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Letter from teacher
What do I need to bring to pre-k? We will have a morning and afternoon snack each day. Because of allergy concerns we ask that parents pack individual snacks for their child. Half day students will need 1 snack and drink, full day students will need 2 snacks and drinks as well as lunch or lunch money. All students should bring a change of clothes that includes underwear and socks. School is a new thing for a lot of these kiddos and accidents happen. All day students should bring a blanket and pillow for R&R time in the afternoon. Cots will be provided by the school. Your student will be assigned a cubby for their belongings but because of space limitations they will need to carry some items back and forth each day. Please provide your child with a backpack to carry items back and forth to school. Extra clothes and blankets/pillows can be left at the school and will be stored in a separate area. The pre-k class doesn’t have a supply list like the older grades; instead we charge a supply fee. There are two reasons for this. First, it is easier to have classroom supplies that are all the same and are available to all students which will reduce arguments over supplies. Second, it allows for teachers to replenish supplies as needed. One thing that always seems to be in short supply is tissues. I am asking that each family bring in 2 boxes of tissues. Hopefully that will get us through the school year, but I may put out another request later on if needed. Parents are always welcome in the classroom. If you are interested in volunteering please sign up on the volunteer sheet. If you have questions or concerns regarding your child please feel free to contact me. The easiest way to reach me is by e-mail at Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org. I check my e-mail 2 or 3 times during the day and can usually respond the same day. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to have your child in my class. Miss Julie
PIKES PEAK SCHOOL OF EXPEDITIONARY LEARNING
Expedition Information (Curriculum)
In the Fall, the preschool class will begin an expedition on insects. The guiding question of our expedition is "What isa good bug? The students will get the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of their favorite creepy crawlies such as butterflies, ladybugs, ants and beetles. We will be introducing live insect larva into the classroom for the students to observe and interact with. The students will see the larva change as the insect progresses thru its lifecycle. We will talk about what characterics an insect has and how these specific characteristics help the insect survive. We will also discuss how insects interact with each other and their environment. We will learn how insects can be helpful or harmful to people.
This expedition is always a favorite of the children. They all have some knowledge of insects coming into the expedition and it is exciting to see the learning that takes place as they explore and discover new information. This is an extremely hands on expedition which makes it the perfect match for a group of curious preschoolers.
Additional Program Information:
The PPSEL Preschool program is open to children ages 4 to 6 years old. The hours of the preschool are Monday thru Thursday, 7:55 am to 11:00 am morning session, 12:30 pm to 3:15 pm afternoon session, 7:55 am to 3:15 pm all day session and Friday, 7:55am to 11:30am. The preschool follows the PPSEL schedule, which is included with your enrollment information. No preschool classes will be held when PPSEL is closed. Children may arrive 10 minutes before class begins. Children must be brought to the classroom and signed in, not dropped off outside. Children must be potty trained to enroll in the preschool program. An exception will be made for children with special needs who are not potty trained.
PPSEL is a fee-based program. Please contact the office for the fee schedule and rates.
Our school has an open enrollment policy. Children are admitted on a first-come, first-serve basis without regard to race, religion, sex, impairment, national origin or parental status. As required by the American with Disabilities Act, equal access will be given to children with disabilities. Children with disabilities will be fully integrated into the regular activities of the school. An individual assessment about whether PPSEL can meet the particular needs of the child, without fundamentally changing the program, will be made.
PPSEL uses the Expeditionary Learning model. We believe that children learn by using all their senses and those thematic, hands-on methods of instruction are most useful in keeping with the child’s natural curiosity and love of learning.
Instructional methods are those that create a sense of wonder as well as amusement for children. We utilize many different materials and methods for instruction including animals, plants, literature, puppetry, role-playing, music, dance, and various manipulative items. Subject matter includes pre reading, pre writing, mathematics, Spanish, computer instruction, fine arts, science, history, geography, language arts, and emotional social development skills.
Formal parent-teacher conferences will be scheduled 2 times per year. Teachers will hold informal conferences as necessary. Parents are always encouraged to schedule a conference if there is anything they wish to discuss with their child’s teacher.
QUALIFIED STAFF MEMBERS:
We are committed to maintaining a staff of highly qualified and caring teachers. The activities in the classroom are planned and supervised by a lead teacher who is responsible for coordinating the program. Additional teachers and aids assist the lead teacher.
At all times our classrooms are staffed with the proper number of teachers required to meet state mandated staff/child ratios.
The School provides a balanced curriculum, encouraging freedom and direct experience within well-defined limits. Learning activities are based on developmental appropriate practices and are adjusted to each child’s interests and needs. Teachers are responsive to the child’s intellectual, social, and physical needs, emphasizing learning in many areas. We strive to create diverse experiences that are stimulating and challenging, and that will help to develop confidence and an enthusiasm for learning.
The classroom provides a wide array of learning materials for children to explore. From natural materials to clay, paints, water, musical instruments, dress up, numerous books, and other hands on materials, children will have many options to choose from.
Children play out of doors nearly every day. Please be sure our child is dressed for the day’s weather. It is wise to send hats, coats, and mitten during colder seasons. During the spring and fall we suggest you provide sunscreen and a baseball or brimmed hat for your child. Children will remain indoors on days that are excessively hot or cold.
VIDEO AND TELEVISION:
Occasionally a video will be used to enhance the content being taught in class. Videos will not be shown unless they have a G rating.
Children will be given a rest/nap time each day (not required for half day program). Children will not be required to sleep. Children who do not sleep after a reasonable time will be given quiet toys or books to play with.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE PROCEDURES:
Parents must sign their children in and out each day. Under no circumstance should children be dropped off outside the building. At time of enrollment, parents are asked to provide a list of persons authorized to pick up their child. No one other than those persons on the list may pick up your children. You may change the list as often as necessary. All persons picking up children will be asked to furnish a photo ID. Children will not be released to unauthorized persons. Unauthorized persons will be asked to leave the premises and escorted out by a staff member. If a conflict arises local law enforcement will be called. A staff member will separate children from the situation.
LATE CHILD PICKUP:
Children should be picked up no later than 10 minutes after dismissal. A charge of $1.00 per minute will be assessed after that time. If a child is not picked up and either a parent or an emergency contact can not be found after 30 minutes from the closing of the center, the El Paso County Sheriff department will be contacted and the child will be turned over to Child Protective Services until the parent or other emergency contact can be located. Under no circumstances can children go home with staff members.
Staff members who are assigned closing duties will not leave the building for the day until a check has been made to ensure that all children have left the facility. All areas of the facility will be checked including the playground, bathrooms, stairwells, etc.
All parents are welcome to visit their children at the school. All visitors are required to sign the visitor’s log. At no time are visitors allowed unsupervised access to the children.
If you child has a minor accident while attending school, the staff will administer the proper first aid treatment. An injury report may be completed. You will be asked to sign the report when you pick up your child.
In the event of a serious accident, we will make every attempt to reach you or your child’s doctor. If we are unable to locate you or one of your emergency contacts we will seek emergency medical treatment, while continuing to attempt to contact you. Please be sure to keep your child’s emergency information up-to-date.
Children will be under direct supervision of a staff member at all times during the day. Attendance verification will be made periodically throughout the day. Head counts will be taken before, during and after outdoor play to ensure that all children are present and accounted for.
If a staff member at any time cannot locate a child, an administrator will be notified and a search of the premises will be iniated. If the search fails to identify the whereabouts of the child, local law enforcement and the child’s parent will be notified.
The school will not transport preschool children. In the event that the preschool goes on fieldwork, parents will be asked to drive children. A signed permission slip must be turned in for any fieldwork and authorization for a child to ride with a parent other than their own must be provided. Parent drivers must provide proof of insurance and vehicle registration to the school prior to driving. Preschool typically only goes on fieldwork 1 time at the end of the school year. Activities may include a visit to a local nature center or garden center. Children will be supervised at all times by PPSEL staff or school representative during fieldwork.
In the event of severe emergency (fire, facilities failure) children and staff will be evacuated from the building according to the schools evacuation plan. Should it be necessary to evacuate the entire property, Emergency contact information will be used to notify parents of the evacuation.
In the event of a tornado, children will be evacuated to the basement of the main church building. The children will be kept in the center most part of the building away from all windows. The children will be kept in the basement until all danger has passed. Fire and tornado drills will be practiced at regular intervals.
Included in your enrollment packet is a medical form with an immunization record. State regulations require that this information be on file for every child enrolled at the school. Medical information must be updated every year, or sooner if your child’s medical condition changes.
Please do not bring your child to school if any of the following conditions are present:
*Fever over 100 degrees (taken orally)
*Nasal discharge if profuse of discolored
*Yellowish skin or eyes
*Unusual spots or rash
*Sore throat or difficulty swallowing
*Lice or scabies
*Unusual sleepiness or crankiness
You will be notified if you child is ill, exhibiting any of the above symptoms. Parents must make every effort to pick up sick children upon notification. If we are unable to reach you we will call your emergency contacts. Please be sure the persons you list, as emergency contacts understand their responsibilities. Your child will be isolated from other children until you arrive.
Children who have been sick may return to school when:
*Fever has not been above 99 degrees for 24 hours prior to readmittance
*Nasal discharge is clear
*Diarrhea or vomiting has ceased
*Treatment has begun for lice or scabies
*Chicken pox are scabbed over
*An antibiotic regime has been taken for 24 hours
*Eyes are no longer tearing, swollen or red, and there is no discharge.
*A physician has diagnosed rashes or spots and child has been cleared to
return to school
Please notify us immediately if your child contracts a contagious disease, such as chicken pox. We are required by law to notify other parents that their children may have been exposed to the disease. A notice posted at the school will inform parents.
MEDICATIONS: The school can only administer medications that have written instructions from a physician. This includes prescription and over-the counter medications. All medications must be brought to the school in their original containers, with your child’s name and dosage printed on the label. Medications must be handed to a staff member. Please do not put medications in a backpack or allow children to carry them. Please provide a calibrated spoon, dropper or cup if so required. Medications will be stored in the office in a locked storage box.
Parents must provide written authorization signed by a physician for the school to administer medication. These forms are located at the front desk. A separate form must be completed for each medication. The person administering the medication will record the date and time the medication was administered on the “follow through” area of the authorization form.
The school is cleaned every day. We strive to maintain high standards of cleanliness at all times.
FOOD AND NUTRITION:
Nutritious snack are a part of the learning experience. Children will be allowed a morning and afternoon snack time each day. We ask that parents provide a healthy snack and drink for their children. Occasionally parents enjoy sending special treats to share with members of their child’s class. We request that parents provide nutritious, healthful treats. Candy, gum and soda are not appropriate.
REPORTING CHILD ABUSE:
By law childcare workers are required to report all suspected cases of child abuse to the department of social services. If a parent suspects child abuse, they may report it to El Paso County DHS at 105 N. Spruce St, Colorado Springs, CO 80905 or call
(719) 444-5700 to report the suspected abuse.
REGISTERING A LICENSING COMPLAINT:
If a parent wishes to lodge a complaint against the center, they may call the Department of Human Services, Division of Child Care at (303) 866-5948 or issue a complaint in writing to Colorado Department of Human Services, 1575 Sherman St., Denver, CO 80203.
Please dress your child in comfortable clothing that is suitable for active play. Children engage in a wide range of activities while at school. Children will likely soil their clothing from time to time. Please send a change of clothing with your child on the first day of school for accidents.
We request that your child leave personal belongings such as toys or money at home. This will prevent the disappointment of these items being lost or damaged. The school cannot assume responsibility for personal belongings.
LOST AND FOUND:
Please label you child’s items. We will keep a lost and found basket. Be sure to check there periodically. Unlabeled and unclaimed items will be donated to charity at the end of the year.
Our goal is to maintain a safe and fair environment that encourages the growth and development of self-esteem, the building of interpersonal competence and ultimately self-discipline. Teachers set clear, age-appropriate limits and guidelines for classroom behavior. When a child’s behavior is inappropriate, the teacher addresses the situation positively using one of the following approaches: redirecting the child into a constructive activity; helping the child to articulate feelings and describe actions; modeling constructive handling of feelings and resolution of interpersonal conflict; applying logical, non-punitive consequences. Under no circumstances are discipline methods applied in order to humiliate, frighten, or physically or emotionally hurt a child.
Miss Julie has been involved with PPSEL since 1999, first as a parent volunteer and for the school since 2001. Prior to working for PPSEL Miss Julie operated a licensed home based preschool. Miss Julie has completed CDA coursework. She continues to attend early childhood conferences, courses and seminars to keep updated on new practices in early childhood education. Miss Julie lives in Falcon with her husband Duane. She has two adult children. Her son Devin is living and working in Texas and her son David is attending the University of Minnesota pursuing a degree in Fish and Game Management. In her spare time Miss Julie enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, hanging out with her family and reading.