Earthplace Preschool Policies and Procedures

Communication Policy

Announcements each day
Check the white board outside of your child's classroom for daily updates. At dismissal, the teachers communicate with the parents verbally about what some of the favorite activities were during  the day. 

Arrival and and dismissal time communication
One teacher is designated as the arrival-time greeter. If you wish to share something at this time, please mention it to the teacher, and he/she will set up another time to talk or will arrange to talk with you at that time. In-person and phone discussions can always be set up. You may also email in morning and mention the email to the teacher at arrival time in case he/she had net yet seen the email. We always want to share information, but not in the presence of the child.

If the teacher has something to share individually with you at the end of the day, he/she will ask other teachers in the classroom to supervise your child, or will give you a call or email you to discuss or set up another time to meet.

Chats
Three times a year the lead teachers in the classroom invite the parents to a meeting during the day to share the activities that have been going on in the classroom. This is also a time for the parents to spend some time getting to know one another. The Home Room Parent coordinates refreshments for the group. The chats precede the parent conferences, so the parents can begin signing up for the individual conferences at this time.

Child’s portfolio
The child’s portfolio contains photos of the child taken at school, benchmark information, and work done by the child. This will be used at conferences to illustrate your child’s experiences at school and developmental progress throughout the year.

Community bulletin board
We post upcoming community event above the snack bulletin board in the front hallway. We also include some of these items in our weekly newsletter; these may include museum exhibits, concerts, storytelling, and theater for children.

Confidentiality of child file
At Earthplace Preschool we make sure that information about your child and his/her progress is kept confidential. Our child files are locked in the main office and can be opened by the lead teachers, the health care consultant, the director and assistant to the director, and regulatory authorities. Teachers and parents can be given access to the files by the preceding staff. The child file contains the Child Record Form; the Medical, Illness, and Injury reports; and plans of action.

Information about who can look at the Child File is on the form parents fill out before school begins. 
Parents and those who have been designated as legally responsible for the care and well-being of the child may have immediate access to the file.

Conferences
There are three parent-teacher conferences a year. The first is in the fall and is a family-teacher conference. At this time a teacher and the parents meet to share information about the child. A family conference form is filled out that includes ideas about the goals for the child for the year. The second and third conferences are conducted in the winter and the spring. At this time the teachers and the parents take a look at how the child is progressing developmentally, using the Preschool Assessment Framework. Plans are made together on how to assure continued overall development in all domains: Social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and creative. A written form is shared with the parents at each conference.

Emails
Each class has its own email. Parents may email the teachers to let them know if their child will not be attending, if there is a concern that they would like to share, to request an in-person or telephone conference, and to share any information that they think is important for the teachers to know. To facilitate this process, teachers have laptops  that they may use in the classroom or at home. In addition the Parent Organization and the director have emails that are also used to communicate with the parents. Families may email them at any time for information, to express concerns, etc.

Facilitating the child’s transitioning to Hummingbirds, Robins, Woodpeckers, Falcons, kindergarten or other programs
If a child transitions to a different classroom during a school year, it is done on a trial basis and with the help of the previous teacher. If the child is staying in the same age group, the Chickadees, Robins, Hummingbirds, or Woodpeckers, then the teachers will be the same.

When your child is staying at Earthplace for another year, the lead teachers share the Child Profile with the incoming teachers in order to help orient them to the needs and interests of each child.

We provide families with information about each town’s kindergarten process. In most cases the towns send us flyers with dates and other information about registration, enrollment procedures, visiting opportunities, and program options. In addition the Woodpeckers teacher fills out the appropriate Kindergarten Transition Form and meets with each family to discuss the form. 

We have also worked with families when their child has moved on to other programs to help make the transition work well.

Grievances and suggestions
If you have a concern related to your child in the classroom setting, please speak with the lead teacher. If this approach is not satisfactory, then please contact preschool director Amee Borys. We find that solutions to issues can be positively resolved by working together. When speaking with the lead teacher and the director has not worked, please contact the executive director of Earthplace. If your issue is not resolved you may file a complaint with the Department of Public Health by calling 1-800-282-6063.

Home visits
In August each family is contacted by a teacher in the child's class and a home visit is scheduled. At the home visit the teacher begins to make a connection with the child and the parent. A photo of the teacher is left with the child to help him or her with the transition to school.

Mail: Sending children's work and parent information home
The Chickadees mail is placed with their backpacks at dismissal time. The Hummingbirds have mailboxes in their room for notes to parents. The Woodpeckers and the Falcons use the top part of their cubbies for their mail.

Newsletter - Check Your email!
We email a weekly newsletter each Tuesday. We also post a copy on the parent bulletin board and the website.

Online snack and activity calendar and school events calendar
To find out about our school's current activities and snack visit the Snack and Activity Calendar page of our website. This calendar includes the schedule of the days on which the classes will have their weekly animal program and their gym and music classes. The snack is usually not posted until a week before the month begins. This is a Google calendar, and you may subscribe to it and check via your phone or computer. Because we cannot fit everything on that calendar we also have a Preschool Events Calendar that lists parent confereneces and parent chats. This is in the right hand column of the front page of our website.

Parent bulletin board
The bulletin board for all parents is outside of the preschool office. Here we post the snack for the day and month, upcoming events, and sign up sheets for school events. Each classroom also has a parent board that includes the planning form for the week and the snack for the day,and the white board for daily information and special events for the classroom.

Parent resource nook
We maintain a book that includes information about services for children and families such as health, mental health, oral health, nutrition, parenting and children’s programs, assessment, and educational services for toddlers and preschoolers. It also includes brochures for other private schools in the area. It is kept on the table in the Chickadees hallway. This resource can be accessed by the family or in conjunction with planning with the child’s teacher. The teachers help to locate, contact and use these community resources to support the needs and interests of the children and the families at Earthplace Preschool.

Planning forms
Each class posts the planning form for the week on the website and on the parent bulletin board. This form includes the chosen goals for the week and the ways in which the classroom and activities have been planned to meet and assess these goals.

Sharing information with family and others
Program staff provide support and information to family members who have been designated as legally responsible for the care and well-being of the child as indicated on the Student Record Form.

Before sharing information about a child with other providers, agencies, or programs or allowing the child to be observed, teachers obtain written consent from the family. 

Strategies for negotiating differences
If we do find that there are routines, practices, or values that differ from family routines, practices, or values, we will work with the family to find a common ground and attempt a resolution. It is our intention to be respectful of all of our families' practices, values, and cultures. This is why we do not celebrate holidays, but do learn about those that our families celebrate. Different views of toilet training, or of eating or drinking habits, could also be areas that might need to be discussed. We will always be guided by what is developmentally appropriate and what is a part of our ethical standards when attempting to resolve these differences. 

Translator
The school will contact a translator to help communicate about a child’s progress or any other information such as the Parent Handbook, that the parent wishes to be explained in their language. This will be done with the help of the International Institute of Connecticut at 203-336-0141. 670 Clinton Avenue, Bridgeport, 06605, iiconn@aol.com  In addition we can use the website freetranslation.com to instantly translate a conversation, a flyer, or a letter.

Website
The Earthplace Preschool website has information about weekly changes on the homepage and on the parent page. Check the planning forms every week to see what will be happening in your child's class. You can also link to the Activity and Snack Calendar on the calendar page to see when your child has music, gym, and animal program. This calendar also lists the snack for each month. The Preschool Events Calendar lists parent conferences, parent chats, and other special events.

White boards
On a daily basis, teachers use whitef boards to communicate with the parents of each class. These are located outside your child’s classroom.