Handbook

Parents’ Handbook 2013-14

LUTHERAN CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY

P.O. Box 208 | 2425 Hendersonville Road | Arden, NC 28704 | Church Office: 684-0352

Pastoral Assistance: 684-0352
Pastor Mark Fitzsimmons mfitzsimmons@nativityarden.org

Preschool phone number and extensions
Preschool Office: 687-8381
8:30 am - 1:30 pm, Monday-Friday.

Janine Webb, Director - Ext. 105 jwebb@nativitypreschool.org

Classrooms:

Toddlers - Little Angels - Ext. 108

Two year olds - Busy Bees - Ext. 107

Mon-Thurs Two year olds – Two Cute – Ext. 115

Three year olds (T/W/Th) - Friendly Fish -Ext. 109

Three year olds (M-Th) - Shining Stars - Ext. 112

Pre-K (M-F)- Sunshine Kids -Ext. 125

Pre-K (M-Th) - Little Explorers - Ext. 111

Kindergarten - Curious Kinders - Ext. 110

Contact Information

Tuition statements or questions, electronic funds transfers: Linda Blake lblake@nativityarden.org

Scholastic Books Online: www.scholastic.com user: nativitypreschool password: read2me

Parents’ Committee Leaders Parents and caregivers contact these leaders for volunteer opportunities.

Heather Gillis 684-6361 hwillgill@cs.com
Melinda Beaver 678-571-1527 mebeav30@yahoo.com

Revised 8/13 


"Nativity Preschool and Kindergarten admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs."

PURPOSE STATEMENT

The Lutheran Church of the Nativity Preschool and Kindergarten is a Christ-centered, developmentally appropriate learning environment that promotes positive spiritual, intellectual, physical, social, emotional, and creative growth.

We nurture each child's development, knowing that each child is unique with individual patterns and timing of growth. Our preschool and kindergarten provide children a safe haven in which they will develop the joy of learning and a sense of community. Our goal is to provide a learning environment characterized by Christian love, acceptance, and encouragement where each child can develop a strong sense of self-worth and growth to the fullest potential.

We teach that Jesus Christ is our Savior and friend.

MISSION STATEMENT

Love, learn, live in Christ.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Nativity Preschool and Kindergarten (NPK) is an outreach ministry of Lutheran Church of the Nativity. We follow the Buncombe County School schedule for holidays and snow days with some exceptions. The preschool and kindergarten operates on a nine-month schedule but does not take the same teacher work days as scheduled by Buncombe County or Henderson County.

NPK accepts children using the NC state age cut off of August 31. Children should be fifteen months, two years, three years, or four years of age before that date to be enrolled in preschool classes.  Students should be 5 by September 25 to enroll in our Kindergarten.  Students turning 5 between August 31 and September 25 will use the year as a transition year.

ALLERGIES

Please make sure that your child's teacher is aware of any allergies and has instructions in case of an allergic reaction. NPK is a peanut and nut (cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc.) free environment.

BIRTHDAYS

Birthdays are celebrated during lunch time. Please let the teacher know if you would like to supply a special dessert on your child's birthday. We prefer you not bring treat bags. Most children prefer mini muffins, cookies, and ice cream instead of cake. Please see a staff member for birthday ideas.

BOOK ORDERS

Each month, parents have the opportunity to order age appropriate books for their child from Scholastic Books. Support of this service provides free books and supplies to the preschool and kindergarten. Your child's teacher will provide additional information.

CHAPEL

Pastor Mark Fitzsimmons and Associate in Ministry Heather Langan lead Chapel with the children each week on Thursdays. Students who attend school on Mondays and Wednesdays will have a special chapel service twice a month.  Children are taught that Jesus loves them through song and story. Pre-K students have an opportunity to serve as acolytes. Kindergartners help to lead the worship as song leaders. Parents are always welcome to attend Chapel. Please check with your child's teacher as to which day Chapel occurs when planning to attend.

CHILD RELEASE

The safety of your child is of utmost importance. Until the teachers get to know the parents, we may ask a parent for identification. We will require a driver's license identification with the name matching the name given to us by the parent in writing when your child is not picked up by you. Please inform those people who might be picking up your child that you will write a note to the teacher with their name on it and they will need to show a driver's license in order for your child to be released to them. Children must be signed in and out daily by their parent or care giver at each classroom door. Please notify your child's teacher if any changes occur. Please enter name and phone number of pick-up person on sign in sheet.

CLASS PARTIES

Class parties may be held at Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and Valentines' Day. You may be asked to help out with one of these parties. Please help the teachers to keep the party fare fun, but healthy. At Halloween, please be conscious that some costumes may be too scary or otherwise inappropriate. We suggest that masks not be worn as a safety precaution.  Families are invited at Thanksgiving to a special Chapel service and a covered dish Thanksgiving feast.

CLASS SCHEDULE/DROP OFF and PICK UP

The first week of preschool operates on an abbreviated schedule for all preschool classes. Please bring a lunch for your child.

Beginning the second week, school is in session from 8:45-12:45 for Kindergarten and 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM for preschool

In the mornings, Kindergarten students should be dropped off downstairs at 8:45.  Kindergarten parents may park across from the classroom and walk their child into the building. For all other classes, doors open at 8:55.  For upstairs classrooms, please park in the parking area and use the front red door.  For the 5-day PreK downstairs, park across from the classroom and walk your child into the building.

Please make every effort to arrive to school on time.  We understand that some mornings are challenging, but it is very disturbing for the class and your child when they arrive late.  Center time and morning meetings are usually scheduled first and students love these times as a transition into the classroom.  They don’t like to miss the chance to play with their friends. 

At pick up time, for upstairs classrooms and the 5-day PreK, please park in the parking area and use the front red door to come to the classrooms (5-day PreK will pick up in the playroom) to pick up your child. For Kindergarten, please form a car rider line parallel to the classroom at 12:45.  Children who are experiencing separation anxiety may continue the abbreviated schedule for the second week of school.

At pick up time, please remember your child is anxiously awaiting your arrival. If you will be late in picking up your child, please call the preschool office (687-8381) and inform his/her teacher or the Director of the nature of your tardiness and your anticipated time of arrival. We can then reassure your child that you are on the way and will be here soon

Late charges of $5 per 5-minute interval begin at 12:35 PM for preschool classes and 12:50 for Kindergarten.

DISCIPLINE

Distraction or redirection and occasional time-out periods are utilized if a child needs help with self-control. Children are never isolated, embarrassed or told they are bad when behavior is unacceptable. At NPK, patience and understanding are shown to all children and the children know that they are always loved.

Children can naturally be aggressive in their development. Those who display excessive aggressive behavior toward other children cause disruptions and hurt to the entire class. If your child displays excessive aggressive behavior more than once during the school day, the child will be removed from the classroom and a parent will be called to pick up the child immediately. If excessive aggression continues on a daily basis, parents will be asked to remove the child from the preschool until the behavior is alleviated.

We are aware that biting is a behavior that sometimes occurs with toddlers.  Our staff is trained in the development of children in regard to biting.  If a child bites another child, it will be documented with an incident report. Both children’s parents will be asked to sign the report.  NPK will maintain the anonymity of the child who bites.  If biting becomes a problem with a child, the staff and parents will create a plan of action designed to lessen the problem.  Only after all preventive actions have been tried, and as a last resort, will we ask that a child be removed from the school for a period of one week to help break the cycle of biting.  Additional information about biting is available from the Director. 

DOORBELL ETIQUETTE

The doorbell has been installed at the preschool entrance for the safety of your children while here at school. The door will be open at 8:55 AM and 12:20 PM daily. If you need to get your child at other times, please call ahead to your child's classroom (see list of extension numbers) so that the teacher can meet you with your child at the preschool entrance. When you arrive during the school day, an intercom system is in place and the door may be opened at your identification. We request that you call ahead to alert the Director.

DRESS

Please dress your child for vigorous play and messy activities. Write the first and last name on all items of clothing that might be removed. Cowboy boots and sandals/flip flops are not considered safe shoes for play. Cowboy boots could restrict running ability on the playground and sandals could increase risk of injury. Please make sure shoes are appropriate for running, jumping and climbing.

EMERGENCY PROCEDURE

If your child gets sick during the school day or requires minor emergency treatment we will contact you first. If we cannot reach you, your emergency numbers filed with the school will be called. If we are not able to contact them, the school will call your child's doctor and will then follow any instructions given to us. Please let us know if there are ever any changes in emergency information. In case of a serious injury, we will call 911.

If your child has a fever of 99.5 or above, vomits, has diarrhea, exhibits a green mucus discharge, has undiagnosed red eyes or drainage from the eyes while at preschool, he/she must be picked up immediately. Please make sure an accurate number is written on the sign-in sheets on a daily basis.

ENEWS

A semi-monthly emailed newsletter will be sent to the email you list on your child’s emergency cards.  If you would like to add or delete any email addresses used to mail this newsletter, please let the Director know.

EXTRA-CURRICULAR OPPORTUNITIES

Several extra-curricular activities will be offered after school hours. Your payment will be made directly to the vendor.

FIELD TRIPS

Pre-k and kindergarten classes may take several field trips this year. We will need adults to join us for the fun and we will notify you of these plans. The church insurance covers all children and adults on campus and during planned trips as a supplemental insurance. Legislation requires that each child is secured in an appropriate safety seat. Parents are responsible for leaving a car seat at school if they do not plan to attend the field trip. Children who do not have a safety seat will not go on the field trip.

FUND RAISING

As with every non-profit organization, fund raising events will be held during the school year for specific projects. The leaders of the Parents' Committee will be in charge of these events. These events benefit your family as well as the school. Your participation in fund-raising is appreciated.

Please get your Ingles Shopping Card linked with the "Tools For Schools" program and present it each time you shop. This is a wonderful opportunity to help your child's preschool just by purchasing groceries. Renewal is required each fall. Please fill out the form provided. Accumulated points enable us to purchase school items.

ILLNESS

For the safety of your child and the other children, we ask that if your child has a fever, vomiting, diarrhea or anything contagious, to please let him/her rest at home for 24 hours past the last episode. For the consideration of others, please let the Director know if other children may have been exposed to a contagious illness so notification may be given to our families. If your child becomes ill while at school, you will be notified immediately so that your child may be taken home.

LUNCH

Parents should send a lunch and water daily for your child. Your child's teachers will inform you of special lunch time requests to help make the process run smoothly. Children in the toddler class will participate in group lunch provided by the parents on a rotating basis.

MUSIC

Music is an important part of our curriculum. Classes for all ages will be held on Wednesdays (for students who only attend M/W) and Thursdays (all other classes). Children respond to rhythm, melodies, and tempos with music and movement. The children will use rhythm instruments, move creatively, learn songs that create familiarity of rhyming words, counting, seasons, and all about God's world in which they live. Rhyming, sequencing, echoing, following directions, and moving creatively all contribute to reading and math skills. Each year, 2 programs will be presented for the parents as a sharing time of things learned in class.

PARENTS' COMMITTEE

All parents and caregivers are invited to become a part of the Parents' Committee. This group is a resource for parents to connect with the school community. This is accomplished through regular events, such as the Orientation indoor picnic, that provide fellowship for parents and assist the school. This year, emphasis will be placed on making connections with each other through social activities and providing support to classroom teachers. The committee will sponsor fund-raisers as well as support for the community during the holidays. Watch for information on peach colored paper in your child’s cubbie, or via email. Parent's Committee organizers are listed on the back cover.

REGISTRATION

Registration for the next school year will begin in January. A $75 non-refundable fee is required at registration for preschool. The kindergarten registration fee is $125. We encourage you to register early for next year to guarantee a position. Children will be assigned teachers in order to enhance optimum learning for all. We will consider requests for specific teachers.

SECURITY

All doors will be locked during the school day. Please follow the directions by the electronic lock for entry. The door will be opened between 8:55 to 9:15 AM and 12:20 to 12:40 PM for drop-off and pick-up times.

SHOW AND SHARE

Please bring items from home only on "Show and Share" days. Sharing items of importance is fun for everyone. We ask that the children choose items such as special treasures, a family photo or an item from nature, books, recordings, etc. Please refrain from sending toys that include weapons or represent violence.  Have the items in a bag clearly labeled with the child's name.

SNOW DAYS

Please visit the WLOS website and sign up for text alerts.  This is the quickest way to find out when school is closed or delayed.  When Buncombe County public schools are closed or closed early due to weather, NPK is USUALLY closed also. Announcements are made on WLOS-TV channel 13 and on the website at www.WLOS.com. An exception would be if roads are not icy in this part of the county. WATCH for the notice on WLOS until 8:30 AM. If there is a 2-hour delay in Buncombe County schools, NPK will most likely begin at 10:00 AM.  Two additional ways to learn about school closings:  first, call our main school number – 687-8381 and listen for the weather line option, second, look on our website, www.nativitypreschool.org or www.nativitykindergarten.org.  School closings or delays will be listed at the top of the website.

WEATHER WARNING 

Signs will be posted at obvious spaces at the preschool when bad weather is expected. On those days make sure you inform the teacher with written telephone numbers where you can be reached in case our preschool is closed early. Always have a backup plan for pick up of your child(ren) on these days. Be watchful of the weather conditions and use your judgment to collect your child before the roads become dangerous to drive. Phone lines become busy during bad weather and we may not be able to contact each parent in a timely manner. Remember that teachers also need to get home safely, so please pick up your child as soon as possible when school closings are announced.

Five possible snow make-up days have been added to the calendar, beginning with January 2. Once we miss four days for snow and/or ice, we will make up the additional days we miss, up to five days. If we have four late start days, we will make up one snow day. Please see your calendar for the list of possible make-up days. Email notices will be sent updating any missed or make-up days.

STAFF

NPK is proud to have a well-qualified, capable and loving staff. We are here to serve your child and help your family whenever possible. Please communicate with us often. A listing of phone extensions for each class is listed inside the front cover. The staff may provide parents with email addresses and personal phone numbers.

SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS

We encourage two parents from each classroom who have had teacher training or have worked with young children to fill out an application as a substitute teacher. A TB test and criminal record check are required. Volunteer opportunities are always available.

TELEPHONE

During school hours, emergency calls only will be put through to the teachers. The Director is available for calls between 8:30 AM and 1:30 PM. Messages should be left on voice mail for all other calls and a return call will be made as soon as possible. After hours, messages for the classrooms can be left on voice mail. Extension numbers are listed on the inside front cover. Please enter the school number, 687.8381, into your cell phone and note your child's classroom extension as well.

TOILET TRAINING

Toilet-training accidents do happen. Your child will be clothed in a NEW pair of underwear and a seasonally appropriate set of top clothes. Please launder the top clothes and return with another NEW pair of underwear. Underwear not replaced will be charged in addition to tuition. Children must be potty trained if registered in three year old, pre-K, and kindergarten classes. Children in the toddler and two year old classes should bring daily a change of clothing, and such items as pacifiers and "blankies," which will be placed in your child's cubby at preschool. Please inform us of your child's toilet training at home so that we can be consistent with the training at preschool.

TUITION

Tuition is to provide salary for staff and to provide materials for educational supplies. Tuition is the same each month regardless of absences, illness, Christmas vacation, personal or school vacations, and weather. Nativity Preschool operates on a nine month schedule, therefore tuition is divided into nine equal payments. September tuition is due on Orientation Day. From October through May, tuition is due by the fifth of each month. Please make electronic checks payable to Nativity Preschool and Kindergarten. Electronic Fund Transfer is available through Thrivent Financial for Lutherans at no cost. Forms are located at the preschool office. We strongly encourage you to make automatic electronic transfers each month. If you prefer, you may pay for the entire year or semester at one time. In the event that tuition is not paid by the 5th of the month, a written reminder will be issued. A $20.00 late fee will be added if tuition is not paid by the 10th of the month.

A $10 discount per month is extended to active members of the Lutheran Church of the Nativity OR a $20 discount to siblings enrolled in preschool or Kindergarten. Scholarships are offered on a confidential basis.

A tuition and fee statement will be distributed in January for tax records and in May as requested. Contact the preschool office for statements at other times during the year.

WITHDRAWAL FROM SCHOOL

Please notify the school as soon as possible if you must withdraw your child. A two-week notice is required for a pro-rating of tuition. The monthly tuition will be pro-rated daily for the first nine days of any month. After ten days of the month, the entire month's tuition is retained by the preschool. If a two-week notice is not given, the preschool reserves the right to receive two weeks tuition.