Parent Handbook

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Coastal Community Preschool

Parent Handbook

 2020-2021 School Year

Welcome to Coastal Community Preschool (CCP), an independent, private, incorporated, non-profit organization that 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 School 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 the 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 a 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 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.

Admissions Policies and Procedures

Coastal Community Preschool is licensed to provide the following program:

  • We may accept children into the program when they reach 2 years 3 months of age up until entry into kindergarten.
  • We do not require that children be toilet trained.
  • We accept children with physical or other limitations on an individual basis, contingent upon our ability to meet their needs.
  • We maintain a policy of non-discrimination regarding race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability.
  • The Director on site 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 the family.
  • All entering preschool children must have up-to-date immunization records, a physician’s health report, and emergency information on file in the preschool office before beginning school.

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 conditions, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age (over 18 for staff members), veteran status, or any other non-merit factors unrelated to job duties. Such action shall include, but not be limited to the following: recruitment, advertising, layoff or termination, rate of pay or other forms of compensation, and selection for training, employment, advancement, demotion, or transfer.  Any person who believes that they have been discriminated against can contact the CCP Board of Directors.

The School 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 Rights – Children and Parents

All parents will receive a copy of the Personal Rights Statement (children’s) and the Parent’s Rights Statement which will need to be read, signed and placed in the child’s file along with the following forms:

  • Consent for Medical Treatment
  • Child’s Preadmission Health History/Parent’s Report
  • Identification and Emergency Information
  • Physician’s Report with updated immunization records and TB test
  • Signed admissions agreement
  • If applicable, a Needs and Services Plan

A licensing agent has the authority to stop by the school at any time, with or without advance notice to perform a health and safety inspection. This person has the authority to interview individual children. The State Licensing Agency may be contacted by parents at any time. (See above contact information)

Additional Policies

  • The regular school year runs from late August to mid-June. The first tuition payment is due August 1 of each school year. Thereafter, tuition payments are due by the first of each month, September through May.
  • All tuition payments are made payable to Coastal Community Preschool and should be delivered to the School. There is a tuition folder in the parent file in each classroom.
  • Tuition payments are considered to be late if not received by the fifteenth of the month and are subject to a $25 per month late charge.
  • Extended care is available on a first-come, first-served basis and billed hourly at the rate of $15 per hour.
  • You must record the extended Care hours your child uses on the sign-in sheet in the last column. You will be billed on your next monthly billing statement.
  • Late pick-up charge:  a charge of $20.00 for every 5 minutes will be applied If the parent or guardian is late picking up a child after their contracted schedule pick up time

The fee will be enforced after all partial day schedules also; 12:40, 4:40 and at 6:01.

The Preschool official closing time is 6:00PM for full-day schedules.  This fee will be applied regardless of notification to the preschool regarding you being late.  Late pick-up care charges are in addition to tuition and fees for the student’s regular Preschool program.

  • A summer program is available for an additional fee.
  • Financial Aid – Coastal Community Preschool provides a limited amount of need-based financial aid. Calculations are made by an independent organization (School and Student Services by the National Association of Independent Schools). All financial aid applications and family data are completely confidential. For more information call or see Stephanie Simmons in the CCP office.
  • Coastal Community Preschool admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its admissions policies, financial aid, or other school-administered programs.
  • Tuition is subject to change annually.

Schedule and Programs

Coastal Community Preschool offers three programs for the preschool child:

  • Classroom One is for children 2.3 – 3.5 years of age.
  • Classroom Two is for children 3-4-year-old.
  • Classroom Three is for children who will be old enough to go to kindergarten the following school year.

Each classroom has a professional staff with training in early childhood education and is dedicated to meeting the needs of your children and their families. All programs maintain a child/teacher ratio of approximately 7/1.

Following a ten-month school calendar, August to June, the School is open five 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 offer a variety of schedules.  (see page 4)

There is a nine-week summer program available.  The Summer Camp applications will be distributed in February.

Teaching Assignments

At CCP we teach in teams.  It is of paramount importance that every child receives the attention s/he deserves, and we find that our teacher to child ratios help us to achieve this goal. Teaching teams work closely with one another to assess developmental growth, plan curriculum, devise strategies for challenging situations and provide excellent classroom management.

2020-2021 Teacher Assignments

Classroom 1

Samantha Birmingham     

.

Classroom 2  

Meghan Ammon

Suzie Dailey

Jasmyn Miller (afternoon)

Classroom 3 

Olivia Lastra

Patience Harris

Linda Luck (afternoon)

 Curriculum

At CCP we believe in the value and the power of play.  For the preschool-aged child, play is work! Play is an absolutely essential process by which children make sense of the world around them.  Through play, children learn who they are, what they can do, and what they can become. A play-based curriculum helps prepare children for their future experiences at CCP as well as in kindergarten, elementary school, and beyond.

Coastal Community 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. Throughout the year we will demonstrate and document how your child plays and what they learn in the process. We hope you will take the time to appreciate and understand the value of the different learning centers in your child’s classroom. We strive to create play-rich environments where children can test their capabilities, where they can dare to dream.

Our chief function here at CCP is to create a community and environment that is safe … physically, emotionally, and intellectually.  We actively utilize the emergent curriculum method to help children clarify their interests and come to a deeper understanding of topics they are interested in. We strongly value the Anti-Bias Perspective which helps children come to an understanding of their similarities and differences.

We will update you about your child’s process and, when necessary, alert you to potential gaps that may require extra attention and focus. Unit blocks, puzzles, manipulative toys, simple board games, picture books; audio recordings and musical instruments; art materials such as markers, paint, glue, and scissors; dramatic play materials such as dolls, dress-up clothes, props, and 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.
  • respect cultural diversity.

Group times, large and small, which are part of the daily routine help the children learn to share, to listen, to participate, and to care for one another.

The programs are paced appropriately and provide nurturing teachers available and responsive to the child’s needs. As children move through the classrooms the 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-kindergarten child 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.

When you have questions about our curriculum or methodology, please ask! We love to share the ins and outs of what we do and why. We hope in turn you become strong advocates of early childhood education and spread the word about its merits. We need to help skeptics understand the genuine value that preschool education has for our communities and society.  Your voice matters!

Field Trips

Field trips may be as simple as a walk around the neighborhood, to the duck pond, or have a more involved destination. General field trip information and guidelines are as follows:

  • Parents need to sign a field trip permission slip upon enrollment to allow their child to participate in field trips.
  • Parents will be notified ahead of time about any field trips happening in their child’s classroom.
  • Emergency cards and medical release forms are taken on all field trips.
  • Adults will have children specifically assigned to them and will be responsible for them for the duration of the trip.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

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

Important Parent Information:

Arrival and Departure Procedures

Sign in/Out – Parents and/or caregivers MUST sign your child in and out each day.  A form requiring your full signature (initials only are not acceptable), as well as 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.

Please be sure your child washes her/his hands upon arrival and before they leave for home.  This will help ensure a healthy well-being for classmates and families alike.  You are encouraged to apply sunscreen to your child in the morning.  We will re-apply later in the day.  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 the 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. 

Supervision of Visiting Siblings

Coastal Community Preschool teachers share various duties, tasks, and supervision roles throughout the day.  Because of this, we ask parents or other caregivers to help in the supervision of siblings and extra children who they may bring with them to school.   The center has a high standard of care in regard to the supervision of visiting children.  We ask that the adult keeps the visiting child or children with her or him at all times.  If the visiting child is age 3 or under, we ask that the related adult hold the child, hold the child’s hand, or closely supervise the child within arm’s length at all times.  If the visiting child is age 4 or older, we ask that the related adult keep the child in whatever area s/he is in and supervise appropriately.  We enjoy getting to know our children’s siblings and friends and welcome them as part of the CCP community. 

Clothing

Your child should come to school in “play clothes.” Paints and other materials that the children will be actively exploring may leave stains on their clothing, and 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, the children refuse to wear them.

Shoes – Avoid fancy smooth-soled shoes or flip flops that might slip when climbing.  Athletic shoes with Velcro are highly recommended. Footwear that is too loose, or falls off easily, prevents children from exploring and trying new things in the school environment. At the very least, a strap around the back of the ankle will give the child more stability. 

Label Everything!  Jackets, sweaters, shoes, socks, shirts, and lunchboxes are often alike.

Toys from Home

We want to encourage children to play with materials select to enhance the school program and environment. Please help your child keep their toys at home as there is too much risk of special things becoming lost or broken and often these personal toys incite unnecessary conflict among the children. 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 family artifacts, things they have made or grown, natural objects, journals, stories, photographs, travel souvenirs, and other assorted treasures. Toy weapons such as guns, swords, or action figures holding weapons 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 and Snacks

Coastal Community Preschool serves a morning snack, which is prepared onsite, between 9:30 and 10:00 AM and an afternoon snack at approximately 3:00 PM. We strive to provide healthy, nutritious, and practical snacks and purchase organic milk products and whole grains when financially feasible.

Parents must notify the teaching staff of any known food allergies or food restrictions affecting their child. It may be necessary for parents to provide special dietary foods.

Children bring lunches from home. Label his/her lunch container with your child’s name in an obvious place since we often have several lunchboxes in the same popular style. Include only nutritious, healthful food in their lunches. We would like for children to be in charge of their own lunches at lunchtime. If all food available is nutritious, the teachers will not 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 small cookie, and a thermos of milk. Another possibility could be a 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 or pop-top applesauce 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 hear or cut up food for individual children. 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 and photos to share with the lass. If you would like to be involved, please let us know.

Quiet Rest Time

Rest 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 resting mat and a clean sheet. Our routine starts after lunch with toileting had washing, storytime, 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 rest time and be sure it gets home to be laundered occasionally. Send any comfort items, a special blanket or animal, that may help your child relax.

We prefer that rest time not be interrupted. If you are picking your child up in the early afternoon, we ask that you plan your pick-up time BEFORE 12:30 PM or AFTER 1:30 PM. This courtesy will provide all the children with a minimum of interruptions and a restful environment.

Parent Involvement

Parents are welcome visitors in the classroom at all times, 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. Coastal Community Preschool 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. You are always welcome in our classrooms! It is important for you to witness the learning process of your child in a school setting and the preschool years are a great time to do this.

Parent Participation

Coastal Community Preschool has developed a policy where each parent will be asked to volunteer about three hours per quarter helping around the school in some way. There will be an ongoing list of tasks and jobs to suit your interests and skills. Some tasks will be done monthly, while others may be a single job chosen from a list posted on the main bulletin board and in the classrooms.

We will begin the volunteer list at Back-to-School Night. These tasks could include doing laundry, making playdough, taking books home for repair, working in the school library, special tasks in the classrooms, building and maintenance jobs, and parent workdays.  Look for the sign-up sheets at Back-to-School Night and then follow-up for new requests and updates.

Fundraising Programs that we hold or participate in:

Coastal Community Preschool Federal Tax ID Number is 51-0573359

Trike-a-thon – Our preschoolers are invited to bring their tricycles, scooters, strider bikes etc. and helmets to school on the morning of event day. They will do laps on their trikes around the cones in the parking lot. Families are invited to join us for the festivities and at the conclusion of the trike-a-thon join us for popcorn, coffee, bagels and more.

Our Trike-a-thon is an opportunity for our preschoolers to collect pledges that will fund our enrichment program which starts in the New Year. The enrichment program brings music, art, dance classes and more to our preschoolers and aids in whole child development. All proceeds from this fundraiser will go directly to the enrichment program.

Human Race – This is a fun, 10K walkathon or run that is sponsored by the Volunteer center on the second Saturday in May. The Volunteer Center does all the work putting on the event, providing publicity, planning, pledge sheets, refreshments, and free T-shirts. Coastal Community Preschool families gather pledges and walk on the day of the race.  The School receives 75% of all pledges collected and the Volunteer Center receives the remainder.

Spring Festival  – This is our family festival where CCP families, alumni, friends, and community members enjoy bounce houses, excellent food, lots of fun activities, and time to catch up with friends. A bake sale and a raffle add to the fun which benefits our Scholarship Fund as well as building community for CCP.

eScrip – Register your Safeway card and/or debit cards with eScrip.  When you use registered cards and shop at participating merchants a portion of your purchases are automatically donated to CCP.  Check out www.escrip.com and register your card(s) finding CCP on the drop-down menu.

Renee’s Garden – Shop at www.reneesgarden.com and choose from a wide seed selection of cottage garden flowers, gourmet Certified organic and heirloom vegetables, culinary herbs, seed collections, cookbooks, and more.  Coastal Community Preschool will receive 25% of the value of all online purchases.  Use code FR836C at checkout.

iGive – When you register with iGive as a member, you can generation donations by shopping at more than 1,200 online stores. There are no costs, obligations, or hidden fees with this offer.  Go to www.igive.com , register, select your cause(CCP), and shop.

AmazonSmile – Register with AmazonSmile and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon we all know, same products, prices, and service!

Resources for Parents

Teachers and parents should communicate frequently about child development practices such as discipline, feeding, toileting, etc. in order to maximize the child’s 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 working for 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 in our area:

  • Santa Cruz Child Development Resource Center – cdrc4info.org

Child Care Switchboard.  831.466.5820

  • Family Service Agency of the Central Coast  – 831.423.9444 (offers sliding scale)
  • The Parents Center – 831.426.7322
  • Pediatric Therapy Center – Located in Aptos. Offers occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech/language therapy for young children. 831.684.1804
  • Monarch Services – Formerly Women’s Crisis Support –  831.722.4532

Child Safety

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.

When minor accidents occur such as scrapes, cuts, or bumps, the staff will provide the necessary first aid. An “Ouch” report will be put in your parent fil and in your child’s file.

In the event of a more serious accident, we will contact you immediately and perform all other necessary actions. In the case of serious injury, a person trained in First Aid may render appropriate aid, but 911 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. 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. The staff will care for the children at the preschool until the parents, or other approved adults, arrive. If it is unsafe to remain at the School, we will evacuate to other buildings on the Church property.

There may also be a situation where the building is safe enough to occupy, but parents/ guardians cannot get to the school 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 alternative care sites (CARES), CCP families, or caregivers who have volunteered to care for one or more children in the event of an evacuation or stranded children.  Establishing out-of-state or out-of-area contacts to be used if local phone lines are overloaded or cell towers are down would help in maintaining contact with the CCP families.

If we evacuate the building, we will leave a sign on the front door,  and a message will be sent out through the OneCallNow system.  We have enough emergency supplies store outside the building for a couple of days if needed. Our policies and procedures for Disaster and Emergency Preparedness are posted and updated regularly.

Health and Wellness Policies

Physical Examination

Children must have a physical exam by their physician sometime in the 12 months prior to admission in order to enroll at CCP. The doctor must also complete and sign the health evaluation form provided in the enrollment packet. This form, along with a health history form that you will complete, and the other licensing required forms, is kept in a confidential file in the 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 State law. There is an immunization log at the bottom of the health evaluation form that your child’s physician must fill out. You can also bring in a  copy of your child’s immunization record. It is your responsibility to keep your child’s immunizations current and show proof of new immunizations to the director or office manager 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 (chickenpox), 1 dose, unless the child has had chickenpox

Exemptions to Immunization Requirements

On June 30, 2015, the California Governor signed SB277 which states that personal and religious exemptions will not be allowed in California, effective July 1, 2016. At that time, only medical exemptions will be allowed.

The exemptions currently permitted by California law are:

  • Medical Exemption

A licensed physician (MD or DO) who feels a vaccine is not indicated for a student because of medical reasons should submit to the school, via the patient’s family as needed, a written statement documenting the medical exemption. A form that can assist in this process is available to physicians. The school will place a copy of the completed statement in the student’s file.

  • Personal Beliefs Exemption

As of July 1, 2016, personal and religious belief exemptions will no longer be allowed.

A parent or guardian may have a child exempted from required immunizations if immunization is contrary to his/her beliefs.  Schools have standardized procedures for parents and guardians who request a personal beliefs exemption.

Should you choose not to immunize, a waiver form must be filled out. You may get the form in the School office.

Exemptions to immunizations should not be taken because of convenience. Unimmunized students are at greater risk of contracting diseases and spreading them to their families, schools, and communities. Schools should maintain an up-to-date list of students with exemptions so that these students can be excluded from school quickly if an outbreak occurs.

Health and Medication Guidelines

These health guidelines are for the protection of all the children and families of CCP. 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 the illness may be reduced by careful assessment of your child‘s health each morning. Parents should call the School about 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 you.

Daily Health Screening

According to State Licensing regulations, our School staff shall be responsible for ensuring that children with obvious symptoms of illness including, but not limited to, fever and vomiting, are not admitted into School that day. At arrival time, the greeting teacher will check in regarding how your child is that day. S/he 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 behaviors. In addition, please let the teacher know about any medications or prescriptions over the counter, that s/he has taken and if there is a medication that we are to help with at school. No child shall be admitted for the day without contact between the teacher and the person bringing the child to school. This person must remain until this assessment is complete.

Exclusion for Illness Policy

Keeping children healthy is a partnership between families, the School, the children themselves, and your medical provider. Some illnesses require exclusion to ensure the ill child’s protection, and to protect the other children, families, and staff. Families are expected to observe their children 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 are best able to care for the child.

Reasons to keep a child home:

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

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 expose notice. Both of these things are done while maintaining complete confidentiality.  Examples of reportable illnesses are measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, and head lice.

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

  • Any COVID-19 symptoms. See Pandemic Policy for further information.
  • A fever or temperature of 100.1° or greater within the last 72 hours.
  • Lethargy or inattentiveness, uncharacteristic behavioral changes such as these are often related to illness. This is especially true when the child has an inability to focus on their normal daily routines.
  • 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 bacterial or viral infection.
  • Diarrhea (loose, watery stools) twice in one day or one loose stool combined with a mild fever. The child may return to school after 24 hours with no diarrhea.
  • Pink Eye or conjunctivitis – symptoms are red, watery eyes, or mucous discharge from the eye.
  • Yellow eyes with thick or thin watery mucous or pus draining from the eye. It may or may not be accompanied by redness or itching. A child with eye discharge will not be admitted, unless on medication or with a doctor’s note.
  • Presence of unknown rash, body rash with fever, or skin ailments such as impetigo, scabies (raised red spots or lines), ringworm, yellow skin, impetigo Coxsackie’s virus, poison oak, cold/canker sores, fever blisters usually accompanied by raised red spots or lines, swelling and/or intense itching.
  • Change in skin conditions and rashes, not including eczema, psoriasis, or allergic reactions.
  • Head ice 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 nits.

Your child may return to CCP when:

  • COVID-19 – After a 14-day quarantine and a negative test result.
  • Fever – a child has had a normal temperature of 100° or less for 24 hours, and other symptoms of illness have cleared, and/or behavior has come back to typical healthy behavior.
  • Colds We ask that you keep your child home for the first three days of a cold. If s/he has a runny nose with no other symptoms that are not less than 3 days old; or has a runny nose with no other symptoms that are less than 3 days old with a doctor’s note that is an allergic condition.
  • Diarrhea – A child with one loose or watery stool will be observed. If there is a second loose stool, or if a child shows any other signs of illness, we will ask you to come to pick him or her up. Children who have diarrhea shall not return to school until s/he has NOT had any diarrhea for at least 245 hours.
  • Skin Conditions or Rashes – All skin conditions must be gone, or the child must have a doctor’s note giving him/her permission to return to school. If the condition is of unknown origin, the child may return with a note from an appropriate health care provider stating the condition is not contagious. Children with allergies may attend school with medical permission. Children with heat or diaper rash may attend school.
  • Eyes – There should be no signs of fresh discharge from the eyes or discoloration of the eye. A doctor visit is recommended whenever the eyes are involved.
  • Lice CCP has a no nits policy!!! The child must stay out of school one full day after the day the lice are discovered. This is to ensure that the child and the family’s house have been thoroughly treated, and the child is returning to school nit free. Treatment with lice shampoo or other prescribed treatment and removal of all eggs is mandatory.
  • Energy Level – When your child is active, not showing an unusual lack of energy, and is able to participate in the program, s/he is ready to return to school

These health guidelines apply to staff as well as children. Parents are asked to observe the child each morning. In the event a child becomes ill during a school day, the parents will be contacted to pick the child up and the child will be isolated until a parent or guardian arrives. Please be sure that all emergency and telephone information is kept up to date. The staff is alert to the health of each child and knows your child well. Individual medical problems and accidents are recorded and reported to the staff and the family.

Child Medication Guidelines

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

  • The staff of CCP WILL NOT GIVE THE FIRST DOSE OF ANY MEDICATION and we ask that families do not administer the first dose immediately before bringing their child to school in case of an allergic reaction.
  • For the protection of all children, families, and staff of CCP, children who require, or have taken, any medications, prescribed or otherwise, within the last 4-6 hours, should stay home. We ask that parents do not come to the School to administer these medications.

If your child needs to receive medication while attending CCP, the following conditions must be met:

  • The parent must complete a Permission to Administer Medication
  • The medication form must be signed, dated, and must include the name of the medication, date, and dosage, as well as the times to be given.
  • All medications must be in the original container with
    • the prescription visible and readable on the container.
    • the child’s name.
    • the appropriate dosage is written on the label.
    • the expiration dates.
  • Over the counter, non-prescription medication can only be dispensed from the original container, and
  • the Permission to Administer Medication form must be completed.
  • the name of the medication.
  • the child’s name.
  • the appropriate dosage and time intervals are written on the label.
  • the expiration dates.

Discipline/Rules

Coastal Community Preschool 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 the 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, page 23)

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 situations, personal fears, or preferences may constitute special needs.  Coastal Community Preschool 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 the development and use of individual education plans.  The preschool staff is familiar with available community resources and can refer parents to these resources.

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 needs 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 to control his or her behavior.

Grounds for Dismissal

We reserve the right to withdraw services to a family if the program is not appropriate for the child, or the child’s behavior constitutes a safety or legal hazard to other children or the school.  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 or without documentation or conference, and a service termination will occur.

Notice of dismissal may result if

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

 

Other Grounds for Dismissal

  • Continued late payment or non-payment of fees by parent or guardian.
  • Inappropriate, aggressive, or threatening behavior on the part of the parent.
  • Parent’s failure to comply with the School’s policies as described throughout this Handbook after being warned.
  • Parental 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 the child’s safety due to parent intoxication or drugged condition.

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

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.  

  • Verbal or written discussion(s)
  • Formal conference – A Parent/Teacher Action Plan is formulated. The school requests that the family enter into this agreement as our partner with the goal of helping the child manage their feelings and behavior while at school.
  • Notice of Decision to Terminate

Grievance Procedure       

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

Step One – Verbal Discussion and Direct Communication

If a parent or staff member has a communication difficulty or conflict, 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.  After talking to a teacher or parent, you can talk to the Lead Teacher of that program.

Step Two – Program Director

If the problem is still not resolved, we ask that the parent go directly to the Program Director and describe the 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 thoroughly investigate the matter, the Program Director will provide each party with a verbal or written response to the grievance.

Step Three – Board of Directors

If either party is not satisfied with the decision at the second step, each party will have an additional 3 days to request in writing a personal meeting with a member of the Board of Directors, who will discuss the problem and investigate the basis for the grievance.  The Board of Directors will then discuss the issue and 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 essential that everyone understand that any issue concerning students, families, or staff be discussed in a private and confidential manner.

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.

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 right 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.

Contact Information                                       

Coastal Community Preschool

900 High Street

Santa Cruz, CA  95060

Office phone and message:  831.462.KIDS   (831.462.5437)

Fax:  831.421.0765    

Classroom (Parent) Number:  831.421.0745

Nonprofit Federal Tax ID Number:  51-0573359

Program Director:  Stephanie Simmons stephanie@coastalcommunitypreschool.org  

Administrative Director: Kimberlee Biagini kimberlee@coastalcommunitypreschool.org

 

Appendices

Appendix A – Goals of Discipline

DISCIPLINE is “training to ensure proper behavior/practice of teaching/enforcing acceptable patterns of behavior.”

Helping Children Manage Behavior

At CCP we believe that a positive approach to discipline can lead to a happy child.  Children’s good behavior is praised and affirmed.  Our curriculum encourages 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 a whole and happy individuals is a key point. 

We use positive discipline 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 in a variety of methods.

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 is 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 will set the timer for 2 minutes then it’s your turn to ride.)
  • Redirect the child to a different activity. (Let’s see what is 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 is 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 are 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 at school.
  • Call parents to pick up the 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 the behavior is potentially dangerous or destructive, the child will be redirected or given a replacement activity.

If the 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, 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 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.

 Appendix B

Social Media Policy and Procedures

Coastal Community Preschool (CCP) recognizes the increasing use of online social media networks of all kinds and acknowledges that these media can be used to benefit the Preschool in a variety of ways.  When well managed and respected, social networking sites (social media) can bring a community closer together and allow for more interaction between teachers, parents, and the community.  An online presence for the preschool in the form of the website, a Facebook page, Twitter, or other can provide a place to promote the school, communicate with the staff and families, advertise events and fundraisers, and recruit new families for the school.  When used with care, these are great avenues of communication for us all.

With all of this in mind, CCP wants to use social media to benefit the school in a very positive manner and has adopted a social media use policy to clarify how to use these digital tools in the best possible manner for the school, its staff, the parents, and the children. 

The Coastal Community Preschool Social Media Policy applies to the CCP Board of Directors, committee members, staff, students, families, and volunteers. In addition, it also applies to people outside of the Preschool who might be posting material linked to the preschool on social media sites.

Legal and Policy Basis

The information posted to social media sites must adhere to any legislation in force at the time.  Particular attention must be paid to the following:

  • Copyright and Related Rights Acts 2000, 2004, and 2007.
  • Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003.
  • The Child Trafficking and Pornography Acts 1998 and 2004.
  • Defamation Act 2009.
  • Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1998; and
  • Any other legislation enacted in this area.

Policy

Coastal Community Preschool shall allow staff time to administer and manage member-only blogs, private Facebook groups for classrooms, and a limited public business profile for the Preschool.  One staff member will be designated and given staff time to serve as the social media manager for the website and any Preschool presence on the internet, helping to promote the school in a professional manner.  All comments and posts will be individually approved by the social media manager to ensure confidentiality and appropriateness within the social media and best practice guidelines.

Best Practice Guidelines

Any CCP community member posting material to a social media site shall follow these Best Practice Guidelines.

  • Think twice before posting; privacy does not exist on the internet. Consider how the post will reflect on the poster and the Preschool. Search engines can often find material years after it is posted, and comments can be forwarded and copied. If you would not say it in a conference or to a member of the media, consider whether you should post it online.
  • Get the facts before posting them. Try to be honest and accurate when posting information or news, and if there is an error, correct it quickly.
  • Review the content for grammatical and spelling errors, especially when posting on behalf of the Preschool in any capacity.
  • Understand that content contributed to a social media site could encourage comments or discussion of opposing ideas and responses should be considered carefully in light of how they might reflect on the poster and the CCP community.
  • Be very aware that a presence on social media sites is, or can be, made available to the general public, including prospective families, current families, colleagues, and peers. Be sure that the post will not alienate, harm, or provoke any of these groups.
  • On personal sites, identify your views as your own when commenting as a CCP community member, making it clear that the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Preschool.

Photography

Photographs posted on social media sites easily can be appropriated by visitors. Always consider your professional image in photos. All parents have the opportunity to sign the photo approval form or the opt-out of photos form. The teachers will be provided with a list of families who do not want photos taken or posted online and will adhere to their requests. When in doubt, always ask for the parents’ permission to post a picture.  If you want to share a photo when the family is unavailable for permission, use a photo editing tool to blur their faces to respect their privacy.

Coastal Community Preschool will periodically post photos on Snapfish.com or a similar password-protected site and email the link to the families.  The Preschool will not post any photos of a child unless the parents have signed the permission sheet, which is included in the enrollment packet.

The CCP Board of Directors, committee members, staff, students, families, and Volunteers (the CCP community) shall not:

  • Post information that is confidential to the Preschool.
  • Post material that could be deemed to be threatening, harassing, illegal, obscene, defamatory, slanderous, or hostile towards any individual or entity.
  • Post phone numbers or email addresses of any member of the Preschool without their express permission.
  • Infringe on the rights of the Preschool or any entity including privacy, intellectual property, or publication rights.
  • Post any information that is confidential or proprietary to the school or anyone involved with the school.
  • Post chain letters, the same comment multiple times, or otherwise distribute spam.
  • Allow any other individual or entity to use their identity for posting or viewing.
  • Link any personal blogs or social media to the school website.
  • Post-digital media (audio, video, photography) without securing the written permission of the original copyright holder should copyright exist.
  • Speak negatively about the Preschool on social networking sites.
  • Discuss any children, staff, or families of the Preschool.

Any breach of the Social Media Policy could result in disciplinary action.

Privacy Settings

It is important to become familiar with the terms of service and policies of sites and networks in which you participate. Check your privacy settings and know who shares your site.  The social media manager and individual staff members are responsible for ensuring that their settings are set with secure privacy settings.

Summary

All users of social media sites in connection with Coastal Community Preschool must use discretion, best practices, and tact when commenting, posting, or sharing photos of students, as well as be sure that permission to post has been granted by the parents.  When social media is managed and used in a positive manner, the Preschool community will grow closer and more easily share the joy and learning that is going on with the children in the classrooms of CCP.  The Social Media Policy should be reviewed and reapproved annually to keep up with changes in social media tools and laws.

(Policy adopted 2014-2015 school year.   Updated information 9/2020 )