Parent Handbook 2018-2019
First Presbyterian School Staff
Lanie Denner-Pitts, Director - 525-7521
Special Curriculum Staff
Tish Harrison -- Music/Art/Library
Sadie Oglesby--Physical Eduaction
Pastor John McKinnon—Chapel
Pre-K Sharks: Ashley Ozan & Whitney Kilduff
Preschool 3 days Dolphins: Cathy Russell & Mary Robinson
Preschool 4 days Whales: Karen Harris & Sarah Henry
Stingray 3/4 day: Allie Shoemake & Olivia Cornish
Children’s Day Out Staff
2 year olds Starfish: Chelsea Hernandez & Molly Dixon
Sea Turtles: Kelsey Johnson & Shaila Coleman
Toddlers Jellyfish: Lauren Thompson & Laura Cory
Infants Guppies: Cida Smith & Melanie Christian-Johnson
FPS Mission Statement
The staff at First Presbyterian School will promote the development of each child physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and spiritually at his own pace through a developmentally appropriate curriculum.
Playing is learning;
Parents are a child’s first teacher;
Process is more important than the product;
Potential exists for a win-win solution for every problem;
Positive practices that feature logical consequences are most effective.
Children, teachers, and parents are in a cooperative process of learning, discovering, exploring and having fun in a place that is safe, stimulating and nurturing.
The First Presbyterian School 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, admissions policies and other school-administered programs.
The First Presbyterian School serves children six months old through Pre-K. Children are placed in age-appropriate classes. We have a Children’s Day Out program for six month olds through two years of age that meets 9:00 to 2:30. Preschool classes for ages 3 and 4 meet from 9am-2:30pm with the half day option of 12:30pm dismissal.
Each classroom utilizes developmentally appropriate curriculum and activities to bring each child to his or her learning potential. Enrichment programs offer unique experiences and add variety to the daily classroom schedule. These programs include: Creative Art Expression, Science Exploration and Experimentation, Vocal and Instrumental Music, Art, and Creative Movement.
The school day may be extended until 3:30 for an additional fee. Children will be combined in our extended care room for snack and play time. We also offer early care beginning at 8:30am. Children meet in the designated classroom for supervised play time and then will be transferred to their regular class at 9am. Only children ENROLLED in our extended day programs will be allowed to utilize after/before care. DROP IN EXTENDED CARE will only be granted by making special arrangements with the office 24 hours in advance. (emergency exceptions made on a case by case basis)
Each year enrollment begins during the spring. Families enrolled in the current school year and church members will have first priority for enrollment. Enrollment for the public is offered after this enrollment process has taken place. A non-refundable fee of $100.00 along with an enrollment form is due at the time of enrollment. There is also a supply fee due the first day of each semester (August and January) of $50.00. For families with three or more children in our program, a discount of 50% for the third child will be given, at the request of the families. Request must be made for the current school year only.
Tuition will be posted on the 1st of each month, Tuition is DUE on the 10th of each month. (Auto drafted/ Tuition Express Acts will come out on the 10th);
$25 late fees will be added to accounts on the 20th of each month;
After 30 days of inactivity on an account and no arrangements have been made with the FPS office. The student/s will be withdrawn from FPS and re-enrollment will be required including the nonrefundable enrollment fee of $100.
Parents enrolling children must provide proof that appropriate immunizations have been done based on the age of the child, OR state exemption paperwork. Immunization records or exemption forms will be collected twice a year, per DHS regulations. Exceptions are made for this policy only if state exemption paperwork has been completed.
Please help us maintain a healthy and safe environment for our school. State licensing regulations will not permit us to keep an ill child in the classroom. Please call us between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. if your child will be staying home due to illness. You will need to keep your child home if he or she has the following:
-a contagious disease while still in the contagious stage;
-an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea in the last 24 hours;
-a temperature above 99 degrees;
-eye infections, (pink eye, etc.);
-a cold with colored drainage from the nose
-child must be fever free without medication for 24 hours.
If your child is too ill to play outside please keep him or her at home. Small children do not understand why they cannot play with their friends and we do not have the staff to stay with one child. If your child contracts a contagious disease, please notify the school immediately.
Please inform the office if your child has an allergy and needs an epi-pen. Please also inform the teacher as well as the Director. We will keep the medication and use if necessary.
Please inform the office if your child has asthma and uses an inhaler. The inhaler will be kept with the teacher. If your child has asthma please take time to show the teacher how to administer the inhaler and let the teacher know when you bring them in if the child appears to be having trouble that morning.
Attendance and Withdrawal
You are paying for your child’s reserved place in the Program, not the child’s attendance. Illness, vacations and/or withdrawal from the Program will not be subject to tuition reimbursement. Any extenuating circumstances may be discussed with the Director.
Arrival & Pick – up
All children may be dropped off no earlier than 9:00, unless you are choosing before care. Our teachers need time to prepare the classroom for the day. When the classroom door has been opened you know that it is time for your child’s day to begin. Any child arriving later than 9:30 needs to contact the office.
. For our children’s safety, it is important to abide by the following rules:
*Park and enter on the South (Courtyard) side of the building ONLY;
*Park only in designated parking spaces;
*NO parking inside the fenced area or gravel area.
All children should be picked up no later than 2:30, unless attending aftercare. Two late pick up freebies will be allowed per school year. A late fee of $1.00 per minute per child will be charged thereafter. If someone other than you is picking up your child, his or her name must be listed on your child’s enrollment form, or you must give your child’s teacher a note. If there is a last minute change, parents must call the office and inform them who will be picking up their child.
If any kind of a child custody agreement exists that would restrict a biological parent from picking up their child, a copy of that agreement or court order MUST be kept on
file in the school office. Should the custodial parent agree to an exception, a note to that effect, listing the days or dates of the exception must be present before we will release to a non-custodial parent.
First Presbyterian Church’s doors are locked at all times. The building can be accessed by using a code. Please use the doors on the south (courtyard) side of the church for entrance into the building. You will be notified of the code at the beginning of the school year or summer session.
Comfortable clothes that are easy to manage at bathroom time (no belts, jumpsuits, or outfits with lots of buttons), and clothes that will not cause you to grieve if they become soiled are preferable. We do many “messy” activities. No dangling earrings.
Please dress your child for the weather (in layers if in doubt). We do not have the staff to keep a child inside. We go outside unless it is raining, under 40 degrees or there is a heat advisory. When in doubt send or keep a lightweight jacket or sweater in the backpack.
Please send your child in tennis shoes or other rubber-soled, closed-toed shoes. Cowboy boots, sandals, crocs, and flip-flops are fun but not safe for climbing, playing and running.
Please do not send toys to school with your child. Toys from home can be a source of conflict between the owner and the other children wanting to play with the new toy. Toys also can be lost or misplaced. Comfort items are the exception in Children’s Day Out. Items from home are a source of comfort during initial separation and for the napping child. In Preschool, your child’s teachers will address Show-and-Tell.
Send a change of clothes in a labeled zip-lock bag to be kept in the child’s backpack. Label jackets, lunchboxes, show and tell toys, backpacks, bottles, blankets, and any other items. We have a lost and found box in the FPS office.
Send a nutritious lunch in a separate lunch box or container. Excluding the baby room, please send food that your child can eat without assistance. Do not send food that needs to be microwaved or refrigerated. We will leave most uneaten food in your child’s lunch box so you can monitor his/her appetite.
For most classes, you will be asked to provide a snack up to three times per year. Your teacher will give you a calendar with the schedule for “snack week”. Bring a simple and nutritious snack such as fruit, veggies/dip, pretzels, cheese, cereal, or whatever the teacher suggests. Please take note of any food allergies in the classroom and bring a snack that all children can eat.
First Presbyterian school IS a NUT FREE FACILITY
Teachers will notify parents if there is a food allergy in their classroom. Individual information will be kept confidential. We ask for your cooperation when preparing your child’s lunch so that everyone can be safe in our classrooms.
We have parties at Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter. You may be asked to provide special snacks for those times. Look for a sign-up sheet by your child’s classroom. Your child’s birthday can be celebrated at school. You may bring a snack on this special day. Please bring individual treats only, no regular birthday cakes. To prevent hurt feelings, party invitations may not be distributed at school unless each person in the class receives one.
Remember: First Presbyterian IS a NUT FREE FACILITY
Information will be sent home prior to any field trips. Children’s Day Out classes do not participate in field trips. Any Preschool field trips will be done utilizing the FPC vans and/or bus. A staff member licensed in First Aid and pediatric CPR will accompany any group and a first aid kit will be available. The teacher will take Field Trip Forms completed at the beginning of the year with phone numbers for reaching a parent in case of an emergency. Should the field trip require a lunch or snack, the food should be sent in a disposable paper sack with the child’s name on it. Drinks should be in cardboard cartons or other disposable containers. No glass or breakable objects should be placed in the lunch sack. Children arriving after the group has departed on the field trip will need to return home with the parent or the parent may transport the child to the field trip site. Chaperones are expected to give their full attention to the children in their care. We ask that siblings do not attend field trips.
We view the relationship of First Presbyterian School and your family to be a partnership. We will try to keep you up-to-date and informed regarding your child and school happenings. This Parent Handbook should answer many questions regarding policies and procedures. The calendar will list all dates and events. We will send out a weekly email for any emergent information or special Church events that might be of interest to your child or family.
We want to let you know how your child is participating in the classroom. We also appreciate any information about changes, concerns, or celebrations in your child’s life that will help us get to know him/her better. We ask that all adults respect the children by not talking about their behavior in front of them, other children or other parents. Children hear everything and often misinterpret the information. Ask the teacher for a phone appointment, a conference time or communicate your question or concern by note.
If a nanny or relative will be dropping off or picking up your child regularly, please discuss in detail the policies regarding starting and ending times, parking lot rules, and where he/she may be reached.
Preschool conferences will be scheduled in the fall and in the spring. If you feel the need for a conference at any other time, simply schedule with your child’s teacher or call the office at any time.
The behavior guidance techniques used by the staff will center on positive reinforcement, positive role modeling by adults, intervention techniques, and redirection. Safety of the child and his/her classmates is of the highest importance. Safety includes physical safety and feeling safe. Children who know classroom limits feel safe.
We know that young children need experience in learning how to take turns and cooperate with others. It is an ongoing process for young children. Aggressive behavior may occur for some children as they learn to interact with other children and adults. We do not allow this behavior to persist, but will continually work with your child to learn to express acceptable ways of dealing with anger and frustration. We do not expect perfect children, we affirm acceptable behavior.
Disciplinary actions to take if warranted include:
• Talk with the child about the behavior and give guidance in correct behavior.
• Give the child the opportunity to talk about what they are feeling and exhibit the appropriate behavior.
• Help him/her see the situation from the other’s point of view (especially when an act of violence has occurred against another child).
• Use a firm voice or gentle hand in re-directing the child and be as consistent as possible.
• If child does not respond to action steps and behavior continues, the child may be separated from the group and removed from the classroom for a time. During this separated time, the child may be strolled or walked by a classroom support person.
• The director will listen to the child and discuss appropriate behavior in a firm but loving manner. The child may then return to class.
If the situation repeats itself, the parent may be notified.
Should a child demonstrate behavior on a regular basis that endangers other students, and the child does not respond to the behavior guidance techniques listed above, the child may be removed from the program at the discretion of the Director.
Biting Behaviors in Young Children
Biting is a common behavior among toddlers in group care. Biting is not viewed as a “bad” behavior. If a child bites consistently, the director will be asked to assess the situation. When it occurs, staff has a responsibility to both the child who bites and the child who gets bitten. Our primary goal is to support each child and each family as we move through this developmental period.
With this philosophy in mind, we practice many preventive strategies within the classroom. These strategies include but are not limited to: providing an age-appropriate room arrangement & curriculum, sensory activities, multiples of toys, close supervision & observation, and redirection.
When biting occurs:
1. The child who has done the biting is told, “no biting” and redirected to another activity.
2. The child who receives the bite is comforted. The area is washed with soap and water.
3. The injury report is completed.
4. The parents of each child are notified personally.
5. Information about the biter and bitee is confidential. Names are not provided to either parent by the staff.
6. If repeated incidences (3+) of biting occur from the same child, an outside person is asked to observe in the room and join the staff team.
Our goal is to find solutions that recognize the developmental nature of the biting behavior and provide solutions that demonstrate respect for each child.
Any photos taken at First Presbyterian School may be used on the First Presbyterian Church website, possibly published in a “Journal Record” and/ or used in advertisement. If you do NOT want your child’s photo published, please notify the FPS Director in writing.
Oklahoma statutes define child abuse as harm or threatened harm to a child’s health or welfare by a person responsible for the child. This includes non-accidental physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or neglect (21 O.S. Sec. 845). Every person, private citizen or professional who has reason to believe that a child has been abused, is mandated by law to promptly report the suspected abuse. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor. A person making a report in good faith is immune from civil or criminal liability. The name of the reporter is kept confidential. The Director and Staff of this facility are obliged to report any suspected child abuse under this statute.
If Oklahoma City Public Schools are closed due to inclement weather (hazardous driving), we will also be closed. If Oklahoma City Public Schools are closed due to extreme cold weather, we will be open. Please check the news stations, Oklahoma City Public Schools announce closings by 5:30 a.m.
In 2018 sign up for text alerts through the FPS office to receive weather related closings and important updated school information right to your phone. Additionally, your teacher may choose to use an app to relay important classroom related information and pictures in a secure, school monitored app. That information will be given out at teacher’s discretion.
FPS Board of Directors
Lolieta Miller…………….……….………..……President/Church Member
Jan Robinson………………………..….……….…………Church Member
Debbie …..………………………………………………….Church Member
Becki Walden..….…………………….............Treasurer/Church Member
Emily Garman…..……………………....................Parent Representative
Lanie Denner-Pitts ..…..…………………….………..……….…….Director
Cathy Russell……………………………………. Teacher Representative
John McKinnon………….……………………………….......Church Pastor
First Presbyterian Church Ministerial Staff