Policies

Browse St. Stephen Preschool’s policies below.

Program Hours
Our school will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Please do not bring children before 8:50 a.m. The teachers are using the morning time to make final preparations for your child to have a successful day. All children must be picked up no later than 1 p.m. Please be prompt in picking your child up to avoid any confusion on the childs part. Please check your calendar for the teacher planning days. The preschool will close early on certain days to give teachers time to plan for their individual classes and with other classes.

Late Pick-up Penalty

Pickup time is promptly at 1 p.m. We understand that situations arise which are out of your control, causing you to be late. Therefore we do allow for two late pickups without penalty. You will be given a verbal reminder on those two times. However, if you are more than 5 minutes late beyond those two warnings you will be charged $5 per child for each subsequent late pickup. The late fee will be added to the next month’s preschool tuition, or you may write a separate check made out to St. Stephen Preschool.

Ease In

To make the transition to preschool a more positive experience, September is an “ease-in” month for Toddlers and Twos. All toddlers and twos can come for the full day beginning the first day of preschool and should bring a lunch. However, this is with the understanding that the parent can be called by the preschool office to pick up your child as early as need be. For the toddlers and twos, no earlier than noon the first two weeks.

Withdrawals
A one-month notice must be given to the director if you need to withdraw your child from the program. If a month’s notice is given the subsequent month’s tuition will not be required. If a month’s notice is not given, the subsequent month’s tuition is required.

The director reserves the right to withdraw any child under the following conditions:

  1. If a child is continuously disruptive to a class and the child’s needs cannot be met due to a physical or emotional problem, the situation will be discussed with the parent, teachers and any outside community support agency. After consultations and it is agreed that the needs of the child cannot be met at St. Stephen, a two-week notice will be given for a withdrawal. The preschool will attempt to facilitate appropriate placement in another setting.
  2. If a fee is not paid by the parent or guardian.
  3. If a medical and emergency form is not submitted for the child.
Clothing and Possessions
Please mark any removable clothing, books, toys or other items with your child’s name.

Dress your child in clothing that is durable, comfortable and can get dirty, clothes which he or she can actively use while painting, playing in the water table and playing outside. Since we do go outside whenever possible, dress children accordingly. Select shoes which give support and allow freedom of movement. Soft soled or rubber-bottomed lace-up shoes are good choices. Loose sandals, crocs, cowboy boots and shoes which slip off easily inhibit activity and should not be worn. Shoes with skates are never acceptable.

Guns, ropes, knives and other toys which encourage rough and violent play are to be left at home.

Pets, interesting nature items and many other items are welcome additions to our classrooms. If you have any questions, please check with your child’s teacher. A pet bird and a pet cat on the same day might be chaos!

Diapers

If your child requires diapers, please bring extra diapers in their bag with his or her name on the diaper. Disposable diapers, not cloth diapers, are required. Please do not send the pull-up type disposable diaper/training pants that do not have a Velcro closure on the sides. Pull-ups only with Velcro closures are allowed in the preschool. For all children we recommend clothes that can easily be pulled up or down when trying to reach the toilet quickly. Whether changing diapers or going to the toilet, clothes needing to be unbuttoned, unsnapped, unzipped or completely taken off slows the process.

Extra Clothes

Children of all ages have accidents, of many kinds, at preschool. We would like for you to send an extra set of seasonal clothing, including socks and underwear, to school. Place in a zip lock bag and leave in their backpack or bag labeled with their name. Your child’s teacher will be specific about this.

Donations

The preschool will be glad to accept donations of toys, clothes, jackets and outdoor equipment. Please check with the office and we will be glad to write a letter for tax purposes.

Health
We will make every effort to observe good health practices at school.

Children must be at least six months old and have first DPT shots. Children must be preregistered.

No child shall come to school visibly ill. A child should be kept at home if he/she has a cold, coughing, sneezing, fever, excessive runny nose, sore throat or any signs of a contagious disease. Please keep your child home until he/she has been free of fever or other symptoms for 24 hours and is physically strong and active again. Remember, children tire more easily in group situations.

The health of your child is important to you, as parents, and is also a concern of our staff. If a child becomes ill or is injured at school, we will try to contact you. If we cannot contact you, the child will be isolated and cared for until you come at the regular time. If there is an emergency situation, we will contact those people you have provided on your emergency form. Our staff cannot be responsible for administering any over the counter medication to the children without permission.

When parents are notified that their child is ill, they need to pick up the child as soon as possible. For the sake of your child’s comfort, a quick arrival is necessary.

To keep the spread of illnesses to a minimum, the school has the following policies:

  • Fever: St. Stephen Preschool cannot accept a child with a fever. The child’s teacher will call the parents to come for their child whenever he/she appears ill and has a temperature over 100 degrees. The child must be free of fever for 24 hours (stay out of school for one full day) before returning.
  • Diarrhea: Whenever a child has a very loose bowel movement accompanied by nausea or if he/she has two loose bowel movements within an hour, parents will be contacted to come get the child. The child should be free of diarrhea for 24 hours (stay out of school for one full day) before returning. If it is determined by consultation with the child’s physician that the diarrhea is going to last a while and it is not infectious, then the child may return to school with a note from the doctor stating this.
  • Lice: St. Stephen will not allow children with lice in the preschool. When found in the preschool your child will be sent home and may not return to preschool until he/she is nit free.
  • Vomiting: Whenever a child vomits at school the parents will be called to come pick up their child. The child should be free of the sickness for 24 hours (stay out of school for one full day) before returning.
  • Colds: If the child comes to school with a cold, he/she should be able to follow the daily routine, including some time outside, weather permitting. If the teacher fees the child is not able to participate fully, they will notify the parent to come get the child.
  • Communicable Diseases: Communicable disease is any disease that can be transmitted from one person to another directly by contact with excrement, other body fluids or discharges from the body; or indirectly, via substances or inanimate objects, such as contaminated drinking glasses, toys or water, or via vectors such as flies, ticks or other insects. If a child has had a communicable disease or a serious illness, the teacher may as for a doctor’s statement that the child is able to take part in the normal routine before he/she may return to the classroom. Parents, please call the school with the diagnosis as soon as possible so the other families can be notified that their child may have been exposed.
Allergies
Information about substances to which your child is allergic needs to be submitted in writing on the Child Information Sheet and attach the allergy report from the doctor. Please report any changes or new information in writing immediately. Please be very detailed in explaining your child’s allergy and reaction, including doctor authorization and instructions for administration of medications.

Each day the children are given a snack that is sent in by a child’s parent. We will send a note home at the beginning of the year to make all the parents aware of any allergy in the classroom. The preschool is not and cannot be responsible for the ingredients or the snack sent in. You will have the following options when your child has an allergy:

  1. You may send in your child’s snack each day or you may send in a container with your child’s snack to be kept at the school for your child’s use.
  2. You may give general permission, in written form, at the beginning of the school year for your child to receive the classroom snack for the day if the snack is one which your child is not allergic. If the classroom teacher has any doubts about the classroom snack, she will give the child a snack we have for this purpose.
  3. In addition to the detailed information you have provided the preschool on the child information sheet, you will need to give your child’s teacher a list of your child’s allergies, especially if you give her permission to use the classroom snacks.

Parents, be aware of the food at holiday and birthday parties that take place in the classroom. You may call the organizing party in charge to check on what foods are being served. If your child is allergic to any of the party foods, you may send in a special snack for your child to eat during the party.

Peanut Allergies

We will discuss any peanut/tree nut allergies with parents to determine the severity of the allergy and reaction. We will then determine if the classroom needs to be peanut free. All of the above options will apply also. If the classroom is to be peanut free, parents will be provided with a peanut-free snack list. Parents will be asked not to send items with peanuts in lunch boxes.

Lunch Time
Children are encouraged to open their own lunch containers, so please send their food in easy to open containers. Even though the teacher will encourage each child to eat their dessert after they have finished their main food, ti will be left up to the child as to when dessert is eaten. During lunch time, we encourage the children not to share food. This helps the child with an allergy since he/she will only be eating food sent from home. The teachers will try to keep an eye on any child with an allergy in order to make sure that he/she does not eat food sent in the lunch box of another child. If necessary, the child can sit at a separate table. Please talk with your child about eating their own lunch and not sharing food from someone else’s lunch.

You will be made aware of times when the class or preschool is providing a special lunch. You may decide that your child may or may not have the lunch. If your child may not have this lunch, you will need to send lunch in for your child.

Snacks, Birthdays, Field Trips and Sharing Days
Mid-morning snacks will be sent in by the parents and shared with all the children. Please remember that if you have more than one child in a classroom you are responsible for each child to send in snack. The teachers will arrange when and if snacks are to be sent in. Please do not send any food, gum, candy or drinks unless the teacher has agreed. You will be given a list of suggested snacks. Snacks are never withheld from children as a form of discipline. Please be aware of any food allergies that a child might have.

Birthdays are special and we celebrate at morning snack time. You may share party cookies or some other food your family enjoys preparing and serving. No party favors or gifts, please. Schedule the day with your child’s teacher. You may plan a special day if your child’s birthday does not fall during the school year. It is not our policy to hand out birthday or party invitations at school for at-home parties. A class list will be provided for you to mail them.

Only the transitional kindergarten class will be able to go on field trips. We will comply with all NC state laws about seat belts and child safety seats. We must also comply with the church safety and insurance policies.

Sharing/Show-and-Tell Day for three, four and transitional kindergarten classes will be announced by your child’s teacher. We encourage children to bring interesting objects of nature from God’s world. However, if noting is brought by your child, we encourage him/her to tell the class of some experience. This helps make him/her more at ease in front of groups.

Holiday Parties
Each classroom will have holiday parties if appropriate for the age of the children. The holidays celebrated must be discussed with the teachers. There will be parent signup sheets available at the beginning of the year. Party activities and dates must be worked out with the teachers with cooperation from the room moms. To keep down on too much confusion, only those parents giving the parties should attend the parties unless arrangements are made with the teachers in advance.

Child Abuse
By N.C. law, care givers are required to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect. If such cases arise, the alerted teacher will report it to the director, who will then make a report to the appropriate authorities.

Safety

Picking Up Your Child

Please come in at the end of school to pick up your child. If for some reason someone other than a parent or someone listed on your registration materials will need to pick up your child, a parent must send a note to the teacher. If someone else is picking up your child, we will ask for a picture ID. Only a parent may call in this information. No child will be released to an unauthorized person.

Parking Lot

Please be aware that children may run loose in the parking lot so always drive slowly and watch constantly. Please do not talk on cell phones when in the parking lot. All attention should be on your child and other children. Do not leave children unattended in the parking lot or in cars, locked or unlocked.

Carpooling

Car pool will be operating for drop-off only. This is a must for threes, fours and TK. Those children in the infant, toddler and twos may begin carpool drop-off as soon as the director and teacher feel the child is ready to begin. Carpool runs from 8:50-9:15 a.m. Please stay off your cell phones during carpool. Please put your car in park, Please do not pull around cars that are stopped in the carpool line unless directed by one of the teachers. You may not see the child getting out of a car. If you arrive after the carpool has ended, please park and walk your child to their classroom. Do not allow your child to walk in unaccompanied. Please note directions on your carpool instruction sheet.

Messages

Please send a written note with your child if you need to get a message to the teacher. Verbal messages from the child will not be accepted. If you need to get a message to the teacher about a different pick-up routine, a message may be left on the answering machine no later than an hour before pickup. Within an hour, please speak personally to the director or assistant director, or email the preschool with your instructions. If these last-minute instructions do not get a reply within an hour, please assume they were not acted on because we did not get them. The last hour of preschool is extremely busy and we are not always in the office.

Using the Preschool Playground After Hours

We welcome anyone on the playgrounds at your own risk. If you choose to play after school hours, all preschool rules and regulations must still be followed.

School Accidents
If an accident should occur at the school and a child is injured:

  1. The teacher will apply first aid to minor injuries (cuts, scrapes, bruises, etc.). This possibly may involve washing with soap and water or hydrogen peroxide, applying an antibiotic such as Neosporin and putting a bandage on the injury. The injury will be reported to the parents at the end of the day via a boo boo report.
  2. The teacher will notify parents or the secondary contact person of an injury that might require immediate, professional medical attention with an immediate phone call from preschool.
  3. The director will immediately contact 911 in the event of a serious injury. The parents will then be immediately called and advised of the situation.
Visitation and Conferences
You are always welcome to visit the classrooms. Since the teacher’s first responsibility is to the children, please do not expect a conference while classes are in session. Conference schedules will be arranged between teachers and parents at mutually convenient times. Please do not bring your child with you to the conference. This will make it much easier for you and the teacher to openly discuss the child and his/her school situation.

Assessments, Evaluations & Kindergarten Applications
When teachers complete any type of assessment, evaluation or kindergarten application, these will be sent directly to the requesting school or center. The office will keep a copy on file, but these will not be handed back to the parents. Please include a stamped and addressed envelope with the application.

Emergency Notifications
In the case of an emergency, it is critical that the school has an up to date file with correct addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and emergency contact information of both parents and two other contact persons. You may email those updates or call the preschool office with that information. An emergency medical treatment form must be signed by the parents.

If you would like to see the detailed steps of our emergency procedure plans, they are available in the preschool office.

Inclement Weather
The safety of all preschool children and staff is the first priority of the preschool when decisions are made about whether the preschool must be closed, delayed or dismissed early because of severe weather. Severe weather includes  tornadoes, hurricanes, snow storms, ice storm and other extreme natural events that pose an imminent threat to the safety of students and staff. In the event that CMS schools are closed because of inclement weather, the preschool will be closed. If CMS schools are delays for 1 or 2 hours, the preschool will open at 10 a.m.

If preschool has to be dismissed early because of inclement weather, no water or a power outage, you will be contacted and asked to come immediately to pick up your child/children via email or by phone.

Should the director arrive at the preschool and there is a power outage and/or no water, you will be contacted that the preschool is cancelled via email that morning by 8 a.m.

In the event of the preschool closing for reasons mentioned above, the preschool cannot provide make-up days or tuition refunds.