Parent Handbook

I.       GENERAL

GENERAL INFORMATION

At Glenview Methodist Preschool (“GMPS”), we believe a high quality early childhood program should, first and foremost, provide a safe and nurturing environment for children.  Our program is fully accredited by the National Association for the Education of the Young Children (NAEYC).  In order to accomplish this, GMPS has voluntarily undergone a comprehensive process of internal self-study and improvement.  We are also aligned with the guidelines set forth by the Illinois Early Learning Standards.  Both of these groups recognize the connection between the social, emotional and physical development of the child and the learning process.

The GMPS is licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and is a not-for-profit organization.  Tuition and registration fees are applied toward teachers’ salaries, equipment and supplies, maintenance of rooms and operational expenses.  The parent Board of Directors runs and operates the preschool.

PURPOSE

The purpose of the GMPS is to provide part-time programs to preschool-aged children in a secure and enriching environment.

MISSION STATEMENT

The GMPS is a non-profit, non-denominational organization serving families in Glenview and surrounding communities. The preschool’s developmental program provides a wide variety of opportunities for children to grow socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively. This secure and enriching environment has been established to meet the needs of all children from age 2 ½ to 5 years, without regard to race, sex, religion, national origin, or differing abilities. It is the Preschool’s intent to establish a cooperative atmosphere between the child’s family and the teachers so that each child may develop to their full potential.

PHILOSOPHY

Early childhood education begins at a stage in life when a child is physically and emotionally ready to explore the world with new people and in new places – separate from the home environment.  It is meant to be an extension of the nurturing and teaching experience the child receives from birth.

Our preschool emphasizes the principle that children learn through play.  Play is promoted as a means to provide divergent thinking and facilitation of fantasy roles.  Nurturing, warm, flexible interaction between adults and children will lead to positive social and emotional growth and strengthened awareness of self.  The children will have the opportunity to explore, create, problem solve and develop independence.  Teachers are facilitators; they stimulate, encourage, and guide, but never dominate.  Children need to experience trusting, supporting relationships that will enable them to develop positive self-images, learn to exercise self-control, and thereby achieve autonomy.  We want children to develop body awareness and coordination, learn to communicate feelings and ideas and set the foundation to become lifelong learners.

Our goals are:

To help children adjust to different situations; express creativity, imagination, inventiveness; feel comfortable and secure in adjusting to and coping with their environments; learn to think and solve problems; and most importantly, gain a positive self-image.
To provide a secure environment that meets the needs of each child. The experience offered in this environment will include opportunities to develop in the following ways:

Socially, by fostering rewarding relationships with children and adults.

Physically, by encouraging the use of large and small muscles and exploring the relationship between his/her own body and environmental factors.

Emotionally, by providing a gradual transition from home to school, meeting each child and parent with trust; offering opportunities to test relationships with peers and surroundings in order to better establish their images of themselves as worthwhile individuals.

Cognitively, by helping develop problem-solving skills, expanding verbal communication and logical thinking skills, and developing early literacy skills including phonemic awareness.

Children are individuals with their own unique patterns of growth and development.  They need a child-centered, informal nurturing environment where they are free to start and free to stop, where the teacher meets the child at their own level, and where warmth and wisdom are evident in qualified adult leadership.

At GMPS it is our belief that we can more readily meet the needs of children through cooperative efforts with parents. We believe parental involvement is crucial in a child’s preschool experience. We view our parents as partners in the education of our children.  We emphasize that our doors are always open to interested parents, grandparents, caregivers and other family members.

CURRICULUM

Our curriculum is modeled after The Creative Curriculum for Early Childhood, by Diane Trister Dodge, Laura J. Colker and Cate Heroman, and demonstrates how to plan a developmentally appropriate program focusing on well-organized interest areas and developmental domains.  Teachers implement activities using blocks, a house corner, table toys, music and movement, art, sand and water, literacy centers, cooking, science, math manipulatives and active outdoor play.  Our play-based curriculum provides the children with opportunities to develop socially/emotionally, physically and cognitively by giving them enriching experiences.

WE BELIEVE CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT MUST BE LINKED. Children’s development and learning is assessed in the context of classroom activities.  Teachers objectively observe children in play, collect facts about each child’s interests and abilities, analyze and evaluate the collected information and then use what they have learned to plan the curriculum.  This assessment is the key to planning for the individual needs of children and the group.

The children in the three and four year old classes will be introduced to a program called “Handwriting without Tears.” The program suits a wide range of children and adapts to their changing needs as they grow. This program mirrors our philosophy that learning needs to be joyful, child friendly and active.

There are many activities offered which build on the skills that children will need for kindergarten. The curriculum builds those skills developmentally through play, music activities and hands-on materials.

PROGRAMS

Preschool Programs:

The preschool offers two day and three day options in our older 2’s program (3 years old by June 1) with an opportunity for younger 2’s (3 years by Sept 1) on Fridays. to add a third day on Fridays.  There is also a 3-day and a 4-day program for 3 year olds (by September 1) and a 4 and 5-day program for 4 year olds (by September 1). School begins in early September and ends in late May.  The ratio for the “Getting Started” program is 1:6.  The ratio for the three-year and the four-year programs is 1:8.  These lower ratios make classroom management more efficient.

Classes are small and well-staffed for maximum learning and individual attention.  Maximum class size is 16 children, with two (2) fully qualified teachers in the 3s and 4s classrooms and two (2) fully qualified teachers in the Getting Started classrooms plus one (1) teacher’s aide should enrollment in that specific classroom exceed 12 students.  Our teachers have college backgrounds and most hold degrees in education .  All are experienced in teaching young children.  Each week, a lesson plan will be posted outside the classrooms.

School hours are as follows:

Morning Session

2 year olds                              9:15 to 11:15

3- and 4-year-olds                 9:00 to 11:30

Afternoon Session

4-year-olds                             12:30 to 3:00

II.      POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY

It is the policy of the GMPS to extend equal admission opportunities to all applicants without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, and physical or mental disabilities.

GMPS strives to achieve more than the minimum standards set forth by the local, county, state and/or federal regulating agencies.  The Program continually seeks new avenues in which to grow.

Enrollment of children and their participation in the program shall be in response to their needs and the program’s ability to serve them.  Children shall not be excluded from GMPS programs based on individual needs and differences.  The Illinois Department of Human Rights Act, Ill. Rev. Stat., ch. 68, Sec. 1-101, et. seq. defines handicap as follows: “Handicap means a determinable physical or mental characteristic of a person, including, but not limited to, a determinable physical characteristic that necessitates the person’s use of a guide, hearing or support dog, the history of such characteristic, or the perception of such characteristic by the person complained against, which may result from disease, injury, congenital condition of birth, or functional disorder.”

The Department of Human Rights has determined the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a physical handicap under the Illinois Human Rights Act.  The above definition requires, among other things, that a handicapped person may use or benefit from a place of public accommodation.  Although there is no case law on this issue, the Illinois Department of Human Rights has stated that in its opinion, day care centers and homes are “places of public accommodations.” Advertising the services of a day care facility is strong evidence that the facility is a place of public accommodation.  Preschools are held to the same licensing standards and regulations as daycare centers, and as such, they are subject to the same rules.

Decisions about attendance at GMPS regarding a child with special needs, including individuals infected with HIV, shall take into consideration the child’s social, psychological, and developmental status; current health status, including the degree of immune function and stamina; and the ability of the program to provide appropriate care.  The team involved in the acceptance of a child with special needs, including the individual infected with HIV, shall consist of the parent or legal guardian of the child, the classroom teacher and the director of the school.  With a parent and/or guardian, the teacher(s), the child’s pediatrician, and/or health care consultant, and social worker will collaborate and develop an assessment plan geared toward the child’s unique situation.

We believe that including children with special needs in a regular preschool program enriches the lives of all children by bringing them together in an environment that teaches acceptance, respect and an appreciation of individual differences.  It also enables children with special needs to model the social, language and play skills needed to succeed in school.  It is an appropriate practice in a developmental early childhood setting.

We urge parents and guardians to discuss with the Director any special circumstances involving their child prior to registration or the beginning of the program.

MULTICULTURAL POLICY

GMPS is committed to multicultural education.  We strive to create a program that reflects the lives of our children, families, staff and community.  By recognizing the impact culture has on our families, we make every effort to provide culturally responsive childcare by affirming human differences and the right for people to make choices about their own lifestyle. The staff at GMPS recognizes, appreciates, and respects the unique qualities of each child.  We make the commitment to multicultural education by:

Recognizing the beauty, value, and contribution of each child.
Fostering high self-esteem and positive self-concept in all children.
Providing children with a positive experience by exploring similarities and differences.
Introducing children to different cultures through music, food, and classroom materials.
Increasing children’s ability to talk and play with people who are different from themselves.
Helping children to be a member of a group.
Helping children to work cooperatively in a diverse community.
Helping children to recognize unfair behavior and giving them the knowledge to work out a solution.
Staff treats children of all races, religions, family backgrounds and cultures with equal respect and consideration.
Providing children of both sexes with equal opportunity to take part in all activities.
Providing multicultural displays in all classrooms that reflect the lives of the children enrolled.
Ensuring that materials used by the children and pictures hung in the classroom represent different types of cultures.
GMPS makes every effort to recruit staff with the cultural and racial characteristics of the families served.

CONFIDENTIALITY:  No individual, except a child’s parent or legal guardian, has the “right to know” about a child’s particular condition.  The people who have the “need to know” are those directly accountable and responsible for the care and well-being of the child, and who will need that knowledge in order to care appropriately for that child.  GMPS urges the sharing of any and all information about the child to be discussed privately with the Director for evaluation and placement.  We will work with parents and other professionals concerned with the education and well-being of the child to the best of their ability in the school setting.   All information shall be kept confidential; and the handling of such records shall be discreet as to ensure their confidentiality.

ENROLLMENT

GMPS enrollment policies are as follows:

Priority registration applies to returning students advancing to the next class, siblings of students currently or formerly enrolled in the three or four year-old class and alumni children if they will be enrolling in the 2 1/2 or three-year-old classes.
All current board members will have the privilege of priority enrollment for all preschool classes. This also includes any extra programs or classes such as Extended Day, Monday Madness and Mini Camp. Current board member registration forms will be processed before the rest of the priority registration applications and will not be included in the lottery. In the event of a lottery, the percentage of board member children in any classroom will not exceed 33%.  All deadlines must be respected.
Priority registration notices will be emailed or sent home to the families of the children currently attending the preschool. Priority registration notices will also be emailed to families who are not currently enrolled but may have a child ready to enroll. Every effort will be made to contact all families who are eligible for priority registration. GMPS will not be held responsible for families not receiving the priority registration notice. The final responsibility for registration lies with the family registering.
Priority registration applications will be accepted until the pre-determined registration deadline. Applications must be submitted via the school website (www.glenviewmethodistpreschool.com). All registration applications received prior to the registration deadline will be included in a lottery if there are more applications than spaces available.
Open registration will begin after priority registration has been completed. All applications not received by the priority registration deadline will be treated as open registration, whether eligible for priority enrollment or not.
The registration fee is non-refundable. The registration fee is $75.00 per family.
Once a child has been accepted into the preschool program, the parent or guardian is required to pay a tuition deposit to hold the child’s spot in that class. The deposits for priority families will be due before the open registration deadline.  If the deposit is not received, the spot will become available to families in the open enrollment lottery. ** If for any reason the child does not attend the preschool, this deposit is non-refundable.
A letter will be mailed to each preschool family indicating the deposit amount and due date. If the deposit is not received by the specified due date, the child will be dropped from enrollment.
Tuition for September through May will be payable in 3 tri-annual payments (September 1, December 1, and March 1).  Tuition fees are non-refundable.
Age requirements for programs are as follows:
Getting Started Program – Children who turn 2 by September 1
Two-Year-Old Program-Children who turn 2 by June 1                                                                                                                                   Three- Year-Old Program – Children who turn 3 by September 1
Four-Year-Old Program – Children who turn 4 by September 1

NOTE: Any deviation from this policy requires the approval of the Director. Enrollment is done without regard to race, sex, religion, or national origin.

TUITION AND PAYMENTS

GMPS is a non-profit organization.  Tuition fees are the only source of income to cover our operating expenses for salaries, rent, program supplies and equipment, building maintenance, and insurance.  Rates are based on covering these expenses while making sure that we are competitive with the market for the services and quality we provide.

GMPS tuition and payment policies are as follows:

We use an automated system for collection of tuition and extended day payments. Tuition Express, which is part of our Procare Software management system, allows us to process tuition and fee payments safely, quickly and efficiently. Each family will register in Procare after class placements are made in the spring. They will then have access to their MyProcare account.  Families can print out payment history from the parent portal for your employer’s child care benefit program and for their end of year taxes.

Every family must fill out a Tuition Express authorization form with either a credit card (3% fee will be added) or bank account for ACH payment (no fee) for our files. When tuition or enrichment fees are due, you will receive an emailed invoice. If you would like to pay via the payment information on your authorization form, no action needs to be taken. If you would like to use a different method, payment can be made prior to the 5th of the month. On the 10th day of the month, any balance due will be charged to the preferred payment method indicated on the form the family completed.

Tuition/Enrichment Payment Schedule: Yearly tuition, less your deposit, is broken down into three monthly installments for your convenience due on June 1, September 1, and March 1.  If desired, you may pay in advance for the entire school year.  A child beginning in the middle of the month after the school year begins will be pro-rated until the beginning of the following month. Invoices for Enrichment programs will be sent prior to the start of the session.

Tuition/Enrichment Late Payment Policy:  If tuition payments are not paid by the 5th of the month a 2.5% per day (compounding) penalty will applied on any amounts due. by the 15th if the provided payment method failsbe sent on the 20th21stat 25.If payment is not made in the next 10 days, This will be strictly enforced.  If alternate payment arrangements need to be made please contact GMPS Treasurer or Finance Chair to discuss potential payment options.  The Treasure or Finance chair will contact you about any outstanding balance on day 10 and 20 with the compounding amount due.  On day 30 your child/children will not be able to attend GMPS until your account is current.

Non-Sufficient Funds Policy: Any family issuing a check to GMPS that is returned for non-sufficient funds or has an ACH payment not process will be charged a $25.00 fee.  Note:  If the NSF payments results in a late payment of tuition, the late fee will also be charged per the policy outlined in letter (a) above.  Any person presenting more than two NSF payments to the school for payment of tuition during the year may be required by the Board of Directors to pay all future monies in the form of cash or certified check.
Refund Policy: No payments for Extended Day, Mini-Camp/ Parks and Crafts, or specialty classes will be refunded after the sign-up deadlines for these programs.  Our teacher/child ratios as well as the purchase of supplies are based on the number of children registered. Refunds of enrollment fees and tuition are outlined in the Enrollment section of this Handbook.

COMMUNICATIONS

DAY-TO-DAY COMMUNICATION:  Daily contact with parents or caregivers is an important part of recognizing and understanding the needs of children.  The teachers will greet parents or caregivers and children at drop-off and pick-up.  At this time any important information that may affect the child during the day may be shared with the teachers.  At pick-up, teachers may want to briefly mention something that the child accomplished or enjoyed that day.  Challenging situations, which require more time, should be discussed at a special conference or by phone with the child’s teacher and/or the Director.  Children will not be released to anyone except those authorized on the emergency form. If you need to have someone else pick up your child, you will need to send a note.

REMIND” COMMUNICATIONS: Our school uses a messaging service, Remind, to communicate time sensitive information, such as gym vs. playground use (red flag/green flag) during times of questionable weather so parents can send the proper snow/rain gear or gym shoes, school closings, or other pertinent reminders. We will be adding your main cell phone contact number to our group. We ask that each family have at least one contact subscribed to Remind, as we will use this in an emergency to broadcast information. To opt in on another number or email for text notifications, text the message @kd9f7 to the number 81010. To receive email or push notifications, go to rmd.at/kd9f7 and follow the instructions to sign up. This is a safe, free, school-only messaging system.

Each classroom will also have a Remind group for you to receive class specific information. They will provide instructions on how to sign up additional contacts to the classroom group.

WEEKLY COMMUNICATION: You will receive a Friday Focus each week via email with school-wide news and links. If you are not receiving these emails, or if you would like to subscribe additional contacts, please let the Director know. Make sure to check your spam or promotions folder as some email servers may flag Constant Contact communications.

Every classroom will send an emailed newsletter weekly apprising the parents of classroom happenings..

BACKPACK EXPRESS: Handouts may also be sent home in the children’s backpacks for various school-related activities or events.  Please check your child’s backpack on a daily basis for these communications.

PARENT EDUCATION:  During the school year, the Director and staff will email or post articles related to early childhood education and apprise you of community seminars and workshops that you may choose to attend.  We may also offer seminars on relevant early childhood topics.  Please let us know if there are subjects of interest that you would like us to cover.

CONFERENCES/ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING

In early October you will receive a brief screening tool, the Ages & Stages Questionnaire to complete with your child. We believe as a parent or caregiver, you are the best source of information about your child, and the ASQ can help identify your child’s strengths as well as any areas where your child may need support. You will have an opportunity to discuss these results and goals for the year at a 10 minute question and answer session (Q&A) with your child’s teacher to be scheduled in November.

A more formal conference is held in the spring.  During this conference, parents are given a written teacher-completed report using THE CREATIVE CURRICULUM FOR PRESCHOOL DEVELOPMENTAL CONTINUUM ASSESSMENT TOOLKIT. Through assessment, teachers obtain useful information about children’s knowledge, skills and progress by observing, documenting, analyzing and reviewing children’s work.

At the end of the year, teachers provide parents with collections of children’s work that represents their growth throughout the year.  Following the Illinois Early Learning Standards as guidelines, this portfolio contains work samples that serve as assessments of cognitive, physical and social/emotional developmental areas.

Children are screened annually for vision and hearing by licensed screening technicians that are certified by the Illinois Department of Public Health.  Glenview School District #34 also provides preschool screenings if a developmental delay is suspected.

GUIDANCE AND DISCIPLINE POLICY

In order to provide a positive atmosphere for our children, we have arranged our classrooms in such a manner as to avoid negative interactions and promote positive ones.  This classroom arrangement offers privacy, independence and adult supervision.  Our teachers are trained to redirect, distract children who display negative behavior, praise positive behavior, and act as positive role models.  The goal of our guidance and discipline policy is to limit or eliminate the use of suspension, expulsion, and other exclusionary measures.

Because young children are still learning how to behave in a social setting, teachers will be alert to potential problem situations.  By understanding what situations can trigger certain behaviors, many inappropriate behaviors can be avoided by redirection or intervention. The staff shall use disciplinary measures designed and carried out in such a way as to help children develop self-control and assume responsibility for their own acts.  Under no circumstances will a child be subjected to corporal punishment or verbal abuse, deprived of a scheduled snack, or punished for toilet accidents. When appropriate and necessary, a child will be removed from a group for no longer than five (5) minutes at a time.  This time will be used as a means of helping the child regain self-control.

The teacher and the child will also talk and decide on a better way to handle the given situation.  Examples of this may include phrases such as “use your words to express how you feel,” “use your inside voice in the classroom,” or “is it time to give your friend a turn?” If these techniques are not successful, the classroom teacher will remove the child from the group while he/she regains self-control.   After a short time period, the child will then be permitted to select a play activity.  Parents/caregivers will always be informed of the events during our informal contact with them at the end of the day.

Parents will also be contacted to form a plan of action, if necessary.  The parents and teachers will work together on positive reinforcement skills to be used at school as well as at home.  These techniques should be consistent in both environments.

Several sessions of using positive correctional skills such as praise, notes sent home for good behavior and a review of the classroom rules will be implemented at school.

Repeated instances of disruptive behavior that interfere with effective care and supervision of other children will require additional measures.  If problems persist, the Director and teachers will speak with the parents about consulting the district social worker in order to develop strategies to help control behavioral problems, or if appropriate, scheduling a developmental screening with the child’s home school district.

Written documentation of a child’s behavior, if required, must be objective and specific.  The behavior will be stated in terms of the child’s actions or words, when and where it occurred, and what the circumstances were that led to the behavior.  The teacher, the Director, or other such persons directly responsible for the child will prepare the documentation.  Confidentiality will be maintained by placing materials in the child’s file and discussing its contents only with the legal guardian(s) of the child.

If three (3) written documentations have been placed in the child’s file and the director still determines that a child:  a) will not benefit from group care, b) requires more supervision than is possible in a group care situation due to a special needs condition, or c) is potentially harmful to other children and staff, the preschool then reserves the right to terminate the enrollment of that child.

Termination will be done privately in the Director’s office with the parents and teachers present when all other possible interventions have been exhausted and there is agreement that exclusion is in the best interest of the child.   The Director will assist the family in identifying the appropriate resources and alternatives available.

HANDLING DIFFERENCES

At times, differences in communication styles, guidance methods or child rearing philosophies may occur.  Our goal is to understand your wishes and find a way to work together to provide a comfortable learning atmosphere and reach the best possible outcomes for your child.  If your position on a particular issue differs with what you see or hear in the classroom, it is recommended that you discuss your concerns directly with your child’s teacher.  You can then work together with the teachers and program director to reach a solution.

IDENTIFICATION OF CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

GMPS is committed to providing individual individualized instruction, which addresses the needs of each child in its programs.  Our program presumes that children enrolled will benefit from and be able to successfully function in our classroom setting.  GMPS is also committed to identifying children with special needs.   On occasion, GMPS may need to do any of the following:

Require additional parent/teacher conferences to discuss and identify concerns
Make recommendations to seek assessment in speech/language, cognitive, physical and social/emotional areas
Require parental consent to contact a consultant to observe a child through Early Intervention program of District 34
Make changes and adjustments to a child’s schedule or program based on the identified needs
Consult with parents/guardians regarding accommodations and additional services necessary for a child’s continued participation our program
Request parents/guardians to contribute to the expense of reasonable accommodations for their child
Refer parents/guardians of children who cannot participate in GMPS programs, with reasonable accommodations, to a more suitable placement. This would include children whose behavior is potentially harmful to themselves, other children and staff.
III.     HEALTH & SAFETY

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

A child will not be permitted to attend preschool unless all medical forms, including the lead assessment form, are filled out by the family physician and are on file prior to the first day of school.  The exams must be current.  This is a State requirement and must be fulfilled.  New physicals are required every two years thereafter. DCFS also mandates that each child provide a copy of their birth certificate.  This must be submitted before your child can start preschool.  In addition, emergency contact form must be on file by the first day of school. Attendance will not be permitted until all these forms are received.

All children are required to complete a mandatory vision and hearing screening held at GMPS for a nominal fee.  This is a state requirement. Children must be 3 years old prior to the administration of the tests. If these tests have already been completed privately, you may provide those results for our files.

VACCINATION POLICY

As required under state law, every child must have standard immunizations. Medical and/or religious exemptions may be requested, as outlined in more detail in Appendix E.  If your child has not received all age appropriate standard immunizations prior to enrollment due to a religious objection, you will be required to submit a detailed written statement fully setting forth the religious belief(s) that form the basis for the religious objection. Illinois Department of Health rules state that, “General philosophical or moral reluctance to allow…immunizations…will not provide a sufficient basis for an exception to the statutory requirements.” (77 Illinois Administrative Code, Section 665.510).  Therefore, the written statement for the religious objection must set forth the specific religious belief which forbids the specific immunization.

Similarly, if your child has not received standard immunizations due to medical reasons, you will be required to submit a statement from the child’s physician specifically stating that immunizations are medically contraindicated for the child.  The statement should be attached to the health form required for every student.

GMPS reserves the right to deny a requested exemption to the vaccination policy if, under the totality of the circumstances, it is deemed in the best interest of the school and its students.

Should you request and be granted an exemption from vaccinations, note that should measures under the communicable disease policy outlined below be implemented to control an outbreak in the local community, your child may be excluded from attendance.  If GMPS does grant an exemption for medical and/or religious reasons, you must agree to abide by these control measures. In addition, GMPS will maintain a complete list of all children enrolled who are not immunized and the number of non-immunized children (NOT the names of the children) will be available to parents who request it.

All employees are required to have had the following immunizations: 2 doses of the MMR or proof of immunity, 1 dose of the TDAP and a physical examination completed within the last two years. This is confirmed by review of medical form by the school director.

COMMUNICABLE DISEASE POLICY

If a child shows symptoms of illness while at GMPS, the staff will determine whether they are able to care for the child safely based on the apparent degree of illness.  If a child has a communicable disease, YOU MUST notify the preschool as soon as possible.  If the child has exposed classmates, notices will be sent home to the parents of all the children in the class.  Please see Appendix D for a full list of communicable diseases that need to be reported.

A child suspected of having or diagnosed as having a reportable infectious disease for which isolation is required by the Illinois Department of Public Health’s General Procedures for the Control of Communicable Diseases (77 Ill. Adm. Code 690) shall be excluded from GMPS.

Specifically in reference to the measles, children with diarrhea and those with a rash combined with fever (oral temperature of 101 or higher or under the arm of 100 or higher) shall not be admitted to GMPS while those symptoms persist, and shall be removed from GMPS as soon as possible should these symptoms develop while in the care of GMPS.  Moreover, if an outbreak of measles occurs at GMPS, children who are not fully immunized will be excluded from GMPS until at least 4 days after the appearance of the rash or possibly as long as 21 days after the onset of the last known case. Any suspected case of the measles will be reported to the local health department.

GMPS reserves the right to implement measures it deems necessary to protect the students from an outbreak of a communicable disease in the community.

THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF YOUR CHILD

Your child’s health is a matter of importance to all of us. Upon enrollment, you must provide a health form signed by a physician. A daily health inspection is given upon each child’s arrival at school.  A head lice check is conducted in September and January.

Your child may be sent home if he or she appears to have symptoms of illness during the day.  In such cases, the child is immediately isolated from the others and a parent is contacted.  We do not have the space to quarantine sick children for the duration of the session.

Please keep your child home if:

He or she has a fever or has had one during the previous 24-hour period. He or she must be fever free without medication for 24 hours before returning to school.
He or she is taking an antibiotic (for at least the first 24 hours).
He or she has a heavy nasal discharge (even clear can indicate a virus).
He or she has a persistent cough not related to allergies.
He or she has symptoms of a possible communicable disease. (Those are usually sniffles, reddened eyes, sore throat, headache, and/or abdominal pain, plus a fever).

You know your child.  Please keep him/her home if he/she is “out of sorts”.  If a child is well enough to be in school, he/she is well enough to be outside.  No exceptions will be made.

Please contact the preschool when your child will be absent.

Hand Washing

In an ongoing effort to curb the spread of germs, hand washing takes place several times throughout the day, upon arrival in the classroom, before and after snack, after outside play, and after toileting.  The teachers will assist your child wash his hands upon arrival in the classroom, as this will help reduce the spread of germs by an estimated fifty percent.

Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse

The State of Illinois requires that our staff act as mandated reporters.  This means if any of our staff members have reason to believe that a child may be at risk for physical or mental abuse, or neglect of any kind, they have a legal obligation to report their suspicion to the Department of Children and Family Services.  We must always act in the best interest of the child.  Your cooperation in this matter, if called upon, is greatly appreciated.  For your own records, the DCFS Hotline number is 1-800-25-ABUSE or 217-524-2606.

Car Seat Safety

All children traveling to and from the preschool must travel in age-appropriate car seats.  This rule is in effect at all times including when carpooling or when arranging play dates.

Non-Smoking Policy

GMPS subscribes to a strict non-smoking policy.  We believe that all students, staff members and parents deserve the right to be protected by a smoke free environment.   There shall be no smoking or use of tobacco products in any form in the school or in the presence of children while on the playground or engaged in other activity away from the school. Any employee who enters the school presenting an odor of second hand smoke will be asked to leave and change clothes before re-entering the school.

This policy is strictly enforced within our building and our surrounding property, including our car line, parking lot, playground and common areas within our building.

Toys from Home

If your child needs something to ease the transition during the first few days of school, he or she can bring a favorite stuffed animal or blanket.  A picture of the family can also help with the transition.

Guns, war toys and other such toys should not be brought to school.

PROHIBITION OF FIREARMS

Firearms or any other weapons are strictly prohibited on school property at all times.  The Child Care Act

prohibits firearms on day care center premises except in the possession of peace officers. If a child brings any weapon to school, the weapon will be confiscated.  The parents and authorities will be notified immediately. If an adult is found to have a weapon in their possession, authorities will be notified immediately by calling 911.  Classroom doors will be secured to protect the children until authorities have secured the premises.

EMERGENCY CLOSINGS

Weather related closings will be posted on our website at www.glenviewmethodistpreschool.com and an email will be sent by the Director before 7:30am.

NUTRITION

Snack time provides an important learning experience for children.  This is a time for children to develop self-help skills, understand the importance of cleanliness, and try a variety of foods.  This is also a good time for children to develop social skills and appropriate table manners.  Every attempt should be made to make snack time a relaxed, unhurried, and pleasant experience.  Teachers sit with children during this time.

A snack in keeping with DCFS guidelines will be served to students each day. We serve fruits and vegetables to model healthy choices to our children as well as minimize allergy issues. We try to minimize our use of plastic cups, so please send your child to school each day with a full reusable water bottle with their name clearly marked. We will have cups on hand if your child forgets his/her water bottle. A snack fee will be charged to your ProCare account with your Sept 1 payment. The fee is calculated based on attendance days per week. For each day your child attends per week you will be charged $7 for the entire year. For example, a child who attends a 3 day class will be charged $21 for the full school year.

All staff is required to complete an ANSI approved online Food Handler Training, which is valid for 3 years.

BIRTHDAYS

We celebrate birthdays during snack time.  Your child’s teacher will make this a special time for your child. You are also welcome to join your child in the classroom at this time.  Please do not deliver invitations to a home birthday party unless all of the children in the class are invited.

If you wish to celebrate your child’s birthday at the preschool, here are a few reminders:

Contact the teachers to let them know the date on which you would like to bring the treat.
Treats must be from the approved birthday treat list in Appendix B, store purchased and sent in original packaging with the ingredients listed.  No snack can be homemade.  This is in accordance with the State Law.
Please check with your child’s teacher about the number of children in the class and any students with food allergies.
Celebrations may also be held on an alternate date if your child has a summer birthday.

Please do not send any items to the classroom for celebrations that are not on our Birthday Treat List.

PEANUT/NUT-FREE LUNCH POLICY

Lunches may not include any food items that contain peanut or tree nut ingredients or food items that are made on equipment that produces these products. It is crucial that you read the food label to make sure that the items do not contain peanut or nut ingredients and are not made on equipment which produces these products.

If your child cannot eat certain foods, please inform the Director and your classroom teacher of this situation as soon as possible.  It is the responsibility of parents to notify the center if their child has food allergies.  Parents will be provided with a “Food Allergy Action Plan” to be completed by a parent and the child’s physician.  This must be completed and returned to GMPS as soon as possible and will be kept in the child’s classroom with an attached photograph of the child.  This will provide easy, immediate access to the teachers should action be required.

Additional guideline regarding the above policies:  All students will wash their hands upon entering the classroom at the beginning of the session. If you or your child or any siblings coming to drop off or pick up a student has eaten food containing peanuts/tree nuts for breakfast, please wash face and hands thoroughly before coming to school.

We want to thank you for your cooperation in helping make GMPS a safe environment for all children.

EMERGENCY CONTACTS AND AUTHORIZATION TO PICK UP CHILD

Your child’s safety is of utmost concern to us.  In the event of an emergency you will be contacted immediately.  If we cannot reach you there must be someone (at least 18 years of age) listed on your emergency form.  This/these people must be notified that they are listed as contact people and show I.D if necessary.  Just as you are expected to pick up your child in case of emergency, the contact people are expected to do the same.  These individuals will be the only people authorized to pick up your child/ren from the center.  If you have asked someone who is not authorized to pick up your child, it is mandatory that you contact the Director and leave the name of the new pick-up person.  This person must have a picture ID when they arrive.  Any people listed as an “emergency contact/authorized pick-up person” may come at any time to visit or pick-up your child.

CHILDCARE AGREEMENTS WITH TEACHERS

GMPS (GMPS) is aware that teachers occasionally enter into separate agreements with parents for childcare after school hours. Parents entering into such agreements with teachers or otherwise engaging or permitting teachers to render child care services for their child/ren understand and agree that such agreements or arrangements are solely and exclusively between such teachers and such parents.

Please refer to Appendix G for the waiver related to these independent childcare agreements.

IV.     DAILY PROCEDURES

ARRIVAL AND PICK-UP PROCEDURE

Car Line

The preschool utilizes a car line for drop-off and pick-up of children before and after classes.   The director or a teacher will get the child out of the car when your car pulls up to the front of the school.  See included insert for a diagram of required traffic flow during pick-up and drop-off.  Your cooperation with this traffic pattern will ensure for a safe, efficient and smooth procedure.  In addition, it is imperative that the car line not flow onto Harlem Avenue.  If you see that the line of cars is too long to fit into the school’s circular drive, please wait on Linneman Street until there is enough room to pull into the driveway.

No child is to be dropped off if there is not a teacher at the door to meet him or her.  Children should not be brought before 9:00 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. because teachers need time to prepare their classrooms for the day and are not free to supervise children until that time.  We do encourage carpooling and the use of the car line to make drop off and pick up as efficient as possible.

Cell Phone Safety

For the safety of the children and families of the preschool, YOU MUST refrain from using cell phones in the pick up/drop off lines or while parking. Additionally, please refrain from phone conversations in the classrooms and hallways. Your primary focus should be on your child.  If it is imperative that you take a call on your cell phone, please do so at the end of the hallway or in the Director’s office.

Parking Lot Safety

Please enter the preschool parking lot from the far west entrance and exit at the far east end of the lot.  For safety reasons, you should park only in designated parking spaces located in the front and on the east side of the preschool.  There are many children coming in and going out of the preschool every day.  Therefore, you must hold your child’s hand and use extreme caution when you are in the parking lot.

LATE PICK-UP POLICY

We understand that on occasion a family may run into a situation which would cause them to be late picking up their child.  We ask that a courtesy call be made to inform the faculty that you will be late and what your expected time of pick up will be.  We appreciate your consideration in making every effort to pick your child up on time.  Please note the following:

In the event the parent/guardian is more than 15 minutes late picking up a child, a fine of $20 plus $1/per minute past the 15 minute grace period will be levied, with a maximum fine of $60. A portion of this fine will be used to cover the additional teacher pay for time spent waiting on the parent/guardian. Fines must be paid within 30 days of the date they are incurred.
In the event the parent/guardian is more than 15 minutes late and the parent/guardian has not contacted the school at all during the day to notify the school of the reasons for the late pick-up, the school will
attempt to contact the parent/guardian and emergency contacts to determine the reasons for the delay and the timing of pick-up. If contact cannot be made within 30 minutes after the regularly scheduled pick-up time, a school representative must contact the police as the school will assume an emergency has occurred preventing the parent/guardian from a timely pick-up.

Remember GMPS cannot release a child to any individuals that are not on listed on the Emergency Form without a note, email or phone call from the parent.

OUTDOOR PLAY

GMPS children have access to excellent facilities to promote physical fitness.  Weather permitting, they play outdoors in an enclosed playground with climbing equipment, a large sandbox, a children’s garden, a slide, and other creative play structures.  For indoor play, we have a safe, spacious gym area where children can ride bikes, play basketball, crawl through tunnels or play organized games.

At GMPS, we feel that outdoor play is not only enjoyable but necessary for the physical and social/emotional health of the child.  Therefore, all children will have the opportunity to go out each school day with the following exception:

If the temperature is below 20 degrees and the wind chill is below 10 degrees, we will use our indoor facility.  On the very cold days where it is 20 degrees and the wind chill is 10, the children stay out for a shorter period of time.  The parents are asked to send appropriate outerwear each day.

The temperature is checked daily before the am and pm sessions.  We will display our “red flag” if it will be an “indoor” day and a “green flag” if it will be an “outdoor” day.  These flags are visible to all parents in the car line and to those entering the building.  On questionable days, we try to send a message via Remind in a timely manner.

PRESCHOOL ATTIRE

Please dress your child in comfortable clothing that is appropriate for indoor and outdoor play.  Layered clothing is favorable and comfortable footwear, such as tennis shoes, is best for play.  Crocs and sandals are strongly discouraged as children have a hard time running and using the playground in this footwear.  Preschool children need freedom to explore and master a wide variety of materials.  Their clothes often get dirty in the process.  To ensure their success, please make sure that your child comes prepared to get “messy” and to allow movement.  The teachers encourage the children to develop self-help skills at school.  Therefore, please dress your child in clothing that they can put on and remove by themselves.  During cold weather, all children should be equipped with snow coats, snow pants, hats, mittens and boots.  Outerwear should be labeled with your child’s name (including hats, mittens and boots). Also, please supply a complete change of clothing in your child’s backpack for extra messy days.

V.      ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS

ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS

Monday Madness, Terrific Tuesdays, Wonderful Wednesdays

These programs are designed to expose children to a variety of enrichment opportunities.  Past workshops have included seasonal themes, science experiments, puppets, cooking, art, drama, sports, motor skills and math.  The children will participate in planned activities and eat lunch together.

Extended Day (Lunch Bunch)

The Extended Day Program is designed to give children a more extensive group experience, including mealtime socialization.  It offers a longer day with the opportunity to build further relationships with other children and staff. The program is offered Thursday and Friday.

****Parents may sign up for Monday Madness, Terrific Tuesdays, Wonderful Wednesdays and/or Extended Day three times per year, for the Fall (last week of September through Winter Break), Winter (January through Spring Break) and Spring (Spring through the last full week of school). Parents will be notified when registration opens up in the Parent Portal.

Children attending must bring their own peanut free lunch.  Both morning and afternoon students are invited to participate in these programs, which run from 11:45 to 1:15, with the morning students attending for the whole time period and the afternoon children attending from 11:45 to 12:30, at which time they will be escorted to their regular classroom.

****Please note these specialty programs are limited to those students in the 3- and 4-year old programs only.  No Getting Started students will be allowed to attend.  In addition, teachers reserve the right to deny enrollment in these specialty classes as some children may not be ready for extra activities. Additionally, enrollment in these three specialty classes is limited to the first 16 students who are registered for the class each month.

MINI CAMP / PARKS AND CRAFTS

These two programs are open to students currently enrolled in a 3- or 4-year old class.  Camps are held the weeks immediately following the close of the regular school year.  Each camp day has a special theme, which includes art, music, playground time, and supervised free play.  Camp time is 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  Snacks are provided by the preschool. You will receive information on camp registration in the spring.

VI.     PARENT PARTICIPATION

GENERAL

Parents are considered a vital asset to our program and are necessary for its continued success.  Our school is run by a parent board that welcomes participation from all families. Teachers utilize parental assistance when appropriate on field trips, special projects, fund raising activities, class events, and parent group meetings. GMPS encourages parents to spend time in the classrooms and at the various school-wide activities held throughout the year. Teachers, if necessary, will give suggestions as to a special activity the parent can share with the class.

PARENT-SCHOOL RELATIONSHIP/PARTICIPATION

The relationship between home and the preschool is a very important one.  Parents are the main resources in helping teachers understand the individual child.  Teachers bring objectivity to the situation as they observe each child work and play.  Together, parents and teachers have a great deal to discuss, learn, and share.  By means of observation, participation and conferences, parents gain knowledge about their child.  Teachers appreciate parental help and interest at school.  Feel free to visit the preschool and to discuss any problems either with your child’s teacher or the director.

Orientation Night is to acquaint parents with the policies and programs of the Preschool.  Parents are welcomed and encouraged to volunteer in various capacities such as Room Parent, assisting with fundraisers, making play dough, sharing a special talent, reading to students or just coming in to play.

Family Night/Book Fair is an opportunity for each preschooler to introduce his or her family to their classroom, teachers, and friends, and to showcase the work they have been doing at school.

Additional school-wide events include the annual benefit, the Halloween Parade, Family Movie Night, the Holiday Program, Family Frenzy (a Saturday morning family event) and the End of the Year Art Show.  See Appendix A for further explanation of these events.

GMPS BOARD OF DIRECTORS

As previously mentioned, GMPS is governed and operated by a parent Board of Directors (BOD) who work with the Director to oversee the operation of our school.  The following is a list of the current BOD positions:

*President

*Vice-President

*Secretary

*Treasurer

*Long-Range Planning

Media Relations

Social

Hospitality

Volunteers

Seasonal Fundraising

*Executive Board position

The BOD meets at least seven (7) times over the academic year. The BOD is tasked with, among other things, setting the policies of the preschool, employment decisions, establishing the annual budget, and organizes all school-wide events.

Additionally, there are parent volunteer positions that are not required to attend the BOD meetings and do not vote.  The following is a list of the current volunteer positions:

Toy Cleaning, Benefit Committee, Scholastic Books

Applications for parents interested in filling vacated BOD positions are solicited in March, with a slate filled in May for the following school year. We encourage all parents to consider serving on the BOD or volunteer as a means of fully participating in the early education of your child/ren and building community within the school.

HEAD ROOM PARENT

The head room parent is a volunteer parent of a child in that class.  S/he acts as the liaison between the parents and the teachers; this position is a vital part of the communication and coordination among the parents of a class, the majority of which can be done via email.  In addition to providing monthly email updates regarding events and happenings occurring in the classroom, the head room parent coordinates the parent volunteers for their classroom including the monthly play dough volunteer and seasonal parties. Other responsibilities include:

Encouraging volunteer efforts both in the classroom and at school-wide events.
Communicating relevant messages to classroom parents regarding preschool happenings, including for the annual benefit and other school-wide events.
Collecting class funds for and coordinating purchase of holiday and year-end teacher gifts.
Assisting the class auction basket coordinator as necessary to collect funds and/or items for the class basket included in the annual benefit.
Coordinating with teachers and parents of the other children for holiday parties.
Supplying extra treats for any special celebrations for siblings, parents and teachers.
Providing information to other parents when requested by teacher(s).

This position is a great way to get to know other parents and the teachers, and to keep apprised of monthly happenings in the classroom.

FUNDRAISING

GMPS is a fully-independent preschool.  Tuition collected covers the school’s operating expenses, however capital improvements, including purchasing new supplies for classrooms; repairing and replacing school equipment and facilities, including playground equipment; maintaining school grounds, including the children’s garden; and improving school grounds, requires capital funds raised during the school year.

Toward that effort, GMPS organizes a few fundraising activities each year, all of which are entirely voluntary.  The fall semester usually holds a few smaller scale “goods for purchase” type fundraisers.  The spring semester plays hosts to only one fundraiser, the annual benefit, which is a silent auction run by the Benefit Committee.  In addition to being the school’s single largest fundraiser, the annual benefit is also a fun night to meet other parents in the GMPS community. More information on all fundraising efforts will be forthcoming during the school year.

SCHOLASTIC BOOKS

Each month, GMPS places an order through Scholastic Books. These books are available for purchase at a great discount and it presents a great opportunity to add to your home library.  An order form will go out in your child’s backpack should you like to order books for that month.  Please note that while the school does receive bonus books for hitting certain order thresholds, this is not a fundraiser effort for the school and the school does not receive any money from the order.

VII.    APPENDICES

Appendix A:            Glossary of Terms for GMPS

Annual Benefit  – This is GMPS’ main fundraising event of the year and is usually held in early February.  Proceeds allow us to make capital improvements to the school, including purchasing new playground equipment, new materials for the classrooms, and contributing to our scholarship fund.  This is a great event to show your support of the school and also enjoy a night out with other GMPS parents.  In addition to attending the event, we encourage parents to donate any items that can be auctioned off at the event to raise funds for our school.

December Holiday Program – Children in the 3 and 4-year-old classes will present a Holiday Sing Program in the Social Hall.  To avoid conflicts with District 34, the programs usually occur earlier in December.  GMPS’ Music Teacher, Mrs. Faedtke, works with the children on songs and choreography to make this truly a memorable event.  Don’t forget your cameras and come early as the “best” seats fill up quickly.  Please feel free to invite grandparents or other special family members.   After the program, you are invited to join your child for snacks and drinks in your child’s classroom.  The children in the Getting Started program will perform for their parents in their classroom.  Information regarding dates & times will be distributed in your child’s backpack and via email.

End of Year Art Show – This final event of the year is held in May at GMPS.  Each child has an art project displayed in the halls of GMPS, which you are encouraged to take home.  Entertainment will be provided either on the grass located in front of the preschool on Harlem Avenue or in the social hall depending on the weather.  All family members are invited to attend this event.  Refreshments will be available.

Family Night & Book Fair – This is one of our favorite events as the children are excited to bring their family to GMPS to see their classroom and show off some of their projects.  Your entire family is invited to attend the event.  Some snacks and beverages are available during the evening.  To avoid congestion, the preschool will send out information prior with suggested times for your family to come to the event.

Family Frenzy – This is a fun morning of activities for the whole family to enjoy at the school.  All family members are invited to attend this event.

Halloween Party and Parade – All parents and loved ones of children in the 3 & 4 year old classes are invited to meet in the GMPS gym to see their child and classmates parade in their Halloween costumes.  With the help of our Music Teacher, Mrs. Faedtke, the children will then present some songs they have practiced during their music class.  Finally, the children will go back to their classrooms and have snacks & activities.  Our Getting Started programs do not participate in the Halloween parade.  They will have a party within their classroom.  Children in these classes should not dress up in their costumes, although they are invited to wear festive Halloween attire.

Home Visits: All new students and all children enrolled in the Getting Started classes will receive a home visit from their child’s teacher before the start of school.  This is an informal meeting to ease the transition between home and school.

Mini Camp/ Parks and Crafts – There are 2 sessions of camp at the end of the school year.   Each session is a four-day or three-day program held from 9:00—12:00.  The first week is held at GMPS.  Themes for the week are carried out through activities, crafts & snacks.  Mini camp is staffed by our teachers.  The second week of camp the children visit parks that are in walking distance of the preschool.  Again, teachers will be providing planned activities for the children.  There is an additional fee for your child to attend a mini-camp/ parks and crafts session.

Mom and Dad’s Night Out – This is a chance for Moms and Dads to have a much-needed night out and meet other parents and teachers.  Watch for e-mails throughout the year with additional details.

Orientation Night – The all-school Orientation Meeting will begin with presentations from our Preschool Director & the Parent Board of Directors’ President.  GMPS’ Director will discuss the important policies & guidelines that help make GMPS a safe and happy place for your child.   Afterwards, there will be a short breakout session in your child’s classroom to allow your teachers to share class specific information. All teachers will be present.  Other members of the Preschool Board of Directors may speak about upcoming events or opportunities to help not only within the classroom, but to help contribute to the success of the overall preschool.

Parent Education Speakers – Throughout the year, GMPS may sponsor guest speakers or members of their own teaching staff to present seminars pertaining to various parenting topics.

Parent-Teacher Conferences – Parents are invited to speak with their child’s teacher to discuss any concerns at any point throughout the year.  However, there are specific times set up by the school for conferences.  School is not in session on conference day.  In the fall, the parent and teacher will meet to have an informal question and answer session about their child.  In the spring, the parent and teacher will have a more formal conference to discuss their child’s progress.  Childcare will be provided for both conferences.  The classroom teacher will handle sign-ups for times for the conferences.

Meet and Greet – Come with your child to get acquainted with your classroom, playground, and meet the teachers. This is a drop-in session, feel free to stop in at any time during your class’s scheduled date and time.

Q&A Day–During the fall, the teachers at GMPS schedule an informal conference to discuss the results of the ASQ-3 screening, expectations for your child at preschool, the child’s social/emotional development, cognitive development and physical development (fine and gross motor skills).  This is scheduled during the day and school will not be in session for the children. We do provide babysitting down the hall.

School Pictures – Photographers will come in and take school pictures of the children.  Each class will have a group shot with their classmates & teachers and an individual shot will also be taken.  This usually takes place in the month of October and photo packages are available for purchase through the photography company.

Share Time –  We encourage parents to sign up with their child’s teachers to come into the classroom and do something special with the kids.  The possibilities are endless!  In the past, we have had parents read a book, do an art project with the children, play an instrument, show their SCUBA gear, even how to eat an Oreo cookie! You can also just come in and play!

Spring Field Trips – A great way to end the year is with field trips to some of Glenview’s favorite spots.  The 3-year-old classes will walk to the Glenview Public Library & the Tot Lot located on Central Avenue.  The 4-year-old classes will walk to the Glenview Public Library and the Dairy Bar for an ice cream cone with their classmates.  In addition, the 4-year-old classes will attend a class at Wagner Farm and/or The Grove in the spring.  Some of these events may require a small fee to be paid by the parents.

Toy Cleaning – Held 3 to 4 times per year, volunteers meet at the Preschool one evening and clean all toys, tables, chairs, and surfaces in the classrooms.  This is a fun and easy way to volunteer a bit of time.  Each Toy Cleaning takes approximately one hour to complete.

Valentine’s Day Parties – During the month of February, children will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with their classmates.  All children are encouraged to bring in signed (but not addressed) valentines for their classmates.  Food items are not allowed to be included with the valentines.  Prior to the party, the students will create a special mailbox to collect their cards, which they will bring home after the party.  The room parents for the month of February will work with the teacher to come up with party activities and food.

Week of the Young Child – During the month of April the preschool celebrates the students with the Week of the Young Child.  A theme is designated for the entire week.  During this week, a special time is allotted for parents to bring a snack to share with their child.  Weather permitting, this snack will be held outside on the lawn on the east side of the preschool – so bring your blankets.  If the weather is not ideal, you will celebrate with your child in their classroom.  Also, parents are encouraged to spend some extra time in the classroom reading a book or doing a simple craft during this week.

Appendix  B:         Approved Birthday Treat List

All treats brought to school must be peanut/nut free. Your child’s teacher will let you know if there are any food allergies in your child’s classroom and may provide you with additional restrictions. Any variation from this list needs to be cleared with the school office.

Home baked goods may not be brought to school.  This is a state regulation.

SUGGESTED SNACKS:

POPSICLE OPTIONS:

*Minute Maid- Soft Frozen Lemonade Squeeze Tubes or Soft Frozen Lemonade Raspberry Squeeze Tubes

*Pop-Ice- fruity flavors only

*Fla-Vor-Ice- fruity flavors only

*Outshine Fruit Bars or Outshine Fruit and Veggie Bars- NO CREAMY COCONUT FLAVOR (contain milk) and NO SIMPLY YOGURT BARS (contain milk)

OTHER BIRTHDAY SNACKS:

*JELL-O Cups- Jell-O brand only-NO PUDDING (contains milk)

*Teddy Graham’s

*Trader Joe’s snickerdoodles

*Enjoy Life snickerdoodles

*Oreo’s- Original kind only

*Fresh fruits or vegetables

(GMPS Staff will clean/cut all fruit and vegetables brought to school.  This may NOT be done at home per DCFS regulations)

Important Considerations:

All labels from approved snack list MUST NOT INCLUDE  “May contain peanuts/ tree nuts” or “processed in a facility that processes products that contain peanuts/tree nuts” or “contains peanut/ tree nut ingredients.” Foods that present this verbiage on the label may NOT be brought into classrooms.
Product ingredients may change at any time. GMPS reserves the right to refuse/ return a birthday treat brought in if it does not meet the school wide or classroom specific restrictions. Our goal is to keep all children safe.

Appendix C:          Playdough Recipe

2 Cups Water
2 Tablespoons Oil
Bright Colored Food Coloring (Approximately 1/2 of a bottle)
2 Cups Flour
4 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar
1 Cup Salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Cook, stirring over medium heat until mixture is thickened.  Cool slightly.  Place in plastic bag, label with “date made” and send to school!

Appendix D:  Communicable Illnesses that MUST be immediately reported to the school

HEALTH ALERT

CHICKEN POX– Onset is 2 to 3 weeks after exposure.  Symptoms – Slight fever and irritability for 1 day and fine blisters on the trunk and face.  Your child is contagious for up to 5 days.  Do not bring your child to group care for 5 days after the rash appears or until all scabs dry, whichever is first.

STREP – (including Scarlet Fever and Strep Sore Throat) – Onset is 2 – 5 days after exposure.  Symptoms – Sore throat, fever and occasionally a rash.  Consult your physician.

GERMAN MEASLES (Rubella) – Onset is 2-3 weeks after exposure.  Symptoms – Slight head cold, swollen glands at the back of the neck, and a changeable rash that goes away in 2 – 3 days.  KEEP YOUR CHILD AWAY FROM WOMEN WHO ARE IN THE FIRST THREE MONTHS OF PREGNANCY.  Do not bring your child to group care for 7 days after the rash begins.

MEASLES (Rubeola) – Onset is 1 -2 weeks after exposure.  Symptoms – Runny nose, watery eyes, fever (may be quite high), and a cough.  A blotchy rash appears about the fourth day.  Do not bring your child to group care for 4 days after the appearance of the rash of until she/he is well.

MUMPS – Onset is 14 – 26 days after exposure.  Symptoms – Pain in the cheeks, which is increased by chewing, swelling over the jaw and in front of the ear.  Do not bring your child to group care until all swelling has disappeared or 9 days after swelling appears.

PINWORMS – Itching of the anal area, esp. at night, is the most common sign.  Your child may have insomnia or nightmares and may lose her appetite.  Consult your physician.  Observe other member of the family for symptoms.

HEAD LICE – For 2 weeks after exposure, observe your child’s hair and scalp at her neckline and around her ears for eggs or nits (tiny, pearly white egg shaped objects)  that stick slightly to the hair shaft.  Your child may also complain of an itchy head.  Consult your physician or pharmacist for treatment.  Do not bring your child to group care until the day after the treatment begins.  Carefully check other members of the family for eggs or nits.

CONJUNCTIVITIS (Pinkeye) – Onset is 24 – 62 hours after exposure.  Symptoms – Irritated, tearing eyes, swollen lids, and yellow mucous discharge that makes the eyes sticky.  Very contagious if the conjunction is caused by infection. Children under 5 are most susceptible.  Do not bring your child to group care until the day after the treatment begins.

IMPETIGO – Onset varies.  Symptoms – Golden crusty sores or pimple like spots develop watery heads, break and form crusted areas.  May occur on hands, legs, feet or buttocks.  Spreads rapidly if untreated.  Consult your physician.  Do not bring your child to group care until after the treatment begins.

RINGWORM (Scalp) – Onset varies – Symptoms – Bald, oval shapes on the scalp; grayish scales; broken hair, itching.  Do not bring your child to group care until the day after treatment begins.  Be cautious of sharing items that come in contact with the head.

RINGWORM (Body) – Onset varies – Symptoms – Rounded, reddish area with a scaly or blistery border, often itchy.  Do not bring your child to group care until the day after treatment.

Appendix E:  Medical and Religious Objections to Vaccinations

105 ILCS 5/27-8.1(8) states: Parents or legal guardians who object to health examinations or any part thereof, or to immunizations, on religious grounds shall not be required to submit their children or wards to the examinations to immunizations to which they object if such parents or legal guardians present to the appropriate local school authority a signed statement of objection, detailing the grounds for the objection. If the physical condition of the child is such that any one or more of the immunizing agents should not be administered, the examining physician responsible for the performance of the health examination shall endorse the fact upon the health examination form. Exempting a child from the health examination does not exempt him from participation in the program of physical education training provided in Sections 27-5 through 27-7 of this Code.

Appendix F:  INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT NOTIFICATION

Dear Parent/Guardians,

The Department of Public Health (IDPH) has passed Public Act 93-0381 Amendment to The Child Care Act of 1969, and the Structural Pest Control Act that affect how common pests such as mice, ants, etc., are controlled in child care centers.

This act affects the child care centers in two ways:  1) All Illinois Child Care Centers are required to adopt a pest control program called Integrated Pest Management or IPM, and 2) Schools are required to notify staff, students and parents/guardians prior to certain types of pest control applications.

IPM emphasizes inspection and communication with the child care staff.  The focus of the program is to identify and eliminate conditions in the school which could cause pests to be a problem.  Regular spraying of student accessible areas is not part of the GMPS program.

If it becomes necessary to use any pest control products other than traps or baits, notice will be posted two business days prior to the application.  The only exception to the two-day notice would be if there is an immediate threat to health or property (i.e. hornets/wasps nests).  With this said, notice will be posted as soon as possible.  Written notification will be sent to all parents/guardians within the affected area prior to the application of restricted pest control materials subject to the notification requirements.

GMPS in association with the United Methodist Church has contracted with Campbell Pest Control, Inc. to provide IPM services.  If you have any questions about the information and procedures, please contact Karen Coan, Director, GMPS at 847-729-3606.