2018-2019 NPK Handbook

School Overview

“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

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

Making Christ Known as we Love, Learn, and Live in Christ.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Nativity Preschool and Kindergarten (NPK) is an outreach ministry of Lutheran Church of the Nativity. The preschool and kindergarten operate on a nine-month schedule – September through May.

NPK accepts children using the NC state age cut-off of August 31. Children should be two years, three years, or four years of age before that date to be enrolled in preschool classes. For the toddler class, students may enroll in the middle of the year, space permitting, when they reach 15 months and they are walking. They will repeat that toddler class if they don’t turn 2 by August 31. 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.

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 in this handbook. Staff will provide parents with information on how to contact them personally.

SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS
We encourage parents 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.

Arrival and Dismissal Information

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 9:00 am to 9:15 am and 12:20 pm to 12:35 pm for drop-off and pick-up times.

CLASS SCHEDULE/DROP OFF and PICK UP
The first week of preschool operates on an abbreviated schedule for all preschool and kindergarten classes. Preschool is in session from 9:00 am to 11:30 am and kindergarten is in session from 8:45 am to 11:45 am and. Please bring a lunch for your child.

Beginning the second week, school is in session from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm for preschool and from 8:45 am to 12:45 pm for Kindergarten.

In the mornings, kindergarten students should be dropped off downstairs at 8:45 am. Kindergarten parents may park along the fence next to their child’s classroom and walk their child into the building. For all other classes, doors open at 9:00 am. For upstairs classrooms, please park in the parking area and use the front red door OR our car rider lane. This optional car rider lane will be available near the end of September. We will notify parents via e-mail for details. For the 4-day PreK class downstairs (Little Explorers), please park upstairs by the red door and use the glass double doors to enter the building and come downstairs (or elevator) to sign your child in the hallway downstairs. For the 5-day PreK downstairs, park along the fence 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.

Children who are experiencing separation anxiety may continue the abbreviated schedule past the first week of school.

At pick up time, for upstairs classrooms, please park in the parking area and use the front red door to come to the classrooms to pick up your child. For Sunshine Kids (5-day PreK) and Kindergarten, please form a car rider line parallel to the classroom along the fence at 12:30 pm for PreK and 12:45 pm for Kindergarten.

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 pm for Kindergarten.

CHILD RELEASE
The safety of your child is of utmost importance. Until the teachers get to know the parents, grandparents, or caregivers, we may ask for identification. We will require a driver’s license identification with the name matching the name given to us by the parent when your child is not picked up by you. Please inform those people who might be picking up your child that their name has been added to the emergency card 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 caregiver at a SmartCare kiosk at one of the entrances. Please notify your child’s teacher and the NPK office of any changes to the approved emergency pick up or check-out list.

BACK DOOR
The back door of our school (under the awning) is used for car rider line ONLY in the mornings and Puddle Jumpers pick up ONLY in the afternoons. Please refrain from using this door in other circumstances. This is for the safety of our children. Thank you.

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 voicemail 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 voicemail. Please enter the school number, 828-687-8381, into your cell phone and note your child’s classroom extension as well.

DOORBELL ETIQUETTE
The doorbell has been installed at the preschool entrance for the safety of your children while here at school. The door will open at 9:00 am and 12:20 pm daily. If you need to get your child at other times, please call ahead to the Director or your child’s classroom (see list of extension numbers) so that someone 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.

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. 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 BOTH Buncombe County and Henderson County schools, NPK will open at 10:00 am. Also, if BOTH Buncombe County and Henderson County close for inclement weather, NPK will also be closed.

Additional ways to learn about school closings:
• call our main school number: 687-8381 and listen for the weather line option,
• look on our website, www.nativitypreschool.org. School closings or delays will be listed at the top of the website,
• check your email for a schoolwide email when there is a closing or delay,
• like us on Facebook to see status updates when there is a closing or delay.

In the event that school needs to close early due to inclement weather we will contact parents in a variety of methods to promptly pick up their children. Always have a backup plan for pickup 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. Teachers need to get home safely, so please pick up your child as soon as possible if school closings are announced.

Four possible snow make-up days have been added to the calendar, beginning with January 21st. Once we miss four days for inclement weather, we will make up the additional days we miss, up to four days. Once the scheduled make up days are used we will not add additional days to the end of the school year. Please see your calendar for the list of possible make up days. We will notify families updating any make up days.

PLAYGROUND HOURS
We love having families stay after school to socialize and play on the playground. It builds community. Please be aware that our playground closes when the last staff member in upstairs classrooms leaves the building. Please pick up personal belongings and/or toys prior to leaving the playground. This is usually around 1:15 pm but may happen earlier. Parents will be asked to leave due to liability.

CAR SEATS
Unfortunately, NPK staff are not allowed to install car seats. This is due to liability issues.

Student Health

IMMUNIZATIONS
With recent outbreaks of childhood vaccine-preventable diseases, NPK’s policy states that new students will not be admitted unless they receive regular vaccinations or are on a delayed immunization schedule. If your child is not immunized and there is an outbreak of any vaccine-preventable disease in the Asheville area, we reserve the right to ask that child to stay home for a period of time to be determined, without reimbursement of tuition. This is for the safety of all of our children.

ILLNESS
For the safety of your child and the other children, we ask that if your child has a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, is unable to participate in classroom activities (lethargic) or has 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.

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, or is unable to participate in classroom activities, or seems unwell, he/she must be picked up immediately. Please make sure an accurate phone number is on file with both your teacher and the office.

LICE
An estimated 6 to 12 million cases of head lice infestation occur each year in the United States in children 3 to 11 years of age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Head lice are most common among preschool children attending child care, elementary school children, and household members of children who have lice. Head lice are spread mainly by direct head-to-head contact with a person who already has head lice. Lice don’t fly or jump; they move by crawling. But because children play so closely together and often in large groups, lice can easily travel from child to child. If lice is found on a child, we will call parents to pick up immediately. Our policy on lice is that the child may return to class after the first treatment with an FDA approved shampoo, cream, or lotion AND there are no nits.

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. Students who have an EpiPen, inhaler, or other medication to be administered during school hours must have a medication permission form completed by the parent on file in the office.

Classroom Guidelines

BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT
At NPK, patience and understanding are shown to all children and the children know that they are always loved. Distraction or redirection and occasional time-out periods are utilized if a child needs help with self-control.

Children can naturally be aggressive in their development. Those who display excessive aggressive behavior toward other children cause disruptions 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 may be called to pick up the child. If a pattern of excessive aggression continues, parents will be asked to remove the child from the preschool until the behavior is alleviated. Please communicate with your teacher about any changes in the family environment that may affect your child’s behavior.

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.

CLOTHING
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.

LUNCH
Parents should send a lunch and water daily for your child. Your child’s teachers will inform you of special lunchtime requests to help make the process run smoothly. Children in the Little Angels toddler class will participate in group lunch provided by the parents on a rotating basis. Items in lunches such as grapes, hot dogs, and thick carrots must be cut. Eating in a social school atmosphere is different from eating at home so even if they eat these things at home it may be riskier in the classroom environment.

TOILET TRAINING
Any child in diapers should arrive at school with a clean diaper. The expectation is that all students enrolled in 3’s classes and older are toilet trained before they begin school. We understand this is an important milestone and each child develops at their own pace. Beginning in the 3 year old class, if not fully potty trained, please send your child in a clean pull-up diaper so that they can practice pulling down and pulling up their own underwear. 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. All students should bring a daily change of clothing, no matter their age. Please inform us of your child’s toilet training at home so that we can be consistent with the training at preschool.

CHAPEL
The Faith Formation Teacher will lead Chapel with the children weekly. 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.

MUSIC
Music is an important part of our curriculum. Our music teacher will provide one weekly session per classroom. 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 songs learned in music class.

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

Financial Responsibilities and Giving

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 school cancellations due to weather. Nativity Preschool operates on a nine-month schedule, therefore, tuition is divided into nine equal payments. From September through May, tuition is due by the fifth of each month. Please either make checks payable to “NPK” or Nativity Preschool and Kindergarten or utilize the SmartCare App to make your monthly payment. 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. Financial aid is offered on a limited and confidential basis.

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

In the instance that our current NPK staff is not able to fulfill the needs of students who may need extra instruction, we will ask an outside agency to evaluate the classroom setting. This evaluation would include steps to try to accommodate the child’s needs. If those strategies are not successful, the parent will be given the option to pay for support staff as an alternative to removing the child from the program.

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, but this is not guaranteed. All requests must be on file by April 30th.

WITHDRAWAL FROM SCHOOL
Please notify the school as soon as possible if you must withdraw your child. A two-week notice is required to prorate tuition. The monthly tuition will be prorated 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.

FUNDRAISING
As with every non-profit organization, fundraising events will be held during the school year for specific projects. These events benefit your family as well as the school. Your participation in fundraising is appreciated.

Please link your Ingles Shopping Card with the “Tools For Schools” program and present it each time you shop. This is a wonderful opportunity to help Nativity Preschool and Kindergarten just by purchasing groceries. Renewal is required each fall. Please fill out the online form included in your orientation papers. Accumulated points enable us to purchase school items.