Trinity Church Nursery School’s Policies and Procedures
We believe that every child is an individual with a unique pattern of development. We provide a child-centered program to foster social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth. Through carefully planned activities and play opportunities in a structured physical environment we give children room to stretch their imaginations and abilities. We want children to enjoy themselves, to gain a sense of independence, and to feel secure and happy as they interact with others.
As teachers who understand the tasks of early childhood development, we can offer support, guidance, and a nurturing environment where children can practice and learn these tasks. We strive to nurture and appreciate the whole child.
We believe that a child’s self-image is the major ingredient in the learning experience. Self-esteem is enhanced when the child experiences pleasure in seeking, doing, and achieving. This helps each child perceive him or herself as a competent, worthwhile, and successful human being. With encouragement, each child will be able to find satisfaction in learning and friendship and will want to meet the challenges of life in a positive way.
Our mission is to provide a safe and stimulating environment in which children may play, learn, and grow.
Trinity Church Nursery School is a ministry of Trinity United Methodist Church, serving preschool children and their families in Wilmette and the surrounding communities. It is Trinity United Methodist Church’s goal that Trinity Nursery School students and staff reflect the diversity of these communities. The curriculum will recognize and be respectful of a variety of religious beliefs and practices. The Nursery School Program will focus on nurturing children in body, mind and spirit. The goals, objectives, values, and assumptions of the Nursery School programs are clearly stated in this handbook and are readily available.
One of the primary developmental tasks for preschoolers is to begin making comfortable separations from parents and home. Just as the parent-child bond is important in early life for love and security, so is the ability to separate from that relationship long enough to relate to other children and adults.
Nursery school is the ideal setting in which to help children accomplish this task. At age three most children are ready to leave their parents for short periods of time and begin the socialization process. Teachers skilled in their understanding of the development of young children can help each child develop at his/her own pace.
Since children are most comfortable in meeting new people in surroundings familiar to them, a teacher will visit your child at home shortly before school begins. The child and parent are also invited to visit the teacher in the classroom. This is an opportunity to become acquainted with the physical setting, explore the room and toys, and begin to explore the concept of “school.”
During the first week of school 3 year olds attend a shortened program. Half of the class attend school the first hour and half of the class attend school the second hour. The smaller groupings allow for assimilation of all the new experiences that school has to offer, such as the classroom interest centers, toys, play yard, snack time, other children, and new adults. It also gives the children time to adjust and separate comfortably as well as learn the routine and feel secure.
Some children separate very easily; others find it a little difficult and may cling or cry. Both of these situations are normal. You may be a little sad or anxious yourself. That’s normal too! The teachers are aware of and understand your concerns and your child’s feelings. We will work together with you to help your child enjoy Trinity Nursery School.
Arrivals and Departures
The classes are scheduled to begin at 9:00 am or 12:30 pm. Please arrive as close to these times as possible. The teachers cannot be responsible for children who arrive before the class begins. When you arrive with your child please be sure to check their cubby and mailbox for any art projects or correspondence that is left there. Also, per DCFS, all children must wash their hands upon entering the classroom.
Please be prompt in picking up your child. School is active and stimulating and after two and a half hours the children are ready for a familiar face and home. The classroom looks very different after everyone has left and it can be stressful to be the last child left. Children become upset when they are not picked up on time and see other children leaving. Picking up your child promptly when school is over will avoid a fearful situation.
According to DCFS regulations, we will release your child only to those people that have been designated in writing by you on the release form. They may be asked to provide a photo ID. Every adult who picks up a child must sign out each child each day.
By consent of the Wilmette Police department, short-term (10 minute) parking to drop off and pick up children is permitted on the east side of Wilmette Ave., in front of the Church and south of the alley. If a lengthier stay is necessary, please park in the parking lot across the street. The Police Dept. will monitor parking very closely. Do not block the driveways of our neighbors or the alley. Walk with your child or carpool to the outside door of the classroom on the north side of the Church and enter there. In inclement weather, you may use the main lobby.
The safety of our children is always of top priority at Trinity. It is due to the Wilmette Police Department’s concern for the safety of our children that we have been granted a parking variance. Please cooperate and adhere to the restrictions as well as other safety rules. A review of all safety rules follows:
- Park on the EAST side of Wilmette Ave. only. (10-minute maximum)
- NEVER use the alley for parking.
- Do not block the alley or driveways.
- Keep your child and car pool group with you as you walk.
- Upon leaving, please make certain that your child/carpool do not proceed you out of the room. Do not allow them to run ahead of you down the steps and through the alley, or run unattended to the car.
- Do not allow your child or carpool to play on the stairs or ramp of the building.
Thank you for your cooperation!
This year’s supply list has been shared with families via email. Please contact Sue if you need another copy of the supply list. Please send the items to school by the first day of class. Please send the items in a bag that is clearly labeled with your child’s name. Other than clothing/diapers/wipes, you do NOT need to label the individual items with your child’s name.
Items from Home
Please do not let your child bring toys from home. They are easily lost or broken and most often very difficult to share. We have carefully selected toys and equipment at school that are available for the children to use. They encourage cooperation, sharing, and provide social experiences appropriate for their development. Play guns of any type, masks, superhero capes, Barbie dolls, money, and tiny objects should not be brought to school. Books are acceptable.
At first some children may need a certain item (such as a blanket or stuffed animal) for emotional security. Please discuss and arrange this with your child’s teacher beforehand.
We welcome nature items for our science table, anything special or unusual pertaining to a theme we are discussing, or something of interest from a vacation or trip your child can share with the class.
The State of Illinois requires that a physical examination form be on file at the time of a child’s entrance to school. This form was sent to each family in April. It must be filled out by the child’s physician and returned to school by the first day of class. All children must be up to date on their immunizations.
Children should not be brought to school with illnesses that are contagious, or with fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or unidentified rashes. CHILDREN MAY NOT RETURN TO SCHOOL UNTIL THEY ARE FEVER AND/OR DIARRHEA FREE FOR 24 HOURS. Children who exhibit any of the above-mentioned symptoms while at school will be removed from the classroom and supervised in the Director’s office and made as comfortable as possible while parents or other authorized adults are contacted to take the child home. Children who are not participating normally (who show extreme lethargy or fatigue) will be considered ill and be sent home. Regarding colds, we ask that children remain at home for the first three days of a cold. This is generally considered to be the period they are contagious.
Because children may suddenly get ill, it is important that a parent is easily reachable. If you are not going to be at your usual place on a given day, please try to provide a number where you can be reached.
Please report communicable diseases such as chicken pox or strep throat to the Director. We are required to alert other parents and the health department (anonymously) of the exposure of these illnesses.
If your child is taking medication we ask that you arrange the dosage schedule to coincide with their time at home. If it becomes absolutely necessary to dispense medication at school, you will be asked to sign a medical release form. All medication must remain in the original container. Never send medicine in a child’s bag; you must give it to a teacher for safekeeping.
Accident and Medical Emergencies
In case of accident or health emergency, local paramedics will be called by contacting 911. In addition, every effort will be made to contact parents immediately. Staff will provide care for which they are trained until paramedics arrive and will reassure children at all times. All staff are certified in CPR and First Aid.
Children should wear comfortable, casual clothing. School is the perfect place for children to enjoy painting, water play, cooking, and messy craft projects. Although we do provide smocks and remind children to push up their sleeves, please expect to see normal wear and tear on their clothing as well as paint, spills, and “mystery stains.”
We encourage each child to become as independent and self-sufficient as possible therefore do not dress your child in complicated clothing. It is frustrating to a child to have clothing that is impossible to manage in the bathroom or preparing for outside play. Provide clothing with simple fastenings, elasticized waistbands or very simple belt buckles, and large roomy boots. Please do not send over the shoe boots; they are impossible for a young child to put on alone and it defeats our purpose of fostering independence. Additionally, mittens are preferred over gloves to promote independence.
Our program provides for an outdoor play period EVERYDAY, weather permitting. Children must be dressed appropriately for the weather. All outdoor clothing must be marked for easy identification. Please put your child’s name on jackets, raincoats, boots, snow pants, hats, mittens, scarves, sweaters, and shoes. Please label all items clearly.
We know that parents are a crucial ingredient in the educational process. Therefore, good communication between teachers and parents is essential to ensure a positive experience for each child. Our Director and/or teachers are available to meet with parents on an informal and/or formal basis.
There are many activities during the year where parents can learn about the school and participate in the program. Some examples are Parent Coffees, Open House, Cookie Parties, Special Guest Morning, and Parent Education Workshops. We also welcome parents to volunteer to work with our Parent Advisory Board.
We urge you to keep us informed of any specific problems or changes in your child’s home environment that may affect him/her. This might include illness of a family member, death of a family member, death of a beloved pet, a move, or the birth of a baby. We can offer understanding, support encouragement, and help to relieve any anxieties that might arise over these issues.
Two parent/teacher conferences are scheduled during the year. The first is a fall phone conference that addresses the child’s adjustment to school and provides for a general exchange of information. The second conference is held at school in the spring and allows for a summary of the accomplishments the child has achieved during the year. If at any time you have questions or concerns we urge you to contact your child’s teacher or the Director.
You will receive a monthly newsletter in your child’s mailbox as well as via email. This will give you information on upcoming events and meetings and keep you informed concerning classroom happenings. Because your child may not be able to tell you all that goes on in school each day, we urge you to read all communications from school carefully so that you can help your child verbalize his/her experiences.
The TCNS E-News is sent weekly to remind you of upcoming events and activities. Additional email updates serve to keep parents informed of their child’s classroom happenings. Parents are encouraged to use email to keep them connected to their child’s preschool experience.
Visit www.trinitychurchnurseryschool.com to stay in touch with school happenings.
In addition to volunteering for special activities, parents are welcome guests in the Nursery School during the program hours. Please speak to your teacher if you want to stay on a particular day.
A “What We Did Today” sheet is posted near the sign out book in the classroom. We encourage you to read it as you sign out. We will also be sending home fliers that announce upcoming special events or activities. We want you to be well informed regarding school happenings and involved in your child’s Trinity experience! A translator will be provided if necessary upon request.
Parents will receive a schedule of when they are to provide the daily snack. Snacks should be of sound nutritional value to promote healthy eating habits. A suggested snack list is provided to parents. If you are unable to bring a snack on your designated day, please change with another parent. We ask that you please inform the teachers of the switch since snack helpers are chosen from the designated list.
DCFS require that food served to children must be commercially prepared, and in their original unopened packages. We cannot accept food or beverages prepared at home. We can accept fruits and vegetables if they are uncut or unprepared.
Please make certain that you have made your teacher aware of any food allergies or restrictions.
Your child’s birthday is an important occasion and we would love to recognize their special day at school. However, we continue to follow our healthy snack policy for birthdays. This is due to both our commitment to encouraging healthy eating, and the prevalence of allergies. We have a sweet birthday ritual for each class and invite parents to come in to read a story to the class. Parents are invited to read a book to their child’s class on the day of the birthday celebration; please coordinate this with your child’s teacher.
It has been an option at Trinity for the birthday child and family to give a gift book to the school. Participation is voluntary and if you feel this would be a meaningful experience for your child, please come with your child to the school office where appropriate books will be available to you. We have ordered these books especially for your convenience and encourage you to make your choice from our selection. In this way you will avoid duplicating books we already have and will provide the school with books all the children will enjoy using. All books are $16.
Discipline Policy and Behavioral Techniques
We realize that young children are learning to internalize the components of acceptable social behavior. The preschool setting is the natural arena in which they may safely practice these skills under the guidance of Early Childhood professionals who understand that these tasks take time to achieve. Our goal is to provide a nurturing environment in which the children may practice, learn, and succeed in the developmental tasks of childhood.
Rules are explained to the children in a clear, concise manner and independent functioning and choice of activities encouraged within the parameters of a flexible daily schedule. We expect the children to require constant reminders of appropriate behavior throughout the year. Whenever possible, redirection will be given to a child individually and quietly. The staff works to help each child develop the ability to solve problems using words.
Some of the language we use to model these skills may be the following: “John is using that toy now. We can get another one for you or you can wait until he is through using it and then you can have a turn.” “John, remember Sally is waiting to play with that toy. Please give it to her when you are through. Thank you.” When the first child relinquishes the toy the teacher then says, “Thank you for remembering to share that with Sally. And thank you Sally, for being so patient. John, would you like to do something else now?” If the first child takes too long, the teacher might say, “John, it will be Sally’s turn to play with that toy in two minutes. Then I will help you find something else to do.”
The teachers are constantly surveying the room in order to be able to redirect the children or help avoid clashes when strong personalities are about to collide. Teachers offer alternatives and ideas to help the children settle conflicts such as the following: “You sound angry. What happened? Can I help you? What do you think we can do about this? How can we help each other solve this problem? What do you think we should do?”
The children are respected by the manner in which they are listened to and treated. Kind and concerned adults respect the child’s feelings and try to help them articulate a problem and guide them to find a solution that is fair. Trinity teachers use positive techniques of guidance, reinforcement and encouragement rather than criticism or negative comparison. Corporal punishment or other humiliating techniques are never used. If a teacher must remove a child from the group he/she is taken aside or out in the hall. The teacher makes eye contact and attempts to find out what the problem is, As soon as the child is calm or indicated he/she is ready to re-join the group and resume activities he/she is welcomed back. Our goal is inclusion, not exclusion.
Role of the Parent in Guidance and Discipline
Trinity Church Nursery School encourages open communication with parents on all aspects of the child’s growth and development. The teacher will call and conference with the parent when difficulties persist after a reasonable amount of adjustment time to school has lapsed. A sharing of ideas and discipline techniques will be discussed in order to decide how best to help the child succeed at school.
If after a period of time the program does not seem to fit the needs of a child, there will be consultation with the Director and teachers and referrals suggested for professional guidance. If at the conclusion of that time it is apparent that the child will not benefit from the program and continues to display inappropriate behavior that is harmful to him/herself, other children or the teacher, the Director reserves the right to exclude the child from the Nursery School.
Tuition payments are typically made in one of two ways. You may either pay the entire amount or divide it into two (2) installments. If you choose to make one (1) payment, your payment is due May 1. If you choose to make two (2) payments, please pay according to the following schedule:
First payment due: May 1
Second payment due: September 1
A courtesy reminder with the amount due will be emailed to you. All payments are due on the first of the month. Payments received after the 10th of the month will be charged a $25.00 late fee. TCNS accepts checks as well as electronic wire transfers. To pay electronically, please visit our website at www.trinitychurchnurseryschool.com and scroll down to MAKE A PAYMENT, and follow the prompts. Payment plans are available upon request. To arrange a payment plan or discuss financial assistance, please contact the Director.