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FELA Parent Handbook

 

Parent Handbook

2555 Friedens Church Rd.

Seguin, Texas 78155

fela@peacenbucc. or   830-303-7729

 

Dear Parents,

Friedens Early Learning Academy welcomes you and your child to our program. We are committed to providing a stimulating environment in which happy and wholesome physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth can take place. We are licensed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. We are governed by our Early Learning Academy Board, which is made up of church members, parents and FELA directors.

You are always welcome to come by and visit here at Friedens Early Learning Academy. We try to make ourselves available during our hours of operation. However, if you ever have any concerns, please feel free to call us at any time. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your child’s life.

The FELA Staff

Office # (830) 303-7729

fela@peacenbucc. org

Our Philosophy

Friedens Early Learning Academy believes that the preschool child should be able to develop at his or her own pace in a structured, yet relaxed atmosphere. This atmosphere should encourage spiritual, intellectual, social and physical growth. We encourage each child to use thinking and reasoning skills in all daily activities. All children are taught that they are very special and unique individuals. We teach the children that God is love, God created all living things, and that God cares about everyone.

 

  1.       Curriculum and Activities-We here at Friedens Early Learning Academy use a blended curriculum which introduces numbers, letters, phonics, science, safety, manners, arts, crafts, songs, and Bible stories. Activities designed to enrich communication skills and language development are included. The children enjoy playing outside on the playground and have the opportunity to play with educational toys and manipulative materials as well. There are weekly chapel services and praise music in the classroom activities. Our teachers prepare weekly lesson plans as stated on page 12 of the FELA Personnel Policy Manual.
  2.       Programs-As stated on page 1 of the FELA Personnel Policy Manual, Friedens Early Learning Academy does not practice discrimination based on race, gender, economic status, religion, creed or lifestyle. We offer care to children 18 months of age to pre-kindergarten. We also have an after school program called Friedens After-School Time (FAST) for kindergarteners through sixth grade. Our hours of operation are 7:00am to 6:00pm.
  3.       Admission-The directors will provide prospective students and their parents with information about enrollment, school policies, emergency plan and any other information they may request. The enrollment packet must be entirely completed and returned prior to the first day the child attends. This includes the child’s shot record, physician’s statement and vision and hearing form for children 4 years old and above. One of the following must be kept on file for children requiring vision and hearing screening: individual vision acuity and sweep check results or an affidavit that states that the vision/hearing screening conflicts with the tenets or practices of a church or religious denomination of which the affiant is a member.
  4.       Immunization Requirements-Documentation must be the original immunization record or a photocopy of the record. The immunization record must include the child’s name and date of birth, vaccine type and doses, the date the child received the vaccination and the signature or stamp of the physician or other health care professional that administered the vaccine. If parents choose not to have their children vaccinated, they must supply FELA with a signed affidavit from the health department. Therefore, we could at any time have a child enrolled who does not have immunizations. Please notify FELA immediately if there are any changes in the information in your registration forms. This includes

 

addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, emergency contact information, recent immunizations, etc.

  1.        Payment Policies-If you have a balance other than zero, you will receive a tuition statement on or about the 25th of each month for the following month. Tuition is due by the first of the month. If payment is not received by the tenth of the month, a late fee of $15 will be applied. If payment is not received by the fifteenth of the month, another late fee of $15 will be applied. If you would rather pay tuition in installments, payment plans are available. See the directors for forms to fill out.

You may change your child’s schedule once per school year with one month’s notice, if there are openings available to do so.

Families with multiple children enrolled will receive a 10% discount on tuition for each additional child after the first one.

We allow NO credits or refunds for vacations, holidays, illness or school closings. If a child must be absent for an extended period due to illness or personal crisis, special consideration may be given with the director’s approval. If a child must be withdrawn from Friedens Early Learning Academy, a two week notice should be given. This enables the office to prepare the account for closing and to notify families on our waiting list.

The non-refundable registration/supply fee is used to purchase supplies.

  1.        Dropping Off-FELA is an educational facility, not a daycare. Children must arrive at Friedens Early Learning Academy by 8:30 a.m. each day. We have small group academic activities each morning. Those who arrive late miss out on these. Teachers must leave the activity they are doing with the rest of the class to get late arrivals settled in. Children who arrive late miss their snack and may be hungry and fussy for the rest of the morning. By 9:00 we must know what our attendance is for the day so that we can staff accordingly. The children lie down for naps as a group. The child who has slept in and arrives late may not be sleepy at nap time and may disturb the other children who are sleeping. Also, this is the part of the day when teachers prepare their activities for the next day. Children who do not sleep make this difficult to do. Parents are required to bring their child into the school at the time of arrival and turn the child over to a staff member. Never send a minor sibling in with a child. Please leave cell phones in your vehicle.
  2.  Picking Up-The parent or designated person must come into the school to pick up their child and check out with a staff member. This is necessary so that our records can remain accurate. Never send a minor sibling of the child to pick up. If you designate someone other than a

 

custodial parent to pick up your child, that person must be on the contact list in the child’s enrollment packet. Please let your child’s teacher or the office know, in writing if possible, when someone who does not usually pick up will be doing so. All FELA staff must ask to see and make a copy of the designated person’s ID in order to release a child safely to that person. Parents should leave cell phones in their vehicles when picking up their child. Parents must NEVER leave young children unattended in the car. Once a child is signed out, the parent is responsible for COMPLETE supervision. Please do not allow your child to wander the halls or leave the building ahead of you. If parents need to discuss their child’s progress or any concerns, a scheduled conference is needed. Teachers are busy supervising children and need to have their focus on the classroom. Please take children DIRECTLY to your vehicle and safely buckle them in. If any FELA staff feels that a parent who is picking up a child is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, they will notify local law enforcement. We are obligated to report any such occurrences.

  1.        Verification of Legal Custody-When there is a non-custodial parent it is the responsibility of the parent with legal custody to notify the school. We will not withhold a child from a parent on the request of the other parent without a divorce decree or restraining order legally signed and notarized. We will follow custody agreements exactly as written. The agreements we receive must be valid copies from a judge. In the absence of a court order, both parents have equal rights. The FELA staff will not become involved in custody battles.
  2.        Student Conduct-According to the DFPS Minimum Standards (pages 91-93), discipline must be individualized and consistent for each child, appropriate to the child’s level of understanding and directed toward teaching the child acceptable behavior and self-control. Measures we use include talking with the child about the incident and what can prevent its reoccurrence, taking away a privilege, cleaning the area, or sitting in an area away from the group in a “thinking spot” (time out is one minute per age of the child). Following the consequence, appropriate apologies and discussion of the incident are used. If the child hurts another child, the offender will help with the care of the injured child. Incident reports will be given to the parents of all children involved. The following will NOT be used as a consequence: cruel, harsh or unusual punishment, spanking, withholding food or prohibiting bathroom privileges. Our goal, in accordance with the Texas State Minimum Standards, is to ensure the safety of ALL students. Biting and injury to other children may require a conference with the staff, director and parents to discuss a plan of action. Every child in our care deserves to feel safe. We reserve the right to dismiss a child from Friedens Early Learning Academy due to the behavior

 

of the child or parents. Parents and employees will be given a copy of Minimum Standards Subchapter L, Discipline and Guidance.

  1. Termination of Enrollment-Friedens Early Learning Academy may terminate the enrollment of a student for extreme discipline problems. Every effort will be made to assimilate the student and correct disruptive behavior. The following steps will be taken to solve behavioral problems:
  1. The child will be disciplined in accordance with previously outlined policy.
  2. A scheduled parent-teacher conference will be held. The director may also be asked to attend this meeting.
  3. After these options have been exhausted and the child’s behavior continues to interfere with the orderly care and education of the other students, the disruptive student will be dropped from our program.
  1. Late Fee Charge-Any parent who picks up their child after the designated pick-up time is considered late and will be charged a late fee of $1.00 A MINUTE. This fee will be added to the following month’s statement.
  2. Parent Information-We have a parent information bulletin board in the hallway where we post a copy of the Minimum Standards, our most recent state inspection report and other important information.

If a parent needs to be made aware of a particular action or incident about their child, the teacher will notify the parent with a written report. In some cases, the teacher may call the parent immediately.

The director will send each parent a notice about any enrollment or policy changes for the school. A parent signature will be required to verify acknowledgment of the changes.

Parent conferences can be requested by the teacher or parent, as needed.

Parents are urged to take time to talk with their child’s teacher. Be sure to check your child’s cubby and folder daily. Take time to get to know your child’s teachers and take interest in their class activities.

  1. Liability Insurance-Friedens United Church of Christ carries liability insurance which exceeds TDFPS requirements. Our insurance carrier is Church Mutual. Additional information is available in the church office.

 

  1.        Snacks and Lunch-Parents are responsible for sending nutritious lunches and snacks. We encourage those foods to be eaten first. (Ex: fresh fruit, yogurt, carrot sticks) Sodas and candy are not allowed. Clear fruit juice, milk or water is recommended for drinking. (It doesn’t stain our tables.) Some foods are choking hazards, and DFPS minimum standards require that they be cut before eating. Small round items such as grapes and cherry tomatoes should be cut in half. Hot dogs should always be sliced lengthwise and then cut in smaller pieces, if desired. Please include a fork or spoon, if needed, and a napkin in the lunchbox. All meals should be assembled beforehand. Foods that need to be eaten warm should be sent in an insulated container. Refrigerated items should be sent with a cold pack. All lunches and snacks should be marked clearly with your child’s name. All cups should have names on them, and lids should have child’s first and last initials on them. All FAST students are provided with a nutritious snack daily throughout the NISD school year. If your child has allergies to any food or beverage items, please send an alternative with him/her. No snack will be served to FAST students during summer. Parents will be responsible for sending enough food for a morning snack, lunch, and an afternoon snack.
  2.        Naps-All children staying in the afternoon will be required to take a nap or have quiet time. Quiet time is for 1 hour after which the child will be given a quiet activity to do until nap time is over. Your child’s first four-fold nap mat will be provided. If a replacement mat is needed, it will be charged to your account. A soft comfort toy, mini pillow pet, travel pillow or small blanket can be kept at school. Mat sleeves are also allowed. These items must be small enough to be kept in the child’s cubby. Please include names on all items.
  3.        Child’s Personal Items-Each child will have his/her own cubby in the classroom. Parents are required to provide the school, at all times, with 1 set of extra clothes for their child. The child’s extra clothes will be kept in his/her classroom. If a child should wet or dirty their clothes, the teacher will assist the child in cleaning up and changing into clean clothes. The dirty clothes will then be placed in a plastic bag and put in the child’s cubby. The school will not wash soiled clothes. If a parent does not provide the school with extra clothes or when the child uses the extra clothes, then the parent will be contacted to bring in another set of extra clothes. Please label all personal items with your child’s name. We are not responsible for lost items. Children should NOT bring toys to school from home.
  4.  Medication-Administration of medication at school will be done by the director or person in charge with a teacher present. Medications left at school will be kept out of children’s reach in the director’s office.

 

Refrigerated medicines will be kept in the director’s refrigerator in a locked box. If sunscreen or insect repellent is to be applied, it must be applied by the parents before school.

  1.        Sick Children-Any child who appears ill will not be admitted to school unless his/her attendance has been approved in writing by a doctor. Any child with fever or who has vomited or had diarrhea before school should not attend that day. If the parent feels that their child is too sick to play outdoors, he/she should be kept at home. Children may return to school when they have had a normal temperature and have been without vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours. No sleeping child, whether well or ill, will be accepted.

If a child should become ill during the day, he/she will be taken to the office where a staff member will take the child’s temperature. Should the child have a temperature greater than 101 degrees, the parent will be notified to pick up their child. The child will be able to lie on a mat in the office or another supervised area until the parent arrives. If we are unable to reach a parent, or if a parent does not show up in a reasonable amount of time, we will call emergency contacts. A record will be kept of any accident or illness a child might experience while at school. This will include, but is not limited to, loose stool, vomiting and fever. A staff member certified in CPR and first aid is always on duty to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation or first aid as necessary.

If a child is critically ill or injured, the school will implement emergency procedures. These may include CPR, first aid, child taken to his/her doctor or hospital, or call for an ambulance. Parents will be notified immediately for any of the above. Steps will be taken by staff members to insure the safety and supervision of the other students. A first aid kit is in each classroom and in the office. The classroom kits are clearly labeled, kept clean and sanitary and stored in the emergency backpacks in each classroom out of the reach of children. Each first aid kit contains the following: a guide to first aid and emergency care, adhesive tape, antiseptic solution or wipes, cotton balls, multi-sized adhesive bandages, scissors, sterile gauze pads, thermometer, tweezers and waterproof disposable gloves. The first aid supplies must be kept complete and up to date.

  1.        C1osing Due to Inclement Weather or Other Emergencies-Should hazardous driving conditions unexpectedly prevent Friedens Early Learning Academy from opening at the designated time, it will open as soon as employees can arrive safely. If forewarned of such conditions, the staff will close the school and notify parents by radio announcement. If the Navarro school district closes due to bad weather, then Friedens Early

 

Learning Academy will also close. If Friedens Early Learning Academy should need to close early because of bad weather or some other reason, the parents will be called to pick up their children and the radio station will be notified to make announcements regarding such a closing. This should occur only rarely, and the staff will be sensitive to the needs of working parents in such cases.

  1.        Toileting for Children-We require that all children who are not toilet trained wear disposable diapers and pull-ups only. No cloth diapers are allowed. Pull-ups must be the kind that open on the sides. All diapers, pull-ups and wipes are supplied by the parents.

Our goal is for all children to be potty trained by age three. Our policy on toilet training is to assist the parents in training their child in a positive and non-stressful manner. The parent should take time to talk to their child’s teacher to see if the child has shown signs of readiness at school. If the child has shown signs of readiness, they should then discuss with the teacher their plan on how to train the child. Parents should never expect their child to wear training pants at school if they are still wearing diapers at home. This is too confusing for the child and very unsanitary.

  1.        Visitation-We always encourage parents to visit our school. You do not have to tell us when you plan to come. Please stop by anytime to see your child and teacher in action. We would love for you to share some time with us! We also have a place in our school for moms to breastfeed, should the need arise.
  2.        Birthdays-Birthdays are a fun and special time! We love to help celebrate your child’s special day! Please notify your child’s teacher and let her know what you have planned. Special snacks may be brought for the birthday; we ask that these be store bought items. Party invitations cannot be handed out at school unless every child in the class will be receiving one.
  3.        Child Abuse-It is required by the Texas state law that any person, i.e.: staff member, parent or etc., report any suspected abuse or neglect of a child to the Texas Department of Human Services or any law enforcement agency. Confidential reports may be made by calling the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400. Failure to report suspected child abuse is punishable by fines up to $1,000 and/or confinement up to 180 days.
  4.  Clothing & Footwear for Students-We encourage parents to dress their children in clothes that are comfortable and easy to move in and that are appropriate for the weather of the season. Tennis shoes are the best

 

footwear while your child is at Friedens Early Learning Academy. Sandals and slide-on shoes are hard to run/walk in on the playground. If sandals are worn, they should have a strap around the heel and across the instep. Cowboy boots are not allowed.

  1.        Parent Concerns-If parents have any concerns or questions regarding the center’s policies and procedures, they are encouraged by all staff to schedule an appointment with either or both directors. If parents require further clarification or are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting with the director, they will be referred to the center’s board president. If parents need to discuss their child’s progress or any concerns with the teacher, a scheduled conference is encouraged. During school hours teachers are busy supervising children and need to have their focus on the classroom.
  2.        Parent Participation-Parents are encouraged to share any special talents or interests on the admission forms. All special activities are scheduled and shared in advance with a monthly newsletter. Parents are encouraged to arrive early and participate in chapel time. Parent/teacher conferences may be requested by either the parent or the teacher.
  3.        Water Activities-FELA provides limited water activities. During the summer we may have an occasional water day with sprinklers and other water toys. Parents will be notified in advance so that appropriate clothing, towels, etc. may be sent with the child. On such announced days, please apply extra sun screen before school.

 

Friedens Early Learning Academy
Parent Handbook
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This is to acknowledge that Friedens Early Learning
Academy has provided me with a
Parent Handbook.

I have read the handbook and have a full
understanding of the school policies.

Parent Signature_________________________ Date_______________