School Year Handbook
Saint Mark’s Bright Beginnings Preschool is an outreach of St Mark’s Church which is part of The Long Island Episcopal Diocese.
Welcome to an exciting school year at Saint Mark’s Bright Beginnings Preschool. We are so excited that you have chosen our school as the place to begin or continue your child’s adventures in learning. At Saint Mark’s Bright Beginnings we pride ourselves in being not only a great place for your children but also a community for all our families.
We use a sensory based curriculum that allows children to develop their own learning styles. Through centers children learn to explore and create in a variety of mediums. Our Pre-K and Preschool children begin to focus on a letter a week at the beginning of October. Each age group will explore the letters using manipulative, arts and crafts, and writing as is suitable for their particular age group.
Policies and expectations for our Toddler Programs will be given directly to the parents at the start of enrollment.
For health benefits our program has outdoor gross motor both in the morning and in the afternoon. We will take all weather permitting opportunities to enjoy the outdoors so please keep in mind the weather when sending in your child so that they will have the proper clothing / outwear.
In the next few pages you will find some policies and important information for our school.
Please see Appendix A for summer additions to this handbook.
SAFETY: Fire Drills, Evacuations, Shelter in Place
We pride ourselves in the steps we take to assure our children are safe. In order to use the equipment on our playground, children are required to wear sneakers or rubber soled shoes that cannot slip off. (Croc's and sandals, or flip flops cannot be worn to use the equipment.) There is one entrance/exit for use on the playground.
To have your child picked up by someone other than a parent, a photocopy of that person’s I.D. and the designated person’s phone number must be on file with the school. Written or verbal consent is needed to allow someone else to pick up your child.
For security purposes, cameras are installed on the playground, the main entrances of the school, and the gymnasium hallway. A monitor is in the main office to view these areas.
In the event of an accident or emergency that requires medical assistance, 911 will be called first, then the child’s parent. If a child needs to be transported in an ambulance, before a parent can arrive at the school, the director or assistant director will ride in the ambulance along with the child. Our program will not provide transport for an ill or injured child.
Each month, all the students and staff practice evacuating the building. Twice a year we practice a shelter in place drill in the event the area outside of our building is not safe. Emergency food and water is kept on site in the event of such a situation. In the event of a fire or for any reason that the school will need to be evacuated, the first meeting place will be in the east parking lot of the church building. In the event of an actual emergency, parents will be notified on their cell phones. Students will be relocated to one of two locations until parents can come retrieve their child(ren.) The primary location will be The Patio at 54 Main Street Westhampton Beach. Our second evacuation site will be the Surf Shop 49 Sunset Ave Westhampton Beach.
In the event of inclement weather we will be closed if Westhampton Beach School District is closed. If WHB is on a delayed opening, we WILL be open at a time designated by the director. We do reserve the right to close if WHB chooses not to close. Our children and families safety is our top priority and their safety will be considered when decisions are made. In the event of inclement weather during a school day a decision may need to be made to close early. At that point an email will go out to all our parents informing them of the decision.
Please make every effort to get to the school as soon as possible so that everyone including our
teachers can get home safely. Any school closings will be posted on New12.com, our Facebook
page, as well as via email to the parents.
ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL
Our morning sessions begin at 9A.M. children may begin to go to their classes at 8:55. The morning session ends at 11:45. Our afternoon session begins at 12:30 and ends at 3:00. Before care begins at 7 am. Aftercare is available until 4:30 pm for full day children. If a child stays for aftercare and is picked-up later than 4:30 pm, a $15 late fee will be assessed. A before/aftercare form must be returned prior to the start of school.
Before and aftercare Before and aftercare is a service provided to accommodate hours for our working parents. Before care begins at 7 am and aftercare is until 4:30 pm. If you need before/aftercare you must be signed up by August 1st. Due to limited space in each age group, spots will be filled on first come first serve basis and paper work for this should be sent in as soon as possible. Before and aftercare is offered at a charge of $5 per hour for one child. Any family with two or more children will be billed at $7 per hour per family. Parents will be responsible to sign their child into before care and sign out of aftercare. If you forget to sign in or out, you will be charged $20 for that day. At the end of each month, families will be billed for the extra hours and that money will be due by the 15th of the following month. We reserve the right to limit the number of children in these programs based on staffing and capacity.
Should an emergency arise, and a parent is delayed, every effort will be made to assist that family.
The following control procedure will be in place for visitors to our program:
A 10% sibling discount off the total is given to our families with more than one child enrolled in school. A 5% discount will be given if tuition is paid in full by August 1st. One discount per family. The higher percentage would be applied. There is no discount for children enrolled in the UPK program.
The school’s Board of Trustees’ has adopted the following policy:
Tuition is due on the first day of the month. First month’s payment is due no later than August 1st. Should the account be current, there will be no payment due in June. If tuition is not received by the 5th of the month, a $30.00 late fee will be billed to the next month’s tuition. A payment that is a month past due will result in suspension of enrollment of the child/children until such time as the bill is brought up to date. If your child’s enrollment is suspended, we will hold his/her spot for 10 business day. If the account is not current by that date, enrollment will be forfeited, and the spot will be filled by another child.
If a family needs to make a payment arrangement, individual cases will be discussed. When a payment schedule is agreed upon, the agreement will be put in writing and signed by both parties. Should the terms of the arrangement not be met, the above policy will go into effect.
Tuition is calculated for a full school year. As a courtesy to our parents, we allow payments to be made over a ten-month period. Should a child be enrolled after the first month of school, the tuition will be calculated for the remaining months. No credit on tuition is given for scheduled holidays and vacation periods. Each child is enrolled for the entire year or the balance of the program year. Should a family choose to remove their child from our program, one month’s tuition will be forfeited.
UNIVERSAL PRE-K PAYMENTS
If your child is receiving the Universal Pre-K Grant through Westhampton Beach School, Remsenburg/Speonk School or East Quogue, and you have added onto to their schedule to include afternoons, the extra tuition will be billed each month. There can be no sibling discount or discount given for those that pay for the full year in September for UPK children.
We will NOT be allowing make-up days.
IMMUNIZATION and MEDICAL RECORDS
As per the OCFS regulations please see below:
Other than children who are enrolled in kindergarten or a higher grade, no child may be accepted for care in a child day care center unless the provider has been furnished with a written statement signed by a health care provider stating that the child is able to participate in child day care, currently appears to be free from contagious or communicable diseases and is receiving health care, including appropriate health examinations in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics schedule of such care and examinations. The written statement from the health care provider must also state whether the child is a child with special health care needs and, if so, what special provisions, if any, will be necessary in order for the child to participate in day care. Where the written statement from the health care provider advises the day care provider that the child being enrolled is a child with special health care needs, the day care provider must work together with the parent and the child's health care provider to develop a reasonable health care plan for the child while the child is in the child day care program. The health care plan for the child must also address how the day care provider will obtain or develop any additional competencies that the day care provider will need to have in order to carry out the health care plan for the child. Such documentation must state that the child has received age-appropriate immunizations in accordance with New York State Public Health Law.
In addition to the OCFS regulations please note the following:
In order to promote a healthy environment at Saint Mark’s Bright Beginnings Preschool and to comply with New York State Law, the school’s Board of Trustees has adopted the following policy regarding annual physical examinations and immunizations. All children who attend Saint Mark’s Bright Beginnings Preschool must have current medical clearance and immunization records on file. This information must be filled out on our Medical Form (OCFS form OCFS-LDSS-4433).
Please note that we are required to ask for a lead screening test. Should the doctor feel your child is not in the risk category, you will be able to find more information on lead poisoning on the NY State of Department of Health Website, health.ny.gov.
Physicals are in effect for a full calendar year. One month prior to the expiration of a physical, a reminder will be sent home. If an appointment cannot be made until after the expiration date, a note from the physician is required indicating the appointment date.
Immunizations must be up to date according to the child’s age.
Should either the medical clearance and or immunization record be more than one month past due, the child will not be able to attend school until the paperwork is current.
We regret any inconvenience that the above requirement may cause.
A child that has allergies which require emergency medication must have the OCFS form OCFS-LDSS-7002 on file along with the indicated medications. Medications must be in original containers with prescription labels attached. This form is valid for six months and updated forms will be necessary. We can only administer rescue medications for asthma and allergies.
A different form (OCFS-LDSS-6010) is used for topical ointments and diaper creams and does not need to be filled out by the doctor. This form must be updated evert 6 months.
In the event of fever, vomiting, rash or any other medical issues that require immediate attention, we will notify you by phone to have your child picked up. Any child showing a sign of a rash will require a doctor’s note clearing them from contagions before returning to our program. If your child has a fever or has been vomiting, they must be kept at home for 24 hours after the fever or vomiting ends.
Any school, public or private, requires notes when a child has been absent. We are requiring a note from a doctor if a child misses three or more consecutive days due to illness. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the office.
If your child is taking any form of medication we ask that you inform his/her teacher at drop off.
Our program supplies one snack per day in the am session. If there are any food allergies, please keep in mind that you might be asked to bring in snacks from home. Our snack choices are based on healthy choices from information gathered from the NY State Department of Health and are approved by a person trained with knowledge of the dietary needs of children.
Further information on healthy food and beverage choices and the prevention of obesity can be found on the NY State Department of Health site, health.ny.gov/CACFP.
Each child needs to have a complete set (including socks and underwear) of extra clothes to be kept in school. Messes and accidents do occur. Please send in a full set in a plastic bag labeled with your child’s first and last name on the bag. This is for all age groups.
BRIGHT STARTERS AND WEE STARTERS
(Those children turning two by December 1st and 2 1/2 years old)
Each child needs to have two extra sets of clothing in school. Parents will need to supply diapers, pull-ups, and wipes for their child’s individual changing needs. If a child will need to have topical ointment/sunblock applied, they must have a note from their parent giving instructions and consent on our form OCFS-6010. If your child will be staying a full day, he/she will need a crib sheet, blanket, and pillow. These items will be sent home at the end of each week for washing unless they become soiled earlier.
We take great pride in having a nurturing, experienced, and loving staff. There is at least one New York State certified teacher in our pre-k classrooms.
Our Bright Starters and Wee Starters teachers are required to possess at least an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood education or a CDA with an infant and toddlers certificate. Our teachers are all CPR certified.
Our staff members are Mandated Reporters. In accordance with Social Services Laws, child day care center staff must report any suspected incidents of child abuse or maltreatment. Further information on Abuse or Maltreatment of Children can be obtained through childwelfare.gov.
We ask all parents to kindly refrain for befriending any Bright Beginnings staff via Facebook or any social media outlets for the duration of all your families’ enrollment with our program. Friendships previously established may continue as such with the respect to the children and the school in mind. The staff has been directed to follow the same procedures to ensure a more professional correspondence.
Children receiving services such as speech, OT, PT, etc. are required to have form
OCFS-LDSS-7006 completed prior to the start of services. All service providers have been cleared by their respective agencies.
The Following are child guidance techniques that will be used:
Bright Beginnings has a private Facebook page. Photos of your child will only be posted with the parent’s permission. Please ask permission prior to posting anything on social media related to Bright Beginnings and refrain from taking photos/videos of the other children unless you have permission from the Director.
If you would like to celebrate your child’s birthday at school with a special snack, we would love to help you. Please let us know what day you would like to celebrate, and we will let you know how many children are in the class. If you are planning an outside of school party, you may place invitations for the entire class in the cubbies. If you do not plan to invite the entire class, we ask that you please mail your invitations.
Children with food allergies will only be given food provided from his/her home or purchased by the school for special occasions. Please be sure to leave a special treat with your child’s teacher at the start of the school year.
We do not heat or refrigerate food. Please do not send in: nuts, grapes, grape tomatoes, popcorn, and carrots for your child’s lunch/snack.
As is typical of Episcopal schools, Saint Mark’s Bright Beginnings provides a learning environment which is comfortable for children and families of many faiths. The school does not attempt to instill the doctrine of the church in its students; rather it seeks to enhance the positive qualities inherent in young people of diverse backgrounds. Saint Mark’s Bright Beginnings provides a supportive environment, nurturing teachers, and a success-oriented program designed to engender self-esteem, respect for others, and joy of learning.
Saint Mark’s Bright Beginnings Preschool does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, or national origin in its admission or employment practices.
Final approval of all incoming children’s enrollment will be granted once all medical and immunizations records are reviewed and found to be in compliance with the above policies.
TERMINATION OF ENROLLMENT
Bright Beginnings at St. Mark’s does not discriminate regardless of race, gender, color, or national origin. The termination of care by Bright Beginnings at St. Mark’s will occur for the following reasons:
Parents wishing to terminate their child’s enrollment are required to give two weeks written notice. There are no tuition refunds given when parents choose to terminate their child’s enrollment.
Any forms mentioned within the Hand Book may be obtained directly through the school if needed.
Due to the possibility for Pre-K children having the option to join UPK within their own school district, our policy for Pre-K registration has changed to the following:
There will be a $200 registration fee for Pre-K 2019/2020 enrollment. Only one registration fee is charged per family. The registration fee is nonrefundable if your Pre-K child does not to attend our program. For Pre-K children attending our program, a credit of $100 will be applied to the child’s second tuition payment.
For all our families that do not have a child enrolled in Pre-K, there will be a nonrefundable registration fee of $95 per family.
Parent Representative Responsibilities :
St. Mark’s Bright Beginnings Preschool Job Description
Parent Representative (2 positions)
Term length: 1 year
-attends biannual school board meetings
-aware of rules and regulations in St. Mark’s Bright Beginning Preschool Parent’s Handbook (available on school website)
-able to maintain professionalism when approached by parent (issue not personal, keeps information confidential)
-keep a log of contacts with parents and administration (director, assistant directors)
How to be a Great Parent Representative
-Be a communicator
-Lead by positive example
-Learn to be a Problem Solver
Our school address: Saint Mark’s Bright Beginnings
P.O. Box 887
Westhampton Beach, NY 11978
Phone #: 631-288-3310
Fax #: 631-288-7298
APPENDIX A – Summer information