Table of Contents
Mission Statement and Core Values........... i
Admission Policy ........................................ 2
Tuition Policy............................................... 3
Daily Program Schedule...............................4
Health and Safety Regulations................... 5-8
Nutrition Policy............................................ 8-9
Birthdays, Show and Tell &Treasures.........10-11
Discipline Policy.......................................... 13
Parent Grievance Policy..............................13
Board of Directors……………………………14
Important Phone #s.................................... 16
Discovery School’s mission is to guide young children as they discover their love of learning so that they may take their place confidently at the next level in their personal development.
We will strive to exemplify these principles in our daily work environment and decisions.
· Provide a Montessori environment that helps each
individual develop independence, curiosity, love of learning,
and personal responsibility at his/her own pace
· Prepare our students and families for the next level in the
student’s personal and educational development
· Cultivate a committed and passionate staff
· Treat all children, families, and staff with respect and diginity
· Develop a sense of community among families and staff
· Operate our program in a financially sound manner that
ensures the existence of the program for years to come
· Maintain a diverse group of students and families in a
· Educate parents and our community about Montessori
education and philosophy and facilitate the spread of
Montessori education in our community
Children use specially designed materials and activities in a “prepared environment” that promote success and self-confidence. The equipment progresses gradually from the concrete to the abstract and usually includes a “correction of error” so that the child can see for him/herself if an error has been made. The materials are attractive and open-ended, so that they may be used in increasingly challenging ways. The materials and the tasks associated with them are sequential in the sense that completion of one task leads naturally to another, building the language and number skills so important to a child’s mental and creative development. Children are encouraged to learn both independent and group skills, and to respect themselves, others, and the environment. The children are being continuously challenged by the environment, but specific learning goals have been set for them:
In order to begin to read and perform other academic tasks, the children must first gather meaning from the world and develop an awareness of concepts.
In order to gather meaning from the world, children must have many satisfying sensory and sensory motor experiences - they must touch, feel, smell, hear, see. Perceptual development follows: This is how children interpret their sensory experiences, which is a prerequisite for developing their minds. The program we pursue is geared toward helping children develop habits of observation, questioning, and listening. It gives them an awareness of their own feelings and of their right to express those feelings by sometimes channeling them into other means of expression. They learn that they are free to make choices, and that as long as they stay within the limits of consideration for people and things, they do not always have to conform. An open-ended program like ours prepares children to utilize their intellectual and creative abilities in future learning tasks.
We want you to know, to understand, and to discuss with us our goals.
We want you to observe often our busy, happy, creative classroom and see your child at work.
We want you to realize the validity of that work and the importance of what is being learned.
Parents and teachers together can help your child develop his/her full human potential.
Discovery School does not discriminate in regard to race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, handicap, or sex in accordance with K.S.A. 44-1009.
Enrollment in Discovery School is open to any child whose needs we can meet.
Children must be 3 years of age by the first day of school to be eligible for enrollment.
Children turning three between the first day of school and Dec. 31st may enroll at the beginning of the second semester in January, if availability permits.
Summer Session enrollment is available to children who have attended a Montessori program for one full year and have not yet reached their 7th birthday.
All fees must be paid and the following forms must be completed before a child may attend class:
1. Enrollment Form
2. Health Assessment Form
3. Emergency Release Form
4. Parent Contract
The school reserves the right to request a family to withdraw for reasons of noncooperation, delinquency in payment of fees, or inability of child or parent to adjust to the school program, as determined by the Director and Board. All enrollments are on a trial basis.
When it is observed by the teaching staff that a child has developmental needs, i.e. speech, sensory, behavioral, etc., parents will be requested to have their child tested by their local preschool intervention program or Family Service and Guidance Center. The local school district intervention programs are free of charge to all families. To continue enrollment at Discovery School the parents will need to comply with the suggested therapy for their child as outlined by these programs.
“SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES ENROLLMENT”
Retention of a child turning 5 before September 1st Kindergarten deadline, must meet all of the following criteria:
1) developmentally and/or socially delayed
2) receiving special services outside of Discovery School
3) continue with special services and the preschool curriculum
4) must have unanimous consent of the teaching staff, and
5) the approval of the Director
The Annual tuition and fees will be established by March of the previous year. Tuition may be paid yearly, quarterly, or monthly by the following schedule:
Yearly Aug. 1st
Quarterly Aug. 1st
Monthly Aug. 1st thur April 1st
Tuition payments can be made by check, money order or cash by the first of the month. Receipts will be given for payments if requested.
* One-time, non-refundable enrollment fee of $75.00
* Annual Insurance Fee of $100.00 - due the 1st of August for new students
* Annual Insurance Fee - due in March to hold child’s place for coming year for returning students
* Annual Supply Fee of $140.00 (3/4 day) $165.00 (5 day) is due the 1st of August in full or $70.00 (3/4 day) $82.50 (5 day) the 1st of August and the 1st of February
* A $5.00 a day late fee will be charged for accounts not paid by the 5th
day of each month
* Late Pick-up Fee will be assessed at one dollar per minute beginning 10 minutes after pick-up time.
* A Returned Check Fee of $30.00 will be applied upon the receipt of a returned check.
All future fees must then be paid in cash
Sixty (60) days advance written notice to the Director is required when withdrawing a child from Discovery School.
If advance notice is not given, 60 days tuition fee from the time notice is given will be assessed.
Tuition is the same each month, regardless of the actual number of school days, as it is based on a yearly amount.
No adjustments will be made when a child is absent due to illness or vacations.
Daily Program Schedule
Discovery School provides:
* A loving, caring atmosphere
* A Montessori program of learning experiences
* Trained teachers
* 2 1/2 hour sessions in the morning or afternoon – three-or four-day program
* 3 hour - PreK, five-day program, Friday mornings
* A daily snack
* Outdoor classroom
* Special guests
8:45 - 9:30 a.m.
12:45 - 1:30 p.m. Outdoor Classroom and/ or Beginning Circle Activities
1. Greeting and Roll Call
2. Calendar Activities
3. CurriculumTheme/Introduction of Equipment
9:30 -10:30 a.m.
1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Work Time
1. Practical Life 5. Science
2. Sensorial 6. Math
3. Language 7. Arts
4. Geography 8. Pet Care
10:30 - 11:00 a.m.
2:30 - 3:00 p.m. Second Circle
1. Music & Movement
2. Social Skills
3. Story Time
4. Snack and Show & Tell
11:00 - 11:15 a.m.
3:00 - 3:15 p.m. Outdoor Classroom/Dismissal
Teachers are ready to receive children five minutes before school begins. Your child will benefit being prompt. Latecomers will miss their turn to be Leader for the Day and the instruction time at First Circle.
If you will be more than the “ten (10) minute grace period” late in picking up, call and leave a message. Children can become worried when other children have been picked up and they do not know where you are.
A $1.00 per minute late fee will be assessed for pickups after 11:25 or 3:25.
Health and Safety Regulations
Your child’s health is a matter of major importance to all of us. Upon enrollment, you must file a health form signed by a physician. A copy of the child’s current immunizations must also be on file. Your child may be sent home if any symptoms of illness appear during the day. In such cases, your child will be cared for away from other children, and you will be contacted.
Causes for a child to be sent home include:
The illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in school activities;
The illness results in a greater care need than the child care staff can provide without compromising the health and safety of the other children;
The child has any of the following conditions:
1. Temperature: Oral Temp 101 degrees or greater; accompanied by behavior changes or other signs or symptoms of illness until medical evaluation indicates inclusion.
2. Symptoms and signs of possible severe illness (such as unusual lethargy, uncontrolled coughing, irritability, persistent crying, difficulty breathing, wheezing, or other unusual signs) until medical evaluation allows inclusion.
3. Uncontrolled diarrhea until diarrhea stops.
4. Vomiting illness until vomiting resolves or until a health care provider determines the illness to be non communicable,
and the child is not in danger of dehydration.
5. Mouth sores with drooling, unless a health care provider determines the condition is noninfectious.
6. Rash with fever or behavior change, until health care provider determines that these symptoms do not indicate a communicable disease.
7. Purulent conjunctivitis (defined as pink or red conjunctiva with white or yellow eye discharge), until 24 hours after treatment
has been initiated.
8. Untreated scabies, head lice, or other infestation.
9. Untreated Tuberculosis, until a health care provider states that the child can attend child care.
10. Known contagious diseases while still in the communicable stage. (A list of communicable diseases is posted in the classroom).
Information provided by the Kansas Dept.of Health and Environment
If your child contracts any communicable disease you must notify the school so we can post a notice to other parents and to the Health Department.
Life Threatening Allergies
We also have a concern for children with allergies at Discovery School. It is vital that you list all allergies that your child has on the Health Assessment Form. Some allergies may be life threatening such as; peanut products in any form (peanuts, peanut butter, etc.) or other tree nuts or shellfish. Therefore we ask all parents to not send any of these types of foods for snack. If your child is allergic to peanut products or shellfish, a snack prepared by the parent must be sent as an alternative to the daily snacks provided. Any emergency medications for such an allergy must also be provided in its original container marked appropriately with dosage instructions according to K.S.A. Licensing Regulations.
Discovery School closes for extreme weather conditions. Families will be notified by email when school is cancelled.
In accordance with K.S.A. Licensing Regulations we practice fire and tornado drills on a regular basis. Should there be a tornado warning and the sirens go off, do not come to school to pick up your child. We have a safe place in the basement of the church building to go to away from danger. After the all clear siren has sounded you may call the school or pick up your child.
Discovery School shares a very large and sometimes busy parking lot with the church. In order to keep the children as safe as possible we have the following drop-off and pick-up procedures:
Play Yard Drop-off
* Nice weather - school flag will be out
* Enter SOUTH entrance of parking lot off Collins Ave.
* Circle around through middle lanes of parking lot
* Form line by play yard
* Teacher will assist child from car
* Do not park and walk your child to the gate
Play Yard Pick-up
* Park in CENTER spaces of parking lot
* Do not park along meadow or next to play yard
* Walk over to play yard gate
* Ask for child when you are ready to leave
* Be sure you are aware of your child’s presence when they leave the play yard
* Children will not be allowed to walk across the parking lot unattended
Inclement Weather Drop-off - school flag will not be out
* Enter SOUTH entrance of parking lot off Collins Ave.
* Circle around through middle lanes to Discovery School door
* Teacher will assist your child from the car
* Do not park and walk your child to the door
Inclement Weather Pick-up
* Enter SOUTH entrance of parking lot off Collins Ave.
* Circle around through middle lanes to Discovery School door
* Pull up by sidewalk at door
* Teachers will assist children into cars
* Pull forward into parking spaces to fasten seat belts
* Do not park and walk to the door to pick up your child
For safety reasons your child needs to exit your vehicle on the passenger side.
A teacher will be assisting your child from the car at drop-off. It helps greatly if you say a simple goodbye and leave. Let the teacher take it from there. A prolonged leave-taking tends to increase the child’s anxiety.
If your child is having difficulty getting out of the car the teacher may suggest that you drive around and try again. Projecting your confidence in the teachers and the school, will help your child adjust more easily to preschool.
If your child is unhappy or crying when you leave you may call to inquire how he is doing. Most tearful goodbyes soon turn into smiles after you have departed.
The door to Discovery School must remain locked for security reasons at the church. Therefore, in accordance with K.S.A. Licensing Regulations which state that parents must have access to their child at all times, we have secured entry system. A doorbell is located by the entrance. Check first to see if the door is open and then ring the bell.
If you are picking a child up early please give the teacher time to assist the child into coat and hat and to gather their tote bag before ringing a second time.
* Snacks brought from home begin in October
* Snack Calendars sent home monthly
* 4 to 5 opportunities a year
* PreK children will make snacks in class on Fridays
* Trade with others if you have a conflict with your designated snack day
* Inform teachers of any changes from designated days
* Snack must fit in a 9 oz. cup
* Allow child to prepare snack at school (spooning, scooping, cutting, counting)
K.S.A. Licensing requires a nutritious snack to be provided daily and that it shall include at least two of the following foods:
1. food made with milk
2. a fruit or vegetable
4. bread or cereal product
Because of the many allergies and chosen life styles of our families the following is a list of acceptable snacks at Discovery School:
Fruit Vegetables Cheeses Cereals Crackers Meats
Apples Carrots String cheese Cheerios Pretzels Cubed Chicken
Kiwi Olives Slices – any kind Apple Jacks Ritz Bits Cubed Turkey
Strawberries Green Beans Cubed – any kind Kashi Chex Mix Cubed Ham
Grapes Celery Fruit Loops Cheez-its
Bananas Pickles Kix Goldfish
Oranges Cucumbers Graham
Snap Peas Bell Peppers Teddy Grams
If you would like to bring a food that is NOT listed here it must be OKed by the teaching staff before it is brought to school.
If your child comes to school with an item that is NOT on this list the teaching staff will make a substitute from our Snack Cabinet.
Birthdays will be celebrated in a very special way at Discovery School. The child does NOT bring snack on his/her birthday.
Think of your child’s comfort and independence when they dress for school.
Provide simple clothing that is free of complicated fastenings.
· If they can put it on by themselves they can usually get it off.
Provide clothing that you don’t care about getting messy. This may include grass stains, dirt, mud, paint, glue and snacks.
· Dress for mess.
Provide footwear that is comfortable and that your child can manage. At this age velcro or slip-ons are independence building. Provide a pair of ballet style slippers for your child to wear during classtime
Can you make quiet inside feet?
Provide appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. We will go out on days that are cold and snowy as long as the temperature and wind chill are not below 28 degrees.
· Hands and heads need to be covered as well as bodies.
Snow boots are required for play outside in snowy weather. Send them in their tote bag. If they are not dressed appropriately for weather conditions we will have them wait in the hallway until pick-up time with a teacher.
If you send it on them we will ask them to wear it until we see how the temp is outside.
A labeled change of clothing; socks, pants, shirt and underwear or pull-ups will be sent the first day of school and kept in your child’ s cubby in the bathroom.
Label, label, label anything you send them in to school and the extras.
What NOT to wear at school:
· Costumes - are inappropriate for school because they can cause fear in some children. We have many activities for the Halloween season, but we ask that no costumes be worn to school at anytime.
· Sandals/flip-flops can be dangerous on the play yard when a child needs to move such as run, jump, climb, etc. Keep them for the beach.
Birthdays / Show & Tell / Treasures
We celebrate birthdays during snack time. Birthdays are scheduled as close to your child’s birth date as possible. We will celebrate summer birthdays in September, April, and May.
Your child will:
· Make his/her own birthday cookie
* Receive a birthday crown
* Be measured to see how tall he is
* Sung to and
* Have his age and name clapped by his classmates
Invitations to any type of parties are not to be given out at Discovery School. We repeat: DO NOT give out invitations at Discovery School.
(An issue about being sensitive to children’s feelings that we choose to address.)
Show and Tell
An item is to be brought on the same day as your child’s scheduled snack day.
Items for show and tell should pertain to:
* the sound of the week
* the color
· the topic or
· a place you have visited
The main objective of the activity is for the child to become comfortable standing and speaking before a group of his peers.
If your child is ill or forgets to bring a show and tell on his scheduled day, he may bring it the next day back at school.
These items are discouraged at Discovery School:
1. guns & swords
2. war toys
3. toys of destruction
Items from home, i.e. blankets, stuffed animals, toys, jewelry will be left in tote bags during class time. Sometimes these make wonderful transition items to help the anxieties of separation. We do not want these treasures lost or taken home by others, so please limit what your child needs to bring to school.
Items from school that may end up coming home in tote bags are not considered “stealing” at Discovery School. They are just being borrowed, but do need to be returned so other children may use them.
Teacher Grams are the best avenue to keep the staff informed as to what is happening in your child’s life from day to day. A small packet of Teacher Grams is given out at the beginning of the school year for parents use. Please use the Teacher Gram to inform the staff of any changes in your child’s life or schedule, if someone other than persons listed on enrollment form will be picking up or dropping off, or if their has been an exciting event in the family. Any piece of paper will suffice if a formal teacher gram is not available.
We want to be kept informed about what is happening in your child’s life that might effect their school day, i.e. illness or death in the family, death of a pet, vacations, moving to new house, new siblings, divorce, trips family are taking, etc. These can have subtle as well as obvious outcomes for your child. The school has a lending library of books about these subjects that can be checked out at anytime.
Information to Parents
The following items will be sent home in your child’s tote bag, posted on the bulletin board on the door to the building, and on our school website – www.discoveryschooltopeka.org:
* Snack calendars
* Weekly news notes – sent home a week in advance
* Invitations to special events
PLEASE READ THESE CAREFULLY!
Your child needs to bring a tote bag to school each day. Make it the child’s responsibility to remember the tote bag. It is used for the child’s work, show & tell items, and for notes to and from school.
Tote bags must be of the design that opens at the top with NO fasteners and has two handles. Totes need to have identifying marks of some kind such as; name, initials, pins, appliqués, etc. A Discovery School logo tote is given to each child entering Discovery School.
DO NOT send backpacks. The fasteners and zippers are difficult for preschoolers and cause inconvenience for the teachers.
* Begins after September (allows child time to transition)
* Prepare child for visit
* You are coming to watch not to play
* Observation instructions will be given upon entry
* Arrange a time with the Director
* Try to visit at least once before Parent/Teacher Conferences
* Scheduled in October/November and February/March
* Last approximately 15 minutes
* Children do not attend. You will need to make other arrangements for childcare
* Attend Parent Nights to become more familiar with your
child’s school and the Montessori philosophy
* Come prepared with questions and concerns
* Do not discuss your child “over the fence” at pick up time
unless they are a part of the conversation
* Teachers are available at anytime to share your concerns
Early intervention is preferred!
It is important for teachers to be aware of children’s feelings, needs, wishes, and desires and to accept them as valid human experiences. Children will be given alternative ways to express themselves in responding to unacceptable behavior. You will hear teachers say “Use your words” to help empower children to solve their conflicts. We have only a few necessary rules and try to be consistent in enforcing them, while also making allowances for the particular situation and individuals involved.
If unacceptable behavior occurs, we will talk with the child; redirect the situation; or if necessary, use a time-out. The purpose of a time-out is to give the child time to organize his inner resources and to gain control of himself so that he may resume his activities.
Parental Grievance Procedure
Parents or guardians who would like to place a formal complaint regarding preschool curriculum or staff should follow these procedures:
1. A written grievance should be given to the Discovery School Director. A written response from the Director will be given within two weeks.
2. If this response does not satisfy the parent, the parent may then forward the complaint to the Board President, who will provide a decision in writing with assistance from the Director within two weeks of receipt of the complaint.
3. Finally, if this is not satisfactory, the parent may schedule a time to present their complaint to the Board of Directors. A final decision will be given in writing within two weeks of the meeting.
Board of Directors
Discovery School Association is a not-for-profit organization that administers our preschool. Each student’s parents (or their legal representatives) are members of the Association. Every year the Association elects a Board of Directors to manage the Association.
The primary function of the Board of Directors is to:
* Support the Administrator (preschool Director) in the administration of the preschool.
* Appoint, terminate, and evaluate the performance of the preschool Administrator.
* Assist the administrator in developing and implementing policies and procedures for the preschool, including personnel management.
* Monitor the financial status of the Association
* Assist the Administrator in creating an annual budget prior to the close of the regular school year.
* Support the functions of the preschool, including fund-raising initiatives.
* Create temporary committees when needed.
* Represent the preschool to the community.
The Board consists of the Preschool Director and eleven parents or community members. Parents serve for a two-year term. The Board meets approximately once a month for 1-2 hours. Board members appoint from among themselves four officers: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
If you wish to become a Board member or have any questions about the Board, communicate your interest to the Director or current Board member. All Board meetings are open to parents.
Important Phone Numbers
School Office - 234-6746
Church Office - 233-1786
Teacher’s Home Phone Numbers: (please call before 9 p.m.)
Mrs. Brennan - 785-608-7078 (cell)
Mrs. Strausbaugh - 785-250-7070 (cell)
Mrs. Mollenkamp - 785-640-6632 (cell)