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Early Childhood Education Center Family Handbook 2019-2020

www.tsnd.org/ece 305-932-9012 rabbi.david@tsnd.org

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MISSION STATEMENT Our mission at Temple Sinai Early Childhood Education is to provide a nurturing environment where children are encouraged to become independent learners and grow socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and cognitively. We imbue our classrooms with a deep of Jewish values in everyday living: our children explore how to live an ethical and moral life through lessons about respect, dignity, kindness, responsibility, tradition, mitzvot and tzedakah. Our strong love and respect for Judaism and Jewish values are communicated through actions, holiday celebrations, life cycle events, traditions, and learning experiences.

PHILOSOPHY AND GOALS At Temple Sinai Early Childhood Education Center, we believe that education is a process in which emphasis is placed on each child's individual uniqueness, thirst for knowledge and self-expression. Children are encouraged to wonder, explore, experiment and discover using their own learning styles and interests. Our school philosophy supports developmentally appropriate practices that encompass a whole-child approach. We nurture children and emphasize best practices in all areas of growth. Our program encompasses intentional teaching combined with an emergent curriculum that builds upon ideas and interests generated by the children in our classrooms. This practice balances our strong play-based curriculum with academic learning. Our approach develops the whole child with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for success in Kindergarten. Everything that we do arises from a common desire for excellence in meeting the needs of our children and families. Our warm and nurturing teachers are trained in best practices and provide an environment in class whereby children come first and each child feels unique and encouraged to reach his/her own potential. We welcome parent involvement and work to establish a strong link between school and home.

ACCREDITATION The Early Childhood Program at Temple Sinai is accredited by AISF The Association of Independent Schools of Florida.

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ADMISSIONS / ENROLLMENT Temple Sinai Early Childhood Education Center admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students in the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs. It is our desire to be responsive to every child who is presently enrolled in our school. Re-enrollment for the next school year will begin in or around January. Please be on the look-out for re-enrollment materials. Be sure to complete these during the priority enrollment period in order to ensure a space for your child, as spots fill quickly once re-enrollment opens.

ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL Our traffic procedures have been carefully worked out to provide the maximum safety of our children. For access to our campus, all cars entering the grounds must display a special barcode sticker on the windshield. In order for us to ensure traffic safety, arrival and dismissal procedures must be adhered to completely by each driver. ​The safety of all our students is our first priority​. Please do not park in the car-pool lane, use designated parking spaces when you need to leave your car. For the safety of your children, please do not conference with any of the teachers during arrival and dismissal time. This slows down car-pool procedures and poses a safety risk. We urge you to send a message or e-mail for an appointment to speak with your child's teacher at a mutually convenient time. Carpool is a No Cell phone designated area. ​Please do not talk on your cell phone when dropping off or picking up children. Do not allow your children to sit on the driver's lap or to put heads or hands out the window or sunroof. All of the above is unsafe, distracting and dangerous.​ Proper use of seatbelts and car seats is expected; in fact, it's the law.

ARRIVAL In the morning, please drive slowly and cautiously into the drive-way, follow the traffic flow and pull up to where the teachers wait to assist the children. Come to a complete stop, and put your car in "Park." When the children have left the car and walked away from it, check all around to make sure the way is clear, then carefully and slowly drive away. If you need to go into the school office for any reason, please park your car in a designated parking spot. Always assume that there is a small child somewhere around that you may not see, and proceed with extreme caution. Regular arrival begins​ ​at 8:45 a.m. ​If you arrive before then your children can come in for some early fun at Early Drop-Off. ​Please note: There is a $10 daily fee for early drop-off. Between 8:45 a.m. and 9:15 a.m., teachers will meet cars at the ECE drive-way. If your children are late, please park your car in a designated spot, sign in at the office and we will escort your children to the class.

DISMISSAL While it is important that you pick up your child on time, it is equally important, for safety reasons, that you do not arrive early. Carefully enter the driveway through the main entrance, drive slowly and stop in 2 rows at the stop sign until directed to move forward. ​Your child’s name card should be clearly displayed on your windshield. Name cards are distributed at the beginning of the school year prior to the first day of school. Additional name cards may be obtained at the ECE office. Children will not be released to anyone other than their parents unless we have been specifically instructed to do so in writing, by their parents, and informed who that person will be. We will insist on seeing proper identification​. Visit ​www.tsnd.org/parentresources​ for helpful information and links. 4

Dismissal for half-day students begins at 12:15 p.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m. Dismissal for full-day students begins at 2:45 p.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m.​ ​Friday dismissal begins at 2:15 p.m. and ends at 2:30 pm. If you are picking up your children earlier than the scheduled dismissal time, please park your car and come into the office to sign your children out. It is requested that this be done before 2:30 p.m. so as not to interfere with regular car-pool dismissal procedures. Regular dismissal ends at 3:00 p.m. If you are unable to pick up your child by 3:00 p.m. they will join our aftercare program. Aftercare​ is available for children of all ages Monday-Thursday until 5:30 pm and Friday until 5:00 pm for an additional fee. In addition, we are proud to offer a number of after school enrichment options throughout the year for PK3 and PK4. Younger students are invited to join our enrichment activities after January 1. Visit ​www.tsnd.org/earlyaftercare​ for more information.

BIRTHDAYS Birthdays are an especially happy and exciting time for young children. They are acknowledged in a simple fashion in class. We invite you to bring special paper goods and a small treat (i.e. cupcakes, cake, etc.) if you wish. Please contact the classroom teacher a few days in advance to make arrangements. The celebration may not exceed 15-20 minutes. Decorations, grab bags, balloons, etc, and more than one refreshment per child are not permitted When planning parties that will take place outside of school, please remember that we are a Jewish school. Therefore, it is not appropriate to schedule parties on Friday nights, Saturday mornings or on Jewish holidays. Furthermore, we ask you to be sensitive to children's feelings when planning parties. Since our classes are small, if only one or two children are excluded from a party, it can hurt them deeply. Birthday invitations may be distributed at school as long as no children in the class are excluded.

BIRTHDAY BOOK CLUB Your child's birthday can be celebrated by joining our Birthday Book Club in which you may purchase a book in honor of your child's birthday. It will have a bookplate in it and will be presented to your child in their classroom on or near your child’s birthday. Please check with your child’s teacher to set up a convenient day and time.​ ​Join the Birthday Book Club online at ​www.tsnd.org/form/birthdaybook​.

CELEBRATING JUDAISM We provide positive experiences in Jewish living through the celebration of Shabbat every Friday and learning about the celebration of Jewish holidays through storytelling, music, dance, cooking, role-playing, arts, and crafts. Our goal is to guide our students to feel, understand, live and love Judaism. We also stress the importance for children to give to those less fortunate by bringing a small amount of change every Friday for Tzedakah (charity). This early love of customs and traditions nurtures the child's values and molds a well-rounded individual. Throughout the year, each class presents a Shabbat program at our school-wide Shabbat celebration. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend this special celebration with their children. We encourage you to experience the joy of Shabbat and Yom Tov in your home with your family. Early on, your child will know the proper blessings over the candles, challah, and wine. It is a wonderful opportunity for you to reinforce what is being taught in school, even if your observance is quite simple. Preparing and sharing a special Shabbat or Yom Tov meal serves to strengthen Jewish family values in a beautiful and meaningful way. From time to time, we offer informal instruction for those parents who feel they need direction or a refresher. The important thing is to develop a Shabbat and Yom Tov tradition in your home for your family to share.

Visit ​www.tsnd.org/parentresources​ for helpful information and links. 5

We may also discuss other religions; however, we never celebrate the holidays of other religions in our school. Please understand that Halloween and Valentine's Day, which may seem like secular holidays due to their commercialism, originate in Christian holidays. Therefore, we do not celebrate them in any way in our school.

CLOTHING AND SUPPLIES Children are to come dressed in comfortable clothing. Although our students will wear smocks for "messy" activities, please be sure they wear clothes in which they feel free to be creative. Please bring a complete change of clothing to school for your child, in September. This clothing is to be LABELED and placed in a zip lock bag with your child's name printed clearly on the outside. Backpacks are recommended for carrying to and from school, such things as artwork, show-and-tell items, flyers, etc.​ Please do not send your children to school with backpacks that have wheels​ as they do not fit into our cubbies and take up too much floor space in the classroom. Children enjoy sharing interesting toys, records, and books. We especially encourage them to bring items that relate to the topics of the day or the unit of the week. Be sure to label items clearly.​ PLEASE NOTE​: ​No play guns or weapons are ever permitted​. At various times, your children may be asked to bring an article for a special project. Help them to complete these tasks. At this level, children LOVE "homework" (especially the fun kind).

CHILDREN IN DIAPERS Parents with children in diapers or pull-ups (TGS and PK2 classes) are required to provide us with disposable diapers and a box of wipes to be kept in your child’s classroom. Please remember to label all items.

COMMUNICATION An essential ingredient for the success of our educational program is the establishment of good communication. Communication occurs on many levels, and it is critical that all lines be open to benefit each child. The school will keep you informed of school activities in general through our texting service and weekly email and your children's progress in particular through Seesaw. We especially enjoy letting you know when good things happen in school. Many classes have a parent chat set up by the teacher to keep parents informed of class happenings. Since communication is an integral part of your children's educational experience, the school will communicate with you as soon as possible, any concerns regarding your children. A phone call from a teacher or administrator does not necessarily signal a crisis; it is an expression of our concern for the children's well-being. Please keep us informed of any turn of events that might affect your children on a personal level. We love to give an EXTRA measure of T.L.C., but we can do so only if we are aware of any successes, problems, or needs. We need to be informed about illness (either of the child or of other family members when the child's emotions may be affected), changes in behavior, extended trips, changes in transportation, changes in family status, changes in medications, or anything that might upset the child's normal routine. Our professional staff respects the confidentiality of such information. We cannot stress enough how important it is that, if you have a problem or question concerning your children, you​ speak with the Head Teacher first.​ The Lead Teacher is ultimately responsible for everything that affects the students' day-to-day progress and is in the best position to clarify matters or deal with problems. If you feel the problem has not been resolved after speaking to the Lead Teacher, then please request a meeting with the Director. Your children's teacher is a professional with extensive responsibilities. The considerate way to contact the teacher is by text message, e-mail, or through the school office. ​Please do not contact your child’s teacher by phone or through the class chat between 5 pm and 7:30 am or during Shabbat and holidays. ​The teacher will return your call as promptly as possible. It is impossible for the teacher to give your concern appropriate attention while engaged in teaching

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or other school responsibilities such as car-line duty. It is disrespectful to both the teacher and your child to discuss school concerns in public places or at social events.

BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT Parents are invited to attend the Back-to-School Night at the beginning of the year. This is a perfect time to put faces and names together and to become aware of the particular rules and procedures in your children's new class. Over the years, we have found that by scheduling this evening early in the school year, we maximize the opportunity for parents and teachers to work well together all year on behalf of the children. Your attendance this night is valuable to all of us.

PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES Parent/Teacher Conference sessions are scheduled on the school calendar twice each year. At these conferences, parents will have the opportunity to meet individually with their children's teachers. These meetings will focus on the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of each child. If parental concerns do not coincide with the scheduled conference times, teachers will be happy to set up special appointments. Conferences are important to the parent, child, and teacher, and require proper preparation to be most effective. Effective treatment of concerns cannot take place in the parking lot, hallways, or in public places such as the supermarket or the synagogue. If you desire an additional special conference or have any questions or individual concerns, please your child’s teacher. She will be happy to meet with you at a time that is mutually convenient.

DISCIPLINE In compliance with Section 10M-12:013 FDCF Code of Practice Discipline practices at the Early Childhood Education Center include reasoning and discussions with any child(ren) involved in unacceptable behavior. Teachers consult with the Director when necessary, for appropriate disciplinary techniques. Parents are kept informed of repeated inappropriate behaviors, by telephone, in writing or through personal conferences. No corporal punishment of any sort is EVER used. Biting involves special disciplinary action. Any time one student bites another, the parents of both students are contacted. If there is a second or additional incident of this nature, the parents of the child who is biting will be called and are expected to take their child home immediately for the remainder of the day. Your support in reinforcing positive behaviors and in discouraging unacceptable ones is essential in terms of enhancing the productivity of your child's school experience.

FOOD Parents are asked to bring in a specific nutritious and healthy snack for their child's class on a rotating basis. We also offer an optional Kosher catered lunch program in which you may choose to participate. Children who have not selected our optional ​Kosher catered lunch program​ should bring lunch and a drink from home. Please respect our Kashrut rules by NOT sending children to school with any Biblically prohibited food (i.e. shellfish, ham, pork products, etc.)​ Be certain to advise your child's teacher and our school office, in writing, of any allergic conditions​. Label all lunch boxes, thermos containers, etc. Because we wish to promote healthy nutritional habits, we request that parents not send candy, soda, and 'junk' food in lunches. Do not use glass containers of any kind in your children's lunch box.

Visit ​www.tsnd.org/parentresources​ for helpful information and links. 7

HEALTH AND SAFETY The Florida Department of Children and Families requires all students to have complete and current immunization and health records on file. These forms are available from your pediatrician's office and by law,​ MUST​ be submitted​ BEFORE the first day of school in order for us to maintain our license. The following information is required to be in our files in order for us to remain licensed by the state of Florida. ● A copy of your child's birth certificate ● A current Health Form ● A copy of Immunization records ● A completed​ ​Emergency Card ● A signed copy of​ ​"Know Your Child Care Facility" (download) ● A signed copy of the​ ​"Distracted Adult Brochure" (download) ● A signed copy of the brochure on​ "​ Influenza Virus, The Flu, A Guide to Parents" (download) ● A signed copy of the​ ​"Rilya Wilson Act" (download) ● A completed copy of the​ ​"Child Day Care Licensing Alternate Nutrition Plan Agreement" (download) ● A signed copy of the​ ​"Temple Sinai of North Dade Discipline Policy" (download) The Florida Department of Children and Families is regularly updating its policies and requirements. We will keep you informed of any new DCF policies we need you to sign to be in compliance.

ILLNESS On average, preschoolers experience eight to ten illnesses a year. We know that managing the demands of work can be challenging when your child is ill. We strive to limit the spread of communicable diseases in our center and are committed to implementing policies that balance and respect the needs of children, families, and staff in these circumstances. Our Child Illness Policy is based on the Model Health Care Policies developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Exclusion from the center is sometimes necessary either to reduce the transmission of illness or because the center is not able to adequately meet the needs of the child. Mild illnesses are common among children, and infections are often spread before the onset of any symptoms. In these cases, we try to keep the children comfortable throughout the day. Please keep your child at home if s(he): ● Has an illness that prevents the child from participating comfortably in program activities, such as going outdoors. ● Has an illness that results in a greater need for care than our staff can provide without compromising the health and safety of other children. ● Is ill during the night or has a poor night’s sleep - this may be the first sign of an impending illness ● Has a fever (100 degrees or above) or has had one during the previous 24 hour period ● Is taking an antibiotic ● Has a cold that is less than four days old ● Has a heavy nasal discharge ● Has a constant cough ● Has diarrhea or watery stools ● Has vomited more than 2 times in the previous 24 hours ● Is fussy, cranky, and generally out of sorts ● Is just tired - rest at such times may prevent the development of serious illness ● Has symptoms of a possible communicable disease (rash, hives, bodily discharge, etc.) Children suffering from a common cold will be assessed on an individual basis. Factors of consideration include the developmental level of your child in congruence with our ability to limit the spread of germs. The younger your child, the Visit ​www.tsnd.org/parentresources​ for helpful information and links. 8

more difficult it is to keep the spread of germs down. For example, hand to face contact, mouthing of toys, uncontrolled nasal discharge, uncovered sneezing and coughing, etc.

PICKING UP AND RETURNING CHILDREN TO SCHOOL For your child's comfort, and to reduce the risk of contagion, we ask that children who exhibit any of the signs listed above be picked up within 1.5 hours of notification. Until then, your child will be kept comfortable and will continue to be observed for symptoms. Children need to remain home for 24 hours without symptoms before returning to the program unless the center receives a note from the child’s medical provider stating that the child is not contagious and may return to the center. In the case of a (suspected) contagious disease, rash, or continuing symptoms, a note from the child’s medical provider may be required before the child can return. The final decision on whether to exclude a child from the program due to illness will be made by the center. Please notify us at once if your child has a communicable disease so we are able to inform other parents. We exercise discretion and confidentiality at all times​. If your child contracts lice, pinworm, conjunctivitis, strep throat, etc. PLEASE BE SURE TO INFORM US. If your child is found to have nits or lice during our periodic checks (s)he is to be picked up immediately and kept home for a full 24 hours after using a delousing product. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE SCHOOL BE MADE AWARE OF ALL HEALTH ISSUES (i.e. seizures, allergies, asthma, tubes in ears, a tendency towards high fever, etc.) We have no way of properly dealing with your children if we don't have adequate information.

MEDICATION Medicine can be dangerous. NEVER send medicine to school with your children. Parents are requested to personally bring medication to the school office in such circumstances. The office and your children's teachers are to be notified if your children are required to have medication administered. ​A medication log must be filled out by the parent before any medication can be dispensed. ​ A DCF required​ ​form is to be signed by the parent and filed in the office before medication can be given. Our preference would be to have you arrange with your physician to have your children take the medicine either before coming to school or after arriving home. Your cooperation in this area is appreciated in maintaining the health and safety of all children. Medication will be administered by a school administrator​ ​after the proper written authorization has been granted by the parent. ​Medication must be in the original container from the doctor or pharmacy. The dosage instructions, including the type of medication, must be clearly stated on the medication. We cannot give OTC (over the counter) medication without written instructions by a physician.

EMERGENCIES It is imperative that we have the name and telephone number of someone local for us to contact in case you cannot be reached. Please provide the name of several individuals who live or work close enough to pick your children up if you cannot be reached or come to school yourself. The school reserves the right to take emergency action on behalf of the children if parents cannot be reached, and if a delay would jeopardize the children's health or safety. Emergency cards are distributed to you in the Parent Package of information sent to you in August and are available online at ​www.tsnd.org/enrollment​ (scroll to the bottom of the page). It is extremely important that you complete and return this card to the school office before school begins, and update it with any changes of information you may have throughout the school year. In the event that there is a weather-related emergency such as a hurricane or tornado, the school will make a decision about closing, based on the procedures set out by the Miami Dade County Public School system. Every attempt will be made to contact you as soon as possible to inform you of a weather-related school closure.

Visit ​www.tsnd.org/parentresources​ for helpful information and links. 9

FIRE DRILLS / EVACUATIONS Fire drills are held monthly throughout the school year. It is each teacher's responsibility to teach her students the proper procedures for properly evacuating the school in case of an emergency. School lock-downs and evacuations to a nearby location are held regularly throughout the school year.

ONE VOICE, MANY LANGUAGES Temple Sinai’s Early Childhood Education Center is a school of one voice, many languages. Because we are a private Jewish school located in a diverse community that draws families from all over the world, we warmly embrace and welcome families by being inclusive in all possible ways. We are proud to have bi-lingual teachers in both Spanish and Hebrew so children are able to have familiarity with their home language. In PK4 we offer Hebrew classes twice a week with a specialist. Our Hebrew language program imparts a basic knowledge of Hebrew that provides a foundation for future study of the language. We develop our children's ability to communicate in Hebrew by providing many opportunities to use linguistic patterns and vocabulary. Children connect Hebrew to everyday social situations related to their experiences in the home, at school, in encounters with friends and in holiday celebrations. Our program makes Hebrew a source of pleasure for the children. The children learn through interactions with puppets, songs, and rhymes.

LEGAL CUSTODY NOTIFICATION In compliance with Florida State Statutes, Temple Sinai Early Childhood Education Center requires documentation as to who has legal custody in the case of divorce. If there is no legal documentation, then both parents have the right of access to pick up their children. It is the responsibility of the custodial parent to provide legal documentation verifying custody arrangements. Custodial parents are responsible for notifying the Early Childhood Education Center, in writing, of any special circumstances with regard to the rights and obligations of the non-custodial parent. This includes providing written permission for the non-custodial parent to pick up a child on a regular basis or for a special occasion.

LOST AND FOUND Everything your children bring to school ​should be labeled with their name ​in order to prevent its loss and to facilitate returning it to its proper owner. The school cannot be responsible for lost items. A "Lost and Found" box will be kept in the school office. Unidentified articles will be donated to charity if, after several attempts, they are not claimed.

PARENT/TEACHER ASSOCIATION We encourage parents to become active in Temple Sinai's Parent/Teacher Association (PTA), which is dedicated to supporting and assisting the Early Childhood Education Center. PTA participation involves fund-raising, service, and fellowship. The PTA helps to provide an important link between home and school, sponsoring such projects as challah sales and special holiday events. Watch for announcements of activities, sign up, and get involved!

PROGRESS UPDATES You can follow your child’s progress in real-time by downloading our Seesaw app. Whenever your child shows evidence of learning we upload a picture or video to the app and you are notified. Seesaw is a powerful tool to help us document each child’s progress and keep you informed. You can learn more about how we use Seesaw by watching our Seesaw webinar on ​www.tsnd.org/parentresources​. Twice a year, you will receive a student narrative from your child’s teacher. These narratives will summarize your child’s progress toward his or her learning goals. These Student Narratives will build upon the information you were given during Parent-Teacher Conferences and will identify specific “next steps” to deepen and extend your child’s learning.

Visit ​www.tsnd.org/parentresources​ for helpful information and links. 10

SCHOOL PICTURES Our school arranges for individual and class pictures to be taken each year, usually sometime in the fall and spring. You will receive details about the scheduling of school pictures. While the purchase of these pictures is entirely at your discretion, we require all children to participate in picture-taking.

SCREENINGS Each year we offer parents the opportunity to have their children screened by a private professional speech, language, and hearing clinic. We also offer Occupational Therapy (OT) screening. While these screenings are discretionary, and at the parent's own expense, the cost is minimal and we strongly encourage parents to take advantage of them.

VISITING THE SCHOOL We have an open-door policy and welcome parents at any time. For reasons of security and planning, we ask that you clear your visit with the Director in advance, and check-in with the office before going to your child’s classroom. Please give the children a few weeks at the beginning of the school year to adjust to their new routine. Children enjoy having parents share their experiences. If you would like to help out by sharing a special hobby or talent, please let your children's teachers know.

WE’RE GLAD YOU’RE HERE! Please cooperate and do your part by communicating with the teacher and/or the Director concerning any positive or not so positive experiences your child might have. We need to work together in order to achieve our goals. We LOVE to hear the good things and we will work as hard as possible to turn negatives into positives if they occur!

Visit ​www.tsnd.org/parentresources​ for helpful information and links. 11

Profile for Temple Sinai

Temple Sinai Early Childhood Education Center Family Handbook 2019-2020  

Our mission at Temple Sinai Early Childhood Education is to provide a nurturing environment where children are encouraged to become independ...

Temple Sinai Early Childhood Education Center Family Handbook 2019-2020  

Our mission at Temple Sinai Early Childhood Education is to provide a nurturing environment where children are encouraged to become independ...