Willowbound Policies and Procedures
On the day closest to their birthday, your child is welcome to bring a small treat and or a book to share during snack time. Please make the treat peanut free and according to child care health guidelines, needs to be commercially prepared. Your child will be given a willow crown to decorate and wear on their birthday celebration at preschool.
Each month I will send home book order forms from the Scholastic Book Club. These are great paperback books at a fantastic price, purchasing is optional.
COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS
Each week I will email you a weekly newsletter that outlines the curriculum that we will be covering. The newsletter will identify children’s questions and theories about a topic that interests and energizes a group of children in the class. I will outline the indoor and outdoor play plans for the week so children can explore, learn, theorize, and discover answers to questions just out of their reach (our inquiry-based project curriculum). Weekly plans will also include developmental center activities that will help the children to achieve particular social, emotional, motor, math, and language goals appropriate for their age. I encourage you to read over the weekly newsletter carefully each Friday for reference during the upcoming week. If you need to speak with me (Miss Kim) please leave a message as I will be with children during teaching times during the day. I will return you calls as soon as possible after class. Please select at least two emergency contact people who are authorized to pick up your child in the case of an emergency. We will ID those on your emergency list, so please notify us at the beginning of class and in advance if someone is picking up your child and is not on the emergency list. We cannot release your child to anyone who has not been preauthorized for pick-up.
CLASS INVOLVEMENT BY PARENTS
We would love to involve parents in our cycle of inquiry process by having parent volunteers who are willing to make observations and write them down. It would involve writing what the children are doing and their conversations on a carrying around a notebook to write down observations outdoors too. I would like to involve at least one parent in each class to do observations as part of our process of understanding children’s thinking. Two teachers can see and hear a lot, but a parent observer can help fill in gaps by recording conversations and questions that arise each day. Participating parents would need to act professionally and respect children’s privacy by not chatting about children’s behavior and conversations in public or with others. The observations would be for curriculum purposes only and children’s right to privacy would need to be respected. There will be a sign up sheet at the Open House for parents who would like to help with observations . There will be project share days where parents will be invited to class to share refreshments, photos and posters that document our inquiry-based learning projects. Parents are welcome anytime in a drop in basis.
Separation Anxiety: Some three-year-old children may need a parent to take a few minutes to reassure them that they will return on the first week of class. If you think your three-year -old will struggle with separation anxiety on the first week, please bring a family photo for your child to look at during class and reassure your child that you will return after farm school and a snack. "Mom will always come back and bring you home, after you play with friends at school."
Please send your child to Nature School in “play clothes” which includes pants, closed toed shoes, and warm and waterproof outerwear. In our outdoor explore area there is a mud/loose parts kitchen and gravel construction area as well as art activities, log pavers, and rough wood. Please send children in pants, closed toed shoes, and clothing that can get dirty. Please send clothing that matches the weather. On rainy days send waterproof boots if you don't want muddy shoes. We will also be visiting cow and chicken areas that have pasture grass and hay. On rainy days we will explore outside. On snowy days we will explore outside. Snow boots or fur lined rubber boots will need to be worn once snow accumulates in the yard. Children will need a warm coat, gloves, hat, snow pants and boots in the winter. We will go outside for 30 minutes on average days even in the winter. The exception is severe weather conditions. (See Severe Weather below).
Indoors while painting and playing in the sensory table children will wear a waterproof apron, but sleeves and shoes may still get dirty or wet. Please bring a change of clothing and extra underwear to the open house in a gallon baggie labeled with your child’s name. Also label your child’s shoes, bag, coat, hat etc. A change of clothing will be stored in a clothing box designated for your child’s class. Please don’t store extra clothing in your child’s backpack. We will have a lost and found basket in the office for unlabeled clothing.
SEVERE WEATHER POLICY
There are times when school may be canceled or delayed due to dangerous inclement weather, and associated road conditions. In Southeast Idaho windy cold winter weather is common. Severe weather usually consists of driving snow, wind, and extreme subzero temperatures. On doubtful mornings, I will text parents. Please contact Willowbound School if you have questions. If weather factors dictate school closure earlier than the regular scheduled time, we will notify you. We need at least two emergency contact people and their phone numbers.
DROP OFF AND PICK UP PROCEDURES
Please park and bring your child into the classroom to sign in. Please sign the clip board or tablet and walk your child to their cubby and encourage him or her to hang up outwear unassisted by encouraging them to put each piece of clothing in their cubby. Cubbies will be labeled with your child’s name. Encourage your child to hang up their outerwear and wash their hands until it becomes a habit. The 4-year-old class will be asked to answer the question for the day by signing their name. Park in front of the school in the angled one way parking spaces. (Carefully read below how to enter and exit the lane to our preschool.)
Pick up your child inside of class. Please sign-out your child and check their cubby for artwork that should have their name on it. A teacher will notify your child that it is time to leave from the closing circle and gather items in your child’s cubby. Please let us know if someone else will be picking up your child so that we can verify their identity with ID. We cannot accommodate children more than 15 minutes before or after school ends. Please contact us as soon as possible if an emergency arises that will prevent you from picking up your child on time. You will be assessed a $10 late pick-up fee after 15 minutes to be paid the next day that your child is brought to class.
Morning Class: Beginning at 8:30- Drop off is between 8:25 and 8:40 and pick-up is between 10:55 and 11:10.
Afternoon class: Beginning at 1:00 - Drop off is between 12:55 and 1:10 and pick-up is between 3:25-3:40. Please pick up your child by 11:10 or 3:40.
DROP OFF PARKING AND DRIVING ON LANE
Our preschool is set back behind 138 East on 3750 North in Salem. It is a Rexburg address, but we are located a mile north of Walmart on North Salem Highway. Turn east onto 3750 north from North Salem Highway two blocks North of the Salem church. Our school is accessed by a narrow gravel lane between two houses. Please stop at the lane entrance and yield to the car(s) exiting the lane. A mirror will be placed in front of the lane so you can see when it is clear. When clear, proceed down the lane and go into the parking lot on the left. There are ten angled parking spots right in front of the school. Follow the boardwalk from your car into the school to drop off your child. Loop at the top of the parking lot to exit the lane. Stop at the stop sign and yield to cars that are coming down the lane. Turn right onto 3750 North from the lane to reach North Salem Highway. (Please look at map for reference). Please select at least two emergency contact people who are authorized to pick up your child in the case of an emergency. We will ID those on your emergency list, so please notify us at the beginning of class and in advance if someone is picking up your child and is not on the emergency list. We cannot release your child to anyone who has not been preauthorized for pick-up.
We have explorer friends from five different school districts and BYUI interns so we don’t follow any one district school schedule. Please check the updated important dates calendar for any days that we might not have preschool. Most closed preschool days follow regular school holidays for Madison and Sugar City Districts.
We have three intentional guidance practices to help children value themselves, others, and belongings.
1. Teachers are mindful of what they bring to the classroom. Teachers are encouraged to practice self care in their own lives. “You cannot pour from an empty bucket.” Taking time each day to rest, exercise, and develop her own interests, improves a teacher’s attitude, emotion regulation, and her own excitement for learning. Our teachers are encouraged to have their own unique passions and connections to the natural world.
2. Teachers value building relationships and connecting with children. We connect with children by valuing their autonomy. We provide many choices for children indoors and out. We go where they are and seek to develop and promote a curriculum based on their interests. We share and build on what fills their time and attention. We intentionally acknowledge children through daily connective conversations. We give specific praise and narrate what children are doing while they play rather than just saying “good job”. We plan based on individual children’s learning styles. We empathize with and value children’s feelings through labeling them and seeking to understand the reason or situation behind the feelings. For younger tantruming children who are drunk on emotion, labeling a feeling isn't helpful so an adult stays with them while they settle down and are ready to move back to play.
3. We teach social skills and seek to understand misbehavior through positive guidance and talking. Our third child guidance statement can be summed up in these words, “teach children how to solve their problems rather than punishing them for having problems that they can’t solve” (Dan Gartrell, University of Minnesota). Three and four-year-olds are beginning to manage their feelings, deal with disappointment or frustration, and form relationships with people. Mechanistic control systems like "time out" doesn’t teach children what to do the next time they want a turn with a favorite toy. We believe in research based child guidance strategies like John Gottman’s emotion coaching, and Center for Resilient Children’s FLIPIT. We also consider other reasons behind misbehavior. Does the child have an unmet need like fatigue or illness or a big change at home? Teachers evaluate their own teaching and consider a lack of fit between their planned activity and a child’s attention span, interest, or ability. Evaluating what influences misbehavior helps teachers to more effectively guide and empathize with children.
We strive to provide a safe and fun atmosphere with careful supervision at Willowbound. In any setting accidents may happen, but risk is reduced through intentional accident prevention. If anything happens that seems serious we will contact you immediately. We have logs, sticks, chickens, cows, and a wild area. We have intentionally evaluated each outdoor play area for children and considered the balance of motor opportunities and nature exploration while still reducing risk. We have consulted nature play designers so our playground pieces are secured and sanded. For example, the large log stumps in our stage area have been sanded and cemented into place with a connecting piece of wood not just set in a hole, but cemented several feet underground. We have selected tamer breeds of livestock that do well with younger children and created structures and routines to reduce exposure to animal waste. We have also used routines and fencing to create boundaries for where and when children may explore. We discuss handling livestock to reduce risk of bites and pecks. Simple first aid will be applied like washing area, applying ice packs and bandaids to bruises or scratches. An accident report may be filled out for hard falls, but you will be notified verbally of minor scratches at the end of the day. Each teacher has received first aid and infant child CPR training. Please read the medical release form which gives us permission to use first aid and emergency medical treatment which includes calling 911 if needed.
If your child is ill please keep him/her home. This includes coughs and runny noses. As the winter months approach so does the incidence of flu and colds. For the sake of your child, and the other preschool children, please use good judgment in sending your child to school. If they are contagious, please keep them home. This would include any signs of sickness such as fever, runny nose, rash, sore throat, cough, diarrhea, pink eye or vomiting. If your child is exposed to a contagious disease such as covid-19, chicken pox or mumps, the school should be notified and told how and when you think they were exposed. I will notify families in the case of possible exposure. If your child starts feeling ill while they are at school, I will phone you and ask you to come and pick them up. If your child is unable to attend school for any extended period of time, please notify the school. Tuition will not be refunded for absences due to illness.
Masks may be worn during class, but young children rarely keep masks on nor will they practice social distancing. Currently, we follow the local school systems who do not mandate masks for children. If anyone in your household tests positive for covid or is exposed to some who tested positive for covid, please keep children home and notify us. Teachers have been voluntarily immunized.
We will provide a healthy snack, water, or low sugar juice or warm beverage for each school day utilizing whole foods as often as possible. Food will be prepared before class in our licensed kitchen area with a clean apron, mask, and gloves, or will be commercially packaged. We will wash children’s hands after classroom play and before snack. We will eat family style with teachers and children sitting at the same table to promote independence, self care skills, modeling healthy foods, and to promote conversation and collaboration. Due to allergies and sugar content, you can send a favorite book to be read for your child’s birthday and a small commercially prepared treat some healthy examples include fruit leather, trail mix, fresh fruit. Class allergies may change this list. Children will be offered water each day during snack time. If a child is thirsty a disposable paper cup with water will be given to the child as requested. It is not necessary to bring a water bottle, but can be stored in their cubby if they are attached to it. Please do not send breakfast to school with your child especially the 3-year-old morning class. Take the extra time in the morning to help your child eat breakfast before class so arguments over food don't arise and your child isn't starving by snack time at 10:00 am.
We will provide all school supplies including art, science, and paper supplies. If your child desires they can bring a backpack or bag with them to school each day. Please put their name on it. This backpack needs to fit a 9 x12 sheet of paper. We do daily art process and small focus activities and children usually want to take something home. Our focus is on their process not the finished product so a backpack is not necessary. Children often want to carry their treasures out the door. We will take a day and dry paint projects before sending them home. Please give a change of clothes to a teacher and we will store it in the class clothing box and not in backpacks. If your child needs to use extra clothing, please replace clothing the following school day and give the new change of clothes to the teacher at check in.
TUITION & LATE FEES
Tuition will be paid through this same Venmo account used for enrollment i.e. Willowbound or Kimberly-Eagar and can be paid monthly or you can pay tuition by check or cash. A Venmo message will be sent confirming your tuition payment or you will receive an email if you paid by check or cash each month.
Tuition is due by the 5th. Tuition is at a monthly rate of $150. The enrollment fee is not considered tuition and goes towards snacks, supplies, consumable art, and loose parts materials. Our fee schedule may vary for the 22/23 school year. Tuition will not be prorated for holidays. The tuition will be the same amount each month.
Tuition is billed monthly, not day to day. If your child misses due to vacation or illness, the tuition is still the set amount. If you choose to pull your child for any reason please give us written notice. This can be sent by email. You are responsible for tuition through the month that you give notice. Tuition refunds will not be given for children who are withdrawn in the middle of the month.