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Handbook

TO OUR PRESCHOOL PARENTS:

We want you to know, to understand, and to discuss your goals with us.  
We want you to look often into our busy, happy, noisy, creative classroom and see your child at play.
We want you to realize the validity of that play and the importance of what your child is learning. 
Parents and teachers together can help each child develop to his/her full potential.  

STANDARDS

The preschool complies with the standards set forth by the State of Minnesota, Department of Human Services (651-296-3971).  Each class is licensed with a 10 to 1 student to teacher ratio.  Maximum of 35 children in attendance at any given time. 

ELIGIBILITY

Stepping Stones Christian Preschool admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally made available to students at the school.  We are a non-denominational Christian preschool. 

Children who are 3 years old by September 1st must enroll in the 2-day program.  Children who turn 3 after September 1st must wait until the following year to enroll.  Children who are 4 years old by September 1st, and 5 year olds may choose to enroll in either the 2-day or 3-day program.  All children MUST be toilet trained, and no pacifiers or blankets are allowed in the classroom. 

OBJECTIVES

The objectives of our preschool program are to provide children with an opportunity to:

  • work and play in a Christian atmosphere with children their age. 
  • be themselves and develop at their own rate
  • express themselves freely and constructively through art and play materials. 
  • learn to be tolerant, creative, cooperative, imaginative, and considerate. 
  • learn to be independent - to solve their own problems and do things for themselves. 
  • learn to establish relationships with adults outside of their family. 
  • learn limits of behavior regarding safety, health and respect for other’s rights. 
  • build feelings of self-confidence and security and an acceptance of reality. 
  • enjoy a preschool program experience that will simplify adjustment to Kindergarten. 

CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

If your child has special needs, please contact the school prior to registering him/her. 

REGISTRATION

A child will be considered “enrolled” upon receipt of the registration form, and non-refundable registration fee.  In the event that desired classes are full, names will be placed on a waiting list in the order they are received. 

TUITION

Tuition is determined on a yearly basis and is due in 9 payments.  The first payment is due two weeks before school starts.  Subsequent tuition payments are due on or before the 1st of each month.  October through May.  Make checks payable to Stepping Stones Christian Preschool. 

We expect that when you register a child in our preschool that it is for the full school year unless an unexpected emergency occurs.  The only adjustment to tuition will be made for absence resulting from an illness with a duration of 4 or more weeks.  Approval must be received from the preschool board.  No adjustment will be made for a “vacation” day or “snow” days.  If permanent withdrawal from preschool is necessary, please contact the teachers as soon as possible.

SCHOOL YEAR

The preschool year will begin September 7. (Wednesday, September 7th and Thursday, September 8th) The yearly preschool calendar is given to parents before preschool begins in September. 


Session Offerings:


2-Day Program:  9-11:30 am
 

Monday and Wednesday    

Tuesday and Thursday       


3-Day Program:  9-11:30 am
 

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday    

Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday       

Only in cases of severe weather or hazardous road conditions will preschool close.  Listen to WCCO radio for closing of Stepping Stones Christian Preschool or Chisago Lakes District 2144.  We will close for weather related conditions any time that District 2144 schools are closed, or 2 hours late start.  You will not be called.

CONFERENCES

Conferences regarding a child’s intellectual, physical, social and emotional development, are held in the fall and spring.  Notices will be sent home prior to these conferences.  We strongly encourage you to participate in our parent-teacher conferences. 

Other conferences with regard to your child’s progress may be arranged upon request of the parent or teacher. 

SCHOOL ORIENTATION

Before classes begin  we will schedule an evening for getting acquainted and orientation for you and your child.  This is for children enrolled in class and their parent(s) ONLY.  You and your child will have an opportunity to look around and become more familiar with the school.

HEALTH REGULATIONS

The State of Minnesota Department of Human Services requires that children have current immunizations which includes: measles, mumps, rubella (1), DTP(4), and HIB (minimum of 1) and an up-to-date health statement before entering preschool.  This health care summary must be stamped by your doctor or clinic. 

Medications cannot be administered by preschool staff. 

Parents are required to inform the preschool within 24 hours, exclusive of weekends and holidays, when a child has a contagious and/or reportable disease; (example: lice, scabies, impetigo, ringworm, chicken pox) so that we may inform other parents of exposure. 

CLOTHING

DRESS YOUR CHILD FOR PLAY!  Your child should wear simple, washable clothing as some activities are messy!  Paint shirts are provided, but paste and paint do get on clothes.  Also, please wear appropriate shoes for play.  Do not allow your child to wear jewelry or items of sentimental value as these items are often removed and could become lost. 

All outer wear should be marked with your child’s name. 

TRANSPORTATION

If you will not be picking up your child from preschool, please let the teacher know, in writing, who will be picking him/her up.  The preschool staff cannot provide transportation to and from preschool.  We will, however, make suggestions which might facilitate for arrangement of carpools. 

SNACK TIME

Parents will be asked to provide 2 gallons of 100% juice for the school year.  One gallon to be brought at orientation night and the second to be brought in January.  Food snacks will be provided by the preschool. 

Occasional cooking with children promotes an awareness of nutrition, emotional and social development, language skills, introduces science and mathematical concepts, and can awaken the artist or creative genius in each child.  For these reasons, we include food related projects in our curriculum. 

SHARING TIME

Sharing time (“show and tell”) will be directed by individual teachers.  This is a valuable part of our program.  It encourages children to express themselves.  We encourage you to guide your child in selecting their “sharing” material.  Please limit this to not more than 2 items to be shared.  We ask that your children bring toys or other items only on their sharing day.  NO GUNS, WAR TOYS, OR OTHER TOYS OF DESTRUCTION ARE PERMITTED AT PRESCHOOL. 

METHODS OF DISCIPLINE

The safety of children and staff is of utmost concern at all times.  Teachers will redirect any unacceptable behavior towards constructive activity.  As a result of undesirable behavior (e.g. hitting, shoving), the child(ren) may be asked to sit quietly for a few minutes.  The teacher will talk about the situation with the child(ren) involved. 

No child will be handled roughly, such as shoving, hair pulling or shaking. 

No child will be hit in any way, such as slapping or spanking. 

No child will be humiliated, shamed or labeled. 

No discipline will be delegated to another child. 

If exclusion time becomes necessary, it will be geared to the age of the child.  The child will always be within sight and hearing of an adult

ILLNESS/ACCIDENTS/EMERGENCIES

ILLNESS- Your child’s health is a matter of importance to all of us.  A child who shows symptoms of illness during preschool hours will lie down on a mat in the classroom while a teacher calls a parent or authorized person.  The child will be made as comfortable as possible and will be supervised at all times. 

Keep your child home if he or she:

  • has a fever or has had one during the previous 24-hour period
  • has a cold that is less than four days old
  • has a heavy nasal discharge
  • has a constant cough
  • is fussy, cranky and generally not himself/herself


Keep him/her home even if he/she is just tired.  Rest at such times may prevent the development of serious illness. 

ACCIDENTS- If a child becomes injured, parents will be notified.  If necessary, medical assistance will be secured.  In the event of a life threatening emergency, staff will call 911.  Necessary first-aid will be given.  staff persons are trained in the administration of first-aid and CPR.  Our source for a medical emergency is Fairview Lakes Regional Medical Center.  Dental emergencies are handled by Dr. Michael Hursh, Lindstrom, MN. 

FIRE DRILLS/TORNADO DRILLS- For the safety of the children, fire drills are held monthly throughout the year.  Tornado drills are held April through September.  Discussing these drills with your children will help to ease any anxiety that may occur. 

CHILD ABUSE- Teachers are required, under penalty of law, to report suspected child abuse or neglect to the police department. 

INSURANCE

Comprehensive general liability insurance (One million dollars) is carried by the church. 

PROGRAM

It is our program goal to provide a variety of experiences and opportunities for the emotional, physical, mental, social and spiritual growth of the young child. Due to space and time considerations, we do not include pets in our program. 

Teaching the creative play program means being flexible, but know where you are every minute.  It means allowing each child to grow as an individual -- to feel, to touch, to communicate.  It is caring about children and empathizing with them as a friend.  It encourages children to imagine, explore, invent, express ideas, show emotions and above all, have a good time. 
Our program includes:

Supervised Indoor/Outdoor Creative Play- It is important to remember that play is a child’s “work”.  For children, play is a way of gaining knowledge, developing skills and competences and learning about people and their environment.  It is through the right kind of play that the foundations are laid for future learning in the areas of reading, math and science. 

Dramatic Play- Dramatic play or role play is particularly suitable to the developing needs of young children.  In pretending to be an adult or animal, children can be in control of a situation and can act out their feelings which in turn develops social skills.  This kind of play changes often and can be teacher or child directed.  Our thematic curriculum allows us to make different dramatic play situations available to children each week.  Example: The children might act out a situation in a dentist’s office, grocery store, post office, a campsite, airport terminal or in a train station.  They might be construction workers, fire fighters, doctors, pilgrims or astronauts. 

Block Play- Construction play provides skill in manipulation, imagination, problem solving and promotes understanding of math concepts.  Because there is no “right way” to use blocks, they stimulate creativity and provide a sense of achievement.  Children learn to work cooperatively at a task while building with blocks. 

Large and Small Muscle Skills- Creative movement and play activities, both  indoors and on the playground give children the opportunity to refine large muscle skills through jumping, hopping, climbing, balancing, and crawling.  These movements are coordinated with seeing, hearing and touching stimulation that increases the child’s perception of the world around him. 

The development of small muscle skills develops more slowly and is an outgrowth of large muscle control.  Manipulative experiences such as cutting and pasting, connecting toys, puzzles, water play and clay encourage exploration with hands and fingers which in turn increase visual-motor skills and small muscle control. 

SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT

It is our concern at preschool to provide a Christian environment in which our children can grow mentally, physically, socially and spiritually.  God’s love and concern for each one of us is emphasized through our concern for each other, by prayers before snack time, Bible stories and visits with our pastors.

ART

At Stepping Stones Christian Preschool, children are given an opportunity to explore and use a wide variety of art materials.  We may paint with brushes, sponges, marbles, pine branches, vegetables, fruits, our hand or even our feet!

Don’t measure the value of the day by the amount or “quality” of projects brought home.  Unfortunately for our parents, our young artists sometimes produce an end result that is unimpressive.  We suggest that parents allow the child to speak freely about what was done.  “Tell me about it”, is a parent opener that allows a child to elaborate.  Comments like, “I liked the colors you used”, “That must have been fun to do”, are more honest than “That is a beautiful picture”.  Your child may feel it was his/her worst. 

MUSIC

Listening to and producing music helps a child identify sounds, rhythms and tunes.  Moving to music, painting to music, and playing to music helps children express their feelings and moods.  Above all, music is a fun experience that can be shared later at home. 

LISTENING AND LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Story telling, poetry, finger plays, physical and natural science, and cognitive games are provided as learning activities.  They are also designed to stimulate a desire in children to develop language skills, think with numbers and learn to write. 

SUPERVISED FIELD TRIPS AND GUESTS

We believe that well-planned field trips can greatly enhance and provide a very positive learning experience for the preschool child.  Prior to the field trip you will receive information regarding the destination and the purpose of the field trip.  You will also receive a permission form which you must sign and return in order for your child to participate.  Parent volunteers will be asked to accompany us on our field trips. 

Guests are also an important resource for learning.  Musicians, artists, persons with different cultural background, police officers, doctors, nurses, and people with hobbies are all welcome.  We are eager for volunteers who will share with us, and for help in finding people who can add to the young child’s experience and growth.  Please let us know if you are interested in adding to our program in this way. 

PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT

A child will profit most from a school experience when home and school share common goals.  Therefore we welcome and encourage the sharing of views and ideas. 

Parents may review the child care program plan and visit the center anytime during the hours of operation. 

Note: Parental permission will be obtained (in writing) before research or a public relations activity involving children at Stepping Stones Christian Preschool is done.