Rice Preschool Handbook
TABLE OF CONTENTS
School Hours 2-3
Registration For Preschool 4
If Your Child Is Absent From School 4
Pick Up And Drop Off Procedures 5-6
Child Study Team 6
School Closings 6-7
Emergency School Evacuations 7
Home - School Communication 7
What To Bring To School 7-8
Medical Needs, Illness, Allergies 9
Therapy Schedules 9-10
Getting The Most Out Of Class Parties 10-11
Parent Tips 11
How Can I Get Involved At School? 11
What Can I Do At Home? 11-12
How To Speak To Your Child 13
Taking A Look At Your Child's School 14
“My Child” 15
Preschool Calendar 16
Welcome to Rice Preschool !
This handbook has been designed to give you a brief introduction to our
preschool program and to answer some of the questions you may have. We
take pride in our program and work diligently to provide an excellent
preschool education for your child. This year we’re pleased to continue to
offer our inclusive preschool class for four-year olds that will allow
selected general education preschoolers from Evesham township to attend a
preschool class that will also include children some children with special
needs. Some of the material in this handbook applies only to children with
special needs. Most of the information included applies to all the children in
our preschool program. Please read all of the enclosed information and keep
this handbook as a reference.
Rice School hours are 9:01 AM -3:25 PM
Rice Elementary School's telephone number is (856) 988-0685.
Preschool Class times are as follows: Monday through Friday from 9:01-
11:37 for the AM class and from 12:49-3:25 for the PM class. The buses
for the AM classes arrive at the preschool wing behind the school and
depart from the kindergarten doors on the front right hand side of the
school. Buses for the PM classes arrive at the kindergarten doors and depart
behind the preschool wing. If you are going to drop off or pick your child
up on a particular day, please notify the teacher, the school office and the
transportation department. When arriving at the school you should go to the
school office and sign in. The office staff with tell you where you should
drop off or meet your child.
Attached is a copy of the Evesham Township Preschool Calendar. Please
note the dates that apply to Preschool classes only. On approximately two
Fridays per month preschool classes will not be held. These days have been
reserved for staff planning and consultation with the therapists. On days
that the older children have half days or when there is a delayed opening,
preschool classes will not be held due to transportation needs with the vans.
We are required by law to provide four 2 1/2 hour class sessions per week
for your child. Many weeks the children will be attending all five days,
which extends beyond the minimum requirements. We value and enjoy our
time with your child.
REGISTRATION FOR PRESCHOOL
On or before your child's first day of preschool please report to the main
office at Rice and formally register your child. This is a different process
than your work with the child study team. The secretary will provide you
with the appropriate registration forms. When registering, please bring
with you emergency contact phone numbers, your child's birth certificate,
proof of immunizations, and proof of residency. If you have any further
questions regarding this school registration process, please contact the
school secretary at 988-0685.
IF YOUR CHILD IS ABSENT FROM
If your child will be absent from school please make 2 phone calls. First,
call Transportation by 7 AM to alert them that your child will not need a bus
that day. Next, please call Rice's main office to inform the secretary of your
child's absence. If your child is absent and the school has not been notified,
the office will call home to confirm that your child will not be in school.
This is a school district policy and a safety precaution.
The Transportation office can be reached at 983-1800 ext.5700 or at (856)
When the bus arrives to pick up your child, please accompany your child to
the door of the bus and the bus aide will buckle your child into the
appropriate seat. For safety reasons parents are not allowed to board the
buses. Upon your child's arrival home at the end of the school day please
meet the bus promptly. The bus drivers are not allowed to leave their seat
except in emergency situations, and they cannot walk children to and from
Most preschool students receive door-to-door transportation. However, if
you live on a court, cul-de-sac, or dead-end street, your student will be
assigned a bus stop. Also, certain apartment complexes do not allow buses
on the property. In those situations, your child will be assigned a bus stop at
an acceptable location. Additionally, if there is construction occurring on
your street during the school year, the buses may be unable to travel down
the street which potentially could make door-to-door pick-ups impossible
for that period of time.
If you change your cell phone number or emergency contact information,
please inform both the school and the Transportation Department (983-1800
ext.5700 or 856 988-0568) of the update.
Bus Drivers WILL NOT drop off a child to anyone other than a parent,
unless written parental permission has been given to the Transportation
If the bus comes to drop off your child, and you are not home, the bus driver
will contact the Transportation Department, which will try to contact you.
Your child will remain on the bus to complete the bus route and the the
driver will attempt to drop your child off at home after completing the route.
If you are not there, your child will be returned to the school office during
school hours. After school hours, your child will be taken to the Evesham
Child Care (ECC) program. If there is an emergency and you will not be
home to greet your child, please call Transportation as soon as possible to
make alternate arrangements.
NOTIFICATION ABOUT THE ROUTES
For students beginning the school year in September, bus numbers and
estimated pick-up/drop-off times will be provided to parents at the Open
House, prior to the first day of preschool.
For students beginning preschool mid-year, the Transportatopn Department
will contact the family by phone to provide bus numbers and estimated
PICK UP AND DROP OFF PROCEDURES
If you plan on picking your child up from school, please write us a note in
your child's communication book and then meet us at the designated
departure area at the appropriate dismissal time. If we do not have a note
from you and do not see you or the designated pick up person at dismissal,
we will put the child on the bus to go home.
Please park in designated parking spaces only. We want to keep all Rice
Due to heightened security requirements and precautions all visitors are
required to sign in at the office and obtain a badge when entering the
building. Even with quick drop-offs or visits to the classroom please stop in
at the office first. These security measures are for your child's safety. Your
cooperation is greatly appreciated.
CHILD STUDY TEAM
Melissa Zucker, Allyson Feld, and Susan Kagan are the Preschool Child
Study Team members. They can be reached at the Evesham Township
School Administration Building, 983-1800.
Each year we have three scheduled conferences. Parent-Teacher
conferences are held in November and March, and IEP meetings are held in
late May or early June. For each conference you will be given advance
notice as to your scheduled date and time. Your child's therapists usually
attend these meetings, as well. However, if the therapist cannot be at your
child's conference, he/she will leave a performance update with the
appropriate teacher and then will contact you to answer any questions.
Conferences will be held at Rice School, usually in the Preschool wing.
Our classroom aides are not permitted to provide childcare during
If schools close due to inclement weather please listen to a local radio
station or channel 19 on cable television. Evesham's school closing number
is 657. If schools close early the classroom Room Parent will attempt to
reach you by phone prior to dismissal so you or an authorized adult can
meet your child at the bus. If the elementary schools have a delayed
opening, there will be no preschool classes at all that day.
Occasionally throughout the course of the day, especially in the winter, the
road conditions can deteriorate quickly but the schools may not necessarily
close early. Please use your judgment as to whether to send your child to
school or to keep him/her home. Preschool is important, however, your
child's safety and well being are of the utmost importance.
EMERGENCY SCHOOL EVACUATIONS
In the event of an emergency school evacuation and it is unsafe for the
children to remain at Rice School, our partner school is Marlton Elementary
School. If you are instructed to pick up your child at Marlton Elementary
School, each teacher will be holding a sign with his/her name on it to
indicate where each class is located. All teachers will remain with their
classes until all of the children have been picked up. Hopefully such a
situation will never arise, but we believe being prepared and planning ahead
will avert potential confusion and anxiety later on.
HOME - SCHOOL COMMUNICATION
Each day your child will bring home his/her Communication Journal for
home and school correspondence in his/her backpack.. Please feel free to
write any questions or concerns you might have in your child's
Communication Journal. Each day we will check for messages and will
reply accordingly. Also, depending on the teacher, you will receive either a
daily or weekly newsletter that explains the highlights of your child’s week
If you need to contact us by phone please call either before or after school,
or leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.
WHAT TO BRING TO SCHOOL EACH
1. Backpack – a medium or large size pack works the best. We prefer
backpacks without wheels.
2. Snack - Please send a simple healthy snack and drink with your child
each day. (No soda please!!!) Crackers, cheese cubes, pretzels, and sliced
fruit all work well. Be sure that your child’s drink container is not going to
leak while on the way to school. The children are quite sad when their
entire backpacks get wet! We will celebrate birthdays, so if you would like
to supply a special snack for your child's birthday please notify us a few
days in advance so that we are able to notify the parents of children with
dietary restrictions so that those children might also have a “safe” treat for
the celebration. (Please be sure to notify us of any food allergies or dietary
restrictions your child may have.)
3. Comfortable clothing, and appropriate shoes: Please do not send your
child to school in good or restrictive clothing. Sneakers or hard shoes are
best. The wood chips on the playground tend to get into sandals and open
We are an active group and we do lots jumping, running, crawling, rolling,
dancing etc., and the children need to wear clothes that permit free and easy
movement. While the paint we use is water washable there are always a few
colors, like green, that just do not come out easily. Smocks only cover so
4. A complete change of clothes that can be kept in school. Please put the
clothes in a shoebox labeled with your child's name. The boxes stack nicely
in the closet and are easy to access quickly.
5. Diapers: If your child is wearing diapers please send in a bag of diapers
and wipes with his/her name clearly printed on the outside of the packages.
Ideally, a one month supply works best. We will notify you when your
child has approximately a 1 week supply left.
If your child is potty training please let us know and we will follow through
at school, as well. You may want to send in some extra clothes just in
case…... Once your child has been successful with potty training, please be
prepared for occasional setbacks. Typically all children suffer occasional
setbacks and this is especially true for children with developmental delays
or disabilities. Reassure yourself and your child that this is OK, and that
tomorrow is a new day.
Please label all of your child's school belongings. (hats, coats,
backpacks, lunchboxes, etc.) Each year we have two children claim the
same hat or coat, and, while we are pretty good with keeping everyone's
belongings together, we invariably get items mixed up. We also have had
some very nice jackets, sweaters etc. left in the classroom with nobody to
Please do not allow your child to bring toys, stuffed animals, blankets etc. to
school. Frequently these items get lost, broken, forgotten etc. and result in
unhappy children both in school and at home. Please keep all of these
treasured items safe at home.
MEDICAL NEEDS, ILLNESS, ALLERGIES
If your child has a green runny nose, a fever, sore throat, persistent
cough, has vomited in the past 24 hours, or complains that he/she does
not feel well, please keep your child home until he or she has been free
of these symptoms for 24 hours. School and therapy sessions are
important, however, if a child does not feel well, cannot breath easily or is
suffering from ear infections, he/she usually cannot perform well in the
classroom or in the therapy sessions. We realize that taking time off from
work and rearranging schedules can be difficult, but when your child is sick
he/she needs and wants to be home with you. In the preschool classes
germs tend to travel very quickly even with tissues and frequent hand
If you receive a call from the school nurse reporting that your child is ill and
he/she needs to be picked up from school please arrive as quickly as
possible because being ill at school tends to make children quite anxious.
If your child takes any prescription medication, even if it does not need to
be administered at school, please let us and Mrs. Shaya know. In the event
of an emergency knowledge of this medical information may be critical. All
medical information will be kept confidential.
We occasionally will be preparing food as part of a learning activity. Please
inform us if your child is on a special diet or has any allergies. We
would appreciate if you would write down any special instructions and
provide copies for us and for Mrs. Shaya, the school nurse.
If your child receives therapy services such as Speech, Physical Therapy or
Occupational Therapy, his/her IEP designates where therapy services will
be delivered and how often. If you need to contact a therapist you can write
a note in your child's communication book and we will pass the note along
to the appropriate therapist. Some therapists are not at Rice every day of the
week so there may be a short lag in response time, but we work hard to keep
these lines of communication open and flowing freely. During the Flex
week that occurs one week per month therapists do not always maintain
their regular schedules. Your child will receive services during that week,
but they may not be at the regular time, day or in the same location.
Occasionally a field trip, assembly or other interesting school function may
occur during your child's therapy session. Please let us know whether you
prefer for your child to attend these special functions and miss that therapy
session, or if your child is to receive therapy and not attend special
functions with the class. Generally, this does not happen very often and we
usually only attend the functions that are deemed appropriate and enjoyable
for the preschoolers.
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF CLASS
1. Sit with, talk to, and participate with your child and have him/her show
you what our classroom is all about. Remember, this is your child's "office"
where he/she works each day. The children really enjoy having Mommy or
Daddy join in with songs and activities.
2. Remember that each child is an individual and at the preschool level we
observe varying levels of development. Gentle encouragement and lots of
praise and acceptance help build self esteem and confidence. Remember,
too, that having you visit the classroom can be a new experience for your
child. S/he may react to such a visit by changing his/her typical classroom
behavior which could result in you not seeing your child as we see him/her
every day. This is NOT an unusual occurrence!
3. Participate with your child. Yes, sometimes we look a little silly, but the
children love it, and sometimes it is fun to be a kid again for a few minutes.
4. Speak positively to your child and model the behaviors you desire. Say
"Let's put the glue here," rather than "Don't put the glue there." Young
children often do not hear the "don't"in an instruction.
5. This is your child's special time with you. As much as we all enjoy
socializing, please put your child and his/her needs and interests first, and
limit conversation with other parents. Children carefully observe the
examples we set and rules by which we abide.
As parents, you are a significant and integral part of your child's education.
You are his/her first and most important teacher. The tone and level of
expectation you set will greatly influence your child's success. Children
reach developmental milestones at slightly different paces, so each child's
individuality needs to be respected and nourished. One of the best ways
parents can positively impact their child's success is to become involved in
their school functions and to support learning at home.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED AT SCHOOL?
1. Join the PTA and support the numerous activities they provide for the
2. Volunteer your time, attend Open House opportunities, Back to School
Nights, Board of Education meetings, and other school related activities.
3. Attend your child's class functions.
4. Communicate with your child's teacher
WHAT CAN I DO AT HOME?
1. Read to your child each day. Read street signs, store signs, parking
signs, books, magazines, and pictures. A young child's attention span is
short, so read and discuss several short stories/books each day. Reading is a
great togetherness activity which will help foster an awareness of books
and the power of reading. Let your child see you read too.
2. Take your child on age appropriate and educational outings. Visits to the
zoo, the library, playgrounds, places of family interest etc. Take walks,
explore nature, and just have fun together. Sometimes simple activities are
just as important and interesting.
3. Limit the amount of time that your child plays on the computer or
watches television. Monitor what games are played and what is watched.
4. Point out and praise your child's successes. Take a genuine interest in
5. Follow up and reinforce concepts and skills learned at school.
6. Accept your child for who he/she is.
HOW TO SPEAK TO YOUR CHILD
The words we speak can build or destroy a child's self-esteem. Which
phrases do you use?
If you can't do it correctly, then don't even try.
Go ahead and try. We can try it together.
Good job. You did just fine.
Well, that was a waste of time.
You gave it your best try.
You can do better than that.
__________ can do that, why can't you?
That was great! I'm so proud of you.
I knew you could do it.
That's too hard for you. You're too little.
Wow! You really worked hard!
I don't have time for this. Hurry up.
Let's slow down and take our time.
You are important to me.
I can't trust you.
I can trust you.
Go to your room!
Do you need a hug?
That's not right. You did that wrong.
That's right. Nice job.
You're a bad boy/girl.
I like the way you...........
Look at me when I'm talking to you.
I love to look at your beautiful blue, brown, green eyes.
Don't bother me right now.
You are so important to me.
I love you.
TAKING A LOOK AT YOUR CHILD'S
Consider the following when visiting your child's school.
I felt welcome.
The school environment was pleasant and inviting.
The school staff members were courteous and polite.
The staff and students were respectful and courteous to me and each other.
My child's teacher was energetic and happy to be teaching in the classroom.
The children in the classroom appeared to be happy and were actively
engaged in learning.
The children appeared to be aware of classroom procedures and
Individual differences were respected.
Learning activities were age appropriate and centered around the children.
The adults in the classroom were actively engaged with the children and
appeared to be working together for the benefit of the students.
I found this visit worthwhile and informative.
I would like to visit again.
I feel comfortable with my child in this school.
If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd build self esteem first, and the house later.
I'd finger paint more and I'd point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I'd take more hikes, and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields, and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging, and less tugging.
I'd see the oak tree in the acorn more often.
I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.
I'd model less about the love of power, and more about
the power of love.