Handbook or any oral or written representation by any employee, Director or Board member shall be construed as a contract of employment. (04-06)


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Indianola Preschool, Inc.

POLICIES & PROCEDURES HANDBOOK

  • General Policies

  • Operational Policies & Procedures

  • Health, Nutrition, and Safety Policies and Procedures

  • Emergency Preparedness Policies & Procedures


Revised August 2016


Disclaimer
Employment at Indianola Preschool, Inc. is “at will”. This means that both Indianola Preschool and the employee have the right to terminate employment at any time, with or without cause. Nothing in this Policies and Procedures handbook or any oral or written representation by any employee, Director or Board member shall be construed as a contract of employment. (04-06)

General Policies

Newsletter

A Directors’ newsletter will be sent home with each child at the beginning of each month. Weekly newsletters from class teachers will be sent home via email. Parents/guardians may request a hard copy of the weekly newsletter from their child’s teacher. The preschool will upon request provide the monthly newsletter to both parents/guardians, regardless of the fact that the parents/guardians may be divorced or separated. (07-10)

Restraining Orders

In the event of a dispute between parents/guardians about releasing a child from school, the school will not honor a request by one parent/guardian that the preschool not release the child from school to the other parent/guardian without a valid current court order to that effect. In matters that are being disputed, a current court order must be in the school’s possession to settle the matter. (7-10)

Solicitation

Being a non-profit preschool, we will not endorse or promote actions in the community that are designed for the profit of a group or individual.

Thankful Verse

“Thankful” verses are recited prior to snack time in each class. These will not contain a reference to God or any religious denomination. (4-93)

Educational/Medical Referral

If the teacher(s) and Board feel the child needs an educational/medical referral, a letter will be sent to the parents/guardians requesting such an evaluation. The parent/guardian will be asked to sign the letter agreeing or disagreeing to the evaluation. If the parent/guardian refuses to sign an agreement, the Indianola Preschool Board reserves the right to expel the child from the Preschool. (10-86)

Discipline and Grievance Policy

If the parents/guardians disagree with the teacher’s discipline plan, said plan will remain in effect until parents/guardians meet with the teacher(s) and a compromise discipline plan is adopted. If parents/guardians and teacher(s) cannot adopt a compromise discipline plan, the original plan will remain in effect until parents/guardians meet with the teacher(s), director(s) and Board and a mutually agreed upon discipline plan is adopted. If parents/guardians, teacher(s), director(s) and Board cannot adopt a compromise discipline plan, the original plan will remain in effect. If parents/guardians refuse to cooperate with this policy, the child will be expelled from Preschool. (12-86. 08-03. 4-09)

Dismissal Policy

Students will be dismissed one at a time by the teachers. Teachers will only dismiss students to parents/guardians or individuals that have been approved by the parent(s) or guardian.

Student Teachers

One student teacher at a time may be placed in the preschool. A student teacher cannot legally be a substitute teacher. (11-85. 3-86)

Field Experience Policy

  1. Initial contact between Indianola Preschool and a college’s Department of Education must be made by the college teaching supervisor, not by the college student.

  2. Resumes must be submitted to a Preschool Director before confirmation will be made.

  3. No more than three college students per semester will be accepted.

  4. No students will be accepted during the months of September, December or May.

  5. Background checks will be filed on each college student accepted. (4-09)

  6. The Indianola Preschool reserves the right to terminate any field experience participant with notification to the college’s Department of Education. (8-03)


Child Confidentiality
In order for students to be photographed for use in the newspaper and other media, parents must sign a picture release agreement. Posted photos do not include student names.

Operational Policies & Procedures

Ages

All children must be three or four (according to class requirements) by September 15th of that year. (5-00)

Class Size

Classes of 4 and 5-year olds will have a maximum of 22 students with two teachers present. Classes of 3-year olds will have a maximum of 16 students with two teachers present. If the class has a combination of ages, we may abide the majority of student ages in that class. (5-00) (8-16)

Registration Fee

At the time of registration, a $75 registration fee plus a $50 materials will be due. Both fees will be collected throughout the school year when a child registers. Both fees are nonrefundable. (4-11) (8-15)(8-16)

Tuition Payment

A child starting preschool during the first 10 days of the month will pay full tuition for that month. A child starting preschool between the 11th and 20th will pay one half of the monthly tuition. A child starting preschool between the 21st and the end of the month will pay one-third of the monthly tuition. (4-85)

Late Tuition Payment

Tuition payments are due the first of each month. If payment is not paid by the 10th of each month, a $15 late fee will be assessed. If payment is not made by the end of the month, parents/guardians may write a letter to explain financial hardship or special circumstances to apply to the Board of Directors for special payment arrangements. Special payment arrangements will be made at the discretion of the Board. If no special payment arrangements are made due to a failure to make an application or the denial of the application by the Board, the child will be dropped from the class. (7-10)

Refunds

Tuition payments are nonrefundable. An account with a credit balance due to prepaid tuition will be entitled to a refund only if the preschool receives 30 days notice that the child is being withdrawn from the preschool. In the event a student is registered that does not qualify for an Empowerment scholarship because the family income is too low, IPS will refund the tuition deposit. If any student is registered at IPS and withdraws the registration the money may be refunded with a showing of hardship at the discretion of the Board. (7-10)

Returned Check Policy

A $25 charge will apply to all checks returned to the preschool. If a check is returned, future payments may be required to be made in cash or money order. (04-06)

Late Pick-Up Charge

Parents/Guardians are expected to pick up children on time at the end of class.  If you are 10 minutes past the scheduled closing time, a warning note will be sent home and you will be required to sign the Late Pickup Form.  After the first warning, anyone late picking up their child again will have to sign another Late Pickup Form and will be charged a late fee of $25 for each 15-minute increment that he/she is late in picking up the child. Chronic lateness will result in termination from the program. (04-11)

Parent/Guardian Visitation

Indianola Preschool encourages parents/guardians to visit their child at preschool. Parents/guardians are afforded unlimited access to their child and, within reason, to their child’s teacher during normal hours of operation. We do ask, however, that parents/guardians do not visit the 1st two (2) weeks of school as we all adjust to a new routine or the last week of school as we wind down (with the exception of field trips). Younger siblings should not accompany parents/guardians on classroom visits. (07-12)

Educational Enrichment Campaign

The Educational Enrichment Campaign will include funds for continuing teacher education, and other educational supplies for the preschool. It will also include funds for scholarships to qualified students. The Treasurer will coordinate and present requests to the Board for approval. (7-08)

Mid-Year Enrollment

Children turning 3 during the school year may be evaluated on an individual basis to enroll. In the event that there are multiple children enrolling for limited available spots, the child who is turning 3 the earliest will be enrolled. (4-10)

Supervision and Access Policies

Parents/guardians have unlimited access to their children and to the teachers caring for their children during the school’s hours of operation, or whenever their children are in the care of the school, unless parental contact currently is prohibited by court order. A copy of a current court order must be on file with the preschool if any biological parent is to be denied access to a child.

Parents/guardians will need to complete a pick-up permission form that includes the names, numbers, and relationship to the child, of all those persons allowed to pick-up the child. Persons not listed on the pick-up form will not be allowed to pick-up your child.

Any volunteer who has “unrestricted access”, which means that a person is alone with a child, or is directly responsible for children, must be at least 16 years of age. Volunteers must sign a statement indicating whether or not they have had a conviction of law in any state, or any record of founded child or dependent adult abuse in any state. They must sign a statement indicating whether or not they have a communicable disease or other health concerns that could pose a threat to the health, safety, or well-being of the children. They must complete the DHS Criminal History check Form B, 595-1396. They must complete the Request for Child Abuse Information Form. 470-0643. They must sign a statement that they have been informed and are aware of their Mandatory Reporting responsibilities. Anyone required to have an Iowa State record check is also required to be fingerprinted for the national criminal record check.

Anyone who has had a sex offense against a minor shall not be allowed on the preschool property, except for the time reasonably needed to transport the offender’s own child to and from the preschool, unless they have the written permission of a director. Nor shall they operate, manage, or be employed by the preschool. The directors are not obligated to provide written permission, and may adopt more restrictive rules regarding sex offenders. However, if written permission is given, the director(s) must consult with the DHS licensing consultant prior to giving permission. Written permission shall include the location in the preschool where the sex offender may be present, the reason for their presence, the duration of their presence, and a description of the staff supervision that will be provided in order to ensure that no child is alone with the sex offender. (7-10)

Enrollment Forms

We are required to have the following on file before your child can attend school:

  • Enrollment Form

  • Permission Form

  • Emergency and Illness Form

  • Valid Iowa Certificate of Immunization Form (this can be obtained by contacting your doctor’s office)

  • Child Health Exam Form

Children enrolled in Indianola Preschool are required by the state to have a completed copy of a current Child Health Exam Form. These forms are to be filled out by the child's physician, and they are valid for one year. The preschool must have a valid form on file throughout the entire school year. Should a form expire during the school year, an updated form will need to be provided within one month of the expiration date. The preschool will retain current Child Heath Exam Forms from year-to-year of continuing IPS students. (04-11)


Health, Nutrition, and Safety Policies and Procedures

Biting Policy

Biting is a very common behavior among children birth to three years. Biting is a form of communication, as biting is almost always a response to the child’s needs not being met or coping with a challenge or stressor.

When observing signs that a child might be on the verge of biting, the teacher may be able to act immediately and prevent the biting behavior (i.e., distraction, redirection, close physical presence of the teacher).

If a biting incident does occur, appropriate teacher responses should include the following:

  • Teachers should keep their feelings in check and not express frustration or anger to the child

  • Ensure all children are safe; applying first aid if necessary

  • Teachers should (in a firm, calm voice) address the child that bit in a short, simple and clear way

  • Teachers should shift their attention to the child who was bitten and show concern and support for that child

  • Teachers should go back and talk with the child and the different strategies s/he can use next time, instead of biting

  • Help the children move on. Do not make them play with one another, unless they want to (Zero to Three, 2010).

The teacher will fill out an Incident Report form and share information about the incident with parents/guardians of involved children. When informing parents/guardians that their child has been bitten or bit another child, it is important for teachers to maintain the confidentiality of the other child. When biting occurs more than once, the teacher(s) should observe the child and document observations, including behaviors and context (where, when, how, who – adults and children) both before and after biting occurs to identify functions of the behavior. It is also helpful to know when the behavior is absent. Teachers will then use the data to find patterns and potential solutions, and meet with the family to collect information about the child’s behavior at home, share information and demonstrate a commitment to working together to address the child’s needs. (7-10)

Medication Policy

Because administration of medication poses an extra burden for staff, and having medication in the facility is a safety hazard, medication administration in preschool will be limited to situations where an agreement to give medicine outside preschool hours cannot be made. Whenever possible, the first dose of medication should be given at home to see if the child has any type of reaction. Parents or legal guardians may administer medication to their own child during the preschool day. Only medically necessary medications will be administered.

The preschool will administer medication to children with written approval of the parent/guardian and an order from a health provider for a specific child or a specific condition for any child in the preschool for whom a plan has been made and approved by the director.

All administration of medications will be documented on Medication Consent and Log forms.

Medications must be kept in their original container labeled by the pharmacist with a) child’s name; b) date prescription was filled; c) name of the physician; d) manufacturer’s instructions or prescription label with specific legible instructions for administration, storage, and disposal; e) name and strength of medication; f) medications must have child resistant caps and will be stored inaccessible to children.

Care plans are required on any children with special health considerations (ie: asthma, food allergies) and these must be completed by parents/guardians and physician. These emergency care plans will be reviewed and updated at teacher conferences or sooner, if needed. If an EpiPen or emergency medication is required, it needs to be kept at the preschool. (7-10)
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