Policies and Procedures

Heritage United Methodist Preschool

Parent/Teacher Partnership

We consider the preschool parents/guardians to be a very valuable part of our program. Parents and guardians:

  • Provide transportation for our field trips
  • Donate needed supplies
  • Assist the teachers in special activities, such as cooking and reading

Parents also have the opportunity to join our volunteer committee, Friends of HUM Preschool.

Heritage United Methodist Preschool Handbook

Click above to download

Crisis Management Plan

Crisis management is about protecting our children and about communicating about our children — before, during, and after a crisis — with other children, parents, and emergency personnel. The Crisis Management Plan details the action the preschool will take in case of earthquake, fire, flooding, tornado, bomb threat, gas leak, explosion, aircraft crash, hazardous spill, nuclear threat, abduction, or medical emergency.  It details alternate locations in case emergency personnel instruct the staff and children to leave the premises.  A copy of the Crisis Management Plan is available in the preschool office.

Snack Time

Calendar

The school year begins the Wednesday before Labor Day and ends the Friday before Memorial Day. School is closed for:

  • One day in September for Labor Day
  • One day in October for Professional Development
  • One day in November for  Election Day
  • The week of Thanksgiving
  • Two weeks for Christmas
  • One day in January for Teacher Work Day
  • One day in January for Martin Luther King Day
  • One day in February for President’s Day
  • One day in March for Teacher Work Day
  • One week for Easter

Inclement Weather

The preschool abides by the decision of the Lynchburg City Schools concerning school closings due to inclement weather. If the Lynchburg City Schools are closed, we will be closed.  If they open two hours late, we will open one hour late. Updates regarding closings or delays are available on WSET-TV13. The preschool does not make up days lost due to inclement weather.

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Policy

The preschool doors are unlocked at 8:55 a.m. and school begins at 9 a.m. The parent/guardian must accompany the child to the classroom door.  A warm good-bye at the classroom door, with a comment that the parent/guardian will be returning soon to pick up the child, works best to help the young child become independent and trusting of his/her teachers.

For safety reasons, siblings are not to be left in the car without adult supervision! (HUM Preschool is required by law to report to Child Protective Services instances when children are left unattended.)

The preschool program concludes at noon and the doors are unlocked for pick-up at 11:55 a.m. A late pick-up fee will be assessed if the student is picked up after 12:15. The parent/guardian must pick up the child at the classroom door.  A note, email, or phone call from the parent/guardian is required if the child is to go home with someone other than those persons authorized on the Application Form.

The preschool doors are locked daily at 9:10 a.m. and unlocked at 11:55 a.m. in order to ensure the safety of the children attending. You can enter the preschool at any other time through the door adjacent to the courtyard by using the buzzer.

Field Trips

Field trips will be planned for the 4s and Pre-Ks in order to complement the curriculum goals.  Because state law demands that each child be in a child safety seat, we request each parent to drive his/her own child on each field trip. If a parent is unable to drive, he/she must personally install the child’s car seat in another parent’s car and sign a waiver stating that the car seat has been properly installed.  Each field trip will be preceded by a permission slip, which must be completed and returned to the teacher before the child will be allowed to participate.

Child Development Policy

Six Week Adjustment/Observation Period

Following the admission of each child to the preschool, there will be a six-week period of observation and adjustment. During this time, if the teacher, parent/guardian, or director feels that the child is not adjusting to the preschool structure, we will hold a conference to discuss possible solutions. The preschool and parents/guardians, as partners, will work on an “Action Plan” that will benefit the child.  

Incompatibility of Preschool’s Abilities and Family’s Needs

Occasionally, the preschool’s abilities and an individual family’s needs may not be compatible.  In such cases, the parent(s)/guardian(s) may exercise their option to withdraw the child from the preschool.  

The preschool may also exercise its right to discontinue enrollment of a child based on:

  1. Inappropriate (e.g. aggressive or threatening) behavior toward another child or children
  2. Failure of parent(s)/guardian(s) to comply with an agreed upon plan of services/referrals for the child
  3. Preschool’s inability to meet the needs of the child and/or family
  4. Presence of child in class infringes on the rights and needs of other children

Family Dynamics

The preschool recognizes that from time to time parents become estranged and make the decision to separate or divorce. The preschool’s primary goal is to secure the best interests of the child and the other students and to preserve the educational setting of the school.  Thus, the preschool will not take sides in such situations and urges the parents to remember their child’s and the other children’s best interests are paramount. To this end, the preschool reserves the right to request a copy of any separation agreement or court order concerning the custody and visitation for the child.

Developmental Delays and Disorders

Developmental delays that are occasionally observed by parents/guardians of young children include speech, language, motor development, and social interaction. The preschool can help families seek expert advice and comprehensive evaluations when a developmental delay is noticed or suspected. Most of these evaluations can be completed at no cost to the family.  Please see the Director or Assistant to the Director for help in this area.

The preschool welcomes children with identified and suspected delays. However, in cases where a child may have a delay requiring a significant level of support and services, enrollment may be based upon certain conditions being met (e.g. assessment by, collaboration with, and services given by early intervention specialists).


Health Policy

Children and teachers wash their hands at the beginning of school, after using the bathroom, and before and after eating. Tables in the classroom are cleaned twice daily with a disinfectant.  

Children will be sent home or should be kept home if they have:

  1. Both a fever (100 degrees or higher) and a behavior change
  2. Symptoms of severe illness such as lethargy (more than expected tiredness), uncontrolled coughing, inexplicable irritability or crying, difficulty breathing, wheezing, or other unusual signs (until medical evaluation determines the child can remain in care)
  3. Diarrhea, defined as more watery, less formed, more frequent stools not associated with a diet change or medication – a stool not contained by the child’s ability to use the toilet (Children in diapers who develop diarrhea must be excluded, and children who have learned to use the toilet, but cannot make it to the toilet in time, must also be excluded.)
  4. Blood in the stools not explained by diet change, medication or hard stools
  5. Vomiting two or more times in 24 hours
  6. Persistent abdominal pain (lasting more than two hours)
  7. Mouth sores with drooling
  8. Rash with fever or behavior change
  9. Purulent conjunctivitis (pink or red eye lining or whites of the eyes with white or yellow pus coming from the eyes)
  10. Lice (exclude at the end of the day)
  11. Scabies
  12. Tuberculosis
  13. Impetigo
  14. Strep throat, or streptococcal infection
  15. Chickenpox (varicella zoster) or shingles (herpes zoster)
  16. Whooping cough (pertussis)
  17. Mumps
  18. Hepatitis A
  19. Measles
  20. Rubella
  21. Unspecified respiratory tract illness and
  22. Herpes simplex.

Children may attend preschool if they have:

  1.  Mild respiratory illnesses and temperatures less than 100 degrees and do not appear ill
    2.  Ear infections that are under treatment
    3.  Strep throat after 48 hours of antibiotic treatment; children must be maintained on this treatment for 10 days
    4.  Been treated for head lice and do not have any evidence of the presence of lice
    5.  Hepatitis with a physician’s note approving re-admission to the preschool
    6.  Been sick with a fever, but are now fever-free for at least 24 hours

Please contact the school and report any communicable diseases (including head lice) that your child has contracted so the school can take extra precautions to insure they are not spread and so that parents/guardians can be informed of a contagious disease in their children’s
classroom. All information will be held in the strictest confidence.

Immunizations must be up-to-date on the enrolled child, unless your child is on a delayed schedule of immunizations or unless the school has on file a Commonwealth of Virginia Certificate of Religious Exemption of Immunizations. Once the immunization record is on file with the preschool, there will be no need to submit an immunization record for subsequent years of enrollment.

Any accident requiring emergency medical treatment will be reported to the parent/guardian as soon as possible.  An accident report will be filed with the school.

Medication Policy

In accordance with the State of Virginia, topical medication (including insect repellant, sunscreen, lip balm, diaper cream, and over-the-counter topical ointments) may only be administered if accompanied by an official Written Medication Consent Form filled out by the parent/guardian and available in the office.  

Epi-pens and inhalers may only be administered if accompanied by an additional Written Medical Consent Form filled out by the prescribing doctor. The preschool does not administer any oral medication (either prescription or over-the-counter) with the exception of those given in conjunction with the administration of an epipen.


Food Policy

Peanut Alert

In a culture where we see so many children who have life threatening reactions to peanuts requiring the use of epi-pens, as well as so many parents who have eliminated peanuts from their children’s diets, the preschool maintains a “PEANUT ALERT” at all times. We ask parents/guardians to eliminate peanut butter, raw peanuts, and trail mix/snack bars with peanuts in them from their child’s snack during preschool and Lunch Bunch hours.  

 

Snacks for the Preschool Program/Lunches for the Lunch Bunch Program

The preschool does not provide food service. Therefore daily nutritious, peanut-free snacks/lunches must be provided for each child. Lunch boxes and backpacks must be labeled with the child’s name and parents are encouraged to provide snacks that the child can open easily, as well as snacks that do not need to be peeled, cut, or washed or microwaved before being eaten. Please do not send in candy or other sweets for snack or candies/sweets to be shared with children unless it’s for an approved special occasion.

 

Allergy Policy

Our goals for the allergy policy are:

  1. Inclusion:  To include all children with allergies in the program of HUM Preschool while respecting the rights of other children in the class or the preschool as a whole, especially regarding materials used in the classroom or foods served to them during the school year (ex. classroom celebrations, birthday parties, all-school events such as Pajama Day, Farm Day, etc.)
  2. Protection:  To protect the health and safety of every child with allergies to the best of our ability
  3. Confidentiality:  To respect the special needs of the child with allergies and his/her right to confidentiality

Parent Role

The role of the parent/guardian of a child with allergies is:

  1. Inform:  At the time of registration of a child in the preschool, the parent/guardian must inform the school of the child’s allergy on the application.
  2. Provide Forms:  At the beginning of the school year the parent/guardian must provide the preschool with a MAT (Medication Administration Training) form completed and signed by a physician for administration of the Epi-pen and a MAT form completed and signed by the parent for all/any over-the-counter drug/drugs that may need to be used in case of an allergic reaction.
  3. Provide Action Plan:  Parent/guardian must submit an “action plan” from the child’s physician stating allergies, precautions, and recommendations that are medically necessary for the child’s health and safety.
  4. Provide Safe Food/Safe Material:  Parent/guardian of child with specific food allergies must provide “safe food” for child to eat when other food is being eaten in the classroom or by the preschool as a whole or “safe materials” when there is a question of hidden allergens in the art supplies.

Preschool Role

The role of the preschool in caring for a child with allergies is:

  1. No Snack Sharing:   HUM Preschool does not permit sharing of food among the children during snack time.
  2. Storage of Drug:  HUM Preschool will keep prescription/over-the-counter drugs in a safe place in the preschool office.
  3. CPR and First Aid Certified:  HUM Preschool provides a staff, all of whom are certified in CPR and First Aid every two years.
  4. MAT:  HUM Preschool provides an administrative staff that is certified in MAT (Medication Administration Training).
  5. Safe Zone:  To prevent cross-contamination, if the food allergy of the child is severe or upon request by the parent, the staff will provide a “Safe Zone” where the child may eat his/her snack away from the other children.
  6. Hidden Allergens:  Because the preschool uses many different commercial kinds of art supplies within the classroom which may contain hidden allergens such as egg and wheat, the preschool cannot accept responsibility for a child’s intentional or unintentional exposure to them and the subsequent allergic reaction.

Discipline Policy

The responsibility of proper discipline within the classroom begins with the teacher(s). It is the teacher’s responsibility to clearly present the ground rules for appropriate classroom behavior through discussion, role-playing, and repetition. Having established these ground rules, the teacher uses the following positive behavior management strategies:

  • Fair and consistent limits, as well as provision of reasons for limits
  • Positively worded directions
  • Redirection of unacceptable behavior
  • Modeling of acceptable behavior
  • Assistance with verbal expressions of feelings and frustrations
  • Arrangement of equipment, materials, activities, and schedules in a way that promotes desirable behavior

Occasionally separation from fellow classmates or “time out” is a necessary part of discipline. The child is then removed from the problem situation and sits in a “time out” chair in the classroom. At this time the child is always within sight and sound of the teacher and the time is limited to approximately one minute per year of the child’s age. “Time out” is a means toward child self-control and is not a punishment or method of humiliation.

Biting Policy

Although biting is not a common behavior for the preschool child, this behavior does sometimes occur. The classroom teacher/assistant teacher plays a crucial role in the handling of a biting situation. She observes her children closely, teaches the children in her class to use words and to have patience, teaches age-appropriate social skills, and attempts to react quickly when a child bites or is bitten.

Although our teachers make every effort to avoid a biting situation, it does occur at times. If a child is bitten, the parent/guardian of the bitten child will be informed personally when he/she comes to pick up the child or by a phone call after the close of school. The parent/guardian of the biter will also be informed personally when he/she comes to pick up the child or by a phone call after the close of school.

Biting behavior will be addressed as follows:

  • The first two times that a child bites, the teacher will notify the parent/guardian of the biter either through a personal conversation or a phone call.
  • The third time that a child bites, the parent/guardian will be asked to come in for a conference with the director and the teacher before the next class. At that time the parent/guardian will be asked to keep the child at home until the biting stage is completed.

If a biting child is asked to stay at home, the child’s spot in the preschool will be secure for one month. After one month the progress of the child will be reevaluated to determine whether he/she is ready to return to the classroom. If the parent needs to keep the child out of school for more time, he/she will assume the financial responsibility of having the preschool hold the child’s spot.

Heritage United Methodist Preschool