Barre City Early Education Program 2017-2018
Barre City Elementary and Middle School
50 Parkside Terrace, Barre, VT 05641 Tel 802-476-6541 Fax 802-476-1492
http://www.bcemsvt.org (School Web Address)
FOR YOUR INFORMATION:
(Click above pdf link for pages of the Pre-School Handbook)
Attention Parents of Young Children Living in Barre
3, 4 or 5 years old (and not entering kindergarten) by September 1, 2017?
Call now to apply for prekindergarten enrollment at the public schools OR
to request prekindergarten tuition reduction at prequalified prekindergarten provider.
If you live in Barre Town, please Call Betsy at 476-6617 ext 6306
If you live in Barre City, please call Linda at 478-7889
The Barre City School District is preparing for implementation of Act 166: Universal Prekindergarten as of July 1, 2016.
This law will entitle publicly-funded prekindergarten to all 3, 4 and 5-year-old children who are not entering kindergarten for 10 hours per week for 35 weeks per academic year.
The Agency of Education has developed a database of pre-qualified prekindergarten providers for families. For more information, go to: http://education.vermont.gov/act-166
Barre City Early Education Program
Barre City Elementary and Middle School
50 Parkside Terrace, Barre, VT 05641 Tel 802-476-6541 Fax 802-476-1492
Room 120 476-6541 x4120
Room 121 476-6541 x4121
Room 125 476-6617 x4125
Other Early Education Staff:
The Barre City Prekindergarten Governing Body is the School Board. Contact information is updated on the BCEMS website at: http://www.bcemsvt.org/joomla/index.php/en/about-bcems/school-board
Table of Contents
Prekindergarten Hours of Operation and Calendar 4
Typical Daily Schedule 4
Vermont Early Learning Standards 4
Child Progress 4
Educational Support 4
Emergency School Closing/Delay 5
Bus Transportation 5-6
Child Pick-up/Drop-off 6
Reporting Child Abuse 6
Family Involvement 6-7
Positive Guidance and Behavior Management 7
Learning to be Independent 8-9
Nutrition and Snacks 9
Hazing, Harassment & Bullying 9
Evacuations and Safety Drills 10
Resources for Families 11
Appendix A: USDA Nutrition Information 12-13
Appendix B: Signs and Symptoms 14-22
Welcome to the Barre City Early Education Program! Our program is a not-for-profit, state licensed Prekindergarten program located at the Barre City Elementary and Middle School. We have three classrooms located on the first floor of our school building, nearby the kindergarten classrooms. Prekindergarten students enjoy access to the school gymnasium and an outdoor space with age-appropriate playground equipment where our young children can play, explore, and discover. The Barre City Early Education Program has earned five stars in Vermont’s Step Ahead Recognition System (STARS), which means that are rated as “outstanding in all five (practice) areas.”
Philosophy: We believe that it is important for school and families to work together to make sure that preschool is a positive and enriching experience for all children. We believe that you know the most about your child and we invite you to share your knowledge with us as we put together a program that cultivates respect for each child and challenges each child to learn and grow. We believe in setting up an inclusive learning environment in which individual differences are valued. We seek to nurture self-esteem and create a love of learning through play, discovery and exploration.
Enrollment: Children whose parents or legal guardians are residents of Barre City are eligible to enter Prekindergarten at the beginning of the school year provided they have reached the age of three (3) on or before August 31st of that year. There is often a wait list and we will work to invite your child to attend as quickly as we are able.
Children whose parents or legal guardians are residents of Barre City are eligible to enter kindergarten at the beginning of the school year provided they have reached the age of five (5) on or before August 31st of that year.
The enrollment process is completed with our school registrar. After all registration paperwork (including proof of residency, immunizations, and official birth certificate) has been submitted, your child’s teacher will be in contact with you to confirm your child’s start date.
Orientation: Our process for entering the Prekindergarten program allows for a gradual start so that everyone becomes familiar with the program. This process usually begins in the spring with Prekindergarten Open House. In August, a “Meet-n-Greet” offers a visit to your child’s classroom. When school begins, half of the class starts on one day and the other half starts the next day. This smaller group size allows children and staff time to get to know each other before the full group attends. We encourage families to visit our library and playground, to help your child become familiar with the school building and outdoor areas.
When children enroll after the start of the year, a visit to the classroom with a parent/guardian is scheduled. The child is invited to attend 2-3 days in a week before attending the full week program thereafter.
Prekindergarten Hours of Operation and Calendar: The Barre City Prekindergarten program follows the Barre City Elementary & Middle School calendar except for the start of the year and during family-teacher conferences. Please see the Prekindergarten newsletters or blog from your child’s teacher for additional dates the program is closed.
The Barre City Prekindergarten program’s hours of operation are as follows:
Morning Session: Monday – Friday 8:30-11:15am
Afternoon Session: Monday – Friday 12:30-3:15pm
The Prekindergarten staff will be involved in planning, preparation and meetings outside of class times. Caregivers may not drop off children prior to the session start time and must pick up children promptly at the end of each session unless your child is riding the bus. Caregivers who are dropping off must remain with their child until they are united with their classroom teacher. If you arrived after buses have departed, you must sign in at the front office and walk your child to their classroom. At the end of the session, after signing into the building, parents must obtain a pass from the office in order to pick up their child from the classroom or at the bus circle. When the afternoon session ends, children are picked up in the cafeteria.
Typical Daily Schedule: Each day, your child will have choice time, teacher-directed time, physical activity (through physical education or outside play), meeting/circle, and a snack/meal. Please see your child’s teacher for more specific information about the classroom schedule.
Vermont Early Learning Standards: Our curriculum is based on the Vermont Early Learning Standards (VELS), which emphasize the importance of learning through play and exploration. We have copies of the standards on hand and the Agency of Education has additional information on the internet. You can learn more about the VELS at: http://education.vermont.gov/early-education/early-learning-standards
Child Progress: We use a tool called Teaching Strategies GOLD® to track your child’s progress. With this information, teachers are able to guide students’ learning by planning engaging experiences that are responsive to individual and group needs. Teachers will discuss your child’s progress during family-teacher conference times, which are offered twice per year. You may request a meeting with your child’s teacher at any time to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.
Educational Support: The Early Education team is committed to a comprehensive system of educational services that will result in all children succeeding in the classroom. Your child’s teacher may discuss additional supports and services, instructional strategies or accommodations if there are concerns. Additionally, your child’s teacher is available should you have any concerns.
Attendance: We believe that attendance is directly related to school readiness and provides children with a sense of security through consistency. Therefore, it is our expectation that every child will attend school every day unless s/he is ill.
- For safety purposes, families should call the school by 8:00am if their child is going to be absent. If you do not contact the school, the office will verify the absence by a telephone call to the home, work or childcare provider that morning.
- Families of children with excessive absences can expect the following:
- The classroom teacher will call the family of any child who is absent for an extended period of time (5 or more consecutive or accumulated days). Together, the family and teacher will discuss the plan to return to school and improve attendance.
- A child who is absent 10 days or more will be sent a letter asking if school enrollment continues to be a family priority and how to develop strategies to improve attendance.
- A child who is absent 20 days or more will be asked to attend a meeting with their child’s teacher to develop a plan to improve attendance.
- Families are encouraged to contact their child’s teacher or the nurse if they have a concern or need help supporting their child’s attendance at school.
Prekindergarten children who arrive after the buses are unloaded are tardy. Families with children who are late must report to the school office before bringing their child to the classroom. The office will issue an admittance/tardy slip, indicating the arrival time. This slip must be presented to the classroom teacher. A pattern of tardiness will be addressed by the child’s team.
Emergency School Closing/Delay: Any school closing or delay due to inclement weather will be broadcast on the following radio and TV stations: WSNO at 1450 AM, WSKI at 1240 AM, WDEV at 550 AM, WEZF at 92.9 FM, WCVR at 102.1 FM, WWFY at 100.9 FM as well as on WCAX television station. In addition, the Barre Supervisory Union has adopted an electronic notification system whereby families will be notified of such events as school closings, and other emergencies as deemed appropriate by school administration. Success of this program is completely dependent on accurate and updated contact information provided to the school by families. You may also check the website listed below for up-to-date closing information: corp.sover.net/schoolclosings.
Delay or Early Closure: In the event of an emergency school delay the morning Prekindergarten sessions will be canceled. In the event of an early release the afternoon Prekindergarten session will be canceled.
Bus Transportation: The Barre City Prekindergarten program provides bus transportation for all Prekindergarten students within Barre City limits, providing that your requested stop is approved by the Transportation Coordinator. All children will be assigned a bus to and from school. For your child’s safety, we need your help to keep your child's transportation plans consistent because the short sessions in Prekindergarten make it difficult to accommodate inconsistent changes. If your transportation needs change on a given day, you may need to drop your child off or pick your child up at school. Please speak with your child’s teacher if you need help making a consistent plan. If you will be picking up your child instead of having him/her ride the bus, you will need to contact your child’s teacher by 10:00 for the morning session and 2:30 for the afternoon session. Be sure to speak with someone directly regarding transportation changes; do not leave a voicemail message.
When you registered your child, you provided Barre City Prekindergarten staff with names and identifying information of people who are authorized to pick up your child from school/bus stop. There must be an authorized adult waiting at the bus stop for your child in order for your child to be allowed off the bus. Only those people listed will be allowed to pick up your child. For the safety of your child we will ask to see identification from the pick-up person.
If any individual is legally denied access to your child, a current court order must be on file at school. We will not release a child to anyone other than a parent or guardian unless we have written authorization to do so at that time. We ask for your cooperation and understanding in this matter to ensure the safety of your child.
Child Pick Up/Drop Off: If you transport your child to the program, you will be required to sign in/out at the main office and get a visitor’s badge before coming to the classroom. Your child must be walked down to the Prekindergarten by an adult. Per state licensing regulations, an adult will also need to sign children in and out of the Prekindergarten classroom. You may access the Prekindergarten program at any time and will be asked to follow all safety procedures. A sign-in/out sheet will be provided by your child’s teacher.
In you have an emergency and call to have your child picked up by someone who is not listed on your pre-approved contact list, we will ask you to confirm your identity as well as the identity of the person being asked to pick up your child. The person picking up will asked to show her/his photo identification. Please understand that the reason for this is your child’s safety.
Confidentiality: Please be assured that any personal information relating to your child/family shall remain in confidence and shall only be released by written consent of those involved. In order to protect the confidentiality of each child, please do not take pictures of any child except for your own.
Reporting Child Abuse: Vermont law requires all Barre City Elementary and Middle School staff report any suspected incidents of child abuse and/or neglect to the Department for Children and Families within 24 hours of receiving a report of abuse/neglect or a suspicion of abuse/neglect. For more information, please see the Barre Supervisory Union’s policy titled Child Abuse & Neglect Reporting Policy CODE: JLF.
Communication: We emphasize the importance of communication between parents, families, teachers and children. The Home/School Folder is one of the primary modes of communication that is used in our program. Each child will have a folder and journal that travels between school and home. At school, any notes about your child and updates about his or her learning will be placed in this folder. Families can also use the folder or email to tell us about what is happening at home or communicate any questions or concerns. Please feel free to call the teaching staff in your child’s classroom if you have an immediate concern. All families will be offered at least two Parent/Teacher conferences, one in the fall and another in the spring.
Family Involvement: When families are involved in their children’s lives, they experience an increase of confidence in themselves and in their child's educational program. There are many ways for families to take part in their child’s Prekindergarten program, such as:
- Families are welcome to visit their child’s Prekindergarten class at any time.
- Families are welcomed as classroom volunteers to help the Prekindergarten staff with daily activities.
- Families are encouraged to share their special expertise/talent with their child’s group (i.e. crafts, cooking, specialized knowledge).
- Families can help gather and prepare materials for projects and activities. This can be done in the Prekindergarten classroom or at home.
- Families are encouraged to attend and participate in activities being sponsored by the community. Please check your child’s folder for information on these events.
NOTE: State law requires a background check for all individuals who volunteer in the program.
Positive Guidance and Behavior Management: In Prekindergarten, we emphasize and teach age-appropriate social skills and behaviors to all children. Each staff member establishes a positive, supportive relationship with each child and provides children with good role models of appropriate behavior. Clear, consistent behavioral expectations are established including being kind to each other and being respectful of others and of the environment. The Prekindergarten staff use a variety of ways to help young children learn self-control, independence, and cooperation. Some of these strategies include:
- Redirection, encouragement and reinforcing appropriate behaviors
- Providing acceptable outlets for some inappropriate behaviors.
- Allowing children to make choices within the behavioral guidelines.
- Modifying the environment to minimize potential conflicts and to promote learning.
- Guiding and assisting children in learning ways to solve problems/conflicts themselves i.e. using their words (talking), changing materials or moving to another space.
- “Take a break” allows children to calm themselves in a safe manner. This might look like a child doing a quiet activity at a table, reading a book or sitting quietly away from the group.
If a child exhibits a challenge with behavior, the following steps are taken:
- The teacher talks with the child about the problem behavior, why it is a problem.
- The teacher then offers alternative behaviors, strategies, materials, and gives the child choices within the behavioral guidelines.
- The teacher observes, assesses the child, the group and the environment and makes changes accordingly.
- The teacher discusses the situation with the child’s family via telephone call or note home (or both).
If a student’s behavior becomes unmanageable and threatens his or her safety, the well-being of others, or is destructive toward property, a safe space will be utilized in accordance with techniques by personnel trained in state-approved physical intervention techniques (“Handle with Care”). Please see the BCEMS Student Handbook for more detailed information.
Health: Your Prekindergarten child should come to school in good health and be fully able to participate in all activities, including outdoor play. Any Prekindergarten student who is ill or injured may be dismissed through the Nurse’s Office. The school nurse will notify families of the child’s illness/injury and if required, dismissal should occur as soon as possible. Appendix B is a complete list of common signs and symptoms of infectious diseases, as well as those illness which require children to be “excluded” from the group, which means they cannot attend Prekindergarten. Children will be excluded from the program if they have:
- a cold that results in behavior change, child looks/acts very ill, is having difficulty breathing, has red or purple rash;
- a cough that is severe, results in rapid or difficult breathing, are wheezing, or skin appears blue,
- diarrhea and the stool is not contained in the diaper; is causing accidents; exceeds more than twice above normal for the child; contains blood/mucus; is abnormal color; no urine output in 8 hours; child is jaundice; child has fever with behavior change or looks/acts very ill.
- difficult or noisy breathing that is accompanied by behavior changes, or the child looks/acts very ill or is having difficulty breathing; has blood red or purple rash,
- an earache that makes them unable to participate or limits the staffs’ ability to care for other children or have a fever with behavior change,
- a fever with behavior change or child is unable to participate or limits the staffs’ ability to care for other children Please do not send your child to school if he/she has or had fever over 100.0℉ within the past 24 hours. Your child may return to school when they have been symptom free for 24hrs without medications or with a doctor's note.
- a headache and the child is unable to participate,
- itching due to chickenpox, scabies and impetigo; NOTE: you will receive a note if your child has lice or ringworm, and you should seek treatment before having your child return to school,
- mouth sores that result in steady drooling,
- a rash with behavior changes or fever; is oozing/open wound; has bruising, has joint pain; child is unable to participate; or tender/red skin increasing in size or tenderness,
- sore throat that causes inability to swallow; excessive drooling with difficulty breathing; fever with behavioral change,
- a stomach ache with severe pain causing child to double over or scream; abdominal pain after surgery; bloody/black stools; no urine output for 8 hours; diarrhea; yellow skin/eyes; fever with behavior change or child looks/acts very ill.
Please note that you will receive a notice from the school nurse if your child has been exposed to a reportable communicable disease.
Injuries/Accidents: In the event of an accident or injury, first aid will be administered by the classroom teacher or school nurse. The nurse or teacher will complete an accident report. If the injury is minor, you will be notified at the end of the day through the accident report. If there is a serious accident, you or the emergency contact will be called immediately and appropriate emergency care will be sought. If warranted, emergency medical services will be called or your child will be transported to emergency care. For any injury that requires a visit to a medical or dental professional, a copy of the accident report will be sent to Child Care Licensing within two (2) working days.
Wellness: All students must be in compliance with state immunization requirements and annual well child exams. BCEMS must have a copy of these medical services on file. Please provide the school nurse with any updates changes in your child’s health information, such as an updated annual exam, new immunizations, medications, or allergies. If you have questions regarding your child's health and attendance please call the school nurse at 476-6617 x6196.
The Prekindergarten program does not allow hand sanitizer to be carried with your child. Accidents can happen, including children spilling the bottles on the bus. Children are required to wash their hands upon arrival, after using the bathroom, before/after eating and after blowing their noses.
Your child’s 2 ½ hour daily program will include outside play (except when the temperature is below 10 degrees, factoring in the wind chill). If you choose to use sunblock, we ask that you apply this at home. If you want reapplication at school, please send in a labeled bottle with your signature and written directions of when you want the sunscreen applied (for example: “during the fall and spring months”). This permission must be updated annually. Children are not permitted to apply sunscreen independently. Please note that aerosol sprays are not permitted in the Prekindergarten program.
Smoking is not permitted on school grounds.
Learning to be Independent: Independence is an important concept for children and each child develops at his/her own pace. We will make every effort to partner with families on the toilet training process. When your child comes to school wearing a diaper, we will check it at least every two hours. It’s common for three-year-olds to use the toilet with some assistance for clothing and wiping. It’s common for four-year-olds to use the bathroom completely on their own and they may start requesting privacy. When your child uses the bathroom independently, we will offer time, space and privacy throughout the day. Your child’s confidence will grow as s/he becomes successful and independent in self-care such as dressing, toileting, washing hands, and eating. Prekindergarten staff are committed promoting independence in the school setting so please communicate any specific requests with us. Please note: if your child wears diapers or pull-ups, you must supply diapers/pull-ups AND wipes.
Nutrition and Snacks: Both sessions provide children with a meal at no cost. Milk will be provided to all students at no cost. If you would prefer to send a meal for your child, you are welcome to do so. When you send food to school with your child, please be sure to follow the school’s wellness policy outlined in the BCEMS Parent/Student Handbook. Please be sure to prepare the meal in the way your child is used to (for example, if you cut up grapes at home, please send them to school cut up). We will encourage children to serve and feed themselves. Children are not allowed to bring candy to school. If your child is sent to school with candy, the candy will be sent back home.
Hazing, Harassment & Bullying: BCEMS is committed to providing all of its students with a safe and supportive school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with respect. For more information, please see the Barre Supervisory Union’s policy titled “Policy on the Prevention of Harassment, Hazing and Bullying of Students“ CODE: F20.
Medication Policy: The Barre City Middle and Elementary School medication policy requires the use of a written physician’s order for school administration of prescription medication; also a written permission from a parent/guardian to have the medication administered in school. The permission form and detailed prescription medication procedure are included in the Parent/Student Handbook. The following information that must be provided: name & date of birth of the child, any medication allergies, name of medication and dosage as well as administration schedule and route (mouth, nose, inhalation), reason for medication, stare and end dates of medication and any special instructions.
If non-prescription medication is to be used during school hours, the school nurse must be notified and a written permission with instructions for administration from the parent/guardian must accompany the medications. Medications may not be transported to school by your child.
For further information regarding health concerns, refer to the Parent/Student Handbook.
Technology: You may see a Smart Board or use of a computer or tablet in some of the classrooms. Tablets are sometimes used to take pictures and/or to record child progress. The use of Smart Boards and computers (screens) will be limited to developmentally appropriate and educationally relevant and will be supervised by teaching staff. Children who use assistive technology as part of their Individual Education Plan will have consistent access to their devices.
Clothing: Prekindergarten children go outside and get messy regularly. Please make sure your child is appropriately dressed, including safe and comfortable shoes (not flip flops or shoes with high heels). Our Vermont winters require proper outerwear- hat, mittens, snowsuit and boots. Please mark all clothing and boots with your child’s name or initials. You must provide an extra set of clothing (include shirt, pants, underwear and socks) to be kept at school or in their backpacks as we are required to have this on hand. As children grow and the seasons change, the change of clothes may need to change. Please check your child’s extra set of clothing periodically and replace items as necessary.
Evacuations and Safety Drills: Your child will be participating in different kinds of evacuations and safety drills each month during the school year. Prekindergarten staff will follow school procedures for these drills. We will notify you after a drill occurs. Please remember that these drills happen without warning. Children do not have time to get a coat or to change into safe walking shoes. It is imperative that children are dressed appropriately and are wearing shoes that are secure on their feet. If your child is wearing flips flops or dress shoes with a heel, they will be uncomfortable and possibly unsafe. When we evacuate, the entire school walks in several single file lines and it is nearly impossible to stop to adjust footwear in a safe manner. If you need help with clothing or footwear, please let your child’s teacher know. We may be able help. Thank you for helping us keep your child safe.
Concerns: Should you have questions or concerns about the program, about school procedures, or if you need assistance regarding your child, please talk with your child’s Prekindergarten teacher or special educator. Should further assistance be needed please contact the Early Education Director. We are interested in knowing your thoughts, questions, concerns, and suggestions.
for taking the time to review this information and
for your commitment to your child’s education!
Resources for families
The staff at Barre City is available to help and support families with information and resources about child development, behavior, and other concerns. The Prekindergarten program does have a small lending library available with books pertaining to child development and parenting. If you would like to check out one of these books, please let your child’s teacher know.
Vermont 2-1-1 is the number to dial to find out about hundreds of important community resources, like emergency food and shelter, disability services, counseling, senior services, health care, child care, drug and alcohol programs, legal assistance, transportation agencies, educational and volunteer opportunities, and much more. www.vermont211.org
- 2-1-1 is not an emergency number like 9-1-1, nor is it directory assistance like 4-1-1
- 2-1-1 is your first step toward solving everyday problems or when you are facing difficult times.
- It’s a free service. It’s confidential. It’s 24/7.
Vt. Agency of Human Services
The Family Center of Washington County
383 Sherwood Drive
Montpelier, VT 05602
Child Care Referral line: 262-3292 x122, or toll-free 1-877-705-9008
Children with Special Health Needs/Child Development Clinic
Vermont Department of Health
108 Cherry St, PO Box 70
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 863-7338 or 1-800-660-4427
Capstone Community Action Head Start
Washington County Mental Health
Child Development Division
Department for Children and Families
103 South Main St
2 & 3 North
Waterbury, Vt 05671-5500
Child Care Consumer Line: 1-800-649-2642 or 802-769-6152