Parent Handbook

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you and your children to Spring Lake Park Schools Preschool! Whether you’ve been a part of our Early Childhood programs, or this is your first time in a Spring Lake Park Schools program, our entire staff is excited to welcome you and make this a great year.

Our goal in preschool is to promote learning through a child-centered hands-on environment to ensure your child will enter school with the skills and behaviors necessary to be successful in future learning.

Reaching this goal requires a collaborative effort on the part of the students, teachers, administration, parents and community. We encourage you to review this handbook to find information about our policies and procedures. 

If you have any questions regarding your child's education or information within this handbook, please feel free to contact us at 763-600-5900.

Kristin Goessel-Seery, Early Childhood Programs Coordinator

Program Information

Age Categories and Staff/Child Ratios Children are supervised at all times while in the Preschool Program. Preschool accommodates 20 preschool children in a classroom. The staff to child ratio is 1:10. Parents are welcome to visit the classroom at any time.

Program Philosophy

The main focus of Spring Lake Park Preschool is to promote learning through a child-centered hands-on environment.

  • A positive self-image is a basic ingredient to educational success and can be developed during the preschool years in a warm, nurturing environment.
  • The Preschool Program offers experiences that enhance the child's self-concept both in group and individual situations.
  • Our program seeks to meet the individual needs of each child in the areas of emotional, social, intellectual, language, and physical development
  • A challenging and stimulating program, as well as the security of a routine, will build upon the continuing growth of the preschooler.

Each child and parent has the basic right of respect from the staff. Ideas and feelings are respected; individual differences are respected; race and religion are respected.

Program Goals

Motivation for Learning

To facilitate the joy of learning which reflects the developmental needs of each child through active involvement with his/her preschool environment

Physical Development

To provide each child opportunities in individual and group interactions that develop fine and gross motor skills

Emotional Development

To provide a supportive environment for each child to feel good about him/herself, and to develop positive ways to express his/her emotions

Social Development

To provide a wide range of opportunities for each child to develop positive social relationships between him/herself and their peers

Cognitive Development

To create opportunities in the child's environment where he/she can practice and master basic learning concepts

Creative Development

To provide an environment that encourages self-expression in a variety of creative activities

Language Development

To provide each child a variety of opportunities that enhance the development of language

Parent Involvement

To develop a cooperative parent-teacher relationship and to provide opportunities for parents to be involved in their child's preschool experience

Parent-Teacher Communication and Conferences

Regular communication between parents and teachers helps to make your child’s learning a partnership! Parents are welcomed to contact the teaching staff at any time during the school year. In addition, we offer several opportunities during the year for a more formal time to talk:

  • Orientation in September is a time to get to know your classroom and staff
  • Family Connect in October is a time for you and your teacher to share information about your child’s strengths and interests and other information that is important to your child’s success in school. Several options to connect including in person and phone or email will be offered.
  • Parent-teacher Conferences mid-year, we will discuss your child’s intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development.

More information will be sent home during the school year.

Billing Information

Monthly Tuition Payments

Tuition is divided into nine (9) equal payments. Your first payment was made at registration and the remaining payments are due the no later than the 1st of the month, September – April. Invoices are sent via email. Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card, or checks payable to “Community Education” are acceptable. Auto-Pay is available with a credit card. The payments will be due beginning the week of orientation and then the 1st of each month through April. You may mail or drop off your monthly payments to the Community Education Office, 1415 81st Avenue NE, Spring Lake Park, MN 55432 or the Early Childhood Office at 7925 Able Street NE, MN 55432. Please include the child’s name with the payment to ensure your account is properly credited.

If you have signed up for automatic payments, your credit card will be charged the week of orientation and then the week of the 15th day of each month through April. You may sign-up for automatic payments at any time throughout the year, please stop by the office for a form.

Past Due Accounts

Accounts that are not paid in full on the first of the month are considered past due. Any account not paid in full by the 15th of the month will be considered delinquent and will be subject to late fees. If your account is delinquent, you will be given notice that you may be suspended from the preschool program. If suspended from the program, you will still remain responsible for the tuition and fees incurred to the date of the suspension as well as any possible future fees incurred in the collection of your account.

Withdrawal

Withdrawal from the program or other contractual changes requires written notification to the Early Childhood office at Woodcrest or the Community Education office 2 weeks in advance. Phone notification or lack of attendance is not acceptable notice and tuition will continue to be assessed per the contract rate until written notice is received. You will be held responsible for all fees through the two-week notice date.

Sliding Fee for Discounted Tuition

Applicants must fill out an application and provide verification of income (IRS Tax Income form) for a determination to be eligible.

Additional Fees

Should we receive a check for tuition or fees that has been returned to us by our bank, we must charge a $25.00 handling fee. Two occurrences of returned checks will make it necessary to receive all future preschool payments in cash.

Late Pick-Up Fee

A Late Pick-up Fee of $5.00 per 5-minute increment beyond the end of class will be charged per child. If you cannot pick up your child by the end of class time, please call the child’s classroom. Staff will remain with your child and will attempt to reach the parent and the emergency numbers. If no one can be reached, the child will be taken to the Early Childhood office.

Extended Absence or Delayed Start

To reserve a Preschool slot during an extended absence or delayed start, payment must be made in full for the time requested before the event. If you choose not to pay the tuition, the Preschool spot will be given to the next person on the waiting list and the absentee child's name will be placed at the end of the waiting list for return to Preschool

Miscellaneous Information

Take home projects

Teachers will periodically send home information about projects parents will do at home with their child. Take home projects are a great way for parents to be involved in their child’s learning and show them how important school is in your family.

Birthday Celebrations

We believe that birthdays are special days for young children. As a school district, we are implementing new procedures to recognize birthdays while promoting a healthy school environment.

We are asking parents to not bring food or other treats to their child’s classroom to celebrate a birthday. In lieu of bringing a treat, students may choose to bring a non-food item to share with the class, or as an alternative, a book or rainy day game may be donated to the class.

Classroom teachers provide a variety of age-appropriate events for students on their birthdays. These special events may include: cards from the teacher and/or classmates, wearing a special birthday crown or hat, having special classroom privileges, and singing a “Happy Birthday” song. Check with your child’s teacher to see what would be acceptable. As always, advance notice of your plans is appreciated.

Inclusive Policy

Spring Lake Park Schools Preschool will not exclude any child based on race, religion, or disability. The Spring Lake Park Schools Early Childhood Special Education department integrates children into the preschool classrooms. Staff for both programs has made this cooperative effort a positive learning experience for everyone involved.

Snacks

A snack and water are provided during each preschool class. Healthy snacks are provided by preschool families, please no sugary snacks like cookies or cupcakes. You will be notified when it is your turn to bring a snack for the program. More information about snacks will be provided during preschool orientation. No Birthday treats are allowed to be brought by families in SLP Schools. See the Birthday Celebration section of the Handbook above for more information.

School Closings

  • An alert notification will be sent to you by phone, text, and e-mail based upon information/preferences provided
  • An easy-to-find Alert Message will be posted on the district and school websites
  • WCCO Radio, WCCO-Channel 4, KARE-11, KMSP Fox 9, and KSTP-5 will be among the local media contacted

Clothing

Many of our activities are active and messy. We encourage your child to wear casual, comfortable clothing. Sometimes “accidents” occur for various reasons. An extra set of clothes kept in your child's backpack is suggested, especially jeans and socks. Occasionally children may be sent home in “school clothing” due to an “accident.” We request you wash these items and return them to Preschool. Most days, the children go outside to play on a playground, so we suggest sending your child to school in tennis shoes or shoes with straps so the children can run without shoes falling off. Also, in the winter, please send your child to school with winter appropriate clothing (snow pants, boots, winter coat, gloves, scarf, hat, etc.)

Health Services

Immunization Records and Health Information

Each child enrolled in preschool must have on file a documented record of current immunizations, a medical exemption, or a notarized statement of parental objection to immunization. This record is due on the first day the child attends preschool. Immunization information must be updated annually.

Reporting your child absent

Please call the Early Childhood attendance line: 763-600-5909 to report an absence. Please leave a message to report an absence, if sick please include illness details i.e. flu like symptoms, cough, congestion, fever, vomiting etc. Please include your teachers name so your message can be forwarded to her.

Sick Child

Children who are ill will not be allowed to attend Early Childhood Programs. Please call the Early Childhood Attendance line at 763-600-5909 to report your child’s absence. Your message will be relayed to your child’s teacher.

If a child becomes sick while in the program, the child will be isolated from other children and the parent will be contacted immediately. The child will be supervised at all times If a child contracts a communicable disease (strep throat, chicken pox, etc.), parents are required to inform the teaching staff within 24 hours so that other parents may be notified.

Exclusion of Sick Child

Please keep your child home if they have any of the following:

  1. Vomiting within the last 24 hours
  2. Diarrhea within the last 24 hours
  3. Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in the last 24 hours
  4. Rash of unknown origin
  5. Yellow or green drainage from the eye

Procedures for Minor Injuries

In the event of minor injuries, program staff will treat the injured child according to Spring Lake Park Schools First Aid Policies (all staff hold current First Aid Certification) or may bring the child to the school nurse for treatment. An accident report will be completed and parents will be notified of the incident.

Bathroom Issues

Please encourage your child to use the bathroom before coming to school. Children without special needs should be “toilet trained” before starting preschool. If your child is still having accidents, we will work with you to help the child be fully trained, but children should not attend in diapers.

Supplemental Student Accident Insurance

Spring Lake Park Schools and all of its employees work hard to ensure that every student has a safe and rewarding experience while attending our schools. Even with this environment and the many precautions we take, accidents can happen while students are at school.

You may or may not be aware that the school district does not provide insurance coverage for students during the time they spend on school grounds. If a child has an accident while attending school during the day or while participating in after school activities, the family’s health insurance carrier would cover any related expenses.

We have made it relatively convenient for families to purchase Student Accident Insurance through Special Markets Insurance Consultants, Inc. and underwritten by Sentry Life Insurance Company for the upcoming school year. This program is completely voluntary. Each family should examine their health insurance coverage as well as co-pays and deductible limits to determine if this supplemental coverage would be a benefit to them. If you are interested in exploring a supplemental insurance coverage, by August 15, we will have a link on the school district’s website that will make available a variety of insurance coverage options for families to consider for their students. If you have questions about this service, you can call the Business Office at 763-600-5030.

Behavior Guidelines

Behavior Guidance

Behavior Guidance in the preschool program is based on the idea that 3-5 yr. old children are in the process of developing socially and emotionally and that staff must understand and respect children before they can work with them effectively. Staff will make every effort to determine what reasonable expectations are for the particular child at a particular age. Staff understands that the environment will be designed so that as far as possible it will be easy and comfortable for the children to behave in ways which, at least, do not substantially detract from program harmony.

Staff will use positive guidance techniques for behavior management in the classroom. The following is a list of those positive guidance techniques.

  1. Prepare a good environment, challenging and conducive to learning.
  2. Set limits that are consistent and fair.
  3. Talk with children in private concerning discipline issues.
  4. Be a good model - model appropriate expressions of feeling and demonstrate coping skills.
  5. Ignore inappropriate behavior (behavior that is not harmful to self or others).
  6. Notice good behavior - praise and use positive reinforcement.
  7. Prepare children for the natural consequence of their actions.
  8. Help children solve problems and make choices. Give children a choice or alternative when appropriate.
  9. Distract children from potential problems. Redirect to another activity.
  10. Remove the child from the situation if harmful to self or others.
  11. Maintain thorough observation of the group at all times.
  12. See Late Pickup Fee Policy under Program Information.

Fire Prevention, Evacuation, and Emergency

The center shall have posted the primary and secondary fire exits, the building evacuation route. Community Services personnel will follow Spring Lake Park Schools disaster plans regarding fire drills, blizzards, tornados, bomb threats, and emergency school closings.

Emergency Procedures

In the event of an emergency requiring immediate medical attention the on-site school nurse will be available and staff will contact 911 and the child's parents. Preschool staff will take whatever emergency measures are judged necessary for the care and protection of your child while under their supervision. In a life-threatening situation, 911 will be called first. Any expenses incurred are the parent responsibility.

In cases where the parent is unable to be reached, the persons identified as the responsible party on the enrollment form will be contacted. When none of the above can be reached, Community Services staff will contact 911 to transport the child to the nearest hospital (Unity Hospital in Fridley).

For these reasons, all emergency names and telephone numbers must be kept up to date.

Arrival/Departure of Children

Drop-off/ Pick-up Parking routine at Preschool

  • Please park in the parking lot on the Able Street side. The first row of parking spots that are next to light posts are designated for Preschool parents only. Please do not park in the fire lane, handicap parking or other designated parking areas. Please do not park in the designated bus lane next to doors #28 and #29.
  • Please always drive in and out of the parking lot using the designated 1 way driveways.
  • Parents must bring their children into the building and to the classroom. You may not drop your child off in the entryway of the building or leave any child unattended at any time.

Pick-up/Release of Children

When someone other than the usual person who transports a child to or from Preschool is coming for pick-up, please call the teacher ahead of dismissal or send a note with the child. When a person who is not a parent or the usual person to transport attempts to pick-up a child, the staff person will check the child’s’ enrollment form and:

  1. if the person is on the form as authorized to pick-up the child, staff will ask for identification (a picture ID) before releasing the child;
  2. if the person is unauthorized, staff will apologize for the inconvenience but indicate that the program is not permitted to release the child and that the parent/guardian will need to be contacted (in the case of an irate person or difficult situation, the staff person can contact other staff, administrators, or the police); or
  3. If the person is designated on the enrollment form as neither authorized nor unauthorized the parent must be contacted for permission to release the child. Children will not be released to persons who are not authorized to take the child from the program.

If a child is not picked-up

When a child is not picked-up, staff will remain with the child and:

  1. Call the parent’s home and work telephone numbers as listed on the enrollment form
  2. If no answer, call other emergency telephone numbers as listed on the enrollment form
  3. If no answer, contact program administrator to determine at what point staff needs to be relieved
  4. Remain with the child as long as possible or until a replacement person arrives
  5. If no one can be reached by phone by the end of our office hours the police will be contacted.

See Late Pickup Fee Policy under Program Information.