AWB Preschool follows all AWB Drop-In Childcare policies. The information contained in this handbook applies only to the preschool program and is meant to help families be more aware of how the classroom is run and to have their child be prepared to have a smooth and enjoyable experience. Please contact Tammy Burns for any questions or concerns pertaining to the Preschool Program.
A Welcome Break Preschool Handbook – 2020-2021
*Parents should send the following to school on the first day:
- Backpack big enough to fit 9x12 folder (everyday)
- Ziploc bag with an extra full set of clothes (incl. socks) to keep in cubby
- Extra masks to keep at school
- Tuition payment – please hand to the teacher
- Paperwork – any forms you haven’t turned in, medical form by Oct. 1st!
- For newly potty-trained or training currently – 3-4 pull-ups (or extra sets of pants/underwear) and wipes
- For children with food allergies – Benedryl, Epi-pen or AuviQ, Dosage instructions, Plan of Action for Accidental Exposure, etc.
- Nut-free Snacks or Paper Products donation ONLY if you want to (see Snacks and Volunteering and Donations below)
- Staying for Drop-In Childcare Clients Only – a fully disposable NUT-FREE lunch with your child’s name, foods such as hot dogs, fruits, or veggies should be pre-cut; a small blanket or bath towel for quiet time.
Please wear a mask and observe physical distancing at the door. A teacher will be at the SIDE door at 8:30AM (4s) and 8:45AM (3s). If you arrive before then on MWF, your child will go to Drop-In care. On TR, there is no early drop off. Morning Free Play begins right away for 4s and Arts & Crafts Time starts right away for 3s. It is preferred that children arrive at 8:30am(4s)/8:45am(3s) to give them time to put belongings away, use the bathroom, etc. and have as much play/art time as possible. You will be asked some screening questions and your child will have their temperature taken before they can be admitted to the building.
Assessments and Conferences
In December and May, 4s are evaluated using a list of milestones that children should be reaching according to their particular age-ranges. Children develop at their own pace and so the assessment helps parents and teachers know how children are progressing and which areas we might want to pay more attention to going forward.
Conferences are offered to 4s on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Jan. 20th) so we can discuss your child’s progress and compare notes prior to Kindergarten registration. 3s conferences are by parent request only. Parents may request a meeting anytime which we can do by phone or in person. I can also do it on Zoom or Facetime.
All children should have a backpack to take their 9x12 folder and artwork home. Folders do not fit in the smaller backpacks. Please bring the backpack to school and empty it at home daily.
Children should eat before they arrive at preschool. PLEASE DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD WITH BREAKFAST IN HAND! The schedule doesn’t allow for it and it will be thrown away.
Dress your child in play clothes as we will make messes and get wet at the sink. Girls can wear shorts or leggings under their dresses and skirts. Shoes they can run in outdoors are a must! No flip-flops, crocs, or slip-on sandals.
We will go outdoors daily as long as weather allows. Please send your child in appropriate footwear, outerwear, and hat/gloves. Extras (including sneakers for indoors when it’s muddy/wet) can be kept at school.
***Please send in an extra set of clothes in a labeled Ziploc in case of accidents or messes. We will try to remind you to exchange in Nov/Apr. for the season or if your child needs a bigger size.
Folders will go home once per week – Thursday for 3s & Friday for 4s. Please return them the following class. Monthly calendars and newsletters will come home in the folders, along with tuition envelopes and other important information. Reminders and pictures are posted on Facebook – we never tag photos of children or use their names in the captions for safety reasons.
Weather delays and cancellations will be posted on Facebook and the Blog area of our website. **PLEASE SIGN UP on Remind.com for delays and cancellations texts. Texts are sent around 6:00am.
*For specific communications about your child – Tammy is available by phone, email, or Facebook message or we can arrange a time to meet in person or online. We CANNOT chat long at the door or have "walk-in" meetings with you any day between 8:00am and 3:00pm. Call the school phone (412.761.2917) and leave a message or send a text. A teacher may call or text you from their own cell phone – they will identify themselves at the beginning of the call or message.
We use positive guidance which means we spend lots of time reinforcing the behaviors we like and telling them what they should do instead of what they shouldn’t – ex: Use gentle hands instead of don’t hit. Stable and consistent routines along with reminders and redirection will solve most issues.
If classroom rules are being broken:
1st offense: Redirection and/or reminder
2nd: Reattempt at redirection with a Warning
3rd: Removal of Privilege/Toy or Take a Break (3-4 minutes)
Parents will be notified of recurrent behaviors that our methods are not alleviating so that parents can support us and help find an alternate strategy.
If a child physically hurts another child, an adult, or destroys property, the child will be taken aside to discuss the situation and immediately take a break. Parents will be notified at pick-up unless it is serious, in which case we will call. The injured child’s parent will be informed if they have sustained any sort of injury upon pick-up, unless it is serious. In that case, we will call.
We are limiting events this year and will add or eliminate them, as necessary. We are still planning: Hoagie Sales, Spring Art Show Open House, and Year End Celebration (Graduation.) We may offer hearing/speech evaluations in October. The 4s class may visit Kindergarten at Bellevue in May. We will take walks around the community or play in the field at Bayne Park.
Hygiene and Allergies
Due to children and staff with medical conditions and allergies, we have always done a lot of handwashing. The first thing your child will do after they put their belongings in their cubby is wash their hands. We also use wipes to make sure faces are clean. It is important that we don’t bring germs and allergens into our classrooms. We also don’t want residue from allergens transferred to door knobs, toys, chairs, tabletops, etc. In addition to the beginning of class, we wash hands after large motor play, before and after snack, after bathroom use, when we come in from outside, and any other time it is warranted.
***If your child needs their own soap or wipes due to allergies, eczema, or sensitive skin, please send it in. If they need lotion in the winter, please feel free to send it in. I have Aveeno Naturals – scent free – at the sink that any child may use. If they need sunscreen for outings, please send in a bottle with their name on to keep in their cubby.
If your child has food allergies, we will do everything we can to keep our room safe. An Action Plan and open communication is the best way to help us do that. Please write down all instructions (including what a reaction might look like), provide us with Epi-pens/AuviQs or Benedryl (if applicable), and let us know how best to communicate with your child regarding reactions. You will be contacted right away if a reaction is suspected. You may be asked to provide your child’s snacks for their safety.
Do NOT send your child to school if he/she:
- Has had a fever in the last 24 hours or is taking fever reducing medicine
- Has vomited or had diarrhea in the last 24 hours
- Has nasal drainage that is not clear
- Has a cough, cold, flu, pinkeye, strep, or any other contagious illness or communicable disease
- Has symptoms of COVID-19 or has been exposed to anyone who has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19
By coming to school ill, not only will your child be spreading it to all of the staff and children, but your child will be miserable all morning and unable to enjoy school. If your child develops a communicable disease (e.g. scabies, pinworms, lice, hand-foot-mouth, COVID-19) and may have attended AWB before showing symptoms, please alert the director/preschool teacher, with all the pertinent information, so we can notify other parents and staff of possible exposure.
The staff is trained in First Aid, CPR and AED, and Epi-pen use. In the case of minor injury – cut/scrapes/bumps – we treat it (wash/bandage or ice pack) and move on with our day. If the staff or child is concerned, we may write you a note or call if it warrants it. If it is very minor and the child is over it, we often don’t think to mention it by the end of the morning. If your child has a mystery cut or a bruise, please feel free to ask us about it – leave a message on the school phone or ask when you drop-off/pick-up.
We recommend that all preschool students wear cloth or paper face coverings. Please send a couple extra to leave at school as backups. We will take them off to eat, rest (drop-in only,) and exercise outdoors. Staff will be wearing masks inside and outside when we can’t maintain physical distancing of 6ft.
Parties and Celebrations
We celebrate holidays with special activities (without an emphasis on food and treats except for Thanksgiving.) We will have a Pumpkin Party in October (no costumes.) At Thanksgiving, we will have a fruit feast. At Christmas, we celebrate Jesus’ birthday with his story and a piñata. In February, we celebrate Friendship Day – the children exchange valentines. Parents may send in nut-free treats or small trinkets/toys on these occasions. We will only have time for one snack so all food treats should be wrapped to be sent home.
Photos of your child will be taken in class and will be used in artwork, our yearly slide show, and on social media (no names or tags.) We are unsure if we will be able to have school portraits done this year.
Please wear a mask and observe physical distancing at the door. Parents should wait at the SIDE door and we will send the children out to you. The security code procedure applies for anyone who is not familiar to teachers. Please let us know in the morning or ahead of time if someone different will pick up your child. We may ask to see ID, as well, so please let them know this when you tell them the code.
***At 12:15pm, any 4s will be added to the Drop-In class and normal rates will apply. We do not have Drop-In for 3s.
FOR 3s CLASS: At 12:00pm, we will begin charging $1 per minute until your child is picked up. Please be respectful of the staff’s time. We understand that emergencies happen, but if lateness becomes a habit the third offense may result in your child’s expulsion from the program.
This is not a requirement at AWB, but we encourage independence in self-care and hygiene at preschool. We do not check/change pull-ups as part of any routine. We won’t be able to sit your child on the potty on a schedule. Children will be encouraged to go when they arrive, after gym, after snack, before they leave to go home, and if they are dancing around suspiciously. Children never have to ask to use the bathroom, even in Circle Time; they are permitted to just get up and go. We check to see that they are flushing, hand washing, or needing help with their clothes. If we suspect they are very wet or worse, we will help them get cleaned up and changed. If you child is not quite trained or wearing pull-ups, please send extra pull-ups, wipes, and clothes to keep in his cubby.
Scholastic Book Orders and Magazines
Book orders forms are sent home once a month. We get points that we can use to get free books when you order. They are nice paperbacks (mostly) and generally cheaper than the retail prices. You can pay with cash, check, or online with a credit card. We encourage online because it makes it easier to track. There is no shipping cost. They come to the school 7-10 days after the order is closed out.
The 4s class uses My Big World (Scholastic Magazine) in the classroom. Please have your child read it to you at home – there is a website with supplemental videos and activities that are really neat so check them out. The password is: happykids
Share Bag and Show-n-Tell
Children will be assigned to bring something to present from home. They can bring any 1 item that fits the assigned category – please don’t send in very valuable or fragile things, no pets, and nothing larger than the bag. There will be no make-up days for share bag – the schedule doesn’t allow for it. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ITEMS IN ON ANY DAY BUT THE ONE ASSIGNED TO YOUR CHILD.
We generally have cereal, pretzels, crackers, etc. after gym. It is just a child-sized portion to give an energy boost to get through the rest of the morning. We drink water with our snacks. AWB will be completely peanut and tree nut-free whether or not we have children with those allergies. Parents of children with allergies may make arrangements to provide their own safe snacks from home.
***We have always been glad to accept nut-free snack donations. We’d love if you’d send something healthy or at least semi-healthy. Class favorites are: cereal (chocolate cheerios are popular), veggie straws, tortilla chips, popcorn, raisins, vanilla wafers, banana chips, fruit leather, etc. We’ll even take fresh fruit or veggies (as long as you cut them up ahead of time) – grapes, bananas, melon, carrots, etc. We’d prefer to AVOID snacks with empty calories such as cupcakes, potato chips, cheese curls, etc.
Our caring and professional Preschool Staff this year are:
Ms. Tammy Burns, Teacher, 3s and 4s Class
Ms. Jillian Juracko, Assistant, 3s and 4s Class
Ms. Pat Schutte, Assistant, 4s Class (Sub 3s)
Ms. Cassandra Rollins, Sub/Assistant, 3s Class
Star of the Day
Instead of birthdays, each child will have this special show-n-tell. You will get a note home the week before with a list of things to bring and a get-to-know-me form to fill out.
Tuition holds your child’s spot in class; it is not an hourly amount. Tuition is due on the first class of each month. Each child will receive an envelope in the folder with the amount due and due date. A $5 late fee will be assessed if tuition is not paid on time.
Volunteering and Donations
We are always accepting snacks, paper towels, napkins, cleaning products, and tissues. If you have other ideas of what you might donate, please speak with the teachers or the director. If you’d like to donate a gift card for supplies, we like to shop at JoAnn, Target, Imperial Parent Teacher Store, and Amazon.
We’ll accept a donation of your time – organizing fundraising, contributing snacks for our celebrations, donating items for our basket raffle in the spring, etc. Please talk to the director or the preschool teachers and we will figure out ways you can add to our program according to your talents.