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Little Scholars

Learning Center
Parent Handbook
2014-2015 School

Miss Meghan Mastroianni


*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

Table of Contents
Philosophy and Mission Statement...pgs. 34
Registration and Operating Policies.pgs. 45
Discipline 5
Emergency School 5
Learning Environment
o Room Arrangement and Classroom 6
o Equipment and Reference 6-7
Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) 9
Parent/Family Involvement.pgs. 911
o Classroom Webpagepg. 15
o Educational 15
o Educational Websites.pgs. 1516
Children with Special Needs
o Supports-Toileting
o Screenings
o Intervention Strategies
o Environmental Considerations

*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

Since 1973, under the passing of FAPE, every child is entitled to a Free
Appropriate Public Education. However, twenty-first century education is
much different than education was forty years ago. Technology is booming
and becoming more and more prevalent in the classroom. Face-to-face
interaction with students and teachers is becoming more rare, while the idea
of a physical classroom is now taking place in online chat rooms, forums or
threads. Instead of raising your hand to ask a question, a quick email to a
teacher or a text message to a friend can be sent with the click of a button.
As teachers, we cannot be scared of these changes, but we cannot approach
them nonchalantly either. We must learn to incorporate these new and
innovative methods into our classroom daily and use the methods that
benefit our students the most. An article in EdTech Magazine interviewed
teachers across the nation, but one specific point stood out to me. Matthew
Braun, a seventh grade math teacher in Philadelphia said, A teacher with
21st-century skills and tools is one who can integrate strong communication
skills with manageable technology skills. Its someone who can creatively
problem solve both people- and equipment-related obstacles to learning. A
teacher possessing 21st-century skills fearlessly seeks out methods and tools
technologythat will enhance not only their students learningbut their
own personal growth as well. The concepts are not changing, but, in order
to keep up with society, we as teachers must change our methods to get the
most out of our students.
Some might ask, what is the purpose of education? Is it acquiring
knowledge, reading books, and learning facts? Or is it teaching to the test so
that all students can pass with proficient on standardized testing? I believe
Maria Montessori stated it best. The purpose of education is to aid the lives
of children. Through her methods, she created a curriculum that worked with
the childs Sensitive Periods-when a person can most effectively learn
information. Through this, children can learn directly from their experiences.
She emphasized the importance of hands-on activities in the classroom,
which I will also stress in my classroom. Students do not learn from watching
the teacher perform every problem, and create every activity; students learn
from doing it themselves, while using their teachers as guidance.
*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

Understanding child development is

to the success of teachers. We have to
understand that a child develops as a
whole: physically, socially, emotionally,
and cognitively. However, even though
each child develops these same domains,
timing and the stages of their lives that
they are functioning best at, are unique to
each child. As a teacher, I will account for these
and always be ready to adapt lessons and make accommodations for
students that learn differently or at a different pace. Piaget gives us an
overview of the stages of cognitive development in children. His theory has
made a great impact on me, however, we cannot hold each of his stages to
the whole truth. His stages give us a judging mark, but these ages do not
hold true for all children. That is where we, as teachers, have to get to know
and understand our students. I know in my classroom I will incorporate
diversity throughout the lessons, involving opportunities for students that are
kinesthetic, visual, or auditory learners.
Of all development theorists, Vygotsky has influenced me the most. He
sees the way that children develop is influenced by their culture: the
circumstances of their family, the values at school and the location of the
community. More than we would guess, our surroundings impact us the most.
Ultimately, we learn more by who and what we surround ourselves with. It is
my utmost responsibility as a teacher to treat your children as my own. I
have the passion it takes to influence children and guide them in the right
direction as they begin their journey in education and in life.

Mission Statement
Little Scholars Preschool is a family-run, professional development
center, working to enhance the lives of young children. Our goals are to
develop appropriate education at a young age, support and educate the
children and families of our community, model lifelong skills and embrace
the diverse range of families we serve. More importantly, we make sure we
provide a safe and caring environment each and everyday.

Registration and Operating Policies

1. In operation Monday through Friday from 8:30-11:00am and from
12:30-3:00pm. Please be advised of Montour School Districts school
year calendar, as that is what we will follow for delays, and
2. Student drop-off takes place between 8:30-9:00am for the morning
session and 12:30-!:00pm for the afternoon session. Please be prompt
when dropping your children off at school.
*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

3. Student pick-up will take place at approximately 11:00am for the

morning session and 3:00pm for the afternoon session each day.
Parents may come early, and we will never go beyond those times.
4. Arrival and departure is a busy time therefore, we ask parents to walk
their child to the classroom, sign your child in at arrival, and out after
5. We currently have both a morning and afternoon session available for
children ages 3-5.
6. Enrollment is open to children who are three years of age before July
7. Registration begins on May 1st and runs up until the academic year. All
paperwork must be turned in, along with the $100 registration deposit,
before your child can officially be enrolled.
8. Tuition may be paid in whole at the beginning of the year, or may be
paid monthly. Tuition is due by the last Friday of every month. Late
payments will have a $10 fee for every day it is late.
9. Tuition money may be dropped off in my office at any point of the
school day or may be sent to:
Meghan Mastroianni
Little Scholars Preschool
432 Silver Lane
Wexford, PA 12345
Updated physicals are also required upon enrollment. Physicals
must include a list
of all vaccines and any other necessary
medical information.
Each child will be equipped with their own cubby space that only
they will use. Parents/families may send in any extra clothing, or
comfort items to keep in the classroom if needed throughout the
school day.
Little Scholars Preschool has the right to dismiss a family for
severs discipline issues, or if other problems occur between the staff
and families that cannot be handled civilly. No refunds are given once
tuition is paid.

Discipline Procedure
Our classroom strives to keep a safe classroom each and every year, and
therefore, does not tolerate violence, whether it be physical or verbal. The
term discipline comes from the word disciple meaning to teach. As
faculty, our main focus is to teach our students how they can positively meet
their needs through appropriate behaviors. Therefore, we treat any
inappropriate behavior as a way to guide children in the right direction so
they do not make the same mistake again. You will always see our faculty
using positive phrases such as, Walk in the building, rather than, No
running. We believe that our staff has full control, and are able to use the
*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

best judgment that they can to handle any situation. When issues do arise,
this standard procedure will be as follows:
1. Teacher will take control of situation.
2. Pull student(s) aside to resolve problem and apologize if necessary.
3. If student is not cooperating, they will have to sit aside with a teacher
for five minutes until they are relaxed and can fix the problem.
4. If the student is not cooperating still, a phone call will be made home
to the parent.
5. The teacher will discuss the issue with the parent/guardian at the end
of the school day.
6. If the issue reoccurs, parent/guardian will be called again, and a
conference will be scheduled.
7. Faculty, parent/guardian and student will meet to discuss plan.
8. If problem is not resolved, it will be the teachers decision to expel the
student or not.

Emergency School Closings

Our center has a partnership with the surrounding school district, and
therefore, we follow their schedule regarding weather cancellations, delays,
and holidays. Stay aware and updated with this information by following
along via the local news or radio station. Local news websites also provides
listings that are available online. We try our best to relay this information to
you as soon as we find out. We do this through email so it is crucial you
provide us with your account. Most news will be decided by 6:00am. If a twohour delay were to occur, the morning session will be cancelled for the day.

Learning Environment
We have created our classroom so that we maximize the learning
space so that the students can function at their highest level. As shown in
the diagram below, our classroom is arranged in different learning centers,
which are sectored off by bookshelves. This allows students to be optimizing
all areas of the classroom at once, while the teachers are still able to give
their full supervision to all areas. The main goal of our classroom is to keep it
safe for our students. We want them to feel comfortable so that they have to
best learning experience as possible. We have worked very hard to obtain
up-to-date equipment, technology, and materials necessary to reach each
childs developmental needs.
Room Arrangement and Classroom Space: Our classroom is broken up into

active play centers: Library Corner, Listening Area, Computer Area, Art,
*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

Sand and Water, Table Toys, Cooking Area, House Corner, Block Corner,
and Outdoors (all included in the diagram below). The diagram does
not include the other small classroom we have available which we use
for Circle Time, Literacy/Writing, and Music. We have worked to include
all areas into the small space we have available. The room is also
equipped with one childs bathroom, two toilets and three sinks, three
offices and one storage closet for supplies and materials.

Reference Materials: Our centers are each filled with numerous amounts

of materials necessary for instruction. Our library includes many

picture books appropriate for children ages 3-5. Also included are many
informative books about topics we will be learning about throughout
the year. In our listening center, we have three headsets with CD
players, two sets of headphones that can connect to iPods/iPads, and
many CDs and recordings of books children can use. Are room is
equipped with two, MacBook computers as well as four iPads. Our art
center includes a plethora of supplies: paints, markers, colored paper,
crayons, clay, chalk, stickers, glue, glitter, scissors, etc. In our table
toys center, we provide many educational board games, and have
rotating centers with other toys throughout the school year. In our
house center, we provide many opportunities for dramatic play to take
place. Including there is dress-up clothes and shoes, props, play food,
etc. Outside, we have a beautiful fenced-in playground for fine and
gross motor play. That area is equipped with a jungle gym with mulch
floors, concrete pad with a small basketball hoop, scooters, and/or
bikes, and a grassy field. For more information about the centers and
*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

others not discussed, please feel free to contact the teacher at any

Our curriculum is directly aligned with the Pre-K Pennsylvania
Academic State Standards. We set the foundation for our students in areas
such as math, science, literacy, social studies, and art. Our principles are
based solely off of a frontrunner of education, Jean Piaget, who said,
Children learn through actively constructing knowledge through hands-on
experiences. Piaget also expressed that the adults role in helping children,
is to provide them appropriate materials so they can interact and construct.
The importance of hands-on experiences shows how important it is to
develop children fully. We provide these opportunities for our students
whether it is through whole group instruction, small group instruction, or
individual attention. All are necessary to
help the child with interaction and
develop social skills. Below are some
unique things your child will experience
at Little Scholars.
Safety Learning Centers- Monthly
rotation; will teach necessary
safety instructions to students such as
crossing the street, water safety,
and fire safety.
Monthly Themes- Each month our
classroom will become totally made-over. Themes are based on
important events, holidays or occasions of our classroom. Example:
November will be a Pilgrim and Native American village.
Circle Time- occurs at the beginning of every class where we will
discuss the calendar, weather, letter we are learning, and say the
Pledge of Allegiance. Helpers are assigned each day.
Sensory Experiences- We try to reach each child through all five
senses: touch, hear, sight, taste and smell.
Assessment: At this level, children do not and will never receive grades in
our classroom. However, we assess children multiple times during the year
using developmental checklists appropriate for their age and stage of
development. These assessments are helpful for a number of reasons. They
give us as teachers, a guide to where the program needs to go and better
plan to meet the needs of the children. They give the students a baseline
and ability to see a change in their skills, and where they need work. And
they also give the parents the ability to understand how their child is
developing, where they can help their child, and practice they can use at
home. One example of a Gross Motor checklist is provided below.
*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP)

DAP is an approach on how young children develop and learn, and what is
known about effective early education. The framework is designed to
promote young childrens optimal learning and development. Our staff here
at Little Scholars strive to create and teach in this environment. The NAEYC
website defines preschoolers as, learning best when they have positive and
caring relationships with adults and other children; when they receive
*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

carefully planned, intentional guidance and assistance; and when they can
safely encounter and explore many interesting things in their environment.
They also go on to define where preschoolers excel the most, and how we
can reach them best:
Thrive when they can experience new materials, roles, ideas, and
activitiesespecially in pretend play;
Take great interest in feelings and become better able to express their
emotions and identify those of others;
Make important cognitive gains that invite them to represent their
world in pretend play, symbols, objects, drawings, and words; and
Show astonishing gains in language skills.
For more information about DAP and NAEYC, please visit any of the following

Parent/Family Involvement
Parent and family involvement in the classroom is highly encouraged. We
not only want to provide a good experience for your child, but a good
experience for your entire family. We welcome parents/guardians or any
family member to our classroom. We make sure to keep parents and families
up to date with any classroom news and activities. Below are some of the
many ways we stay in contact with our families:
Weekly newsletters are sent home every Friday, outlining the schedule
for the week ahead, learning topics, and resources for home.
At the beginning of each month a calendar will be sent home, outlining
major events, holiday parties, or volunteer opportunities. Below is a
sample calendar from this past year.
Any and all of these documents may also be sent electronically via
email if you opt to do so.
During Star Student week, that child will get to bring in their
parent/guardian, who will get to come to school with us for the day and
help with the project we are completing.
Donations are always being accepted. Any extra materials around your
house that you may consider trash, give it to us! We use an abundant
amount of materials for projects all of the time.
Chaperones for field trips.
Volunteers for holiday parties.
Because we are so heavily involved with our families, it is a main focus
of ours to keep it that way, so that we have an avenue to communicate. By
staying involved and communicating any problems, concerns, or questions
with the staff, we assure you that your experience will be that much greater.
*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

Not only are your children learning from us, but we are learning from your
children, and we want to give you that opportunity too to share any
feedback, whether positive or negative, with us, so we can better our
classroom in the future.

Parent Conferences: We hold parent conferences four times during the

school year. The first conference will include more information about our
program, and goals for the year. Each conference thereafter is based solely
around you: the parent. I will always begin the meetings, by informing you
on where your child is performance wise, any behavior issues they may be
having, any social problems, and positive improvements we have seen.
From there, the floor is open to you to ask any questions or address any
concerns you may have. Conferences will be scheduled for twenty minutes
and we hold the times strictly to that, in order to fit all conferences in in a
timely manner. Therefore, we may discuss any additional meeting time
either over the phone or in person. Any other personal conferences may be
scheduled throughout the year, at least 48 hours in advance and cannot be
held during classroom instruction time.
*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

Security Procedure

*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

The number one priority of our classroom is each childs safety. As the
parent, you should always make sure you personally see and speak to any of
the staff when dropping your child off for the day. That way, we know your
child is present. You should always sign your child in on the designated
sheet. The same rules apply when picking your child up at the conclusion of
the day- personally see and speak with a staff member and sign your son or
daughter out. Information slips will be sent home (and electronically) that
need to be returned to us that has the information of three adults who may
be picking up or dropping off your child at any point throughout the year. If
any other member has to pick up your child that is not on the list, we will
need to be informed of this from you, the parent, through a note, with who is
picking them up. They will also need to have a photo ID on them and ready
to show before the child is allowed to leave. If this procedure is not followed,
we will attempt to contact you to receive confirmation. If you cannot be
reached, we will not send the child home. Again, these are safety precautions
so that we can keep our children safe.

Please be advised that if your child is experiencing a contagious illness,
please keep them home from school. Again, this is for the wellbeing of all of
the children and our staff. Ill children also cannot be appropriately cared for
in the preschool setting and should be kept home. If a child becomes ill
during school hours, you will be contacted immediately to pick up your child.
If not possible, we will then contact another emergency contact that you
have provided for us.
Injury: In the event of a serious incident, or injury, 911 will be call and the
child will be transported by the emergency vehicle to the hospital, if the
parent cannot be reached. The child will be sent with at least one adult staff
member who will be responsible for bringing the childs medical records,
forms and contact information. The staff member will remain with the child
until a parent or guardian arrives. All accident and injuries will be
documented in the log kept in the main office.
Medication: According to Pennsylvania State regulations, District policy, and
the Nurse Practice Act, any medication given to a child while at school must
be authorized with a written statement from the childs doctor to the school
with the knowledge and written consent of the parent/guardian. HIPPA
(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) provides confidentiality
to the family concerning any medical records, and the form should be filled
out at the beginning of the school year.
Forms: Medication and physical forms will be provided and need to be
returned back to any staff member during the first week of school. Physicals
*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

must be complete before the first day of school. Medication forms will include
the name of the medication, dosage, time to be administered, duration, and
signed by the parent/guardian. Medication should be given directly to the
teacher with directions and measuring utensils (if needed), so that it can be
kept in a safe place. Never leave medication for your child in their backpack
or cubby.

*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

55 Pa. Code 3270.133; 3280.133; 3290.133
Childs Name:






Refrigeration Required:

If Prescription, Prescribers Name:



Dosage Amount:

Time to Administer:

Dates for Administration:








Special instructions i.e., symptoms signaling need for administration, medication indications, reasons to hold medication,

I give permission to administer medication to my child as stated above.

Parent Signature




(a.m. / p.m.)

Amount of


Staff Initials

This information is confidential and may not be shared or released without the parents written permission.
CY 862 10/04

*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

We live in a world of booming technology, and therefore, we must keep
up with up-to-date materials. We strive to obtain a happy medium between
technology and face-to-face interaction. Children tend to lose these social
skills, because almost everything can be done over a data screen nowadays
and we do not want that to happen with ours. Therefore, we use technology
in our classroom to enhance the childrens experiences. Living in the 21st
century should not be a burden, but we should seize the opportunity to use
these skills so that we can increase our ability to communicate with diverse
populations, and become a true global society.
Technology in the Classroom: Our class is equipped with two Macbook
laptops, and four iPads. All equipment is supervised at all times they are
being used. Students are only allowed to be on the technology for fifteen
minutes at a time. If a student uses the technology during the first free
period of the day, they will not be allowed to use it again during the second
free period. All technology use is documented.
Classroom Website: This tool is a way that we stay connected with our
students and their families. The website will include weekly and monthly
calendars, and stay up-to-date with classroom activities. All hard copies of
paperwork, newsletters, flyers, etc. will all be accessible via the class
website. With parent permission, photos of our students will be posted, and
we will also highlight our students of the week on the front of the page. Also
included in a parent forum, where parents can ask questions to other
parents. Under the resource section, I will always be posting handouts,
worksheets, links, etc. of any resources you may want to use at home with
your child.
The link to the classroom website is below:
Educational Apps:
Handwriting without Tears: Wet, Dry, Try Capital Letters and Numbers$6.99
Montessori Crosswords- $2.99
TeachMe Toddler-$0.99
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox- $0.99
Wheels on the Bus- $0.99
PBS Kids Video- FREE
Alphabet Zoo- FREE
Moozart- FREE
Educational Websites:
*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

Children with Special Needs

It is our goal to encourage opportunities for the inclusion of special
needs students with typically developing students. Little Scholars Preschool,
along with the district and
IDEA, Individual with Disabilities Education Act, work hard to create the least
restrictive environment for any special needs student. Therefore, these
students will be educated with nondisabled students to the maximum extent
appropriate. Many support services are available for students that need extra
help: physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language
therapy. If you believe your child is in need of one of these services, do not
hesitate to ask any staff member for help on locating the best one for your
Once again, it is essential for you and your children to communicate
effectively with the teachers and staff if you think your child is in need of
support. Even though we teach your children, you are with them the majority
of the day and the saying holds true, Momma always knows best. It is your
child and we would never want to force any service on them if you are not
fully accepting. Ultimately, we all want what is best for the child.
Toileting: It is not necessary that your child be toilet trained to be enrolled
into our class. However, if this is the case, we do need you to provide us with
all materials, instructions and overview of where your child is in the process.
We ask that you fill out the necessary paperwork at the beginning of the
school year documenting the service your need for your child.

*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*

*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*


A. Complete the following:
BUMNS will fill out 2
the top portion of 2Name of Child:
this form. Parents 2
should complete 2Street
the bottom portion, 2 Date:
print it, sign it, andCity:
return it by the 2 Father/Guardians Employer
deadline. These 2
instructions will notCity:
Mother/Guardians Employer

Your child will need


Name of Mother/Guardian:

Name of Father/Guardian:






money $




B. List 3 people to be contacted in an emergency in case I cannot reach either of you:

Name: and
Please sign
return the
portion of
this form
no later than

Relationship to Child:


Relationship to Child:






Relationship to Child:


has my permission



(child's name)

go to




C. Complete the Following:


Name of
I would
as a chaperone.

City, State, Zip:

Name of Dentist or Clinic:



City, State, Zip:

(parent or guardian's signature)

*This entire handbook can be downloaded electronically via the class website*