Reformed Church Weekday Nursery School

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					Reformed Church Weekday Nursery School


70 Hooker Avenue Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

                    Table of Contents



               1.    Philosophy
               2.    Goals
               3.    Family Involvement
               4.    Parent Group
               5.    Special Events for Families

Who’s Who at the WNS

               1.    Director
               2.    Teacher
               3.    Assistant Teacher
               4.    Tuition Treasurer


Procedures, Policies, and Protocol

               1.    Enrollment
               2.    Important Paperwork
               3.    Special Needs
               4.    Registration Fee
               5.    Tuition Responsibilities
               6.    Bounced Checks
               7.    Gradual Opening
               8.    Calendar
               9.    Drop Off and Pick-Up
               10.   Parking
               11.   Late Pick-Up
               12.   Waiting Areas and Facility Use

              13.   Security
              14.   Absenteeism
              15.   Illness Policy
              16.   Emergencies
              17.   Emergency Evacuation Drills and
              18.   Snacks
              19.   Parties and Birthday Snacks
              20.   Potty Training
              21.   Clothing
              22.   Shoes
              23.   Outdoor Play
              24.   Field Trips
              25.   Fund Raisers
              26.   Wish Book
              27.   Emergency School Closings and
                    Snow Policy

Church Relationship


The Reformed Church Weekday Nursery School is a
learning community for children and families. We are a
community which values love of learning, compassion,
respect and care for others. Our goal is to provide your
child with a preschool education which is excellent in
every way, in a loving environment and with teachers
who are experts in their field. We invite you to learn
more about our school; its‟ policies and procedures, of
course, but also what we believe in as educators and

This Parent Handbook is designed to provide our
community of families with the information needed to
understand the policies and operating procedures of the
Reformed Church Weekday Nursery School. Contained
in this handbook are our school‟s goals, objectives,
visions and philosophy of education.

This handbook is also designed to answer any questions
you may have concerning the appropriate procedures
and policies for any issues that may arise throughout
your child‟s school day. Our teaching staff and director
are always here to answer any questions or concerns
you may have. Our doors are always open and we
welcome your questions and comments. Please feel free
to contact us whenever needed.


Reformed Church Weekday Nursery School is a not-for-
profit family oriented, community minded, child-centered
educational nursery school. We want our children and
families to feel welcome and appreciated. It is our
pleasure to share our days with your most precious gifts.
We will cherish one another as we learn and grow
together here, at Reformed Church Weekday Nursery

We believe in a nursery school:

Where children are valued for who they are, for their
wonder and curiosity, their perspectives, and their ability
to play...

Where families are valued for their bonds and traditions,
their commitment to work, home and community, their
dreams for their children, and their ability to play...

Where teachers are valued for their vision, their delight
in children, their skill, heart and knowledge, a
commitment to families, and their ability to play...

We cherish one another, and we cherish what we learn
from each other. The Reformed Church Weekday
Nursery School was established in 1959 and is one of
the oldest nursery schools in the area. We currently run
3 classrooms, servicing the educational needs of

children up to 5 years old through a variety of early
education programs. We are dedicated to doing so in a
safe and nourishing environment designed to meet the
needs of the whole child, as well as encourage their
spirit and the love of learning.

 The best interest of each child remains in the forefront
as we initiate our developmentally appropriate teaching
curriculum. The curriculum is designed to address the
developmental needs of each child with a focus on the
social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of
all young children.

We welcome and encourage an ethnically diverse
population. The WNS does not tolerate discrimination of
any kind, and are open to children and families of all
races, religions, cultural heritage, political beliefs and
marital status. Parents and families are encouraged to
participate in all of our programs.


Here at the Reformed Church Weekday Nursery School
we believe that teaching is as much an art as a science.
Our classrooms are warm, bright and spacious, child-
centered environments with state of the art learning
tools. The curriculum is based on the children‟s
fundamental right to learn in a play based atmosphere.
The natural learning process will occur as the children
interact with the teachers and each other. Our program

provides many hands-on learning experiences using the
discovery approach appropriate and effective for children
of all ages and in all learning stages.


Our program goals are:

        1. To foster a positive self-image in each child
        by providing them with a wide range of
        opportunities to grow as an individual in all
        developmental areas. Each class is designed to
        meet the needs of each child as an individual as
        well as in a group classroom setting.

         2. To help children learn to interact with their
        peers and adults in a positive, cooperative way.

         3. To help children to understand and accept
        each other‟s individual differences and

        4. To support parents and families.

        5. To serve as a developmentally appropriate
        learning environment for all children.

        6. To foster a loving community where each
        child and adult feels valued and valuable.

The following strategies are used by our staff to help
children to reach these goals.

        1. Clear Expectations: Stating to the children,
           in a positive way, what is expected.
        2. Praise: Praising children for behaving
        3. Choices: Giving children choices whenever
        4. Words: Giving children words to express
           their feelings in place of acting out

Our ultimate goal is teaching the children to verbally
resolve conflicts with minimal or no adult intervention.
One of the ways to do this is to be sure that the staff
members are good role models. This includes showing
respect, caring, and courtesy to every person in the

Family Involvement

Family involvement is welcomed and encouraged -
please feel free to share a story or family tradition, or join
our Parent Group, which is involved in organizing special
programs, activities and fund-raisers. Your help and
input is always needed. Throughout the year special
occasions arise and sign up sheets can be found in our
hallways for those parents who offer their help.

Parent Group

The parent group is an important part of our school
community. The parent group organizes special events,
fundraisers and often hosts school events. The group
may choose to organize play groups or a special project
for the school. Each year the group is under the direction
of the WNS Director who helps to organize parent
volunteers. All are welcome at every parent group
meeting and event. It‟s fun!

Special Events for Families

Each year the WNS organized several events for
families. Some examples of these events are Autumn in
the Park scheduled in October, a Thanksgiving Feast
scheduled in November, and Moving Up Day scheduled
at the end of the school year. We encourage parent
volunteers to join us for the planning of these fun events!

*** At times regularly scheduled classes will be cancelled
    in order to bring classes together for celebrations.
   Families will be notified well in advance when these
                         dates arise.

                  WHO’S WHO at WNS


The Director , has primary responsibility for monitoring,
evaluating, and communicating all educational and
administrative policies set forth by the WNS Committee.
The Director supervises the teaching and support staff of
the WNS. The Director works directly with the children
and the families as a means of modeling, evaluating,
and disseminating curriculum within and outside the


Teachers have at least a Bachelor‟s degree in
Education. Teachers are responsible for the planning
and implementation of the developmentally appropriate
curriculum in the classrooms. They are also responsible
for communicating openly with parents regarding
students‟ progress throughout the school year.

Assistant Teachers

 Assistant Teachers work as team members with the
Teachers in providing an appropriate environment for
children. They will interact informally with parents during
the day, and assist the teacher with the classroom.

Tuition Treasurer

The Tuition Treasurer collects tuition and keeps parents
updated on payments received and payments that are
due. The tuition treasurer also issues contracts.


Reformed Church Weekday Nursery School is open
                   th          th
from September 10 to May 30 following a 9 month
school calendar. The school closes for snow days and
scheduled holiday breaks.

Our 2 day, 3 year old program is designed for children
who are fully potty trained and whose birthdays are on or
before December 1. These programs are held on
Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:00am –

Our 3 day, 3 year old program is designed for children
who are fully potty trained and who turn 3 on or before
December 1. One program is held on Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday and is offered from 9:00am –

Our 3 day, 4 year old program is designed for children
who are entering kindergarten the following year. This
program is also designed to prepare the children for a ½
day or full day kindergarten program. This program is
offered to students turning 4 on or before December 1 .
This class is held Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
mornings from 9:00am – 11:00am.

Our Pre-K program is designed for students turning 4
on or before December 1 and who will be entering
kindergarten the following year. This program is
designed to prepare the children for a full day or half day
kindergarten program. This program is offered Monday –
Friday mornings from 9:00am – 11:45am.

We strive to respond to the needs of our community, and
therefore our program offerings change from year to
year, and we may add new classes as needed
throughout the year. Please feel free to inquire based on
your child‟s individual educational needs.



Continuing families and families of the Reformed Church
have priority until February 1 , after which registration is
open to the community. Children are admitted on a first
come first serve basis. Placement in a classroom will
not be made until the paperwork has been reviewed by
staff. We aim to design classes of children who will
complement each other, and some study is required to
determine what the placements will be. Advanced
registration is required and all paperwork must be
completed, handed in and kept up to date. A waiting list
is kept by the director and will be used when an opening
presents itself and the timing is appropriate.

The Reformed Church Weekday Nursery School does
not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion,
ethnicity, national origin, or differing abilities. However, if
the nature of a child’s disability requires physical therapy
or special staff, the child will not be enrolled until special
arrangements are made.

Important Paperwork

It is important that all of your child‟s paper work,
including medical forms are kept up to date and current
at all times. If your child‟s developmental or medical
history is changed at any time please notify your child‟s

teacher as soon as possible so that all records can be
changed. Should your child be injured at school, an
accident log is filled out stating what may have caused
the child to become injured. A copy of this report is given
to the parent/guardian and a copy is kept by the teacher.
Parents/guardians or emergency contacts will only be
called to come and pick up the child should the child
become unable to fully participate in the remainder of the
school day.

Special Needs

Parents are required to identify and communicate to the
RCWNS staff any special needs that may be pertinent to
the child‟s safety or developmental well being. Parents
of children with special needs will be expected to
participate with RCWNS staff in identifying and selecting
any necessary supplemental staffing assistance and/or
equipment. Additional funding for any special needs will
be jointly pursued by the RCWNS Director and the
parents of the child with special needs through local
government and other agencies.

Registration Fee

A $75 new student registration fee or a $50 returning
student registration fee is required to confirm enrollment
and must accompany the registration form. The fee is

Tuition Responsibilities

You have signed an enrollment contract which clearly
states the cost of sending your child to the WNS and
identifies your chosen payment schedule. You will
receive a tuition reminder notice before each payment is
due. It is crucial that you help us by making your
payments on time. An easily accessible, locked box is
located in the school for checks and money orders only.
All cash needs to be directly handed to the tuition
treasurer or the director. As your enrollment contract
states, if you find yourself in a position where you are
unable to pay your child‟s tuition, you must call the
tuition treasurer to make arrangements. If you fail to
make two consecutive payments and fail to make
arrangements with the tuition treasurer, your child‟s
enrollment will be cancelled. The WNS depends on the
tuition payments in order to provide its‟ students with a
high quality educational program. We appreciate your
cooperation regarding this matter.

Bounced Checks

The checks returned require parents to issue a new
payment plus the returned check fee charged to the
WNS by the bank. Two bounced checks may result in
being required to pay in cash or by money order.

Gradual Opening

To begin the school year and to ensure that each child is
comfortable, we have a gradual opening process, which
is as follows:

The first day of school your child will attend with a
parent/guardian for 1 ½ hours. This gives the child the
opportunity to meet the teacher and other children, and
see the classroom to get a comfortable feeling. Parents
are welcome at this meeting.

The next school day your child will attend by him or
herself for the regularly scheduled class time.


The WNS does not follow any specific school district
calendar, but rather attempts to meld the calendars of
area schools to benefit the greatest number of
families. Our programs run from September to May with
scheduled legal and holiday closings. A school calendar
with the scheduled school closing is given to each

Drop off and Pick Up

Our school days run as follows:

The AM sessions begin at 9:00 am and end at 11:45 am
for the Pre-K and 4 year old programs, and begin at 9:00
and end at 11:30 am for the children in the 3 year old

Please keep in mind that it is important that the children
are dropped off promptly at the starting times and picked
up on time as well. Late arrivals can be distracting and
disruptive to the child coming in and the other children in
the classroom. Late pick ups may cause the child having
to wait to become worried or anxious. We have
comfortable places for you and your child to wait for
children to arrive or be dismissed. Our day is designed
so that our doors open at 9:00, rather than opening our
classroom doors earlier than when class is due to
start. This is more consistent for the children, as well as
allowing for fun surprises upon arrival!

You will fill out a transportation form which indicates who
may pick up your child. For your child‟s safety it is
important that we be notified if someone other than
those who are listed will be picking up your child. Please
advise them that they will be asked for identification as


 Parking is available at the front entrance of the WNS
(Hooker Avenue) as well as in the rear entrance
(Hanscom Avenue). Parking is also available in the
Bartlett Park Lot on Hanscom Avenue.

Late Pick-Up

Parents are considered to be late when he/she is picked
up later than the agreed upon time at the signing of the
contract. For each late pick up the parent will be asked
to sign a slip to verify the date and time of pick up. One
copy is retained by the parent and the other is kept on
file at the school. All families will be allowed one late
pick up without penalty. On each subsequent late pick
up you will be charged $5.00 for every five minute period
your child is at the school. Fines can be made payable
to the Reformed Church Weekday Nursery School and
are due on the next scheduled school day. The above
policy was established with much care and consideration
given to all families. We ask your cooperation regarding
this matter.

Waiting areas/Facility Use

 As members of the nursery school community, you are
welcome to use the facilities of the church to wait for
your child to be dropped off or picked up. We have a
children‟s library (with some parents‟ books, too!) for
your use. It is also stocked with fun things to do, as is
the breezeway. The playground may be used when the
children are not utilizing it, and there is also a nursery
upstairs for your use. Some parents form play groups
and use this room, Case Chapel, or other rooms in our
spacious upstairs. The church is yours to use and feel
comfortable in. Please carefully supervise your children,
and ask staff if you have any questions.


We unlock our outside school doors 10 minutes before
drop-off and pick-up times. At all other times the school
doors remain locked for your child‟s safety. If you are
visiting the school when the doors are locked, look for
the buzzers next to each door. A staff member will let
you in ASAP!


If your child is going to be absent, please notify the
nursery school prior to his/her arrival time. A message
leaving your child‟s name and class is sufficient. It is
important that all children attend school on a regular

basis, as frequent absences may disrupt a child‟s daily
routine and make it difficult for the child to enjoy all the
benefits of our nursery school program.

Illness Policy

The Reformed Church Weekday Nursery School does
not have facilities to care for sick children, and when a
child is ill they cannot benefit from our program. If a child
becomes ill while attending school, the parent/guardian
or emergency contact will be notified immediately. The
child who has developed symptoms of illness will be
provided a place to rest quietly within view of and under
the supervision of a staff member until the child is taken
home from school by the parent/guardian or emergency
contact. You will be protecting the health of your child,
as well as protecting the health of all the children and
teachers by helping us maintain these health standards.

 Sick children should be kept in the comfort of their
                 own homes when:

        * The illness, or child‟s reaction to an illness,
        requires attention that cannot be provided by the
        teachers (such as administering medicine) or an
        illness or reaction that compromises the health
        and safety of others.

        * Significant fever of above 100 degrees
        Fahrenheit when taken orally, 101 degrees

Fahrenheit when taken rectally, or 99 degrees
Fahrenheit when taken under the armpit. Any
child showing any of these signs of fever is
asked to be kept home for at least 24 hours after
the fever has cleared and temperature has
returned to normal.

* The child has an undiagnosed rash or itchy

* Undiagnosed watering or redness of the eyes

* The child has persistent diarrhea, defined by
three or more stools in a 24 hour period, when
this pattern represents:

        -An increased number of stools
        compared to the child‟s normal pattern.

        -Increased stool water

        -Diarrhea accompanied by symptoms of
        dehydration, such as sunken eye, dry
        skin, concentrated urine or small
        amounts of urine of no urine in four

        -Diarrhea accompanied by blood in the

A child should be kept home if they have vomited two or
more times within a 24-hour period, or if the vomiting has
been accompanied by any symptoms of dehydration or
other signs of illness. A child is ready to return to school
when they have been vomit free for at least a 24 hour

A child that requires medication such as an antibiotic is
required to refrain from attending school until they have
received the proper 24 hour dosage.

If a child is not prepared to participate in all aspects of
our school program, such as playing outside on the
playground s/he is not ready to return to school.

If a child is or becomes lethargic, has uncontrolled
coughing, persistent abdominal pain, discolored urine,
refuses to eat or drink, unusual irritability, persistent
crying, difficulty breathing or is wheezing or showing
other signs of unusual behavior, staff will call home.

Per New York state law, we do not administer
medication to children.


Your child‟s records and emergency cards must be kept
up to date at all times. Please keep your child‟s teacher
up to date with telephone and cell phone numbers,

family‟s pediatrician or primary health care provider and
any changes that may occur throughout the school year.


It can be scary for a child to be anxiously waiting for
some one to pick him/her up when s/he is ill or waiting to
be taken home.

Emergency Evacuation Drills and Procedures

       Fire Drills

        Proper fire drills are practiced with the children
        periodically throughout the school year. We
        alternate the days of the week and morning and
        afternoon drills so that all the children have an
        opportunity to participate. A written record of all
        drills is kept on file.

        Emergency Evacuation Procedure

        In the event that the student and staff must
        evacuate the premises, they will do so quickly
        and gather in their designated area. Drills will be
        practiced and documented so the children are
        familiar with what to do. During an emergency
        evacuation students and staff in rooms 12 and
        13 will exit through the school‟s Hooker Avenue

         door and meet in the Weekday Nursery School‟s
         parking lot. Students and staff in room 15 will
         exit through the Hanscom Avenue door and walk
         around the building to the meet in the WNS
         parking lot. Teachers will take attendance and
         immediately check in to assure all students are
         safe. If needed, parents will be notified and
         instructed where to pick up their child.

         Lock Down Procedure

         In the event that a lock down is needed, the
         authorities will be notified, the teachers will find
         the nearest locked room, gather their students,
         lock the doors, and sit quietly. The student will
         be kept away from the doors and windows. The
         teacher will maintain a calm environment while
         keeping in contact with the other teachers
         through the use of the in-class intercoms. When
         the authorities have deemed it safe for the
         students and staff, parents will be immediately


                 OR AIDE!

 A $25 snack fee is required of all students. The school
will use this to provide the children with a light snack and
100%fruit juice each day. Parents are welcome to bring
       in fruits or veggies for the class at any time.

             CHILD’S TEACHER!! **

Parties and Birthday Snacks

On special occasions such as birthdays and parties it is
okay to bring sweet treats. Let your child‟s teacher know
in advance if and when you would like to bring in a
special treat.

Potty Training

Always a popular topic among caregivers and teachers
of young children, potty training, like tying shoes,
learning letters and identifying colors, is a learned
skill. Our teachers and aides are skilled in reminding
children, and “looking for signs” that another reminder is
in order. We understand very well that accidents
happen, but consecutive accidents are cause for a
discussion about readiness for classroom learning.
Children must be fully potty trained in order to participate
in the 3 and 4 year old classes. Pull ups and diapers are
not allowed in the 3 and 4 year old classes. We ask you
to be frank with us about your child‟s readiness, as we

strive to provide an environment where each child is


Casual comfortable clothing is recommended for active
hands and classroom play. Although our classroom
supplies are water soluble and nontoxic, the children will
be exposed to many creative, and sometimes messy,
classroom materials. We strongly suggest that your child
wear clothing which, would not cause any alarm should it
become soiled. Extra clothing should be kept in your
child‟s school bag in case a change is needed.


Party shoes are pretty and sandals and fancy boots can
be very stylish, but sneaker or work boot type shoes are
recommended for safety‟s sake on the playground.

Outdoor Play

In the event of extreme cold, such as when temperature
dropping below 25 degrees with the wind chill factor, the
children will remain indoors for that day to play in the
huge gym area that is located in our school. When the
temperature is above 25 degrees with the wind chill
factor, the children will go outside to play at the
discretion of their teacher. All items, including hats,
mittens, boots, snow pants and jackets that you wish for

your child to wear in these weather conditions should be
brought to school with the child each day.

In the event of extreme heat, with temperatures reaching
above 90 degrees including the heat index, the children
will remain indoors to play in our huge gym area located
in our school. If the temperature is under 90 degrees
including the heat index, the children will be taken
outside to play at the discretion of their teacher and
provided with cool water breaks to maintain proper

Field Trips

Field trips are designed to expand on our classroom
curriculum and broaden the children‟s learning
experiences, as well as to be FUN! There may be
anywhere from 3-10 field trips a year. Locations vary
each year due to interest and availability, but have in
past years included: the Mid-Hudson Children‟s
Museum, the Bardavon, Trevor Zoo, local apple
orchards and pumpkin patches.

Each child is chaperoned and escorted to and from by
their parent/guardian. If their parent/guardian can not
attend the field trip with their child, parents are welcome
to make arrangements with another parent or family
member to attend with the child. A 1:1 ratio is enforced
for all field trips outside the school building.

If a fee is required, it will be collected prior to the date of
the field trip, and whenever possible a refund will be
made if a child is unable to attend the field trip due to
illness or family emergency. Field trip scheduling may be
constrained by the administrator of the location in which
the field trip is being held. This sometimes prohibits
scheduling in the afternoon or on an alternative day, and
at these times the PM classes and/or other classes will
join the AM class or other classes for the field trip.

Fund Raisers

School fund-raisers are conducted from time to time
throughout the school year. We encourage your
participation, but you are under no obligation and we will
not pressure our families to make purchases. All monies
raised are utilized to better the operation of our school
and directly benefit the children. The school is a not-for-
profit 501(c) organization, and any and all contributions
are tax deductible.

Your giving benefits not only your child, but also the
children of our community now and yet to come.

Wish Book.

The Reformed Church Weekday Nursery School is a
not-for-profit school that depends on the support and
donations of the families that we serve. The WNS Wish
Book is an organized list of school supplies and
educational tools that is compiled by our teaching staff.
The book is located in the breeze way near the front
entrance of our school. Some of the supplies found in
the book are used throughout each school year for
projects and exploration. Other items found in the book
may bring extra life and fun to our school environment
for years to come.
If you would like to make a donation for our school
and/or have a wish that you would like to see come true,
please see the Director for assistance.

Emergency School Closings and Snow Policy

If we need to cancel school, you will know by logging on
to and looking under “Reformed
Church Weekday Nursery School” or by listening to any
of the Clear Channel Radio stations (FM 101.5, FM 92.7,
FM 96.9, FM 94.3, AM 1340, and AM 1390). Many of
our families and several of our staff travel some distance
to get to our school, and we will make every effort
ensure safe travel by being cautious with our
cancellations. Spring is a wonderful time for makeup
days, should we need them, so enjoy the snow and be


The Reformed Church of Poughkeepsie, the first church
in Dutchess County (1716), decided in 1959 to start a
weekday nursery for our community‟s children. Jesus
himself established the importance of children: “Taking
the little child in his arms, Jesus said to the disciples,
„Whoever welcomes one of these little ones in my name
welcomes me....‟”(Mark 9:36,37). Louis Comfort Tiffany‟s
masterpiece window “Jesus Blesses the Children” in our
church‟s Case Chapel (second floor) bears unique
witness to the place of children in the life of the church.

The Weekday Nursery School is, therefore, a mission
and ministry of the Reformed Church, created, sustained
and overseen by the church‟s Consistory (Minister,
Elders and Deacons) since 1959. The Consistory carries
out its oversight responsibilities through its Board of
Christian Education and the Board‟s special committee,
the Reformed Church WNS Committee. The day-to-day
operations of the WNS are lead by a Director, appointed
to the position by the WNS Committee with the approval
of the Board of Christian Education and the Consistory.
The WNS Committee and the Director select the
school‟s teachers and their assistants.

The Reformed Church Weekday Nursery School is a
place which seeks to show the love of God and has a

Christian environment. You will notice that our efforts
often go above and beyond what you would expect, that
we are joyful and optimistic, and that we strive to be
unfailingly loving and kind. We do not discriminate on
basis of faith and we do not teach dogma, but we do
pray before eating and as occasions warrant. It‟s a
loving school.

As members of our nursery school community, you are
also members of the greater Reformed Church
community. This means that you are welcome in the
church facilities (as discussed in the “waiting
areas/facilities use” section), and welcome to participate
in church events, from humanitarian efforts such as
feeding the homeless to joining the congregation on
family and adult oriented excursions, and so on. If you
have older children, they are most welcome in one of the
church‟s two youth groups. Of course, you are always
welcome at church services during which child care is
provided for pre-K and Sunday School for K-12. Should
you wish to find out more about the Reformed Church,
please ask in the church office for the booklet, Our
Reformed Church.

In short, all are welcome! Thank you for sharing your
  children with us. We take that responsibility very
       seriously, but also undertake it with joy.


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