MONTESSORI COUNTRY DAY

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Montessori Country Day Family Handbook

We are delighted that you have enrolled your child at Montessori Country Day. Our school strives to create a personalized, positive educational environment to fulfill the potential in each child through the philosophy defined by Dr. Maria Montessori.

This handbook has been prepared to acquaint families with our school and our philosophy. The handbook explains the policies, practices, and regulations of our school.

STUDENTS

Montessori Country Day strives to develop appropriate patterns of polite behavior as well as seeking to instill basic universal values within the core of the child’s personality. These values include self-respect, acceptance of the uniqueness and dignity of each person we meet, kindness, peacefulness, compassion, empathy, honor, individual responsibility, and courage to speak from our hearts.

We hope to attract a diverse student body representing many ethnic backgrounds, religions, abilities, disabilities, and learning styles.

MCD accepts children aged twelve months & walking or fifteen months through six years old during the school year. Our summer camp welcomes children ages twelve months & walking or fifteen months through eight years old.

STAFF

Montessori Country Day has passionate Montessori certified teachers in all of our primary classrooms. We also have dedicated toddler teachers that have many years of experience and may have Montessori certification, college degree, or both.  All of the teachers undergo continual early education classes each year.  Teachers are selected not just for their professional abilities, but for their genuine concern, respect and joy with children.  Montessori Country Day is committed to providing our children the social, emotional, and intellectual needs in accordance with the Montessori philosophy.

At MCD, having respect for the child includes a positive, optimistic attitude about children, a cooperative spirit, a nurturing of independence, recognition of unique individuality, finding the right activities and listening and observing in order to follow the child. Teachers avoid pride and anger, speaking ill of the children, sarcasm, teasing, and over-reacting to misbehavior.  We are sensitive to children’s desire to be held and touched.  When making presentations, the child’s interest level is considered so that a teacher will stop before the child tires.  Teachers strive to develop a complete Montessori program by providing a safe, clean, inviting environment and initiating change in order to provide new stimulation.

ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE

Key Cards

Families will receive two key cards. TO ENSURE THE SECURITY OF THE SCHOOL PLEASE DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR FOR ANYONE WHO IS NOT IN YOUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY.  The system allows and documents access to authorized individuals.  Current parents who may have forgotten or lost their keycards, salespeople and even prospective parents must use the doorbell to ensure the safety of our school.

The keys are an expense for the school so we appreciate families returning the cards when your child graduates or withdraws from the school. We must charge a $15.00 fee for replacement cards.

Hours of Business

Monday-Friday between the hours of 7:15 A.M. and 5:30 P.M.  We will not open prior to 7:15 and will close promptly at 5:30.

For your child’s safety, we require that you bring your child into the building each morning and get him/her settled. We ask that families closely supervise their children in the parking lot, hallways, and elsewhere in the school and playground.  We also ask that the family stay together arriving and departing from our school.  Children are released only to persons for whom the staff has written permission from the parents or guardians.  As a precaution we may ask for photo ID when a person is unfamiliar to us.

We practice hand washing consistently throughout the day and we ask that your child wash his/her hands upon arrival to school. This will cut down on germs that may be brought into school and will help develop good health practices.

Sometimes children and parents/guardians suffer an attack of separation anxiety at the time children enter school. A calm, pleasant and prompt exit on the part of the parent, leaving the child in the care of a reassuring teacher, will be the most helpful.  Lengthy goodbyes usually only worsen the situation.  We welcome your cooperation in assuring a happy, successful school experience for your child.

The toddler and 2/3 year old classrooms are dismissed at 2:30 with a grace time until 2:45. At 2:46, you will be considered late.   Please arrive promptly with plenty of time to chat with teachers and gather belongings.  The families of children in the 3/6 year old classrooms will begin to form a car pool line at 2:45.  At 3:01, you will be considered late.   Our toddler and 2/3 year old families need to be aware that being parked in the parking lot after 2:45 will disrupt the flow of the car pool line.  Families with children in several classes may pick up all of their children when they pick up their children from the toddler and 2/3 classes.

We appreciate families with children in our extended day program arriving by 5:25 to allow enough time to collect personal items. While we recognize that parents may be unavoidably detained on rare occasions, please understand that teachers have families too and want to go home at closing time. AT 5:31, you will be considered late. We are legally responsible for your child while on school grounds; therefore, we are unable to “clock out” your child until you and your child are safely on your way.

LATE FEES

If your child is not picked up on time, even with prior notice, the following late fees apply.  Late fees are paid directly to the teacher who has been detained.

FIRST LATE PICK-UP:  If within five minutes, we will waive the first time.  After five minutes, $5.00 for each five-minute interval thereafter.

SECOND LATE PICK UP:  $10.00 for the first five minutes and $5.00 for each five-minute interval thereafter.

THIRD LATE PICK-UP:  $20.00 for the first five minutes and $5.00 for each five-minute interval thereafter.

When a parent is late, anxiety is felt by everyone-the parent, the teacher, and most importantly, the child.  If you have an emergency, please call so we can make alternate arrangements if necessary.

PARENT INVOLVEMENT AND COMMUNICATION

At Montessori Country Day we strive to foster a welcoming feeling to families with ongoing communication between children, families, and teachers. Teachers recognize that parents are the primary educators but will help families understand the Montessori Method and the materials.  When time permits, teachers strive to send written reports regarding individual children and general classroom activities home weekly for the 3/6 year old classrooms and daily for the toddler and 2/3 year old classrooms.

Families are invited and encouraged to visit MCD prior to the child’s attendance and throughout enrollment. We enjoy parents volunteering, having lunch with us or sharing a special interest or expertise.

We schedule two Parent/Teacher conferences each year. This is an opportunity to discuss your child’s progress and goals.  Always feel free to voice any concerns and approvals to your child’s teacher.  Please also feel free to schedule an appointment with the director.  In order to meet the constantly changing needs of each individual child, the teachers would greatly appreciate hearing about any significant changes that may affect your child’s sense of security, level of attachment and general well-being.

Montessori Country Day will email and post on our website a newsletter each month.  Please keep us updated on current email addresses so you will receive information about the school, classrooms, and upcoming events.

CONFIDENTIALITY

The staff at MCD has a commitment to confidentiality. Information about your child or your family will not be shared with other families or visitors to the school.

REPORTING CHILD ABUSE/NEGLECT

North Carolina law requires early childhood professionals to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. If employees of MCD become aware, or suspect, that a student has suffered or faces a threat of suffering, and physical or mental wound, injury, disability or condition that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of a child, they will immediately notify the director of MCD to report to the Department of Social Services or report suspected abuse or neglect personally.

SERVICES

In an effort to provide comprehensive services to children and families our school works cooperatively with other agencies in the community. In order to protect privacy, no information about a child will be shared with any agency unless parents have given written permission.  The need for consultative referrals can be discussed with the director or your child’s teacher

  • Henderson County Speech and Hearing Therapists will test and provide on-site therapy as needed.
  • Henderson County Health Center provides health education and health nursing services.
  • MCD can access a variety of agencies to screen and evaluate preschool children for developmental delays and behavioral concerns.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Our school curriculum includes exposing the children to various holidays and traditions. We share information and discuss ways people celebrate New Year’s, The Four Seasons, President’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan and others that help educate our students and encourage tolerance.  Please let us know if you have a special cultural or religious background you would be willing to share with us.

At Montessori Country Day we celebrate the child’s life on their birthday.  The celebration of life is a beautiful Montessori ceremony.  A candle is used to represent the sun and a globe is used to represent the earth.  The child carries the earth and walks around the sun once for each year of his or her life.  The class or school sings the Celebration for life song as the birthday child walks around the sun.  We encourage parents to post pictures for each year of your child’s life on a poster with a brief description of their milestones to share with their friends during this ceremony.  Parents are welcome to join us for this special time and may opt to bring in special treats to share with their classmates.

During the December holidays the school adopts an agency or family in need. We feel this is an opportunity for children to learn to give graciously and help those less fortunate.

TOYS

Toys and treasures sometimes come to visit us. They are better kept at home as they may become lost or damaged.  However, we encourage children to share books, science specimens, pictures from vacations and other items of educational interest to the class.  If your child has a special nap buddy or blanket, we understand their importance in your child’s rest time. As always, please label everything with your child’s name.

LOST MONTESSORI MATERIALS

Sometimes children love school so much they want to take part of it home with them. You may discover tiny cubes, beads, puzzle pieces or other items in your child’s pockets.  Please return the items to the school.  Teachers will thank the child and help them return the materials to the work in which they belong.

INCLEMENT WEATHER

Our decision to open school on time, open on a delayed schedule or close for the day is a very tough decision. We take into account the current conditions, forecast, and school announcements for Henderson County.  We also consider the safety of the families and staff traveling to school.  A major concern is the need to have enough staff on site to provide care for the children.  Since the weather can and does change often, we usually do not make any announcements the evening before school.  The county schools do have the issue of buses so they will be more conservative than MCD will need to be.  We will have an announcement on WLOS (channel 13) and the WLOS website as early as possible.  Please register at www.wlos.com to have a text message sent to your cell phone to alert you of any school closings. *Please select the link below for more information regarding MCD’s Inclement Weather Policy.

Inclement Weather Policies

DISCIPLINE

Our goal is to help children gain the understanding and independence to attain an inner discipline. Most of the limits and social courtesies set at Montessori Country Day are common everyday situations.  We hope that the positive approach to discipline we utilize will help the children deal with not only classroom situations that may arise, but also situations that they may face outside of the school setting.

To help foster self-discipline in the classroom we establish clear consistent limits, for example: “When we are inside we walk.”  The limits are established by giving a clear explanation for why a limit exists.  “We need to walk in the classroom so that no one is hurt by falling or getting bumped.”  Explaining the rationale behind a limit is very important and helps the children remember the limits and the purpose at other times.  These limits are introduced at the beginning of school and are reinforced in group lessons or at circle throughout the year.  Some other situations may require discussion and roleplaying.  The children are encouraged to practice conflict resolution skills when difficulties arise.

Giving children consistent limits and social graces fosters a healthy understanding of their own rights as well as those of others. This leads to the respect of other children, adults and the belongings of others.

At Montessori Country Day we ensure that under the care of the entire staff, no child will be subjected to shoving, hitting, shaking, spanking or any other form of corporal punishment. We do not degrade a child verbally, emotionally or physically, A child is never left without adult supervision nor secluded from other children.  We will ask families to assist us if we are having a difficult time and work together as a team to reinforce appropriate behavior.

DRESS

Spills, paint, dirt, glue and other minor accidents are a natural part of a child’s life. Please dress your child in practical and comfortable clothing for school.  Cowboy boots, flip flops and clogs can be difficult for running and playing on the playground so for your child’s safety please save these fun shoes for home.

In the cold months please leave a hat and set of mittens in your child’s cubby. Our weather changes quickly so layering a sweater or jacket over a t-shirt will help your child stay comfortable.  The warm months require shorts, short sleeves and sun hats.  Families can apply sunscreen in the morning and with written permission teachers may reapply later in the day if necessary.  A change of clothes, appropriate to the season and clearly marked with the child’s name, is required to be in their cubby.

North Carolina Child Care regulations require that children who attend licensed child care centers go outdoors daily, weather permitting. Living in the Asheville/Hendersonville area we are fortunate that the weather is typically mild.  Best practices for child care programs indicate that children should be allowed to go outside for at least an hour of active play.  The fresh air and the movement is something that each child needs daily for general well-being and healthy development.

MEDICATIONS

(See attachment at end of Handbook)

Our teachers at Montessori Country Day strive to keep your child healthy and to prevent the spread of illness. Your child’s health is a matter of importance to all of us.  We understand that colds and allergies occur throughout the year and allow children to attend school if they can fully participate in the scheduled program of activities.  If a child has a mild illness or a non-contagious illness that requires prescription medication it is important to follow the procedures below:

  • If at all possible, please ask your physician if a dose schedule can be arranged that does not include the hours your child is in our care.
  • The first dose of medication should be given at home to insure that your child does not have an adverse reaction.
  • A parent or legal guardian must complete and sign a Permission to Administer Medication form. The form must include:
    1. The child’s first and last name;
    2. Name of medication;
    3. Expiration date;
    4. Physician’s name;
    5. Specific dosage instructions;
    6. Exact times and dates of administration;
    7. Parent/guardian’s signature; and
    8. Date signed.
  • All medications must be in the original container.
  • Diaper rash creams, sunscreens, and bug sprays are treated as medications and a Permission to Administer Topical Ointment form must be completed as stated above.
  • Medications that are for reoccurring medical conditions (such as asthma, severe allergy and seizures) will be discussed with our Health Consultant. She/he will provide training to our teachers and help with the medication form.

Please ask a teacher for assistance with forms and give all medication directly to your child’s teacher or the director. Medications are stored and locked and dispensed by the director.  In the absence of the director, the director will delegate this responsibility to one specific teacher.  MCD will only dispense prescription medications with the exception of sunscreen and diaper creams.  Please do not send medications in drinks, or store in diaper bags or cubbies.  We all want our children healthy and safe.

HEALTH

Our school is operated for well children and staff only. Children should be fully able to participate in all activities including outdoor play.  A child should be kept home if an illness prevents him/her from being able to participate in our program.  This would include a child who has:

  • Fever: A temperature of 101 (102 rectally, or 100 under the arm) and behavior changes or other signs of illness until the child is fever free for 24 hours.
  • Signs of Severe Illness: unusual sleepiness, severe coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing, persistent crying. A doctor should see this child.
  • Diarrhea: 2 or more watery bowel movements or loose bowel movements that occur more often than normal, until the child is diarrhea free for 24 hours, or is treated by the doctor and returns with a doctor’s note.
  • Vomiting: the child has vomited in the last 12 hours. Child may return when she/he has been vomit free for 24 hours.
  • Rash: with fever or behavior changes, until determined OK by the doctor.
  • Pink Eye: Pink or red eye with white or yellow drainage, until 24 hours after treatment has been started or a note from the doctor stating that it is not contagious.
  • Strep Throat: until 24 hours after treatment has started and fever has been gone for 24 hours.
  • Scabies or lice
  • Impetigo, until 24 hours after treatment
  • Pertussis, until five days after appropriate antibiotic treatment
  • Hepatitis A: one week after onset of illness or jaundice
  • When a physician or other health professional issues a written order that the child be separated from other children

SNACKS

All families are asked to participate in the daily snack program. A monthly snack calendar will be sent home at the beginning of each month indicating the day or days on which you are responsible for providing snack.  All foods must come from an approved source such as a grocery store, bakery, or pre-packaged for retail sale.

LUNCH

Please send your child’s lunch in a lunch box, clearly labeled with his/her name. All items should fit into the lunch box.  Please remember to send utensils and a washcloth for your child to use as a placemat. Each day, please date the lunch box with stickers or tape provided.  Lunch should be nutritionally balanced and follow state guidelines.  Children should have milk or soy as a beverage, a protein, a fruit or a vegetable and a healthy wheat or grain product.  Please do not send candy, gum, soda, cookies, Jell-O or other sweets as most of these foods contain no nutritional value and distract the children from eating the more wholesome parts of their lunches.  Food that is not eaten will be rewrapped and sent home.  Each classroom has a microwave oven, so we can reheat items for 1 or 2 minutes.

NAP

North Carolina requires that all children in our care rest each day. The toddlers and 2/3 year old classrooms will nap each day in their classrooms.  The 3/6 year old students will have either nap or rest.  Nappers will listen to a story and be encouraged to sleep with classical music.

NOTICES

Notices of interest, upcoming events and newsletters will be emailed to all parents so please make sure that we have your current email address on file. Reminders will be displayed on the whiteboard in the hallway. Notices will be sent & posted well in advance, so please refer to the board regularly, check your email, or alternatively check our website.

MCD would like parents to write down on the board when an out of the ordinary authorized adult will be picking up their child. Please write down any notes for teachers on this board.  Appointments or phone calls can be arranged by teachers after class.  Please understand that once school begins at 8:45 they have limited time to chat with families as their focus must be on the children in their care.

CLEANING SCHEDULE

Staff and outside cleaning services are responsible for the following duties on a rotating basis:

DAILY:

  • All tables & chairs are cleaned and sanitized after activities, snack, and lunch
  • Diaper table is cleaned and sanitized after each use
  • Floors are swept and mopped each day
  • Carpets are vacuumed
  • Toilets are cleaned and sanitized
  • Sinks are cleaned and sanitized
  • Drinking fountain is cleaned and sanitized
  • Toys are cleaned and sanitized when exposed to mouths and germs

WEEKLY:

  • Sheets and blankets are washed at least once a week
  • Trashcans and diaper pails, door knobs, shelves, cubbies, windowsills, baseboards, and tops of dividers in bathrooms are cleaned & sanitized
  • Microwaves and refrigerators are cleaned at least once a week

Everything in the school is cleaned more frequently if needed. Carpets are shampooed every six months.

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

Our staff welcomes comments and suggestions to improve the quality of care of your children. When areas of concern arise, the problem should be brought to the attention of the classroom teacher who will hear your suggestion or grievance and attempt to work through the problem.  Please do not hesitate to bring any communication directly to the director’s attention.

ADDITIONAL HOURS

If your child needs to be here earlier or later than his/her scheduled program, there is an additional charge of $10.00 for Early Morning Care and $20.00 for Extended Day Care. All fees are payable on the day of service and hours will not be prorated.  Please contact the director or the early morning or after school teachers to ensure that we will be adequately staffed to accommodate any additional children.  If you expect your child to regularly require early arrival or extended care hours, you might consider utilizing our programs for that purpose.

Children enrolled in school less than five days a week may not switch attendance days from week to week, whether due to an absence, school closing, or any other reason. Teachers are scheduled according to the number of children here each day.  There are times when it may be possible due to another child’s absence so communicate with the director or your child’s teacher when an additional day is necessary.  Children who attend school on a day they are not scheduled will be billed extra for that day at the $7.50 per hour rate.

FEES

Tuition is an annual school year fee (10 months) which can be made in one payment or divided into ten equal installments due the first business day of each month. The enrollment of a child is for the ten-month school year (11 or 12 if your child attends our summer camps).  Annual school year tuition may be paid by automatic bank deposit or an annual payment.  Families opting for the annual payment option will receive a 5% discount.

MCD does not make any allowance for absences or vacations. Payment installments that are not paid within ten calendar days after the due date will be assessed a $25.00 late fee.

The materials fee is one month’s tuition per school year. This fee may be divided into four payments with the first payment due June 1st.  Half of the materials fee must be paid by July 1st to ensure placement in the upcoming school year.  Materials fee will be prorated for children who are accepted after the school year begins.

All tuition and fees are non-refundable.

We accept subsidized payments form the Department of Social Services. Families who use this service are responsible for the difference in our tuition and the reimbursement rate.

SCHOOL INFORMATION

Address: 1521 Haywood Road, Hendersonville, NC 28791

Phone & Fax: (828) 697-1011

Director’s Email: maggie@montessoricountryday.org

Assistant’s Email: admin@montessoricountryday.org

Website: www.montessoricountryday.org