OBS School Handbook

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS OMITTED

School Philosophy

Mission Statement

Nourishing compassionate, life long learners and passionate innovators.

Vision

Building a community that all families can rely on for quality education, resources and support regarding child development and education.

Staff

All lead guides are trained and hold AMI diplomas, current certification in infant/child CPR and first aid, current Oregon food handler certification, two hours of training in child abuse and neglect issues, have completed registry in the Oregon Central Background Registry and have attained at least Step 8 in the Step Registry. Our teachers also participate in at least 24 hours of ongoing training in early childhood development and education per year.

All assistants are qualified to work with children and work under direct supervision of the head teacher. They have current infant/child CPR & first aid training, two hours of training in child abuse and neglect issues, current Oregon food handler certification and have completed registry in the Oregon Central Background Registry. Assistants participate in 20 hours of ongoing training in early childhood education and development per year.

Curriculum

We provide a school environment with services to all children and families; regardless of ability, learning style, religion, race, ethnicity and gender, following the philosophy of Maria Montessori and based upon the AMI Method of education, in a certified family child care home setting. The Montessori Method includes four main learning areas: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language and Mathematics, with sub areas for Music, Geography, and Botany. To support the environment and children’s health we prepare vegan non-gmo, mostly organic meals, use non-toxic supplies and recycle. We offer extended care before and after school in cases of emergency or crisis, field trips and opportunities for hands on experiences with nature in our outdoor environment. By enrolling you give permission for your child to access the outdoor environment and go on group neighborhood walks, and for their photo to be used for promotional purposes. To further assist us in offering quality programming to your child we employ initial enrollment and ongoing screening using the ASQ3 (Ages and Stages Questionnaire) to guide our lessons and referrals (parents can opt out at any point). We do not use any screen media as part of our curriculum. Research has shown that developing minds need three dimensional, concrete, sensory experiences with the world around them to develop to the height of their potential, we support this premise. To further assist your child’s development we ask that you limit appropriate screen time at home.

Guidance (and Discipline Policies):

Our responsibilities are to guide, correct and socialize children to appropriate behavior in the classroom. All children will be treated with dignity and respect. Staff will get down to the children’s’ eye level for all discussions, use redirection, and employ proactive strategies:

  • Set clear, consistent rules
  • Expect the best from the child
  • Provide appropriate and engaging materials
  • Encourage self-control by providing meaningful choices
  • Focus on the desired behavior using positive phrasing
  • Build children’s images of themselves as trustworthy, responsible and cooperative
  • Take action before a situation gets out of control
  • Set a good example through positive modeling
  • Assist children to see how their actions affect others and help build empathy.

When necessary a child may be asked to stay beside the teacher to assist in self-regulation. Any on-going situations will be discussed with the parents to ensure a cooperative approach. Please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns.

Note: No corporal punishment will be allowed. This is defined as the use of negative physical touching (spanking, slapping, pinching, etc.).

Chronic Disruptive Behavior

We will make every effort to work with the parents of students having difficulties. However, we are here to serve and protect all of our students. Children displaying chronic disruptive behavior, which has been determined to be upsetting to the physical or emotional well being of another child may require the following actions.
*Initial consultation (with director, classroom staff and parents)

*Second consultation (with other resources)

*Suspension (with a plan for return)

*Expulsion
Discharge Policy
We reserve the right to cancel the enrollment of a child for the following additional reasons:
– non-payment or excessive late payment of fees
– not observing the rules as outlined in the parent agreement
– child has needs which we cannot adequately meet with our current staffing patterns
– physical and/or verbal abuse of staff or other child/children by parent or child

Withdrawal
Four weeks written notice of intent to remove child/children from school is required. Four weeks of tuition will be charged for each registration not canceled in this manner.

Attendance

Ages Served  This program serves children ages 2.5 through 6 years old, preschool through the kindergarten year.

Enrollment procedures

Interested families should attend an open house. At parents’ request a no fee home visit can be scheduled prior to school start. New children will attend two orientation days prior to the first day of school from 9am-11 am. The first two weeks of school are a probation period for the school, the student and the parents. Care agreements may be cancelled without advanced notice; refunds will not be given for tuition and fees already paid.

All documentation must be submitted prior to the first official full day of school this includes:

  • Contract (required)
  • Child Enrollment and Authorization (required)
  • Milk Substitution Form (required)
  • USDA Food Program (required)
  • Oregon Certificate of Immunization Status (required)
  • Emergency contact card (required)
  • ASQ3 (Ages and Stages Questionnaire) (requested)
  • Medication administration permission form (optional)

Hours of Operation

SCHOOL HOURS:

  • Primary ½ Day: 8:30 A.M. -12:30 P.M. Monday – Friday
  • Primary Full Day 8:30- 3:30 P.M. Monday – Friday
  • Extended Day     3:30- 5:30 P.M. Monday- Friday

Arrival will start at 8:30 A.M. for all children. Exceptions to these hours are orientation and conference days (see school calendar and orientation schedule) and cases of family crisis or emergency.

Please check facebook.com/olivebranchschool; if PPS has a school closure we will post our decision there. If PPS is on a delayed opening, we will still follow listed opening time. Please use your best judgment about road conditions and safety.

Drop off and Pick up Procedures

We urge you to arrive at 8:30 A.M. since group presentations and activities usually begin shortly after that time.

CCD requires that a child be escorted into the childcare program, and the child be accepted directly by a caregiver. Children will be released only to the parent or an adult whom the parent has authorized by a written statement (enrollment form). Identification will be requested if person is not familiar to staff. If you are late picking up your child a late fee billed to cover the staff overtime. If you do not arrive, your emergency contacts will be called to pick up your child.

For the consideration of all children, their safety and well being, please keep drop-off routines simple – a kiss/ hug and statement about who will pick the child up helps instill confidence and independence. At times drop-off can be emotional, staff is trained and standing by to assist your child in a smooth transition. As your child becomes familiar with the routine of school, drop-offs will become more fluid and relaxed follow your child’s lead.

Unscheduled, late pick-ups beyond the 5-minute grace period will be billed at $1 per minute.   Scheduled later pickups must be made at least 24 hours in advance at $10 per hour / one hour minimum.

Absences

Absences should be phoned or emailed in no later than 8:30 am. Absences will not be refunded from the overall tuition payment.

Appointments and early pick-ups

If a child will be picked up early, or if a child has an appointment and will be leaving, and returning again later in the day please be sure to notify staff or note in writing and leave in the notices folder.

Holidays and Vacations

We will be closed for observance of the following holidays:

  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Martin Luther King Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day (if a weekday)

Vacations

  • Winter Break in December
  • Spring Break in March
  • Summer Break August*

*Families who like the continuity of Summer Programming can keep their current school schedule and tuition payment for all of summer or choose to reapply with a $200 deposit and $150 matriculation fee to hold their space for a September start date.

Program and Curriculum

Meals

Tuition includes vegan snacks and lunches that meet the USDA guidelines. All families must fill out USDA meal enrollment forms. Note that if you opt to provide packed lunches they must meet USDA guidelines and to meet our vision for the school- be vegan. You must provide an ice pack for any perishable foods, or pack accordingly. If we need to supplement a lunch, a fee will be added to your bill.

The menu is posted online, on FB and on the parent bulletin board, with any substitutions noted. WE MUST BE INFORMED OF ANY FOOD ALLERGIES.

AM Snack: 8:30-11:00 am

Lunch 12:00-12:30 pm

PM Snack 3:30-5:30 pm

Nap Procedures

Children will be offered the opportunity to nap after lunch. Children who are no longer napping regularly, or who do not fall asleep after 15 minutes may choose quiet work or to bring a book to their cot.

Supplies

Your tuition covers any needed school supplies such as pencils, crayons, paper, etc. Clothing –please notify the director if you have any difficulty in obtaining the following, please clearly label clothing:

  • Clothing worn to school should be free of characters and distracting images/lights (we are a child commercialism free environment), comfortable and easy for the child to take on/off unassisted.
  • “Good” clothing and all accessories (rings, etc.) should be left at home.
  • Waterproof rain coat and boots – we make an effort to go out everyday
  • Waterproof winter coat, gloves and hat – when temperatures drop below 50
  • Indoor shoes – such as slippers or crocs – to be left in the cubbies
  • Outdoor shoes appropriate for exercise – to be worn to school in the morning
  • A spare set of in cubbie: underwear/pullups, socks, shirt and pants.

For Napping:

  • A flat sheet , a small blanket, nap buddy and/or pillow may be left in nap cubbies (fitted sheets are supplied by the school)

Toys and Equipment:

Toys are to be left at home. Instead, encourage your student to bring objects for nature study, books (labeled with name), educational items or meaningful mementos that may be shared with all.

Pictures and objects of geographical importance are welcome (i.e., a doll dressed in a foreign costume). No equipment or apparatus* may be removed from the classroom.

*If a piece of the pink tower or of a map shows up in your child’s pocket, don’t make an issue of it with your child. Simply return it to the school. Young children are often fascinated with these objects and sometimes they get tucked away in pockets.

Sample Daily Schedule – Our daily schedule is open and allows for flexibility that follows the child’s needs. Daily story-time, sing-alongs and lessons that include practical life, sensorial, language and mathematics work; enrichment experiences in yoga, dance, music, geography and nature are all included.

  • 8:30-8:45 am Drop off
  • 8:45- 9:00 am Peer conversations, hand-washing, choosing work
  • 9:00– 11:30 am 1st work cycle: individual lessons, group presentations
  • 11:30- 12:00 pm Group outdoor time
  • 12:00- 12:30* pm Lunch *1/2 day pick up at 12:30
  • 12:30- 2:45 pm Children are provided the opportunity to nap
  • 12:30-5:30 pm 2nd work cycle for children who do not nap (full day pick-up 3:30)

Birthday Celebrations:

Montessori has a warm tradition of “Celebration of Life” on a child’s birthday: a Celebration of Life form and photos for each year of life. Instead of treats, a book donated to the classroom in your child’s honor, read during the celebration acts as a reminder of their very special day (find link to class wish list online).

Pets

Our school environment includes freshwater fish and two dogs. All pets are current on vaccinations and friendly. Pets provide invaluable educational opportunities.

Parent Involvement

Volunteer

To foster an engaged and involved community parents are invited to participate in volunteer experiences. Volunteer experiences include:

  • Providing classroom flowers – flowers are an essential part of our lessons in care of the environment. Thin-stemmed flowers are always welcome.
  • Attending school-sponsored events – we hold special events for families and workshops for parents and the community.
  • Helping create materials – Montessori environments reflect the individually of the children within. Helping to create classroom materials is a great way to better understand the Montessori Method.
  • School/garden cleaning – if you have a green thumb we can always use your help.
  • Reading Buddies – guest readers and, adults to read to, are a treat to learners. Parents can volunteer to come in for a special circle time story or have children read to them.
  • Specialist Skills – are you an expert or know something special? Share your skills with the class.
  • Family/Cultural Sharing – share a special family tradition, dish, skill, garment or object with the class.

Conferences and Observations

The school offers two optional conferences and sends home two progress reports per year. Parents have the opportunity for scheduled classroom observation once per year in the spring. Please see the school calendar for dates.

Grievances

All inspection reports concerning this facility are available for review by custodial parents. These include fire, sanitation, and Child Care Division inspection reports. Also available are current rules governing childcare facilities. This program is open to any custodial parents during all hours of operation.

Compliance history of the program is available from the State Certification Specialist. Parents are encouraged to discuss concerns with their child’s teacher and the center director. If you feel your concerns are not being addressed, or if you feel uncomfortable discussing the issue with center staff, please call the Office of Childcare. Licensing Specialist: Susan Toure 503-612-4357. The Office of Child Care does not intervene in money matters.

Emergencies

We practice regular fire drills and emergency procedures as per CCD rules. This includes taking cover under tables in cases of earthquake, shelter in place drills that includes the adults locking the home, drawing the curtains and moving the children into the basement for safety. When notified by officials that the threat is ended, we will contact parents and continue on with the school day if possible. If for any reason we evacuate and cannot return to the building, the person in charge at the time will collect the emergency bag, medications, and emergency contact cards/roll binder. Role will be taken outside at our meeting point on the sidewalk in front of the school and we will proceed to Gammans City Park Playground (off Wilbur and Gammans), where we will call the parents or emergency contacts listed in the child’s file. Staff carries cell phones for emergencies. Authorized individuals will pick up children at the emergency site, if conditions require we will walk with the children .7 miles via N Buffalo St. to Fred Meyer on N Interstate to take shelter and authorized individuals will pick up from there.

Medications

Prescription medications, sunscreen, and Epi-pens will need a completed medication authorization signed by the parent, with complete instructions for the staff before they can be administered. The medication must be in the original container and be current. The dose stated by parent cannot exceed that on the medication container. All medications must be labeled with the child’s name, and given directly to staff. Medications are kept in a locked area away from children. Parents will be contacted prior to the administration of fever medication. Staff will administer meds, and then list date, time, dosage given and initial the record.

Accidents/Injuries

Children will be checked for injuries and necessary first aid will be given. The staff has first aid and CPR training. Parents will be notified if needed or if injuries may require further medical attention. If a parent cannot be reached, emergency numbers will be called. If deemed a medical emergency, we will call 911, and contact the parent simultaneously. Child will be transported to the closest hospital.

Accident reports are done for all incidents that require first aid attention; and require parent signature. A copy is always available at your request.

Illnesses:

Parents will be notified and asked to pickup children who show signs of illness. Children will be isolated to prevent spread of illness. As required by Child Care Division regulations, we cannot admit or retain in care children with the following symptoms

  • Fever over 100 degrees taken under the arm
  • Diarrhea, Vomiting,
or Nausea
  • Severe Cough
  • Unusual yellow color to skin or eyes
  • Skin or eye lesions or rashes that are severe, weeping or pus filled
  • Stiff neck and headache
  • Difficulty breathing or abnormal wheezing
  • Complaints of severe pain

Head Lice

Childs diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun. Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice.

Head lice can be a nuisance, but they have not been shown to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/schools.html

Fees

Tuition/ Rates

All children attend Monday-Friday, tuition is based on hours of attendance and can be found online and in the enrollment contract.

Deposit

Upon acceptance into the school, a $200 non-refundable deposit is required to hold a child’s spot and a $150 matriculation fee per child. Deposit is taken off of the first month’s tuition.

Tuition Payment and Late Fees

Tuition is due on the 1st month and late on the 5th.  Tuition payments not in before the 5th of the month are assessed a $25 late tuition fee (even if the fifth of the month falls on a weekend or holiday, if the school is closed, or if the payment is in the mail).

Unscheduled late pick-ups beyond the 5 minute grace period will be billed at $1 per minute. Fees will be added to the next month’s tuition bill. Scheduled late pick-ups arranged 24 hours prior are billed at $10 per hour, 1 hour minimum billing.

Methods of Payment

Payment may be made in the form of check. A service fee of $50 for any returned check will be added to the tuition bill to cover bank fees.

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