Discipline PolicyOur purpose in setting guidelines for discipline is to help children retain their emotions and actions, not to stop them from expressing feelings and moods. Setting limits and establishing rules gives children the security of knowing that their strong emotions will not lead them to do things that are potentially harmful to themselves and others.
Guidelines for behavior are clearly explained to children. Appropriate behavior is modeled, and the use of language is continuously encouraged so that children may gain skills in communicating their needs, and expressing emotions.
The environment at New Beginnings is well equipped to allow children choices of play activities and materials. Every attempt is made to foresee and forestall trouble; however, in spite of the limits that are set, difficult situations do arise. If a child is experiencing difficulty being self-directed or experiences difficulty using language as a means of problem solving, the following steps are taken:
1. Talking to the child in a normal tone of voice at the child’s eye- level using “I” messages.
2. Redirection of the child to another activity.
3. Temporary removal of the child from the problem situation.
4. Firm Directives.
5. Conference with parents.
AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR POLICY
In order to ensure the safety of each child and provide an environment conducive to learning, aggressive injurious behaviors such as biting and scratching are not permitted. In the event that your child displays an aggressive injurious behavior toward anyone (child, teacher, staff or parent) repeatedly, the following procedures will be enforced:
First Warning - Thorough investigation of incident by teacher(s), Director and/or Assistant Director. Phone conference with parent. Incident report filed with family and placed in child’s file. Child will be counseled about the aggressive behavior. Child will be encouraged to use language to express his/her needs and desires.
Second Warning - Thorough investigation of incident. Incident report filed with parent(s) and parent conference(s) arranged. Incident report placed in child’s file. At this time the child will be placed on a one day suspension from the center. Parent(s) should use this time to counsel with child about behavior and implement a corrective action plan. Parent(s) must present a written statement explaining corrective action taken.
Final Warning - Child’s dismissal from center.
Note: This policy will be implemented after the usual disciplinary measures have been exhausted.
It is our goal to meet the developmental needs of all children in our care and to work cooperatively with parents. However, special circumstances beyond our areas of expertise do arise. Therefore, when special circumstances and/or disciplinary problems arise that infringe upon the rights of other children, threatens the safety of children, teachers, parents and staff, and/or if the Director feels that the center is unable to meet a child or a family’s needs, the center director reserves the right to dismiss a child at her discretion. This policy more specifically applies to parents that are openly aggressive and threatening.
WILLFUL DESTRUCTION OF CENTER’S PROPERTY
Part of our mission is to help children become independent responsible individuals. Therefore we teach children how to care for materials and supplies in the center, and to assume responsibility for their actions.
In the event that staff report the willful destruction of any of the centers property, parents will be asked to reimburse the center for the cost of replacing the property. Failure to replace the property may result in dismissal of the child from the center.
CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT POLICY
In accordance with chapter 415, Florida Statue, we are required to report any suspected case of child abuse or neglect to the proper authorities. Abuse includes physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect.
Children that are left at the center after normal operating hours on a regular basis may be considered neglected and may experience emotional stress. If parents do not make the necessary arrangements for their child to be picked-up and if the center is unable to contact the person(s) listed for emergency contact the child may be taken to the campus police department, and child protective services may be contacted.
Formal conferences will be scheduled once a year during the month of December. Additional conferences may be arranged with specific teachers upon request. Parents may request a conference request form from teachers or the front office, or call for an appointment. Conferences are usually held between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Children should not attend parent/teacher conferences, and parents are asked to refrain from discussing problems with the teachers/staff in front of their child and other children. Nor should parents try to address teachers when they are attending to other children.
REMEMBER PARENTS, YOU ARE THE FIRST ROLE MODEL FOR YOUR CHILD. THE WAY YOU HANDLE PROBLEMS AND CONCERNS WILL PROBALBLY DETERMINE HOW YOUR CHILD HANDLES PROBLEMS. PLEASE SHOW RESPECT AND RESTRAINT IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILD WHEN ADDRESSING PARENTAL CONCENS TO TEACHERS STAFF AND STAFF.
PARENTAL PROBLEMS AND CONCERNS
Your concerns are very important to us and should be addressed immediately. The person(s) with whom you have an issue or concern should be approached directly and in private. If the problem or concern is not satisfactorily resolved, request a conference with the Director or Assistant Director. Other staff members should not be involved.
DISEASE AND ILLNESS
All children with any signs of a contagious illness must be dismissed from school, and parents will be contacted immediately. Please be prepared to pick up your child if he or she becomes ill at school. We are bound by health regulations to dismiss children who become ill for the protection of other children and staff.
ANY FEVER, VOMITING, DIARRHEA AND/ OR DISCLORED MUCUS IS CONSIDERED TO BE AN ILLNESS. CHILDREN SENT HOME SHOULD NOT RETURN TO SCHOOL UNTIL ALL SYMPTOMS HAVE BEEN ABSENT FOR 24 HOURS.
The only allowable exceptions to the policy are; 1) if the child has been seen by a physician who has determined that the illness is not contagious; 2) if the child has been on antibiotics for at least 24 hours (when appropriate) or 3) there is a note from the physician stating that it is okay for the child to return to school, and that the illness is not detrimental to the health of other children and staff.
Medication will be administered to a child only upon written request from the parent. The medication must be in the original container with the child’s name and directions for use clearly indicated. Families are asked to bring the medicine in and to fill out the “Request to Administer Medication” form. Families should also request that the medication be returned when the child is picked up.
Think of your child’s comfort and the weather conditions when dressing him/her for school. Your child should come to school dressed to play. Plan for your child to be comfortable for all types of play including sand, water and painting. Expect your child’s clothing to get soiled; therefore we strongly recommend that you dress them accordingly. Children who are afraid of getting dirty often refuse to engage in valuable learning experiences. Comfortable, sturdy clothing that is free of complicated fastenings is suggested.
Open-toed sandals, flip-flops and jellies are inappropriate. Sturdy sneakers with Velcro fastening are highly recommended. We recommend that children bring/wear a cap or scarf to school for sand play, and that parents send in sunscreen lotion for playing outside. Please label all garments including hats, sweaters, jackets, gloves, underwear, swimwear, backpacks, blankets, etc., as the center will not assume responsibility for loss of unlabeled items. Please refrain from placing beads on your children’s braids. We have found them to be very dangerous and unsafe.
Each child is provided a personal cubby with his or her name on it. Please check cubbies daily for child’s work, receipts, and special notices. We ask for the removal of all clothing and bedding items on Fridays so that cubbies may be properly sanitized.
Due to the size of the children’s cubbies we ask that parents bring a small pillow, towel or blanket for naptime. All items should fit neatly inside the child’s cubby. Large backpacks are inappropriate. Children are better able to assume responsibility for their personal belongings if they fit neatly inside their cubbies.
The center will provide breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack each day. Lunches are provided at no extra cost to parent(s). Parent(s) must sign an Alternate Nutrition Form required by HRS, agreeing to provide a well-balanced nutritious lunch incorporating foods from the four basic food groups. Hot foods may be packed in microwave - safe containers. Please no frozen or packaged foods that require extra preparation. WE PREFER THAT YOU DO NOT SEND SNACKS.
Children may celebrate their birthdays at school during afternoon snack time (between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.). Parents should notify teachers and kitchen technician at least the day before the party.
TOYS FROM HOME
New Beginnings provides a variety of materials and toys for children’s play. We find that when children bring personal toys to school and they are lost or stolen; children are often upset and unable to focus on their work. Therefore, we asked that you do not allow your child to bring personal toys to school.
SPECIAL NOTICES AND CELEBRATIONS
Every attempt is made to notify families of special events that occur during the year. Each month teachers prepare a calendar of activities for parents’ information. Notices are also posted throughout the center, on the easel in the lobby, next to the sign in/sign out sheet in each classroom, and posted on the parent information board in the classrooms.
It is parents’ responsibility to pick up the calendar and other informational materials in the classroom and READ IT. Teachers do not always have time to speak to individual parents to inform them of upcoming events. Notices of special events will also be posted in various places throughout the center. Look for five major celebrations that occur annually: (1)The Umoja Celebration of Family and Friends (November), (2) Kwanzaa (December), (3) Kuumba Festival (March or April), (4) Family Fun Day (May), and (5)Graduation (May or June). We ask that families and children dress in traditional African attire for our Kwanzaa celebration and for graduation. Additional information will be provided as the event approaches.
All families are encouraged to participate in our program. There are many opportunities for families to be actively involved in a variety of activities including, homecoming preparation, fundraising, teacher appreciation, story time, circle time etc. Parents are always welcomed to visit the center at anytime and participate in the daily activities. We strongly encourage all parents to join the Parent Teacher Child Organization (PTCO).
The PTCO organization was established to:
Inform families of the ongoing needs, goals and objectives of the New Beginnings Child Development Center.
Address parental concerns. Establish a cooperative relationship between families and New Beginnings’ administration and staff.
Field trips are a necessary and exciting part of any educational program. They are planned to compliment and supplement the curriculum. In order for field trips to be a truly educational and safe experience for young children, group sizes (when possible) will not exceed class size for each age group in the center. For example if there are twelve two-year old children in the two-year old class, then the field trip will be scheduled for those twelve two-year old children. The remaining groups may be scheduled on the same day if transportation permits, but at different times so that age groups do not overlap. It is important to maintain the same proper pupil teacher ratios on field trips as are appropriate in the center and on the playground. Parents and student workers are encouraged to accompany staff and children on field trips at all times.
When appropriate, whole school recreational field trips may be scheduled during the summer. However, separation of age groups and proper pupil ratios are still maintained. If there is play equipment available at a particular recreational site, staff make sure that it is age appropriate and that all parts of the equipment and the surrounding areas are properly supervised to prevent injury. The Assistant Director or Director should accompany the group on all field trip outings.
Parents are notified of field trip schedules and locations prior to the date of the trip. All parents should have on file a signed and notarized parent letter of agreement, a disclaimer form, an emergency medical treatment form and an updated parent information sheet.
AFTER SCHOOL CARE
After school care is available for children between the ages of 5 and 12. This care is generally limited to children that are enrolled in FAMU’s Developmental Research School (DRS). Graduates of New Beginnings and siblings are granted priority for available spaces. All care offered to this age group should be approved through the Director’s office.
Effective July 1, 2001, returning families must complete an enrollment form annually. Re-admission into the after school program is not automatic. Families will be notified of re-acceptance within two weeks of receipt of an enrollment application. A non refundable $35.00 registration fee will be required to hold a slot for the upcoming year.
New Beginnings generally operates in conjunction with the university’s schedule of classes for students. Families need to make other arrangements for after school care if care is required before the university is in session.
As a courtesy to parents, children are escorted on foot from FAMU DRS to New Beginnings, daily. It is not the center’s policy to provide motor vehicle transportation for children enrolled in the after school program. If families are concerned about children walking to the center during inclement weather or otherwise, arrangements should be made to have children picked up from DRS and dropped off at New Beginnings. Please provide written notification of your transportation arrangements to FAMU DRS and New Beginnings.
Children will be picked up from FAMU DRS at 2:45 p. m. daily. Please stress the importance of reporting to the pick up station on time. The after school teachers will call the roll at approximately 3:00 p.m. Any child that has not reported to the pick up site will be left at the school. In the event your child is left at FAMU DRS, instruct him/her to report to the front office and call you for further instruction.
Notification of Absence
In the event that a will not be attending the after school program, please notify New Beginnings in writing, so that the after school teachers will not spend time trying to locate the child. Messages from children are unacceptable.
Summer camp is offered to school age children in grades K-5. A variety of recreational activities and field trips are provided. Summer camp hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p. m. A one-time summer activity fee must accompany the registration form. The activity fee is non-refundable and will be used to cover the cost of activities, supplies and field trips.
In the unlikely event that it becomes necessary to withdraw your child prior to completion of the program we ask that you please complete an early withdrawal form so that we can keep a running record of the reasons families withdraw from the center.
The university has liability insurance coverage only. If you wish additional coverage please contact your insurance company, or the Department of Children and families for resources and referrals.
1. A child’s name may be place on the waiting list at any time during the year upon submission of a completed application.
2. Children of FAMU students shall have priority on the waiting list.
3. If a child reaches the top of the list before the age 2 ½ (and potty trained), he/she will have the next available space after he/she turns 2-1/2.
4. The date that an application is received determines the position on the waiting list.
5. Families are immediately notified when slots become available.
It is the parents’ responsibility to notify the center of any changes in contact information. After three unsuccessful attempts to notify parents of current openings, applications will be placed in the inactive file and no further attempts will be made.
If parents wish to delay their acceptance into the program, the family’s name will be placed at the bottom of the waiting list.
EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURES
In the event it becomes necessary to evacuate the building due to emergencies, such as, hurricanes, tornadoes, bomb threats, electrical failure, FAMU’s Emergency Response Team will provide appropriate leadership and guidance. Please stay tuned to your local radio and television stations for updates. It is imperative that emergency contact information is accurate and updated as needed.
Fire Bomb Threat Evacuation
Fire alarm will be sounded to alert staff and children to emergency situation(s).
All activities are stopped. Children and staff walk quietly to the primary emergency exit posted in each classroom. If the primary exit is blocked, teachers will proceed to the secondary emergency exit. Teachers take their attendance sheets with them to make sure all children that were signed in are accounted for. PARENTS SHOULD SIGN THEIR CHILDREN IN AND OUT, DAILY.
Teachers and staff will walk quietly to the designated safety areas away from the building. Once settled, teachers will check attendance sheets to make sure all children are accounted for. Director or Assistant Director will check the facility to make sure all occupants are safely evacuated.
Monthly fire drills are conducted to practice evacuation procedures.
Tornados and Hurricanes
During hurricane and tornado seasons the administrative staff will stay tuned to the all weather radio station and will update staff accordingly. In the event of a tornado warning, staff will proceed with children to the designated interior safety areas inside the facility and stay there until further instructions. In case of a hurricane the phone tree will be used to call families to pick-up their children. If families cannot be reached, staff will proceed with children to the safety areas designated for tornadoes.
Hurricane and tornado drills are conducted seasonally. All toys and equipment should be removed from the playground and placed inside the building if a hurricane warning is issued.