Handbook

Before School Begins/Transition Into School Activities

New Families

New families will be contacted by Parents Association volunteers. These volunteers serve as our new family liaisons. They will be glad to answer any questions you have about Pembroke Hill, and offer suggestions for play dates during the summer.

Class Placement

There are numerous factors taken into consideration when making placement decisions such as gender balance, social/emotional factors, learning and teaching styles and academic ability.

Pembroke Hill grade level teachers work as a group, in collaboration with principals, learning specialists and resource teachers, to determine classroom placement for their students and ensure that all children are placed thoughtfully into the next year's class/homeroom/section.

Our teachers know their students very well and will make a placement that they consider to be in the best interest of your child. Therefore, we do not accept teacher requests from parents. We ask that you adhere to this policy.


Child Visits

Between July 3 and Aug. 1, your child’s teacher will contact you to arrange a visit in your home. The "Home Visit" is the first step in your child's transition to the Pembroke Hill early childhood school. It is an opportunity for your child to meet with his/her teacher in a place where she/he is most comfortable and confident - home.

Your teacher will call ahead to schedule the visit at your convenience. Usually, the visit lasts about 45 minutes. During the visit your child may want to introduce the teacher to siblings, the family pets, play a simple game with the teacher, show a favorite toy or give a tour of her/his bedroom and play area(s).

Please do not go to any trouble or worry about the condition of your house; the teacher is coming to meet and get to know your child. However, the home visit is also a good time to chat briefly with the teacher. If you have more than a few questions, please let your teacher know so he/she can plan extra time for the visit.

Some tips for the home visit:

  • You can put the photograph the teacher will send your child on the refrigerator to help count down the days to the visit.
  • If you have any concerns about the teacher's visit, please feel free to call the principal at 816-936-1241.
  • Talk to your child about what he/she may want to show the teacher.
  • Select a time for the home visit when your child is at his/her best and most open to meeting new people
  • Please explain to siblings that the teacher is coming to visit and focus on her/his brother or sister and will need to spend time visiting one-on-one.

Stop By And Say Hi

Stop By And Say Hi is scheduled for the Friday before school starts from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. This is another important step in your child's transition to school, even for returning students. It is an opportunity for children and parents to visit and become (re)acquainted with the classroom, teachers, classmates and parents. Families may come at any time during the morning and stay for as long or short a time as they would like. This is the best time to bring your child's supplies and family photographs. Not only will your child be developing ownership of the classroom as he/she helps you stock the cubby with the supplies, but your child's belongings will be a welcoming and comforting sight on the first day of school, and you will be able to focus on your child rather than sorting and storing.

Daily Schedule

The following sample schedules provide age-appropriate, organized and structured days for young children. All of these elements happen in a day, but the times for each depend on what is happening in “Project Work” or the needs of the children for the day. Teachers balance small group and large group activities, as well as quiet and active times.

MORNING
8 A.M. - 1 P.M.

AFTERNOON
1 - 3 P.M.

EXTENDED DAY
3 - 6 P.M.

ARRIVAL/GREETING
NAP OR REST/BATHROOM*
STORY
CLASS MEETING
SMALL GROUP
SNACK/BATHROOM*
RESOURCE CLASS*
DISMISSAL OR DAY CONTINUES IN EXTENDED DAY (SEE EXTENDED DAY)
OUTSIDE OR MOVEMENT
UNINTERRUPTED PLAYTIME

ACTIVITY/PLAY TIME
SNACK/BATHROOM**

PICK UP
OUTSIDE


PROJECT WORK



SMALL GROUP WORK


STORY


SET-UP/LUNCH/BATHROOM**


OUTSIDE


DISMISSAL OR DAY CONTINUES IN CLASSROOM (SEE AFTERNOON)



* Resource classes: Spanish, Art Studio, Library, Music, P.E.
**Water and using the bathroom are available at all times for the children.

Arrival And Greeting

As children arrive, they follow a morning routine that typically includes greeting the teacher, putting belongings (coat, backpack, etc.) away into his/her cubby, checking in and washing hands. Parents may help their child become engaged in an activity before saying goodbye. Families are encouraged to share any applicable information that may affect the child's disposition for the day (the child went to bed late, didn't eat breakfast, mom is on a business trip this week, etc.).

Assembly Or Class Meeting

This time is spent together as a large group. The children gather together in the meeting area and the teacher may:

  • Review the day's schedule.
  • Count morning children (1 p.m.), afternoon children (3 p.m.) and Extended Day children (6 p.m.).
  • Lead a large group language, math, science or a social/emotional activity.
  • Sing songs with the children.
  • Listen as the children make a plan for where they will play and what they will do.
  • Discuss projects, ask questions and encourage children to give each other ideas.
  • Prepare KWL charts, Venn diagrams and write down the children's hypothesis for "Project Work."

Extended Day

We offer an after-school program from 3 to 6 p.m. The extended day program is a multi-age setting and is located in a room in the early childhood building. The teaching staff provides the children with age-appropriate activities, outdoor fun, arts, crafts and music. Parents need to complete the Extended Day Enrollment Forms for students to participate in this program.

    Snack Time

    Snacks are at set times in early years, and the whole group eats together. Preschool and prekindergarten snacks are open for a 45-minute time period, and children can eat when they are ready.

    Uninterrupted Play Time

    Research shows child-directed, unstructured play supports a child's social, emotional and cognitive development. Free play is important because it is the way children have been wired to learn. In order for children to reach a higher level of thinking, they need at least 90 minutes of continual play to use critical thinking skills. Because teachers have thoughtfully and carefully selected all materials for the classroom, wherever a child plays, there are opportunities to learn. The children may choose from block building, dress-up play, art, science, writing, literacy, sensory, manipulatives and music learning areas in the classrooms.

    Teachers use this time to facilitate the children’s learning as well as observe, document and assess developmental learning. Teachers use these observations to plan future activities and to select additional materials to extend learning.

    Outside And Playground

    The beautiful grounds of The Pembroke Hill School offer early childhood children a number of places to play, explore and learn about the natural world. There are three classic playgrounds (the early childhood playground, "Molly's House," and kindergarten playground) providing spaces for climbing, sliding, riding, swinging and digging. The courtyard, field hockey fields and Founders Hall Hill are additional areas where children love to run, look for bugs, play with balls and scarves, or joyfully roll down the hill. Preschool, prekindergarten and second semester early years children also visit Loose Park with the Rose Garden, duck pond and many treed and open areas.

    Small Group Time

    Small group time facilitates the development of cooperative and collaborative skills as well as supporting language development. The children work in small groups for art studio and project work.

    These small groups provide opportunities for the teacher to introduce new materials, facilitate conversations, discoveries and problem solving. The teacher serves as a model of collaboration and as a facilitator. By providing various opportunities for small group work, we send the message that cooperation and relationships are valued.

    Lunch

    Lunch time is a valuable time to teach the social graces and self-help skills.

    The children take turns setting the table using napkins, dishes, glasses and silverware. They learn to say, “Please," and "Thank you,” “Please pass,” and “No, thank you.” They also learn to hone their conversational skills with others.

    Lunch is served family-style. Eating family-style facilitates learning about healthy food choices. Everyone learns to serve themselves a little of each food at every meal. Children will try many foods with friends at school that they will not try at home. The teachers eat with the children.

    Rest/Quite Time

    Rest and naps are an important part of child development. Research suggests that physical and mental development takes place when children sleep - both at night and during the day. Additionally, children who nap have longer attention spans and tend to sleep longer and more peacefully at night. All children who stay past 1 p.m., have a 30 minute rest/quiet time. After 30 minutes, children who have not fallen asleep may select from a variety of quite time activities.

    Arrival/Dismissal

    Early Arrival

    Early Childhood Room services are from 7:30 to 7:45 a.m. All children arriving before 7:45 a.m., must be walked into the building by a parent and signed into the Early Room. Early Rooms are announced at the beginning of each school year. There is no charge for Early Room services.

    Walking Children Inside

    All children must be walked to their classroom and checked in with a teacher. The only exception to this is during morning carpool lane drop-off when early childhood adults are waiting curbside to help your child find his/her classroom. There are several options for parents walking their children into their classrooms. Always be sure your parking ID lanyard is hanging on your rear view mirror when you are parked on campus.

    • Parents who are walking their child into the classroom and quickly departing may park against the south (right) curb of the driveway or in one of the two visitor's spaces in the upper parking lot. Always enter the campus driveway in the far right lane to access these areas.
    • Before 7:45 and after 8:05, short-term parking is permitted on the right and left curbs. Cars must be moved from the left curb prior to the start of morning carpool at 7:45 a.m.

    Carpool Lane Drop-Off

    Parents dropping off in the carpool lane should enter the 51st Street driveway. Morning carpool line drop-off is 7:45 until 8:05 a.m., in the lane closest to school - the left lane when entering the campus. Please pull forward to the orange cone, which will be past the building's entrance. An early childhood staff person will help children out of their cars. The center lane is for passing and pulling away only.

    For the safety of the children:

    • Please do not leave cars parked in the pick-up/drop-off lane (7:45-8:05 a.m.) while walking a child inside.
    • Never leave a small child unattended in a car.
    • Always follow the security and school staff's safety instructions during arrival and dismissal.
    • Never leave the car running while it is unattended.

    1 p.m. Dismissal

    • Families may park in the upper parking lot and curb side (both the right and left curb) for 1 p.m. pick up.
    • Before 12:45 p.m., please pick up your child from his/her classroom.
    • After 12:45 p.m., early years, preschool, and prekindergarten children with younger siblings will be in the gated area at the front of the building. Please wait outside the gate for the teacher to walk your child to you.
    • Prekindergarten children will be on the early childhood playground. Families should use the east sidewalk to walk around the early childhood building to the playground gate where you may pick up your child. Please walk your child back to your waiting car by using the same sidewalk.
    • If you are not able to walk around the building to pick up your prekindergarten child(ren) (example: a sleeping child in the car), we will happily walk your prekindergarten student to you.
    • In the case of bad weather all students may be picked up at the front gate between 12:45 and 1 p.m.
    • After 1 p.m., your child can be picked up in the front office.
    • Please place your parking ID lanyard on your rear view mirror.

    Full-Day/Lunch Bunch Dismissal (2:45 - 3 p.m.)

    If parents only have children in the early childhood building, they should walk inside to pick them up between 2:45 and 3 p.m.

    • Be sure your parking ID lanyard is hanging from your rear view mirror.
    • Parents may park on both sides of the driveway.
    • Cars should be moved by 3 p.m.

    If coming inside is difficult, because of infants/toddlers in the car or any other reason, please contact administrative assistant Kasey Reaves to make arrangements for your child to be brought out to your car - 816-936-1372.

    Lower School/Sibling Dismissal (3:10 - 3:20 p.m.)

    Be sure your parking ID lanyard is hanging from your rear view mirror. This will help make the dismissal process move smoothly. If parents need more than one parking ID or lose it, they should notify the administrative assistant at 816-936-1372. This ID is to be used the entire year.

    Two Options

    • Park next to the curb and come inside to pick up your early childhood children between 2:45 and 3 p.m. Pick up your lower school children using the carpool lanes.
    • Use the left-hand carpool lane. Pull up to the car in front of you to "fill-in the gap." Please stay in your car. Staff will walk your child(ren) to your car and help them get settled in their car seats. You will then precede down the carpool lanes to pick up your older children at the bottom of the hill.

    Late Pick Up*

    When you arrive past the times listed below, you are considered late.

    • Morning Dismissal - no later than 1 p.m.
    • Afternoon Dismissal - no later than 3:10 p.m.
    • Extended Day Dismissal - no later than 6 p.m.
    *Please understand that young children become anxious and worried when their parents are late picking them up. The teacher will bring your child to the front office if you are late. Your school account will be charged $1 per minute, per child.

    Home Preparation

    Before leaving home, children should be fed and dressed for the weather (jacket, winter coat, hat gloves, rain gear, etc) and backpacks zipped. It is very important that parents develop a “morning goodbye ritual” in advance. This helps for a smoother arrival and drop off.

    If separation is a problem, please follow the lead and advice of our staff. They are trained to deal with these situations and have many strategies depending on the issue. Please do not use cell phones at this time.

    Separation Anxiety

    When it is time to leave, follow the “good-bye ritual” you planned and discussed with your child. A good-bye ritual is a consistent, predictable pattern that helps your child transition into the classroom each morning. This ritual may include good-bye hugs and kisses at the door or staying until your child has completed the morning check-in routine. Please be sure to say "good-bye" with a quick hug and a reassuring smile before leaving. Though it may be tempting to "sneak" away from your child in order to forego tears, your confident "good-bye" assures your child that you believe school is a good place to be and that you will never just disappear.

    If a child has separation anxiety problems, and this happens at all ages and stages, parents should listen to the teachers and remember that consistency is vital. Separation anxiety can occur when:

    • Children are younger and it takes longer for them to accept a parent leaving.
    • There are changes at home, i.e., moving to a new home, a new baby, visitors in the home for a short period, not feeling well, not getting enough sleep.

    The anxiety will pass, and it is usually harder on parents. The majority of the time, we are able to redirect the children and have them engaged in an activity before parents leave the parking area.

    Childcare Dates When School Is Closed

    We will have childcare available the following days only. *

    • Columbus Day - Oct. 9
    • Teacher In-service Day - Nov. 3
    • EY-5th Grade parent/teacher conferences - Nov. 8
    • Winter Break - Dec. 18 - Jan. 1, 2018 (No Care offered Dec. 25 or Jan. 1)
    • Martin Luther King Day - Jan. 15
    • Teacher In-service Day - Feb. 16
    • Presidents’ Day - Feb. 19
    • Spring Break - March 12-23

    Before each childcare day(s), administrative assistant Kasey Reaves, will send out an e-mail with a link where you may sign up for care. The cost is $75 per day, per child for full-day service. Parents must give a 72- hour cancellation notice or they will be charged.

    *Childcare will be available in a building to be determined. Please watch the newsletter for the location. Childcare for full days is from 7:45 a.m. until 5:45 p.m. Early dismissal days run the usual hours until 6 p.m. No childcare is available during Thanksgiving break (Nov. 23-25), the last Friday before winter break begins (Dec. 16), and the last day of school (May 26). If there are less than three children, services will have to be canceled.

    School/Classroom Events

    Assemblies

    Cultural events are planned throughout the year in Curry Theatre or Deramus Field House. Some of the dates will be on the school calendar, and others are to be announced. Prekindergarten will also attend assemblies with the lower school, when age appropriate.

    Auction

    This is a biennial event that provides important funds for our school. The event is held in the odd numbered years. This is a fundraising event for parents, extended family and friends.

    Back-To-School Open House

    Our back-to-school open house will be on Sept. 6; this evening is for parents only.

    Prekindergarten Bridging Ceremony

    Parents are invited to the Pembroke Hill Prekindergarten Bridging Ceremony on May 25. This is a joyful and sweet celebration to represent the transition from the early childhood division to the lower school division. Invitations are limited to parents in order to assure the ceremony doesn't become an intimidating and scary experience for the children. Because our desire is to keep the bridging ceremony pure and the focus on the children, please do not bring flowers, balloons or gifts to the ceremony. However, you are welcome to bring cameras, smiles and perhaps a tissue if you are prone to shed sentimental tears.

    Child Celebration/Birthdays

    Birthdays are an opportunity for the classroom community to recognize and celebrate each child as an individual. The celebration traditions are unique in each of our classroom communities, and can ever vary from year to year. Please contact your teacher in order to schedule your child's celebration. Because of food allergies, the teacher must approve snacks for the celebration. Please do not have flower arrangements or balloon bouquets delivered to school.

    Please do not distribute birthday party invitations at school. Mail them to each child's home using the school directory. Parents are encouraged to include all of the children.

    Early Childhood Council

    The PHS Parents Association sponsors the council, whose primary mission is to support the early childhood school by:

    • Recruiting and supporting parent volunteers to serve as officers for the council.
    • Recruiting and supporting parent volunteers to serve as room parents.
    • Recruiting and supporting parent coordinators for:
      • New family hospitality
      • Class parties
      • Thankful Thursdays for teachers
      • Teacher Appreciation Breakfast
      • Cultural Events for the children
      • Scheduling Fall and Spring level parent gatherings
      • Care and Concern Committee to help families in need
      • Auction volunteers

    The council discusses and plans these activities at their monthly meeting the first Thursday of every month. All officers, room parents and the principal attend the monthly meetings.

    • Meeting dates are posted on the school calendar.
    • A meeting reminder with an agenda, the time and place of the meeting will be sent home with your daily journal.
    • All parents are welcome to attend.
    • Minutes of the meeting can be found on the school website, www.pembrokehill.org.

    End-Of-The-Year Celebrations

    The early years and prekindergarten classes will have an End-Of-The-Year Celebration in May. Parents and children watch a video of their time together. Teachers will notify parents of the date and time.

    Family Conferences

    Family conferences are an important aspect of our early childhood program. This is a time for teachers and families to come together to reflect on a child’s growth and development as well as set goals to support continued learning. A detailed assessment and portfolio will be shared with the family at this time. Conferences are scheduled twice a year. School is closed on Nov. 9 for family conferences. Afternoon conferences are scheduled throughout the month of April. Families or teachers may schedule additional meetings through the school year to meet the needs of individual child and/or families

    Back-To-School BBQ

    This event is scheduled soon after school begins in the fall on the Ward Parkway campus. The barbeque is in the courtyard and is followed by an athletic competition – usually a varsity football or varsity soccer game - on the football field. All parents and children are encouraged to attend this event.

    Field Trips

    Early years generally do not take off-campus field trips other than the occasional second semester trip to Loose Park.

    Preschool and prekindergarten classes may take two or more field trips per year. We use the school vans or buses equipped with seat belts. Only faculty and staff of PHS drive the school vans; parent volunteers may follow in their cars. The children must be in the appropriate child safety seat for the trip. Parents must provide written permission for children to go on the van for a field trip. The preschool and prekindergarten classes may also take walking trips to the Plaza and post office.

    Parents, who volunteer for field trips, must make other arrangements for siblings. Total concentration on the children is a must. Parents are asked to turn off cell phones and refrain from texting while supervising children on field trips.

    Grade Level Parent Social Evenings

    These events are for parents only and are hosted by one of the parents in the classroom. There are two per year – one per semester. Room parents will send out invitations.

    Halloween Parade

    Students in preschool through second grade have a great time during our Ghost Walk in the courtyard. Preschool and prekindergarten children should arrive in their costumes. The children parade around the inside courtyard, and parents who attend encircle the outside of the sidewalks. The children stop for a group picture on the Dining Hall steps. Early years children do not participate in this event.

    Holiday Party Planning

    Party planners for each classroom must contact the teacher before making any party plans. They will be glad to help you plan an appropriate party for the age of children in the class.

    Due to the food allergies in our building, teachers must be consulted about party snacks, which must include a healthy element. Our teachers are the perfect resource for ideas concerning snacks, games and activities.

    Once the party planner and the teacher have determined a date and time, the division's administrative assistant should be contacted at 816-936-1372 so she can put it on the master calendar.

    • Please do not provide decorations or use confetti, popcorn, balloons, silly string or anything else that will be hard to clean up.
    • Please do not have flower arrangements or balloon bouquets delivered to school.
    • Surprise parties for teachers/assistants need to include notification to the school office to assure there is not a conflict with date/time of other school functions.
    • We would greatly appreciate parents making childcare arrangements for siblings on party days. The classrooms are not always safe for young children, and strollers take up space. If that is impossible, the room parent coordinator can ask the teacher to create a space in the room where the siblings can play, and parents of the children can rotate watching them and participating in the party.

    May Day

    The event is scheduled for 1:15 p.m., on May 1. Preschool and prekindergarten children participate. Early years children do not participate. All the preschool and prekindergarten children stay for lunch that day. The school will provide each child a Robin Hood costume.

    The prekindergarten children are asked to bring a bouquet of flowers to present to the May Day queen and her court. Children sit with their classes and teachers. Please notify the teacher if you wish to take your child home immediately following the event. It is imperative that you tell the teacher before leaving with your child.

    Pancake Breakfast

    This is held in March on a Saturday morning and is a great event for the entire family and extended family. Watch the calendar for the date.

    Parent Coffees

    Parent coffees are family education events which precede most monthly Early Childhood Council meetings. Our knowledgeable staff as well as guest speakers present on topics which are selected to support parenting and the understanding of our early childhood program. Past topics have included: “What is project work?” “Supporting sensory processing,” “Preparing your child for the path,” and the “Reggio Approach.” Topics are announced well in advance of each coffee.

    Parent Meetings

    Parent meetings will be held as needed to discuss project work or parent education topics.

    Picture Day

    In the fall, a photographer will take each child’s photo for the yearbook. If a child misses photo day, there will be a make-up day. Parents may choose to purchase these photos. However, every child’s photo will be included in the yearbook whether the photos are purchased or not. Each child will receive a yearbook the last week of school.

    Project Culminating Event

    Classes may have culminating events with families at the end of a project. This is a time for the children to share what they have studied and learned.

    Religious Observance Policy

    Pembroke Hill recognizes that the student body includes adherents of many faiths, and that observance of major religious holidays is an important facet of practicing one's religion. In consideration of these holidays, teachers and administrators shall be respectful when scheduling activities. While absences due to religious holidays will be excused, we kindly ask that parents notify the school at least 48 hours in advance.

    Personal Items For School

    Bookstore

    Pembroke Hill has a Bookstore on the Ward Parkway campus where parents can purchase spirit wear - T-shirts, sweats, and polo shirts with the school name and logo for children to wear on Spirit Day with jeans or shorts. The Bookstore comes to the early childhood school in the first few weeks of the year at 7:30 a.m. Watch the calendar for the exact date.

    Dressing For School

    Please dress children for play. Comfortable inexpensive clothing and tennis shoes are best. Daily classroom work includes not only using markers, paints and clay, but many other educational, but messy materials. We use mostly washable markers and paint, but we do have permanent black pens and watercolor markers. (Do not apply Spray And Wash to the clothing as this sets washable markers and paints.) Though the children are encouraged to wear smocks, it is not a guarantee that your child's clothes will stay clean. Crocs, jellies, flip flops and sandals do not stay on the children's feet and make outside play dangerous! Please always have a pair of tennis shoes for outdoor play.

    All children need to bring an extra set of clothing: underwear, pants, shirt and socks. Clothing is stored in a child's cubby above his or her coat hook. We do have accidents and spills. Please remember to put the child's first, middle and last initials on his or her clothing and bedding, in case there are duplicates.

    Classes go outside every day unless there is severe weather, "red alert" days or the wind chill temperature is below 15 degrees. Please be sure to provide appropriate outside weather clothing. At the beginning of school, stock your child's cubby with a sunhat, boots and raincoat. As the days turn cooler, be sure your child has a winter hat and mittens/gloves. Snow boots and snowsuits can either be left in your child's cubby or brought to school whenever it is cold or there is snow on the ground.

    Lost And Found

    Please mark all your child's belongings with his/her name. If an item becomes lost, you may check with the teacher and look through the lost-and-found basket in the entry hall beside the water fountain.

    Personal Space

    All children have their own cubby where they can put their coats, hats, boots and backpacks. The cubbies are labeled with names and/or pictures.

    Rain Boots And Raincoat

    We ask that each child brings a set of rain boots and a raincoat to leave at school for outdoor play.

    Rest Blankets

    Each child who stays past 1 p.m. will need a small sleeping bag labeled with his /her name for rest time. Each child has his/her own plastic covered floor mat that the school provides. Children's sleeping bags will be sent home weekly for cleaning.

    Tissues

    Each child needs to bring two boxes of soft tissues for the classroom.

    Wipes

    Children are encouraged to clean their own faces after snacks and lunch using a baby wipe. Your teacher will send home a list detailing the number of boxes to bring to school. For children who are not toilet trained, please bring in a box of wipes every other week, or per the teacher's request.


    Communication

    We are dedicated to open and honest communication with our families and students. It is important to us to hear from parents regularly. If parents have questions or concerns about our program, they should not hesitate to contact their child’s teacher or the principal. As in any school or human organization, there are times when we may disagree over policies and procedures, and we want to be sure our families understand the best way to deal with a problem or concern.

    The school encourages parents to start with their child's teacher. If they do not feel the conflict has been resolved, then they and the teacher should bring the issue to the principal. If they still cannot resolve the problem, they will discuss it with the head of school. Please understand that the school honors this organizational flow, and parents will be sent to the appropriate person.

    Absences

    Parents must contact their teacher by phone or e-mail by 8:15 a.m., so we can have an accurate count for snack and lunch. Also, please tell the teacher if a child is ill or has head lice. If the illness is contagious, we must notify the other parents as soon as possible.

    Class Communication

    Communications about the morning's activities takes many different forms, including an email with attached photographs, a daily journal, a video or a Power Point. This information is not only a wonderful way to learn about your child’s day, but will support the conversations about the school day you have with your child. Your child’s teacher will also include valuable information about the morning and upcoming events through these emails.

    Parent Information Area

    Look for the Parent Information Area located in each classroom. In this area, parents will find: our mission statement, the snack and lunch menus, the current newsletter, coming events and a copy of our assessment tool.

    Telephone Calls/Messages

    All staff members have phones and voicemail. Parents may contact the teacher by his/her direct line, through the administrative assistant or the main school number. If he/she is unavailable to talk, please leave a message and he/she will return the call as soon as possible. Teachers are generally not able to answer phones during the morning. In case of an emergency, please call administrative assistant Kasey Reaves, 816-936-1372, to relay a message to the teacher.

    Email

    Parents will receive communications from the teacher four times a week by email. Parents may also contact the teacher by email.

    If your email or any other contact information changes, please log into the Parent Portal to change any of your contact information.


    Website

    Our website is a wonderful resource for the calendar, all of our forms, holiday schedules, school events, special announcements, the Pembroke Hill School monthly Parents Newsletter and parent education articles and links.

    Social Media

    Pembroke Hill School communicates about school activities, classes and programs through several popular social media outlets.

    Facebook
    Twitter
    YouTube
    Instagram


    Health

    Allergies

    If your child has serious food or other allergies, we must be aware of that by the first day of school. Please submit a written note from the doctor describing the food allergy, its severity, and what we must do in case of exposure.

    Asthma

    If your child has asthma, please notify the teacher, complete an Asthma Action Plan and submit this to the school nurse. In order for your child to use an inhaler daily or as needed, we must have a Student Asthma Action Form signed by your child’s physician and you. Dosage change requires a written note signed by the doctor.

    Illness

    Please do not send your child to school ill. If your child was not well the night before or during the night, he/she should stay home. It is very important to have prior arrangements for days your child is ill or must be picked up early from school because of illness. By coming to school, your child may be unnecessarily exposing other children to a communicable disease. Children will be sent home if they exhibit any of the following symptoms:

    • A fever of 100 degrees or higher
    • Vomiting more than once or combined with another symptom
    • Diarrhea
    • Unknown rash or bumps
    • Mattered, red or tearing eyes
    • Sore throat, trouble swallowing
    • Headache and stiff neck
    • Severe cough to the point or choking
    • Unusual or tea colored urine
    • Infected or crusty patch of skin
    • Severe itching in case of head or body lice
    • Grey or white stools
    • Are behaving cranky or less active as usual
    • Cries or is fussy for an unusual period of time
    • Loss of appetite

    Children may return when free of the above symptoms for 24 hours or a signed note from a physician stating they are free of contagion.

    Also, if you have given your child any medication before school, you must give your child’s teacher the name of the medication, the dosage and the time it was given.

    The best defense against the spread of communicable diseases is hand washing. We teach your children proper hand washing here at school and ask that you monitor this at home and especially in public places.

    The school nurse will be available from 7:45 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., in the Mellon Building. The nurse provides medical services to students including health appraisals, health education and first aid. Thermometers are located in the classroom areas. Our staff has CPR, asthma, EpiPen, blood borne pathogen and first aid training.


    Criteria For Return To School For Head Lice

    A child in the early childhood building will not be allowed to return to school until after proper treatment and all nits are removed. Our policy is different from the lower school because, the American Academy of Pediatrics states:

    “Little information is available on the incidence and control of head lice outside of the school-aged population and outside of school. Because head lice are most readily transmitted by direct head-to-head contact, child care programs, and camps where children share sleeping quarters may allow for easier spread. Therefore, it may be prudent to establish stricter criteria than in the school-based setting for identifying and treating others in these special settings once an index case is identified.”

    Children must be nit free to return to school for several reasons.

    • Nit removal guarantees the child has been fully treated.
    • Nit removal may decrease future diagnostic confusion.
    • Nit removal may decrease the possibility of unnecessary re-treatment.

    The teacher or assistant will recheck a child’s head upon arrival at school. If nit-free, the child may stay.

    Over-The-Counter Medication

    Each family must complete the Emergency/Transportation/Medical Information Form which includes permission for dispensing of over-the-counter medication. (Log into the Parent Portal to access this form.) Over-the-counter medication dosages are determined by the age and weight of the child according to the medical package instructions. Any over-the-counter medication dosage request that exceeds guidelines will require a written doctor’s permission. These may be faxed to the nurse’s office at 816-936-1378.

    Prescription Medications

    Please send only the amount of antibiotics and daily medications to be given to your child at school. Medications must be in the original container. You may obtain an extra-labeled medication bottle from the pharmacy at the time you have the prescription filled. Any dosage change requires a note from your child’s physician. Only the appropriate dosage of medication according to the PDR recommendations will be dispensed. All medications will be placed in a locked box in the refrigerator or cabinet so they are inaccessible to children.




    Safety

    Accidents

    If your child sustains an injury at school, you will receive a copy of an accident report which includes details of the accident and the first aid/care your child received.

    Other than for minor injuries, your child’s teacher or the school nurse will call to notify you. You will always be called when the accident that involves the head or face. We will give you the school nurse’s appraisal, but want you to make the decision on how to proceed. In case of serious accident, we will call 911 immediately. Our staff is trained in CPR and first aid.

    Biting

    Biting is a natural developmental stage for many children. It is most common between 13- and 24-months of age, however young preschool children will occasionally bite. The safety of the children at the school is our primary concern. The school's biting policy addresses the actions teachers and staff will take if a biting incident occurs.

    Children bite other toddlers for many different reasons. A child might be teething or overly tired and frustrated. He or she might be experimenting or trying to get the attention of the teacher or his/her peers. Young children can be impulsive. Sometimes biting occurs for no apparent reason. The school will encourage the children to "use their words" if they become angry or frustrated. The staff members will maintain a close and constant supervision of the children at all times.

    The following steps will be taken if a biting incident occurs at our school:

    • The biting will be interrupted with a firm "No…biting hurts. It is not okay to bite people!"
    • Teachers will stay calm and will not overreact.
    • The bitten child will be comforted.
    • Teachers will remove the biter from the situation.
    • The wound of the bitten child shall be assessed and cleansed with soap and water. If it is determined that there was a blood exposure, further steps need to be taken as outlined below: "Procedure For Incidents Involving Blood Exposure."
    • The biter will be encouraged to help comfort the child who was bitten - getting an ice pack, using gentle touches, etc.
    • The teacher will talk with both children to determine the cause and then help the children problem solve. Teachers will consistently use the following phrases to help children during a conflict: "This is a safe school." "How does ______ feel?" "Use your words." "Listen to your friend's words" and "Get a teacher when you need help."
    • Teachers will shadow a child (keep the child close) after two biting incidents.
    • Confidentiality of all children involved will be maintained.
    • The parents of both children will be notified of the biting incident. The appropriate forms will be filled out (Incident Report) and sent home and to the school nurse’s office.
    • This is a developmental stage, and we do not remove children from the classroom who bite.

    Procedure For Incidents Involving Blood Exposure

    An exposure is defined as contact with blood or bodily fluids to which universal precautions apply such as:

    • An injury to the skin or mucous membranes (e.g. cut with a sharp object)
    • If it is a bite, the bitten area should continue to be observed by parents and teachers for signs of infection.

    A human bite will rarely transmit a bacterial infection if proper first aid is given. Hepatitis B and HIV can potentially be transmitted during a human bite if the skin is broken and a blood exchange occurs.

    When a bite or injury occurring in the early childhood setting involves a break in the skin and potential blood exposure, the school will follow the guidelines set forth by the Jackson County Health Department.

    Child Abuse And Neglect

    The safety of our children is of utmost importance. All staff members are trained in child abuse and neglect reporting guidelines. All PHS faculty/staff members are mandated reporters of any suspected abuse and must comply with the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect laws. PHS will report any physical or verbal abuse, and/or neglect of a child to the Missouri Department of Family Services

    Crisis Plans

    The early childhood division has developed a crisis plan for the building, which includes having crisis kits in each room. All team members receive training on implementing this plan.

    Fire And Tornado Drills

    Fire and tornado drills are scheduled monthly at various times of the day. Parents are also encouraged to practice fire and tornado drills at home. Your child may come home and discuss the drills with you. If you have concerns about your child participating or wish to know specific procedures, please contact the school principal. Evacuation routes are posted in each classroom for fire and tornado drills. We do go to the basement of our building for tornado drills.

    Outdoor Play Safety Policy

    The outdoors is the very best place for children to practice and master emerging large motor skills. Outside play supports young children’s cognitive and social development; and children develop an understanding and appreciation of nature through daily outside play. Because we value time spent outside, our students play outdoors daily when weather and air quality conditions do not pose a significant health risk. Children will not play outside when the wind chill is at or below 15 degrees F, there is an extreme heat index as identified by the National Weather Service, air quality is poor, or there is thunder/lightening.

    Children shall be protected from the sun by using shade, sun-protective clothing and sunscreen with UVB-ray and UVA-ray protection of SPF 30 or higher. We ask that parents apply sunscreen before sending children to school in the morning. Teachers will reapply sunscreen as needed. Please send sunscreen labeled with child's name in permanent marker. We will apply sunscreen to children using gloves. Sunscreen sticks are helpful for the facial area.

    In warm weather, children will be well hydrated, and encouraged to drink plenty of water. Children’s clothing in warm weather should be light colored, lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate the evaporation of sweat. Children should also wear hats, long sleeves and pants if playing outdoors between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

    When temperatures exceed 95 degrees (actual or heat index), teaches will limit outside time. When outside, teachers will be sure that children take frequent breaks in the shade and that there is water available to keep children hydrated. Teachers will remain vigilant for signs that a child is becoming over heated.

    Air quality conditions that pose a significant health risk shall be identified by announcements from local health authorities or through ozone alerts. Such air quality conditions shall require that children remain indoors where air conditioners ventilate indoor air to the outdoors. Children with respiratory health problems such as asthma shall not play outdoors when local health authorities announce that the air quality is approaching unhealthy levels.

    In cold weather, children’s clothing shall be layered and dry. Coats, hats, gloves, snow pants or suits are required if the temperature is below 20 degrees F. Caregivers shall check children’s extremities at least every 15 minutes when children are outside in cold weather.

    Severe Weather Closing

    If Pembroke Hill is closed due to inclement weather, an announcement will be made on local radio and television stations by 6:30 a.m. In the event no announcement is made, school will be in session. If in doubt, you may call the main PHS number 816-936-1200 regarding the day’s schedule. The school’s website, www.pembrokehillschool.org, will have an announcement on the front page. The school also sends an e-mail to parents and a text (to those parents for whom we have cell numbers) announcing the closing. Please remember that on busy texting days, some texts may not be delivered in a timely manner. The media announces delayed starts for school as well.

    Car Seat Safety

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that children (ages 1-3) should be kept in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat's manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.

    Your child should use a 5-point harness car seat until he/she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat's manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it's time to travel in a booster eat, but still in the back seat.

    Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly, the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it's safer there.

    Children should ride in the rear of a vehicle until they are 13-years-old.

    Security

    We take our responsibility concerning your child's safety very seriously.

    • We are ever vigilant and always remain in the appropriate ratios in and around our campus.
    • All the doors to our building are locked except at drop-off and pick-up times, when security is present.
    • All visitors must check in at the school office.
    • All our employees are screened through the Missouri Family Child Care Registry and our human resource department also runs a background check upon hire.
    • Faculty members have a cell phone with them whenever they are out of the building with children.
    • All employees have identification cards with emergency phone numbers on them.
    • Anyone picking up a child who is not part of the immediate family or pick-up routine must be listed on your child’s emergency sheet and have photo ID.
    • The school has a transportation policy that requires parental permission for students to be transported by bus to school-sponsored events.
    • Security officers are available on both campuses. A security officer is in the driveway/parking lot area during drop-off and pick-up times.
    • An adult greets the children as they arrive at drop-off, and an adult walks each student to his/her car at pick-up time.
    • We have in place a school-wide lock down procedure should a stranger enter the campus or early childhood building.

    Sign-In Procedures For Parents And Visitors

    Our doors are always locked. To enter our building, you may type in the code on the keypad to the left of the door or push the buzzer for an employee to open the door. You will be provided the code prior to the first day of school.

    Any time you come to your child’s classroom for the purpose of staying awhile, please sign in the book located in the administrative assistant's office in the front entryway. You will receive a parent/visitor tag to wear while in the building. This is the same for grandparents.

    We do have students, administrators, teachers and others who visit our school because of our Reggio reputation. All of the student teachers have been background screened, have a TB test and are given an orientation before working in our classrooms. They fully understand the NAEYC Code of Ethics and agree to abide by the code.


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