Parent Handbook



2019-2020 Hillside Parent Information

 Our Philosophy   Our philosophy at Hillside Preschool is to provide a safe and fun environment for academic and social growth.  Students will have the opportunity to learn and make progress in Christian values, language, mathematics, music, art, and fine and gross motor skills.
Our Daily Schedule   9:00- Students are welcomed and may proceed down to the classroom.  Personal belongings are stored, and folders are placed in the teacher’s tray. 9:15- Circle Time- Pledge of Allegiance, Calendar and weather time, story time 9:30- Learning Stations-Stations may include blocks, puzzles, art projects, reading, writing, one-on-one with teachers, sensory table, dramatic play, matching, sorting, games, and more 10:30- Jesus Time 10:45- Snack 11:00- Language Time 11:15- Recess – Outside or in the gym 11:50- Reflect on the day, behavior charts, Pack up 12:00- Dismissal
Drop Off   When you drop your child off each day, please park your car and bring your child into the building.  Please do not park in the fire lane.  You are asked to wait in the lobby area until a teacher welcomes you down to the classroom.  At this time, you may walk your child to the door of the classroom and say your goodbyes there.  The first few days may be a little emotional for students and parents.  It is not uncommon for there to be tears at the beginning.  It helps to say a quick goodbye and leave the settling down to us.  It usually does not take long to calm a child and we would appreciate your trust in this matter.
Pick up   When you pick your child up each day, please wait in the lobby.  The teachers will line the students up along the hallway and call your child’s name to walk to you.  We want to make sure that each child gets with the correct parent so please be patient with us, especially as we get to know your faces and names.  Anyone who picks up your child must be on your pick up list on the enrollment form.  We will be checking names at all times so please list anyone that may pick up your child (see Child Safety and Security Policy) and ask them to bring a photo ID with them.  A written note will need to be sent to school if someone other than those listed is picking up.  Students should be picked up promptly at 12:00 p.m.  If a parent is late picking their child up more than 2 times in a month, a late fee may be charged at the Director’s discretion.
Tuition   Tuition is due on the 1st day of each month.  If the 1st is on a Saturday or Sunday, the payment will be due the following Monday.  A 3 day grace period will be given to receive payment without penalty.  If the payment is not received by the end of the grace period, a $20 penalty will be assessed.  If payment is not received along with the penalty by the end of the month, the students will no longer be allowed to attend.  There will be a fee of $15 for all returned checks as well.  Please understand that tuition is based on the school year (September through May) and then divided into 9 equal monthly payments.  Therefore, tuition is the same amount each month regardless of sick days, holidays, and vacation.  Every effort will be made to remind parents that tuition is due (usually in the director’s monthly newsletter). *There is a one-time registration fee to enroll. If paid before April 30th for the following year, you will receive a discount fee.
Tuition Rates
5 day Pre-K tuition:  $275 per month
3 day Pre-k=K or Preschool: $180 per month
2 day Preschool:  $130 per month Parent’s Day Out (Friday):
$25 per Friday ($75-$125 depending on how many Fridays)
Sick Days   Please keep your child home if he/she has a fever, diarrhea, vomiting, bacterial infections, viruses, pink eye, or head lice.  If your child is sick, please call the church office at 636-343-5010 or message though Dojo App.  Please inform us if your child has something contagious so that we may inform other parents.  We will do our best to set aside any letters and/or work that we completed on that day for your child to take home when they return.
Snow Days   We follow the Rockwood District schedule for snow days.  If Rockwood is closed for inclement weather, Hillside will be closed also. Please check Facebook page and Dojo App for updates.  Our office may be closed if we are and therefore no one will be available to answer the phone to confirm.  However, snow days and other cancellations are always posted on the Hillside Preschool Facebook page.
Discipline   Part of our curriculum includes teaching students how to live and work in a community.  We stress the importance of sharing, respecting our friends and teachers, listening, and following directions.  Teachers will use the following methods for discipline:  1) positive reinforcement 2) a warning along with an explanation of why the behavior is unacceptable and what the behavior should have been, 3) In a situation where a student exhibits aggressive behavior the student will be removed from the situation, told why the behavior is unacceptable, and a note will be sent home to the parents that day.  Each classroom has a behavior chart.  If a student exhibits positive behavior all day, he/she will receive a sticker and it will be placed on the calendar in the front of his/her folder.  Every two weeks if they earned all the stickers he/she will get a chance to pick from our treasure chest!  A note will be in place of the sticker if a student did not earn one that day.
  Snacks   Each day we serve a snack.  Parents will be asked to send a snack to share a certain days.   This may be a box of cheese crackers, animal crackers, pretzels, cereal, graham crackers, yogurt, fruit or veggies, etc. We do have a refrigetor to store cold items. Snacks must be PEANUT and TREE NUT FREE and store brought.
Birthdays   If your child would like to celebrate his/her birthday at school you can  bring a special treat. Their snack day will be on their birthday or around their birthday if they do not come to school on their birthday. You are welcome to be a part of your child’s birthday celebration during snack time at 10:45a.m.  It is not always a convenient time for parents, but we want you to know that you are welcome to join us.  Immediately following the snack, you may read your child’s favorite story or lead one of your child’s favorite activities with the class.  If you do this, we ask that you keep the activity limited to 10-15 minutes.  If your child has a summer birthday, half birthdays may be celebrated.  Please consider sending or bringing a birthday treat that has some nutritional value.  Fruit is great because the students don’t often get fresh produce here at school.  The mini cupcakes are preferred over large cupcakes if you do send a sweet.  In our experience, some of the more sugar filled snacks end up in the trash.  All treats must be PEANUT and TREE NUT FREE and store brought.
Potty Trained Policy   All students that attend Hillside must be potty trained.  Occasional accidents are ok.  No pull ups may be worn.  In the event of an accident, we have extra clothes that have been donated for this cause.  If your child comes home in some of these clothes, please wash and return them.  It is best to keep a spare set of clothes, underwear, and socks in a gallon sized ziplock bag in your child’s backpack.  Children usually prefer their own clothes over our spares.  Sometimes a child gets wet or dirty from the playground, so it is best that all students have extra clothes.  
Personal Belongings   Please do not send your child’s toys or personal belongings to school.  There will be times when we ask students to bring a show and tell item so please save toys for those special days.  Please label all coats, hats, gloves, etc.  Sometimes students have similar ones or they are lost, so this helps us find the owner.
School Supplies   Each student will need a backpack and one folder to carry his/her papers. They will also need a crayon box that includes crayons, markers, colored pencils, and 2 glue sticks. Backpacks larger than a folder are preferred because all of the papers fit easily without being folded or crumpled.  There are a few items that we are always in need of.  If you would like to donate any of the following frequently used items, we would really appreciate it!
Optional supplies: wet wipes, paper plates, brown lunch bags, google eyes, stickers, playdoh, washable paint, stamp pads, cotton balls, popsicle sticks, brads
Name tags   Students will be given a name tag at Open House.  We ask you to keep this and have your child wear it for the first 2 weeks of school.  After that, we will collect them to be used on field trips.
Field trips   There will be a fall and spring field trip.  Parents will be asked to find transportation for their child to our destination.  There may be a fee for admittance to some locations.  More information will come home later about dates, times, and locations.  We will need parent chaperones.  Sorry, no siblings allowed on field trips.
Holiday Parties   We will have three holiday parties:  Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day.  All parents will be invited to attend the parties. We encourage you to help out during the party. The sign up will be posted at least two weeks before the party.  Siblings are welcome at parties.
Special Visitors   If you have a special talent or knowledge and you would like to share it with our students, please contact Mrs. Erin to discuss setting up a time to visit the classroom.  Examples may include playing a musical instrument, teaching the class about fire safety, or demonstrating how to stay healthy.
Conferences   We will have parent teacher conferences last week of November and the last week of April.  This will be your opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher to go over his/her report card and discuss your child’s progress.  If we have any concerns before then, we will contact you.  Please also feel free to approach us if you have a concern.
Communication   There will be times other than conference week that you may have questions about your child’s progress or about an upcoming event.  The teachers do not have access to email nor do they have a direct phone line during the school day.  When you email the address admins@fumc,org or call 636-343-5010, you will reach the church secretary, Mrs. Kathy.  She is the one who lets us know if your child is ill and she also helps us with new enrollment.  This allows us to focus on the students during the school day.  If it is an emergency and you need to speak with us, the secretary is able to transfer the phone call to our classroom.  If it is not an emergency but you need to speak to the teacher about something, you may do one of a few things.  You may write us a note and place it in your child’s folder, you may stay after school for a few minutes and talk to us personally, you may leave us a voicemail message, or you may email us personally though Dojo App.  We usually check them at least once a day but not during school hours.  You will be asked about your email preferences in the required paperwork.  To find out details on upcoming events, you may consider re-reading the monthly newsletter that contains detailed information.  Also, you may want to like our Facebook page to get reminders.  We like to post pictures of activities that the students get to take part in.   The page is set up so that only the administrator is allowed to post, but if you private message the page, you will be in contact with Mrs. Erin and she will respond as quickly as possible.
T-shirts   The price of a Hillside t-shirt is included in your registration fee.  These shirts will be worn on field trip days and other spirit days throughout the year.  You will receive the shirt by the end of September.
Scholastic Book Orders   We will be sending home Scholastic Book Orders throughout the year.  They will be sent home every month.  By purchasing books, you help us to add books to our school library as well as building up your library at home.
Medical Form   All students are required to have a physical by a physician.  A copy of immunizations must be attached.  These must be turned in within 30 days of the first day of school.  Only students who do not have a physical on file will need one.  Returning students already have one.  All immunization records will be examined at the beginning of the year to make sure immunizations are up to state standards.  If you have a medical or religious exemption, a separate form must be signed.  It is now law that any parent may request to know whether there are any students enrolled at the school who have filed an immunization exemption.
Emergency Preparedness In order to prepare our students for emergencies, we have frequent fire and tornado drills.  The more students are accustomed to the procedure, the more comfortable they become with it.  Our classrooms each have an emergency backpack that is filled with a first aid kit, phone numbers to get ahold of parents in the event of evacuation, and some comfort items.  Our entry doors are always locked during the day.  However, in the event an intruder has entered the building, we do have a plan in place.  If we would ever need to evacuate the building for one of these emergencies, our evacuation locations are 1) the parsonage behind the church building and 2) Auto Zone off of Gravois.  This is not something that is comfortable to think about, but the safety of your children is our priority.
Substitute Teachers   Sometimes the teachers are ill or have personal days that require them to take a day off of work.  In this event, we will have a substitute teacher.  If you are interested in being a substitute throughout the year and would like more information, please let the director know.  Substitute teaching requires a background check.
Hillside Board   The Hillside Board is a group of people that includes members of Fenton United Methodist Church, teachers, and parents.  This board oversees Hillside Preschool, writes our bylaws, hires teachers, and makes sure that we are operating effectively.  If you have any concerns or positive feedback, you are welcome to ask the secretary how you could get ahold of the board chair to discuss them.  There will be a survey at the end of the year that goes to the board, so please be honest in your responses.  If you are interested in being a parent on the board, please let the director know.
Themed Weeks   Each week we will have a new theme.  All table activities are usually centered around this theme.  This helps us to make learning fun for our students.  It also helps us include some science and social studies topics throughout the year.    We will be incorporating dramatic play, story time, and lesson time into these themes.  We may also have dress up days.  All themes and special days will be listed in the monthly newsletter to parents.
Donations   We are always trying to add to our closets full of themed table activities.  If you have anything at home that you are ready to part with that we may want for preschool, please let us know!  If we can’t use it, we can always pass it on to our church rummage sale.  Items may include craft supplies, counters, plastic figures, games, puzzles, stickers, books, and more.
Dojo App We use Dojo App for many things. We send information about your child’s day along with important updates and closings. We are able to send pictures of what your child did throughout the week. You can also private message the teachers to ask questions or to let us know if your child is not coming. You will get an invite during the September.   Please send a water bottle daily with your child.