Parent Handbook

 

"In teaching others we teach ourselves"  - Proverb

Statement of Purpose

 

            The GNBVT Preschool Laboratory is a dynamic program centered on educating and nurturing the whole child as well as training future educators while offering hands on experiences in our spacious classrooms. High school students learn how to create a developmentally appropriate curriculum under the careful and encouraging supervision of trained, Master's level professional teachers. Preschool children have the opportunity to explore their environment socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively as they play, sing, dance, create, and engage in developmentally appropriate lessons.

            The GNBVT Preschool program follows the Massachusetts Early Childhood Learning Guidelines when planning and implementing daily learning experiences. Our program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

 

Philosophy

 

            Children are the future and childhood is a precious, magical time. Children need opportunities to explore their environment and learn in the most fundamental, basic ways through play, language, and socialization in a safe, nurturing environment. Through dramatic play, children socialize and use language while role-playing as they make sense of the world around them. Block play encourages children to learn the basics of mathematics, physics, geometry and technology as they work together to create many types and styles of structures. Children express their creativity and emotions through art as they paint, draw, color, cut, and glue. Our library offers many genres of children’s literature and as children read independently, with others, and participate in story time, they develop a love of reading and the foundation of literacy skills.

 

Ages of Children Served

 

            GNBVT ECE Preschool Program serves children from 2.9 to 5 years of age.

The Three-Year old program meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The Four -Year old program meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

The Pre-K program serves children who turn 5 after August 30 and is a five-day program.

 

Enrollment procedures

            Enrollment is on a first come, first serve basis with special consideration given to GNBVT staff members and siblings of children already enrolled. Parents interested in the program may download an application from the GNBVT website and send it into the school. Parents may also make an appointment to visit the program during school hours to see the center and meet the teachers.

            Upon enrollment, parents must provide the program with a health statement, which includes a statement of the child’s most recent physical, immunization record, and must be signed by the child’s physician. If a child has been issued an epipen, parents must complete a Supplemental Health History and meet with the school nurse before the first day of school.

            An enrollment form along with the child’s developmental history and background, an emergency contact and first aid consent form must be completed before the child attends.

 

Statement of Non-Discrimination

 

            The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, homelessness, or immigration status in its education programs and activities, including admission to or employment in such programs or activities.

 

Administrational Organization of the Program

 

Robert Watt, CVTE Principal

Joanne Romanelli, Legal, Life Science, and Service Academy Administrator

Linda J. Costa, MS., M.ED, Curriculum Leader, Freshman/Sophomore Teacher, Preschool Lead Teacher

Deborah Brightman, MS., CAGS Junior/Senior Teacher, Lead Pre-K Teacher

Yasmin Fleh-Fleh Vincent, MAT, ECE Related Teacher

Lynne Bagaco, Preschool Program Assistant

 

Program Calendar

 

The Preschool and Pre-K programs follow the GNBVTHS calendar and begin during the first week of September, after Labor Day.

 

Hours of Operation

 

Pre-K Program          Monday - Friday                                8:15am - 1:15pm

Preschool 1                Monday/Wednesday/Friday           9:00am - 1:30pm

Preschool 2                Tuesday/Thursday                           9:00am - 1:00pm

 

Because GNBVTHS operates on a fixed schedule, it is important that children arrive and depart at the scheduled time. It is extremely important that an adult escort any child on the grounds.

 

Program Closings

 

September 2 Labor Day

September 13 In-service day (Friday)

October 14 Columbus Day

October 25 In-service day (Friday)

November 11 Veteran’s Day (Monday)

November 22 In-service day (Friday)

November 27-29 Thanksgiving Recess

December 6 No School (Friday)

December 23- January 6 Winter Holiday

January 20 MLK Day (Monday)

January 24 In-service day (Friday)

February 14-21 In-service (Friday) and Mid-Winter Break

February 28 In-Service Day (Friday)

April 10 No School (Friday)

April 20- 24 Spring Vacation

May 1 In-Service (Friday)

May 15 In-service day (Friday)

May 25 Memorial Day

June 5 No preschool, High School Graduation

 

Last day will be determined by May 1

 

School Cancellations or Delays

 

            Since the preschool and Pre-K programs follow the GNBVTHS schedule, our program will also follow the high school’s closings and delays for inclement weather. The school will provide announcements about school closing, delayed openings, or the unscheduled early release of students to the following:

                                    http://www.gnbvt.edu

Recorded messages about school closings, delayed openings, or the unscheduled early release of students will also be provided on the school’s phone system at 508-998-3321


 

Please remember that GNBVTHS is a separate regional school district. It is NOT part of the New Bedford School system. Announcements about GNBVTHS will be given separately on the radio, TV, or the Internet.

            If there is a one-hour delay, the Preschool program will begin at 10am and the PreK program will begin at 9:15am. If there is a two-hour delay both classrooms will be cancelled.

 

Program Fees

           

            There is a $25 non-refundable registration to secure enrollment. Program tuition is based upon an $8 a day fee. All tuition is payable by check or cash.

 

The total cost for the Monday/Wednesday/Friday program for the 2017-2018 school year is $729 and is to be paid either in full or in two equal installments due on September 6 and January 3.

 

The total cost for the Tuesday/Thursday program for the 2017 -2018 school year is $568 and is to be paid either in full or in two equal installments due on September 5 and January 4.

 

The Pre-Kindergarten program fee is $8 a day and is payable weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Parents are responsible to pay for days their child is absent but will not be charged for cancellations initiated by the program.

 

**Parents are not charged for school vacations, holidays, and in-service days.

** Scheduling may differ between the Preschool and PreK program due to the grade level of the high school students and planned school wide activities.

 

Transportation/ Field Trips

 

            Parents are responsible for the transportation of their children to and from the center. In the event of a field trip, parents must sign a permission form permitting attendance and transportation to and from the chosen destination. Tremblay’s Bus Company will provide all transportation.

            In the event of a medical emergency, children will be transported to St. Luke’s Hospital via ambulance only.

                           

Parent Visitation and Communication

 

            Parents may visit the classroom unannounced and view their child in the observation room while the program is in session. Parents are encouraged to communicate with the program teachers during drop-off and pick-up, through telephone conversations and through email. Teacher/parent conferences may also be arranged by appointment. Parent concerns will be confidential and addressed immediately.

            Our program also supplies parents with information using the parent information board, daily notes home, classroom websites, and progress reports. If a parent requests information in a language other than English, the staff at GNBVTHS will accommodate their request.

            A parent and/or guardian will be notified immediately in the event of any injury which requires any medical care beyond minor first aid or of any emergency administration of non-prescription medication, immediately of any allegation of abuse or neglect involving their child while in care. Also, parents will be notified prior to or as soon as possible following any change in educators, at the end of the day regarding any minor first aid administered, whenever special problems and significant developments arise, and whenever a communicable disease or condition has been identified in the program. Parents will be notified in writing seven days prior to the implementation of any change in the program policy or procedures, prior to the introduction of pets into the program, and of the use of any herbicides or pesticides prior to their use. (http://www.mass.gov/edu/docs/eec/licensing/regulations/reg-group-school-age-only.pdf)

           

Children’s Records

           

            Children’s files are kept in a locked file cabinet in the classroom and are confidential. Information contained in a child’s file will consist of:

  1. Pre-admission enrollment information containing the child’s name, address, sex, and date of birth. Full name and home/work phone number and address of the child’s parents and/or legal guardian. The name, addresses, and telephone numbers of at least two additional persons in the event that parents and legal guardians cannot be located. Health and developmental history. Signed emergency care/health form and authorization to release child to anyone other that the child’s parent or guardian.
  2. Admission agreement signed and dated by the child’s parent or guardian upon enrollment.
  3. Health history
  4. Assessments/Progress reports

 


 

Progress Reports

 

            Progress reports will be prepared in September, January, and May. Progress reports are based upon a developmental checklist and are completed by the high school students with guidance and direction from the lead laboratory teachers. A copy of each progress report will be kept in the child’s file and a copy will be sent home to the child’s parents/guardians.

            Parents may request a conference with the lead laboratory teacher to discuss their child’s progress report.

 

Plan for Child Guidance

 

            It is the policy of our program to provide children with positive guidance, redirection, and to foster clear limits that promote the child’s ability to become self-disciplined. Guidance will be understandable, clear, consistent, and explained to the child before and at the time of any disciplinary action. Positive alternatives will be offered to the child while students and staff consistently model desired behavior. “Time out” or “Time away” will always be in the manner of removing the child from the situation to a less active area of the classroom where constant supervision is provided. Time away from the situation will be based upon the child’s readiness to return and will not exceed 3 to 4 minutes. Time away from the group will be used selectively in order for the child to regain control.

            In handling physical aggression, the above methods will be used immediately to show that physically aggressive behavior towards others is unacceptable. Physical aggression will be dealt with by immediate intervention by the center’s caregivers. In the event of repeated incidents of behavior, which may injure other children or teachers (kicking, biting, throwing furniture, etc.), the child may be requested to withdraw from the program.

Where appropriate and feasible, children shall participate in the establishment of classroom rules and expectations, which will be posted in the classroom and shared with families and children.

All guidance practices will be dispensed in an equitable manner and encourage the children to be safe, fair, respectful of others, and to assume personal responsibility and responsibility for others.

 

The following behaviors are strictly prohibited:

  1. Corporal punishment, including beating, hitting, shaking, pinching, excessive exercise, exposure to extreme temperatures and other measures producing physical pain.
  2. Withdrawal or the threat of withdrawal of food, or forcing food, rest, or bathroom opportunities. There will be no denial of food as punishment and no force-feeding of children.
  3. Abusive or profane language or verbal abuse, threats, or derogatory remarks about the child or the child’s family.
  4. Any form of public or private humiliation, including shaming a child for not using the bathroom, as well as the threat of physical punishment.
  5. Any form of emotional abuse, including rejecting, terrorizing, ignoring, isolating, or corrupting a child.
  6. Binding or tying a child to restrict movement, enclosing a child in a confined space.

 

Plan for Termination and Suspension

 

            Every attempt will be made not to terminate or suspend a child from the program. If a child poses a constant physical threat to others, a meeting will be held with a parent or guardian to determine a solution. If a solution is not deemed suitable or does not alleviate the problem, then the parent or guardian will be given two weeks notice along with a referral to another program.

 

Plan for Referral Services

 

            If a child is not developing to his/her age appropriate, natural abilities, the child’s behavior will be observed and documented and a meeting with the child’s parents/guardians will be arranged to discuss these concerns. Specific concerns will be discussed as well as a review of the observation outcomes and program reports. Strategies will be discussed and a decision will be made on positive steps to be taken to assist the child in developing to his/her full potential. If necessary, a referral list will be given to the parent/guardian to further assist them in seeking help for the child.

            In the event of a referral to a special education administrator, written notification will be given for a child with a disability who is 2.9 or older.

 

Referral List:

 

Child and Family Services                                        (508)996-8572

Child and Family Mental Health Services                           (508)996-3154

MA Department of Children and Families             (508)910-1000

MA Department of Early Education and Care       (617)988-6600

PACE Child Care Works                                            (508)999-9930

The Shwartz Center for Children                            (508)996-3391

The Kennedy-Donovan Center for Children         (508)997-1757

The Women’s Center                                                            (508)996-3343

New Bedford Public Schools                                                (508)997-4511 ext. 3419

Special Education Program

Kim Bettencourt

 

Acushnet Public Schools                                           (508)998-0258

Special Education Program

Dr. Sandra Barboza, sandrabarboza@acushnetschools.us

 

Dartmouth Public Schools                                        (508)997-3391

Special Education Program

Elizabeth Townson

 

Fairhaven Public Schools                                         (508)979-4000 ext. 117

Special Education Program

Diane Sullivan

 

Mandated Reporting of Abuse and Neglect

 

            Staff members at GNBVT are mandated reporters and will report any suspected child abuse or neglect. If a staff member suspects abuse or neglect, he/she will document written and dated observations, using the Record of Observation form. The Record of Observation form will be filed in the child’s file and the staff member will then notify the program academy administrator.  The program academy administrator will then notify the Department of Child and Family Services. In the event that the academy administrator does not make the report it is the staff member’s responsibility to make a report.

 

Plan for Meeting the Needs of Mildly Ill Children

 

            If a child does not feel well, he/she will be taken to the nurse and a parent/guardian will be notified. If it is determined that the child can stay in the program, the child will be encouraged to rest in a quiet area of the classroom where he/she will be closely monitored. It will be up to the parent/guardian to dismiss the child.  Please see Management of Infectious Diseases for illnesses that will result in immediate dismissal.

 

Plan for Medication Administration

 

            In the event of a child needing medication, the GNBVT school nurse will administer the medication. If a child needs an inhaler and/or epipen, forms must be completed by the parent and the child’s physician for the school nurse and these items will be kept with the classroom teacher. In this type of situation, the inhaler and/or epipen will be administered by the classroom teacher. In addition, items used solely for prevention, such as sunscreen, insect repellant and chapstick, need to be provided by the parent, labeled, along with the parent/guardian’s written permission.


 

Management of Infectious Diseases

 

            Upon arrival, the lead teachers will casually conduct a daily health check of all children. If a child is ill upon arrival with a noticeable rash or fever, he/she will not be admitted for that day. If a child becomes ill during the day, he/she will be brought to the school nurse and the child’s parents will be notified if the child needs to be dismissed. The child will be kept in a separate, quiet area of the classroom until a parent or guardian arrives.

            Children will be dismissed or asked to be kept home if they have:

 

  • An illness that prevents comfortable participation in the program’s activities.
  • An illness that results in greater need for care than the staff can provide.
  • A fever; and/or a fever accompanied by behavior changes.
  • A skin rash that has not be identified or diagnosed by the child’s physician.
  • Combined symptoms and signs of a possible severe illness, which may include excessive fatigue, severe coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, stiff neck, sore throat or difficulty swallowing, and infected skin patches.
  • Head lice or other parasites.

 

            The parent(s) of the child who has been excluded from the center for health reasons must contact the child’s doctor to determine when the child can return to school. Furthermore, the lead teachers will consult with the school’s nurse to determine when the child can return.

In the event of a communicable disease, a note will be sent home to parents/guardians explaining what it is, treatment and a recommendation to check with their doctor if there are any concerns.

 

Plan for Meeting Specific Health Care Needs

 

            Each classroom teacher will post a confidential list of allergies and other specific health care needs for the children and this list will be shared with the laboratory high school students. In terms of food allergies, the culinary arts teacher will provide a meal alternative taking into account the child’s dietary restrictions. Peanut products are never used. Parents are encouraged to provide their child with his/her own snack or lunch if there are concerns regarding food allergies.

            The staff is responsible for the safety of all children in their care and will take notice of the appearance and behavior of all children. The staff will report suspected abuse to the Academy administrator.

 

           




 

 

 

 

 

Plan for Infection Control

 

            Toys and clothes used by a child who has shown signs of an infectious disease are immediately removed, washed, and disinfected. All toys used by children are sanitized daily and dress up clothes are washed on a weekly basis. The classrooms are cleaned and disinfected daily by the school custodian and bathrooms are cleaned and sanitized three times a day. Tables are disinfected and sanitized after each use and chairs are disinfected and sanitized at the end of each day.

            Staff, children, and high school students wash their hands with antibacterial soap after:

  • Using the bathroom
  • Before eating
  • Before handling food
  • After coming in contact with bodily fluids and discharges
  • After handling animals or their equipment
  • After cleaning

           

Disposable gloves are used when coming in contact with bodily fluids or discharges, and when serving food, or assisting a child in the toilet. Disposable gloves will be used for the cleanup of blood spills and bodily fluids. The affected area will be disinfected; used gloves will be thrown away in a lined, covered container. The staff will wash their hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap and water after cleaning up blood spills or discharges of bodily fluids. In certain circumstances, the custodial staff is notified and will assist in the cleanup. Soiled clothing will be sealed in a plastic bag/container, labeled with the child’s name, and returned to the parent.

 

Toileting Plan

 

The children are encouraged to use the bathroom on a “need to go” basis but are lined up to use the toilet at least once a day.  Children use the classroom toilet on their own as a teacher waits outside the door in the event the child needs assistance. If a child has a toileting accident, the classroom teacher will assist the child with changing into his/her extra clothing. Soiled clothes will be put in a labeled plastic bag and sent home at the end of the child’s day. Parents are reminded to bring in additional clothing the next time the child returns to school.

All staff and high school students will use the cafeteria bathroom or a faculty bathroom.

 

Dental Care

 

            Dental care is extremely important to physical health. Children in our program brush their teeth after lunch daily, with the assistance of the classroom teachers and the high school laboratory students. The program provides toothbrushes and parents are to provide a labeled tube of toothpaste.

      A pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste will be placed on the child’s brush. Children will be encouraged to spit into the sink once brushing is complete and will rinse with tap water provided in disposable cups. Cups will be discarded after each use.

       Each toothbrush is labeled with the child’s full name and the date the toothbrush was given to the child. Toothbrushes will be replaced every three months. Toothbrushes will also be replaced if the bristles are frayed, the child has been ill with a cold, fever, or bacterial infection. Toothbrushes will be kept at the program and stored in a toothbrush storage unit. Toothbrushes will be stored upright, not touching, and will be able to dry in the open air.

        Toothpaste will be provided by parents and should have sodium fluoride as an active ingredient. Toothpaste should also have the American Dental Association seal of approval.

 

Emergency Telephone Numbers

 

    Emergency telephone numbers and extensions to security, the school nurse, and guidance are posted by each classroom phone.

 

Use and Maintenance of First Aid Kit

     

    Each classroom teacher maintains a first aid kit within the classroom. First aid supplies will include, and not be limited to:

  • Band-Aids
  • Adhesive tape
  • Gauze pads
  • Gauze roller bandage
  • Disposable non-latex gloves
  • Instant cold pack
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • CPR mouth guard

All staff in the program completes CPR/First Aid. First Aid will be administered according to the guidelines for superficial wound treatment and only to make the child safe and comfortable until the child can receive professional assistance.


 

Emergency and Evacuation Procedures

 

    Separate evacuation plans are posted in each classroom. Each class follows the evacuation route and the teachers take attendance once all students have evacuated to the classroom’s evacuation area away from the building. Practice drills are done monthly and may be independent from the high school’s drill schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Injury Prevention and Safety

 

Injury prevention and consistently monitoring the environment for physical dangers is the key to ensuring all children are safe. All staff and high school students monitor the environment daily and immediately remove, repair, or discard any hazard that may cause injury. Staff and students will check children’s clothing to ensure that it is free from strings, laces, or jewelry that could become entangled or wedged in playground equipment, which may cause a strangulation hazard.

Children will not participate in outdoor activity if it is dangerously cold or dangerously hot outside. If a child is going to be in direct sunlight during the months of September, May, and June, sunscreen will be worn.

All liquids, foods, and cooking appliances that are hot or that may become hot enough to burn a child are kept out of reach of the children.  

A first aid kit, current family contact information, information about allergies and known medical conditions, prescribed epipens, inhalers, and/or other emergency or life saving medications will always be accessible to the staff. Also available will be emergency services and authorization for emergency care for each child.

The program will maintain a record of any unusual or serious incidents including but not limited to behavior incidents and injuries. These reports will be reviewed by the program lead teachers on a monthly basis.

If a child is injured, the injury will be documented in an injury log and an injury report form will be filled out. One copy of the report will be placed in the child’s file and a second copy will be given to the parent. Parents will sign and date the injury report that is to be placed in the child’s file during departure.

Teachers will keep all toxic substances, poisonous plants, first aid supplies, medications, sharp objects, matches and other hazardous objects or substances in a secure place out of the children’s reach. Any cleaning supplies that are hazardous or toxic are stored in the locked custodian’s closet.

The teachers will ensure that a first aid kit and a list of emergency numbers of the children are available on any field trip.


 

Entry and Dismissal Policy

 

Only a parent, guardian, or designee who is on file with the program is allowed to pick up a child. A designee who is on file must produce a photo ID in order to pick up a child. Parents must inform the program in writing if someone other that a designee on file is going to be picking up their child. A photo I.D. must also be presented at the time of dismissal. There are no exceptions to this rule as the parent may include a multitude of people on their list.  

Parents must be buzzed in at the outside door when dropping off and picking up their child. During dismissal, parents are asked to line up in the hallway in order of arrival until the children are individually dismissed. This process ensures that children are safely in the custody of a parent/guardian while departing.

 

 

    

Entry and Dismissal Procedure for a Substitute

 

            In the event of the lead teacher’s absence, the ECE&T paraprofessional will be responsible for dismissing the children.

            In the extreme situation where the lead teacher and the classroom paraprofessional are absent, the substitute will issue cards with the child’s name on it. This card will be given to the parent, guardian, or designee. They must produce the card when they return to retrieve their child. This will allow the substitute to identify the designee/child connection.

            The identification of the parent, guardian, or designee will also be verified with a photo identification card matched to the program’s dismissal list.






Resources

http://www.mass.gov/edu/docs/eec/licensing/regulations/reg-group-school-age-only.pdf

 

 

American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, National

 Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care. (2002). Caring For Our

 Children; National Health and Safety Performance Standards: Guidelines for

 Out-Of-Home Child Care Programs (2nd Edition ed.). Washington, DC:

American Academy of Pediatrics.

 


















 

Please return to the ECE&T program.
 

 




 

I, _________________________________________, have read and I understand the GNBVT ECE&T parent and health policy.

 

Date received ______________________________



 

____________________________________________                         _______________________________

Parent signature                                                                   Date