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Parent Handbook

 

 

Vienna Early Learning Center

Parent Handbook

2014-2015

Director/Teacher: Ellie Glick- Bachelor of Science, Early Childhood Education Early Childhood Special Education Certification Masters of Education - Administration

Preschool address and number: PO Box 218 Vienna, MO 65582 573-422-3365

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Table of Contents

Page 2………………………………………………A Letter from the Director

Page 3…………………………………………Mission Statement / Philosophy / Guidance Plan

Page 4………………………………………………Enrollment/Attendance Policy

Page 5………………………………………………Transportation/Snow Route

Page 6………………………………………………Daily Schedule

Page 7………………………………………………Literacy

Page 8, 9……………………………………………Health Policy

Page 10……………………………………………...Goals / Curriculum & Assessment

Page 11……………………………………………...Arrival & Pick-up policy / Intercom

Page 12……………………………………………...Emergency Procedures / Calendar / Staff / Nutrition

Page 13……………………………………………...Bibliography

Page 14………………………………………………Emergency Contact Form

Page 15………………………………………………Parent Contract

Page16……………………………………………….Field Trip Permission Form

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Dear Parents, Welcome to the Vienna Early Learning Center. I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with your child/children this school year. It is exhilarating to know that we can further your child’s success in school and beyond. The purpose of this preschool is to provide children with a right to learn in a long lasting, and caring community. This handbook is designed to help families become more familiar with the program and to ensure that their child’s experience is successful. In the following pages, you will find very useful information regarding the preschool’s purpose among other important policies that hold true. At the end of the handbook, you will find a parent contract that describes the parent’s obligations regarding your child’s best achievement. Again, I am very excited to get the honor of building on your child’s strengths, interests and needs. All children have the right to learn and it is our obligation to provide them with the opportunities to succeed. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please contact me at eglick@viennaeagles.org or call (573) 422-3365.

Sincerely,

Ellie Glick Vienna Early Learning Center Director

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Mission Statement Vienna Early Learning Center provides an environment where children can belong to a long lasting, caring and learning community. Children will have a sense of self-sufficiency where they can work together to evolve their social, ethical, and emotional developments.

Philosophy Vienna Early Learning Center (VELC) is a place where young children can feel a sense of belonging to a long lasting, caring, and learning community. Families are active participants in the children’s everyday experiences and are encouraged to visit the preschool anytime they can. When parents observe their children at the preschool, they gain an understanding of their children’s interactions with other children as well as their actions in the classroom. The classroom is set up with learning centers placed around the room. Learning centers are specialized areas for play and learning. At these centers, the children play and learn in self-chosen groups. These areas meet individual needs and interests. The classroom provides adequate space so children can interact with each other and have enough room for their play experiences. During group times, project times, self-selected activities, decision-making, rule making times, and conflict resolutions, children will enhance their social skills. Play is an important component of this preschool. The environment at the preschool promotes children’s learning through play. “Play provides the rich experience children need to learn social skills; become sensitive to others’ needs and values; handle exclusion and dominance; manage their own emotions; learn self-control; and share power, space, and ideas with others” (Isenberg & Quisenberry, 2002, p. 34). Play is one of the most important activities that educators can provide children with. A good portion of the day is spent in self-selected time where children are free to choose their play experiences. When children actively participate in their world, they master control, which leads to feelings of competency and self-efficiency. Both of which contribute to a children’s sense of self (Klein, Wirth, & Linas, 2003). Adults will stimulate children’s thinking during play by asking and posing questions and by providing any additional information or materials needed. During play, children work with others in collaboration to solve problems and experiment with materials. Guidance Plan VELC provides an environment in which children are encouraged to be active thinkers. Positive reinforcement will be used at all times and any negative behavior will be dealt with immediately through discussion and positive communication. In situations, both sides will be asked to identify the problem. There will be a discussion of inappropriate behavior between the children involved in the conflict and active problem solving will be used to amend the situation. “Children need to learn to make amends, to make up for the harm they have caused in a way that empowers everyone involved” (Sloane, 1999, p. 81). Redirection will be used to guide the children in another direction if conflict is about to rise. If a student physically hurts another child or is outwardly defiant to the preschool staff, it is up to the discretion of the VELC staff to determine if the student or students involved should be taken to the Maries R-I elementary principal. Staff with also take into account past behavior and intent of actions in their decision making process.

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Enrollment Policy The enrollment policy for VELC is as follows; Students are eligible/notified for an opening in this order: 1) Children who receive early childhood special education services If students qualify for special education services they are then made eligible for a spot in our program. These students can receive itinerate services, outside of our building, during the time that they are attending VELC. 2) Children who were enrolled the previous year - If they are not age eligible to enter Kindergarten they can return to VELC - Once a child is eligible Kindergarten they must enroll in Kindergarten. If a Kindergarten eligible student’s parent would like for their child to remain in VELC for another year, it will need to be brought before a Maries R-I team. The team will determine the best placement for the child. 3) Children who will be entering Kindergarten the next year by date put on the waiting list This will ensure that children will have a better chance of entering our program before they move onto kindergarten. This will also help transportation issues as if they are under the age of four they will not be able to ride the regular bus routes. 4) Children who would go to Kindergarten the following years by age and date put on our waiting list This will fill any remaining spots available in our program. These spots will not be filled until September 1 st so that all older children are given the opportunity to enter our program over the summer break and August enrollment.

All final decisions about enrollment into the VELC program will made by Maries R-I administration and VELC staff.

***If openings occur throughout the school year VELC will go back to the beginning of this enrollment policy to fill the spots. *

*If someone wishes to not have their child attend VELC for the upcoming year, they remain in their “waiting list spot” for the following year.

Attendance Policy The attendance policy for VELC is as follows; Students who have two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences will be dismissed from the program. *Excused absences will be given for the following reasons: Illness, illness in the family, death in immediate family, medical and dental appointments, some, not all pre-arranged absences with permission from the principal. **All final decisions about enrollment/dismissal will be made by Maries R-1 administration and VELC staff.

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Transportation Policy

The 8:00am and 3:00pm bus routes provided by the regular bus drivers for the district will not provide transportation for any child under the age of four. The preschool bus route that runs after the morning session and before the afternoon session will be able to serve any child who enters our program depending on time restraints. We would love to be able to transport all the children to their homes or babysitters during this mid-day route. However, we will not be able to accommodate every child, because there is limited time between our sessions to drop off the morning kids and pick up the afternoon kids, all while not missing any instruction time in our program. Currently we provide pick up and drop off points around our district we will try our hardest to serve as many students and families as possible in the upcoming year. Once the school year has started and our preschool midday bus route has been set, there will be no guarantee that if your child needs to be picked up or dropped off anywhere else that we will be able to adjust our route. Again, we will try our best to serve as many needs as come up but, extending our route may or may not be possible to get all the children to and from school in an efficient manner so that no child will miss instructional time in the VELC program. We have bus tags for the VELC students to wear everyday if they ride a regular school bus route (not the preschool route). This will ensure that your child is identified to the bus driver as a preschool student and to clarify any confusion about which bus your child is to ride on a daily basis. I know that the last thing parents need is one more thing to try to keep track of for their children but we feel that this is the best option for the safety of your child on the regular bus routes. Everyday your child will bring their bus tag home with him or her and we ask that you keep it attached to or inside your child’s backpack. If your child rides the preschool bus route here are some guidelines that pertain to that specific route. The preschool bus only runs in the middle of the day, to take home morning students and to pick up afternoon students, and the time for this route is very tight. The bus will wait for your child at the specified spot if they are running ahead of schedule. If no one is at the drop off point at the prearranged time to pick up the student, we will have to bring that student back to the school. If your child is not going to ride the preschool bus you must give the school a call and make us aware so that we do not waste valuable time and fuel to your destination.

Snow Route Days The VELC bus will only go on blacktop roads on Maries R-I designated snow route days. If the bus normally goes up your or your daycare providers gravel road, then your child will be picked up or dropped off at the end of that gravel road where it meets the blacktop. If you feel that this is unsafe for your child please make arrangements to transport your child to or from preschool on snow route days.

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Daily Schedule

Vienna Early Learning Center operates two preschool sessions. The first group is from 7:50-10:50 AM and the second group is from 12:15-3:15 PM, Monday through Friday. We will run through the Maries R-I school calendar for days in and out of session.

AM SESSION 7:50-8:45 AM Free Play - Children arrive and will transition into self-selected play time.

8:45-8:55 AM Welcome Message - Bathrooms/Nametags/Helper of the day/ Morning message

8:55-9:10 AM Group Time 1 - Teacher read-aloud, calendar and songs.

9:10-9:50 AM Centers - Children will break into small groups and do multiple activities or we will do a large group lesson. There will be activities that focus on the topic of the week, as well as core academic knowledge.

9:50-10:15 AM Outside Play

10:15-10:25 AM Group Time 2 – Letter People activity

10:25-10:45 AM Snack 10:45-10:50AM Closing Message - Children will get on the buses and clean up from the day while waiting for parents to arrive.

PM SESSION 12:15-1:00 PM Free Play - Children arrive and will transition into self-selected play time.

1:00-1:10 PM Welcome Message - Bathrooms/Nametags/Helper of the day/ Morning message

1:10-1:25 PM Group Time 1 - Teacher read-aloud, calendar and songs.

1:25-2:05 PM Centers - Children will break into small groups and do multiple activities or we will do a large group lesson. There will be activities that focus on the topic of the week, as well as core academic knowledge.

2:05-2:30 PM Outside Play

2:30-2:40 PM Group Time 2 – Letter People activity

2:40-2:55 PM Snack

2:55-3:00 PM Closing Message - Children will get on the buses and clean up from the day while waiting for parents to arrive.

 

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Literacy

Children’s early literacy and beginning to read successfully is a collaborative process and shared responsibility that include teachers, parents, and communities~ Southern Early Childhood Association The knowledge of different forms of print is the foundation by which children become aware of letter shapes, names, and the link between sounds and words (SECA, 2002). Instruction in the classroom will account for all children’s interests. Some children begin preschool with a wide variety of print experience, and others begin with fewer prior experiences. This class provides a print rich environment to enhance and development all prior experiences with literacy. Meaningful labels on objects, books with wide varieties of text, posters with significant messages, games with learning information, and copies of the alphabet, are available around the room. Literacy is an active and social interaction of children’s learning through activities that make the sense to the children. In this classroom, children will begin to understand the relationship between oral and written language and the relationship between letters, sounds, and words. Children learn this by formulating rules (in their minds), through trial and error, and then experimenting with these rules. Through a natural emerging literacy process, children will learn that what they say can also be communicated through symbols, such as letters. Children will become more familiar with reading and writing, and will be more confident and willing to share this with others. Because of meaningful print and individual interests, children will develop a love for reading and writing that will carry into the future. Preschool is a critical time for enhancing children’s vocabulary development. A way to increase vocabulary development is by reading. Each day, time is set aside for group reading and/or individual reading. The book area in the classroom provides for this literacy experience. Books from a variety of genres with pictures and stories will expose the children to a variety of vocabulary. The area also provides carpet, beanbags, and soft cushions to enhance the children’s reading experience. Stories will also be read to the children and meaningful words from the story will be taken out of the text and stretched slowly as the story is read so that the children can relate the spoken sounds they hear to familiar sounds they have already heard. The children will read together in groups, and will be encouraged to retell their stories or give interpretations they have to these stories through journaling, plays, or by constructive group projects. This increases the level of children’s playful experiences and growth in reading competence. This preschool also provides endless writing opportunities. Children will have the opportunity to individually express their thoughts and ideas through symbols and pictures. The children will be read to, they will read together in groups or individually, and will be encouraged to retell their stories or give interpretations they have to these stories through journaling. Shelves around the room are marked with readable labels for children to interpret objects. Also, the room will have a writing area for the children to work in during self-selected time and during other writing times. It provides different writing materials to create cards, posters, letters, books, etc.

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Health Policy

VELC operates for well children and staff only. With the administrators consent, children with mildly ill symptoms (e.g. cold) will be able to remain at the center. Children should be able to participate in all activities, including outdoor play. Heavy coats and gloves are needed for cold days and shorts and t-shirts are needed for really hot days. For those in between days, children need to have light jackets or sweaters. Jellies or sandals are not recommended for this preschool; we will go outside most days, depending on the decision made by the staff. With the written permission from parents, the staff may apply sunscreens and other lotions. *Diaper/Pull up Policy VELC is not equipped (no diapering station) to serve children who are actively wearing diapers on a daily basis. Therefore, we will not admit students into the program that are not potty trained unless; 1) They are four years old and have a medical need for a diaper/pull up. Consequently, when diapering is needed, the final decisions for acceptance into the VELC program will be determined in a team effort by the VELC staff and Maries R-I administration and will be made in the best interest of the child based on each individual situation. All children will have on a file a medical examination report and record of current examinations. Precautions such as disinfecting spills and other surfaces will be used to prevent the spread of germs and other diseases. Hand washing will also be used frequently. We will not serve children with: A fever of 100 F or above A fever of 99 or above, axillary A skin rash that has not been identified by a phone call or on writing from a Physician who has seen the rash Diarrhea and/or vomiting two or more times in a day Evidence of head lice or other parasites Severe coughing Rapid or difficult breathing Yellowish skin or eyes Conjunctivitis Unusually dark urine and/or gray or white stool

Infected skin patches

Pain of which the child complains and interferes with normal activity

Evidence of infection

Excessive fatigue

Children may be readmitted: with a physician’s statement that the child is free from communicable disease, and that returning poses no risk to the child or others. OR if visibly free from communicable disease, fever free without benefit of fever reducing medications for 24 hours, and free of vomiting/diarrhea for 24 hours while on a normal diet. Medication will only be given if parents sign a permission form provided by the preschool. The medication must have a label on it with the child’s name and date. Over-the-counter medications as wells as Chapstick, sunscreen, and other lotions must have a permission form signed by the parent. *Diaper/Pull up Policy VELC is not equipped (no diapering station) to serve children who are actively wearing diapers on a daily basis. Therefore, we will not admit students unto the program that are not potty trained. Please note that the District will not automatically deny admission to a student who is not potty trained due to a disability. Disabled students who are not potty trained will be evaluated to determine if a reasonable accommodation can be made. Consequently, when diapering is needed, the final decisions for acceptance into the VELC program will be determined in a team effort by the VELC staff and Maries R-I administration and will be made in the best interest of the child based on each individual situation.

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Goals At VELC, our overarching goal is to academically and socially prepare students to be life-long learners and enter Kindergarten with the skills that will best help them succeed. As described by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), children’s learning in preschool can be enhanced through striving to meet the following objectives: Outdoor play that enhances active play like jumping rope, skipping, hopping; improving coordination. Small manipulations like puzzles, peg boards, beads, draws, and build block structures. Enhances language by communicating with peers to make decisions and choices; also through singing songs, reading poems, role-playing, and story-telling. Learning to share, take turns, and accept responsibility. Using creative expressions like writing, gluing, cutting, paints, and clay creations. Pretend play with dolls, kitchen supplies and equipment, and dress-up/role-play. Using music through listening, playing with instruments, dancing, and singing.

Curriculum and Assessment The curriculum here at VELC is based upon Let’s Begin with the Letter People along with Project Construct. We provide developmentally appropriate practices according to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. We will offer children a chance to grow and learn autonomously, including all children’s interests and needs. Let’s Begin with the Letter People has many assets to bring to our VELC curriculum as it aligns to national and state Pre-K standards, it is developmentally appropriate and has a strong focus on skills development including: ? Print Awareness ? Oral Language & Listening skills ? Phonological and phonemic awareness ? Alphabetic knowledge, letter identification and sound/symbol association ? Vocabulary Development ? Writing and spelling ? Along with a math and science focus, personal and social development and engaging school-to-home activities Assessment provides staff, parents, and children with an opportunity to look at children’s progress throughout the school year. It provides an opportunity to look at what goals have been met and to work towards meeting ongoing goals. Let’s Begin with the Letter People has its own assessment tools for us to use they are called the “Pre/Mid/Post Checklist”. The results of the check’s identify strengths to build upon and needs to address. They also can be compared to provide a clear measure of student’s progress over the year. Photos, Tapes, Recordings-The parent contract allows the staff to take photos, use tape recordings, and video tapings to assess all children. We administer the DIAL 4 screener to all students in the fall when starting the program and in the spring when exiting the program. We will use this information to see what the students need work on and what the teachers can do to best suit the students’ needs.

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Arrival and Pick-up Policies

Arrival time should be no earlier than 7:50 AM and 12:15 PM and pick-up time should be no later than 10:55 AM and 3:20 PM unless prior arrangements have been made. Parents need to supervise their children in the driveway. Children should be dropped off on the curbside of the preschool and assisted into the preschool. When departing from the preschool, children should remain with their parent to prevent running to the car unattended. We have had quite a few issues with parents not arriving on time to pick up their children in previous years. Therefore, if you have not contacted VELC staff and are not at the preschool by 10:55 or 3:20 your children will be taken to the elementary office and can be picked up there. We know that things happen that do not allow you to pick up your children on time, however, we have many meetings and school needs during our plan time that do not allow us to watch your children during this time. Children must be signed in and out each day. Also, children will have the chance to sign themselves in and out each day. If anyone other than a parent or guardian is picking up a child, a written consent or phone call from the parent or guardian must be signed in advance. On pick up, persons should be prepared to show photo identification. Parents are always welcome at the preschool. Upon arrival, parents are encouraged to help children settle into play and help with putting up their backpack or coat.

Intercom Vienna Early Learning Center implements a security measure for our building to enhance the safety of the children attending our program. As we are set aside from the elementary and high school offices and check-in processes that the remaining Maries R-I school abides by, we have an intercom system into our building. By installing the intercom system it allows us to lock the front door to the preschool while children are in the building. The door will remain open during the drop off and pick up times of the day. A teacher will lock the door 15 minutes after each session has started or when all students have entered the building. Here are the directions for working the intercom: 1) The intercom is located inside the metallic box, under the light, next to the front door. 2) Please lift the box up by pushing up on the bottom of the box and unhooking the metal hook on the bottom of the box. 3) Lift up the lid and press the call button. A ring will occur inside the preschool and a teacher will come to the door to open it for you. You may talk into the intercom by pressing and holding the talk button to communicate with a teacher inside the building; we will use this feature to ask for identification on occasion.

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Emergency Procedures

Emergency drills are performed at varying times throughout the school year. Fire: Teachers remain calm and reassure the children. The person who discovers the fire sets the alarm. Children will be taken out the nearest door and to a clear distance from the building. Before exiting, the teachers will check all bathrooms, playground, kitchen, and other areas. When outside, the teachers will take attendance according to the sign-in sheets. Plans for evacuation are posted on the wall. Weather: In case of a severe weather condition, the teachers remain calm and reassure the children. Children will be escorted to a safe place in the high school building, free from windows and other objects. During this time, teachers may read to the children, or bring small manipulatives for them to play with. Parents who are here at this time are encouraged to stay until weather warnings have been lifted. Accident: First aid boxes are kept in closet and are accessible to all teachers. Emergency numbers for children and teachers are filed and accessible. All teachers are CPR certified. In a serious emergency, one teacher will call 911. The parents or guardians will be notified immediately. The file of the child or teacher will be accessible to the paramedics upon arrival. Calendar Snow days and bad weather-VELC will operate on the same schedule as Maries R-1. Parents should watch KRCG-TV-13 or listen to 105.3 FM KZNN for school closings. (This includes early outs for snow and heat). Staff The teachers here at VELC provide the best possible care and education for the children. We pride in teachers who have a warm and caring heart and who understand and respect children as individuals. While employed at VELC, teachers will continue their education by attending conferences and workshops, trainings such as CPR and first aid, disease recognition, and child abuse prevention and recognition. Each teacher must have three references from previous employers or supervisors. We require an criminal background check and fingerprinting. Nutrition VELC provides nutritionally balanced snacks and cooking activities. Parents will pay $10.00/child at the beginning of each month and the staff will purchase snacks for the children. Please include all allergies on the registration form. We limit sugars and prefer birthday celebrations sent by parents to include only one sweet item. Thank you in advance for helping us with this policy.

Bibliography Isenberg, J. & Quisenberry, N. (2002). Play: Essential for All Children. Childhood Education, p. 33-39. Klein, P, Tovah, D. Wirth, & K. Linas. (2003). Play: Children’s Context for Development. Young Children. DeVries, R. & B. Zan. (1995). Creating A Constructivist Classroom Atmosphere. Young Children. Gartrell, D. (2001). Replacing Time-out. Using Guidance To Build An Encouraging Classroom. Young Children. Schwartz. N.W. (1987). Patience or Understanding? Young Children. Sloane, M.W. (1999). Working Together To Work Out Conflicts. Texas Child Care. Temple, C. Nathan, R., Temple, F., & Burris, N. (1993). The Beginning of Writing. Simon and Schuster, Inc: Massachusetts. Southern Early Childhood Assocation. (2002). Early Literacy and Beginning To Read. Dimensions of Early Childhood. National Association for the Education of Young Children. (1998). Learning to Read and Write. Young Children: New York. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Project Construct: A Framework for Curriculum and Assessment. DESE: 1992. Morrison, Melissa. (2005). Play and Learn Preschool Parent Handbook. Fayette: Missouri. Sciarra, D. & Dorsey, A. (Developing and Administering A Child Care Center. Delmar: New York.

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Emergency Contact Information VELC 2014-2015

Child’s Name: _______________________ Date of Birth:__________________ Address: ____________________________ Home Phone: ________________________ Mother’s Name: _____________________ Work Phone: _____________________ Cell Phone: _______________________ Father’s Name: ______________________ Work Phone: _____________________ Cell Phone: _______________________ Name of other person to be contacted in case of an emergency: 1. ___________________________________ Phone: _______________________ Relationship (sitter, relative, friend, etc.) 2. ___________________________________ Phone: _______________________ Relationship (sitter, relative, friend, etc.) Authorization is hereby given for the preschool staff to release the above named child to the following persons, proved proper identification is first established (list all names of authorized persons, including immediate family): 1. _________________________________ Relation: ___________________________ 2. _________________________________ Relation: ___________________________ 3. _________________________________ Relation: ___________________________ My child’s allergies include: ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ Physician to be called in an emergency: 1. _________________________________ Phone: ____________or___________ 2. __________________________________ Phone: ____________or___________ I, the undersigned, authorize the staff of the Vienna Early Learning Center to take what emergency medical measures are deemed necessary for the care and protection of my child enrolled in the Vienna Early Learning Center program. Signature of Parent: ___________________________________ Date: _______________

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Vienna Early Learning Center Parent Contract 2014-2015

We (I), the parent(s) of ________________________________, agree to the following conditions and expectations as set forth by the Vienna Early Learning Center and the directors and other teachers. We (I) agree to and understand the following: o To provide a two week notice if our family is planning to withdraw from the program. o To drop off my child no earlier than 7:50 AM & 12:15 PM and to pick him/her up no later than 10:55 AM or 3:20 PM unless prior arrangements have been made. o To let the teachers know who will be picking up their child prior to the day of. o To walk my child to and from our cars. o To visit the preschool anytime I can. o To assist my child in the arrival duties-Hang up coat, backpack, or other possessions and sign in on name sheet o To check my child’s backpack daily. o To provide $10.00/mth for snack. o To provide proper clothing for my child, labeled, as well as a change of clothes. o To contact the director to let him/her know that my child will be absent. o To understand the illness policy and keep my child home if they show signs of sickness. o To notify the teachers if my child has a communicable disease. o I give permission for the teacher to seek emergency care for my child. o I give permission for the teachers to videotape, take pictures, or tape record my child. o I give permission for my child’s work to be displayed, as long as it is okay by my child. o I understand VELC utilizes the Letter People along with a Project Construct curriculum. They will follow the needs of the preschoolers based upon the Missouri Early Learning Standards. o I support and understand all of the policies found in this handbook. I understand and support the philosophy and curriculum plan in this handbook and I have read every page found in the handbook. Parent’s signature:_____________________________ Date:__________________

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