Student Handbook

 

ST JOHNS PRESBYTERIAN KINDERGARTEN AND PRESCHOOL

2016-2017

 

Our mission is to provide a witness to the love and nurture of Jesus to young children and their families. It is our hope that they will be touched by Jesus and will come to know Him personally.

 

ARRIVAL OF  MOTHER’S MORNING OUT CHILDREN

Mothers accompanying MMO children may park briefly on Lexington by the playground and in front of the Kirk House. Please do not block the alley. You will need to walk your child into the building using the yellow door. Please do not leave until the classroom teacher is aware of your arrival.

 

DISMISSAL OF MOTHERS’ MORNING OUT CHILDREN

 

Parents must arrive no later than 12:30 p.m. to pick up Mother’s Morning Out students.  When parking on Lexington, PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN THE CARPOOL LINE.  This causes the carpool line to back up and creates a dangerous situation.  Please retrieve your child quickly. Please do not park in the parking lot across the street.  Crossing  the street at carpool time is dangerous. You may park in front of the Kirk House or in its driveway, making certain that you do not block the alley.

 

ARRIVAL

This procedure calls for patience and requires several minutes, but the time involved is important to insure the safety of everyone.  At arrival and dismissal times, traffic on Lexington is dangerous, so all drivers must be attentive and follow the directions below.  Drive though the church parking lot off of San Juan Avenue, bear right and turn left onto Lexington.  Please do not arrive before 8:45.  At that time a designated staff member will be on duty to assist your child with entering the playground. Pull your car alongside the Lexington curb and stop at the orange cone. TURN OFF YOUR CAR AND ASSIST YOUR CHILD IN EXITING YOUR VEHICLE. WAIT BY YOUR CAR UNTIL A TEACHER COMES TO ESCORT YOUR CHILD TO THE PLAYGROUND. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WALK YOUR CHILD TO THE GATE.  Three cars can unload at once. Do not pull forward until the car in front of you has moved forward.  If you are on a bike or pushing a stroller, please have your child enter the playground through the gate in front of the red door. If you arrive after nine o’clock and the children have gone inside, please walk your child into the building through the main entrance to the school on Herschel Street.  You will need to be buzzed in and then walk your child to his/her classroom.  Please make certain your child’s teacher is aware of your arrival.

 

DISMISSAL / ST. JOHNS PICK UP PASS

We cannot allow a child to go home with anyone other than his/her parents or a person designated by them.  Any change must be made in writing. Everyone must have an official color coded St. Johns pick up pass. It will help us to identify you and your car, so please attach it to the right front windshield.

 

DISMISSAL

The two year old classes will be dismissed for carpool at 12:30.  Please follow the procedures below to insure a safe, speedy pick up. If you wait until after 12:30 to arrive, you will be in the long, slow pick up line, so come early.

To pick up your child drive along the Lexington curb. Please make sure that your pick up pass is visible on the right front windshield.  A staff member will direct you to stop at one of the orange cones. TURN OFF YOUR CAR, EXIT YOUR CAR AND WAIT AS A TEACHER ESCORTS YOUR CHILD TO YOU. YOU WILL THEN ASSIST YOUR CHILD IN GETTING INTO AN APPROVED, AGE APPROPRIATE CHILD SAFETY SEAT. If you do not have an approved car seat in your car, you must park on Herschel and pick up your child at the walking gate. Encourage your children to fasten their own seat belts; if they can’t, you will do it for them. If your child has forgotten something, pull into a parking space on Herschel and a teacher will retrieve the item and bring it to you.  This way the other cars can continue to move along.

The traffic on Herschel is heavy. Please do not attempt to turn left. To keep traffic flowing you will only be allowed to turn right onto Herschel.  If there is a delay of any sort DO NOT pull out of the line and attempt to go around the other cars.  This is very dangerous and has resulted in accidents and near misses. Let’s teach our children the value of patience by our example.

NO CHILD WILL BE RELEASED TO THE DRIVER OR WALKED TO THE GATE IF THE ADULT IS TALKING ON A CELL PHONE. ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL REQUIRE YOUR FULL ATTENTION. YOUR CHILD NEEDS A WARM GOOD BY AND A FOND HELLO.

A $10 late fee will be billed to you if you pick your child up in the office after 1:00.

 

WALKING GATE

If you are picking up one or two children and do not want to wait in the carpool line, please park in front of the building on Herschel Street and walk to the gate closest to Herschel. It will be necessary to hold your pick-up pass above your head so we can identify you.  The teachers will see you and send your child to the walking gate. 

 

ALLEY

It runs one way behind the church from Shirley Street to Lexington Avenue.  Please DO NOT drive into the alley from Lexington or turn around in the alley.  The alley should only be used during Rainy Day drop-off and pick-up.  It should NOT be used as a “short cut” route.  Please remember that there is a stop sign before you enter Lexington Ave.

 

LUNCH

Children should bring their lunches & drinks in clearly labeled lunch boxes.  The child’s name should be on the sides and top of the box.  If your student is in Mother’s Morning Out or the Two’s program please send bite size foods.  This will avoid potential choking hazards and teachers can focus on your children and not on cutting up their food.  Please inform the office and your child’s teacher of any food allergies. 

If you would like to sign your child up for FUN LUNCHES on Monday-Friday you may do so on the form that will go home with your child quarterly.  We offer a variety of items.  We are aware of your nutritional concerns. We do serve fruit, but if you wish your child to eat a healthier lunch, you should send it from home.

 

SNACKS

Children will bring their snacks each day in clearly labeled disposable bags and eat according to their class schedule.  Water is provided. Please do not place morning snacks inside lunch boxes.  Some healthy choices are: dry cereal, crackers, fruit, vegetables, cheese, pretzels, cereal bars. No candy is allowed.

 

CLOTHING AND PERSONAL BELONGINGS

Sweaters, raincoats, jackets, caps, etc., MUST BE PLAINLY MARKED WITH THE CHILD’S NAME.  Please dress your child in clothing he or she can manage alone.  Heavy belts are difficult for young boys. Jumpsuits and overalls with straps are frustrating for young children.  For safety reasons, all shoes should have backs—no sandals, flip flops or boots; tennis shoes are best.  We do not allow toy guns or knives of any sort at St. Johns.  Toys should be brought on designated share days only.

 

EMERGENCY WEATHER PROCEDURE

 

In the event of a hurricane or other emergency weather situations, listen to local stations for information.  If the Duval County schools are closed, we will automatically be closed the first day that the county schools are closed. If the county schools are forced to remain closed for an extended period of time, and our school is able to operate, then we will re-open. Listen to the radio and CALL THE SCHOOL OFFICE for information.  The answering system will tell you when we will close, as well as the re-opening times. The information will also be posted on our website and Facebook. Shirley, Herschel and Lexington Avenues are prone to flood so we may be forced to close even if Duval County does not.  If that occurs, the school answering system, web site, and Facebook will provide pertinent information .

RAINY DAY CARPOOL INSTRUCTIONS

Rainy day drop off (8:45 a.m.) and rainy day pick-up (12:30 for 2’s and 12:45 for 3’s and 4’s) will be under the Crisp Portico in the alley.

Please turn onto Lexington Avenue from Herschel Street, then turn left onto Lakeside Drive left onto Shirley Street, and left into the alley, stopping under the portico.

Turning onto Lexington and going around the block will alleviate hazardous traffic backup onto Herschel.  Please do not turn onto Shirley from Herschel as this causes a dangerous back up of cars on the Herschel Street. Thank you for your cooperation.

RAIN OR SHINE:  Mother’s Morning Out students can be picked up in their classroom.

 

CONFERENCES

Parents may request conferences at any time.  If you would like to discuss your child’s progress, an appointment may be made with the teachers by calling the school office.

TOILET TRAINING

While St. Johns is aware of individual stages of development, we require children to be completely toilet trained when entering the 3 year old class. They must be able to initiate and manage the toileting procedure by themselves.  If your child’s teacher or extended day staff find that your child is not completely toilet trained, he/she will be asked to postpone coming to school until the toileting process is mastered. 3 toileting  “accidents” at any time constitute not being toilet trained.  Children will not be allowed to wear Pull-ups at any time during the school day including naptime.

 

ILLNESS/MEDICATION POLICY

If your child needs medication, you must sign a medication card available from the office.  Children who have these symptoms (one or a combination) should not be at school:  1) fever of 100 degrees or more (children should be free of fever for 24 hours before returning); 2) diarrhea/upset stomach (24 hours should elapse after the last incidence of vomiting or diarrhea before returning to school);  3) respiratory problems such as bronchitis or wheezing;  4) undiagnosed rash (heat or diaper okay);  5) sore throat and deep cough;  6) change in behavior which may indicate illness (unusually tired, pale, irritable, restless, or crying);  7) green, runny nose; 8) difficult or rapid breathing; 9) stiff neck; 10) pink eye; 11) exposed or open skin lesions; 12) unusually dark urine or gray/white stool; 13)yellowish skin or eyes.  If the school staff determines that a child is ill, the parents will be called and will be expected to pick up the child from the office within an hour.  When children return to school before they are really well, they don’t feel like participating in our activities.  They also share their germs with other children and adults and are at risk for another infection; therefore sick children must remain at home for at least 24 hours after pick up. They may not come to school until they have been fever free or symptom free for 24 hours. If your child is picked up at 10:30 on Monday morning, he/she may not return to school until Wednesday morning at the earliest. A note is made of pick up time.

 

BROKEN BONES: After experiencing a broken bone or sprain, children may not attend school in a soft cast. For the child’s protection, a hard cast must be in place before returning to school.

 

BIRTHDAYS

Simple refreshments may be brought to school for a child’s birthday.  (We stress simple.) Please let us know ahead of time by contacting your child’s teacher.  Birthday party invitations may NOT be given out at school. You may obtain classmates’email addresses from the office.  Birthday party invitees should not leave directly from school. No birthday presents may be brought to school. Young children are sensitive to being excluded.  Please be considerate.

 

FEE PAYMENT

Our school depends on funds provided by tuition fees for its operation.  When you registered your child, you signed a contract for payment of tuition for the entire year.  Tuition is to be paid on the first of each month; make checks payable to SJPK.  A late fee of $10 will be assessed after the 10th and $15 after the 15th.  SJPK Board policy states that tuition may not be two months overdue.  After the tenth day of the second month the child may not attend school until ALL fees are current. Partial payments will not be accepted.  Tuition for the year is divided into nine equal payments, so the fee remains the same regardless of the calendar. Your first payment is due on August 1st with the last payment due on April 1st.  Your extended care fee is based on the amount of time you contract. Extended care students who attend 12 months per year may pay on the first of each month. Any questions may be settled with the Director.  A $30 charge will be assessed for each returned check. 

 

BEHAVIOR

 

Children are expected to behave in an acceptable, obedient manner. Positive guidance and positive reinforcement are used to encourage behavior that meets our classroom standards.  Repeated disobedience that results in disruptive behavior during structured times or behavior that is harmful to others will not be permitted. If a child behaves in an unacceptable manner, the child is redirected, given a verbal warning, or removed from the activity for a time. After 3 serious offenses the child will be taken to the office and parents will be called for a conference. During the conference parents and teachers will decide upon a course of action targeting one misbehavior at a time. We will employ a no news is good news policy in which we will notify parents by note each day of negative behavior. After 2 weeks of no improvement in behavior, parents must have a mandatory conference with the Director. If, after 4 weeks and 2 parent/Director conferences, it is determined that the child is unable to participate in group experiences and is incompatible with our program, he/she will be asked to leave SJPK. Dismissal decisions are made by the Director and are final.

 

BITING

 

Children bite for a variety of reasons. After 3 biting incidents, the child must be picked up immediately and will be asked to stay home from school for the remainder of the day. The time should be spent without entertainment of any kind and with frequent reminders of all the fun he/she is missing while not at school.  If the biting continues, the child must be picked up after each occurrence.  The warning and removal policy will begin anew if the child has no purposeful biting incidents for 8 weeks. 

 

FIELD TRIPS

Transportation for field trips is provided by licensed school buses. Parents are invited to meet us at the location. If a child does not go on the field trip he/she may not attend school afterwards. If a child misses the bus, he/she may not remain at school.

 

LEGAL CUSTODY NOTIFICATION

In compliance with Florida State Statutes, we require documentation regarding which parent has custody in the case of separation or divorce. If there is no legal documentation, then both parents have the right of access to SJPK records and information regarding their child. Both parents may visit and pick up their child. It is the responsibility of the custodial parent to provide legal documentation verifying custody arrangements. Custodial parents are responsible for notifying SJPK, in writing, of any special circumstances with regard to the rights and obligations of the non-custodial parent. This includes providing written permission for the non-custodial parent to pick up a child on a regular basis or for a special occasion. The custodial parent must notify and provide documentation when a change in arrangements occurs.

 

A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR:

Parents,

My office door is always open to you.  I enjoy meeting with parents and giving encouragement, sympathy, and occasionally advice. I am the mother of one and grandmother of four.   I have been in the field of education most of my adult life and I know that parents have questions concerning how to bring up their children.  Please consider me a resource.  I am approachable and able to offer help and hope. 

Join me in joyous anticipation for the days ahead at St. Johns Presbyterian Kindergarten, where we are “touching children’s hearts.” Gai Gai Quarterman, Director