Little Learners Parent Handbook

We believe that parents are a child’s first and most important teachers and that a child’s learning is greatly enhanced when parents are involved in a significant way. We aim to work together with parents of young children to provide a wide variety of positive experiences that address the children to provide a wide variety of positive experiences that address the intellectual, physical, social, and emotional growth and development of the child. Activities will be structured and unstructured, teacher-directed and child-initiated, quiet and activities, indoor and outdoor, at the school and in the community. We believe that these experiences will contribute to and lay a foundation for success in later school experiences.

Our program follows the guidelines set in place by the Department of Human Services and the State of Minnesota Department of Education for Learning Readiness programs. Our program is provided as a service of Lester Prairie IDS # 424 in conjunction with Community Education and ECFE.

Little Learners Preschool is open to all children, regardless of racial, religious, or economic background who are at least 3 years of age as of September 1st, but who are not yet in Kindergarten. We are licensed to enroll 18 children in each session with a qualified early childhood teacher, a teacher aide, and when possible, volunteer assistants. Sessions are filled on a first come first served basis, with priority given to district residents and any student referred to our program by and educational, social service, or other agency.

A registration packet will be provided to each family requesting information about Little Learners Preschool. This packet contains information for parents and forms to be filled out and returned to school. The Registration form must be filled out and returned with a one time $25 registration fee and one month’s tuition in order for us to guarantee that a slot will be reserved for your child (providing that openings are still available). In addition to the Registration Form, the Emergency Information Form, Health Care Summary, Immunization Form, Busing Needs, and Parent Agreement need to be filled out and returned to school in order for a child’s registration to be complete.
*Each child MUST have a completed registration packet by September 1.

Session           Age                      Day                  Time For Little Learners

1. Two days    4 and 5       Monday, Wednesday                      8:20-10:50 AM

2. Three days 4 and 5      Monday, Wednesday, Friday          12:15-2:50 PM

3. Three day 4 and 5       Monday, Wednesday, Friday           8:20-10:50 AM

4. Two Days 3 and 4       Tuesday, Thursday                           8:20-10:50 A.M. 

There is a one-time registration fee of $25 per child payable at the time of enrollment, plus one month’s tuition, which will be applied to September.

Tuition has been set per school year, September through May. Payment is due on the first school day of each month. We appreciate prompt payment of tuition. It is the policy of the Little Learners Preschool that your child be withdrawn from the program if payment is one month overdue.
Checks may be made out to Little Learners Preschool and placed in the tuition box located at school. No deductions in tuition will be made for vacations or illness. We require a minimum of two weeks written notice if a child is to be withdrawn from the school. If a child is withdrawn without notice, a two-week tuition charge will be due. 
From time to time, we may opt to sponsor a fundraising activity in order to raise additional funds for the operation of Little Learners Preschool. Your participation in such activities will be greatly appreciated.

Parents are encouraged to drive or carpool with other parents in providing transportation for their children to and from preschool. To pick up your child, you MUST stop by the office first and get a visitor sticker before you come to help in the leaving process. Bussing through the district is also an option. 
If someone other than those indicated on the Registration form is to pick up a child after school, we MUST be notified in writing in advance. We CANNOT allow a child to come to school or go home unless accompanied by an adult or a responsible older child.
Children should arrive no more than five minutes early and should be picked up promptly at the end of the day. Teachers will not be prepared to care for children before or after these times.

Our school calendar follows that of the Lester Prairie Public School. Vacation days will include: MEA, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and various other teacher workshops days. Specific dates will be published each year and distributed separately.

Good communication is a must in any situation. We want to communicate many things to you, and we want you to communicate your thoughts, ideas, questions, and concerns to us. We will use the following tools to aid in our communication:
*Your child- Various notices and information of interest to you will be sent home with your child. Please supply a large school bag in which your child can carry artwork and school papers. The school bag should be brought to school everyday and should be checked by parents daily. Please make certain your child’s name is printed on the folder and bag.
*Newsletter- A monthly newsletter will be sent home with your child informing you of the important dates and activities. It will also include reminders announcements, and items of interest.
* In addition, for the safety of your child and for smooth operation of the school, please advice us of any changes or additions to the information in your child’s file as soon as possible. Feel free to call before or after school hours, or leave a message if you have questions or need to discuss something with the staff. Communication is very important to us.

Two  opportunities will be made available for parents and teachers to conference during the year. A conference in the fall will let parents know how their child is adjusting to school. In the spring, a conference will be offered to share an evaluation of the intellectual, physical, and social, and emotional growth during the school year. In addition, the parents are welcome to request a conference at any other time if they feel the need for one.

An advisory council primarily made up of parents whose children are participating in the program meets on a regular basis for the purpose of overseeing and evaluating the program being offered. We are always welcoming new members to join. Meetings are open to all parents, whether they serve on the council or not. You are encouraged to use this opportunity to express your ideas and opinions about the operation of Little Learners Preschool.

Parents are always welcome at Little Learners Preschool. We encourage your to drop in any time to observe or participate in activities with your child and his/her classmates. Other visitors are asked to make arrangements in advance.

School closing and late starts will be announced on KDUZ-AM 1260 and WCCO-AM 830 and will correspond with the Lester Prairie Public School. If a late start is announced, there will be NO morning classes, but afternoon classes (if any) will meet. In the even that school closes early for the day, parents will be expected to come for their children as soon as possible.

All personal belongings brought to school, including outerwear, should be marked with your child’s name. Please send a school bag with your child to carry items to and from school. We discourage the bringing of toys from home, except during a designated show and tell time. We do ask that you keep an extra set of clothes in their bag in case of an accident. A freezer size Ziploc works well to hold the clothes in.

Children should be dressed in casual, washable clothes appropriate for active play. Outerwear should be appropriate for the weather. We will go outside to play on a regular basis when the weather permits and children need to be dressed appropriately. This includes a warm jacket, snow pants, hat, and mittens, and boots during the winter.

A nutritious snack will be served each day with milk, which is provided by the school. The parents according to the snack assignment sheet will supply snack. You are asked to send something nutritious such as fruit, raw vegetables, cheese, cereal, crackers, peanut butter, etc. … that is still in its original packaging from the store. Children may bring birthday treats, but we ask that it be something prepackaged that can be sent home with the children. Provisions will be made for any child requiring a special diet. Be sure the school is made aware of any food allergies your child may have. Teachers will sit with the children during snack time.

Prior to any field trip being taken, parents will be notified of the date, time, purpose, destination, and any other pertinent details concerning the trip. Parents will be required to sign a permission slip in order for their child to participate in the field trip. The school will provide transportation.

We will be offering, in conjunction with our ECFE and Community Education programs, a wide variety of additional experiences for both parents and their children. Each family will be expected to participate in a minimum of three different areas for a minimum of 18 total hours during the school year. Families are encouraged to participate in as many opportunities that will suit their needs while building on their family’s strengths and enriching their child’s preschool experience. These activities will be offered for a low fee or no fee at all to the families whose children are enrolled at Little Learners Preschool and also to other families in our school district and beyond. Programming will include: Classroom Volunteer Program, Story Time, Parent Discussion Groups, Home Visits, Advisory Council Participation, Field Trips, Parent/Child Classes, and Special Events and Celebrations.
We encourage you to watch both the ECFE and Community Education newsletter for a complete listing of opportunities being offered during the fall, winter, and spring. Information will also be sent home with your child.

At Little Learners Preschool staff will use positive methods of behavior guidance such as modeling acceptable behavior, structuring the environment, setting realistic limits, redirecting children and groups away from problems toward constructive activities, and teaching children how to use acceptable alternatives to problem behavior. The safety of both children and the staff will always be considered as staff members manage behavior in the classroom. No child will be allowed to behave in a way that jeopardizes the safety of another. Children will be allowed to experience immediate, acceptable, directly related consequences for their misbehavior and these consequences will be pointed out to the child by a staff member.
If a child’s behavior is persistently unacceptable and threatens the well being of another child or other children and if the positive methods of behavior guidance mentioned above are ineffective, than a child may be separated temporarily from the group. If separated from the group, the child will remain within sight and hearing of a staff member in an unenclosed part of the classroom. They will be allowed to return to the group as soon as his/her behavior is brought under control. If a child has been separated from the group three more times in one day, the child’s parents will be notified.
At Little Learners Preschool, no child shall ever be subjected to any form of corporal punishment or emotional abuse. No child shall ever be subjected to lengthy of distant separation from the group, punishment for lapses in toilet habits, with holding food, light, warmth, clothing, or medical care, or the use of physical or mechanical restraints.

Children should be kept at home from school if any of the following signs of contagious illness are present including: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, yellow-green nasal discharge, undiagnosed rash, undiagnosed sore throat, conjunctivitis, respiratory distress, and unexplained lethargy. In addition, if the child has contracted any of the contagious reportable diseases (complete list on file at school), lice, scabies, impetigo, ringworm, or chicken pox, he/she should be kept home from school. Even though your child may see well enough to attend school, keep in mind that symptoms may be contagious to others.
Please call the school, (320)395-2909, prior to your child’s class to notify staff that your child will not be in attendance. Feel free to leave a message.

If your child becomes sick at school, you will be called and asked to pick up your child. If you cannot be reached, someone from your list of emergency contacts will be called and asked to pick up the child. Until someone arrives, your child will be made comfortable on a cot in a quiet area of the classroom within sight and sound of staff member.

If your child comes down with a contagious condition, please notify the school as soon as possible. We in turn will notify other families of exposure to the condition by means of a note sent home with the children.

All staff are trained in the administration of first aid and the teacher is trained to give CPR. A first aid kit is maintained in the classroom and is taken along on field trips. If a child receives a minor injury, which does not require medical attention, a staff member will administer simple first aid.
Parent will receive written notification the same day of their child’s injury and the first aid that was given or will be called t pick up the child if he/she is unable to remain at school.
If a child’s injury is determined to need professional medical attention, a staff member will administer first aid and/or CPR until emergency personal arrive. The parents will be called and informed that their child has been injured, first aid is being given, and emergency medical personal have been summoned. If a parent cannot be reached, other emergency contacts will be notified and staff will go ahead with emergency measures as authorized on the Emergency Information Form.

Because children will be at Littler Learners Preschool for only 2 ½ hours at a time, the staff will administer no medication.

When emergency medical care is needed, 911 will be activated. The Lester Prairie Fire Department First Responders will be dispatched along with ambulance service from Waconia Ridgeview Medical Center and Glencoe Area Health Center.

Lester Prairie IS #424 carries liability insurance that covers Little Learners Preschool. Coverage is for $1,000,000 Combined Single Limit per occurrence/aggregate including $5,000 each person and $50,000 per each accident Medical Payments Coverage. The district’s transportation carrier is required to carry liability insurance at the level of at least $200,000 per claimant, $600,000 per single occurrence for bodily injury and property damage, $5,000 per claimant medical coverage, and $50,00 each claimant excess liability, bodily injury.

Pets will not be kept at Little Learners Preschool.

Staff members are required by law to report any instances of suspected child abuse or neglect to the proper authorities. All staff members are familiar with definitions, procedures, and responsibility in this matter.

The phone number at the Department of Human Services, Division of Licensing is (612) 269-3971.

1. Parents go directly to teacher with a grievance.
2. If not resolved in five working days, the teacher takes the grievance to the supervisor.
3. If not resolved in five working days, the parents and the teacher go to the supervisor.
4. If not resolved in five working days, all three parties go directly to superintendent.

Anyone under the suspicion of found abusing prescription medication or under the influence of a controlled substance of alcohol will not participate in our program. For employees, this grounds for termination of employment. This policy will be placed in the parent and staff handbooks. It will be covered in yearly orientation of all staff.

Contact: Helen Lester
Mission Statement
"To develop every learner to the learner's maximum potential, to succeed and continue to learn in a changing world."
131 Hickory Street North
Lester Prairie, MN 55354
PH: (320) 395-2521
FAX: (320) 395-4204
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