PARENT HANDBOOK POLICIES AND PROCEDURES 2019-2020 - Community Nursery School

PARENT HANDBOOK POLICIES AND PROCEDURES 2019-2020 - Community Nursery School

Calendar                                                           1
Contents                                                           2
History and Philosophy                                             3
Responsibilities of a Co-op Parent                                 4
CNS Executive Board                                                5-6
Staff                                                              7
School Time, Safety and Health                                     8-9
Suggestions for Parent Helpers                                     10
Financial Assistance                                               11
Summer Program                                                     11
Extended Day Program and Lunch Hour                                11
General Information: Director, Observation Screen, Conferences,    12
Storm Days, Tuition and Registration Payments and Contacting CNS
Complaint Procedure and Abuse and Neglect Policy                   13
Use of Members’ Information Policy                                 13
Fever Policy                                                       14
Lice Policy                                                        14-15
Children with Food Allergies Policy and Procedures                 16
Discipline Policy                                                  17

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Community Nursery School was founded in 1955 by parents who felt the need for a school in
which parents could play an active role in the pre-school education of their children. School
was first held in the basement of the Guilford Congregational Church. Since then, with the help
of wonderful parents who co-signed the mortgage in 1961, Community Nursery School has
become the proud owner of a three-room building with two well-equipped playgrounds.

From the beginning, the school's aim was to help each child to develop independence, self-
awareness and confidence by exploring his or her own interests and abilities within the
framework of a group of children of his or her own age. The primary focus of CNS is to meet
the emotional, social, educational and physical needs of each child. Education at this age does
not primarily mean the learning of specific skills; it means having a wide variety of child-like
experiences and experiencing relationships with adults other than one's own parents and
siblings. Nursery school should be a happy experience. It is the school's intent to help the
children to be happy and secure within an educational environment while promoting social and
emotional growth rather than to initiate formal education at this stage of development.

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Community Nursery School is a cooperative nursery school. Parent participation is basic to the
philosophy of the school; it is not a way of saving money for the school or for parents. Joining a
cooperative nursery school means taking a share in the responsibilities of running the school.
This sharing benefits parents, and especially benefits children.

1.         Parents are responsible for taking turns as helpers in their child's classroom. Each family
           is scheduled to assist on a rotating basis (about once a month). Either parent may be
           the helper. Trading days with another family for convenience is common, but each
           family is responsible for seeing that their assigned day is covered. Parents who help
           twelve or more times in the school year are required to submit a health form,
           tuberculosis test, finger prints, and an authorization for release of information relating
           to child abuse, neglect, etc. Siblings are not permitted in the classroom during parent
           helping days. (See page 10; “Suggestions for Parent Helpers”)

2.         Parents are responsible for organizing and putting on the Little Folks Fair which is held
           the first Saturday in June. The Fair is our only fund-raising event and is a tradition in
           Guilford and the surrounding towns. Of the money raised by the Fair, 25% goes to the
           financial assistance fund and the rest goes to special programs and capital
           improvements to the school. Planning and preparation for the Fair begin in January.
           The Fair does require a considerable effort, but it is also a fun day for children and for
           parents. Every parent is responsible for participating in the Fair effort.

3.         The general maintenance of the building and grounds also requires parent assistance.
           Each family is responsible for attending one of the various work parties scheduled
           during the school year, or must contribute some other skill, such as sewing, landscaping
           or equipment repair. Major projects are contracted out, but the over-all appearance
           and maintenance of the school are the responsibility of the parents.

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Chairperson: Ornella Rullo                                          310-980-1508
Ornella’s son, Ronan, is in the AM 4’s class.

The chairperson sets up the agenda and conducts monthly board meetings. The chairperson
also acts as liaison between parents and the Board, and between the Board and the Director.

Secretary: Lauren Gunningsmith                                      607-279-0465
Lauren’s daughter, Ava, is in the AM 4’s class.

The secretary keeps the minutes of board meetings, reserves the Green for the annual Little
Folks Fair, and is responsible for Board correspondence.

Treasurer: Kimberly Schmid                                          512-934-7575
Kimberly’s son, Henrik, is in the 3’s class

The treasurer organizes information on school finances and makes financial recommendations
to the Board. She is also the liaison between the Board and our book-keeper.

Enrollment: Jessica Luu-Missios                                     203-848-9433
Jessica’s son, Sebastian, is in the AM 4’s class.

The enrollment chairperson works with the Director on registration and class lists. She is also
chairman of the financial assistance committee.

House and Grounds: Valerie Ferrucci                                 203-996-7849
Valerie’s daughter, Silvia, is in the AM 4’s class.

The house and ground’s chairpersons are responsible for over-seeing the maintenance of the
building and grounds. They schedule and organize the various parent work parties.

Publicity: Alicia Mahon and Chrissy Saar                              203-747-1106
Alicia Mahon’s sons, Brayden and Brody, are in the 3’s class and Chrissy’s son, Oliver, is in the
The publicity chairpersons place newspaper advertisements and articles in the local paper and
are responsible for publicity for school events other than the Little Folks Fair. They also write
the parent newsletter.

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Participation: Katy Phillips                                              617-686-4868
Katy’s daughter, Lydia, is in the 4’s class

The participation chairperson coordinates the parent helper schedule for each class. She is the
one to call if a sudden emergency makes it impossible for you to find someone to cover your

Programs: Joanna Murphy                                                   860-514-4447

Joanna’s son, Oliver, is in the AM 4’s class.

The program chairperson is responsible for organizing parent programs, annual meetings and
the coffee hours at the beginning of the school year.

The CNS Board of Directors is comprised of parents whose children are currently enrolled in the
school. They are elected by fellow parents at the Spring Meeting (Family Picnic), to serve two-
year terms. The Board is responsible for keeping the school running smoothly and in good
financial and physical condition. The Board hires teachers and the Director and sets salaries
and tuition.

The Board meets monthly, usually in the evenings at Community Nursery School. Parents are
always welcome to attend board meetings or to request that items be added to meeting
agendas. Times, dates, and places of board meetings will be posted on the parent bulletin


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Rachel Daniels, Director                         914-263-4168
              1. Director

Shelley Gullette, Teacher                        203-457-0220
       1.      Assistant Director
       2.      Monday/Wednesday/Friday            4’s class            9:00 - 12:00

Cristina Parent, Teacher                         203-738-9101
        1. Tuesday/Thursday                      3’s class             9:00 - 12:00

Valerie Carubia, Teacher                         203-453-6950
       1. Tuesday/Thursday                       3’s class            9:00 – 12:00
       2. Friday                                 Toddler 2’s Class    10:00 – 11:30

Denise Zukowski, Teacher                         203-294-4470
       1. Monday/ Wednesday/Friday               4’s class            9:00 – 12:00

Sharon McCord, Teacher’s Aide                    860-319-4623
      1. Monday/Wednesday/Friday                 4’s class            9:00 – 12:00

Elena Pradith, Teacher                    508-801-0980
       1. Monday/Wednesday/Friday               4’s class             9:00-12:00

                       SCHOOL TIME, SAFETY AND HEALTH
1. Arrivals and departures: School meets from 9:00-12:00 AM, lunches meet from 12:00 to
1:00 PM, Enrichment classes meet from 12:00 to 1:55, and Toddlers meets from 10:00 to 11:30.
Please bring your child to school on time. Children must be walked up the hill and into the

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building, parent must sign child in, and the teacher notified of the child's arrival. For safety
reasons, please do not leave your other children in the car during drop-off/pick-up; if you
require assistance, please coordinate with another parent or phone the school for teacher
assistance. If you arrive early, plan to stay with your child until class time as your teacher will
be busy getting the classroom ready.

Pick your child up on schedule and sign your child out. Children get apprehensive if parents are
late and teachers have duties to perform after class. If your child is to be picked up by someone
other than his/her regular driver, the teacher and the child must be notified of the name of the
person and his relationship to the child. The name of the person picking up your child should
be on the sign in sheet, marking the day. We will not release a child to anyone, even a relative,
unless you have authorized us to do so.

All doors are now locked from the outside at all times. In order to enter the building a parent or
visitor will have to identify him/herself and be buzzed into the building.

2. Siblings: If you linger to talk with other parents please remember to watch out for the
safety of any other children you have with you. It is not the teachers' responsibility to watch
babies and toddlers, and some of our equipment can be dangerous for unsupervised little ones.
No sibling is permitted to attend class during his or her parent’s special helping day.

3. Special emergencies: If we must close during the day due to an emergency, a phone relay
will be set up to notify parents of the closing.

4. Health forms: The State requires a health record for every child and teacher before they
enter school. For new children, the health record must include an up-to-date immunization
record and a physical examination within the preceding six months. For continuing students,
the health record must be up-dated by a new physical examination yearly.

5. Illness: Keep your child home if he or she has a fever or cold. A child should not return to
school until he or she has been 24 hours free from a fever. The teachers, by state law, are
required to check each child for symptoms of illness upon arrival. If a child is ill, or becomes ill
at school, parents will be notified and the ill child sent home. Use your best judgment about
sending a child back to school. A child who returns too soon does not really feel well enough to
enjoy school activities. In order to protect all individuals associated with Community Nursery
School, we will attempt to inform parents as soon as we are aware of a health-related concern
within the school community. In the event of notification, parents are encouraged to discuss
the situation with their physician.

6. Guidelines for Infection Control: For the protection of all students, parents, and staff
members Community Nursery School has adopted the following guidelines for infection control.
       A. Hand washing. Hand washing for children and adults is the primary method to stop
       the spread of all illnesses.

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B. Supplies. CNS maintains supplies of soap, disposable paper towels, a first aid kit,
           latex disposable gloves, and disinfectant for use at the school.
           C. Latex Gloves. It is recommended that latex gloves be used when cleaning up blood
           spills or contaminated objects and surfaces. In the event of any blood spill or
           contamination by a body fluid, soap and water should be used for cleaning, followed by
           a bleach solution (1 part bleach to 10 parts water) to disinfect the area.
           D. Special Needs. Teachers should be made aware of any special health needs in order
                to care for your child in the best possible way.

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1.      Please arrive a few minutes early so that the teacher can explain any special activities or

2.      Feel free to bring in an activity to use with the class (e.g. a special story, cooking project,
        song or simple experiment), but clear it with the teacher ahead of time to be sure it is
        appropriate for the group.

3.      All children bring their own snack and drink to school each day. If there is a special day,
        birthday or holiday, and a parent helper would like to bring a special snack, the teacher
        and all the parents in that child’s class must be notified of that snack at least a week in
        advance. Please remember that we are a nut free school and no nuts or peanuts are

4.      Unless it is raining, everyone goes outdoors every day, so be sure to wear warm and
        comfortable clothes. Also, many nursery school projects are messy, so dress
        accordingly. Please label your child’s coat, boots, hats and gloves.

5.      No smoking, please.

6.      Do not discuss a child or his behavior with anyone. Do not attempt to discuss other
        people's children with the teacher or chat during class time. She will be happy to
        schedule time to talk about your child with you if you wish.

7.      Help to get the room back in good order at the end of each activity period. Be sure that
        puzzle and game pieces are all returned properly, that tables are washed, and the trash
        taken out.

8.      Please let the teacher be responsible for all behavior problems as her approach is

9.      Try to see that children experience success most of the time, but don't do the project
        for them. Judicious praise and encouragement, sincerely given, are helpful.

10.     Refer to Parent Helper instructions posted in each classroom for more information.

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Each year, 25% of the net profit from the Little Folks Fair is allocated for financial assistance.
This assistance is available to children who would not otherwise be able to enjoy a nursery
school experience and to CNS families who are faced with unusual circumstances during the
school year. Application for financial assistance should be made through the Enrollment
Chairperson or by speaking to the Director and unless there is a change in a family’s
circumstances mid-year, is due at the time of registration. All financial assistance situations are
kept strictly confidential.

                                   SUMMER PROGRAM

In addition to the regular school year, Community Nursery School offers a summer program for
children who are at least three years old by the first day they attend camp and who have not
yet been in kindergarten. The program, which runs from late June to early August, emphasizes
art, science and outdoor activities. Unlike the school year program, the summer sessions are
staffed by teachers and paid aides and there is no parent assistance required.

                                    ENRICHMENT DAY

The Enrichment Day program meets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:00-1:55 and on
Fridays from 12:00-1:55. The enrichment classes are available to children in the morning 4’s
classes who would like a longer Monday and Wednesday or Friday. The children bring their own
lunch. No parent participation is required during the enrichment day program. Check with the
Director on space availability. The cost is stated on the registration form.

                             OPTIONAL LUNCH and Learn

There are several days that lunch and learn is offered. Lunch and learn is from 12:00 to 1:00
and the children bring their own lunch. The cost is stated on the registration form.

                                GENERAL INFORMATION

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Director: The Director is available for conferences or special problems. Please feel free to
discuss anything pertaining to the school and your child with her. A formal appointment is not
necessary. If the Director is not available when you are at school, please call and she will make
time to meet with you.

Observation screen: There is a one-way observation screen in the Director's office that is
available for parent use. Make an appointment through the Director or your teacher if you
wish to use the screen.

Conferences: Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for each child in March. There are no
classes on the two conference days. A sign-up sheet for conference times is posted in early
March. However, your teacher will be glad to meet with you at any time during the year to
discuss your child's progress.

Storm days: When the Guilford Public Schools are closed because of weather conditions, CNS is
closed also. When the Guilford Schools have a delayed opening, CNS morning classes will start
at 10:00 AM and end at 12:00. Our Toddler class will start as usual at 10:00 and end at 1130.
The Enrichment programs will start at 12:00 and end at 1:55 PM. In the event that Guilford
Public School closes early due to weather, CNS will close for the afternoon session. Listen for
the Guilford closing on WELI (AM 960), watch GCTV, or check Guilford Public School’s website.
Our calendar allows for two storm days per class.

Tuition and Registration Payments: September tuition is due the previous June. All other
monthly tuitions are due the first class day of the month. Payments are made in 9 monthly
installments. All tuition and registration payments must be made by check or money order.
Cash is not accepted unless previously discussed and accepted by the Director and Board.

Contacting CNS:
Phone:                (203) 453-5500
Street Address:       262 Sachems Head Road
Mailing Address:      P.O. Box 181
                      Guilford, CT 06437

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When a parent has a concern that involves his/her own child's development or progress in a
group, a conference should be scheduled with the teacher. If, after a reasonable time, the
teacher or parent feels the concern is not being resolved, a conference can be scheduled with
the Director. Conferences may also be scheduled with the Director to discuss educational
policy or classroom management.

When the Director feels that the concern cannot be satisfactorily resolved, the concern should
be presented to the Board of Directors and they will have the final decision. At this time the
Director, Board Chairperson(s) and the concerned parent(s) should meet so that everyone
understands the Board's decision.

Parents should go directly to the Board Chairperson(s) for all non-educational questions or
concerns, which will be addressed at the next scheduled board meeting.

                            ABUSE AND NEGLECT POLICY
A copy of the procedures and policy for abuse and neglect is posted on the wall outside of the
Director’s office. Upon request, a copy will be made available.

                     AND EMAIL DISTRBUTION LIST

Use of the CNS email distribution list, members’ contact information and children’s mailboxes is
for school use only. If a CNS member wishes to distribute business, political or informational
materials or promote personal or political opinions or actions to the school membership using
any of these vehicles, it must first be approved by the Board of Directors.

                                   CNS FEVER POLICY

A child has to be fever-free without the aide of medicine for 24 hours before returning to

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    1. Children suspected of having active head lice may not come to school. Children
       suspected of having active head lice once in school shall be removed from the
       classroom; the child’s parent/guardian shall be notified and asked to pick up the child.
       The parent/guardian shall be referred to the child’s health care provider for directions in
       the treatment of head lice, which typically includes application of medication and
       combing out of lice and nits (eggs).

    2. Parents/guardians shall be required to communicate with the Director or Assistant
       Director regarding treatment. The child must be free from active head lice and nits
       BEFORE returning to school.

    3. Upon the child’s return to school, the Director or Assistant Director shall check the
       child’s hair.

    4. Per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control
       (CDC), parental monitoring of the child’s head is recommended for a period of 2-3
       weeks. The Director or Assistant Director will also check the child during this time

Prevention & Control
Head lice are spread most commonly by direct head-to head (hair-to-hair) contact and much
less frequently by sharing of clothing or belongings. The risk of getting infested by a louse that
has fallen on to a carpet or furniture is very small. Head lice survive less than 1-2 days if they
fall off a person and cannot feed; nits cannot hatch and usually die within a week if they are not
kept at the same temperature as found close to the scalp.

Control measures for reducing the incidence of spreading in school shall be based on current
information from the American Academy of Pediatrics and The Centers for Disease Control. It is
recommended by the AAP and CDC that these measures be followed at home as well. These
measures currently include:

    1. Avoidance of head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact during play and other activities.
    2. Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves, coats, uniforms, hair ribbons, etc. CNS staff
       will provide children in at-risk classes plastic bags for their personal belongings (coats,
       hats, etc.) during occurrences of outbreaks.
    3. Do not share combs, brushes or towels. Disinfect combs/brushes by soaking them in
       boiling water for 5-10 minutes.
    4. Machine wash and dry clothing, linens and other items worn during the 2 days before
       treatment using hot water (130 deg.) and dry with high heat. Items that are not
       washable can be dry cleaned or sealed in plastic bags for 2 weeks.

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5. CNS staff will place contaminated “dress-up” clothes, doll bedding/pillows in sealed
       plastic bags for 2 weeks if they cannot be laundered.
    6. Vacuum the floor and furniture.
    7. Do not use fumigant sprays/fogs; they can be toxic and are not necessary to control
       head lice.

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Community Nursery School is an allergy sensitive school. CNS will make every effort to be a
peanut/tree nut free school. It is our goal to maintain this environment in every class setting.
While the Staff and Board of Directors realize that we cannot guarantee that traces of these
foods will not mistakenly enter the school, CNS will implement the following directives in an
effort to provide that the CNS environment will be free of peanut/tree nut allergens: Every
Parent/Guardian must adhere to the following:

        1.        Be informed of our peanut/tree nut free school, and not allow any peanuts, tree
                  nuts, or any other food items that contain nuts or peanuts into the school. This
                  includes all food brought into the school, including snacks and lunches.
        2.        All children are to wash their hands when they enter the school for the beginning
                  of the school day.
        3.        All children will have their snack and lunch box marked with their name and no
                  food will be shared.
        4.        If a parent would like to bring in a special snack (birthday, special holiday, etc.)
                  that parent must inform the teacher and all the parents in the classroom of the
                  snack, what it is and a list of the ingredients, A WEEK IN ADVANCE. That parent
                  must make sure that the parent of the child with an allergy has received the
                  information before the day of the special snack.
        5.        The parent/guardian of the child with an allergy (peanut, nut, wheat, fish, or any
                  other food allergy) must inform the teacher, IN WRITING, that the special snack
                  is or is not acceptable to the child with a food allergy.
        6.        No child will be permitted to attend school at CNS without the proper health
                  forms, no exceptions (allergy or not).
        7.        Children with documented allergies to food will be required to have specific
                  instructions from their MD (required by the State of Connecticut) and any
                  medications prescribed to be at CNS in order for the child to attend school. The
                  medications will be kept in an individual box with the child’s name and health
                  instructions in the office. Parents/guardians are responsible for keeping the
                  medicines up to date.
        8.        In the event a teacher has planned a cooking project, the teacher will inform the
                  Director or Assistant Director and supply an ingredient list. The Director,
                  Assistant Director, or Teacher will obtain written permission from the
                  parent/guardian of the child/children with a food allergy for the child/children to
                  participate in the project.
            9.    Children with food allergies/food sensitivities may keep an “emergency snack
                  box” in the Director’s Office. This box may contain snacks for use if the child’s
                  parent/caregiver forgets their child’s snack or to substitute for a special snack
                  that is not safe for the child with a food allergy to eat (e.g. cupcake).
            10.   This policy applies to the regular school year, Summer Camp, Extended Day, and
                  Lunch Bunch.

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   At CNS, we view discipline not as a punishment, but as a means to help the children develop
a sense of inner control. Positive discipline or guidance teaches children how to maintain
control of their own actions, and how to solve problems peacefully when conflict occurs. Our
goal is to help the children to become independent and responsible. Children need time and
maturity to develop behavioral control. It is our responsibility to nurture, support, and assist all
children and to help them find constructive ways to express their feelings and needs.

    When setting limits, it is important to let the children know what is expected, why certain
behaviors are unacceptable, and what might be an appropriate alternative. Go to a child and
speak directly to him or her. Kneel or sit so that you can be on the child’s eye level, and speak
quietly, but firmly, always showing respect for the children. If unacceptable behavior persists,
gently but firmly remove the child from the situation and redirect him/her to another area, or
keep the child close to you until he/she seems ready to return to play. A child should never be
isolated or left alone. Teachers must never use abusive, neglectful, corporal, humiliating, or
frightening punishment. Physical restraint is used only when necessary to protect the health
and safety of the child or other people.

Any serious or ongoing situations should be discussed with the other teachers, Director, and
the parents.

    1. The teacher will handle all discipline in the classroom, except that the nearest adult will
       intervene in situations where a child appears about to be injured by himself or another

    2. Discipline will be handled in a positive way, using positive impersonal suggestions rather
       than demands.

    3. If a child does not respond to positive suggestions, he or she will be removed from the
       group temporarily, but never outside the view of a responsible adult.

    4. Teachers will never use abusive, neglectful, humiliating, or frightening punishments.
       Physical actions are used only to protect the child or other children.

    5. All suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect must be reported to the Director of CNS
       and Department of Children and Families.

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