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The Green Meadow Preschool program is based on fundamental principles of how young children learn. Preschool staff believe that all children can be successful and learn best in a nurturing, predictable and safe environment. As an inclusive preschool program, we recognize that children learn best when included and viewed individually with distinct abilities and needs.
In response to this philosophy, the program utilizes a developmental approach and provides experiences which promote curiosity and develop cognitive, language, social and motor skills. Through teacher facilitation, children are encouraged to actively explore their environment and acquire skills through a combination of play, small and large group activities, and direct instruction. Children are provided open-ended curriculum activities where they can experience success as they learn and develop at their own rate.
The program provides opportunities where children are encouraged to demonstrate cooperation, safety and responsibility towards themselves and others, and where each child is encouraged to develop a sense of community within the classroom, school and town.
The Green Meadow Preschool program’s primary goal is that all children will develop a life long love for learning. In a safe and nurturing environment, experiences are provided so children will develop the skills to explore, interact and problem solve and develop the confidence to use these skills in and out of the classroom. To realize this goal, learning activities are based upon an individual child’s abilities and interests within a structured, predictable environment.
The development of language skills is another major goal of the program. Children’s language skills are expanded through learning vocabulary, developing social language skills, interacting with peers and adults, and participating in play activities.
We recognize that it is important for children to develop a sense of community. To achieve this goal, children are provided with opportunities to participate in group situations where sharing materials and information, taking turns and cooperating are encouraged. The children learn to respect one another, be a good friend and value the input of their classmates.
An important element of a child’s education is a strong connection between home and school. Our goal is to create a program that fosters the achievement of maximum growth for each child through a collaborative effort involving parents/guardians (hereinafter referred to as “parents”) and school personnel.
The Green Meadow Preschool Program follows the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care Guidelines for Preschool Learning. The Preschool Learning Guidelines reflect Massachusetts’ commitment to quality, in order to ensure a solid foundation for learning and school success. In addition, our preschool uses the Scott Foresman English Language Arts and the Scott Foresman Mathematics curriculum. This program uses a thematic implementation of the curriculum through a multi-sensory and hands-on approach that includes children’s big books, flip charts, alphabet cards, picture cards, and song books. This program supports our philosophy of emergent curriculum and learning through play and allows room for “teachable moments” that are so important when working with young children. Children are provided multiple opportunities to access the curriculum through play and socialization. Learning opportunities occur within small and large groups, individual direct instruction, and children’s exploration of the curriculum.
The Green Meadow Preschool utilizes the program Al’s Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices. This is an early-childhood program designed to develop personal, social, and emotional skills in young children. The program is designed to help children gain the skills needed to express feelings, resolve conflicts, relate to others, accept differences, use self-control, cope and make safe and healthy choices. These skills are taught through a specifically designed curriculum that uses, for example, puppets, games, songs, and guided creative play. All of our teachers have been trained to use this approach and Al’s Pals will be a part of the children’s preschool week. AL’s Pals is recognized by the US Department of Health and Human Services as a model program.
The Green Meadow School strives to develop a learning community where high social and academic goals are attained. To assist in this goal, the school uses an approach known as The Responsive Classroom. This approach is built around six central components that integrate teaching, learning and caring into the daily program. These components are set in the context of commonly shared values such as: honesty, fairness, and respect and are implemented through the development and strengthening of social skills, such as cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self control.
The Code of Conduct represents the vision, values and expectations for everyone in the Green Meadow School community. The four guiding principles are:
I am responsible. I am respectful. I am considerate. I am safe.
To assess a student’s progress the Green Meadow Preschool uses the assessment tool Work Sampling. The Work Sampling System uses observational assessment to document children's skills, knowledge, behavior, and academic accomplishments. The program enables continual progress monitoring from multiple sources, documented through developmental guidelines, checklists, and portfolios. This system allows teachers to document a child’s progress from the beginning to the end of the year and guide our curriculum goals and our instruction to individualize each child’s learning. Samples of work, photographs, and anecdotal records are examples of some of the data collected throughout the year.
The Green Meadow Preschool Program has half-day sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon to 2:30 p.m. and full day sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday thru Thursday. Each year this will be examined and a decision made on the number and type of classes offered. The daily schedule includes circle time, small/large group activities, snack, story, music, and indoor and outdoor choice time. Outdoor time occurs daily with the exception of days of inclement weather. When weather conditions prohibit children from going outside, an inside movement/music activity will occur.
The Green Meadow Preschool Program provides snacks and drinks which will make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health. In compliance with the district’s wellness policy, only healthy snacks and drinks are permitted. Often our snacks center on the theme of the week, providing further integration of the curriculum. Parents are welcome to speak with their child’s teacher about bringing in the snack for a particular day. Of course, please notify us if your child has any food allergies. During snack time children practice their skills in the areas of sharing, counting, pouring, and table manners. In addition, snack time provides children with a wonderful opportunity to develop their language skills.
The children in the full day classroom will eat lunch in one of the preschool classrooms with preschool staff. Parents need to provide the lunch and beverage for their child. Please label your child’s lunch with their name and the date. If you plan to provide a hot lunch for your child, please heat it at home and place the hot food in a clean, primed thermos. The primed thermos will keep the hot food at an appropriate temperature to ensure that bacteria will not form on the food. If you child’s lunch has items that need to be kept cold, please place a cold pack in your child’s lunch bag to ensure that the food stays cold.
When planning your child’s lunch, remember that round, firm foods should not be offered to children younger than four years old because such foods are a choking hazard. Examples of such foods include: grapes, small carrots, nuts, peanuts, and popcorn. Hot dogs may be served if cut lengthwise and quartered and grapes may be served if cut into halves. (Please see specific instructions regarding lunch foods at the end of this guidebook.)
For children in the full day classroom a nap or rest time occurs at the conclusion of lunch. Each child is provided with a mat that is labeled with their name in order that children only sleep on their mat. Parents are required to provide a blanket for their child to be used during this time. The blankets are sent home in the backpack every Thursday to be washed and returned on the next day of school. When not in use, the mats are stacked with the child’s blanket on top of their mat in order that the blankets do not touch other blankets. During nap/rest time the lights are turned off, soft music is played and children may sleep or engage in a quiet activity on their mat. The children may do a puzzle, write/draw in their rest journals, read a book or engage in another quiet activity. If a child falls asleep during this time, the teachers will use their discretion, with prior parental input, as to whether to wake the sleeping child.
All items must be labeled. The preschool program recommends:
In preschool, children are involved in active learning activities and some of these activities can be a messy. Please do not send your children to school in their best clothing.
The preschool program requires parents to provide an extra, labeled, complete set of clothing for their child that will remain in the classroom. Please check periodically that this extra set of clothing still fits your child and is appropriate for the weather conditions.
The Green Meadow Preschool Program staff will supervise children in toileting and hand washing. If a child has a toileting accident, he/she will be treated with kindness and respect and given assistance changing his/her soiled clothing. Soiled clothing will be double bagged in plastic bags and sent home to be washed. Please replace the extra clothing as soon as possible so that additional clothing is always available for your child.
Children do not need to be toilet trained to attend the program. If a child is not toilet trained, his/her parents are responsible for providing the program with diapers and wipes. Please regularly check with your child’s classroom teacher on the supply of these items. If desired, staff members will work with parents/guardians in the implementation of toileting routines.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
Children must always stay with their parents, as we want the children to be safe and not leave the school building on their own.
There will be space on the sign in/out sheet for messages concerning changes in pick up or other important messages. Please note that anything written on the sign-in/out sheet should also be given to the teacher either verbally or in the form of a note. If someone new is picking up your child, a note stating this must be provided to your child’s teacher. When this person arrives to pick up your child, he/she will need to present a photo ID before the child is released.
It is important that you bring your child to school on time. Arrival tardiness prevents your child from participating in all aspects of the day to the maximum and interrupts the learning time of other students. It is also important that you pick up your child on time. Children can become concerned when a parent is not there at the scheduled time. If you are delayed in picking up your child, please call the main office (978) 897-8246. A Green Meadow staff member will wait with your child until you arrive. More than three late pick-ups in a month will necessitate a meeting between parents and school administrators and may result in termination of enrollment.
Parents must park in the Crowe Park parking lot and walk their child to and from the school. Do not park in the staff parking lot or in front of the school building.
ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL PROCEDURES
AM/Full Day Arrival
Parents and students proceed to the cafeteria and wait for the teachers’ arrival at 8:25. Students wait on the designated student bench according to classroom teacher and parents sit opposite the students.
Parents wait outside the red doors at the front of the school. Children wait until parents have signed them out for dismissal. After signing out, parents will walk with their child to the parking lot.
Parents and students wait outside the double red front doors at 11:55. Two lines will form according to class. Parents will sign the children in with the teacher. The children will proceed to the classroom with preschool staff.
PM/Full Day Dismissal
Parents proceed to the cafeteria and wait on the teacher’s designated bench in the cafeteria. Students sit on the opposite bench and wait for parents to sign them out. After signing out, parents will walk with their child out of the building.
With the exception of the standard arrival and dismissal times, parents must always sign in at the Green Meadow School office whenever they are entering the school. A visitor’s badge will be given to you to wear and you must sign-out when leaving.
The preschool program does not have a holiday-based curriculum, but we try to make a connection between home and school by addressing important events. This gives the children a sense of pride and helps us to learn about each other and other cultures. One of the most important family celebrations for many families is the recognition of the child’s birthday. In class we recognize the child’s special day by singing Happy Birthday and presenting the child with either a birthday crown or necklace. Please contact us if you do not wish this to occur. Parents are welcome to send in a special, healthy snack on this day.
SPECIAL PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES
There are many special activities during the year in which parents are either invited to their child’s classroom or invited to accompany their child on a field trip. Prior to the start of the school year, an Open House is held. Parents and their children are invited to the classroom to meet the teachers and the other families in their child’s classroom. In September, a Back to School Night is held. Parents are invited to this evening activity in which general, important preschool information will be shared and a visit to their child’s classroom will occur. Parents will have the opportunity to ask questions, meet other parents, learn the happenings in their child’s classroom and view their child’s work. Three times throughout the year a Parent Visiting Day occurs. On Parent Visiting Days parents can arrive to pick up their child 15 minutes early and spend time in the classroom. In November and May we have a Preschool Art Show. Children’s art work will be on display and parents with have the opportunity to view our galleries. At least once a year the preschool goes on a field trip, a very special event in the preschool year. In December and April individual teacher conferences are held. Finally, the end of the celebration occurs in June.
Please look in the newsletters for more information about all of these events. Please make every attempt to attend classroom events as the children enjoy sharing with their families. If you are not able to attend, perhaps another family member or close friend could attend in your place. If someone else is attending, please inform your child’s classroom teacher.
Parents will be given advanced notice of field trips. Parents must sign a permission slip for each field trip in order for their child to participate. If the cost of a particular field trip causes a financial hardship, please either speak with your child’s teacher or call Kate Markowitz @ (978) 897-2138. If you do not want your child to attend the field trip, please notify the teacher that you will be keeping him/her home on that day. There will be no alternative arrangements made by the school for your child on that day. Parent volunteers are always welcome on field trips, as long as they have participated in the volunteer training workshop.
HOLIDAYS AND VACATIONS
The program follows the Maynard Public School’s calendar and it is not in session on legal holidays or school vacation weeks. Parents/guardians will be notified in the weekly newsletters if there are any variations from the district calendar. Additionally, these dates are listed in the preschool calendar.
Parents/guardians are encouraged to become active participants in their child’s education. Classroom volunteering can be very beneficial as it adds to parents' understanding of early childhood development. Often after visiting the classroom, parents have a sense of how the program addresses the total development of their child’s cognitive, physical, social, emotional and creative skills. Parents can help in the classroom in a variety of ways.
Parents can share a special skill or activity, assist with paperwork, read a book at circle time and/or work with the children within the classroom. Confidentiality regarding the children is important and parent volunteers are expected to honor this. If parents are unable to volunteer in the classroom, there are other ways to be involved. Please ask your child’s teacher for more information.
If you are unable to volunteer for an entire session please feel free to make arrangements with your child’s classroom teacher to come early for pick-up and spend time in your child’s classroom.
All parents who want to volunteer must attend the parent volunteer workshop that is held at the beginning of the school year. If you have attended the workshop previously, you do not have to attend; however, you must sign a confidentiality agreement. If you were unable to attend the workshop and want to volunteer, please speak with your child’s classroom teacher. In addition to the volunteer workshop, parents will be asked to sign the confidentiality agreement and give permission that a criminal background check can be conducted. Please schedule times to volunteer with your child’s teacher.
Every Thursday, information from the Green Meadow School is sent home in your child’s backpack. Please read the information in a timely fashion as dated material and school information are often enclosed. Each Monday, a classroom newsletter will be distributed indicating the exciting adventures your child will experience during the week. The newsletters help to facilitate a dialog between parents and children as to what the children are doing in school. Please read the newsletters as they often contain important information about upcoming events.
If you have any questions, comments and/or concerns to share please contact your child’s teacher. During the school day, teachers are busy instructing and will not be able to answer your phone calls. Please leave a message for the teacher in the office and the call will be returned as soon as possible. We also encourage parents to email their child’s teacher at any time. Email is a great way to increase the communication between home and school.
The Green Meadow preschool program respects the confidentiality of the students within the program. Confidentiality is the preservation of privileged information concerning a student, which is learned through working with students. While working within the preschool staff will learn, through observation, information about the students within the classroom. All of this information is confidential, and staff/volunteers are not allowed to disclose to anyone any information about a student.
Parent/teacher conferences are held in December and April. These conferences are a time for the teacher to discuss a child’s progress and experiences in the program. Additional conferences are scheduled on an as needed basis. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to schedule a conference with your child’s teacher.
Annually, a program evaluation is conducted on the Green Meadow Preschool Program. This evaluation provides us with valuable information regarding the program’s effectiveness. We value the input of parents as we conduct this evaluation. More information about this will be shared during the school year.
The Green Meadow Preschool Staff strives to maintain open communication between parents. In the event a parent feels uncomfortable sharing their concerns with the teachers, the parent should contact the Preschool Director, Jill Greene, at (978) 897-2138 or the Green Meadow School Principal, Donna Dankner, at (978) 897-8246 or the Early Childhood Coordinator, Kate Markowitz at (978) 897-2138.
Each year individual and class pictures are taken by a professional photographer who visits the school. Advanced notice is given to the students and the parents. If a child is absent or if the photo quality is not as expected, retakes are scheduled at a later date. All students receive a class picture even if they do not purchase a picture package.
No child will have their picture or name appear in the media without written consent of the parent.
No child will participate in a fundraising activity without written consent of the parent.
When your child is going to be absent, please call the Green Meadow School Attendance Line at (978) 897-0310 to report this absence.
HEALTH AND ILLNESS
The Green Meadow Preschool Program makes a strong effort to prevent the spread of illness by adhering to the following procedures:
The Green Meadow Preschool Program Health Policy states:
Medication can only be administered by the Green Meadow school nurse. The school nurse will administer medication only if:
Safety drills are performed monthly to promote the safe and orderly exit of students and staff in case of an emergency. When the fire alarm sounds, students file outside in an orderly manner to designated areas where they are supervised by a preschool staff member. Students and staff return to the building after the all-clear signal has been given by the Fire Department and/or school personnel.
When a lockdown drill is announced, children remain in their classroom with their teacher until the all clear signal has been given over the P.A. system. For the lockdown drill the students gather in a designated area of the classroom and only very quiet voices are used.
Once during the year an evacuation drill will occur in which the students will move to an alternate location. During this drill the preschool students will evacuate the building and walk with their teachers to the Fowler School.
If a child is injured while at school, the following procedures will be followed:
Parents wishing to enroll their child in the Green Meadow Preschool Program should:
Parents should know that:
· Registrations are accepted at the conclusion of the Information Night and during the two weeks that follow that evening.
· Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis.
· Those who are currently in the program and/or have a sibling currently in the program are able to register their child before Information Night.
· Full day, AM, and PM requests and teacher preferences are considered, but not guaranteed. If there is not enough space in a specific class for all those who request it, a wait list will be maintained.
· A wait list is maintained when program capacity is reached.
· There are spaces within the preschool that are reserved for children who have identified special needs.
· When state funding permits, tuition assistance may be provided. Please call Kate Markowitz @ (978) 897-2138 for more information on this.
All information in a student’s file is strictly confidential. Written consent must be obtained from the parents to share this information with anyone. Each child’s file contains the following:
Please let your child's teacher know of any change in information as soon as possible.
The tuition for the half day preschool classroom for the 2011-2012 school year is $3,400.00. The tuition for the full day classroom is $6,800.00. The yearly tuition is divided into ten equal payments, payable August to May. Families are billed and payments are due on the last day of every month. Families do have the option of paying for the entire year. All checks should be made payable to the Maynard Public Schools. Payments more than 30 days overdue will result in the child’s termination from the preschool program. If you have questions or concerns about tuition payments, please call Kate Markowitz, Early Childhood Coordinator, at (978) 897-2138.
The preschool depends upon your tuition to provide a high quality program. We ask that you pay your tuition in a timely manner. Please refer to the tuition contract for the payment schedule.
If a child is absent from school for an extended period of time and intends to return after the absence, tuition payments must continue to be made during the absence.
TERMINATION AND SUSPENSION
In the unlikely event there is a determination made that the Green Meadow Preschool Program is not an appropriate setting for a child, termination or suspension from the program may occur. This would not occur without written documentation. If parents choose to withdraw their child from the program, written notification of the child’s last day must be submitted one month in advance.
Information regarding the closing of school due to inclement weather is as follows:
If there is no school in Maynard due to inclement weather then there will be no preschool. If there is a delay of 2 hours there will be no morning preschool. If there is an early dismissal of 2 hours of more, there will be no afternoon preschool. Full days that are cancelled due to weather conditions are made up at the end of the school year. There will be no make-up days for the ½ day cancellations due to inclement weather. There will be no make-up sessions made up on Fridays.
EMERGENCY DISMISSAL OF SCHOOLS
If weather conditions become hazardous while children are in school, or if an emergency arises in the school building, the School Administration may call for an early dismissal. If this should happen, the following steps will be taken:
The Maynard Public Schools are committed to ensuring equal educational opportunities for all students, and do not discriminate on the basis of students’ disability, race, color, gender, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation. (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 76, Section 5)
GREEN MEADOW SCHOOL AND DISTRICT POLICIES
Refer to the Green Meadow Student Handbook for relevant Green Meadow and Maynard Public School policies.
GREEN MEADOW PRESCHOOL
Lynne Mooradian, Preschool Special Educator – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jane Vasta, Preschool Special Educator – email@example.com
Viviane Viros, Preschool Special Educator – firstname.lastname@example.org
Beverly French, Mrs. Viros’ class
Joan Martell, Mrs. Vasta’s class
Marie Tucker, Mrs. Mooridian’s class
Jodi Barron, Speech/Language Pathologist
Karen Ditto, Occupational Therapist
Leslie Dowst, Green Meadow Nurse
Tracey Wiesner, Physical Therapist
Donna Dankner, Green Meadow Principal
Jill Greene, Director of Student Services/Preschool Director
Christopher Fleming, Green Meadow Assistant Principal
Kate Markowitz, Early Childhood Coordinator
Kathy Sullivan, Green Meadow Administrative Assistant
Joanne LoChiatto, Green Meadow Administrative Assistant
Rhonda Rocheleau, Student Services Administrative Assistant
Lynne Mooradian’s Class:
January 10th, February 14th, March 20th
AM: 10:45 – 11:00
PM/Full Day - 2:15 – 2:30
January 11th, February 15th, March 21st
AM: 10:45 – 11:00
PM/Full Day - 2:15 – 2:30
Viviane Viros’s Class
January 12th, February 16th, March 22nd
Full Day – 2:15 – 2:30
The foods listed here pose a choking hazard to children under the age of four. Small, round, firm foods that can slip down the throat, those that are stringy or sticky and those that swell when moist are the most dangerous. Staff will not serve them to children under the age of four, unless they are able to prepare these foods in a manner that reduces their potential to cause a child to choke.
Parents should not pack these foods in their child’s lunch unless they have been properly prepared according to the following guidelines:
Apples - Always chop apples and other firm fruits in small, bite size pieces or cook until soft in texture.
Carrots - Raw carrots should be finely shredded or cooked thoroughly.
Celery – It’s stringy quality makes celery difficult for young children to chew and swallow properly. With a peeler, remove the stringy outside layer of the celery stick and cut into bite size pieces before serving.
Grapes - Cut grapes in half lengthwise before serving. Remove all seeds and, similarly, cherries should be pitted and chopped before serving.
Hot Dogs - Should not be served to
children under four. For children four and
Peanut Butter - The safest way to prepare peanut butter is to spread a very thin layer on a slice of bread and serve with a beverage. Children under four should never eat large clumps of peanut butter from a spoon or finger.
Raisins -. Children two to four years old should be served only moist raisins or ones that have been cooked in foods like pudding or bread.
Popcorn - Should not be served to children under four years old. Its size, shape and irregular edges create a prime choking hazard.
Meat on a bone - all meat should be removed from the bone and cut into small, bite-size pieces.
If you are providing a hot lunch, please heat at home and place in a thermos. Additionally, if you are packing food that needs to be peeled, cut up or taken off a bone, please be sure to complete these tasks at home. It is difficult for teachers who are caring for a large group of children to perform those tasks and attend to every child's needs at lunchtime.
The teachers will not be able to serve a child a food that does not meet these guidelines.
The teachers would like to thank you for helping us provide for your cooperation and assistance in providing a nutritious, safe and pleasant mealtime experience for all the children.