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Grundy County Schools
Student/Parent Handbook
Mission Statement
We will provide a safe and healthy environment for all children.  Pre-K will emphasize developing essential skills through hands on activities that provide variety and meaningful experiences by being positive and supportive.
Developing Hearts, Minds and Lives for the Future
Pre-K welcomes you and your child.  We hope the information in this parent handbook will be helpful in having a successful year.
Entrance Requirements
Four-year-old children living in the Grundy County area are eligible to enter Pre-K.  Children need to be four on or before August 15th, 2015.  Registration forms must be submitted with a copy of a certified birth certificate, social security card, a physical exam and an immunization record (from health department or physician's office, must include Hib, Hep B, Hep A, and PCV vaccine).  Each student will also need to complete an income verification form.  Each student is required to have a complete up-to-date address (both a mailing address and a physical address), home phone number, parent's work number and/or emergency phone number of a relative or friend, medical alert information and name(s) of authorized person(s) to pick up child.
Enrollment Priority Requirements
1st Priority  - Pursuant to state law 49-6-101: students identified as economically disadvantaged. This identification is based on income levels set each year by the Department of Health and Human Services and used during the application process to determine income eligibility for enrollment.
2nd Priority - Students with disabilities, students identified as English Language Learners (ELL), in state custody, or those identified as educationally at-risk for failure due to circumstances of abuse or neglect.
3rd Priority  - If space for enrollment remains after identifying children who meet Tier 1 or 2, the LEA may enroll any child that meets the age requirement and the requirements set forth by the Community Pre-K Advisory Council (C-PAC). These students are considered unserved or underserved and may be enrolled by the process established by the C-PAC.
Child's Adjustment to a New Routine
Children need time to get use to change and need constant positive reinforcement to help them adjust.  Some children go through "separation" symptoms.  Children should be given three weeks to settle into a routine comfortably.  "Separation" symptoms may also occur after breaks (Fall Break, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break, and illnesses).
                                          Preparation for School
Helping children become self-sufficient in putting on and taking off coats and putting away their belongings in their cubby are ways in which parents can help prepare young children for school.  The more a child can do for him/herself, the more his/her self-esteem is enhanced.  Please make an effort to help your child become independent in taking care of these matters in the mornings.
                             Breakfast, Lunch and Snack
All meals will be provided by the lunch room.  All students will be eating a cafeteria meal in the lunchroom accompanied by their teachers.  A nutritious breakfast and lunch are served daily from the lunchroom.  A nutritious snack will be given to each child after rest time.
Snacks for Pre-K will be provided.
Children will be served breakfast everyday at 8:15 a.m.
Lunch will be served between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
Visitor Breakfast - $2.50
Visitor Lunch - $4.50
School Hours Arrival and Dismissal
Pre-K will follow the school calendar of the Grundy County Schools as well as closings for snow or sleet during the winter.  Listen to the local media or television stations for closings, call the school hotline, or sign up for computer call notifications.
During the 2016-2017 school year, the Pre-K hours of operation will be from:
                              Arrival Time:                      7:45 - 8:00 am
                              Dismissal Time:                 2:15 - 2:30 pm
Sign In / Sign Out
Parents should walk children to their class each morning.  Children must be signed in and out each day by an adult that is authorized to pick up the child (parents will need to let the pre-k know who is authorized at the beginning of the school year).  The sign in and out procedure is mandated by Tennessee Law and we must have the time and initials documented by an adult.  In the afternoon, parents must come into the classroom to initial and document the time when you pick your child up from school.  Parents/caregivers will be instructed where to park by the Pre-K staff.
Parents are asked to park in designated areas.  Please do not park in bus lanes and/or staff parking lots.
Car Pools
Parents who have arranged car pools should indicate names of children in the carpool at registration or on the day's arrangements have been made.  If a child is to go home with someone else, the parent should notify the teacher.
Telephone Calls
Each Pre-K has a telephone in the classroom.  Please reserve calling only in the case of an emergency.  Frequent interruptions will affect important instructional time with your child.  If the teacher does not answer, call the main school number to leave a message and a telephone number with the secretary so the teacher can call you back as soon as possible.
Parent / Teacher Conferences
If a parent has questions about his/her child or the child's classes during the year, he/she is urged to call the teacher to discuss the matter.  Parents are welcome to visit the school.  Arrangements can be made with the individual teacher.  There are two scheduled parent-teacher conferences offered in the year when parents meet privately with teachers to discuss their child's progress.  The dates are August 1, 2016 and September 22, 2016.  The conferences are scheduled from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. on each designated date.
Staff Requirements
Teachers are required to hold at least a bachelor's degree in early childhood education.  Educational Assistants must have a high school diploma or equivalent and completed at least two years of higher education or have passed the Para Pro Assessment.
All staff members are trained and certified in First Aid and CPR.
Teachers are required to participate in 18 hours of professional development per year.  Educational Assistants are required to participate in 12 hours of professional development per year.
The curriculum that will be used is called Frog Street Press and other state approved curriculum as needed.  We will be studying a thematic unit weekly during the year.  Pre-K strives to provide a well-planned environment rich in learning opportunities that promotes growth, and helps prepare students for Kindergarten. Our curriculum is built around the theory that children are active learners.  Pre-K also teaches personal safety.  The curriculum used is called Talking about Touching.  This curriculum gives children a foundation of fundamental skills for dealing with dangerous situations and supports families and teachers in discussing sensitive but critical issues with children.  The curriculum begins with common safety rules for cars, traffic, fire and guns, then moves on to the "always ask first rule" and lessons about abusive situations and touching safety.  Parents have the opportunity to view this teaching material.
Assessment will be given to all students at the beginning and end of the Pre-K school year.  These assessment is used to identify your child's development level.
Regular attendance is expected.  Pre-K is a five day a week, six and a half hour program.  Unless your child is ill, please make every effort to have your child attend school.  Children need schedules and routines.  If your child misses three consecutive days, you will be called, unless we know why your child is absent.  We must serve another child if your child can not attend on a regular basis because of the great demand of the four-year-old program.  Your child will be dropped from the program and put on the bottom of the waiting list.
Illness - Communicable Disease
Daily attendance is very important, BUT NOT IF THE CHILD IS ILL.  The best guideline is "Would I want my healthy child to sit next to a child like this all day?"  Your child will be sent home if he/she has a temperature of 100 degrees.  Please keep your child home if he/she has any of the following:
If your child has had a fever, diarrhea, or has been vomiting within the last 24 hours, please keep them at home.  Children should be fever free without medication for at least 24 hours before returning to school.  
If your child has symptoms of an illness (such as earache, bad cough, or wheezing) that would prevent him/her from participating comfortably in activities.
If your child has a contagious illness such as pink eye, strep throat, chickenpox, scabies or ringworm.  The Pre-K should be informed if a child develops a contagious illness, possibly exposing his/her classmates.  Parents will be informed if their children have been exposed.
If you feel your child should not go outside and play, your child will be happier to stay at home.
If your child has head lice, he/she must be treated with all nits removed.  A staff member will recheck your child before coming back into the classroom.  All Grundy County Schools have a no nit policy.
Only properly labeled prescription medicines will be administered at school.  A Medication Permission form must be filled out by the parent for any medication to be given out at the center.  The child's parent must give the medication to a Pre-K staff member.  The medication will be kept locked at the facility.  If the medication dose changes, a new medication permission form will have to be filled out.
Dress Code
Children's attitudes are affected by the clothes they wear.  Children do better with clothes they can handle independently.  Children are going to get dirty, so special clothes should be saved for less active occasions.  Please let your child wear washable clothes because learning at Pre-K can be active and messy and we want your child to be able to fully participate.
Sturdy athletic shoes are required.  You may desire to send velcro tennis shoes.  Shoes should be closed with non-marking soles.  Shoes that have slick soles, i.e. dress shoes, boots, sandals, and dressy shoes are inappropriate for Pre-K.  Please do not send children to school with sandals, slides (i.e. Crocs) or open style shoes.
Please send a jacket on chilly or windy days, since we go outside to play everyday we can.
You will also need to send a change of clothing to be left at Pre-K in case of accidents.  Every piece of clothing will need to be labeled with the child's name in an obvious place.  These clothes will be placed in a zipper bag and placed in the child's cubby.
Discipline at School
We strive to prevent problems before they occur by redirecting children before a problem develops.  Limits are set and clearly defined.  Children are encouraged to seek an alternative behavior and talk about their feelings.  If "time out" is used, it will be for one minute for every year of age the child is. 
Emergency Drills
Pre-K children will be required to participate in fire, tornado and lockdown drills.  These drills will make children aware of what to do in case of a real emergency.
Field Trips
Pre-K will take field trips that will enrich and reinforce what they have learned.  Parents will be notified in advance of the field trips.  Parents must sign a permission slip before the child will be allowed to attend a field trip.  Parents are encouraged and welcomed on all field trips. No field trips will be taken before October 1.
Rest Time
Our four-year-old program is a state-approved program and rest time is required.  An individual mat or cot and sheet will be provided for each child.  They will be expected to remain quiet on their mat or cot during this time, and not disturb the other children; they will not be forced to sleep.  One sleep item may be brought from home.  This item must be small enough to fit inside the child's backpack.  The sleep item, such as a stuffed animal, is for use only at rest time.  Parents are also asked to wash the sheet on their child's mat/cot weekly.
Toilet Training
All participants in the four-year-old program must be able to completely take care of their bathroom needs without any assistance from an adult.
We have a wonderful assortment of toys for your child to use while at school and we ask that children not bring toys from home.
Pictures will be taken at Pre-K.  "Snapshots" of your child will be taken while they are at school and may be placed in the local paper.  Before school starts parents are asked to sign a permission form.  Parents have the opportunity to decline pictures being taken, including publicity pictures by indicating this on the general permission form.
Parents may provide cupcakes or another simple treat for their child's birthday.  The teacher should be informed a day or two in advance.
Party Invitations
If party invitations are given out at school, there must be one for all children in the class.
Policy Regarding Children with Special Needs and Handicapping Conditions
The Pre-K program reserves the right to request withdrawal of a child, if after a certain period, it is determined that the child's physical, emotional, mental and/or social development cannot be met within the facilities or that the child jeopardizes the ability of other children to benefit from the program.