*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 – 2023-2024
*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 at school
__ 1-2 masks to keep at school
__ Extra sweatshirt/sweater 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 – Epinephrine Injector, Benedryl/Zyrtec, Dosage instructions, Plan of Action for Accidental Exposure, etc.
__ Nut-free Snacks, Cleaning/Paper Products Donation (opt)
__ Staying for Drop-In Childcare Clients Only: NUT-FREE
lunch with your child’s name, (foods such as hot dogs, fruits, or veggies should be pre-cut)
A teacher will be at the SIDE door at 8:30AM (4s) and 8:45AM (3s). If you arrive before 8:30am on MWF, your child will go to Drop-In care. On TR, there is no early drop off. Free Play begins right away for 4s and Center Time starts right away for 3s. Please be on time. Let us know if someone different will be picking up.
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 need more attention going forward.
Conferences are offered to 4s on MLK, Jr. Day (Jan) and President’s Day (Feb) 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, in person, or virtually.
All children should have a full-size 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 put in their cubby or 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 sandals.
We will go outdoors as often 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. An extra sweatshirt/sweater should be sent in to be kept at school.
***Please send an extra set of clothes, including socks, in a labeled Ziploc in case of accidents or messes.
Folders will go home at the end of the week. Please take all papers out and return it the following class. Calendars and newsletters will come home in the folders, along with tuition envelopes and other important information. **TalkingPoints or email is the best way to communicate with Ms. Tammy. We will use both to send important info and reminders to parents. Photos are posted on Facebook – we never tag photos of children or use their names in the captions for safety reasons. Weather delays/cancellations will be sent via TalkingPoints and posted on Facebook around 6:00am.
*For specific communications about your child – Tammy is available by phone, email, TalkingPoints, and Facebook message or we can arrange a time to meet. We CANNOT chat for long at the door or have "walk-in" meetings any day between 8:00am and 4:00pm. **To reach the Drop-In, call or text the school phone 412.328.8350. 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 appropriate behaviors 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 clear rules, reminders and redirection will solve most problems.
If classroom rules (Be Safe, Be Kind, and Be Responsible) are 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 made aware in the case of recurrent behaviors that our methods are not alleviating so that parents can support us and help find an alternate strategy.
In the case of a child physically hurting another child, an adult, or destroying property, parents will be notified. The injured child’s parents will also be notified.
The following is a list of our events: Fundraisers (optional), Spring Art Show, and Year End Celebration (Graduation.) We offer hearing/speech evaluations in October and pictures in late fall. When the weather is nice, we will take walks around the community or play at Bayne or Maple Parks.
Hygiene and Allergies
Due to children and staff with medical conditions and allergies, we do a lot of extra 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 possible allergens into our classrooms. We 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, 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 it in 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/Zyrtec (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 they:
- Have 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
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, text, 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 at drop-off/pick-up.
Masks – Optional for children when community spread level for Covid-19 is low. All students and staff will wear a well-fitting mask that covers their nose and mouth when community spread risk levels are high.
Parties and Celebrations
We celebrate holidays with special activities and a treat. 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 winter, we do activities to celebrate Lunar New Year. 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 and our yearly slide show. Professional individual and class portraits will be taken by Teddy Bear Portraits and offered to families as a fundraiser.
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 at drop off 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.
***IF PICK-UP PERSON IS LATE: At 12:00pm, any 4s children 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; they are permitted to just get up and go. We make sure they are flushing and hand washing. If we suspect they are very wet or worse, we will help them get cleaned up and changed. If your child is not quite trained or wearing pull-ups, please let us know! We ask that you send extra pull-ups, wipes, and clothes to keep in their cubby.
Scholastic Book Orders and Magazines
Book order forms are sent home once a month. We get points that we can use to get free books when you order. They are 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 (4s) and Show-n-Tell (3s)
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 that the bag or backpack. There will be no make-up days for share bag or show-n-tell – 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 class. 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. Class favorites are: cereal (chocolate cheerios are popular), veggie straws, goldfish, popcorn, vanilla wafers, fruit leather, pretzels, etc. We’ll even take fresh fruit or veggies (as long as you cut them up ahead of time) – grapes, berries, 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
Ms. Jillian Stroud
Ms. Cassandra Rollins
Mr. Robert Sibic - Sub
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 their folder with the amount due and due date. A $5 late fee will be assessed if tuition is not paid on time. Drop-In care is billed separately and is due twice per month.
Volunteering and Donations
We are always accepting nut-free 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 Target, Imperial Parent Teacher Store, JoAnn, Dollar Tree, and Amazon.
We’ll accept a donation of your time – organizing fundraising, contributing nut-free 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.