IMPORTANT NOTE: As the COVID pandemic still affects our Preschool, our COVID mitigation plan may contain conflicting information to the Parent Handbook. The mitigation plan will supersede the Parent Handbook in these instances. This document is our operating procedure when mitigation is not needed. Our mitigation plan is updated regularly and can be found here.
The mission of 3 to 5 Preschool is to create an exciting and supportive learning environment where all members of the school feel they are accepted, nurtured, valued, and loved.
Our philosophy is that young children learn best when provided with a safe, structured, and exciting learning environment. Our teachers believe that students excel with an equal approach to both emphasis on play as well as an enhanced curriculum. Both our indoor and outdoor environments provide many opportunities for exploring and engaging in a world of activities. Through child directed and teacher facilitated play and a structured class schedule, the children acquire self-confidence, independence, excitement in learning, social skills, joy in friendship, self-discipline, curiosity and physical coordination.
3. SCHOOL HOURS:
Children may enroll for one of the following sessions: Morning session (8:30am to 11:30am) or Afternoon session (12:30pm-3:30pm.) We also are offering early drop off at 8:00am and late pick up at 4:00pm. Classes are offered on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Most children attend 4 days per week, however a limited number of 2-day per week (M/W or T/TH) spots are available. We recommend the 4 day-week, as this gives the child more opportunity to make friends and feel ownership in his or her school experience.
$400/mo. - 4 days/week Preschool Morning/Afternoon (Mon-Thurs)
$260/mo. - 2 days/week Preschool Morning/Afternoon (Mon/Wed or Tues/Thurs)
$65/mo. - 4 days/week Program (8:00am-11:30am or 12:30pm-4:00pm)
$35/mo. - 2 days/week Program (8:00am- 11:30am or 12:30pm-4:00pm)
Credit will NOT be given for sick days or vacation days. A 10% tuition discount may be given for a second child from the same family.
Tuition assistance may be available through Alaska State Child Care Assistance, the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, and our preschool. Please talk with our director or our office manager for more information.
Registration fee: $35.00
Fundraising fee: Since 3 to 5 Preschool is a non-profit organization, fundraising is necessary to cover the costs of the school that tuition alone does not provide. Every family will have equal opportunity to volunteer at fundraising events. Our school board puts into place a fundraising fee of $350 per student. If a child enrolls mid school year, after January 1st, the fundraiser fee is $175. Each family will be responsible to check in with the designated board member or teacher to keep an accurate account of all hours volunteered. The hours worked at these events will be applied towards the $350 (or $175 for mid year enrollment), the current amount earned per hour is $20/hr. If there is a remaining balance at the end of the school year, you are responsible for paying the remaining amount in full by the last tuition bill.
SEPTEMBER tuition is due AUGUST 21st to ensure enrollment and class placement.
October- May tuition is due the first week of each month. ACH or debit/credit card
payments may be made through the Brightwheel App. Parents have the option to set payments up as recurring or single. It is preferred that payments be made through the Brightwheel App, however payments by check or cash will also be accepted. We reserve the right to deny admittance to any child whose tuition falls behind by TWO WEEKS or more, and payment arrangements have not been made with the Director. If your child receives a scholarship, it may be revoked due to nonpayment, according to the guidelines of the Scholarship Agreement signed at the time a scholarship is given. There will be a $25 fee for all returned checks. If tuition payments fall behind by two months or more, 3 to 5 Preschool will go to collections for the amount owed, if arrangements have not been made with the Director.
5. NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY:
3 to 5 Preschool admits students of any race, color and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to its students, and does not discriminate towards any family in administration of its education or admissions policies, scholarship programs or any other school administered programs.
6. ENROLLMENT REQUIREMENTS:
3 to 5 Preschool will accept children from the ages of 36 months through 80 months (6 years). We will accept children in all income and ability levels. All enrollment forms, including an up to date immunization record or notarized medical or religious exemption form, must be on file PRIOR to your child’s start date.
7. SUPPLY LIST:
Each family will be provided a supply list of necessary supplies to bring to the school at orientation/open house or first day of school. If this is a hardship, other arrangements can be provided. Please talk to the director/teacher for more information.
8. POTTY TRAINING:
3-5 Preschool is a facility designed to take children who are completely potty trained. If your child has an accident, we will see this as normal. If your child has continuous accidents, or seems to still need a diaper or pull-up, then dismissal may be required.
9. CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS:
3 to 5 Preschool will accept children with physical, emotional, developmental, and behavioral disabilities on a trial basis. We will offer continued care to those to whom we feel we can offer quality care.
10. SIGN-IN/SIGN-OUT PROCEDURE & TRANSPORTATION:
Parents MUST sign their child in/out each day through the Brightwheel app. Directions will be provided at the beginning of the year on this procedure. The sign in code will be available at the entrance to the classroom and playground. Any changes in the child’s schedule or pick-up person should be noted in writing and given to a teacher or adjusted through the app.
The school does not have a bus and parents are required to make their own arrangements to bring their child to and from class.
11. AUTHORIZED RELEASE OF CHILDREN TO NON-PARENTS:
We will release children only to persons for whom the center has written authorization. We will make exceptions only if in an emergency and the parents speak directly, in person or by phone, with a staff member. A photo ID is required to release your child.
12. LATE ARRIVAL AND LATE PICK-UP:
Please arrive on time for class. The first hour of class is vital to your child’s social development. If the class is away from the building, we will post a note on the front door so that your child can join us. If you are unable to locate the group, your child needs to go home with you. Children may not be left alone at the preschool.
A late charge will be assessed for children picked up more than 5 minutes after the end of your child’s scheduled time. The fee is $1.00 per minute per child. You can get two free passes before we start charging since we all have those days. If you know you are going to be late, please call us so we can reassure your child with this knowledge.
13. CHILD NOT PICKED UP FROM SCHOOL:
The emergency contacts will be called if the child is not picked up within 15 minutes after the preschool class ends and the preschool staff has not received any telephone calls or contact from the parents.
14. VACATIONS AND ABSENCE
The school budget is created at the beginning of the school year and it is based on all families paying their full monthly tuition. No reimbursement is available for absence or vacation. We will hold the paid spot for your child. Please inform the Director or a teacher of vacations in advance if possible.
15. HOLIDAYS AND IN-SERVICE DAYS:
The preschool observes most, but not all of the same holidays and vacation dates as the Sitka School District. We will provide our school calendar with enrollment papers in August. The last day of school is before the Sitka School Districts last day because teachers need time to pack up the classroom and playground by the end of May. In addition, the preschool may be closed for up to two days per year in the Spring to allow our teachers to attend an early childhood conference to fulfill their required training hours. Reminders of school closures will be listed in a monthly newsletter.
16. WITHDRAWAL OF CHILD FROM THE PROGRAM:
Written notice must be given 2 WEEKS prior to a child leaving the program. In case of emergencies or special circumstances, it is the parent’s responsibility to make appropriate arrangements with the Director. You are responsible for tuition charged during the notification period whether or not the child attends.
3 to 5 Preschool reserves the right to remove a child from the school for the following reasons:
delinquency in payment of fees/tuition;
an inability of the parent to adjust to the school program or discipline policies;
an inability of the child to adjust to the school program or discipline policies.
Such removals are to be determined by the staff and the Board of Directors.
17. CHILDREN’S HEALTH FORMS:
Each child must have an authorization for medical treatment and registration form on file before attending the preschool. This authorization allows us to obtain medical treatment for your child in the event of a medical emergency. We will make every effort to notify the parent as soon as possible if a medical emergency occurs. Health forms must be updated, including health care provider authorization every 6 months.
18. ILLNESS GUIDELINES:
Any child who arrives at the center with a discharge from the eyes, has had a fever over 100 degrees, or vomiting or diarrhea within the previous 24 hours should not be at school and may be asked to leave the center. Children developing those symptoms after arrival will be isolated, and the parents will be contacted to make arrangements for the child to leave the center. Children with head lice that has not yet been treated, or those who have been treated but are not nit-free, will be asked to go home. Please let the director know if your child has head lice so that we can notify parents to check their child.
If you have given your child medicine before coming to school please inform a staff member so that we can be aware in case side effects develop. Please inform the staff if you are made aware that your child has been exposed to a communicable disease in another setting. Examples of communicable diseases can be, but are not limited to, strep throat, chicken pox, lice, pink eye, scabies, ringworm, and impetigo. Staff illness guidelines are the same as those stated above.
3 to 5 Preschool staff will NOT give medicine, with the exception of Epi-pens or inhalers required for asthma. If needed, these medications must be provided to the preschool by the parents, and must be in their original labeled containers along with a severe allergy emergency plan form.
19. IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS:
No child may attend 3 to 5 Preschool unless an official copy of that child’s immunization record is provided to us showing that the child has had all immunizations required by the State of Alaska, Department Epidemiology or a notarized medical or religious exemption form. As required by the State of Alaska, 3 to 5 will refuse admittance to any children who become non compliant with immunization requirements. Parents must provide an updated immunization record every time a vaccine is given to remain in compliance and to not disrupt preschool services.
20. HAND WASHING:
Hand washing helps to prevent the spread of illness and disease.
Hand washing is required after using the bathroom, wiping the nose, changing clothes after a toileting accident, before eating, serving or preparing food and whenever a person has been sneezed or coughed upon. Children’s hand washing is supervised by staff.
21. CLOSURES DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER:
If a weather emergency causes the Sitka School District to close schools, the preschool will also be closed for the day.
22. COLD WEATHER POLICY:
It rarely gets too cold to play outside in Sitka. However, if the wind chill factor gets down to 20 degrees or below, we will not go outside. Other determining factors are ground conditions and precipitation. We do often take the children on walks when our playground is too wet for play. Please be sure your child has appropriate shoes/boots and clothing for going outside every day. If it is foggy, misty, raining or snowing, we will go outside.
23. SUPERVISION POLICY:
3 to 5 Preschool is licensed for 25 children per class, but we reserve the right to limit the number of children in a class in consideration of the individual needs of the children already enrolled. 3 to 5 Preschool will maintain legal ratios (1 staff for 10 children) at all times. It is our preference to have lower ratios. For this reason, we strive to have 3 teachers per class and encourage parent volunteers to bring this ratio closer to 1 adult for every 5 children. In the classroom, all adults are available to interact with the children. When we are all playing outside, an adult will accompany a child who needs to go into the building. When we leave the school grounds for a walk or field trip parents are either notified in advance or a note is posted on the door to make parents aware of our destination and estimated time of return. All children and teachers participate in field trips or walks. Children walk with partners on a rope and adults are spaced along the line at equal intervals, front, middle and back- to make sure everyone is safe. We encourage parents to come along whenever possible.
If a teacher is absent, we fill in with an extra helping parent or a substitute.
24. EMERGENCY PROCEDURES:
The staff is instructed to handle emergency situations as follows:
Injury of a Child: The child will be treated according to standards of the nationally recognized providers of First Aid/CPR. If emergency transport is needed, the parents will be called if time permits. If the need is urgent, an ambulance will be called.
Natural Disaster: In the event of a tsunami alert, the children and staff will be taken to Sitka High School by bus. In the event a bus is unavailable parents are asked to grant permission for staff to transport children in personal cars to Sitka High School. This permission is granted/not granted on the required Emergency Card. In the event driving is not possible the staff will walk with the children to Sitka High (Preschool to Jeff Davis, Jeff Davis to Etolin St., Etolin to Baranof Street, Baranof to DeGroff, DeGroff to Lake Street, and Lake Street to the High School) Staff will remain with the children until they are picked up and signed out by an authorized person.
Fire: All children and staff will be walked to Baranof School. Staff will call parents and/or emergency contacts. Staff will remain with the children until an authorized person claims each child. Please make sure that the person authorized to pick up your child checks in with a staff member so that we can keep an accurate record of who picked up each child and at what time the child was claimed. Fire drills are practiced with the children on a monthly basis.
Shelter in Place: In an event where a "shelter in place" is advised, we will send a message via brigthwheel to parents, doors will be locked, and children will not be going in or out of doors unless a parent decides for themselves to come to the door to pick up their child.
25. INCIDENT REPORTS:
An incident report will be completed whenever there is an injury to the head, or when a wound, scratch or bruise occurs that requires first aid, or when a child becomes ill at school. Parents will be notified immediately by phone of a head or serious injury, or the emergency contact number if parent cannot be reached. Please check your child’s box or bright wheel account at the end of each day for reports or other pertinent information.
26. CHILD ABUSE REPORTING:
Teachers are mandated reporters and are trained to recognize child abuse. Staff will report any suspected child abuse to the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Children’s Services (OCS), 747-2802 or 1-800-478-6805.
27. PERSONAL BELONGINGS:
Please label all belongings your child brings to school with their name, including shoes and boots. While each child has an assigned coat hook for storing personal items during class, we do not have the space to store personal items overnight. Backpacks that travel to and from school to carry your child’s mittens, hat and extra set of clothes are required.
Please note: We recommend boots or sturdy shoes for outdoor play, and slip on shoes for playing indoors. It is very helpful if your child has learned to put on his/her own shoes and boots and that there are no difficult laces to tie.
Things NOT to bring to school: money, gum, candy, medicine (unless required and given to the Director), play guns, knives/weapons, or toys. Please leave all personal toys at home unless specified by the director.
28. FALL/WINTER CLOTHING CHECKLIST:
Your child needs the following items for outdoor play and it is important that your child can put on clothing as much as possible by him or herself.
Hat, cap or hood
Mittens (waterproof on snowy days, please!) No gloves please, unless your child is able to put them on by him/herself.
Easy pull on rain pants, wind pants, or snow pants
We encourage parents to put into a gallon size Ziploc bag, with your child’s name on it, a change of clothes (pants, shirt, underwear, socks), so if there is an accident the child can wear his/her own clothes instead of borrowing from the preschool box. This is added to the beginning of the year’s student supply list. You will be notified when the bag needs to be updated.
29. PARENT HELPERS:
Parent helpers/volunteers are always welcome to join us in classroom at any time and especially on special field trips. We invite and encourage parents, guardians, grandparents, and other family members to get involved and to be part of our preschool program in a variety of ways. It is a state licensing requirement that all helpers who volunteer on a regular basis need to have a Background Check and Fingerprints on file. Those that help periodically do not. Parent helpers and visitors will also be asked to sign in.
30. PARENT CONFERENCES:
We believe that communication is essential, and encourage every family to speak with the preschool administrator or a teacher whenever a question/problem arises or something occurs in the child’s life that may be significant. We will be giving you feedback on your child whenever we can. Formal conferences may be scheduled twice annually, or when the staff feels that it may be beneficial to the child or parent.
31. PARENT COMMUNICATION:
Each child has a shoe sized tote/cubby labeled with his/her name and photo. Please check your child’s cubby after each class. Artwork created by your child, and other important documents such as payment receipts, statements, notices, and special projects will be placed in the cubby to go home. The monthly newsletter is distributed via Brightwheel. It is parents’ responsibility to let staff know if they are not receiving the the monthly newsletter or if they prefer hard copies. When communication is necessary during
class times please call or text the school at (907) 747-6898, or use the Brightwheel app. Staff are not regularly checking email while children are present. Drop-off and pick-up are good times to check in with staff with quick concerns, questions, or milestone moments you want to share. Staff will be happy to schedule a meeting if you need to discuss something in depth.
PLEASE KEEP SNACKS HEALTHY!
Each family will bring a healthy snack for the class each month. Providing snack is considered part of your child’s tuition. Snack calendars will be made before the beginning of each month. The snack calendar will also be kept updated on the front door of the classroom as an additional reference. If you foresee not being able to provide snack that day, please give us as much notice as possible so that staff can accommodate changes to the snack calendar.
We encourage and prefer the children to drink water, however we will serve plain or chocolate milk or 100% juice drinks if you want to bring it. Please no sugary juices.
Snack should generally consist of foods from two or more food groups, cut into manageable pieces. If you can precut the food items into small pieces before bringing them, this helps us to set up snack quickly and focus our time on your child.
Snack ideas are:
Any fruits and vegetables cut into small servings
Crackers and cheese, sliced meats, or salmon dip
Granola bars, trail mix, popcorn, pretzels, goldfish crackers, animal crackers, graham crackers
Bread and jam, bagels and cream cheese, or cut (quarter wise) sandwiches
Fruit leather, raisins/craisins, or 100% fruit juice gummy snacks
Cereal (Corn Flakes, Cheerios, shredded wheat)
Macaroni and cheese, fried rice, quesadilla, chips and salsa (not spicy) or bean dip
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please check the snack sheet and newsletters for allergies within the class. If your child has allergies you may want to supply your child with their own daily snack, in case your child cannot eat the provided snack.
We reserve the right to become a completely Peanut Free school as many children may have life threatening allergies. We will ask that all parents be conscious of this effort and not send in any snack items that contain nuts without prior permission.
33. DAILY SCHEDULE:
8:00-8:30 Early Arrivals, Morning Routine, Book Nook/Manipulatives
8:30-9:00- Morning Arrivals, Morning Routine, Book Nook/Manipulatives
9:00-9:30 Show & Tell, Circle Time
9:30-10:15 Free Choice Time
10:15-10:30 Hand Washing, Snack Time
10:30-10:45 Book Nook, Goodbye Song, Change
10:45-11:30 Outside Play, Morning Departures
11:30-12:30 *****Staff Lunch Break*****
12:30-1:15 PM Arrivals On Playground, Outside Play
1:15-1:45 Afternoon Routine, Book Nook/Manipulatives
1:45-2:00 Hand Washing & Snack Time
2:00-2:30 Show & Tell, Circle Time
2:30-3:15 Free Choice Time
3:15-3:30 Book Nook, Goodbye song, Afternoon Departures
3:30-4:00 Book Nook/Manipulatives and Late Departures
*Daily schedule may vary depending on children and special activities planned.
34. ACTIVITY CENTERS:
The following activity centers are offered at different times during the day.
Group Time- group participation in stories, songs, counting games, and rhymes.
Fine Motor (Quiet) Activity Centers such as: drawing, writing, small manipulates.
Art Tables – painting, clay modeling, and other creative art projects.
Logic Toys - puzzles, small manipulative toys, games to develop fine motor skills, logic and reasoning.
Book Corner – bookrack, puppets.
Creativity and Writing Center – free access to cut and paste, markers, crayons, and paper.
Play Dough – homemade play dough, cookie cutters, clay tools.
Sensory Table – Opportunities to play with different substances with a variety of textures.
Discovery activities – changes based on a current theme’s focus. Possibilities include science and nature projects, cooking projects, touch and feel, picture book creation.
Large Motor Activity Centers, such as:
House Corner – housekeeping toys, store, dress ups, baby dolls
Blocks – large building blocks, vehicles, figures, animals, buildings
Bikes- riding toys, and scooters
There is no TV in the facility and children will not be watching TV or Movies in the classroom. There may be special occasions when we may view something, in those cases, parents will be notified in advance.
35. POSITIVE GUIDANCE AND DISCIPLINE
When a child repeatedly engages in the same misbehavior, consequences are in order.
Teachers will ask the child what a reasonable consequence would be. Often a child will have a reasonable consequence in mind. Teachers will be ready with a logical consequence in case the child is not ready. Logical consequences include cleaning up after a mess has been made, leaving the gym area if the child is acting out of control there, taking care of a friend who a child has hurt, short suspension of the privilege of a piece of equipment because of careless use, being redirected to another group of children or to play by a staff member for disruptive behavior. One question that children can usually answer and that helps them to think is “Do you think that what you did was helpful or hurtful?”
If after logical consequences have been used a child continues to misbehave in the same way, the teachers and the child’s parents will meet to discuss the situation and to develop a written plan which includes prevention and coping strategies, consequences, expected changes in behavior, and an appropriate timeline.
If, after implementation of the behavior plan, the behavior continues, the 3 to 5 Preschool staff and Board of Directors may suspend the student from preschool. A continuation of the behavior following a suspension may result in an expulsion.
If a child or family member presents an extreme danger, the staff and Board of Directors reserves the right to expel the student immediately.
Be Kind to Yourself – Do things that keep you safe.
Be Kind to Others – Keep everyone else safe.
Be Kind to our School – Take good care of our classroom and toys.
Hurting self through words, actions, or carelessness.
Hurting others through words, actions, or carelessness.
Hurting our classroom environment through actions, or carelessness.
The teacher in the environment is the one who sets the ground rules and tone by his/her example. Each adult is expected to model these rules and to assist the child in following them. Teachers will model our core values of respect, honesty, responsibility and caring.
We help the children learn:
Respect for self- Each child needs to keep themselves safe while at school, both inside and outside. Safety includes using equipment as intended, following inside and outside playground rules, and listening to the teachers’ and other children’s words. This also includes using kind words.
Respect for others- Teachers and adults will show respect for the children by coming down to their eye level when speaking to them and using “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.” Adults will use a calm voice and attempt to make eye contact instead of calling across the room to encourage non-disruptive behavior in the environment. They will also help children in disagreement to discuss the situation and to solve the problem.
Respect for equipment- Teachers and adults will show the child ways to use the equipment safely. Care will be used in carrying and moving equipment, modeling a safe way to carry it that the children may also use, such as not carrying two trays at once, carrying chairs with legs pointing toward the floor, and putting blocks or toys away carefully and gently.
MISBEHAVIOR AND CONFLICT:
If a situation is potentially harmful to a child, teachers will have the child go to a quiet spot for a few moments. When the child is calm, the teacher will discuss what happened with the child, how that action made the child and others feel, and how that situation could be handled properly in the future.
PLAYGROUND SAFETY RULES:
The outside area is considered an extension of the classroom and an opportunity to continue working on each child’s development. Children are encouraged to develop social skills, run, explore, jump, develop skills on the climber, engage in sensory experiences, and enjoy the outdoors on the playground or during walks. For safety reasons, children are not permitted to climb on the fence or throw items that could injure another child or staff member on the playground.
Areas of our playground are sometimes muddy. Boots are recommended for outside play during most of the school year.
We do not have animal pets in our preschool at this present time. However, in the past we have had a “pet” theme when children may sign up to have their parent bring their pet for a visit. An up-to-date vet record must be presented to the Director prior to any animal visiting the center.
During the spring we may have butterflies and baby chicks to observe and learn about life cycles.
There are no poisonous plants at this facility.
38. FIREARMS AND WEAPONS:
3 to 5 Preschool is a gun/weapon free zone. Weapons, including firearms and ammunition, are not present at 3 to 5 Preschool, nor should they be brought to the premises.
39. GOVERNING STRUCTURE:
3 to 5 Preschool is a non-profit corporation whose members include those parents interested in being a part of the board, elected officers and other interested members of the community. The organization is governed by the Board of Directors and elected by the members of the organization. The Board meets monthly and has full charge of the property, business, and the program of the organization. With full power and authority to plan, manage, and conduct the same, the Board shall create and designate special committees, as it may deem necessary. The Board elects its officers from the members elected to the Board. The board will be created at the first meeting in September. The Officers and their duties are:
President (1 year) renewable, who shall preside at all meetings of the organization and of the Board of Directors, who can sign or endorse checks, drafts, and notes, who will sign contracts, leases, and/or other agreements, who will be ex-officio, a member of all committees except the Nominating committees, and will have such powers of supervision and management as may pertain to the office of the President, and will perform such other duties as may be designated by the Board.
Secretary (1 year) renewable, who shall keep minutes of all meetings of the 3 to 5 Preschool, and of all meetings of the Board of Directors, who will sign with the President all contracts and other instruments when so authorized by the board, and who will perform other functions as may be incident to the office.
Treasurer: (1 year) renewable, oversees the budget, takes minutes of all meeting if the Secretary is absent, and perform other functions as may be incident to the office.
Fundraising Coordinator: (1 Year) renewable, work with community members and volunteers to plan and execute fundraisers.
Parents will be notified in writing 30 days in advance of any changes in these policies.