Weather Conditions/School Closings
In the case of inclement weather, it may be necessary to close the preschool. To determine if the school has been closed, Storm Central will air our closing announcements on the following stations: NewsChannels 6, 10 and 13 TV. If bad weather begins during the daytime hours while your child is here, and we decide to close, a parent of each child will be contacted. If the preschool remains open while the district in which you reside is closed or delayed, provision of transportation within that district will be left to the discretion of the bus company.
Health Requirements For Admission to Story Place Preschool:
The Preschool must receive a documented health examination prior to admission by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner.Documentation of the health examination must include the health examination form as well as a written statement signed by the physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner stating that your child is receiving health care, including appropriate health examination in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatric schedule of such care and examinations.
Each child must have a written statement signed by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner that signifies that the child is free from contagious or communicable disease and is able to participate in the preschool program.
Your child must have updated immunization as well as health records on file in the medical chart. All children must demonstrate proof that immunizations are current for his/her particular age. If your child is an infant, immunizations must be routinely updated. Be sure that you keep the preschool informed via written documentation.
All children must have an immunization certificate or record card that demonstrates that the child has received age appropriate prophylaxis. This must include immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, Hemophilus influenza type b (HIB), Hepatitis B, and documentation of a current lead level. If there is a medical contraindication for not receiving immunizations, the physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner must complete and sign the medical exemption section on the health examination form. If immunizations are not received for personal reasons, an immunization waiver must be signed by the physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner, and the parent.
An infant not yet immunized because of age may be admitted to the preschool, provided that the infant's parent agrees in writing that the infant will subsequently be immunized according to the current schedule for immunization required by the New York State Department of Health.
A written consent at the time of admission from the parent must be obtained which authorizes the preschool to obtain emergency health care for the child. The written consent includes doctor, hospital of preference for emergency treatment, parent day time phone number, person(s) to be contacted in case of an emergency and two back-up telephone numbers of the child's relatives or friends in case of not being able to contact the immediate family member. It is of paramount importance that this emergency information be kept up-dated at all times so that communication in time of an emergency is expedient and complete.
PLEASE NOTE: A child cannot be admitted to the preschool without the proper medical documentation of care.
General Health and Safety Policies:
Your child should not attend the center-based preschool program if the therapist/teacher suspects or the child/family has been diagnosed with a contagious disease such as:
- Chicken Pox
- Herpes Zoster(Shingles)
- Coxsackie Virus
- Rubella (German Measles)
- Strep Infection
- Scarlet Fever
- Pediculosis (Head Lice)
- any other contagious disease
If an outbreak of a communicable disease arises you will be notified by the preschool so that you can be alert to development of symptoms with your own child.
We realize that symptoms of some diseases appear when the child is no longer contagious. In cases such as this your child may not be required to miss school, however a written diagnosis from a physician will be required so that we can identify the disease and alert other parents.
In the event that your child arrives and/or develops symptoms or a communicable disease at the preschool, the teacher/therapist will notify you by phone and in writing, and arrangements will be made to send your child home. This practice will be followed with your child's best interest in mind as well as to reduce the spread of contagious illness among the children and staff. By helping us to observe good health standards, you will be protecting your child as well as others in the program.
If your child is receiving antibiotics for illness, he/she cannot return to school until 24 hours after the start of antibiotic therapy and with the physician consent. (See Medication Dispersal Procedures)
All children are observed on a daily basis to monitor symptoms of illness or injury.
There are certain illness criteria that prevent your child from attending the preschool:
- Upper Respiratory Congestion:
- Teacher, therapist or psychologist personal notes. These are notes that a professional educator makes for his or her own use and that are not intended to be shown to anyone else.
- Personal records of school employees which meet the following criteria:
- It was made as an aid to memory.
- It is in the personal possession of the individual who made it, and information contained has never been made available to any other person.
- School officials in the same district with a "legitimate educational interest"
- School officials in the school district to which the child intends to transfer
- Various state and national education agencies, when enforcing federal laws.
- Anyone to whom the school must report information as required by state statute.
- A reasonable explanation and interpretation;
- A copy of records for a fee which will cover only the cost of reproduction;
- Permission to allow a representative to inspect and review the record.
- All conversation in regards to children or their families are to be undertaken in an area that insures confidentiality of information.
- Discussion of children outside of the classroom and building will be limited to staff, parents and administrators using first name of child only.
- Any visitors to the classroom with questions regarding specific children will be diplomatically told of confidentiality procedures, unless used in a teaching manner.
- When visitors are present in the classroom, first names of children will be used.
- Lesson and therapy plans and any written materials containing students name will be removed from plain view daily, upon dismissal, and upon visitation of non-access individuals to the classroom.
Two loose or watery stools in the last 12 hours. Your child cannot return to school until a minimum of 12 hours and after the stools resume normal consistency. The one exception to this is if your child has been diagnosed as having Shigella. If your child has this condition, he/she may not return to school until there have been three consecutive stool cultures take 24 hours apart after antibiotic therapy has been discontinued. The three cultures must be negative and must be documented by your physician. Shigella is a highly contagious disease and can be serious, therefore these rules must be strictly adhered to.
If your child vomits and demonstrates other signs of illness in the last 12
hours, he/she should not attend preschool until a minimum of 24 hours has
passed, and only if he/she is back to his/her normal health status.
If your child has a fever of 101 degrees rectally or 99 degrees axillary, he/she cannot attend school until he/she has a normal temperature for 24 hours before returning to preschool.
If your child has a large amount of nasal discharge, sneezing, coughing or listlessness, he/she should not attend preschool until all of the symptoms demonstrate signs of improvement.
If your child has an unknown rash he/she can not attend preschool until the rash has been diagnosed by a physician and the preschool receives written documentation or verbal contact from a physician's office that the rash is not contagious.
If your child has a communicable disease, infection or infestation, a note from your physician will be required stating that your child is no longer contagious and able to return to the preschool.
In order to insure that your child is not exposed to any communicable diseases, no staff member is allowed to work when they are demonstrating symptoms of communicable disease and/or infection.
All staff members are required to have a pre-employment physical and an annual examination to insure that they are free from disease that could impact your child.
In the event of a health emergency, there are well stocked emergency First Aid kits available. Emergency phone numbers are displayed near all telephones. In addition, the staff has received a Red Cross First Aid course. Please be sure to keep emergency sheets up to date so that contact to you will be readily available.
It is of paramount importance that there be a two way dialog between the
preschool and parent in regards to any injuries the child may have received
either at home or at the preschool. In the event of injury at the preschool, you
will be contacted via phone as well as via written communication. Information
relayed to you will include pertinent information in regards to the injury as
well as any first aid measures taken. It would be greatly appreciated that you
as the parent also relay the same information to us.
Medication Dispersal Policy:
Prescription medication may only be dispensed upon written order of a physician
stating that the preschool may administer such medication and specifying the
circumstances, if any, under which the medication cannot be dispensed. This
should be accompanied by written instructions from the parent.
Prescription medication must be in the original container and labeled with the child's complete name, the medication name, recommended dosage, time intervals for administration, method of administration, expiration date and prescriber's name and license number.
All medications at the preschool are stored according to the instructions on the label, kept beyond the reach of children and are returned to you when no longer needed.
Over-the-counter medication may be given on an infrequent, non-routine basis under written instruction from the parent, provided such instructions are consistent with the directions on the manufacturer's label.
If your child develops symptoms which indicate a need for over-the-counter medication while in care at the preschool (IE: Acetaminophen for temperature elevation), such medication may be given under witnessed oral instructions from the parent for that day only. The preschool must document that oral approval was given by the parent.
Topical ointments may be applied as needed for diaper rash under written parental instructions.
Over-the-counter medication must be in the original container with the manufacturer's labels and directions for administration.
All prescription and over-the-counter medication must be brought in to the school by parent/ guardian. For safety and liability purposes, transportation companies will not transport a child who is in possession of said drugs.
Medication that is dispensed at the preschool is documented by the individual administering the medication. Documentation includes the name of your child, medication dispensed, date and time of administration, and signature of the person who administers the medication.
Story Place Preschool provides snacks for the students. If your child has an allergy to any foods or requires special consideration for health reasons, please alert your child's classroom team so that they may plan his/her snacks appropriately. Lunches must be provided by parents of children enrolled in the 9:00-2:00 program, however milk will be provided by Story Place. Please be sure that your child's lunch box or bag is clearly labeled. Refrigerator space is limited, so you are encouraged to use ice packs if your child's lunch must be kept cold. We do not have facilities to heat lunches, so food which is to be served warm should be sent in a thermos.
If your child is celebrating a Birthday or other special day and you want to
send food for the classroom, it is requested that the food must be commercially
prepared, packaged and have a label that describes nutritional content as well
as date of usage. This rule must be strictly adhered to so that we may insure
that safe foods are being served to the children.
It is requested that you send your child in clothing that is appropriate for play, weather appropriate, and comfortable. During winter months, the children do play outside, so be sure that you send mittens, boots, a warm winter coat, a hat, and snow pants if possible. Please be sure to label all articles of clothing. In the summer sunscreen may be helpful for protection. Please provide written permission to apply sunscreen lotion on your child.
Story Place Preschool is cognizant of the importance of insuring that the confidential rights of each student and family is strictly adhered to. Confidentiality requires that all information in regards to the child and his/her family must be maintained so that privacy rights are recognized. Integral to confidentiality are the following procedures:
Permanent folders for educational records are to be stored in a file cabinet in the preschool office which is locked.
To insure confidentiality, a log will be kept in each child's permanent folder indicating who has requested personally identifiable information as well as the reason for the request.
Copies of signed releases for such information will also be kept in the file.
This log and file maybe inspected by parents, guardians and authorized school and agency personnel on request.
Records maintained include those in print, tapes, handwriting, film, or other medium.
Records exempt from this provision include:
The following individuals can see the personal records without consent of the parent for the following reasons:
Parents or guardians of children attending Story Place Preschool will be given notice listing their rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. This notification will be given to parents and guardians:
Records will be made available within forty-five days from the original request. They will be reviewed at a time and place that is mutually agreed upon by the parents, guardians, and Preschool Leader. Parents may authorize others to see the records but must sign a statement indicating that such person(s) has permission. Records must be reviewed in the presence of a school representative assigned by the Preschool Leader. A record of access will be maintained containing the name of the person reviewing the records and the date and purpose of the review.
Schedule of Copying Fees:
After the record inspection by a parent, guardian, or eligible student, the school will provide copies of records at the cost of $.10 per copy. If the educational record is on video tape the cost will be $35.00 (the cost of professional reproduction as we do not have the facilities for making video copies); if audio tape, the cost will be $5.00. These fees cover only the cost of reproducing.
Maintenance of Confidentiality:
Personnel of Story Place Preschool will adhere to privacy rights. This includes not discussing the families or children with persons that are not a part of service care for the child.
All new employees, including substitute teachers and student interns, will sign the "Confidentiality and Parental Access" form. Employees who breach issues of confidentiality will be subject to disciplinary action which could include dismissal from their job.
Procedure for Child Abuse and Neglect
An abused or maltreated child is defined consistent with section 412 of the Social Services Law:
That is one who is under 18 years and whose physical, mental, or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as a result of the failure of the parent or other person legally responsible for his/her care to exercise a minimum degree of care: 1) in supplying the child with food, clothing, shelter or compulsory education, or medical, dental, optometrical or surgical care though financially able to do so; or 2) in providing the child with proper supervision or guardianship by unreasonable inflicting or allowing to be inflicted harm or a substantial risk thereof, including the use of excessive corporal punishment, or by misusing drugs or alcohol to the extent that he or she loses self-control of his actions or by abandoning the child.
Story Place Preschool Policy:
No act of abuse or maltreatment by an employee, volunteer or any other person whose behavior is under the control of the preschool will be tolerated or condoned in any manner.
Staff members are mandated by New York State law to immediately and confidentially report any suspected incidents of child abuse or maltreatment concerning an enrolled child directly to the State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment.
All staff members who report incidents of abuse or neglect do so with the cognizance that they are granted immunity from prosecution if charges are unfounded, unless it is found that such reporting was done in a false or malicious manner.
Reporting is done in the following manner:
- Staff must report such information to the Director of the program, and;
- The Director of the Preschool or designee (professional staff person determined by agreement after team consultation) is responsible for making an immediate report to the State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment by telephone or facsimile machine. The numbers are:
- This will be followed by a written report within 48 hours, in the form and manner prescribed by the department (DSS-2221A), to the child protective service of the social services district in the child's county or residence.
- The following information will be included when making an oral report:
- The names and addresses of the child and parent(s) or other persons responsible for care, family composition;
- The child's age, sex, and race;
- The nature and extent of the child's injuries, abuse or maltreatment, including any evidence of prior injuries, abuse or maltreatment to the child or his/her siblings;
- The source of the report;
- The actions taken by the reporting source;
- Any information which may be helpful.
Phone: 1-800-635-1522 Fax: 1-800-635-1554
During the investigation of a report, Child Protective Services has the right to enter school grounds and question any parties involved with such report.
It is the teacher's duty to design and maintain a classroom environment which provides physical and emotional safety for all students. The instructional team should establish consistent classroom rules and limits which assist children in developing respect for others and maintain an atmosphere which is conducive to learning.
Children learn to display socially appropriate behaviors and engage in positive interactions only when clear expectations of desired and acceptable behaviors are communicated and modeled by those around them. A positive climate which enhances self-esteem and cooperation can be achieved when children are provided structure, consistency, are treated with respect, and when actions are followed by natural and appropriate consequences.
- Rules and limits will be communicated in a positive manner to provide the expected behavior rather than to list don'ts or negatives.
- Each classroom team will develop acceptable behavior guidelines for the students in their classroom. These will be posted for use by all staff, students and parents.
- Children will be rewarded for good behavior as often as possible with encouragement, praise, privileges or other tangible rewards.
- A child will be redirected or reprimanded when disrupting an individual or group.
- Staff will always consider their posture, voice tone, volume and speed when communicating with students.
- When a child hurts another child they will be separated. Care will be taken before bringing the students back together to insure that the conflict is over.
- When a child persists in disrupting the group and bothering others, a team approach will be used to explore causes, solutions, and to develop a plan for dealing with the student's behaviors.
- Time-out will be used as a device of last resort.
- Staff members will approach the child directly and immediately. Look directly into the child's eyes and tell him/her exactly in simple brief words what the offense is. The staff member will escort the child to the time-out area.The time-out will be a maximum of 1 minute/year of age.
- The child will receive verbal prompts for the appropriate behavior necessary to rejoin the activity.
- It is the staff member's responsibility to use "time-out" as a chance for the child to regain control, focus or composure.
- Staff members will always take in consideration the feelings, emotions, and physical comfort of all students and act accordingly.
- All allegations and accusations of staff misconduct will be reviewed by an administrative team immediately.
- Staff members should never intentionally embarrass, belittle, or physically punish a child. Such behavior could result in immediate termination of their position.
- Behavior management is not judgmental. The focus should be placed on the behavior, not the child.
- To discipline is to guide and teach.
- Behavior management needs to be consistent and fair.
- Behavior management is for the care and welfare of the children and not the benefit of the staff.
- Date of excuse
- Date of absence
- Reason for absence
Parents are required to notify us by phone before or by 8:30 am if a child is going to be absent from school. We have an answering machine available for the hours when staff are not at school. Please call 477-7103 and leave your message.
Upon returning to school after an absence, each child must have a written excuse. Please include the following information:
The excuse should be given to the child's teacher. It is mandated that a note be sent to school explaining every absence.
Arrival and Dismissal
The Story Place Preschool day for students is 9:00 am to 2:00 pm for full day classes and 9:00 to 11:30 for half day sessions. Supervision for children is not available before or after those hours (except in emergency situations). This schedule has been agreed to by the transportation providers and should also be followed by any parents providing individual transportation for their child.
Parents who wish to pick their child up from school should notify the child's
teacher in advance, if possible. If the child is going to be picked up by any
adult other than the parent or guardian, the school must be notified. Children
will not be released to other adults without specific parental permission.
Please contact the transporter by 6:30 am or by 10:00 am (for the afternoon session) if your child will not be attending school.
Transporters and drivers are not allowed to take information regarding transportation changes. All changes (new address, change in babysitter, etc.) must be called in to the school at least four school days before a change is to take place. You may address transportation changes to the Family Services Coordinator.
Please contact the school as soon as possible whenever a phone number is changed or disconnected. It is very important that we be able to reach you at all times!!
Children should be ready to go 10 minutes before scheduled pick up time. Please watch for the bus! They cannot wait for more than 3 minutes.
An adult must bring your child out to the bus in the morning and meet her/him at the bus in the afternoon. In order to protect your child, s/he will not be discharged from the bus to anyone but you unless that person=s name is listed on the transportation form.
Your child should be on the bus for no longer than one hour, unless there are special circumstances. Transporters have the right to adjust pick up and drop off times as needed to compensate for changes in routing.
If your child is under four years of age, s/he must be restrained in a specially designed seat which meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The bus company is not obligated to provide car seats or booster seats, but they sometimes do. You must make arrangements with the bus company to provide a seat if they are not planning to do so.
Please make sure your child has eaten breakfast before boarding the bus. For safety reasons, children are not allowed to eat on the bus!
If at any time you question the level of competence of the bus driver or aide, do not allow your child on the bus! Immediately call the Transportation Coordinator at your county Health Department.
You may also address any problems or complaints to the Transportation Coordinator at your county Health Department.
Parent Volunteer Program
Parent volunteers are valued by our school staff. Volunteers can assist with learning center activities, class projects, field trips and other routine and special events. If you are able to assist on a regular or even on a limited basis, please discuss your thoughts with your child's classroom team.
Our parent library consists of books, audio and video tapes, pamphlets, and articles. These items are available for family members to borrow at no charge. If you are interested in seeing a copy of the list of materials in the parent library, please contact your child's teacher or the Family Services Coordinator. We will be happy to send one home. Please feel free to come in any time and browse through the materials as well.
If a parent/guardian has a concern that you would like to address with administrative staff, you may wish to contact one of the persons below depending on the nature of your concern and previous actions taken (if any).
Michele Rose, Preschool Leader
Story Place Preschool
1477 South Schodack Road
Castleton, NY 12033
Carol Altwerger, Executive Director
Story Place Preschool
1477 South Schodack Road
Castleton, NY 12033
A copy of the current NYS OCFS Daycare / NYS Education Department Regulations are available to parents and may be found in the Program Administration office of Story Place Preschool 1477 South Schodack Road, Castleton, NY 12033