July 10, 2015

2015-2016

East Buchanan

Community Preschool

Program Policies and Procedures

East Buchanan Community School

414 5th Street North

Winthrop, Iowa 50682

(319) 935-3660 Elementary Office

Preschool Policies and Procedures

Table of Contents

  1.         Welcome to East Buchanan Community Preschool

  1.         Mission, Philosophy, and Goals for Children and Families

  1.         Enrollment

  1.         A Child’s Day

  1.         Communication with Families

  1.         Family Involvement

  1. Health and Safety

  1. Staff

East Buchanan Community Preschool

Program Policies and Procedures

  1. WELCOME TO EAST BUCHANAN COMMUNITY PRESCHOOL    QPPS 10.1

East Buchanan Community School was awarded the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program Grant in 2007 as a result of the Preschool Advisory Committee’s dedicated work.  The program’s goal is to provide a high quality preschool program meeting each child’s needs, including children with disabilities and those from a diverse background.  The preschool provides a rich learning environment that encourages children’s natural curiosity and supports them to take risks that lead to new skill development.  It is a setting where children feel safe, respected, and cared for.  This is an opportunity for all three, four, and five year old children to take part in planned, active learning experiences to build their readiness skills.  The preschool program has adopted and meets the Iowa Quality Preschool Program Standards, administered by the Iowa Department of Education.  The Iowa Early Learning Standards are used to guide expectations for the children and instructional practices.

  1. MISSION, PHILOSOPHY, AND GOALS     QPPS 10.1

Mission: 

The mission of East Buchanan Community School District, To challenge students to think critically, communicate effectively, develop values, and contribute to society.

East Buchanan Preschool Mission Statement:

The mission of the East Buchanan Preschool is to ensure that the East Buchanan Preschool provides our children with a solid educational foundation to prepare them or their future.  Our mission will be accomplished through working in partnership with parents, school staff,  the Iowa Department of Education, Head Start, AEA 267, Kids’ Corner, and the community and students themselves.  

PreK-6th Grade School Philosophy of Education:

We believe:

Goals for Children:

Goals for Families:

  1.         ENROLLMENT

Equal Educational Opportunity

It is the policy of the East Buchanan Community School District not to illegally discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment) marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its employment practices.  

There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination.  Individuals shall use the policy complaint form for policy number 102.E1. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact the district’s Equity Coordinator, Travis Schueller, Principal, East Buchanan Community School, 414 5th St. N., Winthrop, IA 50682, 319-935-3767, tschueller@east-buc.k12.ia.us.

Eligibility

Children must be four years of age prior to September 15th for the 4/5 year old program and 3 years of age for the 3 year old program of the current school year.  Pre-registration will begin in the spring of the year.  Registration materials are available from the elementary secretary.  Final registration will occur in the fall.

Hours

Morning 3 year old classroom                                        8:00 – 11:15

½ Day 4/5 year old classroom (part of all day program)                8:00 – 11:15  

All Day 4/5 year old classroom                                        8:00 – 3:15

(Lunch served approximately from 11:30 am - Noon)

** Depending on numbers for 4/5 year old classroom, the ½ day may be a separate classroom offered in the afternoon from 12:00- 3:30.

General Information                QPPS 5.1  10.4

Within six weeks after a child begins the program, health records that document the dates of service shall be submitted that show the child is current for routine screening tests and immunizations according to the schedule recommended and published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The maximum class size is 20 children in each session based on square footage of the current location.  A teaching staff-child ratio of at least 1:10 will be maintained at all times to encourage adult-child interactions and promote activity among children.  The elementary principal will maintain a current list of available substitutes for both the teacher and teacher assistant.  Should one of the teaching staff need to temporarily leave the room, the teacher will call the elementary office and the principal will arrange for coverage of the classroom to maintain the staff-child ratio.   QPPS 10.4

Inclusion

The preschool program provides all children, including those with disabilities and unique learning needs.  Modifications are made in the environment and staffing patterns in order to include children with special needs.  Staff is aware of the identified needs of individual children and are trained to follow through on specific intervention plans.  It is our belief that inclusion in our program will enrich the experience for teachers, students, other children and their families.  The preschool facilities meet the Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility requirements.   QPPS 9.10

IV.        A CHILD’S DAY

Who Works In The Preschool        QPPS 10.2

Program Administrator             The elementary principal is designated as the program administrator supervising the preschool program.  The principal meets all qualifications described in the Iowa Quality Preschool Program Standards.  

Teacher     A full-time teacher licensed by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners and holding an early childhood endorsement is assigned to the 4/5 year old preschool classroom. QPPS 6.3

The 3 year old classroom is instructed by a lead teacher with a two year degree in Child Development.    

Teacher Assistant 

A full time teacher assistant in the classroom carries out activities under the supervision of the teacher.  The teacher assistant will have specialized training in early childhood education.     QPPS 6.4

School Nurse

The preschool will have the assistance of the school nurse.  The current nurse is employed part time, is a certified RN, and is recertified every three years. She maintains student health records by updating them quarterly, and attends to the health needs of the students while they are at school.  She is available for parent consultation when necessary.          QPPS 10.10

Support Staff 

 AEA 267 support staff provide resources and assistance to the teacher and classroom upon request to help all children be successful in the preschool setting. Such staff may include: early childhood special needs teacher, early childhood consultant, speech and language pathologist, social worker, occupational therapist, physical therapist or others.

Daily Activities

A consistent daily schedule is planned to offer a balance of learning activities.  Learning is both formal and informal.  Play is planned for every day.  Listening is balanced with talking, group activities with solitary time, indoors with outdoors, quiet play with noisy play.  Your child will have the opportunity for the following types of activities every day:

Lesson plans for each week are posted in the classroom showing how these activities are incorporated into the daily schedule.  Weekly notes will be sent home to families in children’s backpacks and electronically, if parents desire.  

Curriculum   QPPS 2.1 - 2.3

Curriculum is a framework for learning opportunities and experiences.  It is a process by which learners obtain knowledge and understanding, while developing life skills.  It is continually revised and evaluated to make learning fun and exciting.

It is the policy of this district that the curriculum content and instructional materials utilized reflect the cultural and racial diversity present in the United States and the variety of careers, roles, and life styles open to women as well as men in our society.  One of the objectives of the total curriculum and teaching strategies is to reduce stereotyping and to eliminate bias on the basis of sex, race, ethnic origin, religion, and physical disability.  The curriculum should foster respect and appreciation for the cultural diversity found in our country and an awareness of the rights, duties, and responsibilities of each individual as a member of a multicultural nonsexist society.                QPPS 1.7

The preschool program uses Creative Curriculum, a research and evidence based comprehensive curriculum designed for three and four-year-olds.  It addresses all areas of early learning:  language and literacy, math, science, physical skills, and social skills.  It is based on thematic units familiar and meaningful to young children such as Homes and Families, Animals, Five Senses, Transportation, and the Farm.  It provides children an opportunity to learn in a variety of ways - through play, problem solving, movement, art, music, drawing and writing, listening, and storytelling.  Suggestions for modifications and adaptations are an integral part of the curriculum.    QPPS 2.1, 2.2

Child Assessment                QPPS 4.1, 4.2

Guiding principles:

It is the school district’s belief that assessment of young children should be purposeful, developmentally appropriate, and take place in the natural setting by familiar adults.  The results will be used for planning experiences for the children and to guide instruction.  Assessment will never be used to label children or to include or exclude them from a program.  A family’s culture and a child’s experiences outside the school setting are recognized as being an important piece of the child’s growth and development.  All results will be kept confidential, placed in each child’s file, and stored in a secure filing cabinet.  

Children are assessed in the following ways:

The information from the above is used in the following ways:

Assessment information will be shared formally with families during Parent Teacher Conferences in the fall and spring.  In addition, the Teaching Strategies Gold Parent/Teacher conference form in the fall, winter and spring will be sent home at the end of the first trimester.  The preschool teacher will communicate weekly regarding children’s activities and developmental milestones.  Informal conferences are always welcome and can be requested at any time.

If, through observation or information on the Teaching Strategies Gold Parent/Teacher conference form, the teacher feels that there is a possible issue related to a developmental delay or other special need, she/he will communicate this to the family as concern arises, sharing documentation of the concern.  Suggestions for next steps may include the following, with the knowledge and consent of the parents:

The preschool teacher would assist in arranging for developmental screening and referral for diagnostic assessment when indicated.    QPPS 7.4

If a child is determined to need special accommodations, those accommodations are included in the materials, environment, and lesson plans for that child.  Examples include sign language and visuals for children with hearing impairments or language delays and behavior plans for children whose behavior does not respond to the typical strategies used by teaching staff in the classroom.

Program Assessment

East Buchanan Community Preschool implements the Iowa Quality Preschool Program Standards.  The East Buchanan Preschool was verified on site and confirmed that we have met these standards in April 2010 and 2012 and 2014.  The Preschool has a QRS 5 rating.  Administrators, families, staff, and other routinely participating adults will be involved annually in a program evaluation that measures progress toward the program's goals and objectives.  The annual evaluation process includes gathering evidence on all areas of program functioning, including policies and procedures, program quality, children's progress and learning, family involvement and satisfaction, and community awareness and satisfaction.  A report of the annual evaluation findings is shared with families, staff, and appropriate advisory and governance boards. The program uses this information to plan professional development and program quality-improvement activities as well as to improve operations and policies.

 

Supervision Policy   QPPS 3.9, 9.2

Before children arrive at school, the preschool teacher will complete the following daily safety checklist indoor and outdoor:

No child will be left unsupervised while attending preschool.  Staff will supervise primarily by sight.  Supervision for short intervals by sound is permissible as long as teachers check every two to three minutes on children who are out-of-sight (e.g. those who can use the toilet independently, who are in the library area, etc.)

Child Guidance and Discipline         (QPPS 1.11)

Teaching staff will equitably use positive guidance, redirection, planning ahead to prevent problems.  They will encourage appropriate behavior through the use of consistent clear rules, and involving children in problem solving to foster the child’s own ability to become self disciplined.  Where the child understands words, discipline will be explained to the child before and at the time of any disciplinary action.  Teaching staff will encourage children to respect other people, to be fair, respect, property and learn to be responsible for their actions.  Teaching staff will use discipline that is consistent, clear, and understandable to the child.  They will help children learn to persist when frustrated, play cooperatively with other children, use language to communicate needs, and learn turn taking.  

Challenging Behavior          (QPPS 1.2, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10)

The teaching staff in the preschool is highly trained, responsive, respectful, and purposeful.  The teachers anticipate and take steps to prevent potential challenging behaviors.  They evaluate and change their responses based on individual needs.  When children have challenging behaviors teachers promote pro-social behavior by:

Teaching staff will guide children to develop self-control and orderly conduct in relationship to peers and adults.  Children will be taught social, communication, and emotional regulation skills.  If a child displays persistent, serious, and challenging behavior, the teaching staff, parents, and AEA support staff will work as a team to develop and implement an individualized plan that supports the child’s inclusion and success.

Aggressive physical behavior toward staff or children is unacceptable.  Teaching staff will intervene immediately when a child become physically aggressive to protect all of the children and encourage more acceptable behavior.

Permissible Methods of Discipline:

For acts of aggression and fighting (biting, scratching, hitting) staff will set appropriate expectations for children and guide them in solving problems.  This positive guidance will be the usual technique for managing children with challenging behaviors rather than punishing them for having problems they have not yet learned to solve.  In addition, staff may: (1) Separate the children involved; (2) Immediately comfort the individual who was injured; (3) Care for any injury suffered by the victim involved in the incident.; (4) Notify parents or legal guardians of children involved in the incident; (5) Review the adequacy of the teaching staff supervision, appropriateness of program activities, and administrative corrective action is there is a recurrence.

Prohibited Practices

The program does not, and will not, employ any of the following disciplinary procedures:

  1. harsh or abusive tone of voice with the children nor make threats or derogatory remarks.
  2. physical punishment, including spanking, hitting, shaking, or grabbing.
  3. any punishment that would humiliate, frighten, or subject a child to neglect.
  4. withhold nor threaten to withhold food as a form of discipline.

Water activities           QPPS 5.9, 9.15

We have a water table in the classroom for children to stand and play with their hands in the water.  During water play children are involved in active experiences with science and math concepts.  Children with sores on their hands are not allowed to participate with others in the water table to ensure that no infectious diseases are spread.  Children are not allowed to drink the water during water play activities.  When the activity period is complete, the water table is drained and refilled with fresh water before a new group of children comes to participate.  Outdoor water play is limited to tubs and buckets or containers as well as the water table.  We do not participate in swimming pool activities.  Staff supervises all children by sight and sound in all areas with access to water in tubs, buckets, and water tables.

Snacks/Foods and Nutrition  (QPPS 5.12- 5.21)

Attitudes about food develop early in life.  The food children eat affects their well-being, their physical growth, their ability to learn, and their overall behavior.  We have an opportunity to help children learn about foods, to enjoy a variety of foods from their own culture and others, and to help them begin to appreciate that their bodies need to be strong, flexible, and healthy.  Eating moderately, eating a variety of foods, and eating in a relaxed atmosphere are healthy habits for young children to form.

Children may choose to have breakfast before class begins through the East Buchanan CSD lunch program. A snack will be served in the morning and afternoon. Two food groups will be represented at each snack time as outlined in USDA guidelines.  All menus are kept on file for review by a program consultant.  The preschool serves a wide variety of nutritional snacks, and encourages children to expand their tastes by at least trying a portion of the food offered.

All food is prepared, served, and stored in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) guidelines.  Clean, sanitary drinking water is made available to children throughout the day.  Staff discards any foods with expired dates.  Foods that are hotter than 110 degrees Fahrenheit are kept out of children’s reach.  Foods requiring refrigeration will be kept cold until served.

For each child with special health care needs, food allergies, or special nutrition needs, the child’s health care provider should provide the program in individualized care plan prepared in consultation with family members and specialist involved in the child’s care.  Children with food allergies shall be protected from contact with the problem food. (i.e. nut allergy)  With family consent, the program posts information about the child’s allergies in the food preparation area and in areas of the facility the child uses to serve as a visual reminder to all adults who interact with the child during the day.  Program staff will keep a daily record documenting the type and quantity of food a child consumes when any child with a disability has special feeding needs and provide parents with that information.

High-risk foods, often involved in choking incidents, will not be served.  For children younger than four years, these include hotdogs, whole or sliced into rounds; whole grapes; nuts; popcorn; raw peas and hard pretzels; spoonfuls of peanut butter; or chunks of raw carrots or meat larger than can be swallowed whole.

Due to allergies to nuts, all snacks/foods will be examined prior to serving to children to make sure they have not been processed in a factory that processes nuts.

The school district does not use foods or beverages as rewards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages as a punishment, nor will teaching staff ever threaten to withhold food as a form of discipline.  

Life Threatening Allergies – (Example – Nut allergy) / Medical Alerts (Example – Seizures) Awareness

The East Buchanan Community School has recognized that students with life threatening allergies/Medical Alerts attend our school.  In saying this – the district will maintain a system-wide emergency plan for addressing these potential life threatening allergic reactions or medical alerts and maintain an Individual Emergency Medical Plan (IEMP) for any student(s) whose parents/guardians, and physicians have informed the administration of the school in writing that the student(s) has a potentially life threatening allergy or medical condition.  Further, the district will utilize procedures to minimize the chance of a child experiencing a potential life threatening allergic reaction/medical alert. These procedures will be presented to all staff (PK-12) during our all staff in service at the beginning of each school year.

Procedure for Implementing Life-Threatening Allergy/Medical Alerts Awareness

The administration/school nurse/guidance, will be responsible for notifying teachers, classroom associates, and parents of students in classrooms where one or more students have a life-threatening allergy. (The allergy must be clearly documented by the primary care physician or a board certified allergist.) Notification will include an explanation of the severity of the health threat, a description of signs and symptoms to be aware of and a concise list of foods and materials to avoid. Parents, in consultation with their primary care provider/allergist, will provide the list of allergens to be avoided.

 

NO FOOD ITEMS, for students, will be brought into our schools either by parents or staff. The classroom teacher may distribute treats for special occasions that are prepared by the school food service. Classrooms with students who have life threatening allergies may have more specific guidelines depending on the type(s) of allergy.  Treats that cannot be offered to all students due to life threatening allergies/Medical Alerts will not be served.

Food preparation will only be allowed in academic curriculum with the principal’s and health care professional’s pre-approval.  An exception will be made for food preparation as related to the Individual Education Plan of individual student’s goals served in special education in PreK-12 grades. Precautions will be taken for students with life threatening allergies.

  

Only non-food manipulatives should be used in classrooms. Peanut butter jars should not be used for storage of manipulatives, even if the jars have been thoroughly washed.

 

Whenever students travel on field trips for, a clear plan to activate Emergency Medical Services (911) should be reviewed by all teachers and chaperones. Field trips need to be chosen carefully; no child should be excluded from a field trip due to unavoidable allergen exposure. (NOTE: How to activate EMS should be included on the field trip forms.)

 

The District Transportation Department(regular and substitute drivers) will be notified of the student(s) who have life threatening allergies/medical alerts.

Outside Play and Learning          QPPS 5.5, 5.6    9.5-9.7

We have daily opportunities for outdoor play as the weather permits and provided the weather air quality and environmental safety conditions do not pose a threat.  This allows children the opportunity to develop their large muscle skills, get exercise, and be active.  Sometimes we spend longer getting bundled up than we spend outside.  We use the Child Care Weather Watch guidelines produced by Healthy Child Care Iowa to determine if the Wind Chill Factor or Heat Index is safe for outdoor play.  

In cases when we cannot go outside (due to weather conditions) children are given the opportunity to use indoor equipment for similar activities inside and are supervised at the same level as outdoor equipment.  For example, tumbling mats may be offered for upper body activities or rolling across the mat.

In order to make sure that your child can play comfortably outside it is important to dress him according to the weather.  When it is cold outside he needs a warm coat, mittens or gloves and a hat (labeled with your child’s name).  For the warmer days dressing your child lightly is just as important.  For those in-between days dressing your child in layers is a practical idea.

There are areas on the playground for children to be in the shade and still be active.  We encourage you to bring a hat or other clothing for your child to wear as another protection from the sun.  Sunscreen or sun block with UVB and UVA protection of SPF 15 or higher will be applied to your child’s exposed skin (only with your written parental permission to do so) and provided by the parent.

Program staff will complete the National Program for Playground Safety’s Suggested General Maintenance Checklist on a weekly basis.

Clothing

Your child will be learning through creative, active play that can sometimes be messy.  Your child should wear comfortable, washable clothing as well as rubber-soled and closed-toe shoes to school.  While we encourage the use of paint smocks or shirts during art projects, we can’t guarantee that spills or stains will not occur.  Clothing should be free of words, graphics, or pictures that are profane, immoral, illegal, or disruptive in nature.  All families are asked to provide an extra set of clothing (in a gallon zip lock bag) for their child in case of an “accident” or messy play.  Please clearly label the clothing with your child’s name to reduce the possibility of mistakes.

Toilet Learning          (QPPS 5.7)

Toilet learning is an important time in a child’s development.  For children who are unable to use the toilet consistently, the following procedures are in place:

  1. Diapering will only be done in the designated diaper area.  Food handling will not be permitted in this diapering area.  
  2. Staff will follow all diapering guidelines set forth in the Iowa Quality Preschool Programs Standards: Standard 5, Criteria 7:  

  1. Potty chairs will not be used due to the risk of spreading infectious diarrhea.

  1. All families are asked to provide an extra set of clothing for their child in case of an “accident” or messy play.  Please clearly label the clothing with your child’s name to reduce the possibility of mistakes.

Objects From Home

Because the preschool program provides ample toys and learning materials for your child, we ask that you limit toys brought from home.  If your child brings an “attachment” item from home, we ask that it is small enough to fit inside his/her backpack or cubby.  Please do not allow children to bring gum, candy, money, or toy guns to school.  The program cannot be responsible for lost or broken toys brought from home.

Weapon Policy  

No student shall carry, have in his or her possession, store, keep, leave, place or put into the possession of another student any real weapon or a look-alike weapon on any school premises, in any school vehicle or any vehicle used by the school or for school purposes, in any school building or other buildings or premises used for school functions, whether or not any person is endangered by such actions.  "Look-alike weapon" means any item that resembles or appears to be a weapon.  A zero tolerance policy on dangerous weapons (real or toy) is in effect; i.e., gun, squirt guns, water rifles or pistols, slingshots, toy guns, toy grenades and other similar items knives, etc.  Violation may result in a student suspension/expulsion.

Classroom Animals and Pets         (QPPS 5.26)

No live animals are to be inside East Buchanan School buildings or classrooms at any time.  

If you, as a parent or legal guardian, want to bring your family pet to share with your child’s classroom you are welcome.  However, all animals must remain outside the school buildings during the visit.  The preschool teacher ensures that the animal does not create an unsafe or unsanitary condition.  The animal would appear to be in good health and have documentation from a veterinarian or an animal shelter to show that the animal is fully immunized (if the animal should be so protected) and suitable for contact with children.  The teacher would ensure staff and children practice good hygiene and hand washing when coming into contact with the animal and after coming into contact with the animal.  Teaching staff supervise all interactions between children and animals and instruct children on safe behavior when in close proximity to animals.  

Any children allergic to the pet will not be exposed to the animal.  Reptiles are not allowed because of the risk for salmonella.  The classroom teacher is responsible for checking requirements have been met.

Birthdays                 QPPS 5.13

Birthdays are an important and significant event in the life of a child.  They afford the opportunity for children to be given special recognition.  Accordingly, students who wish to bring non-food items for the class on their birthday may do so.  Those who have summer birthdays are welcome to choose a school day to celebrate with their class.  Invitations to parties outside of school that do not include the entire class will not be distributed at school.  Again NO FOOD ITEMS will be allowed.

         

V.  COMMUNICATION WITH FAMILIES  (QPPS 1.1, 7.5)

The program will promote communication between families and staff by using written notes as well as informal conversations or e-mail.  Families are encouraged to send written notes with important information so all the staff who work with the child can share the parent’s communication.  Staff will use these notes to inform families about the child’s experiences, accomplishments, behavior, and other issues that affect the child’s development and well-being.  Parents are encouraged to maintain regular, on-going, two-way communication with the teaching staff in a manner that best meets their needs - email, in person, notes, or phone calls.  East Buchanan Preschool will translate with families that have language barriers.

Open Door Policy

Parents and legal guardians are always welcome to visit the preschool classroom.  As a safety feature, all parents and visitors will check in at the elementary school office.  Visitors are asked to please use discretion with regard to bringing babies and toddlers to school as young children may disrupt class sessions.  Photo identification will be required for any unknown visitor to the classroom.  

Arrival and Departure of Children   (QPPS 10.11)

All motor vehicle transportation provided by parents, legal guardians or others designated by parents or legal guardians will include the use of age-appropriate, and size-appropriate seat restraints.  

When bringing your child to school, we ask that you park your car and turn off the engine before entering the building.  Please hold your child’s hand as you enter the building to decrease the possibility of an accident.  Parents or legal guardians must either accompany children to the classroom at the beginning of the day or leave their child in the care of one of the teaching staff.  No child will be permitted to leave the building without an adult.  

Other than parents or legal guardian, only persons with prior written authorization (Parent Consent Form) will be allowed to pick up a child from the school.  Anyone who is unfamiliar to teaching staff, including authorized individuals, will be asked to present photo identification before a child is released to them.

In the interest of students’ safety, parents/guardians/authorized individuals are requested to report directly to the office when picking up their child rather than going to the child’s classroom.  Likewise, when a student returns to the building following an absence during the school day, the adult should stop in the office and sign the child in.  When picking up your child from the school, please come early enough to enjoy watching what your child is doing during that time of the day.

If your child rides the school bus to school, your student will be greeted and assisted as the student gets off the bus and taken to the preschool room.  At dismissal, teaching staff will accompany each student to the bus and assist the student onto the bus.  

The preschool teacher will record attendance for each day.  Throughout the day each time children transition from one location to another, i.e. classroom to outdoor, the teacher will be responsible for counting the number of children whenever leaving one area and when arriving at another to confirm the safe whereabouts of every child at all times.

Transportation

The East Buchanan Community Schools will provide school bus transportation for preschoolers during regular scheduled bus routes for the school district (am and pm – not in the middle of the day).  Parents or legal guardians may request transportation at enrollment, indicating the pick up and/or drop off address, the name of the responsible person at that address, and emergency contact information for all parties involved.  Parents or legal guardians are asked to keep their information current by reporting changes to the preschool teacher or elementary school secretary.  All information will be updated at least quarterly by teaching staff.

 

For children who have special needs for transportation, the facility will use a plan based on a functional assessment of the child’s needs related to transportation that is filled out by the child’s physician.  This plan will address special equipment, staffing and care in the vehicle during transport.  Any accommodations indicated in the child’s Individualized Educational Program will be implemented as described.

Field Trips

An important learning opportunity can take place in the form of a field trip that is relevant and reinforces what has been taught in the classroom.  The East Buchanan school buses are used for these field trips.  Parents will be informed of each field trip through a newsletter and signs posted in the classroom well in advance.  A parent or legal guardian must sign an informed consent form for trips for each child at the beginning of the school year.  Adult family members are asked to volunteer to go on these trips to provide increased supervision and adult/child ratios.  A notice posting the dates, time of departure, time of return, and the destination location will be posted prominently at least 48 hours before the field trip.  Each child will be assigned to an adult for every part of the trip.  Before every trip, the teaching staff will instruct children and all adults using the bus about the 10-foot danger zone around the vehicle where the driver cannot see.  

During the field trip, a first aid kit, emergency contact information, and emergency transport authorization information for the children in the group will be taken on all trips.  Children will be counted every 15 minutes while on a field trip.  Children may only use a public restroom if a staff member accompanies them.  Children will never be left alone in a vehicle or unsupervised by an adult.

Attendance

Students who are enrolled for classes in the East Buchanan Schools are expected to be in school for the full session and are expected to be punctual in their arrival and departure.  Students are not expected to be absent any more than is necessary for health reasons or appointments.  Irregular attendance interferes with the progress of your child and others as teachers find themselves taking class time to repeat information and make adjustments for those students who have been absent.  Please call the elementary office with the reason for an absence no later than 8:00 A.M.  For safety’s sake, if a student is absent without notification, the school secretary/teaching staff will attempt to contact the family to verify the child’s absence from school.

Ethics and Confidentiality

Staff follows an important code of ethics to guide their involvement with children and families.  It is essential to protect the confidentiality of all information concerning children and their families.  Maintaining a professional attitude includes being responsive to the needs of children and their families while balancing the need for confidentiality.  Children are people who deserve respect.  One way we demonstrate this respect is to refrain from talking about the children in their presence unless the child is part of the conversation and to refrain from labeling a child negatively or positively.  No information about any particular child shall be shared with another child’s parent.  We continually strive to model such qualities as patience, tolerance, cooperation, acceptance, understanding of others, and enthusiasm for children as well as for other adults.

Children’s Records

Student records containing personally identifiable information, except for directory information, are confidential.  Only persons, including employees, who have a legitimate educational interest are allowed to access a student's records without the parent's permission.  Parents may access, request amendments to, and copy their child's records during regular office hours.  Parents may also file a complaint with the United States Department of Education if they feel their rights regarding their child's records have been violated.  For a complete copy of the school district's policy on student records or the procedure for filing a complaint, contact the board secretary in the high school administration office.

Parents or guardians will be asked to sign a release of information form should they or the school request information be shared with another agency, stating to whom the information is to be released, the reason or purpose for the release of information, when it expires, and ways the parents can withdraw permission if they choose to do so.

Preschool Advisory Committee     QPPS 7.2

The East Buchanan Community Preschool has a preschool advisory committee composed of parents, school staff, and other community members interested in the preschool program.  This group meets quarterly or more often as needed to provide feedback on services that meet children and family needs.  They also serve as a sounding board for new ideas and services.  Please let the preschool teacher know if you are interested in being part of the Preschool Advisory Committee.

Grievance Policy        QPPS 7.6

Open and honest communication between families and the preschool program is an essential component of a high quality early childhood program.  We want you to be confident that your child is being well cared for and is having a quality experience.  If there is ever a time you have a concern regarding your child, we want to encourage you to address your concern to your child’s teacher.  If additional help is needed, either party may ask for the assistance from the Elementary Principal, Mr. Dan Fox.

If you have a concern regarding some aspect of the program or policy, please contact the Elementary Principal who is the program administrator for the preschool.  

As part of our program assessment, in the spring of each year, we also provide you with a family questionnaire to evaluate our program.  This information helps us to assess how the program is meeting the needs of families and children, as well as to identify strengths and weaknesses.

VI.        FAMILY INVOLVEMENT                QPPS 7.1, 7.2

East Buchanan Community School encourages families to be very involved in their child’s education by observing their children during the day when possible and meeting with staff.  Family members are welcome to visit at any time during class sessions.

Teachers and administrators use a variety of formal and informal ways to become acquainted with and learn from families about their family structure and their preferred means of child-rearing practices and communication; and information about their socioeconomic, linguistic, racial, religious, and cultural backgrounds as they wish to share.  Families are surveyed in enrollment paperwork and through other questionnaires during the year regarding their family, beliefs, and preferences.  Home visits are conducted at the beginning of the school year.  Program staff communicate with families on at least a weekly basis regarding children's activities and developmental milestones, shared care-giving issues, and other information that affects the well-being of their children.  Family teacher conferences are held in both the fall and spring semesters, as well as when either party requests.  At least one Family Night is held during the year.

East Buchanan Community Preschool values the time spent talking and interacting with families and developing strong, reciprocal relationships.  As the teacher learns from the families’ expertise regarding their child’s interests, approaches to learning, and developmental needs, goals for your child’s growth and development can be incorporated into ongoing classroom planning.  Families are encouraged to share any concerns, preferences or questions with the preschool teacher or administration at any time.  

Although in-person daily contact cannot be replaced, preschool staff also relies on notes home, emails, phone calls, newsletters, and bulletin boards as alternatives means to establish and maintain open, two-way communication.

East Buchanan Community Preschool invites you to become involved in one or all of the following ways, and welcomes other ideas as well.  

  1. Support your child’s daily transition to school by sharing information about your child’s interests and abilities.  Keeping the teacher informed of changes and events that might affect your child allows the teacher to be more responsive to your child’s needs.
  2. Attend family meetings.
  3. Return all forms, questionnaires and so on promptly.
  4. Attend Family/Teacher conferences in the Fall and Spring semesters.
  5. Take time to read the family bulletin board.
  6. Check your child’s backpack each day.
  7. Participate in field trip activities.
  8. Share some of your talents in your child’s class through activities such as: reading or storytelling, cooking, art, music, sewing, crafts, hobbies, your profession, or artifacts from trips you have taken.
  9. Share any of your families’ cultural traditions, celebrations, or customs.
  10. Help prepare snack and enjoy it with your child.
  11. Read all the material sent home with your child and take part in any activities.
  12. Come to play.  
  13. Help with special events.  Helping takes many different forms such as preparation of materials at home, making telephone calls, preparing or posting flyers, recruiting other volunteers, collecting donations or prizes, run errands, photography, setup before the event, or clean afterwards.
  14. Serve on the Preschool Advisory Committee.
  15. Add to the monthly newsletter or organize it.

It is the policy of the East Buchanan Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, creed, age, marital status, or physical disability in its education programs, activities, or employment policies as required by Title VI or VIII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, and the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The school district will, to the extent possible, provide full opportunities for meaningful participation of the families with children with limited English proficiency, families with children with disabilities, including providing information and school reports in an understandable and uniform format and, including alternative formats on request, and, to the extent possible, in a language families understand.

The school district believes that families should be supported in making decisions about services that their children may need.  The teaching staff will provide information to families about available community resources and assist as requested in helping the family make connections.

Home Visits

Home visits are made prior to the start of school.  This is an opportunity for the preschool teacher to get to know you, your child, and your family and for you to begin to create a partnership between home and school in order to best meet your child’s needs.  This is a great time for you to share what makes your family unique, how you prefer to communicate with the teacher, and share your knowledge about your child’s interests, approaches to learning, and developmental needs.  You can help the teacher understand what your goals are for your child and whether you have any concerns you’d like addressed.  Parents are encouraged to share these preferences, concerns, and questions at any time with either the classroom teacher or administrator.

 

Family Teacher Conferences

The preschool program will have formal family teacher conferences are scheduled during the 2nd and 3rd Trimesters.  The teacher will send home a sheet before the conference asking you to consider what new skills you see your child developing at home or in the community, to think about what you’d like more information about the classroom, and whether you have new or different goals for your child.  During the conference the teacher will share results of classroom assessments and samples of your child’s work.  Together you can make a plan to continue to encourage your child’s growth and development.

Family Night

Family night is an opportunity for you and your family to come to school to participate in fun as well as educational activities.  Based on results from a family survey, the teaching staff will select a topic for the evening.  With help from family volunteers, the night will be planned to meet the needs of the children and families in the classroom.

Transitions                QPPS 7.9, 7.10

Home-school connections are crucial to the transition to kindergarten or any other program, such as special education.  The child’s family provides the consistency and continuity necessary for a young child to be successful.  Making a change from one program to another can sometimes be difficult for a young child whether the transition is within the same building or in another location.  Teaching staff will partner with the family to make the transition as smooth as possible by connecting family members with the next program’s staff.  Preschool staff will provide information about enrollment policies and procedures, program options, and arrange for a classroom visit whenever possible.    

VII.        HEALTH AND SAFETY

East Buchanan Community Preschool is committed to promoting wellness and to safeguard the health and safety of children and adults who participate in our program.  In order to provide a safe and secure environment for every child and adult, we follow guidelines required by the Quality Preschool Program Standards, regulatory agencies and pediatric authorities in the field.  

Health and Immunization Certificates    QPPS 5.1

Within six weeks after a child begins the program, health records that document the dates of service shall be submitted that show the child is current for routine screening tests and immunizations according to the schedule recommended and published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

When a child is overdue for any routine health services, parents, legal guardians, or both provide evidence of an appointment for those services before the child’s entry into the program and as a condition of remaining enrolled in the program, except for immunization for which parents are using religious exemption.

Health and Safety Records

Health and safety information collected from families will be maintained on file for each child.  Files are kept current by updating as needed, but at least quarterly.  The content of the file is confidential, but is immediately available to administrators or teaching staff who have consent from a parent or legal guardian for access to records; the child’s parent or legal guardian; and regulatory authorities, upon request. QPPS 10.10

Child Health and Safety Records will include: QPPS 5.1

  1. Current information about any health insurance coverage required for treatment in an emergency;
  2. Results of health examination, showing up-to-date immunizations and screening tests with an indication of normal or abnormal results and any follow-up required for abnormal results;
  3. Current emergency contact information for each child, that is kept up to date by a specified method during the year;
  4. Names of individuals authorized by the family to have access to health information about the child;
  5. Instructions for any of the child’s special health needs such as allergies or chronic illness (e.g., asthma, hearing or vision impairments, feeding needs, neuromuscular conditions, urinary or other ongoing health problems, seizures, diabetes);
  6. Individual emergency care plans for children with known medical or developmental problems or other conditions that might require special care in an emergency (allergy, asthma, seizures, orthopedic or sensory problems, and other chronic conditions; conditions that require regular medication or technology support; and     QPPS 10.14
  7. Supporting evidence for cases in which a child is under-immunized because of a medical condition (documented by a licensed health professional) or the family’s beliefs.  Staff implements a plan to exclude the child promptly if a vaccine-preventable disease to which children are susceptible occurs in the program.
  8. As Quoted from the Emergency form - Every effort will be made to contact you if your child is ill or injured. In the event that we are unable to reach you or the person you designate and it is deemed necessary that your child have emergency treatment, please sign below giving your permission to transport your child (at parent’s expense) to the Buchanan County Health Center first, then to the hospital listed above after the child is stabilized.
  9. An Individual Health Care Plan will be written for any child in the program with a chronic health condition (ex - asthma, nut allergy)

General Health and Safety Guidelines

Emergency Procedures for a Missing Child

  1. Stay calm (count heads)
  2. Check attendance chart (was the child signed in or out)
  3. Talk calmly with other staff (check bathrooms, classrooms, and outside)
  4. Contact main office (child in attendance)
  5. Call administration
  6. Call parent or other persons listed on Emergency from
  7. Most Important – Stay Calm in All Emergency Situations.
  8. The East Buchanan Preschool has established special procedures to deal with such emergencies as intruders.  In the case of an intruder there will be an all call throughout the building with location of the intruder.

Illness Policy and Exclusion of Sick Children          QPPS 5.3

For the health and safety of all the children, it is mandatory that sick children not be brought to school.  If your child has any of the following symptoms during the night, he or she will not be admitted the following morning for the safety of the other children.

The center’s established policy for an ill child’s return:

Upon arrival at school, each child is observed by teaching staff for signs of illness or injury that could affect the child’s ability to participate comfortably in the daily activities.  Children will be excluded when a child is not able to participate comfortably; if the illness requires more care than staff are able to provide without compromising the needs of the other children in the group; or if keeping the child at school poses an increased risk to the child or to other children or adults with whom the child will come in contact.

When a child develops signs of an illness during their day at preschool, parents, legal guardians, or other person authorized by the parent will be notified immediately to pick up the child.  For this reason, please be sure that we have current, accurate phone numbers for you, your authorized emergency contact person and your child’s pediatrician.  In the meantime, we will provide the child a place to rest until the parent, legal guardian or designated person arrives under the supervision of someone familiar with the child.  If the child is suspected of having a contagious disease, then until she or he can be picked up, the child is located where new individuals will not be exposed.  

Reporting Communicable Diseases         QPPS 5.4

Staff and teachers provide information to families verbally and in writing about any unusual level or type of communicable disease to which their child was exposed, signs and symptoms of the disease, mode of transmission, period of communicability, and control measures that are being implemented at the program and that the families should implement at home.  The program has documentation that it has cooperative arrangements with local health authorities and has, at least annually, made contact with those authorities to keep current on relevant health information and to arrange for obtaining advice when outbreaks of communicable disease occur.    

Medication Policies and Procedures      QPPS 5.10

Policy:  The school will administer medication to children with written approval of the parent and an order from a health provider for a specific child.  Because administration of medication in the school is a safety hazard, medication administration will be limited to situations where an agreement to give medicine outside preschool hours cannot be made.  Whenever possible, the first dose of medication should be given at home to see if the child has any type of reaction.

Procedure:  The school nurse coordinates and/or administers medication during school hours only if the parent or legal guardian has provided written consent and the medication is available in an original labeled prescription or manufacturer’s container that is child-resistant.  Any other person who would administer medication has specific training and a written performance evaluation, updated annually by a health professional on the practice of the five right practices of medication administration:  (1) verifying that the right child receives the (2) right medication (3) in the right dose (4) at the right time (5) by the right method with documentation of each right each time the medication is given.  Checking and recording these five right practices each time medication is given will control medication errors.  Should a medication error occur, the Regional Poison Control Center and the child’s parents will be contacted immediately.  The incident will be documented in the child’s record at the school.

For prescription medications, parents or legal guardians will provide the school with the medication in the original, child-resistant container that is labeled by a pharmacist with the child’s name, the name and strength of the medication; the date the prescription was filled; the name of the health care provider who wrote the prescription; the medication’s expiration date; and administration, storage, and disposal instructions.

For over-the-counter medications, parents or legal guardians will provide the medication in a child-resistant container.  The medication will be labeled with the child’s first and last names; specific, legible instructions for administration and storage supplied by the manufacturer; and the name of the health care provider who recommended the medication for the child.

Instructions for the dose, time, and method to be used, and duration of administration will be provided to the teaching staff in writing (by a signed note or a prescription label) or dictated over the telephone by a physician or other person legally authorized to prescribe medication.  This requirement applies both to prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Medications will be kept at the temperature recommended for that type of medication, in a sturdy, child-resistant container that is locked and prevents spillage.

Medication will not be used beyond the date of expiration on the container or beyond any expiration of the instructions provided by the physician or other person legally permitted to prescribe medication.  The physician whenever needed will renew instructions, which state that the medication may be used at least annually.

A medication log will be maintained by the school staff to record the instructions for giving the medication, consent obtained from the parent or legal guardian, amount, the time of administration, and the person who administered each dose of medication.  Spills, reactions, and refusal to take medication will be noted on this log.  See sample form in Appendix.

Cleaning and Sanitization    QPPS 9.11

The facility will be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.  When a spill occurs, the area will be made inaccessible to children and the area will be cleaned immediately.  

Toys that have been placed in a child’s mouth or that are otherwise contaminated by body secretion or excretion will be removed immediately and disinfected after they are cleaned with soap and water.  This also applies to other surfaces in the classroom. Toys and surfaces will be disinfected using a non-toxic solution of one-tablespoon household bleach to one quart of tap water made fresh daily.  To disinfect, the surfaces will be sprayed until glossy.  The bleach solution will be left on for at least 2 minutes before it is wiped off with a clean paper towel, or it may be allowed to air dry. Machine washable cloth toys that have been placed in a child’s mouth or that are otherwise contaminated by body secretion or excretion must be laundered before another child’s use.  Toys that cannot be cleaned and sanitized will not be used.         QPPS 5.24

 

Staff will be trained in cleaning techniques, proper use of protective barriers such as gloves, proper handling and disposal of contaminated materials, and information required by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration about the use of any chemical agents.

Routine cleaning will be supervised by the preschool teacher and will follow the Cleaning and Sanitation Frequency Table in Section III, page 47 of the QPPS manual.  A checklist will be completed as indicated in the table.

Facility cleaning requiring potentially hazardous chemicals will be scheduled when children are not present to minimize exposure of the children.  All cleaning products will be used as directed by the manufacturer’s label.  Nontoxic substances will be used whenever possible.

Hand Washing Practices    QPPS 5.8

Frequent hand washing is key to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.  Teachers teach children how to wash their hands effectively.  Posters of children using proper hand washing procedures are placed by each sink.  The program follows these practices regarding hand washing:

Children and adults wash their hands:

Adults also wash their hands

Proper hand-washing procedures are followed by adults and children and include

Except when handling blood or body fluids that might contain blood (when wearing gloves is required), wearing gloves is an optional supplement, but not a substitute, for hand washing in any situation listed above.

In situations where sinks used for both food preparation and other purposes, staff clean and sanitize the sinks before using them to prepare food.

First Aid Kit    QPPS 9.13

A first aid kit is located in the preschool classroom near the door.  It is inaccessible to children, but readily available for adult use.  It is fully equipped according to guidance from Healthy Child Care Iowa.  Following each use of the First Aid kit, the contents will be inspected and missing or used items replaced immediately.  The First Aid kit will be inspected monthly.  The first aid kit is taken to the outdoor play areas as well as on field trips and outings away from the site.

Fire Safety    QPPS 9.14

A fire extinguisher is installed in the preschool classroom with a tag indicating its annual service date.  The fire alarm system is serviced annually. Smoke detectors, fire alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors are tested monthly.  A written log of testing dates and battery changes is maintained and available upon request.  Fire drills are conducted monthly and recorded on a log.

Medical Emergencies and Notification of Accidents or Incidents    QPPS 10.13

The East Buchanan Community School District has in place a “Safety Procedures Booklet” that describes the following situations and procedures to follow:

This booklet will be posted by the telephone and included in the first aid kit.  The booklet will be reviewed by each staff member at the beginning of each school year and when changes are made to it.

In the event that your child receives a minor, non-life threatening injury during their time at preschool, our teacher will assess the situation and apply first aid as needed.  Minor cuts and scrapes will be treated with soap and water and bumps will be treated by applying ice to the injured area.  Any incident or injuries will be documented on an “Injury and Illness” form and a copy will be given to the parent within 24 hours of the incident.

 

All staff will have immediate access to a device that allows them to summon help in an emergency.  The telephone numbers of the Fire Department, Police Department, Hospital, and Poison Control will be posted by each phone with an outside line.  Emergency contact information for each child and staff member will be kept readily available.  The list of emergency telephone numbers, and copies of emergency contact information and authorization for emergency transport will be taken along anytime children leave the facility in the care of facility staff.

Emergency phone numbers will be updated at least quarterly.  Emergency phone numbers will be verified by calling the numbers to make sure a responsive, designated person is available.

Inclement Weather      

In the event that the East Buchanan Community Schools must be closed due to bad weather, we will notify school patrons by radio as we have in the past.  WMT – 600 AM, KMCH – 94.7 FM, KFMW – 108 FM, KOEL – 92.3, 97.7, 98.5 FM, KOEL – 95 AM, KQMG, KHAK – 98.1, and all three local television stations; KWWL Channel 7, KCRG Channel 9, KGAN Channel 2.

Protection From Hazards and Environmental Health      QPPS 9.12, 9.16, 9.17, 10.7

Program staff protects children and adults from hazards, including electrical shock, burns, or scalding, slipping, tripping, or falling.  Floor coverings are secured to keep staff and children from tripping.

The preschool classroom building has been tested for lead, radiation, asbestos, fiberglass, and other hazards that could impact children’s health with documentation on file.  Water source is from the city of Winthrop.  Custodial staff maintains the building’s heating, cooling, and ventilation systems in compliance with national standards for facility use by children. (we are geothermal classroom therefore, no radon testing)

The program maintains facilities so they are free from harmful animals, insect pests, and poisonous plants.  Pesticides and herbicides, if used, are applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions when children are not at the facility and in a manner that prevents skin contact, inhalation, and other exposure to children.  The program uses the techniques known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) so that the least hazardous means are used to control pests and unwanted vegetation.

Smoke Free Facility          QPPS 9.19

In compliance with the Iowa Smokefree Air Act of 2008, East Buchanan Community School buildings and grounds are smoke free.  A “No Smoking” sign meeting the law’s requirements is posted at the entrance to the preschool classroom building to inform people that they are entering a non-smoking place.  No smoking is allowed on the school grounds or within sight of any children.

Child Protection Policies        QPPS 10.8, 10.16, 10.19

The health and well being of every child in our care is of the utmost importance and the protection of children is our responsibility.  An applicant or volunteer for temporary or permanent employment with the preschool program involves direct interaction with or the opportunity to interact and associate with children must execute and submit an affidavit of clearance from any and all crimes against a child or families.  In addition no person with a substantiated report of child abuse or neglect will come in contact with children in the program or have responsibility for children.

The program has written school board policy for reporting child abuse and neglect as well as procedures in place that comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws.  The policy includes requirements for staff to report all suspected incidents of child abuse, neglect, or both by families, staff, volunteers, or others to the appropriate local agencies.  Staff who report suspicions of child abuse or neglect where they work are immune from discharge, retaliation, or other disciplinary action for that reason alone unless it is proven that the report is malicious.  All teaching staff complete “Mandatory Reporter: Child and Dependent Adult Abuse” at least every five years and within six months of employment.

The school district does not tolerate employees physically, or sexually abusing or harassing students.  Students who are physically or sexually abused or harassed by an employee should notify their parents, legal guardians, teacher, principal, or another employee.  The Iowa Department of Education has established a two-step procedure for investigating allegations of physical or sexual abuse of students by employees.  That procedure requires the school district to designate an independent investigator to look into the allegations.  The school district has designated Daniel Fox, Superintendent/Elementary Principal at 319-935-3767.  The alternate investigator is Travis Schueller, Secondary Principal and may be reached at 319-935-3367.

Substance Abuse

Persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol will not be permitted on the premises of the East Buchanan Community School.  At no time will children be released to a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Volunteers                QPPS 10.15, 10.17

Parents, friends, grandparents, and other adults are encouraged to take an active part in the educational process of the children.  Please contact the teacher, the elementary principal, or our office secretary if you would like to be a school volunteer.  We have a volunteer job description that defines the role and responsibilities of a volunteer.  For safety’s sake, if a volunteer will be working with children, he/she will be expected to execute and submit an affidavit of clearance from any and all crimes against a child or families.  In addition no person with a substantiated report of child abuse or neglect will come in contact with children in the program or have responsibility for children.  If a volunteer works more than 40 hours per month with children, he/she will also need to provide a current health assessment, not more than one year old.  

VIII.   Staff     QPPS 10.15 - 10.20

General Information

The East Buchanan Community School district has written personnel policies that define the roles and responsibilities, qualifications, and specialized training required of staff and volunteer positions.  The policies outline nondiscriminatory hiring procedures and policies for staff evaluation.  Policies detail job descriptions for each position, including reporting relationships; salary scales with increments based on professional qualification, length of employment, and performance evaluation; benefits; and resignation, termination, and grievance procedures.  Personnel policies provide for incentives based on participation in professional development opportunities.  The policies are provided to each employee upon hiring.

Hiring procedures include completion of the following checks: criminal-record check, free from history of substantiated child abuse or neglect check, education credentials, verification of age, completion of high school or GED, personal references and a current health assessment.

Health Assessment 

The preschool program maintains current health information from documented health assessments for all paid preschool staff and for all volunteers who work more than 40 hours per month and have contact with children.  A current health assessment (not more than one-year-old) is received by the program before an employee starts work or before a volunteer has contact with children.  Documented health assessments include:

Confidential personnel files, including applications with record of experience, transcripts of education, health-assessment records, documentation of ongoing professional development, and results of performance evaluation, are kept in a locked filing cabinet in the Superintendent’s office.

Orientation     QPPS 6.2

Employees must know their role and duties.  New preschool teaching staff will be required to participate in an initial orientation program that introduces them to fundamental aspects of the program operation including:

Follow-up training expands on the initial orientations.  See Staff Orientation Checklist.

The employee’s immediate supervisor should provide the new employee with a review of the employee’s responsibilities and duties.  The superintendent will explain payroll procedures, employee benefit programs and accompanying forms to the employee.  Regular employees ineligible for the school district’s group health plan will be given information regarding where they can obtain health care or health care insurance.

Staffing patterns and schedule

The preschool program is in compliance with staff regulations and certification requirements.  Our program follows requirements for staffing for Iowa’s Quality Preschool Program Standards of maintaining an adult/child ratio of at least 1:10 at all times.  The program administrator will maintain lists of current substitutes for both the preschool teacher and the preschool teaching assistant in case of absence.  If one of the teaching staff needs to temporarily leave the classroom, the person will call the elementary office to arrange for coverage in order to maintain the adult/child ratio.

Staff are provided space and time away from children during the day.  Should staff work directly with children for more than four hours, staff are provided breaks of at least 15 minutes in each four-hour period.  In addition, staff may request temporary relief when they are unable to perform their duties

Staff development activities   QPPS      6.6, 10.15

Personnel policies provide for incentives based on participation in professional development opportunities.  All teaching staff continuously strengthens their leadership skills and relationships with others and work to improve the conditions of children and families within their programs, the local community, and beyond.  Teaching staff are encouraged to participate in informal and formal ways in local, state, or regional public-awareness activities.  They may join an early childhood group or organization, attend meetings, or share information with others both at and outside the program.  

Teaching staff will be informed of professional development activities provided by Child Care Resource and Referral, the local Empowerment areas, and the area education agency.  Staff is expected to attend all staff trainings and meetings throughout the year.  Trainings will focus on early childhood topics relevant to the program and community.

Evaluation and Professional Growth Plan       QPPS 6.5, 6.6

All staff are evaluated at least annually by an appropriate supervisor or, in the case of the program administrator, by the superintendent.  Staff also evaluate and improve their own performance based on ongoing reflections and feedback from supervisors, peers, and families.  From this, they develop an annual individualized professional development plan with their supervisor and use it to inform their continuous professional development.

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