Mary’s Peppermint Stick Pre-School is a developmentally appropriate learning and growing center. It is our belief that each child is following their own “growth chart.” By allowing children the freedom to develop at their own pace in a fun, exciting, stimulating, and nurturing environment they will naturally learn the fundamentals. In doing this, the foundation for excellence is laid. We incorporate a variety of activities in each class period. The children are encouraged to take part in all daily opportunities including many tactile mediums such as sand, water, paint, coloring, and play dough. Children also have ample opportunity to engage in social situations with peers and adults. The multiage classroom of three though six year olds allows each child to follow their own “developmental clock” without the pressures of competition.
Our curriculum is based on the belief that children learn what they live. We encourage children to respect and be kind to each other, respect and be kind to all things, and respect and be kind to themselves. In doing so, we have less conflict in the classroom. We discourage any form of destructive interactions, whether verbal or physical. Our teachings are rich in the traditions of all people and in the respect for our environment. We focus on the acceptance of all cultures and beliefs by introducing music, festivals, foods, folk lore and traditions from all continents. We also present the more traditional aspects of preschool. Shapes, colors, letters and sounds, numerals and number groupings, and self-help skills are all part of the daily routine. We try to go outside often to view the “gifts that nature gives us.” We may walk around our beautiful neighborhood or romp on the playground. We appreciate your cooperation in dressing appropriately for the season.
Our ultimate goal is to bring your child’s self-esteem to soaring heights!
Hours of Operation
We offer a two day, three day, or five day program. The two day program is held on Tuesday-Thursday mornings from 9:00a to 11:30a. The three day program is held on Monday-Wednesday-Friday mornings from 9:00a to 11:30a. The Monday-Friday program is held all mornings 9:00a to 11:30a.
We suggest that all interested families schedule a visit to the school. Although we have an open-door policy, we ask that an appointment be made in advance so not more than one visit is scheduled per day. We do not want to disturb our children at work.
To secure a spot for the 2017-2018 school year we require a non-refundable payment of $70.00 for the two day program, $95.00 for the three day program, and $160.00 for the five day program. The amount is one-half of the monthly tuition. There is a registration fee of $35.00 per year, per child.
Current medical records, a certified copy of birth certificate, and a fully completed enrollment form are also required by the first day of school. All records are confidential and will be released only upon written request of parent/guardian. Children twelve years or older must be informed of any information requested or released by parent/guardian.
Tuition may be paid in one, two, or four monthly installments. The payments are due by the first Friday of each installment period. Tuition for the two day 2017-2018 program is $140.00 per month. Tuition for the three day program is $190.00 per month. The five day program is $320.00 per month. Tuition may also be paid by semester if preferred.
If your child is ill, please notify the school. We like to keep track of illnesses that are being contracted so that we may inform the parents and Lake County Health Department. The health department is helpful in assisting us in our quest to keep communicable diseases under control. They also require us to report certain infections. If there are any illnesses to report, they will be posted on the bulletin boards or easel outside of the classrooms. We reserve the right to assess each child coming into the classrooms for any symptoms that require exclusion from school. These may include fever, severe cough, unmanageable runny nose or eyes, and general lethargy.
Your child most likely will not require medications to be given at school due to the session length. If your child has a condition that requires special medical attention and/or the administration of rescue medications at school, you will be asked to fill out a medication release form and food allergy action plan. These forms must be signed by your physician providing detailed instructions on when and how to administer medications. This is for the protection of your child. We require medications to remain at school in our locked cabinet, not transported daily in your child’s backpack. Please see the emergency medical procedures attached to the parent handbook.
Please dress your child in comfortable clothing. Strap on or tie shoes are safest for both indoor and outdoor activities. Children who are newly toilet trained should be dressed in manageable clothing. Elastic waistbands are the best choice. Overalls and belts are not easy to manage and can cause problems for your child’s toileting success and independence. We consider “pull-ups” the same as diapers and therefore are not allowed in school. Please bring in a few changes of clothing including training pants or undies in case of accidents. Also bring an extra set of clothing to be kept at school. Children often engage in “messy activities” and may want to change. We supply the boxes.
During the winter months, we also suggest that you bring in a sweater or sweatshirt each day. You may also want to bring in a pair of soled-slippers or shoes to be left at school during boot season, as we do not allow boots in school. Boots present a safety concern. Feet become overheated and boots are cumbersome. This includes snow boots and rain boots. We reserve the right to decide. We have extra slippers to lend out if you forget to bring them in.
In keeping with our peaceful atmosphere, we ask that you not send your child in clothing depicting violent subjects. Remember that even “super-heroes” use non-peaceful conflict resolution. We want each child to learn that school is a safe place, where there is no need for such protection.
Arrival and Departure
Parents/guardians are responsible for bringing their child into the classroom. If someone other than parent or guardian is transporting your child we require the full name, address, and identification of such person. Be sure they bring a valid ID.
Please sign your child in and out each day. The sign in/out sheets are monitored by a teacher inside your child’s classroom to be sure that the teacher is aware of your child’s presence before you leave the classroom. We try to stay outside on the playground as long as possible. We often dismiss from the playground. On these days we will post a note on the clipboard outside of each classroom. Please collect your child’s belongings from the classroom and come out to the playground for sign the out procedure.
A quick drop-off is best for your child and the others in the classroom. We suggest that you observe your child while hanging up coat and backpack, wash hands, give hugs and kisses, and walk out the door. If your child appears to be having problems with separation, the teachers may intervene and assist you.
Your child will be dismissed directly to you. Please be patient. All children know to remain seated until their name is called. Keep an eye on your child after dismissal. This can be a chaotic time. Our first priority is the safety of each child.
Please take extra caution when parking and leaving the school parking areas and be sure not to prop open the front doors to the school.
Our “School Rules” are to be kind to everyone, be kind to everything, and be kind to ourselves. We are caring, sharing, loving, peaceful people! Our goal in discipline is to help each child develop their own internal control. Correcting negative behavior should be a positive experience. We have found that time without reinforcement or “time-out” is most effective. If a child needs to leave the group a “quiet chair” is used. The “quiet chair” is a non-labeled chair outside of the group. Children will be sent to the chair for a time to settle down. If we feel a certain behavior needs more attention, we will contact the parent/guardian for consultation, however do not feel that consequences of school behavior should be continued in the home. Behavior should be addressed immediately and then dismissed. It is most effective to implement consistent consequences in school and at home. This will help to diminish an unwanted or inappropriate behavior more quickly and effectively. We also encourage parents to come to us with any behavioral concerns or comments.
Because we are legally bound to abide by the Child Care Act and administer no physical punishment, we cannot abide by any physical discipline administered by the child’s parent/guardian on school premises.
If the child displays behaviors that are dangerous to themselves or others, we reserve the right to consult with the parent about possible evaluation by an appropriate professional. Please refer to disciplinary procedure attached to parent handbook.
We take several field trips each year. On these occasions, we ask for parent volunteers. Each parent will be responsible for a group of children. We try to give all parents an opportunity to join us on trips. If you don’t get a chance to join us on the first one, remember, there is always another! Parents and children must be transported by the mode of transportation that the school is providing. This is important as to stay within the guidelines of our insurance policy. You may choose for your child not to attend any field trip. You will be notified of a trip by newsletter and/or permission slip.
We ask that our special programs not be recorded. It has caused anxiety in the past and has resulted in poor visibility of the program and children tend to act differently when they are being recorded. We always post our “dress rehearsal” times for each program. You are welcome to record the rehearsal. If you would like to record in your child’s classroom for your archives, please contact the director to set up an appointment.
Birthdays and Holidays
You may bring in a “treat” to celebrate your child’s birthday. We will acknowledge your child’s special day by singing and sending home the treats that you have brought. Please be informed that the treats must be store-bought and individually packaged. This is a standard set to protect each child from illness and allergic reaction.
Due to the increasing number of children with allergies, we encourage nonfood items. If you would like some suggestions, we would love to provide you with ideas from our past creative parents!
If you would like to invite school friends to a special event outside of school, please refer to the class lists that will be provided with all children’s addresses and phone numbers. We ask that you mail invitations rather than passing them out at school even if every classmate is invited. Thank you for your cooperation.
Since we follow no particular religious calendar, we do not celebrate many of the “traditional” holidays. We will notify you of any celebrations on the monthly newsletter. Please respect the school’s holiday policy. We believe that it is the family’s responsibility and freedom to reinforce their own beliefs, not the school’s.
All student and family information is kept in utmost confidence. We use the information to acquaint ourselves with each child and obtain necessary emergency information. The files are available only to teachers employed by the school, and are periodically checked by the Lake County Health Department and the Department of Children and Family Services.
Ours is a common goal. We hope to work together to guarantee your child a most wonderful, happy, and loving preschool experience! We welcome comments from you and encourage you to make them. Our door is always open. Walk on in! To enhance the feeling of community, we host several activities open to the family. The Share Feast, Winter Pageant, Graduation, and Family Picnic are all means for families to interact. We pride ourselves in being a safe, fun, unimposing environment for our children and their families to learn and grow. Welcome to our growing family.