.  The decision at this step shall be final and conclusive for all parties.

It is the intention of Coastal Community Preschool to be fair and impartial in order to establish the smoothest relationship possible.  No Party will be discriminated against or retaliated against, or in any way penalized for using this procedure.

It is the goal of CCP to support all families and staff in resolving issues, while respecting individual values, goals, and privacy.  We hope that with this process we are able to resolve differences of conflicts with respect and concern for all parties involved.

No part of this procedure is intended to create an express or implied agreement that alters the preschool contract.

APPENDIX A – Goals of Discipline

DISCIPLE= “training to ensure proper behavior \ practice of teaching/enforcing acceptable patterns of behavior.”

Helping children manage behavior

            At Coastal Community Preschool we believe that a positive approach to discipline can lead to a happy child.  Children’s good behavior is praised and affirmed.  Our curriculum fosters children to behave responsibly.  Toward that end, we set age-appropriate rules, expectations and follow throughs that are reasonable, related and respectful.

Our goal in discipline is to guide the behavior of children in such a manner that they will internalize our outward expectations.  Therefore, developing the inner controls they need to function as whole and happy individuals is a key point.

Conditions under which we use positive discipline are when a child exhibits unacceptable or disruptive behavior or is acting in a way that may be harmful to himself, another child or a teacher. Teachers use positive discipline methods as follows:

POSITIVE DISCIPLINE METHODS:

  • Disapprove of the behavior, not the child.  (I don’t like it when you hit)
  • Give the child words for his feelings (You seem angry)
  • Acknowledge the struggle the child is engaged in (You really want that bike)
  • Be understanding about his frustration (It’s hard to wait for your turn)
  • Aid children engaged in a struggle to work out a solution (What do you think we can do about this?)
  • Help with a solution (I’ll set the timer for 2 minutes then it’s your turn to ride)
  • Redirect the child to a different activity (Let’s see what’s in the science area)
  • When a child hits, bites or pushes another child, we let him know his behavior is not OK (That hurt Jimmy. It’s not OK to hit Jimmy. You need to use your words.)
  • We give the injured child words for his feelings (You can tell Jose you’re angry)
  • We stop the behavior (I won’t let you hurt Jimmy)
  • Help calm the child (I will stay with you until you are calm)
  • Ask parents to develop consistent responses to behaviors at home and school
  • Call parent to pick up child when behavior is unmanageable

The environment will be analyzed daily to find every possible way to prevent misbehaviors from occurring.  This includes making sure the environment supports children’s differing abilities and interests, the schedule of the day minimizes demands on the children, and guidelines have been established that are fair, consistent, and reasonable for preschool age children.  Additionally, teachers examine their own styles, attitudes, and actions to make sure they are not inadvertently contributing to power struggles with the children and fueling occurrences of inappropriate behavior.

If prevention techniques are ineffective, the teaching staff will look at what discipline method would be most effective in the given situation.  Though not all inappropriate behavior can or should be ignored, ones that simply annoy rather than harm can be handled best by ignoring the unacceptable behavior.  If behavior is potentially dangerous or destructive, the child will be redirected or given a replacement activity.

If redirection is unsuccessful, the child will be given a consequence that logically follows their actions and is reasonable, related and respectful.  This should be phrased positively and rely on the child’s problem solving skills.  The child will be directed to a logical consequence with sound reasoning behind it.  By doing this, teachers are modeling respectful behavior and encouraging the same from the children.

Through this action-consequence process, children develop a sense of responsibility for their actions while strengthening their decision-making skills.

Removal from the situation is most effective in situations where a child has lost control and is unable to reason.  Therefore, it is only used as a last resort when other methods have failed.  It is also appropriate for an aggressive child to gain self-control away from other children.  The following principles will be observed for removal to be a positive learning experience leading to self-discipline:

  • Removal IS NOT punishment.  Children will not be threatened with or fearful of being removed from their work environment.
  • Removal will not be humiliating.  Consequently, there is not a predetermined place.  Instead, the teacher takes the child to a comfortable location away from, but within view of other children and remains with the child to assist them in gaining self-control.  The child can choose to sit, stand, lay down, etc.  Whatever is most comfortable for the child.  This is not the time to get into a power struggle with the child.

Children are not left without an adult.  This separation is not a punishment but a time to calm down and learn from what they have just experienced.  They need adult guidance to know what behavior is expected in the future and feel the adult’s confidence that they will use better judgment when they return to the group.  The adult will reassure the child that they will be with them when they go back with the group and assist them in maintaining self-control.

The removal from the activity will last as long as the child feels is needed to calm down.  If children underestimate the length of time they need, they can be asked to try to calm down again away from the other children.

The time for the adult and the child to talk about feelings and actions is after the child has calmed down.  An adult’s presence can help calm an angry child and it is only after calm has been restored, that the discussion will it be productive.  When the child is ready to rejoin the group the adult will help the child become involved in a play situation with other children so that the child can have a successful play experience immediately after the removal from the group.  At this point, it is imperative that the adult express confidence in the child’s ability to play appropriately.

Progress may be slow.  It takes time for children to understand self-control instead of adult-imposed punishment.  We will remain consistent.  Helping children learn to control themselves takes time.  It is an essential skill that allows them to grow into independent and caring people.

DISCIPLINE PRACTICES WE DO NOT USE

  • We do not use corporal punishment
  • We do not humiliate, intimidate, shame, embarrass or threaten
  • We do not use any action of a punitive nature that would interfere with daily routines such as eating, napping or toileting
  • We do not physically restrain children with our bodies, only with our hands
  • We do not isolate children by themselves

Our primary goal upon enrollment is to ensure that our program is an appropriate placement for your child.  In order for the program to accommodate the well-being, mixed schedules and diverse needs of the families we serve, all enrolled children must be able to function well in a stimulating, age appropriate environment and curriculum.

GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL

We reserve the right to withdraw services if the program is not appropriate for your child, or your child’s behavior constitutes a safety or legal hazard.  We will document any situation determined by our staff to be causing problems for the preschool.  We will then schedule a conference to discuss the problem and set up a course of action with a timetable for resolution.  However, in an emergency situation, we will take immediate action, with our without documentation or conference, and a service termination will occur.

Notice of dismissal may result if:

  • A child’s behavior creates a need for one-on one supervision
  • Child’s behavior is consistently disruptive to the group
  • Child’s behavior constitutes a safety or legal hazard.
  • Child continually acts out aggressively towards other children
  • Parent declines professional help to work on their child’s challenging behavior and/or their own parenting skills
  • Children who are overwhelmed by large groups, noise, or activity.
  • Children who have outgrown our program and need one geared for older children.

Other grounds for dismissal

  • Parent or Guardian Continued late payment or non-payment of fees.
  • Parent inappropriate, aggressive or threatening behavior.
  • Parent’s failure to comply with the Preschool’s policies as described throughout this Handbook after being warned.
  • Parents whose behavior causes disruption, distress or endangerment (boisterous actions or insensitivity to classroom conditions, verbal or physical abuse, intoxication, threats toward children or adults and so on.).
  • Concern for child’s safety due to parent intoxication or drugged condition.

Course of action: termination:  Teachers consider their role as being partners in helping children to be secure and happy.  One of our goals is to help children manage their feelings and behavior while at school.

  1.  Verbal / written discussion(s)
  2. Formal conference:  “Parent/Teacher Action Plan” We ask you to enter into this agreement as our partner in the goal of helping your child manage their feelings and behavior while at school.
  3. Notice of Decision to terminate 

Integration Clause and Right to Review

This Parent Handbook contains the policies and practices at Coastal Community Preschool in effect at the time of publication. All previously issued handbooks and any inconsistent policy statements or memoranda are suspended. Coastal Community Preschool reserves the rights to revise, modify, delete, or add to all policies and procedures stated in this handbook or any other document. Any written changes to this handbook will be distributed to parents at least 30 calendar days prior to the effective date.